Author Topic: Will using only the spire stuff and the ark be viable?  (Read 1976 times)

Offline WolfWhiteFire

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Will using only the spire stuff and the ark be viable?
« on: November 18, 2016, 04:09:20 PM »
So one of the things I was most excited about for the game was the ability to play the spire as their own faction. But now, if the stretch goal succeeds, the spire will just be a colony ship you get at the start of the game along with the ark, and spire stuff will be expensive still, I don't know if you can get special things for spire to increase your income to help with that though. I was wanting to play Spire as it's own faction, not just as a supporting force to my human stuff, which is what that sounds like. Especially since it attracts a lot of AI attention. Will it be viable to play pretty much only using spire stuff and your Ark for hacking and stuff?

Offline Cinth

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Re: Will using only the spire stuff and the ark be viable?
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2016, 04:13:35 PM »
Will it be viable to play pretty much only using spire stuff and your Ark for hacking and stuff?

Will 100% depend on how the Spire are balanced. 
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline x4000

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Re: Will using only the spire stuff and the ark be viable?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2016, 04:16:00 PM »
I can't speak to this directly -- Keith will be along -- but he had some explanations on why that change.  Basically it isn't a whole second game mode that has to be balanced independently that way.  And I think his reasoning is sound.

THAT SAID, given the modding support here, someone could 100% for sure come in and make a "spire only" mod.  They wouldn't really even have to add much in the way of ships.  That would be a pain in the rear to keep balanced I imagine, but as a mod that would be their problem, not ours. ;)  Balancing one game is hard enough, let alone a lot of fragmenting ones.

Anyway, so whatever Keith's answer is, modding is absolutely a viable way to get what you want (whether you actually make the mod or someone else does).  Heck I might be tempted to make that mod myself, in an unofficial capacity.  Others would have to maintain it, but I'd have the ball started at least.  Someone else will probably beat me to it, though, and that's fine -- better for me to focus on other things.
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Offline x4000

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Re: Will using only the spire stuff and the ark be viable?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2016, 04:16:56 PM »
Will it be viable to play pretty much only using spire stuff and your Ark for hacking and stuff?

Will 100% depend on how the Spire are balanced.

That's not quite true in the current design.  From the Q&A:

Q: So if the spire stretch goal is hit, will it be not a new race so much as the humans and spire working together like in the first game?

Keith: On my phone right now, but yes: Spire gameplay will be a Spire/Human alliance like in classic. The difference is that you start together and can get to the different gameplay faster, which was one of the main goals of the separate-from-lobby model.

Ultimately the separate model involves a lot more balancing (now and whenever we expand the game) and a lot more art to do right.

It would have been a lot more like defender mode than fallen spire in impact on the game. The latter was much more successful.

Chris: Fun fact is that I was implementing defender mode back while he was doing fallen spire. When I say you guys are in good hands with him as the lead designer, I bloody well mean it. ;)
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Offline Cinth

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Re: Will using only the spire stuff and the ark be viable?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2016, 04:18:53 PM »
That's not quite true in the current design.

Chris, you can play with just spire ships in classic.  That's what I based that comment on.
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline x4000

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Re: Will using only the spire stuff and the ark be viable?
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2016, 04:20:25 PM »
That's not quite true in the current design.

Chris, you can play with just spire ships in classic.  That's what I based that comment on.

I suppose that's based on how you interpret it, sure.  If you're referring to just bonus ships, yeah.  I was thinking support ships and all that.  But now I understand!
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Offline Cinth

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Re: Will using only the spire stuff and the ark be viable?
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2016, 04:26:15 PM »
I suppose that's based on how you interpret it, sure.  If you're referring to just bonus ships, yeah.  I was thinking support ships and all that.  But now I understand!

Bonus ships, Spirecraft + Fallen Spire make a great fleet.  Yeah, my vision of the Spire playable is DoA with the first kickstarter.
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline x4000

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Re: Will using only the spire stuff and the ark be viable?
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2016, 04:28:40 PM »
I suppose that's based on how you interpret it, sure.  If you're referring to just bonus ships, yeah.  I was thinking support ships and all that.  But now I understand!

