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Author Topic: Skills and Story Points  (Read 39223 times)

WastedAlmond

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #105 on: July 09, 2019, 04:30:16 AM »

This update seems promising. I like RPG stuff a lot, so this kinda content gets me excited. The story points seem like a really cool addition, but all the conversation about the name for the points gave me some ideas. Maybe something useful can be gotten out of them.

One thing that could be done to the "story points" to give them some fluffy flavor would be to tie the name into what kind of character you roll. For example a tritach start would begin you with a few of their smaller ships and a commission. This start could also rename story points to something flavorful for the faction, like uuhh... Executive points. For pirate players they'd be Rogue points. A tooltip should point out that these are special "story points", to avoid confusion.

Then again the name could be something more generic (yet fluffy) like "Connections" or "Favor points", because as the player accumulates experience and grows in power they'd also gain contacts and powerful people owing favors to them. People who could know a certain someone who could refit ships like nobody else in the sector. A gray market of connections if you like. The points could even at some point in the future, be introduced by the player meeting a powerful individual/administrator who needs a favor.

Or the points could be explained by something special in the player character themselves. Like a Domain era experimental quantum computing interface, that somehow ended up in the player's head. Which would be a good excuse for the player being able to pull off some weird stuff (as well as why they could grab them droneships, when nobody else seems capable of doing so). While remaining neutral enough that it would fit with whatever playthrough the player attempted. It could even have some plotpoints or storylines related to it. This could help the player feel special. The points could also be called something more scifi at this point! I'm terrible with names, so I'll just say "Quantum points" and shamefully leave it at that.

Thanks for all the hard work! 8)
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Megas

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #106 on: July 09, 2019, 04:46:29 AM »

Re: Loadout Design.

It was mandatory because it was so good, but in general ships do not need an increase in OP. With the 10% there are few to no hard choices in ship design: just put in all the best things and call it a day (and for most ships, you can indeed fit the best of everything, enough flux, and the needed hullmods). Fewer OP lowers total power level, but increases the design space for ships because there are more viable tradeoffs. I think lowering the total power level is neutral - these things go up and down - but increasing the design space is very valuable.

Some ships are exceptions to this and need more OP, but I think those are special cases rather than general, and they could even be balanced in other ways if there are other reasons to keep OP the same. For the Shrike and Wolf for example, increasing the base flux stats would be a better choice than increasing OP, in my opinion.

Re: the blog post
Cool! Reminds me of the skill choices for XCOM soldiers, but it aims to avoid the pitfall of one skill being much superior to the other.

I disagree, I think it will reduce build variety. There are lots of weapon layouts that require a lot support from hull mods and vents/capacitors to be viable. Less OP means these loadouts will be worse so 'fun' loadouts that use the more eccentric guns will go away/ be less competitive with the more efficient loadouts. Most ships feel like they get enough to feel complete, but I can't think of any ship except maybe the paragon where I actually put everything I want on without concern. Most ships have to drop stuff that I want to fit other things that I want. Some ships (like the shrike) can barely fit the basics with +10% op. I very frequently leave mounts empty to get extra OP, or drop hull mods for extra vents, or downgrade weapons for an extra hullmod, which indicates to me that many ships are a bit tight on OP even with +10% op. I think ships on +10% OP felt like they were in a good place in general with some exceptions either way.
intrinsic_parity's experience is mine as well.  The majority of ships barely have enough OP with LD3.  Without LD3, the number of ships with enough OP can probably be counted on one hand.  That is a reason why LD3 is must-have.

As for Paragon, if I put campaign mods on it, then even with +10% OP, I need to choose between keeping Hardened Shields (better defense) or Advanced Optics (for maximum sniping range with quad lances).

what the hell is "high scatter amplifier"?beam weapon could deal hard flux??
So what's the ratio?5%?10%?

It's 100% hard flux, but it also halves beam weapon range - as a multiplier! - so they stop being long-range weapons.
Really disagree with this. I can make a Tachyon Lance disaster with Advance Optics and the Amplifier, and just let other weapons go to hell to save OP for me.
Or to specify, Paragon + Tac-Lance + Adv-Optics + HSA = Let's strike all ships' face.
1000 range beams get their range boosts then take half range?  Probably less range than 600 or 700 range weapons like pulse laser.  Nevermind PD weapons that also lose range and likely become worthless, except maybe burst PD.  Phase Lance, with the range of Pulse Laser but none of the hard flux (that will get hard flux after half range penalty)?  Forget about it.

