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

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
I'm not entirely sure the game would need a flashpak, per se. I mean, it's a great idea to add as much as you can to the mod to make it more Wing Commander, but how would it work? And could you keep the game balanced? Its one thing to fight the AI but another thing entirely against another person.

Generally, when I played HW against my friends, it would start off as a race to who could build a destroyer first and then who could get the most Heavy Cruisers in action. I could see this being used with the flashpak too, even with a high RU amount.
 

TonViper

Commodore
The only way to see if the flashpack is viable as a gameplay mechanism is to actually have it ingame and test it. Once that is managed, it can always be removed if it isn't fun to play with. Time (and the eventual beta) will tell, I suppose...


Btw, this link: http://download.wcnews.com/files/wing4/wc4_tribute_moreira.wmv (40MB download) is for a music video tribute to the WC4 cutscenes, using many of said scenes. There's some excellent closeups of the Confed HQ in there.

Just in case it helps you model it better. ;)

I just brushed up on my feeble HW2 modding skills btw, and I think that you might be able to get the desired flashpack behavior by adding a line to the .wepn file of the flashpack, checking wether the player has the required number of RU and if so subtracting that number from the player. If not, then it breaks the function and the weapon doesn't fire.

How to actually do that, however is beyond my skills at this point, and sadly I haven't really got time for anything for the next couple of weeks, so I won't be able to develop my skills to the point where I could make the function for you.

If you still need help in a few months though, I'd be happy to help on the scripting side if I can. I'll have quite a bit more spare time then with a little luck.
 

Mjr. Whoopass

<FONT color=lightblue><B>I was going to say someth
On the larger maps it seemed HW2 became a contest of which side could get out a BC first, and then it was all over. I think the Black lance flashpak might become that. I like the idea of including it though, and I think it will work if you make it difficult to get due to the time it would take and the RU cost- as long as there's a counter to it- the other side building a bunch of bombers/getting a Tallahasse/etc.

I read on the Relic forum that you mentioned the ships won't always behave according to their stats and how they were in the game, since the stats weren't designed for a RTS game. This is true, but I hope you stay with the game as much as possible- that's just my opinion though. If you're wondering how you can make sense of some of the stats- 1 torpedo=death- etc.. maybe you can post the questions here and get some feedback on how to keep the stat in game- long lock time, expensive to build a torpedo, one use per ship only, etc.
 

czacen

Spaceman
well i guess people dont like the flashpack. though effectively BL's firepower drops by 1/3rd without it. the only truely effective capship, the vesuvius, will not be able to hold the line in large combat. 5 or more tallahassees and a 4/5 destroyers will start to take it apart no sweat. then what do you do. you need quick efficient cap ship counter methods. i see the flashpack as this. if you are worried about a race to flashpack mentality that can be easily stuck down. just imagine, research and build times for all required technology to use flashpack will be available no quicked than 20 mins and at 20000 RU. this can be strictly set by me and there would be no way around it. it would mean that if you were playing against BL (human or AI) you would have 20 mins to desing a strike force and attack. the enemy will have no scope of doing anything if he spends 20000RU on research only. if needs be you could set out with early harrasment techniques. you see each race has a weakness and a strength. BL is weak at the beginning of the game, this can be taken advantage of. confed has a balanced strength right from the start so you might want to use this to advantage. i dont think we need to remove it. plus the flashpack is counterable. its targetable by capships so if one flashpack is launched not to far away a carrier's turrets might just be able to shoot it down before it gets too close.

ok now mjr whoopass. im afraid whatever realism tradeoffs are being made they are being made mainly due to the game engine or gameplay.

1) first of all even though till now fighter maximum speed values match wc4 values i have doubts about using them. this is because in HW2 those values make ships fly so fast that they can fly from one side of a map to the other and back in less than a minute. similary cap ships seem to move so fast that they give you the feeling you're spinning a pen on the table. on average, the higher you go with speed values causes some undesireable effects in HW2 such, as badly behaving collision boxes. collision boxes (avoidance boxes of ships) is not a fixed mesh. it is (at all times) a calcualtion of the ships speed at that moment, heading and some internal equations developed by relic. this means fast moving ships and especially large ones like concordias and the tallahassee end up going mad when they need to fly in formation or take up a position near another capship. hence all capship speed and movement values pitch and yaw are reduced by me to suit HW2.

2) due to the absence of shielding in the HW2 engine (even though i have faked this on fighters) capships get massacred in combat. i made their hull strength by accurately following the ships database here. so my concordia had 6000 core strength plus 1200 shields, so i made its HP 7200. similarly made the tallahassee and destroyers matching the specs of WC4. loaded up the game, jumped to enemy proximity (enemy was confed also with only capships in their fleet *identical to me*) the capships opended fire with their dual bore lasers (doing 25 damage each bore) so thats 50 damage and dual bore AMG doing 600 damage each turret and within a few salvos the entire fight was over. this was with almost 20 ships each. it was boring and pityful. so ship health is set by me in accordance with HW2 standards. now people with HW2 mod knowledge will tell me to set weapon damage power. for example i can set capship weapons so that the same laser turret can have full damage potential against fighter craft but reduced damage potential against capships. but people will say equally that AMG turrets are made for capship slugfests. so it means that a tallahassee with ~4000 hp takes ~2400 damage from one salvo of AMG turrets on an enemy tallahassee alone. 2 salvos and and a ship you waited 5 minutes to build and spent 10000 RU on is gone. its really depressing when you play this (yes even more so than a vagyr BC firing its front cannon at your hiigarian carrier) trust me.

