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Author Topic: Improving the Simulator for the greater good of OCD.  (Read 1091 times)

Arcagnello

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Improving the Simulator for the greater good of OCD.
« on: November 09, 2020, 02:56:17 AM »

Hello. I'm finally putting a piece of feedback I wanted to give for quite a while into words., considering that when playing a new campagn as a different faction I usually spend more time in the Simulator than in the actual real world of Starsector. I for example can't sleep at night if I think the smallest, most pitiful ship in my fleet that dies within 10 seconds of encountering the enemy just may not be using that back-mounted vulcan all that well and that I could just remove it to give it more flux capacity, allowing it to not get overloaded just for one more second making sure it can just ejaculate its reaper torpedoes onto the target before bursting open in an explosion of machinery and human gore.

I find the simulator to be sorely lacking in many key areas so I'll list them one by one and say what I think can be done about it.

You can select the Combat Readiness of a ship while entering the simulator, but you can't set a Combat Readiness percentage for neither the enemy ships and your own, reinforcment units.
The current campaign I'm playing revolves around not hiring any liutenants and using barely any commander skills improving in-combat ship performance.This makes simulations quite reliable when finding out (for example) if your own 40FP battleship can beat an Onslaught mono e mono and so on, but I've often desired the option of actually buffing the enemies in the simulation to also have 100% combat readiness if I so desire, this option could also extend to my own units. This would not only give players the option of fighting on equal ground with the simulation enemies, but it would also open a lot of challenging scenarios to find out just how much a ship of yours can overcome before eventually biting the methaphorical space dust.
On a side note, how many of you knew you could adjust the Combat Readiness of a ship while in the Simulation at the top-left of the refit screen? Be honest, I actually found that out a week ago.

You can not save your own ship variants and import them into the simulator as enemies.
Ever wanted to find out what an utter disappointment your newly bought and refitted 55 Fleet Point battleship wich you aptly named Kiting Prostitute is against  a mere, player owned 20FP Overridden heavy cruiser without a shield and with the shape of an angry brick filled with guns BEFORE you get into a fight against remnants and have those six hundred thousand credits worth of investment get a surprise colonoscopy from a Lumen with 4 Reaper Torpedoes? Well I wish I could have. N-not that I have had it happen to me b-baka!

You can't give simulator enemies (and allied ships) token officers and/or owned officers
In a similar train of thought as setting combat readiness but with a far more significant impact on actual combat performance, being able to give simulator ships token, simulation-only officers to see just how strong say, an Onslaught can be with a level 20 officer ( and how much effort it wold take your ships to fight it) would be something I'd be willing to buy Starsector thrice over for. Having alittle side tab where you can drag and drop different officers into enemy ships or something would be swell, especially if you could pick from, I don't know, defense focused officers, offensive focused officers, missile focused officer etcetera. The icing on the take would be to also be able to assing your own officers to simulator ships because why not right?

You can't play ships in the simulator before buying them
I actually don't even know the reason why this has not been included in vanilla yet. Has any of you guys/gals ever gone to a car dealership (I did door to door selling, so I've got some experience selling you *** that you may or may not even need in your life) to check cars out just for this suited up bloke (or a short-skirted, heeled chick) to come up with that obviously fabricated conciliatory smile and talk to you about this and that car and offering you the chance of driving them to then considering a purchase of that brand new Porche wich would only cost you a brand new pair of shoes a week? Star-dealership in Starsector should really do the same. Giving the player a chance to at least take the simulation version of a ship that's on sale for a spin would skyrocket the possibility of it being bought, or at least sought for by fledgling players fresh out the star academy. You could even have the "shop-owned simulator" charge you a small fee relative to the ship's value for the insightful experience, imagine that!

That's it really. I've got wilder simulation ideas still roaming around in the procastinating wasteland that is my head but they would warrant their own thread. So come at me and tell me how horrible these ideas are and wich ones might just warrant the development time required to introduce them!

Edit: typos and syntax. Let me know if there's more tomfrickery.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2020, 03:11:06 AM by Arcagnello »
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Grievous69

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Re: Improving the Simulator for the greater good of OCD.
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2020, 03:03:02 AM »

There absolutely has to be some kind of test drive thing for ships. Imagine you're a new player, go into a ship when you finally made some good cash and then just stare blankly into a wall of stats. Sure the stats give a nice picture but a new player will hardly ever get a "feel" for the ship just based on stats.

