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Modding experiments

Discussion in 'Game Mods' started by bobucles, Jan 3, 2015.

  1. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    I'm playing around a bit with Apoc modding, trying out various mod ideas to see what works and what doesn't. Here's my results so far:

    Merge Air/ground weapons
    Theory: Ground vehicles may end up pretty good.
    Practice: Ground vehicles still suck!
    Comment: All ground vehicle weapons have atrocious range. Even the light disruptor has a paltry 150 range. Vehicles can't get close enough to even try shooting due to the short range of their guns. Only the heavy disruptor tank benefits, barely.
    Ideas: Experiment with increasing ground weapon range, firing arc, and bullet speed. Try buffing light disruptor range as well. Try increasing ground vehicle weapon bays, perhaps give the wolfhound a 2x3 for medium disruptor.

    Change tank guns to 3x4
    Theory: Their icons are about that size anyway.
    Practice: Ohhhh yesss.
    Comment: Seeing an annihilator unleash dual rumble cannons with a heavy disruptor is a beautiful thing. Dual Elerium cannons are glorious. Annihilators are just great no matter what but this was pretty fun.

    Doing anything with fire
    Theory: Maybe fire can be good?
    Practice: Too many things are hard coded about fire mechanics. Can't be done.
    Comment: Oh well. Better luck next time.

    Changing anything with difficulty level
    Comment: There does not appear to be any way to do this. UFO missions, alien stats, alien numbers, UFO construction rates, market values, market stocks, and just about everything else appear to be unchanging across all difficulty levels. At least the mod programs don't seem to have that ability. Bummer. :-\

    Changing alien missions
    Theory: Maybe they can be ramped up towards the end?
    Comment: It seems that the full alien mission roster is accessible all game long. ??? UFO missions seem to be excluded based on what UFOs are inside the alien dimension at that moment. There does not appear to be any way to change when missions are available or how large/small they are, other than to construct more or less UFOs per week.

    Missions allow a maximum of 3 UFO types, each with their own UFO cap (there are a lot of "rule of 3's" in Apoc). It seems that aliens can attempt missions despite not having enough UFOs to fill the mission, but I dunno how that works. Missions appear to be stored in some kind of priority order, with the lowly probe missions being last on the list. This would explain why players see the higher tier UFO missions the moment they're added to the Alien Dimension.

    Changing alien troop deployments
    Huge UFOs have disappointingly small drops. That can be changed up to the alien cap of 36 units. Alien behavior can not be altered, so there's no way to make terror missions. It is unknown how huge aliens like Megaspawn will behave in regular buildings. Chances are they'll get stuck or something because I doubt Apoc has special deployment pads for huge units.

    Changing alien UFO garrisons
    Comment: Does not appear to be possible with the given editors. All UFOs are stuck wandering the alien dimension until they're shot down. Shame.

    Elerium weapons that use more ammo per shot
    Comment: This is bugged in vanilla. The Rendor plasma gun is set to use 2 ammo, and the plasma multi system 3 elerium per attack. The inventory screen correctly displays the desired number of shots if it worked correctly, but all weapons always consume 1 ammo per attack.

    Offroading with road vehicles
    Comment: Road destruction is instant death to ground vehicles. Armor won't save them. The Overspawn's movement type is super glitched and won't work for ground vehicles. Bummer.
     
  2. Grimagor

    Grimagor Registered

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    Thanks for the work!

    Or maybe...we can obliterate ground craft :-\


    Is that necessary? :eek:
     
  3. Jos

    Jos Registered

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    36 aliens in the mid-late game is pretty nasty!! - especially if you don't use disruptor armor and toxiguns. Without these two i've sometimes had to take upward of 15 men on a mission just to hold my ground.

    Megaspawns can be included in the alien 'drop crew' using apoc'd. As you say, on most maps they simply get stuck in a room. This is , presumably, why they don't appear anywhere other than in downed UFO's and in the alien dimension. Sometimes on the more open space maps they are effective.

    Otherwise you have some good re-balance/tweaking ideas in there. Most are not currently possible unfortunately as you say.
     
  4. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    Haha. Yeah, they are kind of useless. It'll take a LOT of work to make ground vehicles work well. A lot of fault fault lies across so many factors. Ground pathing sucks big time, the weapon range is terrible, aiming algorithms are bad, higher difficulty maps have nightmare road layouts, and sometimes cars don't want to fire even if it looks like a good shot. Many of the issues can't be fixed in vanilla because they're hard coded or the tools aren't there. But some things can be toyed with. I guess I'll post more as I see what works nicely and what doesn't.

    Plenty of maps can HANDLE jumbo aliens. They have the 2x2 corridors and elevators required to move freely. The only real problem is that the spawn points are in a bad spot. I don't know if Apoc has "jumbo" spawn points, but the fix involves placing them in spots where big guys won't get stuck.

