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

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Author Topic: Militarized sub system needs a rework.  (Read 1166 times)

Schwartz

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Re: Militarized sub system needs a rework.
« Reply #30 on: November 24, 2022, 07:22:50 AM »

You can get around this by using Aug Drive Field and Insulated Engine instead. There's also the Survey hullmod and Efficiency Overhaul. More Logistics hullmods than you can fit, so Militarized Subsystems are a choice, not a requirement. The only thing you can't fix 100% is the sensor stats, Insulated Engine only accounts for half of it. I can see why it's a bother to have these cut into DP, but it makes sense why it's like this.

On the flipside, does Venture without Militarized hullmod count toward skill DP limits? Because that's actually a competent combat ship. By current logic, it should not.

I agree that this should be more concise, but a solution is not immediately obvious. Making a crowbar separation between combat-capable and fully logistics ships is not so easy (Tarsus? Prometheus?). Maybe skills working with DP should just account for the whole fleet and then be scaled up a bit. Since there's seldom fleets without any logistics ships.
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Hiruma Kai

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Re: Militarized sub system needs a rework.
« Reply #31 on: November 24, 2022, 07:58:32 AM »

One thing I feel needs to be pointed out in this thread is that Militarized Subsystems may act as a noob trap. I might be the only idiot, but in my early runs I used to pick it for the Burn increase and the Sensor buffs, not realizing that I made civilian ships eat into my fleetwide buffs with their DP despite never using them in combat. Doesn't help that Insulated Engine Assembly seems strictly inferior at first glance.

I never really found a good use for Militarized Subsystems in my later runs. True civilian ships plain suck at combat and putting the hullmod on rogue faction rebuilds isn't worth it. The idea of a Daud wannabe scraping up a fleet where auxiliaries play combat support doesn't currently translate into the gameplay in any good way.

Militarized Subsystems only eats into fleetwide buffs if you're already running a 240 DP worth of combat ships, though.  It is a perfectly reasonable early game choice, especially when ADF is not available yet.  If you only need +1 burn on the ship, do not have Bulk Transport, and your fleet is under 240 DP, then Militarized Subsystems is the optimal choice compared to ADF.  Like adding a Buffalo to a destroyer led fleet, or a Dram to a frigate fleet.

You just need to realize when the costs do start becoming meaningful to you, which might not be at 242 DP of combat ships say, since that level of slight reduction in bonuses is not noticeable in a play experience sense.  You can see it on the info card but actually being able to tell the difference between a 99% and 100% CR ship based purely on their performance in Detailed Combat Reports is probably impossible given the typical wide variation due to AI decision making.

It's the same with Bulk Transport for some builds which don't go down industry, but plan to spend a story point to respec down the line because you want tier 5 combat, leadership and tech.  At which point, how many credits are you actually saving over the duration of the time you have Bulk Transport, and is it worth a story point to you?  Some might answer yes, and others might answer no.  An extra Dram or Hound over the course of an in game year is what, 10,000-15,000 credits?  That sounds like the kind of credits one has to spend to make up for the Bulk Transport difference early game to me.  Maybe 100,000-200,000 total over the time you have Bulk Transport before respecing?  Is a story point worth 200,000 credits?  Early game maybe, late game not at all, at least for me.

Well why would I bother myself with civilian hogs when I can achieve a similar result with customized non-civilian logistics ships, except also getting a passable combat backup?

Again, it's an early game situation where you perhaps simply don't have the option.  Although as far as I know, there are no good non-civilian tankers other than the Revenant, and it's pure RNG if you find one while still in the frigate/destroyer stage of the game.

Especially in a world where phase ships exist? If you never get into combat, then sure Militarized Subsystems don't have downsides. But I have two problems with this: First, do you really want to avoid one of the most fun features of this game just to optimize your overworld gameplay? Second, isn't it quite a flavor mismatch when Daud's feat is being shoved into the player's face every other turn of a corner, yet a playstyle emulating it is unfun and suboptimal in practice?

I mean, I doubt many experienced players would like it, but one way to make Militarized Subsystems clearly more useful to more players to is to prevent the ability to skip the limited selection of ships and hullmods phase of the game.  I believe in the current game there are many players who simply do some black market trading to build up a pile of credits to buy a perfect fleet, or at least the starting core of one, and then proceed into actually playing other phases of the game, such as combat or exploration.

