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Spaceempires.net :: Abilities, stacking, and scopes :: View topic
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Abilities, stacking, and scopes

 
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ekolis
Virtual Guru


Joined: Aug 04, 2003
Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA

PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 6:54 pm    Post subject: Abilities, stacking, and scopes Reply with quote

In SE4, a lot of the abilities seem to have hardcoded rules, individual to each ability, for how they stack and for their scope. For instance, conditions improvement plants stack additively, but atmospheric modification plants use the lowest value (I think). And some abilities affect an entire system, while others only affect a planet or a ship.

My question is, should we hardcode these same rules into the abilities? Obviously we need to hardcode the effects of the abilities, or else they wouldn't actually do anything, but what about these auxiliary rules? Should we create some sort of AbilityStacking.txt file that specifies the stacking behavior of abilities in a particular mod? How about an optional Ability Scope field like in SE5? Of course, a lot of the abilities in SE4 specify their scope in their name, but it would be nice to have alternately scoped ones, such as system wide atmosphere converters or quantum slipstream drives that give an entire sector's worth of ships a speed boost!


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Skyburn
Space Emperor


Joined: Mar 12, 2008

PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I prefer the SE5 way for ability scopes, which I think is more modder friendly. Which way will be easier to program?

I think handling stacking the way SE5 handles stacking CS/ECM abilities on components would be great. So you could specify a stack number to ensure you can't stack multiple facilities of the same type. For example, you could make it so System Mineral Scanners don't stack, but you could stack a Scanner with a Time Shrine.


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ekolis
Virtual Guru


Joined: Aug 04, 2003
Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA

PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For ability scopes - Easier to program? Maybe the SE4 way, but marginally? It's a choice between a hardcoded lookup table and loading extra optional data from the mod. Neither is particularly difficult, but the hardcoded lookup table might be a bit easier.

For stacking - Yeah, that would make sense. Most of the abilities don't use the Val 2 field for anything, anyway, so that could be used as a stack number like in SE5.


That's no space station - it's a spreadsheet!


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ekolis
Virtual Guru


Joined: Aug 04, 2003
Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA

PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course, there is one more issue - for abilities that don't stack, which value should be used? Some abilities use the highest value, while others use the lowest. Any ideas as to how that should be specified?

In case you hadn't figured it out, I'm hoping that eventually we can work in some sort of SE5-like scripting system (though with a saner language than SE5 used), and instead of using "AI Tag" abilities, you could just name your custom abilities whatever you want. So these ability rules would tie in to the scripts that define what the abilities actually do.


That's no space station - it's a spreadsheet!


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Skyburn
Space Emperor


Joined: Mar 12, 2008

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ekolis wrote:
Some abilities use the highest value, while others use the lowest.

What abilities use the lowest value? I thought the game always chose the highest value.


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ekolis
Virtual Guru


Joined: Aug 04, 2003
Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Things like bonus movement from engines, I thought? As in, if you mix ion engines and contra-terrene engines, you don't get the +1 speed from the CT engines...

That's no space station - it's a spreadsheet!


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Blackadder
Space Emperor


Joined: Jul 01, 2010
Location: Charleston WV

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been playing this game for over ten years and I've never once tried mixing engine types on the same design. Shocked

I'll have to give it a try and see what happens. Wink


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MattII
Space Emperor


Joined: Aug 16, 2003

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For myself I'd say SE4 style mostly, at least to start off with. You can always add abilities later can't you?

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ekolis
Virtual Guru


Joined: Aug 04, 2003
Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA

PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, we can add abilities later. And we would have to have default rules for compatibility with SE4 mods even if we did let the modder specify the rules.

That's no space station - it's a spreadsheet!


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ekolis
Virtual Guru


Joined: Aug 04, 2003
Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA

PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I figured out a way to implement ability stacking! It does require one extra data file (to specify the rules for each ability), but we can include that with the stock mod and implement a fallback to stock for missing data files (like SE5 has).

That's no space station - it's a spreadsheet!


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ekolis
Virtual Guru


Joined: Aug 04, 2003
Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA

PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Note to self: it would probably be a good idea to just make "group by" an option for the stacking rules, and not a separate rule. That way we can group by values other than the first and second (should any abilities have more than 2 values), and we don't need the "grouping rule" field, AND we can group by MULTIPLE ability values should the need arise. Hope I get around to doing this before anything gets set in stone...

That's no space station - it's a spreadsheet!


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