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Author Topic: Project Ironclads TC (28 of April, 2017) Source files for the mod  (Read 1336464 times)

Okim

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Re: Project Ironclads, version 4.3 (0.54.1 with campaign)
« Reply #1065 on: January 12, 2013, 08:56:14 PM »

Emm. Guys.
You know what? Its damn possible to create faction flags, colour schemes and other distinctive visuals by using decorative animations!

We have some ship owner checks in API. We can create a single decorative animation for each ship with each frame containing a specific faction graphics!

Wyvern

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Re: Project Ironclads, version 4.3 (0.54.1 with campaign)
« Reply #1066 on: January 12, 2013, 10:32:28 PM »

Emm. Guys.
You know what? Its damn possible to create faction flags, colour schemes and other distinctive visuals by using decorative animations!

We have some ship owner checks in API. We can create a single decorative animation for each ship with each frame containing a specific faction graphics!

Awesome.

_____
And some more balance suggestions:
Heavy Magna Cannon should have double the charge recovery rate - so that its sustained DPS is equal to the medium Magna Cannon.  Otherwise, it's fine as is.
Incinerator Beam should cost more like 26 ordnance points, rather than 16; it's kindof a niche weapon - but in that niche it's completely unsurpassed.  (Yes, it also obliterates pirate ships... but there are plenty of other weapons that will do that too, just slightly less expeditiously; a Drake destroyer with a Heavy Laser Beam is slightly slower at slaying pirates, but no less capable.)
Microlaser: My suggestion is, after some testing: 50% increase in damage, 100% increase in charge recovery rate, reduce charges to 2.  That gives a microlaser a burst DPS of 75 - meaning it matches a beamer (until it runs out of charges), with a sustained DPS of 30 (meaning after about 1.5 seconds it's moderately pathetic - but not totally useless.)
Microlaser Array: I'd suggest 50% increase in damage, 150% increase in charge recovery rate.  This makes it actually competitive with other medium point defense weapons - it's better at shooting down single digit salvos of missiles than most of them, but significantly inferior for any secondary purpose - the linked beamer is better at support & anti-fighter (due to range & better sustained dps), and the various projectile (alien dual laser, chainblaster, laser cannon, etc) all feature superior range and the ability to deal hard flux.

What I'm currently using in my own somewhat-hacked copy of your mod:
Code
Microlaser,microlaser,1,1200,500,150,,,0,75,4,2,1,ENERGY,,150,,0,0.2,0.2,,,,,1000000,,,,,PD,268877
Scorcher Beam,scorcher,1,3500,450,500,,,0,16,8,,,HIGH_EXPLOSIVE,,500,1,1,,,,,,,500,,,,,"USE_VS_FRIGATES,STRIKE",773524
Incinerator Beam,incinerator,1,6000,800,500,,,0,8,26,,,HIGH_EXPLOSIVE,,500,1,1,,,,,,,750,,,,,"USE_VS_FRIGATES,STRIKE",7773524
Linked Beamer,hvybeamer,1,1800,800,180,,,,24,10,,,ENERGY,,150,0.5,1,,,,,,,10000,,,,,PD,10140998
Microlaser Array,focuslaser,1,3500,550,450,,,0,60,12,5,1.5,ENERGY,,450,,0,0.2,0.2,,,,,1000000,,,,,PD,2688877
Magna Cannon,magna,1,3500,800,,400,,0,10,12,,,HIGH_EXPLOSIVE,200,,0,2,1,,0,0,0,0,,450,,,,"USE_VS_FRIGATES,STRIKE",104770
Heavy Magna Cannon,hvymagna,2,9000,800,,400,,0,12,20,5,0.5,HIGH_EXPLOSIVE,200,,0,0.25,1,,0,0,0,0,,450,,,,"USE_VS_FRIGATES,STRIKE",10477055

I'd also suggest either greatly increasing the turn rate of the alien beam, or making it not a point defense weapon; right now, it's all but useless at actually hitting missiles, but still tries to target them over actual ships - resulting in it being largely ineffective against anything that uses missiles.
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Okim

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Re: Project Ironclads, version 4.3 (0.54.1 with campaign)
« Reply #1067 on: January 12, 2013, 10:59:29 PM »

Hm.

