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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: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes  (Read 374345 times)

FreonRu

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #2175 on: October 03, 2021, 06:27:00 AM »

Alex, good day. We all really appreciate your work and I will repeat myself again - your game is amazing. I closely follow the development diaries.

While playing, I once again caught myself on the following thought: in the main quest chain there is a location that can only be reached with the help of a skill (everyone who played knows), but this is the only place (that I have seen) where this method is applied.

Will there be more places like this in the next patch? Secret places or places that can only be accessed through a gate? New coordinates for the gate?

Thank you in advance
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hydremajor

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #2176 on: October 04, 2021, 05:08:52 AM »

Hm here's a thought

with the whole "damper field instead of shields" deal, does that mean there'll be ways to add more effects to defenses of ships ?

Like say, someone feels like making the Damper fields not disable weapons and give a speed boost, would a modder be able to get to that or is the system just not built for that ?
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Alex

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #2177 on: October 04, 2021, 11:36:57 AM »

Alex, good day. We all really appreciate your work and I will repeat myself again - your game is amazing. I closely follow the development diaries.

While playing, I once again caught myself on the following thought: in the main quest chain there is a location that can only be reached with the help of a skill (everyone who played knows), but this is the only place (that I have seen) where this method is applied.

Will there be more places like this in the next patch? Secret places or places that can only be accessed through a gate? New coordinates for the gate?

Thank you in advance

Well - the next release isn't really a content-focused one (despite the detour into sensor ghosts and such). On the other hand, this sort of thing is neat and I wouldn't want to spoil it by talking about it much even if it *was* being added :)

Thank you for your kind words, by the way!

(Also, technically, a *skill* isn't required - an ability is, but you can get the ability by doing the Galatia Academy mission line.)

Hm here's a thought

with the whole "damper field instead of shields" deal, does that mean there'll be ways to add more effects to defenses of ships ?

Like say, someone feels like making the Damper fields not disable weapons and give a speed boost, would a modder be able to get to that or is the system just not built for that ?

Ah - it was already doable, and to my knowledge a bunch of mods have right-click ship systems in them! Main new thing from that perspective is official UI support for it as far as showing the cooldown/charges/etc.
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JJ842

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #2178 on: October 06, 2021, 12:05:36 AM »

Here's some quick feedback on the current version after finishing a second playthrough recently, even though some of it is probably a bit belayed. Please feel free to disregard stuff that's already being changed etc.

Skills:

I'm not sure whether this is being addressed in the coming skill tree revision but the skills that have diminishing returns based on the player's fleet composition/size feel bad in general. I'd suggest making them work so that the player'll always get a baseline benefit and a bonus on top of that based on fleet metrics. Even if the final numbers would end up being more or less equal to what we have now it would in my opinion feel better that way around (i.e. no skill would ever give _zero_ benefit regardless of the player's fleet because of the "baseline" bonus).

The fighter skills feel a bit too weak overall with the bonuses enemy officers can get vs. fighters. I generally don't bother with fighters at all now becuse they get shot down in quick order when deployed against any serious opposition which is very sad. Maybe giving them some sort of evasion stat so that only point defence weapons/anti-fighter missiles would be able to target them consistently would help?

Also built-in drone wings counting for the skill limits is silly and should be changed. As is the new phase transports/freighters counting as "combat ships" even though they have no weapons at all.

This might be a personal thing but I feel that the progression from lvl 10-12 onwards feels a bit too fast? At least with the big fights that I was constantly getting into I reached max lvl really quickly. Maybe tweak down the xp awarded from fighting numerically superior but weak enemies like the domain drones? Fighting those always makes me feel dirty with how much xp I get for bullying them, especially later on once their numbers go through the roof.

Items and exploration

The new domain artifacts that can be found are an awesome addition overall, but I feel like the supply demands for some of them (fusion lamp and hypershunt tap) are way way overtuned for what benefit -and when in the campaign- they give. When exactly is the player supposed to make use of them? It's only possible with maxed out colonies and perfect or near-perfect mining setups, but the added benefits are barely noticeable then.

