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Topics - Ad Astra

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1
Suggestions / Fine tuning the colony threat mechanic
« on: September 04, 2023, 09:41:29 AM »
First of all, I quite like the new system, since it can develop into something very interesting, I also like the way you can bribe your way out of problems both short and long term, letting players basically avoid it if they don't like interacting with it.

However I think the "imma fite em" part of the system is quite out of tune. Each fleet destroyed lowers an insignificant amount of progress, and even if I go out of my way to try and find something to kill I end up empty handed, at least in my experience.

tl;dr: make threat gain literally disappear for a while each time you go boom boom on a station instead of just reducing it, or provide a way to engage bigger fleets for better threat reduction without having to wait until events while suffering the colony malus.

Disrupting Pather cells by blowing up their station also offers a paltry -20 per cell, my colonies generate that amount of heat per month, and I'm not given the chance to blow up a station per month. This makes it so that no matter how proactive I am about dealing with the issue, I'm neither given the chance for proper combat (since I only find a few tiny fleets), nor properly "rewarded" by this system for the combat I do (they barely reduce hostility), bribing is just too superior to the supposedly intended objective of this system according to Alex, which is to generate instances of combat.

I like where pirates are balance wise (they might even be too innocuous), but pathers need some adjustment. First I think that while stacking Patrol HQs or their upgrades shouldn't solve the issue outright, each patrol HQ should diminish the pather hostility per colony, since pather hostility IS gained per colony tech usage.
Maybe give them diminishing returns, or maybe give them a percentage based reduction, so the colony still generates hostility, but not as much.

The final consideration would be, how to give the player a better chance at fighting off the threat effectively, so that if they were so inclined they can keep even an empire at 0 threat by actively dealing with hostiles. Having disrupted pather cells generate 0 hostility might fix the current balance for example.

My suggestion would be to generate fleets proportional to the monthly gain of hostility, not just the amount accumulated, that means if you suddenly get a higher hostility gain, you also get a proportional opportunity to reduce it.
Another way would be to force an event to happen if the player frustrates attempts to raid and sabotage the system through hostile methods too many times, maybe some sort of "tolerance" meter, parallel to the threat gain, that way you'd still trigger hostile events without always eating up the accessibility and stability malus.

I write this mostly because, while I imagine that there might be a lot of interesting features planned for the future of this system, its important that whatever temporary current implementation fulfills its objective of causing interesting engagement and instances of fun, which in this case would be combat.
In the meantime I personally engage with it as a form of tax, I pay money to get hostiles off my back, simply forget about it and pay with the slightly reduced productivity of my colonies, or do the quests for either side, which I think are honestly so great that any other way of dealing with this system seems like an outright loss, and that's just talking game flavor wise, giving lobster to Kanta is the zenith of Starsector dialogue choices and that's not even up for discussion.
They are even better gameplay wise since they don't even have downsides at least yet.

The only reason to avoid doing the quests would be role-play, but the ability to roleplay a proper enemy to the pathers and pirates is very limited, since they are hardly a real threat most of the time, and you can't actually destroy them if you'd so choose.

2
Money, money is great, who doesn't just love the stuff. It lets you buy cool ships and guns, get fancy colonies, and pay off annoying space fundamentalists.  8)
That's why players will often undertake repetitive tasks that might not be so stimulating, so that they have the financial ability to undertake more entertaining tasks, like firing reapers at everything that moves.

For that reason its important to remember that every single decimal digit of supplies or fuel per day spent, means a considerably longer grind.

In order to avoid that, consider your fleet composition, do you really need to drag a cruiser all the way to the edge of the sector to scan a derelict ship? Probably not. The more you bring only the ships you really need, the more efficient the tasks undertaken.
A smaller fleet might be more vulnerable, but it will also be harder to spot. So remember that you can easily modify ships thinking in the task they will perform.

S-modding logistic ships should be a priority, since if you don't do anything particularly wrong, you will be using them for the whole game, and they'll never blow up. There's also the issue that you can normally only add 2 logistic hullmods per ship, but S-mods don't count, so you can have a colossus, phaeton and salvage gantry that have solar shielding, insulated engines, surveying equipment, and augmented drive or efficiency overhaul. The earlier you get these, the more money they make you throughout a playthrough, and you might use them until the very end of it.

