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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: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses  (Read 22205 times)

Retry

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #60 on: August 18, 2018, 09:54:01 AM »

a very interesting blog post.
I actually like the bombardment limitation and costs. even the fuel, it can be made make sense, you are going to be firing weapons in "orbital bombardment mode" say an overpowered mode for energy weapons and sligs or using specialist weapons that might be energy hogs, while performing movements either to avoid ground guns/disrupt them or to move in and go "point blank" in low orbit or even skimming the upper atmo (or both)

Mayhaps the saturation bombardment cost should be lower (fuel wise) but much, much higher in reputation (I mean, it is a crime against humanity and outside a very, very narrow set of circumstances, should make you an instant pariah).

Though I think it would be intersting to see it happen, the latter, in case of a bitter faction war or as a way of plague control? In the former, standard morality has flown out of the window and people are killing each other with gusto, in the latter would be more akin to amputation (mostly I am trying to figure scenarios where either would be acceptable or have reduced penalties)

it is not the sort of thing I would use, but I really like lore limitations and exceptiosn in game, which is why I like this blog post so much, sure the in universe reason for the costs might be stretched, but I prefer having some sort of framework that could justify it, as opposed to a very plain balance/gameplay issues (like the lance limitation in the recent Battletech game... when your dropship has enough bays for a company and change of mechs or the one skyranger limitation in firaxis nucom and in the latter is even worse because you have tons of VTOL interceptors all over the world... but only one dropship and make mechancis based off that artificial limitation... which is something that pisses me off in games, I can understand game balance, but to purposely reduce your options? talk about artificial difficulty)
I agree with the cost for bombardment, I just don't believe it should be fuel, which is otherwise only consumed in hyperspace.

Maybe if you have a faction commission you can accept missions to raid or bombard specific planets that your faction deems to be strategically important.  That'd give some variety to them at least, which currently only has 2 variants: "Find this object" and "Bring stuff here".

On your last paragraph I just want to add the sidenote:
Spoiler
In BATTLETECH, you have two dropships, but only the Leopard can actually land.  The Leopard canonically has 4 'Mech Bays and 2 Fighter bays, or a lance-worth of 'Mechs, hence the limitation.  Your Argo has enough space for more but you just can't land them all at once.
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Chaos Blade

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #61 on: August 18, 2018, 10:19:05 AM »

to reply to your spoiler, yes,
Spoiler
that is true but the point is that as an investment, the Argo with only one leo feels like a waste. moreover the ARgo seemed to have an internal bay for shuttles that could have carried more (and another external hardpoint for another dropship)
The excuse is rather feeble because few missions in game are of the deploy and go back, you could always deploy some ways out (actually, normally, because it is less risk to the leo) and that means having time to deploy more than one lance... but again shows the idiocy of having only one leo with the argo. as an excuse it really doesn't work. I'd very much preferred having a land base and the leopard and upgrade that way, but even then the leo has six bays (converted the ASF bays into mech bays) so again, deploying only four doesn't seem to work
[close]

As for the rest, I understand what you mean, fuel is used only for FTL, so yeah, if it had been reaction mass and used for standard movement, yeah... maybe. perhaps making it supply intensive, instead? I mean Alex seems to want to give fuel other uses, which is reasonable to me, but yeah, doesn't quite work with fuel only being used in FTL
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arwan

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #62 on: August 18, 2018, 10:52:50 AM »

i know a lot has already been said on using fuel for bombardment. (to be honest i did not read all of them. due to time constraints.) but i feel like fuel is already SUCH an important commodity that this may be over stretching its importance a bit. it makes me feel like some of the other commodities could use some love in the usefulness department instead.

right now it feels like in terms of usefulness and importance. the only commodities that really mater currently are supplies and fuel anyway. if one were to have a sort of bar graph of importance these 2 commodities would be i feel about 95% of the entire graph. sure there are a couple edge cases for one or 2 of the other commodities. but they really dont have a use (as of yet) that is important in a meaningful way.

I can certainly get behind not making another type of commodity for just the sake of bombardment as well though. instead I in my honest opinion. (there is that word shudder) would like to possibly see a different resource or even a combination of lesser resources be required for bombardments. if a combination were used i could certainly then see fuel being in the mix as a minor resource for that. as you said volatiles are I believe a good primary required resource. maybe a little bit of fuel and maybe a high end metal of some sort. where the metal and volatiles are the primary requirement.

after all if your going to war anyway via bombardment wouldn't a smart commander (i imagine) plan for that. instead of in a sense going well. i have all this extra fuel on board i was going to use to get back home... buuuut. whats the worst that could happen. drop it all in low planetary orbit and let it rain fuel.. they will thank me later when fuel prices drop.

