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Twilight: Tolmekian's TechTree Fix v3.51 Release 05-10-13

By on February 27, 2011 12:50:49 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Tolmekian

Join Date 08/2007
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Purpose of the mod:

 This mod addresses widespread errors in the TotA TechTree.xml files.  These errors pretty much broke many of the unique TechTrees, causing the AI to pursue a deeply flawed research strategy and outright preventing the research of many techs.  Part of the fix included rearranging a number of the TechTrees to fix the seemingly random arrangement of some techs and reduce the number of branches for the AI to get sidetracked on.  Along the way, I ended up fixing many UP issues, planetary improvements, starbase modules, and did some general improvement and balancing on individual techs.

This mod is a direct result of MarvinKosh's Space Weapons Fix Mod, which provided the inspiration.  A lot of my development commentary and good input from other modders working on their own fixes is in that topic.  Thanks MarvinKosh, Quaternus, deweyjohn, TOV, foxthree, qrtxian and all others for input and support.

 


05-10-13: v3.51 release

Update to fix some errors in v3.5. 

  • Because I forgot to mention for the 3.5 release: The Hyperion improvements (shipyard, shrinker, logistics, resupply) are now all Galactic Achievements instead of Super Projects.  No more collecting shrinkers , it really matters who builds these things.
  • I would also like to add a special thanks to Gaunathor for extensive proofreading, playtesting, and feedback.  His contributions have played a big part in me continuing the work, fixing/improving even more than I originally intended, and finally putting out a (more or less) finished product after all this time.  It's fair to say that without him, this mod wouldn't be nearly what it is.  Thanks.

04-28-13: v3.5 release

 

Here it is, the more or less finished product after all this time.  It's been about a year since I put this project down, so I'm a bit fuzzy on what exactly I did before coming back to finish it up.  I'm pretty sure I've got the major things nailed down, though.  Let's see:

 

  • Fixed those minor but embarrassing typos that made it into v3.0
  • Standardized the cost vs maintenance vs output ratios for the various improvement.  Now every race can be content with their own improvements and not shop around for the obvious best.  You can now upgrade to Industrial Sectors without fretting about the inefficiencies.
    • In general, costs went down, sometimes a lot.  Maintenance costs were also reduced or eliminated on many improvements.  No more taking years upon years to develop a planet only to have the game end immediately thereafter.

 

  • Made starting techs that allow a bottom-tier improvement for many of the improvement lines.  The idea being to allow the AI access to each type of improvement and allow balanced planet development - no filling up planets before researching basic improvements.
    • eg. Races that use the "normal" economic structures (banks, stock markets, etc) now start with Market Economics, which allows construction of the Market Center.
    • If you make a custom tech tree, this allows you to select the base techs for your tree without needing conflicting "history" techs to unlock basic improvements.
  • Rounded out the Temple morale improvements, so Altarians and Drath have a progression of decent improvements unlocked by various techs, starting with Spiritual Happiness.
  • Did away entirely with farms, charging stalks, etc.  Replaced them with a universal, one-per-planet improvement that gives a bonus to pop growth and %food.
  • Did away with Advanced Extreme Colonization techs.  Now only one tech is required for each type of extreme planets.
  • Now every tech tree includes the Government techs and Planetary Defense Techs.  No good reason for some races to go without.
  • Omega Research Center: Now with more awesome.  No longer just a watered down tech capital, the Omega Research Center is a Galactic Achievement worthy of the title.
    • Speaking of watered down Tech Capital . . . I watered down the Tech Capital.  Kind of.  Bonus from 100% to 50%, but it now generates 14tp on its own.  Which leads to the next point . . .
  • All improvements that give a bonus to manufacturing or research now also generate their own mp or tp proportional to the bonus.  This is to counteract the sometimes painful misplacement of these improvements by the AI.
  • The evil races (Drengin, Korath, Yor) got a lot of attention during 3.5 development due to general lack of competitiveness.
    • Now have access to all 4 types of capitals (economic, technological, political, manufacturing) or an equivalent structure.
    • Drengin got a couple new unique techs - Superior Warships and Fleet Domination - which boost stats and unlock Galactic Achievements to speed their conquest of the galaxy.
    • Korath have a new Galactic Achievement - the Aul Incinerator.  Out with the one-per-planet suckfest and in with something that you'll actually want.
    • Don't think the Yor got any new stuff, but some stuff is easier to get and the Manufacturing Vortex and Distributed Energy Matrix got pretty big buffs.
  • Sprinkled a couple speed bonuses in the basic techs to speed things up a bit.  Basically, the AI never designs ships with engines and ends up late game with ships that move 3 or 4 per turn.  Now we're looking at 6 or 7.
  •  Uuuuuh . . . I think that's the major stuff.
  • Enjoy!

