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Starsector 0.97a is out! (02/02/24); New blog post: New music for Galatia Academy (06/12/24)

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Topics - intrinsic_parity

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Bug Reports & Support (modded) / Game freeze but not CTD
« on: December 22, 2021, 06:11:19 PM »
Playing on mac. I have a save with a few utility mods:

and currently, every time I load the save the game partially freezes after a few seconds, but doesn't crash. The music still plays and the mouse moves (and i can switch to other applications normally), but everything in the game freezes and nothing responds to any inputs and I have to force quit. This happened about 3 times prior on the save, but I was able to reload and continue playing with the freeze coming sooner after re-loading each time until now it happens almost immediately. It seemed to start after I began using the beyond the sector gates, but it could also be a coincidence.

I started a new game and flew around for ~30 seconds and it didn't seem to be an issue. Also tried the .bak version of the saves and had the same issue.

There doesn't appear to be any errors in the log at the time of the issue. The lines in the log after loading are:
142354 [Thread-4] INFO  - Reading save data from [../../../saves/save_FreyaOlympus_6298448798624536667/descriptor.xml]
142369 [Thread-4] INFO  - Reading save data from [../../../saves/save_ApolloConley_4463543399809344301/descriptor.xml]
142378 [Thread-4] INFO  - Reading save data from [../../../saves/save_HenryOlympus_8286555180428018680/descriptor.xml]
142390 [Thread-4] INFO  - Reading save data from [../../../saves/save_HenryOlympus_4606124604021245334/descriptor.xml]
142401 [Thread-4] INFO  - Reading save data from [../../../saves/save_HenryOlympus_7428217806224481381/descriptor.xml]
142411 [Thread-4] INFO  - Reading save data from [../../../saves/save_ApolloConley_6134825972953749388/descriptor.xml]
142419 [Thread-4] INFO  - Reading save data from [../../../saves/save_ApolloConley_7227469505041633811/descriptor.xml]
793362 [Thread-4] INFO  - Reading save data from [../../../saves/save_ApolloConley_4463543399809344301/descriptor.xml]
793370 [Thread-4] INFO  - Reading save data from [../../../saves/save_HenryOlympus_8286555180428018680/descriptor.xml]
793379 [Thread-4] INFO  - Reading save data from [../../../saves/save_HenryOlympus_4606124604021245334/descriptor.xml]
793388 [Thread-4] INFO  - Reading save data from [../../../saves/save_HenryOlympus_7428217806224481381/descriptor.xml]
793396 [Thread-4] INFO  - Reading save data from [../../../saves/save_ApolloConley_6134825972953749388/descriptor.xml]
793402 [Thread-4] INFO  - Reading save data from [../../../saves/save_ApolloConley_7227469505041633811/descriptor.xml]
795386 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading /Applications/
795394 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading stage 2
795394 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading stage 3
797068 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading stage 4
797068 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading stage 5
797068 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading stage 6
797068 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading stage 8
797068 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading stage 9
797068 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading stage 10
797068 [Thread-4] INFO  - Finished loading
797068 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading stage 11
797068 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading stage 12
797068 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading stage 21
797069 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading stage 22
797069 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading stage 23
797069 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading stage 24
797069 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading stage 25
797069 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading stage 26
797069 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading stage 27
797069 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading stage 28
797069 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading stage 29
797172 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading stage 30
797172 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading stage 31
797173 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading stage 32
797173 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading stage 33
797324 [Thread-4] INFO  data.scripts.combatanalytics.DetailedCombatResultsModPlugin  - Keyboard key 'L' will open combat aggregation dialogue
797325 [Thread-4] INFO  data.scripts.combatanalytics.DetailedCombatResultsModPlugin  - Language: 'en' Country: 'US'
797582 [Thread-4] INFO  data.scripts.combatanalytics.SerializationManager  - Loaded 30 prior battle results using 1.31MB of memory in 113ms
797582 [Thread-4] INFO  data.scripts.combatanalytics.DetailedCombatResultsModPlugin  - MaxCombatResultCount: 60
797582 [Thread-4] INFO  com.fs.starfarer.loading.LoadingUtils  - Loading JSON from [DIRECTORY: /Applications/ (data/config/modFiles/magicBounty_data.json)]
797583 [Thread-4] INFO  com.fs.starfarer.loading.LoadingUtils  - Loading CSV data from [DIRECTORY: /Applications/]
797654 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading stage 34
797654 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading stage 35
797672 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading stage 36
797672 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading stage 37
797672 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading stage 38
797672 [Thread-4] INFO  sound.O  - Cleaning up music with id [miscallenous_corvus_campaign_music.ogg]
797672 [Thread-4] INFO  - Loading stage 39 - last
799601 [Thread-8] INFO  sound.O  - Cleaning up music with id [miscallenous_main_menu.ogg]
799753 [Thread-10] INFO  sound.O  - Creating streaming player for music with id [miscallenous_corvus_campaign_music.ogg]
802098 [Thread-4] INFO  - Created AnalyzeEntityMissionIntel: Derelict Ship, faction: pirates
Also, for what it's worth, the last line in the log doesn't always happen before the issue occurs.

