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Research Unleashed (v 1.02)

 
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Research Unleashed (v 1.02) - 2/22/2015 4:36:55 PM   
Osito


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RESEARCH UNLEASHED

Currently at version 1.02 (Uploaded 26 February 2015)

Full changelog below

This mod incorporates a large part of Icemania’s AI Improvement mod. Not currently compatible with DWU: Extended mod, but I may make it compatible if there’s a demand for it, and subject to Haree78’s consent.

WHERE TO DOWNLOAD:

Download the mod from here:

http://www.mediafire.com/download/toco7h67gn8kp8h/Research_Unleashed_1.02.zip

Installation instructions are provided in the readme included with the download.

INTRODUCTION (TLDR: JUST IGNORE THIS SECTION)

Ever wonder what would happen if you fired of all those feckless scientists running your research stations and replaced them with some proper scientists, who drank Romulan ale? Ok, not a good example, as you would probably end up with ‘Star Trek The Picard Era mod for DW:Universe’, and you’d never need to play another mod ever again.

But what would you get if you replaced them with scientists who weren’t prepared to accept the boundaries of the unmodded game? Scientists who weren’t prepared to accept that the fastest hyperdrive is a paltry 36250; or that you can’t research a biological weapon capable of wiping out the entire galactic population; or that you can’t just blow up the entire galaxy?

What you would get are a bunch of mad scientists. And you would also get ‘Research Unleashed’.

The original point of this mod was to take the end-game and break it. Ultimately, I resiled from that goal, as the game really did break! But I decided to plod on and keep some grossly overpowered, absurdly unbalanced, end-game toys to give me something extra to do while mopping up those pesky aliens who seem to think that I’m no better than the Shakturi … (oh, and I never figured out how to really blow up the galaxy – but I would have if I could have: muhahahah!).

Along the way, I kept thinking ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if …?’ Wouldn’t it be nice if the scanning tree were a bit more fleshed out? Wouldn’t it be nice if I didn’t have to research wonders that have already been discovered? Wouldn’t it be nice if I couldn’t explore the whole galaxy as soon as I got the Gerax drive?

And so the original project became a little more involved and now I have an extra 100+ techs, an extra 20+ components, and a few extra facilities and resources. The aim wasn’t to create hundreds of extra techs; instead I simply wanted to flesh out some bits of the original tree, rearrange some parts of the tree, and add those all-important end game goodies.

WHAT IS RESEARCH UNLEASHED?

At version 1.0 it is:

- Nearly 180 new techs, including approximately 50 new end game techs, and another 100+ techs from level 0-7; it now takes much longer to complete the research tree at the normal research setting.
- 36 new components
- 3 new resources
- 7 new facilities (including 3 nicked from the ‘Ancient Galaxies’ mod)
- 1 new fighter (and a new hangar to put it in!)
- Many of the original research lines restructured

Broadly, the changes to each tree are as follows:

Weapons

End game weapons/armor of exquisite power, most of which the Shakturi will happily research before you can get them. (Ironically, the Ancient Guardians will research them first: so who is the real enemy? NB I have made some techs unavailable to Ancient Guardians to help prevent them rofl-stomping the Shakturi, but this may still need more work.)

All beam weapons are now very fast, because energy beams are very fast. The speed of light is really fast, and energy beam weapons go at the speed of light, so they go really fast. Well they do in my mod! Personally, I don’t think the original scientists had actually developed energy beam weapons at all.

All rail guns have much higher range because of Newton’s first law of motion. Obviously the original scientists had never heard of it, which probably explains a lot ;-) Rail guns also fire faster. And they hardly ever hit anything, so who cares?

All ‘superweapons’ from Ancient Galaxy researchable.

