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Cruis.In -> Modders (12/5/2012 7:32:15 PM)

relative to the issues raised here in my AI thread

http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3226456

can any modders say what can be done to adjust this? Is it possible to make hab/life support modules take more size? THe only downside I see to this is that it'll gimp smaller ships, since they start with small size.

I think the whole size thing in DW is a flaw in the ship design no one has noticed. It is either a flaw or the AI isn't competent enough to use it to the fullest.

For example, they should not stop putting on weapons/shields/speed when they reach the first hab/life support warning. THey should add more hab/life support and keep going.

For the ship design not to be totally advantageous to the player, the AI needs to do the same as the player.

I do not know if I am some sort of genious but after only 2 weeks of playing (granted ive played/read alot) the AI cannot challenge me any longer. My ships are just too powerful compared to his and he can't win any battles. Fifty ships of mine basically wipes them out. Over a period of time.

i know if our ships were on even keel It'd not be so easy. How can I modify their logic to build more expensive, frigates destroyers etc that have 2500/3000 shields and 500 firepower like mine :)




Bingeling -> RE: Modders (12/5/2012 7:48:12 PM)

I have never paid too much attention to how to AI designs, but I think the simple rule is for instance.

All the gizmos, hyperdrive.
3 engines
3 thrusters
4 primary weapons
2 secondary weapons
4 habitation
4 life support

So the pattern is fixed, and only the equipped items are updated/changed. There is no "habitation" logic or limits in place.




Cruis.In -> RE: Modders (12/5/2012 9:00:15 PM)

which is why the AI is weak. Like I keep saying their strategies are sound, they keep you on your toes. But you beat them back easily and for good. Your ships just way out match theirs.

The logic behind their building needs to be fixed.




Bingeling -> RE: Modders (12/5/2012 9:32:16 PM)

Making ships that outclass the AI is a voluntary action.

You can stick to the patterns, or let the AI run the show too.

Sadly there is a lot of things one has to (not) do to keep the AI competitive.




Darkspire -> RE: Modders (12/5/2012 10:41:14 PM)

If it wasnt for the problems I have been having with the ship design (not sure whats going on and no real feedback from others, so dont know if its me or what) I was hoping to see what giving other races designs to work from would have done as per the new function with designs

quote:


Optimized designs also guide AI research decisions: preference
will be given to research projects with components required by the
optimized designs


Hoping that is what it means, just cant test it as im not screwing up another mod trying to get saved designs to work.

Darkspire




Cruis.In -> RE: Modders (12/6/2012 1:07:49 AM)

hopefully um codeforce can at least fix this by shadows?




Darkspire -> RE: Modders (12/6/2012 4:12:21 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Cruis.In

hopefully um codeforce can at least fix this by shadows?


As I said, I have not a clue if its me, no one will comment. Ive had a few problems with DW over the years ive been playing it, just nothing like the problems ive had with the fleet design file saves. Erik gave my post a look over and didnt comment so im really in the dark as to whats wrong, ive been modding on a serious basis since Morrowind so Im not totally inept, just blonde and large [:D]

A really good idea, as this post is marked 'Modders', would be to have a standalone program for ship design that worked seperate to the game as well as the one within the game and change the format on the file so its like the others (race, policy etc) and read from a text file. That way you could make all the designs you want for the races in your mod without having to do it all in game, if the text in the update is what I hope it is then you could end up with some really powerful designs being given to the AI that it would be able to follow both on build and research, might help with some of its short comings.

Darkspire




Bingeling -> RE: Modders (12/6/2012 8:52:40 AM)

I would look at existing mods, and copy their ship design file. If none have one, you are not the only one to have issues.

Editing a file should be easier than creating one from scratch, as the format is set.

For editing, make sure you use a text editor and not some word processor.




MartialDoctor -> RE: Modders (12/8/2012 4:41:11 AM)

From my understanding, if you design, and save, your own ship designs, the AI will use these. I have not experimented with this, though.

Can anyone verify that this is correct?




