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Topics - intrinsic_parity

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31
Suggestions / Civilization style wonders
« on: November 13, 2021, 11:57:21 AM »
The idea for this is closely related to my commerce rework, but I decided to make a separate topic for it.

My commerce rework idea involved making commerce a one-of-a-kind industry, and I was thinking why not have more unique industries. The civilization games have structures called wonders that have very powerful effects that can only be built once (some only once per faction, and others only once in the entire world). I figure that concept could be adapted for this game as well. It could make the core worlds feel a bit more unique and make colonization more interesting as you try to work out the best places for certain unique industries that you might unlock via exploration or quests. Stuff like the planetary shield already feel like they would be good candidates for that.

Lore-wise, I feel like the lack of understanding of domain-tech would result in this happening, i.e. some structure that can't be replicated because it's no longer understood.

32
Suggestions / Commerce Rework
« on: November 13, 2021, 11:51:39 AM »
There was quite a bit of discussion in the recent patch notes thread about commerce balance, and it got me thinking. There are two issues that got brought up: the open market aspect of the industry, and the balance of stability vs income bonus.

Part one of my suggestion is to split the open market effect off into a separate structure. It was interesting that some people wanted the open market enough that they consider building commerce just for it, while others consider it a downside. To me, that indicates that it's quite a volatile balance factor, and I think it would be better to have it be a separate decision from the income boost for stability decision. Call it 'global trade infrastructure' or something, and make it just add an open market (and maybe even add an upgrade that unlocks military markets or something).

Part two is to make commerce a one-of-a-kind industry (i.e. only one among all of your colonies), call it 'centralized commerce', and then rebalance it with that in mind. That really frees up the balancing space IMO and lets it be a little OP without ruining industry decisions for all colonies. It also makes the colonization puzzle a little more interesting since you only get one commerce and you need to work out the best place to put it.

33
Suggestions / Adjusting the Ship Loot Option at Stations/Ruins
« on: October 17, 2021, 06:08:12 PM »
At stations/ruins you sometimes get offered ships as loot. From what I can tell, these are in place of other items (you typically don't get offered stuff like colony items/AI cores in these cases) however, the ships are usually very bad. Like civilian shuttles that are worth basically nothing... I'm fine with ships being a possibility for loot, but I feel like they need to be better... Stuff like rare/experimental ships (scarab, hyperion) at research stations, maybe XIV ships in ruins, etc. Maybe some cool rare/unique stuff that can only be found this way? Anything is better than kites and mercuries.

34
General Discussion / A Veteran's Insight On Guns
« on: September 05, 2021, 04:21:27 PM »
I was motivated by a recent thread started by Randaru (https://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=22634.0) to create my own overview of the guns in starsector. I used slightly different criteria to asses weapons, and hopefully I was able to capture more of the important factors that determine a weapons usefulness. The criteria I went we with are:

 -> Anti shield/armor: these two categories are faily obvious, a measure of how effective against different targets the weapon is. Hull and armor are grouped together because the residual armor mechanic generally means that weapons must be effective against armor to be effective against hull            
-> Burst/Frontload: A measure of how well the weapon outputs damage over a short time period. Burst weapons weapons naturally have high front load, but weapons with very high damage output can also be effective at outputting high levels of short-term damage            
-> Output: A measure of how well a weapon can deal damage long-term. Mostly sustained DPS for guns and ROF for missiles            
-> Sustainability: How well can this weapon be fired for extended periods of time, in terms of flux cost for guns, and ammo/total damage potential for missiles            
-> Cost/Availability: How easy this weapon is to fit in a loadout (OP cost) and how easy this weapon is to find/buy/obtain            
-> Utility: The Value that this weapon brings outside of pure damage. Notabily Ion damage, but also beneficial (or harmful) interaction with the AI, PD capability, and range considerations            
-> Versatility: A measure of how well the weapon does multiple jobs            
-> Overall Usefulness: My subjective opinion of how useful this weapon is, along with comments explaining

I wrote out all my grades and comments in a google sheet that I've linked below:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1k_OJ-8Sen-h9Vz_gbl90xwdKM33dUpUMGngyA6L1Ngs/edit?usp=sharing

I'm sure people will disagree on some things and I'm interested in hearing feedback. I did my best to give all weapons a fair shake, even ones i don't like that much. Maybe this could be useful reference for newer players once we've refined my opinions a bit ;D.

