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Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21); Blog post: Of Slipstreams and Sensor Ghosts (09/24/21)

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Author Topic: [0.95a] 'A New Level' (Of Confidence, and Power) a Max Level Increasing Mod v1.2  (Read 60843 times)

Panteradactyl

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Features:
Raises max player level to 20, 25, 30, or 40, while maintaining a vanilla-like levelling rate and Story Point gain, even at level cap.
Alternate "Fast" version does the same, but doubles levelling speed while halving Story Points per level and doubling bonus experience gain from SP usage. This maintains an almost identical rate of Story Point and bonus experience per SP ratio as compared to vanilla.

You can change variants at any time on existing saves and it won't break anything, but if you go from any of the "Fast" variants to the any of the standard variants or go from a high max level to a lower max level, you will have negative experience progress shown in your character screen. Gaining more experience will reduce that deficit, but you will not gain you any Story Points until you are back in the black, at which point things continue as normal. To that end, I would advise against going from a high max level to a low max level, and strongly advise against going from any "Fast" variant to a standard variant.

Example of switching types: going from the 40 variant, while level 24, to the 25 variant will keep you at that same level, but you will have a deficit of around 4-4.5 million experience you need to make up before levelling/SP gain continues as normal, due to the difference in level scaling between the two. If you are at max level on the 25 variant, and switch to the 40 variant, you will be level 26, and most of the way to level 27, which will update as soon as you gain any experience. In an most extreme example, if you go from max level on the standard 25 variant to the fast 40 variant, you will reach level 37 when you gain any experience.

Notes on Balance:
A level of 20 is obviously very close to vanilla balance, level of 25 is what I personally consider to be the most balanced, a level of 30 is around the threshold of when things start to become overpowered, and a level of 40 is God-Emperor of the Persean Sector territory. However, as some have pointed to me, level 40 is almost a soft-cap due to the extreme total experience requirements, so even the max level of 40 variant is arguably balanced.

Additionally, level scaling on the Standard variants from level 1 to level 15 is almost identical to vanilla, so you will see very little difference at the lower levels--the intent behind this mod was to preserve vanilla balance as much as possible, and simply expand on the available skills you could get. For people who want to level up faster, I made the "Fast" variants: the "Fast" variants reduce the grind of levelling while ensuring Story Points remain a valuable resource. If you actually want to reach level 40 in a sane amount of time, I recommend using the "Fast" variant of 40. Otherwise, I recommend you use the standard variants to maintain a vanilla-like experience--which most mods will be balanced around.

Some information that might help you choose a variant is that the bonus experience from using Story Points effectively doubles your rate of experience gain, and on my last playthrough in Nex in 0.9.1a, I got around 20,684,924 experience before I 'won.' Factoring in the bonus experience from using Story Points like you would in 0.9.5a, that's 41,369,848 experience.

TL;DR: If you want what I think is most balanced/enjoyable, Standard 25. But, not everyone likes what I like, hence the options.

Downloads:
Standard Variants:
Level 20 version here. Experience needed for max level: 22,140,000
Level 25 version here. Experience needed for max level: 37,140,000
Level 30 version here. Experience needed for max level: 53,640,000
Level 40 version here. Experience needed for max level: 88,640,000

Rapid Variants:
Level 20 Fast version here. Experience needed for max level: 11,070,000
Level 25 Fast version here. Experience needed for max level: 18,570,000
Level 30 Fast version here. Experience needed for max level: 26,820,000
Level 40 Fast version here. Experience needed for max level: 44,320,000

Download all versions here. Every variant in one .zip file.

Credits:
Special thanks to Bonomel for making the original max-level altering mod. I'm uploading this because I made the mod for myself, and figured I'd save people the trouble of having to do the same.

Changelog:
Version 1.0: Initial release
Version 1.1: Rapid version released, metadata updated, internal name changed to be consistent across variants so Starsector doesn't warn you that you're missing a mod if/when you change it.
Version 1.2: Compatibility with Nex for Rapid version. If you're using any of the standard variants, this update does nothing aside from a version number change.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2021, 01:36:44 PM by Panteradactyl »
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Panteradactyl

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Re: [0.95a] A New Level (Of Confidence, and Power!)
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2021, 07:09:12 PM »

If there are any issues, let me know. I didn't encounter any on my end, but as anyone in development knows, "it worked on my machine" almost never means it works elsewhere.
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Chronia

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Re: [0.95a] A New Level (Of Confidence, and Power!)
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2021, 07:10:49 PM »

Awesome! I'm not loving the new skill system, but uncapping it should definitely help, looking forward to trying this out.

