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A Secret Plot - Mercenary Campaign by Domaithianus


Domaithianus

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Hahaha XD It's all in good fun. As long as the admins don't mind, I guess it's fine.

13 minutes ago, Domaithianus said:

Good idea, probably about time I tried them out.

I look forward to hearing what you have to say. Have fun. :)

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1 hour ago, Jasper1993 said:

Can i have the zips for these please. Dont no id ive actually played them 

I replaced the original zip download on here, and attached it to the update post too, but I can post it again.  It guess it may be hard keeping up with all the update posts, and checking which is the latest.
If you just unzip that into the folder, and let it overwrite any duplicate files, you'll get the extra missions, as well as the bug patches and rebalancing.

Plot200.zip

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7 hours ago, Jasper1993 said:

I ment the smuggler and harkonen lol 

Oh, pardon me - that's my work lol

It has its own threads :P Sorry to get off topic here!! Here you go:

Now then, please comment in THOSE threads if you want more information! I would rather keep the chatter about it here as brief as possible. I was only mentioning it to Domaithianus in passing.

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On 23/7/2017 at 1:49 AM, Cm_blast said:

It seems I am saying lots of stuff over here.

Ok, I'm glad I waited, at least 2 more version appears XD.

Well, Played the first map, and this time seems to work well.
Those Ordos grenadiers caught me off guard, but besides that didn't have too much trouble.

By the way. That part is the wrong tile or you just wanted that way?.
tiruri.PNG.01adb92bd6846a487dfd05100a2f2a8d.PNG

Here, where the infantry are.

Edit: replayed mission 2 and I am halfway the mission 3. This mission was haaaaaaaard. I only survived because fortunatelly the enemy tanks didn't want to crush my few remain troopers. I still don't know how manage to survive, since everytime I defeat and attack another one comes like 10 seconds later.

Anyway, I liked the initial presentation of the map. Instead a chrono you can clearly see you ally being harassed, so all it's about to hurry.

I saved the game at this point, but I think the enemy stopped the assault, so probably now is the time to recover of my losses, finishing the remaining upgrades, increasing a bit the number or harversters and winning the map, all by myself. My ally can't build tanks anymore =(.

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On 28/07/2017 at 3:41 PM, Cm_blast said:

Ok, I'm glad I waited, at least 2 more version appears XD.

Well, Played the first map, and this time seems to work well.
Those Ordos grenadiers caught me off guard, but besides that didn't have too much trouble.

By the way. That part is the wrong tile or you just wanted that way?.
tiruri.PNG.01adb92bd6846a487dfd05100a2f2a8d.PNG

 

That part was an error.  I did notice it, but it was while I was fixing a whole load of other problems, and I ended up forgetting about it among the other fixes.  It'll be in the next update though.

 

 

On 28/07/2017 at 3:41 PM, Cm_blast said:

Edit: replayed mission 2 and I am halfway the mission 3. This mission was haaaaaaaard. I only survived because fortunatelly the enemy tanks didn't want to crush my few remain troopers. I still don't know how manage to survive, since everytime I defeat and attack another one comes like 10 seconds later.

The difficulty in mission 2 is really surprising me.  It seems the AI is going at it harder for some people than others.  All my play tests resulted in a keep you on your toes, but not too hard to cope with otherwise.  Same for a friend I got to play test for me.  This is making scaling it down really hard as I don't know what I've scaled it down to.  The difference with the AI only seems to be for MS2 though.  I may have to scale it down some more for the next update.

 

On 28/07/2017 at 3:41 PM, Cm_blast said:

Anyway, I liked the initial presentation of the map. Instead a chrono you can clearly see you ally being harassed, so all it's about to hurry.

I saved the game at this point, but I think the enemy stopped the assault, so probably now is the time to recover of my losses, finishing the remaining upgrades, increasing a bit the number or harversters and winning the map, all by myself. My ally can't build tanks anymore =(.

Yeah, one of the challenges in the mission is that if your ally loses something, it's gone forever.  Glad the battle at the start is creating a sense of urgency.

Thanks for the mission review, not only is it very useful to know, it's also really nice to find out what you think of it.

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3 hours ago, Domaithianus said:

The difficulty in mission 2 is really surprising me.  It seems the AI is going at it harder for some people that others.  All my play tests resulted in a keep you on your toes, but not too hard to cope with otherwise.  Same for a friend I got to play test for me.  This is making scaling it down really hard as I don't know what I've scaled it down to.  The difference with the AI only seems to be for MS2 though.  I may have to scale it down some more for the next update.

I was talking about mission 3. Mission 2 it's fine; The harder part is just the first attack formed of 10-15 combat tanks. After that the Ais are no longer a threath (Slow building, weak attacks, barely defenses if not counting turrets...).

About the AI. Just think that the "FirstAttackBuildingDelay" is not a flat value. The AI may attack early/late, so is always a bit hard to know exactly how the mission will go. But anyway, if the player is patient enough to wait for the "big tank rush" the rest of the mission is a piece of cake.

Mission 3 is the one hard.

I played mission 4. This was more easy than mission 3 (except trying to move the harversters in the very little space for the player). Tanks blocking the way and etc, but except that the map was more easy. On top of that, I was lucky because at the first "surprise" attack I was laughing because I have an unexpected ally: the Atreides xD.

