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Starsector 0.97a is out! (02/02/24)

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Author Topic: Make [Story Spoilers] fights scale with the player's Battle Size setting!  (Read 1661 times)

AcaMetis

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Well, that's more of a problem regarding Starsector not putting kind reminders anywhere and playing too much like a sandbox for its own, sory-related good. At least giving the abrstract concept of why 1000 Battle Size is not such a great idea to enable thru the settings due to game balance.

It could be something as easy as writing a couple of sentences in the middle left part of the screen as you start a new gaming session "Maximum Battle size exceeded (*current battle size written here*), consider lowering it to at least 400 for a balanced, story related experience". It could be a start.
A better implementation would be to add a comment in settings.json next to the DP cap line. Having such a warning show up ingame after a player goes into an external file to change a setting just seems like the game is late to it's own party. Would also be quite obnoxious for any mods that raise the DP limit as part of whatever they bring to the table, having to insist that the vanilla warning doesn't apply, etc., etc.

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I guess, I personally don't believe anyone going over 400 Battle Size even pursues anything remotely challenging in Starsector, just pwetthy spaceh bottlelsh wee woo blam blam pew pew swoosh swoosh.

Then again, is fighting 6 Doritos if you got 600 Deployment Points (60% of a 1000 Battle Size Battle, considering all story battles give you 60% AFAIK) avaiable to you really that hard? I honestly find that poulty 1.2 modifier could even be bumped up to 1.3-1.4 and it would still be more than fine.
Depends on the fights you pick. A fight where there's only the one 75DP ship no matter what, yeah of course effectively giving yourself more DP makes that easier. If you pick a fight with, I'unno, nine pirate fleets at once you're much more likely to get overwhelmed and flanked to death if you allow the enemy to field half the ships in all creation. Or the game beaks because your PC melts, either or.

As for fighting doritos, I wouldn't bet on my ability to defeat one in a clean fight no matter what armaments I'm given. Assuming that every player can profitably eat one bag per 100DP they're given is assuming a lot. Not everyone is a veteran with in-depth game knowledge, piloting experience and/or modded material tipping the scales.

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I was under the impression that Ludd's Broccoli used [Hyper-Redacted] weapons on some mounts, but I guess not. That's why I suggested a chance to drop those as reward for it being buffed the higher Battle Size gets.

Huh, I guess that'd be another venue to buff it right? Can you imagine The Great Broccoli with Cryoblasters and the like? >:(
Not that I recall, though admittedly I only fought the thing once. As for imagining Ludd's Disappointment with trophy weapons...eh, honestly I'd just do the same hi/bye dance with it in a Dram that I currently do regardless. The ship itself is just disappointing to wait for half a millennium before you can use it to make everyone your enemy, and it dropping cool guns that, in getting them, prove I've no real need of them...eh. I've no need for trophies in this game.
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KDR_11k

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What about the cryosleeper boss fight? That doesn't scale to your fleet either.

Honestly, not a big fan of scaling to player power, especially when it's about values you can only increase so much by text editing a file. If the player makes the extra investment to bring that much firepower then the player deserves the advantage that provides, no?
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Amoebka

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What about the cryosleeper boss fight? That doesn't scale to your fleet either.

True. Although that one isn't very hard even with default 300. Guardian loses 1v1 against a competently built player capital. So scaling is less necessary here.

If the player makes the extra investment to bring that much firepower then the player deserves the advantage that provides, no?

A bit of a faulty argument. Allowing players to bruteforce fights without engaging with game mechanics (such as flagship piloting, loadout design, fleet composition, etc) cheapens the difficulty of the game. It becomes optimal to always bring more ships and steamroll. Particularly bad for a game like Starsector, which heavily discourages risk-taking.
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DatonKallandor

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When people are editing files, all attempts to balance that go out the window anyway. At that point you're trying to combat cheating in a singleplayer game and that's both a losing battle and completely pointless.
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Arcagnello

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Dear Luddites and Luddettes, I've had a reply to this thread erased by my phone (probably fatfingered a button or two) which had me saltier than the water of Volturn and prevented me to aswer everything within a proper time frame. I am back on my laptop (and slightly sunburned) now tough, so here it is:


To AcaMentis
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A better implementation would be to add a comment in settings.json next to the DP cap line. Having such a warning show up ingame after a player goes into an external file to change a setting just seems like the game is late to it's own party. Would also be quite obnoxious for any mods that raise the DP limit as part of whatever they bring to the table, having to insist that the vanilla warning doesn't apply, etc., etc.

That would be better. My tendency to almost subconsciously avoid the simpler, more effective solutions amazes me sometimes. All the game would need to do is make sure the player that wants to get spamtastic advise him to not do that just once citing the inherent issues with game balance. That's it.