TechTree Fix v3.51 with Dumb Old Minors: I did nothing to the minor races here.  If you want the same dumb minors you've always known and loved, this is the mod for you.

TechTree Fix v3.51 with Smart Old Minors: Same old minors that still won't colonize, but I added code to make them play to the best of the  AI's ability.  I gave them respectable descriptions, modest bonuses, and changed out the silly race images to reflect their upgrade.  Since they can't colonize, they'll send out a bunch of freighters and actually send constructors to grab up a lot of the resources while the majors are still colonizing.  They still get slaughtered when it comes down to it, but I've had fun watching them.  It's also interesting to see the majors make a ton of regular starbases since there are fewer resources to grab.

TechTree Fix v3.51 with MoOII MinorsThe MoOII minors in this mod will colonize and behave pretty much like weak majors.  Much larger than the other mods due to the RaceImage and RaceLogo files. If you try this mod, remember to use the "quick save fix".  That is, the minors won't start behaving like majors until you save and reload.  So, start your game, quicksave, reload, and enjoy.

TechTree Fix v3.51 with MoOII and Smart Old Minors: Why not?  If you want a little variety, I packaged up both versions of the minors in one mod.  Your minors could be one, the other, or a mix of both.  Still be sure to use the quick-save fix, or your MoOII minors won't play nice.  I haven't tested this arrangement, but I can't see why it won't work.  (famous last words.)


03-04-12: v3.0 Release

v3.0 continues the work, this time focusing on starbase modules and planetary improvements, particularly Galactic Achievements, Super Projects, and Trade Goods.  Also included is a wonderful conversation mod, kindly contributed by qrtxian.  His mod fixes the errors in the GC2_Conversations.xml, so now you can enjoy all the unique dialogue as intended.

Highlights

  • All fleet modules that were removed in v2.0 are restored.  That's the fleet attack/defense and fleet warp bubbles, etc.
  • Entire Starbase Fortification branch removed.  The attack, defense, and assist modules were spread uniformly among the appropriate weapons and defense techs.
  • Enhanced Battle Stations starbase modules and added equivalent Starbase Defenses modules.
  • No more easy pickings, expect to see some well armed starbases.
  • Addressed a limitation where the AI will only use the first 100 starbase modules in the xml file.  Rearranged, removed, and edited starbase modules to ensure the most basic and useful modules are AI accessible.
  • Evil weapons and good defenses are now available at every weapon/defense level, instead of only at the end.
  • Extensive changes to Galactic Achievements, Super Projects, and Trade Goods.  I went after them with the idea that every one should be a "must have".  Costs reduced and AI values increased to ensure the AIs actually have a chance to build them, given their inability to plan planetary improvements.
  • Edit to add - All the trade goods now have a unique icon rather than a stack of boxes.  Except the Xinathium Hull Plating.  I figured that would still come in boxes.    I chose from among the unused icons that come with the game, so they may not be perfect.  They are, in my opinion, better than the boxes.
  • Two previously unused Galactic Achievements brought into play: the Life Force Extractor and Historical Preserve.  Two new GAs introduced: the Benevolent Research Center and Trade Nexus.  All four new GAs are unlocked by ethics techs.
  • Introduced new ethics techs to split up the multiple GAs and SPs unlocked by them.  Ethics techs now also provide a small bonus, so those who don't get the GAs don't waste their research.
  • Further optimizing and balancing.  My last playtests were some of the most balanced I've ever seen.  Sure, sometimes there are runaway monsters and pitiful also-rans, but overall it's pretty good.
  • All races are still set to AIPersonality 11, or Generic.  The Altarians, Arceans, and Korx default to their unique AIP when set to 11.  You can still use AIP 8 (Thalan, Human, Drath, Krynn) and 7 (Drengin, Korath, and Yor) if you want to mix things up, but there are special considerations.  First, AIP 7 is flawed in that it won't colonize outside of its influence sphere.  In order to stand a chance, you need to use Abundant Planets, Abundant Habitables, Abundant or Common Stars, and Tight of Loose Clusters.  Then, you need to Ctrl-n until you get a galaxy where the AIP 7s have enough stars within their influence.  Other than that, AIP 7 and 8 will perform pretty well.  Their research is somewhat flawed (no Xeno Ethics, for example) and they're hyper militant, but they seem to compete well.
  • Edit to add - While trying to improve the Arceans, I tested their TechTree with regular engines instead of their unique navigation techs.  I kept the navigation techs in the standard Arcean TechTree, but also left the Arcean-Eng tree in.