Now, I couldn't end the 4 mission. For some reason "too many deliveries" crashed the game.
It's really weird, I'm looking with the editor and cannot tell why happens. Now I think that was a mix of several deliveries (a couple of mine plus the two for free) and the units getting stucked trying to deploy, so the deliveries accumulated.

By the way. If you want a endless loop you can use the %timer and >timer instead an interval to trigger 400 times. Takes 2 spaces of the "Condition type" instead 1, so that is at your free will.
Now, if you want to save room for other "Condityion type" you don't need the "building exist starport". The original game have it, but at least for me the "Starport Delivery" it has always worked for me with any kind of condition without adding the "exist starport" part.

Ps: and if you want to be sure that those Fremen (Imperial side, no buildings) being spawned goes against the player instead remaining still  you can add the "Bersek" event with a 1=timer; just as a failsafe.

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Played two more missions. Mission 5 was really easy (I am only going to the "a" route"). I liked it.

I failed at Mission 6. By the time I could start to rolling, my ally died and mission failed =(. Well, probably I need to do the second step more quickly, to have more time to build forces to help my ally.

By the way, is suppose the Emperor to be your enemy after the first step has been completed?
I mean. The game is like this:
Player need to introduce the codes.
If you introduce them = ally forever.
If you don't introduce them before the clock = they find you are a traitor, so enemy.

But I don't know if after the that part is done, if you loose that building (let's say, after 30 minutes in), your ally will become enemy (so it's done on purpose), or just you It did not occur to you that this scenario could happen because when you played/test you always manage to protect the building?

Ps: I don't know how to feel about sharing the same colour as one ally. I know, is part of the idea and makes sense, but while playing can be very confused to distinguish what units are yours and which do not. (on top of that, if the player is a begginner that he don't even know how to "control+1" their own units could be really confusing for him).
So just in case if you are interested: There is a few alloc. index (Higher than 7) that uses Harkonnen/imperial type of buildings. The Index 35, for example will deploy a Harkonnen construction Yard, but the Heavy factory will be the imperial one (so Harkonnen buildings and units, but not devastators).
The color for the player will be a darker version of the smuggler's one. There is only a few Index that work; but anyway, I'm just giving you this tip in case you didn't know about other index that are playable.

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2 hours ago, djbaskan60 said:

Hello. Thank you for campaign and different perspective, İ like it. i love mercenaries :)

Awesome, thank you.  Hope you enjoy it :- )

 

 

On 29/07/2017 at 11:02 PM, Cm_blast said:

I was talking about mission 3. Mission 2 it's fine; The harder part is just the first attack formed of 10-15 combat tanks. After that the Ais are no longer a threath (Slow building, weak attacks, barely defenses if not counting turrets...).

About the AI. Just think that the "FirstAttackBuildingDelay" is not a flat value. The AI may attack early/late, so is always a bit hard to know exactly how the mission will go. But anyway, if the player is patient enough to wait for the "big tank rush" the rest of the mission is a piece of cake.

Mission 3 is the one hard.

Oh wow, that one had been too easy, so I beefed it up a bit, but only very slightly.  Part of the key is to hit the base to the north, so you can focus on the south.  The enemy reinforcements do run out eventually, so it gets a bit easier if you can hold out.  Next update, I am going to reduce their run count though.

 

On 29/07/2017 at 11:02 PM, Cm_blast said:

I played mission 4. This was more easy than mission 3 (except trying to move the harversters in the very little space for the player). Tanks blocking the way and etc, but except that the map was more easy. On top of that, I was lucky because at the first "surprise" attack I was laughing because I have an unexpected ally: the Atreides xD.

Haha, yeah, they start as neutral, so there's no guarantee that they'll fight each other, but they can end up hitting one another, or if you engineer it right, you can set them fighting.

 

 

On 29/07/2017 at 11:02 PM, Cm_blast said:

Now, I couldn't end the 4 mission. For some reason "too many deliveries" crashed the game.

It's really weird, I'm looking with the editor and cannot tell why happens. Now I think that was a mix of several deliveries (a couple of mine plus the two for free) and the units getting stucked trying to deploy, so the deliveries accumulated.

By the way. If you want a endless loop you can use the %timer and >timer instead an interval to trigger 400 times. Takes 2 spaces of the "Condition type" instead 1, so that is at your free will.
Now, if you want to save room for other "Condityion type" you don't need the "building exist starport". The original game have it, but at least for me the "Starport Delivery" it has always worked for me with any kind of condition without adding the "exist starport" part.

Yeah, that sounds like a build-up.  I never had that problem play-testing, but I'll have a look to see if there's any way I can make a build-up  of deliveries less likely.
Mission 4B was done with the %timer and the >timer, unfortunately, some of MS4 suffered for how early I made it, so I didn't know so many of the programing options.  I will go back, and alter how the starport deliveries work for the next update.  I may space them out a little more too, so the build-ups aren't so overwhelming.

 

 

On 29/07/2017 at 11:02 PM, Cm_blast said:

Ps: and if you want to be sure that those Fremen (Imperial side, no buildings) being spawned goes against the player instead remaining still  you can add the "Bersek" event with a 1=timer; just as a failsafe.

