Gameplay and combat:
Smilar to the previous CMOD, this is probably the biggest part of CMod3. Both Small and Large changes make a huge difference to game play. I first discovered this with Dynamic combat 1, where it was mentioned that the A.I. had become more efficient somehow in respect to combat.
The purpose here is changing weapons to compliment both the A.I. behavior, and the feel of combat. The result is longer, more satisfying and intense combat. While damage factors have been reduced greatly nothing feels underpowered. Damage still scales from light weapons to heavy, however, each weapon has its own advantages so you'll no longer instantly reach for Biggest Gun as the weapon of choice.
- Heavy weapon turrets turn rate greatly increased, no more mouse thrashing to turn 10 degrees left, etc etc.
- Hull damage reduced overall, shield loss is not Game Over. Hull lasts long enough to jumpdrive.
- Shield damage adjusted, longer battles, weapons fit specific roles, less insta-kill I.S./O.O.S.
- Overall rate of fire decreased, bullet velocity increased, Enemies are more dangerous because of this.
- Capship heavy weapons damage readjusted, Capship battles last minutes, not seconds.
- Weapon types all have advantages and defined roles. Heavier not necessarily better.
- IRE damage increased, take down M3 in an M5 without struggling with energy lvls - if you have the talent.
- Weapon energy requirements lessened, capable of longer sustained fire, persuing ships will rarely break away.
- Range of most weapons increased significantly.
- Plasma Burst Generator damage scaled to balanced levels.
- Mass driver, slower fire rate, more damage to reduce ammo burning.
- Missiles are very effective, high speed or countermeasures are essential to avoid most missiles.
- Shield rates Improved, Regenerate quickly enough to recover in combat with evasive maneuvers.
Weapon conversions (most significant changes)
- Weapon conversion: Teladi Gauss Cannon now hyper velocity long range anti-capship weapon with particle trail.
- Weapon conversion: Ion shard railgun now hyper velovity anti fighter weapon
- Weapon conversion: Frag. Bomb launcher now very short range flak weapon, low fire rate very high damage, effective on rear turrets.
- Weapon conversion: Ion pulse generator, shield breaker weapon with immobilizing ability. Effective against corvettes + Frigates
- Weapon conversion: Ion Cannon, now beam weapon with ability to immobilize ships, strip shields and weapons energy. efftctive for captures.
One of the first things I did here was look at why TC sometimes runs like 3 legged dog during combat, there are many lag inducing effects that need to be addressed and I'm not happy, I know people worked hard on the development of TC but this is a major oversight. A 3 year old game engine should not require a next gen system to run smoothly. That said, this is my *only* complaint with TC, the game itself is pure gold and improves on pretty much everything else.
By the time beta is ready I'll have hopefully sorted most - if not all - lag issues. Starting with ion disruptors and shockwave effects, will be moving through the weapons one by one until I'm happy, this pretty much has to happen first and foremost before anything else.
- All weapon spam reduced significantly.
- Performance Issues with PSG, HEPT ION and PAC effects addressed.
- Damage over time effect removed from some weapons, effect was not noticable in most cases yet consumed memory and cpu time.
- Laggy, Noisy Flak Effect removed from most weapons except flak arrays, frag bombs and Starburst weapon.
Lots of eye candy, mainly focused around weapons and the Hud. The main purpose is to address dull, faded colors and dark icons while taking care not to dazzle the player with too bright bright and clashing colors. The Military Hud is making a reappearance, styled almost seamlessly to the new X3:TC interface. All your old favorite features from the original are there as of writing. Added vibrant laser colors already and making visual changes to other weapons already.
PPC projectiles are gold again and everything looks better in general.
Plugin - Game Difficulty Settings
In the original X3:reunion you had a choice when starting between normal and extreme starts, although they made little difference to difficulty apart from the quality of your starting ship and initial bank balance. Cmod brings real difficulty settings to Terran conflict, namely Hard and Extreme modes, they add extra hostiles to your game to challenge you. More information of these plugins can be found below.
XTM particle Effects
When I started this mod I was very interested in bringing a limited number of the XTM particle effects across. This was partly due to my initial lack of experience and knowledge with making new particle effects of my own, but mostly because the XTM team did such a bleedin' good job with certain effects I couldn't see where to improve upon them. So, courtesy of the XTM team and with their permission I've imported a couple for use with Cmod3.
The particle effects I chose to import from XTM and use were
1: The PPC Impact Explosions,
2: The Heavy Missile Gun particle trail and
3: The Khaak gamma Muzzle flash.
In vanilla X3TC, having the same generic (and weak sounding) firing fx for every weapon was a disappointment, Cmod3 uses many new sound effects to make each weapon sound unique, distinctive and satisfying to fire.
> Most TC weapons now have their own signature firing fx.
> Many changes to the other sounds including new interface sounds, ambient sounds, and non combat fx.
> In total, more than 40 new sound fx have been added.
Optional Plugin Features
This section covers the additional plugins which can be used as part of Cmod3 or seperately.
Plugin - Military Hud
The Military Hud (Head Up Display) is older than dirt. It's one of the first mods I released and eventually led me into more complex mods like CMOD3. Since then the military hud has evolved through 3 different generations, both in X3:R and TC. It adds a lot of visual features that improve the Hud making it brighter and easier to interpret. I called it the Military Hud because I closely looked at how the military designed their HUD's for ideas; making them intuitive, making use of shapes and color, highlighting threats and points of interest, bright, clear icons, and a minimal amount of clutter that could distract the pilot. I put all this together and came up with the Military Hud.
