Modding Help: Thousands of Missiles! :)

Long time reader first time poster!

I have been dipping my toes into modding lately. I have just been building module ideas. I am working on a missile module that can be used for small bomber style frigate. I want to use the salvo settings so its like a shower missiles that do a little damage (if they hit). However I am unable to get the desired effect. If i put in a “salvo_size = #” does the “#” I put in show that many missiles in the effect or does it only damage equal to the number times possible damage.

Damage = 3
salvo_size = 4

Will this show 4 missiles that do 3 damage each or 1 missile that does 3x4 damage?

Another lurker comes in from the cold! Welcome, l4fngm4n, and thanks for finally posting on the forum. :wink: We need as many interested GSB players making constructive posts here as we can get!

Unfortunately, the salvo parameters are intended only for bullet- and beam-type weapons. The coding does not work for other types of weapons, which includes missiles, rockets, torpedoes or plasmas.

Please note that there already exists an official Multi-Warhead Missile weapon for cruiser use. This suggests a possible solution to your problem…

Look for its individual textfile within your GSB install; it should be someplace around this folder:
Gratuitous Space Battles/data/modules

This weapon’s textfile is titled as “cruiser_missile_multiple.txt”.

Open this textfile and look for these two parameters:

submunitionslive = 1 num_submunitions = 4
The former parameter means that this missile has working, functional multiple warheads. (if it = 0, it does not)
The latter one indicates exactly how many MWs will deploy.

Now look for this third parameter:

decoy_release_range = 450

IF I remember this right, the above parameter - which normally has ONLY the function stated in its name - will, when submunitionslive = 1 is also present, act as the trigger range at which the second-stage munitions will split from the first-stage missile bus and go active.

Feel free to change it to whatever range you want the multiple warheads to spawn. As long as it’s within the stated minimum and maximum ranges for the weapon, it’s all good. I recommend that you set it up such that it splits well out of effective range of your enemy, otherwise your expensive & tricky weapon will get shot down with nothing to show for all your effort.

Careful use of the submunitions-related parameters on a new modder-made missile weapon are the only way to get around the closely-related GSB restriction of any missile launcher being able to have only one bird in flight at a time. :wink:

Caution: I haven’t modded any Multi-Warhead-style missiles lately, so you will have to confirm the accuracy of these instructions via direct experiment. Please report back and let us know how it went for you.

For reference, with update 1.60 the maximum of submunitions that will work is 18. (I have tested this and it is just as cool as it sounds.)

Note: The range is measured from the target rather than the turret. So if you want a cluster of missiles, you can set this range to the maximum range of the weapon and the submunitions will split off almost immediately.

I agree with Astro, let us know what you wind up with! :slight_smile:

Sorry Archduke Astro, but you are wrong.

The salvo parameters work with any class of weapons.
They are two parameters:

The first one is how many time it will shoot.
The second one how much time it take to reload between two salvo.

The only problem is that with Missiles and Plasma, there is a limit of the number of projectile that can fly together.
Missile is only 1+decoy/sub-munition (So, to make a kind of volley, you need to use the submunitionslive = 1/num_submunitions = X with X the number of sub-munition minus the main missile (For a 4 missile strikes, X=3))
If you add salvo_size and salvo_interval, you can do the effect of a missile launcher that ran out of missiles and need a longer reload time

Plasma is different, the number of munition is limited by the “maxsimultaneous = X” parameter (Default is 1, max is 4).

Plasma and missiles will wait to fire a new missile until there is no more than their limit in flight (remember 1 for missiles and maxsimultaneous for plasma).

Trail is a great missile effect, the white line behind the missile make it feel like a real one, unfortunately, until the trail totally disappear, the missile is still considered in flight. So, a “trail_fade_time = 2000” mean that it will take about 2 second for the trail to fade from the missile trajectory, and so no more missiles can be fired until 2 second have pass after the missile destruction.

