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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 - Morrokain

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1
The fighter changes proposed and discussed would be most welcome, though at this late of a development stage I'd be surprised if they were implemented. I've been wrong about that sort of thing before though.

As far as myself doing that sort of thing, I'm not sure its possible due to engine limitations. I haven't really tried to go that deep into the combat engine to know for sure. I definitely do agree that I would like some finer grained control of wings using the current implementation of carriers.

As far as the balance part of the discussion, I've made a mental note. So far, the general consensus seems to have been that bombers might need to be a bit stronger in the future.



The update to fix the couple of reported issues has been posted on Nexus Mods. I also made some of the proposed sprite changes to the Onslaught and Aurora.

2
Modding / Re: [0.9.1a] Expanded Fleet Dialogue
« on: September 16, 2021, 02:33:06 PM »
I know this is a necropost and blah blah, but I'm just checking, is this mod still in development? Cause if not, I might try my hand at it

Yes it is still in development and thanks for asking! I just have been moving very slowly on this front recently because of numerous balance reports for AO that I tried to address in the last AO update. Part of the next lore update in general is to address things like this and flesh out the relevant systems, separate portrait packs and so forth.

After this weekend's minor bugfix update, I am shifting focus to this and other lore related things like missions.

*EDIT* There was also a user request to add balance functionality to another faction mod that I didn't mention above but that was an overall minor effort compared to other things. I figured I should mention it anyway just for clarity's sake.

3
just started a new run with musashi
only played about half an hour but i noticed they only have the standard dedicated core (they generally are supposed to be hight tech midline, if that makes sense, and originally came with the supercomputer standard)
overall i like what im seeing so far
i will report more when i get more time into it

(stoked about the integration!)

The Super Computer would be too powerful in AO especially with their longer range weapons. The Advanced Core is possible, but they would need a bit less defensive stats for that to be balanced. My thoughts were that since their weapons already provide long range and some 0-flux assault options, it would be better to increase their initial contact defenses and skip the advanced core. Otherwise they tend to become sniper glass-cannon ships that completely fall apart when the enemy closes the distance. That creates gameplay that is a bit too binary for my tastes.

Lore-wise, they should still fit the high tech/midline doctrine simply because of their speed, decent shield efficiency and flux dissipation, and their general aesthetics. They have low tech armor levels, but that is offset by a low flux capacity in most cases. Also, keep in mind that not all of the high tech ships have advanced cores. Only a select few do and that is mostly due to balance and not lore.

I *think* they should be fairly effective per their DP, but I didn't do many tests with multiple ships, so they could quite honestly be pretty powerful in a fleet setting. Range and dissipation matter a whole lot under those conditions. Anyway, just my thoughts and feel free to disagree and provide an alternative solution. I'm certainly open to ideas and this was a first release so there is likely a lot of room for improvement and fine-tuning further down the line.

Morrokain, after I was stuck playing non-AO waiting for the update, I just wanted to poke my head in to thank you for all the common-sense balance changes you make in AO. It was physically painful being reminded of how bad vanilla beams are. :x

Thanks and I'm glad you like the changes! Hopefully this should be a fun and bug-free update after I fix the couple small-ish things left to do. They should also be save compatible so current saves can continue without worry. I'm going to try and get those fixed by the weekend.

4
The Musashi Manufactory SWP mod is now available on nexus mods. I haven't made a forums post for it yet but I will link everything up when I do. For now, if any bugs show up you can list them here. It should hopefully be reasonably balanced. I spent an extra week of testing on and off but I've had less overall time lately so we will see how it turns out.

I noticed a problem with EMC range reduction. I did have the ECM skill but removing it with cmd doesn't seem to change anything.




The Vanilla version seems to work fine.

Hmm, well, if you removed the skill with a cmd it could be possible that "unapply" was never called - though I don't know every circumstance where that happens or anything. Does it work if, for instance, you change ships that your character pilots? If so, that's probably what happened. Afaik, it *should* work under normal circumstances if that's what it is. I will look into it in more detail when I can. It could be that I misunderstood what the API was doing if its a new skill feature.

