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Author Topic: Frustration abound  (Read 2878 times)

TrashMan

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Frustration abound
« on: May 30, 2019, 03:44:35 AM »

It seems that events and bounties are 99% of the time out-of-balance with my capabilities.

120000-200000 bounties of nothing but mass carriers, or battleships that I simply cannot deal with without losses. (and expensive D-mod removals)

The real kicker is that System Explore quest, where you find that ancient cruiser? First time I did it I won against the defending drones, then a MASSIVE pirate fleet does the *teleports behind you* "nothing personel kid!" schtick and there's no winning there.

So after a few updates I started a new game. This time I came a bit better prepared. A huge missile-bus ship, a HEAVY carrier cruiser(5 wings), 4 destroyers and several heavy frigates. This time the defenders have a DRONE BATTLESHIP. WTF? Does this scale with my fleet or something? A battleship defending a cruiser??? And that thing is NASTY, spews endless missiles and does not come alone ... hordes of heavy drones in tow. Simply winning with a single ship left is a challenge, and then come the pirates....

This is just getting frustrating
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SpacePoliticianAndaZealot

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Re: Frustration abound
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2019, 05:18:02 AM »

Where did the pirate fleets come from? I've never encountered them while doing these kinds of missions, were you running around hyperspace and the abandoned systems with transponder on?

But as for the bounties I agree, the ones with payout above 200k are simply ridiculous, no way that's proper reward scaling for taking on fleets that have 2-6 capital-class vessels (I've seen 2 Onslaughts, 4 Legions and 5-6 Conquests in such fleets so far).

When it comes to bounty hunting, my progression plan for this patch is (progressing as my fleet grows): System bounties -> Easiest possible personal bounties -> Gradually harder but not too hard personal bounties until I feel comfortable taking on a faction commision -> easiest possible orbital station bounty (Pirates are more often available and easier than Pathers) -> get a battleship -> Grind any orbital station bounty -> get more battleships -> grind any kind of station bounty

And of course, in between all of these - when it's so appropriate - always check portside bars! Delivery contracts are always a great and lucrative way to earn a quick cash injection.
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Oblivion

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Re: Frustration abound
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2019, 05:57:53 AM »

The real kicker is that System Explore quest, where you find that ancient cruiser? First time I did it I won against the defending drones, then a MASSIVE pirate fleet does the *teleports behind you* "nothing personel kid!" schtick and there's no winning there.


I’m pretty sure you’re talking about the
Spoiler
Champion Cruiser from the mod Legacy of Arkgneisis. The pirate fleet is commanded by the person who sold you the information to get you to do the dirty work of retrieving the cruiser.
[close]
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stormbringer951

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Re: Frustration abound
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2019, 06:00:02 AM »

It seems that events and bounties are 99% of the time out-of-balance with my capabilities.

120000-200000 bounties of nothing but mass carriers, or battleships that I simply cannot deal with without losses. (and expensive D-mod removals)
But as for the bounties I agree, the ones with payout above 200k are simply ridiculous, no way that's proper reward scaling for taking on fleets that have 2-6 capital-class vessels (I've seen 2 Onslaughts, 4 Legions and 5-6 Conquests in such fleets so far).

Some bounty fleets appear to be affected by a bug that causes them to be vastly stronger than they should be. Fleets that are more than 30 ships (excluding fighter wings ofc) are definitely bugged.

The real kicker is that System Explore quest, where you find that ancient cruiser? First time I did it I won against the defending drones, then a MASSIVE pirate fleet does the *teleports behind you* "nothing personel kid!" schtick and there's no winning there.

So after a few updates I started a new game. This time I came a bit better prepared. A huge missile-bus ship, a HEAVY carrier cruiser(5 wings), 4 destroyers and several heavy frigates. This time the defenders have a DRONE BATTLESHIP. WTF? Does this scale with my fleet or something? A battleship defending a cruiser??? And that thing is NASTY, spews endless missiles and does not come alone ... hordes of heavy drones in tow. Simply winning with a single ship left is a challenge, and then come the pirates....

