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  1. Falconius, I would reccomend you try out the Tribes I mod that Tez put together first. That will give you a good idea of the direction he would tend towards in a Tribes II mod. In short, it would be based more on the characteristics of the novels than any of the games, involving a heavy focus on infantry melee combat and shield restrictions. If you like, you can set a date and time and I would be happy to try to meet you on the game server and show you around. --Bashar
  2. As I think on it, these books -are- pretty old. The War of the Worlds is not a bad choice to start with as it's an easier read and I thought the ending quite clever. The slower novels such as Time Machine and Dr. Moreau are a bit dryer and "headier" so if 19th century narrative English is an issue, as it is with me sometimes, it's more likely to ruin your enjoyment of the book overall. --Bashar
  3. It has been a while but I've read four of H.G. Wells' books: The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man, and The Island of Dr. Moreau. Of those, Time Machine and Dr. Moraeu probably best fit the sort of social speculative fiction that we've all come to appreciate in in the works of Frank Herbert, so I would probably recommend those. Dr. Moreau, though, I think has particular relevence today. Without spoiling the book I'll tell you that it deals with the morality of manipulating nature. While in the book it uses the process of vivisection (considered deplorable in its day, and probably still so), the important concepts of the novel can be applied to genetic science. This is supported by the film adaptation made in the last decade which, while -very- poor, was notable for making this switch. --Bashar
  4. It's a pity he hasn't updated in two years but it's nice that the site is still up for people to download from. I personally recommend "Doomed on Dune" which was a mixture of Leto's Death from the Toto score and level music from either Doom or Doom II. The two compliment eachother nicely to create a very moody piece in spite of the percussion. That and the Dark Forces remix, which is just a fun and upbeat piece, are the two of his I'd say I listen to the most. I'll definately have to check out the Crete theme, though, as I recall liking the original when I played Fate of Atlantis. --Bashar
  5. I was asked in Private Message to elaborate on my suggestion of how to program maps to have odd-shaped regions without having to resort to geometry. Since someone else some day down the road might also be curious, I've decided to respond here publicly. The gist of it is that you create a variable array to associate portions of the map to specified regions. I generally use multidimentional arrays (i.e. matrices); however, a single dimention array is just fine and a little more memory friendly. When you receive the X and Y coordiantes of the mouseclick, that data is used to identify a single variable of the array and that variable contains region index, preset by you. Let's say your screen/map is 640x480 pixels in resolution. Having a variable dedicated for each pixel could be memory consuming so we'll scale our array to a 64x48 matrix, essentially dividing the map into a grid. Each variable in our map array will now accound for a 10x10 pixel square on our map, 100 pixels alotgether. When the user clicks on the map we receive the X and Y coordinate of that click, let's say they clicked on coordinate 281,407. Scaling that down we end up with coordiantes 28,41. Now we use these scaled coordiantes to locate the correct varaable in our array. With a matrix, we'd just plug in the numbers directly so we'd look up variable(28,41). With a single dimention array we'd look up variable(28*48+41), that is the sum of X coordinate multiplied by the Y dimention and the Y coordinate. The array contains the data of which region each portion of the map represents. Since you can associate the same region to more than one part of the map, this allows you to create odd shaped regions. I hope that helps some. --Bashar
  6. tag

    Desktop Pics

    Compressed in .gif format, Erijn, my desktop capture is 8.1k... I assume you'll allow me to forego using an external image site? ;-) This image was shrunk to half-size for the sake of easier viewing. My Windows appearance settings are a black background, grey button face, light grey text, and gold for header bars and highlighting (three guesses how I came up with -that- colour scheme). Over the years I'd tried a number of different wallpapers, often involving Dune, Star Wars, or Roman themes; however, upon recently finding myself using the default Mircrosoft Clouds, I realised I didn't care that much and figured pure black would be a little easier on the phosphors, not to mention my eyes. I generally try to maintain only a single column of desktop icons, which appears to common of those presented in this thread. Of those icons displayed, only five are permanent: My Computer, Recycle Bin, My Documents, Network Neighbourhood, and my internet access dialer. The other two are temporary text files of e-mails or posts that I'm drafting. On my QuickLaunch bar are Desktop, Media Player, and Firefox. In my System Tray are McAfee Virus Control, Volume Control, Creative Audio HQ, my keyboard button application (which I probably could do without), and of course the clock. --Bashar [attachment archived by Gobalopper]
