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

Author Topic: Skills that affect ship systems  (Read 282 times)

Thaago

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Skills that affect ship systems
« on: September 17, 2019, 10:38:25 AM »

I propose a new thing that skills can modify: Ship Systems. These would fall under the "specialist" type of the new skill system, as their effects would work well for some ship systems, but not for others. This could come in the form of numerical bonuses to ship systems, but I think it would be more interesting if they are enough to really change how systems feel.

As an example, consider the hypothetical skill System Redlining: You've learned how to push ship systems beyond their factory limits, increasing their effectiveness at the cost of duration. Increases the the effect of limited duration systems by 100%, at the cost of reducing the duration by 33%.

This provides a modest total bonus (33%) over the base skill when time is taken into account - for something like a Hammerhead with accelerated ammo feeders, it would be a net increase in damage. Nothing too exciting, though its always better to deliver more damage in a short amount of time. For something like High Energy Focus, burst beams like phase or tachyon lances would benefit a lot more if the timing was correct, but its still just a numerical bonus. When applied to movement based systems however, this skill would be more interesting: Burn Drives would suddenly become much, much more dangerous (to both sides...), maneuvering thrusters would let ships zip extremely quickly in any direction, and plasma burst would just be crazy. For some ships however this skill would do nothing, as they don't have limited duration systems.

Thoughts? Interesting ways for skills to change ship systems?
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SonnaBanana

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Re: Skills that affect ship systems
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2019, 10:42:30 AM »

Sounds like a job for hullmods.
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sotanaht

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Re: Skills that affect ship systems
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2019, 02:52:18 PM »

Skills should not have a downside.  You cannot toggle a skill off once acquired, it's bad enough for a skill to simply become "useless" in certain scenarios, but having one with the potential to become outright bad should always be avoided.  I know the idea here is intended to be a net positive, but that's simply not how skills work.

Hull mods are a great place to put tradeoffs however, and they are pretty good for things that only benefit certain ships.  The idea would be pretty hard to code for however, especially in a way that is compatible with mods.  Basically every ship system would need a uniform variable to be modified by the skill/hull mod.  The way they are currently designed is more of a case by case basis, so someone would have to go in and adjust every single one of them to be compatible.
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Alex

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Re: Skills that affect ship systems
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2019, 02:56:06 PM »

I'll just say, one of the skills at Combat 5 may be relevant to your interests :)


(And, yeah, I don't think downsides in skills are a good idea, for the "can't turn it off" reason. Well, you can with a story point, but still.)
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Daynen

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Re: Skills that affect ship systems
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2019, 04:25:57 PM »

Skills which can't be toggled off or refunded shouldn't have an inherent downside, though using them wrong should always be punishable.  In the hypothetical example, more intense effects with shorter duration isn't really a downside; it's an acceleration.  Now if you happen to burn drive right into an enemy formation or hit your ammo feeder right as your target explodes, that's your fault.  I don't see a problem with this idea, though some workshopping may be warranted.

I also see the merit in suggesting it become a hull mod though; it would fit the same theme as safety overrides: great power at great cost.
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Thaago

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Re: Skills that affect ship systems
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2019, 11:07:48 PM »

The point wasn't the example skill: I just think it would be neat to have skill interact with ship systems. The example I gave was to point out how seemingly simple changes to how ship systems operate can have major impacts on how they can be used/feel.

I'll just say, one of the skills at Combat 5 may be relevant to your interests :)

...

Nice!
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SCC

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Re: Skills that affect ship systems
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2019, 11:18:18 PM »

General tier 5 combat skill has an image resembling flux core from Back to the Future. Considering it doesn't use Power Grid Modulation image, despite being seemingly related skill, it means either that Alex is doing something much more interesting (ship system changes?) than banal flux stat buffs, or that David lost the original image and can't recolour it anymore.
Specialist tier 5 skill is reworked missile specialisation, with less missile speed and hitpoints (?), since that's now merged with ECCM hullmod. It also could bring some changes to ship systems, but since Alex isn't exactly huge on making missiles last long, it's most likely limited to FMR and autoforge being less expensive or gaining one charge more.

TaLaR

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Re: Skills that affect ship systems
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2019, 11:24:24 PM »

Skills which can't be toggled off or refunded shouldn't have an inherent downside, though using them wrong should always be punishable.

Completely agree.
4x phase cloak is good existing example of this. Good vs conventional ships (easier to outmaneuver them, or outpace their flux dissipation), bad vs other phase ships (can't outwait them in phase anymore).

More on topic: I think such skill would have to work on per system basis, or at least per system type. Many don't have a duration at all.
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Thaago

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Re: Skills that affect ship systems
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2019, 02:17:25 PM »

Their could be specialized skills for different classes of hullmods, true.

Considering that there is a skill dedicated to making phase better, would it be weird to have a skill making burn drive better? I think there are nearly as many ships that use burn drive as phase ships. :P Same with maneuvering jets actually. Huh.
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