First off, a thank you to everyone who has posted modding guides and information. Its been a big help in getting into modding this game.
Some background: I have the latest (1.1) version of Rebellion and am using harpo's reference files. The mod I'm working on is somewhere around 400 .entity files and aside from the occasional hiccup of forgetting to update numEntityModifiers from 2 to 3, the mod has been working flawlessly. However I haven't added any new entity files: All of the ones I'm using were present in the reference files, meaning AbilityRepairDroids is still AbilityRepairDroids and so forth.
Yesterday I tried creating my own ability from scratch. I followed all the sensible steps: Copy an existing ability and buff set, rename the files, modify the contents into the new ability, create new strings and point to them. Double and triple checking confirmed the new .entity files were functional and doing exactly what they should be.
Launch the game and Sins crashes, Dev.exe spits out the line "Entity Ref not found: AbilityNewAbility" which is odd because its not the same as "Failed to find data file 'AbilityName.entity'." that it does when it can't find the file. I did some testing and confirmed the new ability and buff files are present in the directory, are not spelled incorrectly and have no errors in them. I seem to get the Entity Ref error for any entity that didn't ship with the game whether or not the files are present.
This occurs when I try to create and point to any new abilities, buffs, research items, etc. Searching the internet, these forums and various wikis/etc. didn't mention any solutions to this or steps I had missed but it feels like I am.
So my questions: What is an Entity Ref and why is it not recognizing new entities? Is there a master reference of all entity files that I need to expand when I create new ones? Or is Rebellion 1.1 already at some sort of hardcoded entity cap?
Any help is appreciated.