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Zeppelin/Scouting Line Upgrade Path

Discussion in 'Mods Repository' started by amateurgamer88, Mar 13, 2020.

  1. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Emperor

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    Hi everyone! This is amateurgamer88. The purpose of this post is in response to the discussion here and here. The basic idea is that Zeppelin is a rather awkward unit since it's upgraded from Explorer and upgrades into Paratrooper. This naturally doesn't make sense but it's what we have at the moment. I'm hoping to use this opportunity to make a mod mod that basically creates two different paths. One that continues the scouting path that continues from the Zeppelin while the other has a new unit created for Industrial Era and upgrades to Paratroopers --> Special Forces --> X-Com. I don't mind reworking Paratroopers line to make them different like different set of promotions. The goal is to have two different paths that function differently and fill their own niche.

    I appreciate the poll made by @kenneth1221 as it does show interests over this idea. I also liked some ideas from @Tekamthi as I might incorporate those (hopefully I'll get some pictures too as I cannot draw). I'm still working on my modding skills but hopefully I can figure things out. This will actually be a good exercise for me when I'm ready to tackle the challenge of making custom civs.

    Currently, my general idea is this:
    Zeppelin --> UCAV
    Combat Engineer --> Paratrooper --> Special Forces --> X-Com (purpose is disrupting enemy back end through pillaging and entrenchment [high defensive abilities or very high offensive power depending on Promotions])

    Spoiler Zeppelin Upgrade Path :

    Zeppelin
    unlocked at Corporation
    40:c5strength: 35:c5rangedstrength: Range 1
    4 :c5moves: moves
    4 base Sight range
    Can Move after Attacking
    Spotter (2 XP per turn in enemy territory)
    Extra Sight (+1 Sight range)
    Cannot Pillage
    *New Promotion*
    Zeppelin Hovering promotion (can pass through mountains and Coast/Ocean without embarking, +3 :c5moves: Movements, Ignores ZoC, +2 Sight range) [Lost on Upgrade]

    UCAV
    unlocked at Computers
    Upgraded from Zeppelin
    40:c5strength: 45:c5rangedstrength: Range 4
    3 :c5moves: moves
    3 base Sight range
    Can Move after Attacking
    Extra Sight (+1 Sight range)
    Cannot Pillage
    Indirect Fire
    *New Promotion*
    Drone Strike (Ignores ZoC, +20% :c5rangedstrength: RCS when attacking enemies at or less than 50% health, can pass through mountains and Coast/Ocean without embarking)


    Spoiler Pathfinder Upgrade Path :

    Pathfinder > Scout > Explorer > Combat Engineer (see below) > Paratrooper > Special Forces

    Combat Engineer
    Unlocked at Rifling
    28:c5strength:
    3 :c5moves: moves
    3 base Sight range
    Spotter (2 XP per turn in enemy territory)
    Extra Sight (+1 Sight range)
    Ignores ZoC
    Scavenger (+5 XP when you pillage a tile)
    *New Promotion*
    Field Support (+25% :c5strength: when defending. When adjacent to a City, other Units you own that are two tiles away from this unit gain +40% :c5strength: Combat Strength versus Cities. When this unit is two tiles away from a City, other Units you own that are two tiles away from the Siege Tower gain +20% :c5strength: Combat Strength versus Cities. These bonuses do not stack.) [Lost on Upgrade]



    Spoiler New Promotion Line :

    Two focuses late game: either support friendly units in offensives or heavy disruptions to cripple enemy yields and happiness.

    Airhead I
    +15% :c5strength: when attacking. Units in adjacent tiles receive +5 HP when healing. Combat Bonus outside Friendly Territory (10).

    Airhead II

    +15% :c5strength: when attacking. Units in adjacent tiles receive +5 HP when healing. Combat Bonus outside Friendly Territory (15)

    Airhead III

    +20% :c5strength: when attacking. Units in adjacent tiles receive +5 HP when healing. Combat Bonus outside Friendly Territory (15)


    Disruption I
    +20% :c5strength: when defending. +5 HP when healing. Adjacent enemy units receive -10% :c5strength: CS.

    Disruption II

    +20% :c5strength: when defending. +5 HP when healing. Adjacent enemy units receive -15% :c5strength: CS.

