Modding Picture of the day...

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Slashman
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Slashman » Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:09 am

Mecron wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:26 pm
I was not reluctant to improve it I was reluctant to meddle with hard coding. The right answer was to keep tuning the algorithm.
Ahhh I knew it was reluctance for something...just didn't exactly remember what the something was. Apologies!
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Rossinna-Sama
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Tue May 01, 2018 7:55 am

Okay so good news bad news time.

First the good news: I've decided to get back to work on Project Hiver.

The bad news: I'm not going to be able to finish that VAE AI weapons mod. I have backed it up and can zip up and upload what I've currently done on request, but it hasn't been fully tested nor optimized so about half of its goals have not been reached, even if it does help.

The why: I entirely admit that it is my fault, but the base game is far too slow for my time-limited interest even with 200% income and research speeds. I've been working on PH for so long that I've gotten far too used to its higher paced gameplay - where it is possible to face LVs on turn 100 instead of 200+ in the base game. I can't find the will to keep slogging through testing the AI when to even see if they have the desire to properly fit their ships can easily take hours for them to get to that point since testing on non-default settings gives misleading results.

Anywho. Due to the above, I plan on working on the Morrigi and Tarkas at the same time within PH. I'm not happy with the state Morrigi are in right now in PH, as for the Tarkas, as usual I have ideas but only time will tell if they'll turn out.
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willdieh
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by willdieh » Tue May 01, 2018 1:01 pm

In the end, you gotta do what makes you happy :) I know Project Hiver is something you've poured a lot of energy into, so it's great you'll be going back to what you enjoy doing!

Thanks for working on this Vanilla AI mod though! Just reading your progress has helped me better understand some of the game issues you've faced and the fact that you documented them will help future modders follow on in your footsteps :)

Thanks!
William

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Slashman
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Slashman » Tue May 01, 2018 7:51 pm

I agree with willdieh. Do what makes you happy RS.

As I recall, I just suggested the VAE as a side project when you were a bit burnt out on PH thinking it would be "quick and easy" to take your mind off things. If you're enthusiastic for PH again, dive right in!
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Haplo_Patryn
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Haplo_Patryn » Wed May 02, 2018 8:11 am

Thanks Rossinna and don't worry, I hope we can play your Project Hiver sooner than later :)

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Rossinna-Sama
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Wed May 02, 2018 10:59 am

What I'll probably do is sometime during the weekend, swap back in the weapon mod and focus on performance (FPS) stuff and dealing with ballistics since most of it should be fully functional even in an unfinished state. It does make a considerable difference for both the AI and frame rates.

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Did you miss me? It feels very weird to see all of these 'new' things when I'd forgotten I'd made them...
PS. I may cut down the bloom ever so slightly, since I'm not quite used to this level anymore.

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This is my cut down version of Jax. That said, I do want to remove those extra systems leading to where the top and bottom players used to be located.

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This is another cut down version of Rift. Have not had time to play test it yet so I don't know if there's nodelines connecting to each side yet. If not, they can be added easily.

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This is an edited version of Small Disk, with the Core region removed. I suspect it might become my main testing map.

So what I was working on today (Hence the first screenshot up there) was seeing what current PH AI performance is like. Its better than vanilla but not quite as good as the weapon-modded VAI version. It also had a few FPS killing moments, but I know how to solve those now without impacting balance too much.

Really, who's bright idea was it to give shotguns three barrels? Wait... :shock:
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balti knights
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by balti knights » Wed May 02, 2018 6:01 pm

Rossinna-Sama wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 10:59 am


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:love:

This is so cool...Sama..
The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible. Arthur C. Clarke.

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Rossinna-Sama
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Thu May 03, 2018 9:00 am

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One of the two 'super factions' is getting some love.

