Shrike's Mines & Missiles ++

A place to discuss mods in development and concepts for new mods.
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Song
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Fri Jun 10, 2016 10:30 am

Not much to report. I'm starting to do a code cleanup, hopefully in preparation for actually releasing the mod soonish. Added a new kinetic round to the auto40. It's not very good, but it's cheaper than the others and it shatters tiny stuff so eh, reasonable enough.
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Sun Jun 12, 2016 3:17 am

Revised Auto40 rounds to make the new round fit in better, removed shatter. It was a fun effect but the crappy visual effects the engine uses aren't suitable for common use. Started planning for the next set of Makayev missiles for the Tsar launcher.


I've added the third and final AXTIR vessel into the game. The Tiger-class IAV is a modification of the heavy IAV design. It's heavier and slower, but turns slightly faster. It uses a heavy steel armor that has pretty reasonable HP, however the main strength of the Tiger is in its forward-facing weaponry. The Tiger sports a swiveling Minotaur gamma-ray laser of either Mark I or II type, with a signficant ammunition load. The Mark I-equipped Tigers also mount collimators to increase their damage. The slow-firing primary weapon is backed-up by a secondary SZ-70 gunpod, firing at any target within a 90-degree cone. The SZ-70 is now an AXTIR-built weapon, and can be installed like a disposable missile system.

Tigers are rare, although they do sometimes crop up in random encounters. Short of attacking an AXTIR stronghold (which I haven't coded into the game yet) or being very unlucky with multiple encounters at once, you won't fight more than one at a time. They do sometimes have escorts though and are designed to be fairly hard-hitting enemies anyway, so treat them with caution unless you're well equipped. They're very vulnerable to attacks from behind, and from rapid-fire matter weapons that can block their shots.
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Wed Jun 15, 2016 3:38 am

Finalised balance testing on AXTIR. There's some residual bugs with their fortresses and their loot, but those can wait for now. I'm quite happy with how they are: fairly easy to kill, but dangerous if you screw up or fly directly in front of a Tiger.
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Sun Jun 19, 2016 8:30 am

AXTIR still being annoying with getting barricades to line up correctly. Currently I'm not bothering. Instead I'm working on some new ships that (for now) will show up as hostiles, but might also have some friendly versions if I get some station code working. They're all IAVs. As the IAV seems to be an open-source design, I've got no qualms about re-using that sprite (and basic ship) with some slight performance tweaks to make new stuff:

Protector-class IAV

This is a heavy-IAV variant manufactured/fitted out by Voss und Szell. It's a heavy gunboat, designed for tougher enemies than lighter guard ships can handle. It comes in four versions:

Protector 1 IAVs use the VS33 dual kinetic cannon. Low damage, but high rate of fire + passthrough. As a secondary they mount an Auto40 multicannon (for now). These guys use the (as-yet-not-quite-balanced V&S base-level shield which reflects kinetic projectiles, but is quite weak against lasers and other energy weapons.

Protector 2 IAVs are currently somewhat placeholder. They'll probably use mid-level corporate gear (about level 4 or 5), or an as-yet-unmade V&S blast weapon. They'll probably also use the Auto40.

Protector 3 IAVs use the VS42 dual tritium cannon as a light primary weapon. This thing, like the low-level V&S primaries, is a high ROF, low damage-per shot passthrough weapon. Against heavy armor, they're also fitted with an Auto90 multicannon, firing thermonuclear rounds. Having too many of these firing their guns on screen at once is very bad for lag. They've got no shields though.

Protector 4 IAVs are super-rare and only in prototype form. They're too expensive to mass-produce right now and are mostly a tech demo for V&S. They use weaponry from Parker Plasmatronics. Unlikely to be in the game just yet (nowhere to put them).


(Of course, none of these are in encounters as of yet)

Defender-class IAV

This is a medium IAV varient made by Voss und Szell. As the name suggests, they're aimed at the station defense market....they're generally not very capable against heavier ships. They work well against the things the Protector is weak against, mostly. There are three varients.

