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Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Blog post: Personal Contacts (08/13/20)

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Author Topic: Delayed mass commentary of 0.9a  (Read 3384 times)

Megas

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Delayed mass commentary of 0.9a
« on: December 23, 2018, 11:38:27 AM »

I spilt so much between release day and now that much of this will seem like a recap post.  Style is similar to my last one for 0.8.

At first...
Spoiler
Like last release, I spent about an hour checking game files and examining things that changed since 0.8 before finally starting a new game.  Only new portraits that stood out are the Diktat officers, more Hegemony officers, purple alien queen, and Brigador-style smoker.  I still stuck with classic Doomguy space marine.  I left settings.json alone at first, but by the time I finished tutorial, I reacclimated to gameplay then edited game speed from 1f back to 2f.  Combat is very slow at 1f, and comparable to other games at 2f.

First game, I picked Wolf and Shepherd.  Tutorial is much the same as before.  The main difference this time is the fleets guarding the hyperspace game can wander far enough away that I can complete that without a fight, then return and kill them after the bounty gets posted.
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Abilities
Spoiler
Sustained Burn is very clumsy now, clumsy enough that it is useful mostly for travel.  It is occasionally useful for killing unwanted momentum of the fleet, like slamming on the brakes.  I guess mission accomplished?

I like Emergency Burn now.  It is fast and, most important, does not disable Sustained Burn after it finishes.  I can chain Sustained Burn immediately after Emergency Burn.  I usually use it to plow through nebula or coronas.

Interdiction Pulse seems a bit faster, and rarely useful early.  Late in the game, most of my targets either cannot move (stations) or want to pick a fight (giant death fleet of whatever).  As for AI use, avoiding pulse is no longer trivial.  Combined with clumsy Sustained Burn, if your fleet's momentum is bad, it will probably get pulsed.  At least I am immune to pulses sent by my own faction's fleets.
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Progression
Spoiler
Played three games.

First game:  I did not take commission, and I hung around and slaughtered lots of small-fry pirates in Galatia and Corvus and leveled-up quite a bit.  After a few fights, I was eager to try out colonization immediately as soon as I found what I thought was a great planet, which is a water world with +175% hazard, great resources in everything except volatiles, and next door to Hegemony space.  I had no idea of the mistakes I did at the time, and long story short, I needed to take colony skills to save the game.  I quit after I got fed up with my size 7 water hole.

Second game:  Began with Hammerhead and skipped tutorial.  I took Tri-Tachyon commission is soon as I could, and I focused on exploration to search for that +75% Terran planet with good resources, and I found one early thanks to exploration mission from Hegemony.  Great system far in the fringe with two good primary colony planets orbiting the same gas giant.  I built-up my planets so I could ignore expeditions and explore for blueprints.  Unfortunately, I discovered that being way out in the fringe made it too bothersome to deal with problems in core worlds, plus pather bases that threaten my colony were far away and close to core.  I spent too much time traveling, and I only bothered with threats that directly threatened my colonies and bypassed their defenses, namely pather cells and pirate activity.  Eventually, pirates eventually decivilized Asharu (by too many successful raids), and I considered the game over.

Third game:  Began with Apogee and skipped tutorial.  I avoided commission, mostly because I did not want to see a black mark commission tag on my Intel (no commission, no commission tag on Intel), and I would dump it eventually to maximize colonies' accessibility.  I took bounties and exploration missions that I could.  Eventually, I found a single system with two good, if not ideal, planets and a third with nothing aside from ruins, but hazard was low enough and I colonized it anyway to put a military base for more system defense.  (It feels great when I can totally ignore expeditions.)  After building up colonies, I spent much time dealing with pirates and pathers so they do not decivilize anything.  I explored when I could and plopped temporary colonies down where there are ruins and hopefully get some rare items.  Never found a 75% world this game, or much better to colonize for that matter.  This was the first game where I got a size 10 world, well, three of them.  I raided much in this game to get the blueprints I want.
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Quality of Life
Spoiler
Reinforced Bulkheads has become the MVP hullmod, I like guaranteed weapon and configuration perservation as long as the ship survives.  As long as the fleet does not wipe, casualties in battle are not permanent, and the worst that is done is another (D) mod to the ship, which is fine if the ship was a beat-up clunker to begin with or if I have a colony to build new ships.

I also like the new campaign hullmods like Efficiency Overhaul, Militarized Subsystems, and the basic capacities at times.  Only problem, with Reinforced Bulkheads, many ships are seriously OP starved, and some ships cannot really spare the OP for campaign hullmods without losing too much.

