Star Trek: Armada 3 is an upcoming mod for Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion. Beginning around the time of the Dominion war the mod will progress on it's own branching timeline. Players will have access to four races initially on release...
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Starfleet Command Headquarters
Planetary Sciences Division

- Dev Diary 3 -



Starfleet Patch




Greetings all!

It has been some time since our last Dev Diary (all the way back on March 6th!), but though some of us have been laying low the past month (myself due to work and other real-life commitments), we have still been plucking away at our endeavor to bring you the best Star Trek strategy experience this side of Antares! In our last dev diary, we discussed a bit about the features of the core framework of Τhe Final Frontier expansion and some of the hidden mechanisms behind the design of our new planetary system (plus the updated STA3 tutorial). In this diary, we will be exploring further details of the planetary system, but with special attention to some of the work that has been done with visuals, neutrals, and random events, as well as some more about our future plans. So, let's begin, SHALL WE?

ScreenShot 44

Perhaps one of the most notable additions in the past weeks since our last diary has been a large amount of improvements to our visuals, many of which we can give thanks to Max for his diligent work. In our drive to present to you with a living and believable universe to wage war and forge peace in, we have been systematically reviewing the various existing models and textures, improving anything and everything that we feel could be improved.

One of the items since time immemorial that I had expressed a want to improve is the variety of asteroids in the game. In real astronomy and in the Trek universe too, there are a huge variety of different asteroid types, ranging from massive space boulders, to tenuous ice fields, to the eponymous "dirty snowball" of the Oort cloud, and I wanted this diversity to be reflected in our mod. Max has so graciously taken this to heart, using some of my suggestions to provide a variety of visual updates to our asteroids that will certainly be appreciated by the screenshot archers amongst you. As we mentioned in the prior dev diary, there will be a wide variety of colonizable asteroids for you to capture, each with their own unique features, but you will also now see many differentiated asteroid bits floating around in gravity wells too, which will help to spice up various neutral and planetary gravity wells.

ScreenShot 36

This grand visual update also allows us the chance to re-imagine some things that we did not have the opportunity to do before, meaning that some of our ships have been receiving some facelifts to bring them more in line with the standard of excellence that we have set forth. A few notable designs that have been reworked/reimagined in recent times : the Klingon K'Vek Super Heavy Cruiser (featured below), the Romulan Griffin EWAR Cruiser, and Max's current project which he has teased, the Federation Excalibur Space Control Ship. You can bet there will still be more to come. We will also be looking to update some of the remaining (comparatively) low-res models from our original release, a group of models which mostly includes a small number of stations, but also a few ships as well. Ultimately, we hope to bring all in-game models up to par for the official release of The Final Frontier.

ScreenShot 21 1

In other news, work continues on the implementation of all things neutral-related, once again, Max has been hard at work with modelling tons of new neutrals to accommodate the new planetary system. In the preliminary designing of our new planetary neutral system, it was determined that there were essentially three main categories of neutrals: planetary defenders, event neutrals, and unknown neutrals. The first category, of course, refers to the typical neutrals: those you will see defending certain planets, to which there will not be too many significant changes in implementation. Although some of the defender races will be adjusted according to the new planet types, you will still see Breen defending cold planets, Tholians defending Demon Worlds, and the like. However, there is one regard in which this system will be changing: defender strengths will be adjusted. In the last dev diary, we mentioned that there was a new system in place to determine a Planetary Habitability Index (PHI), which in turn defines, along with the average total usable surface area of the planetary surface, the maximum planetary population. This value, then scaled with Sins population representations, and combined with the Intrinsic Resource Index (IRI), determines the average strength of planetary defenders, the justification being the larger the population, or the more valuable the resources, the more inclined a faction is going to want to defend its strategic interests.

ScreenShot 40

Many new events will also be making their way into the game. One of the main points that was kept in mind when designing the new random events system was to include a higher proportion of non-military random events: alien encounters, galactic news events, natural phenomena. This was done partially to address concerns regarding the high frequency of doomsday spawns, and partially to develop the "living universe" mentality that we have championed with this expansion. This is not to say we haven't added military events, for you will see quite a few new random military events, especially minor raids, criminal hijackings, and other things of the sort. Let me stress that these small-scale events will be tested heavily to ensure that they are not annoying, that they play out as intended, and add to your game experience rather than detract from it. And, as always, you can disable them for truly competitive play. One of the more nifty things that Max has experimented with recently and seems to have gotten working is a "doomsday asteroid" event which sends a rogue asteroid slowly hurtling at one of your planets during play. If the asteroid is not destroyed before it reaches the "point of no return", it will impact, dealing catastrophic damage to the planet's population, defenses, and infrastructure. Naturally, this will be one of the highly rare doomsday events, and will need testing, but is quite cool. Well done.