Ship to ship nuclear missiles … Tachyon Beams … Tachyon Torpedoes …

Where possible (i.e. subject to the changes mentioned above), the values for the weapons are taken from Icemania’s AI Improvement mod, as I didn’t think I could do a better job than he already did. Unfortunately I probably (definitely) screwed it up a bit by implementing the changes described above. All suggestions for rebalancing gratefully received …

Energy and Construction

Helium is an extra fuel for an end game reactor (and for Quameno’s Novacore reactor). (NB originally I tried using uranium as an early, non-gas giant, fuel, but it didn’t work well for a variety of reasons, so I discarded that feature.)

Late game shields somewhat more powerful.

Early hyperdrives are much slower and much lower range. This does hurt the AI, I’m afraid, because the player can design ships with higher range. I guess that’s why the original design goes straight to high speed/range hyperdrives. But I like the lower speed and range too much to discard this feature. Late game hyperdrives are really fast. And I mean really really fast! Also I increased the differences between some of the drives.

End game sub-warp engines pretty fast too, but obviously not as fast as hyperdrives (it’s quite funny if you do that, though).

‘Machine Intelligence’ Wonder (from ‘Ancient Galaxy’). Converts most of the pop of one of your planets to mechanoids.

High Tech and Industrial

Tracking, Countermeasures and Scanning trees redone. I wanted to turn fleet targeting into something you wouldn’t put on every ship, but I couldn’t see any way of doing it without handing a big advantage to the player, so I discarded that one.

Colonization based on Icemania’s AI improvement mod (which was based on Francoy’s original idea). Description of ‘advanced colonization’ amended to reflect what actually happens at the moment.

The Xaraktor virus is in! Use it. Abuse it. You might need it!

Icemania’s AI Improvement mod

As mentioned above, the mod incorporates Icemania’s mod. However, the AI does not play my mod as well as the vanilla AI mod, because I haven’t exactly designed it to be balanced. I will consider any suggestions for improving the AI in my mod (assuming I haven’t totally destroyed it already).

Also note that I haven’t yet included Icemania’s research project orders for each race. Icemania’s project orders wouldn’t apply to my mod, because the research changes are too extensive. However, I do intend to include research orders in a future version, especially if I get some decent feedback on the mod.

Miscellaneous matters, and the future

If anyone has any comments or suggestions for improvement, I’ll be happy to consider them. Subject to using Icemania’s project as my starting point, everything else was done by me, and I’m sure many things could be done better. I’m especially thinking about balance: I’m particularly happy to take advice directed to improving the balance. I’m not concerned about lack of balance between late game and earlier game techs, but balance between techs of the same level is important. I could have spent several more weeks trying to balance it, but then I may never have finished it or released it.

Feel free to use this mod elsewhere. No need to ask my permission, but it would be nice if you could credit me; not that I’m gonna sue you or anything if you don’t (although I used to be an IP lawyer, so don’t get too comfortable …)

If people like this mod and want it to be incorporated into other mods, I’m happy to help make that happen.

Final Points

1. I don’t think the game was really designed to do some of the things I have tried to do. As already mentioned, I had to scrap some ideas which were too much for the game. But I can’t guarantee that some of the new techs won’t cause unexpected glitches, slow downs and crashes. It has been running with reasonable stability for me, but I’m just one person.

2. I haven’t amended the help files to reflect the changes I’ve made. I may get around to that eventually, but it’s not a huge priority, as I think most stuff is self-explanatory.

3. I’m terrible on the graphics side, so most of my new pics are simply copies of other pics in DW. If anyone has better pics (or sounds or effects), I’d be happy to replace the ones in this mod.

4. If you like pirates, you’ll probably want to turn them up to max, as they get hurt by the lower hyperdrive speed and range. I don’t play pirates, so I don’t know what this mod is like from that point of view, but I suspect it’s … quite challenging.

5. If you try to mix this mod with other mods, it probably won’t work without substantial changes.

6. This mod is not compatible with my Milky Way galaxy map, because it adds new resources (it doesn’t help to check ‘regenerate resources’ when loading the map). I have a version of this mod which is compatible with my map, but you have to remove the extra resources. If people are interested in a compatible version, I can supply one. (Another example of the limitations on the map-building capabilities of the current version of the game.)

