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Fey

[WIP] Smugglers Campaign 2!

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Posted (edited)

A new campaign?

Yep. Smugglers campaign 2! Still a work in progress, but it continues the story from the last campaign over another 15 maps. 3 are already done, yay, so I'm gonna share them here.

Download link:
SC2_3-15.zip

This zip contains the three missions, the latest update of the mod (which is also the one in the original smugglers campaign release thread as of right now), and the necessary text files for the three new maps. Installation instructions are identical to the ones in the original smugglers campaign release thread. FeyText files to data\UI_DATA\, bin files to data\bin\, all 9 mission files to data\missions\. Easy peasy.

These are WORK IN PROGRESS MAPS. If you play through them, please be aware they may not be perfectly tuned! I could use any feedback y'all have got for me to improve the maps for an actual release, so let me know what you think I can improve about any of these maps if you get the chance, please. Thank you! I expect these maps are overtuned, although all of them were tested and beaten on hard mode.

If you haven't already, I strongly suggest playing through the original smugglers campaign found in the thread linked before starting these maps. Here:
https://forum.dune2k.com/topic/27508-release-smugglers-campaign/

Want more details and some strategic tips? See below, but be aware THERE ARE SPOILERS. Hopefully they help you if you're having trouble with a map. Here:

Spoiler

S10V1: Phantom Penance

Spoiler

Full map image: https://i.imgur.com/S8fyRB4.jpg

This map is supposedly a quick mining operation, but it's not really. Summers feels all guilty about the events of the previous campaign and starts seeing stuff in the desert, which is bad news bears for you! You will be attacked by phantom forces. You must fight your delusions or lose your mind.

Your ideal base location is the center of the map. Get up there with your light vehicles and go a little further north to scout the Sietch, which you find is abandoned. An MCV will touch down and shortly after you start building your base, sh!t hits the fan. While most of the Atreides forces aren't a problem, there is a Sonic Tank lagging behind the rest. Sonic Tanks deal very poor damage to anything very close to them since their mounted cannons are so high off the ground, so stick to the rocks and take out enemy forces as they assault you in staggered formation. Keep your Quads alive and once the Sonic Tank shows up, swarm it and focus it down! If you succeed, you won't have to deal with enemy forces for a little while.

If you've been scouting the map while getting situated at your base, you should see their units coming a mile away.

Get your economy up and running and decide on a strategy. You have light tech and Combat Tanks... no repairs, no turrets. Quads or Combat Tanks with Grenadiers are a solid strategy. Keep enemy forces off your Harvesters while you build up a few Refineries and Silos, and once you have solid income, quit building units until you pass over the 10k threshold. You should get your income going really good before hitting the 2/3 mark, or you may be overwhelmed by enemy forces.

Past the 10k point, all the Atreides and Harkonnen forces will pop, Summers will declare she has a clear head, and victory is yours. Yay!

This map has a secondary Hard Mode, which is enabled by default. Destroying the abandoned Sietch will suppress Summers' delusions, causing less enemy forces to appear. The Sietch is also an easter egg - mouse over it before and after attacking it to view secret messages.

S11V1: Scream in Silence

Spoiler

Full map image: https://i.imgur.com/TIT51tO.jpg

Here's a punch in the gut. Smuggler and Ordos forces are fighting in the middle of this map and you need to kill them all. Luckily, you start with quite a lot of units, including Atreides and Harkonnen tech. And, your entire tech tree is unlocked! However, you can build Missile Tanks instead of Deviators now. The Heavy Factory is outfitted to produce anti-armor weapons by default, like Combat Tanks' cannons or Missile Tanks' missiles, so you don't need a Heavy Factory upgrade to use them but you do need a Research Centre.

You have plenty of turrets, so start teching up however you see fit. Siege Tanks will help a lot with the Troopers and Grenadiers you'll be seeing, and they can hit targets above or below cliffs with ease. Missile Tanks would work wonders on the enemy turrets dotting the map and help to cover light vehicles against enemy armor. Since you're fighting nothing but Ordos armor, Missile Tanks will pop every Combat Tank with relative ease. I recommend some kind of high-tech tank because enemy forces are deeply entrenched and you'll need something substantial to cover your light vehicles and infantry.

If you build a Starport, you will receive two Devastators and some Harkonnen armor. Those Combat Tanks are seriously beefy even though they don't hit that hard, so they make perfect cover for your weaker units, including OSO Combat Tanks, while you press the attack.

Whenever you're ready to move out, there are a couple of good targets to attack early. There's a smuggler refinery very close to you, which you will notice if you move south of your base at all since they have turrets on the perimeter. The other target, which will surely be taken out by the Ordos if you leave it alone, is southeast of you past the Frequency Jammer. The second location is a great spot to set up more Refineries and stage attacks against the Ordos, while the first location is perfect for lining turrets against the cliff for use against the smugglers. There is a third, uninhabited rock island in the middle of the map... while it may be difficult to contest at first, you may successfully hold it after you've laid into either the Ordos or the smugglers. It's got infantry rock and dunes around it and is a great spot for turrets and a Repair Pad.

As for weak spots in the main bases: The smugglers have Wind Traps against the cliff wall southwest of your base. Destroying them will slow Stealth Raider production and make it easier for you to attack the main base from the north side. The east side of the smuggler base is fairly exposed, although walled off and covered by Rocket Turrets in formation. And, you can expect Ordos forces to come in behind you. I believe the Ordos base is easier to attack first. Although the forward base position just north of them is less defensible, there are Wind Traps and Refineries within striking distance atop the cliff wall.

However you decide to do it, victory is yours once all your smuggle and Ordos foes lie dead.

SBON2: The Ghola Gambit

Spoiler

Full map image: https://i.imgur.com/HSUDxtn.jpg

Bonus mission 2! This time, you're playing as your old buddy, Durant. And if that's not familiar enough, do you recognize this map at all? Part of it was in S9V2. This is where the Golden Lion Throne stood before Summers blew it up.

Sit tight where you are until the Engineers show up, then either sell everything or leave some guards and take those Engineers southwest. You need to re-activate your base! Capture the ConYard, Barracks and Heavy Factory ASAP, and if you head a little more west, you'll find some leftover smuggler structures. Capture the Repair Pad if you want.

The main Tleilaxu base is across a bridge, but you can help reduce resistance by attacking structures along the cliff edge. There is an infantry-only leading up to one of the Axlotl Tanks on the west side of the bridge. Far east of the bridge, there's another. I suggest capturing either the Axlotl Tanks just beyond the bridge and placing a turret line against the bridge to stop enemy units, or capture the one on the east side. Capturing the one in the middle of the base is pretty difficult and it's difficult to hold, too, and you need one.

For those of you who are unaware, the Axlotl Tanks are Tleilaxu Barracks. Capturing one will enable you to train Sardaukar Gholas, assuming you have a High Tech Factory and upgraded Barracks.

If you want to do a roundabout strategy, you can capture a structure in the Tleilaxu base and fly tanks up from below using a Repair Pad and Carryalls. A convenient Repair Pad is on the east side of the map for this purpose.

Finally, you will receive infinite reinforcements and you can capture a Starport further north of the smuggler Repair Pad. While the reinforcements alone are not sufficient to fight off the Tleilaxu, they will help a lot with defending your base and eventually striking out. Have fun with that!

 

That's all for now. See y'all later with a new update, or whenever someone replies to this thread! :D

Edited by Fey

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S10:

Quote

- I notice that you take away my beloved turret! Whyyyyyy.

- I sited my base at the same location as before: Northeast.

- I built up to the barrack. Then I used my initial unit to kite the sonic tank, so I managed to survive the first wave with just them.

- I placed my survived units all the way to the west as decoy, ensuring that the second wave would take a longer time hit my base.

- The two harvester I started with harvested 9k Credit during the second wave. I sold my CY right after that, ending the mission.

 

S11:

Quote

S11.thumb.jpg.9b10c6e892091d516fe077af660030c5.jpg

(Near-the-end screenshot)

- This map is easy for a mission 11, I was expecting it to be harder than mission 9 & 10. The friendly Outpost is too safe, enemy almost never touch it. I used one of my Sonic tank to block the only entrance.

- I used my starting troops to wipe the left nearest base.

- After that, during battle between two factions, I harassed harvesters of both side, even destroying carryall left and right.

- Once they were weak enough, my troops came right through the north entrance and destroy all key buildings.

- Possible bug: The wall near my starting CY cannot be sold.

- Possible bug: The warning about Ordos Palace comes in too late.

- Balance: I see you rebalance turret, but I feel Rocket turret is available too late to be useful (and too expensive).

- Terrain: The map is less "blocky". Nice to see that.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Runtowin said:

S10

Spoiler

Because the map was too easy with turrets and it's just meant to be a little mining operation. :P

Sounds like a great strategy. Any suggestions for improving difficulty so it's not over so fast? XD

Also, any opinion on the map concept? It's kind of abstract, so I didn't know how it'd turn out, but I had the idea and figured this is how to execute it, so. Yep. And did you check out the easter egg pertaining to the Sietch?

3 hours ago, Runtowin said:

S11

Spoiler

Well, it IS a new campaign! S9V2 was pretty tough. I do have some ideas about how to up the ante for this campaign, but I do want to build up to it! It's definitely harder than S2, but it can't be all-out right away or the rest of the campaign will lose its flavor, I think. About the Frequency Jammer: For some reason, the enemy attacks it often enough in my runs, but no one else seems to have that problem. Once every now and then is what I'd prefer; I'd prefer for the enemy to attack your normal base most of the time, just not TOO much compared to the Frequency Jammer.

Nice base. You try turrets with Concrete Walls in front of them? The range + a wall of them is pretty nice, but they're even better with some strategically placed walls! Especially now that walls block Quad and Trooper missiles. 25 credits each for some sick protection! :)

Yep. The map is dense with enemy forces, so I wanted to give the player enough room to wreak some havoc right away and keep wreaking havoc throughout the map, at least until you need to go beat up the enemy bases.

I'm glad you noticed the Harvesters were exposed and that killing them does have an effect, too.  Did you also notice the Ordos Refineries on the cliff, or the smuggler Wind Traps beneath the cliff? Those are more prime early-aggression targets. And speaking of turret changes, did you have much trouble breaking through the enemy base with all the turrets around? Since they're meant more for support now, they make it quite difficult to attack a base while the power's up and enemy forces will come to defend the base, not to mention the heightened range and boosted firepower (although lowered RoF) means that commitment to an attack is important. And, they have more area coverage within a base. The Ordos and smugglers both had areas where their Wind Traps were well-covered, so breaking through turrets to get to them was made mandatory at some point.

About the wall: That belongs to the AI that controls the Frequency Jammer. The reason for this is because if the player starts building walls, Moriaen will recognize that the new walls belong to the player and will not comment at all on the Palace. Do you think I should remove that and make the Palace alert always happen?

I think I have an idea for making the Palace warning come at a good time if I play around with the triggers as mentioned above.

I'm pretty happy with the new turret changes, myself. Regarding the Rocket Turret in particular: In the old version of the mod, Rocket Turrets had to be built via Wind Trap > Barracks > Outpost > HTF > HTF upgrade > Research Centre + ConYard upgrade. In the new version, they are built from Wind Trap > Outpost > HTF > HTF upgrade > Research Centre + ConYard upgrade. The main changes that encourage gameplay more suited towards the Rocket Turret are to the Outpost prerequisites, the ConYard upgrade, and the ConYard power boost. Now that Medium Gun Turrets and Repair Pads are built directly off a ConYard upgrade, a player going for fortification will research that a lot sooner and reap more benefits from it immediately. Furthermore, the ConYard power boost makes it significantly easier to tech up to Research Centre very quickly since you can build an Outpost and HTF directly off your first Wind Trap, and then a second Wind Trap can be built during the HTF upgrade. With a Barracks and Light Factory on S11, teching straight up to Rocket Turrets and using the Starport for early-game support is a viable strategy. In addition, now that Summers is operating off the merc tech tree in the second campaign, she now has the choice between Missile Tanks and Rocket Turrets, and Siege Tanks and MCVs via either the HTF upgrade > Research Centre, or the Heavy Factory upgrade. Although Rocket Turrets are still mid- to late-game tech, the avenues to tech to them are drastically reduced given the aforementioned changes. And, they're now a great deal more fortuitous when placed strategically, such as up against cliff walls or behind production structures or Concrete Walls, given their improved range.

I believe it's worth mentioning that before re-releasing the smugglers campaign with the new changes to the mod, I did play through each level again and balance technology accordingly. Turrets still do a great job on S5, S6V1, or S7, S9V2 now provides significantly increased allied reinforcements, all practice AIs were optimized to build up with 100 extra power, and so on and so forth. That said, does that specific outline for the tech tree sound a lot more appealing now that it's out in the open and explained in full? :)

Hey, thanks. I'm pretty satisfied with the terrain on this one as well, if I do say so myself.

Any opinion on this map's concept as well? Any idea where this is going? ^^

No bonus mission yet? Alright. :P I eagerly await your feedback whenever you get around to it, Run. Thanks again for playing the first two! I hope you enjoyed them.

Edited by Fey

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Quote

Concept:

- S10: I don't quite get the situation. Is all the enemy what Summers hallucinated? Why are her men also affected? Why suddenly guilt trip to that point?

- S11: Look like Moriaen rebel against the Ordos but pay Summers to do it, while pretending to not involve. Worst plan ever if that's the story.

- SBON2: Hmm, Tlielaxu attack, kinda cliche with that "last transmission". This is the far future, at least jam all signal!

 

Quote
4 hours ago, Fey said:

And did you check out the easter egg pertaining to the Sietch? 

I don't get the easter egg? What is that referring to?

SBON2:

Quote

SBON2A.thumb.jpg.e33ad097dc9946256ade5ce3721fa604.jpg

SBON2B.thumb.jpg.b9f4ebafcf33273c69e8e86d6640e61c.jpg

SBON2C.thumb.jpg.0d190255f06be1cb6a7a79c2def9aae7.jpg

(Near-the-end screenshot, excuse my bad Starpost placement)

- Except for the first three attack wave (before your first reinforcement) was kinda tough, I had to lure the third wave with my harvesters to my turret cluster in the west.

- After that, the enemy wasn't strong enough to deal with your continuous reinforcement and safe spice-harvesting operation. Not hard at all.

- Balance: The "I wish I wouldn't build starpost" message is ironic, mostly because if you are able to defend that one, you dont really need it.

- Terrain: The map is quite similar to the one in your Harkonnen Campaign. Not a negative, just something I noticed.

