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Author Topic: [0.9a] Vesperon Combine 1.0.0 - 13/01/19  (Read 3411 times)
Straticus
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« on: January 13, 2019, 12:26:56 PM »



Vesperon Combine


The Vesperon Combine is a secretive organisation that has data-mined intelligence on a number of hidden sites, created after the Collapse, that hold treasures for the would-be industrialist. For a very reasonable fee, it will provide a dossier containing the locations - and more importantly, the specific scanning frequencies needed to find them - to its members. But beware - the people who built these sites may have left a surprise or two behind...





Beyond the fluff, this is a small, lore-friendly...ish mod for those who are frustrated by the limited number of opportunities to find All The Things - well, blueprints at least - in a single playthrough. The opportunity to buy access to more locations as they crop up makes the experience repeatable, until the player can construct everything that is boardable and obtainable in the game. The flipside of this approach is that it will probably allow blueprints to drop for things that authors didn't intend, but things like derelicts and [REDACTED] should be filtered out.

I've tested this with what I consider the highest-quality mods on the board, including Nexerelin; if you notice any crashes, particularly when salvaging a facility, please let me know so I can investigate.

Features:

  • A certain person in a certain bar on a certain independent world...
  • Membership of a shadowy organisation
  • Hidden dangers
  • [REDACTED]

Planned:

  • Some proper faction specific content
  • A TriTa-[REDACTED by Hegemony CommSec]
  • More lore
  • More varied challenges
  • [REDACTED]
  • A better way to blacklist more things that shouldn't drop or are problematic


For v1.0.0 it'll no doubt suffer from "My First Mod" syndrome, so please don't expect a bug-free or well-balanced experience, and feel free to leave feedback. Have fun! Grin
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cjusa
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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2019, 12:37:13 PM »

MORE EXPLORATION GOODIES  Grin


On a more serious note, I'm throwing this in my mod folder right now! I'll let you know if I see anything weird.

*EDIT* I'm also going to recommend you take a looksie at the unofficial discord, which can be found on this link. There are a lot of people you can ask to help bug-hunt, balance test, and otherwise have fun with the mod. http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=11488.0
« Last Edit: January 13, 2019, 12:51:21 PM by cjusa » Logged

"Light the Stars with your Incendiary Rounds!"
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« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2019, 04:21:50 PM »

Hey just wanted to let you know I am getting a crash related to the Granite from the XLU mod
99745 [Thread-4] ERROR com.fs.starfarer.combat.CombatMain  - java.lang.RuntimeException: Ship hull spec [xlu_granite] not found!
java.lang.RuntimeException: Ship hull spec [xlu_granite] not found!
   at com.fs.starfarer.loading.do.super(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.loading.SpecStore.o00000(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.loading.SpecStore.o00000(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.settings.StarfarerSettings$1.getHullSpec(Unknown Source)
   at org.stratic.fs.starsector.api.impl.campaign.intel.VesperonIntelManager.getKnown BlueprintsForFaction(VesperonIntelManager.java:263)
   at org.stratic.fs.starsector.api.impl.campaign.intel.VesperonIntelManager.<init>(VesperonIntelManager.java:64)
   at org.stratic.fs.starsector.api.impl.campaign.intel.bar.events.VesperonMembership BarEvent.<init>(VesperonMembershipBarEvent.java:47)
   at org.stratic.fs.starsector.api.impl.campaign.intel.bar.events.VesperonMembership BarEventCreator.createBarEvent(VesperonMembershipBarEventCreator.java:Cool
   at com.fs.starfarer.api.impl.campaign.intel.bar.events.BarEventManager.advance(BarEventManager.java:166)
   at com.fs.starfarer.campaign.CampaignEngine.advance(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.campaign.CampaignState.advance(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.BaseGameState.traverse(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.state.AppDriver.begin(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.combat.CombatMain.main(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.StarfarerLauncher$1.run(Unknown Source)
   at java.lang.Thread.run(Unknown Source)
 
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Midnight Kitsune
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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2019, 05:59:51 PM »

This seems like a BAD idea for several reasons:
-It breaks the number one ethics rule in any kind of modding, starsector modding or otherwise: Allow mods to OPT IN, don't force other modders to opt out or "code around" your mod. It makes it easier on both parties and helps with bug hunting. And by the looks of it, I'm not even seeing a way to opt out either...
-This breaks hidden content and secrets in vanilla. Hell it could even lead to bugs due to grabbing something that is part of a quest chain or something.
-This can break hidden content in MANY mods. Content that is supposed to be a hidden little surprise for those that find it or do a quest chain.
-It ROYALLY breaks immersion. Now I know that many mods also break immersion as well, but this is supposed to be lore friendly-ish. Yet why haven't the other factions either threatened, hired or bought off these guys and used them to strip the Sector clean of tech?
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MesoTroniK
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« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2019, 07:06:45 PM »

Welcome to modding Starsector Straticus.

