Faction: Infinite Edge (Release v0.1-DE-AM)

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Dragonblade
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Re: Faction: Infinite Edge

Post by Dragonblade » Thu May 27, 2010 10:20 pm

I may have jumped the gun on saying I was close, I'm further than I thought I was. But slowly, surely, one section at a time, I'm closing in. Yesterday I put together my medium drone, all the small weapon barrels (pretty easy) and the small turret.
As for what I need to finish before the IE is playable... its disheartening:
-Assault shuttle (section and rider)
-Bio war (section and rider, but I have a concept for the missile)
-Deflector/disruptor (they use the same model, as per the normal factions)
-Freighter
-Minelayer, my concept is terrible and I need a new one
-Pursuit, concept ready, but need to put work into it before its usable.
-point defense, I have an idea....
-Jammer
-Shield, I have a rough idea, but its not even a concept model yet.
-War, no concept yet, it depends on how my armor ends up, being as the war is based off the armor.
-The armor needs revising, but I think I can save the old design.
-ER and Colony ship are both special, as they are the only destroyers that can use a ftl drive, which itself needs modeling. (it would be an explicit section only they use)
-DE construction, I have a fun idea.

I also need two more commands, fire control and AI control.

And the Lightspeed-Fleetcraft, which is going to be the largest model in the DE/fission age (excluding GM) Which makes me nervous, I've only done one large model (the stargate) and it was a simple concept, the Fleetcraft is way more complex. Its on low priority so I can get more practice modeling before I get to it. besides, I still haven't decided if its going to always show in combat (like construction ships) or not... and it matters, because if it does then the IE have a huge weakness (which they may need, or not) and it would need to be armed, at least with point defense mounts.

And then weapon turrets and barrels + missiles. Compared to the missions, these are easy, I did seven of them yesterday. (I have a concept for the directfire missile racks already)

If I just sat down and worked non-stop it wouldn't take me anywhere near as long, but things (like real life) keep getting in the way.
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sorain
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Re: Faction: Infinite Edge

Post by sorain » Tue Jun 01, 2010 8:01 am

going to say, I love the work you put in here, and this faction intrigues me.

This Fleet Craft, if so many IE ships are verticle shapes, then it seems to me that it would probly have docking bays on its sides, perhaps a massive mobile set of waldo arm like grapplers (possibly replaced in the AM era with gravity teathers.) to hold any size of ship in place. unless we are talking about something akin to a SDF Macross style fold drive, where everything within a radius is moved at FTL speed...

as for your DE worrys, perhaps design several stages of Armor section for DEs? A basic armor, a advanced (fusion perhaps) one, which you could then base the War section off of, and a Battle section (AM era). That would allow the IE to have an escalation of force in their DE front line battle craft more on par with others rather then massive dominance to start with.

Support CR roles are limited, I would expect that dividing them into FTL CR's and Battle CR's would make sense. so if you want to make a FTL CR, you lose a lot of that combat advantage, but its mobile without the large vounerable fleet craft, perfict for raids. Combat CR's extend the idea of using that space and power for battle rather then FTL systems, but of course now you have Fleet Craft to protect.

To the question of if the FTL craft should be in every battle... I think that the higher teir ones ought to stand out enough to be targeted by hostles. so the Fission Era (slowist) one was used before the other races realized how important they were to the IE, and so function like a typical ship. But by the Fusion era, everyone knew that you had to fight the IE at their ship or concede the system, hence it showing up all the time. I imagine the Antimatter era one including sheilds and point defenses for just that reason (or at least suprisingly thick armor).
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Dragonblade
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Re: Faction: Infinite Edge

Post by Dragonblade » Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:04 am

I rather like the idea of the higher tier fleetcraft showing in battle while the low tier does not.

I'm going to make the fission era fleetcraft a cruiser class ship, but require a builder to construct (ie: its designed in the stations section. I discovered long ago that if its just designed like a station, but not a station entity, that it can move like a normal ship) This does two things, 1: it means you can interrupt IE fleetcraft construction by taking out construction ships, and 2: I can make fleetcraft take a long time to build, say 5 or 6 turns, without tying up the planet. This also makes each fleetcraft very valuable instead of just really big tankers, as you cannot easily make them build faster. the other reason I wanted to do this is because there isn't any reason for it to show up as a destroyer and take only 1 gate point to move around. And it gives a vulnerability to the IE to help counter some of their advantages.

