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Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21); Blog post: Of Slipstreams and Sensor Ghosts (09/24/21)

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Author Topic: [0.95a] TC: Archean Order: Rebalanced Combat/Lore RPG - New REDACTED 8/13/21  (Read 437208 times)

Albreo

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That's definitely an option yeah. My only concern is that I'd ideally I'd like it to be good through late game though. Is that benefit still useful at the high level colony stage? It doesn't reduce DP it really only saves on supplies/money afaik.

It wouldn't have to last the entire game unless you can think of some elite version that may be worth it. We can reallocate that point afterward when the benefit is minimized. It would fit as a low-tier starter boost, assuming that you place it in T1. As for the elite version, maybe, increases rescued crew post salvage or maybe allow the player to capture derelict domain ships included that Guardian that someone wants as for AI core or crew pilot, it has to be decided later.
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BreenBB

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Also about skills, interesting, how about idea making skill thresholds configurable? I really want to see ability to reduce CR penalty from drone ships, because only overperformer you can get is Radiant, and Guardian if it can be made recorable, but rest of Remnant drone ships in vanilla are on par with human High Tech ships, in player hands, i'm not speaking about Derelict drones, which currently have no use.

Also about skill changes, one of things what I didn't liked in 095a is Helmsmanship zero-flux speed bust, in player hands in can be more useful, but in AI hands it will be never used, because they can't shut off all weapons and shield and simply try catch enemy, it will always have PD weapons activated, and even one small machinegun is enough just to disable this speed boost, and this already made combat in the game a slugfest, since slow ships often get kited with faster ones, and that actually made myself completely switch to High Tech ships. I thing is good idea is simply bring Zero Flux bonus from 091, like Quality Captains did.
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DatonKallandor

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Zero-Flux speed boost works differently in Archean Order anyway, so that's not really an issue. Both because it's not a 0-flux speed boost and also because there's lots of options for no-flux weaponry.
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SonnaBanana

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If I may nitpick a little, can you reduce the fleet/marine bonuses from elite Combat skills?

Sure what value would feel better? 20%?

Keep in mind that I reduced the bonus to that stat that you get from Ground Operations so the max bonus the player can get stays the same. I'm definitely trying to keep DatonKallandor's advice about overall power creep in mind. That's why I am trying to not buff the same thing when I add additional effects to skills. So far, things feel pretty good but I haven't tested some of the most recent changes yet.
It's more about making sure that they'll provide less than the real skills from L/T/I which are supposed to be the main sources of those fleet/marine bonuses than setting specific values.
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Morrokain

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It wouldn't have to last the entire game unless you can think of some elite version that may be worth it. We can reallocate that point afterward when the benefit is minimized. It would fit as a low-tier starter boost, assuming that you place it in T1. As for the elite version, maybe, increases rescued crew post salvage or maybe allow the player to capture derelict domain ships included that Guardian that someone wants as for AI core or crew pilot, it has to be decided later.
It may come down to that, but if I can find something attractive enough for late game for DC I'd rather do that than have the skill as an early benefit then throwaway. As far is it being T1, personally I think the skills that increase salvage/reduce fuel costs would be a better early game boon than reduced deployment costs for D-modded ships. In my mind D-mods only really become a problem once you are no longer fighting pirates. In that sense, reducing the impact of D-mods at a higher tier makes it more likely to solidify as an actual playstyle late game. Especially when considering some of the other elite benefits from skills like EW and CM which I will showcase after responding to everyone.

That said, I'll play around with it today and find something that feels right.

Also about skills, interesting, how about idea making skill thresholds configurable?
Yes this is planned. All thresholds will be configurable in the mod's setting file if possible. If you really want to, you can even set them so high that they don't exist in practice - though of course that will make the game much easier or, much harder, depending upon the enemy NPC admiral.  ;D

Zero-Flux speed boost works differently in Archean Order anyway, so that's not really an issue. Both because it's not a 0-flux speed boost and also because there's lots of options for no-flux weaponry.
Right all ships get the 0-flux boost up to something like 10% max flux iirc, and frigates get the boost up to something like 35% max flux. PD weapons and some assault weapons are flux free. So it is entirely possible to build a skirmisher kind of ship that maintains the boost most of the time.

As far as Helmsmanship, the real meat of the skill is the base speed boost. It is pretty sizable when you have the elite version of the skill. (For reference, most capitals have a base speed of around 10-15. Elite Helmsmanship increases a capital's speed by 16!)

It's more about making sure that they'll provide less than the real skills from L/T/I which are supposed to be the main sources of those fleet/marine bonuses than setting specific values.
Well, Technology doesn't have campaign boosts beyond T1 unless you count Automated Ships as a campaign boost. It's mostly combat boosts in that tree like Combat itself. The idea was to also give Combat a couple specific campaign boosts that make sense in a combat-oriented skill line.

