Modding Picture of the day...

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willdieh
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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by willdieh » Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:58 pm

Welcome back!

Any comments on my UI elements in 4K? Are they too small? There's a maxwidth value I can adjust for the panels if there's too much black space for you, but the font sizes are hard coded and don't auto-scale that I can see.

For the file sync issues you mention, I found WinDiff.exe to work really nicely in figuring out what files had been modified. It's an old MS Powertool I believe and takes a second to figure out, but works against entire folder structures and allowed me to pull out my own mods that I've been working on for my own version of a Vanilla patch :)

Any thoughts on getting the game to re-load assets without restarting? I haven't found anything...

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

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Sun Jan 06, 2019 10:08 pm

willdieh wrote:
Sun Jan 06, 2019 9:58 pm
Welcome back!

Any comments on my UI elements in 4K? Are they too small? There's a maxwidth value I can adjust for the panels if there's too much black space for you, but the font sizes are hard coded and don't auto-scale that I can see.

For the file sync issues you mention, I found WinDiff.exe to work really nicely in figuring out what files had been modified. It's an old MS Powertool I believe and takes a second to figure out, but works against entire folder structures and allowed me to pull out my own mods that I've been working on for my own version of a Vanilla patch :)

Any thoughts on getting the game to re-load assets without restarting? I haven't found anything...
I admit I didn't pay much attention to the details, just wanted to see how it looked on a larger screen since SOTS2's UI has issues on resolutions which were not standard when the game was released. But there was no glaring issues, no.

Re-loading assets? Don't know of anything, sorry. Don't personally use the debug mode at this juncture so don't know if its got a hidden command somewhere. I just have SOTS2 running in window mode with the main menu combat off, music off and I think I'm using that old SOTSOS mod so my bootup time is about 2 seconds for the game. I actually stay offline in steam 99% of the time to avoid spamming people with 'so and so is playing Sword of the Stars 2' every 30 seconds for hours on end 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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willdieh
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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by willdieh » Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:57 am

Was working on some of the Political UI elements and discovered that Intel missions are actually quite farging awesome!

Image

This was for a critical success (5% chance according to the UI) though, so not sure if you can always get a free tech, but the critical success allowed me to specify three different free things (recent colony info, system info, important trade sector info). You then the results next turn.

I suppose a standard success is only a single piece of info. Not sure if that would also include free tech though. So awesome!

William

Edit:
A regular success allowed me to choose a tech as well and also gave me three things. Hmmm.

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

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:22 am

That was already in the game. AI doesn't do espionage though so its incredibly rare.

--------------
Anyway, quick update. Apologies for being blunt - not in a good mood. List of things which happened within the last two weeks:

- Grandmother hospitalized due to broken arm. Was on blood thinning tablets. Hospital doesn't know what to do to help her due to that.
- Government F'ed up my housing application again. So that is at a total stand-still.
- Kids have been diagnosed as one of my largest stress causes, especially considering they ain't mine. They are my half-siblings.
- Laptop is dying. Can't even shut it down anymore without forcing it.
- Mobile is dying. Holding a charge isn't going very well, randomly cuts out or turns itself off. GPS causes instant 'crash' as it shuts the phone off.
- My previous neighbors are getting away with what they did to me. Not even a warning or a fine for breaking and entering.

There's other things; even PH has come up to my new therapist who's trying to tell me it isn't my fault I've not released it yet when I keep bashing myself over it. Funny how minor things can have such a major effect.

--------------
As for PH itself, there's been little to no work on it unfortunately. I try not to use my computer unless I need to since there's a high risk I'll throw up on it due to the massive stress I'm under and, well, I'd rather not destroy it by having that happen.

But, well, if some of the things on my list up there go away then perhaps I won't be so stressed out to the point where I can get back to it. Modding for PH used to be one of my coping mechanisms but because I want to release the darn thing, its lost that capacity.
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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Slashman
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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by Slashman » Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:49 am

Wow. You have a LOT going on. So just concentrate on getting better. PH can wait...its waited this long...it can keep til you're better.

Hang in there.
If you want a different perspective, stand on your head.

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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by ZedF » Wed Jan 16, 2019 12:59 pm

Your therapist is right about PH; don't worry about others having expectations about any kind of release schedule. It's your schedule & nobody is depending on it so you can change it freely; PH will get released when it is released! Your health is more important.

I recently had a phone dying like yours (similar symptoms -- random shutoff due to power load, rapid draining, etc) due to water damage, until I was able to get an upgrade credit from my service provider and replace it. What I did to tide me over was to get a portable external battery and keep my phone plugged into that. It wasn't perfect but it did mostly resolve the power issues.
Zed's TARs (sample):
Fractious Allies -- Hiver vs. Hiver, with allies
Who Let The Bugs Out -- Hiver vs. Tarka and Zuul
Tarka Ascendant -- Tarka vs. Hiver and Zuul

Strategy & Tactics Forum Archive -- More posts on strategy, tactics, and TARs

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

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Wed Jan 23, 2019 5:57 am

===========================
THE MORRIGI CONFEDERATION
===========================

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There is always a loser in a war, be it the side who claims victory in the end or the side which by all rights were defeated by hostile forces.
In the PH timeline, the Morrigi Confederation were the victors in one such war a very long time ago but found themselves being the target of the Suul'ka.

This war, they lost.

