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Starsector 0.95.1a is out! (12/10/21); Blog post: Of Slipstreams and Sensor Ghosts (09/24/21)

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Author Topic: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes  (Read 410087 times)

Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #225 on: October 19, 2020, 06:16:47 PM »

decivilizing in 5 or 10 years is also a bit of an exaggeration i'd think. I've had at least a few playthroughs where i kept going more than 10 years and don't think i've ever seen a decivilization warning come up for even a backwater planet of the main factions in an unmodded game.
Maybe it is random and I got unlucky.  I played unmodded game, and Asharu decivilized sometime between five to ten years in one of my games.  It was during the first v0.9a releases.  Also, I had no decivilization warning.  (That might have came in a later release.)  Asharu suddenly decivilized, like sudden death in overtime.
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FooF

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #226 on: October 19, 2020, 06:18:28 PM »

Regarding the "new, very rare, and powerful enemy:"

Of course, you can't say much but will this enemy type just be roaming about in the wild or will there be specific steps that have to take place to trigger them? On the one hand, I would a "There be dragons" part of the map or some kind of event that keeps the player humble while on the other hand, I would hate for a new player to get stomped prematurely. At least the [REDACTED] have warning beacons.

Also, if current threats are "a couple of Lashers/Enforcers" and what is planned is "the whole Hegemony," (even withe hyperbole)...that sounds both terrifying and exciting. I have my theories but I do hope that the player isn't the only one invested in stopping the existential threat. 
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shoi

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #227 on: October 19, 2020, 06:22:22 PM »

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SonnaBanana

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #228 on: October 19, 2020, 07:56:21 PM »

Will planets with disruoted spaceports still generate procurement missions? The "Donn raid-and-trait" strategy makes getting credits too easy.

Any plans for having more than 1 comm-sniffer and not getting removed during maintenance? Intel-gathering from contacts instead of relays?
« Last Edit: October 20, 2020, 04:00:07 AM by SonnaBanana »
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Cosmitz

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #229 on: October 19, 2020, 11:24:48 PM »

Those are all fair points. But the stars look pretty, so... look, let me have this one.

(A somewhat more salient point: I do think it's important to have a real-space view of the Sector visible in the game somewhere, just to make it feel like a "real" bunch of stars somewhere.)

I don't disagree, but i'd say the gameview itself does enough work on its own to look outstanding and spacey. :P Plus, weighted against new player on-boarding it really takes its toll.
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Schwartz

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #230 on: October 20, 2020, 12:58:27 AM »

Bit late, but Re: Colony Limits... I don't think putting a hard lock on one size 6 and size 5 for the rest would be a good idea. Or even that a hard limit at all is necessary. Colonies should grow organically. And since every step up is a 10x growth, it should be simple to tweak the formula for anything above size 6 to take too long for comfort.

Just as it is with XP currently, which really peters out above level 70 if you have levels unlocked. You don't need a hard limit. The limit is time.
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huhn

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #231 on: October 20, 2020, 01:30:23 AM »

so how long does it take to grow from millions to 10 of millions?

the first grow steps can be easily explained by migration but when you reach millions that simply doesn't add up anymore.
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Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #232 on: October 20, 2020, 03:51:10 AM »

Bit late, but Re: Colony Limits... I don't think putting a hard lock on one size 6 and size 5 for the rest would be a good idea. Or even that a hard limit at all is necessary. Colonies should grow organically. And since every step up is a 10x growth, it should be simple to tweak the formula for anything above size 6 to take too long for comfort.
I would not want 10^6 for one and 10^5 for the rest.  Makes meeting demand a pain.  Also probably would need to babysit my colonies more (unless I sat bomb the big core worlds to lower their populations and weaken their expeditions permanently).  Even if limits are higher, having one world having a higher limit than another means the smaller worlds need to produce more to satisfy demand for the bigger planet.

Suggestion:  If core worlds get sat bombed but they survive (say, player sat bombs Chicomoztoc from size 8 down to size 5 or less), they should regrow their size up to 10^6 eventually.

