Schall Alien Tech

Vanilla-friendly extension of weaponry. Not overhaul. Adds alternate weaponry choices from mid-game, which is based on the alien science pack from “Schall Alien Loot” mod. Balanced with vanilla weaponry, and extends end-game with MK3 weaponry (including powered armor and tanks). Also adds two featured weapons from “Doom”: Plasma rifle, BFG 9000. (Locale: English, Deutsch, 正體中文, 简体中文, Русский, Português Brasileiro)

3 months ago
0.16 - 1.1

g [Solved] Questions on Compatibility

2 years ago

Loving your mods so far. Two quick questions.

1: Will the ores mod needed for this one interfere with Alien Loot Economy?

2: Can the Mk3 Power Armor be disabled without disabling the Mk3 Tanks?

2 years ago
(updated 2 years ago)

1) No, the two mods are compatible, because the ore names are totally different. My alien ore 3 will look similar to his alien ore though, due to very similar hue and saturation.

2) Sorry, no. In Tank Platoon mod, I have Power Armor comes first, and corresponding Tank tech after that. I don't want to change/reverse this order just for MK3. Conditionally changing tech per-requisites on options, will likely invite bugs/crashes.
Why do you want to disable Power Armor MK3? Is it too powerful? Or do you have another PA MK3 mod installed?

2 years ago

The second. It's fine though, the mk2 vehicles are plenty strong as it is. I use the mod called Power Armor Mk3 cause I like the equipment. The mk4 armor they provide is op though, I might try to nerf the grid on it myself.

2 years ago

If you are worrying for "overwriting" or conflict, no, these mods will co-exist peacefully.
I have named my items/entities with different internal names carefully, so my mod will NOT conflict with other PA MK3 mods. You can use their PA MK3 and my tanks MK3 together.

The grid size progress like: Modular Armor: 25 (=5×5), PA/MK1: 49 (=7×7), PA MK2: 100 (=10×10).
So I feel PA MK3 having 168 (=12×14) is appropriate.
196 (=14×14) gives too much advantage IMO, though I leave it as an available option.

My mod has MK3 equipment too, though they are all coming after my PA MK3 tech, so need to be enabled.

I also have a new set of MK4 weaponry (armors and tanks and other stuff). But I will see how much people like this mod, before I really spend my time to make that.

2 years ago

Not the worry. I think you mod doesn't offer the same utilities. I'll have to look closer when I get home. I have preferred your mods lately though. I dropped Modular Turrets for your ammo turrets because they fit the game better.

2 years ago

Ok there does seem to be one major incompatibility issue... I can't build Alien Hypermodules from Alien Loot Economy. Not sure where the issue is.

2 years ago

NM I think all the mod changes caused the mod to glitch out. Turning off your stuff didn't fix it.

2 years ago
(updated 2 years ago)

At least narrowed down the area, good to hear.
I tested with Alien Loot Economy 0.4.10 (old version downloaded some time ago), no problem occurred. I did not test their most recent version though.
I inspected their code (0.4.10) and do not see any potential conflicts.

EDIT: I loaded my megabase save having Alien Loot Economy mod, every level up causes like 20-30 second freezing. It happened with or without any other mods, do you have this kind of problem in your gameplay?

2 years ago

Freeze does happen but only for a few seconds while the game checks for Hyper Modules to level up.

I'm probably going to drop it though, the hyper mods are the only things I use out of it. Ever think about making non-weapon related techs for your mods?

2 years ago
(updated 2 years ago)

I see. Maybe it's highly depending on size of game, and CPU power as well.
In early game those updates are almost instant. But for my mega base save, it really takes too long.

You have raised a very good and classic philosophical question: why the first applications all seems to be on military side, when it comes to discovery of new technologies?
I am not philosopher, so I don't have a good answer. But looking into human history, discovery of new tech almost certainly goes to military as the first application, These include explosives, rockets, nuclear energy. Commercial, civilian or energy production uses usually came after that.
Sadly, my brain also works like that. :D When I came to reintroducing the 0.14 alien artifact and alien science pack, the first and strongest idea in my mind are the Power Armor MK3 and Tanks utilizing MK3. That alone is not enough, so I thought of some alien/future style weaponry to supplement them, so comes the arsenal of particle weaponry. I have found out that there were already quite a lot of new entities introduced as a new mod, so I published it. And it is the current state of this mod.

