[Req]New game style-A more RTS approach?[Possibility with current mods/scripts]

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poiuytrewq
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[Req]New game style-A more RTS approach?[Possibility with current mods/scripts]

Post by poiuytrewq » Wed, 13. Jan 10, 00:02

Think-Trade-Build-Fight

So X3TC is a great game, I played through vanilla and with some of the modded custom starts particularly enjoying the Apricotslice one from the superbox so cheers for that. It has to be said the modding community has created some masterpieces in mods and scripts. However I was wondering has anyone created mods that truly change the dynamics of the game. The one I'd really love to see and am wondering if anyones working on or how hard it would be to accomplish with current mods is:

X3 universe destroyed, the remnants of its inhabiting races forced to take their 'colony ships' and use a collapsing wormhole to jump to a new galaxy. Other unwanted elements followed them through to escape destruction. On route instability scatters everything across an unexplored galaxy.



Trade
-Harvesting becomes major factor-mining (ores/minerals/ice), energy collection, food production, salvaging wreckage and exploring debris fields. Expect, at least initially, universe traders to be replaced by universe salvagers/miners. Non race elements will also be competing for the resources and those resources include the debris of your ships. Can also turn owned ships to resources e.g. sell to Colony ship.
*Work off ice asteroids/script for salvaging ships/script for debris scavenging/script for collecting rocks/scripts for mine and trade/script for specific mining*

-Population is a resource which increases automatically in the presence of suitable foodstuffs on Colony ship. Population is spent every time new factory built and also on some ships.*Um couldn’t this function just like an additional factory construction i.e. 1 water+1 ration=1 human?*
-Unlike current game destroying factories has a major effect on the economy of whoever owns them and they will not be pleased.
*Elements of RRF?*

-Possibility to perform automated missions for delivery of resources or killing of one races enemies. Increased diplomatic standing which allows for trading at their stations as vanilla.



Fight
-Colony ship is heavily armed and shielded but these systems are damaged needing repairs costing resource and resources.

-Takes a lot longer for fighters to become obsolete as will be a lot longer until capitals exist.

-Due to the undesirables who followed you through and the initial lack of jumpdrives harvesters will require decent escorts. Getting attacked however offers the perks of enemy pilots bailing out of ships or the debris of ships offering further resources.

-Mobile mining bases can mine, produce energy cells and drones and offer both space and protection to harvesters. They are essential as they offer a way to exploit a sector’s resources without committing a fixed station allowing for retreat if things get too heated.
*Crystal free PP, Drone management(cycrow?) with Peladors drones.*

-Goal is to conquer the galaxy and diplomacy will only get you so far. AI races have similar goal but achieve it by attacking their enemies first and also to focus on unopposed expansion.
*?*

-Possibility to capture enemy stations but much more difficult and costly than destroying them and even that will be tough for some time.
*Scripts for station capture/would modify boarding pod script*

-Marines/Mercs cost pop/weapons/resources



Build
-PC Colony ship has integrated features which must be restored due to damage with resources(aka credits). Initially can only generate energy cells, later can be upgraded with drone/ship/factory production but limited by number of features it can have active at once thus need to build factories.
*No idea how to do the repair or upgrade part/some scripts available to build ships on carriers might allow factories also*

-‘Resources’ replace credits purely for aesthetics.

-Sectors given functionality. This is carried out by removing the associated factory, introducing new elements to be found in space for example crystal asteroids which pp are built on or a suitable object placed in gas clouds for other factories and then using a new model for it.

-Possibility to downscale some of Realspaces planetary bodies and make them interactive through associated element most likely a moon (remodelled asteroid). The planetary body decides what can be built on the moon. Planetary body itself is essentially eye candy, will be in a sector with at most two gates and positioned as far out of the way as possible. Associated element i.e. where ships will actually dock will be on the near side so there should be little to no interaction with planetary body.

-Thus objects can cost resources as well as require you to X amount of products in your freight.



Think
-Each race starts totally separated with a single sector on a much smaller more central galaxy map.

-Each race starts with minuscule fleet and their colony ship.

-AI races set to expand to claim limited resources, where conflict of interest checks vs diplomacy status and resolve with diplomacy loss or combat.
*Uses modified sector claim scripts requiring no enemy entities present but not dependent on presence of friendly stations.*

-Essential to plan out your expansion. Also the more you explore the more likely it is you may find something that doesn't like you.