This is just getting frustrating.

The quest is from Legacy of Arkgneisis, not vanilla. There is a good amount of variability in the strength of the defending Derelict fleet to scale up, but the upper strength is capped.

(Also, you can back out of the fight with the Derelicts after you see their fleet comp in the interaction dialog.)
« Last Edit: May 30, 2019, 06:28:21 AM by stormbringer951 »
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TrashMan

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Re: Frustration abound
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2019, 08:41:18 AM »

I’m pretty sure you’re talking about the
Spoiler
Champion Cruiser from the mod Legacy of Arkgneisis. The pirate fleet is commanded by the person who sold you the information to get you to do the dirty work of retrieving the cruiser.
[close]

Huh. I thought it was part of core. Well, my bad.

But the bounty point still sticks. The fleet compositions are out of whack.

I either get a fleet of a few frigates or maybe one destroyer, or a full fleet of top-line capital/carriers. Wheres the middle ground?
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Megas

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Re: Frustration abound
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2019, 09:22:59 AM »

Some of the 300k+ bounties can have about ten capitals and a bunch of cruisers in a no-mod game.  They are beatable, though, with a high-end fleet and some help with dirty tricks.
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Thaago

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Re: Frustration abound
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2019, 10:05:13 AM »

The bounty system does, rarely, put out very overpowered bounties for a level. You can always check the important ships of a bounty before setting out - can even tailor your fleet to deal with them - so its not a problem.

Bounties in general are easy, with usually 1 or 2 exceptions at a time that are a decent challenge. Pirate stations are the best sources of easy money though, as they can be taken down easily by a few destroyers to give over a hundred k.
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TrashMan

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Re: Frustration abound
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2019, 01:32:32 AM »

You seem to forget that those important ships tend to be sorrounded by other ships, so while just killing the main target and darting IS A sound strategy, ti is not always possible to kill him easily OR to retreat.
And then you get attacked by a 20 fighter/bomber wing swarm.

What is used a gauge? Your level? Time elapsed? Does your own fleet even factor in?
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stormbringer951

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Re: Frustration abound
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2019, 05:37:59 AM »

What is used a gauge? Your level? Time elapsed? Does your own fleet even factor in?

Nope, your current fleet doesn't matter. Bounty fleets are created like regular fleets, the number of fleet points they get is based on the current bounty level; this is slowly raised with in-game time since start, but mostly it is raised from successfully completing bounties.

In addition to bounties at your level, it will always try and generate a fixed level 0 bounty (in my experience this equals a few frigates and maybe a destroyer, around 45k credits, that is there to help people who fleet-wiped) and a high-end bounty several levels higher than the current bounty level. You can usually tell which one that is from fleet comp and it being worth more credits than the others.

At higher levels bounties can be deserter faction fleets, which at the same bounty level are usually tougher than regular pirates because they don't have heavily d-modded pirate hulls.

So a while into a campaign you will have a situation where bounty levels look something like this:

At bounty level 8:

Level 0 Bounty (fixed)
Level 8 Bounty (current level)
Level 8 Bounty (current level)
Level 12 Bounty (higher level)
« Last Edit: May 31, 2019, 05:45:12 AM by stormbringer951 »
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SCC

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Re: Frustration abound
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2019, 05:47:52 AM »

I wonder how randomised bounties are. In my current ridiculously hard run, I had a situation where initially bounties were progressing slowly enough that I was keeping up with them, then there was a slew of 250k-350k bounties I had no hope of touching, with only a token 170k bounty once in a while, until the difficulty dropped again and I was able to continue bounty hunting.

Megas

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Re: Frustration abound
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2019, 06:22:17 AM »

For a while, I had a bunch of 200k bounties (around cycle 209) until I slaughtered several (with close wins), then the bounties spiked to 300k+ multi-capital slugfests.  I am not sure time scaling is to blame, but the old-fashioned fleet kill scaling may be too fast now that ships are more expensive and harder to obtain, meaning slower fleet build-up than before.

