Modding Picture of the day...

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Talverin
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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by Talverin » Thu Aug 29, 2019 11:24 am

What size of maps do you mainly test on? Slower colony expansion + faster tech times sounds like the game will be more focused on building up a small cluster of worlds and fighting tooth and nail for the rest. It sounds like fun, especially compared to 100+ turns of not much then another 100+ turns of constant grinding battles to take down your enemy's 200k worlds, one virus bombing at a time.

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

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Fri Aug 30, 2019 4:06 am

Small to medium maps. I don't enjoy massive turn times so the larger maps either have a smaller variant (Jax for example, I've got a version which makes it a 4 player map instead of 6 with the north and south 'arms' removed) or just don't get used.

Since there's no ingame way to set the number of planets per star in the actual game itself (Note to self: Add that to SOTSHD\SOTS3 wishlist), I'd have to make another systemparams file with lower planet counts in mind.

As for settings, I try and leave everything on basic vanilla settings (100%) with only the starting money increased as high as it can go since I can't figure out how to change it by default.

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Is the map I'm using in the Liirian Crusade match that I posted a few days ago. I find it to be quite fun since space is limited and since the AI usually don't ally with each other, its a constant battle between the AI on the left, right and depending on their faction, from across the little empty void.
Tiny_Disc_starmap.zip
No reason why it shouldn't work - granted it has string errors as you can tell, but they don't actually matter. Solforce's nodelines are functional as well.

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EDIT:

The Liirian Crusade is still being worked on. Starting from the top of the file list, the drones and battleriders are done, working on BCs right now. As I hate boarding pods with a passion and nerfed them to oblivion, I'm experimenting to see if this version might be fun to use. Stats are not final on the ship in the screenshot, this is very much a WIP. And yes, I fixed the description post screenshot.

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Penitence Vessel
"Unique to the Prestor-Zuul, the Penitence section is designed to carry six boarding pods which are actually not designed for boarding operations alongside quite a few medium turret mounts. These pods are very slow and have a lot of structural rating so serve more as a decoy than anything else and if a pod somehow latches onto a ships hull, its lone 'criminal' stands little chance of doing anything but dying in combat for their sins."

The goal is, essentially, that the boarding pods draw incoming enemy PD fire, drones and battleriders attention towards themselves. Since they only have a single crew member, even if massed, they probably won't be able to capture anything. Probably another questionable thing PH does, using prisoners as bait... :?
Sword of the Stars 2 : Project Hiver Modder
Creator of the Work-In-Progress Seimei Visual Novel series.
My dream game: Combination of Sword of the Stars 2, Angels Fall First, Conquest: Frontier Wars and Warzone 2100.

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

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:54 pm

Since I'm so sick I can barely do anything else but ensure I remain upright, its a fairly good time to get back to modding. Not a good mix usually, but what can you do?

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Still undecided on what the best course of action is to take in regards to cloaking. Having more than a few cloaked ships causes immense slowdown to the point it can bring any computer to it knees and I can't see any real way to fix it. This said, Psi Invisibility (as shown here) since its limited to only a single ship at a time works fine.

So, other things that I got done:

All Liirian Crusade CRs have been updated to PH standards in both loadouts, weapon slots and most importantly armor and structural ratings.
Even though their ship designs make this a questionable choice on my part (which I'm only going to do to their CRs), the Liir front-load all of their structure and armor towards their command section which then gets weaker as you go further back, making their engines by far the most vulnerable part of their ship.

This is balanced out (afaik) by their close to instant turning speeds; its very easy to keep the front of the ship pointed at a target but getting flanked by multiple ships or especially battleriders means one of them is always going to get easy shots at the much weaker engine section.

Their DNs once I'm done with them will follow more normal armor\structure rules in which the engine and mission sections are the most heavily armored with the command section being the weak point. I was considering having them follow the same logic as the CRs, but the models of the DNs are so wide that most fire impacts the mission section anyway and DNs in PH are expensive; you don't want them being as flankable as a CR is and having its engine blown away.

Lasers (blasters in PH, the laser bolts) have been rebalanced yet again. They retain their Ionic properties from the last version (double damage against shields) and now have a much more simple damage system. Thermal (Red) and X-ray (Blue...) remain close combat based and do extra structural damage with a good rate of fire while Chemical (Green) and UV (Purple) have twice the range at the price of a slower rate of fire. Assuming I've got the numbers right, blasters are also more predictable when being reflected.