  7. Yes, but how long did it take them to finally see the value of the armour-weapon relationship in producing Warcraft III? Nine years since C&C initialy introduced the feature! Most game companies don't even last that long. In any event, I wasn't really including Warcraft III or C&C Generals in my overall anaysis since, admittedly, I've not played either. A side note, the only RTS I have my eyes set on right now is Star Wars: Empire at War. As for Starcraft, I'll agree that Blizzard -nudged- towards utilising armour; however, the system was so simplistic by comparison to Westwood's that I really don't give it much credit. The maximum differential was about 30 to 50% whereas in C&C it ranged up to %400 or even higher in some special cases, such as the Sniper. As I recall, there were also height modifier and natural cover bonuses in Starcraft as well, but again these seemed to be half-hearted attempts at improving the model and didn't appear to have any significant tactical bearing in the game. In short, it wasn't these features that made Starcraft into a classic game. --Bashar
  8. Over the years I've talked to Starcraft/Blizzard fans and C&C/Westwood fans and I've also played most of the games in question. My impression is that Westwood has generally made great games that were poorly executed where on the other hand Blizzard made medeocre games that were extremely well executed. If you look at the incremental changes between Westwood RTS games and their Blizzard counterparts, you'll find that Blizzard made greater improvements in between games. All that Red Alert really added was the introduction of Sea Power, which made it seem more like an update than a separate game from C&C, and Tiberian Sun's main contribution was isometric graphics, seemingly ignorant of the multi-theatre warfare Red Alert had paved the way for. Warcraft II, Starcraft, and Warcraft III each offered definite improvements over ther predecessors. In short, I think Westwood made a poor move by flooding the market with new titles, raking in a ton of money in sales but losing consumer confidence that they actually -could- advance the genre. They did, of course, but the change was so gradual from game to game that it was hardly noticible. Blizzard, however, never figured out to adopt C&C's most important feature, the paper-rock-scissors effect of armour. As a result, a units were more or less the same and an opportunity to introduce greater -tactics- to RTS was lost; players simply amassed armies of the most powerful units they could produce. Of course, C&C suffered the same problem, hense why we have the term "Tank Rush" rather than "Ogre Rush", but not because the capability wasn't there but because Westwood broke the model by making Tanks too effective for players to bother producing other specialised units. C&C had the superior model but it was never -executed- properly to make it worthwhile until, arguably, Emperor was introduced, a very long six year later. Starcraft is not considered a great game because of anything new it introduced to the genre, in fact it's remarkable how -few- features it had that could be considered unique. It was a great game, though, because it utilised the features it did have to the maximum. The three factions were, in spite of the limitations detailed above, unique and more or less balanced right out of the box. In spite of being more modest in the use of FMV than Westwood, the storyline was nevertheless entertaining and engaging. No quote from any Westwood game sticks out in my mind as does "Thank God for cold fusion." And finally there is the map editor. This, I think, is what pretty much saved Blizzard from oblivion when C&C stormed shelves in 1995. You could play C&C (single-player) from start to finish at most four times before growing stale. Because Warcraft II included a map editor, even allowing you to edit unit values, gameplay was almost limitless. Starcraft took this and went even further, introducing triggers and logic statements that allowed you to go beyond simple map making and create genuine scenarios. You could even develop your own pre-game briefings and string maps together to create custom campaigns, including branching mission trees if you were savvy enough. As companies go, I think I tend to