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Starsector 0.96a is out! (05/05/23); Blog post: Colony Crises (11/24/23)

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I'd prefer stale to actively annoying though. I'd assume most folk would as well?
I know (probably Megas) and I are on the same page, I'm not sure how to @ someone on here or I would @ him.
The old system before HA was better. The current HA system is very easy to abuse and ignore, and if you don't it is incredibly annoying. To give a few examples.
If you set up your colony in the Penelope star system, you will never have to worry about destroying pirate stations as they will spawn too far away to be counted towards HA.
The LP will never target level three worlds, meaning you can spam small Alpha core colonies all over the sector as a very large profit generator.
If you haven't attracted LP attention, and have a level six world with a high command, you can pretty much ignore pirate stations. Eventually they will generate enough HA to be a problem, as pirate station HA increases with station size which increases overtime, but it takes decades. All the while they are increasing your profits by raiding the core worlds.
The entire HA system can be ignored if the player bargains with Kanta, and gives the LP a planet killer.

While some of these will be fixed next update, some won't and can't due to how the system works.
Having pirate stations randomly target you, and being able to destroy those stations was a better, and more consistent design. The fact that the core worlds and factions don't suffer under the HA system is weird, especially with Alex's previous "everyone is on equal footing" design philosophy.

As I already warned him, all the new system is going to achieve is forcing players to mod their game so they don't have to, or can deal with the "it's just one time" death fleets.
No one is going to want to worry about a random sat bomb attempt every playthrough.
If a player plays 10 playthroughs in their life, that's 9 times too many sat-bomb attempts.

You have to remember that once the game stops trying to beat us, it gets boring fast.  Successful colonies can easily negate a vast majority of the challenges the game throws at us, so colony-specific problems keep things from getting stale.
The game stops trying to beat the player after they defeat the "it's just a one time invasion / sat-bomb" fleet. Nothing has been resolved, it has just been made more annoying.

Really the issue is Alex seems to be caught between wanting the game to be static sandbox that only the player can change, and wanting the factions to have dynamic changing behavior that impacts the player.
You can't have both.
If he goes with the former, he has to accept the player will have a money printer colony, and the late game will be stale. But the story will always be consistent.
If he goes with the latter, he has a gold standard mod to take inspiration from I.E. Nexerelin. But has to accept he will never have control over the sector's story.

Blog Posts / Re: Colony Crises
« on: November 28, 2023, 12:27:22 PM »
The only thing I wonder is where the combat replicators would go. Otherwise, ground defenses are nearly useless. I only build them for the stability boost.

On phase, it's one of those classic balance problems where one pixel to the left and they're just paperweights, and one pixel to the right and frigates can 1v1 paragons. I can't say much, except that I don't remember ever seeing modded phase ships, and that's not because they're difficult to make from a code/art perspective.
There's plenty of modded phase ships. Including one extremely powerful one that's exceptionally difficult to pilot.

Blog Posts / Re: Colony Crises
« on: November 28, 2023, 01:37:36 AM »
Doom doesn't kite or fly behind you. It just places bombs at you, so it's not a real phase ship, it's a Gryphon tbh... Which I know is a really dumb *** stupid take I just made. And yeah, it is debatable, but it's meant to serve as entry point to this discussion that yeah, Doom is good. But is Doom really Doom? Or is it not Doom?
The Hyperion is more of phase ship than the Doom, so calling it a spooky Gryphon is entirely fine and accurate.

I'm still hoping for a destroyer or cruiser sized high tech carrier for the high tech blueprint package.  So there's something in there that can actually use the fighter blueprints that come in the package and you aren't plopping those things into condors if you want to use your own ship designs.
Yep, before this update I just used shrike spam with converted hangers. Worked out okay, not great, but okay. The increase in DP per fighters pretty much killed the strategy this update as it relied on them being dirt cheap.
Honestly wouldn't mind a TT conversion that removed the medium energy mount, replaced it with a hanger, reduced flux dissipation, and swapped its system for Reserve Deployment so that its DP per fighter bay was worthwhile.

Blog Posts / Re: Colony Crises
« on: November 26, 2023, 06:35:02 PM »
I'll throw my observations in as well. Multiple times when waiting outside a system that was spawning an expedition, it somehow got past me despite me camping all jump points in hyperspace.

