Thursday, December 20, 2012

UC Test 1

Here is a test run with UC converted, AW has NOT been modified to the new system yet.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Keep your eyes open on thursday

Yea yea I know.... its way past when I said it was going to happen.  As alen pointed out, its been awhile.  I had mean to have something up last sunday for you guys but the version just wasn't coming along the way I wanted.  I have one that works now but I made a major mistake in it which causes the game to not feel right for UC.  Upon further inspection it was my design choices that made it feel artificial.

You see since we're using a teired unit system and UC works off of a defcon teir system I tried to have each teir follow the defcon, so all decon 1 units were teir 1 units, all defcon 2 units were teir 2 units, and so on and so on.  And it works for the most part but it just feels... odd.

So as a teaser for what you can expect on Thursday here is a little chart to wet your appetites.

NAME :  WT - AT - UT - HP - Class

RGM 79 : 1 - 2 - 2 - 2700 - Offense
RGC 80 : 2 - 2 - 1 - 1800 - Assault
Guntank MP : 2 - 2 - 2 - 3000 - Offense

Gunsniper 2 : 3 - 2 - 2 - 1800 - Assault
Power GM : 2 - 3 - 2 - 4500 - Offense
RX 77 D : 3 - 2 - 2 - 1800 - Assault

GM Custom : 3 - 3 - 3 - 4500 Offense
RGC 83 : 4 - 3 - 2 - 4950 - Offense

Guntank 2 : 4 - 4 - 2 - 6000 Offense
FA RX178 : 5 - 6 - 3 - 10890 Offense
Super Gundam : 6 - 5 - 4 - 8250 Offense

RGZ 91 - 6 - 6 - 4 - 9900 Offense
Stark Jegan - 4 - 4 - 3 - 4200 Utility
Armored Jegan - 4 - 4 - 3 - 4200 Utility

I know this may not mean a lot but it should give you an idea of just where we plan to have mobile suits sitting.  Remember a WT 2 means it should be able to kill an AT 2 with no issues in a 1-1 battle.  So an RGM 79 should be able to kill pitbulls and survive with no issues.  (It will obviously still take damage).

Thursday, November 29, 2012

December is a happy time

Or so they say.  I personally am starting to not like it. It's cold, so the heating bill go's up.  I get sick much easier, so there's the down time from that.  Its also crazy busy at work so there is that as well.  All this adds up to less and less time to work on the mod.

God I can't wait till January at this point.

Still I do have some time.  I'm currently working in re-integrating the Xenoforce O3 files from the latest version.  Then we move on to converting UC and AW.  After that its SEED.  I'm hoping the first 2 parts go quick so that I can spend most of December on SEED.  As long as I have the proper models this should move along at a rather nice pace.

Once I get UC and AW converted I will post a version up here for readers of the Blog to try out.  Consider it a gift to all you "god, he's ranting again" people who actually read this mess lol.

Back to work for me.  :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

More late posts, but it happens.

I first wanted to let everyone know that yes, I know I have not been posting on here as regularly as I want.  However I have a good reason.  I work in Retail and it's heading into the busiest time of the year for us.  For the last 2 months I've been getting extra hours at work (8-12 extra a week) which has taken a lot of my extra time away.

We are still hard at work on the mod.  Tonight I will be uploading the O3 2.1 version of the mod to ModDB / Mediafire for everyone to play.  This version will have some balancing tweaks and fix's to it (no more infinite cash for GDI players who like to shoot at the ground).

Tomorrow I plan on starting work on converting UC and AW to our new system.  I hope this conversion process will go smooth.  As a special "thank you" to all the people who read the blog I plan on posting up a link to this "pre-SEED" version of the mod once it's done, hopefully by the end of November.  This link will only be here on the Blog, I don't plan on posting it on MOD DB.  So as far as that go's keep your eyes open.

In December I plan on getting SEED done and out of the way.  Our design should be easy enough that it shouldn't take long to do.  I hope.  After SEED we plan on moving straight into the Invid.  Doug has some good army ideas already in mind for them and we've gotten our hands on a few models to make this process relatively easy.

After that its a short jump to Zeon and then a hard finish with the RDF/Southern Cross/REF.

We're also working on getting new audio files placed into the mod so everything doesn't sound like a Predator unit lol.

I will try to go into more detail with our SEED designs next Sunday.  Until then keep playing!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

20 Days - No Update - But worth it!

So yea, I kind of sorta have not done an update in 20 days.  Damn me.  What in the world have I been doing for the last 20 days that is excusable enough to NOT have done 3 Sunday Updates like I've supposed to have done?


Yea, thats right.  Xenoforce Original 3 V2 Release candidate 2 people!  Now with twice the awesome as before!

OK maybe not twice the awesome, but pretty damn close.

What we have here are quite a few changes.  A lot of these changes have happened on the NOD end of things, but the Scrin have seen some cool updates done as well.  And GDI hasn't been forgotten either, anyone thats been following the MOD DB page knows I kinda sorta broke the GDI AI a few days ago while messing with Nod (HOW THE HELL DOES THAT EVEN HAPPEN?!) so I had to go back and do some work on it.  Now we have a very angry GDI AI that is more than willing to show you where it feels you should stand, which is in the corner cut off from all of your expansion bases because GDI has taken them over.

Seriously though, we have a new GDI AI in this release.  For the real release I plan on doing more GDI AI coding to try and really give that "OMG Why does Azuza hate us so" level of pain.  Personally its because I have recently gotten pissed at people who don't listen when I say I code for Hard AI's and not Brutal AI's and then say they are leet because they can defeat our Brutal AI. Payback is all I'm saying.

Scrin have had some changes done as well.  Prices have been slightly modified on their BioArmors to make it more fair / in line to what it should have been.  Shields have had a major overhaul, now the Scrin Shields take damage as well as allowing some damage to seep through.  So they work like this, say you have a cannon that deals 1000 points of damage for arguments sake.  Before all Scrin Shields were set to half the number of the HP of the unit.  So you have a Bioarmor that has 5000 hp and 2500 shields.  The Bioarmor only took 70% damage from cannons, meaning that it actually only takes 700 pts of damage on getting hit.  BUT first the shield would take 100% of the damage so it would work like this.

If ShieldHP > 0 then ShieldNewHP = ShieldHP - CannonDamage
If Shield HP =<0 -="-" 30="30" annon="annon" damage="damage" p="p" scrinnewhp="ScrinHP" then="then">

if the shields still have power then 1500 = 2500 - 1000
when the shields are down then 4300 = 5000 - (1000 - 300)

Thats not what we wanted.  Now the shields only protect against a portion of the damage BUT they also have resistance to that portion as well.  SO now the math is like this.

If Shields still have power then Passthroughdamage = CannonDamage - ShieldProtection%
Then ScrinHP = Passthroughdamage - ScrinArmor%

If shields have no power then the equation is simply ScrinHP = CannonDamage - ScrinArmor%

or in plain terms

if shields still have power then Passthroughdamage = 1000 - 50% or 500 pts of damage.
Then the ScrinHP = 500 - 30% or 350 pts of damage.

In the old system this means that the scrin would take 3 hits at 1000 each and then the shield would be down, with 350 of the 3rd shot hitting the scrin unit.  Then it would take 7 shots at 700 each to finish the unit with an overkill number of 250 points.

So now using the NEW system the scrin will take 350 pts of damage 5 times, then the shield (which has absorbed 2500 pts of damage) would run out of power and the Scrin would continue to take 700 pts of damage.  This means the Scrin unit can take 9 hits from the cannon before it's dead with an overkill of 250.  Interesting how the math works right?  You would think this means that the new system is worse for the Scrin than the old one was, but I disagree.  This new system is quite interesting because not all damage types would reduce the passthroughdamage by 50%.  Lance weapons which the Scrin use for example would have a 100% reduction rate, in fact Scrin Lance tech is the reason WHY the Scrin developed shields in the first place, using much the same old system as was in place as before.  Plasma could have a 70% pass through rate.  Rail Tech could have a 1% pass through meaning that 99% go's on to the unit and only 1% is protected against it.  The point is this new system gives us a lot more flex-ability to develop and make other weapon types more useful against the scrin.  Don't believe me?  Try using some Melta weapons on them (upgraded fire tech), not only do they quickly remove Scrin Shields and do decent damage to scrin armored units they also wipe the floor with Scrin Infantry.  Finally, man has found a use for fire! lol.

Scrin Capitol ships have also had a major boost.  They may take forever to show up now but you get a few of those on the field and suddenly the shift of power changes drastically.  And the new Scrin AI doesn't care, they'll have 5 of them being built at once so every few minutes another will show up.  Talk about needing those Kodiaks for backup!

NOD has seen the biggest changes here.  Not only do we have a new unit (The Medusa Memory Matrix Ship) that takes forever and a day to build (totally worth it btw) but you also have a drastic change in the Doctrine System.

The number 1 complaint about the Doctrine System was it was too hard to figure out just what you were getting from your choice.  The original idea was that players would play, test all 4 and see how it changes their units, then from there find the one that fit their play style.  This meant you would have to LEARN how to play with NOD before you would really get good with it.  Yea, that didn't work out so well as even then it was hard to pinpoint what did what better or worse with the Doctrine with many Doctrines overlapping or worse, being redundant.

