Modding Picture of the day...

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Talverin
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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by Talverin » Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:53 pm

That's amazing! I really love the changes. Those heavy missile pats have me salivating already...

When Battleriders get their overhaul, will the BR platform also get a point bump? Or is the Drone platform mainly so expensive to field because of the repair point buff?

Additionally, will the system gain the benefits of the Repair Point increase even if the platforms aren't deployed into the system, but merely in its' reserve?

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Rossinna-Sama
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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Wed Nov 20, 2019 2:30 pm

Talverin wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:53 pm
That's amazing! I really love the changes. Those heavy missile pats have me salivating already...

When Battleriders get their overhaul, will the BR platform also get a point bump? Or is the Drone platform mainly so expensive to field because of the repair point buff?

Additionally, will the system gain the benefits of the Repair Point increase even if the platforms aren't deployed into the system, but merely in its' reserve?
Far as I am aware, as long as the platform is built, it will contribute its repair points to the system. Sort of like Repair and Salvage vessels and all Tarkasian ships.

Drone platforms are expensive since large swarms of drones combined with a drone\missile defense fleet will typically crash the game due to there being too much stuff going on.

BRs have had an overhaul, but they are not in a place I find suitable. They don't scale well enough right now as far as I am concerned.

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Today's fleet song - Pokemon Sword\Shield Gym Leader Battle Theme

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Proof that the AI can intercept - the fleet to the right intercepted one of my fleets (which got blown up). Don't mind the money the AI has; there's an income 'cheat' running for Tarkas as I'm building the faction and that AI is on Very Hard difficulty.

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Is it just me, or does white fit the Tarkas?

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Pathfinding around planets is still a little wonky, but larger systems are so darn pretty to fight at.

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"Alright, who's been playing with the cutting beams again?"

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Barring textures, these are totally stock DNs. Suffice to say, they pop like candy right now compared to PH-level weaponry.

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More of the Antimatter (T2) ballistics are now more properly tweaked, though they are still too strong right now.

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Fusion (T1) are quite a bit more balanced damage wise in comparison, but that's fine. Just means more work.

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I know I've picked on planet textures in the past, but sometimes they just... work.

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How to tell I've not finished a faction - the AI builds propaganda ships. :noid:

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Don't worry, Solforce is still around. This was a 2v2, but my ally got wiped out fairly early.

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There's always something so satisfying about watching a full cruiser vs cruiser fleet battle and not micro managing it.

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Say hello to the true endgame ballistic weapons - Reflex. T3 ballistics.

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I may or may not have found a way to alter lighting brightness and radius... :googly:

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Space littering 101.

So as one may have guessed, Tarkasian cruisers are well underway with their redesign. I've got a few more to get done yet and I have to add in the reflex era engines, then its DN time. Since I don't consider Tarkas to be a drone faction, they will get updated PH-level drones but no new ones. They've got their BCs to play with, and those'll get more attention.
Sword of the Stars 2 : Project Hiver Modder
Creator of the Work-In-Progress Seimei Visual Novel series.
My dream game: Combination of Sword of the Stars 2, Angels Fall First, Conquest: Frontier Wars and Warzone 2100.

Talverin
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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by Talverin » Thu Nov 21, 2019 3:35 am

Oooooh that's lovely-looking. You do such good work! I can't wait to see how it all turns out. Can't wait to see the Tarka changes too... They're my second-favorite faction.

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Rossinna-Sama
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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Sat Nov 23, 2019 3:40 am

Bit more work done; unless I get distracted, should be more done later on.

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Tarkasian Construction ship - it is now following what most other factions have, which is it using the Repair and Salvage model and allowing it to use normal Command and Engine sections which lets it scale. As usual, I lowered its construction ability a little bit to compensate.

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Due to the screenshots I took yesterday, I was convinced to change the glass from yellow to white. I also increased their reflection and refraction so they don't look the same as Solforce. I think it looks much better - for reference, this is the Impactor mission section.

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Right now the only 'new' (as in new entry and not a modification) Tarkasian mission section, the Missile section is the Boarding section but having its boarding pods removed and replaced with five linked very heavy missile mounts. Not turrets, mounts.
"Owing to the immense difficulty faced by our marines in attempting any ship-to-ship boarding operations, the new 'Var Kona' ordered the shipwrights to find a way to retrofit the design. The Missile section is the result, having five linked very heavy missile mounts which are all slaved to one another. While these mounts are not very customisable, very few ships can unleash the same amount of missiles in such a short period of time as this vessel can."