The worst case of hostile fleets popping into existence in my system was three days after I drew Luddic Path attention to one of my colonies, and a LP armada came into sensor range from a region of the star system that had no jump points, or gravity wells to transverse jump to. It likewise couldn't have maneuvered to that position from other areas of the system within that timeframe.

Trade fleets moving between the core worlds and distant player colonies frequently pop into existence right in front of the player.

Partially unrelated, but somewhat related. Luddic Path fleets that spawn and attack the player over looking for blueprints can miss the player, and respawn at the next star system the player leaves, regardless of whether or not that star system was part of a blueprint quest, even if they never observed the player entering said system.

Overall, there appears to be a significant delay between when a fleet exists purely in the background code, and when it exists in player view. To the point the player can miss it entirely. Likewise, some background code fleets move faster than they should be able to.

Blog Posts / Re: Colony Crises
« on: November 26, 2023, 04:10:50 PM »
If the luddic church were to succeed in taking your planet could you be able to take it back without suffering the perpetual decivilized debuff or something? Because currently the only way to take owned planets is to nuke them into a wasteland or complete societal collapse far as i know.

You couldn't - it's not an invasion proper; the in-world justification for this is different, more of a "taking over the planet by demonstrating that you're helpless in defending it and can't be relied on". So, invasions are still not a thing.
The reason for the "totally not an invasion" is that the player couldn't stop the invasion, therefore it's justified and not an invasion. Also, the player can't reinvade even with the forces to do so, because invasion isn't a thing, and instead has to waste hours killing their own people, rebuilding their now damaged world, and fixing all of the factions' relationships.

The absolute chutzpah.

Well then, I'm not going to commit genocide via sat-bombing. I'm going to do a fuel purge and watch the Luddic Church colonies commit suicide, because if the really wanted to live they should have forced me to drop my fuel elsewhere.

Blog Posts / Re: Colony Crises
« on: November 26, 2023, 12:34:49 AM »
I understand what you're saying in a vacuum, but I don't understand it as a reaction to a one-off event that you can see coming many months away and be in position to crush to permanently end the threat. Along with a bunch of others options in case there's some compelling reason that you can't.

Like... is the "issue to fix" "I don't want to fight some Pathers at some point, once"? The game's a combat game and it's providing you combat content, this isn't a problem, it's a solution! If this kept happening *all the time* then sure, I get it. A one-off challenge you have to face in a playthrough if you do certain things (even if with a fairly low threshold)? Seems good to me.

(With the caveat that specific numbers could always turn out to need some tuning. Maybe the attack turns out to be too strong for when it might happen, maybe the threshold is too low, etc.)
The first issue is the proposed HA crisis will always be the same story line.
How many times do I want to play a story line? Once. Am I ever going to touch it again during another run? No, because I know how it ends. Am I forced to play through the story line each run? No, I can ignore them.
So how many times am I going to want to fight each crisis knowing they will behave the same across runs? Once. Am I ever going to want to go through it again? No because I know how it ends. Am I forced to deal with at least some faction crisis that I've already experienced each run? Yes, unless I destroy their military markets before starting a colony, which means doing their attached story lines. If it's a choice between wasting time potentially having a planet sat bombed or stolen, or wasting time running through a story line I've already done, I'm going to choose the later as I can do the latter quickly in almost all circumstances.
There's no reason for me to tolerate the crisis each time I want to test an expensive fleet build and need colony support, or want to test colony builds. So, I will ensure as few happen as possible.
There's also no reason for story protections to be in place if a player knows they are ruining a storyline.

The second issue is the immortal annoying or hostile npc issue. I've already talked about this, but it is one of my more hated features across video games, especially certain Bethesda games. If an NPC can provoke or attack a player, it needs to be killable. It doesn't matter if it's a one and done deal, as it will happen multiple times across runs.

The third issue is if I wanted the story to include risking losing my colonies to invasion or sat bombing, I would install Nexerelian.
No, I'm not saying you shouldn't implement things that Nex has. I'm saying if you do, you should look and see why they work there, and what needs to be changed or added for them to work in vanilla. Nex is a story about absolute war, which clearly is not the story you want to tell for vanilla.
My personal recommendation would to be to attach such extreme faction actions to a storyline.