I may make all of my fleetcraft require a construction ship, even the fusion/am era ones. And as the era advances I can make the ships take even longer to build, as the ship themselves are going to get progressively more massive. and more capable. (they will start to get repair/refinery/DE construction as you advance in tech)

(You will note, the IE don't get tanker DE, if you need to go further, build another fleetcraft, or use cruiser class refineries. they also don't get a "support" dreadnought mission section. it would just mimic the capabilities of the fleetcraft. in exchange, they require adv dread engineering to build the best fleetcraft)

I am also planning on turning the Gatestation-Stargate into a cruiser class thing as well. mainly for economic reasons. dns have a really high upkeep, 15k each, and being forced to use all that cash just to get around is brutal, especially since the stargate is the station to be used around empty worlds for increased capacity, which triples their upkeep, it can get out of hand. (the other reason is because dreadnoughts don't lose sections, and I went through a lot of work to make destructible sections for the stargate) The "Gatestation" and the "Gatestation-Fargate" will both be dn class as originally planned.

Playtesting is looking more and more necessary. I should get back to modeling those ships... (medium turret done, new armor done, concept for war now, new much better concept for minelayer)
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sorain
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Re: Faction: Infinite Edge

Post by sorain » Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:51 am

Dragonblade wrote:Playtesting is looking more and more necessary. I should get back to modeling those ships... (medium turret done, new armor done, concept for war now, new much better concept for minelayer)


I suggest that once you have the models down, then the playtest phase starts. Having those models in place will attract people (far more compitent then me most likely) to help you test it.
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Dragonblade
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Re: Faction: Infinite Edge

Post by Dragonblade » Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:45 am

Time for more pics!

first, the rest of the command sections. This finishes all DE commands! :thumbsup:
Image
left to right: FireControl, AiControl, Damaged, Flight Leader C&C.
yes, they get a command c&c. My plan for balancing this: they only get 16 command from it, it has 0 guns, is frail, expensive, and you need another ship to have a deep scan. (I would always use a deepscan/c&c ship, can't do that with IE till cruiser c&c) On the other hand, they can get it with shields or a spinal mount or drones. (more stuff to playtest)
(Firecontrol looks crazy aggressive)

The medium drone. (I'm going to rename the "swarm drone" to just plain Drone, and the IE light drone to Swarm Drone.)
Image
Like the heavy drone, it was supposed to have an unfold animation, but I would have to rework the model and figure out how to get blender animations to work.

Small gun barrels.
Image
left-right: Red, Green, UV, X-Ray lasers (in small turret), gauss cannon, war quiot. I didn't know this until I went and looked, but many weapons use the same barrels, X-ray is also used for pulsed phaser and light Emitter, sniper uses gauss, beamers use green/uv respectively. So this finishes all the small weapons (PD excluded, its a 'tiny' weapon) (The Heavy driver barrel is used for all large projectiles, all 10 of them (including spinal versions))

Medium turret and Mass Driver barrel.
Image
The small turret is for scale. I was a bit lazy on this, I just scaled up the small gauss barrel.

My new armor section.
Image
It still looks a lot like the old one, but I made it not quite as tall (the old one had lots of room to the sides of the command, in case I made wide commands) Got rid of some bad small weapon mounts and added in the ones just above the command. Also took out the bowchaser, it wasn't needed and made it look like a fish. It now has 4 small and 2 med, only slightly more powerful than the normal factions, rather than murderously so. Also widened it a bit and made the center close to where the two small mounts are, it takes hits now.

I have three concept models following, new Minelayer.
Image
You will note it uses much of the same hull as the spinal mount, thats A: to save some work, and B: because it looks much better than my old concept. The mines come out a thing on the back of the center.

Point Defense concept
Image
Inspired by the Morrigi dreadnought's large guns. It will need some bulking up above and below the engine.

War concept
Image
As the war's are supposed to be a quick rehash of the armor section I'm using the top of the armor and replacing the bottom, 3 med guns and 2 small, for a total firepower equal to a Tarka war.

I also have ideas for the De construction, Colony, ER, Lightspeed drive used by ER and colony. But no models yet. Also a very vague idea for the fission era fleetcraft.

This leaves only: Assault shuttle, Bio War, Deflector/disruptor, jammer, shield, freighter, plus some more weapons.

Now, I can hash together some concepts for those pretty quickly, which would be ugly as hell, but usable. That would let me give out the first primitive version for playtesting while I work on the models. Do you (whoever is reading this) feel this is a good idea or should I wait until I have more models?
"Truth is relative."

