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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: New player thoughts  (Read 471 times)

Locklave

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New player thoughts
« on: August 19, 2019, 10:05:37 AM »

Firstly let me state I love this game and it's fulfilling game play desires from games like Privateer/Freelancer/MOO2/Stellaris that those games couldn't scratch. I've been playing it way too much for about 3 weeks. My experience is 100% the un-modded game, I haven't even looked at mods yet.

Skills

- Remove the entire combat tree and fold it into the other 3 trees. It sucks that the player seems doomed to be the worst captain in his fleet and this is mainly due to the other trees providing Fleet wide bonuses and QoL mechanics, having to waste 3 points just to fully open up combat when you maybe have 9-15 points left over after important skill are taken.

- Make the base tree unlock skills do anything, they make certain levels ups feel meaningless. They feel bad. Not so much a issue of balance.

- Not using AI Cores is brutally punishing on skill points and the Factions attacks you (Expeditions which is basically joining to lead to war 5 rep at a time) not matter what. This is a way bigger issue effecting tons of things. Planets grow too fast and are too profitable, will address this in more detail further in.

D mods

- Increased maintenance is too large a debuff. This one D mod seems out of balance with the other mods. I'd argue that any D mod that increases the cost of the ship goes against the entire point of taking a D mod in the first place. If you can't afford a new ship in the first place you aren't going to be okay with extra ongoing expenses.
Note: I get that these mods are realistic, but I still feel they hurt the overall concept of D mods being okay. The Maintenance and Fuel increase mods left me as a new player with the overwhelming impression that D mods are all terrible and make the ships worthless and should always be avoided, I know now that's not correct now after reading much and looking into the details but other new players may be left with that impression.
 
- The skills that effect D mods feel required to make a D mod ship worth to fuel and supplies. Either skills are required or D mods are too costly, just a thought.

Scanning

- I strongly suggest a +500 to the base scan range, the scan ranges are rather frustrating. I think it'd be a QoL improvement without stepping on the toes of Neutrino Detector. Too many fleets get way to close to you without notice, it's not Dark Souls. Please don't gank me with huge fleets I somehow didn't see till they were too close and even Emergency Burn was useless because they got that close.
Note: I do not want to play on Easy. I don't want damage reduction on my fleet, I don't want scav loot I didn't earn.

- Leave markers on the map. If I scanned, leave a note X was here till I got back to that spot and check. QoL improvement.

- Leave details on when they leave close range. X is a pirate fleet, but they move away and magically I don't know who they are again. QoL Improvement.

Combat Looting/Rewards and lack there of

- Combat isn't rewarding, in terms of material reward. If you aren't doing bounties then you are losing money every fight. Is this intended? Feels like it should be at least a small net gain if you aren't getting wrecked.

- Attack a merchant with 8 mothballed hulls, combat ends 3 ships from the fight can be recovered. The Mothballed hulls disappear. We should have access to them.

Pirates

- Should be annoying/costly if ignored. Adding on to the realism leading back into Combat and looting, how do pirates make money if the combat results in a net loss? Even raiding isn't profitable, you do it for blueprints you need and/or to destabilize them not for material gain.

- Should not be Zombie hordes or the Reavers from Firefly.

- Should not be leading doom stacks at your home world or any well defending worlds.

- Need a large cool down on next attack when they get wrecked.

- Feel like the only living breathing faction, they build bases, attack systems on mass and seem to grow stronger.

- Pirate Corsairs ignore rep with pirate faction and attack even when friendly. Is this intended?

Expeditions

- Not hard, not complex and most importantly not fun.

- In regards to these and realism/fairness for the player, if I raid a world I am at war. How is this different for the Core powers?

- Remove the -5 rep on them failing, the text while technically correct is still a lie in regards to net result.

Planets

- Too much profit and way too much growth speed. Tone them down and tone down the costs and the cost building on more hostile worlds. Profit should still be reasonably worth the investments.

- Way too many annoying things constantly happening to your world(s).

- Pirates not acting like Pirates. (covered in more detail above).

