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Starsector 0.96a is out! (05/05/23); Blog post: Colony Crises (11/24/23)

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Messages - sector_terror

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Blog Posts / Re: Uniquifying the Factions, Part 2
« on: April 30, 2022, 07:01:22 PM »
Im gonna be quick on this one since I dont have a lot of time because one thing bugs me.

     Why is the Dictat being so brushed off like it's run by a complete fool? The guy running the show had to have some capability and intelligence to remain a faction leader. It seems like vilifying him to a degree the other actions just don't receive. Yes, he's a dictator and those don't tend to be kind merciful people but that doesn't he's a total madman with no sort of competence at all. It just paints the Dictat as a straight villain faction when either all four need to be painted as equally unstable or, more wisely, equally prone to more local injustices due to the lack of FTL communication and centralized systems of control. It's fine to have this cartoonish evil fool if your setting up a dramatic plotline for him to get taken down and replaced for a dramatic purpose(be it as a challenge for another villain to overcome or the heroes to overcome) but it's not good for background settings the player needs to depend on as reasonable backing and is damages the gameplay due to the excellent gameplay and story integration you've put in Starsector. Especially since even if you took in down in some campaign story, the new guy would be beyond foolish to keep using the current designs.

     If you want to go with the dictator that thinks he's better than he is(well get to the control aspect in a second), then I suggest going to an image with more viable stability and brazzen stubborness. Look up Admiral Fisher and the K-class submarines.(If you want the full story look up "The Battle of May Island" by Fredrick Khudson, its very well researched) The man wasn't wildly incompetent. He was reasonable that speed and firepower were the more important element of fleet action during his tenure. Submarines and ranged projection were just making speed less important and he was struggling to adapt to it or the concept of independent deployment submarines are best fit to. He wasn't a fool, just confident in his incredible amount of experience and stubborn in one key area, fleet operation. Take away the in-build D-mod and boom, problem solved. For example:

     The man has seen advancing energy weapons and shown a deep appreciation for their development despite his inexperience with them. Thus he has a principle of how to make them, but doesn't quite know the exact details of why they work so well for Tri Tachyon ships(which he likely used in the rebellion). The fact he can design these weapons at all shows his engineer skills and ability to manage his fleet toward him his skill as an admiral. You still the man who wants to keep control in all things making logical mistakes by spreading himself too thin and not delegating or trusting his officer well, but dont make him a total fool. You keep the story, and get a much stronger stable background character. Hell even keep the vert obviously stolen Percius design as it shows just how brilliant he is and how much he values keeping his empire under a single controlling decision, on top of his willingly to cannibalize other technologies quickly, even before he completely grasps them.

     From a gameplay standpoint: dont gimp the diktat fleet for unstable worldbuilding, Let the Lion Guard have their unique upgrades more fit to the guys design, with extra bonuses to speed and flux dissipation(perhaps even showing more the dictator doesnt quite understand the strategic use of energy weapons but has some knowledge of the tri-tachyon design paradigm he stole) similar to fourteenth battlegroup variants. Speed and flux dissipation are different than the fourteenth and work well with the weapons clearly stolen from tri-tech's playbook as in the blog. It let The Lion guard have the oompf it deserves without losing the story integration.

     For the story standpoint: A dictator failing to delegate well and being far too stubborn for his own good is a fine flaw to play off of. Just like the Luddic Church having to come to terms with the shared ideology between them and the path(I can think of several ways they're different but I don't want to step on any writers toes here) or the hegemony with the unwillingness to adapt to challenges caused by the fall of the gates and desire to cling to rules and systems depend on the greater empire that's no longer present. Hell the fact the dictators willing to just straight steal design specs either shows how terrifyingly good as intelligence he is, or how terrifyingly strong an admiral he is he can just reconstitute entire enemy designs with his own style. It make him a lot more terrifying a figure and justify why he's still in such power only having a single system.

     That turned out longer than I thought but I'm passionate danget! No I don't know why it stood out to me so much but now that I see it brain cant unsee it.

Blog Posts / Re: Of Slipstreams and Sensor Ghosts
« on: September 27, 2021, 04:39:40 PM »
Well, there went my November update prediction.

I always have enough problems managing fuel and movement, lord knows what this will do to balancing the pay or bounty jobs given how much it changes navigation.