    Disruption III

    +20% :c5strength: when defending. +5 HP when healing. Adjacent enemy units receive -15% :c5strength: CS.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
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  2. Arthur Jama

    Arthur Jama Chieftain

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    I love the idea, but I don't think we have to force a unit before the paratrooper; or do you already have an idea for it?
     
  3. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Emperor

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    I'm currently exploring the idea of sappers/combat engineers. They historically breached fortification, dug trenches and other duties meant to assist allies and/or hinder enemies. I think it's a good place to start with how I want to rework the Paratrooper upgrade line.
     
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  4. Tekamthi

    Tekamthi Prince

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    One thing to consider is that the zep breaks the mold so to speak as a sudden range unit in a previously melee line...

    I think this works better if the zep is broken off into a new line and paratrooper/XCOM left in the recon line but I've already said my piece on this in an old thread.. I could see it working as described maybe too, just don't love the existing recon promos on zep.. ie why can it fly faster on some terrain vs others? Air is air and hovering is hovering, no matter whats on the ground below

    Is zep and its successors gonna still embark on ocean?
     
  5. kenneth1221

    kenneth1221 Warlord

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    Yeah, my personal stance, even though it means giving up super-promoted ultra-zeppelins, is there's more continuity between the pathfinder-scout-explorer and specialforces-xcom than anything-zeppelin. And I really don't see why the Zeppelin embarks. The Hindenburg was trans-Atlantic. Zeppelins and what follows, I think, might benefit from slightly slower movement -- 2-4 movepoints, no terrain bonuses or restrictions -- but much better vision. The final upgrade should easily be "see a whole continent" levels of vision imo.
     
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  6. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    So you would have:
    Pathfinder ==> Scout ==> Explorer ==> (EE -- Adventurer ==>) Combat Engineer ==> Paratrooper ==> Special Forces ==> XCOM

    and
    Dirigible ==> Zeppelin ==> Spy Satellite

    FWIW, I would rather have some irregular troop, or some truly all-terrain explorer unit in Industrial rather than a combat engineer. Give them additional rewards for finding the very last few unexplored tiles. There was a big final push into the deepest jungles, the highest mountains, and the arctic during the Industrial era.
    Globe Trotter
    unlocked at Steam power
    40:c5strength:
    3 :c5moves:moves
    same base sight as Explorer
    Double defense and improved sight when embarked
    XP from revealing terrain
    Can move through mountains and ice tiles
    :c5culture:Culture and :c5science:Science from revealing terrain


    Dirigible could be a modification of the current zeppelin. I would remove the XP on revealing terrain, but keep the XP from spotting as a unit line bonus. I would also give the unit line a 33% bonus vs cities (airships were used to bomb cities before bombers were reliable)

    Dirigible
    Unlocked at Scientific Theory
    32:c5strength: 25:c5rangedstrength: Range 1
    4:c5moves: moves
    4 base Sight range
    4 Air Strike Defense
    Hovering unit (can pass through mountains and coast without embarking)
    Can Move after Attacking
    Spotter (2 XP per turn in enemy territory)
    Submarine Detection (can reveal submarines)
    33% vs cities

    Zeppelin
    Unlocked at Electricity
    44:c5strength: 35:c5rangedstrength: Range 1
    4:c5moves: moves
    4 base Sight range
    8 Air Strike Defense
    Hovering unit (can pass through mountains and coast without embarking)
    Can Move after Attacking
    Spotter (2 XP per turn in enemy territory)
    Submarine Detection (can reveal submarines)
    33% vs cities

    Maybe Zeppelins could be upgraded into a Spy Satellite after researching Satellites in Information?
    Spy Satellite
    Civilian Unit (no CS)
    Cannot be captured
    Can occupy same tile as enemy unit
    8:c5moves: Movement
    5 Base Sigh Range
    Hovering unit (can pass through mountains and coast without embarking)
    Unobstructed vision
    Submarine Detection (can reveal submarines)

    Spoiler proposal for Zeppelin promotion lines :

    Stem I:
    Bomber I ==> Bomber II ==> Bomber III
    Bomber I / II give 33%/34% vs cities and naval units
    Bomber III gives 25% Attack (ie. bonus vs all targets)​

