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 Post subject: Rebellion indev build feedback
PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:54 pm 
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My name is Unikraken and I am the development lead for Sins of the Prophets, a Halo mod for the same game. I've played your mod and I would like to offer some feedback from a fellow SoaSE dev and sci-fi fan.

Before I give my feedback, I first want to apologize, because I played your indev build before asking for playtester status. Both of our mods use Sloosecannon's SVN server and I came across SOGE accidentally. Then I purposefully played the shit out of it for several hours over the last few days. I hope that this doesn't sour your opinion of me. I'll be breaking my feedback into 3 sections: likes, dislikes, and bugs/errors I've come across.

What I really liked:

The ships are just beautiful. The art style seems to be pretty consistent across the factions that I've seen, which is a huge plus. We had to re-texture several of our own ships in order to keep the art style homogeneous when we got a more talented artist, so I can appreciate attention to detail like that.

I liked how you spaced out the acquisition of new ships throughout the research. Many mods have you get everything pretty early on and then from that point on you're just dishing out cash for 5% upgrades to stats.

The weapons are also pretty good. I really liked what you did with missiles and how often they fire, SotP is very spammy with missiles due to the canon, so I appreciate the direction you've gone having them be sparse, but powerful.

The speed and flow of combat is very enjoyable. I have enough time to give orders or retreat if necessary, but I don't feel like I'm in any battle for too long. In the old BSG mod you could fight the same battle for several minutes, as an example of a poopy alternative. It could take forever to do anything without overwhelming numbers.

Overall, I think this is a good mod, but there are some issues that I think hold it back from being an amazing one.


What I didn't care for:

First off, I am not a Star Wars fanatic in the same way that I am a Halo fanatic, so if there are canon reasons for things I'm about to disagree with please share them with me, because I don't want to come off as a jackass, just maybe ignorant of something important that I've missed.

My biggest issue with SOGE is how slow the gameplay is outside of combat. The speed of combat is pretty perfect for a Star Wars game, imho. However, several factors come into play that together make general gameplay, maneuvering, and empire building a chore and a huge time consumer. For instance:

    *Phase lane travel is reallllllllly slow.
    *Everything is crazily expensive. I can either spend 1/4 of a capital ship on a 5% increase to a stat or wait another 10 minutes and buy a capital ship.
    *Rather than just up the rate of resource acquisition you've added a lot more asteroids, which adds additional stress on the system.
    *There is no such thing as early expansion in SOGE, because nearly every militia is a formidable fleet in early game. This makes economy building a much longer and tedious task.
    *I can never seem to get a good economy going with how expensive everything is collectively and the time it takes to expand. Buying nearly anything makes me feel like I'm giving up a arm or a leg.

I'm a 27 year old man with a wife and kid. With the current speed of gameplay, I could never play this against a human opponent and hope to finish the match in one sitting. It takes hours to complete even a small map. I would encourage you to consider gamers outside of the more youthful demographic it appears to favor now. I'm sure all us "older" guys would really appreciate it. :)

My second "major gripe" is mostly cosmetic. Many of the planet textures and skybox(es?) seem pretty outdated. On several of them you can see the line where it's stitched together, which doesn't look good. The glare on some of the objects/planets with bloom turned on is pretty heavy as well. Since this is a Rebellion release, I would strongly urge you to use the vanilla Rebellion textures for stuff where you're not able to hide the seam (especially those beautiful new skyboxes). Also, the HUD looks a little too darked out. The visual aesthetics can make or break a game (in terms of popularity) if the quality is not up to par, and in my personal opinion this kind of stuff keeps a good mod from being a great mod. I definitely think your mod can be a great one with some minor changes!

Minor issues:
    *Some capital ships come with stock abilities that cannot be upgraded, leaving the little number hanging out there to grow as you level up. Feels like a waste. Why not just add some minor abilities that tier so those upgrade opportunities with each level don't get wasted?
    *Alternatively, those ships with stock abilities could just be made cruisers rather than capitals, since there are multiple versions of them anyway. Either option is good, imo.
    *Some passive abilities have particle effects that continue to be in effect non-stop throughout the game. This makes it hard to use those passive abilities if you also want to get pretty screenshots, they also use up system resources that could be better spent elsewhere, since there is the ever present 2 gb memory limit this is something to consider removing.

Bugs:

When you start a game, it will often take a lot of time before it starts loading the map. We had a similar issue with Sins of the Prophets, where the cause was a series of minor issues and mesh hiccups. Once we fixed those issues the game actually performed a lot better, because it doesn't just freak out at map load, it also does it during the game every time you come into contact with those assets, the game is just able to move past them with good error handling. How we ultimately fixed this was with the help of Zombiesru5 and his eclipse plugin that helps find errors. Our mod doesn't crash anymore, which is an problem you're still having issues with according to the recent posts on your ModDB page. If you don't know how to contact Zombie I'll leave my own contact info below and I'll be more than helpful connecting you two, as well as a few other people I'll list below.

