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On 1/28/2020 at 10:57 PM, Dmitri Fatkin said:

Do we have someone here who's aware of what bytes & at which offsets are responsible for a character's willingness to follow the player?

Is there a chance you could provide the exact version 3.7 offset which is responsible for the definition of Game Stage variable, along with initial associated data contents by the time when the game starts? Thank you. :)

hey, it's been a while since i was last poking around inside this game, but my understanding is this:

0x00 to 0xff of the data segment contains variables that can be checked as dialogue conditions. these conditions are defined in condit.hsq and referenced in dialogue.hsq. i think characters being willing to follow you is always controlled by dialogue.

i think these are consistent between different versions of the game, except the demo. 0x2A is the current game stage and 0xC2 is used for the phase of the final attack on arrakeen.

this is followed by the location data, troop data and then character data.

 

all of this data is compressed and stored in save games, as well as dialogue data. i can't remember if there was anything else that gets saved.

i've included some of my fragmented notes and an IDA database (from an unpacked duneprg.exe in version 2.3) if these might be any help.

dunenotes.zip

Edited by hugslab
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On 4/17/2018 at 8:55 AM, nifelheim85 said:

Hello to everybody

I have a trouble with both the editors.

Referring to the website https://sites.google.com/site/duneeditor/savegame-editing-v2 , I have everytime crashes after modifying the savegame file

When I use the savegame editor (CD), it modifies the geometry of the palace (I can enter in not-discovered-yet rooms, and after that, I'm not able to enter in the weapon room. If I try to speak with hara, the game crushes)

When I use the savegame AIR editor, the game crushes if I try to join the mail hall of the palace

 

Someone else had this kind of problem, and how did you solve? 

I was thinking that maybe the problem is my version (actually, according to the savegame file, il 3.7).

 

Bye

Hello. When you're making extended save file modifications, you'll actually have to maintain the consistency between controlling value containing the amount of bytes by which it's got expanded due to game progress/data uncompression and its actual size affected by manual edits. The problem is due to the above editors not updating that value, unfortunately. It's specified in the 5th & 6th bytes of saved game file, preceded by either 0xF702 or 0xF701 bytes sequence. The default value of fifth byte is 0x1B in version 3.7 and 0x59 in version 2.1, with saved game file sizes being 9,563 bytes for DUNE21S0.SAV and 9,757 bytes for DUNE37S0.SAV (with rare exceptions). The easy solution is to not be adding weapon items the initial amount of which equals 0, as every time you do that the file size will be affected by the utilized RLE decompression.

 

On 7/17/2018 at 2:23 AM, itwhite said:

 Hi Guys,
There has to be a section in the save game files which stores who is in Paul's inventory.  I've been messing with the save games, and somehow i've "lost" Gurney and Chani.  The troops tell me he's excellent at training them - but he's not in the Sietch.  He's nowhere.  Chani was lost at about the time she should have tending to the ill.  I noticed her bug, she appeared visible on every screen until Duncan took her place, then she vanished.  
Has anyone found in the save files where the non-troop characters (Mum, Dad, Gurney, Chani, Harrah, Duncan, Liet, Hawat) are located?

 

That information is stored after the ending of Troops data, at offset 0x2377 in version 2.1 and offset 0x243B in version 3.7.

 

The detailed description is as follows:

The first byte is sprite identificator of the character.
The third byte is location of the room within the place.
The fourth byte is type of the place the character stays in (that byte is specified in field C of sietch data).
The 6th byte is used to determine whether a character is active (it's hidden when it's set to FF).
Also serves as a pointer to the exact place the character is at.
The 7th byte refers to the NPC the player will have a dialogue with upon clicking the sprite, it's also linked with the last byte (either 92 or 93).

 

Duke Leto Atreides:

(00)(00)0A208001F292

Jessica Atreides:
(00)0204208001F701F792

Thufir Hawat:
0102082080FFFC92

Duncan Idaho:
0202042080FF0193

Gurney Halleck:
03020200800D0693

Gurney Halleck in version 2.1:
03020200800DF09D

Stilgar:
04000204802E0B93

Stilgar in version 2.1:
04000204802EF59D

Liet Kynes:
05000210803F1093

Chani:
06000305801B1593

Harah:
0702030780111A93

Baron Harkonnen:
0800023080021F93

Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen:
0980023080022493

Emperor Shaddam IV:
0A80023080022993

Harkonnen Captains:
0B80023080002E93

Smugglers:
0C00023080006F93

The Fremen:
0D00023080007393

The Fremen:
0E00020280007E93

 

As for the error, it most-likely occurred because you've changed the look certain location is decorated without updating the associated data for particular NPC. Their residence place types (the 4th byte in the above description) are actually required to be updated in order to see the NPC in new interior.

