Armada 1 upgrade mod in the works.

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MajorPayne
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Armada 1 upgrade mod in the works.

Post by MajorPayne »

Hello all. Now bare with me before I start my usual ramblings as this is likely to be a lengthy post.

A short while ago I came across an old disc which contains some of the oldest archived mods I've downloaded (MP1.9se is one of them and my Wing Commander A1 projects but to name two). Also contained on said cd was an inprogress project which I started almost two years ago, but never finished in any way. This particular project is nothing more than a simple update to Armada 1's stock game.

Now originally this was going to be a personal private project but I've decided that provided I can gather ALL necessary credits I'll make a public release. I know the community is ticking over quite quietly at the moment but no matter. Anyway, the current status is as follows:

- All four sides have completely replaced model/texture assets for all ships and structures.
- AIPs have been reworked to all all AI to build necessary ships (currently for IA only).
- Federation, Klingon and Romulan sides have access to sub combined race.

So whats left currently to do?? Well whilst this list isn't extensive theres a few seriously important things to take care of before ANY kind of release can be made:

- Rework and update campaign AIP's: This is simply to allow the player and possibly the AI to construct and use the additional ships included with the mod.
- Map updates: Both campaign and IS maps are planned for updating to include capturable ships not normally in the regular stock game (these are listed below)
- Credit readme files: This is high on the priority list as it will be necessary to gather the correct credits. Without this list the mod will not be released.
- Revamp the 3d loading screen for IA: This is the current in progress item and at the moment its proving a small pain but will be sorted before release.
- Edit certain menus with mods actual name: This is lowest on the priority list at the moment, but again. Will be done before the mods release.
- Additional ships: Borg side will have additional ships to balance up the combined race the others have access to.

SHIP/STATION LIST

Whilst not extensive the following is a complete list of available ships which the player has access to:

FEDERATION
Stations are the same except for fsuperbl which is the Midas Array. This grants a much larger sensor net.
Ships include the basic set. Cost and build times havent been changed but there are changes to the models and a handful of additions are as follows:

fdest3 - Miranda Class
fcruise3 - Intrepid Class
fdest2 - Sabre Class
fexcel - Excelsior Class
fnorway - Norway Class
fbattle2 - Excalibur Class

KLINGON
Again stations are the same but all stations have been replaced with better models and textures. No stations have been completely replaced. Additions to the basic selection of ships is as follows:

kdest2 - K'Vort'Cha Class BOP
kcruise2 - K'Tinga Class (replacement for the stock ship)
kcruise3 - Kron Class
kvargh - K'Vargh Class
Kbekta - Bekta Class
Kbattle2 - C9 Class (Heart of Khaless)
Kbattle3 - Qonos Class

BORG
Standard set of stations with replacement for all usable stations. Costs and build times remain the same. Ship additions are as follows:

bscout2 - Tactical scout
bdest2 - Talon
bcruise3 - Tactical Harbinger
bbattle2 - Tactical Cube
bbattle3 - Harmonic Defender
bbattle4 - Harmonic Defender

ROMULAN
Standard set of stations replaced with better model/texture assets. Tal Shiar starbase replaces stock rsuperbl. Additional ships are as follows:

rscout2 - Upgraded Romulan Talon scout
rcruise3 - P'Kor Class
rdest2 - Nierrh Class
rbattle3 - Kerchen Class

The tal Shiar starbase also gives access to the Romulan construction ship, Nierrh Class destroyer and the following:
rsaif - Reman Saif Class
rbattle2 - Reman Scimitar Class warbird
rsuper - Phoenix Class


All of these ships including the freighters, construction ships and super weapon vessels is capable of defending itself. As stated earlier except for the Borg the other three stock sides have access to the Dominion Construction ship which is built and launched from the respective races Starbase. Once built these three sides will have access to the following selection of stations and ships:

cbase - Standard Cardassian starbase/outpost
cyard - construction yard for building cardassian and dominion ships
csensor - Standard sensor structure for detecting cloaked ships and giving extended LOS
cturret - Standard pulse turret. Medium range and good armour
cterokn - Nor Class starbase. Extremely good defensive starbase. cconst and cscout are constructable from here.
cquantum - very small shipyard. Gives access to csuper (Dreadnought Missile) which has subspace ripple as its special weapon (but more destructive than the stock version)

zjemdest - Jem Hadar destroyer (bug ship)
zsondest - Sona Destroyer
zjembat - Dominion Strike vessel
zcardbat - Cardassian Keldon Class
zbreen - Breen Frigate
zsonbat - Sona Battleship
zcarddes - Cardassian Galor Class

Although the stock ships have been replaced the hero vessels have also had a facelift. these are listed below along with the "map-only" units:

favenger - Courageous Class
fprem - Premonition model replaced with better version

ctonga - Cardassian Tonga Class
kraider - Kazon Raider
mandor - Andorian Shr'an Class
minsig - Federation Insignia Class
mmawasi - Mawasi Cruiser
mnihyd - Nihydron Heavy Cruiser
vsurak - Surak Class

So there is it. There will be ongoing work done to this and hopefully the release will be made sooner rather than later. Of course this is provided I can get the necessary credits sorted. Thankfully, most of the models and textures are from BIVR so the credits should be somewhat easier to sort out. Look out for more updates as soon as I have them and I'll be starting a MODDB page when the first release is ready to be "shipped".
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Darth_Windu
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Post by Darth_Windu »

Sounds good MP. If I may, two questions/suggestions:

1. Where's the Valdore-type for the Romulans? Seems like an obvious missing ship there considering the expansion of the sides.

