Defiant Prototype alpha

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gunship256
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Fri Feb 12, 2016 4:48 am

DEFIANT PROTOTYPE

Defiant Prototype alpha

The Defiant is an experimental vessel with high maneuverability and overpowered weapons. Unfortunately, its high-thrust engine has containment problems when it is paired with low-level reactors.

This ship can start the game in Eridani, Tau Ceti, or Kibo.

This is an alpha release. Since Cygnus.X1 created the first Defiant playership mod, I am waiting to hear back before I release a beta. Any feedback and suggestions are welcomed!

Thanks to:
* DigDug for creating the ship graphics
* relanat for helpful feedback
* Cygnus.X1 for creating the first Defiant playership


QUESTIONS

* Is the Defiant overdrive too powerful? If so, how should it be fixed while staying true to the idea that DS9's Defiant should have both overpowered engines and overpowered weapons? Should the negative consequences of using the drive be increased?

* The other side of the coin: Are the negative consequences of using the overdrive too penalizing? In particular, does irradiation happen too often with the default Nova-15 reactor installed?

* Is the ship itself, without the overdrive installed, balanced? What could be tweaked?

* Is the ship's starting setup too weak? Too strong? What could be changed?

[EDIT 2016 February 25: Updated the link and the description text to reflect the new version of the mod.]
Last edited by gunship256 on Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:25 am, edited 5 times in total.

gunship256
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Fri Feb 12, 2016 4:51 am

BALANCE EXPLANATION

I tried to make the ship as true as possible to the way it shows up in the DS9 universe. It's able to outmaneuver and outgun a Bird of Prey and still hold its own against a cruiser with multiple linked-fire turrets, although its shields and armor seem to be inferior to the cruiser's.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-P6L5JGf24

I started with the stats for the EI500 and made compromises from there:

* Turned the 200/200 ton cargo hold into a 50/150 ton hold. In exchange, the ship goes from 9 to 10 device slots and can install more than two weapons.

* If, at some point, I can figure out how to change the ship's stealth rating, I can add an extra device slot and a cloaking device that would raise stealth to nearly maximum. The ship would have lower than normal stealth due to its high power signature, which would justify adding the 11th device slot, and the cloaking device would force shields, weapons, and auto-defense devices to stay disabled.

* Changed the 20 ton armor limit to a 12 ton limit. In exchange, the ship receives the same rotation/turn characteristics as the Wolfen. If this turns out to be unbalanced in testing, the armor limit can be reduced further.

* The ship's mass, acceleration and top speed are the same as the EI500's. Most of its thrust will come from the device installed in its drive slot.

* The ship has only 40 facings, so the primary weapon and launcher get 10 degrees of swivel (360/40 = 9, so 5 degrees on each side).

* The Defiant overdrive provides +900 acceleration and 0.22c top speed and uses 5 MW of power. The acceleration was calculated to make the stock Defiant's total acceleration slightly less than stock Wolfen's. The top speed shouldn't be too high, since the ship should be fighting, not running away. The acceleration increases to +1080, and the top speed increases to 0.24c when the drive is enhanced.

* The overdrive causes systems problems, such as EMP, lost fuel, and irradiation, at random points in time. The frequency of these events is inversely proportional to the level of the reactor that is installed. For example, they will happen half as often for a level 4 reactor as opposed to a level 2 reactor.

* In comparison, the pteracnium megadrive provides +750 acceleration and 0.30c top speed and uses 200 MW of power. An enhanced pteracnium megadrive has +900 acceleration and 0.33c top speed. The Defiant overdrive is better for close-in fighting and frees up power to install more powerful weapons. The pteracnium megadrive is better for avoiding conflict and running away from fights, and it does not cause systems problems like the overdrive does.

gunship256
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Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:06 pm

Here's a new alpha with the list of changes. Any feedback is appreciated!

Defiant Prototype 0.12 alpha

CHANGES

The ship was becoming radioactive whenever a saved game was loaded. It looks like pulling up a random number at the very beginning of a game always results in that number being very low. Changed the algorithm so that a very low random number would not result in the ship becoming radioactive.

Changed objLowerShields to objDepleteShields so that shields won't become disabled (and have to be manually re-enabled) when the Defiant overdrive knocks them out.

Fixed a bug where the armor segments in the HUD were displaying in the wrong order. The ArmorSection tag needed a segment="" attribute, with each armor segment assigned a number, in order for the HUD to know which segment is which. See the Basic Playerships mod for examples.

