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Fey

[Release] Heighliner Tileset

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Posted (edited)

Y'all are gonna dig this. :P

First, lemme mention that I updated the editor and grabbed the new ini from the other thread, and that issue from before is totally fixed. Definitely forgot to do that sooner lol

Now I'll get on with the new features. I added some stars already, and the concrete, y'all saw that, and I did some touch-ups on a bunch of tiles, but there are some more new things. Like, certain celestial objects that might be neat to put in a campaign, like Caladan, Giedi Prime, Draconis IV, and Arrakis of course...

Spoiler

DxYWG5z.png
xveuPyt.png
eI8XU0H.png
JPNwRGK.png

We also make use of the behavior Klofkac recently discovered to make a vehicle-only pathway. Behold!

Spoiler

SfIuPdA.png

Dato and I worked this up. :) Originally it was meant for the Giedi Prime tileset, but it was integrated into the Heighliner tileset too. Here it is on Giedi Prime's dark rock:
knbsYJk.png

This new structure's looks are based on the Sonic Repulsor Fields from C&C3:
latest?cb=20080201020454

And it has vertical and two-directional variants too.

Here's the intel entry for the new structure:
Repulsion Field Generator - Base Defense
     Paths traversable only by infantry are a nuisance. Atreides and Ordos infantry often took advantage of rocky terrain to evade Harkonnen vehicles, a strategy that negated their greatest strength. Though it never debuted during the war for Arrakis, the Harkonnen have conceived a fitting response: Repulsion Field Generators that suppress all but the heaviest of vehicles from moving through. Infantry and certain vehicles are totally incapable of moving past the barrier these structures generate. This remarkable invention gives the sturdy Harkonnen machines a major advantage on the battlefield.

Naturally, as only vehicles that can crush infantry can pass due to how the mechanic works, this works perfectly as a Harkonnen thing, at least when it comes to my mod. The Flame Tank is an LAV heavy enough to pass through while the Harkonnen obviously have the heaviest Combat Tanks and, of course, Devastators.

As a side note, there is some new artwork for my mod thanks in whole to the new guy, @AZ-Stalker :) So, big thanks to you, mate!

Spoiler

First, a brand-new icon was added for the Imperial Barracks! And, the Flame Tank icon originally worked up by dato and touched up by me has been given proper lighting by Az. Below, both are visible on the sidebar:
cSwjp7T.png

If you missed my own work on the Flame Tank, here are all thirty-two touched-up frames, a few Flame Tanks in action, and the intel entry:
BtP3zS4.png
a6mbZXs.png
m4Nbuky.png

Flame Tank - LAV
     A shock-and-awe weapon deployed by the most brutal of regimes. The Flame Tank is built to quickly seize territory and clear enemy infantry and infrastructure in a blaze of glory. Its mounted flamethrower can project a continuous stream of fire onto specific nearby targets, rapidly incinerating one after another. It's also heavy enough to crush infantry. Although this makes the Flame Tank a major threat in close range, it notably deals extremely low damage to concrete fortifications by nature, and it cannot spew fire over Concrete Walls. It is a big, juicy target for explosive weapons, such as rockets or grenades.

Finally, another brand-new icon was added for the Storm Lasher. Now this epic tower finally has an epic sidebar icon!
FXpzQL3.png

That's all for now. Uhh... but, due to the changes to the tileset, the tile presets do need some re-adjustments. @Klofkac, you let me know to ask you if I wanted an assist, and I absolutely wouldn't refuse! In the zip below is the updated mod, tileset, and an example map built in the style of a 1v1 skirmish. You are playing as the Imperials, fighting the Atreides.
WiH.zip

NOTE: This map is balanced around a standard skirmish game against a "hard mode" AI. That is, an AI that begins with 40k credits. Although because this is a campaign map, and the AI will therefore build using normal build speeds instead of easy mode build speeds like they do in multiplayer, I recommend playing on easy! You'll have the most comfortable economy that way. This is built like a skirmish map, so the economy is designed with that in mind. Besides the six Mass Deposits around the map, your main Supply Depot has 15k in expendable Mass, your natural expansion has 25k, and the center of the map only has 12k.

I have an actual multiplayer version of the map that perhaps I should share instead. It could be loaded via C&Cnet, and the AI would act more authentically. I'll see what I can do... :P

Anyway, this map doesn't have any RFGs (Repulsion Field Generators), but they can be seen in the tileset and placed on the map through the editor if you want to check those out! They just didn't seem right for this particular map, so I didn't include them, but Caladan and Delta Pavonis can be seen. Also, if you want to build Flame Tanks, you'll need an upgraded Light Factory and a High Tech Factory. Use Combat Tanks to soak some fire (haha) for them while they clear out enemy infrastructure.

For anyone unfamiliar: To install, merge the data folder in the zip with the data folder in your D2k directory. To uninstall, do the same with the data folder under the backup folder in the zip. Ez pz.

Enjoy!

Edited by Fey
added the note about the map's balancing
  • Upvote 1

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Posted (edited)

Oh, very nice to see some new work done on Heighliner tileset!

8 hours ago, Fey said:

Now I'll get on with the new features. I added some stars already, and the concrete, y'all saw that, and I did some touch-ups on a bunch of tiles, but there are some more new things. Like, certain celestial objects that might be neat to put in a campaign, like Caladan, Giedi Prime, Draconis IV, and Arrakis of course...

The new planets indeed look nice.

Not related directly to them, but rather generally, I noticed that the maps which were made earlier with Heighliner Tileset (for example your 4-mission Heighliner campaign) are completely messed up. I mean, some tiles got replaced, and now the maps have many broken tiles. Are you going to fix (or even update) your campaign, or generally will all affected maps made with Heighliner tileset be fixed? There are currently two versions of Heighliner tileset, the old one made earlier, and the current updated one, and they are not compatible with each other, so players would need to switch between both versions in order to play both older and newer maps. And also, this is really a good chance to update/improve the maps and take advantage of the new features that could not be used earlier (i.e. pre-placed concrete in tower defense maps).

8 hours ago, Fey said:

We also make use of the behavior Klofkac recently discovered to make a vehicle-only pathway. Behold!

Haha, I just love how inventive you are, that you really utilized this mechanics. I was really wondering whether this tile attribute discovery would even make it into any actual reasonable use, and here it is! A Repulsion field! I'm looking forward to play some map where this would play an important role in mission strategy.

8 hours ago, Fey said:

As a side note, there is some new artwork for my mod thanks in whole to the new guy, @AZ-Stalker :) So, big thanks to you, mate!

Yea, I like the new artwork, and I also tried out the flame tanks, they are working pretty well.

8 hours ago, Fey said:

That's all for now. Uhh... but, due to the changes to the tileset, the tile presets do need some re-adjustments. @Klofkac, you let me know to ask you if I wanted an assist, and I absolutely wouldn't refuse! In the zip below is the updated mod, tileset, and an example map built in the style of a 1v1 skirmish. You are playing as the Imperials, fighting the Atreides.

Yes, I can see, that not only the presets are broken. Most importantly the minimap colors are broken now, as you did some changes I didn't take into account, but this can be fixed by altering the rules a bit. One thing through that's not much fitting is, how you configured the attributes on the launch pads with parked freighters. You set "Occupied by building" attribute in a cross shape, and only the middle tile has the "Building/Unit owner side" attributes set according to the actual side, the other 4 tiles are configured like they belong to "Sandworm". That's quite unfortunate, because my original intention was that the whole structure would display within the respective side's color on minimap, but with current setup, only the single middle tile would do, the rest 4 tiles display in other, sandworm's color and that doesn't look that good and doesn't make other side's freighters much distinguishable. You could consider changing this to something more like to how I designed it.

I also noticed you didn't set "Concrete" attribute on the default 3 concrete tiles used by the game, and which are also paintable through "Concrete" paint group. You can consider setting "Concrete" and "Concrete owner side = Sandworm" attributes, as I meant this to be a generic concrete that doesn't belong to any particular side (Sandworm being considered used as the passive side owning Guild structures).

And regarding the tileset, I noticed one thing: You can actually utilize even some more tiles, see:

gWWJEmP.png

The tiles marked with red are repetitive (they contain exactly same graphics AND attributes), so you can just have one occurence of such tile in tileset, and reuse it for all different freighter colors. You would need to make block presets with custom tile arrangement instead of continuous, but that's pretty easy now with preset helper. And you can utilize the extra free tiles for adding even more new stuff, or move there the new stuff you added in this version (repulsion filed generators, repulsion fields and planets) in order to avoid sacrifying some wall tiles you replaced.

Btw, did you do any changes into the .ini file? I can indeed help you rearrange the presets and add new stuff there, just wanted to ask you if you tried (or want to try) this on your own.