Having been driven to near extinction due to the war with the Suul'ka and their Zuul servants, most Morrigi are unaware of the achievements their ancient society had reached in the distant past. Wide spread technological regression spread through the survivors and to the present time most of their ships and weaponry are forced to use more 'modern' methods of operation such as using Fusion reactors for a drive system which was designed to be operated with an antimatter reactor. Indeed, most modern Morrigi don't even know how their ships actually work, just that they do and that the knowledge to create new ships or to keep their fleets in good working order was slowly being lost to the tides of time.

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"Up until recently the Morrigi Confederation has been stuck using ancient and barely functional engines. With the discovery of a Morrigi Tombworld which contained blueprints for original and unmodified Void Drives as well as the required information on how to service and maintain these complex devices. Now with FTL engines which are compatible with Morrigi ship designs, the Morrigi Confederation can once again take to the stars and start reclaiming all that was lost."

The discovery of the Tombworld (PH lore wise; your starting planet) has revitalized the Morrigi people and thrusted them back into the galactic stage. No more a 'minor annoyance' but an upcoming major player, the Morrigi fully intend to work together with other races to establish a long-lasting peace or if that isn't an option, to ensure that any hostile elements are removed without resorting to the total destruction of an entire race.

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"With the advent of Antimatter technology which had been a long-lost feat of engineering for the Morrigi finally back within our understanding and capability, we should be able to enable the full feature-set of the ancient void drives which was not possible with the limited power generation capability of fusion engines. These 'new' drives are faster in both tactical and FTL travel and have a fully functional antimatter reactor powering them which gives the ship an unprecedented amount of power to fit more weaponry with."

As the faction which was the defeated party in a long-forgotten war, the Morrigi are very weak at the start. Their ships are slow and under powered however like the Loa, they have the potential to become a very fearsome opponent if left alone.

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"Reflex technology is an incredible thing and this unrivaled powersource would allow us to stop using ancient engine designs and create one of our very own. The most optimal proposal has been what our scientists have termed a 'Temporal Drive' which instead of curving space-time like Void drives do, they 'freeze it in place'. While to an outside observer a ship with this new drive looks like any other Void drive equipped vessel, the interior of the ship is temporally displaced to the point where to the ships crew, they engaged the FTL drive and immediately arrived at their destination. This unprecedented drive system would give Morrigi ships the speed they've been longing for."

Morrigi tactics revolve around, as one may expect, long range attacks and highly effective drones. Their drones are some of the best in the game and they sometimes have options not available to the other factions; their drones can sometimes be fitted with shields for example. Drones with cloaking devices may also be implemented depending on stability testing.

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"The Temporal Cannon is a Morrigi-only Reflex-Era Siege-class superweapon which fractures space-time within a ships hull or a planetary surface and sends different locations into very different timeframes. Smaller ships are often destroyed in an instant and planets take serious damage due to planetary tectonic plate shifting from millions of years in the past or future. Ships which survive are temporally 'stunned' for 30 or so seconds and can perform no actions. Use this weapon with caution: it can only fire twice per combat round on default settings."

As the Morrigi are designed around more peaceful pursuits, they are the only faction in PH which starts with the various alien accommodation techs. This helps keep them more distinct and fits their playstyle, not to mention it technically fits the lore I made where they don't want to totally destroy a race.

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In short:

Morrigi Confederation -
PROs:
Flexible ship designs. Representatives from other races have put their ideas into Morrigi ships which allows greater tactical flexibility.
Long range focus. Morrigi start with numerous missile and torpedo techs alongside some energy weapons.
Stealthy ships. All Morrigi ships have inbuilt stealth armor and can opt to fit more stealth armor to their vessels at a cost.
Advanced Drones. Drones are very powerful and have additional options compared to other factions.
Late-game focus. Morrigi get much larger bonuses from advancing from era to era compared to most other factions.
Admiral Invisibility. CnC ships are able to use Psi Invisibility without prior research but their psionic capacity is not very high.

CONS:
Slow ships. Morrigi ships are very slow in the fusion-era but catch up in the reflex era.
Fragile ships. Morrigi ships have a respectable amount of armor but their structural ratings are often weaker than any non-Zuul ship.
Non-standard FTL speeds. Unlike in VAE, PH retains the flock FTL speeds from the base game. This means that Morrigi FTL speeds are unpredictable and chaotic at best.
Restricted Psionics. Morrigi only have access to certain Psi powers and they must use a Psi module in order to utilize them.

EDIT - Do keep in mind this is a work in progress.

----------
EDIT 2 - More stuff. :googly:

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Light Colonizer - Many Morrigi have never set foot on a planet before and the thought of leaving themselves so vulnerable to attack is a hard pill to swallow. So instead of the typical Bio Coloniser that other factions have, the Morrigi have the option of using these smaller colonisers which while less effective at doing their jobs are very fast in tactical combat which often allows them to outrun anything which wants to destroy or capture them.

This ship replaces the Biome Coloniser that most other factions have.

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Colonizer - The thought of staying put on a planet is repulsive to the vast majority of Morrigi due to their concerns over Zuul slave raids which often take place on planetary surfaces when compared to mobile colony ships. With the new homeworld having been established, these huge vessels now serve as the Morrigi's main colonizer vessel and as such they are heavily armed but since they are considered to be privately owned by civilians, they can not be upgraded with better engine technologies which means their FTL speeds will always be less than the other factions. The weaponry these ships carry though will many any potential invader think twice...

