Fractal Softworks Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21); Blog post: A Tale of Two Tech Levels (05/28/21)

Pages: 1 ... 129 130 [131] 132 133 ... 137

Author Topic: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes  (Read 304624 times)

TerranEmpire

  • Lieutenant
  • **
  • Posts: 62
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1950 on: May 11, 2021, 04:37:16 PM »

Hi Alex!

Do you have any plans to make low-tech ships relevant for endgame or from now on they are officially not on par with high-tech?
I have a feeling, that their slow speed is more or less the culprit, but I have no idea how to remedy the situation :(
Maybe a few new skills targeting low tech for eg. especially to improve their performance against [REDACTED]?
 (I mean they did win or at least not lose against [REDACTED]...)
Logged

Thaago

  • Global Moderator
  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 5629
  • Harpoon Affectionado
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1951 on: May 11, 2021, 04:44:02 PM »

Low tech ships work just fine for endgame though. I was just popping the omegas and ordos using a pure low tech fleet.
Logged

TerranEmpire

  • Lieutenant
  • **
  • Posts: 62
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1952 on: May 11, 2021, 04:53:22 PM »

Can you share your fleet composition?
Logged

Thaago

  • Global Moderator
  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 5629
  • Harpoon Affectionado
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1953 on: May 11, 2021, 05:06:36 PM »

Sure, it was Onslaught (D hull so it was a bit fragile), Legion (regular), Dominator, Mora, 8? Enforcers, 2 Condors, Lasher (singular). It wasn't really an optimized fleet for fighting Omegas as fighters do not do well against them and I had the wrong missiles (too many reapers: great against regular enemies and ordos, but omegas are too fast for them).

Onslaught: HVD's in the 4 corner medium mounts, heavy mauler in the front, 4 reaper pods (good vs normal enemies), flaks in the center 4 front and back, vulcans in the smalls, storm needler center, mk IX sides. The MVP was a storm needler on the central large: Vs reckless shield enemies like remnants/omegas/high tech bounties its just crazy good.

Legion has Mjolnir, Mk IX, 3 sabot pods 2 reaper pods (again wrong missiles), 2 gladii 2 talons. The interceptors work against most enemies quite well and helped with last stage cleanup, but weren't great. The sabots and guns did a lot of work.

Enforcers were Heavy needler, 2x heavy mortar, 2x vulcan, 2x sabot/reapers for the officered half, 3x HVD + harpoons for the non-officered. DP cheap workhorses that are tough and bring lots of missile boom.

Moras are my bomber carriers with 3x khopesh and 2x reapers (and were absolutely useless in the omega fight, live and learn). An aggressive officer makes them fly right up to the enemy which is where they belong, the invincible torpedo spewing bricks. Condors have thunders and either pilum or harpoon depending on my mood (ECCM pilum is... acceptable as a non-officer pressure weapon, and thunder condors are often too far away to fire harpoons).

Lasher was non-SO and just kind of left over... it has like 5 d mods at this point the poor thing. Still, it distracts and I throw it at auto-pursuits. Build is 2x mortars in hardpoints, light needler, 2x reapers, 2x vulcans. Its ok against normal enemies for 4 DP but remnants/omegas pop it real fast.
Logged

danando123

  • Ensign
  • *
  • Posts: 22
    • View Profile
Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1954 on: May 11, 2021, 06:21:47 PM »

I was wondering, will we not be getting any sneak peeks? like uhm, Dev Diaries, etc
Logged

supremequesopizza

  • Ensign
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1955 on: May 11, 2021, 06:25:26 PM »

Sorry if this is the wrong spot to report a minor bug, but I caught a typo during the search for Scylla plotline that I thought I'd bring up. sprawling spelled as spawling.
Logged

Alex

  • Administrator
  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 18688
    • View Profile
Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1956 on: May 11, 2021, 06:30:30 PM »

I was wondering, will we not be getting any sneak peeks? like uhm, Dev Diaries, etc

I'll write a blog post! ... at some point in the not-too-distant future. Already know the likely topic, but want to get further with it first.

