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Author Topic: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes  (Read 273841 times)

Thaago

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #450 on: October 26, 2020, 03:11:55 PM »

(Officers that aren't assigned to a ship still count, since otherwise you'd be encouraged to unassign officers you're not planning to use in the fight... made that change just now, actually, since wasn't thinking about that aspect of it before.)

But that makes no sense. Just because you have them the campaign isn't necessarily easier. They should only factor into a battle if they are deployed to a fight.

Its not really about 'sense' though: its about removing a tedious thing that a player would "have" to do to play "correctly". Even though the bonus doesn't represent the ease quite as faithfully/accurately, it makes gameplay better.

Here's an example: I come across a pirate fleet that I know I can easily beat without my officers on their ships. If I get more experience from the fight by removing the officers, that means that I can increase the loot I get (xp/story points) from the fight by doing micromangement for a few seconds before and after the fight. Gameplay wise there isn't anything interesting happening: its just some tedious clicking that a player trying to maximize their rewards would be incentivized towards doing before every easy fight.

There's a few other things in the game that share this design philosophy, like the logistics hullmods only being able to be installed in dock. It doesn't make much "sense" when I think about it: I can recover ships that have literally been blown in half, why is it hard to put surveying equipment on a ship while out exploring? But if I COULD do that, I could get the most rewards by installing the efficiency hullmod for travel, then right before every single explore and salvage swap over to the recovery ones. But that doesn't really add any 'fun' to the game, just added clicking before actually doing something interesting.
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Alex

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #451 on: October 26, 2020, 03:36:32 PM »

I've noticed that enemy fighter LPCs on carriers with the Reserve Deployment ability do not self-destruct as the mothership retreats from the battlefield, leading to some rather annoying time after all enemy ships retreated, like in this case:
Spoiler
[close]

You guys might want to look into that as you nerf Reserve Deplyment (unless you've already fixed it and I did not spot it in the patch notes). I've also had it happen with a Drover using Broadswords and a modder (SafariJohn) confirmed it seems to be originating from Vanilla. It should be fairly easy to reproduce in a real battle scenario.

I'm sorry if I missed any reply to this Alex, but have you seen this error with reserve Deployment carriers?

Thanks for the reminder - somehow, I just didn't notice this at all, my apologies! Made a note to check this out shortly.


Alex, good day. I really like the Starsector and have been playing it regularly since version 0.65. You have already been asked many times in the comments, but let me clarify the question a little. How many chances are there that the patch will be released before the new year? Arranging holidays in an embrace with the Starsector is priceless.

Ahhh! I'll probably regret giving even this much info, but I'll say "unlikely, but perhaps not entirely impossible". It really depends on some decisions about what couple of remaining content pieces to add in (or not), too, it's just... I can't say for sure.


This, however, has me slightly worried. I hope it doesn't encourage a playstile where you go out hunting with a pure combat fleet to get all those sweet XP, stabilize your cargo, and then later have to come back with a cargo fleet to make a tedious pick up cruise. But I guess in the time that would take you could just fight more targets and get overall more XP that way...

Civ ships don't count for much there, so I think it'll be fine!

Mh. How about doling out some of the story points at half or quarter level intervals?
From Alex's wording I got the impression that story points are awarded as you earn them (at, say, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% of progress towards the next level), not all at once when you level up. They wouldn't "keep things flowing between level-ups", if you earned them only at level-ups, no?

You get them at quarter-level intervals, yeah.

Another point - if lvl. ups are now rare and far apart, how about celebrating them a bit more? A fanfare, some fireworks? At the moment I often miss it completely when I just leveled up.

There *is* a fanfare!



Yeah, point definitely taken on the discussions it'd cause ::). It is unfortunate that playing colony tycoon basically requires resorting to Alpha Cores, though. No way to colonize like crazy while roleplaying as a Luddite or...Hegemon? Eh, whatever the word for a follower of the Hegemony is.
...
Here's to hoping that idea gets expanded on at some point. Because while on one side it'd be very obnoxious if using admin Alpha Cores (AI cores in general, for that matter) caused some kind of unavoidable and permanent problems, because you have to use them in order to put down more than one medium-sized system worth of self-sufficient colonies, on the other side I'd very much like to eventually out-Tri-Tachyon the Tri-Tachyon in terms of AI core usage and research. And that'd just make the Hegemony and Luddites both look like cranky old codgers overdue for a transfer to the nearest retirement home if that didn't result in something going spectacularly wrong ;).

