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Star Wolves 3D space RPG with deep strategy and tactical elements

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  #1  
Old 06-02-2010, 03:39 PM
Trucidation
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Post Mini-mod: missiles mod

Edit:
This is now officially my Missiles mod, I've tweaked the weakest missiles of each category instead of replacing all the LRMs like I originally did - apparently some people like sniping with LRMs

Also as promised, this read will include the results of some digging around in the rocket definitions. Hardly did much actually, it was mostly an exercise in figuring out what the entries do and moving stuff around. Feel free to pick it apart and use it in your own mods!

Out of the 20 existing missile types, 8 of the weakest ones have been modded. Be advised that missiles are now dangerous! Yes, you missile specialists out there should have a great time, but this also holds true for the AI. Put a wingmember on missile defense or invest in passive countermeasures - you'll regret it otherwise. Don't be put off by the high missile total - the game counts every warhead in multirocket designs. I'm the kind of guy who likes balance (or even harder challenges) so don't worry about this mod turning the game into an easy boring clickfest.

You may experience some lag in large battles. Game basically slows down to a crawl <5fps during endgame engagements. It's hugely annoying. Accordingly I've speeded up the warheads so they die faster (less objects to clutter space), and I'm reconsidering the MultiRocket MIRVs. This mod, after all, largely started as a proof-of-concept, and most of the values used were more along the lines of "let's go wild and see what this can do!" rather than "this should produce a reasonably balanced effect". I'll probably lower the warhead count and up the damage.

Thanks to Goblin Wizard who clarified some stuff, and all you guys in the modding thread who gave me the idea to poke around the scripts. Also thanks to Aleksty and the guys in the english-language thread at the StarRover forum, he mentioned some things I didn't notice before. The inspiration for this came from Touhou, what else?

There shouldn't be any game-stopping errors, but let me know about balance issues. Prices, damage, effectiveness, etc. Yes, the missiles are actually weak, vulnerable to countermeasures, and expensive. However, this means missile expert pilots are now viable heroes unlike in the original unmodded game; remember, all your missile bonuses apply to every single missile, thus quantity > quality.

-
How to install:
1. Unzip the archive. There's a \Data\ folder in there.
2. Copy-paste it to the game's folder. It will overwrite a few files so just say yes when it asks. This mod is NOT compatible with the Fleet/Mothership mods if you download it from here. A compatible version of this mod has been included in Mod Pack 1, see the mods thread.

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Updates:
[ Version 3/June/2010 ]
- increased explosion flare live time for all 4 danmaku types

[ Announcement 7/June/2010 ]
- Ha, sorry for the delay. Had to balance some stuff especially prices versus bang-for-buck - it was too easy to simply load a Bident and own everything. I've confirmed that the ones I've put in (half done actually) work as planned, so it's just a matter of finishing the rest and doing some final testing.

[ Version 7/June/2010 ]
- Alright, it's up. Fully compatible with Goblin Wizard's mothership mod v0.24. An unmodded game is also fine.
- Screenshot 1 added. Damn, I'm getting my ass handed back to me. Hard mode rocks.

[ Announcement 7/September/2010 ]
- No update, just a reminder that this mod is NOT fully compatible with the latest mothership mod. Download Mod Pack 1 from the Star Wolves 3 Mods thread instead - I have handpatched my mod there for compatibility.

[ Announcement 26/October/2010 ]
- No update, just a progress note. Been experimenting with a missile type where the purpose isn't to inflict a lot of damage but to blast ships out of their flight path. Creative players should note the possibilities for breaking up formations. UPDATE: the effects weren't quite as useful or interesting as I'd thought them to be, most of the time it just prolongs the already longish combat. Breaking formations required an absurd collision distance so it was impractical. Plus it provided yet another way to screw with the scripts like for example if you hit a trigger-carrying target out of range.

[ Announcement 10/September/2011 ]
- No update, just an observation. The standalone expansion should be out in October - within a month or two from now. Depending on how similar it is I'll likely mod the crap-end missiles in that game as well. Not sure whether to go along with the (ill-fitting) danmaku theme or try for an in-universe (which may likely end up reading very dull) theme.

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Looks kinda messy in the screenshots but that's because I suck at taking pictures. In the first you can see the blooming green-white explosions in the far background. In the second you can see the first few seconds of a head-on engagement (enemy on the left, player on the right). You can see the enemy missiles flaring around the player ships (deflected by ECM) while on the enemy side they hit and detonate, scattering whites and blues and reds - the missile explosion flares have been coloured a bit and the bloom time lengthened so that you can see the flames linger for a couple of seconds before fading out.

