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Domaithianus

A Secret Plot - Mercenary Campaign by Domaithianus

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Cm_blast    74

I am halfway mission 7. daaamamamamamamamamannn!!!! what a frenzy map. I needed to restart at the beggining because I lost a harverster, the enemy crushed my troopers and the devastator is hard to take with the weak combat tank and siege tank alone.

Those Fremen are everywhere, and my harversters insist on going near them =(.

Later the Fremen backstabbed me. I lost the CY, good thing I already had the Starport and the MCV only cost 1550 credits at that point, so I could order another one quickly.

Have you thought on giving the player something in exchange of the Ix building being useless? I don't know; maybe a small loop-delivery with missile launchers (2 missile tanks every several minutes) if the building is placed (or any other idea you could have).

Anyway; I already take the base to the left (well, smuggler's were the one that took it, I only helped a bit), and the right zone lost the refinery. The harderst part is trying to reach further away; they are so defensive and have tons of units around. I count like 8 devastators wandering the surroundings, is insane.

Fortunatelly, after a bit of "attack - destroy the refinery - run for your life" seems that the Harkonnen send all those units against me, and because the size of the map and the pathfinding The AI splitted his units and Could be the tanks first before the devastators appears in scene, which I could beat one by one.

I saved at this point. I am not sure how many defenses they have, but probably now I can start rolling and stomping over the Harkonnen an defeat them.

Edited by Cm_blast

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OK, V2.05 is now ready.

Some missions have only had small touch-ups, others have had massive overhauls. 2, 3, and 6 have been my primary focus, but 7 and 7B have had some significant re-tuning too. All missions at least gfot a touch-up, and Sarakeen are a lot less ugly now.

 

On 8/1/2017 at 11:16 AM, Fey said:

Got the update and blazed through the missions. Including the first ones again. I tested on normal difficulty, so here's my two cents:

M1V1:

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Very nice changes here. Felt much better.

Could do with less reinforcements before attacking the Ordos base, and two pairs of the reinforcement carryalls when the engineers arrived were stacked atop each-other.

It's nice that we got reinforcements in the Ordos base after capturing one of their refineries. Thanks for that.

Could also use another transmission when the reinforcements down south show up. They come at a decent time, but we have no idea they're there while the other reinforcement wave is attacking our base.

That's about it. Great changes, much better level.

M2V1:

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This level is still genuinely infuriating and horribly broken.

While trying to path up to the Outpost, this happened:
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I think you said in response to my last test run on this level that you opened up "the most useless path possible." You weren't kidding. Breaking the cliffs up to the north of the base is a MUCH better idea, because I still can't get at the combat tank-producing S1 without turtling up like hell, and with only one Carryall to start, my Harvesters occasionally wander into S2's defense zone trying to get back to the Refinery. See below:
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No, those were not S1 infantry heading down to attack. They went back to S2's base once my Harvester left.

On the plus side, that pathway does make it easier to attack the enemy base with the new defenses you added, especially considering that the S2 AI defends the S3 base entrance. I'd say keep it and make another hole in the cliff.

The new defenses are nice, by the way. Not too tough, but not totally a pushover. It may be thanks to my quick reaction though, since on another attempt their light vehicles ate my troopers in seconds. Move the light vehicles into the base, the turrets are enough of a blockade on their own.

It's also annoying trying to group all of my units quickly at the start of the level because they're all bunched up in weird ways. Can't you put the engineers, like, away from the cluster of infantry so I can box select the infantry and get going quicker? Maybe group up the trikes and raider? Although the light vehicles weren't too bad at all, it'd just be convenient. The only reason I bring this up is because the enemy still comes at you hard, counting the defense zone being very, very close to the player's base, and I actually NEED to be quick about it to have as much time as possible to build up.

Like I said, the S2 AI is DEFENDING the location where you placed some of the infantry rock. It needs to be relocated. The other infantry rock is useless because the AI will cling to the northern cliff wall, meaning if I want to use the southern rocks, I need to have turrets or tanks or something kite the enemy units into range. That kind of micro is annoying because it's working around an AI issue, as opposed to strategizing to counter their forces or something, y'know, intended.
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Cm can tell you more about how the defense component of an AI works, but essentially what it means is that the terrain is too close to that base, so S2 thinks it's under attack. It sends units down to kill all your infantry on the rocks, and then returns to base 'cause the perimeter threat was killed. I still had twenty combat tanks on me before I could do anything about it, but at least with the infantry rock it's easier with five or ten Troopers insta-gibbing whatever comes their way.

The infantry rock is also way too close to the cliff; their Combat Tanks could fire down at my Troopers easily, out of their range.

I quit off this map.

Here are my suggestions:
 - Expand the terrain. A ton of pathways on this map are far too tight.
 - Put S2's base a good deal to the northwest. Extend the cliff if you REALLY want the player to go through S2's base before they can get to the other AIs, but don't put it anywhere near the player's base.
 - Fix the infantry rock. Half of it is too dangerous and the other half is useless.
 - Break open the cliff north of S3's base. Let the player mine some Spice from there without requiring a Carryall.
 - Nerf the enemy AI. I'm still seeing twenty tanks in the first few minutes post-capture even without bothering their defense zone.
 - Adjust the reinforcements that arrive, as well as the starting units. It could be arranged more conveniently for quick selection, but more importantly, the unit variety is too high.

Anything good about this map is overshadowed by all of the annoying crap going on. Pls fix!!

M3V1:

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Good idea to remove all the Atreides forces there. However, now this is happening:
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The unit pathing makes the infantry want to go all the way around. One could scatter their infantry to stagger them while they go up the way, but this is not guaranteed to work. The Trikes there are pointless otherwise, so you might as well turn the infantry-only into a small entrance, or add a second infantry-only right next to it to help with pathing.

I attacked one of the Atreides positions early. Their reinforcements dropped on top of me:
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I noticed they are set to arrive on an interval. Perhaps you could make it so that they only arrive if the frontal turrets are up, or even that they appear after the turrets are down, to flank your attacking units. That could be interesting. Otherwise, should consider relocating these...

Also, if you're gonna have little Atreides bases remain all over the map, I'd recommend expanding the terrain. Hugging the top of the map for three or four tiles to try and take out an enemy base is very... limiting. Feels like everything you could possibly cram into each rock island was crammed in there. Seems a lot like clutter... oh, what if you were to make or expand a couple more rock islands and put some small proxy bases on them? Like the one with the Wind Traps we had to blow up at the beginning, it was a decent size and had a couple of production structures on them. Didn't feel cluttered at all... after all the Wind Traps self-destructed, at least.

I tried to bring a force south, and then this happened:
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I get that the Atreides want to confiscate smuggler goods, but do they have to do it from every single possible angle? And at the most inconvenient times? I just wanna blow something up. This ain't a defense map, we blow up the Wind Traps and then we go blow up the Atreides. Meh!

This happened a couple more times, but it seemed to stop as I was taking care of their base, so I guess it stops early enough. I just had bad luck.

The turret in this screenie, the one all the way on the right, is useless.
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As is the wall around the base, since the base is already wrapped in cliffsides. It's already tight enough without walls covering the base; I think those walls should be removed. If you want to keep that turret, move it over to the identical wall segment on the left.

That's a much-needed pathway, by the way, nicely done there.