You can have a fleet for exploration, where even the warships have logistic S-mods like Solar Shielding to make you life easier, or efficiency overhaul to diminish your expenses, while having separate ships with more optimized builds for harder combat.
Insulated Engines is very recommended for any exploration fleet as well, since you don't need to have firepower against enemies that can't see you.

When doing sneaky beaky things:
You can grab only a few shepherds and a valkyrie with insulated engines, and go around the entire core, doing raids, spysat deployments and smuggling with extreme ease, while leaving the rest of your fleet in a station somewhere. Later on in the game you can improve this setup by exchanging them for a Revenant and Phantom, making things even easier.
A neat thing to have in mind when raiding, is that patrols can be distracted by sensor bursting with you transponder off, causing them to come investigate, then you sneak around them with go dark, avoiding having to fight them, and in doing so, the need for bigger rep hits and having to bring along combat ships to.

Finally when optimizing combat:
You just need to read every post regarding ship loadouts in the forum since 2015, try and fail building a decent aurora 10 times in a row, cry in a corner after getting rushed by an LP eradicator, spend 300 hours in the combat simulation, and have a knife fight over the lategame viability of your favorite destroyer. Or maybe it isn't that hard. But it sure is harder than optimizing the campaign so you have the cash money moollah to simply throw fleets against a wall until you get good at combat.

So all in all, make your resource acquiring easier and more efficient, so you can enjoy the juicier part of the game without frustration. There will be time once you're good enough  to do all the challenge runs you want.  ;D

3
I was thinking that it might be cool to be able to decide what ships get the bonus from skills with limits for optimum gain like fighter uplink. Mostly because sometimes you might be dragging along ships like tempests and shepherds and its a little bothersome that they take away skill power from the actually important fighters.
In theory you'd choose what ships would be affected and see the percentage of improvement you'd get.

If it would take a lot of work to implement it might not be worth it, but if it happens to be relatively easy, it would be pure upsides I think.

4
General Discussion / Sindrian Diktat Social Credit Score and you.
« on: August 05, 2023, 03:59:57 PM »
Praise the Supreme Executor Admiral! How are you doing in this fine red day fellow lobster enjoyers.

As you are all surely aware, this patch brought with it an event progress bar. The purpose of this system is evident, the development of a new way to monitor your behavior towards our glorious Diktat.

Many (seditious degenerates) see our most immaculate rule as untrustworthy and threatening, but today we shall demonstrate that there is no better or fairer place to live in the entire Persean sector.
For every patriotic action on your part, points will be added to your social credit score, and an equal number of units of antimatter fuel will be supplied. When reaching each 250 points milestone, 10 crates of volturnian lobster will also be delivered to your domicile/preferred delivery spot. Performance of specific tasks will be further rewarded in different manner, including but not limited to: discounts in the purchase of sunglasses, a day of experiencing the thrill of being a security comissar of the Diktat (beating traitors with cudgels included), a one week vacation in Volturn, experimental energy weapons and ship hulls, lobster plushies and many, many more.

When behaving in seditious manner, points will be reduced, incurring an equal fine in credits. Negative thresholds include in the following order: jail, physical correctives, social service in one of Cruor's voluntary work facilities, exile, jail while the wardens eat lobster in front of you, and they won't share.

Points per positive action:

Informing officers of seditious activity= 100 points
Getting a Sindrian fuel company membership card= 10 points/month
Praising the Supreme Executor= 0 points We expect no less from you, Citizen.
Leaving good reviews on Volturns resorts and restaurants on SpaceTrip Advisor= 15 points You can do your part
Stating the very truthful fact that there is no forced labor in the Diktat= 20 points Here in the Sindrian di
Being "completely unrelated" to interception, sabotage, theft and/or destruction of Narakan fuel supply/production= 250, 500, 1000 points depending on magnitude. How unfortunate!
Explaining the virtues of our completely necessary and worthwhile energy weapons development program in the intercomms= 50 points our Supreme Executor is never wrong
Having "absolutely no involvement" in the potential tragic event of Nachiketa's saturation bombardment and Synchrotron core disappearance =2500 points A terrible day for the Persean Sector as a whole...anyways!
Finding a way to turn Volturnian Lobsters the color of our glorious flag through genetic manipulation (so those tri-tachs stop trying to use that as claim of copyright ownership in Space Court)= 10000 points, title of Hero of the Diktat, free travel in any of the ships of the Lion's Guard and free sunscreen for life. You are truly an embodiment of patriotic fervor.

