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Author Topic: Why do most mods have to make the game easier?  (Read 6432 times)

robepriority

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Re: Why do most mods have to make the game easier?
« Reply #60 on: May 26, 2021, 06:11:33 AM »

I find that mods that accelerate you out of early game extend late game.

Take for example, nexerelin:

Earlygame is basically accelerated through extremely fast.
 - Tariffs reduced, so early game supplies are less of a concern
 - Prism Freeport allows for complete loadouts a lot faster
 - Outposts make exploration a lot faster.

Lategame is extended into a situation where players have expansion and counter-invasions/vengeance fleets to manage.

th3boodlebot

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Re: Why do most mods have to make the game easier?
« Reply #61 on: May 26, 2021, 12:56:34 PM »

really enjoying the ideas being thrown around.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2021, 01:01:26 PM by th3boodlebot »
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translop

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Re: Why do most mods have to make the game easier?
« Reply #62 on: May 26, 2021, 07:18:13 PM »

Where on earth did this thread come from? Just showed up randomly for me and it's already 5 pages in.

Looking at all the comments it feels like "depth" isn't quantifiable, at least not consistently, in the entire discussion. I personally can't agree with making weapons/certain content rare as that would generally add to the grind. You could be like, here is your Falcon(P) with Sabot, Harpoon, Reapers after 100 hours and it would not constitute as depth for me.

Conversely, making obtaining more powerful weapons/ships/hullmods more rewarding generally involves content. Cold hard content takes hours upon hours to make. You could end up crafting entire stories, maybe revolving around a subfaction/splinter group or just throw a bunch of tesseracts in the player's face, give them a 6.5k burst damage laser that can pierce low angle shields, and call it a day. Ironically, said rewarding content can be just as likely to speed up the game since their rewards need to be powerful in some way to be rewarding.

Starsector is a game that rewards both a player's control over their own ship and their macro play. It takes some time to find the most overpowered builds but once you're rocking SO frigate/destroyer, heavy fighter spam, Macross missile spam, or just Paragon/Astral, the game won't have a lot of difficult content left to offer. No amount of depth getting TO the endgame can prevent a player from eventually reaching it and gaining the experience necessary to make the next run a stomp. It's how game mastery works in a game that allows mastery.

Factorio, Rimworld, Starsector, heck no game can maintain progression parity when you replay it unless you fill it with a metric ton of rng. You can't control progression without limiting the game to the point of reducing depth, or otherwise rendering it pointlessly inconsistent to the whims of lady luck. Adjusting your own difficulty isn't for everyone I get that, but it's one of the few viable alternatives if you really want to play again while still utilizing everything you've learned.

Ultimately, I think when any highly replay-able game gets old and easy, you should step away from it for a while. Good thing about games like Starsector is that the modding community adds on so much more content over time, and even if it isn't "depth", one of them may turn up or get updated to eventually wow you enough to come back and realize you can still have a blast playing through the game.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2021, 07:19:45 PM by translop »
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HungwellHamburger

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Re: Why do most mods have to make the game easier?
« Reply #63 on: May 26, 2021, 09:01:17 PM »

An example of difficulty that I havent seen pointed out in my short time posting and slightly longer time lurking is Aurira 4x. I believe this game is special for our case in that most of the complexity seems to be in ship systems and the actual combat. I havent put much deep thought into this, but Im wondering what concepts could or should be transplated, with minimal overhaul, leaving the question of researching individual modules aside, maybe research can stay with 4x style games (Which with Nex it totally could be but...). Could hull mods replicate individual ship systems, like a life support module adding crew capacity, while other modules add to the minimum required crew capacity. I dont know off the top of my head how much hull mods can effect, or whether you can duplicate them on the same ship, guess I could work at it or something.
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Madskills

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Re: Why do most mods have to make the game easier?
« Reply #64 on: May 26, 2021, 09:25:45 PM »

