Modding Picture of the day...

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

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Sat Dec 22, 2018 4:47 am

Up to Turn 50 Test Match - SOLFORCE:

Status - Diplomatic mess. Alliances one turn, war the next. Almost like real politics.
No 'dev cheats' active barring 99 strat sensor range on level 5 naval station which I've not gotten to yet. (since I forgot to turn it off.) What you see is what you get.

EDIT: So what I'm doing is doing a 50 turn playthough with each faction with the exact same settings with all AI players also being that same faction. Tweaking and editing as I go, as this is how I usually do things.

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Turn 11. AI is already raiding my homeworld with multiple fleets.

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As a bit of a compromise, Solforce starting fleets still use the normal 'Combat Command' CnC so they can be easily focused fired but later on it won't be that easy since the AI will use the other designs which are much harder to spot.

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Of course the feeling is mutual since the AI hunted mine down with their drones.

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So I went for a Laser start with the green AI deciding to field Blaster weaponry. It turned out to be a balanced battle to my surprise - blasters when there's no reflective armor that early in the game (unless you want to research it turn on say, turn 8 or 9 since you don't start with the 1st armor tech in PH) are quite deadly which is the entire point of them being reflectable.

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The altered shield impact effects - they look fine for MK1 (basic) shields but I may go back to the older versions for the higher end shields.

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Solforce Fleet Admiral: "Alright boys, this all out attack clearly isn't working! Fall back and roll!"

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"Fall back to the asteroids so we can use them as cover as we get back in formation!"

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"Now isn't this more visually imposing?", "But Sir, the hostile fleet has broken off and is heading towards our colony!", "Never underestimate the chance to take a good Holo-photo. I'll get a promotion out of this."

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EDIT:

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Turn 43. Solforce AI with default settings on the Very Hard AI difficulty is already fielding DN sized ships.

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Turn 45. Three fully armed fleets with DNs on their way to my homeworld. How to tell when I'm taking things serious - no longer attempting to get Antimatter, more focused on getting my own DNs produced and paid for simply so I don't lose the game.

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DN rushing has been technically nerfed in PH since most DN Mission and Command sections now require Advanced Dreadnought engineering but you still get the normal faction-specific 'armor' section and the armada CnC alongside the drone carrier and the DN sized supply ship which is often used more for salvage and repairs.

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My chosen weapon research order left me with a Medium Turret weapon gap since my light mounts are using interceptor PD missiles (a Solforce starting tech) and I've teched to Ionic Beams for the heavy and very heavy mounts. So for Medium mounts since I had to rush these DNs out to counter the fleets coming my way, decided to pick snipers. Not the best choice but I felt like I wanted at least one weapon on my DNs to convince the AI not to just kite me with missiles and other long range weapons including snipers of their own.

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I'm still surprised SOTS2 handles 4K as well as it does with every setting maxed out.

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DN engine sections explode really well and help to visualize their power and importance.

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AI demonstrating their ability to actually prototype and design new ships - the High Capacity Shields (Vanilla: MK 3 shields) is a starting tech for Solforce but no starting design has it enabled by default. Give the AI a reason to update their ships and they'll do it.

One more update for this post once I've done it - I plan on seeing if I can hold out against all of those DN fleets.
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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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Sat Dec 22, 2018 7:07 am

New post as to ensure the thread loads in a timely manner. Final update to the post above as I reached turn 50.

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Turns out my improved missile defense platforms may be a little too good. Fixed that by making them take more CP on the defense manager and revised the cost of the rest of the various types. I should have taken more losses to these combats due to that.

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I also wasn't impressed with the damage that missiles were doing. My sledgehammer to their damage potential years ago was too great so I've improved all non-polairis, non-iobm and non-special (such as corrosive) missile damage again.

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This said, they did break my defensive line and made me retreat to the gas giant in order to use it cover against their massive missile barrages.

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And I entirely admit that if I didn't stop everything that I was doing in order to get out my own DNs, my cruiser fleets would have been wrecked.

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Once again my usual wish that debris stuck around...

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The moment when I decided to go behind the gas giant instead of infront of it.

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So Solforce has a new command section called 'stealth' and the AI seems to be a fan. Here's the ship in the tactical view...

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And the same thing using the sensor manager view. I plan on expanding the AI's intelligence when using these designs for ships such as assault shuttle carriers.

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And for whatever reason, those same ships loved to dart in and out of the nearby asteroid field... little buggers!