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Scrapper - The Scrapper design is one of the oldest Zuul ships still seeing any kind of active service. It is the first type of ship that novice ship designers must construct before being allowed to put their slaves to work on more exotic designs. Armed with a huge battery of missile mounts and a few supporting weapons, this design serves well as a long range raider but has one major design flaw; its top armor might as well not exist due to the structural needs of housing all of those missile mounts.
(Due to upcoming supply changes, Extended Range sections are beyond useless so this is the Zuul's new version. I will be fixing some of those mounts as well since the ones at the bottom don't need to be there. - I do not know if I'll be keeping this by the way, it was more of a test to see if I could use those light nodes.)

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Crusader - The Crusader is a less versatile variant of the ever present Zealot which has focused more on psionic warfare capability. All of the Crusader crew can use Psionic Hold but its two module slots can (and only) be used for Psi modules in order to allow extra psionic abilities to be placed. This design also has a bonus to its psionic capacity.
(It is missing its mounts since this save doesn't have any psi abilities researched yet, since that's normally a requirement to build it. Not actually sure why I could see it at all since I did set its tech requirements.)

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Deconstructor - If it can be destroyed, it can be rebuilt. This ship functions as a sort of mobile shipyard which takes battle debris and makes new ships out of them. It is the smaller and lighter version of the larger Devourer.

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Seeing if my theory that I can transfer unique things to any ship really is true - fairly sure it is but this is utterly untested.
The model is the Zuul Mining ship, but as I started this post with, I may have to use something else.

Other things I've done with the Zuul over my previous version is mostly just tweaking other CRs and adding in more sound effects.
Since I'm almost certainly going to just remove tech feasibility and 100% everything (most things are 99% or 75% if playing Zuul) due to UI problems with huge red bloom covering the screen on failed techs, I'm trying to determine some other interesting aspect for the Zuul to have since salvage won't be one of their main things anymore. They are a super faction right now only because they have very cheap and quickly built CRs and of course their Suul'ka are upgraded over vanilla here, but I know I can do better.

Since its been a while since I stated the overall plan for PH, the Zuul and Loa are supposed to be either AI-only or 1 v 5 if player controlled, sort of like how the Borg from Startrek is supposed to be. Loa have insanely powerful ships while the Zuul currently just have slightly larger fleets and cheaper CRs.

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EDIT:

The Deconstructor didn't work. I suspect that some unique functions actually are and that's one of them. Not an issue, I'll repurpose its slot for something else with a different model. Not sure as to what yet; I've been considering seeing if I can make 'slave drones' but I simply don't think they'll work due to AI differences between assault shuttles and the slave disk.

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Zuul drones have had the PH treatment applied to them. Less in number but not going to blow up the instant a PD Phaser coughs in its direction.

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A starting Zuul Survey fleet without its battleriders going into combat and, well, losing.

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I wish I could raise the orbital plane that planets lie on but it crashes the game.

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One of the 'new' moon skins that PH enabled.

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Zuul's PD choice tech wise is Interceptors. They have an eccentric mix of mount sizes on their ships so focusing on one or two types of weapon isn't really practical unless you're okay with falling behind.

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I'm not sure if I need to buff Solforce again but I'm not losing any engagement when I really should be losing ships in every battle - these are low structure cruisers after all that Zuul has. Or its ballistics being useless as usual. :roll:

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I know it makes little sense but I still prefer exhaust coming out of ballistic weapons than the magnetic coils; though I've recently re-added those for the Antimatter era.

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Solforce is my most complete faction so far, so they blow up nice. :googly:

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White Zuul ships may seem silly but I like it.

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PH-level MIRVs may be pretty but they have too much of a performance hit; I'm seeing about redoing them like I did for VAE's weapon mod.

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The fact that I almost never use these weapons is evident by the fact I've forgotten their name. There's just not enough difference between the first three beams in SOTS2; not sure if their unique aspects work on SOTS Prime like the tech descriptions in the base game imply.

