Make Luminous more intrusive in EP

Post ideas & suggestions you have pertaining to the game here.
Post Reply
Derakon
Militia Lieutenant
Militia Lieutenant
Posts: 136
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:53 am

Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:53 pm

Luminous is supposed to be the big threat in Eternity Port, but it hardly ever does anything. There's a random scout in the first system, a base in Sol, and a few other scattered plot points, but it has basically no non-plot presence. So here's some suggestions for tweaks that could be made to improve this:

1. Spawn the occasional Luminous Scout (as per the very first mission) that flies around checking out systems. Make the scouts more common as the game progresses. This is just to give Luminous a bit more presence in the game. This should be doable using the current "patrol" AI, though ideally the ships would show up even if there wasn't a Luminous base in-system.

2. As the player progresses in the game, have Luminous occasionally dispatch a hit squad to attack them. Sometimes put a data ROM on the attacking ships, which when fed to the CDM shard, gives you the location of a Luminous base in the system. On the base could be intel on Luminous' activities, providing backstory and maybe leveling up the CDM shard (as an alternative to feeding the shard quantum CPUs). This should be doable as a custom mission.

3. Luminous needs resources to build its bases and ships, right? It should mine asteroids like the Ferians do -- and the Ferians should be hostile to Luminous by default, since they're competing for resources. This would make the nominally "expansionist" AI actually have to go out and interact with the rest of the world, instead of (as it currently does) mostly just sticking to itself. I think this is doable just by changing some faction opinions?

4. Again as the game progresses, Luminous bases should get more common. Ideally at endgame, the only bases in the system should be Luminous bases, maybe plus a few wrecked high-level stations.

5. That said, it's not especially plausible that Luminous' current ships could take on, say, an Ares shipyard. It'd be nice if Luminous had a ship between the drone and Failsafe, that could act as a base-cracker. This would require new assets, unfortunately.

User avatar
JohnBWatson
Fleet Officer
Fleet Officer
Posts: 1452
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:17 pm

Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:15 pm

I've thought about the same thing - a less ambitious idea on this subject would involve the following:

- Maintain presence of a few wandering hunter - killers in the Oromarch system, so that the player can't attack Luminous's ring of stations without retaliation.

- Dispatch LHK's against players that destroy Luminous Assemblers in the late - game.

- Have Assemblers occasionally produce scouts, and add soldiers to their construction table. Destroying a scout could result in the nearest 3 Luminous drones being ordered to attack you.

- Buff Luminous drones' speed so that they present a threat to the player, who can(at present) just run away from them and fire on them as they give chase

- Add Luminous mines to the late - game spawn table, with an appropriate guard table. Add some senties around later Luminous stations.

Also, Luminous Hunter - Killers meet the role you describe for a late - game Luminous ship. They can destroy stations and fight capships, and aren't unique like Failsafe.

shanejfilomena
Fleet Officer
Fleet Officer
Posts: 1468
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:43 pm
Location: Alaska

Tue Feb 27, 2018 3:43 pm

wow :)
I wasn't thinking clearly on EP when I posted about my experience with it, but the lack of presence was totally disturbing.

I flew the Luminous system and had no challenge to my presence....I figured it would activate it I had a mission or destroyed something, but after looking at the .xml ......I was disappointed.

We have come expect more from the Luminous and I totally don't agree with getting murdered, but they have to step up their gun game.
Flying Irresponsibly In Eridani......

I don't like to kill pirates in cold blood ..I do it.. but I don't like it..

PM
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
Posts: 2342
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:54 am

Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:52 pm

Classic drones are not that slow, with .20c and can spin on a dime, and some are very tanky if you have few and/or bad weapons. Is engine upgrade to be assumed? Luminous drones are one of the more annoying enemies in the Outer Realm thanks to their shields and agility, and they tend to be persistent and tough to shake off.

However, the OP has a point. As far as I see, Luminous is present in Oromarch and nowhere else except one-off encounters that mean very little. As currently implemented, Eternity Port is really about the cold war between Eurasian Diarchy and Asian Pacific Directorate, with Luminous being the Giant Space Flea From Nowhere that player must kill to win. That should change.

Assemblers producing more than the obnoxious drones would be nice. Seeing Hunter Killers present elsewhere besides in Oromarch (and Lilith) would be good too.