Leadership and Industry are the primary campaign boosting skill lines, and they remain so. While 50% of the marine effectiveness bonus from Ground Operations was moved to Combat, that skill now reduces survey costs as well so it provides a broader benefit to help the explorer playstyle. You can also get the full bonus 1 skill point earlier since GO is no longer T5 but T2 in Leadership. I did that intentionally so that a player can focus on raiding small targets early on if they wish. 2 points in either Combat or Leadership grants 50% raiding effectiveness but Leadership provides more/different campaign boosts on top of that while Combat obviously provides combat boosts.

Generally, I've set skills up so that a player can focus on either campaign boosts or hefty combat bonuses in one pass of Leadership without having to wrap around the skill line to get them all. That was a specific goal of the rework just like moving specialization bonuses to higher tiers so that they can be avoided if a player isn't using that ship type.

Industry is a bit trickier, but the player can get most of the campaign bonuses and avoid D-mod skills if they want to and if they take the colony bonuses and wrap around the skill line they can get them all with 6 points. Then they can either take more campaign bonuses in other skill lines or take their pick of the various combat bonuses. I've made it possible to avoid permanent skills while maxing any skill line.

I guess what I'm getting at here is that a player isn't going to spec into Combat for the campaign bonuses by any means. They are pretty paltry compared to the stuff in Leadership and Industry. Hopefully this helps to explain my thought process a bit.



EW and CM: (The NPC fleet admirals cannot get the elite version btw so this is strictly for the player's benefit and stemmed from various skill discussions on the forums.)

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code99

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Boy cant want to play with this once you update it :)

I recently just got back to Starsector after a 1-2 year hiatus and downloaded a bunch of mods to play with and im loving it.

I've been reading on this thread and so far i like what i saw, cant wait to try this out!

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Morrokain

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Boy cant want to play with this once you update it :)

I recently just got back to Starsector after a 1-2 year hiatus and downloaded a bunch of mods to play with and im loving it.

I've been reading on this thread and so far i like what i saw, cant wait to try this out!

Thank you! :) I'm excited to play it myself once I get the beta out there.



Blog-post-esque time!  ;D

Ok, so I think I like what I have now as far as some key Industry perks to make that skill line more competitive with the rest of them. Technology is, I think, completely done. The only thing I might do is give some elite bonuses to the skills that lack them. I'm honestly not sure if that is necessary though. It is just kind of nice, imo, if most if not all skills have an elite version. Still, Technology is already a very powerful skill line after the elites for CW and EW were added in. Hmm...

Anyway, back to Industry. First things first, here is Derelict Contingent. As it was in Vanilla it is pretty much agreed upon that it was too strong. So I took away its primary strength which was the hull damage negation. I don't want to make the skill go from really strong to "meh I don't even care now" though. That can be difficult to avoid, so I decided to keep its overall power but shift it a bit towards the campaign instead of pure combat buffs: (You will likely also notice that I cleaned up the icons for moved skills to make them look more like their skill lines.)

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One of the things that is annoying about losing ships is that your variant is broken and you lose what could potentially be very valuable weapons and fighter wings (read as all strike craft for clarity's sake). If the theme of one side of Industry is d-modded fleets and losing ships more often, then it makes sense to remove this annoyance as part of that particular play style. It is a very strong perk, however, so it definitely needs to be the elite bonus. To make the skill strong even when its not elite I kept the CR bonus in the basic version. Since the elite version also unlocks Shield Shunt, the minimum armor bonus to unshielded ships makes the most sense in the elite version as well.

Going back to the idea of d-mods and their combat impact, I thought it would be a good idea to bring back the reduced d-mod effect perk for Industry. It just didn't make sense in DC. So where to put it? Field Repairs seemed like a good place:

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This adds a much needed combat boost alongside the powerful campaign benefits in the Industry line. That should make up for the combat loss from the new DC a bit, without RNG making d-modded ships nigh invincible.

Notice how the elite version contains the d-mod removal (this was not trivial to do actually) and that is very, very much intended. Here is the reasoning: if you get a lot of combat and campaign benefits from d-mods and now their effects are also mitigated a bit, some players actually might not want to remove them so they retain the full benefit of their perks! Making that mechanic contained in the elite version lets players max the tree without being forced to take d-mod removal. If they still want to slowly remove D-mods and have less of them overall, then they still have the option to do so for the cost of a story point. I think this is the best of both worlds for an industry player.

Finally, we have the capstone T5 skills. This "blog post" is only focusing on the combat/d-mod side of the skill line, so in this case it would be Special Modifications:

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Part of what makes Industry unique in the rework is the ability to drastically alter how you build a ship. Special Modifications is the natural T5 skill for this and it was already quite strong. It was, however, somewhat limited in usefulness depending upon how much you were willing to invest Story Points into extra S-mods. For this reason, I made it even stronger. Industry needed the love anyway. Time to bring back the max OP bonus from the days of old! It makes sense here specifically because the standard version of the skill increases the amount of potential OP that the player can invest in a build through the additional vents and caps. The elite version naturally should make it easier to take advantage of the standard perk.