I may split the 'heavy' beams up like I did for the blasters (lasers) and lasers (beamers) so not only would I have two or three energy weapon tech locations I can use but also a valid reason to not have them just be linear upgrades over one another. Not sure if I should go the extra mile and do this to the Heavy Combat line as well.
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Rossinna-Sama
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Mon May 07, 2018 5:11 pm

So today's run was focused more on smaller tweaks. I redid blasters (lasers) slightly so they feel more useful and reverted all PD weapons back to being light mounts only since the AI was not able to handle it very well; I got tired of seeing fleets with nothing but PD weapons on all mounts. I also diversified the planetary missiles some more; now you start with normal sized missiles, you research Heavy IOBM missiles with Fusion Warheads (Very slow but immense bang if they hit something) and the MIRV is now a Polaris sized one.

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The Zuul Leviathan got the 'Liirian crusade' treatment in which it only has two kinds of mounts, this time being Light and Very Heavy (and Super Heavy mounts) so its one of the few non-carrier LVs which have any form of PD which isn't provided by Polaris or IOBM Interceptors.
More importantly, Interceptors are now classed as 'bolt' instead of missile. This dramatically improves FPS rates in battles with large numbers of them and doesn't clog the sensor UI with missile contrails. This also means they can no longer be shot down by other PD ordinances and other interceptors will not try and shoot them down. Other than that, they function the same as they always did.

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While I do like the added variety these ships give, I think for AI purposes I'll remove them again. Or more accurate, simply comment them out.

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This said, they are one of the very few ships the AI actually uses the broadside option on.

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Fairly sure after long last that I've gotten cannon weapons to a state where I like them enough to not want to change them for the 50th time or so.

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The Zuul is turning out much better with some additional tweaks to their cost and production capability. When I get around to making entirely faction specific fleet templates, they'll be terrifying.
And since this is PH, I can tailor pretty much every non-starting fleet for every faction.

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While I've only gotten a few of the AI improvements in from VAE so far, Solforce is still putting up a fight.

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Though I'm not sure why they are obsessed with that particular command section.

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I've been considering it but am unsure as of yet, but I may up the size of Patrol Battlerider mounts to medium so the AI doesn't keep fitting them with only PD weapons. BR's are in a poor place in PH right now since drones are very good but BRs can get shot by anything and don't offer enough damage potential in return, not to mention you've got to actually build BRs while drones only cost repair points apart from the initial fitting cost.
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Rossinna-Sama
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Tue May 08, 2018 6:08 pm

Considering the rate I've been doing things, its probably quite clear that I prefer PH than VAE. :?

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MIRV 'mini-missiles' now have a contrail again; the unused PD gauss trail. There's no noticeable performance loss compared to no trail at all and it makes it easier to see the darn things.

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Reflector is still overloaded with bloom, but there is nothing I can do until something comes around which lets me edit effects.

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Either very brave or very stupid, considering PH Suul'ka have updated weaponry since I can't find any way to allow them to be retrofitted.

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My failed attempt at a smaller version of the Devourer; seems that type of ship really is unique.

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If only there was a way to bring back x64...

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I hope for SOTS HD they implement ramming damage...

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When the AI starts fielding the PH version of Antimatter Torpedoes, it can get quite stressful since if they hit, they've got the most damage out of any non-superweapon in the game.

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What the aforemenentioned MIRV submunitions look like in a group.

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I don't know if it was always like this or if I messed it up sometime along the road, but I've started to repair the Zuul's engine exhausts. Got a long way to go though.

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One of the hardest errors to track down is when a moon has an invalid texture and I can't figure out which one it is.

As it turns out, most of my past efforts with the Zuul was focused on the cruisers so while they are fine, I seemed to have not bothered much with anything else. That's where my focus currently is, updating Zuul to what my modern standards are.
Sword of the Stars 2 : Project Hiver - work in progress
Sword of the Stars 2 : Vanilla AI Enhancement Mod - Alpha Version 6 now Available.
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Talverin
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Talverin » Tue May 08, 2018 6:45 pm

You do amazing work, Rossina! I'm so happy to see you back to work on PH.

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Rossinna-Sama
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Wed May 09, 2018 6:38 pm

Talverin wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 6:45 pm
You do amazing work, Rossina! I'm so happy to see you back to work on PH.
If I ever release it. One of my curses.

