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Starsector 0.95.1a is out! (12/10/21); Blog post: Hyperspace Topography (10/12/22)

Author Topic: What are my options ? No big fleet, explo, casual fights  (Read 577 times)

Tchey

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What are my options ? No big fleet, explo, casual fights
« on: April 16, 2022, 12:46:33 PM »

Hello,

I’d like to play this game again, but not sure i can squiz my taste in it.

I played one of the first version years ago, when it was barely just a battle simulator, and then played again several times for big updates but not too much, waiting for "full release" but i don’t think i’ll be alive when it happens so i should play today i guess. I think i almost don’t know anymore the game as it is in its current version, just the main flow and general gameplay, as i still have dozens of hours over the years.

What options, paths, and probably mods should i use and follow to have some fun ?

- I like having a small fleet, 1 to 5 ships very max, 2 or 3 would be neat
- I love exploration with meaning (finding usefull stuff, discovering weird places...)
- I like battles with small groups but tactical choices, not just lot of peons vs lot of peons
- I like destroying some things easily as i grow not in numbers but in power and knowledge, not always be challenged every step i go
- but i like also having some challenge from time to time when it’s justified, not just random pirate 10x my power because RNG hello
- i don’t like being an octopus with many buttons to click in short times and fast clicking or i’m dead
- i like usually turn based tactical stuff, but that’s not this game, so...
- i hate being dead because i didn’t do THAT or THIS in the right order at the right time

Do i make sense ?

Thanks for reading
« Last Edit: April 16, 2022, 12:48:06 PM by Tchey »
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LinWasTaken

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Re: What are my options ? No big fleet, explo, casual fights
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2022, 04:33:32 AM »

- I like having a small fleet, 1 to 5 ships very max, 2 or 3 would be neat
is there a reason why you don't like having larger fleets then 5 ships? is it the logistics?
also yes there are a few missions like spy satellite (where you sneak in, make place a satellite and get out)
- I love exploration with meaning (finding usefull stuff, discovering weird places...)
i don't think there are "weird places" but after the first time of exploring the whole sector (aka on your next playthroughs) the point of exploration will mostly be to find a good place for a colony and to find blueprints/colony items.
- I like battles with small groups but tactical choices, not just lot of peons vs lot of peons
IIRC the smallest DP(deployment points) you can go for in the settings is 200 and that is still going to be many frigates vs many frigates so having very small scale battle are far and few between.
- I like destroying some things easily as i grow not in numbers but in power and knowledge, not always be challenged every step i go
that is ... possible via changing your very limited number of ships from small frigates to cruisers or even capital ships. as-well as S-mods (you spend story points to build in hullmods for no OP cost) making your ships far stronger then they should be. also there is a mod that increases the max level to 40 (aka have every ability unlocked and become the sectors GOD)
https://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=20535.0
- but i like also having some challenge from time to time when it’s justified, not just random pirate 10x my power because RNG hello
for this i can only recommend you to do bounty quests because IIRC the difficulty of bounties is dynamically based on your fleet size.
- i don’t like being an octopus with many buttons to click in short times and fast clicking or i’m dead
go to the options menu, there is an alternative way of controlling your ship where its guns aim and the ship turns towards the mouse cursor.
and remember if you cant keep up with whats happening, you can always pause and collect your barrings.
- i like usually turn based tactical stuff, but that’s not this game, so...
sadly this is not a turn based game so i cannot help you win that.
- i hate being dead because i didn’t do THAT or THIS in the right order at the right time
this game is about trail and error. if you were unsuccessful before, load up a save and try something different, experiment.

Delta_of_Isaire

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Re: What are my options ? No big fleet, explo, casual fights
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2022, 09:29:08 AM »

Sounds like your taste in gameplay is very similar to mine. Particularly the small fleet thing and the gaining of power through insight/tactics instead of button mashing/grinding. Unfortunately Starsector is not at all designed for that style of play. That said, there are still some options worth exploring.