Since the skill is now in Industry, it also makes sense to give the elite version a small-ish campaign bonus. An extra Logistics Hullmod seemed perfect both in the theme of the skill line (unique loadouts) and as a way to use the extra OP that the player now has at his or her disposal for campaign benefits instead of strictly combat.

That's all for today. I haven't gotten to the Colony side of the Industry line yet, but I'd expect those skills (and their elite versions) to be equally as powerful - if more campaign focused and less combat focused. I am overall very pleased with Industry as a skill line. It seems a lot more versatile in the types of playstyles it supports while keeping its theme iconic.

Feedback/concerns is - as always - most welcome.
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capshades

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I really like the changes to the T5 skill, that makes it much more appealing.  You may have a hard time balancing out the opposing option for that!
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Morrokain

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I really like the changes to the T5 skill, that makes it much more appealing.  You may have a hard time balancing out the opposing option for that!

Glad you like it so far. And yeah it's definitely possible that it will be difficult to match that one depending upon playstyle but I have an idea for a pretty powerful bonus for Colony Management too. We'll see how it pans out though or if its even possible.  :-X
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AlienCheekClapper

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Bro I love the new ship designs in this mod. So simply said great work. Would it be possible to have just the ships and not the rebalanced part? I want to use the ships in Nexerellin but ships in Archeon order kind of stomp on vanilla ships. So maybe give a vanilla friendly ship pack? I don't know too much about modding but that would be great.
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DatonKallandor

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I really like the reworked Field Repairs. Putting the d-mod removal behind the elite is a great way to let people choose if they want to run with lots of d-mods or no d-mods.
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Morrokain

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Bro I love the new ship designs in this mod. So simply said great work. Would it be possible to have just the ships and not the rebalanced part? I want to use the ships in Nexerellin but ships in Archeon order kind of stomp on vanilla ships. So maybe give a vanilla friendly ship pack? I don't know too much about modding but that would be great.

This has been requested before and I am definitely open to this kind of thing. It would have to be after some of the other projects like Fleet Dialogue are completed however, so it may be a while. Apologies!

By "vanilla" ships do you mean other mod ships? Vanilla ships have been adjusted in the TC to be balanced unless you are playing the mod with changed settings that allow the original vanilla ships and weapons to be available. If that is the case, keep in mind that you can change those settings mid-campaign and the mod should actively remove them if you want a more balanced Nex experience.

If you meant mod ships, then yeah my hands are tied until I can create a mod-friendly balanced ship/weapon pack. Because those designs are built around the TC, it is not really a trivial thing to do.

Which ships are your favorite? I can start building a priority list and maybe even work on it in small increments during the times I'm bored from TC work. (Though no promises there because I've been teasing Fleet Dialogue for far too long as it is and that is a huge undertaking.)

I really like the reworked Field Repairs. Putting the d-mod removal behind the elite is a great way to let people choose if they want to run with lots of d-mods or no d-mods.

Thanks I think Industry will be a very interesting and hopefully fun skill line to spec into now. It's hard to beat the novelty of Automated Ships, but I hope this at least comes close.



3 Skill Reworks for today:

Missile Specialization:
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Auxiliary Support is no more - it is now Command Experience: (Just caught that I need to change the descriptions scope - it should read "all officered ships -including flagship")
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The effects of Auxiliary Support still exist, however, they are now in Salvaging along with its normal effects:
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DatonKallandor

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Personally I don't think 50% is a good number for missile capacity increases. I think it's much cleaner to use 100%, because then the player knows exactly how many missiles they'll get without having to do rounding and knowing how 50% interacts with stuff like single missiles.

Also, the missile capacity part of missile spec always felt like a band-aid to fix the limited ammo nature of missiles in vanilla anyway - I don't think it's even necessary for AO. Something uniquely AO like "reduced flux cost of missiles" would be more interesting.
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Morrokain

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Personally I don't think 50% is a good number for missile capacity increases. I think it's much cleaner to use 100%, because then the player knows exactly how many missiles they'll get without having to do rounding and knowing how 50% interacts with stuff like single missiles.

Also, the missile capacity part of missile spec always felt like a band-aid to fix the limited ammo nature of missiles in vanilla anyway - I don't think it's even necessary for AO. Something uniquely AO like "reduced flux cost of missiles" would be more interesting.

Yeah its definitely not ideal its just that 100% is way, way too much. It makes PD basically worthless when so many missiles saturate the ship. (And that's before the hullmod increases it further.)

Hmm, I think I can do reduced flux costs. I agree that it would be more interesting overall. It wouldn't really help short ranged missiles since they generally don't cost flux to begin with, but the additional damage and speed/hit points would make a big difference there so it would likely work out anyway.
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Albreo

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Missile Specialization at T5 is kind of meh. If it unlocks a special hull mod exclusively might be more interesting.

As for 900% Militarized Subsystems, I would want a new Trader Guild's ship line for that to work.
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