 

On 7/7/2019 at 2:28 AM, UnicornGraveyard said:

So, the Fremen units you get from liberating Harkonnen fortresses don't appear in any of those lists. Are they randomized? I think you are guaranteed to get a troop whenever you win a battle for a fort, but I think if you take over an abandoned fort, there won't be a Fremen unit there.

You'll actually be always recruiting a group the ID of which stood first in the list of location's housed troops, with Population, Spice Mining and Military skills proficiency randomized. Ecology parameter, however, will be inherited from the original Harkonnen troop.

Another interesting fact: the Harkonnen troops always travel in about 8 seconds time span from one location to another, regardless of whether they have an Orni.

 

hugslab: Thanks, your notes were interesting to get acquainted with, along with looking at comprehensive reverse-engineering job done.

Edited by Dmitri Fatkin
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On 12/16/2020 at 6:56 PM, Dmitri Fatkin said:

Ecology parameter, however, will be inherited from the original Harkonnen troop.

Another interesting fact: the Harkonnen troops always travel in about 8 seconds time span from one location to another, regardless of whether they have an Orni.

Interesting indeed, both facts are unexpected to me at least.

Also, good reverse-engineering work :)

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On 4/23/2018 at 5:14 PM, Lord Winner said:

Another cheat in the time area, which I never saw described anywhere...

 

At least in the version which creates DUNE21S*.SAV files, one can take advantage of the automatic save when entering into a place, and Maps -> Globe -> Load game -> Last entering into a place, to cram a higher number of character dialogs - sequences and/or troop actions per 1h30 time period. The sub-hour counter doesn't seem to be adequately saved or restored.

 

I've been using this cheat occasionally for years; using it intensively has a surprisingly deep impact (read: several days !) on the game's internal time, obviously at the expense of the playing time in the real world. That's how, last week-end, I had:

  • Paul Atreides meet Chani, drink the Water of Life in Tuono-Tabr, get back to the Carthag palace and talk with Jessica to get the Fremen contact range boosted, before the end of day 9;
  • the Fremen destroy all Harkonnen fortresses (and Paul Atreides enter all of them + recover Chani + rally all 47 troops, reaching less than 78000 Fremen total - some game runs provide more than 81000 Fremen in these 47 troops) at the end of day 16;
  • the ability to trigger the final attack from Arrakeen-Tabr on day 17, 4h30, and therefore the ability to enter the Arrakeen (Harkonnen) palace at the same timestamp by going to the palace and launching a massive attack.

without editing the save game beyond changing the first byte of the F section of Celimyn-Tuek to 14 right after meeting Harah, as mentioned above. This even slows down the game by one period (moving from Tuono-Timin to Celimyn-Tuek then from Celimyn-Tuek to Habbanya-Tuek, instead of moving directly from Tuono-Timin to Habbanya-Tuek), in fact...

Several pieces of information about how I made that game run, and their consequences:

  • zero Fremen killed by the Harkonnen, thanks to undoing / repeating several close battles multiple times (you usually end up being lucky at some point), and maybe 20 or 40 killed by sandworms (but no harvester swallowed, I undid that);
  • no saboteurs, I undid that as well;
  • only two spice shipments to the emperor at the end of day 3 (more than the Emperor asked for) and on day 9 (twice what the Emperor asked for);
  • dozens of tons of spice mined as usual, since most troops from the Southern part of the planet kept mining spice;
  • obviously, the prospectors troop didn't get around to prospecting the northern part of the planet, despite being equipped with an orni around day 9 (10 ?).
  • equipping your army troops with ornis very early, the first one even before attacking the Bledan fortresses, helps a lot with espionage and attack;
  • attacking the Harkonnen very early (days 5-7) in the Bledan region prevents sietch attacks from the Harkonnen in e.g. Carthag-Tabr;
  • the fortresses in the Tsympo area are relatively easy to attack after picking up weirding modules from the Tsympo sietch;
  • after winning battles in the Tsympo fortresses, then Arrakeen-Siet, you have enough equipment to attack Arrakeen-Tuek. I only figured that fairly recently. Even 12000+ inexperienced Fremen with inferior equipment can run over less than 2000 atomics-equipped Harkonnen, especially if you reach the fortress using a worm during the attack to boost your troops' motivation. Then, it's basically game over for the Harkonnen, as the atomics picked up there open up the door to e.g. the Haga region (possibly precedeed by Arrakeen-Clam, I don't remember what I did exactly) and its relatively easy weirding modules and atomics, which will be required for the rest of the Arrakeen region. Destroying Arrakeen-Tuek early has another upside: long before you get to attacking Arrakeen-Tabr and Arrakeen-Timin, Arrakeen-Tuek is transformed into a sietch, into which, unlike a Harkonnen fortress, you can tell Stilgar and Chani to stay while you're getting back to the Atreides palace to pick up Thufir Hawat and Jessica and bring them to one of the three locations closest to the Harkonnen palace;
  • lots of free travel was used between sietches / fortresses, especially in the Arrakeen region (Tuek -> Tabr -> Clam -> Tsymyn -> Timin, Clam -> Harg) - extremely useful when visiting fortresses and moving characters from the Atreides (Carthag) palace to Arrakeen-Tuek, for instance;

It's pretty clear to me how this blueprint for a low internal game time can be beat with Dune version "21", as I didn't take advantage of multiple strategies, such as but probably not limited to:

  • starting ecology experiments to boost troop motivation;
  • moving to e.g. Carthag-Timin (instead of Tuono-Tabr) the army troop which I had Gurney Halleck train for several seconds in order to save two 1h30 periods flying in an orni between the sietch and the Atreides (Carthag) palace;
  • using Gurney Halleck to train army troops. After letting him once in a sietch to trigger Baron Harkonnen's phony message which causes Leto to depart, etc., there's so much to do moving all over the planet with Stilgar and Harah in the beginning, then Stilgar and Chani, to enter / discover sietches / villages / fortresses that there was little opportunity to pick up Gurney Halleck back from the Atreides (Carthag) palace;
  • using the same set of army troops in a smarter way: 4 of them ended up being ill together, and I didn't even bother undoing it because they had both low training and low equipment;
  • converting spice troops from the southern half of the planet to army troops, though I'm not sure that would have helped much because of a lack of equipment, unless I resorted to...
  • ... grabbing (more) weapons from the smugglers: I think I used the one in Tuono-Pyons for spice harvesters and ornis, but not for weapons, and if I bought weapons from the one in Tsympo-Pyons, it was too early in the game for him to offer weirding modules.

And besides this set of options, maybe there's some even smarter game strategy I haven't yet found in 20+ years of using the game on and off :) 

Also, without impacting the total game time, the spice mining troops could have mined quite a bit more spice if I had moved them to richer areas in the south.

 

Without using this auto save / load game cheat intensively, it's probably hard to avoid making three spice shipments to the Emperor, e.g. on days 3, 9 and 17 (well, that one can be delayed to 18 or 19, the Emperor will just get angry). However, having to make four spice shipments is a sign of a suboptimal attack strategy, as all Harkonnen fortresses can be easily destroyed by the end of day 23, even without using this auto save / load game cheat (I hadn't found it 20 years ago), and the fourth shipment can be made to occur on day 24 or 25.

@Lord Winner Thanks for sharing this cheat, it got me experimenting with my version (the CD-ROM version which creates DUNE38S*.SAV files), and I discovered a variation that doesn't rely on the automatic save and therefore can be repeated indefinitely. I don't know whether it works with the floppy version. Here's how you do it: 

  • Save the game using the DUNE MAP -> Globe menu before the orders or dialogue you want to cram into one ninety minute in-game time period.
  • Wait for the sixty second real time counter to roll over. You can watch the in-game time clock in the lower left hand corner. Once the in-game time advances, you know that the sixty second real time counter has reset.
  • Immediately load your new save file. You will now have sixty seconds in real time before the in-game time advances.
  • Get through as much dialogue or as many orders as you can and then save the game again before the in-game time advances.
  • Wait for the real time counter to roll over again (as evidenced by the in-game time advancing).
  • Immediately load your new save file. You now have another sixty seconds to play and your in-game time hasn't advanced.
  • Repeat as needed (play, save, wait, load, play, save, wait, load, etc.).