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Depends on the fights you pick. A fight where there's only the one 75DP ship no matter what, yeah of course effectively giving yourself more DP makes that easier. If you pick a fight with, I'unno, nine pirate fleets at once you're much more likely to get overwhelmed and flanked to death if you allow the enemy to field half the ships in all creation. Or the game beaks because your PC melts, either or.

As for fighting doritos, I wouldn't bet on my ability to defeat one in a clean fight no matter what armaments I'm given. Assuming that every player can profitably eat one bag per 100DP they're given is assuming a lot. Not everyone is a veteran with in-depth game knowledge, piloting experience and/or modded material tipping the scales.

I'll disagree on this one. While fighting a fixed fleet is, by virtue of mathematics, easier the more you yourself are able to deploy to fight it; even larger fleets can become easier when there's more ships able to enter the engagement at once.

Let us pick your very fitting example of fighting 9( also known as nein nein nein nein nein nein nein nein nein for our fellow German Starfarers) Pirate Armadas.
While a massive battle like this fought on vanilla values would involve multiple, consecutive engagements for the player to fully defeat the massive opposing force, resulting in the need of consecutive clean disengages and successive re-engagements burning ship CRs, an increased battle size thru editing of the settings file would translate into a fighter ending much quicker due to the player and the enemy being able to deploy more forces, therefore massively cutting the need of consecutive retreats and re-engages or even preventing it entirely.

This would allow for a much, mich higher presence of Overridden (or just low PPT) ships in the player's fleet and even their likely ability to just keep fighting through their CR degradation since there's only going to be one, decisive engagement. This may seem like a trivial consideration at first, but most frigades and destroyers are not only balanced with their lower survivability and performance time, but also by their inability to properly keep fighting longer engagements and having to retreat earlier if they wish to fight one or more engagements chained togheder. Eliminating this limitations inherently makes them even more overwhelmingly effective than they are now.

100 Deployment Points for every Dorito is a harsh fight for most players, yes. That's why the ratio is much closer to (or at) 120 Deployments for every Dorito, which gets exponentially lower the bigger Battle Size gets to account for the player's ability to concentrate fire better and burst down one crumpled bag of 50% air at a time.

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Not that I recall, though admittedly I only fought the thing once. As for imagining Ludd's Disappointment with trophy weapons...eh, honestly I'd just do the same hi/bye dance with it in a Dram that I currently do regardless. The ship itself is just disappointing to wait for half a millennium before you can use it to make everyone your enemy, and it dropping cool guns that, in getting them, prove I've no real need of them...eh. I've no need for trophies in this game.

I actually got around to agreeing with you on this one. [Redacted Story Related Content] feels the same exact way as those masochistic Darkest Dungeon Achievements like "get everyone wiped in specific parts of the game" or "lose the game" or "complete the game with no deaths" or whatever. They do not serve any purpose in the game as a whole other than, well, their possession and possibly bragging rights.

I am under the impression [Redacted Endgame Content] is not going to stay endgame forever and we're eventually going to get something to use the [redacted] for, which is why I will stomach it for now!

When people are editing files, all attempts to balance that go out the window anyway. At that point you're trying to combat cheating in a singleplayer game and that's both a losing battle and completely pointless.

I personally would not see it as an attempt to "combat cheat" the player, but simply to provide a challenge across various game customizations in an organic matter and not have the game become a joke after a certain point.

There are still people that are rightfully going to play the way they want and Allow their own character to get to level 40, increase fleet size limit from 30 to 60 (and not do the same for the AI) and just get an entire Japanese High School worth of level 12 Anime Girl Officers to slap (giggity) into their ships. This proposed mechanic would only affect one of the major ways the game balance can be altered, while the others would be untouched.

I'm not as pessimistic as to assume someone bloating their ability to get a huge fleet in addition to some (or even most) of the other ways to buff yourself but not the enemy would not be able to beat 6 Doritos at 1000 battle size.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2021, 02:19:05 AM by Arcagnello »
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AcaMetis

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I'll disagree on this one. While fighting a fixed fleet is, by virtue of mathematics, easier the more you yourself are able to deploy to fight it; even larger fleets can become easier when there's more ships able to enter the engagement at once.

Let us pick your very fitting example of fighting 9( also known as nein nein nein nein nein nein nein nein nein for our fellow German Starfarers) Pirate Armadas.
While a massive battle like this fought on vanilla values would involve multiple, consecutive engagements for the player to fully defeat the massive opposing force, resulting in the need of consecutive clean disengages and successive re-engagements burning ship CRs, an increased battle size thru editing of the settings file would translate into a fighter ending much quicker due to the player and the enemy being able to deploy more forces, therefore massively cutting the need of consecutive retreats and re-engages or even preventing it entirely.