Stats are pending on all of them, as usual. Not finished yet, as I ran into a bit of a hurdle I want to solve. Those being the Tarkasian Hunters, otherwise known as BCs.

While it is only a texture glitch, it annoys me enough that I want to totally redo the system. The engine for the Antimatter and Warp Hunters does not animate. So I'm investigating (hopefully today) having them be similar to the Liirian BCs in which they can be customized with three sections.

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I am considering using the Slaved AI (Fire Control) model and giving the BCs a few variants of it and only it. Mission sections, I'll pick a few I think would be appropriate and they'll have the usual engine sections.

To try and ensure they aren't just like cruisers you can build normally, I'll try and give them some different mounts\turrets and\or something which sets them apart.

Yes it is a lot of work for only marginal gain, but things like this will irritate me the longer it is left alone, so...

Anyway, the Slaved AI as shown in that screenshot has been updated since then - it now uses two heavy missile mounts, not two very heavy missile mounts. Is it a good section? Probably not, no. But without the ability to edit models, there's little I can do sometimes.
Sword of the Stars 2 : Project Hiver Modder
Creator of the Work-In-Progress Seimei Visual Novel series.
My dream game: Combination of Sword of the Stars 2, Angels Fall First, Conquest: Frontier Wars and Warzone 2100.

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Rossinna-Sama
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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:13 pm

As a part of my experiments with BCs, I've updated the Tarkasian drones to be and function unlike any other.

How?

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That's a drone carrier. With drones.

Technically it isn't called that anymore as the Tarkas do not use drones at all, they use Corvettes. They are still technically drones and the game handles them as such, but they are using models from other ships. These are the model from the Police Cutter (which is disabled for the Tarkas) and I added a conversion which gives them antimatter engines so they scale visually.

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They function exactly as expected - no need to build them, they are auto-assigned to ships like any other drone and they regenerate using repair points.

Balance wise, they use the counts of normal battleriders (as that carrier is actually the BR carrier model) and statistics of the current battleriders instead of drones. While their firepower is considerably lower than actual battleriders, I think that's entirely fine.

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They even dock properly, however I did notice when testing with the stock DN drone carrier with normal drone counts that they did have trouble docking - there was so many of them in close proximity that the docking bugged out. Not surprising, but isn't an actual issue since I'll be using BR carrier models for all of them to reduce the number of them anyway.

What does this mean for the Hunters\BCs? Right now nothing. Trying to decide the most optimal and fun direction to take them in, my previous post probably will still apply though it isn't my only option as I've come to conclude.

EDIT: The special drone types are possible, but it is more probable they'll just be disabled. And yes, they do actually work.

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Seems the AI already likes them.

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So far their performance impact has been fairly good. In reasonable CR vs CR fleet battles there was no slowdown. It was only when the AI was using the currently unmodified DN drone carriers was there some slowdown since they carry far more than they should\will.

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So a scene like this in which most of the sector is covered in 'drones' shouldn't occur once I've updated the DN version.

Either way, they performed flawlessly in a proper battle. No errors, issues or bugs and no real performance impact under normal conditions.
Just another tool in the Tarkasian Toolbox for players and AI to use. Heh.
Sword of the Stars 2 : Project Hiver Modder
Creator of the Work-In-Progress Seimei Visual Novel series.
My dream game: Combination of Sword of the Stars 2, Angels Fall First, Conquest: Frontier Wars and Warzone 2100.

BlueInstinct
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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by BlueInstinct » Sat Nov 30, 2019 9:48 pm

Holy smoke i absolutely adore the new tarkas textures. Is there any chance you might be sharing them with us ( meee :love: )
Anyways, good job and keep it up. I come here ~ once a month and every time i get the urge of playing sots2, more precisely PH.
I also really like the idea of the police cutter drones. Maye you can find a way to fit them in

greetings

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Rossinna-Sama
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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:33 pm

BlueInstinct wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 9:48 pm
Holy smoke i absolutely adore the new tarkas textures. Is there any chance you might be sharing them with us ( meee :love: )
Anyways, good job and keep it up. I come here ~ once a month and every time i get the urge of playing sots2, more precisely PH.
I also really like the idea of the police cutter drones. Maye you can find a way to fit them in

greetings
They are already in. Just need a little more tweaking. As for the Tarkas textures, not sure on that as I don't recall what files I changed.

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I do not know how SOS and the base game is going in regards to AI aggression but in PH, aggression from the AI is not an issue in the slightest. The middle of the map (Jax) is covered in both strike and invasion fleets with the occasional colony fleet trying to get a world to live long enough without being blown away.

