Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Podcasts episode 10 and 11 avalible now!

Sorry for the delay, I had not realized that Dougbendo had posted up our live podcast from last Friday already. I go and look and see he also did another pre recorded one as well.

So here are the links for anyone to download.

Episode 10 - Live with Dougbendo and Azuza

Episode 10 deals with me and doug talking about some of the questions we have gotten about our mod, from storylines to reasons behind the choices we made.

Episode 11 - Crossovers

Episode 11 is apparently about why we are doing a crossover instead of just one or the other. I say apparently because I have not listened to it yet.


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Live episode tonight

We will be having a live episode of the Xenoforce Reborn podcast tonight at 11:15 Eastern Time.  Tonight Doug and I will be discussing some topics relating to the current status of the Xenoforce Reborn mod as well as where it will possibly be heading in the future.

We use the free conference call software to run the podcast.  If you wish to join download it on google play store from the following link.


or Kindle App


or Apple App Store


The conference ID is "Dougbendo" without the "".

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Xenoforce Podcast Episode 9

We have decided to start using the old blogspot as a location for people to find the podcasts that Dougbendo and I do about the mod.

Each week there will be at least 1 new podcast posted up, and sometimes we will have live podcasts avalible for you to join in and talk with us. When those happen we will post it up here in advance to let everyone know.

Episode 8 is about nod, feel free to comment and let us know what your think!

Episode 8

Edit : fixed link.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Welcome to Xenoforce Reborn Game Theory

With the MODDB page being more and more active and becoming the main release location for our mod the blog page has been neglected for the last year or so.  Not wanting to let it go I've decided to use it as a game theory location, after all what better place to go to get ideas on how factions were designed and what game style they are able to work with than from the people who are actually making the mod?

Today we will start with a simple idea - Super Offenses and Super Defenses

A staple in almost all RTS games is the Super Weapon.  In Starcraft it would be the Terran Nuke, in Total Annihilation it was again the Nuke.  In the original CNC3 it was the Rift Generator, the Ion Cannon, and the Nuclear Missile depending on what faction you went with.  But lets be honest in the original CNC3 all 3 superweapons did the same thing, they just did it with different graphics.

Xenoforce Reborn however does not have this.  Instead we have decided to take that idea and expand upon it making Super Offenses and Super Defenses.  Some factions have only one or the other.  Others have both.  Make no mistake though, this isn't a simple press of the button to wipe away your mistakes and give you the upper hand against your opponent.  These devices or strategies need to work in tangent with other factors in the game to get the most out of them.

I will go over the 5 factions we have already designed and that we know work first.

GDI - REX Unit - Super Offense
NOD - Nuclear Launch Codes - Super Offense
Scrin - Rift Generator Tower - Super Offense/Super Offense
EF (UC) - Solar System Uplink - Super Defense
EF (AW) - Gundam X/Double X - Super Offense

The GDI Rex unit is a very unique unit in the field.  It is a mobile Ion Cannon Control System that does not appear on the map when deployed.  It is equipped with a large drone defense sat system that launches small targeting satellites up into the air to fire light Ion Strikes from a single cannon at its targets.  However its main purpose is the second Ion Cannon Strike power that it grants.  With this the player is given a lot of freedom to decide how to attack an enemy.  They can upgrade their regular Ion Control System to an Orbital Bombardment system and then fire both powers at an enemy base at the same time shutting down their bases defenses with the EMP Bombardment Shells and then punching a hole into the base with the Ion Strike.  Or the player can keep the other Ion Strike and fire both shots into an enemy base opening the toughest walls up to a frontal attack which GDI excels at.  Either way this unit gives GDI a unique advantage in the field as it has 2 superweapons it can call upon to attack an enemy with, and the REX can easily help defend a base from attack or move with an army to get into position and continue to protect them from a counter-attack.   The counter to this is recon.  The moment you as a player see the enemy has 2 Superweapons counting down you need to move fast.  Find that Rex and take it out.  Its bound to be heavily guarded but you can't let that stop you, taking a Rex out of the game must be the number 1 priority at this point.  To let it go is going to spell disaster.

