[DWU] Balance Mod v0.9 (extended TechTree) [Cancelled in protest]

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Locarnus
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[DWU] Balance Mod v0.9 (extended TechTree) [Cancelled in protest]

Post by Locarnus »

DW:U BalanceMod + Extended


Image

click on image for larger version

Full overview of all branches, thank you dwaine (post 85):
fb.asp?m=3632950

Distant Worlds: Universe (Original)

Image

Thanks to dwaine for the comparison screenshot idea!


This mod stretches the tech tree of Distant Worlds: Universe.

It also includes a version compatible with Distant Worlds: Extended (by Haree78).
tm.asp?m=3141149

One of the major problems of Distant Worlds is, that with a low research cost setting, the tech tree is too short, and with high research costs, the pre warp start grants the pirates a major advantage over normal empires.
Another problem is, that there are wrap up end game techs (eg titan beam), which kill tech diversity and make other techs nearly useless.
Also, superweapons and wonders are overpowered in the base game.


Features:
- nearly 200 additional research projects
- rebalanced early expansion/hyperdrives, and thus the pirates
- rebalanced weapons, armor, shields, repairbots and other combat gear
- superweapons included but nerfed
- rebalanced colonization
- nerfed wonders
- and lots of other stuff


Compatible versions (and backups) for

DW:Universe 1.9.5.2 and
DW:U Extended 1.0.1


The DW:Universe version is compatible with all mods based on that, which do not modify the

research.txt
components.txt
facilities.txt

This includes the following mods:

Star Trek Universe (checked for 1.3.3)
Distant Worlds XPanded (X-Series mod, checked for 1.0b)

edit: the mod has been cancelled due to the modding changes in 1.9.5.5

the current version has been removed in protest to the unilateral and unoptional font increase in 1.9.5.5, which irreversibly punishes those users who choose their hardware/software carefully, after they purchased the game




changelog
v0.87
- fixed reactor sizes and costs
- fixed level 0&1 countermeasures/targetting/medicine values (minor fixes)
v0.86
- revert because of unadressed DW:U energy balancing bug
v0.9
- 100 additional research projects (new and gap fillers)
- rebalanced most weapons (especially beam weapons and the added Superweapons)
- rebalanced reactors to 1/3 the size and stats for better custom fitting (AI and player)
- added and rebalanced shields
- rebalanced repair bots
- whole HighTech research tree rebalanced and projects added
- wonders nerfed
v0.83
- fixed the improved and superior Quantum MicroUtilization parents
v0.82
- workaround for research cost settings, now works up until 999K research costs (lowered level 9-11 research costs to level 8 standard)
- Enhanced Hyperdrives positioned in level 1 column, so pirates have them. The costs stay the same.
- targeting and countermeasure tech paths changed
- targeting and countermeasure racial techs now grant the fleet components as well
v0.81
-fixing level 1 armor value (corrects this for savegames as well)
-fixing "reinforced construction" parent (does not seem to be corrected in savegames)
v0.8
-WIP release


Installation

First make backups of the relevant research.txt, facilities.txt and components.txt files,
the included backups may not be up to date when you use them.

To install the mod, just overwrite the corresponding files in the
root directory of DW:Universe, or in the \Customization\DW Extended Universe
folder in case you want to play with the DW:U Extended Mod.


It is work in progress.

No republication in any form is permitted (for now) that includes compilations.
DW:U modding is complicated/restricted enough, different versions floating around, with minor incompatible bugfixes and changes, would certainly not help in this respect. And those tend to come up if non centralized distribution is allowed, so not for now.

It is set up for easy extensions/racial tech mods for the future (racial techs are all seperated from the main research projects in terms of project ID). If you want to use it for a mod, write me on steam ("relnu") and we can talk about what to do until this mod is in a more polished state.


Now works with all research cost settings.


Named in honor of
Captain Kwok's SE:5 Balance Mod,
which drastically increased the fun/playability of SE:5.


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Locarnus
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RE: [DWU] Balance Mod (extended TechTree) [WIP]

Post by Locarnus »

As stated above, it is work in progress.


