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Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Blog post: Raiding for Fun and Profit (11/27/19)

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Author Topic: [0.9.1a] Starship Legends 1.3.13 - Extra flavor for ships, crew, and NPCs  (Read 115920 times)

Euripides

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Re: [0.9.1a] Starship Legends 1.2.0 - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #225 on: August 13, 2019, 04:34:47 AM »

Shields can indefinitely tank damage so long as the damage never exceeds its capacity/recharge rate - you could take a hit once every 30 seconds forever.

Armor does not have that. You will eventually chew through armor, becuase it doesn't regenerate like shields do. This puts any armor focused design at a disadvantage in this mod. The amount of damage an armor-based ship can tank before it takes hull damage is fundamentally finite. The amount of damage a shield-based ship can tank can theoretically be infinite - something armor tanking cannot match.

The hull damage model very clearly disadvantages armor tanked designs compared to shield tanked designs.

The problem is finding a better way to simulate what the mod aims for. Hull damage is good enough, it could be better - maybe we can brainstorm some ideas in the thread.



« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 04:38:23 AM by Euripides »
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Inventor Raccoon

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Re: [0.9.1a] Starship Legends 1.2.0 - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #226 on: August 13, 2019, 04:36:31 AM »

If armor-focused ships are being penalized too harshly, maybe high-armor ships should have the penalties for taking hull damage reduced, with "high-armor" being defined relative to the ship's size - a 450 armor Brawler wouldn't lose as much rating from hull damage as a 150 armor Wolf, but the 1000 armor Odyssey would still be penalized heavily because it's lightly-armored for a capital ship. This is sort of a thing (armor protects hull, after all) but a light-armor ship taking hull damage is usually from being overwhelmed or from a mistake like a torpedo impact, while high-armor ships use it to tank on the regular.
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Zalpha

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Re: [0.9.1a] Starship Legends 1.2.0 - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #227 on: August 13, 2019, 05:30:50 AM »

I don't know how all this stuff works but what if rather than being focused on armor it was focused on crew members lost in combat. Maybe there could be other buffs/de-buffs for those lost on salvaging missions, that is if crew member losses could be a thing?
Edit: I forgot and just thought about how this would include fighter plans from cruisers, which isn't a good thing.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2019, 02:54:56 PM by Zalpha »
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Thaago

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Re: [0.9.1a] Starship Legends 1.2.0 - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #228 on: August 13, 2019, 11:19:34 AM »

I think the hull damage model is fine. Ships with high armor still use their shields to block HE and incidental damage. High tech ships still use their armor to tank kinetic rounds. Thats what those defensive systems are for, they just have different capacities depending on design type. Shields are "infinite" for everyone.

Having negative rep be based on crew killed is interesting though, as it would give a reason to install blast doors - to improve the morale of the troops!
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lwki

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Re: [0.9.1a] Starship Legends 1.2.0 - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #229 on: August 13, 2019, 11:54:17 AM »

Can you explain how does reputation growth work on reserved ships?
maxXpForReservedShips is the max experience reserved ships can get from combat encounter or is it overriding max xp to guarantee new trait?
Does traitChanceMultForReservedCivilianShips multiply the chances of getting a trait? What chances? I thought traits were guaranteed? Reserved ships get a chance of getting a new trait at maxXpForReservedShips?

Wanted to play around with settings but its kinda hard to understand if you don't know how the mod works
Great mod btw, thank you
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Sundog

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Re: [0.9.1a] Starship Legends 1.2.0 - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #230 on: August 13, 2019, 09:59:21 PM »

Can you explain how does reputation growth work on reserved ships?
Sure, although it's likely to change in the near future. Currently, all ships gain traits based on the amount of XP earned from battles. If a battle awards 46 XP and xpToGuaranteeNewTrait is 100, then there will be a 46% chance to earn a new trait. For civilian ships the XPearned from battle is multiplied by 0.25 (traitChanceMultForReservedCivilianShips), and capped at 320k XP (maxXpForReservedShips)

Wanted to play around with settings but its kinda hard to understand if you don't know how the mod works
Yeah, at some point I need to expand the FAQs and add more comments to the config file.