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And this is the situation at turn 50 which is my ending point for these factional test and development runs.

Solforce is the best way to experience what changes PH offers when compared to the vanilla game. If I was to keep going on this save to around turn 200, there is every chance I could lose if the red AI player declared war since I'd no longer be able to balance out my planet and tech expansion (I have two forge worlds on the way and am researching antimatter) at the same time as pumping out DN fleets since DNs are very expensive.

In general, Solforce is in a good place mod-wise. Apart from a few tweaks to their LV vessels I might do a bit later if I decide to do it, they are entirely ready for release.

Tomorrow's Up to turn 50 Test\modding run will be the Liirian Crusade. I have some ideas on how to reign in the absurd power of AI-controlled Psionics but it'll take some testing and possibly a few 'new' sections alongside me deciding what Psionic techs I consider to be baseline, advanced and 'So OP that it has to be limited'.
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My dream game: Combination of Sword of the Stars 2, Angels Fall First, Conquest: Frontier Wars and Warzone 2100.

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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by Haplo_Patryn » Sat Dec 22, 2018 9:41 am

Great news, Rossinna, thanks for this mod :)

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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by Slashman » Sat Dec 22, 2018 4:46 pm

Good stuff! Hope to see a release soon!
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Rossinna-Sama
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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Sat Dec 22, 2018 6:10 pm

Up very late - can't fall asleep. So... a teaser for when I actually do fall asleep and wake back up again.

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Welcome to the Liirian Crusade - arguably one of the most unique factions in PH. Medium mounts? What are those? :googly:

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Psionic warfare at its very best. At least now I've found a solution to the AI being the AI.

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I'll refrain from the obvious joke that this many fists in one area means... :noid:

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The Liirian Crusade is one of the most dangerous factions depending on how you want to build their ships.

Anyway, I've got quite a bit of work ahead of me to get done - I've got to revisit their structural and armor ratings, re-balance the costs of their CRs compared to Solforce who are the baseline for that and I've been finding these really weird turrets which fit on something called Medium mounts and... suffice to say, I seemed to have missed quite a few of those things last time 'round.

Things I got done from my initial test to see what I've still got to do:

Liirian Crusade research bonus reduced to 10% from 50%.
Assigned the tech restrictions to the various sections - Prestor Zuul ships barring the assault shuttle (which can't be used without the carriers anyway which you don't start with) now require the Prestor Zuul Alliance tech to be researched.
Repaired the slightly broken Liir BR so it works even if the other BRs are not unlocked.
A couple of tech tweaks for their early game.

The thing I spent most of my time on though was deciding on the best way to reign in AI Psionic abilities without simply removing them again. Came to the conclusion that its easiest if I do what I did for ballistics - all psionic powers are now on a tier system. This only impacts the Liir since the other factions can only use psi powers the old vanilla way unless I change my mind on that. Researching even a single psionic ability unlocks the entire tier for use as they all have their own custom tech grouping.

So by default all Liirian CRs and DNs (and some platforms!) can use Psi Repair and Psi Invisibility. The AI is capable of using both though it isn't terribly common.

The starting Psi command section is now listed as 'T0 Psi' and has some of the weaker Psi powers available to it such as Psi Reveal.
Researching the other psionic abilities unlocks the T1, T2 and eventually T3 Psi command sections which I'll let the T3's description speak for itself.

"Functionally the same as the T0 Psi command section but having Tier 3 psionic powers for use. Keep in mind that cruiser-sized Psi sections have access to psi powers that are in their tier and nothing else, so this tier 3 variant has no tier 2, 1 or 0 psionics for use. Provides Psi Reflect, Psi Life Drain and Psi Control. Psi Repair and Psi Invisibility have 400% bonus effectiveness."

The exact tier I'll be putting each psi ability in will be decided when I'm next awake but there's one psi ability which remains restricted to the Psionic Command Mission section (Psionic CnC section) which is Psi Movement - its the teleportation ability that the Suul'ka have. All factions can access that once they've researched Warmind which for the record unlocks the Psionic Command CnC sections for CRs and DNs and does not increase the fleet CP cap since no tech in PH does that.

The Liir's main weakness that I'm planning on apart from lacking medium mounts (If you can call that a weakness. :?: ) is that their ships are the slowest in the game in the tactical layer. They may be able to turn nearly instantly and all of their ships move at the same speed as long as its the same engine era (An Antimatter-era CR moves at the same speed as an antimatter-era DN or LV) so this leaves them vulnerable to simply being out-maneuvered. While the AI doesn't do this all too often, they can do it if they have the right ships in their fleet.