An example of difficulty that I havent seen pointed out in my short time posting and slightly longer time lurking is Aurira 4x. I believe this game is special for our case in that most of the complexity seems to be in ship systems and the actual combat. I havent put much deep thought into this, but Im wondering what concepts could or should be transplated, with minimal overhaul, leaving the question of researching individual modules aside, maybe research can stay with 4x style games (Which with Nex it totally could be but...). Could hull mods replicate individual ship systems, like a life support module adding crew capacity, while other modules add to the minimum required crew capacity. I dont know off the top of my head how much hull mods can effect, or whether you can duplicate them on the same ship, guess I could work at it or something.
Honestly in my opinion, this game's combat system already has enough depth. And mods do a good job already expanding its breadth by adding more content to it. I think by far the weakest point is how the player gets access to all of it: too easily, too randomly, in an unrewarding fashion. Second weakest point is what you're expected to utilise this combat system on: I guess, expanding your fleet? But hitting the cap of your fleet size is not only trivial, you don't even need a fleet for it to start with, when you can just buy everything you need or produce it if you havent randomly stumbled upon it already.

It takes some time to find the most overpowered builds but once you're rocking SO frigate/destroyer, heavy fighter spam, Macross missile spam, or just Paragon/Astral, the game won't have a lot of difficult content left to offer. No amount of depth getting TO the endgame can prevent a player from eventually reaching it and gaining the experience necessary to make the next run a stomp. It's how game mastery works in a game that allows mastery.
But isnt this a design mistake? If a game is designed in such a way that once you figure out how to put SO on your destroyers or how to turn your paragon's shield on, you reach its mastery, it's exactly what's called shallow. What kind of depth are we talking about here if everybody agrees that "once you randomly find paragon/astral, the game won't have difficult content left to offer"?

Factorio, Rimworld, Starsector, heck no game can maintain progression parity when you replay it unless you fill it with a metric ton of rng. You can't control progression without limiting the game to the point of reducing depth, or otherwise rendering it pointlessly inconsistent to the whims of lady luck. Adjusting your own difficulty isn't for everyone I get that, but it's one of the few viable alternatives if you really want to play again while still utilizing everything you've learned.
This is just not true. Random aspect has next to no effect in factorio. You can play the same exact seeded run twice and you can build vastly different bases that scale in vastly different ways. And modded content multiplies that tenfold, so that even if you try to build the same type of base twice, you'll probably end up with something entirely different because of a tiny perturbation and butterfly effect. And even after knowing exactly what to do it'll probably take you at least 100+ hours to reach the end of a good mod's content (as in, you stop seeing new things) and you'll probably learn even more than you learned from your previous run.

Ultimately, I think when any highly replay-able game gets old and easy, you should step away from it for a while. Good thing about games like Starsector is that the modding community adds on so much more content over time, and even if it isn't "depth", one of them may turn up or get updated to eventually wow you enough to come back and realize you can still have a blast playing through the game.
Well, yeah! But also no. I definitely have not put that much time into this game to even call it "highly replay-able". I did a vanilla midtech playthrough, vanilla high-tech and then sort of a carrier run. Then I tried heavily modded playthrough and discovered that I hit the end of the power curve even faster than I used to in vanilla. This is why I also created this thread, because I installed mods hoping they'll provide me with a longer playthrough but I got the opposite instead.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2021, 10:04:23 PM by Madskills »
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SCC

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Re: Why do most mods have to make the game easier?
« Reply #65 on: May 26, 2021, 10:53:30 PM »

But isnt this a design mistake? If a game is designed in such a way that once you figure out how to put SO on your destroyers or how to turn your paragon's shield on, you reach its mastery, it's exactly what's called shallow. What kind of depth are we talking about here if everybody agrees that "once you randomly find paragon/astral, the game won't have difficult content left to offer"?
Many games have progression dictated by accessing new areas: you can get better loot only in areas filled with stronger enemies. Factorio has progression dictated by the infrastructure, since even if you could build trains right from get go, what good does it do, if you can't actually manufacture them?
Starsector has mechanics that can be used to gate content, but it doesn't use any of them to that end. The closest is that you have to defeat a Radiant or the Ziggurat to get it, no finding or buying it.