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sorain
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Re: Faction: Infinite Edge

Post by sorain » Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:31 am

I suppose its up to you, but a playable demo might allow people to comment on the viability of some of the designs. However, I would advise that PD needs to fight threats from above and below (Planet missles, Heavy Planet missles, Kenetic Kill missles, drones) Perhaps a design that either stacks them in pairs on top and bottom of the wings, or places them on the front of them. (though that might be too much covrage in the front, and none in the back) Given the IE's inital Destroyer class focus, it would be a good idea to provide them an effective PD design, since things like Drones, and planet missles are likely to be a massive threat to them. (conventional missles less so due to focus fire on many targets).

What of their DreadNoughts though? You mentioned a while back a quality over quantity focus, somewhat reversing the lots of little ships focus.
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Re: Faction: Infinite Edge

Post by Dragonblade » Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:53 am

*Grr arg, I text walled again :(*

I just tested the point defense, and it works great. With 8 guns that each have 90 degree max inclination and 300 degree arc (positioned so they don't shoot through the ship center) three of them were able to hold off the planet missiles from a hiver homeworld, with heavy planet missiles, while moving. they had a bit of trouble once the hiver fleet started firing missiles too, but still only a handful of them got through.

You can't see it well on the pic, but my engines lean back a little, so the lower wingset is further forward than the top set. the problem with it is that right now the shots from one set can clip through the other set, if the target is in exactly the right spot (above and behind at like 80 deg, or below and fore at -80 deg) Not much finds itself in those arcs, although planet missiles do from time to time (but only for a fraction of a second) (I may not be able to stop all the shots from clipping somewhere, because of how my engines/commands are positioned, I'm at least trying to prevent shots from the same section clip through it) I probably should make them pairs one above the wing and one below to avoid this problem, it would be pretty effective too.
Edit: did that, more balanced now I think.

As for dreadnoughts, I haven't given them a lot of thought yet, mainly because I'm not going to actively work on them till I have cruisers done.
my plan currently is: (do everything that shows in each phase, like defense sats, weapons, missiles)
Destroyers-fission (What I'm working on currently)
Destroyers-fusion (Only a few more sections and weapons)
Destroyers-AM (Should be quick, only 1 section and some weapons)
Crusiers-fission (LOTS of stuff goes here, gatestations, stations, most cruiser stuff) (This one is going to take longer than any other, because of how much goes here)
Cruiser-fusion (Adds in things like freighters, q-freighters, system patrol craft, more cruiser sections and weapons, etc)
Cruisers-AM (Finishes off the rest of the weapons, impactors, whatever is left) (At this point the faction is mostly complete)
Dreadnoughts-Fusion
Dreadnoughts-Am

fusion/am fleetcraft will show in the cruisers phases, I think. I'm going to put them off until later so I can get better designs, for paytesting purposes I'll have a placeholder. (Modified morrigi gravboat .shipsection file)

Oh, and heres a list of what I think are "support" roles for cruisers, my reasons why, and what I plan to do with them: (They are going to be better at what specific support role they have) Pretty much all of them are restricted to a few small guns for weapons.
-Heavy Assault shuttle (Non combat, used only for taking planets, 5 shuttles like tarkas)
-Bio War (Not built for fighting, much like the hvy assault shuttle, 4 biomissiles like Liir)
-Biome colonizer (Clearly support, IE are going to have good colony ships (but not as good as hiver))
-COL (the cracker is really dangerous, but it has good support capabilities, crybaby/tarpit, I haven't decided how/if I should make them better, maybe dedicated missile slot(s)?)
-Electronic Warfare (Custom section for IE, jammer/wildweasel, support role obviously)
-Mining (I can make it mine faster and have more space)
-Point defense (Its hard to find a section more "support-y" than the PD)
-Refinery (again obviously support, not sure exactly what top do with them, increased range is the obvious choice, but I don't know exactly how it interacts with fleetcraft)
-Repair and Salvage (And again obviously support, easy to make better too)

I'm not including strikeforce C&C as a support role, even though it is, simply because its NOT OPTIONAL. (Small weapons mostly, maybe a med gun)

Something that occured to me a while ago but I haven't mentioned. On most factions medium guns and cruisers are the mainstay of damage output. (in after combat reports medium guns tend to do the most damage, followed by large weapons, and then HCL/torps, depending on fleet design) As the IE have poor combat cruisers, I may also give them poor medium guns (poor firearcs and not as many of them).

