Star Traders: Frontiers

Star Traders: Frontiers

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Merchant Marine: Fly Casual
File Size
0.313 MB
Jul 6 @ 12:19pm
Aug 26 @ 9:30pm
41 Change Notes ( view )

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Merchant Marine: Fly Casual

Merchant Marine: Fly Casual

Merchant Marine: Fly Casual was inspired by Space Opera and Western tales, small ships with small crews up against the universe. But has since broadened to include a larger number of changes to base ST:F gameplay. The mod aims to increase the options players have, while fundamentally retaining the gameplay of ST:F.

Merchant Marine: Fly Casual is currently under development and welcomes discussion. The SQL instructions are included and documented, so feel free to use them to understand how to do your own modding.

Priority Suggestion
Mechant Marine: Fly Casual uses SQL to modify all existing entities that meet the requirements. It should be applied after all other data modifying mods.

Development Goals
  • Keep the spirit of ST:F
  • Increase the player's emotional connection to their crew, by decreasing the size of crew and making each crew member count
  • Enable smaller ships to be viable during the late game
  • Reduce the necessity of the Ship Combat Dodge Meta
  • Decrease the tedium of Crew Combat
  • Add convenience functions for smoother gameplay

*** See the Change Notes for latest changes and details ***

FireFly Style Gameplay
To Play the FireFly Style Game, you should limit yourself to only using 6 crew. Merchant Marine increases officer capacity on ships, but doesn't reduce crew capacity. This allows the player to choose how much they want to limit themselves without additional mods. There are three Starter Ships prepared for the FireFly Style Gameplay, the Corvette (Mission Running - Rank C), Stilleto (Boarding Combat - Rank C), and Quillion (Orbital Missions and SmallCraft - Rank C).

Quick Start Instructions

Create a new captain template
  • Skills A: 10 Command, 10 Negotiate, 3 Tactics
  • Attributes B: 30 CHA, 30 WIS, 20 RES, 14 STR, 14 QUI, 14 FOR
  • Contacts C: Politican, Prince, Smuggler, Spice Trader
  • Ship D: Corvette (Modded Longbolt)
  • Experience E: Commander
  • Faction: Your choice
  • Map: Default v2

You start the game drastically under-skilled and under-crewed. You have 10 officer bunks and 6 crew bunks. You'll need to fill those officer slots by recruiting and promoting crew. You can technically add a Crew Barracks and fill your ship with an additional 18 crew, but that defeats the spirit of the mod. The crew cap was not lowered in order to allow players to play with "original" crew/officer counts if that what they want. As your crew gains experience, you'll want to give your officers second and third jobs in order to keep your dice pools high (A single level of E-Tech gets you 4 Electronics Ranks). The largest problem isn't going to be dice pools, but Talent counts. You won't have as many talents available in STF, but you will get higher level talents faster. The Corvette is setup to be a mission runner, so start out by doing Earning your Charter missions and then look to start working for a contact of your choice. Your dice pools should all be over 100% by the time you finish these early mission.

Prebuilt Officer and Crew
  • Captain: Commander/Diplomat/Smuggler
  • Doctor/Combat Medic/Spy
  • Quarter Master/Military Officer/Commander
  • Navigator/Pilot/E-Tech
  • Pilot/Pirate/E-Tech
  • Mechanic/Engineer/Navigator
  • Navigator/Crew Dog/E-Tech
  • Swordsman/Bodyguard
  • Bounty Hunter/Xeno-Hunter/Soldier
  • Navigator x3
  • Gunner
  • Pistoler
  • Crew Dog

Additional Notes
  • The Longhaul engine is not the best engine if you are going into combat. It now produces only 4 RP, so you cannot move and fire. If you get hit by a -1 RP debuff, you cannot move or board!
  • Many of the Combat hybrid crew jobs are more viable in your combat teams.
  • Morale and Crew damage will be higher than base STF.
  • The Engineer provides a very potent escape from combat talent at Rank 8. It can bridge the gap until Skip off the Void.
  • For the Stilleto, you'll want to replace E-Techs and Navigators with Pilots and Pirates.
  • For the Quillion, you'll want to get Military Rank 1 and $40k to buy a SmallCraft. You'll also need someone to fly it.

