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Fey last won the day on June 27

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  1. So much sick Butlerian Jihad goodness. I can't wait to give these campaigns a run!
  2. ayy lmao, another new map is out here's a zip with every map in the campaign so far, including the new one, S16V1. https://drive.google.com/open?id=1y48LuY8cuL4KU3iHpZ__WakoGs_bbwDW this is an Arrakis map. so, it's different from S16V2, but it should be about as hard. you need to head into Grose Valen and protecc the Fremen and Imperials while killing the Tleilaxu. but with a talented commander like Moriaen organizing the enemy, and given that you're surrounded, this is easier said than done even taking into consideration the hardiness of the holdouts you're coming to rescue. here are some details: hopefully it's about as difficult as S16V2 and takes about as long to beat. they're very different maps, one being a Heighliner map, so it's kinda hard to balance them with each-other, but again these are only the first drafts of S16V1 / V2. after some testing, I'll have all the data I need to make the maps properly tuned for their final releases and stuff anyway, good luck, please drop a comment if you give it a run and let me know how it feels. the more data, the better my tuning will be for the final release Edit: arma kindly did a testing run of the map and I was able to fix some glaring balance issues. S16V1 should be much fairer now! This new draft has replaced the old link.
  3. 3 more maps. One of them, S16V1, already has pretty much all of its terrain done. If I can think straight for a few hours, I might be able to finish it. Kinda super out of it recently, Iunno why. It's too bad C&Cnet screws with your machine so much. At least we've got Discord up, there are a lot of C&Cnet folks around on there. I'd say that if you want a normal route through the campaign, like with the least involved maps and stuff, all the "v1" maps tend to be more simple. The "v2" maps are where the Heighliner maps are, where the more complex objectives tend to be, that kinda thing. You can always skip the v2 and bonus missions and come back to 'em later! By the way, for anyone following this thread: I mentioned that arma gave the campaign (thus far) a run, but I forgot to link to it in my last post. 😅 So, here's a link to the playlist. This will still be largely relevant even after the official release and I don't touch it anymore since many of the maps are in final draft states and I ain't touching them except for game-breaking bugs or significant AI improvements. So... here's a link to the run: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUG-JW5l2ys&list=PLg9coKBGGTxrkgXzX_0JrJ1jsL5ewQTmy Notably, I improved the AI a bit on S03V2, S06V1, and massively on S18. Also S18 got some restructuring on account of arma breaking it, which I comment on at length in my last post. MOST of S18 went as intended in arma's run, but the beginning was intolerably broken so I had to do something about it. Again, details in the previous post about what I tried and how it actually turned out. In arma's words, he plays "sub-optimally." His macro is still very good and each level is completed successfully (except SBON2, RIP Axlotl Tanks). He uses a very popular and common Ordos build for many missions - Combat Tanks, Raiders, and Troopers. However, as good as Raiders are, Quads have received an amazing buff to their damage and game mechanics are somewhat changed around! And Grenadiers can prove pretty useful too, especially in small numbers. Most projectiles, including those of Raiders, are blocked by walls. So, if you're following the guides, you might have more success in one area or another by trying a different unit combination. Edit: I almost forgot - I posted my own run of S03V2 on hard+ mode. Maybe you'll get a different idea from how I go about playing through. I also comment on some ways the mod has changed things. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dT5YNo_qHlA Hope that helps.
