[DWU] Ship design templates

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Wanabe
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[DWU] Ship design templates

Post by Wanabe »

These are my ship design templates that I've made for DWU:Universe to try to get a little more challenge and in some cases flavour out of the game. All original races were tweaked along with the DW:U Extended mod races.

Download ship design templates

I've also tinkered slightly with the policies of the various races which defines how they approach certain aspects of the gmae.

Download Policy

To install navigate to your Distant Worlds folder and then open the Customization folder. Open the current mod you're using and then you may drop in my "designtemplates" folder to replace the old one. I recommend backing up the original designtemplates folder.

Keep in mind while I am trying to have some sort of "balance" it's not an easy task partially due to all the variability of the game itself. I'm also not a pro player so I'm absolutely positive that the designs could be improved further.
ORIGINAL: Wanabe
Hey guys, relatively new player here to the Distant Worlds Universe thanks to the recent steam release. I really love the game but as I've played I've been noting lots of little to big flaws and one of them are the ship designs which I always manage to out design. I learned that the design templates are exposed so I searched online to see if anyone had done a set but couldn't seem to find any.

So here's my first pass on all the designs. It is my hope that they are slightly better than the originals. I haven't had time to test very much (very time consuming) to see exactly how the AI copes with the designs and the extra maintenance that'll occur in general...so fair warning.

I'd love it if more people were to tinker and also discuss the designs for the game so we can figure out just how well the AI can deal with it all when it can't fit it all (for instance I'm discovering it's having a hard time placing fighter bays on smaller ships like destroyers when I want the AI to do so). I just want better AI designs along with more variety of focuses for each race :)

I was also thinking it could be useful if the design templates also had another number on each module which allows the priority of the module to be specified for when the AI can't fit everything. IE "Engine ;1,1" the value after the comma is the priority value, higher means more likely to chuck it on in place of something with a lower value?
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designTemplates_7.zip
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FireLion1983
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RE: [WIP/DISCUSS]Design Templates

Post by FireLion1983 »

So this is meant to replace the AI designs? How do you install it?
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Wanabe
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RE: [WIP/DISCUSS]Design Templates

Post by Wanabe »

Yeah basically the files determin what the AI auto design puts on the ships. You can place the designtemplates folder in Distant Worlds Universe\Customization and then in the folder of which mod you run. Definitely backup the old one first. I'm still working on these, the above was only my "first pass" as there's a ton of designs to go through and I'm coming up with some better rules for some of them and applying them to all the races.
FireLion1983
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RE: [WIP/DISCUSS]Design Templates

Post by FireLion1983 »

Wonder why no one else is doing this?
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Wanabe
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RE: [WIP/DISCUSS]Design Templates

Post by Wanabe »

I'm a little surprised by the lack of other ship designs out there but also at the same time not.

It's very time consuming and there's lots of number fiddling and it certainly gets hard to track what's what after a little bit. Testing is something that can take quite a bit, balancing it so the races are "equal" would be extremely difficult (though I'm not after that personally though I wouldn't want to encourage super super powerful races every game as that'd be a bit boring/predictable)

I'd love for there to be more ship designs floating around though and I think having more community members on board giving their knowledge/time on this particular subject would be awesome. I'm quite positive that there's a bunch of people out there that would do a far better job than I could do with my limited game experience/knowledge.

So far since the first pass I've standardized some of the rules for all the space-ports of the races. Certain races have more or less con yards/docks, certain races emphasize their research a bit more, overall slightly more research across the board depending on race personality. Did another pass on the escort designs removing some redundant engines and in some cases adding another reactor (which will become redundant later in the game but the AI won't just build 2 on its own when it can't deal with the energy requirements) and added some better than stock civilian ships for some of the races I didn't get to on the first go around. Also implemented some standardized rules for gas mines regarding docking bays, some races have more some have less. Overall they all have more than the stock setups even at their lowest docking amount to help reduce the war time refuelling crisis.

I've noticed the AI doesn't like to build research stations very much at all, if this was fixed by the devs I think the races would have a better time since they'd be more likely to get to their max research cap...from my observations they are often quite a bit lower than their research cap with the default designs, at least early game.
FireLion1983
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RE: [WIP/DISCUSS]Design Templates

Post by FireLion1983 »

I've definitely noticed the research issue, especially when playing full auto - the AI just does not build them.
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Wanabe
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RE: [WIP/DISCUSS]Design Templates

Post by Wanabe »

I've seen the AI construct the research stations however they only seem to do them where they can get a research bonus, which overall is fair enough.

It would be nice if the AI had a concept of an "early" game and do some things a bit differently though, like early on not mind so much about the research bonus and just chuck a couple on the homeworld to get full research asap, probably dependant on the AI "intelligence" personality level
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Wanabe
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RE: [WIP/DISCUSS]Design Templates

Post by Wanabe »

Well, here's another snapshot of what I've got which I'm slightly happier with from what little I've been able to observe.

