Wow, that is quite a wall, Vidszhite, but apology accepted.
I completely disagree with removing the Ultimate weapons on the basis that the Evil weapons weren't good enough.
I didn't remove the ultimate weapons simply because they were better than the evil weapons. It was a factor, but not the major factor. The main reason I removed the ultimate weapons is because they are simply ridiculous. The difference between the ultimate weapons and tier 2,3, and even tier 4 weapons is so vast that once the leading race gets ultimate weapons there is absolutely zero hope of the other AIs standing against them.
My primary goals in changing the weapons are making the branches uniform and reducing the disparity between the more advanced races and the underdogs.
It is also important to note that I'm designing the TechTrees for the AI. It's all good for the player to make use of those early, powerful evil weapons, but the AI simply can't handle it. For example, the Drengin were on a losing streak, but researched Psionic Beam - which for them branches off very early, from a Laser tech. So they go, fairly early in the game, straight from Lasers to Psionic Beam. The problem: Psionic Beams are very expensive. So now they can design wicked ships, but it will take their underdeveloped planets nearly 2 years to build them. Because the AI couldn't deal with it, their shipbuilding slowed to a crawl and they were left defenseless.
By making the evil weapons the new ultimate weapons, I solved two problems. First, I got rid off the old ultimate weapons which are, in my opinion, very unbalanced. Second, I also solved a problem with the AI not being able to handle the evil weapons, while maintaining the military supremacy of evil races. It's a late-game bonus, sure, but this is an early version. I don't know yet what early-to-mid game bonuses I may find for the various alignments.
One of the big reasons I disagree with removing the ultimates is it screws anyone whose weapon tech trees stop short, then skip straight to the ultimates. It essentially forces you to go Evil to even stand a chance militarily once the other races surpass you, and it makes the Evil races overpowered in war, when they were already very powerful. Furthermore, it takes away a lot of the joy of researching through the weapon trees, even as an Evil race, because even if you never reach the end, you know what's there. As an Evil in my last game, I still felt like I had something to look forward to if I kept on going, but having my evil missiles still made me feel like the other races would HAVE to research the ultimates to match my power.
There's a lot here, so I'll try to tackle it point by point.
- I don't know what you mean by "tech trees stop short, then skip . . . to ultimates." I don't recall any race that has that. Anyway, I made the weapons and defenses the same for all races, so no one gets screwed this way.
- Since the evil weapons are top tier, it doesn't really do much to make evil races "overpowered." By the time any race gets to an evil weapon, you should either be able to take on some slightly more powerful ships or you are very likely already on the way out.
- Notice I said "slightly more powerful ships." Again, a primary goal was to reduce disparity in weapons. I changed every weapon component so that there is a steady increase as you research new weapons. More advanced races still have an edge, but it's not ridiculous like fleets with 14 attack against fleets with 200 attack. Yes, I've seen that. The evil weapons are all the same and aren't as super-powerful as some of them were. Evil weapons still do more damage, but the damage-to-cost ratio is the same. Evil ships cost more, so other races can make more ships to counter stronger ships.
- With evil weapons as top tier, everyone has a reason to keep researching weapons. It is a flaw with v1.1, I think, that you could get the early evil weapons then simply stop researching weapons. It's an unfortunate result of a work in progress that I released before I would even consider saying it was finished. It was either that or not release anything for months and months.
- Finally, it seems like you missed some of my post about weapons and defenses, particularly the screenshots I posted. They show the new layout of the weapons and defenses with the evil weapons and good defenses as the top tiers. I didn't really explain the exact changes that I made to reduce the massive strength of advanced races, but they clear up the issues about research.
Thanks for the feedback. If I seem snarky at all, I apologize. It's completely unintentional. I don't intend to restore the ultimate weapons. As for posting a guide to restoring them, it's honestly something I don't want to put a lot of work into. Here's a quick and dirty guide:
The ultimate weapons are still in the v1.1 TechTree xml. To put them back into each race's TechTree, you'll need to go into C:\Program Files\Stardock Games\GalCiv2\Twilight\mods\Tolmekian's TechTree Fix v1-1 + Weaker MOOII Minors\Data\TechTrees, then add the ultimate weapons back to each race's TechTree. Just open each one up and look at how the techs are listed. I suggest putting the ultimate weapons immediately after the rest of the weapons in their branch. Just copy the last weapon in a branch - like PhasorsVII - then paste it right below itself. Replace the WeaponsID with the InternalName of the Ultimate weapon. You'll have to find the Ultimate weapons in the TechTree xml.
Make sense? Didn't think so. If you are familiar with GalCiv2 xmls, it should be pretty easy. If not, that little guide may not help. Feel free to ask if you need more help. Good luck!