Sorry if this is the wrong spot to report a minor bug, but I caught a typo during the search for Scylla plotline that I thought I'd bring up.

Thank you, fixed this up!
Logged

SonnaBanana

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 496
    • View Profile
Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1957 on: May 11, 2021, 07:26:24 PM »

Alex, are you planning on adding more skills?
Logged

WeiTuLo

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 302
    • View Profile
Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1958 on: May 11, 2021, 08:00:45 PM »

I built a one sided long range conquest with a flak cannon and an aggressive officer. Its minimum range is 1750, but it keeps on closing into 1200 in the simulator, and stopped doing that once I removed the flak cannon. Is it trying to melee the enemy with the flak cannon? Flak cannon had its own weapons group.
Logged

Wyvern

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 2862
    • View Profile
Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1959 on: May 11, 2021, 08:10:24 PM »

I built a one sided long range conquest with a flak cannon and an aggressive officer. Its minimum range is 1750, but it keeps on closing into 1200 in the simulator, and stopped doing that once I removed the flak cannon. Is it trying to melee the enemy with the flak cannon? Flak cannon had its own weapons group.
Yep. Aggressive officers will do that; "all the ship's weapons" includes PD weapons. Unfortunate here, yeah, but also necessary for, say, having an aggressive officer on a Lasher close to machine-gun range.

...I do wish we had some finer-grained control of AI behavior. Doubt we'll get it, but one can wish.
Logged
Wyvern is 100% correct about the math.

WeiTuLo

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 302
    • View Profile
Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1960 on: May 11, 2021, 08:39:05 PM »

Ahh that explains it. I recently repaired all the dmods on a ship at a station, and then a while later, it said that it was fixed when it was already fixed. I have a save before it if needed, think I saw it in bug reports before.
Logged

SonnaBanana

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 496
    • View Profile
Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1961 on: May 12, 2021, 12:34:09 AM »

I built a one sided long range conquest with a flak cannon and an aggressive officer. Its minimum range is 1750, but it keeps on closing into 1200 in the simulator, and stopped doing that once I removed the flak cannon. Is it trying to melee the enemy with the flak cannon? Flak cannon had its own weapons group.
Yep. Aggressive officers will do that; "all the ship's weapons" includes PD weapons. Unfortunate here, yeah, but also necessary for, say, having an aggressive officer on a Lasher close to machine-gun range.

...I do wish we had some finer-grained control of AI behavior. Doubt we'll get it, but one can wish.
*Sigh* I should have known this earlier..........

Also, agree with wanting fine tuning AI.
Logged

Delta_of_Isaire

  • Ensign
  • *
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1962 on: May 13, 2021, 02:53:25 AM »

Just finished reading this entire thread. Haven't actually played 0.9.5 yet aside from some testing, and I'll probably postpone an actual playthrough until the next non-hotfix patch and/or I've finished my faction fleet balance mod. That's just my idiosyncracies though, nothing against the game!

Balance issues and flawed mechanics annoy me, and ruin most games for me (speaking as an aspiring game creator). Starsector is one of the only games that holds up good enough to still be fun for me. It is very good quality, most flaws can be fixed with modding, and the lead developer actually listens to his audience. There's still a few things I hope will be improved though. So Alex, do please consider this feedback :)



(Typo in 1st word of 3rd paragraph of Fury's description. "Dimissed" isn't a word :p)



Question: why Heavy Ballistics Integration buff for Onslaught? It wasn't underpowered in 0.9.1. Legion could have used it much more, though that would get weird with the Legion (XIV) having missiles instead.



Main point of contention is the skills system. It isn't perfect yet. Histidine made a good post about some of the issues here. Some good points are raised in that thread.

