Greetings, Commanders!

There’s been precious little news since Devnote XXXV kicking off 0.10’s development, and there’s been a major reason for this: My vertigo from 2021-22 has recurred, and at the same time as I’m suffering from an as yet undiagnosed stomach ailment. I’m scheduled for a doctor appointment on Monday, so we’ll see how soon I can get better and get back to full speed.

However, work (especially planning behind the scenes) on Idle Space Navy 0.10.0 has been proceeding, albeit at a much slower pace than I would like. I’m close to being able to get back to full speed, so I should cover some of what I’m working on. Brace for a wall of text.

The Ship Rebalance

One of the perennial issues with ISN’s balancing has been the fact that ships don’t balance well. More specifically, the Command Ship Mark I (CS I) is so overpowered related to other ships especially at high levels that they really don’t compare well.

This will change quite dramatically in 0.10.0, and here’s how. At first, when you log into 0.10.0, it may look like several of your ships have been nerfed, although some may also appear to be buffed.

What’s actually happened is that they’ve been rebalanced against the CS I. Basically, I did some complicated math to get the damage and per-level cost of the CS I at a particular level, and then balanced each ship to be a certain percentage of that damage at equivalent per-level cost. As an example, the Shuttle (and Runabout) have been balanced against a CS I at level 5000 – a Shuttle at level 5027 will have roughly 20% of the damage of that CS I, and the next level (level 5028) will cost the same as the CS I’s next level. This is ignoring bonuses from putting Calibration Chips into ship levels, but what ships you choose to focus on may change, especially with one of the rebalances being discussed later in this devnote.

For the early ships – up through the Corvette – those ships are balanced low down. They use a CS I level of 5000 for the Shuttle and Runabout, and level 7500 for the Cutter and Corvette, as their balancing targets. These ships will largely be useful to you in the lower levels. Beyond ship level 10000, they start losing ground against the CS I.

On the other hand, the Frigate and Destroyer will start below the CS I, but slowly start to gain ground on it (and would eventually surpass it at extremely high levels). Ships in higher tiers will surpass the CS I outright, and this is the point where you’d be considering replacing the CS I entirely.

tl;dr: Ships other than the CS I will mean something.

Unintended Consequences

So, one of the things that this ship rebalance will affect is that some people who’ve dumped oodles of CC into ships like the Corvette (which used to be the OP ship of choice) will want to push them around. Also, Chips spent in the Lab ship and weapon levels are preserved on Artifact reset – this wasn’t intended, and was an artifact of ships being preserved in Artifact resets as opposed to my original plan to reset everything at that level.

There are two things in 0.10.0 that will impact this. First, all Lab ship levels will be reset to 1 in the next patch. Now, this reset will return those Calibration Chips to you – I’m not just going to rob you of your hard-earned CC.

The second, however, is a significant rebalance of how Lab item levels work: All ship and weapon levels, on Artifact collection, will be reduced to the square root of their current level, rounded down. This means that dumping huge amounts of CC into Lab ship levels right before a collection is no longer going to be nearly as effective.

Now, I understand that this is (in effect) a huge nerf to progress right after an Artifact collection. What’s going to happen to balance this out is that every level lost in these will translate into a series of “catch-up boosts” to things like damage output, fire rate, and XP/credit collection in the earlier levels of the game. These boosts should outweigh in large part (if not entirely) the nerf, and the ship rebalance will make points in other ships more useful.

A few minor tweaks

Daily Rewards have run into a few issues from time drift as well as from the game not checking for rewards if it’s running in the background. In 0.10.0, ISN will check for Daily Rewards every hour (and has a little icon on its menu button to show there’s stuff to collect), and the time when you can start collecting Daily Rewards will be reduced from every 24 hours to every 22 hours.

Sectors cleared doesn’t necessarily (at all – a bit of ISR heritage) line up with sector numbers – this will be included in stats from 0.10.0 onward. It won’t be accurate when you first start the game, but after Lab calibration, you will have an accurate count of sectors completed in each Calibration within the Stats menu.

The New Items System

So, here’s the meat and potatoes of 0.10.0 – the overhaul of the Items System. With items not being reset with every Artifact reset, the items list builds up out of all proportion. There’s going to be a whole new Items System in 0.10.0 to streamline how items are handled.

Putting your stuff management on the Map. For starters, the Items Screen is going to become a direct overlay on the Map, as opposed to a wholly separate screen like Lab or Yard. The Items Screen will contain your Map Squares (with clickable buttons!) on the left, and you’ll interact with the items, Map Squares, and the like on the right side of the screen.

Individual items are being eliminated. The only time you’ll be working with individual items is dealing with active Ships – instead, you’ll be managing your items on a per-type basis. You’ll be able to buy up to a certain number of items of each type (e.g. if your Ship Cap was 10, you could have up to 10 Shuttles, 10 Runabouts, etc. etc. etc.).

When deploying items, you’ll just pick which ship type to deploy, pick the weapon and module types you want to add to it, and then you’re off to the races.

Temporary module items are being replaced with Module Points. Basically, for each Module Slot on Ship deployment, and any time you want to add a new Temporary Module to a module slot, you’ll spend Module Points. Temporary Module types and tiers will be unlockable in the Artifact System – you’ll always have access to craft tier 1 Temporary Modules of all types for the minimum duration (1000 seconds), but higher tiers and longer durations will be unlocked with the various Alien Powers. Your permanent module for Command Center Effectiveness will not be affected, but will simply have a new placement system.

While you can’t sell old Items, don’t fret – they won’t burden your progress anymore, and will be useful going forward! Plus, with these revisions, they’ll be out of the way, too. Old ships and weapons will become useful in the Contracts system, coming in a future version. This will be a system that allows you to obtain resources, unique Items, and other perks – all outside of regular Sector farming!

This devnote is long enough already…

… so there will be more on 0.10.0 coming in Devnote XXXVII at a later date (probably around mid-April). I hope this whets your appetite for the next chapter of Idle Space Navy, and addresses some concerns people have had with the game so far!