 

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2 hours ago, Runtowin said:

First reply

Spoiler

Gameplay purposes. :P I like to imagine she's ordering attacks on the sand or something. lol

The guilt trip wasn't sudden at all! Throughout the original smugglers campaign, Summers is established as idealistic, sentimental, hot-tempered, and strong-willed. Her choices have often seemed like good ideas, though been questionable and not panned out perfectly, or have been remarkably arduous. For example, the trap in El-Sayal that resulted in the total destruction of the smuggler base or any smuggler forces except for Summers left her in awe of the Imperials' might and with a touch of survivor's guilt, which is over-shadowed by her will. The mission in Gara Kulon was meant only to be a pick-up and good-bye, but she was left stranded there by Sumadi of all people and forced to wage a tough fight against the Harkonnen. She was forced into a position where she had to fight her former leader, who no longer had the influence over his own organization to say, "Hey guys, don't listen to Summers, she's fired," because there's a crazy war going on and half the smugglers are like "okay you know what allying with one of these big badass guys is a good idea" and the other half are like "we should hide under a rock and keep doing what we were doing before."
And, no matter what choice Summers makes, Sumadi is killed either way. Throw in the fact that the battles taking place on Dune during the smugglers campaign are significantly more intense than anything Summers has seen before, having only had to deal with cursory Imperial interest until the war started, and having had a merc army at her disposal rather than smuggler militia who she formerly protected, and you've got a recipe for insanity. :D

She does snap out of it awfully quick, and a little too cheery. Again, gameplay purposes. :P I could change the dialogue at the end of S10 so she's more like, "What the hell's happening to me?" so it's a lingering question rather than 'oh I just dealt with a bunch of stuff that wasn't actually there in the desert, and now I am teh cur3d.' And some more detail in the briefing... I did have another idea for a mission delving more into her mental degeneration, but I had other ideas that took precedence.


About the easter egg:

Spoiler

If you mouse over the Sietch before and after attacking it, it gives two messages: "They're dead because of you." And, "Destroying the memory cannot erase your past." If you attack the Sietch, Saud Nagi, the fremen who defended Summers on S2V2, says something about his own death. Aside from creepiness factor, which I do want to establish on this map, it also provides more context about what exactly is going on. The Sietch doubles as a "hard mode" trigger - if destroyed, Summers' memory is suppressed, resulting in less enemy reinforcements. If left alone, more enemy forces are encountered.

Good guess about Moriaen's intentions, but how would she expect to beat the House that now rules Arrakis and then hold power with a half-crazy sub-commander, a bunch of rebellious smugglers, mercs that are more loyal to those smugglers than to her by a long shot, and without an army of her own? ^^

Although for gameplay purposes it's more than possible to overpower a strong opponent with meager forces, as Summers has done several times, it's gotta be fitting to the lore of the campaign or it ain't gonna work. It ain't gonna feel like that struggle against superior forces earns you victory, but rather is contrived. That's something I really want to avoid! In Bled al-Hazrad, you've got two Great Houses bearing down on the battlefield, so you have chats with your friend Durant and come up with a good strategy to manage and balance your combined offense and defense, and eventually pull through to victory. In Gara Kulon, the base you fight is large and has to be battled through methodically, and given limited building space and access to MCVs, it's gonna feel like there's a large-scale battle going on to hold out and eventually overpower a superior opponent. Hole-in-the-Rock and Shield Wall are daring missions, but Sumadi lacks the combat experience you do and grows increasingly desperate as you fight your way up to him and there's an overarching plan in the battle of Shield Wall that makes that victory possible, barely, from an in-universe standpoint. You know?

So, while I do want Moriaen to be imposing and mysterious on her own, she would need quite an ingenious plan to overtake the Ordos on Arrakis at this point in time. Perhaps there is something else that's going to happen and I'm simply characterizing the Ordos as duplicitous. Who knows? Exciting!! Hopefully. :P

I know, I know! The Tleilaxu were kind of staying off the radar until they were discovered, then struck quickly to manage the mercs. Since they didn't want to give themselves away, they refrained from interfering with the mercs in any way. Though, maybe I could say the base at the peak of Shield Wall took out a Tleilaxu jammer rather than repaired their own Outpost to get through to Durant. Any other ideas?

SBON2 reply:

Spoiler

Looks like your base took a beating. Did you lose the initial ConYard? 😮

Only the first few waves? On my test runs, the enemy sent quite a lot of tanks my way quite often.

Well, you do need to hold that position up by the starting point in order to have the Spice field protected. I hoped that encouraging defense at several locations would help increase map difficulty without sending tons and tons of Tleilaxu at the player. From the looks of it, you had to deal with attacks at both those locations. Did it work out? Was it fun? ^^ And, map progression is a thing! I don't want to force the player into a defensive position without giving some kind of avenue to victory. I don't want maps to last super long, you know? So on S3V2, either you spend that 5k credits attacking the Atreides or gaining an ally. S8 or S9V2, defend allies to build a ton of strength in fairly short time so you can take it on the offensive and have fun storming the enemy base. S5, S6V1 and S7, I think, are the most defend-yourself maps in the entire original campaign, but on two of those you don't have an ally. S5 keeps things interesting with the spread rock islands where you come under attack at several locations, and with the addition of turrets that defense is made easier... S7 has limited Spice at the starting position, but enough to go attack an enemy base, so I encourage moving out with that.

On this mission, you're forced on the defensive for a few and need to defend multiple locations if you want Spice mining security, but then reinforcements show up and not only are there nice targets along the cliff wall to take out, but there are multiple Axlotl Tanks to capture, there are some infantry only spots, the former location of the Golden Lion Throne is a great place to set up a forward base (especially considering the bridge is the only location where enemy tanks will be pouring out of), and the enemy base is thick with turrets and defense forces. Like S11, it's not meant to be harder than the end-maps of the original smugglers campaign, but it is meant to be significantly more advanced than the original campaign's earlier maps.

Given the above idea of map progression, did you find that you were moving on from defense, capturing objectives and attacking enemy forces at a smooth pace? If so, did the map overstay or understay its welcome?

Map pacing is the end goal of the progression idea. A map like S9V2 may be massive and complicated, but if it were one-note, I think it would be boring. So, not only do I seek to create variation through objectives, but I have specific ideas about how long it should take to achieve those objectives and what sort of gameplay style I'd like to encourage to keep a player on his toes. On straightforward, single-objective maps like S7 or H5 that are also expected to be longer than, say, S2V1, the maps tend to be segmented or contain something interesting. S7 has a couple of main enemy bases and smaller enemy encampments scattered through Hole-in-the-Rock. The main enemy bases can be attacked from various angles, each with their own benefits, and Sumadi's dialogue is intended to give a sense of progress for you and desperation for him. H5 has conveniently-placed Atreides turret nests with the first Sonic Tanks in the campaign, which are surprisingly tough to take out given how small the bases are, and then it turns out there are Imperials on the map too who mass Missile Tanks and turn your heavy armor to scrap metal in no time.

Hah, yeah, I guess the Starport is in a cruddy place. It's actually outside the defense zones of the Tleilaxu AIs, even though it might seem they're sending more attacks than usual. I also put some convenient Concrete down there for quick turret placement. The only other place I could think to put it was the Golden Lion Throne rock island, but I want that to be tougher to take. Either capture an Axlotl Tank and hold the bridge, or escort an MCV up there. Plus, it's an abandoned structure; Summers would build around the Golden Lion Throne in preparation to take it, not on the island itself, most likely.

Unfortunately, that's the lowest that I can put the rock island with the Starport on it because any lower and I'd need to edit S9V2 to match up. XD Maybe I could open up the cliff by the bridge some more so there's more room to fight over there.

Interesting you should say it looks like the Harkonnen campaign maps. 😮 The Harkonnen maps are built off the original Harkonnen campaign maps by Westwood. I expand the terrain and stuff. This map is past the top-right corner of S9V2 and just as that one was built from scratch, so too is this one. I take it my changes to the original smugglers campaign make the maps look a lot better than before? :)

Thanks again for the feedback, Run! I'll keep working out the kinks.

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1 hour ago, Fey said:

oh I just dealt with a bunch of stuff that wasn't actually there in the desert, and now I am teh cur3d

Giacomo in a nutshell.

1 hour ago, Fey said:

In Gara Kulon, the base you fight is large and has to be battled through methodically, and given limited building space and access to MCVs, it's gonna feel like there's a large-scale battle going on to hold out and eventually overpower a superior opponent. Hole-in-the-Rock and Shield Wall are daring missions, but Sumadi lacks the combat experience you do and grows increasingly desperate as you fight your way up to him and there's an overarching plan in the battle of Shield Wall that makes that victory possible, barely, from an in-universe standpoint. You know?

Heh, and I barely remember what was the main plot of your campaign xD.

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1 hour ago, Cm_blast said:

Giacomo in a nutshell.

lol

1 hour ago, Cm_blast said:

Heh, and I barely remember what was the main plot of your campaign xD.

Lore summary:

Spoiler

Commanders Rowe Summers and Sabre Durant were in charge of the mercs and assisted Sumadi's smugglers with Spice mining operations even with all the Imperials around. They have a pretty substantial army and do the tough work, which really wasn't all that hard compared to what happens during the campaign itself, while Sumadi mines all the Spice and they have a trade partnership. Protection for Spice, Spice for protection.

That changes when Summers leaves her post at the mercs to focus on Spice mining. She'd rather chill out behind the front lines and mine some Spice, and her buddy Durant's got her back, things are looking like they'll be fine. Sumadi's glad about that because, yay, experienced merc commander might be able to do some really dangerous operations for me, and it sounds like sh!t is about to hit the fan. Yeah Sumadi's a bit controlling, he wants operations carried out in specific ways and may question some of Summers' choices, but she's ultimately good for his smugglers for starts at least. So he teaches you how to set up a standard smuggler base, you raid some Imperial silos, and then El-Sayal happens where the Imperials set a trap and roll over the smugglers' meager forces with tanks and hardened Sardaukar Elite infantry in a bid to capture or kill the ex-merc commander. Who they're going after because the great war's about to start and they want the battlefields on Arrakis nice and clean of rats before the big boys show up.

So you're taken by surprise by vastly superior Imperial forces! So much so that in the next mission, Summers, the sole survivor of the battle at El-Sayal, climbed out of a broken raider at Mushtamal Ridge and needed the aid of the Fremen to make it to the safety of another smuggler base while still being pursued by relentless Imperial forces. The Fremen who help her are Issam Nehara and Saniyah Tafweek. Tafweek is buried under rubble by Imperial forces seeking revenge following Nehara's successful attempt to get Summers to safety, but they both survived only to be killed ironically by Summers in a later battle at Bilar Slopes.

Following her defeat, Summers begins to seek the aid of a Great House against the wishes of Sumadi, who catches on immediately and begins plotting against her. Meanwhile, in Tuono Basin and Bled al-Hazrad, Summers reaches out to the Atreides and Harkonnen commanders in search of an economic treaty, something surely those Spice-hungry Great Houses are eager for. The Atreides turn out to be jerks, at least towards the smugglers who are there illegally and already seeking business with the Harkonnen, and the Harkonnen begin extorting Summers until the Ordos contact her and make an offer. They want Ixian weapons, you deliver and get richer. Yay! Also the Imperials are spying on the battles, but that's a bit secret. It's an easter egg on level 4, there's an Imperial Outpost in the bottom left corner and Summers will comment about that if you find it.

Unfortunately, while in Gara Kulon, your Starport is disabled and you're stranded out there with light tech and a Harkonnen factory complex north of you. Someone tipped them off to the Ixian project for the Ordos and they're about to attack. So, you intervene and save the Ix, and then with their help, you can fight back against the Harkonnen. And, throw your lot in with the Ordos officially.

Now that the Ixian research is secured, prototypes are on the way to Arrakis and the other Great Houses know all about it. The Atreides and Harkonnen have massed at Habbanya Erg to try and assault the Ordos Starport while House Corrino delays the deliveries through an air blockade coordinated from Plaster Basin. Through a hard-fought battle, the combined Ordos and mercenary armies and Summers' smuggler militia manage to clear the blockade and receive the Ixian prototypes only for Durant to betray Summers.

Once Summers manages to capture Durant's Outpost, and once the battle against the other Houses has concluded, Summers interrogates Durant who confesses Sumadi put him up to it. Summers was able to fight her way out of a pit of Harkonnen, astonishingly, and Durant as a more straightforward approach was Sumadi's second pick, but that failed too. Although Durant would normally never be hostile towards his long-time co-commander, he is dependent on Sumadi for operating and so Sumadi had enough leverage over him to get him to fight Summers.

Unfortunately for Sumadi, Summers then took her own forces to Hole-in-the-Rock where the main smuggler base resided. Although many smugglers were resistant to the idea of joining up with one of the Great Houses, many more had stuck through with Summers and found that there was a unique opportunity to permanently upset the balance on Arrakis and guarantee Spice riches never before conceived for the formerly shadowy and weak smugglers. Summers fought her way up to the peak of Hole-in-the-Rock and confronted Sumadi. Somehow, he died there, presumably by Summers' hands.

Following the re-unification of the smugglers, with much complaint, Summers went on to draft her forces into the most intense battles of all at Bilar Slopes, Alazor Steppe, and Shield Wall in straight-up mercenary work for the Ordos, alongside Durant. They battled the Atreides and slaughtered the legions of Fremen they gathered, executed the Atreides and Harkonnen commanders and the Imperial general, and eventually usurped Emperor Corrino himself.

Some time later, at Almiraz Graben, Summers is running another Spice mining operation for the Ordos only to be attacked by phantoms of her own regret. Her grief is further exacerbated by Moriaen's subsequent order to attack rioting smuggler forces and the Ordos who responded at Chin Rock. Meanwhile, back in Shield Wall, Durant has happened across mysterious visitors to the grave of the Golden Lion Throne. Just what could be going on on Arrakis now? Find out next time on... the smugglers campaign 2! Return of the revenge of the... uhh... something thingy.

And that's all I got so far that's been publicly released. :D

:D

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AI need to build units faster and needs  bit safer area for harvesting because killing harvesters is not actual actic or strategy,evryone go weaker with no spice,try to be more clever and fight  full force vs full force.

Edited by Nuclear_harvester

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18 hours ago, Nuclear_harvester said:

AI need to build units faster and needs  bit safer area for harvesting because killing harvesters is not actual actic or strategy,evryone go weaker with no spice,try to be more clever and fight  full force vs full force.

An excellent point! Thanks for the feedback, Nuclear, I'll consider that more going forward. I did spread enemy Harvesters out on this map and the smugglers do have a bit of a safe area, but they may move out from it eventually.

As you may already know from the original smugglers campaign, it's extremely rare that I actually have reinforcements show up either for the player or the enemy. This is because my AIs tend to have very good production, usually near standard practice AI numbers if not even faster, and not counting the existence of multiple AIs governing a single base which allows for impossibly high production rates. AIs in D2k have a threshold below which they will not allocate resources to a given task, such as building new units, so the reason for having lower production values is to encourage an AI to reserve some funds for when its base is under attack, at which point the emergency build rate will blow all those funds as quickly as allowed. I also may not wish to apply too much pressure to a player so that they're forced to turtle up and mass an army before moving out - on any of my maps, I try to provide some sort of more immediate goal before the main enemy base that can be attacked in case a player prefers a more aggressive strategy. In the case of S11V1, there are some Harvesters left exposed, some structures in fortuitous positions for the player, and some small expansions owned by the smugglers to chunk. SBON2 has most enemy Harvesters out of sight and only one entrance into the enemy base for vehicles barring Carryalls + Repair Pads, so hopefully that one was more fun. :)

If you haven't played through the original smugglers campaign, linked in the OP of this thread, then I recommend giving it a spin in its current state! Several maps have "hard modes" you could activate by doing one such thing or another, such as on S3V2 where if you decline to pay the Harkonnen, they become an enemy too. S6V1 puts you in defense of a densely packed, but lightly protected base in the center of the map
, S6V2 has a massive base with aggressive enemies to tackle, and if nothing else works, then you're sure to find a challenge on S9V2.

If you do try it, or if you've tried it already in its current state, I'd love some more feedback on the original campaign thread! I am always seeking to improve.