I encountered this problem myself with the Union mod…I also wanted a salvo fire rocket.

unfortunately there’s no REAL way to get it…but there IS a way to come “close”

as I understand it it’s not the trail fade time, but the FUEL which keeps a missile flying around aimlessly after it misses it’s target that will keep a launcher from firing again, since a launcher cannot fire if a missile it launched is still in flight…however I could be in error with this notion…but it’s how plasma works, or used to before the max-simultaneous coding existed.

I KINDA circumvented it using the following tricks.

I set the sub munitions live to 1 and the number to 7…so there were 8 missiles flying across the screen, at the time this was the most the game would allow.

Set the FUEL rating to the max range of the missile (960) ensuring that if the missile didn’t hit it wouldn’t fly around the screen aimlessly wasting time between shots…I also set the missile speed to 0.65, which for a missile is pretty fast

The Decoy Release Range stat is how far away the missile is from it’s TARGET before it drops the decoys…I set this to the maximum range of the missile itself (960), which means the decoy’s separate from the original missile IMMEDIATELY after launch…so it more or less looks like 8 missiles are firing simultaneously

I didn’t use the salvo function in the finished product BUT I tried it in the initial tests, and found that, you can clearly see the salvo functions working…the catch is the missile will be have to be relative short range and move pretty darn fast.

also…did NOT know the decoy numbers went up to 18 now! that’s epic!

Sorry GATC, not quite, the salvo code does not work with the ECM Beam :stuck_out_tongue:

For all intents and purposes, I agree with what Archduke Astro said:
The salvo code is intended for bullets n beams which are capable of such rapid fire antics. The coding does not appear to work for other types of weapons, which includes missiles, rockets, torpedoes or plasmas because you would need a extremely long refire rate to see it in action. Yes its possible - but . . .

Now - If Cliff could work out a way to enable rapid fire missiles . . . (please Cliff ?)

Wow thanks for the great responses! You guys have given me something to work with. I think the max of 18 decoys is pretty awesome. So playing with speed and fuel I might get my desired effect I’ll test that later. I played with the release range and set it to 50 thinking it was 50 away from my ship. Good to know it distance from the target. Well I got some work ahead of me :slight_smile: !


I take as example the Star Wars mod and my Xedilco mod
In the Star Wars mod, their is missile that shot a 6 salvo (With a very low fire_interval so it fire as soon as possible) with a salvo_interval = 6800, and it’s really important!
In my Xedilco mod, I use the Salvo + Maxsimultaneous =4 to make a Plasma shotgun ^^

FUEL is as important as trail fade time! Yes, the missile will last longer with a big Fuel value, but the missile launcher WILL NOT fire until the trail have totally disappear! (SO, the “minimum” time between 2 missile (if the missile miss) is: Fuel*Speed+Trail fade time)

@ l4fngm4n

You’re quite welcome for the help…as you can see we’re all interested in helping each other have as much fun with this game as possible.

I slaved for a LONG time to make a savlo-rocket type weapon, in the end I had to “settle” for what would become the Duterium Cluster missles and the Storm Rocket.

fact is the results get the job done with sufficient eye-candy as to satisfy me at least.

unlockcost = 0
lockable = 0
armour_penetration = 20
category = “WEAPONS”
classname = “SIM_MissileModule”
cost = 200
crew_required = 5
damage = 5
restricted = “NOT SURE YET”
description = “MLRS launches multiple warheads at its targets. It works like a buckshot but with missles.”
fire_interval = 1000
flareuvid = 3
fuel = 800
num_submunitions = 18
flaresize = 6
submunitionslive = 1
decoy_release_range = 850
guiname = “Multiple Launch Rocket System”
has_decoys = 1
has_flare = 1
hitpoints = 15
icon = turret
max_range = 900
min_range = 50
missilelength = 2.0
missilespeed = 0.7
missilewidth = 1.0
name = “MLRS_missile_systeme”
powerconsumed = 10
shield_penetration = 15
size = “FRIGATE”
slot_type = TURRET
sound = data/sounds/missile_launch.ogg
soundvolume = 0.5
trail_fade_time = 600
tracking_speed = 12.5
turnspeed = 4.5
turret_sprite = “turret_miss_v3”
turretsize = 0
warhead = EXPLOSIVE
weight = 35
uisortpos = 9916