8 hours ago, Fey said:

NOTE: This map is balanced around a standard skirmish game against a "hard mode" AI. That is, an AI that begins with 40k credits. Although because this is a campaign map, and the AI will therefore build using normal build speeds instead of easy mode build speeds like they do in multiplayer, I recommend playing on easy! You'll have the most comfortable economy that way. This is built like a skirmish map, so the economy is designed with that in mind. Besides the six Mass Deposits around the map, your main Supply Depot has 15k in expendable Mass, your natural expansion has 25k, and the center of the map only has 12k.

I tried this map, it was rather a simple gameplay and easy to win. I especially wanted to see how the flame tanks look and work like. Still looking forward to play some more advanced campaign utilizing all the new stuff (new units and structures, repulsion fields etc).

Edited by Klofkac

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18 hours ago, Klofkac said:

I noticed that the maps which were made earlier with Heighliner Tileset are completely messed up.

The unfortunate reality of tileset improvements - old maps get hecked up. I'll see what I can do to fix up the mini-campaign, but sometime down the line. Can't do it right now.

The maps in my Summers campaign are already fixed up on my end, and I even added the Flame Tank, but I haven't updated them. :P Probably should. There were some game-breaking bugs I found and fixed during the process, besides the one Cm reported to me a while back...

18 hours ago, Klofkac said:

A Repulsion field!

Yeppers! Hopefully it gets put to good use. I have some ideas of my own about how this might go, but for now, here are the RFG assets by themselves, for the sake of possibly being put to use elsewhere:
RFG.png.6ae64675afce99c88ff9195fb58bf1ce.png
The tower variants and only one vertical and horizontal line are needed. IIRC, it was the top horizontal line I fixed up; the bottom looks a little bright at the tile borders when repeated.

18 hours ago, Klofkac said:

I like the new artwork

Thank you! I'm grateful to Az, and I'm very excited about the new unit.

Did you also try the Grenadiers, by any chance? They are unbelievable levels of useless in the original game, but hopefully my changes make them worthy infantry.

18 hours ago, Klofkac said:

One thing through that's not much fitting is, how you configured the attributes on the launch pads with parked freighters.

Ah, you're right. That WOULD be a lot cleaner looking. I would prefer it that way too.

18 hours ago, Klofkac said:

I also noticed you didn't set "Concrete" attribute on the default 3 concrete tiles used by the game

Aye, sometimes there are Concrete tiles that just shouldn't be buildable / breakable for the sake of game mechanics, so I left those three tiles alone. A game-breaking error on SBON3 required the use of this unbreakable concrete. :P

18 hours ago, Klofkac said:

You can actually utilize even some more tiles

Aww man, another eleven tiles. XD After that, I don't imagine there's much else that can be added, huh? The tileset has to be "done" at some point... what do you suppose I might add there? A brown Mass Deposit and Freighter / Launch Pad? With 11 tiles that should be exactly enough. Maybe there'd be space for some more platform wall tiles, particularly corners without certain legs in place for very short turns, or for ends that look better for ramps, but I'm not sure how to draw the latter. I'd probably need to call in some help on that sort of tile.

18 hours ago, Klofkac said:

move there the new stuff you added in this version

I considered that, but the particular tiles that were replaced were less bold than the current, uhh... the single tiles currently being used for the up-facing walls. The legs of the wall are slightly thicker.

18 hours ago, Klofkac said:

Btw, did you do any changes into the .ini file?

I didn't make any changes there. I would GREATLY appreciate assistance with that, but I couldn't bother you with the task until the changes to the tileset are 100% finished. :)

18 hours ago, Klofkac said:

I tried this map, it was rather a simple gameplay and easy to win.

Ah, good. I wondered if passing along a single-player version of the skirmish map would heck anything up. :P

18 hours ago, Klofkac said:

Still looking forward to play some more advanced campaign utilizing all the new stuff

Although I haven't made use of the RFG assets yet, the Summers campaign makes use of tons of novel techniques, and the new units and stuff. If you're looking to check out the existing maps, I can update them immediately with the changes I've made on my end. Been holding off for the sake of, uhh... you know. Getting more work done elsewhere. Arranging the zip can be a little tedious. lol

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1 hour ago, Fey said:

Did you also try the Grenadiers, by any chance?

Actually not, because I'm not that much used to produce grenadiers anyway. But I noticed that the enemy's grenadiers were some threat to me, so something might be about it. Good to know, I can try them out next time.

2 hours ago, Fey said:

That WOULD be a lot cleaner looking. I would prefer it that way too.

Will you make it a cross shape, or the 3-3-1 tiles shape (like a starport)? I feel the latter is looking quite better.

2 hours ago, Fey said:

Aye, sometimes there are Concrete tiles that just shouldn't be buildable / breakable for the sake of game mechanics, so I left those three tiles alone. A game-breaking error on SBON3 required the use of this unbreakable concrete.

Ok, so the concreted that can be painted through the paint group will be non-buildable, and there will need to be 8 different concrete presets for each of 8 sides, right?

2 hours ago, Fey said:

I didn't make any changes there. I would GREATLY appreciate assistance with that, but I couldn't bother you with the task until the changes to the tileset are 100% finished.

Maybe I would wait a bit with this for you to decide what (and whether) else to do with the tileset, meaning if you decide to utilize those extra usable tiles, of add or change anything in your tileset. I am still busy enough with implementing yet more stuff into the editor (some suggestions made by Cm_blast or AZ-Stalker in the other threads, and some of my own new ideas), so you can take your time and let me know if you decide to add something more into the tlieset or you consider it fully done. If you do any slight changes (in the attributes or anything) you can reupload your stuff.

2 hours ago, Fey said:

Although I haven't made use of the RFG assets yet, the Summers campaign makes use of tons of novel techniques, and the new units and stuff. If you're looking to check out the existing maps, I can update them immediately with the changes I've made on my end. Been holding off for the sake of, uhh... you know. Getting more work done elsewhere. Arranging the zip can be a little tedious. lol

Yes, you can indeed send me the (updated) maps, I can play through some missions to get some more impression about the tileset.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Klofkac said:

I noticed that the enemy's grenadiers were some threat to me

XD The problem with Grenadiers before was basically that they were anti-infantry units... that are infantry. High splash damage and a low range, and there's no minimum range in this game, so they kinda blow themselves up a lot. To top it off, they had high tech requirements, trained kinda slowly, barely ever hit moving targets due to the nades' slow throw speed, exploded on death and tended to blow every other Grenadier nearby up, and were only available to the Atreides who already have great anti-infantry in the form of the Sonic Tank... in multiplayer only. Where you're playing against other humans and can't babysit such an overly fragile unit for zero benefit.

In other words, totally useless. :P Sooo many layers of useless.

So what I did was, I:
 - Lowered their tech requirements
 - Bumped up their attack range / sight radius to respectable amounts
 - Made them throw their 'nades about 33% faster
 - Installed mechanics where most attacks are blocked by Concrete Walls, except for the high-tech artillery units and the low-tech Grenadiers, giving them a unique role
 - Gave self-healing to all infantry, making them more reliable in general, especially considering added anti-infantry units like Grenadiers and Flame Tanks, and improving Grenadiers the most due to their tendency to damage themselves
 - Massively reduced their damage dealt to themselves, couldn't go all the way or they could never kill enemy Grenadiers either
 - Improved their attacks against structures and low-armor vehicles like Trikes, making them more useful as an anti-infantry / anti-structure unit similar to Troopers being anti-vehicle, anti-structure

Due to infantry being threatened easily by heavy vehicles and swarmed by LAVs, Troopers remain important in their own right since Grenadiers have inferior defense against enemies in close range. Troopers in enough numbers can one-shot vehicles that get too close, and they're especially useful against those otherwise very dangerous armor hunting glass cannons, Quads... But, assuming they have proper cover from stronger units, like Combat Tanks, both Troopers and Grenadiers are viable as a main infantry force.

Some similar changes were made to Light Infantry to make them a bit more useful. For instance, they have slightly higher armor, though not quite as high as elite infantry (like Fremen Warriors, Sardaukar Elites, or Saboteurs).

My mod is balanced with a focus on categories of units. Infantry are supposed to be fragile and slow, but inexpensive and able to deal amazing damage in enough numbers, while units like Combat Tanks have inferior damage, but absorb it very well. Hopefully, this creates many effective combinations of units and rewards the player for tactical positioning.

2 hours ago, Klofkac said:

Will you make it a cross shape, or the 3-3-1 tiles shape (like a starport)? I feel the latter is looking quite better.

I imagine it would, but the Launch Pads have a similar base to the Repair Pad, which is 1-3-1. Starports have bigger tops. For the sake of authenticity and stuff, that's why it's 1-3-1 for the Launch Pad too. Then again, Launch Pads' rear tiles aren't navigable, and it's not quite as small as a Repair Pad...

I think I'll give that a shot and see how it looks. I like the sound of it after all. :)

2 hours ago, Klofkac said:

Ok, so the concreted that can be painted through the paint group will be non-buildable, and there will need to be 8 different concrete presets for each of 8 sides, right?

Yee.

