"Very Difficult Choice" Mod, irc channel: irc.quakenet.org/vdc

Information, How-to's, and discussion about mod'ing Master of Orion II.
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Overlord2
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Re: "Very Difficult Choice" Mod, irc channel: irc.quakenet.org/vdc

Postby Overlord2 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 2:30 pm

It must be VDCREG, since in MP we are using VDCGM3 and it works w/o this error. This error keeps coming due to error in OCL_Improved. Re-uploaded VDC with refit bug fixed.

experiment427
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Re: "Very Difficult Choice" Mod, irc channel: irc.quakenet.org/vdc

Postby experiment427 » Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:32 am

Just finished with my first single-player play-through of vdc v60. Love what you've done with this game! This mod has made me fall in love with Moo2 all over again, despite having played the game, in its original form, for hundreds of hours since it first came out.

Did you enhance the AI? The AI seems much better in tactical combat than I remember.

Most everything seems much better balanced than it was. Just a few concerns:

1. Are beam weapons intentionally underpowered until researching plasma cannons? That's the way it was in the original, and unfortunately, that's also the way my vdc game played out (vdcreg, hard difficulty, large universe, 5 races, random events on, antarans off, average/medium settings for everything else). If anything, beam weapons prior to plasma cannons seemed even more underpowered than they were in the original, which seemed strange to me given the obvious care that went into balancing/improving other aspects of the game (tech, race picks, etc.), so maybe it was just a quirky phenomenon that happened within this one game? I did have random events turned on, and I think the other races might have had some advanced tech before they would have normally had it. As it is, I had to build ships equipped with only missiles until researching plasma cannons.

2. The first cloaking technology special device didn't reflect an increase in my ship defense on the ship design screen when I equipped it (therefore I never actually built a ship with it). Is this purposeful because it only gives the defense so long as you don't attack? I didn't test out the other cloaking technology, so not sure if this applies to all of them or just the first.

3. The algorithm that calculates ship cost seems strange, and might possibly be doing unintended things. Notably, the cost of a design would sometimes INCREASE after researching new technologies, rather than decrease. At other times the design cost seemed to decrease for no reason (no new technologies researched). And often if I went back and "redesigned" the same ship a turn later (no new technologies researched), by clicking on the same ship name with "design," the same ship with the same components would actually be more expensive for me to build were I to save it (obviously I never saved it -- I'll stick with my cheaper but identical ship, thank you very much!)

4. Death ray seems unbalanced. Enemy fleets were capturing titans, doom stars, and star fortresses with relative ease after hitting them with several death rays, not because my onboard soldiers weren't good enough (in fact my tech was better), but because there were no soldiers left to defend the ships! This is true even after equipping troop pods. Maybe total death ray damage should be increased, but the number of soldiers killed should be dramatically decreased? Either that, or there should be some defense against death rays, which as far as I am aware, there is not.

5. Planetary ground batteries don't seem to hit enemy ships often enough. I know that planets can't equip special equipment, but is there some way that ground batteries can be improved so that they hit more frequently? (possibly make it a certain % chance to hit, regardless of all other variables)

Despite these few concerns, thank you so much for all your work towards perfecting this classic.

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Overlord2
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Re: "Very Difficult Choice" Mod, irc channel: irc.quakenet.org/vdc

Postby Overlord2 » Sat Aug 27, 2016 3:46 am

Hi,

Thanks for appreciation of the mod. Although it was made for multiplayer, I try to keep it challenging for singleplayer too. That way, I have improved AI ship designs and now it produces much better ships than in original. No changes in AI behaviour though, since it requires reprogramming, which is beyond my capabilities for the moment.

1. Are beam weapons intentionally underpowered until researching plasma cannons? That's the way it was in the original, and unfortunately, that's also the way my vdc game played out (vdcreg, hard difficulty, large universe, 5 races, random events on, antarans off, average/medium settings for everything else). If anything, beam weapons prior to plasma cannons seemed even more underpowered than they were in the original, which seemed strange to me given the obvious care that went into balancing/improving other aspects of the game (tech, race picks, etc.), so maybe it was just a quirky phenomenon that happened within this one game? I did have random events turned on, and I think the other races might have had some advanced tech before they would have normally had it. As it is, I had to build ships equipped with only missiles until researching plasma cannons.

Well, it depends what defense you compare plasma cannons with. Plasma cannons research cost matches with class 7/class 10 shields. Middle weight graviton beam vs lower shields is somewhat comparable to plasma cannon vs higher shields. Also on lower RPs you get ion cannon, which is very deadly. Unfortunately AI research priority is completely broken and doesn't research shields for long. Can't help here.

