WING: Commander Invasion v1.0 release......

Major A Payne

Rear Admiral
Hi again all. I've finally gotten to the point of being able to make a first beta release of this in progress project. Its still far from complete but at least the basic skirmish mode is changed to suit the Confed and Kilrathi ship sides. Currently, I've uploaded the mod to:

Empire At War files
MODDB
AlphaBlue Modding

If a member of staff wishes to add the mod here then please do so and I'll be happy to provide any additional information necessary.
 

Jason_Ryock

Vice Admiral
Ugh! I guess this is a good reason to get FoC. I've heard bad things about it and have no desire to experiance it, but it's worth it if it'll let me play WC:I.
 

Aginor

Vice Admiral
FoC is better than I thought (and than most people say). I actually hat a lot of fun with it.

And of course I will try this mod. That's really cool.
 

Major A Payne

Rear Admiral
Agreed Aginor. Okay so the game does have one or two flaws but I like it. I just wish that I could model ground based units, because I would see about making a complete ground based combat section for this mod. No matter though. I classify WC as space based combat only, so this should work out fine. I just hope that I can get the dam replacement weapons to work........
 

Major A Payne

Rear Admiral
Thanks muchly KrisV.

Now a quick update. I've gotten ALL the planets for the sol system (although saturn is missing its rings but don't worry. I will have a reason for this :) ), as well as more custom like projectiles and sounds (unfortunately some of the sounds were way to quiet so have had to be swapped). The concussion torpedos that the likes of the Wasp, Ekapshi MKII, certain capital ships and starbases use have been changed for actual torpedo based weapons. I also have setup 3 custom missiles for fighters but these won't be implemented just yet. Once I've retested and checked the current v1.2 alpha I'll go on to create a special Galactica Conquest based around only the sol system. It'll be more of a "what if" scenario as in what if the Kilrathi were on the Confederation door step.

I think I will most likely be adding in the Nephilim as the 3rd side as I have an idea for another GC based around their invasion so that'll be added in a later build. The next version planned for released is a v2.0 so its a bit of a way off yet.
 

trenthowell

Spaceman
Finally got a chance to play the mod old friend. Some great work going you did here.

I think the mod'll be greatly benefitted by its own custom maps, thats for sure.

Keep it up Major!
 

Major A Payne

Rear Admiral
Just a quick update. So far I've gotten custom weapons effects and missile based weapons into the game so currently all but turret weapons have been changed (these will be changed by the next release as well). I'm currently involved in coding a completely new galactic conquest but its proving a bit of a headache at the moment.

The basic premise is a "what if....??" scenario. The GC is layed out in the view thats supposed to represent our own solar system. I'm adding in the 8 major planets, many of the well known moons, several dwarf planets, 12 locations to represent the inner asteroid belt (ringing the inner four planets) and 24 locations to represent the kuiper belt to right the outer edge. The sun is also included but due to possible limitations within the game engine it doesn't currently look right (I might try to rectify this at a later time if possible). The pain part of this isn't adding the various locations but placing them so that its possible to capture ALL locations. I'm hoping to have each location with a slightly different view (planetary maps will have planet backgrounds, moons will have a moon in its background and so on), although I am going to include some additional items in the maps wherever possible. The only problem with all of this is it will take some time before the next release but I do want to make sure nothing untoward goes wrong with this.

Anyway, thats it for the moment.
 

Madman

Vice Admiral
Having finally got the courage up to install empire at war again to have a look at this I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised. I really loved star-trek armada and the beta mod for that was awesome. Its obvious that the AI needs a bit of work in this version but it's still capable of kicking your ass if given a chance.

The major thing I have with it is the support powers and the fighter/cap ship balance. while support powers are a challenging thing to get right, and i understand that, it would be nice to have some of the cooler ideas from armada transfused (if possible - i don't know how easy they are in EAW)

The fighter problem is a little more wierd though. I had a confederation class dreadnaught sitting taking a pounding from 5 rallarad destroyers for ages and it barely grazed the shields, but when 30 or so fighters appear the damage is insane.

The weapons definitely need a rock paper scissors approach here, where plunketts will destroy cap ships and capship on capship battles are insane but 10 fighters will take a long time to take a ship down. It's a difficult balance, in the games we know that 2 bombers can easily down a cruiser, but equally in a pitched fight cruisers will do serious damage to a cap-ship (think fralthi and the concordia), also we only see the war from blairs perspective - aces are expected to down cap-ships with no challenge - so maybe ace bombers/fighters should be better but still fighters themselves should be significantly nerfed in cap-ship encounters.

To my mind, it should end up with fighters fighting among themselves and aiming to keep bombers off, fighters taking ages to destroy the shields of cap-ships while bombers and anti cap-ship fire from caps-ships should down them much quicker. equally given the numbers of fighters and bombers produced by the game bombers should do much less damage (as otherwise it is cheaper to build 10 bombers than one plunkett!)

The final little issue is that of officer points (or whatever theyre called in EAW) - intentionally or otherwise the fighters produced when a carrier jumps in don't count towards the total number, I had 5 carriers and maybe 60 fighters and was only using about 10 or 15 points - if that happens there is no way that the 80 points could EVER be reached (not sure you could build/jump in fast enough to replace the losses!)

all the bitching aside this is awesome - seriously awesome.
I'm off to play some more :D
 

Major A Payne

Rear Admiral
Having finally got the courage up to install empire at war again to have a look at this I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised. I really loved star-trek armada and the beta mod for that was awesome.

To be honest Madman. Finding the Armada Beta and a lack of any WC mods for Empire At War was what spawned my interest to reintroduce. I've been surprised by the amount of people who either don't know what WC is or even what type of games WC was (personally I would love to see Saga when its finished :D ).

