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

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Author Topic: Elite Crew - simplified  (Read 3171 times)

Gothars

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Elite Crew - simplified
« on: September 12, 2018, 07:57:51 AM »

IIRC, the most important reason different crew levels were abolished was to simplify things under the hood, they introduced just too many variables. That's a good reason, but I miss the feeling of having an elite crew aboard my ships.

My idea is: elite crew simply counts as two crew for crew requirement purposes. For crew transport purposes they still count as one. Meaning, you only need half as much elite crew to man a spaceship than you'd need normal crew. That doesn't complicate things very much, does it?
Similarly, you could have unlearned crew that only counts half as much as normal, so you'd need double the headcount. That would also give a reason for transport ships to exist, as ships would need more unlearned crew than they could carry.

I'd also suggest that crew levels are fixed, they don't gain experience. Say, the difference is that some were picked out of the gutter, normal crew went to schools and had some training, and elite crew are from military academies and such. You could only get elite crew in small numbers from military markets and floating cryopods and such.

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

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TaLaR

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Re: Elite Crew - simplified
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2018, 08:12:06 AM »

At best it's a monthly saving (next update introduces crew salaries), though this depends on exact salary per crew level. And ability to carry more extra crew for salvage (do crew levels affect this too? Do least useful crew die first in accidents?)/ extra marines for raiding within same capacity.

Effects would be economic only and seemingly minor (I suspect by the time raiding is your major occupation, extra crew transport or two won't break your bank anyway).
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Gothars

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Re: Elite Crew - simplified
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2018, 08:27:08 AM »

Yeah, it would be mostly for fluff^^"  Not just within your fleet, availability of crew types would also help to set a theme for a planet.

Although, maybe crew levels of a few high tech ships could be adjusted downwards so crew capacity<requirements. You'd need elite crew to operate them outside a supporting fleet, which would be thematically fitting for Hyperion&co.
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The game was completed 8 years ago and we get a free expansion every year.

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TaLaR

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Re: Elite Crew - simplified
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2018, 09:05:48 AM »

Fluff, exactly as you said. Hyperion can't fly as the only ship in the fleet already - too little fuel and supply capacity(less than single deployment).
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Tartiflette

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Re: Elite Crew - simplified
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2018, 09:19:12 AM »

Instead of gaining levels by temselves (and changing their cost) crew could be promoted? Then it would be an investment you can make with a "promote crew" action even in space. Obviously the amount of promoted crew would be dependent on the recent battles but it could be used as a way to get that extra 50 manpower to complete a survey, to avoid the undercrewed malus after a salvage or losses.

And the cost would make "crew farming" unprofitable.
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Megas

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Re: Elite Crew - simplified
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2018, 09:27:02 AM »

We have elite crew already in a way, it is called Fleet Logistics 3.  Get that one perk, and everyone in the fleet is effectively crewed by better-than-elite crew.  (85% CR is more than elites' 80% CR.)

The main thing I disliked about crew ranks before is ships with early game crew had low peak performance, when player needed peak performance most, while by endgame, you have all the elite crew you need (meaning 80% CR was a given), and the only reason to get the skill for more xp for crew is to raise excess crew to sell as a commodity.
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Alex

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Re: Elite Crew - simplified
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2018, 09:34:00 AM »

That doesn't complicate things very much, does it?

Unfortunately, it really does! All the places where the game has to consider crew, it'd have to consider the other type, as well. This ranges from the calculation to distribute crew among the various ships, to figuring out crew losses from ship damage and lost fighters, to what's available for hire where, to who shows up in cryopods, to the campaign UI (which displays the number of crew) and the ship tooltip (which displays the crew on a given ship) to what type is lost during scavenging operations and... so on. I'm fairly sure this only covers a fraction of the cases.

To top things off, it makes it much more burdensome to add new mechanics that tie into crew in any way. For example, establishing a colony requires 1000 crew, among other things. If there are types, you'd have to pick how much of which type to use, the display for the requirements would have to account for both types, it just gets incredibly messy so quickly.