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there is another problem, if ai loses too much base with not losing ability to rebuild he will not rebuild at alll. this happens in orginal campaign too.if refineries are not close to  CY  also AI dont try to make refinery first,he will go throught buldings and end money quickly,.

i have done some experiments with placing wall around and ai  was capable of rebuild if wall was near bulding spot.

3-5  CY scattered around base also helps ai to hook-up buldings but if factories are on edge of base it will not rebuild unless wall near or another bulding.

ai does not rebuild if space between buldings is too large.

buffing starting money is  solution for short time.

sometimes  ai hangs/suspends and build  army but forget to send attack and keeps building army forever,if you provoke first you get  spammed with giant army and eventually wont survive..how i  found this? you can   set the attack delay by editing map/mission but i have done  it unusual way,got setup macro to play dune2k for me and i let it go for week,at the final day i decided to check results to find that i got and what, ai had  his base as army museum,tons of tanks troopers l.infantry quads trikes . i tried to reproduce this again but next time ai  had smaller army and  did intensive attacks for  one day then ceased sending further and  all whole army was in base,ai went back to normal after i attacked and he spent his troops. looks like ai drops into idle mode after some time of inactivity? im gonna try to get dune2k with macro going for whole month for further research

how this can be useful for  smuggler missions?  make 3-4 enemy ai with normal  attack intervals and one with extreme delayed,both must have strong bases and the buffed ai must be behind normal ones so iyou wont blow it up as primary enemy. ,while you deal with regular ai's  the buffed one build army and when you get on it you have to deal with   big force.

i played  many missions from this forum and not many were challenging so hard.  only the  survival modes seemed to work. in almost all missions i  found and played u had to destroy base,destroy base,destroy base and thats nearly  all,no challenge at all,no defending friendly bases etc.  what challenging would be? defending 2 friendly bases and fighting 3-4 strong angry ais,the friendly ai's would have reduced build rate for troops and attack intervals extended while enemy ai would have evrything buffed so attack intervals short and fast build rate, i have once did a mission with   6 neutral bases and 1 enemy base..trick  was to defeat it with no losing neutrality to others,sometimes it went rampage and ai  was attacking each other creating  incredible chaos.

ok,lets go back tot opic so what smuggler missions should have?

- maybe some  orginal campaign flashback? like   reconstruction from  harkonnen mission 6 map  1 and/or 2. the smuggler bases gets enchanced and you build army to eventually fight your  natural enemy - harkonnen in example,or you wait for harkonnen to die and kill ordos to have harkonnen for dinner.

- smugglers in most orginal campaigns were  in most cases an neutrals,only in few scenarios  smugglers appeared as enemy,exception was  finding smugglers as ordos allies in ordos mission 6 map 1 and 2 just  diplomacy change no base no ai was set to smugglers.

- smugglers would focus on spice harvesting so maybe challenge time-based to harvest X amount of spice in  30 minutes i.e to win get 100k spice,defeat is when 30minutes timer expire.

- smugglers so not have big army,they usually have only refinery and silo, bringing them back to live by giving  key buldings is good but from spice thiefs they turn into armed spice thiefs. but having army to defend is fine.

- smuggler missions should be more challenging, lsometimes not many combat to do but spice harvesting,taking out enemy refineries,silos etc.

- maybe some kind of smuggler arena ? 7 big angry ai vs you, all those angry ai would have fast buld rate but slow attack interval so u get time to get base...atleast hehehe,task would be to take one after one and probably destroying would be wasste so engineer army and  conquer!

- smugglers ai lacks of hotdrop tactic ie 1 build CY near enemy 2. sell to build repair pad 3. have big tank army and carryals 4. use carryals to drop the army on enemy base throught repair pad - thats hotdrop!  in red alert 1 and modified red alert 2 AI used naval transports to deliver democracy right on your lawn,sadly dune2k ai code is bad and does not use the carryals to move troops around.

 

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3 hours ago, Nuclear_harvester said:

sometimes  ai hangs/suspends and build  army but forget to send attack and keeps building army forever,if you provoke first you get  spammed with giant army and eventually wont survive..how i  found this? you can   set the attack delay by editing map/mission but i have done  it unusual way,got setup macro to play dune2k for me and i let it go for week,at the final day i decided to check results to find that i got and what, ai had  his base as army museum,tons of tanks troopers l.infantry quads trikes . i tried to reproduce this again but next time ai  had smaller army and  did intensive attacks for  one day then ceased sending further and  all whole army was in base,ai went back to normal after i attacked and he spent his troops. looks like ai drops into idle mode after some time of inactivity? im gonna try to get dune2k with macro going for whole month for further research

This behaviour happens because the morale the AI (a value that appears on the AI tab called "morale attack building"). The morale of 1 AI it's affected by the casualties from any ally.

Let's say you have Atreides y Harkonnen controlled by the AI, being both allies. Atreides have set their morale to 50. So you start the game and both sides starts attacking sending several waves as normal. But then you send a huge attack and destroy like 40 Harkonnen units in a short time (or you create a reinforcement of Harkonnen based on 50 tanks that died on your turrets easily).

From here, the Atreides will be too afraid to attack, so they are going to build units but never attacking again until plenty of minutes passed (or you attack their harversters).

I still not sure if the morale it's affected by the total number of casualties or if every unit has his own value (loosing 1 infantry reduce 1 point of morale while loosing 1 devastator reduce 10 points); also I don't know if killing player's units will increase the morale or not.

But I can tell you that the morale does that thing to the AIs. Ais which have his attack morale set to 100 are not affected by anything. This is why for any AI being ally with the player should have 100, because a human player may produce tons of units and toying with the enemy loosing units for not reason; this would made your ally to enter into a "scared" state, leaving the player alone.

3 hours ago, Nuclear_harvester said:

i played  many missions from this forum and not many were challenging so hard.  only the  survival modes seemed to work. in almost all missions i  found and played u had to destroy base,destroy base,destroy base and thats nearly  all,no challenge at all,no defending friendly bases etc.  what challenging would be?

If you didn't played it I recommend you the "Ordos's Tactics" campaign.

On 1 map you need to protect 1 convoy of AI harversters, on another map you need to heavy protect your ally or he will died; on another you need to harverst enough money to give your ally reinforcements (but not focusing only on harversting or you'll be the one being killed), or even a mission where you use deviators against enemy harverster to be able to win money more quickly or the enemy will overrun you. -- hard enough because you need to paid attention to deviate the harverster again and again and again.

3 hours ago, Nuclear_harvester said:

- smugglers in most orginal campaigns were  in most cases an neutrals,only in few scenarios  smugglers appeared as enemy,exception was  finding smugglers as ordos allies in ordos mission 6 map 1 and 2 just  diplomacy change no base no ai was set to smugglers.

Sometimes we only can ignore the "original" source to make a mission or some kind of campaign, because for example the spacing guild has been used as enemy for Feda, Fey and others (and I did my own campaign) where the original source show how the spacing guild it's not a figthing faction, they just go along with the winner. 

I tried something with my mini-smuggler campaign, presenting 1 Ordos AI's that tried to steal your money like the human player do in the original campaign. That AI don't send troopers, just infantry-raiders and engineers.

Or like my "origin of the mercenaries" campaign; it's the only merc campaign where you are really a weak faction (Feda's one was close to that idea). Half the missions your survive only because 1 Ally send units to protect you but on the long terms you cannot make a full campaigns withouth the human player winning a map on his own.

3 hours ago, Nuclear_harvester said:

- smugglers ai lacks of hotdrop tactic ie 1 build CY near enemy 2. sell to build repair pad 3. have big tank army and carryals 4. use carryals to drop the army on enemy base throught repair pad - thats hotdrop!  in red alert 1 and modified red alert 2 AI used naval transports to deliver democracy right on your lawn,sadly dune2k ai code is bad and does not use the carryals to move troops around.

This it's something I want to do in the future. Placing 1 or more repair pads and using the "repair" command to send your units at some point to do one special attack, but like you said, Dune 2k AI's it's just too straigh (although we are discovering that the game has more stuff that are featured on the main game allowing us to do weird stuff with it).

I hope one day you show us a new campaign with all your ideas. Maybe you can create a full campaign where you are suppose to bring help to your allies but your are not the main focus of the AI (or not even being attacked at all but protecting several allies).

Edited by Cm_blast

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On 7/29/2018 at 5:17 AM, Nuclear_harvester said:

there is another problem, if ai loses too much base with not losing ability to rebuild he will not rebuild at alll. this happens in orginal campaign too.if refineries are not close to  CY  also AI dont try to make refinery first,he will go throught buldings and end money quickly,.

i have done some experiments with placing wall around and ai  was capable of rebuild if wall was near bulding spot.

3-5  CY scattered around base also helps ai to hook-up buldings but if factories are on edge of base it will not rebuild unless wall near or another bulding.

ai does not rebuild if space between buldings is too large.

buffing starting money is  solution for short time.

The suggestions for additional ConYards spread around and buffed starting money would also increase difficulty in general. I could consider it, sure. I generally give the AI enough starting money to afford all upgrades at minimum, since I can't tell them when to upgrade without abusing tech level events, but I could give them a little more in general so they can afford harvesters I leave out and stuff. As it stands, they have a considerable advantage over the player at the beginning of every map.

On 7/29/2018 at 5:17 AM, Nuclear_harvester said:

sometimes  ai hangs/suspends and build  army but forget to send attack and keeps building army forever,if you provoke first you get  spammed with giant army and eventually wont survive..how i  found this? you can   set the attack delay by editing map/mission but i have done  it unusual way,got setup macro to play dune2k for me and i let it go for week,at the final day i decided to check results to find that i got and what, ai had  his base as army museum,tons of tanks troopers l.infantry quads trikes . i tried to reproduce this again but next time ai  had smaller army and  did intensive attacks for  one day then ceased sending further and  all whole army was in base,ai went back to normal after i attacked and he spent his troops. looks like ai drops into idle mode after some time of inactivity? im gonna try to get dune2k with macro going for whole month for further research

That's some seriously detailed research. As Cm said, it has something to do with AI morale. If it's mistakenly set to lower on one of my maps, please let me know so I can fix the glitch!

Also, what is it you're attempting to accomplish by simulating an entire month of AI attacks? Isn't that kinda impractical on account of no games realistically lasting that long?

On 7/29/2018 at 5:17 AM, Nuclear_harvester said:

how this can be useful for  smuggler missions?  make 3-4 enemy ai with normal  attack intervals and one with extreme delayed,both must have strong bases and the buffed ai must be behind normal ones so iyou wont blow it up as primary enemy. ,while you deal with regular ai's  the buffed one build army and when you get on it you have to deal with   big force.

I invoke S7V1 in response to this suggestion. That is exactly how the AIs operate - two smaller and more frequently-attacking AIs have forward bases near your starting position while two fortified AIs far north build up even more stuff and come at you a little later. S2V1 and S3V1 have similar systems where one of the AIs will send weak attacks early and the other two AIs are staggered, only one in S3V1, resulting in highly varied attacks.., although they all operate from the same base. This is in addition to enemy reinforcements that show up depending on certain conditions in S2V1 and timing in S3V1.

On 7/29/2018 at 5:17 AM, Nuclear_harvester said:

i played  many missions from this forum and not many were challenging so hard.  only the  survival modes seemed to work. in almost all missions i  found and played u had to destroy base,destroy base,destroy base and thats nearly  all,no challenge at all,no defending friendly bases etc.  what challenging would be? defending 2 friendly bases and fighting 3-4 strong angry ais,the friendly ai's would have reduced build rate for troops and attack intervals extended while enemy ai would have evrything buffed so attack intervals short and fast build rate, i have once did a mission with   6 neutral bases and 1 enemy base..trick  was to defeat it with no losing neutrality to others,sometimes it went rampage and ai  was attacking each other creating  incredible chaos.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but your definition of challenge is as follows: "[...] Try to be more clever and fight full force vs full force." Right? Aside from the parameters you outlined above, such as defend friendly bases, what you're seeking is, in your own words, some strong and angry AIs.

Long analysis of design policy below:

Spoiler

I'm a long-time modder between Doom and Dune, and my idea of a challenge isn't an enemy that will stomp you into the dust in the first few minutes. Survival maps are not my favored sort of map, not because I find them difficult, but because it doesn't feel like you make any progress as you're simply fending the enemy off, sometimes without even a goal to work towards but wait out the clock. There are ways to do them how I consider 'right,' like my S2V1, which is a straight-up survival map. There are no small Imperial bases to attack and the player is heavily discouraged from attacking the main Imperial base, but the way I tried to make that map interesting was through a major tech advantage for the enemy, reinforcements, a special event in the form of a Fremen Sietch, advantageous terrain to try and hold, a goal of Spice harvesting (which in comparison to simply waiting out a clock can be achieved faster or slower depending on player decisions), and after that was all over, a twist ending. S2V2 is also a survival map with a clock on it, but it doesn't overstay its welcome and you are still up against fierce enemy forces after an interesting initial segment plays out, so the map hopefully remains interesting. I prefer S2V1 between the two, but I did my best to design a clock-based survival map at least once.

Runtowin's Merc04 mission is another good example. There's a clock to run out after which Atreides reinforcements pick up a whole lot, but there's a weaker Imperial base to take out to the northeast and a Heavy Factory to capture. I wish the Heavy Factory were easier to take, like, the Engineer would arrive after nearby units are killed and didn't need to be escorted up there, but that's still a great way to make a survival map more interesting.

Regarding defending friendly bases: There are quite a few in the original smugglers campaign where defending a friendly base is mandatory, but probably not too many where they're in really mortal danger for a significant amount of time. S5V1 has a weak Ixian base, which if you don't cover it will have Harkonnen troops tearing it up, and there are plenty of nice rock islands covering that base. S6V1 is probably the most notable, but it's fair despite large enemy attacks. S9V2 phase 2 is pretty defense-oriented, and that's quite a difficult map, and your chances for defeat there are staggered. You are more likely to lose Durant before Moriaen, and while Durant only optionally needs to be kept in the game on S9V2, losing him means the rest of the map is that much tougher.

Regarding the destroy base, rinse & repeat formula: I hold the opinion that a system of progression makes for a fun experience. That's why the original campaign had you start with only a ConYard on most maps, that's why I try to restrict the amount of structures the player starts with in my smugglers campaign to a select few, that's why I provide early targets on many maps for the player to attack, so it feels like something is being done and progress is being made to eventually overcome the enemy and beat the mission. Defense is a-okay to encourage, I want the player to feel like he's up against forces that _could_ kill him, but turtling is not. The critical difference between defense and turtling in the sense I'm using them is that defense is a strategic option to improve your KDR with favorable conditions, such as fighting under turrets or nearer your production structures so your defense forces can be instantly fortified. This will eventually take the player towards offense, once he's built enough to strike out, while allowing the player enough flexibility to execute a strategy for defense without keeping strictly to artillery behind turrets behind walls. And, I want the player to be able to strike out with only a modest force under most conditions. Turtling is defense without a goal, where the player is stuck in his shell and must remain there or he'll get his butt kicked every time.

