Modding Picture of the day.

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Mecron
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Mecron » Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:51 pm

Rossina, that is some very nice work. Too bad you are so far away in the world. While I don't agree with every change you make I am impressed with the thought behind them. That is a trait of an excellent designer.

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Slashman
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Slashman » Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:35 pm

Are there not tools for long distance collaboration between developers? Is the distance that much of a factor? Because personally, I'd be really interested to see a game that RS helped to design/develop.
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Mecron » Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:40 am

design work is 24/7 and hands on.

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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Slashman » Sat Nov 18, 2017 5:26 am

Crap. Well it was a nice thought anyway.
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Rossinna-Sama
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:11 pm

Perhaps in 2019 when I've recovered enough to be able to defeat my agoraphobia. Its really hard to trust other people right now when every time I step out of my bedroom, I'm expecting to get stabbed by a neighbor. In any case, depending on how open SOTSHD is when\if its released, I wouldn't be surprised if I use that as a platform. Not encountered any other game as of yet that I'd repurpose to my own ends - apart from SOTS2\MARS2 but I can't do what I want to do with its protected pipeline and lack of tools.

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Image
I can just imagine the fleet admiral yelling to himself "COME BACK HERE YOU!".

Anywho, I'm back in my GM\Random test match as taking a break from the Tarkas as clearly I need to figure out a few more things before I proceed- their FTL speeds being a major thing I need to determine.

Kelvinic Cannons are also getting replaced by another type, though what type that is yet, I don't know. I guess that's why Kerb only had Kelvinic Torpedoes, as they are easily one of the most powerful weapons in the game and if I ever play Vanilla again, I'll be experimenting with them there too.
While they act normally against ships with an unbreached armor matrix, they quickly cause damage against structure to be ramped up. Think of it this way, a Kelvinic-armed cruiser can destroy a 250,000 structure leviathan within about 20 seconds once the armor matrix is gone. That's just far too powerful for a mainline weapon system.

As the above screenshot shows, when my fleet eventually catches the Gardener (I reduced its speed to 0.5 LY per turn to allow this), I've set its bonuses much higher to see if they actually work. I've also re-armed the GM, albeit it is only PD weapons right now but if the Gardener actually is working as advertised, I'll do a proper pass on it.

The AI opponent is still going fairly well; its still building the occasional Propaganda ship which is irritating me as its a waste of a slot but I can solve that by making the associated tech something the AI doesn't research at all. The only major bug right now is that Battleriders in an AI fleet sometimes don't cause their attending fleet to be disbanded or destroyed if everything barring the Battleriders is destroyed (quite often due to Scout BRs running away), which causes a fleet to be stuck there permanently with a -27247432 or something shown as its arrival time. There's no way I can solve this error, and considering what causes it, it almost assuredly would be in the vanilla game too- its just that the vanilla AI rarely uses fleets with Battleriders.

I am also considering seeing if I can add a few more Command sections for DNs, as there's only three viable ones right now since pretty much no one will waste the time researching out of the way techs to get the EW section, and the model for the AI command for Solforce's DN's turret mounts are placed in a way where they'd look really silly if upsized to heavy mounts.
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Talverin » Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:51 pm

As far as the EW section, if it had more worthwhile techs on the way I'd love it even more. As it is, it's actually a section I research almost every game even so. The hugely expanded visual range and anti-missile ECM is incredibly useful for planetary sieges. I normally stick it on my Logistics DN and let that one just kinda sit in the middle of my fleet and be passively useful.

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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:08 pm

Talverin wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:51 pm
As far as the EW section, if it had more worthwhile techs on the way I'd love it even more. As it is, it's actually a section I research almost every game even so. The hugely expanded visual range and anti-missile ECM is incredibly useful for planetary sieges. I normally stick it on my Logistics DN and let that one just kinda sit in the middle of my fleet and be passively useful.
I admit that I used to think that too, there's a fully functional CR version in PH for Solforce as well that I added. But even in my test match right now, I've not unlocked it. Every turn is precious and deviating to pick up techs which can't be used in any other manner just makes the AI get further ahead.

