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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 - Goumindong

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1
NVM figured it out. Doesn't work if you sell to the BM on a pirate base :)

Edit: Or not. Doesn't work for things they already have maybe?

2
Suggestions / Maximum minimum armor
« on: July 07, 2020, 11:05:52 PM »
Short thread for a short idea. Right now frag damage is kinda weak/pointless.  The main reason is that minimum armor reduces the damage from frag damage to pretty much nothing. This means that even when frag damage is supposed to shred hull it does not.

The solution is to remove the concept of minimum armor from the game and instead set a base hull armor amount. This could be different for each size category. But it would always be fixed. It might be modifiable(either reinforced bulkheads or blast doors could increase hull armor instead of hull%) but it would not depend on the ships armor value. 10/20/30/50 seems about right. (Equivalent to a 200 Armor frigate, 400 armor destroyer, 600 armor cruiser, and 1000 armor capital right now)

This has other potential advantages. A hull armor would not be an armor calc and so could use the hull damage number instead of the armor dmg number when determining penetration (or not). But the main one is that you could calibrate the number so that frag weapons that were meant to eat hull (like the thumper) were still good without making weapons that were not supposed to eat hull(like the Vulcan autocannon) eat hull.

As an aside: it’s probably better to reduce the dmg of frag weapons by 1/2 and then have them do 2x dmg to hull, 1/2 dmg to shield/armor. This makes it easier to look at them like you look at kinetic/explosive damage because you do the same sort of “off brand” calcs. But that is just me

3
Suggestions / Auto-Fire Accuracy Clutch
« on: April 14, 2020, 01:05:29 PM »
A few discussions recently(ok forever) have been talking about relative weapon value and also difficulty in getting weapons to shoot at the things that they should be shooting at. Most proposed solutions run up into balance issues or run into AI complexity issues.

The main problem is that both weapons and the AI needs to be generic enough to deal with randomized fits while also having as small a managerial impact on players. Players already have an advantage in the ability to make their own fits and prevent all randomization; giving them the advantage to being able to tweak individual weapon AI at the same time would make them that much more powerful while increasing the players managerial load*.

The obvious, oft proposed, and wrong answer to this is to tweak individual weapon AI that makes them ignore certain classes of targets when they're on auto-fire. But this has problems of its own. Weapons may need to fill multiple roles on different ships and they may need to fill those roles when on auto-fire. I've long used Assault Chainguns as anti-fighter on capital ships even before the buff. But a change that made them ignore fighters would impact my playstyle and a change that made them prioritize fighters would impact the playstyle of someone who wanted to use them with safety overrides.... It could also impact the effectiveness of a randomized ship that had AC's fit in its main slots while also fielding a lot of other PD type weapons. The AI could either think its all anti-fighter and so never close with an enemy thinking its unarmed. Or it might crash the boards and then not shoot at the target in front of its face because it was distracted.

There is a solution i think that can fix things in general without too much issue. It would make all ships much more combat effective and prevent a lot of bad AI behavior. And its an accuracy clutch**. When deciding whether or not to fire a weapon the AI would use more or less the same routines it currently uses with one exception. If its current targets available cross section is smaller than its current recoil adjusted accuracy by enough of a percentage it prevents the weapon from firing. What the percentage value would have to be to work i am not sure (different weapons could have different clutches but this would require more tweaking) but i am reasonably positive that this would fix a lot of issues players currently have with weapons and their behavior in the game

This has the advantages of

  • Allowing even highly inaccurate weapons to be used as point defense at significantly reduced DPS
  • Preventing highly inaccurate weapons from dumping flux at targets they cannot hit
  • Preventing ammo limited weapons from dumping rounds into the void
  • Continuing to allow highly agile ships to utilize their mobility to avoid fire
  • Allowing weapons to be more effectively balanced against various target types using accuracy, recoil, and shot velocity
  • Benefiting all ships evenly with minimal AI, managerial, and design overhead

Additionally (and not necessarily) this could make it easier to implement AI routines which do have a semblance of "smartness" to them. A clutched weapon might search for a new target that it would not be clutched against and a non-clutched weapon might shoot continually at the first target it acquired. In this way point defense/anti-fighter weapons wouldn't stop being anti-fighter as soon as a frigate showed up and would get less confused against fighters and other fast moving ships in general preferring to focus a target down rather than switch to whatever is closest.

