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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 - Arakasi

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1
People really need to re-configure what they mean by a 'good fleet' in this patch in order to be able to take on Remnants like these ones without having to resort to cheese. Because of skills, more ships is not better. Because of skills, more capitals is not better (and arguably, capitals as a category like carriers are not good).

I've posted this in multiple threads, but here's my setup for beating Remnants, notice I don't go above 240DP (max deployment at battle size 400) to get the most out of skills, and notice the only capital I use is the Radiant because it is fast enough (I even put Unstable Injector on it) to move away from the mass of Remnants.

Spoiler
[close]

The end-game threats in this patch are hard, you need to act like you're in the AI fleet building contest and either play the meta (SO, DC, Phase), or do as I did and come up with a fleet that counters what the Radiants do. With this fleet I can (barely, starting to run out of CR) defeat the second highest tier bounty I saw, which was pretty much this fleet but with full Alpha core usage and more Brilliants. Just a matter of keeping control of as many objectives as possible while setting their Radiants to 'avoid' and picking off any ships that break away from the main mass. Ideally later splitting up the Radiants when they no longer have enough supports to stop them being surrounded.

2
General Discussion / Re: Final Impressions of 9.5 (Spoilers)
« on: April 11, 2021, 04:23:38 AM »
I do believe in that list as I've seen it from the days of the Amiga, Commodore 600 (back in 1987, till now) The Gene forge game you're referring to do you mean the games by Spiderweb Software? 
If so I've played them myself and was a big fan of the Avernum series (especially the first one) - Again it's a good example of where text really fits that game style really well. I just don't feel Star Sector is anywhere in that same ball park.

The Avernum games and other recent titles from them have always been quite static / still. Everything moves on a tick so movement is turn based and the combat is turn based.
So textual references and heavy description is essential here and it fits perfectly. Star sector is very active and fluid and visual, so trying to fit that square shape concept into a circular hole just seems off to me.

Pretty sure Spiderweb isn't a one man team either. It was originally founded by Jeff Vogel but I'm pretty sure there's a few people behind the company now?


Side Note: Hey Arakasi you might enjoy these games if you've already not played them:
- Baldurs Gate 2
- Planescape Tourment

I'd heavily suggest a try, BG2 is one of my favourite games of all time and it has the style you'd be interested in I think.

Yeah Geneforge from Spiderweb Software. And I'm not sure honestly, I'm sure most indie games are never completely just one developer, everyone needs help and all that, but I think he did most of the work at least on the original.

Not sure why it would be much different though, talking is turn-based regardless of format. Unless you actually want it to be voice-acted which would be a huge requirement, I'm not sure how you're envisioning it.

Yeah I played BG2, I enjoy the dnd system well enough, but RT/P is not really my preferred format for games like that where you have to play multiple characters, much prefer turn-based. And the story was less philosophically interesting to me than Geneforge, much more character-oriented. Still great game though, and I'm going to play BG3. Didn't get far into trying planescape though, definitely want to considering it's an old Chris Avellone game.

3
General Discussion / Re: Final Impressions of 9.5 (Spoilers)
« on: April 11, 2021, 02:37:57 AM »
Exactly, share some of your suggestions of how you might feel it can be improved? Or do you think it's perfect already? Your replies seem to be more on the defensive footing rather than providing concrete counters or counter suggestions to some of the ideas put forward.
What would you like to see more of? What would you like included?
I did exactly that at the start of the thread. Had a few issues but other than that found if very satisfying. Wouldn't want to see anything more than their creative vision fulfilled.

How many text heavy games can you think of that have been in the greatest of all time list?

This game has a very strong chance to be in that top list, should the story and emotion tie in with the rest of the games quality..

I don't believe in a 'greatest of all time list'. My favourite games are Geneforge 1 and 2, a set of games, not unlike this one, developed by a 1-man team, whose story consists largely of big blocks of text delivered by characters. I don't know what to tell you, I like books and can get everything you can get from a more cinematic experience from a mere set of words on paper.

4
General Discussion / Re: Final Impressions of 9.5 (Spoilers)
« on: April 11, 2021, 02:13:08 AM »
If we don't challenge and strive to improve how can a product become better?

Don't get me wrong, this thread exists for that precise purpose, but I simply disagree that the story isn't engaging. You're right - we've reached an impasse.

5
Yeah the solution here is not to make the Ziggurat more overpowered lmao. Doom and to a lesser extent the Harbringer need something done to them that won't be pretty.

