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

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Messages - intrinsic_parity

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Suggestions / Re: No SO allowed on Monitor (or increase DP cost)
« on: September 19, 2023, 11:16:27 AM »
From a results oriented perspective, SO is probably somewhere close to balanced, but that is only because there are a ton of arbitrary restrictions that simply prevent it from being used. It can't be used on capital ships, it can't be built in, the PPT malus prevents it from being used in long fights etc. Some of the more recent tournaments have had restrictions on SO usage (limits on number of ships and DP that can use it). IDK if that's based on previous results or not. It's no surprise that the results don't indicate SO is dominating when it's simply not allowed to be used, or heavily penalized in many of the cases where the results are coming from.

So from that perspective, SO is kinda 'balanced' with all those restrictions in place, but I mostly don't like it because I think it gets rid of a bunch of the good aspects of combat like flux management. I do think it can make early game pretty uninteresting too, by letting the player have an oversized impact in small fights, but it wouldn't really prove anything to post results with the player massively out-damaging the rest of their fleet in a small engagement since that is sort of expected for a good pilot anyway.

Personally, I just think that 2x dissipation is too large of a bonus, and I think the plethora of unique and extreme penalties and restrictions that have been put in place to balance it, demonstrate how much it breaks the game to have 2x dissipation. Even this thread is a call for another unique and arbitrary restriction on SO.

Even if it can be 'balanced' from a results oriented perspective, all that is being done is putting arbitrary restrictions in place over and over to prevent the hull mod from being used, rather than actually balancing it to work with the rest of the mechanics of the game. I would much rather see reduced bonuses to dissipation (and possibly speed) so that all the arbitrary restrictions can be lifted and it can actually be used like any other hullmod.

Blog Posts / Re: Wormholes and Sundry - Getting Around the Sector
« on: September 09, 2023, 10:39:33 AM »
One idea is to have the darkness 'encroach' on the edges of your fleet. Like little swirls or tendrils of darkness going over the edges of the fleet bubble. Or you could have a little region around your fleet be 'illuminated' slightly. Basically something to make it feel like you are 'inside' the darkness, rather than floating on top of a black screen, because that's the impression I get from the screenshot in the blog post.

Suggestions / Re: Smoothing out the player power curve
« on: August 21, 2023, 04:13:41 PM »
Some other open world space games limit progression via scarcity of tech. You can't just get whatever you want whenever you want.

IMO it's better to be able to freely buy things but have little money to do so than having more money than you know what to do with but not being able to spend it.
I don't see why those are the only two options. Obviously it's good to have ways to spend your money, but IMO not necessarily on the most advanced warships and weapons at any time in the game.

It also makes the story missions feel more rewarding IMO if you're working towards access to fun toys, and not just money.

Suggestions / Re: Smoothing out the player power curve
« on: August 21, 2023, 08:41:05 AM »
Some other open world space games limit progression via scarcity of tech. You can't just get whatever you want whenever you want.

Usually you need to do some story or at least some work to get a faction to give you access to their military tech, otherwise you are stuck with civilian tech or pirate tech that is usually not as good. Sometimes this can involve getting licenses, sometimes it's just story mission type stuff. This game kind of has that with the reputation requirements for military markets, but its entirely neutered by how easy it is to get that stuff elsewhere. The whole black market where you can buy every high end ship and weapon easily (and cheaper than the military and open markets due to a lack of taxes) is a HUGE issue IMO. At the very least, prices on the black market should be much much higher, and IMO, patrols should stop you/fine you/attack you if you have that factions military tech without the required relationship level. Also, civilian markets should not have any reasonably strong military tech either.

Also, usually salvaging stuff is harder in other games too, with high requirements for crew or resources and lower recovery chances. I would not mind at all if the salvaging system was much more in depth, I might make a separate post about that.

Basically, I feel like the player can easily turn 1 or 2 big money scores into a hyper-optimized fleet of top-of-the-line ships that will clear the entire early game without any challenge. It shouldn't be that easy.

Suggestions / Re: Better ways to get strong enemy fleets
« on: August 19, 2023, 06:55:53 AM »
Honestly, the thread is making me concerned about power creep. Maybe the real problem is that the player can get too many bonuses that trivialize the standard content.

Suggestions / Re: Better ways to get strong enemy fleets
« on: August 18, 2023, 09:19:52 PM »
IMO, another big problem is that the game lets the player get too strong too fast so that a lot of the enemy content just gets bypassed.

But in terms of making end-game difficulty more interesting, I'm a fan of AI-exclusive ships and weapons that are moderately better than what the player can use. In the context of nex, having faction-specific boss ships that show up in invasion fleets and can't be recovered or bought would be cool IMO. Having elite weapons or officers with specials skills is another option. But obviously that's more content that needs to be made vs just stats and modifications to existing stuff, so maybe not worth the extra work?

