Modding Picture of the day.

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Lord Primus
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Lord Primus » Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:23 pm

You could make all Ballistic weapons faction specific, which would mean you list all except Loa in the actual weapons files.
This allows you to make your energy weapons that require the ballistic tech nodes for the Loa only.

The only difficulty I see and not sure how to address it is the tree itself. Both the icons and descriptions can only be entered once.

That said, a possible solution for you is a tree specifically for the Loa with changed icons and descriptions, altered strings file, that is specifically loaded only when the human player uses the Loa. Basically a Loa only mod. The AI doesn't need to know about the UI in that respect either way.

Does that help maybe??

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Rossinna-Sama
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:14 pm

Its already done. Only issue right now is the camera one but that's a minor annoyance at this point.

There is an AI crash bug somewhere which I'm currently searching for - I think its one of the factions I've not updated yet. Will take time to find it, as it isn't an instant crash.

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SITUATION REPORT
ERRAI STAR SYSTEM
NAVAL OUTPOST SIERRA

CLASSIFIED LEVEL YELLOW 6

The Errai system lies at a crossroads and is one of the most strategically vital systems in our current area of operation.
The death toll that the constant fighting has taken upon our people is unable to be calculated. We have lost numerous fleet admirals and entire divisions of ships have been destroyed on all sides involved. Even our Dreadnought sized vessels are sustaining a casuality rate which is not sustainable - deployment of a Leviathan-class vessel is advised.

There are four factions vying for control of our system. There is a fifth, however they have remained neutral so far.
Every cycle, there is a major engagement between three hostile fleets and our defending forces. Escalation of the forces involved has not decreased, if anything it has apparently increased. Hostile Dreadnought-sized vessels assault our system in what seems to be a rotation between a full Cruiser fleet mixed with a Dreadnought fleet.

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A key factor in the survival of our forces is the adaptability of our ballistic weapon designs. The ability for our shipyards to quickly alter the weapon payload our ships are fielding has been vital in keeping pace with the increasing weapon systems our opponents are sending towards us.

The planetary governor highly recommends that The Director send additional forces to the system. Recent activity by the enemy has only increased and the fall of the system will open a direct path towards our core planets.
==================

The above is a sample of my test match to see what's making the AI crash. So far it has not, so it's almost certainly not Solforce doing it. It is a 5 player (4 AI and myself) all on the very hard difficulty. They are performing very well - that said, I am playing fairly and not taking every opportunity to wipe out their colonies.
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Rossinna-Sama
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:34 am

Got delayed due to various things including the WotC expansion for XCOM2.

Anyway.
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Solforce vs Solforce has been oddly enjoyable as of late. Normally I prefer the Liir but with the new stuff for Solforce, it isn't as dull as "rush blazer DNs!" anymore.

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For the rare moments the lighting effects actually turn up... I will make a dark space tweak eventually.

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An unusually even fight between one of my fleets and the AI. Both of us had a CnC DN (They chose a carrier variant) and a full compliment of ballistic armed cruisers.

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It felt quite good to have the DN vs DN fight between each other not get resolved in a few seconds. That said, neither of them were armed with the Heavy Combat range of weaponry so that's kinda to be expected.

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SOLFORCE - HUMANITY

Humanity has been split into three separate and warring factions (ingame lore wise):
EarthCom - The primary forces responsible for the defense of Earth against the initial Hiver nesting fleet. Their doctrine focuses on larger ships and big fleet movements, sort of like a Fleet in Being doctrine from the pre-spaceflight era.


MarsCom - Initially the taskforce put together to track down and bring the Hiver nesting fleet to combat since in the Project Hiver timeline, the Hivers did not attack Earth in one large push and henceforth survived as only the initial elements were engaged. MarsCom took over Mars as their base of operations and in recent times have made it very clear that they do not want any further interference from EarthCom. MarsCom's doctrine is primarily based around Dreadnought sized vessels escorted by numerous drones and battleriders.

Section 7 - Initially a sort of 'secret police' within the Solforce Military, they have recently broken away from both EarthCom and MarsCom and tend to be very interested in learning about the other races. Section 7's doctrine favors heavily shielded cruisers supported by long range dreadnoughts as well as the occasional psi-ops ship.

CRUISERS
Humanity's cruisers are right in the middle of the road in regards to all of their statistics, with their primary advantage being that nearly all of their cruisers have shielding as their Command sections all have the option to fit shields. This gives them a minor advantage against other races that only gets more pronounced if more shield techs are pursued. A late-game fleet of Humanity's Cruisers with all of the shield techs is a very viable fleet option compared to some of the other factions.