Yes, the next step is to find some "civilian" or "production" use of the alien-theme tech. I have some immature ideas by myself, but not decided yet for some concerns (mentioned below). If you have any cool ideas, please give them to me. I will see if they fits the theme or not.

For the reasons whether any ideas will be implemented? I've set some principles for myself to stick to, so I won't get lost and produce a messy mod that no one care to try and use...
1) First principle: this mod should be vanilla-friendly. Players never tried any mods should not get overwhelmed.
2) This mod is an extension mod, not an overhaul mod. Vanilla players should find entities familiar to their normal gameplay. It should be relatively easy for them to access something they want from this mod, so no overhaul vastly different production chains or so. Just like the light tank, heavy tank and their upgrades in Tank Platoon mod, new players will find it easy and direct enough to get them.
3) No new resources will be added. I will not add new set of ores, to bring headache to myself, or to confuse the players without chem background. Alien artifact is the only new resource, so any new products are derived from it and vanilla resources.
4) Even if alien artifact is the only resource, it should not cause bottlenecks in production. Otherwise it would be forcing the players to fight a lot, in order to maintain the base running. Heavy use of alien artifact on military tech is okay though, because if they don't fight much, then low military tech is not affecting them much. This concern is probably the most critical one, why I find non-military tech hard to fit in current model.
5) Do not replace or render anything in vanilla useless. And should be balanced with vanilla in some way. As you can see from all MK3 stuff, they are powerful as direct upgrades of their MK2 counterparts, but have high costs and would not be available too soon. For example, PA MK2 and tanks MK2 will work for you quite some time, before you can finally obtain MK3 stuff with enough effort being paid.
6) New entities will supplement or complement with vanilla ones. Particle weapons and turrets are still balanced in a different way. Their damage type is different (fire, electric) from vanilla weapons, and countered by the mutated enemies if you have my Schall Alien Mutation mod installed, so having weakness. And except for the basic particle beam, all other weapons have different attack area or form from vanilla ones. Players may find it mix-using them have the best effect, for example, mega particle beam turret to deal with swarms and sniper turret to deal with tough ones. It is especially true if players mix some stasis beam or force cannon into their defense formation.
7) The seventh but not least important one: the new entities should be fun or useful, or better be both.

The above seven principles are the most important concerns.
For example, I have thought of introducing higher tier of production buildings (assembling machine) and modules (lv 4). But it seems to be boring (principle 7), especially when comparing with the different styles of particle weapons and tanks MK3 series. In addition, these "boring upgrades" will take no less time than the whole set of particle turrets. So I am more on the "nay" side to implement them. (There are also many other mods on direct upgrade of these buildings, so one more reason for me not to do it.)
I have a more innovative way to implement production building "upgrades", but it does not fit with the alien/future-theme well. So it will not be here, but as my second next mod to develop in my list.

I also have a tier 4 circuit and corresponding lv 4 module set in mind, but I found using alien artifact as material does not work so well (principle 3 & 5). I will leave them to my future tech mod (with MK4 stuff), using a new kind of material, yet not needing new resources.

Sorry for the wall of text. But as you can see, making a mod being both balanced and enough fun is not a trivial process. :-)

2 years ago

Understandable. Upgraded versions of existing entities is a good place to start though. I'm going to lose access to the "Alien Mining Drill" when I finally drop Alien Loot Economy.

A version for your modset would be awesome because I know it would be balanced, perhaps requiring your new circuit (at this or an even higher tier). I used to use the TA Miners by Tuxego, but as they were over the top, I rarely actually built one unlesd I needed an entire ore spawn gone right now for expansion reasons.

Military expansion is simply easier to think up stuff for, and I get that. Vanilla really didn't give us much to begin with on that front.

2 years ago

Thanks for your understanding. But you can always throw me any ideas.
I am not creative enough to "invent" new contents. My mentality is much more on the engineering side: when a need or problem comes, I try to fix it.