Random Luminous encounters should be upgraded with more ships (or downgraded to scouts in earlier systems).
Download and Play in 1.8 Beta...
Drake Technologies (Alpha): More hardware for combat in parts 1 and 2!
Godmode v3 (WIP): Dev/cheat tool compatible with D&O parts 1 or 2.
Download and Play in 1.7...
Star Castle Arcade: Relive classic arcade gaming in a new Transcendence adventure!
Playership Drones v8: Under construction!

User avatar
JohnBWatson
Fleet Officer
Fleet Officer
Posts: 1452
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:17 pm

Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:57 pm

PM wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:52 pm
Classic drones are not that slow, with .20c and can spin on a dime,
Anything .20c or faster(virtually any ship by the endgame, and most base playerships) will have the drone constantly facing towards them, unable to do any damage, as long as they are drifting away. They won't get a shot off against virtually every player they encounter.
and some are very tanky if you have few and/or bad weapons.
I agree, their defenses are definitely not in need of a buff. It's a very cool gimmick, and it does make it harder to get rid of them than it is to get rid of some other enemies, but an enemy that has high defense and no offense isn't very fun to play against.
Is engine upgrade to be assumed?


Most stock ships(especially the ones people use more often) are already faster than them, meaning they outright can't shoot almost every player's starting build. While there are ships that aren't as fast as drones, these ships tend to get engine upgrades as soon as possible due to the extreme advantage they gain by doing so(and are pretty much only used for challenge runs regardless, due to their disadvantages). I think that the major enemy faction of an expansion shouldn't be so trivial to game.

However, the OP has a point. As far as I see, Luminous is present in Oromarch and nowhere else except one-off encounters that mean very little. As currently implemented, Eternity Port is really about the cold war between Eurasian Diarchy and Asian Pacific Directorate, with Luminous being the Giant Space Flea From Nowhere that player must kill to win. That should change.

Assemblers producing more than the obnoxious drones would be nice. Seeing Hunter Killers present elsewhere besides in Oromarch (and Lilith) would be good too.

Random Luminous encounters should be upgraded with more ships (or downgraded to scouts in earlier systems).
A spot - on summary.

PM
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
Posts: 2342
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:54 am

Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:10 am

Most stock ships(especially the ones people use more often) are already faster than them
Not true without an engine upgrade. Without engine upgrade, only three out of the nine starter ships are faster than .20c: Wolfen, Freyr, and Raijin. Those at .20c are: Sapphire, Hercules, and Spartan. The remaining three are slower. Engine upgrade is a good idea for most ships, but that is an opportunity cost (and a big one for ships that cannot use more than four non-weapons).

Luminous offense may not be the best at their level, but underleveled stuff may be in trouble. When I dive through systems, Luminous is the most dangerous because they are not slow (despite not being very fast) and they do not stop coming after you (if spawned as random encounter) unless you can get rid of them somehow. Classic "you may run, but you cannot hide." Even with Wolfen, I need to work fast and know what to do (if I cannot kill them). I cannot hesitate at one spot for long (like shopping or fabricating at Teratons or managing items for whatever other shenanigans I have planned) because they will catch up soon.
Download and Play in 1.8 Beta...
Drake Technologies (Alpha): More hardware for combat in parts 1 and 2!
Godmode v3 (WIP): Dev/cheat tool compatible with D&O parts 1 or 2.
Download and Play in 1.7...
Star Castle Arcade: Relive classic arcade gaming in a new Transcendence adventure!
Playership Drones v8: Under construction!

Derakon
Militia Lieutenant
Militia Lieutenant
Posts: 136
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:53 am

Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:07 am

I think the drones are in a pretty good place right now balance-wise. They're superb harrassers, filling a similar niche as Wind Slavers of dropping your shields and getting in your way. They just don't have a bigger buddy ship or any turrets to actually kill you the way the Sung stations usually do. I can see the argument for having more high-speed ships in the late game, but I don't think those ships have to be Luminous ships. Luminous already has a fast ship, anyway: the Luminous Scout. A pity there's only one of them.

I like several of JohnBWatson's suggestions -- making use of the hunter-killer more (I'd completely forgotten it existed!), making Assemblers make more ship types, and adding a Luminous Mine station type all sound like straightforward and productive tweaks, though they'll only really impact the last third of the game. Adding a sentry to Luminous stations would be nice but would require new assets (EDIT: I guess the mine station would too...); it'd be easier to just give the stations guns. IIRC they don't have any currently.

Luminous seems to have some kind of tie-in with the Resurrectors, who managed somehow to steal Lilith's brain ( :shock: ). Finding the occasional station that's been destroyed by Resurrectors, possibly with the help of "captured" Luminous drones (mind-controlled via quantum cubes into doing the Resurrectors' bidding), could be neat. They could also steal people to mindrip them, kind of like the Sung with their slave coffins only less reversible. But all that would be substantial additional work; we're talking multiple extra missions to explain what's going on.