Might be simplier if i just copy/paste those. I tend to trust your feel of balance, you know ;)

Here is a new vid (~7mb) showing a flux-level-dependant vent glow. The greater the flux level - the brighter the glow.

The script for this is kinda ugly and the frames are advancing with a step of 10% transparency per 10% flux, so the animation isn`t perfect at all. I can either reduce step to 5% increase (doubling the number of frames and size of the script) or wait till Alex adds a way to create some kind of blending between frames :)

harrumph

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Re: Project Ironclads, version 4.3 (0.54.1 with campaign)
« Reply #1068 on: January 13, 2013, 06:43:53 AM »

The animations look great! I actually kind of like the jerky, low frame-rate style, there's something pleasingly old-school about it.

I've been playing Ironclads a bit the past few days—being able to choose a faction is tons of fun, by the way, and all the new art looks great; I especially like the ISA cruisers and the pirate frigates—and I thought I'd give you my two cents regarding balance. Short version: I think you need to seriously revisit missiles, and possibly PD and ship durability as well.

So, the longer story: I started out in a California and struggled mightily. Tried different configurations, but found I had to be very selective about which pirate fleets I attacked. It was frustrating, so I decided to start over, this time in a Connecticut; my own PD had been pretty ineffective when I was flying the California, so I figured missiles would be effective against pirates. Turns out, yeah, you could say they're effective: one salvo from a large Piranha launcher will knock out a pirate gunship, nineteen times out of twenty. I could easily wipe out three Raiders in about 20 seconds, without even having to raise shields. In fact, I found out I could destroy any pirate fleet with just the one California (I brought another along to switch into if I ran out of missiles, since the AI is oddly parsimonious with its Piranhas). And then I found out that three Piranhas is also enough to overload any RSF frigate/gunship (or kill them outright if they're oriented wrong), so I started tearing through RSF patrols too.

I upgraded to a Kentucky, which, with Piranhas in every mount and a few skill points in Combat, can one-shot a Moscow. Switched over to a Michigan, put Burst Plasma Cannons (I think that's the name—the longest-ranged plasma turrets) on the large mounts and Piranhas on all the mediums, and was able to solo two RSF system defense fleets back-to-back, without scratching the paint or even having to vent once. Started over as XLE, with all this in mind, and—although the Wyvern isn't as perfect a missile platform as the Connecticut—I managed to get up to level 10, with 100k credits and an alien carrier to my name, in about nine days of in-game time.

So, my analysis: first, the Piranha (and the Wasp, although the eyeball test tells me the Piranha is a little bit faster and/or more maneuverable, right?) is both too good and too cheap. Even without hullmods and player skills, it's extremely powerful and flexible. With points in Missile Specialization and the ECCM hullmod, it's a one-size-fits-all solution to anything (except some of the alien ships, and perhaps the Fortress-Shielded UIN ships). You can literally just spam them, without a target, as soon as you get contact pings, and they'll wipe out everything on the map. They can chase down any fighter, they can puncture any shield, and they have outstanding range. They make every other missile obsolete, with the possible exception of Smart Rockets (which are a better fit on small mounts, at the very least), and that's not even considering that they're the cheapest OP option in every size category.

Second, missiles are generally too effective, even setting the Piranha/Wasp aside. The fragile hulls, weak shields, and ineffective PD of most ships can't stand up to more than a few missiles at a time. I think that's by design, right? If I'm not mistaken, you're going for a dynamic like modern naval combat, where just two or three ASMs that find their mark can cripple or sink a huge warship. The trouble is that it's really, really easy (especially when so many ships use mostly or exclusively universal mounts), to stack a number of missiles that no ship can defend against. This is obviously the most extreme example, but with Expanded Missile Racks and 5+ points in Missile Specialization, a Michigan can deliver 60 Piranhas (roughly 600 damage each, depending on spec, or somewhere around 1300 if you're fully invested in Combat) in like 1.5 seconds. That's probably enough to punch through a Fortress Shield; it's definitely enough to kill any RSF, XLE, or ISA ship ten times over. And that's just the medium mounts! As an added bonus, mounting all those missiles frees up flux (and, in the case of the super-cheap Piranhas, OP) for other purposes.