2 hours ago, Klofkac said:

Maybe I would wait a bit with this

No worries. I imagine the tileset is about done; I can probably add the brown Mass Deposit and Launch Pad w/ Freighter, but after that.

2 hours ago, Klofkac said:

Yes, you can indeed send me the (updated) maps

Sure thing. Here's a link to the updated thread!
https://forum.dune2k.com/topic/28466-release-smugglers-campaign-summers-solstice/

I'll include some more details here:

Spoiler

The three Heighliner maps in the Summers campaign are S06V2, S16V2, and SBON3.



S06V2 takes advantage of the basic features of the tileset. The player can find reinforcement unit spawns in Freighters around the Heighliner. He is introduced to the new resources system, and there are some incidental Guild structures around. The player is encouraged to secure new Mass Deposits for additional resources, and expanding does help a lot, that's how it's designed.

Exploring early on will net you some nice reinforcements and maybe a structure or three you'd like to capture. Also, an offline Storm Lasher prototype can be seen to the right of your starting location. Since your tech level is only 5, Flame Tanks can't be built even if you capture an Imperial Light Factory. However, the Imperials do send some against you.

It was mapped after the mini-campaign, if I remember correctly, so there is more space in general to move around, but it's not quite as wide open as the latest map. The skirmish-style, 1v1 map posted previously in this thread, that is.



S16V2 is an extremely dense map since you're in the belly of the beast, deep in pure enemy territory. Dense so much so that one of the tactical objectives is to ignore non-harmful enemy structures. Because the map is so far into the campaign, there are major story spoilers in the briefing, so, just a heads up. Also, it's majorly more difficult than S06V2, and can be expected to throw new enemies at you like Shock Raiders and Storm Lashers.

S15 is the mission where Storm Lashers are introduced, if that's of any consideration. :P

I dunno how exactly you play campaign missions, but some people don't even read the objectives, so I'll emphasize here since this kinda hecked up somebody else: Your only real targets on S16V2 are the Control Nodes and the main enemy base at the center-top of the map. Everything else can be ignored. :) And regarding the map's design, I tried to incorporate more wide-open space in important areas. Although there are some fairly thin paths on the map, like the occasional five-tile-wide bridge, many important locations are quite wide. Like the entryways into enemy bases, for instance - not counting the walls and such that may reduce the size of the path.

The main enemy base is hyperdense on purpose, to discourage attacks until the map's gimmick of turning enemy autofactories in your favor is played with first. The layout of the base is very specifically designed to maximize its durability, but anyway, once you have three of those things pumping out tanks and flooding them into that base, even its incredible defenses will falter, and the base will fall.



SBON3 is the tower defense map. Here's a nearly no-leaks run on hard mode: https://youtu.be/XHP2GDdsjhk?t=18

This map uses the artificiality of the tileset to structure the map for gameplay purposes. There are specific paths that vehicles or infantry take to reach their goal, some side paths that occasionally spawn more units... and of course, the new concrete behavior is put to use here.

The addition of Flame Tanks changed this map in particular since, now, there are no stealth infantry. Saboteurs don't count, the AI won't make use of that behavior. Infantry remain dangerous on this map, especially since Saboteurs are faster and the armor was boosted on certain infantry, but in order to make up for the lost complexity from the lack of Fremen Fedaykin, I added Flame Tanks to a couple of waves, including to one of the Carryall drops.

If I do a third part to the campaign, the RFG is definitely going to be a thing then. Always good to save some tricks to surprise the player with things he hasn't seen before and change up the game. That said, it ain't a thing in any of those maps, but the other stuff is.

Err... and although I only listed the Heighliner tileset-related maps, there are thirty maps, total, in the campaign. If you give any others a shot, I'd love to hear what ya think of 'em too! :)

Edited by Fey

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So I did a little more work on the tileset, according to Klofkac's recommendations. Hopefully, this is the final update, as I'm not sure what else I can add. 😅

Here are the tileset files:
BLOXHILN.R8
BLOXHILN.R16
TILEFEY1.bin

And here is the raw tileset image:
c8t5uBV.jpg

New stuff? Two new Mass Deposits:
Suj7Xs8.png
PhpuiDQ.png

I asked a friend if we wanted a yellow star or a dark blue Mass Deposit, and really, a red and blue star are enough besides the white star. Red is how our "yellow" sun can show up, so it works. Maybe the dark blue one is more fitting for, like, Tleilaxu or something.

There's the new brown Freighter:
YPf4iLZ.png

Freighters and Launch Pads should now have the proper qualities where they BOTH have the correct faction color. The colored tiles make a + formation.

Also, new RFG graphics. Having the beam over the Base Platform by itself seemed wrong to me. No craters could be formed under the beam. There's concrete for use in other areas, but I felt it would look best on black platform, so we can now do stuff like this:
Hi9sZM4.png

Certainly adds some flavor, yeah? :P

@Klofkac This should be done, but of course, I'm always open to further suggestions. You've pointed out a lot of good empty spaces so far, so if you have any better ideas, I would love to hear them! Thank you so much for your suggestions thus far.

Regarding other new graphics and related implementation, I did some testing with the new Flame Tank...

Spoiler

They work! Yay! Here are some images of them in action on an actual map, not on some map drawn up explicitly for the purpose of simulation:
UJqt9iZ.png
C6WHajo.png
DVrmnV5.png

These things work exactly as intended. They are blitzkrieg weapons, shock-and-awe weapons. Fast 'building killers.' Incredibly effective against exposed infrastructure, very easy to fend off with fortifications and common units like Quads or Grenadiers.

Because they basically have heavy armor that's also vulnerable to high explosive damage, they're vastly easier to take down than your average Combat Tanks. Rather, the player is more likely to have weapons available that are effective against Flame Tanks in particular. Flame Tanks ARE still effective at running down infantry and melting 'em all, but Troopers and Grenadiers that scatter and fire back are going to deal some heavy damage. Even if they are run over, Flame Tanks are particularly vulnerable to the damage on death dealt by Troopers and Grenadiers. Flame Tanks are mostly useful against Trikes, Raiders, Missile Tanks, Deviators, or inner base structures.

The strategy I tried on S16 that worked the best was sending armor in ahead of the Flame Tanks to absorb damage from enemy defenders. While they rushed deep into the enemy base, the Flame Tanks were able to come in behind them to clean up any infrastructure left exposed by the frontline pushing in so far. They remain a terrifying weapon against any base that lacks fortifications and possesses only light defenses at best.

As expected, their more common vulnerabilities and extreme range disadvantage prevent LRA units from being obsolete. Siege Tanks are necessary for shattering walls and turrets from afar, and can still be used to clean up an enemy base. Not to mention the support they can provide a player's proxy factories or frontline units. Flame Tanks' DPS is incredible, but can only be used if they get in close, and not if Concrete Walls are in the way. They are a delicate frontline unit. Some advantages and disadvantages similar to Combat Tanks, but mostly true to the LAV model of high DPS and high fragility.

In terms of balancing with the other factions, Flame Tanks offer the Harkonnen a way other than Trikes to deal with Missile Tanks and Deviators, and they are an effective mobile defense against Stealth Raider harassment. Atreides' Sonic Tanks still have the range advantage on Devastators and Flame Tanks, their Ornithopters' bombs are especially strong against Flame Tanks as high explosive damage, and the threat of Ordos Deviators is still very real. Like Sonic Tanks, Deviators can fire over walls, and Stealth Raiders can always outmaneuver Flame Tanks, but Harkonnen have a little something more mobile than Devastators and more suited to dealing with those things. A fighting chance is all any faction needs and should have.

A particularly subtle quality of the Flame Tank which could become an advantage or a disadvantage is the fact that it's built on the LAV queue. Although it can be built at the same time as Combat Tanks or Devastators, massing Flame Tanks means the player will lack the critical anti-vehicle damage of Quads. Some Flame Tanks are great to have due to how quickly the player can capitalize on an advantage in the enemy base, but with too many, they WILL be overwhelmed by an enemy producing Quads and Combat Tanks.

So they fit right in. I also felt like adding a new kind of turret, so here's that I guess lol

Spoiler

I saw this weird tank in that same foreign mod that contained the original Flame Tank sprites. Again, still can't find where the heck I got it from in the first place, so if anyone knows, please let me know so I can properly credit the creator of the original sprites! Although I'll certainly take credit for touching 'em up and stuff. The mod was called "Dune 2000 Hardcore," I believe.

Anyway, here's that weird tank:
65X5ZTi.jpg

And I was like, "hey, that looks pretty cool." So I cropped out the barrels atop that tank and got this thing:
nqxNbNC.png

And then I gave it a muzzle flash:
Fc0QmSr.png

And then I did a bunch more test frames for the main directions...
j24kCtD.png

By the way, the Flame Tank loses to the new Gun Turret, obviously, but here's by how much:
SWSqnvm.png

The base of the Gun Turret is concrete, so the Flame Tank is ineffective, but the Flame Tank is armored, so bullets are ineffective. They kill each-other slowly, but ultimately the Gun Turret wins out.

