Warzone Expansion Pack

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MIH-XTC
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Warzone Expansion Pack

Post by MIH-XTC » 12 Jul 2019, 19:12

I think Warzone should come with a generic mod named something like “expansion pack” which is basically a dev environment for modders.

The best way to test out mods, stat changes, balances or anything really would be to bundle a single generic “mod” that comes with warzone that includes potential changes and propositions. This would allow people to make changes to the game without affecting the rest of the multiplayer community. It should be thought of as a staging area for mod integration with other mods and ideas. More generally, it's just the idea of having more than 1 multiplayer environment to play from. This would help modders distribute their mods and avoid versioning problems. Most mods have multiple versions and it's difficult to say which copy a person is using but if it came with the game then there wouldn't be any confusion. By default the “expansion pack” mod should be turned off after installing warzone.

Good idea or no?

I know of a good mod that could start as a baseline :D :D :D

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Re: Warzone Expansion Pack

Post by WZ2100ModsFAn » 12 Jul 2019, 20:41

MIH-XTC wrote:
12 Jul 2019, 19:12
I think Warzone should come with a generic mod named something like “expansion pack” which is basically a dev environment for modders.

The best way to test out mods, stat changes, balances or anything really would be to bundle a single generic “mod” that comes with warzone that includes potential changes and propositions. This would allow people to make changes to the game without affecting the rest of the multiplayer community. It should be thought of as a staging area for mod integration with other mods and ideas. More generally, it's just the idea of having more than 1 multiplayer environment to play from. This would help modders distribute their mods and avoid versioning problems. Most mods have multiple versions and it's difficult to say which copy a person is using but if it came with the game then there wouldn't be any confusion. By default the “expansion pack” mod should be turned off after installing warzone.

Good idea or no?

I know of a good mod that could start as a baseline :D :D :D
I say sounds good as long as it uses new art and new weapons and stuff. :)
Have you come up with a name yet?
Apologies if i dont see your post
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Re: Warzone Expansion Pack

Post by MIH-XTC » 12 Jul 2019, 21:01

WZ2100ModsFAn wrote:
12 Jul 2019, 20:41

I say sounds good as long as it uses new art and new weapons and stuff. :)
Have you come up with a name yet?
We would just refer to it as the "Warzone 2100 expansion pack". The term "expansion pack" refers to a general add-on in any video game.

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Re: Warzone Expansion Pack

Post by WZ2100ModsFAn » 12 Jul 2019, 21:18

MIH-XTC wrote:
12 Jul 2019, 21:01
WZ2100ModsFAn wrote:
12 Jul 2019, 20:41

I say sounds good as long as it uses new art and new weapons and stuff. :)
Have you come up with a name yet?
We would just refer to it as the "Warzone 2100 expansion pack". The term "expansion pack" refers to a general add-on in any video game.
What's it going to have? Just weapons bodies and propulsion? or more players? IKR if not more players due to enough problems with 10.
Apologies if i dont see your post
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Re: Warzone Expansion Pack

Post by MIH-XTC » 12 Jul 2019, 21:38

WZ2100ModsFAn wrote:
12 Jul 2019, 21:18

What's it going to have? Just weapons bodies and propulsion? or more players? IKR if not more players due to enough problems with 10.
Off the top of my head, I think it should include the AR mod, Ultimate Scavengers, Cobra AI, Bonecrusher AI, contingency, EB mod and any maps or bots people want to add. There shouldn’t be any merge conflicts as they are all extensions of the base game. It should just be a literal copy and paste all mods into a single directory structure.

EB mod is basically the stats and integration of AR mod + contingency + ultimate scavengers + mech cyborg mods with a few additions. I've been working on the integration for awhile so the idea of an expansion pack is already complete. The only thing left is to add more maps and AI.

AR mod replaces existing models whereas EB mod adds the AR models with new names, stats and tech tree integration as to preserve original models. Contingency mod added many new weapons, bodies and structures but their stats were way unbalanced and the tech tree was whack. I fixed all that.