Now this has changed.  Now each unit will only gain a bonus or change IF you pick that units Doctrine.  This means you can play, see the Sector 9 Buggy and know that picking the Sector 9 Doctrine will give this unit a boost.  But wait, there is more!  You can have all 4 Doctrines now so really its more of a "picking which one you need/want first" and less of a "which one do I want and forsake the rest".

The Medusa is the thing I'm most proud of. Using Robotech ideals with NOD have proven to be quite good in this aspect.  What we have is a structure that you build.  After placing it on the field it gives you a few bonus's (large build radius, small boost to income, can build Salamanders / Avatar Swords / Avatar Shields, large boost to power) but is quite large for what it's doing.  BUT as time go's on it slowly becomes better.  First the Secondary Weapons Systems of the ship come online allowing the unit to defend itself.  Then it's Shield Generators come online.  Finally the ship will take off becoming a flying battle fortress with the firepower to stop an entire enemy army in it's tracks.  Once the ship has taken off you can then start to build another one.  This is at the heart of it the same system we plan to use with the SDF-1 with the Robotech Defense Force.  The one in this release is a bit bigger than the one we will end up using, and we plan on removing the Nuclear Missile Launcher from it because the unit seems to get stuck sometimes as if it's trying to wait so it can fire it's Nuke even though it has to wait another 50 seconds before it can fire again, then it finds itself too close so it can't fire... you get the idea.  Still it's quite a sight to see and even in this messed up state is a very nasty toy to play with, so play responsibly.  :)

We should have the final release done in a week or so, if there are any issues or comments anyone wants to make feel free to let me know.  Otherwise enjoy the RC2 of XF:O3 V2.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

release canidate results

Its only been 2 days so far but the rc seems to be doing well. The few issues that have come up seem to be easily remedied and overall it sounds like people are happy with the changes.

By this time next week we should have a release up on moddb, and I couldnt be happier.  doug has a few more things to talk to me about but as soon as the next o3 release is done and up we should be jumping right in to converting aw and uc to this system as well as getting seed finally back in.

More to follow so stay tuned!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Xenoforce O3 Version 2.0 Release Canidate 1

Test it out and let us know what you think!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Scrin and their toys

As we come close to the release of the next version of Xenoforce : The Original 3 (also known as the next release candidate for the system we use for Xenoforce Reborn) I wanted to talk about the Scrin.

A lot of the current Scrin designs believe it or not come from Robotech, or more importantly from the designs and ideas of the Robotech Masters.  While you can't say the Scrin are the Masters you will see in the new version of the mod just how the themes of the Masters played a very unique roll in the new Scrin.

The first thing we've changed is we've made the "upgrade" system easier to understand.  Instead of it being very story driven and players having trouble really understanding what upgrade applies to what units we have changed it to be the Scrin Bio-Index page.  Here you can modify the stats of the types of Scrin Forces that the Scrin can deploy making them stronger/faster/tougher than they otherwise were.

The first column will now effect the Scrin Bio-Units (yes this is now a class of unit).  The second applies to Scrin Bio-Armors and Scrin Bioroids.  Finally the final applies to the Scrin Escort Fleet units.  Each upgrade grants 5% / 10% / 15% / 20% bonus to speed, fire rate, damage, and health giving you the ability to upgrade a single force type by 50% for free!

Now what exactly are these things?  A Bio-Unit is a unit that is built from the Portal.  A Bio-Armor is built from the Warp Sphere.  Finally an Escort Fleet unit is built from the Gravity Stabilizer.  This like I said is to make things easier.

But wait there is more.  Each unit type has a special feature that further makes this an easy to use but interesting design.  Bio-Units are units that have a specialty enemy type.  This means when the unit deals damage to a specific target type it deals an additional 50% damage against that type!  The types that the units can be specialized in are Infantry / Vehicles / Structures.  So if you focus on Bio-Units and then use Disintegrators which are anti-structure specialists you could be doing an extra 2X damage against enemy bases than you normally would!  Units considered to be BioArmors are : Disintegrators, Shock Troopers, Mastermind Squads, Gunwalkers, Corruptors, Seeker Platforms, and Devouerer Tanks.

Bio-Armors are the meat and potatoes of the Scrin Main force.  The Scrin use 3 different types of Bio-Armors extensively.  Silver Bio-Armors are basic units, meant to be mass produced and are heavily armored and designed to deal damage.  Emerald Bio-Armors are stronger units meant to hold back the tide of an enemy.  They are equipped with special weapons meant to slow the enemy down and are very heavily armored.  Finally Ruby Bio-Armors are elite commander units designed to not only use the most advanced Scrin weapons but also give a boost to other Scrin units around them making them stronger and faster in the field of battle.  A bio-armor has a second hidden surprise though.  Once you kill a Bio-Armor the Bioroid pilot is jettisoned from the husk and then continues on foot fighting.  A Bioroid is a very powerful and special kind of infantry, they are equipped with many of the weapons and features that their Bio-Armor had but are more fragile.  Still this "2nd attack form" makes BioArmors a pain to deal with.

The Escort Fleet is the 3rd kind of Scrin unit.  These are flying vessels that are strong enough to deal massive amounts of damage to their entended targets and can be used either as fire support or as an assault force in their own right.  Typically designed around the idea of being offensive units the Escort Fleet can be hard to handle if your not prepaired to deal with them.  Their purpose is to simply be the best at dealing with targets that also fall under their Teir / Class.

Finally the one type of unit we havn't talked about, the Scrin Capitol Ships, are going to be very very powerful on the battlefield.  It will be a rare sight if things go right to see more than a few of these on the field of battle as they simply are going to be ungodly expensive.  However with great cost comes great power.  Think again of the Robotech masters and their Mothership.  If you've never watched robotech go watch some episodes from the 2nd Season, the one that deals with the Southern Cross and the Robotech Masters.  The Scrin Motherships are going to be like that.  However if a Scrin Mothership is destroyed it will cause a psycic echo to go through all Scrin units on a field causing them to become immobile for 15 seconds.  That may not seem like much but thats 15 seconds of being a sitting duck and in the middle of a battle that can be an eternity.

So thats a rundown on how the Scrin are shaping up to be.  Feel free to ask any questions.  Again I hope to have a version out for testing by NEXT friday (Oct 1st at the latest).

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A very real look at the Kodiak and where CNC 4 went wrong

As I do not have to tell most of you CNC4 was a major disappointment to the CNC community.  The units for the most part took on a more cartoony look, they removed base building almost completely from the game, and they took a game engine that had realistically NO unit limit cap and put an absurdly low unit cap in it's place, all in the name of "balancing".  It's no wonder that there was such a backlash to this design, the only thing it had in common to the other CNC games were the names and the guy playing Kane (Joseph D. Kucan does a great job as Kane btw).

With all the work that we've put into the MOD it's easy to see why the development team of CNC4 took the easy way out and did these things.  But that doesn't make it right.  It would be interesting to see someone redo CNC4 in the CNC3 engine (it wouldn't be hard, there are so many models already imported into CNC3) with the CNC3 game play style.  But thats a topic for a different day, one when I have nothing to talk about.

There were a few gems in CNC4 though.  The NOD Salamander was a pretty cool looking ship that defiantly held to the feel and look of NODs previous unit designs.  The GDI Kodiak went though a lot of different designs before ending up where it did, and at first look I really like the Kodiak.  It has all the hard edges that GDI is known for as well as following along the lines of "GDI is focused on the cheapest way to get heavy weapons onto the battlefield" much like the Mammoth Tank is.

But then I went to actually put it in the game and I started thinking "Wait, this thing really doesn't make much since."  Lets look at the history of CNC from CNC's perspective.  GDI has developed walkers in the past, so they have some very advanced tech along those lines.  They also have hover technology which is seen by it's MRLS's in the 2nd war and the Shatterer in the 4th war.  They have advanced sonic technology AND rail technology that is unrivaled by what NOD uses at any point in the history.  This ship is ment to be a space ship, devleoped and designed after the 3rd war to help protect against ships like the Scrin Mothership, Devastator Warship, and Planetary Assault Carrier.  So what weapons do they put on it?  9 Artillery Cannons and 3 double barreled anti-air vulcans?

