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Starsector 0.95.1a is out! (12/10/21); Blog post: The Pilgrim's Path (07/19/22)

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Messages - Shad

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Mods / Re: [0.95a] Better Deserved S-Mods 1.2
« on: October 08, 2021, 03:08:33 PM »
Like the mod! My only issue is with automated repair unit. I feel 1% hull regen up to 40 is too strong, especially on high armor capitals, combined with skill for reduced hull damage. Pretty much thain reason why hull regen was gone from vanilla. Perhaps lower the rate and/or the cap?

General Discussion / Re: A Professional Critique Of Story Points
« on: May 05, 2021, 12:56:55 PM »
If you want a brilliant tactician, capable of picking only engagements they can win, and otherwise out maneuvering multiple fleets simultaneously and getting away, then you do that rather than picking a skill that says you can do that, and then potentially proceed to never use it on a particular game run.
This is a stange argument. By this logic a new player will never be able to play a good general in, say Total War they need to "git gud". Or as another example, a vet player playing M&B will always be a swordmaster, even if his character is supposed to be a trader/scholar.

Skills exist to explain what a character is good at, and complement, support or offset player skill. And they are essential to keep the feeling of progression.

Imagine you're reading a summary describing an RPG session or Starsector campaign, that never mentions skills or stats and you knew nothing about mechanics, but just describes what happened.  If the Starsector character always smooth talked his way out of Pather encounters, then you'd assume he was really good at smooth talking.  If he only sometimes smooth talked his way out, you might assume he was merely okay at talking his way out, and that sometimes it just didn't work out.
The issue is that SP lets you always talk your way out, even if you are supposdely doing a run as a principled Hegemony officer, or a technocrat that hates pathers with a passion. Doesn't matter, SP fixes everything, guaranteed. And shatters immersion in the process.

It is a bit different from a classic D&D RPG, but it is an RPG idea out there that has been used successfully. Fate points in RPG games are like that.  You're heroes, so you do heroic things, and the story just so happens to occur to show off that you can do these awesome things others can't when it matters most.
I have 2 problems with this statement:
1. Fate points are not like that. In mosst games they are an extermely limited resource, which is often saved until a truly dire moment (not to resolve a routine ambush, but to surive an otherwise lethal boss fight). In many systems, fate doesn't even guarantee success, they just give you another chance.

2. I don't like the idea of the character in Starsector being a fated hero. Just like in mount and blade. Your character is a human. You a being of flesh and blood like everyone else. You can be beaten, captured, or raided and defeated. You control the level of risk you want to put your character under, from patrolling home Hegemony systems when comissionned, to expliring te sector fringes.

General Discussion / Re: A Professional Critique Of Story Points
« on: May 05, 2021, 09:04:36 AM »
Some also have effects I consider actively bad, e.g. requiring player-owned heavy industry to enhance ships means the feature is locked out to me for multiple cycles into the game. (Fix for this: Let player have direct, reliable access to faction heavy industry. But see above.)

The question is: why does the player need to have enhanced ships. To me this is powercreep that has been gradually eroding the game's own lore.

Ships should have d-mods. This is the setting with lostech and whatnot. Even regular pristine ships are uncommon. The combination of colonies in 0.9 and insta-restore of ships effectively allowed permanent pristine fleets. Now, not only do we have pristine fleets, we also want to have extra free mods on top of them (something that used to be locked hehind very rare ships like XIV ships).

I personally feel it's not the right direction. The bar could to be lowered back to the early days, where 3-4 dmods on ships is the default, and then any ship improvement (like moveing from 4 d-mods to 2) would be an improvement and accessible in early game. While stuff like super pristine ship creation would be endgame content.

General Discussion / Re: A Professional Critique Of Story Points
« on: May 04, 2021, 07:29:50 AM »
Following up from my last night response. Almost any situation with SP could be replaced with actual gameplay:

1. Skip combat: negotiations, bribes, relations with factions mechanics, dropping cargo, combat retreat battles...

2. Salvage. A salvage system that depends on the level of salvage officers and ships you have, so dedicated salvagers get a chance. Or just straight tak a page out of Battletech's book. Have a "possible loot" pool and let the player make some of guaranteed picks based on how much salvage skills he has. For example: "You have 130 salvage points. Guaranteed XIV Onlaught recovery (1-3 dmods) will cost 40. -10 because ship was disabled and not destroyed. +20 for being a non-buildable hull. +20 for decreasing dmods by 1.".

