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Author Topic: [0.95.1a] TC: Archean Order: Rebalanced Combat/Lore RPG - *hotfix* 4/14/22  (Read 745497 times)

Morrokain

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Re: [0.95.1a] TC: Archean Order: Rebalanced Combat/Lore RPG - Hotfix 3/6/22
« Reply #1785 on: March 24, 2022, 02:02:58 PM »

Hey, love the mod! Great work! :)

Is there a way to join the Adamantine Consortium early game? I like to start off on my own with just a single ship or two, no colonies, not allied to anyone, and work my way up into their faction organically, kind of like in Mount and Blade Warband. Of course at the start, AC is at -50 and hostile. Any tips on how to get them to like me without joining them at the start through Nex?

Thanks!

Thanks and welcome to the forums!

There should be a faction start option for the Adamantine Consortium when using Nex unless something has changed that I'm not aware of. It is flagged as a playable faction within the mod's exerelin faction config. There should also be an option to start with a single Acolyte (Ad) frigate as well. However, it will set you as cooperative and commissioned iirc.

If you want to role play a neutral player joining them though, it actually is possible, but very, very difficult. In the mod, there is the option to bribe fleet officers to avoid battles. It has a low chance of succeeding for the Adamantine Consortium, but if you throw a ton of credits at them each time (largest bribe or tributes both work I think) and run from any failed bribes either through the escape battle mode or the story point option, the successes will slowly improve your reputation until you get to the point of the fleets not being hostile (inhospitable). From there you can do all of the normal things to improve your reputation with them until you can take a commission.

I think you may also be able to use Nex's agents feature to increase reputation as well.

Finally, there occasionally should be missions given from that faction when flying near their systems. Completing those successfully will also improve your reputation.
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Alexhandr

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Re: [0.95.1a] TC: Archean Order: Rebalanced Combat/Lore RPG - Hotfix 3/6/22
« Reply #1786 on: March 24, 2022, 02:13:34 PM »

Thank you for the quick reply! Will use this info to roleplay my way into the AC with my evil character.
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Morrokain

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Re: [0.95.1a] TC: Archean Order: Rebalanced Combat/Lore RPG - Hotfix 3/6/22
« Reply #1787 on: March 24, 2022, 02:52:24 PM »

Which drone carrier was it? I'll try and reproduce it when I'm off and see if removing any of the tags fixes it. I'd ideally like to use the tags, but I cant bring this up to Alex without having more specifics.

This happens on Effulgence. It was quite a big fight with 6 invasion fleets, so, the CR ran out and I was forced to send it back. I might also tap the retreat button too many times.

Well, I can't reproduce it using the simulator at least. I tried both retreat and direct retreat using the Shadowlord and Apocrypha. I tried it a couple of times. It must either be another mod, or something to do with the campaign context.

If you happen to run into it again, give me some specifics to the context (I already noted 0 CR and a very large battle) - preferably an exact build and what enemies are in the battle.

Oh, I also removed the crew costs for the Shadowlord and Apocrypha. I'm pretty sure that was just a copy paste oversight.
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Morrokain

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Re: [0.95.1a] TC: Archean Order: Rebalanced Combat/Lore RPG - Hotfix 3/6/22
« Reply #1788 on: April 01, 2022, 10:52:15 AM »

A new experimental balance build is out on Nexus Mods under optional files!

It should be save compatible with the first experimental build. All small weapons have been looked at and almost all of them have changes. The general goal was to provide a more nuanced niche for each weapon - centered around balance factors such as projectile speed and accuracy. This is basically an extension of the concepts from the missile rework spread out across all small weapons.

I meant to release this before last weekend, but I decided an additional week of hardcore testing would be best to produce a better overall result. I haven't tested like this for a couple of years (its very, very tedious) but it seemed appropriate given the last couple of rounds of feedback.