I think that's most of it.  Without further ado, here it is:

TechTree Fix v3.0 with Dumb Old Minors: I did nothing to the minor races here.  If you want the same dumb minors you've always known and loved, this is the mod for you.

TechTree Fix v3.0 with Smart Old Minors: Same old minors that still won't colonize, but I added code to make them play to the best of the  AI's ability.  I gave them respectable descriptions, modest bonuses, and changed out the silly race images to reflect their upgrade.  Since they can't colonize, they'll send out a bunch of freighters and actually send constructors to grab up a lot of the resources while the majors are still colonizing.  They still get slaughtered when it comes down to it, but I've had fun watching them.  It's also interesting to see the majors make a ton of regular starbases since there are fewer resources to grab.

TechTree Fix v3.0 with MoOII MinorsThe MoOII minors in this mod will colonize and behave pretty much like weak majors.  Much larger than the other mods due to the RaceImage and RaceLogo files. If you try this mod, remember to use the "quick save fix".  That is, the minors won't start behaving like majors until you save and reload.  So, start your game, quicksave, reload, and enjoy.

TechTree Fix v3.0 with MoOII and Smart Old Minors: Why not?  If you want a little variety, I packaged up both versions of the minors in one mod.  Your minors could be one, the other, or a mix of both.  Still be sure to use the quick-save fix, or your MoOII minors won't play nice.  I haven't tested this arrangement, but I can't see why it won't work.  (famous last words.)


Update 01-07-12: v2 Release

After nearly a year, here it finally is.  Details can be found in this post.

v1.1 Notes:

  • Extract the zipped folders into: C:\Program Files\Stardock Games\GalCiv2\Twilight\mods  This is the pathway for my Impule-downloaded version.  In any case, put it into the mods folder in the Twilight folder.
  • The TechTree Fix is optimized for AIPersonality 11 (Altarian, Arcean, Korx, and Generic).  AIPs 7 and 10 are pretty much broken, and AIP 8 has certain issues that require me to do another round of optimization and testing for any race that I want to set as 8.  I set all races to AIP 11 in the mod.  You can change the setting, but it will change the way the AI pursues research.
  • My detailed change log is included in the folder.  I'd include it here for everyone to see, but it's a 15 page Word file.  It lists all the changes that I made to the techs, improvements, modules and issues.  It also includes every iteration of AIValue for each tech, so you can see just how many times I had to tweak some of them.
  • Additonal Highlights:
    • Fixes broken UP Issue "Add two trade routes".  It proposed 2 trade routes, then called for a vote on 0,1,2,3, or 4.  That vote was broken and didn't work.  It's now yes/no for 2 trade routes.
    • Restores 3 Galactic Achievements by fixing Tech Requirements: The Galactic Stock Exchange, Galactic Monument, and Hyper-Distribution Center are once again available with the proper techs.
    • Fixes error in some starbase modules that caused attack bonus to be misstated in the starbase summary.
    • Fixes Temple of Neutrality, which was a cut-and-paste of Temple of Righteousness.  That means the tourism penalty affected good races.  Now it affects neutral civs and not good ones.
    • Fixes Planetary Defense improvement so it now actually gives +25% Planetary Defense.
    • Fixes a number of errors in descriptions of techs and improvements.  Unfortunately, I didn't fix the error in the Temple of Righteousness/Neutrality/Evil descriptions.  They don't affect trade income, only tourism.
    • Fixes a number of errors in the TechTree xml that prevented the entire TechTree from being displayed in the xml viewer.
    • There's a few more in there.

 

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February 27, 2011 12:41:48 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Good job.  I'll try it out next chance I get!

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February 27, 2011 3:21:43 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

I have an update already.  I ran a quick autoplay with the MOOII minors and found that they are actually pretty potent.  They kept up pretty well and outperformed a handful of the weaker majors in an 8 majors + 8 minors game.  So I went and nerfed a couple key stats that were driving their expansion - economics, morale, and pop growth.  Now they still carve out decent little empires, but are outperformed by all but the very worst majors.

I've added the Weaker Minors mod to the original post.

