What stations/encounters are required for the game?

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george moromisato
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Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:30 pm

As you know, stations spawn randomly in Transcendence, meaning that there is generally no guarantee that a particular station will show up.

One of the features of TransData is to generate random games and tally up how often particular stations/encounters show up in a game. For example, TransData tells me that roughly 2.89 Commonwealth fortresses spawn per game.

I would like to develop a list of stations and their *desired* spawn rate. For example, we might decide that the *right* number of Commonwealth fortresses to spawn is 4 (or 2 or whatever). Then I can take that list and run it through TransData to make sure that the game is spawning the correct number. If it is not, I can adjust the frequency.

This will be important not just to balance the game as it is now but to make sure it maintains its balance as we add various extensions (since each extension might affect the spawn rate).

Anyway, I'd love help from you all to compile this list.

What stations do you absolutely want? For example, how many CSCs should spawn per game (right now the number is around 3.5). Are the some stations that appear too frequently for you? Are there stations that don't appear frequently enough?

Solar Geo
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Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:21 pm

First up, Tinkers. These are a great help to vanilla play and I think that not having one before Charon is a reasonable disadvantadge.
Second, Hotels. Similar again.
Some people would say Korolov, but personally I find that because of the rank jump from killing the Kronosaurus I never get 90% of the benefits of Korolov anyway.
I think the minimum number of fortresses BEFORE PJ has to be 2, I think you can get to the required rank to benefit from PJ off two if you max them both out.
Black Markets are a great help as well, and in some modgames become amazing (WE5 I think is one), so they're always good to have, but only if you have hotels to get the chips ;)
I think the late-game station spawn rates are fine, but it could be interesting for Makayev or the other late-game branded stations to actually turn up earlier, as I only ever see these when I'm already moving into exotic weapons that the brandeds can't keep up with, so I might ahve once used them for an enhancer and thats all the use I've ever got from them.

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Atarlost
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Thu Feb 14, 2013 10:24 pm

The ones that can really cripple a game if they don't show are Korolovs. You can get the whole militia mission string from one fortress and unless the stargate distance parameters fail you can do the same for the fleet mission string with a single non-medical CSC, but Korolovs kick you out after a random number of missions. The arena is an alternate path to qualify for militia membership, but it requires difficult one on one fights with opponents significantly more powerful than anything you'll meet in the first level past St. Kat's. It's also the most visible cash source in the early game.
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KA101
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Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:28 am

Atarlost wrote:The ones that can really cripple a game if they don't show are Korolovs. You can get the whole militia mission string from one fortress and unless the stargate distance parameters fail you can do the same for the fleet mission string with a single non-medical CSC, but Korolovs kick you out after a random number of missions. The arena is an alternate path to qualify for militia membership, but it requires difficult one on one fights with opponents significantly more powerful than anything you'll meet in the first level past St. Kat's. It's also the most visible cash source in the early game.
Quick clarification: which is the most visible--Rigel or Korolov? Thinking Rigel.

Additional issue with low-level Korolovs: they require the correct freighters be present. I suppose one could just turn everything off and sit on autopilot waiting, but I've never had the patience to do that. I play The Network and even there I sometimes have trouble finding a Korolov I can use to start.

IIRC PJ requires that one do CSC missions (one needs Fleet Lieutenant), not just [Militia] Colonel.

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Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:51 am

At least one corp trading post past (or at) St. Kat's, just so that players that make it to St. Kat's get a targeting rom if they haven't already.
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Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:27 am

No Tinkers early in the game really hurt. Without Tinkers, I cannot (reliably) immunize my armor against radiation, or use custom work to convert damaged loot into something I can use or sell. A guaranteed spawn in Rigel sounds appropriate. After all, Battle Arena must spawn a lot of wreckage.

If all that insurance stations will ever do is provide insurance, they should not even spawn randomly. The guaranteed spawn in Rigel should be enough. Buying insurance is detrimental (costs money, can't self-destruct after a game ruining event without autosaving) if the player does not care about permadeath.

About Arena: I skip at least half of Battle Arena until I get high level items and wingmen. Why risk death when I do not need to, then finish when I can curbstomp them later. Also, I often sell plenty of junk military items (namely excess 250 MW reactors) to the Black Market in Rigel, and finishing Battle Arena the good way wipes it off the map.
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TranscendentGeek
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Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:08 am

I always found the Tinkers to be useless in general. I have never felt a particular need for them when playing. So I have trouble seeing them as essential of course I never used the fabricators either and can still get through the game fine.

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digdug
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Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:05 am

About Korolov,
- it's a main source of missions in early game
- Includes plot elements (Volkov)
- Includes unlockables (Class V)
In my opinion, there must be 1 guaranteed Korolov between Eridani and St. Kat.

