Drone Carrier Software 2 (DCS2) v2.07a
Download: Drone Carrier Software 2 (DCS2)
(Also available: [ttp://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=322929]DCS v1: The original, over-powered, free version for OOS Defense Only.)
New in DCS2:
- "Drones" are now fully-equipped fighters, which means that DCS2 is now part of a full carrier-management solution. No more tedious buying and equipping 60 fighters at a time!
- Compatible with CODEA, Anarkis Defense System, and Fleet Commands (probably).
- Long-awaited "Balanced Mode" means that you pay for your fighters and can improve production and costs by buying or building wares for your drones.
- Now works on the ship flown by the player (Playership), in addition to other ships owned by the player.
- Bomber-class drones can launch torpedoes at enemy capital ships.
- Player-supplied Weapons Depot allows the player to build or buy torpedoes and other wares for bomber-class drones. Providing wares in the Weapons Depot speeds up bomber production and reduces their cost.
The drone carrier is the perfect solution to OOS Sector Defense and Patrols. It can take on any size enemy, is quick for rapid response, and manages its "fighters" by itself, with no need for constant management by the player.
DCS2 Drone Carrier Software 2 turns any carrier-class ship (including M7C and TM) into a reliable, self-managing, Out-of-Sector (OOS) Sector Defense and Patrol craft. Its single purpose is to help you to: Maintain peace through superior firepower.
Among other things, DCS2 is the missing software for the M7C class of "drone carriers" in AP. Also the missing software for the Griffon drone carrier frigate (M7), which is the final reward from the Final Fury plot in TC.
(Works for TC and AP. As far as I know, DCS2 is compatible with everything.)
- Fully automatic. Everything is set up for you: Just turn it on (Active) and it will do the rest.
- Or Fully manual. Let DCS2 manufacture and equip your fighters, then use the fighters as you normally would.
- Both carrier and drone fighters will respond to any commands that you give them. (The only limitation is that DCS2-manufactured fighters can only dock at their own carrier.)
- On-Board Drone Production
- Tired of buying and equipping 30+ fighters for your carriers? Never go through that again! In Build-Only mode, DCS2 manufactures drone fighters. That's all -- it does not engage enemies unless you turn that feature On.
- Another common problem is maintaining fighters and supplies on carriers that operate OOS on Sector Defense and Patrol duties. DCS2 automatically builds new drones when one is destroyed. All you have to worry about is keeping enough money in your account to fund the production.
- OOS construction is rapid and affordable. IS construction is slower and more expensive. (Drones always cost less than equivalent "real" ships, because they tend to die in large numbers).
- In AP, interceptors are the new "drone haulers" that were specially created for the M7C-class "drone carriers". In TC, interceptors are standard M4-class ships (including some M4+).
- Interceptor-class drones barely scratch the paint of M2's, so DCS2 builds bomber-class drones when an M2 is in range. Bomber drones launch torpedoes at enemy capital ships. They are far from an "I win button", but enough of them will eventually kill an M2 (at substantial cost).
- Anti-Theft. Drones cannot be "stolen" and used as standalone fighters. Any attempt to dock a drone anywhere other than its carrier results in drone self-destruct. Any attempt to remove equipment or weapons results in immediate self-destruct. If player tries to pilot a drone, he gets a pleasant countdown before... self-destruct.
- When piloted by the AI, the DCS2 carrier can (optionally) retreat from large enemy ships (M6 and above). This will save AP's sorry-ass M7C "Drone Carrier" class ships from the certain destruction mandated by vanilla fight scripts.
- Drones use Docking Computers for hot "combat docking".
- An optional Weapons Depot can be selected (TL or Station). DCS2 will preferentially draw equipment for drone bombers from the Weapons Depot. If the depot has torpedoes in stock then it will build a bomber quickly. If not, then on-board production of the bomber takes more time. Also, wares from the Weapons Depot substantially reduce the cost of building and equipping bombers.
Interceptor-class drone haulers neither require nor benefit from the Weapon Depot. That makes them always-available for defense work.
- Drones fighters have an AI version of Turbo-Boost which makes them good interceptors. They fly at double speed until in range of enemies, at which time they slow to "attack speed".
- Any carrier, including TM and M7C.
- Credits. Lots of credits (but less than other carrier solutions)
- Carrier must have Carrier Command Software and a Transporter Device.
How to Use DCS2
- 1) Install DCS2 with the Plugin Manager (or install manually).
