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Topics - pairedeciseaux

Pages: [1] 2
General Discussion / Colony gameplay opportunities
« on: November 26, 2021, 04:15:31 PM »

This is kind of a reply to the colony discussion that currently sits in pages 28-30 of the 0.95.1 patch notes thread. Putting this here because (A) I am a crazy person, (B) patch notes thread is not the appropriate place for this, and (C) here I'm exploring another route.

I find it interesting (if not disturbing) that one of the main concerns in this colony discussion seems to be about cost and revenue.

And... I suspect this is actually something that bothers Starsector creators: this features has a much more interesting potential, that unfortunatly was not fulfilled. Have you ever asked yourself after managing colonies for a while: why am I doing this for anyway? If first answer is "money", then, to be brutally honest, we are talking about a game design defect and a less than ideal management of player expectations.

At this point, I'd like to remind you guys about this:
Quote from: Alex
A primary gameplay role  of player-built colonies is getting the player into trouble.

Wait, what?! I don't want to get into trouble, get your fleet off my lawn, I just want more money!

Ok, ok, let us leave the jest here.

The first paragraphs of this one are also very much relevant:

Forum chatter

Inside spoiler below I have quoted some messages from pages 28-30 of the 0.95.1 patch notes thread, when the discussion was not purely about money.

Quote from: bobucles
Of course one could argue that a tiny colony takes too much baby sitting or something like that.

Quote from: Megas
With only four colonies, I place colonies where they can be self-sufficient and at a good location, not necessarily where they can mine the most resources for the most profit.

Quote from: intrinsic_parity
Defenses are the expensive part, but that's more a question of how much you are willing to babysit.

Quote from: Strict
Game has literally one (1) questline, you dont really need colony to complete it, even though encounters are made for super late-game and/or specifically tailored fleets to counter them.
Im questioning the necessity of the whole colony gameplay now, what's the point? To give exploration some meaning? Just make "production slots" bar encounter more often. As of now mods handle colonies better.

Quote from: intrinsic_parity
With regards to late game, it seems quite likely that there will be new things added that give you incentive/reason to have scaled up colonies. You have to remember you are playing an alpha, just look at that juicy greyed-out orders tab.

Quote from: Grievous69
It's enough of a chore already when waiting for defenses to build and colony size to increase. Lately I barely bother with them, I just use them as a place to stock up on supplies/fuel and to hoard all my weapons and LPCs.

Quote from: Wyvern
Weird how different people seem to have wildly different experiences with the current colony system...
Then again, I'm not looking at colonies as a primary cash supply - which, I mean, they do supply some if you haven't messed things up too much, and that's useful, but the primary purpose for colonies for me is to keep my stuff, and to allow production of things I've got the blueprints for. Income is a nice bonus, but not a priority.

Quote from: EclipseRanger
Personally,I do like fiddling with colonies,but they take the fun out of the game when they re fully equipped. Nothing can get past a fortified colony with a Star Fortress and multiple fleets patrolling it.

Quote from: Hiruma Kai
I guess it comes down to what people see colonies as in terms of gameplay.  Are they a tool?  Are they a goal? Are better colonies a reward for exploration gameplay as well as routinely defeating Remnants?  Are they optional or are players expected need them every game unless they're playing really well?  Are they intended as a credit sink for players already doing well, or a support for players doing poorly?  Are they intended to solve problems or create problems to be solved (like, hmm, now I need a gamma core to reduce the ore requirements for my refinery to reduce my upkeep costs)?

Quote from: intrinsic_parity
Heavy industry is the only (non-defense) industry that does anything more than making money, and commerce as the third industry with any boost (cores, items, story points) already makes more than any other industries. If you don't care about money, then I guess you just spam heavy industries? Nothing else would do anything.

Quote from: FooF
Early-game colonies (what are we defining as "early?") would only work if they funneled combat to the player and generated income. I would love for starter colonies to be especially "ripe" for pirate activity but likewise, a system bounty would just perpetually be in effect until the colony hit a certain size or or other conditions were met. That would make starting a colony a bit of a defense game but also generate income and funnel the player into combat.

And has been said ad nauseum since colonies came out: they've always been a means to end but the end isn't here yet. It is my hope that a true endgame will require a system-spanning empire and the use of hundreds of thousands of credits per month to have a prayer. Until then, colonies will always be a bit purpose-less because nothing in the game currently requires the benefits high-end colonies provide.

Quote from: Amoebka
The way I see it, colonies were added to the game before there was a use for them, and now they are nerfed into irrelevance until such uses are added, presumably because Alex doesn't want to remove them outright and face the outrage.  :D


Let me do a quick summary of what colonies are used for according to those messages:
  • defending them = actual gameplay, yay! ... but sometimes perceived in a negative way: "babysitting"
  • a way to use loot obtained from exploration = okay, just small organic well integrated tie-in
  • supposedly do some late game stuff in future version of the game = uhhh, wait and see? 2023 release?
  • storage = yep
  • production of ships and weapons = yep

That's it!

Addressing existing uses, getting into trouble

Well, I am not convinced any currently released version of the game succeeded at providing a set of compeling and sustainable gameplay opportunities related to player created colonies. Keywords here are compeling and sustainable.

Okay, I can set an arbitrary goal "once my first colony reaches size 5, campaign is won". I'll get a few raid from pirates and maybe one or two industry disruption attempts from competitors.

First pirate raid may be compeling, because that's new (unless I already helped a core world defend against a pirate raid). But after that it quicky gets repetitive.