About the Tinkers,
A guaranteed spawn in Rigel sounds appropriate. After all, Battle Arena must spawn a lot of wreckage.
armor and weapons dealers can do that fine and they are already a guaranteed spawn in Rigel. Also, a Tinker in Rigel is worth lots of cash for the player, since selling damaged items to Tinkers is very profitable. (at least much more than armor/weapons dealers)

Regarding radiation immunisation, players who love it are going to ask for at least 1 guaranteed Tinker between Eridani and St Kat. It's a playing style. There are people who get the equipment they can find and go for it, or there are people who only play with certain equipment and go long ways for it, seeking the highest dps, and best % values. SO, on one hand I would love players to always have the choice for their preferred playing style, on the other hand, I love the RNG system, making the player rely on devices and playing styles that are different from their best choice. So, I'm not sure over this. If there is no Tinkers in early game, are people going to savescum ( let's say, until Rigel) to see if they get what they want before continuing the rest of the game ?

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Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:56 am

I think giving too much guaranteed to the player (tinkers, etc) takes away the risk and fun elements.

Less difficulty means less satisfaction in overcoming obstacles!

But I have playes separate games with no C.Fortress and no CSC-carrier before Point Juno. That is not so fun.

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Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:42 pm

Favorite Playstyles vary and some people prefer to use either Tinkers, Korolov and the Black market stations there should on average be at least one of each before St. Katherines star.
There should be at least one CW Fortress between St. Kats and PJ (I've never completed the point juno questline unfortunately)
as for CSC's I think their frequency is fine, though I'd prefer to have http://transcendence.kronosaur.com/trac/ticket/1084
Implemented. [shameless idea plug]
For those who like to play a more challenging game: perhaps for them you could have a setting: "Play with fewer stations", "Play with normal frequency of stations"
where one has a guarantee for at least one of each and the other could have some sort of random spawning with frequency of stations linked o eachother like: if two black market stations spawn, then No Korolov stations will spawn, if Two Tinker stations spawn then no black market stations will spawn & etc.

Otherwise I think most of us agree that having at least one armor and one weapons dealer at Rigel is a Must.
(what is the point of ventari and Abbasid stations?)
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PM
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Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:32 pm

In case of Black Market, if the hotel encounter results in cops instead of ID, I restart the game, since T31s cannot be relied on to carry ID for loot. No ID means no Black Market access of any kind. Black Market exploitation is critical to my midgame income. They are the only station type that has unlimited credits, as long as the item they buy back is worth less than 100,000 credits. They also offer the best prices for your military vendor trash.

If it is faster to restart the game to get what I want than to overcome a problem (such as no early targeting program ROM) due to RNG spite, I will restart. Example: If I play EI500, I always start scum until I get a targeting program ROM. If I am greedy, targeting program ROM *and* regenerative nanos.
FourFire wrote:(what is the point of ventari and Abbasid stations?)
In case of Ventari, renewable loot pinatas. Ventari is a never ending source of SN2500 reactors and orthosteel armor. Even if they had their old device damage ion disruptor back, farming them made it worth the risk.
TranscendentGeek wrote:...I never used the fabricators either and can still get through the game fine.
You do not know what you are missing. Fabricators were so good, they had to be nerfed; and even after the nerf, they are still very powerful. Yes, you can win the game without the fabricator, but effective use of it makes the game so much easier (at least in the pre-nerf days).
Last edited by PM on Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Datal
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Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:34 pm

So long was wondering how to do it ...

I believe that friends gave good examples. I agree with they :wink:

However i think that numer of CSC's stations per game should grow. They provide some security and give the player good feeling, that he is not alone in space, and he don't fight alone. (Btw posibility to buy ammo in CSC should be great! :) in vanilla game. Really)

In fact CSC carrier is flying ammo box...it must supply many ships.

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Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:37 pm

In a few games, I had CSC hospitals, but no CSC task force ships, and could not complete the fleet storyline. Fortunately for me, all such incidents occurred during mod testing, instead of a proper playthrough.
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Datal
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Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:06 pm

Datal wrote:
In fact CSC carrier is flying ammo box...it must supply many ships.
Even if CSC supply ships only in fiction not in the game, the idea of buying ammo in carrier sound really logically, and can improve gameplay :D

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Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:53 pm

I find that I need at least two (preferably three) Korolov stations to get a shot at the class V at Korolov. Also, Charon frigates tend to get in the way during the missions, and destroying them is sometimes unavoidable. If Kronosaurus appears, I need to abandon the system (unless I find a lucky EMP cannon to stunlock Kronosaurus for minutes at a time) until I am ready to get Legend rank. No, I do not want other ships too kill it. Volkov is too useful to pass up, just not before I finish all missions for cash and rewards.
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