[MOD][WIP] Extra scoop of vanilla

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cogitator
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:04 pm

[MOD][WIP] Extra scoop of vanilla

Postby cogitator » Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:38 pm

** EDIT: First playable release is out! Download Link!**

After lurking for a while on the forums here, I've decided to contribute my own little somethin' somethin' to the modding scene here. One of the biggest recurring themes seems to be that many players would like to have event choices that are less cut and dry. A good example of this is the event where you find the the little six-legged pony planet. After the first few times you quickly learn there is a definite "good choice" and "bad choice". While it is nice to know what the consequences for your actions will be, it feels like being trained to hit the button that delivers a treat instead of the one that shocks you.

So, the idea behind my mod is simple. I want to expand the events of vanilla FTL adding new descriptive text, and some new choices for familiar events. I don't plan to add any new events, though the ghost ship encounters may be re-activated in time (since they are present in the files). I also want to make my mod as compatible with the other mods currently out, and for this reason I won't be changing the start events or any of the other data sets. There will, to put it simply, be fleshed out events for every sector with less predictable rewards.

Enough talk! Time for samples!

These are some new bits for the empty space encounter.

Code: Select all

   <text planet="NONE">Deep space radiaton with an unusual energy signature registers briefly on your sensors. Other than that, there is nothing of note at this node.</text>
   <text planet="NONE" back="BG_DARK"> Space is incalculably vast, and this part of it is truly empty. Time to move on to the next beacon.</text>
   <text planet="UNPOPULATED"> The nearby planet is home to some simple silicon based life but nothing else of note. Come back in a few thousand years.</text>
   <text> A sensor glitch has you in full battle readiness before you can identify the false reading. You power down weapons and get ready to jump.</text>
   <text planet="PLANET_POPULATED">There are small commercial vessels in the uppper atmosphere on a nearby planet. They do not respond to your hails.</text>


This is a re-work of the asteroid encounter with some new choices.

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<event name="ASTEROID_EXPLORE" unique="true">
   <text load="AS_EXPLORE"/>
   <choice hidden="true">
      <text>Explore the asteroid field.</text>
      <event load="ASTEROID_EXPLORE_RESULTS"/>
   </choice>
   <choice>   
      <text>Too dangerous. We'll just wait for the FTL to charge.</text>
      <event/>
   </choice>
   <choice req="SCRAP_COLLECTOR" hidden="true">
      <text>(Scrap Recovery Arm) Attempt to mine the asteroids.</text>
      <event>
         <text>You carefully extract as much usable material as possible from the nearest asteroids while waiting for the FTL to charge.</text>
         <autoReward level="HIGH">scrap_only</autoReward>
      </event>
   </choice>
   <choice req="DEFENSE" hidden="true">
      <text>(Defense Drone) A defense drone will make it much safer to explore the field.</text>
      <event>
         <text>With no danger of a collision, you can focus on recovering the various minerals in the asteroid field.</text>
         <autoReward level="MED">scrap_only</autoReward>
      </event>
   </choice>
   <choice req="sensors" lvl="3" hidden="true">
      <text>(Sensors) Your advanced scanners pick up an energy signature so faint you barely register it.</text>
      <event>
         <text>There appears to be some type of escape pod embedded in one of the asteroids. It seems to be heavily damaged and barely functioning.</text>
         <choice hidden="true"
            <text>Retrieve the pod...</text>
               <event>
                  <text>The pod appears to be functioning but you see nothing but shards of crystal inside. Perhaps someone else will know how to open it.</text>
                  <augment name="STASIS_POD"/>
                  <autoReward level="LOW">scrap_only</autoReward>
               </event>
         </choice>
      </event>
</event>
<eventList name="ASTEROID_EXPLORE_RESULTS">
   <event>
      <text>A brief exploration yields nothing of interest.</text>
      <environment type="asteroid"/>
   </event>
   <event>
      <text>Scans reveal a number of asteroids with useful compositions. You extract some fuel.</text>
      <autoReward level="HIGH">fuel_only</autoReward>
   </event>
   <event>
      <text>You discover the remains of ship embedded into an asteroid. It still has some functional missiles.</text>
      <autoReward level="MED">missiles</autoReward>
   </event>
   <event>
      <text>You happen upon an abandoned mining site. A few mining drones were left behind and could be re-purposed</text>
      <autoReward level="MED">droneparts</autoReward>
   </event>
   <event>
      <text>The asteroid field proved more dangerous than expected. Some asteroids managed to get through your ship's defenses.</text>
      <damage amount="5"/>
      <environment type="asteroid"/>
   </event>
   <event>
      <text>A pirate ship hiding behind one of the larger asteroids attacks you!</text>
      <ship load="PIRATE" hostile="true"/>
      <environment type="asteroid"/>
   </event>
</eventList>
<textlist name="AS_EXPLORE">
   <text>Scans reveal a large asteroid field nearby. Short-range scanners may discover useful materials while we wait for the FTL to recharge.</text>
   <text>Nearby asteroids may hold something of value, but scanners are having trouble at this distance.</text>
   <text>The unusual composition of this asteroid field indicates it may be debris from a planetary collision.</text>
   <text>Sensors register an asteroid field nearby. There may be something of use within, but the risk is significant.</text>
   <text>There is a good chance you could manage to get some resources out of this asteroid field. However a collision with any of the larger ones could be quite damaging.</text>
</textlist>


