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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 - angrytigerp

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1
I'm really, really unclear on how the Gunnery Control Implants skill with "+% to autoaim effectiveness" (or, if you want, the mod-added Gunnery Control AI hullmod that basically gives you a minor boost in every category GCI covers, including the nominal autoaim effectiveness stat) affects gameplay.

Whenever I use the weapon arcs mod to draw autoaimed groups (or use the vanilla method of selecting a group, then selecting an empty group, still drawing the last group's arcs), the aim line appears to track with the same mechanical computer-controlled precision as it ever does.

Perhaps I'm not paying close enough attention, but does the aim point "lag behind" and take longer to reacquire/retrack a target's changes in velocity or something more with a lower autoaim stat? That's was I'm guessing it means but... Right now, the perk just sort of exists as an awkward in-the-way part of the GCI skill, which I otherwise want for projectile speed and weapon range.

2
Suggestions / Ship class "specialization" for officers
« on: March 22, 2019, 08:47:55 AM »
Yes, to some extent this exists by having skills geared towards certain playstyles... But really, the only "niche" skill sets are the missile skill and the carrier skills. Everything else is just sort of... A general perk that will help any officer for any ship type.

I wonder if we could have another trait added (like personality), but that dictates ship class proficiency? To sync with the Production Screen paradigms, it could be warships, carriers, and phase ships. A warship officer will have automatic bonuses to... I don't know, shields, armor, and weapon range when in a ship tagged with the "warship" classification, a phase officer could get a maneuverability and weapon damage boost, and a carrier officer could get... Some carrier perk.

These would stack on top of the normal skills, which will still have full availability (so if you're in a pinch and can't find a carrier officer, you can still spec a warship officer with all the carrier skills to pilot that carrier you looted, he or she just won't be quite as good as a dedicated carrier officer).

The bonuses wouldn't be too significant, I think, nothing that makes the game too unbalanced (for the phase ship officer, maybe just like a 20% manueverability buff and 5% damage buff), but it would encourage that much more meta gameplay for the campaign element, and also allow for more specific building since you can, for example, opt NOT to use this or that hullmod or maybe skip a certain skill in favor of something else (or double down and pick the skill anyway for even more effect).

3
This is the placeholder OP for this mod. There is no download yet.

    A mildly-inebriated space veteran beckons you to his table...

    Spoiler
    You've got the look of one of those folks who wants to know everything there is to know, or maybe build everything there is to build. I think I can help you there.

    Everyone wants to find those Blueprints for their Autofactories, right? One of the more powerful 'factions' in the Sector mounts an expedition to go digging for a Domain Data Vault or Research Lab, or scurry through the mud of a planet with ruins on it, hoping that among the wreckage they'll find one of those little chips that holds all the ins-and-outs of creating a brand-new spaceship or kick-ass gun. Everyone, by this point, has the chip for a Buffalo, or a Hound; those bloody things are everywhere. Everyone's HOPING to find their own personal XIV Battlegroup hull blueprint, or a chip to manufacture Mjolnir Cannons in their own industry.

    But what if I told you about another way to get these magical little doodads? I heard from a friend of a friend of a... well, you get the idea... that the Domain DID bring the tech that created Blueprints out here to the sector with them. They're still hidden out there, buried deep within some planets. The rumor goes something like this: you stick in almost anything, the facility tears it down atom-by-atom, and creates a chip that tells an Autofac how to recreate the thing piece-by-piece... in other words, what we know today as a Blueprint.

    Does such a thing exist? Eh, who knows? It's a rumor that's been running in spacer circles for years. It's probably a load of bollocks, another one of those comforting delusions we've created ever since the Gates collapsed. But, who knows? I'm past my prime, and my days of exploring are long gone. If you happen to find one of these things out there, remember your pal here, eh?
    [close]



    Domain Blueprint Encoder

    Quote
    Everyone knows what Blueprints are, but how did Blueprints come to be? Enter the Domain Blueprint Encoder. DBEs were, for lack of a better explanation, 3D scanners on steroids that systematically catalogued everything about how a piece of technology was built, be it the meanest Light Mortar to the astounding technological marvel of the Astral. Using the "Blueprint" thus created, one could program the ubiquitous Autofactory to produce the item in question.

    With the collapse of the Gate Network, the Domain became a distant memory in the Persean Sector, and the people reverted to a sort of techno-barbarism, having all of the technology but none of the knowledge. For some two centuries these disparate colonies grew in strength and number once again, and using the power of the Autofacs and Blueprints, were able to create massive space fleets to protect their interests and attack their enemies. However, while the primary means of acquiring blueprints is finding them out in abandoned Domain facilities out in the empty star systems of the Sector, or simply stealing them from your opponents, there is a path of less resistance -- to simply create your own.