Blog Posts / Re: Skill Changes, Part 2
« on: July 15, 2021, 03:50:44 PM »
Just as a quick addition, I do want to echo Morrokain's question about Administrators. Is it possible to let them retain a unique set of skills that the players dont have access to, thus keeping the same skill system for admins we have and increasing the diversity of administrators? I 100% agree with the colony skills discussion(which will likely be in my wall of text on this) but I think reverting admins to just be weak expansions on the number of colonies rather than definable skillful(or weak) admins is also reverting a system that makes players think about their administrators(or seek out constant improvements) isn't a wise idea.

Plus now that I write this and thus think about it, it likely adds in potential later down the line to have a more expansive colonization system without toying with player skills.

General Discussion / Re: New player feedback
« on: July 15, 2021, 03:08:10 PM »
Man, bveen a while since I've felt engaged enough by a post to do a point by point. Here we go.

Progression: Point 1 I -heavily- disagree here. I find it already takes some time to get into the big boy ships, and taking in games years to move toward cruisers, let alone capitals, would be insane. Don't forget, ships getting lost in combat is normal, and if every single loss in combat of anything past frigate level was the price tag of a million or two, it would make basically any loss as cruiser or capital ship an instant reset. It's already an instant reset for basically every job. And let's not forget the increase in pay for bounties that would have to happen, and the proportional increase in trade contracts to keep things even. It just further make trade missions overpowered -and- put a game already at very minimal capacity for loss to even higher extremes. The whole game is balanced around the price of ships given how combat centric it is, to multiple these prices by a scale of 10 would be an insane destabilization.

Progression: Point 2 Commissions already locks a lot behind it for all practical purposes. The difference between getting an Aurora, a Medusa, and even something as simple as an Atlas with commission, is a night and say difference compared to without. And Commission itself isn't something that should be forced upon the player, especially with the long term consequences it can have on relations. Even getting military from contacts is hard RNG and too rare to be depended on. I have in some cases spent in games -months- looking for the proper set of weapons to equip to a capital, and see maybe one or two capitals in the open market in in game years. On the occasion I get cruisers, there's maybe one or two, with commissions holding 3 copies of the same cruisers. I'm estimating time if it isn't obvious but you get the point. commission is already a rewarding option and contacts take a long time to give building contracts, making commissions effectively required for fleet advancement would just be forcing a system that should be an option.

Progression: overall If I want a long con game of glacial development, I'll play Stellaris or replay Trails in the sky, Tales of Symphonia, or Pathfinder:kingmarker. I don't want Starsector to turn into a game where I spend weeks in real time to get to the end-game. I dont want it to take 5 minutes, but if it took 3 days of playing everyday 2 hours a day to get even a chance at a capital, I'd never play. Forgive me if I'm not skilled enough at this game to give you an exact time scale, but I think extending the progression any further would just push into the wrong direction. I admit some bias, as I'm a man who like replaying things. When I played guild Wars 2 I delete old toons and made new toons all the time to replay that progression, so I absolutely favor quicker build to slower development, but I dont think my perception is just bias.

Officers, point 1 I can't entirely disagree with the point made. Officers do seem to level in the scale the player does which -does- make officers grow very quickly. It does mean recycling new officers to adjust for fleet composition pre-colony stage is easier, or if you just dont want colonies(I haven't read skill changed part 2 yet so don't know the effects there). As for numbers, it only really matters heavily in late-game super bounties, since the RC(14, I think) update made those fleets with more than maybe 3-4 officers over the player maximum limited to level 9 and 10 bounties(I might be misremembering numbers slightly, but you get the idea). Even then colonies are already very powerful, I dont think making them even stronger is the wisest idea.

Officers, point 2 I'm amazed you enjoy aggressive officers. I find them almost reckless and stick strictly to steady officers. Maybe I need to branch out but.....I'm not sure. Then again I would -not- want an aggressive officer on a Sunder or any low tech burn drive ships(the upcoming update might change the latter but that's another subject). I guess the AI is more diverse than I thought.

Interface, part 1 Can I ask for an example? I'm drawing a blank on what information you're talking about. There is a bar specifically to see the length of time for the ship systems. Range I'll give you but that only applies to a slim few abilities like the Omen/Shade and the Doom's mines. It's a bit specific to alter the UI for.  The weapon range one would be nice, though the way they get altered via things like skills might make that difficult, though perhaps I'm speaking out place there.