35
Suggestions / An expedition rework idea
« on: August 18, 2021, 03:15:37 PM »
I'll start by saying I think it's generally understood that current expeditions are somewhat of a placeholder endgame that will be expanded upon, and so it's expected that they aren't super polished.


Long winded discussion of the gameplay function of expeditions:
My understanding of the gameplay function of expeditions in the current game is that they are a mechanism primarily to impede the player from setting and forgetting their colonies for passive income.

In my opinion, this should be the role of pirates, not factions. Pirate raids, pirate activity, and pirates bases are enough to force the player to invest in defenses and require player actions to get colonies off the ground. In my opinion, it's fine if the player can get their defenses to a point where they can stop paying attention to their colonies, as long as it is sufficiently difficult and expensive to get to that point. In other words, it should be 'upfront' difficulty rather than 'grindy' difficulty.

One of my biggest issues with the current end game is that expeditions are mostly just an annoyance once you get max defenses up, it just becomes a reputation tax. I think this is both unfun, and also somewhat strange from a 'lore' perspective (why are the factions chill with sending massive fleets endlessly to their deaths as long as you do one delivery mission for them each month). I think having a mechanic where you have to perpetually do trivial tasks in an endgame is just generally bad. The price for having colonies should be in the difficulty of getting them to that end-game power level IMO.

My goal with this suggestion is to come up with a system where expeditions are a more 'upfront' cost to establishing colonies that is difficult in a fun way, and also makes more sense thematically/within the lore.


The suggestion:
Expeditions are one time events for each factions. Perhaps once per colony per faction, or once per industry type per faction, but some small finite number of times.

When you initially reach the threshold of production (or free port or whatever) for triggering an expedition, you are given the option to shut down the industry, pay some (large) portion of your income/production to the faction every month, or refuse. Paying a fraction of income should be a way of delaying the expedition i.e. you can stop paying at a later date and trigger the expedition then. It should be enough of your income that you really don't want to do it forever. Maybe the faction could demand more and more as you grow or something. Once you refuse, there is a delay before the expedition is sent, and maybe you can leverage contacts to get more info about when it will happen and what it will entail.

Since the expedition is a one-time thing, it should be a 'boss battle' type event. I personally thing that the 'endless waves of capital ships' type stuff from nex is not that engaging, so what I would propose would be that each faction has a unique boss ship that only gets sent during expeditions and isn't recoverable. The expedition is trying to take your colony from you, so you need to win to avoid losing the colony. The idea is that you really shouldn't be able to avoid losing your colony without fighting yourself, and it should be hard, even for a mid-late game fleet with a max level station.

Once you defeat the factions expedition, they should stop bothering you because you stood up to their best shot. They also probably shouldn't like you much anymore, but that's more a reputation thing than an expedition thing. Maybe there could be an alternate path with a commissions faction to avoid expeditions or something.

The idea is that the expedition system limits the income you can get from colonies until you can beat the bosses. You have to keep them small/under the radar, or have your income heavily reduced if you can't beat the bosses. It also creates a situation where it's actually reasonable to make sacrifices/lose ships to win, which is something I really want to see in the game. Ideally, it adds a big upfront dose of difficulty to making super colonies, but eliminates the annoying long-term rep tax.

36
Suggestions / Prevent built in dedicated targeting core
« on: August 15, 2021, 07:36:49 PM »
I'll preface this by stating that I'm playing with some mods that likely caused the specific issue that made me make this thread, but I think the underlying issue is not mood related.

Basically, I found a legion XIV with built in DTC, which really sucks because ITU is a straight upgrade that I can never use on the ship now. I think it should either be impossible to get DTC built in on a ship, or it should be possible to upgrade it to ITU. I honestly think DTC should just never be built in on AI ships in general, it doesn't make sense to do it when ITU exists.

37
Suggestions / A phase rebalance idea
« on: June 09, 2021, 04:48:48 PM »
I just thought of an idea I think is interesting, but I'll lead with the statement that I'm not convinced it's good, just different in a way that might eliminate some of the current issues I have with phase ships.

