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Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21); Blog post: Of Slipstreams and Sensor Ghosts (09/24/21)

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Messages - AsterPiano

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1
Video here
Behaviour happens at about 2:20 onwards and continues for the rest of the video, until eventually they get lucky and manage to finish the Astrals off.

The Astrals are low on health, so the Centurions probably want to defend from the incoming death explosion, and so they use Damper Field (they use it even when they're not being shot at), which prevents them from using weapons and actually finishing it off. The officers in the Astrals have the Shield Modulation skill so this goes on for several minutes

The Centurions' loadout is only Antimatter Blasters and Reapers (They also have Safety Overrides).

2
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« on: November 06, 2020, 03:59:15 PM »
Alex, can you make that non-installable thing work for weapons, too? I also find it amusing that you think there might be 1000+ OP fighters in the modiverse.

Ah, good call - did that!

(You mean there aren't? I'm disappointed.)
There are at least mod ships (though only cheat level ships afaik) with 1000+ OP in the modiverse

3
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« on: October 27, 2020, 02:55:07 PM »
While not substantial and hype inducing, they could help keeping the playerbase engaged and speaking about the game to their friends/making youtube videos etc etc (which of course, means more sales for you).

If even 20% of the current patch notes were separated into smaller updates every couple months or something, it could make many people happier and keep the community strong imho.
Personally, I find the modding and Tournaments already do a good job of adding 'small updates' to my experience of the game and keeping the community strong.
With the actual base game updates, I think of each version as almost a whole new game. The added features are designed with each other in mind and I think that adding them in bit by bit would decrease the overall impact of those changes as they wouldn't quite be able to 'play off each other' and be used to their full potential.
I also think more frequent game updates would make it more difficult for modders to keep everything up to date with the current release.

(Also ninja'ed! But still want to voice my opinion)

4
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« on: October 26, 2020, 05:50:42 PM »
Maybe dmods should factor into it after all, since that's the main point that makes Pirate fleets so weak for their size.
However that would mean the player can exploit dmods to make their own fleet's strength value lower, so you could make the equation pretend Player ships are all at a non-dmod level.

I think it's reasonable to do it this way, it assumes a kind of "best case scenario" for the player, which means a player can't trick the game into thinking he has a weak fleet when actually the player's ships might for be dmodded but without any combat dmods, or they are combat impacting dmods but the player chose ships that have the least impact for their role, and assumes the pirate fleet's ships have all combat impacting dmods. (Although actually, doesn't fighting dmod riddled fleets give less XP anyway?)

I'm thinking it might be good to play it safe and add some slight inconsistencies to the equation just to make sure the player can't abuse it. Because the player can choose what their own fleet's strength will be, where it's possible to keep rolling for the "perfect dmods", but they can't choose their enemy with the same precision as for their own fleet.
Just to kind of reword what I'm trying to say, you can generalise for enemy fleets, that more dmods make them weaker, but you can't use that same generalisation for players.

Of course this might be overcomplicating/overdesigning this feature and might actually make it too much trouble for what it's worth.

5
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« on: October 25, 2020, 10:29:01 AM »
I've thought about the gameplay implications of these notes a bit more, focused around this change
Quote
Increased XP gain from fighting more challenging battles; up to 500% more XP gained

Fleet Combat 'Efficiency' will now be significantly more important. Combat XP is now not only based around the strength of the fleets you destroy, but also around how efficiently you have designed your fleet.
XP now also has the added importance of gaining you Story Points, in addition to the already important Skill Points.

These changes add a new meaning to picking player Combat Skills, in the current 0.9.1a patch they can massively increase your fleet's combat efficiency - especially in the early game/for small fleets where you have very few combat ships - but with 0.95a's changes they further give a boost to XP gain and now by extension, Story Point gain.
(assuming Combat Skills are equally as good as they were previously, a well piloted player ship with full combat skills can increase the ship's effectiveness tenfold)
These changes definitely encourage players to try maximising the efficiency of a smaller fleet through carefully designed fleet strategy and loadouts in order to fight bigger fleets (going 'taller' kinda), as opposed to getting more/bigger combat ships and focusing more on numbers (going 'wider'), which I think is especially good since big fleets for new players can be frustrating to manage the logistics of; they often end up being slow and expensive.
Also more than before you're discouraged from going after easy targets, and encouraged to go after larger targets where you can make full use of all of your combat ships.

