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Domaithianus

[Release] Atreides Single Mission - Secrets, Power, and Children

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Hey-hey, as I can't seem to stop making stuff with the D2k Editor, I made a standalone mission based on the Ordos mission 4.  This mission is played from the Atreides point of view, set shortly after the events of the original mission.
Here's the mission briefing:

Spoiler

 

Our spies report that the Ordos have set up a starport at a hidden location to take delivery of some new and powerful illegal weapon, recently purchased from the Ixians.
We have sent out feelers to discover what we can, but seem to have hit a wall in our investigations. None of the smugglers will talk. It seems the Ordos have taken the families and loved ones of the local smugglers prisoner, and have them holed up inside the radar outpost of their own base. If we want further information, we will have rescue them.
Storm the base, and capture the outpost. Be aware that the smugglers will fight you – the Ordos with their hostages will see to that. However, we are counting on the fact that the Ordos will be reluctant to kill their hostages, as without them their secret is vulnerable.

 

Tactical Report: For added security, the Ordos have hired Mercenaries to help guard the area, and provided them with the base the Ordos originally used to assault the smugglers. Fighting the Ordos, Mercenaries, and smugglers together will be hard going, however the Mercenaries are an unreliable investment; if they see the battle is turning against them, they could be persuaded to switch sides. Demonstrate our strength to them by destroying the Ordos forward base, and we will offer to reward them for their assistance.

 

I used the original O4V1 map, and expanded it out to the East, and South, added a few craters and battle-scars to the map, and build the mission onto there.

 

ASM1.zip

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15 hours ago, Domaithianus said:

Hey-hey, as I can't seem to stop making stuff with the D2k Editor, I made a standalone mission based on the Ordos mission 4.  This mission is played from the Atreides point of view, set shortly after the events of the original mission.
Here's the mission briefing:

  Reveal hidden contents

 

Our spies report that the Ordos have set up a starport at a hidden location to take delivery of some new and powerful illegal weapon, recently purchased from the Ixians.
We have sent out feelers to discover what we can, but seem to have hit a wall in our investigations. None of the smugglers will talk. It seems the Ordos have taken the families and loved ones of the local smugglers prisoner, and have them holed up inside the radar outpost of their own base. If we want further information, we will have rescue them.
Storm the base, and capture the outpost. Be aware that the smugglers will fight you – the Ordos with their hostages will see to that. However, we are counting on the fact that the Ordos will be reluctant to kill their hostages, as without them their secret is vulnerable.

 

Tactical Report: For added security, the Ordos have hired Mercenaries to help guard the area, and provided them with the base the Ordos originally used to assault the smugglers. Fighting the Ordos, Mercenaries, and smugglers together will be hard going, however the Mercenaries are an unreliable investment; if they see the battle is turning against them, they could be persuaded to switch sides. Demonstrate our strength to them by destroying the Ordos forward base, and we will offer to reward them for their assistance.

 

I used the original O4V1 map, and expanded it out to the East, and South, added a few craters and battle-scars to the map, and build the mission onto there.

 

ASM1.zip

You uploaded this map already, right? But with another name: "SBD".
It's the same or there is something different?

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1 hour ago, Cm_blast said:

You uploaded this map already, right? But with another name: "SBD".
It's the same or there is something different?

I think it was based on after the 4th mission rather then the mission itself 

Jasper

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Just now, Jasper1993 said:

I think it was based on after the 4th mission rather then the mission itself 

Jasper

Yes, but what I mean, he uploaded this file before, in another post, somewhere, but the file was named "SBD.map". Overall is the same map, same enemies, same buildings, so maybe it's just the same map but he just decided now to give it a new file-name, or maybe he balanced something I cannot see at first sight after giving the new name, so I want to know to not have the same map appearing in the mission launcher twice.

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2 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

You uploaded this map already, right? But with another name: "SBD".
It's the same or there is something different?

I put it on my intro thread, yes.  I've tweaked it very slightly though (fixed a message so it doesn't pop up under the wrong conditions), and gave it a better name.  Thought I should probably put it up somewhere people can find it.
Should have mentioned on there I was gonna put it here, sorry for the confusion.

