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Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21); Blog post: A Tale of Two Tech Levels (05/28/21)

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Topics - Amoebka

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General Discussion / Locations of special weapons? (spoilers)
« on: April 11, 2021, 10:12:50 AM »
So far I know of 4 different places you can loot new weapons. Is that it? If there are more, please don't tell me where, just say there are more.

The places I know of are:

2 coronal hypershunts
1 high-end remnant bounty
1 alpha site

Everyone's posting their hot takes on skill balance, so here's mine. The skills are fine, it's the aptitudes that are wrong.

Skills, currently, are grouped into aptitudes mostly based on flavour, and not their gameplay use. An aptitude can have fleet-buffing skills, campaign QoL, piloted ships skills and colony skills all mixed together. Since skills are tiered, this forces players to pick skills they fundamentally don't want to unlock the higher ones. Industry has piloted ship skills at tier 2. Anyone who wants colony skills has to pick a skill that applies only to their flagship. Why is this a thing?

Let's now have a look at the 4 aptitudes:

1) Combat. This one is perfect. Every single skill is about buffing your flagship and nothing else. This is how it should be, no big changes needed.

2) Leadership. Here you have fleet-wide bonuses, officer bonuses, frigate and carrier bonuses (?), colony buffs (??!) and rading buffs (??!). Mostly fine, outside of tier 5 colony stuff.

3) Technology. We have campaign QoL, flagship skills, fleetwide buffs, carrier stuff, phase stuff, loadout bonuses and new ships. All over the place, zero cohesion whatsoever. Yes, flavour-wise, navigation and sensors are "tech stuff", but gameplay-wise they have nothing in common with fleet and loadout buffs.

4) Industry. Campaign QoL, flagship skills, fleetwide buffs, zombie ship stuff, colony skills. No cohesion again. A dumping ground for skills that didn't find a place elsewhere.

Suggested improvement is conceptually simple - make aptitudes defined by their GAMEPLAY effects.

1) Combat remains as is - flagship skills only.

2) Leadership is fleetwide buffs, including officers. Remove civilian hull buffs, remove colony and raiding. ECM and phase corps belong here, not tech.

3) Tech is about more freedom in loadouts, encouraging unconventional loadouts and new ship types. Flagship skills go to combat, fleet buffs go to leadership.

4) Industry is about campaign-level QoL and improvements, including ship salvage and zombie fleets. Navigation and sensors go here, not tech. Flagship skills go to combat. Colony skills are ALL dumped here (I know you wanted them separate so players can't have all 4, this was a bad idea as it forced colony skills into leadership, preventing looping). Alternatively, colony skills are removed entirely and moved to admins (with the admin cap increased for everyone). They are simply too far removed from everything else in the game. Industry players are the ones most likely to want them, but even then I don't think it's optimal to have them there.

If all skills in an aptitude are about the same general area of the game, people will feel a lot less miserable about looping around to get the skills they want, or even getting to high-level ones at all.

Just finished both hypershunts and want to know how badly I screwed myself.

General Discussion / Is producing 4 organs even possible?
« on: April 08, 2021, 09:43:18 PM »
Got a bar mission to supply 4 organs from a colony. A size 6 world produces 1 unit, +1 for admin, +1 for an alpha core. Story points don't improve production. Boosters for organs don't exist.

Is the quest an oversight?

General Discussion / Game feels balanced around colony income
« on: April 07, 2021, 04:58:05 AM »
Bounty hunting becomes unprofitable, or, at least, extremely risky, past the initial pirate/pather hits. The amount you get paid barely accounts for fuel and supplies, and losing ships makes it a net loss of money. You have to do multiple quad-capital bounties perfectly to get enough money to buy/restore one capital yourself. Since you can't recover s-modded enemy ships, you don't even get paid in trophies.

It feels like bounty hunting is less of a "career" you can take to make money, and more of a late game entertainment for people willing to waste money on fun combat challenges (and they are fun when you forget about the dreadful campaign layer implications of what you are doing). You MUST have profitable colonies to participate.

And colonies is something you can't earn by doing bounties. Once the enemy fleets scale up (i.e. you get tired of killing the same pirate trashballs over and over), you have to stop bounty hunting, stash your combat fleet, and do HOURS of boring surveying/salvaging. Just dropping mining on the first volcanic world you find isn't going to be good enough. You need to find good planets and industry boosters (which in my experience are terribly rare now). And then you have to WAIT several cycles for them to grow. Boring grind you have to do to be allowed to participate in late game fleet combat without savescumming.

If colonies are indeed supposed to be an unavoidable part of the game allegedly about space combat, make them earnable by combat. Make bounty targets drop guaranteed colony items and data on good planets. People who don't like combat can still find them naturally through exploration, people who want non-stop action can win them by defeating reasonably strong enemies (this is around the 2-3 cruisers part of the game). Everyone's happy.

General Discussion / This is just low
« on: April 06, 2021, 10:01:21 AM »
When you beat a merc fleet with s-modded ships, recoverable ones magically lose them. So much for wanting cool trophy ships. Guess laming trade/colonies and buying stuff is simply better.

General Discussion / Fearless and Reckless
« on: April 06, 2021, 06:13:34 AM »
Is there a difference? AI seemingly die a lot less often than reckless human officers would, but I'm not sure if it's smarter or simply has much better ships/skills.

General Discussion / Does anyone actually play with 120 DP?
« on: April 04, 2021, 02:09:47 AM »
It seems every time late game balance is discussed, people consider 160 vs 240 to be the default. Wasn't "the intended battlesize" 300 total? The difference between 120 and 160 DP is incredible, it's sheer misery and torment vs an actually playable game.

Anyone who plays on 300 willing to come here and tell me I'm just bad and the game is fair and balanced?