Finally, a sort of corollary to the above—the weakness of shields and armor, especially on small ships, means that a few extra OP from Tech skills are way more valuable than they should be. Being able to stick just 5 points in capacitors means effectively doubling the defenses of many frigates—i.e. the difference between being overloaded by a single Piranha salvo and being able to tank it.

Beefing up ship defenses (whether armor, shields, PD, or some combination of them) would help at the smaller end of things, but it certainly wouldn't do anything about extreme cases like that Michigan build, and I think it'd spoil some of the mod's uniqueness. I like that missiles are so dangerous—it gives Ironclads a very different feel from other mods or the vanilla game—but I don't think it works to have them be both so dangerous and so spammable. Apart from some balancing among missiles (for one, making the Piranha more expensive, shorter-ranged, slower, weaker, or all of the above; for another, buffing the smaller missiles—Micromissiles, for instance, are much weaker than they look on paper because they don't instantly shred armor the way the bigger missiles do), I really think you should severely limit the number of missiles any one ship can carry. Getting rid of most universal mounts is probably the simplest way to do it; you might also consider leaving universal mounts in only one size category (say, medium) on a lot of ships, and then removing most missile mounts of that size from the game.

Sorry for the great big wall of text, and I hope that doesn't sound too negative. I think the mod is awesome on the whole!
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silentstormpt

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Re: Project Ironclads, version 4.3 (0.54.1 with campaign)
« Reply #1069 on: January 13, 2013, 07:02:27 AM »

Maybe changing the damage of the missiles to ENERGY would balanced them a bit, HE on heavy armored targets is well fatal

Also dont make those engine lights "light up" with the shipsystem script instead with a script for when you use your engine:
EDIT: trying to find it but i got something nice you can use instead;

weapon.getShip().getMutableStats().getZeroFluxSpeedBoost().isPositive(); when you get the flux boost of 50% the animation happens

heres something you can add on your "lights" - a blueish glow when your animation on the flux rise are up:

            Vector2f WeaponCoords = new Vector2f(weapon.getLocation());            
            float WeaponLoc = WeaponCoords.length() / 2; //center?
            
            engine.addSmoothParticle(WeaponCoords, weapon.getShip().getVelocity(), 3f, WeaponLoc, 1, Color.blue);
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 08:23:28 AM by silentstormpt »
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Okim

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Re: Project Ironclads, version 4.3 (0.54.1 with campaign)
« Reply #1070 on: January 13, 2013, 08:12:16 AM »

Human piloted ships will always tend to be overpowered compared to static AI ship variants due to our ability to see weekness and to exploit it.

Wasps and Piranhas were based on Harpoon missile and slightly modified to match RSF and ISA doctrines (RSF slow, low-tech, but sturdy and deadlier. ISA fast, with good guidance, but a bit fragile and pack less punch):

Harpoon: damage 750, OP 5, ammo 3,  range 2500, speed 300, hp 100

Wasp SRM Launcher: damage 650, OP 6, ammo 3, range 2500, speed 300, hp 90

Piranha SRM Launcher: damage 550, OP 6, ammo 3, range 3000, speed 350, hp 75

The main difference between vanilla launchers and similar ones in ironclads is in their sizes. When Harponn x3 is using small mount - my x3 launchers are only for medium launchers, when you have a 30 rounds Pilum for med mount - in ironclads there are 24/30 Wasp/Piranha batteries only for large mounts.

EDITED:

well. Looking at my missiles i noted three main things aboutthem that i will change:

- lower HP per missile to make PD more effective (this will overpower beam defences).
- reduce lifetime to vanilla standards making 'spam-before-beep' impossible.
- make larger missiless really hard to track frigates (Barracudas/Killer Wasps) to make them less effective against fast ships and easier to dodge.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 08:15:46 AM by Okim »
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Okim

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Re: Project Ironclads, version 4.3 (0.54.1 with campaign)
« Reply #1071 on: January 13, 2013, 09:10:44 AM »


Quote
weapon.getShip().getMutableStats().getZeroFluxSpeedBoost().isPositive(); when you get the flux boost of 50% the animation happens

Wont be helpful to me - i assign each frame of the animation to a specific flux level and pause it right away fixing this frame till the level rises or lovers.