So, the base reflection chance for the basic blasters is -4, which means they have 400% chance to not be reflected. This number is this high to avoid lasers being reflected away due to curved armor which is a real thing in SOTS2, though it can still happen. Advanced blasters (The X-ray and UV ones) have a base chance of -6. Applying reflective armor (which is not as cheap nor easy to get) increases base reflection chance by 200%, so essentially a basic blaster should be reflected 50% of the time while the advanced ones will be closer to 20%. I used to be good at maths... Using advanced reflective armor sets the base chance to 400%, meaning that most basic laser blasts will be reflected away, especially if they hit sloped parts of the ship while having a reasonable chance to reflect the advanced blasters.

The theory behind this is that blasters should be really good early game and they are - basic blasters bypass two layers of permanent armor and advanced ones ignore three layers, but as reflective armor starts being fielded, they start to lose a good chunk of their potency instead of becoming utterly irrelevant as the game goes on. Sure, against Neutronium armor (addy) they won't even scratch the paint of that ship, but the sheer cost of having that armor installed makes it impractical for mass usage. Blasters should have a place for the entire game, and hopefully I've finally succeeded at that.

Now as for phased blasters... ugh. Undecided on a way to not make them totally outclass the other four blasters as of yet - as an antimatter era weapon (T2), they are supposed to be better but have some reason why using the fusion era blasters in some situations is the better bet.

Next on my to-do list seems to be the cannon line yet again. Getting a bit sick of those. Ballistics in PH don't have supply costs so the main draw that I could see in using cannon weapons over ballistics simply doesn't exist. And often they wind up being way too powerful when compared to other weapon types. I do have a theory on how I may be able to solve this, but without the ability to add in actual new techs, I can't do it properly.

If anyone has some ideas on what I could do with all of the cannon weapons (including the Chakkar and projector lines), feel free to chime in.
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 » Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:36 am

So, with my Google Drive now up and running and assuming its working properly, have a stable space to put stuff without too much difficulty.

What I am considering is uploading a demo of PH of a sort - It would essentially contain everything PH has but be limited to a single faction (Solforce). So the techs, weapons, pacing, randoms, grand menaces, everything but the other playable factions. They'd be stock vanilla but I can alter the UI to disable their selection so you'd only be able to select Solforce\Humanity.

Is that of any interest to anyone, or is my time better spent just working on the full PH and not bothering setting up a demo? Unsure as of yet.

EDIT-
Revised entry for PH. Keep in mind that Project Hiver is set in an alternate universe and is often not based on canon-lore.

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Project Hiver: Project Hiver, otherwise known as "PH" is as close to a large scale mod that Sword of the Stars 2 modding allows. There is pretty much not a single non-model file that has not been altered in some manner, making this by far the largest mod currently available for the game.

Gameplay Differences: Sword of the Stars prides itself for being the 'universe of choices' and PH takes that theme and runs off with it to a remote island.
* Custom Save Our SOTS2 Integration - Includes a heavily customised version of Willdieh's SoS .DLL file with permission.
* Bug fixes, Crash fixes and Frames per Second fixes - Where possible, Project Hiver deals with as many issues as modding allows.
* New Reflex Era - Vanilla had the Fusion and Antimatter era, Project Hiver adds in the Reflex era and restores some Fission-era gameplay as well.
* Improved Stability - Optimised fleet sizes combined with numerous changes to various weapons and systems allow for longer crash-free playing sessions.
* Altered Pacing - The speed of a match in PH is far faster than in the base game; most research can be completed within a turn or two, income is higher with more expensive money sinks being available. Certain research topics take longer due to the new Era system, making non-optimal research paths more interesting. Overall pace of the game is increased so a full-scale war is almost always taking place by turn 40 instead of turn 180 or so.
* Vastly Improved AI - AI fully uses the custom SoS .DLL combined with PH's fleet template system in order for the AI to make far more dangerous fleets as well as making smarter and more optimized targeting choices. AI can now use all stable Psionic abilities and has a chance to fit them to any ship. AI can no longer be lured away by exploiting your CnC ship.
* Very Hard AI Mode - PH enables the unused 'very hard' option for AI players, giving them a serious boost in both economics and research which makes them a far more dangerous opponent.
* Drastic Factional Differences - Every faction has far more pronounced strengths, weaknesses and additional playstyles.
* Improved Randoms - Stable random encounters have been improved to be both more challenging and rewarding while also showcasing various new systems found within PH while reducing tedium.
* True Grand Menaces - The two Grand Menaces now live up to their grandiose title...
* Better Timings - If Random encounters are enabled, they now start at turn 100. Grand Menaces will not show up until turn 200, giving players more time to wage war and to not be taken by surprise by certain stronger randoms.
* Redone Weaponry - Every weapon in the game has been customised and\or rebalanced. All weapons have had stability and FPS concerns fixed.
* 500+ New Weapons - The addition of a wide range of new weapons gives many new choices in how to fight your wars. Randoms and Grand Menaces can also have their own weaponry now too. (Not all weaponry is usable by the player, so actual weapon count is closer to 250.)
* Redesigned Tech Tree - Techs now have a 0% or 100% chance of being available for every faction. Every tech has had its research time changed and optimized. Tech grouping has been fixed.
* Altered Techs - Every technology branch has been changed or altered in some manner.
* Super Weapons - Tired of that annoying ball of rock that's your opponents homeworld? Perhaps you wish you could appropriate the System Killer's planet killing beam? Now you can... though you can't destroy the star itself.
* New Ships - An ongoing process, but a number of new ship sections has been included.

