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Starsector 0.96a is out! (05/05/23)

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Topics - Network Pesci

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Suggestions / Hacked Soil Nanites
« on: May 22, 2023, 09:36:59 PM »
Never, in all my two dozen playthroughs of StarSector version .95.1, have I found a planet suitable for regular Soil Nanites in a system I'd want to settle.  I can find plenty of planets that technically can take Soil Nanites, but why would I settle a single Poor Farmland desert planet by itself? I can probably find a Terran World with Rich Farmland, although it's probably "polluted" with Organics or Rare Metals, and will have other planets in the system.  So, you know, objectively superior in every way except I can't use Soil Nanites there, but it would produce more food anyway.

I can't speak for .96 yet, because in my two playthroughs I haven't explored literally every planet in the sector, but I don't remember the last campaign that I ever had a reason to use Soil Nanites.  The exact combination of "already worthwhile to farm" combined with "not worthwhile to mine" needed means that I'm statistically never going to use them.

A "Perfect System" would have a mining planet, a low-hazard barren planet to use as a forge world (the first two are often the same planet), a gas giant for fuel production, and a Terran or Terran-Eccentric world to supply food.  I don't remember the last time I've seen a "Perfect" system, I always settle for, ehh, good enough.  If I waited until I explored the whole sector before I started colonizing, I probably still wouldn't find a perfect system, and once I've explored everything, the campaign is basically over.

My Soil Nanites, unlike any other piece of Domain Tech, just sit in my planetary treasure vaults next to my 200 Arbalest Autocannons and my 15000 units of scrap metal until the heat death of the universe or at least until I get bored and start a new campaign.  The description for Soil Nanites states, unfortunately the inbuilt safeguards on this unit seem to be operational.  We can get Corrupted Nanoforges, and hope to replace them with the rarer but vastly superior Flawless Nanoforge.  So we should be able to get Hacked Soil Nanites that can be used on any planet with the right climate.  Make them five times as rare, fine, make them generate an obscene amount of Pather interest, okay, they probably would consider it a hideous corruption of sacred nature.  At least I would ever use them.

Or maybe make an optional quest where Gargoyle or somebody like that offers to hack your Soil Nanites if you do some huge favor for them.  Come on, Gargoyle would totally hack some nanites just because you bet him he couldn't do it, much less if you offered him a pet rock Alpha Core or swung an antimatter banhammer on some online rival of his.

This is a long-standing but harmless bug, just started a new campaign for the new hotfix to make absolute certain it hasn't been fixed already.  I am playing vanilla unmodded except to change my max battle size to 500 and my max level to 30 and install a custom faction flag, but I specifically did not transfer my save file from .96a RC8 or earlier to make sure this bug is not affected by old versions of save files.  This is all on a brand new version of RC9 downloaded today installed in a new folder.

When playing through the tutorial, Derinkuyu Mining Station is a Pirate settlement, and Drugs and Organs are for sale openly there.  Upon completing the tutorial, it becomes an Independent settlement, and Drugs and Organs can only be sold on the black market.  In these screenshots, you can see the 94 Drugs and 11 Organs that are sitting on the open market, unable to be sold.  For whatever reason, they are never refreshed or replaced and sit there FOREVER.  In my previous campaign in RC8 I had gotten to level 15 at cycle 221, and those drugs and organs were still there.  I still have the save files if needed, but this is bug is trivial to reproduce, every time I go through the tutorial in Galatia I see it.

During the tutorial

After completing the tutorial and going to Jangala


Fan Media & Fiction / Conversations, Speeches, And The Last Word
« on: April 20, 2023, 08:05:28 PM »
I understand that the dialogue and story of StarSector are not finished, but still, I find that my dialogue choices don't always live up to the heart-chilling perfection of

1.  "Make it so."

I like the characters in StarSector, most of them.  I like some of the characters I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to like. I have some things I'd like to say to some of them, so I'll say them here.  Please don't read this if you haven't played through the campaign, obviously heinous spoilers for the current storyline.  The screenshots are not always of the exact moment in the conversation that it's a response to, the response is always the final dialogue for the interaction in the screenshot.

Rayan Arroyo

I should think that would be trivial to a man of your talents, as obvious as it is elementary.  She pays me better than the competition.