The baseline would include new structures, weapons, bodies, scavengers, research items. Modders would be able to submit their work knowing that it’s not game-breaking if there’s a bug because players can disable the mod and revert to the original.
Last edited by MIH-XTC on 12 Jul 2019, 22:44, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Warzone Expansion Pack

Post by Forgon » 12 Jul 2019, 22:43

MIH-XTC wrote:
12 Jul 2019, 21:38
WZ2100ModsFAn wrote:
12 Jul 2019, 21:18

What's it going to have? Just weapons bodies and propulsion? or more players? IKR if not more players due to enough problems with 10.
Off the top of my head, I think it should include the AR mod, Ultimate Scavengers, Cobra AI, Bonecrusher AI, contingency, EB mod and any maps or bots people want to add. There shouldn’t be any merge conflicts as they are all extensions of the base game. It should just be a literal copy and paste all mods into a single directory structure.
This would significantly increase the download size of this game.

If the mods should be easy to change, they would need to be put into the
configuration directory. Too much disk space would be wasted that way.
MIH-XTC wrote:
12 Jul 2019, 21:38
EB mod is basically the stats and integration of AR mod + contingency + ultimate scavengers + mech cyborg mods with a few additions. AR mod replaces existing models whereas EB mod adds the new AR models with names, stats and tech tree integration as to preserve original models.

This would include new structures, weapons, bodies, scavengers, research items.
I do not share your enthusiasm for some of these mods. AR may be a fine
addition (if complete and properly tested), but why would it be a good
teaching tool? The same question can be asked for the other mods listed.

If you actually wanted to get better mods for this game, I suggest to
create them yourself. Apart from that, almost all documentation on how
to create mods is currently found in Warzone 2100 Atlassian, which has
hardly been updated in recent years. A new series of modding tutorials
could explain topics like changing stats or adding PIE models. I have
no intention of writing such tutorials myself, though.
MIH-XTC wrote:
12 Jul 2019, 21:38
Modders would be able to submit their work knowing that it’s not game-breaking if there’s a bug because players can disable the mod and revert to the original.
The whole point of a mod is that it can be disabled.
If mods were shipped with releases, players would expect them to work,
though. In practice, this means that developers (myself included) would
be obliged to maintain them all.

Some of the mods you suggest are broken in recent release builds, having
been neglected by their creators. I'm not interested in updating them.

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Re: Warzone Expansion Pack

Post by andrvaut » 12 Jul 2019, 23:01

ubuntu 18.04, nvidia 1050ti, driver nvidia-430
git hash 2c70abf6810ba26149516f260b35ad3448c93e71
compile without error.
if start

Code: Select all

./src/warzone2100 --vulkan

Code: Select all

error "Warzone was not compiled with the Vulkan backend enabled. Aborting."
vaut ΣΑ [GN], ru streamer.
Tournaments channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzusNa-54ydodtSz2TdHFww

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Re: Warzone Expansion Pack

Post by MIH-XTC » 13 Jul 2019, 00:09

Forgon wrote:
12 Jul 2019, 22:43
This would significantly increase the download size of this game.

If the mods should be easy to change, they would need to be put into the
configuration directory. Too much disk space would be wasted that way.
A baseline mod would start at ~50 – 70 MB’s. My current configuration directory is 1.4GB worth of log files.
Forgon wrote:
12 Jul 2019, 22:43

I do not share your enthusiasm for some of these mods. AR may be a fine
addition (if complete and properly tested), but why would it be a good
teaching tool? The same question can be asked for the other mods listed.
What I’m proposing doesn’t have anything to do with teaching about modding. The purpose is to collect all of the relevant work from the add-ons section and add them into the game to make it better. The only things that have been added to the game from the add-ons section in the past 10 years is nullbot. Many people have created mods that are forgotten because the add-ons section is obscure and the mods become out of date. However, all the mods I named are compatible with 3.3 and I already integrated them excluding the AI bots.
Forgon wrote:
12 Jul 2019, 22:43

If you actually wanted to get better mods for this game, I suggest to
create them yourself. Apart from that, almost all documentation on how
to create mods is currently found in Warzone 2100 Atlassian, which has
hardly been updated in recent years. A new series of modding tutorials
could explain topics like changing stats or adding PIE models. I have
no intention of writing such tutorials myself, though.
You must not be aware if you’re suggesting I create a mod. I think I’ve created the most complex mod to date, I’ve been working on it for 3 years and probably spent close to 1,000 hours on it. viewtopic.php?f=49&t=12380



I made an advanced stats editor in Excel and can change/update them much easier and faster than anyone. https://github.com/jbreija/Warzone2100E ... ditor.xlsm

I edit the stats using tables where I’m sure others were previously using text editors. For example, I initialized short range/short hit to be certain percentages of long hit/longe range across 300 weapons in weapons.json in just a few seconds. That could take hours in a text editor and is difficult with regex’s. I can also easily check for anomalous values really easy by sorting and filtering. There is a huge analytical advantage of using tables to edit the stats. I wrote the .json serializer in VBA to go from Excel table to .json so it’s not something to be found on the Internet.

