Any modded/balanced cloak combat?

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NitrousUK
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Any modded/balanced cloak combat?

Post by NitrousUK »

I was wondering (couldn't find anything searching) if anyone had modded/balanced the cloak ability in combat?
In vanilla BOTF cloak seemed to be massively overpowered when dealing with large fleets. I recall a pitched battle with 20-30 ships a side, Romulans vs Federation, of comparable cost, where the Romulans wiped out about 60% of the Federation fleet in its free cloaking turn. I think in large part due to the strike cruisers and their torpedo volleys, which rarely missed such a large target.
I imagine taking away the free combat turn when cloaked, leaving the cloaks ability to just sneaking in fleets and getting a free chance to run away. Still a big advantage in my opinion, and seems more fitting with the TV series. Though I imagine the downside is that the ship stats account for the cloak ability, and would need boosting to compensate.
Any thoughts on this?
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Re: Any modded/balanced cloak combat?

Post by slickrcbd »

The ships stats would definitely need to be improved. There's an annoying thing where the cloak usually gets disengaged after some kind of encounter with the ship, and I've forgotten to check and turn it back on.
Then I get into a fight and without that free shot, I lose even when I have a ship or two advantage. Such as a cruiser, three destroyers and a scout vs an enemy cruiser and two destroyers.
Alternately, I have a regular crew of a cruiser, two destroyers and a scout (all regular) and I lose to a green cruiser and two green destroyers without the cloak played by the AI.
Granted, the scout doesn't give much combat advantage other than giving you intel on the enemy crew experience.
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Re: Any modded/balanced cloak combat?

Post by thunderchero »

what if instead it went into normal combat, but you could not target cloaked ships?

but you could hail, evade or retreat. but I doubt AI would take advantage of this.... :sad:
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Re: Any modded/balanced cloak combat?

Post by Iceman »

Alternatives, cumulative or not:

general
- cloaked ships always have their shields down

combat
- when ships decloak in combat, their shields go down (this is also enforced by the above)
- in their free round, cloaked ships can only fire their disruptors
- in their free round, cloaked ships can only fire their torpedoes
- the first round is free, but in the 2nd round they can't fire (and agility is negated?)

Having their shields down in the first round of combat means that in the 2nd round they'll have some shields, depending on their recharge rate, but they'll be more vulnerable nevertheless.
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Re: Any modded/balanced cloak combat?

Post by thunderchero »

Iceman wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:37 am Alternatives, cumulative or not:

general
- cloaked ships always have their shields down

combat
- when ships decloak in combat, their shields go down (this is also enforced by the above)
- in their free round, cloaked ships can only fire their disruptors
- in their free round, cloaked ships can only fire their torpedoes
- the first round is free, but in the 2nd round they can't fire (and agility is negated?)

Having their shields down in the first round of combat means that in the 2nd round they'll have some shields, depending on their recharge rate, but they'll be more vulnerable nevertheless.
this might be possible for Supremacy, but not for BOTF.

I have found the code change for my suggestion, but still testing how AI will reacts. so far they just sit and don't move like sitting ducks, but that is the way it was before anyway. so change is only helping human player.
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Re: Any modded/balanced cloak combat?

Post by Spocks-cuddly-tribble »

Iceman wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:37 amgeneral
- cloaked ships always have their shields down
Yes, a clear bug, they shouldn't be protected by shields from stellar object damage on the map.

Iceman wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:37 amcombat
- when ships decloak in combat, their shields go down (this is also enforced by the above)
You mean shields 'stay' down, right?

In tactical combat their shields are down in the beginning, but this is hard to notice, since they can't be targeted (unless a fully cloaked fleet attacks a partly cloaked combat-group and the torpedo glitch catches some of the cloaked ships in group).

Iceman wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:37 am- in their free round, cloaked ships can only fire their disruptors
- in their free round, cloaked ships can only fire their torpedoes
- the first round is free, but in the 2nd round they can't fire (and agility is negated?)
All pretty intricate to do in BotF primitive asm code, and there is way more interesting unfinished combat features (beam/torpedo vs shields/hull modifier, shield level, pulse weapons....). My idea was always something like only 2 beam shots and only 1 torpedo during surprise attack.