    Leaf I:
    Requires Bomber I:
    High altitude: 60% chance to withdraw from Combat
    Requires Bomber II:
    Cover I ==> Cover II
    Medic I ==> Medic II
    Air Defense I ==> Air Defense II ==> Air Defense III
    Requires Bomber III:
    Logistics
    Range
    Fire Control (Reduces incoming damage by 5)

    Stem II:
    Recon I ==> Recon II ==> Recon III
    Recon I gives 1 sight range
    Recon II 1 Movement
    Recon III gives 1 sight and 1 Movement​

    Leaf II:
    Requires Recon I:
    High altitude: 60% chance to withdraw from Combat
    Requires Recon II:
    Cover I ==> Cover II
    Medic I ==> Medic II
    Air Defense I ==> Air Defense II ==> Air Defense III
    Requires Recon III:
    Repair: Heals an additional +5 when Outside Friendly Territory. Heals Every turn

    Fire Control (Reduces incoming damage by 5)
     
  7. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Emperor

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    Regarding the extra movement on some terrains, I want to change it up. We'll see what I come up with and I agree that air is air regardless. Therefore, I do plan on making them still embark on ocean as I can't see a zeppelin embarking.

    I personally feel that the pathfinder-scout-explorer just serve a different purpose than special forces-xcom due to their function. One is discovering new territory while the other has more of a combat purpose. I feel the opposite could be case where they have faster movement. It just seems weird that a zeppelin moves slower than a horse that needs to rest after running long distance and I don't think zeppelins are that slow. We'll see what happens when balancing is required.

    I would have
    Pathfinder ==> Scout ==> Explorer ==> (EE -- Adventurer ==>) Zeppelin ==> new unit ==> new unit

    and

    Combat Engineer ==> Paratrooper ==> Special Forces ==> XCOM

    My new units will likely be land units since slow moving air units will likely be obsolete due to them being too easy to shoot down. They might seem incredible during the Industrial Era but more AA should make them less feasible.

    A civilian unit that cannot be captured seems too broken as the human player can use it better than AIs.

    I need some more time to flesh out my ideas but I appreciate the ideas. I might use some of them if they seem like a better fit for the units I have in mind.
     
  8. kenneth1221

    kenneth1221 Warlord

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    EDIT: This is just how I would do it, if it wasn't obvious. Artistic choices are subjective, though I am trying to convince people of my viewpoint.

    These ideas are very much in line with mine.

    Flavor-wise, I feel Explorer fits the role you're describing to a degree. I'm going to offer a compromise that will probably be somewhat controversial:

    An Exploiter unit. By Industrial, a lot of the world will be colonized. Historically, the timelines won't perfectly align, but the industrial era was a tad iffy on human rights in a lot of places, and the unit would represent a distinct pivot from exploring a vast and unknown world to exploiting resources being used by other people. But maybe this is too cruel and cold a take on history -- but it would be a natural segue to paratroopers, who are really quite good at pillaging.

    Exploiter
    Unlocked at Steam Power
    40:c5strength:
    3 :c5moves:moves
    same base sight as Explorer
    Double defense and improved sight when embarked
    XP from revealing terrain
    Can pillage without expending movement
    Gains double healing on pillage
    XP from pillaging



    No arguments about Dirigibles/Zeppelins. I'm iffy on the gameplay abstraction of spy satellites; the more I think about it, the harder it becomes to justify. Satellites are either geostationary, providing continuous coverage of one particular place, or they're really fast and can traverse the whole globe in a few days. (Also, have satellites ever been successfully shot down?)
    They're also kind of a continuity break from aerial recon to space recon.
    I would suggest:
    Spy Plane
    Unlocked at Atomic Theory
    50:c5strength: 40:c5rangedstrength: Range 1
    5:c5moves: moves
    5 base Sight range
    10 Air Strike Defense
    Hovering unit (can pass through mountains, coast and ocean, without embarking)
    Can Move after Attacking
    Spotter (2 XP per turn in enemy territory)
    Submarine Detection (can reveal submarines)
    Invisible except to adjacent unit (same mechanic as submarines)

