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Starsector 0.95.1a is out! (12/10/21); Blog post: Hostile Activity (09/01/22)

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Author Topic: Sindrian Diktat Changes  (Read 4288 times)

Juan-Dela_Cruz

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Sindrian Diktat Changes
« on: May 02, 2022, 09:44:37 AM »

What's the particular reason as to why the Diktat just gets a direct nerf?

Imagine joining a faction and doing missions for them to get their cool unique ships and they are just... Worse? A built-in but full price situational hullmod, and a horrible D-mod.

I get it fits the lore but it can't just be 'this is the faction for bad stupid people'.
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Hiruma Kai

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Re: Sindrian Diktat Changes
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2022, 12:06:04 PM »

I'll point out, the Lion's Guard is not the Sindarian Diktat faction, it is a sub-faction without any markets or commission.  So the Sindarian Diktat itself is not getting a nerf.  It's been stated by Alex the only ship used by the Lion's Guard you'll be able to buy with a Sindarian Diktat commission is the Executor, which is actually used by the standard Diktat forces, since it's their capital as well.  Given there's no direct equivalent to the Executor because of the mod slots (and maybe ship system - that is unclear to me), it is a hard call declare it's balance, since it is a different ship from everything else in the game.  As for the built in Solar Shielding on it, there are plenty of ships with built in hull mods that their OP allotment likely takes into account but are highly situational.  Odyssey has High Resolution Sensors, for example.

The d-mod on the capital can be restored, but is admittedly a financial consideration (or a skill tree consideration) not needed when purchasing pristine ships from other commissions.  On the other hand, you can't get that particular capital from other commissions, since it is a single faction ship.

The Sindarian Diktat itself will provide you with Eagles, Falcons, Hammerheads, and so on just as good as the Persean League provides.  They just don't come with the purple paint job.  Pretty sure you won't see Lion's Guard inspections, so the only time you'll interact with them is around Sindaria.

As for "horrible" D-mod, if the effects are minor as Alex implies, like 5% effects, it might be one of the best d-mods for Derelict Contingent, assuming you're going down that route.  We'll have to see the final numbers.  Although, as far as I understand it, the only way to get Lion's Guard only ships is to salvage them, which means they'll likely come with other d-mods that you'll want to restore anyways in more typical play throughs.

Overall, the Lion's Guard exists to fulfill a story function as opposed to a game balance or new combat option mechanic.  The update isn't saying these are necessarily stupid people (they are likely bad in the sense of morality), but it is representing a cult of personality dictatorship.  Doesn't matter if the people are fundamentally dumb or not, it is quite possible for the closest people to the dictator to evolve into yes-men or dead-men, which is exactly the point the Lion's Guard is making.  It's a bunch of yes-men military flunkies which are closest to the Supreme Executor, while the rest of the military carries on competently.

Also, Alex has implied he's likely going to change the built-in at full price Solar Shielding, so that may not be an issue in the fully released version.
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Kos135

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Re: Sindrian Diktat Changes
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2022, 01:56:43 PM »

I'm a bit disappointed that the Sindrian Diktat didn't get its own unique flavor ship, just altered versions of other ships. I get what Alex is going for, a stereotypical "tinpot dictatorship" faction. But I feel like he's laying it on a bit too thick with the "megalomaniac dictator surrounded by dumb sycophants" theme.

How could the Diktat even survive as a faction if everyone sucks up to a deluded egotist who makes everything worse through excessive micro-management? If Supreme Executor Andrada is as bumbling and overconfident as he sounds in the latest blog post then what is the glue holding the Diktat together?

Perhaps there could be some kind of hidden power behind the throne, craftily manipulating Andrada while allowing him to think he's calling all the shots? Or maybe an inner circle of supporters who are loyal to Andrada and his vision, but are also bright enough to realize he has a few screws loose and know how to reign in his megalomania just enough to keep him from ruining the Diktat without offending his ego?

---
EDIT: I just skimmed through the section for the Sindrian Diktat in the latest blog post and remembered a very particular point I considered a discrepancy at first: Philip Andrada is a former Hegemony Admiral. That is how he came to power in the Askonia system in the first place. The Hegemony sent him there to conquer it, and he did, but then he defected and founded the Diktat. The Hegemony's psych profile on Andrada describes him as intelligent and charismatic, but also an egotist.

