Ian's Plugin Questions Thread

Now Playing: Hardpoints and Starfields

Greetings, all! I'm trying to make a simple plug for EV Nova to insert a new system with a port or two and a bunch of outfits. I've done this sort of thing before, but I ran into a few problems here and there.

I think the main problem I need to solve is this: What mission bits and resource numbers are safe to add to my new plugin that won't write over something else (that is, what range won't result in my "leet cheet beem" replacing the Light Blaster on every Shuttle and Viper in the game)? I should be able to figure my way around after that.


This post has been edited by Ianator : 03 April 2009 - 07:29 PM

You can always open up the Nova Files to see what's available and what's taken. Though picking a number in the 500's is usually safe. I think Nova might have enough missions to force you to choose higher, for example, but very high numbers are generally open. Bear in mind though, there is a maximum value for the resource number, giving one a higher value will result in Nova ignoring it. Not sure if it's the same across all resources, but off the top of my head the Escape Pod, in the 700s, is the max for ships.

@joshtigerheart, on Feb 13 2009, 10:13 AM, said in Ian's Plugin Questions Thread:

Not sure if it's the same across all resources . . .

It isn't. The maximum varies from type to type according to how many were needed in the base scenario, and how many Matt thought plug-in developers would be likely to add. MissionComputer will warn you if you're giving a resource an ID higher than the limit; I don't know whether EVNEW has anything similar.

Yeah, forgot to mention I'm a PC (don't hurt me!) and I don't think EVNEW had anything like that. So start the OUTFs and WEAPs at 500, the SYSTs and SPOBs at 400-ish and the MISNs at maybe 600.

Thanks for the help!

Actually, Nova uses a lot more missions than that. If you're not concerned about overwriting any of the storylines, you could start in the 600 range. However, if you want to not overwrite anything Nova the lowest ID you can use is 919.

For systems, anything 700-757 is good, or after 769. For spobs you're safe anywhere after 518. Outfits are safe at 500 and so are weapons.

I highly recommend taking a glance through the Nova files. It'll not only show you what resources are used, but it also gives a great indication of how the resources work in the built-in scenario.

Thanks for the answers so far! I'm going to turn this into my general plugin questions topic, so as not to clutter up the board.

I am currently attempting to construct an outfit - a Mass Driver. This outfit will grant several weapons, each firing a different kind of munition. Most of them are really fast projectiles with limited guidance, but one particular option comes to mind: strike craft insertion units.

It's like this: the weap Mass Driver: Insertion Pod fires a guided projectile. After a certain distance (or on impact with the target), the projectile detonates, releasing the cream-filled center that is a cloud of laser-lance drones, which proceed to swarm over the target and devour it as if a school of starved piranhas.

#1a: Is it actually possible to use fighters as submunitions?
#1b: If so, would they be escorts and what would happen if I tried to to recall them?
#2: While I'm on the subject of fighters, is it possible to fire them forward at high speed, or will they just fall from the side of my ship and slide into formation?

I'd like to hear your advice and thoughts on implementing this, as well as any personal opinions on the awesomeness (or lack thereof, Heaven forbid?) of such a weapon.


#1a: Is it actually possible to use fighters as submunitions?

No sorry.

What I did a few times was have a Rocket that released several smaller guided missiles. They have a Prox safety of about 3/4 their life span and a crazy fast turn rate. What happens is that they will spawn from the rocket and zip around the target for a couple of seconds. Then they will detonate. If you do this, remember that always assume that all the missiles will hit the target. So come up with a target damage then divide it by the number of submitions used. In this idea, only fast ships with an asteroid the correct distance from them would stop a few missiles. More tricks can be added to make it easier to dodge, or get hit by, one of these missiles such as having the guided missiles be jammed moderately to reduce the chance of getting hit, or make the Rocket a guided missile for an easy kill.

Happy huntin' :hector_bird:

1a: You can fire fighters where the ship has no turning rate or accel and then they can either eat a self-destructing weapon and eject a fighter, or launch more fighters, or just die. There's lots of cool stuff to do, what do you have in mind?

1b: unkown.

2. They will fire forward at high speed if the weap speed is high and then move into formation or attack or defend as the case may be.

I guess what I'm trying to do is make a catapult for fighters like you find on aircraft (and sometimes spacecraft) carriers. Plus one of the aforementioned munitions is a pod that releases a squad of fighters, which attack the target and come back. Or don't, if they're drones or something.

Basically, one of the rocket sleds found here (scroll down a bit).

This post has been edited by Ianator : 26 March 2009 - 08:23 PM

Zero-armor fighters will go rogue, meaning if you attack anything during their DeathDelay, they will attack you as best they are able.

If you give the fighter bay weapon a high Speed, the fighters will be catapulted from your ship.


Basically, one of the rocket sleds found here (scroll down a bit).

Have a fighter with a firing animation. Then give it a guided missile (Or rocket) that will destroy the ship when fired.

QUOTE (Qaanol @ Mar 27 2009, 04:12 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>

If you give the fighter bay weapon a high Speed, the fighters will be catapulted from your ship.

One further addendum: I believe that fighters will travel at the weapon speed rate for a length of time determined by the "count" field before falling into formation, but I may be remembering that from the Override days.

Alright, got another two for y'all.

The first and easier: I am in need of a starfield/nebulae generator.

Second and more complex: I'm trying to make an outfit that can hold several different types of ammo.