Bingeling -> RE: Modders (12/8/2012 8:44:18 AM)

It would surprise me quite a bit if there is not more to it than that :)

From the patch post (sticky)

quote:


Added new feature that allows usage of pre-made custom ship and base
designs loaded per race from folders at game startup:

New designs subfolder under main game folder can contain
subfolders for each race containing saved design files, e.g.
"C:\Matrix Games\Distant Worlds\designs\human\"

These design folders are also used by any themes/mods (i.e. you
can create a designs subfolder cointaining race subfolders in a
theme)

These designs are loaded for each race at game startup and are
used as optimized designs for each empire

These optimized designs are used whenever an empire has all the
required tech and is within current construction size limits. These
optimized designs are always preferred over all other designs,
unless made obsolete

If multiple optimized designs for a single subrole can be built (e.g.
multiple optimized destroyer designs), then the most advanced
design will be preferred

Optimized designs also guide AI research decisions: preference
will be given to research projects with components required by the
optimized designs

So, create the folders mentioned, and save the design files there? To make things "perfect" it looks quite annoying, though, since you basically need designs for every combination of researched gizmos if you always want the AI to use your designs.

And I have not tested this at all, so I could be way off. But since the example is for humans, why not play the humans with no opponents, blistering fast research, and see if the AI uses designs saved in that folder? And if it is true that it gives priority to tech needed (choice of weapons, reactor, hyperdrive...).




Darkspire -> RE: Modders (12/8/2012 10:03:51 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Bingeling

So, create the folders mentioned, and save the design files there? To make things "perfect" it looks quite annoying, though, since you basically need designs for every combination of researched gizmos if you always want the AI to use your designs.


You have to save the designs into the design/race folder or they wont load. If you save them somewhere else you cant copy them to the design/race folder, they wont work, you have to load them in game and then save them to the design folder. Problem I had was more or less what you pointed out, I saved the first level of designs and that worked fine, as I progressed through the game and the designs mounted up I saved them to the design file as I went, thats when things went wrong. Could not start a new game, it would start and then come up with 'Could Not Start This Game' no matter what I did I could not get it to work, deleted the design/race folders and design file, still wouldnt work so had to copy the design folder back into the mod with the designs in and it worked again, so was left with no option but scrap my mod and start all over again. Ive now got it saved just with the first level designs in the new mod and im not going any further, just cant understand why ive had no feedback from devs over this, seems pretty serious, its a real game breaker.

Darkspire




Bingeling -> RE: Modders (12/8/2012 10:23:32 AM)

Maybe you need designs for all races or none? Maybe also some utter stupidity related to the decimal separator problem?

Dev feedback here seems to reveal around periods before and after major patches. I guess Elliot is quite busy shadowing, and never pays too much attention to the forum, and Erik is sporadic as well.




Darkspire -> RE: Modders (12/8/2012 11:21:49 AM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Bingeling

Maybe you need designs for all races or none? Maybe also some utter stupidity related to the decimal separator problem?

Dev feedback here seems to reveal around periods before and after major patches. I guess Elliot is quite busy shadowing, and never pays too much attention to the forum, and Erik is sporadic as well.


Igards mod has just the one design file in it, so cant say that you have to have all the races done and there is no mention of having to do that in the update.pdf. Creating the designs does take a bit of work, wanted to work through all the races in my mod to see if the AI would start building better ships, so I made a template (opens a .doc file on Mediafire, first page is blank, for an index), I might make a dummy mod so I can try again and try doing it with a tech level 7 start and not do them piece by piece in game. Erik must have been busy, his name appeared in the 'Users viewing this topic:' then moved back to the tech support, just would be good if I was told either im doing something wrong or that there might be a problem.

The other thing I noticed is that the construction ships dont build the latest design on mining, gas mining and research bases. I know you cant retrofit them when they are built so I thought by creating the design and updating it the constructors would build the latest design, cant seem to get that to work as ive had Mk4 designs ready to go and there still building the Mk1, even tried as a straight 'build a mining base here' command (not a queued one) and it still ignored the Mk4 and built the Mk1 even though the Mk4 was the only one available to build.

Darkspire




Bingeling -> RE: Modders (12/8/2012 11:52:25 AM)

As long as there is no racial tech, it should work to use the same designs for all. Maybe something has to change, like a race index. And I guess you can provide quite a low number of races in a mod? For testing?

Disclaimer, I have never even played a mod, nor do I save designs ;-)

As long as design names are stored, it should not be too hard to track their use.

That mining base issue seems very weird. Both mk1 and mk4 were non-obsolete, but it preferred the mk1 which was less advanced?