    Scope of the Mod

    The goal of this mod is to create a new, RARE planetary condition, called "Intact DBE", with a guaranteed appearance on at least two or three planets per sector generation. It will function much like Ruins do, allowing the construction of a new Structure, tentatively planned to be called a "DBE Lab". The lore-y explanation here of why you need a specific facility will be that the DBE must be excavated out of whatever ruins it's within, powered up, and then a sterile environment must be maintained for cleaning the to-be-scanned piece of technology; this is to minimize the possibility of corruption of the Blueprint production from even so small a thing as a chunk of dirt.

    As is to be expected with providing power for such a colossal thing (imagine how large the 'workspace' must be to fit a Capital Ship inside!) and all the other logistical issues, it will cost a pretty penny to build, and have a ridiculous upkeep. Of course, use an AI Core and price AND demand goes down... and of course, there will probably be upgrades possible to the owning faction's prep facility to ensure higher success rates and a quicker preparation process...

    However, the process is not perfect: technology has diminished over the years and true sterility is difficult to achieve, and the DBE has suffered from its dormancy and lack of maintenance. Therefore, between errant contamination of the DBE, or through glitches in the system, it is unfortunately NOT guaranteed that you will get a blueprint. Obviously, the simpler and smaller the object is, the more likely the process will succeed, as it takes less time for the DBE to break down the object, and it's easier for the prep teams to clean it up to prevent contamination.

    Practical gameplay effects translation of the lore spiel (and other notes):

    • The less the OP/DP or fitting size/hull class of the weapon/ship, respectively, the less time the scan takes and the more likely it is that it will succeed.

    • Both success and failure result in loss of the item (read above re: complete deconstruction of the item), but at least with success you get a BP out of it. You must be willing to part with the thing to be prototyped, so don't give it your one and only Light Needler and panic when it fails...

    • The structure will cost a lot to build, and a lot to upkeep, so it's really only practical for mid- to end-game, so that you either have a fortune amassed or other colonies that can 'eat' the financial shortcoming.

    • The current roadmap is to use the 'unique submarket' concept you may have seen in other mods to produce a new, specific-to-DBE-structure submarket that will allow for you to input items to await the results of the Encoding. This is so that the UI of this process will be relatively graceful, and also to force the player to have to travel to the colony with the DBE to physically drop off an item (not so easy when you think you're gonna be clever and fly a mothballed Onslaught with 5 D-Mods halfway across the Sector)
    .
    • Since it would be impractical (and pointless) to have a mod that just played with your heart with an RNG curse, you'll be able to upgrade it a tier or two to increase probabilities.

    • There will be technology that can't be properly recreated because it contains advanced materials the DBE can't make heads nor tails from, which JUST SO HAPPENS to be things you can't otherwise find blueprints for anyways. Basically, there will be an allowed whitelist of replicable gear, just normal stuff you can find in markets for example; and things like [redacted] gear will be unreproducible, as only the whitelisted things can be turned in.

    • I would like to incorporate modded factions, but (to make perfectly clear) I will not do so without explicit permission and input from the mod author. This is to allow them the chance to set a whitelist of their choosing for what equipment they would like to be replicable, or indeed whether they wish to be party to the mod in the first place.

    Credits and Acknowledgements
    • So far, just SCC for giving me the idea of doing 'discovering some archaic Domain tech' during chatter on Discord, rather than my original alien technology idea.


    Stay tuned for all the inevitable name drops of folks I'm hoping for help in the more fiddly bits of code and scripting...[/list]

    4
    So the whole "Heavy Industry", specifically the "Custom Production" part is super cool. Within the bounds of what blueprints you've found, of course, you can make ANYTHING you want to help kit out your personal fleet. Awesome!

    ... Buuuut, I find it a bit too convenient the way it works right now. As it is, as we all know, you just have a production capacity defined by number of Heavy Industries (and, if I understand it correctly, colony size), you click on whatever you want from a couple vulcan cannons to an Onslaught or two, and presto it appears magically in your chosen 'delivery site'. Cool and all for the ease of use, but not really immersive in my earnest opinion.

    First of all, I wonder if it is at all a possibility to divide the three production categories (fighters, weapons, and hulls) into three unique structures? I am a fan of the idea of having a sort of 'classical' space empire where you have planet X that is known throughout the galaxy for its weapons, planet Y for its shipyards, etc. As it is, adding Heavy Industry is pretty much a given on ANY colony I conquer or start, because it just adds to my generic flat cap of production.

    I realize the goal is to minimize death by interactive menus, but I wonder if it can't be done to have each of your planets selectable from a list (maybe a scrolling list like the Fitting menu has), and then the main part of the screen populates with applicable tabs? So you can select "Hulls" only if the planet has a "Shipyard" industry; you can only select "Weapons" if the planet has a "Weapons Plant" industry; and "Fighters" if there is a "Small Spacecraft Factory". Then you can have generic "Heavy Industry" as a structure that specifically adds to your Production cap; so if planet X has a Weapons Plant, and can produce $80,000 of goods, and you add a Heavy Industry that adds a 1.5X multiplier or something, you can therefore produce $120,000 worth of weapons a month. Something like that.

