NOTE: This mod is for all intents and purposes, finished. The Bablyon 5 ships included in this mod where really just placeholders while I got some experience working with this engine and Lightwave, and now that I have it, I'm going a different direction. Thanks to the Buda 5 project members for the use of there ships.
I hope you all enjoy this. There should be no major bugs or problems, but I cannot really say for certain having only tested it myself in one go through with the single player campaign.
Welcome to Assembly Mod.
This mod is a compilation of other released I-War 2 mods in addition to my own work. Credit for contributed material is given at the end of this text.
There are now 24 new ships inhabiting the I-War 2 universe, including three new playable ships. All existing ships types are preserved. The new ships where added in some of the places where existing ship graphics where being repeated for a different role. To see all the new ships you will need to play the single player campaign from the beginning. Also, some ships may not show up unless you threaten various faction's stations.
One of the new player ships is the "Pinguin", a converted merchant freighter. This ship brings into play both freighter, gunship, and carrier ship elements. I believe it is balanced well enough to be used in the single player campaign. This ship replaces your Tug, and the Tug is no longer available. Also available is an Interceptor class ship similar to the Storm Petrel. It mounts medium weapons like a normal Interceptor and replaces the Command Section. It will become available after arriving to Lucrecia's Base in ACT 0. The Pinguin will become available in ACT 1. Both ships sport new visual and audio effects, and new skins in addition to their configuration changes and optimizations. The last playable ship is the REM Drone, which is based on the Babylon 5 EA Thunderbolt.
A few weapons which where included in the game, but where not used have been activated, and there also two additional weapon types.
This add-on was designed to interact well with iFleet and current UniGUI based mods, as well of those by Particle Systems. The custom Jafs mod is required for Jaf's version of the Pinguin. No other combinations have been tested, and any mods which replace player or NPC ships will likely not work together with Assembly MOD.
Please back up your save game files before using this mod, and be aware that saved games made with Assembly MOD active may not work without the mod activated.
/// STORYLINE: (Ok, it's really bad, but, it's something.)
An up and coming starship manufacturing company CEO is introduced to an old television show called Bablyon 5. Impressed with the ships he sees in that show, he encourages his design team to come up with a new line of ships based on his discoveries. He secures contracts with the both military and civilian organizations and begins manufacturing in earnest. However, all is not as it appears, and his interest in alien technologies and ship designs lead to a number of secret prototypes developed for less savory customers.
Enter Cal Johnston. Not wanting the extra attention one gets flying around in a war ship, he begins work on a converted merchant freighter which can act as flagship for his new pirate fleet. In the spirit of armed merchant cruisers from the past, he comes up with the Pinguin. From a distance and on scanners, this vessel appears like a normal freighter, and any armed escort which accompanies it will not be seen as unusual.
"Pinguin" Privateer Freighter
This ship is named after the WWII German Armed Merchant Cruiser (AMC) of the same name. The namesake was a warship disguised as a merchant ship, and a famous raider during that war. It has a long list of exploits, including sinking numerous merchant and navy ships in addition to capturing a large prize fleet.
This vessel is a standard NS-FR100 City class freighter converted to function as light carrier/gunship. The freighter comes equipped with two universal dock ports in addition to six dedicated cargo pod dock ports.
The Pinguin has three LDA shields (fore, mid, and aft), and two Pulse PBC Turrets which have a combined firing arc of the entire space around the ship. It also has two countermeasure mounts, two missile mounts, three heavy weapon hardpoints, and two pylons suitable for T-Fighters. Although well armed, this ship is a large target with limited maneuverability. It is faster and more agile then a typical City class freighter, but cannot outturn most military ships and has some difficulty evading high velocity weapons. It also has a fair bit of inertia.
The Pinguin is best used a light carrier vessel and a long range heavy and missile weapons platform. It has a hidden internal fighter bay which holds two REM Drone Fighters. Drones may be piloted from its on board control center, and its very low signature hull plating allows it to stay safely hidden while deploying these drones and/or Turret Fighters.
The Pinguin comes in two configurations, with a sister ship developed especially for Jafs. His version is designed for hauling heavy cargo loads, and unlike typical City class freighters which hold 10 pods, it can hold 15 cargo pods. It is unshielded, and unarmed as Jafs won't go anywhere which he thinks is dangerous, and won't use weapons even if he has them.