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More important was how stable PH is during larger battles - 3 full AI fleets plus my own (I was chasing a command ship to prevent yet another invasion on one of my worlds when I took this screenshot) in this system, all fighting each other. Only the usual slowdown which wasn't serious, considering there was a lot going on.

This is actually not that rare of an occurrence in an all Solforce map. With SOS and my own custom .dll version for PH running, the AI are doing exceptionally well in the strategic layer. Very few idle fleets, constant attacking from all sides while they are still managing to build and upgrade their stations and attempt to claim new worlds. I can say without a doubt that the vanilla AI would have been crushed by this by now.

Indeed I'm a little concerned that on the strategic layer, the AI might be too powerful for players who are not as experienced in the game. In this regard, I'll probably fiddle around with the numbers that AI difficulty lets me change; as there's no trade in PH, hitting income for an easy AI shouldn't cause it to grind to a halt as it would in SOS\vanilla.

Where the AI does still have issues is the tactical layer. However unless I really dedicate time towards trying to figure out how to help it there, I doubt there's much I can do. Explained this before, I am not a coder.

Anyway, this match is a little experiment I've been running for the last few days - DN construction is disabled (and anything larger) and Antimatter is disabled. This means the only things that are available are the fission and fusion era weapons and technologies. Being forced to use these earlier game weapons is allowing me to get a better feel for them and to try and make them more competitive with one another.

That's why there's so few screenshots, if any. Things are changing constantly as the constant attacks allow both me and the AI to see how the weapons are performing. The latest example is that all Direct Fire Torpedoes are now tracking - they ain't very good at it but it allows them to actually fire like they are supposed to.

The largest redesign planned is Missiles, as I've identified two missile types that I always use and ignore the rest; clearly I need to take a better look at those.

PS. The defense platforms as shown on the previous page are working properly. Relying on them is still rather silly in my view, but they can do some reasonable damage and won't explode the instant a fleet glances in their general direction.
Sword of the Stars 2 : Project Hiver Modder
Creator of the Work-In-Progress Seimei Visual Novel series.
My dream game: Combination of Sword of the Stars 2, Angels Fall First, Conquest: Frontier Wars and Warzone 2100.

Talverin
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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by Talverin » Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:46 pm

That's amazing! I must admit to a little trepidation about the difficulty you're showing here. I'm confident I can step up to it...

In time, anyway!

The ships look beautiful, the weapons interesting, and the changes... intensely sweeping! I've been playing a ton of SotSII lately to prepare myself for even the limited release.

As far as missiles, I know I only ever use the Polaris, IOBM, and (If I'm lucky enough to get them) MWM's. I never use the corrosive missile, or rockets, the kinetic kill missiles, or the Thud/Laser missiles. Honestly part of that is perhaps a lack of understanding of their role, but much of it is from the feeling that, as limited (and in mid- to late-game easily countered) as they are, the fancier warheads have very little impact on gameplay.

Or, in the case of Corrosive missiles, just don't seem very effective.

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Rossinna-Sama
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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Mon Dec 02, 2019 5:48 pm

Talverin wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:46 pm
That's amazing! I must admit to a little trepidation about the difficulty you're showing here. I'm confident I can step up to it...

In time, anyway!

The ships look beautiful, the weapons interesting, and the changes... intensely sweeping! I've been playing a ton of SotSII lately to prepare myself for even the limited release.

As far as missiles, I know I only ever use the Polaris, IOBM, and (If I'm lucky enough to get them) MWM's. I never use the corrosive missile, or rockets, the kinetic kill missiles, or the Thud/Laser missiles. Honestly part of that is perhaps a lack of understanding of their role, but much of it is from the feeling that, as limited (and in mid- to late-game easily countered) as they are, the fancier warheads have very little impact on gameplay.

Or, in the case of Corrosive missiles, just don't seem very effective.
Barring changing the bonuses that the various AI difficulties get, the other way to influence what the AI does is by how many and the priority of certain fleet types they can field. While SoS allows almost any fleet to do whatever they wish (which is my understanding), they still obey fleet number limitations so it'd always be possible to lower the usual number of fleets that the AI would want to assign to invasion or strike missions in order to tone down that side of things. May also be the case that there's too much starting income again by default.

Anywho, a lot of work has been done balancing and reworking the Fission and Fusion era due to my test match; which I'm probably going to restart soonish, once I'm done with the missile redesign. Or more accurate, once I've fiddled with a few ideas of how to actually allow them to scale since the only upgrades they get is a speed and range boost alongside a rather hefty damage boost - there's nothing about missile hitpoints for example and certain techs like Subversion utterly wreck missile fleets using the more advanced warheads since your own PD does not fire back at subverted missiles.