Edit: As an example of how this would work. I assume that the game knows

A) The distance to the target ship (Because it reports this to the player)
B) The size of the target ships hit box (because it has to know both what its shooting at and that object must be loaded into memory)
C) The current accuracy angle of the weapon.(Because it reports this to the player by drawing it on the weapon)

If i know the distance to the target ship and the size of the target ship then then getting the angle of the arc of the target ship is simple using the inverse tangent of the radius of the ship/Distance and multiplying by 2. If you then divided by the current accuracy angle of the weapon this would give you a percentage equal to the amount of effective accuracy(as if shooting at an unmoving target). If that was say, lower than 50%, the weapon stops firing. If it was greater than 50% the weapon starts firing again. Weapons that fire in a burst could calculate based on the last bullet that the burst would fire(which should also be easy to figure). Oblate ships make things a little more complicated because they have variable presented sides. But the game could use the larger or the smaller radius of the oval without too much of an issue.(except for maybe the Odyssey)

As an example. Lets say that a HAG is shooting at a Medusa and the game has an accuracy clutch of 70%. The medusa is at 1000 range and (lets suppose) it has a radius of 50. Twice the inverse tangent of 50/1000 is equal to 5.72 degrees. So the HAG would shoot at the Medusa until such a time as as its accuracy angle was lower than 8.18 degrees. If the medusa moved closer, to 500 range, then the HAG would fire until its accuracy angle was 16.3 degrees. At max range(1400) the accuracy clutch would stop the weapon firing at 5.84 degrees.

The clutch isn't going to figure for projectile speed. Its still trying to lead the target as normal. So agile ships still get to avoid. Its just saying "if i shoot this what is the probability that i hit given that i accurately lead and the target continues its trajectory"? And if it comes up with "utter shite" it stops shooting.

*And this is bad. Think about a game like Divinity:OS and all the management you needed to do for all the characters in order to set up things how you wanted. Now instead think of a game like slay the spire, which has similar complexity in its deck building to D:OS's characters but enforces a lack of management except incrementally. Slay the Spire is an amazing game that is super easy to replay and Divinity:OS, while still a good game, is not easy to replay because its managerial load isnt constrained in a way that prevents it from becoming onerous.

**For those unaware of the term. "clutch" means to "grasp tightly" and is used in many different and seemingly disparate situations. A clutch in a car engages/disengages the transmission from the engine by "grasping tightly". A person who is clutch "grasps tightly to opportunity" in high pressure situations. To clutch a variable means to control that variable tightly. So in this situation the idea is that the weapon stops firing when its accuracy gets low in order to tightly control is accuracy.

4
Suggestions / Differentiating Factions and Commissions
« on: September 27, 2019, 04:42:25 PM »
I am sure that some of this is planned. And I am also sure that there are a lot of things that cannot be done within the current framework of the game (like making all the independent planets independent) without significant other issues but i figured it would be fun to spitball some ideas to breathe life into the factions by modifying how the player interacts with them.

1) Differing favorability interactions. Right now each faction has the same favorability reaction. They like when you complete missions and bounties for them. They dislike when you smuggle etc etc. But just like not every faction pays the same for AI cores not every faction should have the same favorability interactions.

Specifically there are some ideas:

Pirates dislike actions against smugglers and like buying/selling on the black market. This is because this is how pirates fund their piracy.
Pirates LIKE when you attack non-pirate non-smugglers. Pirates still stick together a bit and so this is a good way to signal you're a pirate.
Pirates really like it when you attack non-pirate non-smugglers with your transponder on.
Pirates only kind of mind attacking pirates with your transponder on UNLESS its a bounty fleet. Pirates shoot each other every once and a while (they even have missions where you're supposed to deliver stuff for them and then they shoot you to take it from you!) so they understand when this happens.(a Bounty you had to go out of your way to collect though, that is different)

Independents have muted favorability interactions for the overall faction but enhanced favorability interactions with individuals. This could push their interactions to feel more separate. It would be easier to *** off a single administrator but harder to *** off the entire faction. That being said, i think this requires some more persistence in planet/administrator interactions than as currently set up. But its something to think about. Big downside here is that it makes understanding your general favorability standing with the independents much more difficult.
Independents do not mind you running with your transponder off unless you do something hostile(at which point they will want to scan and identify you. And they should periodically do black market scans to see if you're smuggling into their planet). Its none of their business who you are really.

Persean League could operate similarly with the exception that they really want to know who you are at all times.

Luddic Path should dislike when you do anything positive for a world that has active luddic cells and like when you do negative things to those planets. So smuggling into a planet with a luddic cell should be looked on favorably (as you're supporting the cell). They should really like when you smuggle marines and heavy weapons onto one of those planets. If you raid a planet and shut down an offending industry/take the AI core they also should really like it. (Also Luddic Missions to raid factions/shut down offending industries!)

Hegemony should dislike when you give AI cores to TT(so if you want to avoid the rep hit you would have to go in with your transponder off) since they do not trust them to properly dispose of them.

TT should dislike it when you give AI cores to the LP or Hegemony... since they trust them to properly dispose of them.
TT should invert the effects of the LP on worlds with luddic cells. Even if that planet is an enemy of the TT.