I mean, isn't this why you can now get two free hull mods?  That seems potentially WAY better than 10% OP.

You have to spend story points for this though (that have a lot of other uses). I don't know exactly how the balance will work but my guess is that you will only get this on your flagship and maybe a your officers ships. The average ship in your fleet will likely not have this. Also two free hull mods is only marginally better than 10% op and limits you a lot more as well. It definitely hurts some ships more than others.
And if you want to keep the perma-mod ships pristine after they die and gain (D) mods, you need to restore them or reload.  Currently, without mods, player can just buy or a build a fresh new one if it is more convenient.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2019, 04:54:11 AM by Megas »
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TaLaR

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #107 on: July 09, 2019, 04:51:40 AM »

what the hell is "high scatter amplifier"?beam weapon could deal hard flux??
So what's the ratio?5%?10%?

It's 100% hard flux, but it also halves beam weapon range - as a multiplier! - so they stop being long-range weapons.
Really disagree with this. I can make a Tachyon Lance disaster with Advance Optics and the Amplifier, and just let other weapons go to hell to save OP for me.
Or to specify, Paragon + Tac-Lance + Adv-Optics + HSA = Let's strike all ships' face.
1000 range beams get their range boosts then take half range?  Probably less range than 600 or 700 range weapons.  Nevermind PD weapons that also lose range and become worthless, except maybe burst PD.  Phase Lance, with the range of Pulse Laser but none of the hard flux (that will get hard flux after half range penalty)?  Forget about it.

A hullmod like that would be much more useful if it could switched on/off during combat.
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Histidine

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #108 on: July 09, 2019, 05:09:41 AM »

- I have a certain liking for the "story points" name, because I read it as conveying "this is the sort of thing that only a hero can do, in fact it is almost the definition of a hero". Maybe it could be replaced with something more fitting in-universe though.
"Hero points" or "legend points" have the same idea but may be too RPG-ish? Don't have any other ideas.

- As per kazi's suggestion: The name "story points" certainly makes it sound like it should be awarded for great deeds.
Although this should mostly be stuff the player is going to do anyway like "kill your first capital" or "settle your first planet", precisely to avoid weird incentives. The other end — awarding points for actions with huge consequences that require careful deliberation (and mostly involving factors other than getting a story point or two out of the deal), like "conquer a faction's capital" — would also work.

- Lol @ flux capacitor icon

- (unlike the Industry aptitude icon which is just two of the skill icons 'shopped together, meh)

- What kind of skills will AI fleet commanders have? Can their officers have elite skills? (For that matter, can their ships have perma-hullmods?) It might be good to get a GUI (both in combat and in the fleet interaction dialog) for displaying the skills of officers on both sides.

- For that matter, do officers have to learn skills in the same order the player does, or is it just "pick what you like" as with the AI cores?
« Last Edit: July 09, 2019, 05:32:44 AM by Histidine »
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David

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #109 on: July 09, 2019, 05:14:36 AM »

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Dudok22

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #110 on: July 09, 2019, 07:04:20 AM »

 Just read through it quickly once and it looks very interesting! I am looking forward to trying it out myself after its done and released in the future.
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Cyan Leader

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #111 on: July 09, 2019, 07:37:54 AM »

The tricky part is actually the UI - how would "specify a ship or a weapon" look when there's 100+ to choose from, when you factor in mods? Half-thinking about it being some sort of "command line query" interface and the action being presented as doing some sort of hacking of logistics reports or some such. But having a fun UI for that sort of thing could be more work than it's worth.

That's where the Codex should come in use, I feel.

Anyway, are the maximum amount of permanent hullmods modifiable in the settings file?
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Midnight Kitsune

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #112 on: July 09, 2019, 07:43:10 AM »

Anyway, are the maximum amount of permanent hullmods modifiable in the settings file?
If so, would it be possible to make the setting per hull size?
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SteelSoldier

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #113 on: July 09, 2019, 07:54:54 AM »

[Redacted] Points
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Grievous69

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #114 on: July 09, 2019, 08:00:16 AM »

Not sure if this was already suggested but simply just ''campaign points''. I mean you obviously only use them in campaign, for a lot of different things so its name shouldn't be something specific. Honestly I don't have any problems with them being called story points but I can see how people could misunderstand.
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Cyan Leader

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #115 on: July 09, 2019, 08:23:47 AM »

A couple out of the top of my head:

Chronicle points
Destiny points (per the original reference)
Providence points
Will points
Spacer points
Campaign points (aforementioned by Grievous69 but I felt like repeating since it's pretty good)
Adept points
Proficiency points

But I think the best one was the one said before in the thread, Starfarer points.