Officer Combinations Suggestions
  • Doctor/Combat Medic/Spy
  • Engineer/Mechanic/Scavenger
  • Quarter Master/Military Officer/Zealot
  • Pilot/Pirate/E-Tech
  • E-Tech/Spy/Crew Dog
  • Navigator/Pilot/E-Tech
  • Merchant/Diplomat/Smuggler
  • Bounty Hunter/Xeno Hunter/Soldier
  • Explorer/Scientist/Scavenger
  • Gunner/E-Tech/Crew Dog

Noteable Change List
  • Improved Crew Combat value for: Pistoler, Bodyguard, Military Officer, and Blade Dancer
  • Crew Combat: Boarding Strategies are more likely to be able to end combat without killing everyone on the ship. Work in Progress.
  • Increased Smaller Ship viability: Smaller ships gain larger combat dice pools against large ships.
  • New Components: Signal Bloomers increase your chance of encounters during travel.
  • Component Changes: Weapon Lockers reduce Morale damage. Medical Bays reduce Crew damage.
  • Engine Rebalance: The Longhaul produces only 4 RP per turn. You can move or shoot, but not both.
  • More Officers: Component officer capacity is increased by 150%. Medical Bays and Weapon Lockers provide Officer Quarters.
  • More Officer Capacity: Potential officer counts are generally doubled.
  • Early Xeno Escape: Lowered Engineer All The Power from 15 to 8. It is an earlier escape option than Skip Off the Void.
  • Terrox Carriers. Terrox have been given two carrier variants.
  • Ripcord: The Ripcord talent is now available to all combat crew. It will let you escape from combat with a wounded crew person instead of chancing the death save.
  • Low Value Trade Goods: Supply and Demand drastically increased for low value trade goods.
  • Gear Refinement: Low level gear is more specialized. Ammo/Edge Gear provide more damage and increases in matching accuracy type. HeadSets provide more accuracy for both melee and ranged attacks.
  • Ship Weapon Specialization. Autocannons function as effective C-TAK alternatives for Craft Defense. Plasma Cannons are now even more lethal to crew and components AND less effective against hulls.
  • Cargo Hold Balance: Cargo Hold Capacity increased by 5. Allows the player to do starting cargo missions with a single large cargo bay.
  • Economic Good Scaling. More supply and demand of low value goods (and Power Generators).
Popular Discussions View All (5)
Aug 30 @ 9:07pm
Sep 23 @ 7:21am
Bug Reports
Aug 20 @ 10:36am
Balance Discussion
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CSSteele Sep 1 @ 10:17pm 
"Firefly was overrated." ... Reported.
Sheepify Sep 1 @ 1:25am 
"Firefly was overrated."

Time to meet Vera...
Sheepify Aug 27 @ 3:29pm 
Weekend's here, time to test this. Looks delish.

They may have cancelled Firefly, but Cpt. Reynolds flies on!
Trese Brothers  [developer] Aug 27 @ 7:21am 
I've added it to our list to increase AI intelligence about using Ripcord only when badly injured. This will be helpful for the main game as well.
ptarth  [author] Aug 27 @ 7:11am 
Unfortunately there are not any direct controls over how the AI uses talents. By allowing so many jobs to have access to RipCord (for the player's use), the AI also takes Ripcord (too often). The behavior was present in STF, except it was limited to just Wing Commandos. I've been continuing to try to find ways to reduce its use by the AI and/or to make it more intelligent. Ultimately it may be dropped, but I am loathe to do remove it since I like the conceptual use for crew combat mechanic balance.
PDR1987 Aug 27 @ 5:13am 
An update, after I've played for quite a while. This mod is just amazing. I have only one question, the AI keeps ripchording away during crew combat, even at full health. Is this WAD?
Mauer Aug 26 @ 6:38pm 
Sounds very interesting and a lot like what I've always wanted in this game, to have fewer but more meaningful crew. Now if if there only was something to have crew interactions, rapport etc. ala Fire Emblem that would make this my favorite game lol.
PDR1987 Aug 26 @ 3:37am 
I understand. Great work, anyways! Thank you so much for your efforts.
And, wow. Trese Brothers, thanks guys for the attention and care you gave the game and us; if you can tweak the AI to handle the smaller crew better, it would be INCREDIBLE.
Trese Brothers  [developer] Aug 25 @ 1:30pm 
Great to see the discussion here. I'll check in with @ptarth about the officer building limitation and perhaps we can tune up the enemy AI in both base / mod versions of the game.
ptarth  [author] Aug 25 @ 12:08pm 

I'm glad you are enjoying it. Thank you for posting.

Unfortunately due to engine and modding support limitations, the AI isn't able to effectively handle ships with the reduced crew size. AI Ship crews aren't adaptive to increases in officer count and don't build efficient officers, this results in AI Ships having terrible dice pools and absolutely destroys the AIs ability to put up a fight. Thus to retain difficulty, AI Ships can't have their crew sizes drastically modified. Changes could be made to the player side, to enforce a crew limit on the ships they can buy, but this reduces flexibility on the player engagement side, for no real gains.

Thematically, you can also consider that while your captain character may choose to fly under-crewed, the rest of the universe doesn't agree with your captain's life choices.