(Missions I think kinda exist for this, but it's in a totally different place many people straight up just miss or ignore. Also most of the ships are available there, not all of them.)
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Arcagnello

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Re: Improving the Simulator for the greater good of OCD.
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2020, 03:17:48 AM »

There absolutely has to be some kind of test drive thing for ships. Imagine you're a new player, go into a ship when you finally made some good cash and then just stare blankly into a wall of stats. Sure the stats give a nice picture but a new player will hardly ever get a "feel" for the ship just based on stats.

(Missions I think kinda exist for this, but it's in a totally different place many people straight up just miss or ignore. Also most of the ships are available there, not all of them.)

I personally did not bother even looking at all the stats in the ship window until I started playing as haphazard assortments of pain held togheder by welded up derelicts and human flesh wich ended up requiring complex arithmetical equations to find out if their suicidal, overridden bricks filled with guns are better off using a storm needler and two assault chainguns OR three assault changuns plus heavy machineguns to better give the enemy PTSD and not get filled with torpedo holes in the process (thank you Hazard Mining Incorporated).

I can only imagine just how confusing it would be for a relatively new player to make sense of a potential new addition to his/her fleet if all they had to look at was a plain resume of the ship. It's the 23nd century damn it. We've already got 3D lewds in the present and you're telling me that this amazing and slightly arousing ship can't be slapped into a simulation to please the potential buyer up until the point he's going to dissect his entire family for enough Harvested Organs to buy it?

Edit: I don't see why I shouldn't take you seriously tough, you're always so helpful, grammatically correct and to the point unlike someone else I know of  ;)
« Last Edit: November 09, 2020, 03:23:22 AM by Arcagnello »
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SonnaBanana

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Re: Improving the Simulator for the greater good of OCD.
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2020, 03:29:32 AM »

I agree, these changes are completely necessary!
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Grievous69

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Re: Improving the Simulator for the greater good of OCD.
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2020, 03:31:20 AM »

Edit: I don't see why I shouldn't take you seriously tough, you're always so helpful, grammatically correct and to the point unlike someone else I know of  ;)
I had to put this signature because it happened multiple times I've got in trouble for making a joke (when it didn't seem like that to some). So I'd rather not continue getting warnings for being goofy you know. Also in general: If you're taking everything some stranger on the internet said to heart, you're probably doing something wrong.

And I actually witnessed what it's like for a new player to stumble upon a list of ships. A friend of mine has been streaming the game to me, just so I can guide him somewhat through the beginning. He played a bit, eventually got some money, went to the buy screen and literally went "holy *** what do I do?". If I wasn't there he'd seriously just pick something based entirely on looks alone. Which is totally fine, you should experiment in games. But some mistakes here can really cost you a lot, and you're either gonna have to load a save from way before, or continue the grind.
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Arcagnello

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Re: Improving the Simulator for the greater good of OCD.
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2020, 04:23:28 AM »

Edit: I don't see why I shouldn't take you seriously tough, you're always so helpful, grammatically correct and to the point unlike someone else I know of  ;)
I had to put this signature because it happened multiple times I've got in trouble for making a joke (when it didn't seem like that to some). So I'd rather not continue getting warnings for being goofy you know. Also in general: If you're taking everything some stranger on the internet said to heart, you're probably doing something wrong.

And I actually witnessed what it's like for a new player to stumble upon a list of ships. A friend of mine has been streaming the game to me, just so I can guide him somewhat through the beginning. He played a bit, eventually got some money, went to the buy screen and literally went "holy *** what do I do?". If I wasn't there he'd seriously just pick something based entirely on looks alone. Which is totally fine, you should experiment in games. But some mistakes here can really cost you a lot, and you're either gonna have to load a save from way before, or continue the grind.
Heh. The same people expecting the Internet to be any sort of fantasy land where everything if flowery and everyone's nice to you need a serious re-evaluation of how they see life and human nature in general so that they can then reconsider their role in it. You should not change what you say or the way you phrase it because some living barnacle that can only drink beer with SOY MILK gets offended by it. Just be aware that what you say, where you say it and how you phrase it can either get you laid or get you laid off, as simple as that.

Aaaaanyway. I find a game leaving a very good impression in first time players experiencing new stuff while playing to be vital, having plain stat boards more or less speaking an alien languge to a new player does not do that.

On a fun side note: is the growing felling of regret of buying a new flagship palpable in this sequence of screenshots? I can only imagine the plethora of ragequits a situation like this can generate in both new and veteran players.
Spoiler
[close]
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Gothars

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Re: Improving the Simulator for the greater good of OCD.
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2020, 05:47:54 AM »

There absolutely has to be some kind of test drive thing for ships. Imagine you're a new player, go into a ship when you finally made some good cash and then just stare blankly into a wall of stats. Sure the stats give a nice picture but a new player will hardly ever get a "feel" for the ship just based on stats.