    As for delivery... I understand that this part's trickier, and it might seem like an unfair RNG penalty if it gets accosted by a Pirate fleet, but it'd be cool if planets either kept manufactured goods on-site; OR if the player ordered a gathering point, they were placed into a convoy of suitable size and for the total value of goods. Obviously, you can very easily shove $80,000 worth of high-cost weapons into an Expanded Cargo Hound or something, but for simplicity's/balance's sake (to avoid the unfairness implied above) just have a gate where <$10k is a collection of small freighter ships capable of carrying the goods ordered (Shuttles and Hounds, etc.) with frigates in the escort force; $10k-$35k is a few destroyer sized cargo vessels with a mix of destroyers and frigates escorting; $35k-$60k is cruiser cargo ships and similar escorts; and $60k-$80k is transported by Atlases et al and escorted by at least one Capital warship and applicable escorts.

    Or have it by percentage (to scale with the Heavy Industry upgrade thing I mentioned above). Whatever works. Maybe have fleet size, composition, and quality dictated by the source market's Fleet value.

    I can imagine warships being delivered in mothball status with a similar tier-ing of escorts, ditto fighter LPCs.

    I just find it too brutally dishonest to the meta that I could, say, establish a colony in literally the corner of the sector, have a few core world colonies that can put down serious production numbers, and at the end of the month... the goods they produced just magically appear in my destination colony. Seems a bit immersion-breaking to me.

    5
    Modding / [[[Request Thread Deletion]]]
    « on: March 16, 2019, 10:53:26 PM »
    This thread is deprecated, please purge.

    6
    WARNING: There's a bunch of me attempting to think of fancy computer math and probability-finding the further you read!

    The TL;DR -- Add new colony structure for reverse-engineering, sacrifice a weapon or hull to the structure, do some math based on weapon size and OP cost or ship hull OP value, bingo-bango-bongo you may or may not have the blueprint for that item, or have a higher chance of succeeding the next time you try.

    So, after like a year off, doing my annual "let's reload SS with every mod we can find" playthrough (it's a tradition, kind of like Skyrim runs). I'm really digging the colony thing (to date myself), custom industry, blueprints, expeditions, all that. Out of curiosity, has it been proposed or discussed at all whether or not we could have some means of acquiring blueprints outside of finding them in random caches on the outskirts of the sector, or from raiding markets?

    I'm not sure this is really a vanilla-affecting issue, if it's only mods my issue is less significant (but still present!) but... I noticed some factions will sell me some blueprint sets in their marketplaces; whereas others (like the ones I'm maining right now, Dassault-Mikoyan specifically) seem to never sell their schematics, and since I haven't raided them, all I have to show for it are (what I'm guessing are) random BP spawns from random research stations out in the galactic boonies.

    So what I was thinking was, what if there was a way to reverse-engineer stuff? When I say this, I don't mean old Omnifactory-style "give them the stuff, they immediately figure it out", but rather have it tied to skills or something. The process, in my mind, goes something like this:

    1.) You have a weapon or hull that you want to reverse-engineer. For the sake of balance and fairness, let's say rare stuff like redacted ships and weapons can NOT be reverse-engineered, and there's a flag in the ship info that bars you from even trying. Of course, this frees modders to then decide what 'experimental' or 'exclusive' high-end equipment their faction has and pick and choose the things they want excluded from the process.

    2.) You take it to a player-owned colony with some particular structure. I'm thinking, for the sake of making it more of an investment (so if you want to go the route of reverse-engineering, you REALLY need to commit to it), there's a specific new "Research Facility" or "Stellar Engineering Bureau" or whatever that serves the exclusive and precise purpose of allowing you to attempt to reverse-engineer stuff. It has a high upkeep and a decent set of demands -- basically, make it so that if you want to reverse-engineer, you need to be in end-game anyways, where if you weren't doing R-E, you'd be stampeding across the galaxy anyways stealing blueprints from factions through violence.

    3.) You give the weapon or hull to the Facility. It uses the same month-based ticker that I'm gathering every other industry uses, so at the end of the month it is decided whether you reverse-engineered the thing successfully.
    • 3a.) If possible (although it would require yet another backend layer), EDIT: Fixed this already by the time I finished writing the post; add a 10% chance per failed attempt to reverse-engineer. Donezo.

    4.) Success of the process is NOT guaranteed. This is how I envision it differing from old Omnifac-style set-and-forget. Every successive weapon size or hull size, and maybe OP cost for further randomization, requires a better roll.