Vanilla game is mostly quite well IMO. But I feel something is really lacking in the game:
1) Weapons are not well-balanced. These include laser turrets being too good over gun turrets. Tanks have no upgrades despite tech advances, become useless in late-game.
2) Combat is boring. There are no rewards from killing enemies after 0.14, so no longer any motivation to fight. I heard many "experienced" players just turn on peaceful mode, because enemies are nothing but annoying.
3) Uranium is not well-integrated to the game, in contrast to other resources. The only uses are power production and ammo.

For 1), the developers have emphasized that combat is not the focus of this industry-theme game. So they won't be paying much attention to combat system, like tank upgrades probably won't appear in future game. Therefore, I made a few big mods trying to fill this missing piece.
For 2), that's why I reintroduced the alien artifact, together with this mod to utilize them.
For 3), I don't have a good solution either.
... so the outcome is that most of my mods are on military aspect.
But if I see any non-military things that I can improve, I am still interested to look into them.

2 years ago

Right now Uranium in real life is used for Ammo and Tank Shells (Depleted Uranium meaning lots of U-238 and almost no U-235), Uranium Fuel Rods, and Enrichment to create material needed for Nuclear Weapons. So in that respect, Vanilla already has all of those covered and even gives us one extra thing, Uranium enriched fuel. How many other uses could you possibly have for such a dangerous metal? Its basically Coal 2.0.

Most other applications it could have are mostly in the medical field, so nothing usable in Factorio sadly. Just about anything else you use it for would be hard to explain and even harder to validate in a believable way. I think that's why there are so many mods that allow you to convert it into something more useful... for in the quest to come up with a sustainable quantity of U-235 for reactors and such, you end up with a veritable BOATLOAD of U-238 which has limited uses. Sure there is the Kovarex Enrichment Process which burns up a few U-238 to make U-235 after a lot of time, energy and already having a decent quantity of U-235, but it only takes 5, consumes 3, and takes a large amount of time, so you still end up getting WAY too much U-238.

2 years ago

Yes, I know main real-life uranium uses is rather limited. Being faithful to real-world physics is a good thing, but this alone does not give it an important role in game.

Uranium is like coal 2.0 as fuel. But in gameplay aspect, its use is really too limited when compared to coal.
Apart from fuel, coal is used in explosives, plastic, grenades and liquefaction. And plastic is needed for red circuit and thus all advanced stuff. On the other hand, uranium is totally skippable, you can use solid fuel or solar panels for energy, and lasers for weapons.
That's why I feel coal is well-integrated into the game, but uranium is not.

Perhaps can make it an ingredient of some advanced science pack, together with some sci-fi use of it. But then it steps into the field of "magic" (like beacons and productivity modules...) Anyway, these are kind of applications which may make uranium more-integrated to gameplay.

2 years ago

And you just gave me an idea... Quote: "But in gameplay aspect, its use is really too limited when compared to coal.
Apart from fuel, coal is used in explosives, plastic, grenades and liquefaction."

So... what about a new process that helps increase yields yet again, like Advanced Oil Refining does. Yeah this kinda goes against point 2 you made in that long earlier post, but hear me out. I'm going to be playing around with a mod that creates a production chain to effectively increase yields of Iron and Copper. We don't need more U-238 but we can certainly use more oil access. Creating a ton of beacons and speed mods to place around old defunct oil bases is an arduous process and a lot of sunk materials to get said oil base to a serviceable level. Most players won't even bother with it at that point, instead either breaking down the base to build a new outpost further away or straight up abandoning it without worring about the materials used and subsequently lost in the process, feeling the time lost in tearing down and reusing base components is not worth the effort.

So why not use Uranium as a method to revitalize oil patches or other resource patches. Some mods have ways to get more resources out of patches (see Deep Core Mining as an example). In this way you can use the vast leftover Uranium reserves to "blast open" new patches of usable materials.