Thanks for reading,

Osito.

Changelog:

1.02 - Corrected errors in research cost for improved armored defense, advanced armored defense, improved infantry defense and advanced infantry defense. (Thanks to Solops)
1.01 Corrected an error in line 200 of 'research.txt'. Thanks to Ehsumrell1 for pointing this out.


< Message edited by Osito -- 2/26/2015 4:36:39 PM >
Post #: 1
RE: Research Unleashed - 2/22/2015 8:42:45 PM   
ehsumrell1


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From: The Briar Patch Nebula
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Wow...just perused and reviewed what you've done Osito...Fantastic!
(I've sent you a PM as well)

A 'Distant Worlds' facility! LOL...You remind me of Dr. Noonien Soong!






BTW, thanks for the comment about the Picard Era mod! We appreciate it!

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by ehsumrell1 -- 2/22/2015 9:44:41 PM >


_____________________________

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RE: Research Unleashed - 2/23/2015 3:05:44 AM   
Jammersam

 

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This is amazing... having clocked in about 200 hours in DW:U so far, I too have been frustrated by the apparent lack of physics (some beams going slower than others... or being slower than missiles... urgghh). I was about *this* close to trying to mod research.txt myself before I saw this today. Wow!

Played through for about 5 or 6 hours so far. Couple of thoughts:

1) Love the decreased speed for hyperdrive/increased for engines. One thing I noticed is the jump gates at the end of the tree. Is there any way to tie it to actual "gates", or will ships just be able to go where they want? In Hyperion, Simmons wrote about gates that needed to be constructed in advance to allow fleets to move instantaneously between systems - only if they were connected though. Not sure if DW gives any mechanic that could apply this concept.

2) Could the high damage/low fire speed nuclear missiles be available earlier, as a separate branch? Reasoning being... would a spacefaring civilization not have nukes for any reason? Maybe the smaller warheads could be thought of as tactical nukes, 10 kilotons or so. The branch for larger warheads would thus be in the 50 megatons range. I kind of think of early space missiles being nuclear, later ones being antimatter, or something like that.

3) The subspace missiles are awesome. Can I suggest taking it a step further? Relativistic Kinetic Kill Vehicles. Now, this would be a bit of a game changer, and I'm sure this has been discussed elsewhere on the forums... but maybe low speed, extremely high damage planet killers (with extremely long reload speeds). If you can send a ship FTL, you can destroy a planet, done deal. Might make the game hard to balance.. or just plain hard.. but could be fun for a very 'hardcore' game!

4) Love love love the Machine Intelligence as a researchable option. I think DW is missing that feeling of Sci-Fi epicness, sometimes. Also love that only this allows jump gates. Would it be possible to include a second researchable tech for Machine Intelligence in High-Tech, maybe "Administrative AI Applications"? Could give a massive trade bonus and allow two more regional capitals (a static empire bonus would be better, but DW doesn't really allow for that...). Also, is it at all possible to script an event to unlock a tech, triggered by the researching of a first tech? I looked into that and I couldn't find any documentation to tell me how. Could be good if it worked, though - research one to unlock the other in the separate research branch.

5) Just because this new tree is so exciting... maybe some antimatter? There could be a branch from energy collectors to make antimatter farms for those inclined - direct energy to fuel ("antihydrogen") production.

Anyway, I realize this is, like, my first post ever here, but I am an avid reader. Thanks so much again for this mod!!

(in reply to Osito)
Post #: 3
RE: Research Unleashed - 2/23/2015 9:46:18 AM   
Icemania


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So I was on my way back from Distant Worlds Anonymous convinced that I had finally broken my addiction.

Then I read this thread.

Damn you Osito!