If you're curious about how I'm testing and some of what exactly has changed from the last experimental version, here are some details:

Spoiler
The first thing I needed is a controlled test scenario. This means it has to be tests over and over and over and over again on the same ship. The Centurion is the perfect ship for this for several reasons. One, it has middle of the road stats - decent flux stats, average armor, etc. So the tests will give me a general sense of the armor penetration of every weapon. Secondly, the Centurion is one of the most flexible ships to build. It has a lot of weapon mounts that can fit multiple types of weapons. That is important since I can test literally all weapons without breaking the control. To further emphasize build diversity, I made a couple of changes and made the center turret composite instead of just ballistic and the rear side turrets universal instead of hybrid. I also gave the Centurion 5 more OP.

Here are some of the resulting builds: (yes they have been added to the campaign as well  ;) )

Spoiler









[close]

So the goal is to make weapons balanced enough that builds designed to perform similar roles perform relatively equally as a trend. After numerous tests, I think this mostly holds true. When I talk about roles, I'm not just talking about Strike, Assault, PD, and Fire Support. I am also talking about subcategories within those roles such as "anti-frigate" or "fights larger hulls well" and taking into consideration how well the builds could handle fighters and to what degree. The idea of course is that there has to be tradeoffs in each case.

The idea of subcategories of roles is a new idea that stemmed from the rework of missiles. Rockets such as the Annihilator and Javelin have been completely reworked to feel different over guided missiles such as the Rapier and Swarmer. Really, rockets in general are now designed to provide high amounts of dps spread out over a fairly wide area and are more vulnerable to PD mitigation. Swarmers, on the other hand, hit more reliably and really take a bite out of armor when they connect with unshielded targets. These traits make them ideal against frigates or even gunships. Since missiles as a whole have a lot more ammo and can last a lot longer at optimal dps, using them on gunships or bombers shouldn't feel too painful. The AI shouldn't do it as often compared to anti-fighter missiles though.

So how are rockets and torpedoes different? They now act as a heavy weapon that can give frigates a way to get closer to destroyers in damage potential - with the drawback that these weapons are more useful against larger and slower targets and hit frigates a lot less often. Some of this was already mentioned in prior posts, but the concept should be more refined and now has been implemented across small weapons as a whole.

An example of a non missile weapon that this concept applies to is the Photon Cannon. It now has the highest sustained dps of any small weapon in the mod except for I believe the Tactical Beam. It also hits for 500 per shot and so it has very, very good armor penetration for a small weapon dealing energy damage. However, since it has a much slower projectile speed, it can't hit frigates all that well. It performs best when it targets larger ships and there it shines as a heavy assault weapon. Something like the Pulse Cannon or the Avalanche Cannon is much better at hitting frigates, and fill the role of strike (high initial dps, low sustained dps) and assault (flux free average sustained dps) respectively. This opens up the need for a hard hitting but slow anti-armor ballistic weapon, and the Fissure Cannon fills it nicely. Whereas the Avalanche loses its initial dps more quickly, the Fissure keeps it longer at the expense of projectile speed. So now the Avalanche and Fissure don't feel as much like they are competing for the same spot on a ship where the main consideration is OP. They are used for different things and that feels nice to me.

You can make similar comparisons to the Autocannon and Assault Autocannon. (Which I need to rename at some point.) The Autocannon has really good armor penetration and like the Assault Autocannon it is cheap to install, but it is also flux free and has higher range. That said, it misses a fair amount against frigates and even sometimes destroyers. The Assault Autocannon hits much more reliably and with substantially higher initial dps, but it costs a bit of flux and its damage falls off eventually as the magazine needs to reload. Hopefully, this means that there is much more consideration about which weapon you'd ideally want on a ship - depending largely upon what you want that ship to do and the needs of the build. So maybe the Assault Autocannon would be better, but is the build already heavy on flux generating weaponry? It might be better to take the Autocannon and deal with the potential of missed shots. Or if the build is targeting larger ships, the armor penetration and higher sustained dps might be more ideal. It just depends.