If you watch the Youtube video of the making of the Kodiak ( ) you'll begin to understand why and what happened.  Personally out of their designs that they show I like the 3rd one, maybe one day when I'm board I'll model that one.  But with everything going for them, with all these story points and even with their reasoning as to why GDI needs the Kodiak back, they don't make a ship that could do what it's supposed to do.  They make a Planetary Assault ship.  It's that simple, the Kodiak is a Planetary Assault ship, designed to hang out in high orbit and bombard a ground target and then fly in and finish of any remaining targets directly.  Call me stupid but how the hell is that thing supposed to protect itself for other spacecraft?  It's main weapons are on the bottom of the ship making it hard to target anything above or around it.  Sure it's got the vulcans for anything attacking from those directions but honestly how much damage do you think those 3 vulcans are going to do to a Scrin Warship?  My money would be on the Scrin 100% on that fight.  And Kenetic weapons?  On such a high investment?  You have 3 heavy hardpoints on this thing, why make all 3 the same gun?  Make the front 2 Rail Cannons and the back one the artillery cannons for planetary bombardment if thats what you want.  This leaves you 6 Rail cannons that cover both the front and underneath the ship (more than enough power to put a serious hurt on anything in the CNC universe), 3 AA guns that can provide cover fire against lighter ships coming in from above, and 3 artillery cannons for planetary bombardments.  Then you could say it's a warship meant to punch through enemy lines.  Personally I'd also make room on the top "flight deck" section for hidden missile launchers that pop out and also fire much like you see in the design pics.  I may come up with a way to add these things in and if I can then the unit would be more like what it's supposed to be and less like the "game designers" wanted which from the video was a pretty unit.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Capitol and Command Ships, do they have a spot in the game?

First I want to say that this was not the original topic for the day but after watching an exhausting game last night between GDI and NOD (and exiting before the game ended because 3 hours of stalemate with the kills just rising and rising were more than enough for me) I think that this topic needs to be talked about.

Lets go down the line here of known capitol ships / cruisers that each side has in the game so far.  The Scrin have the most direct and interactive ships with their Iconic/Harvinger/Eye-of-the-Storm capitol ships being key to their force late game.  Earth Federation has the White Base / Grey Phantom / Albion / Argama / Ra Calium which is quite a list but you can't do anything with them really in the game, they are just really big drop ships at the end of the day.  AW has the Tenzan class ships that are used to provide quite a bit of firepower, even if they are land ships and not space craft like the rest.  And then there is GDI and NOD.  GDI has the Kodiak and NOD has the Salamander.

Now why am I bringing this up?  Its simple really.  We're about to start doing the rebalancing of Scrin and their Capitol Ships are going to play a major roll in this once we figure out just how we want things to play.  And after watching the game last night I have changed my stance on the Kodiak and the Salamander, I see a reason for these units in the game.  Yes, you heard me.  Something that I have stood heavily against for a long time I am now changing my position on.  Why is that?  Because they are needed.  GDI and NOD need a unit that they can look at as a game ender.  This unit needs to be something that is pulled out when "This has gone on for too long and it needs to end one way or another."  And to me the Kodiak and the Salamander are perfect fits.  It also doesn't hurt that I already have the models and the code for them...... hey just because sometimes I don't plan on using things in the game doesn't mean I haven't already actually at one point PUT them in the game!  Lol.

But there are 2 problems here.  First of all I do NOT want these units to be "mass produced units".  These are units that in most games a player shouldn't see.  These are "We're in the real shit now" units that if you do deploy them they will have an adverse effect on the game.  What this is I'm not sure, but the point is if it works your a hero and if it doesn't then you just made the biggest mistake you could have done.  Maybe the unit costs 50,000 to deploy, or requires a building to be built that requires over 1000 points of power to run.  I don't know yet, but the idea is simple.  It's going to take a lot to get these units and your really going to have to want one to get it.  The flip side is these things are so tough that they are for all intents and purposes game enders.

Now for the other problem.  Size.  The CNC3 engine is a very versatile engine this we know.  The down side to this though is  the game is NOT designed to zoom out very far so that really big units take up a ton of screen space.  If I gave players the ability to control the Ra Calium for example think about how that would effect the game.  That thing is HUGE.  It takes up the entire screen!  (It is a beautiful model though, thanks to the person who donated it!).  If you had the ability to control that thing you would just end up blocking the sight of everything and no one could do anything.  I mean if I can't see my units then thats not cool.   Even the Argama or White Base would be tipping the scale on "Too Big" in my book.  Sure I could make them smaller but then you have people complaining that "things arn't sized right" (news flash, every mobile suit in the game should be 2X bigger or every infantry unit should be 50% smaller).  Yea, we get those kinds of emails.  You know, at one point we even considered just removing infantry from the game all together..... but thats a story for a different day.

Back to size, the Scrin get away with it due to the shear amount of open space that is involved with their capitol ships.  They may be large but a lot of it is open air.  So if we added the Kodiak and Salamander in and we changed the way Earth Federation UC used their capitol ships (yes, I'm looking at the way gundams are deployed now) then what do we really have left?  How would we have the Earth Federation Ships work?  Would some of them be regulated to "attack runs"?  Or maybe have them deploy at the base once per game (that means you get one and only one and then your out of luck).  And how do you make it fair?  For SEED and the Archangel I'm thinking of having the ship fly in and use it's main weapons much like GP03 does when it enters the battlefield but then have the Archangel fly off.  Maybe the Earth Federations ships should work that way too?  Heck, maybe the Kodiak and the Salamander should work that way, they fly in, do a massive amount of damage in a "I'm the Juggernaut, you cant touch me" type of way, then fly off?

Sufficient to say I'm not sure what we are going to do here.  There are a lot of questions that need to be answered before we can move forward with this issue.  But whatever we decide to do know it's because we think it's needed and not "because it would be cool and I want it".  We have a strict "No crap" policy in our mod.  :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

We now return you to your regularly schedualed program.

Just wanted to let everyone know that the PC is fixed and we're back in business.  I should have some new pics up within the next few days dealing with NOD's "Time Wall" that they put up.  I will tell you that while we're still not 100% sure on the way it looks it's functionality is damn cool and I personally love it.  It has just the right amount of "This needs to be dealt with so we can move forward" without having too much "This just isn't right, how are we supposed to deal with something like this?"

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I feel like someone just pulled the football....

So we were making some excellent progress on the mod these last few weeks.  GDI is good to go.  NOD is almost there.  And now we're getting into changes with the Scrin.

And then it happened.  It was bound to happen sooner or later, but I really was hoping for later.  3D Studio Max gave me the middle license error finger.  Sigh.

If anyone out there has ever used the same copy of 3DMax 8 before on their system over a long length of time then you know what I'm talking about.  Somehow, someway, the license had become corrupt and 3D Studio would not run.  Uninstalling doesn't fix this.  Reinstalling doesn't fix this.  So after some more googling I found a solution, find the hidden license file and delete it.  This will cause 3d studio to reactivate itself.  And it was so, the angels were happy and the sky was blue!

Then 4 hours later I turned the computer back on and 3D Studio said "uh, you be fucked dude".  Yea, more problems.  So I ran some more tests and came up with a few HD errors.  Fixed them tried again.  3D studio started up but once the program got in it would freeze.  So I said "hmm, fine, I'll use 3D Studio 9 then.  I have that as well (just prefer 8 for mod work)".  Yea, same type of problem.

Since 2 different programs have the exact same problem I started thinking it wasn't actually a 3D Studio problem and was more likley a driver or windows issue.  Few hours later I had it narrowed down.  Windows is a bitch.  :p

So now I'm backing up everything and getting ready for a new install of windows.  This time there will be no Raid 0,  tried it and didn't like it.  Is this bad?  I don't think so.  I may even try dual booting, one HD running XP and the other running 7.  We'll see.  But for now we're in the ditch waiting for the toe truck.  I should be up and running by tomorrow.  But the long and the short of it is the release that I had planned on having ready for this weekend won't be here.  It's in the ditch.  Next to an old copy of XP.  :p

Sunday, August 26, 2012

And then there were the Scrin....

As always the scrin have come up with a way to make things difficult on us. Unlike last time which was a major overhauling of the Scrin design this time it's a bit easier to fix.  The Scrin are a bio-mechanical force, this we can all agree on. Doug has been talking about bioroids a lot in his last few Robotech Fan podcasts and has offered the idea of changing Scrin more into this type of design. At face value the Robotech Masters and the Scrin have little in common but upon closer inspection they actually share quite a bit.

To make this switch a few things have to change. First all of the scrin ground units that are not considered Bioroids need to be moved to the Portal. This is a very easy thing to do. That leaves everything considered a Bioroid in the Warp Sphere. What is considered a Bioroid? Well for the Scrin there is only one unit that would fit, the Annihilator Tripod.

 "But wait," I can hear you say. "There is only going to be 1 unit in the Warp Sphere? Thats lame."

Not so. We're currently working on 4 different Tripod designs! Each different Tripod will have a different task and roll on the battlefield much like the 4 different bioroid types that the Robotech Masters used. Of course this is tied into our ability to MAKE the Tripods look different and thats going to be the time consuming part.

The next part of this is what a Bioroid is. There are two parts to a Bioroid, it's exterior power armor and it's interior bio suit. When a Bioroid is destroid there is a good chance that the pilot survives and can continue to fight. Where the power armor portion doesn't have the greatest of structural force it does have amazing armor capabilities. The unit inside on the other hand is fine, with plenty of health but not the best armor. The problem is we don't really have a unit to go to and say "thats the 2nd form". To that end I'm experimenting with a few options to see if I can find something that will work. I have a few ideas in my head but I don't know how well they will work out until I get it in game. We could possibly do a form of the tripod where the 3 arms fall off and secondary arms come out on the side making it a more traditional walker type. Or perhaps take the Seeker and give it a single tripod arm allowing it to continue. There are a few options floating around in my head. The point in the end however is that whatever we do there will be a second form that the player will have to deal with once a Tripod is destroyed.