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"The Horde is a combined faction of traditional Zuul and their creators, the Suul'ka. The Zuul dig their own Node paths from star to star, but must keep them open with regular maintenance. The Horde is one of the most dangerous factions due to their incredibly cheap yet effective ships which are built very quickly combined with their rapid population growth and ability to almost ignore any kind of morale factor. Zuul Armor plating is different from other factions as it is deeper instead of wider which is superior in short bursts of combat but will fail during prolonged battles much more quickly. Zuul are unable to learn certain techs which must be factored into their overall gameplan."

The techs that are mentioned are the usual ones such as no bio-missiles. I've not committed to removing any techs for them as of yet since I don't see any gameplay reason to do such; Zuul (at least in PH) has no energy\ballistic preferences.

In my spare\bored time while working on the Zuul, I've been attempting to fix cloaking and Psionics FPS hits but not having any luck so far. That would be a very useful thing to fix so I wouldn't feel so bad about not potentially disabling cloaking (I've not disabled it yet but I've been getting tempted to make it very, very rare) but until I figure out if its a coding problem or a texture issue, the slowdown from it is unbearable in any large battle. If the AI is cloaking and so are you, it will crash the game due to how slow its going.
Sword of the Stars 2 : Project Hiver - work in progress
Sword of the Stars 2 : Vanilla AI Enhancement Mod - Alpha Version 6 now Available.
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willdieh
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by willdieh » Sat May 12, 2018 3:42 pm

Rossinna,

Probably will never matter, but while poking around in the UI elements, I noticed a section under the fleet management screens for "escort" ships. It looks like it was never implemented into the game but you can see the escort ship portion of the fleet management screen in game (you just can't put anything in there). I'm wondering, if this was implemented, whether that would be where things like Repair, Supply, and GRAVBOAT ships were supposed to go. Too bad we'll never know :(

William

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Rossinna-Sama
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Thu May 17, 2018 4:29 am

willdieh wrote:
Sat May 12, 2018 3:42 pm
Rossinna,

Probably will never matter, but while poking around in the UI elements, I noticed a section under the fleet management screens for "escort" ships. It looks like it was never implemented into the game but you can see the escort ship portion of the fleet management screen in game (you just can't put anything in there). I'm wondering, if this was implemented, whether that would be where things like Repair, Supply, and GRAVBOAT ships were supposed to go. Too bad we'll never know :(

William
Not terribly sure, it may have been one of the hybrid leftovers from SOTS1's fleet system. Simplest way would be to dig through pre-release stuff and interviews and see if it was mentioned though I warn you; I got quite depressed from being reminded what SOTS2 was going to be and what it is now.
Sword of the Stars 2 : Project Hiver - work in progress
Sword of the Stars 2 : Vanilla AI Enhancement Mod - Alpha Version 6 now Available.
Creator of the upcoming Seimei universe.

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Rossinna-Sama
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Re: Modding Picture of the day.

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Mon May 21, 2018 7:41 am

Been a while, as usual things have been going on. Jinxed myself again when I said I was hoping to be left alone. :shock:

Anyway, my experiment with redoing the ballistic tree failed - Not only did I still never want to use it, it was causing issues since I can't make new icons (or more accurate, I'm too lazy to attempt to do such) and there was so many weapons that I was reaching the 'soft limit' of how many weapons you can have since the UI started cutting things off.

So to remedy this and to go back to what my original idea was supposed to be about, I've deleted every ballistic weapon again and started from nothing.

There's probably going to be some spelling mistakes in the screenshots since I didn't use the spellchecker yet since I'd rather get it done.

EDIT: Ballistics are also no longer faction restricted. This wasn't worth the UI hassle, and it really don't matter if the Loa have access to only the basic weapon.
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"Ballistics are always going to be easier to field when compared to energy weapons but their damage potential in spaceborn combat has always been lackluster. This recent advancement allows our basic spaceborn autocannons to not only function in deep space but more importantly to change its ammo type to a smaller caliber using SABOT technology which also allows the same weapon to function as a point defense weapon. Ballistics often follow the pattern where a light mount has one barrel, medium has two, heavy has three and very heavy has a 3-barrel rapid fire variant which fires nine times per cycle."