    Autonomous Drone
    Unlocked at (Robotics?)
    50:c5strength: 100:c5rangedstrength: Range 1
    7:c5moves: moves
    6 base sight range
    Hovering unit (can pass through mountains, coast and ocean, without embarking)
    Can Move after Attacking
    Spotter (2 XP per turn in enemy territory)
    Submarine Detection (can reveal submarines)
    Invisible except to adjacent unit (same mechanic as submarines)

    No major combat strength bonuses, since they're spy units, until the Autonomous drone. I also think that in the atomic+ eras, it's reasonable to expect planes to fly over oceans. Since they're spy planes, they should be squishy and not particularly good at killing, but also hard to detect, though I wouldn't be adverse to the Autonomous Drone being the final upgrade for the skirmisher line after Helicopter Gunships. They'd have to lose invisibility in that case though.

    I like all of the promotion ideas, though the logistics-range bits do remind me of skirmishers from like 2 years ago.
     
  9. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    It would be nice if airship units didn’t have to embark, but I wonder if that isn’t a limitation of the game? I don’t think it’s doable.
    If it were, however, I would remove submarine detection from destroyers and only put it on airship line units. Then I would add a sonar promotion into the naval melee unit line that gives them back submarine detection, but is unlocked at radio.
     
  10. kenneth1221

    kenneth1221 Warlord

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    @Tekamthi didn't you say at some point you played with ocean-capable zeppelins or am I mistaken? Still possible in recent patches?
     
  11. Tekamthi

    Tekamthi Prince

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    yes, i haven't touched that mod in quite a while, but i'm relatively certain it is still possible... at the time I was trying to bandaid the shoot n scoot naval balance issues, including many naval changes, but i had pulled out the zep stuff and posted the SQL code i was using in that older thread linked in the OP of the current thread... you guys could copy that into mod buddy as a starting point and then tweak as desired (there were a few other zep changes all rolled into that code)... look for my post with a 'spoiler' field look at this post

    iirc, i had actually done a working swap of the smokey skies zep to a dirigeable in a new unit path, addition of a 'sapper' to the recon line in its place, and added the ww1 zep in my most recent unpublished version of the modding i was doing before setting it aside (for reference see this thread, though most of that work is redundant now that shoot n scoot is gone, as well as beyond the scope of what we're discussing here)... unless you guys get to it first i'll see if i can break this out on its own for you guys to work on, as I read that there are possibly some modding newbies here, and this might save you some time. will try to find an hour or two for this this weekend
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2020
  12. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Emperor

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    Just a quick update on what I've accomplished for now. I've managed to make the Zeppelin move on Ocean tiles (see screenshot below) as normal thanks to the code from @Tekamthi . However, I haven't been able to solve the problem where it can move very rapidly through certain terrain and not others. My current thought process is to remove ignore terrain costs and add more movement. It's not quite what we want but this might help neutralize the extra mobility of the super Explorer you upgrade from and we can work with those upgrades with the new units that will come after the Zeppelin. It's not an amazing fix but I think it can work. I will probably be adding more movements to make up for the lack of ignoring terrain cost though. I now need to flesh out what I want to see with the units the Zeppelin will upgrade to.

    Spoiler :

    20200314143315_1.jpg
     
  13. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    I'll stick to my guns re: zeppelins. I think airships should be the new unit line and that paratroopers should stay in the scout line. There would be intersection with the scout line, but they would largely take over as spotters and they can also fill that anti-sub role too.

    Since you've demonstrated airships can go anywhere, that makes me think there's even less continuity with the scout line. A semi-naval spotter role means the pathfinder promotions would be very limited in usefulness, but they would still be there to give airships a janky double move through forest. The idea of airships is so different that I think it deserves a clean start with its own promotion trees.
     
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  14. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Emperor

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    I'm afraid I don't like that approach. Airships didn't take off because there are so many things aircraft can do so much better. There's a reason why they aren't dominant today. In addition, I don't get why they have to have an anti-sub role. Why are we affecting the naval balance as well when we are trying to make changes to a different group of units? Destroyers are already doing pretty well against subs and I don't see much complaint on that. Forcing the airship into that niche might see them never used, especially when I see sub so rarely already in the late game. If I have important naval engagements, my supply is quite tied up and I cannot afford to get the unit you propose when a Destroyer with Navigator I/II can fit that role quite well. This Destroyer can then provide more assistance in actual combat if necessary.