Doug also has some ideas for the Capitol Ships that he hasn't shared with me yet so it may take a bit longer than I am expecting, it all depends on what else needs to be done.

This hopefully won't take too long to do. Once it's done we'll have something for people to Release Canidate test and then it should be up on Mod DB. After this we will work on the SEED portion of the Earth Federation and work on converting the UC and AW forces to our new balancing system. Here is hoping that doesn't take too long.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The differences between NOD and GDI and why they matter.

As I'm almost done with the next O3 release (decided once this rebalance is done to actually release it for people to try) I've gone back and looked at what makes GDI and NOD so different in our universe.

GDI has held it's position as a pure military force.  They simple request what they need and take what they want.  They are the declining super power, the force that once knew no equal that is now losing everything.  They've lost land.  They've lost troops.  They've lost power.  They are fighting hard to keep what little they have left and to once again become the dominant military and political power in the world.

NOD on the other hand has evolved since the fall of Kane at the end of the 2nd Tib War.  After the firestorm crysis it became apparent that they had only once choice if they were to survive, and that was to adapt.  NOD has done so under the unknown leadership of LEGION.  To the world NOD is now a military contractor, a developer of anti-tiberium radiation medicine.  NOD is on the cutting edge of cybernetic developments and artificial limb technology.  They are the perfect meshing of Technology Company and Church.  We make fun of the "cult of Apple" today, in our world the "Cult of NOD" is real.

These are very different contradictions to how EA originally designed NOD and GDI to be.  How does this matter in the game?  Originally the only real difference that one could feel between NOD and GDI were the way the units looked and either you liked big tanks or walkers.

Now GDI is all about the Tank.  Tanks are powerful.  They are dominating.  And they need support.  If you play a game and just make nothing but super expensive mammoth tanks then your probably going to lose.  You need those pitbulls on your flanks covering your tanks.  You need those zone troopers and infantry squads moving in behind them to hold the ground and protect the rear.  In the end you need to use your assets and tools wisely or the enemy can take advantage of each units individual shortcomings and then your in trouble.  But whats the flip side of this?  Those super powerful tanks are very hard to kill if your not using the right weapon.  Also those infantry squads will be generating cash for you as they fight, allowing you to actually afford these higher prices on the new toys.  Used correctly a well developed army can produce more cash than simply refining tiberium could ever hope to do.

NOD on the other hand needs tiberium to survive.  That is their life blood.  If NOD runs out of tiberium to harvest then they are in a seriously bad position.  In short NOD can be starved where GDI can not.  The flip to this is NOD is a company!  You know all that flavor text that we have in the game about this being a Sector Developed unit and that being a Black Ops developed unit?  Now that matters!  When you pick a doctrine no longer does it just modify every unit in your force in a specific direction (for example BOPS give your units sniper rifles and stealth where Sec 9 gives you laser rifles) but it also gives a discount to all units that were developed by that NOD Division.  That means if you like using Fighters and Bombers going with the BOPS doctrine will make more since as the Vertigo Fighter and Armageddon Bomber were both developed by the Black Operations Division.  However if you prefer a massive ground force going with the Homeland Security may make more since considering how many ground units fall under their development.  And who doesn't want super-cheap flame tanks?  We're still working on how much of a discount the units will get, but at the moment I'm thinking around a 25% reduction in build time and cost sounds right.

Scrin still need to be done, I hope to get NOD finished by tomorrow night and then I'll have the week to work on Scrin.  Keep your eyes open, I may have something for people to download by Friday.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The latest demo seems to be a sucsess

So I just finished a few hours ago my updating of the balancing act for GDI to the new system.  I just wanted to let you all know that so far it seems like a major sucsess.  GDI is now able to easily produce income through it's units thanks to the Camera System.  And units really do pack a punch now.  Maybe it could be considered a case of too much, maybe not.  I'm happy with it though so far, it looks to do exactly what I wanted which is battles are much quicker now.

I will need to switch NOD and Scrin over though before I can be sure.  Once I do this I should have a demo out for you guys to try of the O3 with this new balancing.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The next phase of the balancing game

So Doug and I have been working on the new balancing system for a bit now.  This new system takes quite a few things into consideration.  The initial goal was to make the units feel more important and also have a cost that is true to their actual use.

While working on this new design Doug mentioned something about a unit being designed to do a specific job.  What I mean is that a unit should be able to either deal with units of equal or lesser teir value or they should have a specific roll in the game.

With that being said our new design looks... interesting on paper.  I say that because there were a few things that this rebalancing needed to hit for me to be happy and I'm not sure if we've done that. Normally I can see things on paper quite clearly and see how they will work in the game.  This time though it's a bit difficult.

The major issue is in the old versions of the mod a units HP and cost were determined by it's Teir.  A units weapon loadout however was a base level affair even though it had a major roll in determining a units overall cost.

The new balancing design that we're going with is focused on making units more valuable in the game.  It also focus's quite specifically with using armor ratings as the determining factor of a units survivability and using the HP as a base level of the Teir.  Each unit is broken into 3 teir categories: Weapon, Body, and Utility and then those numbers are added up and divided by 3 to determine the units overall Teir level.

The goals of this rebalancing are as follows.

Unit Types have to feel different in the game.  Mecha can't feel like Tanks on legs.
Units have to actually have usefull rolls in the game.
Battles have to end quicker.  No one likes watching a 20 minute video of 2 tanks hitting each other slowly whittling down their HP.  If a weapon can do damage it needs to DO the damage.
Economic Designs need to be more diverse.
Money needs to feel valuable.

The last 2 are my question marks.  For the EF it's obvious what their economic design is.  They can gather Tiberium AND they make money from power supplies through air drop offs.  

GDI is going to be about "cash cams".  Lighter infantry squads will have "leaders" who are equipped with "scouting cameras" for taking pictures of the enemy and relaying these photos back to centeral command allowing them to generate funds.  There is also an Orca with this camera attached to it and an APC that can be built that will do this as well as the Recon Drone that can generate funds.  The idea is simple, the more diverse your force is the more cash you make.  Heck, take a bunch of infantry and spread them out in buildings to act not only as early warning systems but to generate funds as an enemy attacks you.

NOD is going to go the "Discount" route.  This is tied in with their Doctrines.  If you pick Sector 9 for example every unit that is classified as a "Built by Sector 9" or "Designed by Sector 9" will get a major discount.  This will make it even more challenging when picking a Doctrine as it not only determines what weapons your units will use but it determines their overall cost.

Scrin still have their ability to simply generate funds by making additional Tiberium Fields wherever they wish on the map.

So between these changes to the economy and the changes to the games hp/cost/weapons systems it may turn out to be the best version yet.  Or it could turn into a huge mess with the units simply dealing too much damage per shot and a few units being able to control an entire battlefield.  Only playtesting will tell.  :p

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Making changes while adding vs getting it all in there and then working on it

There are two general ways of dealing with a project like ours.  The first is to try and keep everything balanced and working properly as we move on in the design, constantly changing small things to try and make the overall experience feel good while continuing to show improvement.  The second is to get as much work done as possible and then go back once everything is done and tweak then.

Each method has it's advantage and disadvantage.  When we originally started working on the mod we followed the latter design focus, we were just trying to get it all in.  This led to the Xenoforce 9C mod, a version that while popular was not very well done.  It did have SEED and AW and UC in the game, but the game was fundamentally missing some important parts.  Upon inspection it was determined that we simply could not go back and tweak the choices we had made, that the problems were too severe.

Hench why we have gone to the former way of doing things, trying to tweak the game as we go.  The upside to this is every release should be balanced out.  The downside is that every release takes longer as each one needs to be balanced.  In the end what we're looking at doing now is a complete rebalancing where we take all things into consideration.  This is important due to some of the new ideas that Doug has come up with, most importantly being the "armor resistance" design.  This change is very very cool and will help give the units that have it just the edge they need.  Basically what it comes down to is the armor will degrade as used and once fully degraded the unit takes extra damage.  This degrading can not be repaired or fixed, but over time the armor will come back to normal.  The idea is that a unit in battle once pulled out will get field repairs or maybe the pilot will become re-energized and will once again be able to act quicker making their units more protected in the field.

While I know everyone wants the next version to come out yesterday and they want their seed and robotech too all I can say is that this change, along with all the other modifications should lead to a much more interesting game.  Faster battles, important units actually having a greater roll in the field, rolls being more transparent, and each faction having it's own special way to either help offset the cost of their units or having their own way of making additional funds in the field.   It will be worth the wait, and it will be quite cool to see happen.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Would both holy trinities work together?

The holy trinity of a RTS has always been a Rock-Paper-Scissors deal, or Infantry - Vehicles - Aircraft type deal.  The holy trinity of a MMO though always gos Tank-DPS-Healer.  No matter how many times a game maker tries these basic designs keep seeping back in.  There are many successful RTS developers that have easily moved beyond the R-P-S design and added in a much more dynamic and fluid system giving players many choices.

