The Backroads — an alternate route

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 The NAMI launchers are a placeholder pending a dedicated Beasts launcher being designed.
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Kourtious
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Is there a preliminary playable mission chain or unique events that I can access?
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 Not as yet. I keep finding ways to get around starting on missions. I’m highly skilled when it comes to procrastination. <.< >.> <.<;
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 When I first started making TBR, all I had were ships left over from an abandoned project (from back when ship rotation was measured in ticks per frame) and a few vague ideas for factions. I had no idea what I was going to do with the Lambda Coalition at that time, but a friend who, ironically, has never even played the game suggested they be made into a mercenary faction. I liked the idea.

 There was, however, a problem, and it’s why Lambda Agencies currently have a non-functional option to hire wingmen: I’ve never really been sure just how I should implement said wingmen. I mean, setting up wingmen seems like it should be straightforward enough, but how long should they stick with you? Indefinitely? Until you gate? A certain amount of time? Should they just charge you every so many ticks until you run out of funds or [C]ommunicate orders to leave?

 My solution came about on the Discord server last night, inspired by an almost entirely unrelated comment by Derakon. Instead of setting up wingman coding for them, have the kiosk in the Agency dispense single-use ROMs corresponding to different Lambda ship classes. Target a ship or station, [U]se the ROM, and Lambda will send out the appropriate ship class to attack the object.

 There will be a few caveats on calling for a Lambda ship. Calling a Tau to take on a Chasm? Lambda pilots are adventurous, not suicidal. You won’t get a “target acquired” acknowledgement, you’ll get a return message along the lines of, “Kack, I don’t get paid enough for this!” Similarly, calling for an Upsilon to attack a Hammerhead will net you a message along the lines of, “Don’t waste my time with this sort of thing!” Also, calling a Lambda ship to attack another Lambda ship will get a refusal message such as, “You didn’t read the fine print, did you.” All cases will result in you burning the ROM you bought.

 The basic coding should be fairly straight forward, but there are still details to work out. ROM pricing and availability is going to be a balance issue, but I’m currently leaning toward an unlimited supply of ROMs with a very hefty price tag and possibly ship availability limited by system (though that might be redundant with the aforementioned caveats in place). I’m considering giving the ROMs a notrandom frequency so that they can only be purchased via Lambda — no finding a Theta ROM and saving it for beating up the Phobos you’ve been tasked with destroying. And, of course, the fun part is going to be tracing whatever the summoned mercenaries do back to the player, so you can’t just sic a Kappa on a Corporate Enclave and have the Hierarchy turn a blind eye to what you did.
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I think each mercenary ship upon death should drop a ROM of the target and the sender. Also, the player should be able to hire multiple mercenaries from one ROM against a single target. This would allow for mercenaries to deal with a much larger and dangerous target.
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 Most of the Lambda mercenary system has finally been implemented in the next beta release I’ll be uploading. Beyond that, there hasn’t been a whole lot done to TBR of late; I kinda took a break from stuff for a while. One minor thing I’ve done is to rework the Legion Select to have a wider cross-section, since it was a pain trying to hit unless you had omni or tracking weapons. The Lambda Kappa got a redesign while I was at it, since I’ve never been happy with it. I’ve also gone through and done a major balance overhaul on maneuverability on a lot of ships (mostly consisting of taking a rusty machete their rotationRate, admittedly). The other thing of note I’ve done is to poke at my topology processors a bit to allow for some stations from core, Corporate Command, and the Near Stars to show up in some Backroads systems.

 One of the more major things I’ve got planned is converting a lot of ships over to a more proper broadside style of combat, though that’ll need a little help from George to get properly implemented fully. I’ve already got a kinda-sorta broadside thing going on for a number of ships — all of d’Etat, plus the Menkalinan Obelisk — but getting that ticket fixed will enable me to get even more done up.

