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Starsector 0.95.1a is out! (12/10/21); Blog post: Hyperspace Topography (10/12/22)

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Topics - DrTechman42

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Suggestions / "Explorer" contact type
« on: October 02, 2021, 11:02:36 AM »
   Every contact is devoted to a certain playstyle. You like trading and interacting with the economy? Go to the Trader. Smuggling? Underworld has got you covered. Bounty hunting? The sector is filled with those who deserve death and the Military contact is happy to make you the executioner.
   This being said, rifling through the trash left from the Domain is just as important part of any playthrough (for me at least) but it doesn't have it's own contact. Here I'll try to come up with a few mission types for these contacts (and I really hope that you, dear reader, will aid me in this endeavour) following these guidelines:
  • Starsector is at it's best during combat and the game should lead the player into more fighting.
  • Every other contact is sustainable (you can ask them for missions indefinitely) and Explorer should be no different.
  • The bar is filled with possible outcomes and adding more will make it extremely difficult to find those you need.

   How should the player find this contact?
I really don't want to make the bar even more bloated so I think that the contacts should appear during common exploration contracts. After you finish the scan you have to send the data back, right? And there will be some human being to recieve it. Some of those "Exploration Coordinators" (recievers) may be in need of some adventuring captain. In order to determine the quality of contact the game should take both the distance and the scanned object into account. Scanning a coronal hypershunt should always lead to someone important while probes and planets should not.

   Low relations (0-25)
1) The same thing but with a twist. You also take probe/planet scanning missions but these will have significantly more drone protection. There is a reason why this mission is offered to you, after all. The reward should scale accordingly.
2) The Academician mission but on a significantly smaller scale. You get some blueprints but nothing as important as an alpha core or capital ships. You'll still have to shoot some drones though.

    Favorable relations (25-50)
1) Scanning some dangerous stuff. Remnant nexus? Cryosleepers? Derelicts in medium/high danger systems? This will make the player to change their fleet. Stealthy phase ships? Fast small frigates and interdiction pulses? There are many ways to do this.
2)Type 1 from low relations but with some guaranteed loot like beta cores or minor colony items?

    Friendly relations (50-75)
1) The academician mission but on a larger scale? More drones to fight but the loot is still inferior. That mission is unique for a reason. Thus it makes a unique mission repeatable but more difficult and with less loot.
2) Shooting down some specific Remnant ordo for analysis. You get the loot and the reward, they get the data. This should be a high level threat.

    Cooperative relations (75-100)
1) Lets imagine that there were some advanced Domain interstellar automated stations. Like motherships but a bit different. Since the collapse they were up to themselves and are sometimes sighted here and there with significant drone escort. They linger in a system for a while and then move somewhere else.
The contact may lead you to these structures to get some specific data and you go there to get some very advanced loot. The game is to spawn these structures thus making exploration inexhaustible and making the contact sustainable. Here the game can unleash hell onto the player and make it a very difficult fight. But the spoils are worth it: guaranteed colony items and maybe something on top. The time limit is also explained: the station will move somewhere else if you aren't fast enough.


Most of the ideas come from the time when I was pitching a research mechanic. Developing something totally new seems to be lore-unfriendly (I strongly disagree though, the Tessaract is definately post-collapse). This idea is all about scavenging what is left.
Hope that you'll like this and that there will be some more mission ideas. I was unable to achieve a satisfactory amount on my own.

2
Suggestions / Players starting their own R&D
« on: April 29, 2020, 06:30:38 AM »
I understand that such suggestions have already been made, but the most recent one is six years old, so I wanted to see if anything has changed.

So, you have a colony that is a home to a few million people. You have established industry with ships full of goods flying here and there between the worlds of your faction. Why not to gather the brightest minds of these worlds and start a small Research and Development department and put all those vast ruins filled with Domain technology to use?

This being said, after a certain threshold for the infrastructure has been met, the player is given the ability to start refining (and maybe even creating something completely new) stuff. That should be an industry with significant upkeep (to justify the fact that the other factions aren’t doing this too) and that is only buildable on worlds that are large enough. You can start different projects that would enhance the efficiency of either the industry or the military. That could range from Stellaris-like +X% to something to some new and exotic mechanics.

For example: I want to invent a new weapon. First, I pay a substantial amount of money to start the process. Then I am given a statblock for the weapon and the ability to choose a model of the weapon. That could be a few models to choose from (just like the faction flags) and be completely cosmetic or the model could be defined by the stats of the weapon (too difficult to implement though). The stats can be made by using a points pool system and the amount of points can be varied depending on the funding of the R&D (if you want a true wunderwaffe that completely matches your playstyle you’d better be able to pay for it). Once you set up the project, the R&D should start posting you different missions to keep the project moving (we want it to be an engaging lategame experience, right?). Something like “Get us a bunch of transplutonics” or “Hey, there is a red danger beacon nearby, can you go there and scan a few ruins for us?” or “We need to learn more how do the [Redacted] work, can you please go and fight a few of them? Be sure not to destroy it before the scan completes.” (Forcing you to either to out maneuver or to tank all the damage in the process).

After you complete a project, in order to build something you have invented you will need to pay in resources, not only money. It is so because it is almost hand-made and not a simple blueprint that can be easily 3d printed. Maybe you could toss a few Alpha-cores for a few months to make a blueprint.

That’s it. I see it as a long-term investment of time and resources for the players to watch after with a reward that would be worth it. The player’s skills are also likely to affect the process. It also could be nice if there would be some interactions with the other factions. For example, a pirate lord says that he has what your R&D wants and agrees to sell it to you for a large sum of money. You come to an isolated star system far away from the core worlds only to be ambushed by that pirate “We’ve lied that we had had that thing, but you do have the money we want.”
 
Sorry for any mistakes in terms of English. Hope to hear your thoughts and additions.

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