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Gameplay Issues/Questions


MestreLion

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As mentioned in my previous topic, im (trying to) replay Dune II. Ive just finished level 5, and i have some questions i cant find answers even after a lot of research (both here and in google)

- About Building Decay/Concrete Slabs: I know that if you dont use concrete in all tiles of a building, it is created half-damaged. But what about partial concrete (like 2 out of 4 tiles)? Is there any diffference in the decay speed if none/partial/full concrete is used? Is the decay proportional to the area covered? Is the full decay slower than partial/none? Is partial better than none? What is the scenario after Mr Fibble's fix?

- About Sandworms: can they be killed? Do they respawn after getting killed? Is there a fixed number of Sandwoms per map? do they permanently go away after eating some units? Are they related to fog of war (like barbarians in Civ4, for example) ?

- About AI: Is there any way i can prevent it from re-building? Or slow down the frequency? They rebuild WAY too fast, and there is a bug that my units do not get aware of rebuilt buidings, even if they are in range. What should i aim first to cripple their base the hardest? CY? Windtraps? Refinery?

- How does its economy work?  Is it worth the effort of constanty killing their harversters, or do their initial credits are so huge that the harvested spice is irrelevant to their economy?

- About Hall of Fame:  how is  the "Spice Harvested" score calculated, for me and the AI? Does initial credits are taken into account? Does the spice need to be processed by the refinery to be counted? Or simply harvesting them is enough? I ask this because no matter how many times i kill AIs harvester, no matter how many harverster i use myself, it always seems to get a huce spice score. How? Maybe because i kill it when its 100% full, heading back to refinery? Maybe because of initial credits?

- Spaceport: is there any global cap on the units i can buy in a mission? I mean, besides the current map limit. Example: I buy like 20 quads (in several different purchases). After a while, they all get killed. Can I still buy them again? Or buy launchers? I fear about buying inexpensive units first (for scouting and/or distraction ) and then not be able to buy "important" units when its time for the real war.

- Reinforcements: do i *always*  get them no matter what i do? I have the felling that im not getting them if i play well. For example: when they attack my base, if i promplty reply and kill attacks, i do not get them. If i let them scratch my base for a while, then i get reinforcements. Is that true? I dont want to play badly to earn reinforcements.

For now, i guess thats it. Sorry for the long post. I still have other minor questions, but these are the more important ones. Thank you!

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- About Building Decay/Concrete Slabs: I know that if you dont use concrete in all tiles of a building, it is created half-damaged. But what about partial concrete (like 2 out of 4 tiles)? Is there any diffference in the decay speed if none/partial/full concrete is used? Is the decay proportional to the area covered? Is the full decay slower than partial/none? Is partial better than none?

AFAIK, partial concrete foundation only affects the degree of damage the structure starts with. E.g. if there is no concrete at all, the building will only have 50% hp, if there's one slab, it'll have a bit more and so on (proportional to the foundation size). This does not affect decay speed, which is a fixed variable: buildings take damage every so often, only the amount of damage is different for different Houses (ranging from 1 to 3 hp per time).

What is the scenario after Mr Fibble's fix?

I'm afraid I did not quite understand what you're asking about.

- About Sandworms: can they be killed? Do they respawn after getting killed? Is there a fixed number of Sandwoms per map? do they permanently go away after eating some units? Are they related to fog of war (like barbarians in Civ4, for example) ?

There can be no more than 2 Sandworms per map in v1.07 (3 in v1.0), and they do not respawn. Once a sandworm is damaged below 50% hp, it is gone for good. They will also disappear after eating 3 units. I don't know of any relation of Sandworms to the fog of war, but in later missions they will not hunt for your units until you bump into them yourself.

- About AI: Is there any way i can prevent it from re-building? Or slow down the frequency? They rebuild WAY too fast, and there is a bug that my units do not get aware of rebuilt buidings, even if they are in range. What should i aim first to cripple their base the hardest? CY? Windtraps? Refinery?

There are basically two ways of preventing the AI from rebuilding: 1) take out all enemy ConYards and 2) capture as many enemy buildings as possible. The AI will not rebuild captured buildings, and you can capture defence turrets to your advantage too. Also, the AI only rebuilds the last 5 buildings that it lost, so if you destroy a lot of its structures in little time, it will not be able to "remember" all of them and thus some will never be rebuilt again.

- How does its economy work?  Is it worth the effort of constanty killing their harversters, or do their initial credits are so huge that the harvested spice is irrelevant to their economy?

Every time the AI gets a replacement harvester, it also gets a little bit of cash with it (and so do you, by the way). So hunting for harvesters is not overall top priority, as it will not drain the AI's resources dry.