Can I ask why you chose to distribute this with four versions? I see you have a settings.json that specifies the level, why not just direct users to edit that to whatever they want? Or does it explode if it's not a multiple of 5?
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Panteradactyl

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Re: [0.95a] A New Level (Of Confidence, and Power!)
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2021, 07:37:14 PM »

Awesome! I'm not loving the new skill system, but uncapping it should definitely help, looking forward to trying this out.

Can I ask why you chose to distribute this with four versions? I see you have a settings.json that specifies the level, why not just direct users to edit that to whatever they want? Or does it explode if it's not a multiple of 5?

It's got nothing to do with it being in a multiple of 5, I could make a version with a max level of 27, for instance. It has to do with maintaining consistent levelling pace, and ensuring sane story point gain at max level. If you set the max level to 25 while using the version I made for 40, you'd get story points 33% faster than in vanilla, and you'd reach max level more quickly, whereas if you use the 40 variant, you get it at exactly vanilla rate.

Basically, I need to make a 'bespoke' XP_PER_LEVEL array for each max level variant, which is why I only made 3. One is balanced, the other makes the player powerful, and the last makes the player completely broken. To give an option for everyone.
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Tigrextreme

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Re: [0.95a] A New Level (Of Confidence, and Power!)
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2021, 02:29:45 AM »

Can someone confirm that this mod doesn't work on the existing save before enabling this mod? Using mod on new save is fine though.

The part that isn't working is the required exp part, I noticed that it still needs 1.3m exp on level 13.
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Jet Black

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Re: [0.95a] A New Level (Of Confidence, and Power!)
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2021, 06:11:59 AM »

Would you consider making a version that can unlock all skills level 40 but after level 15 make xp required to level up increase exponentially? Keeping story points separate was a great idea also.

I don't like the idea of being a god, but I hate reaching the level cap even more.
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It_that_watches

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Re: [0.95a] A New Level (Of Confidence, and Power!)
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2021, 09:41:03 AM »

A wonderful addition to the game!
Thank you for giving us all the options too, you went that extra mile. :)
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Panteradactyl

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Re: [0.95a] A New Level (Of Confidence, and Power!)
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2021, 12:49:05 PM »

Can someone confirm that this mod doesn't work on the existing save before enabling this mod? Using mod on new save is fine though.

The part that isn't working is the required exp part, I noticed that it still needs 1.3m exp on level 13.
This mod does work on existing saves, and you can remove it or change options mid playthrough. For instance, if you go from the level 40 one to the level 25 one, and your level is 24 when you switch, when you start the game you will have around "-4,300,000 out of 4,000,000 experience gained towards next level." Experience gained will go towards making up that deficit, and you will not gain Story Points while your "needed experience" is negative, but you will resume gaining Story Points once you're out of the red.

And the EXP part is working as intended. I made the XP 'curve' similar to vanilla, though slightly lowered, to maintain a similar rate of player progression and Story Point gain. I wanted to increase the maximum level without altering the balancing of Story Points too much. In vanilla, it takes around 8,140,000 to reach level 15, and in all versions of this mod, it takes 7,140,000. However, reaching maximum level takes 37,140,000 total experience on the level 25 variant, 53,640,000 for the 30 variant, and 88,640,000 to get to 40. The level 30 one--what I originally built the balance around--takes roughly the same amount of total experience to reach max level as Bonomel's mod for 0.9.1a (51,061,576 total experience). Their mod was very much the inspiration for this one, and I wanted to make it so that you'd need a similar amount of total experience, as their work was very well balanced. One side note: due to the bonus experience from Story Point usage, the amount of experience you actually need to get for max level is actually halved, so 18,570,000 for 25, 26,820,000 for 30, and 44,320,000 for 40. Still very high numbers, but doable.