The fourth issue is a lack of a satisfying conclusion. Someone tries to kill or kidnap your people, fails, and now wants peace at best, or will keep attacking you in small ways at worst, isn't a satisfying conclusion. The tidbits that are given to the player as a reward are  no-where near enough.
Once the line of attempted invasion or genocide has been crossed, there's only one way the story can end if the aggressor does not make amends.

Blog Posts / Re: Colony Crises
« on: November 25, 2023, 08:26:28 PM »
But! You don't need to put everything in the same system. You don't need to have a free port on every colony. You don't need multiple high commands, or even any. You don't need commerce. All I can really tell you is I've seen plenty of "I can't make any money from colonies because of the hostile activity system" savegames and it was pretty much always something that could be resolved in zero in-game days by just adjusting some immediate colony settings. I remember one that went from being negative to being something like 200k+ credits a month.
The good news is this doesn't really matter anymore, since the penalties are going anyway :)
Yes, but it's a management issue.
You either have to kill the large late game expedition fleets yourself, or you have to have one very expensive high command with a cryoarithmetic engine, or multiple cheaper high commands. If you go the route of letting your system fleets handle it, it has to be all within one system. Or you'll just have to personally defend your other systems.
The high command(s) typically get supported by one very profitable colony, usually a habitable world. If the player gets unlucky, and only has the option of a very high hazard system, and doesn't find a dealmaker holosuite, then it becomes a requirement for that colony to also have free port enabled, which can make it very fragile.
I'm glad it won't be an issue anymore, I was just trying to explain there were actual circumstances that required players to keep HA low.

Yeah, I'm well aware! I thought the tone in the blog post conveyed that I was joking around a bit, too. In othr words, the implementation of that particular crisis is a bit of a meme, too.
Sorry about that then, it's always difficult to tell when people are joking online. Still, I recommend keeping the idea of Remnants raiding from other nearby star system in the back of your mind.
There's already a story precedent for them to occasionally find their way to other star systems.

As you noted, you can't actually wipe them out. And the event that attacks the player is literally easier to deal with - and suppress the threat for the rest of the playthrough - then going around decivilizing Pather worlds. So I'm not sure that makes a ton of sense.
You can with Nex. Which is the issue. While I don't know how it will be fully implemented, them being able to destroy the player's worlds over mining, refining, and a fullerene spool, is a bridge too far. It will start pushing the game in the direction where Nexerelin is recommended for new players to start with, and old players feel it's required to fix this issue. IE towards that Bethesda style path where modders do what they can to fix issues or annoyances with the game that shouldn't have been there at all.
Either all plans for invasion and saturation bombings need to be dialed back, the player needs a method of ensuring they can't happen to begin with, or the player needs a functional method of reprisals.
I don't understand why you seem to want the player to have immortal enemies that can severely harm the player, that the player can't harm or permanently end.

As for how long it takes to deal with them. It's a couple gas tanks of fuel, and a couple rounds of combat with stations. That's pretty quick when compared to possibly dealing with a sat bomb when you're at the opposite end of the sector and can't return to your colony in time, or "managing" their attacks from when you start a colony to when you quit playing.

<a bunch of stuff>
I think you're making some wrong assumptions (which, fair enough, you don't have full info) and then extrapolating from them with a little too much vigor and then *also* assuming everyone is going to play the same way that you do. I kind of get where you're coming from, I just think most of what you've said there is way, way, way too extreme, to the point where imo it's mostly inapplicable :) I mean, maybe "if they sent a semi-hostile fleet to my system, I will escalate to saturation bombardments immediately" is true for you - and for a few other players - but that kind of approach is not something I'm going to design around. You can certainly *do* that! But the game isn't going to be built around that hair-trigger attitude, if that makes sense.

(Edit: for one, that makes for a less believable world. And regardless, sat-bombardment is basically an option the game assumes the player doesn't have. It's something you can do, sure. But if you have done it, in my mind the game's gone off the rails enough that it basically doesn't matter how it pans out.)

(You can also avoid most of these crises by not doing certain things, same as the Hegemony one. Not that I'd particularly recommend it.)
I will admit I have an extreme hair trigger for trespassers, but everything else is equal force. If the Sindrian Diktat turns to sat bombing I will destroy Sindria alone. The same holds true for the League's military worlds. The only reason for my particular spite towards the Luddics is their cooperative nature and the combination of an invasion and sat bombing coming from them.
Getting attacked by Pathers in Church territory, and watching an independent fleet get killed by a Church station that was assisting a Pather, also has not done anything positive towards my opinion of them.
As for other players, they'll try to play by the rules and not go down the route of wiping out a third of the sector, but annoyance and frustration will eventually win out.