- About Hall of Fame:  how is  the "Spice Harvested" score calculated, for me and the AI? Does initial credits are taken into account? Does the spice need to be processed by the refinery to be counted? Or simply harvesting them is enough? I ask this because no matter how many times i kill AIs harvester, no matter how many harverster i use myself, it always seems to get a huce spice score. How? Maybe because i kill it when its 100% full, heading back to refinery? Maybe because of initial credits?

I'm pretty sure all spice is counted as harvested, even that which was only collected by a harvester and not unloaded at the refinery. AFAIK, the score calculated for the AI players has little to do with their actual accomplishments, so don't bother with it.

- Spaceport: is there any global cap on the units i can buy in a mission? I mean, besides the current map limit. Example: I buy like 20 quads (in several different purchases). After a while, they all get killed. Can I still buy them again? Or buy launchers? I fear about buying inexpensive units first (for scouting and/or distraction ) and then not be able to buy "important" units when its time for the real war.

There is a preset number of each unit type available for purchase at the start of a mission. After a while, the game regularly replenishes the stock by adding 1 unit to a randomly picked type (up to a maximum of 10 for each type). So basically you are only limited by the global unit per map limit with this. In v1.07, you can order as many units as you wish, given that you have the money to buy them and the global map limit is not reached.

- Reinforcements: do i *always*  get them no matter what i do? I have the felling that im not getting them if i play well. For example: when they attack my base, if i promplty reply and kill attacks, i do not get them. If i let them scratch my base for a while, then i get reinforcements. Is that true? I dont want to play badly to earn reinforcements.

Nothing of that kind. All reinforcements are scripted. You may not get them if the global unit limit is reached, or you may simply not notice that you've got some new units because you were distracted by action elsewhere. Also, in v1.0, Carryalls that bring reinforcements will sometimes get stuck at the map border, thus resulting in missing reinforcements. This bug seems to have been fixed in v1.07.

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Wow, thank you for such a comprehensive answer! :D

May i bother you a bit further?

This does not affect decay speed, which is a fixed variable: buildings take damage every so often, only the amount of damage is different for different Houses (ranging from 1 to 3 hp per time).

Humm, so the initial HP is proportional to the foundation. Is the decay speed proportional too? At least the decay from a complete foundation is slower than the decay from a incomplete/non-existing one?

I'm afraid I did not quite understand what you're asking about.

I was talking about your 1.07 fix, the one that fixes the team bug among many other issues (thank you for that!), including the decay bug (now buildings with complete foundation do not decay at all, unless power is off). Now there is no decay. But before, was the decay at least slower? Or the difference was only in initial HP?

2) capture as many enemy buildings as possible. The AI will not rebuild captured buildings, and you can capture defence turrets to your advantage too.

Btw... how is capture done? Ive read somewhere that i must send a soldier (or any infatry) towards a building with red hp. I tried this, but instead of captring, the building exploded as soon as my solder touched the building! Did i do anything wrong?

Also, the AI only rebuilds the last 5 buildings that it lost

Hummm, thanks for the tip. but i guess ill try to destroy the CY.

Every time the AI gets a replacement harvester, it also gets a little bit of cash with it (and so do you, by the way). So hunting for harvesters is not overall top priority, as it will not drain the AI's resources dry.

But that cash from a lost harvester is veeeery small. I thought of pursuing the harversters as a way to prevent the AI from having any income (besides initial cash). Cutting his income he will eventually run out of cash, after spending the initial cash, isnt it? Btw, do you have any idea how much cash the AI starts with? If its something like 15K~30K , i agree killing harversters wont make any big difference.

I'm pretty sure all spice is counted as harvested, even that which was only collected by a harvester and not unloaded at the refinery. AFAIK, the score calculated for the AI players has little to do with their actual accomplishments, so don't bother with it.

Hum, thats sad :( Because i usually i am able to kill the harversters only when they are aready full, returning to base, but before it gets there.

In v1.07, you can order as many units as you wish, given that you have the money to buy them and the global map limit is not reached.

So in v1.07 theres no "up to a maximum of 10 per unit" anymore? What you said earlier is only for v1.00?

Nothing of that kind. All reinforcements are scripted.

Humm. But how is that script triggered? Time? Actions? I have a strong feeling that i get no reinforcements if i kill the attackers before they fire at my base.Is it possible the script is triggered by attackers hit my buildings? Or is it surely time-based only?

and, again, that you VERY MUCH for such detailed ansers. I wonder thy these gamplay details mechanics are not published anywhere. the manual lacks a lot of information

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Humm, so the initial HP is proportional to the foundation. Is the decay speed proportional too? At least the decay from a complete foundation is slower than the decay from a incomplete/non-existing one?

I already answered that. "Decay" functions as follows: a fixed amount of hp is subtracted from all buildings owned by the player in regular intervals. If you use the "fix" patch, then decay will only apply to all buildings without foundations (or with incomplete foundations). The "speed" of decay (i.e. the intervals in which buildings are damaged) is always the same.