NODs super offensive ability is tied to their new roll as Nod/Russia.  NOD is not a clean faction, they will use whatever they have available to them to win and Russia has plenty of Nukes.  However the problem is getting these nukes into position to be effective.  For that purpose NOD has developed the Salamander Ballistic Cruiser.  A formidable ship in its own right the Salamander has the unique ability to become the most dangerous thing in the field once the OK has been given to launch Nuclear Warheads.  Not only does this power drop a Nuke anywhere in the field of play but it also allows all Salamanders in the game to launch 1 Nuclear Missile at any target of value on the field inside their range of sight.  This means if a player is smart they can bring an army to bear on a specific point against the enemy and then move these guys in to different points on the field.  Once in place launch nuclear winter against the enemy and watch them fall across the map.  The enemy player will have to scramble as they could potentially have just lost many bases at one time.  The counter to this is counter-attack.  The moment you see an enemy moving a large force of Salamanders into position across the map you need to counterattack and hit them before they can get into position.  This means each and every base should have a garrison of fast hitting mobile units that can move out and take them out before they are able to hit your base.  If you wait until they are there its probably too late.

Scrin have a unique super offense/defense option in the Rift Generator Tower.  Unlike normal CNC3 this tower has 1 purpose and 1 purpose alone - to survive for 10 minutes in the field.  Once it has it explodes causing all enemy units and structures to be hit with a 50% decrease in maximum HP for 2 minutes as well as causing all Scrin Units to move and attack at a 50% increase for 2 minutes.  Think of this as a 2 minute window that is given to Scrin players making all of their forces suddenly much much better than yours.  As a Scrin player all you have to do is defend the tower.  My suggestion is to put the tower near your main Mothership.  The reason is simple, the Mothership is a powerhouse in its own right.  I have seen this 1 ship destroy an entire GDI base.  Not just a side base or a main base, but all of them by itself because the GDI player ignored it until the Rift went off.  Once the rift exploded the Mothership automatically becomes mobile, allowing it to move into position and attack.  With a rift generator near the ship to begin with you may not need to wait for it to explode as the mothership will be fed enemy troops trying to destroy the rift and you will get it mobile that much quicker.  Of course the counter to the rift is to destroy it before the 10 minutes are up.  Hitting it hard and fast is your number one priority here, you can not let it live.  If you can take the rift generator out and an enemy mothership out before it becomes mobile then your battle is mostly already won.

EF-UC's super defense is the Solar System Uplink.  The UC is all about defense, as we work on finishing up these touches to NOD and then UC so we can move onto AW the UC will really come into its own with using mobile suits for defenses.  The Sat Uplink is a far reaching defensive structure that will destroy anything Mobile Armor size and above in very short order.  Its that simple, put one up and watch the big guys fall from the sky.  The counter to this is small fast attack units moving in to take it out.  Here is when you have to swarm, against the UC your best bet is to overwhelm the system with a lot of attacks at once from all sides, hitting it form one direction won't work.  This is a prime example of GDI being at a disadvantage against UC but NOD having an advantage.  Nod is designed to hit from all sides at once where GDI is designed to punch a hole in the front and keep moving.

EF-AW's super offense are the Satellite Cannons on the Gundam X and Double X.  These powers will work much like GDI's Rex and NOD's launch codes.  How it will work is simple.  As long as 1 Gundam X is on the field a power will count down.  When the player activates the power every gundam x on the field will have their sat cannons activated for 30 seconds.  This means you have to move quick and hit fast, but with the Gundam X that shouldn't be a problem.  With the Double X on the field a seperate power will also count down but the effect is slightly different.  With Double X the cannons are much stronger (there are 2 of them after all).  Finally with both powers it will also call in a Gundam X attached to the jetpack so that it can fly into the target location and fire a single shot wherever you designate the target to be.  The counter to the AW power is much harder to pull off as its super offense is not tied to a building and the AW force is designed to be highly mobile.  A 2 teired line of defense is your best bet.  Let the Gundam X waste its shots on the first level of defense and then move in with a counter-attack when they hit the 2nd line.