Other than that, the rest of the map went as usual, except with more Atreides stuff to blow up.
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Again, really think the rock islands the Atreides are on should be expanded, and that they shouldn't have stuff on EVERY rock island. Seems a bit too much. A few bases would be fine. Reinforcements are better, although they just happened to give me more trouble this time around. Smugglers had an appropriate level of strength, I felt, and if you do consolidate the Atreides position to just a few locations, I think you could make them mandatory to defeat for mission win.

M4V1:

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I gave this level a fine review last time. No need to do the same thing again.

M4V2:

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Huh? Same thing, different terrain? Well, I guess since the layout is different...

Why no ConYard? We start with a Starport, so we can always order an MCV.

The smuggler units wander around my base from time to time. They really get in the way over here:
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This happens because their patrol paths are within the box of their base, and that box is extended into mine due to the turrets on the west side. Before I took this screenie, they had three more infantry and a Missile Tank sitting on my left Refinery pad. Not THAT much of a nuisance, but still. You did it without overlap on M4V1, so I figured this might have been an oversight. If not, ignore this.

The Ordos and Atreides reinforcements up 'til the 30 minute mark seemed fine, they were large and fun to fend off, but then my own reinforcements arrive and it's crap compared to what they're getting. What the heck, man? The other version was so much fun, and in this version I hardly get anything to blow stuff up with. IMO, reduce the Atreides and Ordos reinforcements after the 30 minute mark, or increase the player's. The other version was great.

M5V1:

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Holy hell, this level is SO MUCH BETTER.

No stealth fremen to start, great! Moving forward as a group to explore and capture whatever I see. Are there more defenses in the initial Imperial base? There seem to be more. If so, there's a nice amount, they weren't too dangerous but they helped me explore.

Lots of engineers. Great! And most of them are in a straight line, so they're easy to select. Unlike M2V1...

Two Harvesters! Yes!! Thank goodness. If you want to make their arrival a little more cinematic, you could use two different Carryalls to drop the Harvesters in. One vehicle in the reinforcements means it'll appear underneath the Carryall, which is cool.

The Siege Tanks seemed to be stationary. That, or I moved in too quickly. I don't see any events about that... hmm. The only one that was on guard mode for me was the one on the east half of the Imperial base. It was very helpful to have the Siege Tanks off guard mode for the most part, so that gives me an idea - you could spawn the Siege Tanks in using Unit Spawn events. If you set the unit behavior to "None," the enemy will just keep them there. If you do this, just be aware that Unit Spawn is a little wonky and tends to spawn AROUND the tile it's placed in, so you'll need to check where the Siege Tank appears in-game after the events are placed.

Either way, I was able to attack the HTF in just a couple of minutes. Much, much better.

As I said a moment ago, capturing the initial enemy position just up the ramp was made much easier without the Siege Tank clinging to the wall and trying to fire at my Fremen. It stayed along the cliff edge. I finished the map in good time.

Now that the pacing's been fixed, this map is really cool and really fun. Excellent job. :P

M5V2:

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Oh, I see... it's like the original campaign. Same objectives, same briefing, different terrain and stuff. Hmm... I'm curious what would happen if you started making alternative maps with similar continuity in the campaign but different everything else. I had a lot of fun making mine like that in the smugglers campaign. S1V1, Summers is doing a mercenary-like assignment, or S1V2, Summers prefers to check out the economy side of things. Different events, same result - Summers is accepted into the smugglers.

Just like in the other version, the Fremen here are very easy to select right away. Unlike M2V1. Should keep doing it this way. This way was good.

Wow, a Siege Tank right away? You dick! Well, at least my Fremen survived. The thing kinda came out of nowhere, though... perhaps, if you put the M5V1 Siege Tanks off guard mode, you should do the same for this one here?

That was a great idea to give a few light vehicles for starts, by the way. Scouting with them is how I saw the Siege Tank, but it still got a few shots off on my guys before I could take it down. The infantry rock doesn't really help so much against a Siege Tank, so... maybe it would be easier to deal with if you put it closer to the Outpost? Having a Siege Tank and a Medium Gun Turret to deal with simultaneously could have easily gone horribly wrong, especially when that Siege Tank comes right out of the shroud!

I noticed the barracks up at the north base pumping out some infantry. That's cool. It's nice to see the AI doing something, and after nearly getting killed by the Siege Tank, it was a tense push into their base. I managed on the first round, so it's quite well balanced the way it is, but still! I think the Siege Tank could do with being moved!

I figure the High Tech Factory was located in the first Imperial base you capture so you can build Carryalls. Otherwise, putting the Refinery up the cliff and giving the player no Carryalls or capability to construct Carryalls would have been annoying. A fine decision, but the problem is that you can capture their HTF before their Outpost. I'd recommend making the HTF owned by a different AI, and then making the player friendly to that AI. That way, they can't capture the HTF. Make them hostile again after the Outpost is captured. Just make sure you add a mission failure condition for if they destroy it. I don't see that in the events list. Oh, but what's this? One of the S3 unit spawns occurs at 0, 0. You should fix that! No wonder I saw some Imperial units hugging the bottom of the cliff during the last part of the map.

After it was captured, my natural instinct was to head east, but I went west instead. I think that was just me. That was a great idea to include a Refinery in that proxy base! Given how much more tense the initial attack was than the other version of the map, one could have lost their Engineers more easily.

It's also cool having a little 1v1 with the AI to the east. I only wonder, why are two of the Large Gun Turrets online? Can't they be Medium Gun Turrets instead? You could also replace two of the turrets at the secret north entrance with Medium Gun Turrets, although I'm not sure why that north entrance exists. Or, rather, the pathway to it. The pathway is awfully tight! I'd suggest expanding the cliff a little bit, that should reduce pathing errors.

Anyway, yeah, this map was very well executed. It was similar to the original version of the map, but felt a good deal different in terms of gameplay and strategy. Well done.

M6V1:

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This level requires way too much precision.

The first transmission is clipped out at the default resolution.
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After capturing the Imperial base, I took out the Harkonnen camp as requested and sat in the Imperial base for a few while my Stealth Raider scouted around. Only one, though? Kinda risky.

Here's where things go downhill.

I can only train infantry. There is no infantry rock near the Spice fields the Harkonnen Harvesters tend to linger in. I have limited vehicles, and no way to repair them (at the start of the map, at least). The Harkonnen tend to send a lot of units up to get me if I attack their Harvesters.

But wait, there's a smuggler base. Surely that has something useful for me. I found it with my Stealth Raider in the southwest corner of the map, got some Engineers down there, captured all the stuff I needed... oh, yeah, when the contraband arrived, I box-selected my Saboteurs and moved them around, only for one of them to get picked off by smuggler Light Infantry. Feelsbadman. Why are Light Infantry in the back of their base? If you want the smugglers to cover all areas of their base if provoked, I'd recommend a unit spawn event. That was total BS.

Anyway, I captured the smuggler base, got myself an MCV, started pumping out tanks and building Refineries and all that, but the Harkonnen have five turrets guarding the tiny entrance to their base, along with a literal crapton of tanks. Good luck getting through that.

"Well okay," I thought, "so that's obviously not a good idea, and the briefing did tell me to let the Imperials handle it. Is there a back entrance to the base?" Lo and behold, there's one infantry only in the very back of their base, which I found with my Stealth Raider. "This must be what the Saboteurs are for," I thought, and I sent them up the way only to find that the entrance had been completely walled off. When I brought some Troopers down there to break down the wall, they were promptly slaughtered by Siege Tanks. And, since there is no safe way to get a Stealth Raider inside their base, I couldn't tell where any good targets were for my Saboteurs.

