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Dune 2 eXtended Project


MrFlibble
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I guess the AI wasted quite some money on 'thopters? You're right that the attack teams are formed outside the AI's base, somewhere halfway to the player's base.

Nope. Strangely the Atreides built no 'Thopters. I don't know if they even had a Hi-Tech facility. Check your savegame for the 8th Sardaukar mission and see... And the fact that units are assembled midway makes things a bit easier and it's practically the best way to counter the whole "group" move :)

Another possibility is that player-owned walls deteriorate, just like any other structure, with the exception that walls cannot be repaired. Obviously, walls with only half hp left are so much easier to destroy. Besides, there's the position dependency of weapon damage.

Here I will agree with you. I have no code proof that it is like this, but I have a different source which makes me believe that you are right: walls are also built with half HP if they are not placed on concrete (and I rarely place walls on concrete anyway). Besides that, I also had quite some power shortage this level, for I had to quickly place turrets instead of wasting my credits on Windtraps. Maybe you can modify walls so that they do not need Concrete beneath them (no lore or logical reason, but because of gameplay considerations).

I guess you're referring to the range reduction I borrowed from Minniatian's patch? I think it was not reduced by that much though. But overall I had the same impression, and perhaps more defending units will remedy the situation.

Actually the range is awkwardly low. As I said, Devastators can now outrange the turrets from certain angles which in my opinion is a bit imba, and gives Harkonnen a major advantage (but then again, we're trying to make this tough, so what the hell?)

Also a wacked idea popped into my mind and it may actually make the AI more difficult (or prove to be plain stupid... haven't tested): what if all units and buildings had the same threat level (except 'thopters and saboteurs which can prove quite bitchy if ignored )? That way the opponent would go for whatever he can find to attack, and when multiple opponents are on the field, this can prove quite chaotic and tough to control. If the opponent would take the distance as a factor, then this could be abused by skilled players and make the idea stupid, but if the AI would simply pick random targets it could prove to be quite annoying (AI's actions hard to predict...  ::) ). Because practically not being able to predict what the AI is attacking makes things difficult ;)

-Daelin

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Maybe you can modify walls so that they do not need Concrete beneath them (no lore or logical reason, but because of gameplay considerations).

Actually there is a logical reason: beta screenshots show wall graphics without concrete under them. The final Dune II only has graphics for walls with concrete, so it's only logical for it to act like that, too.

(then again, technically you can say the same for several other buildings with visible concrete :P )

btw, part of your post was kinda useless; if you already built the walls without concrete, power outages don't matter, since buildings don't decay below 50% ;)

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It would be, but it doesn't work like that. The game actually requires that you build the concrete first. Your editor helped me figure this out (only the construction yard and obviously concrete itself do not require concrete beneath them) :)

-Daelin

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The problem with structures that do not require concrete is that you can't place them on concrete at all. So basically if walls are made not to require concrete, you will have to destroy any concrete block that might have got into the place where you want the wall segment to be. On the other hand, placing concrete blocks firs and then walls is sometimes annoying. BTW, usually I deploy a second CY exclusively to build concrete/walls, so things go faster; this is also a reason why I objected to the removal of MCV from Sardaukar production: building a base with only one CY is often tedious, especially in the later levels.

Actually there is a logical reason: beta screenshots show wall graphics without concrete under them. The final Dune II only has graphics for walls with concrete, so it's only logical for it to act like that, too.

(then again, technically you can say the same for several other buildings with visible concrete :P )

Actually, all structures except the CY have a visible concrete foundation. I think this can be changed via the Tile Editor, but then a structure placed on an incomplete foundation will look ugly, and besides, the edges of one-tile concrete blocks will be visible on some structures (as can be seen on screenshots of Dune II remakes like D2TM where the foundation is not included in the buildings' GFX).

It seems plausible that walls get damaged from power shortages (until 50%, that is), even though they do not require power; at least, CY's do, although they are not powered.

BTW, everything wall-related could be checked if walls were made selectable, right?

Actually the range is awkwardly low. As I said, Devastators can now outrange the turrets from certain angles which in my opinion is a bit imba, and gives Harkonnen a major advantage (but then again, we're trying to make this tough, so what the hell?)

That's weird. I the range was supposed to only be reduced a bit. I can remove that part entirely if this proves to be a drawback.

What do you think about increasing the turrets' hp?

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The problem with structures that do not require concrete is that you can't place them on concrete at all. So basically if walls are made not to require concrete, you will have to destroy any concrete block that might have got into the place where you want the wall segment to be.

Really? Is that what actually prevents concrete to be built on concrete? hmm.... weird

That's weird. I the range was supposed to only be reduced a bit. I can remove that part entirely if this proves to be a drawback.

I want to play with the .EMC files when I get some time. I didn't know until today (thanks to your link to Minniatian's post) that we have the information.

What do you think about increasing the turrets' hp?