Suggestions / Please split the Galatian quest chain
« on: April 02, 2021, 07:47:53 AM »
The Galatian Academy quest chain is an incredibly long (took me 5 hours?), mostly linear chain of mostly fetch quests. The first time around it's quite fun because of all the reading to do, but I can't imagine anyone being happy to do it twice. Its existence severely limits the replayability the game has, and Starsector has been known to be a highly replayable game so far. The chain can hardly be ignored either, because of how improtant the rewards are. (Cue people commenting about how you can find the alpha site without the quest as if it's not a 1 in a 1.000.000 random chance).

Proposed solution: split the chain into multiple independent shorter chains. Neutrino detector, Transverse Jumping, Alpha Site, At the Gates. Maybe lock some of them behind player level requirements so people don't rush them.

On a somewhat related note, it's really lame that quests that award abilities have no special reward if you already know the ability from a skill. Would be nice to have upgraded versions for people with both. (Transverse Jump can charge faster, Neutrino Detector can no longer give false readings).

Suggestions / Give Kite(S) more OP
« on: April 19, 2020, 04:38:17 AM »
Right now Kite(S) is a purely joke ship. It has no weapons and less OP than Kite(A).

If it had more OP than Kite(A) it would have a distint tactical niche - being a support ship with fleet-buffing hullmods. It can already do that, but a Kite(A) can do the same better.

My suggestion is 40 or 50 OP. This way, it could mount Operations Center + ECM/Nav (or both). Finally players who don't want to pilot themselves (a rare and suboptimal playstyle, but still) can chill in their pimped out shuttle and give orders.  ;)

General Discussion / High-tech warships
« on: April 19, 2020, 02:47:42 AM »
It has come to my attention that a concerning amount of people here believes that there's nothing wrong with the current balance of medium energy weapons. As such, I would like to ask everyone to post what they believe to be viable loadouts for the following high-tech warships that rely on medium energy as their main (only) source of damage.

List of ships:

Wolf, Brawler (TT), Medusa.
Optionally: Shrike(HT) and Aurora builds that still remain even remotely useful after they run out of sabots.

Rules are as follows:

1) Ship is optimized for large scale fleet vs fleet combat typical of the campaign layer of the game, NOT the usual "1v1 sim vs skillless Onslaught" or anything equally ridiculous.

2) Ship is meant for general combat, not utility/support and playing second fiddle for ballistic ships. A high-tech fleet should do fine on its own.

3) Either AI or player flagship is fine.

4) No loadout design 3.

Optional hardmode: your Medusa loadout has to be at least as useful as meta Hammerhead builds. Not even 20% better as DP implies, just as useful.

Give me your worst.  :D

General Discussion / The worst Sunder in the galaxy.
« on: April 09, 2020, 03:28:23 AM »
A very minor and entertaining "bug" that might not even need fixing, but still.

Galatia has all the tutorial wrecks and fleets in it, even if the player decides to skip the tutorial proper. This includes a few rogue miner fleets with overdriven Sunders in them. It is possible to recover them after battle, and at least one of these Sunders is... different. It has 3 medium energy mounts instead of the usual 2 medium 1 large. This isn't a D-mod, it's just an older version of the defective hull. To the best of my knowledge, it is the only Sunder like that in the sector. A true collectible, indeed.  :D

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Suggestions / Outsourcing exploration
« on: April 09, 2020, 02:10:38 AM »
With colonies becoming more and more essential as the game nears release, extensive exploration becomes virtually mandatory. It takes several hours of gameplay just to scout enough systems to find good planets, and locating cryosleepers is an even worse grind. While some players enjoy it, some don't.

Personally, I prefer playing with the combat parts of the game more, doing bounties and hunting remnants. However, I eventually outgrow starting bounties, and need bigger and bigger fleets. Large fleets are expensive to maintain, and colonies are the only source of income that can reasonably sustain them. This means that I have to stop doing what I enjoy doing, stash all my battleships at Asharu/Mayasura, dust off my Ventures and spend 5+ hours staring at hyperstorms. There should be a better way.

We already have prospector fleets in the game, so why not allow players to hire them to look for colonizeable planets in bar events? Or, even simpler, allow them to sell full survey data on interesting planets for a price. This way, players who don't enjoy exploration can use their bounty money to bypass the part of the game they resent, and the ones who enjoy exploration don't miss on anything.

Suggestions / Please add high-tech freighters and tankers
« on: October 09, 2019, 08:41:32 AM »
We all know how important freighters/tankers are. No fleet can really get by without them for long. Sadly, all high-end freighters and tankers are low-tech.

Why is this a problem? Well, the visual design of them clashes badly with the rest of an otherwise fully high-tech armada. In fact, you can't really have a fully high-tech armada, because that would mean no freighters and no tankers!

Even worse, low-tech ships have red engine fumes. This means that on the campaign layer, your "high-tech" fleet won't have the pretty all-blue tail, it will have ugly red stripes in it! Trust me, I know how idiotically petty this all sounds, but for some people, like me, that's a big enough deal to post about it here.

On a somewhat related note, Buffalo is considered a high-tech ship, but has red engine fumes. Almost feels like a scam. That, at least, should be an easy fix.

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Not sure if this is intended, but pathers don't know and/or don't care about AI cores on your colony as long as you don't have any industries that offend them by default. My planet had an AI admin and alpha cores in population, megaport and farming, yet not even sleeper cells appeared. Admin alone is +10 interest, which should be enough for active cells. As soon as I built mining, though, I instantly got active cells that listed all of the above as reasons. My guess is that the code that spawns cells only executes when there is an "industrial" industry on the planet, and doesn't check for AI cores otherwise?

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