That's an excellent suggestion, and I really wish I'd thought of that earlier, thank you.
 

8 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

Played two more missions. Mission 5 was really easy (I am only going to the "a" route"). I liked it.

Glad you liked mission 5.  Yeah, it wasn't meant to be very difficult, more just interesting and different.  However, I'm still not sure I'm entirely happy with the pacing.  I do feel MS5B is much better.
 

 

8 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

I failed at Mission 6. By the time I could start to rolling, my ally died and mission failed =(. Well, probably I need to do the second step more quickly, to have more time to build forces to help my ally.

By the way, is suppose the Emperor to be your enemy after the first step has been completed?
I mean. The game is like this:
Player need to introduce the codes.
If you introduce them = ally forever.
If you don't introduce them before the clock = they find you are a traitor, so enemy.

 

Mission 6 is quite possibly the hardest mission in the campaign if you don't know the key to it.  There are a few ways of doing it, but if you just follow the briefing, and use what you're given, it'll be very difficult to win - though not impossible.  You do have to get creative with that one.  There is, however, and inherent weakness built into the Harkonnen base if you can find it.

Yeah, with the Outpost, the idea is you need to protect that, but possibly I either need to make that more clear in the briefing, or make it OK to loose it eventually.

8 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

Ps: I don't know how to feel about sharing the same colour as one ally. I know, is part of the idea and makes sense, but while playing can be very confused to distinguish what units are yours and which do not. (on top of that, if the player is a begginner that he don't even know how to "control+1" their own units could be really confusing for him).

So just in case if you are interested: There is a few alloc. index (Higher than 7) that uses Harkonnen/imperial type of buildings. The Index 35, for example will deploy a Harkonnen construction Yard, but the Heavy factory will be the imperial one (so Harkonnen buildings and units, but not devastators).
The color for the player will be a darker version of the smuggler's one. There is only a few Index that work; but anyway, I'm just giving you this tip in case you didn't know about other index that are playable.

I did not know about them, that's really nice to know.  So what alloc indexes work?  I'd love to play around with them.
I did spend quite a while debating whether to have the player the same colour, but in the end thought it would be interesting for one mission, and could provide an interesting extra challenge.  Though I can see how it could get irritating too...

Thanks for all the feedback, and advice Blast, it's really helpful, and I really do appreciate it.

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3 hours ago, Domaithianus said:

Mission 4B was done with the %timer and the >timer, unfortunately, some of MS4 suffered for how early I made it, so I didn't know so many of the programing options.  I will go back, and alter how the starport deliveries work for the next update.  I may space them out a little more too, so the build-ups aren't so overwhelming.

Probably It's more because the little space to deploy that the timers itself. Just moving my own units when I need more to defend take me a while (starport + factories), and since at that part I was attacking the Atreides, I wasn't looking at my base, just continuing to build, so who knows how many units I had in the very little space I almost fill with buildings.

 

3 hours ago, Domaithianus said:

Mission 6 is quite possibly the hardest mission in the campaign if you don't know the key to it.  There are a few ways of doing it, but if you just follow the briefing, and use what you're given, it'll be very difficult to win - though not impossible.  You do have to get creative with that one.  There is, however, and inherent weakness built into the Harkonnen base if you can find it.

Took me a while finding "something to do", so rushing for that objetive probably will make the map more easy. The design of the terrain makes the Harkonnen to split units in their attacks, and yes, I found that weakness and started to use it, but with only a very few heavy weapons and my ally little defenses no much I could do.

3 hours ago, Domaithianus said:

Yeah, with the Outpost, the idea is you need to protect that, but possibly I either need to make that more clear in the briefing, or make it OK to loose it eventually

A ingame message could work too. I find weird how suddenly an "ally" tank was coming my way and I though "I had a tank there?" but then start shooting at my building and I was "wait, it's not mine, that's sure".

3 hours ago, Domaithianus said:

I did not know about them, that's really nice to know.  So what alloc indexes work?  I'd love to play around with them.

Here, Take this file with the info about the Index. The file is not mine, but I think is accuraty. 80% of those index will be Atreides Black buildings units, which are cool for a radarless type of map, but in the radar is hard to see them, plus the game crash if you deploy a CY.

Others are ok for buildings, but infantry/troopers looks a bit weird, but still can be used. At the end there are only a few of them that are fine.

Also I uploaded some images with several index (click to make them bigger). I used 3 of them already during my campaigns (2 for the player). You can try others non-black searching for something.

3 hours ago, Domaithianus said:

I did spend quite a while debating whether to have the player the same colour, but in the end thought it would be interesting for one mission, and could provide an interesting extra challenge.  Though I can see how it could get irritating too...

I went to that process too when I through about doing the "Butlerian Jihad". Atreides figthing machines controlling another Atreides? Perfect!
I created only a couple of missions sharing colors (but even then, player and enemy uses different units: light infantry and Trikes vs Quads). Maps smalls and quick to beat, but I even think that it's not 100% clear all the time because your brain tells you not to attack your own units.

3 hours ago, Domaithianus said:

Thanks for all the feedback, and advice Blast, it's really helpful, and I really do appreciate it

I am the guru of... ok no xD; your welcome.