    So let's say the behind-the-scenes math looks something like

    Chance of Successful Reverse-Engineering Weapon (Expressed as probability where 1.00 meaning guaranteed success) = (Base Chance of Reverse-Engineering) / (OP Cost) + Weapon Size multiplier [0.5 for Small, 0.3 for Medium, 0.1 for Large, something like that]

    So a 10 OP Medium weapon would have, assuming a base chance of 1.00:

    Code
    1.00 / 10 + 0.3 = 0.4,

    or a 40% chance of reverse engineering the weapon successfully.



    Now, in spending about 5 minutes trying to come up with the above equation, I admit I'm not the best at this whole coding thing, but that appears to be serviceable enough. The only 'guaranteed roll' here are Small weapons of 2 or 1 OP (and if you're reverse-engineering those, you probably deserve to have them). Then, obviously, add in an Industry Skill that increases base chance (to 2, 3, and 4 with each successive level, which brings our above example to 50, 60, and 70% respectively), although I'm loathe to think how you express that in the skilltip to the average player; and then ditto add-in parts for the Facility (another +1 to chance), maybe even upgrades (MORE +1s!) to the building for higher tiers.

    EDIT: I actually think the weapon size might be an unnecessary value. It's far too easy to (doing up an example spreadsheet) easily pass 100% chance, and given as I wrote this that there's a "rollover" bonus for failed attempts... yeah, you know what, scratch the weapon size mult.

    I think it would be better off in this sense, where it's hard to ever get 100% certainty for the highest-OP, largest weapons, because the entire point is that the player should have to risk that rare one-off weapon that they have sitting in their storeroom that they really like, for a 30, 40% chance of getting production rights to it.

    Now, ships.... those are a bit trickier. OP cost is a lot easier to factor than OP possession. Hmm. I think this one won't be tied to size in any way, but rather OP specifically, because I can't think of a graceful way to account for high-OP frigates vs low-OP destroyers:

    Success Rate = Base Chance of 1.00 / Ship OP Value * 20

    This one's rougher, and I based the final multiplier on the Hermes (20 OP). So given that the Onslaught is 360 OP (most in vanilla, right?), this leaves you with a painful

    Code
    1.00 / 360 * 20 = 0.0555555

    5.5% chance of R-E success at base values (!!!). Even assuming, let's see here... 3 skill tiers, a plugin module, and even 2 Facility upgrades, that increases base chance to 7.00, which leaves you with a more palatable (but still bad)

    Code
    7.00 / 360 * 20 = 0.3888888

    38.8% chance.

    But I'm not entirely sure this is a bad thing? Again, this is supposed to not be a guaranteed ace-in-the-hole for the player. You have to invest a lot of money into the facility and 'project' weapons/hulls, XP into the skills, and time into finding that (those? Multiple tiers maybe?) plugin. Oh, and of course, luck and/or RNGesus blessings. If you really want Onslaught rights, make sure you bring several to the Facility and cross your fingers.

    And while even the main meat of the idea itself is barely fleshed-out, maybe... Hmm, going back to 3a.) above, maaaaybe add an extra value to the equation for every failed attempt on that particular part? So the Onslaught, and anything else you attempt to reverse-engineer, after every failed attempt, gets a hard 10% multiplier, so that you are GUARANTEED to succeed no later than (assuming maxed-out Facility and skills) 6 or 7 tries. So the equation looks like:

    Success Rate = Base Chance of 1.00 / Ship OP Value * 20 + (0.1 * number of attempts so far)

    Yeeeeah, there we go. That fixes it. Ditto for the weapons, I suppose.



    Anyways, congratulations on reading through all this, if you did. Alex, if you got further than the first paragraph (because you already have the answer, "no and we aren't doing it period"), then thanks for your time. And if not... hey, your vision, your game, we're all just playin' it.

    7
    Simple request, couldn't really see it mentioned when I searched (tried "sort", "fitting", "damage"), but... Yeah, haven't played the game in months (a year+, really, if I'm thinking about it right), and the new (to me) sorting of weapon types by Ballistic/Energy/Missile is a big timesaver with all the universal/composite/hybrid/synergy mounts available, and especially once you start adding any significant number of mods.

    That said, would be super cool if I could ONLY look at, say, Kinetic weapons (because I just fitted some huge HE battery, for example, but need something to whittle down shields). As a bonus, for slots that are fixed-type, as you know you can do "step down" mounting, so if I say want to exclusively mount Pilums, I can sort by "medium-size weapons" and thus fit them onto the Large Missile slots.

    This would be really nice, especially for mods that add weapons, because I find myself tending to pick whatever the first/most familiar weapon is that has the damage type I need, which in my current playthrough for example means all of my Large Ballistic HE weapons are Hephaestuses and Mostros (from Diable) just because they show up near the top of the list since it's sorted by OP cost. Seeing the full spread of weapons with the damage type I want/need would really help me maybe discover some of the weapons I tend to skip over because I haven't really had visibility on them before.

    8
    General Discussion / Totally delayed 0.7.1 reaction
    « on: February 16, 2016, 07:20:13 AM »
    Took a few months to get around to playing it, but in a word: wow.