- Should be able to bribe the Pirates to ignore everything I own and/or agree to protection deals.

- Should be able to cut deals with pirates having access to my ports.

- Should be able to set rules for transponders and general system rules (assuming you don't share the system). Example, Politically neutral system where no one is allowed to attack anyone without defense forces attacking the aggressors fleet. Meaning Pirates/Luddic Pact/Hegemony wouldn't attack each other or lose that fleets ability to trade. This is just like how Stations refuse to trade with you if destroyed their fleets in eyesight. 

- AI cores shouldn't be so powerful, allow to to avoid 12 skill points, allow you to settle unlimited worlds, make everything better and have no real world downside (everyone will be attacking you no matter what, AI cores just speed it up with 1 faction). You can spend skill points and net less then a guy who didn't. 12 (18 if you include the required ones to open the tree to level 3) skill points < Gamma AI cores.

Major factions, need to feel like they are alive and active

- Need to act like major factions and deal with bounties and Pirate/LP bases.
- Need to set up way stations just like Pirates/LP  .
- Need to put at least half the effort into dealing with pirates as they do endlessly harassing the players world(s).

Neutral Faction

- Needs to not exist. It should be about 12 factions. They needn't be complex or even have unique social elements, they should be living breathing examples of other people that are doing exactly what the player is doing in the game. Not more questions about "Why is has no one else set up a solo anything like you are doing?" because they did.

Just my honest thoughts about stuff I think needs to change or at least be rethought. I understand that both realism and game mechanics can't be 100% each so I try to acknowledge when they conflict.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2019, 10:19:19 AM by Locklave »
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Alex

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Re: New player thoughts
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2019, 10:16:40 AM »

Hi - just want to say welcome to the forum, and thank you for your feedback!

A couple of quick responses:

As far as skills, there's an overhaul for the next release; more detail here.

- Combat isn't rewarding, in terms of material reward. If you aren't doing bounties then you are losing money every fight. Is this intended? Feels like it should be at least a small net gain if you aren't getting wrecked.

(It can definitely be a bit profitable - or more than a bit, depending. You have to be efficient about deploying and successful enough at piloting (i.e. win before peak time runs out, don't take many losses, etc), though. Generally combat is intended to be something that's not super profitable by itself, but is profitable in combination with other things - bounties, as you mention, or just fighting to be able to do something else such as get access to salvage in a system.)
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SonnaBanana

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Re: New player thoughts
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2019, 10:20:38 AM »

Speaking of rewards, are there plans for cruiser and capital Salvage Gantry ships?
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TaLaR

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Re: New player thoughts
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2019, 10:25:13 AM »

Note: I do not want to play on Easy. I don't want damage reduction on my fleet, I don't want scav loot I didn't earn.

You can customize Easy difficulty to only affect sensors in starsector-core/data/config/settings.json .
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Locklave

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Re: New player thoughts
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2019, 10:36:13 AM »

Thanks so much for the quick replies everyone.

@Alex I'll check out the the link ty.
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SCC

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Re: New player thoughts
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2019, 02:00:58 PM »

- Remove the entire combat tree and fold it into the other 3 trees. It sucks that the player seems doomed to be the worst captain in his fleet and this is mainly due to the other trees providing Fleet wide bonuses and QoL mechanics, having to waste 3 points just to fully open up combat when you maybe have 9-15 points left over after important skill are taken.
While I expect that Alex will not do that, I think that combat should be separated from other trees. No other tree is as dependent on the player's own skill as this one.
- Not using AI Cores is brutally punishing on skill points and the Factions attacks you (Expeditions which is basically joining to lead to war 5 rep at a time) not matter what. This is a way bigger issue effecting tons of things. Planets grow too fast and are too profitable, will address this in more detail further in.

