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Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Blog post: Personal Contacts (08/13/20)

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Author Topic: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap  (Read 4350 times)

AxleMC131

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Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« on: May 31, 2019, 11:45:41 PM »

If this issue has been alleviated in the recent versions and I just haven't noticed, please discount this entire thread. ;D

I recall a common, minor (ish) issue prior to 0.9 with the function of post-battle ship recovery, that issue being that if your fleet was at the maximum number of ships (30 default), you would be unable to recover new ships. Perfectly reasonable, but not immediately obvious to a player who doesn't realise there's a fleet cap at all (or doesn't realise it prevents them picking up extra ships even if they aren't being used). The real issue is that the player has no way to access the fleet screen while in the post-battle recovery menu, so if they're at cap and have a tasty ship they could recover from the fight, there's no way to scuttle another ship they have to make space for the new one - ideally you would leave the recovery screen without recovering anything, then remove a ship from your fleet, then go back to the recovery screen... Except you can't do that. Darn. And sure, you can get around this just by "being prepared" and making sure to always have space in your fleet for newcomers, but again, I feel this issue is biggest for new players who don't comprehend this full extent of the fleet cap.

An option that could alleviate this somewhat is to have mothballed ships not count towards the fleet's maximum ship count, and also make post-battle recovered ships (at least if the fleet is already at cap) be automatically mothballed. Then, if the fleet is still "full" you simply lock any mothballed ships as such, and make them unable to be reinstated in combat/transport/whatever duty until another ship is removed or manually mothballed itself.

For extra points you could also have a warning popup in the Intel portion of the screen (like you would for the fleet being over cargo/fuel/crew capacity) that lets the player know "[Some number of] newly recovered ships have been mothballed... blah blah blah." You could also have a tip in there about having to mothball/remove other ships in order to unmothball the newest craft.
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Megas

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Re: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2019, 09:53:36 AM »

The fleet cap that cuts off excess ships for recovery makes that Industry perk that increases recovery chance of enemy ships worthless.
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SCC

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Re: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2019, 10:04:17 AM »

Which is why Axle suggests to make it possible to go over the cap with mothballed ships, and make all recovered ships above the cap automatically mothballed. I would rather have the player ship cap dropped entirely, I don't see a point in it.

Serenitis

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Re: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2019, 10:10:40 AM »

I would rather have the player ship cap dropped entirely, I don't see a point in it.
Same.
Even the old 'logistics' system was better than a hard cap.
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Midnight Kitsune

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Re: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2019, 11:52:34 AM »

I would rather have the player ship cap dropped entirely, I don't see a point in it.
Same.
Even the old 'logistics' system was better than a hard cap.
LOL NO.
Before it was basically required to get the logistics skills as 40 logistics wasn't anything. Like it was enough to MAYBE get a solo conquest. Oh and crew ate both supplies and log cap... Now, with the cap spam? F*** no!
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vorpal+5

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Re: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2019, 12:02:41 PM »

Did not even know there was an hard cap. That's ugly and disappointing.
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Megas

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Re: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2019, 12:06:53 PM »

Not fond of Logistics as implemented during 0.6.  Unskilled players had 20 or 25 DP, and max Leadership/Fleet Logistics had 100 DP, and personnel ate Logistics too.  You needed Leadership 1 or 2 just to fly a battleship solo without taking penalties.  At Leadership/Fleet Logistics 10, you could get two or three capitals or twenty frigates.  Players needed to be able to solo fleets with overpowered combat skills back then because no-Leadership characters could not use more than a few frigates or a single cruiser.

Given how 0.6.x releases worked, player needed to spend most of their DP on Atlases either to haul excessive loot (up to 0.6.2) or food runs (0.6.5).  Fighting force in an Atlas fleet was likely solo Medusa or Hyperion.

A similar version today with a much higher DP cap, enough for multiple capitals or several dozen frigates (and none eaten by personnel) would be more useful.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2019, 12:09:50 PM by Megas »
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Thaago

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Re: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2019, 02:02:07 PM »

I'm fine with the hard cap, though this suggestion would be nice for taking back ships as loot.
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AxleMC131

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Re: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2019, 03:38:16 PM »

Did not even know there was an hard cap. That's ugly and disappointing.

My point exactly. (Although if you hadn't noticed, what are you complaining about? :P jk )



I personally have no issue with the fleet cap, except for the topic of the thread, the "locking out" of post-battle ship recovery. It's a hard cap, yes, but it's also modifiable to the player's taste in the config file, as with so many other values. I like to see it as a fundamental limit to how many ships the player can, as a fleet commander, sensibly command.

That said, I would not be against fleet cap becoming a more interactive value - perhaps there could be a player skill that increases the number of ships the player can have in their fleet, or even have officers allow additional ships (so your officers act more like sub-commanders than just captains). I'm not familiar with this "logistics limit" from 0.6.x you lot speak of, since that was before I got back into the game, so I'm not sure how that went down. But that's a topic for another thread I think.
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vorpal+5

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Re: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2019, 08:16:17 PM »

Haha I'm complaining because it means I'll have to phase out some of my frigates soon for a bigger ships. Somehow I fancy having a plausible, blue-navy style, split of ships, with lighter ships escorting heavier ones.