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RE: Research Unleashed - 2/23/2015 10:28:47 AM   
Osito


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Thanks for the comments Ehsumrell1. Do you think I priced the DW wonder correctly? I thought perhaps 100,000 credits was too cheap ;-)

Jammersam,

Taking your points in order:
(1) No, there's no way to tie this to actual gates (I wish there were), so you have to imagine they're gates. I would have made the top speed faster, but I was observing strange results at speeds of around 500,000. I'm still a bit nervous about the effect these speeds might have on stability.
(2) Yes, that's an interesting idea. Will definitely consider it.
(3) You mean a missile that might do 25 billion damage or something? Wow, I'll definitely try that - might break the game though.
(4) I think I could provide another machine intelligence wonder. As far as I can see it would work. I can't script an event, though, as they're tied to scenarios. It would be really awesome if you could script general events that could be applied to any game.
(5) You're right anti-matter ought to be there. I completely overlooked it.

Icemania, if you like the mod, I'll take any suggestions you can offer to improve the AI.

Incidentally, I'd be interested in feedback on whether the tachyon weapons work as intended (i.e., increased damage with increased range). I think they do, but I'm not certain.

Osito

< Message edited by Osito -- 2/23/2015 11:39:23 AM >

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RE: Research Unleashed - 2/23/2015 3:07:10 PM   
dvr

 

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Interesting! Glad there is a new research mod, will try it out soon.

(in reply to Osito)
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RE: Research Unleashed - 2/23/2015 8:07:44 PM   
Weaselstein


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Osito -- These are some of the very same issues that have been bugging me and have led me to start working on a research mod of my own. But if yours is already playable, I am not going to wait. I am downloading as I type. Really looking forward to trying it out.

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RE: Research Unleashed - 2/24/2015 8:35:15 AM   
CyclopsSlayer


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Checking this out, looks very good so far.


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RE: Research Unleashed - 2/24/2015 11:07:50 AM   
solops

 

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Wonderful! I suppose it is incompatible with the AI mod? If I copied it over the top of the AI mod it would all go "broken"?

_____________________________

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. - Edmund Burke
Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; if it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it. - Judge Learned Hand

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RE: Research Unleashed - 2/24/2015 11:24:35 AM   
Osito


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quote:

ORIGINAL: solops

Wonderful! I suppose it is incompatible with the AI mod? If I copied it over the top of the AI mod it would all go "broken"?


There's no need to copy it over the AI mod, as it incorporates the AI mod. Just put it all in its own folder, and you'll get most of the AI mod. I built this mod on the files supplied by Icemania. In particular my starting points were Icemania's research.txt and components.txt.

The main differences are:
1. I adjusted a couple of the ship types (explorer and colonizer) to add a little more fuel, to counterbalance the reduction in range caused by my mod.
2. I had to take out the AI research project orders, because my mod is not compatible with the orders in Icemania's mod. It is, however, my intention to put these orders back in, when (if) I've had some more feedback on the mod.

Of course, the change in the techs does affect the way the AI plays, although I have had some games where it was stronger than expected. Last night I was rather surprised to find myself being overwhelmed by a pirate faction, about 20 years into the game.

Osito

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RE: Research Unleashed - 2/24/2015 11:33:00 AM   
ehsumrell1


Posts: 2261
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From: The Briar Patch Nebula
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Osito

Of course, the change in the techs does affect the way the AI plays, although I have had some games where it was stronger than expected. Last night I was rather surprised to find myself being overwhelmed by a pirate faction, about 20 years into the game.

Osito

Looks like you've done something similar that I've done with the Species 8472 in the Picard Era
mod. Makes them very nasty little buggers! I applaud what I've seen so far Osito. Haven't had the
full length of time I'd like with it yet due to my busy schedule, but will soon.


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RE: Research Unleashed - 2/24/2015 8:57:54 PM   
General Patton


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Osito,
Downloading and testing will take place. Once I unass myself from another project.
Looks very interesting....GP

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RE: Research Unleashed - 2/24/2015 10:21:07 PM   
Osito


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All feedback most welcome, General.