You can take advantage of this cheat to cram lots of orders or dialogue into a single ninety minute in-game time period. Note that this doesn't help you speed up battles, travel, troop movements, or converting fortresses. But it still has a decent impact on overall time.

Also, this isn't really a cheat, more of a strategy that I haven't seen described before, but a great way to get a low in-game time is to use a single perpetually moving and replenishing army to defeat fortress after fortress without the army as a whole having to stop to transform the defeated fortresses into sietches. You have to be riding along with your army on a worm, and it takes some grinding, but it works. The key is to weaken a fortress until you can defeat it with a single troop, at which point you can send the rest of your army on to the next fortress, and then massive attack with your sole remaining troop. This leaves only one troop behind to convert the defeated fortress into a sietch, but you can quickly rally the prisoner troop inside the fortress and send it after the rest of your army, so that your army is replenished and stays the same size as it attacks the next fortress. You can repeat this over and over again. Here's how you do it:

  • Attack a fortress en masse with an "army" (i.e., multiple troops). Ride a worm to the battle so that you will be able to rally the prisoner troop inside the fortress immediately after you win.
  • Monitor the battle's progress carefully. You can watch the arm-wrestling icon that appears when you click on the fortress on the map, or check the battle results of each individual troop in your army (the easiest way to do this is by right-clicking each troop on the map if you're playing with a mouse). I save each ninety minute in-game time period during a battle. If I have lost any Fremen when the in-game time advances, I re-load and try again. There is some randomness in how well you do in battle. Conversely, if I accidentally win the battle using my whole army, I also re-load, because the goal is to have the weakest troop be the only troop left fighting when you win the battle.
  • When you are about to win the battle, move all of your troops except for the weakest troop to the next fortress. Save again.
  • Choose "Massive Attack" to finish the battle. Now you have only one troop transforming the defeated fortress into a sietch, and the rest of your army is moving on to the next fortress.
  • Quickly go inside the defeated fortress and rally the prisoner troop before the in-game time advances. If the prisoner troop is decently sized and decently proficient (I aim for 2000+ men, Average skill), go ahead and arm them with whatever weapons are left behind, and then send them after the rest of your army to the next fortress. If the prisoner troop is small or inexperienced, re-load and try again. This is a grind, but if done correctly, your army stays roughly the same size and the same proficiency in the aggregate as you move across the map.
  • Repeat as many times as you can, fortress after fortress. Note that you need to have a troop working espionage ahead of you to keep this up.

Using the above cheat and strategy, I was able to finish a game on Day 10 at 3:00 p.m. Video below.

 

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16 hours ago, Slowham said:

Thanks for sharing this cheat, it got me experimenting with my version (the CD-ROM version which creates DUNE38S*.SAV files),

Er, DUNE38S*.SAV ? I didn't know about that version, only 21, 23, 37 for a long time and more recently 24. If that isn't a typo, then people implementing save game editors, be it the one linked by Dmitri Fatkin above or mine ( https://github.com/debrouxl/odrade ), will be pretty interested in getting a copy of these save files, to add support for this version to the editors :)

 

16 hours ago, Slowham said:

You can take advantage of this cheat to cram lots of orders or dialogue into a single ninety minute in-game time period. Note that this doesn't help you speed up battles, travel, troop movements, or converting fortresses. But it still has a decent impact on overall time.

Indeed. I was surprised by how large the impact on overall time of that cheat was. Without using it, I never managed to finish the game (which always includes full travel to all sietches, in my runs) before day 23. With it, I reached the morning of day 17, as mentioned above, and I had ideas for saving several periods.

 

16 hours ago, Slowham said:

You have to be riding along with your army on a worm, and it takes some grinding, but it works. The key is to weaken a fortress until you can defeat it with a single troop, at which point you can send the rest of your army on to the next fortress, and then massive attack with your sole remaining troop. This leaves only one troop behind to convert the defeated fortress into a sietch, but you can quickly rally the prisoner troop inside the fortress and send it after the rest of your army, so that your army is replenished and stays the same size as it attacks the next fortress. You can repeat this over and over again.

