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Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Blog post: Skills and Story Points (07/08/19)

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Author Topic: Starsector 0.8.1a (Released) Patch Notes  (Read 179970 times)

Sordid

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Re: Starsector 0.8.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #180 on: May 30, 2017, 01:39:51 PM »

@Sordid before transverse jump was a free "get out of jail" card, it allowed you to avoid every fight you don't want to take. It's not that if you're ahead it's working, it always worked.

That's the point, it allowed you to get away even if you were slower than your pursuer. Now you have to be faster in order to build up enough of a lead to be able to use it, but if you're faster you don't need it in the first place.

Transverse Jump was awesome for escaping pursuing fleets, and this change is specifically designed to make that not work anymore.

This update did add Interdiction Pulse, which has a brief chargeup and then halts any pursuing fleet for a good 6-7 seconds, easily enough to turn on Sustained Burn and escape.

Doesn't that just make Transverse Jump even more pointless?

What you are asking is basically "why should elements in a game be balanced against each other?"

Don't go putting words in my mouth. That's not what I'm asking.

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In the example at hand, Transverse Jump makes other tactics to escape (hiding in asteroid fields, emergency burn) or not get spotted (running dark, distractions) and the related stats less relevant, if not obsolete.

All of those are tedious and annoying, so in my opinion that's a plus.

That's a very common game design element in a lot of games. Put in an annoyance that the player has to deal with, allow them to unlock a skill or item that lets them bypass it. The challenge is in unlocking that, and not having to deal with the annoyance is the reward. Yes, Transverse Jump is better than Going Dark or hiding in asteroids. That's because you have to spend skill points to unlock it and it eats resources with every use, whereas the other things are free. Just like a rocket launcher you find in a secret room in a first-person shooter is better than the pistol you started the game with. Of course it is, that's the whole point of getting new stuff, it's supposed to be better. Insisting that everything should be competitive with everything else saps all sense of achievement from progressing in the game because you never unlock anything better, just sidegrades. And because your starting ability then has to be useful in all situations, those sidegrades will necessarily be situational at best.

I see Starsector falling into the same trap as Skyrim. Remember Skyrim's skill tree, with every weapon and armor skill having that +20%-per-point node at the bottom and nodes with new power attacks and abilities further up the tree? When I first played the game, I only put a single point into that starting node and then went after the other ones, because new abilities make the game more interesting and exciting. But of course I struggled, and on my second playthrough I realized the way to go is to max out that base node first and only use leftover points for the rest. But all that's doing is affecting how much my own number increases in relation to the enemy's number, which makes his/mine health bar go down quicker/slower. Compared to the ability to decapitate or paralyze people, that's a very boring thing to unlock. And that's what SS is becoming, the only useful upgrades are +X% to something.

It also doesn't help that the solo playstyle has been nerfed into the ground by making the player unable to kite the AI, so really the only useful upgrades are +X% to a stat of some AI ship that you don't even directly control.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2017, 02:10:32 PM by Sordid »
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SCC

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Re: Starsector 0.8.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #181 on: May 30, 2017, 01:43:54 PM »

Updated! Last batch of changes; next up: some playtesting to make sure everything is in decent shape.
I bet it's the skins that convinced you to post it. And hats!

IP changes are interesting, will AI counter it by using ASB too?
Ouch... Odyssey lost a fair chunk of its shield. On the other hand, Conquest got an armour boost! I think if Odyssey will be able to use its weaponry efficiently, I won't mind shield change.
Fighter changed look good, reserve deployment seems less susceptible to abuse. Considering you're mostly tweaking values now we can expect the patch soon.

@Sordid instant transverse jump made mobility less important, since even if your pursuer went at 20 burn, one key press would unmake this advantage.
Additionally I like toying with enemy's sensors more fun than just yolo charge and then transverse jump to scout.

