XL Mods

New Star Densities for Maps with 71 Stars

Thanks to very nice 1.50 it is now quite easy to create mods via configuration files. In the pretty user-friendly launcher these mods can be selected in a drop down menu. Furthermore, there is now a distinction between core mods which can now be combined with any desired map mod. Kudos to Rocco and Alexey for adding this flexibility!!!

Noticing this new flexibility I had the impression that this feature could be used to reduce the monotony of the multiplayer games where almost solely the large galaxy size is used. The respective map size parameters in the configuration files do still only properly support the known default values for the small, medium, large and huge galaxy sizes but thanks to the new 1.50 patch we can now add postprocessor scripts to the configuration files which allow us to rescale the default maps in a second step. This means the displayed galaxy map is the huge default size but the placement of the stars is recalculated based on a smaller galaxy size. In such a way we can generate galaxy sizes between large and huge, which could be an approach to solve the old trade-off in classic maps:

In online multiplayer games, the large galaxy size is by far the most popular choice. Only when there are more than 4 players, the huge galaxy is discussed beforehand (adding more stars, increasing the distance to the neighbors). Regarding 1v1, I can barely remember the huge galaxy ladder games – but we observed that many huge maps made deuterium mandatory for an appropriate expansion early on - and this slows down a slow game even more. The low star density in huge maps reduces the number of stars in 6parsec-homeworld range and this leads to more unbalanced maps (compared to large). Furthermore, the very low star density in huge maps does sometimes even create maps where only one system with a monster world is in 6 parsec range. The idea of this mod is to generate better start densities to avoid these problems. Let us illustrate the classic galaxy sizes and its densities:

In this table the density is illustrated in the X*Y/Stars column. Please note that height/width value of 30 represents 1 parsec. Therefore, a 6 parsec circle is roughly 100.000 but if a home world is placed in the corner the respective corner arc only covers about 25.000.

The XL mod now does use in all 5 galaxy sizes the maximum number of 71 stars – and the star placement is based on the map generation of the huge galaxy, but in the second step a LUA script does use the following height/width values to compress the huge galaxy:

For example, the XL medium galaxy size has now about the same density as the classic large galaxy.

Just download this zip file and extract the files into the ... \150\mods\maps folder. Afterwards, the launcher should display for all 1.50 OOTB maps the respective XL option:

In summary, you have now 7 flavors for the 1.5 OOTB maps with 71 stars, ordered by density:

So, for example you could start with an XL Medium which has 71 stars and a density of a classic large map. Please note, since LUA scripting does not include an option to update the in_nebula flag of the stars, I recommend to play nonebula for now. Otherwise, the map display might mislead you in battles, if you expect (de)activated shields over some star system – please note, that also the classic cluster has the same bug since 1.4. And finally, many thanks to Admiral Loknar who recreates and rereleases the old mods as 1.5 config files. He recreated the DR mod, and I included DR and DR XL in the above mentioned zip file!

Happy Easter!
Have fun!


Anonymous said...

Good job and thanks.


elenajoe said...