Storms are much less bothersome as a whole.  More often than not, I drive into them for the speed boost and take the punishment.  Usually, by the time I can explore much of the sector, I can easily afford it.

I like that the player can survey any planet without any skill prerequisite.  This makes exploration much more fun.

I would put production here, except in practice, that feels more like a reward for winning the game instead of a tool that helps the player when he needs it during play.
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Leveling and Skills
Spoiler
With level cap at 50, it feels much better.  I reach what would be considered endgame in prior releases somewhere between level 40 and 45, and I can play a while longer before I reach 50.  The extra skill points are nice, and I do not need to ultra-specialize in combat to keep up with officers.

Nearly all of the skills from 0.8 are the same as before.

Recovery Operations 2 is still useless as in 0.8 because the game still removes excess ships beyond the fleet cap before I am offered ships to recover, and by late game, I am almost always at or near fleet cap.

Salvaging felt too luck dependent to spend points just for rare blueprints alone (and I would only consider max Salvaging for more rare items).  Most of the extra rare stuff was junk I did not want or already have.  The few extra good items I found could have been acquired with a few more blueprint raids, and if I have three points to burn, probably better placed at Planetary Operations so I can bring fewer marines to raid markets and effectively govern one more colony (perhaps another tech mine).

Some skills seems like must-have:
  • Fleet Logistics:  Makes the whole fleet better and boosts an important stat on colonies?  That is a no-brainer.
  • Coordinated Maneuvers:  One point, and you can ignore the Nav points.
  • Electronic Warfare:  You need that one point to defend against enemy EW if you fight anything other than Pirates and Pathers.
  • Loadout Design:  Even with this, all of the ships are OP starved if I want a campaign hullmod or Reinforced Bulkheads in addition to the usually combat loadout.

Runners-up:
  • Officer Management:  The main limitations of the skill vary by map size and your ships.  If you use mostly a capital fleet, player may only deploy between six to ten ships at max map size.  If at 200, player may only get two or three large ships!  Provided player can get enough ships deployed and can pay for their upkeep, this can be a no-brainer.
  • Fighter Doctrine:  Much like Officer Management, if your map size is small enough that you can only fit two or three large warships and cannot squeeze carriers in (and you do not use a carrier yourself), then the skill bonuses get wasted.  On large map size, you have enough room to deploy at least a few carriers and the bonuses are indeed a no-brainer.

I am torn on Officer Management.  While I posted that it seems must-have for guaranteed ship recovery (when combined with Fleet Logistics), I did so while I used max battle map size.  I tried lower sizes and found I can only deploy two to four large ships on smaller sizes, making Officer Management a waste if I only need few ships to kill everyone.  (Eventually, I raised it back up to 500 just so I can have more than a couple ships in a fight.)

Same thing with Fighter Doctrine.  If I play with map size 200, I only have room for two capitals and maybe a smaller ship.  That is not a fleet.

New colony skills, at least those in Industry, feel like all-or-nothing.  If I find alpha cores and (want to) use them for governing, then I guess the skills are not useful enough to give up nine points for them.  However, if I do not use cores, or do not find enough early, colony skills feel too powerful (or unskilled too weak).  Player with max colony skills are much better than adminstrators for your big money makers, while more adminstators can be thrown into your size 3 waystation outposts to keep a foothold where you need one or to tech mine for rare items.

My biggest gripe with the skill system is pilot-only carrier skills because they are too narrow given the short list of useful carriers.  They may be fine on officers, but not on a player character that needs to pilot one of the few carriers to make use of them.  If the skills affected the whole fleet or provided other bonuses to non-carriers (like Defensive Systems does for phase ships) or campaign benefits.  For example, Strike Command would be more useful if merged with Missile Specialization.
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Colonies
Spoiler
This was the one feature I waited for most in 0.9, and... while they can be fun, it has too many traps for the inexperienced.

Hazard rating, stability, and accessibility are the most important stats.  Great resources alone is not enough.  Even a 75% or 100% planet with moderate ores and poor everything else is better than a 175% or above with two ultrarich ores and possibly more.

Also, location can be very important.  The closer colonies are to core, the less traveling player needs to do to deal with core problems.  Multiple colonies in a system is a very good idea to repel so-called expeditions or other invaders.

Free Port is a no brainer after player can stack stability like crazy.  The only penalty I can see is Luddic Church and Hegemony joining in on the invasions and aiming for Spaceport.

I have not played with cores much, but I do see profit doubling or so after shoving high-class cores in various industries.  So far, the drawbacks I read about appear to be easily ignored or circumvented.