DREADNOUGHTS
Humanity takes great pride with its Dreadnought sized vessels and as such, tend to outperform most other races in this regard. They are not as flexible as cruisers and they have no DNs which can support shield systems. Humanity tends to put a larger focus on Dreadnought production once they are available unless a heavy focus on cruisers has been pursued. It has to be noted that Humanity's Dreadnoughts are the slowest turning ships in the entire game and that care must be taken in positioning your ships - almost any other ship can run literal rings around their DNs, assuming they can survive its weaponry that is.

LEVIATHANS
Humanity has the standard compliment of Leviathan-sized vessels with a bonus Projector Leviathan which is unique to them. They are all very powerful and structurally strong with immense firepower and an equally as hefty price-tag. Constructing even a single Leviathan is a huge commitment of both time and resources and it will take multiple engagements to defeat one of them - like all factions, consider a Leviathan-sized vessel to be akin to a "boss fight".

PLATFORMS
Humanity has a standard range of defensive platforms for use. They are structurally strong with a fair number of weapon hardpoints but are otherwise fairly unremarkable. Defense is not Humanity's strong point as none of their doctrines favor it; taking the initiative is far more important.

TECHNOLOGY
All techs in Project Hiver are either 99%, 100% or 0% for all non-Zuul factions. Humanity does not gain any special tech-related bonuses though they do retain their vanilla "special techs" such as Node Missiles which currently function as they always did. Humanity tends to favor Torpedo, Ballistic and the heavier types of weaponry but is otherwise fairly flexible with its preferences.

BONUSES
All Humanity ships and platforms gain bonus armor on their port and starboard (left and right) sides.
Humanity ships are good at traveling in a straight line and have decent acceleration and Top speeds, but suffer from poor turning rates and low deceleration.
Humanity is currently the only faction with a full ship roster which extends into the Reflex-era. That'll change as I make more stuff for the others.

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LIIRIAN CRUSADE

The Liirian Crusade is what happens when a society which was dedicated towards peace suffers such an atrocity that it alters their collective psyche towards conflict. While not involved within the Hiver Conflict, the Liir were heavily engaged in a long and protracted war against the Suul'ka Horde (The Zuul) much more than the Prime timeline (the official lore from kerb) and this has taken its toll on the species. In a dark reversal of how the Liir are shown in the Prime timline, the Project Hiver Liirian forces see their star-faring forces as the most vital part of their society, as only they can deal with the threat imposed by the Suul'ka.

Life is precious towards the Liir - but only their own. They've come to this conclusion by the simple fact that if there is no one left but Liir to fight the Suul'ka then there will be less "food" for the Suul'ka to consume, and since it is the duty of all Liir to fight the Suul'ka... the meal wouldn't be quite as tasty.

This is most heavily shown in their fleet doctrine which is how they see themselves and why they are called the Liirian Crusade within the Project Hiver timeline. Their protectorate ships are now standard CnC vessels called 'Crusade' and their overall firepower per ship is unmatched - even the Loa sometimes are outgunned by a comparable Liirian vessel.

CRUISERS
Liirian Crusade cruisers are on the lower end of the combat effectiveness spectrum, however they make up for this by having a comparatively large number of heavy turrets, giving them much more firepower than typically expected from a cruiser sized vessel. All Liirian cruisers have Psi abilities, with certain sections having bonuses to psi strength or extra abilities. This makes a Liirian cruiser fleet very unpredictable as one can never know what they'll do.

DREADNOUGHTS
The Liirian Crusade has the most powerful dreadnoughts out of all of the factions in terms of sheer firepower. They also have a unique Shield Command CnC DN which has a DN-sized shield generator on it alongside their usual Crusade CnC vessels.

LEVIATHANS
One of the largest failing of the Liirian Crusade is their Leviathan-class vessels. While still exceptionally strong, they can not stand up to any other leviathan-class vessel of comparable type. While this is partially offset by their ability to carry battleriders from drone-size to battleship-size, they simply do not have the sheer level of firepower available to the other races.

PLATFORMS
Liirian forces have access to the standard range of platforms though they also have two unique platforms - one which has Psi abilities and one which can support a single battlecruiser.

TECHNOLOGY
Liirian Crusade retains their 50% research speed bonus. Liirian research focuses tend to be on lasers, Heavy Beams and Heavy Combat weapons.