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The Factions:
* Solforce\Humanity - Humanity has split into three factions: Section 7, Earth Command and The Independants. They use naturally occuring Node-lines to achieve Faster-than-Light travel which grants them restricted paths to a system but very high FTL speeds. Humanity is a faction which has shielding on all of their cruisers, very capable dreadnoughts and one of the few Reflex-era Leviathans. All of their ships have bonus armor on their port and starboard sides. Humanity can have problems dealing with randoms and grand menaces due to their very slow STL speeds. Humans also lack combat endurance due to only average structural ratings and must rely on repair ships for fleet support.
* Hiver Imperium - The Hiver Imperium is a Faction dominated by the Hiver race and its Faster-than-Light system, the Gate network. Hivers travel slower than light from star to star, and then set up matter-mission Gates that allow them to teleport anywhere in their empire. Hivers utilise a Doctrine system in which all of their ships follow a certain doctrine which determines its speed, armor and weaponry. Hiver fleets are unpredictable due said doctrine system though tend to be very pronounced weaknesses such as very slow ships unless their doctrine covers that.
* Tarkasian Empire - The Tarkasian Empire is the oldest non-fractured faction and as such starts with numerous technologies already researched though suffer a research penalty due to a lack of innovation, requiring heavy investment into Science stations. While an honor-based society, that does not apply to their starfleet as a battle that can be won with as few casualities as possible is preferable to some kind of honorable duel. Tarkasian ships can all self-repair while out of combat and often have more unique technolgies at their disposal.
* Liirian Crusade - The Liir of this timeframe have sworn to end the dominance of the Lords of Winter by any and all means. Long gone are the diplomatic and peace-loving civilisation, replaced by a pathological desire to destroy the Suul'ka and any and all forms of 'sustenance' that the Lords require. This has given the Liirian forces the 'Crusade' monkier as they are a heavily armed faction and do not engage in diplomacy unless it suits them. They are able to form an Alliance with the Prestor Zuul in order to access additional ships and technology. Liirian Crusade vessels are slow but all move and turn at the same speed regardless of the size of the ship. They have a very large number of Heavy and Very Heavy mounts with additional light mounts, however they have next to no Medium mounts. Most Liirian ships have access to inbuilt Psionic abilities.
* Zuul Horde - The Horde is a combined faction of traditional Zuul and their creators, the Suul'ka. The Zuul dig their own Node paths from star to star, but must keep them open with regular maintenance. Zuul fleets are the largest in the game but tend to have the weakest cruisers and dreadnoughts but make up for this with very high income rates, access to the slavery system and a near immunity to morale damage. Zuul are considered a Super Faction within Project Hiver, meaning they are designed for AI use but can still be used by a player but will not be as balanced.
* Morrigi Confederation - The Morrigi Confederation is the remnants of an ancient Morrigi Empire which is attempting to regain their lost technology and make their place on the galactic stage once again. Morrigi can fly from any point in the universe to any other, but the more ships flock together, the faster the fleet will arrive. Morrigi ships tend to be very fast but lightly armored, making them more apt at combat encounters in which they have the space to move around and dictate the terms of the engagement. A straight up brawl will not go well for a Morrigi fleet which is not prepared for that, though their larger ships become more capable as their technology advances.
* Loa Collective - The Loa are a Faction of independent Artificial Intelligence entities. They are paranoid to the extreme and only want to improve themselves in order to one day cleanse the galaxy of all carbon-based life. Loa ships are expensive and slow to construct and have the smallest fleet sizes in the game but are very powerful and often quite versatile. Their fleets are 'mutable' in the way that their entire fleet composition can be changed at will to perform any task requires. Loa are considered a Super Faction within Project Hiver, meaning they are designed for AI use but can still be used by a player but will not be as balanced.