I know a few of my team members play your mod and have similar opinions on the strengths and weaknesses of the mod as well. If you're interested in some part-time help with this kind of stuff I can probably get it for you fairly easily (including our particle effects guy). If you'd like to talk about my comments in real time you can add me on Xfire or Steam with the username "Unikraken". I'd be more than happy to talk to any of the dev guys about this or anything else related to Sins modding. I'm also willing to talk in the forums here as well, just to be clear.

I sincerely hope you take my feedback in its intended tone, which is friendly constructive criticism from a fellow dev. If anything I've said has rubbed you the wrong way because of my choice of words, I hope you can look past that and to the meat of the comments, since humor translates poorly over text. I look forward to the eventual public release of SOGE!


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion indev build feedback
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:38 am 
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Sweet, feedback! And, personally speaking, I can't say I mind too much about you playing the SVN build before asking for status. Though then again, I'm not paying the bills.

Quote:
*Phase lane travel is reallllllllly slow.

While I'm unsure of if I agree or disagree, can I ask which maps you're basing this comment off of?

Quote:
*Everything is crazily expensive. I can either spend 1/4 of a capital ship on a 5% increase to a stat or wait another 10 minutes and buy a capital ship.

Originally, research was much cheaper, and was raised due to complaints that it was extremely inexpensive. Though, thinking of it now and looking at what was done with costs, I agree with your sentiment, and when I get the time, will redo research costs again across the board.

As for ship costs, the costs are high due to the amount of high income/resource planets around; get a High Terran and you will be swimming in cash, or get a few Crystal planets and you will have a nice ton of crystal to sell off. However, I believe there is room for a compromise. By screwing around with Gameplay.constant's incomeSpeedData settings, income should be much faster. I'd love for you to do a small test of this theory, if you're up for it. I've increased the "Faster" income option to heavily increase income flow; this should do the trick.

Quote:
*There is no such thing as early expansion in SOGE, because nearly every militia is a formidable fleet in early game. This makes economy building a much longer and tedious task.

This actually depends a lot on the map. Some maps, namely the entire "Enlarged" series of Random maps have made it so that there are higher odds for you to encounter planets with only ice colonization, and lower militias, as requirements.

However, that being said, in regards to competitive play and quick matches, there is certainly room for improvement here. I'm not sure which of these two options is better; making new maps which do not have any high militia planets, or making a stackable mini-mod/addon (for public versions, admittedly) which has reduced militia strength.

Quote:
*I can never seem to get a good economy going with how expensive everything is collectively and the time it takes to expand. Buying nearly anything makes me feel like I'm giving up a arm or a leg.

On the one hand, it's a sacrifice type decision, modules for the economy/research/culture, or ships for expansion. If you're playing Random maps, might I suggest looking at the "Extra Planets" maps? These have you start with 2 extra planets, which give you a little more income and give you more logistic slots.

That being said, once again in reference to competitive and quick play, another thing I'll look into is having people start with better planets, either in new Random maps or in the Extra Planets ones, to allow for faster early game expansion, without the long-term massive boost of the Faster income speed option.

Quote:
My second "major gripe" is mostly cosmetic. Many of the planet textures and skybox(es?) seem pretty outdated. On several of them you can see the line where it's stitched together, which doesn't look good. The glare on some of the objects/planets with bloom turned on is pretty heavy as well.

Since this is a Rebellion release, I would strongly urge you to use the vanilla Rebellion textures for stuff where you're not able to hide the seam (especially those beautiful new skyboxes).

Bloom should be turned off really, it screws around with the mod too much in general. As for the planet textures, this is one of those areas where I say I agree, but on the other hand nobody on the team really is capable of fixing them. Nova, who made them all, has noted that due to the fact that the textures are essentially 2D projections of satellite and other such imagery onto a 3D sphere, that such distortions are inevitable, and that he does not have the ability to fix them, particularly the poles issue. That being said, there's someone I know who has planet textures/meshes that we can make use of, I'll ask him for permission to use them.

With regards to skyboxes, this isn't the first time it's been brought up before. The deep space skybox, with it's two stitches, is the best we can possibly do; in it's previous versions the "top" and "bottom" of the skybox "sphere" were entirely distorted, as if they were black holes, and these stitches was the result of fixing these distortions. Though, perhaps most importantly of all, I personally lack the skills, and truthfully interest, to modify any of Sins' skyboxes at all, and Nova is either too busy to do any Sins modding atm or is happy with them.

Quote:
Also, the HUD looks a little too darked out. The visual aesthetics can make or break a game (in terms of popularity) if the quality is not up to par, and in my personal opinion this kind of stuff keeps a good mod from being a great mod. I definitely think your mod can be a great one with some minor changes!

The HUD is a bit too dark? I'll look into making it brighter.

Quote:
*Some capital ships come with stock abilities that cannot be upgraded, leaving the little number hanging out there to grow as you level up. Feels like a waste. Why not just add some minor abilities that tier so those upgrade opportunities with each level don't get wasted?
*Alternatively, those ships with stock abilities could just be made cruisers rather than capitals, since there are multiple versions of them anyway. Either option is good, imo.

