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Frigate Modding

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A frigate is any Entity with the EntityType "Frigate". Frigates are constructed at the Light Shipyard in base Sins - there is no way to change this behavior except to make them Capital Ships. Their construction is controlled in the Player file under frigateInfo, with two pages limited to 9 frigates per page for a maximum total of 18 buildable frigates. Frigates don't have levels, don't gain experience, and can't have any abilities that rely on leveling. They can gain ability or ability bonuses through research, though, controllable in the ability file. Frigates can be Spawned through buffs.

Frigate Entity Description Edit

Entity Text Meaning
States whether the .entity file is in text (TXT) or binary (BIN) format.  Use a convertdata utility to change binary files to text.  Do not manually change this line!
EntityType "Frigate"
The type of entity this file describes.
defaultAutoAttackRange "GravityWell"
How far, when first built, the ship is set to auto-attack enemies.  Values can be GravityWell, or...
defaultAutoAttackOn TRUE
Whether, when first built, the ship is set to automatically attack enemies.
prefersToFocusFire TRUE
Might indicate whether these ships prefer to fire at the same target?
usesFighterAttack FALSE
Might indicate whether this ship uses fighter-style movement?
autoJoinFleetDefault TRUE Whether, when first built, the ship is set to automatically join the largest fleet in the gravity well.
canBomb TRUE Whether the ship can bomb planets.  If TRUE, the following 9 lines must be present:
hasBombingLevels FALSE Is this ship spawned by a leveled ability?  (Ex: The platform spawned by the Vulkoras Desolator's Deploy Siege Platform ability.)
baseDamage 31.000000 The damage done to the planet
basePopulationKilled 2.800000 The population killed
bombingFreqTime 10.000000 The rate of fire
baseRange 3000.000000 Maximum distance from which the ship can bomb a planet
bombTransitTime 12.000000 If weaponType is Projectile: How long it takes a projectile to reach the planet.  If weaponType is Beam: How long the beam lasts.
bombEffectCount 3 How many effects that will be spawned (even with more bombing points, if this is set to one, then it will only shoot one shell/beam/missile)
bombEffectAngleVariance 15.000000 If this is zero then it will aim for the center of the planet
         weaponType "Projectile" There is three types, Projectile, Beam and Missile. Each type act differently and has a different structure
         burstCount 1 How many times the effect count will be repeated
         burstDelay 0.000000 The interval of when the repeat should begin
         muzzleEffectName "Weapon_TechCapitalPlanetBombing_Muzzle" Particle file for the weapon's muzzle effect
frigateRoleType "Heavy" Determines how the computer uses this ship.
StatCountType "FrigateHeavy" Used by computer players to determine build order. IMPORTANT: A faction must posses at least one ship of every essential statCountType, else computer players will slow down or stop building.
mainViewIcon "MAINVIEWICON_FRIGATE_TECHHEAVY" Icon that represents the ship's position and orientation when zoomed out. This graphic should be in grayscale since it will adopt the player's color in-game.
picture "PICTURE_FRIGATE_TECHHEAVY" Picture that appears in the bottom interface when you select this ship.


The strings are the the text which is displayed in its info, the name, is the in-game name of the unit,

the description is the full text and the counter is the part which says strong vs ... weak vs ... The strings can be found in the String file located in the the string folder

credits 500.000000
metal 100.000000
crystal 70.000000
slotCount 10.000000
BuildTime 60.000000
hasLevels FALSE
ExperiencePointsForDestroying 100.000000
MaxHullPoints 1050.000000
MaxShieldPoints 600.000000
HullPointRestoreRate 1.500000
ShieldPointRestoreRate 2.000000
BaseArmorPoints 5.000000
maxMitigation 0.600000

