[MOD] BKMod - v0.1 Released!

Update: BKMod v0.1 (weapons) is released! See my new post further down the thread for info and the downloads.

[size=130]BKMod - Preview[/size]
I’m working on a mod, which I’ve given the working name “BKMod” until I can come up with something more creative. Unlike most of the other mods that have been discussed in this forum, I’m not intending to add new hulls or visual elements. Instead, my plan is to create an entirely new set of modules that can be used with the standard hulls (or perhaps slightly modified hulls that use the existing graphics). I doubt that my mod will be better balanced than the official version at the start, but my goal is for it to enable the creation of diverse fleets that will be fun to build (and watch explode).

I’ve mostly been working on weapons so far, and I’ll probably release a package of modules this coming weekend for interested players to test out.

My design for the weapons groups them into several categories:

[]Main weapons all have similar maximum ranges, between 800 and 900. They do pretty substantial damage, have pretty decent tracking and good penetration characteristics. They are less expensive than most other weapon classes, and should be the primary weapons on many of the ships in a balanced fleet. The most common main weapons are beams, but will be at least one missile launcher in this category too. There are several sizes of most weapons in this category, so that you can always find one that will fit your ship.[/]
[]Artillery weapons have very long ranges (more than 2000), but are exceptionally heavy, don’t track at all well and have very long minimum ranges (950, usually). If they manage to hit, they deal huge amounts of damage and penetrate most defenses. These guns are why you don’t want your ships to stop moving, ever. Plasma Cannons and big missiles are in my mod as artillery. When their crappy tracking is taken into account, this class does a little bit less DPS than main weapons.[/]
[]Skirmish weapons have ranges in between the main and artillery classes (1200-1500), and are intended for ships that stay out of main weapon range. They’re much lighter than artillery, but do less damage than either of the previous categories. Compared to most other weapons, they use a lot of power and/or crew for their DPS. There are a few weapons of each kind in this category (plasma, missiles, beams). I’m not actually sure how well these will function in the current version GSB, since skirmishing ships are likely to wander into main weapon range and get vaporized, the way the keep moving order works now. I have them in my design in the hopes that a future game update will provide orders that allow skirmishing as a viable tactic.[/]
[]Close range weapons do lots of damage. Lots. They tend to be a lot like Main weapons, but a bit lighter and capable of firing faster. The trade off is that they have maximum ranges well under 400, so any ship relying on them will need to get past the optimum ranges of a lot of main weapon turrets before returning fire.[/]
[]Specialized weapons do things that don’t fall into any of the range-based categories. Fighter weapons as well as anti-frigate and anti-fighter counter-weapons fall into this category. Some of the weapons in this category can be seen as making similar trade-offs as the weapons in the earlier categories, but they often have much poorer penetrations than the others. Machine guns are the main anti-fighter weapons up close, while anti-fighter missiles are capable of long range intercepts. Rockets, rail guns and autocannon provide heavier hitting firepower to deal with fast, moderately defended frigates and light cruisers. In addition to dogfighting weapons and torpedoes, fighters also get ultra-short ranged “bombs” that deal artillery class damage from inside their targets’ shields.[/]

Many modules will be available with identical stats on both cruiser and frigate hulls (all artillery and the heaviest weapons in the main and close range categories will probably be cruiser only). Since frigates have a few more than half the number of module slots as cruisers do, you should be able to design a slow, heavily defended frigate that functions much like half a cruiser if you want (it should cost a bit more than half what normal cruiser does once I work out balanced prices). While fighters will have several weapons that are unique to their class, some of the weapon types will share common characteristics regardless of scale. So dual and quad mounted machine guns available to frigates (and maybe cruisers) will shoot more bullets than a single fighter machine gun, but each bullet will do the same damage.

Interesting, really interesting. any estimates how long this will take?

Excellent. A gratuitously large number of ways to exterminate our enemies would be… well… gratuitous.

It should be just another few days to finish the weapons and do some minimal testing. The other modules should go pretty quickly, perhaps another week. Of course it will take a long time once the main work has been done to get everything balanced.

lol and i thought I had a bunch of modules, now you’re coming out with more?! it just gets better and better…

I had a similar in mind for my mod. Can I have permission to integrate this into my mega mod?