Negative points per action

Refusing to praise the Supreme Executor= -100 points
Leaving the house in Sindria without sunscreen/sunglasses= -50 points solar exposure is no laughing matter, Citizen
Arguing about the impracticality of replacing missile/ballistic mounts for energy ones on ship hulls= -500 points Your seditious questioning is concerning, Citizen
Urinating in the pool at a Volturnian resort= -250 points and straight to jail There's a chemical in the water to let us know, Citizen
Complaining that "the sky is too red" when in Sindria= -100 points
Making somber insinuations regarding the health of our most beloved Supreme Executor= -1000 points We hope you have a wonderful time rethinking your stance on the matter at Cruor
Being allergic to lobster= -2000 points immediate exile.
Humming any variation of the other factions' catchy themes= -500 points

That will be all you need to know, praise the Lion of Sindria Citizens! Or else...

5
How's it going?
After searching for information about drop chances here and in reddit and finding very little, I fiddled around the game files for a bit trying to understand how items are generated and how much variation is possible from one sector generation to another.
I'll explain what I discovered next, if anyone has better information feel free to correct me. Also if anyone is good at editing the wiki and wants to add this information go right ahead.

Just for clarification when I speak about objects it can be any interactable object with a loot table just like: domain probes, survey ships, motherships, caches, mining stations, ruins, etc.

First of all, there's three main factors to salvage generation: sector seed, salvage object and drop table.
-Sector seed: determines the object that spawns in the world, for example a certain domain probe in certain system, and also what loot roll will happen for each object when interacting with it. You'll always get the same loot from the same object in that seed.
-Salvage object: they have specified drop tables, and specified numbers of rolls from those tables. To explain this: a mining station and a research draw colony items from the same table called rare_tech_low, however, mining stations do 4 rolls, while research stations do 2, that means you'll get on average twice as many colony items from a same number of mining stations, compared to research stations.
-Drop table:Each object draws from one or many tables, there are drop tables for commodities, ai cores, colony items, blueprints and weapons. Each item on a table has a set percentage to drop, but only one item can drop each time that table is drawn from, to explain this I'll use the colony items loot table.

item_synchrotron,rare_tech_low,10
item_pristine_nanoforge,rare_tech_low,3
item_corrupted_nanoforge,rare_tech_low,7
item_orbital_fusion_lamp,rare_tech_low,10
item_mantle_bore,rare_tech_low,10
item_catalytic_core,rare_tech_low,10
item_soil_nanites,rare_tech_low,10
item_biofactory_embryo,rare_tech_low,10
item_fullerene_spool,rare_tech_low,10
item_plasma_dynamo,rare_tech_low,10
item_cryoarithmetic_engine,rare_tech_low,10
item_drone_replicator,rare_tech_low,10
item_dealmaker_holosuite,rare_tech_low,10
item_coronal_portal,rare_tech_low,10
nothing,rare_tech_low,90%

What the table above means is that most colony items have a 10% chance to drop for every time this table is drawn from, with the exception of the nanoforges, the corrupted one has a 7% and the pristine has a 3%. If none of the item rolls are positive, there won't be any loot, if several rolls are positive, there seems to be an equal chance of any of them getting dropped.
What the last line on the table means, is that 90% of the positive rolls of this table, will instead be negative, so only 10% of the positive rolls on the list are actually in game salvage drops.

As an example of the final math lets look at the mining station

station_mining,0.75,2200,DISCOVERABLE,1700,1000,3000,,basic:5000,"mining_station:5x3000,
mining_bulk:1x150000,
any_hullmod_medium:3,
rare_tech_low:4,
package_bp:2",,,,,,,,,

Each mining station salvaged will perform 4 draws from the rare_tech_low table, that means each item in the table rolls 4 times, and potentially up to 4 items could drop from a single station, though it would be extremely unlikely. Since each roll is independent, this explains why you can get more than one of a certain colony item from each station.

To finish off, if we want to calculate the average of colony item drops from each mining station, we can perform the following math:

The sum of all colony item drop chances (130) multiplied by the amount of times the station rolls the loot table (4), and then divide it by the 1/10 chance of each positive roll to actually end up dropping.
This results in the following:

130x4x0.1=52% chance of getting a colony item per mining station, with the unlikely possibility of getting 2,3 or 4 items from a single station.