    Positives:
    - Joining battles is awesome, and its implementation is fantastic as well. I like how when you join a battle, it's not just a regular deployment -- you could end up on a battlefield with a huge battle already happening, making it feel that much more fulfilling
    - The new over world mechanics are intriguing. It certainly feels a lot more like traveling through deep space, and the various abilities (I'm guessing more are in the offing) grant a meta gameplay aspect that improves it.
    - NPC captains are natively supported, instead of just being SS+! And it's clear at a glance what they bring to the table, as their skills aren't abstractions but hard numbers like the players.

    Negatives:
    - The new over world mechanics... Are a wee bit frustrating. The whole transponder/unidentified fleet thing is a neat idea, but in my experience only really affects Pirates on the NPC side. It's also more than a little frustrating when I go to hyperspace, then get ambushed by massive hostile fleets that are camping near the gate and that I'm unable to see until it's too late because my game always seems to fill hyperspace with nebulae/storms.
    - Was hoping to see some new skills, maybe in particular those on the industry side, but seems we'll be waiting a little longer for that. I suppose the plethora of other features added are more than enough.

    9
    Fan Media & Fiction / Always Eat Your Vextables [Intro 11SEP15]
    « on: September 11, 2015, 10:14:19 PM »
    The first part of a man's story from privateer to a lesser Pirate Lord. This is not even one full chapter, just a dump for interest.

    Spoiler
    When Niklaus Vexirson had envisioned his end, this was not the way he pictured it.

    The shields covering the front of the Indomitable, his Eagle-class cruiser, rippled and distorted with the occasional blast from the hostile Onslaught's Thermal Pulse Cannons. He knew that if the opposing commander had wanted, they could have blasted right through his shielding – his reactor was screaming at max capacity, the hard flux built up to somewhere around 80%, and as long as the shield stayed up the strain would remain. He also knew, though, that the enemy was as well aware of this as he.

    “Pirate, we will say this once more: shut down your primary reactor and stand by to be boarded. You have precisely 30 seconds – make that 28, now – to comply.”

    And what a compelling idea that was. Vexirson looked at his tactical map one more time, willing it to show something other than what it did. Nope, still the same thing – Onslaught at his twelve o'clock, two Dominators at roughly 10 and 2, and a smattering of smaller ships floating about, just daring him to try to make a run for it. And as for his own fleet – a fair dozen or so blue outlines of the ships he had so proudly commanded only an hour or so ago, their husks bleeding debris and their crews either dead or the next closest thing. There was the Innocence Lost, once piloted by his trusted second Jack Connolly, the Falcon-class light cruiser looking forlorn and lost amongst the wreckage of its enemies – but then, Jack had made his funeral pyre. His skill was phenomenal, and somehow he had managed to take down an enemy Eagle – its corpse dead in space at an oblique from his ship – before succumbing to the sheer, overwhelming might of the Hegemony fleet.

    But neither Jack, nor any of his other subordinates, could have prevented this outcome. It was a futile battle from the get-go, but Vexirson had wanted to believe in his Vextables pulling off just one last miracle. Ah, Vextables. What a silly name. He could still recall his road to this moment – his first ship purchase, the time when the stupid name had been coined, all sorts of little events in his life. Memory lane... funny, how quickly that road can be traveled in the space of seconds.

    _______________________________________________________________________________ ____________

    Vexirson had waited nearly a decade for this moment. Long hours working at the shipbuilders' yard on Jangala had paid off, and he finally had the money he needed to buy a ship – a Lasher, that most ubiquitous of privateer ships, no less. He was determined that it would be 10000 credits – between the hull itself, weaponry, and supplies – well spent. Vexirson was far from the first person to drop a few thou' on becoming a starfarer, and would certainly not be the last, and like the rest of those dreamers he imagined himself becoming one of the most well-known names in the Sector, not to mention one of the richest. The real trick, though, was going to be actually managing to make the purchase.

    The open market had no new Lasher hulls for sale, to his consternation. Instead, there were a few (D) models left in the catalog, but what would he do with a ship that was known to be defective, damaged, or some other d-word? Of course, he wasn't looking to go toe-to-toe with anything more dangerous than a Pirate-piloted Hound or two, which would be just as likely to flee him as fight, but at the very least he wanted a ship with enough reactor overhead to fit more than a couple light machine guns or something.

    He pondered the display, unconsciously rubbing his chin with his hand. Even for his relatively modest price range, a [D]-Variant Lasher cost more than he could afford, and that was before he actually kitted it out... and paid the insane amount of overhead that dictated Hegemony tariffs. There had to be an easier-

    “Hey, buddy!”

    Jumping slightly, Vexirson turned to see an almost archetypically shady figure eying him. The guy fit every bad vid's image of backroom dealership – seedy expression, a frayed ensemble of clothing, and a too-obvious struggle not to look in every direction at once for the authorities. As he caught Vexirson's eye, he nodded.