Man, I can’t wait to integrate this into my epic mod :smiley:

Well, it took me a while, but I’ve finally got a version of my Mod’s weapons that is ready for a release. Here it is:

BKMod v0.1.zip (40.1 KB)
This release does not replace any existing GSB modules, because I found that the game would crash trying to load single player missions if the modules used on the AI ships were not available (even when I only intended to make a challenge on that map). Perhaps I’ll eventually create replacement fleets for the single player campaign, and the old modules can be removed.

Anyway, the new weapons from BKMod will show up at the end of the weapon lists for each ship class. I’m not going to be balancing my mod against the core weapons, so you probably won’t want to mix new and old ones together in your ship designs. Of course, since I’m only releasing weapons so far, you’ll need to use the existing non-weapon modules for now.

I have not yet made much of an attempt at balancing prices of the various modules against each other (and due to my copying and pasting, many things cost exactly the same as one another). The descriptions are also entirely random.

They various weapons have approximately the right level of performance, but there’s still quite a lot of stuff to tweak. For example, I intend for there to be a much wider range of shield resistances in my mod than there are in the standard game. Since I have not yet made the new new shields modules, many of the new weapons have shield penetrations that are far more effective (against ships with standard shields) than they are intended to be. Hopefully this issue will resolve itself when I get defenses out in a few more days.

Here’s a CSV file that has the module stats. Loading this in Excel (or some other spreadsheet program) can help you compare the weapons to one another.

BKMod.csv.zip (4.39 KB)
Anyway, please test things out and let me know what you think. Are some weapons totally unbalanced? Are some totally worthless?

I’ve posted a demo challenge with some ships using the mod. Please try out your own builds against them and see how things go. You can post your own challenges too, if you want, but be sure that you label them as requiring “BKMod v0.1” in the taunt area, since the game will crash if anyone loads a challenge that requires a mod they don’t have.

BlckKnght, this mod looks fascinating! I share your enthusiasm for it. Esp. for your previously-mentioned foray into greater shield variety. I’m sure you’ll get plenty of feedback. I’ll try to report back as soon as feasible. Thanks for your hard work! :slight_smile:

Very nice, now I will begin integrating it into the game. by the way, you can just edit the vanilla / current weapons used by the enemy reinforcements to fit into your mod. You could try that :smiley:

Feel free to use my modules however you like. They’re not likely to turn out very balanced in another mod without tweaking. Just getting them to work ok in one place is going to be enough work for me.

Well, sort of. If such modified versions of the core modules had different prices (or crew or power requirements), you’d probably still have trouble with the AI ships causing crashes, since many of their deployments and designs wouldn’t be legal anymore. I may see if I can use the “hidden” tag to get rid of the clutter.

This turned out to work really well. I can now leave all the standard weapon modules in the Modules folder, but they won’t show up in the ship design screen.

In other news, I should have a v0.1.1 release out this evening (in about 10 hours for those of you in non-US time zones). It will have better descriptions of the weapons and the standard weapons will be hidden, as described above, and I’ve fixed a few small bugs. The release should be compatible with the first one, if I don’t screw anything up. On the weekend I should get a version out with new defenses, and maybe engines as well.

Very nice, hope that you completely enhance the module perspective!

Oops, no release. My internet connection was down last evening so I couldn’t test things out, since you can’t challenge yourself without a working network connection. I’ll see if I have enough free time at work to release something, but it’s more likely that I’ll release tonight instead. Since I couldn’t be play testing, I went ahead and made some more updates, so when I do get around to releasing again I’ll have new shield modules for people to play with. Here’s how they’re designed:

There are several levels of shields in my mod. With resistances between 10 and 50 you find regular shield generators. There are also some more kinds, with resistances between 50-100 that are called Shield Hardeners. These can take much less damage than the regular generators, but their higher resistance makes up for it in a large degree. Because of the way the game handles shield hits, they effectively make all the ship’s shields better. The high-end generators and hardeners are very expensive in terms of power usage and crew required.

It’s alright. I am kind of busy trying to keep my stuff in line as well. Will have a release a little before, or a little after thanksgiving.