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X3M

Dune II micro is balanced?

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With the numbers, supplied by Nyerguds. (That link on CNCnet :) ) I calculated some Combat Tanks versus Siege Tanks.

No matter how many, if the ratio is 2 to 1. The Combat Tanks win!

If there was a multiplayer for Dune2 back then, it would have been much more balanced than warcraft 2!

The plan for each player would be, mass Combat Tanks, until the maximum would have been reached (f 25). Then every perished CT would be replaced with a ST.

 

The reason that no one knows about this is the lack of difficulty of the AI.

AI sends either 1 CT or 1 ST. The difference between them is not a factor 2, but a factor 3,6 in general combat.

When going 1 on 1, the factor is 3. Meaning, 1 ST can kill 3 CT when they move in 1 by 1.

So the ST always felt overpowered to you all.

If the AI was more correct, it would send 2 CT for every 1 ST that it sends.

 

Things to take in account for the balanced warfare are:

Both parties need to focus fire. Where 6 Combat Tanks snipe out 1 Siege Tank and 4 Siege Tanks snipe out 1 Combat Tank.

ST have +1 range while the CT have more speed, thus the CT need to move in closer during firing. This means the Siege have no way in running away.

 

A couple of questions to be sure.

- So, now I wonder, is the damage that tanks do, constant? Or is there a random number?

- The same question goes with the damage òr ROF, does it change when the tank is damaged?

- What about hitting a moving target? Has Dune2, in contrary to Warcraft 2, a reduction of damage when firing a moving target?

 

While I had posted a list of suggested price adjustments for Warcraft 2 due to unit/terrain limits, I could do the same for Dune2 (only unit limits). Any one interested?

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The position of the units is what makes the difference. I'm not a pro, but look at the videos I made. There are 4 combat tanks. 2 fighting in vertical and 2 fighting in horizontal, all with 100% health.

 

When the top Harkonnen tank die, the other 2 tanks still fighting. The both barely reach the 50% of damage, so the position is determinant.

 

I did another video showing another case.

A combat tank attacking a Siege tank. The Siege tank attacking a diferent combat tank.

 

In this case, just because the position the siege tank barely wins the race. Looks like it is just slightly better than a regular tank, but not worthy his double price; all just because the position.

 

Ps: I speed up the vids to shorten it.

battle tank city.wmv

he isnt so powerfull then.wmv

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That is a ridiculous difference. I never knew this. Although, i did like attacking with the rocket tank from top or bottom, not sideways.

How is it caused?

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I think this happen because in Vertical the attack impact directly in the tank but when you attack from left/right the bullet impact in a side.

 

post-58652-0-00717000-1422983287.png

 

post-58652-0-08773500-1422983291.png

 

Worse case:

1 tank in a square, the other tank 2 squares up and 1 square to the right.

The tank in the top will win the fight with 50% life, totally unfair.

 

And the last case:

1 Siege tank to the left, another siege tank to the right (so, they will be equal). Attacking each other but let 1 siege tank out the screen. This siege tank have his ROF like halved. The siege tank in the right will win the fight with yellow health.

 

 

 

 

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It is a well-documented bug that units facing south deal more damage. I'm not sure what the technical details behind that thing are though (if the OpenDUNE guys ever explained them).

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Oh man. And here i thought, using the numbers shows a good balance in general. Turns out that there are bugs that cause a factor 2 difference.

Needless to say?

That placing the screen so, makes your enemy 50%. But also making sure it fires on an ally horizontal while you fight it vertical. 75% health would remain? Thus the effects are stacked?

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Hopefully not to go off-topic, but X3M. I suddenly remembered a game that might interest you. It's a turn-based strategy called General whose author pays quite a lot of attention to the balance of gameplay. In the earlier versions he even included his observations of most well-known real-time and turn-based PC strategy games of the time (90s — early 2000s). The game's combat phase is fully automatic though, so the focus is more on global management. Still, maybe you'll get interested as from the standpoint of pure math it should be very balanced.

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I know that game ;)

It has been one of the games to give inspiration for my personal board game.

But thanks any way.

 

Currently, I found it interesting once I got the hands on the numbers for Dune2. The results are totally different then I remember playing Dune2 (1 year ago).

