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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 437177 times)

Morrokain

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An update to the compatible modlist with old mods removed and new mods added would be appreciated. It's hard to choose between all the mods I've grown attached to and AO.

You mean which ones are updated to 0.95? Or compatibility things?
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kintsu

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An update to the compatible modlist with old mods removed and new mods added would be appreciated. It's hard to choose between all the mods I've grown attached to and AO.

You mean which ones are updated to 0.95? Or compatibility things?

Which mods are compatible with the balance of AO
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Morrokain

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Which mods are compatible with the balance of AO

I'll update that when the mod moves out of Beta along with the main page and tactics manual. Iirc I added a couple that were reported to me, but taking the time to download, install and test every mod available (there are quite a few after all) is more work than I want to spend time doing when I'm still squashing bugs and writing descriptions, etc.

Just to nip this in bud, however, I am not playing favorites with any mods I just don't have time to properly test them all. I do respond to any reports of incompatibility with feature mods (within reason) and faction mods will be unbalanced unless specifically balanced around the TC - which, to my knowledge none of them are. That doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't play with those mods, but from what I understand a lot of people desire a balanced experience and I just can't guarantee that without extensive testing. I have to rely mostly on user testimonials, and those have mostly been in the vein of "nah it's not balanced with the TC ships" if that makes sense.

(Also not saying you're implying favoritism or anything, I am just putting that out there in case there was ever the impression that this was the case.)
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6chad.noirlee9

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this is my current enabled list
Spoiler
{"enabledMods": [
  "pantera_ANewLevel40",
  "adjustable_skill_thresholds",
  "Adjusted Sector",
  "anotherportraitpack",
  "archeus_beta",
  "armaa",
  "automatedcommands",
  "beyondthesector",
  "HMI_brighton",
  "combat_docking_module",
  "timid_commissioned_hull_mods",
  "lw_console",
  "diyplanets",
  "DetailedCombatResults",
  "diableavionics",
  "sun_flux_reticle",
  "gladiatorsociety",
  "GrandColonies",
  "HMI_SV",
  "hm_barratry",
  "hullmod_specialization",
  "sun_hyperdrive",
  "IndEvo",
  "lw_lazylib",
  "logisticsNotifications",
  "MagicLib",
  "su_CarrierHullmod",
  "su_CarrierHullmod_Rebalance",
  "mir",
  "more_ship_names",
  "nexerelin",
  "console_overlord_additionalcommands",
  "wisp_perseanchronicles",
  "QualityCaptains",
  "remnant_command_transfer",
  "repdec",
  "sun_ruthless_sector",
  "secretsofthefrontieralt",
  "SEEKER",
  "PT_ShipDirectionMarker",
  "simpleplayerflags",
  "solsystem",
  "speedUp",
  "sw",
  "sun_starship_legends",
  "stelnet",
  "superweapons",
  "timid_supply_forging",
  "US",
  "ungp",
  "unpackblueprints",
  "UGH",
  "vanidad",
  "wasabounties",
  "XhanEmpire",
  "audio_plus",
  "shaderLib"
]}
[close]
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edit: edit: maybe were just falling with style LOL.  make a bubble, make the space in front of it smaller and just fall forward

Morrokain

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this is my current enabled list
Spoiler
{"enabledMods": [
  "pantera_ANewLevel40",
  "adjustable_skill_thresholds",
  "Adjusted Sector",
  "anotherportraitpack",
  "archeus_beta",
  "armaa",
  "automatedcommands",
  "beyondthesector",
  "HMI_brighton",
  "combat_docking_module",
  "timid_commissioned_hull_mods",
  "lw_console",
  "diyplanets",
  "DetailedCombatResults",
  "diableavionics",
  "sun_flux_reticle",
  "gladiatorsociety",
  "GrandColonies",
  "HMI_SV",
  "hm_barratry",
  "hullmod_specialization",
  "sun_hyperdrive",
  "IndEvo",
  "lw_lazylib",
  "logisticsNotifications",
  "MagicLib",
  "su_CarrierHullmod",
  "su_CarrierHullmod_Rebalance",
  "mir",
  "more_ship_names",
  "nexerelin",
  "console_overlord_additionalcommands",
  "wisp_perseanchronicles",
  "QualityCaptains",
  "remnant_command_transfer",
  "repdec",
  "sun_ruthless_sector",
  "secretsofthefrontieralt",
  "SEEKER",
  "PT_ShipDirectionMarker",
  "simpleplayerflags",
  "solsystem",
  "speedUp",
  "sw",
  "sun_starship_legends",
  "stelnet",
  "superweapons",
  "timid_supply_forging",
  "US",
  "ungp",
  "unpackblueprints",
  "UGH",
  "vanidad",
  "wasabounties",
  "XhanEmpire",
  "audio_plus",
  "shaderLib"
]}
[close]

Thanks!

