Short naive questions

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onomastikon
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:05 pm

Short naive questions

Postby onomastikon » Thu Aug 30, 2018 3:14 pm

Hello everyone, new to SiS, which I found recently on GoG, so glad I found it, love it already. I'll keep this post as short as possible:

1. I see there is a fairly active modding community. I am computer/tech illiterate, so this question is extra naive: If I download a mod from a user here, I must paste it into the SiS mods folder I'll find somewhere under GoG, presumably -- right? Do I have to activate the mod somewhere? If I do so, can I play already started games with those mods or will they "break" the save game and I must start a new game? I'm particularly keen on the AI mods I have glanced at here.
2. I love the ship editor so far, but have run into this small problem: I enjoy having 2-5 versions of some few hull types based on need and context (e.g., some with missiles and some with warp lane amplifiers, etc.) which is all fine except for the fact that they almost always look identical. I know it would be too much to ask to allow for additional artwork or multiple graphical models for a hull type, but wouldn't it be fairly easy to be able to change or select the hue / color of the same model? So there could be, say, a blue, pink, or greenish destroyer I could easily tell apart?
3. I really love the tech tree, so refreshing in comparison to, say, GalCiv -- could it be updated so that the components that it displays give more information as to their exact usage? How much power, for example, does a Black Hole generator generate?
4. I enjoy the pace of the early and mid-game, and like the fact that the late-game is not nearly as tedious as other 4x games, but instead find that by the time I reach the end-game, two things happen: a.) If I'm still alive, I'm much more powerful than others, and just need to count the turns until I win. But making the global settings any harder means I can't survive midgame. I'm still seeking an end-game challenge without ruining the early- or midgame. Would AI-mods help here? b.) I like the pace of research until endgame as well. I've been playing on "normal" speed, and enjoy the speed at which techs are discovered, I wouldn't want it too much slower - until endgame. Then, it goes a bit too fast for me. Since the research speed is global at game begin, could someone help me mod the research costs of late-game tech to be more expensive?
5. In tactical battles, I sometimes cannot click on my own ships because they are "hidden" by enemy fighters or missiles or such. Is there a workaround? Is there a hotkey that lets me switch between ships?
6. I like the hotkey in many turn-based 4x games that toggles between idle units or idle cities. Is there one in SiS I am blindly missing?
7. Finally, would it be possible to request that the global settings for starting a new game differentiate between research and production? I wouldn't mind having "longer" research times, but would hate to have even longer production times.

THANK YOU!

zolobolo
Posts: 945
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 3:49 pm

Re: Short naive questions

Postby zolobolo » Fri Aug 31, 2018 6:25 pm

Hi there and welcome to the forum :)

1. Yes, most mods can be pasted into the "Mods" folder, but to be sure, check the description of the mod (usually on the first page) to see if anything else is required. Activation is not necessary, the game iether picks up the new files/paramteres or dont: to check this, simply start the game and see if the mod is listed on the lower left corner: if yes, the mod has been recognised and loaded into the game

You do not need to use the strategic and AI mod at this time as they should both be fully integrated into the base game at this point. The AI seems to utilize all their functions and is performing quite well now so also does not need buff. Where it needs refinment is the diplomacy logic which is currently under development and utilization of some of the games special functions such as hiring mercs (there are no mods for these though)

2. Not probable as far as I can tell. Would nice even if decals though

3. Would be nice yes: there has been imporvements (such as dynamic display of which weapon types small crafts use) but could be improved upon - maybe there is a mod for this as well: there is one that shows recharge rate of shields (and also lowers the value but I would recommend using this mod - I always do)

4. If you need an endgame challenge there are plenty of things you can do (I also always on the lookout for this):
- Select Large map and set 120 stars
- Use Game Speed "Epic"
- Play on Oval shaped Galaxy (there is less "safe" space around you in this shape as the angle from where attacks can occur is much larger)
- Only use "Normal" difficulty for the best experience (otherwise you will be forced to rush through the tech tree)
- Leave all other setting on default
- Do not buy mercenary ships - AI does not yet utilize this function and is thus a huge advantage to the player when used
- If you opt-in to the developer branch, you can try out the new diplomacy changes: these make the early game a but more easy but help mid and late-game as alliances form and crash
- Select a race wit ha weak starting position such as Human or Gremak - this will keep you busy at least untill mid-game