I hope this explains how we are thinking about the game in terms of end game strategy.  Feel free to post any comments or concerns.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Scrin playstyle and overview

With the next release of the mod one of the bigger changes with our work going forward is the overview.  Basically this is a small description of what we're going after with a faction and how it stands out against the other forces in the game.  The Scrin as always stand out as a unique force that will play different than any other force while appealing to that type of player that simply wish's to be the nastiest thing out there and the biggest target when playing online.

Scrin Overview and Playstyle -

The Scrin are one of the most feared intergalactic and inter-dimensional forces in the known universe.  They are like locus, sending swarms out into space to seed and harvest planets for their own war efforts.  They are in the middle of a war with the Invid that has lasted for over 1000 years and has no end in sight and because of this they have evolved to be a very efficient and cautious force, developing techniques that will always help tip the balance into their favor in a fair fight.

Scrin bases are always protected by a Mothership.  These Motherships are very powerful, able to attack from a great range and produce more than enough power to keep a Scrin base up and running in normal situations.  Harvesting fields that have Accelerators in them also have special Iconic Capitol Ships that protect the fields from enemy attacks making forces that focus on harassing the Scrin Economy a very difficult proposition.

Scrin forces have evolved over time to take advantage of their enemy and to modify an enemy force on both a biological and technological level to make the Scrin force stronger.  What this means is as a Scrin force engages an enemy they start to corrupt the enemy, either by using the raw materials of an enemies force to build their own force up or by gaining information about how the enemy technology works and gaining the ability to make perverse, corrupted versions of the enemy technology to use against them.  When an enemy is killed by a Scrin unit and that Scrin unit is using a Conversion Beam to kill the enemy then there is a chance to turn the enemy into a Scrin unit.  For example when a Scrin Corruptor kills a GDI Infnatry Squad there is a 10% chance that that squad will turn into a Desintegrator Squad.  When that same Corruptor kills a Predator Tank that tank has a chance to be converted and turned into a Devourer Tank.  This allows the Scrin force to gain power while engaging the enemy and forces the enemy to fight smart, not sending small squads out to be sacrificed.  When fighting the Scrin you ever go for the kill or go home.  As another example if the Scrin Corrupter kill a GDI unit and spawn one of their forces in they also gain the ability to build Scrin Mammoth Tanks.  These tanks look like GDI Mammoth Tanks but are graphically different and have some obvious changes done to them making them look like a perverse alien knock off, firing Lance's instead of Rail Cannons and having Energy Shields instead of Secondary Plate Armor.  

Finally the ultimate goal of any Scrin player will be to build a Rift Generator.  Once a Rift Generator is built a count down will begin.  At the end of the countdown the map will be covered in a large time-shift rift that will do many things.  Scrin forces will gain a 200% speed and attack rate increase, enemy structures will lose 50% of their structural integrity, and enemy units will lose 50% of their vision and movement speed for 3 minutes.  This will be the time to strike as a Scrin Player as the enemy, no matter how well they had built up their defenses, will be at their weakest at this point.

With the Scrin the players have the chance to play a force unlike anything else in the CNC universe.  The Scrin are the bad guys, they are a serious force with serious power and are a threat unlike any other in the game.  However they are a force that must engage to truly flourish.  By hiding in a base and trying to play defensively the Scrin force will stagnate and ultimately fail.  

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The truth about the latest Star Trek reboot....

Or as an alternative title to the post : "Why Spock is a fucking lying bastard."