It would also be nice to be able to move the domain sleeper ships to other systems, even if at significant cost. I must have been really unlucky but during both of my campaigns the sleeper locations were terrible with no potential systems inside the effect radius.

Domain exploration drones should maybe get to have more varied/intersting interactions. They appear to be spawned in "clusters" with several constellations having nothing but probes/survey ships in them, which is kinda demoralizing when you run into one because you'll know that there's probably not too much else of interest salvagewise in a given area. In my last campaign I headed elsewhere to explore pretty much immediately when encountering them because it kinda feels boring to salvage system after system of nothing but probes.

I've noticed that most of the pirate fleets that "spawn in" from quests etc. now have the "fighting these guys will not affect your reputation" tag, which is very nice when the player is trying to build up rep for the pirate faction. For some reason not all of them do, however. I think at least the ones that spawn from fake distress calls and booby trapped derelict ships. Maybe add it to them as well, or at least an option to talk them out of attacking if the player has high enough reputation with pirates?

Weapons and ships

Most of the "spoiler" weapons feel disappointing for their extreme rarity & generally high op costs. Maybe I'm just not using them right? Also, the hidden cache the player can find early should not have totally random weapons in it in my opinion, feels really bad when you don't get any of the better ones. Maybe buffing the rest would help, I dunno.

The new Hyperion is all kinds of awesome! Really just love everything about it. Just needed to get that out there.

The new AI-driven ships that can be salvaged with the right skill feel a bit weak overall with the exception of the bigger ones, they keep getting blown up with little to show for it. The suicidal ai might be to blame here, would it be possible to manually set the ai to cautios/steady/agrressive etc?

Also, had a new hull mod idea when fitting out the Venture which imo is really let down by the built in drone wing: Convert hangar housing "built-in fighters" to one that can use any fighters (no penalties other than the increased crew requirement since it's already an actual hangar and not a shuttle bay). Can't be used on (non-civilian?) frigates.

Colonies and economy

Overall I feel like the current update was a big step forward in this regard. The pather interest values from the new colony items feel a bit too much though, basically if you ever use any you'll more or less automatically spawn a cell, which was something that could be avoided in the previous version with careful planning.

Also, it would be nice to get a more transparent breakdown on how much interest you're generating with ai core usage (is there even a limit value or is it just a timer that'll eventually trip even if you're just using a single gamma core?). Given how limited the benefit from the lowest tier cores generally is I feel like a certain ability to "fly under the radar" with limited use of cores would not be too overpowered.

Selling space drugs and weapons (bought from tritach markets with zero risk) to pirates that have constant shortages of them feels like cheating with how easy it is to accumulate money that way. Maybe give the pirate bases a "rampant basement drug labs" industry or something that reduces the local demand so that it's less over the top profitable?

Finally

Just wanted to give huge props for making the game, it really has come leaps and bounds from the early days. Just stellar work all round, it's really telling how minor the criticism I can scrape together ends up being. For most in dev games I wouldn't even bother giving feedback but this one really is special :)

e: Added some stuff I forgot
« Last Edit: October 06, 2021, 10:43:00 AM by JJ842 »
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SafariJohn

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #2179 on: October 06, 2021, 06:53:01 AM »

Overall I feel like the current update was a big step forward in this regard. The pather interest values from the new colony items feel a bit too much though, basically if you ever use any you'll more or less automatically spawn a cell, which was something that could be avoided in the previous version with careful planning.

Path cell smuggler fleets should be Luddic Path instead of independent. Would make the mechanic way less annoying IMO
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Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #2180 on: October 06, 2021, 07:34:53 AM »

I'm not sure whether this is being addressed in the coming skill tree revision but the skills that have diminishing returns based on the player's fleet composition/size feel bad in general. I'd suggest making them work so that the player'll always get a baseline benefit and a bonus on top of that based on fleet metrics. Even if the final numbers would end up being more or less equal to what we have now it would in my opinion feel better that way around (i.e. no skill would ever give _zero_ benefit regardless of the player's fleet because of the "baseline" bonus).
Agreed!