Finally, looking at fire support weapons I decided to rework them a bit. They still cost a lot of flux to use, but instead of also being coupled with lower dps they now work similar to strike weapons. They have a large initial dps mitigated by the flux stats of the ship, but eventually that dps falls off to very low levels. Therefore, fire support ships essentially have a limited window of effectiveness to support close range ships hopefully without them dominating the battle from continuous concentrated fire through allies. These changes also generally improve the AI performance of allied ships because running out of ammo gives the AI some breathing room to vent or retreat, etc, in a 1v1 scenario. This means that fire support ships still shouldn't be able to beat close range ships in 1v1 scenario in most cases (there are some heavily optimized builds that can but largely they can't otherwise) and work best when used in conjunction with other ships.

To test this out, I ran simulations of 4 Centurions vs 4 Centurions and 5 Centurions vs 5 Centurions testing out a variety of builds in the same role while keeping the enemy fleet identical in each case. Yup, very tedious, but the data is worth it most of the time.
[close]

While this isn't enough data to be foolproof and I'm sure that I'll still be making adjustments as I get into medium weapons, it is enough that I'm fairly confident that weapons will feel more fun and the choice between them will be a bit harder. In many cases, I think they look better visually too. Finally, since many weapons are more difficult to acquire, finding or unlocking one will hopefully feel a bit more satisfying than "A" but a better "A" for more OP.

Alongside that thought, I'm hoping that balancing weapons first will help to expose ship imbalances in the future. If I can be mostly certain that all weapons hold their weight and are useful, and also get a general sense of how each one works on a build and what builds should beat what builds, I can better determine whether a discrepancy in ship performance is from random chance, poor build optimization, the build naturally performing worse across multiple ships when competing with a build that counters it, or is actually, in fact, a ship imbalance that requires an adjustment to stats.

That's the thought process and some detail as to what changed and why! For those who feel like trying the experimental build, thanks as always for the continued feedback and have fun trying out the reworked weapons! As another reminder, I haven't looked in depth at medium or large weapons yet and the larger versions of small weapons haven't been adjusted to match the changes in design yet.

(Now I just need to figure out a way to not see Centurions circle each other whenever I close my eyes.  :P )
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thedarkgod

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Requesting assistence is very broken as is, just by having a large fleet I can get 500k plus credits from any maxed out faction, like the player faction, and 300k plus from any friendly one, per request!

It needs both re-balancing (it scales waaay too much with player fleet size), an addition of negative rep even on success, as well as a hard cap on resources given.

I would personally also exclude requesting credits from the player faction, or give a negative multiplier to resources given to you.

Edit: Did a little bit looking around, and I believe the offending line for the insanely high credits given to the player is: "credits = (int) (credits * (relativeStrength + 0.25));" which means that with a big fleet you can get to absolutely insane values from a tiny patrol fleet, unsure how to get the mod to read the changes in src to test this hypothesis tho. (Additional de-incentives for flying around begging for cash still needs be implemented even with this glaring bug fixed, like a negative rep on success like suggested before)
« Last Edit: April 05, 2022, 12:15:35 PM by thedarkgod »
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Morrokain

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...

I agree yeah. That particular system needs some refinement and that's part of what fleet dialogue is supposed to accomplish. In particular it will get its balancing values from settings in each faction file so that modders can heavily customize the assistance or cease fire features. That is also a good place to put any caps on the reward or whether or not rep is lost, etc.

Conceptually Fleet Dialogue is mostly finished I just need to finish converting the substantial amount of dialogue from rules to the merging spreadsheet and set up all of the code that pulls it from there for each column. After that, I will rework the portion of code you were looking at to pull info from the faction files instead of having it hard coded.
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thedarkgod

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I agree yeah. That particular system needs some refinement and that's part of what fleet dialogue is supposed to accomplish. In particular it will get its balancing values from settings in each faction file so that modders can heavily customize the assistance or cease fire features. That is also a good place to put any caps on the reward or whether or not rep is lost, etc.

Conceptually Fleet Dialogue is mostly finished I just need to finish converting the substantial amount of dialogue from rules to the merging spreadsheet and set up all of the code that pulls it from there for each column. After that, I will rework the portion of code you were looking at to pull info from the faction files instead of having it hard coded.