In effect, their thinking is "Very good very small and very large." With poor numbers and arcs on medium weapons, and poorly armed medium scale ships (cruisers). but on the other hand, they treat HCL as simply really big turrets and have lots of small slots, and on dreadnoughts lots of larges, but few mediums.
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sorain
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Re: Faction: Infinite Edge

Post by sorain » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:44 am

thats an intresting design choise. I Imagine that UV lasers (and their bigger, more scary brother, Pulse Phasors) become choise options for the IE then, rather then the plasma cannon line. oh wow, how many Sniper Cannons can you fit on one of those DE's? :twisted: if your going to have Turreted HCL's then it might be a good (or at least fun) idea to add in Turreted Impactors. What is the IE stance on Torpedos? (Oviusly missle storms are rather out of the picture with so few medium mounts.)
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Re: Faction: Infinite Edge

Post by Dragonblade » Mon Jun 07, 2010 5:35 am

Update: Demo
Some good news for you guys. I have decided I WILL release the DE-Fission version with concept models, look for it sometime around the mid/late of the week. The reason for the concept models is so that I can see if the design is valid or if it needs reworking before I put some number of hours of work into it. (Plus, it speeds up progress)

Right now the only thing holding me back is a few more sections (9 to go, out of 35) (I suppose I should finish the weapons and damaged sections too) and I need to go into each of the .shipsection files and mess with some of the values, like Scost, Ccost, Mass, armor, speed, acceleration... I don't have a good baseline right now, I've been using the base morrigi line and adding hp and mass, and reducing Scost and Ccost. That really isn't a good way to do it, but it works for testing to see if the model functions.

Update: Models
Concept models for the Bio War and Assault Shuttle missions, as well as the Assault Shuttle and Bio Missile riders. Also a mine. Damaged engine done.

Update: Weapon Choices
I still haven't made any solid choices for which kinds of weapons they like. but I'm leaning towards:
Good chances for small weapons (Any/All)
Large Beam weapons (those that fit in the spinal mount/HCL)
Photonic torpedo line (As a player I prefer these weapons over the guided plasma balls, and its slipping over to the IE)
Preference for ballistic line over plasma line (Providing medium and large non-spinal weapons)
Average warheads/mines

There are a few concerns with this method, one being that as they lack a preference for either energy or projectile as a whole it becomes very hard to use deflectors/disruptors/meson/grav shields against them with much efficiency. Another is that it pretty much gives them something like 75% of all weapons with pretty good chances. (So for now this is temporary)

As for turreted impactors... that sounds horrific to me. But it does sound like fun. So heres a thought: instead of a blazer/impactor section they get a "Huge Turret" section which has two slots that can mount: 1 HCL, 1 Impactor, or 1 double barreled disruptor/photonic torpedo. (It would have to be pretty frail and expensive to maintain fairness) The barrage section would still be needed for plasma ball torps, but it would have to have 4 slots to keep up to par with the new section, which is kinda more than I wanted to give it. (It also means more unique weapons, which I was trying to avoid many of)

Update: Industrialization
Something that is rapidly becoming obvious is that the IE are going to have weird industrial costs. They are going to have construction costs that seem inordinately high, because they can outsource much of their construction. By which I mean:
-Fleetcraft are built by constructors instead of planets.
-Gatestations have the option to be equipped with a shipyard when they get orbital complexes. (In place of command quota, limited habitat, or powerful sensors) (IE get REALLY good stations)
-Repair stations are also shipyards.
-top tier fleetcraft have shipyards. (Thank you zuul devourer stuff)
This many shipyards lets them output huge volumes of destroyers, the high construction costs are the only way to offset that. Basically, later in the game the planets spend all their building cruisers/dreadnoughts and everything else builds destroyers. (If you can afford it, Scosts are going to get really high too to help offset the morrigi econ, particularly if you build lots of advanced destroyers)
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sorain
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Re: Faction: Infinite Edge

Post by sorain » Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:19 am

Morrigi Econ is terrible outside of trading, and that both takes time to ramp up, so their inital destroyer type costs need to be fairly low (by the standards of their higher end ones anyhow) to work out well. I speak mostly of construction cost, not savings cost. (though thats a factor as well.)

Small weapon fixation makes perfict sense given how few turrets above that size DE's can mount. Photonic torpedo line again makes sense given that it seems to be the best option on DE class ships. (INHO anyhow) A consideration would be a late game sort of 'super war' section, basically a spinal section (limited to a heavy turret instead of the big HCL/Impactor) turret.