Since I had a base, I tried attacking their Harvesters again. It went okay, but they're constantly receiving reinforcements from the Starport and Carryalls in very inconvenient places. They also have Harvesters inside their base, in unreachable areas until I'm razing their structures, so they're just gonna rebuild eventually. And they did.

Since I wasn't really sure what I was supposed to do (except build up tons and tons of tanks and hit their base, but I didn't want to do that on this map), I turned on debug mode and saw where their structures were. It was then that I realized their Construction Yard was in the back, and I had blown a hole in the wrong part of the wall - the north side. I wouldn't have known because even though the ConYard is close, it's suicide to get infantry near the wall, and they have very poor sight range, so it's not like I was going to get anywhere with that little infantry only entrance anyway. Or so it seemed.

I reloaded my game and took out the Research Center, Starport, Heavy Factory, and Light Factory from two different angles using my Saboteurs. It required I blow a hole in the wall near their front entrance where my Stealth Raider can get in without being seen, just to know where my targets were (without cheating, at least). Having scouted that out, I took the infantry only pathway to nab their Research Center and Starport, and then went around and threw all my tanks at the front of their base just to guarantee my Saboteurs could get through and detonate the Heavy Factory and Light Factory.

After some rebuilding, I was able to strongarm my way past their front entrance and destroy their base. What a hassle.

Okay, so to summarize: We have a mission which tasks us with 'tipping the scales' against the Harkonnen and letting the Imperials handle the enemy. Subtly, it's implied, without taking too many casualties.

It puts the Harkonnen Harvesters out in the open, but gives them the means to rebuild, always. It puts Large Gun Turrets at the front of their base, but all their Wind Traps are deep inside. It practically requires that you capture the smuggler base and order an MCV, while presenting it as a bonus objective. It puts that smuggler base all the way across the map, while simultaneously sending infantry units at your Modified Outpost on a timer. Not to mention that the Harkonnen sometimes choose to attack that position with their vehicles too, so you need to have your stuff at mid field or something to be ready to respond to such an attack.

You see what I'm saying? This map is misleading as hell. There are so many apparent ways to cripple them, but none of them work. Only when I slipped a Stealth Raider inside their base (which is not possible unless you destroy some of the wall) and meticulously scouted around their Barracks and such did I know what to hit, but even then I had to do surgical strikes with fragile one-time-only units that would not be refunded at any point.

The amount of precision that strategy requires is stupid, and the reason it's stupid is because it's the only viable strategy aside from tank massing. A Saboteur can be two-shot by Light Infantry. Slipping them into the Harkonnen base is easy enough with some knowledge of where the buildings are, but that stealth doesn't last long, and sending him into a Wind Trap because you couldn't find a better target won't do any good. You only have one Stealth Raider to scout with, if you can even get it into their base at all. If not meticulous scouting, then pre-knowledge. And I hate needing pre-knowledge.

That said, this map was fun and attempting to one-up the Harkonnen in this way or that was engaging. It's just, the Harkonnen need more ways to get one-upped. That's the unfair part.

Here are my suggestions:
 - Reduce the amount of Harvesters per Refinery they will construct. Even if they start with six, you can kill Harvesters and they'll only ever rebuild up to three, causing a lasting impact.
 - Consider removing the Spice field inside the Harkonnen base. That might be fine if you reduce Harvesters per Refinery.
 - The Harkonnen have a lot of Large Gun Turrets. It'd be nice to have a way to take their power down, or at least the turrets' power, without going through the front gate.
 - The smuggler base is, like I said, practically required in the state this map is in. Perhaps a Harkonnen proxy base could be captured so you have, say... another barracks, a Refinery, maybe even a ConYard. You could probably fit a new rock island near where the Fremen are, if not on top of the Fremen.
 - Why are the Fremen there, anyway? They don't seem to serve any purpose, and my Imperial allies just lose units to them instead of to the Harkonnen.
 - The smuggler base should be moved north, perhaps to the lower/mid-west area of the map. Having it in that corner like that makes an attack on the Modified Outpost a little bit too far away for even Raiders to respond to quickly, and if it's somewhat south of the Imperial base, it could aid the player in defending their ally.
 - If the smuggler base is to remain so important for beating this map, I strongly recommend making a bigger note of their presence in the briefing.
 - If the smugglers' worth is to remain unchanged, I strongly recommend figuring out a way to make the map plausibly possible without capturing anything at all.
 - If you find a way to make alternate strategies available, you may not need to relocate the smuggler base at all.

Hope that helps. I like this map, I want to see better of it.

M7V1:

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This level was awesome :D The economy was easy enough to get set up, there were plenty of angles to be attacked from and to attack from, the areas I could defend were sufficiently defensible, Fedaykin all over the place and all that good stuff. Nice regular AI attacks too.

I just have some nitpicks, so here you go:
 - There's hardly any room to build. I really wanted to put up more Heavy Factories, but I only had room for one, and there were no rock islands to expand to, at least not right away.
 - The base we start with is fairly expansive, and I lacked an Outpost to see what I had. The enemy attacked literally three seconds into the game with Fedaykin and Devastators, and I was quite confused.
 - The instant reinforcements at the start of the game... that should be pushed back a bit. I had to restart on my first attempt because there were a bunch of Harkonnen tanks and Fedaykin at the Spice field, which I didn't know was there yet 'cause I was still examining my base, and they instagibbed both Harvesters. That's a pre-knowledge mechanic and that sucks.
 - The smugglers are seriously powerful. ...It's weird seeing that. That's all.
 - Why so many Fedaykin? Why not use the normal Fremen Warriors?
 - You have several events causing Fedaykin to spawn. Fedaykin have unique behavior and will not hunt if you tell them to! They remained where they were, on guard mode, until I stumbled across them. To fix this, make them spawn under an AI that's berserk, and that'll do it nicely.
 - The enemy's islands are occasionally split up needlessly. Pretty peculiar. Please do consider combining some of them! Having a new place to set up an MCV earlier on would be wonderful. I captured the Harkonnen Repair Pad and flew an MCV down by Carryall, but by then the map was pretty much over, so yeah. It's a cool aesthetic, but a tad overused.
 - A couple of areas are pretty dense with structures. For certain spots, like the Wind Traps in the S1 base, that's fine. For the S2 east base, or the S3 south base, it could use a little more space.

I think that's it. Nicely done.

M7V2:

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This one started terribly. Not as good as the other version. Not nearly as good. It makes some improvements, but they're minor next to the problems.

I had to restart this thing like ten times just because of random BS. First of all, once again, the Outpost is a MUST if you're gonna have a large base start out with, at least if you're gonna have attacks come right away. You might be intimately familiar with the base, but newcomers are not. I consistently misplaced my second Refinery because the one I started out with is in the middle of the base, there was no Spice field nearby for quite a while, and I was looking for something close to the rock. I noticed a few restarts later that there's a High Tech Factory I can build off of up the cliff.

And then there are a bunch of Fedaykin who come by and pick off my Harvesters. The smugglers are worthless for keeping my Harvesters up there alive and I can't quickly respond to it because for some reason there's a cliff between my northern base and the one structure that's oddly out in freakin' Africa.

