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News: New blog post: Economy & Outposts (9/19/17); Starsector 0.8.1a is out!
 
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Author Topic: [0.8a] Better Beginning v0.3 - Create the Story!  (Read 14889 times)
AxleMC131
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« on: May 03, 2017, 08:22:04 PM »

Better Beginning
         Version 0.3 - For Starsector 0.8a          





Download here:
http://www.mediafire.com/file/k1dgro0d7ut36nn/BetterBeginning_v0.3.zip



Please Note
Due to the recent release of 0.8.1 and the following updates to Nexerelin and Dynasector, it should be noted that Better Beginning is redundant if you are also running either of those major mods, as their character creation/generation processes override that of Better Beginning.

If you're running Nexerelin and/or Dynasector, it is recommended you uninstall (or at least disable) Better Beginning as it will otherwise be completely useless.




Features
"Better Beginning" is an extremely simple utility mod that gives you a wider ship selection when starting a new campaign game. Currently it replaces the vanilla options with three trees of three ships each (flagship, support and logistics), presented in the form of an interactive narrative.

The mod seeks to return slightly to previous options for starting ships, and also to experiment with more complex rule features to give the player more varied starting scenarios - not just ships in their fleet, but things like financial situation, resource/equipment wealth, and faction relations.

All options aim to be balanced to the point that there are no options that the player always wants to pick, but likewise no options the player would never pick. The difference comes purely from player choice and the influence of a little role-play.



Changelog

Version 0.3 (Overhaul #1 - Experimental)

- Reconfigured ship selection with an interactive narrative
- Added a third tree of ship options
- No longer includes stock ship choices (though some are still options in different places)

- Revised first tree:
   - Removed all previous options
   - Added three destroyer options for player flagship
- Revised second tree:
   - Removed all previous options
   - Added three frigate options for second ship
- Added third tree:
   - Added three logistics options for third ship

- Removed additional benefits (temporary)


Version 0.2 (Quickfix #1)

- Cerberus primary choice now gains the player 10,000 credits
- Vigilance secondary choice now gains the player Gladius and Dagger fighter LPCs

- Updated some dialogue and tooltip texts
- Reordered secondary options to subtly suggest appropriate ship matches


Version 0.1 (Testing release)

- Added new options for the player's starting ship:
   - Tempest
   - Lasher
   - Cerberus
- Added new options for the player's secondary ship:
   - Dram with additional fuel
   - Hound with high-tech weaponry
   - Vigilance

« Last Edit: June 05, 2017, 06:01:09 PM by AxleMC131 » Logged



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« Reply #1 on: May 03, 2017, 09:39:11 PM »

Nice, will be sure to use this, with .8 being much easier (for me at least) to play legitly instead of cheating everything, this is a godsend.
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AxleMC131
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« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2017, 11:38:47 PM »

Glad to hear it.  Grin
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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2017, 07:45:41 AM »

I mostly avoided playing the game till now, but I still agree with Titmouse, this is nice and legitimate play has never been more fun!

Is the Scarab start next? Grin
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Bash
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« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2017, 10:42:53 AM »

Versant Beginning i would love
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Beobachter
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Balancing? What is that?


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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2017, 11:25:10 AM »

Versant Beginning i would love

I think that starts would have to be limited to vanilla ships - mods may not know what other mods are installed. Additional options would require more cases (and more balancing)
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Putting together a mod sometime in the distant future.
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« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2017, 11:27:39 AM »

How did you decide to put a Tempest as one of the starting options?
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« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2017, 12:58:55 PM »

enjoy that Little annoying Beamrocket  Cool
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AxleMC131
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« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2017, 03:41:54 PM »

Thanks all for the feedback and questions!  Grin Here's a couple of early-morning answers for you.


Is the Scarab start next? Grin

Haha, sadly no, and I've had a few people ask me the same thing in the Discord.  Wink The reason is simple: I'm trying to keep the selection of start ships limited to fairly balanced choices. Okay, in the previous version of the game you could pick up the Scarab at the expense of reputation with the Tri-Tachyon, but it's still an insanely powerful ship, and I'm trying to avoid that.