Defender 1 IAVs use a VS30 cannon and an Icarus launcher. Interestingly, this allows them to fit a Solon shield while still being able to do laser damage, as the missiles aren't lasers themselves and thus don't trigger the blocking effect.

Defender 2 IAVs use a VS40 tritium cannon, the single version of the VS42. They also mount a Bushido energy launcher, although I'm probably removing that at some point.

Defender 3 IAVs use a Parker P51 plasma cannon, with no secondary weapon (because I don't currently have anything suitable for them). They're generally weaker than a Defender 2 in terms of firepower, but the P51 does quite well against strongly thermo-resistant enemies.

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These guys have been a useful tool for balancing out my guns a bit better and getting some practice with ship-modding. I'm thinking of maybe adding a lategame Freeworlds-anarchist equivalent faction to use a few of them. Not too many though: like the vanilla IAVs these guys all have quite high fire-rates, so it'd be unfair to throw them at the player.
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Sat Jun 25, 2016 7:30 am

Started work on a set of changes to the NAMI launcher. While I think the vanilla one mostly fits its role, with the changes to distribution in SM&M++ it becomes far too powerful. I'm looking at significant range and momentum nerfs, and possibly some damage nerfs to the XM500 and XM900 (because they're far more common).


I've also started trying to make some weapons inspired by a few things in Frontier. It's been....interesting....at times.


Finally, I'm trying to nail down some issues with AXTIR forts. I'm probably eventually just going to forum-dump the code and see if more experience station modders can point at the mistakes. Unfortunately due to the way stations cache their basic setups, it's quite hard to test my fixes.
On the plus side, I have just changed their spawning codes. You can now get 12+ ships gating in as reinforcements. They're not that tough, but it can get interesting against under-levelled enemies.
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Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:45 am

1.7 Alpha 2 has completely messed up a bunch of things in SM&M++, ranging from balance to SNAPSS functionality to AXTIR conga-lines suddenly attacking the player if they've even mildly annoyed the station. I'm starting to fix these, but it's going to be a while.


I've started out by getting that NAMI nerf out of the way. Missiles are now slower, have shorter lifetimes, and have massively reduced momentum values. I may also slightly reduce damage and area-of-effect on the KM110. XM400 and XM900. George has an annoying habit of making the NAMI missiles have great damage, good secondary stats (WMD and momentum), good AoE range, ridiculous speed (for early-game matter weapons), great agility (for trackers), low price, lower mass, and extremely high availability......with no real downside. And there's still no real counter except "buy blast plate and laugh at the unbalanced armor resistance curve".....missile-defense is bust and there's only a few blast-focused shields in the entire game.

My ones still have a lot of those factors, but not as badly as the vanilla ones (which make almost all other missiles easy to ignore). And I can't make them awful because then people will hate me. But there's at least some reason to use other missiles now. The NAMI missiles are a good medium to short-ranged missile, but do have some limitations.
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Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:37 am

NAMI nerf has been completed. I'm now looking at some extra rebalancing work for the Voss und Szell weapons. This will include adding a few extra plasma ammunition types.

Unfortunately with the way Alpha 2 has affected the mod, I'm having to put back the release significantly. Fortunately, that means more polish when it is released.
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Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:59 am

Lots of work done, even more to do:

-Started overhaul of Voss und Szell. I'm hoping I might be able to get some actual stations for these guys. Unfortunately they'll be on placeholder graphics because I don't know how to do the edits I'd love to do in truespace.

-Revised AXTIR gunship lineup and station spawns following feedback from AP's testing.
-Fixed problems with AXTIR barricades spawning facing the wrong way
-Panther IAVs now use the EI pod launcher, not the SZ-70.

-Rebuilt the Level 6 plasma weapon (P40). I still have some balance passes to nerf it some more, but I'm happy with how it looks at least:

Image

While it does need a bit of extra alterations, the P40 is a very effective "sweeper" weapon. Low damage, but it'll damage almost anything in the game with equal effectiveness. The WMD is a bit excessive right now, but it's going to have some at least when I'm done with it.
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Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:03 am

Added new base-level bushido laser. Needs some nerfing.

