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Starsector 0.95.1a is out! (12/10/21); Blog post: Hyperspace Topography (10/12/22)

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Topics - bobucles

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Suggestions / Unforgettable talents
« on: April 19, 2021, 06:05:45 AM »
I understand the main reason behind permanently locking talents. If you lose the skill, you should lose the bonuses with the skill. Some skills give persistent bonuses, leading to a potential exploit of losing the skill but keeping the bonus. Valid reasons for sure. But is there a better way of handling this? Can the talents be tweaked in such a way that unlearning them is no longer a permanent issue?

Officer management is an easy talent to unlearn, 0.9 already had a setup for going over officer cap. You lose the ability to assign 2 officers, so just don't let the player assign them. EZPZ. The two last officers might be unequipped "at random" or maybe all officers get unequipped for the player to deal with. Unlearning talents is a rare event so that's not too inconvenient.

Special modifications is a bit more tricky. It allows extra caps and vents on a ship, in addition to baking in a bonus S-mod. If the player loses the talent, what kind of penalty makes sense? Maybe the ships get "too complex" and can no longer get fixed. They can't restore CR until they're downgraded to pre-talent spec. It's not a hard lock but remains a firm one, denying the ability to use super ships in a stern way.

Officer training is the HARD one. Officers are allowed a bonus level, with associated +1 skill and +1 elite skill. If the player unlearns the talent, what to do? Do officers suddenly lose their levels and have to be reset? That'd be annoying. Do officers start getting "unruly" that their skills are too good for the player? Will the player have to delete all their elite officers and start from scratch? That'd be a huge setback and way worse than the simple loss of talent. It may be better to remove officer training entirely.

What could officer training be replaced with? A talent that boosts mercenary play would fit in pretty well. Officer management gives permanent officers, while Mercenary management gives better options for hiring mercs. Unfortunately both talents would be pretty similar and might need more to distinguish them. The loss of +1 level talent isn't a big deal. A story point option could help, or high level officers might be one of those rare loots in the void.

General Discussion / Armor/Talent Calculator
« on: December 31, 2019, 06:01:30 AM »
I've been playing around with the combat sim a bit, trying to figure out exactly how the armor formula works. This is what I have so far, feel free to comment or copy it for your own use:

Here are the takeaways:
* +150 armor is hands down the single best talent point you will put into a hull. It is ALWAYS active and vastly increases hull durability, and is supremely effective against weapons that deal <100 damage. I.E. most weapons.
* 90% DR is more meaningful for high armor ships( duh!) but can still show potential at the armor floor against low power kinetics like needlers.
* -20% Armor damage double dips, both reducing the "weight" and direct damage of weapons.
* The overall huge gains of hull, armor and survivability from Impact mitigation make all 3 points a valuable addition for EVERY officer.
* -50% KE vs. armor is broken ayy eff. It triple dips on armor protection, giving half the "weight", half the damage, and half the damage AGAIN. Can you say 13 gauss damage? It also contributes to bare hull defense.
* Most other armor talents have no effect at 0 armor. No, not even the 5% floor will contribute.

These are the damage formulae as I best understand them:
Damage = DMG*Type *  Weakerresist( 0.15, (DMG*Type)/(DMG*Type+armor) )
Armor = Previous armor - damage

Damage  = (DMG*Type*AC1*IM3) * AC1 * TA3 * Weakerresist[0.15 or IM2, ((DMG*Type*AC1*IM3)*TA3)   /   ((DMG*Type*AC1*IM3)+((IM1+armor*EA3)) ]

Stripped armor:
Damage = (DMG) * Weakerresist[0.15 or IM2, (DMG * AC1) / ((DMG * AC1) + (IM1+.05*Startarmor)) ]

I don't have the attack talents figured out yet, I.E. +15% damage and +50% anti armor weight. My initial testing shows they're pretty well worth it though.

I'd like to thank all my officers for patiently sitting by as I shot the hell out of them.

IM1 : +150 armor
IM2 : 90% resist cap
IM3 : -20% Armor dmg and weapon weight
AC1 : -50% KE weapon weight, damage, and damage(!)
EA3 : +50% value of existing armor
TA3 : +50% Anti armor weight. Not sure if right?