Besides the confusion that Story points might create, another reason I'm not a fan of it is because it just sounds simple. The word is too broad and doesn't have a cool ringer to it.

At the end of the day this is a minor point, though.
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SafariJohn

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #116 on: July 09, 2019, 09:02:41 AM »

I would also like to chime in and say it seems like "story" points could cause false expectations.


Anywho.. remnant and derelict ships? Guess it was somewhat expected, also especially since they wouldn't really be fully player flyable (or configurable if i got that right?)

You can refit them, just can't pilot them.

You did block transferring command mid-battle, right? ;)
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Alex

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #117 on: July 09, 2019, 09:40:21 AM »

What about spending a decent number of story points to modify a certain blueprint to have a built in hull mod? It seems like it will might not be worth spending story points on frigates/destroyers beyond maybe your early game flagships, so frigates/destroyers in a late game fleet might actually be a bit less viable.

You get more bonus XP for building stuff into smaller ships. I'm hesitant to build permanent mods into blueprints - seems like it might become optimal to do that (one-time spend of story points, unlimited built-in mods). Plus it's kind of hairy implementation-wise.


Some ships are exceptions to this and need more OP, but I think those are special cases rather than general, and they could even be balanced in other ways if there are other reasons to keep OP the same. For the Shrike and Wolf for example, increasing the base flux stats would be a better choice than increasing OP, in my opinion.

Hmm. That also makes sense. This isn't quite the thread for it, but do any ships other than the Shrike and the Wolf stand out as maybe needing a bit of help? Regardless of exactly the form that help might take.


We've already got that interface: the Custom Production screen. You could also limit the ships and weapons available to choose from based on the faction that you're hacking into. You're not going to divert a Paragon from the Hegemony when they don't even have one.

Ahh, yeah, good point! Thinking about this some more - this (not using this UI, but the idea in general) would be kind of a weird experience for a new player, wouldn't it. "Here, have a list of every ship and weapon in the game." That's, in a real way, spoiling a lot of their experience by showing them the exact breadth of content to expect and nuking the sense of wonder/exploration/etc from orbit. So it seems like it ought to be something more limited.


I don't know exactly how the balance will work but my guess is that you will only get this on your flagship and maybe a your officers ships. The average ship in your fleet will likely not have this. Also two free hull mods is only marginally better than 10% op and limits you a lot more as well. It definitely hurts some ships more than others.

If things work out like they "should", you probably wouldn't be using un-officered ships too much. Sometimes, certainly, but the bulk of your combat ships ought to have officers.


I want to say that I think +100% top speed is a mistake for the phase ship skill. Top speed is NOT what a phase ship needs. Phase ships tend to not have enough maneuverability and/or acceleration.

Half the reason for the speed boost is QoL, really - while time dilation makes them effectively fast, it still feels slow moving around. It is of course combat-beneficial as well, just takes a bit more forward planning if your acceleration isn't up to snuff. Which if you take Helmsmanship and put in Auxiliary Thrusters, you could make super good already.


I can see you have been kicking this around for a long time Alex, it feels like the last piece of the puzzle just clicked into place for me. Essentially these story points fix most the currents weaknesses of Starsector and turn them into strengths and opportunities for player narrative instead. I think getting bonus points as a one off for doing cool things is a good idea too but overall I think you've nailed it in one. The bonus exp for certain choices keeps them from being hoarded, very simple and effective solution, and the fact that they are essentially infinite should keep the ball rolling well into end game. Maybe a small bonus too for having no story points left? I can't wait to see this in action.. Great work mate  :)

Thank you! Happy you like. (As far as a bonus for not having any points, hmm. That wouldn't actually "work" mechanics-wise - bonus XP is an "amount of bonus XP you get", not a "state in which you get double XP", if that makes sense.)



How many skills are there like automated ships skill, that change the gameplay very tangibly and significantly, or at least offer something that you actually can't do without them? Or, perhaps, it's better to ask if all tier 5 skills are as crazy as that.

Automated Ships is defintiely the furthest-out one.

Third edit: Another thing! Make story it possible to spend story points on small caches of resources, ships and weapons, to put new players who screwed up back on track. Early game is pretty unforgiving.

Yep, something similar is on my list, going to take a look at it.