- (See Installation Tips if this is your first time installing a script.)
3) Toggle DCS2 Build Drones Status to "Active".
That's the basics. Your drone carrier will now begin manufacturing drone fighters. Drones cost less than equivalent fighters, but they still cost a lot. Prepare your bank account appropriately (each drone fighter costs between 100k-600k depending on type and circumstances).
4) If you Activate "Engage Enemies", then the drone carrier will begin Sector Defense duties and will send fighters to attack enemies that it encounters.
You can give the carrier (or the fighters) any commands that you desire. Their behaviors are independent of any other orders you give them.
- DCS2 has several configuration options in the language file (t file).
You can easily change the settings while playing the game. Alt-tab out, change the setting, then alt-tab back in. (Most changes will take effect immediately, although you may have to toggle the script off and on for some features. To be certain, all language file changes are read when you load a saved game.)
You will find the language file in the t folder (TC) or addon\t (AP). Find the file for the language in which you play your game. For an English game, that is 8562-L044.xml.
The -L089.xml file is just documentation. It makes it easy for you to spot the correct files for each script. Otherwise, you can ignore the -L089 file.
Use any good text editor to edit the language file. Notepad++ is free and will do the job nicely. (I use UltraEdit, which is a bit faster and more robust, although it is commercial software. Visual Studio is fine, as well, although it can be overkill for small jobs.)
If you use Windows Notepad, be careful that you save the file with a .xml extension. Windows Notepad often tries to append ".txt" to the extension, which is wrong. (Also be careful not to use wordwrap in Windows Notepad because it will mess up the saved file.) Programmer's editors (Notepad++, UltraEdit, Visual Studio) do not have these problems.
If you have not already done so, then you should set your folder options to NOT "Hide extensions for known file types". The Windows default is to have that option on (checked), and it causes trouble for many people.
Bomber subtypes: (ID's 310-312) These numbers refer to
the ID number in types\TShips, which you can see in X3Editor.
(Note that TShips is zero-based but X3Editor is one-based, so the ID in the t file might be +/-1 from the ID in TShips.)
Tips for CODEA Players
- How do I keep drones homebased to the CODEA carrier?
- Set Homebase to "yes" (ID 401).
No. You can choose your own fighter (any class) as "Interceptor". However, you pay full price for these "custom interceptor drones". The default drones are heavily discounted.Tom5Cat wrote:- Does DCS2 force you to use M4's as fighters (intercepters)?
You can also configure the type of bomber that you use, so your "bombers" can be the same as your "interceptors" (ID 310). If you do this, you will want to also set the bomber lifetime (ID 305) high, so that the bombers do not automatically recycle. (1 billion seconds is 31 game years, so that should be sufficient. Just do not exceed 2 billion.)- Does DCS2 force you to either build nothing, or include building bombers?
Yes. DCS2 is modular, and is designed from the beginning to be compatible with CODEA and ADS. Drone building and maintenance is a separate function from drone AI commands. Turn off "Engage Enemies" for drone building and maintenance only.- How is DCS2 compatible with CODEA? Can both run on the playership at the same time, with DCS2 only activated as a drone (fighter) builder and not as an engager?
- I recommend Litcube's Bounce: Player-Owned Autopilot Fix for any game that makes heavy use of carriers.
"Thank you" to everyone who gave feedback on DCS1.
Special Thanks to Gazz for his über-helpful insights on drones and carriers, to Litcube and Jack08 for teaching me the oh-so-important stuff that is not documented anywhere, and to Scion Drakhar for ideas and initial testing. Also to Logain Abler, who pioneered, helped, taught, and inspired me to create DCS2 in the first place!
- v2.07 (2013-12-15)
- Fixed issue with drones ignoring Engage Enemy Status under some conditions. (Lakz)
- Fixed language files. (Thanks, Tiek!)
- Changed pilot name (Tiek)
- Several bug fixes, including those reported by anachron13 (thanks!)
- Kill any existing drone commands when docking (fixes problem with repeated docking. Again. Maybe.)
- Fixed shield costs and pull from Weapons Depot.
- Fixed custom drone rebate (was negative, causing too high costs). (Diggz)
- Fixed Turbo Boosters so that they actually turn off as intended.
- Fixed In-Sector build timer so that there is always a delay *before* the first drone is built. (anachron13)
- Fixed a bug in setting Engagement Range (menu).
- Added ADS support (thanks again, anachron13!)