then end up in a huge war with no way to run away. or a very possible desperate state. because someone could not either figure out just how much fuel they needed for the return journey and they guessed wrong. (whoops) or it never crossed their mind before they dropped the bombs and are now lambs to the slaughter with no way to escape. (do you smell bacon.... i smell bacon)

i dont know i just get this impending feeling that this is something that sounds decent to do at limited times. but possibly all the ramifications of said action, due to the use of fuel, maybe something a bit to daunting for a lot of people to consider, especially the un-initiated new players. in just how important not running out of fuel is.
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Alex
You won't be able to refit fighters and bombers at all. They're designed/balanced around having a particular set of weapons and would be very broken if you could change it. Which ones you pick for your fleet -out of quite a few that are available- is the choice here, not how they're outfitted.

Alex

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #63 on: August 18, 2018, 12:31:39 PM »

Spoiler
I've read your thoughts thoroughly and I understand the massive undertaking it'd take and the potential underwhelming results implementing a combat scenario for this purpose could yield. I do, however, want to expand where I'm coming from.

One of the reasons why station battles feel very exciting is because you are putting the ships/skills you acquired in a different scenario. It's like a new toy to play with, a new problem to tackle. Currently on the game we have station battles, regular combat and retreats (both sides). Those are basically all the types of battles we can engage though with obviously with a lot of variation, I don't want to downplay that. When originally thinking about station assaults I (and others I'd wager) imagined fighting massive structures with reinforcements coming in or even having hangers spawning destroyers or such. A battle that would play out a different way and would push our skills/fleet to the limits. Implementing that is another story, but what I want to highlight is that such a scenario would be a real game changer to battles, which in turn makes it memorable and exciting. Now don't get me wrong, I'm pleased with the current station fights (and I imagine .9's are going to be great too), but it makes me wonder if more different/unique ideas/scenarios couldn't be implemented in the engine. For example, consider some different situations like:

-> Raiding transporters/cargo ships while the rest of the fleet defends it
-> Protecting mining operations from attackers
-> Escorting scenarios
-> Boss fights (unique ship encounters)

These would all have unique variation and their own quirks to consider, which I believe to be a very positive thing. So when reading about raiding I can't help but imagine what could have been done with the combat engine, since that is the crowning jewel of the game. Now, from your post I can see that implementing a lot of these isn't feasible nor desirable, but I do think some different types of battles for future updates of could add a lot to the game. If it is possible and you think it could create interesting gameplay, please consider it.
[close]

Thank you for taking another look and elaborating! I think we're more or less on the same page here. Some of these ideas for combat scenarios, while they sound cool, the trouble is getting them to actually play out well. For example, the "escape" scenario is one case where it ... could probably work better, but for various reasons, it's difficult to fine-tune. It's mostly there because something *has* to be; that is, it fills a necessary role.

On the other hand, with the new release, we'll have:

Battles where you're attacking stations - which, alright, REDACTED does this already, but I think the new stations are considerably different, both in terms of power, and by being designed so that each station type creates a different feeling battle.

Battles where you're defending on the same side as a station.

And a early-midgame-to-midgame "boss" fight that you might encounter.

(As far as the station battles, 0.9a doesn't quite make *full* use of them - that is, there's a lot of room for having both more reasons to fight those types of battles, and more kinds of opponents - but it's a start in that direction, anyway.)


I assume a Synchotron Core is Domain-era technology?  If it is, all the more reason to bust open the door and take it right from under their noses. :) Though that also makes me wonder if factions can be extra-aggressive for getting back such rare and precious technology, as well as search for the missing equipment after the fact.  It sure would be suspicious if your Synchrotron Core was stolen only for another one to conveniently be acquired by an economical opponent.  The Sindrian Diktat might think that some ham-fisted raiding of their own might be in order to reclaim such material, no?

On another note, and sorry if this was answered and I missed it;
If say there is only one of these Synchrotron Cores in Sindria and I was to successfully swipe it in a raid, does that mean that I now have the only synchrotron core in the game now and forever? Or do factions have mean to eventually restore their collection of relics or are they just permanently hamstrung?

It is, but you can find more on the fringes. At the moment, taking one from Sindria would be a permanent blow. (I do want to look at how the player selling an item like that to a colony might factor in, though.) And, yeah, there's room for these kinds of responses, or simply negative reactions to successful competition. I've actually got a TODO item to look at that, but I don't think it'll make it into 0.9.

For me at least, it's that we don't learn about connections to other mechanics until later, when the last blog post about all the mechanics in the update are done.  Of course, I don't know how much else you have planned out that you don't talk about (because you have a habit of talking only about things you're confident in releasing, give or take), so there's always that.

Ah, thank you for clarifying!


