SotS 2 Remastered Mod v0.9

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DatonKallandor
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SotS 2 Remastered Mod v0.9

Post by DatonKallandor » Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:35 pm

An attempt to help the AI play the game to a degree that makes it able to put up some fun fights while streamlining some of the more uneven gameplay.

This includes among other things:

Removal of prototyping system by removing extra costs associated with prototyping
I would have loved to keep the prototyping system in some form, but the AI's obsessive deleting and re prototyping of it's designs means it is absolutely crippled if prototyping is a thing. The original design would have called for prototyping to only increase cash costs to a small degree, but keep the massively increased construction cost - making prototyping an action that occupies your shipyards but does not bankrupt you.

Sped up research

Most techs got a massive cost decrease, but core tier progression techs and techs with significant impacts were increased in cost. This means diversification and progression to a higher energy tier are similar in terms of opportunity cost.

Massive decrease in maintenance costs
Upkeep is a mechanic to keep a player with high income from snowballing and burying his opponents in units due to superior economy. This isn't needed, since admirals already act as a device to limit economy from giving someone unlimited snowballing potential. Admirals couple maximum fleet size directly to size of territory controlled, which is a fantastic mechanic that doesn't need the ball and chain of upkeep to help it. Additionally, the AI can't handle huge amounts of upkeep financially, so they go.
Upkeep still exists, but it is a far smaller factor.

Removal of random factor in stimulus
Stimulus is an interesting mechanic, but the random nature makes it too much of a hassle to bother with. Additionally the AI always runs stimulus, so it might as well get something nice out of it.

Additional changes include:

Rotational speeds for turrets (larger turrets are slower, undersized mounts for their turret size are faster than largest possible for turret size)

Removal of Random Encounters: Neutron Star, Meteor Shower, Comet, SuperNova - they had either no counterplay or no counterplay that is fun for the player

Naval Stations provide massively increased piracy protection (gives counterplay option to random piracy, while leaving empire controlled piracy still an option - random piracy still happens even with naval stations however!)

Could contain additional bits and bobs I might have forgotten to document

B-B-B-Bonus Mod:
Mod also contains an (hopefully) optional, but highly recommended (especially for non-AI multiplayer games) weapons mod (that may or may not be mandatory, I forget - anybody still playing SotS 2 mods can just post here after trying if they want).

The optional weapons mod does:
Increase weapon ranges dramatically, with a substantial decrease in accuracy at long ranges
Which helps combat feel more dramatic and increases the value of closing to brawling range and decreases the overall value of long range weapons vs short range weapons (which was crushingly significant).

Makes accurate weapons more accurate relative to brawling weapons at long ranges
This means effective DPS goes up for brawling weapons the closer you get to an enemy to a higher degree than it does for weapons that already start out fairly accurate.

Modifies scanner ranges for ships, Battleriders and planets
Many long range weapons have longer maximum ranges than scanner range, requiring spotters to take maximum range shots - the added tactical depth of this should be self-evident

Standardizes Planetary Bombardment Range
All weapons (exception: siege driver) have the same range against planets. This range is fairly short, but longer than the shortest vanilla ranges. Effectively this means that attackers need to get orbital control to begin bombardment giving defenders more options regardless of what attackers are armed with. This opens up ship design and lets players specialize ships for defense, offense and terrain. Additionally it solves the bounding sphere problems involving large ships being unable to bring all weapons to bear on the planet because the collision spheres wouldn't let it get close enough to the planet.

Adds upgrades for Beam-Warhead Polaris missiles
When lancers/cutting beams and energy techs are researched, Lancer Warhead and Cutting Warhead Polaris missiles unlock if the per-requisites for Heavy Combat Laser Polaris Warheads are also met.

Re-adds specialty heavy mount weapons to the spinal mount tables
Shredders, Rippers, Bursters, Thumpers, etc. used to be able to be mounted in spinal mounts on release and were later removed. Now they're back!

Various balance changes to weapons
Fixed the bugged beam weapons! Adjusted the Blast Storm missile! And more!


Download link Is Right Here! - if there's even demand for SotS 2 mods anymore.
Last edited by DatonKallandor on Sat May 02, 2015 3:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Rossinna-Sama
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Re: SotS 2 Remastered Mod v0.9

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Wed Apr 29, 2015 6:30 am

Bugged beam weapons?

This looks to be quite a promising mod. Have you done anything with boarding pods, drones, BRs and BB\BCs per chance?
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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Theghar
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Re: SotS 2 Remastered Mod v0.9

Post by Theghar » Wed Apr 29, 2015 7:25 am

"(...)if there's even demand for SotS 2 mods anymore." There is always demand for mods :]

DatonKallandor
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Re: SotS 2 Remastered Mod v0.9

Post by DatonKallandor » Wed Apr 29, 2015 10:59 am

Rossinna-Sama wrote:Bugged beam weapons?

This looks to be quite a promising mod. Have you done anything with boarding pods, drones, BRs and BB\BCs per chance?


Many beam weapons are missing a damage interval setting, which leads to them doing very little damage instead of the intended damage. One of the most obvious examples is Phasers - the standard phaser is missing it's damage interval, so instead of doing it's damage 4 times over the lifetime of the beam, it only does it once. I know it's supposed to be 4 times, because the variable phaser isn't missing that setting. If you compare the two in game, the variable phaser is actually on par with other medium mount weapons, while the regular phaser is pretty crap.

I haven't done anything to boarding pods or riders (apart from the sensor range change - and I'm honestly not sure if that affects all Riders or just BRs). However the longer ranges do have an impact on them - they get to take advantage of the longer ranged weapons and contribute more, while staying a bit safer because they're smaller. The long range inaccuracy works to the BRs advantage. Accurate long-range guns do work fairly well against them however, and it's very hard for them to stay completely out of range. The fixed beams also means that beam lasers now pack quite a punch - and small, low armor targets like BRs are pretty much optimal conditions for those.