You'll notice that the encounter uses a text list so it won't be so obvious which encounter you are getting again and again. There is a new option for defense drones, and a new way to get the crystal stasis pod if you have advanced sensors.

I'm more than happy to have others incorporate Extra Scoop in their mods if they want, just give me credit please.
Once I've reworked a majority of the neutral events I'll post this in .ftl format for all to try.

Cheers!
Last edited by cogitator on Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Icehawk78
Posts: 230
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:55 pm

Re: [MOD][WIP] Extra scoop of vanilla

Postby Icehawk78 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:42 pm

cogitator wrote:One of the biggest recurring themes seems to be that many players would like to have event choices that are less cut and dry. A good example of this is the event where you find the the little six-legged pony planet. After the first few times you quickly learn there is a definite "good choice" and "bad choice". While it is nice to know what the consequences for your actions will be, it feels like being trained to hit the button that delivers a treat instead of the one that shocks you.

I've heard this several times, but it seems a bit off - as far as I remember, that's actually just about the only event in the game where there's explicitly a "right" and "wrong" choice. A few others (space spiders) have strongly weighted choices (once your crew has any amount of experience, the extra scrap is probably not worth the possible risk of loss of crew), but the six-legged pony seems to be, afaik, the only event with an "always right"/"always wrong" answer - almost every other one has some possibility of a reward if you choose the "riskier" option.

(Sorry for the mini-rant, but when I see people complaining about the events and they inevitably use the pony example and say "there's lots of shit like this event" when there's actually just that one that matches that pattern, it's annoying.)


As for your actual events, two bits of feedback:

1) For the "defence drone" option, I'd think the scrap recovered would only be medium, not the same level as having the scrap recovery arm.
2) I have some vague preference against making the Stasis Pod more easily/consistently accessible, but that's likely at least in part because I've not yet unlocked it in the purely vanilla game, nor have I unlocked the Rock Ship (and anything that makes either of them easier to get feels "cheating-ish"). So I might recommend making two versions, one with that, and one without.
cogitator
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:04 pm

Re: [MOD][WIP] Extra scoop of vanilla

Postby cogitator » Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:19 pm

Your mini-rant is on point. While I do agree that the ponies are the most extreme example I've gotten to the point that, in most cases, I barely even read the text or consider my chances because I know all the events. Either way, point taken!

As for your other points:
1) agreed, changed. On this topic, is it possible to have different rewards depending on defence drone level?
2) Well that is an interesting point. For now I plan to leave it as is. The asteroid event is unique in each sector so your chances of encountering it aren't that high. You'll need level 3 scanners to find the pod too and though it may be a personal preference I rarely go past level 2. Additionally, you'll still have to luck out, find a zoltan sector with the right event, then hope that the rock homeworld spawns in sectors 5-7. Also, the original stasis pod event only has a 1/3 chance of success without rock plating. I've played the game many many times and not managed to unlock the crystal ship.

Thanks for the feedback though, it is truly appreciated!

