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Author Topic: [0.9.1a] Starship Legends 1.3.14 - Extra flavor for ships, crew, and NPCs  (Read 161018 times)

HELMUT

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Re: Starship Legends - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #30 on: May 03, 2019, 12:12:20 PM »

One on hand, this seems like a refined version of the Extra Systems mod, and i really want to try that.

On the other hand, i should probably wait for the inevitable others gameplay-change mods you'll release after this one before playing. I mean, this is your fourth one, you won't stop there right?

Joke aside, i'm not super sure with the way negative traits are gained depending on hull damage either. Yes, i do fly my ships like a Pather, and no, i won't compromise my reckless piloting for something as trivial as self-preservation.

But the bonuses! I want them! Although i admit i'm not sure what would be the solution either... I am against the solution of "repetition until mastered" like Trei suggested. I spent too much time in Skyrim afk-hitting a mammoth with a stick to increase my one-handed skill already.

Maybe the gained traits can depends on a battle end-result? Coming out of a fight half-alive at the top of a mountain of your foe's skulls would probably net you better traits than coming out half-alive without firing a single shot.

The combat analytics mod by Nick allow for some pretty impressive stat recording during battle. Perhaps something similar could be exploited to determine the traits one ship can gain depending on its performance? That way i could still behave like a glory hound while spacing half of my crew.
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Shad

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Re: Starship Legends - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #31 on: May 03, 2019, 12:26:20 PM »

I have noticed that some (but not all) Sylphon ships do not seem to get traits. In my "pursuit" frigate/fast destroyer squadron for auto-resolving stragglers, most ships are now "Famous", while the Celica Rel I have has no traits. Meanwhile the Sylphon battlecruiser and the totally-not-Spaceship-Yamato I have get traits just fine, even without a crew for the former.
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Tei

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Re: Starship Legends - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #32 on: May 03, 2019, 12:59:10 PM »

That way i could still behave like a glory hound while spacing half of my crew.

I see you too are a Space Admiral of culture as well.
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Sundog

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Re: Starship Legends - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #33 on: May 03, 2019, 02:30:40 PM »

Starship Legends 1.0.3 (BETA)

Fixed an error caused by crew loyalty changes without new traits. The error was introduced in the last patch. Sorry about that!
« Last Edit: August 06, 2019, 12:47:02 PM by Sundog »
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stormbringer951

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Re: Starship Legends - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #34 on: May 03, 2019, 03:09:06 PM »

The combat analytics mod by Nick allow for some pretty impressive stat recording during battle. Perhaps something similar could be exploited to determine the traits one ship can gain depending on its performance? That way i could still behave like a glory hound while spacing half of my crew.

This would be very cool. Combat Analytics doesn't do perfect assessments of damage dealt/taken (it does an educated guess to work out who killed what, and it doesn't model armour/shield reductions to damage so frag damage is overrepresented iirc) but being able to say "I took a lot of damage but killed a lot of ships" and get a relevant associated reputation would be very cool.

You could go more in depth and track a lot more metrics, and relate traits to things like, say, being the ship that did a lot of damage to and (probably) killed a much larger ship and getting a reputation as giantslayers, or preying on all the small trash frigates the AI sends into battle, or maybe taking a lot of shield damage but no/little armour damage says something about the quality of the shielding on your ship, fighting in a lot of pursuits and not a lot of battles, etc etc, although associating stuff that happens in battle to traits more closely might have its own issues and would result in a lot more coding work for Sundog.

A suggestion I have is to make the traits not purely positive or negative, but to give them mixed upsides and downsides. So there would be traits that are better and traits that are worse, but you'd get a bit of something even out of bad traits.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2019, 03:20:28 PM by stormbringer951 »
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Shad

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Re: Starship Legends - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #35 on: May 03, 2019, 03:34:54 PM »

A suggestion I have is to make the traits not purely positive or negative, but to give them mixed upsides and downsides. So there would be traits that are better and traits that are worse, but you'd get a bit of something even out of bad traits.
I am very much in favor of this. If the goal is to give ships variety and uniqueness, rather than straight up "buffs or re-roll", this would be better. Using the existing system, basically at each fame level the ship could get a guaranteed positive and negative trait that are semi-linked in a thematic way.

