I didn't make it!
By making changes to the games AI and ship HPs, i aim to create a more cinematic gameplay experiance. Fast ships would be FAST (and manuverable) and the AI would fly them insanely close to enemy ships (more then a few jem'hadar attack ships actually rammed into kling/fed ships in the dominan war). I will switch up the damage modelling so that it is going to be much truer to the film where a few torps hit a weaker ship and it BREAKS (just check out footage of the last few episodes in DS9!!!). Things like ships flying in very close formations will be par for the course. Basically, i want to turn ST:BC into something much closer to what we see on screen, cannon stats be damned.
I decided to try a project like this because i just noticed that large fleet battles in ST:BC just were not very viscereal. There were a few problems that kept me from having very much fun and i came up with some solutions to them.
Firstly, ships were firing their weapons from way too far away. The problem is that the game was designed so that it is best for ships to be firing phasers from 40 klicks out and torps from 30 or w/e. So what ends up happening is even with 60 ships in the game (!!) when engaging a particular enemy ship i ended up stareing at that ship till it went pop then went onto the next one. The only way to know that there is actually a massive fleet of 30 ships shooting are some bright phaser beams rotating around a ship here and there. In my eyes, to have a cinematic experiance, weapons need to blow more crap out of the enemy the closer they are (even though this goes sooo much against canon, but its good for fun looking battles!). Imagine, a ship from 20km away fires phasers... they don't do much damage to your ship. But then it gets into point blank range and you find half your ship cut in half!! (this obviously makes ship combat much faster and brutal... especially with AI moving in as close as possible... but having debris from enemy ships flying everywhere in ultra close combat has to be the coolest thing.. just look to Star wars battles in space and how they portray the fighter squadrons always sticking really close to enemy ships). Which brings me onto the next point.
The AI just doesn't help the game to create a cinematic feel. Sure, in 1v1 ship combat its just fine, but for a massive fleet battle i want the AI to 1) stick close to friendly ships (real close.. hehe) and 2) close distance as much as possible! oh and need to get rid of some really dumb behavior that results in slower ship speeds (try cutting a ships manuverability and speed by 4 (wardbird) and watch what the AI does... you will find that they do manuveurs that would be smart if the ship was fast and manuverable, but a romulan warbird in a fleet battle wont be doing dogfighting lol!).
Thirdly, cap ships were moving way too fast to have much visual impact. If you watch some of the scenes from DS9, the fleet battles are cool because ships are so close together that debris from exploding ship causes chaos!! (yes , in RL or even looking at it through canon ships probaly would be KM's away from each other (duh) but for a *cool* experiance, the SFX guys for that scene obviously knew that ships needed to be tight packed to see the full granduer of what was happening). I can see ST:BC battles being very similar! Small tweaks to the manuverability and speeds of an increasing larger ship list could easily reproduce many of the scenes we see in DS9. Of course, small ships will be flying around at insane speeds (wouldent want the defiant to be bogged down!!). Perhaps ship scale can also be tweaked a bit to make it cinematic.
Which brings me to my fourth point that i will be working on. Ship combat damage. Hand in hand with the beforementioned changes to weapon damage based on range (can it even be done?????) i want ships to BREAK apart from torps hitting them. Weapons need to be jacked up in brutality to make a ST:BC fleet battle really cool looking. Things to consider, perhaps only the strongest ships can withstand a good amount of torp hits. I am thinking of one ship in particular, the miranda class.. by examining some of the clips from DS9's fleet battles, it is very cool watching that ship get COMPLETLY torn apart (entire front section is obliterated and sends the ship into a spin) by no less then 2 or 3 torpedoes. Now, obviously the battle would be over pretty quickly if a couple torps from a sovvie could insta gib a warbird or something, but by increasing the amount of visual damage a ship in relation to how long it actually survives via hull integrity, i believe a balance between instant death and mayhem and a bit more tactical battles can be struck. One thing to keep in mind though, by increasing the brutality of weapons, this means that heavily armed, small ships like the defiant, can really put the hurt on ships that are larger but unable to bring their torps to bear! (sounds like the defiant from DS9 ;))
So, anyways, the best thing about this project is that it can be done very small to start with. Mabye tweak one or two ships until the balance is extremely good with them then expand from there. This will also give a solid backbone to experiment with weapon, ship and AI tweaks.
One last important thing. I do not have a very good understanding of how AI can be modified in ST:BC and would REALLY!! appreciate someone experianced with AI modifications to get in touch with me (PM???)! I am sure that, since all of the work for this project lies in tweaking things, much fun can be had watching how the changes play out ingame!
Thanks for reading the post guys, i hope to have something to show you soon. Oh, and if portions of my post have been done already, please yell at me! I am terrible at searching for previous tweaks that have done such things. (though if no tweaks fixing some of the points i mentioned above have been created over the lifetime of ST:BC , i would be extremely surprised!).
P.s. i can see perhaps this becoming a much larger thing that incorperates many many ships. Who knows, it could be a one stop shop pack kind of like the KM mod! I know how much everyone would like a large collection of balanced HPs.
Free GNU user
27th March 2002
Mongoosed P.s. i can see perhaps this becoming a much larger thing that incorperates many many ships. Who knows, it could be a one stop shop pack kind of like the KM mod! I know how much everyone would like a large collection of balanced HPs.
Sounds like a good thing. If you want to use KM as a base for it, contact me.
I would die without GF
25th March 2005
excellent idea, good luck with it!