Yeah, automated ships sounds powerful. Normal fleets are limited to 8-10 useful ships (by officers), rest fodder. Auto ships use cores as officer-equivalent to go (how far?) above this limit.
Plus from how it reads, automated ships are OP-scaled instead of constant like officers. Is it rebirth of frigate fleet? (or at least 8-10 bigger ships + auto frigates).

Scaled by deployment recovery cost, now - but for automated ships, that's also increased based on the type of AI core assigned. So, you could get say 4 auto-frigates with Alpha Cores, but iirc you'd already start getting into diminishing returns on that. Still powerful, though, and still possibly OP.


It's 100% hard flux, but it also halves beam weapon range - as a multiplier! - so they stop being long-range weapons.
Really disagree with this. I can make a Tachyon Lance disaster with Advance Optics and the Amplifier, and just let other weapons go to hell to save OP for me.
Or to specify, Paragon + Tac-Lance + Adv-Optics + HSA = Let's strike all ships' face.

Repeat on range being reduced by half. You could get more range, DPS, and flux efficiency with Plasma Cannons. The only thing you wouldn't get from that is shield-piercing EMP, but the Paragon can already pair Tachyon Lances with stuff to build hard flux, and at longer range.


Very much looking forward to further ship differentiation with the story-point based hull mods!

I'm being greedy here,

Spoiler
but what about a faction hull-mod (eg Like the Hegemony) that you can install permanently into ship blueprints (Perhaps with a fairly high story-point based cost and limited to a small number of ship blueprints per game).
You could name this hull-mod after your Faction and on integrating it into a ship blue print it would provide small permanent bonuses to the base stats of the ship, much like the Fourteenth Battlegroup built in hull-mod does.  Of course that would make the 14th Battlegroup hull-mods a bit redundant, so perhaps a choice of several more focused hull-mods focusing on things eg Speed, Armoured, Shielded, Offence, Flux:

"KC Shipworks" (Speed) <- Player named hull-mod
+10% Top Speed
+10% Manuverability & Acceleration

"KC Shipworks" (Armoured)
+10% Armour
+10% Hull

"KC Shipworks" (Shielded):
-10% Damage taken by shields
-25% Shield Flux/sec

"KC Shipworks" (Offence):
+10% Damage dealt
+10% Weapon Range

"KC Shipworks" (Flux):
+10% Flux Capacity
+10% Flux Dissipation

Ignoring the randomly selected bonuses I've assigned to these hull-mods (a bit boring, likely overpowered and with a distinct lack of anything for Carriers), I think it would be neat to be able to create your own faction specific modified blue-prints.  In addition, I don't know how difficult it would be, but it would also be great to get basic colour change options for your ships (perhaps even be able to paint your faction flag on ships & blueprints).
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Maybe a bit greedy :) See my previous comment about being hesitant to add perma-mods to blueprints... seems like it'd possibly too good.

Color change options, stuff is not really set up for that. This came up a number of times a while back; also did actually try it way early on and just didn't end up with anything promising.



What someone brought up has me concerned: the loss of the +op skill, the need to semi spend a resource, and the addition of perma hull mods makes me think that there will be less build diversity than there is now. Without the ability to remove these mods (maybe a space dock could for a fee of credits or starfarer points) it will encouage you to either A) add in stuff that is good on all ships like ITU or Effecency Overhaul. Or B) It will encouage you to add in the most expensive mod you can to get the most OP out of everything. Do I wait until I get a better mod or do I go ahead and just put RB and EO on this ship? I can see this being a pretty big newbie trap too

That sounds like a reasonable choice to present, no? And some degree of this is kind of an inevitable consequence of giving ships more personality.


Spoiler
This update seems promising. I like RPG stuff a lot, so this kinda content gets me excited. The story points seem like a really cool addition, but all the conversation about the name for the points gave me some ideas. Maybe something useful can be gotten out of them.

One thing that could be done to the "story points" to give them some fluffy flavor would be to tie the name into what kind of character you roll. For example a tritach start would begin you with a few of their smaller ships and a commission. This start could also rename story points to something flavorful for the faction, like uuhh... Executive points. For pirate players they'd be Rogue points. A tooltip should point out that these are special "story points", to avoid confusion.

Then again the name could be something more generic (yet fluffy) like "Connections" or "Favor points", because as the player accumulates experience and grows in power they'd also gain contacts and powerful people owing favors to them. People who could know a certain someone who could refit ships like nobody else in the sector. A gray market of connections if you like. The points could even at some point in the future, be introduced by the player meeting a powerful individual/administrator who needs a favor.