I've been thinking further about one of the issues that bothers me, which is the apparent inability of the AI to optimize the fuel cells and reactors the same way that the player can. I was wondering whether one option would be to change the mass (and fuel capacity and power output) of reactors so that you only really need one of them, and it would be sub-optimal (or even impossible for the early parts of the game) to have more than one. I was wondering what people thought of this as a general idea. Although I like the customization in ship design, I don't find it that rewarding to be continually adding fuel cells, reactors (or even hab/life support for that matter), and I'd have no problem living without this particular functionality.

Edit: I should add that there would still be options for development, such as:
1. Fuel cells would get increased capacity with research, thereby increasing range.
2. Fuel cells could initially be expensive in materials, but become cheaper later.
3. Choice of hyperdrive would be more critical, i.e., do you go for speed or range?

How do others feel about this?

Osito

< Message edited by Osito -- 2/24/2015 11:34:17 PM >

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RE: Research Unleashed - 2/25/2015 4:59:48 AM   
Aeson

 

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quote:

I was wondering whether one option would be to change the mass (and fuel capacity and power output) of reactors so that you only really need one of them, and it would be sub-optimal (or even impossible for the early parts of the game) to have more than one.

As a warning, doing something like this has the potential to greatly affect the balance between various types of weapons. If the reactor offers too much power, you could favor power-intensive designs (blasters and torpedoes and high-thrust engines) too heavily over power-efficient designs (missiles and railguns and high-efficiency engines). Just as an example, in the unmodded game Titan Beams require 16.5 times more power per unit size than Massive Railguns. Which weapon is your reactor that is impractical to add more of going to favor?

quote:

3. Choice of hyperdrive would be more critical, i.e., do you go for speed or range?

Just remember that speed more strongly affects range than hyperdrive power requirements because of the static energy requirement. Also remember that if you offer a slower, more efficient hyperdrive, the range bonus needs to be worth cost in travel time, and that the effective range of military ships tends to be roughly a third the design range unless you don't need to make a return trip.

If V_hyp1 is the hyper speed of the first hyperdrive, V_hyp2 is the hyper speed of the second hyperdrive, Rng1 is the design range using the first hyperdrive, Rng2 is the design range using the second hyperdrive, P_hyp1 is the power requirement of the first hyperdrive, P_hyp2 is the power requirement of the second hyperdrive, P_stat is the design static energy requirement, and P_stat,er is the design static energy requirement such that the design has the same range regardless of which hyperdrive is used, then:
   P_stat,er = (x*P_hyp2 - P_hyp1) / (1 - x)
   Rng1 / Rng2 = x * (P_stat + P_hyp2) / (P_stat + P_hyp1)
   x = V_hyp1 / V_hyp2

Also consider this: if you plug in the numbers for the unmodded Calista-Dal I and the unmodded Equinox I (which is 25% faster but requires ~50% more power), the Calista-Dal offers greater range than the Equinox for anything requiring less than ~54 static energy at the cost of taking ~25% longer to complete any jump that the Equinox design could also complete without running dry. For something with a static energy requirement of 12, it's effectively an 11% range bonus, assuming that your choice of hyperdrive is the only difference between the designs. Now ask yourself how often you use the Calista-Dal over the Equinox, and ask yourself why. High top speed tends to be very, very attractive, especially if the difference in design range isn't all that great.

< Message edited by Aeson -- 2/25/2015 6:00:57 AM >

(in reply to Osito)
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RE: Research Unleashed - 2/25/2015 10:38:26 AM   
Osito


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Indeed there are difficulties (and perhaps they are insurmountable), but my question is actually even more basic: assuming that the difficulties can be overcome, is it a good idea to change the components so that in ship design you only need 1 fuel cell, 1 or 2 reactors, 1 hab and 1 life support in the designs? Personally, I'm intrigued by this, because I get little satisfaction from adding extra hab and life support, and I don't like the way I can get more range than the AI by slapping on extra fuel. On the other hand, I guess others probably enjoy that kind of detail.