BONUSES
All Liirian Vessels with the same engine class will turn and move at the same speed. A fusion-era CR will move at the same speed as a fusion-era DN will. An Anti-matter era CR will move just as fast as a Leviathan does. (until the reflex era ones are made.)
Liirian vessels may be the slowest on the battlefield but they can turn nearly instantly. This gives them bonus tactical flexibility when compared to the other factions.
The main selling point of the Liirian Crusade ships is they either have light or heavy (or larger) mounts - only the Prestor Zuul BRs, BCs and BBs (battleships) have any medium mounts at all. This has numerous tactical differences when designing their ships.
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Slashman
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Slashman » Sat Sep 02, 2017 4:02 pm

As always I tip my hat to you RS. You make some awesome looking stuff!
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marshb
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by marshb » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:22 pm

Impressive as always! :awesome:
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Rossinna-Sama
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:48 pm

Maybe one day when my finances are stable enough to allow it, I may take some modeling courses so I can potentially conceive of making my own 4x game. Coding would also be a problem but I have faith that I could pick that up without much issue. But that's a long way off yet - my focus remains on my VN as well as my "culinary arts".

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The Warfare Update!

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As a part of my ongoing attempts at making Ballistics "worth my time", I've continued my all out war against the four other Solforce AI players.

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Battleriders were causing crashes so I've had to remove the dedicated entries for them from the fleet templates. Irritating, but better than having phantom fleets.

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While still a work in progress, the Solforce AI's tech choices are making it perform a lot better than vanilla. They actually only got Antimatter 10 turns after I did, which is a record.

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The Errai system is still in a state of total war from the last time I did an entry like this.

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With the change that dedicated missile ships fire 2x the number of missiles (or 4x if a Leviathan sized ship), missiles are causing FPS problems again. Going to reduce their rate of fire by 50% once I open the files up again.

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The AI is certainly using the Very Hard setting.

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While not as flashy as energy weapons, ballistics only matches are still interesting.

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How I still wish ship debris lingered...

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Have I said how much I love the look of the torpedoes when they are drastically sped up and not made to track?

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Those same torpedoes from the other side.
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Rossinna-Sama
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:57 pm

Continued from above to split up images.

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A single volley of missiles from one ship.

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For comparison, a single volley of only the IOBMs from a Leviathan.

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I still wish I could edit particle effects...

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Lighter missiles can still get on the screenshot fun.

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The last picture of a Missile posing for the camera... for now.

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Ghosty demonstrating its upgrades.

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It took long enough, but the first leviathan of the match has arrived.

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God darn it AI, why are you still building propaganda ships!?! How many times must I fix that?

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Ballistic only Leviathans can put out a lot of ordinance. And just in time to meet a System Killer...

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Other changes:

VRF now provides 150% increase in rate of fire. Starting tech for ballistic based factions. Very expensive for non-ballistic based factions.
Rumors that the GhostShip might be getting upgraded to Reflex-era status.
Acceleration Amplification now increases ballistic damage by 50% and projectile speed by 100%.
Neutronium Rounds now increases ballistic damage by 100%. No projectiles in PH uses Mass so its increase to mass is irrelevant.
Initial concept for all remaining factions in my design document, but not quite ready for me to post up here yet.
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Slashman
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Slashman » Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:41 pm

Looking awesome as usual. Someday I hope to play it! :)
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Rossinna-Sama
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:05 am

Been a while. Had other priorities which are still in the way, but found some time to get back to 'work'.

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Still find ballistics to be kinda... dull? Perhaps it's because they don't have as much bloom... :lol:

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This said, it does make Leviathans have some unusually high levels of flexibility in their loadouts.

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An utterly drone-infested system. Probably the reason why I'm actually looking into cutting down drone numbers and buffing them even further than I already have.

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Experiment 1: Giving Locusts AP weaponry. Result = System Killer shredded in 10 seconds from full health. Somehow I don't think I want locusts to be that powerful, so experiment reverted.

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Experiment 2: Replacing most weapons with less-performance intensive versions for the locusts. Result = considerable FPS increase.

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I Done' Goofed Experiment: When one sets the resource cost of new locust vessels a little too low...

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Experiment 3: Locust Needle Ship buffs with stronger weaponry and better statistics. Result = capable fighting vessels, can lower the number of them now to increase performance in larger Locust battles.

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Experiment 4: Revisiting the Materials~ file for the Locusts. Results = shiny. Not a firefly reference.

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Experiment 5: Lowering structure of the Herald Moons dramatically but increasing speed. Result = Scary battles but able to be destroyed by lower tech fleets.

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Excuse me Slavers, but this is supposed to be a locust invasion... shoo!

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Locust Herald Moons are now more effective at doing their jobs. Considering reducing their Needle Ship count to 2 and leaving the Mothership as the one which has lots of those, since Motherships don't stack with one another.