@GrumpyDema
In addition to the other suggestions (thanks!), I would check the main page for this mod on how to disable the setting that prevents other non-utility mods from being installed alongside this one if you run into issues at that stage.

5
Mods / Re: [0.95a] Quality Captains: A Skill Rework v1.0.8
« on: September 03, 2021, 12:44:16 AM »
Ah yes, that makes sense. I underestimated JUST how much AO changes. 1.0.4 of QC worked seemingly perfectly so I just assumed it was an issue with 1.0.8 which is my bad. I didn't think of going to AO's thread first as 1.0.4 working tricked me lol
That's very understandable and to be honest I probably needed to put "this mod overrides skills" on the main page under the compatibility portion when I released that update. I actually thought I already did that but when I double-checked it doesn't mention it. I might have only included it in the original update post or thought it at one point and then didn't implement it at all and thought I did - which is completely my bad.

I just now updated the main page and I also made an attempt to make this information more accessible before the download button is clicked in any case. I do try to make as many mods compatible as possible, but as a total conversion mod that can be difficult and in this case both mods are doing the same thing - replacing the skill system. Not much I can do about that other than allow the skill-mod to have priority if they use the replace array and if they don't then adding in the disclaimer and otherwise helping users wanting to use the skill mod alongside the TC.

6
Mods / Re: [0.95a] Quality Captains: A Skill Rework v1.0.8
« on: September 02, 2021, 09:17:57 PM »
Edit: It's quite possible maybe Archean Order requires that line un-commented? I didn't think it changed much with skills but maybe I'm wrong there?
Haha, yeah, like a charm! It probably needed that line uncommented to override something, I take it? I have no idea what I'm doing but whatever I did works lol
Hi just saw this! As a quick explanation, AO didn't replace many skills in past versions and so you likely wouldn't have noticed the couple that were overridden at that time, but it was necessary to replace most if not all skills for the 0.95a version of starsector because skills changed drastically from 1.91 to 1.95 and the TC's features require different skill thresholds among other things. So, Quality Captain's skills/config wouldn't be used unless it also replaces the csv - which at that point there is some kind of load order logic that determines which one is used. I *think* it loads backwards alphabetically as priority? I can't remember.

But anyway, the rule of thumb when running the AO mod is to disable that mod first if something appears to not be working correctly or crashes and see if that resolves it or at least changes anything. If it does, let me know about it on the AO thread first before posting a bug report on another mod's thread and I'll 1) try and reproduce it, and 2) attempt a workaround in a future version, walk you through a workaround or at least offer an explanation as to why the override causing the bug/behavior is necessary.

Really just generally speaking I prefer any questions/concerns that come up when AO is installed come to that thread first and then I can let other modders know if I discover that the bug came from their mod. That way, the chance of false bug reports from TC features is reduced.

7
Are AO colonies with Military sales supposed to have an empty ship market on military tab?
It's a vanilla bug that will be permanently fixed in the next Starsector update. There is a tag that should lock ships into only being on military markets but instead it makes it so they are never on military markets and that makes the military ship market empty in most cases.

I'm almost done testing Musashi and when I release that (probably tomorrow at some point) I will also release a small AO update that will both fix that issue temporarily and fix the issue with the new redacted ships not being pilotable by AI cores.

8
I was going to do that lol. Generally, the best I would get from a rich tech mining would be a single Alpha core which is honestly not that valuable. Blueprints are also no longer finite with the addition of the academician. And respec from Elite skill also cost a lot of points as a downside but anyway.
I guess that's true. I'll revaluate it once I actually test out Tech-mining with and without the benefit. I'll either make it not permanent and a small benefit or permanent with a noticeable benefit.

Quote
Catalyst Bomber's torpedo sprites are a bit off from where they should be.
I've noticed this as well. I have no idea why this happens and why it only happens to a couple of modded wings since this is also an issue with the Renegade Fighter Bomber. It only happens in the refit screen though. In actual combat the missiles are in the correct spot according to the hull definition.

