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Starsector 0.97a is out! (02/02/24); New blog post: New music for Galatia Academy (06/12/24)

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Author Topic: Starsector 0.97a (Released) Patch Notes  (Read 202066 times)

Blips

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Re: Starsector 0.97a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1425 on: March 09, 2024, 11:16:51 PM »

Also, the update to java 17 is official now, we've got everything squared away, and it's running *great*. <knock on wood>
120 fps great?  :P
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freakingcynik

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Re: Starsector 0.97a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1426 on: March 10, 2024, 07:23:58 AM »

Hey Alex!

Just wondering, could the crisis evolution speed be tied to the difficulty level in any way?
I honestly prefered the pre-nerf version, where I had to take care of my system if I wanted to be able to take some time to explore. Now, I'm more about leaving enemy fleets by in my system, just so the crisis can finally come. It's a waaaaay different feeling, very game-y, whereas before it served immersion, because of course you're gonna have to fight hard to create a faction from scratch with neighbours like those in Starsector...

So yeah, if we could have pre-nerf for normal, and post-nerf for easy mode, that would be a good solution imo. Right now I just feel kinda robbed, as some people were very quick and loud to complain, while those that were enjoying the game were... enjoying the game. And by the time I got here to congratulate you on your work, the nerf patch was already released.
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Alex

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Re: Starsector 0.97a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1427 on: March 10, 2024, 10:35:29 AM »

Just wondering, could the crisis evolution speed be tied to the difficulty level in any way?
I honestly prefered the pre-nerf version, where I had to take care of my system if I wanted to be able to take some time to explore. Now, I'm more about leaving enemy fleets by in my system, just so the crisis can finally come. It's a waaaaay different feeling, very game-y, whereas before it served immersion, because of course you're gonna have to fight hard to create a faction from scratch with neighbours like those in Starsector...

So yeah, if we could have pre-nerf for normal, and post-nerf for easy mode, that would be a good solution imo. Right now I just feel kinda robbed, as some people were very quick and loud to complain, while those that were enjoying the game were... enjoying the game. And by the time I got here to congratulate you on your work, the nerf patch was already released.

Honestly, I feel like some of this might be perception? The two changes impacting crisis speed were 1) increasing the bar from 500 to 600, and 2) reducing the progress from the PL crisis factor. I suppose the latter could be the one that's the big difference-maker here, hmm. But a big part of how a given playthrough feels is going to be the RNG you get on the post-crisis progress bar resets - I think probably that would have more impact than the changes I'd made. If you roll low, you'll get longer breaks, if you roll high, you'll get crises coming one after the other.

I do have a TODO item for adding a 100% bonus XP story option to trigger a crisis quickly, though that's not exactly what you're asking for - but it's an idea that's in line with the game's general philosophy, letting you shape your playthrough with story points.

120 fps great?  :P

I mean, in the main menu, sure :)

In seriousness, though - that really depends on your PC/graphics card, doesn't it. You could give this conversion kit, which makes the game use java 23, a whirl:

https://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=29320.0

The improvements from java 17 would be ... a bit less than that, probably. Java 23 is a bit faster. On the upside, recompiling the game for 17 gave it a solid extra boost that Miko's conversion kit can't yet benefit from.

(Why am I not updating the game to java 23, myself? Well, it's not really "out" yet, as far as a finished, stable openjdk implementation (Miko's kit is using a nightly build, which does seem to be stable and working fine, but it's not something I'd chance for an official release), and 17 is the last version that supports 32-bit systems, which is nice to keep, for the time being at least. And Java 21 actually seems to have worse performance than either.)
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freakingcynik

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Re: Starsector 0.97a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1428 on: March 10, 2024, 12:19:39 PM »

Honestly, I feel like some of this might be perception? The two changes impacting crisis speed were 1) increasing the bar from 500 to 600, and 2) reducing the progress from the PL crisis factor. I suppose the latter could be the one that's the big difference-maker here, hmm. But a big part of how a given playthrough feels is going to be the RNG you get on the post-crisis progress bar resets - I think probably that would have more impact than the changes I'd made. If you roll low, you'll get longer breaks, if you roll high, you'll get crises coming one after the other.

I do have a TODO item for adding a 100% bonus XP story option to trigger a crisis quickly, though that's not exactly what you're asking for - but it's an idea that's in line with the game's general philosophy, letting you shape your playthrough with story points.
Fair, although you did more than 2 changes that influenced how fast the crisis happen. From what I understand by reading the patch notes, TT would never even have gotten an interest in my colony in the vanilla playthrough I talked about in my first post. 2 commodities at least, that aren't food, domestic goods and basic metals, that leaves a lot more room.