-Player chosen tech tree based on factories player builds. Of course a complete tree would be provided as a schematic so they can plan out progression. Certain technologies ‘bought’ before can be produced such as ship and factory types. In time a player could of course build everything once they have the resources.
*This is probably the most complicated to introduce, particularly for the AI.*

-Due to tech tree configuration galaxy will consist of very different ships, some races having highly advanced aggressive technology, some being much wealthier due to more advanced haulers and some with more interesting variants such as early game jumpdrives. Also the technology the player invests in will reflect their play style from honest merchant to pirate.

-Don't know what people think but what about race specific tech. It would suck if you needed something but are enemy with the only race with that tech. Possibility to slowly reverse engineer enemy tech from ships.



So although this is a mod request of sorts its more about the possibility and difficulty there would be associated with doing this. There are a number of scripts that allow for certain aspects mentioned and producing the new galaxy could be done by utilizing at least some parts of the current one. The major elements to overcome are probably combining several scripts to get the colony ship to function, the tech idea as a whole and getting the AI to use the new system although there was a mod at some stage that focussing on AI expansion(too many crashes irc). So how many people would be interested in such a galaxy. *Edit* Wow no matter how it's formatted this is a wall of text. :(

Troubleshooter11
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Post by Troubleshooter11 » Wed, 13. Jan 10, 01:16

I would love a conversion to a RTS style gameplay.

Another idea would be to start out with the PHQ, a small fighter and no resources. Through scripts the player could acquire blueprints for stations and ships and the resources required to build them.

Add in a little "AI Wars / Sector Takeover" script like Improved Races and bang, you got yourself "Settlers in Space" :lol:

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Post by djrygar » Wed, 13. Jan 10, 13:56

this might be possible after SerialKicked will finish his Factions:AI script (scheduled after Yaki Armada). Currently AI logic will not allow such thing

combined with some mission dorector code it will rock ;>

of course races cannot have unlimited resources, and spawn ships all aroud, they shoul be produced like in player HQ, but thats possible to do I guess

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Post by Killjaeden » Wed, 13. Jan 10, 15:39

Problem with mobile mining: it is very slow.
And if you have 20 miners in a debris-cloud and you go IS they won't collect anything because they will constantly avoid each other.

If killing enemy stations should have an impact you need a real economy. (ships need ressources to be spawned). And we all know that X3 economy sucks without player intervention. Stations without ressources for days.

So if you want to make a mod+script for this it will get painful.
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Serial Kicked
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Post by Serial Kicked » Wed, 13. Jan 10, 17:05

djrygar wrote:this might be possible after SerialKicked will finish his Factions:AI script (scheduled after Yaki Armada). Currently AI logic will not allow such thing
Good memory :)


Yes what the OP is currently describing is somewhat similar to what Factions:AI will hopefully look like. More or less all the behaviors of modern RTS can be simulated through the script engine, including the AI.

Resources acquired through mining ships and spawning of mineral, food and energy factories. Resources converted to money to build new trade/fight ships at shipyards. Expansion based on sector resources + gate connectivity + misc features. The system basically works. We add some decorative factories. And military outposts in the bigger sectors. Some trade ships, scouts, etc... and here we go.

Of course the "strategic"(big word here) AI layer by itself will be somewhat predictable but enough can be done to maintain the illusion of "smart thinking". It will be mainly used to decide what to invade, what to explore, and what ships to add to the offensive/defensive fleets.

The sector AI will do most of the construction: replenish factories with trade ships, decide what station to build here ...

Thanks to the reputation system we even can add diplomacy and some behaviors between "Friend" and "Open War".

The hardest part (for the coder) is probably to handle the offensive and defensive fleets, and to write a valid battle / takeover mechanism that won't break with several factions working at the same time.

When a takeover happens in another faction's sector, station ownership of defeated stations will be converted to the winner. Remaining enemy fleet will flee and if any military outpost is still here it will be destroyed.

Invasion of unknown/free sectors will be done by bringing a TL there, it will spawn a military outpost or a trading station.

Of course all actions will cost resources / money.