Those ships that you mention were in fact cruisers in past versions of Sins. These ships were purposely converted to capital ships, and they will not be changed back to cruisers. While post/reasoning behind this can be found in the beta testing forum (or in this paste), the short version is that it stomps out the "cruisers rushing to bomb planets regardless of it's surroundings" bug, that it has allowed us to modify the AI's behavior and what ships it will spawn/use, and that thanks to Rebellion's Titan entity, capital ship crews have become obsolete and useless to us.

Quote:
*Some passive abilities have particle effects that continue to be in effect non-stop throughout the game. This makes it hard to use those passive abilities if you also want to get pretty screenshots, they also use up system resources that could be better spent elsewhere, since there is the ever present 2 gb memory limit this is something to consider removing.

These are around to tell the player whether the ship in question has the ability (ex. fleet coordination), though for some abilities (ex. gravity wells) the effects are likely unnecessary, and for those I will indeed look into removing them.

Quote:
When you start a game, it will often take a lot of time before it starts loading the map. We had a similar issue with Sins of the Prophets, where the cause was a series of minor issues and mesh hiccups. Once we fixed those issues the game actually performed a lot better, because it doesn't just freak out at map load, it also does it during the game every time you come into contact with those assets, the game is just able to move past them with good error handling. How we ultimately fixed this was with the help of Zombiesru5 and his eclipse plugin that helps find errors. Our mod doesn't crash anymore, which is an problem you're still having issues with according to the recent posts on your ModDB page.

The long map start up only began occurring after NovusUniversum was added to SoGE; I always figured it was due to the sheer volume of planet textures it slapped in. Though seeing this, there's a good chance this assumption is incorrect; I'll try and get that plugin working again so I can run that. A really, really good suggestion here, and I can't thank you enough for it.

Edit: You wouldn't happen to know specifically where to get the mesh validation tool, would you? As either it's already included in Zombie's default package, or SoGE has no mesh errors, and I'm more inclined to believe the former. Edit 2: Just finished using the tool and running through everything, likely fixed a bunch of things, and got rid of some unused files. Edit 3: Load times have decreased after doing all that parsing, most excellent!

Quote:
I know a few of my team members play your mod and have similar opinions on the strengths and weaknesses of the mod as well. If you're interested in some part-time help with this kind of stuff I can probably get it for you fairly easily (including our particle effects guy).

When I get more time and what have you, I'll likely take you up on this offer, particularity the particle effects guy, as there haven't been any new particles for this mod since 1.0E (at least 2.5 years ago), other than the new ion cannon projectile I've recently made, and even that is just a modification of existing laser projectiles. More than that however, I'd be interested in their feedback and comments as well! Stuff like this is what tends to result in really big changes, and due to my inability to play MP matches over the past year or so, is what I run off of.


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion indev build feedback
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:46 pm 
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As I recall SOGE has less of a invalid entity/mesh issue than SOTP had - one of the advantages of an open beta...
Great to see you here Uni!

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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion indev build feedback
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 5:18 pm 
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Hey guys, just thought to pop in along with Uni and say that I'm a huge fan of the mod. Not enough Star Wars games let you cross eras, so kudos for the awesome mod. Delicious CIS on Empire action.

My criticisms are mostly the phase lanes' times (I personally like smaller, tighter maps) but I suppose that could be corrected with custom maps. Interesting that you recommend turning bloom off though, since I was wondering about your planet bloom. It's quite glaring. I could hook you guys up with some PipelineEffects tweaks if you'd be down that tweak bloom in the various settings.

Also, do you need any assistance with the planet icons? I'm skilled in Photoshop and could help clean them up. The alpha might need some tending on a few of the icons.

As for the economy, I think Unikraken and I are simply used to the high speed variant that SotP uses. I'm not sure it'd be right to judge it's merit when SoaSE is a 4X game as it is. It IS fairly slow though, especially in the early game.


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion indev build feedback
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 7:32 pm 
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Lavo wrote:
Sweet, feedback! And, personally speaking, I can't say I mind too much about you playing the SVN build before asking for status. Though then again, I'm not paying the bills.


Thank you for your understanding. I've really enjoyed the mod.

Lavo wrote:
Quote:
*Phase lane travel is reallllllllly slow.

While I'm unsure of if I agree or disagree, can I ask which maps you're basing this comment off of?


I've been playing exclusively on the smaller maps against a single AI opponent to try to reduce the odds of crashing. Only happens about every 30 minutes or 1 hour or so. Phase lanes take so long to travel I can often set ships to jump and then go microwave a burrito or use the bathroom and still have time to kill before they arrive at the next planet. Perhaps a compromise could be increasing jump speed or adding in research that does it in increments? Please understand this is purely my suggestion and I don't expect you to take it with any gravitas.

