Way to North - content and item balancing with some Q/A

Discussion in 'Fallout Tactics Modding' started by TwoEyedYum, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. requiem_for_a_starfury

    requiem_for_a_starfury So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Apr 3, 2003
    Using an actor sprite for a vehicle usually makes the vehicle display the dead frame or dead overlay frame and not animate it. So you'd probably have to export the frames from the actor sprite into a vehicle sprite. Or at least edit the animation names.

    IIRC there was one mod that just added a normal weapon as vehicle weapons, have you tried that?
     
  2. TwoEyedYum

    TwoEyedYum Naked Moose

    355
    Jan 21, 2010
    Didn't even seen this, but will try to find. Is it in "files" section around?

    Hm, i've didn't played with sprites so far. Recon suit is armor, looks similar to Enviromental, but has modified inventory icon (btw, found that changing base color affects icon coloring. Can be useful). I also remeber placing another BoS entity and setting SAME attribute (present in both armor and actor entities) to 0. Effects were same - BoS guy moved much fuster, but i thought that coz his AP points is set to 30 for testing purposes.

    Main character without any armor had 10 agility (10 AP). Recon suit adds 2 PE, but no AP or AG. Mentioned "attribute" is 0. Without Suit i move as usual, but while wearing it, PC becomes quite a champion in running :shock: Oh, i'm so sorry i can't get now into file to look directly, will do that today or tomorrow...

    Edit: Hm, looks that i'm missed something. I've believed it's effects>derived>fallover but now changing it changes nothing.... And PC moves normally... Glitch? :| Anyway, sorry for desinfo
     
  3. jarekfall

    jarekfall It Wandered In From the Wastes
    Modder

    156
    Dec 27, 2007
    To create a vehicle, create only required sequences, you don't have to extract any image from an actor sprite.

    TwoEyedYum, create a vehicle weapon sprite in similar way as I created invisible man sprite for xkcon.
     
  4. TwoEyedYum

    TwoEyedYum Naked Moose

    355
    Jan 21, 2010
    Ehh... And HOW you did it? :roll: Edit: OH, now i see where you mentioned that. Will give a try tomorrow

    Ehh №2
    I'm failed to get it in one try... :cry: Where should i do that and how? Am i supposed to add new sequences to Behemoth sprite in your SC?

    P.S. Got overwhelmed by RL work, so can't think as fast as you :mrgreen: Hope that in the morning my brain will be in better condition
     
  5. jarekfall

    jarekfall It Wandered In From the Wastes
    Modder

    156
    Dec 27, 2007
    Open Behemoth sprite in the first SC process. Next open tank sprite in the second SC process. Create required sequences for Behemoth sprite. Switch from time to time to the second SC process to see what sequences you have to add and how they are constructed.
     
  6. TwoEyedYum

    TwoEyedYum Naked Moose

    355
    Jan 21, 2010
    Nice, one and half of month - and nothing made so far. Only tech document growing more and more =)

    But that was quite a useful month - i found quite decent russian (while most of them aren't decent) mod with weapon "rebalance" and "more complex levels":
    In fact - all usual weapons removed, instead many russian weapons added, both modern and old. As every weapon requires it's own ammo type (soviet and post-soviet weapons weren't as much inversal, as NATO 7,62 and 5,56 based arms), there're thousands of ammo-types...
    Levels were remade - now all robot missions contain large groups of Behemots, which can be opposed ONLY by one sniper (and if you got none - you can't do anything) thx to burst bug - Behemots use modified heavy miniguns with high range AND low accuracy...
    While this mod may be quite entertaining for Soviet and Russian Armies fans, i'm quite dissapointed with it.
    Much work, many new weapon sprites (and beautiful ones!) - and all this for rather crappy gameplay. Making game easier doesn't make it good

    It was a good lesson for me (and may be a good solution for other mods):
    1) Range of single-shot rifles shouldn't be more than 100-120. Increased range have no effect - for distances like 150-200 one should have PE=20 minimum, otherwise it shows 0% at range above 140 even with 300% skill. Also, enemy being beheaded by bullet, AFTER he hide behind thick steel wall, looks weird - with that much distance such things happen pretty often.
    2) Max.Range of ANY burst weapon shouldn't be more than 50-60 (for almost same reasons - limitation of PE), or... In case of 100-range burst weapon, it's wielder will crush everything around him, like a crazy god (burst bug). Any enemy with such weapon will make player's team advance impossible, except solo-sniper game (which is not supposed to be the only gameplay type for FoT :roll: )
    3) Avoid giving the best weaponry in beginning of game. If one wants to give player wide variety of interesting weapons, he also must give player a reason to try them all! The good (but not best or easiest) solution is to edit all maps manually and change most weapons (overpowered for first half of game) to "non-lootable" in enemies inventories. Downside is increased size of mod itself in that case (just look at size of original campaign maps)
    4) Try to make new sprites in such way, that player can easily distinguish them amongst others. While you can always tell a difference between classic AK-47 and FN FAL, you can't quickly put in mind difference between five new types of ammo, which looks all the same, because someone made them different only in text...