3) torps cant be one shot killers. HW2 does not allow you to specify how many times a ship can fire a weapon. if you give torps to a longbow it uses it like a laser cannon. if you make torpedos a buildable munition then you have one build entry in your build menu for each wing of bombers, so if you have 10 wings of bombers and 4 bombers a wing, thats 40 entries in the build menu. there is only one option and i have taken the route already, which is to have long refire times. however torps are not wasted since whenever they are fired they only choose capships as targets so there is faith that even while a longbow wing is dogfighting it will still pump every available torp into some enemy capship near by. or even easier just tell them to go after the capship itself. torpedos are strong but it would take maybe 3 wings of longbows or effectivley 2 wings of avengers to take down a carrier class. torps are targetable so they can be shot in flight if you choose to do so. also bombers will have normal gunfire that is attuned to damaging capships more than damaging fighters, similar to how i have made laser mounts on capships as i mention above.

4) the tallahassee is 800m effectivley. i know people will think i did this because i wanted it to be the BC equivalent, but in the end i had to make it bigger than 530m for a very simple reason. as you have read above the tallahassee will have full use of its rear hangar. this means ships have to dock and launch from that same hangar door. with the ship scaled to 530m the hangar is so small that there is no space for a wing to land and launch at the same time. since ships can not have sharing paths for docking and launching in HW2 this meant that fighters docking just intersected horribly with those launching and if not with other fighters then with the tallahassee itself. its not possible to set priority for ships to dock over ships to launch (not available in HW2) since they use different paths it will allways happen simultaneously.

these have been the biggest areas of change. all have valid reasons. though i think i will have to seriously question the use of flashpack. do people think i should remove it entirely?
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Mincemeat said:
I think keep the flashpack for now and decide on its fate after a few public betas.
Yeah, there's no need to cut stuff like this because of what people say now. If the flashpak fixes the balance, then it should stay in. It's probably too early to say for sure.
 

TonViper

Commodore
czacen said:
3) torps cant be one shot killers. HW2 does not allow you to specify how many times a ship can fire a weapon. if you give torps to a longbow it uses it like a laser cannon. if you make torpedos a buildable munition then you have one build entry in your build menu for each wing of bombers, so if you have 10 wings of bombers and 4 bombers a wing, thats 40 entries in the build menu. there is only one option and i have taken the route already, which is to have long refire times.

Actually, some of the earlier Star Wars Warlords releases had bombers with torps they fired normally, like WC bombers would fire their anti fighter missiles, and also a special weapon torpedo volley, fired on the players command, which had to be reloaded by docking the fighter on a capship. So it's definately possible. Try asking evillejedi how he did it.

The only thing they didn't have was an indicator of wether the torps had already been fired, but that's a secondary worry IMO.
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
czacen said:
well i guess people dont like the flashpack. though effectively BL's firepower drops by 1/3rd without it.
If it's THAT nessessary to the BL balance, then by all means, leave it in!

BTW - how are you going to work around/with the fact that HW allows you to hyperspace jump where ever on the map you want?
 

Flex

Spaceman
I think he plans on utilizing jump bouys to do that. The Vaygar could connect two jumpgates and move ships back and forth. Likewise most ships needed to have a hyperspace core build onboard to jump around.

The jump bouys would make for an interesting dynamic.

A neat idea would be utilizing the flak cannons on the flak frigate. Though WC4 ships didn't have any sort of flak cannon, it would be neat if it was possible for a carrier or other capship to carry a flak turrent or two. A neat idea, though probably difficult to integrate.
 

czacen

Spaceman
ah easy. no hyperspace allowed outside the use of jump buoys. they will be like vagyr hyperspace gates. :)!

tonviper the way they did it is with very long reload times. if you have a ship with a 60 min reload time on the weapon then the only way to reset this sooner is by docking the wing. it creates the illusion that the weapon has been reloaded onto the fighters by the carrier. hence the absence of the weapon indicator, the weapon persists but hasnt come around for a second shot yet. trust me i have done some pretty extensive research on this. the firing on command could be a target specific option. if a torp is only allowed to fire at a capship then it wont activate against fighters, but if you asked the bombers to go after a capship torps would suddenly appear since the situation would allow for this kind of weapon use. there are also the concept of special weapons in HW2 wepn files, these can be shortcut triggered but its essentially the same concept, long reload time and target limitations.

