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  #1  
Old December 10th, 2009, 07:31 AM

ExplorerBob ExplorerBob is offline
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Default Variations in Friendliness

I began a mod a while ago to try to take things more to the basics of the game, working on balance, modifying the sides' tech a bit to make them more fit enemies/rivals to each other, changing the player's ship a bit.

I had an idea a while ago to have the attitudes of the races vary a bit, randomly. In one game, the Muktians, for example, might get along with you fine (friendly, better than norm), but in another they might try to kill you on first contact, for some unknown xenophobic reason. This makes the game a little more random and interesting; you never quite know what you're getting into when you make first contact.

Well, okay, I admit the main reason why I did it is because I wanted an excuse to blow up Muktian and Zorg ships; I like to always play the good guy, and right now it's impossible to come up with a scenario where you're justified in fighting them, which means you only get to take on three or four ship sets with yours. I'd like to have a more complete spectrum of enemies.

Anyway...

I tried to create an opening quest that would make the race friendly, hostile, or nil, but it didn't have any effect. I tried making varying versions of the same race, with different diplomatic stances, but it either didn't work at all, or I got several versions of the same race in at once, which just makes for confusing gameplay.

Do any of you know how you might implement this sort of effect into a mod? I'd prefer to avoid making it a main quest; I'd like to be able to have both random races and the Kawangi, or Ravians, or Primordius.
  #2  
Old December 14th, 2009, 09:51 PM

sgqwonkian sgqwonkian is offline
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Default Re: Variations in Friendliness

It would be tricky to have this swap from session to session, seeing as how there's the ambassador quests for it to conflict with. I suspect you don't want to try to trigger it at the start of the game, because their default settings may load after your quest. If multiple alliance-changing quests trigger, it's possible the game might only register the first or last one. I know sometimes it has trouble with that sort of thing.

Instead, you might try setting it up as a event triggered on a planet. (Those usually work more reliably.) Sort of a pandora's box thing, where some event happens that changes the alliances throughout the sector. Make several versions of the quest, all the with the same KEYS so only one can trigger per game.
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  #3  
Old January 8th, 2010, 02:07 AM

ExplorerBob ExplorerBob is offline
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Default Re: Variations in Friendliness

I've tried a number of things, and this just isn't working out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovezorg
FLAG always
KEYS zorg

STAR 0
FLAG existing
PLNT hope
END STAR

PAGE 0
ACTN endquest
FRND zorg
END PAGE
This code is similar to the other five code files, which make the player's relations with the Zorg/Muktians friendly, hostile, and do nothing (keeping it neutral).

I used an explore condition earlier, to be attributed to a random star, but the problem is that this just meant that a star, somewhere in the galaxy, would hypothetically change your relations; you might not bump into it until after you've already met one of the alien races, and it'd be pretty obvious upon reaching it that your relations just changed, since the event was mutually exclusive with other events on the star.

If this can't be resolved, then I guess I'll be forced to give up on the idea of varying existing races' relations, and fall on a backup idea of mine; make a bunch of races with very similar ships, but different personalities, graphics, etc. to existing ones, and have those serve as evil Muk/Zorg/etc. The only problem with that idea is that it requires graphics and sounds that I don't have, so.
  #4  
Old January 9th, 2010, 11:38 AM

sgqwonkian sgqwonkian is offline
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Default Re: Variations in Friendliness

I have an idea.

In Drives R Us, I used a Condition structure on Hope:
STAR 0
FLAG existing
PLNT hope
ITEM wp_2bbeamlasr
END STAR

CONDITION 0
TYPE homeworld
STR0 terran
END CONDITION

PAGE 0
REQ0 0
ACTN endquest
ITMS 2 tech
END PAGE
If I'm remembering my thought process from two years ago, I originally tried a simpler structure, more like what you wrote.

I found that without the CONDITION block and the REQ0 line, it wasn't triggering. Also, without some item being always placed at Hope, the random items wouldn't appear. It really puzzled me as to why the homeworld trigger would have to work that way, but IIRC, it did.

You might try putting in something similar, and seeing if it works then.

Another option is to fall back on having it trigger when some other random star is explored, but add an ITEM command to the STAR block so there's an object on the planet when you get there. If you gave each of the five quests a different totally normal object from the main game, the player wouldn't immediately know that anything else had been triggered.

If I think of anything else relevant, I'll let you know.
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  #5  
Old January 10th, 2010, 11:12 PM

ExplorerBob ExplorerBob is offline
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Default Re: Variations in Friendliness

Tell me what you think of this setup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovezorg
FLAG always
KEYS zorg

STAR 0
FLAG existing
PLNT hope
ITEM wp_projrail
END STAR

CONDITION 0
TYPE homeworld
STR0 terran
END CONDITION

PAGE 0
REQ0 0
ACTN endquest
FRND zorg
END PAGE
The railgun is added, but the Zorg are not affected, judging by the number of times I've encountered neutral Zorg.