Ooooh no.... this encourages players to spam-build turrets even more than now. I don't think this would be a good idea. The opponent has very few turrets anyway. :) Perhaps bolster the defences near the CY more :)

Oh, and I just thought about the aggressivity levels. If the opponent removes the CY, it would be normal next to go for the Heavy Factories/Starports, which are practically sources of a new CY. The player's advantage is that if it removes AI CY the AI never rebuilds it with an MCV (atleast I've never witnessed such a rebuilt). On the other hand, players are capable of rebuilding bases using MCVs. Speaking of which: what's the threat level of an MCV? :)

Edit: oh and btw, does anyone actually find the retreat command useful? I was wondering if for most units we could replace Retreat with Area Guard :) It would be pretty useful in my opinion...

-Daelin

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Really? Is that what actually prevents concrete to be built on concrete? hmm.... weird

I'm not sure, because I did not look into it yet. Could be a separate value that prohibits a structures from being placed on concrete. However, both concrete blocks and CY's cannot be placed on concrete.

Edit: oh and btw, does anyone actually find the retreat command useful? I was wondering if for most units we could replace Retreat with Area Guard :) It would be pretty useful in my opinion...

Sounds like a neat idea, but it's possible that the units might behave in a more independent way if put on Area Guard (and end up doing something stupid if the player's not looking :D). Would be nice if you tested that - I don't have the time ATM.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sounds like a neat idea, but it's possible that the units might behave in a more independent way if put on Area Guard (and end up doing something stupid if the player's not looking :D). Would be nice if you tested that - I don't have the time ATM.

Yes. I tried this, and when you press Area Guard, the unit moves back to its original position (as per the Retreat command) and Area Guards that spot. :(

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For all I know, the words "Area Guard" do not fit well into the space on the sidebar button:

supersandworm.png

Anyway, wouldn't it be more logical to replace "Guard" with "Area Guard"?

I'll ask the question again: are you sure the units in area guard mode will not try to behave on their own? Certainly the developers did not create this distinction ("Guard" for the player's units, "Area Guard" for AI's units) for nothing.

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Well, you might take a look at this bug report (observed in the EU version). My doubts might be unfounded, and the cause of said bug was never found, but it might be the case that units on "Area Guard" will behave on their own as well.

In any case, I don't have time for thorough test runs, that's why I'm asking if someone could do the testing for me.

Units on "Guard" just shoot at stuff that comes into their range or attacks them. "Area Guard" actually engages units that come within a certain radius around them.

Besides, it isn't always a good thing that the units are more active in seeking out targets on their own. That way, one can lose quite a few units who decided to engage superior forces without proper backup when the player was not looking.

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It's the fact that units who have Retreat replaced by Area Guard seem to make a combination of the two (first retreat to their original position and then keep area guard stance).

Area Guard can be really useful if used correctly. For instance, having a couple of siege tanks area guard next to your turrets can be quite effective to avoid those launchers and sonic tanks trashing your turrets. :) It's up to the player which variant he or she uses: "Guard" or "Area Guard".

Only if it were not for that bug..... 8-|

-Daelin

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I agree, the 'area guard' command causes the unit to move to its spawn location before commencing guarding said spawn point. It doesn't have anything to do with the 'retreat' command other than sharing a similar 'return to spawn point' part of the script. It's definitely a bug.

I've tested this in the US and HitSquad versions.

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A relatively minor update with some tweaks and fixes:

  • Carryalls will no longer automatically pick up repaired units from the Repair Facility unless all exits are blocked by obstacles. This was done to prevent incorrect Carryall behavior caused by units leaving the Repair Facility on their own when a Carryall was en route to pick them up.
  • Rocket Turret attack range restored to its original value.
  • Changed the ownership of Fremen-controlled Sandworms in all versions of Fremen mission 5.
  • The Sandworms in the last Fremen mission will no longer Area Guard the vicinity of the player's base, causing the Ordos to attack prematurely.
  • The Ordos are now able to produce Trikes.
  • Saboteur production cost changed from 150 to 120.

Thanks go to Jordos for helping to fix the issue with Ordos not being able to build Trikes.

Nono, Area guard makes the unit retreat and then do Area Guard there. As I said somewhere else this is an AI designed command.

Area Guard makes units stick to their original location: units in this mode engage enemies within designated range, but will return to their original location if their target is either destroyed or leaves the area the unit is guarding. So I don't think it's a bug that somehow makes the units execute the "Retreat" order prior to entering the Area Guard mode.

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It is probably doable by replacing the return (which is probably a conditional loop) with just the area guard action. I still suck at assembly so even though I can write my little programs I cannot actually mess with a big stuff such as Dune 2. :)

-Daelin

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Huh, so that's what causes that? That's pretty pointless.

On the contrary, it makes perfect sense. For example, when you scout the map and run into an enemy unit on Area Guard, that unit will attempt to attack yours, but will cease to chase it and return to its original location if your unit leaves the area that was being guarded. This is where the retreat part of the Area Guard mode kicks in. If it were disabled, the units on Area Guard would function no differently from those in Ambush mode, chasing their target across the entire map. So basically, there is nothing to "fix" in the Area Guard order.

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