What I dislike most about colonies is after you build your first one, colony defense dominates gameplay, and it gets tiring.  Soon, I get a pirate raid is requires at least a midgame fleet to defend against, then soon after, so-called "expedition" fleets want to raid my colony.  Those are almost endgame strong.  You get only one at first, but they will eventually send more at a time.  If you fight them yourself, you take a reputation penalty, but if you let your patrols and battlestation do it, no rep loss.  These encourage player to find a system with two or more good planets to colonize so he can ignore expedititions altogether.  However, worse are pirates and pather cells.  Pirate activity means your markets lose stability and accessible and lower your profits, and if not dealt with, they send a bunch of fleets to raid your colonies.  Worse are the pather cells that lower stability then eventually disrupt an industry while bypassing all defenses.  Player cannot ignore pirates and pathers.  As soon as your colonies gets afflicted, he must stop what he is doing and kill pirates or pathers immediately.

Exploration becomes difficult when I need to spend most time traveling and fighting bases, even if my colonies can always repel invasions, because core colonies cannot very well and I still need to kill pirates and pathers that destabilize my colonies.

Between times of colony defense, I need to destroy pirates and pathers that attack the core worlds or else I risk watching some decivilize and lose income, and possibly a heavy industry to raid from, permanently.

The constant traveling and enemy respawning makes it difficult to explore fringe colonies far from your colony.  Can be aggravating if the Red Planet and/or tech cache spawns at the other corner of the sector, and it is hard to go there without letting the sector and/or your colony on fire burn to the ground.

Colonies seem to be something to obtain and manage when player has a million credits and is ready to play endgame.  Otherwise, it is a struggle.

It is annoying that player cannot abandon colonies that are bigger than size 3, and has no easy way to stop growth.  Removing spaceport to prevent growth is an annoying kludge that sometimes prevents me from repairing my fleet when I need to pass by.
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Industries
Spoiler
Player needs Spaceport... unless he wants to freeze growth, in which case, that gets removed until progress is low enough that can be rebuilt.

Waystation is a top-tier industry.  More accessibility and stockpiles what your fleet needs, plus low upkeep.

Commerce seems like a dud, or at least the first one to remove after player reaches the limit.  Its only perk is +1 stability.  It is probably too much trouble trying to sell vendor trash just to make up for upkeep.

Orbital station is a good idea.  Upgrades, maybe not, depending on your patrols.  Relying on stability bonus is not a good idea when enemies try to disable it before they raid.

The other industries have their uses.  Some have expensive upkeep and may attract Pathers, especially Heavy Industry, but you need one somewhere.
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Production
Spoiler
While production is nice, it is dampered in that building and governing a colony is not worth it until very late in the game when I can afford the resources I need to defend it.  Also, what I can produce is often limited mostly by default and common drops.  Getting enough rare blueprints to produce everything I want happens after either much exploration or raiding, and the game is effectively won by that point.  When I can produce ships and weapons, I am the point when small ships do little good, and I need cruisers and capitals to fight the enemy.

If I manage to acquire all of the blueprints I want and a nanoforge, then being able to build what I want, as much as I want (within limits), and replace losses is very nice.  Unfortunately, that happens way too late in the game.
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Drops or Rare Loot
Spoiler
I have said it many times before, but... Pirate, Pather, and Church blueprints are too common and their hulls are obsolete by the time I can produce the hulls, except for Colossus 3 for raiding.  Hegemony pack is nice and not too common, but that too is obsolete by the time I can make use of it.

The low-tech, midline, high-tech, and missile packs are all great.  Well, high-tech could use more ships (especially high-tech carrier), but it has some necessities nonetheless.  They seem not too common and it is possible to find one very late.  If there needed to be "com-mon" packs that you get sick of finding, it should be these, not Pirate and Ludd hacks.

Corrupted nanoforges are much too common, and I only need one or maybe two before I obtain pristine nanoforge.  Pristine nanoforges are too rare.  If I am lucky, I may find one pristine nanoforge after explore half the sector.  If not, I raid Kazeron or Chicomoztoc for it.  Pristine nanoforges should be about as common as synchrotrons.  Less corrupted nanoforges, more pristine nanoforges!  As for synchrotrons, it is hard to say.  Sometimes, I do not find one when I need it, then I find some almost as often as corrupted nanoforges after I obtain my first one.  Synchrotrons seem noticably more common than pristine nanoforge, but not quite as common as corrupted nanoforge.

Individual blueprints seem too rare.  I get few from the tech cache mission and some from abandoned stations and tech mining, but it seems I need to raid core worlds for much of the rest.  A large part of the endgame for me is raiding core worlds until I complete the blueprint collection I want.
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Combat
Spoiler
This is short rambling about combat in general and how it relates to campaign.  Individual elements like ships come later.