Lavo wrote:
Quote:
*Everything is crazily expensive. I can either spend 1/4 of a capital ship on a 5% increase to a stat or wait another 10 minutes and buy a capital ship.

Originally, research was much cheaper, and was raised due to complaints that it was extremely inexpensive. Though, thinking of it now and looking at what was done with costs, I agree with your sentiment, and when I get the time, will redo research costs again across the board.

As for ship costs, the costs are high due to the amount of high income/resource planets around; get a High Terran and you will be swimming in cash, or get a few Crystal planets and you will have a nice ton of crystal to sell off. However, I believe there is room for a compromise. By screwing around with Gameplay.constant's incomeSpeedData settings, income should be much faster. I'd love for you to do a small test of this theory, if you're up for it. I've increased the "Faster" income option to heavily increase income flow; this should do the trick.


I think there can be a good middle ground between cheap and expensive. :) Do you have any particular income speed in mind or just want me to tweak it until it seems more reasonable? I'm more than happy to help you find a good pace.

Lavo wrote:
Quote:
*There is no such thing as early expansion in SOGE, because nearly every militia is a formidable fleet in early game. This makes economy building a much longer and tedious task.

This actually depends a lot on the map. Some maps, namely the entire "Enlarged" series of Random maps have made it so that there are higher odds for you to encounter planets with only ice colonization, and lower militias, as requirements.


I've been avoiding the larger maps mainly due to the time they require to play, though I'll have to check these out when I get some time.

Lavo wrote:
However, that being said, in regards to competitive play and quick matches, there is certainly room for improvement here. I'm not sure which of these two options is better; making new maps which do not have any high militia planets, or making a stackable mini-mod/addon (for public versions, admittedly) which has reduced militia strength.


I think it would be really interesting to see a divide between competitive MP maps and maps intended for single player. It's certainly a reasonable workaround.

Lavo wrote:
Quote:
*I can never seem to get a good economy going with how expensive everything is collectively and the time it takes to expand. Buying nearly anything makes me feel like I'm giving up a arm or a leg.

On the one hand, it's a sacrifice type decision, modules for the economy/research/culture, or ships for expansion. If you're playing Random maps, might I suggest looking at the "Extra Planets" maps? These have you start with 2 extra planets, which give you a little more income and give you more logistic slots.

That being said, once again in reference to competitive and quick play, another thing I'll look into is having people start with better planets, either in new Random maps or in the Extra Planets ones, to allow for faster early game expansion, without the long-term massive boost of the Faster income speed option.


I think this would be very gracious of you. Personally, I hate having to tweak mods by messing with the speed settings because it often has its own setbacks and distorts the original vision of the mod, also other humans may not want to use that setting and then I'm in a poor situation in MP if I'm used to "cheating" like that.

Lavo wrote:
Bloom should be turned off really, it screws around with the mod too much in general. As for the planet textures, this is one of those areas where I say I agree, but on the other hand nobody on the team really is capable of fixing them. Nova, who made them all, has noted that due to the fact that the textures are essentially 2D projections of satellite and other such imagery onto a 3D sphere, that such distortions are inevitable, and that he does not have the ability to fix them, particularly the poles issue. That being said, there's someone I know who has planet textures/meshes that we can make use of, I'll ask him for permission to use them.


I did end up turning off bloom, but as my partner in crime says, he may be able to help with that issue if you'd like. As for the planets, some of them look very good, I'm only suggesting finding an alternative for the ones where the seam is very blatant. I can't remember which one, but there was a seam on the side of the planet that was very obvious and it really broke the immersion. Some pinching at the poles isn't all that bad, but seams are the thing I was mainly pointing out.

Lavo wrote:
With regards to skyboxes, this isn't the first time it's been brought up before. The deep space skybox, with it's two stitches, is the best we can possibly do; in it's previous versions the "top" and "bottom" of the skybox "sphere" were entirely distorted, as if they were black holes, and these stitches was the result of fixing these distortions. Though, perhaps most importantly of all, I personally lack the skills, and truthfully interest, to modify any of Sins' skyboxes at all, and Nova is either too busy to do any Sins modding atm or is happy with them.


I feel like there may be some misunderstanding here, so I want to clarify my statement. I'm suggesting you return to the default skyboxes that are in Rebellion, as they have been dramatically improved since SoaSE: Trinity. I understand if that's not something you're willing to do, but I really think the skybox detracts from the parts of your mod that are visually impressive.


Lavo wrote:
Those ships that you mention were in fact cruisers in past versions of Sins. These ships were purposely converted to capital ships, and they will not be changed back to cruisers. While post/reasoning behind this can be found in the beta testing forum (or in this paste), the short version is that it stomps out the "cruisers rushing to bomb planets regardless of it's surroundings" bug, that it has allowed us to modify the AI's behavior and what ships it will spawn/use, and that thanks to Rebellion's Titan entity, capital ship crews have become obsolete and useless to us.


