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 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:45 am

Hi Rossinna-Sama,

My limited testing of Psi-Shields is thus (note this is only from the weapon test screen, not actual combat;

They work until overloaded like normal shields. Plus point is they stop any attack type unlike the other shields which have weaknesses.

Now the bad observations. Despite the entry in the common assets file, changing the health made no difference. Adding a recharge made no difference. Once down they stayed down.

I wanted to use them on destroyer classes, but they don't even function there despite showing visually.

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Rossinna-Sama
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:55 am

Lord Primus wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 12:45 am
Hi Rossinna-Sama,

My limited testing of Psi-Shields is thus (note this is only from the weapon test screen, not actual combat;

They work until overloaded like normal shields. Plus point is they stop any attack type unlike the other shields which have weaknesses.

Now the bad observations. Despite the entry in the common assets file, changing the health made no difference. Adding a recharge made no difference. Once down they stayed down.

I wanted to use them on destroyer classes, but they don't even function there despite showing visually.
That's unusual; they are in the code base within the .dll files so I'm not sure why its not functioning properly.

For reference, the official shield list is:

public enum ShieldType
{
DEFLECTOR_SHIELD,
DISRUPTOR_SHIELD,
SHIELD_MK_I,
SHIELD_MK_II,
SHIELD_MK_III,
SHIELD_MK_IV,
STRUCTURAL_FIELDS,
RECHARGERS,
MESON_SHIELD,
GRAV_SHIELD,
SHIELD_PROJECTORS,
FOCUSED_SHIELDING,
PSI_SHIELD
}

Shield related code also checks for the Shield Recharger tech to enable it to regenerate its structural rating (at a fix level it seems) and checks for the Quantum Capacitors and Shield Capacity (I forget its name) techs.

I've not yet found anything to say that the Psi shields has any bearing on Psi attacks, but most of the effects of Psi ain't in the .dll files anyway.
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Lord Primus
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Lord Primus » Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:37 am

Maybe its just the quirk of the weapon test window again that doesn't let them work properly.

I'm not convinced that Psi shields prevent psionic attacks of any type. I believe that's what the Cybernetic psi-shield was about. A resistance of 200 or what ever was in the tech bonus file. Its a passive bonus but have yet to see it work in action. The AI doesn't seem to use psionics against me for some reason.

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Rossinna-Sama
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:42 am

Lord Primus wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:37 am
Maybe its just the quirk of the weapon test window again that doesn't let them work properly.

I'm not convinced that Psi shields prevent psionic attacks of any type. I believe that's what the Cybernetic psi-shield was about. A resistance of 200 or what ever was in the tech bonus file. Its a passive bonus but have yet to see it work in action. The AI doesn't seem to use psionics against me for some reason.
I thought there was only one kind of Psi shield, the one found in the Cybernetic tree. Could be wrong though - I've disabled a few Psi techs due to crashes.

As for the AI not using Psi powers, that's because it doesn't fit any. It'll use certain Psi powers if the ship comes with them by default, but I have never, ever seen the AI pick to place a Psi Module. Even then, I don't know if it will fill up the Psi slots or not. It may be required to 'force' them to fit it on certain sections by making it the only module that can be placed (I've done that with the Escape Pod\Hannibal for the cruiser CNC), otherwise... don't know.

EDIT - Yes, I got them confused, you were right. There's two of them. The one I was thinking of was the Cybernetic tree Psi shield. Maybe that's why I wound up disabling the one in the Psi tree; it was a cause of crashes for the AI.
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:47 pm

So it has been a while since I've done any major screenshot runs of a major war - and I have one. Playing the Double Helix map with 200% randoms, 5 GMs and only a single Solforce AI opponent on Very Hard difficulty - so both of us have a ton of systems.

