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Author Topic: Starsector 0.9.1a (Released) Patch Notes  (Read 200775 times)

Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.9.1a (In-Dev) Patch Notes
« Reply #135 on: February 16, 2019, 04:16:53 PM »

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As for everyone's "I'd just save scum"—that's a personal choice you're making that makes the game less challenging and interesting. If Alex were to balance around things that frustrated certain players enough to make them save scum, the whole game would suffer.
I disagree with less challenging and interesting.  I call it "saving time" and "anti-frustration".  If it is faster for me to reload the game and try again than it is to recover from the loss, I reload.  Same reasoning why players in roguelikes commit suicide and rebuild than try to recover a crippled character by grinding for rare items that can restore lost stats.

Leveling up an officer to max takes significant time, probably more time than grinding for most ships and weapons.  If it is a choice of spending hours to get a replacement versus a few minutes to reload and try again, I take the faster option.  This is why I love the combination of Reinforced Bulkheads with guaranteed loadout recovery.  Before, I reloaded the game anytime I lost rare stuff, which was everything that could not be found in Open Market.  Now, as long as the fleet does not wipe, I usually continue play.
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Aethelric

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Re: Starsector 0.9.1a (In-Dev) Patch Notes
« Reply #136 on: February 16, 2019, 06:29:15 PM »

The game is objectively less challenging if every loss or mistake is wiped away by a reload. I certainly save-scum myself sometimes when something really wonky or buggy happens, to be sure, but the effect on the difficulty and power curve is obvious. Your roguelike analogy actually reinforces my point, in my opinion: it'd be one thing to reset a crippled, unwinnable game, but simply save-scumming in that same scenario would obviously defeat the whole purpose of a roguelike! Ditto for Starsector and "the way it's meant to be played".

Reloading every time you encounter any setback of any note is basically just playing with cheat codes on. Asking Alex then not to develop new features for players who want the intended experience because you'll save-scum is, therefore, a bit silly imo.

But, like everyone has said: officer death could easily be just a part of the "iron man" mode or just simply a tickable option, leaving players who don't want that additional level of difficulty out of the equation.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: Starsector 0.9.1a (In-Dev) Patch Notes
« Reply #137 on: February 16, 2019, 11:08:01 PM »

I disagree with the idea that save scumming inherently makes the game less challenging. The campaign layer of the game is certainly less challenging if you are save scumming, but the combat layer is not necessarily. In fact, you can argue that save scumming allows you to take much more difficult fights in the combat layer that you would never take without save scumming because there is no reason in the campaign layer to take risks. One main difference between this game and a roguelike is that there are no campaign layer requirements in this game, so the player never has to take any risks. In a roguelike, you always have to go to the next floor, and eventually the final boss, so you are forced to take risks in order to become strong enough to beat the game. In starsector, there is no final boss, and there are no required challenges, so there is no reason to take risks. Eventually you will reach the same power level regardless of how risky you play. This ties into another difference between starsector and typical roguelikes: game length. Losing a roguelike means losing a 1-2 hour run. Fleet wiping in starsector can mean losing (IRL) days of gameplay. Most people don't have time for that sort of gameplay loop, so they are incentivized to not take risks, unless they can save scum. Then there is the question of scumming for rare items with very low drop chances. The game is not 'more challenging' if you have to grind for something, it's just more boring.

Viewing officers in this light, I agree with Megas. It is not particularly challenging to get an officer to a high level, it just takes a long time. Taking dangerous combats does not make your officers any better (you could reach the same point by taking easy combats), so there is no incentive to take dangerous fights. In fact I am disincentivized to take dangerous fights (which are fun) because I might lose my officers, so officer death is actually dis-incentivizing fun gameplay in favor of boring but safe gameplay.

IMO this game really needs more reasons to take dangerous fights, rather than more reasons to NOT take dangerous fights. Designing the game to minimize grindy/boring gameplay (that would cause save scumming) is a good thing.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2019, 11:14:22 PM by intrinsic_parity »
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Cyan Leader

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Re: Starsector 0.9.1a (In-Dev) Patch Notes
« Reply #138 on: February 17, 2019, 12:18:00 AM »

I disagree with the idea that save scumming inherently makes the game less challenging. The campaign layer of the game is certainly less challenging if you are save scumming, but the combat layer is not necessarily. In fact, you can argue that save scumming allows you to take much more difficult fights in the combat layer that you would never take without save scumming because there is no reason in the campaign layer to take risks.

I strongly agree with this. The main reason why I've been playing this game for a good 4-5 years now and never attempted a real Iron Man run is because the ultra safe playstyle is just not interesting for me.