Or the points could be explained by something special in the player character themselves. Like a Domain era experimental quantum computing interface, that somehow ended up in the player's head. Which would be a good excuse for the player being able to pull off some weird stuff (as well as why they could grab them droneships, when nobody else seems capable of doing so). While remaining neutral enough that it would fit with whatever playthrough the player attempted. It could even have some plotpoints or storylines related to it. This could help the player feel special. The points could also be called something more scifi at this point! I'm terrible with names, so I'll just say "Quantum points" and shamefully leave it at that.

Thanks for all the hard work! 8)
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Hmm - I get where you're coming from, and it sounds neat! But, I think it's important to keep the name of the points very abstract; as soon as you get into specifics, certain uses of them start making less sense. This is exactly the kind of fun thinking about what goes on in-fiction that story points are meant to encourage, though, so it seems like they're working in that regard :)


- I have a certain liking for the "story points" name, because I read it as conveying "this is the sort of thing that only a hero can do, in fact it is almost the definition of a hero". Maybe it could be replaced with something more fitting in-universe though.
"Hero points" or "legend points" have the same idea but may be too RPG-ish? Don't have any other ideas.

Hmm.

- What kind of skills will AI fleet commanders have? Can their officers have elite skills? (For that matter, can their ships have perma-hullmods?) It might be good to get a GUI (both in combat and in the fleet interaction dialog) for displaying the skills of officers on both sides.

Still working through that. Their officers will likely have some elite skills, though. Probably not perma-mods unless it's a special fleet - otherwise, farming ships with perma-mods seems like it could be too appealing over building them in yourself. Was thinking about a GUI, but not keen on adding something like that that the player would feel obligated to read through prior to every fight.

- For that matter, do officers have to learn skills in the same order the player does, or is it just "pick what you like" as with the AI cores?

It's similar-ish.They get picks from the same tier-based system (by default, two tiers - 4 skill totals - are presented to pick from at each level-up), and higher tiers are unlocked at a higher officer level. So it's roughly similar, but more flexible about the rules.


Anyway, are the maximum amount of permanent hullmods modifiable in the settings file?

Yep!


If so, would it be possible to make the setting per hull size?

Ahh, I don't think so. It *is* however possible to make (via a custom, hidden built-in hullmod) a certain hull have a higher number of perma-mods that can be installed.


[Redacted] Points

Ha!


Besides the confusion that Story points might create, another reason I'm not a fan of it is because it just sounds simple. The word is too broad and doesn't have a cool ringer to it.

In a way, blandness is a feature since you can project whatever you want onto it.

Not sure if this was already suggested but simply just ''campaign points''. I mean you obviously only use them in campaign, for a lot of different things so its name shouldn't be something specific. Honestly I don't have any problems with them being called story points but I can see how people could misunderstand.

Ah - hmm. That could work too, but I do like that story points, well, have the word "story" in them. Even though it does conflict with "story" missions.


You did block transferring command mid-battle, right? ;)

Yes! And also transferring command before battle in the fleet interaction dialog. (I forgot to at first, though, and then a day later was like "waaaaaait a minute"...)
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Dexy

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #118 on: July 09, 2019, 10:44:49 AM »

Removing the aptitude is clearly the right thing.

I am not sure that forcing the player to progress through skill tiers is a good thing. Are you sure that new players are really having a problem picking skills and that this problem is so bad it justifies removing choices from experienced players? Players will be able to reallocate their skill points with story points so it's not really a problem if they make some bad decisions with their skills.

AI core officers sound fun.

Story points sound interesting but I worry that there could be a balance problem if some uses for story points grant permanent, or long lasting benefits (like making an officer's skill elite) while other uses are "frivolous". I don't think the bonus experience thing addresses this. If the more frivolous uses are effectively free, then using story points becomes a no brainer. Obviously they will not be free, and then I will probably decide that I should invest all story points into permanent or long lasting things, such as creating the best possible officers and giving them ships with permanent hullmods. In the long run this should give much more power to the player, which means that the game might become too easy, or that the higher difficulty will be balanced around this sort of powerplay with little room for frivolous things. So I think story points should be mostly about frivolous and fun things, convenient things like allowing skill point reallocation.
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Megas

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Re: Skills and Story Points
« Reply #119 on: July 09, 2019, 10:47:24 AM »

When I first saw "story" points, I thought those would be points to affect campaign plot/story points (or somehow let player get the golden ending), not enhance skills or ships and the like.  I see story points as presented by the blog as alternative Loadout Design 3 and skill boosters.
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