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Author Topic: Junk Stuff  (Read 3051 times)

xenoargh

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Junk Stuff
« on: March 20, 2018, 12:39:03 PM »

Just a random idea; I’ll probably make a mod for this.

Can we steal the one really good game design idea that SPAZ 2 had, which was the idea that every market had a “junkyard” where there were free things that were terrible, but free?  

Not just Credits; I’m talking zero-OP, no-Flux junk guns, etc., that you can use to fill out junk ships or add a little to otherwise-optimal designs.

So, basically, players who get defeated can buy a small fleet of junk and get back in, and late-game ships for min-maxers won’t look so empty.
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MesoTroniK

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Re: Junk Stuff
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2018, 06:05:35 PM »

I really don't think 0 op, 0 flux guns are a good idea at all...

The Reliant HMG and Mini-Blaster 1 op trash tier but still sort of useful weapons added by Ship and Weapon Pack are about as low as I think such things should go. I just think one should never get something for nothing :)

Megas

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Re: Junk Stuff
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2018, 06:24:13 PM »

If they are "terrible", I prefer not to have them so that they do not clutter UI with junk.  On the other hand, I would not mind having something useful like the free one-shot Harpoons and Sabots during the old skill days of Optimized Assembly.
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xenoargh

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Re: Junk Stuff
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2018, 07:42:33 PM »

Yeah, until we can sort that somehow, that's a real issue... oh, wait, it's sorted by OP cost already.  So the trash guns and stuff would be at the bottom tier.

And yes, I'm thinking about what got relegated to zero-OP that build as kind of a basis point, but probably even weaker; machineguns that do 5 points per hit, that kind of thing.  Just about totally worthless, but not quite, and dirt-cheap junk ships that can't really mount much else.  Stuff a newbie could build a fleet from quickly, but not a good fleet; skilled player wouldn't have much use for this stuff, but it'd provide a good crutch and bulk out Pirate and Independent fleets with disposable junk.
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jupjupy

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Re: Junk Stuff
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2018, 01:42:30 AM »

I think its an interesting idea, but 0 OP seems a bit much. I agree with Meso in that the garbage-tier Reliant and its 1 OP brethren seem to be about the lowest we should have, and definitely crap that should be salvageable from like junkyards and be able to get scrapped together quickly.

I sort of like the idea of having incredibly cheap, barely-usable weapons, because that just feels right in a sector in its days of decline, shortages and all. But yes, nothing should really be 'free', else we'd be encouraging these weapons to get fitted into maximum-optimisation builds, which we really dont want.
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Histidine

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Re: Junk Stuff
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2018, 05:04:12 AM »

Aside from my taste (in terms of UI clutter, general "feel", etc.) as to whether such things should exist...

I expect the main outcome of someone being fleetwiped and then rebuilding their fleet using mostly or entirely 0 OP weapons is that they get re-stomped in the first battle they run into.
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Megas

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Re: Junk Stuff
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2018, 07:30:48 AM »

I barely use the current low-OP options because the non-missiles are too underpowered.  Light Mortar is only useful on Lasher thanks to its ship system.  Mining Laser is almost totally useless (and it is already like a junk version of LR PD Laser).  One-shot Harpoon or Sabot were great when they were free, but at 1 OP, I only mount them if I do not have enough OP for anything else useful.

Having junk weapons that are at least as underpowered if not worse that those seems like trolling the player with junk.  I would not be amused with LMGs that do 5 damage per hit.  I barely use LMGs that do 25 damage per hit, and that is mostly on Safety Override ships (which I do not use very often).

Yeah, until we can sort that somehow, that's a real issue... oh, wait, it's sorted by OP cost already.  So the trash guns and stuff would be at the bottom tier.
True at refit screen, at least if all junk weapons are light.  As loot or storage, they are annoying clutter.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2018, 07:40:12 AM by Megas »
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TaLaR

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Re: Junk Stuff
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2018, 11:24:57 AM »

Anything is too good for zero-OP, zero-Flux. Many currently decent ships build leave empty slots - would be a no-brainer to put a totally free weapon there.

Trash guns (if they were to exist) should be exact opposite of that: either cost too much OP for what they do, or have abysmal flux efficiency.
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xenoargh

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Re: Junk Stuff
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2018, 02:33:12 PM »

Hmm.  I tend to think of this as a safety-net for newbies, mainly.  If they lose their initial fleet in the Tutorial... instead of trying again a couple of times, dying again, then rage-quitting and announcing to the world that the game's too hard... give them the ability to rebuild for almost free.  