Can't do that if with an hard cap. If the cap was expressed in logi points, then that would be different.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2019, 08:27:03 PM »

I started playing after the fleet cap was implemented, what is the fleet cap trying to prevent? Just crazy frigate swarms? Supply/fuel consumption would do a decent job at preventing excessively large fleets without the hard cap I think.
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Histidine

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Re: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2019, 08:34:33 PM »

Also in favor of giving the hard cap the boot.
  • It's a completely invisible value until you run into it.
  • It doesn't place anything resembling a meaningful constraint on the player's power, since you can always gain more power by replacing smaller ships with cruisers and capitals.
  • What it does do is prohibit certain fleet configurations (e.g. frigate packs), to no particular gameplay benefit. Further, this disproportionately affects the already disadvantaged smaller ships.
Barring that, I support Axle's suggestion.
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Alex

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Re: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2019, 08:53:19 PM »

The "gameplay benefit" is, more or less, saving the player from managing the loadouts on a huge number of ships. Well, that, and the UI can't really handle huge numbers of ships well (which ties into the pain of managing that many ships, too). And, well, most players aren't going to run into it.

However, ideally the game would encourage you to have fewer ships, so that running into the fleet cap was a very rare occurrence indeed, and not something you'd do.

One of the mechanics that already does this is the officer limit. Ships with officers are just way better, right, so adding combat ships beyond your officer limit has considerable diminishing returns. I'd like to add more mechanics that encourage smaller fleets (in positive, benefit-providing ways) without being too heavy-handed about it.

What would actually really help me here - if you're running up against the fleet limit, I'd love to know why that is. What are those extra ships giving you? In my mind, 11 combat ships (flagship + 10 officers) is about the most you'd really want, plus some support ships, which would leave plenty of room to spare before coming up against the limit. You might get more if you didn't invest in officer management and need to make it up through volume, but you're still limited in how much you can deploy.

So, what is it about? I'm sure there are a variety of reasons, and I'd love to hear them.
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Histidine

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Re: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2019, 09:42:33 PM »

Hmm, I admit that when I do run into the limit it's something I could rectify with a bit of effort.

Spoiler
Sample endgame fleet from one of my saves:

Ships 1-15
Ships 16-26
4 slots free for buying/salvaging new ships

I have 3 unofficered combat ships for a couple of reasons:
- A bit of additional force on the hardest battles
- Unofficered frigates can still help during pursuit battles, in the event I decide to manually fight one
- Sometimes I want to participate in a battle using a smaller ship, rather than spending the resources on deploying a Paragon

Granted, for the last point I could usually take one of my officers' ships, since they likely won't be deployed. (They may not always be captaining a ship I'd want to fly though)

The abundance of small support ships reflects my tendency to do things like use the same random Buffaloes I pick up early in the game all the way to the end (although I haven't done so here). They're available, they're good for carrying Surveying Equipment, and they provide capacity for all the loot I get when going on salvaging expeditions or fighting many major battles. (Yeah, I hold on to all the Metals I pick up)

Even in the pictured case, I could free up two slots by shedding the two Nebulae. I don't need the personnel capacity, and can afford to spend a bit more on any surveying I do.
I could also store the Valkyries when going salvaging and pick them up later when I actually want to raid/invade other planets, but then I'd have to remember to take them out of storage...
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Suggestion: Surveying Equipment tooltip displays the current fleetwide cost reduction, somewhat like what Salvage Gantry has.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2019, 09:45:06 PM by Histidine »
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Goumindong

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Re: Don't count mothballed ships towards the fleet cap
« Reply #14 on: June 01, 2019, 10:50:24 PM »

What would actually really help me here - if you're running up against the fleet limit, I'd love to know why that is. What are those extra ships giving you? In my mind, 11 combat ships (flagship + 10 officers) is about the most you'd really want, plus some support ships, which would leave plenty of room to spare before coming up against the limit. You might get more if you didn't invest in officer management and need to make it up through volume, but you're still limited in how much you can deploy.

The big things are variety.

More ships lets you have different fleets for different fights. It lets you have backup hulls in case something happens to your main. It lets you downsize to prepared ships for fights that dont require full deployment. It also lets you more effectively chain battles againt some of the lategame threats.

At the very least 40 isnt enough for frigate or small ship or low quality ship focused fleets (especially if you want to use high tech ships since their logistics profiles are not good.) Not necessarily because you can deploy 40 ships but because cycling reinforcements is a legitimate and necessary tactic when ships cannot necessarily survive a fight against capitals

The main problem is that it makes stacking small logistics ships optimal. But this could be fixed by making big logistcs ships more efficient.

Generally i dont run into the fleet limit because i dont play in ways that end up needing it. But not because i dont want to play in those ways, but because theyre not good* when constrained by the fleet limit. If a junk pirate has to transition into a higher tech or carrier focused fleet then taking the junk pirate skills hurts you in the long run because recovering and maintaining junks cannot scale on a hard fleet limit.

*they already have significant weaknesses in terms of resources. Playing junk pirate as a structure is difficult because it still takes loads of resources to get junks you lose back and flight ready.

I might even propose a change to reinforced bulkheads to fix it. “When a ship with this system is recovered by its owners it does not lose CR beyond what would have been lost in the battle”. Alternately regaining CR should not have a supply cost (yes i know this interfers with some other systems)
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