To enable Jaf's version of the Penguin, you need to have the Custom Jafs mod, and you should setup your flux.ini file to read:
jafs_ship = ini:/sims/ships/player/pinguin_jafs
The Makwa is a more modern version of the VS-IN01 Storm Petrel Interceptor (as compared to Lucrecia's old ship). It has a custom paint job to match the Pinguin and additional mountpoints for various ship components such as sensor jammers and even a capsule drive. True to it's original specs, the Makwa has four standard light hardpoints and one medium hardpoint. It replaces the Command Section at your base, and should be compatible with missions which requires that ship. This ship is of course much too small to equip Turret Fighters.
Makwa is Ojibwe for bear.
This is a remote pilotable drone designed for use with the Pinguin. About half the size of a Turret Fighter, it has little room onboard for extras, and as such does not support LDA shielding, LDS drives, or of course, a capsule drive. It is equipped with two Light Assault Cannons preconfigured for chain fire and a Communication Laser. Performance is roughly equivalent to a REM Fighter, but this ship is smaller and harder to target. This is good, as a single heavy weapon hit can easily penetrate it's weak armor.
The drone is based on the EA Thunderbolt ship from Babylon 5. When launched, it will activate a limited AI which follows it's parent ship and fire on hostiles within range. It can be used in this fashion as a short defensive drone. To be truly effecitve however, it must be remotely piloted. If it falls too far out of range of the Pinguin and it is not currently being remote piloted, it will self destruct. You may dock the drone to the Pinguin to transport it after deployment.
At this time, you have a limitless supply of drones, and they can be considered disposable, although the Pinguin can only carry two drones at one time. You must return to base to replace destroyed drones. This may change in the future to be a manufactured item. It should be noted that drones are not intelligent enough to receive wingman commands.
"Light Assault Cannon"
I added this weapon for fighter class ships to help distinguish them from larger ships. Similar to a regular Assault Cannon, but smaller and less powerful. This weapon does as much damage as a PBC, but will only pierce as much armor as a Light PBC. The bullet travels faster then both a Light PBC and a PBC, and so it is more accurate against agile targets. However, this weapon has a slower fire rate then either. It is now standard equipment on most fighters in either a single or dual configuration.
"REM Drone Launcher"
This activates the REM Drones in the Pinguin's fighter bay. It is fired like a missile. For more information look at the description for the REM Drone.
/// OTHER CHANGES:
-- I have added animated thrusters to the new player versions of the Interceptor and they have improved audio effects thanks to Qlippoth's Q-Storm mod and Jason Miller's Lights Sound Enhancement.
-- Aggressor shields have been equipped on a few AI ships which should be able to equip them
-- Marauders have received a considerable upgrade, including one type of ships with attached turret fighters. Some Marauders now travel with drone fighter ships to provide covering fire and distraction.
-- This mod contains a great deal of graphical and audio work, however I don't have an old copy of Lightwave, and this appears to be a requirement for modeling in this game. Therefore, those graphical additions, tweaks, etc above and beyond the work already done in included mods was done with Photoshop, Notepad, and Calculator, so please be forgiving of my hacks jobs.
-- There are a lot more fighters in the game. They tend to pack only light weaponry, and are poorly armored and unshielded. They are however, rather difficult to hit and difficult to avoid.
-- Corvettes, tugs, capital ships, etc seem too weak in comparison to fighters due to the fact that larger ships have similar damage output (equipping similar weaponry), but are much easier to target and destroy with player weapons. To compensate this, most ships other then fighters have up to double their original armor points. This I think makes the game more interesting, and disabling individual ship systems becomes more of a viable strategic option. Fighters on the other hand, while hard to hit, can usually be taken out with a few shots or even a single Deadshot missile.
-- Buda 5 Mod changes: I have not included a number of their new weapons due to some inherit visibility problems with their rendering methods (limitations in the I-War engine..), and I don't want to risk the balance of the single player game with too many untested weapons. Also, many are troublesome for the AI ships to fire and are best used by the player. Last, I don't have a method to allow the player to purchase newly added weapons.
Buda 5 ships which I have included are heavily modified in some cases. All ships now have audio effects of some sort, and performance and equipment more inline with the rest of I-War ships and the role that they play. Ini files have been sorted out and setup files have been tweaked. Things like new dockports, adjusted weapon and system mount locations, etc, have been implemented as necessary.
-- Most ships are revamped in regards to weaponry, and many ships are now equipped with beam weapons, even communication lasers. The comms laser was indicated in the encyclopedia as a common last resort weapon, and as such was implemented in many ships. It is however improved in that it can penetrate more armor (it now causes damage instead of being a short range plate warmer). You will also find a much larger variety of missiles and rockets being employed by the AI, even mining charges and remote missiles. In its default state the Edge of Chaos game uses only a small percentage of the available weaponry. Pretty much all available technology is used by NPC ships in this revamp. Hard to obtain technology is of course much more rarely equiped.
