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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: [0.9.1a] Ruthless Sector 1.2.0 - Difficulty Options for Better Gameplay  (Read 20007 times)

Sundog

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Ruthless Sector
Or: How JDCollie Learned to Stop Savescumming and Love the XP Bonus

Download Ruthless Sector 1.2.0
Older versions can be found here
Download Doubled Supply Cost

The goal of this mod is to provide difficulty options meant to incentivize challenging gameplay.
More XP and Rep for winning tough battles. Less XP for easy battles.
[REDACTED] in hyperspace.
Penalties for save scumming.
Far less free money.




What exactly does this mod do?
Note that all of this can be disabled or reconfigured by editing "RUTHLESS_SECTOR_OPTIONS.ini"
Adds [REDACTED] to hyperspace outside the core worlds. The further you venture, the more powerful the fleets you encounter.
Scales the experience gained in battle by how difficult the battle was (based on ships deployed by either side).
Rewards the defeat of more powerful fleets with improved relations with one of the factions hostile to that fleet.
Doubles the range of all derelict automated defenses, making them a relevant opponent.
Penalizes save-scumming by reducing xp and reputation rewards for the next battle.
Removes progress toward the next level if your entire fleet is destroyed.
Reduces stipends from faction commissions and the Galatian Academy by 90%.
Doubles the bounty payout from faction commissions.
Reduces the length of the Galatian stipend from three years to one.
Doubles the base value of supplies (with optional add-on mod).

FAQs
Spoiler

How much harder does this make the game?
It depends on how you play. It's entirely possible that this mod could speed up your progress.
Ruthless Sector is meant to make the game more fun, rather than simply more difficult.

What does "Battle Difficulty" affect?
The experience you and your officers gain in combat is multiplied by Battle Difficulty (e.g. 200% would double it).
Large battles with difficulties above 100% may award improved reputation with an enemy of the fleet you fought.
If you're using Starship Legends, it will affect the chance of improving officer loyalty and earning good traits.

How is "Battle Difficulty" calculated?
By default, it's simply:  e / p  where:
e is the total strength of all enemy ships
p is the strength of all the ships you deployed in combat (not including pursuit), increased by 1% per player level.
A ship's 'strength' is based on the supplies required to deploy it, increased by 2.5% per officer level.

How can I adjust or disable part of this mod?
Everything Ruthless Sector adds can be removed and/or adjusted by editing RUTHLESS_SECTOR_OPTIONS.ini in the mod folder.

Can I add Ruthless Sector to an existing game?
Yes. It can also be removed without causing any problems.

How does the anti-save-scumming mechanic work?
The reload penalty reduces the difficulty rating (and xp/rep by extension) of the next battle you fight
It increases by 20% (configurable) each time you reload without saving the results of a battle
Saving the game will reduce the penalty by 100% (configurable) for each battle you've fought since the last save
This feature will work even if you Alt-F4 out of an iron mode game.

Does Ruthless Sector conflict with any other mods?
Not that I know of, but...
This mod overrides FleetInteractionDialogPlugin, which may cause conflicts with other mods that do the same.
This doesn't apply to Nexerelin , Ship and Weapon Pack, and Tiandong Heavy Industries which I made specific workarounds for.
Please tell me if you know of any other mod that overrides FleetInteractionDialogPlugin!

Will all those [REDACTED] fleets in hyperspace cause performance issues?
No. They are dynamically generated near you and they despawn when they're too far away.

What about colonies? Will this mod ever make other faction blockade my colonies?
Maybe. Alex is already changing a lot about colonies, so I'll consider adding colony changes to this mod after 0.9.1 is released.

Why is "Doubled Supply Cost" a separate mod?
Ideally supply cost would be configurable in the settings file, but that's not possible in this case.
I posted it as a mini-mod here because I think increased supply cost fits well with the goals of Ruthless Sector.

How can I allow Ruthless Sector to change the relations of my modded faction toward the player?
You can PM me the faction IDs to include, or include the whitelist file in your own mod.
\data\config\ruthlesssector\faction_rep_change_whitelist.csv

How can I prevent Ruthless Sector from changing the relations of my modded faction toward the player?
By default, it won't, unless the user has modified RS settings to bypass the whitelist.
To prevent RS from changing relations even in this case, it can be added to the blacklist.
You can PM me the faction IDs to exclude, or include the blacklist file in your own mod.
\data\config\ruthlesssector\faction_rep_change_blacklist.csv
Any faction that doesn't appear on the intel screen will automatically be blacklisted.
[close]

Miscellaneous
Spoiler

Thanks
Alex and the rest of the Fractal Softworks team, for this excellent game and it's outstanding modding API.
LazyWizard, for making this mod much easier to test using Console Commands.
Gothars, for inspiration. (Rep gain based on relative fleet strength was his idea)
kazi, for the guide on setting up Intelij IDE