    I'll take these recomendations for myself, and i'd advice future modmakers to take them in account. :wink:

    Yep, i've got it, but i'll do this only after main part finished. Otherwise it might be just another AWESOME RIDEABLE BEHEMOTH mod. :mrgreen:
     
  7. requiem_for_a_starfury

    requiem_for_a_starfury So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Apr 3, 2003
    IIRC the maximum range is 100m anything you enter over that be it 101m or 1000m just registers as 100m. Visual range or rather the distance the game renders sprites is around 64 tiles (unless you really raise the perception to obscene levels) about 80m iirc.

    You can give good weapons early on but to balance it you need to limit ammo availability or throw a lot of cannon fodder at the player early in the map so they burn through their ammo and have to switch to lower grade weapons. Though having said that just because you offer a lot of weapons to choose from doesn't mean the player should need a reason to, or worse have to use them all. There's nothing wrong with having a non-linear weapon progression, if it makes sense for a group mid-game to be toting low grade weaponry then it will be more believable than having them use weapons that they shouldn't or couldn't have. If those weapons aren't much of a threat to the player add other threats or reasons not to use the best weapons. For instance the player has to rescue hostages from a tribal village, the tribals armed with spears and zip guns aren't much of a threat to the player with his power armour and gauss rifle but at the first sign of an attack the tribals will kill the hostages before the player can get to them.

    Personally I can't stand the whole start with crap and work your way up mentality of games unless it fits the plot and setting. What works for fantasy games doesn't always work with other scenarios.
     
  8. TwoEyedYum

    TwoEyedYum Naked Moose

    355
    Jan 21, 2010
    It was just an advice, based on what i've seen in ANOTHER mod. I realize that not everyone shall follow this advice =) I also realize that my "english" can be a problem - what i write isn't same as what i think...

    Yes, i agree that you can give a Gauss in beginning and only 4 bullets for it. But i can't remember "special" targets in all FoT early missions that require special powered weapons. And i know that "rescue a hostage" quests need to be, but these spear-armed hostage-takers aren't needed in every mission, yes?

    Now imagine something like 80-range Gauss Rifle in hands of each third bandit (through they can't use it properly) in Freeport - where they got all this cool equipment? And why should i be happy, when almost 3/4 of game is an easy trip, and last 1/4 - impossible horror because of Behemots and burst bug. I want avoid THAT type of situations, and i give an advice to any new modmakers, basing on THAT type of situations: Avoid giving the best weaponry in beginning of game EXCEPT those _rare_ situations where it might be cool (in terms of athmosphere)
     
  9. requiem_for_a_starfury

    requiem_for_a_starfury So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Apr 3, 2003
    Since the game is designed with a linear weapon progression, same goes for pretty much every other game of this type I've ever played, the advice is rather redundant don't you think? The benefit of mods is the ability to try something different to the vanilla game.

    More relevant would be to discuss ways to balance a less linear weapon progression. From my experience with Russian mods for a variety of games, Russian modders tend to be masochists, their mods tend to be much harder than mods made by westerners. So why do you think the mod makes the game easier? What can be done to balance it, other than just saying don't give good weapons from the start.

    My example of the hostages was just to show that even with the good weaponry against outgunned opponents a good designer should be able to think of ways of challenging the player. The start with crap weapon progression is rather boring and cliched, an easy and lazy way to balance a game imho. Tactical shooters have managed to move away from this template so why can't tactial squad games?
     
  10. TwoEyedYum

    TwoEyedYum Naked Moose

    355
    Jan 21, 2010
    1) Limit range of most weapons beyond 60 range
    2) Limit ammo for Hi-End weapons, if they are present in earlier missions, and give more low-end ammo for not-that-good burst weapons like Uzi and such.

    I try to adjust all to a point, where every weapon type takes it's place (not every weapon model through). Imagine SMG more suited for shoot-and-run tactics, ambushes, while rifles should be used only by someone, who have time to aim and shoot. And NO super-sniper-rifles in these first missions. I want a reason for sneaking, ambushing enemy from another side etc.
     
  11. requiem_for_a_starfury

    requiem_for_a_starfury So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Apr 3, 2003
    Making weapon ranges a percentage of real world ranges usually results in most rifles, assault rifles and machine guns having a range of 50-70m. One thing the default weapons don't make use of is the range settings, short, long, onlylong, scoped. Most weapons are just set to short, using short for burst mode and long for aimed mode is something you can try.

    Limiting ammo only works if it fits the setting, more interesting is to design maps and scenarios that encourage the player to favour certain weapons and tactics rather than outright restricting the player from having good weapons. Though I doubt anyone really expects to have the very best available right from the start.

    If you really want to limit the use of super-sniper rifles then design early maps with lots of confined spaces, lots of cover for the enemy and staggered corners to break up the line of sight. Fill the map with plenty of low level enemies that'll try to close to melee range, which the player won't want to waste expensive ammo on, roaches are good for this.
     
  12. TwoEyedYum

    TwoEyedYum Naked Moose

    355
    Jan 21, 2010
    Already made 2 maps for "side" quests in my mod.
    If they prove to be good (testing among friends), then i might try to remake existing maps for more complex gameplay ("lots of cover for the enemy and staggered corners to break up the line of sight" are among main ideas). Adds many megabytes to mod's size, but whatever...