[MOD] The Matmos Rift (Full Release v1.25)

I thought about this for awhile, and now I have enough knowledge to pull it off probably (or just get myself badly hurt).

The Matmos Rift is a sentient distortion field on the edge of known space. It sends fragments of itself through the galaxy as “probes”. Owing to circumstances to be explained later, these probes have developed the ability to duplicate the weapons of we poor material races. And now they’re hostile.

The “ships” of the Rift are spherical distortions, with their turrets being more of the same. Basically, this mod will be more graphic than new content, though there will be a few new modules (since crew quarters on an interspatial portal sounds silly). More on this as I develop it some more, but I welcome any comments this idea might germinate. (Otherwise, I wouldn’t have said anything at all.)

EDIT 16 October 2013: Full version 1.25 is now released: http://www.mediafire.com/download/pxe1909dmldthzw/Matmos_Rift_Full_Release_v1.25_101613.zip This release includes 15 new hulls, 31 new modules, 2 skirmish missions, and one survival mission, all including original battle music. This represents the “complete” Matmos Rift mod, barring any horrible game-breaking issues (in the sense of unfair gameplay or the sense of crashing GSB) anyone brings to my attention.

For those who missed this mod’s initial release period, here’s the story thread that accompanies it: http://positech.co.uk/forums/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=6648 And of course you can continue to read this thread to experience the development flow over the months and years of its maturity, if that’s your kind of thing.

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I take it that this means you got your GSB install whipped back into shape. Hooray! :smiley:

I think this is a splendid idea for a new mod race. Self-aware, evil, immaterial, spacegoing doppelgangers? I want one! :slight_smile: Fascinating surprise announcement, Ace.

You’re blazing a trail into uncharted parts of the creative forest, and that’s good. It’s refreshingly different from some of the more conventional villains (especially genre / franchise-based ones) that have been seen around here before. I’m looking forward to your new content with great interest. FWIW, the resident Curator of Creative Concepts gives your project summary a definite thumbs-up. If you need some help in shepherding your own creative concepts to your desired conclusion, let us know.

You’ll need to start thinking hard about how to make the performance envelope of your mod’s weaponry and other shipboard items different from what’s been seen before around the modding forum, as well as distinct from the vanilla game itself. That data you create is a large part of what gives a modder-made race its intrigue & mystique to “hook” a potential player in the first place, as well as providing replay value that keeps the player coming back to your mod over and over. To me, it’s much more important than the graphical appearance of the ships.

Less of “back into shape” and more of “figured what specific thing is making it barf for no reason whatsoever.” I have an easy, if tedious workaround. but I’ll take what I can get. :slight_smile:

Well, not exactly “doppelgangers” at this point (although that does give me some ideas). More like simple rifts in space that duplicate the effects of others’ tech (missiles, beams, plasma etc) while not requiring an actual physical turret - at least not in this spacetime. Hard to tell what’s coming your way when all those rifts look mostly the same until they spit out - oh, crap.

I’ve got many many many other creative ideas floating in my head, though this one is the easiest to do graphically (the text-editing part of modding, oddly, I find rather fun). Depending on how this is received, I may become a modding-addict. Wouldn’t that be grahhnd?

I hear you. Sometimes a by-pass is nearly as useful as a cure. You might want to describe your situation in detail to Darkstar – if a permanent cure is possible, he’s the modder most likely to be able to make one.

Oh, that sounds most enigmatic but I definitely like where it’s going. :smiley:

It sure would be grand! Heck, I’ve been harboring a small but persistent hope that someday you might join the so-called Friendly Community Mod Squad. :slight_smile: Looking forward to having your ideas come into the light of day, old buddy.

Well your “doppelganger” idea has given me a notion for some unlockable Rift toys. But maybe let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Still have to equip the Rift with the ability to destroy its enemies (i.e., everybody)…

It’s always nice to feel wanted. :slight_smile:

Submitted for general comment: the typical traits of the Matmos Rift.

Crew: Being a spatial distortion, the Rift doesn’t really need crew. Instead it gets crew-compartment-analogues that provide large numbers of crew with nearly no weight - but with a comparatively huge power requirement.

