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Dune2TM Balancing Topic

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I offered Stefan to help with the balancing of Dune2Maker. (Last time I will mention this ;) ) I use math for balancing and will make every unit unique if possible. I always consider the math i use as a law for all units/structures and even upgrades. And in time perhaps for new units and upgrades as well. For further balancing i still need to ask other fans what they would like to have. And of course i want to ask Stefan if it's programmable. I try to keep the questions with YES/NO answers. If you have questions for me, feel free to ask. And, take your time, take your time. Let

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1 Yes.For now the unique feature of lone soldier is the cheaper cost,so it is better for capturing buildings.I would give more speed and the ability to dodge when it moves,so it would be useless in combat,but great for base capturing.

2 Well since vehicle aren't squishable and are faster they should cost more.Even if they have the same power on the paper,the faster speed means a really useful swarm factor in big battles.

3 No.I still like the idea that you get a computer faction help with the Atreiedes.It is quite unique.

4 If possible it would be great the ability to choose if procede by foot or drive a car like the GLA terrorist.

5 Yes

6 No

7 Yes

8 Yes

9 Both

10 Yes

11 Half damage should be enough for capture

12 See 1

13 No

14 Yes,swarms of fast lone soldiers to damage then a squad to finish the work and capture the base,sounds good.

15 Yes...Ammon seems to like silos,but capturing them it is sadly useless

16 yes for gameplay,no for realism. I mean capturing a secret tank prokect is one thing.But fremen that suddendly joins the Harkonnen because Atreides lost their palace...or the noble Atreides that use kamikaze....by the way capturing the harkonnen palace and using their missile is realistic.

17 Yes

18 2b

19 No: you must disctract a worm with a vehicle and ge the fremen for riding.If the fremen can't be killed in the process it would be too strong.

20 Yes,but should be dangerous

21 Only on sand,if not possible better no stealth at all

22 The problem is....if the tank have squished and doesn't move?The infantry would be still under the tank but still alive!

23 Yes

24 Sardaukar yes,fremen no.It is not their style,maybe they should have a bonus against harvester.

25 Atreides grenadier with bonus against squads (make a lot of sense),Ordos with spies,Harkonnen with mmmmmm...Giedi Prime's scum I mean inexpensive infantry that can be used in mass and recruited in no time,Sardaukar should have the medic:suk is imperial and they should have the best infantry,so they will use more the medic since best infantry = more durability and more cost to replace

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Well, to answer most of your questions, we should first decide how far D2TM is going to go from the original. Do you want to add new units? To what extent do you want to change the existing units? etc.

1. Soldiers and Troopers are lonely, if they are not in a squad. But why build them? I want them to have unique abilities compared to their squad cousins. So you need both of them.

What is the logic behind this? I mean, if a squad is down to one last infantryman, why should he suddenly gain some new abilities?

2. Equal costs for rocket firing personal and the vehicles means equal in battle vs each other. Perhaps that the vehicles are even a bit stronger. Just like in C&C, or vehicles are meaningless vs personal.

I'd say use the rock-paper-scissors logic akin to that of C&C, but other options could be also taken into consideration.

3. Fremen and Saboteurs can be ordered around? If so, they will cost money and are not the same doom devices like the Death Hand. The difference would be, they don

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It would be up to Stefan to decide how far to go with D2TM. Adding new units is out of the question for now, that

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1. I was aiming here on the fact that you can build, 1, or 3 soldiers. What would be the meaning of 1, if u can build 3 at a time. Even with D2TM, this is an issue. With the situation created here, the whole squad would not die down to 1 soldier, but die as a whole.

In more recent games, there's no problem with the squads, infantry are trained 3 (or more) units at a time, and act as one entity consisting of several units each of which has a separate health bar. It's just more convenient to get more soldiers at a time than train them one by one.

As for controllable saboteurs in the PC version, my version (3 floppy disks) did not have that. Nor could I see my saboteur. All I could see was a fast moving dot on the radar. And by accident I could click on 1. They automatically attacked just like the fremen.