In addition to that, I played WZ religiously from 1999-2007 and from 2013-2017 and know all the best players. I don’t play anymore because I’m certain what the exact best strategy is for any given map. I understand the stats from the perspective of what is the current most optimal strategies. When I add weapons into the game, I know what is considered reasonable values based on empirical experience. I thought about making a tutorial but nobody is going to manage the stats better than what I have so I don’t see the point right now.
Forgon wrote:
12 Jul 2019, 22:43

The whole point of a mod is that it can be disabled.
If mods were shipped with releases, players would expect them to work,
though. In practice, this means that developers (myself included) would
be obliged to maintain them all.

Some of the mods you suggest are broken in recent release builds, having
been neglected by their creators. I'm not interested in updating them.
I understand the concern about unnecessarily needing to maintain this. Basically, large mods cannot be transferred in game so they cannot be played in multiplayer. Also, mods are specific to maps so every time the map changes, the mod needs to be redownloaded. The current method of distributing mods is not very good.

There is also a huge disconnect between players and developers in terms of to-do. When players say that something is “broke”, 90% of the time they’re referring to the stats e.g. howitzers doing too much damage. When a developer hears that something is broke, they think in terms of a software bug but that’s not what players are talking about. For example, Nexus and Nullbot are a notch above potatos because they don’t research all of the time, don’t spend money, don’t do certain simple things. That’s considered broken by players but from a developer’s perspective it’s working and okay to bundle it with a release. Most players know the stats are broke big time because they have years of playing high levels of competitive games but devs are oblivious to this. Developers are not aware that the stats we have were basically created in the summer of 1998 and improved a few times since then but are still broken very badly. For example, the engine upgrades do not make units go faster. That is seriously broke, far more important than any software bug that developers are currently working on. The engine upgrade might as well be a red x icon because it doesn’t do anything. The only reason the stats are like this is because Pumpkin Studios only had so much time to get out a first release. This doesn’t mean they intended the stats to be like this. This is like 50% of the current tech tree. This is why Warzone doesn’t have many players, the stats are in dire need of improvement. Ironically, most of the developers are of the mindset to preserve the original game completely unaware that the stats of 1998 were left unfinished and are still broken.



I already have all these mods integrated and ready to go, just need to add more AI’s and maps. You can check it out here
https://github.com/jbreija/Warzone2100E ... /EB-Mod.wz
To test a mod, turn on debug mode with “cheat on” then alt+a to unlock everything and ctrl+o to bring up the debug menu to see all structures, weapons, droids.

I would propose that mod as the official balance of mp but it would be best to give players the option to return to the original.

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Re: Warzone Expansion Pack

Post by WZ2100ModsFAn » 13 Jul 2019, 02:48

Forgon wrote:
12 Jul 2019, 22:43
MIH-XTC wrote:
12 Jul 2019, 21:38
Off the top of my head, I think it should include the AR mod, Ultimate Scavengers, Cobra AI, Bonecrusher AI, contingency, EB mod and any maps or bots people want to add. There shouldn’t be any merge conflicts as they are all extensions of the base game. It should just be a literal copy and paste all mods into a single directory structure.
This would significantly increase the download size of this game.

If the mods should be easy to change, they would need to be put into the
configuration directory. Too much disk space would be wasted that way.
Maybe he can use a separate WZ file for that stuff. Just to split the size.
Nevermind that still adds more space...
Apologies if i dont see your post
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Re: Warzone Expansion Pack

Post by Berserk Cyborg » 16 Jul 2019, 03:56

I like the idea.

MIH-XTC wrote:
13 Jul 2019, 00:09

Basically, large mods cannot be transferred in game so they cannot be played in multiplayer. Also, mods are specific to maps so every time the map changes, the mod needs to be redownloaded. The current method of distributing mods is not very good.
Hmm? Hosts send their active mods to clients, irrespective of the map, which appear in the mods/downloads directory of the client. If clients already have a mod with a matching hash in that folder, then they don't have to download it again and can keep using it for as long as that iteration of the mod is prevalent.
MIH-XTC wrote:
13 Jul 2019, 00:09
There is also a huge disconnect between players and developers in terms of to-do. When players say that something is “broke”, 90% of the time they’re referring to the stats e.g. howitzers doing too much damage. When a developer hears that something is broke, they think in terms of a software bug but that’s not what players are talking about.
All the devs are/were players, some more than others, so it's not like we don't "understand them".