favour Blizzard because they seem to be more interested in the quality of their product rather than produce with an eye always on market share. Being a modder, though, I lean towards Westwood games because even if I don't like them out of the box, they leave me enough functionality that I am able to tailor them more to my tastes with features often in excess to what Blizzard was offering. In regards to Blizzard getting injunctions to shut down external servers hosting their games, this is because Blizzard is notoriously cautious about piracy of its software. You can only play on Blizzard's servers with a -legitimate- copy of their games so if there are rogue servers up, it allows for people with pirated copies to play. The fact of the matter is that after all these years, Blizzard still supports Starcraft, and after all these years you can still find Starcraft on the shelf at software retailers. If they can make a game with that kind of longevity, I don't see why they shouldn't be paid for it and why they shouldn't be allowed to protect the fruits of their efforts. --Bashar
  9. My reccomendation has always been to ignore bothering to edit Emperor and simply extract the mp3s to your hard drive using the BagTool application as mentioned by IxianMace. Then play them in an external program such as WinAmp or Media Player and disable the Emperor in-game music. Since the amount of hard drive space consumed is the same and as Emperor merely acts as a jukebox, as opposed to Dune II which differentiated between "battle" and "scroll" music, you're not losing much this way and you gain a great deal more control over your playlist. This to say nothing of the fact that you can now listen to the Emperor music in or out of the game. --Bashar
  10. If you like you could copy the texture from the Map Editor and move it to the Data/3ddata/textures/ folder in your Emperor directory. If the folder is not there already (no reason to be unless you've been modding), just create it. Moving texture files there will override those in the .rfd archives. Of course, then your maps would appear unique on your computer, everyone else using the original texture; however, I'm guessing in this that that won't be -too- great an issue. --Bashar
  11. This article, http://www.snopes.com/language/document/goodwife.htm, makes the argument that while gender roles in the 1950s placed considerably more prestige on the male than the female, the "Good Wife's Guide" is most likely fabricated. --Bashar
  12. Hmmm... interesting. Well there is only one difference between the Atreides and Harkonnen weapons: the Atreides machine gun has a muzzle flare animation attached to it. This -will- require experimentation for if refire time is cumulative with the animation frames rather than concurrent, that effect will apply to all weapons with a flare and modding (good modding, at least) will all of a sudden become more difficult. ... Not what I expected from so-called IG. As for the Chem and Flamethrower Troopers, neither of their weapons have muzzle flare animations so the refire time of the former -should- be 3/4 the time of the latter, according to the printed times listed in the files. If -that- is different then, again, I can only imagine it's unit-animations that are causing the discrepancy. In any event, Aristeas, giving a house the Elite Sardaukar rather than the regulars isn't a difficult procedure at all. I think there's a rules.txt file in the downloads section; look it over and begin by tweaking it to your liking. If you run into a problem, which isn't likely is all you make are small changes and try not to add new units/weapons/armours right away, you can probably find a solution on the Dune Editing board. --Bashar
  13. Fremen units don't have knife animations as do the Sardaukar Elite and Ixian Slave so the only way to remedy that would be to create a new unit based off the Sardaukar or Ix and retexture them with Fremen colours. This would probably involve new XBF files but since the only major change would be in texture, isn't that difficult for someone who knows what they're doing. Besides which, giving Fremen crysknives is rather redundant in gameplay terms since their weapons are already geared towards anti-infantry utilisation. If they can kill infantry from 10 tiles away, they don't really need to do it from 1 tile distance. I've looked at the statistics for the Harkonnen and Atreides infantry. They have, in fact, identical strength (hit points), firepower, -and- refire rate. I double checked. The only explanation I can think of at the moment is that there is some slight efficiency increase in the Harkonnen Infantry animations that give it a first-shot advantage; however, combat will rarely take place on a level playing field and any such advantage will be further and further negated the more and more units are involved, such