P.S.  While having soft cap may seem okay, it could push people into min-maxing population growth, like using Free Port solely for population growth and/or colonizing in systems with the sleeper ship in long haul games that last tens of cycles.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2020, 03:57:43 AM by Megas »
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Schwartz

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #233 on: October 20, 2020, 04:10:05 AM »

So if a guy wants to play extremely long games where a size 7 colony won't take 30 cycles but thanks to his min-maxing will only take 20 cycles to complete.... shouldn't we let him have it? It's not a massive upgrade and he won't feel like he's arbitrarily locked out of having a "real planet". It's just that like a "real planet", it will happen over a course of decades or centuries and not just years.
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Modo44

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #234 on: October 20, 2020, 04:26:44 AM »

It's a single player game. If someone wants to min-max certain aspects of it, they will. Thinking you can win vs nerds armed with spreadsheets and mods is folly. "Hard limits" lol
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Gothars

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #235 on: October 20, 2020, 04:53:31 AM »

So if a guy wants to play extremely long games where a size 7 colony won't take 30 cycles but thanks to his min-maxing will only take 20 cycles to complete.... shouldn't we let him have it? It's not a massive upgrade and he won't feel like he's arbitrarily locked out of having a "real planet". It's just that like a "real planet", it will happen over a course of decades or centuries and not just years.

The idea is to stop people from forcing themselves into gameplay that is not fun, because they feel they have to play "optimally" or "max out everything". If just some people who really want to hang around in a save for 50 years were to see the colonies grow to size 7, that would not be a problem. But if people hang around in the game, actually bored out of their mind, just to see that number change from 6 to 7, that's bad game design.

Here's a GMTK video about the issue: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7L8vAGGitr8

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Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #236 on: October 20, 2020, 04:58:10 AM »

Hard limits are useful to curb excessive grinding or min-maxing.

Quote
So if a guy wants to play extremely long games where a size 7 colony won't take 30 cycles but thanks to his min-maxing will only take 20 cycles to complete.... shouldn't we let him have it? It's not a massive upgrade and he won't feel like he's arbitrarily locked out of having a "real planet". It's just that like a "real planet", it will happen over a course of decades or centuries and not just years.
For someone who does not want to wait too long, but wants to get his big planet badly enough for whatever reason, gameplay would be dominated by min-maxing that one stat (population growth).

That is like soft level limits in pre-0.8 Starsector.  Do whatever it takes to maximize xp gain (food runs with big Atlas fleets in 0.65), and grinding levels here is like grinding for rare items in Diablo 2.  Grinding for levels becomes the game.

If someone perceives something to be very good, but its a royal pain to obtain, extraordinary or degenerate methods may be employed to get it (assuming they do not outright cheat).

Quote
But if people hang around in the game, actually bored out of their mind, just to see that number change from 6 to 7, that's bad game design.
That would be me.  I have done this for months, maybe years, with level and item grinding in Diablo 2.  Obsession can trump boredom (because the player really want that goal badly enough), and that is not healthy.

That is why I have not seriously attempted the mad quest of full sector colonization yet, although I did grind Ordos in red systems for about forty-something alpha cores, just to see what kind of grinding I would need to do to get the cores needed to colonize everything, and to find what can kill Radiants the least painfully.  I might actually attempt it after Starsector is officially finished.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2020, 05:05:46 AM by Megas »
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Orochi

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #237 on: October 20, 2020, 04:59:32 AM »

There was something you said earlier in the ball-park range of it seeming like some of us just want more colony size because its more pluses, and that's not entirely wrong. In fact, it's probably, at least three fourths correct. But you have to understand something Alex. I hate to break it to you, but just about every person that plays Startsector is, to some extent, a munchkin that will number crunch the game until they can glass the entire sector with the exhaust fumes of their fleet full of cheese. I don't know how you've not noticed this in the decade-ish time that you've been working on the game, but it's the truth.

