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Author Topic: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes  (Read 389867 times)

SafariJohn

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #2160 on: September 23, 2021, 08:44:18 AM »

In my current game I am level 7 after 8 months, I've picked up 2 officers from exploring, hired 1, and promoted 1. I've passed up 2-3 promotions/hires because they were cautious.

That feels about right to me, and I made no special effort to hunt officers besides checking comm directories when I am at a port.


Now checking comm directories is something I can complain about. Comms and the bar are like the annoying split between the tab map and the intel map. Two interfaces that are too similar to be separate IMO because I have to make myself look at the one that is harder to interact with.

Heck, combining comms and the bar could be as simple as putting the button for the bar at the top of the comms directory like the old mission board and give it the 1 key as its shortcut. It would be "open market" -> 1 -> 1 -> you're in the bar. Then you would be able to glance at the comms as you are on your way in or out of the bar.
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SCC

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #2161 on: September 23, 2021, 09:11:11 AM »

Gating an element of gameplay (combat) behind trading items back and forth between colonies is something that Starsector was specifically designed to avoid, because it's not "fun" gameplay unless that's explicitly what your game is about.
Looking at weapon availability, I wouldn't be as sure so as to make such a bold claim...

Yeah, comms screen and bar being separated is pointless. In fact, there should be a unified "interact with the colony" screen for comms, bar and other activities, like going to meet Arroyo or Daud.

Alex

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #2162 on: September 23, 2021, 10:33:12 AM »

A non-trivial investment of effort which is required before you're "allowed" to have fun.

I appreciate that this is in fact frustrating for you and don't want to minimize that. I think this point specifically is where we're having a hard time seeing eye to eye - from my perspective, the investment of effort here *is indeed trivial*. It's something less than, say, stocking up on supplies/fuel and hiring extra crew when you're in port, or checking for new ships to buy - and unlike these other activities, you stop needing to do it at all past a certain point. In my playtesting, I don't recall ever having trouble picking up officers as needed.

So, while I respect that this doesn't match your experience, I also can't really change the game based on that, not if it runs so against what I'm experiencing; I hope that makes sense.


One thing, though, that might help you in the next release - the "officer promotion candidate" events will stick around for 4 months instead of 1, so it'll be easier to not end up missing them.

And, something you can do right now - in settings.json, there's:
"maxOfficerPromoteProb":0.1

You can increase that to make the promotion events more likely. The probability is based on the number of fleet points destroyed relative to the number of points in your fleet, and this is just a cap on the max value, but it should still have a meaningful impact if you were to increase it. For the next release, let me also add "officerPromoteProbMult", so you can have full control over the promotion event rate.
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SafariJohn

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #2163 on: September 23, 2021, 11:35:16 AM »

Yeah, comms screen and bar being separated is pointless. In fact, there should be a unified "interact with the colony" screen for comms, bar and other activities, like going to meet Arroyo or Daud.

Oh yeah, those are also in the first set of options. Compressing all that into one spot is a good idea.

I was thinking it would be nice to be able to add more location buttons in the comms directory than just the bar - for example the Roider Union's ship retrofitting service could be there instead of tucked away in the bar. Something like:

COLONY NAME
|-----------|
|      Bar     |
|-----------|
|  Retrofits  |
|-----------|
| Meet Daud|
|-----------|
| NPC | NPC |
| NPC | NPC |
|                |
|-----------|
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Hiruma Kai

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #2164 on: September 23, 2021, 09:28:19 PM »

Yeah, comms screen and bar being separated is pointless. In fact, there should be a unified "interact with the colony" screen for comms, bar and other activities, like going to meet Arroyo or Daud.

Oh yeah, those are also in the first set of options. Compressing all that into one spot is a good idea.