Armor: The Rift doesn’t know how to implement armor. It just doesn’t understand. So every Rift vessel has severe armor penalties (in the range of Tribe armor penalties, and maybe worse for some ships).

Shields: On the other hand, coherent energy fields are right up the Rift’s proverbial alley. In addition to mild (or moderate) shield bonuses, the Rift also gets a new shield for Cruiser and Frigate classes with higher resistance than we’re used to, but relatively poor recharge speed and unremarkable strength.

Power: The Matmos Power Source for cruisers and frigates is slightly more efficient at producing power while having a moderately reduced weight. Larger Matmos vessels will also have power bonuses.

Engines: Fighter-sized rifts get a new thruster with slightly increased thrust, slightly reduced weight, and moderately increased cost.

Weapons: So far, the only solidly-concepted addition here is a new AA lightning gun for cruisers. Other concepts on the board right now are: a super trans-dimensional beam for cruisers with a long fire interval but a punishing hit; a slow-firing fighter bullet weapon that can actually affect cruiser shields; and I’d like to put in a new frigate weapon but I am drawing a blank on a good concept. One thing about weapons: the Matmos Rift finds it easier to mimic energy weapons than physical ones, so no new missiles.

All comments are welcome. I open the floor to the rest of the community.

Would I have pushed over into this so-called Friendly Community Mod Squad? I did help one other fellow modder with his question as with released/releasing a few mods of my own with the help of others.

I cant see why not, you have proven your resolve.
Once you declared your allegiance in your sig you are honour bound to uphold the Friendly Community Mod Squad Moral Code.
So choose your title well.

Back to the topic at hand

I am interested to see how the engines will perform, as a word of advice, make sure that a fighter can not exceed a speed of 3.5 else it gets real messy and the fighter begins to teleport around the screen (funny but broken)
(3.5 is only a suggestion based on my experiance the exact number is debatable)

um uh oh . . . .

Why don’t you join me and the Self-Trolling Troll-like Troll Squad that possesses qualities somewhat reminiscent of a friendly mod squad. We can offer you nothing (except for maybe instructions on how to create orgasmic effects) but you wont have to do jack shit.

That makes sense to me. Your solution is a neat way to address it while keeping to the peculiar nature of the Matmos Rift.

Interesting. That strongly implies that repeated plasma impacts are going to be bad news for you. And once the Rift’s shields are down, the high-damage, anti-armor beam lasers available to enemy cruisers will then be superb at slicing a Rift apart.

This special shield will help mitigate the near-hopeless armor if you can justify buffing its resistance well into the 30s (or more). That’s a slippery balance slope, though; proceed with caution. I think Rifts should still be vulnerable to plasmas; however, massed plasma-spam tactics will funk you up.

At least the weight reduction will contribute towards faster battle speeds. Consider making that ability a part of the Matmos “flavor” of hull bonuses.

As my colleague Darkstar ably pointed out, watch the typical equipment loadouts on the resulting fighters. Should your new fighter drive allows you to attain speeds approaching 3.20 to 3.50, it’s time to nerf the thrust a wee bit and check just how much slower your fighters become. Unkillable fighters are in very poor taste. :stuck_out_tongue:

Glad to see a dedicated AA gun! The dangerously thin Rift armor will mean that fighters must be kept at arm’s length.

Sold. :slight_smile:


I can help you with some ideas there. Frigates need love too.

Too many cruiser missiles already; glad to see you avoid that.

Ace, the capabilities of the Rift arsenal should not be developed in a conceptual vacuum. Like with any race, weapon specs are somewhat interrelated with the number of standard slots and turret slots that each hull class of Matmos warship is going to be given. For purposes of game balance (a weighty & inflammatory topic), neither subset of Rift abilities can easily be planned without actively considering the other. Sorry about the chicken-or-the-egg riddle.

For example: if you like the idea of having Rifts being blessed with high slot counts, then lower-quality gadgets and guns starts to become a priority. If the hulls are to have fewer slots than average, consider making each shipboard item more potent on an individual basis.

Among the 32 vanilla cruisers (not counting the weird Rabbit cruiser), the largest and most finely-balanced among them weigh into the competition with 11 standard slots and 7 turret slots. A few cruisers have more of one type of slot, but always at a deficit of the other type. The Empire’s Praetorian-class cruiser does offer 15 standards, but only a feeble 5 turrets.