@Gothars did you ever got away by hiding in asteroids or whatever? I never could.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2017, 01:46:47 PM by SCC »
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HELMUT

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Re: Starsector 0.8.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #182 on: May 30, 2017, 01:45:15 PM »

I like what i see here, the Odyssey little nerfs and there should help preventing it from being too much of a pain to fight. I also approve of the Reserve Deployment nerf, i feel like the Drover was just too strong with it.

The Conquest armor buff on the other hand is a bit surprising, but i guess it needs it to stay competitive with its high-tech alternative. Perhaps a brawling Conquest build is even going to be a thing now?
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Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.8.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #183 on: May 30, 2017, 01:55:25 PM »

That's a very common game design element in a lot of games. Put in an annoyance that the player has to deal with, allow them to unlock a skill or item that lets them bypass it. The challenge is in unlocking that, and not having to deal with the annoyance is the reward. Yes, the Transverse Jump is better than Going Dark or hiding in asteroids. That's because you have to spend skill points to unlock it and it eats resources with every use, whereas the other things are free.
Like Surveying, not having Navigation hurts quite a bit, but I cannot afford to spare three points in that skill if I want to afford all of the combat skills I need to build my optimal killing machine.

Now that Transverse Jump will take ages to activate, I may consider not having Navigation much less painful.  Sure, Transverse Jump made it too easy to escape, but for me, the main benefit of that ability was simply instant teleportation - going where you want to go so quickly.  Basically a huge quality-of-life feature rivaling max Surveying.
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Gothars

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Re: Starsector 0.8.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #184 on: May 30, 2017, 02:21:34 PM »

Added "allowForceQuitInIronMode" setting to settings.json; defaults to true

Thank you!


What you are asking is basically "why should elements in a game be balanced against each other?"

Don't go putting words in my mouth. That's not what I'm asking.

I'm trying to answer your question ("Why does everything useful have to have some kind of deal-breaker downside?") by formulating it in a different way, not putting words in anyone's mouth.

I completely disagree with your description of the sensor and stealth game play as an "annoyance made to be bypassed". You're inferring that from your personal dislike of these mechanics. And even if it were boring, the right solution would be to improve or remove it, not to build in a skip-button.

BTW, rocket launchers have limited and rare ammo, exactly for the reasons I described.


@Gothars did you ever got away by hiding in asteroids or whatever? I never could.

Totally! Just today I was laying low in the ring system near Sindria, becoming almost invisible while waiting for a window of opportunity to enter the black market. More than 20 patrols must have passed me by before I made it to the planet, had to revert course several times and hide again.
Of course, if they are already just behind you it's not gonna help you much.


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Wyvern

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Re: Starsector 0.8.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #185 on: May 30, 2017, 02:22:20 PM »

So if I'm reading this right, Reserve Deployment is now a thing you use when some of your fighters have been destroyed, rather than preemptively to put more fighters on the field in the first place?
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SCC

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Re: Starsector 0.8.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #186 on: May 30, 2017, 02:28:15 PM »

Of course, if they are already just behind you it's not gonna help you much.
That's my point - going dark in pursuits is pointless, it's either for ambushes or "stealth sequences", like yours. I was asking explicitly because you've mentioned it as an alternative to the transverse jump in the context of escaping pursuit, if I'm not mistaken.
@Wyvern yes.

Inventor Raccoon

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Re: Starsector 0.8.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #187 on: May 30, 2017, 02:31:18 PM »

So if I'm reading this right, Reserve Deployment is now a thing you use when some of your fighters have been destroyed, rather than preemptively to put more fighters on the field in the first place?
In 0.8, you can use it for both purposes, and it'll spawn more reserve fighters if any of your normal wing members are destroyed, to fill it up to the new maximum. With 0.8, it's less effective when used to replace existing fighters, and won't fill it back up to full if the wing has no fleet members alive.
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Sordid

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Re: Starsector 0.8.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #188 on: May 30, 2017, 02:35:23 PM »

I completely disagree with your description of the sensor and stealth game play as an "annoyance made to be bypassed". You're inferring that from your personal dislike of these mechanics.