My initial reaction to the skill system was this:
The current system forces you to get skills related to a number of different playstyles while preventing you from getting most/all skills related to one particular playstyle. You end up with only some of the skills you really want, and also some skills you don't really care for. IMHO the point of skill trees with choices and limited total skill points is to incentivize specialization and meaningful choices. Saying that I can't get e.g. all colony skills (both L5 and both I5 skills) is basically saying I'm not allowed to fully specialize in Empire-building, and that's just not right.

There is a (conceptually easy but difficult to design) way to fix this: re-arrange the skills so that most skill pairings relate to 2 different playstyles, in a way that minimizes 'unwanted' picks for most playstyles. I went ahead and puzzled this out. This is the result:
Proposed skills re-arrangement
COMBAT
  • 1: Helmsmanship / Impact Mitigation
  • 2: Systems Expertise / Point Defense
  • 3: Ranged Specialization / Missile Specialization
  • 4: Target Analysis / Strike Commander
  • 5: Shield Modulation / Phase Mastery
LEADERSHIP
  • 1: Crew Training / Officer Training
  • 2: Coordinated Maneuvers / Space Operations
  • 3: Weapon Drills / Auxiliary Support
  • 4: Carrier Group / Wolfpack Tactics
  • 5: Officer Management / Ground Operations
TECHNOLOGY
  • 1: Special Modifications / Flux Regulation
  • 2: Navigation / Sensors
  • 3: Electronic Warfare / Energy Weapon Mastery
  • 4: Gunnery Implants / Phase Corps
  • 5: Automated Ships / Fighter Uplink
INDUSTRY
  • 1: Bulk Transport / Salvaging
  • 2: Reliability Engineering / Makeshift Equipment
  • 3: Containment Procedures / Colony Management
  • 4: Field Repairs / Derelict Contingent
  • 5: Damage Control / Industrial Planning
[close]
Reasoning behind this (wall of text)
COMBAT
- Helmsmanship vs Strike Commander. Ship benefit vs Fighter benefit is a good playstyle choice. However, top speed is a critical stat for a dedicated carrier to avoid direct engagements, so there is synergy between these skills if you care about Fighters.

- Target Analyis vs Point Defense. An offensive vs defensive choice, which again looks good on paper. Personally I would really, really want both these skills. When forced to choose, Target Analysis is probably the better pick in like 90% of cases, which seems   little skewed.

- Impact Mitigation vs Ranged Specialization. Again, defense vs offense, and again it sounds like a good gameplay choice. But consider that heavily armored Capitals (Onslaught, Legion, Paragon) also tend to use large weapons with 900-1000 range (boosted to 1440-1600 by ITU). Thus, the ships that benefit most from Impact Mitigation also benefit greatly from Ranged Specialization. Consequently there is high synergy from having both these skills, particularly for capital-vs-capital fights.

- Shield Modulation vs Phase Mastery. Now here is a choice that is clearly not synergistic. Good!

- Systems Expertise vs Missile Specialization. Every ship has a system so Systems Expertise is generally an awesome pick. Not everybody uses Missiles so that skill might be chosen less often. And IF you use missiles, then Systems Expertise is often 'nice but not vital'. With a few key exceptions, notably the Gryphon.

So, there's a lot of synergy problems here. Partly this is inevitable due to the nature of Combat skills. Even so, we can try to avoid it. Let's first identify the most desirable skills for some different playstyles:
> Pure carrier: you want Strike Commander and/or Point Defense, Systems Expertise and Helmsmanship.
> Low-tech Battleship: you want Target Analysis, Impact Mitigation, Point Defense and Helmsmanship.
> Midline/High-Tech Battleship: you want Target Analysis, Shield Modulation, Helsmanship, and any of a number of other skills.
> Long-range support: you want Ranged Specialization, Helsmanship, Target Analysis and Missile Specialization or Systems Expertise.
> Phase ship: you want Phase Mastery, Target Analysis, Helsmanship and probably Systems Expertise.