Iceman wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:37 amHaving their shields down in the first round of combat means that in the 2nd round they'll have some shields, depending on their recharge rate, but they'll be more vulnerable nevertheless.
This sounds interesting and might be feasible. Just setting their shields to 1 (or say 12,5 - 50%). But then again, I would just reduce the shield strength in shiplist.sst, instead of messing with the asm code, only to justify a higher shield strength when flying uncloaked.

However, good points Iceman!

[Good thing AFC adopted you as a foundling from the Nile river all those years ago. So after the Random Plagues punished your players, you can lead us across the sea of the Bugged Codes to the Promised Features.]


thunderchero wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 8:16 amI have found the code change for my suggestion, but still testing how AI will reacts. so far they just sit and don't move like sitting ducks, but that is the way it was before anyway. so change is only helping human player.
Strange, I expected it to crash the game, since one must find and re-code tons of tactical combat target code switches (fully cloaked, partly cloaked & many more for monster).

EDIT: But you might try to remove

Code: Select all

AUTO:00471C3A                 jnz     start_free_cloak_loc
I don't know how many bugs is too many but that point is reached somewhere before however many in BotF is.
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Re: Any modded/balanced cloak combat?

Post by Iceman »

Spocks-cuddly-tribble wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 10:00 am
Iceman wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:37 amgeneral
- cloaked ships always have their shields down
Yes, a clear bug, they shouldn't be protected by shields from stellar object damage on the map.
That'll make Neutron Stars pretty devastating though :wink:

Iceman wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:37 amcombat
- when ships decloak in combat, their shields go down (this is also enforced by the above)
You mean shields 'stay' down, right?

In tactical combat their shields are down in the beginning, but this is hard to notice, since they can't be targeted (unless a fully cloaked fleet attacks a partly cloaked combat-group and the torpedo glitch catches some of the cloaked ships in group).
Well, like I said above, if the 1st assumption (shields always down) is taken, yes, they should stay down. If not though, during combat they should be "depleted" at the start; not zeroed out because if so, shields will not regenerate, but set to 1 or something. But if that is already the case, nvm :oops: Never noticed it TBH.

Iceman wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:37 am- in their free round, cloaked ships can only fire their disruptors
- in their free round, cloaked ships can only fire their torpedoes
- the first round is free, but in the 2nd round they can't fire (and agility is negated?)
All pretty intricate to do in BotF primitive asm code, and there is way more interesting unfinished combat features (beam/torpedo vs shields/hull modifier, shield level, pulse weapons....). My idea was always something like only 2 beam shots and only 1 torpedo during surprise attack.
Yeah. Good thing that Supremacy allows such flexibility :wink: What about Plasma Torpedoes (Roms), can't recall if they're working as intended - they are/were supposed to not have a minimum range, IIRC?
2B+1T, doesn't that make a scout just as effective as a command or a strike? Kind of odd...

Iceman wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 5:37 amHaving their shields down in the first round of combat means that in the 2nd round they'll have some shields, depending on their recharge rate, but they'll be more vulnerable nevertheless.
This sounds interesting and might be feasible. Just setting their shields to 1 (or say 12,5 - 50%). But then again, I would just reduce the shield strength in shiplist.sst, instead of messing with the asm code, only to justify a higher shield strength when flying uncloaked.
Oops, should have read everything better before starting to reply... :wink:
You mean simply decrease their shields, period? That will also affect recharging times - just thinking out loud.

However, good points Iceman!

[Good thing AFC adopted you as a foundling from the Nile river all those years ago. So after the Random Plagues punished your players, you can lead us across the sea of the Bugged Codes to the Promised Features.]
Thanks. I think? :wink:
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Re: Any modded/balanced cloak combat?

Post by Iceman »

Man, I have so much to do and now you've made me go back to combat and see about implementing some of this stuff in Sup... :wink:

Another thought crossed my mind while looking at the Sup combat code. How about firing all weapons, but with no bonuses whatsoever? Crew XP, Computer TL, C&C bonuses, whatever.
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Re: Any modded/balanced cloak combat?

Post by Spocks-cuddly-tribble »

Iceman wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 10:48 amThat'll make Neutron Stars pretty devastating though :wink:
Yes, but only if they are this turn's destination. Just passing stellar objects doesn't trigger any effect (aside of outposts/starbases can intercept). Another glitch....