This ship replaces the Transport Colonizer that most other factions have. The base model (Q-ship) has a turret which isn't rotated in the correct direction so it is stuck inside the hull of the ship so that one has been removed. (turret_medium_01)

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Scavenger - Repair and Salvage ships are great and all but what happens when they are forced into direct combat? They have to rely on their drones so the Scavenger was designed to remedy this concern. While not being as effective at repairs for obvious reasons, the scavenger is good at capturing hostile technology left behind by a battle and can hold its own during a combat situation.

Replaces the Extended Range section.

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Frigate - The Frigate is the Morrigi's unique cruiser-sized section which is armed with three very heavy turret mounts and two light turret mounts alongside extra structural ratings and better armor. This comes at the cost of having a considerable speed reduction and is most often used to defend long-range vessels from hostile ships which get too close.

Replaces the War section. This screenshot also has the Missile command section shown which can only have missile weapons attached to it.

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Assault Shuttle Carrier now uses the model for the Drone Carrier. This gives it 6 assault shuttles.

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Drone Carrier, now known as the heavy carrier. Holds four drones but is well armed. The grav shields are from one of the shielded drones within the hangars and I'm undetermined as of yet if I want drones to have shields or not due to how they poke through ships hulls like that.

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Morrigi Projectors can now fire straight up like the other factions can.

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Morrigi Police Cutter got a weapon refit.

Still have more work to do - Got a few more sections and model swapping to get done. Construction ships need their model changed to the Repair and Salvage one.

Please note that this is CR only for now. I'll get to the others once interest allows.
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 » Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:57 pm

Aaaand its back to Solforce. Why? Dunno.

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"One of the more unique missile weapons that your scientists could see a practical use for, these are essentially 'point defense sponges' which are slow moving and don't have a very large warhead but due to the amount of damage they can take before they explode, they serve as a great way to let other, more important missiles to hit their targets."

These replaced the 'storm' missiles including the burst variant I created (which have been set to 'IsVisible=False' so are still actually there) and was only done since the AI once they researched storm missiles would use them over any other missile at all and often over any other weapon type either. With this change the AI still likes these missiles but not nearly as much as they used to and I hope they perform well enough for players to consider them.

Other changes were a little more important - I nailed the crash bug with the Zuul at last that I'd introduced. Blasted thing.
In the process of fixing that, I also changed all 99% techs (most techs are 0, 99 or 100) to either being 100% or 0% for every faction. Research Studies and feasibility studies are essentially removed. While I don't mind the system, the fact that I can't stop the research screen from being covered in immense red bloom was the deciding factor. This does mean salvage is less important (and outright useless sometimes) but its a sacrifice I don't think many will miss considering the vastly increased pacing PH has.

Because all factions barring Tarkas are more or less at a good state, I went ahead and doing a side by side comparison, I've rebalanced every race's engine section and came up with a more direct system of upgrades between each era. Essentially each engine gets 200 extra structure per era and a 50% increase in all other relevant statistics, a flat 2 extra armor width increases and forward speed is increased by 100.

To show an example of this, here is the relevant info for the three Focus engines for Solforce - Fusion, Antimatter and Reflex. A note for Solforce is that they can research Node Pathing but all that engine does is increase node FTL speed by 2 - still important but otherwise their stats are identical to the base version. DN versions are not yet balanced like this but they will be.

Code: Select all

  
  SOLFORCE NODE FUSION ENGINE
  <Struct>1600</Struct>
  <Top>13,11</Top>
  <Bottom>13,11</Bottom>
  <Side>13,13</Side>
  <Crew>50</Crew>
  <Power>100</Power>
  <Supply>75</Supply>
  <Acceleration>50</Acceleration>
  <RotationalAccelerationYaw>1</RotationalAccelerationYaw>
  <RotationalAccelerationPitch>1</RotationalAccelerationPitch>
  <RotationalAccelerationRoll>1</RotationalAccelerationRoll>
  <Decceleration>5</Decceleration>
  <LinearSpeed>225</LinearSpeed>
  <RotationSpeed>1</RotationSpeed>
  
  SOLFORCE NODE ANTIMATTER ENGINE
  <Struct>1800</Struct>
  <Top>15,11</Top>
  <Bottom>15,11</Bottom>
  <Side>15,13</Side>
  <Crew>75</Crew>
  <Power>200</Power>
  <Supply>125</Supply>
  <Acceleration>75</Acceleration>
  <RotationalAccelerationYaw>2</RotationalAccelerationYaw>
  <RotationalAccelerationPitch>2</RotationalAccelerationPitch>
  <RotationalAccelerationRoll>2</RotationalAccelerationRoll>
  <Decceleration>7.5</Decceleration>
  <LinearSpeed>325</LinearSpeed>
  <RotationSpeed>2</RotationSpeed>

  SOLFORCE NODE REFLEX ENGINE
  <Struct>2000</Struct>
  <Top>17,11</Top>
  <Bottom>17,11</Bottom>
  <Side>17,13</Side>
  <Crew>100</Crew>
  <Power>300</Power>
  <Supply>175</Supply>
  <Acceleration>100</Acceleration>
  <RotationalAccelerationYaw>3</RotationalAccelerationYaw>
  <RotationalAccelerationPitch>3</RotationalAccelerationPitch>
  <RotationalAccelerationRoll>3</RotationalAccelerationRoll>
  <Decceleration>10</Decceleration>
  <LinearSpeed>425</LinearSpeed>
  <RotationSpeed>3</RotationSpeed>
  
Solforce as noted elsewhere are supposed to have good cruiser class ships but they have huge problems turning rapidly. Even the reflex-era engines are garbage at turning at any reasonable speed - its one of their factional weaknesses. They make up for this at least in the mobility department by having higher top speed (LinearSpeed) then most factions.

