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Author Topic: Officer Slot Pet Peeve  (Read 1059 times)

Terethall

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Officer Slot Pet Peeve
« on: March 02, 2020, 12:28:43 PM »

I'm one of those players who can't fly ships in this game, but loves it nonetheless due to autopilot. I also care a lot about flavor. Because I can't fly ships, and also because the only way to get fleetwide logistics skills is by speccing into them as a player character, I tend to hit max level with very few combat skills and instead just logistics skills. This means i put all my officers in my important ships and my character just chills in one of my logistics ships, like an Atlas or Prometheus. Consequently, my player doesn't make sense to deploy in battle, which 1) kind of ruins the flavor, because why wouldn't my character ride along on the bridge of my paragon, even if it's an officer flying the ship and contributing skills to it? And 2) when you're not personally in the battle, you constantly have to remember to go to the command map, then use f to watch the battle from one of your ships. Also the combat speedup mod requires you to go back to the command map to activate and deactivate it if your character isn't flying a ship in the battle. I know these are minor complaints -- but all the extra trips to the command map and the awful flavor of not being able to ride into battle because my player character is dead weight as a ship pilot really sucks. It's like, I suck as a pilot due to my IRL skills, and then because I can't use them effectively I skip combat skills and I pick fleet skills, but then that means I also suck in the game's fiction as a pilot and might as well not even be present in the battle... it's like the game is rubbing it in and telling me I might as well just pick autoresolve. But I want to watch the explosions and imagine myself commanding my fleet.

TL;DR: players should be able to assign an officer to pilot (apply skills to) their flagship, while still having that ship count as the flagship for the purposes of the command center mod and the default camera center during battles, etc.
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TaylorItaly

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Re: Officer Slot Pet Peeve
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2020, 02:02:36 PM »

I also don`t fly my ship self in Combat , only Autopilot.
I gave my Character all the Fleet-wide Boni and only level 1 combat skills.

But i use a Heavy Support Cruiser myself and allways escort my best Battleship.
So i have all the fun , must not fly by myself and get decent points after winning the battle.

Maybe that tactic can give you more fun?
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SCC

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Re: Officer Slot Pet Peeve
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2020, 02:36:58 PM »

Combat tree is the most skill dependent skill tree in the game. With current balance, it's entirely possible for player's flagship to defeat forces many times stronger (in the best case, 10 times stronger), but you have to be good and you still have to have some back up. Fleetwide skills technically get better with player skill, too, but not as noticeably. Allowing to have officers give combat skills to the flagship will mean that some players will be able to be completely broken, by virtually getting twice as many skill points, as worse players.
At the moment, the best advice I can give to you is to try and improve your piloting skills, if you think they are lacking. You will improve over time. No one starts the master.

It would be nice if Alex took a look at improvements to the tactical screen, though, including the remote camera.

Morrokain

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Re: Officer Slot Pet Peeve
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2020, 04:06:24 PM »

Combat tree is the most skill dependent skill tree in the game. With current balance, it's entirely possible for player's flagship to defeat forces many times stronger (in the best case, 10 times stronger), but you have to be good and you still have to have some back up.

Hmm, if so, then wouldn't this fact discourage other skill lines as a whole as a player gets better at the game- since the output is so high in comparison? Just my initial thought upon reading that. I'm hoping the skill revamp will help reduce the output of player skill over the lack there of/inexperience when taking a specific skill path for experienced players and giving them that large of an advantage as a result. Correct me if I do not understand because I honestly might not. *EDIT* (I'm not super great at piloting- I just get by. I couldn't therefore get that kind of value out of it, myself.)
« Last Edit: March 02, 2020, 09:44:49 PM by Morrokain »
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SCC

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Re: Officer Slot Pet Peeve
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2020, 10:38:09 PM »

I don't think a game that punishes (or doesn't reward) being skilled at it is a good game. The thought that being good at the game shouldn't make you better at the game sounds counter-intuitive, too. I'm good in the campaign layer, too. I don't use combat freighters, because I never get ambushed, for instance. I use industry skill tree less, because I can get colony skills from alpha cores and I can make the effort not to lose ships that aren't expendable already.
And it doesn't discourage it, since you can't always be at the peak of your performance and the best case isn't always the case. And, in my experience, other skill trees are pretty good, too, especially tech tree.