Persean League(or Diktat not sure which) should invert the effects on the LP worlds if the planet is allied to them and mimic the effects if the world is hostile to them. (I.E. The PL is OK with using terrorists against its enemies)

Diktat could/should like anything that reinforces their fuel monopoly. They could also like military attacks on their enemies but dislike attacks on civilian enemies or vise versa. (how this spread works out could also apply to lots of factions)

2) Differing Faction Commission rewards and effects

Different factions should give you different bonuses for their commission (if they have one) or a high favorability rating.

When restoring a ship it could be possible to instead convert it to a faction modified version instead of restoring it if one exists. (and more faction specific versions of various ships should exist because they're awesome). Bring a Shrike to the pirates and they will rip that sucker apart and install a ballistic slot. Bring a Prometheus to the LP and they will MK II it for you. Bring any low tech ship to the LP and they will happily remove those pesky safeties(permanently). The Hegemony will turn a ship into an auxiliary version etc.

Different factions could have different relationships with the transponder relative to your commission. The Hegemony might want your transponder on all the time even in hostile space. So turning your transponder off is always a minor rep hit with them if you have a commission. But independents or TT or diktat might being able to take some commission papers in order to ignore the fact that your transponder was off. Some might be OK with your transponder being off in hostile space but not like it when its not on in friendly space.

They also might not care that your transponder is off at all if you have a commission/are favorable. This must be possible because pirates are able to determine your favorability even when you have your transponder off as they do not attack you with your transponder off in hyperspace if you're favorable but they will if you're hostile.

3) Differing interactions with transponders

Currently some of this already exists. In hyperspace only pirates will attack you with your transponder off and only if your favorability is negative with them.

Different factions can have different relationships/interactions with bribes. Right now you can tithe the LP. But you could also bribe maybe the PL/Hegemony/TT into ignoring your transponder being off with varying prices based on how much that faction likes you.

Some factions might accept combat help from people who have their transponder off. Pirates and independents as an example probably don't care which side you're normally on if you're willing to help them out(So a prompt for which side to join)

4) differing interactions with loot from shared battles.

 Different factions have different resource constraints and laws. In a shared battle the hegemony might confiscate all equipment of a certain type as an example and leave all the rest. As an example they could claim all XIV battlegroup salvage. (and then if you want it you would have to fight them over it).

Pirates could have a bias for who engaged first. IF they're supporting you you get most of the loot and if you're supporting them they do. Or of course you could fight them for it. Similarly it could be the case that loot would be distributed by "damage taken" rather than "damage received".

------

I know this stuff is a long way out if its even planned. But i figured it was worth spitballing some ideas.

5
Suggestions / Fixing the Hyperion
« on: September 09, 2019, 01:07:51 PM »
Short post here: i love the hyperion but its more or less unfieldable.

Its unfieldable because it has a deployment cost of 30, and eats 45 maintenance per month. It has a cargo bay of 10 and eats like a capital.

I think its flux stats are fine. If you stabailize the shields you have 280/196 base which is better than all other frigates save the tempest. Plus, you know, it teleports. I even think its deployment point cost is reasonable. The ability to teleport on the battlefield and put phase lance or reaper fire down is pretty ridiculous.

What isnt reasonable is the costs associated with flying it. If i have to pay like a capital then i need to be able to support a capital financially in order to make use of it.

My solution is then to, rather than have increased maintenance it has increased deployment points. It would have a logistic profile of 6 or 8 or 10. Similar to other high tech cruisers. And only cost 6 or 8 or 10 to recover from a battle... but it would cost 24 to 30 DP to deploy. (You could also do this be reducing maintenance/deployment cost but it works better thematically the other way around)

That way its reasonable to field it but it doesnt dominate the battlefield by being able to deploy more than has the right power.

In game justification could be that the prototype is burdened not by being a protoype and so unfinished in terms of supply logistics. But that its saddled with a whole bunch of command and performance monitoring software which is proprietary and integral to the communications system. When you field it you have to sift through all of the preferformance data its beaming to your command module in order to actually get the important data you need and want. Thus its larger command profile makes it harder to deploy.

6
General Discussion / Heavy Armor and You
« on: August 25, 2019, 02:24:44 PM »
So i was fitting out a conquest the other day and was trying to make it good and was failing. So i went and changed tactics. Instead of even half attempting to get its shield to a reasonable level i slapped heavy armor on it. And it worked a lot better and i felt dumb for not having seen it before.

The reason for this is obvious, the less armor you have the more valuable that heavy armor is. And similarly the worse your shield the less valuable that attempting to shield tank is. And, similarly, better the higher armor damage being done(to a point) I did some basic armor value calculations and came up with some handy tables

No Skills: Mark IX Autocannon vs Heavy Armor. Armor survival time increase as a percentage.