Its obvious that the AI needs a bit of work in this version but it's still capable of kicking your ass if given a chance.

Agreed. Unfortunately, I've found the EaW AI to be severely lacking in its functionality which is one big pain in the arse. Unlike the Armada AI (which can be forced to heavily cheat if you know how) the EaW Ai I've found to be more limited to only a handful of support files but hopefully, with some serious playing around I'll be able to get something done. I've yet to find a game where the AI can beat a player without significantly cheating.

The major thing I have with it is the support powers and the fighter/cap ship balance. while support powers are a challenging thing to get right, and i understand that, it would be nice to have some of the cooler ideas from armada transfused (if possible - i don't know how easy they are in EAW)

I fully agree with this, but therein lies a massive problem. Alot of the support specials that the ships use can prove fairly useless, and I've noticed that even the more advanced modders in the EaW community have yet to introduce totally unique special abilities. I believe theres a good deal of the actual coding which is hard coded so will be extremely difficult to edit (its definately beyond my ability at the moment anyway).

The fighter problem is a little more wierd though. I had a confederation class dreadnaught sitting taking a pounding from 5 rallarad destroyers for ages and it barely grazed the shields, but when 30 or so fighters appear the damage is insane.

Hmmmm. During a long testing session I took the mod for a complete skirmish map level and found that fighters do suffer from a couple of seriously annoying glitches. Firstly the fighters will nearly always generally attack the nearest target unless specified to do otherwise (even though there are certain values that can be changed to try to prioritise a particular target for each unit type). Secondly, if a bomber is armed with any kind of weapon other than missiles/torpedos it will attempt to engage enemy fighters instead of directly assaulting capital ships. This effects the AI far worse than the player simply because the player can force an attack.

The weapons definitely need a rock paper scissors approach here, where plunketts will destroy cap ships and capship on capship battles are insane but 10 fighters will take a long time to take a ship down. It's a difficult balance, in the games we know that 2 bombers can easily down a cruiser, but equally in a pitched fight cruisers will do serious damage to a cap-ship (think fralthi and the concordia), also we only see the war from blairs perspective - aces are expected to down cap-ships with no challenge - so maybe ace bombers/fighters should be better but still fighters themselves should be significantly nerfed in cap-ship encounters.

Something else I've looked at is the way that fighters are used is the changes in squadrons. Mass swarming of fighters was a big problem in v1.0 so I've basically removed squadron styles. Fighters are bought and capship launched singly. In the case of buying fighters they are substatially cheaper and take slightly less time to construct. In the case of launched fighters this can allow the inclusion of proper fighter compliments, so if, for example, the Vesuvius has a fighter compliment of 400 then the ship will come with 400 fighters (although it won't launch a massive amount at any one time, the compliment will last until the capship is destroyed or all fighters are exhausted). In the v1.5 beta that will be released in the next few days you'll notice that fighters tend to get more or less owned by two ships on either side - Confed Murphy and Kilrathi Ralarrad. With the ships being small and quite agile I've designated them as anti-fighter destroyers. I know they actually aren't like this in the WC universe, but in the game fighters and bombers do generally need some sort of counter unit other than themselves and this seemed the right decision. Therefore these capital ship weapons don't hit with a massive amount of power but are very accurate and shorter range than the large ships. This will be further tweaked as the mod progresses though for when the more advanced fighters are introduced.

To my mind, it should end up with fighters fighting among themselves and aiming to keep bombers off, fighters taking ages to destroy the shields of cap-ships while bombers and anti cap-ship fire from caps-ships should down them much quicker. equally given the numbers of fighters and bombers produced by the game bombers should do much less damage (as otherwise it is cheaper to build 10 bombers than one plunkett!)

Unfortunately, one of the dissapointing things I've noticed is that there doesn't seem to be specified roles in the game engine. Whilst each class of ship fits a particular type (fighter, bomber, shuttle, frigate, etc.etc) and even though each units XML can be made to include tags to indicate a priority for a particular unit the ships don't usually abide by that rule :(

The final little issue is that of officer points (or whatever theyre called in EAW) - intentionally or otherwise the fighters produced when a carrier jumps in don't count towards the total number, I had 5 carriers and maybe 60 fighters and was only using about 10 or 15 points - if that happens there is no way that the 80 points could EVER be reached (not sure you could build/jump in fast enough to replace the losses!)

To be honest I think this is the most annoying limitation for the game. If you've played the stock game you'll noticed that the Empire has a significant advantage with capital ships of theirs carrying limited, but launchable fighter squadrons whilst both the Rebels and ZC do not (even though in the SW universe ships such as Home One (mon calimari command ship from RoTJ) were shown to have a hangar, while others had a docking point of some kind (RoTJ Nebulon B medical frigate)). This limitation is further exploited by the fact that launched fighter squadrons, as you've noticed, don't add to the population, and I've never found a way to alter this. The only limitation you can put on this is by decreasing the amount of launched fighters/bombers and increasing the time between one being destroyed and a new one being launched. I'll probably look more closely at this at a later time and possibly decrease the population cap from 80 to something a bit lower.

all the bitching aside this is awesome - seriously awesome.
I'm off to play some more :D

Bitching?? Not in the least. Valid points, but alot of the time this kind of problem is a limitation of either my modding knowledge of the game (and believe me when I say I've had help from some of the best in the EaW community), or game engine limitation/hard coding. It can be frustrating at times, but its something that we have to live with I suppose.

Hopefully the v1.5 when it gets out will make life a bit easier what with the weapon changes (still need to try tweaking the weapon shot colours but still) and various tweaks. I just wish I could have gotten the custom GC ready for this release :(
 
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