Quote
Kraken Normal version has a behavior problem while the Ludic version doesn't.
Intended actually. The gunship strafe behavior is new from 0.95 and it makes tank gunships much more survive-able since PD misses more when the wing isn't coming straight at the target. This behavior can also distract PD and other weapons away from incoming bombers by spreading out the number of targets over a much larger radius of attack instead of one general 45-90 arc of clumped units coming from one direction. The weapons have been adjusted to be able to fire from the side of the gunship alongside the visual turrets.

If anything makes interceptor carriers a necessity, I'd say tank gunships are the closest to it in this update.

Stoked for the next release!

I really hope that after sashi gets integrated you start messing around with dronelib

I'm most interested in seeing someone create a subsystem mod, and the sooner the pillars of the modding community get into it the sooner someone like me (only not me lol) will make something standalone that can be added to anything!

Anyway do what you want I'm happy to see any progress on AO
I thinking about subsystem mod too, sadly I don't know how to create such, make all subsystems as equipment which you can remove and add to another ship, also this can be expanded to reactor, armor, shield and engines, and make all ship hulls basically a hull, low tech, high tech, no matter - its depends on installed equipment.
I still think ships should have their own built in systems but being able to add phase coils/shields/damper field etc to any ship is really a great idea to me.
I will consider digging through that mod while adding story content. It's certainly a neat idea and the above ideas are cool. I do need to consider balance when making those decisions, however, because that kind of flexibility can be tricky to do correctly. For instance, being able to add a damper to any ship could make some ships way too good due to other aspects of their design such as base stats or interesting hullmods.

......I did it again
I got permission from armaa armatura fornyou to integrate that mod (if you want)

That one may be a bit difficult to manage though so I understand if you dont want to, Cheers either way!
I might do this one too, but it probably won't be immediately just so I don't burn out. I think its also still under active development so that brings increased maintenance at keeping the TC version current, but, that's not a deal-breaker or anything its more just a factor I have to consider as far as when to do what, etc.

Updating to AO to 0.3 seems to have done it, no crash when encountering a radiant so I'm going to assume it fixed the cryosleeper guardian too
Ah glad to hear it!

9
Talking about additional bugs.

Apparently, the new REDACTED ships can't be piloted by AI cores and can be sold not-so illegally to market. Automate Ship hull-mod is missing.

Secondly, I'm not sure why Salvaging has to be a permanent skill. None of the benefits are long lasting even if the skill point were to be redistributed.

Arg! Thanks that is fixed and I'll probably release that fix alongside Musashi.

Salvaging is permanent so that the player doesn't exploit the elite benefit to tech mining until tech mining no longer generates much reward and then respecs skills.

10
Thanks for being patient and helping me out. You were correct, my game version was outdated and updating that fixed all my issues. Appreciate the help, again.
Glad that did it!

Hey Morrokain, I requested an update to the mod index to show AO as 0.95a instead of 0.9.1a, but the moderator I contacted hasn't change it after a week or so.

I don't know if the mod creator themselves has to make the request or if Alex has to be contacted instead of a moderator, as it's his post, but I'd assume a lot of potential users are skipping AO because it looks like your mod hasn't been updated to the current major release/version. Just a heads up.
I messaged Alex about it when I released the first beta version for .95 and I never heard anything back so it might have slipped through the cracks. I'll send another message about it after Musashi has been released - especially if I don't hear of any additional bugs in the meantime for the 1.4.0.3

11
I'm back again. I am having the same issue with my game crashing when I launch it with a the mod.
Wait, I just noticed you're on the wrong game version. The latest version is 0.95a while yours is 0.91a
This is your issue. The mod is likely looking for ship definitions that don't exist in your version of Starsector.