6
I would like it if some of the more valuable worlds had (similar to what is in Nex, I believe) had a handcrafted fleet that was on-par with some of the higher-end bounties, story-pointed ships, balanced according to the skills, etc. Except that they would refuse to leave the vicinity of the spaceport so you can't simply lure it away from what it's there to defend. Make it a real end-game challenge to loot the best stuff in the game from some of the most powerful factions.

7
Suggestions / Re: Phase ships
« on: April 11, 2021, 12:47:18 AM »
I feel like a lot of phase ships would be a lot worse without their insanely strong ship systems, the Doom's mines, the Harbringer's system interrupts. The give and take of it is supposed to be their combat readiness from what I can tell, but that has proven to be a rather blunt balancing tool, and with the skills the way they are currently, an inept one. Still though, it would be nice to have some way to interact with them (be it the ability to disable their phase coils somehow, or increase their flux while phased) that does not include specialised equipment - the idea of having to bring special weapons to deal with phase ships sounds like a logistics nightmare this game should never encourage.

8
General Discussion / Re: Final Impressions of 9.5 (Spoilers)
« on: April 11, 2021, 12:39:42 AM »
Yet the story narrative is focused around the player being forced into a set role with reading and flying from A -> B talking to other characters and delivering stuff. The amount of interactions the story physically causes the player to do, is very little.
For such a visual and interactive game I think it wouldn't be misplaced to try and focus the story more around real time experiences and interactions, rather than just being 'docked' and reading text from the 'Provost' or other characters who we have no attachment to or interest in.

I understand the rest of your criticism, although I disagree, as someone who really enjoyed The Culture novels I really got that sort of vibe. But this part I'm not sure about, the quests give you options, you can talk or explore on one, you can fight your way through the various fleets trying to intercept you, you can use stealth to avoid them (I think?), you can run away for sure, you can talk through certain interactions using story points (or not!), you can raid to avoid doing someone's bidding, you get to encounter strange things, *** off the powers that be, activate ancient technologies for your own use, etc. I feel it's rather reductive to describe all this stuff as merely going from A>B and talking to characters and delivering stuff, you could argue a lot of the side-quests involve this, but that's what I'd expect from an economy game like this.

9
General Discussion / Re: Final Impressions of 9.5 (Spoilers)
« on: April 10, 2021, 07:34:27 AM »
I use capitals (paragons, conquests and onslaughts) effectively against late game fleets (multi radiant ordos), so I don't think your analysis on that front is inaccurate. I didn't have the automated ship skill so maybe a radiant would be better, but 3x built in hullmod capitals do fine IMO. I found that slower cruisers were the least useful, because they aren't fast enough to run away from reckless remnants and are too squishy to survive even relatively even fights with remnant ships. My strategy was to have a bunch of frigates harassing on the flanks, ~2 capitals killing stuff and some doom/auroras keeping things spread out and also killing stuff. It works fine.

Does this still function against the 4x Radiant full alpha core bounty, and how necessary are the Dooms to this strat? I did mention that I think phase is the best category of regular ship in this patch, probably does the best possible job at poking at the sides of the remnant mass. I dunno, maybe it becomes a lot different when you get the 3x built in mods for the capitals, but I found that I couldn't make them work with zero story points invested whereas I could make the fleet I posted work with zero story points (which subsequently lead to me investing in that specific fleet setup).

10
General Discussion / Re: Final Impressions of 9.5 (Spoilers)
« on: April 10, 2021, 07:25:40 AM »
I mean flagship Odyssey, of course. With Systems Expertise kiting is easier than ever.

Ah. Yeah that would probably have to be the way you do it, though I found I was spending my whole time in the tactical view so that I could best manage my fleet to get the necessary picks before CR started to run out.

11
General Discussion / Re: Final Impressions of 9.5 (Spoilers)
« on: April 10, 2021, 07:18:34 AM »
Odyssey is alright. I use Odyssey+Radiant for my lategame currently. And I would imagine if Odyssey is good, so is Conquest.

Onslaught did win me both omega fights and the alpha site, but I wouldn't take it against remnants, that much is true.

I really did try the Odyssey. Even put unstable injectors on it to try to allow it to flee remnants, but it would still just end up being caught with its pants down and dying to the central swarm. Against doritos and the alpha site capital spam is still a tried and true strategy, but I don't really class them as endgame fleets so much as atypical encounters.

12
General Discussion / Re: Final Impressions of 9.5 (Spoilers)
« on: April 10, 2021, 07:08:16 AM »
Guess it turns into fighting matches if you insist on using nothing but capitals. Playing with 300 total I usually get to deploy 1-2 capitals and a whole bunch of destroyers/frigates.

