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Need help with my pop zones please!!

The general place to discuss MOD''ing Freelancer!

Post Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:53 am

I know you wern't. I also know that the Crossfire Mod is an exceptional Mod and is one of the most stable Mods you can play so when you give some advice you can bet it is sound.
Bejaymac gives good advice and examples too so I'm surprised he said my example would confuse Freelancer.

Post Mon Mar 26, 2007 3:46 pm

Ok, so if I get it, the difficulty level is too high, the density level is too low and the zone too big...

So you guys are saying that FLE is total crap and I should edit all my pop zones directly in the ini? I will ty different things and we'll see.

Meanwhile, can someone answer my questions about zone types, system size and minable fields?

Thanks all, sorry for being a pain in the arse, I usualy learn by myself but I can't find anything on this...

Post Mon Mar 26, 2007 3:53 pm

@ Bejaymac

Thanks, it lights ups the lamp a bit, and yes, I'm a noob and I'm not sure about what I'm doing!

Post Mon Mar 26, 2007 5:02 pm

An easy way to make a lootable field, is to use one of the existing lootable fields.
Such as the "Dauman" field...(diamonds)
The "lootable" portion will open up in a small check box.
You can manually edit the overall size and shape of the field.
The sphere is one value: such as 10000 (radius)
A box and ellipsoid is defined in x, y and z values.
x being width
y being height
z being length

Here is an example of what I did to Omega 11.
The planetary fragments field is already set as a sphere.
I wanted to put a black hole underneath the neutron star and the fragments
were getting in the way most of the way down to the jump hole at the bottom
of the black hole well. SO, what I did was go into the system.ini file for that system and manually edited the fragments field to a shape of an ellipsoid.
Since it was already a Sphere, all I did was change it's parameters from
SPHERE to ELLIPSOID then, changed the SIZE value to an x,y,z set of values.
(roughly: SIZE = 8000, 2500, 8000) I just flattened it.

This is what it looked like before:
shape = sphere
size = 8000

This is what it looked like after:
size = 8000, 2500, 8000

(Sorry, I'm rambling off topic)
The FLEx has been pretty useful for me in learning quite a few things about changing characteristics & parameters on shapes.

The same can be done with "encounter zones" .
The trick to populating an encounter zone is that on the "Right Side" of the
factions selector, you don't want to let it add up to over 100%.
Say for instance:
I wanted to populate a new system with a nomad encounter set up with Liberty Navy, Liberty Police, Liberty Security Force going head to head with nomads.
First, I set up the "Zone Population" . (Trade Lane populations are similar but you have to make sure you add a Trade Lane Access zone or you'll crash)
checked population additive.
checked background.
Difficulty set to 10 (important for nomads since their either 10 or 21)
Density set to 10
repop set to 15
relief set to 35
(the above makes it get pretty hairy)
Next I set the max battle size to 12.

Next, I selected the type encounter

Tyoe encounter.................Faction
Area Nomads..................Nomads

Area Defend
Libery Navy.................Liberty Navy
Liberty Police..................Liberty Police
Liberty Sec. Force............LSF
Bounty Hunters...............Bounty Hunters

Then click OKAY

After wards, you can manually edit the type and size of the zone...
You'll see it under Zone Pop Ambient..(something like that)

Get the idea?

I hope this helps.

Edited by - Rankor on 3/26/2007 6:05:01 PM

Post Tue Mar 27, 2007 2:18 pm

I wrote Freelancer but I meant computer, I'll try and explain what I meant.

Encounter zones are only "active" when your within range of them, the rest of the time thier dead. Once active they continually refresh while there's someone there, Bp your zone would work with the first 3 encounters. However as the games been coded for one of each encounter type per zone, FL & your PC have a problem when they find the other 6 encounters, fortunately DA have coded FL to ignore these kind of problems rather than the standard setup of your PC freezing. Now because these zones are continually refreshing, FL will probably ignore different encounters each pass, and with a low repop_time you get the illusion that they're working right.

The percentage problem, this is the encounter zone around Manhatten:-

encounter = area_defend, 1, 0.070000
encounter = area_bh_defend, 1, 0.030000
encounter = area_armored_prisoner, 1, 0.020000
encounter = area_trade_freighter, 1, 0.090000
encounter = area_trade_transport, 1, 0.120000
encounter = area_trade_armored, 1, 0.020000
encounter = area_lifter, 1, 0.030000
encounter = area_repair, 1, 0.030000

The total percentage for this zone is 0.410000 or 41%, nowhere in vanilla will you find a zone that has a total that exceeds 1.000000 or 100%, atleast I haven't found any yet and I've searched through almost every system ini in the past 3 years. As far as a PC is concerned 100% is absolute, there isn't anything higher than that, FL knows that 1.000000 is 100% and will look at the first 3 encounters of your zone an go WTF, it will then more than likely reset thier percentage values to make them fit each and every time the zone refreshes.