Morrokain

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Re: Officer Slot Pet Peeve
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2020, 10:54:45 PM »

I don't think a game that punishes (or doesn't reward) being skilled at it is a good game. The thought that being good at the game shouldn't make you better at the game sounds counter-intuitive, too.

Oh sorry, that wasn't what I was trying to say if that was the impression you were getting. This was the concern:

wouldn't this fact discourage other skill lines as a whole

You said:

And, in my experience, other skill trees are pretty good, too, especially tech tree.

That's good! Do you feel they have equal value for a skilled player? That was more the question for me.

I thought maybe that combat might be too compelling in that specific case (being skilled)- especially if being good at the campaign removes the need for campaign related skills like you suggested. Wouldn't it be better to create meaningful choice in skill selection by having all skill lines be equally attractive for a skilled player?

It may already be that way. Idk, to be honest, because I have no experience there from which to reliably judge.
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: Officer Slot Pet Peeve
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2020, 09:25:14 AM »

I think industry tree is clearly the tree that is worst for a skilled player and best for a neewb. Many of the skills depend on you losing ships to get value, so if you're playing perfectly and never losing anything, you don't get much out of those skills.

The fleet wide skills are always going to be powerful, and stuff like ordinance expertise and officer management are definitely the top tier skills, so i think leadership and tech both compete with the combat tree, even for a very skilled player. It's also worth noting that the tech tree has several powerful flagship bufffs in it that are as good as/better than a lot of the combat skills IMO.
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Terethall

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Re: Officer Slot Pet Peeve
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2020, 10:12:41 AM »

I honestly don't mind that combat skills are less useful for low skill players and more useful for better players. That makes sense. I just want to be able to have my best shop count as the "flagship" without gimping it by denying it one of my officers. Being able to place my character independently of whether an officer is contributing skills to a ship would be nice, and makes flavor sense. Picard didn't fly the Enterprise himself.
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Morrokain

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Re: Officer Slot Pet Peeve
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2020, 09:29:14 PM »

I think industry tree is clearly the tree that is worst for a skilled player and best for a neewb. Many of the skills depend on you losing ships to get value, so if you're playing perfectly and never losing anything, you don't get much out of those skills.

That makes sense to me, mostly because the endgame isn't there yet and since that skill line would have more of an impact there when threats are theoretically less avoidable (so losing ships is likely necessary to progress, but you don't care as the player because the reward/value of doing so is worth it). I don't think it should stay the early Starsector player skill tree forever though, since that indicates the campaign simulation needs more difficulty at the higher end to make those attractive. My idea of skill line selection, ideally, should just be a matter of what is valuable to the player's play style rather than how skilled they are in order to make use of it. A skilled player should be able to make use of all skill lines equally- or at least close.

(I admit the caveat that this is an ideal and may be too complicated to do, but should nevertheless be an overall consideration. Also, admittedly, the skill of combat is in some ways a different skill-set than the campaign skill-set, so that is a necessary wrinkle in this consideration)

The fleet wide skills are always going to be powerful, and stuff like ordinance expertise and officer management are definitely the top tier skills, so i think leadership and tech both compete with the combat tree, even for a very skilled player. It's also worth noting that the tech tree has several powerful flagship bufffs in it that are as good as/better than a lot of the combat skills IMO.

Good point. So, there are attractive things along the skill line that resonate with play style without changing the overall game difficulty through being skilled because it operates as general power creep rather than a specific multiplier of skill.

I honestly don't mind that combat skills are less useful for low skill players and more useful for better players. That makes sense.

Well, this isn't a bad thing, necessarily, but what it does do is obfuscate overall difficulty due to power amplification of player combat skill through the combat skill line- and the only way to then satisfy skilled players is to create increasingly higher tiers of difficulty. So, for new players, I don't think the answer they want at the end of their skill selection is- you chose wrong for the difficulty you are facing when regarding the high end of difficulty. This can be somewhat mitigated by skill point refunds being possible, but even then if it costs a resource it could be annoying.

It also reduces meaningful choices of skills by 25% (at best-case scenario) the better you get at the game. If skill choices aren't meaningful, in that sense, why do we have them in the first place? (Not criticizing here, just pointing out the idea as a construct for my thoughts)
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Thaago

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Re: Officer Slot Pet Peeve
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2020, 11:35:52 PM »

For skilled players going for rapid growth/ease of advancement I'd rank the tree power from best to worst as: Combat > Industry > Leadership ~ Tech.