Balancing a tech tree, even if it is only a stretch from the vanilla game, is a lot of work.

Any crtitisism, gameplay experiences and opinions are very welcome and in fact are needed for making progress.



Thanks and have fun,
Locarnus

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Wanabe
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RE: [DWU] Balance Mod (extended TechTree) [WIP]

Post by Wanabe »

Havn't had the time to check it out in game but it looks really nice.

Thank you! :)
FireLion1983
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RE: [DWU] Balance Mod (extended TechTree) [WIP]

Post by FireLion1983 »

Looks like a lot of the little fixup mods in one, very nice. Can't wait to try it!
Bingeling
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RE: [DWU] Balance Mod (extended TechTree) [WIP]

Post by Bingeling »

Looks like a nice idea. It would be a good idea to run some automation with it to see that the AI behaves reasonably well while researching in it.

Not that it is too good with the standard one ;-)
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Locarnus
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RE: [DWU] Balance Mod (extended TechTree) [WIP]

Post by Locarnus »

Thanks for the support.

It has some issues, but I hope I got the major ones under control for now.
There are some minor ones I m aware of, like the Quameno or so having a racial victory condition needing them to research whole tech lines, which is kind of hard with this mod.

Also, I will probably cap the research costs of levels 10 and 11 to be on the same level as research level 9. That might solve the "very expensive" research setting ctd. Although it is a lot of leg work since all level 10 projects must then be edited (again) and it is not a priority for now.

@Bingeling:
It should not have problems in general, since it is only the vanilla/extended research trees stretched.
But naturally there are a lot of factors involved and only testing/using it will show.

I m very interested in the pirate/ai empire balance for different settings. The research cost change and early hyperspeed slowdown should level the playingfield a bit.
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Locarnus
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RE: [DWU] Balance Mod (extended TechTree) [WIP]

Post by Locarnus »

I discovered a wrong tech link and a messed up value in the armor tech line.

No idea how I oversaw that.

The level 1 research gave impenetrable late game armor.

And the "reinforced construction" and thus further armor research required rail gun technology.


Both issues have been fixed in the updated version.

The problem is, loading a savegame with the new research.txt does correct the level 1 armor values, but it does not correct the wrong link leading to reinforced construction. At least for me.

If your experience differs, please report this.
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AnddyiRaynor
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RE: [DWU] Balance Mod (extended TechTree) [WIP]

Post by AnddyiRaynor »

The real problem is the ai is to dumb to fully max out their research and you end up 6 techs ahead of them in no time and that grows even at 240k research times, but I guess that may even be hurting the ai more so than before. I'm going to try boosting the ai research by 100% and mine by 50%(I want them to get tech quicker but not 100% quicker than me :D) because even on extreme/Very hard difficulty the ai don't eclipse you in research. Maybe later but idk.

I have to assume from looking at the teekan in the editor they always start with a colony governor and maybe a good tax% leader so they can get so damn rich, I just hope I am not forced to boost their income to. Since I saw quite a few of the ai having a hard time economically. Anyways I'll give your mod a shot I'm playing on a edited version of Theme Extended Universe, I'll make it compatible myself if there's any difference it doesn't seem to have any from what I have seen at least in those files. It'd be nice if you could fix those memory problems as it did make me think twice/maybe just, maybe 10 times before I downloaded it.

Bando unlock 800000 ranged sensors in 2 "rows" so double the price of the first research. At least it is just one race and I'm glad I didn't just flip the table when I saw that, I felt like it but I kept my composure. Still I don't have the experience to hazard a guess how op that is, but I think it should have increased tech to 1-2 rows right.
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Wanabe
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RE: [DWU] Balance Mod (extended TechTree) [WIP]

Post by Wanabe »

Gave this a short go. Really impressive work so far, I like the slower and steadier increase across the board for the tech.

In the short time I played/tested the only mechanical flaws I noticed (pretty quickly) was the value for the armour and the missing link on the armour line, but you've already fixed those so very nice :P. I think I noticed at least 1 tech name I didn't fully agree with but I can't actually remember and that's mostly personal preference rather than how it plays anyway.

