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Starsector 0.95.1a is out! (12/10/21); Blog post: Uniquifying the Factions, Part 2 (04/30/22)

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Messages - stormturmoil

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1
Mods / Re: [0.9.5.XX] Battlefleets of the Gothic Sector
« on: February 14, 2022, 08:34:27 PM »
One suggestion I would make to help with the armour issue would be to make the Prow a Module, that way you can give it it's own, much higher armour value, and  some defence-oriented hullmods or even a defence-oriented system, to represent the forward protection aspect; that would allow you to normalise the armour over the rest of the ship to something lower to prevent imbalance.

2
Mods / Re: [0.95a] Terraforming and Station Construction (v7.1.3)
« on: May 27, 2021, 10:33:09 AM »
By the look of it, you'd only need to change a few letters to get it back into the box...

How about
'Geoforming and Station Production'

That chops it back by a few characters, still conveys the appropriate meaning, and gives you a catchy Acronym...

3
Modding / Re: Need help with ship_data.csv
« on: May 08, 2021, 01:09:52 PM »
If you want a more Excel-like editor without it being Excel, Libreoffice edits CSV files fine in the same way, and does not mess up the formatting as long as you set it to single-comma dividers, and is Free. I staretd using after realising Excel was borking my file formatting despite allegedely setting it not to.
OpenOffice, built off the same code before Libreoffice forked off, might also work.

4
There's also the issue that the 'accident' at Galatia, that messed with Natural Jump points, was replicated by the Player, and is thus theoretically Weaponisable, and that most of the Factions occupy mainly systems with Gates in, meaning that any of them could be intentionally cut off from Hyperspace by a Hostile party.
This may well be why Scylla and Ella bailed - they're afraid not only of the Hegemony seizing and exploiting use of the Gates themselves for advantage, but also using this effect to Crush everyone else by locking them inside their own systems, with the only way in or out being use of the Gates or the relative handful of people who can Transverse Jump safely.
Of the Factions, we only know of the Hegemony, Via Galatia, that can currently use the Gates (in theory, if they can replicate the Janus device) and Tri-Tachyon that can reliably Transverse Jump, maybe, if they got it from the Defector before the extraction.
Other than that, Transverse Jump seems to be something that gets done by dangerous monkeying with the Drive rather than something that can be used reliably en masse, so in theory, the Hegemony, after seizing Galatia's work, could, if they replicate the first gate test effect, starve the rest of the sector into Compliance by bottling them up in their own systems by cutting off access to Hyperspace, and using the Gates against them...

And that's without even considering that if access to none of the Stars are Left...

5
Suggestions / New Use for Officers: Colonial Military Advisor
« on: April 30, 2021, 08:38:54 AM »
Been wondering about this idea for a while. Not sure it's worth it, or how it'd balance, but figure it's worth getting out of my head.

So, one issue with getting on in the game is that once you have the Officers you want you run into the wall of maximum controllable officers, and so once you shuffle around to get the ones you want trait wise, you end up dismissing a lot, and don't generally have much use for lower max level officers or ones with certain skills. You have much less incentive to go Officer shopping

So, one though I had was, we can have these colonies, which we often have to spend babysitting; why do we have Officers if we can't get them to do this sort of thing for us, allowing us to carry on with other things?

Now having them have their own fleets flying round is beyond the scope of the game, I think. However, attaching them to a Colony, sort of like an Administrator, but with a different focus, sounds viable (I think; I have only a little idea of how the game is coded)

So, what would this achieve?

Well, just for a start it gives you a place to put Officers over your control limit for the time being, so there's that without anything else (with apologies to SirHartley for taking work away from his academies). So if you have found an Officer you don't have a use for right now, but want to keep in case you later get just the right ship for their personality/skill, you could do that whilst still getting some benefit from them.

What sort of benefits?
Presumably, some sort of small but significant enough bonus to either stability, colony defences or to colony fleet size/strength/officer quality.
This might be variable dependent on Officer personality -  an aggressive Officer might have a larger Fleet bonus, balanced against a lower Defences boost.
 A cautious Officer might have a lower Fleet sizes buff in favour of larger Defences boost as a 'just in case mentality' and possibly a resist buff against Pather sleepers and such due to paranoia.

This would do a couple of other things; it would allow you to develop colonies with a bit more peace of mind regarding minor attacks, while not being totally beholden to Item drops for fleet size or Defence boosting Domain Items, or story point expenditures, which rack up fast when used on the same colony. Instead, you have to find and employ, and possibly spend time leveling up Officers, giving you a different route, with it's own pitfalls and costs, but with a similar outcome, so you can instead use your found items where you need them more (or sell them/ use them to prop up allies, if you choose), or save story points for other purposes. It also promotes Officer shopping even if you can't immediatly use them due to the fleet officer limit.