Which is to say, you should probably make a thread about progression in the suggestion section of the forum, because it's a vanilla issue.

Madskills

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Re: Why do most mods have to make the game easier?
« Reply #66 on: May 26, 2021, 11:19:08 PM »

But isnt this a design mistake? If a game is designed in such a way that once you figure out how to put SO on your destroyers or how to turn your paragon's shield on, you reach its mastery, it's exactly what's called shallow. What kind of depth are we talking about here if everybody agrees that "once you randomly find paragon/astral, the game won't have difficult content left to offer"?
Many games have progression dictated by accessing new areas: you can get better loot only in areas filled with stronger enemies. Factorio has progression dictated by the infrastructure, since even if you could build trains right from get go, what good does it do, if you can't actually manufacture them?
Starsector has mechanics that can be used to gate content, but it doesn't use any of them to that end. The closest is that you have to defeat a Radiant or the Ziggurat to get it, no finding or buying it.
I agree.
Which is to say, you should probably make a thread about progression in the suggestion section of the forum, because it's a vanilla issue.
But the amount of content vanilla has is reasonably correlated with the length of progression path one needs to follow to explore it all. It's honestly not huge, but it's alright, especially with the latest [redacted] additions. The problem is that mods vastly increase amount of content you have, but they leave your progression path untouched leaving it as short as vanilla, or even making it shorter due to giving the player more options. Besides, after seeing the changes in the latest vanilla update, I expect to see more changes like that in the future vanilla, but I'm yet to see anything like it in mods yet. Which's the reason why this thread exists.
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Retry

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Re: Why do most mods have to make the game easier?
« Reply #67 on: May 27, 2021, 12:29:21 PM »

Quote
Even though it's sarcasm, it's actually largely true. I agree with your formulation of the problem, but I disagree with your conclusion: it's certainly possible to add player-accessible content without making it easier. I also do agree that just randomly buffing pirates, luddics or remnants is arbitrary, anti-thematic and boring. However, not addressing the problem at all is not a solution either. In my opinion, best solutions come from limiting player's access to modded(and maybe even vanilla) content. Also making tech harder to acquire makes it more rewarding too.
Underlined portion is not within the scope of content packs or faction packs.  It's generally good form for content/faction packs to follow vanilla conventions unless there's a good reason to aberrate.  It'd be bad form for a faction mod to mess with general vanilla mechanics such as weapon availability in markets; it's far better to have a mod specifically designed to do change things like that.  (Also, not everyone agrees with the thread's premise in the first place)

Potential exceptions include things like boss factions and normal factions with a shtick of being unusually particular on who possesses their faction-specific stuff.  However, these factions employ mechanics specific to them, not in-general

From the OP:
Quote
Why don't mods routinely give more and better officers to the hostiles?
Not within the scope of faction or content packs, unless this is in reference to whatever specific factions are being added

Quote
Why don't they send hired assassins after me to reclaim the [redacted] bit of tech that I stole?
Not within the scope of faction or content packs, though there's at least 1 mod where their faction officials will confront you over even possessing their faction equipment (the name of said faction eludes me).  Vanilla can have the Diktat send some people to try to take the Ziggurat, not quite the same thing as it's quest-related.  One Megamod, Nexerelin, introduces Revenge Fleets that are stronger than average and exist solely to try to kill you if you pick on a hostile faction too much.  Another Megamod, Vayra's Sector can have factions put bounties on your head for doing similar things.

Quote
Why don't they routinely make my life harder by raiding my colonies all the time?
In the beginning, Pirate raids and Pather sabotage were powerful and plentiful.  This had made a lot of people very angry and had been widely regarded as a bad move.

More seriously though, this basically describes how Pirate raids (and to a lesser extent, Pather cells) operated prior to 0.95.  Rather than making the game harder in an entertaining way, it just meant you had to babysit your colonies and play whack-a-mole with Pirate Bases, which when left unchecked would decivilize even core worlds.  0.95 is quite recent in Star Sector terms, and there's currently no interest from modders to return to that state of affairs.

