[MOD] Heavy Capital Ship Lasers (abandoned)

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Gazz
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[MOD] Heavy Capital Ship Lasers (abandoned)

Post by Gazz » Sat, 26. Jul 08, 19:01

This mod is closed and history.
It will be replaced by something with a lot more scope.

(Das entsprechende deutsche Topic ist hier.)

Capital ships severely suffer from... their own size.
When the ship is 4km long and a turret battery is spread over such an area then a small "anti fighter" laser with maybe 2km range can't possibly work because few turrets could even reach out to the target.
Also, fighters attacking a huge ship often break before even getting into range of a "useful" and fast anti fighter laser.

As a result capital ships fare terribly against fighters.

I wanted to change that without upsetting the general laser balance or OOS combat. And it worked! =)
  • Capital ships have access to heavy laser variants.
  • Real capital ships with an actual size of over 1500m will be able to use the regular as well as the new heavy lasers.
    (Custom ships are often mislabeled as M1 or the likes so ship class is not a good criteria any more)
  • Lower rate of fire but higher damage.
    Damage/second stays the same but fewer bullets help with FPS and definitely add to the feel of using heavier lasers.
  • Bullet speed increased by 50 %. This also increases range by 50 %.
    For huge ships that can not be seen as a great bonus. This offsets the far greater distances that the bullets have to travel from turrets that are spread out over several km.
  • All heavy lasers are XL cargo - even the [H] A-IRE.
  • Compatible with every kind of vanilla or modded ship and turret without adjustments.
    If a turret can use A-HEPT it can also use [H] A-HEPT.
  • Compatible with XTM (I think =)
  • Which ships can actually use the heavy variants is controlled by scripts but I suppose it will be possible to cheat this system with some creativity. Not really my problem, though, if someone considers this fun... =P
  • An AL plugin enables all AI capital ship in your current sector to use these lasers.
    Player ships do not. This is to avoid conflicts because this kind of laser switching should be left to turret scripts.
  • There are several turret scripts out there but MARS definitely makes use of Heavy Lasers.
Image (ZIP)

Installation:
Basically, copy all contents of the ZIP into the X3 main folder.
Then select the "Heavy Lasers" mod as "the" mod at the X3 main menu or install it as a fake patch.
Last edited by Gazz on Sat, 2. Aug 08, 21:43, edited 9 times in total.
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Post by Gazz » Sat, 26. Jul 08, 19:02

Resources used:
Textfile 7067 (Page 17, 25000-25400)
Task ID 7067 on AI cap ships.

Note to scripters:
2 libraries are included to
- check if this mod is installed
- auto switch 8 lasers to heavy variant if the ship could install a max of 8 of this laser type. Excess heavy lasers (like picked up) are transferred back to regular versions.
Last edited by Gazz on Sun, 27. Jul 08, 00:00, edited 1 time in total.

Circlemage8
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Post by Circlemage8 » Sat, 26. Jul 08, 19:31

This definitely sounds awesome. I'll help in any way I can but that is pretty much limited to testing as I have no experience with scripting.

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Post by A5PECT » Sat, 26. Jul 08, 19:58

Nice to see you putting this idea into practice. Ulfius over at the XTU forums is also managing a similar project, although his modifications are a bit more drastic.

Don't forget about improving the fighters' anti-capital abilities.
Admitting you have a problem is the first step in figuring out how to make it worse.

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Post by Gazz » Sat, 26. Jul 08, 20:48

Fighters are already overpowered. That's why a regular Titan can die to a bunch of M3.

If you're talking about M5 - well, with their short range lasers it's difficult to get close enough to an M1 to even fire a shot.
I'm not worried about the anti-capital capabilities of scouts, though. =)

While the other project is somewhat related it's a complete change of the X3 combat system. I don't want that.
I use a completely different approach, not changing regular lasers but altering regular lasers if they are used by cap ships.
Pretty tricky but amazing to watch. =)
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Post by A5PECT » Sat, 26. Jul 08, 21:12

I've never seen M3's as overpowered against capital ships, they still have the same problem of collision detection not allowing them to fire as M1's and M2's.

When I send out twenty Novas armed with AHEPT's against a single Xenon K, all I see are a bunch of fighters buzzing around a capital ship with neither of them exchanging any fire.
Admitting you have a problem is the first step in figuring out how to make it worse.

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Post by Gazz » Sun, 27. Jul 08, 14:58

Version beta 2 released.

So far only AI cap ships and MARS make use of the new lasers.

Enabling this for all player ships would mess up any other turret script that the player might be using so that's not such a hot idea.

Killing a Xenon K with a lone M3 should be more interesting now. =)
Note that it takes up to 2 minutes for all AI ships in your sector to start using heavy lasers.


This mod still has some growing potential.
One thought was to create a distinct laser version for every race.
Argon lasers might have more range, borons more bullet speed and split ones more damage. Xenon lasers could be extra good but you can't just buy them...

The various races and their ships would have a unique character instead of every ship in the universe using the exact same 8-10 lasers.
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Post by Circlemage8 » Mon, 28. Jul 08, 09:20

Everything seems to be working well and capital ships are definitely doing better now. One thing, after a fight when say a turret ire is lying in a crate it doesn't revert meaning the only way to pick it up is with something that can take xl. This may be intended but in case it isn't I just wished to point it out.