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February 27, 2011 8:25:10 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Ah, it's out! I've been looking forward to seeing how you have been solving the balancing problems. It is a long list, and difficult to read it all at once, but what I've managed to absorb from it so far doesn't seem much different to what I did. (At least with the techs) I even noticed a few things that I didn't realized needed fixing, so I think you for that.

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February 27, 2011 9:28:11 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Quoting TOV,
Ah, it's out! I've been looking forward to seeing how you have been solving the balancing problems. It is a long list, and difficult to read it all at once, but what I've managed to absorb from it so far doesn't seem much different to what I did. (At least with the techs) I even noticed a few things that I didn't realized needed fixing, so I think you for that.

For those more interested in figuring out what it is that I've done, it's important to note that I didn't keep a log of the rearrangements that I made to the individual tech trees.  A couple techs that I moved early on, maybe, but not the major changes that I made late in the process.  You'll need to actually take a look at the trees in-game to see.

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February 28, 2011 7:07:18 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums


  also includes my custom, colonizing minors.  The minors are the races from Master of Orion II and have been modded to use AIPersonality 11 and the full array of AI abilities and CPU power available to the majors.

Do these modded minors have influence/borders ?

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February 28, 2011 8:47:39 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

I am very interested in this mod and will be following it closely.

Stupid question: What's this AIP 8 or 11 or whatnot and what should I know? Wouldn't putting them all at 11 make all the AIs play the same?

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February 28, 2011 12:07:35 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Quoting G'Kar,

quoting post
  also includes my custom, colonizing minors.  The minors are the races from Master of Orion II and have been modded to use AIPersonality 11 and the full array of AI abilities and CPU power available to the majors.

Do these modded minors have influence/borders ?

No.  That's something we just can't change. Despite behaving like majors, they are still fundamentally minors.  No influence, no UP vote, can't be culture-flipped, still get bullied by the real majors for cash, can't build Galactic Achievements or Trade Goods, etc.  We can mod their stats and behavior, but what makes a minor a minor is hard-coded.

The goal of the mod isn't to expand the number of major races, but to replace the utterly incompetent, comic-relief minors with something more respectable.

Quoting RKade,
I am very interested in this mod and will be following it closely.

Stupid question: What's this AIP 8 or 11 or whatnot and what should I know? Wouldn't putting them all at 11 make all the AIs play the same?

The AIPersonality refers to the actual AI used.  Twilight has four AIPs that the major races use, one for the minors, and one for the Dread Lords.  Of the four major AIPs, two are broken and one is flawed, in my opinion.  That leaves only one to work with, though now that this mod is out I plan to see if I can work with the flawed AIP.  A rundown of the AIPs:

7 - Drengin, Yor, and Korath: Broken.  Won't colonize worlds outside of its sphere of influence.  People say it sometimes plays a good game, but it normally just colonizes the handful of worlds in its sphere then makes a dozen colony ships that all just stay in orbit.  You end up with a little 4-8 world empire while everyone else gets all the other planets.

8 - Terran, Thalan, Krynn, Drath: Flawed.  Doesn't research Extreme Colonization, or any tech with the Colonization category.  Is also hyper-militant and will rush weapons techs regardless of the AIValue assigned to the tech.  It does like the yellow technologies and puts serious effort into claiming galactic resources and fortifying its starbases.  Overall doesn't pursue a very balanced research strategy with my current settings.  This is the AIP that I want to work with now.

10 - Torian and Iconian: Broken.  Starts off fine, but eventually stops building anything on its planets - to the point that it has a bunch of empty planets in the mid-to-late game.

11 - Arcean, Altarian, Korx, and Generic: The stock AIP. I figure this is the AIP that they started with, the one that came from Dark Avatar.  Pursues a pretty balanced research strategy based more on the AIValue assigned to the techs than a preference for any certain kind of tech.  You could imagine how much easier that made the whole process, since I didn't have to fight against the AI to make things work.

And to answer your last question: Yes, having all AIs set to 11 does make them behave more or less the same.  When you look at a summary of the AIPs, there doesn't seem like much of a choice.  It's not so bad, though, as all earlier versions of the game only had 1 AIP. 

AIP 8 can probably be salvaged - in fact others think it's just fine - but I wanted to focus my efforts on fixing the TechTrees and finding a balanced research strategy for AIP 11 first.  I think of it as a baseline for all future work.  TechTree Fix v2 will have some TechTrees designed specifically for AIP 8.