as the en masse assaults we're discussing in this thread. When the opportunity arises, I'll run some "field tests" of my own to either confirm or deny Gunwounds' theory. As for your mod, Aristeas, since Ordos and Atreides seem to hold well enough on their own, I'd concentrate on the Harkonnen. Try increasing the Flamethrower Trooper's strength, maybe doubling it, so that it has a chance in heck against the other Houses' comperative units and work from there. That is, if you're just trying to balance Westwood's units so that they play well without the benefit of armour. If you're looking to have a whole new mod developed I'd start with deciding on a flavour for each house and altering the units according to that master design. i.e. make one house the "Missile House" or the "Strength House" or the "Cheap and Mass Manufactured House" etc. Furthermore, taking this thread to the Dune Editing forum might also be beneficial. --Bashar
  14. Once while I was working on a mod I inadvertantly made the Heavy Factory unbuildable. Since I had only modded the building tree and not the units I had the opportunity to play infantry-only games with Westwood units, and I was able to play it online multiplayer to boot. In the end the Atreides ruled by a noticible margin. Snipers, in spite of their refire delay, were far too potent and, as you pointed out, were well enough defended from Chem Trooper attacks by the generic Atreides infantryman. Harkonnen and Ordos were a little more evenly matched but for the fact that the Ordos Gas turret can outrange anything. As for Flamethrower Troops, the additional hitpoints granted to them, like Tleilaxu Contaminators, aren't enough to make up for their lack of speed. While Ordos Mortar infantry are sussceptible to charges, if you can get a group of them together their area-effect damage will make short work of any massed assault, particularly at a "choke point". The Harkonnen infantryman and the Chem trooper are both like water, in my opinion, but I'm more inclined to favour the Chem Trooper thanks to their speed and the lethality of their weapon. In the end, I'd take the opposite view of yours and say that the list of houses with best to worst infantry are Atreides, Ordos, and Harkonnen. Of course, my accidental mod also didn't allow for any air-power so that is a factor I can't take into account. --Bashar
  15. I know the sound of the word "Tournement" and Agent's ASCII Atrocity might be enough to put off the casual reader of our humble forum so I just wanted to chime in and say that the event is open to all, veterans and newcomers to the Tribes mod alike. As long as you know what a "Holtzmann Effect" is (and more importantly how to prevent one), you are welcome to play and join in the fun. Furthermore, don't be put off simply by the fact that the game is a First Person Shooter. I'm not an FPS player, myself (and it shows), but the attention to detail Tez has put into designing the mod yet makes it worthwhile. Some of the features included are: *Working Shields. That's right, your Holtzmann shield will make you completely invulnerable to projectiles, leaving knives as the only effective weapons against these defences. Don't leave your shield up for too long, though, as your breathable air will eventually grow stale. *Holtzmann Effect. Think you're the baddest Conscript on the block with your fancy Lasgun? Avoid hitting a shielded target or you'll blow yourself up as well as everything within a sizable radius. For some reason, near-by allies never appreciate this tactic very much and you'll be faced with a 60 second cool-down period before you can continue playing. *Sandworms. What Dune mod would be complete without these terrible beasts to keep us hugging the rocks? And I'd avoid using your shield in the open desert or you'll quickly become something's lunch. *Melee combat. A rarity in FPS games, Dune Tribes focuses on close quarters fighting. While initial reaction might be just to charge your nearest opponent "knives blazing", to achieve maximum effectiveness in melee a player should know how to Tackle enemies and Block their attacks as well as how to attack while minimising their own vulnerability. It takes practice, but it's more fulfilling than simply gunning somebody down. Tez's tutorial can be a bit daunting in its scope, I know, so I have decided to personally host an orientation for newcomers of the game on Friday at 8:00pmGMT / 2:00pmET / 12:00pmPT and again at 8:00pmET / 5:00pmPT on Friday the 22nd. Downloading the client-side pack (which can be found through following the link to the tutorial) is highly reccomended not not necessary to play. I also reccomend trying the first few in-game tutorials provided within the game to get a feel for the basic controls. I hope to see many of you there. --Bashar
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