Quote
- I like having a small fleet, 1 to 5 ships very max, 2 or 3 would be neat
Understand that a 'normal' fleet is something like 15-30 ships. Certainly enemy fleets that you battle will not ever be small numbers. Additionally, for a reasonable gameplay flow you will need several non-combat ships for carrying cargo and fuel. However, it is definitely possible to win 90-95% of battles using a single playership or a small number of combat ships. This does require good piloting skill, patience, and some specific strategies.

The two main dangers of enemy fleets are (1) a dizzying number of small, fast ships that will gang up on you and (2) a core of strong capital ships that you simply cannot outgun with a small fleet. To win against the first threat, you need a flagship capable of quickly mowing down multiple smaller ships, which is doable by choosing the right weapons to use. To win against the second threat you need a flagship with higher speed than most capitals so you can maintain distance, while still having enough concentrated firepower to effectively kite the enemy capitals.

This limits you to two types of flagships:
> Phase ships (unique Ziggurat or Doom)
> Battlecruisers (Odyssey or Conquest)
Note this applies to midgame/endgame when you have access to capital ships. Earlier in the game it's the same principle but with Cruisers or Destroyers instead. Harbinger and Afflictor for Phase, Hammerhead/Falcon and Medusa/Fury/Aurora for non-phase.

I personally dislike Phase ships, and while the Odyssey is strong in the hands of a competent player the AI is less stellar at piloting it. So the best all-around choice for a solo/low-number combat ship is the Conquest. Give it a symmetrical weapon loadout with Locust missiles, Railguns, Hephaestus Assault Gun and Mark IX Autocannon. And stack all possible range bonuses from hullmods and skills. A fleet of 3 such Conquests, with the right piloting, orders, skills, etc. can win most normal battles in the game. Everything aside from some unique boss fights and high-level Remnants (in "high"-danger systems), all of which are entirely optional endgame content.

Incidentally, giving each Conquest a Monitor-class frigate as Escort will vastly improve their performance against tougher enemies. Even though strictly speaking the Monitors are separate ships, their strict usage in conjunction with the Conquest as 'mothership' can make them feel like a part of the same unit.

Lastly, you could reduce the "maximum battle size" setting to 200, which limits the amount of ships that can be deployed in combat at the same time. It doesn't reduce the actual size of enemy fleets, so enemies will have lots of reinforcements to deploy. Which has the effect of dragging out fights and causing issues with combat readiness degradation. Still, at 200 battle size you are limited to deploying 3 capitals, or 2 capitals + some escorts, which is pretty low numbers.


Quote
- I love exploration with meaning (finding usefull stuff, discovering weird places...)
Starsector does feature a lot of exploration and salvaging which can be quite fun. However, 99% of the point of exploration is to find items that improve your colonies, or blueprints that let your colonies produce better ships and weapons. Exploration is not the best way to earn money, nor is it the best way to level grind or to grow the strength of your fleet.

Having said that: the remaining 1% concerns the acquisition of unique overpowered weapons that definitely do increase your potential power in battle. Unfortunately this also involves the aforementioned bossfights that are difficult to win with a 'small' fleet. Although... with the right tactics and loadouts a fleet consisting of an Alpha-core Radiant, a player-piloted Conquest and a bunch of Monitor Frigate escorts could go a long way towards winning those fights.

Quote
- I like battles with small groups but tactical choices, not just lot of peons vs lot of peons
Does a single Battlecruiser with 1-2 escorts count as a small group? I think it might. And two or three such Battlecruisers can constitute a sufficiently powerful fleet for 90-95% of battles. Does it involve tactics? Certainly, because with such a 'small' force it is important to stick together and pick your fights, dancing around the tougher enemies will cutting through the forces of smaller ships that will swarm you. Something that can play out quite a few different ways depending on the enemy fleet composition.