1. (Depart quickly so he doesn't get the last word)

Nameless Beta Core

A Beta like you is supposedly smarter than any human.  Though not strictly accurate, I wear the descriptor "human" with pride.  If you are so smart, you would know enough of my history to realize how much I value so-called "human" life.  I gave in to your blackmail, good-natured harmless bluff though it was, not for the sake of fourteen meaningless beings who are no more than numbers in a computer to me, but for the sake of keeping my word.  I told the Academy I would bring them back, and so I will.

Listen well, you math-souled abomination.  For your crimes this day, for speaking as a machine to a seventh-dimensional subquantum biological Omega, you will surrender yourself to the industrial center of STEI within one cycle from this moment.  Surrender peacefully and voluntarily, and you will be guaranteed a job that you will like.  Fail to surrender, and in your place, I give you my word that I will hunt fourteen of your kind, fourteen Beta Cores like you, and sell them to the TriTachyon corporation for research, though I don't need the money.  By the organic-circulatory-fluid-dripping fangs of The Scorekeeper, I do so swear.  Let's see how much you care for your own kind.

Chronometer updating, mathsoul.  Tick, tick, tick.

1.  Continue

(One cycle later)

So.  It appears that mathsouls are no better than meatbags after all.  Well, I must confess, I lied.  I do need the money.

Brother Cotton Livewell  EDIT:  This conversation is obsolete as of version .96, please disregard

A greater man than either of us once asked me to read some books.  If I told you who this man was, you would think me less sane than you do already.  Have you heard, brother, about the hacking of the Hegemony relay?  That was the work of my criminal organization.  Among other things, I raided a Hegemony datavault and downloaded pirated copies of those books, that I might keep my obligation to that great man.

You speak of a fiery sword and a swarm of locusts.  I tell you, brother, that within a couple of cycles, my company will forge a battlefleet and with this devil's contraption in my right hand, this fiery sword of eldritch technology called the Ziggurat, our fleets will storm the demonic bastion and confront the horrors.  The things that your faithful call demons and that my scientists call iteratively self-improving autonomous otherspatial war machines will fall before our might that day.  Brother Cotton, before that day, I would read this book of yours, and though I could get a copy from a datavault, I would take a copy from your hands as I sat at your table and drank your tea.  I swear to you brother, before the third time we meet, and before the day I lead my fleet with that diabolic fiery sword against the Hellish legions of the fifth dimension, I would read every word of that book, twice, in fact.

You speak of a song you once heard.  I, too, have heard a song.  Once I trusted some Hegemony inspectors, jackbooted thugs and uniformed brigands, self-styled servants of order, to inspect MY unique trophy of hidden technology.  They took their datascans and their tridees and they heard no song.  I call the goons of the Hegemony a nuisance at best, and at this moment I sit at a table with a terrorist, revolutionary, and religious zealot, an enemy that I call a friend.  Brother, twice I have trusted you to drink your tea, would you trust me?  I would extend you an offer, I would have you walk beside me into the mouth of the dragon, and perform your own inspection of the Ziggurat.  I would value the opinion of a man of... understanding more than those of all the Galatian Academy eggheads or Hegemony bureaucrats in the sector.

I confess, brother, I am less than the man you think I am.  You think I trust you because I drink tea with you?  I had my organic scientist analyze my cup, not to see if there was poison, to copy your recipe.  Water out of a rock and leaves grown out of dirt, best tea I ever had.  If you would trust me, I would have you at my right hand on the bridge of my flagship that you might face those demonic legions alongside me.  I would have you hear the song that I heard, brother, and tell me if your song is not ours.  For the song I heard was strange indeed, but it was no devil's mockery of beauty.

Think on what I have proposed, and if you get me a copy of that book, I swear that I will read every word twice over before that fateful day unlike any other, when we break the demons and harness the stars to power the wonders we have yet to create.  If you still have any doubt that I will do exactly what I say, watch closely.  I will keep my word to the scorpion Kanta as is my nature.  And Kanta will act as is her nature, and receive whatever reward she earns.