On the renaming of Small Arms to Heavy Armaments, yeah it's rather difficult to sum up that into 1 or 2 short words since it encompasses so many things.  If it was just 'Mechs, Hovercraft & tanks you could sum that all up into Armour or AFVs, but including squad-support weaponry torpedos that idea.

Maybe "Weapon Systems"?  But then it's a bit vague as that could also describe ship-based weapons.

Then "Planetary Weapon Systems" would be more precise and leave less room for doubt, but then that's a rather wordy title for one commodity, I would guess the longest in-game.

Maybe "Defense Products"?  It's vague enough and with appropriate artwork one can represent that the products are any manner of vehicles and heavy infantry weapons, and their variants.  I dunno, it's hard to pin down.

Heavy Armaments could be called Military Hardware instead; squad-level weapons, vehicles, and such fall under that latter name pretty well.

(... and others...)

Thank you for the suggestions! I'm not unhappy with Heavy Armaments, so I think I'll stick with it, as nothing else jumps out as being /amazing/.


One involves taking a page from Nexerelin's book: Reserve Fleets.  In Nexerelin, reserve fleets are stationed at planets or stations, hidden until the player or an AI invasion/raid fleet arrives at the planet and begins their invasion, in which case a large reserve fleet scrambles to interrupt the invaders and must be defeated to finish the invasion process.

...

I think stations more or less fill that role, and they already prevent bombardments but not raids, so it's basically exactly that.


Spoiler
Say, civilian vessels like the Starliner, Atlas and Prometheus are worth 0 on the Suppression Scale
Military vessels like Hammerheads, Eagles & Onslaughts are worth their value in recovery cost (8, 22 & 40 IIRC) before adjustment.
Optionally:Vessels get an additional modifier based on their size class.  Say, arbitarily, FFs are worth 0x(handwaved as too small & flimsy to reliably stand up to counter-battery fire), DDs are worth .5x, CLs and CAs are worth 1x, and BCs & BBs are worth 1.5x(Making the Onslaught just as terrifying to see in orbit as it is from the bridge.).  So the Hammerhead, Eagle & Onslaught of the previous example are worth 4, 22 & 60 suppression points if I recalled my recovery costs correctly originally.
Optionally:Vessels can get additional bonuses/maluses based on hullmods.  May be a modular hullmod, or could probably be added to the Valkyrie in addition to its other upcoming bonus.
Finally, the Fleet's suppression values are compared to the planet's Defense value.  Let's say the defense value is an arbitary 50 on Kanta's Den.
If the Fleet's net suppression is equal to or exceeds the defense value, little or no CR/Hull damage is taken.  So, say, a handful of Eagles would allow you to bombard the den safely.
Otherwise, the fleet takes some CR/hull damage which will require time and supplies to repair.  So, say, a few Hammerheads would not be enough to bombard the den safely.

The end result is basically a soft cap needing overcome with combat craft and a reason why barrages aren't more common: Even if one could sneak into the port past all the patrols in nothing but a Prometheus and two Valkyries with a battalion of marines, you still can't safely dump your fuel onto defenses even if you theoretically have enough to knock them all out without the dedicated combat craft doing suppressive work.  Safely suppressing the defenses would need a big fleet of big combat ships.  Big fleets are expensive, big ships are expensive.  Thus, a properly outfitted bombardment fleet, with all the ammunition and marines and battleships for suppressive fire, would be expensive to procure and maintain, and thus rare.

On a final note, how about Aerospace Fighters?  Could we see a fighter design that can operate both in an atmosphere and in space?  Mechanically there wouldn't be much of a difference in the Fleet battle part, maybe the Aerospace design is slightly weaker in space combat but grants a bonus to raid strength when raiding planets (able to provide Close Air Support to the Marines on the ground)  I don't think any current fighter is fluffed as an atmospheric-capable fighter though, so it'd require either adding that to an existing fighter or creating an entirely new one.  Maybe something armed with something that's not too useful in space but presumably more useful against soft targets, like the Thumper?
[close]

My feeling here is that it's smoother to just abstract all this away instead of adding another number. That is, we've already got raid strength and ground defense strength, so we already *did* add one more number to build up and manage and so on. Why add more when this is a fairly passive interaction? I mean, there could be reasons! But to me this feels like making it more detailed just for the sake of doing that, if that makes sense.


Alex, have you added tooltips for unexplained mechanics in 0.8.1 such as Armor? I'm very sure there's no (combination of) tooltips which explain how Armor works in the game; I have had to rely on external sources for reminders.

Nope! Might make sense to, say, add some tooltips to the refit screen, but I haven't been in the neighborhood, so to speak.


The easiest way I see is to make the reward so small that its not worth it past the early game, outside of missions. If in a self-planned heist you get like, ten luxury goods or illegal drugs, that's nice for a frigate captain, but not worth the bother for an admiral. The bother being mainly the necessity to sneak past patrols and inducing a high market suspicion (so patrols will still come to scan you later on).

