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News: Starsector 0.9a is out! (11/16/18); In-dev patch notes for 0.9.1a (01/31/19)
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Author Topic: Is this worth getting at this stage? A few other questions...  (Read 1165 times)
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« on: August 09, 2018, 02:24:21 PM »

I'd never heard of this game until someone mentioned it on the steam forums for Star Traders Frontiers, so I thought I'd check it out. It looks pretty neat and I just wanted to ask some questions:

- How much of a complete game is it? If I bought it now, is there plenty for me to do or is it going to be obvious that it's not finished?

- I get you control a ship, but can you recruit crew members? Do they all have names and traits that make a difference?

- What's the sort of crew scale? I'm sort of looking for something where I can have a small crew of like 5-6 on a small ship and still have fun.

- Are there any story events or do you just sort of do what you want?

- Can you ally with different factions?

- Is it totally combat orientated or is it still enjoyable just exploring and trading/smuggling?

- Can you be a pirate of some sort?

Inventor Raccoon
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« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2018, 02:42:12 PM »

Welcome to the forums!  Smiley

- The game is lacking one major mechanic in particular at the moment (the ability to set up colonies on uninhabited worlds and essentially run your own faction) but the game is pretty replayable and there's a decent amount to do. Mods can extend this even further.

- Crew are pretty much a resource that you need to run ships, and for the most part they're mostly just represented by a number. However, you can hire officers who have a name, portrait, personality and skills, who you can assign to captain your other ships and improve their effectiveness greatly.

- Crew requirements range from a single person to hundreds and hundreds of people depending on whether you're using a tiny freighter or a massive battleship. The game's built with the intention that your fleet will get bigger and use larger ships as you progress, since a lot of what you'll do is to obtain money so you can buy and outfit ships.

- At the moment there only real hand-made "quest" of the kind you'd find in an RPG is the tutorial. Otherwise you can explore wherever you want and find old relics outside of the core worlds, take on fairly simple missions (go here and scan this thing, obtain and deliver some cargo to this place, go kill this pirate fleet, etc)

- If you get in a faction's good books, you gain access to their military surplus markets. You can also accept a commission from a faction, which means you get access to better ships and weapons in the military market, pays you a little bit for every ship you destroy that is hostile to them, and makes you hostile to their enemies. You can't properly "join" a faction in the base game, since in the future you'll be making your own faction.

- Everything generally ties into combat at some point. Bounty-hunting is mostly combat, of course. Delivery missions can result in pirates trying to shake you down for your cargo. Scanning missions lead you out into the fringe of the sector, where you can stumble on things to fight.

- You can be a pirate, yeah, although typically you won't be allied to other pirates. You're free to turn off your transponder and blow up trade fleets for loot if you want. In the future you'll also be able to get intel on juicy trade fleets and smugglers to facilitate this.

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« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2018, 03:07:27 PM »

It's a complete game, and has been for many revisions; Alex is quite good at making sure each release is playable on its own.  So I'd say yes, it's worth getting at this stage.  Really the only caveat is that the early game is still quite rough for new players.

On the other hand, based on the rest of your questions, this may not be the sort of game you're looking for.

Starsector is built around the player controlling a fleet - sure, you pilot one ship in combat, but you'd better have some supporting vessels too; other combat ships to tie up the enemy so your flagship doesn't get swarmed, cargo and fuel haulers so you can ship around all the loot, etc.  If you're looking for a game that focuses in on the player running one ship & managing that ship's crew, Starsector won't do that.

Starsector is also built around combat; the life of a mostly-peaceful trader is not a profitable one here.  Maybe next patch, when you can set up your own colony worlds?  (Though that still leads into needing to protect those worlds, i.e. combat, but at least it's towards a goal rather than just "Hey look, someone put a bounty on these here pirates!")

I think everything else was answered by Inventor Raccoon already, though I'll note that while yes, you can be a pirate, it's not well supported and is generally considered to be the game's hard mode.  Allying with one of the major factions and acting as their privateer is much easier than going pirate, and allying with no-one and just taking bounties from everyone is easier than that.

...Well.  I guess there is one more thing: This game is extremely modding-friendly.  If it's not what you're looking for, and you're feeling particularly adventurous, well... you can probably make a mod to fix that.

Wyvern is 100% correct about the math.
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2018, 04:46:37 PM »

Definitely. If you ask me even the standalone combat missions alone are a complete game, especially comparing starsector to any of its peers. A herculean amount of work has gone into starsector, from whom I would describe as the most focused, thoughtful, and thorough developer in the industry.
Midnight Kitsune
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« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2018, 10:17:46 PM »

First off, welcome to the forums!
Yeah, like what Wyvern said, this game might not be right for you as it is focused around combat. Starsector is more of a fleet based game than a single ship kind of game. And while we do get individualized "crew" in the form of officers, you can only have 10 and you can't really interact with them.
As for trading, Alex has designed the system so that you need to take advantage of disruptions and events to make a profit. IE you can't just do a trade route for an hour or two then buy your way into power. You can sneak and smuggle on the black market but that can lead to angering the station's owner.

I would highly suggest you visit our very active Unofficial Discord over here: as it is much more active than the forums and we can answer any other questions much faster over there

Stop trying to balance the game around a few minmaxers...
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« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2018, 10:34:58 PM »

The best way to answer the question of 'is it complete' is to say that's the wrong question.

It's fun, more fun than a lot of complete games, there is a lot of content, more content than most complete indie games you would compare it to, it's certainly value for money and there are still a lot more great things to come.