Drones I haven't touched - yet. Ultimately I'd love to make special drone-only versions of most weapons, that have increased firepower with longer cooldowns - given that Drone strafing run behavior means that regular quick firing weapons waste most of their damage on Drones.

One of the balance changes I've just remembered is that small mount Gauss got a massive buff. It's just so unbelievably bad and the AI really, really loves putting it on it's ships, so it got a salvo mechanic on top of it's already fast firing rate. It's still really short ranged and inaccurate, but now getting into a brawl with a Gauss ship (hopefully) hurts.

Edit: Link is up in the first post. For now the weapon rebalance is just integrated.
Since it seems like I forgot to mention them before, the new non-random stimulus numbers are: 1 Million to get a Colony, 100k to get a Freighter, 100k to get a Mining Base.
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Selak
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Re: SotS 2 Remastered Mod v0.9

Post by Selak » Fri May 01, 2015 4:41 pm

i'm confused slightly....

is the only part that is done the weapons, or is there another file somewhere that has all the stimulus and research and upkeep changes that you forgot to link.

The only thing i find linked in the original post is the optional weapons mod.

DatonKallandor
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Re: SotS 2 Remastered Mod v0.9

Post by DatonKallandor » Sat May 02, 2015 3:30 pm

Selak wrote:i'm confused slightly....

is the only part that is done the weapons, or is there another file somewhere that has all the stimulus and research and upkeep changes that you forgot to link.

The only thing i find linked in the original post is the optional weapons mod.

So it was. Oops. The link is fixed now.
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arselkyzer
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Re: SotS 2 Remastered Mod v0.9

Post by arselkyzer » Wed May 06, 2015 11:28 pm

I think this mod is good if this makes accurate weapons more accurate then im sure im gonna love this.

Desolator
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Re: SotS 2 Remastered Mod v0.9

Post by Desolator » Sat May 16, 2015 1:24 pm

Amazing mod :) one question though, could you make the IOBM's and their heavy counterparts long range again VS planets? It makes no sense that a planet has very long range, while ships fielded with exactly the same weapons suddenly have to be next to the planet to fire...

Otherwise quite amazing even if the AI still doesn't field DN and LV's with the speed players do XD

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antibi
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Re: SotS 2 Remastered Mod v0.9

Post by antibi » Wed May 20, 2015 2:29 pm

Thanks for the great mod! I'm checking this out. Fairly excited. Perhaps even excessively so. Good times... :insane:

DatonKallandor
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Re: SotS 2 Remastered Mod v0.9

Post by DatonKallandor » Wed May 20, 2015 2:42 pm

Desolator wrote:Amazing mod :) one question though, could you make the IOBM's and their heavy counterparts long range again VS planets? It makes no sense that a planet has very long range, while ships fielded with exactly the same weapons suddenly have to be next to the planet to fire...

Otherwise quite amazing even if the AI still doesn't field DN and LV's with the speed players do XD


Good point, I'll try IOBMs with longer anti-planet ranges. They're fairly rare and specialized weapons anyway, and they are called Inter-Orbital.
Locusts ate my AI Rebellion and all I got was this lousy T-shirt

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motorbit
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Re: SotS 2 Remastered Mod v0.9

Post by motorbit » Wed May 20, 2015 5:55 pm

keep in mind though: your mod is all about removing specialisation the ai doesnt understand anyway.
i bet you can find a million reasons as good as the name of the iobm to put specialisation back in.

Desolator
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Re: SotS 2 Remastered Mod v0.9

Post by Desolator » Mon May 25, 2015 12:21 pm

The main issue with IOBM's atm is that the game will slow down the accelerated combat time when you enter the range of your IOBM's, which is half the map. Your leviathans are not going to get in weapon range without that accelerated time, so if you want to keep the short range the game should be updated that it doesn't slow (which i'm actually not sure is possible :P )

another problem that's still in this version is that we, my friends and I, will be fielding full DN / full LV fleets and the AI will still be using cruisers... Is there a way to "force" the AI to actually build something big besides doing all the work for them (which isn't really fun...) by jumping into their slots?

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Resok
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Re: SotS 2 Remastered Mod v0.9

Post by Resok » Mon May 25, 2015 6:08 pm

To be clear there was no beam weapon damage period bug. The default interval if not specified was 0.5 second interval.
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DatonKallandor
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Re: SotS 2 Remastered Mod v0.9

Post by DatonKallandor » Mon May 25, 2015 6:58 pm

Resok wrote:To be clear there was no beam weapon damage period bug. The default interval if not specified was 0.5 second interval.


If that was the case, why were vanilla phasers not performing the same as variable ones when in beam mode?

Desolator wrote:another problem that's still in this version is that we, my friends and I, will be fielding full DN / full LV fleets and the AI will still be using cruisers... Is there a way to "force" the AI to actually build something big besides doing all the work for them (which isn't really fun...) by jumping into their slots?


Yeah that's what I was afraid was going to happen. No there's no way to force the AI to be not bad on that level with the degree of access I'm capable of. I've even had a branch of the mod that started everyone with Dreadnought tech just to get some interesting fights to happen quicker against the AI and that didn't help either. Guess we'll need to wait for someone to find a way to mod the AI directly for true fixes.
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Resok
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Re: SotS 2 Remastered Mod v0.9

Post by Resok » Mon May 25, 2015 7:11 pm

VarPhasers damage is -1 lower on each of the three ranges in the weapon XML... why would they be expected to perform the same when their damage was lower?
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