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Author Topic: [0.9.1a] TC: Archean Order: Rebalanced Combat/Lore RPG - Lore update 1/20  (Read 209225 times)

Morrokain

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Re: [0.9.1a] TC: Archean Order: Rebalanced Combat/Lore RPG - Lore update 1/20
« Reply #615 on: February 16, 2020, 08:45:36 AM »

Did you do all those profile pictures yourself? I have to admit, they really, really are nice. While I'm generally not using Archean often except for some unique playthroughs, I've totally spent the time to offload those icons into a personal mod. It's like, literally the best portrait back. It's so much better having such diversity!

Hey there thanks!

Nope, credit for those is given on the main page.  :)

I may do some portraits eventually for key characters, but the ones currently in the mod are from several portrait packs on the modding forum and a couple other artists/freeware asset sites. The most I did personally was edit backgrounds to better match starsector in a small number of cases.

*EDIT* Oh, actually, forgot I added some purple glow effects and red glow effects for some portrait pack portraits as well- though the originals are still included as stand alone portraits on top of that.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2020, 04:29:53 PM by Morrokain »
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NephilimNexus

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Re: [0.9.1a] TC: Archean Order: Rebalanced Combat/Lore RPG - Lore update 1/20
« Reply #616 on: February 16, 2020, 04:17:02 PM »

One thing I have to wonder about: There are literally no ships in this mod that have the ground support package.  There's troops ships... OK, one troop ship, but no ground support - which technically makes it no different than a civilian transport, if you think about it.

Is this intentional and by design or just something you forgot about?  I mention this because while other mods have a plethora of troop ships, adding ship mods to this is always... risky, and their new weapons rarely jive well with the ones from this game.
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Morrokain

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Re: [0.9.1a] TC: Archean Order: Rebalanced Combat/Lore RPG - Lore update 1/20
« Reply #617 on: February 16, 2020, 04:38:25 PM »

One thing I have to wonder about: There are literally no ships in this mod that have the ground support package.  There's troops ships... OK, one troop ship, but no ground support - which technically makes it no different than a civilian transport, if you think about it.

Is this intentional and by design or just something you forgot about?  I mention this because while other mods have a plethora of troop ships, adding ship mods to this is always... risky, and their new weapons rarely jive well with the ones from this game.

Whoops, not intended, just forgot. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. :) Fixed for the next update.

Would more troop transports be interesting? Its certainly something I would consider if so- though I want to get the technical merging conflicts out of the way so I don't inadvertently cause crashes for users who are not experienced with the modding ecosystem but also want to mod mix. Crashes first, balance later is the general philosophy right now. Well, I should say that is the current goal other than the brief break to fix the economy for Nex and, while I'm at it (in order to avoid having to do it again), adding the previously requested markets/resources for some of the less currently well-off factions like Sci-Corps and Luddic Church.
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Sidestrafe2462

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Re: [0.9.1a] TC: Archean Order: Rebalanced Combat/Lore RPG - Lore update 1/20
« Reply #618 on: February 17, 2020, 12:43:06 AM »

Whoops, not intended, just forgot. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. :) Fixed for the next update.

Would more troop transports be interesting? Its certainly something I would consider if so- though I want to get the technical merging conflicts out of the way so I don't inadvertently cause crashes for users who are not experienced with the modding ecosystem but also want to mod mix. Crashes first, balance later is the general philosophy right now. Well, I should say that is the current goal other than the brief break to fix the economy for Nex and, while I'm at it (in order to avoid having to do it again), adding the previously requested markets/resources for some of the less currently well-off factions like Sci-Corps and Luddic Church.

Something I wonder about is crappy(?) fighters with ground support packages.

Sci-corp is absolutely dominating my save. Can't argue with TriTach's Paragon but bloody hell I love the Epiphanies, and since I liked their ships so much I decided to hell with it and made an alliance. They were friends with the Archean order but my starting world sort of spawned in with the Archean's so I couldn't keep them in. Perhaps our purple friends might have had to do with that scientific might.
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Eliteempire

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Re: [0.9.1a] TC: Archean Order: Rebalanced Combat/Lore RPG - Lore update 1/20
« Reply #619 on: February 17, 2020, 10:30:53 AM »

Fixed the smuggling bug. You can:

A) Redownload and clean install the mod.

OR

B) Use this link and download the rules.csv file and replace it in the mod directory ("Archean Order TC v1.3.4e/data/campaign")

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fm5br77z9dr0fyk/AAAsk6ehuJBC6hZyTSZr7Ql1a?dl=0

Shouldn't break saves.