Any idea what's going wrong?
  #6  
Old January 11th, 2010, 12:20 PM

sgqwonkian sgqwonkian is offline
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Default Re: Variations in Friendliness

What's your regular routine when you start the game? Do you immediately grab the nearest planet to fly off to, or do you stop to look at the map? I've noticed just a tiny bit of wonkiness with the homeworld trigger. The random two items in my Drives'R'Us mod sometimes show up after a really short delay. It's less than two seconds, but it might help to wait just a heartbeat before leaving Glory.

That's not likely to be the problem, but it's easy to check and rule out. The rest of my ideas involve tweaking with the files to find a solution:

Quote:
FLAG always
KEYS zorg
Do you have other quests with KEYS Zorg? If so, it's only going to generate one of them. You probably already knew that, or else you wouldn't have included that KEYS line. But, it's worth double-checking your files to make sure you don't have any other quests that might be triggering and preventing it due to the KEYS. Just to be safe.

Did you make similar quests for the other races? If so, check them to see if you accidentally left one of those quests with KEYS zorg as a copy-and-paste error. If there was a Muktian Quest that accidentally had Zorg KEYS, it could be causing the trouble without you knowing it.

Also, regardless of whether or not you have any other quests with that KEYS, you should make sure you don't have any other quests that modify the zorg behavior. If you do, deactivate all of them, and launch the game again. It may be that some other quest is triggering before or after this one, and is muddling the results. I know, it's annoying, but it's the only way to be sure.

Are the other alliance-changing quests set to "FLAG always"? IIRC, when multiple quests have the same KEYS, and are set to FLAG always, the game doesn't randomize them, it just takes the first one on the "game.ini" list. I think the only way to get random quests is via the "event" and "mainquest" FLAGs. You only get a certain number of events per game (2 to 4 by map size, if you don't go into "distribution.ini" and change it), so you'll need to be aware that having these alliance-changing quests may reduce the number of events.



If those tests and alterations don't fix the problem, you might try changing "endquest" to "break", and at the start of each game leave Glory and then immediately return before setting out a second time. I don't think it'll come to that, though, as I suspect the problem involves the KEYS, or some similar quest duplication / overlap problem.
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  #7  
Old January 11th, 2010, 12:46 PM

ExplorerBob ExplorerBob is offline
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Default Re: Variations in Friendliness

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgqwonkian View Post
Are the other alliance-changing quests set to "FLAG always"? IIRC, when multiple quests have the same KEYS, and are set to FLAG always, the game doesn't randomize them, it just takes the first one on the "game.ini" list. I think the only way to get random quests is via the "event" and "mainquest" FLAGs. You only get a certain number of events per game (2 to 4 by map size, if you don't go into "distribution.ini" and change it), so you'll need to be aware that having these alliance-changing quests may reduce the number of events.
Experimentation has revealed that this appears to be the problem; upon changing the layout in game.ini, I was able to make the Zorg automatically love the player, and the Muktians hate him.

The only alliance-changing quests are these, and the same ones that exist in standard Weird Worlds. The problem, anyway, appears to be the game.ini layout. I'll work on making these events, and boosting the distribution.ini file to account for their existence.

Thanks for the tip! I'll let you know how it works out.
  #8  
Old January 11th, 2010, 12:50 PM

sgqwonkian sgqwonkian is offline
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Default Re: Variations in Friendliness

Awesome. Glad that fixed it. If you get things working to a level you're comfortable with, please post the mod. Evil zorg sound like fun.
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  #9  
Old January 11th, 2010, 05:02 PM

ExplorerBob ExplorerBob is offline
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Default Re: Variations in Friendliness

The actual randomization process is working better now, but a curious side effect of using ENMY or FRND is that it seems to disrupt the standard communication response; instead of using the friendly or hostile first contact text, it doesn't give you anything. Just suddenly being dropped into combat with Zorg ships with no explanation or communication is undesirable, to say the least. I think I can come up with a way to resolve this, artificially, but I would prefer for it to use the standard race comm-stuff if possible. Have you had any problems with this before?
  #10  
Old January 11th, 2010, 07:20 PM

sgqwonkian sgqwonkian is offline
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Default Re: Variations in Friendliness

Quote:
Originally Posted by ExplorerBob View Post
a curious side effect of using ENMY or FRND is that it seems to disrupt the standard communication response; instead of using the friendly or hostile first contact text, it doesn't give you anything. Just suddenly being dropped into combat with Zorg ships with no explanation or communication is undesirable, to say the least. I think I can come up with a way to resolve this, artificially, but I would prefer for it to use the standard race comm-stuff if possible. Have you had any problems with this before?
Hmm. Sorry, but I don't think I can be very helpful on that one. I don't think I've ever made a quest that sets an ENMY on a race you haven't met yet.

You might try expanding the quest out a little bit, or making another "FLAG always" quest that uses the CONDITIONs of encounter and notfriendly to make some extra text block pop up.

It's weird though that the game isn't automatically putting up any sort of text. Did you change any other files? Perhaps you deleted or inserted something in the races/zorg.ini file? Accidentally moved something around inside the file, while you were making duplicates of the races and trying other tricks to make the zorg turn evil? That's the only thing I can think of. I'd check your zorg.ini and compare it against the default files of the main game.
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