  4. Oh, hey aarma! Thanks again for playing through. Even with sub-optimal gameplay, that was a good run. Very helpful, lots of useful data. And sub-optimal for you is still really good. lol I just released one of the missing maps, S16V2, in the WIP thread. Here's a link to that, for anyone following this thread, along with some general updates based on data gathered from arma's run: https://forum.dune2k.com/topic/27783-wip-smugglers-campaign-2/?do=findComment&comment=397491
  5. henlo frens S16V2 is done. S16V1 is still being worked on, but I figure I could drop S16V2 here. Here's a link to the map by itself: S16V2.zip Same copy+paste installation as all previous posts. You know how it goes. This map is a step up in difficulty from S15, but definitely not as harsh as S18. Also, it's one of the three Heighliner maps in this campaign. Details below this spoiler, including a full map image of S16V2 and some strategic tips: If you're new here and want a link to all twenty-seven maps that are currently finished, or if you just want to be up to date, here's a link to the entire campaign in a zip: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1y48LuY8cuL4KU3iHpZ__WakoGs_bbwDW Since things ARE still in the process of being fleshed out, any feedback is appreciated. Aarmaageedon recently tested the campaign and was very helpful in figuring out where the difficulty level was at - harder than the original campaign, but definitely not crazy hard so that even a pro would have trouble. Thus, I've made a few more adjustments based on arma's games to further tune the difficulty a bit, either making some missions harder or others easier. Also, a recent discovery in AI defensiveness which Cm was able to help me with has enabled me to improve the AIs across the board yet again. Hurrah! I do have some commentary about the difficulty and tuning it: That's about all for now. I'll see what I can do to get S16V1 finished up, but as always if you have any feedback to provide or whatever, it'd help me out a lot with tuning things to perfection before the official release. Thanks. Good luck and have fun.
  6. Heh, of course. There's never enough time in the day, unfortunately. I hope everything is going well with business!
  7. Oh, hey Gruntlord! Nice to see you again. By the way, Klofkac's map editor has been getting some updates. Not sure if you heard, but I believe he has a new version out. Would be a great update for the D2k toolkit. Edit: Never mind, I just saw you reply on the map editor thread. But it was updated again with a new manual Cm and I wrote up, so you should have another look!!
  8. Oh, well here ya go, fam: https://discord.gg/HZCXCU https://discord.gg/u29Xud You don't need to register to get on Discord. Should just be able to hop on. We'll be looking forward to it!
  9. Ayy lmao, nice to see ya again, zidane. Are you around on C&Cnet or the D2k Discord at all? I'm hanging around there recently and could probably help test some maps with ya.
  10. You should drop that Tiledata.bin file in every single folder just to be sure. Ah, so you don't know which faction you'd like to work with next? Well, someone else is currently working on an Imperial campaign, and personally I get the feeling you'd be able to make some pretty interesting maps for the Fremen. Would be nice with the mod you're currently using, too. What do you think?
  11. I'm also curious. 😮 Also, you didn't have the updated tiledata file? Gosh, we distribute that with everything. I'm surprised. Yeah, always a good idea to include that tiledata file in every campaign you do, just in case someone doesn't have it. It's kinda important for making sure stuff appears on the map lol
  12. Damn. XD I'll need to draw some up then. Well hey, I managed to get some more testing done on the multiplayer map. Now that I know a bit more about... how they work and stuff, I was able to polish it up so there aren't any weird bugs. It's capped at 4 players, each player starts with two MCVs (so the Mass Deposit / Supply Depot system works better) along with a couple of scouts and some infantry. There is a no-rush timer for whoever cares about that, the AI will respect it, and there are a few quick tips regarding the hybrid resources system that appear as the map begins. Player 1 is ALWAYS in the top left. Player 2 is ALWAYS in the bottom right. 3, always bottom left, and 4, always top right. I also worked up a single-player version of the map for those who wanted to have a look. It uses the exact same AI as in the multiplayer version, so it'd be just like you loaded it up on C&Cnet, minus the random factions. There's one Atreides, one Ordos, and one Harkonnen, and the player is Atreides. As the "host" of the game, the player is always in the top left corner. Here is a download link to both versions of the map. As with all previous downloads, simply unpack the zip and merge the data folder within with the one in your D2k directory. It won't overwrite anything except stuff we commonly distribute with campaigns to make sure they work properly, like TILEDATA.bin. Heighliner multiplayer prototype.zip To launch the single player version, open up the Mission Launcher, click All Missions, and select Atreides. This map will appear as "Battle Station - by Fey." To launch the multiplayer version, host a game on C&Cnet and either wait for other players to come around or add AI opponents. Or, inform other players that you're hosting a game, maybe they'll see it faster. You can bring up the map either by searching for it, or by copying and pasting this into the chat box of the pre-game lobby: /map c4c92fc54b30d0db7fa2c894519219afaf19b4a9 Anyway, I also did a quick humans vs. bots match with LEGOLAS. I only got like four hours of sleep, so my macro is crap, but I do explain everything thoroughly through captions. So, hopefully it helps or at least is a fun watch. Here's a link to that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oekHzy7psgc That's all for now. Thanks for reading.