For example:
*Ship takes a lot of hull damage over many battles without retreating or going down: likely to gain a positive trait on repair rate, CR recovery, HP, mount/Engine durability (crew gets used to patching it up). Linked negative traits: CR cap, peak CR time (crew can never quite the the ship fully fixed), crew casualties, sensors (always get taken out from damage)
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Sundog

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Re: Starship Legends - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #36 on: May 03, 2019, 05:14:07 PM »

Thanks for all the feedback and suggestions! I'm glad you guys are enjoying it  :D

Avoiding Bad Traits
I've received a LOT of good feedback about this (both here and on Discord), and I've given quite a bit of thought to figuring out how best to improve the system. So here's a rough idea of what I have in mind:
  • Ships that deal enough hull damage in combat will have a reduced chance of getting a bad trait.
  • Ships that take very little hull damage in battle will not get bad defense traits for that battle.
  • Likewise, ships that do enough damage will not get bad weapon traits.
  • Ships will be more likely to get new negative traits the more positive traits they already have, and vice versa.
  • Ships that require crew will be able to get traits, just not ones related to crew (maybe some new AI related ones instead)
I also need to write up a clear and detailed description of how the system works for the FAQ.

Would it be possible to make it a three point chance of malus plot rather than the two currently? E.g. instead of "chanceOfMalusAtNoHullLost" and "chanceOfMalusAtHalfHullLost", it could be a 0->33->66 sort of thing or the like?
It's certainly possible, but I want to avoid making the system any more complicated than necessary. I think it's important for game mechanics to be easy to understand.

Small typo: "Volitile Flux Core"
Thanks! Fixed for the next release.

what the long term goal of the mod. Is it to make the player look to build ther "perfect" starship, with no critical nigative traits? Or is the goal to give ships variety by giving ships both positive and negative traits?
Very much both, depending on the stage of the game. At the start of a game I want it to be about dealing with whatever traits you end up with as best you can, but by the very late-game the goal is to provide both a money and xp sink in the form of optimizing traits to build ideal ships.

Minor feature suggestion: changed hullmod description/"trait-up" description for ships with zero crew capacity. Mechanically it still works, but an automated ship with reference to crew can be an odd inconsistency.
Agreed. It's on my TODO list, along with a few other things to support automated ships.

Would it be possible to have a modifier that changes the chances for negative traits either on tech-level or deviation from average size health pool basis?
Possible, yeah, but I'd like to avoid deliberate balancing. I think change 4 will help normalize things. Change 1 might help too, especially in cases like Dominator/Onslaught.

Does this mod add the ability for enemy captains and their fleets/ships to also have a reputation and custom ship hullmods?
Spoiler
Are these applied to AI fleets in any way though? I could see this working hand in hand with bounties, facing some legendary fleets and such.
Currently reputations only apply to player-owned ships, and for the most part that won't change. The problem with NPC ships having traits is that there would be no good way to show those traits to the player, which would lead to random and unpredictable variations in the strength of enemy ships.

However, if I can figure out a good way to do it, I would like to make it so that the flagships of bounty fleets have traits sometimes. I would have to be able to list the traits in the intel screen though, so it might not be feasible.
[close]

Speaking of which, what exactly influences what traits you get? My dominator flagship has reduced vent rates, is it because I vent so much in battle?
Nope. It's mostly just RNG (for reasons discussed above)

On the other hand, i should probably wait for the inevitable others gameplay-change mods you'll release after this one before playing. I mean, this is your fourth one, you won't stop there right?
For now I will. My other ideas for gameplay-change mods have a much lower ROI than the ones I've made so far. I think my next mod will be a very small, refined version of ICE. And when I say very small, I mean only 3 new ships.

I have noticed that some (but not all) Sylphon ships do not seem to get traits. In my "pursuit" frigate/fast destroyer squadron for auto-resolving stragglers, most ships are now "Famous", while the Celica Rel I have has no traits. Meanwhile the Sylphon battlecruiser and the totally-not-Spaceship-Yamato I have get traits just fine, even without a crew for the former.
Starship legends currently neglects ships with a crew requirement of 0, assuming any excess crew are just along for the ride. I'll work on improving this.