Starting with certain techs off the bat such as medical and entertainment is definitely interesting. It probably also helps the AI out having those techs earlier on.

Thanks what for what you have done so far, mods that follow this line of thought/content typically end up being must haves for me :)
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Locarnus
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RE: [DWU] Balance Mod (extended TechTree) [WIP]

Post by Locarnus »

@AnddyiRaynor:
Yeah, the whole research system in DW is very problematic. You can custom design a spaceport and throw only energy research in it, thus while the AI is splitting their research between 3 branches (and not even maxing out the potential) you can just beeline to construction size and warp drives for a massive head start in exploration/expansion. This is one of the reasons I put so many level 1 techs on level 0, to give the AI empires some basics to work with.

The memory problems are something like a very narrow hardcoded limit for the research tree.
Which is very problematic for an expansion specifically advertised as moddable.
It took me quite a while to figure it out and I was close to scrapping the mod.

I just might have to set all the tier 10 and 11 research costs to the level 9 values. This may/should fix (workaround) it for 480K, but certainly not for higher custom values.

All the racial techs have fewer research projects per line than the regular ones, which was true in the vanilla game and in Extended as well.
Generally I dont like race specific technology, since the whole concept/definition of technology is, that it is not restricted to anyone...
For the moment I just stayed with the existing balance/unbalance in this regard.
I was curious about the Bando as well, their long range tech seemed so far ahead compared to the standard one. I will probably add some project(s) for them in the short term.


@Wanabe:


Yep, no idea how I missed the armor line issues it was so obvious when I finally saw them ;-).

The new tech names are all pretty similar, to give me some orientation while modding. The research.txt was a mess due to the sequential ID requirement. Now it is an even bigger mess in terms of structure and size, but it works.
So every tech name suggestion is welcome.

Yeah, the starting techs are mainly for the AI, they have a neat side effect of decreasing the workload for custom ship designing as well.


Pirate Balance


I had a test game in which I was unmolested by pirates for the entire starting phase.
Limiting the Gerax Hyperdrive to 5000 seems to have crippled them too much.

I m thinking about 2 possible alternatives:

1. Reverting the level 1 Gerax Hyperspeed to a higher value (8000 or so). That would have the side effect, that the slower expansion feeling when playing a pre warp empire would be lessened considerably again.

2. Putting the tech level 2 Gerax Hyperdrive Improvement beside the level 1 tech, but keeping the order of research.
That would result in the pirates having the improvement already (since they start on tech level 1), while the normal empires would have to research them in order.
The side effect here is, that it would look ugly (the arrows are only set for increasing research levels, not between same levels or even backward requirements.
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Wanabe
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RE: [DWU] Balance Mod (extended TechTree) [WIP]

Post by Wanabe »

Yeah hey fair enough on the tech names, just had a brief look at the default research.txt file and I can say looking at the one file with all the numbers etc could become a bit of a blur after a bit.

Seeing as you're referring to tech levels I assume the system isn't flexible enough to just give the pirates a single tech (IE the higher level hyperdrive)? If not that's a little bit of a shame and to get the effects you're after could prove slightly problematic.
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RE: [DWU] Balance Mod (extended TechTree) [WIP]

Post by Unforeseen »

Does/will the shatterforce laser actually serve a purpose that isn't dwarfed by another weapon?
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Locarnus
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RE: [DWU] Balance Mod (extended TechTree) [WIP]

Post by Locarnus »

Update v0.82

- workaround for research cost settings, now works up until 999K research costs (lowered level 9-11 research costs to level 8 standard)
- Enhanced Hyperdrives positioned in level 1 column, so pirates have them. The costs stay the same.
- targeting and countermeasure tech paths changed
- targeting and countermeasure racial techs now grant the fleet components as well

The pirates seem to be better again, with the increased hyperspeed and thus increased range. I m not sure if it is enough for lower star density settings.

@Wanabe:
I m certainly not aware of a nice way. But putting the enhanced Hyperdrives tech on level 1 seems to work well so far.