Hey sorry for the late reply but thanks for fixing it, and ya it seemed like only them at the time. I'll give it a run with a few new factions tossed into the ring here in abit.

As for the others talking about the order kicking ass over others, mine are currently on the back foot after having three raids/invason's on the capital system shattering them.
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Morrokain

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Re: [0.9.1a] TC: Archean Order: Rebalanced Combat/Lore RPG - Lore update 1/20
« Reply #620 on: February 17, 2020, 06:51:53 PM »

Something I wonder about is crappy(?) fighters with ground support packages.

Sci-corp is absolutely dominating my save. Can't argue with TriTach's Paragon but bloody hell I love the Epiphanies, and since I liked their ships so much I decided to hell with it and made an alliance. They were friends with the Archean order but my starting world sort of spawned in with the Archean's so I couldn't keep them in. Perhaps our purple friends might have had to do with that scientific might.

Is fighters with ground support package possible? Since it's on the ship as a fighter instead of the ship hull itself I'm not sure it would be recognized during that calculation. As a concept though I wouldn't mind trying it out, though I think I would want to reduce the effect but make it stack with ground support package to avoid the potential risk of making the Valkyrie obsolete.

Regarding faction balance using Nex, I have to be totally honest here:

I don't really know the ins and outs of Nex, so... possibly? I have to assume there is likely some chance involved with faction dynamics anyway, so that could be a factor here.

Hey sorry for the late reply but thanks for fixing it, and ya it seemed like only them at the time. I'll give it a run with a few new factions tossed into the ring here in abit.

As for the others talking about the order kicking ass over others, mine are currently on the back foot after having three raids/invason's on the capital system shattering them.

No problem and if you run into anything else let me know. I appreciate it.  :)

Ah, good, it helps to know it can happen to the Archean Order too. Are you running a random-generated game with Nex or the core worlds playthrough?

-----------------
Generally in this regard, though, an update regarding faction industries and resources for the next release with some transparency for design goals: (Is this helpful or too much detail?)

Since I'm reworking the economy anyway to separate out industries over the market size cap, naturally this is a good time to try and make it as balanced as I can from the perspective of faction market share, market size, and resource access, etc. The first pass was mostly a compatibility placeholder until I better understood the .9 market system. I originally wanted to, at least generally, retain the original resources from .8 markets - which operated differently. I've spent some time tinkering with the market balance in the TC in order to hopefully create fun, balanced, nex campaigns.

A secondary design goal here is to make the player's choice of where to raid/invade more interesting. One way to do this is to isolate out resource types among multiple colonies in order to make some new factions slightly more vulnerable to tactical sabotage of their resource acquisition. Another way: balance resources so that some factions have weaker overall market share in some resource types and stronger share in other types- to create some small trade dependencies in the ecosystem depending upon differing factors and events. (Ideally anyway... disclaimer: hopefully I didn't break things too bad, haha)

Some detail:
Sci-Corps has a couple more markets added for this purpose, and the size of some markets and their resources/industries have been reworked. (They can actually field the Astral in their fleets now, as intended). This also includes some independent markets they interact with.

Luddic Church has had a slight revamp of Meiros and has another military market added with access to fuel production and heavy industry (blasphemy!  :D ) so they can produce more capital power upon the campaign map. This also lets me write some cool lore to justify those resources, so that's a nice bonus!

Archean Order, Adamantine Consortium, and pirates: I didn't add any markets- but revamped market size, resource access, resource quality per market, and the raid-ability of some of their markets to various degrees. (Side note: Ilyss, lore-wise, is a resource treasure trove, so it still has really good resource conditions. The size of the market has been halved for a net loss to compensate, however, so the Archean Order doesn't have too large of an impact to the overall market share.)

These changes are under the assumption that, in Nex, market share matters more to faction dynamics (and I would guess resources do too?) and sticking to market sizes within vanilla faction comparisons will hopefully avoid any unintended imbalances within the 4x layer. Since the Adamantine Consortium is an evil faction, lore wise, I'm not 100% set on where to keep them, power-wise. Iirc, I believe I made them aggressive and tend to make war with everyone in the nex config, so giving them a slight advantage as a tier 3 enemy might be the way to go there. I just don't want them rolling over the whole sector every campaign, either.

These changes will likely take a lot of testing. I want to try and have a stable release (within reason) so I may take some extra time in this case for the sake of limiting the number of times saves are broken by bugs I have to fix down the line with updates I can't hotfix. I'm not sure exactly how long this will take, but I'll post progress updates here as they seem relevant.
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Eliteempire

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Re: [0.9.1a] TC: Archean Order: Rebalanced Combat/Lore RPG - Lore update 1/20
« Reply #621 on: February 17, 2020, 11:37:27 PM »

Something I wonder about is crappy(?) fighters with ground support packages.