When you say faction weight do you mean 1} faction_weight = li_p_grp, 10 or 2} faction = li_p_grp, 1.000000.
1} goes from 1 - 20 and can exceed 100 per zone, check Manhatten for proof, 2} each encounter is split among the factions that use it to a total of 1.000000.

@ Llywelyn, in the hands of an experienced old school modder FLE is a valuable time saving tool, but it's also a complete pain in the ass because of the mistakes it makes(even with the newer versions). In the hands of an inexperienced modder it's a disaster waiting to happen, I've lost count of the number of would be modders that have left us because of it, the lack of a manual doesn't help any either.
Take your time and play with a copy of the SDK to get an idea of what does what, also read the tutorials and never be afraid to experiment. If something doesn't work the worse that usually happens is a Crash to Desktop (CTD), and we all get them from time to time .

**shuffles of with a new headache**

Post Tue Mar 27, 2007 9:58 pm

It works!!

I set the difficulty level to 19 in all zones and that did it. And you don't necessairy to balance all encounter types to a maximun of 100. You can set 100% for all encounter if you want to and the zone will always be populated...

Thanks for your help everybody

Post Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:04 am

I find it sad that the more experienced mod makers have such a poor opinion of FLE. I keep saying it but it never sinks in: FLE only generates code from your input. If your input is wrong then it generates bad code. So before you complain about how crap FLE is you need to stop being a crap coder first. Everything depends on the skill and knowledge of the person using it. Most things can be done in FLE without any problems if you use it correctly. I have used it for years without the many issues people complain about all the time. Now FLE is far from perfect and it is not newbie friendly. There are some things that it isn't very good at doing, but fixing those issues requires more time than Colin can offer. This is one reason why we are going to create a new editor from scratch, one based on all our combined knowledge of how Freelancer works.

I would also know how do you create zone indicating ''WARNING sensors efficiency reduced'' or ''DANGER Radiation damage detected'' with the flashing symbol...

For the first one you need to play around with the "Interference" option in the zone creator. For the second you need to play around with the "Damage" option in the zone creator.

I was wondering, Can a system be larger than 160000K?

Yes, but it isn't recommended to go any larger than 400,000k from edge to edge.

How do you create minable Alien Organisms and Artifacts zones? Is it possible?

Can the bases be scaled up? Like ateroid bases and battleships...

What are the optimal FLE system light source settings? Are the defaults all right?

I put Exclusion zones around bases in asteroid fields but there's is still rocks knocking the base, Are exclusion zone enough for clearing the zone or should I put another setting with that?

What's wrong with me??

1) You need to create a mineable field, not a zone.
2) Not within FLE. If you want to make bases physically larger you need to resize the model.
3) Defaults are fine. If you want more realistic space lighting you would set the background to 0, 0, 0 (black).
4) When you setup an exclusion zone you need to select the option to exclude dynamic asteroids as well to remove the small floating ones.
5) You lack experience..

Post Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:26 am

FLE is not bad for new modders

but the reason why experienced modders dont like it is because if something is done automatic then people dont learn what the code really means
and there are way more possibilities to do something than FLE does cover... FLE does only do standard stuff
if it comes to more complicated modding FLE is mostly useless and like i said... its better to learn how to mod and understand the code than let a tool do it for you

not to mention that if i write the code myself then i know what i did do and i know where to search if bugs appear just because i know what ive done... while in FLE you dont really see what code is generated

like i said.. those which only want to do standard stuff in a fast way can use FLE... those which want to do something special better learn modding the hard way and try understand what they do there

Post Wed Apr 11, 2007 8:35 am

I'm not very experienced in modding (but not a newbie heh ) butI use FLE for basic stuff only. Though it definitely is a VERY useful tool, like Swat said I love to play around with ini editing myself, and I make the changes through code editing. Sure FLE could easily do what I do through the inis, but I find it better to make it by hand, though I could hardly edit any good system without FLE now :p

Post Wed Apr 11, 2007 11:16 am

I end up using a hybrid form of FLE / INI modding - if I ever do any system editing, I activate my mod, edit it there on FLE, and then manually implant the changes one-by-one.

Call me paranoid, however it's the only way I can keep 88 Flak decently stable. Although I aim for zero known server crashes on release, and always spend 4 weeks with my testing staff on the final build for this reason alone, something always goes completely wrong. *grumble* =P

Just as a side note, I thought I'd point out that both faction_weight and pop_type are never referenced in any Freelancer DLLs, or either of the EXEs, which leads me to the conclusion that these variables are never referenced in the INIs - no zones in the 88 Flak systems currently have any faction_weight or pop_type lines, and they function fine. Just an interesting observation, though I guess they're harmless if left in.

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