Then again, by late game, if their DN's take over the task of leading assaults it wont be terribly needed.

as for the 'Huge Turret' section... conventional (ball) torpedos dont really need to have a massive numerical upgrade to keep up, their immense range and homing covers that already. The idea of a section built around giving traverse to normally fixed weapon types seems sound, however. Consider that at the CR level, a human Blazer section provides 6 HCL mounts, while their Impactor section provides 2 Impactors. Torpedo sections for CR level do not exist, so considering them is going to be harder. But at the CR level, providing 2 huge turrets, each able to mount 2 HCL's or 1 Impactor, and 3 Photon Torpdeo Launchers each seems a logical step. By DN scale, that increases to 8 HCL or 6 Impactors per Blazer/Impactor section. So the DN scale would fit for it to have 3-4 of these turrets.

However, this 'Fire Support' style role for CR's you have in mind leads to a frustrating problem for such a section. While Torpedos and Impactors have the kind of range needed for such a stand off role, HCL's (I tend to call them Primarys) are brawling weapons. If the section is to be expensive and vounerable (at the CR level) then use of Primarys in those turrets would be extremely ill advised. By the DN level, where I am assuming they are front line ships intended for serius direct combat, that problem is resolved.

A possible solution is to make dedicated Torpedo section for CR's (and possibly DN's) that have turreted torpdeos (which does next to nothing for the plasma ball ones) and have the IE impactor sections mount turreted impactors. The CR one would mount the same number as most do (2) but on turrets, allowing them to stand off and obliterate enemys or at least support their DE fleet mates. By DN size, having 6 of them in 3 double barrel turrets (or 3 2x turrets) seems reasonable.

Similarly, by DN scale, a 6 HCL turret (1 each perhaps) DN section. (not sure on the name, perhaps Buzzsaw?) this sounds about right to me at least. definitly seeing the IE as the least effective with warhead weapons, simply because they have to be weak somewhere. (though this leaves their CR's lacking in missle support ability, it works out over all. Also consider how vounerable this leaves their planets, planets flinging AM warhead armed planet missles, Heavy Planet Missles, and MIRV missles are pretty damn deadly.)

Another consideration is miniturized versions of normally medium turret weapons, but that is both work intensive, and a balence nightmare. (potentally anyhow)
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Dragonblade
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Re: Faction: Infinite Edge

Post by Dragonblade » Sat Jun 12, 2010 11:22 pm

Update: Demo
Its REALLY close now. the only models I should do are the damaged mission sections, which aren't really all that necessary, but quick. (Although I find that when an IE ship loses it's mission it follows up with the rest of the ship almost instantly) I'm on the phase of going through all the .shipsection files and choosing a baseline for hp/cost and stuff. I should be able to get it up sometime later today or tomorrow (unfortunatly I have something I need to work on in REAL LIFE that is going to interfere, thats why I say maybe tomorow) It also may take me a while to go through the .shipsections. Still though, really close.

Response to sorian:
my thinking on the "huge turret" was that it would replace the blazer and impactor. In which case it wouldn't be quite as frail as the impactor would be normally. and you seem to have misunderstood why I said the barrage would need 4 torps. I said it would need 4 because thats how many the x2 barrel photon huge turret would end up with (4 barrels total), and in order to keep the same number of torps for ball type the barrage would need 4 launchers, otherwise, why bother with barrages at all? if I don't give the assault section a torp launcher than its as many torps as a morrigi ship could get previously, and less than Liir (who can get 5, plus HCL) but more than humans or tarka. (The reason i dont want to put 2 HCL beams on a single mount is because the IE have poor brawling crusiers, and because my pulse cannon HCL class weapons are slightly beter than normal HCL)

another problem with making my 'freebeam' class turrets able to mount impactors/x2 torps is that I cant put one on the battlebridge section, without making the IE REALLY scary impactor/photon/HCL ships. On the plus, it would make the Huge Turret Gatestation defenses really awesome. those would of course only be available much later, and be very expensive.

I'll put some more thought into the "huge turret" concept and play around with it, expect it to be the first cruiser I do.

As for miniature med guns, its not really needed, I already have a plan for making good light guns.