Do you think you have a good grasp of how the faction mods feel? Has it overall been a fun experience?
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6chad.noirlee9

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yea i think it is great and actually i was thinking someone who knows how to use python could set something up to automatically alter third party factions to be more in line with archean order

like for example, something that automatically adds certain percentage to different values such as hull and armor, and looks for whether something is a carrier etc in order to switch out the appropriate hullmods

i mean, im kind of just dreaming in terms of that but it would be cool lol

i really enjoy the changes in difficulty especially how it makes civilian ships more viable combat vessels, and i also like how it makes some of the more easily looked over factions actually dangerous, specifically luddic path
luddic path can be a NIGHTMARE to fight and more than a few times i have underestimated them, treating their ships the way i would pirate counterparts (BIG MISTAKE)
ive actually found them to be more difficult to fight pound for pound than any other fleets, especially at the mid stages (the point in the game where youre almost ready to make a colony, and have only one capital and a few cruisers)
the way they can hit and fade with numbers makes them incredible (which is GOOD)

the pirates i think could use a small buff in the way of perhaps some variants with safety overrides (not to the point of luddic path, just a bit in order to make up for their lackluster ships/armaments when compared to big factions)

archean order are great;  i love the long range blaster cannons thing they have going on.  i DO think they could use both a super heavy destroyer (with fortress shields maybe?) and a good hunter killer destroyer (time accelerator?  burst/maneuvering jets?  or maybe even a giant emp emitter?!)

scicorp is a great faction, really fits the mold nicely of "were tritachyon but less sinister, but more exclusive than independent"
super high tech and an all around good group for those who want to do a "paragon" playthrough

trader guilds is like the midline version of what i have to say about scicorp.  actually back in the 91 days, this was the first faction i used when i did a full run through
good all around midline type of faction

the updates and changes to the four powerhouse factions are OUSTANDING
i mean i could go on but ill spare myself and everyone else LOL

last but not least, cause no one saw them come in (lol.  phase ship joke), the consortium
what, a, cool, faction
the hammer to the anvil that is the order
i mean dont get me wrong, the order are so stylish its outrageous, but the consortium just ooze supervillian levels of "i will hunt you down and eat your childrens organs" which i mean, its hard to be the hero of the sector without a group that could be considered villians.
i mean, im sure maybe one or two of the barons are ok guys, but that is NOT the impression that is given for the whole of them.


anyway, great work.  OH and in case you thought i didnt notice, the armor increase to fighters and overall changes thereof are perfect, really.  back when the talons only had 5 armor, i found myself not using them at all (even when they were free) because the crew losses were just too much.  i mean.....i actually felt BAD about that many people dying so easily.
they are a serious threat now (as they SHOULD be) and i never field my pillager without them.
also, there should be a pillager with built in safety overrides.  im sure those mad luddites can figure it out SOMEhow.
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edit: edit: maybe were just falling with style LOL.  make a bubble, make the space in front of it smaller and just fall forward

Morrokain

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I don't think it would be a good idea to mess with other mods without their express permission even if the Python idea were possible. It's their (the mod authors) stuff and even though I agree it would be cool to use more factions alongside the TC, I want to respect their work and time, you know? They have their own ideas and I think it's actually great to have things that are different. It keeps the replay value even higher!

That out of the way, thank you for the general review!

To touch on a few points:

I made a polish pass over the faction files and changed up fleet sizes/compositions a bit. This will probably be the most noticeable in Nex, but factions have more access to the admiral-level skills than before - which should make some factions a bit more challenging. I also differentiated some factions through the use of more carriers than before. The only downside to this could be a reduction in performance on lower end pcs. Sorry about that!

More ships for various factions are certainly planned, I just have a lot of work to do beforehand. I certainly underestimated the amount of changes from .91 to 0.95 and now there will be even more due to the skill overhaul for 0.95.1a.

I'm glad that the Luddic Path feel like a unique and difficult faction. That is definitely the intention. I fixed up a couple of bugs in the next update that will give them military base colonies so they will hopefully last a little longer in a Nex campaign. I'll touch more on Nex balance in a bit.