Here are a few comparison Fusion engine sections from the other factions.

Liirian Crusade -

Code: Select all

  
  LIIRIAN CRUSADE STUTTERWARP FUSION
  <Struct>1400</Struct>
  <Top>11,10</Top>
  <Bottom>11,10</Bottom>
  <Side>11,10</Side>
  <Crew>25</Crew>
  <Power>100</Power>
  <Supply>75</Supply>
  <Acceleration>360</Acceleration>
  <RotationalAccelerationYaw>360</RotationalAccelerationYaw>
  <RotationalAccelerationPitch>360</RotationalAccelerationPitch>
  <RotationalAccelerationRoll>360</RotationalAccelerationRoll>
  <Decceleration>360</Decceleration>
  <LinearSpeed>175</LinearSpeed>
  <RotationSpeed>360</RotationSpeed>
You'll notice one striking difference between Solforce and Liir, that being the speed differences. Liirian Crusade ships are the 2nd slowest in the game (at least their cruisers are) and in comparison to Solforce again, they have a top speed of 175 compared to the humans 225. However there's a huge difference in how quickly Liirian ships can stop, start, turn and rotate as its nearly instant. They are not essentially 'naval vessels in space'.

Hivers -

Code: Select all

HIVER FUSION ENGINE - RUBY DOCTRINE
  <Struct>2000</Struct>
  <Top>15,15</Top>
  <Bottom>15,15</Bottom>
  <Side>15,15</Side>
  <Crew>100</Crew>
  <Power>100</Power>
  <Supply>75</Supply>
  <Acceleration>75</Acceleration>
  <RotationalAccelerationYaw>6</RotationalAccelerationYaw>
  <RotationalAccelerationPitch>6</RotationalAccelerationPitch>
  <RotationalAccelerationRoll>6</RotationalAccelerationRoll>
  <Decceleration>10</Decceleration>
  <LinearSpeed>230</LinearSpeed>
  <RotationSpeed>6</RotationSpeed>
  
HIVER FUSION ENGINE - DIAMOND DOCTRINE
  <Struct>3500</Struct>
  <Top>20,15</Top>
  <Bottom>20,15</Bottom>
  <Side>20,15</Side>
  <Crew>100</Crew>
  <Power>100</Power>
  <Supply>75</Supply>
  <Acceleration>50</Acceleration>
  <RotationalAccelerationYaw>2</RotationalAccelerationYaw>
  <RotationalAccelerationPitch>2</RotationalAccelerationPitch>
  <RotationalAccelerationRoll>2</RotationalAccelerationRoll>
  <Decceleration>5</Decceleration>
  <LinearSpeed>150</LinearSpeed>
  <RotationSpeed>2</RotationSpeed>
Hivers have four major Doctrines which their ships follow but only two of those are used for engine sections, those being the two largest doctrines of Ruby and Diamond.

Ruby Doctrine as you can see are surprisingly fast for Hiver ships and if combined with other Ruby-Doctrine sections will often be even faster than this. This does come at the cost of structural rating and armor plating though.
Diamond Doctrine gives the Hivers the most structurally sound and heavily armored sections in the game but look at its speed - 150. This also means they have the slowest ships in the entire game.

Morrigi Confederation -

Code: Select all

MORRIGI FUSION VOID DRIVE
  <Struct>1100</Struct>
  <Top>10,10</Top>
  <Bottom>10,10</Bottom>
  <Side>10,10</Side>
  <Crew>40</Crew>
  <Power>100</Power>
  <Supply>75</Supply>
  <Acceleration>60</Acceleration>
  <RotationalAccelerationYaw>25</RotationalAccelerationYaw>
  <RotationalAccelerationPitch>25</RotationalAccelerationPitch>
  <RotationalAccelerationRoll>25</RotationalAccelerationRoll>
  <Decceleration>25</Decceleration>
  <LinearSpeed>190</LinearSpeed>
  <RotationSpeed>25</RotationSpeed>
As you can probably see by its stats, Morrigi fusion-era ships are not very strong and their top speed isn't very good either though their acceleration and ability to stop is quite good and their ability to turn and roll isn't that bad either. With the Morrigi it is important to note that their Antimatter and Reflex engines get a larger era boost compared to the other factions.

Tarkasian Empire -

Code: Select all

TARKAS FUSION HYPERFIELD DRIVE
  <Struct>1750</Struct>
  <Top>12,10</Top>
  <Bottom>12,10</Bottom>
  <Side>12,10</Side>
  <Crew>35</Crew>
  <Power>100</Power>
  <Supply>75</Supply>
  <Acceleration>10</Acceleration>
  <RotationalAccelerationYaw>6</RotationalAccelerationYaw>
  <RotationalAccelerationPitch>6</RotationalAccelerationPitch>
  <RotationalAccelerationRoll>6</RotationalAccelerationRoll>
  <Decceleration>5</Decceleration>
  <LinearSpeed>200</LinearSpeed>
  <RotationSpeed>6</RotationSpeed>
  
Tarkas engines are nothing remarkable and their description explicitly states this. Like the Morrigi, they get larger bonuses once they get antimatter and reflex engines. Their structural rating is quite considerable at the very least and while their turning and rolling rates are poor, they are not anywhere near as bad as Hivers or Solforce.

