SE4 modding question...

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Author: DXM
Date: Feb 10, 2019 1:09 AM
Category: Spaceport
Posts: 14
#1
Is "Combat To Hit Offense Minus" a valid ability for vehicles in SE4?

Combat To Hit Defense has both Plus & Minus, but only Offense Plus appears in the stock data file.

Replies

Commenter: Blackadder
Date: Feb 11, 2019 12:46 PM
SE4 modding question...
#2
Some mods (e.g., Devnull Mod) use "Combat To Hit Offense Minus" to supposedly make some vehicle types (e.g., barges) unsuited for combat. The game recognizes the ability with no problem.

Whether it actually WORKS or not is a different story. I've never tested it.
Commenter: DXM
Date: Feb 12, 2019 3:06 AM
SE4 modding question...
#3
Hmm...
Thanks!

Another question: is there a way to slow down the ship movement animations?
All my System Movement ship animations are 'jumping' like in Fast Tactical Combat.

Also: how does "Engines Per Move" work in SE4? My "Scout" hull size (50kt) is set at 1 EPM, limit 1 engine, engines are modded to give 10 movement... Design screen shows Scout will have 10 move points, but when built it only has 2 move points... =( What am I missing?
Edited 1 time(s). Lasted edited Feb 12, 2019 4:03 AM.
Commenter: ekolis
Date: Feb 12, 2019 8:49 PM
SE4 modding question...
#4
There is an option to adjust the ship movement speed on the map:

https://i.imgur.com/USnMHRJ.png

As for engines per move, you are correct that your scout should have 10 movement. However ships can be slowed down if they are lacking: bridge, crew quarters, life support, or supplies. Is your ship lacking any of those things?
Commenter: DXM
Date: Feb 13, 2019 3:58 AM
SE4 modding question...
#5
Sorry, ship movement problem is for SE4, not SE5.

Does the lack of crew quarters or life support slow the ship down in SE4, even if the Vehicle Sizes entry for the Scout says it doesn't require either of those components?

Also, an SE5 question: Does anybody know which mod contains a Gold re-color of the Stock Solar Sail Component? I know I've seen that before, but it is not in the Multimedia Image Pack or any of the other Mods I've looked at so far.

Thanks!
Commenter: Blackadder
Date: Feb 13, 2019 11:52 AM
SE4 modding question...
#6
"Another question: is there a way to slow down the ship movement animations?
All my System Movement ship animations are 'jumping' like in Fast Tactical Combat."

I think this is just a glitch that occurs from time to time (like the music skipping). I've usually had to reboot my computer to make it stop.

"Does the lack of crew quarters or life support slow the ship down in SE4, even if the Vehicle Sizes entry for the Scout says it doesn't require either of those components?"

Maybe? You may have to include at least one of each as an ability for the hull size.
Commenter: DXM
Date: Feb 13, 2019 8:09 PM
SE4 modding question...
#7
"You may have to include at least one of each as an ability for the hull size."

Umm, how would I do that?

Edit: reboot did take care of system movement animation, thanks!

Edit: and another problem presents itself... I used the TDM Re-Mod Pack AI for this test mod, and none of the computer players are expanding beyond their home worlds... a few are doing nothing, the rest are building stations & units... Any idea what could cause this behavior?
Edited 2 time(s). Lasted edited Feb 14, 2019 7:04 AM.
Commenter: Blackadder
Date: Feb 14, 2019 11:57 AM
SE4 modding question...
#8
"You may have to include at least one of each as an ability for the hull size.

Umm, how would I do that?"

Something like this (this is just an example, obviously your details will differ):

Name := Scout
Short Name := Scout
Description :=
Code := SC
Primary Bitmap Name := Scout
Alternate Bitmap Name := Escort
Vehicle Type := Ship
Tonnage := 150
Cost Minerals := 150
Cost Organics := 0
Cost Radioactives := 0
Engines Per Move := 1
Number of Tech Req := 1
Tech Area Req 1 := Ship Construction
Tech Level Req 1 := 1
Number of Abilities := 3
Ability 1 Type := Combat To Hit Defense Plus
Ability 1 Descr := Small size makes ship 40% harder to hit in combat.
Ability 1 Val 1 := 40
Ability 1 Val 2 := 0
Ability 2 Type := Ship Life Support
Ability 2 Descr :=
Ability 2 Val 1 := 0
Ability 2 Val 2 := 0
Ability 3 Type := Ship Crew Quarters
Ability 3 Descr :=
Ability 3 Val 1 := 0
Ability 3 Val 2 := 0
Requirement Must Have Bridge := True
Requirement Can Have Aux Con := True
Requirement Min Life Support := 0
Requirement Min Crew Quarters := 0
Requirement Uses Engines := True
Requirement Max Engines := 1
Requirement Pct Fighter Bays := 0
Requirement Pct Colony Mods := 0
Requirement Pct Cargo := 0

The "Ship Life Support" and "Ship Crew Quarters" abilities are the key. That SHOULD take care of the problem, unless it's something else entirely.