When building Liirian ships you usually have a major choice on what to do with your abundant light turret mounts - do you fit PD weapons to keep your ships safe from drones and missiles or do you fit light weapons which focus more on ship-to-ship combat? While this applies to all factions, it is very noticeable for the Liir since you'll be missing out on a lot of potential firepower if every single light mount can only fire at PD targets.
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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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by Talverin » Sun Dec 23, 2018 6:01 am

So, in that vein, a question about light mounts. I notice many things increase armor/health for many factions... How will this effect light weapon mounts? Will there be 'armor piercing' energy weapons that slot into light mounts to somewhat counter this? I've honestly not used light mounts significantly in vanilla, as I found their damage to be, for the most part, fairly lackluster and hard to notice, opting instead to cover them in PD.

Speaking of PD, does PH have any kind of solution to PD weapons knocking out the shields of nearby ships? Or do I just need to make sure to space my ships farther apart as in vanilla to make sure they don't inadvertently knock their own defenses out?

I'm quite excited to see how PH plays out! The AI competently using Psi powers sounds... scary.

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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by willdieh » Mon Dec 24, 2018 4:12 pm

Can't wait for you to release this, if only to see how you massaged the AI fleet, research, and production performance. You should record some of your tests for youtube or something, so we can see it in video.

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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Tue Dec 25, 2018 4:13 pm

willdieh wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 4:12 pm
Can't wait for you to release this, if only to see how you massaged the AI fleet, research, and production performance. You should record some of your tests for youtube or something, so we can see it in video.
My upload rate due to being in Australia is horrible. Still trying to figure out how to upload a mod of this size, but that's not quite due yet. So I rarely do videos.
Talverin wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 6:01 am
So, in that vein, a question about light mounts. I notice many things increase armor/health for many factions... How will this effect light weapon mounts? Will there be 'armor piercing' energy weapons that slot into light mounts to somewhat counter this? I've honestly not used light mounts significantly in vanilla, as I found their damage to be, for the most part, fairly lackluster and hard to notice, opting instead to cover them in PD.

Speaking of PD, does PH have any kind of solution to PD weapons knocking out the shields of nearby ships? Or do I just need to make sure to space my ships farther apart as in vanilla to make sure they don't inadvertently knock their own defenses out?

I'm quite excited to see how PH plays out! The AI competently using Psi powers sounds... scary.
AI competence may have been improved but don't let my advertising speak get to you too much - I can't alter hard-coded things. Unless I find a way to do some .dll and .exe editing which I'm not nearly as against I used to be, but not yet.

PD against shielding, no, not really. Shields are considerably stronger and better than in vanilla but the main change is that unless the weapon is meant to auto-fire at PD targets, it simply won't do it. All light weapons are technically medium weapons on light mounts since this stops them from firing at any PD target without being told to do such. PD weapons themselves retain their very light weapon classification so they can only fire at PD targets and there's only as far as I remember three actual light weapons - the three PD Lasers (beamers) which can autofire at anything.

This makes things like Pulsed Phasers safer to field.

As for the damage of light mounts, I didn't restrict them as much as Vanilla.

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This is the full (ingame) list of all weapons that can be put into a light turret mount. You'll see that Phasers are there as well as the mainline cannon weapons, albeit the Inertial one isn't in PH itself since its tech is disabled right now and is only visible there since this is my all tech tree file. That tractor beam also ain't supposed to be there, but meh.

There'll be some more ballistic weapons coming to light mounts once I'm done with them as well. DPS and armor wise, I don't classify light and medium mounts to be different than one another barring that medium mounts usually have two barrels for a weapon which can be put on a light mount. They also due to how different weapons in PH tend to be allow for some flexibility; I've been finding myself putting Snipers on my light mounts (which are different than vanilla and hit harder) so I've got some ballistic coverage against missile fleets and the occasional Disruptor section.

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Heavy Turret mounts remain the most flexible and while there's more of them in PH for all factions when compared to vanilla, due to the fact that ships don't often explode in seconds anymore, being a larger target due to having a bigger turret means that heavy mounts often get blown off.

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Medium Turret Mounts are more flexible than they used to be, especially in regards to players who like their missiles since most missiles that can be fit on a heavy turret mount (which usually get two missiles) can be placed on a medium mount with a single missile per mount. One thing to note is that apart from the base ballistic weapons (Autocannons), there are no variable weapons in PH.