Sci-corp is absolutely dominating my save. Can't argue with TriTach's Paragon but bloody hell I love the Epiphanies, and since I liked their ships so much I decided to hell with it and made an alliance. They were friends with the Archean order but my starting world sort of spawned in with the Archean's so I couldn't keep them in. Perhaps our purple friends might have had to do with that scientific might.

Is fighters with ground support package possible? Since it's on the ship as a fighter instead of the ship hull itself I'm not sure it would be recognized during that calculation. As a concept though I wouldn't mind trying it out, though I think I would want to reduce the effect but make it stack with ground support package to avoid the potential risk of making the Valkyrie obsolete.

Regarding faction balance using Nex, I have to be totally honest here:

I don't really know the ins and outs of Nex, so... possibly? I have to assume there is likely some chance involved with faction dynamics anyway, so that could be a factor here.

Hey sorry for the late reply but thanks for fixing it, and ya it seemed like only them at the time. I'll give it a run with a few new factions tossed into the ring here in abit.

As for the others talking about the order kicking ass over others, mine are currently on the back foot after having three raids/invason's on the capital system shattering them.

No problem and if you run into anything else let me know. I appreciate it.  :)

Ah, good, it helps to know it can happen to the Archean Order too. Are you running a random-generated game with Nex or the core worlds playthrough?

-----------------
Generally in this regard, though, an update regarding faction industries and resources for the next release with some transparency for design goals: (Is this helpful or too much detail?)

Since I'm reworking the economy anyway to separate out industries over the market size cap, naturally this is a good time to try and make it as balanced as I can from the perspective of faction market share, market size, and resource access, etc. The first pass was mostly a compatibility placeholder until I better understood the .9 market system. I originally wanted to, at least generally, retain the original resources from .8 markets - which operated differently. I've spent some time tinkering with the market balance in the TC in order to hopefully create fun, balanced, nex campaigns.

A secondary design goal here is to make the player's choice of where to raid/invade more interesting. One way to do this is to isolate out resource types among multiple colonies in order to make some new factions slightly more vulnerable to tactical sabotage of their resource acquisition. Another way: balance resources so that some factions have weaker overall market share in some resource types and stronger share in other types- to create some small trade dependencies in the ecosystem depending upon differing factors and events. (Ideally anyway... disclaimer: hopefully I didn't break things too bad, haha)

Some detail:
Sci-Corps has a couple more markets added for this purpose, and the size of some markets and their resources/industries have been reworked. (They can actually field the Astral in their fleets now, as intended). This also includes some independent markets they interact with.

Luddic Church has had a slight revamp of Meiros and has another military market added with access to fuel production and heavy industry (blasphemy!  :D ) so they can produce more capital power upon the campaign map. This also lets me write some cool lore to justify those resources, so that's a nice bonus!

Archean Order, Adamantine Consortium, and pirates: I didn't add any markets- but revamped market size, resource access, resource quality per market, and the raid-ability of some of their markets to various degrees. (Side note: Ilyss, lore-wise, is a resource treasure trove, so it still has really good resource conditions. The size of the market has been halved for a net loss to compensate, however, so the Archean Order doesn't have too large of an impact to the overall market share.)

These changes are under the assumption that, in Nex, market share matters more to faction dynamics (and I would guess resources do too?) and sticking to market sizes within vanilla faction comparisons will hopefully avoid any unintended imbalances within the 4x layer. Since the Adamantine Consortium is an evil faction, lore wise, I'm not 100% set on where to keep them, power-wise. Iirc, I believe I made them aggressive and tend to make war with everyone in the nex config, so giving them a slight advantage as a tier 3 enemy might be the way to go there. I just don't want them rolling over the whole sector every campaign, either.

These changes will likely take a lot of testing. I want to try and have a stable release (within reason) so I may take some extra time in this case for the sake of limiting the number of times saves are broken by bugs I have to fix down the line with updates I can't hotfix. I'm not sure exactly how long this will take, but I'll post progress updates here as they seem relevant.

Any plans with increasing the planets resources then or the rate at which the various factions will colonize then? or the sector size boss?
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Morrokain

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Re: [0.9.1a] TC: Archean Order: Rebalanced Combat/Lore RPG - Lore update 1/20
« Reply #622 on: February 18, 2020, 01:08:31 AM »

Any plans with increasing the planets resources then or the rate at which the various factions will colonize then? or the sector size boss?