It's like this: Let's say I purchase, oh, three of the outfit - a missile hardpoint - for my Anaconda. Each hardpoint allows me to carry a Javelin HS or a Pilum IFF or a Spiculum ImRec. I know it's easy enough to have outfits increase the capacity for other outfits (like Fighter Bays and their ships), but what about a single Viper bay that carries Vipers, Fed Vipers and Pirate Vipers?

I think I just figured something out for that second one while typing it, but I'd like to hear your ideas as well!

SERIOUS EDIT : OK, got some sleep and mulled over it. As far as I can reason, the best way to get the result you're looking for is the least elegant.

Make the Hardpoint outfit, say o200 again, grant o207. o207 is an invisible counter outfit, and for every instance of it you own, you can buy one launcher of any type. Each launcher takes 0 tons (since you already have the hardpoint), removes outfit 207 on buy and grants it on sell.

Also, you would need to make o200 unsellable, and instead make another outfit, o208, which, when bought, deletes itself and o200. It can only be bought if you have o207 (which would mean that you have fewer launchers than hardpoints). This will keep people from being able to exceed the typical number of launchers buy buying a hardpoint, buying a launcher, selling the hardpoint, then repeating.

My reasoning for offering this solution is as follows: in any other way I can figure, since they all involve invisible launchers (including the one I originally posted), the player would get too much of a benefit from having more than one type of hardpoint/launcher combo, or would not be able to get the benefit of two instances of the same launcher. To put it into more specific terms, if you had 2 hardpoints, then bought some, say, IR missiles, you would launch them at 2x normal speed. Fine; two launchers, 2x speed. However, then if you bought some Radar missiles as well, you would be able to launch both IR and Radar missiles at 2x speed each (so 2 hardpoints, but acting as 4 launchers). The only way I can figure of getting around this problem is by making the player specify how many of what types of launcher they want. It's not as elegant, but as far as I can figure it's the most reasonable solution.

_(old post, just here for posterity)
If you weren't talking about different types of ammunition (or anything depletable), it would be easy enough using sleeper outfits (or maybe even counter cröns). But since you are, it's going to take a bit more pontification.

OK, well, for fighters I don't think this would work, since Nova doesn't count launched fighters as aboard your ship, although they do contribute to the MaxAmmo field. But, for missiles, it should work all right.

  1. Make Hardpoint
  2. Make the 3 missiles
    3 ****) Make 3 different launchers (one for each missile), make them invisible and not selected when there's no ammo. Furthermore, make the hardpoint grant them on purchase and delete them on sale
  3. Make each type of missile require that you don't own the other two types of missiles before you can buy them

Now, this will only work, however, if you only want the player to be able to buy one type of missile period, not one type of missile per hardpoint. If you wanted to do that, you'd need to follow steps 1-3, but omit 4. Then, you'd have to… do something that I can't come up with at 5:15 AM. Let me get back to you on that.

Oh well here's one that will work if the max number of hardpoints is 2. Make it toggle, say, b2000 when you buy it AND when you sell it. Now, I'm going to have to assign some arbitrary ResIDs for simplicity's sake:

Hardpoint = o200 (also grants one launcher for each missile on buy, and deletes them on sell)
Missiles 1-3 = o201-o203
Toggle Bit = b2000 (toggles on buying and selling o200)

Make the availability for the missiles read as follows:

Outfit 201:
o200 & (!(o202 | o203) | (!b2000 & !(o202 & o203)))

Then, do 202, replacing o202 with o201 and do the same for 203. What this means in essence is you can only buy the missiles if you have the hardpoint AND don't have either other type of missile OR if you have two hardpoints only ONE other type of missile.

For more than 2 max hardpoints I'll have to think of something else. I can kind-of see something a little bit, but I'm not entirely lucid at the moment.

There may be a way to do this using fewer resources or less mucking about, but that's a start._

This post has been edited by Archon : 04 April 2009 - 03:36 PM

The above-mentioned method:

1. Create outfit "Hardpoint" that carries, say, 3 Dart, 3 Javelin, 3 Pilum and 3 Spiculum.
2. Create outfit "Dart Rocket" that has weap Dart and reduces Javelin, Pilum and Spiculum capacity by 1.
3. Repeat for other missiles.

This should mean that not only will the missiles not appear when I'm out of ammo, but each one reduces how many more I can take.

Also, a cookie to whoever can pick up which game the above missiles reference.

This post has been edited by Ianator : 04 April 2009 - 07:30 PM

Easy question for you dudes, but very important to my advertising strategy...

Has there ever been...

An EV Total Conversion...

Made entirely...

...of Lego?

There aren't that many EVN total conversions, so I can safely say there are no lego EVN conversions. As for the other EV's, I have no idea. Before my time.

Oh, and before the pragmatism brigade makes topicfall-

Regarding making a new TC- I wish you luck. It's a long, hard road, which can stretch into a years long road far, far more easily than you'd ever believe, but it's also extremely satisfying and rewarding, and usually pretty fun. The most important piece of advice I can give you is, in fact, not to tell you to do it how I think it should be done (which many people here, with the best of intentions, will do.)

No, instead, I advise you to decide on how you will do the TC, and do it that way until you finish. If you want to make lego ships first, awesome. If you decide to slog out the missions first, groovy. But whatever method you decide on, make sure it's one that you will be able to use ultimately finish the TC.

This post has been edited by Shlimazel : 11 April 2009 - 05:38 PM

You're crazy. Of madmen come great ideas, though. And people will follow a madman who wins.
It would probably make modeling somewhat easier, though.

I believe Lego made some 3D lego-modeling programs you might be able to use.

I have an old CD, "Lego Creator." It does not scale well. You're better off just writing up brick models in some other program and then corner-snapping them together.

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