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February 28, 2011 6:00:20 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

In theory, couldn't you, way down the line, fix the other two... or make replacements so they can be used? War mongers and peaceniks it looks like. It looks like that's the direction you're going in at any rate.

If I knew anything about modding, I'd help you out but, alas, I'm just video game fan. That stuff confuses me and I applaud you for learning how to understand it.

So what are all your eventual goals for this baby?

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March 1, 2011 3:17:56 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Quoting RKade,
In theory, couldn't you, way down the line, fix the other two... or make replacements so they can be used? War mongers and peaceniks it looks like. It looks like that's the direction you're going in at any rate.

There's a lot that we can do with this game, but tinkering with the actual AIs isn't something that can be done.  It's up to Brad to fix it for us.  He recently posted that he was looking to put together an update based on feedback, and I very much hope that fixing AIPs 7 and 10 is a top priority for him.

Speaking of AIPs, I may have to eat my comments about AIP 8.  Since I'm on a roll, I decided to start work on v2.  The first thing I did was run a test with a few civs set to AIP 8.  The only changes I made to the tech trees was to set the AIValue of all Colonization tech to 400 - for those who don't know, the the AI uses the AIValue to determine which techs it should research.  I wanted to see if AIP 8 would research Colonization techs at all, of if I had to resort to trickery.

Well, with only that change, it turns out that the AIP 8 civs have by far the most balanced research and are running roughshod over the rest of the galaxy.  It's funny, because I started work with all races set to AIP 8, but switched to AIP 11 because I was having trouble balancing research with the 8s.  Now, it looks like the 8s excel with my final product.  I may be ready to finish work on my AIP 8 TechTrees with just this one little fix.  If so, that leaves me a lot of extra time to work on other improvements for v2.

Quoting RKade,
So what are all your eventual goals for this baby?

First and foremost, the intention of the mod is to fix the TechTrees to remove a serious handicap from the AIs and allow them to perform to their full potential.  This was done by correcting numerous errors in tech Categorization - the Category tells the AI what kind of tech it is - and adjusting the AIValue so that the AI will research techs in a more or less sensible order.  You can see a lot of examples of wild tech miscategorization by glancing over the Space Weapons Fix Mod that I linked in the original post.

This primary goal has been accomplished to a high degree of satisfaction on my part. This is, however, v1.  It's not perfect, as I wanted to get it out for everyone to see and use.  In fact, I've already found a couple errors that need fixing.

A secondary goal is fixing other errors in the TechTrees and other xmls.  I've already found and fixed a handful of the most obvious ones in the course of putting v1 together.  Now that it looks like I don't have much work to do for AIP 8, a lot of my effort will probably go toward this.  I want to finish cleaning up the TechTree xmls and finish going over the others for errors both in coding and things like descriptions.

Aside from fixing errors, I want to improve the game by actually adding things instead of just cleaning it up.  I've done some of that already.  I added bonuses to some techs and improvements that I thought would improve the game.  For example, I don't like "spacer" techs - techs that are there for no reason other than as a step to the next tech.  Extreme Colonization, Xeno Biology, and Advanced Starbase Construction are examples.  I gave Extreme Colonization ao 10% PQ bonus to make it worth researching on its own merits and not merely as a stepping stone.  I haven't done anything yet with Xeno Bio or ASC, but I intend to.  For improvements, I cleaned up the Xeno Farm improvements and gave them Population Growth and Morale bonuses.  More food equals happier people and faster growth, right?  I just didn't like that there was no reason to build farms until your population was maxed out.  Now there's a reason to research Xeno Farming and build some farms early on. More work on techs and improvements is planned for future versions, including a final rearrangement of the TechTrees.

Overall, I want to provide a more enjoyable game experience.  I also intend to make some small cosmetic changes such as finding decent images for the trade goods that currently show up as a pile of boxes.

Quoting RKade,
If I knew anything about modding, I'd help you out but, alas, I'm just video game fan. That stuff confuses me and I applaud you for learning how to understand it.

Thanks.  I literally grew up with computers since my dad brought home a VIC-20 when I was about 5.  I always wanted to be a programmer but ultimately didn't pursue it.  Now I can just pretend that am.

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March 1, 2011 4:33:20 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

One trick that I think works is to fluctuate the AI value up and down along a given branch of the tech tree.  This tells the AI to make certain techs a priority (for example any weapons or defence tech which unlocks a more powerful component) but makes them to change back to doing something else afterwards if they don't need the next thing on that branch.  It decides what it needs based on the category given to the tech, but obviously this isn't exactly foolproof.