- The skills that effect D mods feel required to make a D mod ship worth to fuel and supplies. Either skills are required or D mods are too costly, just a thought.
It's completely possible to do fine without both of those. I typically play without colony skills and they still make decent money (though I tend to get quite some capital before I make a colony), while d-modded ships can still be useful, so long they don't have too many d-mods.
- Leave markers on the map. If I scanned, leave a note X was here till I got back to that spot and check. QoL improvement.
There's a filter (by default the hotkey for it is 3) that shows you what systems have you visited, preliminarily surveyed and finally completely surveyed.
- Attack a merchant with 8 mothballed hulls, combat ends 3 ships from the fight can be recovered. The Mothballed hulls disappear. We should have access to them.
They don't disappear. You destroyed them, heh. I think mothballed ships should be auto-recoverable, now that I think about it, since they are supposed to have no crew.
- In regards to these and realism/fairness for the player, if I raid a world I am at war. How is this different for the Core powers?

- Remove the -5 rep on them failing, the text while technically correct is still a lie in regards to net result.
Major factions are still annoyed that you are resisting them. Rep penalty is there to represent the fact that while what they were doing wasn't quite fair in the first place, they also have no business in playing fair.
- Too much profit and way too much growth speed. Tone them down and tone down the costs and the cost building on more hostile worlds. Profit should still be reasonably worth the investments.
Heh.
- Needs to not exist. It should be about 12 factions. They needn't be complex or even have unique social elements, they should be living breathing examples of other people that are doing exactly what the player is doing in the game. Not more questions about "Why is has no one else set up a solo anything like you are doing?" because they did.
What 12 factions? One thing the independents faction is useful for is representing "general reputation", even if it's not used much. Not everyone is affiliated with everyone, after all.

I agree with most bits about living factions, but I sort of assume that Alex is going to take care of that even unprompted.

Megas

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Re: New player thoughts
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2019, 06:10:59 PM »

D mods

- Increased maintenance is too large a debuff. This one D mod seems out of balance with the other mods. I'd argue that any D mod that increases the cost of the ship goes against the entire point of taking a D mod in the first place. If you can't afford a new ship in the first place you aren't going to be okay with extra ongoing expenses.
Note: I get that these mods are realistic, but I still feel they hurt the overall concept of D mods being okay. The Maintenance and Fuel increase mods left me as a new player with the overwhelming impression that D mods are all terrible and make the ships worthless and should always be avoided, I know now that's not correct now after reading much and looking into the details but other new players may be left with that impression.
Totally agree.  I do not like Increased Maintenance at all (and Erratic Fuel Injector to lesser extent).

Quote
- I strongly suggest a +500 to the base scan range, the scan ranges are rather frustrating. I think it'd be a QoL improvement without stepping on the toes of Neutrino Detector. Too many fleets get way to close to you without notice, it's not Dark Souls. Please don't gank me with huge fleets I somehow didn't see till they were too close and even Emergency Burn was useless because they got that close.
Mixed feelings on this.  If NPCs get +500 range too for fairness, it would make sneaking into Sindria or Culann harder than it already is.  I bring a pure phase fleet (for minimal profile) to sneak into heavily guarded worlds with heavy industry to steal blueprints, and doing it with anything else is too hard due to more profile.  Occasionally, stealthing by is handy, and if everyone is more perceptive, it can hurt.

Later in the game, I generally do not care if my killer fleet cannot see the enemy if it can still crush anything that gets in its way.

Quote
- Should be annoying/costly if ignored. Adding on to the realism leading back into Combat and looting, how do pirates make money if the combat results in a net loss? Even raiding isn't profitable, you do it for blueprints you need and/or to destabilize them not for material gain.
Raiding is profitable, or at least bonus income beyond normal activities, if you do not lose marines, and you generally do not lose them if your attack strength is high enough.  I almost always raid pop-up bases before I kill them.  Early in the game, I frequently raid pirate worlds after trading to get more loot or money.  Not many worlds worth raiding have very high defense strength.  Bringing several hundred marines and a Colossus 3 or two (which have Ground Support Package) works well enough.