Endgame fleets are bigger, with around 40 ships, give or take a few, being routine.  Fights are bigger, longer, and peak performance is a greater concern than before.

AI seems a bit less cowardly in fleet battles, but are still more cowardly than before 0.8.  In duels, single ships under AI control can be about as cowardly as in 0.8.  If I have a slow ship, like starter Apogee, I will chase ships until I can corner them or they run out of CR.

Conventional frigates (like Lasher, Centurion, and Wolf) are useful only early in the game.  With bigger late-game battles, they do not last long enough.  Destroyers are useful in pre-colony phase.  Afterwards, they will become obsolete as I acquire enough cruisers to replace them.
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Ships
Spoiler
This will be limited to commentary on new or altered ships.

Centurion is finally good as frigates go.  Combined with the changes to light mortar, being able to focus-fire four turrets means it can trade shots against other frigates and not be outgunned.  Damper Field at 66% makes it an acceptable damage sponge in an emergency, or at least it does not lose big chunks of armor after taking a hit like it did at 50%.

Gremlin, with its mediocre stats that makes even other (P) phase ships look good, appears to be purposely designed to be the starter phase ship for a new player's patrol to use.  I have not played with it much.

I am not sure what to make of the Shrike.  It seems decent enough with mobility skills.  Without them, I am not sure if Shrike is agile enough.  Also, its OP seems a bit low.  It is hard to fit any campaign mods without losing something critical.

Harbinger with Quantum Disruptor has become the ideal Reaper delivery platform.  When piloted by player who has mastered the timing required to land Reapers consistently with the tiny window granted by Quantum Disruptor, Harbinger is killer just like Hyperion used to be, and is well worth the 20 DP.  With other weapons, Harbinger is nowhere near as deadly and worth its cost.  AI is incapable of piloting Harbinger to near its full potential like the player can.  Harbinger is an unbalanced ship, great with Reapers and piloted by player, but mediocre otherwise with other weapons or AI piloting.

Apogee was improved directly by lower DP cost and indirectly by better heavy energy weapons.  It is a great bargain for its DP price, and you can start with one.  18 DP seems a bit low, maybe should cost 20 DP.  It is good enough that I bring one in an endgame fleet.

Doom is much improved with Mine Strike, and it can be configured as a brawler instead of strike platform like other phase ships.  Even better, the AI can brawl with it well.  Doom is probably the only phase ship I trust the AI with, and I like to bring two in my fleet.  Because it works as a brawler, Phase Coil Instability (D) mod is not a killer on it like it is on other phase ships.

Odyssey has been pushed to brawler with various changes.  Unskilled, it is a bit too clumsy and turns a bit too slow to use Plasma Burn well.  It handles much better with Evasive Action and Helmsmanship.  With the changed turrets, that large energy turned synergy practically needs a large homing missile (with Locusts being the ideal choice).  I have two complaints with Odyssey:  1) AI will plasma burn Odyssey to its death.  It does not have quite have the defenses to stand up to a beating other capitals can take, and AI is too reckless or stupid to realize this.  I do not trust the AI use Odyssey competently.  2) Odyssey cannot attack very well to the right, with the right large being synergy and right medium being missile.  It would be nice if the medium mount on the right was changed to synergy or even universal so that Odyssey can attack from either side with non-missiles, or perhaps use Paladin PD on the right and attack with Heavy Blaster.  With its current mounts, Odyssey is strongly favored to concentrate all firepower to the left while all larger mounts on right should be missiles.

Falcon (P) is a surprisingly good ship.  When outfitted with nothing but Annihilators, it can spam them and wreck ships provided some other ship teams up and takes care of shields.  A pity this hull is not on the pirate pack.  If we had Falcon (P) in earlier versions, this would have been a great Pilum or Salamander spewer with those were better.

At 60 DP, I use Paragon only if I can get Tachyon Lances and Hypervelocity Drivers, which it becomes a long-range monster.  If stuck with short-range weapons, Paragon is not as impressive (and cannot engage enemies that avoid it), and Onslaught and Conquest do the job better with better mobility and less DP cost.

Not sure about Legion (XIV) since I have not played with it much.  With railguns in lights, and heavy mortars and flak in the mediums, it looks like it can do some short-range ballistic damage before it finishes enemies off with missiles.  If there is a ship built to use heavy dumb-fires, like Hammer Barrage or Cyclone Reaper, this looks like the ship to do it with.  Too bad it can be only found.  Wished Hegemony had blueprints for them, or at least sold them.
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Weapons
Spoiler
In general, some weapons became much more common than in 0.8.  Atropos are almost everywhere now, not that I complain.  Sometimes, some weapons are useful only because they are readily available.  For example, Mining Blaster is still an icky weapon to use, but since it has became a starter weapon, it will see some use, and it is not that useless despite being sub-optimal for anything that is not Hyperion.  On the other hand, Gauss Cannon is rarer since pirate Mudskippers use other weapons instead.