There's still a few limitations, resource factory handling has to be basic (anyway factory planting will be still handled by GOD and the map file). And i don't think i can allow the player to fully control a faction. However allowing a player to give general orders (attack here, change relation to..) is probably easy enough.
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poiuytrewq
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Post by poiuytrewq » Wed, 13. Jan 10, 22:35

Troubleshooter11 using the PHQ would probably make more sense as there already a bunch of scripts for them and you're far less likely to lose your precious ships when they try land at a stationary object. Ideally I'd like a Majesty in Space but Settlers would be close enough. :P

Djrygar about the AI spawned ships all round, is this true for the corps as well?

Its true about how slow mining is. Was sitting in an Apricot Gunbus 'collecting rocks' which involved smashing into everything in the sector which is a very quick way of harvesting. :P Anywho can mining speed not be improved through scripting or increasing the range of mining lasers? That or mining ships with a bunch of forward facing mining lasers(so they don't mooch around as much) that cant be unequipped which are much faster at mining at the cost of being stuck as miners forever.

Factions: AI sounds awesome Serial Kicked! Just wondering about a few things.
-Will the AI be able to figure out which factories it needs, for example if its missing a resource for long enough will it build a factory to provide it or wait around like it seems to do at the moment for the player to do so.

-If the AI can figure out to build an ore mine at the moment I assume it can do the same if other stations all of a sudden needed to be placed on sector entity e.g. the crystal asteroid?

-I suppose if theres an issue with trying to affect the god engine it might just be easier to use a tier system. This could take the races HQ and impose a bunch of different levels of resources and products required therein. Once this is reached the race advances a Tier. Tier 1 allows the a race x amount of defense/offence/trade ships and set respawn time with access to only certain factories, tier 2 improves upon Tier 2 stats and so on. Each tier offers different races different stats e.g. Borons get more defensive ships, Split more offensive etc. So although it'll still use current game mechanics for magic spawning ships etc there is a clear requirement for the race to collect materials and advance. The other benefit to this is it gives the AI a resource sink. Player race could still use the tech system from first post.

-Thats a good point about the multiple factions involved at once that I hadn't considered, last man standing including facilities with offensive capabilities so?Maybe require the presence of a military ship of M3 or above present to prevent accidental take overs by pirates or a random well armed transport etc flying into a sector when there is just one damaged ship left of the actual invading fleets.

-Not a coder and not sure how obvious this would be but what about timed fleets. If we are stuck using the god engine then why not tie it to the tier system. So the tier decides several factors: Every race gets a fleet:
*More frequently the higher their tier
*Better ships depending on tier
*Race specific in terms of how often, its composition and how utilized
*A race will invade the closest sector of the race with which they have the lowest diplomacy rating.
*Some races get defensive fleet count 1, offensive count 2 and repeat. Others simply get offensive over and over.
*Initially fleets take hours to spawn.
*Player gets informed so can take part, either for rep, salvage or to try take sector themselves; the enemy of my enemy and all that.

-Just as a matter of interest are you considering how using any of the Realspace sized sectors might affect Factions:AI? Not necessary saying it'd be great if you could do that too :P but would just to know if they were going to be supported.

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Post by Lancefighter » Thu, 14. Jan 10, 00:28

as per resource generation, I say it is done based on territory controlled.
A trading station in each system you own will be created/used, and from there it will spawn a ts of some sort to transfer the materials to your HQ/whatever..
I think that this will be a /much/ better and fairer way of doing resources than actually mining them. fake the mining behind the scenes, and everyone is happy in the end.
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Post by Troubleshooter11 » Thu, 14. Jan 10, 01:56

I actually once modified my game so i started with a PHQ, a TL and a M5 class fighter.

The PHQ was able to fabricate all stations and ships. I started doing missions, raid transports, gathering resources, building stations and ships at my PHQ and i was planning to invade and claim other sectors.

Sadly, real life and WoW pulled me away from X3TC before i could get to my 'endgame'

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Post by Chris0132 » Thu, 14. Jan 10, 03:47

Lancefighter wrote:as per resource generation, I say it is done based on territory controlled.
A trading station in each system you own will be created/used, and from there it will spawn a ts of some sort to transfer the materials to your HQ/whatever..
I think that this will be a /much/ better and fairer way of doing resources than actually mining them. fake the mining behind the scenes, and everyone is happy in the end.
I'd suggest a hybrid, you can get some resources from just owning a sector but you get more if you build a mining base in the sector, and the mining base automatically generates mining ships to go mine asteroids in the sector, the total yield of minerals in the sector affects the output.