So, yeah - the thing about using Alpha Cores to fuel endless colonies is that it's also another point that will undoubtedly cause a robust level of discussion when they're finally reined in. The way it is currently is very much a loose end; you're not "supposed" to colonize more than a couple of planets. Alpha Cores already cause a bit of trouble when used, but the amount of trouble is currently - for various reasons - far below the levels it needs to be. Ultimately, I'd expect using more than a couple cores to run additional colonies to be more trouble than it's worth. Well, depending on one's capacity to handle trouble. Lot of details to figure out here, though.


Ah, got it. Any chance that bug will be fixed in the upcoming patch, than? I mean I get it's not a high priority, but, you know. Attention to the fine details.

Probably not, honestly. Not having a portrait there more clearly conveys that there are no skill bonuses, and the tooltip on the "empty" portrait says that it's not anyone of note (rather than just no-one at all). So I think it's generally pretty clear.


I think your worries about optimising experience bonus from strength difference are unwarranted. Currently, it's cheaper to go full combat and not get any officers, but do people do that very often? In the next patch, it will be more risky to use smaller force, but also more rewarding, but I doubt the bonus to experience is going to be significant enough that people are going to change their playstyle. Not to mention that this basic desire (to get more, using less) is already present, yet it doesn't break the game in any way — not to mention that it's to preserve resources like credits, supplies, ships, that you can gain or lose, unlike XP, which can only be gained. And there's no time limit on the players yet to rush for XP.

Hopefully you're right, yeah! I mean, it's not a major concern, but it doesn't hurt to fine tune a few things to make it less appealing anyway.


The post about stabilizing cargo and the possibility of people going full combat fleet for the exp bonus, and then going back with the haulers to pick up everything in a huge waste of time... 
Wouldn't it be possible to have a secondary fleet? maybe heavily limit it to only be able to have max 5-6 ships, only haulers or civilian ships etc (so you can't effectively use it to defend your colony effectively). 
This means that you literally make your haulers vulnerable to attacks so they don't hinder your strike fleet, it also means that you actually get to use your haulers to try and escape from fights instead of almost never seeing them, combat haulers would also get taken more into consideration and why not, even strange and fun builds made entirely with combat haulers. 
You could have the second fleet in tow at either the same speed or lagging behind, meaning that escaping from an unfavorable fight, means they would target your haulers instead (if they are closeby). 
Of course a hauler only fleet would be targeted more heavily by NPCs, reducing its overall effectiveness

Hmm - a secondary fleet adds *a lot* of complications. I have some thoughts about this for further down the line, but I don't want to quite get into it yet :)


(Officers that aren't assigned to a ship still count, since otherwise you'd be encouraged to unassign officers you're not planning to use in the fight... made that change just now, actually, since wasn't thinking about that aspect of it before.)

But that makes no sense. Just because you have them the campaign isn't necessarily easier. They should only factor into a battle if they are deployed to a fight.

One thing is they actually do factor in even if they're not deployed! At least, as far as the distribution of deployment points between sides. The other, bigger point, though, is that if you try to consider the difficulty of the fight based on what was deployed, it's:
1) Encouraging fine-tuning what you deploy in ways that are likely to be exploitative of the mechanic rather than interesting,
2) Complicated to figure out what the bonus should be (and, again, maximizing it will likely include "weird" gameplay patterns)
3) Complicated to display what that bonus is

Finally, this mechanic is meant to give some bonuses to running a leaner/more elite fleet, rather than to fine-tune specific deployments, so just fundamentally it's not meant to be based on that.

This does bring up a good point, though - officers that are not assigned to a ship *and that there's also no ship to assign to* shouldn't count. So e.g. a fight wouldn't be marked "easy" if you have a single frigate in your fleet and 10 officers not assigned to anything. Let me make a note to do that.

Its not really about 'sense' though: its about removing a tedious thing that a player would "have" to do to play "correctly". Even though the bonus doesn't represent the ease quite as faithfully/accurately, it makes gameplay better.

Here's an example: I come across a pirate fleet that I know I can easily beat without my officers on their ships. If I get more experience from the fight by removing the officers, that means that I can increase the loot I get (xp/story points) from the fight by doing micromangement for a few seconds before and after the fight. Gameplay wise there isn't anything interesting happening: its just some tedious clicking that a player trying to maximize their rewards would be incentivized towards doing before every easy fight.

There's a few other things in the game that share this design philosophy, like the logistics hullmods only being able to be installed in dock. It doesn't make much "sense" when I think about it: I can recover ships that have literally been blown in half, why is it hard to put surveying equipment on a ship while out exploring? But if I COULD do that, I could get the most rewards by installing the efficiency hullmod for travel, then right before every single explore and salvage swap over to the recovery ones. But that doesn't really add any 'fun' to the game, just added clicking before actually doing something interesting.