3. Planets. The 2^n system is a giveaway that it should not be there in the first place. There are many mods that were already mentionned.

4. Baked-in hullmods. This is probably the worst aspect, which breaks the game lore quite badly. Things like the XIV battlegroup hulls were super rare and therefore valuable, representing the lost level of technology the sector can no longer replicate. Now - you can just make your own better Onslaught XIV seemingly out of thin air. Or a super Paragon. Or both. And again, it's not like there aren't gameplay mechanics set out for this. We have industries, nanoforges, from which an in-game mechanic for making ships with extra hull mods could be possible on a very limited scale.


General Discussion / Re: A Professional Critique Of Story Points
« on: May 03, 2021, 04:15:47 PM »
I would much agree with most of what's written (yes, I read the whole thing!). Story points being magic gameplay bypassing things at their core hurts gameplay.

@Wyvern I think the 30 speed warpstorms are a separate issue, and I'm pretty sure there was a thread last year about how the current impementation of the storms is not ideal. But there are actually mods that let you negotiate with hostiles. There are gameplay mechanics which could be used, like bribes, or tossing some cargo etc, or just plain "kill 100 FP" for a guaranteed disengage.

Ideally, there should be more engagment types and more ling between hyperspace burn and ship behaviour. Fleets riding the storms cannot just stop on the map, so why should they stop in battle? Make it into a drive-by shootout between 2 fleets instead, with the storm riding fleet forced to burn ahead without possibility to fully stop. But I digress.

If the character has a distinct personality, then it should go all the way with a distinct appearance, like in jRPGs or any protagonist in a given story.  The character in Starsector is generic in every way except for personality.  So far, Starsector tries to get the best of both worlds (distinct personality but generic background, appearance, and name) but I do not think was pulled off well enough.
Not well enough because it's impossible. The game's appeal and the core gamepay is the sandbox and trying to shoehorn a preset personality into that is self-defeating. Look no further than the disastrous attempt to add a "main quest" into Bannerlord, where the devs had to capitulate and add an option to outright skip it.

General Discussion / Re: Elminate all other Nations
« on: July 25, 2020, 02:15:54 AM »
It was nice in 0.9, when you could wipe the sector clean, recolonise and still have money from economy going on. Too bad internal exports are gone now to "buff" gamma cores...
I treat independents as my "vassals" of sorts. They provide the export market.

Mods / Re: [0.9.1a] Sylphon RnD 0.9.10 - The inevitable Valestri nerf
« on: July 20, 2020, 12:04:31 PM »
Just a minor thing I noticed in the campign: the market of Tallos (in Nym) has not planetrary conditions besids farmland. No Habitable, no organics.

OK, I'm not sure that's intended.

Mods / Re: [0.9.1a] Ship/Weapon Pack 1.11.0
« on: July 18, 2020, 06:43:17 AM »
I agree about the vindicator, the old design with the sharp angles looked really nice.


* Agent ship procurement modifications
    * Military ships can be legally procured if they would be accessible with a commission
    * Add 20% "service fee" to legal procurement

Does this apply to alliance members, or just commisions?

Mods / Re: [0.9.1a] Terraforming and Station Construction (v5.2.1)
« on: June 17, 2020, 08:22:35 AM »
So, if I have a "hot" terran-type planet, how do I get rid of the modifier? Stellar refletors can be built, but do not actually change the modifier.

Suggestions / Re: What the game could learn from FlashTrek
« on: June 11, 2020, 10:23:46 AM »
A lot of the mechanics that OP describes are in Nexerelin and Vayra's (faction colonising, conquering, new factions arising...), but there is a fair point that quite a few people want at least some of those mechanics to move into the main game.

Suggestions / Re: Reload missiles like bomber wings
« on: May 27, 2020, 11:24:32 AM »
What fighters lose from lack of coordination (if you're trying to pump out as many torpedoes as possible and/or are in close combat), they make up for with unlimited ordnance. Just brute force your way into victory.
Pretty much this, but also fighters allow force concentration. You can stack many khopeshes on a single ship in a way that's almost impossbile to do with ships.

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