Hell is full of good wishes and desires. Now what did I mean by that in this case? I will be totally honest with you, this mod is ill-conceived in execution and arguably also conceptually.

Conceptually speaking? It cheapens the game by creating monolithic locations to find blueprints for stuff, making it so that where the player thinks they need to find X blueprint that belongs to Y faction that can be raided etc is no longer the exclusive case.

Speaking of execution? What is ideal in these sorts of cases and 99% of similar things is a whitelist .csv where X blueprints will not appear in your rig at all unless they are listed! Also, as far as I can tell (my apologies if I missed it), there is no mergeable blacklist .csv file to make your rig ignore X blueprints. Even if there was, that is far from ideal.

As Midnight said, it is ethically *highly* frowned upon to create work for other modders. So them having to do nothing unless they want their content to appear? Is by far the best practice Smiley


Anyways, I please ask you to think about how this mod of yours effects other modders and their content which often is meant to be hidden or least difficult to source or even impossible to begin with.
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Straticus
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« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2019, 01:54:15 AM »

Thanks for the honest comments.

Speaking of execution? What is ideal in these sorts of cases and 99% of similar things is a whitelist .csv where X blueprints will not appear in your rig at all unless they are listed! Also, as far as I can tell (my apologies if I missed it), there is no mergeable blacklist .csv file to make your rig ignore X blueprints. Even if there was, that is far from ideal.

As Midnight said, it is ethically *highly* frowned upon to create work for other modders. So them having to do nothing unless they want their content to appear? Is by far the best practice Smiley

Anyways, I please ask you to think about how this mod of yours effects other modders and their content which often is meant to be hidden or least difficult to source or even impossible to begin with.

-It breaks the number one ethics rule in any kind of modding, starsector modding or otherwise: Allow mods to OPT IN, don't force other modders to opt out or "code around" your mod. It makes it easier on both parties and helps with bug hunting. And by the looks of it, I'm not even seeing a way to opt out either...

...

-This can break hidden content in MANY mods. Content that is supposed to be a hidden little surprise for those that find it or do a quest chain.

Yeah, I have to admit the range of blueprints that can be spawned at the moment isn't filtered particularly well. I've been using hints for filters and realise that this approach doesn't exclude much of the content that isn't supposed to be found in blueprint form in mods.

I've taken some advice from the folks on Discord and will be restricting the scope for the next version to blueprints that are tagged as droppable or are part of packages in-game as its default configuration; this should remove the need for black/white-listing and be more fair to other mods for whom certain blueprints that aren't meant to be available through random drops.

Hopefully this revised approach should allay some of these concerns, although I'd appreciate any advice on whether this might still cause support problems for other modders, which I've realised the mod in its current form can create.

Conceptually speaking? It cheapens the game by creating monolithic locations to find blueprints for stuff, making it so that where the player thinks they need to find X blueprint that belongs to Y faction that can be raided etc is no longer the exclusive case.

I have to disagree on that point: the current raiding mechanics, as far as a method to obtain the rest of the blueprints are concerned, seem to me to push the player down one of three routes:
1) Raid continuously until you have everything, to the point there's nothing left and the market decivilises
2) Save then reload repeatedly until you get the outcome you want
3) Raid repeatedly, but with enough time between raids to allow the market to recover, which takes a very long time in-game

Personally, and I suppose controversially, I don't like either of these: it's the only facet of vanilla which I feel is a little too gamey, which is why I made this. The credit cost should keep it as an end-game activity, and there's also a varied level of challenge to accompany most of the facilities the mod creates, although I appreciate this needs a lot more tuning.

-This breaks hidden content and secrets in vanilla. Hell it could even lead to bugs due to grabbing something that is part of a quest chain or something.