Revised Tripoli:

-Tripoli no longer has NAMI launcher (or nukes)
-Added additional secondary weapons
-Altered spec slightly (after initial testing where it was eating Earth Slavers)
TripoliNew.png
TripoliNew.png (275.37 KiB) Viewed 2459 times
Revised "modified" Tripoli (lategame varient)

-Removed all gear, moved it to match base setup of the new gunboat-style Tripoli.
-Added DPS via enhancement devices and a firerateadj of 10
-Added bushido gatling laser as omni weapon (unlike the basic tripoli, you can't sit behind this one and be immune to return fire)
--> Started nerfing process (this thing can, and does, chew up a deimos in a one-on-one. With lasers)

Just to restate this, this is a destroyer with level 6 armor and level 5 maximum weaponry that can kill a capital ship with level 9 armor. After some nerfs. Frankly, this thing is terrifying.

Revised Aquila:

-Aquila now sports the Odachi starcannon, not the Katana
-Starcannons are now primary weapons
-Added TeV9 secondary armorment
-Added missile variability. Aquilas now carry the M2, M4 and S3 missiles (only one type per ship).
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Thu Sep 22, 2016 1:57 am

Tripoli changes:

-Reduced speed and agility of both versions (they're extremely vulnerable to attacks from behind at close range, and that's a good thing)
-Reduced armor resistances on endgame version
-Both versions now use the same (awful) shield

These ships are now finalised. Xephyr's also offered to work on some unique art for the lategame version.

AXTIR changes:

-Fixed the Panther so it uses the EI pod launcher correctly
-Added defense turrets to Fortress spawns

The endgame faction using the tripoli is coming together. I've got two out of three of their heavy ships finalised or nearly finalised, and the third one starting work. They'll also be using some familiar gunships with new setups to give some light capability against laser-immune targets. Between them and AXTIR, I think I'll have some nice challenges for George's modded SOTP run....assuming my overwrites don't clash with so many things that they need to be removed.
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Sat Sep 24, 2016 8:55 am

Endgame faction progress:

-New name! They're now the (self-proclaimed) "Lords of the Outer Realm"

-Ship redesigns! The Lords have a bunch of upgraded Marauder and Charon vessels that are generally quite fragile, but can pack a punch even with their relatively low-quality gear:


Corsair Deluxe

A complete overhaul of the Corsair, the deluxe model sports an R1 shield and hardened plasteel armor to give very limited survivability against late-game factions. The main armorment consists of either a light ion blast, dual light ion blaster, or ion blaster. The deluxe serves as an interceptor and light-fighter. While it's not particularly capable, it can damage things fairly efficiently and has the most advanced gear of any ship the Lords have. You'll generally see these escorting frigates, as they're the only small ship that can keep up.

Viking IIa

A modification of the Viking II, the IIa has lost the shield capacity of its predecessor, but gained stealth capabilities. Paired with this are a variety of weapon options, ranging from the dual flenser and X-ray laser up to the dual heavy slam cannon and the particle convergence cannon. The Viking IIa is an ambusher, and used for extended patrols in squadrons. (or it will be, when I've added it in)

Barbary II

It's a barbary, only slightly tougher to kill. It also mounts a dual X-ray laser and a choice of either an EMP cannon or an ion disruptor as a fixed secondary weapon. Generally used a a guard or escort, rather than as an interceptor or patrol craft...but occaisional intercepts may happen.

I am certain I will receive much positive feedback about adding more enemies to the game that can ionise you.

As-yet unrenamed Drake

The heavy firepower of the Lords. The armor and survivability is terrible, and this ship is almost always escorted by a squadron of Barbary-II's as a result. A pair of x-ray lasers give limited self-defense capabilities, but the main firepower of this vessel is a single heavy missile launcher (currently just the NAMI, may gain another weapon I'm still working on). NAMI-heavy equipped models come with either M1 or M2 missiles.