I recommend getting the nexerelin mod as it adds a few things that will be in the game in the next patch such as capturing planets and having your own bases.
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« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2018, 12:10:11 AM »

Alex doesn't leave obviously unfinished parts in the game, it just looks as if they were very simple. You can have tons of fun already and you won't encounter any bugs or anything for a long time.
Crew in general is completely uninsteresting and is just a number to run your ships, but hired officers have their own combat behaviour and skills. If you hoped you could kick ass in just one ship, it's not that kind of game, at least not anymore.
There's no story as of yet, I think there won't be any. Not that kind of game. There are missions in the main menu, which are individual battles, and some of them are connected to one another.
As of yet you can take a commission from factions, a commission gives you some credits when you defeat their enemies and also an access to the faction's military markets. Next update is concerning player becoming his own faction and I'm curious how it will be handled.
Starsector, you could say, is pretty combat focused, since almost everything leads to combat or can be handled by fighting. Combat is the greatest Starsector's strength, so it's no surprise.
You can be a pirate, if you consider smashing fleets to bits being a pirate. It's pretty hard to get going (as pirates start hostile to you and getting warmed up to them ruins relations with all other factions) and isn't easy, but if you want so badly you can be a pirate.

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« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2018, 04:55:48 AM »

Thanks for the replies, guys. Judging from what you guys are saying, this doesn't seem like the game I was looking for.

That said, I still wanted to give it a quick go, so I ended up just pirating Starsector as I couldn't find it on Steam. If it were on Steam I'd have just been able to refund it if I didn't like it. I'd have just bought it from the start if it were from a developer I was familiar with.

Anyway, I played for a little bit. Combat surprised me: I didn't realize you engaged an enemy and then it went to a separate screen and from there you actually have to control your ship and everything. I thought it was supposed to be like an RTS. It was neat. I only did a few battles but I loved the system. Reminded me a bit of Sunless Sea. Really loved how slick the U.I and visuals are. The overall tone of the game seems great as well. I feel like the trailer I watched for the game didn't do it justice at all.

So, yeah. This wasn't what I was looking for, but I'll be buying it in the next couple of days anyway. Looking forward to getting into Starsector.
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« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2018, 06:40:23 AM »

lol, same story as mine. Saw a vid, pirated and then bought it. Best investment I ever did, and come release I'll be buying again because *** me if this isn't one of the best games I've ever played, even though I'm poor as ***.
Also 0.9 is "around the corner" (noticed the quotes? yeah), so it's gonna be even better when it releases.
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« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2018, 11:13:50 AM »

The game is incomplete, though very much playable provided you do not mind the lack of a win condition and strategic goals beyond being a murderhobo killing things for loot.  Most of the planned game features are already in.  The next feature we are waiting for are colonies and faction building.

You need a fleet.  In some earlier versions, it was possible to solo enemy fleets with one ship, although you still needed freighters to scoop up loot or haul commodities.  Today, you need a fleet.  At the very least, you will need a tanker to reach and explore fringe star systems, not to mention combat ships to fight enemies.

Everything else has been answered by other posts.
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« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2018, 12:39:23 PM »

- The game felt more than complete back in 0.7, when I get into it anyway. There were lots of stuff to do, and mods made game far more bigger and enjoyable. Current progress with updates feel like massive game extension with brand new content, which you get for free. While majority of other studios, especially AAA ones, would be selling you those as DLCs for almost the same price as a base game. So yes, it is complete in my book.
- Yes, you can but not in a manner you'll get attached to them. Actual ship crew is just an expendable resource, while officers are more fleshed out and have some meaning to them. They are very helpful in terms of gameplay, but I wouldn't call them particularly immersive.
- That may be a big hit or miss for you. Endgame literally requires you to run pretty big fleet. This game can be played with small team/small crew, but that would be quite challenging, and available activities will be pretty limited because of that.
- Aside from tutorial, no. But the thing is, this game is the best possible space sandbox experience you can have on the market. It is so smooth and immersive that handheld story might just outright ruin it for the player. I don't think this game needs story, in traditional meaning anyway. So it's sort of a "you do what you want", which is amazing.
- Yes, you can ally with anyone if you build rep with faction, plus there are different starting conditions you can choose. But a good advice for beginner, do not ourtright ally with faction, do not *** other factions early on, and most importantly, don't pick Faction Comission, unless your fleet is strong enough to fight several armadas.
- Both, but currently combat (bounties) gives way more income than trading or exploration, plus it's much easier overall. But once you nail down general mechanics and learn to play (this game can seem to have pretty steep learning curve, which is wrong in reality), you can roleplay all you want, and that would be pretty chill experience.
- Yes, oh yes. But that gonna be very challenging path, even for a veteran.

Side thoughts for Alex, since it would fit this thread I suppose:
- One of the most amazing experiences for me in particular since day one, and it still feels great is when you join big friendly/neutral vs. enemy fleet fights with your small one. If there could be more activities or actual missions to participate in such events, that would be amazing. Also it could be pretty immersive way for a fresh player to build up rep, earn some creds and feel awesome.
- More trading related events/missions and it would make sense for it to be the easiest way (and less dangerous hopefully) to actually earn money, which currently it isn't. Please, make it happen!
- Piracy. Would be great if pirates would be more like a faction, instead of training dummies for bounty hunters. To have big stations, black market being more accessible and have more stuff to offer for someone who chose this path, plus to be easier to actually build rep with them.
- Chatter. It has a vibe of RPG, and in a sense it is, but there's very little actual talks in the game. Some options when you get attacked or you attack someone as dialogue would be great. Overall more talking, we need way-way more of it!  Shocked
« Last Edit: August 10, 2018, 12:44:33 PM by Seth » Logged
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