Bonus ships, Spirecraft + Fallen Spire make a great fleet.  Yeah, my vision of the Spire playable is DoA with the first kickstarter.

Right.  Which is a huge bummer, but I see the logic behind that switch.  I hope to see some awesome mods in that direction, and would be willing to throw some free artwork that way if someone does that sort of thing.  :P
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Offline WolfWhiteFire

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Re: Will using only the spire stuff and the ark be viable?
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2016, 04:34:02 PM »
I am kind of wary of using the mods this game could add since it seems like the dll mods can be dangerous, but if a mod making sure it is viable comes out, I might try that, after it becomes clear that it is safe that is (when a fair amount of people have downloaded it and decided it's safe. If there is no indicator I might have to make a thread about it later or something). Or maybe I could try to learn how to mod the game myself, I plan to learn how to mod eventually. Maybe for the modding you could set up a sort of list of mods that have been proven safe (either managed by Arcen Games or the people on the forums), though I guess they could be changed to be not so safe later.

Offline x4000

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Re: Will using only the spire stuff and the ark be viable?
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2016, 04:36:05 PM »
dll mods wouldn't be needed for this at all, this one could be done just through XML alone.  We can probably make the dll mods enforce safety anyhow from the sounds of things, but even without that assurance this one would just be data and possibly art and thus would be safe.
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Offline WolfWhiteFire

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Re: Will using only the spire stuff and the ark be viable?
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2016, 04:42:25 PM »
Could you please clarify the difference between dll and xml for me then? If that is the case then it seems I misunderstood the differences and what each could do.

Offline tadrinth

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Re: Will using only the spire stuff and the ark be viable?
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2016, 06:39:24 PM »
XML lets you edit unit definitions, including whether ships are enabled by default for the player (that's one of the properties in the definition).  Ergo, you can use XML to disable all the regular ships, and set a bunch of awesome spire ships to be unlocked by default.  Or, you could make all the starting ships super-low-cap so they feel more like Spire ships.  You can only edit properties that the existing game code knows to look for, though.

DLLs let you add new logic to the game; you could do things like add new map generation logic that way, as I understand it.  For example, in AIW1, I wanted to change the way Hybrid Hive Spawners were generated to be more independent of map size.  Since I wanted to change the map-gen logic, that would have to be a DLL rather than XML. 

Offline Tridus

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Re: Will using only the spire stuff and the ark be viable?
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2016, 06:45:30 PM »
Could you please clarify the difference between dll and xml for me then? If that is the case then it seems I misunderstood the differences and what each could do.

XML modding is a text file that contains data in a specific format (XML). The game reads that text file in, parses it, and then goes. That lets someone create new ship data, modify existing ship data, and such. The important bit is that it's just data that an XML parser reads. No code is executed. Barring an error in coding that leads to an exploit, this should pose no security risk to your computer at all as nothing is being executed. The base game itself has its data in XML files, so it reads these mods the same way it reads those.

DLL modding is a compiled assembly, probably (but not necessarily) written in C# that the game loads and calls functions in. Because it's executing code, if it's not sandboxed by the game, it has access to your entire system at the same privilege that the game itself has. Under a properly configured Windows 7+ installation, that means it's running with user permissions and can do things like see your documents, but can't do something like install a rootkit without using a privilege escalation exploit against Windows itself. On improperly configured Windows 7+ installations (admin account with UAC disabled) and most XP installations, the mod could run as Administrator, and thus do ANYTHING.

Properly sandboxed, DLL mods have much more heavily restricted access to the system and are reasonably safe. If there is an error in the sandbox or if it's not in place, those mods can do anything that any program you download online can do, and thus are only safe if you know the author can be trusted and the DLL hasn't been tampered with (ie: code signed).

If you are concerned about security, stick to XML mods only. They're safe by design, barring some kind of exploitable bug in the game itself, which given the state of .net XML parsing and string handling, should be extremely unlikely.

Offline WolfWhiteFire

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Re: Will using only the spire stuff and the ark be viable?
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2016, 06:53:13 PM »
Thanks, the explanation is appreciated. I thought xml was only for stuff like graphics and dll was for other stuff, now I understand it. Kind of weird how I thought it was only for graphic sort of stuff when I now remember that before I read that it can modify existing data but not add new data.