That's correct. I've been using that strategy for years, to destroy a subset of the fortresses - weakening them before finishing them, with or without a massive attack. All of the main army troops use ornis, as does the single, orni-equipped army troop which performs espionage on most of the planet ahead of time.

 

16 hours ago, Slowham said:

Using the above cheat and strategy, I was able to finish a game on Day 10 at 3:00 p.m. Video below.

Whoa, day 10 ? I can't watch much of this video right now, and I don't watch many videos in general (especially not long videos), but I suppose I will watch it at least partially :)

Did you eventually enter all sietches on the whole planet, including the 5 ones which aren't uncovered by talking to Liet Kynes (well, at least in the versions of Dune I'm used to), and recruit all troops ? That easily adds a number of periods, even when not visiting all of them at once: the sietch closest to the Haga fortresses can easily be visited a bit later, on a Carthag <-> Haga path.

Clearly, you must have used ornis for your army troops as well. I suppose you used smugglers much more extensively than I usually do, and more army troops.

Do you use fast troop moves, where using A -> C -> B intermediate sietches for the movement can save some time over direct A -> B moves ?

EDIT: you seem not to have used the fact that restarting the game in the mirror room saves a period - the day and time restarts at day 1, 7h30 instead of the day 1, 9h00 when entering the game.

Edited by Lord Winner
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2 hours ago, Lord Winner said:

Er, DUNE38S*.SAV ? I didn't know about that version, only 21, 23, 37 for a long time and more recently 24. If that isn't a typo, then people implementing save game editors, be it the one linked by Dmitri Fatkin above or mine ( https://github.com/debrouxl/odrade ), will be pretty interested in getting a copy of these save files, to add support for this version to the editors :)

Thanks for the reply! Not a typo. I bought my copy of the CD-ROM on eBay (my copy from the '90s is long gone) and that's what I run on DOSBox. It generates DUNE38S*.SAV files. Happy to share both the CD-ROM files and my .SAV files if helpful - I saved all of the .SAV files from the end of each of my segments on my 10 day run. I've attached my final .SAV file at Day 10 3:00 p.m. outside the Harkonnen palace to this post. Let me know if you want more, happy to email them or upload them somewhere.

2 hours ago, Lord Winner said:

Indeed. I was surprised by how large the impact on overall time of that cheat was. Without using it, I never managed to finish the game (which always includes full travel to all sietches, in my runs) before day 23. With it, I reached the morning of day 17, as mentioned above, and I had ideas for saving several periods.

Yes, thank you for discovering this and sharing. It was really helpful in my runs.

2 hours ago, Lord Winner said:

That's correct. I've been using that strategy for years, to destroy a subset of the fortresses - weakening them before finishing them, with or without a massive attack. All of the main army troops use ornis, as does the single, orni-equipped army troop which performs espionage on most of the planet ahead of time.

Got it - I assumed someone had figured this out before, I just hadn't seen it described.

My army troops actually don't use ornis. I've toyed with it before, but using the route I run, I don't have enough ornis for my whole army and it's difficult to manage when the orni troops move faster than the troops on foot.

2 hours ago, Lord Winner said:

Whoa, day 10 ? I can't watch much of this video right now, and I don't watch many videos in general (especially not long videos), but I suppose I will watch it at least partially :)

Did you eventually enter all sietches on the whole planet, including the 5 ones which aren't uncovered by talking to Liet Kynes (well, at least in the versions of Dune I'm used to), and recruit all troops ? That easily adds a number of periods, even when not visiting all of them at once: the sietch closest to the Haga fortresses can easily be visited a bit later, on a Carthag <-> Haga path.

Clearly, you must have used ornis for your army troops as well. I suppose you used smugglers much more extensively than I usually do, and more army troops.

Do you use fast troop moves, where using A -> C -> B intermediate sietches for the movement can save some time over direct A -> B moves ?

I understand, it's a long video and it's not the most watchable - I save and load pretty much every in-game time period which really breaks up the flow. But you should check it out if you're curious.  

I don't enter all sietches, not even all the Kynes sietches, and I don't travel to the Haga region at all. I only have 35 troops rallied at the end.

