Part 219: Varro & the Ship EditorVarro & the Ship Editor (36:31)
To begin with, some unfinished business. The final Story mission, Duty, held a ship that I should have used but didn't ... because I forgot about it. Naturally it's called the Varro. I just rushed some lathes to the upper left to acquire it here and see what the crew had to say. If not zoomed in on this location, it's easy to have this part of the map covered up with the UI, and I was focused on the amp gems opposite this location in the bottom-left early on. Then I just totally forgot it was there.
That's the best semblance of an excuse I have - I definitely regret missing it in the course of completing this the first time.
It was clear a long time ago. Skarsgard has plot armor, even when it is thought his house has fallen.
And thusly, the final mission gets its name as well as the final ship.
Larger and more expensive than any other ship in the stock, corporate fleet, the Varro boasts triple MK7 modules, the big gun that the big nose carries but one of. That would have been highly useful against those space station things that caused me so much grief.
So on to the ship editor. Bizarrely, you can access it in two places actually and it works differently in each. This is the screen you see if you try to use a mission with a custom fleet. We'll get to the editor itself in a bit, but in this version at the top we have the current fleet value of ships that have been added to the mission, and the Max Fleet Value which you can set as a parameter. On the right, we can choose from the Stock ships, custom (i.e. those I've made and saved), and Online (creations uploaded by others). Here I've just searched for everything named Thor, a rather glaring omission from the campaign.
There are several of them, but only one that actually looks close to the actual Thor. Most are just a box with a bunch of everything thrown on them, more or less.
This is pretty good, just not absurd enough. It actually costs slightly less than a Varro. It's got all of the major weapons systems though, but it's just ... fairly underwhelming to me. Not the massive, point at things and they get quiet in a hurry type of thing we might expect based on the game versions from CW1 & CW3. But the shape of the ship is pretty close, even moreso than I expected.
So going back to the ship editor from the main menu, we come to this. This is the entirety of the functionality of the screen - we can't look at online or stock ships from here. Dumb Thing is a default design, almost as barebones as it gets. If we want to make our own ... well that gets a little iffy. See, you'd think you would just click Create New Ship there in the upper-left, but that actually does nothing if you haven't put in a name for it yet. The main area, under the Ship Modules section, is your basic grid where you can place different things. The white space is just plain hull with nothing on it, and single module on there is the Cockpit. Every ship has one and you can't remove it - if it's blown up, the whole ship is destroyed regardless of what the condition is of everything else.
The Edit Hull button brings up this, which you can use to put square, diagonal triangle, or smaller triangle sections on or remove them. The armor displays as grey and naturally makes it harder to destroy - all of the stock ships have a row of armor surrounding the ship, the Hammer is basically all armor which is why it lasts so long, while you can notice the Thor example showed earlier had very little esp. in the front. The Shift arrows just move the entire ship around the design box.
Also worth noting are the various cost metrics at the bottom including total energy required to produce it on the right.
Simply removing the extra hull spaces from around our Cockpit there results in the cheapest possible ship. It's also useless for anything other than very briefly absorbing damage, but hey; cost of 14.
I started doing some time-acceleration for the design process at this point because otherwhise the video would be extremely boring and annoying. Naturally going to the other end of the spectrum, I set out to design the most expensive ship I could make. I give you Monstro. The Apply or Cancel buttons there are how you save changes you've made. And every once in a while, they plain just don't show up which is all categories of awesome.
This is maximum size, 35*25, with Particle Beams everywhere. That's because they have the highest cost-per-square of any module at 15. Others are more expensive, but bigger. Note that just building the frame would require almost 40 minutes of gametime here. This thing would also move super-slow (no engine) but would be the ultimate plasma-rebuilder. Some of these weapons wouldn't be able to fire all that far beyond the actual boundaries of the ship itself. It's absurdly impractical of course, but the upper limit in cost comes in at 18.6k.
Putting the hull on isn't too bad, you can 'paint' it although there's no fill or brush tool. Modules not so much. Every.single.one of the 866 required clicking on a specific location to place it. This was naturally joyous fun.
I had trouble saving this at first so I got to remake it, but this is the first potentially-useful thing I made. Waiting for lathes to work was definitely an issue at times, so I made this BiLathe. An engine, a couple defensive lasers, and two Lathes instead of one to make short work on any targets. And of course armored on the front and sides to handle the inevitable hostilities from working in hostile territory.
I like the fighters ... this SuperCarrier fulfills the need for MOAR. The weapon positions jutting outside the armor seemed like a good idea at the time. More expensive than any stock ship, I didn't invest any in energy modules so it'll need to stay within standard operation range, but should provide considerable combat power.
Another ship I just wanted to beef up a little was the standard Discharger here. Some others, like tankers and grabbers, appeared to me to be just fine as is and I like a lot of the combat ships like the multi-purpose Marauder or anti-emergent Wolf. But I've found sometimes that a single discharger ship just didn't pack enough punch for whatever deployment situation I had it in.
Here's my version, a third Discharger added in the front and everything else pretty much left alone. For only a marginal cost increase, I consider this a bargain.
And then finally I took my hand at the Thor. You can watch from right about the 20-minute mark on the video, this one I left the whole long editing process in just for posterity. Five MK7 modules properly eclipses the Varro's trio of them, the shape is generally correct, a variety of weapons to defend or attack with, reactors and energy tanks to supply itself for a limited time as well. Probably a very limited time since I don't know what kind of power draw this thing will have, but the point is it isn't helpless even with no outside supply of juice. And then the two shields. I did some research on that and there's diminishing returns with those in terms of their effect, so I didn't think more than that was useful. My starting goal was in the 2-3k range cost-wise, so I'm pretty happy with how this turned out.
I may never actually be able to afford to build it, but I still made it.
I'll try to put some of these designs into play starting next update as we return to the Inception campaign. If there's anything else you'd like to see tried design-wise, now's the time to hold forth on further absurdities.