How to add/edit a ship
Two entity types you should know for adding or editing a ship are CapitalShip and Frigate. The CapitalShip and Frigate are very similar in terms of content with a few structural differences we'll hit below.
CapitalShip (example CAPITALSHIP_RACE1BATTLESHIP.entity)
Frigate (example FrigateRace1Heavy.entity)
How to change my ships description and icons?
mainViewIcon - (Race_Unit_Main.tga)
This is the icon displayed in the gravity well when zoomed out far enough to make the ship mesh to small to see. These icons are typically 28x28 for ships and structures and 39x39 for star bases. To change an icon simply open the Race_Unit_Main.tga and place the 28x28 replacement icon in the same location for the entity modified.
picture - (Race_Unit_Picture.tga)
This picture displays in the bottom hud when entities are selected.
hudIcon - (Race_Unit_Hud_Normal.tga, Race_Unit_Hud_CursorOver.tga, Race_Unit_Hud_Disabled.tga, Race_Unit_Hud_Pressed.tga)
This is the icon displayed in the frigate factory, capital ship factory, module construction and tactical construction hud. The how to add a research button tutorial listed as a reference above goes into more details on how to add a new icon.
smallHudIcon - (Race_Unit_Main.tga)
This is the icon displayed in the empire tree.
infoCardIcon - (Race_Unit_Infocard.tga)
This is the icon displayed when hovering over planet summaries either from the empire tree or when zoomed out with planets. These icons are 22x22 pixels.
NameStringID and DescriptionStringID (English.str)
These entries are easily changed to reflect your new race by Searching for the Eglish.str entry and modifying the value associated.
Does my ship bomb?
If you ship is a planet bombardment vessel this value should be set to true.
* note: The bombEffectsDef is the same as the WeaponEffectsDef.
* note: hasBombingLevels is used when frigates are created from abilities "createFrigate" allowing increased damage per level of ability.
How much does my ship cost?
Configure ship cost is a combination of basePrice, slotCount and BuildTime. The basePrice follows the standard Cost structure. The slotCount for CapitalShips is generally set to 50 for base sins and the BuildTime is set to 75 seconds. Frigates are race dependant although there is some balance to the overall costs that you may wish to achieve.
* suggestion: Start with balancing cost/dps, cost/supply, cost/experience, cost/hull, etc for your new race with the TECH equivalent.
How do I set the base ships stats?
This is an area where CapitalShips and Frigates have obvious differences. For one CapitalShips support leveling by experience while Frigates do not. Most of the values are self explanatory, however CommandPoints and maxNumCommandPoints are used to determine the available amount of strikecraft squadrons supported by your ship.
CapitalShips support the following:
Frigates support the following:
note: hasLevels, hasWeaponLevels is similar to hasBombingLevels in that it only takes affect when the frigate is created from an ability with levels.
How to edit weapons?
NumWeapons is used to control the number of available weapons on the entity. It is constrained from 0-3 meaning you can have a MAX of 3 weapons on the entity.
I've debated how to best explain adding weapons and have decided on the following...
Don't over complicate it!
The best way to add a weapon is decide what type of weapon you want (i.e. weaponClassType) and copy the weapon and weaponEffectDef from an existing entity reference file matching what you want. The only values you should resonably have to change following this approach is the DamagePerBank, Range and PreBuffCooldownTime.
For example if I want to add a Missile to a frigate the easist way to make sure the values are right is to copy the Weapon and WeaponEffectsDef from either the TECH LRM or the Vasari Assailant (LRF). Some effects are scaled for the ship type so it would make sense to look in a similar class for the weapon type and effects you want.
How to add squads?
All frigates, capital ships and hangar bays support a max of four types of squads. Squads typically require anti-matter to regenerate on frigates and hangar bays but require no anti-matter on capital ships and star bases.
CommandPoints controls the base level of squads supported by the capital shipa and the additional squads per level. A per level growth of .5 would mean an additional squad every 2 levels.
The maxNumCommandPoints controls the number of squads supported by the frigate.
* Note: Squads require at least one Hangar point be assigned to the mesh.
* Note: If squads are entered maxNumCommandPoints should be > 0 for frigates and CommandPoints should be greater than 0 for each level for capital ships but may start at less than one.
How to set abilities?
Abilities are set either at the top of the file for CapitalShips or near the bottom of the file for Frigates. How to create abilities will be covered in another section, but, be careful the ability is meant for your race as any research prerequisites referenced may prevent the ability from working if the research is not included with your race.
* Note: While five abilities are supported for each type, the fifth CapitalShip ability will be hidden by the upgrade button requiring it to be passive or set to always autocast.