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A smaller battle from this match, if you can call it small. Myself and two AI fleets; my fleet is off in the distance chasing assault shuttle carriers while the other half of the red AI's fleet is engaging yellow AI's fleet.

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So the way it works in PH is that all factions barring Zuul and Loa have exactly 15 cruisers as their maximum fleet size and that never changes. This means 90 fleet CP, and all of that is shown here for scale. Not sure what the max is for SoS or the base game, but I do belive its somewhere near 140'ish if you've also got warmind researched? Either way, these smaller fleet sizes are not only easier to maintain as time goes on (click once for CnC ship, 14 times for other CRs. Maths? Nah.) but they also allow these larger battles between multiple empires to take place without crashing.

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One of which is shown here. This is a 3 AI and myself battle for a total of four full fleets, all in the same spot. Yellow's fleet is off the screen to the right whom seem quite fond of projectors, Red is in the middle who I was chasing (Black ships are mine) and Green is also there as the red fleet was trying to escape from mine and ran right into the battle going on between Green and Yellow.

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Inspired by a few conversations about point defense weapons losing their firing sound, most PD weapons are now silent barring impact sounds. Most also don't have impact effects either, though that's for performance reasons. It is a little strange not hearing something fire when you can see it doing such, but in larger battles... well, there's a reason I always have music going on during any fight.
Sword of the Stars 2 : Project Hiver Modder
Creator of the Work-In-Progress Seimei Visual Novel series.
My dream game: Combination of Sword of the Stars 2, Angels Fall First, Conquest: Frontier Wars and Warzone 2100.

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Mecron
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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by Mecron » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:46 pm

Just a shameless plug...anyone interested is supporting at least this message board should check out Pit:Infinity on steam. Even if its not your thing, spreading the word sure helps.

the202
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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by the202 » Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:38 am

This is looking great Rossina. By the way, what is that huge blue streak in one of the pictures?
Many thanks
the202.

BlueInstinct
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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by BlueInstinct » Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:57 pm

Rossinna-Sama wrote:
Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:33 pm
BlueInstinct wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 9:48 pm
Holy smoke i absolutely adore the new tarkas textures. Is there any chance you might be sharing them with us ( meee :love: )
Anyways, good job and keep it up. I come here ~ once a month and every time i get the urge of playing sots2, more precisely PH.
I also really like the idea of the police cutter drones. Maye you can find a way to fit them in

greetings
They are already in. Just need a little more tweaking. As for the Tarkas textures, not sure on that as I don't recall what files I changed.

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I would not mind downloading the whole tarksa folder. Honestly i wanted to change the tarkas textures from day 1 but even with the sotsify tool i wasnt able to make something good looking.


So if you would be willing, that would be a nice christmas present for me ;) cheers and keep it up

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Rossinna-Sama
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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Fri Dec 13, 2019 1:47 pm

Mecron wrote:
Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:46 pm
Just a shameless plug...anyone interested is supporting at least this message board should check out Pit:Infinity on steam. Even if its not your thing, spreading the word sure helps.
I got my co-author (though he considers himself more of a beta nowadays) of that VN in my signature a copy of the game. He seems interested though hasn't played it yet due to work taking a lot out of him. As for me, already purchased it but without a way to turn off or to make almost irrelevant the food mechanic and no way to save progression if you die, it just isn't something I'd find fun in my highly stressed state. That's not a bash towards the game as its a good mechanic, it is just how I feel towards rogue-likes in general. Don't like failing and then having to essentially reset.
the202 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:38 am
This is looking great Rossina. By the way, what is that huge blue streak in one of the pictures?
Many thanks
the202.
It's a movement order since that one was taken with the UI on. My UI is quite a lot brighter due to my various tweaks to bloom and brightness.
Random tip of the day: Double clicking when issuing a move order disables formation move and allows your ships to beeline to where they need to go at their top speed and without any formation concerns; often the only way to get them to navigate around a gas giant with lots of moons.
BlueInstinct wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 4:57 pm
I would not mind downloading the whole tarksa folder. Honestly i wanted to change the tarkas textures from day 1 but even with the sotsify tool i wasnt able to make something good looking.


So if you would be willing, that would be a nice christmas present for me ;) cheers and keep it up
Doubt it'd be ready before Christmas, but I was considering looking into a way to essentially putting PH as is on something like my google drive and have it update automatically whenever I do anything. Since PH at its core is a personal project that I just do because I like modding this game, an actual full release is doubtful.