ScreenShot 47

In other matters, Draconis, elusive mastermind that he is, has begun experimenting on improvements to be made for the AI, and has been waiting patiently for me to finish updating the planetary stats so that he can tailor the AI to our new framwork. Some concerns that he will be addressing for our next update will be: problems with certain AIs "getting stuck" during play, the dreaded "siege spam", and the irritating "ship trickle". These words are probably all too familiar to STA3 players, and we hope to eliminate, or at least, severely mitigate, their appearance in our mod. Naturally, though it will be a challenge to overcome the intrinsic wants/needs of the Sins AI, we believe Draconis (and Zurme too) are more than up to the task.

Untitled 1 1

Once the planetary stats have been determined to be in a (mostly) finalized state, the right honorable Cailean (who has been chomping at the bit to get to work on new maps, and updating old ones as well), will be able to finally test out some of his ambitious and creative ideas, although I'm sure he has already begun drawing up many new and detailed plans. I think there are many among us who are looking forward to some of his new creations, myself included. Some of the new map designs will take on some very interesting forms: we will be including, of course, traditional maps, but also some new "realistic" maps which will attempt to simulate believable systems, and lastly (God-willing) of several "Empire at War" style maps that will allow you to play on a truly grand scale if you so choose. And furthermore, on the matter of map-making, I know some of you have been asking about Galaxy Forge. I will reiterate that The Final Frontier will feature a completely revamped Galaxy Forge, giving you the same power that we have to bend the universe to your will as you see fit. This will be released as a separate item alongside the main mod when that time comes.

The debonair OrionSlaver (answerer of all questions) along with the trusty SFC and our good man Conner (KillaBC) will be fulfilling various roles (strings, icons, testing, texturing, modelling, QA, PR) as they so often do. As always, we appreciate the wide-ranging expertise that they provide to our team.

I hope to provide more frequent updates as we move forward with The Final Frontier, these last two months have been rather difficult for me, but I hope that as the sun brings its full force in the glory of summer, I will have more time to devote to writing dev diaries and other related works. Any questions, comments, concerns, please let us know in the comments section below.

This is the righteous and faithful Ambarenya, signing out.

- χρ

The Final Frontier - Dev Diary 2

The Final Frontier - Dev Diary 2

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Dev Diary 2 on the progress made with Star Trek: Armada III - The Final Frontier. In this dev diary, we will be talking about the expansion's extensive...

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Final Frontier dev diary 1

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In this first developer diary for the next expansion we'll show you how we're making new planets for this next expansion.

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Second star to the right!

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Hello Folks, here comes a bitter sweet update today but hopefully not so sorrowful that life does not make you smile as we look to what the future holds...

Star Trek: Armada III - The Final Frontier Announcement

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Space... The Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Her continuing mission, to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new...

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Post comment Comments  (30 - 40 of 12,184)
jonsin1459 Online
jonsin1459

Hmm let's see if I can trick them into some information.....

I really fancy giving Armada 3 another go...however I don't want to burn myself out with it and then TFF is released. Do you suggest I play or wait?

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OrionSlaver
OrionSlaver

Play away, good sir. TFF is a fair ways off.

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Schuchart
Schuchart

And what would you strong slaver with your mighty biceps be saying when being coerced to elaborate on patch 1.4?

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OrionSlaver
OrionSlaver

Ah, my insatiable Schuchart, you can try to coerce me all you want.

I.imgur.com

Basically 1.4 will involve lots of tweaks and fixes. Expect more balanced random events, some NEW random events, adjusted strings, etc. We're also looking into lingering AI issues, especially into how the AI on certain factions can sometimes pack it in and call it a day.

Draconis is working away behind the scenes but rarely steps into the limelight, as is his way. Nevertheless, I'd like to point out that a lot of what players don't see, i.e. the stuff that makes the mod actually run, is his work. So all hail the mighty, hidden Draconis!

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Corby1909
Corby1909

Hey guys, I apply the LAA but the game still crashes after about 10-20 minutes. Not sure why.

Running Windows 10 Pro
Running game on max settings.
Running 1.80 through the beta option too.

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Maxloef1990 Creator
Maxloef1990

You really didn't read the instructions did you....