Zuul Horde -

Code: Select all

ZUUL FUSION DRIVE
  <Struct>1000</Struct>
  <Top>10,10</Top>
  <Bottom>10,10</Bottom>
  <Side>10,10</Side>
  <Crew>50</Crew>
  <Power>100</Power>
  <Supply>75</Supply>
  <Acceleration>75</Acceleration>
  <RotationalAccelerationYaw>5</RotationalAccelerationYaw>
  <RotationalAccelerationPitch>5</RotationalAccelerationPitch>
  <RotationalAccelerationRoll>5</RotationalAccelerationRoll>
  <Decceleration>5</Decceleration>
  <LinearSpeed>205</LinearSpeed>
  <RotationSpeed>5</RotationSpeed>
Zuul have an odd mix of engine stats. As one of their factional traits, their cruisers are structurally weaker than the other factions but they are almost free to build and construct. While their rotation and roll rates are not very good again, their top speed is remarkably high and their impressive acceleration can be used to dodge slower moving projectiles if you are into micromanagement.

Where's the Loa?
Well the Loa are still being worked in too much for me to post their direct stats here. That and I'm undecided on where their top speed vs rotation rate should fall on the factional scale.

--------------------------------------------
Image
Stability testing once again. Also testing to see how the Solforce AI is going before I do the VAE-like tech tree changes.

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Drones are doing very good compared to how they perform in the base game.

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For early-game performance reasons, Interceptor missiles (LR and SR versions, not the Polaris and IOBM ones) no longer have an impact effect much like most other PD weapons.

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Which I implemented after this battle, so it'll still be in this screenshot.

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I actually lost this battle quite convincingly - I did not have 'air superiority' or whatever you want to call it as my drones got wiped out and I had little to deal with their drones in return.

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Early game balance between Solforce fleets seems to be in a good spot again and the AI is doing quite good.

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While I still wish mod tools were released so I could at the very least design ships which can launch drones and other things at a whim, what is available will have to do. When I'm really considering going back to SOTS prime to let my so called 'creativity' flourish... well, one day perhaps. There's so much I want to do with SOTS2 but can't due to the limitations.

Anyway... Release Date? Once again, it doesn't have one. It will be released when it is released. However I will state that PH is in a very good state and with maybe a month or two of more work, it should have enough done where I won't feel like I'm letting people down who have waited this long already for it.

Right now I'm less focused on getting new ships and techs out and more focusing on AI and gameplay tweaks and fixes. So a lot of the work I've been doing actually can't be shown in a screenshot as its entirely in the background. Income might be a little too high right now but at the same time, the matches I've been playing for my testing are not forcing me to colonize worlds with huge development costs. I've seen a world in the match I'm currently playing with a 12 million development cost and I'm not entirely sure how the AI would go with that as of yet.
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 » Tue Jan 29, 2019 5:29 pm

And another post. I'd just edit the post above but its long enough already.

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Due to redoing the Solforce Drive tech tree and some other requirements, Node Fighters (and their variants) are now usable much earlier and can be researched right from turn 1 if so desired.

Image
A 'live' shot of them in combat. 'live' means I did not pause the game before taking the screenshot, hence why the particle beam isn't quite lining up.

Image
And this is how it looks when I do pause it first - albeit this is after the initial firing animation has completed.

-------------------------------

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Turn 98 in a 1v1 against a very hard Solforce AI. It is doing well enough but it could do better. Then again so could I but considering I had a bug with colony support costs that I dealt with but was too late to use in this save, it was hard enough to keep up with the AI colony wise.

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Fleet wise, I'm outnumbered about 4 to 1 in regards to combat fleets. I also do not have DNs though in comparison the AI doesn't yet have Antimatter whilst I do.

The number of fleets the AI is building is too high as far as I am concerned - the three systems closest to mine all have tons of AI fleets. That said, I did check before I took these screenshots what the AI was doing on the other fronts. They'd all but left them defenseless. Nothing I can do about that unfortunately but if they did declare war again (there's been three wars so far with them), I'd have to push my entire economy into producing enough cruisers to at least hold the line.

Its amusing; I've never had to play this defensive against a SOTS2 AI before. This all said, this is without VAE's improvements which I'm working on implementing after I'm done basically playing a game that I love, yes? This means for the most part their tech choices are scattered pretty much everywhere and the tech tree itself is not optimized for the AI.

Another factor I should bring up is that the Solforce AI does a fairly good job since it can only attack in certain places and against another Solforce AI or a Solforce player, it knows where to send its defensive fleets most of the time. Against the other factions, it isn't nearly as competent on defense though with how fast Solforce node travel is, the AI I've noticed rather attacks then defends.

EDIT: A VAE or vanilla player would think I've got a fortune in those screenshots. I really don't. As the game progresses, the costs of ships goes up due to weaponry and other additional techs and DNs (and LVs) are much more expensive than in the base game. A single DN even with basic weapons and a fusion engine can cost around 8-9 million and a Leviathan usually reaches around 80 million.

Now when you realize the costs involved and that it takes time to get money, that 60 million I have would be drained in about 10 turns of fleet combat and replacing my cruiser losses. It'd go in about 2 turns if I had DN fleets instead of CRs at this point; hence why I'm not using them in this particular match since I could never keep up in a war of attrition with them... yet.
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 » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:13 pm

I normally don't do matches like this, but I felt that it'd give me time and a viable platform to experiment with things I often do not use. Its also giving time for the AI to build up as much as they want since I've found a system which I've fortified heavily and am staying right there while they've got the rest of the map. Solforce-only matches can be quite fun for this reason.