To say its an all out slugfest is an absolute understatement. I made the vanilla mistake of under valuing Point Defenses and my opponent is quite happily ripping my ships to pieces using the PH-level drones. We are both fighting like mad over the middle segment of the map, and the AI tweaks to its research priority has certainly paid off. While I doubt I'll lose overall, the AI is not in any danger of bankrupting itself which is its normal problem.

This post will be split into two due to the volume of screenshots.

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Screenshot I've taken for the Encyclopedia for the Proteans.

Image
Screenshot I've taken for the Encyclopedia for the Morrigi Tombs.

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Screenshot I've taken for the Encyclopedia for the Pirate Base. I also updated its weapons again.

Image
Screenshot I've taken for the Encyclopedia for the Asteroids. They are disabled by default in PH.

Image
The opening shots of the Section 7 vs Mars Command war. (White is my ships, Black are the AI).

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For being a Cruiser duel at this point of the match, it sure had a lot of explosions going on.

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Sparks don't appear unless a ship is EMP'ed. This is why my ships seem to be little more than a burning fireball.

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Neutron Beams are kinda pretty when they want to be.

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Seriously. I've lost about a hundred cruisers while the AI has lost... three hundred? Better than what the AI usually does of only killing my CnC ship at the cost of their entire fleet.

Image
Once again I've set the galaxy on fire.

Image
I got to DN tech after the AI as it prioritized it fairly well, so the majority of its fleets have DNs in them.

Image
While both of us do have Reflex Tech unlocked, neither of us (at this point) are using Reflex-era weaponry.

Continued Below.
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:54 pm

Continued from Above

------------
Image
This is when the AI really started inflicting losses on me. Their Carrier CnC DN combined with Carrier DNs with properly armed drones started tearing my PD-weak fleets to pieces.

Image
Doesn't mean my ships didn't fight valiantly underneath the swarm.

Image
I checked the AI's weapon techs; they've not focused on them as of yet. Which is understandable as I've had them prioritize other things.

Image
There is room for improvement for sure though in the AI's researching; they have gotten most of the cannon weapons but little else. Solforce isn't a faction which really emphasizes cannons; that's the Hivers thing.

Image
Seeing DN vs DN duels that are not over within seconds is refreshing.

Image
I actually think I've lost more DNs than the AI has so far. Lesson learned: don't ignore PD!

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When you know things got desperate... send in the colonizers!

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Another lesson learned... perhaps I should actually arm my colonizers next time instead of skimping to save money.

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It exploded a second after I took the screenshot. I'll remember you... erm... ship I didn't name.

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Raided an AI world which happened to be close to a gas giant.

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What's a random picture of a planet doing here?

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With my tweaks to Decals, most ships no longer have those huge white spots on them.

Image
The war marches on...
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Lord Primus
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Lord Primus » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:24 am

Fantastic screen shots R-S.

Loving the individualised race approach you are taking on your mod.

I had come to the same conclusions over psionics as yourself. Psi-modules just don't seem to be chosen by the AI, which is a shame. Ship section forcing is the only way it would seem.

Keep up the great work.

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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by marshb » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:24 am

Rossinna's stuff is always amazing to look at! :awesome:
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Slashman » Fri Nov 10, 2017 8:25 pm

Jaw Dropping as always!!!
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:06 am

Cannon weapon redesign... again... and no, I swear I did not have a certain meme in mind when naming one of these new types of weapons...

(It actually came from Conquest: Frontier Wars...)

-------------------
Image
Kelvinic Cannon\Trebuchet weapons are now functional as Reflex-era Cannon weapons. They use whatever stable assets the Inertial Cannon had including the unused sound effects.

Image
The Trebuchet line of Cannon weapons is designed to be the long range version of the Cannon tree.
"The Trebuchet line of cannon weaponry is the cannon tree's answer to the long range firepower often found lacking within the other two types of cannon weapons. Artillery-class range combined with a somewhat decent rate of fire make this an effective long range solution but it loses damage and accuracy the closer the target is. Being a projectile, it is also not terribly accurate either. Medium Turret mounts get a single barrel, Heavy Turret mounts get two barrels and Very Heavy Turret mounts get triple barrels. Can not be placed into strafe or spinal mounts."