Index Allocation.txt

ind 132.PNGind 131.PNGind 35.PNGind 9.PNGind 98.PNG

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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:

Spoiler

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:

Spoiler

This level is still genuinely infuriating and horribly broken.

While trying to path up to the Outpost, this happened:

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:

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.

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:

Spoiler

Good idea to remove all the Atreides forces there. However, now this is happening:

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:

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:

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.

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.

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:

Spoiler

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

M4V2:

Spoiler

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:

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:

Spoiler

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:

Spoiler

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:

Spoiler

This level requires way too much precision.

The first transmission is clipped out at the default resolution.

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:

Spoiler

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:

Spoiler

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:

Spoiler

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:

Spoiler

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:

Spoiler

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.

Edited by Fey
Attachments removed; out of space for new uploads.
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3 hours ago, Fey said:

No, those were not S1 infantry heading down to attack. They went back to S2's base once my Harvester left.

There is an area down of the base, I start in that area so nobody go against my harv, at least at the beginning.

3 hours ago, Fey said:

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.

The AI has a perimeter in a rectangle around all the buildings involved. Also, you can see a value in the AI tab that said "BaseDefenceRadius". I don't think that changing this value does nothing to the AI, but there is another line in the .ini that said "HarversterDriveInstance" is 64 (this value actually works). Is about 8 squares of distance more or less (in a straigh line, diagonals are not exactly the same).

Usually the AI is going against the enemy that as near, could be your harverter in this scenario? The harverster may left, but then the units go against "another unit that is a treath", and then the next, and the next, and... the AI do this without limit, who knows when or why he stops.
This is a image as a example that I saw once.
598077fd75194_thistime.thumb.png.e4252f16cc966d69f5124d29af9f7858.png <--- just look the distance between the AI base on the top and the area I painted, and still the AI once were amassing units there, just because he was figthing a "treath" (merc was an ally), but if given "food" the AI can go more and more.

3 hours ago, Fey said:

- Nerf the enemy AI. I'm still seeing twenty tanks in the first few minutes post-capture even without bothering their defense zone

I feel the max speed is going against you, I have time to build 3 refs, the heavy factory and a couple of turrets (plus some tanks) even before the attack appears.

The only Thing I could suggest is to reduce a lot the unit build rate of the Ais, and then creating an script to recover the unit build rate that they have now.
Let's say, at the beggining all Ais have 8000 of unit build rate, so the player can take his time to capture the outpost and the base. After the CY is capture you activate the event to return the Unit build rate to the AIs to his actual state (1500-1100-950), or even a bit faster since there is more time to prepare.

3 hours ago, Fey said:

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.

You are mistaken, I barely survive and that turret was most Helpful in that spot that where you said. Remember, Atreides are still going to focus you.

3 hours ago, Fey said:

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.

Or capturing the enemy when it's attached, so you have threeeeeeee!!!!!!

3 hours ago, Fey said:

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.

Incorrect, the unit spawn only admitt "free", other options doesn't affect at all. They only stand still if the AI itself is not active, if not will just going to go "free" or "ready to attack" if enough units are already guarding the base.

3 hours ago, Fey said:

The first transmission is clipped out at the default resolution

Oh, yes, I didn't mention nothing about that.
My simple soluction is just to skip the "modified". At the human eye both buildings are the same, or skip "identification/confirmation", one of the two.

3 hours ago, Fey said:

f you want the smugglers to cover all areas of their base if provoked, I'd recommend a unit spawn event.

It's a shame I didn't learn yet how to make defence areas (Original campaign H4V1 map). That would be usefull in this situation. You have the neutral units separated, but if the player attacks those units change into the unit spaw behaviour (this is exactly what happens in H4V1).

3 hours ago, Fey said:

 - 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.

Didn't you find the weakness? xD (Although it is not the panacea).

In my run the Harkonnen were so strong that they kill "the other faction".

I'll stop reading here, I still want to re-try mission 6 and play the others.

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5 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

There is an area down of the base, I start in that area so nobody go against my harv, at least at the beginning.

It really wasn't sufficient for me.

5 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

I feel the max speed is going against you, I have time to build 3 refs, the heavy factory and a couple of turrets (plus some tanks) even before the attack appears.

The only Thing I could suggest is to reduce a lot the unit build rate of the Ais, and then creating an script to recover the unit build rate that they have now.
Let's say, at the beggining all Ais have 8000 of unit build rate, so the player can take his time to capture the outpost and the base. After the CY is capture you activate the event to return the Unit build rate to the AIs to his actual state (1500-1100-950), or even a bit faster since there is more time to prepare.

It's not possible that I would fall THAT far behind. I wasn't that meticulous about selecting the starting and reinforcement units for optimization on this level; I sent all my units ahead and micro'd mid-fight for the sake of speed. The only explanation is that it's still broken, or at least the version I got, which should have been the latest.

The unit build rate thing is a great idea. I do that in S9V2. That's something I could suggest for this map.

5 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

You are mistaken, I barely survive and that turret was most Helpful in that spot that where you said. Remember, Atreides are still going to focus you.