2. The first cloaking technology special device didn't reflect an increase in my ship defense on the ship design screen when I equipped it (therefore I never actually built a ship with it). Is this purposeful because it only gives the defense so long as you don't attack? I didn't test out the other cloaking technology, so not sure if this applies to all of them or just the first.

Cloaking devices bonus doesn't show on strategic screen, only in combat when cloaked.

3. The algorithm that calculates ship cost seems strange, and might possibly be doing unintended things. Notably, the cost of a design would sometimes INCREASE after researching new technologies, rather than decrease. At other times the design cost seemed to decrease for no reason (no new technologies researched). And often if I went back and "redesigned" the same ship a turn later (no new technologies researched), by clicking on the same ship name with "design," the same ship with the same components would actually be more expensive for me to build were I to save it (obviously I never saved it -- I'll stick with my cheaper but identical ship, thank you very much!)

This is due to moo2 bug. It gets calculation of miniaturization based on wrong player. It was fixed in 1.50 patch, while I'm planning to move the mod to 1.50 patch soon.

4. Death ray seems unbalanced. Enemy fleets were capturing titans, doom stars, and star fortresses with relative ease after hitting them with several death rays, not because my onboard soldiers weren't good enough (in fact my tech was better), but because there were no soldiers left to defend the ships! This is true even after equipping troop pods. Maybe total death ray damage should be increased, but the number of soldiers killed should be dramatically decreased? Either that, or there should be some defense against death rays, which as far as I am aware, there is not.

Well, first you need to be able to move your soldiers to enemy ships somehow. Transporters are countered by Hard Shields, Assault shuttles by high amount of point defense beams and Lightning Field. Also Death Ray has a direct counter in face of Damper Field, which blocks crew killing radiation. AI is indeed vulnerable to DR, since it has no strategic ability to counter player's strategy. Can't help here either.

5. Planetary ground batteries don't seem to hit enemy ships often enough. I know that planets can't equip special equipment, but is there some way that ground batteries can be improved so that they hit more frequently? (possibly make it a certain % chance to hit, regardless of all other variables)

Heh, chance to hit depends on ratio of beam attack and beam defense parameters. Speaking shortly, you need good computer to hit on long distances. Also races with defense bonus are harder to hit.

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Overlord2
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Re: "Very Difficult Choice" Mod, irc channel: irc.quakenet.org/vdc

Postby Overlord2 » Thu Sep 29, 2016 3:16 pm

Updated VDC to be compatible with 1.50 Patch. Instructions how to install:

- Download & extract 1.50 Patch (version 1.50.4.1 or higher) to your moo2 directory; d/l link: http://moo2mod.com/#download

- Download & extract VDC installation archive to moo2 directory overwriting the existing files - see the download link on the front page of this thread;

- Modify Orion2.CFG which will appear on extraction of 1.50 Patch, adding command: include VDC/VDCGM3.CFG; or include VDC/VDCREG.CFG; - dont forget semicolon after the line!
- Configure VDCGM3.CFG or VDCREG.CFG for command line or interface options and ground rules (VDCGM3.CFG is located in VDC folder of the the installation package);

- Run VDC mod through ORION2.EXE

DesertRose
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Re: "Very Difficult Choice" Mod, irc channel: irc.quakenet.org/vdc

Postby DesertRose » Fri Sep 30, 2016 2:59 pm

I cannot start VDC.

- Updated to 1.50.4.1
- Copied the VDC folder from the .zip to the MOOII folder
- Added "include VDC/VDCGM3.CFG;" to "orion2.cfg"

Starting DOSBOX, game crashes with the following error message:

died: config load failed: error at VDC/VDCGM3.CFG:25, expected config key here: disable_vsync = 1;

If I comment that line out I get the same error message with line 29, if I comment that line out I get the same error message with line 33 and so on...

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Overlord2
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Re: "Very Difficult Choice" Mod, irc channel: irc.quakenet.org/vdc

Postby Overlord2 » Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:31 pm

It simply means Orion2.exe cannot read config. Are you sure you have extracted the files to the root folder where Orion2.exe is? VDC folder from the pack should appear there as a separate folder. And VDCGM3.CFG is located in VDC folder...

Edit: after rereading your post it looks to me you are still using older version of 1.50 Patch than 1.50.4.1. Please double check you are using correct version of the patch.