Image
The typical Cannon weapons have been rebalanced to be more middle of the road. They are nerfed overall from their previous PH level version, but are still better than vanilla.
"The most common type of Cannon weapon is the, well, cannon line itself. Middling the road in all factors between the close combat performance of the Polarised line and the long range firepower of the Trebuchet line, the only real downside to this lack of specialty is its slow projectile speed. While it can not be placed in Very Heavy mounts, it can be placed in light, medium and heavy turret, strafe and spinal configurations. The cannon line itself suffers no damage fall off at a distance nor gains bonus damage."

Image
No longer named as it used to be, the Polarised line is the very close range version of the Cannon tree which loses damage the further it goes.
"This focusing technology allows for the creation of weaponized plasma forms, which are polarized to 'spin' along a horizontal axis. The result plasma focuses its thermal release along a very narrow plane upon contact with the target and achieves a 'slicing' effect that defeats ship armor. This in practice is the close range version of the Cannon weapon tree due to its lack of range and severe damage fall off at any real kinds of distances, however at a close range it is very powerful. While it can not be placed in Very Heavy mounts, it can be placed in light, medium and heavy turret, strafe and spinal configurations."

I also did another pass on trying to find more unused sound effects. Think I've gotten them all this time.
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:57 am

Preliminary work on the Tarkasian Empire has begun.

The Tarkasian Empire is the oldest playable faction within Project Hiver, with its active spacefaring timeline extending thousands of years instead of the prime timeline's hundreds. While the Morrigi Empire (Now the Morrigi Confederation) is technically older, their empire collapsed while the Tarkasian Empire did not.

This has lead to them being similar to the other factions yet not at the same time; they have numerous designs which have no counterparts within the other races.

When you take the mantle of Var Kona of the Tarkasian Empire, it is up to you to determine the best course of action and to deal with the stagnancy of the empire before the 'upstarts' actually start becoming a problem.

------------
Ingame Statistics (So far)
-50% research speed. A complacent empire is a dead empire. Dealing with this early on is important, so get those science stations up and running.
Living Armor: All Tarkasian vessels, stations and pretty much everything they got barring drones, battleriders and other 'carried' items provide repair points towards the entire fleet. Cruisers start with 300 repair points regardless of section choices, can be improved with modules and sections with bonuses to repair capacity.
Enhanced GOOP Module: Once researched, this is a stronger version of the GOOP module which has many more charges.
Global Energy Absorbers: The Tarkas do not have an absorber section. Instead, once researched, you can place the absorbing function into any and all designs at a cost.
Unrivaled Flexibility: Every single mount, turret, missile and weapon has its own bank. You can select what weapons you want to fit on a design regardless of the bank setup as everything is separated. This is a lot of work, hence why the Tarkasian update is taking so long.
Impactors: The Tarkas tend to like their ballistics so more than the typical number of Impactor compatible ships can be found.
Advanced Sensors: Most Tarkasian vessels can be upgraded to detect cloaked vessels.

The Kona: The starting command section for the Tarkas cruiser is one of the best in the game due to its low cost and production time combined with its ability to be steadily upgraded; its even the Tarkasian's main way of cloaking their ships.
Variable Warp: Assuming I can find a way to balance this properly as its being fickle, certain Tarkasian sections can add to or take away FTL speed from their fleet.

No Psionics: The Tarkas can not research most psionic abilities. They rely on the Cybernetic tree for that and once I've made them, will have unique weapons due to that.

------------
Tarkas Design Philosophy:
Since this is the last faction which I've got to get done to a playable state, I decided to do something I have not done before - I wiped everything. Every single section is\will be designed from scratch within the limitations of SOTS2 modding, hence the sections that the other factions do not have. It also means that some things they won't have much access to: drones being one of those, only found on a single defensive platform and no where else.