5. Click on the same locations multiple times: the underlying assets should cycle through your selection

6. Don't know, the only hotkey I use is the spacebar to end the turns - you cna also right click to exit any screen

7. Game Speed setting: "Epic" only affects Research rate by changing the multiplier to 1.5 and does not yet affect production. You can check the setting and change it if you like in file: new_galaxy.lua

There is of course some random luck involved in how other empires evolve but you can always declare war on your allies if you see that they are the only ones that can provide a nice challenge in your particular playthrough ;)

Hope that the above helps and you will get the late-game experience you are searching for

onomastikon
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:05 pm

Re: Short naive questions

Postby onomastikon » Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:33 pm

Thanks so much!
OK, then I'll stay off mods for right now, especially since you can't seem to change the color. That's too bad! Perhaps that could be wishlisted in the future, not because of aesthetic reasons, but for gameplay purposes, to differentiate between units of the same hull type.
That surprises me that you suggested I should choose a "normal" game, instead of, say, "hard", which I am playing now. I also have been playing smaller maps, since the larger ones seem to be easier -- I actually ignore diplomacy, sadly, because it's just FAR too easy to get people to love you, I would easily triple the amount of Diplomacy points which an alliance costs to players.
Thanks much!

zolobolo
Posts: 945
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 3:49 pm

Re: Short naive questions

Postby zolobolo » Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:41 am

You are welcome

Your request makes sense and it has been mentioned a couple of times already: as is the DEVs have a long list of suggestions and their own ideas that they were planning to implement: you can notice that the startbases and fleet bases are all identical visually and loadout wise across all races

I usually only use one ship design per hull type (with exception of boarding cruisers) but can understand that some may utilize multiple designs in a single game

Yes, the reason I am suggesting Normal is mainly due to how I approach such games: In my opinion, tech development in particular is the basis of any 4X game: if you give bonus here to the AI, the progression is broken untill you catch up, as the AI does not operate under the same rules anymore. Its basically god-mode and the player can only win if exploitations of the AI and or environment are utilized: these give a short term satisfaction when found but prohibit the enjoyement of the game long-term as the player is forced to operate outside of the intended boundaries of the games mechanics.

e.g.: You can win Galc 2 with a single ship when exploiting the mechanics properly but the game is practically dead afterwards
Or: all tanks loadout in Xcom

I would like to chose a weapon type only for its austhetics from time to time and experiment around with it in different fleet composition withouth having to constantly be forced to skip the tech just tu catch up to the AI with increased entry level and be able to start the actual game from there ;)

That being said, you can -to an extent- play around with ship production cost and resource production bonuses withouth the above effect being overly noticeable if you like for more details see here: http://stars-in-shadow.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=525

But the game does not need it anymore: the AI can give you a decent challenge withouth handicaps so you can concentrate on having fun designing fleet composition and finding funky tech development avenues for the various races

While it is true that hard would give a better challange at late-game (also tried it a lot and sometimes it has worked), the problem was that I was often pushed into wars far too early and thus the game is won before mid-game arrives and the AI could properly build up: if the palyer occupies one or two other empires, they are usually unstoppable (this is a design problem for all 4X games).

On diplomacy: yes, you should definitively avoid this function altogether (don't even give the AI what they request for) if you are not on DEV branch. Its a major exploit

zolobolo
Posts: 945
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 3:49 pm

Re: Short naive questions

Postby zolobolo » Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:53 am

There is one mod I would recommend: http://stars-in-shadow.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=689

It changes the shield regeneration rate from an exponentional to a sort of linear development across ship hulls which prevents larger ship hulls to steamroll fleets of small vessels: escort ships are absolutely recommended :)