Quote
heres something you can add on your "lights" - a blueish glow when your animation on the flux rise are up:

            Vector2f WeaponCoords = new Vector2f(weapon.getLocation());           
            float WeaponLoc = WeaponCoords.length() / 2; //center?
           
            engine.addSmoothParticle(WeaponCoords, weapon.getShip().getVelocity(), 3f, WeaponLoc, 1, Color.blue);

Again not in my case. I`m using a single weapon slot positioned directly in the center coords of the sprite. So this code will probably produce a glow in the middle of the ship which is not what i need.

silentstormpt

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Re: Project Ironclads, version 4.3 (0.54.1 with campaign)
« Reply #1072 on: January 13, 2013, 09:54:40 AM »


Quote
weapon.getShip().getMutableStats().getZeroFluxSpeedBoost().isPositive(); when you get the flux boost of 50% the animation happens

Wont be helpful to me - i assign each frame of the animation to a specific flux level and pause it right away fixing this frame till the level rises or lovers.


you can also change the frames using the base amount, just like how you check the amount of flux being used by the ship for your current animations ;)

weapon.getShip().getMutableStats().getZeroFluxSpeedBoost().getBaseValue();
weapon.getShip().getMutableStats().getZeroFluxSpeedBoost().getModifiedValue();
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Wyvern

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Re: Project Ironclads, version 4.3 (0.54.1 with campaign)
« Reply #1073 on: January 13, 2013, 09:59:34 AM »

Hm.  I wonder... how well would those pure missile ships fare against something with decent flak-based defenses?

Also, such a setup fares poorly against the alien mothership - if you let the missiles auto-target they waste time chasing drones; if you don't, the drones shoot them down.
I couldn't get it to work in the Fall of the Federation mission, either - too many targets, too many asteroids, and by the time the dreadnaught was out, I was out of missiles.

That said, I think he's right on the ultimate cause of the issue being the heavy use of universal slots - missiles are balanced to be an occasional-use weapon; if they're strong enough to work as occasional-use, then they're also strong enough to be ridiculous in huge swarms - though, of course, if your swarm of missiles doesn't clear the screen of enemy ships, then you're doomed.

I'm not sure what the right answer here is.  Lowering missile range (for the common, cheap sorts of missiles, anyway) is certainly a good start.  Possibly change the three-shot racks so they can't fire as fast?

I'd be wary of changing missile hit points, though; against "normal" numbers of missiles, current point defenses (beam or otherwise) are quite sufficient; making missiles weaker would shift the game closer to having them be useless unless you do mount them in ridiculous swarms.
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harrumph

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Re: Project Ironclads, version 4.3 (0.54.1 with campaign)
« Reply #1074 on: January 13, 2013, 10:20:05 AM »

Human piloted ships will always tend to be overpowered compared to static AI ship variants due to our ability to see weekness and to exploit it.
Yeah, you're totally right about this only being a weakness the player can exploit, not a true game balance problem. The AI uses missiles in a more sensible way, and they function just fine (that said, I do think the Piranha is too cheap no matter which way you slice it).

Wasps and Piranhas were based on Harpoon missile and slightly modified to match RSF and ISA doctrines (RSF slow, low-tech, but sturdy and deadlier. ISA fast, with good guidance, but a bit fragile and pack less punch)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but they must both be quite a bit more maneuverable than the Harpoon too, right? They definitely have better acceleration, which is one of their biggest strengths (and is a big part of what makes them so blindly spammable—they'll kill one thing and just whip around to go after the next).

I think reducing their lifetime will be a big help for sure.

Hm.  I wonder... how well would those pure missile ships fare against something with decent flak-based defenses? Also, such a setup fares poorly against the alien mothership - if you let the missiles auto-target they waste time chasing drones; if you don't, the drones shoot them down.
Not sure about flak; there's not a lot of it on the default loadouts. As for the aliens, yeah, missiles aren't great against the carrier, either, and the frigate can avoid most missiles, although Piranhas will eventually run them down.