Removed the Kibo version of the Defiant from Stars of the Pilgrim. A comment in the code includes instructions to re-enable this option for mods that make the Kibo system available.

Changed the ship from 10 device slots back to 9 and added a 35% HP bonus to the primary weapon. This should help it feel more powerful in the beginning of the game.

The mod is too large to upload to the Transcendence forum, but it's not ready for Xelerus yet. Deleted it from Xelerus and moved it to Google Drive.

relanat
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Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:06 am

I got "d064_DefiantPrototype 0.12 alpha.zip is unsafe to download and was blocked by SmartScreen Filter."

Which translates as 'Microsoft thinks it's virused'.

Also, is it 0.12 or 0.13?

gunship256
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Thu Feb 18, 2016 7:37 am

I made a quick fix to the mod a few days ago and updated the file to 0.13 without making a post on this thread.

Is there somewhere else I can upload the mod to so it's safe for you to download? I don't want to put it on Xelerus until I get some feedback on the alpha first, but it's too big to upload to the forum directly.

relanat
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Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:36 am

Disregard the previous post. I'm on a different computer at the library today and it downloaded OK. (I just hope I don't get virused :shock: !)

Just for general information, download sites are not my area of expertise, but Arkheias (sp?) might be able to advise you. Cabbage Corp is big and, from memory, there are several ways to download it.

relanat
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Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:22 am

No virus. Just a stupid computer having a fit.
====================

Selected the Defiant 0.13 alpha as playership in vanilla 1.7a1a. Got the message:

Unable to start game
Unable to find starting system: Tau Ceti

But I worked it out. There are two versions of the ship. One to start in Eridani and one to start in Tau Ceti. Hey, I was tired. :) Left this here for other tired people.

================================
Great looking graphics, digdug. Well done.

================================
ATM 0.13 feels like a good ship. If anything make the ionizing last a bit longer. When it only happens for a second it doesn't matter much. But 5 seonds could be a bit of a worry. I never got irradiated at all in 32 minutes of time played (according to F2). Only used the starting reactor.

The weak starting shield and armor are good. It makes a powerful ship more fragile. And I love the +35%.

You could maybe start the ship with custom Rad Immune Reactive Armor. That would save you from radiation but upgrading from that really weak armor would cause you to be rad vulnerable again. Until you could find higher level armor anyway.

Or you could make the +35% dependent on the Overdrive being enabled. Without the Overdrive it then becomes a fragile undergunned ship. ATM you're not losing a lot when you disable the Overdrive. The ship still feels good.

gunship256
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Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:22 am

Great looking graphics, digdug. Well done.
I agree. I still have to update the ship so that it has 120 facings, which should be a lot easier than DigDug's original job of creating the 40 facings graphics.
ATM 0.13 feels like a good ship. If anything make the ionizing last a bit longer. When it only happens for a second it doesn't matter much. But 5 seonds could be a bit of a worry. I never got irradiated at all in 32 minutes of time played (according to F2). Only used the starting reactor.
I'll go ahead and increase the length of time for the EMP effect. Would you have wanted to become irradiated within the first half hour of playing? I'm concerned about penalizing the player too much at the beginning of the game, since there's no way to dock and sell stuff to get the 250 credit decontamination fee. In Eridani, irradiation can be a death sentence. I'm willing to do it if it's needed to make the ship more balanced, though.

EDIT: If you think irradiation should be made more of a threat, I can add some decon gel to the list of items the ship starts with. That should solve the problem.
You could maybe start the ship with custom Rad Immune Reactive Armor. That would save you from radiation but upgrading from that really weak armor would cause you to be rad vulnerable again. Until you could find higher level armor anyway.
There's a bug I haven't figured out the cause of yet. Twice, I got irradiated even when I had blast plate installed. It wasn't a big deal, since I had 100k credits, but I don't know how it happened, since the code is supposed to check for radiation immune armor.
Or you could make the +35% dependent on the Overdrive being enabled. Without the Overdrive it then becomes a fragile undergunned ship. ATM you're not losing a lot when you disable the Overdrive. The ship still feels good.
Yes! I think that's what the Overdrive might need so that player doesn't dump it for a megadrive later. If the ship were changed back to 10 slots, the overdrive could be a two-slot device that doubles as a +35% weapon enhancer.