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This could be a promotional screenshot. ;)

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The longer trails for the battleriders does look a little odd at slower speeds, but BRs are getting a revisit once I decide on what I'm doing with drones.

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I mean its not like I'm facing a hundred locusts... closer to a thousand. Darn mistakes...

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I wonder if I should give the locust needleships a better engine effect.

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Watching a dogfight between the locusts and BRs with some drones is oddly satisfying.

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Lost in Space - SOTS style.

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Apart from drones, a pure missile fleet (which happened to be against an AI missile fleet) is the other main FPS killer that one sees with any regularity, not sure how I can fix that without making missiles useless.
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Talverin
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Talverin » Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:43 am

A thought occurred to me about the missile FPS issue mentioned at the end. What if you had a normal 'missile battery' that you actually scripted as a torpedo? Basically it represents multiple missiles by having a larger health pool, and depleted damage based on the amount of damage the projectile takes?

This way it keeps PD and mass missile strategies relevant, but still reduces the number of launchers necessary for 'saturation', or reduces the number of individual missiles in flight. I've been out of the loop for a while so I'm not certain what other issues it might have (Like if at current turret numbers it would be too powerful) or elsewise, but it's a thought that's been churning for a bit.

I don't know if the sprite could be changed to reflect it being 'multiple' missiles or not without also leading right back to the same FPS issues as before.

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Rossinna-Sama
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:50 pm

Talverin wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:43 am
A thought occurred to me about the missile FPS issue mentioned at the end. What if you had a normal 'missile battery' that you actually scripted as a torpedo? Basically it represents multiple missiles by having a larger health pool, and depleted damage based on the amount of damage the projectile takes?

This way it keeps PD and mass missile strategies relevant, but still reduces the number of launchers necessary for 'saturation', or reduces the number of individual missiles in flight. I've been out of the loop for a while so I'm not certain what other issues it might have (Like if at current turret numbers it would be too powerful) or elsewise, but it's a thought that's been churning for a bit.

I don't know if the sprite could be changed to reflect it being 'multiple' missiles or not without also leading right back to the same FPS issues as before.
There's no sprite that'd work properly for it. I may mark them as torpedoes as that is a way to balance them, but right now they don't seem to be too bad. The AI has learned that there's other weapons apart from missiles recently.

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My internet has been down for over a week, and only just got restored yesterday. I did manage to get some modding in during that.

Project Hiver: HIVER UPDATE!
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Yes! Its time to reveal the Hiver faction in more detail as I've actually gotten it to work ingame.

Doctrine System
The discovery of the "Humans" and the subsequent defeat of a portion of the Diamond Queen's nesting fleet by the humans has shaken up Hiver society to such a degree that none of them were expecting. Further contact with the other alien races (Apart from the Tarkasian Imperium which was already known about) continues to cause huge divisions within military theoretical circles about how a future war is to be waged.

This had lead to a number of "Doctrines" being formulated and their proponents have taken to ship design to prove their theories. While this leads to the Hivers having quite a lot of choices, it does limit their ability to focus and excel at one particular area - even their fastest ships for example can not match even the slowest comparable Morrigi ship.

[The Ruby Doctrine]:
The Ruby Doctrine is the primary doctrine the hivers have been following for the last hundred years, making it a fairly recent development. Ships which are designed to the Ruby Specification focus on speed above all other concerns. While this has performed well, the discovery of numerous alien races has lead many to abandon this doctrine in favor of something else.

[The Diamond Doctrine]:
Championed by the Diamond Queen which launched the nesting fleet invasion of Earth, the Diamond Doctrine takes the lessons learned from their dealings with Humanity that speed is irrelevant. The only thing which matters is outlasting the opponent with superior armor and structural support systems. This capitalizes on the Hivers natural design skills which further increases the advantage which the Hivers enjoy - stronger ship hulls than anyone else. It is the primary rival to the Ruby Doctrine to the point where if there is a Ruby design, there is almost always a Diamond design to compete with it.

[The Emerald Doctrine]:
The Emerald Doctrine is a minor doctrine which focuses on firepower over all other concerns. Typically the proponents of this doctrine apply this concept to the smaller ships in the fleet such as drones and battleriders. In essence it trades speed and durability for more firepower, be it in the size of additional mounts or better support for larger weapon systems.

[The Sapphire Doctrine]:
The Sapphire Doctrine studies the other races tactics and technologies and applies them into new designs and weaponry that the other doctrines just do not focus on or even have. New additions to the Hiver tactics list which have been brought in by this doctrine include biological warfare, AI systems and planetary assault shuttles; Hivers typically just bombard a planet from orbit after all.