But yes, there is a noticeable spike from 200k to 300k.  Also, 300k+ can vary from a few capitals that are not too difficult to destroy with a similar fleet of your own, to another with ten or so capitals and the rest filled mostly with cruisers, and because there is no way to deploy that much metal at once even with map size 500, it will be a real slog.  At map size 300, such multi-capital fights devolve into 3v3, or even 2v2 if one of the ships involved is Paragon.
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vagrant

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Re: Frustration abound
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2019, 08:26:58 AM »

For a while, I had a bunch of 200k bounties (around cycle 209) until I slaughtered several (with close wins), then the bounties spiked to 300k+ multi-capital slugfests.  I am not sure time scaling is to blame, but the old-fashioned fleet kill scaling may be too fast now that ships are more expensive and harder to obtain, meaning slower fleet build-up than before.

But yes, there is a noticeable spike from 200k to 300k.  Also, 300k+ can vary from a few capitals that are not too difficult to destroy with a similar fleet of your own, to another with ten or so capitals and the rest filled mostly with cruisers, and because there is no way to deploy that much metal at once even with map size 500, it will be a real slog.  At map size 300, such multi-capital fights devolve into 3v3, or even 2v2 if one of the ships involved is Paragon.

Agreed on the scaling. I like bounties that push the capabilities of my current fleet and my piloting / commanding, but as fleet sizes increase to slog-levels, I lose interest.

Starsector has my favorite combat mechanics in a game, period. I recognize I'm very much on the side of combat-as-sport, but I think where that combat shines most brightly is when the player reaches the point where they must contend and consider the capabilities and merits of EACH ship class. Once bounty fleets scale outside of that realm I think the magic of the combat system falls apart, and it either turns into a drawn out slog, or requires the use of exploitative or degenerate strategies to succeed.

I think there is a place and time for slog-level capital slugfests, but I don't think these should be the norm, especially towards the latter half of the game. Battles in starsector that take a long time to complete due to enemy fleets greatly exceeding the battle size cap, and thus trickle deploying a procession large ships for the player to chew through really start to drag when they become the norm. 

If exploitative or degenerate strategies are required for late-game content, I lose interest, because at that point, I'm bypassing the systemic interactions that made the game interesting for me in the first place. Further, this ruins the strategic side of gameplay for me as well. A solved tactical layer means that incorrect strategic decisions will have much less impact on the player, as they can cheese their way through the content that would otherwise punish them for these mistakes.

When battles start to go towards this end of the spectrum, I find myself abandoning my savegame. Fleet building and battling for these purposes is not interesting to me, as I find it lacks any nuance or variety.
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Alex

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Re: Frustration abound
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2019, 08:41:24 AM »

... but I think where that combat shines most brightly is when the player reaches the point where they must contend and consider the capabilities and merits of EACH ship class. Once bounty fleets scale outside of that realm I think the magic of the combat system falls apart, and it either turns into a drawn out slog, or requires the use of exploitative or degenerate strategies to succeed.

(I'll just say, I'm generally on the same page about this, and some stuff I'm working on right now should hopefully tilt things more away from capital ships being as prevalent or as desireable. Part of this is just the process of me figuring out exactly what works - and what doesn't - on the high end of challenge, so I really appreciate this kind of feedback.)
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Megas

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Re: Frustration abound
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2019, 08:42:39 AM »

I should mention that while bringing ten capitals yourself across the sector is generally impractical, but even if you can fill your entire fleet with capitals and get away with it due to a bounty spawning next to your colonies or deathball expeditions about to attack your battlestation, the fight is not much different aside from taking longer to resolve because map size still limits you to a few big ships active at a time, and it gets tedious with wave after wave of large enemy ships, few at a time, especially if the enemy plays cowardly (with phase ships or carriers).
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Alex

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Re: Frustration abound
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2019, 08:48:42 AM »

Yeah, the capital-heavy lean is kind of necessary to make those fleets at all a threat to defensive stations, but not so much for "regular" fights. Looking at that aspect of it, as well.
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