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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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Topics - AlucardNoirsFolly

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General Discussion / BMT question
« on: April 29, 2020, 01:52:52 AM »
So I tried playing heroes 3 on linux using VCMI... turns out the last official release of VCMI is 3 to 4 years old and has a /home erasing bug in it. I lost everything. Including the file I had my Starsecotr key. Fortunately I never erased the BMT email I got and I recovered my key. That being said here comes the question: What's with the Product ID and Password thing? the game is easy to dl from the Starsector site, all it needs is the key. What are the product id and password for?

Suggestions / Yet another economy suggestion (long)
« on: October 15, 2019, 06:32:19 AM »
After playing the game for enough time to get a hang of it, and after trying some non faction mods I have to say I have mixed feelings about the game. Most of them stem from the games lacking economy.

In the words of another user that thinks Starsector is a combat game: you're not supposed to use the open market to trade. (Deshara - in another thread discussing the economy and high tariffs) Well, if that's true then f%&^ me.

Here's the thing, this game either wants to be a military space combat simulator, in which case the dev should probably have another look at games like Nexus the Jupiter Incident and Freespace 1&2 and actually eliminate the current economical simulation from the game and make us just space mercs, or it wants to be an open world 2D space sandbox game, in which case the economy needs to be revamped.

The problem with the first suggestion is that making this just a combat game will actually alienate more people then it will bring it - and is probably not what the dev wants since this game is quite a few years old by now and that would have happened a long time ago - while the second suggestion is easier said then done.

The reason why improving the economy is hard is the reason why we have 30% universal tarrifs in the game, just moving stuff from point A to point B repeatably can be tedious and boring... and the alternatives are... well, there are no easy alternatives, in EVE Online there's an entire group of people like Deshara that go out of their way to make life miserable for people who want to trade or mine, and look at trading and mining down like some sort of grind. In games like Elite: Dangerous things are a little better, but that's mostly because of how large the galaxy is. In games like EV Nova, NAEV, Endless sky and the like the problem was never solved, and in games like the X series the problem was solved so well it became the main attractor for people playing that game series: why waste time in a fighter, or a miner or a simple freighter when you can actual run a bona fide mining or trade empire?

So, how can the problem be solved for SS? well, either the economy gets removed as it stands and we become exclusively mercenaries only making money from contracts and never being able to do any trading, or trading as it stands gets revamped in such a way as to both indicate it's only profitable on the relatively small scale and that we don't want to keep doing it mid to late game. The game tries to do this with a heavy handed 30% universal tariff that makes anyone that known anything about economy and tariffs look at the games economy as if they were looking at modern art.

My suggestions to achieve this effect of "trade is profitable but only on the really small scale, try smuggling and privateering instead" are as follows:

Situation a: a planets supply of a good equals it's demand - universal tariff for both buying and selling on the open market of 5%

2. Situation b: a planet has higher supply of a certain good then demand: - if the player buys on that market there is no tariff
                                                                                                                          - if the player sells on that market there is a 10% tariff for every 100/200 units that planet has a surplus of

3. Situation c: a planet has a higher demand for a good then it produces locally: - if the player buys on that market he gets a 10% tariff on his transactions for every 100/200 units the planet has a deficit of
                                                                                                                                     - if the players sells on that planet there is no tariff

4. Indifferent of the above situation, every world will have a maximum and minimum price for every good, sometime related to the market price of the good, say 50% of average price as minimum, say x2/3 times of average as maximum. If the price falls bellow that because of high volume sold by PC on market, or goes above that because of high demand and low supply then the government starts adding punitive tariffs to disincentive selling at those prices. Say 10% for every 1% under the planetary minimum and 10% for every 1% over the planetary maximum.

AI cores can't be sold on the open market AND are confiscated automatically if you enter the military market with one in your hold - assuming the market belongs to anyone that doesn't allow the free trade of AI cores.

6. You can no longer buy weapons, marines and military blueprints on the open market - you might be able to buy a tank in the US, in the real world, but they're an exception, military grade weaponry isn't something that's usually sold on the open market. these things should only be available on the Black Market and the Military Market.

7. You can no longer buy military vessels on the open ships market. I don't know about the dev, but as far as I know buying an aircraft carrier tends to not be something you can do indifferent of the amount of money you have. Also, you should not be able to buy carriers and capital ships from the Black Market - I know weapons smuggling is a thing, but some of those Capital ships are space station sized. Maybe they could be available on the Black Market of a Pirate station, but otherwise they really, really shouldn't be for sale. If your space ship is so large you can see it with the naked eye from the planet orbiting then you probably shouldn't be able to sell it on the black market.

8. You shouldn't be able to access the black market if you accessed port with your transponder on. The main problem with trade apologists on this forum is that they use the Black Market as a substitute and claim there is no problem with that. Either the open market goes, or it's made at least as useful as the black market. Also, remember how I described all those protectionist schemes before? if tariffs don't apply to the black market that means the price on the black market can be a lot lower or higher then on the open market. A good way to incentivize people to go from the open market to the black market would be if in the tutorial we were given our first procurement mission from the pirates who would tell us planets put punitive tariffs on goods when they're in a pinch and that they need certain goods only we can get for them from Ancyra and that we will only be making money on this mission if we buy from Ancyra's Black Market. Also, that we should have our transponder off when entering port, the port authorities are tired, overworked and under payed, they usually look away in such cases, patrolling fleets usually don't so we should be careful. - two birds, one stone. New players are both taught trade isn't profitable above a certain point and that smuggling can be a lot more profitable.

9. Blueprints, if we buy them we always pay tariffs since everybody wants them, we never pay tariffs if we sells them for the same reason. Alternatively there is always a flat tariff on blueprints because they're a luxury good. But that would mean the game should add an always on tariff for certain other good that are considered luxuries. (not a bad idea but that would make implementing this a lot more difficult)

10. Missions need to change, procurement missions should be limited to just the stuff you can get in a few nearby planets. Indifferent of the size of your fleet, you should never, ever get a procurement mission that asks you to buy all the stock every planet in a 30ly radius has to offer. Similarly, the game needs a few cargo delivery mission. I have x units of cargo that needs to be delivered to A type of missions. These can be a cargo space dependent, can be as large as we can handle and most importantly, can be a fun way to make us explore the map. Especially fi pirates are informed of us being basically a cargo fleet and coming for us. Unlike the pirate bounties that move us around the map, these are a lot more welcoming to new players and if at larger sized pirate raids become a fact of life the player can still be pushed into combat, just not as much as the current 30% universal tariff is.

This one is relating to both the previous and to large fleet management in general. The way fleets work right not is... problematic. In the real world you'd never see an aircraft carrier group ever be accompanied by a massive oil tanker for fuel. Why? because if that was to be damaged the entire fleet would end up stranded. So, why not have certain pirate attacks were if we have civilian ships with us and we are the ones being attacked the civilian ships are automatically "deployed" and deployed in the center of the battle field while our fleet and the pirate fleet start at the edges of the map. This way we'd have to  willingly chose to use civilian ships, hell, maybe make it so the really lucrative procurement and transport contracts are only available for for fleets that are mostly civilian, or are so large you need civilian ships to be able to fulfill them but if you have civilian ships you risk getting attacked by pirated and loosing the cargo.

IF the above were to be implemented I think the game would be better. On the one hand the player would be forced to experience the intricate and entertaining combat system the game has to offer, on the other trade and smuggling would both be made more interesting and in depth.

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