[attachment deleted by admin]

Bug Reports & Support / Free Command points.
« on: December 23, 2019, 05:16:49 PM »
After checking out a stream I noticed the streamer had a rather large number of command points. After trying it for myself I found:
- Issue multiple orders like eliminate or defend area.
- Cancel the last order you sent.
- Command point refund?!

There may also be a way to gain multiple refunds, but I couldn't figure out how to do it.

Suggestions / Show supply consumption per month.
« on: December 23, 2019, 03:45:51 PM »
The per day consumption of supplies is not a very useful metric. The value can shift by orders of magnitude and can obfuscate how much damage a fleet actually has. A supply/month rating makes sense for a number of reasons:

- Most supply metrics already go by the month. Supply costs for ships are per month, and the base cost of deployment is 1 month of supplies.

- Most ships can fully repair in 10-30 days. If a critical battle leaves you in the red, it becomes immediately visible and is not a surprise like when you're burning 70/day for any random duration between 1 day or 2 weeks. (The only ships that have less than 3% recovery rate are logistic capitals, taking 37 days to reach 75% CR.)

- The number of supplies to load up becomes much more intuitive. If your fleet burns 3 supplies/day, how many do you actually need to stockpile? 50, 100, 150? A novice player may think that is enough supplies, but it's really nowhere near enough. If you know your fleet is burning 90 supplies/month, it makes much more sense to store 200-500 supplies.

- If you have less than 1 month worth of supplies, you are in big trouble. Even if you're trading in the core worlds, it makes sense to have more than 1 month of supplies pretty much always.

Suggestions / High/Low armor zones
« on: December 22, 2019, 07:33:42 PM »
It'd be nice to have a way to distribute armor across ships. Hegemony ships depend on pointing towards the enemy and unleashing at them, but their front armor is just as heavy as their rear armor. The front armor gets obliterated very early while the rear armor is stuck with nothing to do.

Suggestions / Station in heavy combat can dock, shop and sell ships.
« on: November 30, 2019, 01:11:17 PM »
The Hegemony has a nice station at Tigra City, which is under heavy attack. They are beefy pirate fleets, and will probably win the battle. So i decided to dock with it and go shopping. Something about the situation seems a bit off.

Mods: I have console commands 3.0 and Lazylib 2.4e installed. Totally forgot about those, but it's worth a mention.

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Suggestions / Activating Phase cloak woes
« on: November 10, 2019, 01:19:40 PM »
Ship shields are extremely responsive to the mouse button, turning on or off with any mouse click. The phase cloak has a different behavior, due to its cooldown. If you attempt to cloak while on cooldown the attempt fails, essentially dropping the mouse click.

Battle is hectic and filled with bright flashes, so the visual feedback on phase coils is not always visible. So what do I do? I mash the mouse button. Bad things are happening and I gotta get that cloak up ASAP, after all. What happens next? The phase cloak goes up, and then it drops immediately.

The game is not always responsive to cloaking requests, but it is ALWAYS responsive to decloaking requests. Does this annoy anyone else? It's gotten me killed quite a few times.

I'd like to see a slightly friendlier system to phase ship lovers. A simple solution is to queue up the request. Once the player asks to cloak, the ship should do it at the next opportunity. This way the button request is always accepted, you click an odd number of times to be cloaked and an even number of times to be uncloaked. It's very easy on the muscle memory and it lets players get the most out of their phase coils.

General Discussion / Weapon primary roles?
« on: October 30, 2019, 03:50:38 PM »
I see that weapons have "primary role" listed as their stat. These roles range from Anti Armor, General, Suppression, Anti shield, and so forth. Does it do anything in the game? Does it affect AI behavior, and if so is there a way to set guidelines for it?

Suggestions / The fleet raid: A different style of battle
« on: October 04, 2019, 09:11:27 AM »
Typical combats between fleets are direct slug fests between two coherent forces. It comes in two main flavors, the direct engagement and the fleet pursuit. I'll assume everyone here is familiar with these two archetypes of battle. The main idea for this thread is to create an additional type of battle, a fleet raid.