I'm trying to elicit the combined feel of an old empire which is attempting to become relevant again in the modern age while also keeping the theme going that, like a certain country, war isn't about playing fairly.

-------------
NOTE: The following is a work in progress. I have not altered the Mission or Engine sections yet.
Image
This is currently what the Tarkas (non DLC) looks like. I've decided that yellow is their glass color as it makes more sense for a 'golden empire'.

Image
This is the Kona command section for the cruisers. It replaces the default Standard Command. Yes, it is available from the start as while it can equip cloaking devices, you don't start with that tech. Yes, it means the AI will use cloaking more often. :)
"Named after the most exhaulted caste within Tarkasian society for being the first command section ever created by the Tarkas thousands of years ago, this design was almost single handedly the reason the Tarkasian Empire survived so long; after all, the best way to win a war is by waging that war as unfairly as possible. With a built in reactor core providing a lot of extra power, this command sections most notable ability is its innate sensor shielding ability which makes the ship far harder to detect, and it can be upgraded with a real cloaking device once researched. It even comes with backup propulsion devices in the unfortunate event that its engines are destroyed. Its low cost and production time assures its continued use well into the future."

Image
Image
Part of my personal lore for the Tarkas is that they do not treat AI well - the Loa hate them even more than any other faction.
"The Tarkas have never considered the rights of an artificial intelligence to matter, so this command section is essentially a less powerful version of the AI Command variant which only provides a bonus to weapon accuracy and having two specialized drone-style missile mounts."

Image
The energizer is essentially something I'm not sold on, but will leave in since its a choice.
"Yet another one of the 'Var Kona' ordered projects, the Energizer sacrifices a few turret slots in order to house what is essentially an energy field which excites the living armor covering all Tarkasian vessels in order to increase their ability to self repair while not in combat."

Image
This is one of the sections I'm not sure if I can keep in the game or not as of yet.
"Designed by the Dai Kegenu who is the Tarkasian 'Master of spies', the Warp Amplifier doubles the FTL speed of its attending fleet. Be aware that it is very expensive."

Image
This is the Hammerhead section converted to light turrets and wider turret arcs.
"One of the many specialized designs that the new 'Var Kona' has ordered into primary production. This command section is only armed with light turrets but those turrets have considerably better firing angles than usual."

Image
This is the current list of Tarkasian CR command sections. Note the design screen looks different; I've been editing things there again. Trying to extend the black area in the listbox right now so to prevent text cutoff.

------------------
Image
Bloom work: Changed the engine contrail for the Solforce Fusion BRs to the Hiver variant so it quits covering the screen in a red glow.
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Slashman
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Slashman » Thu Nov 16, 2017 2:22 pm

I like your Tarka take RS. Very interesting. It may make me actually play them at some point instead of always trying to blow them up. :P
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Talverin » Thu Nov 16, 2017 3:28 pm

That's awesome! Tarka are my second favorite race, Impactors are my favorite weapon... A match made in heaven.

As far as the doubling strategic speed ship - Are you intending to also significantly nerf their normal FTL speed? If not, I definitely would recommend cutting it. As it is, Tarka are the most strategically flexible and can often strike from well outside even extended sensor range in a single turn - a fact which is already a massive advantage, and doubling that would give them frankly unfair surprise strike capability, even before accounting for strategic cloak.

I like the idea of the Tarka being anti-AI. It fits thematically in my head canon, and from what I've read of the lore; with their focus on internal strength and warlike behaviors toward other species, it would make sense that they would view AI as a subjugated or lesser race. The lack of drones and weakened sections play well with that.

A thought did occur to me, however - Since their command section will no longer be providing a large accuracy bonus like it does for the others, what if you added a mission module which would enhance the ship's total accuracy? You could have two variants, one for heavy weapons and one for small mounts, or instead of the small mounts, simply have a BR section with enhanced accuracy and point defense weapons.