Quote
- Too much profit and way too much growth speed. Tone them down and tone down the costs and the cost building on more hostile worlds. Profit should still be reasonably worth the investments.
I rather keep the high profit (or make profits even higher) and spend it on delegating tasks to others, like posting bounties to deal with the problem, or personally building more endgame fleets worth millions and hand it off to an NPC to do a special task (like take out that pirate base or sat bomb that faction that sent the last expedition).  In other words, act like a ruler and spend big bucks doing things like a major faction, instead of being a low-level independent tomb raider or murderhobo all game.

Quote
Neutral Faction

- Needs to not exist. It should be about 12 factions. They needn't be complex or even have unique social elements, they should be living breathing examples of other people that are doing exactly what the player is doing in the game. Not more questions about "Why is has no one else set up a solo anything like you are doing?" because they did.
My biggest complaint with them is they act like a single monolithic faction regarding saturation bombing.  Very annoying, even if I can repair rep after cleaning one or two system bounties.
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Shuhei

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Re: New player thoughts
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2019, 02:19:19 PM »

If may I add something about D-mods:

Ships with D-mods aren't cheaper than those without D-mods. Not sure why but it would be cool to have some choice here.
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Wyvern

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Re: New player thoughts
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2019, 02:51:46 PM »

If may I add something about D-mods:

Ships with D-mods aren't cheaper than those without D-mods. Not sure why but it would be cool to have some choice here.
Er... what, exactly, do you mean by "aren't cheaper"?  Ships with D-mods have lower purchase prices, and much lower sell prices.  They cost fewer supplies to deploy, and can (if you take the skill for it) cost fewer supplies to maintain.  The only places where they have the same "cost" is fuel costs, or if you're looking at the deployment "cost" - but that's just a limit on how much of your fleet you can have on the field, not a 'price' that comes out of any sort of long-term resource.
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Wyvern is 100% correct about the math.

Sutopia

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Re: New player thoughts
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2019, 10:29:47 PM »

About sensor range:
Militarize all your civ ship and hack the sensor array, no big deal really.

About combat:
Not true when doing REDACTED farm, using correct fleet composition actually just print yourself a lot of weapon, supply and fuel.
But totally have to agree that we should be able to steal the hulls those traders are hauling.

About pirates:
Well raiding always let them scoop tons of goods so it's profitable, they only need to blow up the station once for their entire raiding session.
If you don't want their deathball fleet appear you should go deal with them as soon as you know there is a pirate base out there.
Pirates are loosely bounded so most pirates respect you doesn't mean there aren't people that want to challenge you.

About colony:
Your statement seems self-contradictory. You said it's too profitable then ask for cost down for more profit? I don't get it.
You are supposed to fight for your cash cow and property. Naturally the more you own the more trouble you should be dealing with.
I feel pathers should be more aggressive and punishing for core spammers and that's that.


I have 100% no idea about what you're talking about the neutral faction part.

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Thaago

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Re: New player thoughts
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2019, 10:53:21 AM »

Without industry skills, Increased Maintenance is pretty crippling.

With Industry skills, it is trivial... or even a net benefit. the 100% increased maintenance becomes 50%, but with -20% per D mod this becomes 30%. But, the ship has full combat power with a 20% discount for deployment. So, if you fight 1.5 times per month, you break even. Fight more, and it actually saves you supplies.

While it is dependent on player skill, the combat tree is 100% the most powerful skill tree. I've played games without each of the trees: The only skill that is truly 'must have' is electronic countermeasures 1 - I would happily sacrifice anything else for combat.
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Shuhei

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Re: New player thoughts
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2019, 03:32:33 PM »

If may I add something about D-mods:

Ships with D-mods aren't cheaper than those without D-mods. Not sure why but it would be cool to have some choice here.
Er... what, exactly, do you mean by "aren't cheaper"?  Ships with D-mods have lower purchase prices, and much lower sell prices.  They cost fewer supplies to deploy, and can (if you take the skill for it) cost fewer supplies to maintain.  The only places where they have the same "cost" is fuel costs, or if you're looking at the deployment "cost" - but that's just a limit on how much of your fleet you can have on the field, not a 'price' that comes out of any sort of long-term resource.