Permissions
All assets from this project may be used without obtaining explicit permission as long as...
No laws are broken and Fractal Softworks' terms of service are not violated
The original authors of any code or assets used are credited
Nothing taken from this mod is used for nefarious purposes
[close]
« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 12:19:19 AM by Sundog »
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Thaago

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Re: [0.9a] Ruthless Sector - Rewards Proportional to Risks
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2019, 01:57:58 PM »

Oh, nice! I especially like the gaining rep from killing fleets from hostile factions, thats a nice touch.
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Sundog

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Re: [0.9a] Ruthless Sector - Rewards Proportional to Risks
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2019, 02:53:04 PM »

Sundog

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Re: [0.9a] Ruthless Sector - Rewards Proportional to Risks
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2019, 09:45:50 PM »

Ruthless Sector 1.0.1 (Beta)

Fixed issue preventing rep gains for impressive victories from occuring if XP gain scaling was turned off.
Resolved conflict with Tiandong Heavy Industries
Modded faction IDs whitelisted for relations bonus:
   sylphon
   dassault_mikoyan
   fringe_defence_syndicate
   adamantine_consortium
   archean_order
   trader_guilds
   scicorps
   interstellarimperium
   shadow_industry
   blackrock_driveyards
   al_ars
   sad
   noir
   Lte
Modded faction IDs blacklisted for relations bonus:
   cabal
   istl_snowgoose
   templars
« Last Edit: August 06, 2019, 12:57:34 PM by Sundog »
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Sundog

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Re: [0.9a] Ruthless Sector - Rewards Proportional to Risks
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2019, 09:26:10 PM »

Ruthless Sector 1.0.2 (Beta)

Fixed error caused by an inconsistent setting id
Fixed error reporting system erroneously blaming crashes on New Beginnings
Modded faction IDs whitelisted for relations bonus:
   junk_pirates
   syndicate_asp
   pack
Modded faction IDs blacklisted for relations bonus:
   blade_breakers
« Last Edit: August 06, 2019, 12:57:47 PM by Sundog »
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Bastion.Systems

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Re: [0.9a] Ruthless Sector - Rewards Proportional to Risks
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2019, 12:02:44 PM »

This is pretty interesting, might try a play-trough with all your mods enabled and see if I have any feedback to give.
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Sundog

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Re: [0.9a] Ruthless Sector - Rewards Proportional to Risks
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2019, 03:24:24 PM »

That would be greatly appreciated! I need feedback for this mod in particular, as it changes so many things about balance.

Sundog

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Re: [0.9a] Ruthless Sector - Rewards Proportional to Risks
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2019, 03:35:11 PM »

Ruthless Sector 1.1.0 (Beta)

NEW FEATURE: Penalty for reloading after battle without saving (an anti-save-scum mechanic)
   The penalty reduces the difficulty rating (and xp/rep by extension) of the next battle you fight
   It increases by 20% (configurable) each time you reload without saving the results of a battle
   Saving the game will reduce the penalty by 100% (configurable) for each battle you've fought since the last save
   This feature will work even if you Alt-F4 out of an iron mode game
Improved accuracy of ship strength calculation
Fixed issue that frequently caused ships deployed during pursuit to count toward fleet strength
"Experience Multiplier" renamed to "Difficulty Multiplier", as it affects more than just experience gain
Improved error reporting
Added static meathods to ruthless_sector.ModPlugin meant for mod integration:
   getDifficultyMultiplierForLastBattle()
   getPlayerFleetStrengthInLastBattle()
   getEnemyFleetStrengthInLastBattle()
Impressive victories can now increase relations with the following modded factions:
   Neutrino Corp
   Junk Pirates
   P.A.C.K.
   ASP Syndicate
   ApproLight
   Immortal Light
   Foundation of Borken
   Celestial Mount Circle
« Last Edit: August 06, 2019, 12:58:06 PM by Sundog »
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Sundog

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Re: [0.9a] Ruthless Sector - Rewards Proportional to Risks
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2019, 04:08:33 AM »

Ruthless Sector 1.1.1 (Beta)

Fixed reload penalty increasing for each engagement instead of each battle, leading to erroneous save-scum penalties
Fixed an error that would occur during some dialogue interactions (the only symptom of the error was the error message)
A difficulty multiplier is now calculated when the player joins an ongoing battle
Officers now increase the strength estimation of their ships by 2.5% per level instead of 5%
The player now increases the strength estimation of their fleet by 1% per level instead of 2%
« Last Edit: August 06, 2019, 12:58:18 PM by Sundog »
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Bastion.Systems

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Re: [0.9a] Ruthless Sector - Rewards Proportional to Risks
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2019, 12:16:03 PM »

Most of the mod is not very noticeable, I do like the new XP mechanics and rewarding massive battles but I never had any trouble with save scumming myself.
The doubled supply cost is the most impactful part of the mod, makes me feel like I am playing with 0.8 economy again (where mod systems caused supplies to sometimes become astronomically expensive),
it's brutal and a very real way to death spiral amazingly quickly, forces me to take bounties and to max out all skills that help to scrape more supplies
Fleet Logistics 2 and Both of the salvage skills under Industry are now an utmost priority.