Something else I've decided to add recently here is the ability to distinguish/identify tech factories on the galaxy map visually, at a glance with color pips. It's a great idea, but not mine. I saw it in another different Hud mod and wanted to make my own version. It's a great idea, no more trawling through pages of text on sector maps, going cross-eyed looking for a single flak array forge etc. etc. Anyway, give it a try and see if it suits you.
> Bright ship icons.
> Stylish cross-hair, red dot pointer in combat mode.
> Circular hi-visibility target lead indicator..
> New Gravidar - clearer and more intuitive, 5km, 10km range pips.
> New Jumpgate icons, easier to find on sectormap, gravidar.
> Bright glowing yellow missile and Squash mine indicators.
> Distinctive gold cargo container/unknown object indicators.
> Smooth-bar shield and hull indicators.
> Identify tech factories by their icons.
> Transparent Menu bar, improved visibility.
> Small Mission icons for stations,
> Density Shadow - (sector map) large concentrations of ships in formation make a dark shadow around them.
Improved Ships Mod Plugin
This plug-in aims to improve the abilities and features of many ships within the game and add some other visual touches. The upside: see features. The downside of this mod is that there is a fair chance it will become outdated whenever egosoft patches X3:TC to the next version. As this plugin is time consuming to put together and update it'll probably go down for a while after every egosoft update.
> Added blue engine trails to nearly all ships
> Added purple engine trails to Khaak fighters
> Carriers can use Boarding pods
> All ships benefit from a 10-30% speed Boost (may require additional engine tunings)
> Carriers average speed is 100ms (varies between races)
> Destroyers average speed is 70ms (varies between races)
> M5 Average speed is 500ms (large variance between races, fighter types)
> M4 average speed is 250-260ms
> M3 average speed is 160-170ms
> M6 average speed is 140-150ms
> All Corvettes maneuverability increased, AI corvettes also turn faster.
> Argon Heavy centaur (M6) can dock 1 fighter (unused docking node, OMG)
> Teladi Heavy Osprey can dock 1 fighter
> The ShipMod Plugin should be Savegame Compatible.
> All ships have a symmetrical (mirrored) turret configuration on both sides (TC bugfix)
> Teladi Osprey, Removed ISR from front weapons - A.I. will equip heavier weapons now.
> Pirate Capital Ships have a new turret loadout, be wary of ion cannons.
> Goner Truelight Seeker: Turret additions, tiger pattern War Paint.
> Goner Truelight Seeker: Improved stats.
Plugin - Alpha PPC Converter
I'm a old school X3:R fanatic and one of my favorite things in the game was to blast things to bits in a corvette armed to the teeth with Alpha PPC. When Concussion Impulse Generators were introduced with the Bala Gi Missions I hated them immediately, seeing them as a gimmicky weapon with no real punch compared to A-PPC, this was especially annoying when most ships used them in preference.
One of my big disappointments in TC was that they removed A-PPC in favor of CIG, so I decided to bring them back to their rightful place as the weapon of choice for corvettes and light battleships. None of this 'push-things-away nonsense, I prefer blasting things out of the sky with fireballs. If you're old school like me, give it a try
> Converts CIG Into Alpha PPC
Plugin - Crew Chatter Ambience
I was delighted to find that the Crew Chatter Ambience plugin made for x3 reunion works fine with Terran conflict. This Replaces corvettes and larger ships ambient engine sounds with communications chatter It will feel like you are in command of a fully crewed starship and not just a lifeless hunk of metal. I may expand this plugin to include station ambiance now that is audible in game.
Plugin - Signal Boost
This mod will increase the distance of many range limited elements. have decided against increasing ship sensor range as the range of triplex is already fairly high, increasing any further would cheapen the 'fog of war' element - although you can always drop an adv. satellite if you want to scope out your surroundings, that's called strategy.
Heres the feature list:
> Satellites get roughly 1.7x Boost to sensor range.
> Docking computer locks on at 5km, not 4
> Freight Scanner range increased to about 10km
> Comms Range increased from 25km to 40km
> Station sensors slightly better than triplex.
> Lasertowers fitted with duplex scanners.
> Transporter range increased to 10km.
Plugin - Game Difficulty Settings
In the original X3:reunion you had a choice when starting between normal and extreme starts, although they made little difference to difficulty apart from the quality of your starting ship and initial bank balance. Cmod brings real difficulty settings to Terran conflict, namely Hard and Extreme modes.
Hard mode: will double the number of all hostiles in the universe, this means pirates, xenon, khaak, yaki and so on will be twice as frequent - so be prepared for a fight, this means escort sizes will also double - so be warned that pirate, khaak and yaki carriers will be swarming with fighters and corvettes.
Extreme Mode: Be warned, this setting abandons all pretense of fairness. Save your game in a separate slot beforehand and make sure your Computer is up to handling large numbers of ships. Expect to see anything up to 6 xenon K's in xenon sectors. Pirates are everywhere and travel in packs, sometimes large enough to take down a destroyer.
Khaak home sectors are off limits.
All of these settings have NO CIVILIAN SHIPS included as standard, implemented on the general consensus that civs are useless buggers that clog CPU time and space lanes, although any objections will be catered to.
Thats about it for the features and plug-in selection. I'm never much good at writing, and there's much I've forgotten about so I'm sorry if I've missed mentioning something. I hope you can figure out the rest on your own.