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seeking perspective and advice

 
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dogboy2
Space Emperor


Joined: Sep 09, 2009

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 2:35 am    Post subject: seeking perspective and advice Reply with quote

I recently decided, after a long hiatus, to set up a game of Space Empires for friends. Our last game of SEV didn't go well because it was somewhat buggy so I think I'll go with SEIV. (Also, it has a bit more of an "old school" feel that I find appealing.) And...I came across the Star Trek mod for SEIV, and it looks absolutely beautiful!

I'm writing because I feel that, as host, it's my responsibility to ensure a great gaming experience for my players. I would really appreciate it if anyone who has used the mod could offer some insight and advice. I'm looking for general information on how the mod plays, anything I should *not* do, and general advice. I also have several specific questions, below.

I've read through the readme file, but I have a few questions.

Version

I just downloaded SEIV Gold through Steam, so I think I've got the most recent version. Is the ST mod made to work with the latest version? To your knowledge, has anyone used the mod with a recent version, and if so, is it working ok?

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Hosting

Is there a play by web site, and does it support the Star Trek mod? http://seiv.pbw.cc/ seems to be down, and it looks like it has been down for a long time:
http://www.spaceempires.net/article383.html

You mention the Mod Launcher by Mytrix http://www.shrapnelgames.com/cgi-bin/newuploads/1039630481.zip Is this something that my players all need to download and run?

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Fonts

You also mention that we should install SE IV Fonts To Your Hard Drive
http://www.shrapnelcommunity.com/threads/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=314003&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=&vc=#Post314003 is this to make things look more Star
Trek like? (If so, cool! But, is it an option? I'd prefer some less tech-savvy players be able to skip this step if it's not necessary.)

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Happiness type/Demeanor:

I see that each race has a happiness type and a demeanor. I thought that happiness type was "peaceful"/"neutral"/"warlike", but here they are different (The Federation are "explorers", Species 8472 are "Renegades", Borg are "Collective"). Do these affect happiness for human players playing each race? Is there somewhere
I can go to find out how? What about demeanor? I've read on the forums that "Demeanor" is just descriptive, and has no effect in game, but the demeanors look more like what I recall as "happiness" (Peaceful Federation, Violent Species 8472, Aggressive Borg).

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A.I.:

Do the A.I.'s obey their personality types? e.g., Do Borgs aggressively expand, while Ferengi seek to trade?

In prior (vanilla) games of SEIV and SEV, we've found the A.I. to be pretty weak, and have basically not included them because being near one could affect game balance (either by giving a more experienced player a bunch of poorly defended developed planets to conquer, or by putting a really inexperienced player at a disadvantage).

You suggest in the readme setting the Computer Player Difficulty to MEDIUM and bonus to LOW or MEDIUM. Does this mean that it would be viable to have a game with all the A.I.'s, and really role play it? Will peaceful A.I. races be more likely to ally against violent races?

You indicate that the A.I.'s don't expand much. How does that work? Do they build up their planets a lot before exploring?

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Monsters!

You mention monsters. I've never played a game with monsters. Sounds cool! Do I need to do anything to turn monsters on? Without spoilers, are these Star Trek type monsters (like vger?), and do they play a role other than menaces we have to blow up?

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General game play

This is harder to quantify, but should we be thinking of this as a standard game in which we are all trying to defeat each other, or does the mod give the game a different "feel" where it is more fun to just role play? Related question: Is the Star Trek mod fairly balanced, or are there races with distinct advantages or disadvantages? Could more minor races (the Gorn) rise to galactic dominance?

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Other mods

Is the Star Trek mod compatible with other mods? Are there other mods that you would recommend, such as mods to the map generator?


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etc.

Any other warnings, or suggestions? If you were setting up a Star Trek mod game today for a group of friends, how would you set it up? I kind of like the idea of a large galaxy with all the races, into which we can all go explore. A little less strategy game, more "Space, the final fronteir...!" Smile

Thanks for taking the time to read through all this!

-DB2


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Wolfman
Space Emperor


Joined: Oct 03, 2005

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It has been a couple years since I played this mod, but it is one of the great mods for SEIV.

Last time I played it it worked very well and I believe the last few patches for SEIV were mostly for the conversion to Strategy First and the related fixes to follow up (music in MP# format and such).