In the previous version, we started with a Refinery pretty much right next to a Spice field, and although it was small, it was enough to jumpstart the rest of my economy, allowing me to scout, place more Refineries elsewhere, set up some defenses, you know. And, because the base was all along one ridge, I could easily access all parts of my base (barring issues stemming from how small the ridge is, and thus how dense my base must be). In this version, I'm encouraged to build up there because I run out of Solaris pretty quickly, even if only focusing on harvesting operations, and there's no way to support that base easily while a bunch of Fedaykin spawn in on a timer. Dropping Refineries in the main base yields poor income.

The income issues make the enemies' attacks much more impactful, but it's not a good thing. They were impactful in M7V1 and a lot of fun. In this version, my smuggler allies are out hitting a Harkonnen base with a bunch of tanks while I don't have any force to attack with. In the original, I was out helping the smugglers with a few bases here and there. I had a small force there too, but I could at least attack with it.

You did provide the player with a High Tech Factory though, which would be nice if the Harvesters needed to go over the cliff to get to the nearest Spice fields, but what is the point of that? Separating one structure from the main base like that, having enemies come from both directions, and putting the better Spice positions on the inferior side... that's just a hassle.

The starting units were easy enough to select quickly, and that's also good. That's better than the original version because the initial reinforcements give me at least a few seconds to grab everything before charging my base. In the original version, units were spread out all over the place, difficult to pick everything up, and the attack is pretty much instant after the map begins.

Another good thing is the infantry rock in front of the mercenary base. It helps.

There's also significantly more space to build. It's sorely needed.

One of the other major problems is enemy entrenchment. In M7V1, S3's frontal turrets were in a fine spot and they weren't too hard to deal with because they were outlying. They were sticking out, a fine target. In M7V2, the very same turrets are covering S3's front entrance, but they're inside the base. Protected by walls. Sure, there's a back entrance, but there was a back entrance to S3's base on M7V1 too and that had the same turret setup. Two Medium Gun Turrets. The reason the front entrance remains an issue, even knowing about the back entrance, is because the smugglers will not use said back entrance. Our ally just grinds its forces to nothing at the front entrance and we have no assistance for the back.

Not to mention the two Siege Tanks just inside S3's base, behind walls, unlike the one on M7V1.

Base density seems fine to me on this level, another improvement over M7V1. S1 has a crapload of Wind Traps all in that small area, which was jarring to see. Could use a little more space there.

I think that's all I've got to say. This level would be WAY better by breaking up some of the terrain, allowing quick access south, and perhaps by relocating the initial Refinery. I'd much rather have an Outpost than a High Tech Factory with this kind of setup.

M8V1:

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House Sarakeen, huh? :P

That's a cool twist. Gives finality to what we've been working towards, what we've built up.

I have mixed feelings towards this level. The economy in particular was annoying, the closest Spice field to my rock island was outside the north entrance, so I sold some wall and stacked up two Refineries there. Really awkward place, but there was no better location. We don't start with a Refinery, so of course I'm going to build one right away, and it took a restart to know where the hell I was gonna place it. And, it didn't help that the Ordos were crazy persistent in attacking my Harvesters. I wouldn't mind so much, but their Deviators were infinitely more disruptive than any other unit would have been.

The enemy's attacks were light enough to think I could go bother their base, and heavy enough that they made my progress painfully slow.

After I FINALLY got my economy going, no thanks to the Spice field placement and definitely not the Ordos, I started laying into the Ordos base on the east. Then, five minutes from timer end, "Massive enemy reinforcements incoming!"

I was like, "Are you kidding me?" I was in the middle of pushing through to their ConYard. What a cockblock.

I mean, I know the briefing said I fortify, Sarakeen attacks, but the smugglers were attacking and after having so much trouble with the stupid Refinery placement / Spice field locations, I was itching to kill something. Sitting tight in a straight-up turtle usually ain't my thing.

When I actually did get going, it was pretty fun. So, even if the Spice field were still out in the open, ripe for Ordos attacks, as long as it's more accessible, I think that would solve a LOT of problems. And make it more fun earlier on. Speaking of which, the nice open field was great for skirmishing. Nice change of landscape since the tight pathways in previous missions...

Oh, yeah, and there was something in the briefing about the Fremen being in an open alliance with the Atreides, but there were no Atreides or Fremen on the map. Chekhov's gun!

M9V1:

  Reveal hidden contents

There are a few screwed up things on this map. First of all, about the start: You've put unit spawns for all the enemy teams, all of which are set to free. The AI may use them for defense, but when the time comes to attack, any available units will be available to go with the rest. The AIs are also set to attack in 10k tics or lower, which is hardly 7 minutes into the game AT MOST. All the AIs start out with their Harvesters and Carryalls pre-built, enough starting cash to get all upgrades, and on top of all that, there are several deliveries... on interval timers, no less... that come straight for you. Also, the Spice fields are inconvenient or inaccessible - one with a whole lot of enemy units a stone's throw north of the field, northeast of your base, and another to the west of your base which is shared by allies, is a little further away, is still attacked consistently by enemy reinforcements, and probably requires you sell some wall segments.

To add insult to injury, there's no Harvester delivered if you lose your last one. What kind of BS is that when you send reinforcements at the closest Spice fields?

Putting up defenses was mandatory. I hate that. The original campaign can be beaten without turrets, but they throw everything at you and then some on this map. The rule of unit variety holds true here - in the first seven minutes, I saw literally every unit in the game, even Grenadiers, which aren't even supposed to be trainable outside of multiplayer. Too much unit variety only makes the game convoluted. Very convoluted.

Other than having WAY too much trouble doing a little mining, the enemy defenses are insanely difficult to breach. More defenses does not mean harder game. Between the Atreides and Harkonnen bases, there are six Large Gun Turrets, two Medium Gun Turrets, four Missile Tanks, and three Siege Tanks. And, it's a choke point. I came up there for the first time with, like, 30 tanks and a bunch of Troopers. Nothing survived. Remember, the AI will defend its own territory - you don't need to put a whole lot of vehicles or a bunch of turrets in one location for it to be safe from a player's attack!

Speaking of defenses, what's with all the large groups of stationary enemy units all over the map? That's just... excessive. Then again, so is pretty much everything else on this map.

One of the most important concepts in D2k map design, I say, is map flow. Everything has to have a counter. If the player is meant to attack, give them breathing room. If the player is meant to defend, go hard on them. Some reinforcements can deter the player until the AI is nice and ready, but the AI is already more than ready at the start of this map. I'll give you an example of how I tried to do this sort of thing on S9V2...

S9V2 is the maximum map size. The player starts only with eight Stealth Raiders and a Saboteur. No base, no allies, and all of the rock islands are occupied by enemy forces. Atreides, Harkonnen, and three Imperial AIs. Now, how can that be fair? Well, the first objective is to take out the engineer near the Imperial Wind Traps revealed at the very start of the game. The purpose of this is to give the player a little familiarity with the base they're about to capture before reinforcements arrive. Once the Engineer is killed, four Combat Tanks, ten Light Infantry, five Troopers, three Grenadiers (they can be trained with my mod), four Raiders, two Quads, five Engineers, and one MCV arrive by Carryall. Those five Engineers will allow you to capture two Wind Traps, a Barracks, a Heavy Factory, and a Refinery.

The next objective is to raze the entire Imperial base directly north of your position. You have 22,500 Solaris to start off with just for this attack, so you can do nothing but build up your economy and pump out Combat Tanks and Troopers. It's a lot of Solaris, a lot more than you start out with on any other map, but my mod increases the prices of certain things, so it goes down at around the time it should. The Imperial base you're meant to destroy has mostly Medium Gun Turrets, with a few Large Gun Turrets for specific locations.