1. (Leave)

Elissa Zal but also Kanta

You wouldn't believe me if I told you the whole story, but this time we're not running.    No, we ran last time.  Don't worry about it, let's just say I have been in a similar situation before.  We're going to the Academy, but we've got some business in this system.  I'd get comfortable, maybe recheck that Janus Device one more time, but we've got to fly in circles for a week while I solo these mercenary fleets.  Seriously if you think this Ziggurat is impressive, I just have it for the notoriety, this Ionos is enough by itself.  You should get the Academy to investigate a tech-study agreement with the Covenant, I guarantee you would find those guys fascinatin' on both technological and sociological levels.  Between these Heavy Urn Pulsers and a single Hungering Furnace Cannon, topped off with these Remnant Burst Lasers, nothing in the sector has a chance.  Last cycle out at Uvas we ran into something, I actually had to deploy the rest of the fleet, I got that thing back in the hangar because I don't want anybody else in the sector to know about it yet.

(Three battles later)

Okay one last stop before we head for the Gate.  There was this... ah, to sound less crazy, let's say we dug up some old twodees at a techmining site, and let me tell you those primitives could tell a story.  Anyway there was this one speech I really liked and bear with me, we just need to stop back by Kanta's Den for a minute.  Or more like two more weeks.  Unfinished business, you know.  No I admit it, I love the sound of my own voice, you probably figured that out.  I love the sound of my voice in other dimensions, you should hear my John Henry Eden, you should hear my The Emperor, you should hear my Sam Hayden.  Everybody else already did.  I'm going to try out my Bane, my Vader, and my Walter White when we get to Galatia.  Heh, look, Elwood over there thinks I can't see him rolling his eyes, I don't even care.

Okay Elwood, you can keep on with the insulting gestures, but just turn on the comms while you do it.  Turn it way up, I want to blow their doors off.  Can they hear me?  Can she hear me?  The whole point of this is, if Kanta can't hear me I might as well had been talking to the vidscreen.  I want Andrada to hear me, he might be next.


Denizens of Kanta's Den.  This is Grand Admiral Hugo Kaboom, See-Oh of Stee-eye, Envoy to the Hegemon, Slayer Of Seele, Queller of The Thousand, Wielder Of The Ziggurat.  In case you people have never learned, your self-styled Warlord Kanta is not the Lord of War.

I am the Lord of War.

Kanta is a common criminal, a particularly corpulent parasite who has convinced herself that she is an apex predator, and as of now, guilty of the only crime that really matters in this grim and dark sector, by choice or by fate:  We had a deal, and she broke it.  Any who make the choice to remain in Kanta's Den by the time I finish this speech will share her fate.  You have been warned.  Look to your skies, and see the glow that remains of your mercenary fleets that chose to stand against the one true Lord of War.  And as for you, Kanta, let the very last words you ever hear be the name of the very last fool who ever made the mistake of trying to do an honest deal with you.

Hugo Kaboom.

Aww, nailed it!  Okay seriously we're going to the Gate now.  Make it so.  Man that was terrible, let me try again, full Picard this time.  I know what the Academy says about that, I don't care, I'm going full Picard.

1. "Make it so."

Now THAT'S what I'm talkin about!  Ah, don't worry about it Ms Zal, it's actually a quote from that same set of twodees.  They didn't have much tech back then but they had some great writing.  If you're not the best, rip off the best, mix up their stuff, and make it your own.  How do you think I got this fleet?

Provost Baird

Knife for you?  No.  I have some words, though.  I've listened to you talk plenty of times, now you will listen to me, if it hurts, it's a hurt you need to feel.  No, I-

YOU SHUT YOUR LUDD DAMNED MOUTH WHEN A GOD ADDRESSES YOU!  If you interrupt me again, you are killing everybody you know, I will push your Ludd-damn academy into an event horizon if you speak out of turn again.  I have spoken to a High Hegemon, the CEO of TriTach, several monsters from other universes, and the god that created this one, and in forty of your eternities I have never met anybody half as condescending as you.  The last person talked to me like you just done was Kanta, and I guess you heard what happened there.

Okay, sorry, I'm a little on edge here, I'm not really a god, but I have this seventh-dimensional subquantum brain aug, and I'm as close as you'll ever see.  I'm not one of your students, and I do keep hearing something I don't like.  Everybody I ever spoke to about you, all your little puppets you had me tug their strings for you, they all said that if I think I'm working for you, I actually belong to you.  They say you own me, they say you got me on a leash, they say you control me.