Once the mechanic exists, it could be used for heist missions, were you e.g. get inside info on the time and place of an AI core transfer taking place, and thus much better rewards.

Ahh, gotcha - yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I think implementation-wise it'd be easier to handle it as a bar-mission rather than a generic mechanic, though, both because it's set up to easily handle that and because I don't think that something with such a relatively narrow window of usefulness really needs top-level UI feature billing.


The Synchrotron Core sounded like something out of Artistic License to me until I looked such a thing up. It's a nice surprise to discover something real.
Oh ***, it is, and it's also the thing (particle accelerator) that is used to create antimatter on Earth, right now. I'm so used to inaccuracies in games that I can't see nuggets of truth.

:D The time I spend on wikipedia...


I actually like the bombardment limitation and costs. even the fuel, it can be made make sense, you are going to be firing weapons in "orbital bombardment mode" say an overpowered mode for energy weapons and sligs or using specialist weapons that might be energy hogs, while performing movements either to avoid ground guns/disrupt them or to move in and go "point blank" in low orbit or even skimming the upper atmo (or both)

In-fiction, the way I see it is pretty much jury-rigged fuel cells being dropped from orbit, whether for a high-orbit dispersal or for a concentrated high-damage strike.

This is... not super important, right, but the important point is that it completelty decouples it from military ships. Otherwise, it's tempting to start, say, calculating bombardment strengths of various ships and so on, and it just ends up being a lot of stats and number crunching without a particular benefit.


Mayhaps the saturation bombardment cost should be lower (fuel wise) but much, much higher in reputation (I mean, it is a crime against humanity and outside a very, very narrow set of circumstances, should make you an instant pariah).

It's already got higher reputation penalties, yeah. I'm not sure there's really any reason for lowering the fuel cost.


Alex, thanks for the detailed “no” it’s nice to know “why” and I appreciate it, talk about more complex than assumed!

Thank you for not taking it adversely :)


One more thing, could a raid also apply to persons? Say kidnap pirate Commander Bob, for interrogation, ransom, or for the bounty?  Doing a bounty raid on a civilized world would I think be a good early game option, local forces would be much more welcoming (lower consequences) to someone picking up a dangerous outlaw rather than someone stealing a nano forge. Also raiding a hostile pirate base for a bounty would be a good step up in risk before you start raiding other factions.

Hmm - I think that sort of thing might be better handled as specific missions. That is, I don't think a general-purpose "kidnap a person" mechanic really belongs in a game about fleets and colonies and so on.

And another thing, what’s the point of individual relations with commanders?
Couldn’t they be helpful in a situation like this? A Station/planetary commander could delay the authorities response times, foul up investigations into who raided them, or even turn a blind eye entirely, perhaps even lend a hand if high enough.  heck could a good reputation with a commander allow you to smuggle more without suspicion?

There really isn't one they're starting to feel like a solution in search of a problem. Definitely a case of me adding something because it seemed potentially useful/cool (and not too difficult) at the time, and then just everything not going in a direction to take advantage of it. So for example this sort of thing, right, it would make sense if it was a core mechanic that we were tying more things into. But right now it's kind of an island - your relationship with a station commander etc doesn't matter 99% of the time - so tying one individual thing to it I don't think would be a good idea.


Spoiler
i know a lot has already been said on using fuel for bombardment. (to be honest i did not read all of them. due to time constraints.) but i feel like fuel is already SUCH an important commodity that this may be over stretching its importance a bit. it makes me feel like some of the other commodities could use some love in the usefulness department instead.

right now it feels like in terms of usefulness and importance. the only commodities that really mater currently are supplies and fuel anyway. if one were to have a sort of bar graph of importance these 2 commodities would be i feel about 95% of the entire graph. sure there are a couple edge cases for one or 2 of the other commodities. but they really dont have a use (as of yet) that is important in a meaningful way.

I can certainly get behind not making another type of commodity for just the sake of bombardment as well though. instead I in my honest opinion. (there is that word shudder) would like to possibly see a different resource or even a combination of lesser resources be required for bombardments. if a combination were used i could certainly then see fuel being in the mix as a minor resource for that. as you said volatiles are I believe a good primary required resource. maybe a little bit of fuel and maybe a high end metal of some sort. where the metal and volatiles are the primary requirement.

after all if your going to war anyway via bombardment wouldn't a smart commander (i imagine) plan for that. instead of in a sense going well. i have all this extra fuel on board i was going to use to get back home... buuuut. whats the worst that could happen. drop it all in low planetary orbit and let it rain fuel.. they will thank me later when fuel prices drop.