I understand the sentiment, I thought of that option a few times myself. But I have to say, for me, piloting a newly bought ship for the first time has always been an important part of the experience. The big reward moment for finally saving up enough money to buy it. I feel like a test driving option would just lead to more time spent in the shop looking for the perfect ship, and less time in actual gameplay.

To really get a feel for a ship, a simple test drive would not help anyway - you'd need to try it out with different loadouts, against different enemy types and fleet constellations, or in certain logistical situations. If you'd try to find out those things in a test drive option, you'd better off just playing the game.



some living barnacle that can only drink beer with SOY MILK gets offended by it. Just be aware that what you say, where you say it and how you phrase it

Please take you own advice here, the language seems overly harsh.
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Grievous69

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Re: Improving the Simulator for the greater good of OCD.
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2020, 05:54:38 AM »

I understand the sentiment, I thought of that option a few times myself. But I have to say, for me, piloting a newly bought ship for the first time has always been an important part of the experience. The big reward moment for finally saving up enough money to buy it. I feel like a test driving option would just lead to more time spent in the shop looking for the perfect ship, and less time in actual gameplay.

To really get a feel for a ship, a simple test drive would not help anyway - you'd need to try it out with different loadouts, against different enemy types and fleet constellations, or in certain logistical situations. If you'd try to find out those things in a test drive option, you'd better off just playing the game.
Fair point, but you could argue the same about the current simulator. It just gives you a vague look on how will certain loadouts work (sim opponents have weird builds, no officers and therefore always same personality), you still need to go through at least a couple of battles to truly see the performance of a ship. I'm just saying, if it's not a total hassle to implement elegently, it would be nice to have. Won't be the end of the world, as there are plenty of guides around + wiki.
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SonnaBanana

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Re: Improving the Simulator for the greater good of OCD.
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2020, 05:56:39 AM »


I understand the sentiment, I thought of that option a few times myself. But I have to say, for me, piloting a newly bought ship for the first time has always been an important part of the experience. The big reward moment for finally saving up enough money to buy it. I feel like a test driving option would just lead to more time spent in the shop looking for the perfect ship, and less time in actual gameplay.

To really get a feel for a ship, a simple test drive would not help anyway - you'd need to try it out with different loadouts, against different enemy types and fleet constellations, or in certain logistical situations. If you'd try to find out those things in a test drive option, you'd better off just playing the game.
Some planets lets you test-drive with blueprints the planet owner faction has (and charge you higher!) while others don't.
Your planets let you test drive the blueprints you have.
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Arcagnello

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Re: Improving the Simulator for the greater good of OCD.
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2020, 06:13:02 AM »

There absolutely has to be some kind of test drive thing for ships. Imagine you're a new player, go into a ship when you finally made some good cash and then just stare blankly into a wall of stats. Sure the stats give a nice picture but a new player will hardly ever get a "feel" for the ship just based on stats.

I understand the sentiment, I thought of that option a few times myself. But I have to say, for me, piloting a newly bought ship for the first time has always been an important part of the experience. The big reward moment for finally saving up enough money to buy it. I feel like a test driving option would just lead to more time spent in the shop looking for the perfect ship, and less time in actual gameplay.

To really get a feel for a ship, a simple test drive would not help anyway - you'd need to try it out with different loadouts, against different enemy types and fleet constellations, or in certain logistical situations. If you'd try to find out those things in a test drive option, you'd better off just playing the game.



some living barnacle that can only drink beer with SOY MILK gets offended by it. Just be aware that what you say, where you say it and how you phrase it

Please take you own advice here, the language seems overly harsh.

True, there's that Sense Of Pride And AccomplishmentTM in driving a newly bought ship yourself for the first time, but I think that having a very succinct test drive would not detract from that in any way.

The main purpose of such a feature would be to at the very least instruct new players and experienced ones alike of what certain things written on a stat board actually translate to in simulated combat. The Loadout the ship comes in would just reflect weapon mount sizes, arcs and type and be nowhere near organic too. Something very far from buying the ship and fully experiencing the joys and woes of personal retrofitting first had, wouldn't you say.

I actually reworded that last sentence you quoted some half a dozen times making it mellower on every pass. I must admit I personally got carried away there since what Grievous described also happens to me on an IRL basis and it just happens to very much tick me off.
I'll be even more abstract next time. Gonna employ those sick reverse compliment techniques from John Cena. You'll see!
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SCC

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Re: Improving the Simulator for the greater good of OCD.
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2020, 07:17:14 AM »

Drama queens.