Actually let me expand a bit on this. You are told a raid is coming. Then depending on your fleet's location (and strength), you will:
  • defend colony somewhere within system or even while orbiting the colony
  • catch raider fleets in hyperspace or (unlikely) catch raider fleets in their starting system
  • destroy pirate base before raider fleets are launched
  • do nothing! because your fleet is too far away or too weak to deal with this, or your colony can defend itself, or you just don't care

Positive: it feels rather organic because given your current situation you are presented with more or less options.

Negative: it feels rather gamey procgen repetive non-sense after a while (... which is not specific to raids, by the way).

Yes, as long as the game triggers the "babysitting" feeling, that's not sustainable. Some tweaks were made over the years, but I think the core issues remain since 0.9.0. Any ideas to improve the those existing "defense events"?

Add some alternative ways for player to learn about them? Through contacts?

Colony raids could have different attack patterns: fleets travelling together + entering system all together at the same jump point, spliting / going different routes / entering system from different jump points.

They could also have more varied fleet compositions: crazy frigate spam, carrier-heavy fleet, and so on.

Special fleets like the one encountered in a fringe system during main quest line (phase ships madness).

Raid fleets could have an admiral/contact that you could actually talk with, not necessarily leading to combat depending on dialog options and your previous actions in the Sector! Maybe some might become ally to the player fleet against other invaders! (told you I'm crazy)


So I guess we want more compeling opportunies. Not just the same events occuring again and again. And we want this to be sustainable, for the duration of a campaign. Any ideas how to achieve that? Idea expressed by FooF in spoiler above is interesting (system bounty).

What about colony-related missions? Setup one colony with a specific lab industry there for the academy, hire a contact as colony administrator in a core word and escort him toward colony while sustaining attacks from his former employer, have a colony become an auxiliary military base and/or production center for a major sector organisation and ... face the consequence from other groups, have your fleet directly handle delivery of colony goods from/toward your colony while sustaining bandit attacks, and so on.

Siege-type events where colony's system jump points are guarded by hostile fleets until dealt with by player fleet?

Histidine et al. will forever be heroes for what they brought, well before colonies were introduced in vanilla. The conquest warfare tied to dynamic reputation/standing/alliance meant a fair amount of additional opportunities while improving the "living Sector" feeling. It could become repetitive, but looking back it felt quite nice. Speaking about this in the past tense because I haven't played with Nexerelin for a while. I am not saying going the 4x route is what Starsector needs. My point is, adding more varied and compeling opportunities would really help vanilla.

Indeed the general idea is: more varied opportunies/events means less repetition, better organic integration as long as those are compeling. Sustainability is attained, leading to better campaign replayability. And... duh, finally give colonies a substantial gameplay purpose.

So, what would you like to see added? It's time to collect all the crazy ideas, shoot!

General Discussion / 0.95 Small ships performance comparison
« on: May 15, 2021, 04:23:51 AM »
Last year I ran a few tests, such as medium gun on Wolf and missile launchers on Shrike. After those I wanted to do a “wolf pack” test, using different fleet compositions of small hunter-killer-like ships. But since 0.95 was coming I waited. I have now done such a test, and I want to share the results. Also, this is kind of a followup to the recent thread Tempest Nerf Options.

The intent here is to have a look at attack performance of the various tested ships, using just one specific loadout. So the scope is fairly limited. Ability to defend and distract is not considered. In order to measure attack performance, I ran 24 repetitions of each matchups, and wrote down the battle outcome and the time to win.

Before moving to the interesting bits, it is important to keep in mind:
  • this post is not meant to be a guide teaching how to play
  • this is AI vs AI, player is not involved during battle
  • this is about base attack performance, so no SO hullmod, no built-in hullmod, no officer, no skill
  • Starsector 0.95-RC15 with a customised Fleet Tester mod: I removed the 5 capture objectives, and kept the 10000x10000 arena
  • all ships had aggressive personality
  • ship performance will change depending on its loadout, allied fleet composition, enemy fleet composition and enemy ship loadout
  • obviously I did not simulate all possible battle situations

I ran 9 series of tests: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2. Details further below.

Above I wrote “using just one specific loadout”, but it is not exactly true. I started with vanilla variants for all tested ships (1.1), then switched to custom variants. Doing so, performance of all ships improved except Centurion, so for that ship I kept results obtained with the vanilla variant and thus did all the following series this way: custom variants for all except vanilla “Assault” Centurion (1.2 to 4.2).

Also worth noting, I changed some of the “rules” at one point. From 1.1 to 2.2, the win condition was perfect win, that is without any retreat (allied/enemy) and without any allied ship disabled. Time to win was only measured when this condition was met. Then, from 3.1 to 4.2, I relaxed the condition to what the game considered a victory, and measured time to win in all those situations.

In any cases, further below in the time distribution charts, I used either a continuous line when win condition was met for all 24 runs, or a dashed line otherwise.