I haven't noticed this myself; as far as I can tell the mod should only create its own entities, and the only existing ones it should interact with are independent markets that should only have a new bar event and a person added to their comm directory. Could you elaborate?
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 03:12:00 AM by Straticus » Logged
MesoTroniK
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2019, 03:25:02 AM »

No automatic filtering system you devise that factors in various tags will *ever* be good enough to cover how folks want their mod content to work reliably. It is a big Modiverse out there, and the various lore factors, rarities, possible connections to quests while still being possible to find randomly, and etc etc ad-infinity goes on and on Smiley

Please do a white list, as that makes the most folks happy. Barring that at least please do a black list.
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mendonca
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2019, 03:44:14 AM »

This is really interesting - excuse my possible ignorance as I may be making inferrals that aren't accurate - but does the mod iterate over e.g. all rare_bp's; or if contained in a pack (i.e. as defined in specialitems.csv)? And then decide whether they are fair game from that?

I can see how this may be an issue for some mods that want to gate access in cleverer ways that may clash with this.

I guess the point is that 'Vesperon Combine' could start by co-opting all vanilla blueprints and then a mod-specific whitelist could 'opt-in' to be compatible on a ship-by-ship / item-by-item basis?

This frees up others to create exploration-based mods (or exploration based content within wider-ranging mods) without having to explicitly design around potential other mods such as this one?
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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2019, 07:03:05 AM »

You are not responsible for your mod potentially ruining others, the users mixing and matching should take that responsibility. Put a fair warning in your description and let people make their own decision if they'd like to use your mod or not.

I'm not saying to not improve this mod, I think that MesoTroniK and Midnight Kitsune gave excellent feedback that you should consider following in order to better integrate your mod to the current ecosystem, but if your intention was to create a mod that allows users access to "secret" content then by all means you should be allowed to distribute and develop it.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 07:04:50 AM by Cyan Leader » Logged
Straticus
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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2019, 08:07:51 AM »

This is really interesting - excuse my possible ignorance as I may be making inferrals that aren't accurate - but does the mod iterate over e.g. all rare_bp's; or if contained in a pack (i.e. as defined in specialitems.csv)? And then decide whether they are fair game from that?

I can see how this may be an issue for some mods that want to gate access in cleverer ways that may clash with this.

I guess the point is that 'Vesperon Combine' could start by co-opting all vanilla blueprints and then a mod-specific whitelist could 'opt-in' to be compatible on a ship-by-ship / item-by-item basis?

This frees up others to create exploration-based mods (or exploration based content within wider-ranging mods) without having to explicitly design around potential other mods such as this one?

The current approach is to iterate over each faction, determine which blueprints that faction possesses, and then filter stations, unboardables, things hidden in the codex, and anything with modules.

No automatic filtering system you devise that factors in various tags will *ever* be good enough to cover how folks want their mod content to work reliably. It is a big Modiverse out there, and the various lore factors, rarities, possible connections to quests while still being possible to find randomly, and etc etc ad-infinity goes on and on Smiley

Please do a white list, as that makes the most folks happy. Barring that at least please do a black list.

I have mixed feelings about a whitelist approach, as at the outset it would negate most of the value proposition of what I had in mind (as a player wanting to prolong the endgame). However, I accept your point about ethics and would rather be fair to other modders than *** them off by compromising their artistic visions without them specifically opting in, or causing them support issues for things outside of their control.

Meso, I've only just grokked you as the author of Tiandong (for which I'm really looking forward to your 0.9 release BTW Grin). How would you feel about whitelisting as a default mode as you suggest, but then have an alternate mode - which might use some combination of 'rare_bp' or package inclusion tags - as an option for players who prefer this approach to manually opt into outside of the game? (e.g. by setting a flag in a JSON config)
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Wyvern
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« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2019, 09:25:15 AM »

As a replacement for raiding, I'd say you need two additional things:
A check on whether or not the faction has any markets with heavy industry that could be raided - for example, the Blade Breakers faction from Dassault-Mikoyan Engineering has no raidable facilities, and its blueprints should not be available to the player.
A large relationship penalty for going after a cache that's tuned to a specific faction, at least equivalent to conducting several raids with transponder off.
  Edit: The idea here being that you'd have something like "We've located a Hegemony supply cache," and then looting that would give rewards that you could otherwise only get from raiding a Hegemony world.