Which set of 5 choices best caters to these preferences? And what's the best order? My suggestion:
1: Helmsmanship / Impact Mitigation (Low-tech will want both, as do Paragon, Champion, Conquest etc)
2: Systems Expertise / Point Defense (Interceptor Carriers might want both. I would want both for Midline ships)
3: Ranged Specialization / Missile Specialization (Most support loadouts specialize in either guns or missiles)
4: Target Analysis / Strike Commander (Carriers can let their Fighters do the damage. Only Legion wants both)
5: Shield Modulation / Phase Mastery (clearly no synergy. Note Shield Shunt ships want neither skill)

It's not perfect, but it doesn't get much better.
[close]
LEADERSHIP
- Weapon Drills vs Auxiliary Support. Extra weapon damage is universally useful so it's the default pick. Deploying Militarized ships in combat is cool, but also fairly niche. The main ships to use it would be Atlas II, Prometheus II, Venture, Colossus II/III Gemini and Kite. All ships that could use a buff compared to 0.9.1 so it's a cool idea. Main concern is that base deployment limit of 5 restricts the usage of upgraded Auxiliaries to at best 1-2 Capitals, 2-3 Ventures or a handful of Gemini/Kite. That's not a lot, so a universal damage bonus quickly becomes more attractive.

- Coordinated Maneuvers vs Wolfpack Tactics. Love the boost for smaller ships. But to make it work beyond the early game you'd really want both skills, so being forced to choose is NOT AWESOME. Furthermore, for players who prefer cruisers/capitals both skills are an 'empty' pick which is EVEN LESS AWESOME.

- Crew Training vs Carrier Group. Extra CR is universally useful and +30s deployment time is significant for Frigates/Destroyers so Crew Training is the default pick. Carrier Group sounds like it is for Fighter lovers, but the limit of 8 bays is like 2 Legions, 3 Herons or 4 Condor/Drover, which isn't a lot. Not saying this skill isn't good for fighter lovers - I'm saying that even casual users of Fighters can get most of the value out of this skill. Which means a substantial fraction of players would want both skills if they could afford it.

- Officer Training vs Officer Management. Better Officers or more Officers. Nothing wrong with either skill, but again players really, really want both these skills, so please don't force the choice!

- Space Operations vs Ground Operations. Once again, two skills governing the same aspect of gameplay. And at the end of the skill tree so getting both is way too expensive.

So the main problem in this skill tree is forcing choices between skills related to the same playstyle. It means a player with 5 skillpoints invested in this tree has bought skills pertaining to 5 different aspects of play, and that is generally not how we want to spend our skillpoints. Let's re-arrange the skills!

One aspect to keep in mind here is distinguishing skills you want early from skills you want later. For example, Auxiliary Support is something you want fairly early so putting it at tier 5 is a bad idea. Conversely, Officer Management is something that can wait so let's not put that at tier 1 or 2. Another note: Weapon Drills is somewhat outclassed by Crew Training because +15% CR offers +5% Weapon damage as well as several other bonuses. Compared to at best +10% Weapon damage that stacks up unfavorably. Partly Weapon Drills could use a modest buff, partly Crew Training is just a great pick in general.

> 'Wolfpack' fleets want Wolfpack Tactics, Coordinated Maneuvers, Crew Training and both Officer skills.
> Carrier fleets want at least Carrier Group and Officer Training, and probably Crew Training.
> Cruiser/Capital fleets want at least Officer Training, Crew Training and probably Weapon Drills.
> Civilian/Auxiliary fleets want Auxiliary Support, Carrier Group, Crew Training and Coordinated Maneuvers.
> Industrial/Imperial players want Space Operations and Ground Operations, and general-purpose picks like Crew
Training and Weapon Drills.