Great mod btw, thank you
Thanks! My pleasure  :)

Sarissofoi

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Re: [0.9.1a] Starship Legends 1.2.0 - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #231 on: August 14, 2019, 04:00:10 AM »

The hull damage work right now but I think it could work better. It sure put armor tanking ships in worse position.
I think rating could use secondary trait based on crew damage.
Sure you could affect it by officer skills/mods but you can boost hull with it too.
Sure it would affect carriers but be honest with me: would you like to serve on carrier that go through dozens of expendable pilots by battle? I bet not - also there are both officer skills/fleet skills/mods to reduce it.
There of course could be different way to count rating for different ships. With some bonuses/penalties based on ship type.
Like low tech would be more affected by lost crew than by hull damage when in case of carriers lost crew would affect rating less.

Anyway really great addition to gameplay.

ActuallyUlysses

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Re: [0.9.1a] Starship Legends 1.2.0 - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #232 on: August 14, 2019, 04:17:34 AM »

I've made account just to post this :)

I think the idea behind this mod is great. Bonuses are not overwhelming yet make me stick to my ship longer. Also makes it more unique, as it may lead player to upgrade ones ship to play into reputation strengths.

I downloaded the 1.2.0 BETA and here is my feedback thus far:
NOTE: I don't understand exactly how various things are calculated and I base following observations on the way things felt when they happened. It is entirely possible that things work differently, I just couldn't tell.

1. There are some weird interactions with, possibly, Ruthless Sector? Something to do with how battle difficulty is calculated or XP is handed out post battle. I fight non-stop against fleets that have numerical superiority (ie. 1 me vs 10 ships) and somehow I cannot break past combat rating of 65% in my destroyer. Seriously, I pulled 2 cruiser kills + 7 frigates with a single destroyer and my rating went from 65% to 67%. In previous version I had no such issues and went past 70% easily. I cannot imagine what kind of odds need to be stacked against me to go up to 90% right now.

2. Combat rating system as implemented punishes hit-and-run tactics, as it cannot distinguish between orderly retreat and total defeat. Basically the only way to rise it is to go in enemies face and nuke it out. I did two runs against one huge convoy and even though both times I pulled out with around 20-30% hull (and many kills), my rating went down from 65% down to ~50%. I got entire convoy third time. Went up to like 53%? I mean I just killed smth like 20 ships with a single destroyer. Give me some cred :P

3. Does hull damage affect battle combat rating? It seems to do so and tbh I don't think its good idea. Battle performance is already measured by number of kills/damage player manages to deal and it punishes armor ships that always end up with some hull damage. As a result fast and maneuverable shield tanked ships get much higher CR.

4. While not necessarily a bad design choice, some reputations are game changing for given hulls and some are not very useful. Ie. basic 4% of Strong Armor on puny destroyer with paper thin armor vs same bonus on Onslaught... 3% of Strong Engines on same overdriven destroyer? Frigate killer.

5. Current system punishes pirate play style a lot... like, I hunt smugglers, trade convoys etc. to get supplies when in hostile territory or when non are available and every single time my combat rating goes down because I pick on too easy targets... which forces me to attack bigger convoys... which I need to raid several times to chip down annoying ships... which lowers my CR even more... you see where this is going :P

6. Right now I am not even sure how lost in combat rating is calculated, but I went once against hegemony fleet detachment (solo, they bounced off Hyperspace Storm and got me) and while I cleared all frigates and destroyers while under heavy fire from cruisers and capitals... I got -7% to CR... like seriously? Haven't I just done something epic? If I would do the same thing without hundreds of Pilum missiles flying around and won, my rating would go up.

Suggestions:
1. Ignore hull damage to ship when calculating score for won battle.

2. Factor in hull damage to ship when calculating score for battle from which player retreated (would work nice with hit-and-run), so that i.e. if 0% hull damage then CR penalty for losing would also equal 0%.

3. Lower player combat rating for lost battles based on actual number of ships lost.

4. MAYBE only battles that can rise combat rating can also affect it negatively? I mean, I get that - killing small smuggler fleets is nothing glorious, but cruising around and around just to find the fleet of right size is just not fun.

Edit:
I noticed how difficulty is calculated in Ruthless Sector and now I see what was the problem with point 1. What got me was that "1% per player level factor in calculation of player's fleet strength. Since I fought 1 vs 10 from the very start, I got ton of XP and raised my character level super fast to almost level 30, so for the purpose of strength calculation I got 30% stronger.

Also, when I look at my fleet strength evaluation I also think that your mod counts player level twice. Once as that "1%" and second time as "2.5% per officer level" when strength of individual ship is calculated.