When I got 180 dp for the omega fight I deployed 3 capitals and didn't even know what to use the rest for because I was unused to such generosity.  :D Deployed a bunch of frigates, shame they didn't make it.

This was my final fleet setup on 240dp to be clear:
Spoiler
[close]
As I said in the OP, capitals aside from the Zig and Radiant are actively bad for the later (Remnant specifically) bounties and fleets.

13
General Discussion / Re: Final Impressions of 9.5 (Spoilers)
« on: April 10, 2021, 06:34:29 AM »
What I'm saying is that battle size isn't much of a thing to argue about. Alex said himself that he balances the game around 300. The reason 180 is the cutoff for skills is exactly because you aren't supposed to ever have more than 180 DP.

Oh really? I didn't realise he directly said that. Would be nice if the game indicated that in some manner.

14
General Discussion / Re: Final Impressions of 9.5 (Spoilers)
« on: April 10, 2021, 06:22:36 AM »
Disagree on that part, I thought the story was far to textual and wasn't a fan of the writing either. It seemed completely detached from the game's mechanics for the most part. Also you mention rewards, but from my understanding there's only one actual reward you get? It's mostly just flying from point A to B, only to talk to someone then fly back to point A.
I thought the alpha site mission was really cool but it was the only part that I felt any suspense or real excitement. It felt like a chore to me to do endless reading about characters I had no emotional attachment too, to progress a storyline that I already knew was coming.

It felt purposely dragged out and very laborious personally. happy to be the minority here who thinks that.

I don't know how it could be anything much other than textual, it's sort of the old school of RPG writing which I really appreciate. Big blocks of text to sink my teeth into that get me more into the world and the characters. But I can understand why that wouldn't be someone's cup of tea. Not having an attachment to the characters I understand, but I don't think you're meant to in this moment, they're just the people providing your paycheck and you interact with them in a way that displays that for the most part. And I dunno, I was pretty freaked out when I started to see Tri-Tach death squads with full story point investment. But then again I couldn't see what was coming, I'm curious what you mean by the remark that you 'I already knew was coming'.

Balance I think is the worst I've seen this version, some fleets seem un-winnable now and every single battle the player can't deploy a fraction of a fleet.
So if we had two massive fleets in space and fly into each other, half of our ships won't be able to do battle? Eh? How does that feature make sense.

I understand and agree that it's frustrating the way DP works now, at least until you understand it and play to its strengths (and even then it still needs work for sure). Really just have to resist the urge to play the way we've been taught to up until now and play in accordance with what the skill bonuses give you. Only then can you start to tackle those so-called unwinnable fleets.

I wouldn't call the writing bad or good, it's merely competent. Cue the J. Carmack quote about plot in videogames. What I didn't like is how the story railroads you into playing a certain type of character - the one that runs errands for more important people and takes verbal abuse from them. Given how a player character right now can have an empire that rivals Sindria this just feels WAY off tonally. I would much prefer if to open the gates you found some early lead during exploration and then contracted scientists to work for you on your own terms.

This I can kind of get behind, it can be tonal whiplash to have some sniveling academic tell you what's what while you have the power to wipe all the factions she relies upon and frets over off the map. But at the same time I understand that a story like this in an open world has its limits - it can't reasonably predict what sort of player you are or risk completely missing the mark. Always has to be sort of generalised or open itself up to a tree of infinite possibilities you simply can't expect from a game of this scope (and even from the big videogame stories honestly).

Running around remnants has become more dangerous. Radiant is now burn 8 instead of 7, so ordos are faster.

Battle size is set at 300, pretty much. Any more, and you are making boss fights easier.

Between the unique losable ship, unique losable weapons, and s-mods I really feel like the game is becoming less ironman-friendly. We need the ability to recover lost ships after defeat, even if for an insane story point cost.

I haven't found it to be significantly more dangerous aside from when you engage them because they are immeasurably more powerful than they were in prior patches.

As for battle size, you set it to 300 instead of 400 and suddenly your skills become much better because you are closer to bringing the optimal DP worth of ships (180) as opposed to 400 where you're bringing 240 worth of ships if you want to compete. Certainly it'll make fights against smaller fleets easier but conversely it makes fights against bigger fleets much harder.

And yes, absolutely agree r.e. ironmanning. Really want a feature like that to mitigate this issue.

15
Edit: Where do i even find those guys? I tried looking on my red beacon, only 2 radiants and not full alpha boys. It's already cycle 230. Do I have to develop a contact or something?

Yeah develop a high importance military contact and prioritise it. I don't know if it needs to be specifically Tri-Tach, but it might be.

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