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There are currently 43 users playing Freelancer on 35 servers.
May. 6, 2021

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Help Wanted - "Freelancer - The Future" Project
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Hey all, I'm putting some consideration into making a fairly large-scale mod with the tentative title of "FL: The Future" (this would be changed before release to something a bit less clichéd). I'm an Australian Freelancer player who has just recently returned to the game, after frequenting the GetOnIt server for about 3 years. Recently, I've started playing on the Archy's Portal Discovery server, but after some good old fashioned Eagle PvPs I realised how utterly terrible some of the additions in Discovery are from a PvP point of view. Therefore, this mod I'm proposing will be fairly heavily PvP centred, but with the premise that any conceivable method for making money and fighting is not just possible, but actually worth your while.

Some basic information on proposed additions:
Story/Lore:
- Set about 50 years after the "First Conflict" (no, I am not calling it the "Nomad Wars" >.>
- Storyline follows a second Nomad invasion and the colonisation of "Fringe" systems (i.e. systems past the Edge and northern Barrier nebulae)
- Some vanilla systems are extensively modified based on predictions made in vanilla Freelancer (eg dark matter storms in Kepler and Galileo and industrial development of Hokkaido).
- New factions including pirates, corporations and House intelligence agencies added

Ships:
- Faction-specific ships added through modifications of existing vanilla ships (eg Xenos get modified Starflier class ships rather than X-wings and stupid stuff like that)
- Capships NOT flyable, as they have a tendency to be unbalanced, boring and glitchy.

Weapons:
- Weapon class system reworked, ideally so that the majority of weapons are useful
- New weapon types added
- New "codename" weapons added, current weapons diversified

Market:
- New commodities added
- Mining yield and profits increased to be comparable with trading.
- Long-distance smuggling slightly more profitable but much riskier than lawful trade routes
- Mission rewards buffed to be comparable to trading.
- Ship escape pods can be looted for collection of bounties etc.
- Trade runs tweaked such that players will be able to RP without having to settle for suboptimal trade routes.

Other stuff:
- All new systems populated, hidden bases and jump holes marked with patrol paths, systems sized appropriately (i.e. you won't be flying 100k across an empty system to a jump hole)
- Higher-quality graphics.

I'm able to do just about all the coding work (though it's been a few years since I last made a mod), but currently I'm in need of modders who are good at modelling, texturing and animating ships, preferably also with some skill for the other aspects of modding. If I could get someone who's also good at creating and/or editing skyboxes, that'd be even better.

What I have so far:
- Very rough concept sketches incl. names of new ships
- Rough plans for some new systems
- Thorough storyline & lore
- New weapon names etc
- A rough map of Sirius with the new systems

I'd like to keep the team fairly small, preferably no more than 10 or so. Maturity & fluency in English is necessary, but tight-asses need not apply =P

If you're interested in helping with the mod in any way, just drop me a PM or email. As you can see, I've already started on conceptualising, so you won't be getting in on something that won't exist in a week.

Posted on: 2010/5/15 5:45
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Re: Help Wanted - "Freelancer - The Future" Project
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An interesting approach to an FL mod, that is keeping it within the original game infrastructure but expanding and improving when required.

Ships
One of the best looking FL style ship packs I've seen is
mancersshippack 5 (Starport download) this contains ships from Liberty (3), Borderworld (1), Kusari (1), Pirate (3) and Rheinland (1).

Weapons
It's easy enough to add new weapons but it's a lot harder to get them balanced so there's no ship loadout that's overwhelmingly superior to the rest. The Nomad gun, Cannonball, Tizona loadout pretty much dominated Vanilla servers back in the day, potential for that kind of set up needs to be avoided. Perhaps reducing the number of guns available to say 5 per faction but all 5 are worth using not just the top 1 or 2.

Market
This is something I'm very familiar with lol balancing several hundred bases and dozens of commodities is a huge mind numbing task even with FL companion.
As with weapons I'd suggest keeping it simple e.g. food, water, oxygen etc from planets to orbital bases and a variety of high technology equipment from them to the planets.
Add illegal commodities as required these are usually easier as they tend to have a few sources and many buyers unlike food for example many sources and many buyers.
Typically mined ores/gases would supply the orbital bases with the raw materials for their products, possibly a 2-3 tier commodity structure , mining ore ->processing -> manufacture final commodity.


I'd be able to spare s few hours a week to help out and I've got experience in most area's, one tool I'd recommend is Dropbox it's a file synchronisation tool that allows the mod team access to the latest mod data.

CK256

Posted on: 2010/5/16 12:57
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Re: Help Wanted - "Freelancer - The Future" Project
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That's basically my goal here. I never did see how a single freelancer would be given the keys to a full-sized battleship by any serious military faction, let alone be able to fly it solo. Transports are about as far as I would be willing to go, but if they're in there's no reason to have a normal freighter.