0 = cost,DECIMAL
1 = weight,DECIMAL
2 = hitpoints,DECIMAL
3 = powerconsumed,DECIMAL
4 = max_range,DECIMAL
5 = damage,DECIMAL
6 = fire_interval,INTEGER
7 = tracking_speed,DECIMAL
8 = shield_penetration,DECIMAL
9 = armour_penetration,DECIMAL
10 = fuel,DECIMAL
11 = missilespeed,DECIMAL
12 = crew_required,INTEGER
13 = min_range,DECIMAL
14 = has_decoys,BOOL[/code]

So this is what I put together. I need to do a little balancing (thoughts?) and adjust the range a bit, but it does look oh so sweet.

Low per-submunition damage or not, that tracking value is extremely high. Same for the turnspeed. What works (to an extent) for the Frigate Anti-Fighter Missile’s stats is not necessarily wise to copy without a review and then apply directly to anti-ship ordnance. Especially ordnance that can effortlessly transform from one incoming problem into eighteen incoming problems.

Aside from the two stats above, I’m giving this new weapon a thumbs-up of encouragement. It could use a little more polish in other areas, but it is generally a solid prototype.

It looks to me like your missile does not carry enough fuel to achieve its maximum range - is this intentional? My understanding is that missile fuel supply is equal to the maximum flight range of a missile, and you’ve listed 800 fuel for a 900 range missile, which indicates that it’s possible to design a ship that can enter theoretical firing range and still be completely unable to hit its target.

This weapon is also absolutely devastating to fighters and other frigates (to the point where I would not consider that most fighters would be anything like a threat to a frigate force equipped with this, and would expect the frigates to beat much larger frigate groups). Perhaps you should consider reducing the tracking speed - based off of the name of the weapon, you’re trying to simulate a weapon system that makes up for inaccuracy with a high volume of fire, but your missiles have the same tracking speed as antifighter missiles and enough speed that the missiles rarely miss the intended target due to maneuvering. These combine to make the MLRS module perhaps the most accurate weapon in the game when comparing with base-game weapons. Even if you do reduce the tracking speed, though, the sheer volume of fire is likely to leave this as a devastating antifighter and antifrigate weapon. It still won’t hurt a shielded cruiser (unless the cruiser only has multiphasic shields), nor will it seriously threaten a cruiser with more than 20 average armor - at least for a little while. With the volume and rate of fire available, I’d say that (assuming frigate weapons can achieve lucky shots) this weapon could reasonably be expected to take down an armor tank (e.g., 73+ average armor on a cruiser, with repair module and weapon included).

I only tested the weapon out once, but I never saw it miss a frigate that was within the missile’s flight range, nor did I ever see it ever miss fighters on an approach vector. It might possibly miss fighters which close to the point where they begin wheeling around and strafing, but I don’t honestly see how you could expect fighters to survive to reach that point without an enormous number of fighters deployed.

The Multiple Launch Rocket System also seems surprisingly light on crew (at least compared to other missiles) for such a high-rate-of-fire missile system and to draw a surprisingly high amount of power (more than some of the frigate energy weapons, and much more than almost any frigate missile, which usually draw between 1 and 2 energy).

Same as the two above +

A little DPS calculation:
Your weapons
19 missiles (1+18 submunition)
5 damages each
every 1000
= 95 dptf (Damage per thousand frame)
= 0,475 dptfpc (Damage per thousand frame per credits)

The normal Multi-warhead missile
4 missiles
11 damages each
every 1950
= 22,56 dptf
= 0,1659 dptfpc

And because your weapons is much more accurate, the real dptf will be near the theoretical one, and it’s costing less to achieve a much higher dptf.