With range upgraded to 600, Light Mortars are good.  Two Mortars are better than one Light Assault Gun, so if your ship has more mounts than flux or OP can support, such as Centurion or Mora, more Light Mortars is a better idea than fewer Light Assault Guns.  They are a bargain at 2 OP.

Pre-0.9 Light Needler was a good weapon that did not need fixing.  Now, with 700 range, Light Needler has become mostly a railgun clone that costs too much OP to mount and has worse efficiency.  The burst damage would be fine if it overloaded ships like AM Blaster does, but it does not because enemies will drop shields to armor tank, and needles are not as useful against non-shields as railgun slugs.  Overall, only something that might be used if I have needlers but not railgun.  After I get railgun blueprint, I replace all light needlers with railguns.

Flux efficient Arbalest is great.  With only Heavy Mortar as the viable workhorse HE medium weapon, 800 range from better kinetics gets wasted on ships like Hammerhead or Enforcer, not to mention OP-starved ships (or anything with Faulty Power Grid) have trouble managing flux-hungry weapons.  Arbalest is my go-to medium weapon for anything that does not use Heavy Mauler or heavy weapons.

Heavy Mauler has been weakened enough that it is only good as a complementary weapon for another, and not as an assault weapon.  For general-purpose assault, Heavy Mortar is better.

Heavy Needler trades its old efficiency for more DPS and flux use.  With its high cost, I use it mostly as a substitute for two Arbalests on the Eagle, and I sometimes use it on Onslaught.  Otherwise, Arbalest and Heavy Autocannon are more ecomonical.

I do not remember seeing Hammer one-shots before.  That is a nice bargain at 1 OP.

Reapers seem much more fragile than before.  Before, most PD could not stop them, but now they can destroy Reapers rather easily.

New MIRV seems to miss too much.  So far, MIRV is more useful as a chaff screen to block incoming enemy fire and protect my smaller ships than it is for killing things.  I consider Locusts an upgrade over MIRV if I find MIRVs first, then Locusts later.

Autopulse Laser is a bit better with 50% more charges.  Expanded Magazines may not be a no-brainer because ship might not be able to dump all 45 shots before flux caps.

Plasma Cannon is much improved.  It is a rapid-fire blaster that is flux efficient for an energy weapon.  I wished it fired two shots at a time for 750 damage each, but what we have now works for an energy weapon.  I probably would still say Mjolnir is the better weapon for ships that can use either (like Remnant or mod ships), but for those that cannot, plasma cannon is good.
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Fighters
Spoiler
Fighters in general are still useful, but not as dominating given the subtle changes to replacement rate and the removal of Helmsmanship 3 perk for carriers.  Also, I find it tougher to afford Expanded Deck Crew thanks to Reinforced Bulkheads or campaign mods competing for OP.

The addition of battlestations made Pirahnas more useful.  Their bombs have an ideal target - battlestations that are very big, cannot move, and have lots of hit points to chew through.

Warthogs took a massive downgrade - less fighters and less guns.  Even so, they are still quite powerful, provided they can keep up with the enemy, which they can struggle to do given their terrible speed.  I recommended that Warthogs should be faster, at least have their base speed upgraded to current speed with Wing Commander 1, and they should be useful enough.

We have two new fighters:  Cobra and Perdition.

Cobra would have been very useful if Reapers did not become so fragile in 0.9a.  Still, if they can land their shots, they are strong and might be worth their cost.  However, it faces still competition from the other newcomer, Perdition.

Perditions seem to outperform Khopesh and sometimes the new Cobra.  Three swift Hammers aimed at target are quite nasty and effective.  Perditions dominate my carriers if I find the blueprint.  They either need to cost more OP or wing size downgraded from three to two.  I guess the only downside is the factions that would own the Perdition blueprints for do not have Heavy Industry, and you need to luck out on salvage to find a Perdition blueprint.
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Special
Spoiler
I like the veteran spacer and the Red Planet.  The green highlight makes that mission appear important, and it adds a little story to the game.  In my first game, it spawned out in the corner, and I build a string of temporary colonies as I worked my way toward the planet.  The special reward is nice, but only useful on secondary colonies that do not have every industry for self-sufficiency.