That's funny. Not one Atreides unit got in range of that turret for the entire game for me :P Did the smugglers lose the fortifications at the front or back of their base for you?

5 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

Or capturing the enemy when it's attached, so you have threeeeeeee!!!!!!

Or, he could adjust the event to be like BJ2 where you only get one Harvester if you captured a Harvester with the Refinery, and you get two Harvesters if you didn't. I liked that.

5 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

Incorrect, the unit spawn only admitt "free", other options doesn't affect at all. They only stand still if the AI itself is not active, if not will just going to go "free" or "ready to attack" if enough units are already guarding the base.

Oh, my mistake. I guess you could use another AI (or lack thereof) for the Siege Tanks, Domaithianus.

5 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

Oh, yes, I didn't mention nothing about that.

My simple soluction is just to skip the "modified". At the human eye both buildings are the same, or skip "identification/confirmation", one of the two.

Yep. Text limit's a jerk.

5 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

It's a shame I didn't learn yet how to make defence areas (Original campaign H4V1 map). That would be usefull in this situation. You have the neutral units separated, but if the player attacks those units change into the unit spaw behaviour (this is exactly what happens in H4V1).

They change from simple guard mode to free AI use, if I understand correctly? How do you do that?

5 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

Didn't you find the weakness? xD (Although it is not the panacea).

In my run the Harkonnen were so strong that they kill "the other faction".

I'll stop reading here, I still want to re-try mission 6 and play the others.

About the Large Gun Turrets? You'd have to take out EIGHT Wind Traps to knock out their power, and that's if you don't destroy any other buildings that suck up energy.

As for the weakness, the only significant thing I noticed was that the ConYard is right next to the infantry only. Perfect for an engineer. I did drop some concrete after capturing it on my run, before selling it, but I didn't use that to build inside their base or anything. That would've just been, y'know, cheap. Blowing stuff up is more fun anyway!

For the record, I looked through the map editor after each map was completed (or quit off of). I don't see anything in the events that would qualify as a weakness, and the infantry only in the back is the only useful terrain advantage. I described my process of moving through each apparent potential strategy until I found the one that worked. Like I said, I think the map is super misleading in its presentation and ultimately requires too much precision to complete at what feels to be an appropriate time.

When you do re-try it, good luck. I'd like to hear whatever strat you come up with, especially if I really did miss something.

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1 hour ago, Fey said:

Stuff about MS2 still being f*cked

I just don't know why.  I worked my arse off on this mission, play tested more times than I can count, on multiple PC's, and never once found any of the issues you've reported to me.  And it was one of my favourites too.
Ahh well, I've made the map a little bigger now, so hopefully it'll be outside of agro range now, even with the game doing bizarre, senseless things.
AI's start with much less money now, so they have to build their economy up to get large attack forces too.
I'll include it in the next update, but until then, try this:
 

MS2T.zip

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3 hours ago, Fey said:

It really wasn't sufficient for me.

Well, that area worth 8200 of spice, plus the 5000 Doma gives you, is more than enough to place 3 refs, 1 heavy factory and a couple of turrets before depleting this area.

In this specific map I let 2 harverster going down and 2 to the left, so I don't deplete too quickly the south zone and can control/protect the others better (although the other 2 Ais usually ignores them for the most time).

3 hours ago, Fey said:

It's not possible that I would fall THAT far behind. I wasn't that meticulous about selecting the starting and reinforcement units for optimization on this level; I sent all my units ahead and micro'd mid-fight for the sake of speed. The only explanation is that it's still broken, or at least the version I got, which should have been the latest.

The unit build rate thing is a great idea. I do that in S9V2. That's something I could suggest for this map.

Hard to tell. This AI is set to attack a 16.000 (over 10 minutes in real time) with a unit build rate of 1500, so this means 10 combat tanks.

Now, because the Attack Building strengh is really low maybe the AI skip his turn to attack and wait for the next turn, 7000 later, increasing 5 more tanks to the attack group. At the end, at 23.000 (15 minutes more or less) 15 tanks will come to the player (and if not, then at 20 minutes over 20 tanks in a single run will attack. <-- These are just estimates.

Maybe the AI it's just angry with you and that's it xD.

3 hours ago, Fey said:

That's funny. Not one Atreides unit got in range of that turret for the entire game for me :P Did the smugglers lose the fortifications at the front or back of their base for you?

They lost almost all, including the heavy factory. Without any other units to be in the way the Atreides (the regular attacks, not the carryall ones) start to focus on me like mad. But like I said, I barely survive. At some point only 3 combat tanks, 3 raider/quads and a dozen of troopers was all the defense we have (counting both players).

3 hours ago, Fey said:

They change from simple guard mode to free AI use, if I understand correctly? How do you do that?

Yes, like if there were created with the unit spawn event.

However, there is at the end of the AI tab "unknown byte 29" set to 0, which only the "Fremen/Emperor" (in this map) have, so probably is a relation between both.

3 hours ago, Fey said:

How do you do that?

No idea. I tried twice to do that with no success. I manage to create the defense area, but I tried to copy all the other unknown bytes (29 and the ones in the defence area section) but still, no success.