I think that the damages by missiles is a bit high ^^’

armour_penetration = 20 cost = 200 crew_required = 5 damage = 3 fire_interval = 1000 flareuvid = 3 fuel = 900 num_submunitions = 18 flaresize = 9 submunitionslive = 1 decoy_release_range = 850 has_decoys = 1 has_flare = 1 max_range = 900 min_range = 50 missilelength = 2.0 missilespeed = 0.7 missilewidth = 1.0 powerconsumed = 10 shield_penetration = 0 trail_fade_time = 600 tracking_speed = 6.5 turnspeed = 1.0 warhead = EXPLOSIVE weight = 35

I copied the good parts. I think this will be better, but I haven’t tested it.

I think that the MLRS is still a little too good, but it’s much more balanced now that you actually need to bring something along to take care of shields for the MLRS frigates. However, having a shield penetration of zero may have been a bit extreme, and deviates rather significantly from the ‘standard’ role of missiles in game - taking down shields.

It’s still a bit too accurate, so you might want to reduce tracking further - possibly consider going for really low values of tracking, like for example 0.6 (this is the tracking speed for Cruiser Plasma Launchers) or perhaps around 1.0 (which is about what the Parasite Plasma Slinger is, and that weapon is the one which I think is most similar to yours in the base game), and upping the damage of the missiles slightly - this weapon has more than enough fire volume to make up for inaccuracy in targeting. I don’t really think the alternative of further reducing the warhead damage is reasonable at present. I may be getting the wrong impression based off of the name, but I feel like this should be an inaccurate weapon that gains utility from the theory of ‘if we launch enough missiles at them we’ll hit the target eventually’.

All other missiles in the base game, aside from EMP, Antifighter, and Decoy Missiles, have enough shield penetration to go through the shields of any ship of at least their own weight class (frigate missiles will eventually bring down frigate shields, cruiser missiles will eventually bring down any cruiser shields) and several (fighter torpedoes, frigate torpedoes) have the ability to bring down the shields of things well above their weight class. By contrast, your missiles join the Frigate Antifighter Missile, Frigate Pulse Laser, and Decoy Missile Launcher as the only weapons in the base game which will never take down even the lightest of frigate shields. This is not a bad thing, it’s just a bit counter-intuitive since someone looking to arm their ships with weapons might go ‘Hey, a missile launcher! Great, now we’ll pick something to do damage to the target after the shields are down.’ if they don’t read the weapon statistics.

This, however, is entirely your choice - there is nothing in the game that says “All missile weapons must be at least as effective at penetrating shields as they are at penetrating armor, unless they are intended for use against fighters”, it’s just an implied feature of the game universe that missile warheads are more effective against shields than hulls. Nothing wrong with adding a weapon that doesn’t really fit the general trend (after all, the Swarm did it with a beam weapon better at breaking shields than armor). If you do decide to keep the MLRS as performing better against armor than shields, you may want to put some hint of that in the weapon description.

If you want to keep the weapon as a high accuracy, high rate of fire missile launcher, you might want to update the description - calling it ‘buckshot with missiles’ and naming the weapon a Multiple Launch Rocket System indicates to me a low-accuracy weapon that makes up for that inaccuracy with volume of fire (and potentially the damage dealt on each successful hit).

If you want to, you could try including the line
has_splines = 1
in beneath
has_flare = 1
which seems to reduce the accuracy of the missile somewhat; however, it will also significantly alter the appearance of the weapon (specifically, you’ll see primary munitions with black trails, and all the submunitions will not have any trails visible).

It does look kind of neat, but might not be what you wanted for your weapon. This makes the missile behave more like the cruiser rockets, though not to the extremes of inaccuracy to which those seem to strive. It also gives the impression of a less accurate weapon because the paths taken by each munition are more erratic, even though a large number of the missiles still hit.

I looks like i am working against the grain :slight_smile:

So focusing on shield pen + lower tracking speed. Looks like a standard shield pen is around 22 and lowering the tracking to around 0.6. I’m gonna run some tests with a test battle or two and see if its too overpowered.

Edit: So after testing I think its much better. Of course I loaded every slot i had with a missile turret so it plowed through every frigate and bounced right off every cruiser.