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March 3, 2011 12:16:10 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Was looking to try this game again. 

 

Sounds like you have fixed a lot of issues.  Look forward to trying v1 and v2 when it comes out.  

 

Hope you can get a few viable alternate AI's enabled to see some varibility in how the AI's play as that could be a cool feature.  Having every AI use a working personaly and play decent is a major improvement amd a good foundation to build on.  

As long as everyone expands and roughly the same rate we shouldn't see runaway AI's that get a massive empire just because they started next to one of the gimped AI's.

 

 

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March 3, 2011 7:23:06 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Quoting Peppe,
Was looking to try this game again.

Sounds like you have fixed a lot of issues.  Look forward to trying v1 and v2 when it comes out. 

Hope you can get a few viable alternate AI's enabled to see some varibility in how the AI's play as that could be a cool feature.  Having every AI use a working personaly and play decent is a major improvement amd a good foundation to build on. 
As long as everyone expands and roughly the same rate we shouldn't see runaway AI's that get a massive empire just because they started next to one of the gimped AI's.
 

Thanks for the support.  I would be thrilled if this mod can get some people to come back and give the game another try, or even maybe help convince some people to give the game a try in the first place.

One thing that I've found during my testing is that there is much more balance in the galaxy when all the civs are operating at full capacity.  Anyone disappointed with the way some civs just never seem to develop properly, whether through colonization, planetery improvement, or research, should be happy to give this mod a try.

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March 3, 2011 8:01:35 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

v1.1 Release

Fixes minor errors in v1.0

1 - Fixes error in Krynn TechTree where I left in an AIValue for Planetary Improvements.  It put it there during development to address a problem with the Krynn researching PI, but ended up addressing the problem globally.  AIV is removed.

2 - Removes Silicoid_TechTree from the TechTree folder.  It was only there so I could play with some ideas and wasn't an actual TechTree that I was working on.  I think it's a copy of the Korath TechTree.

3- For MOOII minors: Fixes an error where the Silicoid were set to RaceID 23, which is reserved for the Dread Lords.  It causes problems when the Silicoid appear in-game.  The Silicoid are now 24, with other races moved up.  I also skipped 26, which is reserved for the Pirates.

For those who already have the mod, I posted links so you can download just the RaceConfig, Krynn TechTree, and Change Log files.  Replace the appropriate files in your mods folder and you should be fine.  You should also rename your mod to v1-1 for the sake of completeness.

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March 4, 2011 11:53:27 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Thanks Tol. So should I just get rid of minors?

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March 4, 2011 1:37:04 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Quoting RKade,
Thanks Tol. So should I just get rid of minors?

Not at all.  Wait, unless you mean the original MOOII Minors and not the Weaker MOOII minors.  I would suggest getting rid of the original mod because the minors are too strong.  I only wanted to make them a little stronger, but didn't test them properly before release.  I remember posting somewhere about time constraints affecting quality . . .

Anyway, the v1.1 Weaker Minors are just fine.  Even v1.0 isn't broken.  The Silicoid just start with only 20m pop and behave strangely due to being set as the Dread Lords RaceID.

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March 4, 2011 2:28:55 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Thanks for the clear up. I'm loving this already even if the enemy is kind of same-y. Same-y is better than broken.

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March 4, 2011 10:18:36 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Just returned from a long hiatus from the game and have been modding the raceconfig myself to get the minor races to expand. However with this mod i no longer need to worry about it

 

Thanks and great to see people are still playing the game too

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March 5, 2011 10:03:46 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Question, does the current version of the mod use AIP 8 or not?

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March 5, 2011 10:04:48 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

From what I understand, he's working on 8 at the moment so the current version uses 11s all around.

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March 6, 2011 2:43:13 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Quoting SarcFa00-_-,
Question, does the current version of the mod use AIP 8 or not?

RKade is technically right.  I optimized my TechTrees using AIP 11 all around, and the mod ships, so to speak, with all races set to AIP 11.  That said, continued testing shows that AIP 8 does just fine with my mod as is.  In fact, it can even outperform 11. 

Feel free to set any opponents to one of the AIP 8 personalities - Human, Krynn, Thalan, or Drath.  At this point, I even encourage it for more variety.  I'll restore the Terrans, Krynn, Thalan, and Drath to their original personalities in a future release.