Not especially, sorry! That's outside of the scope for this mod, though a couple of mods on the index are designed to do some things like that. If they aren't already compatible, the compatibility update should likely fix that.

Off the top of my head, check out Grand Sector and Adjusted Sector. Nex may also have settings in it's config file that can increase faction aggression as far as expanding so I'd check there to be sure.
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DatonKallandor

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Re: [0.9.1a] TC: Archean Order: Rebalanced Combat/Lore RPG - Lore update 1/20
« Reply #623 on: February 18, 2020, 02:36:05 AM »

In my current AO game I checked out some of the markets on a whim and I was shocked to see you actually stuck to vanilla balance and didn't just stick AI cores, synch cores and pristine nanoforges in every single industry like most of the other mods. I hope that continues.

Incidentally a suggestion: It'd be great if the smaller ballistics, especially the HE ones (autocannons) had FX that was more obvious. They are extremely faint and hard to see against the combat background and that's kind of a problem when you're dealing with shots where you have to decide if you need to raise shields. The kinetics are mostly fine and easier to see and the large mount shots seem better about it too (devastators are very obvious and signal their power very well for example).
« Last Edit: February 18, 2020, 03:26:21 AM by DatonKallandor »
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Morrokain

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Re: [0.9.1a] TC: Archean Order: Rebalanced Combat/Lore RPG - Lore update 1/20
« Reply #624 on: February 18, 2020, 03:07:24 PM »

In my current AO game I checked out some of the markets on a whim and I was shocked to see you actually stuck to vanilla balance and didn't just stick AI cores, synch cores and pristine nanoforges in every single industry like most of the other mods. I hope that continues.

I think iirc I didn't need to add any of those items other than what was already present. Creating more markets to spread out resource acquisition serves the market share purpose without those being necessary. The Luddic Church and Sci-Corps needed heavy industry to allow higher tier vessels according to their faction doctrine, but as far as market share is concerned, the premium add-on items aren't necessary in order for the faction to remain competitive according to vanilla standards.

Incidentally a suggestion: It'd be great if the smaller ballistics, especially the HE ones (autocannons) had FX that was more obvious. They are extremely faint and hard to see against the combat background and that's kind of a problem when you're dealing with shots where you have to decide if you need to raise shields. The kinetics are mostly fine and easier to see and the large mount shots seem better about it too (devastators are very obvious and signal their power very well for example).

Thanks! I especially appreciate those kinds of details. :)

Hmm, do you think it needs a bigger bullet sprite to be more noticeable? (Sound can be a big factor here too, in my experience.) Or do you think the color/glow mechanics are what set the bullet apart in the case of the Devastator? I'm having some indecision there. I really like how the Devastator turned out, though, so I'm leaning towards that kind of effect, but having it be unique is kind of neat in itself, too, so a bigger bullet sprite for smaller HE cannons like the Autocannon (though more noticeable and having a more prevalent sound effect, maybe?) is another possible solution.

As a spectrum of thought:
Standardization of the overall look by damage type is intuitive to the player on the combat level, but can also lead to a homogenized feel to visual effects between various weapons. I kind of go back and forth between the benefits and drawbacks of either design, to be honest.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2020, 07:23:08 PM by Morrokain »
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DatonKallandor

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Re: [0.9.1a] TC: Archean Order: Rebalanced Combat/Lore RPG - Lore update 1/20
« Reply #625 on: February 19, 2020, 11:41:08 AM »

I think a lot can be by length of trail and projectile size. I think the speed of the various shots will do a lot to make the guns feel differently already even if they had similar colours - and a slow shot feels powerful even if it's not a huge fx. Personally I really like at least some damage type standardization, visually - it lets you know if you need to raise or drop shields.

For example, doing a quick check, the assault autocannon and the dual autocannon fill very similar roles (assault, ballistic, HE, no-flux). They even have similar per-shot damage and projectile speeds (if not the same speed) - but one of them is traditional HE orange and one of them is traditional kinetic white. And the orange one (the assault autocannon, I believe) is very hard to spot in a fight. Railgun shots are much, much easier to spot and I think that's because of the long trails (and the kinetic white).

The avalanche cannon is, imo, almost perfect in terms of fx design - it's got the fat projectile and long-ish body that says "strike weapon shot, better do something about this". It's just kinetic white. The fissure cannon is very similar but reads as HE.
Although I'd honestly switch those two around - the fissure cannon FX is slightly larger and "more dangerous" looking, but the avalanche has a lot more per-shot damage. Per-shot damage seems like a really important stat to look at when deciding how big and obvious to make a weapons FX.