IMO one of the big issues with phase ships is that they are both invulnerable and super fast while phased. This naturally means they are invulnerable on approach and while escaping which makes them very difficult to punish. They want to spend as little time unphased as possible since it lets them reposition and avoid damage.

My idea is this: what if phase cloaking slowed the ship down instead of speeding it up? Phase cloaking would then become a primarily defensive mechanism to briefly avoid specific damage, and the ship would spend most of its time flying around unphased. Obviously this would not work at all with the current stats. Phase ships still need to be able to reposition and maneuver at will to function without shields so a major base speed increase would be necessary. I think a significant increase to armor/hull might also be required.

Like I said, I don't know if it would work, but it seems like an interesting change to theory craft about.

38
Suggestions / A Leadership Capstone Idea
« on: May 02, 2021, 10:55:13 PM »
There's been quite a bit of discussion about how much stronger frigates have become in the new update, and a significant part of that is the power of wolfpack tactics. Rather than just nerfing it, I think it should become a capstone/tier 5 skill. I think it would need to be a bit stronger to really fit though. I would do one or more of: extending some bonuses to unofficered frigates, and giving some reduced bonuses to destroyers. In addition, I think an interesting opposite skill would be something to buff capitals/crusiers so that there is a choice of which size ships you want to buff, and there is a skill that benefits you no matter what ships you use. Something like bonus range/maneuverability/speed on officered capital ships and cruisers would be interesting I think.

What other ideas do you all have for leadership capstones?

39
Suggestions / AI ship skill idea
« on: April 20, 2021, 02:26:41 PM »
Maybe the limit on the skill could be reworked to be a limit on the number/quality AI cores rather than on DP i.e. you can have as many ship hulls as you want but only a certain number of AI core officers with higher level cores being worth more. I feel like most of the remnant ships are not much better than other ships without AI core officers. The main issue is that radiants have criminally low DP, so that would need to get adjusted, but I feel like that should happen anyway. If remnant fleets need help to be difficult late game fights, then give them some inherent DP advantage, or some other explicit advantage rather than making radiants undervalued in DP to artificially increase difficulty.

If it created too many balance issues, you could add maluses to un-officered remnant ships, or require an officer (Human or AI) for the ship to be operable.

I think a direct limit on the number/quality of bonus AI officers is a much clearer communication of the value of the skill.

40
General Discussion / Black Market Weapons Dealers Suck
« on: April 17, 2021, 01:32:32 PM »
They charge triple price, and the ships still have d-mods. I honestly don't really see a good reason to ever use them for ships, and since one of the hotfixes improved weapon availability, that hasn't been an issue for me either. The only ships you won't find reliably by mid game are heavy cruisers or capital ships where the 300% mark up is super painful. Do people find them useful?

41
Suggestions / My thoughts on skills and an assortment of ideas
« on: April 10, 2021, 12:45:37 PM »
After playing for quite a bit, I think that the concept/idea behind the new skill system is much improved, but there are a lot of details that need to get ironed out before it plays well.

I think the most basic improvement would just be to increase the level cap a bit (maybe to 20). That would make wrapping feel much more useful and generally let the player get a few more QOL type skills without sacrificing the really good tier 5 skills. With how difficult the late game has gotten (a good thing), I don't think a small power increase from additional skills would be an issue. I do think leveling is a bit fast right now, and maybe that could be slowed down.

In terms of combat skills, I understand and agree with the desire to allow for specialization, but I feel like some of the skills are a bit too specialized. To me it makes sense that you want specialization type skills to benefit you in a way that most/a majority of ships could take advantage of to some degree, but that will benefit some specific ships a lot more. I think pure carrier skills that benefit the piloted ship only are a bad idea. Carriers are just generally not very fun/interactive to pilot. Fleet-wide carrier skills are ok in concept, but a bit weak right now. Phase specific skills are a bit too limiting in the sense that they are useless on all but 4-5 ships IMO. I prefer buffs to specific ships types like that to get added on to more general skills.

Some specific ideas to improve the current skill tree with skill rebalances and shuffling:

I think combat is pretty close to being in a solid place, most of the skills seem pretty interesting. My ideas:
Spoiler
Swap C1R (strike commander) and C2R (point defense). Moderately buff the point defense skill for the piloted ship (maybe adding some of the IPDAI buffs like ignoring flares/improved target leading or improving weapon turn rate). To me strong PD buffs vs maneuverability buffs is a more interesting choice, and I could see going either way regularly.