Quote
- I like destroying some things easily as i grow not in numbers but in power and knowledge, not always be challenged every step i go
Pirates in Starsector go from menacing to complete pushovers as you progress through the game and increase the power of your fleet. Certain Bounty fleets can be scaled to your preferred challenge level.

A significant part of power growth can come from leveling up and gaining skills (which also applies to officers), retrofitting your ships with special built-in hullmods (S-mods) and optimizing your ship's loadouts. Loadout design is a deep topic where knowledge definitely helps.

Quote
- but i like also having some challenge from time to time when it’s justified, not just random pirate 10x my power because RNG hello
Random Pirates (and Pathers) will continue to show up throughout the game, but there soon enough comes a point where you are strong enough to just swat them aside. Most of the really frustratingly difficult battles (particularly for a 'small' fleet) are optional and in general you have to actively go looking for those fights. (not that that stops people from complaining about the difficulty)

Quote
- i don’t like being an octopus with many buttons to click in short times and fast clicking or i’m dead
Neither do I, which is one of the reasons why I play combat at 0.5x normal speed (the other reason being it gives me more time to look at the battle and enjoy it). You can edit this yourself in starsector/data/config/settings.json - look for the line "combatSpeedMult". For a lot of folks out there the concept of playing at half speed will be utterly baffling and the epitomy of boredom, but it is a single-player game after all.

Quote
- i like usually turn based tactical stuff, but that’s not this game, so...
Nope, sorry. Not this game. Although you can pause in combat whenever you like, and still look around and issue orders to your ships.

Quote
- i hate being dead because i didn’t do THAT or THIS in the right order at the right time
Yeah... Starsector is rive with out-of-the-blue challenges that are essentially automatic game-overs for new or unknowing players. Learn to quicksave often. Once you are aware of these speedbumps though they are mostly avoidable by taking the necessary precautions. Most importantly, keeping an eye on your supplies and fuel, and be careful to avoid dangerous enemy fleets.

The upshot is that a lot of this is early-game hell. Later on you should be rich enough that supplies and fuel are minor concerns, and most random fleet encounters will not be that dangerous. Still, even late-game, if you go out actively looking for trouble, you certainly will find it.
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Hiruma Kai

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Re: What are my options ? No big fleet, explo, casual fights
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2022, 11:23:05 AM »


What options, paths, and probably mods should i use and follow to have some fun ?

- I like having a small fleet, 1 to 5 ships very max, 2 or 3 would be neat
- I like destroying some things easily as i grow not in numbers but in power and knowledge, not always be challenged every step i go
- but i like also having some challenge from time to time when it’s justified, not just random pirate 10x my power because RNG hello
- i don’t like being an octopus with many buttons to click in short times and fast clicking or i’m dead
- i hate being dead because i didn’t do THAT or THIS in the right order at the right time

I don't know if you're already using it, but at game creation, the easy difficulty option can help with a few of these issues, namely reducing the randomness of running into large enemy fleets by being able to see farther (extra 500 sensor range), helps with exploration and supplies/fuel in general with 50% more salvage, and lastly helps with the issue of needing to react quickly with 25% less damage taken (or another way to put it, is it potentially gives you 33% more time in situations where you're taking damage).

These are also adjustable in the settings.json file (just search for "start difficulty config") if you want to tweak them or even make "Easy" harder than standard by inverting values, along with a easyPlayerDamageDealtMult option (to make your ships deal more or less damage than normal).  So you can make a few ships feel more like a full fleet in terms of actual combat effectiveness.  Doesn't make it a small vs small fleet fight, but does make more tactics viable in a small player vs large AI fleet fight.
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DirectionsToL3Please

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Re: What are my options ? No big fleet, explo, casual fights
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2022, 01:59:17 PM »

NEXUS: The Jupiter Incident meets all your criteria except turn-based.  However, it can be paused at any time, so even though it's "real time" it's very easy to play it like a turn based game.  I always recommend NEXUS when it's relevant.

I know you were asking for mods for this game, just felt like shilling for what is - in my opinion - a very underrated and under-recognized game.
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