Code
Base	Frig	Dest	Cruise	Cap
100 300% 700% 1100% 1700%
200 100% 200% 350% 500%
300 50% 125% 200% 288%
400 50% 100% 158% 217%
500 33% 72% 111% 144%
600 29% 58% 83% 113%
700 23% 42% 65% 87%
800 16% 34% 53% 68%
900 16% 32% 45% 61%
1000 14% 25% 39% 53%
1100 10% 22% 34% 45%
1200 11% 22% 31% 42%
1300 10% 18% 28% 38%
1400 8% 17% 26% 33%
1500 8% 17% 24% 32%
1600 8% 14% 22% 30%
1700 6% 13% 20% 27%
1800 7% 13% 19% 26%

No Skills: Hephaestus Assault Gun vs Heavy Armor. Armor survival time increase as a percentage.

Code
Base	Frig	Dest	Cruis	Cap
100
200 100% 200% 300% 500%
300 50% 100% 200% 250%
400 33% 100% 133% 200%
500 50% 75% 125% 175%
600 17% 50% 83% 117%
700 29% 57% 86% 114%
800 22% 44% 67% 100%
900 18% 36% 64% 82%
1000 15% 38% 54% 77%
1100 20% 33% 53% 73%
1200 11% 28% 44% 61%
1300 15% 30% 45% 60%
1400 13% 26% 39% 48%
1500 12% 23% 31% 42%
1600 10% 17% 28% 38%
1700 6% 16% 25% 34%
1800 9% 18% 26% 32%

As we can see the conquest at 1200 base armor has 61% better survival time vs the Hephaestus Assault gun and 42% better vs the Mark IX. Whereas the Onslaught is 32% and 26% respectively. This is particularly important when you've got D-mods. A conquest can get down to 600 armor after D-mods, for 114% and 117% increased effectiveness!

Now, these are percentage values necessarily because its particularly hard to figure armor survival times given how hard it is to simulate hitting the same point on armor (and whether or not that is even possible) so there is loss of efficiency as armor values go down due to the raw survival time value being higher. I think i can get to a value that represents that(it will still be dimensionless but will reflect a fixed point rather than the floating point that the simple % does) but can't quite do it yet due to time constraints on my posting.

Anyway. The comparison here is of course to the effect of shields. In particular hardened shields. The value of hardened shields is very simple. Its 33% of your effective capacitor given that Dissipation > Usage. So for a conquest this is 20,000/1.4 * .33 = 4000. For an Onslaught this is 17,000 x .33 = 5610... For an Odyssey this is 4950(and only 1000 armor base!)*. For a Paragon this is a whopping 13750!  The Atlas and Prometheus Mk II's are also good candidates with 2640 Hardened/750 base armor for the atlas and 2887 Hardened/1300 armor for the Prometheus. These of course increase as you slam more caps on your ships(which you should be doing if you have the space) and it also decrease when you're shooting more flux/second than you're able to dissipate.

My conclusion, at least with regards to this one ship, is that the conquest is better off armor tanking primarily and only sometimes maybe using its shields to absorb hits(specifically high armor damage hits) and otherwise then flux dumping in order to force an opponent to take hits/vent first (as the conquest will probably win the vent race due to its huge base dissipation)

*Odyssey is special case though. Opportunity to vent is a significant contributor which can multiply this value and the Odyssey has one of the best vent cycles for a capital in the game.

7
Suggestions / It should be easier to make friends with the pirates
« on: May 18, 2019, 12:27:48 AM »
... But harder to do so while making friends with everyone else.

As it stands you can do some missions with the pirates and get rep. And if you're lucky/good enough to not run into pirates while you're doing this you can make it to inhospitable and then just ignore them (or make it to friendly and not even have to deal with raids on your colonies*).

Buuut. This is kinda boring and not well structured. It works if you just want to make nice with them on your way to being a colony master. But it doesn't work if you want to be a pirate. Because then you have to get in good with the pirates before you go pirating. If you just go pirating then you are hated by everyone and have no real way to like... sell your wares. Or safely enter a port.

So the proposal is thus;

When you engage a civilian fleet (I.E. any trade fleet) while you do not have an active commission rather than lose standing with the owner of the fleet you lose standing with every "civilized" faction and gain standing with the pirates. The amount you gain is equal to the smallest amount you would lose in the attack. So if you attack with your transponder off and take a normal -3 hit then you would gain +3 with the pirates. If you attacked with your transponder on and would take a -50 hit (say, from 0 to 50) with independents and a -70 hit from Hegemony(from +20 to -50) then you would receive a corresponding +50 GAIN with the pirates.

If you had a commission and the target was smuggling to an allied settlement (or one of your colonies, commission or no) then there would be no reputation hit and no piracy. If you had a commission and the target was not smuggling to an allied settlement and was hostile then there would be current reputation effects. If you had a commission and the target was not hostile then similar reputation effects as above would occur.