You could go more in depth and track a lot more metrics, [snip] although associating stuff that happens in battle to traits more closely might have its own issues and would result in a lot more coding work for Sundog.
While basing traits on specific things that happen in battle would be better for the storytelling aspect of things, I think it would be extremely difficult (if not impossible) to make the gameplay work well.

A suggestion I have is to make the traits not purely positive or negative, but to give them mixed upsides and downsides. So there would be traits that are better and traits that are worse, but you'd get a bit of something even out of bad traits.
I am very much in favor of this.
Do you guys think change 4 would do a good job of accomplishing the same goal?

Thaago

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Re: Starship Legends - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #37 on: May 03, 2019, 07:13:23 PM »

This looks very cool! I'm going to start a new game with this and see how it goes.

Edit:

Oof. I will say, going through a few battles taking 0 hull damage and smashing enemies, it is a bit of a kick in the pants to have the first trait be negative. Ah well, will keep playing!
« Last Edit: May 03, 2019, 07:44:58 PM by Thaago »
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Thaago

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Re: Starship Legends - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #38 on: May 04, 2019, 12:25:16 PM »

...
A suggestion I have is to make the traits not purely positive or negative, but to give them mixed upsides and downsides. So there would be traits that are better and traits that are worse, but you'd get a bit of something even out of bad traits.
I am very much in favor of this.
Do you guys think change 4 would do a good job of accomplishing the same goal?

Kind of, but not really. If a player gets their first trait bad... they should 100% scrap the ship for supplies, or relegate it to unofficered suicide duty. At least in the early-mid game when the player has a good supply of ships. There isn't really a reason to keep it at that point, its a permanent D mod that gives no supply cost reduction. If the 'bad' traits were more 'neutral' (ie they have some bad and some good mixed) then this wouldn't be the case.

It would probably be quite a bit of work to retweak all of them in this way though.

Maybe you could actually add supply cost reductions for negative traits? That would make them still permanent D mods, but at least they would come with the same benefits.
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Zhentar

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Re: Starship Legends - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #39 on: May 04, 2019, 12:34:24 PM »

Some trait balance notes:

* Agile is really insignificant relative to other traits. At Legendary, it's a 10% maneuverability bonus, making it 1/5th of Evasive Action level 1 (and actually not even that, because Evasive Action maneuverability applies double to turn acceleration), while many other traits are on par with level 2 or level 3 skills.
* Turret durability and turn rate also seem disproportionately low, thought I don't think the margin is as large as agile
* Logistics mods like fuel & cargo capacity range from completely irrelevant to make-or-break, depending on the ship's base capacity. This is particularly significant for tankers & freighters, since it can make them dramatically better/worse at their one & only job, and they are cheap to replace until you get the lucky trait draw. I think flat, ship class-scaled bonuses would work a lot better. (and perhaps non-zero minimum thresholds before they can be applied at all)


Aside from that, the trait chance for reserved civilian ships is waaaay too high. I've got a fleet full of Legendary tugs, and they're still pulling >100% new trait chance from some battles. I think the multiplier could stand to be dropped down to 15%-20%, and more importantly, I think the trait chance should be clamped to 100% before applying that multiplier.
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Zhentar

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Re: Starship Legends - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #40 on: May 04, 2019, 12:58:18 PM »

Do you guys think change 4 would do a good job of accomplishing the same goal?

There's a weakness with change 4: the order of traits is fixed, so even if it gives you good/bad traits to balance them out, the ones you got first will always be more significant than the ones trying to balance them out (until you push them all up to Legendary, I suppose)
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Shad

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Re: Starship Legends - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #41 on: May 04, 2019, 01:00:44 PM »

Quick a quick check: is the number of traits you can get limited? Because I have a a ship with 2-2-2-4 traits now.
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stormbringer951

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Re: Starship Legends - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #42 on: May 04, 2019, 01:24:42 PM »

While basing traits on specific things that happen in battle would be better for the storytelling aspect of things, I think it would be extremely difficult (if not impossible) to make the gameplay work well.