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An early attempt to revamp the Empire screen. Still learning how the XML based UI works as my goal is to eventually have as much as possible scale automatically so it doesn't matter if one's playing on a laptop or a 4K screen like mine. The colors here match the color settings that PH uses so its easy to see what the pie chart is actually telling you. A large dark green segment means you're spending a fortune on colony support costs; hence the colony support area is dark green and anything to do with that is also that color.

While I'm not doing it yet, I do plan on redoing the UI more thoroughly one day. Something to note is that I've changed a few screens so far and I've actually removed certain things which don't work or are not in Project Hiver. Notice there's nothing to do with stimulus or trade? PH doesn't use them. You also can't change the number of starting techs anymore since it doesn't work properly with how PH has its tech tree and factional starting techs.

So far I've done the empire screen (as pictured), the Comparative Analysis screen, some minor changes to the starmap (mostly icon alignment) and some lobby\game creation changes as mentioned before. I'll be much more willing to delve deeper into this once I find the will\time to determine exactly how scaling works, as stated before.

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Mines are now more properly implemented though I do still have more tweaking to finish. All factions also have models for their various mines so no more bugged minefields or minelayers not doing anything. The mines themselves are also almost certainly going to be redesigned to be less on the damage side of things and more towards the disabling or other some other effect. Its not easy to counter a minefield when you spawn right in the middle of them after all and right now, they use the 2nd most defense CP points though I'm considering making them by far the most expensive in that regard. Don't want people covering a system with minefields and overloading the game so it crashes.

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I've also been on a general bug hunt to find things I've missed in the past. An example is hiding on the news ticker at the bottom - Universal Antigen isn't a 100% tech so that's been fixed as well as it being rebalanced to be terribly expensive as per my next experiment phase I'm doing which happens to be bio warfare. I've got some theories on how exactly the system works and I've also heard that assimilation plague is either bugged or causes crashes so I'll be investigating that during this save game as well.

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I'm still not sure if those white blocks on the front of that section is a Missing texture or not. I'll find it one day.

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I often end matches at around turn 100 due to how PH's pacing is vastly improved so I'm not used to seeing fleets like this on a routine basis. They are just too expensive to spam on smaller maps, but I'm not playing on a small map this time.

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The wide range of weapons used by both myself and the AI has let me 'balance' them a little better with one another. An example of a balance change I did today is that all blasters (base game lasers) now have the Ionic property so they do double damage to shields; something that's very important to differentiate them from other weapons vs early game shields.

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The AI has been making quite a wide range of ships and were fielding DNs well before I was. Though as usual, I did get to antimatter before they did.

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Due to the map size, there was very few early game combat screenshots to take. Most of that was spent clearing the swarm and the occasional morrigi tomb, both of which have been rebalanced again for both enjoyment and performance reasons.

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AI still has their bug with battleriders who if they are not destroyed by the end of combat, they remain there as a 0 speed fleet that you can't engage in combat. I don't believe there's any way to fix this without getting access to the code itself, which clearly I can't.

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These naughty buggers turned up and demonstrated their tempest weaponry to great effect.

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I think I've finally got LVs to the 'Ohh sh*t, that's a leviathan!' stage. Close to fully upgraded, this LV pictured cost 180 million savings. I had to stop researching for quite a while to afford it. And its cost will only continue to get higher as I continue the weapon cost rebalancing which is slowly in progress.

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This said, they are many times more effective than they are in the base game due to huge structural ratings, strong armor, better mount types and so on. Solforce in particular actually has 7 LV class ships, one of those is a reflex-era LV.

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Right now the AI isn't posing any real threat to me, I'm simply too well fortified. However once they start fielding their own LVs then that'll change.

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Mines have an extremely small render distance which I can't change so its often impossible to visually see them unless your camera is as close as it is in this screenshot.

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They still explode good though. :googly:
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 Feb 10, 2019 3:17 am

Right, so biowarfare still sucks and I can't find a way to make it, well, interesting, so I'm ignoring it for now. Instead, its time to move on to the next faction since Solforce is 99% done - there's just a few descriptions which need to be fixed. And before someone brings it up, I know that I should use the locale\string file for ship names and descriptions but that's far too annoying to do at this point. It'll be done eventually, just not now. Or anytime soon. :googly:

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THE HIVER IMPERIUM
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"This is what happens when the rabbit joins forces with the turtle in order to have the best of both worlds."

The Hivers are one of the most heavily altered factions in Project Hiver so far as they follow their Doctrine system to the letter. This leads to some rather unique gameplay and design choices as their ships can differ from one another so much that their fleets seem as ecliptic as Zuul ships do.

Hiver ships are grouped into four Doctrines with most relevant section types having their doctrinal letter at the end of their name, such as Combat \D meaning its a Diamond Doctrine combat section.

There are four Doctrines currently in place, more can be added if I feel the need though so far, I don't. Three are Primary Doctrines and one is a Minor Doctrine.

DIAMOND: Bonus Armor and Structural rating, larger weapon mounts, considerable speed penalty.
RUBY: Speed, Agility and a balance of weaponry.
EMERALD: Focus on Drones and Battleriders. This is the Minor Doctrine since I can't add drones at will, sadly.
SAPPHIRE: Alien Designs; Tends to have ships and sections that are much closer to the other factions and tend to be in the middle of the road.