Since research stations do 2 draws instead of 4, the chance to get a colony item per research station is 26% with the unlikely possibility of getting 2 items from a single station.

Chance to drop a colony item per salvage object:
Domain Mothership: 65% It actually draws 1 time from rare_tech table not rare_tech_low, the former is almost identical to the latter but only has a 50% chance to make a positive roll not drop, so 130x0.50= 65.
Mining Station: 52%
Research Station and Survey Ship: 26%
Domain Probes, derelict ships and Orbital Habitats never drop colony items.

Vast Ruins have a 10% chance to do 1 draw from the rare_tech_low table, which means you'll get on average a 1.3% chance to get a colony item from each Vast ruin (also 1% chance to drop an alpha core), halving the chance for each smaller size of ruins. So don't focus on them for such items, also since tech mining loot table hasn't been updated you only have a chance to get synchrotron cores and corrupted nanoforges and only on the first extraction, though I'm not sure how high those chances are.

For caches: equipment caches drop ship blueprints, weapons caches drop weapon and fighter blueprints and supply caches drop my spirits because they don't drop any blueprints or rare items of any kind lol.

Finally for modders: although the roll from each salvage object depends on the seed, it actually happens when you interact with the salvage object, so if you change the drop table for any given object after the sector has generated, the roll will include the new drop table, not the one present when the sector generated. Meaning that if a mod adds stuff to already existing objects is installed mid playthrough, the objects will drop that stuff as if the mod was present at sector generation.

Anyways, feel free to use or correct this information as you wish. Cheers!

6
General Discussion / Regarding Orbital Habitat Drops
« on: August 03, 2023, 04:50:07 PM »
What's up space fellows, how's everyone doing?

So I was having some emotional conflict regarding the drop frequency of colony items, and I came to the conclusion that ever since Orbital Habitats no longer drop any rare tech, it feels like getting one of everything can be quite tricky depending on the seed. I went into dev mode and combed through a few sectors, every ruin, every mining and research station, every survey ship and mothership, sometimes no pristine nanoforge would drop.

My solution was simple, give the colony item drop chance that mining stations have, to orbital habitats, since making the loot sources more numerous greatly diminishes bad RNG. It also makes habitats fun to find again, since just getting commodities feels a bit on the boring side.

The bad side to this fix is that there might be too many colony items for your taste, the good side of this fix, is that you can do it yourself by changing a few lines in the game files with a text editor in around 5 minutes.

What are your thoughts about this? Has anyone else been just as unlucky?
Or do pristine nanoforges drop actually drop like rain and I keep winning the backwards lottery?

Also if anyone wants to know how to do this change I can teach you, but maybe this topic would have to change to the modding section instead, I'm not sure.




7
Suggestions / Would a more elaborate stealth mechanic be possible?
« on: March 23, 2023, 11:10:20 AM »
I was wondering if instead of just diminishing the rep hit by attacking fleets with your transponder off, would it be possible to outright nullify it, while the catch would be that your fleet would accumulate notoriety. If that fleet gets spotted with a transponder on by any member of the faction/s you have been attacking, they would identify you as the author of the crimes.
The way this would play out is that you'd have to change fleets in secrecy to another one that has a clean slate, and every ship you keep from the "notorious" fleet adds to the chance of getting found out. Similar to your black market suspicion, it would decay over time, meaning that you'd go into crime sprees here and there, and into hiding until things cool off.
If possible I think it would add an entire playstyle, making abandoned stations, and pirate/independent ports more useful.

8
General Discussion / Slipstreams and skill tree changes spark joy
« on: December 15, 2021, 09:30:37 AM »
Just had to say it, I'm elated.

On slipstreams:
Hyperspace travel was frustrating and boring because of the lack of safe conducts to many areas, requiring either a large amount of time moving around dense clusters, moving slowly through them, or taking a massive economic hit from tanking the supply costs.
Making clear paths through the clouds however, would've made it even more unstimulating and trivialized the existence of storms which are an interesting mechanic.
Slipstreams however, not only respect the mechanics that were already in place, but also add an engaging and fun solution to the tedious aspect of hyperspace travel, each time you can use one to zoom across the map to your objectives, the contrast between that comfort and the laborious nature of avoiding storms makes for a very rewarding feeling. Lovely stuff.

