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Dune 2 eXtended Project


MrFlibble
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This release only has some minor tweaks and changes. I've added a new Windows icon, and updated some briefings.

An important two-in-one fix in this release remedies the situation with the game freezing at the side selection screen with sound enabled on WinXP, and removes the incorrect side announcements during side selection.

As always, it is recommended to completely remove any previous version of the Demo you might have. You can leave the savegames though, as the campaigns were mostly left unchanged (note that all Demo savegames are deleted during uninstall by default, so don't forget to make back-up copies).

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You get swarmed, yes. One harvester isn't quite enough to get your economy going, especially when compared to the amount of enemy units appearing at once. Every time I play Mercenary or Fremen mission 1, it's a battle of attrition. I don't think I've even beaten the first Fremen mission yet. Also, on the missions with enemy 'thopters, sometimes 6 or more 'thopters appear at once [i suspect reinforcements, am I right?], pretty much wasting everything before you can really get a rocket turret up. I have the same problem in my own campaign when giving the AI more than two Hi-Tech factories: it likes to spend virtually ALL its starting money on 'thopters.

Anyway, about the difficulty: no biggie, really, but it means I don't play SD2eX as much as I'd like to. I like to think I'm pretty good at Dune II, but I just don't have the patience to replay a very slow defeat by attrition too many times.

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You get swarmed, yes. One harvester isn't quite enough to get your economy going, especially when compared to the amount of enemy units appearing at once.

That's why I always build a second refinery ASAP:

MGalleryItem.php?id=443

sometimes 6 or more 'thopters appear at once [i suspect reinforcements, am I right?], pretty much wasting everything before you can really get a rocket turret up.

Nope, there are no 'thopter reinforcements in any mission (those would look weird, with a Carryall coming in and "dropping" a 'thopter). I have no idea how the AI could quickly create a force of six or more 'thopters that quickly ??? And usually there's a big delay before the first enemy airdrop into the player's base, it may not be enough to build lots of turrets, but should be fairly easy to get to build at least one Rocket Turret (you need an Outpost and two CY upgrades, nothing special).

I have the same problem in my own campaign when giving the AI more than two Hi-Tech factories: it likes to spend virtually ALL its starting money on 'thopters.

This is true. And then the AI invests its meager income (since it never employs more than one harvester) into weak small teams or sole units that attack the player.

Anyway, about the difficulty: no biggie, really, but it means I don't play SD2eX as much as I'd like to. I like to think I'm pretty good at Dune II, but I just don't have the patience to replay a very slow defeat by attrition too many times.

The later levels are tough, I have to admit that, but surely not the first missions. However, even the mission that is shown on the following screenshots was relatively easy (Mercenary mission 7), despite a Harkonnen and a Sardaukar opponent, plus the Harkonnens had a palace. The AI sent some heavy units in the beginning, but three Siege Tanks protecting a cluster of three or four Rocket Turrets were enough to keep the AI guys at bay (you can see that defensive position on the third shot; the AI is exhausted already and sends in lots of infantry units).

MGalleryItem.php?id=450

MGalleryItem.php?id=451

MGalleryItem.php?id=452

Seriously, the key to victory is well established spice production. The Mercenaries have an extra bonus of starting credits, but even without it, the initial cache is enough to build two refineries at the beginning. Then the Starport allows to obtain a Carryall or two, and an extra harvester.

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They keep killing my harvesters, and the infantry actually seeks out the refineries. I've had multiple occasions in which my refinery was captured. And I usually let them, because they had already destroyed the harv anyway. It was easier to just free up the space and build a new one.

Oh, and "The enemy has only some light vehicles and infantry to throw at you" is hardly a fair remark if I can only build single troopers.

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They keep killing my harvesters

I gave the harvesters a threat rating just below a refinery's threat rating, as we discussed above.

Oh, and "The enemy has only some light vehicles and infantry to throw at you" is hardly a fair remark if I can only build single troopers.

Those "single troopers" have more hit points than the "regular" Troopers from Dune II, and they outrange both light vehicles and infantry. And I designed that mission with the idea in mind that the player should get to the Ordos base and capture their Light Factory.

