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Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21); Blog post: Skill Changes, Part 2 (07/15/21)

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Messages - Shoat

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1
Mods / Re: [0.95a] Unusually Gullible Hullmods 0.2.0a
« on: June 26, 2021, 12:57:21 PM »
These are very interesting. Altough I'm equally confused as to what they actually do in battle without a GIF, especially Inverted Phase Dilator and Arsenal Clock!

The description makes it sound like it gives you the "accellerated time" of phasing without the "is untargetable" and "can't fire weapons" of phasing, which explains the severe drawbacks of the hullmod.

2
Good to hear that this is still worked on.

I've always liked the ammo reloading mechanic ever since it (briefly) was part of the game officially (since both the earlier 'ballistics are just empty at some point' and the current 'ballistics are infinite' feel unsatisfying).

Looking forward to it!

3
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: April 08, 2021, 07:06:08 AM »
That is a pretty good point. It might even be preferrable if the enemy fleet which was tracking you would either be forced to fight you or to let you do your thing if they don't want to stop you with weapon fire.

Yeah I've always wondered why there isn't a "whatever, let them try to stop me" dialogue option there, where it either forces a fight with the offending fleet or they back down and you can do your salvaging.

4
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: April 07, 2021, 12:28:18 PM »
I get the feeling that the contracted officers need to go, and become contracted mercs force, their own independent command that travels with you (at your supply and fuel expensens) and fight with you, much like a friendly AI force would, but for X ammount of time

I agree that merc officers are kinda meh, if only because it's a micromanage-y thing that only becomes relevant once you are already at max officers (which are already a bit micromanage-y to begin with).

I would much prefer if it was just "Hey I am a merc captain with these stats, in this ship, equipped with these weapons, I join your fleet for X time if you pay me" and then it's just an extra dude with his own ship fighting for you. Maybe there could also be seperate mercenary commanders that have a little fleet, whatever.

Should probably not be an independent fleet following you, tho, since that would make map navigation become awkward (they could get lost far-off, distracted, or be caught by enemies you wanted to avoid, etc.). They should just be an addition to your fleet (that ignores the 30 ship limit and you cannot directly issue commands to them in combat) instead of flying around near you independently.

I remember there was a mount&blade warband mod (was it part of floris?) where you could join some king's army as a mercenary, essentially just integrated into their army and fighting for them (instead of following them on the map and assisting), and that's kinda what I would prefer for mercenaries because, as I said, managing an on-the-map allied fleet feels really awkward.


My personal favorites are:
- you can't buy ships, ever; only loot-restore them or build your own, but!
- no exploration until you have at least 1 cruiser(+)-sized exploration ship (like Apogee); with the above rule you have to hunt for it first

Stuff like this is good, I am happy that there are some other people playing games in a way to try and have some challenge, instead of just playing the optimal way and then complaining it's too easy.

5
Mods / Re: [0.9.1a] Ship/Weapon Pack 1.12.4
« on: April 07, 2021, 09:56:28 AM »
Any major errors / crashes using this with 0.9.5 or is it in a "works but doesn't interact with new features" state?
I think that the ships are still valid but you’d have to move them out by yourself to play with them immediately. It’s called Ship & Weapon Pack but there’s a lot more content than just ships & weapons.

I already tried that, but unfortunately I lack the ability to do that for more complex mods like this.

My attempt to, for example, extract the cathedral ship into a separate mod (I once upon a time wanted to experiment with trying to make a pather version that is all safety-overridden and ill-advised modification'd) failed because the Linked Hull special hullmod it uses has some actual code (swp_linkedhull.java) attached to it, which crashes on load.
This is probably because of dependencies to other pieces of code that I didn't extract alongside, but I'm not good at reading starsector.log to figure out which exactly, and if I just start extracting more and more bits of SWP to stop errors I'll end up with the full mod again.

At this point it's not that big of a deal, tho, I'll just wait for stuff to get properly updated.

6
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: April 07, 2021, 09:40:42 AM »
There are no carrier skills for officers, just warship or general-purpose skills.

That's just outright not true.
Strike Commander and Point Defense can be on officers, both of them are carrier skills.

7
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: April 07, 2021, 07:54:39 AM »
I also just want to say: I would really appreciate a hard mode for the game. The normal difficulty is fine starting out, but it's just not very challenging economically.

While searching, I found this good post on the subject from someone in 2019:

Quote
As much as I'd love to sink another 100 hours into the game, the meta is just too easy. 2h in everything seems to lose purpose as your power level just explodes.
Hyperspace travel is essentially hassle-free. The factions are either not aggressive enough or they don't have enough fleets overall ( and I'm on negative with all but Hegemony ). The only hassle is the annoyance of navigating the "storms" and occasionally avoiding the very few stronger faction fleets. Avoiding the fleets is fairly easy as the strong ones are generally much slower.

