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News:

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

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Author Topic: About the new "Lion's Guard" ships teased in "Uniquifying the Factions, Part 2"  (Read 2413 times)

Igncom1

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I can assure you, hyper-competent does not describe me!

Even without colonies we are autocratic admirals that trade in peoples lives for money. Privateers at very, very best.
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Sunders are the best ship in the game.

Alex

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I'm a bit disappointed that the forums bit Alex quite harshly for what, in the end, will probably be a relatively minor aspect of the game that most players won't even use themselves, and will probably influence Alex's decision-making in the future - in fact, it's already made Alex less-forthcoming in sharing his ideas. I'm also a bit disappointed that Alex bent to it instead of sticking to his guns like he has with other design decisions. In any case, something as small as this won't stop me from enjoying the game.

FWIW, I was concerned that'd "me bending to it" would be a possible interpretation of the changes, but it seemed worthwhile to make them for other reasons - namely, just the coolness of the sprites, and them seeing a little more action - so I went with it anyway.

I don't think the reaction "bit" me - if anything, my main emotion from seeing it is... amusement? Perhaps mixed in with a little exasperation. I think it's ironic that there's a fairly common reaction of "making Andrada a clown is shallow" that's *actually* a reaction to one's own interpretation of the post - probably driven by a certain level of naivete (or just a lack of deeper consideration) in assuming that any of this stuff needs the person in charge to be clownishly incompetent. I think some of the reaction is also driven by the somewhat tongue-in-cheek tone of the blog post, though, so I've also got to take some responsibility for that.

But anyway, going off on a tangent here. The main point is I felt zero pressure to change it from that aspect of it (if anything, negative pressure, to avoid it looking like changes were made because of it), but alongside all that stuff there were also some good points.

More on-topic, the LG ships are still generally speaking worse than baseline, though not by a lot (which I mean they never were), but now they have a bit of sidegrade potential for some possible niche uses (a ballistic slot converted to hybrid here, a built-in hullmod there).


... led by political officers rather than career captains ...

That's very much the case, yeah. The officer quality in the LG is now low.

I guess, but the Diktat leadership wouldn't be so stupid as to cut them slack on training, right? :D ...Right? :^

What would be more stupid - having a cadre of less skilled but absolutely reliable officers form what's essentially your personal guard and a nucleus around which your other, less reliable forces might rally in the event of an attempted coup, or having more qualified officers in these positions - in a fleet that's not intended to see much combat, anyway! - whose loyalties are less certain?

The big thing to remember here, also, is that we're seeing behind the curtain in terms of the LG ships being "worse". In-universe, they look impressive (and I bet the uniforms are pretty sharp too), and their performance is fine.

Andrada's special modifications are such that it makes *sense* that they would reduce crew casualties. In any given engagement, it would be easy to point to multiple cases where they saved lives. The increased losses would be harder to attribute to a specific cause - e.g. a medical team got there a bit too late, that sort of thing - and conclusively showing their net effect would require a statistical analysis of casualties in a large number of battles. Which, even if the LG took enough casualties on a regular basis to make this possible, no-one with any sense of self-preservation would undertake.

So as far as most people know in-universe, they do reduce casualties. The people that have doubts can't really prove it and have incentives to keep their mouths shut. And in the meantime, these common-sense modifications serve as a visible demonstration of how much Andrada cares for the common sailor in the Lion's Guard, further reinforcing its loyalty.

(An interesting question is whether Andrada himself is aware that the modifications would actually increase net casualties. I think that's something that could go either way; even if it he did there are good reasons to make them.)

Have to drive home the point about dictatorships being bad and inefficient. How else would you know that if an indie space sim didn't teach you?

Given the reactions from people in pages and pages of comments... I think that most people don't know or willfully disbelieve the mountains of evidence.

(Right? I have to admit I didn't think this was a particularly deep or controversial point, but here we are.)
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Igncom1

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Have to drive home the point about dictatorships being bad and inefficient. How else would you know that if an indie space sim didn't teach you?

Given the reactions from people in pages and pages of comments... I think that most people don't know or willfully disbelieve the mountains of evidence.

(Right? I have to admit I didn't think this was a particularly deep or controversial point, but here we are.)

I'm glad at least you are talking about this as I felt like I'd be breaking to rules to discuss such.... potentially off topic political things like that.

The rhetorical sarcastic arguments made against presenting a bad thing as a bad thing seems like a common and growing occurrence these days. Making too many morally grey characters almost seems to lead to creating bad characters that are almost justified in their badness, even to the point that people end up actually agreeing with the bad character.

"Ends justifies the means." and so forth is a topic I've seen across a lot of dystopian or bleak science fiction that had a little too many people siding with the bad guys, genuinely. And then reacting negatively when its pointed out, that it is in fact bad.

 :-\
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Sunders are the best ship in the game.

Alex_P

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If for some reason you later decide the crew thing doesn't work out, or isn't impactful enough, consider:
• something like a CR recovery rate reduction — their combat capability is focused on "how to defeat a flash insurrection" rather than fighting a protracted series of battles
• something like a supply/fuel capacity reduction — these ships spend a lot of time orbiting around their home bases or patrolling the inner system, they're not really used for force projection elsewhere
(I'm fine with the crew thing, too.)
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BigBrainEnergy

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If I had any impression of the SD given how little I engage with the lore, it would be something along the lines of a highly competent and charismatic military officer broke off to form his own authoritarian state. Rather than it sucking because its leadership is inefficient, it sucks to live there for the opposite reason: how skilled Andrada is at forcing his vision of an ideal society onto the planets he controls. He's the last person you would want to give power, but he's damn good at getting it (which may well still be true).