Is the save corrupted, or is there an issue with one of the mods?

Suggestions / A 'be careful' order
« on: December 22, 2021, 04:40:16 PM »
Sometimes friendly ships get isolated and end up dying because they have nowhere safe to retreat to, even if the ship in question is fast enough that they could have avoided being in that situation. It would be nice if there was a 'be careful' command that told ships to play less aggressively and focus on moving back towards allies, after which they could resume normal behavior.

Suggestions / A Nemesis System
« on: December 21, 2021, 02:29:29 PM »
I think there should be a system opposite of contacts where you meet people and *** them off in some way resulting in them being 'out to get you' i.e. your nemesis.

I think you could wrap a lot of the existing random negative events (raids, expeditions, pirate activity, fleet inspections etc.) into this system pretty nicely too so that those events feel less like game mechanics and more like emergent events based on your interactions with the world.

A few examples:
- You kill a pirate bounty, and afterwards discover the captain sent a message before he died to his brother who now hates you and becomes a Nemesis. The brother holes up in a local pirate station and drives pirate activity and raids at your colonies until you deal with him.
- You increase food productional from your colonies beyond a threshold and the hegemony minister of agriculture takes notice of you cutting into his business, becoming your Nemesis, and sending expeditions and maybe even mercs to gank you until you deal with him.
- You get caught smuggling into a league port a few too may times, and the local station commander becomes your nemesis. Now patrols in the system are much more likely to stop/harass/inspect you, and maybe even attack you (in spite of your faction rep), and you also have higher tariffs until you deal with them.

What does 'deal with them' mean though? Well it can be different depending on the importance of the Nemesis and the context as well. Maybe that pirate can be dealt with by destroying the station (same as now, but integrated into the world more). The Station commander maybe can be killed (resulting in a loss of faction rep), or bribed, or maybe there is even a special quest to get back in his good graces. That hegemony minister of agriculture might require some special and very difficult missions/boss battle to deal with. Maybe you could also call in favors from your contacts to deal with a Nemesis, so if you do a bunch of work for the high Hegemon, you can ask him to get that minister of agriculture off your case (at the cost of your reputation with him of course), or maybe you could call on your TT friends to assassinate a certain annoying LC official whose been bothering you, if those factions are at war. Lots of cool possibilities to make contacts more useful as well, and ways to make contact (and Nemesis) 'importance level' have some more meaning beyond just mission quality.

The idea is to not only give in-world context/explanations for a lot of the negative things happening to you, but also to give you some more agency in dealing with those things. Also, it feels like it could be cool to tie Nemesis' and contacts in with the story/quest system, where your dialogue choices can result in the creation of contacts or Nemesis. Choose your words carefully.

Suggestions / Reduce friendly collision damage
« on: December 20, 2021, 06:56:40 PM »
I've seen omens and lumens die at the very start of battle before anything has happened because they just fly into a bigger ship and take a ton of damage. Particularly when orders are involved forcing them to cross paths. It's kinda ridiculous to lose ships before you've even seen an enemy, and I think the amount of collision damage is unnecessarily high (like half a second of colliding into a capital just kills an omen).

It would also be nice if ships didn't fly into friendly ships, but friendly collisions are sometimes going to happen regardless, and it just seems like it would make things feel better to reduce the damage so you're not just instantly team killing omens.

Suggestions / Elissa Zal Raid
« on: December 20, 2021, 01:35:38 PM »
I noticed that the direct raid for Zal from Kanta, and the raid to get Kantas pet back seem to be exactly the same difficulty. It seems like if you're planning on raiding, you should just do the Kanta raid and skip the extra steps. Maybe the pather raid should be a bit easier so that there's some incentive to read the nice story and do a bit of extra work.

Suggestions / Trade Fleet Disruptions
« on: December 19, 2021, 07:51:16 PM »
There should be actions the player can take to defend their trade fleets and prevent resource shortages (pay money to increase trade fleet size/defenses, complete quests to prevent fleets from being lost etc.). If it's just going to be a random un-interactive income reduction, then just reduce income directly instead.

Also, it doesn't make much sense that my colony has resource shortages for resources that are literally produced in-system where I have 30 patrols constantly flying around. How are those trade fleet possibly dying? If outgoing trade fleets are lost, that should show up in the income for the industry that produces the resources that are lost, not in shortages of incoming resources that have nothing to do with the outgoing fleet that was lost.