Also not within the scope of faction or content packs, unless of course said faction is a Pirate-esque raider group.
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Sutopia

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Re: Why do most mods have to make the game easier?
« Reply #68 on: May 27, 2021, 01:22:46 PM »

Quote
Even though it's sarcasm, it's actually largely true. I agree with your formulation of the problem, but I disagree with your conclusion: it's certainly possible to add player-accessible content without making it easier. I also do agree that just randomly buffing pirates, luddics or remnants is arbitrary, anti-thematic and boring. However, not addressing the problem at all is not a solution either. In my opinion, best solutions come from limiting player's access to modded(and maybe even vanilla) content. Also making tech harder to acquire makes it more rewarding too.
Underlined portion is not within the scope of content packs or faction packs.  It's generally good form for content/faction packs to follow vanilla conventions unless there's a good reason to aberrate.  It'd be bad form for a faction mod to mess with general vanilla mechanics such as weapon availability in markets; it's far better to have a mod specifically designed to do change things like that.  (Also, not everyone agrees with the thread's premise in the first place)

Potential exceptions include things like boss factions and normal factions with a shtick of being unusually particular on who possesses their faction-specific stuff.  However, these factions employ mechanics specific to them, not in-general

From the OP:
Quote
Why don't mods routinely give more and better officers to the hostiles?
Not within the scope of faction or content packs, unless this is in reference to whatever specific factions are being added

Quote
Why don't they send hired assassins after me to reclaim the [redacted] bit of tech that I stole?
Not within the scope of faction or content packs, though there's at least 1 mod where their faction officials will confront you over even possessing their faction equipment (the name of said faction eludes me).  Vanilla can have the Diktat send some people to try to take the Ziggurat, not quite the same thing as it's quest-related.  One Megamod, Nexerelin, introduces Revenge Fleets that are stronger than average and exist solely to try to kill you if you pick on a hostile faction too much.  Another Megamod, Vayra's Sector can have factions put bounties on your head for doing similar things.

Quote
Why don't they routinely make my life harder by raiding my colonies all the time?
In the beginning, Pirate raids and Pather sabotage were powerful and plentiful.  This had made a lot of people very angry and had been widely regarded as a bad move.

More seriously though, this basically describes how Pirate raids (and to a lesser extent, Pather cells) operated prior to 0.95.  Rather than making the game harder in an entertaining way, it just meant you had to babysit your colonies and play whack-a-mole with Pirate Bases, which when left unchecked would decivilize even core worlds.  0.95 is quite recent in Star Sector terms, and there's currently no interest from modders to return to that state of affairs.

Also not within the scope of faction or content packs, unless of course said faction is a Pirate-esque raider group.

I think that’s what makes me hate faction contents so much.
In vanilla, factions share some basic hull and weaponry knowledge that even if they diverse greatly in themes they still share a few things in common. Even remnants are using commonly known guns.

Almost all faction mods ignore what vanilla has to offer and asserts an entire alien lineup that hardly fits into vanilla theme, and allows players to just walk up and obtain them. If a faction mod were to introduce completely alien lineups they should be more like omega faction that are hostile, or at least somewhat isolated away from core world and be a hidden faction. It is also fully faction mods’ responsibilities to balance the interactions at least against vanilla factions. It is the faction mods’ ignorant of responsibilities that lead to shallow game experience.

lethargie

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Re: Why do most mods have to make the game easier?
« Reply #69 on: May 27, 2021, 01:55:05 PM »


Almost all faction mods ignore what vanilla has to offer and asserts an entire alien lineup that hardly fits into vanilla theme, and allows players to just walk up and obtain them. If a faction mod were to introduce completely alien lineups they should be more like omega faction that are hostile, or at least somewhat isolated away from core world and be a hidden faction. It is also fully faction mods’ responsibilities to balance the interactions at least against vanilla factions. It is the faction mods’ ignorant of responsibilities that lead to shallow game experience.