I know you can "snipe" targets outside of their range but I consider that a bug because they don't respond to getting hit.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg StarWolves3--682.JPG (98.2 KB, 339 views)
File Type: jpg StarWolves3--685.JPG (109.5 KB, 303 views)
Attached Files
File Type: zip SW3CW_missiles_mod.zip (39.8 KB, 561 views)

Last edited by Trucidation; 09-10-2011 at 01:49 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-03-2010, 01:42 AM
Trucidation
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Smile

[ Screenshot post ]

Apparently there's a 5-attachment limit, heh. Just some screenshots to show the missiles in action in case anyone was wondering. Yay fireworks in the 5th one, lol.

The balance feels okay to me but feel free to comment. They're close range, they're not cheap, and the total damage is comparable to the other missiles. One happy (and intended) side effect is that if you have an expert missile specialist his skills should apply to all of the warheads. So these things are okay in the hands of an unskilled user and deadly in the hands of a missile specialist.

Edit:
Yeah I know the funky colours may be too fruity for your tastes (b-b-but it's danmaku!) but before anyone start yelling "omg FFFFFFFFFF" at me, please note that you can always edit the FlashLiveTime back to normal values and change the RGB hue to something more to your liking A quick fix would be to open up Rockets.xml and then pointing all four missiles' explosion tags back to the generic rocket_explosion instead of the custom danmaku ones.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg StarWolves3--666.JPG (80.6 KB, 156 views)
File Type: jpg StarWolves3--667.JPG (66.6 KB, 128 views)
File Type: jpg StarWolves3--673.JPG (86.3 KB, 147 views)
File Type: jpg StarWolves3--674.JPG (73.4 KB, 127 views)
File Type: jpg StarWolves3--675.JPG (49.3 KB, 142 views)

Last edited by Trucidation; 06-03-2010 at 08:06 AM.
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  #3  
Old 06-03-2010, 06:31 AM
Trucidation
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Arrow

Moved the discussion from the first post to reduce clutter. This post will be updated as I figure out more stuff about missiles.

Note: It's possible to add new missiles and not just replace LRMs like I did (because I felt they were not useful). I don't think there are any hard limits and in any case there aren't that many missile types anyway. I don't have enough graphics to do that however, as you can see I managed to dig up 4 unused graphics but that's about it, there isn't really any more so you'll have to recycle graphics from existing missiles or import your own.

Custom sound effects for each explosion are also pointed by the esc file referenced by the related explosion script. I wanted to do this too but I don't have any good explosion sfx currently. Damn, where was that Crusader: No Remorse sound pack...

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1) The bulk of the work is in \Data\Game\'s Modules.xml and Rockets.xml files. Each missile has one entry in Modules.xml, this is like the entry for the trade interface so you have stuff like cost in here. By the name you can also figure out it's not just for missiles so there isn't much here. Each missile entry references a missile definition and detonation definition.

2) Continuing from (1), Rockets.xml is where you define the missile and the detonation. Since I created cluster weapons, I needed two pairs of definitions: one for the parent delivery vehicle, then another for the payload.

3) \Data\LocData\English\ merely contains an edited m_modules.loc, which is basically the text descriptions which show up in trade. That's what you read in the screenshots below. By the way, the missile icons are in Modules.xml mentioned in step (1), look for the flat_image line in each entry.

4) The rest of the mod is new files for the custom explosion colours. It's very simple actually. In Rockets.xml mentioned in step (1) each detonator has an explosion script linked to it. So what I did was simply clone the default rocket_explosion script and the exp file that script points to, and then edit the RGB colour value of the flare. There are 4 because I created one for each missile type, so all four of them have different colours.

Very straightforward

5) In the explosion exp file referenced by the explosionscript esc, editing the FlashLiveTime will change how long the flare stays (we know it's the explosion flare because that section has a reference to a dds which you can view). Below it, FlashLiveTimeSpread seems to be how long each frame of the flare lasts. Since there's only 2 frames, simply divide the FlashLiveTime by 2.

6) Some rocket and detonator definitions are shared. This can be a huge gotcha as I deleted the detonators from rocket definitions I replaced. The game didn't complain because I suspect it doesn't actually check the script until you actually fire the missile. You'll probably get a CTD. There'll likely be an entry in ScriptErrors.log or LOGfile.txt, so if this happens to you please post the contents of these files here; thanks!
Update:
This should not happen anymore because I only add new entries now, without deleting existing ones. Just remember this note if you're making your own missile mods.