My laptop can't handle SOTS2 unfortunately due to this game's heavy demands on CPU so I can't test the less visible things such as if Thermal Coating, Sensor Jamming and so on actually function without having a way to verify the differences. If there's enough of a request I can see if I can limit the required techs some more but, ehh.
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:16 pm

Image
Been attempting some tweaks on Asteroids to help with FPS issues. No results so far, sadly.

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The Reflex-Era Sword of the Stars LV covered in my (at this point) trademark bloom.

I've acquired the Gardener as my fleet finally caught up with it. Just got to deal with the AI's constant attacks while it moves to my homeworld to see if it does anything or not.
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:17 pm

No pictures yet, my focus has been diverted elsewhere recently. What I did do though is focus more on the AI.

Global cost of DN size CnC vessels reduced 25%.
Global cost of DN Flagship CnC reduced by 60%.
This was done in order to prevent AI players bankrupting themselves if not playing on the very hard difficulty.

AI research goals changed again;
AI is now reluctant to get Flagship technology until its done with other things due to the flagships cost.
AI has a lesser priority to go for Leviathan technology (apart from Zuul) due to the cost of leviathans.
AI is now considerably more interested in production boosting technologies.
AI tends to avoid techs which don't provide much value for it until later into the game.
AI will now almost utterly ignore certain techs to ensure it doesn't build things it shouldn't be building.
Tech Values which only the AI use in its calculations have been altered.
This is a large increase in the power and viability of all AI players since there's no trade in PH due to how badly it impacts turn loading times. You shouldn't see them wasting ship slots on Propaganda ships anymore for example as they no longer research that tech unless its literally one of the last ones in the game left for them to get. The increase in production also increases their income so they should be able to sustain their fleets for a longer period of time and be more willing to actually make the ships they prototype.

AI factional research:
Solforce AI no longer beelines towards DNs in the early game due to the costs of DNs in Project Hiver.
Instead they use Solforce's innate shielding bonus and get some of the more advanced shielding techs early on and then start transitioning towards DNs.
Solforce AI will almost always research their starting engine tech first.
There's almost no reason not to, its quite cheap and FTL speed is a major factor of how well an AI can perform.
Zuul AI no longer has any research goals apart from techs which wouldn't benefit them.
This should make every mach with a Zuul a unique tech experience as each one of them will go for a different route.

Other AI tweaks:
Hivers field additional construction fleets over the other factions.
Liirian Crusade fleets may include biomissile CRs and DNs since they now start with Plague research already done. (Faction trait due to having limited access to assault shuttles.)
Liirian Crusade AI tends to favor the Crusade CnC choices.
This allows them to more often use their factional advantage in having early 'protectorate' ships.

With these changes, the AI is finally becoming a serious threat and since there's pretty much no upkeep costs for the player, this is also as fair as it can be since the AI didn't pay upkeep anyway.

EDIT -
Did some work on the Liirian Crusade again. While mostly just tweaks to their material file again, there was some early game stuff that's now fixed and they now start with a proper survey fleet with their usual single supply ship since they don't have as much supply ratings as the other factions.

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Liirian Crusade Crusade vessel (Thier main CnC ship, though they still have access to the 'strikeforce' one.)

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Liirian Crusade Dreadnought.

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Liirian Crusade Invasion Leviathan.

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Liirian Crusade Fleet Colony ship (Superheavy transport LV)

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Prestor Zuul BR. (Note that all Prestor Zuul stuff now requires it to be researched.)

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Prestor Zuul BC.

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Prestor Zuul Projector Battleship.

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Prestor Zuul Heavy Assault Shuttle.
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Slashman » Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:20 pm

Very impressive RS as always.

It would be kind of nice just to get those base AI improvements into the vanilla game as a small mod to be honest.
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:31 pm

Slashman wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:20 pm
Very impressive RS as always.