Werther something fit in vanilla is highly subjective. Its a fact abundantly discussed for literal years on this server. So bringing "it doesn't fit vanilla dur dur" as a generic complaint is so stupidly ignorant the words fail me. Shallow game experience is your whole fault. No one force you to install all the faction mods. In fact almost all modders of the forum separated new factions from game modifying mods, so you really got only you to blame if you end up with a faction

faction mod, or any mod have no responsibilities to you. They owe you nothing. Modders do what they like to do, your idea of what is fun being utterly irrelevant to them. If you want to make a new omega like secret faction you go do it or you pay someone else to do it.
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DownTheDrain

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Re: Why do most mods have to make the game easier?
« Reply #70 on: May 27, 2021, 02:14:41 PM »

I think that’s what makes me hate faction contents so much.

I feel there's a stunningly simple solution to that, just don't use any of them...
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Sutopia

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Re: Why do most mods have to make the game easier?
« Reply #71 on: May 27, 2021, 02:45:22 PM »

I think that’s what makes me hate faction contents so much.

I feel there's a stunningly simple solution to that, just don't use any of them...

Which is exactly what I do. I am not paid or forced by some supernatural force to suffer.

I just feel them wasting the potential to provide more depth to the experience, a mis-opportunity if you will. It’s also generally not a good idea to build a mod upon another mod so there is no way I can use those assets.

And as I said, it’s MOST, not ALL. Some of them did deliver some good story along with unique storyline quests which I enjoyed; Some provided actual challenges before getting to lucrative rewards, similar to how Ziggurat and omega work in .95.

There should be a borderline to claim a mod to be a faction mod or a content mod. The ones I dislikes are mostly content mods slapping a few proc gen worlds and call it a faction. Maybe my bar is set too high but that’s my expectation of what a faction mod should deliver.

DownTheDrain

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Re: Why do most mods have to make the game easier?
« Reply #72 on: May 27, 2021, 03:32:02 PM »

I think that’s what makes me hate faction contents so much.

I feel there's a stunningly simple solution to that, just don't use any of them...

Which is exactly what I do. I am not paid or forced by some supernatural force to suffer.

I just feel them wasting the potential to provide more depth to the experience, a mis-opportunity if you will. It’s also generally not a good idea to build a mod upon another mod so there is no way I can use those assets.

And as I said, it’s MOST, not ALL. Some of them did deliver some good story along with unique storyline quests which I enjoyed; Some provided actual challenges before getting to lucrative rewards, similar to how Ziggurat and omega work in .95.

There should be a borderline to claim a mod to be a faction mod or a content mod. The ones I dislikes are mostly content mods slapping a few proc gen worlds and call it a faction. Maybe my bar is set too high but that’s my expectation of what a faction mod should deliver.

That's fair, to each their own.

I generally prefer not having to jump through a million hoops to try the new toys I just downloaded. Unless it's a unique design or particularly special in some way that would make it impossible to salvage or find on regular markets.
Then again I'm not overly concerned with balance. As I've said earlier in the thread, I limit myself according to some theme or setting.

As for imposing rules on what mods are allowed to do or supposed to be called, what's the point?
If the mod doesn't offer anything of value to you simply delete it and move on. I can see no benefit from trying to gatekeep what is or isn't considered a proper faction mod.
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Histidine

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Re: Why do most mods have to make the game easier?
« Reply #73 on: May 27, 2021, 06:43:16 PM »

What is this "alien lineup" stuff? Nine-tenths of mod factions are specifically designed as, and balanced to be, just another polity operating in the Sector. It would be very strange if those factions made you jump through hoops to access their gear that Tri-Tachyon doesn't.

The factions that aren't "just one of the boys" like Templars and Blade Breakers (to name two well-known cases)? Those indeed have specific rules for acquiring their stuff, for this very reason!
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Harmful Mechanic

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Re: Why do most mods have to make the game easier?
« Reply #74 on: May 27, 2021, 07:34:45 PM »

The factions that aren't "just one of the boys" like Templars and Blade Breakers (to name two well-known cases)? Those indeed have specific rules for acquiring their stuff, for this very reason!

And people whine at DR and I like spoiled children because of it, don't forget that.
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