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March 12, 2011 5:28:44 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Development Preview: Weapons and Defenses

 

  One of my major goals for the next release is to do something with the weapons and defenses.  At a glance, it looks like the techs and components are all over the board, with no apparent balance or scheme.  The first step was to put together a table with all the weapons and see how they stack up against each other.  That turns out to be a major undertaking.  Tabulating the weapons isn't hard, but it takes time.  The real challenge is comparing them.

  There are four variables for each weapon component: Size, Size Mod, Cost, and Damage.  Size, Cost, and Damage are fairly obvious.  Size Mod (SM) is a factor that increases the size of a weapon by a percentage of the total size of the hull you're trying to put it on.  It's why the weapons always take up more space on the larger hulls.  eg - if you have a weapon that's Size 5 and SM 2, and you have a hull that's Size 100, the weapon will be Size 7 for that hull  (Size 5 + 2% of 100 = 7).

I found it challenging enough to try balancing Size, Cost, and Damage, but with different SMs you can't make a direct comparison using Size.  There's a lot that I want to do with this mod, but only so much time to do it.  Since this was looking like a big time-sink, I made the decision to not work backward trying to figure out the existing balance.  Instead, I opted to use the stock weapons as a guideline for designing new weapon stats.  After that, I had a few goals and guidelines in mind:

  • A major decision was to make all the weapon branches identical.  Same number of techs, same TP cost for techs, same weapon stats.  I originally wanted to try balancing the weapons using Size, Cost, and Damage.  Maybe Beams would be smaller, Mass Drivers would be cheaper, and Missiles would do more damage.  After getting started, I realized that it would take more time and thought than I wanted to invest just to figure out what the balance would be.  Even then I risked getting it wrong and having to spend a lot of time balancing it.
  • Continuing the theme, I decided that all races would have the same weapons.  Maybe at a later date I can go back and revisit the idea of unique weapon techs, but for now I'm focusing on finding a baseline that works.
  • The evil psionic weapons needed fixing.  If being evil more or less forces you to choose a particular weapon branch because one evil weapon is way better than the others, then something is wrong.  I decided that the evil weapons would be identical and also would become the new top-tier weapons.  Those who downloaded v1.0 and 1.1 know that I removed the old top-tier weapons (Nightmare Torp, Doom Ray, and Blackhole Gun).  I always had the idea that the evil weapons would take their places, but not be quite as powerful.
  • Finally, the starbase modules need to be sorted. I never liked the seemingly random distribution of assist modules made available by the weapons techs.  Also, there were fairly major issues, such as the Focused Disruptors module requiring the Hyper Phasors module.  Since Disruptors replace Phasors for those races who have them, they end up with no way to access Hyper Phasors other than trading for the needed Phasors tech - a high end weapon.  Good luck with that.  Each weapon branch needs to allow for a similar array of modules.

 

With all that in mind, I looked to the Minor Race TechTree for guidance.  I stayed with the weapons layout there, with only a few changes: Tier 1 weapons (Lasers, Railguns, and Stinger) each got 5 levels, all other weapons got 4.  I then decided that the only stat that would change within a tier was Size.  That is, all weapons of the same kind would do the same damage and cost the same, with the more advanced weapons simply taking up less space.  The first weapon in the next tier would do more damage, but also cost more and take up more space than the top weapon in the previous tier.  The result is a modest improvement from end of one tier to the beginning of the next, which will increase as you proceed through the tier.

For starbase modules, I got rid of the generic "Micro Fighters" that came with Space Weapons.  I decided that each tier will unlock a new module, starting with +1 assist modules for the weapon theory techs, then alternating back and forth with starbase attack modules on every other tier.  The screenshot will make it more clear.

For defenses, I'm using basically the same guidelines.  As a start, I made defenses cost fewer TP to research, more effective than weapons, and take up less space.  As I think about it, I may need to make them take up more space to avoid unbeatable defenses.

  First half of weapons and defense, showing where the new modules would go.  Not all modules have been added yet.

 

 

 

 

  The rest of the techs.  Not sure yet what to do with the stock +16 defense modules.  I'll have to see how things play out to decide whether or not to take them out.  I think the +7 attack modules are fine.

 

 

 

 

Alright.  I could ramble on some more, but it's time to go.  I need to finish putting in the new  modules and probably make the defenses take up some more space.  Then it's off for some testing.

Thanks for reading!

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March 13, 2011 12:52:48 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

I've been following the progress on this mod in the Space Weapons thread and this one for awhile and I am using it during a game right now, I just wanted to say thanks for your diligent work on this and releasing a working version so soon Tolmekian, it's appreciated. I'm looking forward to your updates on it.