As for sat-bombing not being "cannon" then perhaps it should be removed entirely, for both player and NPC factions. Otherwise if the LP and possibly the SD is going to use it against the player as a "solution" to their problems, then it needs to be a solution for the player's problems. Which means story protection needs to be removed with a warning, and LP needs to cease to exist if all their planets and stations are destroyed. Otherwise Nexerelin, a mod, becomes the solution to this issue which I'm sure you don't want.

As long as all things to be avoided are reasonable and possible, it's fine. It's also fine if the player can't do all of them at once, as in the player has to choose which lines to cross knowing they will end up fighting those factions. If it's a line like don't produce fuel, then it's not going to be fine.

Blog Posts / Re: Wormholes and Sundry - Getting Around the Sector
« on: November 25, 2023, 06:44:13 PM »
You say that, but I have yet to see an officer actually spawn with something like Salvaging or Bulk Freight.
Captain, as in fleet Captains, not officers. Even though it's never displayed, you've seen them with officer management, officer training, and best of the best. High-end bounties can spawn with 10 or more pure level 6-7 officers with three s-mods on each ship.
Targeting the enemy fleet captain in combat from your flagship will show their skills, and it will only show combat skills despite it being clear they have more than combat skills.

Blog Posts / Re: Colony Crises
« on: November 25, 2023, 05:52:03 PM »
"Taking a step back, why are the penalties there? One reason is to give the player a reason to fight these fleets – but that’s working a little *too* well, and is also working against the player seeing the more interesting events. The other main reason is just feel – it’s hostile activity, right? There should be some kind of consequences for letting it run unchecked."

It's an issue of needing all of the players colonies in one system to safeguard them against large expeditions. Which means many ideal systems will have multiple high hazard planets that the player needs to colonize, and grow to ensure their colony logistics can support a high command on an extreme heat world, or multiple high commands.
Once you tack on the penalties from HA, this can quickly become unprofitable, and in some cases dangerous as the two ways to make a colony more profitable are enabling free port and adding commerce, both of which add a -3 stability penalty. All it takes is for a raid to succeed, and a back to back shipping disruption of organics or food to decivilize a world that has both commerce and a free port.
While I haven't had it yet happen to me this patch, Tibicena has decivilized simply due to pirate raids alone. Now imagine a player's colony similar to Tibicena with HA tacked on. That's why so many players feel like they have to keep it low.
Likewise, always remember, colonies might end up being money printers, however you pay for what you get. It will take decades of cycles at least to get a full return on investment for a fully self-sustaining system.

"Defensive buildings at your colonies – Military Bases and such – slow down event progress instead of reducing it by a flat amount; otherwise you could end up with negative event progress and miss out on crises (and opportunities) entirely."

Depending on how severe some of the crisis are, this will cause more vanilla players to complain they have no way of dealing with story worlds, until after they have finished their story line. Likewise it will cause nex players to just sat bomb everyone that could be a problem in advance. There's no point in completing story lines every save. Once you've done them once, there's no reason to do them again, unless you're after the rewards.

"one for having a [REDACTED] base in your system. No longer will that be just a free source of defenders to thin out incoming raiders!"

This is a meme Alex, a joke. No one actually does this unless they have a mod to make Remnants friendly as it prevents them from visiting their own colonies, or they suffer constant trade disruptions.
A crisis that involves a nearby Remnant system would be fine.

"the Pathers, btw, mean business more so than the pirates – they’re coming to saturation-bombard your technological base!"

The complaints will be endless about immortal Pather worlds, and zombie Pather bases, all the while they can flat out destroy at least one of your worlds. Nexerelin players will destroy the Path before ever setting up their colony. The issue is in terms of their defenses, the Pathers have 0 capacity to stop the player from destroying them. They are kept alive purely through plot armor.
While the same holds true for most factions, as everyone but the player is stuck in a state of stasis, it's notably harder, and there are ramifications of destroying the other factions, mostly profit issues. There's 0 reason to keep the Pathers around, and so any player that gets the chance to wipe them out, will.
Giving them an event that attacks the player's colony in such a manner forces the player's hand.
So, before this goes through, I recommend giving the player a significant benefit to keeping them alive, making it far harder to kill them (a star fortress with constant defenders in the outer reaches), and enabling the player to destroy them. Furthermore, such a crisis should only occur under extreme circumstances so players can avoid it. I would recommend an Alpha core administrator and multiple failed Hegemony inspections. Of course, this brings up a further issue that Alpha cores are the only way for the player to efficiently techmine vast ruins, so excluding level 3 worlds is also probably a good idea.