"...another problem presents itself... I used the TDM Re-Mod Pack AI for this test mod, and none of the computer players are expanding beyond their home worlds... a few are doing nothing, the rest are building stations & units... Any idea what could cause this behavior?"

It sounds like they don't have valid vehicle designs for whatever reason. Did you make drastic changes to the vehicle sizes available? If so, the AI may need to be modified.

I have a lot of experience watching the AI run and finding problems in mods (since I screw mine up so often) so if you can't find the problem I would be willing to take a look at it. I'm sure I can spot the issue after watching the AI's run for a few turns.
Commenter: DXM
Date: Feb 15, 2019 12:12 AM
SE4 modding question...
#9
Well, what I started to test out was basically just a weapon theme pack for my SE5 sets that I've released so far... ST-UFP-TNG, SW-Emp-ANH & SG-Goauld-Ra. My Neo+ SE5 sets included a set of 7 'mini ship' sizes; ships not units, but very small. I knew that was going to be a bit of an issue, as they kind of needed to use Fighter sized components...so, when I started this SE4 conversion test, I decided to revise the 'mini ship' idea. I kept 4 of them, but made the 2 combat ships a bit bigger & made the other 3 combats into the SE4 Neo Standard extra Fighter sizes.

I don't know if you'd call the alterations drastic or not:
Scout - 50kt
Picket - 100kt
Escort - 150kt
Corvette - 200kt
Frigate - 250kt
Destroyer - 300kt
Light Cruiser - 400kt
Cruiser - 500kt
Heavy Cruiser - 600kt
Assault Cruiser - 800kt
Battle Cruiser - 1000kt
Battleship - 1500kt
Dreadnought - 2000kt
Super Dreadnought - 4000kt
Baseship - 8000kt
Worldship - 32000kt

Adding the Life Support & Crew Quarters abilities seem to fix the engine issue.

A couple of the AIs have built frigates or something to lay Satellites with. Hmm, just had a look... According to the Scores screen, the Krill have 3 ships & 3 bases, the Fazrah have 6 ships & 2 bases, all others have 1 ship & 0, 1 or 2 bases... Except for the Jraenar, Terrans & Piundon who have built 0 ships & 0 bases & 36, 20, 38 units respectively.

The test mod as it currently stands:
http://www.slash-addict.net/media/se4/CrossoverMod.zip
If you want to take a look.
Commenter: Blackadder
Date: Feb 15, 2019 7:32 PM
SE4 modding question...
#10
Hmmm, I get a "HTTP 403 Forbidden" error when I try to access that link.

I don't mind looking at it if you want to email it to me (ballbd@hotmail.com), but let me ask this first (because I think this is the root of the problem the AI's are having): what ship sizes are available at start, and what size are colony ships?
Commenter: DXM
Date: Feb 15, 2019 9:43 PM
SE4 modding question...
#11
Scout(50kt), Picket(100kt) & Escort(150kt) are available at game start.

Colony Ships are 300kt
Commenter: Blackadder
Date: Feb 16, 2019 12:14 AM
SE4 modding question...
#12
You mentioned modding the scout to only use one engine. Is this something you did with other ship sizes? The reason I ask is because every ship design in an AI_DesignCreation file contains lines like these:

Minimum Speed := 4
Desired Speed := 6

"Speed" really means the number of engines. So if you've modded the ship size to only use 1 engine, but the design the AI has calls for a "Minimum Speed" of 2 or more, it won't have a valid design for that size and won't build it. The solution in this case would be to go through the AI_DesignCreation files and change the "Minimum Speed" to 1 as needed ("Desired Speed" can be ignored because it won't be problematical if it isn't met).

If that doesn't solve the problem, I suggest sending me the mod so I can observe the AI's for a few turns and see where the breakdown occurs. I'm fairly certain the issue lies in the VehicleSizes or Components file somewhere.
Commenter: DXM
Date: Feb 16, 2019 7:25 PM
SE4 modding question...
#13
That fixed it!

Non-combats were limited to 2 engines, smaller warships were limited to 3. AI Designs were calling for 3 minimum on colony ships & 4 minimum on warships.

The AI players are now building like crazy, and the Fazrah have just killed one of my colonies!

One slight issue... The Cluk-ruk declared war on me around 20 turns ago... I built a colony in their system as a staging area... Now that they are building warships, they are attacking it... But, over the period they weren't, their mood went from murderous to receptive... But they won't accept any treaty to end the war...what's with the disconnect there?

Thanks!
Commenter: Blackadder
Date: Feb 16, 2019 9:19 PM
SE4 modding question...
#14
That one I'm afraid I can't help with - I've been playing since 2004, and I've NEVER been able to get the AI to accept ANY treaty and make peace with me after declaring war, not even if their mood is "Brotherly". I've also spent hundreds of hours watching the AI's play, and I've never seen them make peace with each other after declaring war either. (I suspect the behavior is hard-coded in any case, and there's probably not much that can be done about it.)

When I brought this up on the old forum a few years back, it was suggested the AI's might agree to a treaty if you give them gifts first, but I'm not sure if this suggestion came from firsthand knowledge or was just a theory. It couldn't hurt to try, I guess, but I always find it easier just to obliterate them once they declare war.