  13. It was that way for me before my last HDD broke became a very expensive paperweight. Oh yeah, testing mechanics and testing gameplay... both make it difficult to gauge tuning. I try not to test mechanics, but sometimes new stuff comes around and I gotta. Then it's gotta be like... I dunno, a week? At minimum before testing the map is fair lol Yeah. I distinctly recall that particular map. But, why would you want to deliberately block the path? Wouldn't it make more sense to design it around vehicle versus infantry movement, so infantry can go straight through and vehicles will need to roll around here or there? I guess the reason could be that it would split the vehicles in two, partially at the top and partially at the bottom, but in that case there ought to be an infantry-only in the middle. Ya know? I don't recall if that was the case, it probably was and I'm not remembering that detail lol Doing something that spans an entire map is very... risky. It causes the perspective of the map to be skewed a lot. That's why the original S06V2 was so... disproportionate. I wanted a reeeally big cliff wall covering an island on the north end of the map, but then everything else kinda looked funny by comparison. And despite that, the map paradoxically felt smaller than it should have. Ooh, I haven't checked out the Glory Awaits Ordos campaign yet so I was totally unaware of that. And yeah, I mean... there are always variations that can be done, but boiling things down to base elements, it'd be difficult to come up with a totally new basic idea. You know what I mean? Not necessarily impossible, but it would take a lot of effort and creativity. I was aware of the Deviator thing, and I think it was creative and interesting to use it in a mission like that. Right. 😅 Well, I'm doing my best to get rid of ALL the bugs I can, so hopefully I won't need to change anything more lol The final drafts of every map are all significantly improved in terms of gameplay, presentation, aesthetics, and tuning. So, really any of the early levels are fair game. I'd say the most dramatic difference is between S06V1 and S06V2, and that's because S06V2 was straight-up redrawn to be on a Heighliner rather than Arrakis. Even with that considered, S06V1 has its own improvements worth giving a peek. Speaking of changing stuff up though, I've been asked to convert the entire campaign into a coop campaign and so I've been doing a bit of research into how that might work out. Custom text files can't be referenced, only ONE text file can be shared across the entire campaign, tech level / starting cash will be the same for every faction and you can't force certain allocation indexes to be in-game, but it IS possible to play with a mod, you can force the tech level and starting cash to be a certain way through in-game events, player starts can be made to not spawn starting units or MCVs, the briefing can be referenced before the map, enemy AIs can vary... there are workarounds. So it would be possible, theoretically, to make a really detailed coop campaign too. If I get around to working up a prototype coop map, would you be interested in analyzing or playing it? I will absolutely pass it along.