Quote
Story point uses include (but are not limited to):
  • "Piloted ship" skills can be raised to "elite" level, unlocking an additional effect
  • Building a limited number of permanent hullmods into ships, making the cost 0 ordnance points
  • Officers: Can raise one skill to "elite" level (story point)
Speaking of Story points, these additions give the player more ways to spend resources on their fleet to further tune its effectiveness in combat and affect combat XP. However, depending on how the equation works, using these features could increase the "fleet strength" value of your fleet, which could make them less worthwhile. (Although using story points does grant bonus XP anyway, so it might cancel itself out)

Another implication that I find interesting is, the player already has a choice to forgo logistics in order to increase the fleet's overall combat efficiency, and the change of "more XP from challenging battles" adds to the already existing dynamic of Combat vs Logistics by asking Combat-focused fleets the question "Do you want to focus on Combat XP, or do you want more space for Salvage?", which adds extra playstyle options even among Combat focused fleets.

Quote
Cargo Pods: cheaper to stabilize, stabilization adds 400 days (was: 150)
This also supports the idea of removing cargo ships to increase combat efficiency to some extent, as it makes it easier for the player to pick up all of the cargo they couldn't at a later time. (Also generally.. I'm quite happy about the prospect of stabilising cargo pods being less costly and more effective, big fan of this change!)

However, I have a few worries about this change to combat XP, depending on how the equation works for deciding on the strength of a fleet. For example if the number of officers in your fleet strongly affects the "strength" of your fleet for the purposes of combat XP calculation, then it could discourage hiring low level officers. If it scales with the level of the officer, it could discourage the use of officers overall (however, even if the scaling was punishing it would at least give you a choice of more Combat XP vs more pure fleet strength).
However, if the "fleet strength" value does scale with your fleet officers' levels, that also raises the worrying question of "Does your Player Combat Skills Level affect "fleet strength" ? I personally think this would be a mistake as it further discourages players from trying Combat Skills if they think they're bad at piloting ships.
Some more questions, does having more/more expensive weapons equipped on ships increase the player's "fleet strength" value? Does having less dmods increase the value?

Of course, all of this depends on how exactly the equation will work, and what the purpose of the change is. Since I don't know I'm just making assumptions about what it could be. It could scale with your officer levels but only a little bit, so that it's still better to have officers than not (as long as you use them). I guess there's a lot of unknowns here so I began thinking about the (in my opinion) worst case scenarios.
As far as I can tell, the main purpose of the change is either to reward the player for their skill (in piloting/ordering and planning/loading out their fleet),
or to reward the player for their skill and all the resources they put into making their fleet more combat effective.
I guess my question comes down to: Is that the case? And if so, which is it? (Although I can understand if you don't want to share exactly how it'll work; people are bound to take the equation and minmax their gameplay choices around its quirks)

6
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« on: October 20, 2020, 05:14:46 PM »
My initial though is you'd be less locked in due to being able to re-spec

Wait, you're going to be able to re-spec in the next update!? Did I misread? Did I miss/forget some patch note or blog post?
(If you can, that sounds pretty nice even if it takes story points to do it)

7
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« on: October 16, 2020, 05:03:38 PM »
The addition of phase logistics ships makes me very happy, and the changes to Phase Field and High Resolution Sensors, the Go Dark ability and the Sensors skill, along with the addition of "Salvaging and Scavenging now briefly increase the fleet's sensor profile by 1000 units" sound like a really well thought out combination.
In the current version I'm a fan of sensor strength/profile focused exploration fleets and I imagine this is going to make for some dynamic gameplay, forcing you to choose between what to salvage and what to leave behind.. I guess generally this is going to create a sort of hard cap for how close to enemy fleets you can sneakily salvage stuff, but improve your ability to be undetected in other situations. I never thought about it, but it definitely makes more sense this way, since it's weird that an enemy fleet could detect something like a derelict ship, but not think something's off when that derelict ship suddenly turns into a debris field.