Pirates are kind of meant to be an enemy that the player learns the TC on, so they have to be a bit easier just by that standard alone. That said, I would love to do some scripted, more difficult encounters possibly with specially modified ships (that the player could then use a story point to potentially recover) to add some real flavor to them, but it will be a bit before I can do those types of things.

I am glad that the fighter wings seem a bit more balanced now and less throw-away. That was something that bothered me for a while and I like where they are a lot better now.

I think your analysis of the factions from a lore perspective is pretty much what I intended. Some are complex and will have a complex place in the story, others are more cut and dry and act sort of like a catalyst. There will of course be exceptions there. (Your comment about not all the Barons being completely evil is something I definitely want to expand on as far as what is already there in the lore of Mordreath. And you're also correct that it isn't many of them because they tend to be weeded out like in the history of Echo Point.)

Especially with the new "voices" section of the faction file, I am pretty excited to make my own for the factions.

Again, I appreciate the comments and everyone's contributions for that matter in the form of feedback. I think the mod is already a lot better than when the beta first released, and once the tedious stuff is out of the way I can actually focus on using 0.95's features to create some content.

Oh right, Nex balance:

I doubled the FP value of all stations across the board. The purpose of this is to give factions a little more of a defensive advantage - especially at their major colonies with a Starbase. When I looked at the fleet generator to troubleshoot the reported market bug, I saw that there is enough random that autoresolve is probably a lost cause fleet-to-fleet. That doesn't mean I won't look at anomalies and try and keep things close, but it became apparent that an extra measure was probably needed. I hope this helps keep those campaigns a little less volatile and more "player driven" if that makes sense.
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not a luddic path member

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Mod is really nice but fighters feel waaaay too broken. Damage and stats need to be toned down, but not to drastic vanilla levels. Really like the direction overall where the mod is heading towards, and if need be I guess I could always tweak the values myself to something I'd prefer. If anything, I'd love if there was a separate option to just have all the extra fluff/content and none of the balance-changes because I really like the new factions and how they look design-wise.
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Morrokain

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Mod is really nice but fighters feel waaaay too broken. Damage and stats need to be toned down, but not to drastic vanilla levels. Really like the direction overall where the mod is heading towards, and if need be I guess I could always tweak the values myself to something I'd prefer. If anything, I'd love if there was a separate option to just have all the extra fluff/content and none of the balance-changes because I really like the new factions and how they look design-wise.

Hi and thanks!

Personally, I like where fighters are at right now. The weapons that counter them counter them very well, but they are less squishy then they were previously to capitals. From tests, it doesn't feel like they should be overwhelming especially if your ships have medium or large weapons that counter them. And on the flip side of that, carriers feel meaningful even at the small level because a couple gunships or bombers can make a fairly large difference. But I can certainly understand that not everyone will have that opinion for sure. One thing I've been considering is further lowering warships ability to replace them (and making Expanded Deck Crew stronger to compensate) in order to really solidify the different roles and emphasize that hullmod more as a separate and attractive build choice.

The dialogue options are already underway to have their own, separate mod, so that at least will be available at some point in the future. As far as the factions, well, at least two of them kind of lose their mystique without their ship lineups. I'd have to balance the ships for vanilla first. I'm not against the idea in principle, but I want to finish other stuff first. (Including separating the dialogue options in such a way that other mods can take advantage of them and create their own custom dialogue.)
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not a luddic path member

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Definitely looking forward to all future progress. Got my eyes peeled for that next progress report. Thanks for the feedback.
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Albreo

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I think some recently adjusted fighter need to be nerfed a bit. Especially Hegemony's craft equipped with a light rail gun that can steamroll event the most expensive high tech craft and the ability to flame the heck out of high tech ships that now have a hole in the rear for some reason with no armor to support the exposed engine. Most high-tech crafts with non 360' need 360' shield to make it work properly only half frontal shield is not enough no matter how strong the shield is and it should improve CPU consumption a bit if it doesn't have to rotate the shield. And it should be fairer as low-tech craft's armor protects the entire hull from every angle. For example a Flash bomber with hefty shield value, the moment it went over the enemy ship it exposes it non-shielded rear that has no armor and will pop in a few hit with no chance of surviving. So it becomes pretty useless if you can't already overwhelm the enemy ship to the point that it can't retaliate.