  14. I admire how organized you are. 😅 It's important to keep in mind the original goal / intent of a map. That's why even after all this time and all these updates for the same old maps, the original objectives and gameplay are by and large intact. The idea is usually fine, but the execution must be perfected. I think that by looking at it that way, it's very hard to lose the point. Do you agree? Yeah, waiting before testing a map is good. One good night's sleep is enough time if you don't even touch it beyond the editor the night before, or at least it is for me. Still, there are things you can estimate, things you get better at estimating as you design more maps. Like enemy unit build and attack rates, for instance. That's a good one. Usually I just make the AIs build a dis-proportionally small amount of Siege Tanks compared to others. Not that Siege Tanks are bad anymore, but like Grenadiers they seem to perform best in smaller numbers until you need some serious demolition done. Thanks. Yeah, it's hard figuring out the layouts for sure... you've got the base layouts, the terrain, aesthetics, pathing, and lots more. I like to design maps little bit by little bit, and eventually the whole thing comes together. If I try to lay out on the map from the start "okay, the enemy bases should be here and here," things will end up looking funny. That's how I wound up with stuff like the original S07 with the massive and incredibly dull stretch of sand between two enemy bases. With S16V1, I actually started by building the player's rock island in the top right corner, but then I decided the Sardaukar and Fremen should be opposite from each-other, so I put the player in-between them. But wait, there's a lot of empty space behind the Sardaukar and Fremen bases... and I don't want to use reinforcements because I need all the events I can use, so I'm gonna draw up rock big enough to put some enemy bases there, and I'll make it a map where the player is good and surrounded. Will need to balance the Fremen and Sardaukar so the player can fairly deal with the situation I've decided to put him in. There's a big stretch of sand between the Sardaukar and the Fremen though... so how about I put a bunch of winding cliffs and infantry-only passages there? Needs more work. Add a few rock islands... two of them are in good spots to be enemy bases, I'll just expand them a bit... but wait, the enemy infantry will take too long to reach the player's base, so I need more infantry-only paths here and then I need to place the enemy factories far back compared to their Barracks. It's little bit by little bit. That, I think, is how I've done my best aesthetic work, so I need to keep doing it that way. And I think doing it the old way has resulted in a LOT of maps where the player isn't attacked from enough angles. I think the pathing in general is very good; the player has a lot of different paths to navigate, the AI's forces will be arranged in a certain way, expansion options are plentiful, but at the end of the day you've got one contestant in one corner and another in the other. There are exceptions, like if the player expands on most maps, new angles of attack will be opened up, like on S18... or on maps like S03V1 or S04, where the player has a choice in allies, the battle will change significantly enough. S03V2 in-game hard mode, S05's AI tends to change its preferred attacking location sometimes, S06V1 at midfield, S06V2 as the battle evolves, S08 after the mercs show up, S09V2 as the player's allies arrive, S11, S12, I guess SBON3 is an exception, S18 has Saboteurs and an evolving battle... and the maps that are yet incomplete may have tougher starting locations for the player too. S16V1 and V2 are already shaping up to have the player attacked from multiple angles, but my current ideas for S17V1 / V2 are less conducive to that setup. I guess I mostly achieve variation through objectives, player choice and consequence, and general non-linearity, but the player's initial locations are usually quite defensible. Is that good design, or bad design? I haven't really thought about this until now. It could be called good because all players benefit from a steadfast starting position, especially less skilled players, which makes the campaigns more fair. Expanding rewards more resources and space to build, and more map control, but expansion usually comes with different angles of attack, which is risky. But, I guess it could also be called bad because it makes enemy attacks predictable on certain maps. Ah, perfection is always just a step away, and even if it is achieved, it is debatable. Funny, isn't it? Pardon my rambling; I'm tired as you know, Cm, but this is an interesting conversation and I simply must engage in a bit more of it before I turn in. Otherwise I might forget the ideas! Even if they are just... policy ideas, they do contribute something to design philosophy. I would rather not forget. Anyway, I guess there's no such thing as originality anymore; everything's been done once already, so the idea now is to take what we've got and use it well. If the design philosophy is good, the game will continue to be enjoyable. Actually, yes! They do indeed appear in the first half of the campaign. RPG Quads are commonplace tech and will potentially be seen belonging to any faction. The player gets to use them on S02V2, S03V1, S04V1, S11V1, SBON2, S13V1, S13V2, and SBON3, but