This way you can just go be a pirate if you want to.

*I think. At least as of last version

8
Bug Reports & Support / [0.9.1a-RC6] Crew CTRL-Click Behavior
« on: May 14, 2019, 10:49:10 AM »
As of a new game, no mods, random start.

When i go to offload crew because i have too many(for whatever reason). The game consistently fails to remove 1 extra crew when i ctrl-click in order to disembark to maximum fullness. Does not repeat with any other commodities as far as i can tell. So if my Crew maximum is 581 and i have 700, CTRL-click will move me to 582.

When refilling up to maximum it. works properly. If i have <580 crew and ctrl click crew i will fill up to 581

9
Suggestions / Asteroid Belts and Smuggling and Sensor Profile
« on: May 11, 2019, 08:23:43 PM »
So i was flying around today and PING off i go hitting an asteroid and it slowed me down and it was annoying.

So i thought to myself. You know what would be neat. If asteroid belts, instead of only giving you a bonus to sensor profile when you're stationary, gave you that bonus when you were moving that would make it really interesting to use them to sneak around. But then you would just burn through them all the time...

Unless, when you hit an asteroid, or other debris object your sensor profile spiked to maximum due to the disruption in the drive bubble and the obvious event that happened. (or spiked based on the speed you were traveling)

This way you can still speed limit asteroid and debris fields, and they're a hazard you may actually consider modifying your flight for.

Plus you can then more reliably use asteroid fields in order to sneak onto planets

10
Suggestions / New Naming Conventions
« on: December 28, 2018, 12:55:12 PM »
We are getting to the point in development where it’s worth going back and making things distinct. When a game or project is started the entire scope of the project often isn’t known. As a result many things are added or integrated into the game without a full accounting of how they interact with others on a taxinomical basis.

That is, we have fighters, and then we have fighter fighters, fighter interceptors, and fighter bombers. This is confusing and makes it hard to talk about the game and be understood. Both in giving advice and casually.

Similarly “energy” is both a damage type and a weapon slot type. “I like energy weapons” can mean anything from “I like weapons that go in energy slots” to “I like weapons that do energy damage”.

So I propose that the baseline for the all encompassing term for “fighters” becomes “normal space craft” of “n-space craft” or “sub hyperspace craft” or “sub space craft” or “sub craft”. These ships aren’t capable of hyperspace travel on their own and need support bays. Hence the name. Thus when talking about everything we can refer to n-space craft and when talking about something specific we can say interceptors, fighters, bombers

I similarly propose that the damage type “energy” becomes “particle” damage. And you might say that this makes no sense but neither does anything else and it’s the best I’ve got.

If you’ve got something better then please propose it.

11
Bug Reports & Support / Pirates do not despawn
« on: November 30, 2018, 12:30:30 AM »
If this is intended behavior then... ok but i don't think so

https://imgur.com/a/hw9xMPh

I am running a few mods but none that should have any effect on pirate spawning behavior


12
Suggestions / Custom Ship Production
« on: November 17, 2018, 04:16:43 PM »
Currently Custom built ships come with "uhhh some weapons" and a very basic fit. This doesn't cost any money and you get them for free and that is weird to me. But the main thing is that you still have to refit them and order weapons for them individually if you want to have a specific loadout.

So rather than having ships come fit randomly have them fit for the last player created saved custom fitting of that ship type. (or let you choose) and then price out any and all weapons that that entails (supposing you can build them, if you don't have the BP for the weapons its empty).

This would save time for building ships (especially things like cookie cutter frigates/destroyers) and also be a more fair pricing model for ships (you would no longer get a free stash of random stuff)

13
Suggestions / The Tyranny of Cargo: Stable Orbit Solutions
« on: September 27, 2018, 09:12:41 PM »
So a while ago i wrote a thing about fuel and cargo and how ships don't have much variation and how this was kind of strategically boring. here

Now i have a simple solution to the problem of cargo ships.

Say you're out in space. And you destroy a fleet and there is this big pile of wreckage. Its too much to haul back but you can stabilize the orbit, come back in 150 days!  Has anyone ever come back for that stuff? I am going to guess no. If it is even worth it its definitely not better than going somewhere else and getting new loot. But having a huge cargo is still valuable because you still need to have profit on return and having a big cargo allows this.

Well, what if, instead, you just... sold the information to someone else and they went out and got it. When you stabilized the orbit it would create a data nodule worth x amount of credits, where x is 50% of the sale value of the equipment in the cargo. You would no longer be able to loot from that cargo (doing so would require destroying the nodule) and could then go and sell that data to interested parties.  Now sure there are issues of "how could this thing work in a real economy with low levels of trust et al" and those are entirely value but i don't think it matters very much. So long as cargo is assigned a quality of the type of ships it was harvested from(which would be contraband in associated space) so that you could not blow up hegemony ships and then sell the wreckage location back to them it should work pretty cleanly.