Suggested new arrangement:
1: Crew Training / Officer Training (Yes you want both skills, hence easy wrap-around. It's a necessary evil)
2: Coordinated Maneuvers / Space Operations
3: Weapon Drills / Auxiliary Support (Auxiliary fleets could use Weapon Drills, but it's not a huge priority)
4: Carrier Group / Wolfpack Tactics (Wolfpacks are least likely to want Carrier Group)
5: Officer Management / Ground Operations

A possible improvement is swapping Officer Training with Weapon Drills. However, Crew Training is superior to Weapon Drills in most cases so tier 1 would become a non-choice. Similarly, Officer Training is almost a must-have, so nobody would ever pick Auxiliary Support. Most other potential changes result in similar drawbacks.
[close]
TECHNOLOGY
- Navigation vs Sensors. A decent choice. Most players will pick Navigation. Stealthy players also want it, but Transverse Jump being available through Story missions helps.

- Gunnery Implants vs Energy Weapon Mastery. From an Energy weapon point of view the trade-off is solid: choose between long-range support and close-combat. With the damage bonus reduced to 30% I think the balance is OK. Another thing to note is both skills are playership-only while some players may prefer fleetwide bonuses.

- Electronic Warfare vs Fighter Uplink. With AI fleets being more ECM-heavy now, the EW skill has become almost mandatory unless your fleet specializes in close-range combat (e.g. SO builds or Wolfpacks). Fighters are close-range too, so for a dedicated Carrier fleet the choice between these two skills is OK.

- Flux Regulation vs Phase Corps. I see two problems with this. First, Phase Fleets would also want Flux Regulation. Second, Flux Regulation is so powerful and so universally useful that it is a must-have.

- Special Modifications vs Automated Ships. Automated Ships is cool and reasonably balanced. But Special Modifications is so universally powerful that it's a must-have and a complete no-brainer.

Looks like this skill tree does the most things right so far, but also contains the biggest flaws. I'm not going to talk about skills needing rebalancing, which is arguably the case for Special Modifications, Flux Regulation and Energy Weapon Mastery. Instead I'll note that Special Modifications, Flux Regulation and to a lesser extent Electronic Warfare are no-brainer must-haves for most playthroughs and proceed accordingly.

Suggested new arrangement:
1: Special Modifications / Flux Regulation (Purposefully force this choice, but allow easy wrap-around)
2: Navigation / Sensors (it's an OK choice, and still easy enough to wrap around)
3: Electronic Warfare / Energy Weapon Mastery (short-range tactics don't require ECM as much)
4: Gunnery Implants / Phase Corps (Phase ships don't rely on long range)
5: Automated Ships / Fighter Uplink (TBH these are the two leftover skills. Not a perfect arrangement, but not
terrible either)

Yes, Special Modifications is strictly better than Flux Regulation. That doesn't mean the skill arrangement is bad - it means Special Modifications is overpowered.
[close]
INDUSTRY
- Bulk Transport vs Salvaging. Salvagers are always short on cargo space and would therefore want Bulk Transport as well. On the other hand, at 1st tier wrapping around to get both is feasible.

- Damage Control vs Reliability Engineering. Again both skills are playership-only which is undesirable. Damage Control is clearly aimed at Low-Tech ships, while Reliability Engineering is good for all ships but particularly for smaller ships. TBH +15% CR is by itself reason enough for most players to skip Damage Control.

- Containment Procedures vs Makeshift Equipment. Both are Campaign skills, which means players who care about maintenance cost want both, and players who care about combat performance want neither. That's not ideal. Having said that: Containment Procedures does have some combat utility, so it's not all bad.

- Field Repairs vs Derelict Contingent. This is a genuinely good choice: either repair D-mods or embrace them. That's cool! Pretty much precludes wrap-around though due to conflicting bonuses.

- Industrial Planning vs Colony Management. Again, colony-lovers don't want to be forced to choose.

Main thing to do here is putting skills related to the same playstyle into different tiers.

> A Salvager playstyle wants Salvaging, Containment Procedures, Field Repairs, Makeshift Equipment and Bulk Transport.
> Industrial/Imperial players want Colony Management, Industrial Planning, and possibly Makeshift Equipment and/or Bulk Transport.
> Clunker/Trash/Zombie fleet players want Derelict Contingent, Containment Procedures, Salvaging and probably Reliability Engineering.
> Normal combat-oriented players want Reliability Engineering, Damage Control, Field Repairs and Containment Procedures.