    “Yeah, you. Mr. Big Dreamer.”

    “Do I know you?” Vexirson asked cautiously, already beginning to scan around for Hegemony officials himself. He had a feeling what this was leading to, but he still found himself unconsciously longing for the reassurance of the symbols of the powers that had controlled his life for several long decades.

    “Not yet,” The man grinned, showing a surprisingly clean and well-managed set of teeth, “but I think you want to. C'mon, step into my office.” The character beckoned Vexirson towards an empty lounge along one side of the station's concourse.

    The alarm bells began ringing immediately in Niklaus's mind. Smiling despite himself at the feeble attempt to roll him, he shook his head. “No thanks, partner,” he said as he turned back to the terminal, “but I don't-”

    The man frowned at the dismissal, and then spoke. “Lasher-D with typical close-combat loadout. One LAG, two LACs, two LMGs, and a pair of Harpoon batteries.” He shrugged his shoulders almost apologetically. “I know the book says that this configuration does best with heavy armor bolted down, but my guys aren't exactly technical experts. I'm sure you could slap on a few more caps or vents, though.”

    Vexirson slowly turned towards the man, intrigued despite himself. He took a shuddering breath, and asked the question he knew might change his life. “How much?”

    “10 flat.”

    He couldn't help himself – Vexirson's mouth drew into a grimacing smirk, and he chuckled to himself. The guy frowned at his response. “Yeah, okay, and I'm sure next you're gonna offer me a Mule for 30, right?”

    “Is that an offer?”

    It was Vexirson's turn to frown. Was this guy serious? “Look, buddy,” he said, but his curiosity in whether this weren't too good to be true made him keep his voice to a mutter so that the whole concourse didn't hear them. “I know you're trying to take me for a ride, but the hull ITSELF costs more than 10, let alone without a full loadout. So you'll forgive me if I doubt you.”

    The man grinned. “That it does, you're right... unless you take the tariff out of the question.”

    Vexirson's face locked into a neutral mien as what the man said rolled over him. “You know that's il-”

    “Sure is.”

    He paused, considering. An offer like this wouldn't come along every day, true... but if the Hegemony got word of this, he would definitely be in a world of hurt, even if only financially when they asked him to recoup their losses for the under-the-table sale. “How much damage are we talking?”

    The seller screwed up his eyes, staring at the overhead for a moment. He held up his hand, and ticked the issues off on his finger. “I think with this one... both the main and burn drives are shot, so you're looking at something like three-quarters combat speed and somewhere around 1 'year a day. Power grid's also burned out, so it's got a flux limit of 14 – hundred, of course, not thousand – and reaches maybe 80 ticks of flux dissipated a second. Like I said, though, figure you tuck a few more vents and caps in there and you can rectify those issues quick enough, no sweat.”

    Vexirson looked at the man for a moment longer with a flat stare, then found himself slowly reaching out his hand.

    “You've got a deal.”
    [close]

    10
    AKA "boarding/capturing solution thread #39"

    So I gots to thinking, the -D variants of ships certainly add a richness to the universe -- drives home the point that ships are lasting for years, decades even, past their prime. But other than sprucing up Pirate fleet lists, -Ds don't really do much other than... Exist. I've got a few concepts to fix that, maybe, some of which improve boarding in the offing;let me know what you think of any or all of these:

    1.) Increase chance to board, but make the increased chance correlate with "chance to recover ship as -D Variant".

    The shortest, sweetest solution, really. However, this assumes that every vanilla ship will have -D art of its own, which strikes me as a daunting task, which is to say nothing of the nightmare this would be for modders. Hence my slight hybrid solution:

    2.) Same as 1.), but roll is instead for failure to recover (be it too damaged in fighting or self-destructing); full recovery (which is to say, the two possible vanilla outcomes); or (the change I'm proposing), a chance to have one or multiple penalty hullmods (like Faulty Power Cores/Damaged Engines at present, and hopefully with more to come...? OP-reducing mods, maybe?)

    One more concept I was thinking about, but requires a bit more work, would be:

    3.) Keep vanilla boarding exactly as it is (ship defended by crew, successful capture yields mod-less hull), and add roll for a separate pool of derelicts to the post-fight results where the crew is dead, but recovery (which still isn't guaranteed) will always yield a -D variant and/or install penalty mods (as would happen with 2.))

    This makes it so that there's no RNG element for the ships you have to fight for beyond whether you cap it in the first place (hopefully minimizing frustrations), but also that there's a chance that you can snag a couple more goodies from a fight.

    Now, along the same lines but aimed at different targets:

    A.) Construction Rigs and/or some yet to be determined dedicated Salvaging Ship (with either or both possessing some help hullmods to accomplish below feats) can reduce -D variant or penalty mod roll chance (for 1.) and 2.), respectively), or increase lifeless derelicts' (3.)) chance to appear after battles.