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In practice, Hiver ships are typically slow but have immense structural ratings. Where a typical Solforce CR section has 1250 structure points, even the weakest Hiver CR section has 2000 with the Diamond Doctrine variants having 3000 or more. Their armor is also very good (though Loa and Tarkas still have more), hence why most battles with Hivers wind up with their ships engulfed in huge firestorms with their turrets being blown apart before the ship itself explodes.

Hivers also gain major benefits from getting to the Antimatter and Reflex era drives now, they can go past 1LY per turn (1.5 for AM and 2 for Reflex).
Compared to Solforce, they don't have as many sections for use but that's just a factor of my own time and interest in making them than anything else.

Techwise, they focus on the Cannon weaponry (when I can convince the AI to do that) but have good ballistic capability as well. Cruisers lack Heavy Mounts (That's a part of the Sapphire Doctrine) but have a lot of light and especially medium mounts. They also now start with Casting as well as the Gate Station tech, so they can start being effective right from the start of a match - the AI performs a whole lot better as the Hivers due to this rather simple change. So much so that even in their unfinished state, they are putting up a good fight against Solforce.

I've also been updating the encyclopedia - I've not touched any of the vanilla entries (I still remember what Erinys told me after all about doing that) so everything PH related is in its own separate folder. It takes time to make those things after all.

EDIT- In the PH Timeline, the Nesting fleet which invaded Earth in the Pre-SOTS1 timeline was not completely defeated. They didn't send the whole fleet after a single world which did show increasing resistance. This is one of the reasons why Humanity isn't the same as they are within the official Kerb timeline - they didn't get any resemblance of peace and reconstruction after the assault ended, as it technically never did. It also informed the Hivers as a whole as to the presence of the Humans much earlier.
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Rossinna-Sama
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:26 am

It has been a while. The continuing nonsense that is my life is doing what it usually does - batters and beats me down. Unfortunately due to my ever dwindling levels of faith in anything, time spend modding is a lot rarer than it used to be.
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I've been working on the Morrigi again, but the main project I've been working on PH related is the encyclopedia.

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It is just a shame I can't find a way to display some of these beautiful images as splash\loading screens.

The main bottleneck I face in releasing PH is the Tarkas. No matter what I think of, it just doesn't seem suitable. There the only faction in which I don't have an idea for as I almost never play as them. They are supposed to be an "ancient empire" within how PH's lore is working, but displaying that ingame as a factional trait is annoying. I've even been considering letting them start with dreadnought construction from turn 1 but... well... it should be fairly clear why I've not done that yet.
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Slashman
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Slashman » Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:00 am

You are not alone Rossinna. I have never played the Tarkas either. In fact, I think they are one of the least popular races in SotS. They don't really stand out mechanics-wise. So I can't even tell you where to start since they have no inherent weakness or advantage. Their lore is more interesting than their ships IMO.
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Mecron
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Mecron » Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:03 pm

things must have changed...every mp game I played back in the day with fans had at least one tark. :twisted:

Talverin
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Talverin » Wed Oct 25, 2017 4:50 am

Since Tarka society is so focused and hierarchal, maybe have very defined ship class roles that are made to work together? Things like the Protectorate, more focused on defending other ships than being direct fighters themselves. Build the fleets around a core CNC ship that gives type-bonuses; extra Ballistic damage, or energy damage, etc.

Alternatively, you can go full Roman and have their 'Doctrines' be 'Legions.'

Spear Legion focused on powerful single attacks - Lances, Torpedos, and the like.

Shield Legion focused on very heavy armor, and point defenses, perhaps integrating a higher repairs-per-turn cap for Shield Legion ships.

The Auxiliaries will be more middle-of-the-road ships which have more missile and drone presence.

Advanced ships (Like the War hull normally would be) can be from the Praetor Legion, which will have (Like the War hull, as well) more heavy mounts and VH mounts with very few small/medium mounts; as well as having 'advanced technology'. Things like Projector mounts and other unusual technologies would fall under the Praetor Legion, which would be the Emperor's own military.

Every time I've played the Tarka, I've always amused myself by giving their ships Roman-style names and roles.


Alternatively, the Tarka could go in an entirely different direction: They're pretty fast, especially on the strategic map, and have strategic stealth as one of their highlight abilities. What if you designed them with a more Mongolian style of play?
Fast, light 'raiders' for one 'doctrine'.
Long-range skirmishers and harriers as a second.
Third could be the 'anvil' of their hammer; ships with lots of broadside mounted medium/heavy mounts that are meant to directly engage the enemy and keep them pinned in place while the rest of the fleet attacks their flanks.

Just some thoughts to maybe help give you ideas.

Edit: I would be the d*** dirty ape in the game.

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