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Just testing the encyclopedia, got the image list working.
Sword of the Stars 2 : Project Hiver Modder
Creator of the Work-In-Progress Seimei Visual Novel series.
My dream game: Combination of Sword of the Stars 2, Angels Fall First, Conquest: Frontier Wars and Warzone 2100.

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Mecron
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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by Mecron » Fri Sep 27, 2019 7:35 pm

Nice work

Talverin
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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by Talverin » Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:59 pm

You are amazing! Yes! Demo! Please. <3

I am so very excited.

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Slashman
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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by Slashman » Sat Sep 28, 2019 12:07 am

Looking forward to the demo!
If you want a different perspective, stand on your head.

tyee
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Re: Modding Picture of the day...

Post by tyee » Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:08 am

Would love to play the demo!

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

Post by Rossinna-Sama » Sun Sep 29, 2019 2:03 pm

Well I guess its now my main priority to get that out as soon as I can. There's still some stuff which needs to be done, so focusing on those.

Projectors have been updated: while there is only three kinds (The Inertial Projector is missing its model for a few factions), they unleash a massive storm of weaker Cannon (plasma, fusion or antimatter) projectiles in what is essentially a large cone-shaped area. Very inaccurate but good at ripping through shields and larger objects, especially stations and leviathans and the two Grand menaces. They do use a lot of power though (energy) and are not cheap to field and projector mounts remain as rare as usual for non-LV ships.

The never ending war between Cannons and Blasters (lasers) has finally been resolved as far as I am concerned as both lines finally have a place in the energy tree. Still not sure about War Quiots and their line since the way SoS works, it makes Armor Piercing a very valued trait so it means that high values there would make the AI never field anything but these things. Considering making them bypass shielding and have a high projectile speed but lower overall damage compared to the normal Cannon weapons.

Solforce\Humanity no longer starts with HCL weaponry, instead they get Photon Torpedoes since I plan on editing their tech preferences within the .DLL to favor torpedo-type weaponry and hopefully the direct fire torpedoes such as the photons.

Things I still need to get done: Finish the ballistic T2 and T3 weaponry (Again), revise the psionic and cybernetic trees for stability purposes and check for any "TBD" descriptions for techs, weapons and all of Solforce's ship sections.

Anyway, screenshot time.
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Large fleets of Battleriders still causes quite a lot of FPS loss but short of lowering their count via either making their carriers far more expensive or limiting them to two BRs per CR instead of three, not sure if there's anything I can do.

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Early game fleet battles between Solforce tends to winds up with large amounts of fireballs.

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A hostile drone picking on my CnC ship.

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Sometimes the AI has zero interest in letting you test stuff out and just wants to kill you as soon as it can.

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Sure, SOTS2 would run better if I turned bloom off but... where's the fun in that? :angel:

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So for most factions, each fleet is capped at 90 CP. This means a flat 15 cruisers per fleet which never changes.

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So while the battles are technically larger early game, they are quite a bit smaller late game though I've never personally noticed that being an issue.

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Another time I wish that I could edit effects and other things.

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SOTS2 was way ahead of its time as far as I am concerned, especially in regard to lighting effects.

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Seeing the AI using competent ship designs just makes things feel so much better. Now if I could figure out why they don't invade as often as they should.

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Since I'm testing, my income rate allows early-game antimatter to be researched; normally this would not be possible.

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I miss SOTS Prime's ability to have the entire colony world look different instead of just the cityscape.

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Still a work in progress but decals usually work properly now. Not all weapons will produce these either to assist FPS rates.
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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