This might carry more weight here than anything I write myself:

I want to mainly talk about the question you posed. "Why are you fighting?" Because it's fun. The battles are the meat of the game, everything else is there just as filler between the fun bits. I'm sure it stings a bit to hear it put so bluntly, but that's how it is. The number of weapons, ships, hull mods, loadouts, fleet combinations, and combat situations the player can encounter in battles makes for an incredibly varied and fun experience. The overworld gameplay can't ever hope to match that, it will always be less complex and less exciting.

No, I hear that. While I think campaign level gameplay can be fun (and already is in some instances), and will get better yet, it's a different kind of fun, and battles are ... I don't know if it's too much to say the "heart" of the game, but design-wise, the idea is that anything you do in the campaign funnels you into combat for one reason or another. So, yeah, same page here.

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And even if it were boring, the right solution would be to improve or remove it, not to build in a skip-button.

That's your own personal opinion. The fact of the matter is that a huge number of acclaimed and successful games have done exactly that. Dark Souls, for instance, forces you to walk everywhere to begin with and doesn't give you the option to quick travel until two thirds through the game. Skyrim lets you pick a skill that makes your lockpicks unbreakable, effectively bypassing the lockpicking minigame. Hell, in the Saints Row series you can get upgrades that make you straight up permanently invincible. I could go on for a very long time like this.

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BTW, rocket launchers have limited and rare ammo, exactly for the reasons I described.

Yes, I did say that unlike Going Dark or hiding in asteroids, Transverse Jump eats resources. Thank you for agreeing with me.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2017, 03:03:14 PM by Sordid »
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Wyvern

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Re: Starsector 0.8.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #189 on: May 30, 2017, 02:38:32 PM »

Ahh, okay, looks like I was misreading it.

So for example:
Wing size 4, no fighters destroyed: .8 and .8.1 both deploy two more fighters.
Wing size 3, no fighters destroyed: .8 deploys two more fighters, .8.1 deploys one more fighter.
Wing size 4, one fighter destroyed: .8 deploys three more fighters, .8.1 sets max wing size to six but only deploys one more fighter.
Wing size 3, one fighter destroyed: .8 deploys three more fighters, .8.1 sets max wing size to four but only deploys one more fighter.
Wing size 4, all fighters destroyed: .8 deploys six fighters, .8.1 sets max wing size to six but only deploys four fighters.
Wing size 3, all fighters destroyed: .8 deploys five fighters, .8.1 sets max wing size to four but only deploys three fighters.

Alex, are those correct examples?
« Last Edit: May 30, 2017, 02:43:19 PM by Wyvern »
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Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.8.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #190 on: May 30, 2017, 02:45:18 PM »

To add to Sordid's point, there is an Angband variant called Sil.  It has an id-minigame (style common to old-school roguelikes) I really dislike.  There is an ability called Loremaster that identifies everything and bypasses the whole id-minigame altogether.  I beeline for that ability every game I play.  If not for Loremaster, I would refuse to play Sil because id-minigames featured in some classic roguelikes tend to be frustrating.
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Midnight Kitsune

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Re: Starsector 0.8.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #191 on: May 30, 2017, 02:56:28 PM »

I kinda agree with Sordid here, especially when it comes to campaign movement abilities. It just seems like any time the player gets the upper hand, it gets nerfed into the ground.
-Increased Burn skill? Goes from a big boost to a tiny one to none at all, meanwhile the AI gets and keeps E Burn, basically giving THEM the skill since they DGAF about supplies, CR or losses
-Finally got a way to get through those hyperstorms that pop up and have greater than shown effect ranges that slow you down AND drain you of your supplies? (Seriously, whose bright ****ing idea was THIS?!) LOL, That was a mistake! Now they effect you more AND they move! Oh and they're more common! Have fun kids!
-Finally got an ability that puts you on par with the AI's E Burn spam? Nope, the AI now gets that along with a skill that you KNOW they will just constantly spam while you have to worry about rep hits and actually HITTING your targets! GG wannabe pirates! Suck it up and be model citizens
-You know that emergency escape skill you liked so much? Well we decided to nerf it into the ground and still keep the hidden CR/ supply costs as well! No fun for you!