DesertRose
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Re: "Very Difficult Choice" Mod, irc channel: irc.quakenet.org/vdc

Postby DesertRose » Sat Oct 01, 2016 1:30 pm

I've "installed" the the patch 1.50.4.1 by deleting the existing 150 folder and then copied all files of patch 1.50.4.1 into the main folder of MOO2. Then I installed VDC by copied the folder VDC into the main folder of MOO2; I did not copied any other files expect that folder.
If I run 1.50.4.1 by itself, ICE or my own modified .cfg files the game runs fine, I just have issues with VDC.

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Darza
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Re: "Very Difficult Choice" Mod, irc channel: irc.quakenet.org/vdc

Postby Darza » Sat Oct 01, 2016 2:22 pm

Can you please copy the ORION2.log entries about unsuccesfull launches here? Try to run VDC, then post the few newest ones from bottom of that file, with fresh timestamps.

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Overlord2
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Re: "Very Difficult Choice" Mod, irc channel: irc.quakenet.org/vdc

Postby Overlord2 » Sun Oct 02, 2016 4:12 am

Darza is correct, the error which shows concerns running of 1.50 Patch, its not connected with the mod itself.

DesertRose
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Re: "Very Difficult Choice" Mod, irc channel: irc.quakenet.org/vdc

Postby DesertRose » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:28 am

Okay, found the error. I have forgotten to adjust the config file of the DOSBOX and it was still pointing towards the wrong ORION.exe.

Tried the mod for a few runs, and the AIs opponents seem to be much stronger than before. Normally I breeze through impossible AIs but now they actually fight back a little.

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Overlord2
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Re: "Very Difficult Choice" Mod, irc channel: irc.quakenet.org/vdc

Postby Overlord2 » Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:22 am

Thanks for the feedback. Are you the first time player of VDC mod or you have played it before? AI is indeed stronger in VDC compared to regular moo for a number of reasons: the tech tree is organized so that ensures AI gets all crucial technologies; reworked AI race abilities and finally highly improved AI ship designs, which allows 150% space of normal ships.

DesertRose
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Re: "Very Difficult Choice" Mod, irc channel: irc.quakenet.org/vdc

Postby DesertRose » Tue Oct 04, 2016 3:13 am

I played it once way back before version 1.50, but I was still a newbie back then.

I usually play Uni Cre or Uni +2 Prod in 1.50. Tried the supposedly overpowered Demo Cre race and promptly lost; guess I can't play tech races... Played as Dict Cre +2 Prod again and had much better results.
I had huge issues against Fighter Garrison planets and Fighter Bays Battleships; they have like 200+ fighters that one-shot my battleships and that's simply too much to be shot down by PD weapons. Bomb ships got destroyed before they managed to reach the planet. Luckily the AI did not had any planetary shields so I could just destroy the garrisons with beam weapons, otherwise I doubt I would have ever conquered a single planet unless I would have attack with like 10+ battleships or so.

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Overlord2
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Re: "Very Difficult Choice" Mod, irc channel: irc.quakenet.org/vdc

Postby Overlord2 » Wed Oct 05, 2016 11:52 am

Interceptors got rather weak armor, and if its not accompanied by research of better armor they get destroyed very easily. What was the armor of AI opponent?

oliver
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Re: "Very Difficult Choice" Mod, irc channel: irc.quakenet.org/vdc

Postby oliver » Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:46 am

Hi,

Thanks for update to 1.50! The added features and customization of 1.50+VDC are very nice. Thanks for all the time you and the guys behind 1.50 have done.

After a bunch of playthroughs of VDC X1 V61 B1 vs AI: Large/Huge, Impossible, 8 players, VDC GM3 with some minor tweaks (Orion enabled, star base capture enabled).

-I found a strange bug (sorry, deleted saves!) where after refitting some of my own battleships, it would be inadvertently flagged as "CAPTURED" and would have an AI ship graphic (!) and would not let me refit. Happened on two separate occasions. But I can't reproduce it and it hasn't happened in prior versions of VDC.

-Any way to improve AI vs Antarans? Or lower Antarans vs AI interaction and increase/leave same Antarans vs Human? They seem to get absolutely decimated in some games I play with Antarans enabled.

-Perhaps I don't know enough about the game, but is there any way as tech race you can take Sub farm over Clones? I tried a couple games and without clones, my pop counts at t100 were just abysmal compared to the pop benchmarks in the spreadsheet.

-Also, is there a way to force Damper > Shields of a certain class threshold? I sometimes run into the issue of only having Class IV/VII on StarBase with Damper Field tech researched.