then end up in a huge war with no way to run away. or a very possible desperate state. because someone could not either figure out just how much fuel they needed for the return journey and they guessed wrong. (whoops) or it never crossed their mind before they dropped the bombs and are now lambs to the slaughter with no way to escape. (do you smell bacon.... i smell bacon)

i dont know i just get this impending feeling that this is something that sounds decent to do at limited times. but possibly all the ramifications of said action, due to the use of fuel, maybe something a bit to daunting for a lot of people to consider, especially the un-initiated new players. in just how important not running out of fuel is.
[close]

Hmm - in part, it being a daunting prospect is kind of the point. I do see what you're saying, though. I'll just say that I'd like to see how it works out in practice before making it more complicated. I also like the idea of it not being something you have to stock up on specifically for bombardments, which would be the case for most other resources.

(Side note, we've got uses for Heavy Machinery, a fringe use for Volatiles, and with 0.9a, a use for marines, more uses for Heavy Machinery and Metals (constructing objectives). So I think it's moving in the right direction! Some resources will be leaned on more heavily than others, and they also have more direct UI support - i.e. the fuel bar, the supplies indicator, and so on. The goal isn't to make it all evenly important, since then you'd probably have to stockpile and track too many things. But just enough so that a bunch of things are at least situationally useful.)
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errorgance

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #64 on: August 18, 2018, 03:36:44 PM »

Alex, I don’t see reputations with commanders as looking for a problem, there are plenty of problems they could help with. I could list a bunch here but that I think that deserves its own thread in the suggestions forum.
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Alex

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #65 on: August 18, 2018, 04:48:37 PM »

Alex, I don’t see reputations with commanders as looking for a problem, there are plenty of problems they could help with. I could list a bunch here but that I think that deserves its own thread in the suggestions forum.

There's lots of stuff where they could factor in, yeah; I guess what I mean is the game in general is moving a bit more macro-scale as far as what feels important and that drives what new mechanics feel right to add. So even if there are problems (and of course there are, right) it might make more sense to solve them differently.

That said: if you've got specific thoughts here, I'd love to hear them!
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #66 on: August 18, 2018, 05:40:05 PM »

Old suggestion but tying commanders into a local reputation would be cool. You could use a heatmap type overlay to display local reputation to the player on the map. This would resolve a lot of the weird reputation things that happen now like going instantly hostile with an entire faction if you fight one patrol. Instead you would go instantly hostile with the system (which seems reasonable, but far away colonies might only be suspicious). IMO, it just feels far more realistic and offers more engaging gameplay, generally letting the player 'get away' with more without removing consequences. It also makes piracy more viable, and maybe it could also tie into raiding. It would also make stealth more viable since the consequence of failure would be localized and delayed.
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FooF

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #67 on: August 18, 2018, 06:23:36 PM »

Old suggestion but tying commanders into a local reputation would be cool. You could use a heatmap type overlay to display local reputation to the player on the map. This would resolve a lot of the weird reputation things that happen now like going instantly hostile with an entire faction if you fight one patrol. Instead you would go instantly hostile with the system (which seems reasonable, but far away colonies might only be suspicious). IMO, it just feels far more realistic and offers more engaging gameplay, generally letting the player 'get away' with more without removing consequences. It also makes piracy more viable, and maybe it could also tie into raiding. It would also make stealth more viable since the consequence of failure would be localized and delayed.

This was also my immediate thought. As far as raids go, I think having patrol commanders "look the other way" or even possibly assist in a raid (via bribe, high individual rep, etc.) would add an interesting dynamic to the dynamic.

As far as HQ/Base commanders, I have always hoped that high enough rep with them would lead to reduced tariffs on the market and/or high-end, faction-specific missions you couldn't get otherwise. If you really wanted to get specific, make it so that the mission(s) they give are related to happenings within the system or directly affect them. I.e. "You have the Hegemony's permission to bombard [Tri-Tach planet] as long as you recover [arbitrary item or tech] afterwards for us. Expect heavy resistance so here's a patrol fleet to assist." (Of course, if you fail to retrieve said McGuffin, the patrol fleet turns on you: they were actually there to make sure you got the job done.)
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Jonlissla

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #68 on: August 19, 2018, 03:47:21 AM »

Old suggestion but tying commanders into a local reputation would be cool. You could use a heatmap type overlay to display local reputation to the player on the map. This would resolve a lot of the weird reputation things that happen now like going instantly hostile with an entire faction if you fight one patrol. Instead you would go instantly hostile with the system (which seems reasonable, but far away colonies might only be suspicious). IMO, it just feels far more realistic and offers more engaging gameplay, generally letting the player 'get away' with more without removing consequences. It also makes piracy more viable, and maybe it could also tie into raiding. It would also make stealth more viable since the consequence of failure would be localized and delayed.