7) The game actually has code to handle multiple missile launches, not just single-parent-with-multiple-warhead MIRVs. They're named MultiRocket and they're basically defined the same as other rockets except with the addition of a rocket_slot entry, which defines how many rockets are subtracted from the total in max_rocket_count per launch. So if you have max_rocket_count=20 and rocket_slot=4, you'll fire 4 rockets per launch for a total of 5 launches (4 x 5 = 20). By the way, MultiRocket's RocketParams can be set to launch MIRVs and not just regular rockets, so you can actually create multiMIRV launchers. Better beware of the total damage though :p

8 ) Explosion sound effects are also in the explosion exp file referenced in step (5), it seems you can assign one to each fx frame.
NOTE: All sounds must be in mono format or the game will not play them! So if you have any stereo sounds make sure to mix them into mono.

9) MultiRockets appear to be logged - they will show up in LOGfile.txt. The problem is timestamps are not attached. They simply show something like:
Code:
[MULTI_ROCKET] - IDLE
[MULTI_ROCKET] - SEEKING
[MULTI_ROCKET] - FIRE
[MULTI_ROCKET] - IDLE
...and it goes on for literally hundreds of lines. The original game didn't have any working MultiRockets, I assume there were bugs they couldn't fix so they took them out. The only bug I've seen is most likely performance related - I only experienced in the large endgame battles when there were like 100+ ships in the entire sector. Game CTDs but LOGfile.txt doesn't mention any specific error, it just complains about "memory access violation blahblahblah". WARNING: You may want to avoid using the salvo skill especially if you have MultiRocket MIRVs installed. No, I haven't tried it - but have you seen how salvo works? It launches like half the entire missile pod in one shot, especially noticeable if you're using those 32x dumbfires. I imagine if you activate it with my high-end MultiRocket MIRVs (the HR or the KS models), you'll most likely notice an immediate drop in the framerate and I assume you may even CTD. (I bet if this happens you'll see a lot of those MULTI_ROCKET entries and a final "memory access violation" complaint at the end of LOGfile.txt).

10) There is a limit to how many MultiRockets can be launched! Maximum observed appears to be 10. You can define a larger number in rocket_slots but the game will only ever 10 at one go, and less if the target happens to fly out of firing angle/range.

11) Missile speed has an effect on the impact - kinetic energy appears to be transferred, I've seen stationary targets get blasted aside when hit by multiple warheads travelling at high speed. I use pretty small warheads though (I simply cloned existing ones), but if I'm not mistaken there are values for mass. It may be prudent to keep those values low otherwise your targets will scatter as if hit by a bowling ball when the missiles hit them.

Last edited by Trucidation; 06-18-2010 at 01:15 AM. Reason: Added note 11 about missile speed and impact
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  #4  
Old 06-03-2010, 08:39 AM
StarShatter StarShatter is offline
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Haha! Beautiful. I was thinking this exactly!

I had been using Hailstorm and cheap targeted missiles (even the worst MIRV) to try and get some of my standard missiles to hit more. I had been toying with the idea of a MIRV that sprays lots of little targeted missiles to pre-occupy AM systems. While the real payload does the job.

Modded the game a little so far, nothing big. I'll definitely be trying these out! Going to make them more of a Special-Use missile by lower the damage.

1 damage, 30 warheads, Deadly Missiles 5. Is still 150 damage.
I dominate hard enough as it is with a standard MIRV.

However I use LRM!
So if no one else does, I'll be modding to make it a buy-able separate item.

(Note: Wireless is on the fritz, its taken soooo long to get this post up )

Edit: A bit of colour isn't too bad! Makes the explosions a bit more noticeable.
Edit2: Notepad++ FTW! Alt+2 makes navigating through all this weapon stuff so much easier.

Last edited by StarShatter; 06-03-2010 at 10:30 AM.
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  #5  
Old 06-03-2010, 08:46 AM
Trucidation
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Thanks, glad to help!

Ya, my main complaint about the missiles was their relative un-usefulness. I didn't really like the concept of making them just give more damage, because the player is still left with only possessing a measly amount of them.

You know what. I could just replace the standard MIRVs instead and leave the LRMs intact. After all, with these cluster missiles installed the regular MIRVs look very plain. Would this be more agreeable?

(Originally I modded LRMs because I didn't use them, but also I was attempting to teach myself whether I could change a single missile into MIRV. If I simply edited the MIRVs I wouldn't have learned as much as I did.)

