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Fun game. Can't wait to see how it progresses with each update.

About 60 hours in and I have some questions. Note that I'm downloading the latest update now over my snail mail internet, and am still running Ver 0.485. Maybe some of these have been addressed.

First, character experience. How is experience determined for each active character? I ask because I've been using the same four characters for all ground combat once out of the tutorial section, but there is a wide spread in levels. My long-range characters (big guns and rifles) are far ahead of my close-range characters (2-handed and shotgun). It would seem that experience is not party-based else they would all be fairly close; however my melee woman is at 12 while my rifle guy is at 23. So then I've been trying to save the killing shots for my close-range characters thinking that it might be kill-based. But they're not catching up. So is it based solely on number of connected hits and / or damage inflicted? Does the use of non-combat (non-space flight) skills also add some experience? I've used these lagging characters for oft-used purposes like hacking, scrapping, and healing but that doesn't seem to be making a difference. Those skills do help, of course, in getting the 5 skill increases needed for gaining a level.

Combat movement: my melee woman has more movement range than the firearms characters, but only when wielding the melee weapon and not when using the off-hand pistol. Is this simply a way to give melee characters a chance to move into combat range a bit quicker, or is it based on, say, Agility?

Initiative and the combat round: this is kind of hard to track. Okay, initiative is fairly obvious at first, as my ranged characters with high DEX and INT act before my melee woman with higher STR and AGI. But it also seems like the ranged characters are also getting more turns per combat round. Further, the combat round queue on the left side of the screen will often juggle a bit. By this, I mean that the order seems to change as each character acts. For example:

Char 1 - shotgun, almost always goes 3rd
Char 2 - melee, almost always goes 4th
Char 3 - big guns, almost always goes 2nd
Char 4 - rifle, almost always goes 1st

So the initial queue might look like this:


with enemies sprinkled in here and there. But then as the rounds progress, suppose the order is:


C4 delays (spacebar, 1) so he gets moved farther down in the queue. C3 should be next, then my C2 melee. C3 acts and C2 should be next, but then the order shuffles and C4 (my fastest character) will often come next before C2 and C1. Then C2 melee doesn't get a turn and C4 will act yet again (with some other stuff in-between) before C2 gets a chance.

I'll try to take some action counts today, but it seems like the high-initiative characters are getting more actions (not APs, but turns within a round) than my slower characters. Almost like the extra attacks a high-level D&D character gets. Is this a thing, or am I imagining?

If I can make a suggestion, add a horizontal line in the queue to indicate the end of the current round. As it is now, I'm not certain when one round ends and another begins, adding to the mystery described above.

Weapon levels: I'm about to max out my rifle guy's (C4) skill, currently at 97. He's a crit-hit killing machine at this point, which seems to be contributing to the spread in levels between the characters. So I'd like to play around with some other weapons for this guy but the loot and store offerings scale with the party's progress. If I want to switch him over to, say, SMGs just for larfs and to let the lagging characters catch up a bit, I can't find any level 1 SMGs (or any other Level 1 weapons) that he can start with. Is there a way to acquire Level 1 equipment once the party has progressed well beyond Level 1? Note that I haven't dipped into crafting yet, so maybe that's the solution.

Thanks for any help / clarification.
I can't answer most of these questions, because they refer to what's "under the hood" of the game engine. Maybe the developer can answer these... but I can definitely help with that last question. In Achmedius in the merchant area of the trade station, there is a man standing in one corner between the official weapon merchant and the pharmacy merchant. He sells weapons, and they are ALWAYS level 1.
Toccatta: I can't answer most of these questions, because they refer to what's "under the hood" of the game engine. Maybe the developer can answer these... but I can definitely help with that last question. In Achmedius in the merchant area of the trade station, there is a man standing in one corner between the official weapon merchant and the pharmacy merchant. He sells weapons, and they are ALWAYS level 1.
Ah, big thanks for that detail. Maxed out the rifle for C4 so it's time to buy some lowly level 1 weapons!
You can also craft your own level one weapons and the weapon stats would probably be better..
Hi HereForTheBeer - a few quick answers:

Experience - It is damage based by character. At least for now. I like the system because it gives players reasons to master other skills. You are correct that as one skill increases, EXP accelerates for that crew member. Using other weapon skills is a great way to offset the difference in progression between crew members. There is a good bit of tuning left to do and some skills lag behind others - part of the combat adjustments I made last content patch and other changes that are coming in the future.

Combat movement - Yes, melee characters get bonus movement from AP. They will get even more in the next content patch so they can close distance with enemies (sprint). Agility has no effect on movement speed. You either get the melee bonus or you don't.

Initiative is based on your character's stats - stat bonuses from equipment, etc. as you suspect. There is a degree of randomness in the sense that there can be random critical events in initiative that adjust the turn order. I'm not a fan of static turn order and the current system inserts a bit of chaos. A horizontal line or some kind of indicator is something I'll look into. Initiative is re-rolled every turn rather than every round.

Weapon levels - looks like this one was answered - crafting and the vendor on the Achmedius trade station will get you the level 1 weapons you are looking for.
Thanks again for the answers.

If I could make one suggestion, vis a vis experience from combat (and maybe it''s already done this way? Dunno). In addition to experience based on damage, the system could add a baseline number of points for hitting the target regardless of damage done. As a raw example that doesn't take into account the actual math involved:

Character uses a pistol on a target and does 12 points of damage. Give a baseline 5 exp for hitting the target and then whatever amount for the damage. So maybe 5+12=17 exp for that one shot.

Character later uses a rifle on a target and does 33 points damage. That would give 38 exp: 5 baseline for the hit + 33 for the damage for that one shot. Graze hits could give a reduced amount of the total, which covers both aspects: barely hitting and causing little damage nets less baseline- and damage-based exp. Still a hit, but could have been better.

Using that example and comparing rounds, that could mean 68 exp for the pistol and 76 for the rifle, putting the level progression a bit closer A pistol SHOULD do less damage than a bigger weapon, but given that the pistol fires more shots per round it would stand to reason that the character is actually getting more practical experience by taking more shots.

But your system also works so long as one does spread weapon usage around between the ground crew, which is going to be necessary anyway since at level 100 for a weapon a character not getting any more skill points from that weapon for level advancement. In that way, you're forced to experiment with other weapons / skills in order to gain more levels.


Took 2 1/2 days to get the new update - slooooow internet here plus a couple failed downloads - and now I'm ready to see how things have changed with 0.493. Keep up the great work!