Also, is it possible to grant your crew members experience through events?
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Icehawk78
Posts: 230
Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:55 pm

Re: [MOD][WIP] Extra scoop of vanilla

Postby Icehawk78 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:48 pm

cogitator wrote:As for your other points:
1) agreed, changed. On this topic, is it possible to have different rewards depending on defence drone level?


I think so - not tested/verified, but I'd try to see if you can say req="DEFENSE_2", which is the name of the Defense Drone Mk II.

cogitator wrote:2) Well that is an interesting point. For now I plan to leave it as is. The asteroid event is unique in each sector so your chances of encountering it aren't that high. You'll need level 3 scanners to find the pod too and though it may be a personal preference I rarely go past level 2. Additionally, you'll still have to luck out, find a zoltan sector with the right event, then hope that the rock homeworld spawns in sectors 5-7. Also, the original stasis pod event only has a 1/3 chance of success without rock plating. I've played the game many many times and not managed to unlock the crystal ship.

No worries, like I said, that's mostly personal preference - I know a lot of people who were complaining about the exact opposite (that it's currently already too luck-dependent), so I don't think it's necessarily a bad change (and as you said, it's an expense above and beyond what's normally used, so unless you're going on a crystal hunt, it's not too much more overpowered, other than that you could pump up the sensors on the Stealth Ship and have two of the primary components (guaranteed pod upon finding it, and the ability to scout out upcoming stars to aid the search to unlock the pod).

cogitator wrote:Also, is it possible to grant your crew members experience through events?

Nope. (Well, not with XML mods like yours. According to swixel, there are alternate, much less accessible, methods, which can allow you to do much more, but those aren't publicly released and aren't easily useable/creatable yet.)
cogitator
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Re: [MOD][WIP] Extra scoop of vanilla

Postby cogitator » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:02 am

Continuing with my random questions, although I do see several ways to define damage types and specify systems damage, is there a way to cause a random hull breach? I suspect this is not the case (the madman with explosives would have been perfect for this) but I am just curious.
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cogitator
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Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 1:04 pm

Re: [MOD][WIP] Extra scoop of vanilla

Postby cogitator » Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:39 am

Additional tid bits before bed. On a side note, this mod may add 'darker' options because some of the weapons beg the option.

There are some new mercenary encounter options that give you a random crewman but without guarantees! They are a bit cheap though. Sadly there is not a way to track specific crew members (xml based), I'd love to have the chance for them to leave later. New encounter texts too!

Code: Select all

   <choice>
      <text>One of the crew would side with you for... "the right price".</text>
      <event>
         <text>For a modest fee, one of the mercenaries joins your crew. Obviously he was poorly paid on the other ship. He'd also leave you in a heartbeat for a better contract.</text>
            <item_modify>
            <item type="scrap" min="-35" max="-55"/>
            </item_modify>
         <crewmember amount="1"/>
      </event>
   </choice>


You can use your anti-bio beam (by all descriptions a terrifying burn-ey death ray) as well as your mantis crew to scare the settlers into compliance during the settlement blockade event. What is more terrifying than a giant f***ing mantis disemboweling people? Not much. Maybe vaporization by some sort of death ray.

Code: Select all

   <choice hidden="true" req="BEAM_BIO">
      <text>(Anti-Bio Beam) Power up the anti-bio beam. The settlers won't stand a chance.</text>
      <event>
         <text>With the pirate watching, you power up the anti-bio weapon. Each burst incinerates innocent settlers by the dozen with no regard for age or gender. By the time you are done, little remains of the settlers besides carbonized dust. The pirates send you a tribute in hopes of being spared the same fate.</text>
         <autoReward level="HIGH">stuff</autoReward>
         <autoReward level="LOW>weapon</autoreward>
      </event>
   </choice>
   <choice hidden="true" req="mantis">
      <text>(Mantis crew) Send a recording of your mantis crew member in action. It is gorey and there may be evisceration involved - you've yet to make it the whole way through.</text>
         <event>
            <text>"Such brutality and savagery! I can barely stand to watch. Please, I don't want any of my countrymen to suffer the same fate! We surrender!"</text>
            <autoReward level="HIGH">stuff</autoReward>
         </event>
   </choice>


Finally, some more random options added to friendly ship fuel requests, largely for a bigger variety of reward types. Some med scrap, an augment if you are real lucky (not the stasis pod), occasional other goodies.