I will try to do another spreadsheet if you agree on another adjustment pass.
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Morrokain

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I think some recently adjusted fighter need to be nerfed a bit. Especially Hegemony's craft equipped with a light rail gun that can steamroll event the most expensive high tech craft and the ability to flame the heck out of high tech ships that now have a hole in the rear for some reason with no armor to support the exposed engine. Most high-tech crafts with non 360' need 360' shield to make it work properly only half frontal shield is not enough no matter how strong the shield is and it should improve CPU consumption a bit if it doesn't have to rotate the shield. And it should be fairer as low-tech craft's armor protects the entire hull from every angle. For example a Flash bomber with hefty shield value, the moment it went over the enemy ship it exposes it non-shielded rear that has no armor and will pop in a few hit with no chance of surviving. So it becomes pretty useless if you can't already overwhelm the enemy ship to the point that it can't retaliate.

I will try to do another spreadsheet if you agree on another adjustment pass.

I'll try to explain my reasoning with these things:

Wing vs ship:

High tech ships were far too immune to weapons like the Reality Disruptor and missiles with EMP arcs (including kinetic missiles with Ionized Warheads) with base 360 degree shields. This also serves to give a bit of a counter to their hit and run tactics for the player. However, that change should be completely mitigated by using Extended Shields - which previously had no use on high tech ships at all. Or, alternatively, Insulated Engines can help at least keep the engines running alongside Automated Repair Unit. Both of those were also previously unused on high tech ships (or at least I never considered them - which was a concern for me). Interdiction missiles and fighters alike were completely useless as well. Also, consider that Armored Weapon Mounts and Heavy Armor are flat increases now. That makes them more valuable on low-armor high tech ships wanting to prevent rear damage. So I think there are a lot of avenues to counteract the new weakness, if that makes sense. This might be a bit of an OP tax, but it doesn't have to be if one is willing to weigh the risks. To me this is the hallmark of good design. Build choices should be difficult and sometimes you will regret them when things go wrong with the choice you made.

I think it overall opens up some significant gameplay and build options when facing high tech factions. Some ships still keep 360 degree shields in the next update though - such as the Astral which already can't kite well and so it is less necessary. I *think* also the Megalith since it is slow enough that you'd never need to bring down its engines. That and good shields are kind of its signature thing since the large weapon mounts are placed so far back on the hull which sort of limits its potential weapon options. At first it was a blanket change, and as I tested things I thought "nah not necessary for this ship" in a few cases for the next update, iirc.

Wing vs wing:

I honestly think Hegemony wings needed the boost a bit. I saw no reason to use them considering their higher OP than low tech yet same survivability as low tech. Yes, they dealt decent damage to shields - but they were very squishy compared to high tech wings and were pretty poor against most craft except the shielded ones. High tech wings still deal a lot more damage overall too. If high tech interceptors are lacking, then I can possibly buff their weapons. With their rapid replacement rate though I'm not sure if its really needed - especially after Wasp's mine buff/bug fix (not sure if that is in the current update or not but it will be a noticeable thing if it is). Similarly, the Talon (T) has better missiles (as does all craft that use anti-fighter missiles) and anything with Burst PD Beams or Smokescreen Rockets should wreck other wings regardless of armor considering I increased the wing vs wing damage modifier to 5X base damage and both of those weapons have pinpoint accuracy. So as a result, I am assuming you are strictly talking about the bombers and gunships here. Let me know if not though!

That said, by all means give me your thoughts and a spreadsheet is definitely a valuable way to do that. I'll do some tests and consider changes based upon what I read. Specific test parameters would also be great as supporting evidence. Keep in mind I kind of want to have high tech be a little less survivable than low tech stuff as a trade off for the damage. It does mean that it will feel bad if their runs are stopped since there is more down time for the carrier between them. The thing is, when they do succeed most ships outside of a capital are just dead in the water space if there are any nearby warships to capitalize on the strike - which has more reliability if not more range than LRMs. Even capitals take a lot of damage in that circumstance. Obviously this varies from wing to wing though.

Also, I am still on the fence as to the best way to implement Deflector Shell. I'm tossing around a longer cooldown, less damage reduction while active, and limited charges as the different levers for a good balance. It seems really strong right now and was kind of implemented that way on purpose so that I can tweak it down as needed. It is meant as a way to deliberately differentiate low tech from midline in a noticeable way. Hegemony is technically more midline with a low tech style flavor - so they get Deflector Shell and more advanced weapons just like the Persean League. Luddic Church/Path on the other hand, are roughly the same OP with a more low tech style/flavor - and as such they deal a bit more damage than low tech stuff and simultaneously replace a bit faster than either of the previously mentioned factions.