Also, trying to make different factions difficult in different ways is important too IMO. It's way more interesting if you need to solve different fights in different ways, than if you just find one super fleet that murders everything. The super phase fleet is the only thing that really feels that way in vanilla IMO. I like the idea of rewarding the player for specializing against specific opponents.

I assume you were doing it without omega weapons? Cause resonators would probably kick some butt and you could fit a lot of them.

Also, do you ever test fleets with mixed loadouts? I totally get wanting locusts to deal with small ships but having a squall or two might help vs radiants.

Suggestions / Re: [0.96a-RC10] Autofire settings changed by Autopilot
« on: July 16, 2023, 10:32:35 AM »
Alex, if you're reading this, please don't fix the hack ;D

Roger that! I won't do it intentionally :D
If this is intended/desirable behavior, why not give the player the ability to do this in the actual UI (lock autofire on), rather than having a hidden behavior that only experience players will know about?

To me, weapon 'inaccuracy' or 'spread' are more precise terms.

From an FPS perspective (which is going to be fairly common among gamers), recoil is usually predictable/consistent/control-able deviation of the point of aim, while spread is the random/uncontrollable element. That's not always entirely true in every FPS, but it's pretty common.

From a physics perspective, recoil is the physical reaction/motion of the weapon due to the firing of the weapon. When I first started playing the game, I thought recoil was going to be the ship moving slightly backwards/in the opposite direction when firing, like a tank or battleship firing its guns. I only learned what it actually meant by reading the forum.

In either case, I think it's not the most clear term, but the stat is pretty niche, and it's really not hard to play the game without knowing what it is or thinking about it, so I'm not surprised it doesn't come up much.

edit: I was think a bit more and I think it would be more precise to say in FPS games, usually recoil involves the motion of the point of aim (which can be random or predicable), whereas spread is the random deviation of bullets away from the point of aim. So to me, FPS spread is a more closely related mechanic to what recoil is in starsector.

General Discussion / Re: Wolf design advice
« on: July 11, 2023, 10:19:03 PM »
I find it pretty hard to justify using wolves over scarab/tempest/omen.

Hector, did you experiment much scarabs? The system is amazing, basically plasma jets and accelerated ammo feeder smooshed in one system. They can do quite a bit of damage when officered.

General Discussion / Re: Does the Fury have broadside potential?
« on: July 09, 2023, 11:06:29 PM »
Feels like SO is almost entirely wasted there given that you are using less than half of your dissipation.
It's pretty obviously just a thrown together ship as a proof of concept. The excessive vents kind of give that away. The important part of SO for the Fury isn't the flux boost, it's the speed boost as the Fury struggles to retreat without it.
Doesn't unstable injector achieve the same thing for much less OP, and with less penalties?

General Discussion / Re: Does the Fury have broadside potential?
« on: July 09, 2023, 05:54:52 PM »
Feels like SO is almost entirely wasted there given that you are using less than half of your dissipation.

General Discussion / Re: Money balance
« on: July 09, 2023, 02:51:18 PM »
For me:

Early game is characterized by frigates/destroyers and limited access to weapons/hullmods.

Mid game starts around when I transition to cruisers. I would expect to have enough money to get weapons that I want, and start to fill out s-mods on the ships I intend to keep long term. I would usually expect to max DP during mid game, but not necessarily with the ships I want for end game. I would expect to have officer slots mostly filled but not max level. Stuff like that.

I usually consider starting to use capital ships as the beginning of end game, but I would say it's characterized by capping out the various progression systems i.e. maxing out things like the skill tree, officer levels, s-mods etc.

Personally I don't really consider colonies as a marker of progression. You can start them pretty much any time. I tend to start them pretty late because I like having a strong enough fleet to wreck any threats that come up, and also strong enough to farm 250-300k bounties for income. I will just use abandoned stations before that point.

Suggestions / Re: Keep more means of progress open in the end game
« on: July 07, 2023, 11:49:40 AM »
If you've maxed out skills, DP, officers, and s-mods, any vanilla enemy human fleet should be doable with even a moderately optimized fleet. As long as you aren't trying to use weak ships like civilians or the bad pirate hulls, it's mostly just a matter of making good loadouts that synergize with skills.

It's only really the multi ordo fights, and omegas that require some significant optimization to beat. And even then, there is still some variety.

If you could beat everything in the game by throwing money at it without any significant outfitting or piloting skill, that would ruin the challenge of the game.

General Discussion / Re: A huge nerf to the missiles
« on: July 02, 2023, 08:27:22 AM »
Yes exactly, the fact that they can get shot down is another major downside, but the problem with missiles is that PD is not good enough to stop them. You shouldn't need skills and hullmods to make PD good enough to be functional against missiles.

Balancing with counters is much more interesting than just neutering missiles.

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