Windows 10, sorry for the late response. Also, the same crash just happened when I tried to engage a Radiant-class ship

Hmm well that's not the operating system I expected because that's what I have and it works. Well, have you tried the latest version of AO? It should be 1.4.0.3. I attempted to fix it in that version by using an alternative implementation of lazylib. Without some kind of input from the author or someone more experienced with IntelliJ's project dependency features, I am at a loss right now.

If you update to the latest version and it still doesn't work or want to keep your current save an not update the AO version, what you can do is remove this crash from happening by going to ship_data.csv and opening it in open office or another spreadsheet editor and changing the ship system for the radiant and guardian from archean_fluxconverter to something else like archean_displacer or archean_damper.

I have told this before but there's really a problem with no D-mods applied regardless of ship quality. Every faction gets access to pristine ships.

- New mine skill is a bit too fragile and spawns very far from the target.
That's really strange I wonder what would cause that? Maybe the no_auto_fit tag or something?? But I was seeing D-mods on faction fleets. Its especially weird because the ship quality seems to indicate otherwise.

I will do some tests on the mine system and that I can probably make some adjustments to. I just don't want to start editing stat sheets just yet.


Thanks for the additional responses on fighter balance. I am reading all of these and will be using them as references while I go through the campaign story. I'll also do a few big sim battles.

12
3,800 armor. Ain't that even thicker than Onslaught. Shield Flux Efficiency is so good as well.
The Onslaught has 4000 and 4200 if you are flying the Hegemony version. The shield efficiency is relatively good, true, but the Onslaught has 5 large slots while the Amaterasu has 3 and less small slots but more medium slots... though more medium slots can target a single opponent when flying an Onslaught so this remains mostly irrelevant. They are the same deployment cost and FP value. Fighter bays and total OP are currently identical. The flux stats overall are definitely better for the Amaterasu atm though the defenses are definitively worse.

The Musashi ships as a whole have a feeder system which increases fire rate, but their weapons have good burst dps and low sustained dps on average in exchange for longer average range. This creates a trade-off where the system increases their strike capability while getting them closer to the low sustained point of dps where they are very vulnerable especially when outnumbered.

13
Suggestions / Re: An expedition rework idea
« on: August 19, 2021, 08:13:29 PM »
I really like the idea as a whole. Perhaps instead of boss ships, an existing system can be utilized: Admirals.

The fleet could utilize a well-known character such as Baikal Daud or Jensulte, etc, as an Admiral and that admiral could have crazy over-the-top admiral skills which could vary by faction and provide unique challenges without needing to design a large number of unique boss ships. That could push the difficulty up without introducing the dilema of super ships that players will likely want to be able to get at some point - and that very thing means that something has to be developed to make such an acquisition needed at some point if that was ever possible.

The endgame enemy could certainly serve that purpose of course, but I wanted to present an alternative idea that increases difficulty while still using the ships that factions already have available.

*EDIT*
Forgot to mention, the other aspect of this is that each faction could have a variety of admirals that could be chosen which have different specialties. Since only one is picked, it would provide some replay value as well.

Then, another system could be created to ransom the captured admiral back to the faction - which could be integrated into the story - especially if the character is otherwise important to the plot and shouldn't be killed as a result of the expedition.

Just something thrown into the pot of ideas.

14
@Albreo
Thank you for the explanation of how you grade and your responses in general. I will keep it all in mind as I test (though not making changes atm until more time has passed so I can keep the dev version as current as the update) and I've noted your opinion on carrier strength/role. Personally, I'm of the same mind, but I do get a lot of feedback that carriers are too strong when I balance that way. It's probably because there is a fair portion of the player base that doesn't want to use many carriers even defensively. Or they feel pigeonholed into using carrier spam as an optimal strategy - though I *think* that should be less effective in this mod since more weapons mean more overall PD.

I will say that gunships seem objectively better than bombers right now after the armor changes. Not having to rearm makes a world of difference if the ship is locked down by a swarm of strike craft. Though, bombers do a lot and arguably more damage per second if their ordinance gets through the PD. But at the end of the day, guaranteed is better than not guaranteed even if the damage difference per second would be higher. Just things I'm thinking about as I play.