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Post by Catra » Thu, 14. Jan 10, 05:15

I'd suggest a hybrid, you can get some resources from just owning a sector but you get more if you build a mining base in the sector, and the mining base automatically generates mining ships to go mine asteroids in the sector, the total yield of minerals in the sector affects the output

maybe just cheese it by having the base spawn a TS(1 per asteroid?) with forward mounted lasers that does nothing, and just have ore / silicon / nivvy / what have you appear in their cargo hold.

that way you got a strategic harassing element :D

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Post by Lord Dakier » Thu, 14. Jan 10, 05:38

Script > Sandbox (destroys all)
Spawn > all Races
Races begin with > X amount of funds
Race owns > Level one hierarchy
Race Structures > Trade and makes pofit
Account balance for race > Buys new station to increase trade
Trade exceeds 5 million p/h > Race constructs lower tier cap ships
Race military exeeds Certain level > Race continues trade as priority
Trade exceeds 20 million p/h > Race constructs higher tier cap ships
Race military exeeds Certain level > Race continues trade as priority
Trade exceeds 50 million p/h > Race constructs fleets for full out attacks

Ahhh it sounds so easy. However, I think this would be a good example of how it could work. With a bit more creativity and flexibility it has the potential to shine.
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Post by djrygar » Thu, 14. Jan 10, 06:20

Serial Kicked wrote:
djrygar wrote:this might be possible after SerialKicked will finish his Factions:AI script (
Good memory :)
how could I forget. This is BIG ;>

and I'd really would like you to consider idea of races using shipyards like PHQ - ie they will produce ships instead of spawning (like normal factory). So it means ship may be not available to buy at all times (for player and race as well).

To prevent situation that race has no resources to build anything, like it was said above, some fake (but limited) mining may take place - we have planets with populations, and they are sending some resources to orbit (atmospheric lifters like in terran space). Crystal free SPP will help also with preventing choking (normal SPP should exist and perform much better than crystal free ones)

Personally I think tech tree idea will be impossible to balance - this would be work for a team of developers/testers. Going this way means dead project I guess.

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Post by Troubleshooter11 » Thu, 14. Jan 10, 18:41

I think starting simple is the key here. Extra features can always be tagged on afterwards i suppose.

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Post by poiuytrewq » Thu, 14. Jan 10, 18:44

Well looks like the mod is suitably planned out to have beta available over the weekend! :wink:

Combining whats already been said...sort of. :P What if each sector has scripted resource points and reward for occupying them already plotted out and each race has a corresponding script. Each sector could have a different script. So one sector has 1 eq spot, 4 harvest platforms and 4 TS spots. AI knows this so its script automated to fill those requirements in order when possible. If something is destroyed e.g. 3/4 platforms AI would reconstruct it. Allows for the ole harassment while not requiring each entity to be individually scrutinized.

As the two script types correspond it makes determining resources easier i.e. Argon has 1eq=xX resource,3 platforms=x3Y, 3 resource gatherers= 3xZ, resource pings to eq. If this is too complicated then ensure that each sector has only 1 type of material to be harvested, in this case the Argon gets 7/9 of the reward for that sector pinged to the eq every X mins. Once eq reaches a set limit spawns a transport which flies to hq, drops off resources and despawns. This would be even more complicated when it came to the presence of additional stations in the sector that utilized the resources being harvested.

Script > Sandbox (destroys all)
Spawn > all Races
Races begin with > X amount of funds
Race owns > Level one hierarchy
Race Structures > Trade and makes pofit
Account balance for race > Buys new station to increase trade
Trade exceeds 5 million p/h > Race constructs lower tier cap ships
Race military exeeds Certain level > Race continues trade as priority
Trade exceeds 20 million p/h > Race constructs higher tier cap ships
Race military exeeds Certain level > Race continues trade as priority
Trade exceeds 50 million p/h > Race constructs fleets for full out attacks
This seems pretty much perfect. :) It does seem deceptively simple...

Its probably true that the tech tree would be impossible to balance but that would just make the galaxy a whole lot more interesting. I still think introducing it would be the hardest part of such a mod though. And I agree that I'd love to see a functioning AI economy being used to produce ships and factories. As far as my limited knowledge is concerned though the hard coded god engine isn't such a fan of that.