Wished the academic and technology cache was better developed, and it should be highlighted green due to how unique this mission is and how useful the reward can be (lots of rare items in one convenient package).  I do not remember him warning that the cache may be guarded.  He wants the core as payment, but there is no punishment for keeping the core, which means it is dumb not to keep it.
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+1: IPDAI Hullmod
Spoiler
IPDAI is very strong now, and has uplifted energy PD into something useful.  IR Pulse Lasers are viable PD again, and may be the best choice for some loadouts.  Beam PD becomes effective anti-missile.  Even Mining Laser can be made to work, although by the time player can get the hullmods to do this, he probably found enough of the other weapons to not be stuck with Mining Laser.

Mining Laser as a ship weapon for player use is still a bit too underpowered, both weak and slow, when it matters, unlike Light Mortar.
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After all of the above, I felt like I have overlooked some other things to comment on, but this is all for now.

Day Two Commentary:  Shopping
Spoiler
This is the first version where I did not buy things from the Black Market.  This is in part due to improved Open Markets, worse military markets, and colony production.

The Good:  Open Market can sometimes sell large military ships with (D) mods.  This has help me a few times when I needed a big ship and I had no commission.  Also, it is humorous to see what Open Markets in your colonies (that have Commerce) can stock.

The Bad:  Military markets seem much worse than before.  Often, their stock is limited and very similar to Open Market, with few weapons and ships not much better than Open Market.  Getting a commission just for military market access is a bust.  Getting commission is most useful for free income before I have colonies.  (Once I have a colony, the reduced accessibility from hostilities is a liability and it is time to resign from commission.)  Military markets are most useful for a second place to buy supplies, fuel, and other commodities when Open Market alone is not enough.

Once I have colonies and can produce my own stuff, others' markets are mostly useful for dumping vendor trash and to top off on supplies and fuel along the way to elsewhere.
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And even after that, that is still probably not everything.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 03:32:01 PM by Megas »
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SCC

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Re: Delayed mass commentary of 0.9a
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2018, 03:25:02 PM »

Reapers seem much more fragile than before.  Before, most PD could not stop them, but now they can destroy Reapers rather easily.
So it's not just me, then. While ship-launched reapers still hit often enough, cobra bombers are frequently completely ineffective because of how much time the enemy PD has to shoot them down.

Megas

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Re: Delayed mass commentary of 0.9a
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2018, 03:40:38 PM »

It is both sides.  While I have launched Reapers at enemies only to see them shot down, I have watched enemy ships launch Reapers at my ship and burst PD takes Reapers out.  I remember Reapers shrugging off beams like nothing in earlier versions.
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Deshara

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Re: Delayed mass commentary of 0.9a
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2018, 05:05:58 PM »

keep in mind that there are skills that make missiles and fighters hardier, and I believe skills that make you more powerful against them.
Dunno if anti-missile skills stack with anti-fighter skills for dealing with fighter delivered ordinance, but
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Alex

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Re: Delayed mass commentary of 0.9a
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2018, 07:52:13 PM »

Just wanted to say thank you for your feedback! Haven't had a chance to check it out - currently moving to a new PC - but will try to take a close look at it in the next couple of days.
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Dexy

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Re: Delayed mass commentary of 0.9a
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2018, 01:14:54 AM »

What if the colony game worked more like this?

Getting a first colony that makes a little bit of money and serves as home base should be easy and occur early in the game. The game should guide players towards this goal (maybe with a mission and little story). Currently the way hazard rating works incentivizes players to search for planets with low hazard rating for a long time (difference between low and high hazard too high). The ability to produce my own ships and equipment should be available early and easily, and not be coupled to heavy industry (which is profitable). Profits should attract trouble, but since the first colony would arely break even, the player would be mostly free to explore and do other things.

Progressing in the game should also require more combat. It's a little odd how one can reach the end game with barely any combat (due to colonies defending themselves), when combat is supposed to be an important aspect.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 01:16:44 AM by Dexy »
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Serenitis

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Re: Delayed mass commentary of 0.9a
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2018, 05:33:58 AM »

Commerce is something that feels like it should be be merged into something else, or just be a default behaviour.
It's a pure QoL feature that doesn't really do anything the player absolutely needs, but is nice to have just for the convenience.
Suggest either merging it into starport or waystation. Or have it be part of the population, and have stock limits based on the population for the player buying resources/ships. More pop = more stuff available.

Imo, nanoforges and especially synchrotrons are far too easy to find.
It's not uncommon to have multiple red nanoforges and sychros by the time you're landing your first colony if you've done anything more than a token amount of exploration. Synchros especially seem to be especially abundant.
Green nanoforges seem to be common enough that in several of the games I've played I had one before I set up my first hv. industry.
But I have yet to see a single example of the orange nanoforge anywhere.

