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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 - mitthrawnuruodo

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Suggestions / Re: Fleet Organization
« on: June 20, 2020, 10:47:17 PM »
@Morrokain, that is exactly right and what I am referring to - subordinates interpreting your orders into action at their discretion. instead of you controlling them like a drone. StarSector is one of the few games that has this to some extent, but it is more extensively implemented in games such as Airborne Assault, Command Ops, Take Command and Scourge of War. All of these games, as well as real world military, supplement this via organizational structure.

There should still be the capability of giving commands to ships individually even when in formation or within a task group as the tactical needs of the situation will often require flexibility in that regard.

Indeed. That is how it is in a real world military. There is nothing stopping, say, a general from giving direct orders to a platoon for a critical mission. Even all the games that I referred to that model army organization and chain of command, allows this. My suggestion assumes this. This is already possible for StarSector, e.g. you can create a taskgroup or give a direct command to a ship. Sort of why I said that all the basic ingredients are there.

To understand why army organization + chain of command would benefit the gameplay, one just needs to consider why they have been integral parts of real world armies for thousands of years.

  • It allows convenient command & control of much larger fleets in battle. Gameplay wise we will get more epic battles without taxing micromanagement.
  • It will add natural progression for characters - from the lowly lieutenant in command of a shuttle to a vice admiral in charge of a carrier group leading their own flagship. Same as in reality. An officer becomes more capable over time, they want a better position with better perks and are able to handle more responsibilities, and it makes sense for their leader to give them more responsibilities, as you want more capable officers in more important roles, and to reduce your own micromanagement.
    • To that end, I would also like to see natural traits (including flaws) that your officers come with or pick up over time. This will create additional strategic consideration when picking an officer for a particular role. And they should come with a dynamic factor like ambition / loyalty, which makes them want to leave if their increasing veterancy is not rewarded with higher positions, or bigger ships.
  • On a macro level, this will also make management of large fleets more convenient, and allow a new layer of strategy. Instead of outfitting each an every ship personally, you could create a "fire support squadron" by putting a cautious captain in charge of it, giving him a budget and the standing role of "fire support" on an organizational level. Then this subordinate AI can continue outfitting his squad whenever he gets access to new equipment in a station / planet or post-battle, or even add new ships and officers to the squad within his budget. In battle, you no longer need to recreate this taskforce on ad hoc basis in every battle, as they already know their role.
  • Through out all this, the player will be free to maintain his own command squad. sort of like an Imperial Guard, or executive branch, of elite ships under his direct command.

Suggestions / Re: Fleet Organization
« on: June 20, 2020, 11:08:31 AM »
All commands are suggestions lol, that's what differentiates it from control. You give command to a task group, which gets translated to the actions individual ships, which gets translated to the actions of individual weapons. There definitely is a chain. And yes, the purpose is to avoid micromanagement like you say. It's the same reason why all real world organizations including military has chain of command.

In any case, this sidebar is not really relevant to fleet structure. So there is no point in discussing this. But I definitely agree with your idea of restricting command of larger ships to higher ranks. Currently I follow that anyway as a rule (e.g. no cruisers+ for an officer below rank 10) just for flavor. It gives more meaning to character progression, in the absence of a proper organizational structure.

Suggestions / Re: Fleet Organization
« on: June 20, 2020, 01:58:15 AM »
It does have chain of command. It is one of the game's more distinguishing features. You do not control individual ships in battle, except your flagship. You create ad hoc task-groups and give them overall commands, which is interpreted into direct control of the ships by the AI. Officers even have personality, that determines their behavior in battle, which is bloody brilliant.

That is exactly how chain of command works in real battles, albeit with more strategic layers of hierarchy, i.e. fleet organization which the game lacks and what I am suggesting to add.

Suggestions / Fleet Organization
« on: June 20, 2020, 12:35:17 AM »
This game has characters / officers, and it has chain of command - but both are sort of half-baked. These two essential ingredients can be combined and expanded to create a realistic (relatively speaking) and in-depth fleet organization / management system. As seen in games like Scourge of War, Ultimate General, Command Ops etc.

Real world fleets have complex and diverse structures, but for a videogame it can be streamlined to -

Fleets (commanded by the player / admiral)
Flotilla / Squadron (commanded by officers of rank captain)
Individual ships (commanded by officers of rank commander)
fighter wings (commanded by officers of rank lieutenant), science officers, tactical officer, chief of enginneering etc in a ship

This structure can be used to give commands during battle, like in a real world battle as opposed to ad hoc task groups as it is now. Groups can be organized according to specific strengths and weaknesses of their commanders and ships for a specific purposes - adding a whole new layer of strategic depth. Combination of ship composition and captain skills should lead different types of roles, abilities and commands that a squadron can carry out. It can also be a possibility to send out a squadron to go to a nearby base and fetch supplies or reinforcement.

As officers gain rank, they can be promoted to cmdr, then captain, then admiral. Admirals can be sent to command autonomous secondary fleets, or fleets / military of your colonies. Based on their ambition factor, officers may become dissatisfied as they gain levels if you do not promote them accordingly. Promotions will open up new skill trees and abilities that are relevant for that level of command.

More subordinate positions per ship can be added - such as science officers, engineering chief, helmsman etc. The lowest-rank officers (LTs) can be given these positions to modify ship capabilities, and gain experiences until they are eligible to be promoted to commander. The chain of command can be used to automate this for ships or flotillas to reduce micromanagement if necessary, with vacant positions filled by officers promoted (i.e. generated) from the crew of a ship. Planetary commands should also involve officers, like in real life. High Commands should have an admiral ranked officer in charge of it modifying the capability of the fleets in that system. Officers could be put in charge of specific functions of planets such as production or military, like ministers. Recruitment should not really be restricted to mercenaries. Eligible officer candidates should come up from the colonies.