Last I heard the old PBW site died, I've neve played multiplayer, so someone else will have to update you on future PBW status.

Mod Launcher came with the SF release IIRC in the extras folder. If they don't hve it they can still play, but it makes it so much easier to run the game with mods. If they are downloading the mod and the shipsets to go with it, then the mod launcher is a minor addition, and it's well worth getting for anyone who will ever play more than 1 mod.

The fonts should be used, though I don't think it will crash the game. It could make some things hard to read and it may use another font if you don't have the right one, and if it uses something like symbols it wont be readable (happened to me once).

Happiness types are defined in the data files and for stock they were essentially broken (anything but peaceful was a handicap). they affect the population by almost all your actions; treaties, battles, colonizing, ships in system/sector, etc. They are reasonably well balanced if you play the race the way they should be. Demeanors are just descriptive.

The AI are much better in the mod, I've had the Klingons send Massive (hundreds of ships) fleets to attack me in later game stages. Though I don't know how well they stick to their supposed types. This is SEIV and there are some things that have to be done by the AI if they are even going to compete. But yeah, it's harder to get a treaty with the borg than the vulcans.

Monsters are simple empires in the game that use monster only tech designed to make them like Star Treak monsters. Avoiding spoilers, they are anoying at the beginning and a potential major thread mid game for the smaller empires. They should be added manually in the game setup for proper use, add more for greater threats. They do not colonize but have quadrant wide ranges and self sustaining (negative maintenance) ships.

If you and your friends like to role play, it can be done very well with this mod, however the AI is not as good for that. If you want a random map, the game will make a good one for the mod if you use the type that "simulates FTL" (systems usually have 4-8 warp poins each, tending more toward Cool. The monsters could be very overwhelming for new players. If this is a concern for you or them you can try to edit the map and give the monster a homeworld that is away from the players. If you do use AI races add them manually (just like loading human empires) not by selecting the some/many options.


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dogboy2
Space Emperor


Joined: Sep 09, 2009

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the helpful reply! What other mods do you (or anyone reading this) recommend? I'd like to host a game that is the most fun possible for my friends.

I've heard good things about Adamant, PvK Balance and TDM Modpack.

There is a nice list here, with descriptions:

http://wiki.spaceempires.net/index.php/Mods_%28SEIV%29


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Wolfman
Space Emperor


Joined: Oct 03, 2005

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adamant is another tha really stands out to me, and is a completely new experience from stock. Though there are several things not yet fully imlemented the last time I played, it is a fully functioning mod and nothing seems missing while playing.

If you like slower games, Proportions is another great one Slows colonisation to a crawl compared to stock, construction is more dependant on population which grows very slow.

Carrier battles has some large battles with massive amounts of ship in them, great for multiplayer games. There is an AI for it, but I haven't had the chance to try it much (it was a prototype the last I tried, 2 years or so ago).

Gritty Economy is a nice one, no AI that I know of. You'll be running around with partially damaged ships alot more. Larger ships can get extremely expensive, but the maintenance for them is lower.

Devnull and Dark Nova combine concepts from several other mods very well, the Dark Nova AI can be a chanenge at times. I don't think I ever got around to playing Devnull.

PvK Balance Mod is a great alternative to stock, balancing many areas of gameplay giving a wider variety of empire setups viability for use.

Masters Mod, Imperium Verus, AI Campaign All fun mods to play, all work in single player as well. AIC was designed for single player.

There are many others that I have played and enjoy as well. Even changed a few things myself for my own play, but never put anything finnished together.


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Fyron
Galactic Guru


Joined: Aug 04, 2003
Location: CA, USA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PBW2:
http://pbw.spaceempires.net/


Smarter than your average Texrak.


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Atrocities
Shipyard Guru


Joined: Aug 06, 2003
Location: PNW

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I responded to his post via email as well as I could given the fact that I have pretty much forgotten everything about both the STM and AST mods.

I look at them and go "WoW, I did that!" I cannot believe that I was that smart and savvy at one time.


Where we're going we won't need roads.


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Black_Knyght
Space Emperor


Joined: Aug 19, 2005
Location: Dark side of the Moon

PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2009 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't kid yourself, amigo, you still got the chops! Cool

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