+ it displays the info of shield regeneration per turn which is usefull

onomastikon
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:05 pm

Re: Short naive questions

Postby onomastikon » Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:00 pm

Hey thanks much. I appreciate your thoughts on these matters.
I did have the chance to try out at least some of your suggestions, sadly it doesn't seem to have any impact on my experience (although I did not try "normal", I kept it at "hard"). I think I will try next playing a galaxy with only ONE opponent, that way I can't get any advantages from trading with all the others and keeping the peace while the AIs bicker. Once I'm in the midgame, I'm easily able to consolidate just about everything while the AI makes poor decisions as to whom to fight, how to fight, where to colonize, what to do with its resources, and how to manage its colonies. (It does make good choices in designing ships and researching the appropriate techs.)
The diplomacy feature seems to be terribly suboptimal, I hestitate to say "broken" but I'm afraid that's how it appears to me, I think I will make an additional post with two concrete suggestions.
One thing I did seem to stumble across that is very confusing: Am I correct in seeing that bonuses to weapons which the game calls "modifications" (such as armour-piercing, rapid-fire, accurate for lasers, for example) actually need to be clicked on in the ship designer or else they do not become integrated by default?!? In my last game as Orthin, that seemed to be the case. By sheer accident I had clicked on the little abbreviation in the left side of the ship builder (in which slots the components get fitted) and saw: they went from greyed-out (default) to white. I hadn't noticed this for months. If so, this should really be put into some form of documentation somewhere, otherwise one get's the impression that researching the tech results in immediate implementation of the modifications. Counter-intuitively, however, it appears that these all need to be activated actively and manually in each ship component in each ship design, and all existing ships need then to be refitted in order to benefit from this (IIUC). OK for me, I can live with that, but it sure is surprising.

AMX
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:41 pm

Re: Short naive questions

Postby AMX » Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:07 pm

onomastikon wrote:One thing I did seem to stumble across that is very confusing: Am I correct in seeing that bonuses to weapons which the game calls "modifications" (such as armour-piercing, rapid-fire, accurate for lasers, for example) actually need to be clicked on in the ship designer or else they do not become integrated by default?!? In my last game as Orthin, that seemed to be the case. By sheer accident I had clicked on the little abbreviation in the left side of the ship builder (in which slots the components get fitted) and saw: they went from greyed-out (default) to white. I hadn't noticed this for months. If so, this should really be put into some form of documentation somewhere, otherwise one get's the impression that researching the tech results in immediate implementation of the modifications. Counter-intuitively, however, it appears that these all need to be activated actively and manually in each ship component in each ship design, and all existing ships need then to be refitted in order to benefit from this (IIUC). OK for me, I can live with that, but it sure is surprising.

Yes, when you manually design a ship you have to manually set which weapons have which upgrades.

Keep in mind that upgrades increase power use and build cost!

zolobolo
Posts: 945
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 3:49 pm

Re: Short naive questions

Postby zolobolo » Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:58 pm

Exactly: I usually do not apply AP mod for PD weapons as they only serve to shoot out missiles and small crafts - only exception if paying a race with powerfull destroyers and need to use PD weapons against other larger ships

Like I said: if you would like to have fun in late-game, you need to ignore diplomacy completely and I mean everything: no trade deals no handouts - let the relationship drop to negative. You will have a lot of fights but you will have conflict. I strongly encourage you to get onto DEV branch and play with the upcoming diplomacy changes: it is a blast. I had two of my altime favorite playthroughs in the last week!

Generally if you are done untill mid game, it is usually due to early AI agression: they declare war, think you are easy picking and then you conquer their planets - the game is usually won at this stage. The diplomacy changes adress these, and playing on Normal keeps AI progress in our reality (meaning: it does not go: hey I have soo much more resources, surely that puny human is doomed, doomed I'll tels you ;)). If the AI takes the time to fortify planets and build a proper economy it can provide a longer more substatial fight

Another thing worth considering is: what do we mean under early, mid and late and end game. For me it looks like this:
1. Early game: Exploration and colonisation rush untill contact is established with all the neighbours and military conflict becomes inevitable. On the suggested settings this is usually finished untill 50-100 Turns
2. Mid game: First major conflicts are formed. This is where the player usually wins and steamroll is inevatable. The key is having the AI prepare for this stage and not go to war too early (have space and realistic expectations towards the player. In SiS around Turn 100-200
3. Late game: A dominant empire is formed (usually the player) and needs to be prepared and dealt with (if not the player, else steamroll phase). Above Turn 200 it is practically inevatable
4. End game: Very rare and almost non-existent in 4X games: at least two empires of equal power are formed and none can beat the other with conventional mechanics: doomsday tech is deployed to decide the winner - you practically cannot get to this point yet nor in other games (except in Seven Kingdoms and sometimes in Ultimate Apocalypse mod in DoW). The diplomacy changes are getting close to make this phase a reality thanks to diplomatic alliances - what is still missing here is a way to make alliances more volatile and situational

onomastikon
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:05 pm

Re: Short naive questions

Postby onomastikon » Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:35 pm

Hey thanks much.
Possibly we have different conceptions of what early- and lategame mean, and probably also what constitutes fun, but that's all good.
I've found letting the AI entrench itself and build up serious defenses for its planets does the AI no good whatsoever. It spends all of it's resources doing that, and also fails to grow its population, so by the time I come to steamroll him anyway I have 2/3 majority of population anyhow. It just takes longer to take down 2 fleet bases, but the AI is nowhere as good in defense as, for example, Sins of a Solar Empire was.
If you also utilize absolutely no diplomacy whatsoever (as the mechanism does seem to be in serious disrepair) then I might as well try the idea of playing simply against ONE opponent on brutal and let him build up.
You have mentioned a number of times "going on the DEV branch", I have no idea what that means, can you elaborate?
thank you

zolobolo
Posts: 945
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 3:49 pm