Alt Key movement Okay this one I dont know what you're talking about. Is there -another- system I just didn't know about until now? The last one was just me never thinking to do something(admittedly something stupid but w/e), this sounds like internal files. Not that I can do anything, Alt being a button would indeed risk a few things on Windows.

Firing Admins Yeah, that one isn't clear. You go to the "command" screen(default D, check the bottom left buttons, it's there do) and see "Manage administrators"(default w) from that first tab. It is a bit unclear, though I really don't know any other place to put it so I can only complain so much.

Map controls Wait what? but clicking on a star does quickly give you access to the start map. Holding left click opens a drop menu that includes "show star map" as option 1. I routinely hit that button accidentally. I'm a little baffled you have trouble with that. The button to go back is a visible button at the top left of the map as well. Maybe it's a bit small and easy to miss, but thats being charitable. Maybe put them on the bottom right so -all- map controls at below and easier to find? Honestly sounds like it isn't a bad idea.

Extra skill shortcuts Interesting idea. Consider developing this further for the suggestions section of the forums, and I hope moders see this suggestions I think it's interesting. I know a lot of modern games have saved skill builds, it be nice to have.

Well that's my thoughts on the matter. I hope you enjoy the game man, it's absolutely worth it and the faster progression does mean the replay value for new styles of contact development and fleet composition style every game just expands. It's not an easy game to learn, especially the combat, but it's rewarding once you "get" it, and nowhere near something like Crusader Kings 2 or anything.

Bug Reports & Support / Re: Probe inside a star. .95a RC15
« on: July 14, 2021, 08:51:16 AM »
Well, it happened again, almost right after. This time with a Comm Relay. I never knew the levels of divine that Luddic path reached to, that they can build inside a star. same scenerio, first time entering the system and it's just, inside the star. This one's actually a bit worse in implication because, while entirely harmless pre-built, the idea an undeveloped point could be in a star like this is....concerning.

I'll keep an eye out if this occurs to spawned fleets like bounties as much as I'm capable, since I'm curious if this is an issue with seed-based spawns or the sector loading. If it helps any, I notice this has only occurred(so far) in places where bounties are set. I don't know how helpful that is since I'm not a heavy explorer and that's how I normally discover star systems, but if anyone is more the explorer type, it be interesting to know how that would effect this event.

Bug Reports & Support / Probe inside a star. .95a RC15
« on: July 14, 2021, 07:13:39 AM »
So, I went to hunt down a bounty and this happened. This domain era survey probe spawned inside of a star. This is -not- a visual glitch. I tried to actually land on it, and the thing is in fact inside of the star itself, and otherwise functions normally. This is the first time I've visited this star if that's also relevant. I have a larger png picture if needed that the forum wont let me post, but I tried to include everything relavent

I am 100% sure it isn't relevant to any degree, but I am including it -just- in case because I'm way too cautious about these reports. The only mod I'm running is the adjustableSkillthreshholds1.0 Mod which makes the game, According to Starsector, have a red error for "Vram low..." at almost all times. So far as I can tell from my OS, Starsector is entirely wrong, and I'm only adding this part just in case.

edit: hilarious, this did accidentally help me learn a fun little thing I can do involve AI cores. It will suddenly make colonizing a certain planet a lot more viable.

Blog Posts / Re: Skill Changes, Part 1
« on: July 08, 2021, 11:09:46 AM »
why do you do this to me Alex? Why do you make updates so interesting and well written I stop wanting to play the current release and play the new one instead? This is the third time you've done this. Stop doing this me! The hype is not good for my brian!

General Discussion / Re: More missions
« on: June 02, 2021, 03:38:11 AM »
Thaago's right. Missions can be made fairly easily. And with the list of commands given to moders, you could make whole campaigns. I'd consider doing it if I had the time.

