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Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21); Blog post: Skill Changes, Part 2 (07/15/21)

Author Topic: starsector gaming like it's 2018: would you wait, start vanilla, or mod/play?  (Read 4048 times)

eidolad

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Hi folks!

So I've got my orders and will be boarding ship in a few hours.  Except that we'll be taking a little detour and striking out on our own.  Freelancing pays well and the current government SUCKS and...

Ahem.  I mean, I bought the game.  Long time lurker here who finally couldn't STAND IT any longer.  So here I have some options.  Given my (very intentional) *zero* history with the actual product (I've wanted to receive the dev's vision/effort 100% intact after having some terrible Early Access experience), and not having peered at a single spec sheet or game mechanic, well OK I looked at some of the tasty ship art...

...what would veterans of the game who knew that tomorrow, they were going to completely forget everything they knew about Starsector, and were going to write themselves a quick note on how best to start playing?

a) Hold off until v1.0, or a dev blog that says:  it's Go Time.

b) Play and and complete vanilla now, mod later.    (This product has the most hard-core following I've seen in a product, given the project lifetime.  People have stuck with this.  It's ready)

c) Mod now.   Start with A, B.  then perhaps X, Y, Z or an alternative experience.

________

I'm played entirely too much of Rebel Galaxy, Spaz 1/2, Drox Operative, Transcendence, Endless Sky, Space Rangers, X3 Terran Conflict: Mayhem mod-mod, Elite: Dangerous etc.  Pretty much if it involves driving a ship with mouse and keyboard, I've played it or need to know about it.  I've just had a GOOOOOD feeling about this one...






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Midnight Kitsune

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I'd say download most if not all the mods on the Dynasector page BUT do a vanilla run first since IIRC ships have no or VERY limited net access
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arcibalde

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Ill would go with option A. HODOR  ;D
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Grievous69

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I really think you should give it a go now. Even tho it's currently in early access you'd be surprised how polished it is compared to most other games. To me it actually feels like a full game that's just waiting for more content. 0.9 version will add a bunch of stuff so you'll have an easier time exploring new content if you already have a good grip on the vannila game. Because believe me there's a lot of stuff to learn in this game.

And yeah I also think you should wait out on mods until you feel comfortable with all the game mechanics.
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atreg

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The only mod I'd recommend for a first playthrough would be Autosave, purely for the "time since last save" notifications.
http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=9748.0
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TJJ

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Shrugger

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I'd say hold off and wait if you can, if not for 1.0 then at least for 0.9a (which is a few months off, AFAIK). There'll be big changes coming up, and the game as it stands right now is little more than a framing device for fights.

So my recommendation is as following: Don't play the campaign yet, but do play the missions.

Oh, and do install mods. Simply no reason not to, many of them are of very high quality. Find them here: http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=177.0
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Megas

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Starsector is good for what it is.  Difficulty is hard early, and there is no win condition to end the game yet.  I also have various complaints on gameplay, but they probably are not relevant here, and you can read my posts elsewhere for that.  I have played worse.

You already have the game.  If you want a quickie, just play unmodded for now.  If there is one mod I like to play, it is Nexerelin, which adds conquest (faction elimination, not the ship) to the game.  Other mods (that are not merely utility) are high quality, but tend to add a bit (or a lot) of power creep, which may be fine for you.

Personally, I would wait until at least 0.9, but only because I have home improvement and mod maintenance for other games to deal with.  If you have time to burn, might as well get familiar with Starsector's fundamental gameplay experience.  Difficulty is hard early.  Learn how your ships and weapons work, what makes the AI tick, and exploit any weaknesses you find ruthlessly.

Quote
I'm played entirely too much of Rebel Galaxy, Spaz 1/2, Drox Operative, Transcendence, Endless Sky, Space Rangers, X3 Terran Conflict: Mayhem mod-mod, Elite: Dangerous etc.  Pretty much if it involves driving a ship with mouse and keyboard, I've played it or need to know about it.  I've just had a GOOOOOD feeling about this one...
I hope that includes Ur-Quan Masters, a.k.a. Star Control 2.

There is also Oolite, but that is based on Elite, and you have Elite Dangerous.
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Gothars

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...write themselves a quick note on how best to start playing?