Pirates and Pathers really do need to have some kind of limit on how far away they can spawn bases to harrass your colonies.
Being forced to drag sizeable fleets accross 2/3 of the sector to deal with something the game won't let you ignore is more of a chore than compelling gameplay.
Suggest limiting hostile bases to spawning within 4-5 map squares of your colony. And maybe lengthening the spawn times for pirates a little, sometimes a new base can spawn before you even get home from destryoing the last one.
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Megas

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Re: Delayed mass commentary of 0.9a
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2018, 06:02:34 AM »

@ Deshara:  Still does not change that Reapers got flimsier.  Even with more skill points, you cannot get everything.  (For me, most of the extra points go into colony skills, so I am still mostly in the same situation in 0.8 if I get colony skills.)

@ Dexy:  Once player gets colony, he will fight so much.  Also, even if he does not, if he want to save markets for maximum profit, he will need to fight pirates and pathers for other colonies just so they do not decivilize.  I would like to explore, but I spend too much time putting out fires.  There needs to be a way for player to send his patrols to do something because player can only be a one place while several places might need dealing with, and other factions do nothing (aside from attacking player) and are willing to let their markets burn to the ground.

@ Serenitis:  If industries need merging, it should be Spaceport with Population & Infrastructure.  As soon as player builds a colony, he usually needs to build Spaceport before anything else.

I find Commerce annoying because Open Market is the default screen (instead of Colony Resources if I do not have Commerce), and I can do something stupid like grab supplies and fuel from what I think is Colony Resources when I am actually buying from Open Market.  To prevent headaches, I do not build Commerce at my important colonies.  Upkeep is moderately high, and if I do not need more stability, then Commerce is simply a significant drain on income.

Synchrontrons seem fickle.  In my third game, I found three, mostly through tech mining, much less than nine corrupted nanoforges.  I found more alpha cores from tech mining and looting ruins and abandoned stations than synchrotrons.

What orange nanoforges?  All I see are red and green, and the greens are too rare.  I did not find pristine nanoforge in my second game, and I found one in my third game long after I raided Kazeron for my first one.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2018, 06:04:08 AM by Megas »
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Serenitis

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Re: Delayed mass commentary of 0.9a
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2018, 06:31:15 AM »

I find Commerce annoying because Open Market is the default screen (instead of Colony Resources if I do not have Commerce), and I can do something stupid like grab supplies and fuel from what I think is Colony Resources when I am actually buying from Open Market.
Taking stuff from the open market is functionally the same as taking stuff from the colony reserve. The only difference is that when you take it from the market you pay now, and if you take it from the reserve you pay at the end of the month and are allowed to go into the red.
And it's not like having one prevents use of the other.
I'm the opposite. I actually like the open markets (especially the shipyard and it's daily stock rotation), and much prefer colonies to have them if possible.
The whole "colony trading doesn't work the same as trading anywhere else until you build this specific thing" also confused me a fair bit the first time I saw and wondered what was happening and why.

Quote
Synchrontrons seem fickle.  In my third game, I found three, mostly through tech mining, much less than nine corrupted nanoforges.  I found more alpha cores from tech mining and looting ruins and abandoned stations than synchrotrons.
Synchrotrons are probably the one of the commonest "rare" things in the game. Every game I've played so far I've had at least 4 of the things, and in one game I broke into double figures.
For something that makes an already hugely profitable industry even more profitable, it feels way too easy to come by.

Quote
What orange nanoforges?  All I see are red and green, and the greens are too rare.  I did not find pristine nanoforge in my second game, and I found one in my third game long after I raided Kazeron for my first one.
Corrupted = red
Decayed = orange
Pristine = green
Reds are everywhere, and you can easily pick up a dozen or more during a game.
Greens certainly feel rarer to be sure, but it's still easy enough to find one before you even get your first colony with only a minor commitment to exploring. I've found one in some of the procedural ruins in the core after finishing the tutorial on two occaisions so far.
Never seem an orange one at all. Are they even implemented? They have a graphic.
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SCC

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Re: Delayed mass commentary of 0.9a
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2018, 06:36:00 AM »

Taking stuff from the open market is functionally the same as taking stuff from the colony reserve.
Never seem an orange one at all. Are they even implemented? They have a graphic.
Except for being 30% more expensive.
As for decayed nanoforges, Alex has apparently decided against their implementation. There are only corrupted and pristine nanoforges in the game.