MMO's on the other hand have had a seriously difficult time doing so.  Some new ones have forgone this and embraced the trinity quite well, a recent one that did this was Star Wars : The Old Republic (not a bad game btw if anyone cares).  One that has tried to escape it that just came out was The Secret World which I have not tried but have heard mixed reviews on how successful it was at this.

Why am I bringing this up?  Doug and I have been talking about re-balancing the mod.  Some may say "what, again? Just put the damn new units in then go back and look at it!"  To those people I say "sorry, sucks to think that way."  You see we want each release to be properly balanced and with each release we're getting closer to what we want to see out of this game. But each time we do something it seems other "cracks" in the design appear that make us go "mmmmmm".

In this case though the design issues we've found have NOTHING to do with the actual way the game factions work or how they are implemented.  Instead it comes down to the units themselves.  You see when I designed the formula for units value/cost/damage output there were a few things that I left out that at the time didn't seem to matter much.  But as things continue to evolve my original design flaws are becoming apparent.

What this all boils down to is a redesign of a different scale.  I am working on a new unit formula for designing the units for the game right now while Doug works on the more refined changes from a faction design level.

And with that comes the holy trinity of Tank/DPS/Healer or in our case Offensive/Assault/Repair/Utility.

A unit classified as Offensive would be the typical Meat Shield of an MMO.  These units are designed to take a hit and keep on going.  If you need a unit that can survive the onslaught of enemy fire it's an Offensive force.

An Assault classified unit is a unit that specializes in dealing a lot of damage and they typically have greater range.  However assault units are not the toughest units out there and can quite quickly die if not properly supported.

A Repair classified unit is a normal unit (if there is such a thing) that also has the ability to heal others.

Finally if a unit does not fall into one of the other 3 classifications it ends up as a Utility unit.  This isn't always a bad thing.  Utility units typically have other "powers" or "features" going on that help them keep a role in their army.

An example for Gundam players would be as follows.  An RGM 79 would be an Offensive unit as it is ment to be used on the front line.  As such it would get a "bonus" to its health to allow it to fill such a roll.  A GM Sniper or Guntank however would fall in the Assault Class.  A Guntank however through the course of the game would change classifications to become a Repair class after certain upgrades are met.

This is just an idea and not even a fully fleshed out idea here.  But it's one to think about as we go forward.  This kind of classification mixed in with our other design would allow players at a glance to instantly see what kind of units and how they actually would function on the battlefield at a glance.  If I'm looking at the following....

GM 79  -  Offensive Troop
GM Sniper - Assault Elite Support
Guntank - Assault Heavy Support
Powered GM - Offensive Fast Attack

I know that my GM79's are going to be the cheap front line units that have the least features, that the GM Sniper is going to be a very effective but expensive damage dealing unit, the Guntank is going to be a slower but more heavily armored alternative to the GM Sniper, and the Powered GM is going to be a more expensive but much faster option to the GM79.  And you know what, I'd be right.  What are your thoughts?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Another missed sunday last week, and not much this week?

Yea I know.  I keep missing my Weekly updates.  Thats because there isn't much to talk about.  Doug and I have the Seed design almost worked out to both of our satisfactions.  An example is we're taking Heliopolis out as they were actually owned by ORB and that would put ORB in twice and we're putting LOGOS in it's place.

Some people may go "What the hell?  LOGOS and Blue Cosmos are the same thing!"  Not really.  LOGOS was basically a group of arms dealers who had backroom deals in place to stir up another war to raise profits.  Blue Cosmos was a Religious Cult (easiest way to put it) who were hell bent on a racial cleansing of all coordinators.  LOGOS spend the majority of their time working on equipment that focused on putting the most amount of firepower on the field of battle in the easiest way, or in other words making Mobile Armors.  Blue Cosmos were determined to beat the coordinator's at their own game and focused on Mobile Suits that used humans as CPUS (an argument could be made that their Human CPUS were just messed up coordinators but we won't get into that right now).

So how it's shaping up is this.

LOGOS is going to be about Mobile Armors.  Massive Power, very few units.  Logos will play with a very few super powerful units on the field that can deal with most armies regular units with little to no problem.

Blue Cosmos is going to be about Elite Prototype Mobile Suits.  Gundams.  Blue Cosmos will be able to adapt more than Logos due to having the ability to spread their elite units out across a larger area.

ORB is going to be about high performance mass production units.  Astrays and the like.   ORB is all about production and swarming the enemy with wave after wave of units, constantly keeping them down.

I guess it's time to get to work on this isn't it?  Lol.  See you guys next week.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

A Seed design I can get behind!

So I have been looking at the SEED design I came up with awhile back and was getting the feeling that it just didn't seem right.  Have you ever worked on something and just felt that things are not going the way you intended?

With this in mind I went back to the drawing board on the SEED design and focused on adaptability of the army.  That was the main thing I wanted a player to be able to get with SEED, a force that would give when pushed and then push back but not break easily.

Here is what I came up with.  SEED is a force that is really is more than the sum of it's parts.  With SEED you will have the following starting structures.

1. Power Plant - 2. Refinery - 3. Basic Unit Factory
4. SEED Factory - 5. SEED Airfield - 6. SEED Command Center
7. Nuclear Power Plant

Once you have built a SEED Factory and a SEED Airfield you can build this.

8. Alliance Command Center

The Command Center is a key structure.  It is here that you can switch between your alliances that a SEED player may have.  You see, SEED will work a lot like NOD's doctrine system when it comes to its allies but unlike NOD where you pick one and thats all you get SEED can switch in game between it's allies.  Once the Alliance Command Center is built you will have access to the following structures to build.

9. Heliopolis Embassy - 10. Blue Cosmos Relations Center - 11. ORB Embassy

You can build all 3 of these structures but they take a bit of time to deploy (1 minute 30 seconds to build) and there is a build limit of 1 max of each structure.  When you build one your alliance automatically shifts to that faction unless you go into the Alliance Command Center and switch to something else.  Switching btw takes 1 minute and 30 seconds to do.

We'll start with what you as an Earth Federation SEED commander gets for their basic units for deployment.

From the War Factory you can build  -

Launcher Daggers
Windam (Requires Heliopolis Embassy / Blue Cosmos Relations Center / ORB Embassy to be built)
Doppelhorn Windam  (Requires Heliopolis Embassy / Blue Cosmos Relations Center / ORB Embassy to be built)

From the Airfield you can build -

Jet Dagger
Gunbarrell Striker
Jet Windam (Requires Heliopolis Embassy / Blue Cosmos Relations Center / ORB Embassy to be built)
Sky Grasper  (Requires Heliopolis Embassy / Blue Cosmos Relations Center / ORB Embassy to be built)

Hmm, doesn't look like much does it.  Thats where your ally comes in.

Going with the Heliopolis Embassy you get a structure where there are 4 upgrades available to do.  You also get a power to use, the ability to deploy the Archangel anywhere you want on the map!  Not only that but when you drop the Archangel down it will spawn out the Morbeius Zero and the Strike Gundam and if they are destroyed they will respawn in 3 minutes!  

The upgrades are

1. Dagger L Redesign. - This turns your Daggers into Dagger L's and also unlocks the Dagger L Doppelhorn as a buildable unit.

2. Freedom Design - This will spawn the Freedom Gundam from the Archangel once every 6 minutes for free.

3. Justice Design - This will spawn the Justice Gundam from the Archangel once every 6 minutes for free.

4. METEOR Design - This will unlock Strike Freedom and Infinite Justice inside the METEOR flight unit as powers.  (This works much like GP03).  These deployments will be VERY expensive.

So you can see the advantage here.  You deploy the Archangel and it can give you access to some VERY powerful units.  Sure you can only build a few of the more basic frontline untis but this ally is all about single powerful units taking the day.

The ORB Embassy gives you ORB as an ally.  However unlike the other forces ORB gives you a single new power, a "Automated War Factory" that you can drop in every 4 minutes for free.  This factory is NOT limited to 1 which is a big deal here.  Every few minutes there will be a new "deployment" of free units produced at this factory.  The units that it will deploy are....

1. M1-Astray
2. M1-Astray Flight Rotor Shrike
3. Murasame
4. Ootsukigata

Orb doesn't have upgrades to deal with, they don't need them.  On top of that the more "free" factories you deploy the more free units you'll end up getting!  How sweet is that?

You will also have access to 2 additional powers on the side that the factory provides.  These will deploy the Strike Rouge and the ORB-01 Akatsuki onto the field for you to use.  However these will not be "deployed" where ever you wish, deploying them will cause them to appear at your ORB Embassy.

So Heliopolis gives you super units and ORB gives you an unending supply of free units, what does Blue Cosmos give you?  Pure, Unbridled Power!

First you get 4 upgrades again.  This time however they must be completed in the proper order to unlock the next "upgrade".  Second you gain access to some very powerful units as "drop in" units.  Again these units spawn back at your base and not "wherever you want" like the Archangel can.