I also had a couple of ideas for tech tree tweaks, I am of course no expert at the game but maybe something of value here. Mostly aimed at reducing some of the "Crea only" techs would help - of course some should be fields with huge rewards for picking Crea i.e Virtual Reality Network/Positronic/Supercomputer.

-Construction (50?): Fighter Garrison - seems too good for defense to pass up. just make it a default tech?

-Force Fields 650: Inertial Stabilizer & Pulsar:
Stabilizer seems too much better, even if you fight ships without beam weapons, your ships are more mobile w/ reduced turning costs and evade longer. Whereas having Pulsar really only benefits you when you need to shoot down missiles/fighters.

-Chemistry 2000: Zortium & Nano Disassembler/Fuel
Possibly make 2000 just Zortrium Singleton and make Nano Dissassembler / Microlite Construction / Fuel Cell a 2250/2750 Field? (or 1750 and slightly reduce the values? Nano = 1/7, Microlite = 0.85?). I haven't run into a situation where not taking Zortrium makes any sense and the next armor is at 3750! almost 2x the price.

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Overlord2
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Re: "Very Difficult Choice" Mod, irc channel: irc.quakenet.org/vdc

Postby Overlord2 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 4:58 pm

Hi,

Thanks for appreciation of VDC mod. On the subject:

1. About the bug - as far as I know this bug happens when you capture ships in battle. Then suddenly all your ships have captured label. And sometimes it keeps showing on the next turn. Afterwards label dissappears on further turn. If you speak about this bug it's just a visual bug without any consequence on the game course.

2. Improve AI vs antarans. Unfortunately modding AI is serious reprogramming task which now fully depends on 1.50 patch devs. Basically it means rewrite of AI functions. I don't think they will be engaged with it at least in near future. All you can do atm is customly configure antarans via VDC config to become less harmful. Check the antaran fleet build rates section. Corresponding section in config taken from OCL_Improved for which GUI provides some explanation.

3. Sub farms vs pop benchmarks in vdc .xls file :) First of all those benchmarks were given for 1 v 1 game setup on large size galaxy and implying 115 turns of peace rule (my bad I didn't mention it there). Second point - Sub farms are meant for rush strategies when you don't play with peace rule and want to get an edge over opponent quickly. Third - for some races they might be preferable over clones even in long game when you want early tech boost.

4. Damper Field on starbases or AI. Adding DF to starbases or AI will lead to situation where both Damper Field and shields are present on it which will be improper or imbalanced. Game engine doesn't automatically replace shields with DF in this case. Unfortunately no way to overcome it.

5. About the tech tree. VDC is a MP mod and its tech tree has passed huge amount of test-checks in real mp games, so any changes propositions should be viewed from this point. It's not custom singleplayer mod where a casual player can do anything what he wants [but you can do anything what you want on your side -I mean configure it customly or even create your own mod]. Concerning your propositions I can comment why I don't see them appropriate:
- Fighter garrison too good: taking into account how many ships are produced in mp games or technology required to make FG to work FG doesn't seem to be that good. Other techs in this tech field find their use too.
- Some tech fields contain 'crea only techs', particularly Virtual Reality Network/Positronic/Supercomputer. Well, both VRN and Supercomputer are picked in mp games in various situations. Niether of it dominates over other. As for Positronic Computer it's a crea only tech indeed, but it is needed for crea balance.
- Pulsar vs Stabilizer - Pulsar seems underpowered: taking Pulsar saves from going in physics branch up to Subspace Physics to get area-of-effect(aoe) Compressors vs missiles. Simultaneously if you manage to get class 7 shields you are no longer vulnerable to early beams that much, so pulsar definitely becomes viable choice in this case.
-
Possibly make 2000 just Zortrium Singleton and make Nano Dissassembler / Microlite Construction / Fuel Cell a 2250/2750 Field? (or 1750 and slightly reduce the values? Nano = 1/7, Microlite = 0.85?). I haven't run into a situation where not taking Zortrium makes any sense and the next armor is at 3750! almost 2x the price.

I don't quite understan this concern - are you saying Zort is too good to pass it or it is underpowered? It happens so that neutronium armor is current standard in MP games unlike zortrium in vanilla moo. Most of players take zeons as it is best missile in long run and best missile used in defense with missile base. Zort is used in rush games or when your strategy is making more damage with better weapons on first shot due to ini advantage. Also +50% hp of the ships with neutrnium armor makes a difference.


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