Posted 21 November 2003 - 01:32 AM
I believe that you are exactly right, Slaughter.
I have gone in and studied the files, now that you pointed me in the right direction.
I did indeed install the MegaMod2 long ago, and I thought that it was uninstalled long ago as well, because I didn't like the way the tactical missions were going with it, and there seemed to be other problems as well. I don't know what went wrong, but both the Megamod2 and the Aralez 3.3 use the same Mod subdirectory to store their files, so the two have apparently been mixed together on my hard drive.
The MegaMod2 does indeed have a config for the Geoscape, and the Aralez 3.3 does not.
So, I have gone on with installing and uninstalling the Aralez 3.3 Rebalance ever since. But meanwhile, parts of the MegaMod2 have been apparently floating around in the background giving me the ultra fast helicopter on the Geoscape that I like so much - the fast instantaneous helicopter which makes the HARD setting playable without getting overrun early in the Geoscape. At the Hard Difficulty, the delegates are almost always being always overwhelmed and losing their delegated missions.
It's interesting to note that the Rebalance 4.1 undoes the fast helicopter of the MegaMod.
So now, thanks to Slaughter's input, this is how my current modding mix now appears to be. I start with the MegaMod2, and override parts of it with the Aralez 3.3 Rebalance. Then I add the GurkoZ Sound Module, and mix in the MusicMod for good measure, and then create a new Game Profile.
Now I just wish I could figure out which mod is supplying me with the endless streams of soldiers. Is it leftovers from the MegaMod2 or is it the Aralez 3.3? I can't seem to figure that one out. I am guessing as well that the Retihalf and Halfgray characters are coming from the Aralez 3.3, but I no longer know for sure anymore.
I like the fast helicopter. When it comes to rebalancing, I think that ALTAR should have given us two or three helicopters at the beginning of the game. And, I think that ALTAR should have let us research ever increasingly faster modes of getting to the battlefield as the game goes along.
I also liked the idea of endless streams of replacement soldiers, especially at the HARD difficulty setting when you do indeed lose your soldiers during tactical missions.
I have since gotten a message from the creator of the MegaMod, and he told me that he never designed the thing to chopper in extra soldiers from the replacement pool as soldiers died on the battlefield so that we always have seven soldiers in a tactical mission as long as there are replacements back at the base to chopper in. He said that that particular feature was a wish or a patch suggestion to ALTAR. He would need ALTAR's help to make it reality. I thought that it was a cool design concept, a neat rebalance. You could in theory have the game on the hard difficulty setting and go up against the super reticulans at the end of the game, and even if you lose your original seven soldiers in the slugfest that follows, the game would continue on as replacements are choppered in.
Anyway, if I didn't like the way that my current mix was going, the only 'realistic' solution would be to uninstall, completely purge all the directories and files including any past saved games, and then reinstall and mod from there. You would have to do that each time you wanted to try something new, and I probably should have done that to try the Rebalance 4.1. But, it's very time consuming to have to start over from ground zero with a new game profile, and I have actually gotten a ways into my Megamod2 mucked up Aralez 3.3 game, with the GurkoZ Sound and MusicMod.
Now, I am wondering if parts of the Rebalance 4.1 are in there influencing them, but I think the Rebalance 4.1 is limited to the two files, the cfg.vfs and the localization.vfs. I can only hope. Though, now that I think about it, I don't think I have re-replaced the Rebalance 4.1 localization.vfs with the original, now that I am back to the Aralez 3.3. I have to now go check and see if the Aralez 3.3 did that somehow. Nope, it didn't! What a mess! And, like I said before, I am so confused!
Most of us didn't like the original balance or feel of the Geoscape tactical aspect of Aftermath. We like the foundation or the potential, but not the actual implementation. There should have been two helicopters, and they should have gotten faster as the game goes along. Second only to the serious lack sound in Aftermath, complaints against the balance of the original game seem to be the most common complaint. Most of the initial mods have been aimed at improving the balance and the play of the game, with some pleasing results, I might add. Now we are getting sound mods.
The mods can point ALTAR directly to the flaws of the original game. That's why it is fitting that ALTAR dedicate some time and pay attention to what the modders are doing. The modders have indeed made the game better in my opinion.
Here and elsewhere, I have read a lot of derogatory comments about the 'lack' of genius there at ALTAR. Not too many people out there now who believe that ALTAR has the resources to do the impossible. So, some people aren't too sure that ALTAR can pull off anything significant for the modders, but until the future 'modding' patch arrives, there is still time for ALTAR to work out a system that will provide a 'magical' solution to all the current modding woes. I don't know if anybody can find a way to get all the mods to properly coexist, and someone should probably set a rule so that the mods are modularized.
I think that part of the problem with the Rebalance Mod 4.1 is that he moved from adjusting config files to creating and adjusting the cfg.vfs, and he moved from pure rebalancing to sounds as well. Of course, the other part of the problem is dumb people like me who are in there trying out as many of the different mods as seems realistically possible.
And now, of course, I don't want the Rebalance 4.1 Mod in there, if I no longer have the instantaneous chopper that I have gotten used to. Furthermore, I would need the Rebalance 4.1 Mod to somehow work properly with and update the unsullied original saved games that I still have in the Default Profile from the original Aftermath 1.2. Starting over is hard to do, especially at the Hard Difficulty setting. There's usually twenty or thirty aliens out there, and getting to your destination in a tactical mission can take an hour or two per tactical mission on the hard setting. It's possible that the MegaMod2 gave me nearly endless streams of aliens on the battlefield that I might now be working through.
Anyway, we need pure rebalancing mods, pure geoscape fixing mods, pure musicmods, and pure sound mods, without the various mods crossing the boundaries. Then we can mix and match mods. I don't know if ALTAR could referee, plus they haven't seemed too eager in the past to get directly involved with the details. ALTAR needs to assign a programmer or a designer to do public relations and have contact directly with the modders. We all wonder if ALTAR is paying attention to what's going on in the modding community. They, ALTAR and the modders, could accomplish more if they coordinated their efforts.
Anyway, it will be interesting to see if ALTAR has some sort of master plan, or if we will continue forward with mods stepping on the toes of other mods far into the future even after the modding tools and modding improvements have come out in future patches.
I am guessing that in a future ALTAR patch, I will have to save the subdirectory of my Default Profile, completely uninstall and erase everything, reinstall the game, patch the game with the new patch, copy over my saved games, and then see if my pure saved games from 1.2 still work. They probably won't work.
And then we'll all start over with a new game profile, and then we figure out what's wrong and what ALTAR left unfinished as we play the game again. And then all the new mods will start coming once again about the time that we finish playing a new game with the new patch and have gotten done complaining about what was wrong with it. The new super duper mods for the new patch will make a partial attempt to fix or improve what should have already been fixed and improved in the original game. And so the cycle goes. <grin>
I would like to see ALTAR get involved actively directly with the modders, but I imagine that ALTAR will be just as overwhelmed with the modding that's going on as they were with the development of the original game. So much potential, and so little time. Instead, we get the ALTAR of silence. Or, as has been suggested, SILENCE is their specialty over there at ALTAR. Now, I guess that it's time for people to write and tell me that I should expect nothing from ALTAR, that they are a small company from a third world country, and that they should be given some slack because they have starving families to feed. Except ALTAR really is the ones who got paid to develop the game, and not the modders who have been giving it their best, and not the paying players who are trying as well to make sense of it all.
I like what the modders have done to the game, and I hope that ALTAR will give the mods a try and take some notes and gain a new perspective. As someone has already said here on the boards, the game is still fixable - all we need is for ALTAR to observe and learn.