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Author Topic: "Explorer" contact type  (Read 1459 times)

DrTechman42

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"Explorer" contact type
« on: October 02, 2021, 11:02:36 AM »

   Every contact is devoted to a certain playstyle. You like trading and interacting with the economy? Go to the Trader. Smuggling? Underworld has got you covered. Bounty hunting? The sector is filled with those who deserve death and the Military contact is happy to make you the executioner.
   This being said, rifling through the trash left from the Domain is just as important part of any playthrough (for me at least) but it doesn't have it's own contact. Here I'll try to come up with a few mission types for these contacts (and I really hope that you, dear reader, will aid me in this endeavour) following these guidelines:
  • Starsector is at it's best during combat and the game should lead the player into more fighting.
  • Every other contact is sustainable (you can ask them for missions indefinitely) and Explorer should be no different.
  • The bar is filled with possible outcomes and adding more will make it extremely difficult to find those you need.

   How should the player find this contact?
I really don't want to make the bar even more bloated so I think that the contacts should appear during common exploration contracts. After you finish the scan you have to send the data back, right? And there will be some human being to recieve it. Some of those "Exploration Coordinators" (recievers) may be in need of some adventuring captain. In order to determine the quality of contact the game should take both the distance and the scanned object into account. Scanning a coronal hypershunt should always lead to someone important while probes and planets should not.

   Low relations (0-25)
1) The same thing but with a twist. You also take probe/planet scanning missions but these will have significantly more drone protection. There is a reason why this mission is offered to you, after all. The reward should scale accordingly.
2) The Academician mission but on a significantly smaller scale. You get some blueprints but nothing as important as an alpha core or capital ships. You'll still have to shoot some drones though.

    Favorable relations (25-50)
1) Scanning some dangerous stuff. Remnant nexus? Cryosleepers? Derelicts in medium/high danger systems? This will make the player to change their fleet. Stealthy phase ships? Fast small frigates and interdiction pulses? There are many ways to do this.
2)Type 1 from low relations but with some guaranteed loot like beta cores or minor colony items?

    Friendly relations (50-75)
1) The academician mission but on a larger scale? More drones to fight but the loot is still inferior. That mission is unique for a reason. Thus it makes a unique mission repeatable but more difficult and with less loot.
2) Shooting down some specific Remnant ordo for analysis. You get the loot and the reward, they get the data. This should be a high level threat.

    Cooperative relations (75-100)
1) Lets imagine that there were some advanced Domain interstellar automated stations. Like motherships but a bit different. Since the collapse they were up to themselves and are sometimes sighted here and there with significant drone escort. They linger in a system for a while and then move somewhere else.
The contact may lead you to these structures to get some specific data and you go there to get some very advanced loot. The game is to spawn these structures thus making exploration inexhaustible and making the contact sustainable. Here the game can unleash hell onto the player and make it a very difficult fight. But the spoils are worth it: guaranteed colony items and maybe something on top. The time limit is also explained: the station will move somewhere else if you aren't fast enough.


Most of the ideas come from the time when I was pitching a research mechanic. Developing something totally new seems to be lore-unfriendly (I strongly disagree though, the Tessaract is definately post-collapse). This idea is all about scavenging what is left.
Hope that you'll like this and that there will be some more mission ideas. I was unable to achieve a satisfactory amount on my own.
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JAL28

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Re: "Explorer" contact type
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2021, 05:31:22 PM »

I don't believe you can get missions from scanning coronal hypershunts, and that would be lore-breaking considering nobody else except the Hegemony and Tri-Tach leaders know about them.
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DrTechman42

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Re: "Explorer" contact type
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2021, 09:43:06 PM »

I don't believe you can get missions from scanning coronal hypershunts, and that would be lore-breaking considering nobody else except the Hegemony and Tri-Tach leaders know about them.

And yet I’ve got a couple. Maybe it was a bug though as I remember it happening before the patches for .95. Then the research stations would be the highest tier?
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JAL28

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Re: "Explorer" contact type
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2021, 10:17:24 PM »

I believe coronal hypershunt scan missions were bugs, like how you could get items from the Historian which were in hypershunts, or get survey missions for Alpha Site.