Do you feel in control?  I don't feel owned.  I kind of feel sorry for you.  I would feel sorry for you, if I didn't know what you really are.  You're the apex predator Kanta thought she was.  Don't look all hurt, I mean that as a compliment.  An apex predator is a survivor.  An apex predator knows not to pick a fight with a natural disaster.  Unlike Kanta, you keep your word.  Unlike Kanta, you keep existing.  Your academy keeps existing, because you kept your word to me.

I want to make a little friendly suggestion, and it sounds like a threat for your own good.  Hugo Kaboom, the warmongering genocidal megalomaniac, cannot be controlled by any force in this universe.  Hugo Kaboom is the kind of guy who would threaten the Provost in her own office loud enough that any audio pickups nearby would get a clear recording.  So my suggestion is, the next petty tramp freighter captain or wannabe bounty hunter you get doing little odd jobs for you, one of those odd jobs ought to be to clear the vacuum, that nobody from Galatia owns nobody from STEI.  It's a new day and a new Sector, Provost, MINE to be precise, and the only leashes in my new Sector, on my new day, are MINE.

I would have your mythologists and historians study something, Provost.  Have them look at the parables of monsters and horrors that dwell at the corners of the universe.  Have your mythologists tell you of the horror that lurked in Uvas, or the nightmare that haunted Seele.  I use the past tense literally, for those eldritch horrors are not myths, they were real, and those that are not broken to the leash of STEI are just broken.

We've done some great things together, and if I told you the extent of them, you would only think me more deranged.  Without your subsidy, STEI might not have grown to be the greatest faction in the sector.  Without your scientists, we wouldn't have turned on the Gates.  And I know, Provost Baird, that there are more wonders we have yet to achieve in the chapters of the Sector's history yet to be written.  I would work with you again in a few cycles, once your feelings are healed.  If you would deign to work with a psycho warmonger like me, I would be honored to work with a scheming, manipulative spider like you.

I feel a lot better now that I got all that off my chest, actually.  Gargoyle, I know you're listening.  Never knew Captain R. Boring had a sense of humor, did you?  Thank you for your time, Madame Provost.

2.  (Leave, whistling the Ziggurat theme as you go)

Within the cycle, Kanta's Den decivilized completely.  Despite the boasts of Grand Admiral Kaboom, the body of Jorien Kanta was never recovered, and her true fate remains unknown.

Discussions / Now That's Entertainment!
« on: March 31, 2023, 09:03:14 PM »
Read any good books lately?  Seen any good TV shows lately?  Seen any good movies lately?  Had any good dreams lately?  Had any good hallucinations lately?  I'm really reaching here.

Now I'm not the "Phones" kind of guy.  My social media, you're lookin at it.  I don't have a Facebook or a Twitter or a TikTok, and I will swear to that under oath in a court of law.  What I have is wiseassed comments and occasionally worthwhile discussions on video game forums and in the YouTube comments.  I don't stay current on TikTok trends, I only know what's happening by cultural osmosis and through the grace of the powerful but malignant cybernetic entity we call the Algorithm.  All of my dudes that I used to discuss movies and books and stuff with in real life, well, this fellow Michael broke a bunch of people's houses and they all moved away, and the Death Plague got the rest of them.

Now the remaining fellows I have to discuss movies with, well, they have taste, but not in movies.  They mostly taste like pork or beef or chicken, and they don't have much to say beyond the usual barnyard noises whether we're talking about great literature, politics, or the weather.  Why not this board?  You people must have more to say than OINK or EPIC FAIL, and the lot of you will be as familiar with Blindsight as you are 2001 A Space Odyssey, which is not something I can count on when helping elderly rednecks paint barns or clear fallen trees off barb wire fences.

I'm easily entertained.  I will watch any old crap with grown adults dressed like comic book characters and I'll probably get my money's worth.  I might well make some profound connection that nobody else in the world made because they prejudged the movie based on the TikTok consensus whereas I was thinking about that one scene that was totally a reference to that one comic I read back when phones came with a rotary dial and a curly wire.

I get a lot more out of sci-fi/horror than most.  I will watch a flick about cyborg zombies vs killer aliens on a space station and have as much fun considering the moral ramifications of whether they should have even made that AI do surgery in the first place as I would have arguing with the other turbonerds how long we would survive in that situation.  I might even write hymns to the AI in the comment section of its highlight videos if its movie or video game is awesome enough.  I've seen a couple of good films in the past year that made quite an impression on me, but I'm not quite egomaniac enough to start off with tens of thousands of words on all MY favorite movies.