The RTS gamers and Total War players adapted so easily to this kind of increased realistic depth in Ultimate General Civil War. I think the generally smart of group of simulation-minded people that play StarSector would welcome and thoroughly enjoy these kinds of improvements.

General Discussion / Re: Bad experience with Luddite Path and Pirates
« on: December 22, 2019, 02:16:39 AM »
"Be friendly with pirates or all hell breaks loose" is not a real solution or suggestion. It defeats the whole point of sandbox. This argument is pointless.

This excess of relentless pirate and pather activity is clearly neither balanced nor fun for the average player. It needs to be fixed.

Suggestions / Re: NPC Interaction
« on: December 17, 2019, 09:34:39 PM »
In general we should be able to talk to the NPCs, no?
Otherwise the world feels dead, with some mute machines running around.

Suggestions / NPC Interaction
« on: December 17, 2019, 12:09:34 AM »
NPCs in this game are rather pointless. To make an immersive engaging universe, they need to have some meaningful interaction with the player that add to gameplay. Some examples:

1. Trade fleets: Offer escort mission for money. Threaten to destroy unless they drop cargo, allowing you to salvage them. Pay them for trade tips. Trade goods in space.
2. Military fleets: Offer patrol or combat support mission for credits. Get info about the state of ongoing wars. Trade weapons and ships in space.
3. Mercenary fleets: Offer combat support mission. Or pay them to employ them for a mission such as to support the player fleet or a defend a system for a month or two.
4. There can be some persistent NPCs (legendary pirates or mercenaries etc) who you can kill, or trade with, for special modified ships or equipment.
5. When you find a battle between two fleets neutral to you, offer military assistance to the highest bidder, or pick the safer choice.

Similar plausible options for smugglers, faction NPCs at bases et al.

General Discussion / Re: am i playing the wrong way ?
« on: September 19, 2019, 11:28:15 PM »
This is how the game is described on the official website -
Starsector (formerly “Starfarer”) is an in-development open-world single-player space-combat, roleplaying, exploration, and economic game. You take the role of a space captain seeking fortune and glory however you choose.

Roleplaying, exploration and economy are all highlighted along with combat. So no, you are not playing in the wrong way. The whole point of the game is freedom to do what you enjoy. Live the life of a space captain / admiral.

The problem is due to ongoing balancing some of the other paths are usually not as rewarding or enjoyable as combat. So long term fans of this game tend to downplay that flaw by claiming combat is the whole point of this game. Don't be discouraged by them. Think of it as a sign of the high quality of the game that it inspires such blind devotion. It happens with every popular game's community.

General Discussion / Re: New player : Tarrif questions
« on: September 19, 2019, 11:09:11 PM »
I agree trading is not a viable or worthwhile activity, and mad tariffs is one of the major reasons for it. As long as trading is in the game, it should be balanced in a way that it is viable way to make money. Otherwise it is a complete waste of game development.

"But you are not supposed to make money on the open market!" Then might as well remove the open market. Remove the freighters from the game. Not to mention it is pretty nonsensical. There are hundreds of giant trade fleets in the game. If trading is not supposed to be profitable, why and how do they exist?

If the game is to be a good sandbox experience, all aspects of it should be worthwhile and have its own progression system. A trade-focused player should look forward to gradually upgrading from Hermes to Buffalo to Atlas.

General Discussion / Re: how trading actually works
« on: August 26, 2019, 04:25:09 AM »
Trading felt like a unrewarding waste of time when I last tried it. Have not tried since 0.9. It would require significant redesign to make it viable compared to other forms of progress in the game.

Suggestions / Re: On planets and industries
« on: November 21, 2018, 10:00:27 PM »
I was about to suggest something similar.

The size and nature of the planet should dictate how many building slots there are. To balance it player should be able to (and need to) build certain buildings multiple times. Like space 4x games basically.

What we have now is a good starting point. But 4x games have already solved this particular design challenge. StarSector should simply extend their colony building aspect.

Suggestions / Re: Faction Expeditions
« on: November 21, 2018, 09:33:07 PM »
I have to agree, the frequency of expeditions and Luddic Path cells are both excessive currently. They are a lot more annoying than fun. My suggestions would be (please excuse if some of these are already in game) -

1. Player's faction should be able to form diplomatic / trade treaties with other factions to prevent expeditions.
2. Expedition frequency should scale down with faction relations and defense strength of the target system. IMO they should stop altogether if relation with NPC faction is "friendly" or higher.
3. Nearby Luddic Path cells should disband completely if I destroy their space station. They may crop up again after a random amount of time (modified by relevant factors) instead of the current fixed interval.
4. There could be a minigame (even if it is a simple text adventure, like the raids) to commit resources and marines to take out Luddic Path cells on a planet. There should be risks involved such as facilities getting disrupted or destroyed or size reduction based on how aggressive you are.

General Discussion / Re: Chance of faction's expedition and pirate raid
« on: November 19, 2018, 10:16:04 AM »
Agree with Elijah above. I posted a similar suggestion in another thread.

General Discussion / Re: politics!
« on: November 19, 2018, 09:15:27 AM »
This constant decline in relations would make sense if there were diplomatic options to improve it, such as treaties or trade agreements and the like.

Without them, currently it is just an annoying one way road.

General Discussion / Re: Who's with me?
« on: November 19, 2018, 01:12:23 AM »
This is more than ripe enough for a Steam release. This game has more substance than several space games that have seen years of "updates". It is easy money.

Downside is that a horde of plebs will invade the community and incessantly nag about banal things such as multiplayer.

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