I would also rework strike commander into a missile + bomber buffing skill instead (bonus damage and extra hitpoints for all missiles from the piloted ship and fighters basically), and nerf target analysis to be ballistic/energy weapon only. Choosing between general weapon damage, and missiles damage seems like an interesting choice to me. I would probably move the extra fighter damage from current Strike commander to be fleetwide in L3R to help it compete with other leadership skills (and make carriers a bit better). It could also be it's own skill in leadership.

For tier 3 combat, I think the tradeoff of ranged damage vs armor is good, but ranged specialization needs a small buff. Maybe something as simple as making the ranges 700-14/1500 to make it more generally applicable. Another idea is to make ranged specialization buff beams in some way (10-20% extra damage or doubled effect for beams maybe) since beams generally have long range and also feel a bit weak ATM.

For tier 4 combat, I would personally remove the phase skill (maybe try to put those buffs in other skills like helmsmanship, or in the tech tree) and possibly replace it with a general offensive skill, maybe improvements to anti-armor i.e. increase hit strength for armor penetration type stuff? I also think it would be interesting to have target analysis against shield modulation as a choice (again offense vs defense), but I'm not sure what I would put at C2L in that case. I do think the I2 skills could be moved to combat so maybe to combination of shuffling those skills into combat and moving combat skills around could work. I think a pure phase skill is too limiting in terms of the ships you can pilot, I'd rather see small benefits to phase piloting distributed through a bunch of different more general skills that you can stack if you want to be good at that. Phase ships are also pretty busted so I think a nerf is called for in some way anyway, and a phase only skill will always be on a knifes edge of overpowered and excessively niche depending on how good phase ships are.

I think C5 is good as is, systems expertise might be too good with Doom.
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Leadership feels a bit off to me and I don't have as many clear ideas. Some thoughts:
Spoiler
I think L1R is filler (except for some wild derelict contingent hyper cheese that will hopefully be gone soon), and pretty out of place in leadership. I think it should be replaced with something completely different or moved to industry. Maybe a bonus damage for fighters type skill to contrast the bonus damage for ships skill in L1.

I think it should be possible to take both L2 skills without wrapping, one of them should be in a different tier. Maybe swap wolf pack and carrier group so that the L3 choice is lots of PPT and damage for frigates or a little CR/PPT for everyone?. I think coordinated maneuvers vs carrier group is a more interesting choice too.

I think L4 is a solid choice.

I think L5 is strange, I really don't know what to do with it. Neither of the skills seem super enticing, but I don't have any great ideas for replacements. I don't think the raiding boost is necessary when you can just get more marines, ground defenses can be super boosted with items and the planetary shield, and stability is much less important now that it doesn't hurt income until it's below 5. The other skill is fine I guess, but it buffs income and defense fleets which can already be buffed well beyond any practical benefit without it.
[close]

I think tech is best tree at the moment in terms of power, but there are some significant balance issues IMO.
Spoiler
Tier 1 is a tough choice which means it's good! It's also tier 1 so it's easy to wrap around and get both and you get both the abilities from the campaign which makes it a lot less painful. I think if the level cap got raised a little to make wrapping more viable, this would be in a great spot spot.

Tier 2 is pretty good as is IMO (assuming the confirmed change of moving +ecm to elite in gunnery implants). I almost feel like +ecm for frigates doesn't make a ton of sense though, T3L already makes frigates quite good at improving fleet ecm. I almost wonder if capping ecm range reduction at 10% (or less) might be a better elite skill for GI.

Tier 3 is a non-decision. ECM is virtually mandatory, and the carrier skill isn't even that good with 6 bays. I'm not sure how to fix that. Maybe get rid of the ECM skill?

Tier 4 is another weird choice, flux modulation is super good in almost every situation, and more importantly, it's quite good for phase ships, so it's a hard sell to take a phase ship only skill over a skill that benefits all ships including phase ships. I would rework the phase skill (similar reasoning to not liking excessively specialized combat skills). Maybe some sort of fleetwide shield/phase cloak upkeep reduction? Another idea is to make one side of T4 dissipation increase + upkeep reduction and the other side capacity increase + venting rate improvement or something like that.

