Drone Carrier Software 2 (DCS2) v2.07a

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Drone Carrier Software 2 (DCS2) v2.07a

Post by DrBullwinkle » Fri, 7. Jun 13, 10:31


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".
I play a challenging, combat-oriented, heavily-modified game, which spawns huge enemy fleets too often for me to kill all of them myself. So I needed some help. I needed a fully-automated OOS patrol craft that was capable of destroying an entire fleet of Xenon invaders (including multiple J's and K's). In a vanilla game, destroyers and carriers make good OOS patrol craft. But my needs were more... um... "extreme". Hence my interest in perfecting automated carrier software that really delivers on the "automated" part. The Drone Carrier is ideally suited to the job.

  • 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). 2) On a carrier-class ship with Carrier Command Software, select "Drone Carrier Software 2 Menu" on the Combat tab.
    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.

Configuring DCS2
  • 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).

    Tom5Cat wrote:- Does DCS2 force you to use M4's as fighters (intercepters)?
    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.

    - Does DCS2 force you to either build nothing, or include building bombers?
    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.)

    - 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?
    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.


"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)

    v2.06 (2013-12-14)
    - Fixed language files. (Thanks, Tiek!)
    - Changed pilot name (Tiek)

    v2.05 (2013-12-13)
    - 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:
    Carrier Defaults
    Homebase (yes, no, auto).
    Add drones to wings (yes, no).
    In-Sector Manufacturing Time (seconds).

    Drone Info.
    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)

    v2.03 (2013-06-23)
    - 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).

    v2.02 (2013-06-22)
    - 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

Last edited by DrBullwinkle on Thu, 6. Oct 16, 21:53, edited 41 times in total.

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Post by DrBullwinkle » Fri, 7. Jun 13, 10:31

Background Information

Advanced Manufacturing Droids
(or "How do DCS2 bombers launch Firestorm Torpedoes?!")

Drone Carrier Software 2's advanced robotics technology allows some tricks that are beyond the capability of most shipyards.

For example, if you stock the Weapons Depot with Firestorm Torpedoes, then the DCS2 bombers will use them (even though normal M3's cannot mount Firestorms).

(Technical Note: The actual difference between a Firestorm and a Hammerhead is a small change in the firmware combined with a difference in the "caliber" of the torpedoes. A Firestorm has a factory-added "shell" that makes the torpedo physically larger than a Hammerhead, so that a Firestorm will not fit into a Hammerhead launcher. In fact, a Firestorm launcher is so large that it will not fit into most fighters.

By hacking the firmware and removing the shell, DCS2 manufacturing droids can easily convert Firestorms into Hammerheads (which can be mounted by drone bombers).

Why are Firestorms and Hammerheads like that? It is a marketing gimmick so that the manufacturer can charge the Terrans more credits for Hammerheads than they charge the Commonwealth for Firestorms. The Terrans think they have something "unique" so, in typical Terran fashion, they do not sell it to others.)

Special Operations Bomber (SpecOps Bomber)
I see something called "Drone Bomber" ... seems ... non publik
Right you are! You have spotted a prototype special operations (SpecOps) bomber, which is highly classified. I found the plans for it on a derelict wreck that I scanned while on a reconnaissance mission in Undefined Space. I immediately coded the specifications into DCS2's manufacturing droid AI. The SpecOps Bomber has impressive capabilities for a ship that can dock on a carrier, and DCS2 further enhances the base design of the ship by combining rare tech harvested from Paranid, Split, and Terran derelicts.

Production of SpecOps Bombers is limited due to the extreme technology and resources required to build these impressive drones. However, they are DCS2's "secret weapon" against enemy M2's. When DCS2 finds an enemy M2 on scanners, it will produce more of the SpecOps Bombers.

Here is a rare image of one, caught by a deep-space reconnaissance drone:


But a still image does not tell the whole story. Wait until you see one of these beauties in action; fighting against so-called "superior" enemy behemoths. :pirat:

Last edited by DrBullwinkle on Tue, 11. Jun 13, 16:58, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by DrBullwinkle » Fri, 7. Jun 13, 10:31

Reserved 2

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Post by Marvin Martian » Fri, 7. Jun 13, 11:29

will this version work together with the drone-spamming V1 ? (same game, diffrent ships)

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Post by DrBullwinkle » Fri, 7. Jun 13, 11:33


You can use both DCS1 and DCS2 in your game.
Last edited by DrBullwinkle on Fri, 7. Jun 13, 12:08, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Marvin Martian » Fri, 7. Jun 13, 11:42

yes, V2 sounds very good and i like to use it in normal way
but for some Jobs the AI cheat there ships agains me and everyone else in a bothersome way, i prefer to cheat back :twisted:
so the possibility to use both would be nice

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Post by DrBullwinkle » Fri, 7. Jun 13, 12:10

Marvin Martian wrote:for some Jobs the AI cheat there ships against me and everyone else in a bothersome way, i prefer to cheat back
Yes, that is very true. :)

You *can* use DCS1 and DCS2 in the same game. So give it a try and let me know how it works for you.
Last edited by DrBullwinkle on Fri, 7. Jun 13, 13:52, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by The Cuban Nightmare » Fri, 7. Jun 13, 12:17

All I can say is: Yes! Yes! Yes!

