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Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Blog post: Skills and Story Points (07/08/19)

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Author Topic: Hyperspace Storms: Unfun or Necessary?  (Read 4174 times)

StarScum

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Hyperspace Storms: Unfun or Necessary?
« on: August 14, 2019, 08:43:21 PM »

By far the worst part about this game is navigating hyperspace storms. Its just such a drag when I have a mission to go to the other side of the sector and have to brace myself to spend times looping in and out of storms. It's mindless but i still have to pay attention; its the worst.

I'd cut storms all together but I recognize that navigating hyperspace is part of the challenge of the game. I just question whether there isn't some other way to provide this challenge without it becoming tedious.
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SKKiro

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Re: Hyperspace Storms: Unfun or Necessary?
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2019, 08:46:39 PM »

I personally think they are fine. Most of the time they are scattered around just enough so you can thread the needle, which I find fun to be frank.
However when it's a whole cloud that's like this and you have to make a huge detour is where it can be problematic in my opinion.
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pedro1_1

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Re: Hyperspace Storms: Unfun or Necessary?
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2019, 08:51:07 PM »

emergency burn anyone?

but seriuly on a burn 20 fleet an hiperspace storm will send you flying at burn 30, making then an esential tool of the avid capitan who needs to travel far from one place to anoter, they are only really dangerous in the early game were, geting hit by a chain, can make your ships lose too much CR and, because of that not being able to recover your fleet because of how dry the player is on the early game.
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JasperChwan

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Re: Hyperspace Storms: Unfun or Necessary?
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2019, 09:40:54 PM »

I'd cut storms all together but I recognize that navigating hyperspace is part of the challenge of the game. I just question whether there isn't some other way to provide this challenge without it becoming tedious.

I do agree, it is tedious and unfun especially early on. Now that I have started to understand how to avoid it or mitigate it, it adds  layer of challenge that is mild and constant, which has kept my bounty hunting from getting stale.

Just last night, I had 60 fuel in a large fleet. I stashed everything I could at my fledgling colony and once in hyperspace manage to bounce off of storms with zero fuel to a star with shops. It was one of my favorite moments in the game so far and thrilling.

TLDR: Unfun yes, but also challenging which adds fun back to the game
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Megas

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Re: Hyperspace Storms: Unfun or Necessary?
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2019, 06:00:33 AM »

I like storms because of burn 30.  Storms cut down on the tedium of traveling, and do more good than bad.  Storms are mostly upside and beneficial.  I dislike travel in huge systems (like Penelope's Star) where there is no way to exceed burn 20.  Time is critical, and anything that speeds up travel is great.
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Darloth

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Re: Hyperspace Storms: Unfun or Necessary?
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2019, 12:22:51 PM »

They're usually fine.  Occasionally you run into a big knot of them, at which point remember that emergency burn lets you basically ignore the effects of terrain for a short while - AND you still get the speed boost.

The downside is your fleet will be low on CR and damaged afterwards, and possibly E-Burn will be on cooldown so you can't evade as easily, but if any of those things are changed then the terrain is no longer meaningful and will indeed just be an annoyance.  At least this way it's a choice of whether to go around (costing more fuel) or through (higher risk)

It'd be more impactful if fuel wasn't pretty cheap, mind you.
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Terenin

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Re: Hyperspace Storms: Unfun or Necessary?
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2019, 01:47:42 PM »

Hyperspace storms do two things and two things only - provide meaningful 'terrain' to what is otherwise a flat map with land-marks on it, and add hazards that can double as speed-boosts if you know what you are doing and have planned ahead. As in, you have good repair skills and the resources to spare.

I like them myself, it makes moving from A to B more meaningful due to the layout of the 'terrain' and it helps you either move fast or, if it's not a storm in the cloud, it helps you HIDE. This is how ambushes in hyperspace happens, and I love it because hyperspace becomes more than a means of traveling that's not interacted with, it becomes an alternate map equal to the Warp in 40K - here be dangers lurking, either man-made or 'natural.'

My best advice? Plan for them, keep the fleet's agility and speed up to the point where you move around them, learn to dodge between them when it's clear, and learn when it's wise to intentionally boost your speed at the cost of some more supplies. Also removing max-burn on occasion to improve mobility at the cost of speed can really help you navigate around them.
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Darloth

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Re: Hyperspace Storms: Unfun or Necessary?
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2019, 11:53:26 AM »

I should note - the map should show them more clearly.  If they're meant to be something we discover when we fly there then add fog of war, but right now the hyperspace map only -vaguely- indicates the actual shape of the storms there, and that IS annoying.  You have to remember where there's a passage and where there's just a wall of storm.

That could and should be better.
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Plantissue

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Re: Hyperspace Storms: Unfun or Necessary?
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2019, 12:08:48 PM »

I agree with the above. If it is meant to be discovered, there should be a fog of war. Would feel rewarding, as if you are actively charting hyperspace. Toggling off stascape is useful but is rather vague and would feel more pleasant if it accurately portrayed the deep hyperspace.
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SCC

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Re: Hyperspace Storms: Unfun or Necessary?
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2019, 02:21:43 PM »

In 0.9, there were just too many storms. Now their numbers are more manageable and if you wish, you can avoid them or use them to move faster. I typically care little enough, and manage my resources well enough, that I just alt-tab out for long hyperspace travel. I can always get more supplies and I rarely ever get jumped on by anything.