Now tell me if I am wrong, but I don't think that even level 50 player in frigate is going to contribute to a fight as much as a carrier, but according to the formula he would add more fleet strength. Unless, everything went into "fleet" skills. I can see why it was done that way, however it not going to work in all situations. Luckily its very easy to tweak in settings :) Amazing mod!

I would suggest adding some more text to FAQ, ie. "If you enjoy playing small, you might want to change the [setting] to [something]".

Edit 2:
Further reading also allowed me to deal with point 6... kinda. There is this "maxBattleDifficultyEstimation" set at default to be 2.0. I think you put a limit, so that even super impressive victory would not catapult player up to level 20 or higher in one go? Now this will also limit how your combat rating is going to rise from same victory, wouldn't it?

Is it possible to add another factor in xp calculation? Like "whatever XP I get... multiply it by 0.5". That way I can make impressive battles to have more impressive impact on ships' reputation, but by lowering overall XP by a factor of XYZ, prevent suddenly becoming too high level frigate pilot.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 08:17:55 AM by ActuallyUlysses »
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Sundog

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Re: [0.9.1a] Starship Legends 1.2.0 - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #233 on: August 14, 2019, 10:33:10 AM »

On crew losses factoring into combat rating:
As far as I can tell, the only advantage this would have is to slightly improve realism, which in my opinion comes nowhere close to overcoming the major problems it would introduce. For me to consider this change would require a persuasive argument that it would improve gameplay mechanics, which, so far, I haven't seen.

On heavily armored / weakly shielded ships being at a disadvantage:
I still don't think they actually are. At least, not inherently. Some highly armored ships are weak, but that's just a matter of ship balance. Ships have many ways to avoid taking hull damage (armor, shields, phase cloaks, ship systems, point defense, and (perhaps most importantly) firepower), and armor isn't the only one of these that is non renewable. Armor has the same trade-off as missiles; its far more effective in the short term, but depletes over time.
Furthermore, I haven't found armored ships to be at a disadvantage in my personal gameplay experience. In fact, the two flagships I've used most often in 0.9.1 were both armor tanks with Heavy Armor installed and either weak shields (Conquest), or none at all (Doom). In spite of not relying on shields with either, I had no trouble maintaining a rating above 90% for both (disclaimer: I always spec into combat  ;)). For AI piloted ships, too, I never noticed any significant differences in rating between ships of different defensive types. I didn't do nearly enough testing for that kind of evidence to be anything like conclusive, of course, but in practice I'm just not seeing a trend of ships that rely on armor being magnets for hull damage.

@ActuallyUlysses
Hi! Thanks for the feedback and welcome to the community  :)

First of all, I think I've failed to make a few things clear. Most importantly; battle difficulty is only based on the number of ships you deploy, not the total number of ships in your fleet, so you can increase battle difficulty by deploying fewer ships. In fact, one of the main goals of ruthless sector is to encourage you to do so.

Both starship legends and ruthless sector involve math that can be important to understand, and unfortunately I haven't found a good way to explain how the math works in-game yet. Until then, there's a lot of information in the FAQs sections of both mods that explains how things work in detail.

To address most of your feedback point-by-point:
Spoiler
There are some weird interactions with, possibly, Ruthless Sector? Something to do with how battle difficulty is calculated or XP is handed out post battle. I fight non-stop against fleets that have numerical superiority (ie. 1 me vs 10 ships) and somehow I cannot break past combat rating of 65% in my destroyer. Seriously, I pulled 2 cruiser kills + 7 frigates with a single destroyer and my rating went from 65% to 67%. In previous version I had no such issues and went past 70% easily. I cannot imagine what kind of odds need to be stacked against me to go up to 90% right now.
A few things that might account for this:
Ships of the same size are often far from equal. A harbinger will count as five buffalo mk.II for example. If the buffalo has a bunch of permanent damage, the harbinger might even count as more than 10 of them. All civilian ships count as 0
Ruthless sector scales the estimation of the strength of your ships with your level, so in the example above, a single harbinger could count for as many as 15 buffalo mk.II if your character level is 50. The default configuration of ruthless sector is meant to be difficult even for players with several hundred hours of experience.

2. Combat rating system as implemented punishes hit-and-run tactics, as it cannot distinguish between orderly retreat and total defeat.
The rating system doesn't even distinguish between victory and defeat. It's all about the odds you were up against and hull damage dealt vs sustained.