I'd just mirror the whole SOTS2 folder, but I don't think that's practical.

Translation: I'd like to upload PH as is, but concerned about how it'd get updates since sometimes I edit things for hours at a time or let it sit for a few days.

As for uploading the Tarkas folder for the texture changes, maybe? Would have to take a look at what I did, as I don't want to upload things which I don't need to. If I do, I'll let you know and it'd be on my google drive, as usual.
Last edited by Rossinna-Sama on Fri Dec 13, 2019 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sword of the Stars 2 : Project Hiver Modder
Creator of the Work-In-Progress Seimei Visual Novel series.
My dream game: Combination of Sword of the Stars 2, Angels Fall First, Conquest: Frontier Wars and Warzone 2100.

Talverin
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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by Talverin » Fri Dec 13, 2019 5:20 pm

Perhaps upload it as two google drive files, one 'active' and one 'in progress'? Then whenever you're satisfied with the stability of it, copy it, rename the new one with the date and as the 'active' file, and only develop in the 'in progress' one?

I honestly am not sure how time/effort consuming that would be, I just really want to sink my teeth into PH...

You know, to give you useful feedback!

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Rossinna-Sama
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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Fri Dec 13, 2019 5:31 pm

Talverin wrote:
Fri Dec 13, 2019 5:20 pm
Perhaps upload it as two google drive files, one 'active' and one 'in progress'? Then whenever you're satisfied with the stability of it, copy it, rename the new one with the date and as the 'active' file, and only develop in the 'in progress' one?

I honestly am not sure how time/effort consuming that would be, I just really want to sink my teeth into PH...

You know, to give you useful feedback!
If I had a viable and not time-intensive way of knowing which files have been changed, it'd be much easier. Since PH has been worked on for years and things are scattered everywhere, it'd make more sense to upload the whole thing; if it wasn't for the amount of space it'd take up. Models for example take up a lot of space and those don't need to be uploaded, but going through everything individually risks accidents or breaking something.

What I'd like to do is have some kind of way\program which compares say, a vanilla install of SOTS2 with my PH one and only copies\marks out the ones which have been changed. Dunno if that exists though.

EDIT - added in some voice over strings for certain randoms and GMs. They all use the human faction voice though, as I don't feel like battling the code in order to make it faction specific.

Also... the sound banks have a lot of stuff which never made it into the game. There's some very interesting stuff referenced in there, which only makes it even sadder that SOTS2 will never get those expansions. :cry:
I hope some of them do make their way into SOTSHD or SOTS3 one day at the very least.

EDIT 2 - PH's version of SoS has been updated, this time the faction tech styles has been completely revamped to be accurate to how the PH factions favor things AI wise which should help them research stuff that they want and is also flavorful for the faction. They also now have a complete list of being able to research any tree so hopefully things should be more balanced on their research side. An example of this is that the Human AI should make getting to DN and LVs a far higher priority than the Zuul AI, which enjoys cruiser fleets more. Zuul and Loa can now also research biotech without 'stumbling into them', and Loa has been completely prevented from trying to research the Cybernetic and Psionic trees since they literally can not. Just saves a bit of processing power. This update also means that the AI can research Cybernetic, Rider and Drive techs that it finds interesting.

I also changed the grouping of the techs, though I doubt it matters much. Either way, Energy weapons, Ballistic Weapons, Torpedoes and Warheads (missiles) are in one group, Industry and Shield techs are in another group, Energy, Engineering and Drive techs in another one and the rest are in the last group; sorted by priority more or less. For my own sanity, I also ordered the tech tree file's listings for them in the same order.

Due to what Scottish Kiltz found, it is possible that I might split the weapon trees up but I will only do that if I can ensure full AI support using PH's SoS .dll - it is not something that could ever be implemented into the real version of SoS since it'd probably break the game.

The reason I'm considering that is to further tweak the AI's preferences; for example I could easily split the Cannon weapons away from the Energy Weapon tree, mark them as their own types and allow the AI to be able to distinguish them from weapons like Blasters (lasers) which is currently something they can not do. Or split the Torpedo tree into half half, so one side focuses only on the actual torpedo weapons and the other has the 'DFT' ones which go into Heavy Combat mounts - another way to help the AI to tell the difference.

However I just don't think it is possible, since it'd require actually adding new entries to the base code.
Sword of the Stars 2 : Project Hiver Modder
Creator of the Work-In-Progress Seimei Visual Novel series.
My dream game: Combination of Sword of the Stars 2, Angels Fall First, Conquest: Frontier Wars and Warzone 2100.

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