    Why don't I like Paratroopers staying in the scout line? They just function so differently and it's easier giving them a different promotion tree to work with. In a way, a lot of the scouting promotions become outdated later on and should be changed. I will admit that I like the concept of Zeppelins but they just fit so awkwardly into modern warfare when so many other units just do things better. I wouldn't mind seeing a UU using the airship idea that focuses on getting more yields in cities than trying to fit into combat.
     
  15. Tekamthi

    Tekamthi Prince

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    Its been a while since I've played with these settings, but iirc, there are some structural issues to consider re: how units and promos work under the hood, and these tend to be aligned with having zep as the (a) separate line, at least with respect to some of the 'pains' we've mentioned with certain status quo things...

    this is one of them... have zep in new line with its own promos allows these terrain bonuses to be left behind. leaving it in recon line doesn't

    there was a significant role for zeps/non-rigid airships for several eras... the smokey skies era stuff wasn't really a thing (i'd love to see it modded to be an obscure appearance, like the elephant early on... even the vp-absent aircraft carrier version might be fun and not altogether out of place, historically speaking, maybe as a cs gift), but the ww1 zeps, evolving into ww2 and beyond non-rigid naval escorts, definitely had an impact, albeit somewhat of supporting role... the role seems to be filled by helicopters now, but they were in use til the 60s iirc, and did a lot of submarine spotting as mentioned. On the other hand, airships didn't really play much of a role in exploring, nor spotting things on land, though there are exceptions.

    my ideal upgrade path would be dirigeable -> zeppelin -> airship -> naval helicopter -> something else for end game... doesn't have to be a purely naval focused unit, but spotting submarines seems like it should be part of its role at least from 'airship' on, if the above model were used. they should probably be somewhat rare ie require a strategic or some other restriction placed on them

    they do have another ability not present on earlier units, but i find i use them for the same things often enough. Sure the paratrooper's role expands, but the core recon in combat function does still seem to be there.

    to create a separate promo tree, i believe you'll be relying on the unused unitcombat_helicopter... seems conceptually aligned with a hovering unit in its existing, albeit deprecated form. doesn't really matter though, you could use it for anything, and redo all the associated promos

    I don't think the AI would use this effectively. Also don't see the real-world connection so much, if that matters
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
  16. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Emperor

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    I appreciate the extra bit of information on the purpose of the zeps. However, the game is set up in a way where your upgrade path seems, to me at least, really out of place. I'm not saying I'm totally against your idea but the niche available seems very limited, if not almost non-existent.

    First, the first submarine in-game is available in the Atomic Era once you unlocked the Nuclear Fission tech. Here we have a very late tech making the uses of a sub spotter quite limited. Personally, I don't recall encountering very many subs from the AI and the few I might rarely encounter would be taken out easily with Destroyers. Let's assume that we have the airship available in late Atomic Era. What would be the purpose of the dirigibles and zeppelin? There are no subs in-game before this and we have a recon line. Do we want those units to overlap with recon line? What would make the dirigibles and zeppelin unique enough for people to build them, even if it's just one or two, without making them just broken? Bombing raids of cities might work but then you have the unit overlapping with siege units and actual bombers.

    Secondly, the Helicopter Gunship is available through Mobile Tactics and that tech isn't very far apart from Nuclear Fission. If we do have a naval helicopter available around the same time, then the airship becomes obsolete very quickly making it almost redundant. If we do get a helicopter unit a bit later, then how will it compare to the Missile Cruiser? What sort of stats would make it relevant enough to pick over the naval melee unit? If we do make them rare with strategics or restrictions, then why would people get the unit in the first place?

    These are the questions going through my head given that I don't want to make a new unit line only to see them getting limited or no use. Maybe you can answer my questions above because those are really preventing me from warming up to your ideal upgrade path.

    For the paratrooper, I am thinking of expanding as opposed to just separating the promo tree. I haven't fleshed out the idea yet so I can't offer much yet.
     