I did two runs against one huge convoy and even though both times I pulled out with around 20-30% hull (and many kills), my rating went down from 65% down to ~50%. I got entire convoy third time. Went up to like 53%? I mean I just killed smth like 20 ships with a single destroyer. Give me some cred :P
Hmm... This is a strategy I haven't really considered. Usually when people use a single ship to fight a fleet they retreat in order to refresh PPT (peak performance time) or switch to a different ship, but they still re-engage without ending the battle outright. I'll have to give some thought to how this type of strategy should be handled.

4. While not necessarily a bad design choice, some reputations are game changing for given hulls and some are not very useful.
Yup. A big part of the reason traits are randomized is so that ships that are lucky enough to get a bunch of relevant positive traits feel special.

Suggestions:
Some of these are vague or seem to be based on false premises, so for now I'll avoid responding to them individually unless you want to reiterate/clarify (Sorry, I've been responding to feedback for several hours now)

Also, when I look at my fleet strength evaluation I also think that your mod counts player level twice. Once as that "1%" and second time as "2.5% per officer level" when strength of individual ship is calculated.
Nope. Your player character doesn't count as an officer for this exact reason.

Now tell me if I am wrong, but I don't think that even level 50 player in frigate is going to contribute to a fight as much as a carrier, but according to the formula he would add more fleet strength.
Heh, let me tell you about our lord and saviour, the Afflictor class phase frigate...  ;)

Unless, everything went into "fleet" skills. I can see why it was done that way, however it not going to work in all situations. Luckily its very easy to tweak in settings :) Amazing mod!
Thanks! Yeah, the settings files were definitely worth the effort for mods like these. The character level influence on battle difficulty can definitely be a bit awkward in some situations, but I don't think it's possible to account for player character skills in any accurate way. I think of it more as a way to increase difficulty as the game progresses.

I would suggest adding some more text to FAQ, ie. "If you enjoy playing small, you might want to change the [setting] to [something]".
Ideally, I'd prefer for the default settings to accommodate all playstyles and fleet sizes. Your feedback has helped inform me about ways it might fail to do so. I'll have to think about possible adjustments.

Further reading also allowed me to deal with point 6... kinda. There is this "maxBattleDifficultyEstimation" set at default to be 2.0. I think you put a limit, so that even super impressive victory would not catapult player up to level 20 or higher in one go? Now this will also limit how your combat rating is going to rise from same victory, wouldn't it?
Precisely.

Is it possible to add another factor in xp calculation? Like "whatever XP I get... multiply it by 0.5". That way I can make impressive battles to have more impressive impact on ships' reputation, but by lowering overall XP by a factor of XYZ, prevent suddenly becoming too high level frigate pilot.
There's a vanilla setting for that called xpGainMult in "\starsector-core\data\config\settings.json"
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ActuallyUlysses

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Re: [0.9.1a] Starship Legends 1.2.0 - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #234 on: August 14, 2019, 01:56:39 PM »

@Sundog
Thanks for lengthy reply. I will explain my reasoning for my suggestions, but don't feel like you need to address those if you would otherwise work on improving your wonderful mods :)

1. Ignoring hull damage for purpose of estimating CR gain after winning battle.
You incentive very cautious gameplay by punishing hull damage. One can claim, that this is how highly skilled player would play, but one can also claim that such playstyle lacks tad bit of bravado. Swinging in, exchanging broadside fire with enemy? Nope, it's better to kite them to death... And you avoid this whole "is armour tank disadvantaged by this" debate.

2. On using hull damage when calculating CR gain after retreat
 Hull damage can be good indication of how successful hit-and-run raid was as the whole point is to attack and run before enemy can hit back. Also it is an indication of how successful retreat was.

3. On lowering CR based on number of lost ships
I think you mentioned that the game does not care if I win or lose? If all that matters is relative strength of deployed fleets, why losing a battle after retreat lowers CR?

4. (Maybe) CR can only fall if player could potentially increase it in given battle.
Currently, I will avoid fighting weak fleets at all cost, because fighting them would lower my CR. This punishes whole set of activities:
- killing smuggler to affect supply? Let's hope his fleet is big enough not to tank my CR
- pirate fleet on radar? Ups, too small, let other bounty hunter to take care of it
- oh look a supply convoy I got intel on and wanted to kill... Tsk, got into fight on way here and now its too weak...
Your solution for that problem is to field weaker ships but I am not sure how that will hold up when I am high level character. Basically you are punishing for being successful and earning levels or not traveling with small ships in fleet.