To give an example of giving them a significant benefit. Currently the benefit of keeping the pirates alive is they raid and reduce the accessibility of the core worlds, which reduces the core worlds market shares, which increases the player's profit. It also seems to have a mild disruptive effect on the core worlds sending expeditions, and if a pirate raid is ongoing where an expedition spawns, it can kill the expedition.

"or giving something special to the Pathers that definitely won’t have any long-term consequences."

This is why nobody pursues this option for dealing with current Pather HA.

"I will spoil it a bit – the “hostile activity” fleets that show up in the player system well before the crisis are “League Enforcers” that patrol the space, attack pirates – but also subject your fleets, as well as other trade fleets, to constant harassment."

Option three and sat bomb the Leagues military worlds. Giving the immediate choice to work with the factions to create trade deals or face normal or enhanced expeditions is a better option. Especially if the League did what the SD does when one of their fleets goes "rogue" and attacks the player over the Ziggurat.
The other factions treat trespassers with saturation bombardment, and immediate lethal force.
Players aren't going to go the diplomatic route if they're being provoked into combat by trespassing League military forces.
The end result will be very similar to the Pather issue, but specifically for League military worlds.

"The Church will try to invade your habitable worlds"

>Deeply inhales.
Even if the events are one offs. The line is being crossed by factions needlessly, and plunging the player into a point of no return mindset. The result will be predictable.
Furthermore, the player does not even have the option to invade the other factions' worlds. As such invasion is functionally equal to sat bombing. The extreme provocation of both the Path and Church will result in total Luddic death in pretty much every run. Their story will be completed in advance, just to kill them.

"If you’re familiar with the Diktat, you can make a pretty good guess as to what the crisis is about!"

Sat bombing over fuel will be returned without hesitation. Players will complain that the independents and Heg are whining about the player doing what was done to them. Not to mention the story world issue.

"Think of it as a high-powered business negotiation. There’s even a separate Event that progresses as you ensure that your position on the issue of healthy competition is understood!"

I don't trust this after the above.
Also is TT ever going to investigate where we got all of our AI cores? Or will that forever be flavor text?

"The AI inspections are now a series of escalating crises, instead of being separate from this system. Defeating the inspections is narratively framed as defeating the Hegemony, and there’s a new way to avoid the inspections."

Which is avoidable by simply not using AI cores. Which is easy to do and almost never required. This is why I like the Hegemony in vanilla. They have a clear line the player can avoid crossing, and they will leave the player alone if they do not cross it.

Which is the universal problem with all of the above. They have no line for the player to not cross. There is no reasonable diplomatic solution before violence, and no one will pursue diplomatic solutions after being provoked.
The sector with story protections will be an aggravating problem, and without story protections, it will be a graveyard with its only living occupants being the Hegemony, Pirates, Independents, and the broken remains of the former powers.

Yes, a gameplay concession. Luddic Path flavor text in faction doesn't suggest they are buddies.
Except it seems to be more than that, as if it were just a gameplay concession, the relationship could just be dropped too friendly.

They are on cooperative terms, allies. They care about losing that relationship given it's probably how they keep popping up like zombies.

I think you might be misunderstanding what Luddic Path is. Luddic Church is an actual theocratical government with econonomy, recognized borders, interfaction relationships. Luddic Path, however, are just loosely organized cells of zealous terrorists. They can only be "cooperative" or "allies" in a sense that Pathers do not target Luddic Church colonies. And yes, most Pathers probably come from disgruntled followers of Ludd's faith or overzealous Knights of Ludd who broke ties with their organization, and the former span across the entire sector not just LC borders.
The Luddic Church will flat out assist Pathers in combat. To be perfectly clear, this is in vanilla. If a LP attacks an independent vessel near a LC station, the station will assist the LP.

