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Author Topic: Derelict Contingent/Wolfpack Punished by Ship Limit  (Read 457 times)

Falcor

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Derelict Contingent/Wolfpack Punished by Ship Limit
« on: May 16, 2022, 09:23:14 AM »

I have some feedback to offer about my two favorite player skills that feel as if they're being hamstrung by other aspects of the game's design. I humbly request that more consideration be given to Derelict Contingent and Wolfpack players. I am not a big fan of mods (except Adjusted Sector) and am concerned that I may be violating gameplay balance in a way that I do not understand by modding out the 30 ship limit. If there is a justification for the ship limit, I would be happy to hear it.

I found that I most enjoy playing as terrorist pirates like Saw Gerrera's rebel alliance cell and the OPA's Free Navy (I love free ports). I use fast cruisers, wolfpack tactics, and carrier spam to the extent that the actual fighter skills are useless. It feels so powerful even in the late game that I would call capital ships obsolete if not for the 30 ship limit. This limit is is the only design decision that Alex has made that I cannot figure out. It makes no sense to me in universe or out; real admirals can direct dozens of ships in a single battlegroup and it feels terrible as a frigate enjoyer to be pigeonholed into using larger ships. Ship descriptions even allude to the Domain shifting away from the decisive battle doctrine to the cruiser school/carrier support doctrines just like contemporary navies. I would like to do this myself, but cannot while respecting the 30 ship limit. The Atlas and Prometheus especially defy every aspect of my personal doctrine by having large sensor signatures, lacking shielded cargo holds, being unable to escape or defend themselves, and requiring an inefficient mix of either S-mods, Bulk Transport, or Navigation to use realistically on the campaign map. I dislike these ships and resent that vanilla players have no choice but to use them.

TL;DR My quantity-over-quality playstyle is severely punished by gameplay limitations that I do not understand. I will accept these unfortunate circumstances and admit that I failed to respect the game's design philosophy if the following questions can be answered:

1) Why is there a 30 ship limit? In terms of lore and gameplay.
2) Why must ships produced at my colonies be produced without D-mods? I want D-mods. My own system defense fleets build ships with D-mods. Why does my ship quality being set to 0% not affect this? Deliberately blowing up my own ships is not fun, especially when I pull Erratic Fuel-Injector or Damaged Flight Deck. I can buy D-modded ships on the open market at my colonies, but tragically dont have room for commerce on my primary orbital works world.
3) The Derelict Contingent description claims to affect "all ships" but does not seem to reduce my system defense fleet deployment costs when I fight alongside them. Is this a bug? Or am I misunderstanding the distinction between "fleet" and "all ships"?

I appreciate anyone who takes the time to read this or offer insight. If answers for these questions already exist somewhere, I failed to find them.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2022, 09:33:44 AM by Falcor »
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Hatter

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Re: Derelict Contingent/Wolfpack Punished by Ship Limit
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2022, 09:47:34 AM »

I forget the rationale behind 1), but:

2) Custom production always uses the highest quality available, regardless of doctrine.
3) It only effects all the ships in your fleet, not applying to other fleets. System defense fleets do not benefit from any of your skills.

If you feel so inclined you can change the max ships in fleet by messing around with settings.txt.
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Falcor

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Re: Derelict Contingent/Wolfpack Punished by Ship Limit
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2022, 09:56:13 AM »

I appreciate the response. I already use Leadership by DP to remove the 30 ship limit and it feels very powerful. I am specifically seeking the rationale behind Alex's original design. His lore and game design seem to conflict. Ship descriptions of cruiser school/carrier support doctrines becoming popular just before the collapse inspired me to try (and now prefer) cruiser/carrier/frigate fleets but the ship limit prevents them from reaching their full potential.

It is my opinion that capital ship spam should not be the only answer to [REDACTED] and major faction expedition fleets.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2022, 09:58:08 AM by Falcor »
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SapphireSage

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Re: Derelict Contingent/Wolfpack Punished by Ship Limit
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2022, 09:58:37 AM »

I'm not sure about number one so I'll leave to someone that remembers why Alex swapped over from exponential costs soft limit to the set number hard limit. It might have been due to the fact that Colonies can be exploited to support an extremely large fleet due to sheer amount of supplies and fuel you can produce?

2) Ships that are custom ordered are always at the highest quality producible for the faction. If you want to start with D-modded ships from the get go then you'll want to go Luddic and make sure your colonies only have Heavy Industry, not Orbital Works, and you'll want to avoid using any Nano-Forges. You'll also want to avoid any modded additions that improves the qualities of your ships as well (Such as building a H. Industry on a Unknown Skies planet with the "Military Base" modifier). IIRC, if you have A Pristine Forge attached to an Orbital Works then your faction will rarely get 1 D-mod ships even if you have Ship quality set to 1. Which means all custom orders will typically have zero D-mods.

3) It can be confusing but any skill that says fleet or all ships applies strictly to your fleet. The only skill that applies outside of it AFAIK is Industrial planning in Industry's tier 4 which specifically notes its for colonies you control or are admin of. Think of it as a bonus that applies because you are commander of your fleet, wherein your other fleet's commanders do not have that skill and therefore deploy D-modded ships at full cost.

For ship limit, I've typically been changing the limit in the settings.json for me and AI to 50 which has very rarely been hit even in my full frigate runs.
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Falcor

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Re: Derelict Contingent/Wolfpack Punished by Ship Limit
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2022, 10:06:00 AM »

I'm not sure about number one so I'll leave to someone that remembers why Alex swapped over from exponential costs soft limit to the set number hard limit. It might have been due to the fact that Colonies can be exploited to support an extremely large fleet due to sheer amount of supplies and fuel you can produce?