The Leadership/Tech tie just depends on personal preference: Leadership has better fleet boosts and fighters, Tech has better player ship combat boosts and navigation. Both have a few skills that are powerful enough that they will have 3 aptitude ranks. The only tree I refuse to not take is Combat. I've done challenge runs ignoring 1 or 2 trees, and as long as I have Combat things are going to be ok/fun.

The reason for the high Industry ranking is that the only difficult part of the game is early game, and recovery/D mod mitigation/loot booster skills make the early/mid game much easier. As a specific trick, Converted Hangar + D mod reduction is very powerful.

I think industry tree is clearly the tree that is worst for a skilled player and best for a neewb. Many of the skills depend on you losing ships to get value, so if you're playing perfectly and never losing anything, you don't get much out of those skills.

...

If you take Industry, playing perfectly no longer means losing no ships. Since ships return with low to no D mods and the recovery rate of high quality enemy ships is so high, its more efficient to fight larger enemies, lose ships, but recover more and better ships in the process, thus snowballing upwards. The presence of the skills shifts the cost/benefit analysis of combat.

As an example, in a normal run I would never attack a Persean League patrol thats bigger than me with no commission/bounty, as profit is only medium, but the chance of losing a ship and at best getting multiple full strength D mods is too punishing.

With Industry, I get enough loot to justify the attack by itself, the risk of losing a ship suddenly doesn't matter nearly as much, and the value of recovered ships skyrockets. Just today I attacked a patrol: I lost a Wolf (recovered with 50% structural), a Shepherd (Recovered with 50% glitched sensors added), but gained a Tempest (0 D mods), 2 Drovers (50% Structural on 1, Increased Maintenance* and 50% Sensors on the other), and a Hammerhead (50% Armor D). That kind of early game growth just isn't possible with other builds.

*Increased Maintenance actually lowers operating costs if fighting more than once every month or so.


Once a player is done with the growth phase and not adding new ships, Industry skills lose some value. But at least to my mind, once the player is done with the growth phase the game is over because every fight is trivial, so I don't care. I think people who enjoy playing with their 'endgame' fleet won't agree with the industry ranking, as its being judged by a different metric.
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Serenitis

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Re: Officer Slot Pet Peeve
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2020, 05:53:10 AM »

I think industry tree is clearly the tree that is worst for a skilled player and best for a neewb. Many of the skills depend on you losing ships to get value, so if you're playing perfectly and never losing anything, you don't get much out of those skills.
I don't think it's that clear at all.

What Industy does is let you do things "on the cheap". But all the things you're doing it with are worse than if you were using new perfect stuff. So all your battles are harder than they would otherwise be.
Not the kind of thing you'd really recommend to a new player.

It all depends on how you look at the game.
If you see an orange mark on a ship as a bad thing that must be gotten rid of because it means "not perfect" or "I lost" then yeah, you're going to look at Industry and not see much value in it becasue it's not supporting what you want to do.
But if you see an orange mark and you think "that's a possibility of having something for less" or "...something I wouldn't normally be able to afford/use", then Industry is beyond value.

The only "wrong" way to play the game is the one that's not giving you a positive experience.
But it is wrong to attribute your own desires and preferences as the only "correct" approach.
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bobucles

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Re: Officer Slot Pet Peeve
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2020, 09:16:27 AM »

Quote
But all the things you're doing it with are worse than if you were using new perfect stuff. So all your battles are harder than they would otherwise be.
Not the kind of thing you'd really recommend to a new player.
Sticking to pure pristine ships is a bad idea for new players. Dmod ships are cheaper, far more abundant and their losses don't hit as hard. The industry tree does a great job of helping the player economy by making their expenses lower and, more importantly, making their losses far less devastating. New players have the greatest risk of losing stuff, so reducing their losses will go very far.

Personal combat can be done out the box, but it takes a bit more insight on the game. The player needs to be much more familiar with damage types and projectiles to make good use of their shield/armor resources, and flying a ship isn't always easy. A single mistake can cost your flagship thanks to the abundance of heavy hitting missiles. More power is more power, but the industry mods can mitigate the losses as well.

intrinsic_parity

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Re: Officer Slot Pet Peeve
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2020, 12:39:48 PM »

I think industry tree is clearly the tree that is worst for a skilled player and best for a neewb. Many of the skills depend on you losing ships to get value, so if you're playing perfectly and never losing anything, you don't get much out of those skills.
I don't think it's that clear at all.