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Heavy Combat Mounts have more than the three vanilla weapons now since they also include the Direct Fire Torpedoes (Photon, Mesonic and so on) and some ballistic weapons though they can still not use the dedicated impactor rounds. Of note for this particular screenshot is that this isn't a Heavy Combat Mount, its technically a FreeBeam mount which only Zuul and Prestor Zuul use since it isn't 100% fixed in a single direction. These variants combine Torpedo and Heavy Combat Mounts into a single type, hence why the actual Torpedo weapons are visible there.

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An actual Torpedo mount which only uses the Torpedo weapons. This kind of weapon in PH doesn't track (barring the Pulsar) but has the largest amount of direct hit damage in the game. Burst Torpedo's are a mix of both vanilla and PH since the main torpedo doesn't track but if it gets close enough to its intended target, it'll detonate and let loose smaller versions of itself which do track but can be shot down by PD much easier.

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Super Heavy turret mounts also have more choice in what you can put on them. A new change I did within the last month is that Projectors can now be fit into Super Heavy turret mounts but not vice-versa. Super Heavy turrets can not go into Projector Mounts. A note about this particular screenshot is that DNs don't have Super Heavy turret mounts apart from this exact Liirian Crusade design since this is their unique factional DN section.

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Very Heavy mounts are more specialized but still have more choices than in vanilla. Of note is the three Rapid Fire Missiles which can only be placed on these mount sizes and provide a lot of SRM, MRM or LRM missiles at a high pace. For the record, SRM = Short Range Missile, MRM = Medium Range Missile, LRM = Long Range Missile. All missile variants use the MRM as its base, SRM has a higher rate of fire but shorter range and LRM has a slower rate of fire but considerably longer range.

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Siege mounts remain underused but there's three ballistic super-weapons that will be going in here. Don't know if I'll have time to get them made before release.

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Polaris mounts have a much wider range of missile variants to choose from. Of note is that Polaris mounts fire faster than they used to but are subject to the global missile nerf which I'll explain at the end of this post.

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IOBM mounts also have a wider range of missile variants to choose from.

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The mount type that's currently in the middle of being updated due to the upcoming release is Projectors. Right now only the Plasma Projector has the correct stats and function with the rest waiting for me to get to them. Projectors are very, very nasty weapons when fighting at closer ranges (barring the Meson Projector which depending on my testing might be getting some variants) but they favor quick strikes and then retreating to recharge since they have the longest reload time in PH barring the System Killer's beam shown in the Siege image.

There's one more mount type I didn't show because I forgot but that's the one that only drones have which is used only for their various kinds of missiles they can use. Strafe, Spinal and so on also still exist but they ain't anything special and function the same as the turret versions, albeit they often come twin or quad-linked.

Now, the Global Missile Nerf was something I did years ago. There's two things I always hated about vanilla PH - Boarding Pods and Missile Spam. The prior should be obvious but the latter really irritated me. I don't play SOTS to run away from fleet combat, I play it for ships to get into the thick of things with one another.

Now in PH missile spam is still viable but its not only harder to pull off but its more specialised. Missiles including Polaris and IOBMs no longer wreck planets in seconds if massed and PD in general is much better alongside drones often having PD weapons of their own to counter missiles. You also can not research Antimatter warheads until you've researched Antimatter itself which vastly decreases the DPS jump that missiles had in vanilla and Reflex warheads also require Reflex Furnaces. Missile ranges are also not only more inline with other weapons but they are considerably shorter than they are in vanilla.

However this isn't a one way nerf to missiles. There's many new types of missiles and many mount types can now fit their various versions, certain missiles now have two versions which are marked with /MAN or /AUTO (Nanite and Corrosive missiles) which alter their tags a bit so variants with /MAN can be targeted at certain points in space and then detonate; in another words Vanilla behavior and the variant with /AUTO removes that so they fire like any other missile does and of course this is risky but it is an option.

Missiles themselves are also far more damaging and when Antimatter and\or Reflex warheads are finally researched, the damage jump is exceptionally noticeable. Reflex Warhead researched missiles hit harder than most weapons in PH however as usual reaching this point is slow and requires a lot of effort - you're not getting this before turn 100, if not turn 200.

Finally in regards to missiles is that larger ships, especially LVs will fire more than one or two missiles per mount. Kiting a LV really isn't going to be something practical due to the amount of IOBM and Polaris class missiles they can unleash.