EDIT: I can make the drive a 3-slot device that provides an 85% damage bonus if you think that helps sell the idea that the overdrive absolutely must be enabled to make the ship a viable option. The loss of an available device slot and the loss of an 85% damage bonus is pretty penalizing. 3 slots is also very penalizing for smaller ships like the Sapphire, which is arguably a good thing.

I still need to change the Overdrive so that its negative effects don't happen when the device isn't enabled. Right now, even if you disable the Overdrive, it will still eat fuel, EMP the ship, and so forth.

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digdug
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Tue Feb 23, 2016 1:27 pm

I agree. I still have to update the ship so that it has 120 facings, which should be a lot easier than DigDug's original job of creating the 40 facings graphics.
I didn't create the meshes. My skills are nowhere near that quality. Those meshes have been found by alterecco laying around on the internet and I will be glad to reference the original 3D artist if we can find him.

I still have the files, re-rendering is easy.

There you go: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/720869/defiant.zip (931Kb)
There are 2 versions, the original renderings and a brightness adjusted version. Use the one you prefer :P

gunship256
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Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:30 am

digdug wrote:.I still have the files, re-rendering is easy.

There you go: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/720869/defiant.zip (931Kb)
There are 2 versions, the original renderings and a brightness adjusted version. Use the one you prefer :P
Thanks! I updated the ship based on the graphics you provided and relanat's suggestions. The ship with 120 facings is much better, and I was able to remove the 10 degree swivel that was keeping the ship from having crippled aim.

I uploaded 0.14 alpha and updated the link in the original post. Here it is again:

Defiant prototype alpha

CHANGES

Updated the ship to 120 facings (thanks for the new graphics, digdug!).

Increased paralyzing and blinding effect duration from 150 ticks (5 seconds) to 450 ticks (15 seconds) based on feedback from relanat.

Made some changes to the irradiation code in an attempt to fix the bug that causes the ship to become irradiated even when blast plate has been installed. Failed to fix the bug, although some other minor issues were addressed.

Fixed the overdrive so that its detrimental effects only occur if the overdrive is enabled.

Tied the ship's damage bonus to the overdrive and increased the damage bonus from 35% to 45% to encourage the player to keep the overdrive enabled. This is still arguably weaker than the Spartan's 40% damage bonus from the Swivel Weapons mod, since the overdrive doesn't enhance launchers, but the overdrive's damage bonus does apply to weapons of all levels, and the overdrive only uses 5 MW of power. Since the overdrive uses 2 slots now (see below), the damage bonus has to be significant enough to keep the player from dumping the overdrive for a pteracnium megadrive + lithium booster later.

In order to compensate for the ship being weaker and the overdrive being stronger, changed the ship from 9 to 10 slots and increased the overdrive from 1 to 2 slots. Doubled the overdrive's value and mass so that it makes sense as a 2-slot device. Left powerUse the same; otherwise, I'd have to give the player a 25MW reactor at the beginning of the game.

Since the ship starts the game with a 2-slot device for free, the benefit of having 10 slots is higher than for the average ship, since two of them already have something useful installed for the rest of the game, and the player doesn't have to search for devices to fill those slots. Lowered the ship's armor mass limit from 12 to 8 tons to try to balance this out.

Removed the ship's 10 degree weapon and launcher fire arcs, since the ship got increased from 40 to 120 facings.

Added a barrel of decon gel to the items the ship starts with so that irradiation won't kill the player in Eridani.

relanat
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Thu Mar 03, 2016 5:12 am

Maybe:
Line 576:
after (leq roll 44) you need a 'switch'
that might help with the radiation.

and for the reactor ionization put the bracket on line 646 two lines further down or three lines up. Not sure on this one.

=============================
gunship256 wrote:Would you have wanted to become irradiated within the first half hour of playing? I'm concerned about penalizing the player too much at the beginning of the game, since there's no way to dock and sell stuff to get the 250 credit decontamination fee. In Eridani, irradiation can be a death sentence.
Oh, yeah, I didn't think of that. But having the one barrel of decon gel is good. You can't die first time, but after that it's up to you to keep track of where decon stations are. Works well.

================================
Paralyzing length is good now. There's a chance you'll take damage if it happens during a fight.

It might be worth trying .24 max speed for the Overdrive. It might be overpowered but it might just make it strong enough that you wouldn't want to get rid of it. Dunno.

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