Although I know why I like the biggest guns in the game (24 ST >>> 24 CT). It is nice to see that Westwood actually took the time back then to balance the game without proper play testing. However, play testing should have warned them of this problem?

The problem where out of screen (aware of) and shooting in a certain direction (not aware of) is bugged.

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I know that game ;)

It has been one of the games to give inspiration for my personal board game.

Heh, interesting. Then it's not my imagination that you and the author of General have something in common ^_^

I really enjoyed his comments on the contemporary strategy games in the readme. They were removed from the more recent versions for some reason though.

 

It is nice to see that Westwood actually took the time back then to balance the game without proper play testing. However, play testing should have warned them of this problem?

The problem where out of screen (aware of) and shooting in a certain direction (not aware of) is bugged.

Dune II seems to be full of those weird omissions which are very obvious in hindsight. I'm not sure if they weren't fixed because the developers genuinely missed them (hey, I for one did not notice the directional dependency of damage until someone mentioned it), or if the problem was in how collaborative work on the game code was organized. I remember TrueBrain or someone else from the OpenDUNE project mentioned that there were some parts of the code which kind of supported the idea that some loopholes were the result of lacking coordination between programmers.

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Communication back then was lower than these days.

They programmed a game with a rather big team for those days as well. Pioneers if you will.

Since it was completely new to them, they lacked in cooperation without knowing. Yet pulled it off.

They also learned quickly, thus C&C was and still is a master piece.

 

Warcraft 1 has issue's as well.

 


 

About General, it was better to say, it gave us inspiration for our textbased game.

My board game itself is 100% me. But the online gaming was me and my cousin.

Although, that game died. :( But still has the main concept of not having useless numbers. (Other games like Ogame do have useless numbers).

Due to me not being able to program and him not being able to keep things simple, it died. Our reach was only 100 players with version 1.0.

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Since it was completely new to them, they lacked in cooperation without knowing. Yet pulled it off.

They also learned quickly, thus C&C was and still is a master piece.

Actually, I think the development teams of Dune II and C&C are completely different people - at least, in the programming department (Dune II DOS credits, C&C DOS credits).

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That's completely different indeed!

Then you have the list of, people who worked on this game worked on the other game.

 

14 people of Dune2 worked on C&C, and 19 people who worked on C&C also worked on Dune2.

Sounds a bit off to me. :D

 

I never knew that the team for Dune 2 was so big.

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Honestly, C&C has its own set of bugs similar to that relative-location damage bug... most notably, the south advantage bug.

This bug is caused by the fact everything is seen in perspective, really, and the fact the programmers, for some bizarre reason, decided to take it into account when doing weapon range checks. Practically, this is immediately noticeable on buildings that are 2 cells high, like the Obelisk and Advanced Guard Tower. Those buildings should check their range from the center of their build foundation, since the sticking out is really just a visual detail. Instead, they check it from the position their weapon fires from, one cell more to the north. This means that they can fire at units coming from the north before those units can reach the building's targetable cell. In reverse, units approaching it from the south can reach the targetable cell sooner than normal and can thus stay out of range of the building's weapon longer.

Even more ridiculous is the fact this same bug actually applies to all vehicles too, especially tanks, where the turret is placed slightly higher on the vehicle. The point they fire from is always used to calculate their range too, while in reality the distance a projectile can travel should be nothing but a visual effect, while the actual range should be calculated from the center of the base.

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I think it's part of the charm of those games to have bugs/exploits like that. After all, no one ever tried building a professional sport around Dune II or C&C like it is with StarCraft.

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And it probably isn't a sport since those bugs are in the games.

There is a lot of money in the Korea games. Actually, the whole economy got saved by the game.

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OK I am not a programmer but I think it is ridiculous for code to 'mix' with display (graphics). Then you get all those bugs. They should be separate. Imagine if those games were properly coded how easy it would be to use better graphics or even 3D now that the hardware supports it.

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You will always keep a mix when projectiles fly around.

It is one way or another:

- code tells the graphics what to do.

- graphics tell the code what to do.

 

And you have to think about, where the projectile exits, where it lands, where the opponent is, how the splash works, etc.

The main problem with C&C games is that they have separate turrets.

 

You don't see those in Warcraft 2. And only 1 in Starcraft, but that one doesn't have a flying projectile.

 

Despite the efforts seen in the numbers. Dune 2 is imbalanced due to bugs.