The fighter skills feel a bit too weak overall with the bonuses enemy officers can get vs. fighters. I generally don't bother with fighters at all now becuse they get shot down in quick order when deployed against any serious opposition which is very sad. Maybe giving them some sort of evasion stat so that only point defence weapons/anti-fighter missiles would be able to target them consistently would help?
Agreed on fighters too weak.

No to THAC0 or evasion stat!  It would be frustrating for a clean hit to magically passthrough the fighter like that.  Anti-missile PD weapons are not that great against fighters.  Better anti-fighter weapons are stuff like phase lances and pulse lasers.  Plasma cannons are good against fighters because it passes through them (while damaging or killing them), and plasma is good against everything.

Fighters (and possibly some carriers) need better stats, and Expanded Deck Crew made cheaper or removed and its effects made the baseline, especially if dedicated fighter skills will be removed.  Also, carriers and their systems not over-nerfed too.  Drover is 15 DP and its system ruins its replacement rate.

This might be a personal thing but I feel that the progression from lvl 10-12 onwards feels a bit too fast? At least with the big fights that I was constantly getting into I reached max lvl really quickly. Maybe tweak down the xp awarded from fighting numerically superior but weak enemies like the domain drones? Fighting those always makes me feel dirty with how much xp I get for bullying them, especially later on once their numbers go through the roof.
You need the fast XP gain by max level to clear the story point debt you will get from spending story points with bonus +xp%.  If anything, it is not fast enough once player reaches max level, unless the player is a dedicated combat junkie.

Items and exploration

The new domain artifacts that can be found are an awesome addition overall, but I feel like the supply demands for some of them (fusion lamp and hypershunt tap) are way way overtuned for what benefit -and when in the campaign- they give. When exactly is the player supposed to make use of them? It's only possible with maxed out colonies and perfect or near-perfect mining setups, but the added benefits are barely noticeable then.
I like the idea, but I do not like that it makes it harder to find the ones you need, namely pristine nanoforge and synchrotron, because it dilutes the item pool.  Before 0.95, it was unlikely player did not find at least one.  Now, player will probably need to raid Chicomoztoc, Kazeron, and/or Sindria to get those two vital items to meet demand for Military Base.

And yes, the lamp and tap are not worth it for your colonies.  If player does not want to bother with Pather cells, those items are poison pills.  No way player can meet demand without size 6 colony, so no size 3 colony with those items to evade cells and expeditions.  However, maybe the player can sabotage some markets by selling those items to them and cause a perpetual shortage (and maybe free disruptions caused by Pather cells on them!)

Weapons and ships

Most of the "spoiler" weapons feel disappointing for their extreme rarity & generally high op costs. Maybe I'm just not using them right? Also, the hidden cache the player can find early should not have totally random weapons in it in my opinion, feels really bad when you don't get any of the better ones. Maybe buffing the rest would help, I dunno.
Some are indeed mediocre, but there seem to be a few gems among the junk.

I read that cryoblaster is a super heavy blaster, and the videos seem to demonstrate its effectiveness.

The one Omega weapon I played with much was Rift Cascade Emitter, and it is a huge disappointment for its cost.  Basically a worse Tachyon Lance with the OP cost of a plasma cannon.  It does slightly more damage, but only at close range (because some damage is from explosions, which require close range to proc), and it does not pierce shields or EMP targets.  Tachyon Lance is a better sniper, and plasma cannon is a better assault weapon.  Rift Cascade Emitter tries to do both but fails horribly.  It current stats would be fine as a 20-22 OP weapon, not 30 OP, because it is inferior to Tachyon Lance as a sniper hitscan beam weapon.  Rift needs to be stronger or cheaper to use.

The new AI-driven ships that can be salvaged with the right skill feel a bit weak overall with the exception of the bigger ones, they keep getting blown up with little to show for it. The suicidal ai might be to blame here, would it be possible to manually set the ai to cautios/steady/agrressive etc?
AI is suicidal thanks to being locked at Fearless.