The skill-driven power explosion was unsatisfactory as well. Overall skills feel meaningless when you get so many so quickly.

The stipend + commission down-right break the already fragile economy.
By fragile I mean:
 The over-supply of ships ( they are more common than ore or basic supplies .... )
 The ship prices are ludicrously low. Even at 2x their current cost they would still be ridiculously low. ( I had an Onslaught with 1D 4h in, did not break the bank either )
 Trade routes are way too easy to abuse ( it's worse than in the usual grind-trading systems since your viable options are actually lower but the payouts much higher )
 Rewards are way too big for non-combat "quests". ( to be read as those without a cost sink )
 Basic supplies are way too cheap and abundant.
 I have more weapons than storage slots to put them in ( from salvage ). Granted, they are not rare but nor did I ever feel the need for rare weapons or stronger ships ( 7h in this run ).
 
To make things worse, the faction standings are too easy to recover from and overall feel very artificial. They switch and change too often and easily, making them lose substance.
IMHO accepting a comission should be a big, game-changing thing, not just an easy way into cash.

The explosion of skills has been addressed, but that's pretty much it.

I suppose I can look into making a "hard mode" mod myself. I've never done any modding before, but I really like this game in every other respect.

One of the biggest issues to me is that it feels like the actual fun parts are quite separated from how to make money. If I want to make money, I do a bunch of trading. Then, with that nest egg, I can go around having fights. But fighting because you're some leisure-class dilettante who wants to hunt the "most dangerous game" is very different from the idea in the lore of struggling to survive. Fighting, exploring... these are money losers (certainly when you look at the opportunity cost).


That's a matter of customization.
The game's plenty hard for a new player until they figure it all out out, and then it's on them to not play in a manner that trivializes the game. If you find that trading a lot early to get rich quick makes the game easy, then... don't do that?

Also:
Stipend can be turned off in the config file.
You can choose not to take a commission, or adjust how much it is worth.
You can enable spacer start (which IIRC starts you with literally nothing) in the config.
You can adjust the prices of ships and basic supplies yourself... hell, pretty much any "number isn't right for my tastes" problem you have can be solved by editing a simple text file in the game folder.

Eventually Alex will probably make a big boi difficulty himself, but until then we can help ourselves while he does more important things that we can't just adjust ourselves in text files.

8
Mods / Re: [0.9.1a] Ship/Weapon Pack 1.12.4
« on: April 06, 2021, 06:19:59 PM »
Any major errors / crashes using this with 0.9.5 or is it in a "works but doesn't interact with new features" state?

9
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« on: November 01, 2020, 03:30:22 PM »
Are wars between factions going to be possible at some point? That's one thing I always wanted to see in Starsector.

Honestly, I don't really see doing that - that's veering into straight-up 4x territory, and the game isn't really designed around that / it's not a direction I want to go in. I could see something more event-driven happening along these lines, but not for example a fully dynamic situation where colonies are changing hands left and right and so on.

I do agree that this is a good angle to implement wars from.
I could totally see there being small to medium sized conflicts (some really big battles in one system, followed by an attempted siege, followed by a temporary ceasefire treaty as both factions recover), implemented as a dynamically-generated event between factions that are very hostile to each other.
On their own, not a big difference, but maybe someone playing very very long campaigns could see a faction grow much more powerful and another faction wiped out?

This could help give the sector some feeling of there being bigger conflicts, without the issues (difficult-to-implement, hard for performance, chaotic for player to be caught in) of a full-blown war.

10
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« on: October 24, 2020, 06:03:26 PM »
I have literally never taken ships from the pirates. Anything with defects is automatic trash, and you get enough money in the first thirty minutes of a game to finance a small carrier fleet.

That's quite a self-harming way of playing the game.
There are plenty of D-mods that have not-too bad or even insignificant (or rarely even completely irrelevant) penalties, and all d-mods have the positive effect of making ships cheaper supplies-wise (even more so with the relevant skill), so deciding to automatically decline salvage on anything just because it has a d-mod and then spending your resources on buying ships (which is highly inefficient) is just shooting yourself in the foot for literally no reason. I'd understand playing like that as a pride-themed challenge run, at best.

11
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« on: October 20, 2020, 09:24:50 AM »
So if a guy wants to play extremely long games where a size 7 colony won't take 30 cycles but thanks to his min-maxing will only take 20 cycles to complete.... shouldn't we let him have it? It's not a massive upgrade and he won't feel like he's arbitrarily locked out of having a "real planet". It's just that like a "real planet", it will happen over a course of decades or centuries and not just years.