I would love to see a feature like this. Each system may have its own commanders and governers and a local reputation system. Kind of like Mount&Blade in that regard where you have relations with every lord as well as the kingdom.
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Cyan Leader

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #69 on: August 19, 2018, 07:29:55 AM »

On the other hand, with the new release, we'll have:

Battles where you're attacking stations - which, alright, REDACTED does this already, but I think the new stations are considerably different, both in terms of power, and by being designed so that each station type creates a different feeling battle.

Battles where you're defending on the same side as a station.

And a early-midgame-to-midgame "boss" fight that you might encounter.

(As far as the station battles, 0.9a doesn't quite make *full* use of them - that is, there's a lot of room for having both more reasons to fight those types of battles, and more kinds of opponents - but it's a start in that direction, anyway.)

I look forward to these, thanks for letting me know. Best of luck with the playtesting!
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The Soldier

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #70 on: August 19, 2018, 09:58:40 AM »

Old suggestion but tying commanders into a local reputation would be cool. You could use a heatmap type overlay to display local reputation to the player on the map. This would resolve a lot of the weird reputation things that happen now like going instantly hostile with an entire faction if you fight one patrol. Instead you would go instantly hostile with the system (which seems reasonable, but far away colonies might only be suspicious). IMO, it just feels far more realistic and offers more engaging gameplay, generally letting the player 'get away' with more without removing consequences. It also makes piracy more viable, and maybe it could also tie into raiding. It would also make stealth more viable since the consequence of failure would be localized and delayed.

I would love to see a feature like this. Each system may have its own commanders and governers and a local reputation system. Kind of like Mount&Blade in that regard where you have relations with every lord as well as the kingdom.
I believe that's the goal later on in the game.  Currently you actually can improve your reputation with local commanders (be it patrol commanders, the station's medical officer, or some black market goon) through trading missions, like getting 50 Harvested Organs to the Chief Medical Officer at Jangala.  However, most of these NPCs are randomly generated and never seen again after these missions end, and even if they do remain, it has no impact.  I really do look forward to the day this functionality gets added, as we can start doing all sorts of underhanded things. ;)
« Last Edit: August 19, 2018, 10:00:38 AM by The Soldier »
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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #71 on: August 19, 2018, 10:04:43 AM »

Old suggestion but tying commanders into a local reputation would be cool. You could use a heatmap type overlay to display local reputation to the player on the map. This would resolve a lot of the weird reputation things that happen now like going instantly hostile with an entire faction if you fight one patrol. Instead you would go instantly hostile with the system (which seems reasonable, but far away colonies might only be suspicious). IMO, it just feels far more realistic and offers more engaging gameplay, generally letting the player 'get away' with more without removing consequences. It also makes piracy more viable, and maybe it could also tie into raiding. It would also make stealth more viable since the consequence of failure would be localized and delayed.

I would love to see a feature like this. Each system may have its own commanders and governers and a local reputation system. Kind of like Mount&Blade in that regard where you have relations with every lord as well as the kingdom.
This was also my immediate thought. As far as raids go, I think having patrol commanders "look the other way" or even possibly assist in a raid (via bribe, high individual rep, etc.) would add an interesting dynamic to the dynamic.

As far as HQ/Base commanders, I have always hoped that high enough rep with them would lead to reduced tariffs on the market and/or high-end, faction-specific missions you couldn't get otherwise. If you really wanted to get specific, make it so that the mission(s) they give are related to happenings within the system or directly affect them. I.e. "You have the Hegemony's permission to bombard [Tri-Tach planet] as long as you recover [arbitrary item or tech] afterwards for us. Expect heavy resistance so here's a patrol fleet to assist." (Of course, if you fail to retrieve said McGuffin, the patrol fleet turns on you: they were actually there to make sure you got the job done.)

I think all that makes more sense in M&B, since lords are a primary gameplay element - armies are centered around them, you can't help but interact with them, you can see what lord is in charge of an army, and so on. Tying the same sort of thing to a commander tucked away at a station or a planet isn't equivalent. It also makes more in-fiction sense there, as far as lords having more local power (though IIRC you couldn't be, say, hostile to one city of a faction but not another, so it wasn't really regional, just lord-based, but I digress.)

As far as patrol commanders, they're not persistent. That's not to say that they *couldn't* be.

I do see what you guys are saying, and have thought along very similar lines. I just don't think that it's a good fit, and trying to make it work would involve a lot of shoehorning. Plus, as far as what I'd want to work on, say more exciting macro-things to do with REDACTED seem like a much better use of time than adding nuance to the reputation system, which in the end functions just so you've got things to fight against and things to fight on the same side as. I think that expanding on large scale events is a more interesting direction to take the game in.