These tell some of the basic stats of the unit and should be easy to understand

NumResearchPrerequisites 1
Level 1

What kind of research is required before you can build the unit
numSpecificDebris 0 spawns a or more specific mesh(-es) when destroyed
armorType "VeryHeavy" The armor type tell what kind of frigates it take extra or less damage from
hudIcon "HUDICON_FRIGATE_TECHHEAVY" The ship's picture for the shipyard build menu.
smallHudIcon "HUDICONSMALL_FRIGATE_TECHHEAVY" The ship's picture used in its InfoCard. Typically a smaller version of the above "hudIcon".
infoCardIcon "INFOCARDICON_FRIGATE_TECHHEAVY" The icon that represents this ship in the Empire Tree. Typically a smaller version of the "mainViewIcon". (Despite the name, this is not used in the ship's InfoCard. For that, see the above "smallHudIcon".)
minZoomDistanceMult 1.500000 Minimum zoom distance the camera will zoom in on a ship model.
NumWeapons 1 The number of different weapon types the ship uses. Can be up to a maximum of 3.

WeaponType "Projectile"
AttackType "COMPOSITE"
DamageApplyType "BACKLOADED"
DamageType "PHYSICAL"
WeaponClassType "AUTOCANNON"

The weapon type tell in what way the weapon will act, Projectile fires in a straight line from the weapon point to

the target, Beam instantly forms a line from the weapon point to the target and a Missile will be fired in a straight line in the direction the weapon point points and after a certain distance (which you can define) it will start turning and move towards the target. I am not sure about the attacktype, though I can imagine that this is what define which weapons that are affected by research. I am not sure about the DammageAffectType either. it can be changed to only affect shields or the hull, but I am not sure if a hull only will ignore the shield. The DamageApplyType can either be BACKLOADED or OVERTIME. BACKLOADED means that the damage will be applied on the target when the weapon fires, but will first be showed when the weapon hits the target. OVERTIME will apply the damage of the weapon over time depending on the duration (below), note that the damage listed below is the total damage that will be applied and will be "split" over the time, so 200 damage for 4 seconds will be 50 dps (damage per second). There is 2 kind of "DamageType"'s: PHYSICAL and ENERGY. This have something to do with the part of buffs named entitymodifiers. These can for example change the rate of fire for either physical, energy or both types of weapons. WeaponClassType is also related to buffs, but this time it is certain instantAction buffs. It is also the name of the weapon that is displayed in-game

DamagePerBank:FRONT 72.0000
DamagePerBank:BACK 0.00000
DamagePerBank:LEFT 0.000000
DamagePerBank:RIGHT 0.000000
Range 3150.000000
PreBuffCooldownTime 4.000000

The DamagePerBank tells how much damage the weapon deals to a target each time it fires. The damage does not

depend on how many weapon points its model has, they are there only for cosmetic (the looks) reasons. Any weapon can be set to fire in any of the 4 directions, but it will fire from the center of the model if it doesn't have any weapon points in the mesh (model) file that points in the right direction. The range is set from the weapon points, this will however in most cases only be seen on huge models. The PreBuffCooldownTime tell how often the weapon fires again. If the DamageApplyType is set to OVERTIME and the duration is higher then the PreBuffCooldownTime then the weapons will over lap each other. So if we have a ship that fires a beam every 5 sec and the Bank is set to 600 and the duration to 30 secs (20 dps) then every 5 sec a new beam will fire and add up on the dps (20 + 20 = 40 dps) and max at 30 sec, since the firsts duration will expire then, with 120 dps (dps*(Duration/PreBuffCooldownTime) = max dps) (20*(30/5) = 120 dps)

CanFireAtFighter FALSE
SynchronizedTargeting FALSE
PointStaggerDelay 0.050000
TravelSpeed 4000.000000
Duration 0.000000

CanFireAtFighter tells whether or not the weapon is able to attack enemy fighters, to make it able to fire at them

just set it to TRUE instead of FALSE. SynchronizedTargeting is a cosmetic change and if TRUE, the burst (explained later) should at the same point on the targets mesh. PointStaggerDelay tells the delay from the first weapon point fires till the next weapon point will fire, again this is only something cosmetic. The TravelSpeed well be the speed a shell or missile will travel, it will be 0 by beam weapons. It is more or less a cosmetic option as the damage is applied and the death of a unit is certain when the weapons fires even if it takes an eternity to hit the target. The Duration should have been explained well enough previously, except that it also tell how long a beam effect will be visible.