In practical application, let's examine two of the maps in the original smugglers campaign: S3V2 and S5V1. S3V2 is a very open-ended map where even from the start, you have a choice of either building up your defenses and economy to ally with the Harkonnen, then press ahead once they're also sending forces out... you can get the money first and attack even before they arrive, there are targets to hit like the infantry-only to the north which can be attacked effectively with Grenadiers or the small expansion to the southeast... you could build defenses in order to strike out against the Harkonnen first and wipe them out as soon as they show up... or you could strike out against the Atreides right away. Your ally, Durant, offers fortification for your base and assists primarily in defense, facilitating early offensive strategies despite the overwhelming initial strength of your opponent, or facilitating your quick build-up to 5k Solaris since you don't need to dedicate so many funds to defense units. The amount of strategic variety the one map offers makes it interesting on its own, but the player has clear steps to take towards victory and can successfully attack with even a small group like 10-15 Troopers and 8-12 Raiders, provided he micros his units well. I attack with a force like that on Hard mode about 6 minutes before the Harkonnen show up and manage to take out the small Atreides expansion. And I scout the entire map before that with the starting two Raiders while working on my base in the meantime, so it's not like that strategy requires pre-knowledge, which is also something I want to avoid.

S5V1 demands a good defensive strategy from the player as you have no allies and a very powerful enemy already has topped off production at the start of the map. However, the new technology you get is what the map is designed around. Gun Turrets, Repair Pads, that kinda thing. There are numerous defensive options though, like there are Fremen hostile to the Harkonnen on the map that if you leave them alone will help somewhat. If you clear them out, you can take the middle of the map, which is a nice place to be for map control and Spice fields. There are rock islands behind your starting position which are also nice locations to set up a base or two at. And, the Harkonnen do build up at a decent pace prior to you going to see the Ix, but they only start pumping out units at a fast speed once you make contact, which gives a wandering player more time to explore the map without suffering too much in the long run. Again, important to reduce the necessity of pre-knowledge. Following the arrival of your MCV, if you save the Ixian Starport which is practically a given unless you purposefully allow it to be destroyed, the player is indeed forced on the defensive for some time, but has options that could move him forward sooner or later. And, unlike on S3V2, there are Harkonnen Harvesters spread all over the map which could be destroyed to hamper the enemy production, but there are quite a few of them so this will take some effort.

The enemy on either of these maps is more than capable of pushing through your defenses and wiping out your base, but they don't do it by constantly sending an impossibly massive army to your perimeter, something that you can't eventually fight past. They send enough units given the size of their bases while attacking often enough to 1. keep the pressure on you and 2. lose some units in the process so they don't have too many defense forces built up when you go to fight them at their base. I don't want any levels to overstay their welcome, so to speak, so while enemy resistance levels tend to get higher at higher tech levels, they are also designed to hold only so long and be chunked in specific places given enough effort (i.e. Wind Traps past Concrete Walls on the northwest end of the S5V1 Harkonnen base). I don't want the player to bang his head against a brick wall. Even on a mission like S4V1, where the Harkonnen and Ordos bases are both quite fortified with turrets and tanks, it's difficult to destroy the bases before an alliance has been made, but once that's done the Mercs and your new ally will be able to push through together. It's a way to control the pacing of the map and keep the mission moving forward.

There are some exceptions to the staggered-attack rule, like on S7V1 the two main bases way up north are much, much more powerful than the forward bases, so much so that their strength encourages the player to set up forward bases in place of the ruins of the enemy's bases. Like, I once saw them attack with a steady stream of units for two solid minutes on the fastest speed, I timed it, and they actually managed to push past a line of Rocket Turrets with Combat Tank and Concrete Wall cover. But, this is another game design policy called "gameplay breakup," where the sort of gameplay shifts in order to keep things interesting. You land at your starting position, you defend yourself and build up a base, you switch to offense and take out the enemy forward positions, you switch back to defense because you've run out of Spice at your main and need to erect Refineries elsewhere, and then you switch again to offense to push through the final enemy base.
Units.png.f099690e0fcca23921d022284e39ffe3.png
This attack continued, despite Siege Tank reinforcements eventually assisting the line of Rocket Turrets, until I eventually had to fall back to the main. I had to re-take the expansion here and build more turrets to protect the Refineries I wanted to set up there.

On the flip side, there are some maps I design that are meant to be relatively easy, such as S1V1, but I don't just throw a weak practice AI into even that short level and call it a day. I give it 10k Solaris, I give it the optimal starting units on normal/hard and even easy to hopefully put up the best fight against the player's forces. I give it the optimal build order given its situation, arriving to the battlefield a little late and probably being at a disadvantage, even on Hard mode where the player doesn't have much time to build up at all. I even gave it conditional reinforcements, and if you do allow it to build up (or fail to take it down early), it maintains a stable economy and has a nice buildrate. What makes that map easy is the situation the player is given, not the quality of the AI. It puts up the best fight it can given the circumstances. And not only is S1V1 easy for the sake of difficulty curve and being the first level, but the mod introduces some significant changes and I needed a tutorial level to re-orient a player with the new possibilities. If every level were like S9V2, the whole campaign would lack variation and be pretty boring, I think - gradually introducing new tech is another way to generate variation between missions and change the balance of the game going forward.

If you have any specific suggestions for certain maps to increase difficulty in a fair way, like for example having three MCVs show up for the Harkonnen on S3V2 so they aren't taken out right away, that would be the most helpful in re-tuning the maps. Each one must be tuned carefully, and each one has its own needs, so to speak. You know? So, with that said, do you have any suggestions in particular for any of the old campaign maps other than the one I just brought up as a possibility?

On 7/29/2018 at 5:17 AM, Nuclear_harvester said:

ok,lets go back tot opic so what smuggler missions should have?

- maybe some  orginal campaign flashback? like   reconstruction from  harkonnen mission 6 map  1 and/or 2. the smuggler bases gets enchanced and you build army to eventually fight your  natural enemy - harkonnen in example,or you wait for harkonnen to die and kill ordos to have harkonnen for dinner.

Well, there was the Ordos Starport mission I called back to. On S6V1, no less! The terrain is even reminiscent of the original O6V1. Only, it's in the context of the smugglers campaign, there are Imperials, and instead of massive reinforcements showing up repeatedly for the Ordos, they get a delivery of the prototypes and then go up to tech level 6 so they can start manufacturing those Deviators themselves. So, it's a reference for sure, just not note for note.

On 7/29/2018 at 5:17 AM, Nuclear_harvester said:

- smugglers in most orginal campaigns were  in most cases an neutrals,only in few scenarios  smugglers appeared as enemy,exception was  finding smugglers as ordos allies in ordos mission 6 map 1 and 2 just  diplomacy change no base no ai was set to smugglers.

Once the Great Houses show up on Arrakis during the original smugglers campaign, either they make the move against you (like in S3V2) or you are neutral to them (like in S3V1). Summers eventually throws her lot in with the Ordos, but the smugglers' relationships with the Great Houses are established similarly to the original game.

On 7/29/2018 at 5:17 AM, Nuclear_harvester said:

- smugglers would focus on spice harvesting so maybe challenge time-based to harvest X amount of spice in  30 minutes i.e to win get 100k spice,defeat is when 30minutes timer expire.

Requiring so much Spice is tough to balance. With an income good enough to defend your base from enemy forces and amass that much Spice, you'd never have a problem massing defense forces. Even 15k on S2V1 was tough to balance. That's why the enemy gets more reinforcements at certain points when you have more Spice, and you need to mass enough Spice that you can't do it instantly, but you can do it quickly enough, and it's not so far up in the sky that you'll never ever have to worry about spending everything again or spending wisely. Want a new Refinery at 10k? Think again, maybe build or order a Harvester and throw a Silo in for good measure.

The smugglers' primary goal is profit through Spice, but Dune is a dangerous and unpredictable place, especially so after all these factions show up and try to fight over it. The storyline of the original smugglers campaign follows this goal, but in order to achieve profit, other steps must be taken. This is what led to the schism between Summers and Sumadi and eventually pushed Summers and Moriaen together. Summers' main bargaining chip with the Great Houses was her Spice harvesting operations, which didn't work out with the Harkonnen and which the Atreides were hardly interested in except if they could confiscate it for their own use, but in the case of the Ordos...

On 7/29/2018 at 5:17 AM, Nuclear_harvester said:

- smugglers so not have big army,they usually have only refinery and silo, bringing them back to live by giving  key buldings is good but from spice thiefs they turn into armed spice thiefs. but having army to defend is fine.

- smuggler missions should be more challenging, lsometimes not many combat to do but spice harvesting,taking out enemy refineries,silos etc.

Yep! S1 and S2 establish the smugglers as a weak and somewhat desperate faction. but Summers is an ex-merc commander and her merc buddies are still there to help her out. Her strengths, at least until she takes command of OSO in the second campaign, lie in her diplomatic skills, cunning as a commander, and the tendency of her enemies to underestimate her on account of her faction's inherent weaknesses. She is often caught in extremely perilous situations, but through resourcefulness, she manages to pull through, even if the cost is high (as in S5V1).

There should be plenty of combat across the smugglers campaign. I tried to keep away from typical Spice mining operations and find more creative ways to involve Summers in the war going on.

On 7/29/2018 at 5:17 AM, Nuclear_harvester said:

- maybe some kind of smuggler arena ? 7 big angry ai vs you, all those angry ai would have fast buld rate but slow attack interval so u get time to get base...atleast hehehe,task would be to take one after one and probably destroying would be wasste so engineer army and  conquer!

Like S9V2 but harder? :P I certainly want to up the ante even further in the second campaign, but I have other ideas about how to do that. And first, I need to turn it down a notch to build it back up.

Most of my AIs across the original smugglers campaign and the new campaign so far have quick build rates. The strange exception is side 7 on S9V2, which for some reason doesn't seem to build very much and I'm not sure how to fix that, but that base is meant to go down relatively quickly anyway so I guess it's not that big a deal since the rest of the map is quite hard.

On 7/29/2018 at 5:17 AM, Nuclear_harvester said:

- smugglers ai lacks of hotdrop tactic ie 1 build CY near enemy 2. sell to build repair pad 3. have big tank army and carryals 4. use carryals to drop the army on enemy base throught repair pad - thats hotdrop!  in red alert 1 and modified red alert 2 AI used naval transports to deliver democracy right on your lawn,sadly dune2k ai code is bad and does not use the carryals to move troops around.

I could imagine a way to at least place a forward repair pad somewhere, but it would take some screwing around with events and careful terrain placement. There'd be an enemy base that had no room for a Repair Pad anywhere in it, and it would need to have practice AI turned on. Another AI would fly in an MCV where some walls belonging to the first AI are, and because that second AI wouldn't have an MCV for starts, it would deploy and then sell. Then, the first AI would gain tech level 4, be able to place a Repair Pad, and the only place it could place that Repair Pad would be where that MCV landed. That still wouldn't make them hot-drop units there.

It would probably be more useful and challenging to have another AI drop an MCV closer to your position and try to establish a base, probably with a build order like Durant on S9V2. That is something I intend to have happen during the second campaign at some point, just as I've had AIs drop MCVs in the original smugglers campaign here or there as well.

23 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

Sometimes we only can ignore the "original" source to make a mission or some kind of campaign, because for example the spacing guild has been used as enemy for Feda, Fey and others (and I did my own campaign) where the original source show how the spacing guild it's not a figthing faction, they just go along with the winner.

I'm not sure I've used the Spacing Guild in my campaign before. Only the Tleilaxu appear in SBON2. Even Westwood had the Spacing Guild as a fighting faction though in Emperor, so hey, if they've got a goal like they do in Emperor it's possible they'd end up fighting people. Right?

Edited by Fey

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2 hours ago, Fey said:

That's some seriously detailed research. As Cm said, it has something to do with AI morale. If it's mistakenly set to lower on one of my maps, please let me know so I can fix the glitch!

Also, what is it you're attempting to accomplish by simulating an entire month of AI attacks? Isn't that kinda impractical on account of no games realistically lasting that long?

Reading his words again I am not sure if he it's refering to your map or some other internal tests he it's doing.

Just in case, I want to point something that could happenning besides the AI morale; the "TimebetweenAttacks" Value could also have problems if someone uses a number not rounded.

For example, if you use 3750 (as I did on the past) the AI will send X amount of attacks before getting stuck on building units but never attacking again (Changing it to 3751 worked for some reason in my case).

To me looks like at least the last two numbers need to be "0" in order to work fine.

2 hours ago, Fey said:

I'm not sure I've used the Spacing Guild in my campaign before. Only the Tleilaxu appear in SBON2. Even Westwood had the Spacing Guild as a fighting faction though in Emperor, so hey, if they've got a goal like they do in Emperor it's possible they'd end up fighting people. Right?

Maybe was the runtowin campaign.

Before Emperor the spacing guild don't fight anyone, and in the Emperor game they just mind control everyone like Yuri.

So I am not sure if the Spacing Guild has an army at all, they just had all the remaining forces on Arrakis under their control, so besides their 2 unique units, all the foes you face are just Atr/Hark/Ord/Tlei armies. They fight yes, but not because they had an army or anything.

But anyway; the spacing guild, smugglers, mercs, Tleilaxu, Ix... We have been using them as regular enemies or even playing as them from time to time. Sacrificing some story or cannon for the sake of the gameplay it's aceptable, I think.

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2 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

Reading his words again I am not sure if he it's refering to your map or some other internal tests he it's doing.

I think internal tests.

2 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

Maybe was the runtowin campaign.

Before Emperor the spacing guild don't fight anyone, and in the Emperor game they just mind control everyone like Yuri.

So I am not sure if the Spacing Guild has an army at all, they just had all the remaining forces on Arrakis under their control, so besides their 2 unique units, all the foes you face are just Atr/Hark/Ord/Tlei armies. They fight yes, but not because they had an army or anything.

But anyway; the spacing guild, smugglers, mercs, Tleilaxu, Ix... We have been using them as regular enemies or even playing as them from time to time. Sacrificing some story or cannon for the sake of the gameplay it's aceptable, I think.

Aye, he used the Spacing Guild.

The Spacing Guild has a near-monopoly on interstellar travel, right? And it eventually becomes a monopoly, so they exert a lot of influence. I'm not sure if the Tleilaxu or Ix fight at all, I certainly made the Ix weak for the one time they appeared in my campaign, but perhaps they have other goals which might lead them into combat.

Either way, I agree that as long as it ain't too far fetched, it's fair to bring some non-combatants onto the battlefield in some form or another.

Edited by Fey

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1 hour ago, Fey said:

The Spacing Guild has a near-monopoly on interstellar travel, right? And it eventually becomes a monopoly, so they exert a lot of influence. I'm not sure if the Tleilaxu or Ix fight at all, I certainly made the Ix weak for the one time they appeared in my campaign, but perhaps they have other goals which might lead them into combat.

Yes, the spacing Guild indeed have lot of control over the universe, but it's the same as the Bene Gesserit group. Both factions have influence on everyone but neither of them have their own army.

As long as the spice flow the spacing Guild don't really care who rules Arrakis.

In Dune Emperor the Tleilaxu helps the Guild to awake the sandworm Emperor, which can control the whole universe if that happens. Ix bring special weapons to test to the player who help them (as secondary objetives), although at the final battle IX special units always join the player to stop the awakening of the beast.

In Dune 2000 we have the Ordos buying Ixian armament during the mission 6 (and there it's a cutscene where the Emperor it's using an IX device to spy on the mentat Ordos (The Emperor said "god Bless the house of Ix. They produce this things faster than I can outlaw them"). So Ix it's more about building forbidden staff (but everyone still buy) that doing fights.

Also, on the Harkonnen introduction, it's said that the mentat it's a Ghola corpse from the Tleilaxu, so at least they are mentioned here to. 