First off I want to say this post has less to do about the mod as a whole and more to do with Dougs latest podcast about Robotech 3000.  In it he brings up a lot of good points but at one point he starts talking about the last Star Trek movie, the one that rebooted the series not the one about to come out.  Now I am not a big Star Trek fan.  I like it well enough, especially the original series, but have lost interest in the series after I turned 15 and Deep Space 9 / Voyager starting coming out.

Doug was talking about looking at things in different perspectives, about catching the little things, and pulling from all known sources when a small but crucial bits dropped into the story.  Now when the last Star Trek movie came out I liked it but there were a few parts that really pissed me off.  There were things that they said or plot points that were so weak to the point of being bull shit that it just put me off.  Now putting the issue of what is "Red Anti-Matter" aside after Dougs podcast I felt like I should go back and watch the movie and look at it from the point of view of "Is there any way that this could actually make since?" Believe it or not the answer is yes and once you see it it makes you just go "Fucking bastard."  Yep, this entire thing is centered around Spock and really if you watch the movie even though the movie tries to make the movie about how Kirk rises to the challenge and becomes Captain really its a story about Spock.

Let me put the Red Anti-Matter part to rest right now.  We are just going to assume the stuff exists and works the way we see it work in the movie.  Simply put they don't explain it and really it doesn't matter, whatever this stuff is we know that it causes black holes and causes temporal rifts.

So now where is the key moment that the movie go's off rails with the believability issues?  When Spock does a mind meld to explain to Kirk just what is going on.  He claims a Star went supernova and it's blast threatens to destroy the entire galaxy.  This right here is BULLSHIT.  A star going supernova would not destroy a galaxy.  A solar system sure, but not the entire galaxy.  THEN he go's on to say that the Vulcans and the Federation try and go to help the Romulans as their planet is the next to get hit by the blast wave and destroy it.  What the hell?  If a star did go supernova then a lot of planets would have been destroyed.  For Romulus to be in the line of fire it would have been their star that went up and honestly not only would they have seen the damn thing coming from watching their own freaking star they would not have time once the star did go to do anything.  How long do you think the Earth would last if Sol exploded?  A few minutes at best?

Ok, continuing on this line of thought the Vulcans had time to BUILD a fucking ship to go and stop this blast wave before it hit, and he "raced to save them but was too late".  No shit you were too late, I just explained why.  You would have had to be building that ship before the star went up for it to be ready to save Romulus.

And the planet was destroyed but the Romulan Mining Ship and Spocks Red-Matter ship were fine?  This shit does not make sense!  But I have figured it out, follow me here and you'll see how this works.

Now, lets ignore Spock for a moment.  He's old, he won't mind.  He's used to it.  From what the Romulan Mining Ship tells us what parts of Spocks story hold up?  They obviously blame Spock specifically for not saving their planet.  They also blame the Federation, so obviously the Federation had something to do with the planets demise, even if not as directly.  But they are more pissed at Spock!  Hell technically they are more pissed at the Klingons as well as they attacked the klingons first and destroyed 20-something bird of preys according to the Lieutenant Ohora says.  So what we know is whatever happend it dealt with the Klingons, with Spock, and with the Federation.

We also know from Star Trek - The Next Generation that Spock has been on Romulus for a very long time trying to change the Romulans from the inside.  It was one of the 2 parters they had, season 4 or 5 I think.  Point is whatever happens in the future takes place after Next Generation at the least, probably after Voyagers time line.

Ok, now to the part I was talking about before.  If we take what we know and apply it forward what conclusion can we come to?  The problem is everyone believes what Spock says cause he's Spock and it sounds good.  But thats all it is, it's talk.  And really he only tells Kirk.  I'm saying that Spock has known Kirk for such a long time that he simply knows how to get Kirk to do what he wants.  Kirk is a great leader, he's cunning and charismatic.  He knows how to win no matter what the odds.  If he's in a situation that he can't win he doesn't just stand there and take it, he changes the situation.  Thats why he got in trouble with the test at the beginning, he knew he wasn't supposed to win and instead of playing by their rules he changed the rules to make it possible to win.  But he's a moron.  He's been dealing with issues like storms in space, massive Romulan ships that can destroy a planet, all sorts of crazy shit.  Then he finds old Spock on this frozen planet and what happens?  Spock realizes the situation and knows that Kirk needs to be the Captain so he tells Kirk a story that sounds good enough that Kirk will buy it and then he push's Kirk back into the fight.