One way to change that, is to make civilian ships, and civilian adjacent ships (combat freighters such as the Hound, Cereberus, and Mule) be the only ones that can be purchased off the open market, and also the only ones that can be purchased off the black market without high pirate relationship (similar to how military markets restrict combat ship purchases based on relationship).  Similarly, lock all new hullmods behind faction markets (and skill picks, which then makes the various skills which provide hullmods much more important).  This then requires the player to do something more than trade to build up credits.  They need higher relationships with factions, to gain access to better ships.  This interesting has a side effect of making black market trading more painful (due to the negative relationship that happens from it), as faction relationship becomes critical to being able to outfit a fleet as you want.

Alternatively, entering combat with inferior (dare I say militarized?) ships becomes more attractive, as it becomes a direct shortcut to specialized combat ships via salvage.  Similarly, colonies and exploration becomes a third option to bypass high faction standing, although on a longer timescale.  Hitting up bars becomes more important as coming across a surplus combat ship being sold via contact is rare and valuable opportunity.

Which means potentially risking combat in sub-optimal ships in order to build up that relationship, or at best, frigates purchased off the lowest tier of faction military markets.  Alternatively, by going directly to combat with sub-optimal ships, salvaging becomes much more important as it becomes a short cut to specialized combat ships without the reputational needs.

In such a drastic change, I'd make the faction military markets even better stocked, so that once you've unlocked the reputational tier needed, it becomes relatively trivial to get the faction related ships and hullmods you want, and probably weapons as well.  And on the other hand, you wouldn't see combat ships in the other markets at all, except for high pirate relationship in the black market.  Pirate relationship becomes your "street cred" in that case.

Unless the game changes such that people are forced to play through the early phases of the game like they play through the end phases of the game, Militarized Subsystems is always going to be considered underpowered by the players skipping that phase.  The entire concept of it is incompatible with perfect end game fleets, simply because it is a "make do with what you have" hullmod.  If you're never just "making do" with a limited selection of options, the hullmod is never going to look appealing or make sense to you.  I'm not sure if such a drastic change would be overall better or worse for the game as whole, but that's what you're going to need to do if you want to see anything along the lines of militarized subsystems be useful to the majority of players.

On the flipside, does Venture without Militarized hullmod count toward skill DP limits? Because that's actually a competent combat ship. By current logic, it should not.

Venture without militarized subsystems neither benefits from nor counts against skills with combat ship limits.
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smithney

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Re: Militarized sub system needs a rework.
« Reply #32 on: November 27, 2022, 04:56:32 AM »

One way to change that, is to make civilian ships, and civilian adjacent ships (combat freighters such as the Hound, Cereberus, and Mule) be the only ones that can be purchased off the open market, and also the only ones that can be purchased off the black market without high pirate relationship (similar to how military markets restrict combat ship purchases based on relationship).  Similarly, lock all new hullmods behind faction markets (and skill picks, which then makes the various skills which provide hullmods much more important).  This then requires the player to do something more than trade to build up credits.  They need higher relationships with factions, to gain access to better ships.  This interesting has a side effect of making black market trading more painful (due to the negative relationship that happens from it), as faction relationship becomes critical to being able to outfit a fleet as you want.

In such a drastic change, I'd make the faction military markets even better stocked, so that once you've unlocked the reputational tier needed, it becomes relatively trivial to get the faction related ships and hullmods you want, and probably weapons as well.  And on the other hand, you wouldn't see combat ships in the other markets at all, except for high pirate relationship in the black market.  Pirate relationship becomes your "street cred" in that case.
Here's a thought I can get behind. I do agree that acquiring decent ships doesn't really need much of any commitment at this point. I don't think making ships above destroyer size hard to get would make the game much more difficult for a new player. It's compounded by the fact that having good relationships with all standard factions tends to play more optimally than taking a side, at least in my experience. I'd say that what you suggested would help with getting the player more involved in faction politics. Anyway you're onto something that Militarized Subsystems feeling bad is more of a symptom of make-do measures being quickly suboptimal. Does it therefore make sense to try to make Militarized Subsystems feel better? On the other hand, does it make sense for the hullmod to exist if its niche can disappear so quickly?

Unless the game changes such that people are forced to play through the early phases of the game like they play through the end phases of the game, Militarized Subsystems is always going to be considered underpowered by the players skipping that phase. The entire concept of it is incompatible with perfect end game fleets, simply because it is a "make do with what you have" hullmod.  If you're never just "making do" with a limited selection of options, the hullmod is never going to look appealing or make sense to you.  I'm not sure if such a drastic change would be overall better or worse for the game as whole, but that's what you're going to need to do if you want to see anything along the lines of militarized subsystems be useful to the majority of players.
There were attempts at making "trash" viable with stuff like Derelict Contingent and Auxiliary Support and indeed, I don't recall any of these catching on. If playstyles like these are ever to become viable, there has to be a niche at which they outperform the "optimal" stuff. In the end, there's probably no good reason to make these a thing post early game. At the same time, I don't think it's necessary to force experienced players into early game if they feel like skipping it. Afaik most wouldn't want to anyway because it's their favorite part of the game. Regarding early game, I'd agree that it's good to have options like Militarized Subsystems exist, I just probably got blinded by being accustomed to the game.
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BCS