3 hours ago, Fey said:

As for the weakness, the only significant thing I noticed was that the ConYard is right next to the infantry only. Perfect for an engineer

Or more perfect for a saboteur :P, and the starport, and Ix. Probably the Starport is the main key.

But just right now I came with an idea to re-try this map... because I was doing too straightforward and maybe... well, I'll tell more when I try an idea out of the box, maybe will work :P.

1 hour ago, Domaithianus said:

I just don't know why.  I worked my arse off on this mission, play tested more times than I can count, on multiple PC's, and never once found any of the issues you've reported to me.  And it was one of my favourites too.
Ahh well, I've made the map a little bigger now, so hopefully it'll be outside of agro range now, even with the game doing bizarre, senseless things.
AI's start with much less money now, so they have to build their economy up to get large attack forces too.
I'll include it in the next update, but until then, try this:

I have a workaround to you if you want to maintain the original aspect of the map and solving the agro-range for that AI.

Change the "GuardGroupSide" to 0: Unit's for this AI will no longer wander around, so there is no retaliation for being near the area. Units on the main door of the factories only will retaliate if you are near them (classic guard mode by default).

Since the units spawned by this event won't wander the base, you can remove them and just place the units manually (like behind  the walls or something like that).

I guarantee you that this work; just check this imagen for one mission.

proof.png.c736f0602f9b2e0757ce02a3d590f251.png
If you form a single rectangle to bind the three Ordos bases, that rectangle is going to be very near to the Player base. With the Guard thing to 0 The AI totally ignore the player except for the regular attacks.

So you can use too. No Guarding means no agro means no units defending means profit.

Ps: the imagen is a legit map by the way xD. 

Edited by Cm_blast
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2 hours ago, Domaithianus said:

I just don't know why.  I worked my arse off on this mission, play tested more times than I can count, on multiple PC's, and never once found any of the issues you've reported to me.  And it was one of my favourites too.
Ahh well, I've made the map a little bigger now, so hopefully it'll be outside of agro range now, even with the game doing bizarre, senseless things.
AI's start with much less money now, so they have to build their economy up to get large attack forces too.
I'll include it in the next update, but until then, try this:
 

MS2T.zip

I dunno what it is, sometimes maps do that crap to me too. There's no way to know if Cm has trouble with my later maps because they're harder than intended, or because we have different strats. I play-test my own campaign on hard mode, so that helps make normal more likely to be fine :P Maybe he could record his playthroughs...? I'd watch the heck outta that :D

One of the things you could do is remove Carryalls for sides that can build Carryalls, and remove extra Harvesters for sides that can build Harvesters. They'll build 2 Harvesters and 1 Carryall per Refinery by default, and you seem to have kept the default in every mission. That way, instead of tanks, they'll build Harvesters first!

You could also reduce the money. In some of my maps, I add up the price of upgrades for enemy structures and adjust the AI's funds so those upgrades will either put them at a decent starting point, at a funds threshold, or completely drain them of funds. They'll always max out their Harvesters, Carryalls, and Upgrades if possible before starting on their normal stuff, and their normal stuff will only start if they have above the amount of funds listed in the respective threshold in AI parameters.

Tweaking the AI is cool. Can do a lot with it.

Like I said, the mission started really cool. The three AIs seem pretty neat with their respective production facilities, but because they start with all their Harvesters and Carryalls, they can get funds REALLY quickly. Making them build one or two Harvesters will slow them down a good deal. Or, you could do the thing Cm suggested with the build rate - that's a good idea! I'll check out the new version of the map and tell you what happens, eh?

Oh, yeah, and didja check out any of my other feedback? Was it helpful? :)

1 hour ago, Cm_blast said:

Well, that area worth 8200 of spice, plus the 5000 Doma gives you, is more than enough to place 3 refs, 1 heavy factory and a couple of turrets before depleting this area.

In this specific map I let 2 harverster going down and 2 to the left, so I don't deplete too quickly the south zone and can control/protect the others better (although the other 2 Ais usually ignores them for the most time).

I swear, I had tanks on me as I was placing my Heavy Factory lol. After one Refinery! Maybe it's just me.

1 hour ago, Cm_blast said:

Hard to tell. This AI is set to attack a 16.000 (over 10 minutes in real time) with a unit build rate of 1500, so this means 10 combat tanks.

Now, because the Attack Building strengh is really low maybe the AI skip his turn to attack and wait for the next turn, 7000 later, increasing 5 more tanks to the attack group. At the end, at 23.000 (15 minutes more or less) 15 tanks will come to the player (and if not, then at 20 minutes over 20 tanks in a single run will attack. <-- These are just estimates.

Maybe the AI it's just angry with you and that's it xD.

Hard to tell, indeed :P I've got a clock near my computer, it was in like a couple of minutes. Crazy.

1 hour ago, Cm_blast said:

They lost almost all, including the heavy factory. Without any other units to be in the way the Atreides (the regular attacks, not the carryall ones) start to focus on me like mad. But like I said, I barely survive. At some point only 3 combat tanks, 3 raider/quads and a dozen of troopers was all the defense we have (counting both players).

Damn lol. Yeah I had like zero problems on this map. Not even a turret destroyed. Maybe level 3 is the broken one for you?

1 hour ago, Cm_blast said:

Yes, like if there were created with the unit spawn event.