You mean that when it becomes too granular, there would be incentives to do play in a weird way to get optimal chances at good traits, like all the Elder Scrolls player skill-levelling-by-usage shenanigans?

Do you guys think change 4 would do a good job of accomplishing the same goal?

It would probably be even more frustrating to be punished by the RNG if you know you have a higher chance of getting bad traits after a string of good ones, especially in the endgame portion you mentioned when ideally the player is trying to roll perfect ships. Although knowing you are more likely to get good traits after a string of bad ones would soften the blow.

I'm not sure I can clearly explain my thinking, but:

Overall, your change would work out to roughly similar end results (at max traits, most ships have a list of upsides and downsides), but the in-game experience of playing the game means that you get each trait change one by one, so it feels more like you are getting punished by the RNG when you get a bad trait. Under default .ini settings which players may not look at and hcange, this may be quite frustrating.

I personally like the idea of having fewer traits, but with upsides and downsides, because then it would soften the blow of winning/losing the RNG roll at every step.

If each trait has a hardcoded upside and downside, the upsides and downsides could also be more thematic (although perhaps then each ship will have fewer individual traits):

E.g. "the [HMS Invincible]'s crew is obsessed with gunnery speed, to the extent that they stack ready ammo outside of the magazine and leave anti-flash doors open. +rate of fire, -hull integrity"

And narratively it would feel more like a specialisation or a character quirk. Some traits would be generally good and others generally bad (there would also still be room for purely good/bad traits - perhaps more strongly tied to very good/bad performance?) so you could still assign traits based on the positive performance of the ship, but it would be fuzzier and less a clear cut win/loss when the dice roll doesn't go your way.

Maybe you could actually add supply cost reductions for negative traits? That would make them still permanent D mods, but at least they would come with the same benefits.

That might sometimes be unthematic though, although it might sometimes be very thematic (lazy crew: might get -max CR, supply costs reduced :p !).

Generally, I don't think that bad traits should push towards just being unremovable d-mods, especially if you consider the experience for one-off unique ships, like IBBs/AE Vow/BB Sparrowhawk.
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Shad

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Re: Starship Legends - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #43 on: May 04, 2019, 03:03:41 PM »

Thanks for all the feedback and suggestions! I'm glad you guys are enjoying it  :D

Avoiding Bad Traits
I've received a LOT of good feedback about this (both here and on Discord), and I've given quite a bit of thought to figuring out how best to improve the system. So here's a rough idea of what I have in mind:
  • Ships that deal enough hull damage in combat will have a reduced chance of getting a bad trait.
  • Ships that take very little hull damage in battle will not get bad defense traits for that battle.
  • Likewise, ships that do enough damage will not get bad weapon traits.
  • Ships will be more likely to get new negative traits the more positive traits they already have, and vice versa.
  • Ships that require crew will be able to get traits, just not ones related to crew (maybe some new AI related ones instead)
I also need to write up a clear and detailed description of how the system works for the FAQ.
[...]
Do you guys think change 4 would do a good job of accomplishing the same goal?

I think the general idea is to make the player feel he has some degree of control over what happens. Just enough so that getting a bad trait results in a "hm, that makes sense for this ship", as opposed to "%$&!( this RNG!". The first trait I got was on a Onslaught XIV that I used to solo a pirate armada taking no damage in the process. The trait I got: -armor. Needless to say it resulted in "load last save". When ships pick up bad traits (which I think they should to avoid massive power creep), they should not be the ones that break the ship completely. I don't know if Combat Analytics could be in integrated into how this mod counts progress, but it can gather quite a lot of data.
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Thaago

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Re: Starship Legends - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #44 on: May 04, 2019, 04:16:11 PM »

Doubtful crew and a negative trait on my new flagship I took minor (4%) hull damage in a very large fight after murdering an entire pirate armada. Thats... really rough. The optimal play here is to immediately scrap this ship for supplies, as its of a type that my single colony can make more of. This is despite the fact that I did really well in that battle and now have a bit of an emotional attachment to the ship.

The changes you've proposed are a good start to avoid the extreme annoyance that the current system has, but... I just don't see how bad traits (permanent D mods that cannot be removed) can stay in in the current form.
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