Among the 27 official frigates, 7 standard slots and 4 turret slots is usually the max count. Some freakish exceptions exist for the Rebels and the Empire. The Nomads’ superb Mawasi-class frigate offers 9 standards and 5 turrets.

You will reach a point when you finally decide what overall ratio of standard slots to turret slots will be your race’s unique flavor. It doesn’t have to be an immutable standard across every single hull class and individual ship, though.

Once that ratio is nailed down, you can use it like a foundation for the performance envelope of your guns and other shipboard equipment. But feel free to jaywalk all over the place with this, just as long your ships are somehow paying for the privilege – either in greater expense, larger hull sizes in-game (easier to hit with weapons), more fragile (easier to mission-kill Rift ships), etc. – or some combination of multiple lesser penalties.

Tentatively speaking, will the Matmos Rift have any other useful & unique new items?

My goal was, in part, to provide a subtly different defensive paradigm while keeping true to the concept of the Matmos Rift. The shield resistance will be a delicate balance to strike; I would prefer not to make ships that are completely immune to common frigate weaponry. I’m perfectly fine with plasma spam being a weak spot for the Rift; the tricky part will be ensuring that it has other weaknesses as well (makes for better gameplay, I think).

As in, speed bonuses across the board? Hmm, hadn’t thought of that beyond the fighters. Works with the concept, and provides another form of defense. I like it.

I am glad for the reminders here - fighter speed was already on my watchlist, but knowing my brain, I’d wind up with fighters zooming around at speed 6.8 and saying “WTH is going on here?!?” :wink:

I’m hoping to keep the adjustments very subtle, to provide a slight speed edge and no more. Time will tell if I can manage it.

I was rather happy with this concept when it popped into my head. Should provide for some interesting strategy - or at least another use for disposable fighter squadrons. :wink:

I do have the majority of the hulls sketched out as far as slot ratios, though they may change a bit once I get them into the game and test a bit. I appreciate the advice on the costs to balance out advantages - I hadn’t really thought about hull size as a disadvantage, but it certainly works. I’ll have to give that some thought.

Maybe some repair systems that work very quickly but burn out equally fast (the Rift is adapting to its damage). I don’t have anything else specific on the list right now, but that may change - heck, half the stuff I listed above wasn’t a glimmer of thought when I started concepting the Matmos Rift. I’ve only got a few hard rules - no armor or missiles. Beyond that, who knows? Happy to take suggestions from anywhere.

suggestion: disruptor and EMP weaponry seems to fit the race well, perhaps some sort of bullet-type emp/disruptor weapons would be appropriate.

Great minds think alike?

EMP is definitely on my radar - I’ll have to check and see if one can make a disruptor weapon that isn’t a missile (that’s a hard and fast rule for this mod - no new missiles). If any of the modding veterans could toss me a bone on that subject, it’d be much appreciated.

Perhaps you should next try to place a Frigate Shield Disruptor payload onto a bullet-type weapon. If the game permits that, you’re in business. :wink:

Preliminary testing provides some positive and negative results.

Positive: It appears the game will, in fact, allow you to tack on the SHIELD_DISRUPTOR warhead type as a payload type on a bullet weapon.

Negative: It appears that payload has absolutely no effect.

Test included setting the weapon’s attack stats (AP, SP, damage) equal to the disruptor bomb missile, with a significantly higher rate of fire, and testing the two side-by side. The disruptor bomb took down shields in every test, while the new disruptor gun did nothing but “No Effect” shots.

Looks like this idea’s a bust. :frowning:

I’m both surprised and sorry to hear this, Ace. How about trying to build a “Disruptor Plasma,” then?

Not quite sure how you mean … since I don’t think you can tack on special qualities like payload or warhead to plasma weapons. More detail would be helpful, if you don’t mind sir.

I thought there was a payload option one could specify for plasma-type weapons. A belated review of the tech shows no such possibility – my mistake. Sorry to send you on a wild-goose chase.

Are you certain that you don’t want to revisit your “no missiles” vow? There appears to be no other way to gain access to the Shield Disruptor payload.