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Re: Militarized sub system needs a rework.
« Reply #33 on: November 27, 2022, 08:18:37 AM »

I mean, I doubt many experienced players would like it, but one way to make Militarized Subsystems clearly more useful to more players to is to prevent the ability to skip the limited selection of ships and hullmods phase of the game.  I believe in the current game there are many players who simply do some black market trading to build up a pile of credits to buy a perfect fleet, or at least the starting core of one, and then proceed into actually playing other phases of the game, such as combat or exploration. (...)

That sounds great, and I say that as someone who abuses the hell out of black market trading and basically skips the entire early/mid-game.
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Hiruma Kai

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Re: Militarized sub system needs a rework.
« Reply #34 on: November 27, 2022, 04:39:31 PM »

I suppose it should be possible to put a mod together that alters the base tiers for all vanilla hullmods and ships such that they get the high end military ship treatment.  Not immediately sure how to get military markets to have everything on their faction known list in stock all the time, but I'm guessing there's got to be a hook in the monthly market refresh code.  Black market might be harder to tackle, but presumably overridable.  I might mess around with it to see how it easy it is to have essentially a reputation + commission lock for the vast majority of ships.
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Serenitis

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Re: Militarized sub system needs a rework.
« Reply #35 on: November 28, 2022, 01:28:56 AM »

I might mess around with it to see how it easy it is to have essentially a reputation + commission lock for the vast majority of ships.
Doesn't Starpocalypse do this?
Might be worth digging around in there for inspiration.
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Hiruma Kai

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Re: Militarized sub system needs a rework.
« Reply #36 on: November 28, 2022, 06:54:50 AM »

I might mess around with it to see how it easy it is to have essentially a reputation + commission lock for the vast majority of ships.
Doesn't Starpocalypse do this?
Might be worth digging around in there for inspiration.

Thanks for the pointer.  I'll check Starpocalypse out, and check out the configuration options on it.  From the sounds of it, it does exactly what we've described here, make the early game last longer by making it harder to get good ships, along with some other stuff, but the description sounds like some of that can be configured.
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Lortus

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Re: Militarized sub system needs a rework.
« Reply #37 on: November 28, 2022, 08:16:47 AM »

Quote
I mean, I doubt many experienced players would like it, but one way to make Militarized Subsystems clearly more useful to more players to is to prevent the ability to skip the limited selection of ships and hullmods phase of the game.  I believe in the current game there are many players who simply do some black market trading to build up a pile of credits to buy a perfect fleet, or at least the starting core of one, and then proceed into actually playing other phases of the game, such as combat or exploration.

I do the ignore early game build up fleet thing myself and it sounds like it could be interesting for a bit, but I would probably just find some way around it. I think it could be interesting though to make the standard method for acquiring good ships be something other than credits. Missions that reward you with a ship instead of credits for instance. I also don't think grinding rep is fun by any stretch of the imagination.

Quote
There were attempts at making "trash" viable with stuff like Derelict Contingent and Auxiliary Support and indeed, I don't recall any of these catching on. If playstyles like these are ever to become viable, there has to be a niche at which they outperform the "optimal" stuff. In the end, there's probably no good reason to make these a thing post early game. At the same time, I don't think it's necessary to force experienced players into early game if they feel like skipping it. Afaik most wouldn't want to anyway because it's their favorite part of the game. Regarding early game, I'd agree that it's good to have options like Militarized Subsystems exist, I just probably got blinded by being accustomed to the game.

Well as long as Automated Ships remains a skill you can take, no other strategy but High Tech + Auto Ships will ever be viable (unless there is some insane buff to other ship styles). However, trash ships with the dmod skills have been pretty viable?

DC was insanely broken and actually made low tech somewhat good, although the patch changed before I could really take it to it's limit.

DO is arguably even better, because although it isn't as strong, it's a lot more applicable. It's even part of the now best fleet comp you can build where you use DO to abuse Automated Ships even more. If you don't count this because Remnant ship abuse DO is still pretty up there in viability.
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Hiruma Kai

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Re: Militarized sub system needs a rework.
« Reply #38 on: November 28, 2022, 09:31:06 AM »

I do the ignore early game build up fleet thing myself and it sounds like it could be interesting for a bit, but I would probably just find some way around it. I think it could be interesting though to make the standard method for acquiring good ships be something other than credits. Missions that reward you with a ship instead of credits for instance. I also don't think grinding rep is fun by any stretch of the imagination.