As for planets having inferior defenses... my problem is that the IE have OVERPOWERED defenses right now. (this is referring to something i've noticed in my test fights, i'll explain better when i release the demo.) Particularly with improved gatestations and their defense systems. (4 freebeam mounts, or torps and missiles, or 6 large guns, that kind of thing) another way to adjust for few med turrets for missiles, make their large mount normal missiles have 3 barrels instead of 2.

these are all just thoughts/ideas. although keep the suggestions coming, it gives me more to think about. :thumbsup:
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Re: Faction: Infinite Edge (DEMO Release v0.08-DE-FIS)

Post by Dragonblade » Sun Jun 13, 2010 7:26 am

Demo released! Check the first post. :thumbsup:

If people want to help me texture those models, or improve existing ones, let me know. They could use the hand of an experienced modeler rather than my blocky attempts.

I'm not exactly sure if the IE are even close to balanced as is.
destroyers have around half of their hp/Ccost/Scots/mass from the mission section, and about a third from their command sections. this makes engines very frail, but the design of most of the ships means that the engines rarely get hit. (or at least that was what I saw in my test fights. I lost command/missions all the time, but rarely engines)

hammerhead/armor/fission gets about 1700-1800 hp, depending on equipment, without armor, and costs 15000 (more than humans, less than morrigi) I'm treating that as my baseline, but I'm pretty sure I managed to veer away from it on some ships. They are pretty quick, but not as high acceleration as morrigi. still not sure exactly how manuverable they really are, my test fights showed them to be quite nimble, but that was before I went back and messed with them.

I cleverly forgot to go back and check the DE defplat for mass/cost/HP... :oops: it shouldn't be too overpowered, it is just a DE defplat after all.

Fleetcraft are HUGE! easily as big as most dreadnoughts, if not bigger. in fact its a problem, its got a glitch where the frame of the model doesn't get hit by weapon fire, and instead there is an invisible something at its center that sometimes takes a hit, it makes it about 60% tougher than its supposed to be. my only idea why is that as a cruiser class ship it has a 'bounding box' of some sorts, and any piece of the model outside that box can't be hit. but that doesn't make any sense... construction ships are of similar scale and they get hit just fine...

The Fleetcraft is also hideous, its aboiut 75% hanger, 20% solar sails, and 5% everything else. I feel like I should go back and streamline it or make a new one, and I've got two other ideas of what one could look like. (long spindly things connecting docking clamps and habitation hubs/commandcenters. Or something that looks more like a conventional carrier, with a long low hanger in front and a structure like the top of a star destroyer or series of buildings on its back, with giant engines on the back, along with solar sails.) My plan is to use whatever I use as my base fleetcraft as the miniship which displays on the strateigic screen instead of a destroyer. (its fits better, because from long range it would look like only one ship anyways)

As I say on the front page, feel free to comment on it, ideas/suggestions/constructive criticism welcome.

can finally start playtesting those designs...
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Re: Faction: Infinite Edge (DEMO Release v0.08-DE-FIS)

Post by BizzarreCoyote » Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:38 pm

Have you textured these ships yet? Because I can barely see a paintjob on them, but they are really shiny.

Anywho, about fifty or so turns in, haven't come across anything major. One issue is the loading times when doing anything regarding building/designing stations. It just takes a little bit (around 10-15 seconds) to load them up.

On the topic of stations, I like the Hiver style gate stations. My only worry is that they seem a bit...underarmed at the moment. Granted, it has more armor than most cruisers, and I understand why it's this way as well. Just my 2 cents, I suppose. Unless, of course, this changes as your tech increases.

All in all, not bad, not bad at all.
Image

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Dragonblade
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Re: Faction: Infinite Edge (DEMO Release v0.08-DE-FIS)

Post by Dragonblade » Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:51 am

Response to BizzarreCoyote:
No, I don't have textures yet. what you are seeing is a "default" texture, which is chosen more or less at random. although there are ways to 'manipulate' what it shows. for instance, in asteroid fields I have noticed all the IE ships suddenly get rocky textures. and sometimes it uses the image of whatever tech you were last looking at. (I've seen integrated sensors and waldo units, as well as uv lasers showing up on my ships)
and don't worry, gatestations get considerably more powerful and dangerous when you get deep space constructors, and even more useful with orbital complexes.