Cyan Leader

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Re: Hyperspace Storms: Unfun or Necessary?
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2019, 06:30:11 AM »

I agree with SCC, in .8 I always managed to dodge the annoying parts but they became too dense in .9.
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mangalore

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Re: Hyperspace Storms: Unfun or Necessary?
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2019, 10:02:50 AM »

They are not fun nor necessary.

I get the idea of creating "terrain" in hyperspace, but they do not really do anything but annoy you if you get into a flipper arcade for a while as you tried to cross some cloud heavy region. But that's it. You may have used more fuel and supplies but in late game that is not the issue, getting to the fun bits where you may be at risk of losing a ship or two is!

I could see a kind of weather system where currents/winds increase your burn levels to travel but can also turn bad, but overall the current solution is
1) too static, those clouds do not feel like they inform travel routes.
2) too rng. You usually cannot do anything about them. If you don't want people using that terrain, make it unroutable, at least for autopilot.
3) too dull.
4) actually without consequence (which given their rng nature is a good thing!). Maybe once in 1000 times a storm might lead you into a fight you tried to avoid. Otherwise it just annoys the hell out of you from A to B and costs more money.

I don't see how this is creating more fun or consequence. With a system of currents which connect systems and which may change or have storms from time to time I could see some Sid Meier Pirates! kind of travel mode which can be fun, but the current system is just a time waster and not adding to gameplay.

The core gameplay loop is: Get mission, go to mission area, beat bad guy, loot, repeat. This is just getting in the way of that gameplay loop.

if you'd want more of a Sid Meyer' pirates! gameplay loop you kind of need a smarter / dynamic system of hyperspace travel that right now.
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Terenin

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Re: Hyperspace Storms: Unfun or Necessary?
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2019, 11:38:04 AM »

The "consequences" are that you have to

A) navigate through them trying to time the travel through the clouds, dodging the one's with storms in them, or...

B) forgo the travel through the clouds and use the open lanes instead.

This messes with direct line travel, yes, but it costs NO extra supplies per day when you don't get hit by storms. It will however cost you more time travelling, ergo more fuel and some extra supplies due to more days spent travelling. It's now up to you to do the math and figure out if you would prefer the way around, or diving into the clouds gambling on getting hit or not, and if you get hit, if the extra supplies per day comes out as less then it would cost you to 'go around.'

Seems like a decent consequence to me.
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SafariJohn

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Re: Hyperspace Storms: Unfun or Necessary?
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2019, 12:01:08 PM »

I prefer to hit storms. It saves me RL time and fuel, and the supply cost is negligible.
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mangalore

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Re: Hyperspace Storms: Unfun or Necessary?
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2019, 01:52:27 PM »

The "consequences" are that you have to

A) navigate through them trying to time the travel through the clouds, dodging the one's with storms in them, or...

B) forgo the travel through the clouds and use the open lanes instead.

This messes with direct line travel, yes, but it costs NO extra supplies per day when you don't get hit by storms. It will however cost you more time travelling, ergo more fuel and some extra supplies due to more days spent travelling. It's now up to you to do the math and figure out if you would prefer the way around, or diving into the clouds gambling on getting hit or not, and if you get hit, if the extra supplies per day comes out as less then it would cost you to 'go around.'

Seems like a decent consequence to me.

Those "consequences" are completely inconsequential. In late game colony investments, capital ships as well as the target bounties and missions you do rank in the 200-500k range (plus significant scavenging resources which might end up your fleet with excess fuel after having stripped the wrecks clear). You can bulldoze through any storm and pay the difference because they do not matter.
I am never bemoaning the supplies or money lost, but the time me as a player wasted.

The bad thing is being thrown into a pinball machine which is simply a time waster which makes it harder to get to the exciting gameplay. As I outlined I am not fundamentally against some terrain dynamics, but they need to actually give you some positive feedback as well as negative risks to give you as a player agency and feel a negative outcome as being the fair result of some decision of yours in gameplay.
In pirates! that would be you chasing some galleon around the Carribean when you accidently clip a hurricane and now have your sails wrecked and speed impaired so running away from some privateer gets tough. The reason this kind of consequence feels fair is because that on map travel feels meaningful to get to the battles. You chase your enemies or your enemies chase you.

In Starsector all the meaningful gameplay takes place inside system at distinct locations (ABC) so everything in hyperspace is mainly idle time to get there. At best you may get a random encounter en route, but that is also no different from in system travel.

Hyperspace currently does not feel organic in how those clouds are placed, ships travel in or around it or how they interject into a player'splans. They are just something that wastes a players time before he can have fun, be it battle, trading, colony management or simply outfitting your ships.
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