Tested ships

vanilla Lasher, “Strike” variant: 8 capacitors, 10 vents, armoredweapons, targetingunit, blast_doors, 2 lightag, 2 reaper, 2 lightmg, 1 lightdualac

custom Lasher: 9 capacitors, 10 vents, fluxcoil, fluxdistributor, reinforcedhull, 2 lightag, 2 sabot_single, 2 lightmg, 1 lightdualac

vanilla Centurion, “Assault” variant: 9 capacitors, 10 vents, blast_doors, 1 annihilator, 2 lightac, 1 lightag, 1 ioncannon, 2 vulcan

custom Centurion: 7 capacitors, 10 vents, reinforcedhull, fluxcoil, fluxdistributor, 1 sabot_single, 2 lightac, 2 lightag, 2 lightmg

vanilla Vigilance, “Standard” variant: 0 capacitors, 8 vents, fluxdistributor, missleracks, eccm, 1 pulselaser, 1 harpoonpod

custom Vigilance: 10 capacitors, 10 vents, reinforcedhull, 1 pulselaser, 1 sabotpod

vanilla Wolf, “Assault” variant: 7 capacitors, 10 vents, fluxdistributor, 1 heavyblaster, 2 harpoon, 1 ioncannon, 2 pdlaser

custom Wolf: 10 capacitors, 10 vents, reinforcedhull, fluxcoil, fluxdistributor, 1 heavyblaster, 2 sabot_single, 2 pdlaser

vanilla Brawler, “Starting” variant: 7 capacitors, 10 vents, fluxbreakers, 2 heavymortar, 2 railgun

custom Brawler: 8 capacitors, 10 vents, reinforcedhull, fluxdistributor, 1 heavymortar, 1 arbalest, 2 sabot

vanilla Tempest, “Attack” variant: 6 capacitors, 10 vents, targetingunit, fluxdistributor, stabilizedshieldemitter, 1 pulselaser, 1 gravitonbeam, 1 harpoon

custom Tempest: 10 capacitors, 10 vents, reinforcedhull, fluxdistributor, 1 heavyblaster, 1 sabot, 1 pdlaser

vanilla Scarab, “Starting” variant: 9 capacitors, 10 vents, blast_doors, fluxdistributor, 2 atropos_single, 1 amblaster, 1 ioncannon, 1 irpulse, 2 pdlaser

custom Scarab: 8 capacitors, 10 vents, reinforcedhull, fluxdistributor, fluxcoil, 2 sabot_single, 1 amblaster, 2 irpulse, 2 pdlaser

vanilla Shrike, “Attack” variant: 9 capacitors, 20 vents, unstable_injector, 1 heavyblaster, 1 sabotpod, 2 irpluse, 1 ioncannon, 2 pdlaser

custom Shrike: 15 capacitors, 20 vents, reinforcedhull, 1 heavyblaster, 1 sabotpod, 2 irpulse, 2 pdlaser

vanilla Medusa, “Attack” variant: 0 capacitors, 19 vents, hardenedshieldemitter, fluxbreakers, 2 railgun, 2 heavyblaster, 2 irpulse, 2 pdlaser

custom Medusa: 14 capacitors, 20 vents, reinforcedhull, fluxdistributor, 2 railgun, 1 heavyblaster, 2 pdlaser, 1 pdburst

vanilla Hyperion, “Attack” variant: 5 capacitors, 10 vents, fluxdistributor, hardenedshieldemitter, hardened_subsystems, 1 pulselaser, 1 phasebeam, 1 heavyneedler

custom Hyperion: 10 capacitors, 10 vents, extendedshieldemitter, unstable_injector, reinforcedhull, 1 ionpulser, 1 miningblaster, 1 heavymg

Tested ships were either used as single ship fleets (1.1 to 2.2), or used as part of 16 DP (3.1 and 3.2) and 25 DP fleets (4.1 and 4.2).

Enemy ships

vanilla Kite (A), “Starting” variant: 9 capacitors, 10 vents, 1 heatseeker, 1 swarmer, 1 lightdualac

vanilla Cerberus, “Starting” variant: 9 capacitors, 10 vents, blast_doors, reinforcedhull, 1 lightac, 1 lightag, 1 vulcan, 1 flak

vanilla Lasher, “Strike” variant: 8 capacitors, 10 vents, armoredweapons, targetingunit, blast_doors, 2 lightag, 2 reaper, 2 lightmg, 1 lightdualac

vanilla Condor, “Support” variant: 8 capacitors, 15 vents, 1 salamanderpod, 2 lightac, 2 talon_wing

vanilla Enforcer, “Assault” variant: 19 capacitors, 20 vents, targetingunit, fluxdistributor, 2 sabot, 2 reaper, 2 heavyac, 1 heavymortar, 2 flak

vanilla Falcon, “Attack” variant: 10 capacitors, 20 vents, autorepair, heavyarmor, 2 heavymg, 2 heatseeker, 2 pulselaser, 4 pdlaser

vanilla Dominator, “Support” variant: 21 capacitors, 30 vents, dedicated_targeting_core, fluxdistributor, 2 mark9, 3 pilum, 3 lightag, 6 vulcan, 2 flak

Enemy ships  were used in various fleet compositions, detailed below.

Test series with performance ranking and data visualisation

(1.1) Single ship test fleet (vanilla variants) vs 1 Kite (A): Scarab > Tempest > Shrike > Hyperion > Centurion=Lasher > the rest


(1.2) Single ship test fleet vs 1 Kite (A): Tempest=Scarab > Lasher=Shrike=Hyperion > Centurion > the rest


(1.3) Single ship test fleet vs 2 Kite (A): Tempest > Shrike > Scarab > Medusa=Hyperion > the rest


(2.1) Single ship test fleet vs 1 Cerberus: Tempest > Shrike > Scarab > Medusa > Hyperion=Lasher > the rest


(2.2) Single ship test fleet vs 2 Cerberus: Tempest > Shrike > Scarab > Medusa > Hyperion > the rest


(3.1) 16 DP test fleet vs 1 Kite (A) + 1 Lasher + 1 Condor: Tempest > Scarab > the rest


(3.2) 16 DP test fleet vs 1 Falcon: Tempest > Centurion > Scarab > Wolf > the rest


(4.1) 25 DP test fleet vs 1 Kite (A) + 1 Lasher + 1 Condor + 1 Enforcer: Tempest > Scarab > the rest


(4.2) 25 DP test fleet vs 1 Dominator: Tempest > Scarab > Shrike=Lasher=Wolf > Centurion > the rest



I’d like to remind you: basically only one loadout per ship was tested.