Edited by Domaithianus

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hey man

im a bit confused with this mission, it states to destroy the ordos front base and the mercenaries will switch sides however to get to that base you have to destroy the mercenaries. how do you do this? 

jasper 

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3 hours ago, Jasper1993 said:

hey man

im a bit confused with this mission, it states to destroy the ordos front base and the mercenaries will switch sides however to get to that base you have to destroy the mercenaries. how do you do this? 

jasper 

Spoiler

If you explore to the South, there's a route round.

It is however, intended to be player choice as to whether this seems worth the effort.  Destroying them is a perfectly legitimate route to victory.

Edited by Domaithianus

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Yo fam, I played your map ^^

I've got some feedback for ya. I played through on Hard, by switching a little after I'd built up from Normal (with Debug mode). Here ya go:

MAP LAYOUT:

Spoiler

This section will cover the terrain usage in the level.

The areas that you added looked very much like what Westwood designed in the rest of the original map. Excellent job preserving the original feel - that was what you were going for, right?

I'm especially pleased at your use of infantry rock in the areas that you added. Infantry rock is criminally under-used and it aided nicely in the defense of my base and the attack on the enemy. Could use a little bit more in any of the circled areas, I think:

Your addition of multiple entrances to the mercenary base, one near turrets and one down into the Spice field, was very much welcome.

My only complaint about the map layout is the Spice at the Ordos base in relation to the Atreides starting position. Getting my economy up even on hard mode was quite well-paced, I wasn't stuck dealing with a load of waiting on Harvesters, but after the Spice field in the northeastern corner was depleted, this happened:

The terrain on which the Atreides can build their base is quite large. My recommendation would be to relocate the Atreides starting units down to the southernmost half of the starting island. That would make the Harvester preferences much less annoying. If the mercenaries are too keen on bothering you there, you could condense the Spice field somewhat!

Speaking of Spice, I noticed that you put blooms in all of the Spice fields. I know Westwood did that (in all except one field in the original O4V1), but you don't have to do that too! Not only can blooms be a real hassle if they're in the way of a path, like the blooms right here:

But making expendable Spice fields can reduce the number of areas to which Harvesters are likely to go. This helps to reduce map complexity and randomness, and it could potentially give the player a temporary reward for conquering certain territory. Or, it could force them to expand early. For instance, the only conveniently located Spice field in S5V1 with Spice Blooms is in the center of the map. This compels the player to expand there, especially since the Spice fields on the east side of the map - near your starting position - all lack Spice blooms.

Note to self: Four blooms near the Ixian base should be relocated to southeast side of the map... why else would that rock be there?

Oh, yeah, and there's a glitch in Gruntmods that causes blooms to disappear without exploding when AI units are nearby. I dunno what causes it, but that's the reason I started putting multiple blooms in one Spice field, and thus considering where I should condense said blooms.

Other than that, the terrain is also making it difficult for the Ordos AI to attack very effectively on account of their units trickling in due to unit pathing. The original Westwood map placed the ways up to the Harkonnen base at such an angle that the AI was likely to do similar in the original, but in this version of the map, it's more noticeable because there's even more terrain to navigate around. One of the ways I help unit pathing is by putting infantry-only pathways near cliffs where vehicles will have to make turns. This results in the faster vehicles showing up at around the same time as the slower infantry, if I do it right, because the infantry will go straight down the pathways while the vehicles go all the way around. Do you suppose you could do something like that for the Ordos here?

The mercenaries and smugglers are fine in that regard since the smugglers only attack with infantry and the mercenary base is directly south of the Atreides position.

So, for the most part, terrain is great. My only qualms are with AI unit pathing and Spice placement, but much more importantly, there's infantry rock, multiple pathways into enemy territory, and it preserves the original aesthetic of the map. Nicely done!

BASE LAYOUT:

Spoiler

Base layout, I think, could use some more work.

The mercenary base for the most part is quite alright. The production structures are nearest the Atreides position, guarded well by a choke point and two turrets, the player can head around and take out their Refinery, and base density is quite satisfactory. My only problem is with the amount of turrets. I think it was a great idea to avoid placing Large Gun Turrets for the mercenaries, and the one Medium Gun Turret on the southeast entrance is perfect where it is. There are four other turrets facing Ordos territory, however, and while I think the two on the west side can and should stay there, the two right here:

Really seem excessive. You could replace them with walls and the mercenary base would still be adequately difficult to penetrate. I went into this map blind, and going all the way around seemed tough enough already with enemy units coming to defend their base. Atreides forces need to spend more time in enemy territory to get all the way around to that entrance, meaning they'll have plenty more units by then to defend with anyway. As the turrets there currently stand, all they do is present two more obstacles to the Construction Yard from the main pathway.