Ships are my biggest problem right now. I have concepts drawn for every ship I'm definitely going to add and some for ships that I won't, but as it is I'm terrible with modelling and even worse at texturing so I need to get some help with it. I'd also like to avoid using ships not specifically made for this mod as well, if it can be helped (though you are right, those ships are pretty well done)

For weapons, I'm thinking of making the difference between factions' weapons a bit more pronounced. I've got a "template" weapon with the stats I'm intending to work with, then for each faction I'll add and subtract stats here and there, hopefully keeping it balanced. While I'd prefer to use all 10 weapon classes, I'll likely just stick to the one-per-ship-class plus one universal and one special, then leave the other 4 classes for future usage. As for balance... well, that's going to be the biggest problem.

Regarding the Market suggestions, that's close to what I had in mind but I'm a little afraid that a basic 'ship food to borderworlds and alien stuff back' economy would be kinda monotonous. I think the economy will be the toughest thing to mod, and more than likely the first release of the mod won't include all the systems I'm intending to add.

Anyway, thanks for your interest! I should see to getting a ModDB page set up so there's an actual hub for the mod outside of my text files >.>

Posted on: 2010/5/17 10:47
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Re: Help Wanted - "Freelancer - The Future" Project
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About the ModDB page, only set it up if you have some images and vids of it already. I made the same mistake with FL: CW, and it got 'archived' the day after I made it.

Posted on: 2010/5/17 18:00
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Re: Help Wanted - "Freelancer - The Future" Project
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The mod I'm involved with currently has a lot of flyable battleships but I've never been all that interested in flying them and as you say buying and running one should be a team/clan undertaking.

Ships I can't really help with much beyond hardpointing, shiparch, loadouts etc essentially making them usable in game, a possible source for custom ships could be SolCommand http://solcommand.blogspot.com/ he's good some superb ship models.

Weapons I can help with though I'm more interested in guns than guided weapons, certainly the vanilla games weapon to factions balance were a bit lacking lol.

Perhaps I oversimplified with my"keep it simple" suggestion, my experience with commodities is that having a lot of items sold everywhere just means that when you find a profitable item/route it's sometimes not worth the effort of finding another.
One approach is to have several prime commodities e.g. Medical supplies or H-Fuel at only one or two fairly central locations allowing for multi-system trade routes, the food - technology trading works best for in system commerce.

CK256

Posted on: 2010/5/17 18:23
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Re: Help Wanted - "Freelancer - The Future" Project
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Quote:

Vesko wrote:
About the ModDB page, only set it up if you have some images and vids of it already. I made the same mistake with FL: CW, and it got 'archived' the day after I made it.


Kinda thought this might be the case. At any rate, I can probably get a domain and a forum + wiki set up once the project gets going.


Quote:

CK256 wrote:
The mod I'm involved with currently has a lot of flyable battleships but I've never been all that interested in flying them and as you say buying and running one should be a team/clan undertaking.

Ships I can't really help with much beyond hardpointing, shiparch, loadouts etc essentially making them usable in game, a possible source for custom ships could be SolCommand http://solcommand.blogspot.com/ he's good some superb ship models.

Weapons I can help with though I'm more interested in guns than guided weapons, certainly the vanilla games weapon to factions balance were a bit lacking lol.

Perhaps I oversimplified with my"keep it simple" suggestion, my experience with commodities is that having a lot of items sold everywhere just means that when you find a profitable item/route it's sometimes not worth the effort of finding another.
One approach is to have several prime commodities e.g. Medical supplies or H-Fuel at only one or two fairly central locations allowing for multi-system trade routes, the food - technology trading works best for in system commerce.

CK256


I personally think there is no place for player battleships in Freelancer, unless it's possible to have multiple people in the one ship (which I doubt would be very fun even if it were possible). Sure, the roleplay element would be missed, but the mindless slug-fests of battleship PvP sure wouldn't (at least in my opinion).

However, I'm all for adding them if and only if the majority of players want them and they can be balanced effectively.

SolCommand looks like a great source for models, and indeed I might end up using some of his ships as starting points, but it still leaves the problem of texturing. I could probably learn how to do it, but I've never been the artistic type lol

Regarding weapons - after looking over the weapon list you're definitely correct, there is bugger all diversity at least in terms of number of weapons. I think there will be a lot of new weapons added in this mod Probably 2 per faction is a good place to start.

I know what you were talking about regarding commodities, just that there aren't going to (realistically) be too many options for bare essentials. You have food, air, water and phamaceuticals, basically, then depending on the type of station you might add optronics, mining machinery, gate/lane parts, alien orgs etc which doesn't really leave much to option. I definitely agree with the tiered trade routes idea, in fact I think that alone will bring a lot of RP possibilities to the mod - it's something that seems to be missing from current mods not to mention the original Freelancer.

Posted on: 2010/5/18 2:54
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Re: Help Wanted - "Freelancer - The Future" Project
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This is a great idea you have going and something to look forward to seeing. I've had ideas like this in the past but, my modding skills are more ERRORS than anything else and at the rate I'm going, my great-grandchildren will be flying these ships before I get through.

