This is a fix for the Necron AI to make the Necron Lord able to transform into the Nightbringer.
This addon tries to at least partially bypass a problem created by Iron Lore when they added a second summoning option for the Necron Lord. To achieve this end it makes some significant (though primarily behind-the-scenes) changes in order to achieve it's goal, so it's offered as a separate, removable addon.
If you have any comments or suggestions about this addon, feel free to contact Soul_Reaver at email@example.com
What's the Problem with the Necron Lord AI?
In Dawn of War: Dark Crusade, the Necron Lord had only one 'transformation' ability: Essence of the Nightbringer. An AI Command, DoPossession, was available at the time for getting AI controlled Necron Lords to use this power.
However, in Soulstorm, Iron Lore introduced a second transformation, the Essence of the Deceiver. Unfortunately, the DoPossession AI command does not work if there are two possible transformations available, and no AI function was ever created to allow choosing between the two. As a result, AI-controlled Necron Lords in Soulstorm cannot use either transformation.
While it's impossible to fix the AI function, I have managed to create an 'AI-only' Necron Lord unit that only has the Nightbringer transformation available. This allows computer AI-controlled Necron Lords to use the DoPossession function to once again transform into the Nightbringer.
Can you Make Another Version of this Fix to have the Necron Lord AI use the Deceiver Transformation?
In theory yes, but in practice it wouldn't be much use. Much like how there is no AI function to let the computer choose between creating the Nightbringer or the Deceiver when given both options, I also do not know of any AI functions for using the Deceiver's "Deceive" and "Grand Illusion" abilities - it seems the only times a computer-controlled opponent can use these abilities are in pre-scripted missions. Since these abilities are what make summoning the Deceiver worthwhile, it makes no sense to have an AI-controlled Necron Lord transform into the Deceiver only to be unable to use those two key abilities.
Why Make This A Separate Add-On
There are two arguments as to why implementing this bugfix might not be a good idea:
1) Creating this secondary, AI-only Necron Lord unit is a rather complicated fix. As such, there might be unforeseen bugs (though so far I haven't found any in my testing)
2) It removes the (nice looking) Necron Lord corpse initially already lying next to a Necron HQ before the Necron Lord is summoned (it was either this or leaving a permanent corpse located there)
Basically, since the fix makes some fairly big changes in the background and has a small known negative consequence, I thought it best to let players decide for themselves if they wanted to implement it.
What Does the Addon Actually Do?
The addon does the following:
This fix has three in-game effects:
1) Allows computer-controlled AI opponents to use the Summon Nightbringer ability
2) In games using the Assassinate win condition, prevents human players from using the Essence of the Deceiver transformation (this is actually a good thing - using Essence of the Deceiver in an Assassinate game will immediately lose the game. Try it if you don't believe me. Again, this is related to certain win condition function not being available)
3) Removes the initial Necron Lord 'corpse' lying next to a Necron player's Monolith at the start of a game
It does so by adding/replacing the following files in the Bugfix directory with newer, modified versions:
If you choose to install this addon, you will have to ensure anyone else you're playing the Bugfix Mod with is using not only the same version of the Bugfix mod, but has this addon installed as well.
If you want to remove this addon after installing it without having to re-install the entire Bugfix mod, you can do so by running "Remove Soulstorm Nightbringer AI Fix Addon v1.46a.exe" from the Bugfix folder. It will restore the 'basic' values of the Soulstorm Bugfix Mod v1.46.
Special thanks to Thudo from the Dawn of Skirmish team for helping explain the issues with the AI functions and patiently answering my questions.