Though, I do remember having seen survey missions for domain-era survey ships and sometimes even motherships too, so those could be used instead. Or alternatively just use research stations.
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DrTechman42

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Re: "Explorer" contact type
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2021, 10:57:19 AM »

Another idea: people have been asking for an upgrade to the Tech-mining for a long time. Maybe these two can interact with one another? The contact may have some specialists to spare that could boost the efficiency of the industry. The ruins depliting slower? Improving the chance of getting better loot?
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Farya

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Re: "Explorer" contact type
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2021, 10:21:08 PM »

I would rather have ruins deplete faster with more stuff rather then slower. You don't want techmining occupy industry slot forever, especially when only the very first batch is the one that always brings cool stuff. Basically your archeologist comb through and categorise useful stuff faster. Maybe also add a special item that helps them further?
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DrTechman42

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Re: "Explorer" contact type
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2021, 02:26:23 AM »

Yeah, I’ve forgotten how the loot is calculated. Faster depletion on the very first iteration of tech-mining can lead to interesting results.

Another idea:
Low relations (0-25)
Ask for a map of hyperspace currents. Pay some amount of money and you are given either a partial or a full map of the new currents. Maybe the area of the sector that is revealed is based on either on the importance or the relations? Like, the more resources the contact has (importance) or the more resources the contact can receive from you (relations) the more area is revealed.
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DrTechman42

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Re: "Explorer" contact type
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2021, 10:23:50 AM »

Came up with another one for 25-50 relations
Neutrino detector upgrade.
Basically the Mk-2 Neutrino mod, but vanilla and for a limited period of time. (Due to usage of highly radioactive materials that just decay into being useless?). Eliminating false positives surely helps exploring and allows the player to complete the missions from the contact more efficiently, thus the contact has the motivation to provide us this service.
The time limit part is to be debated as it may become rather annoying if the period is too short.
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bowman

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Re: "Explorer" contact type
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2021, 04:45:04 AM »

Just wanna second this suggestion, would like to see a contact built around exploration.

I will say though that I'm not sure if surveying a Remnant Nexus should be at middle tier, since that's effectively asking you to brave multiple Ordos (a definitively high-tier mission) and *also* to interact in some way with the nexus itself.
I guess maybe if it's only a damaged nexus that they'd want you to interact with so there's nothing quite so spooky in the system?

The final mission could be an expansion of Domain Motherships except in this case instead of being dilapidated and broken they're actually still functioning...
Though I'd say motherships as they are now could use a slight facelift if that were to happen (In terms of layout and threat) Similar to the damaged/undamaged remnant stations: primary concern being there's no clear expansion path for a fully-functioning mothership to be more threatening given there's not any obviously missing modules and it's largely a giant box. In its current role as a mid-level threat with goodies it serves excellently, especially with remnants being what they are but for this I'm not too sure. Alternatively, the lore could be tweaked to more specifically mention that the Domain Motherships are *incredibly ancient* and this new thing is a ""##couple hundred##"" (handwavium/avoiding actual numbers, probably) years more recent, hence why it's resurveying the area and such (and also why it's differently designed, and generally better put together).
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Ad Astra

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Re: "Explorer" contact type
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2021, 02:12:17 PM »

An exploration type contact could also make certain types of loot spawn when the mission is given, making rare loot less limited for people who are willing to put in the effort to level the contact relation. It's an interesting idea.
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DrTechman42

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Re: "Explorer" contact type
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2021, 11:07:42 AM »

Finally got to play around the new update. The 'show hyperspace currents' thing should definately last longer than half a cycle. Maybe multiple cycles (2-3). Otherwise it is going to be nearly useless. Good expeditions last around a cycle and being able to plan your route is a good thing.

If we are going more fictional then how about a bait for the larger current-creating ghosts? Make it an ability with limited uses, it spawns the ghost at the point where you've activated it and then you can use it to create your personal slipstream (to go exactly where you want to go). Would be fun, but would be weird for vanilla. A nice idea for a mod though.
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