Suggested new arrangement:
1: Bulk Transport / Salvaging (Salvagers may want both, but can wrap around easy enough)
2: Reliability Engineering / Makeshift Equipment (Combat vs Campaign, both solid desirable choices)
3: Containment Procedures / Colony Management (Combat vs Campaign, although CP has campaign utility as well)
4: Field Repairs / Derelict Contingent (D-mods: use or lose. Most players want one or the other, but not both)
5: Damage Control / Industrial Planning (Combat vs Campaign)

There might be a slight nagging feeling that Damage Control is 'too weak' for tier 5. To which I say: skill value should not depend on tier: all skills should be roughly equally good. If Damage Control feels weak that's because it is.
[close]
[close]
This resolves a lot of the complaints that I've seen. And with these changes, 15 skill points may actually be sufficient. This re-arrangement does, however, necessitate rebalancing of some skills, so that all 40 skills are about equally powerful. In the current system it seems high-tier skills are more powerful, but with my new design principles that just doesn't work. Skills in general could use a balance pass anyway. Biggest problem is there are too many skills that are absolute must-haves for *any* playthrough (T4L, T5L, L3L, etc).

Then again, I have seen Alex arguing that you're not supposed to get all skills related to the same aspect of gameplay, or at least not easily. And Alex seems to be conservative about major changes to the skills system. So I'm seriously considering if he has a point. Let's go back to his Skills blogpost to see his reasoning.
Spoiler because long. Some important points come up though
"So, what are the goals of the skill overhaul? First and foremost, the skill system should increase the replay value of the game – that is, depending on what skills are picked, the player should be able to explore new ways to play the game."
>>> Fair enough. But "exploring new ways to play" sounds like "choosing different specializations" which I think is facilitated better by my skills re-arrangement than by the current design.

"Most skill tiers offer a choice between a generic skill and a specialized one. (..) The generic choice is always weaker than the specialized one – otherwise, there’s no reason to specialize."
>>> OK. Having checked this, it seems to be mostly true. Left skills tend to be generic, Right skill tend to be specialized. Good job. However, there are several examples of skill pairings where a player with that particular specialization would really want the associated generic skill more than the generic skills from other tiers. The most notable ones are C3, L2, L5, T4, T5 and I5, but there are others. So the current arrangement doesn't appear to be optimal. Going over my suggested skills re-arrangement (see above), the pattern of generic skill + specialized skill is retained for 15 out of 20 pairings. And I wasn't aware of this desired pattern when I designed the re-arrangement so I didn't optimize for it.

"Specialization is what increases replay value."
>>> Big agree. Which makes the existence of choices like the abovementioned ones weird. By my definition of specialization, for choices like L5 both skills relate to the same specialization, namely making colonies better. Does Alex have a different idea of what constitutes a specialization? Because I feel specialization is easier with my skills re-arrangement.

"If specialization leads to mono-fleets, that’s a problem – instead of encouraging variety, it’s doing the opposite. Fleetwide specializations should be 'use some of this in your fleet' rather [than] 'use only this in your fleet from now on, because it’s got stat bonuses now and it’s better than anything else'."
>>> Ah, that's it. This sounds like "you're allowed to specialize, but not too much". Well, you did implement it that way, so props for being consistent. I get that variety is good, but ultimately that should be a player choice. IMHO you shouldn't enforce variety. Instead you make it a balanced and fun option, available to players who don't want to specialize as much. Full specialization shouldn't be a dominant strategy, but it shouldn't be weak or flat-out impossible either.

