Adamant Mod makes many fundamental changes to game play as compared to unmodified Space Empires IV Gold. Following is an outline of the changes.
- Ground combat now only lasts 2 rounds per session of ground combat instead of 10. Militia are much more numerous and stronger. This makes ground combat no longer require only a few dozen large troops. It is quite possible for both sides in the conflict to drop reinforcements. Each troop transport no longer functions as an entirely separate war (assuming you use more than a handful of troops, of course).
- Bombarding population is now harder. Most weapons will only be able to kill one million population per shot.
- All components that represent some form of crew can be destroyed by the new Neutron Cannons (availabel to all) or the Mental Shredder (only availabel to Psionic races). Such components are also destroyed in successful ship boarding attempts.
- Point Defense Cannons replaced with two separate weapons, one capable of targeting only Fighters and the other only Seekers.
- Weapons are more balanced than in stock SE4.
- Talismans balanced by no longer giving a guaranteed to hit change, but instead give a bonus to hit.
- Bases can have Maneuvering Thrusters, which provide 1 combat movement.
- Resource costs are adjusted so that all 3 resources are needed in large quantities, rather than relying primarily on a single resource.
- Trade treaties reach a maximum level of 10% instead of 20%.
- Remote Mining no longer decreases asteroid/planet value.
- Remote Mining components are limited to 4 of each type per vehicle.
- Homeworlds start off with large, highly productive resource facilities that are not feasibly reproducible.
- Cheaper weapon platforms to allow for easier planetary defense.
- Planets can achieve higher construction rates from population and by using Space Yard Expansions.
- There are 9 levels of resource facilities, so there will always be more to upgrade.
- Monoliths are changed to have 5 levels instead of 3, for a slower progression.
- Facilities such as Space Ports and Resupply Depots are more expensive. This makes setting up colonies in a new system slower.
- Some facilities, such as Resupply Depots, become cheaper to build with higher levels of industrial research.
- The Maintenance Aptitude trait reduces maintenance costs in a logical fashion. A value of 110% actually reduces ship maintenance rates by 10%, not the bizarre 40% as in stock.
- Rioting planets have a 25% production rate, rather than 0%. Wide-scale riots no longer end your empire.
Events and Intel
- Massive reworking to the Events file, originally based on the events of the Eye Candy Mod. There are many new events, as well as events that are positive in nature.
- Intelligence projects require different technologies, depending on whether they are espionage or sabotage related.
- Many projects have multiple levels for increasing effects.
- Some of the nastier, game unbalancing projects are removed or reduced in power. Projects such as Puppet Political Parties and Crew Insurrection are no longer availabel. Projects such as Food Contamination are reduced in effect.
- Races separated into five basic paradigms, Physical, Organic, Magical, Energy, and Machine. A paradigm defines almost all technologies, components, etc. (everything really) that a race has. Physical races are normal technological races, similar to stock SE4. Organic races use living, sentient starships, organic planetary structures, and so on, relying on forced evolution to develop further capabilities. Magical races have a primitive level of technology, but can wield powerful magics to travel the cosmos. Energy races consist of pure energy. Machine races are similar to Physical races, except that they are sentient artificial intelligences, rather than naturally evolved organisms.
- In addition to the paradigms, there are also 3 social doctrines. A race can be a normal, space-faring empire. Or, it can be an infamous pirate empire or a nomadic empire, based on the classic Pirates and Nomads Mod.
- Psychic racial trait is now Basic Psionic Capacity.
- Deeply Religious and Psionic traits separated into many sub-categories for customization.
- Added many interesting new racial traits.
- The costs and benefits of racial characteristics, traits and cultures are far more balanced than in Stock SE4.
- The Roleplay Elements trait allows various items of a purely roleplaying nature. This provides a richer atmosphere for games where roleplaying is emphasized.
- Leaky shields and leaky armor drastically alter the damage model. Ships no longer have magic walls of protection. Instead, part of the damage from each shot can damage "internal" components. This causes even the winner of a battle to end up with a lot of damaged ships.
- QNP and the reactor system mean that ships will move at vastly different speeds, depending on how the player designs them. The removal of the scale weapon mounts of stock SE4 removes the dependance on large hull sizes for maximum effect. Designs ranging from heavy, lumbering juggernauts to fast, lightly armed picket ships are all possible and viable.
- Fleets can no longer roam freely over the map with just a few solar collector supply ships in the fleet. Supplies are much more crucial, and place a greater limit on operational range.
