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Author Topic: Is the difficulty curve really inverted?  (Read 11865 times)

DatonKallandor

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Re: Is the difficulty curve really inverted?
« Reply #30 on: April 17, 2017, 06:42:02 PM »

Escort missions are the obvious low level mission that's missing to make the early game not a giant difficulty wall.
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BillyRueben

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Re: Is the difficulty curve really inverted?
« Reply #31 on: April 17, 2017, 06:44:42 PM »

Escort missions? Why...just why would you even mention that?

Escort missions in space games are pure devilry!
Are they? I've always had fun when the missions were more than just attrition. I'd love to see some variety. Even some lore handwavy derpery to get some Battlefield style Conquest would be awesome.
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PerturbedPug

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Re: Is the difficulty curve really inverted?
« Reply #32 on: April 17, 2017, 07:05:37 PM »

There just need to be more options and I think 0.8a is one of the first steps towards that. If you don't want to engage in combat you can survey planets or scavenge resources, ships, items, etc. from exploration, but there needs to be more ways of making money besides the obvious combat, trade and exploration. Perhaps spying on factions by watching fleet movements while staying hidden, sabotaging enemy markets, arming & supplying friendly rebel groups with weapons and food or transporting passengers. These are just twists on the standard 3 ways of making money but they add some interesting flavor.

More interaction with enemies is a good idea as well, perhaps pirates or hostile fleets could be bribed to leave you alone (but not if the faction is super angry with the player). An insurance plan on ships in your fleet could help ease the pain of lost ships (as long as your transponder was on when it was lost, and the ship was legally acquired) by paying out a fraction of what it was worth. Nexelerin already does this and it really cushions the blow.

Just my 2 cents.
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Sutopia

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Re: Is the difficulty curve really inverted?
« Reply #33 on: April 18, 2017, 07:03:15 PM »

Just make much stronger fleet not even bother pursuit you unless they got VERY good reason.
For instance, got a heavy bounty on you, then the pursuer size will be based both on bounty size and your own size.(i.e. the enemy size range increases with bounty size.)
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Inventor Raccoon

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Re: Is the difficulty curve really inverted?
« Reply #34 on: April 18, 2017, 08:07:25 PM »

Escort missions are the obvious low level mission that's missing to make the early game not a giant difficulty wall.
One of the big challenges is often having to fight multiple enemy ships at the same time, which is relieved during an escort mission, because while you have to protect some incompetent freighter, you might also have a couple of mercenary escorts fighting alongside you. Even if it's just a Lasher and Brawler, makes it much easier when you have allies.
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AxleMC131

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Re: Is the difficulty curve really inverted?
« Reply #35 on: April 18, 2017, 08:22:07 PM »

Escort missions are the obvious low level mission that's missing to make the early game not a giant difficulty wall.
One of the big challenges is often having to fight multiple enemy ships at the same time, which is relieved during an escort mission, because while you have to protect some incompetent freighter, you might also have a couple of mercenary escorts fighting alongside you. Even if it's just a Lasher and Brawler, makes it much easier when you have allies.

Definitely. I'd be down for escort missions. They'd be tricky to implement, but almost certainly worthwhile, especially for the early game.
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Thaago

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Re: Is the difficulty curve really inverted?
« Reply #36 on: April 18, 2017, 08:37:29 PM »

Escort missions where the player is in command (can tell the fleet where to move on the overmap) would be ok. It would be a little strange if you in your single frigate are put in charge of what amounts to a battlegroup... perhaps whatever it is you are escorting should be the same size or smaller than the player's current fleet?
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AxleMC131

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Re: Is the difficulty curve really inverted?
« Reply #37 on: April 18, 2017, 10:10:58 PM »

I dunno. I'd have made it so that it requires you to follow an individual convoy or something, and join in quickly if they get attacked. You would gain additional payment and reputation with the faction (and convoy commander?) to make picking up the mission worthwhile, as opposed to just sticking with a random convoy and hoping they get attacked. Conversely, if you accept the escort mission then either don't follow or let the convoy get attacked without helping, you lose a bunch of rep and maybe get fined.