Alright, I'm actually seeing how the IE are faring in a real game now. I'm about 100 or so turns into my own game (60 stars, 8 players, one of each race, three IE (one is me, one has extra tech/planets to start, the other randomed) 100k starting cash, no tech or extra worlds) and I've noticed a few things already:
1: IE extended ranges (I call them Explorers) are REALLY FAST. So far the only one I've lost was... oh. I don't think I lost any to combat i didn't autobattle. this isn't that big a deal for the most part, but a cruel/clever (and patient) player could exploit this. because they are fast enough to get out of planet missile range before they get hit by them (yeah, THAT fast) you can keep enemy worlds perpetually under combat, doing horrific things to output and morale, and theres almost nothing they can do about it. I will HAVE to slow them down.
2: the AI will use explorers and colony ships as the IE, but they don't know how to build gates or use fleetcraft. (I may be able to fix that... it will require some fiddling)
3: the IE expand REALLY SLOWLY. I have 5 worlds. its turn 109. part of that was bad luck (beaten by the other IE to 2 good worlds, only one other good world within range) part of it is how slowly they explore/colonize. any world outside of 15 range requires a fleetcraft to reach, and at BEST it takes 11 turns to get the first one out. once again, I'm learning to build gates everywhere. but at 100k per constructor and 75k per stargate, its proving expensive, plus the hivers are putting up gates in my territory. at a speed of 1 it took me 15 turns to even find a world i could colonize at all, then i had to get my ships over there to do it, which took another 15 turns. (Advice, send colony ships out right behind the explorers, if the world is hostile, change destinations.)
4: oh, and theres one more thing about fleetcraft and gates i forgot to mention on the front page, if a fleet with a "gravboat" (or in my case, fleetcraft) tries to move from one world with a gate to another, but the network can't handle it, it will try to move the fleet at the speed of the ships, not the fleet. in other words, it won't use the gravboat bonus, which is where the IE get strat speed from. its pretty easy to get around this, you can move the fleet in chunks the network can sustain, or tell it to move to a destination beyond your target so it does use the fleetcraft bonus and change targets the next turn. (this is more for later, when they start moving at real ftl speeds)

and now the bad news. I have had two major engagements, both of which show how the IE defensive advantage can be used. the first (which was only a 10ish v 13ish ship fight) showed a clever way to exploit neigh invulnerable fleetcraft. my ten armors (red lasers, no armor, nuke missiles, no c&c) fought 10ish hiver armors (green lasers, maybe poly aloy, no c&c, missiles, nuke i think) i got MAULED. only 3 ships survived, and that was because i ran them away and hid in the asteroids. in the following turns (something like 5 or 6 rounds) i sent my fleetcraft forwards to let it take all the hits while my armors took out their gates and launched missiles from afar, all the while letting my (very few) planet missiles slam the hivers. I won, but only because I cheated. (as a side note, the fleetcraft had about 5% hp left by the end of the long fights)

the other engagement was an honest to god HOLY &%$# WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?! 95 ships?!?! it was zuul, what did i expect? they were 3 turns off. I had a stargate and 15 sats, network capacity of less than 30, half my fleet (40 ships) was 6 turns off. The other half was on a world without a gate. I was 7th in tech, fortunately I had just researched spinal mounts, poly aloy, and reflective. by the time the zuul ships got there I had some 40 ships, 7 spinal mounts with particle beams, and the rest drone ships (uv lasers) I also had c&c, which still left me outnumbered 2:1, and zuul c&c get 24 cp to my 16. the fight started and I found myself wishing i had gone for point defense sooner (it was researching) as the entire armada of zuul ships were using missiles.

but then they saw the stargate. their entire force flew straight through the middle of my formation, leaving my 5 spinal mounts in the front rank free to obliterate their c&c ships while they tried to missile down the stargate. (they didn't have armor of any kind, which helped alot) even still, that many ships (with green lasers) eventually took out my spinals, but by then I had killed 6 of their 7 c&c ships. the last one fell to drones. by the end of the combat i had lost 8 ships, they lost 42. My stargate was only at 80% health. the next turn, i cleaned the rest up with only 5 ships lost, and even then only because i let my drone ships bumrush them. 13 ships lost, vs 95 ships lost.

now, they were zuul, and zuul ai is a laughingstock, their ships didn't have reflective coating, and had like half the hp mine did. but still, that just isn't cool.

the point of that story was to emphasize just how overpowered the IE defense is right now, a player might have fared much better, by using superior numbers to clean out my command ships (all 1 or 2 of them) and flattening my fleet before trying to take down the stargate.

now, I THINK I can find a way to convince the AI not to do this kind of thing. I vaguely remember finding something that had AI priorities... if I can set hiver gates to be lower than most ships, but above satellites, I can turn off this kind of suicide tactics. I'll have to go file diving to find it, unless I'm thinking of something else.
"Truth is relative."