That said, I think he's right on the ultimate cause of the issue being the heavy use of universal slots - missiles are balanced to be an occasional-use weapon; if they're strong enough to work as occasional-use, then they're also strong enough to be ridiculous in huge swarms - though, of course, if your swarm of missiles doesn't clear the screen of enemy ships, then you're doomed.
Try, instead of a pure missile build, a build with a few big energy weapons—try to match your main battery's flux output to the ship's dissipation—and missiles in all the remaining large and medium slots. You might want to give The Fall of the Federation another try like that: use plasma whenever possible, sending out a huge burst of missiles to deal with a threat when you're under pressure, and saving as many as you can for the dreadnaught.
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Wyvern

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Re: Project Ironclads, version 4.3 (0.54.1 with campaign)
« Reply #1075 on: January 13, 2013, 11:21:08 AM »

Huh.  Tried that, won... without landing a single missile hit; didn't need them against the swarm of lesser ships, saved them all for the dreadnaught... who promptly shot them all down with flak cannons.

Only casualty on my side was one wing of fighters that decided to retreat straight past the dreadnaught; I deployed a few wings to capture the second nav point once there wasn't anything in their way.

Attached image is the setup I used.  Maybe it needed more missiles?

[attachment deleted by admin]
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Okim

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Re: Project Ironclads, version 4.3 (0.54.1 with campaign)
« Reply #1076 on: January 13, 2013, 10:34:46 PM »

I dumped down Michigan`s plasma cannon after i killed DN with just it and targeting unit. The number of shots was reduced to 6 from 12 that was before. I think that 4.3 has this change included, but i`m not sure :)

In any case i usually test ships by bringing in 1 or 2 ships of the same size from the opposite faction (RSF, XLE / UIN, ISA). If i win against one - the ship is good. If i win against both - the ship is overpowered. If i struggle to win - the ship is balanced well. Then i pick up the opposite faction and select my new ship as a foe and see how easily it can be defeated. Easy to kill - the ship is weak, difficult to kill - the ship is ok. Impossible to kill (Germany cruiser as example) - ship is a bit too overpowered for its class.

EDITED:

Just to note - missiles were given manoeuvrability and speed parameters close to original. Wasps, Mosquitos, Piranhas - as Harpoon. Barrakudas, Devilfishes, Killer Wasps - as Pilum. Eel, Hunter - as heatseeker (forgot its name), Arrow, Stinger and Micromissiles - as Swarmers. They differ from one another slightly with RSF being slow, but durable and ISA being fast and agile.

I also updated lifetime of all missiles to match vanilla ones. SRMs - 9-11 seconds, LRMs - 25-30 seconds, Anti-Fighter - 6-9 seconds. Some heavy ones like Sharks and UIN Mirw can travel up to 90 seconds.

Testing it now, but i already noticed a serious reduction in missiles power. For example - pirates are now dodging Killer Sharks with ease and even manage to burn drive out of Piranhas swarm (rarely though as they mostly point towards you and your missile swarm and usually just blast into salvoes when engaging drives).
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 10:45:33 PM by Okim »
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Wyvern

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Re: Project Ironclads, version 4.3 (0.54.1 with campaign)
« Reply #1077 on: January 14, 2013, 10:54:02 AM »

Oh.  Huh.  Dunno if that change is in or not - mostly stayed out of plasma cannon range of the dreadnaught; the build I used didn't have the shield capacity to tank its firepower for any really useful amount of time.

...Should try an EMP build sometime, see how well that fares against the DN.
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Wyvern

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Re: Project Ironclads, version 4.3 (0.54.1 with campaign)
« Reply #1078 on: January 14, 2013, 10:57:55 AM »

Here is a new vid (~7mb) showing a flux-level-dependant vent glow. The greater the flux level - the brighter the glow.

The script for this is kinda ugly and the frames are advancing with a step of 10% transparency per 10% flux, so the animation isn`t perfect at all. I can either reduce step to 5% increase (doubling the number of frames and size of the script) or wait till Alex adds a way to create some kind of blending between frames :)

Oh, and happened to re-read this... instead of 10% transparency per 10% flux, how about making it so that each displayed vent works at full capacity, and stepping up increases the number of active vents?  I'm not actually sure if that'd look better, but it could be worth a try.
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The Soldier

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Re: Project Ironclads, version 4.3 (0.54.1 with campaign)
« Reply #1079 on: January 14, 2013, 07:13:39 PM »

Emm. Guys.
You know what? Its damn possible to create faction flags, colour schemes and other distinctive visuals by using decorative animations!

We have some ship owner checks in API. We can create a single decorative animation for each ship with each frame containing a specific faction graphics!

So, if an RSF fleet takes an ISA ship, it can get, say, an red border around it and a little "RSF" flag over it? :D
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