they will be seen on enemy factions on even more levels than those. Notably, the ONLY time the player may build or order RPG Quads is on SBON2. Shock Raiders are Guild-exclusive tech and so they're much more rare. They're first seen on S06V2, where they can be stolen from Guild Freighters docked at certain Launch Pads and are regarded as something of a mystery by Summers and Durant. They can also be built by the player on S09V1 / V2 and SBON2 if the player captures a Harkonnen Heavy Factory, has upgraded his Heavy Factory, has built a Research Centre, and also has a Light Factory in his possession, but this is considerably unlikely. The player may build them from his own Light Factory at the end of S18. Shock Raiders appear as commonplace enemy units on S13V1 / V2 for the first time and continue to be commonplace enemy units on all maps where the Guild is involved until the very end of the campaign. Duelist Tanks are a new type of armor seen first on S05 as reinforcements for the player. They can be built by the player on S06V1 through S09V2, but they're retired on S10V1 and are mostly seen as enemy units from then on, although they can be built if the player captures an Ordos Heavy Factory. Still, they aren't common enemy units. They're seen on S07 for the first time as enemies, and then they appear on S10 and S18. And... that's about it. A Storm Lasher is also seen for the first time on S06V2. It's inoperable though, only there for foreshadowing. Summers remarks that the structure she discovers appears to be some sort of defense turret, but it's like nothing she's seen before and so she doesn't know what to make of it. Storm Lashers are introduced as an actual threat for the first time on S15... and S15 uniquely only has one AI explicitly for the purpose of acclimating the player to the new megaturret. It then continues to appear on every mission until the end of the campaign, with the exception of SBON3. The player may only build Storm Lashers at the very end of S18, following the capture of a Guild ConYard which will promptly come under attack from Tleilaxu forces who don't want you to have access to their cool megaturret. All the new stuff was first developed when S14V1 / V2 and S15 had their first drafts released, but these things had to retroactively be added to the final drafts of every map one by one. The Heighliner tileset was also new around the same time and replaced the comparatively bland old version of S06V2. After all, why stop an aerial blockade on Arrakis when you could go up to space instead? That also afforded me the opportunity to put Shock Raiders and a Storm Lasher very early on in the campaign, just to show the player there's new stuff I'm saving mostly for later. It's a tease. And, like I said, foreshadowing too since they're Guild Freighters! And where else would they be developing awesome new secret tech? Certainly not on Arrakis with the war going on, that's for sure! Anyway, I'm finally good to crash, so Imma do that. I hope that answers all your questions and stuff. See ya later!
  15. 1. Change things. 2. Repeat step 1 until the game breaks. 3. Re-install. 4. Repeat all steps ad infinitum. Oh yeah. XD Balancing things just right is really freakin' hard. Getting it right or almost right on the first try comes with a tremendous amount of practice. Which... you have! The reinforcements being used to get around or mess with enemy unit ratios is good. There's also the more passive method of placing units on the map on guard mode, which stay on guard mode until killed or freed somehow and then the enemy will go ahead and use them later. S18 is a good example, the Tleilaxu and Guild have Sardaukar Gholas, Fremen Gholas, and Sonic Tanks spread around so they build less to meet their quota in the initial attacks, and more later when they really need more of 'em. Of course you know this, but I mention that little technicality for others following the thread. About the actual topic of this thread, I do have a minor update too. I've been able to get a bit of work done on S16V1 / V2 and have one and a half template maps drawn up. Here are some screenshots of the WIP maps: https://prnt.sc/oghj1g https://prnt.sc/oghjas https://prnt.sc/oghjr3 https://prnt.sc/oghl0k S16V1 is coming along with some winding cliffs and stuff. These are finally new levels with Storm Lashers, which I'm excited to start using again, and of course I'm measuring their attack radii for fair placement. As with S15 and S18, I'll do what I can to mark the attack radii in-game somehow and build the enemy bases around their Storm Lashers. The Heighliner multiplayer test map had a few designs I really enjoyed, so I plan to replicate those designs for some portions of S16V2. Obviously, there will be some new designs as well, particularly around the enemy base. As with Industrial Accident, the player will need to secure Combat Tanks to use against Moriaen, and the enemy base will need to be similarly impenetrable without them. The maps ain't done yet, but the physical layouts of them are coming together. Also, I packed up all 26 final drafts so far into a single zip. There is nothing new in the following zip, but if whoever is following my smugglers campaign threads want to pick up ALL the maps at once, here ya go: <Redacted; update in later post w/ 16v2> I'll come back with a serious update once S16V1 & V2 are done.
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