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Dragonblade
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Re: Faction: Infinite Edge (DEMO Release v0.08-DE-FIS)

Post by Dragonblade » Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:08 am

Ok, I've started to work on updating and fixing the demo, and on the next step: Fusion.

it would be pretty quick, with only a handful of new sections to make. but there a couple of things that are going to slow me down. the first is that i've started a class to help me with my writing, and i expect that to consume much of my time. And second is that now i have to mess with the techtree.

my plan was that when fusion hit there would be a few new techs:
Spacefolding (x2 gate capacity, like gate amplifiers)
Jumpdrive (next speed level for fleetcrtaft and cruiser ftl drives when I get cruisers in)
Advanced Destroyer Systems (Some new DE sections)
"Twinfire" light weapons (Better small guns)

Although in the end I only want to add in a very small number of techs, (6 total) it is very hard to mess with the techtree. This is made even harder by the fact that I never figured out how to get dxops to work, so I still can't see the models the game normally uses in any useful fashion.

some of you may be asking what "twinfire" light weapons means. (although its pretty easy to guess) variants of all the fission and fusion era small weapons that fire twice instead of once. I'm going to do this by having each weapon fire in 2 pulses rather than single shot, on gauss weapons think of it as rapid reload or a second barrel.

the main weaknesses of the small weapons is that they are easily negated by the much higher damage outputs of the medium and large weapons, and that advanced armors and reflective coatings make them reflect into space with no effect. by firing twice, the chance that one shot will hit and cause damage is increased. To counter the drastic firepower increase each shot will do only 75% the damage and mass of the original weapon. Beamers will have a slightly longer beam time and increased damage. (to reach the 150% the other weapons get) "twinfire" weapons will also have 3 times the cost of normal guns.

the reason for doing this is to give small weapons (and therefore destroyers) a better chance against the better armors/shields of the fusion/am eras. naturally fusion/am era weapons will get reduced impact from "twinfire" weapons, and point defense wont get anything, as they are already good enough for what they do. X-ray lasers will only get 20% overall increased damage, as they are already a fusion era small weapon. And pulsed phasers wont get a "twinfire" version, they already have nearly 3x the damage of x-rays.

everyone can access Advanced Destroyer Systems and "Twinfire" light weapons, although it will only be core tech to the IE. Other factions will have chances based on how important destroyers/small weapons are to them (liir for instance, have slightly better de than everyone else, on account of the protectorate. They also have more small weapon mounts on larger ships than most others. So they will have higher chances than the other factions to get those techs)

As for what sections advanced destroyer systems unlocks... I'm not entirely sure. I know the IE will get shield-generating engine sections(Mk3 max), and a cloak engine section in AM era. (With 0 or very few guns on either of them, as well as speed hits and low health) I'm thinking about an advanced spinal mount or advanced armor, but I don't know what to give them that would be worth the effort, besides more medium guns.

thought: each faction other than IE would only get 1 new section, with benefits dependent on that race's specialty. Zuul might get a large mount (not spinal!) on a destroyer, that would certainly be their style (Or maybe even a heavy combat laser?). Hivers maybe a heavy armor section, with more of an emphasis on survivability. If morrigi weren't being replaced it would be a drone section with 3 drones rather than 2. I don't know about the others though.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention the fixes! (these are not present in the release yet, they will go up with the fusion version)
-reduced speed for IE extended range. its still quick, but shouldn't be able to get away from planet missiles so easily.
-increased cost for stargate, now 125k.
-added unique IE sections to the AI section affinity file, they MIGHT use stargates and fleetcraft now (at least when they need a tanker...) (haven't had time to test)
-slightly reduced firearc for IE spinal mount, it was... larger than I think I wanted.
-Fleetcraft now have a very limited ability to repair (1/15th of a morrigi repair cr) This is primarily to replace lost engines sections (Why should a ship with damaged engines slow down the ship that already has to haul it around?) but it means they can replace lost drones/assault shuttles as well. This makes them more dangerous in early sieges, as early game the IE have the worst offense (hivers can bring extra gates to bring in reinforcements, everyone else is faster)

I was unable to find the AI target priorities file... I was thinking of something else. For now the IE will have the best defense. (I'll give them reduced power on CR platforms to help compensate)
"Truth is relative."

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