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Well if the objective just says to harvest 5000 credits, that's what I try to do, obviously. Especially since the Advice doesn't mention anything more either -_-

[edit]

Beat it, just by putting a giant defense line of troopers before my base and making 3 refineries. I just held out until I got the 5000 creds. I harvested the lower fields, where the harvesters didn't get attacked.

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Well if the objective just says to harvest 5000 credits, that's what I try to do, obviously. Especially since the Advice doesn't mention anything more either -_-

You didn't expect everything to be explained to you right away, now did you? ;) There has to be some room left for creative thinking.

I played the mission through to check it, here are some screenshots:

MGalleryItem.php?id=484

Ordos Light Factory captured.

MGalleryItem.php?id=486

Destroying the Ordos Barracks.

MGalleryItem.php?id=488

The Ordos base is virtually completely destroyed.

MGalleryItem.php?id=489

Close to reaching the quota.

MGalleryItem.php?id=492

Score screen.

More screenshots at the DuneX gallery.

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There is a score value table in the obsolete PROFILE.INI:

[RANKING]

Sand Snake=50

Desert Mongoose=100

Sand Warrior=150

Dune Trooper=200

Squad Leader=300

Outpost Commander=500

Base Commander=700

Scourge of Dune=1000

Ruler of Arrakis=1500

It does not reflect the two new ranks that were added in v1.07 though, as PROFILE.INI was already not used in v1.0. There's also no telling yet if the values themselves were not changed.

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Thanks. Well, basically, I mentioned that

Known Issues

------------

- Mission briefings are identical to the original Dune II ones in many

  missions. This is because the original briefings are used as placeholders.

And I am also aware of a few misspellings that were not corrected. However, I can only wonder about what's wrong with the Mentat databases?

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Okay, here are my observations. Some are merely suggestions than mistakes but I thought I should mention everything I had in mind. The techtree has been directly studied using Nyerguds' editor. Modifications are usually capitalized.

Sardaukar

IX - "we do not require outside assistance" - uhm, is it just me or the Sardaukars can also build House of IX?

Light Factory & Repair Facility - nowhere stated that the building is useless/the faction cannot build it. Some observations would be nice :)

Windtrap - it's 'installationS' (plural)

Siege Tank -"ITS armor and weaponry HAVE the power...."

Devastator - "exclusively Harkonnen"... uhm, is it just me or the Sardaukars can build Devastators too?

Mission 6 Advice - place Rocket Turrets? RTs are only available starting the 7th mission.

Mission 8 - Sardaukar quads present on the map, even though Sardaukars do not have access to them. I am certain this is a leftover from the old mission, but maybe they can be removed/replaced.

Mission 8 - replace image with Death Hand? (fremen already used in Mission 2)

Mercenary

Heave Factory - the "remember" word doesn't necessarily imply that the Mercenaries do not use the Heavy Factory. I suggest removing it from the sentence and fixing the grammatical structure.

High Tech - Again, not suggested that it is not buildable by mercenaries.

Barracks - I suggest you remove the Saboteur hint (it is available in the IX description anyway) since it also appears in the earlier missions, when supposedly it shouldn't be available

WOR - "remind them OF their desert sietches" (without the OF it doesn't really make sense)

Mission 3 - normally the fremen have no access to Heavy Tanks (I haven't checked whether a Heavy Factory is present on the map). If no Heavy Factory is buildable in the mission I wonder why it appears in the Mentat menu :)

Mission 1 - I suggest you add a Startport entry too in the menu because even though it is not yet buildable, such a building appears on the map and a description of its functionality would be nice.

Devastators - object THE use

Mission 8 image - image suggestion - Deviator (Fremen already used in Mission 2 I think)

Fremen

Wall - mentioned to be useless, yet the Fremen can still build walls :)

Advice Mission 6 - Place Rocket Turrets (see Sardaukar note)

Tank - though they are toys, they are mentioned as having useful properties (and is not implied that they are unbuildable) - also appear placed on the map in numerous maps - 9,8,7,6

Devastator - Many SIETCHES AND VILLAGES HAVE BEEN destroyed

Siege Tanks - it is mentioned the use of Combat Tanks by the Atreides instead yet none of them is available to the Fremen and I haven't seen the Atreides faction actually playable in the Fremen mission :)

-Daelin

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You didn't expect everything to be explained to you right away, now did you? ;) There has to be some room left for creative thinking.