Test riding ships is probably the biggest improvement to the simulator there can be. I would also like to have all the player obtainable ships in the enemy list. I consider selecting CR to be mostly a hassle, I wish all ships in simulator had it set to 70%, including ships that currently don't have that much (which means damaged ships in your fleet).

Arcagnello

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Re: Improving the Simulator for the greater good of OCD.
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2020, 08:21:26 AM »

Test riding ships is probably the biggest improvement to the simulator there can be. I would also like to have all the player obtainable ships in the enemy list. I consider selecting CR to be mostly a hassle, I wish all ships in simulator had it set to 70%, including ships that currently don't have that much (which means damaged ships in your fleet).

I'm playing a modded game with the indipendent bounty board (as most of people worth their mod usage should be) and some ships already are and should remain out of the simulation even if the changes we're now discussing somehow, someday get implemented.

That said, Starsector could take a page from Pokemon's book and actually form a "Simulation Codex" that initially includes all the commonly found ships in the sector but that steadily and inevitably ends up adding all the ships(and their variants) you encounter in your adventures and includes them in said Codex, wich in return also expands the ships available (and their encountered&defeated variants) to the player's simulation computer.

Gotta Wreck Them All!

I am fully aware we've already got a Codex in the main menu, wich I even think includes most, if not all ships mods introduce. It would be an implied evolution for the Simulation to be fully integrated with the Codex and have them work off each other. Modders would also easily be able to integrate the new Codex and Simulation fearures in their own content and provide the Codex with their faction's base ships and only include rare, secret and special ships/variants once they've been overcome in the campaign.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2020, 08:23:13 AM by Arcagnello »
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FooF

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Re: Improving the Simulator for the greater good of OCD.
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2020, 01:29:07 PM »

Re: the OP

I could take or leave #1 as playing against anything above/below 70 CR isn't all that common. I don't want to fight against handicapped opponents and the small bonuses that 100 CR gives isn't typically a game-changer. Would it be nice? Sure, but it's not a big deal to me.

Points 2 and 3, I'm just about in full agreement with. The caveat with point 2 is that I don't care so much about importing my loadouts so much as I am concerned with fighting actual loadouts I could be facing. Or in other words, RNG loadouts that the game may generate against me. Ideally, it would be both/and: I could designate a loadout or have a "real-world" RNG loadout based on certain parameters (i.e. fighting a Sindrian Diktat ship).

I, too, have suggested adding officers to sim ships because as the game progresses, un-officer'd ships become less and less of a threat. They no longer represent a "real" enemy you'll be fighting. I don't think it needs to go into great detail: just an option that throws an RNG officer at a certain level against you. That way, you'll have a better sense of how your current ship/loadout does against a true threat.

The "test drive" function of point 4 is tricky to me. I've flown just about every ship in Vanilla (except some obviously bad flagships) and I think if I had the option to test drive any ship, I might get stuck in the simulator min/maxing instead of playing the campaign. I kind of do that already with the current simulator. I don't think it takes away from the experience, per se, but it does lessen the carrot-on-a-stick to continue to advance. The whole "whoa, I want that!" when you encounter a new/bigger ship can be the impetus to find where to get it, fight for it, etc. Basically, I can see both sides and I'm not sure what side I fall on but I can justify them both.
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Thaago

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Re: Improving the Simulator for the greater good of OCD.
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2020, 03:56:04 PM »

@Arcagnello
Please refer to the forum rules regarding sexual content and refrain from referencing it.



I'd like there to be the option to do simulator battles with anything that the player has discovered. It would ruin the surprise of fighting the Guardian or a Radiant if it was in the sim menu from the very beginning, but afterwards it would be fun to fight against at will.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2020, 09:35:50 AM by Thaago »
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Arcagnello

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Re: Improving the Simulator for the greater good of OCD.
« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2020, 05:37:27 PM »

Re: the OP

I could take or leave #1 as playing against anything above/below 70 CR isn't all that common. I don't want to fight against handicapped opponents and the small bonuses that 100 CR gives isn't typically a game-changer. Would it be nice? Sure, but it's not a big deal to me.

Points 2 and 3, I'm just about in full agreement with. The caveat with point 2 is that I don't care so much about importing my loadouts so much as I am concerned with fighting actual loadouts I could be facing. Or in other words, RNG loadouts that the game may generate against me. Ideally, it would be both/and: I could designate a loadout or have a "real-world" RNG loadout based on certain parameters (i.e. fighting a Sindrian Diktat ship).