That said,

Asking Alex then not to develop new features for players who want the intended experience because you'll save-scum is, therefore, a bit silly imo.

This is a fair assessment, though I'm not sure if that's what's happening here.
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Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.9.1a (In-Dev) Patch Notes
« Reply #139 on: February 17, 2019, 11:34:56 AM »

Re: Roguelikes
Not all are coffeebreak games like Rogue or DoomRL/DRL.  Angband is one that can take days to win unless player tries to speedrun.  Before the latest maintainer took over, Angband had an attack type call Nexus, which had a chance to permanently scramble characters' stats.  Against early-to-mid game characters, swapping prime stats with dump stats was very crippling to the point that (according to forum consensus) it was much faster to suicide the character and play a new game than it was to grind for stat potions while struggling with terrible offensives stats (warriors are feeble, casters fail spells too much or have no mana).  Eventually, that effect was changed to a temporary debuff, if it is still in the game.
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Thaago

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Re: Starsector 0.9.1a (In-Dev) Patch Notes
« Reply #140 on: February 18, 2019, 09:31:11 AM »

As someone who does play ironman games occasionally: I take more risks and try bigger fights when I can reload.

I wouldn't even call it savescumming: I see a big fight that I know I can avoid if I want, save the game, and try a half dozen times to see if I can beat it. If I can, great! If not, I just load the save and go on my way. Savescumming to me would be if I wanted a particular ship to be boardable, etc, not just trying to figure out the tactics to win a fight.
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Aethelric

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Re: Starsector 0.9.1a (In-Dev) Patch Notes
« Reply #141 on: February 18, 2019, 03:21:30 PM »

Attempting something more challenging without the risk of loss doesn't make the game itself more challenging, imo. If the only outcomes of the more challenging fight are "I reload and then try again or avoid the fight" and "I win and get more bounty/loot/etc. than I would have otherwise", the broader game hasn't become more challenging. The only possible path for your character is steadily onwards and upwards if you're going to save-scum every setback. Sure, you're almost guaranteed to eventually get there if you keep trying, but a game "story" that involves some setbacks represents more challenge imo.

I guess it depends on whether you consider the game to be "a campaign map that gets you from battle to battle" or not. I like the campaign layer just as much as the battle layer, personally, so maybe I have a different perspective than others. I do agree that the campaign layer could be made to push characters more towards risks, as you're rarely "forced" into battles where you're sure to lose something once you have the map mobility skills (unless you're defending a colony, I guess) to dictate if a battle happens. Having greater operating costs or some other economic pressure would be a decent push in the direction of giving the player a sense of urgency, and either toning down player mobility or otherwise giving enemy fleets even a chance to entrap you, would be a great direction for the game. The "super hard mode" start that Alex has added seems to be something that gets more in that direction, even if it just makes the early game more challenging.

Megas: I don't think Starsector is a roguelike or should be played like one. You were the one who brought up roguelikes! I'm thinking more "iron man" in the sense of XCOM, which I believe is what Alex also intends—the game isn't meant to be started and restarted constantly (although a game can get really screwed up to the point where you restart) even if the game contains some random generation on start, but you're also meant to take some consequences and setbacks on your path to victory. The effect of actually feeling some losses makes for better challenge in both layers and makes for a more interesting storyline for your save.

EDIT: I also find it interesting that we've both had the game about as long, Megas! I assume we've both played every release, although you seem to have gotten much more into posting than I have. It's interesting to talk to someone with such different takes on the game.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2019, 03:24:31 PM by Aethelric »
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Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.9.1a (In-Dev) Patch Notes
« Reply #142 on: February 19, 2019, 04:02:50 PM »

The point of bringing up Roguelikes was to show some of the similarities between them and Starsector.  Starsector may not be a Roguelike, but there are similarities with seemingly random stuff (loot and map) and the murderhobo loop (kill enemies, take loot, level up) that most RPGs use to measure progress and rely on for the core gameplay.

All I care about when I play the game is to be amused, and I am most amused when I can overwhelm and totally destroy the enemy, not when I struggle and win by the skin of my teeth.  I get people like to be challenged and win a hard fight, but I am not one of them.  That said, there may be limits.  I do not want to play 0.9a anymore because I cannot resist exploiting the infinite money bug with Commerce.

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but you're also meant to take some consequences and setbacks on your path to victory.
With reloading available, there is no need for that if I do not want to deal with it.  I have no problem abusing reloads.  However, given some of the anti-frustration features added in 0.9, I reload significantly less than in previous versions.