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Post by Gazz » Mon, 28. Jul 08, 10:11

There's no elegant way around that.
While the Xenon ship had a watcher script running to morph it's lasers, that script died along with the ship.

The MARS cargo collect or MARS turret script periodically checks for these new lasers but only after they have been picked up and that requires a TL or somesuch.
These lasers would be quite overpowered on fighters. =)

I guess I could modify the MARS drones so the lasers are changed the moment they are beamed aboard.
Just didnt think of that before. =)
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Post by Circlemage8 » Mon, 28. Jul 08, 17:44

Thats fine. I was just wondering as I had accidentally tried to pick up a H-aire in my Lx and ended up ramming it. Though if the drones did it that could be useful for someone who still likes to go around solo in an m3 sometimes (I just wanted it so I couldn't kill the cap ships alone).

Edit: Hmm. I'm getting a weird error now. Some ships would just not move or do anything, usually aftering having jumped in or being summoned by a mission (examples of pirates jumping through a gate into the system I was in or the xenon ships in a xenon taxi mission). They stayed at rest, and I could attack them with the pilot responding with communication and even jumping out but they won't move or fire weapons. After some testing I have identified that the problem lies with just the heavy_lasers.cat/dat file. Even with no other scripts or mods of any type running it would cause issues (including taking out all of your scripts for both the mars turret system and the heavy laser scripts and just leaving the .cat and .dat file in the mod folder). I'm not using xtm though I may at some point. Could the lack of certain lasers being causing the issue?

This doesn't effect all ships jumping in just some. Xenon invasion works correctly however. The lack of movement lasts through saving. Most pirates aren't effected though I'm not sure about this.

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Post by Gazz » Mon, 28. Jul 08, 23:52

That behaviour sounds like ships were unarmed - their lasers not actually being installed.

Try redownloading and reseting the script by turning the AL Plugin off for 10 min. That should catch all ships. After that you can turn it back on.
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Post by Circlemage8 » Tue, 29. Jul 08, 02:03

You are right about them not being armed. Scanning them shows they have no lasers equipped or carried in their freight bay. I tried getting the script again and turning off the AL plugin. Everything else still worked with the script except for the obvious heavy laser stuff. Even after 30 minutes freshly spawned enemies, pirates and xenon taxi ones, still had no weapons even before turning the plugin back on. Saving before the xenon taxi mission and then temporarily removing the .cat and .dat files however worked. The ships had weapons and acted normally. This doesn't really make sense as the .dat is just the database for the weapon information and not anything that would effect equipment on the computers. The only possibility I can think of is that they are trying to equip weapons by some other index and then being unable as the entire first half of the .dat file is the cap ship only weapons.

To have the AL plugin turned off I actually deleted it from the install folder and reinitialized the script cache.

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Post by Gazz » Tue, 29. Jul 08, 16:23

That is an effect of the mod. The script did not do that.
Looks like the auto equip uses the new lasers when spawning ships and since these generally don't fit on fighters... they end up unarmed.

The good news is that if this feature is really constant, a set of dummy lasers could be appended to the end of the file.
The ship would have "some" lasers and could operate normally but a script could easily detect that this ship is "new" and does not have the "proper" lasers assigned, yet.

Could someone test this? Like clear a Xenon sector and see which ships respawn unarmed.
If really all ships, that can not carry XL cargo, respawn unarmed then this can most likely be fixed.


Beta 4 released.

Both Mod and Script are changed.

Tweaked mod so small ships do spawn with weapons again. Well, as far as I've seen. =)

Go to the AL Plugins and briefly turn the Heavy Laser Mod off/on.
It may take a few minutes until the changes take effect.
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Post by Circlemage8 » Tue, 29. Jul 08, 19:39

Thanks. So far everything seems to be working perfectly. All new spawned ships have weapons as far as I have tested. This includes new pirates, xenon taxi and xenon respawn. Thanks again for fixing it.

I have not yet completely cleared a xenon sector but I'll try.

Edit: I do have 2 different types of regular bpacs, and ahepts on my fighter that I can sell to an equipment dock. Not a real issue just didn't know if that should be or not. They are identical in all ways and personally I don't mind at all.

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Post by Gazz » Fri, 1. Aug 08, 19:11

Circlemage8 wrote:I do have 2 different types of regular bpacs, and ahepts on my fighter that I can sell to an equipment dock. Not a real issue just didn't know if that should be or not. They are identical in all ways and personally I don't mind at all.
These "clones" fix the unarmed ship issue. An inevitable workaround due to the way AI ships pick their lasers when spawning.
While this could be fixed, I don't see this as a major issue, either, because you can use and sell these lasers the same way. =)

Besides, this mod is most certainly getting abandoned for something far greater.
Every race would be using unique laser variants, finally adding some depth and variety to the usual cookie cutter ships.
Shall it be a fast firing split laser or a cheap knockoff teladi variant...?
My complete script download page. . . . . . I AM THE LAW!
There is no sense crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.

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