2. By 'Excalibur-class', do you mean Ambassador-class?

3. Would you consider two mods? So the first would be a straight graphical improvement, no gameplay changes, whilst the second would be as you describe?
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Post by MajorPayne »

Simple answer:

1. The Norexan (Valdore) Class is the ship for rfrigate. Forgot to include that one.
2. Nope. I mean the Excalibur Class as pictured here:

http://www.obsidianfleet.net/index.php? ... &sclass=59

3. Anythings possible but I always work one mod at a time.
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Post by MrVulcan »

Glad to see something new in the works, and apparently pretty close to completion :) Do the additional ships have any special abilities? Good luck!
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Post by MajorPayne »

Only those that are part of the stock game but they are spread more liberally through the ships and none have been removed.
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Post by eddy94 »

Sound cool. Will you be replacing the stock map objects?
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Post by MajorPayne »

Quite possibly. It would look pretty poor if only the ship and station models were changed.
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Post by pepperman »

MAP,

As AFC never released the one he was working on, perhaps he'd be willing to turn it over to you and you all could issue one together. As I recall he had made a lot of improvements to the moons, maps and the like. Just a thought.

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Post by MrVulcan »

Agreed with pepperman. I was working on some parts of AFC's mod, and as far as I can remember, he finished updating all of the playables and map objects. The mod got stuck somewhere in the process of updating the missions.
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Post by MajorPayne »

UPDATE:

Hello again all. A weeks gone by and while I'm working at my own pace (so there isn't much thats been done) the projects plodding along. After a minor hiccup with 3dmax (animation is not my strong point and trying to find tutorials for specific things can be a problem sometimes), everything is back on track. So whats been going on??

- I've added CABALs shield minimod to the project and although you don't notice it on the smaller ships due to the quickness they can be destroyed, the minimod works well on larger ships.

- Although they are only used in one or perhaps two missions I've also replaced the kconvoy and bomega with much better models (bomega now looks like a proper station and not just a cube like ship, which was how I seen it). Romega has also been updated and the ships omega particle looks as I want it to (animation of it was a pain in the butt to say the least and the glow was overbearing (which needed some searching to edit)).

- Upon a suggestion by eddy94, I'm going to go through as many of the map objects as I can and update them as I see fit. With this in mind all planets have been replaced for, IMHO, better versions and whilst the borg planet and assimilated earth might not be the same as the stock versions the new versions serve their purpose.

- fbase and fbasehq are also being given a heavy overhaul. Fbase itself has been replaced with a much better model. Unfortunately, the original version done by shadow was somewhat over my own poly limit for such a structure (8000+). Therefore this has been completely rebuilt by me and the result is a far more palitable poly count (just under 5000). FbaseHQ is currently being reworked and for this I did some looking around and I came across three possibles. One released by shadow, which was way to high and would take far to much work (although it was the most accurate in terms of texturing). The second was created for Bridge Commander. Again this was far to high and would require significant stripping down and rebuilding. The textures for this one were the most innacurate of the three. The one I settled upon is 9ofNines Armada 2 version. Whilst the textures are accurate and have decent detail, I will be rebuilding the mesh and hopefully animating one set of bay doors for building purposes.

In looking through the models the following is a list of those which I'm going to attempt to replace completely:

- All asteroid models
- Dilithium moons
- Worker Bees

There are 5 which are missing models completely (ye old SOD OFF box) so I'll be finding others to fill the map objects spaces. One of which is going to be taken up by the Unity One space station. This, if captured, will grant the player the opportunity to construct Federation, Klingon, Romulan or Dominion construction vessels and Dilithium Freighters. The other four slots will be used for other yet to be decided items.

I've also decided that each side will receive a specialised class of vessel:

- Federation: Possibly a repairal ship of some type. It will carry a modified repair team that can bring a ship back to full strength instead of repairing 50% of systems.
- Klingon: One special weapon I neglected to reinclude was the commando team so they will have a newly rebuilt SuQ'Jagh class ship.
- Borg: Assimilation being their speciality the Borg will receive a type of vessel that can assimilate a ship far quicker than usual.
- Romulan: I'm giving the Rommies a ship that has a much greater line of sight than any other ship in the game.

Now some might say that these ships will offset the balance of the stock game but I'll be adjusting each accordingly, so don't expect to be assimilating ships left right and centre as their will be a significate weakness with each ship.