I did already one IX campaign where the player can build the three special tanks using a secondary heavy factory and defeat the other houses, which may be unlike to happen on the current story, but whatever. People have been doing IX and smuggler campaigns where you alone defeat powerfull enemies, and that's great.

If only smugglers have something different for Ordos... because if not it's just playing Ordos with another colour. At least mercs have their own heavy factory. And Tibed it's a bit limited to add something new.

Edited by Cm_blast

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13 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

Yes, the spacing Guild indeed have lot of control over the universe, but it's the same as the Bene Gesserit group. Both factions have influence on everyone but neither of them have their own army.

As long as the spice flow the spacing Guild don't really care who rules Arrakis.

Aye, but they would care about a god-worm, I suppose.

13 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

In Dune Emperor the Tleilaxu helps the Guild to awake the sandworm Emperor, which can control the whole universe if that happens. Ix bring special weapons to test to the player who help them (as secondary objetives), although at the final battle IX special units always join the player to stop the awakening of the beast.

In Dune 2000 we have the Ordos buying Ixian armament during the mission 6 (and there it's a cutscene where the Emperor it's using an IX device to spy on the mentat Ordos (The Emperor said "god Bless the house of Ix. They produce this things faster than I can outlaw them"). So Ix it's more about building forbidden staff (but everyone still buy) that doing fights.

Also, on the Harkonnen introduction, it's said that the mentat it's a Ghola corpse from the Tleilaxu, so at least they are mentioned here to. 

I did already one IX campaign where the player can build the three special tanks using a secondary heavy factory and defeat the other houses, which may be unlike to happen on the current story, but whatever. People have been doing IX and smuggler campaigns where you alone defeat powerfull enemies, and that's great.

And that's all fitting, right? And are the Tleilaxu and Ix really at odds, or was that another thing Emperor added? I could see it since the Tleilaxu are all about bio-engineering and the Ix are like machines and more machines. If they are at odds, and the Spacing Guild has a major bio-engineering abomination of a project to propose to the Tleilaxu, they might fight for that, wouldn't they? Even if the Ix don't fight, like even in Emperor they were a majorly weak sub-faction where they appeared on their own (though their tech kicked ass), do the Tleilaxu? Do they maintain an army?

13 hours ago, Cm_blast said:

If only smugglers have something different for Ordos... because if not it's just playing Ordos with another colour. At least mercs have their own heavy factory. And Tibed it's a bit limited to add something new.

Well, that's where context and goals come into play. The smugglers' starting bases are not equipped for battle; they must adapt away from standard mining setup to put up a fight. Whereas the Ordos may fight on their own a lot, the smugglers often have merc allies around. The smugglers should feel more like a sub-House. And in this second campaign, I'm giving the smugglers merc tech. So, for the first half of their missions, they'll have standard Ordos tech. For this second half, it'll be merc.

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3 hours ago, Fey said:

Aye, but they would care about a god-worm, I suppose.

At least on Dune Emperor they care :P.

3 hours ago, Fey said:

And that's all fitting, right? And are the Tleilaxu and Ix really at odds, or was that another thing Emperor added? I could see it since the Tleilaxu are all about bio-engineering and the Ix are like machines and more machines. If they are at odds, and the Spacing Guild has a major bio-engineering abomination of a project to propose to the Tleilaxu, they might fight for that, wouldn't they? Even if the Ix don't fight, like even in Emperor they were a majorly weak sub-faction where they appeared on their own (though their tech kicked ass), do the Tleilaxu? Do they maintain an army?

I have only read the first three books, so I don't know too much about any of those factions.

On the second book 1 of the main character it's a Tleilaxu; he is know as "face dancer" because he can morph on whatever person they want, imitating the voice at all.

The Tleilaxu offers a Ghola as gift to the Atreides. The Ghola it's created using the ADN of someone that died; this new "creature" maintains the physical appearance the original guy had, but also all the memories plus the Tleilaxu can infuse him with whatever knowledge they want, like for example, philosophy.

So on dune Emperor they alike. Contaminators that turn soldiers on Contaminators. Leecher that infect vehicles which explode and turn into a new leecher.

On the books it's forbidden to build "thinking machines" because what happened on the past. It's the Butlerian Jihad; Cannot exist a computer to stock data; mentat are used instead. Same for the navigators. My Campaign it's based on that concept: I think Frank's sons wrote a book about the Butlerian Jihad but it's more like Skynet, not being controled by any human.

So IX with the creation of new tech could be a problem if they go too far. 

When in Dune Emperor you attack with a Elite Sardaukar (attacking with a laser) against an Ordos laser tank or APC both units will explode on 1 hit. On the book those lasers and shields exists. The same happen there if someone use a laser against another with a shield on. Both guys will explode.

This is something they decided to add into the game that are present in the book. It's interesting.

3 hours ago, Fey said:

Well, that's where context and goals come into play. The smugglers' starting bases are not equipped for battle; they must adapt away from standard mining setup to put up a fight.

And if someday it's possible to create new colours (although the game it's already using the most basic spectre now) we can use the minor houses that exists to join the war, being weak but doing something similar like your campaign.

My "a new house" it's Technically that. A minor house with less prestige that the others, so during the campaign your tech increase more slowly than the well know trio. You buy a MCV to the smuggler to be able to produce tanks (only quads before that) or you capture an old Harkonnen base that could produce missile tanks and learn for that to do it yourself.

At the end you only use a tech of 5 against the tech of 7 of the others. No special tanks or rocket turrets, although the smugglers help you a lot by selling you stuff.

Which reminds me that I am planning to do a smuggler campaign based on buying/selling products. I still don't know how I am going to do it, but my idea would be something like "We sell so many spice to the Atreides, that in return we are going to buy them tanks to figth against the Ordos" so you recieve Atreides Combat and Sonic tanks... or thinks like that.

Not using tibed, just the classic "reinforcements out of nowhere".

Edited by Cm_blast

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okay folks, i was going to do one more thing starport related but due to its limitation it wont work,getting too many starportable units error. i tried to add additional units to starport menu to see if ai will use that instead of replacing exsisting...does ai can use  waypoints?

actually what are our actually curent abilities,what things we can do now and what we cant  yet? any research done? i seen the red alert 1 map textures on dune2k but dune lacks of naval  units and shipyard so making dune2k with  ships would be futile.  would be more interessing if we can add new structures,units,weapons and sounds,textures for it and overall improve the ai as much as we can,i know dune2k code is old obsolete but im sure we can make some nice things still on it and maybe make it really cool, i know the  ai   could do area patrols? also harvester guarding seems to not work at all  ai sends troops if you attack  them but will never  put troops near them to prevent you from doing so,unless something changed?   crrently best strategy to defeat ai is  kill his harvesters and i would like to see this change and ai protecting harvesters as nycg as can before even losing first one,,i already tried to modify ai to attmpt create harvester patrol but ai never actualy use it,ai just sends  troops and if morale drops below treshold(if there is any) ai stops sendign further attacks  but build new troops,sometimes ai go "sleep" totally,even not rebuilding after  capturing bulding not destroying it. so morale dos not affect only military but structures aswell,but if ai loses all unit production buldings,lose all units but not cy,wind trap,refinery and 2 harvesters how ai will gain morale to rebuild base if has notting to fight back,yes  i seen ai  not rebuild base after  extreme base destruction.,that why i was  woring on with walls but nope.

what about smuggler campaign?  i see it  good but it need some more work,more missions and some  pretty complicated to make atleast 1-2 missios  that need to be played  more than half hour, currently if you build  base  properly and setup ur unit production you could  crush evrythign within 10-20 minutes,my  tactic was  to get as atreides/harkonnen missile tanks/quads/troopers . troopers to crush turrets and walls quads agaist tanks and missile tanks for sniping enemy units from distance,few siege tanks were need to kill enemy infantry.  before missile tanks  you basically needed troopers quads combat tanks  and you used to attack always  at weakest spot. how about increasing ai defenses and  removing weak spots and let player fight agaist fortess?  as  for base setups and unit build rate,after short research realized that balance mus be there because too many fast-buld ai will get you defeated evry time,adding friendly ai wont be solution,first we need to find out player limits and match it to ai limits and work out best scenario for  campaigns to not make them easy but make them hard eoungh to win them with serious trouble with high chance for your defeat,but  since we know what events are good for,maybe we can  make  activatable defense....,someone posted  long ago a map with bulding controlling infinite death hand missiles bombarding the base enttrance,to reach main base  you had to blow it up otherwise you could not go throught affected area. what about  things like this but related to morale corelated to bulding? if ai loses too much troops,morale drops but if build i.e additional palace morale goes back to normal and go higher and encourage ai for attacking. another thing  lacking in  dune2k are fake attacks,  you send two armies at two base entrances and third one on bigger so enemy cant cover all of them and you will break inside?  i had another idea about spice race again but that mission would be less agressive and more spice harvesting related,gial would be 100-200k of spice harvested or so,race would be who get more spice and reach finish first,evryone would  start with mcv no troops,limited credits but sandworms would be on edge of map locked down to prevent sabotage.,killing harvesters  at beginning is something bad,s,solution was tibed and make them immune to destruction and only deviator could actually temporary take it.

some ideas i had in my head but never had time to work on

base destruction race -  you have to kill base A defended by base B and C  before    base D and E destroys base F - mission fails after hour,mission fails if base F is wiped out all bases

survival - some money,repair pads  some engineers - land in shape of corridors and  several  ways blocked with  rocket turrets (wind traps in safe-zone to prevent offlining turrets) what you would have [example] 7000 credits 20 combat tanks 20 siege tanks 15 quads 15 trikes/raiders  80 troopers /   light infantry  6-9 engineers,there would be 5-7 ais with turrets  and wind traps, you will consume your troops over time but eventually you find  repair pad to capture and repair units [cant repair infantry muahaha so use it carefully). you would eventually find  small base  and with refinery/harvester but wnt buid anything useful except  troopers/quads/trikes etc.  main base would be double-turret walled  to mke conquering a pain in head, - mission fails if you lose all units,mission win  if all turrets are gone.

executioner - corridor based  gameplay    8 strong ai bases  you have no base but 100 devastators,destroy evrything and evryone.

symbiosis -  your  ally build only troopers and use starport you build quads and combat taks and another ally  only trikes andmissile tanks but all  of you have also starport. job is to coordinate attacks with ai agaist enemy bases,l

and something special - player online mission agaist another players similar to  base destruction race but zero ai,evryone as players had partially finish map for one mission.,problem were starting positions,sometimes you landed in not your base :D

another player mission - reconstruction of  atreides mission 8 map 1 [smugglers  for this case got CY/starport] player had to take other land to build,role of smuggler was  to make troops and make sudden attack with no warning. {hes neutral,he wont bother  us right :P}, while  player being areides is busy fighting ordos/harkonnen fremen aka next ordos[player  aswell,gets mcv to build better] while smuggler  grows grows grows and  when right moment happens he strikes someone [someone who will be smugglers must be good tactician] . the neutral mode on online gameplay was  actually tested and was working as intended! neutral showing as neutral so eventuall pass-throught of troops was not making a confusion.

my last idea for player based online mission was  concept of reworking atreides mission 7 map 1  but job was completly different, we wanted make  ai controllable by players so ai build troops you build buldings but idea was soon abandoned after numerous problems and issues including  running out of spice on map when demand was higher than  arrakis could give.

 

 

 

 

 

as for running game for month on separate computer,wanted to see if ai changes over time passed,,was going ever to livestream game played with only macro with zero human interaction but decided to not do so.

my plan was to  give  ai  highest possible morale,make full safe harvesting area with no risk of spice end but encountered there an issue (will tell later) the "test" has started  20 july as this is when game started but on 29 july project crashed,ai sold his base with harvesters still on field,my first test was 2 harvesters per refinery and total 5 refineries so 10 harvesters,this was to ensure ai never bancruit and keep spamming my base with troops,after first test phase i  adjusted the harvesters per refinery from 2 to 5  but only 3 refineries,game was stable for  entire day and i seen activity by  points from sounds of combat,yes combat was ongoing from time to time but when was doing  stuff  200km away from house forgot about it entirely and when came back i was doing other things and forgot about the game but checked it  later to find death toll,game was not finished as enemy still had harvesters,just  his base was sold,there was some spice left on field...

i was doing similar things for other games to see some numbers and  common in  most  games like dune2k/ra2/tiberian sun was that  ai behavior can change over time and from my observation whole morale thing is playing interessing factor,and in case dune2k  problem with morale was that not always was growing back? because huge army stacked in base for hours,but army is spent after my agression,maybe ai  calculated how big my army was  so he build bigger and bigger but knowing  my army becomes bigger  he still try to overcome it with size but after some time the bubble breaks and ai send the attack! . my further  test was with  placing "fake" bases far away and drive ai to it for attacking,when ai raze it to ground seems morale to increase and his normal life comes back.....i tried to encourage ai to do something useful but it never worked as intended,wanted to see if ai can look for  weak spot on my base but NO ai attacks at my strongest position instead of  gong around into unprotected area!  while this is dumb on dune2k  by looking at red alert 2+/- yuri revenge expansion ai actually attempt to find  weak spot of your base and even used it. in tiberian sun  ai also attempts to go for weak spot but most times will  make frontal attack if possible.

TLDR: ai after serious army loss,dont send further attacks but keeps produced troops in base, your attack triggers ai attack,ai sometimes scatter his troops over map,if ai loses  army and too many buldings but  key buldings remain undamagd,ai will refuse to rebuild even with leftover cy,refineries,wind traps - this happens  not so often but observed it few times,morale modifier plays huge role there,if defeat was too big ai will  drop into idle mode with no return point,at somr point  ai was gaining over time when was leaving infantry on way of harvester and he eventually placed 1-2 buldings more but still didnt rebuild further,if i taken out wind trap it was rebuilt,if i did refinery he rebuilt,but no  reconstruction of other buldings,ai morale probably went negative  numbers because ai went completly idle at this point. running game for long time gave me interessing results,coming closer to  find ai activity treshold before/after  huge defeat.further tests ongoing. maybe will have time to make ai resistant to morale loss.

Edited by Nuclear_harvester

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On 7/31/2018 at 7:40 AM, Cm_blast said:

When in Dune Emperor you attack with a Elite Sardaukar (attacking with a laser) against an Ordos laser tank or APC both units will explode on 1 hit. On the book those lasers and shields exists. The same happen there if someone use a laser against another with a shield on. Both guys will explode.

This is something they decided to add into the game that are present in the book. It's interesting.

Oh yeah, it was some kind of weird effect with how lasers interact with shields. I remember that.

1 hour ago, Nuclear_harvester said:

okay folks, i was going to do one more thing starport related but due to its limitation it wont work,getting too many starportable units error. i tried to add additional units to starport menu to see if ai will use that instead of replacing exsisting...does ai can use  waypoints?

I use waypoints for my AIs in S02V2 and SBON1. That's not really practical though, I kind of abused events to get it to work. Cool in execution though.

On 7/31/2018 at 7:40 AM, Cm_blast said:

And if someday it's possible to create new colours (although the game it's already using the most basic spectre now) we can use the minor houses that exists to join the war, being weak but doing something similar like your campaign.

My "a new house" it's Technically that. A minor house with less prestige that the others, so during the campaign your tech increase more slowly than the well know trio. You buy a MCV to the smuggler to be able to produce tanks (only quads before that) or you capture an old Harkonnen base that could produce missile tanks and learn for that to do it yourself.