I completely understand here about not having them be cruisers, as we have had to make some concessions in our own mod that we can't do much about. I humbly suggest that you at least add some minor abilities that those upgrade points can be spent on, even if they only do minor stat buffs, it would be much less harsh on my OCD to see so many ships with upgrade points just sitting around. I understand if this isn't something you're willing to consider, but my twitching eye begged me to suggest it.

Lavo wrote:
These are around to tell the player whether the ship in question has the ability (ex. fleet coordination), though for some abilities (ex. gravity wells) the effects are likely unnecessary, and for those I will indeed look into removing them.


I'm sure that you know that these can be a drain on limited system memory. Might I suggest you at least consider using a less intensive effect? I'm going to mention in more detail below, but I can probably help with that new effect, if you come up with an idea for it.

Lavo wrote:
The long map start up only began occurring after NovusUniversum was added to SoGE; I always figured it was due to the sheer volume of planet textures it slapped in. Though seeing this, there's a good chance this assumption is incorrect; I'll try and get that plugin working again so I can run that. A really, really good suggestion here, and I can't thank you enough for it.

Edit: You wouldn't happen to know specifically where to get the mesh validation tool, would you? As either it's already included in Zombie's default package, or SoGE has no mesh errors, and I'm more inclined to believe the former. Edit 2: Just finished using the tool and running through everything, likely fixed a bunch of things, and got rid of some unused files. Edit 3: Load times have decreased after doing all that parsing, most excellent!


Awesome! I'm sure if you have more stuff causing trouble that Zombie can help with it. We brought him on personally for a few things and he's helped us out dramatically with SotP.

Lavo wrote:
When I get more time and what have you, I'll likely take you up on this offer, particularity the particle effects guy, as there haven't been any new particles for this mod since 1.0E (at least 2.5 years ago), other than the new ion cannon projectile I've recently made, and even that is just a modification of existing laser projectiles. More than that however, I'd be interested in their feedback and comments as well! Stuff like this is what tends to result in really big changes, and due to my inability to play MP matches over the past year or so, is what I run off of.


I'm more than happy to help wherever you'll let me and have the expertise to do so. I spoke to our effects guy, Dhoulmegus, and he's onboard for doing some minor stuff when you come up with what you need. Very cool guy, he is. We've got plenty of bodies, especially for entity coding and the like, so I'm sure we can get you the help, but keep in mind we are working on our mod as well, so the time may come when we're pretty busy again. Might be best to strike when the iron is hot, so to speak.

Again, thank you for hearing us out and I hope to keep in contact with you about this. Is there any particular IM service you use, because I'm sure we could discuss some of this in real time much easier. Also, sorry for the novel of a response.


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion indev build feedback
PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:16 pm 
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Unikraken wrote:
I've been playing exclusively on the smaller maps against a single AI opponent to try to reduce the odds of crashing. Only happens about every 30 minutes or 1 hour or so. Phase lanes take so long to travel I can often set ships to jump and then go microwave a burrito or use the bathroom and still have time to kill before they arrive at the next planet. Perhaps a compromise could be increasing jump speed or adding in research that does it in increments?

Perhaps I should have been more clear; I'm asking if it's on one of the premade maps, or a Random map. All the pre-made maps are basically super-massive due to their scaling; which is a WIP.

Quote:
I think there can be a good middle ground between cheap and expensive. :) Do you have any particular income speed in mind or just want me to tweak it until it seems more reasonable? I'm more than happy to help you find a good pace.

Tweak 'em! Feel free to play around with the Fast and Faster speeds and find something fitting.

Quote:
I've been avoiding the larger maps mainly due to the time they require to play, though I'll have to check these out when I get some time.

The Medium Random maps aren't too large, at 33 planets including spatial anomalies, non-colonizables, and the pirate base.

Quote:
I think it would be really interesting to see a divide between competitive MP maps and maps intended for single player. It's certainly a reasonable workaround.

Over my winter break, I'll take a stab at making a few of these.

Quote:
I think this would be very gracious of you. Personally, I hate having to tweak mods by messing with the speed settings because it often has its own setbacks and distorts the original vision of the mod, also other humans may not want to use that setting and then I'm in a poor situation in MP if I'm used to "cheating" like that.

Aye. The "Extra Planets" maps were at first made to speed up the game, and then after NU was introduced, to make sure the AI doesn't choke on itself and die. Due to the latter however, it seems that the former bit the dust. I believe making another set of Extra Planets random maps, with a fully upgraded High Terran instead of a regular Terran for a homeworld, should fix this.

Additionally, I've been thinking of taking Zombie's idea for flagship mode and adopting it to SoGE; that is having flagship mode have you start with one of your faction's weaker supercaps, which would also not count towards your supercap cap (this can't be changed). With the large militas of SoGE, this would mean that early expansion is very feasible, however, you can't just throw your flagship at an Ecumenopolis or Rusty planet without support.