User avatar
JohnBWatson
Fleet Officer
Fleet Officer
Posts: 1452
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:17 pm

Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:03 am

PM wrote:
Wed Feb 28, 2018 2:10 am
Most stock ships(especially the ones people use more often) are already faster than them
Not true without an engine upgrade. Without engine upgrade, only three out of the nine starter ships are faster than .20c: Wolfen, Freyr, and Raijin. Those at .20c are: Sapphire, Hercules, and Spartan. The remaining three are slower.
That's two thirds of player ships that never have to let drones get a shot off, and the remaining 3 ships are both almost never used and almost always upgraded when they are.
Luminous offense may not be the best at their level, but underleveled stuff may be in trouble. When I dive through systems, Luminous is the most dangerous because they are not slow (despite not being very fast) and they do not stop coming after you (if spawned as random encounter) unless you can get rid of them somehow. Classic "you may run, but you cannot hide." Even with Wolfen, I need to work fast and know what to do (if I cannot kill them). I cannot hesitate at one spot for long (like shopping or fabricating at Teratons or managing items for whatever other shenanigans I have planned) because they will catch up soon.
It just means taking a few seconds off to shoot at them as you drift in the opposite direction. It's an inconvenience, but there's no real threat at any time.

NMS
Militia Commander
Militia Commander
Posts: 475
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:26 am

Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:54 am

Engine changes I'm working on will likely make Luminous drones more effective when their velocity is similar to their target's. They might be too nasty if it sometimes isn't possible to outrun them.

But I agree with most of the rest of the ideas in this thread.

User avatar
JohnBWatson
Fleet Officer
Fleet Officer
Posts: 1452
Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:17 pm

Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:47 am

NMS wrote:
Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:54 am
Engine changes I'm working on will likely make Luminous drones more effective when their velocity is similar to their target's. They might be too nasty if it sometimes isn't possible to outrun them.
Sounds exciting - I look forward to it!
But I agree with most of the rest of the ideas in this thread.
I think George said that he plans to revisit EP after finishing what he's working on for VoTG. Given that a lot of the suggestions here are just adding an encounter or copying in a script, there's a good chance we'll see at least a few of them in the game.

PM
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
Posts: 2342
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:54 am

Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:55 pm

That's two thirds of player ships that never have to let drones get a shot off, and the remaining 3 ships are both almost never used and almost always upgraded when they are.
More like one-third that never need to let drones attack if encountered, provided the player constantly runs (and cannot kill them). The only slow ship I can see that might not be used too much is Constellation. Well, maybe Manticore too once people try it then discover how hard it is to use.
It just means taking a few seconds off to shoot at them as you drift in the opposite direction. It's an inconvenience, but there's no real threat at any time.
Yes, if you are appropriately leveled and armed (in which case, they die). If not, they are like the Terminator. Not the fastest, but very relentless and not that slow (Moderate top speed, superb agility).
Luminous already has a fast ship, anyway: the Luminous Scout. A pity there's only one of them.
Scouts have .30c, and soldiers have .25c. Unfortunately, they are too underleveled for Outer Realm. Upgraded soldiers with higher level equipment could be useful. It is easy to forget about hunter-killers because they are only present in Oromarch (and as Lilith, who is on your side).

Luminous having faster ships is not relevant outside of Eternity Port, if no more ships get added. For Stars of the Pilgrim, the easiest tweak for faster ships would be to modify Sandstorms with more speed and less armor.
Download and Play in 1.8 Beta...
Drake Technologies (Alpha): More hardware for combat in parts 1 and 2!
Godmode v3 (WIP): Dev/cheat tool compatible with D&O parts 1 or 2.
Download and Play in 1.7...
Star Castle Arcade: Relive classic arcade gaming in a new Transcendence adventure!
Playership Drones v8: Under construction!

Derakon
Militia Lieutenant
Militia Lieutenant
Posts: 136
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:53 am

Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:32 pm

PM wrote:
Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:55 pm
Well, maybe Manticore too once people try it then discover how hard it is to use.
The Manticore has decent base stats, maybe a little slow, but its devices are flexible and it has good cargo capacity. It has six armor plates and a highly-effective, low-power-required, indestructible armor repair module. It is an amazing newbie ship because it's so cheap to run, between not needing to power a shield and having significant extra health. You can easily make it through the first half of the game with a 50MW reactor, never needing to buy fuel because everything drops level-1 fuel rods.

