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

Author Topic: Ship class "specialization" for officers  (Read 632 times)

angrytigerp

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Ship class "specialization" for officers
« on: March 22, 2019, 08:47:55 AM »

Yes, to some extent this exists by having skills geared towards certain playstyles... But really, the only "niche" skill sets are the missile skill and the carrier skills. Everything else is just sort of... A general perk that will help any officer for any ship type.

I wonder if we could have another trait added (like personality), but that dictates ship class proficiency? To sync with the Production Screen paradigms, it could be warships, carriers, and phase ships. A warship officer will have automatic bonuses to... I don't know, shields, armor, and weapon range when in a ship tagged with the "warship" classification, a phase officer could get a maneuverability and weapon damage boost, and a carrier officer could get... Some carrier perk.

These would stack on top of the normal skills, which will still have full availability (so if you're in a pinch and can't find a carrier officer, you can still spec a warship officer with all the carrier skills to pilot that carrier you looted, he or she just won't be quite as good as a dedicated carrier officer).

The bonuses wouldn't be too significant, I think, nothing that makes the game too unbalanced (for the phase ship officer, maybe just like a 20% manueverability buff and 5% damage buff), but it would encourage that much more meta gameplay for the campaign element, and also allow for more specific building since you can, for example, opt NOT to use this or that hullmod or maybe skip a certain skill in favor of something else (or double down and pick the skill anyway for even more effect).
« Last Edit: March 22, 2019, 08:51:40 AM by angrytigerp »
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Blothorn

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Re: Ship class "specialization" for officers
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2019, 12:46:34 PM »

Adding similar-but-stacking bonuses doesn't open new possibilities unless the benefits fall off, which not many do. (Max CR and autofire accuracy hard cap; maneuverability has diminishing returns but most ships still benefit from going past 50%.)

And already, it is hard enough to find the right personality; adding another tag to make me say "I am not using phase ships right now, yet another useless officer" is not, IMO, a helpful direction. Not to mention that this will exacerbate the already-high cost of switching fleet doctrines.

I would also dispute "Everything else is just sort of... A general perk that will help any officer for any ship type.". Carrier pilots don't benefit much from armor skills. SO pilots don't benefit much from the gunnery branch. Phase pilots don't benefit much from Advanced Countermeasures. Yes, most skills have non-zero benefit on almost all ship types, but there is considerable room for specialization and matching those specializations to ships/loadouts.
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Wolfenix

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Re: Ship class "specialization" for officers
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2019, 02:46:09 PM »

Adding similar-but-stacking bonuses doesn't open new possibilities unless the benefits fall off, which not many do. (Max CR and autofire accuracy hard cap; maneuverability has diminishing returns but most ships still benefit from going past 50%.)

And already, it is hard enough to find the right personality; adding another tag to make me say "I am not using phase ships right now, yet another useless officer" is not, IMO, a helpful direction. Not to mention that this will exacerbate the already-high cost of switching fleet doctrines.

While I agree that adding in specialized skills is not the best way to approach, but I do agree that Starsector really can benefit from officer specific skills.  This min-max idea that one needs to obtain "max efficiency" in ways or it's "useless" also isn't an entirely helpful way to make suggestions, nor good game design.  The game is already mechanically amazing, and while the skills could use some refining I don't think this is a discussion about how powerful or convenient it is to find an "ideal" officer.  In fact, it SHOULD be hard to find an "ideal" officer in a game which real strength relies on adjusting to what happens each play-through as opposed to beating RNGs into giving what the player wants. I think the OP is making a suggestion to help add flavor to the game in an area that is currently lacking via safe/balanced/aggressive personalities, not actually about stats.

I would also dispute "Everything else is just sort of... A general perk that will help any officer for any ship type.". Carrier pilots don't benefit much from armor skills. SO pilots don't benefit much from the gunnery branch. Phase pilots don't benefit much from Advanced Countermeasures. Yes, most skills have non-zero benefit on almost all ship types, but there is considerable room for specialization and matching those specializations to ships/loadouts.

I actually agree with angrytigerp on this one. There are currently 4 skills dedicated to carriers and practically no other specialization for vastly different ship types.  As it currently stands, there's not much point to put an officer in anything other than a capital sized ship after early game.  This is a huge missed opportunity! We have small harassers, freighters, differing tech levels, civilian ships, utility ships (tugs, fuel ships, survey ships, etc.), troop dropships, phase ships, etc.  Should an officer really be equally capable of piloting all ship types with equal skill?  DEFINITELY not a carrier with fighters, though... that would be weird.
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Wolfenix

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Re: Ship class "specialization" for officers
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2019, 02:47:54 PM »


I wonder if we could have another trait added (like personality), but that dictates ship class proficiency? To sync with the Production Screen paradigms, it could be warships, carriers, and phase ships. A warship officer will have automatic bonuses to... I don't know, shields, armor, and weapon range when in a ship tagged with the "warship" classification, a phase officer could get a maneuverability and weapon damage boost, and a carrier officer could get... Some carrier perk.

Personally, I do really like the idea of officer specialization, but it really should be more organic than random traits.  One of my favorite things about secondary characters in many strategy games are the acquisition of experience traits outside of player control.  Put an officer in a carrier for most of their career, they really should learn a trick or two beyond player chosen stats.  Put them on a survey ship, they should get better at surveying over time.  These can (and IMO should) easily be convenience or non-stat traits.  Lets say a particular officer in a fast ship often successfully captures combat beacons without being destroyed.  Why not allow them a 50% bonus to capture speed?  Maybe an officer survives multiple ship complete destructions in a ship with teleport.  They could acquire an ability to teleport away from combat just before being destroyed... again!  Perhaps that same officer could move to a safe personality type due to repeated failure, or a different officer become aggressive if they participate in many engagements without an actual kill?

The ship mod system can also be better utilized via officers. I would like to see officers with traits that automatically apply a mod to any ship they pilot at no cost.  Maybe they extend the shields of any ship they are on, or militarized systems on any civilian ship they pilot.  A tug could count as two in the hands of certain officers.  There really are tons of possibilities that aren't that hard to code and won't break the game's balance.

Just saying, would certainly be nice to have officers that felt more alive than player defined stat bonuses here and there.  It's a good idea.
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Megas

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Re: Ship class "specialization" for officers
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2019, 04:57:48 PM »

This seems like another min-max idea to squeeze more performance out of a few chosen ship types at the cost of being incompetent with the rest.
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