Iceman wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 10:48 amWhat about Plasma Torpedoes (Roms), can't recall if they're working as intended - they are/were supposed to not have a minimum range, IIRC?
Minimum distance to target to fire torpedoes can be modded from 0-x for any ship IIRC, but the whole code is buggy as hell, inter alia with missing/unfinished torpedo launcher hardpoints and different mechanics for ship scale & model radius with different impacts each.

Iceman wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 10:48 am2B+1T, doesn't that make a scout just as effective as a command or a strike? Kind of odd...
Not entirely, due to higher weapon strengths per shot, and this was just a first thought.

Iceman wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 10:48 amYou mean simply decrease their shields, period? That will also affect recharging times
My code change would just lower the shields as if the were damaged to this strength after surprise attack (default re-sets them to 100%, even for damaged cloaked ships from my example above). Shield re-charge is not a rate, but fixed points per turn in BotF, untill shields are shot below 1.

Iceman wrote: Fri Apr 10, 2020 11:28 amHow about firing all weapons, but with no bonuses whatsoever? Crew XP, Computer TL, C&C bonuses, whatever.
This won't have much of an impact in BotF.


And to be fair, unlike star trek canon, in BotF surprise-attacked ships always have their shields up, unless in nebular or cloaked themselves.
I don't know how many bugs is too many but that point is reached somewhere before however many in BotF is.
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Re: Any modded/balanced cloak combat?

Post by Iceman »

Not entirely, due to higher weapon strengths per shot, and this was just a first thought.
I was assuming same TL ships, and IIRC the formulae for weapons damage (different for beams and for torps) is the same (except for Card heavy phasers and for Rom plasma torpedoes). There may be a 1 level difference due to tech reqs, ofc. I may be wrong though, but I think I used the same formulae for Supremacy.
Shield re-charge is not a rate, but fixed points per turn in BotF, untill shields are shot below 1.
That's what I meant, the rate of recharge being (recharge% * max, which is a fixed amount) per round.
And to be fair, unlike star trek canon, in BotF surprise-attacked ships always have their shields up, unless in nebular or cloaked themselves.
Hehe.
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Re: Any modded/balanced cloak combat?

Post by slickrcbd »

thunderchero wrote: Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:36 pm what if instead it went into normal combat, but you could not target cloaked ships?

but you could hail, evade or retreat. but I doubt AI would take advantage of this.... :sad:
That might work.
The main issue is that the cloaked ships are weaker than non-cloaked ships, so they need the free shot.
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Re: Any modded/balanced cloak combat?

Post by thunderchero »

slickrcbd wrote: Sat Apr 11, 2020 2:38 pm
thunderchero wrote: Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:36 pm what if instead it went into normal combat, but you could not target cloaked ships?

but you could hail, evade or retreat. but I doubt AI would take advantage of this.... :sad:
That might work.
The main issue is that the cloaked ships are weaker than non-cloaked ships, so they need the free shot.
it is a simple code edit

at 0x071132 12 -> 5C
this bypasses the message window and starts first turn of combat before cloaked fleet can selects commands
If human player is a cloaked fleet, AI will "hold" position for first turn (cloaked free turn as normal)
If human player is not a cloaked fleet, human can select commands of hail, evade or retreat.
cloaked vs cloaked AI will always hold while human can select commands of hail, evade or retreat

this patch will give advantage to human player only, since AI will not change "hold" command.
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Re: Any modded/balanced cloak combat?

Post by greenpeace »

Simply increasing the effective HP of all ships results in the first shot having less of an impact. It improves the game as well since every battle isn't over in 2 turns.

I like to set all beam and torpedo damage to a 0.25 multiplier and hull and shield strength to 2x, for an 8x effective multiplier to ship HP. (I don't just multiply hull and shield by 8x since experience gain is based off of shield/hull points so that makes everyone Legendary in just a few battles.)

This also stops the Borg from destroying dozens of your uncloaked ships even if you have an overpowering fleet.

You might want to then go back and give the Romulans a 1.25x or 1.33x bonus to their (nerfed) beam and torpedo damage to make up for their weakness. The Klingons are more than fine as they are.
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