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OK I am not a programmer but I think it is ridiculous for code to 'mix' with display (graphics). Then you get all those bugs. They should be separate. Imagine if those games were properly coded how easy it would be to use better graphics or even 3D now that the hardware supports it.

Yeah. Because they totally didn't do that yet?

cnc64_01.jpg

^ Official Nintendo 64 port, btw. :P

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The main problem with C&C games is that they have separate turrets.

Actually, it isn't. The problem is that units have a firing offset that isn't equal to their targeted center. Even non-turreted units, like the APC and the V2-launcher in RA1, have a firing offset that's higher than their body. The real problem is that the game uses that physical firing offset to calculate their range, while it should be using the point where the unit itself is targeted by enemies.

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I understand that.

But isn't a part of the problem that they do calculate the offset, since the endpoint of the barrel is offset?

Every projectile exits the "turret" in question...

 

Wait, what about the buggy and hummvee? They have instant weaponry, right? If they too have this, then I am confused. Because something like that makes absolutely no sense.

Why would they do something like that? And more than once too.

 

PS. That nintendo version looks awesome, due to its simplicity! Would it not be cool if that version would be made possible on PC?

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The end of the barrel is not the problem. The effect there is just visual as far as I know; otherwise units like the mammoth tank would be able to shoot one cell further than their stats say. It is calculated from the center of the turret position. Only, that turret position is several pixels higher than the actual unit center.

What about the buggy and hummvee? Like all other vehicles their firing position is also shifted a few pixels up. What's your point? It's basically a range calculation issue, nothing else.

I think the flame tank is probably the only vehicle in the game that doesn't have this bug, since its flamethrower weapons are actually on ground level.

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Instead of making a new topic. It might fit here perfectly. I have started to play dune2 again. But this time with a mission.

Winning every map with only infantry. Turrets, MCV, carryalls and harvesters are allowed to be build. And the starting vehicles are to be used as well. But other than that. Only infantry for the attacks.

Mission A2 and A3 went splendid! I won by taking over 1 structure and immidiately spam barracks.

Suprisingly, infantry are very durable amass against quads.

I wonder how mission 4 will go.

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I've always assumed that mass infantry would only be effective if the unit limit per side was more than 25. BTW, are you playing vanilla or with the team bug fix?

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What is the team bug fix? I assume i have a normal dune2.

Mission 4 is hard with only infantry. Somehow i anger the enemy with scouting his base. So far for rushing strategy. It showed me a trigger that i was unaware of. It is deadly when in effect.

Need to restart and only lure 1 extra unit at a time. I think it is managable. With 6 barracks as a front wall.

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What is the team bug fix? I assume i have a normal dune2.

The team bug fix is one of the essential fixes for the game, included with the unofficial patch. It fixes a scenario scripting error that prevents the AI from using attack teams. A more detailed explanation of the team bug can be found here.

Basically, after the fix, the AI will no longer only send a single unit at you every time it produces one. Instead, it will assemble and tactically manage groups of attack units, making the game much harder. Note that this is the intended behaviour of the game, and it was only broken because of a typo in the scenario scripts.

Here's a couple of shots from Ordos mission 3 showing attack teams of wheeled vehicles:

X1t80aC.pngqM4jSRI.png

 

Mission 4 is hard with only infantry.

I would assume that, because the tanks are first introduced in this mission. They're pretty fast and can squish infantry. BTW, I don't think you told which House you're playing as.

 

Somehow i anger the enemy with scouting his base. So far for rushing strategy. It showed me a trigger that i was unaware of. It is deadly when in effect.

Didn't your know that? The AI only gets active once the player "reveals" any of its units (but not structures IIRC). This holds true both for Sandworms (with the exception of those with Area Guard order in early missions) and the enemy Houses. In fact, if you sit tight and build up, the enemy will only be activated after a scripted drop of reinforcements into your base. This is one of the reasons those scripted reinforcements are in the game. Otherwise the player would be able to expand their base and forces indefinitely without being attacked.

 

Need to restart and only lure 1 extra unit at a time. I think it is managable. With 6 barracks as a front wall.

Here's a shot from the Harkonnen mission 4, with an attack team of six Ordos tanks (with the team bug fixed).

F9RZGJe.png

The game gets a lot more fun when it works as intended.

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