It won't be too difficult to make a new variant for each mod with faster levelling, so I'll do that. The problem is, the rate of Story Point gain will also increase if I make the levelling faster, so I'd have to lower the Story Points per level to maintain balance, otherwise you'd get way more Story Points than normal, and they'd no longer be the valuable resource Alex intended. I'm thinking roughly double the rate of levelling, and halve the Story Point gain, to keep SP balance. I'd personally still use the "Standard" 25 version, but it does take a while to level up once you start getting around level 20.

Which ties in nicely with my the next question I'm answering:
Would you consider making a version that can unlock all skills level 40 but after level 15 make xp required to level up increase exponentially? Keeping story points separate was a great idea also.

I don't like the idea of being a god, but I hate reaching the level cap even more.
I could, but you'd end up having a drastically slower rate of Story Point gain; the LevelUpPlugin interface has a getStoryPointsPerLevel() method, but player level isn't passed as an argument--I can't change it dynamically based on level, at least not with preexisting classes. The way I achieved vanilla-like rate of Story Point gain was by setting the XP_REQUIRED_FOR_STORY_POINT_GAIN_AT_MAX_LEVEL_MULT float to 1, and then letting the experience needed per level scale up to around 4,000,000 at max level. I wasn't able to separate the Story Point gain from levelling completely, I just changed the end-game balance to account for the increased amount of experience needed at max level.

And, to be frank, I'm not saying it's impossible--someone could make it so that the rate of Story Point gain per level is zero, and write a new class that tracks experience separately from levelling, adding Story Points when appropriate, but I can't. I simply don't have sufficient knowledge of how this game works internally, and I can't figure it out using the javadocs. If anyone is reading this who does know how to hook into the levelling and/or experience systems, I'd love the input, because I ran headlong into a concrete wall while trying to figure that out. I'm probably just being dumb and/or blind, and the answer is obvious, but it has eluded me.

I'd also like to point that it will still take a VERY long time to reach level 40; on my last Nex playthrough before .9.5a released, I got around 20684924 total experience by the time I had achieved what I call "end game status," where I had powerful colonies, a powerful ally, and had invaded and conquered several core worlds. Even with the aforementioned bonus experience from Story Point usage, that'd still only be level 28 if you were using the level 40 option, and level 38 if you were using the version with doubled levelling I'm planning to make.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2021, 01:12:50 PM by Panteradactyl »
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Jet Black

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Re: [0.95a] A New Level (Of Confidence, and Power!)
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2021, 12:55:46 PM »

Ah, that's no problem then. Thanks for your work on this and the reply!
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Radicaljack

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Re: [0.95a] A New Level (Of Confidence, and Power!)
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2021, 02:17:48 PM »

Gonna give this a go, any chance you could make a level 20 version as well? Hopefully the idiotic officer spam is resolved and other DP issues are sorted to make end game less terrible than it was in .91, using this to give myself a chance to survice the insanity of 20 officer fleets.
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D00D

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Does the enemy fleet size scale with your level? I heard the massive fleets are bad enough on level 15 already.
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Tigrextreme

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Ah, I see. Thank you for taking the time to explain.
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Panteradactyl

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Re: [0.95a] A New Level (Of Confidence, and Power!)
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2021, 02:06:57 PM »

Gonna give this a go, any chance you could make a level 20 version as well? Hopefully the idiotic officer spam is resolved and other DP issues are sorted to make end game less terrible than it was in .91, using this to give myself a chance to survice the insanity of 20 officer fleets.

Added a 20 variant due to a few people, yourself included, requesting it. Let me know what you think; I'm open to suggestions on altering the levelling curve, should it be steeper, gentler, et cetera. Also, the max number of officers in an AI fleet is now 10, the same as in a player-fleet. From the settings.json file in starsector-core:
Code
"maxOfficersInAIFleet":10, # should match what a max-skill player can get
Knew that information already due to my mucking around trying to figure something else out, and figured I'd share that information.
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PreConceptor

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Pretty sure the AI can get more than 10 officers because they will liberally employ mercenary officers - "officerAIMaxMercsMult":2 - and Redacted might just ignore the limit.
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Panteradactyl

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Pretty sure the AI can get more than 10 officers because they will liberally employ mercenary officers - "officerAIMaxMercsMult":2 - and Redacted might just ignore the limit.

Good point.
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