2) Ships that are custom ordered are always at the highest quality producible for the faction. If you want to start with D-modded ships from the get go then you'll want to go Luddic and make sure your colonies only have Heavy Industry, not Orbital Works, and you'll want to avoid using any Nano-Forges. You'll also want to avoid any modded additions that improves the qualities of your ships as well (Such as building a H. Industry on a Unknown Skies planet with the "Military Base" modifier). IIRC, if you have A Pristine Forge attached to an Orbital Works then your faction will rarely get 1 D-mod ships even if you have Ship quality set to 1. Which means all custom orders will typically have zero D-mods.

3) It can be confusing but any skill that says fleet or all ships applies strictly to your fleet. The only skill that applies outside of it AFAIK is Industrial planning in Industry's tier 4 which specifically notes its for colonies you control or are admin of. Think of it as a bonus that applies because you are commander of your fleet, wherein your other fleet's commanders do not have that skill and therefore deploy D-modded ships at full cost.

For ship limit, I've typically been changing the limit in the settings.json for me and AI to 50 which has very rarely been hit even in my full frigate runs.

Thank you, I like these workarounds and already usually end up playing a crypto-Luddite anyways for these reasons. I am just too greedy to pass up the production bonuses from the corrupted nanoforges that I've found. I'd like to be able to be a hypocritical Luddite terrorist and still use AI/nanoforges while producing derelict ships. This could reflect my engineers being idiot pirates or my character's ridiculous frugality. Alternatively, I will just keep salvaging my ships which is still fun in its own right. I am concerned that I will not be able to replace my ships fast enough if I ever get bored and start a total war, though. Playing on iron man makes me want to hedge every bet before I risk my colonies. I haven't even installed any AI cores yet for the same reasons.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2022, 02:46:17 PM by Falcor »
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Hatter

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Re: Derelict Contingent/Wolfpack Punished by Ship Limit
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2022, 10:09:10 AM »

Found Alex's commentary on 1)
... Actually, the most meaningful was that it just was too much work to outfit so many ships. ...

It feels as if it was a solution looking for a problem.

That's basically what it's there for, to more or less gently tell the player not to do that. That's *all* it's there for; it's not meant to be a limit on player power. And it's really not. I mean, if the limit was 5 ships or some such, then it would be, but it's set high enough that it's not a meaningful limitation in terms of power. And in the next release, you'll be able to recover ships without issue when at or near the limit (and go over the limit, for a large supply cost increase), so that's the main point of friction removed.


An important thing to note is that with the skill revamp, a lot of the fleetwide skill effects drop off when you have more than a certain number of deployment points for a certain type of ship (that's affected by the effect). The number and the type of ship that matters varies for different skills.

The question is, will this be enough to mimic a deployment points-based fleet size limit, without the added complication of actually having one?

The main point of conflict with that, imo, is if you needed to bring a bunch of combat ships just for "weight" to get more deployment points onto the battlefield. In which case, losing the fleetwide skill bonuses might be worth getting 50% more deployment; that'd be a problem. On the other hand, enemy fleets now have more quality and less quantity, so you both don't need as much paper "strength" to get a decent deployment, and would be at more of a disadvantage facing a higher-quality enemy fleet if you did get that strength at the expense of quality.

Hmm. If needed, one solution might be to, say, only count ships with officers for "fleet strength" as far as deployment points go. That'd remove the incentive to stack a bunch of ships you don't intend to use. I kind of want to see where it ends up first, though. In any case, adding a more mechanically complex fleet size limit seems premature, when there are mechanics that could very well produce the same results anyway.
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Falcor

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Re: Derelict Contingent/Wolfpack Punished by Ship Limit
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2022, 10:22:42 AM »

Found Alex's commentary on 1)

Beautiful, exactly what I was looking for. This community is great.

Hopefully we see a more complicated solution anyways, though. I like Leadership by DP a lot and kind of disagree with Alex where he says it isn't a meaningful limitation because it absolutely is now. This quote looks to be from before Derelict Contingent was implemented in current form, however, so may have been true at the time. It's a lot harder to go over 30 ships without Support Doctrine and Derelict Contingent. I also deliberately never use Militarized Subsystems to maximize the value of my 240 point bonuses. My Venture cruiser design with an Insulated Engine Assembly is still somewhat deadly despite this. Using civilian ships like this and Buffalos with Converted Flight Decks are part of being a committed terrorist, after all.

I see the non-reduced fuel costs as limitation enough on these kind of fleets. Seriously, it gets ridiculous even without capital ships.
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Nimiety

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Re: Derelict Contingent/Wolfpack Punished by Ship Limit
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2022, 11:14:45 AM »

If you son't mind other mods, I think its industrial expansion that lets you use scrapyards to build ships at the expense of global ship quality, and has a 'hard deadlines' edict that further decreases quality both for the benefit of increased output.
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Falcor

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Re: Derelict Contingent/Wolfpack Punished by Ship Limit
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2022, 02:44:12 PM »

If you son't mind other mods, I think its industrial expansion that lets you use scrapyards to build ships at the expense of global ship quality, and has a 'hard deadlines' edict that further decreases quality both for the benefit of increased output.

I am definitely open to trying more varied mods, especially when I run low on vanilla content. That said, the devs have almost perfected the recipe. I will probably become a vanilla purist again once they finish the main storyline, add more side quests, and finish uniquifying the factions.
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