500 to 600 points isn't a small change either. At low progress/month, 100 points will take a while to fill up. I think I started around 10/month when it was all about pirates, more or less depending on if a base was up or not. So, I almost get a full year of additional time with this change (well, less because of blowback, but still). Maybe it's my playstyle that's too off the norm to be relevant to the discussion, I don't know. And now without TT getting interested in basic stuff, we're stuck with pirates for longer.

So yeah, you're right about the RNG element from one playthrough to another, but it's not only that. PL takes twice as long to fill 20% more, TT comes later, if ever depending on the colony type (if I get it right, a farming/mining/light industry/commerce combo without free port doesn't ever trigger them, is that it?). If you don't mess with domain tech and AI, that leaves you with pirates for quite a while. The pressure isn't the same, I don't think it's only perception, although it indeed plays a role too.

Alright for the story point option. Why not. But honestly, the fact that I'd be the one triggering it at will makes it closer to "game-y" than something immersive. And as I'm very picky with my SP expenditure, I know I won't use that option, and just let the fleets roam to let the counter build up. Anything to save a SP when I can  ;D

You do mention in the patch notes the difference in max rate of crisis progress related to the difficulty, so... there is a way  :P Purely hypothetically, to satiate my programmer curiosity, how hard would it be to change other settings according to the difficulty? Like, changing the bar total value depending on the difficulty? That would seem the easiest from outside, but I'm just competent enough not to trust these appearences

I would understand if you had no interest for it, though. I'm apparently in a small minority being fine with the previous balance, so whatever, game is still great, I'll move on.
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Alex

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Re: Starsector 0.97a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1429 on: March 10, 2024, 12:39:04 PM »

Hmm, you've got a point about the Tri-Tach component; I'll keep an eye on this - could definitely see changing the max progress back to 500.

Regarding story points, - the 100% bonus XP options just give them back fully after a little bit. Once you get to level 15, you can (very roughly) earn that story point back, completely, by fighting a couple of large-ish fights. So personally, I'd suggest giving the 100% SP options a try - they can smooth out the experience, and you do fully get them back. And yeah, I understand what you mean about it feeling gamey, but that's - well, in all honesty, that's how that works. It's sort of, "you're DMing your own adventure" points, that's just fundamentally what it is and you're expected to make up a little explanation in your head for what happened - if you're so inclined, anyway :)

For changing the bar total value - it would require writing some code, but it's definitely doable. See:
com.fs.starfarer.api.impl.campaign.intel.events.HostileActivityEventIntel.setup()

In the api zipfile. The basic approach would be to extend the HostileActivityEventIntel and override the setup() method to do what you want (and then create a new game). It's not *just* changing the maximum, since you also need to adjust the point values for the minor/major events.
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Bungee_man

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Re: Starsector 0.97a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1430 on: March 10, 2024, 01:12:52 PM »

Part of me wonders if it wouldn't be a good idea to have destroying non-hostile crisis fleets make the crisis come faster rather than slower, and have them be more consistent about creating disruptions and reducing access while alive, but lower their rate of respawn and have them reduce crisis buildup rate while in-system.

That way, the calculus becomes "I'm strong enough for this crisis, so I'll respond to their intrusion on my territory with aggression" versus "I'm not ready for this crisis, I can't afford to pick a fight right now". A fine-grained means of controlling the rate at which crises come that's directly tied to a player's ability to handle them and integrated into the story. There could be 1SP 100% EXP options to negate the increase in crisis before attacking, or to increase it substantially.
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freakingcynik

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Re: Starsector 0.97a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1431 on: March 10, 2024, 03:00:52 PM »

@Alex
Funnily enough, I knew about the bonus xp thing coming with using SP a certain way, but it never clicked that it made it not a consumable. I'm a dum-dum sometimes  ;D And it's not like I'm running short on them, I rarely go under 20 after midgame. My reluctance to use them is definitely irrational territory  :P
But I think I'm using some of those "100% xp back". Is fleeing one of those? Oh, promoting a crew member to an officer is one, isn't it? I tend to use those 2 a fair bit, and sometimes mentor officers too.

Anyway, you're spot on with the player being expected to create his little explanation. It occured to me quickly after writing my previous message, this "game-y" action can indeed easily fit into the game universe: you're just opening comms to the enemy boss and insulting his mom. It is, in fact, the only possible scenario. And it does make the whole thing better :)

Thank you for the code reference. So, the idea is that I'd write another setup() to get called in place of the original by the basegame? And just return the object with the adjusted relevant values? Sorry for the basic questions, I went from learning C in CLI straight to javascript fullstack web development, I'm missing the big piece in the middle, basically everything about modern native appplications ^^'


@Bungee_man
As much as it makes sense in universe (as long as the team they send to raid is doing its job, why would they escalate?), there's the gameplay related issue, where you're "rewarded" with more time by doing nothing. For my playthrough, because I setup a colony with so little money, I really had to create opportunities to make money by exploring or doing bounties, else I wouldn't have been able to afford more industries and upgrades on top of financing my fleet. Had many months around the 10k creds mark, at least one time going in debt.