It would be kind of nice just to get those base AI improvements into the vanilla game as a small mod to be honest.
Most of them should be possible. Its just the fleet templates which provide the largest hurdle as if the AI doesn't have the needed tech to make that ship, it will crash the game. Can't have fleet templates with battleriders for example if the tech isn't a starting one.

If I find myself with spare time on the weekend, I'll see if I can conjure something up. Though since I'll have the kids over, I can't promise anything.
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Kinetic IOBMs may not have a unique model, but they still look as dangerous as they are when they slam into a ship at such high speeds.

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A fully armed and teched out (apart from a few super high cost techs) Reflex-Era DN Battlerider carrier fleet.

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Why did I make tractor beams PD again..? :?:

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They do make for an incredible light show however as they have quite a large lighting radius assigned to their muzzle effect. Which I could edit those...

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And that's the impact effect of a tractor beam. It... doesn't look very friendly, now does it?
I'm probably going to make it a reflex-era Heavy Beam weapon since right now, Heavy beams stop at the Meson Beam which is Antimatter.

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Since this is an older save, most of the AI improvements are not here. Still, its putting up a good fight.

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That moment when you fear a flagship lives up to its namesake.

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AI is fielding Battleriders quite a lot now, which is good. Of course since I did pick black AI vs my white color scheme... its hard to tell who's who.
I may alter the default Solforce's material file slightly to prevent that.

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If I ever get my hands on SOTS3 or SOTSHD and its moddable enough, I fully plan on making entire systems covered with asteroids instead of one or two asteroid belts in a system.

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Pink and purple always were the most dangerous colors. :googly:

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They almost look heroic.

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I bumped my Numlock button while taking screenshots and... you know, I never knew you could unlock the sensor view's camera?

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Doubt I'll make much use of that though, doesn't seem to be much point.
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Slashman » Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:13 am

Rossinna-Sama wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:31 pm


Most of them should be possible. Its just the fleet templates which provide the largest hurdle as if the AI doesn't have the needed tech to make that ship, it will crash the game. Can't have fleet templates with battleriders for example if the tech isn't a starting one.

If I find myself with spare time on the weekend, I'll see if I can conjure something up. Though since I'll have the kids over, I can't promise anything.
You don't have to prioritize it or anything. It was just a thought. But I'd be mighty grateful if you could at some point since I think PH is going to be cooking for a good while yet.

Man I would kill for a new SOTS 4x to play with.
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:58 am

Taking a look at it now. Backed up the entire SOTS2 folder with PH, put back my "Multiplayer" install and am in the process of doing a steam verification right now to ensure its as vanilla as I can get.

The plan right now is to alter a few files:

Fleet Template
Section Preferences
CommonAssets
Techtree
StarMapLobby
Strings

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Fleet Template should be fairly obvious but I'll do what I can within the limitations of the starting techs you get in the base game. It does mean that things like starting with a survey ship for the AI can't happen though as you don't start with the required techs.

Section Preferences is just a list of things set to 0 which should help the AI to not build them, though I've not seen any evidence they actually use this file at all.

CommonAssets is an optional one as all it does is set maintenance costs down to insignificant numbers. This is more for the players sake.

TechTree is where the majority of the AI stuff is done, since altering their research goals directly influences how an AI player will perform.
Since I'm dealing with vanilla, it won't be as optimal as in Project Hiver since the AI can fail techs just like players do.

StarMapLobby is to enable the Very hard AI setting.

Strings is an optional one, as all I add is a single entry so the Very Hard AI option doesn't show up as a missing string.