This would allow for a much, mich higher presence of Overridden (or just low PPT) ships in the player's fleet and even their likely ability to just keep fighting through their CR degradation since there's only going to be one, decisive engagement. This may seem like a trivial consideration at first, but most frigades and destroyers are not only balanced with their lower survivability and performance time, but also by their inability to properly keep fighting longer engagements and having to retreat earlier if they wish to fight one or more engagements chained togheder. Eliminating this limitations inherently makes them even more overwhelmingly effective than they are now.
In my experience it's actually the opposite. The more ships are deployed the greater the chance that your ships get overwhelmed, flanked and destroyed, and as someone who relies on quality over quantity you can ill afford those losses. Massive fights also don't tend to end particularly quickly, especially if a lot of your DPS relies on missiles. With so many targets flying around your ships won't be able to get a shot in without getting flanked on multiple sides, so they won't engage unless they're suicidal. You still might be able to get away with fewer retreats and re-engagements given proper tactics and strategies, true, but repeated engagements on low DP is a lot safer than a few engagements on high DP. Sure, it costs supplies as it wears down CR, but a good fleet comp can take that. I wouldn't have fought that nine pirate fleet armada if I was playing on high DP settings because I knew I wouldn't have won a clean victory (well, admittedly when your entire fleet at the time costs like 125 total DP to deploy...). it's only because I knew I could safely engage and re-engage multiple times that I dared to fight it, sure it'd take CR but I knew my ships wouldn't get flanked to death.

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I actually got around to agreeing with you on this one. [Redacted Story Related Content] feels the same exact way as those masochistic Darkest Dungeon Achievements like "get everyone wiped in specific parts of the game" or "lose the game" or "complete the game with no deaths" or whatever. They do not serve any purpose in the game as a whole other than, well, their possession and possibly bragging rights.

I am under the impression [Redacted Endgame Content] is not going to stay endgame forever and we're eventually going to get something to use the [redacted] for, which is why I will stomach it for now!
I'm also assuming there'll be story content tied to these fights at a later point, the game already makes mention of it even if that part isn't actually implemented yet, but for now the biggest use of the shunt taps that I've found is selling them to pirate/pather planets and introducing massive shortages or rare metals. Which, don't get me wrong, is hilarious, but not really practical.
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Arcagnello

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In my experience it's actually the opposite. The more ships are deployed the greater the chance that your ships get overwhelmed, flanked and destroyed, and as someone who relies on quality over quantity you can ill afford those losses. Massive fights also don't tend to end particularly quickly, especially if a lot of your DPS relies on missiles. With so many targets flying around your ships won't be able to get a shot in without getting flanked on multiple sides, so they won't engage unless they're suicidal. You still might be able to get away with fewer retreats and re-engagements given proper tactics and strategies, true, but repeated engagements on low DP is a lot safer than a few engagements on high DP. Sure, it costs supplies as it wears down CR, but a good fleet comp can take that. I wouldn't have fought that nine pirate fleet armada if I was playing on high DP settings because I knew I wouldn't have won a clean victory (well, admittedly when your entire fleet at the time costs like 125 total DP to deploy...). it's only because I knew I could safely engage and re-engage multiple times that I dared to fight it, sure it'd take CR but I knew my ships wouldn't get flanked to death.

Fair enough, but fleets built around the concept of having a lot more DP being able to be deployed usually have a lot more ships than usual.
About being overwhelmed, it's most likely an issue that can be linked to the player not also modifying the avaiable officers to scale with increased fleet size and therefore having the fleet composition gravitate towards capital spam, which leads to being encircled by the enemy much more easily.

I will agree on the AI being overly skittish to engage when there's more enemies on the field unless it's aggressive/reckless. That does happen fairly reliably.

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I'm also assuming there'll be story content tied to these fights at a later point, the game already makes mention of it even if that part isn't actually implemented yet, but for now the biggest use of the shunt taps that I've found is selling them to pirate/pather planets and introducing massive shortages or rare metals. Which, don't get me wrong, is hilarious, but not really practical.