Sure, ship-for-ship, their junk army will get thrashed by even (D) stuff.  But it's so cheap, they can afford a swarm army that can get them through early-game problems and at least feel like they're still in the game.  

The alternatives to fixing the initial difficulty ramp are pretty well-understood; either give newbies a decent fleet on Easy (or just make a new mode called, "First-Time Player", even) and probably fix the way that a new fleet is generated for a player after they've been defeated, so that losing doesn't feel like the end, for new players who've been playing their first couple of hours and suddenly died.  That's a pretty easy fix, it won't break lategame mechanics, and we've already had a couple of mods go that way, but nothing official.  We're getting closer to the end of the major features, and it's really time to start figuring out how the curve's going to work.

None of this stuff affects expert players, I think.  The ships and guns would be so weak that the only reason they aren't newbie traps is that they're free or close enough and, being free, they won't drag down newbies, like the Light Mortar and the other major newbie-trap guns do.  

Experts will still gravitate towards the Right Answers, presuming that stuff isn't fixed; if the next build is about making enough money to play Space Emperor, then they'll be taking the shortest route, and junk armies aren't it.  As it is, I never keep (D) stuff around except during the earliest phases of a new game; I repair pretty much anything I'm going to keep, because it's a little more edge.  I wouldn't mind having a disposable army early on, but it probably wouldn't matter a whole lot past that, other than as a way to meatshield briefly.

Anyhow, I'm willing to put a little time into building a basic mod for this stuff, to try it out.

Quote
Anything is too good for zero-OP, zero-Flux. Many currently decent ships build leave empty slots - would be a no-brainer to put a totally free weapon there.
So what?  I mean, what harm does that do, so long as there are well-optimized Variants that also take advantage of that?

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Trash guns (if they were to exist) should be exact opposite of that: either cost too much OP for what they do, or have abysmal flux efficiency.
So, basically, more Light ACs, Light Mortars, etc.? 

The game's already full of things that nobody should be using if they have a choice.  And it would be completely horrible for newbies, who obviously already waste a lot of time on the stuff that's just sub-optimal, rather than doing a conscious beeline for decent gear.

If you're a competent player, money is the least-important resource.  One of the big pushes in the next build is to finally give players a money-sink that matters; I can't wait.  But it's stuff that won't pertain to newbies who are trying to survive on System Bounties because they're not skilled enough to do anything else yet.
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Megas

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Re: Junk Stuff
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2018, 03:01:33 PM »

Quote
If you're a competent player, money is the least-important resource.
In my case, money is not too important because the things I want to buy are locked behind commission and unavailable for purchase.  Commission only accesses one faction while player probably wants access to three (Tri-Tachyon and League for high-tech ships, hullmods, and some weapons, and Hegemony for XIV ships).  However, money is not so plentiful that I can restore ships freely.  Restoration is very expensive, and I only do it for my flagship.  AI usually get clunkers because they are common and significantly cheaper to use.  CR recovery is the biggest drain on supplies, and (D) ships eat less.

I tend to not repair (D) ships if it is not too critical because I do not always want to reload the game as soon as I lose an undamaged ship and/or any ship with rare weapons on it.

My biggest complaint about Starsector lately is almost everything worth using is too rare.  If I want to play casually without reloading the game the moment I take a single casualty, I must use (D) ships and weapons that are easily replaceable, which are junk and not enjoyable to play for long.

Trash guns (if they were to exist) should be exact opposite of that: either cost too much OP for what they do, or have abysmal flux efficiency.
As Xenoargh says, there are many.  Aside from low-grade ballistics, energy weapons are awfully guilty of being junk all-around ever since they lost their unlimited ammo advantage.  Plasma cannon is practically unusable except for a skilled playership built for it.  Mining blaster is atrocious except for Hyperion playership.  Phase lance is generally inferior to pulse laser or a blaster due to no hard flux despite short range (and being rarer than pulse laser on top of that).