About the skill tree:
An issue many of us had discussed previously was how the way the tree was designed would restrict the flow of the player through it, raising the difficulty of properly balancing skills between each other, both within each branch and between branches. The solution implemented however, allows for a lot of flexibility in fine tuning skills and branches independently, properly tiers through skill point requirements, and the higher level skills have been improved and really express the philosophy that the further you go up in a branch, the greater the return for your investment.
Being able to freely create as many tiers as needed, move skills up and down depending on how many skill points they'd require to reach, and the ability to do this for each branch separately, solves the rigid structure and balancing challenges the previous implementation had, even if skills needed to be tuned now after play testing, now that job can be done so much easier than before.

Both of these changes show creative solutions to gameplay issues that don't sacrifice the integrity of the existent systems, instead managing to enhance them.
If following updates maintain this level of elegance when tuning and adding mechanics, this diamond will be out of rough sides in no time.
As someone who previously whined about both of the issues previously stated, cheers lads, wonderful job!

9
Suggestions / Conditional Mission triggers and other QOL tweaks
« on: December 13, 2021, 02:08:57 PM »
How's it going lads?

Have you ever just started a playthrough with the poorest setup, immediately walked into a bar and had a very important trader offer you a colony supply contract? Well, I'd love to give you your 6 monthly units of fuel, but I'm not the owner of Nachiketa, in fact, I have an entire fortune of negative credits and a rust bucket to my name, my good man.

That had me thinking, what if that kind of advanced mission only appeared after certain milestones (like having a colony) have been reached, not only would it make more sense lorewise (why would that guy talk to me, a nobody so respectfully), but also clear out the  mission pool you can get at bars, so that finding "level" appropriate missions is easier and more common.

That way the described interactions make more sense immersion wise, and make the world feel more responsive to your progress.

Delivery missions for expensive goods (like heavy armament) could be conditioned by faction trust, so they don't just put 1M credits worth of goods into just anyone's hands, right now the amount of goods scales with your cargo space but the kind of cargo is simply random.
SpySat drop missions could be tiered, so that you don't get asked to drop a sat in Sindria (almost impossible) for the same reward you get when asked to drop one in a less guarded system.

These measures wouldn't be there to limit the possibilities of the player but instead to further streamline the experience, particularly for new players who otherwise will find themselves accepting too many missions which are in fact dead ends for their current capabilities and can cause frustration. Offering missions which can be unprofitable or currently unviable is in fact interesting gameplay wise but better left for mid to late game, when players have the acquired the knowledge to judge the situation appropriately.

Would it be worth the hassle in case more mission types are added in the future, or do you think it would deviate from the intended design so far?

10
Suggestions / Crew chatter (or space shanties)
« on: May 07, 2021, 11:11:45 AM »
How's it going fellas? I was thinking about the tedium of hyperspace travel lately (every time I get sent to a corner of the map), and came up with a possible way to make it a little more entertaining.
Just like how AC4 had sea shanties to make travel more interesting, the game could add some form of chat you can read where your crew makes random comments and banter. This would make you feel you're on the ship more and serve as an opportunity to add more light hearted interactions between people of the sector (like the Ludd cyborg, or the space station ghosts).

I feel like campaign map feels a little "dead" when travelling, and doing this would serve as an entertainment while not needing the implementation of a complex mechanic.

If something like this doesn't fit with the vision of what basegame should feel like, would this be interesting as a mod? (kind of like the campaign version of combat chatter I guess).

An idea to get a substantial amount of chatter, so it doesn't repeat all the time is to have the community come up with interesting lore friendly quotes (they could scratch the fourth wall from time to time for comedic effect), and any and all the acceptable ones could be collected into the repertoire you'd read as you fly around.

What do you think? Would it be way too out of place? Would it ruin the solemn atmospheric experience of deep space travel? Would "What do you do with a drugged up spacer" not be a hit? Naah, there's no way it wouldn't be a hit.

11
Suggestions / To have game rules set in stone
« on: May 06, 2021, 12:12:47 PM »
Hello folks, how are you doing?

As most of us know, every time skills are involved, discussion intensifies. This happens for a great variety of reasons, but the place where most of the problems appear is with officers. Officers share skills with the player character, essentially making an enemy ship equal to our own, or potentially even stronger. This causes a difficulty spike in balancing, since the amount of things that can go wrong when factors interact with each other grows exponentially. However, the possibility of equating our own power to the opponents is a clear solution, we would assume, but we quickly find that's not possible, why? Because the enemy has none of the restrictions that apply to ourselves, and THAT is where the nightmare begins.