Megas

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Re: Delayed mass commentary of 0.9a
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2018, 06:50:21 AM »

Buying from Open Market, even from your own colony, has tariffs.  Why do that when I have a HUGE stockpile in colony reserves?  I do not want to pay tariffs at my colony if I do not need to.  Defaults that vary whether my colonies have Commerce or not is just asking me to make dumb mistakes if I do not pay attention, so I avoid it altogether by not adding Commerce.

That is why I say synchrotrons are fickle.  Sometimes, they seem almost as common as corrupted nanoforges, but other times they seem rare enough.  They seem common enough that one will be found, unlike pristine nanoforge.

In my second and third games, I explored half the sector (and aggressively tech mined in third game), and did not find any pristine nanoforges.  I had to raid Kazeron or Chicomoztoc for my first one.

Speaking of rarity.  I did not find missile pack until very late in my third game.
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Serenitis

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Re: Delayed mass commentary of 0.9a
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2018, 07:25:13 AM »

It is true that the open market is 30% more expensive. But by the time I have one though, I have enough money that the QoL vastly outweighs the cost.
Which I had completely forgotten even exists due to how much of a non-issue it has been.
But I have always made a ton of money doing missions and exploring before touching colonies, so I've always had a mountain of money. It is me, am I the outlier? :P

I've never had a game where I've not found a blueprint pack of every kind, sometimes multiple times over.
But indvidual blueprints seem to be much more elusive. I've have never yet in any game had a blueprint for Aurora, Atlas, Doom, Harbinger, Afflictor, Medusa, Monitor, Odyssey, Paragon, or Tempest.
Maybe this is just a showcase for how the rng hates us all equally, just in differing ways....

As for decayed nanoforges, Alex has apparently decided against their implementation. There are only corrupted and pristine nanoforges in the game.
Mystery solved.
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Megas

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Re: Delayed mass commentary of 0.9a
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2018, 07:44:32 AM »

But I have always made a ton of money doing missions and exploring before touching colonies, so I've always had a mountain of money. It is me, am I the outlier? :P
It is a very good idea to start colonies late.  In my first game, I built the first colony as soon as possible and the opposition thrown at it was too much.  I will not do that again.  I will wait until I have a million credits and a fleet that can beat an endgame fleet before I build my first colony.  Also, it is a good idea to wait until you find the best place to colonize because once that first colony gets built, colony defense forever dominates game play.

Money will always be a concern until your colony reaches size 10.  Population incentives are a huge money sink when they get big.  Several million credits to maximize incentives for a size 9 colony.

I've never had a game where I've not found a blueprint pack of every kind, sometimes multiple times over.
But indvidual blueprints seem to be much more elusive. I've have never yet in any game had a blueprint for Aurora, Atlas, Doom, Harbinger, Afflictor, Medusa, Monitor, Odyssey, Paragon, or Tempest.
Maybe this is just a showcase for how the rng hates us all equally, just in differing ways....
Eventually, I find at least one of each common pack, but in one of those games, that last pack never shows up until very late.  On the other hand, I keep seeing more pirate and ludd hacks I will never learn because I do not want to contaminate my patrols with those ships, even if the pirate pack has one or two good hulls among the junk.

As for individual blueprints, I usually find few of the above, but eventually, I will need to aggressively stealth raid markets until I get them all.  Weapon blueprints are as annoying as ship blueprints.

That is another complaint I have that I did not touch on in the OP.  Getting blueprints from raids is unreliable, and I need to save scum much before one drops.  It feels much like grinding Mephisto with a magic-find character until unique items drop in Diablo 2.  In my last game, I raided much, and finally got blueprints for all except Scarab, Valkyrie, and Heavy Needler.  It would be nice if either blueprint drops were greatly increased, or learned blueprints were filtered out and only the unknown ones are chosen.
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DatonKallandor

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Re: Delayed mass commentary of 0.9a
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2018, 05:01:30 AM »

Hurricane MIRVs are two completely different weapons with and withouth ECCM. Without it, they deploy a wall of missile, at least some of which will miss on either side of the target because the submunitions are essentially dumbfire. With ECCM, the carrier missile becomes reasonably fast and maneuverable and the submunitions will all hit a single point on the target. They go from a line of dumbfire missiles to a wedge hitting a single point.
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Megas

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Re: Delayed mass commentary of 0.9a
« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2018, 05:32:53 AM »

MIRVs should not require ECCM to be useful.  Old MIRV did not need ECCM (although they were not useful either mostly to AI blowing ammo too fast).  That is like old Autopulse requiring Expanded Magazines to fire long enough without becoming blue Pulse Laser with 700 range.  MIRVs already cost 25 OP and need a hullmod to be useful?  I think I will stick with 18 OP Locusts that can do MIRV's job better.
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