I was thinking it would be nice to be able to add more location buttons in the comms directory than just the bar - for example the Roider Union's ship retrofitting service could be there instead of tucked away in the bar. Something like:

COLONY NAME
|-----------|
|      Bar     |
|-----------|
|  Retrofits  |
|-----------|
| Meet Daud|
|-----------|
| NPC | NPC |
| NPC | NPC |
|                |
|-----------|

I do wonder from a "How many buttons do I need to press to do X", whether this is an improvement or not.  If you're not actually merging the bar sub-options  (i.e. press 1 to talk with historian, press 2 to talk with merchant, press 3 to talk with pather) with the comm directory screen (all the administrators/officers/etc), that doesn't sound like an improved flow to get to the bar options.  Especially if it's press 1, mouse over to the graphical representation of the bar, then go back to pressing buttons to talk to the historian.  The mouse flow interrupts and slows the whole process down.

If you're simply putting all the comms and bar and such under a new sub-menu (like how the military options are combined), then we're just adding more button presses compared to what we have now.  Press 1 and then 1 again to get comms, press 1 and then 2 to get bar strikes me as slower.

I feel like you'd have to merge it all on to one screen (so no separate bar sub-menu/screen) would be the only real way to improve interface flow over what we have now.  There is also some mechanical differences between bar, quest actions, and comm directories in terms of when you're allowed to access them.  If you're hostile to the station with transponder on, your only option generally is the comm directory - no access to things like the bar.  Not to mention quest actions on planets without a comm directory.    Although I'm guessing that wouldn't be too hard to code into such a composite screen, but potentially could get crowded with a lot of mods.  I guess I'd need to see a better mock up to get a feel for how the user flow would go and how expandable it'd be.
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SafariJohn

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #2165 on: September 24, 2021, 04:42:33 AM »

I am trying to make it easy to look at the comm directory at the slight expense of the bar's interaction flow. Like you are thinking with the submenu, but the comms directory is the submenu so it is streamlined.

Going to the bar would be "arrive at market" -> press 1 "look at comm/market directory" -> press 1 "go to bar". 1-1 instead of 2; no big deal, just a quick double tap.
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Hiruma Kai

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #2166 on: September 24, 2021, 10:05:12 AM »

I am trying to make it easy to look at the comm directory at the slight expense of the bar's interaction flow. Like you are thinking with the submenu, but the comms directory is the submenu so it is streamlined.

Going to the bar would be "arrive at market" -> press 1 "look at comm/market directory" -> press 1 "go to bar". 1-1 instead of 2; no big deal, just a quick double tap.

I think I see what you're suggesting.  It would be a rework of the comm directory such that you can interact with it via mouse or keyboard press, since currently there are no number options available on the comm directory.

I still feel like it is two screens to look at to get the information you want, namely "Is there anything interesting on this planet I care about?".  Forcing the player to go the through the comms screen when there's nothing interesting there (i.e. no one to hire, no quests, no contacts), from a design standpoint, feels less than optimal to me.  Especially, if you're then diving into the bar to find nothing there as well.  It can also still lead to people skipping it if they get in the habit of double clicking and don't bother looking as they speed through,especially if they've got a full compliment of officers/administrators already.

I feel like in a really good user interface, information the player cares about (i.e. what makes this planet unique to interact with) should be presented front and center, from the very first screen.  Enough information so that you know looking at any given sub-screen is worth while.  Looking at a comm directory screen if there is nothing the player wants to do with it is pointless and just busy work, even if it is quick busy work.  If you have AI cores to turn in or want to start a commission, you actively know you want to go there, so no highlighting or extra communication necessary, and you are actively using the screen.  The random elements which aren't there all the time are the ones that need to be advertised prior to the screen.

Another way to put it is if a player is being led through a screen, even briefly, you should be able to answer the question "Why does the player want to look at this screen right now?".  If the answer is, to see if anything RNG has shown up, then I'd ask, could that randomly rolled presence or absence have been communicated earlier in a reasonable way?