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Guest
Guest

It crashes for me to it happens on all the mods I got

STA3: A Call To Arms
Sins of the Prophets
and Sins of a Galactic Empire
I do not know what to do

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ValhallasAshes
ValhallasAshes

Top rules to getting STA3 to load and not crash (except for known bugs such as the planet culture rebellion crash)

1: You must apply the LAA patch. Put the LAA patch into the the Mod folder (it doesn't have to go in there, it's just for ease of finding it.). Run -> Browse to and select Sins exe (non dev) -> Save and close. (DO NOT DELETE THE SETTINGS FILE THE LAA EXE WILL CREATE) Run the LAA patch again and select the exe again to make sure that the second time shows the box automatically ticked. If you have to tick it again, then you didn't apply it correctly the last time you did it.

2: Do not enable the mod IN GAME. You MUST edit the contents of EnabledMods.txt file to read as the following:

TXT
Version 0
enabledModNameCount 1
enabledModName "star-trek-armada-3-1.3"

Again, DO "NOT" TRY TO ENABLE THE MOD IN GAME. IT "WILL" CRASH EVERY TIME IF YOU TRY!

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Corby1909
Corby1909

I just played again lowed my settings and it crashed within 5 minutes. just thought this information may help.

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Corby1909
Corby1909

Okay so i switched to 1.82 still crashes.

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wheelmandan
wheelmandan

turn on laa put it where you have star strek folder after you EXE.

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OrionSlaver
OrionSlaver

Are you certain you applied LAA correctly? Go through this list step by step just to be sure:

First, find your Sins.exe, located by default here:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\sins of a solar empire rebellion

The relevant file is simply called 'Sins of a Solar Empire Rebellion'. This is your Sins.exe. Right click, go into Properties and ensure that the .exe is NOT set to Read Only.

Then go to wherever you're keeping your CTA files, kept by default in your Rebellion 1.82 mods folder located here:

C:\Users\USER\Documents\My Games\Ironclad Games\Sins of a Solar Empire Rebellion\Mods-Rebellion v1.82

Find and open the program called Large Address Aware that came with your download of CTA 1.3.

Browse and select your Sins.exe mentioned above. Tick the box indicating that yes, you want the game to access more than 2GB of memory, and click 'Save'.

Play the game.

Let us know how that goes. Good luck. :)

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Corby1909
Corby1909

I have followed this 100% before posting and sadly the game still crashes after about 20 minutes I just don't know why, I've honestly tried everything.

I've verified my files.
Re-downloaded the mod.
Re-applied the LAA
Deleted the setting LAA applies and re-applied.
Changed to different versions of SOASER. Made sure I was on 1.82 as stated.

And for some reason my textures of ships are loading correctly? but let's focus on the game crashing i can handle the textures for now i'd rather play.

I used to play this mod for a long time it's just the latest version and though it's been out for a long time now DID work, however it doesn't now but I haven't changed anything that would stop the game from running.

I feel like the game is running out of memory but I've tried everything with the LAA and nothing. Same problem.

*sigh*

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OrionSlaver
OrionSlaver

A common mistake people make is to leave the Sins.exe set to Read Only. Make sure this is not the case.

I know you think the problem lies elsewhere but early game crashes and textures failing to load are almost always symptoms of LAA not being applied correctly.

Alternatively, you could try Fellrunner's more in-depth solution for early game crashes. Find details here: Moddb.com

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Corby1909
Corby1909

I have followed everything that it has stated. Went to section 11 and followed it all. everything was already perfect. I then read over the other things and there was nothing that applied to my system.

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Corby1909
Corby1909

the sins.exe is not set to read only.

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Corby1909
Corby1909

S000.tinyupload.com
This is my log. I also watch my memory usage whilst playing and it sits at about 1.5GB on my task bar then crashes just after about 10-20 minutes, the memory barely changes throughout the game.

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AtlantaSS
AtlantaSS

Run LAA as administrator.

Regards

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Corby1909
Corby1909

Yeah i figured it out last night. I actually had to run it as non administrator for some reason as i was previously running it as Admin..

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OrionSlaver
OrionSlaver

Hallelujah! Glad you got it sorted.

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Highest Rated (39 agree) 10/10

A wonderful mod. - 5 Unique Factions to play with (Federation, Klingons, Romulans, Borg, Dominion+Cardassians+Breen - Well balanced mod experience. - Vast graphical improvements and high quality models+textures. - Lovely music remastered out of other former Star Trek games, very fitting. - The spiritual successor to Star Trek Armada2. - Hero units + their voices included such as Picard, Sisko, Martok, Locutus of Borg, Sela etc. - Many custom maps. - Fully working AI support. - Custom Ui. - Custom…

Mar 2 2014 by 23-down

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