The only way I could see this sort of thing working is if an alternate crew type was a "specialist" type that could not carry out the job of regular crew but did something else entirely. Which, I guess, that's marines, to a point, though that's only one such type.
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Tartiflette

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Re: Elite Crew - simplified
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2018, 10:13:33 AM »

Could it be abstracted the other way then? Ships themselves get better the more you deploy and use them (to a small extend obviously). As if the crew onboard get more familiar with their particular design and quirks. And if the ship is disabled but recoverable you still keep part of the bonus. It would make the player more attached to their ships rather than moving their officers to the next new hottness in a heartbeat.

Maybe something that doesn't overlap too much with Officers like small bonusses to deployment cost/ monthly maintenance, CR recovery, CR bleeding after PPT...
« Last Edit: September 12, 2018, 10:15:45 AM by Tartiflette »
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Wyvern

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Re: Elite Crew - simplified
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2018, 10:45:08 AM »

I, too, miss crew experience as a thing.  These days, though, it's basically overtaken by a combination of CR and officers; the basic answer for "what do I get from more experienced crew?" would be "a higher CR cap", and, well, there are player and officer skills for that.

...Though, this does remind me of a mod idea I was toying with at one point, that would include AI ships that came with built-in officers that couldn't be re-assigned from their vessel.  Pretty sure that's not something Starsector would support very easily, though.
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Wyvern is 100% correct about the math.

Tartiflette

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Re: Elite Crew - simplified
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2018, 11:38:05 AM »

I kinda asked for something like that long ago, it's moddable although the lack of UI feedback might be problematic. I wanted to add "mercenaries"-like ships that you pay by a fraction of your income.
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Retry

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Re: Elite Crew - simplified
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2018, 01:10:09 PM »

Could it be abstracted the other way then? Ships themselves get better the more you deploy and use them (to a small extend obviously). As if the crew onboard get more familiar with their particular design and quirks. And if the ship is disabled but recoverable you still keep part of the bonus. It would make the player more attached to their ships rather than moving their officers to the next new hottness in a heartbeat.

Maybe something that doesn't overlap too much with Officers like small bonusses to deployment cost/ monthly maintenance, CR recovery, CR bleeding after PPT...
That would probably be the best way to do it, certainly the only one I can think of at the top of my head that doesn't involve actually adding or tracking more crew types.
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Alex

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Re: Elite Crew - simplified
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2018, 03:03:54 PM »

Could it be abstracted the other way then? Ships themselves get better the more you deploy and use them (to a small extend obviously). As if the crew onboard get more familiar with their particular design and quirks. And if the ship is disabled but recoverable you still keep part of the bonus. It would make the player more attached to their ships rather than moving their officers to the next new hottness in a heartbeat.

Maybe something that doesn't overlap too much with Officers like small bonusses to deployment cost/ monthly maintenance, CR recovery, CR bleeding after PPT...

Yeah, I'd been thinking about this sort of thing periodically. And, right, the bonus could tick down when the ship is disabled, and when it's under-crewed, and maybe even when the commanding officer changes. Could be a fun feature to work in at some point!
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Tartiflette

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Re: Elite Crew - simplified
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2018, 02:13:59 AM »

... Actually, that might be moddable... Although as always UI feedback might be the biggest issue. In this case it would only be required in the fleet screen, not combat so there aren't many ways to properly inform the player.
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Megas

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Re: Elite Crew - simplified
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2018, 07:15:43 AM »

One more thing I liked about removal of crew ranks - no more crew Tetris when managing the fleet at a station.  That is, fiddling with various crew, keep enough elite crew to have max base CR, while have a few regular or veterans in reserve to level up to elite and replace losses, then fill the rest with greens to get more higher ranked crew after combat.
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SCC

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Re: Elite Crew - simplified
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2018, 12:23:00 PM »

I really liked the feeling of my crew getting more experienced with me, ships becoming better bit by bit, and even juggling ship order in my fleet to prioritise some ships at the expense of others. Removal of the crew experience was like a wet weekend to me. I understand your reason for removing crew veterancy from equation (10% better ships, at best, for a whole load of mechanics issues) and would have probably done the same. Per ship experience would be an acceptable replacement, even if not ideal.
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