General Discussion / Have the falcon and eagle been left behind?
« on: December 17, 2021, 01:00:11 PM »
There have been several cruisers (fury, eradicator, champion) added in the general DP range of the falcon and eagle, and the dominator has also been buffed somewhere, albeit indirectly. I feel that many of the new options are noticeably stronger than the old classics. Even the 12 DP destroyers feel like they are strong competition for falcons at 15 DP.

I was just thinking I really have trouble justifying taking a falcon over an eradicator (p), and the standard eradicator, fury, and 25 DP cruisers all feel like better options than the eagle (although I think the eagle is in a better spot than the falcon). To me, the advantage of the midline cruisers should be the mobility systems that ought to translate to better survivability, but in practice, I don't feel like there is an appreciable increase in survivability for the AI. They also feel pretty over-mounted for their dissipation, and lack the punching power of a lot of other cruisers IMO.

I'm curious what other people think. Does anyone prefer falcons/eagles over other cruisers?

Suggestions / Allow Undo to Undo s-mods
« on: December 16, 2021, 12:04:08 PM »
It would be nice if you could undo s-mods. Mis-clicks happen, and it sucks to ruin a ship like that.

Obviously just for the short time when you are refitting it. It shouldn't work after you leave the station.

Suggestions / Make ordinance expertise a combat tree skill
« on: December 15, 2021, 12:31:02 PM »
I think ordinance expertise feels kinda out of place in the industry tree, it's one of the better combat skills IMO, and I would really like to get it without spending a skill point on a tier 1 industry skill in the late game.

I would swap it with damage control probably since that seems much more thematic to the industry tree.

Suggestions / Slipstream Locations and Directions
« on: December 15, 2021, 10:17:49 AM »
While overall, I enjoy using slipstreams, a lot of the time, they are not in overly helpful directions. In particular, they would be a lot more useful if they tended to move more away/towards the core rather than perpendicular to the core.

It actually might be helpful to generate the slipstream positions in polar coordinates (i.e. radius and polar angle rather than x,y coordinates) so that you could potentially emphasize having slipstreams going in/out of the core easily (i.e. have larger radial changes and smaller angle changes).

General Discussion / Eradicator
« on: December 15, 2021, 08:43:43 AM »
I've been enjoying the pirate version, but I've yet to find or even see the normal version with AAF. Those of you who've managed to find one, where did you get it? I haven't seen any in markets or fleets.

Suggestions / AI, Commitment, and Aggression
« on: December 14, 2021, 03:17:45 PM »
In another thread, there was some conversation about small kinetics, and the case of a medusa vs a hammerhead was used, so I was doing a little testing myself, and ended up encountering some AI behaviors that I find very frustrating and think could be improved.

The main issue is about committing to dissipating/venting.The biggest issue I encountered here with the AI is that it often decided it is at a flux disadvantage and tries to back off, but never really commits to fully venting, and ends up re-engagning at elevated flux. I think it's probably related to the significant range disadvantage as well (this is much less prevalent if the medusa has ITU), but the AI should be able to play effectively at a range disadvantage, and this happens even when then ship in question can win very easily under AI control with not other changes, if it doesn't do this behavior.

I recorded a video highlighting the issue. In the beginning, it's clear that the medusa has the advantage when slugging it out, but backs off when on a moderate amount of flux, which is a bit annoying but not totally unreasonable. However, it never actually vents, and repeatedly re-engages on ~30% flux, not achieving anything, before eventually (~1:15) ending up in a kiting cycle, where the hammerheads 0-flux boost is enough to keep it nicely in range. I let that cycle run for a while to show that the medusa will not get out of it (I've tested this 20+ times and this constantly happens). At about 2:30 I take manual control, and skim back to vent, then give the AI back control, after which it wins very easily, so the ship is totally capable of killing under AI control without any human intervention (it's not an issue of having to take some hull damage/risk to win), but these engagement issues prevent it from doing that.

I think having the AI commit to fully backing off and venting when it knows it is at a flux disadvantage, and more importantly, not re-engage at elevated flux would completely eliminate this issues. Particularly for ships with unrestricted mobility systems, this should really not be a problem. Obviously sometimes when you are at a speed disadvantage, you can't do anything about kiting, but I see this in ships with speed advantages as well (scarabs a lot), where they keep re-engaging at elevated flux, or hover around inside the enemies weapon range but outside their own. I think the AI just needs to be more decisive about engaging/dis-engaging. If it's too dangerous//risky to fight at the current flux levels, then make sure you get out of enemy weapon range and vent. If you want to fight, then get into range ASAP.