Anyway, I figured out where I wanted the color to be, but these sprites are still not quite complete...
39x8KRh.png
Hoaswfx.png
5YSe4xw.png

Here's what that looks like on a non-traditional index (this one's 98):
JTSi9d6.png

After final touch-ups on all of the out of place bright pixels, shadows, off-color sides, and so on, here's the final result for the eight main frames:
QHOg4HW.png

Still gotta do up the fill frames, and need to hit up AZ-Stalker for another one of his AMAZING sidebar icons after I'm done with those, but we've got the basis for a new type of turret. The eight frames currently done are implemented fully for the sake of testing while the remaining frames are getting done up.

More interested in the in-game balancing aspect? Here's my take:
The original Gun Turret and Rocket Turret were much too similar in terms of their function. They both dealt considerable damage to vehicles while being mostly ineffective against infantry. I remedied this somewhat by improving Rocket Turrets' attacks a bit so their precise strikes can take down lone infantry quite fast, and by making Gun Turrets fairly well-rounded against all targets, but the latter felt quite out of place. That's the Duelist Tank's gimmick, and that's a special weapon for the Ordos and smugglers. Not fitting for the Gun Turret, and not fun to fight.

With the Rocket Turret, you kinda know what to expect. Long range, perfectly precise attacks, anti-vehicle. Scatter infantry before sending in, rush it since it's immobile, or cut the power. With the Gun Turret, what the hell is the point? Also has a long range, is not totally accurate, but is good against anything. Same strategies as against the Rocket Turret, blehh.

I tried to make the original Gun Turret a bit more useful by making it available from very early on compared to the Rocket Turret, and giving it a slight advantage against infantry over the Rocket Turret due to how its weapon works, but this does little to remedy the lack of variety between the turrets. I do not want them to become obsolete eventually. Even Light Infantry are useful mixed in with Troopers in small numbers, but what do you need Gun Turrets for if you can mass Rocket Turrets about as well and they're so much more effective in general? Sure, slight advantage against infantry, but if you're up at Rocket Turrets, you also have access to Missile Tanks at least. You probably also have access to Siege Tanks, and you definitely have access to Grenadiers.

Gun Turrets needed a distinct and useful role.

Now, you might be asking, what the hell do I need a weaker Gun Turret for? If it uses bullets, it sucks against armor, right? And you'd be correct. It deals significantly less damage versus armor than the old Gun Turret. It only has an effective range of 4 tiles, meaning that even Grenadiers can outrange them if they lob their 'nades in the tile over. LRA can always outrange them quite easily, so it's not useful against those Missile Tanks or Deviators like other bullet-based weapons are because it's totally immobile. It can still be powered down, and it hasn't been given any more HP or anything. And sure, it's nice against most infantry, but those are easy enough to deal with anyway most of the time. So, what's the catch?

Well, here are the fun parts:
 - It costs only 600 Solaris, which is about half as much as a Rocket Turret.
 - It's only slightly less durable than a Rocket Turret, like the old Gun Turret.
 - Also like the old Gun Turret, it requires only an upgraded ConYard to build.
 - It's waaay more useful against infantry and LAVs, except RPG Quads of course.
 - A Gun Turret can be built in just 14 seconds with only one ConYard. Very fast.
 - It takes only 25 power, meaning 8 can be powered with a single Wind Trap.
 - They have a super high RoF. The moment you drop one, it's pew-pewing.

So it's less effective to just drop a wall of turrets and watch the enemy feed itself to the meat grinder. That's a pity, but the new Gun Turrets are downright amazing for more proactive defense. If dropped DURING an attack rather than BEFORE one, they absorb much damage for how little they cost and can block projectiles from hitting important structures. Because of their much more effective damage against infantry and LAVs in general, they're incredibly potent defense against typical rush tactics.

Their various weaknesses that differ from the Rocket Turrets will incentivize a player to employ new strategies. Their ineffectiveness against armor could mean that if the player has enough armor, like Flame Tanks and Harkonnen Combat Tanks, it may be preferable to straight-up ignore Gun Turrets while trying to take down more important structures, a strategy that is both effective and can make the battle feel more intense. If the player has more LRA on hand, like Sonic Tanks for instance, he might want to siege up the base instead and move in more slowly, keeping armor in front to draw fire, but not rushing in haphazardly like the Harkonnen might. And if the player has more LAVs, like Ordos Stealth Raiders, he might feel more inclined to take advantage of the Gun Turrets' short range and avoid them entirely when they spawn while looking for more angles on their targets.

A player on defense will certainly want to make proactive use of Gun Turrets to stall a push by frontline units, ambush LRA at the backline, or catch LAVs on whatever target they settle. There are clear advantages to these strategies for both offense and defense now, and a player using Gun Turrets may be inclined to sell them off if the threat is taken care of in order to dedicate funds towards more important units or structures, at least earlier on in a game where funds may matter more. The use of temporary infrastructure is another thing I'd love to encourage through this sort of balancing.

Rocket Turrets maintain their own advantages and disadvantages that preserve their power and usefulness when they're available. Despite being expensive, having a relatively high power cost, relatively long build time, and being high up in the tech tree, they are 'tank snipers.' Unable to be outranged by any standard units or structures. Amazingly useful suppression of enemy pathing due to perfectly accurate attacks besides their long range, awesome up on cliff edges, anti-air obviously. You cannot ask for better protection against vehicles in general than what Rocket Turrets can provide. Between it and the Gun Turret, Rocket Turrets conversely perform better if placed in anticipation of a fight, while Gun Turrets perform better when rapidly and repeatedly deployed in the middle of one.

I did a few tests with the new Gun Turrets so far, but perhaps nothing makes their use more crystal-clear at a glance than this screenshot of the beginning of S18:
wX5Yuwh.png

The player is besieged by many units not long into the map, definitely over a hundred, and more of the base structures are meant to fall. However, with a little bit of relocation of the LRA and some Gun Turret spam, they prove incredibly useful at holding back the initial enemy push and saving the more important units and structures. Although most of the enemy units are armor, they are stalled by the Gun Turrets and blown to pieces by the SLashers the player starts with. And having this many units available after the first attack makes getting started and surviving the follow-ups sooo much easier!

So that's also a thing, I guess. And I guess that's all for now. Hopefully the Heighliner tileset is looking about done, if not done already. :)

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15 hours ago, Fey said:

So I did a little more work on the tileset, according to Klofkac's recommendations. Hopefully, this is the final update, as I'm not sure what else I can add. 😅

Very nice. So much stuff in this tileset, it's the most maxxed tileset it could ever be.

I guess you want me to help with configuring the .ini file, all the block presets and stuff, right? It seems to be quite a challenge to fit all the new stuff into the 8 block preset groups and 40 slots per a group, all of them are almost full already. I hope  will manage that in a reasonable way.

Btw, I'm now taking some break from Dune 2000, do not feel like developing the editor at this moment, as I see too many new features and things to do with regards to better modding and campaign launcher support. But I could look into this at least.

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41 minutes ago, Klofkac said:

Very nice. So much stuff in this tileset, it's the most maxxed tileset it could ever be.

Thank you very much! I tried my best.

41 minutes ago, Klofkac said:

I guess you want me to help with configuring the .ini file, all the block presets and stuff, right? It seems to be quite a challenge to fit all the new stuff into the 8 block preset groups and 40 slots per a group, all of them are almost full already. I hope  will manage that in a reasonable way.

If you were to do such a thing, I would be tremendously appreciative! You are the expert when it comes to this sort of configuration. With that done, I could officially release the final version of the Heighliner tileset. :)

42 minutes ago, Klofkac said:

Btw, I'm now taking some break from Dune 2000, do not feel like developing the editor at this moment, as I see too many new features and things to do with regards to better modding and campaign launcher support. But I could look into this at least.

Understandable. Don't get burned out, man! Take a break as you need, come back to it when you're feeling inspired. We'll probably get a Caladan and Giedi Prime tileset totally done up by the time you're back. :D Hopefully Draconis IV too...

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On 5/19/2020 at 12:07 PM, Fey said:

If you were to do such a thing, I would be tremendously appreciative! You are the expert when it comes to this sort of configuration. With that done, I could officially release the final version of the Heighliner tileset. :)

So, I made it.

Heighliner_Tileset.zip

I added block presets for the newly added structures and tiles, as well as fixed those presets that got replaced ot relocated in the tileset. Now all 8 block preset groups are completely filled with presets, something that cannot be seen with any other tileset.

I also fine-tuned the minimap color rules, added a specific color for repulsion fields, and made the top-left and top-right tiles of launch pads with parked freighters same color as bottom-left and bottom-right tiles so that it looks nicely on minimap. For this I needed to modily the TILEATR file a little bit.