This is v1.0. The Saboteur is invisible and thus difficult to click on, but, unlike the Fremen, he is owned by the player and can be ordered around. He acts on his own (sort of) because he starts with the "Sabotage" order that makes him automatically search for the highest priority target, but this can be canceled. You can order him to move, guard or retreat.

4. Aiming for the way how the saboteur is used in Dune2000. I think players will like this way of playing.

Nothing wrong with it, but I think other options exist as well here.

5. Damaging something costs money. Squishing infantry is a way of damaging them. Since it has to be in

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Reply to MrFibble:

1

Yeah, noticed this in C&C3Demo. Yet I rather have it old school, 1 at a time. If building squads is allowed, it should be something like a building que like in tiberian sun and emperor of dune. The Dune2 squads are close to the C&C dawn squads, yet in C&C dawn you still could order each individually. To quickly create a building que, something like in Warzone2100 could be used; left mouse, 1 unit, but right mouse, 9 units. And a repeating button. Unfortunately it

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9

Let me know plz. Kinda curious now :D

Yep, Saboteurs blow up when squished in Dune 2, and destroy/damage the squisher.

4

Suggestions are welcome.

Well, for example, the Saboteur could be disguised as an enemy infantry unit, like the spy in Red Alert. Perhaps regular infantrymen could act as detectors, spotting that "he's not one of us!" at a certain distance :)

Another possibility is to drop the Saboteur right into the enemy base via a Carryall, to reduce the risk of being destroyed on route to the intended target.

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I wished i could change the name of this topic. Becouse i am finished with the soldiers, and the other contents would be to short. Something like:  Dune2TM Balancing Topic.

Furthermore, i want to await Stefans replies to the above named questions.

Now i want to talk about the damage table.

Example:

           None   Light   Heavy

Anti None   100%    25%    6,25%

Anti Light  25%   100%      25%

Anti Heavy 6,25%    25%     100%

It's just an example. And the percentages are based on my the rules i apply on my own game (Yet my units don't have real Hp).

Stefan applies currently 2 types of units. Infantry and Armored units. The original had 1 type of units. Applying 2 types of units still creates imbalances between "vehicles" and "certain tanks". Vehicles are needed to destroy rocket launchers, yet an equal ammount, 45 Quads and 20 Rocket launchers against each other. The Rocket Launchers still seem to be winning.

It seems to me that when i apply 3 types of units, i get holes in the balancing. And then i have to change certain units into vague, unlogic units. The Quad for example, would not be strong against infantry, but against light armored units. On the other hand, the Quad will be totaly different then the Raider and Trike. And the Quad would be a better option against the Rocket Launcher. The Rocket Launcher would be anti heavy in this little story.

To make sure everyone understands the Damage Table, i will explain a bit first.

- Infantry, Vehicles and Tanks are just indications of who gets squished, and who can squish.

- None, Light and Heavy, are the armor indications. This would also mean that structures can have these armor types as well.

It would be cool if for example, the Rocket Launcher hurts Heavy armored structures, but not realy the Light one's.

Anyway, the posted damage table is the one i thought of now. But i find it kinda off-logic. I think i have to correct the Anti Light vs Light. It has to be lowered.

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I wished i could change the name of this topic. Becouse i am finished with the soldiers, and the other contents would be to short. Something like:  Dune2TM Balancing Topic.

Just click on the "Edit" button, and change the topic title ;)

Also, you can use the [pre][/pre] code tags for your damage table so that it looks nicely aligned, like this:

[pre]            None   Light   Heavy

Anti None   100%    25%    6,25%

Anti Light   25%   100%      25%

Anti Heavy 6,25%    25%     100%[/pre]

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Changed the topic title.

Ye(s)(t), i am n(oo)(ew)b if it comes to, for example, alligning tables. I was wondering if all features are explained somewhere.

Anyway, i was wondering what you thing about the damage table? I am still not sure about percentages. And wheter i have to keep it exponential or make it lineair.

Yet there are fixed rules:

NW and SE always have to be 100% (th

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Ye(s)(t), i am n(oo)(ew)b if it comes to, for example, alligning tables. I was wondering if all features are explained somewhere.