I expect the kind of things YOU give me as advice to be in the Mentat's advice. How is that not logical?

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I just played the Fremen mission again, and I didn't have too much trouble. I wonder why I had the idea that it was so difficult; must have confused it with another mission. The Merc one is way harder. I think I'll try using more infantry next time.

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IX - "we do not require outside assistance" - uhm, is it just me or the Sardaukars can also build House of IX?

Devastator - "exclusively Harkonnen"... uhm, is it just me or the Sardaukars can build Devastators too?

Well, it appears that I have forgotten that the Sardaukar got that stuff back. I'm not sure I wanted it that way, though ???

BTW, if you explicitly state that you checked all tech availability with Nyerguds' editor, then why did you put all those "uhm, is it just me" (if you know for sure that there is a discrepancy)? It's a WIP demo, so sarcasm is uncalled for here IMO.

EDIT: I have almost forgotten this, but, as a matter of fact, the Sardaukar do not have the House of Ix or the Devastator. They are not disabled from the Sardaukar tech tree directly (hence you had the impression that they were available), but, since the House of Ix requires a Starport, and the Sardaukar cannot build Starports, the respective technologies are not available to them.

Light Factory & Repair Facility - nowhere stated that the building is useless/the faction cannot build it. Some observations would be nice :)

Makes sense. But then again, it's optional: e.g., if you look at the descriptions in the original Dune II, you will often be unable to guess whether a unit is available to a particular House or not (for example, the way Ammon talks about Quads might have suggested that the Ordos do not use those units).

Windtrap - it's 'installationS' (plural)

Siege Tank -"ITS armor and weaponry HAVE the power...."

Actually both these descriptions were left unchanged from the Harkonnen Mentat :) I might write something competely different instead.

(BTW, thanks for pointing out the "installations part, that's something not easily noticed :))

EDIT: There is no mistake with the word "installation", as its singular form also has the meaning 'military base':

installation (plural installations)

<...>

3. A grouping of facilities that constitute a permanent military base

References: Wiktionary, AskOxford, Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary, Webster's Dictionary.

Mission 6 Advice - place Rocket Turrets? RTs are only available starting the 7th mission.

Once again, I did not rewrite that part of the briefings yet.

Mission 8 - Sardaukar quads present on the map, even though Sardaukars do not have access to them. I am certain this is a leftover from the old mission, but maybe they can be removed/replaced.

Mission 8 - replace image with Death Hand? (fremen already used in Mission 2)

Yeah, there are some leftovers I did not clean up. I didn't quite understand what's wrong with the Fremen image?

Heave Factory - the "remember" word doesn't necessarily imply that the Mercenaries do not use the Heavy Factory. I suggest removing it from the sentence and fixing the grammatical structure.

High Tech - Again, not suggested that it is not buildable by mercenaries.

Barracks - I suggest you remove the Saboteur hint (it is available in the IX description anyway) since it also appears in the earlier missions, when supposedly it shouldn't be available

These are also reasonable suggestions.

Mission 3 - normally the fremen have no access to Heavy Tanks (I haven't checked whether a Heavy Factory is present on the map). If no Heavy Factory is buildable in the mission I wonder why it appears in the Mentat menu :)

This is also because not all missions were reworked yet.

Mission 1 - I suggest you add a Startport entry too in the menu because even though it is not yet buildable, such a building appears on the map and a description of its functionality would be nice.

In fact, I need to do a major revision of the Mentat databases and make sure all descriptions are available when the player encounters a unit or structure for the first time. I did not undertake it yet because so many things are subject to change, I don't want to redo all the work multiple times simply because some of the campaign missions were changed.

Devastators - object THE use

Yeah, I missed the article, but why did you remove the preposition to?

Wall - mentioned to be useless, yet the Fremen can still build walls :)

Actually, when I wrote this description, I did not mean that walls are unbuildable.

Tank - though they are toys, they are mentioned as having useful properties (and is not implied that they are unbuildable) - also appear placed on the map in numerous maps - 9,8,7,6

That's intentional. The Fremen have limited access to tanks, which are pre-placed, arrive with reinforcements or can be bought via the Starport.