Lastly, I would add in FAQ a short guide on how to play with default setting and what to look for in order to reach high CR
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vlad_1492

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Re: [0.9.1a] Starship Legends 1.2.0 - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #235 on: August 16, 2019, 03:59:07 AM »

Looks like I am late to the kudos party.

This mod is wonderful fun, really added some storytelling to my playthrough.

Thank you!
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Sundog

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Re: [0.9.1a] Starship Legends 1.2.0 - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #236 on: August 16, 2019, 03:14:08 PM »

@vlad_1492: You're quite welcome! Glad you like it ;D

@ActuallyUlysses:
Spoiler
Thanks for lengthy reply. I will explain my reasoning for my suggestions, but don't feel like you need to address those if you would otherwise work on improving your wonderful mods :)
As time consuming as it is to reply to feedback sometimes, I find that it's often much more useful than simply reading it because responding forces me to think through the pros and cons of a given issue.

You incentive very cautious gameplay by punishing hull damage.  One can claim, that this is how highly skilled player would play, but one can also claim that such playstyle lacks tad bit of bravado. Swinging in, exchanging broadside fire with enemy? Nope, it's better to kite them to death...
It's true that starship legends penalizes players for hull damage, but the base game does too, so I don't think it deviates from vanilla design goals in that regard. Part of what makes Starsector's combat great in my opinion is that it encourages players to be as aggressive as they can without making unnecessary sacrifices, and I think starship legend's rating system should reflect that (at least by default anyway).
Kiting isn't always the best way to avoid damage. Sometimes it's safer to charge in to make a quick kill.

2. On using hull damage when calculating CR gain after retreat
 Hull damage can be good indication of how successful hit-and-run raid was as the whole point is to attack and run before enemy can hit back. Also it is an indication of how successful retreat was.
You're talking about the hull damage you dealt to enemy ships? Still not sure what you're actually suggesting here.

I think you mentioned that the game does not care if I win or lose? If all that matters is relative strength of deployed fleets, why losing a battle after retreat lowers CR?
For the same reasons it might be lowered after a victory. The calculation is always the same.

Your solution for that problem is to field weaker ships but I am not sure how that will hold up when I am high level character. Basically you are punishing for being successful and earning levels or not traveling with small ships in fleet.
Ok, gotcha. So if you want to avoid the added penalties for deploying as many ships as you want, you should disable the whole battle difficulty mechanic from ruthless sector. The entire point of it is to discourage over-deployment. Here are the relevant settings:
RUTHLESS_SECTOR_OPTIONS.ini
    showBattleDifficultyNotification
    scaleXpGainBasedOnBattleDifficulty
RUTHLESS_STARSHIP_LEGENDS_OPTIONS.ini
    battleDifficultyMult
    baseRating (not related to battle difficulty, but you might want to change it to compensate for the lost rating boost from battle difficulty)

Lastly, I would add in FAQ a short guide on how to play with default setting and what to look for in order to reach high CR
Yeah, I should definitely expand on that. The FAQ needs a lot of improvement in general, tbh.
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kilerdude56

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Re: [0.9.1a] Starship Legends 1.2.0 - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #237 on: August 16, 2019, 10:01:33 PM »

Quick question, if you're max level for your character, will your ship not get any experience to get traits? Or is that completely not how it works.
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Sundog

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Re: [0.9.1a] Starship Legends 1.2.0 - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #238 on: August 17, 2019, 04:50:03 PM »

Not how it works. Even at max level, your character will continue to accrue experience. I don't think there's any point at which your character will stop gaining experience, but if you suspect otherwise, please let me know. That would be a serious problem.

Erythion

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Re: [0.9.1a] Starship Legends 1.2.0 - Personality for Your Ships and Crew
« Reply #239 on: August 17, 2019, 06:32:25 PM »

Code
# COMBAT RATING CALCULATION #
"baseRating":0.5,
"battleDifficultyMult":0.5,
"damageTakenMult":3.0,
"damageDealtMult":0.5,
"damageDealtMinThreshold":0.0
I have these as my config and I'm quite satisfied with it. It doesn't overly punish deployed ships that only deal flux damage (had a lot of them, just pure needlers and ions), rewards seeing combat with >.5 rating, but greatly punishes taking damage.

But then my single Victory ship deals 700% damage each and every fight because all the enemy is already softened by the support ships and gets better reputation every time... Maybe I'm too generous with myself :P
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