"The solution is to scale the effects of all fleetwide skills based on the ships they affect. (..) Since non-specialization skills also scale their effects (albeit at much higher point values), it also rewards smaller fleets by making them more efficient."
>>> This is a somewhat artificial way to balance specializations, but it is effective. And it doesn't conflict with my skills re-arrangement. Be aware though that there's a trade-off between variety within one playthrough and variety between playthroughs. Alex tries to avoid fleet compositions where all ships are the same (low variety within a playthrough). But if you push that too far (as is the case right now!) you get a situation where all fleets are forced to be 'some of X, some of Y, some of Z' ALL THE TIME (low variety *between* playthroughs). This requires careful balancing to find a good middle ground. In particular, the DP thresholds for effect scaling are impactful parameters that require careful balancing, and I suspect there is a fine line between too much and too little.

[Example: Automated Ships] "One battleship, with moderate combat readiness? A couple of cruisers? A pack of frigates? All viable options."
>>> Those *should* all be viable options, but that will require a balance pass. Radiant in particular is way too powerful for its DP cost. Always has been. It is easily worth 60 DP but costs only 40. This was less of a problem while it was AI-only because Ordos are supposed to be challenging, but in player hands it's overpowered. Even if it can't be piloted directly. Conversely, Brilliant is underwhelming and Lumen is downright outclassed by Wolf if you ignore Officer/AI Skills.

"I think reducing the number of options at any given point will also make for more impactful and considered choices for players of any skill level."
>>> To some extent yes, but not fully. Given a limited number of skill points you still need to plan ahead for which skills you want to end up with. Unless you respec, but respeccing costs story points if you've elited some skills, and there are skill picks that cannot be refunded. If you truly want to achieve "consider only these X skills" then the choice for each set of skills should always be available and it should not be possible to get all skills of any one set. For the new skill system that would be achieved by giving the player 20 skill points but not allowing wrap-around. That's rather drastic though and shouldn't be necessary, particularly with a clever skills arrangement that minimizes the desire to wrap around (like mine).
[close]
TL;DR My skills re-arrangement doesn't appear to undermine Alex's design philosophy, although we might disagree on how much specialization should be allowed :)



Finally, some minor poins of feedback.
Spoiler
Minor pet peeve #1: An unlimited number of Mercenary Officers is overpowered. For (endgame) AI fleets it makes these fleets too strong compared to a normal/casual player fleet, because Officer Skills provide a massive boost to a ship's strength. It is also abusable by the player in an unfun way: grind XP to stockpile ~100 story points, then hire ~20 Mercenaries and go on a rampage. That strategy shouldn't be required to beat the endgame. >>> Solution: limit number of Mercenary Officers to 1/2 the number of normal Officers, for both Player and AI. >>> Is this achieved for AI by setting "officerAIMaxMercsMult" to 0.5?


Minor pet peeve #2: Random Officers potentially being better than the best Officers you can train normally (with Officer Training skill) is BAD and should be removed. Because becoming as strong as you can be should primarily depend on invested effort, not on luck. Luck should affect whether you reach max power faster or slower, but it should always be possible to compensate for bad luck by trying harder. That is exactly how it works for Blueprints, where you can raid factions for ones you can't find in salvage.
>>> This can be changed with "maxSleeperPodsOfficerLevel" setting?


Minor pet peeve #3: Why Missile Specialization and Energy Weapon Specialization but not Ballistics Specialization? Naïvely I would say that means either Ballistics miss out, or missile/energy weapons are underpowered without their appropriate skill. I think the latter is certainly the case for missiles (primarily because limited ammo is too limited sometimes), and probably also for energy weapons (although the high flux stats of high-tech ships compensate for that already).


Minor pet peeve #4: Flet makes a good argument here about how ECM mechanics are all-or-nothing, which can lead to 'wasted' investment of Hullmods and skills if you don't get your rating up high enough. Having said that: the new maximum penalty of -10% range is low enough to accept if you don't want to invest in ECM so it's not all bad. And the difference between -10% and +10% is still enough to warrant fully investing in ECM.