There is a missile with shield penetration of 0 though. Though as it is the anti-fighter missile the rationale is obvious.

To balance a weapon, you need to be able to produce a counter. Right now, there are seven available means of countering any given weapon:

  1. Being able to engage the opponent from beyond their maximum weapon range or inside their minimum weapon range
  2. Having enough health (and possibly regeneration) to outlast the enemy
  3. Having a shield with a higher resistance than the opponent has shield penetration (very hard counter - this allows ships to be virtually immune to the weapon, possibly even completely immune depending on the minimum range of the weapon)
  4. Having higher armor resistance than the weapon has shield penetration (almost as hard a counter as having higher shield resistance than the weapon has shield penetration, but armor erodes through lucky shots whereas shields will not)
  5. Having speed similar to or greater than the weapon’s tracking speed, which significantly reduces weapon accuracy
  6. Being able to out-damage the opposing force
  7. Any combination of the above

So, let’s look at your options:
(1) is nearly impossible for frigates - only frigate torpedoes and probably frigate missiles out-range this (and not by much), and is impossible for fighters. Since frigate missile weapons are somewhat crappy, I’d say that range is out as a counter, unless the designer made a fast missile frigate and ordered it to engage at 1800 or more range (ships begin to move away once the target is within half the engagement range, if I’m not mistaken). Moreover, the minimum range is such that there is essentially no blind spot for a close-range combatant to hide inside. Even fighters are not going to spend significant amounts of time inside the minimum range of the MLRS.
(2) is out, since your weapon has such a high rate of fire and high accuracy that even if you only had one damage per successful strike you’d still have a very high damage per second.
(3) is what you’ve tried. It’s reasonable, and forces some variation in fleet composition. It also makes it very tempting to abuse ‘no shields’ spatial anomalies, or close to attack orders with a low engagement range (the minimum range on the MLRS is sufficient to allow frigates armed with it to fire from beneath the shields of a target frigate, and can do this for most or all of the 9 official races’ frigates).
(4) relies on being able to carry enough weapons to be able to kill off the attackers while they’re still trying to break the armor. Given the volume of fire provided by the MLRS, I don’t think you can rely on this as a counter. Also, I don’t think that it’s practical to put much more than 20 average armor on a frigate.
(5) relies on being able to achieve a speed similar to what the weapon’s tracking speed is. At 4.5 tracking speed, good luck with that unless you want to use an unarmed fighter.
(6) relies on having a weapon with a higher damage per second. I don’t think you’ll be able to find any weapon outside of a mod that can do this, even if you were to reduce the damage per warhead to 1. You might be able to do this if you reduced the accuracy significantly - which would mean a reduction to a tracking speed of 1 or lower, which you might not want.
(7) relies on you being able to combine some of the above to do this. Right now the only counter I see is shields, which is reliable because it’s rare that frigates will get close enough to one another that one of them can shoot at the other from within the shield bubble (unless we’re looking at the Empire).

Making a weapon which essentially removes one ship-type from the field of battle isn’t terrible - most fighter and cruiser weapons do this to frigates already - but I’m not fond of having a weapon that can clear out both fighters and frigates from the battlefield rapidly and cheaply, which the MLRS allows (sadly, the Flak Cannon also does this, but that’s at least restricted to Parasites, and has the additional downside of preventing the Parasites from making great use of their own fighters and frigates).

Since I did a poor job making it apparent previously, I don’t think that it’s a bad thing that the MLRS cannot hurt shielded targets, since it does a fair job at ripping through anything else. It makes the weapon rather unique among missiles, and means that I have to bring something else along to let the MLRS shine, which is helpful for balancing the weapon - maybe I can’t come up with something that can go toe-to-toe with an MLRS frigate and support, but if I can make something that will clean out the support without taking significant enough losses to lose the battle for me, I can still win.

Ultimately, it’s your weapon, and if you’re happy enough with it then it’s good enough. All of what I’ve offered are my opinions, and if you (or others) disagree and think that the MLRS is great in its current state then great.