Quote:
I did end up turning off bloom, but as my partner in crime says, he may be able to help with that issue if you'd like. As for the planets, some of them look very good, I'm only suggesting finding an alternative for the ones where the seam is very blatant. I can't remember which one, but there was a seam on the side of the planet that was very obvious and it really broke the immersion. Some pinching at the poles isn't all that bad, but seams are the thing I was mainly pointing out.

Hrm. If you have a list of planets to look at/change I can work off of that list. Either way, I'm admittedly not the guy to talk to, Nova would be.

Quote:
I feel like there may be some misunderstanding here, so I want to clarify my statement. I'm suggesting you return to the default skyboxes that are in Rebellion, as they have been dramatically improved since SoaSE: Trinity. I understand if that's not something you're willing to do, but I really think the skybox detracts from the parts of your mod that are visually impressive.

I do understand that's what you mean. What I'm saying is that Nova has fiddled around with skyboxes extensively; he's entirely redone the whole colored skyboxes make up, has killed the deep space skyboxes make up, and I have no idea how the two are linked. The lack of Rebellion's deep space skyboxes, I believe, is what SoGE is suffering from, though at the same time I have absolutely no idea how to work with skyboxes, other than they have it's own manifest file. He's probably the guy to talk to, though I'm not sure if he's around currently.

Quote:
I completely understand here about not having them be cruisers, as we have had to make some concessions in our own mod that we can't do much about. I humbly suggest that you at least add some minor abilities that those upgrade points can be spent on, even if they only do minor stat buffs, it would be much less harsh on my OCD to see so many ships with upgrade points just sitting around. I understand if this isn't something you're willing to consider, but my twitching eye begged me to suggest it.

While I'm not willing to implement it, though I will note that "cruiser" capital ships do benefit from leveling up, if it makes you feel any better.

Quote:
I'm sure that you know that these can be a drain on limited system memory. Might I suggest you at least consider using a less intensive effect? I'm going to mention in more detail below, but I can probably help with that new effect, if you come up with an idea for it.

Sure, effects suggestions would be most welcome! If you also have specific abilities that you believe need work effects wise, do name them.

Quote:
Awesome! I'm sure if you have more stuff causing trouble that Zombie can help with it. We brought him on personally for a few things and he's helped us out dramatically with SotP.

I'll have to ask him if he has a mesh validater, as I think I've gotten most of the big errors sorted out, though I haven't done a good dev exe check yet.

Quote:
I'm more than happy to help wherever you'll let me and have the expertise to do so. I spoke to our effects guy, Dhoulmegus, and he's onboard for doing some minor stuff when you come up with what you need. Very cool guy, he is. We've got plenty of bodies, especially for entity coding and the like, so I'm sure we can get you the help, but keep in mind we are working on our mod as well, so the time may come when we're pretty busy again. Might be best to strike when the iron is hot, so to speak.

Noted. Any bit of help would be great, though I will flat out admit I have absolutely no ideas when it comes to particle effects, other than we could use them. Research ideas/changes are also most welcome.

That staff make up is quite the opposite of us; for much of the past 2 years it was just myself and sloose hacking away at things, Nova doing the entirety of the planets part of the mod, and evaders providing invaluable technical support. Around a year or so ago, Warb_Null noticed me shamelessly nabbing his Blue Diver model and rigging it up for SoGE, and offered to make models/basically become part of the team, which was the first time SoGE got models since EJ was more active, before I even tested the mod. Recently zoommooz, a longtime tester, came up with the unique faction techs you currently see ingame, which has added some much needed variety to research.

Quote:
Again, thank you for hearing us out and I hope to keep in contact with you about this. Is there any particular IM service you use, because I'm sure we could discuss some of this in real time much easier. Also, sorry for the novel of a response.

Added you on Steam; though I admit you're the first person I'd actually speak to using it. I mainly use Skype (lavo_2), AIM (toalavo), and MSN (meeper_1@hotmail.com), or IRC (Lavo on irc.rizon.net and irc.coldfront.net) for IM purposes.

CanadaMan7 wrote:
Also, do you need any assistance with the planet icons? I'm skilled in Photoshop and could help clean them up. The alpha might need some tending on a few of the icons.

The planet icons could use cleaning up for sure. Many have an odd box around them, which should ideally not be there.

Quote:
As for the economy, I think Unikraken and I are simply used to the high speed variant that SotP uses. I'm not sure it'd be right to judge it's merit when SoaSE is a 4X game as it is. It IS fairly slow though, especially in the early game.

I'd say you're right to judge it's merit, if anything I'd say even more so due to your experience. Particularly when you mention specific areas such as early game expansion, which is something that can be easily tweaked when done correctly.


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion indev build feedback
PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2012 6:45 pm 
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I have a request for your particle effects guy, Unikraken. A particle effect of each of the supercaps, at 1:1 scale; these will be used to show when a supercap is "under construction", once I get the new factory mesh rigged up. Also, made the main HUD brighter, tell me if that did the trick.


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion indev build feedback
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:36 pm 
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I figured out how to play around with skyboxes, so I've added vanilla Rebellion's skyboxes into SoGE, supplementing NU's. Tell me what you think!