We can only hope we're going to get new content to use all the new toys in, besides (spoilers)
Spoiler
A couple of absurd, nearly impossible to beat (without meta builds either abusing Derelict Contingent, high tech ships or both)
[close]
of course. I'm personally betting on the Dominion getting back into the Persean Sector now that the gates are active again but you never know what ideas Alex and the team get ;)

Also, holy Ludd, did not know you could abuse Hypershunt taps like that. Will definetly try that out next campaign. Do you think it also works for any faction provided you sell them to the standard market at one of their planets?
« Last Edit: May 12, 2021, 03:39:01 AM by Arcagnello »
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Arranging holidays in an embrace with the Starsector is priceless.
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AcaMetis

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Fair enough, but fleets built around the concept of having a lot more DP being able to be deployed usually have a lot more ships than usual.
About being overwhelmed, it's most likely an issue that can be linked to the player not also modifying the avaiable officers to scale with increased fleet size and therefore having the fleet composition gravitate towards capital spam, which leads to being encircled by the enemy much more easily.
The issue is in increasing DP limits without also increasing officer/fleet cap limits to match. One way or another you're going to need logistics ships to keep a fleet going, so limit slots for combat ships + lots of DP to deploy in battle = lots of capital spam on the player's end. But you don't want to deploy all of your dozen-odd capitals against a basic pirate fleet, that's far too expensive on supplies. So you don't send enough to hold the line against the frigates, the line gets broken, and bad things happen.

Of course if you do increase fleet and officer caps...well, suffice to say that has it's own problems. Pirates, in particular, will gravitate towards something that can only be called "excessive frigate spam", and in this patch that's even a halfway reasonable fleet composition.

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We can only hope we're going to get new content to use all the new toys in, besides (spoilers)
Spoiler
A couple of absurd, nearly impossible to beat (without meta builds either abusing Derelict Contingent, high tech ships or both)
[close]
of course. I'm personally betting on the Dominion getting back into the Persean Sector now that the gates are active again but you never know what ideas Alex and the team get ;)
I'm expecting something a lot less...open to diplomacy than the Domain. Well, in theory, who knows what happened to the Domain in the years since the collapse and what it might look like if and when it manages to re-establish contact. It'd be interesting of course, especially if current Domain policy is not in line with what the Hegemony has been upholding and suddenly it's the tri-techs telling the hedgies what their oh-so precious law and order really is, but I'm not expecting contact with anything more talkative than the Sector's most reckless pirate. It is a game about combat, ultimately, so I'm expecting targets first and foremost.

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Also, holy Ludd, did not know you could abuse Hypershunt taps like that. Will definetly try that out next campaign. Do you think it also works for any faction provided you sell them to the standard market at one of their planets?
At least any vanilla NPC faction will install a tap if it is sold on their open market (and there's no other item installed in Population and Infrastructure currently), including Luddites of both stripes and Pirates, but unless there's an active Hypershunt within 10LY of that planet it will not have any effect. No demand, no extra industry slot...and I'm not actually sure about Pather cell interest (and each tap is apparently worth +8 by itself), that might still work regardless or it might also need an active shunt nearby as well. Either way this is why I consider shuts "post-game" items that you can nevertheless find early game, since actually using them at all...well, by that point you clearly have no need of them.

I'll also add that, if you've got colonies, selling to pirates/pathers doesn't increase the global market value of increased demand items too much since those factions don't trade with much of anyone. But, on the flipside, their planets are likely to suffer massive shortages. If you sell to regular factions it'll crank up the global market value a lot more, but because those planets trade they might actually not suffer from any shortage at all if one of your colonies is able to produce enough to meet demand.

Another point to add is that hypershunt taps aren't the only items you can (ab)use in this fashion. Fusion lamps, which demand 10 Volatiles, can also be sold to NPC markets and if the item is actually useful (I think, I haven't tried selling a fusion lamp to Sindria but unless the Lion's men have the intelligence of a hollow brick...) they will be installed and used. Again, pirate/pather worlds for maximum shortage abuse, regular factions for maximum market share increase. Also fusion lamps are only worth +4 pather cell interest, so it's much harder to abuse them for pather cell shenanigans. Raesvelg is one potential target, though - Mining (+1), Refining (+2) and a fusion lamp (+4) will spawn a pather cell (7 interest! Ah, ah, ah!), so that's -1 stability and periodic shenaniganry.

EDIT: Just did some testing: NPC colonies that don't benefit from fusion lamps will not use them, so don't bother trying to sell a fusion lamp to Sindia. Unfortunately the Lion's men are, in fact, not as intelligent as a hollow brick. However, Hypershunt taps will generate +8 pather interest even if there is no active hypershunt for the tap to draw from (an inactive one might have to be in range, though I'm not sure if I can test that on my current save), so you can sell taps to give NPC colonies instant pather cell activity.

One caveat: Pathers will not create Pather cells on their own colonies, or colonies of the Luddic Church, even if you sell them a tap which either will (try to) use. Apparently there is no one who guards the Luddic guards in the Sector...
« Last Edit: May 13, 2021, 02:53:59 AM by AcaMetis »
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