That seems like a smart solution, I'm not sure how far along you are, but if you do release another beta before finishing said changes, do change "relativeStrength + 0.25" into a fixed number like "1.25" or so for credits, fuel, and, supplies respectively, to mitigate said linear increase bug though, since fixing said bug shouldn't need any other change to the code.

Let me know if you need any assistance converting the dialogue by the way, if its a relatively straightforward conversion of format I should be able to whip up a script for it, to save a little bit of time.

Edit: figured out how to compile the mod, supplanting the bonus reward calculations from supplies does mitigate the issue, but we still get a a linear increase that gives you values in the 100s of thousands when you have high fleet points, I think the way to go about this would be to have the reward exponentially level off towards some reasonable value, since that would give a decent amount of cash to lower level players and some sane value to high level players as well.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2022, 06:30:03 AM by thedarkgod »
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cd

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I'm having lots of fun with this mod/tc.  Looking forward to trying out the experimental install for my next run. 

I have found a couple of bugs, and I'm not sure if this is the right place for them, but I'll post them anyhow.

I started a Archean Order run and picked the Cruiser "Justicar" as the starting ship, but now that I have a fleet and over 3mil credits I can NOT find another Justicar to add to my fleet.  They don't appear to be anywhere.  I have a the stelnet mod to let you search markets and it never finds them either.  I have all the other Archean ships in my armada, but more Justicar cruisers are no where to be found.

Also, the HEAVY Apocalypse Cannon says that it "can fire through allied ships" but it CANNOT.  The AI never does, and if you manually try it you blow up your buddies. 

There is something funny going on with the Tachyon Beam, Stabilized Drive Conduit, and perhaps Advanced Optics.  If you fire the Tachyon Beam and hit an enemy you'll never get your zero flux speed bonus working right again.  You can try it in the "run simulation" area.  I ran into it with the Adamantium Consortium Dreadcarrier and it made piloting that painful with the carrier speed penalty.  So now I never use the Tachyon Beam, even though I love its sound effect.

Anyhow, I really love your mod.  Thanks for the fun times.

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Morrokain

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That seems like a smart solution, I'm not sure how far along you are, but if you do release another beta before finishing said changes, do change "relativeStrength + 0.25" into a fixed number like "1.25" or so for credits, fuel, and, supplies respectively, to mitigate said linear increase bug though, since fixing said bug shouldn't need any other change to the code.

...

Edit: figured out how to compile the mod, supplanting the bonus reward calculations from supplies does mitigate the issue, but we still get a a linear increase that gives you values in the 100s of thousands when you have high fleet points, I think the way to go about this would be to have the reward exponentially level off towards some reasonable value, since that would give a decent amount of cash to lower level players and some sane value to high level players as well.
I agree that some sort of cap is needed based upon those values and the general idea is sound to me. (The scale seemed ok-ish when I tested a long time ago, but not only have lots of things changed since then but I didn't implement it with scale in mind to be frank. It was more concept than fine tuned with balance in mind.)

Let me know if you need any assistance converting the dialogue by the way, if its a relatively straightforward conversion of format I should be able to whip up a script for it, to save a little bit of time.
Working on displaying what I'm doing a bit and you can be the judge of whether a script could accomplish this/is worth it, etc.

I'm having lots of fun with this mod/tc.  Looking forward to trying out the experimental install for my next run. 

I have found a couple of bugs, and I'm not sure if this is the right place for them, but I'll post them anyhow.

I started a Archean Order run and picked the Cruiser "Justicar" as the starting ship, but now that I have a fleet and over 3mil credits I can NOT find another Justicar to add to my fleet.  They don't appear to be anywhere.  I have a the stelnet mod to let you search markets and it never finds them either.  I have all the other Archean ships in my armada, but more Justicar cruisers are no where to be found.

Also, the HEAVY Apocalypse Cannon says that it "can fire through allied ships" but it CANNOT.  The AI never does, and if you manually try it you blow up your buddies. 