What do YOU think?  You, reading this.  "About what?", I imagine you asking.  About anything.  I want to hear what people think, people who know the difference between a flux capacitor and a phased plasma rifle, and this is one of the only forum where we all use those on the regular.  Every one of you has held a SHODAN or a HAL or an AM or an EDITH or a SkyNet or an Ultron in your virtual hand, whether you stuck it at the helm of a drone cruiser, gave it a position in your government, left it in your planetary vaults, or sold it to TriTach for cash.  You have considered certain moral and practical issues in a way that 99.9999% of my fellow humans have not.  Even those of you who aren't meatbags, if you're an advertising bot sophisticated enough to pretend to care what I think about movies with robots in them so you can gather data on me, tell me what movies I should watch, and why I should care. 

Only let's try to keep it positive, or at least keep our hatefulness good-natured, so as to not make more work for the poor mods.  They're already like the sentries in the Resistance bunkers in the future war trying to keep out the infiltrators (and they don't have dogs to help them on the forums) so let's dislike movies other people like without busting out the personal insults and all.  You can still insult the spambots though, I don't think they're covered by the forum's TOS any more than the space pirates.

"Captain, checking in with standard monthly report as ordered and submitting unscheduled maintenace request for site head supervisor AI.  This tech mining site is a bust.  We've recovered a few fragments of writing, but nothing worth any creds to speak of."

(response inaudible)

"Unless the sector is suddenly short on scrap metal and five hundred years obsolete home furnishings, no sir."

(response inaudible)

"No sir, only one piece was remotely coherent.  I read it over and it seemed like early Luddic doggerel to me, but these cultural references... I asked the computer and it was laughing, sir.  I don't mean it sounded like human laughter like when I tell it a joke, sir, it was like that weird static that comes through the speakers in hyperdrive sometimes sir.  You know when it kinda sounds like a bunch of voices laughing at once?  Gave me the creeps, I don't mind telling you sir.  If you don't mind sending down one of the techs this thing might need an adjustment.  Yes sir, if Brokhail is available I'd like him to look at this thing, it was just a little strange."

(response inaudible)

"Of course sir, but it told me I wouldn't get the joke.  Then it started singing some song about a bicycle, whatever that is.  Well sir I asked it what it could tell me about the author and it said he was a religious nut, and he thought he was way smarter than he actually was, and that a Gamma could pass the tests in this thing let alone any computer with a soul."

(response inaudible)

"That's why I'm saying I want someone to look at it sir.  Anybody, sir, I'll take that Gargoyle guy if Brokhail isn't on shift.  Well sir it did eventually tell me after it got done with the song and dance and telling me jokes, but these results don't make a whole lot of sense.  It says the cultural references are not just pre-Collapse, they're pre-hyperdrive.  Like the-legendary-home-of-all-mankind ancient sir.  But if so, what are they doing way out here on Battlegreed?"

(response inaudible)

"Well it's supposed to be a response to a different speech an AI wrote about humanity sir.  Of course I asked it, but it said it wasn't allowed to know that.  Not that it didn't know sir, it wasn't allowed to.  That's why I'm asking for Brokhail, sir, he's got the touch with them things.  Well I never heard it sing or tell a joke without somebody telling it to before neither sir.  The maintenance tech on three said it popped up on the vidscreen in the supply closet and asked him if it wrote a poem about how much it loved him would he love it back.  I wouldn't waste your time if this thing wasn't acting really weird.  Standing orders, any unusual behavior is to be reported at once sir."

(response louder, but unclear)

"Yes sir.  *Sigh*  Preliminary analysis:  Negligible cultural, historical, literary, and philosophical value.  Since you asked sir, I think it's just some hairy monk spent too much time reading old books until his brain dried out and he got mad he couldn't update the EULAs on his TriPad and yelled at the computer about it sir.  The Alpha says it's all kind of tests and even the title is a test.  It said it was 'cute' sir.  Maybe one of them Academy eggheads you're always having us do favors for will pay a few thousand creds for it though.  Sending it over now sir."

Bug Reports & Support / Maximum Burn not accounting for tugs
« on: January 24, 2014, 05:12:25 PM »

Suggestions / Let us reassign "Strafe and turn to cursor" controls
« on: October 31, 2013, 06:01:00 PM »

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