At the end you only use a tech of 5 against the tech of 7 of the others. No special tanks or rocket turrets, although the smugglers help you a lot by selling you stuff.

Which reminds me that I am planning to do a smuggler campaign based on buying/selling products. I still don't know how I am going to do it, but my idea would be something like "We sell so many spice to the Atreides, that in return we are going to buy them tanks to figth against the Ordos" so you recieve Atreides Combat and Sonic tanks... or thinks like that.

Not using tibed, just the classic "reinforcements out of nowhere".

That sounds like a cool concept. Or, they could be dealing with the Ix, like in my campaign. Maybe they want to sell the Sonic Tank tech only to the Atreides for the sake of secrecy, but the smugglers and mercs show up like "we gonna steal yo stuff." And then they could hold the blueprints for each house's most valuable tech as bargaining chips against them for one reason or another.

1 hour ago, Nuclear_harvester said:

actually what are our actually curent abilities,what things we can do now and what we cant  yet? any research done? i seen the red alert 1 map textures on dune2k but dune lacks of naval  units and shipyard so making dune2k with  ships would be futile.  would be more interessing if we can add new structures,units,weapons and sounds,textures for it and overall improve the ai as much as we can,i know dune2k code is old obsolete but im sure we can make some nice things still on it and maybe make it really cool, i know the  ai   could do area patrols? also harvester guarding seems to not work at all  ai sends troops if you attack  them but will never  put troops near them to prevent you from doing so,unless something changed?   crrently best strategy to defeat ai is  kill his harvesters and i would like to see this change and ai protecting harvesters as nycg as can before even losing first one,,i already tried to modify ai to attmpt create harvester patrol but ai never actualy use it,ai just sends  troops and if morale drops below treshold(if there is any) ai stops sendign further attacks  but build new troops,sometimes ai go "sleep" totally,even not rebuilding after  capturing bulding not destroying it. so morale dos not affect only military but structures aswell,but if ai loses all unit production buldings,lose all units but not cy,wind trap,refinery and 2 harvesters how ai will gain morale to rebuild base if has notting to fight back,yes  i seen ai  not rebuild base after  extreme base destruction.,that why i was  woring on with walls but nope.

Old doesn't mean obsolete! Dune 2k is still a fun game. It holds up. I hoped to preserve the simple, yet fun experience within my mod. I would love to add new units, but my attempts to try and change existing duplicate units (like MP Sardaukar / Sardaukar) into other unit types has only resulted in screwy shit happening. And I've tried to make it so, say, the HTF Upgrade by itself would allow for the production of Stealth Raiders or something, but all that results in is the units coming out of the HTF, which I don't want. Maybe Cm would have more word on that.

The AI can do area patrols using defense zones and allocation indexes. Have one AI dedicated to patrolling a specific area and you get something like my H2V1, where, say, the merc AIs will protect their smuggler buddy and the Imperial AI covers your Harvesters some. This is also how I get the Fremen Warriors to walk around on H1V2 or S05V1. Using the same logic, you could have them protect a Spice field where most or all of their Harvesters are gathered, but they will need a little bit of rock to sit on so they can stand there, out of the worm's reach.

1 hour ago, Nuclear_harvester said:

what about smuggler campaign?  i see it  good but it need some more work,more missions and some  pretty complicated to make atleast 1-2 missios  that need to be played  more than half hour, currently if you build  base  properly and setup ur unit production you could  crush evrythign within 10-20 minutes,my  tactic was  to get as atreides/harkonnen missile tanks/quads/troopers . troopers to crush turrets and walls quads agaist tanks and missile tanks for sniping enemy units from distance,few siege tanks were need to kill enemy infantry.  before missile tanks  you basically needed troopers quads combat tanks  and you used to attack always  at weakest spot. how about increasing ai defenses and  removing weak spots and let player fight agaist fortess?  as  for base setups and unit build rate,after short research realized that balance mus be there because too many fast-buld ai will get you defeated evry time,adding friendly ai wont be solution,first we need to find out player limits and match it to ai limits and work out best scenario for  campaigns to not make them easy but make them hard eoungh to win them with serious trouble with high chance for your defeat,but  since we know what events are good for,maybe we can  make  activatable defense....,someone posted  long ago a map with bulding controlling infinite death hand missiles bombarding the base enttrance,to reach main base  you had to blow it up otherwise you could not go throught affected area. what about  things like this but related to morale corelated to bulding? if ai loses too much troops,morale drops but if build i.e additional palace morale goes back to normal and go higher and encourage ai for attacking. another thing  lacking in  dune2k are fake attacks,  you send two armies at two base entrances and third one on bigger so enemy cant cover all of them and you will break inside?  i had another idea about spice race again but that mission would be less agressive and more spice harvesting related,gial would be 100-200k of spice harvested or so,race would be who get more spice and reach finish first,evryone would  start with mcv no troops,limited credits but sandworms would be on edge of map locked down to prevent sabotage.,killing harvesters  at beginning is something bad,s,solution was tibed and make them immune to destruction and only deviator could actually temporary take it.

S9V2 in 20 minutes? Doubtful. o_O I've completed it during an earlier build in 40-50 on Hard mode, but the current build should be better in terms of pacing and difficulty scaling from mission start to mission end. It's such a long mission it needs its own difficulty scaling. Even S3V2 with Hard mode and the mission's own optional Hard mode enabled should take a little longer than 20.

AI defenses are at a good point in the original smugglers campaign, I think. The player doesn't begin with nearly enough to take down the enemy and it will take time to build up. I let the enemy attack the player in waves quick enough to keep the player busy, but hopefully not too big enough to totally overwhelm the player if they are prepared. And they can't require preknowledge to prepare against the enemy on any map, or that's bad design. When the player has built up enough, and can take a fight to the enemy, I've put a focus on enemy base structure in the original smugglers campaign with attention to the following factors:
 - The base layout spreads massed amounts of critical power structures while mostly centralizing production.
 - Defense zones either don't interfere with the open battlefield at all or intersect at good locations.
 - The bases are aesthetically pleasing, and provide enough room for units to move around while being dense enough to look populated.
 - Turrets and walls are used to split base sections and encourage multiple waves of attack.
 - The enemy base must have multiple entrances or some sort of weak spot that can be exploited.

Now, let's break these down and then see examples of the theory put into action dissected.

Quote

 - The base layout spreads massed amounts of critical power structures while mostly centralizing production.

By power structures, I mean Wind Traps and Refineries in particular. In my base design, there are always groups of Wind Traps, but they will often be split up and behind targets that should be taken out first, like production structures or turrets, which will make up for the loss in power as you blow your way through to them. Refineries I may put in advantageous positions for both the enemy and the player, like at the base entrance where they are fairly exposed just behind the defensive perimeter... but, where enemy Harvesters will be able to get Spice and bring it back sooner.

The reason for centralizing production structures is for the sake of unit variety fairness. A varied force is much harder to take down, and while I do make frequent use of specific unit compositions in my AIs to give the player a hard time, having them all spawn from many different locations needs to be considered carefully in order to be fair.

Quote

 - Defense zones either don't interfere with the open battlefield at all or intersect at good locations.

Defense zones can be done with manual configuration or via structure placement. Multiple AIs may be necessary to organize defense zones so that they don't cross into, say, the player's base. However, defense zone placement is important for more reasons than simply making sure the AI doesn't derp out and send its units into an incredibly unfavorable position on a whim. Defense zones can be used to strengthen enemy fortifications at key locations or make the enemy leave their base to go to specific favorable defensive locations for the player that are not his base. I'll go into more detail in my provided examples.

Quote

 - The bases are aesthetically pleasing yet functional, and provide enough room for units to move around while being dense enough to look populated.

I need the player to feel like they are fighting a worthy foe, even as they are tearing through the enemy base. I don't want massive empty spaces of rock where there could be structures of some sort, but I don't want it to look cluttered at the same time. Allowing for space to move around the enemy base makes the unit pathing issues much less glaring and troublesome, while simultaneously allowing me to create actual difficulty in defense placement rather than artificial difficulty in unit obstruction. There are specific locations where unit obstruction should be a factor, and this is something professional players will use to stave enemy units off from their more valuable structures, but I want some space in the enemy base to be available to move around in. Preferably where there'll be a lot of unit traffic anyway, like around production structures.

The empty space may also be suitable for, say, infantry rock, a small cliff wall, or even just some sand in the broken-up rock. It adds more variation that lingers even after the base structures are razed and only Concrete and craters remain.

Quote

 - Turrets and walls are used to split base sections and encourage multiple waves of attack.

I do not want the player to have great success just taking one giant army and smashing through the whole enemy base. The enemy needs to put up a fight for the player to feel they are pushing back against him, working to achieve victory. With the new changes to Quad damage, turret range and damage, Grenadiers being added, Concrete Walls blocking more than just Combat Tank fire... massed troops will take a lot of damage. Sending 30 Troopers in will see them all slaughtered by Grenadiers and falling debris a lot sooner than a few groups of 10 Troopers wandering around under vehicle cover, for example. Spreading turrets, stationary guards, and to a lesser extent production structures all around will increase resistance and make a prolonged attack on the enemy base more risky.

Walls also have the added benefit of creating additional strategic routes if you spend the firepower blowing through them, and they are great for obstructing player movement through a large base or making a smaller base or turret line look bigger than it actually is. Of course, that's in addition to providing significant protection to artillery units or turrets.

Quote

 - The enemy base must have multiple entrances or some sort of weak spot that can be exploited.

I do not want the player to feel like he's banging his head against a brick wall. There must be a way to make progress in fighting each enemy, a strategic goal the player can identify and work towards, or a certain build of units that will seem to be favorable. The method for creating these exploitable weaknesses tends to vary, but the result is always an exploitable weakness. Not every player is perfectly skilled with simultaneous base macro and unit micro like we are! My goal with creating weaknesses is not for the purpose of catering to more casual players, but rather offering more strategic options other than "mass units -> throw at enemy -> rinse & repeat."

Now, let's look at some examples. The Atreides base in S03V1 is good. There are two Refineries at the entrance to the base, but there's a Gun Turret protected by Concrete Walls assisting the defense. In addition, Harvesters pour out of that one base entrance constantly, and there's no infantry rock up against the turret! And, a pair of enemy Barracks and an Atreides Light Factory cover the entrance as well. Once those structures are taken out, the player will then have to contend with a couple of layered Rocket Turrets, a second line of Light Factories, the Atreides Barracks on the southeast island will start producing infantry, and not only will the enemy rebuild the two Refineries you already destroyed, but the third is the most well-guarded behind everything in the base and is inaccessible to the player. The enemy defense zone also extends to the east of the main base, covering the expansion before you can get to it, and it also happens to cover enemy Harvesters too.

How would one go about fighting this enemy? Well, there is a defensive location beyond the Atreides' main perimeter packed with infantry rock that could be used to lure and defeat enemy defense units via an advantageous position. The second layer of enemy production is staggered as well - the light vehicles being pumped out near the ConYard will reach you much faster than the infantry on the southeast island. It's further staggered by the placement of one Refinery in a protected space while destroying the first two slows the enemy down, provided you spend the firepower on both the Refineries and the Silos. There is infantry rock within the defensive perimeter that can be used once the perimeter itself is breached. And, aside from the well-guarded Wind Traps within the main base, there are two extremely useful goals at the southeast island... Wind Traps that disable most of the enemy turrets if destroyed, and the Outpost that enables Grenadier production for the enemy AI. And, that expansion can be approached from the far east if you want to avoid alerting the enemy's defense units.

Here's another example. S06V2 has a massive enemy base manned by 3 AIs, all with good production. The Imperial Air Towers will send two separate Ornithopter raids in your direction on a timer. Walled-off turrets and stationary defense forces protect key areas of the base. Enemy Harvesters are well behind their defense perimeters and also close enough to Rocket Turrets to be supported that way. Those Rocket Turrets cover most of the enemy Refineries, and the Silos are spread away from the Refineries so the enemy has reserve funds even if you do take out the Refineries, which are far back enough on the cliff to demand the use of artillery units to strike from below. You'll also be seeing the occasional Sonic Tank on the field, and Sardaukar Elites along with heavy Imperial armor make fighting through to the meaty center of the base a hard-fought battle. It also doesn't help that the Imperials get set Starport reinforcements amounting to a whole armor battalion very early on.

How would I level this base? Well, initial Imperial production is mostly centralized at the main entrance to the east, across a three-tile-wide bridge. Either I take that out right away, forcing the enemy back into the main base, or I push through the walled-off entrance and have Imperial units spawning behind me. Enemy Starports are really spread out within the Imperial base, along with secondary production structures if the eastern expansion falls, but there are juicy targets between those production structures. Enemy Wind Traps are centralized at three specific locations and each one has a nearby entrance. Side 3's is the infantry-only on the southwest end of the main base, side 1's is well within the enemy defense zone on the eastern end just south of the bridge, and the Atreides' Wind Traps can be hit with artillery from below the northern cliff wall, as well as struck directly if you push in through the northwest walled-off entrance. Although enemy economic and production strength and defense are both very high, the Wind Traps are quite a decent weak point, even though you need to navigate the whole enemy base in order to take them all out.

And after that's all over, there's the second part of the map versus Durant. His production and power are centralized in two separate locations, each, where production types are limited to two sorts for each locale. Barracks and Heavy Factories in one spot, Light Factories and another Barracks in another. There are Gun Turrets spread around the base, which form a nice little defense grid to work through and stall for defense units. Many of them are covered by Concrete Walls or by each-others' firing range. Durant's three Refineries are on the eastern side of the base, but that's covered by a Rocket Turret and is furthest away from your new objective, that being his Outpost. Obviously, there are some weak points in the base, but it's well enough fortified that you'll need to work to exploit them. It will come apart in pieces.

One more. How about the main Imperial base on S9V1. It's set on a large rock island, sectioned off with walls, dotted with turrets, and guarded by a friendly AI. Production in the main is staggered so that new units will spawn in protected locations once the primary structures are taken out, or the primary structures will continue to mass units while you take out the secondaries boosting its production speed. In addition, the light vehicle production for that friendly AI is located in the main, meaning its defense forces will respond most effectively to attacks anywhere around the map. Heavy vehicles and infantry are produced at the expansion so the slower units will arrive at around the same time as the quicker ones during attacks on your base. What do?

S9V1 is set in Alazor Steppe, a wide-open area, which forces the enemy to use Concrete Walls to protect his base. Same deal with the Atreides and Harkonnen bases to a lesser extent. The friendly AI that protects the main Imperial base has some decent forces, but is easier to break down and is very much isolated from the main. That can be taken out easily, and then the friendly AI has some fairly exposed Wind Traps that control the Rocket Turrets around the main... but not the Gun Turrets. And given the position of those Wind Traps, it's unlikely you'll make it through to them without either blowing through the Harkonnen or executing a creative and stealthy strategy.

Hopefully that explanation helps to convey the intent and ingenuity if I do say so myself behind some of my base design choices. :)

2 hours ago, Nuclear_harvester said:

some ideas i had in my head but never had time to work on

base destruction race -  you have to kill base A defended by base B and C  before    base D and E destroys base F - mission fails after hour,mission fails if base F is wiped out all bases

I think Runtowin did something like that in his merc02 map. The closest in my campaign I can think of relating to that concept are S07V1 and S09V2 given the ways the enemy bases are set up and how your goals as the player are executed.

