From: Sydney, Australia
I am new to DW, and have done no real modding before, my "modding" experience is limited to tweaking a couple of values or removing a line in simple config files for games like Dwarf Fortress. So I am here because I'm hoping someone with a bit of real experience and knowledge can tell me if what I want to do is really feasible or not before I waste dozens of hours of precious spare time (12 hour working day including travel, wife, 3 kids....) on something which either won't ever work, or at least not without a lot more modding skill than I possess.
So basically, what I want to do is fairly simple in concept at least. Basically, the main thing I dislike in DW so far is that the different "ship roles" for combat ships (ie escort, frigate, destroyer etc) only seem to change the graphic and how the ships act when automated.
The first thing I'd like to change is making them different sizes, so that for example, an up to date maxxed out cruiser is bigger than an equivalent frigate.
Secondly, I'd like to add some real functional differences to help keep the different sized ships relavent, rather than creating a situation where the best strategy is just producing as many of the biggest ship as possible.
I have some ideas about how to do this in a relatively simple way, but I don't know if theese will really work, and whether they will screw up the AI (probably by making the AI unable to produce valid or effective ship designs).
My first idea was simply to add size limit modifiers to roles, like escorts get -30% ship size, Frigates get -10%, Destoyers stay the same, Cruisers get +50%, Capital Ships get +100%. Or something like that at least.
My second idea, which I prefer if it is workable, and which could be combined with the first idea, was to add some min/max restrictions to how many of certain components each ship could have. For example, limiting Escorts to 1 reactor, frigates to 2, destroyers to 3, cruisers to 4, and capital ships to 5. Practically, this would need a bit more work, like making reactors smaller, cheaper and less powerful, and starting at 2 or 3 reactors for escorts, then increasing for bigger ships. Or it could be the number of fuel cells or thrusters perhaps. This would impose a practical limit on the size of each class of ship, but could also help enforce real differences in how the ships play. For example, capital ships could easily be big powerful fighting ships, but a limited number of fuel cells would really make them the big hitters of the fleet, but limit them to roles where they have plenty of support, like defending your own systems, or being the backbone of a fleet with support and refuelling capabilities, while cruisers would still be fairly big and powerful, but significantly less powerful than a capital ship while more capable of operating away from imediate support, while frigates would be too small to be much good in a major battle, but great for scouting and raiding behind enemy lines.
So would something like this be practical, how hard would it be to implement, and how likely would I be to accidentally break the AI?
Or is there another mod which already does something like this which I've missed?
With the ship sizes are you only looking to make the ship graphic bigger .... if so page 32 of the modders manual explains how to use scaling to increase or reduce the size of the ship graphic.
With the Star Trek mod I am working on I am doing some testing to try and prevent 15 ships being built in a matter of minutes.... to me that does not seem realistic. I am looking at probably using a component for each ship which costs more or takes longer to build to reduce the time taken to build ships. Also looking at not being able to build the next class of ship until research is done for one or more components.
I Am confident I can do all this with my empire but not sure if it works for AI yet... that I need to test. Hopefully, AI uses the design template the same way as the human player does.