Make plot devices use zero slots.

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PM
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In Heretic, the plot device from one of the research stations eats a device slot. This really hurts Wolfen players, who already do not have enough non-weapon device slots to equip what they need or want. After reactor and shield, Wolfen only has two non-weapon device slots, and there are many other useful devices to choose from. (My choice is usually miner's hold and jumpdrive. I would equip more devices if I could.) EI500 never needs to equip a weapon of plot advancement.
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Why does the reactor count for a device slot, anyways? You'd think that upgrading it would involve replacing the current one, which already has a placement, no?
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Reactor as a constant device slot tax is annoying too.
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Amariithynar
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Reactor being slotless instead of costing a slot would also free up that slot for the device of plot advancement.
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PM wrote:Reactor as a constant device slot tax is annoying too.
I disagree. The reactor slot should not be thought of as a tax on regular players but a reward for players doing a reactorless runthrough. If George made reactors slotless he would likely couple it with removing a device slot from all ships which would unfairly penalize reactorless runs.
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Watch TV, Do Nothing wrote:The reactor slot should not be thought of as a tax on regular players but a reward for players doing a reactorless runthrough.
What... reward?! Pride that a player gets from winning a game with a severe handicap? (I do not see that as a reward.)
Watch TV, Do Nothing wrote:If George made reactors slotless he would likely couple it with removing a device slot from all ships which would unfairly penalize reactorless runs.
I much prefer this to a theoretical extra slot that is always taken by a reactor.

Regardless of reactors, I still like to see plot devices take zero slots.
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I think the reason why reactors take up slots is because the stock reactor is never removed. The upgrade is just plugged alongside the original so that you can never not have a reactor. That's wasteful in both the aforementioned slot tax and that the player can never sell his stock reactor which would provide some very helpful credits in the beginning of the game (even if it's hardly anything to not make things too easy).
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If that WAS the case, then when you install a Nova 50 you should have 50MW + your stock reactor, not just 50MW. AS it stands, the stock reactor becomes dead weight instead of having any use once you do a single upgrade.
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Thats a more general issue:

In my opinion and backup up by my experience with playing Transcendence each ship needs at least:
  • at least 3 weapon slots - 2 main weapons of different damage type and an omni weapon. You still need to choose between a launcher and a mining weapon however...
  • device slots: I think a shield, cargo hold upgrade, drive upgrade and missile defense are mandatory. Maybe one extra, which makes at least 5 non-weapon slots?
  • one or two extra slots for mining equip would be also nice, but I thought of providing these via the mining cargo hold - if I can put this together
  • also an extra slot for a launcher type device would also help.
  • sum: 4 weapon slots, 6 non-weapon slots, not counting the reactor
Im not talking about about Heretic specifically, but my general experience.

What I found is:
  • You can only use the freighter for mining till Riegel Aurelius, because youre missing a weapon slot otherwise. You cant really use any launcher.
  • The sapphire is generally unusable because its missing at least one device slot. Also has issues when carrying lots of cargo.
  • the wolfen - just good for combat. I run out of non-weapon slots too early. The good thing: I can literally carry the full arsenal of my favorite weapons around the whole game.
But having read an participated in that kind of discussion before I think its unlikely to expect any changes. However I personally dont see a great impact on balance if the number of device slots and ships stats generally would altered a bit...
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CFG wrote:Thats a more general issue:

In my opinion and backup up by my experience with playing Transcendence each ship needs at least:
  • at least 3 weapon slots - 2 main weapons of different damage type and an omni weapon. You still need to choose between a launcher and a mining weapon however...
  • device slots: I think a shield, cargo hold upgrade, drive upgrade and missile defense are mandatory. Maybe one extra, which makes at least 5 non-weapon slots?
  • one or two extra slots for mining equip would be also nice, but I thought of providing these via the mining cargo hold - if I can put this together
  • also an extra slot for a launcher type device would also help.
  • sum: 4 weapon slots, 6 non-weapon slots, not counting the reactor
Im not talking about about Heretic specifically, but my general experience.

What I found is:
  • You can only use the freighter for mining till Riegel Aurelius, because youre missing a weapon slot otherwise. You cant really use any launcher.
  • The sapphire is generally unusable because its missing at least one device slot. Also has issues when carrying lots of cargo.
  • the wolfen - just good for combat. I run out of non-weapon slots too early. The good thing: I can literally carry the full arsenal of my favorite weapons around the whole game.
But having read an participated in that kind of discussion before I think its unlikely to expect any changes. However I personally dont see a great impact on balance if the number of device slots and ships stats generally would altered a bit...
Yeah, none of this is strictly true except that shields are pretty important.

You can mostly get by with one weapon if you choose well. Early on that would probably be a flenser, moving to a lancer, then a howitzer, starcannon, or xenophobe lancer. The only issue is the Luminous, which require you to either have a high type weapon (none of which have adequate range and WMD or pseudo-WMD except the two slot Ares Archcannon which kind of suffers on firerate) or two weapons. If you're willing to put up with taking forever to kill stations you can go with just an Ares Positron Cannon, which (barely) out-ranges ares lightning turrets, or if you've lucked out in the shield and armor department and have an agile ship you can go with just one of the plasma cannons or the lamplighter.

Two weapons are certainly manageable. Howitzer and omni energy weapon or something lancer-like and an akan 600->omni thermocannon are viable.

Cargo hold upgrades are not merely optional but negatively impact your performance in most ships. The EI500 gains nothing from them and the Sapphire and Wolfen are capable of reaching maximum agile load without them.

Drive upgrades are optional except in the EI500, though the Sapphire might enjoy the benefits. The Wolfen shouldn't even consider one as the only ones that benefit it are the fuel hog Pteracnium Megadrive and the even worse Inertialess Drive. When you get a Titan 440 at starter fuel consumption the marginal benefit of upgrading is atrocious. The Sapphire, though slower, can still outrun all capital ships easily.

Missile Defense doesn't actually work. Missiles have gained a lot of HP to survive through normal weapon fire and missile defense engagement ranges don't give them enough shots to shoot most of them down. On the other hand you do get erratic weapon fire that will piss off any station you fight near.

Mining is not mandatory. Lots of us get by fine without it.

So you actually need 2 nonweapon slots and 2 weapon slots. Including the Reactor. 3 nonweapon slots for Heretic unless you skip that mission or live without shields for the duration. 3 weapon slots are nice, and 3 or 4 nonweapon slots are nice too, but not mandatory. Both the Wolfen and Sapphire can manage that quota handily.

TLDR:
The game is not too hard. If you find it too hard seek out the newbie boosts mod category on Xelerus. The game is also not too easy. If you find it too easy seek out the challence mod category on Xelerus. The original point about plot devices has merit, but complaining about inadequate slots in general is irrelevant in the face of the game's mod-centric design philosophy
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Also, if you use Weapons Extended 4 or 5 or the MiningPack, you can install a 0-slot mini mining laser. Just sayin'.
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I actually put in a ticket a week or two ago suggesting that George use some of the typCreate functionality to turn ships' default reactors into items, which would eliminate the confusion of losing a slot when you upgrade the thing. (And also provide some intrest when you get lucky and find e.g. a phobos reactor :D)

Oh, but I do see no reason for whatever it is in heretic to use up a device slot, yeah. I mean, I can't imagine the game becoming significantly more or less difficult because of it, it seems more like an anti-annoyance to me than anything.
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