There is something funny going on with the Tachyon Beam, Stabilized Drive Conduit, and perhaps Advanced Optics.  If you fire the Tachyon Beam and hit an enemy you'll never get your zero flux speed bonus working right again.  You can try it in the "run simulation" area.  I ran into it with the Adamantium Consortium Dreadcarrier and it made piloting that painful with the carrier speed penalty.  So now I never use the Tachyon Beam, even though I love its sound effect.

Anyhow, I really love your mod.  Thanks for the fun times.
Always glad to hear that people are having fun so thank you!

Fixed the issues with the Apocalypse Cannon and Justicar for the next experimental update which might be tonight or tomorrow at some point - oof I must have added the tooltip without checking the projectile itself - assuming I had already done that or otherwise planned to do it. Sorry let me know if you find more cases of this sort of thing! For the Justicar, another great catch thanks. I think it was originally part of the tier 3 blueprint package which is included in the "known ships" portion of the faction file. I removed it from that to tune down those packs' power and didn't realize I didn't include the hull id in the known portion.

The Tachyon Lance issue is a bit of an odd case. To explain: It could definitely be that something is off with my code as it is exceptionally fancy probably not a good idea but seemed like it should functionally work most of the time and did in a few tests lol. I'll have to take a look in some detail to provide more insight on that. Iiirc, it was supposed to permanently lower the max speed of the ship the first time it fired the weapon by half for the duration of the battle. This is because kiting with the weapon was too powerful (lore-wise its an experimental super weapon that does catastrophic things to systems when fired that take detailed maintenance to repair post-combat) and it needed some kind of downside even beyond lower sustained dps. It does make piloting slow capitals extra painful, but ideally the weapon should make up for that by its ability to damage things at extreme range with perfect accuracy. What this means is that using the weapon kind of means you have to build your build around it if that makes sense. That doesn't mean its fun per se from a piloting perspective, but that's the general idea. When I look at large weapons in more detail, I'll see if I can think of a better or more fun solution. Iirc, it just had obnoxiously high flux costs once upon a time, but that isn't necessarily fun either and also messes with the AI a bit more.

Basically the speed reduction was just a balancing mechanism that probably isn't perfect. That, or there is a bug somewhere I haven't found yet.
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Albreo

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Can you also take a look at the Phase Mastery skill? I don't think 50% Flux Threshold before speed reduction is being applied properly. The top speed is still reduced immediately at the start of the phasing or did I misunderstand something?
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Morrokain

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Can you also take a look at the Phase Mastery skill? I don't think 50% Flux Threshold before speed reduction is being applied properly. The top speed is still reduced immediately at the start of the phasing or did I misunderstand something?

Sure I'll take a look when I'm off this afternoon. I could have implemented it wro g or something.
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Morrokain

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Meant to post this last night but the server went down:

Let me know if you need any assistance converting the dialogue by the way, if its a relatively straightforward conversion of format I should be able to whip up a script for it, to save a little bit of time.
Working on displaying what I'm doing a bit and you can be the judge of whether a script could accomplish this/is worth it, etc.

So this is a sample of the "text" column of the rules.csv file:

Spoiler
The $personRank looks like $heOrShe is about to say something menacing, then $heOrShe sees the number of credits and stops the threat mid sentence. "Ok, ok, you win I will take that and, um... just let you go." $HeOrShe says excitedly.

Your bribe was successful, and since pirates value such incentives, your reputation has increased as a result. The $personRank has agreed to end hostilities between you for a time. During that time, you are free to request things like you would a friendly fleet. Be careful not to over-request or attempt to make demands, however, or you may renew hostilities once more.
OR
"That... is a lot of credits" $HeOrShe says breathlessly. "Have a nice day then. I will remember this."

Your bribe was successful, and since pirates value such incentives, your reputation has increased as a result. The $personRank has agreed to end hostilities between you for a time. During that time, you are free to request things like you would a friendly fleet. Be careful not to over-request or attempt to make demands, however, or you may renew hostilities once more.
OR
"I.. I... I'm so happy I'm a pirate right now." $HeOrShe immediately powers down weapons and forgets all about your $shipOrFleet in $hisOrHer mad rush for your stash of credits.