As I said, I'm not sure such a drastic change would be the way to go or not, which is why I'd like to try out the experience with a mod.  New players are likely spend more time at this earlier stage where militarized subsystems make sense than veteran players, so perhaps no change is needed.  It might not be a new player trap, but rather a new player tool that players eventually grow out of needing much as they spend less time in the early stages.  There are some situations early game where it is optimal, and not everything in a game needs to be focused on end game.

I'll also point out people like different things.  Some might like early game reputation grind with smaller and rapidly changing fleets.  Some might like the late game Ordo grind and building up piles of alpha cores and credits with an optimized fleet for the job.  It's all just numbers going up on the campaign layer, the question is do you like the gameplay along the way.  I would tend to think the variety in interesting opposition in the early game is actually much larger than the variety in interesting opposition at end game.

In regards to missions rewarding ships, nearly every single combat mission I've taken provides me the opportunity to grab new ships, albeit with d-mods.  Also exploration missions to a derelict sometimes gives you the opportunity to salvage that ship.  All you have to do is tow them yourself.  So combat salvage, combined with exploring for derelicts would be the short cuts in a system where you can't buy good ships.  if you don't want to travel for your ships, just turn your transponder off before jumping into a system, and go say "Hi!" to your local Tri-tach or Hegemony small patrol.  You even get to see what is in them before you "buy".  Commissions actively encourage you to do this against fleets which your faction is at war with.

There are five mission types now that provide ships directly on the spot, surplus military ship sale (I've even bought an Onslaught XIV for cheap off of a very high military contact), down on their luck freighter captain, pirate using marines to liberate a ship, nanoforge order from the faction, and illegal nanoforge order from pirates.  The last two probably would need to be tweaked in a complete rework of the early game ship/weapon setup, potentially with reputation limits (although in the proposed idea, the faction nanoforge mission wouldn't be necessary because the military markets would be well stocked with faction ships and weapons).  So late game refit becomes trivial and no bouncing from world to world to find just the right weapon, or needing to stock pile from the early game.  Assuming you're flying the style the faction flies.

Well as long as Automated Ships remains a skill you can take, no other strategy but High Tech + Auto Ships will ever be viable (unless there is some insane buff to other ship styles). However, trash ships with the dmod skills have been pretty viable?

I'm not quite sure what you mean by viable here.  I've had success with fleets that didn't take Automated Ships or use any high tech ships.  There are plenty of posts on the forums talking about Gryphon fleets with Legions or Onslaughts leading them taking on triple Ordos and the like, with no Radiants or high tech ships.  If I can beat the hardest fleets in the game with such non-automated ship and non-high tech fleets, they are by definition viable, no?

Perhaps you mean easiest to use or strongest, but a viable fleet just means a fleet that you can make work.  If it can beat the hardest challenges in the game, and be organically grown from the ground up on just combat missions, that strikes me as a plenty viable fleet.
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Lortus

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Re: Militarized sub system needs a rework.
« Reply #39 on: November 28, 2022, 10:07:28 AM »

Quote
In regards to missions rewarding ships, nearly every single combat mission I've taken provides me the opportunity to grab new ships, albeit with d-mods.  Also exploration missions to a derelict sometimes gives you the opportunity to salvage that ship.  All you have to do is tow them yourself.  So combat salvage, combined with exploring for derelicts would be the short cuts in a system where you can't buy good ships.  if you don't want to travel for your ships, just turn your transponder off before jumping into a system, and go say "Hi!" to your local Tri-tach or Hegemony small patrol.  You even get to see what is in them before you "buy".  Commissions actively encourage you to do this against fleets which your faction is at war with.

Personally I don't usually find decent ships while exploring or taking medium bounties in vanilla. I mean like getting a pristine Aurora instead of 300k for a mission. If we had rewards like that I could see less ships being available through markets.

Quote
I'm not quite sure what you mean by viable here.  I've had success with fleets that didn't take Automated Ships or use any high tech ships.  There are plenty of posts on the forums talking about Gryphon fleets with Legions or Onslaughts leading them taking on triple Ordos and the like, with no Radiants or high tech ships.  If I can beat the hardest fleets in the game with such non-automated ship and non-high tech fleets, they are by definition viable, no?

Perhaps you mean easiest to use or strongest, but a viable fleet just means a fleet that you can make work.  If it can beat the hardest challenges in the game, and be organically grown from the ground up on just combat missions, that strikes me as a plenty viable fleet.

Sorry I meant best.
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