What Industy does is let you do things "on the cheap". But all the things you're doing it with are worse than if you were using new perfect stuff. So all your battles are harder than they would otherwise be.
Not the kind of thing you'd really recommend to a new player.

It all depends on how you look at the game.
If you see an orange mark on a ship as a bad thing that must be gotten rid of because it means "not perfect" or "I lost" then yeah, you're going to look at Industry and not see much value in it becasue it's not supporting what you want to do.
But if you see an orange mark and you think "that's a possibility of having something for less" or "...something I wouldn't normally be able to afford/use", then Industry is beyond value.

The only "wrong" way to play the game is the one that's not giving you a positive experience.
But it is wrong to attribute your own desires and preferences as the only "correct" approach.

Losing ships costs money, whether its money to buy a new ship or money to pay for the supply cost of recovering ships. By any in-game metric (money/supplies/fleet strength), not losing ships in a particular fight will leave you better off than losing ships* so I don't think it's an opinion to say that not losing ships is 'perfect play'. I'm not saying using pristine ships is perfect play, I'm saying that not losing ships/taking damage in a fight is better than taking damage and losing ships, regardless of what ships you have.

The benefit of industry skills to a new player is that it makes bad decisions less punishing. Running your flagship into the middle of the enemy fleet and losing it isn't as bad when you're guaranteed to get it back with less dmods and half its CR. Adding 10 extra ships to your fleet is less painful if they have reduced upkeep. In that way, it's super beneficial for a new player to learn the mechanics with a safety net to fall back on when they mess up and do something that would really set them back (although maybe they don't learn their lesson as easily). An experienced player doesn't need that safety net because they already know how decisions will effect them, so that aspect of the skill doesn't help them. I'm not saying the skills are useless to an experienced player (they can definitely be leveraged in interesting ways), just that they decrease in value as you get better at the game because a lot (not all) of the situations they help in are situations you will naturally avoid as a more experienced player.

*ok maybe there is a case where losing ships lets you recover better ships because of the fleet cap, but thats not really the point and also getting fixed in the next patch
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Thaago

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Re: Officer Slot Pet Peeve
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2020, 01:22:26 PM »

Quote
Losing ships costs money, whether its money to buy a new ship or money to pay for the supply cost of recovering ships. By any in-game metric (money/supplies/fleet strength), not losing ships in a particular fight will leave you better off than losing ships* so I don't think it's an opinion to say that not losing ships is 'perfect play'. I'm not saying using pristine ships is perfect play, I'm saying that not losing ships/taking damage in a fight is better than taking damage and losing ships, regardless of what ships you have.

In a given fight I completely agree with you: once in a fight, lose as few ships as possible.

What fights I get into in the first place is, for me, the biggest difference in selecting industry. If I'm playing a normal run, I don't want to get into fights where I could lose ships, and I have a pretty good idea what those fights are. With an industry build, I can go into any fight I can win knowing that the costs to me are lower (higher recovery chance, less D mods, reduced effect) and the rewards are higher (more ships with fewer, less impactful D mods, more loot and weapons, etc).
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Serenitis

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Re: Officer Slot Pet Peeve
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2020, 02:11:30 AM »

With an industry build, I can go into any fight I can win knowing that the costs to me are lower (higher recovery chance, less D mods, reduced effect) and the rewards are higher (more ships with fewer, less impactful D mods, more loot and weapons, etc).
This. Losses don't really matter (aside from crew) because the things you're losing are trash anyway, and can be brought back.
The bringing things back is the important bit. There are no shipyards or markets on the fringe, and an already equipped ship with dock mods is far too vaulable to lose.

Maybe this is an artefact of my (seemingly) obscure preference for playing a "mobile faction" and surveying/exploring literally everything.
I tried doing that with pristine ships/no industry, and it just doesn't work. Too expensive to maintain, too expensive to recover after battle and too limiting on what you can reasonably fight. Which is a horrible restriction when enemies are your supply depots.

Perhaps if the player's preference tends toward "get colony asap" and they're not at all focused on the exploration side, then Industry is not going to be terribly compelling for them.
It might even be considered a "crutch" of sorts.

Although if you build an entire fortress out of crutches, it can just roll over anything the game throws at it. Funny how things turn out really.
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