Borg Cloaking Nebula Generation

The rationale for making this mod is to have a weapon that can hide a ship from the enemy while keeping your ship’s or station’s shie...

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The rationale for making this mod is to have a weapon that can hide a ship from the enemy while keeping your ship’s or station’s shields up. The cloaking nebula also does not require the use of a separate cloak enhancer to use weapons or special weapons. The drawback of using this weapon is that for a very short time (three seconds) the engines on the ship that uses the weapon go inoperative and that the nebula does not last forever. Also, the nebula does not look like a nebula so that the effect is more-or-less not a graphical effect but a strategic effect – the generated ‘nebula’ is also very small so that the enemy cannot usually enter it to discover your ship. This mod plays a good part in helping your ships regenerate even during a big conflict – hiding your ship buys you time to regenerate shields and repair systems – and while doing that, you can still wreak havoc on the enemy! A normal cloak has NO possibility of allowing shields to operate, so instead of designing a shield that operates while cloaked (which is not possible in Armada or Armada 2), I figured that I would design a new cloak to use. So knowing that a nebula can be made to hide a ship and knowing that Species 8472 have a nebula generation weapon, I combined those ideas to create something that can act in the stead of a normal cloak and meanwhile allow a ship to use shields and weapons.

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Mod Date: 2005.02.06
Time took: A couple of minutes :-)

Rationale for this mod:
 In modding, there are doubtlessly many things that limit our ability to mod Armada 2, such as the 'one-class-label-per-object-pain-in-the-butt problem'.
There is one such problem that does not allow ships or stations to use shields while cloaked. Now you can equip a ship with a cloak
enhancer and cloak the ship and fire weapons while cloaked, even use a Corbomite Reflector to protect against ships that detect you.
But think about it - neither the Corbomite Reflector nor the Shield Remodulation weapon protect you against landing parties if your
shields themselves are down. One such case is when you are cloaked - I've seen it often - you think that you're going to use your
phase cloak to avoid enemy weapons fire and then ambush their base, resulting in a stunning victory and fireworks at the end! Well, I've
seen the other side of this - you send a phase-cloaked ship into an enemy base - they fire at you - no effect - the weapons go right
through your ship - everything's going well so far. You're using your cloak enhancer so that you can fire while cloaked along with your
phase cloak so that you can gain a definite victory. All of the sudden, an assault ship starts transporting landing parties aboard your
ship - though your ship is undamaged, your ship is being taken over by the enemy. Then you realize, hey, I better high-tail it out of
here before they take my ship. Oh well, too late, they just took it - now they have a ship with a phase cloak and cloak enhancer. Now
they are going to do at least moderate damage to your base before you're able to take it back!

 This problem could have been averted had you been able to have shields up while cloaked - but alas, you could not! A limitation in
the game unfortunately. I have been trying to make weapons that can raise shields while cloaked, but that is impossible - it is hard-
coded and cannot be undone! But there are two sides to this dilemma - there are shields and there are cloaks. Making a new shield didn't
work - now how about making a new cloak - one that can allow for use of shields!? Well, thanks to Nebula Generation, we can do that now!
Think about it - you have nebulae that can lower shields, hide ships, disable weapons and sensors, take hull integrity down, etc. Since
a nebula can be made to hide a ship and since a nebula can be made not to lower shields, it is obvious that there is a way to create a
new cloaking weapon altogether! I'm not sure if this has been done before, but this is the first time I've thought of it! Think about it:
you can now hide a ship while keeping its shields online and no matter what the enemy does (short of entering that nebula), they cannot
hit you with their weapons nor can they send landing parties aboard your ship - it's like a phase cloak, shield, and a cloak enhancer
all in one.

 Now here comes the disadvantage: since Nebula Generation IS temporary, when your nebula dissolves or you notice the enemy's weapons
hitting your ship, you will have to re-engage the weapon - and it takes a lot of energy to do this! Also, the weapon disables your
ships engines shortly when you initially engage the weapon - but you are protected against the enemy taking your ship or destroying it.
Also, the nebula does not grow large enough to have enough enemy vessels in it to detect you! That is the only way to get around this
weapon - to have an enemy enter the nebula and detect you - that's the only way to detect a ship in this nebula. Also, the amount of
time the engines on your ship are offline is only three seconds - you can change this in the odf files, but if you do change something
in a file, it can cause the game to crash.


Installation:
 This is really simple. You put the files in your odf/special_weapons folder in your Armada 2 install directory. Then you put this
weapon in a ship's or station's odf file so that it can use the weapon. This weapon I think is most useful for stations, since because
of it disabling engines, stations don't use engines anyway, so no problemo!

*** Note: Put the map_neb_cloak.odf file in the odf/other folder.

WHERE TO PUT FILES:
	odf/special_weapons:
		gswBCloakNebula.odf
		gswBCloakNebula01.odf
	odf/other:
		map_neb_cloak.odf

 Make sure when putting this weapon in a ship or station that you know what you are doing - spelling the filename of
 the special weapon wrong will cause a definite crash, just as in using any weapon wrong.

Example: in your ship's or station's odf file:

weapon1 = "gswBCloakNebula"	//.odf extension not required here.
weaponHardpoints1 = "hpxx"	//hpxx: xx is the number of the hardpoint you put it on. Multiple hp's can be used as well.

Now doing this will cause it to crash:

weapon1 = gswBCloakNebula"	//Notice a missing " mark before the name - doing this anywhere is bad - things like this require
				// one AND ONLY ONE quotation mark on either side of the weapon name - that makes TWO " marks you
				// must have - one before, one after. Extra " marks will cause a crash.
weaponHardpoints1 = "hpxx"	//xx being the hardpoint number


I use the filename gswBCloakNebula because that's how I name my special weapons. gsw - special weapon, B - Borg. This easily puts
the special weapon in a place that is easier to find in Windows Explorer (the file manager on Windows 95+). Alphanumerically ordering
your weapons like this ends up causing less confusion when editting. You notice that the ordnance file it refers to is
gswBCloakNebula01 - I like to use mostly the same filename for ordnance files - it includes '01' at the end just in case the ordnance
file itself contains a weapon of its own - that would be '02' and so on.

If you would like to use a build button for this special weapon (which is definitely a good idea), open your gui_global.spr file in
your Sprites folder in a text editor. Find the line that says,

# Special weapon buttons
@reference=64

Then under that you will see a list of things you may not understand. Just make a new line in after the above two lines and put:
b_gswBCloakNebula		gbpcloak00		0	0	64	64

Then save your file and that's it - play - and enjoy!


This file is in no way created by or approved by Activision, the Armada 2 creating team, Viacom, Paramount, or other companies involved
in the creation of Armada 2. I can deem that this mod works on Armada 2 regardless of operating system - if Armada 2 works on your
operating system, this mod will work with your game! Enjoy and I hope you have read this file thorougly, especially if you are new to
modding - I know that when I was a new modder years back that I didn't one time and the game crashed and reading the readme file solved
the problem! Now have fun!

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Elrond


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Registered 18th February 2005

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