I was talking about your 1.07 fix, the one that fixes the team bug among many other issues (thank you for that!), including the decay bug (now buildings with complete foundation do not decay at all, unless power is off). Now there is no decay. But before, was the decay at least slower? Or the difference was only in initial HP?

Slower than what? The fix only turns off decay for buildings placed on full concrete foundations. it's the same as in the original for buildings without foundations/with incomplete foundations.

Btw... how is capture done? Ive read somewhere that i must send a soldier (or any infatry) towards a building with red hp. I tried this, but instead of captring, the building exploded as soon as my solder touched the building! Did i do anything wrong?

I suppose this happened because some other unit destroyed the enemy structure right before your soldier entered. However, mind that not all structures are capturable. Barracks, WOR, Outpost, Ix and Palace can never be captured.

But that cash from a lost harvester is veeeery small. I thought of pursuing the harversters as a way to prevent the AI from having any income (besides initial cash). Cutting his income he will eventually run out of cash, after spending the initial cash, isnt it? Btw, do you have any idea how much cash the AI starts with? If its something like 15K~30K , i agree killing harversters wont make any big difference.

I know exactly how much credits the AI starts with. Depending on the mission, its starting credits range from 100 to 2500 credits. But then again, it keeps on harvesting right from the start of the mission, so when you get to fight it it's got quite a cache.

So in v1.07 theres no "up to a maximum of 10 per unit" anymore? What you said earlier is only for v1.00?

You misunderstood me. There is a maximum of 10 units in stock for each unit type. Thus, you cannot order more than, say, 10 Trikes at once. However, you can order 10 Trikes, 10 Quads, 10 Tanks and 10 Launchers (given that there are that much units in stock) in a single delivery. Meaning that there is no limit to how many units the Frigate can bring to you in a single run.

Humm. But how is that script triggered? Time? Actions? I have a strong feeling that i get no reinforcements if i kill the attackers before they fire at my base.Is it possible the script is triggered by attackers hit my buildings? Or is it surely time-based only?

Yes, it is absolutely 100% sure time-based only. There is no dependency between reinforcements and the state of your base.

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Slower than what? The fix only turns off decay for buildings placed on full concrete foundations. it's the same as in the original for buildings without foundations/with incomplete foundations.

Ok, now you nailed it!

It means that, in terms of coverage of foundation (none = no concrete at all, partial = some slabs, full = all concrete)

BEFORE FIX

Initial HP: none = 50% < partial < full = 100%

Speed of Decay: none = partial = full (i thought it could be none > partial > full, or at least none = partial > full, ie, full foundation decay would be slower than partial or none)

AFTER FIX

Initial HP: none = 50% < partial < full = 100% (same as before)

Speed of Decay: none = partial > full (=0)

Is that correct?

However, mind that not all structures are capturable. Barracks, WOR, Outpost, Ix and Palace can never be captured.

Humm, that was it, i guess. I dont remember the buiding, but it could be one of these. Can you capture other factories, like Light/Heavy Vehicle?

I know exactly how much credits the AI starts with. Depending on the mission, its starting credits range from 100 to 2500 credits. But then again, it keeps on harvesting right from the start of the mission, so when you get to fight it it's got quite a cache.

100 to 2500 is very similar to what I start with. Means most of Ais cash in a map comes from harvesting. So it could be a viable strategy to go after harversters. I remember that up until level 5 or 6 i could kill almost all harversters before getting to refinery. Surely in at least half the trips it was destroyed before. That means AI with half the cash, gives me a significant edge.

You misunderstood me. There is a maximum of 10 units in stock for each unit type. Thus, you cannot order more than, say, 10 Trikes at once. However, you can order 10 Trikes, 10 Quads, 10 Tanks and 10 Launchers (given that there are that much units in stock) in a single delivery. Meaning that there is no limit to how many units the Frigate can bring to you in a single run.

Ok, no more than 10 trides at once. But can i order, say, 8 trides and then, after a while, more 8 ? The limits of a single run of the frigate are not that relevant... i probaly will never hanve enough money for more than 10 units in a single order anyway. But for different orders, is there any maximum for each type? After buying 10, can i buy more form it later, or will that unit be permanently out of stock?

Yes, it is absolutely 100% sure time-based only. There is no dependency between reinforcements and the state of your base.

Ok, thank you. So you may be right, it could be the "heat of battle" that made me think i did not received reinforcements.

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Ok, now you nailed it!

It means that, in terms of coverage of foundation (none = no concrete at all, partial = some slabs, full = all concrete)

BEFORE FIX

Initial HP: none = 50% < partial < full = 100%

Speed of Decay: none = partial = full (i thought it could be none > partial > full, or at least none = partial > full, ie, full foundation decay would be slower than partial or none)

AFTER FIX

Initial HP: none = 50% < partial < full = 100% (same as before)

Speed of Decay: none = partial > full (=0)

Is that correct?