Luddic Path couldn't care less about perfectly habitable worlds getting destroyed, refer to Mairaath (Mayasura III, League world) for an example. And while Gilead is sacred to Luddic Church, they are not exactly buddies with LP, in fact a lot of Pathers consider LC corrupt, and they are not wrong.
Also the bit about sector policies cracking down on LP twice as much instead of shifting all resources to hunt down rogue captain deploying planet killers is a giant stretch and I don't think anyone in any position of power in LP would buy into that
They are on cooperative terms, allies. They care about losing that relationship given it's probably how they keep popping up like zombies.

Still though, you are right about the second point.
Give me some time for a better idea, I have one but am too tired to articulate it. Basically, it will be a bluff about deploying the PK on Gilead with a double layer disguise. The outer layer being Try-Tachyon, the inner layer being the LP. It will be about framing the LP as if they are trying to kill two birds with one Planet Killer. Start a Holy war against TT, and remove the corruption within the Church. This will all be exposed, and the sector at large will blame the LP, even though it was the Player.

Except the problem is refining generates 2 points of LP interest, mining generates 1 point, and all Domain artifacts generate 4 regardless of what they are, the exception being Hypershunt Taps.
It doesn't make sense for the LP to be angry about mining and refining, meanwhile it would make sense for them to be angry about fuel production and heavy industry but neither generate LP interest.
That's my problem. It makes no sense lore wise and is annoying gameplay wise.
Likewise, it doesn't make sense lore or gameplay wise why I have to give the Path a planet killer to get them to leave me alone, when I can just bluff that I'll use it on Gilead if they keep bothering me.
The Path just doesn't make sense.

Also no, sat bombing Gilead wouldn't work as a threat as it would still be habitable afterwards. Dirty, but habitable. A planet killer would render it uninhabitable. Given it's the jewel of the Luddic faith, and clearly where a large portion of Pather resources are coming from, it would be a viable threat. are aware that the Path's raison d'être is the need to destroy Domain-era technology? Mining and refining would generate interest, but not enough to cause the Path to want to destroy your world. But adding an autonomous mantle bore? Sabotaging a world that makes use of such an item would be a great victory, and unless you take measures to prevent them, they'll try and sabotage you.

Like: "why aren't the [radical religious zealots who believe fuel production is a sin] acting reasonably enough for my liking?"

Deploying a PK on Gilead would galvinise the Pathers more -- it'd be treated as a sign of Armageddon, inspire hundreds of thousands of faithful to swell their ranks, and would also cause the rest of the sector to hate you. Why would they stop you?
I think I'm not making myself clear. I'm fine with Domain artifacts generating Pather interest. I disagree that a fullerene spool, and a biofactory embyro should generate the same interest.
I also disagree that mining and refining should generate interest if fuel production and heavy industry generate none.
Megas is probably right as to why, but giving fuel production +1, heavy industry +1, and reducing refining down to +1 wouldn't hurt anything.

As for why they would stop you is pretty simple. Who told the Player where the PK was? The Path. Who has been slowly killing the Player via a thousand cuts? The Path.
Who has been supporting the Path in their rampant terrorism against the Player for a bit of mining, refining, and a fullerene spool? The Church.

The Player can't use the PK as they lack the codes, however, the Path is unlikely to know that, and even if they do, it was being guarded by some very bored AI cores. So it is a bluff.
The bluff would go as follow.

Player: "After I have destroyed Gilead the sector will demand answers for my actions, and I will tell them the truth. I will provide them with proof of your ceaseless piracy and terrorism against me, despite my best efforts to reason with you. I will provide them proof of you giving me the location of the PK, in the hopes of claiming it for your own genocidally nefarious purposes. I will provide them the endless proof that I have gathered from your operatives that I have captured, of the Church's backing, funding, and partial direction of your actions.
The Sector at large will not accept this proof as justification for my actions. However, their acceptance was never an issue.
The point it to make it brutally clear that the reason the Church was attacked is due to their support of your needless war. To make it inescapable clear that the reason Gilead was destroyed was due to your corruption and pursuit of technological power.
The devastating loss in population, combined with the following cataclysmic reformation in the Church will see the end of all Pather support, and the beginning of hostilities for the role you played in Gilead's death. Along with the Sector wide crackdown on the Luddic Path as it's now clear you're entirely set on wholesale genocide.
You've given me the choice between dying slowly by a thousand Pather cuts, or destroying us both. There is no choice."

