Trese Brothers Games (Star Traders: Frontiers and more)

Humor… it is a difficult concept.

There’s a reason he’s named @Spock. He admitted it himself.

lol. There! I laughed!

And I played for an hour so on Impossible difficulty. I avoided all fights, so I haven’t really noticed the increased difficulty yet, but I’m sure my first ship combat will be a rude awakening.

So I just passed the 10,000th turn of my second run on Impossible, this time as a Merchant. Still flying the Juror, which is silly, but I’ve been saving up for a big ol’ Aegis Freighter, and I think I’m ready to pull the trigger now that I have $1.5m in the bank. Really fun!

That’s impressive with the amount of ways everything can go sideways and spiral. I need to start a new game on the next higher difficulty but I can’t bring myself to give up my current accumulation of wealth and crew.

It wasn’t that impressive. I played as a Merchant, so I avoided every ship combat, without exception, for 20 years and 25 levels, lol. Then I made the mistake of upgrading my ship. It was bigger, better, with a larger cargo hold – but it sucked down fuel when jumping. After one such jump, a Xeno intercepted me, and I didn’t have the fuel to Skip off the Void to avoid it. Game over!

About 12,000 turns in total, on Impossible, so still not bad. Earned me spot #104 on the SFT/Impossible leaderboard!

I am amazed that some of you get so far in the game. My experience is that I play it for a while, then have to set it aside when RL intrudes, then when I get back to it I can’t recall what my main objectives are/lose my mojo/ and restart the game.

There are lots of helpful tool tips and other bits to remind me, but I can’t recapture the initial groove.

Though I find this increasingly to be the case with other games I play and it may be that this hobby which has taken so much of my time over the years is one I’m losing interest in.

Well, I too find it tricky to pick up an old save of ST:F, and I just start a new game. That said, I don’t usually have a big long-term strategy; usually I’ve got some short- or medium-term goals, like finishing missions and upgrading the ship. So in theory I ought to be able to pick up where I left off, but in practice I usually start a new game.

@orald I find the same thing. And this game is a great example.

When I sit and play for a few hours, I am so into it, with my mind following any number of threads. But walk away from the game and come back and it’s a struggle to get back into it. Even a few hours later. A couple weeks later, and it’s a lost cause.

I think I am lucky, though, that I have a very low drive to completion. A book, a movie, a game, heck the whole NFL, if it stops being enjoyable, I just stop and pick up something else. And when it comes to games, that is often just starting the same title from the beginning. I have games that I have supposedly logged hundreds of hours and never came close to finishing once. Doesn’t bother me a bit.

I agree about the mental/emotional barrier with sitting down and playing this game. It’s not alone though in this regard. It’s actually what makes the binges enjoyable. The systems are complex, there are a lot of subtle and sometimes even undocumented interactions. There’s a steep learned curve and then as you grow more proficient there’s a bunch of OCD mechanics to keep putting little goals in front of you. At the higher difficulty levels you can get just a stroke of bad rng or make some risky decisions that ruin you. When you add in the fact that the dev brothers keep adding significant content and mechanics to the game on a regular basis, you can drop it for a while and then when the mood hits you come back and give it another go. Yeah, if you have a playthru already going, learning all your ship and crew talents again and everyone’s load out is daunting but you just need to get over that hump and soon you are back at it. This game is so much the dance or the journey and not the destination that Alan Watts would smile.

I’m wondering what changes would help to avoid this without losing the character of the game.

Firstly I think I’d decrease the number of crew that need direct management and increase their power. Perhaps by making it so only the captain and officers have skills, and plenty of them. Regular crew have a class and a level but are otherwise much more faceless.
Each officer instantly becomes more memorable and important. Picking up an old save you can now look through five officers to know what skills you have on board instead of 30+ crew members.

Secondly I’d drop some of the random generation in characters. They’re so difficult to remember by appearance when picking a game back up. It’s noticeable how I can recall all the Faens but can’t even remember my most recent captain.