Till tomorrow, when I'm awake and caffeinated...
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Kieve
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Re: [MOD][WIP] Extra scoop of vanilla

Postby Kieve » Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:59 am

I love the concept behind this. Lurking for now, but will keep a close eye on any release info. ;)
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Re: [MOD][WIP] Extra scoop of vanilla

Postby splette » Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:24 am

same here
Icehawk78
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Re: [MOD][WIP] Extra scoop of vanilla

Postby Icehawk78 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:55 pm

cogitator wrote:Continuing with my random questions, although I do see several ways to define damage types and specify systems damage, is there a way to cause a random hull breach? I suspect this is not the case (the madman with explosives would have been perfect for this) but I am just curious.

Don't think so.
cogitator
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Re: [MOD][WIP] Extra scoop of vanilla

Postby cogitator » Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:30 pm

And work continues onwards. I'm about 25% done with the main events file. At this point I think I'll release beta for bug testing when I'm done with the main events file. The other sectors - zoltan, nebula etc - I'll tackle individually. I'm thinking as far as release is concerned, I'm planning to release each sector seperately, then the whole set as one big pack. That way players can pick if there are any they don't want to use.

So, a few goodies from today... some new friendly stranded ship text. New rewards not shown.

Code: Select all

   <text>"I feel silly. Have you ever jumped without checking your fuel first?" You can't help but feel a certain kinship with this captain.</text>
   <text>There is a small ship at the beacon. "Oh thank the Makers! I thought we would have to start eating each other to survive. Please, we just need fuel to jump once more!"</text>
   <text>"Drive units operating at minimal efficiency. Operating at sub-FTL speeds only. Please assist."</text>
   <text>The ship at this beacon was forced to eject their fuel supply to avoid a catastrophic cascade reaction in the FTL drive. "Repairs are complete but we have no fuel. Can you spare enough for a jump?</text>
   <text>"If there is one lesson to be learned here, it's 'never gamble with a Slug'. Could you, uh, spot us a fuel cell... or three? We've got a pool going and odds are 3:1 against."</text>


Work on the pirate-chasing civilian encounter... (there are some other goodies not listed here)

Code: Select all

   <choice>
      <text>Demand a bribe to "look the other way".</text>
      <event>The pirate chuckles over the comm link. "Ah, you're in it for the loot too? I have a contract on this target. I'll pay you 60 scrap to mind your own business."
         <choice>Accept the bribe.
            <event>
               <text>You accept the bribe. You feel a twinge of guilt, but you shake it off. Your mission must succeed, at any cost...</text>
               <item_modify>
               <item type="scrap" amount="60"/>
               </item_modify>
            </event>
         </choice>
         <choice>
            <text>If the pirate has a contract on this ship, there rebels are probably behind it. You refuse the bribe.</text>
               <event>
                  <text>"Weapons hot! Prepare for combat!" The shields flicker to life and klaxons sound the general alarm.</text>
                  <ship load="PIRATE_CIVILIAN" hostile="true"/>
               </event>
         </choice>
      </event>
   </choice>


I've worked in some new things on the madman encounter too. One with an imaginary family that ends in tragedy hehehe...

Looking through the code I've come up with a new question for you smart people out there. Sometimes in the code there is a choice hidden tag that does not seem to actually hide the choice. For example, in the stranded man encounter, the family option is hidden. Now that I think about it, I can't remember if I've ever seen the return-to-family quest. Can anyone clarify this for me?

Code: Select all

<eventList name="STRANDED">
   <event>
      <text>You find a colony that seems to have been recently attacked. Exploring the devastation, you find a lone survivor.</text>
      <choice>
         <text>Invite him to join your crew.</text>
         <event>
            <text>He happily offers his services for a time in exchange for "getting off that rock".</text>
            <crewMember amount="1">Charlie</crewMember>
         </event>
      </choice>
      <choice hidden="true">
         <text>Take him home to his family on a nearby planet in this system</text>
         <event load="FAMILY_RETURN"/>
      </choice>
   </event>


That's it for now, chaps. Till next time!
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