The payoff for having more nuance there... well, it exists, but it would come at the cost of a lot of restructuring and UI changes to properly support it, and a lot of complications to other mechanics. For example, if you can't assume that if faction X is hostile, then patrol Y of that faction will be hostile, that could mean all sorts of bugs or exploits to guard against. There's definitely a hidden ongoing cost to this.

And, finally - maybe rehashing my initial point - I really do think that lord in M&B work because the game is in large part about your relationships with lords. In some sense, it's what the game - or at least its overworld aspect - is *about*. All these potential interactions sound like fun, but I don't think they'd actually come to fruition often enough to be a worthwhile addition unless the game was focused on them. I think that degree of primacy is required to pull this off, and I don't see Starsector as being fundamentally a game about your relationships with local commanders.


Best of luck with the playtesting!

Thank you!


I believe that's the goal later on in the game.  Currently you actually can improve your reputation with local commanders (be it patrol commanders, the station's medical officer, or some black market goon) through trading missions, like getting 50 Harvested Organs to the Chief Medical Officer at Jangala.  However, most of these NPCs are randomly generated and never seen again after these missions end, and even if they do remain, it has no impact.  I really do look forward to the day this functionality gets added, as we can start doing all sorts of underhanded things. ;)

As I mentioned earlier in the thread, that was just a bit of future-proofing on my part that didn't really connect up to anything very well. Sorry :)

(But hey, on the bright side, you'd be right to say that for that case, I didn't think it all the way through!)
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xenoargh

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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #72 on: August 19, 2018, 01:46:59 PM »

Overall, looks great!  Couple of thoughts:

1.  Not sure about the cooldown as opposed to having to sit there waiting for the Raid to finish.  One of the nail-biters in Mount and Blade was finishing a raid before a Lord showed up.  So... IDK, maybe do a bit of dice-rolling and <if enemy fleet or station is near enough> allow it to engage during the Raid, so that there's some risk to doing a stealth-raid with nothing but a Prometheus and a few Valkyries?

2.  So... right now, we can Decivilize everything, then plant colonies?  Hmm.  Why not just throw in a simplistic invasion feature where you need a pretty overwhelming number of Marines, for now?

3.  One mini-game option that sounds distinctly Fun, at least to me, is to have Raids take place as a battle, with the Planetary Defenses as actual objects covering the targets, the Marines advancing slowly and the player fleet having to run interference. 

The mechanics, as proposed, basically mean players will stack Marines and Fuel in giant piles somewhere until it's time to go on the offensive, and then deploy their giant resource pools through clicking on a UI, hitting planet after planet of the Faction they want to decimate; this sounds pretty anticlimactic. 

4.  Obviously, some Factions should be happy you've Raided their enemies.  Shouldn't there be some upside diplomatically?  I can see that nobody would be particularly thrilled with you if you decimate populations, but if you've crippled their economies or defenses with targeted strikes, some parties will be cheering you on.  For example, the Pirates might appreciate it if you bomb Planetary Defenses and make the planet easier to Raid in the future.

5.  Does this mean Pirate Raids can now be expected to be loot-pinatas of Fuel?

6.  I think there might be a fleet role for not just the combat side of raiding, but the pick-up-stuff part.  Maybe that's a role for the Venture or Hound?

7.  How about raiding for people?  Pirates surely buy slaves; your colonies could use experts (and slaves, if you're evil); this seems like a neo-cyberpunkish thing to include.

8.  How about assassinating the Governor or other important leaders?

9.  Shouldn't some Factions offer Missions where the Mission is, "go Raid X for us"?

10.  Shouldn't being a notorious Raider without a major Faction to back you up get some really huge fleets chasing you down?  I mean, this is the sort of thing that you'd think would put a huge Bounty on your head.

11.  Speaking of which... can't players start accruing a Bounty for their various deeds (i.e., killing pretty much anybody, even Pirates)?  Wouldn't that be cool, if it eventually got large enough that huge fleets came after the player, or they had to pay off the Factions they annoyed so much? 
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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #73 on: August 19, 2018, 01:54:25 PM »

this seems really.. simple?

it doesn't necessarily need a minigame, but imo bare minimum it should at least have a few components:

1. bigger fleets with heavier guns bombard better (really, any sort of actual heavy bombardment shouldn't even be possible unless you have very heavy weapons or weapons exclusively designed for the task)

2. takes time (obviously, should be pretty risky)

3. enemy capable of sortieing fleets to stop you (risk) station defenses get a shot at you / the ordnance (fair is fair)

also i feel like there should be some system for standoff bombing and the resulting knock-on effects of that. i don't know if any of these ships would even be capable of flying around in-atmo and even if they could why would you?