One potential downside is that pulling the officer might lead to stability loss or unrest, as the colony loses some confidence without it's defensive advisor.

Of course, all the same effects could be the case for the other Factions too; Certain Factions may even preferentially have certain officer personality types favoured for their colonies, making actions against their colonies a bit more variable; For example, Church/Path of Ludd bases may heavily Favour Reckless and Aggressive types, giving them large hostile fleets, but their ground defences are not as boosted, making them more vulnerable to Raids and eventually Ground invasion, whereas the Sindrian Diktat might favour Cautious and Steady individual balanced towards ground defences, making their colonies harder to raid, and more resistant to Pather sleepers and so on.

This might also match up with the Comms situation we see on many established colonies, with various people besides the 'main' boss; the Advisor might be another person on the comm menu, and might offer different options, so for eample, the 'relieve unrest' options might be different between the Administrator, who may request food, supplies, domestic and luxury goods and suchlike, whereas the Military advisor Officer might request crew, marines, weapons, offering a 'carrot vs stick' choice of pacification methods, and so two options for Players to offload their various cargo.

Obviously, this would be a fairly big change, since it would require adding another slot to the Colony menu to add another person, and a rebalance to various bonus items and structures to account for the extra Factor, but it might be something worth considering as a means to offer extra options, both regarding Officers and regarding Colonies, and an extra means to add varierty into how the various factions interact if their colonies also have different military priorities that can change according to them assigning Officers

6
Fan Media & Fiction / Re: The Lore Corner
« on: April 26, 2021, 06:07:17 AM »
and of course immediately after I post I think of two more questions:

Why don't the factions weaponize antimatter more often? They clearly have it in abundance, so it shouldn't be that hard to strap AM tanks to missiles or make infernium railguns or something.


It's actually hard to get a big boom out of antimatter, believe it or not. Unlike Nuclear fission or fusion, where it's (broadly) easier to make a bomb than control a power reaction, for antimatter the reverse might be true due to a few things:

1: Reaction cross-section. Put simply, the moment the first bit of Antimatter reacts, it tends to push all the rest of it away, preventing it reacting all at once; so rather than output all it's energy at once, as you'd want in a bomb or warhead, it'd come out in dribs and drabs; in this sense, it'd act more like an incendiary than a straight explosive. Presumably this is why the Antimatter Blaster needs that forcefield bubble mechanism - to bottle the Antimatter up as it reacts, and only 'let go' once an appreciable fraction has reacted, which leads into:

2: un-useful reaction products. We now know that Antimatter reactions do not convert fully into useful energy, but into a bunch of sub-particle types, many of which aren't any good. Some of it turns into Neutrinos, which don't interact with matter and so are worthless for damage. Some of it turns into charged Pions, which do interact, and so are some good; more turns into Uncharged Pions, which don't interact at first, but which, after a short delay, decay into charged Pions as above, and of course some comes out as Hard electromagnetic radation like x-rays, Gamma rays etc, which are ionising and penetrating and so useful for damage purposes.
So as above, to get the most out, you want some kind of delay-on-detonation to maximise the time for un-useful reaction products to turn into useful ones.

3: Identifiability: depending on what antimatter you use, it may leave a recognisable signature that may be used to identify the kind of weapon you are using. For example, Electron-Positron reactions will commonly release most of their energy in the form of Hard Gamma rays with an energy of 511Mev

All of which boils down to: you can use bulk antimatter as a weapon, and it'll deal damage; in the same way that pouring petrol on something and setting it on fire will cause some damage, but is not comparable to a Fuel-air bomb.

To get more Bang for your buck, you need technical solutions to improving the rate and amount of reaction, and to contain it long enough to extract the most energy, and it may be that for the same amount of investment, a different technology, such as hypervelocity kinetics, get you similar destructive force simpler, easier and cheaper, and saves antimatter for powerplant or engine fuel use, where it's easier to incorporate the needed bulk of control technology.
Depending of course on what Propulsion technology you're using; Antimatter-spiked Fusion wouldn't require very much antimatter use anyway, compared to it's main propellant fraction.

7
Mods / Re: [0.95a] Terraforming and Station Construction (v7.0.0)
« on: April 26, 2021, 03:25:18 AM »
Just seen the New update

Thanks for the Hard work, Boggled!