A large cast of known characters with their own individual portraits would make them easier to recall. You won’t meet all of them on a given playthrough, but you’ll recognise a bunch of them next time and have an idea of their character immediately.

This could work well with an external IP. Firefly springs to mind as a good fit and would give loads of characters for enemies, officers etc.

The first thing I do is rename all my officers and crew, and I often change their appearance to match. (You can rename by clicking on their name and typing in a new one.) One playthrough I used a Star Trek crew. In another, a Star Wars cast of characters. In my current playthrough, sort of a mashup of Indiana Jones and Trek and other sci-fi. This way I instantly can match the crew-member with their role. If Pavel Chekov barks at me, I know it’s my navigator. If Scotty is leveling, I know it’s my engineer. Indiana Jones is my explorer. This also creates more attachment: if a crew member kicks the bucket, I know who it is, and I’m sad. I’ve had Pavel Chekov II and Hikaru Sulu Jr join my crew after such unfortunate incidents.

Personally, I love being in charge of all 24 (or more) crew members. Part of the fun for me is choosing their talents as they level up. OK, Crew Dogs are a bit boring at higher levels, but I think the idea is to ditch them as you get stronger anyway, and replace them with more specialized crew depending on your needs.

These devs are amazing. A couple days ago, I made an offhand comment about the description of a talent in their Discord channel, and bam, a day later, I see my suggested change has been incorporated in the latest patch! (The wording of “Skip off the Void.”)

Logical as always, Mr. Spock.

I searched to see if there’s a thread on this, and lo and behold! You guys have been loving it for ages.

I bought it (on mobile) about a week and a half ago, and hot damn am I loving it! I agree with whoever said a Firefly license on top of it could be a great – that’s totally what it is in my head, to the degree that Captain Reynolds is my current captain.

Those damn Jyeeta, though – even with level 5 weapons and armor, I COULD NOT survive crew combat against them. Wound up just ignoring that mission, and after that era ended I seem to rarely encounter them again.

On the hard setting I have a Captain with Bounty Hunter/Xeno Hunter. The Plasma burner really cleans up stuff. You definitely need at least two crew with some way to clear debuffs and also buffs on the enemy. The Zealot and the combat medic both have nice debuff removers I think. You do have to build a crew synergy to not get wiped though even on the green Xenos.

Admittedly I haven’t had one of those fights in a while…the threat seems to have mostly passed with that era, but I don’t recall even a whole lot of buff/debuffing going on, they just killed everyone super quickly. It was crazy, especially given that I have never had any trouble with literally any crew combat with humans.

I’ll definitely pay more attention next playthrough, because there will for sure be more, but that was f’in crazy. I had a mission with a $1M payout that I just couldn’t complete to exterminate them.

In case anyone missed it.

I’m not sure I like how there’s a bunch of Kickstarter-exclusive game content hidden behind the various pricing tiers. You need to spend $100 for the Ultra version to get it all, along with a bunch of other stuff you don’t necessarily want:

  • $25 - Chromehawk Starting Weapons for improved starting weapons featuring an in-game cosmetic to spice up your screenshots, streams and in-game teams.
  • $40 - Optional game currency and item booster for your new games with the Nano-Boosted Start.
  • $60 - Omega Style Collection, featuring exclusive outfits, hats and accessories (2 of each).
  • $100 - Cyber-Tactician Ally who is none other than the head of security at Crane Technologies and offers a unique storyline and will open up new options, pathways and possible early game rewards that can help you get a jump on your new “career.”

Sure it’s mostly cosmetic and ‘cheat’ stuff, but the $100 tier seems to add something.

Plus if this matters to anyone:

And I actually trust Trese Brothers to keep their word on that, which I appreciate. That’s a Kickstarter I can actually fund, good to know.

AMA going on in celebration of their 10 years as developers.

Im VERY interested in this, especially after just discovering Star Traders recently…