Hopefully this makes sense, and if this is not what you are experiencing definitely let me know. Build info is also useful - since the update has of course changed things up. For instance, in the linked builds by numerous people over the last couple of years I've noticed a tendency to ignore rear weapon slots. That probably isn't a solid idea anymore, at least not on every build - which to me is great!

TLDR: I'm definitely open to it, but the more specific the details as to why this is that way, etc, etc, the more likely there will be changes because time is a factor and I've already spent a lot of time testing this stuff out. Of course, I'm certainly not perfect and may have missed things. There are a crazy amount of potential scenarios to test after all, and I'm just a single person. That's why all of the feedback responses are so valuable. ;D
« Last Edit: July 23, 2021, 12:06:06 AM by Morrokain »
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Albreo

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I did tests on Legion vs Legion when I first got it and I'm baffled that no matter what I put as an interceptor, it stood no chance against Talon (H). That thing wiped even Spark, it's obviously too strong and too tanky for the cost. The light rail gun also has an EMP effect I assume. The new damage reduction skill for craft also makes a huge difference, improving survivability. I like it but High tech crafts are lacking behind. I don't think High tech needs more firepower as it is. I prefer survivability over damage anyway. If it can't survive after the first salvo then it's pretty much meaningless.

Deflector Shell, there is some instant that a single craft can lure and tank more than 10 burst beams from Spark. Less damage reduction also wouldn't be good IMO. Is it possible to count the number of hits before wear off the skill effect? Let's say, can block 5-6 shots.

I did make use of the extended shields to patch up that said hole but I think it is still too expensive (20OP) for that meager effect. For example, stabilized shields only cost 15 which is a lot more useful than extended shields.

Burst PD Beams or Smokescreen Rockets, honestly, I don't use it as my main PD. The first one's range is too short for some occasions, work well on smaller ships. The second one has a very long reload and is better as a supplement for empty small missile slots. I prefer an Electron gun, Assault beam, and Void driver/Pulse laser as my mainstay.

New missile mods also work pretty well. The ionize work well with sabot since it spits so many projectiles. Corrosive work great for fire support purposes.
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Morrokain

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I did tests on Legion vs Legion when I first got it and I'm baffled that no matter what I put as an interceptor, it stood no chance against Talon (H). That thing wiped even Spark, it's obviously too strong and too tanky for the cost. The light rail gun also has an EMP effect I assume. The new damage reduction skill for craft also makes a huge difference, improving survivability. I like it but High tech crafts are lacking behind. I don't think High tech needs more firepower as it is. I prefer survivability over damage anyway. If it can't survive after the first salvo then it's pretty much meaningless.

Deflector Shell, there is some instant that a single craft can lure and tank more than 10 burst beams from Spark. Less damage reduction also wouldn't be good IMO. Is it possible to count the number of hits before wear off the skill effect? Let's say, can block 5-6 shots.

I did make use of the extended shields to patch up that said hole but I think it is still too expensive (20OP) for that meager effect. For example, stabilized shields only cost 15 which is a lot more useful than extended shields.

Burst PD Beams or Smokescreen Rockets, honestly, I don't use it as my main PD. The first one's range is too short for some occasions, work well on smaller ships. The second one has a very long reload and is better as a supplement for empty small missile slots. I prefer an Electron gun, Assault beam, and Void driver/Pulse laser as my mainstay.

New missile mods also work pretty well. The ionize work well with sabot since it spits so many projectiles. Corrosive work great for fire support purposes.

I reduced the cost of Extended Shields to 3/6/9/15 and adjusted the variants that use it.

Fighters:

I ran some tests using the Support and Assault Legion and though most interceptors were close in the current dev version, there were a couple outliers. It could be a bit better though so I made some adjustments to various things and created a bunch of test Legions with only one strike weapon equipped. I also think Deflector Shell is a big part of the problem. I decided to reduce the amount it mitigates to 75% instead of 95% and I'll see how that looks.

I'll test some more until things feel closer. Btw, the Legion has 10 bays now and a fair amount of extra OP than the current Beta version. It didn't feel like enough of a battlecarrier before considering it has a lot less weapons than a standard battleship. This also helps to match its large bays in the sprite and makes up for its lack of Carrier Bays.
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6chad.noirlee9

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just a heads up, the creator of boimancy made that mod open source, so if you want to add another threat alongside the redacted they are up for grabs!

i would love to see SOMEone do something with that body of work
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edit: edit: maybe were just falling with style LOL.  make a bubble, make the space in front of it smaller and just fall forward
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