Lasher did OK when in 1v1 situations against weaker ships (Kite and Cerberus) and when outnumbering a strong slow ship (6v1 against Dominator). Lasher was weak when outnumbered.

Centurion did OK in similar situations as Lasher, and had good performance doing 4v1 against Falcon.

Vigilance was not meant to perform well in such tests, so no surprise about its bad performance. Still… maybe it should perform a bit better?

Wolf only performed well when outnumbering opponent, 3v1 against Falcon, and 5v1 against Dominator. A Pulse Laser would probably have increased performance against fighters, frigates and Condor, while lowering performance against cruisers (and Enforcer).

Brawler was at best an OK performer in a few tests, and otherwise pretty weak. Admittedly I don’t really know the ship, also it is entirely possible it wasn’t meant to perform well in such tests. Maybe long range ballistic guns with Harpoons would have worked better?

Tempest was of course the star of the show, no surprise. Best tested ship, results speak for themselves.

Scarab performed really well in all tests. Overall second position, behind Tempest.

Shrike performed well against Kite, Cerberus and Dominator. Shrike was weak in all 16 DP fleet tests and in the first 25 DP fleet test. It should be noted, one Shrike had more Sabots than all single ship fleets except Vigilance which had the same amount.

Medusa performance was disappointing as single ship and in 25 DP fleet tests. It was not part of the 16 DP fleet tests. I do not have a lot of experience with AI-controlled Medusa, so I'm not sure how to interpret those results. I guess a few factors should be considered: it was one of slowest tested ship, it had no missile, and because of its high DP there was less ships on the field in the 25 DP fleet tests.

Hyperion performance was also disappointing. Admittedly I have zero experience with AI-controlled Hyperion, and I gave it my last player-controlled loadout, which may be a cause for the bad performance. That said, such a ship is probably meant to be used either by player or by skilled officer, together with built-in hullmods. With a player-controlled Hyperion using the same loadout I am confident I would win 100% encounters against a lone Falcon, but in the related test above AI Hyperion lost 100% battles. Also, as with Medusa: it had no missile, and because of its high DP there was less ships on the field in the 16 DP and 25 DP fleet tests. So all in all I'm not sure whether those results are relevant or not... except I guess we can see here AI Hyperion may have clear downsides/weaknesses, and that cannot be said about AI Tempest or AI Scarab.

Bug Reports & Support / [0.95 RC15] '+' displayed on player portrait
« on: April 29, 2021, 02:31:51 PM »
I posted the following message in the 0.95 patch notes thread a bit after RC14 got out:

I've noticed a (very) small issue. I don't remember seeing this with previous versions.

I have 3 or 4 officers. After a battle one of them levelled up. I assigned a skill to her. No other officer did level up. Then I noticed on the fleet screen that there was a '+' over player character portrait. But at that point, I checked on the skill screen, player character was at level 4, close to level 5, and no new skill point was available.

A bit later, after another battle, player character reached level 5. I choose a skill. Then I noticed on the fleet screen the '+' over player character portrait was not present anymore.

I just reproduced it in a new RC15 run. One of my officers levelled-up, but player character did not. There is a '+' displayed over officer portrait (second Wolf) - which is correct, but there is also a '+' displayed over player character portrait (first Wolf) - that's the issue.

Skill screen:

Fleet screen:

Suggestions / Improve contrast between derelict and asteroid belt
« on: April 25, 2021, 07:26:18 AM »
Let's play a little game together. Tell me: where it?  ;D

I'm putting high resolution screenshots below so that details don't get damaged too much. The way they are supposed to be used: display them fullscreen, so that you view the scene as if playing. One way to do it (depending on Web browser / OS), is right-click on picture, open in new tab, then (if not already) go fullscreen.

Part 1

Part 2

Basically 9 times out of 10 I need to check the map in order to find the derelict. Please improve the contrast between derelict and asteroid belt, so that derelict are easier to spot at a glance.

Maybe the light level of the circle should be increased, and/or to should be glowing, and/or it should have a distinct color such as pink or green.

Bug Reports & Support / [0.95 RC15] Phase ships stuck
« on: April 25, 2021, 06:53:28 AM »
Not sure whether this should be considered a bug or not. At the end of a fight against a small remnant fleet, the 3 phase ships I had deployed attacked together the last remnant ship. They phased out and got stuck, kind of twitching, on top of the ship.


They stayed there for a while, phase still active. After a few seconds I shot at the ship (from Hyperion) and they moved out, though I can't really say the shooting had anything to do with the moving.

Bug Reports & Support / [0.95 RC15] Ship survives at 0 hull points
« on: April 25, 2021, 06:09:39 AM »
First time I notice this, one of my ships was able to retreat while having 0 hull points.


Suggestions / Dialog/menu [Esc] keyboard shortcut consistency
« on: April 23, 2021, 04:18:36 PM »
The main "market" menu looks like:
1. Open the comm directory
2. Take a shuttle down to visit a dockside bar
3. Trade goods or hire crew [ I ], buy or sell ships [ F ], or refit [ R ]
4. Repair your ships at the dockyard [ A ]
5. Consider your military options
6. Leave [ Esc ]

Pressing 2, the menu looks like:
1. Talk to the woman from the military offering bounties
2. Leave the bar [ Esc ]

Pressing 1, the dialog looks like:
1. "I'd prefer a more manageable target."
2. "Whatever you"ve got works for me."
3. "I can handle a more challenging target."
4. "Maybe another time." (decline)

I wish the fourth option in the last menu/dialog above worked like the previous ones, that is having support for the ESC keyboard shortcut to end the dialog / leave the menu without any new commitment. Same in dialog with officers, and probably several others.