Uranium could also be processed into a more "Stable" form or metal. Utilizing Alien Science (again with the borderline magic, but lets not forget that any sufficently advanced tech is indistinguishable from magic/divinity), transform a boat load of U-238 into a very small amount of U-235 and more importantly a new material, Thorium-232 which could be used as a material in your 4th circuit. And that in turn could be necessary for some of the more interesting alien tech like Plasma and Particle Weapons, more effective Furnaces or Assemblers, or even better mining machines.

The idea of further advancement in this game seems to definetly boil down to "bigger, better, stronger, faster". It's what people seem to like.

2 years ago

For the use of increase oil yield, do you mean a new kind of pumpjack, or some consumable item / cliff explosives to be used on oil patches? Can you provide more details?

For transmutation into other materials, what instantly pops in my mind is an additional recipe to what my Alien Loot is doing, something like mixing it with alien artifact to produce iron/copper. For example: 1× U-235 + 1× Alien Artifact → 5× Iron ore + 5× Copper Ore. May need balance on amount of output through calculations.

If talking about thorium or other materials, there are two existing mods doing related stuff: A) MadClown01's AngelBob Nuclear Extension and B) Plutonium Energy.
Mod A) adds a thorium cycle. But honestly I am hesitate to look into that... It is designed for AngelBobs game, and it is almost certain that it will mind blowing me...
Mod B) is a relative simple mod adding plutonium, for power production and various ammo. Actually I wanted to co-operate with his author to create more ammo for my tanks in Tank Platoon mod. But he was busy, and still waiting for his response.
I could create some standalone nuclear/alien hybrid process if it needs to. But then it will needs some imagination to create a more complete system.

For more effective furnaces or assemblers (or other machines), I am making another mod related to machine scaling. I will inform you on this when I have some progress on such mod. So for the time being, I will have a hold on these.

2 years ago

Sounds awesome.

So the idea on revitalization could take a few forms, a new type of Pumpjack would be the easiest solution but I'm not sure if you could limit it's placement to oil patches with output = x%. An alternative would be a building placed on an oil patch that takes a low-yield device (recipe needing a small amount of U-235 and a large amount of U-238. This is consumed to create a huge amount of crude oil (effectively underground blasting to find more sources). This can either be done via removing the old patch and replacing it with a new one with a random valued one (say 75 to 100% or so) or just create the oil instantly (requiring it to be pumped out before using the rig again). If you wanted (though this is again breaking rule 2) you could make it a different liquid (contaminated crude) which would need to be cleaned (decontaminated) using alien technology, or just regular tech.

2 years ago

I don't like the idea of contaminated crude, I think it's overly complicated for style in my mods.

I think it's possible to create such a "fake" pumpjack. When it's placed on an oil patch, some on_placement script is executed to modify the yield of the oil patch, then remove the fake pumpjack. After this, an ordinary pumpjack could be placed on that to generate crude oil as normal.
This sounds a bit not fitting in this mod. If it will be done, I guess I would rather put it as a separate mod, may or may not be dependent on alien technology.

2 years ago

Just a thought. At this point I'm kind of like Aperture Science, throwing Science at the wall and seeing what sticks, lol

2 years ago

Just released new version 0.16.1.
Included a new probabilistic recipe to transmute excess uranium:

1× U-235 + 1× Alien Artifact → 5-15× (avg. 10) Iron ore + 5-15× (avg. 10) Copper ore + 0.95× Alien artifact

Not yet considering the big changes, since I just released the bunch of new mods. Now I will start to work on the Machine Scaling mod first. What we discussed above will be after that.

For the time being, I suggest you to try my new mod "Schall Endgame Evolution". The new enemies will start to come after 0.95 evolution factor. Have to see if it is a good way to deplete our uranium reserve. ;-)

2 years ago

Just released a new mod called "Schall Machine Scaling". It introduces some scaled up versions (called "overtiers") for most (if not all) production and power machines in the late game.
Please see if it fulfills your wish for "more effective Furnaces or Assemblers" as you mentioned. After that, you can tell me if an assembling machine 4 is still needed?

2 years ago

Just got off a brief stent in Minecraft. Going to work on overhauling my mod choices, trying to accommodate as many of your mods as possible. I'll let you know how things roll.

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