I started Starsector on the last 0.5 release that did not have skills.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2019, 04:05:06 PM by Megas »
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Wyvern

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Re: Starsector 0.9.1a (In-Dev) Patch Notes
« Reply #143 on: February 19, 2019, 04:30:07 PM »

I have relatively little problem with consequences and setbacks.  What I do have a problem with, and will save-scum to avoid, is a significant loss of resources for no good reason.

If I lose a ship because I tried to under-deploy by too much and was just overwhelmed in the time it took me to figure out I'd goofed and get backup onto the field?  Okay, that's on me, I'll deal with it.

If I lose a ship because the AI did something utterly bone-headed, like charging up to fire flak cannons at an Onslaught?  Well, okay, if that was an aggressive or reckless officer, that's still on me - but otherwise, yeah, I'm perfectly happy to reload that and try again.

The game has been consistently moving in the direction of making losing a ship a -less- significant loss of resources; adding officer perma-death would be an enormous step backwards.  If you want something like that, I would instead suggest an officer injury system, akin to ships getting d-mods; we know from the Red Planet missions that injuries - even significant ones - can be reconstructed, given time and funds, and that the quality of reconstruction can vary.
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Wyvern is 100% correct about the math.

Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.9.1a (In-Dev) Patch Notes
« Reply #144 on: February 19, 2019, 06:29:40 PM »

Re: Officers...
Just knock them (the officers) out for a few days or when player docks at a market.  Kind of like Adama (in original BSG) getting moved to medical after a Cylon or two rams the Galactica and damage the bridge (and set fires to cut off the rec room where Boomer, Athena, Boxy, and Muffit are).  Or games where characters get knocked-out instead of killed when they hit 0 hp until they get healing after combat.
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Embercloud

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Re: Starsector 0.9.1a (In-Dev) Patch Notes
« Reply #145 on: February 20, 2019, 12:18:26 AM »

It's not a hotfix, and "until it's ready(tm)" :) (I do get that it's been a bit; I'd like to get it out asap, but it's just a lot of stuff.)

No rush (please hurry  :D)
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Okaenia

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Re: Starsector 0.9.1a (In-Dev) Patch Notes
« Reply #146 on: February 20, 2019, 07:36:35 AM »

I wouldn't consider officer loss as a big setback, I think of them as a small stat boost for min-maxers. You don't really need them, in vanilla at least. I don't even recruit them anymore, because I find it unrealistic that they don't die with the other 200 crew of their ship. Just a big obsession.

That's why I asked it as an option. If you don't like it, don't use it; just like iron mode, or the hidden start.
Maybe I'm asking too many ressources for something unsignificant. I don't know how hard it is or how long it would take to implement.
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The Soldier

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Re: Starsector 0.9.1a (In-Dev) Patch Notes
« Reply #147 on: February 20, 2019, 10:45:25 AM »

I wouldn't consider officer loss as a big setback, I think of them as a small stat boost for min-maxers. You don't really need them, in vanilla at least. I don't even recruit them anymore, because I find it unrealistic that they don't die with the other 200 crew of their ship. Just a big obsession.
This is what really gets me.  Min-maxers seem to be dominating every aspect of balance and design in this game, which really shouldn't be happening.  Some things are meant to be better than other things, I mean there's a Buffalo Mk.II for that reason.
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Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.9.1a (In-Dev) Patch Notes
« Reply #148 on: February 20, 2019, 12:08:52 PM »

I missed option part, and thought it would be request for new default.

As for officers, I find them most useful for the combo with Fleet Logistics 1.  No need to dump a significant chunk of OP for Reinforced Bulkheads on ships with my character or an officer.  High level officers are powerful (especially carrier officer on Astral or armor tank officer for Doom), but having more than I can use is not much help.  Cannot deploy many big ships with a small enough map size.

After the release, I think I will probably play the next game on default size of 300 instead of the max of 500, or try to.  I would not want to go lower.  200 is torture, basically reducing all fighting to a series of Star Control style duels.
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ANGRYABOUTELVES

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Re: Starsector 0.9.1a (In-Dev) Patch Notes
« Reply #149 on: February 20, 2019, 07:35:44 PM »

This is what really gets me.  Min-maxers seem to be dominating every aspect of balance and design in this game, which really shouldn't be happening.  Some things are meant to be better than other things, I mean there's a Buffalo Mk.II for that reason.
The Buffalo Mk.II is unironically a really good missile-boat. With EMR it can carry up to 42 harpoons, 24 in the medium slot and 3x6 in the smalls, for 4 DP. It's the most cost-effective MRM platform in the game as long as you can keep it out of the front line.
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