What I'm getting to is that time is precious, it's a valuable ressource if you didn't "overprepare" for your colony. And yeah, I shouldn't be given more of that for free. As it is, there's the narrative part, "I'm cleaning the part of the sector I want to make my own", and the gameplay part, where fighting is rewarded with more time to grow.
Riding that line was most of what I really enjoyed with this update, and also why I'm worried the nerf were a little too much. Without tension, there's no line, you're just off playing normal starsector waiting for the big fights to come. I think it's cool that the process of carving your place in the sector is a more involved process now, with a narrative element to it and some "bosses" that ultimately leads to you being finally free to go explore or do whatever.

So yeah, I don't think your idea would work because of that, but it's still a very interesting one, it does make more sense in universe, I think.
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Alex

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Re: Starsector 0.97a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1432 on: March 10, 2024, 03:16:50 PM »

@Alex
Funnily enough, I knew about the bonus xp thing coming with using SP a certain way, but it never clicked that it made it not a consumable. I'm a dum-dum sometimes  ;D And it's not like I'm running short on them, I rarely go under 20 after midgame. My reluctance to use them is definitely irrational territory  :P
But I think I'm using some of those "100% xp back". Is fleeing one of those? Oh, promoting a crew member to an officer is one, isn't it? I tend to use those 2 a fair bit, and sometimes mentor officers too.

Yep, that's right, on all counts.

Anyway, you're spot on with the player being expected to create his little explanation. It occured to me quickly after writing my previous message, this "game-y" action can indeed easily fit into the game universe: you're just opening comms to the enemy boss and insulting his mom. It is, in fact, the only possible scenario. And it does make the whole thing better :)

Now you're cooking :)


Part of me wonders if it wouldn't be a good idea to have destroying non-hostile crisis fleets make the crisis come faster rather than slower, and have them be more consistent about creating disruptions and reducing access while alive, but lower their rate of respawn and have them reduce crisis buildup rate while in-system.

That way, the calculus becomes "I'm strong enough for this crisis, so I'll respond to their intrusion on my territory with aggression" versus "I'm not ready for this crisis, I can't afford to pick a fight right now". A fine-grained means of controlling the rate at which crises come that's directly tied to a player's ability to handle them and integrated into the story. There could be 1SP 100% EXP options to negate the increase in crisis before attacking, or to increase it substantially.

Hmm. The idea behind destroying hostile fleets pushing progress back (temporarily - it comes back via "blowback", which could probably use a bit of speeding up, actually) is that it lets you re-roll the crisis if you want to, and it also lets you fight these kinds of fleets to collect the Commerce bounty without worrying too much about missing out on crises (or, with your suggestion, about triggering them too quickly).

It *is* an interesting idea, but more fundamentally, I don't think I'd want to make these fights something you want to avoid. A lot of the point of these fleets is to give you opportunities for combat, but if taking them has a frequent downside, that goes against their reason for existing in the first place.
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Kragh

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Re: Starsector 0.97a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1433 on: March 10, 2024, 05:17:39 PM »

Here's the thing though, how is making the crisis come faster a downside?
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freakingcynik

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Re: Starsector 0.97a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1434 on: March 10, 2024, 05:34:01 PM »

They might kill you if you're not ready?
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Bungee_man

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Re: Starsector 0.97a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1435 on: March 10, 2024, 07:39:11 PM »

My thought is that, instead of the disruption being unavoidable in the leadup to the crisis (because enemy fleets will always be nearby, attacking the player's traders), a prepared player would be able to reliably fight them off, keeping the colonies profitable, while an unprepared player would be able to accept lower (or negative) income while he gets his affairs in order.