Should the enemy be bound to the same restrictions that limit our own fleet, their power gap could be more clearly bridged, this would be a Mount & Blade (for those familiar with that game) approach to enemies, they can only have the same things that you do, having only an advantage in logistic costs since the Npcs don't need to pay wages (this allows for flexibility and prevents issues with AI).
In order to level the Npcs infinite resources to our own limitations, the composition of the enemies' armies is carefully polished to viable and "realistic" instances within the game world.

Fleet compositions and loadouts could even be based on player shared ones, making the endgame feel like duels against other real humans.
By doing this we further prevent feelings of difficulty as "artificial", since giving the opponents the same resources that we posses would prevent cheesy strategies, and manage greater immersion in this interesting world.
If greater challenges are desired then, in few special instances, these rules could be broken to have the player face great odds, but for most of the normal gameplay and player types, a less overbearing enemy might work substantially better.

What do you guys think? Has this already been tried before and I didn't know? What would be the greatest issues with trying this approach? Please share your thoughts.

12
General Discussion / About skill tree design
« on: April 24, 2021, 09:47:14 AM »
Hello everyone, I hope you are all doing well!

First of all I'd like to clarify that this isn't a take on skills themselves, which has already been discussed extensively and I don't have any insight that hasn't been shared, but an attempt at discussing the structure of the skill tree itself.
What this refers to, is the way these nodes are arranged, how they interact with one another, how the progress through them functions, and what the player can expect from skills when they start a new game.

I'll be talking about the subjective and emotional reactions of the player towards the design, so naturally everything here will be merely opinions, and hopefully useful ones at that.

Let's start this by talking about classic skill tree design, and that is linked to the very name we give to these things.
A tree possesses roots, a trunk and branches. A tree has been used to depict both heritage and hierarchy through the ages, a tree grows organically and intertwines its segments often. All of these are reasons why the progression of skills throughout a character's (and the player) journey, ingrained iconography, "sense" of progression and notion of growth (in power mostly), and lastly a very important matter for the designer, the freedom that an asymmetric structure brings for modification and development.

If we contrast this to the current  (and previous) skill tree designs we see that several of these advantages are not present, being the most subconscious reason why every implementation of the skill system faces so much discord.
We don't "feel" the power on many of the higher tier skills clearly, meaning that their position, their hierarchy comes off as meaningless, we don't "feel" freedom in the path that is taken to the upper branches because there are too little points and as such, little choices to be made, and skills that are desirable within a same playstyle often exclude each other.
The constraining and unnatural feeling that the skill tree causes in the player, is a consequence of the constraint a symmetrical structure causes on the one who creates it, the self applied demand to make every tree "equal" is very limiting on design, and those limitations are then felt by whoever interacts with such a system. This "unsettling" feeling only becomes greater when immersion within the world is significant, causing yet a further obstacle to the flow of the experience.

The same resources at hand, could be used to produce far greater results should they be arranged differently. Each point right now involves several stacked bonuses, while this is probably intended to make each choice more significant, the "why" each of those bonuses is stacked to each other, and then contrasted to other such node is never clear, never truly reasonable within the world, always making the fact that they are design choices be felt too strongly, something that within a classical tree would be mellowed by separating branches thematically, and allowing every early node to be chosen, knowing full well that the latter, "more powerful" or interesting choices are being sacrificed every time a small convenient node is chosen. Specialist vs Generalist, in every ramification of the tree the choice becomes clearer, heavier. As long as the player is drawn to and enjoys what each choice provides, then no wrong choice is ever made, sub-optimal only hurts when it equals to unviable.

If branches are separated on each of the 4 main ones we have, the choice of what affects player ships, what affects fleets in combat, and what affects the campaign level would be so much clearer for new players, if nodes are separated in a greater number of less significant choices, further explanation can be applied to each and every one of them, helping a newbie understand without having to wiki search what every one of those small stacking bonuses mean on every node, just hover a mouse over them and there would be the explanation with examples and all.
Asymmetrical trees allow for padding to be removed, we don't have an initial skill point investment to even access each section anymore, having more or less nodes carries no harm. Being able to add and remove nodes without a hitch allows for modifications to be easier, freeing creativity within development. Nodes can intertwine at chosen spots to allow different paths to reach the same destinations, versatility and variety within a limited system make for great fun experimenting.