for those interested in some technical babble on the topic the link is here

http://forums.relicnews.com/showthread.php?p=1542003
 

t.c.cgi

Vice Admiral
czacen said:
2) due to the absence of shielding in the HW2 engine (even though i have faked this on fighters) capships get massacred in combat. i made their hull strength by accurately following the ships database here. so my concordia had 6000 core strength plus 1200 shields, so i made its HP 7200. similarly made the tallahassee and destroyers matching the specs of WC4. loaded up the game, jumped to enemy proximity (enemy was confed also with only capships in their fleet *identical to me*) the capships opended fire with their dual bore lasers (doing 25 damage each bore) so thats 50 damage and dual bore AMG doing 600 damage each turret and within a few salvos the entire fight was over. this was with almost 20 ships each. it was boring and pityful. so ship health is set by me in accordance with HW2 standards. now people with HW2 mod knowledge will tell me to set weapon damage power. for example i can set capship weapons so that the same laser turret can have full damage potential against fighter craft but reduced damage potential against capships. but people will say equally that AMG turrets are made for capship slugfests. so it means that a tallahassee with ~4000 hp takes ~2400 damage from one salvo of AMG turrets on an enemy tallahassee alone. 2 salvos and and a ship you waited 5 minutes to build and spent 10000 RU on is gone. its really depressing when you play this (yes even more so than a vagyr BC firing its front cannon at your hiigarian carrier) trust me.
Instead of giving all the ships some wild hull HP, just ignore hull and core strength. Give the ships Shield HP + whatever buffer you feel is good, and give the ships a really high self-repair equal to shield regen. This way you get the impression of shields.
 

czacen

Spaceman
ah! the reason this wont work is that capships display damage taken in a physical way. example: a carrier gets hit till its in the red, it starts to spew gass, have holes in the bulkheads and generally have small fires start to show up on its skin. with fast regen the effect of shields might show up on the health bar as the red line regens fast, but how do you explain the ships physical repair to take place so fast? holes patch and gas leaks/fires stop in seconds?? nope not a viable solution. however shields on fighters have been faked using the exact method you are describing t.c.cgi, since fighters dont show physical damage on their skin.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
That is a tough situation...although I'm not sure if I would care too much about the gfx glitch in order to simulate shields on capships. Those precious seconds between strikes in WC would allow shields to start to recover and could be enough sometimes to save a ship. It might be wise to try it and see which works better. I understand how the gfx situation would annoy you, as I find it a crappy situation as well, but if it gives the feeling of shields maybe we can live with it.
 

Lt.Death100

Spaceman
Don't know much about HW2 modding but you could check to see if you can modify the threshold when ships start to show gfx damage.
 

Don

Rear Admiral
Seeing that the mod is looking wonderful, I was wondering have you completed some sort of storyline, at least have an inkling of some sort about what could happen OR is that yet to be revealed (or even started)?
 

Lt.Death100

Spaceman
czacen said:
well you know i have given that some serious thought. however it is a big enough task to get fully working races in multiplayer alone. right now i see myself finish confed first, release it as a beta then move onto BW and the Black Lance, but single player might come much later once all ships are ready. if its any consolation you may be able to play the HW2 campaign with WC ships. im not ruling it out. it would be great fun to make, so who knows if people like the MP enough i might put in a SP later. :)
It's a little old but I think he'll stick to to most of it.:)
 

L.I.F.

Vice Admiral
I saw something in other HW2 mods, to create shields (In Warlords, more exactly) :
A invisible subsystem, which take every hit instead of the ship it's protecting. While the subsystem still have HP, the ship won't be hit, but when they're reduced to 0, then the ship takes some hits, while the shield subsystem needs some time to be back online. Take a look at this mod :
Star Wars : Warlords, in the 0.45 version, there is limited secondary ammo (missiles and torpedoes) for fighters, a possibility of ordering a torpedo salvo, and reloading when docking, as well as these shields.
 

czacen

Spaceman
yeah there is a tute for the shield systems on evillejedi's site. i havent been through it yet. someone has also asked me to contact evillejedi about his fire missle salvo on shortcut key command option. could use this for torps and flashpacks. dont know any details on it as yet. hopefully jedi can make us all happy with this.
 

czacen

Spaceman
ok everbody i have that responce from evillejedi that everyone is waiting for, its quoted below.

"it's really simple actually, keep the missiles you have except make the reload time like an hour (really long) change the weapon activation type to "Special Attack" instead of "Normal" and in the ship file add the special attack ability, you can find it in the hgn_scout, and the weapon will activate on the Z key.

be warned that unless you implement significant scripting, the AI cannot use the missiles."

so in effect the missles will remain the way they do except if people think it will be better i will add the shortcut key command to torps and flashpack. but like evillejedi said the enemy AI cant use it, and im confident that when evillejedi says significant scripting he means SIGNIFICANT!! this is probably the reason he removed it from his own warlords mod.
 

t.c.cgi

Vice Admiral
Yeah, it sounds like a lot of trouble for something that will make bombers complicated. Bombers carried a lot of torps anyway, so it might be better to just use a long reload and/or fire delay, and ballance the damage during beta testing. Same for the flashpack.
 
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