I hope that when you get everything started, it goes without a hitch and is successful.

Good luck with everything.

HK

P.S. I agree about not really wanting Battleships in the game because that's about all anyone wants nowadays. No skill flying fighters and pawning others is easier for them. That was also one of the first questions I was asked when I used to run a Disco server a few years ago, 'Where can I get a Battleship?' or, 'Will you help me get a Battleship?' Not to forget, 'Give me money so I can buy a Battleship.' Ha!

Battleships in the first versions? Nah, bring them in at a later date. jmho.

Good luck and I wish you a great success.

HK

Posted on: 2010/5/18 12:35

Freelancer, 18 years old and still playing the game.

Is Juni here?
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Re: Help Wanted - "Freelancer - The Future" Project
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Leave Battleships out, or make a pure battleship-only-mod. But not both mixed together.

Posted on: 2010/5/18 20:25
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Re: Help Wanted - "Freelancer - The Future" Project
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The main things I dislike about battleships are that they're completely stupid and unrealistic (my Rheinland Battleship flew out of whatever shipyard it was on Disco and immediately destroyed 4 fleets of Rheinland capships. >.>, that they make combat not about skill but about who has the best armour and guns, they're very buggy, the game clearly is not designed for their use, and that they require massive amounts of grind before you can actually enjoy the game.

In FL Vanilla I could get 1.5 mil, neutral rep and an Eagle with a set of guns in just over an hour and a half with a bit of luck wrecks-wise. I've had two traders dual logged doing the Omicron Gamma run on Disco for over 50 hours and only recently earned enough overall for a fully outfitted battleship (i.e. cap8 armour), though I've just been buying smaller ships instead lol

So yeah, unless someone can find a really good way of making pvp with battleships fun without making them and fighters useless, I won't be putting them in.

I've drawn up a very rough economy flowchart. The next step, and by next I mean five patches from first release, is to implement a dynamic economy of sorts, but with a butterfly-effect sort of thing rather than just random "lots of people are doing this run, let's obsolete it" changes that I see in many dynamic economies.

An example - shortage of engine components => buying prices skyrocket => manufacturers raise prices to increase profits => etc so basically everything from engine components right back to the ores of its raw materials (Cu, Nb, Co ores) go up in price. However, since Nb, Cu and Co are used for other things, their products increase in value as well, which means that basically a single change in a product will cause a huge ripple effect across the entire economy. This means that players will begin to flock to the engine components run, which in turn makes other things go into shortage, starting the process over.

... damn, this needs to be automated

Anyway, basically my original idea was to say that you won't need 2 billion credits to be able to play PvP (in fact my plan is to make even the Starflier good in PvP).

Just wondering - anyone in favour of balancing freighters to be good at PvP also? It's easily done, but it'll be kinda silly to have two Humpbacks doing strafing runs on each other so I'm more inclined to just make them able to defend against pirates and otherwise based on taste rather than stats.

Posted on: 2010/5/19 2:22
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Re: Help Wanted - "Freelancer - The Future" Project
Anonymous-Anonymous
FLAC does a supply and demand dynamic economy where the more people trade the same route, the more the price changes.

There are other options for a dynamic economy as well but they all use custom made dll's. For realtime updates you need the server running the core economy dll and the client picking up the data. This is difficult to implement at best.

I know of about four different projects that use dynamic economies, none of them are easy to get up and running and all use custom made software. There is no easy workaround for this, don't even begin to think otherwise, no hack, no simple "fix". For SP i have a solution using Cold Void's price randomizer which works very well, there's a "how to" in the tutorials section but a MP solution is just plain awkward.

Posted on: 2010/5/19 7:57
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Re: Help Wanted - "Freelancer - The Future" Project
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I do already know of the current methods for a dynamic economy, however I'm considering again of the whole 'you're only one man' deal. Even 100 people doing the same run over and over for a week with traders holding 300 tonnes of cargo won't have nearly the same impact as the (supposed) thousands of NPCs with trains hauling hundreds of thousands of tonnes of the same cargo all at once. It's sort of like an employee of a large business buying/selling like 10,000 shares out of a several-million share company, it won't really do that much.

While a dynamic economy is cool and all, and it would work well with transports etc, honestly after some consideration it's not necessary nor realistic. It's also more unneeded work lol

I've also set out what appears to be an easily balanced and modified "base" HF (VHF, LF, Fr still to come) which is basically a slightly more agile Eagle, along with some rather dodgy balance formulae for guns involving range, power drain per second, efficiency to dps, speed to accuracy etc. I somehow get the feeling that this mod will only be balanced for good players who can shoot straight and dodge at the same time lol

Posted on: 2010/5/19 10:56
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Re: Help Wanted - "Freelancer - The Future" Project
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Just posting to say I'm still working on this and that if anyone can help out, just send me a PM =)

Posted on: 2010/5/23 6:57
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