However, there is at the end of the AI tab "unknown byte 29" set to 0, which only the "Fremen/Emperor" (in this map) have, so probably is a relation between both.

Oh, okay.

1 hour ago, Cm_blast said:

No idea. I tried twice to do that with no success. I manage to create the defense area, but I tried to copy all the other unknown bytes (29 and the ones in the defence area section) but still, no success.

The day we figure that out is the day even more crazy stuff can be done. Someday!

1 hour ago, Cm_blast said:

Or more perfect for a saboteur :P, and the starport, and Ix. Probably the Starport is the main key.

But just right now I came with an idea to re-try this map... because I was doing too straightforward and maybe... well, I'll tell more when I try an idea out of the box, maybe will work :P.

Naww. If you can get an Engineer in there, it's better because it's literally right up the ramp. I got my Engineer in there just fine. The targets to save Saboteurs for are targets deeper in the base, like the Research Center, Starport, Heavy Factory and Light Factory. Stealth is a miracle for taking those out. Sorely needed in the map's present state.

1 hour ago, Cm_blast said:

I have a workaround to you if you want to maintain the original aspect of the map and solving the agro-range for that AI.

Change the "GuardGroupSide" to 0: Unit's for this AI will no longer wander around, so there is no retaliation for being near the area. Units on the main door of the factories only will retaliate if you are near them (classic guard mode by default).

Since the units spawned by this event won't wander the base, you can remove them and just place the units manually (like behind  the walls or something like that).

I guarantee you that this work; just check this imagen for one mission.

proof.png.c736f0602f9b2e0757ce02a3d590f251.png
If you form a single rectangle to bind the three Ordos bases, that rectangle is going to be very near to the Player base. With the Guard thing to 0 The AI totally ignore the player except for the regular attacks.

So you can use too. No Guarding means no agro means no units defending means profit.

Ps: the imagen is a legit map by the way xD. 

I do that sometimes, the placing units behind walls and stuff rather than spawning them in thing, but I need the AI to have units running around its base so it looks good and lively and they defend their stuff. Sometimes I spawn stuff in, or reinforce it, but because my AIs tend to build up quick on their own and patrol their own base, I usually drop units on guard at specific locations instead.

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13 hours ago, Fey said:

I do that sometimes, the placing units behind walls and stuff rather than spawning them in thing, but I need the AI to have units running around its base so it looks good and lively and they defend their stuff.

I was refering to Doma's mission 2.
The closest AI with no Area guard means no retaliation, so the base is still in the middle of the path, the turrets still can attack the player (so you can't ignore), and the player can harverst or place units nearby without triggering defenses to this specific AI.

So, in short, instead increasing the size of the map, he can turn the AI to "no guard/wander" and call it a day.

 

Talking about something else... I beat mission 6! Muahahahah, and easy, muahahahaha.
Doma, this maps needs a failsafe. I don't know how you are going to do it, but the map is exploitable. Even with that, I didn't "cheat" to beat the map, but yes, the map is beated :P.

Spoiler

Here, first screenshot. Enough units to proctect my ally and you can see a base already deployed in the south area.5981d7a304ed3_muahahahahaeasy.PNG.b9a445013487dae76ec152b1b2301322.PNG

And here, the enemy base reduced to ashes.

5981d79f73899_beatit.PNG.a404889610e97ae85139e7b4d8a46c78.PNG

Yeap, thinking out of the box was the best strategy xD.
But still, the map needs a failsafe to avoid "cheating".

I didn't cheat, but noone could stop me to cheat.

 

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23 minutes ago, Cm_blast said:

I was refering to Doma's mission 2.
The closest AI with no Area guard means no retaliation, so the base is still in the middle of the path, the turrets still can attack the player (so you can't ignore), and the player can harverst or place units nearby without triggering defenses to this specific AI.

So, in short, instead increasing the size of the map, he can turn the AI to "no guard/wander" and call it a day.

Err... I know you were. I was saying that I prefer for the enemy base to seem more lively, so putting units off wander entirely isn't very appealing to me. Hence my suggestion to expand the map and relocate S2's base. Your suggestion is also perfectly viable. :P

23 minutes ago, Cm_blast said:

Talking about something else... I beat mission 6! Muahahahah, and easy, muahahahaha.

Doma, this maps needs a failsafe. I don't know how you are going to do it, but the map is exploitable. Even with that, I didn't "cheat" to beat the map, but yes, the map is beated :P.

  Hide contents

Here, first screenshot. Enough units to proctect my ally and you can see a base already deployed in the south area.

5981d7a304ed3_muahahahahaeasy.PNG.b9a445013487dae76ec152b1b2301322.PNG

And here, the enemy base reduced to ashes.

5981d79f73899_beatit.PNG.a404889610e97ae85139e7b4d8a46c78.PNG

Yeap, thinking out of the box was the best strategy xD.
But still, the map needs a failsafe to avoid "cheating".

I didn't cheat, but noone could stop me to cheat.

 

I'm really curious about what strategy you used. How exactly is the map exploitable? What is the 'cheat' you're referring to?