Suggestion for the bar bounty dialog:

4. "Maybe another time." (decline [ Esc ])

Bug Reports & Support / [0.95 RC14] Fuel Procurement, no recipient
« on: April 23, 2021, 03:50:20 PM »
In a bar discussion I accepted a Fuel Procurement mission from "senior executive Saturn Frye, affiliated with the independents". I think it was in Port Tse, or maybe Mairaath.

Looking at the left side of the intel screen, I can see in the list: "Go to Ailmar and contact Monday Elysium to arrange delivery" - 50 days to complete". But looking at the map, there is no marker pointing to Ailmar.

Then I went to Ailmar, in the Westernesse system, and did not see Monday Elysium.

Looks like the recepient "Monday Elysium" never was created by the game. If I abandon the mission, I loose 2 points of reputation with Saturn Frye, and 1 point of reputation with the independents. Not a big deal. I guess I'll save scum the next bar encounters in order to avoid another trap :P . I've had no issue with previous bounty missions nor delivery missions.

I quickly checked 10 or something planets/stations, but I did not find more Fuel Procurement missions. If I encounter another one in the future, I will try to reproduce the bug. That said, reading the notes for RC14, I spy the following:

Fixed issue with contacts offering local missions for both cheap sale and procurement of the same goods

I'm not sure this is related... maybe this change introduced a regression?

General Discussion / Strange ship loadouts in some NPC fleets
« on: April 18, 2021, 01:03:36 PM »
Have you guys encountered NPC fleets with strange ship loadouts?

This one, I don't remember exactly, maybe it was a personal bounty or contact bounty mission.
  • Somewhat strong fighter presence
  • Weapons looks OK on Drovers and Centurion
  • This Mora is scary, 5 front facing Light Needlers + 2 Typhoon Reaper Launchers
  • Point Defense Paragon!
  • Point Defense Tempest!


IIRC, this is a story mission asking to find a probe orbiting a volcanic world.

The probe was pretty far from either volcanic worlds. See on the bottom left in the screenshot:

I didn't check whether the probe was actually orbiting one of these planet or not.

General Discussion / yet another first 0.95 campaign feedback
« on: April 11, 2021, 05:12:42 AM »
Overall, I find this new version of the game truly great. I’ve split my first campaign thoughts and deeds in several sections below. Actual campaign report starts at the "Campaign summary" section.

I played all this with:
  • RC8 to RC12
  • max battle size set to 400, didn’t set it explicitly, it was already at 400, was used to play at 500 before
  • adjusted UI scaling (+ campaign zoom and combat zoom) - which brought good reading comfort

Fleet and battle scale
Personally I find the player-side reduced scale well done. It’s a bit harsh at first because having too much big ships too quickly does, then, slowly drag player down. At least that was my experience during first part of the campaign. I guess, for existing players, once one unlearns old ways and then experiments, new solutions arise. Battles seem to be less about brute force and more about tactics.

Since I’ve always liked small and fast ships, I don’t have to explained that I like what was done to provide incentive to use them.

Concerning scale of 300K+ personal bounties and some contact bounties, I’m not yet sure what to think. On one end it’s good to have challenging fights available. On the other end, it’s strange when player reaches a point where there’s only those impossible to win 300K+ fights with 600-800 DP-worth of capitals/cruisers/carriers. What I’m saying is: maybe, at any points, there should be a larger range of bounty difficulty available. Like, when currently the game pushes 300K bounty, maybe it should continue to push 200K and 250K bounties alike, in addition to 300K and 350K. Or maybe having those large fleet is in fact a bug?!   :o

Thankfully there are contact bounties that do have a wider range of difficulty. Though I did notice the reward/difficulty ratio was somewhat less than with personal bounties. Not sure whether this is a bug an intentional.

Organic gameplay
This new version of the game does further improve what came in 0.9: less save reload. Field Repair. Officer/player skill to save ship. Story points to recover ships, avoid unwanted encounters, convince people, improve player/officer skills, improve industries, and so on. This is really great stuff, a testament to the game’s maturity.

Also it seems, given the reduced scale, added content and new challenges, and various things like diverse specialisations, that a campaign can be played longer than in previous versions before becoming boring. I guess it’s hard to judge this so early since I have only played a single campaign, but I’m confident I’ll continue to enjoy the game anyway.

All the NPCs encountered contributed to this organic feel, more on this below.

New story&contacts content
Clearly this new content is the shining star of the new version, from my perspective.

Not only it is very well written and the visual art is beautiful and on point, in my mind the feeling of the game is transformed: the Sector now seems full of human beings, and as such is much more alive! Many NPCs have distinct story, personality, dialogs, portrait.

As a player, I’m not just going there to refuel and check market and bar missions, I’m going there to meet these people, get to know them, follow leads, understand the relationships & conflicts, have a conversation about technology, mysteries or just life in the Sector. And so on.

The way places are described is also really neat, and it does a great job at providing convincing immersion.

I find these moments do provide a welcome break from the mostly mechanical fleet management & battle gameplay.

And I have to be honest, I didn’t expect so much emphasis on, well, human stuff. Playing this new version of the game I got immersed into a world that, to some degrees, could be connected to Frank Herbert’s Dune novels or maybe the Disco Elysium video game. So it was good surprise discovering all this. Very well done.