I'm not saying you have to, or even should give in to the munchkin hive-mind, but you should be aware it exists at least.

Now onto my thoughts.

Personally, I feel like capping colony size is just a solution looking for a problem. Essentially, the only problems of large Colony sizes that I can see, are the lore conflict, the lack of "realism", and the thematic issues, all things you've previously said should move out of the way for game mechanics. Those three things could be more easily 'fixed' just by reducing the population number of each colony size, or giving certain core worlds specific conditions that, for lore-reasons just state they have larger populations than what their size would otherwise state.

On the other hand, limiting colony size loses granularity. While there aren't currently any mechanics that take advantage of having specific sizes of worlds other than industry limitations, you lose that potential by getting rid of it. Also having more stages just gives players a better sense of progression and... well people tend to like it because we're munchkins. My point being that it seems like a choice that has nothing but disadvantages while the current system is just kind of... fine.

As far as mining colonies go, you're talking about trying to fundamentally work against concepts that have been implemented in the colony system. There are four reasons to have colonies: ship/weapon production, storage, tech-mining, and money. Two of these are enhanced by having larger colonies, and the rest have nothing to do with colony size. Bigger colonies make more money and more stuff. They get more market share, export more goods, and you can stack more buffs on them.

Plus, production doesn't matter beyond the profits they make. Sure, you have to make sure your colonies have access to all the goods they need for their structures/industries to function, but that's really just an extention of the profit they make. In service to this, mining (ore, organics, and rare ore) isn't even close to the highest income products, Metals Transplutonics, and Volatiles are. The income you make form ore, and rare ore are basically trivial, to the extent that you should only ever need at most one ore and one rare ore mining world to supply the rest of your refinery empire. And even that still mandates that your mining colonies have large populations for the large resource supply.

Basically, you are never going to get 'high-hazard small mining colonies' organically. Unless you hamfist it in some way, it's just not happening. It just doesn't work with the mechanics. The only option I can think of is either a fundamental change to the mining system so that more population doesn't improve goods produced, a massive increase to mining profitability just for having the industry, or effectively some kind of 'mining colony' button that limits the colony growth, but gives massive bonuses to accessibility and production (and either prevents or doesn't benefit volatiles, farming, refineries, etc).

As for requiring items to bring income up to pre-nerf, or rather '0.95' levels, once again, it feels more like a solution looking for a problem. While currently colonies can quickly make money a non-issue, that's not because they're unbalanced but because the game has a fundamental lack of resource sinks in end game. Most money is spent on maintenance through labor costs, replacement ships, supplies, and fuel, or investment through buying more ships/weapons or colony stuff. Getting a stable source of passive income fundamentally changes this, and it will always be either too much or not enough as long as there isn't something else to sink it in. Basically all you're doing is stretching out the mid game and kicking the problem down the line. It's not going to change the fact that, eventually, I'm going to have a bunch of colonies, covered in alpha cores, each planet a fortress unto itself, spitting money at me faster than I can spend it. It's the munchkin way.

I can't tell you what end game should be, as I don't know what your plans are, but I can tell your right now that farming [REDACTED] for AI cores, raiding, and colony shenanigans ain't it. That stuff all feels like gearing up for the final boss, like the Loyalty missions in Mass Effect, or getting the Master Sword. It feels like a rollercoaster about to come to a hilltop and instead of going over and finishing the coaster, you're just trying to make the hill bigger.

I'm not trying to demand 'more content', I'm saying that the current game crescendos in a way that suggests there is something unfinished waiting at the end, and that it seems to me the problem is not that the mechanics haven't been tweaked 'just right', but rather that it either needs to be changed in a fundamental way or an ending given.

Oh, and though I appreciate rolling the story points and streamlining the skill system, I disagree with the design choice to limit the number of skills a player can have (even though that isn't a new addition). Mainly because it doesn't accomplish your goal, i.e. adding a meaningful choice. A fundament problem with the system is that there will always be a 'best' skill out of every choice. You can get those skills infinitely close, but you can never truly make them equal. Because of this, there will always be a 'best' build, and players will always gravitate towards it.