Siege Tanks - it is mentioned the use of Combat Tanks by the Atreides instead yet none of them is available to the Fremen and I haven't seen the Atreides faction actually playable in the Fremen mission :)

I know I did not change it yet.

Devastator - Many SIETCHES AND VILLAGES HAVE BEEN destroyed

Actually, the original sentence was grammatically correct:

Adj. 1. many a - each of a large indefinite number; "many a man"; "many another day will come"

many an, many another

(Taken from The Free Dictionary)

I expect the kind of things YOU give me as advice to be in the Mentat's advice. How is that not logical?

At some point, I intended to use the "Advice" section for some in-depth scenario/plot information, rather than for actual hints on completing a mission (that's why it is called "Tactical Data" in some of the databases). And besides, capturing the Ordos Light Factory or the destruction of the Ordos base are not necessary to completion of mission objectives, so there's no real reason that this should be in the advice section.

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BTW, if you explicitly state that you checked all tech availability with Nyerguds' editor, then why did you put all those "uhm, is it just me" (if you know for sure that there is a discrepancy)? It's a WIP demo, so sarcasm is uncalled for here IMO.

Well, I stated that because I can be wrong (and as it seems I was). Thanks for clarifying that :) It was not intended in a sarcastic way.

Makes sense. But then again, it's optional: e.g., if you look at the descriptions in the original Dune II, you will often be unable to guess whether a unit is available to a particular House or not (for example, the way Ammon talks about Quads might have suggested that the Ordos do not use those units).

I don't know why, but I have the feeling that the Ordos were initially not supposed to be able to build Quads, just like "losing the palace means you lose the mission" thingy. Yet then again, this feature is not present in the PC version (I don't know about the Amiga or other versions...). It's a hunch of course.

Yeah, there are some leftovers I did not clean up. I didn't quite understand what's wrong with the Fremen image?

I perfectly understand that this is WIP, I'm just pointing some simple things out, not chopping with an axe. The Fremen image in my opinion is no longer relevant, as the Fremen are not something essential to the mission like they would've been in the original game (where the Palace introduces them, for example). Here the Fremen replace the simple troopers. :)

In fact, I need to do a major revision of the Mentat databases and make sure all descriptions are available when the player encounters a unit or structure for the first time. I did not undertake it yet because so many things are subject to change, I don't want to redo all the work multiple times simply because some of the campaign missions were changed.

Of course. That's why when each modification is made that entry, mentat entries should also be modified, just to keep things in order.

Yeah, I missed the article, but why did you remove the preposition to?

Probably because I just wanted to emphasize the "the". Already forgot  :P

That's intentional. The Fremen have limited access to tanks, which are pre-placed, arrive with reinforcements or can be bought via the Starport.

Interesting... :) Good to know that.

Well, thanks for clarifying things.

-Daelin

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Well, I stated that because I can be wrong (and as it seems I was). Thanks for clarifying that :) It was not intended in a sarcastic way.

Ah, okay :)

I don't know why, but I have the feeling that the Ordos were initially not supposed to be able to build Quads, just like "losing the palace means you lose the mission" thingy. Yet then again, this feature is not present in the PC version (I don't know about the Amiga or other versions...).

That is perfectly possible. In fact, most of the Mentat descriptions are very ambiguous about whether a particular technology is in use by each House (probably except Cyril's words about his feeling that Troopers are not needed). Another thing is that the Mentats' explanations do not necessarily need to point out whether a technology is available to the player or not: the "meaningful absence" of said technology from the build list should be enough :)

As for the Amiga version, I think it is almost similar to the PC EU version.

I perfectly understand that this is WIP, I'm just pointing some simple things out, not chopping with an axe. The Fremen image in my opinion is no longer relevant, as the Fremen are not something essential to the mission like they would've been in the original game (where the Palace introduces them, for example). Here the Fremen replace the simple troopers. :)

If you refer to the mission 8 with an Atreides palace on the map (for which I used the Fremen image), I think it is pretty relevant. Same for an earlier mission where the player is tasked to deal with the Fremen. I don't think there's a rule that prohibits to use the same image several times. Anyway, I changed some of the briefing images just for variety.