I plan on trying to have a break from this for a bit so I can play and see how the performance differs for better or worse of the various factions as I encounter them in regular game-play.

I also read that another member, Shark7, is making/releasing a set of custom designs in the near future which is fantastic. Eventually I think we'll have a pretty decent set of designs that are relatively "balanced" and more importantly "fun" which I'm really looking forward to.

"Improved explorer and Construction ship for all races
Improved all civilian ship designs
All race starbases:
Depending on AI personality, more docking bays/construction , More or focused research labs in particular areas, More point defence, Weapon systems slightly favour long range weapons
All race gas mines:
Depending on AI personality may have more or less docking bays (lowest amount of docking bays is still more than the default game designs)
Tweaked escort ships of all races
Tweaked Ackdarian, Ikkuro, Keskudon, Ketarov, Kiadian, Caleph, Human, XHuman and Haakonish warship designs"
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Locarnus
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RE: [WIP/DISCUSS]Design Templates

Post by Locarnus »

Nice Effort!
I looked at the designs myself as well, but then focused on the research.

You might want to focus your efforts on DW:U Extended mod, since that is effectively the standard for all non-full-conversion mod users.

Those additional races are based on vanilla, so most designs should be copy+pasteable.

Also keep in mind that there are some autodesign quirks yet to be adressed:
http://steamcommunity.com/app/261470/di ... 784872074/

My extended tech tree BalanceMod should work with vanilla based designs as well:
tm.asp?m=3624576
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Wanabe
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RE: [WIP/DISCUSS]Design Templates

Post by Wanabe »

Thanks for the kind words. I am glad you looked into the research stuff, what you've been doing looks like something that'd end up being a must have for a lot of people, probably also including myself.

Yeah I also use DW:U Extended which I base my decisions off of. Yes there's quite a bit of copying and pasting going on as well as lots of little tweaks for certain races...crazyness

I have absolutely noticed those auto design quirks and look forward to them being fixed and more ;-). Hopefully the devs can fix your issue too with the CTD on your mod on certain settings.

Also I think the game need a few more "Flee When" settings for ships. "Flee when XX% components damaged". That way it's basically the same as "Flee when armour 50%" or whatever the number. I also just realized that as far as I can tell each design file can't have the retreat setting value for each design pre-set. Maybe they can but it's not in the manual or I missed it.
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moonraker65
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RE: [WIP/DISCUSS]Design Templates

Post by moonraker65 »

I will give this a look. Whilst designing my own ships I noticed that unless you turn off automation from the options menu at game start, any created designs will be overwritten by default ships which can be a tad frustrating if you've already got 8 or 9 designs up and running. If you click on turn off automation from the Ship Design screen it stays as automatic for some reason. Possibly a bug
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Darkspire
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RE: [WIP/DISCUSS]Design Templates

Post by Darkspire »

Are you altering the individual policy file tech focus settings for each race to take into account your Template Designs?
If not then the AI is not going to properly use your new templates.

The race files can be used as well to streamline the process with the disallowed tech section, so for any Design Template set you also need the other file(s) modded to match them, releasing a generic set, a one size fits all as it were, will not really work.

UMG 29:32
Note that you should match the tech focuses on a race in their Empire Policy
file (ResearchDesignTechFocus1-6) with the components selected in their
design templates so that these components actually appear in their ship and
base designs. Each AI empire will follow the tech focuses from their Empire
Policy when selecting new Research projects

Darkspire
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MartialDoctor
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RE: [WIP/DISCUSS]Design Templates

Post by MartialDoctor »

It's nice to see someone starting on this. Good luck with it all.

Hopefully, some cool templates will come out of it [:)]
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Wanabe
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RE: [WIP/DISCUSS]Design Templates

Post by Wanabe »

@Darkspire
I have not begun to look at the policy files just yet but I have noted some things down that I'd change if/when I get around to it. The designs I've been altering should use the already set weaponry types of the races unless I missed some or typos which is pretty much inevitable when editing so many files.

I've been keeping an eye on the Distant Worlds AI and there's some good ideas in there regarding changing the policy files and designs of ships aswell as ideas to change some of the hardcoded behaviours which I hope the devs look at. From all the focus from the community etc on the AI I think by the end of it we'll have something quite a bit better.

I've put up another snap shot of what I've done since last time.

"Removed 1 gas extractor from gas miners (ship) to help with early game mining (needed more fuel, sometimes it couldn't find a mining target)

Took some pointers from Icemania:
Reduced manufacturing plants from 4 to 2 on large space stations
Reduced manufacturing plants from 2 to 1 on medium space stations
Increased miners from 2 to 3 and Luxury miners on mining stations, stronger defence across the board
Increased gas extractors from 2 to 3 and luxury from 1 to 3, stronger defense across the board

Done a pass on research bases for all races. More defenses and some weaponry. Races with research bonuses put more money into their research bases (more defenses/weapons)
Done a pass on the small space stations
Certain races will put troop transport capability on their destroyers
Tweaked Mortalen warship designs
Teekan mining stations beefed up in defense and offense
Partial pass on the defense stations"
hewwo
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RE: [WIP/DISCUSS]Design Templates

Post by hewwo »

lookin' good:)
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Haree78
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RE: [WIP/DISCUSS]Design Templates

Post by Haree78 »

A little background to the design files.
When these were first introduced to the game, I forget which expansion I actually created these templates that are part of the game, every single one, from 2 base templates, it took me many many hours work!

