O.k i've recently been thinking of how to organize the research tree for the races, not the contents mind you but the sort of universal structure for which the trees are organized. My current plan is to organize the tree via the ships types affected by it.
Basically something like this
Frigates (research directly relating to military frigates includes frigate exclusive upgrades to shields weapons, PD and abilities)
Cruisers (Research directly relating to cruisers. This included upgrades to shields weapons and additional abilities as well as the ability to begin construction of cruisers)
Capital ships (Research allows for the construction of new capital ships as well as upgrades to weapons shields and engines, as well as the unlocking of certain abilities)
Other (this includes research into generic ships wide upgrades and changes, as well as research into the construction of super weapons and end game tactics)
Now the main reason i have for this set up is because it allows you the player to research with more finesse and allows you to develop more specialized plans rather then all ships have more shields now i can do exactly the same thing i was doing before i got this upgrade. The idea here is that you can make specialized research an integral part of your overall strategy rather then something that is more or less tacked on. For example perhaps your strategy is to use Cruisers as heavy fire and you want to use frigates for screening, well then you pump research into better cruiser weapons and more shields and hull for frigates. Perhaps you want to use cruisers to distract and hold the enemy up while you raid their worlds further behind their lines. Well then shields and hull for the cruisers and FTL stealth engine and weapons upgrades for your frigates. This need for planning is going to be compounded by the fact that all research is going to be expensive and its very unlikely your ever going to get all of them in a game. But don't fret a majority of them wont be 5% damage increase for frigates type of thing. Most research will hopefully be things like Skirmisher main cannon oscillating field upgrade which allows all rail gun based weapons on the skirmishers to fire a three round burst rather then a single shot. This upgrade has both pros (triple the damage) but also has draw backs such as greatly increased recharge time this makes it a strategic upgrade as once equipped (there are three versions of the research on for each type of skirmisher) that particular brand of skirmisher becomes a devastating hit and run. Just get in close let off a couple of volleys nail a few enemy frigates then run like hell rinse and repeat. So by the end there should be a large number of potential combinations for you to try.
In other news I've been thinking about the obvious A.I issues and whilst they should still be able to function it will be in a greatly diminished capacity so they wont use the complex strategies required to truly dominate in this game. As such while the mod will still be released with a single player component i would encourage online multiplayer play and as such will be organizing tournaments where a small number of people compete in matches (1v1 or 4 player ffa) on special maps designed for quick games the winner will then move onto the next round (they will be monitored by me thats y they are gonna be quick) and then once the tourney is done the winner will be announced. Ill also be organizing days for large multiplayer matches so i will be taking an active roll in this.
Also id like to send out the call for coders lots and lots of coders cause as you can see theres allot of work to do so additional help would be appreciated.
if i could code i promise i would help but the only thing ive coded were some cheats in the sgi mod lol i made the tauri ultimate ship the best ship in the game
lol good for u :P hay what do you think of the research tree plan?
better than what they have now much more organized
really looking forward to this mod !! :)
sweet, i like the research tree plan. can't wait to play :)
thanks so what kind of strategy are u planning?
Hey mangosofdoom... Maybe you've found a silver bullet for research which I would love to know or you might have some issues with your plans for frigate, cruiser, capital specific upgrades.
Using research modifiers only there is very little that applies only to capital ships and all other modifiers are global to ships and structures like hull and shields, etc. There are ways to target weapon damage buffs based on weapon type, but of course if frigates, cruisers and caps share the same weapon type, you get the picture.
You can simulate some of the frigate/cruiser specific upgrades by using abilities, but then capital ships get the shaft due to their limited number of ability slots in my experience.
Also, having researchable abilities has never worked right for me when I tried it on capital ships. The engine still seems to want to treat researchable abilities as level up type abilities.
hmmmm you bring up a valid point the way i was going to look at this was in a way similar to the way the halo mod was handling it with layered research so basically its just stat changes and new animations. The actual changes aren't nearly as complex as they seem. So the skirmisher field upgrade just changes the stats so its a 300% increase to damage and a 350% increase in the time between shots. The upgrades are deceivingly simple. Though your capital ship stuff does worry me and i will have to look into it. But in short the upgrades aren't anything overly snazzy they are just simple changes but fairly drastic ones.
Also ships wont share the same weapons types between classes so frigate have weapons with a different name to the ones a cruiser may have.
Sure, trust me I'm not criticizing your ideas. Tried very similar things early on while I was trying to figure out what the constraints were.
Also, on the weapon types there are a fixed number so you may want to plan ahead on your distribution. And, while you can change the screen name of the weapon type it can only have one name across all of the races/ships that use that type. This severely limits the ability to differentiate weapons between the races, especially if you have more than three races.
hmmmm the hard coding is breaking my balls here, i mean if this is the case then i dunno i may give up on sins al together and move to another game like homeworld 2 but i will persist it's just i don't want to make anymore sacrifices to the mod just so that the damn thing will work. Ive severely limited the number of ships available to each race and each ship has a number of different weapons types, i will talk to my coder at some point to see what he thinks but this is very important and i don't think anything will work right if this doesn't, and if that is the case well I may seriously begin considering moving shop.
Yes, the hardcoding can be a bit of a consternation. I wish everything was more was configurable through entity files, but unfortunately it's not. Sins is still a great engine to work, but I understand your frustrations. I was equally frustrated when I went to mod in new pacts only to discover I flat couldn't because it was hardcoded to a fixed amount of pacts...
I'd rather you not give up on sins and use it as a platform for future mods personally even if you have to compromise in the meantime.