Here are the upgrades that you get.

1. Phantom Pain Deployment - This unlocks the Slaugher Sword and the Slaugher Aile as buildable units as well as upgrading the Dagger Launcher to the Slaugher Launcher.
2. Gells Ghe Research - This unlocks the Gells Ghe as a buildable unit.
3. Zama Zah Research - This unlocks the Zama Zah as a buildable unit.
4. Destroy Research - This unlocks the Destroy Gundam as a buildable unit.

Here are the summon powers you get.

1. Dominion Ship Deployment
2. Strike Noir Deployment
3. Chaos Gundam Deployment
4. Abyss Gundam Deployment

These deployments cost MONEY on top of time.

So how it breaks down, Heliopolis gives you powerful free units and a slight upgrade to your basic units.  ORB gives your a lot of free units making things easier on your economy.  Blue Cosmos gives you very powerful units but requires a very active economy to be effectively deployed.  So I'm sure your going "Whats the catch?"

The Catch is in the Alliance Command.  Remember you can only ever have 1 alliance active at a time.  This means that you can't have the Archangel and the Dominion flying around on your side.  IF you switch alliances any units either deployed or free that you have built from another alliance will auto-destruct!  Thats right, if you have Strike Freedom and Infinite Justice flying around with the Archangel and you decide to switch to ORB to make things easier on your economy then when that switch is completed the Strike Freedom / Infinite Justice / Archangel will simply explode where they are (and in the case of the Freedom and Justice that can be a big explosion!).  So while you can switch alliances whenever you want it's not really a good thing to just "do".  It's best to stick with an alliance unless you really have to make a tactical shift.

However anything that is BUILT from the main factory is not destroyed.  This means if you go with Blue Cosmos and unlock Phantom Pain and the 3 Heavy Armors you can then switch to ORB for free units and build the Slaughters and the Heavy Armors from the factory!  NOW you see how sweet this setup can be!

This entire design to me just feels right.  I can see it's deployment in game, I can see it taking shape and being a very unique and welcomed addition to the game.  Besides, who doesn't want to watch 3 Destroy Gundams fight GPO3, Nu Gundam, and an army of Jegans and then watch in horror as a colony falls on top of them and DOME gets deployed across the field?  Just saying it makes me want to get to work on it right now!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Life, you know?

Sorry for no post last week, life and warm weather = less time to work on the mod recently.

Having looked at the current design for SEED I have come to the conclusion that I am a mad man.  It's not that the design couldn't work it's that I don't "feel" it like I felt AW and UC.  That and it's kind of complicated from a coding point of view.  :p

So I'm going to be looking at it and coming up with a better/cleaner design in the next few days.  I'll let you all know how it go's.  Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, May 28, 2012

How we design a unit

First, directly below this post is a link to the latest version of the Mod RC.  GO GET IT NOW!

Are you back?  Good.

As we are gearing up for work on the Seed aspect of the Earth Federation I thought it would be cool to do a post explaining how we design the units that we end up putting into the game.

Once we have a mobile suit or vehicle that we want to put into the game picked we fill out a design sheet that covers the basics of the unit and what stats we need to code in.  Then based off of the information we figure out the general cost/time that such a unit would have.

This is a list of the variables and how we work them out.

HP : This is typically decided by the type of unit.  A unit that is heavily armored will have a higher HP.
Speed : A standard tank now moves at a speed of 60.
Locomotor : This determines how it moves.  The 3 standards are Ground / Hover / Air.  A ground unit moves on the ground like a Predator Tank.  A hover unit flies but can hover like an Orca.  Finally an air unit must always be moving while in the air like a Firehawk.
Sight : How far a unit can see.
Special Attributes : Additional abilities that make the unit more useful on the battlefield.

Weapons -  The weapon section is much more complicated.  We sub-divide this category into it's own stats to determine a units weapons.  A unit with multiple primary weapons have each one calculated into the final cost at full value where a unit with multiple defensive weapons get these added on at a discounted price.

Weapon Subsection :

Fire Rate - Determines how many shots per clip
Fire Type - Determines what kind of damage it does
Miss Rate - Determines accuracy
Damage - How much damage is done per shot
Blast Radius - Determines the radius of the shot for possible splash damage
Shot Rate - How much time in between shots
Clip Rate - How much time to reload clip
Range - How far can it fire
Other - other attributes that can add bonus's or other effects to a weapon, like continual burn / artillery / double barreled / gattling / or overcharged.

Armor - Finally we have armor.  Armor is used as a way to help show certain weapons as being far superior to other types of weapons.  There are many types of weapons in this mod, and as such certain armors are preferred against certain enemies.  Take SEED Gundams for example.  Their Phase Shift armor is going to be great against enemies like GDI early to mid game thanks to GDI's reliance on projectile weapons.  However against Nod and Scrin who like to use Lasers and Plasma it won't be as useful.  Later though when you get units with Tans-Phase Armor Nod and Scrin will have a harder time against these targets.  GDI however will be sitting pretty with their Rail Cannon Technology.

The weapon/armor types are as follows.


I probably forgot a few but off the top of my head those are the most used ones.  Keep in mind that one of the major things we decided on at the very beginning of the the designing of the game was that Rail Technology would be considered the "ultimate" type of weapon.  This means that there will be NO armor that grants a protection against Rail Weapons (unless the armor grants 100% protection in some way).  Also some weapons may not technically be a Rail weapon but we use that damage type to show that it has the same effect as a Rail Weapon.  An example of this would be the Gundam Strike Launcher's main particle beam cannon.  In game it's being considered a Rail Weapon because it's just so bad ass it's hard to argue that you can defend against something like that with "armor".

Finally we come to "cost/time".  How we figure this out is based on the HP of the unit (rounded to the nearest 1000'th and then divided by 1000) + average primary weapon damage per 2 seconds divided by 100 + 100/1S per bonus/defensive weapon.

So what does all of this look like once done?  Here are 2 examples from the upcoming SEED side.

Name : Dagger
Cost : 900/9S
HP : 2200
Speed : 60
Locomotor : Ground
Other - None

Weapon - Primary Weapon

Fire Rate - 3 Rounds
Fire Type - Cannon
Miss Rate - 10 miss
Damage - 200 Dmg
Blast Radius - 1 Radius
Shot Rate - .2 seconds inbetween shots
Clip Rate - 1.4 seconds to reload
Range - 300 Range
Other : Can hit Ground and Air

Weapon - Defensive Weapon (Head Vulcans)
Fire Rate - 1 Round
Fire Type - Gun
Miss Rate - 0 miss
Damage - 35 Dmg
Radius - 1
Shot Rate - .1 seconds
Clip Rate - 0 (unlimited clip)
Range - 300
Other : Only targets infantry

Armor -
Gun : 10
Grenade : 25
Fire : 10

As you can see it's a very basic unit.  It takes full damage from all but the most basic weapons and it has a decent chance to miss.  Its cost comes from being able to deal 600 pts of damage every 2 seconds (equaling 600/6s for cost) + 200/2s for it's hp (2200 rounded to 2000 then divided by 100/1000) + 100/1s for having a defensive weapon.

Another unit.

Name : Slaugher Dagger Launcher
Cost : 2300/23s
HP : 4600
Speed : 90
Locomotor : Ground
Other - None

Weapon - Primary Weapon (Launcher Cannon)

Fire Rate - 1 Round
Fire Type - Rail
Miss Rate - 0 miss
Damage - 1000 Dmg
Blast Radius - 1 Radius
Shot Rate - .0 seconds inbetween shots
Clip Rate - 6 seconds to reload
Range - 450 Range
Other : Can hit Ground and Air / Pre-Attack Delay of 1s

Weapon - Primary Weapon (Gattling Cannon)

Fire Rate - 6 Round
Fire Type - Cannon
Miss Rate - 5 miss
Damage - 100 Dmg
Blast Radius - 1 Radius
Shot Rate - .01 seconds inbetween shots
Clip Rate - 3 seconds to reload
Range - 300 Range
Other : Can hit Ground and Air

Weapon - Primary Weapon (Rocket Pod)

Fire Rate - 2 Round
Fire Type - Missile
Miss Rate - 0 miss
Damage - 250 Dmg
Blast Radius - 5 Radius
Shot Rate - .05 seconds inbetween shots
Clip Rate - 2 seconds to reload
Range - 300 Range
Other : Can hit Ground and Air

Armor -
Gun : 5
Grenade : 20
Fire : 5
Cannon : 80
Missile : 80

Other : EMP Shielded

As you can see this is a very expensive unit.  However the amount of firepower that this thing can deal out is quite extensive.  Trying to build an army of these things will make you go broke but having a few in there behind a bunch of Daggers to use as a shield will end with great results.  Also because it uses 3 primary weapons it can fire all 3 at the same time with no delays vs a secondary weapon only firing during the reloading of a primary weapon.  Finally because we gave it 3 primary weapons each one after the first one adds a +1, then a +2 and so on to the cost.  So having 3 primary weapons gave it a +300/+3 to it's cost/time.