General Discussion / Re: the #1 reason I don't play this game
« on: June 02, 2021, 03:35:58 AM »
I agree with Linnis in that several commands, the more extreme ones like hard elliminate, makes the AI follow orders fine. I'd rather slower more cautious battles where I'm the hero instead of an RTS where I'm playing tactician. When I put my units onto eliminate, I better be certain it can be killed fast or is worth the risk, because my ships WILL put themselves into harms way and push their flux and armor to their limits to kill that target. I barely use that command -because- it  draws the AI to be so reckless. Imagine taking that concern to no end. Would you want frigates to follow around and play shield/fire support for s ship currently surrounded and do nothing to fall back when it finds itself getting flanked? Would you want ships to stop their charges and return to defend a point the second even a single enemy shows up to it? Even midway through a joint 2 on 2 between you & it versus another two enemy ships? Would you want ships to ditch you and any hope of a line engagement just to chase the one remaining target with a harass order?

It's this level of babysitting that made me outright quit Mount&Blade. In that game your tactical play was such a deciding factor that your melee skills meant nothing. You barely ever had to fight, or even could, since battles were over in a flash. My archer lines cripples enemies, my melee lines were torn to shreds in seconds. On the other side, a good unit could decimate enemies like nothing. I couldn't just make simple orders and leave them either, because the AI was so good at following those orders, they'd follow it right to their deaths even when it was against their own self-preservation. All of this because combat had each unit more eager to attack then to care for their own survival. It means if I wasn't babysitting, I'd lose units I didn't need to. The same is true here. Losses are massively expensive, and even a few frigates can make bounties lose all profit. If I had to live in constant fear like that, I'd turn my flagship to auto-pilot and never leave the command screen.

General Discussion / I've come to an appreciation
« on: April 26, 2021, 09:22:03 PM »
I just came back from doing some attempts in Stellaris after the new update and gives you some perspective. I've been iffy about getting back in starsector until the skills are more balanced, but it reminded me that I need to stop living in a pipe dream where the game need be perfect to my standard. I have a settings file to make the game easier if I want. The game is excellent with the flaws far from "glaring" and hardly making the game unplayable. Meanwhile in Stellaris, a 4x game, where basic required information like the ability to see your opponents border or any alliances they're in is now locked behind a system which is only fully functional if you buy the newest DLC.

When you come back to a game you love to see it broken to the point of unplayable. It makes you appreciate the game that only has minor flaws

Well spoken morrokain. Your a better orator than I. If I could give you thumbs, I would

This is arguably worse. Just coming in a bigger package.  Unattractive clutter is still Unattractive. Trying to balance around a whole cluster of skills make imbalance more significant. Some skill in the upper tier is vastly better and more important than the other skills. It overshadow other skill, and possible reason to pick that entire tree. It simply mean it isn't balance against other skills, it unbalance the whole skills tree and probably unbalance the whole skill system. Nothing change, it is not balanced.

Oh I agree, it's not balanced. The choices are just more highlighted since they're now more directly compared against others. The old system wasn't balanced either, but it remains unbalanced as is. But the idea it isn't even a choice in concept and that it's the systems fault is the thing I have a problem with. It being disbalanced? We agree, I've made my concerns on that before. But it doesn't mean choice is removed, just that it isn't a well balanced choice


Almost every every game I played I picked very similar skills explicitly because I know I want a very specific thing out of the game, and those skills were the means to do that. [...] I don't consider skills for re-playability purposes, because tbh most of them don't really interest me that much. And finding different things is much better in that regard anyway.

Exactly. You want to play the same way every time with the exact same amount of power. You can CHOOSE to replay again and again all youd like, picking the same ships, using the same tactics and strategies, with the same ksill picks. But then your not really using the replay value given to you. That's fine, you can choose to do that if you'd like, but demanding your choices means the replay value doesn't exist is just short-sighted. It may not be the thing you're interested in, but that replay value is quite valuable to me and many others, and you can't just declare it non-existent because it's not the kind of variation you personally want.

and look, that's fine. Go pick the best skills for the "Easier" play experience if you'd like. IF that's what you wanna do cool, but the old skill system has exactly as many problems with skill balancing, and the only reason people didn't notice was they just ignored it. But now you have to make choices to choices to get what you want, you can't just get everything all at once. We agree it's still in desperate need of fine-tunning, Alex himself has said so and I've written full essays on it multiple time, but let's not ignore what's there and call the hole system trash because you dont get the end-result you use to get.