Now the value of bringing excess cargo is a lot less. Players only need to be filling up on cargo ships if they plan to make a delivery or they want the resources themselves. What you bring home depends more on what you want rather than how much you can fit.


14
Suggestions / Faction Commissions: Minor Tweak
« on: June 01, 2018, 11:38:32 AM »
Many Factions like it when you have your transponder beacon on. Some factions don't care.(Well only the pirates)

As it stands, when you have a faction commission and you forget to turn your transponder on the faction you have a commission with will like you less as a result of that.

My Suggestion is that this does not happen when you have a faction commission unless you refuse to turn your transponder on when they ask. And they will stop following you as soon as they positively identify you. (so you can blip your transponder at them to say "yes, i am friendly"). This of course would be negated if they suspect you of smuggling.

The reason is simple, when you've got a commission you're working for them and your hiding, while not ideal maybe, isn't there to hurt them, its because you were doing something special and secret that required it. The equivalent of a plain clothes cop flashing their badge.

This would alleviate a lot of the "damnit forgot to turn my transponder on" complaints that people have while also providing and in-world rational for having that advantage

15
This might be seen as an extension of the topic "large ships in small fleets" but for me its primarily a verisimilitude issue. Though it would generally solve that "problem" as well.

As the game has progressed the otherwise coherent ship design ideology has faltered as ships have been changed. As a result a number of ships and ship types have lost their identity and fleet and fleet composition has as well.

And the reason for this is primarily fuel. Well, not fuel exactly (though it does make for a great title) but the fact that combat ships have very little variation in fuel and cargo space despite in game design goals which produce fleets that are always very similar and with little variation. This hampers play styles which would exploit opportunities which might exist in

In general there are roughly four purposes for designing ships in starsector

1) Exploration/Pirating: Go far, be safe out there, bring back stuff

2) Raiding: Go a medium distance, kill things, leave debris fields

3) Sector Defense; Go nowhere, prevent raiding
3a) Assault Support: Take sector defense fleet and put it in your opponents sector

4) Pure Hauling: have loads of stuff. Move it places

Ships in starsector are only really designed around point the third. You're expected to bring support ships with extra fuel and cargo space if you want to go far and/or bring back stuff. This is OK, but primarily it does two things.

1) It limits the player use of the non-optimal ships because there is little strategic value in choosing the non-optimal ship

2) It puts all fleets on a knife edge with regards to disengage ability because even if they can run they still have to protect their fuel and supplies, without which they're basically done.

--------------------

The Solution is to increase the variation in ships by giving them a more defined strategic purpose. This should limit the use of pure cargo and fuel ships and relegate them to more specific purposes. Pure cargo ships would primarily be involved in shipping. Fuel ships would largely be involved in refueling operations and assault support. The three primary assault types

Changes Based on Ship Type

  • Pure Cargo Ship: Fuel capacity up.
  • Pure Fuel Ship: No changes
  • Exploration/Pirate Ship: Increased Cargo, Fuel, fuel efficiency.
  • Raiding: Decreased Cargo, Increased Fuel/Fuel Efficiency, Increased Supply Efficiency. Small decrease in Strategic Speed
  • Sector Defense: Large Decrease in strategic speed for large ships, Small increase in strategic speed for small ships.

With the advent of "sustained burn" we can now modify the base speed of ships even further, whereas the difference between 6 and 8 used to be a 33% increase in speed now its a 12.5% increase in speed without considering the skill that caps every fleet at 20. Ships can have burn speeds as low as 3 or 4 because planets cannot avoid assault fleets and because multiple fleets can be expected to work in tandem for sector defense (some with capitals burning to catch up, some with frigates for catching fleets until the capitals can catch up). The difference between a 4 burn ship and an 8 burn ship is only at 28% increase at sustained burn speed and 5.2% with the +5 max burn skill. Changing the max burn of various ships radically doesn't alter the ability of players to take those ships places they might not be suited, but does make it a little bit harder than it is currently.

The question of course is then "how much of a change are we talking about" , "which ships go where and why". Cargo and Fuel Ships are pretty much unchanged

Exploration Ships: Need fuel for about three times as much maximum range as current(100-150 LY). This is about similar as what they currently run when escorting a single fuel ship of one size lower than themselves. Needs cargo for about 4 months of deployment plus full cargo compliment of ship one size smaller. An exploration/pirate focused capital at 10 fuel/LY, 40 DP should have about 1500 fuel and 1060 cargo capacity.  This is not enough fuel or cargo for its maintenance to justify bringing it if it is not intended to fight. But enough that you don't have to also bring a fuel/hauling source for it if its intending to. An exploration focused Cruiser at 20 DP should have around 380 Cargo Capacity and 450 fuel. A destroyer at 10 DP about 140 cargo capacity and 150 fuel. They need to be slow enough to be caught by fast sector defense fleets but fast enough to outrun sector defense capital fleets.