- XRM: Carrier does not jump if max speed = 0 (for added XRM Orbital Weapons Platforms: anachron13).
- XRM: Removed Transporter Device, Triplex Scanner, and Docking Computer from Anti-Theft list. (XRM The Cuban Nightmare, Obliss, russbo, Etyneo, others and XTC Adrian O)
- XRM: Duplex Scanner.if Triplex does not fit.
- XRM: Use M3B instead of SpecOps bomber. (ATF Norn 683+1).
- Bomber type(s) can now be defined in the t file.
- Drones now carry an Advanced Satellite (if it will fit). Good for battlefield intelligence and exploring.
- Homebase On/Off/Auto. Player may want to hide homebased ships. (Marvin Martian, foxtrot76)
- All CODEA Required Equipment installed by default: FCS 1&2, Nav 1, Triplex or Duplex Scanner, Docking Computer, CBLS, Special Command Software (russbo). (Note that some mods may change some equipment so that it will not fit on fighters. XRM/XTC. XRM has an optional fix for CODEA Docking Computers.)
- In-Sector Manufacturing Time is adjustable (under Custom Settings in the DCS2 menu). (OOS Manufacturing Time must be zero for reliable OOS defense.)
New Options in the t file:
Homebase (yes, no, auto).
Add drones to wings (yes, no).
In-Sector Manufacturing Time (seconds).
Base Drone Interceptor Cost. Default=100,000.
Drone Bomber Cost Percentage Multiplier.
In-Sector Cost Percentage Multiplier.
Rebate Percentage Multiplier. Bonus for using the Weapons Depot. If ware is in the Depot, then rebate this percentage of cost of the weapon.
Drone Bomber Lifetime (seconds).
Drone Interceptor speed (for automatically-chosen drone M4's). Default=300.
Drone Bomber speed. Default=175.
Turbo Boost Multiper Percentage. Default=200.
Maximum Peace-Time Bomber Percent. Default=30.
Bomber subtype1. Default=293. (293=SpecOps Bomber, 683=XRM ATF Norns, 523=XRM Teladi Hawk, 150=Falcon Hauler)
Bomber subtype2 Default=683. (subtype2 is automatically chosen when the normal bomber subtype1 is not an M3.)
Bomber subtype3 Default=150. (subtype3 is automatically chosen when subtype2 is not an M3.)
v2.04 (anachron13's fork)
- No longer automatically returns drones to base when "Engage Enemies" is Offline. Use the "Drones: RTB" command instead. This prevents a potential problem when using DCS2 with your custom drone commands. (RunaKitun, others).
- New Feature: Allow selection of drone model. (ezza84, The Cuban Nightmare, Marvin Martian)
- Added true costs for custom-selected drone models. Shields, Guns, and Missiles can be stocked at Weapons Depot for discount on costs. (Automatically-selected drones are still heavily discounted).
- Removed Triplex Scanner and Transporter Device from the Anti-Theft checklist (for XRM players). (The Cuban Nightmare).
- Added Cargo LifeSupport System for CODEA (ezza84).
- Removed Homebase when docked to prevent independent launches.
- Bug Fixed: Orbital Weapon Platforms try to evade
- Bug Fixed: Carriers evade even with "Retreat" turned Off.
- All Bombers are now SpecOps Bombers (because they do not blow themselves up). Bomber price increased to match.
- Excess Bombers are recycled during peace time in order to make room for Interceptors. Otherwise, Bombers would eventually fill all hangar bays. Recycling sends wares to Weapons Depot and/or refunds cost of remaining wares.
- Weapons Depot will consume Hammerheads before converting Firestorms to Hammerheads.
- Weapons Depot will convert Firestorms to Wraiths, if necessary, for SpecOps Bombers.
- Fixed "Drone Bomber" text to just drone bombers.
- Added Menu Command: Drones RTB. Forces drones to Return To Base (carrier).
v2.01 (2013-06-08 )
- Bug Fix: Production stalled sometimes.
- Added Navigation Command Software to all drones.
- Added a check for invalid drone types (to handle ship mods such as XRM).
- Added Price Options to t file: drone base cost, bomber multiplier, IS multiplier.
- Simplified drone task while docked at its own carrier.
- Improved event timing, especially for bomber build time.
- Improved Turbo Booster.
v2.00 Final (2013-06-07)
- Initial Public release
Discussion thread: http://forum.egosoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=337889