Could bringing the transponder into it make things more balanced? That'd give players a choice of approach - fight openly to accelerate the crisis, attack the offending fleet in secret to reopen trade without provoking more attention, tolerate the fleet to slow the crisis down, or burn a story point in dialogue with the fleet before combat to make the resulting battle either delay or expedite the crisis by a significant amount.
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Twilight Sentinel

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Re: Starsector 0.97a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1436 on: March 11, 2024, 11:15:37 AM »

There's a lot of ways that players can delay crises, not just killing the fleets but also agreeing to deals or getting Kanta's protection.  You can relatively easily avoid a crisis entirely right now if you're so inclined and know how the game's mechanics work.  New players don't really have that knowledge, nor do they have any clue how dangerous the crisis fleets are.  So the mechanic sort of winds up being a bit of a new player trap and big source of anxiety for anyone unfamiliar with it.  And an annoyance for experienced players given just how slow it is without you deliberately angering the Heg and LP.  Then suddenly everything will start happening at once as your colonies get big enough to attract PL and TT attention, and you'll have to drop what you're doing to run off to deal with your colonies until those two are sorted out.  Often by that point you've got overwhelming force at your disposal as an experienced player.

I stand by that crisis take too long to get started, then happen too quickly once they've all piled up.  Then they become too slow again once PL/TT are removed from the pool.  More frequent minor crises that escalate each time one triggers would help immensely with this.



Two side notes.  First, I don't think scaling threats based on the number of colonies in a system or even colony size is good design.  It makes spreading out your colonies the objectively correct choice and punishes new players who don't know to do that.  Especially for crises that demand a stand up fight against the entire crisis force to defeat.  You have to have multiple boosted military bases and battlestations for colony defenses to meaningfully fight off crisis fleets right now.

Second, TT's crisis had a few issues when I played through it.  The primary fleet with elite officers, 2-3 S-mods on all ships, and an extreme mobility high tech lineup were able to defeat any fleet I brought in detail until I respeced into electronic warfare.  Then I could capture enough objectives to get my larger fleet deployed to match their power.  Even then it was an extremely close fight.  Paying them the half a million credit bribe was an amazing deal vs losing like a 5+ million credit fleet to them.  The rest of the TT crisis fleets were non-threats and easily moped up even fighting many of them at the same time.  Defeating the crisis gave such a small bonus to the TT commerce raiding progress that it wasn't worth dealing with the crisis fleets.  While the commerce raiding retaliation fleet they sent was like 10 frigates against my 3 capital 6 cruiser fleet, nothing even close to the strength of the crisis fleet.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2024, 12:34:17 PM by Twilight Sentinel »
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Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.97a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1437 on: March 11, 2024, 11:24:38 AM »

And an annoyance for experienced players given just how slow it is without you deliberately angering the Heg and LP.
Also, Remnants.  I remember building colonies in two red systems to get two +20s from Remnants just to build up crisis points faster.  Was not pleased eating -4 stability from mismanagement, but I did not want to wait so long before the next crisis.  Once points got high enough, I abandoned the two new colonies so I could get Diktat instead of Remnants.
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dacian

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Re: Starsector 0.97a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1438 on: March 11, 2024, 12:06:48 PM »

/Agree. I've built a colony in a yellow system and 2 in red systems just to increase the speed to get a major crisis. I was lucky I got the needed crisis, not the remnant one.
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Bungee_man

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Re: Starsector 0.97a (Released) Patch Notes
« Reply #1439 on: March 11, 2024, 09:38:17 PM »

Second, TT's crisis had a few issues when I played through it.  The primary fleet with elite officers, 2-3 S-mods on all ships, and an extreme mobility high tech lineup were able to defeat any fleet I brought in detail until I respeced into electronic warfare.  Then I could capture enough objectives to get my larger fleet deployed to match their power.  Even then it was an extremely close fight.  Paying them the half a million credit bribe was an amazing deal vs losing like a 5+ million credit fleet to them.  The rest of the TT crisis fleets were non-threats and easily moped up even fighting many of them at the same time.  Defeating the crisis gave such a small bonus to the TT commerce raiding progress that it wasn't worth dealing with the crisis fleets.  While the commerce raiding retaliation fleet they sent was like 10 frigates against my 3 capital 6 cruiser fleet, nothing even close to the strength of the crisis fleet.

The bribe was decreased, IIRC. I don't think it being a tough fight is an issue, given that there are a lot of ways to deal with it, and it's a fleet that's going to be fighting on the player's home turf. A shiny, bespoke fleet of S-modded low-DP ships is countered pretty severely by an autoresolve or two against a friendly military fleet, and far, far worse off in a fight against a station than in a stand-up fight in hyperspace. Finally, it can just be allowed to reach its target, which is a setback but far from game-ending, or, as you mention, paid off. Also, its arrival is, to begin with, the result of the player not performing enough counter-harassment while also continuing to compete with Tri-Tachyon's escorts.

I think it's good for the game to have difficult fights other than against multiple Remnant ordos, especially when they're this avoidable. A midgame player shouldn't automatically be the toughest thing in the universe without spending some effort configuring his fleet to punch upwards effectively.
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