Then there are the large dumb-fire missiles which are junk because Gryphon and Apogee are junk ships, Conquest gives up broadsides, and Astral gives up fighters.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2018, 03:03:57 PM by Megas »
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Schwartz

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Re: Junk Stuff
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2018, 03:46:47 PM »

To me this 'junk tier' is what every market has on its black market tab. All the low-grade guns you get here are universally accessible as long as you can reach any market. They are low-OP placeholders for better stuff, which strikes me as very much in the spirit of this idea. That they're not zero OP / Flux / $ is IMO a good thing for game balance. We saw what sinking OP into fighters costs a carrier vs. what it gets by filling every slot with Talons. I still think Talons need an OP cost for that reason, even if it's low.

It does suck that there's a hard wall coming up when you run out of supplies, money and the ability to fight. That could be alleviated by a loan system or an enlist system, where you'd play a single ship as part of an AIs fleet operations for a while.
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xenoargh

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Re: Junk Stuff
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2018, 05:51:14 PM »

I do agree that 0-OP fighters are perhaps a bad thing; I'm actually exploring those issues now.

I'm not sold on the current system, though.  What we have is rarity, not expense (and especially, not expense-to-operate) being the limiter.  This isn't a very fun game mechanic; it just turns the game into a Pokemon-like, "gotta get 'em all" game.

And frankly, I don't like the whole, "optimized ships don't have their gun slots full" thing.  Aesthetically, it's displeasing, and it gets away from the "WWII in space" feel.
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Megas

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Re: Junk Stuff
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2018, 07:32:17 AM »

I do agree that 0-OP fighters are perhaps a bad thing; I'm actually exploring those issues now.

I'm not sold on the current system, though.  What we have is rarity, not expense (and especially, not expense-to-operate) being the limiter.  This isn't a very fun game mechanic; it just turns the game into a Pokemon-like, "gotta get 'em all" game.

And frankly, I don't like the whole, "optimized ships don't have their gun slots full" thing.  Aesthetically, it's displeasing, and it gets away from the "WWII in space" feel.
0-OP by itself is not bad.  The problem is Talons are too powerful for 0-OP (but certainly not powerful enough to match 8 OP fighters), assuming OP costs stay as they are, and mining drones are useless except maybe during early game and there is a lot of them.  If there is one wing of fighters that could be worth 0-OP, it is Wasps.  However, too many fighters are also too expensive.  I would not mind OP costs for fighters slashed across the board to mitigate the "optimized ships don't have their gun slots full" problem for carriers and warships with Converted Hangar.

Yes, rarity is obnoxious.  My fleet is mostly full of (D) clunkers and Open Market weapons, but this is not by choice.  I would like to use a small squad of pristine Enforcers with officers and the best weapons like Xenoargh uses, but stuff is generally too rare.  I suppose I could get commission, but that hurts exploration options, and it only lets you get some, but not all, of the goodies by endgame.  Even if I find some rare things, it is only enough to outfit a few ships, and if I lose them, it is an automatic game reload to undo misfortune and recover the rare stuff, which is why I generally use clunkers and open market junk.  (I will not spend days of grinding for rare stuff like in Diablo 2, just to get rare stuff.  I am through with that nonsense.  Of course, I could cheat, but I do not do that with my first game of a new release.)

I totally agree with disliking "optimized ships don't have their gun slots full".  It hurts and it looks stupid.  This is especially bad for carriers where for things like Drover, the best loadout is no weapons, just overly expensive fighters and hullmods.  Same for Heron and Astral.  (Some PD weapons are good for playership, but it just makes AI stupid and want to melee ships with flak.)  I like the excess of OP from the old skill system where you could generally afford everything.  Hammerhead was one of the few exceptions and a reason why it was so bad before 0.8.  Today, most ships barely have enough OP to get the bare minimum, which makes Loadout Design 3 one of the best perks for everyone, despite being a shadow of what we used to get.

Sometimes, it is flux cost, and not (solely) lack of OP that gives a reason why to not fill all slots.  For low-tech/Conquest, using most heavy weapons (without help from skills) is a good way to max flux too fast at best or lose the flux war at worst.  Similarly, most AI cannot fill their energy mounts with all non-beams because they are horribly inefficient.  An example, if I want to use Plasma Cannon on Sunder or Apogee, I must leave every other slot empty to 1) get enough OP to afford maximum flux stats and 2) not have more weapons drawing from the flux pool while plasma cannon drains it all.

What is also aesthetically displeasing is using clunkers (or being forced to use them without tons of cash to restore casualties, when buying the majority of ships you want from a market is not an option).  Now, it seems like everyone will use clunkers like pirates in the next release to come, that seems even more annoying.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2018, 07:51:09 AM by Megas »
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