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Author Topic: More interactions with Contacts, more Personality etc.  (Read 294 times)

D00D

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More interactions with Contacts, more Personality etc.
« on: April 26, 2021, 12:15:22 AM »

Hi Alex

I have to say great job on the contact systems and there is a lot of potential in this system. Hopefully, there are more features that are incoming but if there is a game that does this type of contact system very well, I would recomend taking a look or inspiration from Star Traders Frontier (STF). There are many striking similarities between STF and Starsector so it could be worth it to take a look at this wiki page to see if there are any interesting features that would fit nicely into Starsector as well.
https://startraders.fandom.com/wiki/Contacts

Here are some points which I think Starsector could benefit from:

Personality Perks and more types:
In STF, contacts come in various types and profession much like in here. However, they also have randomized personality perks that make each unique and can stack in one direction or another. Some examples are:
1.Impaitent: Missions have 25% shorter deadlines but pay 25% more
2.Corrupt: Contacts award less faction reputation but pay 10% more.
3.Charismatic: Contact award more Faction Reputation.
4.Slow to forgive: Contact pays out 25% more but failing missions result in large penalty to relations
5.Stingy: Missions pay 10% less.

New Contact Type:
I feel like there could be a new Contact type called Station Head, that should be an amgalmation of the current non-interesting NPCs like local administrator/port master. It seems more interesting that you can build up local reputation in addition to faction reputation which would allow you to get certain perks like cheaper repairs or lesser Black Market suspicion etc. Basically, a close friend or local ally around your usual hunting grounds can help safeguard when things sour badly with a faction and you can hideout.

Commissions & Military Ranks:
It feels weird to me that you can be commission and loved by a faction without ever interacting or rubbing shoulders with their influencers. Perhaps there should be a cap on the relationship with a faction until you have a good relations with a number of their contacts (0: 20 Relations, 1:50 Relations, 3:100 Relations etc).
In STF, some of the gear and benefits lies behind 'purhcasing' military ranks from contacts. Perhaps a commission should also be locked behind having someone sponser you at least among the faction on top of the occasional ship and nanoforge slots?

Special Contact Actions:
In STF, Contacts give you access to a wide variety of servics such as puchasing rare weapons, hiring skilled crew etc; much like Starsector now. However, I think there's more room for more unique ability given the more interactive world of Starsector. Some examples are:
1.Plausible Deniability (Agent): Actions taken without being positively identified has no reputation Penalty for X number of months
2.Economic Collusion (Trader): Exports of a certain commodity that the Contact's station also produce has an X% increase in profitabilty, the player will also be supplied by this station as if it's an infaction output
3.Military Aid (Military): Upon request, a military fleet (strentgh scaled with Contact's influence) will be dispatched to this system for a certain amount of time. This can be used to defend a colony or to clear out an area of pirates or pathers in the exterior systems.
With X scaling off their influence level and relationship.

Exclusive Subquests:
Currently, it feels weird that all the once-a-sector playthrough are done through some random bars while mingling with nobodies. A high level and relations with contacts can open up some late game quests for their respective factions. Perhaps one for each of the major factions should be locked behind maxing out a contact?
Also, contacts in STF can sometimes 'level-up' by completing a quest chain for a particularly ambitious contact such as a smuggler attempting to topple the local crime ring to become a kingpin.

Influence (in STF):
This is a feature in STF where contacts actively fight againest each other in Conflicts to gain or preserve inlfuence. Their rise and fall depends on the powerbase or planets they safeguard and the people they *** off. However, since Starsector isn't about that much polictics, I think this feature won't work well and Contacts should work in isolation. At most, you could have a couple of unique quests where you have a choice to support two different contacts from two factions.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2021, 07:48:41 PM by D00D »
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Blue_Bear

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Re: More interactions with Contacts, more Personality etc.
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2021, 01:42:41 AM »

In a similar vein, more interaction with officers and administrators would be a nice touch too, have them ask for raises, request you visit a planet for a pilgrimage, come to you for guidance or support (or to complain about something you've done).

I think it could help bring some more life to them
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Embolism

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Re: More interactions with Contacts, more Personality etc.
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2021, 02:10:50 AM »

If Commissions are to stay (weren't they meant to be a stopgap when first introduced years ago?), they should probably only come from faction Military contacts with sufficient reputation.

Station heads can already become contacts. Military bounty givers in bars are usually the station commander, bar quartermasters correspond to station quartermasters and become Trade contacts, etc.



The contact system is great and really just scrapes the surface of what could be possible. Imagine if fleet commanders can become contacts as well... forge contacts and relationships with other bounty hunters, bulk traders, deep space prospectors; or even join forces with wanted pirates to raid the core worlds...

Holding that thought, one of the complaints about raiding is that the bar for entry is too low - you just need to buy a few handful of marines and the core worlds are at your mercy. Perhaps early-game raids could only be realistically accessible by joining forces with other fleet admirals, whether it be war-time raiding between factions, luddic sabotage or pirate looting; with solo raiding only possible after sinking significant capital into a marine force.

Other missions you might get from fleet commander contacts could be to convoy with trade fleets (the dreaded escort mission has arrived), joint expeditions against pirate/luddic stations, take on a particularly difficult bounty together, etc.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2021, 02:16:16 AM by Embolism »
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D00D

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Re: More interactions with Contacts, more Personality etc.
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2021, 05:14:37 AM »

If Commissions are to stay (weren't they meant to be a stopgap when first introduced years ago?), they should probably only come from faction Military contacts with sufficient reputation.

Station heads can already become contacts. Military bounty givers in bars are usually the station commander, bar quartermasters correspond to station quartermasters and become Trade contacts, etc.

The contact system is great and really just scrapes the surface of what could be possible. Imagine if fleet commanders can become contacts as well... forge contacts and relationships with other bounty hunters, bulk traders, deep space prospectors; or even join forces with wanted pirates to raid the core worlds...

Holding that thought, one of the complaints about raiding is that the bar for entry is too low - you just need to buy a few handful of marines and the core worlds are at your mercy. Perhaps early-game raids could only be realistically accessible by joining forces with other fleet admirals, whether it be war-time raiding between factions, luddic sabotage or pirate looting; with solo raiding only possible after sinking significant capital into a marine force.

Other missions you might get from fleet commander contacts could be to convoy with trade fleets (the dreaded escort mission has arrived), joint expeditions against pirate/luddic stations, take on a particularly difficult bounty together, etc.

Yeah, I was thinking that the Station heads should have their own unique role with benefits for

Now, I know the potential of contacts are there but my screen is already filled up with dozen of contacts already so not everybody should be a contact. I think unless these contacts are influenctial enough to interact with the PC on equal terms, they should not be Contacts. Basically, anybody that can be beaten by spending 1 SP should not be a contact, rather their bosses or influential people should be the contact. Rather than dealing with one captain that is patrolling a system for a cycle at most, you should be dealing with their Bosses like an Admiral or Trader owner etc.

For the minor services like joint expeditions, trade convey etcs, these should be requested from their bosses and then the underlings will show up to support with "Regards from X".

As for raids, this thread isn't quite the place to discuss but if Marines are locked behind comissions, then Contacts would be the way to get them. Getting Marines from Independents and Pirates are too easy though, maybe getting from these sources should come with a penalty to effectiveness and experience on account that they are not 'properly trained'.
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Crimson Spirit

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Re: More interactions with Contacts, more Personality etc.
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2021, 10:50:17 AM »

yesss, 100%
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