While a couple of AIs will do their first attack earlier on - one six minutes in, the other around eight minutes in - the first one only trains basic infantry and light vehicles, and occasionally orders tanks from a Starport, and the second's build rate is gimped. The Atreides and Harkonnen AIs awaken around twenty minutes into the game, giving the player plenty of time to attack the Imperial base and prepare defenses. In addition, their build rates are slower until thirty minutes into the game.

Once that Imperial base is taken down, your allies fly MCVs in and you must defend at least the Ordos to achieve victory. This is easier said than done, since the enemy AIs are likely starting their serious attacks now, but having had such a nice start, you are expected to have a stable economy and lots of tanks by that point. The timing shifts the game from aggressive rushing to king of the hill. Your allies are also programmed to build up in specific orders, like the Ordos will tech straight up into Heavy Factory and Light Factory, while the mercenaries will build a barracks for quick defense (since they're the most exposed) and start pumping out only Troopers and Grenadiers. So, they'll help.

I favor dropping proxy turrets in front of the mercenary base while they're building up; a bunch of Large Gun Turrets will tear any incoming Combat Tanks or Devastators to shreds, so they offer great support for the Combat Tanks I keep out front for mobile defense.

You have numerous enemies to potentially attack, and your allies will attack in force. Your enemies have quite a few defenses to discourage attacking them too early, like before your allies have built up, but your allies are extremely useful and send huge waves of Combat Tanks and such at your enemies. Even then, there are some proxy locations which can be taken down pretty easily without your allies' aid.

You get the idea. Very careful planning. The player has just enough room to be aggressive to the point of securing an objective, and then is meant to defend until his friends are behind him. That kind of leeway is what this map severely lacks.

There are some good things about it, though. There's infantry rock in a lot of great places, like right between the Atreides and Harkonnen bases. That's a lovely spot. The base layout is also great, there's lots of room for navigation between insignificant targets and important ones. If you remove a lot of the random units all around, figure out what you want to do with how the AI starts its attacks, and how that relates to the reinforcements... and if you could make the Spice a little less insanely dangerous to harvest, the map could move along plenty faster. And be more fair. For now, I regretfully cannot complete it. Well, I could, but it would take forever if things kept going the way they were going, so... yeah.

M9V2:

  Reveal hidden contents

See above.

This version seems better. It's nice having our allies nearby, rather than spread across the south side of the map. Enemy base layout, structure density, looks good too. Even the enemy base defenses don't seem like as much of a nightmare as they do in M9V1. Still, the issue is the same. The AI starts out with WAY too much, in addition to reinforcements. At least there's a convenient Spice field that's not in the middle of ten Atreides Combat Tanks... and there aren't squads of Devastators and Sardaukar on guard mode acting as blockades all around the map...

What's the point of reinforcements if you're just going to give the AI everything from the start, and make their attack begin that early? I saw a perfect opportunity to attack the Atreides with Sarakeen when they left their base, but a crapload of reinforcements dropped on my head like "hi I'm here to ruin your fun," and then all my stuff died or had to retreat.

It ruins the map.

Also, the worm is glitched. It's revealing the map for me on this map. Not sure if it happened on M9V1 too, but... maybe?

I've been writing this up for a few days. :) Just adding whatever I can when I can. Finally done looking at / beating everything, so this post is complete. I hope my feedback helps you improve the maps that need improvement, and when you're ready on the few maps I didn't play through to the end, I'll try 'em again.

MS2:
Let's hope it works now

MS3:
The reinforcements are mostly negated by the base, sothey only happen once now.
The infantry path is opened up a bit more, and the ST's are now only in the base, so the infantry can come home when finished.  However, it is very worth trying to take out as much of the rest of the base with them as possible.
The map is a little bigger now.
Annoyingly, I've been finding AI glitches all over the place.  Every time I fixed one, another would go haywire.  I think they're working OK now, seem to be for my play-tests, but lemme know if it does anything strange.  I'm slightly worried this is gonna replace MS2 for biggest headache while designing award.
The wall around the base can be sold depending on player preference.  But at least initially it adds to the base under siege feeling.

MS4:
Not many changes.  Expanded the rock a little, made an extra exit for the Smugglers so they don't clog things up.  Put the Starport on a % rather than interval, beserked the Fremen

MS4B:
Sped up the reinforcements at the end, killed most of the Fremen.  They're still there, but a lot smaller.  Fremen spawns are beserked too.
The turrets were there to encourage the Smugglers to respond to attacks on the Mercs.

MS5:
Not much to say.

MS5B:
Moved the HT factory, fixed the unit spawn.

MS6:
Lots of new ways to neuter the Harkonnen base.  I'll leave you to find them.  Now has a mission fail timer to stop exploitation which cancels once hostilities begin.

MS7:
Mostly the same, but attack happens a little later, and there's a little more building room.

MS7B:
Nicer looking Harkonnen base, opened a path from Merc to Smug base.  Now has Outpost.

MS8:
Extra Ordos refinery.  Reinforcements still happen, would bee too much of an anti-climax if they didn't make an extra push before the timer runs down.  There's a perfectly decent spice field to the East - not much further to go, and a hell of a lot safer.  Harvest there.
Ordos have an extra refinery now, should hit harder, encourage the player to fortify more.  Takes them time to build harvesters though, so it should gradually build.

MS9/B:
These missions are meant to be OTT being final missions, though the big clusters of units was a bit much.  I've cut AI starting funds, knocked back attack times a little.  I don't wanna use harvester replacements, as I didn't through the rest of the game.  I'm just mean like that.  Allies have to start with full bases really, I can't bring myself to turn on 'practice'.  The AI builds bases like an oxygen deprived child on crack, after taking a serious head injury.  I just can't.
To be honest, these missions, and these missions only, I built with the mentality that if players find them too much, that's OK.  They're doable, so that sense of closure isn't blocked, but they're very mean open battles.
That being said, there are some legitimate issues worth fixing.


 

Plot205.zip

Edited by Domaithianus

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4 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

Have you thought on giving the player something in exchange of the Ix building being useless? I don't know; maybe a small loop-delivery with missile launchers (2 missile tanks every several minutes) if the building is placed (or any other idea you could have).

Ideally, I would like to give the Mercs their own special unit.  Specifically a heavy tank.  Not as nice as any of the house specials, and unlocked one tech earlier, it would be two barrels and very slow.  Unfortunately, I have no idea how I'd do that.
Your suggestion is pretty cool though.  I'd have to have a think as to how to implement it...

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Cm_blast    74
On 4/8/2017 at 8:24 PM, Domaithianus said:

Ideally, I would like to give the Mercs their own special unit.  Specifically a heavy tank.  Not as nice as any of the house specials, and unlocked one tech earlier, it would be two barrels and very slow.  Unfortunately, I have no idea how I'd do that.
Your suggestion is pretty cool though.  I'd have to have a think as to how to implement it...

Unfortunately, you can't add new units to Dune 2000.

Tibed is a program which allow to change values, as the cost of the units, the health, tech/building needed, weapons used, etc... but even the program warns that adding new units is not possible.

The only way to "add" something is by replacing an existing unit for another. But still has lots of problems. First, if you, let's say, retire the Thumper (which is not used anyway) for "mercenary ultra awesome tank", in the game the icon (building bar) will be the thumper.