Yeah, it pretty much is :)

Humm, that was it, i guess. I dont remember the buiding, but it could be one of these. Can you capture other factories, like Light/Heavy Vehicle?

Yes, you can capture both factories and get access to House-specific units you can't normally produce that way.

BTW, you'll find a lot of useful information about Dune 2 in the Dune Extended Reference FAQ by Ledmeister (it's for the Sega version, but a lot of info applies to the PC version as well).

100 to 2500 is very similar to what I start with. Means most of Ais cash in a map comes from harvesting. So it could be a viable strategy to go after harversters. I remember that up until level 5 or 6 i could kill almost all harversters before getting to refinery. Surely in at least half the trips it was destroyed before. That means AI with half the cash, gives me a significant edge.

There's also a nice trick you can pull off with harvesters. When a harvester is more than 50% full, it will leave a spice patch if destroyed while on sand. The patch actually contains more spice than whatever the harvester was carrying, meaning that you get more spice on the map this way. Now, if you found an undefended enemy harvester, a single quad will slowly damage it while it accumulates the spice up to 50% its carrying capacity, after which you can destroy the enemy harvester to make the spice field larger.

Ok, no more than 10 trides at once. But can i order, say, 8 trides and then, after a while, more 8 ? The limits of a single run of the frigate are not that relevant... i probaly will never hanve enough money for more than 10 units in a single order anyway. But for different orders, is there any maximum for each type? After buying 10, can i buy more form it later, or will that unit be permanently out of stock?

As I mentioned, the number of units in stock gets replenished slowly and randomly, so after a while (it may take quite some time), the stocks will be full again. Thus, you can never really run out of units at the Starport, only it takes a lot of time to get more units. Also, keep in mind that the initial stock amount for most unit types is below 10 anyway (e.g. it's no more than 2-3 for MCVs and Carryalls).

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- How does its economy work? Is it worth the effort of constanty killing their harversters, or do their initial credits are so huge that the harvested spice is irrelevant to their economy?

From my experience, the AI gets money somewhere besides harvesting. Even if it has no way to get money and seems to have run dry, it will still sometimes go on short repair and unit sprees. No units being made, no repairs allowing you to easily destroy its buildings, no possible way to harvest, then bam it makes some units and repairs things for a little while before running dry again. I assume it is given a bunch of free credits occasionally.

Delaying/destroying its ability to harvest does have a significant effect if its stockpiles run low. IMO not worth doing unless a good opportunity comes up or you control most of the map such that it is easy to do.

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  • 2 months later...

I observed this in my experiments.

As a general rule I assumed the AI will continue to produce attacking force for as long as it had the building producing them and enough credits to build the unit.

Using the method explained in my other post I was able to destroy its units fast enough to notice when it ran out of credits:

At that point the unit production would come to a short halt that broke immediately after the return of its harvester with a new spice load.

Eventually when the spice depleted the AI could no longer produce more units, so I started to destroy its buildings...

only to find out it builds more units after each time I destroy a building.

Further investigation revealed that the more expensive the building was the more units it produced (I kept it from repairing as I didn't harm other buildings so all its credits were used towards unit production). It's possible the AI gets some kind of additional income for it's destroyed units as well, but this will require more research.

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  • 8 months later...

Is it just me, or is the Death Hand special overpowered? I first encountered it in the final Atreides mission when it destroyed my spice refinery, along with all my stored spice. I couldn't rebuild because my spice was at 0, so that basically ended my mission right there.

Also, are ornithopters useless? They die immediately to enemy rocket turrets, and if there are no enemy rocket turrets to kill your ornithpters it usually means you are about to win anyway. The only thing I've seen them do well is reveal enemy turret locations, and for that you only need one ornithopter.

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Is it just me, or is the Death Hand special overpowered? I first encountered it in the final Atreides mission when it destroyed my spice refinery, along with all my stored spice. I couldn't rebuild because my spice was at 0, so that basically ended my mission right there.

The power of the missile is compensated by its inaccuracy. The common tip is to save often and reload if it has hit something important in your base.

Also, are ornithopters useless? They die immediately to enemy rocket turrets, and if there are no enemy rocket turrets to kill your ornithpters it usually means you are about to win anyway. The only thing I've seen them do well is reveal enemy turret locations, and for that you only need one ornithopter.

Yeah, they pretty much are. Pretty cool though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I usually use them together with a main attack force, to harass the enemy while my main army ploughs through them.

It had occurred to me too that ground units could be used as a distraction to draw the rocket turrets' attention away from 'thopters, although I never tried doing it myself. It must require quite a lot of micro and good timing though.

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