Other stuff:
Hivers now start with casting. This gives them a boost in the early game due to the increased pace of Project Hiver.
Hivers can now start building Gate Stations from turn 1. Hivers already have quite a lot of useful techs for them to get so this helps them to not have to waste time getting the gate station tech and helps in smaller maps to ensure gate capacity is always expanding.
Hiver AI and starting fleets are now optimized. The starting gate and survey fleets now have a gate ship and are both fully armed. Starting Survey fleets are more balanced akin to the other factional starting fleets and the gate fleets have some supply ships and are more focused on economy alongside having a few extra gate ships right from the start. Hiver AI now has its own Hiver-only fleet listing to choose from which helps the AI deal with this rather complex faction.

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Hivers start off with a few interesting weapon choices. They have ballistics and also start with plasma cannons and the Hiver AI is known to use both the entire cannon tree, projectors and balances it out with ballistics. They don't often use beam weapons but nothing is stopping them from doing such if they want to.

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Early game Hiver fleets tend to be quite the light show as their weapons often have lighting effects.

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I've turned down the potency of most static encounters but they'll still tear apart fleets which don't have any PD or are not a full fleet.

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For those who know the Hivers from the base game, you're probably wondering why I'm using the PD section? I'm not, I've just borrowed the model for the 'Combat' sections for two of the three major doctrines. Sapphire Doctrine uses the 'old' Armor model and it still has its place since Hivers actually don't have many heavy turret mounts otherwise.

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Typical Ruby Doctrine line of thought: "They can't shoot us if they can't catch us!"

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I've been surprised at how well the AI is handling the Doctrine system and they've been putting up quite the fight so far.

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Grapplers play an interesting role for the Hivers early game - either fit one to a Diamond Doctrine ship and keep a ship who strays too close beside you, or fit one to a Ruby Doctrine ship and use the Hivers impressive mass-to-engine ratio to separate a fleet into individual ships.

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The Hiver fusion engine section still has its engine exhaust pointing the wrong way. Depending on how the model behaves, I should be able to alter it so it has no exhaust at all. Nothing else I can do, can't edit the model itself after all. This isn't SOTS1 where exhausts are dealt by the ship file itself.(I think?)

More work has also been done on the ballistic side of things; a few weapons which I didn't get around to actually making are now taking shape. Tier 0 ballistics are all done, Tier 1 are almost done. Tier 2 will have to wait until I'm at the antimatter era with my current match and unless I stall the game, Tier 3 may have to wait.

As I'm almost done with Mines, COL is on my list of things to attack during this match once the fighting stabilizes.
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 marshb » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:41 am

Game still looks so beautiful! Nice work!
Our lives are not our own. From womb to tomb, we are bound to others. Past and present. And by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future.

Orison of Sonmi-451

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

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Thu Feb 14, 2019 6:17 am

marshb wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:41 am
Game still looks so beautiful! Nice work!
Kerb has a lot of talent, if\when SOTSHD comes out it should blow pretty much any other space game out of the water. Unlike when SOTS2 was released, our PCs should be able to handle it with ease.

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My Hiver vs Hiver match has progressed to the Antimatter era. Both of us have a mix of AM and fusion ships though as this is only a small map. (small disk.)

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All Tier 1 weapons (Fusion\Magnetic) are now complete and have proper techs and work properly. This said, this screenshot is using Tier 2 (Antimatter) weapons. Its also why its an Impactor section in the screenshot as I'm now in the process of getting all of the Tier 2 variants completed.

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Only some weapons had this in the base game, now all ballistics and any other weapon which can be deflected\reflected will show these orange rings if they have done no damage. This is most notable for ballistics since lower tier weapons will almost never penetrate the higher level armors. So if you see your shots producing these rings all the time then its time to upgrade or refit your weaponry.

This said, SOTS2 just like SOTS Prime has deflection and reflection which is also impacted by armor sloping and other things. So sometimes even your tier 3 reflex ballistics can be deflected.

Hiver DNs are been worked on now since their CRs are done. Due to the lack of models, coming up with variants which follow the doctrines is harder but not impossible. They follow the usual PH Hiver trend of having their command section have no real doctrine focus while the engine and mission sections do. I've also fixed a few turrets which were located inside the model - by fixing I mean preventing them from being used but, ehh.

Seriously, not being able to rotate node points on models is one of my largest issues with SOTS2 modding alongside not being able to use battleriders when ever I want as they require more information than a turret. The engine can't launch a drone for example if it doesn't know where the drone is supposed to go once you've clicked the launch button so it just stays there.

I'll probably edit more screenshots in as I take them, depends on my mood.

Addendum: I've still got to add in the antimatter version of a shotgun and a burster then I need to deal with the more unique rounds that I added ages ago such as chrono rounds. Tier 0 and 1 weapons are all done at least including the two variants of the planetary bombardment rounds. Impactors are also a work in progress, right now they have a 20x10 armor damage matrix (though it isn't doing the entire matrix damage, be too strong if it did) and are one of the few weapons in PH which have any round mass at all - I understand that ballistics are balanced in SOTS1 and vanilla around knocking ships around but it always caused more problems then it was worth when certain weapons knocked lighter ships like drones and battleriders into deep space (almost literally) and could cause combat to not end until the timer expired.