So I'd almost rather the comm directory option at the top level (i.e. "1. Open the comm directory), be changed when officers/administrators, or quest contacts are available.  So if there's no one to hire present, it's the default "1. Open the comm directory", but if there's a hireable, do something like "1. Open the comm directory along with independent personnel advertisements".  You could also do this with the bar.  If there's nothing available in the bar it could say, "Take a shuttle down to visit a mostly empty dockside bar".

Going further along UI changes, I could see changing the text color of the comm directory to some color-blind friendly other color when there is an "!" (i.e. quest action) as well.  Change the text color on the "go to bar" to the same color when there's a specific quest interaction there as well (getting roughed up by the local intelligence authority comes to mind).  Also highlight the military options when you have a quest to do a particular military action.  I know I've gotten confused at least once on which military option does what to accomplish the goal someone has provided me.  Highlight the interactions which lead to the quest action in some way, all the way from the very 1st interaction screen.  We already have these kinds of meta information details (the ! in the first place), so I don't feel like the highlighting would be out of place.  However, this potentially is much harder to code up, as it'd require some kind of flagging system that passes information through a text tree.

The comm directory being the place to interact with your contacts to get missions, but the bar being where you get other missions does feel a bit weird, and I feel like is one of the driving forces behind this discussion.  A potentially easier to code rework than reworking the comm directory GUI completely would be to instead add a text option in the bar (instead of the gui mouse like comm directory) if you've got contacts on the planet. Like "1. Pull out your off-brand tri-pad and call...", and then go to a sub-text menu that gives numerical options for the contacts "1. Jill, your military contact", "2. Jack, your trade contact", "3. Jim, your underworld contact".   Then getting to your only contact on planet becomes a quick press 2, press 1, press 1.  Exiting out of the conversation drops you back to the bar, ready to go look for more missions, rather than the very first planet menu.

You could also add an option "2. Browse through the local personnel advertisements", that then lists "1. Jason, a freshly graduated cadet", "2. Jacelyn, a battle hardened veteran officer", representing the officers that could be hired on the comm directory.  If there are no contacts, or no one to hire, then neither sub-menu shows up in the bar menu.  This means pressing 2 once, and reading the options is enough to know if there's anything RNG related that might be of interest is on planet.  A single, unified RNG related menu.

Essentially, instead of making the comms directory the one stop shop, you could make the bar the one stop shop for RNG stuff.  I feel like text menu changes are easier than GUI overhauls, although I could be wrong.  The comms directory would remain exactly the same, and would be a fall back to get further missions if the bar is inaccessible (due to hostilities for example).  So you would have two different ways to hire officers or reach your mission contacts instead of one like we have now.
 
Anyways, that is how I'd approach it.
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Mortrag

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #2167 on: September 25, 2021, 03:54:04 AM »

After the officer-discussion some pages ago, there is somthing bugging me. So, with the increased importance of officers in 0.95a and the reduced number of them floating through space in the next patch:
Will there be a option added in the future, to capture officers after a battle?

So far, you are able to loot ships and weapons and so the only thing that prevents you from a full looter-playstyle is, that you can't loot/capture the now gamewise necessary and intended officers. Just to make myself clear, it's not about adding a 4X-element, but a way to aquire a now necessary ressource for combat. (And if Nexerelin builds up on that, it's there thing.)

(And I know that there is already a mod for that out there, but because of the big impact on battle-balancing, it may be better handled in vanilla.)
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Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #2168 on: September 25, 2021, 05:42:25 AM »

Occasionally, you can promote someone into an officer after a battle if you have a story point (+100% XP).  That said, it is infrequent enough that player still needs to shop for them.
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Amoebka

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #2169 on: September 27, 2021, 04:41:23 PM »

I'm one of those players who really stuggle to fill up on officers too. My main reasons for being this way are:

1) I don't spend much time in the core worlds. Cryopod officers are 95% total garbage because they have afwul skill combos and personalities. Promoting just feels like a noobie trap because 100% story points are not really free at all with how god damn long it takes to farm XP at max level.