If you really want to keep a turret there, perhaps you could put one Large Gun Turret next to the northwest Wind Trap. The Medium Gun Turrets were a hassle since they were guarded by walls from the direction I approached, but a nice Large Gun Turret right there would be an unguarded centerpiece that could defend the ConYard from whatever angle you attacked, and would not be annoying from certain prevalent angles thanks to being protected by walls. This could also serve as added defense against the Ordos at this location, if you complete the bonus objective, without being too inconvenient for the Atreides forces plowing through the mercenary base.

As for the other bases, I think the S1 base in the southwest corner of the map could do with a little less clutter. Like, have a look at this:

Versus this:

Just as an example, give or take a few things, or moving around some other things. Back when I was new to designing these, I liked to put a lot of stuff on rock islands, but nowadays I think it's too cluttered. Restricts unit pathing and stuff. You know? I still like to put a lot of stuff in an enemy base, but I try to make it an appropriate size proportional to the amount of structures, among other things. So, I felt that, at least, those two extra Wind Traps were just clutter. And there may have been a little too much wall.

I'm guilty of cluttering the map or rock islands too much, myself, but I've been trying to move away from doing that for the reasons expressed above.

About the Ordos base, this bit of defenses I've already blown to bits:

That was nice. The Outpost is right there and the entrance is fortified, but not too much, and the way the turrets are placed makes it more difficult to breach the entrance.

Other than that, I've got some qualms about the rest, and for comparison, here's the original versus the new:


If I were judging the old version, I would say that the entrance with the Harkonnen turrets is in a fine place considering that the player could simply blow through the wall to get to the production structures, but it might also be a good idea to place them where your added entrance is, the one with the Large Gun Turret. Having both entrances so close to each-other, AND giving both entrances turrets, is just silly. I would recommend walling off one entrance.

The Ordos base is also difficult to navigate without blowing through every single thing in your way, barring the turrets and walls. They have enough power to remove three Wind Traps without touching anything else, and replacing the smuggler structures with Ordos structures seems kinda pointless. The original map had some clutter around there too, I didn't like that either. Except, you replaced one of the smuggler Wind Traps with an Ordos Refinery... if you look at the original map, you can see that it's possible for units to navigate around the Wind Trap on its bottom left corner, but the refinery completely blocks any units from passing through.

I'm glad they have multiple Refineries, but I think two might work just fine for this map.

I think that's all I've really got to say about the base layout on this map. I would recommend modelling the S1 and S2 bases after the S6 base, that was done really well. I'd also recommend considering the layout of the S2 base more, especially - the Ordos blew up the Harkonnen base and some Smuggler structures there on their way in, so surely the wall layout, general base shape, and turret placement could be changed in more significant ways, if you wanted to do so. If not, then removing some clutter would fix it up just fine.

MAP DESIGN:

Spoiler

I'll go over the events and whatnot that happen on this map here.

The reinforcements received by the enemy at the start of the map are quite good. You can handle them just fine with the units you start with and there aren't too many coming before the enemy starts sending their real attacks. That is what I consider perfect execution of this sort of reinforcements. Well done.

I'm not used to building up from just a Construction Yard; every single one of my maps with the exception of S1V2 (not counting the ones where you capture stuff to start out, or you receive an MCV a little later in the map, or where you don't get to build a base at all, of course) has you start with some structures, and having tested them over and over and over again, that's kind of what I'm used to. So, I'm not sure I'm in the right mindset to offer unbiased feedback on the more traditional starts to a map (enemy reinforcements for a few, start with only a ConYard, etc). However, if you still want to hear what I've got to say, I will say that I felt the reinforcements and initial enemy attacks happened a little bit too early. Maybe 2k tics into the game for the S6 reinforcements, then 5k tics for the S2 reinforcements, and upping the start delay a little would be better?