My remark was nothing but a polite, friendly suggestion :) Most BBCode tags are explained in the Forum FAQ. You can also google BBCode reference to get more info, but note that different forums may not support all of the existing tags.

Anyway, i was wondering what you thing about the damage table? I am still not sure about percentages. And wheter i have to keep it exponential or make it lineair.

Once again I'm not a math expert, I guess the only way to actually evaluate the damage system is to implement it and see how it will work in-game.

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Ye(s)(t), i am n(oo)(ew)b if it comes to, for example, alligning tables. I was wondering if all features are explained somewhere.

FAQ link at the top of the page.

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@Dunenewt

I should have known. But as always, I am blind if it comes to finding things.

@MrFibble

I am always cruel to myself when talking about myself. You are indeed polite. :) So don't worry.

Back to topic:

I have compared different game styles with each other. It so happens that text based games are exponential. But games like D2TM need a linear damage table for best performances.

This means that I have 2 options now. Or I create a damage table with percentages, or i create a damage table with factors. The bottom line is, they are the same. Yet for a game with low health and damages, the factor table is best. A factor table can easily be translated to a percentage table.

And I think I have found a starting option for now, and it's simple to use in calculations too :)

In matter of fact, I once used this one for a card game I created about 10 years ago. (It contained Dune2000 units plus C&C Dawn and C&C RA)

Factor table

[pre]

        None - Light - Heavy

None -  4  -  2  -  1

Light -  2  -  3  -  2

Heavy -  1  -  2  -  4

[/pre]

As you can see, the sum in all horizontal en vertical lines is 7. And with percentages this will be a sum of 175%.

Percentage table

[pre]

        None - Light - Heavy

None -  100% -  50% -  25%

Light -  50% -  75% -  50%

Heavy -  25% -  50% -  100%

[/pre]

How to use:

For this example we use a Soldier against  a Trooper. They both have armor: None. Yet the Soldier has weapon: None and the Trooper has weapon: Heavy. Lets say that for this example, the damages are equal. 3 for each. When using the factor table, the soldier does 3*4=12 against the trooper, and the trooper does 3*1=3 against the soldier. When we look at the percentage table, we have to give them both a damage of 12. Then we get, the soldier does 12*100%=12 against the trooper, and the trooper does 12*25%=3 against the soldier.

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So basically, are the factor table and the percentage table two versions of the same thing, or do they somehow work complementary to each other? ???

Also, how does this work against buildings?

BTW, I've mentioned this in another thread, if you compare the PC version of Dune II with the Sega Mega Drive Dune: The Battle for Arrakis, the weapons in the latter deal 150% damage against units and 75% damage against structures compared with the former (which was achieved by doubling all the buildings' HP and increasing weapon damage to 150% of the original values). Just thought this worth mentioning as an aspect of balancing issues in the original game.

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They are the same thing. It depends on the game creator which one he/she wants to use. Most game creators use a percentage table. Westwood/Pumpkin Studios/Blizzard. Simply multiplying with the percentage and then dividing by 100. Or they use 150% as a factor of 1,5. But then they are using a factor table.

Buildings can have 1 of the 3 armor types. Then 1 of the weapons is most effective against these buildings. For example: in C&C the construction yard has Medium armor, so the minigunners are still very effective against it. For D2TM we can simply ask the players the question, which buildings can easily be destroyed by Rockets Launchers, and which can't.

If it comes to giving an ammount of health to buildings. They simply have more health then average units becouse they have no speed. They can't run. It's simple if you see it in a formula: $300 for a combat tank and barracks, both are considered to be medium type units meaing 50% goes to health and speed and 50% to damage and range (production is damage). This means we have $150 to spend on it. The formula for health and speed will be: $ = Hp * (Sp + P). $ stands for the costs, Hp stands for the health, Sp stands for the speed. P stands for a cost penalty, since we don't want buildings to have infinite health. In this example we will use 3 for P, 0 for the speed of the building, and the Combat Tank will be moving with a relative speed of 3. Fill in the formula and you will see that a building has twice the health then a Combat Tank. Of course is 25 and 50 way to low, but this is just an example.