2) I refuse to pick up officers with skills I perceive as bad. Level 1 hire has damage control or ranged spec? Timid/cautious personality? Into the trash he/she goes. This is more of a problem with skill balance, but it also makes me feel like "good" officers are incredibly rare to find for hire.

3) There's no way to change portraits without editing save files. Alex please. It's so frustrating having two officers with the same portrait but different skill sets.
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Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #2170 on: September 27, 2021, 06:22:54 PM »

I'm one of those players who really stuggle to fill up on officers too. My main reasons for being this way are:

1) I don't spend much time in the core worlds. Cryopod officers are 95% total garbage because they have afwul skill combos and personalities. Promoting just feels like a noobie trap because 100% story points are not really free at all with how god damn long it takes to farm XP at max level.
Story points eventually catch up if player starts grinding endgame battles constantly.  BUT... if the player does not want to fight (because he does not have the fleet to kill endgame fights flawlessly, or wants to do some non-combat stuff like trading instead of non-stop combat), then story points may not catch up.

Occasional story point use with +100% XP is practically free, but only for those combat junkies who fight endgame battles constantly.  (And I only get about +100% since I bring big fleet with lots of Phantoms and maybe other non-combatants that count as combat ships.  I do not have the skill loadout for those small super fleets for +500%.)

Before I started fighting endgame fights constantly, my fleet was running drugs and raiding pirate bases for loot.  I could never get enough XP to pay the story debt.  But once I swapped from campaign activities to dedicated bounty hunting and Ordos farming, it did not take too long for the story debt to be paid.  To put in another way, it was faster to clear the story debt than it was to wait for Field Repairs to turn several of my d-modded clunkers into pristine neon knights.

It would be nice of player did not need to be a combat junkie to make practical use of +100% story point use.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2021, 06:28:56 PM by Megas »
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Amoebka

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #2171 on: September 27, 2021, 06:28:05 PM »

Story points eventually catch up if player starts grinding endgame battles constantly.

I do grind battles constantly (at around +200-250%). It's not enough unless you do it flawlessly, because recovering ships and s-modding lost ones costs more points.

The difficulty XP also seems to severely overvalue officers, ironically enough. You can have a fleet so weak you can't even win reliably, but the game will think it's +0% because you have a level 3 officer in each frigate.
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Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #2172 on: September 27, 2021, 06:33:50 PM »

Story points eventually catch up if player starts grinding endgame battles constantly.

I do grind battles constantly (at around +200-250%). It's not enough unless you do it flawlessly, because recovering ships and s-modding lost ones costs more points.
It is true that fights must be flawless.  It is a reason why I took Field Repairs so that fights do not always need to be flawless, but given how slow d-mods are removed, the fleet cannot afford more than a few casualties.

Field Repairs can be funny at times.  Once, I lost three phase ships (I think Dooms), and recovered them all without any d-mods.

I greatly look forward to what Hull Restoration can do.

Restore costs too much, and s-modding new ships burn story points.  So... that leaves Field Repairs as the only viable cheap restoration option, but only if there are not too many d-mods.
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Amoebka

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #2173 on: September 27, 2021, 06:41:20 PM »

I greatly look forward to what Hull Restoration can do.
Oh yeah, I bet both of us will love that one, lmao. Especially since it gives CR for s-mods, so it doesn't even feel like a "waste" when you want combat power.
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Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #2174 on: September 27, 2021, 07:07:13 PM »

I greatly look forward to what Hull Restoration can do.
Oh yeah, I bet both of us will love that one, lmao. Especially since it gives CR for s-mods, so it doesn't even feel like a "waste" when you want combat power.
Not to mention one of the new Industry combat skills (Polarized Armor) has one of my favorite buffs from old Power Grid Modulation 2, faster vent speed - great for high-tech ships (piloted by player), even if it is an elite effect.  Maybe the return of vent spamming when combined with Resistant Flux Conduits.

I want Polarized Armor primarily for the elite's faster vent speed.  I want to be able to spam blasters and dump flux fast like in the old days.
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