I admit, I'm sort of sad to see the Crustacean Job and Astral Gate Quests go: I realise there's more Quests for them to tread on the toes of, especially the Astral Gates, but they were fun and fluffy.

Also, lorewise, I could totally see the Astral Gates being a side-attempt to get a similar effect to the Domain Gates that Bypasses Galatia Academy and Especially Provost Baird's clutches...

Especially if it were now another Faction doing it/funding it on the sly, in a sort of Arms Race deal against the Hegemony. Because Almost certainly There should be those that assume that if Galatia Academy succeeds, the Hegemony will exploit the Domain Gates ruthlessly, and cut everyone else out...

I realise that Game-wise, your options are limited, and so you can't really approach this in a fully story-only Manner, and of course we don't know where the story is actually going, But it just raised a few thoughts I found interesting.

 I admit, I really Liked the interactions being able to build (and gift/rent) the Astral Gates created, and it made sense (to me) that you could BuildAstral Gates, but only Use Domain Gates but not Build them (since the things are regarded as being indestructable and inscrutable in their in-game descriptions)


8
I wondered about this, but thought it was something Else! (that I'd done)
Is using the Inner jump point gameplay significant? or Can I just continue and avoid it by using the Outer point or Transverse Jumping?
Probably going to start a New run soon anyway, but just curious if there was any particular reason to specifically use the inner point compared to other methods of entry/egress.

9
I also figure the Hierarchy works on discovery too - if a Probe logs something interesting but weird according to it's parameters, it can squirt a messgae back to it's 'boss' survey ship, which can amble over and have a look with better facilities and more sensors, just to rule out false alarms etc. Also to restore it's stocks of material if a Probe spots a good location for easy Extraction. Hence why some systems will have Probes and a Survey/Mothership: sometimes a Probe called the other ship over for some reason...

Basically to avoid the Niven Ramrobot problem where the Probe reports something, you send a colony slowboat (or in this case, a Domain Cryosleeper...), and when you get there on your one-way trip, you find out the Probe was acting Janky. (For those not getting the reference, in Larry Niven's Known Space setting, the Ramrobots had a programming oversight that meant they were searching for a Habitable Point rather than a Habitable Planet, therefore on arrival at a system, they'd fly round endlessly looking for any single point that matched their criteria, then signal success. This lead to things like settling the inner planet of Tau Ceti, which was mostly like Venus, except for one Mountain plateau sticking up out of the clouds...)

10
I've had this happen a few times; in some cases I recall that I spotted Scavengers as a I Jumped in, paid them no mind, thinking it was just random pop, then went on to the mission item, only to find that 'Scavengers took it'. After checking the jump point closest to the item, I reversed to the point I entered, and sure enough, it was the group I spotted Earlier.

Is it possible it's spawning the Scavengers with the item, at closest jump point to you, at the time you jump into the system? 

In which case, the closest jump point, will be the one you jump in by, assuming you used a Jump point, or failing that, the jump point closest to the point you jumped in.
But that may not be the one closest to the Quest item, which is what the Hint sounds like it should be.

11
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: April 05, 2021, 08:48:08 AM »

And lol @ the <event> that pushed my entire fleet into red CR all at once and cost me 700+ supplies in recovery.

Ooof, ate that one too.
David did it to us on purpose.
Spoiler
Of course we were gonna stick around to watch the pretty explosion, did anyone expect differently?
[close]

I Knew something hinky was gonna happen, and I still got caught by it

Also, nice touch is that if you go back, the Jump points have destabilised and can't be used, just like Galatia in the Tutorial, so you can't colonise that system (hint, pick a system with nothing worthwhile but the gate in)

Another cute Idea might be that next time (during the Magec escape) you decide not to trust the Janus device and have an option to send one ship ahead as a test...only or it to work fine, but for your ship with the Janus device to be on the wrong side and leaving your fleet down a ship and having to get to Galatia the Slow way...
the Price of Paranoia.

12
Actually, I tried the trick with just updating the Mod.json reference, and so far it works fine. Not saying something at some point won't break it, but so far everything seems fine, both on my end, and with NPC fleets using it

13
Mods / Re: [0.9.1a] Terraforming and Station Construction (v5.4.1)
« on: August 01, 2020, 01:06:23 PM »
Is it possible to require a specific item besides just Credits, as a prerequisite?
Because then you could Gate it behind something that currently doesn't have much use: Survey Reports.

As an alternative to selling them for cash, use Survey Reports as a currency to buy Terraforming Technique progress

Not sure if this is possible, but it seems to address the issues of getting Terraforming Structures from the get go, and provides another, logical use for Surveying.

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