The fleet raid predominantly favors small, fast ships and fast battles, as though it were a cavalry raid. The battle grants huge advantages to the raider early on, but those bonuses quickly diminish as the battle continues. The main goal of this type of battle is to avoid a direct engagement with the enemy fleet. Perhaps the enemy fleet is too large, or there are so many enemy reinforcements that you can win the first battle but will clearly lose the fifth one. Instead you want to only engage a handful of enemy ships, and stab away at the weak points of a fleet until you are comfortable with a direct battle.

The main lore behind this fleet raid deals with the nature of fleets traveling in a "drive bubble". An interdiction pulse disrupts the nature of a drive bubble, reducing enemy speed and letting your ships catch up. A "raiding pulse" goes one step further. Using sci fi magic your fleet bubble collides directly with the enemy drive bubble, shattering it. It's like how your fleet gets easily pushed around in full burn mode. The enemy ships end up violently pushed in random directions and their fleet cohesion is lost. Now that the enemy fleet is scattered, the raid begins.

I've been bouncing around various ideas for the rules of the raid. So far I have something like this:
- The raiding pulse costs fuel and supplies for balance reasons. You are blowing their fleet apart, after all.
- Your deployment points are extremely limited. Only a small number of ships can engage in battle and full reinforcements are not allowed.
- The enemy can not choose defenders. They are scattered into a small selection of fleets, and you either choose one or they are picked at random. This is the main reason you have to pay for the pulse, otherwise you'd roll dice on it all day.
- The defenders start off towards the center of battle. They represent the cluster of ships being hit by the raid. Their initial behavior is to withdraw and regroup with the rest of their fleet.
- You can deploy flanking frigates, which start the battle in a frontal position.
- The defenders can summon reinforcements, probably after an initial delay. This represents their fleet coming back into cohesion.
- The defenders have full fleet deployment points. Once they start calling in ships, they will become aggressive and easily overwhelm you.
- The enemy fleet is automatically disorganized, and does not gain a free pursuit battle after you withdraw. You are expected to withdraw.
- You still gain a free pursuit if the enemy withdraws. (They probably won't withdraw, the whole point is they can kick your butt in a direct fight)

I feel it is important to keep player deployment costs limited. Otherwise, they'll use the raid as a way to score free kills before escalating into a full scale battle. A raid is not meant to ever turn into a full scale battle. Enemy reinforcements place a time limit on the player, so that they can't go raiding forever. Giving the raider a good time for their attack is important, but giving the defender a chance to defend is also important. That balance won't be easy and should consider the target fleet as well as surrounding allied fleets. Every raid costs valuable resources and many raids in a row will strain the raiding party's CR.

There is no explicit lockout on which ships can participate in the raid. Any attacker can raid, but the rules of engagement should naturally favor fast/lethal ships that can make an easy escape. Raid with a Legion if you so dare, just don't be surprised when it can't escape and enemy reinforcements swarm it down.

I don't have much clue on how the raiding pulse should behave on the strategic map. Should your fleet be required to collide with the enemy fleet at full burn? It may look cool but it's not an easy maneuver to set up. Should the enemy fleet only be vulnerable at full burn? Should the player have to spend their emergency burn? Should the raiding pulse be a menu option when encountering an enemy fleet? Should the raiding attack only exist for smaller fleets (I.E. your fleet is too large to disengage = too large to raid)? Can a starbase even be raided, or would it allow ships in its protection to be raided? I don't have answers for those kinds of questions.

Raiding can hopefully be a new and exciting way to play. I don't think it should sit out as a niche option that players sometimes use. Raiding should be an option that players can fully commit to, with dedicated hunter-killer fleets and fast support ships that can reliably pick apart an enemy force in piecemeal. Safety in numbers need not apply here. We already have balancing methods thanks to supply costs and withering CR, so the costs of a raid can be kept in line with the benefits that it gives. Extreme raiding may require cost reductions and bonuses from player talents, but a base level of raiding should be offered at all times. If the player doesn't like it, they can always go back to the default warfare of slugging it out. That's fine too.

