I've spent countless hours pouring over all of the modifiers for this game in an effort to create some unique gameplay elements for my mod, but, as creative and open-minded as I've gotten, there are just some small bits of coding missing that would make life so much easier.
For instance, I've been trying to figure out how to give a single weapon type an antimatter cost and the ability to be turned on and off (while all other weapons on the ship remain active). The antimatter cost is simple, but being able to switch a weapon off at will to conserve antimatter is another matter entirely. This could easily be done if there were modifiers that allowed me to adjust the range of physical and energy weapons separately, rather than ALL weapons together, but I certainly wouldn't say no to a firing constraint linked to an ability either.
I have a couple of other ideas for extensions of current modifiers that I think would make the game even more modder-friendly and will most likely be simple to add into another patch (assuming it's coming). My question is how and to whom do I propose the ideas in a way that will help them be accepted?
Would it be easier if we, as the current community of SoaSE modders, worked to create a list of the most desired adjustments or additions (with the amount being WELL within reason: no more than 4 or 5, for instance)? That way we could decide what would be the most useful to us once support is finally withdrawn completely from Ironclad. I'd certainly be willing to organize a project like that; I'm just not sure how to go about bringing it to the developer's attention.
I'll begin the list and make adjustments as people make suggestions and discuss. I'd like to keep it manageable and realistic, but I also think we should entertain all options.
- Weapon-based abilities can use directional banks/orientation just like weapon points. This would be for unique abilities that aren't meant to be used constantly and function as weapons in terms of directional orientation.
- Add the Instant Action "SpawnCapitalShip" and/or "SpawnCapitalShipAtTarget".
- Use ship roletypes/statcounttypes as target constraints.
- Split the entity modifiers "WeaponRange" and "DisableWeapons" so that physical and energy weapons can be affected separately.
- Utilize the secondary mesh option in the entity file by having an ability that can alter a ship's mesh between two different models (as opposed to the permanent alterations that accompany research or starbase upgrades).
- Add a firing constraint that allows a weapon to be turned on/off at will through the use of an ability.
- Create an option that auto-docks fighter/bomber squadrons when no enemy is around (intended to save RAM). OR, simply give us access to the ability files that govern this feature.
- Have constructors dock inside a ship factory while not being used (intended to save RAM).
- Once official support of the game has ended, release some or all of the hard-coded scripting so that people in the modding community with the know-how, willingness, and time have the option to make many of these adjustments for themselves.