(Yeah, also very much this!)
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Wyvern

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #452 on: October 26, 2020, 03:44:32 PM »

Honestly, I'd suggest just taking (player-side) officers and player level out of the equation entirely. That way there's just no question about whether or not it's beneficial to have/use high level officers, and a player who invests in, say, colony skills won't find that their fights are being treated as being 'easier'.

If making that change also means you need to re-tune the player XP curves a bit to account for expecting slightly more XP from battles - well, that's not really a problem, is it? Since that's exactly the same testing you'd need to do for how progression feels just from adding the bonus XP for hard battles feature anyway.
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Wyvern is 100% correct about the math.

Alex

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #453 on: October 26, 2020, 03:54:11 PM »

Thinking about it, this would incentivize you to expand your fleet as soon as possible so that you're fighting larger enemy fleets with more officers (and thus more XP bonus). I'm not sure that dynamic is good - you're kind of... skewing what counts as "challenging" in a direction that punishes using a smaller fleet, since using a large fleet with more officers would make comparatively weaker enemies count as more challenging. That doesn't seem like something adjusting the XP curve could fix.
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Wyvern

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #454 on: October 26, 2020, 04:13:35 PM »

Thinking about it, this would incentivize you to expand your fleet as soon as possible so that you're fighting larger enemy fleets with more officers (and thus more XP bonus). I'm not sure that dynamic is good - you're kind of... skewing what counts as "challenging" in a direction that punishes using a smaller fleet, since using a large fleet with more officers would make comparatively weaker enemies count as more challenging. That doesn't seem like something adjusting the XP curve could fix.
Er, huh?

If your level & officers don't count in, but your fleet size does, then making your fleet larger makes all enemies count as less challenging, whether they're "comparatively weaker" or not.

I don't understand your logic here.
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Wyvern is 100% correct about the math.

Alex

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #455 on: October 26, 2020, 04:54:53 PM »

... reading it back, I'm not sure I understand it either.

(My point was that if something makes your fleet stronger but doesn't make the XP bonus smaller, then you'd want to add as much of that as possible to maximize it. But whether that actually holds up depends on whether these increases in strength add up in a non-linear way, how the bonus XP calculation works, etc...)

Still, a fleet with 5 officers facing 10 pirate ships without and being told it's a challenging fight... hm.
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Kaelum

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #456 on: October 26, 2020, 05:21:29 PM »

Wouldn't multipliers on your overall fleet power or top x combat ships (x being equal to number of officers) work for that? A 10 ship fleet with 10 officers would still be weaker than a 20 ship fleet with 10 officers, but stronger than a 10 ship fleet with no officers.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2020, 05:24:50 PM by Kaelum »
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Alex

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #457 on: October 26, 2020, 05:39:43 PM »

Hmm? I'm not quite clear on what you mean, but I think just counting the officers/levels, and the ship, more or less accomplishes getting a rough estimate in the same vein as what you're suggesting. And it can't be anything better than a rough estimate, anyway!
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AsterPiano

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #458 on: October 26, 2020, 05:50:42 PM »

Maybe dmods should factor into it after all, since that's the main point that makes Pirate fleets so weak for their size.
However that would mean the player can exploit dmods to make their own fleet's strength value lower, so you could make the equation pretend Player ships are all at a non-dmod level.

I think it's reasonable to do it this way, it assumes a kind of "best case scenario" for the player, which means a player can't trick the game into thinking he has a weak fleet when actually the player's ships might for be dmodded but without any combat dmods, or they are combat impacting dmods but the player chose ships that have the least impact for their role, and assumes the pirate fleet's ships have all combat impacting dmods. (Although actually, doesn't fighting dmod riddled fleets give less XP anyway?)

I'm thinking it might be good to play it safe and add some slight inconsistencies to the equation just to make sure the player can't abuse it. Because the player can choose what their own fleet's strength will be, where it's possible to keep rolling for the "perfect dmods", but they can't choose their enemy with the same precision as for their own fleet.
Just to kind of reword what I'm trying to say, you can generalise for enemy fleets, that more dmods make them weaker, but you can't use that same generalisation for players.

Of course this might be overcomplicating/overdesigning this feature and might actually make it too much trouble for what it's worth.
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FooF

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #459 on: October 26, 2020, 05:57:22 PM »

Quote from: Alex
So, yeah - the thing about using Alpha Cores to fuel endless colonies is that it's also another point that will undoubtedly cause a robust level of discussion when they're finally reined in. The way it is currently is very much a loose end; you're not "supposed" to colonize more than a couple of planets. Alpha Cores already cause a bit of trouble when used, but the amount of trouble is currently - for various reasons - far below the levels it needs to be. Ultimately, I'd expect using more than a couple cores to run additional colonies to be more trouble than it's worth. Well, depending on one's capacity to handle trouble. Lot of details to figure out here, though.