Fire rate, sounds, projectile speed and burst size (and magazine size really) do a lot to make weapons distinct, even if their FX is very similar.
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Morrokain

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Re: [0.9.1a] TC: Archean Order: Rebalanced Combat/Lore RPG - Lore update 1/20
« Reply #626 on: February 19, 2020, 02:11:23 PM »

Thanks for the reply.  :)

I'll implement those suggestions and see how it feels. I'm inclined to agree with your analysis.

Also made a note to improve the avalanche weapon sprite to be slightly more intimidating. It is technically an "upgrade" though that's not quite how the mod works as far as loadout balance is concerned.

Is the yellow-ish projectile of the Mark IX intuitive enough? And the Excaliber/Photon Cannon is blue but HE. That is kind of integral to the Persean League theme, though. I may give that a pass under "high tech" principles. It's different enough from kinetic weapons to feel mostly unique, anyway, I think.
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DatonKallandor

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Re: [0.9.1a] TC: Archean Order: Rebalanced Combat/Lore RPG - Lore update 1/20
« Reply #627 on: February 19, 2020, 03:05:07 PM »

Just checked and yeah the MarkIX reads very HE (and is very readable). Not quite as dangerous looking as a devastator imo, but that's perfectly fine considering the per-shot effects of them.
Although in the process I did look at the Excalibur and that thing screams kinetic to me (good FX thickness and poppyness though).

I did notice the more high tech weapons have more exotic harder to parse effects. But at least one thing they're not is easy to overlook. Most of the energy weapons with unqiue projectiles I've run into really pop. Maybe even too much in the case of something like the little dual/single micro repeaters. The fx for those is pretty large and the sound is very loud for what they are.

I'd also argue they're probably too cheap on OP for what they do but that's a different topic entirely.
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NephilimNexus

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Re: [0.9.1a] TC: Archean Order: Rebalanced Combat/Lore RPG - Lore update 1/20
« Reply #628 on: February 19, 2020, 03:48:15 PM »

Since the Adamantine Consortium is an evil faction, lore wise, I'm not 100% set on where to keep them, power-wise. Iirc, I believe I made them aggressive and tend to make war with everyone in the nex config, so giving them a slight advantage as a tier 3 enemy might be the way to go there. I just don't want them rolling over the whole sector every campaign, either.

Are you familiar with Boggled's station building mod?  It's current incompatible with AO, but if you wanted to make it play nice you could turn the AC into a group of super-pirates with that mod.  By this I mean instead of planets give them orbital structures spread out among asteroid belts and gas giants on the fringes (map edges) and have them work their inward while everyone else is working their way outward.  This would make them hard to locate for starters, and with their focus on fuel production (i.e. gas giant orbitals) they would have much longer range in Nexerelin than their rivals.  While that doesn't translate to fleet size, it would allow them to launch raids at victims that may not be able to muster together an invasion fleet with that kind of counter-range to put them down.  Thus they would continue to be a pirate menace for a long, long time, raiding and pillaging with impunity until someone is willing to build out in their direction (and have those new colonies survive long enough to become any kind of threat to them.)

And yes, I stole that idea entirely from Distant Worlds.
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Morrokain

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Re: [0.9.1a] TC: Archean Order: Rebalanced Combat/Lore RPG - Lore update 1/20
« Reply #629 on: February 19, 2020, 03:57:44 PM »

Just checked and yeah the MarkIX reads very HE (and is very readable). Not quite as dangerous looking as a devastator imo, but that's perfectly fine considering the per-shot effects of them.
Although in the process I did look at the Excalibur and that thing screams kinetic to me (good FX thickness and poppyness though).

I did notice the more high tech weapons have more exotic harder to parse effects. But at least one thing they're not is easy to overlook. Most of the energy weapons with unqiue projectiles I've run into really pop. Maybe even too much in the case of something like the little dual/single micro repeaters. The fx for those is pretty large and the sound is very loud for what they are.

I'd also argue they're probably too cheap on OP for what they do but that's a different topic entirely.

Ok that helps. Maybe I can add a thin orange or red shell to the FX to make it resonate better with HE weaponry yet still retain the exotic look of a different tech weapon?

Thanks for the balance feedback regarding pd weaponry. The micro repeaters' rapid fire nature is intended to be better at rockets and swarm style fighters but worse at large missiles, torpedoes and bombers. Is the dps too strong and therefore makes the weapon too catch-all for its OP?

Loudness for the FX is separate and something I can easily accommodate, I think.
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