And yet it goes on to say that he doesn't know how to fit his own ships! He fits short range weapons on big fat battleships with low speed and maneuverability, which makes them unlikely to bring those weapons to bear in a fight. An experienced admiral ought to know better. How did this guy make it so far up the ranks if he doesn't know the basics of how to fit his own ships!? I get that he's an egotist and injects himself into fields of expertise that he's unfamiliar with, but as a successful fleet officer shouldn't he at least know the basics of ship classes and weaponry?

« Last Edit: May 02, 2022, 02:06:45 PM by Kos135 »
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Shinr

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Re: Sindrian Diktat Changes
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2022, 09:51:35 PM »

How could the Diktat even survive as a faction if everyone sucks up to a deluded egotist who makes everything worse through excessive micro-management? If Supreme Executor Andrada is as bumbling and overconfident as he sounds in the latest blog post then what is the glue holding the Diktat together?

Institutional inertia backed by the biggest fuel reserves with unity enforced by scaremongering over the external enemy along with said external enemy's unwillingness to actually invade because of high potential cost of life and resources.

EDIT: I just skimmed through the section for the Sindrian Diktat in the latest blog post and remembered a very particular point I considered a discrepancy at first: Philip Andrada is a former Hegemony Admiral. That is how he came to power in the Askonia system in the first place. The Hegemony sent him there to conquer it, and he did, but then he defected and founded the Diktat. The Hegemony's psych profile on Andrada describes him as intelligent and charismatic, but also an egotist.

And yet it goes on to say that he doesn't know how to fit his own ships! He fits short range weapons on big fat battleships with low speed and maneuverability, which makes them unlikely to bring those weapons to bear in a fight. An experienced admiral ought to know better. How did this guy make it so far up the ranks if he doesn't know the basics of how to fit his own ships!? I get that he's an egotist and injects himself into fields of expertise that he's unfamiliar with, but as a successful fleet officer shouldn't he at least know the basics of ship classes and weaponry?

My occasional dabbling with the shipgirl fandoms (Kantai Collection and Azur Lane) led me in contact with various people all too willing to explain the meanings and background reasons for shipgirl designs and general naval history, and the main takeaways I got that are relevant to the current topic:

1) The higher the rank, the more political it gets, with the side-effect of the political skills almost overshadowing the actual military side and requirements.

2) Admiral =/= Expert on the technical specs and/or how to use stuff effectively.

And in the places like Diktat of course it gets worse.
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Embolism

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Re: Sindrian Diktat Changes
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2022, 10:12:23 PM »

I don't mind the hullmod being negative because it's something the player can rectify if for whatever reason you want to fly Sindrian colours.

Solar Shielding however I think should either be optional (part of Sindrian ship design but not built-in) or should really have some discount given the Sindrians invented the tech. I wouldn't mind if it got nerfed back to not affecting shields (that never made sense to me anyway) or only affecting beam damage, to me the hullmod is as flavour as the "special modifications" hullmod is as far as combat is concerned.
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Megas

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Re: Sindrian Diktat Changes
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2022, 05:37:22 AM »

Solar Shielding is part of the anti-Ordos kit.  -20% damage is great, and there had better be a good reason not to use it when fighting Ordos.

And Ordos farming is what matters most at the end of the game, due to loot, maximum story point gain, and stress-testing ship loadouts or fleet configurations (because Ordos is significantly stronger than every other recurring enemy in the game).
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Embolism

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Re: Sindrian Diktat Changes
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2022, 08:16:12 AM »

And I think that was a step backwards. IMO Solar Shielding should be more about the logistics side of things rather than the combat side, I think buffing it from -10% beam damage to armor/hull (which was weak but nice flavour-wise) to a blanket -20% energy damage to shields/armor/hull, was a mistake.

If Alex thinks giving LG skins free or discounted Solar Shielding is too much of a "buff", then I'd rather Solar Shielding's combat capability be nerfed back to what it was so it's... appropriately "flavourful" that having it for free/discounted isn't a big deal.
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SCC

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Re: Sindrian Diktat Changes
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2022, 09:25:41 AM »

Do people even use weaker ship variants (like pirate ones), unless they aren't really all that weaker (pirate Afflictor)? Acquiring better variants of essentially the same ship is just another step of fleet optimisation, and people will avoid using worse ships, unless there are compelling reasons to use them, like the lack of availability of anything better or some requirements to run better ships. Lion's Guard versions don't really appear appealing to me.