General Discussion / Re: Impressions about skills in 0.9.5
« on: April 25, 2021, 10:26:08 AM »
I can kill any fleet, that's good enough for me. I also tried phase ships, and I could kill any fleet, just two different approaches. I don't enjoy grinding SP, and I couldn't care less about min-maxing experience. I find that when my colonies get to max size with full cores and items and I've explored everything, there's nothing left to do that's interesting. I'll farm cores for a bit for the challenge, but I usually abandon the campaign some time around there.

Hey I'm not alone. I also never understood the obsession with phase ships. I see the results sure, but I'm also one of those guys who can't get those results.

Legacy fleets still work well enough to kill everything. If you don't want to play with phase ships, you can still do everything in the game. I personally think the phase skills should be removed entirely, and maybe some of the bonuses can be distributed to other skills in weaker forms.

Well enough? How many fights are you doing with them at 500% difficulty rating? And how fast do you farm SPs after lvl15?

Why are you fighting fleet battles with that kind of difficulty? I got close to post-game and never once had anywhere near that kind of disadvantage. I called at 325% and that was when I got ambushed due to my own mistakes. If this is hard end-game, then maybe discussion of the difficulty balancing of the superboss grade optional fights are in order. Or maybe you're just rushing into fights your not anywhere near prepared for and you deserve to get crushed.

General Discussion / Re: Impressions about skills in 0.9.5
« on: April 25, 2021, 10:22:45 AM »
There is no balance in the current version. You have legacy fleet (low, mid and high non-phase techs) what was designed as mutually balanced as possible and lives by its rules. And you have new fleet of ships what break said rules. Intentionally, since they are either fleet destroying bosses or "exotic touch" needed for other ship to look "normal". Of course they are hands down better. By design. I see no room for discussion here. We can have endless debate about whats better: Paragon, Onslaught or  Conquest but not about this.

Secret ships and the like are explicitly out of balance and shouldn't even be factored in. I don't like those kinds of easter egg style 'secrets'(and they aren't well hidden either) are even in the game, but they are 100% harmless since they dont have any investment cost. I dont have to spend a skill point or dedicate a colony slot to it or something. Mind you I still think it's bad, but it doesn't suddenly drastically effect the flow of the game, unless Alex is using it to consider the difficulty scaling for end-game superboss style fights. That would indeed be trash and be of serious issue. The balancing here depends on how much your required to interact with it. Far as I know, neither the enemy designs for what is effectively post-game or any permanent cost, actually use it. You can ditch them all without sacrifice of any kind.

tl;dr: The existance of the scarab gun in Halo 2 doesn't make the game unbalanced. A lot of things do, but the scarab gun isn't one of the,

With all that said I must add that my point is that current skill system is non-existent because all that "no fun allowed" policy towards legacy fleet. Phase road is like fast track career option you know. You just got yourself your first Afflictor(P) and the next thing you know you are so overpowered that the game have nothing to offer as a challenge. But on the slow track you are getting your bonus armor cut into thirds because it is so important that old ships should be still vulnerable to medium caliber guns. I just can't stress enough how important this all is under Rift Torpedo fire... And since I'm unable to unsee the whole Zig blitz possibility I'm feeling like I'm done with the current build.

Okay if your blaming .9.5 for phase ship balancing then you are way off in another universe. They were a "problem," since way before this new update. Phase ships are extremely high reward high risk ships, for lack of sustainable defenses you get near invulnerability. Effectively, you decide how much flux to use regardless of enemy fire. But, it means you have nothing to small arms, so even light attacks which would mean nothing to other ships, are a drain on your flux, and defending and defending at the same time is impossible. some people have managed that into a such a skill they are effectively untouchable. Using this st a staple of balancing, is like balancing the difficulty of Minecraft mobs to speedrunners like Dream. Phase ships have to be balanced with the AI and general players, not the literal best of the best. If you found a way to use a skill I don't have to break the game, cool. But not everyone can use phase ships effectively.

Now, I have made clear, within my knowledge, why people see success with these ships. I am not one of those people, and if I am wrong to exactly what mechanics and numbers make them so overpowered, perhaps you would be wise to start a thread discussing the ins and outs of phase ships and what specifically allows this supposed behavior. As for the Zig(debating if I wanna go spoiler on that one), it is addressed above. If you cant stop yourself from using an optional SNK boss not likely considered in balancing your opposition, then it's entirely a you problem. You don't blame the scarab gun, for you using the scarab gun.

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