Now I'm not saying he did this with malice in his heart, he did it because he felt he had to so that no one else would get killed by the Romulan ship, and he used Kirk as a weapon to do so.  So while we will never really know WHAT he did in the future to piss the Romulans off or what really did cause their planet to be destroyed we do know he had to have had something directly to do with it.  But other than that the rest of Spocks "this is what happened" story is pretty much smoke.  And hell even at the very end of the movie when old Spock and new Spock are talking old Spock even admits that he had no issues with allowing Kirk to think what Spock wanted so that the mission would get done.  But no one calls him out on it because, well, he's Spock.

My point with all of this is that when looking at a story as a whole with a series that has a lot of history already in place like Robotech or Star Trek its the little things that make the story believable.  And after watching Star Trek again I know feel that maybe the movie wasn't as bad as I originally thought (even if it still does have a few issues at least the major ones actually have a way to be true) and the next one will have a chance as it's not being based on something on an inconsiderably bad  foundation.  This also gos for Robotech 3000, I can see what Carl was working towards and I can see exactly what Doug wants from the Scrin in our mod (see, we did get back to the mod).

So the next time you see a movie or watch a new series based off of an older one look at it and don't say "does it stand on it's own" ask yourself "does it build on what came before it and take it into a new and interesting direction or does it simply exist for the sake of existing?"

Maybe next week the blog will go back to being about the mod, or maybe it will turn into a place where I'm just going to post my current thoughts on whatever as I work on the mod.  Either way if you have an opinion on what I have said above feel free to post.  But just remember, Spock is a fucking lier just to get what he wants.  And he's Spock.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Strength / AL / Class / Roll / and all that stuff

This week we're going over the rest of the information that is given to a player as they are looking at the descriptions on a unit.  There is a lot of information that is given but does it all actually mean something or are we just putting technical numbers up that make it look pretty but don't actually mean anything?

First is the Strength of the weapons and the Armor Level of the armor.  The first number gives you an idea of how strong the weapon actually is.  So if you see a Rail cannon with a Strength of 40 you will know that it's obviously stronger than a AutoCannon with a Strength of 21.  What what do those numbers really mean?  Well they are directly tied to the Armor Level of a unit.  Many vehicles have 2 armor levels, a Frame and a Plate armor.

Lets take that same example above and look at the vehicles armor level that the weapon is being fired at.  An Autocannon with a Strength of 21 deals 2100 points of Cannon damage to an enemy unit.  If that enemy unit has Plate Armor with a 40% reduction to Kenetic Weapons that means its actually only taking 1260 points of damage.  However if that Plate Armor only has an Armor Level of say 10 that means its armor hp is only 1000 and that Autocannon will punch right through it damaging the frame by 260 points of damage and completely ruining the Plate Armor for further attacks.   So in this situation if the Frame AL is also 10 it would only have 740 HP left (assuming the frame doesn't also reduce damage at all).  A second shot would take this unit out easy.  However same situation with the Rail Cannon it would do 4000 points of Rail Damage to the enemy unit.  The first 1000 would be stopped by the armor and the rest of the 3000 points of damage would destroy the frame, a single shot would destroy the enemy target!