  17. pineappledan

    pineappledan Deity

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    That's why i suggested removing destroyer's innate ability to detect subs, and putting it on a promotion they have to earn instead. Destroyers already have interception. Frankly, I think they do too many things. Make zeppelins the only unit that has innate sub detection. Also, subs can only hit units in their same domain, so assuming zeppelins are still technically land units, they would be able to see and attack subs, but would be immune to counterattack from subs.
    In atomic you would have the paratrooper line, which moves 2 times, melee attacks, and can paradrop, but isn't a decent spotter. The whole reason this discussion started is that people really felt like they lost some utility when going to paratroopers.

    Zeppelins/Airships would be competing more with helicopters at that point, because they both hover, can move after attack, and have good mobility. Gunships would be faster and stronger, but Zepps would still have very good vision, 6 tile radius vision easilly, and that is really all they need to be unique.
     
  18. amateurgamer88

    amateurgamer88 Emperor

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    If we do go this route, we are basically redoing the balance of naval battle. If zeppelins counter subs, what do subs counter? What's the new purpose of Destroyers, Cruisers and Carriers? If detecting subs is a promotion for Destroyers, can the AI handle it or can I abuse the fact that they are vulnerable to subs due to lacking the promotion? How do we convince the AI to build the Zeppelin, a land unit, for naval combat without it building too few naval units? Since you modded more, maybe you can shed light on what can be done to address these issues.

    Personally, I felt the biggest loss for Paratroopers was their inability to be on Mountain tiles. That was what really separated Zeppelins from them as one can stay relatively safe while the other was forced to compete for a tile with a friendly unit.

    I think you are forgetting another spotter that appears during this period. There are air units that can reveal tiles as well and they do an alright job. I also don't know about your games but Gunships are pretty bad right now. People usually use Horses to build Agribusiness so there are never high promotion mounted units to be upgraded into one. Light tanks are pretty average as Machine Guns and Artillery usually does it better in addition to Bombers. If Zeppelins are just weaker versions of Gunships with more visions, I honestly wouldn't build them.
     
  19. Tekamthi

    Tekamthi Prince

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    i think the airship type unit with sub spotting, perhaps in addition to destroyer (im not sure AI will figure out to build zeps for this purpose, even if I agree with PD it would be a nice fit from human and historical perspective... that said i like it enough i may wanna experiment to see just how it works out) is not so niche as much as it creates a hybrid unit that can do things in coast/ocean as well as on land.. it may need a few land abilities to round out this hybrid role and make it not so "niche" -- I am not particular to it being a naval unit so much as being able to do a few useful naval things in addition to w/e else

    as it is setup currently, and adding ability to move unembarked in ocean, being able to attack and move then hide from its opponents either in ocean when fighting land units or on land when fighting naval units is pretty powerful. In the past i recall AI using this well.

    anyway i agree the zep unit line as i've outlined is not necessarily gonna be a priority build in all situations... but it can provide an option to build a naval/land unit without getting your unit mix stuck mostly with one or the other... this should help AI somewhat.. it needs to be made useful enough to at least be desireable in the ww1 era, as this was kinda the golden age of airships, and many were deployed. maybe instead o

    I dont hold the same vision for the separate paratrooper line, but i havent wrapped my head around it entirely, will have to see what the proposed implementation is first

    these are valid concerns, would need some thinking on how to make these work well... my initial thought is a 'dirigeable' would see limited use (perhaps restricted in some way, similar to the early elephant unit), and perhaps be very niche compared to other units, but allow one to get a head start on xp'ing what might be more ubiquitous zeps or airships.. anyway my motivation in suggesting that line was somewhat as a merger of history and VP status quo, and not necessarily to fill any VP gaps

    i think making the zep a useful hybrid land/ocean unit should be the focus for it, w/e that means
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2020
  20. Asterix Rage

    Asterix Rage Warlord

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    Hehe, It's easy to make complains about what Zep and Scout line is, but it's not that simple to find a better alternative.
    Frankly, the scout line that starts with a scouting role and becomes an unconventional fighting role (Hovering, range attack and paradrop) is not that bad.
    My personnal complain is about the steampunk looking of Zeppelin that belong to a steampunk Mod but not VP

    With all my respect, are you going mad? :lol:
     

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