Interestingly this also makes Salvage Rig a very nice ship to have in your fleet.
« Last Edit: April 30, 2019, 01:09:11 PM by Bastion.Systems »
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Sundog

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Re: [0.9a] Ruthless Sector - Rewards Proportional to Risks
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2019, 01:19:00 PM »

Thanks for the feedback! A few follow-up questions, if you don't mind:
  • Do you think the increased supply cost makes the Logistics skill branch OP?
  • What level was your character while you were playing?
  • Did you feel like the difficulty multiplier was fairly accurate most of the time?
  • How difficult was it to get a difficulty multiplier above 100%?
  • Did [REDACTED] in hyperspace ever give you any trouble?


Bastion.Systems

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Re: [0.9a] Ruthless Sector - Rewards Proportional to Risks
« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2019, 03:24:13 AM »

Sorry this took so long to post, had some rough days at work.

1. I previously took it for the 3rd. rank 15% CP increase (to get the 100% CR bonus with combat endurance).
It's now much more worth it but as it needs a four point investment so I'm not sure it's a must pick because Industry and Combat also have very essential stuff.
2. I started form lv1 and the curve was brutal to about lv8 where I had a stroke of luck with the bounties to finance three tankers to get to the distant bounties and exploration missions.
At that point I had enough capital to start exploring ruins and the rewards there are so generous that money stops being a problem for a while.
3. Fairly accurate.
4. Just find a fleet far bigger than yours, just had a pretty bad loss against a huge pirate armada that was 188%, very cool to actually get rewarded for this.
5. I had a few  close shaves that emergency burn helped me out of but pirate Corsairs/Luddic holy armadas have given me far more trouble as of now.
I strategically try not to go to the extreme edges of the map though.

The difficulty really goes down once you get to start looting stuff from abandoned systems, in my game I found 2.6K of transplutonics from wast ruins (just need a couple Atlases to come back for the loot).
Higher fuel and supply costs really help to increase the length of the mid-game and that I feel is really good.

edit: just got swarmed by like a pack of remnant fleets at the edge of the civilized sector, ouch.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2019, 02:16:39 PM by Bastion.Systems »
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Sundog

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Re: [0.9a] Ruthless Sector - Rewards Proportional to Risks
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2019, 03:14:32 PM »

Thanks for your detailed answers! It sounds like things are mostly working out the way I want them to.

The difficulty really goes down once you get to start looting stuff from abandoned systems, in my game I found 2.6K of transplutonics from wast ruins (just need a couple Atlases to come back for the loot).
That's a pretty amazing haul! It makes for a good story, too. I haven't really considered balancing loot economy. If I were to do something about hauls like that dropping the difficulty too quickly it would probably be something along the lines of adding remnant guardians near abandoned stations.

Higher fuel and supply costs really help to increase the length of the mid-game and that I feel is really good.
That's good to hear. Mid-game is my favorite stage and I often feel like it goes by way too fast. However, Ruthless sector doesn't change fuel cost.

edit: just got swarmed by like a pack of remnant fleets at the edge of the civilized sector, ouch.
How's the recovery effort going?

Sundog

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Re: [0.9a] Ruthless Sector - Rewards Proportional to Risks
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2019, 05:24:40 PM »

Ruthless Sector 1.1.2 (Beta)

Fixed occasional spawning of swarms of [REDACTED] fleets (At least I'm pretty sure I did, please tell me if you find out otherwise)
The campaign notifications for Battle Difficulty and lost experience now highlight their values
Moved settings file from /data/config/settings.json to RUTHLESS_SECTOR_OPTIONS.ini for ease of access
Renamed "Difficulty Multiplier" to "Battle Difficulty" because I'm fickle and can't make up my mind


Also, I updated the FAQ with explanations for what 'Battle Difficulty' affects and how it's calculated.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2019, 12:58:35 PM by Sundog »
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Sundog

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Re: [0.9a] Ruthless Sector 1.1.2 - Rewards Proportional to Risks
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2019, 08:01:27 AM »

Would a moderator kindly move this to "mods" please?
« Last Edit: May 11, 2019, 11:38:31 AM by Sundog »
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