It's also not a good ship for beginner players - it's incredibly hard to use well without some practise - and I'm also aiming to limit the selections to beginner-friendly vessels. Also, for the early game I don't want to give the player ships with massive logistical profiles (high maintenance costs). That's no fun. (It's the same reason I refused to add the Hyperion or any of the Phase ships as starters.)


Versant Beginning i would love

If I was working with Tartiflette and I knew how to make the option come up only when DA was installed, I'd be only too happy to give you the option! As it is, the selection is limited to vanilla ships.


How did you decide to put a Tempest as one of the starting options?

Possibly hypocritically with the above limitations, I wanted to include the Tempest for two reasons:
- It's an exciting ship that I've rarely flown and I feel it's one that is sometimes overlooked in campaign gameplay
- It's the most high-tech ship I would consider letting the player start with, and manages to keep the interesting but balanced start that something like the Hyperion or Scarab wouldn't allow.

The Tempest's key issue (to me at least) is that its shear speed can make it difficult to pilot with maximum effect, so the option to pick it is aimed at a more experienced player. Nontheless, its operation in combat is fairly low-brow, and I feel can be picked up relatively quickly. It's powerful weapons package is also balanced by a slightly higher maintenance cost than other options (6 supplies per month).


On the whole I'm trying to create a selection of ships that (unlike in the previous version of Starsector) are all mutually agreeable. There should be no option that the player sees as better than all the others, and similarly no option that the player would never pick. The point is to make your early-game scenario more varied without making it easier or harder in a huge way.
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« Reply #9 on: May 04, 2017, 03:46:50 PM »

With the temporary removal of trading as a viable profession, I really don't think the player should have the option to start with a Cerberus – or any unshielded ship – as their primary vessel. It's just a noob trap.
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AxleMC131
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« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2017, 03:51:12 PM »

With the temporary removal of trading as a viable profession, I really don't think the player should have the option to start with a Cerberus – or any unshielded ship – as their primary vessel. It's just a noob trap.

I agree, which is why I've been trying to give additional benefits for it. Ideally I'd like to make the player friendly with the Pirates if they choose the Cerberus, since they are a smuggler, but I've so far found myself unable to change faction reputation during a new game start with the current rules.csv. I believe the planned fix coming in 0.8.1 will allow me to do that, but for now (and coming soon in a fix to this mod) I've made the Cerberus choice suggest the player is a "successful smuggler" and start them with a bunch of bonus cash.

Also, don't forget that the player can still choose the Vigilance or Kite as their second ship if they think they're about to be screwed in combat.

EDIT: Also, it's a regular Cerberus with a Railgun and a Heavy Mauler. Until I started testing this I'd never really appreciated how well armed the "standard" variant Cerberus actually is. I think it can work - and I do mention in the tooltip that the Cerberus is unshielded. Even so, should I make it clear that it's a bit of a flying coffin?

EDIT EDIT: If people don't like the option of the Cerberus anyway, then I can easily change it to the "Shielded" variant, which comes with slightly worse weapons but a front shield generator installed.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2017, 04:01:08 PM by AxleMC131 » Logged



"I ain't one to punch first, but if the mil' wants a piece of me tonight, then they're sure as hell gonna regret it in the morning!"
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AxleMC131
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« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2017, 06:23:46 PM »

Update: Version 0.2 (Quickfix #1)

Added some additional benefits for picking the Cerberus primary and/or the Vigilance secondary, as well as updating some text fields.

Check the OP for more details.
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« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2017, 10:36:53 PM »

Really cool and simple mod, new choices help to really freshen up the early game.
Reminds me of Alternate Start - Live Another Life for Skyrim.
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AxleMC131
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« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2017, 10:42:56 PM »

Really cool and simple mod, new choices help to really freshen up the early game.

Glad you find it refreshing. Wink
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« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2017, 01:57:29 AM »

On the whole I'm trying to create a selection of ships that (unlike in the previous version of Starsector) are all mutually agreeable. There should be no option that the player sees as better than all the others, and similarly no option that the player would never pick. The point is to make your early-game scenario more varied without making it easier or harder in a huge way.

Tempest is just too good (and expensive!) to pick anything else as primary.
Maybe it should come with downsides, like some combination of: no secondary ship/less starting credits/lowered rep with some factions/D-mods on it?
« Last Edit: May 05, 2017, 02:20:34 AM by TaLaR » Logged
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