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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 - D00D

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Suggestions / More interactions with Contacts, more Personality etc.
« on: April 26, 2021, 12:15:22 AM »
Hi Alex

I have to say great job on the contact systems and there is a lot of potential in this system. Hopefully, there are more features that are incoming but if there is a game that does this type of contact system very well, I would recomend taking a look or inspiration from Star Traders Frontier (STF). There are many striking similarities between STF and Starsector so it could be worth it to take a look at this wiki page to see if there are any interesting features that would fit nicely into Starsector as well.
https://startraders.fandom.com/wiki/Contacts

Here are some points which I think Starsector could benefit from:

Personality Perks and more types:
In STF, contacts come in various types and profession much like in here. However, they also have randomized personality perks that make each unique and can stack in one direction or another. Some examples are:
1.Impaitent: Missions have 25% shorter deadlines but pay 25% more
2.Corrupt: Contacts award less faction reputation but pay 10% more.
3.Charismatic: Contact award more Faction Reputation.
4.Slow to forgive: Contact pays out 25% more but failing missions result in large penalty to relations
5.Stingy: Missions pay 10% less.

New Contact Type:
I feel like there could be a new Contact type called Station Head, that should be an amgalmation of the current non-interesting NPCs like local administrator/port master. It seems more interesting that you can build up local reputation in addition to faction reputation which would allow you to get certain perks like cheaper repairs or lesser Black Market suspicion etc. Basically, a close friend or local ally around your usual hunting grounds can help safeguard when things sour badly with a faction and you can hideout.

Commissions & Military Ranks:
It feels weird to me that you can be commission and loved by a faction without ever interacting or rubbing shoulders with their influencers. Perhaps there should be a cap on the relationship with a faction until you have a good relations with a number of their contacts (0: 20 Relations, 1:50 Relations, 3:100 Relations etc).
In STF, some of the gear and benefits lies behind 'purhcasing' military ranks from contacts. Perhaps a commission should also be locked behind having someone sponser you at least among the faction on top of the occasional ship and nanoforge slots?

Special Contact Actions:
In STF, Contacts give you access to a wide variety of servics such as puchasing rare weapons, hiring skilled crew etc; much like Starsector now. However, I think there's more room for more unique ability given the more interactive world of Starsector. Some examples are:
1.Plausible Deniability (Agent): Actions taken without being positively identified has no reputation Penalty for X number of months
2.Economic Collusion (Trader): Exports of a certain commodity that the Contact's station also produce has an X% increase in profitabilty, the player will also be supplied by this station as if it's an infaction output
3.Military Aid (Military): Upon request, a military fleet (strentgh scaled with Contact's influence) will be dispatched to this system for a certain amount of time. This can be used to defend a colony or to clear out an area of pirates or pathers in the exterior systems.
With X scaling off their influence level and relationship.

Exclusive Subquests:
Currently, it feels weird that all the once-a-sector playthrough are done through some random bars while mingling with nobodies. A high level and relations with contacts can open up some late game quests for their respective factions. Perhaps one for each of the major factions should be locked behind maxing out a contact?
Also, contacts in STF can sometimes 'level-up' by completing a quest chain for a particularly ambitious contact such as a smuggler attempting to topple the local crime ring to become a kingpin.

Influence (in STF):
This is a feature in STF where contacts actively fight againest each other in Conflicts to gain or preserve inlfuence. Their rise and fall depends on the powerbase or planets they safeguard and the people they *** off. However, since Starsector isn't about that much polictics, I think this feature won't work well and Contacts should work in isolation. At most, you could have a couple of unique quests where you have a choice to support two different contacts from two factions.

2
Suggestions / 10 as import requirement is too unbalanced for everybody
« on: April 01, 2021, 04:50:45 AM »
In theory, 10 imports is used as a drawback to give a powerful boost to a player colony but because you need to get all of this from a single source, you will need to max out nearly every bonus to meet this demand.

What is more, 10 is impossible for NPC factions which creates a instant shortage situation that the player can profit at a ridiculous degree.

Hence, it needs to be a level where the most advance NPC faction can reach so that the player can't crash the sector economy by being a lamp salesmen.

3
Suggestions / Colony Building as a Victory Condition
« on: March 28, 2021, 06:11:57 AM »
The latest update has greatly boosted the variety and depth in colony building and it really feels like you can build a wide and varied empire based on Lostech that can dwarf the vanilla Factions eventually. I think that more people are enjoying this aspect and I feel that eventually, the endgame empire you build should deserve its on lore implications.

Thereofore, I think there could be an ending path related to colony building that is different from the usual beating up of a super-sector ending threat. With conditions and milestone such as reaching 10 Billion population Colony, producing X amount of fuel reliably, creating a garden planet to re-educate luddites etc. The end goal would be to reach such a beacon of stabilty and progress that you become an influencial enough political faction that you can bring everyone to the table to achieve sector wide peace. This may not be an immediate win, but uniting the Sector and putting all their minds and will towards stopping the Super-threat would be a good payoff.

At the end of the empire building, perhaps the player can be awarded a "Wonder" style building to commemerate the achievement and have a steady Story Point income to signfiy this achievement.

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