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Old 01-15-23, 06:48 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 53
Downloads: 73
Uploads: 0
Default [WIP] BuPers Mod Interest?

Greetings Everyone!

I've been messing around with a mod for a few weeks now. I just wondered if there was any interest in it. I just have a few things to work out here and there, but here's what I've done so far:

1. Changed the "worded" rank structure to better represent what was used in WW2. The CWO gets cut off a little with the abbreviation after it, so for my own setup I just have the words without the abbreviations. I may just leave the wording and forget about the abbreviations in the release. Ranks are now:

Apprentice Seaman (AS)
Seaman 2nd Class (S2C)
Seaman 1st Class (S1C)
Petty Officer 3rd Class (PO3)
Petty Officer 2nd Class (PO2)
Petty Officer 1st Class (PO1)
Chief Petty Officer (CPO)
Warrant Officer (WO)
Commissioned Warrant Officer (CWO)

2. Changed the rank symbols in the Crew Management image to use the ones that were used back in WW2. CPO's now have red on blue since wartime material restrictions meant many of them would just wear the normal stripes. Also, there are now WO and CWO stripes on epaulets with the blue "dot" in the middle. These are now in place of the SCPO and MCPO ranks that didn't come out until a little before Vietnam. Finally, the AS, S2C, and S1C ranks are represented by the "cuff" marks that would be found on the lower portion of the "jumper" or "cracker-jack" uniform since they didn't wear any "rank" per say on their uniforms at all. Certain jobs did wear them (like cooks and stewards), but on a sub you either wore the working blues or the khakis. CPO's wore blues with khaki hats, while the others wore them with the white "sailor" hat or - in some cases - with baseball caps. I also remember seeing a color picture of a CPO wearing a khaki officer's shirt with dungaree pants. That may have been a "one-off" thing, but you never know. Because of this, I figured I'd use the "dress" ranks that were generally worn - with the CPO stripes as red because of the aforementioned material shortages.

3. Changed the promotion system as well. You now only promote S1C to PO3, PO1 to CPO, and WO to CWO. Here's my reasoning:

a. S1C's study hard during the patrol to get their ratings. Because of this I just left the standard system in place for these ranks to simulate this. It made no sense to re-invent the wheel and have them promote on their own past S1C without the ability to "qualify" automatically based on their "points" in the sim. In one test I did so far I had a guy go from AS all the way to CPO with only 15% leadership and no qualifications. I realize there would be no way someone would make it all the way up there without any type of leadership (I know, I know, I can hear the Washington jokes already). Since qualifications MUST be done manually in the sim in order to get a "rate," I decided it would be best to just keep the current system of who became a petty officer and who should be kicked off the boat at manual.

b. PO1's are, generally, hard working non-commissioned officers. Going from PO3 to PO1 is a preparation for CPO, so this mod will simulate letting the NCO's, "take care of themselves," so that all you should have a hand in doing - as in real life - is determining who gets to wear the khaki. After that, let the system promote them from there again.

c. Getting a commission is something that is done away from the boat. All a C.O. should have to do is make recommendations. I figure you should determine which of your WO's have done well and determine who gets the commission from there. After that, BuPers takes care of the promotions. NOTE: A Commissioned Warrant Officer was just that: A commission. That's why I figured to do this rank manually, then let BuPers and the system figure who would get the full commission to ENS and beyond.

d. Finally, I figured you will also have crew that promote out as well. You just can't get to keep an entire crew for the duration of the war. It's just not realistic. Once one of your officers makes LtCdr, go ahead and swap him out and replace him with a junior officer from the pool once you get back to base. It's the best I can do to simulate the fact that BuPers would take your experienced officers to crew other boats so that the experience gets disseminated throughout the service.

4. Made changes to the descriptions of the player ranks so that there is something there which gives a brief explanation of the rank as well as what that rank would normally do. This is the "book" that opens up when you click on the hat in the office/base screen before you go out on patrol. There's nothing really special here, but I thought something better than, "Player Rank Here." would be more appropriate for a mod as high in quality as FotRSU.

5. Modified several "Special Abilities" to better reflect the job that would be found on the boat. I only picked the ones that would actually be somewhat "savable" from an otherwise "game-ish" type of setup that reminded me of Atari or ColecoVision (I know, I'm dating myself). So far I've made the following changes:


Original UbiSoft Name = New Naming Convention
-------------------- ---------------------
Ability-Master-Engineer = Damage Control Officer
Ability-Sharpshooter = Gunnery Officer
Ability-Torpedo-Specialist = Torpedo Officer
Ability-Medic = Pharmacist's Mate
Ability-Engines-Expert = Diving Officer
Ability-Propulsion-Specialist = Chief Engineer (this is the default one that comes with the boat)
Ability-Theoretician = Training Officer


Original UbiSoft Name = New Naming Convention
-------------------- ---------------------
Ability-Active-Overcharge = Torpedo Maintenance Officer

6. I've added the Pharmacist's Mate to the default (or maybe FotRSU specific??) NSS_Tambor.upc file. This is only because it's the fleet boat I've been in for a while in the current carrer I'm in. He's in the Damage Control Party and has no qualifications. He is a Petty Officer 3rd Class with the ability as PM3C, though I still have to test if I did that correctly so it shows as "PM3C" and not as "Pharmacist's Mate" like it has been. Either way, he'll get promoted like everyone else, but won't have a "rate" (qualification) like the other PO3's. You can still get other crew members with a PM qualification, but it would be just from the chance and not from default. Once tested better, I'll see about placing him in the other boats' NCC files as well so that ALL the boats (including S-Boats) will have one. Uh, I meant NSS, not NCC. Sorry. Star Trek joke. It's late as I write this.