Troublshooter11 I did something similar although with a rather sizeable fleet but there didn't seem much point as it was a pretty much a vanilla game and the AI didn't seem to mind me taking over their sectors until I was appearing in each subsequent one,RRF would probably have made all the difference. Still probably my favorite partial play through of the game though. I think it was Serial Kicked pirate mod I played a bit of that allowed something similar from the point of view of a pirate. :)

Edit-I agree with the start simple approach too, tech tree for one can be left out.

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Post by Serial Kicked » Fri, 15. Jan 10, 00:36

poiuytrewq wrote:-Will the AI be able to figure out which factories it needs, for example if its missing a resource for long enough will it build a factory to provide it or wait around like it seems to do at the moment for the player to do so.
Well it will handle resources as this "Energy Cells", "Food" and "Mineral". In systems with multiple suns it will build more SPP, in sector with roids it will mostly build mines, more planets more food. Factories will sell products to Trade Stations and use trade ships to buy resources. The money made will be used to build more factories / ships.
Energy cells will also be used to supply ships with jumpdrive energy.
the AI can figure out to build an ore mine at the moment I assume it can do the same if other stations all of a sudden needed to be placed on sector entity e.g. the crystal asteroid?
For a sector with roids, it will take the roid list with their value and start planting crystal / ore / nvidium mines more or less accordingly. With probably a limit to the max number of mine per sector.
-I suppose if theres an issue with trying to affect the god engine it might just be easier to use a tier system. [...]
What your are asking is basically a Tech Tree. This is doable, but it's not something that will be included in F:AI (that won't come out anywhere soon, i remind you). Btw, first F:AI release will work on a different race slot with a "demo" faction. i don't know yet if it can run over an existing faction. Factions spawn / jobfiles probably have to be wiped out first so it will then need to be released as a mod instead of a script/plugin .
-Thats a good point about the multiple factions involved at once that I hadn't considered, last man standing including facilities with offensive capabilities so?Maybe require the presence of a military ship of M3 or above present to prevent accidental take overs by pirates or a random well armed transport etc flying into a sector when there is just one damaged ship left of the actual invading fleets.
That will be the purpose of military outposts and (if not present) trading stations. They will run the station variant of my ADS script/library to defend the sector and protect from such takeover (takeover will happen only if station is down).
-Not a coder and not sure how obvious this would be but what about timed fleets. If we are stuck using the god engine then why not tie it to the tier system. So the tier decides several factors: Every race gets a fleet:
GOD is just a layer that spawn and kill stations randomly in the universe, it doesn't affect stations built through script, so i've no quarrel with GOD :p
Fleet handling is a pain btw. Currently it will first get a free M2 (i'm generous) that will order the other ships around, those ships are build so producing M1 takes longer than M6. It of course cost money. No distinctions between fighter classes and they are only used to fill carriers/tm. All the fleet runs ADS. When not on duty it will patrol the race sectors. Jump to protect sector when attacked by another race (which is somewhat similar to my defense grid in pirate guild and to rrf)
-Just as a matter of interest are you considering how using any of the Realspace sized sectors might affect Factions:AI? Not necessary saying it'd be great if you could do that too :P but would just to know if they were going to be supported.
It will probably slow it down a bit, but as it will use the jumpdrive a lot, it will be much less slowed down than the 'normal' trading.
djrygar wrote:To prevent situation that race has no resources to build anything, like it was said above, some fake (but limited) mining may take place
Yes, such mechanism is a also used by PG on outposts when poor.
and I'd really would like you to consider idea of races using shipyards like PHQ - ie they will produce ships instead of spawning (like normal factory). So it means ship may be not available to buy at all times (for player and race as well).
The issue with PHQ method is that ships needs bunch of resources and take ages to be produced. Converting resources to money cut the need to deal with those resources (which is easier/faster for a similar result) and build time can be simulated, but imho TS/fighters being cannon fodder their build times have to be very short.
Personally I think tech tree idea will be impossible to balance - this would be work for a team of developers/testers. Going this way means dead project I guess.
I agree. In programming, and especially with scripts, there's a motto: Keep It Simple and Stupid :)
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