Raiding Ships: Need fuel for about 50 LY of travel (enough to get to a close-ish sector and back) and supplies for 1 month-ish of deployment. Needs speed to outrun sector defense capital fleets but not sector defense frigate fleets.

Sector Defense Ships: Needs fuel for about 5-10 LY of travel (enough to jump out of the sector and maybe fly to another sector... but not back and/or burn at things) and cargo for 1 month-ish of deployment. Capitals should be quite slow and frigates the fastest in the game.

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What ships go where and what changes are made to them?

Goal here is to have a decent amount of variety for what tech types(high, low, pirate) have what types of ships. There will be bias for exploration ships for pirate vessels (non -D mod) as well as anything that we might consider traditionally undergunned. There will be no suggested changes for fuel and cargo ships except that cargo ships all get enough fuel capacity go go about 50-60 LY.

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Exploration Ships: These ships can generally operate on their own. They're good solo candidates as well as prime candidates for efficiency in flying to the outer reaches because you do not need to add dedicated cargo and fuel ships in order to make the journey and come back with a reasonable amount equipment. Adding one of these to a non-exploration fleet will add minimal value with the exception of the Paragon simply because you're unlikely to choose one of them for their DP over a more dedicated ship.

Spoiler
Capital:

  • Paragon: Burn 7, Fuel 1500, Cargo 1100. This is a special case. Normally capital ships don't fall into this category but the Paragon is a big vanity project and big vanity projects don't conform to the same constraints as everything else. That is, while everyone else has to make tradeoffs on the Fast/Cheap/Good spectrum the Paragon's designers just kept throwing money at it until they didn't have to make any tradeoffs. It still keeps its supply and burn inefficiency though, because who cares about efficiency when you have money. Paragon purchase price should be upped to at least 1M credits
Cruiser:

  • Apogee: Burn 9, F/LY 2, Fuel 340, Cargo 400. Top of the line baby. This is the Starship enterprise. Still Supply inefficient but damn if it doesn't go fast and long. Still better in a fight than the rest of the non-paragon explorer options for the DP though.
  • Venture: Burn 8, F/LY 3, Fuel 450, Cargo 500. The Baseline pirate/exploration ship. Its kinda ***? But at least its cheap and you can haul *** back with it.
  • Gryphon: Burn 8 F/LY 2, Fuel 300, Cargo 380. The Hegemony's answer to the Apogee, not quite as fast but the missile autoforge makes for easy resupply out in the vast.
  • Colossus Mk 2/3 Burn 8, F/LY 3, Fuel 450, Cargo 350. Slightly better better cargo efficiency due to much lower supply costs. Its big and slow and you might rather fight a destroyer. But if you need 600 armor and 12 guns to toss into a fight its not actually that useless at 9 DP.

Destroyer:

  • Gemini: Burn 9, F/LY 1, Fuel 150, Cargo 150: Its a combat freighter of course it goes here
  • Mule: Burn 9, F/LY 1, Fuel 150, Cargo 150: Its a combat freighter of course it goes here
  • Condor: Burn 9, F/LY 1, Fuel 150, Cargo 150: Its a converted freighter of course it goes here
  • Medusa: Burn 10, F/LY 1, Fuel 150, Cargo 150: The phase frigates seem more like raiding or defense ships and so did the Sunder. So the Medusa gets an exploration role
  • Buffalo Mk II Burn 9, F/LY 1, Fuel 150, Cargo 150  Its a converted freighter of course it goes here

Frigate:
 
  • Hound Burn 10, F/LY .5 Fuel 75, Cargo 75: Its a combat freighter of course it goes here
  • Mudskiper MK II Burn 10, F/LY .5 Fuel 75, Cargo 75: Its a combat freighter of course it goes here
  • Shepherd Burn 10, F/LY .5 Fuel 75, Cargo 75: Its a combat freighter of course it goes here
  • Tempest Burn 11, F/LY .5 Fuel 75, Cargo 75: Again the other high tech options seemed more appropriate in other roles. The Tempest definitely fits though
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Raiding Ships: Adding a raiding ship to an exploration fleet won't reduce its range too much. But it will significantly impact the relative amount of supplies that can be brought back. Adding a raiding ship to a defense fleet will barely extend its range. Only worth it if you need a specific aspect of the ship. The Heron and Odyssey will be the most common raiding ships seen in traditional defense/strike fleets.