Quote
Scarab:
Increased flux dissipation to 250 (was: 150)
Increased flux capacity to 2500 (was: 2000)
Removed the two less than optimally placed weapon slots
It makes me happy to see the most (?) underwhelming ship in the game to get a nice buff. Also another feasible ship for slamming beams onto..

Quote
Paladin PD System
Burst PD Laser
Heavy Burst Laser
Mining Laser
The changes make me very happy. I still have a gut feeling that with these changes the Heavy Burst Laser will end up being underwhelming for its cost compared to the small Burst PD and the Paladin PD, but it's been some time since I last looked at the stats. And also a buff to some beam based weaponry makes me happy, goes well with that improvement of the Scarab ;)

Quote
Ion Pulser:
Increased range to 500 (was: 450)
Increased damage to 100 (was: 75)
Increased emp damage to 600 (was: 400)
I'm surprised about these changes, I've always thought the Ion Pulser was one of the most effective energy weapons (and also a lot of fun to use).
This change along with the decrease in OP for the Light Needler makes me wonder if you want to promote the use of more burst weapons, or if the reasons for the changes are completely something else.

Quote
Heavy Armor: reduced maneuver penalty to 10%, moderately increased armor bonus
As I was saying with burst weapons.. seems suspicious :P (but nice to see :D)
This is a juicy sounding buff, I'm excited to build some loadouts around these changes. Also becomes a more attractive choice for insurance to save AI pilots from their own mistakes.

Quote
All types of contacts allow you to order ships/weapons/fighters, without having a colony
Trade: use your own blueprints only
Military: use own, or faction's blueprints
Underworld: order good stuff regardless of blueprint availability; more expensive
Underworld contact functions as "arms dealer"; not selling production capacity
Is a way to get access to rare ships/items that might otherwise be too hard to find

Especially being someone that is unnecessarily picky about picking a colony spot and end up spending way too long deciding on a good system, I think that after the Skill System revamp and everything to do with Story Points, this is the most interesting addition for me. Being able to use your blueprints early on like that really opens up some nice options, like if you found a Buffalo (M) blueprint (did that even have a blueprint or am I making stuff up?) but you're having trouble finding good freighters for sale. Ahh that's going to be helpful,
And then the Military and Underworld options sound even more exciting on top of that... I'm curious, is this also going to mean that we don't need to be commissioned + high relations with a faction if we want to buy their good weapons or even ships?

Quote
Increased XP gain from fighting more challenging battles

Does this mean challenging in the sense of really high end late game battles, or challenging in the sense of battles against fleets much bigger/higher tier relative to your fleet? If it's the latter then that sounds really exciting and a lot of fun :D, a really nice boost for the early game and a satisfying reward for spending the time to load out a fleet efficiently, and not as many downsides to keeping a small fleet.
Also if it's the latter, does it take into account both fleets' officer levels? I wonder, would it also take into account the player's combat skills level?

8
I bought a couple of Hegemony auxiliary Buffalos and have been flying around doing some exploration missions for just under a year. One of them is now famous and the other is well-known.
Is this kind of pace intended? Because I don't feel like I've been doing that much. My character went from level 7 to level 11 during that time which I don't feel is a big jump. All of my civilian ships have some sort of extra traits, meanwhile my flagship hasn't gained any (though, I've only fought some derelict defenses with it so far).

Is gaining traits based on experience or is it also based on the money/reputation you earn? If it's both then I can kind of understand since the exploration missions have been paying pretty well and gaining my character some good reputation with various factions.

Example of civilian ships gaining traits despite very low exp gain


[close]

9
So basically, being in a corona should suspend repairs and recovery instead of draining CR equal to CR recovery?

Yeah, that might work! After writing this report I couldn't think of any specific way to fix it but this sounds like a plausible fix. Though I'm still not sure what's up with the hyperspace storms.