 Also, before anybody asks: No, I have not yet done any mission work. And I really need to, I know. -.-
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 Update of the (insert random time period here): The Backroads has been updated. …’Bout time, too; last one was back in August or so, I think. Lots of little changes, a few major things, still no missions because of course not but a bit more work on getting ready to eventually code them up. Still need to get around to ship broker stuff, too. Fairly extensive change log, here’re the highlights:

 » Stations show unknown items as identified
 » Lambda stations no longer sell Bane weapons (or non-Lambda/Bane anything)
 » Lambda hiring ROMs implemented
 » Lambda stations will install targeting computer on playerships (for a fee)
 » The Yatfwan Accord now uses the rin economy
 » Added Halcyon Locus as the Yatfwan capital
 » Station encounter work to make them actually reliably spawn in 1.9b1
 » Implemented New El Dorado Mining Guild stations
 » Began process of converting some ships to a broadside combat style

 The full changelog is in TheBackroadsLibrary.TDB if you want to decompile it.
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Tiber
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U most definatley take your time.
But wait ! i figured it out;
Your the Coding Whale !
Whit water fear;



























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jk


^^
Kourtious
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I've been playing The Backroads for a few days. There's a lot of cool things that stood out to me but here's a list of more constructive/neutral comments.

Some things that stood out to me:
Lack of missions, but you made that clear so I played more sandbox and exploration focused.
The Legion are hard to kill without a fast firing weapon or cloud based weaopn no matter how strong your equipment is. Also, their weaker units are tiny. Superlative Cruiser seems a bit weak. It's a basically an elongated version of its weaker ships.
Ascendants are annoying because of their vast patrol radius and long range energy weapons. They are basically anarchists but twice as hard to kill and love to pick fights with their neighbors. They are also very unrewarding to kill.
The Bane are cool but their tougher ships have weapons that push back a lot and block non-energy projectiles, making them difficult to deal with head-on without superior equipment. They are also super aggressive towards their neighbors, you, and anyone that destroys their stations. I've seen several Haetero Union and K3 stations get destroyed by them.
Lambda Mercenary Roms don't work for me.
Ironground garrisons often get destroyed when I roam the map.
Steel Corps are weak for how much stuff you can get out them.
The Haetero doesn't mind me looting their freighters and retrieving station wreck Kingpins destroyers.
Haetero Shields are just superior to Lambda ones from my experience.
Yaftwan Accord are a rare sight in my runs so far.
Yourienne system is blocked from every entrance.
There are many De'tat Big Ships in Lost Paradise (i think that's the system). I go there and I see like 10-20 of them near the capital.
On the contrary, the Iron Snowflake and its Shipyard looks very undefended. I saw the same for the Legion Shipyard.
The ships I kill generally don't give fuel contrary to base Transcendence ships.
K3 ships are sporadic. I see them, I don't. K3 satellite ships are kind of buggy. I don't know why they don't attack me or why sometimes I see error messages show up beneath them.
Same with Gryphons, except they hurt a lot more, like a lot more.
The Templars/Crusaders (don't remember name) are weak for when they start showing up.
The priyori refugees on the other hand are pretty strong for refugees but they have a good weakness of short range.
Asteroid ships are a cool concept.
I wish I can see stronger Zyr ships (or maybe, the Zyr and the Haetero are working together aka starborn and those are the stronger ships).
Lorewise, I found an interesting mix of different equipment from different factions, e.g. Starborn. I think you mentioned there is a coldwar between factions.
It would be nice to have certain stations be revealed to you as travel like Commonwealth Startons. I think Ironground Garrisons and Zyr Starbases are good examples.
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Kourtious wrote:Lack of missions, but you made that clear so I played more sandbox and exploration focused.
 Yep, still on the agenda.
Kourtious wrote:The Legion are hard to kill without a fast firing weapon or cloud based weaopn no matter how strong your equipment is.
 Actually, that’s intentional. I do probably need to nerf their shields a bit, though.
Kourtious wrote:Also, their weaker units are tiny.
 They were worse before my last update. @[email protected]
Kourtious wrote:Superlative Cruiser seems a bit weak. It's a basically an elongated version of its weaker ships.
 Not sure I really want to mess with the Superlative, honestly. It’s kinda supposed to look more imposing than it actually is.
Kourtious wrote:Ascendants are annoying because of their vast patrol radius and long range energy weapons. They are basically anarchists but twice as hard to kill and love to pick fights with their neighbors. They are also very unrewarding to kill.
 Noted. I may need to bring their 'patrol range in a bit and bump their loot up.