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"The third and final type of viable chemically propelled ballistic weapon is simply an oversized cannon nicknamed 'Snipers' which have a very long range and considerable damage potential. Due to infusing the projectile with a small amount of fissionable material, the damage done upon impact increases the further away the target is."

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"A new system of storing energy produced after each firing of a ballistic weapon allows effective recycling of the energy used per shot which allows this energy to be used to fire the next projectile much sooner than without this system. This technology is automatically applied to all present and future ballistic weapons of all types and results in a 75% improvement in ballistic rate of fire."

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"Scatterpack shells are an unusual projectile which is multiple smaller projectiles bundled within a shell-like casing which produces a shotgun like spread pattern when fired. These can only be fitted to Heavy and Very Heavy mounts."

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"ADVANCEMENT TECHNOLOGY: Replacing chemical propulsion with magnetic coils allows for far more effective ballistic weapons with only a minor cost in power usage. This also allows a wider range of potential weapon types to be developed using this system which would not have survived the launch generated by the older propulsion method. This advances your ballistic weapons to the Fusion era."

So as shown above (apart from the grappler which I didn't take a picture of since its unchanged from my last version), these are the tier 0 ballistic weapons. It covers all four basic types of 'autocannon' for rapid fire which also uses the variable weapon system to change into a PD variant, a shotgun as well as a slow firing but long range sniper. These all use chemical\smoke effects (barring the autocannon due to FPS concerns) to show that they are of the fission era.

The next tier is the magnetic weapons which'll use the blue gauss\Mass\Heavy Driver effects. Undecided on the trail as of yet but it'll probably remain the same as the Tier 0 stuff (which is the Heavy Ripper effect). This is when some of the more specialized stuff comes from including AP, bursters and so on. This tier is meant to be Tier 1 which is the Fusion era.

The tier after that is energized magnetic weapons which I've not got much information on as of yet, but is planned to be the tier 2 (Anti-matter) ballistic weapons. Its also where impactors make their return.

The final tier once I figure out where in the tech tree I'm going to place it will cover Tier 3 (reflex), but I have even less information on that. One thing at a time after all. Ballistic factions (Tarkas and Hivers) will also have some kind of ballistic super weapon here since Solforce has their node missile (once I update it) and the others use the stuff already found in the energy tree such as the System Killers beam.

The largest change is that I'm very probably going to be turning COL into one tech and using those slots for other ballistic weapons.

I'm hoping to avoid the problems the older system faced as well as what vanilla also had issues with, but that'll take more time to figure out.
EDIT: vanilla issues implies things I do not like, that's all.

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Bursters have been revamped again to be more akin to what I always envisioned them to be: Flak. They are AoE weapons and that 'flaming shrapnel' has a good critical hit chance if it impacts something.

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Pending performance tests, they come in separate research slots which give a normal single shot burster and a shotgun style burster with lower range, more spread and of course, less barrels due to shotguns causing FPS problems.

One thing I did change is that there's no model for the 'shrapnel' when compared to the vanilla burster, its just a particle effect like the Cannon line of weapons are and this has apparently helped with FPS enough that I don't mind letting there be more than one piece of shrapnel per impact; right now its 3.

Due to my experience with VAE, I've also managed to ensure that the shrapnel won't live for a really long time and wind up disappearing into the edges of the map taking up CPU resources when it doesn't need to. Both of these weapons are of the Magnetic line meaning they are tier 1 weapons - as shown by them using the vanilla mass driver muzzle effect (The blue one).
Sword of the Stars 2 : Project Hiver - work in progress
Sword of the Stars 2 : Vanilla AI Enhancement Mod - Alpha Version 6 now Available.
Creator of the upcoming Seimei universe.

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