10
A heads up: I'm not sure where the real root of the problem is, so I've tried to include as many of the perspectives that I've seen as I can.
Also tried to use some colourcoding to hopefully make things easier to read.

I was trying to find out how big of an effect the Solar Shielding hullmod, and the Level 2 Safety Procedures skill have on supply loss, and found some weird things.
So I went bug hunting!
I tried a few different types of fleets and all of them showed the same results, however I will be using a fleet consisting of one Apogee as an example.

The test I did to find out the total CR/Supply loss was:
Suspend repairs of all ships.
Go into some CR draining terrain like a corona or pulsar beam.
Stay in there for exactly a day.
Pause the game, and go into the fleet screen to find out how much CR was lost, and by extension how many supplies were lost.

The first thing I noticed was that Solar Shielding and Safety Procedures generally have weaker effects than expected, with diminishing returns.
(For example, testing in a pulsar beam: What should have been a 50% decrease was a ~38% decrease in practice, and what was supposed to be an ~87.5% decrease was a ~66% decrease in practice)

More testing showed that CR recovery speed is a factor that decides how much CR you lose.
Take a fleet with only one Apogee, without any skills or hullmods:
When recovering CR, the fleet uses 4.2 supplies/day (This includes the 0.6/day for fleet maintenance, so for CR recovery it's technically using 3.6/day).
When you enter any corona or similar terrain with this fleet, it will always drain at least 4.2 supplies/day (3.6/day worth of CR).
And on top of that, it will drain some extra. It is this "extra" that is affected by the type of terrain, and decreased by Solar Shielding and Safety Procedures.

Some direct results:
Testing with an Apogee, teleporting to the center of Askonia, suspending repairs, and keeping it there for a day. (repeated a few times to make sure.)
When testing with no skills or hullmods, the fleet screen says it'll cost 5.4 supplies to finish repairs. (which is 3.6+1.8)
With Safety Procedures (50% decrease), the fleet screen says 4.5 supplies to finish repairs. (which is 3.6+0.9)

Now, after installing Efficiency Overhaul, the same fleet uses 5.88 supplies/day for recovering CR. (including 0.48/day for maintenance, meaning 5.4/day for recovering CR)
Doing the same test as before, the results matched the above findings, and the fleet was actually losing more CR and supplies than before, and the numbers matched the increase in recovery speed. (That is, a bare apogee with no skills in the same test as above was now showing 7.2 supplies required to finish repairs, which is 5.4+1.8)

There is a perspective from which this makes sense, and possibly why this has stayed unreported (?). If I do the same test as before, but without suspending repairs, suddenly the values shown in the fleet screen for "Total supplies to finish repairs" and the CR lost seemingly behave as they should, with Solar Shielding reducing them by 75%, Safety Procedures reducing them by 50%, and stacking for 87.5% if both are used.
However, this is misleading because it hides the constant 'recovery speed' supply loss mentioned earlier, which in most cases hurts your supplies more than the "extra" drain which is affected by SS and SP. The only real exception I've seen is Pulsar Beams and Black Holes (Though I'm not sure if Solar Shielding should protect you from a Black Hole's Event Horizon...)

And even with this perspective, from reading the tooltip for Efficiency Overhaul I would expect that the faster recovery should counteract the CR drain to slow it down, in exchange for faster supply use, while keeping the total supply use the same.
However, it seems that the fleet recovers CR faster, but then the CR drain increases by the same amount, counterbalancing the increase in recovery speed, to make the rate of CR drain the same, and increasing the total supply use.

(Also I briefly tested with an Apogee getting hit by a hyperspace storm, and saw no change in the supply loss after I did it with both SS and SP. What's up with that? The CR loss was certainly a lot lower, but the hull took the same amount of damage. It's almost as if the CR was being recovered for free while the hull was being repaired)

PS. No crew was harmed in the making of this report.