So now I hope you guys have an understanding of how we develop the units.  This formula gives us a great rough start as to where a unit should stand when we first put it into the game and then from there we move forward with tweaking it to make it cost more/less and be more/less effective in it's designed roll.  With the Dagger it's ment to be a front line basic unit.  With the Slaughter Launcher Dagger it's ment to be a direct firing fire-support unit.

Fire away with any questions you may have.

Release Canidate 2 of Xeno 03 + 9E

Here's the release candidate v2

Saturday, May 26, 2012

An preview update for tomorrows update.

Ok, I'm going to be posting up another update to the release candidate tomorrow with some of the fix's that people have brought up.

Some of the changes include changing GDI's powers for teir 3 support drops to not be available right away and for them to have different timers as well as AI fix's to GDI and Nod.  Hopefully I will also get some of the descriptions fixed as well.

I will also try to get a post up tomorrow night or Monday about how we design a unit with some SEED vs UC comparisons so that you guys can get an idea of how these units SHOULD work out against each other in a theoretical matchup.  See you tomorrow!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Something for the weekend.

Here is a link to the Xenoforce O3 + 9E that Doug has been playtesting.  I'm not going to be able to get much of any work done on the mod this next week so I thought now would be a decent time to give you guys this taste.  Enjoy it.

There are a few bugs present (not sure what bugs but I know they are there) as well as missing or wrong descriptions for a few things (not sure about AW for example) so keep that in mind.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sorry for the lack of updates.

Getting sick is never fun, especially when you think your over it and then it comes back two weeks later worse than ever.  Now hopefully I truly am over this and can get back to work.

I promised a design workup for SEED and have come up with something that I think will work well.  Here it is.

After choosing the SEED construction yard you will have access to the SEED War Factory, SEED Airfield Support, and SEED Experimental Factory.  The way it will work is the War Factory will build the basic units, the Airfield will build a few important support units for when a player needs additional cheap air support, and the Experimental Factory is where the Unique units will be built.

Starting with the War factory there will be 4 teirs to build.  Each Teir is linked to the experimental teir as well.  There will be 3 units available per teir to build.  Each unit that is available to the player to build is linked to the following categories - Tactical - Offense - Assault.

A tactical unit is a standard unit with little to no real upgrades.  These units are not the fastest or the strongest choice but they are the most cost effective.   And Offensive unit is one designed for speed and deployment.  Typically this means they are equipped with a special 'pack' for flight making them faster and increasing their offensive capabilities while increasing their cost.  Finally an Assault unit is one that is designed for sieging an enemy base, typically this means they are equipped with heavy weapons or artillery of some sort.  This also makes them one of the most expensive types of units to build.

Once a player has purchased a regular unit of a given teir (it can be any of the 3) they can then build an experimental unit of that same teir.  Experimental units are very expensive and time consuming to build but are very powerful.  There are 3 experimental units per teir and they also follow the Tactical - Offense - Assault design.  Once the experimental unit is built the next teir of basic units are available to build.

This leads to a going back and forth between basic and advanced units.  A player could spend their early game simply advancing their tech and saving their money for later use but if they do this they would end up having access to their entire armory of units but without an army to help defend their base.  They could alternatively spend a lot of time building their basic force up early and then end up with less cash then expected come the end because now they have spent all their money on their units and can't afford the better stuff later.  It will be up to the player to determine how best to deal with their balancing of the economy vs tech race.

These are the tentative build trees that we're looking to use.

Mobile Suits -

Teir 1 :  Dagger - Jet Dagger - Launcher Dagger
Teir 2 :  Dagger L - Jet Dagger L  - Doppelhorn Dagger L
Teir 3 : Slaughter Sword - Slaughter Aile - Slaughter launcher
Teir 4 : Windam - Jet Windam - Doppelhorn Windam

Experimental Suits -

Teir 1 : Duel Gundam - Buster Gundam  - Strike Gundam
Teir 2 : Chaos Gundam - Gaia Gundam - Abyss Gundam
Teir 3 : Blu Dual Gundam - Verde Buster Gundam - Strike Noir Gundam
Teir 4 : Gells Ghe - Zamza Zah - Destroy Gundam

Air Support Units -

Teir 1 : Gunbarrel Striker (Unlimited Build)
Teir 1 : Moebius Zero (Limit 1 Build)
Teir 2 : Sky Grasper (Unlimited Build)
Teir 3 : Exus (Limit 1 Build)

Finally for the differences in the basic units.  A Dagger will be a very simple straight forward unit.  It is equipped with a single head vulcan and a machine gun typically unless otherwise noted (Like the Launcher Dagger is equipped with it's beam cannon and not a machine gun).  A Dagger L costs more but has double the head vulcans, a beam rifle, and EMP Shielding.  A Slaughter dagger has specialty weapons and greater speed.  Finally the Windam has the speed of a Slaughter, the cost and armaments of the Dagger L, as well as having greater accuracy.

For the final bit we have the "Allies" support power.  The player will have access to a structure near the end of their Structure Build tree called the "Allied Defense Coordination Center" (name pending).  This structure will give access to 3 powers.  Each Power will give you access to support from one of the 3 "choices" that a player will have.  The choices are "Three Ship Alliance", "Orb", and "Blue Cosmos".  No matter what one you pick it will cause a structure to "land" where you tell it to (I suggest in a defend-able position in your base).  Depending on what ally you go with will grant you not only additional powers on the side but also additional resources on the map.  So if you go with the Three Ship Alliance for example every 5 minutes the ArchAngel will fly in and drop in 10,000.  If you go Orb you will get the same 10,000 every 4 minutes.  Finally Blue Cosmos gives 10,000 every 4 minutes.  Also you will unlock additional powers on the side.

The Three Ship Alliance grants access to only 2 new units but they are the strongest units you could ask for.  They are obviously the Freedom and the Justice.  These units come in for free once their build timers are over and if destroyed still will go nuclear.  What fun!

The Orb Alliance will give you access to the Astrays, Murasame, Strike Rouge, and the Akatsuki units.  Where the Three ship only drops off money on its drops the Orb will also drop in Astrays for free!

Finally we have Blue Cosmos.  Where they are different is in the fact that you don't get any new "units" per-say but can now deploy additional "Gells Ghe", "Zamza Zah", and "Destroy Gundam"'s effectivly removing the 1 limiter that was on them.

So thats the design I think I'm going to try.  I don't plan on starting this design any time this month (still want to finish and get a build out to you guys of the UC/AW with the new O3 first with improved audios) so there is time to talk about this design.  Let me know what you think!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Release Candidate going well.

Sounds like the release candidate is doing well. Most people have had good things to say about it and it seems to hold up well against the EF in our internal test builds. I'm going to give it another week or two before a Mod-DB official release.

We do have a 3rd version with a few slight updates available here.

So yea while all of this is going on I've got to keep ripping audio for the Gundam AW / UC factions so the units have more of a "range" of voices when they speak. I'm also looking at replacing the "Commander, the whatever is now ready for deployment" statements with "whatever deployed" statements.

Other than that not much else is going on. If anyone has any questions feel free to email me / post it up here.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

xeno O3 release canidate

link is now up for a release candidate.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

No post this week

Sorry, busy working on the release candidate for the O3. Doug is currently testing it now while I work on the descriptions (most boring part of this work) and then hopefully we'll have something for you guys to play this week.

Monday, April 2, 2012

New GDI and changes to Scrin

So now that we're into the home stretch things are really starting to become interesting. Nod is a force to be reckoned with that is for sure. The Scrin are simply deadly. And GDI? GDI is having to fight to hold it's line.

Now two things have become apparent to me at this phase. The first is that I'm going to have to do more work to GDI than I originally planned, mostly due to Doug requesting more get done than I wanted to do. So there is that. Another thing is the new Scrin are very powerful but there is a flaw.

We'll start with the Scrin. Their flaw at this point is the new Echo System. While it sounded great on paper in use on the battlefield it really didn't make a difference in how the game plays out. This is a problem as this is supposed to be Scrins ultimate upgrade. In reality it caused issues with game stability. SO what I have done for now is change the Echo upgrade to a Production upgrade. This will now make the choice actually important. War Tripods that used to cost 25s/2500 now cost 12s/2500! Yea, thats big.

Also the Scrin AI is crashing, but not always. So I get to go AI spelunking to try to figure out what tiny bit of code the game is trying to do that it can't. Yaaa me.

But GDI, GDI's changes are going to end up being much more interesting in the long run. We're looking at putting 5 more new units into an already robust army. Some upgrades will be going away and become available in other ways. So for example instead of buying a Mammoth Tank and then upgrading to Rail Cannons you'll be buying a Mammoth Tank OR buying a more expensive Mammoth Rail Tank.

Other units will be gaining better usability in the field. Zone troopers that can actually jump large distances for rapid deployment is one example.

And of course the new Ion canon system. Fire it at 8 minutes for it's normal attack or fire it at 12 minutes for a planet cutter attack! Watch as enemy units come near the Ion Cannon Deployment Center's base get blasted over and over from orbit! Make pizza and watch the show!

Next week I hope to be able to talk about the new GDI design in more detail. We're done designing it now but I want to get it finished and into the game before talking more about it.