I actually noticed after recording this that I forgot to remove my player officer for this video (I tested it yesterday without an officer and saw the same issues). The only skill I had was ordinance expertise (and no fleet-wide skills, I'm early in a campaign), so not a big change. When I removed the officer, the ship won easily with no issues which was confusing, until i realized I had set the fleet behavior to agressive after testing yesterday. When I changed it to steady, all these issues re-emerged, so I think it's particularly an issue with less agressive AI (which also reinforces my general preference for agressive AI). IMO, the steady AI should be decisive about the actual movements/mechanics of engaging/dis-engaging, it should just be more reserved about the decisions to engage. In other words, less likely to 'go for it', and more likely to back off when things are dicey, but still actually going for it, or fully backing off when it decides to do those things.

In addition, I noticed a few other smaller things that I don't feel like making separate threads for:
-I noticed that it helps a lot if I give the medusa some momentum towards the enemy before handing back control, as it tends to result in the medusa ending up in phase lance/ion pulser range immediately. If I don't do that, it sometimes gets back into a kiting cycle, or at least takes a lot longer to kill. It would be cool if the AI would prioritize and use its mobility to get into shorter weapon ranges. It seems very willing to skim once into LDAC range, but never skims into ion pulser/phase lance range. Maybe this is an aggression level thing though. If the ship performance is so sensitive to AI aggression level though, then we really need some way to set it on a ship by ship basis.

- I noticed sometimes the AI fires the phase lance when it is in range of shields but not hull so that when the enemy dropping shields, the lance is wasted. I'm pretty sure this is related to auto-fire behavior. It would be nice if the auto fire would wait to get into hull range to fire. I think that behavior would be better overall, even if it was a minor disadvantage for kiting occasionally.

- I noticed there seems to be some bug/issue with the AI and finishing things off when they are overloaded. It's highlighted at the end of this video, but I've seen it many times in other contexts, the AI just doesn't fire stuff when ships are overloaded. You can see in the video when the hammerhead overloads, it backs off and plinks away with kinetics when it could easily kill with a phase lance or ion pulser. I've watched ships refuse to fire anti matter blasters or other strike weapons at overloaded ships in the sim as well, and at this point I'm almost convinced there's a proper bug somewhere.

- I think 'counter venting' is something the AI should do as well i.e. vent when your opponent vents to reset flux. It's not really highlighted in this video, but I frequently saw the medusa just sit out of range, or maybe slowly move forward/sit still with shields up while the hammerhead vented instead of venting for itself as well. I think sometimes, it was maybe reacting to missiles and backing off, but even then, it never vents after the missiles are gone and does the re-engage on elevated flux thing. It really feels to me like the AI should make sure it resets flux when the opponent vents unless it is trying to kill, otherwise it just ends up at a big flux disadvantage when the enemy finishes venting, which often leads to the noncommittal backing off type behavior I've been seeing as well.

Bug Reports & Support / Gate Spawns in Sun
« on: December 10, 2021, 08:34:28 PM »
I just found a gate that spawned inside the sun in that system. I assume it is unintentional.

Suggestions / Ballistic Omega Weapons
« on: December 10, 2021, 09:06:39 AM »
I've been wondering about how much omega weapons skew perception of the balance of the different techs. I feel like I lean towards high tech in the late game a lot, but a big part of that is that it lets me use the very powerful omega weapons.

Maybe adding some ballistic omega weapons (perhaps from a different boss encounter) could help with late game player fleet composition balance, and with the tech level perception as well.

I'm curious to know what other people think, do you use high tech more because of omega weapons, and do you think it influence your perception of how good high tech ships are?

Suggestions / Multiple items for same industry
« on: November 23, 2021, 09:32:41 AM »
The new colony items have shaken up the colony meta by incentivizing certain planet types but they're also somewhat restrictive and there are less decisions to be made. I think it would be cool if there were more items for each industry that have different effects and requirements. The idea being that instead of always colonizing the same world types to take advantage of colony items, there might be more different combinations of industries and worlds that are viable depending on the items you get. In addition, lots of items would mean you're less likely to get all the items, or the same set of items in campaign, so it could make each campaign a bit more unique.

Some general item concepts:
- Items with less stringent or no requirements/penalties, but lower output e.g. +1/+1 (or +2/+2) refining item with no requirements, or with a non-habitable condition
- Specialized items for a single resource e.g. a mining item for only organics or a light industry item that only boosts drug production
- more world/condition specific items for different world types e.g. a mining item for only volcanic worlds that boosts ores
- more items that give defense boosts based on a variety of planetary conditions
- output boosts at the cost of increased upkeep and resource requirements with no/less conditions attached
- items that add new outputs/inputs to industries e.g. add organics as an output of farming, or add food as an input and organics as an output of refining

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