    B.) Skills should be added offering bonuses/chance to get a desired result to any of the roll rates I mention above.

    C.) (Most difficult to place using current game design) perhaps add a service to stations/planets to overhaul a ship, purging any penalty hullmods installed, for a credit fee (and maybe something more meta like raw metals?)

    EDIT: Unfortunately, this thread will have to pan out without me -- got some at-sea stuff to do with the Navy coming up, and will be gone for a few weeks. Will attempt to keep up using slow-ass ship Internet every once in a while, so keep the debate going! ... Or let the idea die the death it deserves, whatevs.

    11
    ... And if so, can we add a condition that inspections won't occur within X amount of time of each other?

    I got pinged by a Hegemony security fleet (the same one, yes, not two separate ones) twice in about 10 seconds, without having stopped at their station or anything. Now, granted, there's a lore-friendly explanation in-game ("blah blah blah '...feels like a legalized shakedown...', etc."), but all the same it's kind of ridiculous sometimes.

    12
    Modding / Starsector Mod Repository Version 1.0.2 (Need help from YOU!)
    « on: January 17, 2015, 01:39:47 PM »
    Code
    UPDATE 1.0.1 (19-Jan-2015): 0.62a fully uploaded as of this edit. Doing some bookkeeping and adding 0.61 and earlier files.
    UPDATE 1.0.2 (19-Jan-2015): Finished adding 0.61a files in my possession. Organization of folders (mostly) finalized. Readmes done. Lists done.

    REPOSITORY HERE!

    Hey, folks.

    One of the things I've noticed is that we have a BUNCH of mods popping in and out of existence, as new SS versions get released, and some of the larger mods and/or factions are left behind in the dust due to version compatibility issues. So what I'm thinking is, as a service to the community, I'm gonna start archiving EVERY mod I can, sorted by version. The general idea will be to have available the LATEST version of each mod for each SS version, such that if you're trying to play a campaign-modifying mod with integrated mod factions (Exerelin especially comes to mind, and to a lesser extent SS+), I'll be able to provide; this, hopefully, will allow newbies who want to play the larger mash-ups the chance to do so, as the issue isn't just the master mod, but each faction's version (like how SS+ can't support Blackrock as of this post, since Blackrock is still 0.62; and Exerelin can't support integrated factions that have been updated to 0.65, stuff like that).

    Thus, I present: The Starsector Mod Repository!

    As a few caveats, I will ONLY be archiving the raw downloads; I'll try to keep track of any non-downloaded hotfixes (things the user needs to do to ensure the mod works, changing a broken value or something), but something along the lines of revising the faction lists for Exerelin (where a lot of factions, you need to manually input their values into the file) are going to be up to the end-user. As well, total conversions (Ironclads and EVEMod, for example) will be only archived for the latest version (sorry if you really hate whatever new features pop up in SS, but I'm not gonna keep an archive of every incremental build of TCs, as the version for the newest SS version will be the definitive version).

    Where do YOU (in a general sense) come in?

    I've got a lot of mods. Check the Drive now to see what I have. If you have any old version of mods, please let me know, and I'll throw them up (like, as links, not literally). Here's a few that I'm trying to track down specifically because I know Exerelin supports them (the main reason I started this project), and I only have the 0.65 versions.

    -Junk Pirates/ASP/PACK (separate downloads prior to 0.65, IIRC)
    -Patria Principate

    13
    Suggestions / Hire-able NPC Deliveries
    « on: January 03, 2015, 12:17:22 PM »
    All right, here we go, time to go all out on a massive idea that will probably be shut down by one simply fact or another I can't see at the moment -- to that extent, criticism is welcome.

    In a few recent threads in Suggestions and General Discussion, I came across people mentioning limited availability of certain ships and/or weapons. And I got to thinking -- how can we tie this in with the game, without just handing goods to the player? And so, I came up with this concept (forgive me if it exists already, I didn't see anything like it searching Suggestions) wherein the player could hire an in-game NPC delivery service to deliver whatever their heart desires... for a certain markup on the item, plus transportation costs, plus legal fees, etc. etc. (The general idea I'm getting at would be that this is EXPENSIVE by comparison to looking for stuff on your own, something like double the item's base price at a 'normal' delivery speed).

    So what happens is, you contact the delivery service via your long-range comms (stick it into a new tab in the Intel window, maybe). You tell them you'd like to place a delivery via dialogue boxes. First box is what kind of goods -- ships or items. Second is delivery speed, with price hikes to match -- for ships, if bigger than a destroyer, they'll use a tug and get the ship to you as fast as possible at the higher cost, but for the lower cost it'll be whatever the ship's speed is (with a single base cost for Fighters and Frigates). For items, you can request that they pack it among a bunch of smaller, faster ships (say, a fleet of Hounds) for an exorbitant cost, opt for the lowest possible price (and they'll stick it in an Atlas or something), or somewhere in the middle (Tarsus et al). Then, the final part of the dialogue would of course be the ordering -- and the buying screen pops up as usual, just with the caveat that you can only buy one ship at a time, and let's say that for items you'll have a weight cap based on your delivery option.