@Unforeseen:
One of the intentions for the mod was to not only have tech diversity in the mid game, but also in the late game.
So there are no wrap up/diversity killing techs, like titan beam, HyperFusion Reactor, Torrent Drive and so on.
I think I even buffed the Phasers (range) to be competitive vs Shatterforce. Though the balance needs further testing.
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dwaine
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RE: [DWU] Balance Mod (extended TechTree) [WIP]

Post by dwaine »

Imressive work !
Did a little compare with winmerge, I can't imagine how long it took you to do that.
However, what trouble me is the balance among categories, will the high tech finish much sooner because of the much larger energy & construction ? Did you add up all project cost of the 3 different categories to see the overall balance ?

Here is my contribution :

Energy & Construction
Original
Your extended version
Weapons
Original
Your extended version
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Locarnus
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RE: [DWU] Balance Mod (extended TechTree) [WIP]

Post by Locarnus »

@dwaine:
Wow, those are pretty impressive pictures of the tech tree! Thanks!
How do you make those?

It took quite a while to set it up and then it took the same time again to find out and work around the modding limitations.
Like max project research costs (important for research cost settings to not crash the game)...

I thought about the High Tech research tree problem. I only stretched those techs, while not filling up like in the weapons and energy section. And even the stretching was not done quite as much. 2 reasons why it was not a priority to balance them so far:
1. In the weapons and energy tree I not only added stuff, I also removed the diversity killing wrap up techs, like titan beam.
Those techs often made it necessary to research all prior diverse techs. With the new tech tree you do not need that.
2. I mainly stretched/filled diversity techs, so techs which you only need 1 of. Eg ground forces and construction was just stretched like the HT tree.
3. This is only an early version, other issues had priority for now, like making the game playable with higher research cost settings without having to fight super pirate factions.

edit: But it is planned for the future.
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RE: [DWU] Balance Mod (extended TechTree) [WIP]

Post by Ardryn »

The extended version has errors at the Improved and Superior Q. MicroUtilization lines, the first has itself as its parent and the second has Quantum MicroUtilization as its parent.
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Locarnus
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RE: [DWU] Balance Mod (extended TechTree) [WIP]

Post by Locarnus »

ORIGINAL: Ardryn

The extended version has errors at the Improved and Superior Q. MicroUtilization lines, the first has itself as its parent and the second has Quantum MicroUtilization as its parent.


Thank you!

I corrected it and uploaded the new version 0.83.
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dwaine
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RE: [DWU] Balance Mod (extended TechTree) [WIP]

Post by dwaine »

The pictures I made are really simple.
I take all parts of the tech tree (6 to 8 pictures) then use some soft to cut the useless part and after that it is just a puzzle to assemble.
The images, for now, are way too big to posted on the forum, however, consider resized versions on your front post, images just make it way more clear and attractive. Just sayin'

Good luck to continue modding the techtree, I tried doing it myself, but it is soooo repulsive right now, if only we had tools.
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RE: [DWU] Balance Mod (extended TechTree) [WIP]

Post by Tanaka »

This is all looking very interesting as I prefer slower longer games as well. I like how you are helping the AI out too! Will definitely be trying this! How are you slowing down ship range compared to the energy rebalance mod?
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Locarnus
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RE: [DWU] Balance Mod (extended TechTree) [WIP]

Post by Locarnus »

@dwaine:
Thanks, will try that!

@Tanaka:
Wow, totally missed that mod, will need to check it out.

So far I only "rebalanced" the early tech projects, specifically the ones concerning the GeraxHyperdrive and Warp Bubble generator.

All of them need less energy now, because of the autodesign failure concerning eg freighters, which do not get enough reactors to fulfill the hyperdrive requirements, resulting in lots of problems. Not what I wanted, but that part is hard coded and Erik does not see it as a bug, so no priority change if at all.

The progression is something like 2k, 5k, 8k and then something. The pirates start with 8k because anything lower would cripple them too much.
It is not fixed by any means, it is mostly just working around hardcoded problems.

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