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If it comes to giving an ammount of health to buildings. They simply have more health then average units becouse they have no speed. They can't run. It's simple if you see it in a formula: $300 for a combat tank and barracks, both are considered to be medium type units meaing 50% goes to health and speed and 50% to damage and range (production is damage).

Um, I've always though buildings have more health because they are larger and more durable, and thus can sustain more damage. I've also noticed that in Dune II, buildings often have their cost equal to the amount of hit points, e.g. Barracks have 300 hp and cost 300 credits, WOR structures have 400 hp and cost 400 credits; although this is not always the case, nor is it a strict rule or anything.

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I can imagine that buildings, like structures, are being effected by the type of armor, but also the type of projectile being hit with. I mean, I always find it funny that a soldier is able to destroy a building. I mean, even though it is able to deal damage, seeing a structure explode (i.e. like in C&C) always gives me a Rambo feeling ;)

What kind of factors can we introduce to make the 'damage infliction system' more realistic?

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I mean, I always find it funny that a soldier is able to destroy a building. I mean, even though it is able to deal damage, seeing a structure explode (i.e. like in C&C) always gives me a Rambo feeling ;)

Well, I don't think it's entirely unrealistic - only you've got to fire a whole lot of rounds. As for the explosion, different destruction animations could be introduced: explosion, crumbling etc. BTW, a building does not necessarily have to be torn down to lose functionality, that would also make more sense for capturing heavily damaged structures. Depends on how far you really want to go :)

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A thought just occured to me (and damn, i am so stupid, not to have realised this sooner):

Basics Infantry/Trooper:

-Infantry/Trooper can damage/take over structures by entering.

-Infantry/Trooper can be squashed by being entered.

Cost effects:

-Damaging/Taking over structures is lineair to hit points of the current Infantry/Trooper unit. Damaged Infantry/Trooper units will do less damage.

-Being squashed costs the hit points of the current Infantry/Trooper unit.

-They both cancel each other out, resulting in no cost calculation for the Infantry/Trooper for the 2 mentioned Basics. Meaning, they can be calculated like standard units.

Basics, designated squash units:

-Only designated units for squashing can squash Infantry/Trooper. (Some Light armored units can squash and some Heavy units cannot squash)

Cost effects:

-The squashing damage will be a constant for all squashers.

-The speed of the squashing unit will indicate how much the squashing effect will cost.

Further rules:

-If the squashing is not adecuate enought for the strong Infantry/Trooper. Then the Infantry/Trooper will act like if they enter the squashing unit as if it is a structure. Thus damaging the squashing unit with remaining hit points. There is no takeover since the squashing unit takes the initiative. And simply chooses to kill.

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-If the squashing is not adecuate enought for the strong Infantry/Trooper. Then the Infantry/Trooper will act like if they enter the squashing unit as if it is a structure. Thus damaging the squashing unit with remaining hit points. There is no takeover since the squashing unit takes the initiative. And simply chooses to kill.

TBH, I don't get it. Shouldn't squishing simply destroy an infantry unit no matter what? If a unit that is being run over explodes, the explosion may damage the vehicle. Otherwise, I don't know how infantry units with lots of hit points may damage a vehicle.

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Don't worry, it will be simple actually. I just have written it down in some mathematical/lawyer style sentences for the fun of it :).

The rules will basicly result in this:

The soldier, infantry squad, trooper, trooper squad and saboteur can easily be run over by the Squishers. Since their hit points are low enought then a certain limit.

Not so sure about fremen yet, perhaps they will do some damage to the squishers, or they cannot be run over.

Anyway, Sardaukar have to much hit points, so when they are run over, they will do damage to the Squisher.

As for the calculations. Only the squishing units will gain some extra costs.

It's all about equivalence and balance.