Kourtious wrote:The Bane are cool but their tougher ships have weapons that push back a lot and block non-energy projectiles, making them difficult to deal with head-on without superior equipment.
 I’ve already nerfed their fireRateAdj for the next version, which will help a bit. The higher level stations are supposed to be a bit of a wake up call compared to the ones you find nearer to Zyr, though.
Kourtious wrote:They are also super aggressive towards their neighbors, you, and anyone that destroys their stations. I've seen several Haetero Union and K3 stations get destroyed by them.
 Definitely supposed to be aggressive, but I may have to look at their enemyExclusionRadius.
Kourtious wrote:Lambda Mercenary Roms don't work for me.
 …Grr. I thought I tested those bloody things better than that… >.<
Kourtious wrote:Ironground garrisons often get destroyed when I roam the map.
 I’ve noticed that, too. I may need to look at their enemyExclusionRadius, too, and maybe buff their defensive forces. I may even need to make a defensive turret setup for them.
Kourtious wrote:Steel Corps are weak for how much stuff you can get out them.
 Hm. Sounds like the opposite problem from Ascendant.
Kourtious wrote:The Haetero doesn't mind me looting their freighters and retrieving station wreck Kingpins destroyers.
 That’s actually something I hadn’t considered. Noted.
Kourtious wrote:Haetero Shields are just superior to Lambda ones from my experience.
 Probably, yeah. I may need to add the same snippet of code where they pass at least one point of damage (which armor can then deal with as normal).
Kourtious wrote:Yaftwan Accord are a rare sight in my runs so far.
 I’ve been looking at that, actually.
Kourtious wrote:Yourienne system is blocked from every entrance.
 Yes. Yes it is. And it will remain so until I’m ready for it not to be. ^.~
Kourtious wrote:There are many De'tat Big Ships in Lost Paradise (i think that's the system). I go there and I see like 10-20 of them near the capital.
 …Yeah, that’s probably a bit excessive. (Spoiler alert: A lot of those ships are going to wind up replacing the Kourienne barricades. <.< >.> <.<; )
Kourtious wrote:On the contrary, the Iron Snowflake and its Shipyard looks very undefended. I saw the same for the Legion Shipyard.
 I definitely need to up the defensive forces on all of those, yes.
Kourtious wrote:The ships I kill generally don't give fuel contrary to base Transcendence ships.
 Intentional for Bane, whose reactors can’t use standard fuel rods. I’ll need to look at the other hostiles, but honestly with as much as I earn just in combat between Zyr and Lostreos Madthel, I’ve never not been able to afford refueling.
Kourtious wrote:K3 ships are sporadic. I see them, I don't. K3 satellite ships are kind of buggy. I don't know why they don't attack me or why sometimes I see error messages show up beneath them.
 Stations and their attendant ships are supposed to be friendly, roving packs of Hellcats are not. What errors are you getting on them, though?
Kourtious wrote:Same with Gryphons, except they hurt a lot more, like a lot more.
 The Beasts are probably going to get their encounters commented out for the next version, or at least until I can get their weapons straightened out.
Kourtious wrote:The Templars/Crusaders (don't remember name) are weak for when they start showing up.
 Trinity originally were showing up earlier. They need buffed and rebalanced from one end to the other, basically.
Kourtious wrote:The priyori refugees on the other hand are pretty strong for refugees but they have a good weakness of short range.
 They aren’t refugees, they’re dissidents — basically, instead of siding against either Ironground or Yatfwan when their war broke out, they sided against both. Their stations are refuges from those two groups. I do kinda want to change up the weapons on them, though; Ryudsew Iler weaponry doesn’t make a lot of sense for them unless they’re reverse-engineering the things. …Might switch to Legion weapons seeing as they’re friendly with one another, though Legion does kinda need all the materiel it can get…
Kourtious wrote:Asteroid ships are a cool concept.
 …And it was a bugger to set up, lemme tell ya. I’m still happy with how Menkalinan came out, though. ^.^
Kourtious wrote:I wish I can see stronger Zyr ships.
 The ZD7 does need to show up a bit more regularly, yeah.
Kourtious wrote:(or maybe, the Zyr and the Haetero are working together aka starborn and those are the stronger ships)
 Starborn is an offshoot of Zyrran and Haetenaro is an offshoot of Starborn. Starborn uses equipment from both, but I’m considering transferring Haetenaro to a non-Corporate armor.
Kourtious wrote:Lorewise, I found an interesting mix of different equipment from different factions, e.g. Starborn. I think you mentioned there is a coldwar between factions.
 Far from it. Zyr/Starborn/Haetenaro are all strongly allied.
Kourtious wrote:It would be nice to have certain stations be revealed to you as travel like Commonwealth Startons. I think Ironground Garrisons and Zyr Starbases are good examples.
 I’ve considered it for the garrisons, but I’d want to make a new Zyrran station if I was going to do that for them. The Yatfwan Astropolis will probably get that treatment as well.
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Tiber
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It was just a joke.
So yes, not so serious.