Then it's bugged because D-mods ships are NOT cheaper. Worse - D-modded ships can be more expensive that those without d-mods. Gonna do some screens as I thought that it was a design decision. Or to be more precisely: some d-modded ships can be cheaper. About 2-3%.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 03:34:42 PM by Shuhei »
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Plantissue

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Re: New player thoughts
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2019, 03:46:41 PM »

I have to admit, I have a list of thoughts written down but this post closely echoes most of them.
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Ranakastrasz

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Re: New player thoughts
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2019, 05:04:14 PM »

Firstly let me state I love this game and it's fulfilling game play desires from games like Privateer/Freelancer/MOO2/Stellaris that those games couldn't scratch. I've been playing it way too much for about 3 weeks. My experience is 100% the un-modded game, I haven't even looked at mods yet.

Skills

- Remove the entire combat tree and fold it into the other 3 trees. It sucks that the player seems doomed to be the worst captain in his fleet and this is mainly due to the other trees providing Fleet wide bonuses and QoL mechanics, having to waste 3 points just to fully open up combat when you maybe have 9-15 points left over after important skill are taken.
I agree. It made a little sense way back when, before officers, but it was always a bad idea to boost one ship instead of all ships. Now its just sad. Best way, I think, would be to make combat just be a separate thing, like you are your own officer, or you can pilot an officer ship and gain those bonuses instead.
Quote
- Make the base tree unlock skills do anything, they make certain levels ups feel meaningless. They feel bad. Not so much a issue of balance.
Yea, Long time ago, they made sense. You have 10 levels, and each one gave a small bonus. I think combat was +damage, and then +Combat Readiness later. Logistic, don't recall. Tech, I think was +Op, and industry didn't exist.
Quote
- Not using AI Cores is brutally punishing on skill points and the Factions attacks you (Expeditions which is basically joining to lead to war 5 rep at a time) not matter what. This is a way bigger issue effecting tons of things. Planets grow too fast and are too profitable, will address this in more detail further in.
Can't say much on that.
Quote
D mods

- Increased maintenance is too large a debuff. This one D mod seems out of balance with the other mods. I'd argue that any D mod that increases the cost of the ship goes against the entire point of taking a D mod in the first place. If you can't afford a new ship in the first place you aren't going to be okay with extra ongoing expenses.
Note: I get that these mods are realistic, but I still feel they hurt the overall concept of D mods being okay. The Maintenance and Fuel increase mods left me as a new player with the overwhelming impression that D mods are all terrible and make the ships worthless and should always be avoided, I know now that's not correct now after reading much and looking into the details but other new players may be left with that impression.
Yea, D-Mods are painful, and even knowing you should be able to handle them, they still are hard to accept. And yes, they vary in intensity a lot.
Quote
- The skills that effect D mods feel required to make a D mod ship worth to fuel and supplies. Either skills are required or D mods are too costly, just a thought.
Yep, and that is a T3 in industry, which is a large investment.
Quote
Scanning

- I strongly suggest a +500 to the base scan range, the scan ranges are rather frustrating. I think it'd be a QoL improvement without stepping on the toes of Neutrino Detector. Too many fleets get way to close to you without notice, it's not Dark Souls. Please don't gank me with huge fleets I somehow didn't see till they were too close and even Emergency Burn was useless because they got that close.
Note: I do not want to play on Easy. I don't want damage reduction on my fleet, I don't want scav loot I didn't earn.
There is an option in the game config files to change this, but it really should be in the game option menu instead. And yes, sensor range feels too small. At best, ambushes should require immobile fleets in asteroid belts or similar.
Quote
- Leave markers on the map. If I scanned, leave a note X was here till I got back to that spot and check. QoL improvement.
That would be quite nice.
Quote
- Leave details on when they leave close range. X is a pirate fleet, but they move away and magically I don't know who they are again. QoL Improvement.
Agreed. Admittedly, those signatures are presumably intermittent and it is hard to be certain it is the same contact, but most of the time you should know unless they get particularly far away or use terrain or other fleets are in the area.
Quote
Combat Looting/Rewards and lack there of