A small nitpick. Maybe it’s just me and I got it wrong. At some point in the storyline, the player character seemed to become this well known, highly respected (if not feared) captain, and it felt artificial and gamey. If every door opens effortlessly, then where is the gameplay? I understand narrative-driven gameplay can be tricky, but I suggest putting some effort into this. Shouldn’t the player remain a small fish? IMO some people should ignore who the player is, some people should have no respect nor fear of the player, some people should attempt to blackmail the player. The Magec warlord encounter, while convincing, is not enough. To be (hopefully) clear, I am talking as much about the gameplay as the writing here. Basically what I’m saying is: some unknown, unpredictability and hostility toward the player should remain, even at later stages.

To be fair, some of the story and bar/contacts missions had interesting traps/surprises. And I liked drinking tea in peace. And that higher-up who you could ask a favour before leaving, that seemed appropriate, although since I didn't ask a favour I don't know yet the outcome.

Ships and weapons
First I need to say that I love seeing Medusa and Aurora again, they were sorely missed in 0.9.

Centurion seems to be much more common on the battlefield. I haven’t used it in my fleet, but in the future I might have a few of those as escort ships. Looks as much durable as a Monitor.  :)  Though they shall never replace my Wolves.

Ion Pulsers: I don’t remember using them in the past, but now I like those very much. Two on Aurora with Expanded Magazines is great.

Haven’t used Fury and Champion enough yet.

SO Hyperion is top-tier ship with story point upgrades. Mine has dual Ion Pulsers + Assault Chaingun. Basically all enemy ships with front shield are in trouble. It can also 1v1 Enforcer or Shrike no problem. It can harass Venture, Mora, Atlas mk2, Conquest. And it can deal with fighter swarms like no 15-DP-or-less ship possibly can. Next campaign maybe I’ll try non-SO … using Unstable Injector instead, because I know I hated the slow speed when I tried a no-speed-boost version, it felt too dangerous against fast warships and even a swarm of Broadswords and Talons. Hmm, to be honest, the strangest thing about flying SO Hyperion, is… flying other ships. They all seem slowish afterwards.   ;D

I could be wrong, but it seems AI is now a bit more careful/passive in situations where, in the past, it would engage. Leading to longer fights, lower CR, higher supply use, tighter player economy.

On the other end, in previous versions, ships did stick close to defend order points and rarely move away. Now they really like to move away to chase targets. So this requires a bit more attention from player, and maybe a bit more micro-management.

Whether engaged or not, ship tend to turn and face, uhhh, distant object?! Like, there’s a warship/fighter/missile/asteroid (?) flying 3000 unit distance (?) from its position, then ship will turn to “look” at it. They already did that in previous versions, now they do that more often. It looks odd.

I haven’t looked at it too closely, but I think the AI suicidal behaviour from using mobility ship system has been fixed (or at least toned down). My Shrikes seemed to be OK under AI control, even when fighting large targets.

Maybe not AI related but I’ll mention it here: in battle one of my frigates did rub to the rear corner of my Paragon until it got destroyed, on 3 occasions. It happened twice with a Tempest and once with Omen. I think it happened early during battle: ships are on the move to reach a defend order point, and suddenly I get a notification telling a frigate got destroyed, looking at the fleet I see the disabled frigate near the left or right rear corner of Paragon. If this had only occurred once I wouldn’t have reported it. This is really strange because I’ve witnessed ships being able to avoid threats and collision effectively, like my Wolves dodging Doom’s mines.

I think some of the skills do outline possible specialisations / play-styles quite well.

Main complain would be the UI. It is pretty, sure, but. Fist, having a similar look to the one from previous version of the game, some existing players still have this expectation to choose whatever skill they want. Second, IMO it does not explain itself well-enough about what skill are selectable (going from left to right, choosing one among a pair, looping back to tier 1 after reaching tier 5).

Campaign summary
(you can easily see the different campaign phases and important events using this, it is neat)

(I did not respec)

(first colony eventually got pollution, from mining and heavy industry, I did not build a single ship, did not use ground defence)


Phase 1 - fast fleet growth, hitting a wall
System bounties
Personal bounties, up to 200K
One or maybe two successful 300K personal bounties
A few pirate/pather station bounties
Delivery missions
Red planet
Galatia Academy missions

Fleet did grow up to:
1 Conquest with 3 builtin hullmods
2 Legion XIV with 3 builtin hullmods
2 Dominator with 3 builtin hullmods
1 Apogee
1 Mora
1 Heron
2 Hammerhead
1 Sunder
1 Medusa
1 Shrike
1 Pirate Shrike
1 Tempest
4 Wolf
1 Omen
2 Colossus
2 Phaeton
1 Prometheus

Most (if not all) frigates and destroyer were bought. Most (if not all) cruisers and capitals were recovered.

Built 2 colonies in the same system, not far from core worlds, quite late. One with Mining, one with Light Industry. Hazard rating is 175% and 200% respectively. Added orbital stations.

Early game I piloted Wolf. Then, depending on situation, I did pilot Shrike, Medusa, Sunder, Apogee, Dominator or Conquest. Sunder with Tachyon Lance saw a lot of use. Shrike with AMB was mainly used in pursuits, and second wave deployment in a few epic fights.

After some of the harder fights, I often had to mothball several ships, because of crew and supplies. I feel battles were slower than what I was used to in previous Starsector version, and often ships did hit low CR, and thus a lot of supplies were used post-battle.

I obtained Conquest in such a fight with tons of capitals and cruisers. For some reasons, the 300K+ bounties having Conquest were easier (and actually winnable), contrary to bounties having Onslaught and Legions and tons of Moras.

