WC4 Mod For Homeworld 2 In The Works (June 5, 2006)

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
One day, Dund, one day. Assuming we don't go insane first... :)

(of course, as anyone who knows me knows, it is hardly possible for me to go insane, having already done so numerous times in the past. There are limits to insanity. I know - I checked)
Given that I used to pummel an Iranian student with an owl plushie in my office as we were arguing about the gender of said-owl and that I am the proud owner of around 60 large plushies myself (most of them handmade), I dare say sanity is optional. :)
 

Whistler

Commodore
Given that I used to pummel an Iranian student with an owl plushie in my office as we were arguing about the gender of said-owl and that I am the proud owner of around 60 large plushies myself (most of them handmade), I dare say sanity is optional. :)
Sanity is overrated.

Congrats on the shiny PhD!
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
Smallish update. Thanks to some help on the main Homeworld Remastered boards from the Gearbox forums, I managed to break through the big issue that I talked about for some time now, that was plaguing me and turned the largest ships into that kind of mess:



I just took that screenshot a few minutes ago:



As you can see, the biggest models are now working properly with the new version of the file system (compare the Hvar'Kann from the last two pictures to see what I mean). Do not get your hopes up, though, because this means I will, as soon as I get the ships updated and debugged, just be able to start tinkering. There's quite a lot of new stuff to work with in the new version of the game, and I would like to release a much more complete stuff instead of the incremental versions from the past year. If you people really want to have a Beta release with the ships working-ish, I guess I could try to upload it the next week-end. The proper release, however, is intended to have AI, possibly some new gameplay features and, depending on feasability, more units modelled and textured to the new standard of quality. And that, I'll be honest... it will take months.
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
Well, if it helps there is a sort of built-in deadline coming up....the CIC birthday...no pressure or anything ;)
*le grunt*

In any case, here is a pic taken less than a minute ago, to show the correction of the main bug:



Every ship has now been fixed that way. *checks* So, August 13th, you say? Huh, I guess I should be able to get you people a stable release for that day, but don't expect much more than what was available back before the patch, though (unless I happen to make a big breakthrough in AI programming and the newly-born Skynet decides to help me rather than annihilating humankind).
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
Update (not any big news, just to let you people know how it's going): basic functionality restored for the Kilrathi faction, player-only (no AI) building, icons, research and combat seem to work so far. A few things to tinker with, but that's pretty much the state I'm trying to get for the birthday Beta Release with the other factions. Things like fuel, ammunition, AI and the such will come later.
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
Mini-update 2: the Confed faction has now basic functionality too. This means a beta release is extremely likely for the CIC birthday party, albeit the status of the release will probably not be as advanced as the previous stable one (still have problems with the wrecks, for example). I have yet to decide whether I'll try to improve the two main factions or attempt to get the last two operational for a release, though at the moment, I'd be more for the first solution, to try and get wrecks and the new fuel scripts, since the UBW and BL factions still need a few more ships and subsystems to be pushed to the new quality standard. Definitely no AI to be expected by then, however.
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
Next mini-update: thanks to some help on the Gearbox forums, I just got the fuel and ammunition scripts to work, and they are much, much better than before, smoother and more precise. Combine this with the increased stability of the MP from the official 2.0 patch and I dare say we actually might get a few games running around the birthday party since these are the critical gameplay features I consider necessary for a good experience. Most likely Kilrathi/Confed only, though.

Anyone interested to set this up? If there are people who'd like that, I will most likely do an early release so it can be beta-tested for bugs and crashes.
 

Lilja

Ensign
Anyone interested to set this up? If there are people who'd like that, I will most likely do an early release so it can be beta-tested for bugs and crashes.
I could certainly find a little time to do some testing, never tried MP but would welcome the chance to be a target.
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
One of the gameplay's highlights of the official 2.0 patch was a massive improvement in formations, so I think I will break away once and for all from the "fighter group" model used before, where you purchased your fighters and bombers by groups of different sizes. Instead of this, you will be able to build the fighters on a unitary scale and use the formation tool to get your own wings and combat groups. In addition, some ships will receive a productivity upgrade. For example, the Lexington and the Naval Base (think Blackmane in III) will have two production lines to build two fighters or two capital ships at once. The Lexington thus becomes much more interesting for setting up mining installations or replenishing strike groups during a pitched battle, while the Naval Base becomes much more than a simple shipyard. As for today's mini-update, the wrecks have been updated and are working ingame, so the job is now all about scripting, improving visuals and balancing the units.
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
A bit more about balancing, and something for which I will seriously need feedback. Now, we can weight each unit in various supply categories to play a bit with its availability. For example, a single Arrow will cost 1 supply for your Fighter capacity while a Hellcat will cost 1 in Fighter and 1 in the subcategory Interceptor and an Excalibur will also be 1 in Fighter but a whopping 4 in Interceptor, being a brand-new prototype. The Thunderbolt will be 2 in Fighter and 1 in Heavy Fighter while the Longbow will be 4 in Fighter, 2 in Heavy Fighter and 1 in Heavy Bomber. What does it mean, ingame? I can set up hard limits for each category. Let's consider the following limitations:

Fighter - 100
Heavy Fighter - 70
Interceptor - 70
Heavy Bomber - 35

You could go with 100 Arrow in a blazing hedgehog around your capital ship force (which is also weighted the same way) but without anything else. Or you could decide to buy 17 Excalibur and 2 Hellcat to fill your Interceptor quota with quality rather than quantity (17*4 = 68, +2 to reach 70 in Interceptor). Thing is, I doubt such a fighter force would survive against 70 Hellcat, so you need to balance a bit and use your few Excalibur as a force multiplier while the Hellcat remains the backbone, unless you really want to punch hard somewhere while lacking fighter cover everywhere else (or be limited to 30 Arrow). But you'll also notice that if you take 70 points worth of Interceptors, you only have 30 points worth of Fighters left, both for Arrow and for Heavy Fighters. Same thing there, Longbows will be really expensive to support, being huge bombers, but their capability to fire their torpedoes two by two can be worth the price. And whatever you do, you won't have more than one and only one Maniac (thank God), who belongs in his own subcategory.

I think you start seeing the picture there, right? These supply values are going to be pretty important for balancing and good gameplay experience, so if you can think a bit about it and give me some feedback about how to balance the availability of the various units, I'd appreciate it a lot. Just FYI, I'm considering now that the configuration with 100 points worth of Fighters should be the Normal one, with the Large at 200 and the Huge at 300 or 400. Same, an Eagle would be one point, a Yorktown or a Southampton would be 2, a Savannah 3 and a Tallahassee, a Jutland or a Lexington 4 points, a Confederation 6 and the Behemoth 8. We'd have 18 points worth of Capital Ships in Normal, 36 in Large and 50 or 64 in Huge.

The idea is that in Normal, you should be able to man one carrier battlegroup and two or more in Large and Huge. Ideally, I would envision a game with 4 or 8 players, in Normal so each can control a battlegroup in fleet operations. In any case, we're getting quite close to the release now, I'm gonna test the Confed ingame tonight. :)

P.S.: the Beta will not have the voices and musics from the game.
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
And for a silver lining in an overall shitty day, I'm uploading the Beta version right now. Depending on the upload speed, it should be ready within one or a few hours. Enjoy!

*collapses*

P.S.: actually, the musics and the voices are in.

Edit: I'm in the countryside and the connexion is crappy, so it should be online in roughly 15 hours.
 
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L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
Bad news, I just checked, looks like the upload was unsuccessful and the file is only partly there, so I have restarted the process. Another day of transfer incoming. X_X
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
Aaaaaand it works. *phew*

Steam release playable. Remember to use the -luatrace command and to report bugs/CTD if possible, as well as sharing your suggestions for balance and tweaks. I'd like to be able to release a more enjoyable version for the CIC birthday if I get feedback to work with and integrate. :)
 

Lilja

Ensign
A quick battle worked for me.

A few obvious issues that I'm sure you are aware of - unable to build bombers, one of the Kilrathi carriers seamed to move incredibly fast (I'll double check that later)

On the plus side I like the speed vs attack options, that could prove useful on an in and out assault. Also the ships look really nice on the highest detail setting as you zoom in and rotate round - I might have to invest in a water cooler for my graphics card.

A few little ideas - it is possible to pick off the turrets manually, however is it possible for them to do this automatically or via a specific command ? also could the cap ships be given the option for kamikazi ?
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
A quick battle worked for me.

A few obvious issues that I'm sure you are aware of - unable to build bombers, one of the Kilrathi carriers seamed to move incredibly fast (I'll double check that later)

On the plus side I like the speed vs attack options, that could prove useful on an in and out assault. Also the ships look really nice on the highest detail setting as you zoom in and rotate round - I might have to invest in a water cooler for my graphics card.

A few little ideas - it is possible to pick off the turrets manually, however is it possible for them to do this automatically or via a specific command ? also could the cap ships be given the option for kamikazi ?
I will check the stats for the Kilrathi ships and take a look at the bombers. Will try to get a patch for these issues. As for the turrets, yes, you can pick them off individually, though they will be repaired after some time. It is, actually, a good tactic to win capital ship fights with the help of light fighters, by attacking their AMG turrets. Also, the capital ships can already self-destruct, which does quite the amount of damage around them. I will also have to modify the self-destruct damage depending on each ship's mass.

Edit: I didn't read your post correctly. I don't know if its possible to do it automatically. Maybe drag an attack box (Ctrl + Click, IIRC) around the ship. As for the Kilrathi capital ships, their speed seems correct to me in the files.

As for the bombers' issue, play in Large or Huge caps limit. I'll post a fix tomorrow.
 
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L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
@Lilja: the update is online. Not only you can build bombers and advanced ships in all cap settings, but from now on, each corvette and above class of ship will do splash damage when exploding, proportional to its mass. But if you order them to self-destruct, the damage is ten times higher. Let's just say that you do NOT want to be close to a Hvar'Kann on a suicide run.
 
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