Rarely have I seen people complain about the stats my time here. Most reports are about simple things that just aren't working as they should be, unit behavior, sync issues, or actual crashes and whatnot.

MIH-XTC wrote:
13 Jul 2019, 00:09
For example, Nexus and Nullbot are a notch above potatos because they don’t research all of the time, don’t spend money, don’t do certain simple things. That’s considered broken by players but from a developer’s perspective it’s working and okay to bundle it with a release. Most players know the stats are broke big time because they have years of playing high levels of competitive games but devs are oblivious to this.
Nexus is a potato. With maybe 50+ things that need fixing. I did finish my port of it but it doesn't enjoy the same cheats as it, and it's best suited as a simple challenge AI, imo. That and a lot of it's features aren't worth keeping, like the abysmal help system and the "scout" group that visits random locations on the map.

Nullbot simply needs to build more than one truck at a time early game, spend more money and manage it better so as not to delve into -1000 territory all the time, stop waiting to do things in "waves" which causes it to die to aggressive players or bots easily, and research and produce more. That would solve most of it's problems.
MIH-XTC wrote:
13 Jul 2019, 00:09
Developers are not aware that the stats we have were basically created in the summer of 1998 and improved a few times since then but are still broken very badly.
I'm sure everyone on the dev team knows at least the basic history of the game. It's no secret the stats are far from ideal. However, balancing is often time consuming or considered rather hard to do and it requires a lot of testing to make sure everything is "just ok".

And that is what makes balancing hard: there is no known way to quickly test balance changes. It would be amazing to devise a way to automate this in some shape or form. Of course, to even begin, it would require some kind of standardized ruleset and probably some kind of custom "balancing" AI and a new script library to go with it... and a bajillion test cases to go with it.
MIH-XTC wrote:
13 Jul 2019, 00:09
This is why Warzone doesn’t have many players, the stats are in dire need of improvement. Ironically, most of the developers are of the mindset to preserve the original game completely unaware that the stats of 1998 were left unfinished and are still broken.
Warzone isn't exactly super popular and most players are playing skirmish or campaign. Change can always be a good thing. There just needs to be someone to do it, and, not do something radically out of touch with the core mechanic of the game.

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Re: Warzone Expansion Pack

Post by MIH-XTC » 16 Jul 2019, 20:01

Berserk Cyborg wrote:
16 Jul 2019, 03:56
Hmm? Hosts send their active mods to clients, irrespective of the map, which appear in the mods/downloads directory of the client. If clients already have a mod with a matching hash in that folder, then they don't have to download it again and can keep using it for as long as that iteration of the mod is prevalent.
This must have just changed within the past year or so because previously players would get mod not compatible with host if a player has a mod loaded and attempts to join a game without it or vice versa. There wouldn’t be a transfer, just incompatible versions.
Berserk Cyborg wrote:
16 Jul 2019, 03:56
All the devs are/were players, some more than others, so it's not like we don't "understand them".

Rarely have I seen people complain about the stats my time here. Most reports are about simple things that just aren't working as they should be, unit behavior, sync issues, or actual crashes and whatnot.
The reason players don’t complain about stats is because the vast majority do not know what the stats are. They don’t know what the possibilities are and what can be changed. All they know are damage, hitpoints, rate of fire and maybe a few other things. They wouldn’t know what to complain about.

There is a huge difference between player vs player and player vs bot but the people who do not have a lot of player vs player experience are unaware of this. It’s like the difference between looking at something under a microscope vs just looking from afar. A bot will never challenge a human to use the best strategies but in player vs player the most optimal strategies have been identified over the years. Unfortunately, the current best strategies are not strategical at all, they are unintended consequences of imbalanced stats.
Berserk Cyborg wrote:
16 Jul 2019, 03:56
I'm sure everyone on the dev team knows at least the basic history of the game. It's no secret the stats are far from ideal. However, balancing is often time consuming or considered rather hard to do and it requires a lot of testing to make sure everything is "just ok".