I, too, have suggested adding officers to sim ships because as the game progresses, un-officer'd ships become less and less of a threat. They no longer represent a "real" enemy you'll be fighting. I don't think it needs to go into great detail: just an option that throws an RNG officer at a certain level against you. That way, you'll have a better sense of how your current ship/loadout does against a true threat.

The "test drive" function of point 4 is tricky to me. I've flown just about every ship in Vanilla (except some obviously bad flagships) and I think if I had the option to test drive any ship, I might get stuck in the simulator min/maxing instead of playing the campaign. I kind of do that already with the current simulator. I don't think it takes away from the experience, per se, but it does lessen the carrot-on-a-stick to continue to advance. The whole "whoa, I want that!" when you encounter a new/bigger ship can be the impetus to find where to get it, fight for it, etc. Basically, I can see both sides and I'm not sure what side I fall on but I can justify them both.

Hey thanks for the reply! Sorry it took a while for me to answer!

I might be a hopeless minmaxer myself but I actually find the CR bonuses to be very strong. Better weapon tracking, ability, less damage taken and faster fighter refit times are all widely useful bonuses to get.
I personally did not care much about them either until I forced myself to play a campaign without officers and max CR increases, they truly are that kind of buff that may look trivial until you don't have it.

The sadistic part of me actually desires the new skill system to also introduce enemy "fleet commanding officers" that come with an expanded set of skills to closely match the player and apply fleet wide buffs, but that's for another suggestion thread entirely.

I originally wrote point 2 and 3 since I also noticed the simulation loadouts did not in any way represent what you just find in the campaign. Simulation ship loadouts are obviously man-made and not autogenerated, but they are nowhere near as optimized as one would think leading to potentially very skewed comparison material. Being able to upload my own ship variants in the simulator and test them against the ships in my current fleet would just be amazing.

Don't need to add much to your comment about officers. Randomized officers to choose from based on their level would be more than enough.

I'll agree on test driving ships before buying them being questionable, wich is why the test itself should be very limited in it's capabilities and also come with a credit fee for even using it.
A part of me would actually be both impressed and satisfied with an overly corny sub 20 second ad for a ship next to its pricetag. I mean whoever built said ship is surely hoping for someone buy it right? And what would be better than an overdramatic (and possibly slightly too optimistic) 15-20 second mini-video showing the ship kicking ass and chewing bubblegum?

@Arcagnello
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I'd like there to be the option to do simulator battles with anything that the player has discovered. It would ruin the surprise of fighting the Guardian or a Radiant if it was in the sim menu from the very beginning, but afterwards it would be fun to fight against at will.

I've given that a read, I'll try to not be as rauchy (is that even the correct word?) in the future  :)

Hasn't Alex recently alluded to expanding the Codex in the 0.95a patchnotes thread? (I may edit this if I find the actual reply). And here I thought my Pokemon references were out of place!

Wait. Could Starsector just be Pokemon in space? I mean you've got team Rocket and even the starter ships! Now, if the Hammerhead is Charmender and the Shrike is Squirtle, what ship is Bulbasaur?

Holy crap it all makes sense now. The Onslaught is Charizard, the Paragon is Blastoise and The Legion is Venusaur, wich means that the Condor/Drover could be Bulbasaur!

I'll stop now, but it would be the funny if it was actually one of the main inspirational sources for the game  ;D

Edit: Found Alex's mention of the Codex since it currently is the last reply to that thread:
Quote
13 new special weapons specific to this enemy
Random thought - are these weapons going to be hidden from the out-of-campaign missions (unlike say, Sparks and other [REDACTED] fighters)? I'd hate to accidentally spoil myself if I decided to jump in there for whatever reason.

Oh, hey, that's a great point! They definitely shouldn't show up there (and already don't show in the codex), but I forgot about the missions aspect of it. Done.

Perhaps there could be a variable check based on whether or not the player has a save file where they have encountered anything [REDACTED] in the campaign, and only what they have seen of the [REDACTED] in the campaign appears in not just the missions, but also the codex.

That might make sense, yeah - I'll have to take another look at this when I finally get around to updating the Codex! I wouldn't want to do anything halfbaked about it now since it'd likely be wasted effort in the long term.

We might just get a Simulation/Codex merge in the future. I'll wait with crossed fingers  :)
« Last Edit: November 10, 2020, 06:25:16 PM by Arcagnello »
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