You may be thinking to yourself "why would I build anything but Rail units in this beautiful world?"  Same situation, but say you were fighting a swarm of Pitbulls.  I can buy 3 Titan Tanks for the cost of 1 Mammoth Mk 4.  Each shot the Titan Tank fires will destroy a Pitbull just as quickly as it would be destroyed by the Mammoth tank.  Thats because the Pitbull would be considered a swarm unit.  They have weak armor but pack a bit of a punch for the cost and are fast.  That Mammoth Mk4 will take a lot of damage trying to fight off 10 or 12 pitbulls by shear numbers but the Titans would not only kill 3 off before the Pitbulls are in range (compared to the Mammoth killing 1) but would hold up just as well against the Pitbulls kenetic based weapons because both the Mammoth and the Titan have armor that is designed to stop Kenetic types of damage.  Of course if we went the other direction and these units were going up against an enemy using lasers like NOD it would be a different story.  The Titan Tank is meant to be an older type of tank and the down side to this is its armor is not designed to handle Energy type weapons where the Mammoth can brush those laser shots off and keep going.

You see the point to all of these changes is not to complicate the game more than we have to its to give the players choices and a reason for playing this game.  Typical strategy games follow the standard Rock/Paper/Scissors of units.  Others it's more about managing your resources and your base than actually fighting the battle.  What we're aiming for here is a game where you need to not only be aware of what your fighting but also how you spend your money.  You may be able to roll in with 12 mammoths and win the day but our goal is for players to try and work for that perfect "balance" of cost to performance depending on their enemy and how their forces are shaping up.  If I was playing against a player that was building nothing but Mammoth Tanks as an apposing GDI player my plan would then to be to hit them with Cruise Missiles from Orcas to weaken them up a bit and then move in with a large Pitbull / Grizzly APC force to hit them hard and fast.  I would also keep a small squad of either A10 Orcas or Firehawks in the wings to use as a mop-up force.  The diversity of my force would allow me to move faster and strike harder than my enemy who is focusing on the best Armor and Weapons that he can get.  As a player fighting me if I saw my enemy building that force that focused on fast air and cheap ground the counter to that would be to look at units like the Sphinx / Griffin / and Predator Mk 3 and Mk 4 tanks.  These units would be fast, able to keep up with the cheaper units and dish out some serious damage.  The Griffin would be a perfect unit to use against the fast Firehawks, slowing them down with its long range sonic cannon and allowing for the Predator Mk 4 to line up a kill shot with their Rail Cannons.

All of this brings me to Class and Roll.  We're sticking with the Class idea though we have dropped the Repair class as really it felt like we had to force units into these rolls instead of them just naturally falling into them.  That means the units you see are either going to be Assault or Offense.  What this means is simple, an Offense unit has had their frames reinforced giving them more HP and allowing them to survive in the field longer.  An Assault unit has had it's range and weapon output increased giving it more power and the ability to strike first in a normal situation.  The other side of the Class is its Type : Troop / Fast Attack / Heavy Support.  The idea here is simple, if it's a Troop its a normal type of unit.  if it's Fast Attack its able to move at very fast speeds compared to normal units.  Finally Heavy Support may be a bit slower but it's the big guns, able to deal a massive amount of damage out.

Roll is the last part of this story.  The roll of the unit has 2 parts to it, the Roll and the Notes.  The Roll is a suggested way of using the unit, so if a unit says under it's roll that it's "Experimental Anti-Scrin" unit this should clue you in to what its used for.  This means its weapons are designed to deal extra damage to organic types of enemies so the Scrin and enemy infantry would take extra damage from this unit so even if your not fighting the Scrin if your opponent is focusing on infantry like NOD can or heavy GDI Infantry this unit would still be useful.  However against the Earth Federation : UC faction it wouldn't find much use as most of the UC forces are mecha based.

Notes also help you understand either features or limitations of a unit.  These can be notes that either tell you the unit "Detects Stealth", is an "Infantry Transport Unit", or as simple as "Must return to airfield to reload".  Notes are there so that you don't buy a unit expecting one thing and getting another.

So thats the 2nd half of our breakdown of the factions.  If you have any questions or comments feel free to post them up or email me.