    So now the NPC delivery service deploys their ships. The fleet sets out on the same day for fast deliveries, tomorrow for the medium-speed, and 2 days from when you order for the lowest speed and price (and this way, small ships still get 3 delivery speed options, to simplify the dialogue tree). And this is an entity in the world, tagged immediately as hostile to Pirates, and whatever you're hostile to (let's say this faction inherits your relationships, to keep it simple). Now, playing with this idea, I realized that to really make it shine, let's say that items can be delivered straight to your fleet, but ships can ONLY be delivered to any station on which you have storage (and have visited, if abandoned). A savvy player will know where their distribution centers are, and if they really want that shiny new Paragon that they just paid a million or so credits (after requisite fees, of course) for, they have to escort it, or else the fact that it's tagged as hostile to EVERYTHING will ruin your investment. And of course, they don't offer insurance.

    14
    Let me go ahead and start off with the mandatory disclaimer: I love the death out of this game. The five dollars I spent back in the 0.3 days keep repaying themselves, and I could see myself spending the current 10 bucks, or even 20 bucks on release, on getting it. I've replayed the game dozens of times, investing hours, DAYS even, per playthrough.

    ... But therein lies the crux. See, that's just it: I feel like the game just sort of loses its drive once I've reached a certain point in my playthrough, usually by the time I'm rolling in a capital ship, am floating around level 20-30, and can indiscriminately wipe out anything and everything I see. With the help of mods, at first, and later the hyperspace/'more than one system' update, I found myself able to explore a bigger universe, and even before Alex and Co. implemented the current faction system, I played the hell out of loadsafaction mods like Exerelin, Corvus's series, and SS+.

    Every time, vanilla or modded, my playthrough is more or less the same: Pick a faction who I want to be best friends with this playthrough, and do whatever I can to curry favor with them. Build up rep till I'm representing them in style with a full fleet of homogeneous warships, with the odd plundered vessel from a different faction in my fleet's numbers, and then... lose interest as the game rapidly becomes a chore of chasing down enemy battlegroups, wiping the map with them, running back to the nearest station to offload my loot for money I don't need anymore.

    But even when there's a dozen+ factions on the playing field, wherein I feel like there's active conflict and I have an effect on politics in the relationship, I can't help but feel the tedium get to me before too long, usually around the 15-20 hour mark for even the most heavily-modded playthroughs. And I find myself worrying, because while, yes, I very much enjoy every time I start a new campaign, I feel like the game will never be anything more than just a bunch of these start-from-scratch replays.

    This is by no means a dig at the dev team -- I've no better ideas how to make some sort of lasting endgame. Perhaps you have things in mind for .7, .8, .9, the final release, and future updates. I simply don't know. But I'd just like to know if I'm the only person who more or less just lives for mods coming out, hoping something comes out that breaks the tedium, be it a faction with a bunch of new ships and weapons to find and collect, minor gameplay mods that tweak the base structure of the campaign (i.e. SS+ adding new skills, the Assassination missions, etc.), or completely overhaul everything, adding new features along the way (i.e. Ironclads, or the quickly-evolving EVE TC).

    Although it's indicative of a guilty conscience to repeat this fact, I'd like to just emphasize that I am absolutely not criticizing the game. Perhaps lack of endgame is a known issue, or maybe it was always intended to be played with short little campaigns that you don't have to invest weeks of playtime to really complete. I don't know, but it's just something that's been grating on me.

    15
    Suggestions / Adding a new level to the Codex for factions
    « on: June 29, 2014, 12:55:45 PM »
    Hey, Starsector dev team, and fellow forumites, got an idea here.

    In my most recent playthrough, with something like 13 factions added in, I found that sometimes, especially with the more vanilla-style mods, it was hard to tell to whom a particular ship belonged (i.e. so that I could go buy it from their stations). I was wondering if maybe there could be another level to the Codex that specifically allows you to specify factions? I don't mean a radio button like with classes of ship, I mean that you select, say, "Ship Hulls", then you get a list of factions in the current game, then drill down that additional level to see only ships from that faction. Ditto for Fighters, Variants, and Weapons. For that matter, you could add the string to the ship info box!

    Now, I know this is only of middling use in the vanilla game, but I think even there it could have applications. Even in vanilla, you could differentiate between Tri-Tachyon, the Hegemony, Pirate ships and Civilian ships. And then, of course, when (if) new factions are added to the vanilla experience, the foundation is in place to drop them into the system.

    I'll be the first to admit I haven't the foggiest how long or involved a process this might be, and I am quite sure that it probably falls under the "a lot of work to make happen, and there are other pressing concerns" category. Still, just thought I'd toss it out there, maybe the idea will stick.

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