Darkspire -> RE: Modders (12/8/2012 12:48:12 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Bingeling

As long as there is no racial tech, it should work to use the same designs for all. Maybe something has to change, like a race index. And I guess you can provide quite a low number of races in a mod? For testing?

Disclaimer, I have never even played a mod, nor do I save designs ;-)

As long as design names are stored, it should not be too hard to track their use.

That mining base issue seems very weird. Both mk1 and mk4 were non-obsolete, but it preferred the mk1 which was less advanced?




It wont work to have a 'one design fits all'. From the update:

quote:


Because of the above, you should make custom designs that use the race-specific tech and tech focuses (from Empire Policy) for the race, otherwise there will be many required research paths, and research will be diluted, e.g. Boskara designs should utilize Shaktur Firestorm torpedoes (race-specific tech), and Phasers (Empire Policy tech focus)



And

quote:


Note that saved designs preserve the ship/base picture and any race-specific tech, so design files probably should not be shared between races - i.e. you should create different custom designs per race


As for the mining base, yes it built the old less advanced Mk1 over the latest build Mk4, the Mk1 was obviously marked with the red star, so it was obselete.

As I said, Ill try a 'dummy' mod, just one custom race and see if I can find out what is going on. The reason IMHO that this hasnt really been is noticed is that its a quite a bit of work to do a design set for each race, still, ill give it a go. Ill use the designs I put in the template file as a base and work from there.

Darkspire




Igard -> RE: Modders (12/8/2012 3:17:35 PM)

Unfortunately I've never managed to get the custom designs to work properly. I'm not finished playing around with them, but it seems like the AI will use them only for a short time, then decides to go back to it's own.

It's quite a alot of fiddly work, and when it yields unsatisfactory results, it's not something I'm particulary fond of trying again and again.

Would be really great if someone could test this out and document exactly what happens. Would be nice to get to the bottom of this.

I am of the opinion that custom designs aren't really the way forward either. I'd prefer to see the default desigs given a buff and use the custom designs for additional variety. Let the AI make more than 1 type of frigate for example.




Darkspire -> RE: Modders (12/8/2012 5:30:54 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: Igard

Unfortunately I've never managed to get the custom designs to work properly. I'm not finished playing around with them, but it seems like the AI will use them only for a short time, then decides to go back to it's own.

It's quite a alot of fiddly work, and when it yields unsatisfactory results, it's not something I'm particulary fond of trying again and again.

Would be really great if someone could test this out and document exactly what happens. Would be nice to get to the bottom of this.

I am of the opinion that custom designs aren't really the way forward either. I'd prefer to see the default desigs given a buff and use the custom designs for additional variety. Let the AI make more than 1 type of frigate for example.


Hi Igard. Was hoping you would reply to one of my requests for help on this subject (like 3 posts and the replies to this one [:D] )

Im in the mind that to get it to possibly work for the AI you would have to cover all the bases, by that I mean you might have to make a design for each possible combination of tech, like Fission Reactor and all the level one tech, Quantum Reacor and all the level one tech, once all the reactors are done with level one then do the same again with level two etc then do the same with the rest of the components. If that makes any sense [;)]

When you say the AI uses them do you mean for your own empire or the computers? For my own empire the designs work without a problem as long as i dont save over the old Mk1's with new designs. See the template for all my designs in my previous post, just substitute the Velocity Drive for a Gerax Hyperdrive and those designs are all level one, standard.

It takes about 10 mins to work through a complete design set by using my template (state ships / bases, private bases) and to be honest it is so much better having those designs as a Mk1 set, the ones that it churns out are not very good, my level one escorts can wipe out pirate frigates and even make pirate destroyers think twice [:D]

Darkspire




Igard -> RE: Modders (12/8/2012 7:34:50 PM)

I believe that which reactor (as well as other components) to use might be controlled by the races overall design focus. Balanced/Speed/Power/Efficiency. It's located in the races .txt file :- OverallShipDesignFocus ;0

So, if you start a new game with each level of tech and make a design based off of that, you should be able to do it without changing the reactor type/shield type etc.

It's been a while now since I played about with it. But I think it was just the AI designs that didn't work properly. It worked at first, then it started building it's own again. That's all I can remember before throwing in the towel on the matter.

I'll check out your template. I don't know when I'll get round to it, but I will have a look. It's something I'd like to see working. Once it's all up and running nice, we won't have to worry about it again, right? [:)]




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