fireConstraintType "CanAlwaysFire" only other known fire contraint is StarBaseUpgradeLevel which makes the weapon available when a starbase have made a certain upgrade.

weaponType "Projectile"
burstCount 4
burstDelay 0.150000

The weaponType has to be the same for the effect. The structure of the effect is different between each type so

remember to check them out. The burstCount tell how many times a weapon point will fire and the burst delay tell the interval between each burst begins, meaning after the first burst started the delay will begin to count down and then start the next burst. As with the pointStaggerDelay this is only something cosmetic.

muzzleEffectName "Weapon_TechCapitalAutoCannonMedium_Muzzle"
muzzleSoundMinRespawnTime 10.000000
soundCount 2
hitEffectName "Weapon_TechCapitalAutoCannonMedium_Hit"
soundCount 1
soundCount 1
projectileTravelEffectName "Weapon_TechCapitalAutoCannonMedium_Travel"

These should explain themselves.

m_weaponIndexForRange 0
firingAlignmentType "Default"
TargetCountPerBank:FRONT 1
TargetCountPerBank:BACK 0
TargetCountPerBank:LEFT 0
TargetCountPerBank:RIGHT 0

m_weaponIndexForRange - example-setting this to m_weaponindexforrange 1 will mean that the frigate moves to the absolute max range for the first weapon.The firingAlignmentType can make your frigate tilt up/down before it fires, the target count tell how manytargets the frigate (note frigate and not a certain weapon) can fire on in each direction, there seems to be different limits to frigates, capital ships and star bases, but I am not sure what the numbers exactly are.
canOnlyTargetStructures FALSE Used for anti-structure ships
hasWeaponLevels FALSE Same as with other levels
mass 2000.000000 Affects speed and movement, also seems to affect the impact of an impulse (higher mass means less impact) from buffs.
ShieldMeshName "Shield_PhaseBattleship" Filename of the ship's shield mesh.
renderShield TRUE Whether or not to display shield hit effects.
maxAccelerationLinear 125.000000 How fast the forward movement speed will increase.
maxAccelerationStrafe 10.000000 How fast it will move to the side.
maxDecelerationLinear 500.000000 How fast the forward movement speed will decrease.
maxAccelerationAngular 2.200000 How fast it can turn around.
maxDecelerationAngular 9.999996 How fast it can stop turning around.
maxSpeedLinear 600.000000 The maximum speed when moving forward
squadTypeEntityDef:0 "" The Name of the entity file for the strike craft squad that this frigate will have.
squadAntiMatterCost:0 0.000000 The cost for "making" a whole squad however the antimatter will decrease every time one strike craft is made. E.g. squad is made of 6 strike craft and cost is set to 30 it will loose 5 antimatter each time a strike craft is made.
maxNumCommandPoints 0 How many command points are available for strike craft squadrons.
NumSoundsFor:ONATTACKORDERISSUED 4 Number of different sounds when the unit is ordered to attack an enemy
SoundID "FRIGATE_TECHHEAVY_ONATTACKORDERISSUED_0" Important note, this is not the name of the sound file, but a name which is "linked" to the sound file, all "links" to the dialog sound files can be found in the "SoundDialogue.sounddata" file in your gameinfo folder
ExhaustParticleSystemName "Exhaust_FrigateTechHeavy" Name of the particle file used as exhaust effect.
ExplosionName "Frigate0" This is not the name of a particle file for the effect, but a name you can find in the "Explosions.explosiondata" in your gameinfo folder.
ability:0 "AbilitySprint" The name of the ability entity file which this unit should use.
MaxAntiMatter 0.000000 The maximum available antimatter
AntiMatterRestoreRate 0.000000 How fast it restores antimatter
cargoType "Invalid" Used for trade ships
formationRank 0 In what row it will be positioned in a fleet, 0 being the first row. All Sins uses numbers 0 - 3. 3 being the last possible row.

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