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RA2YR Dune Mod: Take Two

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If you want I can borrow you a 1GB website space at the subdomain http://whateveryouwant.vidiware.com,

pm me if you think this is an idea

If I made the choise, then I would love to have the ornies as BOTH as super weapon and Harriers.

The Death Hand Missile is pretty strong compared to fremen/sabotaur (i guess he should be some kind of spy?). So I don't think Atreides/Ordos will have any unfair advantage of having two "superweapons" (and besides that, they can be turned off, can't they?)

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@ VidiWare:

Thanks for the offer of hosting space ;).

As for the Ornis being both regular and SW, it could be done. The regular Ornis could have MGS or Rockets, and the SW ornis could have bombs (for example). I do want to keep it Dune2 tho, and the Fremen will be controllable in the mod (so more useful/powerful). Still, I think that as a SW it'd not be overpowered.

Ordos Saboteur would be like the Dune2 one, except that he would be able to disguise (more useful that way). Probably give them a build limit of two as well, partly as that is how it was in Dune2, and partly because they can be very powerful if massed...

@ Nema Fakei:

That sort of logic can be attached to buildings that are 1x1 cells in size, as well as units that are classed as vehicles. The planes are not controllable, and their range is limited. Therefore, unless it is to be some sort of base defence or similar, I dobt it'd be that useful. I mean, if I set the range to cover the screen, it would just be sending wave after wave of free Ornis at the enemy; if I set the range shorter it might not reach the enemy's base at all!

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Hang on - we don't need any of this. Let's just go by DII and have ornis that fly all the time (Kirov logic). Make them small, and give them weak weapons - no Banshee/Black eagle things. The only difficult part would be to have them hover, twitch, and patrol in the air.

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Ah, but you're fogetting one important detail: control.

Because players will have control over Kirov-like units, Ornithopters would be far too powerful if players started to mass them, especially considering the very limited AA in the game. Remember that in Dune2, players were unlikely to have more than three ornis in play at any one time, and that as they couldn't be controlled, they got shot down fairly fast without acheiving much. That resulted in most players not building them (right?).

To make it fairer, you could have the Ornithopters dock with a building to recharge, and that would also limit their numbers. To do that, Harrier logic/behaviour is better suited.

The use of them as a SW was a nod to it's successor, Dune2000, and I wasn't really sure if ppl would prefer that to controllable Ornis. Afterall, having them called in from off-screen is the only suitable way that they can be directed without being player-controlled, and again they are limited in power.

Funnily enough, even though some of the old helicopter/helipad logic was removed/hacked to make the Harriers in RA2, the twitching of air units can be easily re-enabled through the use of the tag "CurlyShuffle=yes"... That tag seems to have survived from TS intact.

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"That resulted in most players not building them (right?)."

A failure we don't want to repeat.

AA is not as uncommon as you might think. Troopers, rocket turrets, rocket tanks. Rocket tanks come into DII before ornis in the tech tree for all houses, so AA defence is never an insoluble problem. Of course having to defend against ornis requires some irritaton, but that's entirely as it should be.

Yes, you can amass ornis, but that's true of any aircraft in any RTS - Orcas, Kirovs, RA2 rocketeers, whatever. Making them somewhat lightweight and giving them slower-reloading, weaker weapons will ensure that an orni can *always* be defeated by a cheaper land army. Actually, the RA2 rocketeer is a very good example of what I'm suggesting.

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Rocketeers are a pretty good parallel - thanks.  :)

As for amassing any flying units, that is true. But I do remind you that it has always been difficult to make true fliers useful without being overpowering in CnC/Dune games. In RA1, MiGs were blatantly overpowered, and in RA2 massing Kirovs was fairly unstoppable in the long-game. By the same token, The Dune2 Ornithopters, the RA1 Yaks and the Orca craft in TS were expensive and not very useful.

I agree that there is a reasonable amount of AA available early on, but it comes down to a base defence and two units - one of which is infantry. In Dune2 there a unit cap, and so most of the time infantry was dropped in favour of siege tanks and rocket tanks.

I'd like the Ornis to be more useful than just being scouts or relegated to hunting harvesters/stragglers. I would like to make all units useful at all levels wherever possible, and there also won't be a unit cap anymore. This means that there is potentially a lot more AA to shoot down Ornis, and as a result I think that they can be beefed up a bit.

I am still undecided as to their armament. HE rockets as Dune2, or MGS, AP rockets, cannons, lasers, bombs...? Again I had considered differing armaments based on house and on whether they were called in from off-screen or player-built.

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I guess the best idea will be to give them the same functionality as the Harriers. This way they are some threat as a group of four can destroy a light building when all attack simultaneously, they will also be possible to use as a defensive weapon by attacking enemy attackers. If they are airportbound / techsenterbound then they will need to return for a reload.

The harriers are very well balanced units in RA2, they are too expencive vs. firepower to build houndreds AND good enough to do some serious damage if you use them the right way.

A little btw.: In RA2 you hear certain units when they're build, like Tanya and Kirov, this will make a good player able to count the number of threats and build their defences thereafter, this means that a massive Kirov attack might be pretty useless if you're playing against a good player.

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Yeah, that was the sort of balancing I had in mind... I wanted to allow them to be sent into unexplored areas too, but then I think that should remain the preserve of Trikes/Quads, so maybe not.

As for units announcing when they are created, it does get a bit annoying!

Plus, I use the Kirov example as the 'Kirov Rush' is usually late game, and even if it is announced, it is nearly impossible to stop. You see, cost-for-cost the Kirovs can take waaay more damage that is fair, and thus even if they are slow, are hard to shoot down. Now, as this is late game, there will be ground troops to distract the AA units like the IFVs, and the Kirovs will usually have a fairly clear run until they get about halfway anyway. I'm not saying this is an unstoppable tactic in every situation, but it is seriously hard to counter without heavy losses. Tactics like the Kirov Rush as as hated as Grand Cannon Spamming or playing against Yuri...

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"but then I think that should remain the preserve of Trikes/Quads, so maybe not."

Scouting needs to be done early - certainly before the HTF is built and upgraded. Ornis are going to be too late and too expensive to replace the light units in that job - though they might be able to do cleanup duties for bits of shroud you've missed.

The Kirov rush is impossible to stop because Kirovs are overpowered (massive armour, very damaging weapons with decent ROF and splash damage), not because they're air units that don't have to return to base.

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Well, being an air unit does make it immune to most weapons fire, and if you don't have to reload, that makes it pretty good. If kiroves had enough ammo to fire twice before thay had to return, nobody would build them, despite the great armour and the overpowered damage of its bombs. Similarly, if the Kirov was a ground unit, if could be attacked by just about everything in the game, so the threat would again be lessened.

Also, I appreciate your comments on scouting but I should point out that later in the game it can be very difficult to scout inside a base to see what/where all the buildings are. That's why flyers are useful; fly one over an enemy base, and you have your info - even if you lose the flier, it's reasonable value for the knowledge gained.

On another note, I meant to mention upgrading.

Upgrading cannot work like it did in Dune2, because although the TS upgrade logic survives in RA2, it is hardcoded in terms of what you can "attach" to an upgrade. The important bit for this mod is that an upgrade cannot act as a prerequisite. That means that I cannot upgrade a WF and gain access to new vehicles for example.

I was hoping to keep upgrading in the game though, but by having upgrades for Windtraps, Turrets etc instead. The called-in Ornithopters could quite easily be an upgrade to the Outpost (requiring the HTF as a prerequisite).

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