Now, I'm curious what kind of setup did you test with. I'm basically using a bare Astral against stock Astral/Executor/Eagle/Falcon. I don't even want to pair it with Legion, that thing is too crazy PD wise.
For interceptors, I used Legions with only a single strike weapon equipped so that ship weapons weren't a factor at all, and then measured a few metrics:

 - which interceptor won the eventual replacement rate war and how much did low replacement rate effect the interceptors overall usefulness?
 - how effective was the interceptor when the wings first clash against the enemy interceptors? What were the initial losses on each side?
 - how effective was the interceptor at causing damage to the enemy Legion itself over time? Which Legion would win in the end and how much of that win was not the strike weapon?

For bombers and gunships, I used an Astrals, Herons (without damage boosting system), Moras and Condors to test lots of scenarios.

The enemies were typically warships of the same size. The target goal was that the warship can reduce the replacement rate eventually and close and kill the carrier. It should, however, take damage in the process of doing that. Hopefully, a fair amount of damage. But at least some.

My thinking behind that balance is that carriers are support ships and their wings do better when supporting another warship's engagement. This is because the enemy target will already have some flux built up and possibly some of its PD disabled or empty of ammunition if the warship has some missiles.

I'm not 100% convinced that this is the best carrier balance, but that was the target for this update and it seemed to mostly hold true. When I test the story for the lore update that will give me a much better idea of how all of this turned out because I will be playing a campaign instead of running a bunch of simulations.

Am having an issue where I receive a Fatal: null error. I am unsure of how to solve the issue and could not find a solution anywhere.
I'd need the log to really know more, but as Albreo said its probably just that you need to update to the latest version - especially if you are starting a fresh game. If you are trying to preserve a current save by staying on that version, the log will tell me if the bug is fixable or not.



Alright, teaser time!


Here is one of the Amaterasu-class battleship's variants in the TC version of Musashi and a few pics of it in action against an Onslaught. I decided to go ahead and change the weapons' size and make a couple of new ones/edits to existing ones and I'm now at the variant building stage.

Stats have had their initial pass, but that is still a WIP as I test variants. I haven't touched the fighters at all yet.

Spoiler







[close]

15
@Albreo
Ok gotcha I looked at it more closely and read the key. I will evaluate it over a couple of days.

Overall, thank you very much for doing this! I find it extremely helpful since it categorizes the craft by multiple strengths and weaknesses rather than just giving blanket assertions. For a dev, that is invaluable information.

My initial hot take is comprised of two main counter-points atm:

1) Replacement rate should be taken into consideration or otherwise rolled into the survivability grade and it doesn't seem like it is. (At a first glance.) For instance, the Wasp might be very fragile, but it replaces quickly enough that an F grade is somewhat misleading to its actual impact on replacement rate, if that makes sense. Same thing for E grades for the Spectre, Fang and Imp. In my tests with the Legion, it was actually fairly hard to reduce the replacement rate against Spectres. They could take 80% losses in one pass and be back to full strength in about 10-15 seconds - so not enough time to really reduce the replacement rate much.

2) Some survivability and anti-ship dps grades seem off from my own tests. But, that could be due to differing baseline expectations - which I will address below.

Questions: (Not just for Albreo, these are to determine expectations and context for future tests and will eventually probably result in a poll of some kind.)

  • Should bombers be *mostly* successful with their attack runs if interceptors are not there to protect the ship? Or should they be situationally useful but damaging?
  • How survivable should the baseline craft be against ship weapons? For instance, if one wing is under destroyer fire, how many seconds should the wing last?
  • Should shields be better than armor defensively? Why or why not?
  • Should at least a couple of carriers be required in the players fleet - whether to defend with interceptors or strike with bombers/gunships? Why or why not?
  • What are the most useful types of craft you have used atm and why? What aspect of their design makes them better to use over other craft?

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