Though I think I found a minor error in your recent update. You have the Terran, Drengin and Krynn directed to use TechTrees called '8_TechTree' in the RaceConfig file, though I can't find references to them as an internal name in the files of your mod. I may be mistaken though, I'm pretty new to modding GalCiv, but I just wanted to mention it in case it'd help.

And regarding the weapons techs, would it be possible to coax certain races to favor particular weapon technologies over others for a bit of variation, instead of them all ending up seemingly copying the one to first develop ships with weapons? I'd like to try and tweak that change in to my own games if possible.

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March 13, 2011 3:28:54 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Quoting AgentPiltdown,
I've been following the progress on this mod in the Space Weapons thread and this one for awhile and I am using it during a game right now, I just wanted to say thanks for your diligent work on this and releasing a working version so soon Tolmekian, it's appreciated. I'm looking forward to your updates on it.

Though I think I found a minor error in your recent update. You have the Terran, Drengin and Krynn directed to use TechTrees called '8_TechTree' in the RaceConfig file, though I can't find references to them as an internal name in the files of your mod. I may be mistaken though, I'm pretty new to modding GalCiv, but I just wanted to mention it in case it'd help.

Thanks!

I can't believe that I actually released v1.1 with those races directed to the "-8" TechTrees!  I was in the process of tweaking those TechTrees for use with AIP 8 and forgot to change everything back for the 1.1 release.  It's kind of a big deal because I removed the actual TechTrees, so those races don't get any techs at all.  Sigh.

Looks like it's time for v1.11

Quoting AgentPiltdown,
And regarding the weapons techs, would it be possible to coax certain races to favor particular weapon technologies over others for a bit of variation, instead of them all ending up seemingly copying the one to first develop ships with weapons? I'd like to try and tweak that change in to my own games if possible.

It's kind of interesting how the AI goes about selecting which tech to research.  It seems like some choices, such as which type of weapon, are made on a global level.  I've noticed that the same is true of tech research in general.  For example, after running multiple tests on the same version, I noticed that in each game all the opponents tended to follow a similar trend in research.  In one game there was a big rush for governments, in another game it was ethics, sometimes research and manufacturing techs.  It made playtesting quite a challenge until I realized that the AI not researching a particular tech may not be rigidly tied to any change that I made.

I suppose you could encourage weapon variation by making a certain weapon theory tech cheaper for a particular race.  In the original game, the Iconians and Yor both had Beam Weapon Theory as cost 50, as opposed to 300 for the other theories.  I did away with that, but I've actually been noticing a decent amount of weapon variety in my games.  Someitmes it's all one thing, but usually there are a few who do their own thing.

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March 13, 2011 3:42:32 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Update 03-13-11

Minor fix to the v1.1 + Weaker MOOII Minors raceconfig.  I was working on the TechTrees for AIP 8 and forgot to clean up the raceconfig prior to release.  As a result, the Terran, Drengin, and Krynn all have "[RACE]-8_TechTree" listed in the xml.  Since I removed the -8_TechTrees, that means those races won't have any techs in game.

I have fixed the download links with the correct files.  Those who already have the mod can either download the new raceconfig and replace the one in the mods folder, or just edit the existing raceconfig to remove the "-8" from the Terran, Drengin, and Krynn TechTrees.

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March 17, 2011 5:25:15 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

I completely disagree with removing the Ultimate weapons on the basis that the Evil weapons weren't good enough. Last game I played, I had the damned Evil Missiles, the weakest one, and I owned face because no one else had anything close to that kind of power, despite the trade restrictions the UP put on me. I won the game, having the most powerful military in the galaxy by an order of magnitude.

One of the big reasons I disagree with removing the ultimates is it screws anyone whose weapon tech trees stop short, then skip straight to the ultimates. It essentially forces you to go Evil to even stand a chance militarily once the other races surpass you, and it makes the Evil races overpowered in war, when they were already very powerful. Furthermore, it takes away a lot of the joy of researching through the weapon trees, even as an Evil race, because even if you never reach the end, you know what's there. As an Evil in my last game, I still felt like I had something to look forward to if I kept on going, but having my evil missiles still made me feel like the other races would HAVE to research the ultimates to match my power.

If you're still against having Ultimate weapons, at least tell me how to put them back myself; none of the modding guides I've seen say anything about custom tech trees.

EDIT: There they go.

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