OK, I have what is probably the biggest announcement of this mod since the inclusion of the Wing Commander Saga ships: The ammunition system works. This changes, well... everything. To explain, I just did a cycle with the following steps, in an unscripted environment, meaning it would work in any skirmish, with any ship correctly modified to do so:
1) The Thunderbolt VII takes off from the Confed HQ.
2) It goes to its target.
3) It drops a number of torpedoes, and after each drop, a special bar decreases until it empties completely.
4) At that point, the Thunderbolt VII is completely unable to drop any other torpedo but can still fight properly.
5) The fighter lands back on any unit capable of receiving bombers.
6) The ammunition bar gets replenished automatically as it finishes docking.
7) Repeat from Step 1, as the fighter can once again drop torpedoes.
I will work on an additional script to automatically give a return to base order to the emptied bombers, but... it works. That means I can finally give each bomber craft its canon amount of torpedoes, which will all be as potent as the others, instead of having a Longbow's torpedoes more powerful than a Thunderbolt's as balance. As soon as I get the secondary script working, I intend to shift all the factions to this new system, which will finally give carriers their proper role in Wing Commander, through fuel and ammunition management systems. If you go back in this thread, you will see how I intended for that since the very moment I put my hands on czacen's creation, and after dozens of hours of coding over almost a decade, it worked simply because of a weird bug someone reported to me. Quite symbolic, I'd say: we devs cannot do anything without the people on the other side. So, thanks for all the support here, on Steam and elsewhere, people!
- each bomber has a different number of torpedoes, fitting the ones from the games, with the exception of the Sorthak that received 4 torpedoes.
- the Longbow is unique in that it fires two of its four torpedoes on each run.
- the bombers and torpedo-carrying heavy fighters are now bought one by one instead of flights. The prices, building times and cap limits have been modified to compensate.
- the Return to Base function is fully implemented and will also cover any compatible Wing Commander capital ship you happen to capture during a game. It prioritizes any compatible ship or station within 10 km and, if there isn't any, randomly selects a destination, allowing you only to choose another landing place and nothing else.
- the Return to Base function is automatically enabled at the start of the game, but can be disabled by building the "Dogfight" module on your mothership. As long as the module is there, your bombers will not autoland after emptying their torpedoes, so you can control them yourself.
- a small bugfix has been done for legacy fighters (from czacen's files) for those playing with the fuel management on.
- in addition, and for the 3D designers afraid of publishing their files, I implemented a security feature on the mod that will make it much harder to extract the files from the Steam version of the mod.
And because good news are like Darkets, always in pairs, I've been able to modify the new ammo script to get an optimized fuel script that will have the fighters show a fuel gauge. Expect it in an update this week. Happy new year, people! :)