And finally, in order to easily fix the existing maps made with previous version of Heighliner tileset (due to some tiles being replaced by different tiles and some tiles getting messed up), I implemented a new feature into D2kEditor: Remap tiles feature. This feature is pretty simple but can be very powerful not only for fixing maps after position of tiles being changed in tilesets. All you need to do is to provide an input ini file which contains list of key-value rules which tile change to which tile. Here is example of such ini file I made for Heighliner tileset transformation from old to new version:

Spoiler

[Remap_Tiles]
373=493
376=493
379=493
433=493
436=493
439=493
411=531
414=531
417=531
471=531
474=531
477=531
416=413
419=413
473=413
476=413
479=413

52=48
72=48

575=552
576=553
592=553
593=572
594=572
595=572
596=572

537=517

726=725
730=729
732=731
734=733
736=735
738=678
739=678
741=740
743=742
745=744
678=677
625=602
626=602
627=621
628=621
602=601
621=620

 

I am resuming some work on D2kEditor at this moment, planning to release next preliminary 1.4 version (which includes Remap tiles feature) soon, after I finish some other features I am planning to do (but I suspended my work on mission launcher).

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Klofkac said:

So, I made it.

Klof, you legend! Thank you. 😃 At last, this tileset has reached its maximum potential! At least until we figure out how to fit infinite tiles into a tileset... kappa

1 hour ago, Klofkac said:

I added block presets for the newly added structures and tiles, as well as fixed those presets that got replaced ot relocated in the tileset. Now all 8 block preset groups are completely filled with presets, something that cannot be seen with any other tileset.

I hope everyone enjoys this tileset. :) I may not be an artist, but I put my heart into this one!

1 hour ago, Klofkac said:

I also fine-tuned the minimap color rules, added a specific color for repulsion fields, and made the top-left and top-right tiles of launch pads with parked freighters same color as bottom-left and bottom-right tiles so that it looks nicely on minimap. For this I needed to modily the TILEATR file a little bit.

Oh? The top-left tiles were left in because they have a bit of color on them, but how did you manage the top right tiles? I only left one of the top right tiles in, on the empty Launch Pad... https://prnt.sc/sqc5qc

1 hour ago, Klofkac said:

And finally, in order to easily fix the existing maps made with previous version of Heighliner tileset (due to some tiles being replaced by different tiles and some tiles getting messed up), I implemented a new feature into D2kEditor: Remap tiles feature.

KLOF, YOU LEGEND! XD This is awesome. Simplifying tileset development more and more!

1 hour ago, Klofkac said:

I am resuming some work on D2kEditor at this moment, planning to release next preliminary 1.4 version (which includes Remap tiles feature) soon, after I finish some other features I am planning to do (but I suspended my work on mission launcher).

Actually, speaking of the Mission Launcher, Feda is doing some work on it for his new campaign. We'll have the option to include intel entries and a tactical map, or whatever other image we decide to put there. Have a look at these WIP screenshots:
https://prnt.sc/sqccmk
https://prnt.sc/sqccxn
https://prnt.sc/sqcqjd

Also, we'll be able to load binaries on a per-mission basis, so we no longer need BS file replacements and we can even have multiple gameplay mods, color sets, graphics or sound mods throughout an entire campaign. Imagine it, Klof! Light Infantry on one map, Shotgunners on another. Cannon turrets on one map, machine gun turrets on another. Just as soon as those graphics are done, that is. And no longer will we need to force a hundred changes into a single mod!

It may be time, at long last, to bring Emperor: Alliances, the proposed expansion to Emperor: Battle for Dune that never happened, to life in D2k. And finish what Westwood could not! Sadly. Because it sounds pretty freaking cool.

If you don't know about it, the outline for the campaign is online, but it requires tilesets that can take the game to multiple worlds, and extremely advanced modding potential. We about have that now. :D Here's the campaign outline (warning, it's long):

Spoiler

The Emperor Worm is dead, and with it the diseased dreams of the Guild and Tleilaxu.
But this attack was only part of a bigger, more horrific picture.
Plans within plans within plans...
Across the Imperium, the Tleilaxu have infiltrated many worlds, and they start to unleash their abominable strategy on the outlaying planets.
The Guild want no part of this. Without an Empire, there is no profit or power for them. They wish to sue for peace and return to a profitable existence.
The Tleilaxu have other ideas. It was their encouragement and insinuations that pushed the Guild towards their gamble for power. The Tleilaxu have used the Guild's greed against them.
As the Guild protest, the Tleilaxu reveal their treachery to their own allies. Ever since their partnership began, the Tleilaxu have been gradually spreading their shadowy tendrils throughout the Guilds organisation. Their sinister agents manipulated the Guild into trying to bring the Emperor Worm into being.
It was just a tool for the Tleilaxu's ultimate aim.
At a signal, the Tleilaxu plan is triggered. The Guild realise too late that they have been overrun from within and will become assimilated into the mindless army of the Tleilaxu. Together these forces form what will be known in mankind's history books as the Dark Alliance. This destructive force is lead by what the Tleilaxu call, The Mahai, the master of masters.
This mysterious leader resides in an arcane palace on the planet of Tleilax and commands fanatical devotion from it's millions of servants.
The Tleilaxu's fanaticism and their hatred for the heresy of technology has driven them to a logical conclusion.
The universe must be cleansed. Humanity must be purified. Man must be made to see the beauty of the Tleilaxu vision. Such purity. Salvation is only possible through the vats of the Tleilaxu.
This is not just a mere struggle for power. It is the beginning of a Holy crusade!

The extent of the infestation is revealed. Hordes of Tleilaxu forces pour out of Guild Heighliners that have been allowed to dock at planets across the Empire. Defences are overwhelmed as these surprise attacks erupt on unsuspecting planets.
The Imperium teeters on the brink of the abyss.
For the 3 Great Houses this is a time of recovery after the losses suffered during the War of Assassins and the final battle against the Emperor Worm. None are strong enough to resist this new danger.
The Sarduakar realise that the Dark Alliance threatens the very fabric of the Empire, an Empire that they have sworn to defend to the death. They must act immediately.
Rather than choose a House to rule, as was done in the past, their candidate is to be a single man, beyond House rivalries, to unite the warring Houses against the common foe. They pick their most successful military strategist from the recent conflict on Arrakis and crown them as Emperor on the hell-world of Salusa Secundus.
This new Emperor will lead the Imperial forces into the golden light and defend humanity from extinction.

The 3 Great Houses all react differently to this news. The Atreides commend the choice, the Ordos have reservations while the Baron is outraged! He makes his feelings known and a row erupts.
Eventually he relents and the Ordos grudgingly agree also. It is only a temporary arrangement. It may have its advantages.
All three houses send representatives to Secundus to discuss strategies, and also to make sure they don't miss a trick!

In the Emperor's new operations room, the assembled court stands in silence before a giant holographic star-chart, as the lights of the free planets wink off one by one. The only sound is from long-distance communications with the battling defenders, their transmissions cut off in a cacophony of screams and gunfire.
Fear and anxiety shows on many pale faces. Plans are drawn hastily up.
Yet, before any move can be made against the Tleilaxu, the Dark Alliance strikes against them. A black, poison knife thrust that inflicts a terrible blow onto the Imperial alliance.
Assassination squads strike against the leaders of the three main Houses on their home planets!

The Atriedes Duke Achillus strides through the rainswept courtyard of Castle Caladan on his way to his teenage daughter Athena's room. His young son, Cassius, scared of the thunderstorms, sleeps in the Duke's chambers.
His wife, and mother to their children, tragically passed away giving birth to Cassius. The Duke passes a portrait of his beautiful wife as his footsteps echo in the empty corridors, lit only by the light from suspensor lamps.
Athena has her mother's eyes he thinks, glancing at the large painting.
Athena Atreides is a strong willed and ferocious fighter, trained by the Fremen Fedaykin themselves. She displays signs of strange abilities, and the Fremen believe that she may be a chosen one. She shows potential.
Duke Achillus discovers face dancer assassins moving in on his beloved child. He alerts her and leaps into battle.
A desperate struggle ensues and after a brief eternity, the young girl remains standing, a bloodied Krys knife in her trembling hand.
But alas, the Duke fell to a blade in the back, and his daughter's tears mix with his blood on the floor. If only she had the prescience to have foreseen this tragedy.
The Mentat, Kalinar Koltrass urges her to take the Emperor's offer for shelter on Salusa Secundus. Her safety is paramount.
She refuses, wishing instead to stay and mourn with her people in this most grievous of times.
Her mentors use the safety of her baby brother as a bargaining chip, and she finally relents and boards an ornithopter in a secret underground hangar. A smuggler frigate awaits at a safe location ready to take the entourage to where the Emperor now resides. She vows to return one day and give the Duke a burial worthy of his status.