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion indev build feedback
PostPosted: Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:50 am 
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Those skyboxes are phenomenal. I love it!


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion indev build feedback
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:31 pm 
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The concerns Unikraken raised i can share- id play this mod to death if it was a bit faster, and less tedious.
In fact, i loved it when it was just SoaSE with Star Wars stuff.
Actually, how hard would it be to remove the planet mods and whatnot so its just vanilla SoaSE with the new factions?
Not that i dont like where its been going, but its not my cup of tea.


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion indev build feedback
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:27 pm 
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Mick666 wrote:
Actually, how hard would it be to remove the planet mods and whatnot so its just vanilla SoaSE with the new factions?

Extremely difficult; you'd have to add in the planets, and redo most of the GalaxyScenarioDef file. I do plan to make "faster" maps, and put in flagship mode. For flagship mode, every faction will start with one of their faction's weaker supercaps (this would not count towards the supercap cap, or lock you out of any research paths), which will notably speed up gameplay even on regular maps.

Also, what do you find tedious about SoGE? I would love to hear some feedback about that!

Edit: Just to clarify, I can understand why one can find the game very long, too long in fact, regardless of the map type. As noted earlier, I do plan to find some sort of way to alleviate speed issues, other than increasing the Fast and Faster income setting (which I recommend using, at least for now, if one wants shorter games) and/or using flagship mode. I just need time for that, which is something that's currently in short supply.


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion indev build feedback
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 1:10 am 
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Okay, ill try and sum this up-

Things i dislike:

The forced/buying selling feature of the economy is annoying- i had 80K metal at one point, but 600 crystal and about 2K credits. The market just cant support 2 players selling their resources like that. Im still not sure that the bots even comprehend what to do- i was selling like crazy in mine but it only ever crashed when i used it- and now that i think about it, the bot had an equivalent amount of resource income, but took an age to remake his fleet after a major battle- where mine was built up quickly.

Ship movement speed- i know a lot of people whine about ship SIZE, but its the speed that irks me- getting from A to C takes an age. That really slows down gameplay.

Stalemates- theres no (i think) anti structure vessel for each side. For example- the amount of Laser and Ion cannons i could put around my asteroid was more powerful, and more dangerous, than my Golan III platform. Plus the range is ridiculously large. The AI simply could not break through my defences without a significant (im talking a supercap) fleet. You put two humans in that situation, with a bottleneck, and its stalemate. Plus they're so cheap! And so quick to build!

Range of the Starbases: the Golan III has a piddly range compared to the other stationary weapons. The damage output is also quite low... its rather useless.

The broadsides: Most of the ships in this game are triangular, for the very reason that they present a smaller target front on without any loss of firepower. And the game accepts this- i saw my Executor charge a ship, head on, with both sides weapons pummeling it. Then the target stopped so it pivoted and showed its side- and only used half its weapons. Annoying, not as dramatic.

Ship organization: You might want to rearrange your ships so that they are the same order as SoaSE ones. I spend more of my time reading what they do than picking them- a new player will be a bit lost. As in, heavy cruiser last, support cruisers first, carrier middle. Scout first, Light combat frigate next, then LRM (though in this game, that role feels moot), Anti fighter, Bomber and then Colony. Capital Ships seem to be Battleship, Carrier, two supports and a Bombing/Support capital. I know your ship designs dont fit that, but trying to line them up would be a great start.
If nothing else, a piece added to each ship for quick reference would be nice. I.e., take the Nebulon-2B- After the Description, do a space, then go Role: Combat Frigate. Im still not sure what my Tartans are for.

Oh, and you need another voice message for the Imperials ship being built message- 'We're moving out' or w/e gets quite annoying and frustrating with a large assembly line.


Things i like:

The drifting! Once the enemy starts fleeing or the battle becomes mobile, my Capitals just start drifting around in combat. Especially after their first target is destroyed- they just turn sharply and keep on fighting.

The capital ship wars- Star Destroyers are a BIT expensive (the SD I could be a BIT cheaper, or the SD II have a bigger difference) but i tried a small Imperial v Imperial war and it was nuts- i tried using frigates (this game used to be Attack of the Frigates) and they were just meat. It looks cool. Mind you, a bit more balance in pricing and buffing the frigates a little (15 are a staple SoASE fleet, but late game, theres no room for them in my fleet- just wasted resources).

Crazy big battles- they look and sound just like the movies or the shows- goosebumps galore.

The weapon balance- not dominated by LRMs like the vanilla game. Love it.


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion indev build feedback
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:44 am 
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On the market: Truthfully, that's just how things are. If you flood a market with resources, you will crash it. Out of curiosity, have you tried putting up resources onto the black market, versus flat out selling them? This can yield larger profits, and also does not crash the market as much. Plus, the AI never puts resources there, as it doesn't know how to, which puts a human at great advantage.