Amoebka

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Re: Sindrian Diktat Changes
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2022, 12:44:59 PM »

The one and only reason to use weaker variants (base/pirate Enforcer vs XIV Enforcer, etc) is their market availability. In the early game the player might not have enough opportunities to fill all spots with rare variants and temporarily uses more common ones with the intention the eventually replace them.

This doesn't apply to LG at all, because they are both much harder to obtain than normal midline hulls, and are inferior to them in the long run (even after the restoration, they are objectively worse due to being less flexible).

I honestly don't know why Alex is so adamant on this idea. :( Pirate and luddic ships also represent "questionable" modifications, but implemented in a way that's not useless to the player.
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Antelope Syrup

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Re: Sindrian Diktat Changes
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2022, 10:29:03 AM »

The Lion's guard ships have the "special modifications" d-mod for the sake of world building. It's supposed to represent Andrada's overreach in all matters. While he may be a crafty politician and strategist, his ego prevents him from realizing that he has no expertise in star ship design itself. The "special modifications" are random changes Andrada felt his ships needed, despite the fact they all make the ship worse.

Personally, I don't like the decision. However I understand why Alex made the Lions Guard this way. I think the gameplay should take precedent over the lore or background. I think it's truly a shame that these excellent looking ships will be relegated to uselessness due to there inherent inferiority to the bog standard. It just doesn't feel good. Perhaps the Lions guard ships should be side grades that reflect Andrada's doctrine or propensity for energy weapons.
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Big Bee

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Re: Sindrian Diktat Changes
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2022, 10:26:54 AM »

Pirate and luddic ships also represent "questionable" modifications, but implemented in a way that's not useless to the player.

Lion's Guard ships should have at least somewhat different mounts so that they aren't just strictly worse variants of their base versions. More hybrid or energy mounts maybe.
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Dwarfslayer

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Re: Sindrian Diktat Changes
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2022, 12:48:16 PM »

I think the narrative justification is... passable. It can be understood why these ships have detriments (if you think pretty hard about it, not sure how much in-game evidence will explain further)

The problem I have is the 'feels-bad' factor of the cool designs being strictly worse - it just makes them hard to use. Not sure exactly on the interactions with D-mod skills, but this is something that to me feels like it shouldn't be counted as a typical D-mod. Those are generally damage/non functioning subsystems that will never be optimal, so you only have to worry about them being 'good enough'

Luddic Path ships are usually a bad idea due to their specific 'customizations' - but they can serve specific purposes and fit into a small niche with some creative builds and a bit of work. Some are better than others of course.

Comparatively it would eliminate some 'feels-bad' for the hot new LG skins if they were broadly a downgrade, but with a narrow upside that could possibly be exploited if circumstances are just right and some creative outfitting is used.
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√ústad

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Re: Sindrian Diktat Changes
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2022, 01:39:14 PM »

The Lion's guard ships have the "special modifications" d-mod for the sake of world building. It's supposed to represent Andrada's overreach in all matters. While he may be a crafty politician and strategist, his ego prevents him from realizing that he has no expertise in star ship design itself. The "special modifications" are random changes Andrada felt his ships needed, despite the fact they all make the ship worse.

Personally, I don't like the decision. However I understand why Alex made the Lions Guard this way. I think the gameplay should take precedent over the lore or background. I think it's truly a shame that these excellent looking ships will be relegated to uselessness due to there inherent inferiority to the bog standard. It just doesn't feel good. Perhaps the Lions guard ships should be side grades that reflect Andrada's doctrine or propensity for energy weapons.
Couldn't agree more. I just think he wanted to spice up the game with unusual pros and cons it's just this one happens to be bad as it prioritizes lore over gameplay.

Pirate and luddic ships also represent "questionable" modifications, but implemented in a way that's not useless to the player.