Vassal's Frigate (may be renamed)

These ships bear the names of their owners, and are extremely capable patrol ships. These vessels are used for interception missions when a station has been knocked out. The use of looted civilian Titan drives gives these ships extreme speed that makes up somewhat for their poor survivability. Weaponry consists of 4 secondary X-ray lasers, plus a central launcher. Rasiermesser launchers and NAMI heavy launchers equipped with S1 and S2 missiles are an option for this main weapon.

Lord's Tripoli

Teeming with guns and sporting upgraded power routing that allows for a blistering rate of fire, these are the most survivable ships the Lords have. Do not assume that because they use lasers they are not a threat. This is most definitely not the case. While slow and still relatively fragile, the sheer number of laser blasts a Lord's Tripol can put out is enough to down many ships. That being said, it's no match for a dedicated military vessel.

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In the long term I'm hoping to get some unique art done for all these ships (Xephyr has very kindly offered to give it a go once I give him a queue), but at the moment they're identical to their mid and early-game brethren.
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Other stuff:

-Improved submunition range on S2 Basilisk missile
-Undid some experimental armor changes
-Removed disposable M2 launcher (surplus to needs and didn't fit the new Lords faction)
-Re-renamed and altered the ion blaster line
-Started adding a bunch of miscellaneous items. They've got no use, but you can trade them.
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Sun Sep 25, 2016 11:53 pm

Attempts to give levelled gear to certain NPCs have failed. I don't have the documentation to get it working right now.


....so instead I've made some new versions of the Oromo and Sotho, and will be giving them levelled distribution on outlaw mining colonies. Some of them are quite well armed, most are merely "capable of damaging the player".
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Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:08 am

Today, I buffed the Deimos. The ship is now more resilient to losing all its guns, and has an uncommon second setup that does significantly more damage, at the cost of not being able to defend itself from all angles. Exact firing arcs aren't nailed-down just yet, but it's looking quite good all the same. I've also increased some of the internal health a bit. While it's still a destroyer (not a cruiser or dreadnought) it's now a bit more of a credible threat against heavily armed ships.
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Mon Sep 26, 2016 9:09 am

The 'Lords of the Outer Realm' are now up and running....sort of. They're showing up too often and at too low a system level...the ships are a bit too tough, and there's too many of them. Aside from that...all is working well. Fortunately these aren't that difficult to fix and they should be done before my deadline to polish things up for the Great Modded Georgeventure on Friday.

While there's a lot of polish to be done, the basics of their stations are complete:

Outposts are a single station, with fairly light guards. They mount a rapid-firing X-ray laser and launch occasional patrols of Viking IIa gunships.

Settlements consist of a central Keep, armed with an Onager howitzer, with a cluster of habitation modules, each mounting an X-ray laser. They have fairly heavy defense, although I'll be nerfing this significantly (I'm thinking of making frigates only show up if you destroy the keep). They also sometimes launch patrols around the system. When I've worked out a few bugs, they'll also have a chance to have freighters docked (I don't have any freighter supply runs coded as of yet).

Fortresses are extremely well-armed, have strong gunship contingents, launch random encounters fairly regularly (including some extremely dangerous ones), and have a destroyer patrolling them at all times. They're quite rare and have valuable loot, however. I'm still nerfing them a little, mostly to make them turn up later in the game than my original spawn code was ensuring.....but they'll be an interesting challenge once they're not turning up immediately after Sanctuary.
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Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:34 am

One step forward, another step back. While the LOTOR are working...ok.....some old bugs with AXTIR have cropped up. I think something very wrong is happening with image variants, because an old bug has returned without changing any code. I'll probably need to find someone on IRC who can do an audit and work out what the heck is going on with it. Apart from that, they're working reasonably well although they're now appearing perhaps a little later than is ideal...but I can live with that. Nice to have some squishy stuff to shoot in the midgame when you're just starting to get military gear.

(Although it'd be a lot more fun if these darned barricade were working as intended)
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