By movement speed, do you mean in hyperspace/phase space, or regular speeds? If the former, it's a known issue for all the premade maps and something we are looking on. If the latter, I will look into tweaking the speed option (the one you select before starting a new game) in order to allow for quicker ship speeds if a player so desires; this is a useful find.

Not every faction has one, however most do; Republic (Acclamator-II), Empire (Broadside), New Republic (BAC), and Vong (Scout Ship) all have the Siege Torpedoes ability, an attack which out-ranges every single structure in the game. The CIS has it's infamous Buzz Droids, and the Alliance has it's many shielded vessels, which while not perfect, can do a similar job. The Golan III has the same range as other stationary structures, and a good defense admittedly either needs a really large fleet or supercaps. However, if one really spends a lot of time and cash in defenses, shouldn't they be useful?

I will definitely look into re-arranging ship build lists. Though, SoGE doesn't follow traditional Sins ship roles (other than scout, anti-fighter, mine layers, siege, colonizer, and envoys). The couterdesc strings do have a slight explanation for what each frigate does, for example the Tartan's is: "This frigate can lay mines, detect/clear mines, combat enemy starfighters, and combat enemy vessels."
This says the frigate can lay mines, clear mines, serve as an anti-starfighter screener, and can go toe-to-toe with some other ships.


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion indev build feedback
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:40 pm 
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Lavo wrote:
On the market: Truthfully, that's just how things are. If you flood a market with resources, you will crash it. Out of curiosity, have you tried putting up resources onto the black market, versus flat out selling them? This can yield larger profits, and also does not crash the market as much. Plus, the AI never puts resources there, as it doesn't know how to, which puts a human at great advantage.

By movement speed, do you mean in hyperspace/phase space, or regular speeds? If the former, it's a known issue for all the premade maps and something we are looking on. If the latter, I will look into tweaking the speed option (the one you select before starting a new game) in order to allow for quicker ship speeds if a player so desires; this is a useful find.

Not every faction has one, however most do; Republic (Acclamator-II), Empire (Broadside), New Republic (BAC), and Vong (Scout Ship) all have the Siege Torpedoes ability, an attack which out-ranges every single structure in the game. The CIS has it's infamous Buzz Droids, and the Alliance has it's many shielded vessels, which while not perfect, can do a similar job. The Golan III has the same range as other stationary structures, and a good defense admittedly either needs a really large fleet or supercaps. However, if one really spends a lot of time and cash in defenses, shouldn't they be useful?

I will definitely look into re-arranging ship build lists. Though, SoGE doesn't follow traditional Sins ship roles (other than scout, anti-fighter, mine layers, siege, colonizer, and envoys). The couterdesc strings do have a slight explanation for what each frigate does, for example the Tartan's is: "This frigate can lay mines, detect/clear mines, combat enemy starfighters, and combat enemy vessels."
This says the frigate can lay mines, clear mines, serve as an anti-starfighter screener, and can go toe-to-toe with some other ships.

@1- Ah, i did not think to try that... Thanks. I just wish there was a more efficient way to gain credits.

@2- hyperspace speeds seem to be a hit or a miss- the first map i played in the new update was horrible... i went for a drink, came back and they still hadnt arrived. I conveniently suffered a minidump a few moments later... But my second map had more acceptable, or at least bearable standards.

Regular speeds is what i meant- the crossing a gravity well action is about (on average) x2 or x3 slower than vanilla. This is with the highest speed setting.
@3- Ah, the broadside... that is helpful... I tried using a Torpedo Sphere :P The AI didnt think to try that- i did see a single broadside in the fleet, but it was only once. And its a bit hard to outrange them- i think i can hit most phase jumping in locations with Missiles or Laser cannons. Especially on an asteroid.

@4- Thanks, its a simple change but a significant one. The desc is helpful, but the added line of 'Role: Siege' is just for quick reference.

Oh, and a small other thing- vanilla has it so that when you select a group of frigates, cruisers and capitals, the 'focus' one, or the one who's ability appears in the bottom right and a fleet will be formed on, is a capital every time. SoGE doesnt have that.


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 Post subject: Re: Rebellion indev build feedback
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 4:38 pm 
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The Torpedo Sphere was a stupid choice. It's not meant for hitting ships or structures; it's a dedicated planet bomber. Of course you bombed hard at hitting structures with it. :V

Yes, the premade maps are like that. Try the random maps; you will see a massive difference.

The AI doesn't understand how to properly use abilities, nor how to combat structures, or even how to properly place structures. It's unfortunate, but not much can be done to account for that, other than possibly to give the AI special anti-structure ships. And then if we do that, the AI with defensive structures will simply get stomped. As for small gravity wells; that's one of their advantages. Though most of these, such as simple Asteroids, cannot support more than 8 tactical slots worth of defensive structures.

The counter-desc already serves that purpose though. Plus, putting in simple things such as ''Role: Siege'' isn't possible for most ships in SoGE; in Star Wars the majority of ships can preform multiple roles/functions, and the mod reflects this.


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