Here's what HAS NOT been done yet, but that I would like to do still:

1. There are some very nice images of pin-on rank out there. The style is basically the same today as it was back then. I'd like to change the nasty-looking "stripe ranks" in the player's rank book to reflect these pin-on ranks since I don't think I've ever seen anything with regards to subs during WW2 where the officers were wearing anything other than khakis with pin-on, collar rank. If it looks decent, I may look into changing the ranks in the crew management image to pin-on as well. I haven't tried it yet, so they may loose something when compressed down to size in order to fit.

2. Update the medals on the bacground I've been working on. I realized after finishing with the ranks that the medals were still the default UbiSoft versions and not the FotRSU ones that include the Asia-Pacific-Campaign-Medal.

3. I'd like to add more messages that are related to things like promotions, medals, and the like. I've been through the messages file (messages.txt file in the Campaign folder) and it seems there's a type of format used. I'm not sure if the three periods (the ^...^ in there) means that it's the sub you have that's supposed to receive the message. In other words, my question is whether or not it's the same as the "NULL" entry in the upc files that takes info from somewhere else. I've seen messages that are directed directly at the sub I'm in, but I've also seen some of the messages with the ^...^ as well instead. What I'd like to know is whether or not I can have something like: @...@^...^ in order to have the message come directly from my higher command to my sub.

4. I have some limited experience with XML, so I wouldn't mind figuring out if there was a way to read, edit, then save the "CareerTrack.upc" file to automatically scan for certain things. For example, let's say you would like to give out the Asia-Pacific-Campaign-Medal to those in the crew that have been there for two (2) or more patrols. I realize medals are a fairly trivial thing in SH4 compared to SH3, but I would like to try it anyway. I know that there are "if" and "then" and other types of statements that can be used to try and find then change the lines you want. Basically look for "Medals=" and "Patrols=" and then if the value after "Patrols=" is greater than or equal to "2" you change the "Medals=" to the "Bronze Star" ID since that's the one that is now the APCM. I'm not sure if XML is going to be enough for this, but it's worth a try.

- Failing that, you can just add 60-or-so "Bronze Star" medals to the "pool" of medals available in the "CareerTrack.upc" file and then just dole them out after you go back into the sim and save again.

5. I'm going to include the PM3C in the S-Boats as well, even though I realize they didn't have them in reality. The way I see it, however, the fact I may have to put them in the S-Boats at all may be a limitation of the sim itself. No matter what I try to do, the only way you're going to have a medic on board anywhere close to the way you should have one is to put one in there to begin with. I still have to mess with the percentages in the "CrewMemeber.upc" file for the PM. Right now, you'll definitely get a PM aboard down the road eventually, but it's unfortunately a random event. He may even be an officer, which is unrealistic. At least by putting him in the DC team he'll be the rank and "place" he would normally be in.

6. I'm thinking of adding the special abilities I've modified already over to the NSS files so that the skills are there already when you take the boat. The only reason I'm thinking of doing this is to help simulate the fact you would already have these skills aboard. A sub would have a diving officer, gunnery officer, etc. There's no reason these people would be a "special" ability. Now, if you lose one of them to enemy action; that's another story. In other words: start out with what you should have. If you lose it later, then you'll just have to cope until you can get a replacement from the pool.

a. Question: Is there a way to have the personnel available in the pool with an ability but not get one in the boat as time goes on? I'd like to make sure that the diving officer, for example, is actually a CWO or higher and not something that would go to a really experienced CPO or PO1 just because the "math" says they should get it.

b. If I place the abilities in the sub to begin with using the NSS file, then the officer promotions would have to be manual since you would then have to replace the LtCdr's. Otherwise you'd have a boat full of them.

c. Reference "b." above, I guess I could always make the promotion "experience" level much higher for the officers than it is now. By doing that, then the promotions wouldn't be that often and you could keep the officers with "abilities" on board for longer. You would eventually loose one when they got to LtCdr, but you could always add the ability you just lost manually in the career's upc file like the medals, correct?

Any input would be appreciated. I've already been able to message one person and have the go-ahead to use their work for some of the image base files.

The main thing that's time consuming is the testing - even with the experience down to 20-step increments to test out the ranks and special abilities. If I can get this thing together I'd like to get it out to you guys if you're interested.

I was thinking of calling it: "BuPers Mod" if you think is sounds appropriate considering what I'm trying to do.

Let me know what you guys/gals think.



Last edited by ElCid97; 02-05-23 at 02:32 PM. Reason: Trying to add WIP.
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