    Hahaha, no. There's nothing else that the Annihilator's 3x4 weapon pods can do, so I played around with it. It's fun as hell flying around with 3 tank guns.
     
  5. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    More experiments!
    Lineage Plasma added weight
    Comment: My experiments confirm that weight does 2 things: It can give the +4 speed buff, and it directly changes fuel consumption. The latter is useless, but the former is promising. Adding +150 weight to the lineage causes the bike to go overweight, lowering its speed by 4. This may prove a promising halfway nerf, as less speed means more hoverbike death.

    Ammo changes
    Comment: All the 100+ ammo weapons have been lowered to 30-100 ammo. This is okay as Apocalypse battles rarely consume more than 40 rapid fire shots and rearming is super easy. It is frequently beneficial as some weapons can't even be armed since the first 2 guns take all your ammo.

    There may be ammo problems in the alien dimension but it'll take a little testing to see. It's nothing disruptors can't solve (disruptors actually have "ammo" but it is never used in game).

    Vanilla Apoc does not allow any weapon to consume more than 1 ammo per shot. I have opted instead to shrink the Elerium market and increase cost. It is fairly expensive now.

    XCOM has over $45K in its starting vehicle ammo. It has been more evenly spread across weapon types.

    Ground vehicles +50% range & weapon duration & +2 ground speed
    Comment: It helps, but it doesn't feel like enough! Superhuman cities are huge and have nightmare road layouts, so maybe it works for the smaller lower difficulty cities. Will test +3 car speed and then lower vehicle costs a bit.

    Improved UFO armaments
    The Apoc game engine seems hard coded for 3 weapon slots, which maxes out big UFOs. Anything beyond that may risk game corruption. This will require big testing to see what can be risked and what can't. Smaller UFOs have 1 or 2 weapons so they can be buffed but this could be too dangerous early game. Apoc modding has little option to change what happens between early game and late game.

    I don't know how Apoc determines UFO mission loot. Chances are everything I add to UFOs will be given after the mission as well. Giving alien missiles appears to be impossible.

    Big Stuff
    Comment: Super difficult. Things like changing UFO spawn counts, attack patterns and weapon loadouts require lots of clever screwing around to see if it's even possible. Then it'll take a complete campaign to see how it fits together. Anything less is hacky. Big WIP.
     
  6. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    Impressive. Great job with the experiments, it's essential for modding and very time-consuming.

    As for the Elerium, how about making it basic fuel for flying vehicles instead of shrinking the market? It would make ground vehicles much more viable.

    And I'd love to hate seeing megaspawns in corporate HQs and the like. It would make things much more desperate.
     
  7. bobucles

    bobucles Registered

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    Fuel lasts hours. Apocalypse vehicle combat lasts seconds. There is absolutely no way to make elerium fuel some kind of serious resource because the most that ever gets used in a combat sortie is 1. The best bet was to make bigger guns use more Elerium, but that is broken in vanilla Apoc.

    Vehicle weights have to reach the tens of thousands before fuel can be consumed at any appreciable rate. But the +4 speed threshold is hard coded at 350, so there's also that. Any vehicle can use any engine that fits, so the only way to keep tiny fast engines out of big engine bays is by giving them derp shapes.

    Each UFO seems to have one type of drop, and it gets used every time. Many alien types are excluded from the roster, and the huge UFOs have pretty small drops. That's worth experimenting on.

    Many missions drop alien spawns into tiny rooms, so I have no idea how huge guys will work. Chances are it will glitch out pretty bad.

    Edit:
    Finding proper UFO spawns may be the trickiest thing of all. There is no way to lock alien missions by week- if the Alien Dimension starts with a Battleship, by god they're going to sortie battleship missions. That makes missions very difficult to manage, because if a mission allows say 6 fast attack ships then spawning them too quickly will cause a mess. Adding an extra ship here or there doesn't hurt, and I'm testing out some UFO type 3's for week 1. They shouldn't be a problem. Boosting UFO counts in the late game missions is also a bit of fun.

    Edit edit: God damn it Overspawn. There's not enough HP in the world to make you suck less. Seriously. 5400 HP and you still get killed by one highway collapse.
     
  8. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    I'm pretty sure you can make the overspawn immune to falling damage. I know one of the modding tools I have claims to be doing just that.

    BTW I'd appreciate more Alien Scouts missions later. :v
     
  9. Treonin

    Treonin Registered

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    Well regarding the flying vechicles fuel, I was a person who sent out 2-3 flyers near dimension points and let them fly there for hours. Altough the dimension portals moved after the fastest speed stopped, the vechicles could still shoot right at the moment when ufos apeared.
     

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