I think T5 tech is in a decent place, but only if you use radiants. I would increase the automated ship point cap and also increase radiant DP so that the skill is similarly powerful, but gives you more options. I don't have that much experience with the automated ships skill though, so I'm less sure about that.
[close]

Industry is the strangest tree to me.
Spoiler
I1L seems very weird. It's like 'if your fleet is small, you need less logistics ships', but logistics ships are cheap, and fleet slots are only an issue if your fleet is large where the skill doesn't do much anyway. It would have been nice for phase fleets if the new phase hauler didn't exist. It's also paired against bonus salvage and resources which is quite good. One alternative idea for I1L is to improve the chance of finding rare items.

I2 feels like it belongs in the combat tree. I almost want there to be 6 tiers in combat and 4 in industry for that reason. Alternatively, you could replace either of the the phase skills with these skills, and put some other skill like a d-mod effect reduction skill in I2. I think shields vs a repair skill could be an interesting choice in C4 (maybe with some additional ion damage resistance or something to make a t4 skill?) I guess it's a somewhat interesting choice though, with both options being good on a decent subset of ships, and useful on any ship. Not a bad pair of skills, they just feel out of place in industry IMO.

I3 is a solid choice IMO.

I4 has derelict contingent, which is busted/needs a total rework, and field repairs, which is the 'I hate d-mods on principle' skill. Replacing DC with a skill that reduces the impact of d-mods would be more thematic IMO. I think I like field repairs in its current state though.

I5 are both good colony skills that will make lots of money, but making lots of money is meaningless right now. We will have to see where late game goes before really judging these IMO.
[close]

The more drastic suggestion I have is to abandon the restrictions of 5 tiers and 2 skills per tier. I think you could improve the trees a lot by adding third options in places. Also not having to worry about having enough skills to get get 5 tiers, or having to cut skills to get down to 5 tiers would be a benefit IMO. Effects like the old bonus damage/armor for armor calculations skills seem to have been completely cut, and there are also several skills that feel like filler right now where I would almost not mind some rearranging/combining to lose a tier of skills. There are also skills I would move to a different tree without the tree structure restrictions.

42
Suggestions / AI improvements to dealing with minor threats
« on: April 09, 2021, 11:16:53 AM »
I've noticed that frequently, the AI gets tunneled on minor threats, even to the point of ignoring very direct/strong orders (eliminate):

Spoiler
[close]
Spoiler
[close]

This eliminate order has been active for a significant amount of time (10 seconds maybe), but the paragon is still facing and moving towards a frigate that is well out of its range (it had been focused on it before I gave the order). I even flew in between it and the frigate to try and get it to change focus, but it kept looking that way. I think the AI needs to be able to address minor threats (fire some guns/push small threats away/aim shields that way) without completely turning to focus on them.

43
Suggestions / Trade Fleets need better escorts
« on: April 08, 2021, 02:55:40 PM »
Trade fleets are often carrying hundreds of thousands of credits worth of resources, but can be picked off in hyperspace by a light fleet of frigates and destroyers easily. Comparing the difficult of a bounty with the same value, it's night and day. I killed a fleet and looted 1000 supplies, 500 heavy armaments and a bunch of heavy equipment with 3 destroyers and 5 frigates. The defense had one dominator and some lighter ships, maybe 10 in total, but a few fast officered frigates and destroyers had no trouble with the fight. I make like 400k+, selling the armaments alone during a shortage from a fight that would be a 100-150k bounty at most. 

44
Suggestions / Commission Rework
« on: April 06, 2021, 02:01:50 PM »
Commissions have always been a bit silly. Money with no strings attached beyond occasional faction hostilities. I think with the introduction of the new contact system it's high time they get updated.

I think you should get commissioned by a specific person (contact) instead of a whole faction. You should need to build up rep with that contact by doing missions for them before you can get the commission. I would either completely remove or massively nerf the monthly stipend. Instead the contact would give you better paying missions, but also occasionally require you to do certain missions for them. Maybe the required missions would be types you frequently accept from them.

Basically replace commissions with a contact+ that gives you some mandatory/required missions occasionally.

45
Once you get nano-forges and high colony size, ship quality is near 100% even with low setting in doctrine. I think that increasing ship quality beyond 100% should start to give s-mods on faction fleet ships.

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