And that is what makes balancing hard: there is no known way to quickly test balance changes. It would be amazing to devise a way to automate this in some shape or form. Of course, to even begin, it would require some kind of standardized ruleset and probably some kind of custom "balancing" AI and a new script library to go with it... and a bajillion test cases to go with it.
What you speak of above is already done, this is what I’ve been working on for years… I’ve manually launched the game 1,000’s of times and simulated perfect research games to test everything is “just ok”. I don’t know that it’s necessary to programmatically have test cases. I’ve simulated interactions of all turret, body and propulsion combinations at all points in the tech tree. This was especially painful for the engine upgrades because it requires every turret/body/propulsion/upgrade combination to have a unique speed signature without crossing certain thresholds. There is a certain threshold in the speed calculations where droid speeds jump 50% which makes some combinations way over powered. Prime example being Heavy cannon, hover, mantis. If that combination gets the speed bonus it’s way too powerful (ask any player from 1999-2007). There’s still room for minor stat improvements but nobody would notice unless I pointed them out.

Here’s an example. I had to add short hit/short range back into the stats since the devs re-added it 3.3 (I think it was you, good job if it was). In my stats editor, I just insert a column, sort the weapons by weaponSubClass and initialized the following scheme:

Image
Image

I launch several games and test out the scheme. Altogether this takes about an hour. From experience I know that edge cases concerning short/optimal/long range are vtols and mortars while using pursue, especially grenadiers. I’m the only person that can make these changes and knows what they’re looking for. I’m certain that nobody will notice the VTOL light cannon using the short range value while pursuing unless I say something but I’ll spend 15 minutes making sure that it works. The short/long range and hit values are the reason why all non-bomb VTOL’s are worthless but I think I’m the only person aware of this. Player vs player people definitely acknowledge that bomb’s are the only VTOL’s used but they don’t know why or how to fix it. Non-bomb VTOL’s are worthless compared to the other options available at the time and only a player vs player person would know that.

I also test the stats using conditional formatting in Excel. I have it such that if any short hit value is < long hit then the cell will be highlighted red. I check for many conditions like this including duplicate object id’s, null values etc...

Another major flaw that should be considered “broke” from a gameplay standpoint is that structures and droids use the same turret. This means they only differ in their propulsion and hitpoints. Players don’t know this unless they know how the stats work. Structures should be thought of as immobile droids with extra hitpoints. It implies that all defensive structures are inferior to their droid counterparts except in the few rare cases where the map has a single choke point. Only player vs player people know this gameplay dynamic and only a stats person would know how to balance it. I fixed this by giving structures their own turrets and initiliased the following scheme

Bunkers +1 tile range
Hardpoints +2 tile range
Towers +2-3 tile range

Using the stats editor, I can set the long range for structures to = 128, 256 or 384 more than their droid counter parts. Just by doing this simple fix, defense structures are now viable (although I later found this came at a cost to WZ consuming more RAM).

I uniformly rescaled research costs and structure build times using certain schemes as well but when I post on the forums I think I’m the only person that’s understanding the implications.

Another obvious stat fixing is that 90% of all games use the high power setting and most player vs player games use 40 oils. This is entirely because of bogus stats. The power multiplier needs to be fixed but it's going on 20 years and nobody will fix it.
Berserk Cyborg wrote:
16 Jul 2019, 03:56
Warzone isn't exactly super popular and most players are playing skirmish or campaign.
I think there’s a misunderstanding of cause and effect. This doesn’t mean the stats for multiplayer are not important because there aren’t many players. The reason people don’t player vs player is because the stats need fixing.
Berserk Cyborg wrote:
16 Jul 2019, 03:56
Change can always be a good thing. There just needs to be someone to do it, and, not do something radically out of touch with the core mechanic of the game.
I think it’s already done. What I have is a good baseline. I don’t think I changed anything too radical, I kept everything in the original spirit and emphasized intuition. If there’s anything in particular about the mod then we can change anything easily. The reason I started adding new stuff is because there wasn’t anything left to optimize in the original stats. I already reviewed every attribute of every object in all the stats files and optimized everything. At that point I started adding new objects. The names of turrets/bodies/structures are not as important as their stats.

It seems there is a dilemma that people don’t want radical change but the stats need radical change. Most of these changes cannot be submitted in isolation because there is a whac-a-mole effect that causes other imbalances. That’s why all changes are bundled together into a mod because they wouldn’t make sense by themselves. EB mod should be thought of as a stats wrapper around all the relevant mods in the add-ons section. I propose to add it to the game as a baseline expansion pack. I'll leave the idea here.

EDIT: I would say the best way to test the differences is to start a skirmish game, attach an ai and pause the game. Then load the mod and do the same thing and simulate 2 games side-by-side one with mod and one without.

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