Your bribe was successful, and since pirates value such incentives, your reputation has increased as a result. The $personRank has agreed to end hostilities between you for a time. During that time, you are free to request things like you would a friendly fleet. Be careful not to over-request or attempt to make demands, however, or you may renew hostilities once more.
OR
"Wow, just wow! I can't believe I've hit the jackpot!" $HeOrShe has, for the moment, all but forgotten about your $shipOrFleet.

Your bribe was successful, and since pirates value such incentives, your reputation has increased as a result. The $personRank has agreed to end hostilities between you for a time. During that time, you are free to request things like you would a friendly fleet. Be careful not to over-request or attempt to make demands, however, or you may renew hostilities once more.
OR
"You just gave me enough to provision for 30 days. I don't need your blood on my hands to begin with." $HeOrShe will let your $shipOrFleet escape unharmed.

Your bribe was successful, and since pirates value such incentives, your reputation has increased as a result. The $personRank has agreed to end hostilities between you for a time. During that time, you are free to request things like you would a friendly fleet. Be careful not to over-request or attempt to make demands, however, or you may renew hostilities once more.
[close]

Afaik it's just a string and not a complex object or anything.

It corresponds to a ruleId: PiratesCFSuccessWithLargeBribeRep - which is found in the first column of the rules.csv under "id".

I need to convert it to a spreadsheet entry in the FleetDialogue_factionText.csv in fleet dialogue. (And there are other changes such as changing "OR" to "-OR-" but I won't go into detail yet.)

The real wrinkle here is that the "Pirates" portion of the rule id means it needs to go under the pirate faction id of the FleetDialogue_factionText.csv spreadsheet where the faction id is an entry in the "id" column of that spreadsheet. Each faction gets its own row. The ruleId is the column name.

If there isn't a faction indicator in the ruleId, then it goes under "default" for the id.

Here is what the entry could end up looking like (not the same line its a test example but you get the idea):

default,"After exchanging a few $STARTHLpleasantries$HLCOLORCUSTOM255,192,203$ENDCOLOR$ENDHL, you inform the $personRank that you could use some assistance. The weight of your $STARTHLinfluence$HLCOLORPINK$ENDCOLOR$ENDHL, if any, with $hisOrHer faction is behind the request, as is the military strength of each of your respective forces...-OR-You chat $STARTHLidly$HLCOLORBLUE$ENDCOLOR$ENDHL for a few minutes with $PersonRank $personName as you work your way up to the point of this $STARTHLconversation$HLCOLORFACTION$ENDCOLOR$ENDHL. You indicate that your fleet could use some resupplying and request that the $personRank spare what $heOrShe can.$NEWLINEAny $STARTHLinfluence$ENDHL you have with $hisOrHer superiors will most likely $STARTHLfactor$HLCOLORNEGATIVE$ENDCOLOR$ENDHL in $hisOrHer decision- as will any advantages or disadvantages in relative fleet strength...-OR-After some initial small talk, you ask $PersonRank $personName for a few $STARTHLcommodities$HLCOLORGREEN$ENDCOLOR$ENDHL to help safeguard your journey. $HeOrShe considers your $STARTHLreputation$HLCOLORSTORY$ENDCOLOR$ENDHL and the size of your $shipOrFleet..."
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Morrokain

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Can you also take a look at the Phase Mastery skill? I don't think 50% Flux Threshold before speed reduction is being applied properly. The top speed is still reduced immediately at the start of the phasing or did I misunderstand something?

Sure I'll take a look when I'm off this afternoon. I could have implemented it wro g or something.