I always assumed Alpha Cores was basically wishing on the Monkey's Paw. Sure you get what you want, but it will come to bite you eventually. Perhaps I've been tainted by Crusader Kings 3 (which if you go down the Intrigue route, you'd have "wit checks" against other characters) but if a rogue AI kept on making harsher and harsher demands of the player, or else scuttling industries or even the whole colony, their fickle nature would be well-learned. Of course, if some Cores did no such thing, or caused minimal trouble, the player may be willing to roll the dice. In short, it'd be cool if Alpha Cores had personalities like Compliant, Mischievous, and Chaotic.
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Morrokain

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #460 on: October 26, 2020, 06:51:00 PM »

I always assumed Alpha Cores was basically wishing on the Monkey's Paw. Sure you get what you want, but it will come to bite you eventually. Perhaps I've been tainted by Crusader Kings 3 (which if you go down the Intrigue route, you'd have "wit checks" against other characters) but if a rogue AI kept on making harsher and harsher demands of the player, or else scuttling industries or even the whole colony, their fickle nature would be well-learned. Of course, if some Cores did no such thing, or caused minimal trouble, the player may be willing to roll the dice. In short, it'd be cool if Alpha Cores had personalities like Compliant, Mischievous, and Chaotic.

Neat idea! Though perhaps instead of difficulty variance, the *types* of trouble they cause (i.e. economic vs military vs faction rel) could be a little more predictable - or at least thematic in nature? I say this because having RNG effect the downsides' severity or number like that could mislead new players into thinking they understand cores when they have a good first experience, install a bunch off that first impression, then really regret it afterwards.
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Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #461 on: October 26, 2020, 07:05:08 PM »

I would expect cores (as governors) to act as demons that would kill all humans then possess the colonies to build more demon ships.

If core admins are really bad in the long run, it means player should not use them to govern colonies, and just use cores for various industries where they do no harm beyond inspections or Pather cell aggravation.
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FooF

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #462 on: October 26, 2020, 07:11:43 PM »

Oh, I agree that RNG makes for some weird decision-making but I would imagine that even a new player would understand what was going on and why after a few runs. I guess it depends on the RNG weights. If half were "well-behaved," one-third were "troublesome but could be permanently appeased after awhile" and the remaining 17% were "demons" (per Megas) set out to conquer/destroy humanity (but would string you along indefinitely), would you roll the dice? I might... :)

But, as you say, and as Alex has repeatedly stated, if it becomes a "mini-game" with little other purpose, it's probably not a good fit for Starsector. I just thought it'd be an interesting wrinkle to using the Cores.
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Alex

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #463 on: October 26, 2020, 07:16:01 PM »

Maybe dmods should factor into it after all, since that's the main point that makes Pirate fleets so weak for their size.
However that would mean the player can exploit dmods to make their own fleet's strength value lower, so you could make the equation pretend Player ships are all at a non-dmod level.

I think it's reasonable to do it this way, it assumes a kind of "best case scenario" for the player, which means a player can't trick the game into thinking he has a weak fleet when actually the player's ships might for be dmodded but without any combat dmods, or they are combat impacting dmods but the player chose ships that have the least impact for their role, and assumes the pirate fleet's ships have all combat impacting dmods. (Although actually, doesn't fighting dmod riddled fleets give less XP anyway?)

I'm thinking it might be good to play it safe and add some slight inconsistencies to the equation just to make sure the player can't abuse it. Because the player can choose what their own fleet's strength will be, where it's possible to keep rolling for the "perfect dmods", but they can't choose their enemy with the same precision as for their own fleet.
Just to kind of reword what I'm trying to say, you can generalise for enemy fleets, that more dmods make them weaker, but you can't use that same generalisation for players.

Of course this might be overcomplicating/overdesigning this feature and might actually make it too much trouble for what it's worth.

Solid points all around! I think it'll actually work better to count d-mods both for the player and for the enemy, so that it doesn't feel like you're being penalized for using d-modded ships. I think the risk of this being optimized around is very low, since it... basically doesn't matter all that much; XP is not a finite resource and there's always more where that came from. Sort of like not every single credit is being wrung out, at some point, it's "good enough" and there's no reason to bother. So I think it's more a question of how it feels.

I always assumed Alpha Cores was basically wishing on the Monkey's Paw. Sure you get what you want, but it will come to bite you eventually.

Ideally, yeah... but also a question of how to do that without making using them just a flat-out bad idea/trap choice; hence: details!
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SonnaBanana

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #464 on: October 26, 2020, 09:43:47 PM »

Alex, since you are limiting the number of colonies players can/should have....
Can you make a system which lets players assign their spare ships and officers to a colony as a static(-ish) defense force?
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