Minor pet peeve #5: Hiruma Kai makes a good analysis here and here to argue that 0.9.5 has nerfed armor tanking in favor of shield tanking, and in general nerfed defense in favor of offense. This worries me because (1) I like tanking and (2) 0.9.1 already favored shields. In 0.9.1, the best defensive hullmod for an Onslaught was Hardened Shields, not Heavy Armor, which feels wrong for a low-tech ship. In 0.9.1 Heavy Armor was defensive hullmod priority #6 for me on Onslaught, after Hardened Shields, Solar Shielding, Resistant Flux Conduits, Reinforced Bulkheads and Armored Weapon Mounts. In 0.9.5 I might favor it over Reinforced Bulkheads, but only because the higher OP cost is negated by making it permanently built-in.


Minor pet peeve #6: I agree with the point raised in this post about how the game is too easy. At least it was in 0.9.1 and I haven't seen anything that would significantly change that. More specifically, jumping from the early to the late game is way the hell too fast, to the point where it doesn't feel like there is a substantial mid-game. Previously in 0.9.1 I did a playthrough with 5x cost for ships and weapons and that was still quite manageable if you know what you're doing. The only drawback was that replacing lost ships or paying for D-mod removal got expensive quickly.

There are mods and settings that up the challenge in some ways and that's good, and you can use self-imposed challenges (my fav is not allowed to use black market, ever) but it feels like there's a more fundamental pacing issue in that the early-and especially mid-game is too short. Not sure if there's an easy fix for that though - and not all players may want that fix, so maybe an optional gamemode? - because a lot of simple tweaks like slower XP gain or higher prices could just make the game feel more grindy instead of more fun. This might be a me-thing though since I love slower/longer playthroughs.

Good player-adjustable bounty levels *should* help, if it works properly, because bounty difficulty escalated way too quickly in 0.9.1.

Another part of the problem is it's too easy to explore and salvage the galaxy with a small fleet. There just aren't enough systems that are too dangerous to explore with a fleet of say 3 mules and 3 combat destroyers (particularly if you use stealth), but not so dangerous that you need an endgame fleet. My personal preference would be that a basic fleet of Apogee + 3-4 frigate/destroyer escorts (about 50 DP worth of combat ships) and some civilian ships shouldn't be able to safely survey more than 40-50% of planets.

TL;DR there need to be more challenges appropriate for a 50-100 DP fleet!


Minor pet peeve #7: not a priority, but one can dream :p I'd like better/more options for controlling ship AI behavior, most notably Aggressive officers who don't count PD weapons for determining engagement range. Ideally I'd want independent ways to toggle preferred engagement range, flux level at which AI retreats, aggression towards high-flux/overloaded opponents, and ratio of Fighter Escort/Attack. Probably too much to ask though.

And a way to tell ships to not launch anti-armor missiles like Hurricanes, Annihilators or Reapers towards targets with low flux, because that is a major contributor to AI prematurely running out of ammo. Or to not launch Swarmers against Destroyers and up. Or to not launch Squall against Frigates. Et cetera :p
>>> This is moddable to an extent? E.g. removing the hint CONSERVE_5 from Hurricanes in weapon_data.csv makes the AI use them similar to Harpoons? Or giving it CONSERVE_FOR_ANTI_ARMOR? Or setting PD_ONLY for Swarmers? Guess I'll have to play around with that...
[close]
Logged

SafariJohn

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 2038
    • View Profile
Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1963 on: May 13, 2021, 05:23:49 AM »

Cool feedback and ideas Delta. I hope Alex reads it all carefully.

Quote
I'd like better/more options for controlling ship AI behavior, most notably Aggressive officers who don't count PD weapons for determining engagement range.

Hey, that could be the new "Steady"! Move the Steady AI down to "Cautious", Cautious down to "Timid", and bump the current Timid off completely because it is useless.
Logged

Undead

  • Lieutenant
  • **
  • Posts: 59
    • View Profile
Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1964 on: May 13, 2021, 07:59:36 AM »

Hey, that could be the new "Steady"! Move the Steady AI down to "Cautious", Cautious down to "Timid", and bump the current Timid off completely because it is useless.

Interesting proposal
Logged
Pages: 1 ... 129 130 [131] 132 133 ... 137