Bought the Prometheus in order to reach the red planet and do some of the Galatian missions in the area. Managed to recover an Onslaught after a fight, kept it mothballed together with a few damaged ships. I think this happened late cycle 209 or early cycle 210.

Officer situation: 2 on Legions XIV, 1 on Mora, 1 on Heron, 4 on frigates. Seven of them at level 6, and one of them at level 7. Those on Mora/Heron were timid, others were steady.

Completed Galatia Academy missions, up to the Alpha site, but didn’t manage to beat the monster. Seemed totally out of reach with my largish fleet.

The fleet logistic cost stress had been too high since I recovered Legions and I was barely staying afloat, so I decided to store the Conquest, Legion XIVs, Dominators and Phaetons. I also gave some vacations to a lot of crew. IIRC, I had some more ships already stored: 1 Conquest, 1 Dominator and 1 Mora, all recovered and immediately mothballed, never repaired. Another consequence of this logistic “stress” was I avoided exploring. And another consequence was I turned down offers to buy the new ships (saw a Hyperion once, saw some Furys and Champions).

Also, colonies kept being a credit sink for a while. It took a long long time before I was able to turn a profit.

I reached level 15 during cycle 209.

Phase 2 - cycle 210, smaller fleet, exploring
Officer situation: 1 on Mora, 1 on Heron, 6 on frigates.

Went exploring. Found a system with a nice 75% hazard planet in a corner of the sector. Found a lot of precious artifacts. Optimized my mining facility production with such an artifact and by spending story points. Also boosted accessibility by upgrading spaceports and by spending story points. Finally stopped loosing credits.

Personal bounties, up to 200K
Contact bounties, up to 140K
Delivery missions
A few regular exploration missions

Worth noting, I restarted doing some 50-80K personal bounties, which never happened once I left early game in previous Starsector versions.

Bought a pristine Aurora, which became main piloted ship with AMB, Ion Pulsers and Pulse Lasers.

Built a colony on the 75% hazard planet with food production, and another one on a 200% hazard gas giant in Duzahk. So at this point, cycle 214-215, I have 4 colonies, 2 managed by administrators, 2 managed by player character. Those colony administrators had 2 skills, and a 25K salary each - that momentarily put my economy back into the red.

In battle against large fleets, basically, the rule was to deploy some or all cruisers, Wolves and maybe Hammerheads (100-140 DP). Then deploy the rest if/when required (up to 180 DP). Was successful with 200K regular pirate bounties and a few contact bounties. Battles were kind of slow: so, again, low CR on all ships at the end.

In these battles, I always had 1 to 4 ships from my fleets disabled, and I almost always recovered them. The ships that suffered the most were the Pirate Shrike and Hammerheads. At one point I did not recover the Pirate Shrike, then bought a Falcon and an additional Tempest.

Phase 3 - mid cycle 216, big fight, big loot
So one of my contact, when asked for harder work, started to push bounties with Paragons and Astrals. For a while I declined, until I felt the time had come. I picked from storage my Legion XIVs, Dominators and Phaetons, loaded on fuel and supplies, then went to the fringe system.

The fleet had 2 Paragons, 2 Astral, Herons, Drovers, Shrikes, Afflictors, Shades, a Scarab, a Hyperion, and maybe a TT Brawler. Not the hardest compared to some of the available personal bounties, but still a challenge. Especially as I had to fight 2 Paragons and 1 Astral at once.

After several attempts, the winning strategy was to capture map objectives with Wolves and separate those 3 capitals while clearing the smaller ships using Aurora. I kept an avoid order on those Paragons until they were well separated, then unleashed my fleet on one of them.

Many many ships got disabled, but thankfully I recovered everything except the Falcon. And I got the price: one Paragon and one Astral, each with only one D-mod. Legion XIVs, Dominators and Phaetons went back to storage.

Put Augmented Drive Fields and Efficiency Overhaul into Paragon and Astral, made those part of my fleet, Astral replaced Mora and Heron. One of my timid officers got assigned to Astral, the other one to Omen. One of my steady officers got assigned to Paragon. The D-mod were quickly removed by Field Repair.

I bought a Falcon XIV from a contact or bar encounter, then an additional Falcon from the market. I recovered another Apogee, which went into storage. Basically I was building a fleet while thinking about the monster.

Finally, I found another Hyperion, bought it immediately. After a few tests in the simulator, I made it my first and only SO ship. It became my new flagship, and I split my piloting time between it and Aurora for a while. Brought back a Dominator from storage as I started to fight 300K personal bounties.

Phase 4 - cycle 218, academy quests (contains spoilers)
I used a special outfit on all my ships to deal with the monster. Salamanders, Tactical Lasers, Ion Beams, HVDs, HILs, Atropos from Daggers. Now I’m not used to do that. I mean changing outfit. Because usually I like to keep general purpose loadouts. Also I rarely use Salamanders, Tactical Lasers, Ion Beams, HVDs.

I did 3 attempts at fighting the monster. First was successful but with too many disabled ships. Second attempt was a failure. Third attempt was a success with less casualties. What worked: keep the monster under pressure, try to keep its gun disabled (either it was its high flux, or my EMP worked, or both), and have a few resilient ships endure the heavy damage.

Recovered the monster, with 2 D-hullmods, including Increased Maintenance ( Ha! ;D ) and the flux debuff. I kept it in my fleet for a while so that Field Repair could do its magic. Also used it in some personal bounties.

Even if I eventually put the monster in storage, I continued to fight 300K personal bounties. Usually successful, but with at least one failure where I reloaded the save.