I remember seeing someone about a program that allows you to visually modify units and buildings, but I never used before and maybe is too complicated (and still, the thumber icon will appear anyway).

Now, there are two units which have the body and the barrel separated, so you can do a mix between them. The body of the siege tank and the cannon of the combat tank of viceversa, but you can't mix the missile tank because "body and cannon" are a single graphic.

There are too litte room to do this kind of things. I manage to create a mix (both visually and for stats) using the three Combat tanks. I converted the Atreides Combat tank to that unit, and then I used the Grenadier slot to place there the original ATreides Combat tank, so the player (being IX) builds this modified Combat tank, and the Atreides builds a "grenadier" that visually, stats and bevahiour is just the regular Combat tank.

Just like this:
https://forum.dune2k.com/uploads/monthly_2016_10/57f3b6a8c1207_Ix1.PNG.8af03563aa01729961bc1995be35ad21.PNG
Visually it's just the Body of the Ordos combat tank (which is very similar to the Harkonnen anyway) and the Cannon for the Harkonnen version (more squared).

And no, it's no possible to use the Siege tank body-part and mixed with the missile launcher; it's sad, because sounds like a good idea to add the missile-launcher into a Quad (although you still can give to the quads missiles as a weapon) and giving the light factory relevance.

Pd: You can give the Devastator to the mercs, for example, or the grenadier, or the thumper... any existing unit (which is much more easy that doing the combat stuff explained before). Or changing the weapons of the units (altrhough a missile tank shooting bullets is weird, but can be done).

Like this
https://forum.dune2k.com/uploads/monthly_2016_10/57f3b6b10a446_Ix3.PNG.01a1aa909adcbbde1e252b5cb2688cba.PNG
The Stealth Raider given to "Atreides" (it's ix, but for the game is just Atreides with another color), using the Fremen weapons.

Edited by Cm_blast

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Cm_blast    74

Double post to tell I already beat mission 7 and 8. Like I said, mission 7 was almost beaten when I saved the game, so took me like 5 minutes only to take the buildings, since the Harkonnen lost everything.

Now, after beating the map I checked with the editor, and you made a huge mistake with some events:

Events 21 to 24 never trigger.
Those contain two conditions that cancel each other out: timer % and Interval.

Probably you wanted to add only the %timer into those events, but you included the interval by mistake.

Also check the Show message, the others have "Base don't destroyed" while the message have "base destroyed".

Now mission 8.
The map was indeed easy, much more than the previous one.

I assume the Ordos using airstrike was part of the map, but the player having the Saboteur too?


Edit:
Mission 9: Aaaaah, this one is a classic map. The player with several allies versus even more enemies with 5 palaces/airstrike. It reminds me a lot of those early campaigns made by several people.

I played using the 205 version, so I will talk only about this specific run.

Well, map was hard, and at some point I was fustrated (not your fault) because when I thought I was fine suddenly "harverster under attack", "another Harverster under attack", "this time is the same harverster under attack" "man, that siege tank really hates your harverster". Mmm... does lines doesn't exist in the game, but that was my brain xD.

Lots of harassment for the player and not much rest. At least a few rocket turrets here and there help to protect my base, but the Fremen appearing from nowhere taking some of my turrets and the units defending those turrets, but well.

I played the map in three days, so I don't know how many time took me to defeat the map.

Anyway, I need to praise because at least the enemy barely defend itself. It's hard to move to some parts, like the Atreides base for the right, but a few saboteurs to destroy a couple of turrets and you already in, goodbye factories and the starport and at this point the game was almost won.

I like a lot the way you place the Smuggler base. An interesting design. Could even work as an enemy.

Edited by Cm_blast

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On 8/5/2017 at 3:25 PM, Cm_blast said:

Double post to tell I already beat mission 7 and 8. Like I said, mission 7 was almost beaten when I saved the game, so took me like 5 minutes only to take the buildings, since the Harkonnen lost everything.

Now, after beating the map I checked with the editor, and you made a huge mistake with some events:

Events 21 to 24 never trigger.
Those contain two conditions that cancel each other out: timer % and Interval.

Probably you wanted to add only the %timer into those events, but you included the interval by mistake.

Also check the Show message, the others have "Base don't destroyed" while the message have "base destroyed".

Now mission 8.
The map was indeed easy, much more than the previous one.

I assume the Ordos using airstrike was part of the map, but the player having the Saboteur too?


Edit:
Mission 9: Aaaaah, this one is a classic map. The player with several allies versus even more enemies with 5 palaces/airstrike. It reminds me a lot of those early campaigns made by several people.

I played using the 205 version, so I will talk only about this specific run.

Well, map was hard, and at some point I was fustrated (not your fault) because when I thought I was fine suddenly "harverster under attack", "another Harverster under attack", "this time is the same harverster under attack" "man, that siege tank really hates your harverster". Mmm... does lines doesn't exist in the game, but that was my brain xD.

Lots of harassment for the player and not much rest. At least a few rocket turrets here and there help to protect my base, but the Fremen appearing from nowhere taking some of my turrets and the units defending those turrets, but well.

I played the map in three days, so I don't know how many time took me to defeat the map.

Anyway, I need to praise because at least the enemy barely defend itself. It's hard to move to some parts, like the Atreides base for the right, but a few saboteurs to destroy a couple of turrets and you already in, goodbye factories and the starport and at this point the game was almost won.

I like a lot the way you place the Smuggler base. An interesting design. Could even work as an enemy.

Hey man, sorry I went quiet for so long.  Feel really bad, since you took the time to play and review.  Life's been...  complicated.

I've gone through, fixed those bugs, mission's even more hectic now, but I think in a good way.

Yeah, mission 9 I was very much going for a similar vibe to Ordos mission 9 from the original campaign, but even more extreme.

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On 8/1/2017 at 8:07 PM, Fey said:

Things

 

On 8/3/2017 at 0:20 PM, Cm_blast said:

Stuff

I'm not sure I've really sufficiently expressed my gratitude for your reviews and suggestions.  This wasn't half the campaign it is now, thanks to both your help.  Really, thank you.  I'm gonna edit the original post soon to say thanks, as well as to update the file.

Here's the latest version.

Fey, I owe you some reviewing in return, and it is coming, sorry it's taking so long.

Meanwhile, in the downtime between craptacular real life events, I've been working on a remake of the Ordos original campaign, which I'll be putting up within the next few days if anyone's interested.  Not quite as big a thing as the whole fully original Merc campaign I've got here.  More of a re imagining of the original missions.

V3.7z

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Cm_blast    74
3 hours ago, Domaithianus said:

Hey man, sorry I went quiet for so long.  Feel really bad, since you took the time to play and review

Don't worry. I wouldn't play this if the map wasn't fun.

2 hours ago, Domaithianus said:

Yeah, mission 9 I was very much going for a similar vibe to Ordos mission 9 from the original campaign, but even more extreme.

More than Ordos mission 9 extreme this is just the "basic final mission" of the earliest campaign from several people:
The Akafeda's Atreides campaign has a 3 vs 4, and his Ixian one it's 2 vs 4. The Ordos by Magier it's another 3 vs 4. The Time based smuggler it's 2 vs 5 just for name some of them... so not really extreme, but nostalgic xD. Seems like people like to do that.

But probably your's it's the one with the less defensive AI of those maps.