AI testing takes time, so it'll be a few days at least before I have anything real to show I suspect. The hardest hurdle is remembering an optimal way to research for every faction which is Vanilla friendly, as I'm no longer used to dealing with the old tech tree. What I may do is add an additional file which gives PH-like research chances (which are 100%, 99% and 75% for Zuul.) as an optional extra.
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Wed Dec 13, 2017 8:34 am

Image
It is far from complete, but a list of what I've done so far is below. I am hoping to get it done in about 2\3 days time. And I know I said it should be vanilla but I couldn't help changing a few things... :(

THIS IS NOT A FINAL LISTING.
-------------------
AI tech changes

AI now prioritises at least one of the two early game PD choices. (Required for them to be compeditive.)
AI should always at turn 1 start research on FTL Economics. Only Zuul delays this. (Trade in Vanilla is too important to ignore.)
AI no longer researches COL (AI can not use it properly.)
AI no longer researches Mega-Strip mining. (Prevents mass civilian Mining station spam which can lead to hundreds of pointless combat encounters in later stages of a huge map.)
AI no longer researches Fusion Mine. (AI can not use it properly.)
AI no longer researches Damper Beam. (Useless for the AI since they do not couple it with other weaponry.)
AI no longer researches Inertial or Heavy Inertial Cannon. (Antimatter Cannons are superior in every way since no evidence Inertial effect works, waste of research time.)
AI tends to prefer Guided torpedoes over direct fire torpedoes. Especially Liir who will typically not research any direct fire torpedoes at all. (Guided Torpedoes are very dangerous against cruisers who forgot to field point defenses.)
Tarkasian and Zuul AI now tends to prefer Disruptor torpedoes as an early torpedo choice. (Racial flavor choice.)
Solforce AI goes the opposite way and prefers direct fire torpedoes. (Another racial flavor choice)
Plasma Focusing is now much more interesting for all factions AI. (Helps deal with early game supply issues.)
Plasma Induction is now a medium-high priority for all Energy-based factions. Others will research it later. (Helps convince the AI to use some of the more demanding energy weapons.)
Ionic Thrusters is now a medium priority, with a medium-high priority for Morrigi. (Vanilla AI researches this so late that it isn't useful.)
AI no longer researches Enhanced Jurisdiction. (AI has never demonstrated ability to use it. Will revert if proven wrong.)
AI no longer researches Superworlds. (AI has never demonstrated ability to use them. Will revert if proven wrong.)
AI no longer researches Cosmic Bureaucracies. (AI has never demonstrated ability to use it. Will revert if proven wrong.)
Loa AI no longer has the temptation to try and take slaves and has no false access to any slavery research. Like, wha?
AI's handling of the entire Political Science tree redone so it almost totally ignores it, apart from Zuul. (Most of these research subjects do not do anything or are not needed in the first place.)
AI now is quite interested in Convoy Systems in order to reduce piracy, apart from Zuul. (Without altering the tech tree more dramatically, this forces the AI to research the useless Commerce Raiding tech too.)
Tarkas, Liir and Morrigi AI now have Small Scale Fusion as something they are very interested in.
Antimatter research is now faction specific on how much they want to research it before other things. Loa will still attempt to research it faster than other factions. (This allows some tailoring to ensure the AI can get some useful fusion-era techs before embarking on the long research road towards Antimatter.)
Antimatter now has all four research modes assigned to it. Prevents AI from deadlocking and refusing to get to the antimatter era in certain situations.
AI interest in missile techs normalised per faction. Morrigi has slightly better chances of wanting to research them early, with Tarkas AI having the highest chance of aiming for missile techs.
AI no longer very interested at all in Blast Storm missiles. (Laser bolts just get deflected.)
AI no longer prioritises Blast Beams, Thud or Kinetic missiles. (AI rarely fits them on designs.)
AI with Ballistic preferences now have a flat chance of researching the various kinds of ballistic weaponry. This includes Leech and Shield Breakers.
AI no longer researches Biological Transfer. (AI doesn't build anything but the standard Transport Colonizer.)
AI should value Enviromental Tailoring more in the early game in order to get a head start in colonization.
AI no longer researches Replicants. (AI can't handle the Morale hit and tends to cause them to have riots.)
AI should (hopefully) research Gravitational Adapation right after collecting Antimatter. Apart from Loa. (Should help with their constant growth.)
AI no longer cares much for Biosphere Preservation. (AI doesn't use Psionics in vanilla unless its from a Suul'ka.)
AI no longer researches NanoVirus. (AI doesn't use it for its intended use.)
All non-Liir AI no longer prioritises Biowarfare or its cures.
AI is much more interested in all four forms of Armor.
AI is much more interested in Reflective Armor.
AI no longer prioritises Hardened Electronics.
AI no longer values Stealth Armor very much.
Material Application should be one of the first 10 research items an AI performs regardless of faction.
Arcology is more interesting for the AI, should be researched just after Antimatter to assist in continued growth.
Zero-G Deconstruction value normalised. Should entice AI to pick up the following two production increase techs.
AI more interested in Pressure Polarisation.
Vacuum Preservation is now much more interesting for the AI. Should help with supply issues.
AI more willing to research Quantum Disassociation.
AI more willing to research Advanced Nanites.
AI no longer researches Hardened Structures. (AI doesn't use it.)
AI is no longer utterly obsessed with getting every CnC tech it can as soon as it becomes available. It really needs to learn some moderation.
AI no longer has a love affair with flagships.