Edited by Fey
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27 minutes ago, Fey said:

Err... I know you were. I was saying that I prefer for the enemy base to seem more lively, so putting units off wander entirely isn't very appealing to me. Hence my suggestion to expand the map and relocate S2's base. Your suggestion is also perfectly viable. :P

But even with his new expanded map, the AI is still "too near". So or he expand the map even more (like placing the enemy base at least at 10 squares of distance for the player, which is something I doub he would like) or he uses this other solution.

He has maps with inactive AI pretending to guard bases, and like I said, this base is in the middle of the path, so the fight will be there anyway.

For those reason I think is better to have the AI no wandering the base that expanding too much the map. (but of course, all is about the desire of the author, my idea is to maintain the map itself).

27 minutes ago, Fey said:

I'm really curious about what strategy you used. How exactly is the map exploitable? What is the 'cheat' you're referring to?

The game clearly say to capture the outpost to deceive the Emperor, and you have a limit to do it, but then the game talk about destroyeng a small base for the Harkonnen to trigger the war... but didn't said anything about doing it "now" so... why rush things?

Everyone is neutral with the player, and you already know how exploitable that situation will going to be.

So I went to the smugglers, capture everything usefull, placed a few refineries, the heavy factory, and then with the extra units you recieve on the top side of the map, I attack the small base and capture the ref+harverster too.

I send those units at the entrance of the Emperor; and since the AI has a hard time to reach my main base (regular ground attacks), You don't need turrets at all, so defending myself was easy, and when Emperor defenses (counting my units) were a bit slow on units, I just group the 20-25 units I build/buy, move them on the entrance of the Emperor and profit.

The rest was about taking the main buildings using the weakness/saboteurs, and from there taking the main door was easy.

Edited by Cm_blast
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On 8/2/2017 at 0:57 AM, Fey said:


Oh, yeah, and didja check out any of my other feedback? Was it helpful? :)


Some was, some I feel differently about, there's a lot to respond to, so I may be a while giving a full response.  My brain's been a bit fried over the last couple of days, so I've not really been able to write out big essay responses.

 

 

On 8/1/2017 at 11:06 PM, Cm_blast said:

I have a workaround to you if you want to maintain the original aspect of the map and solving the agro-range for that AI.

Change the "GuardGroupSide" to 0: Unit's for this AI will no longer wander around, so there is no retaliation for being near the area. Units on the main door of the factories only will retaliate if you are near them (classic guard mode by default).

Since the units spawned by this event won't wander the base, you can remove them and just place the units manually (like behind  the walls or something like that).

That's a good workaround, but I think, if it works, expanding the map would be preferable to de-fanging the base in that way.  I would be really surprised if it still agros on the extended map.

MS6...
Yeah, the problems mentioned were pretty good points.  I've put some serious time into re-designing the map.  I didn't move the smuggler base in the end, but there are now several ways to neuter the Harkonnen
 

Spoiler

I was able to open them up to attack without useing the Sobotuers at all.  Just 3 combat tanks, 3 missile tanks, and 1 engineer.  It took extremely careful timing, but it was doable.

Also, if you take too long to trigger hostilites now, the mission fails, and you get a message telling you off. :- P

I've made some pretty big edits to loads of the other missions too.  Still needs further play-testing, but should be up soon.

Edited by Domaithianus
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3 hours ago, Domaithianus said:

Some was, some I feel differently about, there's a lot to respond to, so I may be a while giving a full response.  My brain's been a bit fried over the last couple of days, so I've not really been able to write out big essay responses.

Ik the feel lol

Take your time, man, there ain't a time limit on your campaigns development ^^

3 hours ago, Domaithianus said:

That's a good workaround, but I think, if it works, expanding the map would be preferable to de-fanging the base in that way.  I would be really surprised if it still agros on the extended map.

Yeah! Yeah, agreed.

3 hours ago, Domaithianus said:

MS6...

Yeah, the problems mentioned were pretty good points.  I've put some serious time into re-designing the map.  I didn't move the smuggler base in the end, but there are now several ways to neuter the Harkonnen
 

  Hide contents

I was able to open them up to attack without useing the Sobotuers at all.  Just 3 combat tanks, 3 missile tanks, and 1 engineer.  It took extremely careful timing, but it was doable.

Also, if you take too long to trigger hostilites now, the mission fails, and you get a message telling you off. :- P

I've made some pretty big edits to loads of the other missions too.  Still needs further play-testing, but should be up soon.

Looking forward to seeing the changes, then. :)

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7 hours ago, Domaithianus said:

I would be really surprised if it still agros on the extended map.

The only way to know is testing with all the map revealed and check if the AI still have units wandering about the base of it is empty (which means he is trying to rush the player).

Maybe because the base it's in diagonal that gives you advantage, but who knows. AI is weird.

But if you expand the map it's fine to me. Although I am not sure how the only wave tank will go against the player. They probably split, sending a group to his right and another to the left.

Don't know if that is going to make more easy or more harder, depends a lot of how the AI moves those units and how they arrive to the player.

7 hours ago, Domaithianus said:

Also, if you take too long to trigger hostilites now, the mission fails, and you get a message telling you off. :- P

Good. 

I am going to deleted the images I uploaded, I have my attachment limit at 53%, so don't get scare if the images dissapear :P.

 

Edited by Cm_blast
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