3 hours ago, Domaithianus said:

Meanwhile, in the downtime between craptacular real life events, I've been working on a remake of the Ordos original campaign, which I'll be putting up within the next few days if anyone's interested.  Not quite as big a thing as the whole fully original Merc campaign I've got here.  More of a re imagining of the original missions.

You just post stuff. 

At some point, when you feel your campaign or other maps are really ready I can suggest (I'll said this to Fey too) to upload the campaign/single map in the d2kplus.com webpage. Will take some time to Gruntlord to update it, but he will. At least there plenty of people will download the maps.

For example, my last single map "no more spice" here have been downloaded 17 times (or at least this said in my attachments screen), while in the d2kplus.com has already 120 downloads.

So, v3 ready, allllllll right. Got it.

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Fey    4
9 hours ago, Domaithianus said:

Things

Hey man, no rush. I take breaks for months at a time as well. :D You take your time and play through my campaign when you can and when you feel up to it. And don't sweat the time it takes. :)

I look forward to the Ordos stuff. Your mapping has revitalized my passion a tad! I'm just way too busy at the moment to continue, unfortunately, but... I'm feelin' it anyway!!

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On 9/2/2017 at 9:08 AM, Fey said:

I look forward to the Ordos stuff. Your mapping has revitalized my passion a tad! I'm just way too busy at the moment to continue, unfortunately, but... I'm feelin' it anyway!!

That's awesome man, really cool to hear.  Shame you're too busy though.  Hope you find some time soon.

The Ordos stuff is up now.  It's basically just alternative options for the original missions.  The idea was to emphasise my favourite things about the original missions, and minimise the stuff I thought was a downer.  I also thought it was a good project to improve my mission building, through observing closely how they made the originals, and trying to imitate them closely.  But I should probably save all this for the appropriate thread.

 

 

On 9/2/2017 at 2:32 AM, Cm_blast said:

At some point, when you feel your campaign or other maps are really ready I can suggest (I'll said this to Fey too) to upload the campaign/single map in the d2kplus.com webpage. Will take some time to Gruntlord to update it, but he will. At least there plenty of people will download the maps.

That's a very good idea, I've been eyeing that site up for a while now.  Do either of you have any advice before I go uploading on there.  Naturally I'm gonna play through my campaign again, make sure it's all up to scratch, take screenshots, create a readme file etc.

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Cm_blast    74
19 minutes ago, Domaithianus said:

That's a very good idea, I've been eyeing that site up for a while now.  Do either of you have any advice before I go uploading on there.  Naturally I'm gonna play through my campaign again, make sure it's all up to scratch, take screenshots, create a readme file etc.

Nothing in particular. It's recommended to have the files in the same type of path of the original game. For example, if you used tibed with a custom Templates.bin, that file should be in a folder called bin into a folder called data (so data\bin), another folder "mission" with all the .ini/.maps/.mis... Readme with a instructions, screenshots and etc.

The Mod requirements in the page sums all.

Yes, be sure when you are ready, there is no rush. Also, Gruntmod will take some time to post the mod, so there is no need to rush.

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Cm_blast    74

Double post because I bring some good news.

Finally I figured out how the DefenceAreas thing works! And man... As soon as I see the results I already have one concept or two for a map!

I hope you don't mind me invading your post Doma.

Here some images; click to enlarge.
59af2778b81e8_Dunearea1.png.316a473d12ae20d6846bc56cfb8b06bb.png59af27c0e3641_Dunearea2.png.12d77a1731f603636cdfa9af2e83e8d2.png59af281a1b8b6_Dunearea3.png.d12fa22d830dab516bb0af3351709689.png

In this images you can see:
1) 2 areas defined, plus 3 barracks, 3 windtraps and some combat/missile tanks manually placed.
2) All those tanks went to the first area, also new infantry trained it's going to that area.
3) After the first area it's full, the units start moving to the second area.

So, the DefenceArea works as an imaginary rectangle of walls, making the AI to wander around that area, and when both areas are filled, next units trained are part of a new attack group against the player.

Keep in mind that sometimes all the units go directly to the first area and sometimes the units split between the two. Units trained usually go to the first area first, but sometimes 2-3 initial infantry goes to the second area first.

Reinforcements - free - also makes those units to go to the area.

When the player it's near one of the areas (like 4-5 tiles from the border), the units on the area (but not the other area) defend it like a regular unit spawn, so this is more natural and more competent that making a corridor covered by a few pre-placed tanks.

The AI will ignore their own base; even when I attack it, the new infantry seems to prioritize the areas.

To make this work, you need those numbers in these lines:
59af2cd5617e5_Dunearea5.png.a15e6deeb26800be99558ea5d77e3538.png and 59af2cd63e906_Dunearea4.png.cbc734f0c1cd9cea1dc111b2e6d0921a.png.(Those numbers are from an original map).

The startdealy it's the delay between the game start and the units start to wander about the area. In the original the number was 1000, I turned to 100 so I only need to wait 4 seconds.

This "freepercentage" it's what makes the manually placed units to move to the areas. That set to a lower number and only a few of them will go to the areas.

For now, the only I know for sure it's the meaning of the second unknow of the three. It has the same purpose as the "Guardgroupsize". 20.000 and it's needed all those units on the images on top. reduce it to only 1.000 and after 6-7 infantry the area it's filled.
And, like the guardgroupsize. 4 Devastators fill the area while are needed 20 infantry/troopers, but the size of the area itself seems irrelevant.

As a Final note. At the very bottom there is a "Unkown Byte 29" set to 0 in the original maps with a defencearea; I don't seem any diferrence with that set to 1 (it's set to 1 for all the others AI on all the maps).

And that's it. Only want to advice that if the defence area it's on sand the units will go to the center of the rentagle but won't wander around. In fact, if you set a sand area with 3 tiles of rocks, the tanks only will stop on top of then (the rest will remain at the centre). 

As a side note, maybe the "protect/defend strengh" has something to do about this. I didn't tested yet. In this test protect it's set to 80 and defend to 10. It's worth other test, but for now I have enough.

Edited by Cm_blast
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Fey    4

Holy hell dude, that's awesome! I can use this to make the fremen on the Harkonnen maps go where I need them to go.

You are amazing. :D

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Cm_blast    74
20 minutes ago, Fey said:

Holy hell dude, that's awesome! I can use this to make the fremen on the Harkonnen maps go where I need them to go.

You are amazing. :D

Yeah, I can imagine a group of Atreides defending a Sietch withouth placing walls, turrets or buildings at all, although the rock area is needed to make them wander around. The best thing it's creating the area you really need withouth placing walls everywhere.

Just remember that the units will go to rock areas, so if you defencearea it's big but there is only a small square of rocks the units will go there (but they'll defend all the area).

Probably the AI does this to avoid being eaten by a sandworm or, in case of infantry, to shoot themselves trying to kill the sandworm.

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Fey    4
4 minutes ago, Cm_blast said:

Yeah, I can imagine a group of Atreides defending a Sietch withouth placing walls, turrets or buildings at all, although the rock area is needed to make them wander around. The best thing it's creating the area you really need withouth placing walls everywhere.

Just remember that the units will go to rock areas, so if you defencearea it's big but there is only a small square of rocks the units will go there (but they'll defend all the area).

Probably the AI does this to avoid being eaten by a sandworm or, in case of infantry, to shoot themselves trying to kill the sandworm.

That's fine. You've checked out H2V1, right? There are two groups of Fremen running around either Atreides base, and they tend to kill themselves running into the player...