" Dear Gothars,

have fun with Starsector, it's gonna be right up your ally. For best enjoyment:  Play in iron mode from the start, and accept your frequent inevitable demise. Don't get lost in the mechanics, take the time to keep dreaming yourself inside the ships, roleplay your character and read all the descrptions. Don't try to see and do everything now, keep that until the 1.0 release. "

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The game was completed 8 years ago and we get a free expansion every year.

Arranging holidays in an embrace with the Starsector is priceless.

Megas

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Quote
...what would veterans of the game who knew that tomorrow, they were going to completely forget everything they knew about Starsector, and were going to write themselves a quick note on how best to start playing?
* Play the tutorials.
* Maybe try the missions "Turning the Tables" and/or "Fistful of Credits".
* Study the Codex.
* Use missions to refit ships and kill enemies in the simulator (as practice).
* The AI in 0.8.x are usually dirty, stinking cowards.  Get something that will catch them or pump up peak performance (or both).
* Dissipation is a priority stat.  Max those vents!  (There are exceptions, but this works for most ships.)
* Speed and shot range are very important stats.
* Campaign:  Play the tutorial.  You acquire a starter fleet soon, maybe a rare weapon or two.
* Campaign:  Get skills Electronic Warfare 1, Loadout Design 3, Fleet Logistics 3 as soon as possible.  They are universally useful and critical for everyone.
* Campaign:  You will need a tanker to explore beyond core worlds.  One Dram will be fine early in the game.

I prefer to look at things as mechanics, because it is a game, and the point of the game is to win, which currently means crushing the enemy in battle as efficiently as possible.  Hopefully, the finished game will offer a strategic victory condition (like killing everyone and you have absolute power over the sector).

Re: "Iron Mode"
Think of it as Hardcore in Diablo 2.  Play it only if you willingly accept permadeath in other games.  If not, avoid it.  Starsector does not have permadeath, but many hours of progress can be lost very easily if you have no easy way to undo disasters.  Much of the good stuff that is optimal to use is rare and difficult to accumulate.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 09:31:06 AM by Megas »
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Igncom1

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Some of the salvaging perks can really help with saving/making money from battles.

Like consistently salvaging more supplies and weapons from battle then you ever lose, they can keep you self sustainable even in the face of weak pirates. Not to mention the mega profits to be made from bounty fleets.
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Sunders are the best ship in the game.

eidolad

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Yeesh good arguments and info all around! 

Unfortunately I've found the text font size is too small for my after-work-tired-eyes so that helps to tip me mostly into the "wait until at least .9 timeframe" camp for now.  Though I will try 1024x768 after work to see if that helps any. 

Based on my abysmal combat performance in the tutorial/initial campaign I have much to learn.  I think I will set a boundary of "learn ship-to-ship combat/piloting" as a "pre-version .9" goal.  Then perhaps wander over to see what sort of modding tools/examples there are for adding content/randomization and fiddle a bit.  That is, if I really like/can handle the combat mechanics.

Regarding the character building paths/options:  rarely have I been so tempted to WANT ALL CHAR TRAITS NOW in a game.

Megas:  Ya, me played the bejesus out of Star Control 2.  Oolite?  Gonna give that a shot thx!

Gothars/Megas:  Cough, well, in Diablo II, I only got to Act III-IV in "ironman" mode cause I sorta like squishy killer chars...unless there is an "unlock stuff meta progression" thing going on, I cannot see myself enjoying having screwed up and gotten caught by some super-fleet.

« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 09:48:58 AM by eidolad »
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Megas

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Aside from income, salvaging is needed to play the exploration game, but doing so will take away from maximum combat power in the end.  You need to make a choice what you want more.
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TaLaR

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Based on my abysmal combat performance in the tutorial/initial campaign I have much to learn.  I think I will set a boundary of "learn ship-to-ship combat/piloting" as a "pre-version .9" goal. 

First thing I did when I got my hands on Starsector was playing missions and more importantly - simulator combat. Just spend a day with sim until you get a feel of how combat really works and what makes a ship outfit good.
Bonus points for getting hang of Afflictor/Hyperion (pass mark is soloing a sim Paragon).
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mendonca

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Abysmal combat performance is fine; probably means you are doing it right.

One of the reasons this game has such an enduring appeal is the simplicity yet depth of the combat. Die a few (hundred) times - and get used to it. There are a large number of subtle but key step-changes in style / fleet composition / ship build that REALLY change the way the game plays (may work for or against you; depending on your style). Experiment.

Find the one you enjoy; even if that is the one that gets you killed the most frequent, but you will definitely get better with time.
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