New weapon out-fitting in consistent with the encyclopedia descriptions and original designs. You will see a lot of new AI strategies in play now, and ships are perhaps more like how you might expect them to be. This probably also adds to the CPU requirements of the game, but I believe it makes a better simulation.
-- This mod also includes a custom reticle.
-- Asteroid and debris fields are more dense and have larger sizes.
-- This mod was partially designed with iFleet in mind. The Pinguin makes an excellent way to transport ships which are unable to capsule jump or are stuck for various reasons. It has enough to power to move many of the largest capital ships.
-- Turret Fighters are equipped with dual Light Assault Cannons instead of a Light PBC. You may still equip an additional medium weapon and missiles. Turret Fighters are also now a little faster so that they may catch Navy and Marauder fighters.
-- Some otherwise unarmed ships are now armed with light defensive weapons such as point defenses and communication lasers. They may use them if attacked, but civilian pilots will rarely put up a fight. Except for fuel transporter captains. They would rather go down fighting.
-- Fixed a number of game bugs. This is mostly things like systems and weapons mounted to the wrong or nonexistent mountpoints, setup file mistakes, shields misaligned, turrets floating in space above ships or upside down, and weapons which where not implemented or broken.
WARNING: The direct front of most heavy capital ships is definately not a place you want to be. They have very heavy forward facing long range weaponry as originally intended.
-- LDS Drives are more easily damaged, and freighters take longer to ramp up their LDS drive.
-- The VS-101C Cutter Class Corvette now has a dual PBC turret like it is supposed to have. It is a fair bit more deadly.
-- Put a couple smaller capital ships on patrol routes.
-- Improved graphics and effects on a few I-War ship types, such as the Tug
-- Other small tweaks have been made, I'll update this readme at a later date to make sure I've included everything.
This mod is zipped under maximum compression to reduce its download size. It is probably best to unzip the contents into your /<install dir>/mods directory in a folder named "Assembly". This will save the game engine from having to unzip this large file while playing.
Activate the mod with the "Extras" menu option in the game after installed.
Delete the file (or files if you unzipped it). These files are additions and overrides to what is already in the game. No game files are modified as long as you install into your /<install dir>/mods directory.
/// KNOWN ISSUES:
Your turret fighters get a kick out of trying to shoot between the gaps of the nose and spine of the Pinguin. This does not always look graphically correct.
The vertical fin on the Pinguin is a projection of light, not a solid object. It will not collide or interfere with any real objects, but is more of a guide to indicate the height of cargo pods mounted on the top of this ship.
Some material from other mods in included, however since the majority of included files have been again heavily modified, you cannot drop in the original or future versions on those mods without breaking this mod. If something interesting comes up, and you would like it added to this mod, drop me a note.
The name for the Pinguin ship was borrowed from the Heavy Corvette's name place. They will both have the same name now. This is because I cannot use the Tug simulation type for the the Pinguin as it won't have rotating turrets. Probably the more logical choice then is to have the Pinguin replace the Heavy Corvette, but then it would not be available at a point in the game which I would like it to be.
-The Pinguin's turret graphics can stop rotating sometimes. If this happens, just reload from your autosave and relaunch. If this doesn't work, remove and readd your turret fighter. This seems to be a bug in the game engine somewhere.
This comes "as is" with no statement of suitability or fitness for any purpose other then taking up space. On my computer it is pretty benign, however, your computer may spontaneously combust or start speaking in tongues. I can hold no responsibility for this. Make sure you make backups of your saved game files if you want to play it safe.
/// NOTES AND CREDITS:
I hope you enjoy this. If I have time I'll keep working on it, but I may not have too much time for this going forward as I have begun work on a few new projects.
My thanks to the following people: (I hope I got everyone, please let me know if I am missing someone).
DarkRift - Beam Turrets
SimonDR - Centauri Sentri Fighter, Drakh Fighter, EA Atmospheric Shuttle, Starfury, PSI Corps Shuttle
EA Hyperion, EA Omega, EA Thunderbolt, ISA Excalibur, Maintenance Fury, Minbari Sharlin
Raider Fighter, Shadow Fighter, Vorlon Fighter, Whitestar, Vree Xorr Saucer
LogicSequence - EA Hyperion
R2D2 - EA Thunderbolt
CptWhite - Minbari Sharlin
The Claw - G'Quan Heavy Cruiser, Narn Frazi Fighter
Indie - Ideas regarding NPC weapon loadouts, Narn Frazi Fighter
Jason Miller - Lights and sound changes to a few ships
Qlippoth - Thruster audio fixes
Upminder - UFO ship and fighter
Fiso - Vree Xill Saucer
That's about it.