The offset weapon mounts are a little strange but are hardly a dealbreaker. I really don't get the Manticore hate. It's one of my favorite ships. Maybe it doesn't work for you because you use very specific, fragile strategies that depend on speed and a small hitbox, but that doesn't make the ship a bad ship for everyone, just for you.

PM
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
Posts: 2342
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:54 am

Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:08 pm

@ Derakon: The reason it is bad is 1) slow speed, 2) shield penalty (if nano repairer gets replaced), 3) no boost in defense (six armor does not compensate no shield) or offense. If Manticore gets in over its head, it cannot escape. Shrike wrote a very good review (which I agree with, except penalty is -20%, not -50%) about it at Steam, here is the excerpt:
Manticore Heavy Gunship: As slow as a freighter, and has a gimmicky armor-repair device instead of a shield. The armor repairer works very well...but if you replace that device with a shield you'll get a 50% HP penalty to said shield. Despite the heavy armor limits.....this ship is very, very vulnerable, especially when starting out. And you don't get a bonus to your offensive firepower (which would balance the reduced total health pool). Don't fly it until you're ready for a challenge. While not as awful as it used to be, the low speed an agility means that you have to be very careful picking your fights.This ship is a corporate command vessel and starts in Tau Ceti....where it can get swarmed and killed on its first mission if you're unlucky. All that being said, when upgraded it's not horrible, and has fantastic cargo carrying abilities....but it's never as good as a ship that can run a proper shield.

Starting tips: Upgrade your drive as soon as you can. Do not run into battles, and keep your distance where possible. Remember you've got pretty decent cargo space and armor upgrade options. If you need a shield, go for the Omsk series and install an Omsk (Mark I or II) deflector: these two work off each other and offset your fixed shield penalty.
Manticore as currently implemented is a challenge ship. Since the 1.8 betas give bigger cargo holds, it might be more useful as a late bloomer.

I did not use always use Wolfen. I have played EI500 before, and it was overpowered back in the day (pre-1.3). It is probably a bit weaker now, though. Also, Sapphire was a better Wolfen than Wolfen until various stats got decoupled from frames, again, pre-1.3.
Download and Play in 1.8 Beta...
Drake Technologies (Alpha): More hardware for combat in parts 1 and 2!
Godmode v3 (WIP): Dev/cheat tool compatible with D&O parts 1 or 2.
Download and Play in 1.7...
Star Castle Arcade: Relive classic arcade gaming in a new Transcendence adventure!
Playership Drones v8: Under construction!

Derakon
Militia Lieutenant
Militia Lieutenant
Posts: 136
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:53 am

Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:44 pm

How odd, I've always found it to be quite reliable. When I play as the Manticore I never replace the armor repairer. It's a core ship feature. Shields are a liability in the early game -- they drop quickly and are power-hungry; upgrading your reactor is expensive and limits your fuel options, so anything you can do to keep your energy budget low is a big help. The Manticore can sleepwalk through the first third of the game at least, and all it needs for the next third is finding some high-level armor. With other ships you may buy high-level armor and then find that most stations can't repair it, but that's not a problem for the Manticore.

Six armor segments makes a bigger difference in survivability than you might think. Compared to four segments, each segment has only 2/3rds the surface area (from 90 degrees to 60). If damage were distributed randomly across the ship, that'd be a 50% increase in effective HP; of course that's not actually the case (damage tends to be concentrated more on the front segments), but armor still lasts noticeably longer.

Perhaps that review is based on older versions where shields were more effective compared to armor.

PM
Fleet Admiral
Fleet Admiral
Posts: 2342
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:54 am

Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:57 pm

It was written before the 1.8 betas and armor rebalance. I have not done a playthrough since the 1.8 betas (just a ton of testing for my various mods).

Yes, replacing armor repairer defeats the point of playing the Manticore, maybe. That said, player might need to use a shield if he cannot find proper armor when he needs it, or when he uses light Iocrym armor for immunity (which armor repairer does not work on).

Shields, in general, have not changed since 1.01, although much of the rest of the game has since 1.2.
Download and Play in 1.8 Beta...
Drake Technologies (Alpha): More hardware for combat in parts 1 and 2!
Godmode v3 (WIP): Dev/cheat tool compatible with D&O parts 1 or 2.
Download and Play in 1.7...
Star Castle Arcade: Relive classic arcade gaming in a new Transcendence adventure!
Playership Drones v8: Under construction!

Post Reply