2 hours ago, Nuclear_harvester said:

survival - some money,repair pads  some engineers - land in shape of corridors and  several  ways blocked with  rocket turrets (wind traps in safe-zone to prevent offlining turrets) what you would have [example] 7000 credits 20 combat tanks 20 siege tanks 15 quads 15 trikes/raiders  80 troopers /   light infantry  6-9 engineers,there would be 5-7 ais with turrets  and wind traps, you will consume your troops over time but eventually you find  repair pad to capture and repair units [cant repair infantry muahaha so use it carefully). you would eventually find  small base  and with refinery/harvester but wnt buid anything useful except  troopers/quads/trikes etc.  main base would be double-turret walled  to mke conquering a pain in head, - mission fails if you lose all units,mission win  if all turrets are gone.

I like breaking through turret lines. That might be fun if you don't make it too big of a pain for the player to mass the units to throw into those turrets.

2 hours ago, Nuclear_harvester said:

executioner - corridor based  gameplay    8 strong ai bases  you have no base but 100 devastators,destroy evrything and evryone.

Seems like an abstract concept, but not one that couldn't be done fairly and be interesting.

2 hours ago, Nuclear_harvester said:

symbiosis -  your  ally build only troopers and use starport you build quads and combat taks and another ally  only trikes andmissile tanks but all  of you have also starport. job is to coordinate attacks with ai agaist enemy bases,l

I'm positive Cm had a map like that in his Harkonnen Family campaign. Copec had Quads and Troopers and you got Light Infantry and Trikes, and you had to coordinate attacks with him to fight the enemy. Even your Spice was shared. Pretty cool concept and done well, too.

2 hours ago, Nuclear_harvester said:

and something special - player online mission agaist another players similar to  base destruction race but zero ai,evryone as players had partially finish map for one mission.,problem were starting positions,sometimes you landed in not your base :D

Wouldn't that screw a player over by sheer RNG?

2 hours ago, Nuclear_harvester said:

another player mission - reconstruction of  atreides mission 8 map 1 [smugglers  for this case got CY/starport] player had to take other land to build,role of smuggler was  to make troops and make sudden attack with no warning. {hes neutral,he wont bother  us right :P}, while  player being areides is busy fighting ordos/harkonnen fremen aka next ordos[player  aswell,gets mcv to build better] while smuggler  grows grows grows and  when right moment happens he strikes someone [someone who will be smugglers must be good tactician] . the neutral mode on online gameplay was  actually tested and was working as intended! neutral showing as neutral so eventuall pass-throught of troops was not making a confusion.

There is little stopping a player with pre-knowledge from attacking that neutral entity earlier than usual. I know I have the same thing going on in some of my maps, but if you want a surprise attack from a massive enemy force, I'd recommend doing it via reinforcements and summoned MCVs that build up for a practice AI.

3 hours ago, Nuclear_harvester said:

my last idea for player based online mission was  concept of reworking atreides mission 7 map 1  but job was completly different, we wanted make  ai controllable by players so ai build troops you build buldings but idea was soon abandoned after numerous problems and issues including  running out of spice on map when demand was higher than  arrakis could give.

Ah, yeah. Giving a player-owned side an AI might be interesting, but it's kind of impractical. It also removes some of the gameplay since the AI will need to attack the enemy and all you get to do is Sim City the heck outta your base.

3 hours ago, Nuclear_harvester said:

as for running game for month on separate computer,wanted to see if ai changes over time passed,,was going ever to livestream game played with only macro with zero human interaction but decided to not do so.

my plan was to  give  ai  highest possible morale,make full safe harvesting area with no risk of spice end but encountered there an issue (will tell later) the "test" has started  20 july as this is when game started but on 29 july project crashed,ai sold his base with harvesters still on field,my first test was 2 harvesters per refinery and total 5 refineries so 10 harvesters,this was to ensure ai never bancruit and keep spamming my base with troops,after first test phase i  adjusted the harvesters per refinery from 2 to 5  but only 3 refineries,game was stable for  entire day and i seen activity by  points from sounds of combat,yes combat was ongoing from time to time but when was doing  stuff  200km away from house forgot about it entirely and when came back i was doing other things and forgot about the game but checked it  later to find death toll,game was not finished as enemy still had harvesters,just  his base was sold,there was some spice left on field...

i was doing similar things for other games to see some numbers and  common in  most  games like dune2k/ra2/tiberian sun was that  ai behavior can change over time and from my observation whole morale thing is playing interessing factor,and in case dune2k  problem with morale was that not always was growing back? because huge army stacked in base for hours,but army is spent after my agression,maybe ai  calculated how big my army was  so he build bigger and bigger but knowing  my army becomes bigger  he still try to overcome it with size but after some time the bubble breaks and ai send the attack! . my further  test was with  placing "fake" bases far away and drive ai to it for attacking,when ai raze it to ground seems morale to increase and his normal life comes back.....i tried to encourage ai to do something useful but it never worked as intended,wanted to see if ai can look for  weak spot on my base but NO ai attacks at my strongest position instead of  gong around into unprotected area!  while this is dumb on dune2k  by looking at red alert 2+/- yuri revenge expansion ai actually attempt to find  weak spot of your base and even used it. in tiberian sun  ai also attempts to go for weak spot but most times will  make frontal attack if possible.

TLDR: ai after serious army loss,dont send further attacks but keeps produced troops in base, your attack triggers ai attack,ai sometimes scatter his troops over map,if ai loses  army and too many buldings but  key buldings remain undamagd,ai will refuse to rebuild even with leftover cy,refineries,wind traps - this happens  not so often but observed it few times,morale modifier plays huge role there,if defeat was too big ai will  drop into idle mode with no return point,at somr point  ai was gaining over time when was leaving infantry on way of harvester and he eventually placed 1-2 buldings more but still didnt rebuild further,if i taken out wind trap it was rebuilt,if i did refinery he rebuilt,but no  reconstruction of other buldings,ai morale probably went negative  numbers because ai went completly idle at this point. running game for long time gave me interessing results,coming closer to  find ai activity treshold before/after  huge defeat.further tests ongoing. maybe will have time to make ai resistant to morale loss.

Sucks about the crash though. Maybe the AI's morale is stable enough if you give it a strong enough initial value that it will remain aggressive for the entire length of a practical, actual map completion time.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, Nuclear_harvester said:

okay folks, i was going to do one more thing starport related but due to its limitation it wont work,getting too many starportable units error. i tried to add additional units to starport menu to see if ai will use that instead of replacing exsisting...does ai can use  waypoints?

I know that feeling; the starport can only contain 8 units, and affects every side. Technically there is a way to make the AI to order different stuff than the player, but this requires doing some tricks that can affect the regular game.

About waypoints, no. The only thing you can do it's set defence areas to force the AI to defend areas without a building.

13 hours ago, Nuclear_harvester said:

actually what are our actually curent abilities,what things we can do now and what we cant  yet? any research done? i seen the red alert 1 map textures on dune2k but dune lacks of naval  units and shipyard so making dune2k with  ships would be futile.  would be more interessing if we can add new structures,units,weapons and sounds,textures for it and overall improve the ai as much as we can,i know dune2k code is old obsolete but im sure we can make some nice things still on it and maybe make it really cool, i know the  ai   could do area patrols? also harvester guarding seems to not work at all  ai sends troops if you attack  them but will never  put troops near them to prevent you from doing so,unless something changed?

As soon as you start tibed a message say: "Adding units and buildings is impossible." So forget about that.
However, you can "add" something new by replacing the grenadier, the thumper... into another unit, but the game still has his limits.

Maybe you should try to look to OpenRa Dune 2000; I think this version of C&C and Dune 2000 works more on balance that to be faithful to the original game; I know the OpenRa Dune have fog of war for example, enough to change your way to look into Dune 2000. I don't know too much about this project, by maybe the units will end being more balanced and the AI smarter.

But yes, not much to do into the vanilla dune 2000.

13 hours ago, Nuclear_harvester said:

also harvester guarding seems to not work at all  ai sends troops if you attack  them but will never  put troops near them to prevent you from doing so,unless something changed?

The AI only can react to an attack; you attack the harverster, the AI send units to protect it, but only at that moment.

13 hours ago, Nuclear_harvester said:

and something special - player online mission agaist another players similar to  base destruction race but zero ai,evryone as players had partially finish map for one mission.,problem were starting positions,sometimes you landed in not your base :D

This it's something that it's possible to do; there it's some kind of lines on the .ini that force the game to load using the skirmish menu but no MCV it's spawned;

For example, there is a "1 vs 1 tank war". you play against another human, but doesn't matter what you choose, the .ini file for this mission will force you both to play at tech 3 (only combat tanks). Both players starts with 3 heavy factories and some windtraps, nothing more, not even the starting MCV or the 10 initial units given.

13 hours ago, Nuclear_harvester said:

20 july as this is when game started but on 29 july project crashed,

You are insane man xD.

Dune 2000 it's a bit crashing of a game; the pathfinding of the game and stuff like that can make the game crash, and if wasn't for the fixes done on the gruntmods you couldn't even play as anyone but the original trio of sides.

I never see a game taking me more than 3 hours, so in the long terms I woudn't be surprise if the AI broke.

13 hours ago, Nuclear_harvester said:

i tried to encourage ai to do something useful but it never worked as intended,wanted to see if ai can look for  weak spot on my base but NO ai attacks at my strongest position instead of  gong around into unprotected area!  while this is dumb on dune2k  by looking at red alert 2+/- yuri revenge expansion ai actually attempt to find  weak spot of your base and even used it. in tiberian sun  ai also attempts to go for weak spot but most times will  make frontal attack if possible.

Keep in mind that Dune 2000 it's just a remake for Dune 2. Dune 2 AI was even more primitive. In Dune 2, units always went against the building with the highest priority (heavy factory, repair pad, I think the palace too) while ignoring other buildings or units. Only if your quad shoot the enemy quad THAT quad turns of you, but not the others that still going on his path.

The AI don't ever shoot back at turrets; so you place 4 rocket turrets on the middle of the map and that's it. Always killing and not needing to defend or repair or anything.

Dune 2000 AI just behave similar, but at least Dune 2000 can turn his attention against other targets in mid-attack.

10 hours ago, Fey said:

That sounds like a cool concept. Or, they could be dealing with the Ix, like in my campaign. Maybe they want to sell the Sonic Tank tech only to the Atreides for the sake of secrecy, but the smugglers and mercs show up like "we gonna steal yo stuff." And then they could hold the blueprints for each house's most valuable tech as bargaining chips against them for one reason or another.

Still don't know what I am going to do; Overall I am going to try to give them an unique feeling. Like with my Ix campaign, I deleted the light factory to give the player a second heavy factory. Producing missile tanks and devastators at the same time it's something totally new but 3 refineries are not enough to sustain the high costs! but gives you that feeling of having superior technology and raw power.

Or like my spacing guild one; editing the values from the starport to make feel like the "palace" of this faction. You are only an "Emperor" side with no devastator or Sardaukar, but since you can do orders every 20 second instead 1 whole minute it makes the starport a stronger building withouth resorting to "here, deliveries for free".

 

24 minutes ago, Fey said:

(like MP Sardaukar / Sardaukar) into other unit types has only resulted in screwy shit happening


it's still possible to "segment" units, just like the combat tanks: 1 per faction. At some point during my last crazy-tibed-edition-EBFD based map at the end I was forced to make the special unit that I give to the AI being considered a "Devastator" owner by the enemy, but not the player. With any other solution the AI was losing the way to build it when he loose the starport (the requirement from the Sardaukar), although that MP Sardaukar (transformed into a different unit) had other requirements that didn't ask for a starport at all.

10 hours ago, Fey said:

I think Runtowin did something like that in his merc02 map. The closest in my campaign I can think of relating to that concept are S07V1 and S09V2 given the ways the enemy bases are set up and how your goals as the player are executed

Yes, indeed he did it; I still remember that map, destroying harverster like no tomorrow so my ally could defeat the enemy at the end. If you don't hurry, Your ally will died and you can do nothing to protect him; was a cool concept.

10 hours ago, Fey said:

Seems like an abstract concept, but not one that couldn't be done fairly and be interesting.

Someone already did this before; was with only a few devastators, but you were in a corridor, following a path and destroying several bases (not full 100% prepared bases, but still) dealing with spawning enemies from behind.

I don't remember which campaign was; I think I didn't like because the devastators are so slow to move on a such big map full of corridors-mountains that takes forever to do from one point to another, but the idea was there.

10 hours ago, Fey said:
13 hours ago, Nuclear_harvester said:

symbiosis -  your  ally build only troopers and use starport you build quads and combat taks and another ally  only trikes andmissile tanks but all  of you have also starport. job is to coordinate attacks with ai agaist enemy bases,l

I'm positive Cm had a map like that in his Harkonnen Family campaign. Copec had Quads and Troopers and you got Light Infantry and Trikes, and you had to coordinate attacks with him to fight the enemy. Even your Spice was shared. Pretty cool concept and done well, too.

As Fey said here, I did that =D.

Fortunatelly, you can change what the AI produce; I made your ally to build anti-building/vehicled based and the player it's anti-infantry based; the Ordos send a first varied attack on both players, but as soon as they notice your strengths and weakness the Ordos changes their tacticks; from that point the Ordos attacks you only with Vehicles and to your ally using only infantry/troopers.

Both sides need to send a few units to their ally or the Ordos can defeat you or you ally easily.

10 hours ago, Fey said:

Wouldn't that screw a player over by sheer RNG?

I remember when I played with a friend those maps that are the original Ordos maps but the mercs prepared to be controled by a second human.

Since nothing could stop the MCV to appear where they shouldn't, the autor of the map placed the 8 starting point into a close area surrounded by 2 or 3 gun turrets (sandworm turrets) so the MCV of everyside died early.

In fact, even before we were using gruntmods, we were playing with a combination of Hamachi and some patchs that people creates; those patches changed the alliances from the vanilla dune 2000 (since the original game didn't have alliances), so was a file to overwrite the original that make the skirmish being a 2 vs 4 (2 human players vs X Ais), another patch for a 3 vs 3, 1 vs 5 (to make the 5 Ais allied each other), etc...

I ever remember playing that map that only have 2 terrains to build, one to the north, another to the south; we were playing the 2 vs X patch, but you cannot make the MCV to appear were you want; I even tell "wait, don't deploy at the beggining; if the AI it's on my side I'll move on to your side, but if is on your side you need to move on to me"; The firsts happen and I was forced to move the MCV from north to south while I was saying to build barracks and some infantry/troopers to protect me when the AI do the same.  Good old times xD.

But, like I said to him; right now it's possible to eliminate that from the map though the .ini file; I ever found something interesting that maybe one day I use into a map;

There is a line (don't remember the name now) that control how many icons shows on your bar. So if I place 4 there, doesn't matter if you are playing with the native resolution or 2000x1000; on your game you only will see 4 units/buildings (you still have the advantage for far seeing the terrain).

But changing to 2... it's weird seeing only the infantry-trooper and you need to scroll the menu to reach the trike and the quad. (although the icon bar will go a bit messy because it's suppose to show icons but the .ini are blocking them, so will show old place-holder icons or even icons that are not suppose to be there (like the carryall after you enter the starport sub-menu).

10 hours ago, Fey said:

Wouldn't that screw a player over by sheer RNG?