Longevity tends to lead to overspecialization. I feel that having more single-purpose hulls would reinforce that idea as well.

Lastly, a question. For a normal Armor class ship, how much health do you imagine the section having? I'm asking specifically to compare the 300 per turn strategic repair to the actual health pool of the ships; if it will be a large enough percentage to feel like a real staying power boost, or if it is more of a 'back from the brink' kind of thing, meant for patrols that are 15-20 turns from friendly space.

PS: I like the flavor of the Kona section.

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Rossinna-Sama
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:42 am

The FTL speed stuff I can't really say much about until I've tested how exactly it works. Which has to wait until I've constructed at least the entirety of the CR, BR and BC line (and drones).

The Tarkas command sections never provided an accuracy boost, and the Fire Control and AI command are still there, just under different names. (Slaved AI is the Fire Control.) As those are hard coded, they still get their accuracy boost and in PH, all factions can put the fire control upgrades on their command sections.

As for the Mission sections, I do plan on having them be specialized towards one role as much as possible. However if there's too many designs in a single slot such as CR Mission, the selection list will go off the screen and I can't find a way to add a scroll bar to it, so there's a limit to how many variants I can have.

Armor ratings are getting revised as I decided to once again make the Tarkas do things different, instead of either a balanced layout or a 'wide' armor layout more Akin to Solforce, the Tarkas will have 'deep' armor instead.
Planned structural ratings are 1250 for the command section, 1500 for Mission (usually) and 1400 for the engine, with an additional 100 being added for AM and Reflex.

Whether or not the number of repair goes up depends on my initial playtesting. It is supposed to be an advantage but not akin to 'I never need repair ships anymore, ever' kind of thing.
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Talverin
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Talverin » Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:35 pm

On the note of the fire control sections, I understand. Fair enough.

Second - What about reducing the build cost of a cruiser mission section, and allowing it to have modular additions of HCL's, Torps, etc? Maybe even extra weapon banks? That may reduce the total number of hulls you need to design, if you made a somewhat interchangeable 'hybrid' hull (Like the Barrage) that can be selectively fitted with heavy weapons, instead of having separate hulls for each set of weapon combinations.

As far as armor ratings being deep instead of wide - So, that would provide more benefit vs 'anti-armor' weapons like the (vanilla) polarizers, while increasing the utility of things like AP ammo, right?

And for structure: Perhaps think of it in terms of percentages? If you have 5% of the (average estimated base) structure rating, you'll fully repair in twenty turns. As most missions are only a few turns of actual involved combat, that sounds like it would mainly benefit things like fleets defending colonies, or stationed on distant stars for long periods of time. Scout fleets would benefit the most.

If you had more like 10%, that would be ten turns to full from near dead, but as most ships only sustain 40-50% damage per combat, that 10% would effectively be taking off about a quarter of the damage sustained during a normal non-decisive encounter, which would be more short-term oriented.

Again, most missions I have seen in PH thus far tend to run (In the early game, anyway - FTL speeds increase later naturally) maybe four or five turns of travel, one or possibly two turns of combat, then four or five rounds back. The outward leg basically counts for zero repair time, one round of combat, if there is a second that 10% would be a nice benefit of recovering about a quarter of damage taken. Then, the return leg (Another four or five turns) would be enough to completely recover the ships. Even two turns or so would be enough that your fleet would basically be at full fighting strength if ambushed on the return leg.

So, I guess what it comes down to is the goal for giving them self-repair. 5% is not bad if you're looking for a neat but not unbalancing flavor addition that will benefit larger fleets and add a nice bonus to R&S ships. 10% I feel would be the absolute most you could do without it - possibly - being terribly unbalancing. It gives scout fleets without dedicated repair ships enough time to keep themselves topped up, and main battle fleets get a nice bonus to their repair ships.

PS: Man, if only I had even mild autorepair in SotS1... Aha! My engines are no longer crippled! WE CAN SAVE THE SHIP!

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