Edit:
It struck me that I should stop screwing around and just make them entirely new items, and not replace anything. Haha. The only issue with this is that the AI ships will be stuck using plain missiles. And you'll really be crushing them. Until some other modder with experience with flight generation can help me figure out how to randomise AI ship items instead of forcing them to use the fixed definitions, I think I might go with 2 versions of this mod.

Last edited by Trucidation; 06-03-2010 at 09:01 AM.
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  #6  
Old 06-03-2010, 11:53 AM
StarShatter StarShatter is offline
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Just did the mission where you get the final mother ship (non-faction MS) with these pods installed. Lowered the damage to 1-3, and the number of missiles per pod to ~10. They were insane, I simply can't image what they are like without being nerfed! Alone they were pretty damn powerful, but these were just hard difficulty mercs, nothing serious.

In combination with 2-3 Short Range missile pods they did a lot of work.
Do the better ones still have AoE? Or was it the 2nd tier MIRV I fired that killed all my guys? (Hero shot some at point blank and killed himself, cant remember which pod exactly though)

They do pretty well on those non-missile spec characters, that need that extra bang a missile provides. Might use some Puma for once! You can put these spray like mad missiles on your non-missile specs just to counter the counter-missile systems, while your missile spec does a lot of damage.

Gonna go over the balance a bit later, look at the scripts some more.
Got some balance stuff if you're interested. Damage/Projectiles/Pod size/Costs, that kinda stuff.
Can post/PM the working out as well.

Edit again: Never mind the quote. That was from the Mother ship Mod thread...

Last edited by StarShatter; 06-03-2010 at 01:11 PM.
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  #7  
Old 06-03-2010, 01:09 PM
Trucidation
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Did I miss a post? I can't see the one you're quoting.

I just realised if I add them as new items, I'm going to have to get them to show up in trade and I haven't gotten around to looking at that -__-"

Edit:
D'oh, and I keep forgetting that if I add new items, the AI won't be using them unless I fix ShipDescriptions.xml and that means hand-patching every single fighter type I want to install them on. Ugh. Right now I can simply change something and watch the AI use it against me as well.

Last edited by Trucidation; 06-03-2010 at 03:03 PM.
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  #8  
Old 06-03-2010, 01:16 PM
StarShatter StarShatter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trucidation View Post
I just realised if I add them as new items, I'm going to have to get them to show up in trade and I haven't gotten around to looking at that -__-"
I refer you to this post by Valky on the second page of the modding thread.
Apart from making a ship I'm fairly (haven't tried personally) sure this is all that's needed.

I'll quickly PM you the rough stuff I've done so far. Just suggestions on initial balance.
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  #9  
Old 06-03-2010, 02:31 PM
Trucidation
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Thanks for both the link and the PM.

I keep most values similar, like pod size and refire rate, so that I get a somewhat steady barrage of missiles. A small pod size doesn't work for me, they run out too fast. So I need to keep it high but lower the damage per warhead to compensate.

They're meant to be mostly a deterrence rather than a primary kill option so they're unlike traditional missiles. In the several test battles I've played I noticed that guns still do most of the killing so I haven't gotten them entirely wrong, but they're still chewing up armor pretty fast. The values I use actually add up rather higher than the ones you sent through PM; you're right, and I intend to lower them.

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There's also the ECM (jamming) value to consider, if we keep it low then targets have more chances of not getting hit. Currently I simply arbitrarily assign Seeker_A to Seeker_D from LRM1 to LRM4, in order. Haven't really put much thought into it actually.

Do you know how well ECM / AMS works? We have the values (10,20,30,40), but what exactly are they, percentage? Doesn't look like it though, the ones rated 40 stop too many missiles to be 40%. Or perhaps it's a straight value, stopping everything rated below 40 and randomly stopping some of those rated 40?
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  #10  
Old 06-03-2010, 03:12 PM
StarShatter StarShatter is offline
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I should really be asleep right now. But since I'm not.

The answer to the ECM/AMS question would be that there is a chance that they are confused/shot down.

Quote:
JamRocket.script

function JamRocket(jamPower, antiJammer)
local pomeha = jamPower + 10 - RAND(30);
return pomeha > antiJammer;
So if you have a +30 system, its something like 30+10-R(30), and if thats greater than the "antiJammer" (this is stored on the rocket? and is modified by character?) the rocket will miss?

Hopefully you know the values/location of "antiJammer" and can make sense of this. lol.

And yeah, they should have a low "antiJammer", so they can tank the ECM/AMS.

Last edited by StarShatter; 06-03-2010 at 03:14 PM. Reason: too sleepy
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