Torpedoes have also been revisited with their types, they now come in a few types. You've got the normal PH Torpedo which does not track and hits very, very hard at a long range since it follows torpedo logic, you've got an enveloping one which is the same as the normal torpedo but retains its enveloping effect but does little damage to planets in return, overcharged which reverses the way torpedoes work by making their damage extreme when up close but very rapidly lose their damage potential as they travel further away (and of course do less damage to planet) and then you've got the hybrid Burst torpedo which doesn't track but once it gets somewhat close to its target, it splits into two smaller torpedoes which do actually track but are much easier for PD to shoot down.

Finally, an experimental change is that MIRV Mini-missiles are now classified as bolts instead of missiles. This increases FPS rates by a huge margin when they are spammed which they often are but it also means they can not be hit by PD fire anymore and they also won't miss their targets. I may wind up using a similar system to the burst torpedo where the MIRV missiles just split into two smaller ones instead of 6+ much smaller missiles. After all, each missile has to be tracked by the game's engine since it can be shot down and that impacts performance.

EDIT - The big selling point of focusing on ballistics instead of energy weapons is that no energy weapon also has the ability to autofire on PD targets and fire on larger ships on it own (variable weaponry) until the reflex-era. They have to rely on dedicated PD weapons or you manually switching to PD mode when required. Ballistics on the other hand have the autocannon line (Autocannon, Magnetic Autocannon, Stormer, Advanced Stormer per tier) which can not only be fit into any light, medium, heavy or very heavy turret mount and do have the variable weapon function in which it switches to a slightly more PD focused variant which will autofire on PD targets and switch back to its harder hitting version against non-PD targets. For factions which love their medium mounts just like the Hivers do, this makes ballistics a better choice in the long run since there's a lack of light turrets in most cases for PD work since all energy-based PD weapon (barring the reflex-era) can only be fit in light turret mounts.

This said, interceptors are still around and they've been improved to the point where there are now polaris and IOBM sized variants. Interceptors themselves also have two variants and are considerably better than they are in the base game and due to supply being removed from almost all weapons, they won't destroy your fleet's endurance rating anymore.

And of course, Chaff still exists.
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 » Fri Feb 15, 2019 4:55 am

And progress continues. One day, one day.

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Ghosty needed its weapons fixed as it had a lot of ballistic weapons which were deleted in my latest revision. That's now fixed.

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Ghosty is now armed with Phantom missiles which actually appear to be doing their job!

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Not sure if the normal Phantom missiles are performing as expected, don't have them researched right now but it is something for me to look into when I restart this hiver vs hiver match with all of the AI improvements I've been working on in the background.

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Those beautiful white stars are as blinding as ever.

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Ghosty is a real threat but, well, it isn't a true LV class vessel stat wise. It can't stand up to a combined attack by high-tier ships and weaponry.

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At least the non-fusion section engines for the hivers don't have their exhausts pointing the wrong way.

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Siege weapons are now updated to PH standards. I've also figured out how to launch things which ain't asteroids if I so desire, but see little purpose in that yet. This said, they are slightly too powerful right now as this lone ship 2 shotted a size 10 homeworld; albeit there was nothing to shoot down the asteroid either.

The revamped ballistic tree is coming along nicely. I've tossed the ballistic superweapon idea out of the closest airlock and replaced it with more toned-down factional unique weapons instead, but only for those factions which lore-wise use ballistics more often than not. Hivers, Humanity\Solforce and Tarkas all have unique Tier 2 (Antimatter) ballistic weapons and I'm trying to determine if the Zuul should have a unique ballistic weapon or something else entirely.

I also updated the grappler and its two variants, they now work properly with PH. Loa, Morrigi and Liirian Crusade don't get access to these but the rest do. Zuul get the grappler for free on game start as well.

I've also put in place the descriptions on what Diplomatic stations now do since they are more or less useless since trade is gone and that diplomatic points were never enforced to actually participate in diplomatic actions even if the game said they were (unfinished feature probably); Diplomatic stations are now essentially a way to have a long range sensor both in your tactical and strategic view.

Since most of the stuff to do with station modules are hardcoded or locked away behind that .dll file, I can't do much with them directly but this is a way to not make diplomatic stations entirely pointless. Civilian stations are impossible to build since trade is disabled though Zuul still get their tribute stations. Mining Stations are currently enabled but I may have to do what I did with VAE and disable them to prevent the AI from spamming them and causing potentially a combat round in every system on the map every turn.

Naval, Science and Gate stations still act as they always did. The Solforce naval station actually has more weaponry than usual since its Dock modules are armed. Station module costs should be going down across the board once I get around to doing it, Tarkasian and Loa modules will be free to construct and stations in general are more useful to field.

Science stations are quite important when compared to VAE or the base game since you can't rely on trade income to get your research going. However apart from certain progression-checkpoint techs, most techs in PH are considerably cheaper and are done in around 1 to 5 turns depending on your research spending. The tree you'll probably want science stations the most for is the Energy tree since Antimatter research is incredibly expensive and Reflex research is the most time consuming in the game and anything you can do to cut these times down will help in the long run.

Other trees which could benefit would be the energy weapon tree, especially once you go down the Superweapon side of things and if you want to field Leviathans, perhaps the engineering tree. Techs found in all other trees tend to be cheap enough that adding in science modules for them really isn't going to be as helpful as dedicating them to the energy tree.
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 » Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:36 pm

Just a small test today, don't really have time for anything major. Only posting really to share this little screenshot.

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:googly:
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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