Radiant is overpowered.  It alone is the only thing that enables Automated Ships to compete with the awesome power of Special Modifications.  For the moment, the other AI ships is another way to get more officer power and EMP into your fleet.  The Remnant frigates are okay earlier in the game.

Also, had a new hull mod idea when fitting out the Venture which imo is really let down by the built in drone wing: Convert hangar housing "built-in fighters" to one that can use any fighters (no penalties other than the increased crew requirement since it's already an actual hangar and not a shuttle bay). Can't be used on (non-civilian?) frigates.
So far, Venture is the only standard ship bigger than a frigate that has built-in wing.  Just give the Venture back its normal fighter bay from before 0.8a without any hoops.  It used to be a decent warship back in the day.

As for frigates, Shepherd is now the best frigate-sized freighter because that hullmod that removes fighters and adds +50 to cargo gives it 150 cargo, and it probably will not get deployed in a normal fight after early-game.

Colonies and economy

Overall I feel like the current update was a big step forward in this regard. The pather interest values from the new colony items feel a bit too much though, basically if you ever use any you'll more or less automatically spawn a cell, which was something that could be avoided in the previous version with careful planning.
It is annoying.  You need pristine nanoforge and synchrotron to feed your military bases, so you have items for two more planets.  Best one after classic nanoforge/synchrotron is Dealmaker Holosuite for boosting Commerce.  Runner-up is the biofactory to boost drug production.

Also, it would be nice to get a more transparent breakdown on how much interest you're generating with ai core usage (is there even a limit value or is it just a timer that'll eventually trip even if you're just using a single gamma core?). Given how limited the benefit from the lowest tier cores generally is I feel like a certain ability to "fly under the radar" with limited use of cores would not be too overpowered.
If you use even a single gamma in your colony, big H will come to inspect, so it does not matter with them!  If you get Pather cells, they tell you how much interest cores generate for cells.  If you plan to use cores (and suffer cells), might as well go big and use as many cores and other items as you can... and colonize more and more planets with alpha core admins.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2021, 10:45:22 AM by Megas »
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SCC

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Re: Starsector 0.95a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #2181 on: October 06, 2021, 10:08:48 AM »

I'm not sure whether this is being addressed in the coming skill tree revision but the skills that have diminishing returns based on the player's fleet composition/size feel bad in general. I'd suggest making them work so that the player'll always get a baseline benefit and a bonus on top of that based on fleet metrics. Even if the final numbers would end up being more or less equal to what we have now it would in my opinion feel better that way around (i.e. no skill would ever give _zero_ benefit regardless of the player's fleet because of the "baseline" bonus).
No skill ever gives zero benefit to you already, even if you have a lot of ships, the benefit just gets spread so much it isn't very much - but, for comparison, if you have 50 Paragons in your fleet, aren't your flagship skills similarly less significant, simply because you have to outperform 50 Paragons?
There's technically bottom floor for DP-limited skills, but it seems to be just 1%, so no skill will ever be entirely useless (unless requirements aren't met).

The new AI-driven ships that can be salvaged with the right skill feel a bit weak overall with the exception of the bigger ones, they keep getting blown up with little to show for it. The suicidal ai might be to blame here, would it be possible to manually set the ai to cautios/steady/agrressive etc?
Autonomous Ships skill is balanced entirely around the Radiant and it's the only ship worth taking currently, but it's very much worth it.

Also, it would be nice to get a more transparent breakdown on how much interest you're generating with ai core usage (is there even a limit value or is it just a timer that'll eventually trip even if you're just using a single gamma core?). Given how limited the benefit from the lowest tier cores generally is I feel like a certain ability to "fly under the radar" with limited use of cores would not be too overpowered.
Yeah, AI inspections will go after you if you use any AI cores in any capacity in your colonies. And yeah, gamma cores still suck, even though Alex made economy more dependent on other factions to make money for you.

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