Finally, I've also decided on two extra ships built from the starbases. The first is an advanced Freighter. It will be able to carry twice the dilithium of a normal freighter but be significantly more expensive to produce in the process. The second will be an advanced construction ship. Each one will construct a bare handful of structures and these will be posted about when I have a better list.

Anyway, thats its for the moment. Its also possible that a public release may be made once this is taken care of.......
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Post by MajorPayne »

http://www.moddb.com/mods/borg-incursion-the-next-level

MODDB page created but awaiting authorisation at time of posting this. A handful of images are currently posted along with a news piece.
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Post by MajorPayne »

......and so the mod continues. I've decided to go one further and bolster all four sides further with a small selection of ships. Because of the nature of each of the "primary" sides (I don't include the borg in this) they will be getting a "special" section built from each sides construction ship. Now to give an idea I went through some of the available ships for the Federation and chose these immediately for their uniqueness and the fact that they aren't your "average" ship style.

As a huge fan of smaller compact ships (Br'el BOP and Miranda classes are my favourites out of all the ship classes), I was looking for a place to squeeze in peppermans sweet Interceptor Class but wasn't sure where I could include it as its to large for a standard scout and to small to fill a battle ship or cruiser roll. Its even too small to really be classed as a destroyer. With this in mind its going to be usable as a heavy long range scout, and buildable from fbaseHQ. Aside from fbaseHQ the advanced construction ship can also build the following structures:

- fhphas: This is a specialised turret. Its armed with twin heavy phasers and hits with around 25% more damage than the standard pulse phaser turret.

- fharttur: Another specialised turret. This one though, acts as a heavy artillery turret. It is armed with twin tri-cobalt launchers and whilst it can fire automatically it is more best used to supress and weaken enemy ships and structures due to its extreme range. Be warned though that it does significant damage to both friendly and enemy craft.

- ftempress: Redesignated Temporal Research facility. A completely new model has been made and it is also armed with a standard phaser based weapon. Its still not much of a threat to most larger enemy ships though so will still require much in the way of protection. Aside from these two changes the rest of its build stats remain the same.

- fyard3: I remember some time ago I put together a small minimod which I named as "Section 31". This is what this shipyard will construct. Ships built from this yard will be more unique and expensive than the standard ships available. There will be a maximum of five ship types buildable from here (currently three of the slots have been taken up with the Achilles, Prometheus and Destiny. The other two have yet to be chosen).

I also plan to further bolster the Federation side with a handful of ship choices for the standard yards. These will be chosen very shortly.

Now I understand that this will set back the mod a bit time wise, but once these additions are done and the single player tech trees are updated to allow construction of these where necessary, then I may be making a first release. After this there will be a need to further update the romulans tal shiar side, as well as adding in a cast race for the Klingon side and also updating the Dominion/Cardassian alliance.

Its still a lot of work as almost every map may need to be edited in some fashion and then theres the inclusion of additional skirmish and MP maps.

Anyway. Thats it for the moment. More to come soon.
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Post by MajorPayne »

Another update......

I've looked over no less than 9 different versions of the prometheus and I've come across none that are suitable to my mods needs. All are good but are either far to high poly or have poor texture sets, so I'm going to have to go in a slightly different direction. I shortlisted the ship meshes and textures to three:

Deemons is a very old mesh now so can't be used even though its got some excellent detail on the textures the poly count is far to low. Icewolfs is a much smoother looking mesh, but with no disrespect to his work, his textures are of lower quality, and JL studios version (created for BC) has some excellent textures but the mesh is way over budget (the higher side of 9500 polys). Therefore, I'm going to use Deemons as part reference. Icewolfs as the mesh template and JL Studios texture set (although these can be cut down after examining the textures). I've also got a few reference shots from the prototype, blueprints and close up scenes of the studio mesh. I'm not aiming for 100% accuracy but I am looking for around 3k as my poly limit.

I would also appreciate no-one asking about MVAM. A1 doesn't support it correctly, and this is a general build craft and won't have it anyway. Also something interesting concerning the Interceptor Class. I actually made a complete rebuild of the original mesh at a slighyl lower poly count with almost no quality loss (thanks in part to the original textures and mesh which was almost perfectly aligned to them). Finally after some examining of meshes I've got a few which have gotten their spots in the mod. Exact details to strengths and weaknesses have yet to be ironed out:

- Achilles Class: Heavy cruiser. Built from Section 31 yard.
- Destiny Class: Cruiser. Built from 31 yard.
- Vivace Class: Heavy Cruiser. Built from fyard2.
- Luna Class: Cruiser. Built from fyard.

I may also look into variants of specialised weapons for certain ships but thats for another time.

Pictured on my MODDB page is the completely rebuilt Interceptor Class and untextured, but finished mesh of my take on the Prometheus Class.
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Post by Darth_Windu »

Have you checked out 9of9's Prometheus? I recall porting it into Armada II back in the day, and it looks great. The only problem with it is that I don't think there's a proper torpedo hardpoint.
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Post by MajorPayne »

Yes I did, but to be honest, after toiling for the best part of half a day I'm quite happy with the version I now have.
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