As mentioned above, I don't equip my army with ornis. I use the smuggler in Sihaya-Pyons to arm up my troops a bit in the beginning, then I rely on the weapons you recover from defeated fortresses.

I definitely use fast troop moves, including for my own travel where possible.

My main army attacks from Ergsun-Tsymyn north into the Bledan region, then east into the Tsympo and Arrakeen regions. This is the army I ride along with on a worm.

My secondary army attacks from Ergsun-Tuek west into the Haga region. I don't travel to the Haga region, so I can't rally the prisoner troops there, so these five fortresses take about the same amount of time to defeat as all the others.

I miss Tsympo-Timin with my main army, so I backfill it with leftover troops. Also, Haga-Harg is a bit of a free-for-all and the last fortress I defeat, I send leftover troops there as well to supplement my secondary army.

2 hours ago, Lord Winner said:

EDIT: you seem not to have used the fact that restarting the game in the mirror room saves a period - the day and time restarts at day 1, 7h30 instead of the day 1, 9h00 when entering the game.

Haha, I didn't know you could do this. Oops.

DUNE38S2.SAV

Edited by Slowham
typos
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Thanks a lot for posting this file. Could you also post DUNE38S0.SAV, so that I can add its hash to my scriptable editor ?

Entering all sietches and recruiting all troops, as well as visiting the Haga region, would easily cost you an additional day, even with the Sihaya-Tabr -> Cielago-Timin -> Haga-Timin -> Cielago-Tabr -> Celimyn-Timin -> Celimyn-Tabr path (leaving the Haga-Tabr visit for a later trip, as I mentioned) back to the palace, and a trip to the Haga region starting by the relatively short Arrakeen-Timin -> Haga-Harg travel.

Despite its 3 troops, Tsympo-Timin is a weak fortress in vanilla Dune, so it's one of the easiest targets for leftover troops.

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Thanks to a few tips from @Lord Winner I started another run and ended up finishing on Day 9 at 4:30 p.m. Video below. Mostly incremental improvements, but I did have to use one new trick that someone on this board may find useful at some point. At the end of my game, none of the fortresses bordering the Harkonnen palace had converted into sietches. Of the five NPCs you need to be present to trigger the final attack, three of them (Jessica, Stilgar and Chani) won't "stay here" in a fortress. You can get around this problem for two of them by having them with you in your inventory, but that still leaves you short one required NPC. There is a relatively easy workaround though - you can force an NPC who wouldn't normally stay in a fortress to do so if you tell two other NPCs at the fortress to "come with me" and crowd the troublesome NPC(s) out your inventory. It's just a matter of doing it in an efficient order. I left Gurney in the fortress first, then brought Thufir and Jessica, and by telling both Thufir and Gurney to "come with me" it forces Jessica to stay. Then you tell Thufir and Gurney to "stay here," and can go get Stilgar and Chani and bring them back in your inventory. See 2:49 of the video for an example.

 

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Interesting. I don't have this issue as I've been attacking Arrakeen-Tuek early for years. In vanilla Dune, when attacking eastwards from Bledan, then Tsympo and Arrakeen-Siet, Arrakeen-Tuek's single troop is the tipping point in the game: the atomics found there make it possible to gradually steamroll over all other fortresses.

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Same, I've never had this problem before because of Arrakeen-Tuek. For example, in my 10 day game, I made a mad dash to Arrakeen-Tuek on the evening of the 8th day (skipping Arrakeen-Siet and Tsympo-Siet for the moment) to make sure it had enough time to convert on the morning of the 10th day.

In my 9 day game, it became clear that this could be a limiting factor - none of the inner fortresses were going to convert until day 10 - so I experimented with old save files to come up with the workaround. It's a bad feeling getting hours and hours into a play through and finding a problem like that. :(

I will add that even if you've converted Arrakeen-Tuek to a sietch, this trick can be helpful if it allows you to launch the attack from Arrakeen-Tabr fortress instead, as Arrakeen-Tabr -> Palace is fast travel and will save you one time period. EDIT: In hindsight, I suppose you could always just launch the attack from Arrakeen-Tuek, then fast travel from Arrakeen-Tuek -> Arrakeen-Tabr -> Palace. That's probably the easiest way to get the same result if Arrakeen-Tuek is the only inner fortress that is converted at the end.

Edited by Slowham
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