Spoiler
Capital:

  • Odyssey: Burn 7, F/LY 6, Cargo 180, Fuel 300: Good at killing things and then getting away. Fast, expensive, but cheap to run for a capital. Might also get a free OP center or Insulated Engine Assembly in order to make it even more unique
  • Conquest: Burn 6, F/LY 8, Cargo 160, Fuel 400: Good at killing things and then getting away. Its not quite as strategically advantageous as the Odyssey but its got a bit more oomph.

Cruiser:

  • Heron Burn 7 F/LY 3, Cargo 80, Fuel 150: The only carrier on the raider list and the only proper carrier which doesn't need a support fleet. The Heron is a mean machine
  • Falcon Burn 7 F/LY 3, Cargo 80, Fuel 150: The smaller Eagle designed for killing ships and then getting out rather than as a pure power option
  • Aurora Burn 8 F/LY 3, Cargo 90, Fuel 150: The Doom was going to go here but now that it going to have mines instead of interdiction the Aurora makes more sense. The Aurora is the quintessential overpowering high tech ship... but all it can do is fly there and blow something up because its going to need all its cargo for supplies

Destroyer:

  • Harbinger Burn 8 F/LY 2, Cargo 60, Fuel 100: Not much to say about this. It kills things dead. But again with the supply issue.
  • Hammerhead Burn 8, F/LY 2, Cargo 32, Fuel 100: A straightforward design for a straightforward task. The distinctive hammerhead is a result of stripping out the places which would have been used for cargo

Frigate:

  • Lasher Burn 9 F/LY 1, Cargo 16, Fuel 50: Most of the hegemony uses larger ships in raids or eschews raids all together. But the Lasher is an effective ship
  • Shade Burn 9 F/LY 1, Cargo 32, Fuel 50: Now that the afflictor is getting interdiction the shade is the clear option. It can use its EW to disable enemy defensive ships while the rest of the fleet kills the valuable cargo
  • Scarab Burn 9 F/LY 1, Cargo 32, Fuel 50 When the shade is disabling dangerous things the Scarab is cutting through anything it can find
  • Hyperion Burn 10, F/LY 1, Cargo 60, Fuel 50 Another high tech raider. Even worse for supplies than the other ships the Hyperion is in danger of running out unless its constantly farming a good amount of supplies
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Defense Ships: Adding any of these to a raiding or exploration party will impart a significant penalty to effective range and potentially maneuverability speed. The frigates are much easier to accommodate because of their much lower total supply usage and their much higher burn rates

Spoiler
Capital:

  • Legion Burn 4, Fuel 100, Cargo 160 What can we say its a straightforward murder machine
  • Astral Burn 4, Fuel 100, Cargo 200 What can we say its a straightforward murder machine
  • Onslaught Burn 3, Fuel 100, Cargo 160 What can we say its a straightforward murder machine

Cruiser:

  • Eagle Burn 6, Fuel 30, Cargo 90 What can we say its a straightforward murder machine
  • Mora Burn 6, Fuel 30, Cargo 90 What can we say its a straightforward murder machine
  • Dominator  Burn 6, Fuel 30, Cargo 90: What can we say its a straightforward murder machine
  • Doom  Burn 6, Fuel 30, Cargo 90. Now that it has mines tri-tach is going to park it at home and make it a silent killer of raiding fleets.

Destroyer:

  • Sunder Burn 8, Fuel 20, Cargo 40: This went here because the others seemed better. Plus i believe that the Sunder is the generally superior fleet ship due to its potentially excessive range
  • Drover Burn 8, Fuel 20, Cargo 40 Similar to the Sunder this ship fits better in this place than the other options
  • Enforcer Burn 8, Fuel 20, Cargo 40 This is a quintessential defensive ship

Frigate:

  • Centurian  Burn 7, Fuel 10, Cargo 20: Intended to primarily fly with larger ships as mobile point defense the Centurian does not need a strong burn drive
  • Afflictor Burn 12, Fuel 10, Cargo 30: The afflictor is the high tech defensive frigate that can run down and out maneuver raiding parties.
  • Kite Burn 12, Fuel 10, Cargo 20 The Kite is the low tech defensive frigate which can run down and out maneuver raiding parties
  • Monitor  Burn 7, Fuel 10, Cargo 20 Intended to primarily fly with larger ships as mobile point defense the Monitor does not need a strong burn drive
  • Wolf Burn 12, Fuel 10, Cargo 20 The Wolf is the mid-tech defensive frigate which can run down and out maneuver raiding parties.
  • Omen Burn 9, Fuel 10, Cargo 20: General point defense its intended to fly with the faster high tech fleets. Expensive but availiable to explore or raid if necesary
  • Vigilance Burn 10, Fuel 10, Cargo 20: Dangerous in a group its all purpose fast defense
  • Brawler Burn 10, Fuel 10, Cargo 20: Dangerous in a group its all purpose fast defense
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