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Cm_blast    74
2 hours ago, Fey said:

That's fine. You've checked out H2V1, right? There are two groups of Fremen running around either Atreides base, and they tend to kill themselves running into the player...

You mean Feyh2v1? 

Oh, ok, I was thinking on the "fremen side" instead the units. I can see those two groups, being Mercenary/smuggler side and you used a few walls to make them wander around.

I have a similar map with two sides only having walls/turrets (around another two sides) and, in the long run, they seem to go all-in against my ally (usually after some battling), the AI is very weird.

But yes, with a defence map you can make those units to wander around the whole base and not only being near the walls (and giving the walls to the original owner).

Of course, for now I only did a few quick tests. I can't guarantee the units defending an area will remain there forever, but I don't remember the Fremen in the H4v1 (original westwood map) going bersek on me before, even I remember once I was toying with them sending only small groups of troopers, so took me several attacks before finally kill all of them.

But there is another thing. Like I said, all the AIs in all the original maps have a "unknown byte 29" set to 1, while in those maps with Fremen/sietch involved that byte it's set to 0 (maps with no buildings, besides the sietch); and since in those maps the fremen don't build anything, maybe that Byte it's the one that stop the AI to go all-in against anyone because won't be remplacements (nor attacks).

I could recommend to test your map turning the unknown byte 29 to 0 and look if that makes the AI to stop his "all-in".

At what point do you say it happens? 5 min, 10 min...? so I can try to do the test myself.

Edited by Cm_blast

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16 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

Double post because I bring some good news.

Finally I figured out how the DefenceAreas thing works! And man... As soon as I see the results I already have one concept or two for a map!

I hope you don't mind me invading your post Doma.

Here some images; click to enlarge.
59af2778b81e8_Dunearea1.png.316a473d12ae20d6846bc56cfb8b06bb.png59af27c0e3641_Dunearea2.png.12d77a1731f603636cdfa9af2e83e8d2.png59af281a1b8b6_Dunearea3.png.d12fa22d830dab516bb0af3351709689.png

In this images you can see:
1) 2 areas defined, plus 3 barracks, 3 windtraps and some combat/missile tanks manually placed.
2) All those tanks went to the first area, also new infantry trained it's going to that area.
3) After the first area it's full, the units start moving to the second area.

So, the DefenceArea works as an imaginary rectangle of walls, making the AI to wander around that area, and when both areas are filled, next units trained are part of a new attack group against the player.

Keep in mind that sometimes all the units go directly to the first area and sometimes the units split between the two. Units trained usually go to the first area first, but sometimes 2-3 initial infantry goes to the second area first.

Reinforcements - free - also makes those units to go to the area.

When the player it's near one of the areas (like 4-5 tiles from the border), the units on the area (but not the other area) defend it like a regular unit spawn, so this is more natural and more competent that making a corridor covered by a few pre-placed tanks.

The AI will ignore their own base; even when I attack it, the new infantry seems to prioritize the areas.

To make this work, you need those numbers in these lines:
59af2cd5617e5_Dunearea5.png.a15e6deeb26800be99558ea5d77e3538.png and 59af2cd63e906_Dunearea4.png.cbc734f0c1cd9cea1dc111b2e6d0921a.png.(Those numbers are from an original map).

The startdealy it's the delay between the game start and the units start to wander about the area. In the original the number was 1000, I turned to 100 so I only need to wait 4 seconds.

This "freepercentage" it's what makes the manually placed units to move to the areas. That set to a lower number and only a few of them will go to the areas.

For now, the only I know for sure it's the meaning of the second unknow of the three. It has the same purpose as the "Guardgroupsize". 20.000 and it's needed all those units on the images on top. reduce it to only 1.000 and after 6-7 infantry the area it's filled.
And, like the guardgroupsize. 4 Devastators fill the area while are needed 20 infantry/troopers, but the size of the area itself seems irrelevant.

As a Final note. At the very bottom there is a "Unkown Byte 29" set to 0 in the original maps with a defencearea; I don't seem any diferrence with that set to 1 (it's set to 1 for all the others AI on all the maps).

And that's it. Only want to advice that if the defence area it's on sand the units will go to the center of the rentagle but won't wander around. In fact, if you set a sand area with 3 tiles of rocks, the tanks only will stop on top of then (the rest will remain at the centre). 

As a side note, maybe the "protect/defend strengh" has something to do about this. I didn't tested yet. In this test protect it's set to 80 and defend to 10. It's worth other test, but for now I have enough.

This is awesome, and incredibly useful.  Of course I don't mind you posting in this thread about it.  The more I learn, the better my designs are gonna be.
Also now, thanks to you I've now discovered I've been using 'FreePercentage' entirely wrong.  This explains some very annoying AI behaviour I've been banging my head against. :- P

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Cm_blast    74
19 minutes ago, Domaithianus said:

Also now, thanks to you I've now discovered I've been using 'FreePercentage' entirely wrong.  This explains some very annoying AI behaviour I've been banging my head against. :- P

As soon as I see that only those Ais (only Fremen/Sietchs) have that number to 100 while usually it's 0 I through on that conection. Also I can see that the Freepercentage works in the same way in a regular base, so if you have all the 64 events covered but need one more, you always can remove the unit spawn, place the units manually and then write a 100 in the free percentage to work.

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Fey    4
1 hour ago, Cm_blast said:

You mean Feyh2v1? 

Oh, ok, I was thinking on the "fremen side" instead the units. I can see those two groups, being Mercenary/smuggler side and you used a few walls to make them wander around.

I have a similar map with two sides only having walls/turrets (around another two sides) and, in the long run, they seem to go all-in against my ally (usually after some battling), the AI is very weird.

But yes, with a defence map you can make those units to wander around the whole base and not only being near the walls (and giving the walls to the original owner).

Of course, for now I only did a few quick tests. I can't guarantee the units defending an area will remain there forever, but I don't remember the Fremen in the H4v1 (original westwood map) going bersek on me before, even I remember once I was toying with them sending only small groups of troopers, so took me several attacks before finally kill all of them.

But there is another thing. Like I said, all the AIs in all the original maps have a "unknown byte 29" set to 1, while in those maps with Fremen/sietch involved that byte it's set to 0 (maps with no buildings, besides the sietch); and since in those maps the fremen don't build anything, maybe that Byte it's the one that stop the AI to go all-in against anyone because won't be remplacements (nor attacks).

I could recommend to test your map turning the unknown byte 29 to 0 and look if that makes the AI to stop his "all-in".

At what point do you say it happens? 5 min, 10 min...? so I can try to do the test myself.

If I remember right, while I was testing a while back, I lost my attacking force against the southern base. Each Fremen attacked me one by one until there were none left, and I think they were defending some area. Weird.

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Cm_blast    74
58 minutes ago, Fey said:

If I remember right, while I was testing a while back, I lost my attacking force against the southern base. Each Fremen attacked me one by one until there were none left, and I think they were defending some area. Weird.

Maybe not so weird. The attack Building strengh of those two groups it's 0, so probably the AI start the attack with the minimum possible: 1 unit. After one it's killed, he send another one. Probably if the number was 10 or so they will send all of them at once.

But anyway. I'll try to test your map and a map of mine. I'll cheat giving myself 900.000 credits or even reinforcemnts every few minutes, but I'l try to force some small fights and see myself If I can manage to trigger them the same way.

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