The Harkonnen Baron, Gunseng, survives, but only just. He was shot with a dart infected with Contaminator poison. He would be a mindless warrior slave by now, were it not for his lightning reflexes and quick thinking. He saw the dart and stopped it before his face with his bare hand. He pulled out the dart and immediately cut off his own hand to stop the infection before it could taint his blood. An act which saved him, for the present at least.
Some Contaminator poison is still in his blood and he must now spend his days inside an Ixian vat that struggles to contain the spreading poison. Disfigured by slow mutation, he is consumed with thoughts of personal revenge against the Tleilaxu. He will join with any force that will kill Tleilaxu while he prays for the cure to be found.
While he is in the vat, he must pass some powers to his cousin Zaina. She is a massive, powerful woman, well versed in all the cruelties and brutalities needed to survive in the Harkonnen court. She speaks for the Baron and in time, begins to supersede him, drowning out his words as she speaks.

On the ice planet of Draconis IV, The Executrix fare badly. A face dancer carrying a bomb evades detection and detonates it in the High Council chambers. Only one member of the Executrix survives, and new members must desperately be sought from amongst the insidious ranks of the Ordos.
Roma Atani, mentat to the Executrix survives the attack. Her loyalty is questioned. How was this incident allowed to happen?
Why was security so lacking? Can a ghola born from the Tleilaxu's dubious mentat experiments be trusted?
There is no profit in executing an expensive product. She is removed from her duties and stationed with the palace guard.

These attacks are only a small cog in the clockwork though, designed to weaken the Houses by viciously stabbing at their very hearts. By showing that even the most powerful and protected are vulnerable, the Tleilaxu hope to spread fear and insecurity among the populaces, creating panic and chaos in turn.
The wheels of the largest machine are then set in motion.
Dark Alliance ships hang in orbit over the smoke-filled atmosphere of Geidi Prime. The shadows of Heighliners filled with monstrosities move menacingly over the lush green Atreides home world of Caladan and the eerie silent white and blue mountains of Draconis.
Kaitan, the old Imperial capital planet, is also surrounded.
The Imperial advisors, a Sardaukar military General called Gormire and a Bene Gesserit named Lady Rosenta Celeste, disagree over the course of action to take.
General Gormire advises an advance to Kaitan to join up with a small outpost of Sarduakar there, while Lady Rosenta urges caution. They each try to impose their opinion, and the argument heats up. Both wish to serve the Emperor to their best ability, and this has made them competitive. The General goads the Bene Gesserit into using The Voice.
She is sorely tempted.
In regards to the Tleilaxu strategy, she suspects a trick; that the Dark Alliance ships are waiting for something.
Her intuition is right.
The Dark Alliance was trying to lure forces away from Salusa Secundus so an assault would be made easier.
The Tleilaxu send in a strike force of assassins to infiltrate the Emperor's palace in a bold and suicidal attempt on his life.
General Gormire catches them in the act and kills them, but there is no time for reflection as the planetary alarms break into life, their wails echoing around the harsh jagged mountains of Salusa Secundus.
The Tleilaxu are landing!
From deep inside the planet, Sarduakar are awakened. Massive arsenals open up as the troops rush to their positions. Huge turrets load their magazines. The Sarduakar prepare to defend their home and their Emperor.
The Tleilaxu have underestimated their opponents. Rather than a barely populated spartan world, they are landing on a place that has been turned into a fortress over many centuries. This is where the Sardaukar learned their trade. This is their own turf.
The Tleilaxu landing frigates are shot down in droves while their troops are outmatched by the ferocity of the Sarduakar. They are driven off with heavy losses.
There is no time for triumph. Even while the last Tleilaxu are being hunted down and killed, news comes in from the other Home worlds.
The Tleilaxu fleets have succeeded in landing on all the major planets and heavy fighting is taking place. Athena Atreides cannot stand by while this atrocity takes place. She immediately sets off to return to the planet with her small bodyguard to save her people or die with them. Neither her guards nor her Mentat can persuade her against this course of action. Having failed to persuade her actions mean suicide, they then volunteer to accompany her back to Caladan as part of the forlorn relief force. Touched by their loyalty she angrily charges the Emperor to help her save the lives of her people.

Meanwhile, on the Geidi Prime the Harkonnen royal palace complex is surrounded. The Baron demands rescue from this predicament. He orders atomics to be detonated on the Tleilaxu landing sites where his forces are still fighting in an attempt to save his position. His cousin Zaina is leading the resistance outside the palace. She is a fearsome sight, and the Baron cannot but admire her.

The Executrix have had their position overrun and are fleeing to a mountain stronghold. They warn that the Tleilaxu will soon track them down. It is clear that the new minds in the Executrix council are not fully melded together. Roma Atani becomes frustrated with their disagreements and calls for assistance. The Executrix put her in her place and tell her of her past; of what she is. She must now cope with this sudden shocking news while commanding the defence of the stronghold.
From a bunker she watches the approaching Tleilaxu hordes through her oil-lenses. Masses of Contaminators and Leeches, along with other monstrosities are pouring across the snowy plains. Can she hear them calling her?
Things look bleak through the lenses, but the Ordos leaders have an extra roll of the dice.
The Speaker appears, and it's body crackles with electricity. Roma watches in awe as it engages the first wave of the Tleilaxu menace...

The force on Kaitan is fighting hard. However, Lady Rosenta warns that transport in the form of the smuggler ships that have been made available cannot reach them in time. The forces on Kaitan are doomed. General Gormire's son Tallem is the leader of the Sarduakar resistance. He wishes his father could see him now. The father he hardly knows. He vows to make sure he will be remembered as he gives the order to make a last stand against the oncoming onslaught.

The three Great House's Homeworld's are saved after heavy fighting but at a cost. There have been massive casualties for their respective populations. As they pick up the pieces their minds turn to those who hurt them in body and soul.
They are eager for revenge.
The target is clear.

Athena Atreides is now fuelled with battle lust and she decrees that she will chase the Tleilaxu scum to the very edges of the universe if necessary. She organises her forces and takes command of the smuggler frigate to use as her operations centre.
No place will be safe for the Tleilaxu, she swears. Her loyal Mentat furrows his brow. This should not be the way.

Zaina Harkonnen returns victorious from battle and starts throwing her considerable weight around. The Baron feels he is being drowned out by his domineering cousin, and suggests she joins up with the Emperor's strike squads. She readily agrees. She has always wanted to tour the universe. And having the excuse to hand out incredible pain onto the bodies of those who dare oppose the Harkonnen fills her giant muscular frame with glee.

Roma Atani leans over the communicator controls breathing heavily. Around her bodies both human and inhuman are spread with death upon their faces. If indeed they have faces.
Her uniform is torn and she shivers with the combination of cold and fatigue.
She flicks the communicator into life and a hologram of the Executrix appears before her.
Roma tells of the Tleilaxu defeat, how The Speaker cut swathes through the enemy ranks. She asks how The Speaker became so powerful but is ordered to be silent.
She hears a humming sound and turns to see The Speaker on its hoverboard behind her.
The Executrix order it to join the Imperial attack squads and lead the Ordos forces. Let them see the power of the Ordos firsthand. If the Sardaukar can be impressed, many doors could open once the war is over...

Kaitan has fallen, with the Sarduakar defenders radioing out a final "Long live the Emperor" as they are overrun.
The Imperial fleet with its Atreides, Harkonnen and Ordos allies moves into orbit over the planet. The Tleilaxu defences are heavy and well prepared, but as the leaders look down onto the surface of the now dead planet and remember their own destroyed home worlds, for once there is little dissent. Revenge is all that matters now.
The Baron reminds his troops to show that the Harkonnen truly are the best power. They need no encouragement as they look across to where the Atreides soldiers glower back at them.
The assault begins.
Initial raids destroy the emplacements that threaten the landing sites. Then the Imperial forces, supported by the baying Harkonnen, attack the main defence line. Once the initial defence lines have been broken and the main force landed, the Imperials advance through the ruined city to find and destroy the sprawling Dark Alliance presence.
The advisors agree amongst themselves that information is needed about the enemy's motives.
The Harkonnen are charged with capturing Tleilaxu representatives seen on the planet.
At first the Baron is incensed that his bloodlust is to be thwarted and that prisoners must be taken. He rejects this out of hand until Athena Atreides reminds him that he will be in charge of the interrogation. While she says this with a hint of contempt, the Baron's objections are silenced as he broods upon this with a feint smile playing across his lips.
He leaves to prepare his instruments.
The Dark Alliance base on Kaitan is huge. The Tleilaxu are planning to stay and colonise the old Imperial capital planet.
It will become an icon of the Tleilaxu's new universal order. Out with the old and in with the new.
The Imperial General requests permission to lead the attacks on the surface. He resigns his position as an advisor to the Emperor. His reason is that his judgement will be clouded while those who murdered his son still walk and breathe.
He must avenge his son personally. He puts on his power armour and descends to the planet. There he leads the attacks against the enemy, shouting battle cries of vengeance as he cuts through their ranks as though they were grass.
The Tleilaxu on Kaitan are exterminated, save for the few captives taken by the Harkonnen. Among them is the highly ranked agent known as Cilix.
Baron Gunseng leers over the table where Cilix is strapped. The Tleilaxu ambassador has suffered terrible tortures at the Baron's hands and has told of plans to construct new weapons from the Emperor Worm's DNA. A Tleilaxu force has been detached to recover samples already. With that news, Cilix recovers some of his defiance. He assures them of the triumph of the dark alliance and their eventual doom at Tleilaxu hands. He then tells the Baron to kill him and have done with it. At this the Baron laughs softly. What has happened so far was just an interrogation! A little light questioning! An entrée before the main course.
The Baron's pleasure has not yet started. He settles down for a long wait as various instruments are brought in. A whirring starts. Watching on viewscreens, Athena winces. An aide vomits. Even the Sarduakar, who have seen many bad things, narrow their eyes as the Baron's chuckles mix with the hoarse gasps from Cilix.
A Sardaukar captain eventually turns off the screen, head bowed.
Still shaken by what they have seen, the various advisors and House representatives agree that the danger on Arrakis must take precedence over other operations. A crack force is sent to the planet to investigate and disrupt the Tleilaxu plans.