Re: Short naive questions

Postby zolobolo » Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:14 pm

Right you are. If you wish you can share your concept regarding the phases of such games and fun - I am always interested tin getting conceptual ;)

Sadly I cannot helpy out with the DEV branch as I think you are using the GoG client and not Steam :(
You see I am on steam and there you need to get into properties of the application link and can select the branch under a tab titled: Beta. Also needed a code I got from Arioch

I am sure there is an equivalent on GoG as well - maybe someone using that platform can advise

Anyhow: here is my current game at Turn 200: https://www.dropbox.com/s/i5xxudlgl58mrkq/War%20Birds%20Template.zip?dl=0 (I hope there is no issues with using different versions of the game)
Feel free to check it out and thanks to unlimited undo function you can backtrack the progress as well for analyis. As you can tell, after the first war I was concentrating on consolidating a tall empire with stargates on the border. The plan for this playthrough is to win a late-game war with mobile forces containing small ships conducting deep and swift strikes against a superior foe.

As you can see the AI also did quite well and has managed to keep to my expectation: they have conquered all the small empires with only the Gremak remaining (not for long). There is a consolidated alliance that has practically taken over half of the Galaxy and an emerging empire on the other side - going to be a fun war :)

You might also notice I altered the starting parameters a bit:
- Default 85 systems (there are some Outpost building issues so reduced the number of systems)
- Raider activity reduced to Low - they have gotten more agressive with the last update for some reason and were breaking the AI)

onomastikon
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:05 pm

Re: Short naive questions

Postby onomastikon » Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:04 pm

Thanks much!
So I take it "going on the DEV branch" means playing Beta, and this is only distributed via steam. Hmmmm.... Looks promising. I hope they also address "interventions", I just found out by accident that if you "intervene" when a faction attacks another faction, you can slaughter whomever you wish and neither party will be upset with you whatsoever. How did that make it through?
Also not sure if this is intended, but the Orthin "Super-Dreadnaught" lacks a slot for "busbar", which seems bizarre.
Perhaps they could also update the "battle summary" screen, which only shows losses -- wouldn't it make much more sense to also show the participants (which were not lost)?

zolobolo
Posts: 945
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 3:49 pm

Re: Short naive questions

Postby zolobolo » Thu Sep 06, 2018 8:13 pm

I am almost ceartant that the DEV brannch is available for GoG as well, as Steam came later if my memory serves me right.
Someone needs to pitch in with experience on the other platform

The Super destroyer is not faction specific but the same design for all factions that is why it does not have busbar. The rational is that this tech has been used in the great war before this, and the races kinda reverse-engineer it I guess. You can sometimes notice derelict Super dreds lurking around abandoned colony sites ad can capture them around midgame if you bring enough rockets/shields and boarding modules

The diplomacy aspect is missing a lot of dynamics in the stable release version that is why you can get away with attacking like that - I did not actually test this behaviour yet in the DEV branch but guess this would result in a declaration of war there.

Did you manage to import the save game? - I have bene progessing within it today a bit and seems like a solid late-game and a promising end-game candidate. Since the diplomacy updates, I have been getting closer and closer to an end-game scenario :)

orvarth
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:06 pm

Re: Short naive questions

Postby orvarth » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:19 pm

there is two beta channels on gog galaxy , patch_testing and in_development , but no update since the last live patch 22151 (april 2018 ) .

zolobolo
Posts: 945
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 3:49 pm

Re: Short naive questions

Postby zolobolo » Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:36 pm

Latest version on Steam DEV stream shows r37788

Latest update was on 20.08.2018

What is the latest entry for DEV version on your side? - start the game and chekc the right hand side in the main menu

orvarth
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 12:06 pm

Re: Short naive questions

Postby orvarth » Fri Sep 07, 2018 6:58 pm

r22151 04/15/2018 .

the beta branch on gog is called patch_testing , and delivers the same in_development patch as steam do , but stop on the last live patch .


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