The new lore doesn't bother me because I don't really care about why the dictatorship sucks - by default I assume it would. The specifics of how that's portrayed is at the author's discretion.

My initial assumption about special modifications was it might reduce crew casualties by 10% (something the player wouldn't care about) while also reducing flux stats by 10% (something the player definitely cares about). I mean, reduced crew casualties won't matter if the whole ship blows up. I do like the idea of the LG ships having slightly different mounts, kind of like how the pirate shrike is "worse" but it gets a ballistic mount so people still use it. You could even do some weird stuff like downgrading the hybrid turrets on the hammerhead to ballistic, which would not quite be a straight downgrade because now you can use ballistic rangefinder on it.
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TL;DR deez nuts

Amazigh

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but now they have a bit of sidegrade potential for some possible niche uses (a ballistic slot converted to hybrid here, a built-in hullmod there).
I like the sound of this, could open up some very interesting build options depending on what mounts get altered on what ships.
I will look forward to seeing the changes when the update drops.
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SafariJohn

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Andrada's special modifications are such that it makes *sense* that they would reduce crew casualties. In any given engagement, it would be easy to point to multiple cases where they saved lives. The increased losses would be harder to attribute to a specific cause - e.g. a medical team got there a bit too late, that sort of thing - and conclusively showing their net effect would require a statistical analysis of casualties in a large number of battles. Which, even if the LG took enough casualties on a regular basis to make this possible, no-one with any sense of self-preservation would undertake.

So as far as most people know in-universe, they do reduce casualties. The people that have doubts can't really prove it and have incentives to keep their mouths shut. And in the meantime, these common-sense modifications serve as a visible demonstration of how much Andrada cares for the common sailor in the Lion's Guard, further reinforcing its loyalty.

If the effects are not known in-universe maybe you should have the hullmod lie and say it reduces crew casualties. Then have some sidequest or encounter with the historian that reveals the truth and fixes the hullmod's tooltip.

I'd still rather see it reduce crew casualties and have more important negative effects. Not being removable could be linked to the other modifications made to the ships like mount changes.
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BigBeans

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Have to drive home the point about dictatorships being bad and inefficient. How else would you know that if an indie space sim didn't teach you?

I mean they are??? Theres literally an ongoing high profile real life example if you need one lmao.
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Alex

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If the effects are not known in-universe maybe you should have the hullmod lie and say it reduces crew casualties. Then have some sidequest or encounter with the historian that reveals the truth and fixes the hullmod's tooltip.

(Hmm! Side note - was toying with the idea of having this show up as an s-mod instead of a d-mod if the player had a Diktat commission, but the logistical challenges of making that work were a bit much for something that'd mostly be there for a laugh.)
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Amoebka

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something that'd mostly be there for a laugh
Players like me are irrationally repulsed by ugly d-mod stripes on ships, I would welcome it being displayed in neutral/s-mod color instead (even without the commission). Is it still restorable at least?
Mount changes are about what I hoped for. Assuming hullmods are something impactful, and not blast doors, those are great too.
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Alex

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It's restorable, yeah!
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CrashToDesktop

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But anyway, going off on a tangent here. The main point is I felt zero pressure to change it from that aspect of it (if anything, negative pressure, to avoid it looking like changes were made because of it), but alongside all that stuff there were also some good points.

More on-topic, the LG ships are still generally speaking worse than baseline, though not by a lot (which I mean they never were), but now they have a bit of sidegrade potential for some possible niche uses (a ballistic slot converted to hybrid here, a built-in hullmod there).
Good to hear on both points. Whatever happens, I'm sure it'll be good.
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Note: please sacrifice your goats responsibly, look up the proper pronunciation of Alex's name. We wouldn't want some other project receiving mystic power.

Vanshilar

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More on-topic, the LG ships are still generally speaking worse than baseline, though not by a lot (which I mean they never were), but now they have a bit of sidegrade potential for some possible niche uses (a ballistic slot converted to hybrid here, a built-in hullmod there).

There are probably a lot of avenues for sidegrade potential that haven't really been explored. For example, how about a hullmod that makes non-beam energy weapons do say 100% more damage, but also cut their fire rate in half, thus preserving their overall DPS but resulting in fewer, more damaging (higher hit strength) shots? Maybe also make the projectile speed 80% of normal or something (slow them down somewhat) so that their overall DPS considering hit strength and hit chance stays roughly the same. This would fit in with certain megalomaniacs' desire for big guns (Schwerer Gustav, Iraq's Project Babylon, etc.) and big explosions from them, yet give an interesting option for players to fight against and for players to possibly use. Essentially giving energy projectile weapons the Heavy Mauler treatment.
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itBeABruhMoment

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Higher damage per shot weapons with no impact on dps would be a direct upgrade considering how armour damage is calculated.
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Vanshilar

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Higher damage per shot weapons with no impact on dps would be a direct upgrade considering how armour damage is calculated.

Exactly, hence why a projectile speed decrease, so that on average they'd miss more often, evening out the overall damage. I could have just said with a much lower rate of fire (so that the on-paper DPS is decreased), but I think slower projectile to reduce the weapon's DPS is more interesting. Gives more of an intimidating feel to those weapons, i.e. big, lumbering projectiles.

I may also have been having too much fun with the Rift Torpedo Launcher. And the Cobra.
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