Lion's Guard ships should have at least somewhat different mounts so that they aren't just strictly worse variants of their base versions. More hybrid or energy mounts maybe.
Yup agreed. So far they are just dull downgrades.
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vok3

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Re: Sindrian Diktat Changes
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2022, 02:26:56 PM »

Repetitively explaining to a nine-to-one negative audience reaction why said reaction is wrong, and when they find that unconvincing, to just EXPLAIN HARDER, has never gotten anyone anywhere.

The narrative explanation is "passable" in the sense that he clearly believes what he's saying.  Regardless of the lack of verisimilitude or accuracy with respect to any number of historical or recent examples.  Autocratic regimes may have good militaries or bad militaries, but you will never find an example of an autocratic regime where the elite forces are worse equipped and less competent than the regular grunts.  Because the first priority of autocracies is security, including security against internal coups d'etats, and that means force, and that means the elites that are most directly loyal to the leader have to be more capable (and better rewarded) than anybody else in the autocracy.  No amount of charismatic self-delusion can make up for that, and any autocracy that tries such a path doesn't last long at all.

It's absolutely remarkable that he is so dead set on doing something so clumsy and wrong.

It's not even that the "charismatic leader with little military knowledge" is a bad model.  It's a perfectly accurate model.  It just can not possibly be remotely applicable to the circumstances as set up here; it doesn't work.  A charismatic leader with less military talent than he believes would not been able to get into that situation in the first place; having gotten into it, his regime would not have the visible characteristics that Sindria has.

All of that before getting into the overall characterization of the man and the government, and why Clownshoes Fascist is suddenly imposed as the Only True Interpretation.  I'd always seen it as a Space Napoleon situation - competent military man put into an impossible situation by his superiors' bureaucratic maneuvers says "to hell with this", cuts the Gordian knot, and finds himself riding a tiger of subsequent events.  You could take that any direction, entirely depending on player inclination.  But apparently shades of gray aren't allowed.

"Should be vanilla" is something that gets said about any number of mods, but I can guarantee you, any mod that fixes this will be installed before I do anything with this update.  (Won't fix any narrative clownshoes-ing of course.  But that's secondary; the narrative is new once, the gameplay is what keeps me coming back.)
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Null Ganymede

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Re: Sindrian Diktat Changes
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2022, 06:09:49 PM »

I think the tone of the post might've been a bit too on the nose. It reads like smug propaganda rather than a cold blooded technical assessment of how tinpot petro-dictatorships typically roll. The Hegemony has a slight tendency to huff its own farts in the name of solidarity and reclaiming the Domain's legacy - but they're a massive military bureaucracy first and foremost, there's no shortage of stone faced analysts seriously examining enemy weaponry with no trace of factional bias.

That said the conclusions are hilariously on point. Pretty paint for the parades! Shiny weapons for firing range demonstrations! Surprisingly little actual bottom-up initiative, despite the leader's founding myth and personal history, because military coups are cyclic and the Hegemony's spies and saboteurs are everywhere. Everywhere.

overall characterization of the man and the government, and why Clownshoes Fascist is suddenly imposed as the Only True Interpretation.  I'd always seen it as a Space Napoleon situation - competent military man put into an impossible situation by his superiors' bureaucratic maneuvers says "to hell with this", cuts the Gordian knot, and finds himself riding a tiger of subsequent events.  You could take that any direction, entirely depending on player inclination.  But apparently shades of gray aren't allowed.
If the Great Man theory of history appeals to you, you need to internalize that dictatorships are successful despite the rot. The rot is unavoidable.

Yes the secret weapons program is Tri-Tach dumping their bad ideas to spite the Hegemony. Yes the upper ranks are full of yes men while the middle ranks are watched closely for undue foreign influence. ("What? Refit our cruisers for SO assault to exploit our secret weapon's kinetic E-slot advantage? Have you been reading the drivel out of Pather pamphlets?!")

None of that matters. Sindria is an ideal and a myth and it's holding strong with Andrada's white knuckle grip on the controls.

Even noticing the clouds on the horizon, even thinking about succession and long-term stability, that puts you in danger. True adherents focus on the upsides and don't fret about potential downsides. They have faith in the people's will to follow their leader's glorious vision.

If you see shades of gray you've already lost sight of that glorious vision and I pity you.
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