Sword of the Stars - Expansion Released

Thanks for the advice, you’ve certainly got yourself a bit of time in this one, perhaps I should have phrased it I doubt anyone is still playing this still. ;)

But I was counting on some input because I knew there had to be some folks hanging out here that banged away on this one once upon a time who might surface to give advice.

I’ve got random events off this campaign, I figured I’ve got enough to sort.

I wanted to like this game but the controls/UI is a total nightmare.

IIRC I did manage to play out one game for a while until this unstoppable planet destroying terror showed up in my system and went nuts, but this happened after AI robots took control of over half of my worlds, so I didn’t care too much.

There was some controversy around the time of the original launch of this game if I recall correctly. The designer of the game was also an CGW columnist or something?

Started a new campaign as the Tarka, this time in a 3D spherical galaxy. Got to say a 3D star map certainly makes things a lot more complicated and interesting.

When you couple not all planets near you are worth the expense and time to colonize, resulting in your empire getting stretched out, with the fact that different races use different drive technologies, it makes figuring out where they might attack from and where to position fleets challenging (because they’re either in position to be put to use or worthless as they’ll never show up in time).

I may be late to the party on this one, but man am I having some fun with it.

If you haven’t played before, it’s well worth giving vanilla SOTS a good play.

Once you’ve had your fun, there are some great mods out there. I’m still playing with “Bastard Sword of the Stars”, which revamps a lot of the tech tree, the A.I, makes ships stronger and more expensive to build and makes loadouts much more important. You can’t just build 100s of the same cookie cutter ships anymore and expect to face the different races. You need armadas designed for each race and if you lose an armada it has a huge impact. I’ve yet to win a game with this mod.

Oh yeah, definitely plan to play Bastard once I’ve worn out vanilla!

Having to micro tankers so my ships didn’t run out of fuel put me off of this game. Maybe I was playing it wrong, but having to issue orders at such a granular level just wasn’t something that Space Emperor me was interested in. Is there a mod that allows the AI to have a little more agency?

Otherwise I have very fond memories of this game. It is great that Qt3 offers a space for us to chat about oldies but goodies as well as the new shiny.

Yeah tankers are a pain at the start of the game, but you can fast track a few techs that increase tanker capacity, etc. Unfortunately, there’s no mods I’m aware of that fix this.

The other micro pain is Trade and having to set up your trade routes, populate with freighters and then have to do it all over again when you research Mega Freighters. Bastard Sword of the Stars fixes that big time. No mega freighters, 1 freighter per trade route, fewer trade routes, etc.

You’re thinking Ascendancy, and that was 1995. The late WIlliam Trotter.

No, he was correct. The designer was Martin Cirulis, who had previously written a column for CGW.

SotS is an all-time favorite of mine and I’m incredibly pleased to hear there are mods out there to keep it vital. Thanks for posting about this, I’ll have to give it a try!

Anyone that hasn’t should try the Progression Wars mode, by the way. It’s the kind of thing that really needs to be stolen by other 4X designers.

If anyone is interested, I have a rather large collection of custom maps I could post later this evening.

Wait, is that a specific mode in the game? I thought that was basically people deciding to switch to a different race in the same game every N turns.

I’m thinking of the mode that makes you pack up and leave the galaxy every N turns, taking with you whatever you can manage to scrape together, to face ever worse odds in the next galaxy. That’s definitely a mode in the game, though it’s been a long time so I might have the name wrong.

Edit: Nope, I’ve got the name right. It’s a “scenario” built into the game, and it’s fantastic.

First time I’ve ever heard of this option of moving galaxies.

[Edit] Now I remember. Yes the scenarios are fantastic

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My understanding of Progression Wars is the same as MikeJ’s. Switch to a different race every N turns to give the A.I. a helping hand and keep the game fresh. Also, some experts play their starter race up to a certain point where they have a dominant advantage and then switch to the weakest race for a challenge.

Yeah, that particular scenario is particularly fantastic and endlessly replayable.

Oh you are right. I had forgotten that.

Putting a custom badge to use
image

Nice. Where’d you get that?

Finished my first real first campaign in this one, it was so much fun. Taking a break for Rome Remastered and after that might have a go at modded stardrive.

But there’s no doubt there are many more campaigns in my future w/ SotS.

I downloaded an image from someone’s satire t-shirt, cropped and exported as a 128x128 .tga (in Gimp) with transparent corners and then tweaked a few files to make the game recognize it, lol.

Instructions for adding custom badges (which also appear on ships!)

Summary

Once you have your .tga image ready…

  1. Add a Mods folder to the Sword of the Stars game directory. Inside there, make two sub-folders: Badges and GUI.
  2. sots.ini needs to be edited to use the Mods folder as an “override” by making it like this under the Modules section (Mount1 takes priority over 2, etc.):
    Mount1=Mods/
    Mount2=sots_local_en.gob
    Mount3=sots.gob
  3. use 7-Zip to open the sots.gob archive (which is just a renamed .zip file)
  4. Navigate to the Badges folder, and note the format of the various names of badges for each species. You’ll want to name your badge in a similar manner. I named mine humanID_18.tga, so you can see how I incorporated that in the next steps.
  5. “copy to” the SOTS directory the following two files from the archive: BadgesTable.txt (found in Badges) and SpriteTable.csv (found in GUI)
  6. Exit the archive, and edit the copies in your SOTS directory.
  7. For BadgesTable.txt, I added it to the Human list as:
    Human BADGE_HUMAN18 false (using tabs to space properly)
  8. For the SpriteTable.csv, I scrolled down about 2/5 of the way until lines started with BADGE_HUMAN, and I added this line:
    BADGE_HUMAN18,Badges/humanID_18.tga,0,0,128,128
  9. Once those are edited, drag them into the proper sub-folders of your Mods folder; Badges for BadgesTable.txt and GUI for SpriteTable.csv.
  10. Then finally move your .tga image into the Badges sub-folder and you’re all done. I’d upload the one I used, but the forum doesn’t accept .tga files in posts.