Pather station head: "Then why are you here?"

Player: "Simple. While I am not above genociding millions for the abominable actions of a few. Unlike you, I have no desire for it. I am here to give you one last chance to choose a different path."

After which point the Pathers will cease attacking the Player for a time, until a later meeting point at which they will set the peace requirements for the Player. Which will be no using AI cores, and possible no using Hypershunt Taps. It really depends lore wise how Alex wants the Path to be portrayed for the latter requirement.

So, TLDR: The Path will negotiate rather than run the risk of Gilead being destroyed, as it will destroy them as well for the role they played.

While I'm here. @Alex mining + refining + a domain artifact should not cause an active Luddic Path cell and an increase to Hostile Activity. It also shouldn't cause LP armadas to pop into existence from nowhere in my system the moment it happens.

It totally should. Captain, you are dealing with an armed, violent, and politically-motivated sect of fanatic terrorists. These terrorists have considerable manpower, bases across the fringe worlds, and adept political/military leadership. They likely receive support from sympathetic factions of a religious organisation so large it consecrated its own polity around Canaan and Eos Exodus. You have deployed an autonomous mantle bore on your world. You, a glutton, a fool, have been so direly swayed by the lucre of Mammon's silver that you set loose a roving demon on a world that drills deep into its mantle, piercing its crust in an unholy exorcism that churns minerals from the ground with such ease that Moloch himself is astounded. It makes sense that unless aptly protected, those who walk Ludd's Path will seize upon your world with a righteous vengeance; hurling holy armadas at your planets with reckless abandon. Rule no. 1 of game design is balance (well, maybe not rule no. 1, but whatever) -- it is both mechanically sound and lore-accurate that Pathers will impose consequences on you for abuse of the industrial technology that led humanity astray in the first place. Or whatever.
Except the problem is refining generates 2 points of LP interest, mining generates 1 point, and all Domain artifacts generate 4 regardless of what they are, the exception being Hypershunt Taps.
It doesn't make sense for the LP to be angry about mining and refining, meanwhile it would make sense for them to be angry about fuel production and heavy industry but neither generate LP interest.
That's my problem. It makes no sense lore wise and is annoying gameplay wise.
Likewise, it doesn't make sense lore or gameplay wise why I have to give the Path a planet killer to get them to leave me alone, when I can just bluff that I'll use it on Gilead if they keep bothering me.
The Path just doesn't make sense.

Also no, sat bombing Gilead wouldn't work as a threat as it would still be habitable afterwards. Dirty, but habitable. A planet killer would render it uninhabitable. Given it's the jewel of the Luddic faith, and clearly where a large portion of Pather resources are coming from, it would be a viable threat.


First and foremost, it does not necessarily imply that the XIV Battlegroup ships we see in-game are from the 14th Battlegroup itself.

Every 14th Battlegroup variant has a note in codex identifying it as "A survivor of the original 14th Domain Battlegroup which founded the Hegemony".

Manufacturing a XIV Battlegroup starship therefore requires access to an industrial-grade nanoforge, an appropriate XIV blueprint, the prerequisite raw materials, and maybe a specialist team skilled enough to put the components together.

There are no XIV blueprints in universe, a lot of blueprints, like LP and pirate ship conversions, are just gameplay concessions that do not exist lore wise. Pirates don't put an Atlas MK2 blueprint into a nanoforge to print it. They just salvage an Atlas out in the wild and modify it.

It is likely that "series of radical structural modifications performed using pre-Collapse industrial technology" refers to whatever tweaks the base variants underwent after they were produced. It might even specifically refer to using nanoforges to print the necessary parts, so recreating 14th variants might not be out of the question in present time, but seeing how all XIV variants are said to be original survivors it seems nobody does this anymore.
It could be the design specifications are the "survivor", not the ships themselves. The Heg, at a minimum, lost the ability to produce XIV Legions.
This of course assumes the blueprints exist in universe, and are like hullmods. As in they are massive data slates with functional examples of how to produce ships under various conditions, to ensure they are consistent enough to meet Domain quality standards, but modular enough to enable a host of hull modifications, and differing weapon systems.
The only issue with this theory is that blueprints disappear on use, although that can be explained as the Domain applying DRM.

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