- Missile weapons are a viable option. There are many different types, ranging from hardened missiles to decoy missiles to sprint missiles.
- The almighty PDC is no longer so mighty. Units are much more viable. In fact, units tend to have many hit points, so they take more hits from PDC to destroy.
- Planetary defenses are much more powerful, due to weapon platforms having many hit points and being overall cheaper than in stock. Not to mention the increased storage space on the planet allowing more of them to be used
- With the ability to expand shipyards at the cost of facility slots, construction worlds play a greater use, but at the cost of resource facilities.
- With more sizes of starbases, warp point defenses become a better option in order to save fleet and ship supplies. But with starbase size, comes increased build times.
- All ship/fleet training is now system-wide, and has lower max levels and rates. Ship training reaches a maximum level of 10%, with fleet training maximizing at 5%.
- Technology trading is less rampant, due to the nature of the paradigm system. You can only trade most technologies with other races of the same type. For example, a Magic race and an Organic race will each find each other's technology nearly useless.
- Colony techs can no longer be traded except between races that share the same homeworld type. Based on the Colony Tech Mod by Ekolis.
- Extended resource facility trees. Mineral Miners and such now have 9 levels.
- Reduced research rates. Research facilities make around half as much research as in stock SE4.
- Logical applied science costs. Technologies that require 500,000 research points in theoretical technology research to make availabel no longer cost low amounts such as 5,000.
- New unique ancient ruins techs.
- Dummy ancient ruins that provide no meaningful technology.
- Many more levels of ship and unit construction than in stock SE4.
- Planetary shield generators that do not require ruins technology.
- Extended levels of cloaking devices and scanners.
- Various tech areas are separated into new technologies to be more tree-like, such as Armor and Stellar Manipulation.
- Combat Sensor and ECM techs slowed down in progression from 20% increase per level to 5% increase per level, with 6 levels overall. Various components have to hit bonuses added to them. For example, some sensors give a to hit bonus, and engines give defense bonuses (at higher levels).
- Leaky armor system. Armor (at least, not without a good deal of research) no longer provides a magic wall of protection. Instead, some shots will leak through the armor and do damage to internal components.
- Leaky shielding system. Shielding longer provides a magic wall of protection. Instead, some damage gets added to the shield points from every shot, using the crystalline armor system.
- Quasi-Newtonian Propulsion. Ship speed is based on mass. Larger hull means more engines are needed to get the ship to move at the same speed.
- Reactor system. Engines no longer store any supplies. They are split into two component lines, the "engines," which provide movement, and the "reactors," which store the supplies. Reactors do not actually generate any supplies per turn.
- Scale weapon mounts of stock SE4 removed. New mounts with drawbacks added. All mounts give a bonus in one area, while having a weakness in another. Also, most of these mounts must be researched before availabel.
- Mines that require cloaking devices to cloak.
- Troops and fighters use normal ship weapons scaled via mounts. They are 15% the size, power, etc. of the base weapon.
- Incorporates Fyron's Quadrant Mod Deluxe. FQM provides much greater variety in the types of maps that can be generated. There are more quadrants, more system types, more realistic system layouts (more moons and actual asteroid belts), etc.
- Incorporates the Design Names Anthology, which contains over 400 design names files to choose from.
- Incorporates Ultimate Strategies Mod. USM provides many customized formations and design strategies.
- Extensive use of the Image Mod.
One Line Reviews
The following are statements from real people about Adamant Mod:
- Tescosamoa has been quoted as referring to Adamant Mod as a "damn big mod" and as "the smash hit of 2400.0."
- Referring to the mild reduction of the rampant rate of expansion from stock SE4, Georgig (aka Eorg) says "it is slow which is good."
- TerranC rates the mod "6 tentacles up."
- According to recent polls, 3 out of 3 EEE like Adamant Mod.
- Back on January 20th, 2003, Atrocities stated, "Fyron, this mod of yours looks like its going to be one of the more ambitious ones yet. I look forward to it." He sure was right!
- Later, Atrocities had this to say about the mod: "The grand scope of this mod is mind bogglingly impressive to say the least. It is both brilliant and dubious at the same time. Brilliant in that is uses every thing but the kitchen sink in its well thought out symmetry, dubious in that it draws you in and never lets you go. It is a grand mod on an epic level of modding. A true king of the hill, the Emperor of mods."