When I created them I had the following strategy:

I split which weapons races would use, and I based this partly on the previous policy files research concentration, there was some left over ambiguity and I just tried to make sure there was good distribution of differences.

So then I tried to create competitive designs that were weighted something like
2 parts their research preference
1 part based on their aggression where they put weapons etc.
1 part flavour (less intelligent designs for stupider races etc.)
1 part trying to meet victory conditions
then I stirred it all up and tried to make every race a little bit different than the last.

I didn't game the system, such as tons of research labs on Large Space ports because eventually there would be a crazy over use of them by the AI. Perhaps people would prefer it that way though.

After all that I then had to do even more for my Extended races.
I tested how the AI handles these designs as best I could at different tech levels. This took even more crazy amounts of hours and reporting of issues and Elliot continually tweaking how the AI handled the templates I was creating.

The actual work involved must have been many man hours and it does make me squirm a little when after all that work people still moan about how bad the AI is etc.

That being said, there is no doubt plenty of room for improvement and the game would definitely benefit from people tweaking and improving designs, other people are probably way better at designing ships than I am also, as I tend not to go crazy overboard doing this in games. I look forward to see what is done.
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Locarnus
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RE: [WIP/DISCUSS]Design Templates

Post by Locarnus »

I just let the AI run a game to test my research BalanceMod.

My home colony was on a moon in high orbit of a gas giant.

So in the early game I sat there and watched how 2 AI designed constructors (my only 2 ones) played catch up with the moon/starbase to fetch resources.

For over 7 months ingame time!

Then, after they had finished their constuction job, they came to the starport again.
And again played catch up for another 5 months.

After that you dont wonder anymore why some ai empires have economic problems.
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Wanabe
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RE: [WIP/DISCUSS]Design Templates

Post by Wanabe »

@Haree78

Thanks a ton for the initial designs, I have a small idea of how insanely time consuming and difficult it can be to create them, not only that but to have some idea of "balance" between the races and have them all be competitive against each other.

I find myself doing a similar thing with having "rules" which try to define certain differences based on aggression, intelligence, unique techs, and some racial bonuses. Also slightly taking into account default policy research ideals.

Ultimately fiddling for countless hours with the designs is only one aspect of "improving" the AI. It's one that can and will lead to a lot of balance issues which is not exactly easy to test and sort out.

While I've played through a few games now and learned a thing or two I'd say my designs are also subpar. Primarily sharing them to keep the ball rolling and to get more discussion going on :)

@Locarnus
Crikey, the poor AI :(.

Definitely having some more speed modules on the designs could help there but due to how limited the design template file is it's a pain to balance the various stages of the game. The AI knowing how to intercept the orbit could be interesting aswell but I'd say that's not likely to be anywhere near feasible for this game, certainly not for a patch update.

It could be useful if the AI during the game would put more engines on its ships (within size limits of course) until it got hyperdrive capability. I've already noticed that the AI deviates a bit from the design templates depending on its policies and maybe some other factors, so some extra deviations for pre warp could be useful.

[edit]
Another day, another snapshot
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Wanabe
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RE: [WIP/DISCUSS]Design Templates

Post by Wanabe »

Chucked up another version, didn't do a lot really, just been playing instead [:)].

Between the latest patch and my designs I'm happier than previously in regard to AI difficulty. Designs templates are one of those things that require a lot of testing though to make sure the AI can build certain sized ships at certain times ETC depending on tech unlocked and trying to work around how the built in AI deals with adjusting the designs on the fly depending on its various settings.

Without a doubt the policy files could use some tweaks aswell but I'm trying to refrain from doing those...especially since the devs seem to be having a crack at enhancing the AI as-well.

It seems like down the line we may eventually have an "all in one" mod that has better (hopefully more flavour aswell) designs for races and policy files which would be cool...

"Increased troop transport fuel from 3 to 4 on a lot of races
Implemented pirate changes for the stock races from patch 1.9.5.2
Implemented changes to Mechanoid and Shakturi from patch 1.9.5.2"
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Wanabe
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RE: [DWU] Ship design templates

Post by Wanabe »

Thought I'd put up another version,

"Implemented pirate changes from DW Extended 1.01
More fuel for most warships
Tweaked Tairoshan, Naxxilian,Phaerax,Sluken,Zenox,Jintus,Ortain,Ackdarian,Enton,Haakonish, Lemeresh,Yl'ta,Caleph,Gizurean,Quameno,Mortalen and Naopar warships
Boskara civilian ships are now armed"
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