Of course, in vanilla, range is pretty much a non-issue as soon as you get the Gerax, but it's a big issue in my mod.

Edit: I forgot about the fact base size is hardcoded to 3x ship size for bases not above a colony. That is likely to make the idea impractical. However, I think there may be a potential compromise here, that I am going to try out.

There is also the issue that components can be completely taken out more easily if there are fewer of them. So, I'm now thinking this whole idea is dead in the water.

Osito

< Message edited by Osito -- 2/25/2015 12:22:07 PM >

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RE: Research Unleashed - 2/25/2015 10:02:16 PM   
Weaselstein


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Some thoughts about the Hab and Life Support. I realize it is not very rewarding to be required to add more Hab/Life modules to a ship as you add more components but it does make sense when you consider the crew requirements of larger ships. This might make you consider changing the Hab/life modules and their relate research bonuses so that you only need one of each in any given ship design. But there is something else to be considered. It is the Hab/life modules that give you your base defense against boarding actions. If you made it so that a capitol ship only needed one Hab/life module you would also be giving smaller ships escorts, frigates and all civilian ships the same base boarding defense as the capitol ships. This would be even more dramatic if you were to adjust the Hab/Life modules so that only one was required for Large bases. I guess the question comes down to should a ship with a crew complement of 25 be as hard to capture as one with a crew complement of 2500. Perhaps there are some workarounds that I am not aware of though.

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RE: Research Unleashed - 2/26/2015 1:57:14 PM   
solops

 

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You might want to check the research costs for Improved and Advanced Infantry defense and Improved and Advanced Armored Defense.
Also, High Powered Tractor beams do not seem to be deployable, at the first level, but are at the second.
Is this as designed?

< Message edited by solops -- 2/26/2015 3:06:31 PM >


_____________________________

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. - Edmund Burke
Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; if it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it. - Judge Learned Hand

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RE: Research Unleashed - 2/26/2015 2:43:21 PM   
Osito


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Hi Solops,

Thanks for the feedback: the infantry and armored defense figures are incorrect, and I will change shortly, although I want to see whether I can figure out the tractor beam problem first. I was a little surprised about this, as I haven't knowingly changed anything much on that part of the weapons tree. When you say they're not deployable, do you mean that you can't design a ship with them, or that they don't work? I have tested it and find that I can design ships with them If you can tell me which race you were playing, I can see whether that might affect anything.

Weaselstein, the boarding defense is an issue, although there's nothing to stop someone adding extra habs if they wanted to - for the boarding defense - or adding assault pods. It may be a problem that the AI won't do that. I have tested this with a hab and life support capacity of 300 slowly rising to 2000, and it is really nice not to have to worry about increasing them. A nice 'quality of life' change. I don't propose to include this feature, unless people want it (although I may well play it myself from now on).

More generally, I'm finding I want to do things that will affect the ship designs. Is there any way to change the designs without going through more than 1000 separate designs and changing them individually?

Osito

< Message edited by Osito -- 2/26/2015 4:00:00 PM >

(in reply to solops)
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RE: Research Unleashed - 2/26/2015 2:54:15 PM   
solops

 

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Tractor beams - playing as humans. The problem is that, in the ship design screen, I cannot find the High Powered tractor beam in the equipment list so that I can add it to a ship design. This is only true at the first level. After researching the second level of the HP Tractor beam, it shows up and deploys fine. I dunno...user error, maybe...

Love the mod, best R&D tree yet. Have not gotten to the unbalanced stuff, so they are still questions.

_____________________________

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. - Edmund Burke
Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; if it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it. - Judge Learned Hand

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RE: Research Unleashed - 2/26/2015 3:03:53 PM   
Fishers of Men


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Solops, I unchecked the "latest only" box in the design screen and the High Powered Tractor Beam appeared next to the regular tractor beam. I believe the game evaluates the regular one to be the best available until the high powered one is ungraded to the next level.

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Old............but very fast

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