Alex, with the IP skill now using your sensor strength to control how powerful and how far it reaches, is the rep hit removed? Otherwise I can see this being a big source of annoyance or even bug reports due to higher sensor ranges meaning more chances to hit friendly fleets
« Last Edit: May 30, 2017, 03:00:40 PM by Midnight Kitsune »
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Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.8.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #192 on: May 30, 2017, 03:06:06 PM »

I can see it now.  If fleets will get angrier at you (short of open hostilities) for interdicting hostiles, shouldn't the sector at large be angry at each other if they use it to catch everything?

This gets even sillier if player is able to build a polity later.  He gets rep hits from visitors for protecting his territory, but everyone else gets off scott-free.

How about this?  Say I can set up patrols to defend my system (in some future version with outposts implemented).  My patrols start clocking smugglers and other questionable types.  Reputation will go down with everyone because I am the player!
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Inventor Raccoon

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Re: Starsector 0.8.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #193 on: May 30, 2017, 03:07:34 PM »

Wing size 4, no fighters destroyed: .8 and .8.1 both deploy two more fighters.
Wing size 3, no fighters destroyed: .8 deploys two more fighters, .8.1 deploys one more fighter.
Wing size 4, one fighter destroyed: .8 deploys three more fighters, .8.1 sets max wing size to six but only deploys one more fighter.
Wing size 3, one fighter destroyed: .8 deploys three more fighters, .8.1 sets max wing size to four but only deploys one more fighter.
Wing size 4, all fighters destroyed: .8 deploys six fighters, .8.1 sets max wing size to six but only deploys four fighters.
Wing size 3, all fighters destroyed: .8 deploys five fighters, .8.1 sets max wing size to four but only deploys three fighters.
1 and 2 are right, 5 and 6 are right. 3 and 4 aren't. It's (current fighters) + (fighter wing size) = (new wing size, up to the new maximum)

Case 3 has a new maximum of 6 fighters (4+2), currently 3 fighters and a wing size of 4, so it's 3+4 = 6 + 1 fighter that doesn't get launched because it hits the maximum. Wing is fully restored. Case 4 is maximum of 4 (3+1), currently 2 and a wing size of 3, so 2+3=4+1 left over from hitting the maximum. Wing is fully restored.

Case 5 has a maximum of 6, current 0, wing size of 4. 0+4 = 4, doesn't hit the maximum, so 4 fighters are launched. Same deal with 5, only 3 fighters are launched.

I can see it now.  If fleets will get angrier at you (short of open hostilities) for interdicting hostiles, shouldn't the sector at large be angry at each other if they use it to catch everything?

This gets even sillier if player is able to build a polity later.  He gets rep hits from visitors for protecting his territory, but everyone else gets off scott-free.

How about this?  Say I can set up patrols to defend my system (in some future version with outposts implemented).  My patrols start clocking smugglers and other questionable types.  Reputation will go down with everyone because I am the player!
Pretty sure it's a penalty for the faction you're interdicting. Interdicting pirates with Hegemony around won't affect reputation, but if a Hegemony patrol comes to scan you and you successfully interdict them to get away, Hegemony will suffer a rep hit.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2017, 03:10:48 PM by InventorRaccoon »
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Wyvern

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Re: Starsector 0.8.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #194 on: May 30, 2017, 03:22:13 PM »

Ah, yup, I think you're right.

Conclusions:
  • Reserve Deployment is worded really awkwardly (though I'm not quite sure how to improve it).
  • Reserve Deployment is vastly more potent than I thought it was - I'd assumed that it simply deployed an extra 1/2 wing size fighters regardless of how many were or weren't destroyed.
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