The idea is to stop people from forcing themselves into gameplay that is not fun, because they feel they have to play "optimally" or "max out everything". If just some people who really want to hang around in a save for 50 years were to see the colonies grow to size 7, that would not be a problem. But if people hang around in the game, actually bored out of their mind, just to see that number change from 6 to 7, that's bad game design.

"Just forbid it completely" is the nuclear option, though, and should be used as a last resort in the most extreme cases only.
Way too many games do this way too often - completely forbidding players from doing certain things because there *may* be a difficult design decision somewhere down the road there.

In this particular case, I think it's extremely important that we be allowed to potentially grow colonies as large as all the pre-existing factions' colonies (given enough time and economic boom to draw in population), even if it is not required to succeed within the main gameplay loop, or likely to happen in any average campaigns.
A hard-limit that entirely takes this off the table from the very get-go is kind of taking me out of the "your faction is a real faction" vibe that I want. One of the most amazing strengths of this game is that I am using the same ships, the same mechanics to equip those ships, to staff them with officers, etc. as the NPCs. For the most part it feels like I am playing the same game as them, and that is good. Similarly, the core fantasy of being able to start my own faction is that I am playing on an equal playing field with the big guys and can also get to where they are if I surpass enough hardships (which is also what makes starting your own faction in mount&blade so satisfying, RP-wise), but it kinda takes some of the wind out of the sails if I know from the get-go that there is an insurmountable upper barrier that cannot be surpassed no matter what.

I mean yes, sure, there are some extremely obsessive players who inflict harm upon themselves if given freedom, but that is a poor excuse to take things away from ALL players. Because you cannot reasonably sift through every single part of the entire game and cut out or limit stuff that promotes obsessiveness, and do whatever needs to be done to your game to ensure nobody hurts their enjoyment by obsessing over something. If you did, what would even be left of starsector? Every part of this game is obsessiveness-bait.

12
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.9.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: April 06, 2020, 08:30:44 PM »
I'm surprised so many people have trouble without using a military base/HQ to defend with.  Very rarely have I had to race in and save a colony from a potential raid, as most of the time once I've got planetary shields it's pretty much fine, especially when a pristine nanoforge is boosting my ships.

When you've got planetary shields and pristine nanoforge fleets you are already at the end of progression anyway. That scenario is kinda irrelevant when discussing the difficulty of defending your empire while it grows.

I mean, you don't see people saying "I wonder why everyone's so worked up about the performance [insert early/midgame ship here], I just use [insert super endgame ship here] instead and I never have trouble doing well in battles", because that would be silly.

13
Modding / Re: The black magic behind "modules on modules"
« on: October 30, 2019, 02:51:07 PM »
Articulated dragons? Majestic.
Someone is now bound to create some sort of eldritch horror space kraken tentacle monster, which is certainly something to look forward to.
Also who needs ordinary cargo ships when you can now have trains in space?

Thank you for adding this into the game's modding world.

14
Mods / Re: [0.9.1a] Luddic Enhancement Mod
« on: June 10, 2019, 07:44:18 AM »
3.  I don't suppose we could tweak the largest Luddic formations to have a better chance of fielding Cathedral class from the Ship and Weapon pack mod?

I've already been seeing one of those in almost every big-boy-fleet the church fielded (both the big home defense fleet and the assault fleets they've sent out to other systems). The frequency of cathedrals might be lower or higher depending on how many mods you add that modify the faction's roster (for example, if you have several mods to "add stuff to pirate roster" you will pretty much never see an atlas mk2 in any fleet ever again) and can differ greatly between different users.


But now that we're on the topic of the Cathedral-class ship and enhancing the luddics, I wonder how much work it is to make a Pather version of the Cathedral?
I think the mechanical changes aren't too big a deal and can probably be done even by a novice modder like me (safety overrides and ill advised modifications on all the modules except the central main one, replace the neat and clean infinite holy missile launcher with something more dirty and low tech - maybe a battery of 2 or 3 built-in hellbores) but boy am I not up to the task of doing any spritework on a modular ship, even if it's "just" adding some red stripes.

15
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.9.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: June 10, 2019, 07:36:13 AM »
Is Increased Maintenance biased to spawn more frequently than others on almost every ship you can recover? It's really, really bad, so much that I've completely given up on salvaging ships in this version if I don't go for Recovery Operations.

True randomness can (and WILL) create chains of the same result and often seem biased to observers with very tiny sample sizes.
That's why music playlist shuffles nowadays no longer use real random shuffling, but a system that artificially lowers the weight of songs that have recently played.

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