This seems to be the script I have been waiting for and what I wanted to see from X:R. Build drones, equip them, lose them and no problem replacing them, but at the same time they need to be something that can't just be one shotted. Thanks a ton.
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Post by Marvin Martian » Fri, 7. Jun 13, 19:14

ok i try it a bit, DCS1 works already

but DCS2,
first i used a M2 with Hangar, here drons don't returns and don't work with direct command

so i restart the save and use a Maccana, here it works well, but only 9 instead of 10 Drones get created

after that i want try again an M1, so i get the Idea to create a OWP, but that can only have 3 Fighter, so i destroy it - afterwards the Maccana don't send fighters against enemys
so i destroy the maccana and create a Paranid M7 DC, but here only 13 instead of 24 Drones get build and they also don't attack enemys
so i disabled the DCS2 on that ship (so drones get destroyed) and start it again - then 21(of24) get build, but they also don't get startet

About the amount of drones it looks a bit like the script count all drones on every ship together

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Post by DrBullwinkle » Sat, 8. Jun 13, 03:26

Thank you for the report, Marvin. I did find a minor bug relating to multiple carriers running DCS2. It will be fixed in the next update.
  • (A workaround is to reset the individual settings on the DCS2 menu for each carrier.)

Marvin Martian wrote:i used a M2 with Hangar, here drons don't returns and don't work with direct command

Under what conditions do the drones not return or cannot be commanded? Did you have "Engage Enemies" turned On or Off? What command did you give? Which ship(s) did you give the command to? Were there enemies nearby? Were the drones engaged in combat?

Vanilla scripts tend to keep ships engaged in combat even after they are ordered to RTB (Return To Base). DCS2 does nothing to change that.

The maximum number of drones is calculated for each carrier, and is the smaller of either your setting on the menu or the number of docking bays available on your carrier (that are not occupied by drones).

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Post by Marvin Martian » Sat, 8. Jun 13, 09:38

about M2
it seems the ship can't dock the drones, if i try "dock to" instead of "return to homebase" the ships is not avalible on the sector list, so thats my fault

i think i only try to dock the ships

the number of drones
in the menue default is always the max amount by the actual carrier listed
but finaly it will build (on a new start of the script) always one less then "requested" and possible for the ship
after some drones get destroyd i can't see any logical thing anymore, mostly i end the try after some ingame hours and go back to the befor DCS2 Save because
- the drones no longer will be produced end it ends
- or i can get the ship back on to produce some drone (less then requested) but they never start automaticly (Engage Enemies on/off - carrier on/off i try some combinations), but Command Start Fighters works
on the first try i change something in the options, but later i always only use the vanilla setting of the skript - does nothing change

sometimes it looks like the production ends if they produce under attack
if i start the script in a friedly sector the drones get produced (up to the one less then config) and set the carrier then to the target-sector it works better, then i start it in the target sector - here the production hang after some ships - sometimes

scripts i use on AP 3.0
Detector Full
Drone Carrier
OK Traders
Mars Firecontrol
Mobile Mining MK2
Marine Repair
Free Jump for AIs
Shield Hacker
Asteroid Fusion
GAZZ Super traktor

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Post by vukica » Sat, 8. Jun 13, 10:06

this isn't gonna work with XRM is it? not without modifying it

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Post by DrBullwinkle » Sat, 8. Jun 13, 10:12

@Marvin Martian: Which M2 is that? It should not build drones unless it has docking bays.

I will look for possible causes of your production stalling.

I use most of those same scripts, except for Asteroid Fusion and Objectmove. (Why use Objectmove if you have Super Tractor?)

vukica wrote:this isn't gonna work with XRM is it?

I would expect it to work just fine in XRM. Please let me know if it does not.
Last edited by DrBullwinkle on Sat, 8. Jun 13, 11:36, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by vukica » Sat, 8. Jun 13, 11:14

DrBullwinkle wrote:
vukica wrote:this isn't gonna work with XRM is it?

I would expect it to work just fine in XRM. Please let me know if it does not.
is this normal?

http://www.deviantpics.com/images/2013/ ... n00006.jpg

when i activate dcs the ships command is Turret: Protect Ship.

drones seem to be created.

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Post by DrBullwinkle » Sat, 8. Jun 13, 11:47

vukica wrote:is this normal?

It is normal to see Drone Interceptors and Drone Bombers in the Encyclopedia, although not as a heading.

Try commenting out my page 17 in the language file (8562-L0xx.xml). It is possible that XRM changes vanilla ids that it should not.

when i activate dcs the ships command is Turret: Protect Ship.

Which ship? Carrier or drone? The carrier should only get a command when DCS2 is first made Active, and then only if it does not already have a command (and if the player is not personally piloting the ship). In that case, the carrier gets the command "Defend Sector".

Drones should get the Missile Defense turret command if they have turrets. That should apply only to bombers, unless XRM has turrets on drone haulers.

Do Fight Command Software 1&2 fit on all fighters?

Which base game are you playing? TC or AP?

drones seem to be created.
OK, good! As long as no "Mammoth Drones" are created, then the script should be mostly working. :)

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