On a more serious note (slightly):
I have been looking forward to play this for about 2 years now; or so.
The best of luck, may u have all the stuff u want in your mod soon ;-)

ill be reading along while u make posts ^^
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Tiber wrote:I have been looking forward to play this for about 2 years now; or so.
 I can arrange that, y’know. ^.~

 But yeah, send me a PM and I’ll get you added to the list of beta testers if you want in.
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Kourtious
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Played a bit more. I haven't played enough to get to the K3 satellite errors I kept seeing underneath them. Also, are the K3 satellite suppose to wander around the system.

Found this station docking bug. I was able to dock previously.
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If the Zyr, Haeternaro, and Starborn are so closely aligned, then it makes me think that the Zyr should be similar to the Commonwealth Starbases / Corporate Enclaves in that they should have some way to buy illegal goods. Perhaps a different system can be used. If you are confirmed as a Haeternaro elite, you are allowed to do business with military and underground aspects of Zyr (as it appears almost every good sovereignty is corrupted in some way). For example, you could possibly get to buy their x-Ton Zyr Plates, Spray Cannons, and even Starborn Equipment.

I think K3 Depots should sell more of your enemy equipment than common ones given their association with your enemies.

My thoughts on ship class balance so far:

Most Useful:
Bootlegger-class cargo ship: Strong base equipment, Haetenaro Hold, Large Cargo Space, and decent agility for its cargo size makes for a great starting ship.

Procyon-class skimmer: Large Cargo Space, Agile, and Small Size allows for a versatile playstyle.

Beasts Gryphon: Easiest start in the game. Your most difficult task is finding enough fusion triggers for Lucifers and you'll be able to breeze through 80% of the game. You'll have plenty of money because you won't be needing any new weapons. I see on some Gryphon ships, they have beast launchers. What are the differences between those and the Nami Launchers installed? Also, the last 20% of the game becomes very difficult as Nami Launchers become irrelevant. There should be a way to upgrade Gryphon launchers. This makes it more fun since there would be more weapon choices.

Usable:
Naginata-class interceptor: Not as good as the Procyon-class due to a smaller cargo space but essentially just as versatile.
Psi-class Gunship: Strong Base Equipment and Agility. Lower cargo space makes it more annoying to use.

For Challengers:
Anathema-class Gunship: Below average stats compared to other starting ships. Play this if you want a challenge.

For Masochists:
Constable-class Fighter: Small and weak. Why not the Deputy-class Gunship? That seems more appropriate as a starting ship. Otherwise, you are just asking for pain with the incredibly small cargo space.
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Kourtious wrote:I haven't played enough to get to the K3 satellite errors I kept seeing underneath them. Also, are the K3 satellite suppose to wander around the system.
 I’m honestly not sure what you mean by K3 satellites. K3 has one station type and three ship classes (of which only the Hellcat and Dragonfly actually show up in game at this point, I think). Could you give me a description of what you mean and under what conditions the errors pop up, at least?
Kourtious wrote:Found this station docking bug. I was able to dock previously.
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 Oh. Right. I meant to fix that. There are too many ships docked when the station spawns, it doesn’t leave room for the playership. Lemme go deal with that right now, in fact…
Kourtious wrote:If the Zyr, Haeternaro, and Starborn are so closely aligned, then it makes me think that the Zyr should be similar to the Commonwealth Starbases / Corporate Enclaves in that they should have some way to buy illegal goods. Perhaps a different system can be used. If you are confirmed as a Haeternaro elite, you are allowed to do business with military and underground aspects of Zyr (as it appears almost every good sovereignty is corrupted in some way). For example, you could possibly get to buy their x-Ton Zyr Plates, Spray Cannons, and even Starborn Equipment.
 I’m still working on all the details of how I’m handling all of that. It’ll come together eventually.
Kourtious wrote:I think K3 Depots should sell more of your enemy equipment than common ones given their association with your enemies.
 K3 sells to the likes of Piyovi, nobody ever said anything about buying from them. ^.~
Kourtious wrote:My thoughts on ship class balance so far:

Most Useful:
Bootlegger-class cargo ship: Strong base equipment, Haetenaro Hold, Large Cargo Space, and decent agility for its cargo size makes for a great starting ship.
 The Bootlegger is the only one of the lot I think I actually got right the first time. I don’t think I’ve significantly touched it since, like, the second or third alpha release of TBR.
Kourtious wrote:Procyon-class skimmer: Large Cargo Space, Agile, and Small Size allows for a versatile playstyle.
 One of its gimmicks got broken when George implemented multiple unknown types for items. I need to figure out how to rectify that.
Kourtious wrote:Beasts Gryphon: Easiest start in the game. Your most difficult task is finding enough fusion triggers for Lucifers and you'll be able to breeze through 80% of the game. You'll have plenty of money because you won't be needing any new weapons. I see on some Gryphon ships, they have beast launchers. What are the differences between those and the Nami Launchers installed? Also, the last 20% of the game becomes very difficult as Nami Launchers become irrelevant. There should be a way to upgrade Gryphon launchers. This makes it more fun since there would be more weapon choices.
 The NAMI launcher is entirely a placeholder until I can get the actual launchers for the Beasts properly sorted and implemented.
Kourtious wrote:Usable:
Naginata-class interceptor: Not as good as the Procyon-class due to a smaller cargo space but essentially just as versatile.
 Its main advantage is its maneuverability. The Procyon is fast, but it turns like a freighter.
Kourtious wrote:Psi-class Gunship: Strong Base Equipment and Agility. Lower cargo space makes it more annoying to use.
 I can see that cargo is one of your priorities, heh. There are still some bugs in the linked fire controls that I have yet to fully hammer out.
Kourtious wrote:For Challengers:
Anathema-class Gunship: Below average stats compared to other starting ships. Play this if you want a challenge.
 …To say nothing of the fact that it can only use dual weapons (or alternating weapons with standard dual spacing). Have fun with that once you get to higher level systems where dual weapons become increasingly rare. Note to self: Look into that.
Kourtious wrote:For Masochists:
Constable-class Fighter: Small and weak. Why not the Deputy-class Gunship? That seems more appropriate as a starting ship. Otherwise, you are just asking for pain with the incredibly small cargo space.
 Actually, I probably will be switching to the Deputy eventually. It makes more sense from a lore perspective if nothing else. That said, it is kinda fun being able to effectively turn almost any weapon into an alternating weapon.

 I’m probably going to wind up making a lot of the current starter ships into ship broker purchases or unlockable rewards. Right now, the only one I’m guaranteeing will remain a starter is the Bootlegger, but I do want to trim the options down to just three, like what George uses in the core game, Corporate Command, and Eternity Port. The Bootlegger works well for the freighter option. I’ll either be using the Psi or Anathema for the gunship. Much as I like the Procyon, it doesn’t really make sense as a starter ship — the Yatfwan Accord is at the other end of Human Space. That’s actually been bugging me for years. At least Haetenaro, Lambda, and Bane can all reasonably show up in Zyrran Space. The more I think about it, the more I think I should probably make a playership version as the ZG4 for a starter.
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AssumedPseudonym wrote:
Fri May 29, 2020 9:18 pm
I’m honestly not sure what you mean by K3 satellites. K3 has one station type and three ship classes (of which only the Hellcat and Dragonfly actually show up in game at this point, I think). Could you give me a description of what you mean and under what conditions the errors pop up, at least?
@Kourtious, if you attach your debug log that might help AP sort the errors.
Stupid code. Do what I want, not what I typed in!
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