11
Mods / Re: [0.9.1a] Grand Sector
« on: September 08, 2019, 08:26:22 AM »
any plans on e.g. adding more customization ?

e.g.
number of nebulas ?

or weights for more planets / moons and similar stellar objects?

as it seems possible to procedurally generate as mentioned in
https://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=15101.msg245025#msg245025

Actually it might be much simpler to achieve what you want, the .csv files in starsector-core\data\campaign\procgen may be enough.
age_gen_data.csv allows you to increase the number of constellations that spawn as nebulae, and theoretically lets you increase the number of Binary and Trinary systems, though from testing it seems to be capped after a certain amount.

star_gen_data.csv allows you to change the distribution of stars that spawn (you can increase the chance of nebulae systems spawning). It also lets you increase the probability of stellar objects spawning around stars. (the probOrbits column, minOrbits column and maxOrbits column)

planet_gen_data.csv allows you to change the distribution of planets that spawn. There's a bunch of multipliers that change the chance of certain planets spawning in certain conditions (for example a 4x multiplier for terran planets spawning around yellow stars, a 0.2x multiplier for terran planets spawning around binary systems). The multipliers aren't limited to stars, you can also increase the chance of a planet type spawning as a moon of other planets.
You can also increase/decrease the chance of certain planets types having moons (the same probOrbits, minOrbits and maxOrbits variables used in star_gen_data).
And you can even increase the multiplier for specific planet types spawning as moons of specific planets types.

I use Google Sheets to edit them and then download them as .csv files again. I like exploration and playing with big star systems so I've been editing these a bunch. I'm not sure how to integrate these into a mod but you can edit them fairly easily (make sure to keep backups if you ever mess something up). I hope this helps.   :)

By the way, love the mod Alec, it's awesome that you managed to fix that issue. Wasn't spawning more systems for me yesterday but now it is  ;D

12
Mods / Re: [0.9a] Neutrino Corp. (v. 1.85-RC3)
« on: January 02, 2019, 06:26:28 AM »
What happened to the Silver Lance and portable Phased Array Cannon? I still see them in the code, but commented out. Too unbalanced?

13
Bug Reports & Support / Re: Assorted minor bugs and issues
« on: November 26, 2018, 07:00:23 AM »
When a ship's sensor profile is changed due to hullmods, increases to sensor profile are shown with a green number in the stats, and decreased sensor profile with red, as if to say that more sensor profile is better.


14
Mods / Re: [0.65.2a] Nexerelin v0.3.4 (small update 2015-03-29)
« on: March 29, 2015, 08:12:52 AM »
Active mods:
Spoiler
[close]
I think this might be the problem
Spoiler
[close]
* Some new planet/star names
Seeing Galaxy Angels in the new planet names made my day  :D

15
Mods / Re: [0.65.2a] Nexerelin v0.3.3 (update 2015-03-24)
« on: March 26, 2015, 06:20:32 AM »
You can change all the planets and stars names in planetNames.json, but when you try to change Exerelin's name, you get this error:
Code
91859 [Thread-5] ERROR com.fs.starfarer.combat.D  - java.lang.NullPointerException
java.lang.NullPointerException
at com.fs.starfarer.campaign.save.CampaignGameManager.o00000(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.title.OoOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.dialogDismissed(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.ui.do.dismiss(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.ui.impl.O0oO.dismiss(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.campaign.save.O0oO.actionPerformed(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.ui.thisnew.super(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.ui.H.processInput(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.ui.V.o00000(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.new.Òôo000(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.oOOO.oOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.Ò00000(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.combat.D.o00000(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.StarfarerLauncher$2.run(Unknown Source)
at java.lang.Thread.run(Unknown Source)
The fix is obviously 'don't rename Exerelin' but you should probably include a disclaimer in that section or something.

EDIT: Also, a couple of bugs related to the faction directory:
If you look at a couple of factions, go back, look at some more, the text gets cut off at the bottom like so:
Spoiler
[close]
This one's pretty minor, but if there's a number in the planet/star(?) name that's the same as the market size it highlights it in the planet name instead of the market size number:
Spoiler
[close]

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