As for boarding pods... erm... the only hint I can give you is to not bother with them in PH. Do they work? Yes. Will they reach their targets? Probably not.

Anyway, expect a followup post later today. Christmas didn't go well (as usual) so I should be able to get back on track with my modding soon enough as long as my depression doesn't shoot back to the forefront again.
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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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Tue Dec 25, 2018 8:15 pm

Sometimes I feel silly, but at least I learn something even while I'm testing random things for no particular reason. I've never liked how the Liirian Blazer section's weapons always fired off into space instead of focusing their weaponry and... I noticed that one of my weapons was not doing that, it was centered on the target. Why?

Because silly me forgot to set Solution Tolerance for most weapons. :roll:

So, same ship and same weapon.

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Pulsed Graviton Beams with solution tolerance at 0 (where most of my weapons actually are.). Notice that it is firing dead in front of the mount it fires from.

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Same weapon with solution tolerance at 5. Not only are all of the beams focused exactly where they should be but all of the beams are actually firing - some of the weapons beforehand were not firing at all.

So, I'll be fixing that for all of the weapons. It also reminded me that I should check on a few of them to ensure they are actually working as advertised.
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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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Sun Dec 30, 2018 9:59 pm

Go figure that I'd find a major crash bug right on the day before I was going to release, and then not have time to go find it since other things have held my time. I'd say its typical, but, well...

I'm not going to give a date barring soon* but once I do find the darn crash, all that would be left to do is to find out a method of easily determining which files I've edited vs ones I've not touched so I don't have to upload my entire SOTS2 folder which I really don't want to do.
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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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by Slashman » Mon Dec 31, 2018 12:40 am

Wow. Nice going Rossinna-Sama. I'm actually very excited to see this come out finally. Good job.
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Talverin
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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by Talverin » Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:04 am

Can't wait! I hope you get the bug sorted soon.

Been watching PH with great anticipation. Looking forward to trying it out with all of the awesome changes you've made!

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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by willdieh » Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:52 pm

Hi Rossinna!

I've been working to augment VAE by adding some more missing sounds and was just wondering if you'd ever gotten the drone launch/dock sounds to work? It might just be me, but I can't seem to recall them ever working and can't find any settings for them. The sound entries exist (_AssaultShuttle_dock, _AssaultShuttle_launch, _AssaultShuttle_travel, _Drone_dock, _Drone_launch, _Drone_travel) but I can't find anywhere to apply them. Their sound asset names start with underscore, so they might be hardcoded into game logic somewhere, but I can't find it. Just wondering if you'd ever run into that or if it's just me. Thanks!

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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by willdieh » Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:38 am

Been working in the UI elements... re-did the Empire Management screen to make more sense (to me at least) and kind of emulate the old SOTS screen better

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vs the original...

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Sure was a lot of work though... Wish there was a way to get the game to re-load the asset/UI definition .xml config files without having to restart. Anybody know?
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Rossinna-Sama
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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:47 pm

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A reference picture of what Willdieh's UI element changes look like on a 4K scale.

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Probably wondering where PH is. I could give numerous 'excuses' but there's only one that matters; sickness. Again.

That said, there is a crash bug which I've narrowed down to Zuul and I think its either a tech the game is expecting but not being researchable by Zuul which is causing a crash or there's a starting section it wants which ain't available for some reason. Technically easy enough to fix.

I've also started the annoying process since I can't find any programs which'd either automate or aid me in my task of going through every file in my SOTS2 install folder and copying it into a new folder for PH's release. While it'd be easier to copy the entire thing due to how many files have been changed, I'd rather avoid doing that for what should be fairly obvious reasons.

Unfortunately most of what I said I'd get done with that 'week off' did not occur due to a sizable family fight (Hence my sickness which resulted from it), but, well, I said it'd be a beta so it'll be living up to what a Beta release actually looks like instead of being a stripped-down demo of a complete product awaiting a day 1 patch.

The largest casualty of that is the AI. I did have a fleet template file which was totally customized but I was working on it when the aforementioned argument took place and when it caused an error, I stupidly wiped it (and cleared the recycle bin) instead of fixing what was probably a mere typo. I do have one, but its an older version which doesn't have all of the factions with their unique fleets, only a select few do.

TL:DR - Project Hiver is getting released soon in a very beta state. Files are already been put into their appropriate places for a simple copy into directory in a single go install process. Fairly sure Doombot has been hanging out in my PC as well, I noticed a little beach umbrella sticking out of my case.
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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