The Imperial troops drop onto the desert planet and make preparations to begin their sweeps of the areas identified as likely targets.
As well as the decaying corpse of the Emperor Worm, the Guild's old spaceport complex and the Sarduakar tombs, an old haunt of the Tleilaxu grave robbers, are to be investigated.
There is an uneasy tension as Harkonnen, Ordos and Atreides soldiers ready themselves within sight of each other. The heat of the desert suns makes a few tempers boil and it takes the execution of a few over-loyal men to restore a thin order.
The squads eventually set off on their respective missions.
This time, the Tleilaxu are ready for them. Ambushes sprung from the depths of the desert have the Imperial troops fighting for their lives. Reinforcements from the fleet above are needed to escape the trap and crush the Dark Alliance forces.
It is soon clear that the Imperial troops were too late. The Duke's daughter has contacted Fremen who bring reports of villages being found picked clean of life with no tracks or any clue as to what has gone on. All traces of their inhabitants are non-existent. It is as though the wind spirited them away.
Columns are sent into the desert to try and investigate this sinister mystery.
A frantic report comes in of a nearby settlement under attack. At Athena's command the Atreides forces rush to its aid, while the others continue on towards vague sources of energy detected in the desert.
Each force is attacked by huge floating creatures that the Tleilaxu have developed. These massive creatures snatch up their victims and digest them. All seems lost as these enormous beasts decimate the Imperial troops, until Mentats discover the control signal emanating from the Dark Alliance Palace. Destroying this will mean that the Tleilaxu lose control of their creatures. All the Imperial firepower is poured into these structures. Their explosion causes the Tleilaxu to lose control of these dread beasts and they turn on their masters.
The Dark Alliance's forces are shredded by their own weapons and their adventure on Arrakis is ended.

The Imperial forces cannot savour their victory for long. Even as they are returning from Dune, they receive a desperate signal from Salusa Secundus.
The Dark Alliance has attacked again.
Using face dancers, they disarmed the planetary defence systems then landed their forces on the main starport.
Tleilaxu raiders are discovered by Atreides security teams in the vaults under an ancient citadel known as Lion Keep,
which is currently being used as a temporary home by the Atreides nobility.
Cassius Atreides is here, guarded by a trusted Guard Captain called Lothar Gallen. Cassius sleeps with the naïve innocence of the child that he is.
Kalinar Koltrass is informed of the Tleilaxu presence and thinks hard on what it could mean.
Of course! In those musty tombs deep underground lie the preserved corpses of long-dead Sardaukar heroes.
These dead warriors, who were the cream of the elite, are amongst the strongest and purest bloodlines. It must be these corpses that the Tleilaxu want. With their DNA, they could feasibly infuse a being with incredible power. It is probably gestating now inside their deepest laboratories!
The forces in the citadel are resisting fiercely, but cannot hold out too long. Even now, more Tleilaxu reinforcements are travelling to the planet to launch the final attack and their extraction teams are preparing to go breach the defences to take the samples they have come for.
The first Imperial units to arrive go into action immediately to stave off defeat and to allow the main Imperial forces to follow on. Athena Atreides leads a small force as it drops into the compound of the citadel itself to bolster the walls.
Meanwhile, the Harkonnen and Ordos hold off the Tleilaxu forces and clear a place for the main Imperial force to land.
As the sun sets, the Tleilaxu continue their attack. The Harkonnen and Ordos fight off Tleilaxu reinforcements while the Atreides remain trapped in that dreadful Keep, throughout the long, cold night.
Nightmarish creatures hurl themselves out of the myriad shadows, and the black corridors echo with ghastly cries and the screams of the fallen.

Dawn breaks.

As the sun rises slowly into the heavens the Imperial reinforcements arrive in the nick of time and sweep the Tleilaxu away.
Athena Atreides stands exhausted on the battered battlements looking over the many corpses littering the landscape. She sighs, her heart heavy over the needless loss of life.
Her Mentat gazes at her with admiration. She fought with a fire in her eyes, and her powers are growing. If the war can be won, Athena will make a magnificent leader, he thinks to himself.
The Guard Captain, Lothar Gallen suddenly rushes up to her. He is pale and dirtied with dried blood. Bandages cover various wounds. He can barely bring himself to give the terrible tidings.
Cassius is missing. Lothar is beside himself with grief. He fought through the night and fainted through exhaustion and blood loss. A Suk doctor found him a short while ago and revived him. He immediately searched for Cassius but to no avail.
He has failed them.
Athena cannot hold back her emotions and finally her resolve cracks. She drops to her knees and weeps into her hands.
No words can soothe the burning pain.

In the Imperial throneroom the Emperor makes plans to attack the Tleilaxu homeworld directly, but is reminded of their strong, planetary defences, and the need for transportation there.
A strategy is formed after more heated discussion.
Intelligence reports tell of a Guild Heighliner near Arrakis. This is to be captured and used as Trojan horse for the Imperial army. Ordos and Atreides commandos are to sneak onto the massive ship in a stolen spice frigate, and proceed to overwhelm the navigator onboard and any Tleilaxu forces within.
The plan is launched and once onboard the megalithic ship the elite soldiers start their assault. The navigator is surprised and destroyed in the control centre.
Meanwhile, in the holds, the Ordos commandos uncover chambers filled with Tleilaxu. These elite soldiers face a fight for their lives as they are hunted around the echoing decks and corridors by nameless horrors and tentacled fiends.
Cornered, the Ordos prove their worth and hold out until reinforcements arrive and eliminate the enemy.
Now under Imperial command, the ship is loaded with the allied army and sent towards the fringes of the Tleilax system where danger and destiny await.
Once through the shields, a small Imperial and Harkonnen infiltration squad proceed to take out the planetary defence systems and the way is open.

In the Heighliner control room there is an eerie silence as the leaders of each respective force gaze at the planet spinning peacefully on the large viewscreen before them. Athena Atreides is here, stood nobly and dignified. Yet inside she is a volcano all ready to unleash its destruction.
Next to her stands the imposing figure of General Gormire. His face shows no emotion.
Behind them both The Speaker hovers and who knows what it sees? Roma Atani sits with her eyes closed tightly. The nearer the ship gets to Tleilax, the louder the voices become. Her head pounds through the noise in there.
A door slides open and in thunders Zaina Harkonnen. She sees Athena and goes to draw her weapon.
Several Sardaukar elite draw their weapons on her and she slowly backs down.
General Gormire reminds them who the enemy is for now; they may continue this AFTER the threat has been averted.
During this time Athena didn't even turn to look at Zaina. She didn't even blink once.