I was then able to finish the Galatia Academy missions leading to opening gates. My understanding is the two girls, researcher and engineer, once reunited, got away.

Opened all gates I could in core and those I had discovered outside. Did a bit more exploration. Upgraded colonies. My fringe colony farming got damaged by an expedition.

Eventually bought my first and second Furys. Put Auroras, Apogees and Dominator into storage, my fleet then travelled speed 9 / max burn 20.

Fleet situation:
1 Paragon with 3 builtin hullmods
1 Astral with 3 builtin hullmods
3 Falcon
2 Fury with 3 builtin hullmods
1 Medusa
1 Hyperion with 3 builtin hullmods
2 Tempest
4 Wolf
1 Omen
1 Prometheus
2 Colossus

Officer situation did not change: 1 steady level 7 on Paragon, 1 timid level 6 on Astral, 1 timid level 6 on Omen, 1 steady level 6 on Tempest, 4 steady level 6 on Wolves.

And I have 30 to 40 ships in storage, a few capitals, frigates and destroyer, and a lot of cruisers.

I think I’m stopping this campaign at this point. I have not played 100% of the content, so I shall see the rest in another campaign.

General Discussion / 0.95 UI scaling does scale UI... and more
« on: March 27, 2021, 12:53:09 PM »
Are you guys using the new UI scaling feature? How do you like it?

Personally I am disappointed.

I have played Starsector in 2560x1440 since version 0.8.1 and have always found text to be too small but have enjoyed the wider view when zoomed out. I though UI scaling would bring the best of both worlds: higher magnification for text and UI controls, keep existing magnification (high-ish resolution / lowish magnification) for main content. But unfortunately this is not the case: it looks like the main content is also scaled by the same factor as the text & UI controls, so if player increases UI scaling, it also increases the magnification of the main content.

Screenshots done with the game set at different resolution + UI scaling combo, fully zoomed out. Player fleet is in the center. These were captured by macOS, so are all recorded in the native display resolution, 5120x2880. I then converted them to 512x288.

2560x1440 - 100%

2560x1440 - 150%

2880x1620 - 200%

Notice how the main content area view got narrower when going from 100% to 150% in 2560x1440. Star disapear, player fleet gets bigger. Same when going from 2560x1440 - 150% to 2880x1620 - 200%.

If it’s not obvious enough, look at the following.

5120x2880 - 100%

5120x2880 - 200%

5120x2880 - 300%

My preference would have been:
  • set game resolution to 2560x1440
  • set game UI scaling to 150%
  • main content view rendered the same as in the "2560x1440 - 100%" screenshot above
  • text & UI controls rendered the same as in the "2560x1440 - 150%" screenshot above

Bug Reports & Support / [0.95a RC8] dim circle / antialiasing issue?
« on: March 26, 2021, 07:58:27 PM »
With 0.95, there is a small issue with the way fleets/stations/objects are rendered on my display: circles seem to be dim. I'm using the default parameters: 2560x1440 resolution with 135% scaling and "8 samples" antialiasing. This is on macOS.

When I disable antialiasing in the Starsector launcher, circles seem to be back to normal, as in 0.9.1.

Side by side screenshots:


I'll keep antialiasing disabled.  :)

From: Tri-Tackyon Corporation Representative
To: Captain Nemo Naemo
Subject: New Release Stream

Captain Naemo,

The Tri-Tackyon Corporation would like to remind you about the contract you signed late Cycle 205. Indeed, as a new release is coming, you are bound to perform a Space Stream quite soon.

As usual, the Tri-Tackyon Corporation is sending standard equipment and insurance papers your way. That said, we have not forgotten about the last incident when you ordered the pilot of a pristine Wolf-class ship to jump past a flying Reaper torpedo, leading to the utter destruction of our fine property. Please be advised not to display such reckless behaviour again. Not only does it cost a lot to financially compensate the pilot’s family, it also damages our reputation as the Premier Reliable And Easy To Fly Best-Tech Ship Producer.

As further incentive to perform a successful Space Stream, the Tri-Tackyon Corporation will gift you a brand new Hyperion-class ship upon reaching level 15. Please consider it as a renewal of our longstanding friendship. As part of our updated Partner Safety Program, do note the ship will come with a mandatory 2000 hours Pilot Training Course, a mandatory 500 hours Admiral Tactical Fleet Deployment Course, and our new Crew Physical&Psychological Conditioning Procedures Manual.

Thank you for your cooperation.

   .   .


Suggestions / automatic DTC to ITU upgrade
« on: February 10, 2021, 01:42:40 PM »
I don’t know, maybe it is a silly idea. Let us say it is a small QoL idea. Nothing fancy. Mmm, ‘kay?

Across all Starsector campaigns I have played, there was (at least) one common boring-because-uselessly-repetitive player fleet progression step.
  • I have a fleet with various ships, including cruisers and maybe capitals, most of those larger non-pure-carrier ships have DTC (Dedicated Targeting Core hullmod).
  • I eventually obtain ITU (Integrated Targeting Unit hullmod).
  • I manually replace all (non built-in) DTC by ITU in my fleet.

So, what about an automatic DTC to ITU upgrade? (limited to non built-in DTC, of course)

Once player fleet reaches a market? Or immediately once ITU is learned, whether at a market or "outside"?

A silent upgrade? Or small notification?

Only ships in current fleet? Ships in storage too?

To put this into perspective, I should mention that I play rather short campaigns. So I do the manual upgrade much more often than someone who plays long campaigns, play time being otherwise equal.

Also, looking at this, I am assuming DTC and ITU will - in the future - keep their existing respective roles, and their existing relationship to one-another.

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