Driving ourselves into a corner is what our mind is best at, seek success in freedom, freedom from our own self placed constraints.

Now to the most important aspect of all. You might be thinking "there are no trees in space dumbass", that's accurate. So while an organic looking design might be out of place, an intertwined mess of cables and munition belts, strategic points in a war table, shapes in an electric board, or trade routs in a merchant's map would all conform to these abstract shapes that are so precious for facilitating design, while fitting the themes of the skill tree perfectly (It could be anything really, I'm just throwing stuff on the table to make it easier to imagine).

To end I'd like to say that by no means is this an attempt of telling how things should be done, or a disregard of the systems we've seen so far (with their own special charm), but rather an attempt at creating discussion and the following inflow of ideas and clarity it causes.
If after reading this, sorting out how to solve the rejection towards a skill system when its established feels even a tiny bit easier, I'd be truly glad and consider this attempt a success.

Thank you for reading this wall of text and please share any opinions you have!

tl;dr: rows=pretty and original but tree=easier. ???

13
After playing through the academy questline I have the need to say two things, first is that I found it very interesting to see several aspects of the world fleshed out, and the second is the main reason for the thread.

Why am I a space mobster? (whoaa title drop)
"What does this even mean?" You might ask, well...your character interactions feel like you are running an organized space criminal syndicate.
Your character is always 2 kool 4 skool, always a master of social interactions, always the social butterfly/sociopathic manipulator that personally deals with going around taking names and squeezing information out of people (with your awesome bodyguards who are totally there of course).
I always assumed your character would end up having a more neutral, less defined personality, hell maybe you could always be inside a spacesuit without anyone even knowing WHAT you are.
But what you are right now is someone who can do anything and everything, the tough guy that looks at the tech nerds sternly when they start dribbling about thingamajigs, the badass space captain who is always awesome and goes around meeting all the important people.
You always get recognized as some sort "wiseguy" that the provost sends to shake people up, and many times you can't even avoid those situations.
Does this happen because I always end up with 100 independent rep and 49 with everyone else? Do you get to skip shaking people up if you have high relations with other factions?

I feel like a more neutral treatment to your character would feel less strange, while saving the need to go around adding interactions to define the character. But having a substantial investment in the tech tree and still going for the "shut up nerd" routine when you are not given dialogue options feels weird to say the least.

In the meantime I shall rename my character from X (undefined person like thing that goes around in a spacesuit) to Fortunate Luciano/Luciana (space version of Lucky Luciano).

Nyeeeh see? Imma orbital bomb your ass if I don't see those credits by Monday! Space capische? (hand gestures)

14
Suggestions / Docking Fighters
« on: April 13, 2021, 01:10:48 PM »
Good day/night everyone! I hope you are doing well.

After searching around in the forum for a while, I couldn't find any thread regarding this subject so I thought of asking.

As we know, replacement rate is one of the most important factors of carrier efficacy, and having it drop significantly can sometimes annul the usefulness of a fighter wing entirely until it replenishes. While this can be remedied by keeping a carrier away from action until it recovers, with converted hangars or in the case of the few gunships with inbuilt wings, doing this would be even more counter productive. This causes wings to become a limited resource that quickly becomes inadequate the moment fighters start being picked one by one, incapable of reaching a critical mass needed to overcome enemy PD.

As a solution I wanted to know if having a third command for carrier wings would be possible, and whether it has been previously discussed or not. The idea would be "Engage, Regroup and Dock". Docking command would be used when levels of replacement have diminished as a way of helping it recover faster, and making sure that fighters are fielded again only once their number is satisfactory. While in effect, fighters would return to their carrier, hiding safely within until released.

As a bonus, having the ability to give this command to an entire fleet could be a way to keep smaller numbers of fighter wings competitive against significant enemy presence, further adding a layer of strategy to carrier command.

This is the first time I post here so please let me know if there are issues with the format or thread location.
I'm not a native English speaker so corrections to any confusing part of the text are also welcome.

Burn bright!

Edit: Does anyone know how to move this thread to Suggestions, sure enough I messed up the location as expected  ;D

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