To give an example, let's take that navigation skill example. The one that increases overall speed is better. Why? Because it's an overall speed boost, vs making up for a penalty. I can just limit the times when I need to 'slow-move', which I will be used to anyway beforehand. In contrast, the slow-move buff only helps in situations that are sub-optimal to begin with, and no matter how fast you go when slow-moving, I assume it's never going to overtake someone going normal speed. The choice is between lessening a penalty that happens when you essentially screw up positioning in the map, or buffing everything else. It's especially egregious because neither really defines your gameplay, it's not a meaningful choice, it's a nobrainer.

If you really, absolutely, want to provoke different builds, in my opinion, the only real option is to make it so either each choice has nothing to do with each other, or fundamentally changes the way you play the game. An example (But not a good one) would be something like Transverse Jump or Emergency Escape Jump (that gives you a way to escape battles), or 20% extra OP vs extra administrators. Again those are not suggestions, just examples of choices that I feel would be truly 'meaningful'.

What's more, it's more than likely, that the industry/general/utility skills will be, once again prioritized over the combat skills because as always, generally speaking, it's not the player's combat performance that matters most. That's... one more thing that's sort of fundamental to the game as well.

My logic is that making it either a choice that defines the way you play, or some kind of Apples to Oranges thing obfuscates the 'best option'. Despite that, it still doesn't eliminate the problem of there being a 'best choice'. And quite a few players will feel compelled to take the 'better' choice, even when they would prefer something else. Again, cause we're all kind of munchkins.

As a word of caution, any game like this that constantly drains at your resources tends to provoke min-maxing. I hate to say it, but your idea of balance tends to drag the game out and make things more difficult than they absolutely have to be. It's not a bad thing in of itself, but it does naturally discourage the organic feel you seem to be chasing. The less wiggle room people have, the more they tend to gravitate to things that they 'know' work, and the less they are inclined to actually explore mechanics. This leads into the base-bounty nerf. It's just going to further squeeze margins tighter for people. As a source of stable income decreases, the number of risks you are willing to take decrease. The less you want to buy that ship you haven't used, or try out a new fleet composition, because if you do lose something you can't afford to replace it, or the time spent to do so will set you back too far.

In other words, it means it attracts munchkins and breeds munchkin tendancies into the non-munchkins that stay.

Regardless, I hope my comments don't come off as... pushy or demanding. I believe that I don't necessarily disagree with what you're trying to accomplish. It's just that I think the way you're going about it won't get the results you want. While I certainly have my own desires for what I would 'like' from the game and perhaps I'm projecting my own desires onto you, I'm trying to go on what you've said in the past.

In the end, I'm an opinionated person, and as I write things like this, I tend to get defensive as I pick holes in my own comments. Also its been a few days since I've checked the patch notes or followed the conversation, so maybe some of these have been addressed, or are misunderstandings. I apologize in advance if this is the case.

Have a nice day.
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Gothars

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #238 on: October 20, 2020, 05:36:45 AM »

just about every person that plays Startsector is, to some extent, a munchkin that will number crunch the game until they can glass the entire sector with the exhaust fumes of their fleet full of cheese.

Mh, I think you are confusing "every person that plays Startsector" with "many that play Startsector and are actively discussing it on the internet". The latter is a self selecting group that does not represent the whole playerbase, a vocal minority of of sorts.

I believe most players are simply picking options that seem fun or exciting to them.

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shoi

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #239 on: October 20, 2020, 05:38:06 AM »

just about every person that plays Startsector is, to some extent, a munchkin that will number crunch the game until they can glass the entire sector with the exhaust fumes of their fleet full of cheese.

Mh, I think you are confusing "every person that plays Startsector" with "many that play Startsector and are actively discussing it on the internet". The latter is a self selecting group that does not represent the whole playerbase, a vocal minority of of sorts.

I believe most players are simply picking options that seem fun or exciting to them.

+1
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