Now 1 question remains: will fremen and sardaukar be able to damage/takeover buildings by entering? It would be cool :)

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Well, balancing on paper was done. Yet there is something bothering me for a long time. The balance is way off if you start in the low level missions.  :(

Mission 2 for example. First i figured, a trooper is good against armored units, but not against infantry. Yet, in mission 2, the Atreides and Ordos can have Infantry all over the place. So the Harkonnen are kinda outmatched. This may not happen.  :'(

So i figured the following: I just simply start over the balancing. (Yip, i happily deleted my files  :D) And I will now do the balancing step by step. Forgetting all those other posts in this thread. I know people will start complaining when I am done, that's why I am only going to discuss mission 2 for a while. If those who do care, agree from the beginning, it will go well.  8)

MISSION 2

What we got for fighting units?  :O

Atreides: Infantry, Infantry Squad, Trike

Ordos: Infantry, Infantry Squad, Raider

Harkonnen: Just one little lone Trooper  :(

(For a better understanding, draw these 5 on a piece of paper in a circular formation, every bonus in damage will be an arrow pointing from one to another)

I think we all agree on the fact that the Infantry, Infantry Squad, Trike and Raider, ALL, have a bonus against soldiers. That includes the Trooper. It's obvious that we have a problem with the Harkonnen now.  >:( The Trooper surely sucks against the infantry (squads). Unless the Trooper has an anti personal weapon itself, OR, is a different class that does not get extra damaged by anti personal weapons.  ???

I like a bit of combination of the latter 2. So I figured some balancing:

Infantry; 150% against Infantry/Infantry Squads/Trikes

Infantry Squad; 150% against Infantry/Infantry Squads/Troopers/Raiders

Trike; 150% against Infantry/Troopers

Raider; 150% against Infantry Squads/Troopers

Trooper; 150% against Infantry Squads/Trikes/Raiders

::)

Now the Trike and Raider are a bit different. The Trike is better against stand alone soldiers (The Trike will not have a bonus against Trooper Squads). The Raider is better against Squads (Raider will have bonus against Trooper Squads). Yet, they do receive the same bonus from those they have bonus against.

Same goes for the Infantry and Infantry Squads. The Infantry Squads have bonus against Troopers, yet the Infantry don't.

It will be different when new units are added. For now, only level 2 units have to be balanced. Al the balancing is now 2 way. Maybe it's possible for some 1 way balancing between Atreides and Ordos. But the Trooper may only have 2 way, or no way.  :-[

Maybe that the Infantry and Infantry Squads don't have a bonus against the Trike and Raider. But then, what's the point of building Infantry(Squads)? They kinda keep their usefullness against the Harkonnen Trooper, if i remove the 2 way between the Infantry Squad and Trooper. ???

Anyway, it would then look like this:

Infantry; 150% against Infantry/Infantry Squads

Infantry Squad; 150% against Infantry/Infantry Squads

Trike; 150% against Infantry/Troopers

Raider; 150% against Infantry Squads/Troopers

Trooper; 150% against Trikes/Raiders

::) (I'll think i go with this second list)

Less bonusses, but also a bit imba if u look at the Trike and Raider now, they got 1 bonus in the plus. The Infantry and Infantry Squad have 1 bonus in the minus. Yet in a fight between Ordos and Atreides, the Ordos player will build, besides of Raiders, Infantry Squads and the Atreides player will build besides of Trikes, Infantry. The tricky part will be, i have to balance it so that the Infantry and Infantry Squads are slow but more durable then those Trikes and Raiders by comparison. Then, the Raider has to be faster, but less health compared with the Trike. In the exact same way as the Infantry is with the Infantry Squad. Costs difference calculated in the balance quotia. Faster Infantry then Infantry Squads, makes no sense becouse of the Raiders. So, Ordos will be an attack type player, while Atreides build up defending forces. Infantry Squads will be a bit faster then Infantry. Thus Infantry will have more health in comparison.

After all this, the Trike and Raider are not 100% anti personal. They are only specialized to some. And the Trooper gets kinda outmatched by both the Trike and Raider. But that's ok, the Trooper will be anti tank. :)

What about the Infantry(Squads) acting like meat against the Troopers while the Raiders/Trikes finish the Troopers off, you ask? Answer to that is simple, all units will have range 1 or 2, 2 would be best for all, while the Trooper has range, 4? 5? (I don't know, help me on this one?)

Suggestions? Questions?

(Damn, that's one boring post, so i added some smileys before posting)

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