---------------------
Tech Tree Alterations

Subspace Spy Beams is now a free starting tech for all factions. (Tech doesn't work.)
Sub-Space Jamming is now a free starting tech for all factions. (Tech doesn't work.)
VRF is now 100% tech chance for all factions.
Phalanx PD (Gauss PD) is now 100% tech chance for Zuul, Tarkas, Hiver and Solforce.
Rapid Fire Laser (PD laser) is now 100% tech chance for Liir, Morrigi, Solforce and Loa.
Phalanx PD Research cost from 40000 to 25000 to match research cost of VRF.
Removed Psi Shield and Psi Reflect research topics due to them not being usable by any non-Suul'ka vessels.
Plasma Induction is now 100% for all races. Reduced cost to 15000.
Armored Capacitors is now 100% for all races. Reduced cost to 15000.
Plasma focusing's cost is now 15000.
Convoy Systems is now 100% for all races barring Zuul which remains at 0%.
Value for Antimatter increased to 500000 from 350000. No gameplay effect, merely makes it more desirable for the AI.
Antimatter tech will now be researched in all AI modes.
Reflex Furnaces is now 100% chance for all races. (Allows gameplay compatiblity with Project Hiver in the future.)
Quantum Capacitor Danger level increased to 3 from 2. (Boosting this should be dangerous, now it is.)
SWS systems is now 100% chance for all races.
Stealth Armor value to 40000 from 80000. No gameplay effect, merely makes it less desirable for the AI.
Materials Application value to 50000 from 30000. No gameplay effect, merely makes it more desirable for the AI.
Arcology Value to 300000 from 150000. No gameplay effect, merely makes it more desirable for the AI.
Zero-G Deconstruction value to 220000 from 130000. No gameplay effect, merely makes it more desirable for the AI.
Vacuum Preservation value to 200000 from 120000. No gameplay effect, merely makes it more desirable for the AI.

---------------
Common Assets Alterations

Reduced Maintence costs to negligble amounts.

----------
String File Alterations

Added String for the Very Hard AI.

---------
UI Alterations

Added in option for Very Hard AI.

Very Hard AI provides:
Research Speed = 75% increase
Income = 75% increase
Production Speed = 75% increase
Population Growth Rate = 25% increase
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Slashman » Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:59 pm

Wow RS. That took me a while to read through. And i had no idea that there were so many techs that the AI went for which it could not/would not use.

The fact that you found all of that is pretty damn impressive. I always had so many questions as to why the AI were doing (or not doing) the things they were in SOTS 2 games and now I feel like I'm getting answers.

Thanks again for taking the time to do this. Should make vanilla games more palatable for sure.
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