- Combat isn't rewarding, in terms of material reward. If you aren't doing bounties then you are losing money every fight. Is this intended? Feels like it should be at least a small net gain if you aren't getting wrecked.
Been that way since CR was added. And yes, this appears to be intended. And it also ruins any idea of piracy being viable.
Quote
- Attack a merchant with 8 mothballed hulls, combat ends 3 ships from the fight can be recovered. The Mothballed hulls disappear. We should have access to them.
Makes sense. It should at the very least inform you that they got scuttled or something.
Quote
Pirates

- Should be annoying/costly if ignored. Adding on to the realism leading back into Combat and looting, how do pirates make money if the combat results in a net loss? Even raiding isn't profitable, you do it for blueprints you need and/or to destabilize them not for material gain.

- Should not be Zombie hordes or the Reavers from Firefly.

- Should not be leading doom stacks at your home world or any well defending worlds.

- Need a large cool down on next attack when they get wrecked.

- Feel like the only living breathing faction, they build bases, attack systems on mass and seem to grow stronger.

- Pirate Corsairs ignore rep with pirate faction and attack even when friendly. Is this intended?

Expeditions

- Not hard, not complex and most importantly not fun.

- In regards to these and realism/fairness for the player, if I raid a world I am at war. How is this different for the Core powers?

- Remove the -5 rep on them failing, the text while technically correct is still a lie in regards to net result.

Planets

- Too much profit and way too much growth speed. Tone them down and tone down the costs and the cost building on more hostile worlds. Profit should still be reasonably worth the investments.

- Way too many annoying things constantly happening to your world(s).

- Pirates not acting like Pirates. (covered in more detail above).

- Should be able to bribe the Pirates to ignore everything I own and/or agree to protection deals.

- Should be able to cut deals with pirates having access to my ports.

- Should be able to set rules for transponders and general system rules (assuming you don't share the system). Example, Politically neutral system where no one is allowed to attack anyone without defense forces attacking the aggressors fleet. Meaning Pirates/Luddic Pact/Hegemony wouldn't attack each other or lose that fleets ability to trade. This is just like how Stations refuse to trade with you if destroyed their fleets in eyesight. 

- AI cores shouldn't be so powerful, allow to to avoid 12 skill points, allow you to settle unlimited worlds, make everything better and have no real world downside (everyone will be attacking you no matter what, AI cores just speed it up with 1 faction). You can spend skill points and net less then a guy who didn't. 12 (18 if you include the required ones to open the tree to level 3) skill points < Gamma AI cores.

Major factions, need to feel like they are alive and active

- Need to act like major factions and deal with bounties and Pirate/LP bases.
- Need to set up way stations just like Pirates/LP  .
- Need to put at least half the effort into dealing with pirates as they do endlessly harassing the players world(s).

Neutral Faction

- Needs to not exist. It should be about 12 factions. They needn't be complex or even have unique social elements, they should be living breathing examples of other people that are doing exactly what the player is doing in the game. Not more questions about "Why is has no one else set up a solo anything like you are doing?" because they did.

Just my honest thoughts about stuff I think needs to change or at least be rethought. I understand that both realism and game mechanics can't be 100% each so I try to acknowledge when they conflict.
Can't say much on the rest, since I haven't messed around much with those things.

Overall, a lot of good points.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: New player thoughts
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2019, 07:14:19 PM »

While it is dependent on player skill, the combat tree is 100% the most powerful skill tree. I've played games without each of the trees: The only skill that is truly 'must have' is electronic countermeasures 1 - I would happily sacrifice anything else for combat.

The game has no clear objective, you can play the game making money by smuggling and doing bar missions and only trivially pursuing combat. The combat tree is the best for making you strong in combat (although I think you can argue that 6 level 20 officers make a bigger difference for the average player), but there is nothing in the game that demands that you maximize combat potential, so I don't see how you can make the claim that it is somehow objectively the best. If your goal is to maximize monetary gain, industry for colony skills, increased loot and supply saving skills probably help more.
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