By the way, you know that someone asked me if it was possible to create events to drop death hands at random tiles so when human players were doing a traditional game they eventually will recieve a DH falling down on top of the different bases?

The worst things its... He did it! (almost) it's not random, but that clever man find a way to drop DH into specific spot making you to loose buildings...

10 hours ago, Fey said:

Ah, yeah. Giving a player-owned side an AI might be interesting, but it's kind of impractical. It also removes some of the gameplay since the AI will need to attack the enemy and all you get to do is Sim City the heck outta your base.

At some point I was wondering if I could let the AI to be "active" while removing every aspect of the AI. I mean, he won't build anything or rebuild/repair/etc anything; this force the player to move their units 1 on 1 instead with a square (and you cannot use control + number either).... Just like Dune 2!

Really, my Dune 2 based could be done that way; of course I would remove completely the guardian aspect of the enemy AI, so the player would be ever more tactic; amassing units don't do anything if you only can command units 1 by 1.

Said this; I still I think the idea of a share control could work. You give to the AI the units and he uses it to attack; I can picture 3 enemies; 1 producing X, the second Y and the third Z; if you produce quads and tanks to your share-controlled AI when the enemy it's sending troopers, well, you are doom.

10 hours ago, Fey said:

Sucks about the crash though. Maybe the AI's morale is stable enough if you give it a strong enough initial value that it will remain aggressive for the entire length of a practical, actual map completion time.

As far as I know a Morale attack building set to 100 the AI it's not affected by looses.

Heh, I have a map when I timed the enemy attacks 100% precised, removing the randoness of the attack, because I wanted to do this perfect set of attacks::

(Enemy attack every 10 minutes)
-Wave number X at 20 minutes.
-Huge enemy reinforcements at 25 minutes.
-Wave number X+1 at 30 minutes

If the AI would be affected by anything with the morale here or the randomnes of the attacks this could be a desaster; the huge enemy reinorcements it's already a very big attack; that together with a new wave would make this part too hard to survive.

But, It worked; everytime you play this map, the AI attacks at the 20 and 30 marks, letting the huge reinforcement appearing in between; enough time to prepare before the huge attack and to recover after that.

Although he it's talking about days of letting the game run; maybe the game reach his limit and the internal tick clock counter turned into a negative value or something like that, making the AI to not attacking ever again.

Edited by Cm_blast

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Posted (edited)

Ooops, I was editing my last post and somehow I submited another; ignore this :P.

Edited by Cm_blast
nothing to see here.

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Posted (edited)

New map! Yay!

Some in-game screenshots:

Spoiler

D2k_defenses.png.5c614f7b658ed735068d06be9499c3b0.png
D2k_attack.png.3c06a74b278225ec5e8139be226bbfdc.png

And here's a download link:
WIP-FEYS12V1.zip

If you need a copy of FeyTextSGen.uib, you can find that in the original smugglers campaign thread. The mod should also be used, of course.

False Pretenses takes you to False Wall, where an OSO base has fallen under siege from unknown enemies. You must fight through them, rescue your captured Devastator tanks, and then cleanse the region of all enemy forces while keeping those Devastators alive. Good luck!

Strategy tips below:

Spoiler

D2k_rekt2.png.cbffc0f255f3cbf2d76188d8f563e6d0.png
This is a difficult level.

Your enemies have lured you to False Wall to ambush you. They have secured choke points with turrets and the Spice fields between your base and their defense lines will be highly contested. The enemy's own Harvesters are well-protected. You'll see Atreides and Ordos tech on the field, including Stealth Raiders, Sonic Tanks, Deviators, and Ornithopters. You begin with a pair of Sonic Tanks and you'll get a couple of Deviators delivered to you soon after the enemy begins attacking you.

You should focus right away on massing Combat Tanks and building up your economy. Once you get an MCV out, there are several rock islands surrounding your base where additional Refineries or turret lines could be set up. The most beneficial, but also the most difficult to hold, is directly northwest of your base. Several Rocket Turrets covered by walls and one of your Sonic Tanks will prove extremely effective if you can get them set up there.

The secret to penetrating the enemy defenses on this map is artillery units. Tech into either Missile Tanks or Siege Tanks and pick your target. The sooner you take the fight to your enemy, the less time they'll have to mass forces to send against you.

D2k_westbase.png.36cb51a1a4fcd02ea1eacc5ff39b40d3.png

Although the southwest base has numerous valuable structures densely packed together, an indirect approach is ideal since they control a choke point. Your attacking units will be obliterated by Sonic Tanks and Gun Turrets. You might be able to take out the ConYard, Outpost, and Silos by positioning artillery along the eastern cliff wall, but the enemy will put up a fight even then. Come prepared with enough Combat Tanks to hold enemy defenders off while your Missile Tanks and Siege Tanks do their work. Remember, destroying an Outpost will prevent its base from coordinating air raids against you.

D2k_eastbase.png.27072ce4c7a176c582eb4254613f186c.png

The northeast base allows for more maneuvering. Massed Combat Tanks will be more effective here, provided they don't get picked off by the Rocket Turrets covering the cliff wall on the way in. You can head west from the entrance and move clockwise to take out Wind Traps and then the ConYard, thrust straight into the center and try for the ConYard, or blow through the wall east of the entrance to move counter-clockwise through enemy production structures and eventually the ConYard.

There are ways around the sides of both those bases, and there's an infantry-only between them, but the side entrances are lightly defended and may be a little tight. However you manage to do it, reaching the northwest base means you can free 10 Devastators and loose them on the enemy. Just be prepared to keep them alive against whatever enemies remain on this map. Once the Rocket Turret guarding them is down, they will head out on their own.

Good luck.

Have fun, and don't forget to comment here if you have any bugs to report or suggestions for the map!

Edited by Fey
Please let me know if the Devastators break out early. For some reason they decided to out of the blue in my latest test, so hopefully the fix I just applied should keep them... working as intended.

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New maps! Yay!

Some in-game screenshots:

Spoiler

S13V1_1.png.3bb7d2fb86fd76f4e54c5c6b057c31e0.png
S13V1_2.png.e7609a1970458dd152899d06dd1aa774.png
S13V2_1.png.dcc4289e4c43e8fddfe0eef2effd7878.png
S13V2_2.png.4cad8b4796b15cf962d4e162626f452c.png

And here's a download link:
S13 v1 & v2 WIP.zip

Y'all know how to install the .uib and mod files, I'm sure. Nothing's changed in the mod, so if you have the one from the OP or the other smugglers campaign thread, you can ignore the files in this DL. Both maps were cleared in around ~30 minutes each at fastest speed on normal difficulty, prior to last-minute nerfs after the previous tests... although I could surely be playing better, too. :P Don't think these are quick maps just because they're tech 2. They are fairly complex, and lengthy! Certainly longer than S3V1 / S3V2 from the original campaign.

Lightning Round summons you to Almiraz Graben, where Commander Durant has engaged Ordos forces. You've brought a little armor and they have light vehicles, so go in there and tear 'em up! There's also a little surprise awaiting you that may help or harm you.

Strategy tips (and spoilers) below:

Spoiler

This map is the easier of the two. You start with some armor and Durant's under attack, so hustle north until his troops spot you.

Durant informs you that he was in the middle of fighting the Ordos when the unknowns from S12V1 showed up. He also specifies that they're set up to the northwest. You'll find two MCVs waiting for you in Durant's base. And, his forces have scouted to the east already. Choose a couple of islands and set up! They're all a little small, so you'll enjoy more space by setting up on two. If you want to tackle the unknowns first, try the southwest and central islands. If you want to go after the Ordos, try the southeast and central islands.

You start with one Devastator. Keep some Grenadiers around it and it'll provide excellent defense for one of your bases.

Use Troopers to soak turret fire and have your light vehicles support them, especially against Grenadiers. Your light vehicles are extremely easy to destroy and will not last long against Gun / Rocket Turrets and any enemy defense forces that focus on them.

S13V1_turrets.png.1bc8d4f1650a5d6f8a31dc01b507bc95.png

This turret nest between Durant and the Ordos makes a great early-game target. Your Combat Tanks can hit the Rocket Turrets from right under them and the Ordos will flood the only entrance onto that plateau until the base is destroyed. With a little more effort, you can push up the broken cliff wall with infantry (or cover Durant as he pushes up) and take out the proxy factories.

Once you've cleansed the unknown enemies' base, you can attack the Ordos from their west flank. Otherwise, attacking from the southeast is probably your best bet to penetrate to their ConYard, but your merc allies will probably be busy with the unknowns if you tackle the Ordos first.

Good luck!

Shrouded Skies diverts you to Bidriyah Sink, where you brave the winding canyons and cliffs and take the fight to the Ordos. With three old Atreides air bases in the region and no anti-air on either side, controlling or destroying these air bases becomes your top priority.

Strategy tips (and spoilers) below:

Spoiler

This is more difficult than the other version of S13.

The forces you begin with are insufficient to capture the southwest or northeast air bases. Even if you manage to take the central one, you will surely encounter great resistance attempting to hold it this early on. Scout around with your squad of light vehicles and get your production going as soon as possible. You must max it out because you'll be building new units from start to finish.

The key to this map is overcompensation. You will be attacked by light vehicles from many directions, there are Ornithopters flapping around, you're up against well-arranged turret lines with no armor at all. Set new primary buildings often, build more than 3 Barracks and Light Factories so you don't suffer if you lose one, maybe even two Outposts, and keep a mobile force of light vehicles that can respond to attacks and circumvent cliffs while you position your slower infantry. Infantry and your limited Sonic Tanks (you get 5 total) are also key for defense on this map. There's infantry rock all over the place, so leave some squads around, maybe on Guard mode, to pick off Quads and Raiders. You should be fairly confident in your defenses so that if you do happen to miss an attack somewhere, the damage won't be severe. And you're going to be losing a ton of units every time you attack something, but as long as you spend time microing and keep building new ones in the meantime, you won't run out of pressure to put out.

You can cover your Sonic Tanks behind infantry and walls. Sonic Tanks will do virtually no damage to targets in the next tile over because their cannons are high off the ground, so infantry can stand under them without fear of being blasted to death. Walls are also great for preventing enemy units from swarming into that deadzone. Like Grenadiers, Sonic Tanks are excellent when paired with turrets of any sort. They can help immensely to fortify a captured air base, at least while you get defense forces spread out there.

minimap.png.6ba760c7eeb9e18e29988d2d7618b355.png

While you capture territory, make sure you expand using the MCVs you start with. You can secure more Spice fields, deploy proxy factories, set up Grenadiers and Sonic Tanks behind Concrete Walls in more places, and have better map control this way. Inch towards your desired goal, then take it!

S13V2_airbase.png.efac406370df4034ca2307ee38972207.png

This is the central air base. To capture an air base and any defenses within that you spared during your assault, you must destroy the black Control Node. Destroying the white Outpost or High Tech Factory in any base will completely cripple it. No further air raids can be coordinated from a base that loses its Outpost or HTF. Despite that, you can still take out the intact Control Node to neutralize any remaining turrets.

Destroying the air bases rather than capturing them is considered this map's optional hard mode.

If you keep the HTF and Outpost intact and take out the Control Node, you will receive some heavy armor to support your attempt to hold that base. You can get a total of six Combat Tanks this way. The enemy will then attempt to destroy the base and prevent you from sending air raids against them. They may even use air strikes, and no Rocket Turrets at the air bases will fire on those Ornithopters! You should make haste to capture the other two once one is taken. Any air bases you capture and hold will send raids against the Ordos and unknowns. This will no doubt help as the Ordos bases are dense with Gun Turrets, but not with Wind Traps...

The central air base is the easiest to hit and can be hit from the beginning of the map. It offers excellent map control and access to a nice Spice field. However, you will need to get creative if you want to attack the other enemy expansions from that location. They are well-defended too.

If you're really considering trying to take the central island right away, bring an MCV with you so you can set up your first factories there. It is a viable strategy, albeit tricky. You should drop a Barracks right away and keep your macro going while you push into that base with as many starting units as you can spare - first to take out the control node, then to protect the turrets which will be attacked by all nearby enemy units as soon as the node goes down.

The northeast air base is occupied by the unknowns. It's already bombing the Ordos. However, taking it will give you the right side of the map and allow you to press through the middle and to the left more easily. It even provides access to the cliff wall just above the main Ordos base's east entrance, which is another nice place to set up proxy factories.

The southwest air base neighbors the Ordos expansion and covers it well with Rocket Turret fire. If you take it, you'll claim the bottom of the map and be able to push straight up into their Wind Traps and production structures.

That's all my advice for this map. Good luck! :)

Have fun, and don't forget to comment here if you have any bugs to report or suggestions for the map!

Edited by Fey

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Mod update! And second drafts for all the maps except the most recent two pretty much since those are very new and I haven't figured out if I should change anything yet. Except a couple of things. Changelog below:

Spoiler

GENERAL:
 - Level order of Screaming in Silence and Phantom Penance is swapped.
 - The unknowns now deploy light Combat Tanks.
 - OSO forces now deploy heavy Combat Tanks.
 - Durant's mercenaries now deploy heavy Combat Tanks.
 - Durant's mercenaries now wear orange.

S10V1: Screaming in Silence
 - Map expanded by 10x10 tiles.
 - Ultimate tech unlocked. You can now build Palaces of Deceit.
 - Additional warning is provided before Saboteurs are sent at you.
 - The Frequency Jammer is now located nearer the center of the map.
 - Starting and reinforcement Combat Tank type changed to O.
 - Moriaen now comments on your new Combat Tanks.
 - Two OSO Deviators have been added.
 - Enemy starting units reduced.

S11V1: Phantom Penance
 - Additional enemy attacks can now come during the first attack.
 - Enemy forces will no longer pop on objective completion. You must finish them off.
 - Massive enemy reinforcements added at 7,000 Solaris.
 - Dialogue has been changed and added.
 - OSO tech level reduced to Light II.
 - Unmanned Combat Tank stash added.
 - Abandoned Atreides base added.

SBON2: The Ghola Gambit
 - Map expanded by 10x10 tiles.
 - House Tleilaxu now uses less Harvesters.
 - Enemy base now has more turrets and more space to move around.
 - Ultimate tech unlocked. You can now build Palaces of Deceit.
 - Section for Sardaukar Gholas added in Additional Intel.

S12V1: False Pretenses
 - Map expanded by 10x10 tiles.
 - Ultimate tech unlocked. You can now build Palaces of Deceit.
 - The unknowns now use less Harvesters.

S13V1: Lightning Round
 - Fixed a glitch causing Durant to never deploy any Combat Tanks.

S13V2: Shrouded Skies
 - Ordos forces now deploy small amounts of Combat Tanks.
 - Increased the frequency of repeated enemy reinforcements.

The maps in this second campaign so far have been fairly massive compared to the first campaign, but they need to be. Here's a download link:
WIP_SC2_6-15.zip

If you're not sure how to install the mod and such, or if you want to try out the new version of the mod in the first campaign, I've updated that too. Here you go:
https://forum.dune2k.com/topic/27508-release-smugglers-campaign/?do=findComment&comment=395813

Enjoy, and let me know if you find anything else I should tweak for the third draft!

Edited by Fey

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16 minutes ago, Fey said:

OSO

Yeah, "bear" in spanish xD.

Jokes asides, you are using plenty of names for new enemies, that's interesting; I wonder the "new" stuff that they will use on the battlefield. Probably you are abusing test.uibs to do some new naming, right?

 

 

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