Of course. That's why when each modification is made that entry, mentat entries should also be modified, just to keep things in order.

Well, if only I had enough time to do it ::)

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Hmm.... interesting :) I finally tried playing Sardaukar Mission 8 and I had quite a pleasant surprise. The play-style has definitely changed. I'm here to make some observations about how I felt the game behaved.

1. The turrets are definitely less effective, and this has caused quite some problems for me. The range-reduction has proven to be quite annoying when dealing with devastators, rocket launchers and sonic tanks (yes, the Harkonnen devastators were shooting out-of-turret-range). While I was assaulting the Atreides base I had to keep bouncing between their base and mine just because of the single devastators attacking my base.

2. I did not really observe that "group-attack" bug fixed. Why? Because most of the enemy units just stopped midway. I am curious where the AI is "grouping" his units. Is it outside or inside the base? Because if it is outside, I simply took a bunch of Siege Tanks and kept going and destroying the enemy units as they started packing (I love the smell of burning Launchers). So no biggie advantage. The only "packs" which succeeded to reach my base were soldiers and quads. But they are no big deal (Except the fact that quads actually demolish my walls.... like WOW, did not expect such firepower).

3. The enemy bases are so easy to scorch. The level was a piece of cake once I had established a strong base and went for offensive. The reduced turret range makes things just too simple. With a couple of Siege Tanks and Launchers it was too easy to destroy the base... easier than in the original game in my opinion. Perhaps more mobile defenses (units) should be put at the disposal of the AI? It would definitely make things tougher.

4. I definitely miss the Repair Facility (in a good way though :P)... It makes things quite tough for the Sardaukars. Siege Tanks and Launchers are not cheap, and spice melts like ice in the desert. This made things quite difficult, so awesome stuff! Too bad I did not really have to rebuild much.

5. No starport sucks as well. I wanted to quickly get some carryalls to boost my spice production. And again, Carryalls are damn expensive if you can't afford to get them via the Starport. Sardaukars could definitely have some credits issues if not for a good spice production (for which you normally need carryalls and here goes the vicious circle).

Nevertheless, awesome job. I'll have to next experiment a bit with the Fremen and the Mercenaries and see what surprises do they have up their sleeves.

-Daelin

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I made a small update to the Demo, mostly fixes some minor issues. I've added the Fremen Warriors sonic immunity to help them better work in tandem with Sonic Tanks. Also, the first Mercenary mission was edited to delay the encounter with the enemy forces.

If you need someone to edit the mentat descriptions and you don't feel you have enough time, I'd be happy to help you.

Will, it's not really about writing the descriptions, but about making the entries appear in the levels where corresponding units or structures are first encountered by the player.

1. The turrets are definitely less effective, and this has caused quite some problems for me. The range-reduction has proven to be quite annoying when dealing with devastators, rocket launchers and sonic tanks (yes, the Harkonnen devastators were shooting out-of-turret-range). While I was assaulting the Atreides base I had to keep bouncing between their base and mine just because of the single devastators attacking my base.

That's right, turrets alone are not sufficient to defend the base. You gotta place a few units (preferably Siege Tanks) to support the turrets:

MGalleryItem.php?id=452

2. I did not really observe that "group-attack" bug fixed. Why? Because most of the enemy units just stopped midway. I am curious where the AI is "grouping" his units. Is it outside or inside the base? Because if it is outside, I simply took a bunch of Siege Tanks and kept going and destroying the enemy units as they started packing (I love the smell of burning Launchers). So no biggie advantage.

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.

(Except the fact that quads actually demolish my walls.... like WOW, did not expect such firepower).

This is something I have observed as well. There can be two explanations. First, it might be that Dune II has a rudimentary "rock-paper-scissors" system akin to that used in later C&C games. This has neither been confirmed nor disproved as of yet. 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.

3. The enemy bases are so easy to scorch. The level was a piece of cake once I had established a strong base and went for offensive. The reduced turret range makes things just too simple. With a couple of Siege Tanks and Launchers it was too easy to destroy the base... easier than in the original game in my opinion. Perhaps more mobile defenses (units) should be put at the disposal of the AI? It would definitely make things tougher.

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.

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