As they land, the Mentats bring disturbing news. A fresh invasion fleet is being amassed on the planets surface. It is imperative that these be prevented from taking off with their mysterious cargo.
The Imperial forces land on the surface prepared for battle but unprepared for the horrors that they see.
Human breeding farms and camps of prisoners ready for the vats, evil laboratories filled with hideous creations and experiments and temples dedicated to human sacrifice surround them.
The final stage of the campaign has been reached. The Great Houses pool their atomics and in a strangely symbolic moment the leaders hand over the arming codes to the Emperor.
These dreadful weapons will be placed in the main shaft leading down into the heart of the Tleilaxu planet. There they will detonate them deep in the centre of the world.
The sounds of battle echo over the arcane landscape as each legion embarks on their respective missions.
Athena's powers are at their peak as she tears apart the city looking for her brother among the prisoners they rescue.
Zaina Harkonnen happily smashes up an invasion fleet that was preparing to leave. With each kill she makes she gets more excited and frenzied, a maelstrom of pleasure and pain.
For the Ordos, a frantic fight to knock out stubborn defences takes a turn for the worse when their commander turns on them!
Roma Atani has given in to the voices. She is now home, and she must protect it. Troops loyal to her attack the Emperor's men, but they are defeated after bitter combat.
As the day ends the Imperial army stands on the brink of victory.
The next morning however, as the forces begin their last drive they are confronted by the Mahai's champion. The creature, known only as Nemesis, blocks the path to the palace where the Mahai watches the events unfurl with an unnatural icy calmness.
His champion launches itself at the terrified enemies of its master and deadly combat soaks the ground with blood.
While the beast is engaged, the Imperial troops continue moving the atomics towards the shaft. Within the shaft they discover a strange organic generator. The Bene Gesserit Lady Rosenta commands it be destroyed.
With this gone Nemesis withers and dies.
The allies storm the palace and within finally come face to face with the Mahai.
It is the former Emperor!
The Sardaukar are stunned with disbelief.
It is discovered that this is the original prototype ghola made for the Ordos during the War of Assassins. It has ascended to become the chosen one of the Tleilaxu. Who better to lead a new order than the Emperor himself?
The command is given to destroy this abomination but its poison words turn some of the Sardaukar against their own side.
This is the Emperor we all loved! The man who we would lay our lives down for!
The Mahai laughs as he watches brother fight brother in the great hall of the palace. He watches them with eyes as black as voids.
Then, an explosion rocks the building and through the smoke and debris steps a hero.
The Mahai smiles wickedly and taunts this puny human. How can he be challenged? He has been given new powers.
And from where did he gain them?
From the very son of Duke Achillus himself! Cassius Atreides!
Both combatants stare across the broken pillars and bodies between them, then step towards each other...

Deep in the shaft the Atomics squad has reached it's destination.
At the Emperor's command the atomic timers are set and the Imperial army begins its evacuation.
As they reach the surface they see a figure stagger from the burning palace. It is the Emperor! But the flesh is falling off his body and he dissolves into a pool of dank liquid.
Behind this stands the one who slew this vile creation, emotionless and silent.
The Emperor's forces take off in their frigates and fly clear of the evil planet.
Sitting on his throne the new Emperor nods to a Sardaukar captain and with that tiny gesture, the world of Tleilax becomes just a word in the history books.
The Dark Alliance is destroyed forever.

For the Empire this is a glorious moment.
Many generations from now, songs will be sung, stories will be told and statues will remember those who sacrificed their lives, who defended humanity and restored a kind of peace across the great expanse of space.
They will remember those who became Heroes.

By the way, Feda says hi. :P

Edited by Fey

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Hey @Klofkac, thanks for the tileset arrangements, it was extremely helpful. I love the way you did the WC2 tileset, basically everything could be smoothed out. Making maps with that tileset was a breeze, so a lot of thanks for that!

 

After talking to the guys I started implementing the modding changes to the launcher based on their suggestions, as Fey mentioned above. It is now a per-mission modding capability, with also intel entries available per mission. This means people can provide a folder with intel images and text files where they can describe various stuff about their mission, and that gets displayed in an intel window that can be opened from the briefing view.

 

Actually @Fey, those screenies are pretty old already xD Here's an up to date screenshot from my upcoming War of the Landsraad campaign, the first Sardaukar mission intel.

image.thumb.png.12d0d90e38a048812fdb92b2484ca6c2.png

 

Here's how the new briefing screen looks like

 

image.thumb.png.bb9e3463d7e2ca72d966f05acbdc7216.png

 

There's also a tactical map image that players can attach to their mission. I am using it for story-related reasons, but people can literally use anything, like a map generated high definition preview, for example.

image.thumb.png.c75359c3da5e9016cc78d5f59303c081.png

 

@Klofkac, these things are achieved by getting a new section and a few entries in the mission ini file. I was wondering, since you said you are returning to working on the mission editor, if you could add this feature, so that those few entries can be written directly inside the editor, as right now players must do it manually with notepad.

 

[Data]
CampaignFolder=WarOfTheLandsraad
ModsFolder=WOL
ColoursFile=colours_A7.bin
IntelId=A7

 

This is the new section. CampaignFolder is the name of the directory that must be inside a CustomCampaignData folder from the root dune directory. ModsFolder is a folder inside the CampaignFolder, that is used for the current mission to copy and install mod files from. This means players can use one directory for most of the maps that are the same (like I am using the WOL folder in the example above) but can use another folder if they want some mission-specific mods for that campaign. The ColoursFile entry is the name of the colours.bin that the mission will use, and the IntelId is the format of the Intel text files and image files for that particular mission.

 

I am sorry for the offtopic, I know this wasn't the best place to put all this stuff but I would like to ask you if these 4 entries and the section itself could be added in the editor as simple textboxes, similar to how text.uib can be written from the editor window. It would help people a lot to use this new system. Thanks!

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Posted (edited)

@Klofkac We have a problem.

The RFG tiles are only working once. After a vehicle moves through the tile just once, and then leaves that tile, it cannot return to that tile. I'm positive I've tested them before and they worked multiple times, I'm sure you would have said something too. Did we break something? Could you investigate this?

Edit: Confirmed RFG tiles work on the Giedi Prime tileset, but not the Heighliner tileset. I'll report the bytes used...

Spoiler

wD8wHx5.png

These are exactly the same bytes used in the Heighliner tileset RFG. There must be some other byte at play here. Perhaps an editor byte is interfering with the behavior. If Cm and I discover anything more, I'll edit again to report this to you.

In the meantime though, here's a demonstration of the problem. This is what is supposed to happen:
https://i.imgur.com/0PFcVbF.mp4

And this is what is happening:
https://i.imgur.com/BscCW9K.mp4

I look forward to hearing back from you if you discover what the problem is! I am quite curious.

Edited by Fey

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It is normal that the "Editor Area type" it's grey? i loaded yours manually here, and that part it's grey, but only on the giedi prime, but on the other I can change it if I want.

maybe related with this problem?

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3 hours ago, Fey said:

The RFG tiles are only working once. After a vehicle moves through the tile just once, and then leaves that tile, it cannot return to that tile. I'm positive I've tested them before and they worked multiple times, I'm sure you would have said something too. Did we break something? Could you investigate this?

Well, I think I know exactly what is happening and why. I already explained this behavior in this thread: https://forum.dune2k.com/topic/28481-tile-attributes-research-new-useful-findings/

Quote

26: Unknown (side bit 1)
27: Unknown (side bit 2)
28: Unknown (side bit 3)
Quote

26 - 28: Unknown: To be used with combination with "Occupied by Infantry" attribute. If you run over enemy infantry (meaning tile with "Occupied by Infantry" attribute) with a heavy vehicle, then owner of that infantry becomes the side defined by these three attributes. Meaning, if you are for example Fremen and set attributes 26-28 to combination of 001, and attributes 1-3 are some other value (enemy) and you move your heavy vehicle on this tile, the tile changes its behavior like it was your infantry - you can no longer move heavy units on it but can move infantry on free positions. Other function of these attributes was not discovered yet.

So the reason why repulsion fields worked in 1st video and not in 2nd video is, that in 2nd video you apparently played as Atreides, and once your vehicle moved over repulsion field, the "infantry" owner became Atreides (= you) and you cannot run over your own infantry.

The solution should be quite easy - set attributes "Unknown (side bit 1)", "Unknown (side bit 2)", "Unknown (side bit 3)" to "111", same as "Building/Unit owner side (bit1, 2, 3)" and problem should be gone. Note that the limitation of repulsion fields is that heavy vehicles of "Sandworm" side cannot pass through it, but you probably know this.

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17 minutes ago, Klofkac said:

So the reason why repulsion fields worked in 1st video and not in 2nd video is, that in 2nd video you apparently played as Atreides, and once your vehicle moved over repulsion field, the "infantry" owner became Atreides (= you) and you cannot run over your own infantry.

The solution should be quite easy - set attributes "Unknown (side bit 1)", "Unknown (side bit 2)", "Unknown (side bit 3)" to "111", same as "Building/Unit owner side (bit1, 2, 3)" and problem should be gone. Note that the limitation of repulsion fields is that heavy vehicles of "Sandworm" side cannot pass through it, but you probably know this.

Thanks for getting back to us, Klof!

I was playing as side 5. The index was 4, not that that matters.

I'll have to test if that will work when I get the chance, but it is not necessarily relevant because the Giedi Prime tileset's repulsion field bytes are as shown under the spoiler, and you can see they do not make use of those unknown bytes. If it does work, that's great, the problem is fixed, but it doesn't explain why it works perfectly on the Giedi Prime map (playing side 1, index 1) and not on the Heighliner map (also not playing as side 0). I can try playing as side 1, index 1 on the Heighliner test map to see if it has something to do with the side, again when I get the chance.

Yes, I am aware of that limitation. A small price to pay for getting this new game mechanic to work! :)

If you have any more elaboration to provide in the meantime, I am all ears! Thanks again.

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9 minutes ago, Fey said:

I was playing as side 5. The index was 4, not that that matters.

Then side 0 (Atreides) is probably Ally with you. You cannot run over allied side's infantry, too.

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