I'd take that advice with a grain of salt if I were you. Especially since, if you were to relocate the Atreides starting units as recommended in the map layout section, the level might flow more smoothly on its own and there would be no need to alter that at all.

I noticed that you have multiple Unit Spawn events for several sides. This isn't necessary. Since they're set to Free, the AI will move them all around on their own. You could save the events for more important stuff, or just reduce the amount of events.

The mercenaries changing sides is an interesting and fun bonus objective, and you provide fine means to accomplish this by making a small Ordos forward base in the southwest corner of the map. If not, the player has a base to battle through that's in an opportune position to expand, isn't too cluttered, and isn't too hard to beat. Very nicely done.

STRATEGY:

Spoiler

I started this on Hard mode. After finding the issue with Harvesters preferring to go to the Spice field inside the Ordos base, and deciding it would take too long, I restarted the map and tried again on normal, then swapped to hard again using debug mode after I'd built up decently. The pace was much improved.

I went with a standard heavy vehicle / infantry build and my favored harassment / repair strategy. Two Wind Traps and two Refineries up ASAP, then a Heavy Factory, a Barracks, a Repair Pad, an HTF...

As you may know, I prefer to be as aggressive as possible early on. Save some exceptions like S5V1, most of my maps facilitate an aggressive rushing strategy, but allow for other options. I tend to be out of my base and looking around for stuff to kill with less units than may be expected, so my first attack on the mercenary base was this, pretty much:

Didn't go so well, but I got most of my tanks repaired and came back with twice as many. I went through the obvious entrance (despite being aware of the path around their base) for testing purposes. This was the slowest portion of the map; I annihilated every other base in one attack. Nothing wrong with that, by the way! The mercenaries aren't meant to be total pushovers, they were my first target, and I was gimping myself hard by not taking advantage of the other ways around. Once I set up on top of the mercenary base, I had much greater momentum, so that guaranteed victory. The mercenaries' choke point could be a little less, uhh... chokey, though.

To break through the front entrance, I utilized the cliff edge as infantry rock for my Troopers and had the Combat Tanks blow up the other turret. I had a few engineers on hand and used them to quickly take out their production structures, and then I pushed west to try and find their ConYard. After discovering the turrets I mentioned earlier, the ones I called "excessive," I brought my troopers up ahead and used them to take them out effortlessly since the Combat Tanks' fire was being blocked by the walls. Took out their ConYard right after that.

I then sold their stuff and dropped my own ConYard on top of their base. The position proved very fortuitous, for my credits were much, much easier to obtain from this island.

Please take note of the Medium Gun Turrets and Troopers in the upper right corner of this screenshot. The Ordos units continued to try and bypass my position here and clung to that cliff wall.

After this, I took out S1's base to the west, then headed the natural way north - the easternmost cliff parting - and inadvertently into the back entrance of the Ordos base. This was the most obvious and natural-feeling path, so it's the one I took. There you go, victory.

So, fun map. Hope my feedback helps :)

I also eagerly await your feedback for my own maps thus far ^^

Edited by Fey
Attachments removed; out of space for new uploads.

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Finally I played this map. I like the beggining, when all those infantry were coming my way I was "oh, It's better if I build barracks now", because I knew troopers will come too.

Besides the first regular attack (not dtrops) the map went well. The way the map is designed makes very easy to defend against Ordos and smugglers, was funny placing 8 missile tanks taking vehicles like nothing.

I send a couple of trikes around searching for a path to bypass the mercs, so I did, destroyed the small Ordos base and from there I could take easy the Ordos Base. I even attacked the two sides of the Ordos base although I ignored the windtraps and just captured the building.

I didn't really need the mercs, but I choose to not to fight and just use them as my ally, just in case.

Good map.

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I played too. This the mission looks easy on normal mode. It's also easy to defend base.
 

Spoiler

 

vaR4y0D.jpg

McOKMtj.jpg

 

Map is fun, I liked it. Someday I'll try on hard mode. :)

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Hey, sorry I've been absent for ages.  I've been in hermit mode for the last month or two.
Thanks for the reviews on the map.
Yeah, difficulty, I was aiming for sorta mid-campaign.  Nothing too heavy, just a bit of fun.
Glad you both liked the mission.

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