Hmm, well its implemented in the same way that vanilla does so it *should* be working correctly. However, looking at 0.95.1a patch notes to see exact values:

Quote
Phase cloak reduces top speed as hard flux goes up, down to 33% speed at 50% hard flux while phased

 - it could very well be that this negates the actual benefit quickly enough that it isn't very noticeable. One easy way to test this would be to severely reduce the flux per second while phased to make the effect last longer to confirm. I'll do that and from there, I can decide what a better approach for the skill should be, or whether or not phase mechanics need some adjustments. (I've noticed that the AI Tyrant phase/unphases rapidly in an unfun and ugly way to try and get a brief speed boost.)

This is probably also a good time to try tackle the system situation with that ship too.

*EDIT*

Hmm, I guess that weird phase movement is only during the title screen. It seems fine in the simulator. So, the current implementation gets the Tyrant to half its max speed in only a few seconds. So even assuming 60 max speed from the bonus - it will be 30 and therefore under normal max speed in that timeframe and at 33% of a 50% bonus max I think its only about a 7 net speed bonus overall after the threshold is met. Yeah that wouldn't be all that noticeable.

I might just do what I normally do for speed boosts and scale it by hullsize. Only in this case it would scale up instead of down as you increased it. Something like 50%/75%/100%/100%. That way the bonus is noticeable even at the flux threshold.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2022, 03:30:05 PM by Morrokain »
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Matthew_Collins

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My bad if I'm dumb - But I can't seem to get this total conversion to work, even standalone? Game won't even launch, the Mod Loader says the required game version is 0.95. 1a-RC6, while mine is apparently 0.95aRC15.

I downloaded the latest version of Starsector, so I'm kind of confused. I installed the mod correctly by placing it in my mod folder?

I'll try and fiddle around a bit more.

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Morrokain

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Edit: Did a little bit looking around, and I believe the offending line for the insanely high credits given to the player is: "credits = (int) (credits * (relativeStrength + 0.25));" which means that with a big fleet you can get to absolutely insane values from a tiny patrol fleet, unsure how to get the mod to read the changes in src to test this hypothesis tho. (Additional de-incentives for flying around begging for cash still needs be implemented even with this glaring bug fixed, like a negative rep on success like suggested before)

So, I followed up on this for the next experimental release, and in my current dev version the credit request script has changed to: (I'm not actually sure where your line of code came from - that wasn't part of the code I was looking at anyway - though it was similar. If you have a line number and file name, I'll gladly take another look in case I missed something!)

Spoiler
Code
            if (fleetStrength > playerStrength) {
                relativeStrength = (((playerStrength * 100) / fleetStrength)) * 0.01;
                credits -= (int) (credits * (relativeStrength * 0.25));
            }
            if (fleetStrength <= playerStrength) {
                relativeStrength = (((fleetStrength * 100) / playerStrength)) * 0.01;
                credits += (int) (credits * (relativeStrength * 0.25));
            }

 - which if my math is correct should increase or decrease the initial credit pool by a small fraction of the original credit pool depending upon the enemy/ally fleet strength comparison with the player fleet. If the enemy or allied fleet strength is higher, it will decrease the initial credit pool granted. If it is lower, it will increase it but only by a small amount. Importantly, this change theoretically impacts the scenario where you are requesting credits from a welcoming captain with a low fleet strength.

I also added a hard cap on the initial credits awarded in the first stage of the calculation as well as a sanity check for cases where the reduction portion would bring the credits below zero:

Code
        if (credits > 25000) {
             credits = 25000; // maximum starting amount.
        }
Code
            if (credits <= 0) {
                credits = 50; // sanity check for calculation.
            }

 - and I also greatly reduced the scaling on the "awarded" side of the calculation for rep, etc, while maintaining mostly the same scaling in the "reduction" side of the rep calculation with a de-emphasis on extremely vast differences between captain personalities. That said, the reduction for "reckless" is still sizable in comparison and even more so because its at the bottom of the scaling portion, but its a bit less extreme.
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All in all it should make things a little more consistent while retaining the dynamic feel of the feature. However, this is mostly a stop-gap for exploiting the feature rather than the fine-tuning and customization I intend to implement later on. I may also add a small amount of RNG to the final amount to really keep the feel of each encounter being a unique experience.
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