"Independent" or "Pirate" caches that use the game's normal exploration-reward logic would also be reasonable, though they'd never contain raid-only items like the Hegemony's XIV blueprints.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 09:27:19 AM by Wyvern » Logged

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Soren
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« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2019, 09:42:40 AM »

As someone with a lot of hidden content; please, blacklist my mod by default. I get enough people holding me responsible for vanilla features or other mods' design flaws; I don't need them complaining to me because your mod made my hidden content purchasable and that broke the game.

A whitelist is the least bad option. I get that it's slightly more work on your end, but it's a ton less on our end.
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MesoTroniK
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« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2019, 06:40:33 PM »

You are not responsible for your mod potentially ruining others, the users mixing and matching should take that responsibility. Put a fair warning in your description and let people make their own decision if they'd like to use your mod or not.

Well, actually he is (also it isn't even potentially, it *will* break other mods)... And honestly when someone makes something that breaks other mods to varying degrees? If it is not corrected, the easiest, smartest, and best course of action is to just take the "soft" incompatibility and make it a "hard" one. If someone wants to make something like that? Sure, more power to them, and such a mod has a term... A total conversion! But doesn't mean folks won't try to recommend a better way to do things and failing that? What I just said is all that is left that can be done.


No automatic filtering system you devise that factors in various tags will *ever* be good enough to cover how folks want their mod content to work reliably. It is a big Modiverse out there, and the various lore factors, rarities, possible connections to quests while still being possible to find randomly, and etc etc ad-infinity goes on and on Smiley

Please do a white list, as that makes the most folks happy. Barring that at least please do a black list.

I have mixed feelings about a whitelist approach, as at the outset it would negate most of the value proposition of what I had in mind (as a player wanting to prolong the endgame). However, I accept your point about ethics and would rather be fair to other modders than *** them off by compromising their artistic visions without them specifically opting in, or causing them support issues for things outside of their control.

Meso, I've only just grokked you as the author of Tiandong (for which I'm really looking forward to your 0.9 release BTW Grin). How would you feel about whitelisting as a default mode as you suggest, but then have an alternate mode - which might use some combination of 'rare_bp' or package inclusion tags - as an option for players who prefer this approach to manually opt into outside of the game? (e.g. by setting a flag in a JSON config)

I don't feel having that as a player settable option is really the right move. It just means it breaks things... Optionally, and still has all the same problems of messing with other mods. Straticus, I am trying to be real here that a mod of this type, has to be made very carefully as it will indeed if not done very carefully? Have unforeseen and foreseen consequences for other mods. A white list as the default and only option is really the best course of action, pretty much every other modder will also tell you this Smiley
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Soren
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« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2019, 06:47:47 PM »

Having a toggle for something like that is a cop-out. If a suboptimal behavior is available, people will use it, and it will break things, and the person whose mod you broke has to figure it out, because the bug report is in their thread.

Look. Think about this from the perspective of someone maintaining a faction mod; you think you've locked away your hidden exploration content, but you keep getting bug reports you can't reproduce, saying that your content is available for purchase, or unbalanced, or that it's missing core functionality; it doesn't build from custom production. You tell people you don't know what's going on, you're doing everything right; you spend a couple sleepless nights testing it, it all works fine on your machine. Then you find out it was due to another mod that you had no control over.

End users don't know what mod does what; some of them don't know what content comes from what mod. They don't post modlists or screenshots consistently, they have odd nonsense names for things, don't give details, alter your mod and don't tell you... They don't know that it's your mod and not mine that's causing the problem, which means that your mod broke it, but because my mod has the visuals, I'm on the hook for it. And this is assuming a polite response; lots of 'bug reports' are an angry person yelling at you that you're a dickless loser trying to ruin their game with your broken OP Mary Sue garbage because you made a design choice they don't like.
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Singrana
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« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2019, 09:11:17 PM »

regarding the whole "it cheapens the game" concern, i have played 2 full rounds of vanilla, now only nexerelin, i have had my fill of doing any kind of exploration ever again, it was fun to collect the first time but it will never be fun again, so having the production mechanics of planets be behind the BP`s is something i dont like, now nexerelin allows you to buy BP`s it seems so its not a very large concern there, but i can see someone who just wants vanilla and also not having to collect blueprints in a very tedious way would want to use this or just somehow spawn in the BP items with console commands
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