Bug Reports & Support / Accident reports killing non existent crew
« on: October 03, 2019, 06:55:42 PM »
Reproduction steps:
- Ditch crew
- Ditch supplies
- Await disaster

When the accident report shows up, a ship will be damaged and crew casualties will be reported, even if you have no crew.

Suggestions / Mobile dock: A Capital support ship for swarming fleets.
« on: October 03, 2019, 01:37:28 PM »
The idea here is to have a capital ship that provides large indirect combat boons targeted at frigate and destroyer themed fleets. There are some implicit issues, for example the fleet cap is simply X ships, and choosing larger ships will naturally give the player more fleet power than smaller ships. Those issues aside, here I go.

The capital ship is essentially a flying mobile shipyard. The main design largely resembles a pontoon boat. Two pontoons surround a skeletal docking berth, large enough for frigates and destroyers. Dockyard machinery faces inward and additional docking arms stick out one side, showcasing an ability to handle small ships inside or attach to larger ships outside. Hangars on the other side hold worker drones. A forward facing shield represents the "umbrella" it uses to protect its dock while on the move.

Combat stats are largely non existent and it is not meant to ever enter combat. Defenses are restricted to small and medium guns, and loadouts don't get fancier than point defense. Armor is weak and speed is fast among capital ships (I.E. kinda slow). If more than a couple frigates assault the capital ship, it's in serious trouble.

The key selling points lay in its innate skills. It is essentially a mobile shipyard. Extensive docking and repair facilities provide the "almost always recoverable" trait to all frigates inside the fleet, and boost recovery rates of all other ships significantly. Smaller ships can be fully shut down inside its shielded dock, while larger ships may be serviced from the capable external dock. These facilities make deep space retrofitting easy, granting ships a -75%/-75%/-33%/-33% bonus to retrofit costs, depending on ship size. The docking repair equipment and crew also allow additional supplies per day to be distributed on fleet repairs. This allows tiny, crippled or high tech ships to be repaired extremely quickly and be put back into the fight. Repair allocation is 5 supply/day distributed across frigate/destroyer/self, and an additional 5 supply/day distributed across any ship.

Work hangars provide 1-2 bays of heavy worker drones, which can be used as combat drones in a pinch. These drones are essential to the mobile dock's frigate recovery and docking facilities and can not be trivially changed.

The same ship maintenance facilities and drones lend themselves well to salvage efforts, providing the "Salvage Gantry" capital class hull mod.

It is not a militarized ship and has the "Civilian Hull" mod. There is a massive crew requirement (trained dock crew), but it separate from skeleton crew to make the +100% crew of the militarized hull mod less punishing.

Frigate Recovery system won't work when the dock is at critical CR. The capital ship will prioritize self recovery before all else, representing the dock needing to repair itself before it can resume service.

Crew: 300-500 skeleton + lots of dock workers (500-1500)
Armor: Low (fragile capital)
Defense: Frontal shield (180 arc)
Speed: Moderate (Light weight capital)
CR cost: Extremely high (30+%)
CR recovery: 6% (docking module self repair)
CR cost: 50 supplies (extreme issues from entering combat)
Weapons: Token defense, 1-2x fixed hangar bay (work drones)

Hull mods: Frigate Recovery Systems(for fleet), shielded Destroyer-class dock (5 supplies/day), simple Capital-grade dock(5 supplies/day), Salvage Gantry(capital), Civilian-Grade Hull

Suggestions / UI- Display ability status at 1+ charge
« on: September 21, 2019, 07:56:12 AM »
Some ships have abilities with multiple charges, such as the phase skimmer. The UI will display partial charges below 0.99 as a status bar. After the first ability is ready the status bar stays empty, even though more uses are still charging.

Please continue to show ability charging status until the ship is fully maxed out.

Suggestions / AutoPause when jumping to/from hyperspace
« on: September 20, 2019, 04:26:58 AM »
The title. Moving into hyperspace or a system dumps a load of information on the player. Nearby ships may be hostile and require an immediate response. Please offer an option to autopause the game for these switches.

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