seems like planetary bombardment is something that would be rare and a large operation (both militarily and logistically) making it "click a dialogue option" and then resolved instantaneously just seems really weird. ideally it should be it's own campaign where there are a few steps with plenty of opportunity for the defenders to interfere with your attack (or for you to interfere with theirs)

invasions likewise.
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Re: Raids, Bombardments, and Planetary Defenses
« Reply #74 on: August 19, 2018, 05:25:55 PM »

Old suggestion but tying commanders into a local reputation would be cool. You could use a heatmap type overlay to display local reputation to the player on the map. This would resolve a lot of the weird reputation things that happen now like going instantly hostile with an entire faction if you fight one patrol. Instead you would go instantly hostile with the system (which seems reasonable, but far away colonies might only be suspicious). IMO, it just feels far more realistic and offers more engaging gameplay, generally letting the player 'get away' with more without removing consequences. It also makes piracy more viable, and maybe it could also tie into raiding. It would also make stealth more viable since the consequence of failure would be localized and delayed.

I would love to see a feature like this. Each system may have its own commanders and governers and a local reputation system. Kind of like Mount&Blade in that regard where you have relations with every lord as well as the kingdom.
This was also my immediate thought. As far as raids go, I think having patrol commanders "look the other way" or even possibly assist in a raid (via bribe, high individual rep, etc.) would add an interesting dynamic to the dynamic.

As far as HQ/Base commanders, I have always hoped that high enough rep with them would lead to reduced tariffs on the market and/or high-end, faction-specific missions you couldn't get otherwise. If you really wanted to get specific, make it so that the mission(s) they give are related to happenings within the system or directly affect them. I.e. "You have the Hegemony's permission to bombard [Tri-Tach planet] as long as you recover [arbitrary item or tech] afterwards for us. Expect heavy resistance so here's a patrol fleet to assist." (Of course, if you fail to retrieve said McGuffin, the patrol fleet turns on you: they were actually there to make sure you got the job done.)

I think all that makes more sense in M&B, since lords are a primary gameplay element - armies are centered around them, you can't help but interact with them, you can see what lord is in charge of an army, and so on. Tying the same sort of thing to a commander tucked away at a station or a planet isn't equivalent. It also makes more in-fiction sense there, as far as lords having more local power (though IIRC you couldn't be, say, hostile to one city of a faction but not another, so it wasn't really regional, just lord-based, but I digress.)

As far as patrol commanders, they're not persistent. That's not to say that they *couldn't* be.

I do see what you guys are saying, and have thought along very similar lines. I just don't think that it's a good fit, and trying to make it work would involve a lot of shoehorning. Plus, as far as what I'd want to work on, say more exciting macro-things to do with REDACTED seem like a much better use of time than adding nuance to the reputation system, which in the end functions just so you've got things to fight against and things to fight on the same side as. I think that expanding on large scale events is a more interesting direction to take the game in.

The payoff for having more nuance there... well, it exists, but it would come at the cost of a lot of restructuring and UI changes to properly support it, and a lot of complications to other mechanics. For example, if you can't assume that if faction X is hostile, then patrol Y of that faction will be hostile, that could mean all sorts of bugs or exploits to guard against. There's definitely a hidden ongoing cost to this.

And, finally - maybe rehashing my initial point - I really do think that lord in M&B work because the game is in large part about your relationships with lords. In some sense, it's what the game - or at least its overworld aspect - is *about*. All these potential interactions sound like fun, but I don't think they'd actually come to fruition often enough to be a worthwhile addition unless the game was focused on them. I think that degree of primacy is required to pull this off, and I don't see Starsector as being fundamentally a game about your relationships with local commanders.


Best of luck with the playtesting!

Thank you!


I believe that's the goal later on in the game.  Currently you actually can improve your reputation with local commanders (be it patrol commanders, the station's medical officer, or some black market goon) through trading missions, like getting 50 Harvested Organs to the Chief Medical Officer at Jangala.  However, most of these NPCs are randomly generated and never seen again after these missions end, and even if they do remain, it has no impact.  I really do look forward to the day this functionality gets added, as we can start doing all sorts of underhanded things. ;)

As I mentioned earlier in the thread, that was just a bit of future-proofing on my part that didn't really connect up to anything very well. Sorry :)

(But hey, on the bright side, you'd be right to say that for that case, I didn't think it all the way through!)

Posted my thoughts in the suggestion area, spoilers, it’s not too far off from what the others suggested, with just a bit more to it, It’s like you said though, in the current game it’d be mostly adding nuance and alternatives, so I agree with you that other features are of higher priority, (just what exactly would you rather work on next?  ;D)

I do hope you find time to implement something like this in the future though, I think this could be one of those features that doesn’t so much as add to the game, as multiply everything else.
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