For balancing, the escort contract should only require you to attempt to defend the convoy. If you join them after they get attacked but still lose the battle, there isn't any penalty - you tried your best, as it were, and failed. Happens to the best.
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Voyager I

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Re: Is the difficulty curve really inverted?
« Reply #38 on: April 18, 2017, 11:35:39 PM »

Escort missions sound like they have a lot of potential to be hell in an open-world sandbox where a big fuckoff ball of pirates can come down on you at any time and place.
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AxleMC131

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Re: Is the difficulty curve really inverted?
« Reply #39 on: April 18, 2017, 11:38:04 PM »

Escort missions sound like they have a lot of potential to be hell in an open-world sandbox where a big fuckoff ball of pirates can come down on you at any time and place.

True. It'd require some balancing. Perhaps it could only allow you to escort convoys of a similar size/speed to your fleet, so that you never lose any semblance of "the ability to run the f*** away".
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Nighteyes

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Re: Is the difficulty curve really inverted?
« Reply #40 on: April 19, 2017, 04:46:43 AM »

I mean, is there any open world game that really got more difficult over time? I can't think of one. Skyrim, Fallout, Zelda BotW, they all follow the same pattern. It's so much of a standard you can even find comics about it:

So, if Starsector has a normal difficulty curve for an open world game, can you really call it "inverted"? Ok, there can be some mean spikes at the start right now, but that's a different problem all together.

Skyrim and other TES games use level-scaling enemies to keep the content challenging. MMOs use tiered zones to guide the player around along their journey.

SS could use something similar in the universe where each faction controls different regions of space as territory. The different factions could scale up to certain levels. When I say scale, I mean the fleets that are spawned in the region are either at a set amount, or if you choose scaling, will almost always be equivalent to whatever the player is flying around up to a set maximum value.

There are many ways to create a fun game throughout, but I have a feeling the very loud, hardcore portion of this community will denounce any form of scaling.
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Thaago

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Re: Is the difficulty curve really inverted?
« Reply #41 on: April 19, 2017, 05:10:15 AM »

I'm hesitant to have the player attached to a fleet outside of their control - it sounds quite boring to me to just sit and watch, doing nothing and waiting for the fleet to be attacked.
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Inventor Raccoon

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Re: Is the difficulty curve really inverted?
« Reply #42 on: April 19, 2017, 05:58:08 AM »

I'm hesitant to have the player attached to a fleet outside of their control - it sounds quite boring to me to just sit and watch, doing nothing and waiting for the fleet to be attacked.
The player already gets scripted (not sure if that's the right term) attacks from small pirate fleets while going on a procurement contract. Do the same thing with escort jobs, so you'll get a couple of guaranteed attacks. Maybe even make larger fleets avoid the target, so it doesn't become impossible.
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Immahnoob

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Re: Is the difficulty curve really inverted?
« Reply #43 on: April 19, 2017, 08:39:35 AM »

I think it becomes rather easy in the late game.

I finished a Vanilla faction run with level 58, I could pretty much solo everything with my Onslaught. If I felt that things aren't going my way, I'd bring in my Paragon too.
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DatonKallandor

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Re: Is the difficulty curve really inverted?
« Reply #44 on: April 19, 2017, 10:32:23 AM »

Escort missions sound like they have a lot of potential to be hell in an open-world sandbox where a big fuckoff ball of pirates can come down on you at any time and place.

Those giant pirate balls also come down on you if you're not escorting something. The one change would be that during the escort mission you've got NPC support and don't have to win with just your ship/fleet.

Seriously, ever since joining combat in progress was implemented, escort missions are a no-brainer. There's already NPC trader fleets going from station to station. There's already a way to join that fleet and help it when it gets into combat. All that's missing is a systemic way for the player to say "I'll escort you to the next station" and get paid for it - preferably in a lump sum upon completion and an escort bounty for every hostile eliminted on the way, to make the trips where the RNG just won't leave you alone worth more.

And being able to become the escorted fleet by hiring someone else for 1 to X trips would also be very useful, but not as necessary for the early game difficulty issue.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2017, 10:34:18 AM by DatonKallandor »
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