A quick rundown though between the 2 forces will work like this.

Scrin - Power, single minded production, and constantly advancing. The Scrin are an offensive force that are able to produce large armies from small bases.

Offensive Rating - 9
Defensive Rating - 4

Nod - Multiple Choices, varying degree of units, work best with large bases and when units work together. Nod focus's on elite units and teamwork to survive.

Offensive Rating - 8
Defensive Rating - 5

GDI - Mass Production, encroachment army. GDI is a defensive force that prefers to take land a piece at a time then force their enemy into a corner before pounding them with heavy mobile weapon platforms.

Offensive Rating - 6
Defensive Rating - 7

As you can see from my ratings GDI is the most defensive force in the game but they also try to keep a very even split between offense and defense. Nod on the other hand is a force that likes to expand and can defend it's expansion bases but they also are able to produce large armies of different units that work well together to destroy an enemy force. The Scrin only need one base (this does not stop them from expanding I must point out) to be sucsessful and from this one base they can wage a war on multiple fronts continuing to force their enemies into more desperate measures as they destroy whatever is in their path.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Super Defenses, a new category for the mod!

Before you read any further, No, this does not mean that we're just going to add new defensive structures into the game that are super powerful. That would be easy to do of course, but thats not what we're trying to do with this. No, the term Super Defense is based around the idea that after a certain point a player/enemy base will gain access to a form of "Defense" that makes it much harder to attack in a specific way or fashion.

Lets talk about the O3 and the EF here for a bit shall we? We'll start with the Scrin.

The Scrin are an invasion force. They are not concerned about building massive bases and holding ground, instead their entire army is based around the idea of devouring the enemy as they go so they will not have a defensive super weapon. They are a pure offensive force so it wouldn't make since to have one.

Nod's "Defensive Weapon" is called the Orguss Effect. Basically what happens is once you have a Temple of NOD built all of the stealth Generators will output a "no-fly-zone" Ion Ceiling. In effect if any air units fly through this storm they stand a very good chance of getting destroyed. Ground units are not effected by this power. It leads to a simple case of "Ok, if we don't take that Temple of Nod out we are going to have to hit Nod with a ground attack, air's not in the equation."

GDI's "Defensive Weapon" is something that I particularly find amusing. Once you have the Ion Cannon Control Center built any enemy GROUND units that are seen attacking the base around the Ion Control Center will be targeted by a limited-field Ion Cannon blast. Think of it as the Ion Cannon Direct fire power from the 2nd war. There will not be a blast radius on this shot and obviously if your opponent is a fast moving unit it won't hit either but for the most part this means that your Ion Cannon could potentially defend an entire base by itself from slow moving Avatars and Tripods. This also means once GDI has this up your best bet is to hit them with air or stealth units to get inside the Cannons fire radius.

Earth Federations AW force again isn't going to qualify for a Defensive Super Weapon. We're up in the air about UC if we want to give them one or not. However Seed has always had this kind of thing in it from the original design. The Artimis Shield.

The "how" is still up in the air about this but basically it is going to work like this. The Shield Generator will activate the shield whenever an enemy unit comes in range. This will have 2 effects. Anything that is inside the shield when the effect go's off will be given invulnerability to show that they are inside the shield. Anything on the edge of the shield (the enemy that triggered the shields activation) will have its speed reduced to 5% to show that it is trying to get through the shield.

The Shield will not work against super powers like Ion Cannons. Also again the shield will only work if it can see the enemy comming like aircraft or units. Finally the Shield only works for a certain radius, like 200-700 so once an enemy gets close they can destroy the structure and take the shield down. Again stealth is important here.

I hope you guys see what we're trying to do. Some of these ideas still need to be fleshed out but in the end I think this will add that last level of stratagy that a CNC game should have.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Avatar - A change in the game?

The Avatar has always been Nods end game unit. In fact even it's name suggests that it is going to be of a higher level of power than the Scorpion or Stealth Tank. But with all the changes going on in the mod the question of "what happens to the Avatar?" has come up a few times.

And since I'm so close to being done with my changes I though I would jump ahead and do the Legion Avatar before getting to the Operations Stealth Tank or the Homeland Scorpion Tank. Boy was that a mistake.

First we will go over the design. There are going to be two versions of the Legion Avatar, an Assault Avatar and a Heavy Avatar. The names are still a work in progress, but basically the Assault version will have more weapons and speed where the Heavy will have much more armor.

Another nice thing about the Avatar will be it's bonus's. While looking at it the other day Doug pointed out that we should look at what Nod will be lacking in by the time the player gets access to the Avatar and basing it's equipment off of that need. That was a very insightful comment and what path it lead me to was cost. By the time Nod gets to the Avatar the major thing that should be holding it back is a go-to unit that is going to be cost effective as most of your cash will be going to cybernetic squads and heavy tanks. He also questioned the roll of the Avatar in our story. So what I came up with was this.

The Avatars will be limited to 1 out at a time.
The Avatars will be free to build (no cost) but take 2 minutes to build.
The Avatars will be incredibly powerful. These are the units that cause the other world powers to be afraid of Nod the most. If Nod was ever able to come up with a way to mass-produce these incredibly powerful machines then none of the other world powers would stand a chance. It is this reason that the Earth Federation continues to advance it's mecha technology at the break-neck speed that it does and why GDI continues to advance and invest in Rail Cannon Technology (one of the few weapons that have had an incredibly high success rate against the Avatars).
The Assault Avatar will be equipped with 3 weapons, 1 of which will always be an EMP cannon. The other 2 weapons will vary based on the Doctrine.
The Heavy Avatar will be equipped with 2 weapons that will vary based on the Doctrine.

So on paper the Avatar looks great. So I sat down and started to work on it. And got my ass kicked.

The Avatar code is one of the most complicated coding jobs done for all the models in CNC3 mostly based around it's "commender" ability. I honestly think this is causing me most of my problems. I do what I have done a dozen of times so far, take the unit, add a new model into the code attached to one of the bones on the original unit, tell the weapon code to use the new model's launch points for firing, and be happy. The problem is the model go's on great but when it's time to use the new models launch points for some reason the game simply won't do it, instead all shots come from the base of the Avatar as if the launch point was under ground.

So what I think I'm going to do here is something that I've not attempted to do before. EA has released a decent mix of existing units in 3DS format for players to look at and learn from, one of which being the Avatar. What I'm going to try to do is open of the Avatar's file and modify the model then re-introduce my modified model into the game using the existing animations. If that doesn't work I will try to make the Avatar from scratch coding wise and only use the existing model as my basis, replacing all of the logic code. Finally, if that doesn't work, well, I'm not sure what will happen. We may not have the Avatar in the way that we want and have to go back to the drawing board again.

Sigh. And I was so excited to show you guys some new pics. :p

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Why Robotech and not Macross?

I was originally going to post this week about the progress in Nod. Nod's infantry was just finished about 2 minutes ago and so I'm now on my way to doing their vehicles. After that we need to do the Nod Super Weapon (I'll give you a hint, we're removing the Liquid Tiberium Bomb and putting something completly new into the spot that will not only be cool if it works but it will also give Nod a huge boost into it's economy when it go's off) and I can move on to the 3 GDI superweapons and economy change and then we're at RC time.

However the question of why Robotech and not Macross came up again so I figured I should reply to it. It's a valid question each time it's asked because simply put we're keeping the Gundam aspects of the original mod why remove the Macross aspects?

What it really came down to was what we could use from the Macross universe (and the direction that Macross keeps taking each time it comes out) vs what we could take from Robotech. By going with Robotech we are able to take the Robotech Defense Force, the Southern Cross, and the Robotech Expeditionary Force and use these armies and their weapons in the game. All 3 armies are different, with different types of weapons and different reasons for exsisting. The RDF uses a lot of aircraft and heavy / slow ground units. The Southern Cross on the other hand uses mostly hover tanks and other faster/more effective ground units while using the air units in a support roll. Finally the REF uses elite, advanced technology and is honestly more of an offensive force than a defensive one.

Also we are able to get access to some of the "enemies" of the Robotech series and use them as well. I use "enemies" loosely, maybe opposing force would be a better word to use. Anyways we get access to the Invid, the perfect enemy to pitch against the Scrin in our story. This makes the story Alien Race vs Alien Race with humanity getting caught unexpectedly in the middle instead of the tired "Alien race appears, kicks our ass's, and then we strike back with a varying degree of success," that happens now days.

Macross on the other hand, well, yea.... Macross gives us the same air units from the RDF basically (Robotech does use Macross's animation after all) but then we move to Macross Plus with the YF19 and YF21. These are some pretty cool advanced fighters. Then we go to Macross 7. Yea. Still using the YF19 are you? Thats great. Next we go to Macross Frontieer. Are those Whales they are fighting in space? Ok, that Macross just did a barrel roll in space to avoid getting shot. How they missed something THAT BIG that is flying STRAIGHT AT THEM I still can't understand, but whatever. Someone used a ton of character points there, only explanation.

So thats why we went Robotech. It simply gives us access to more variety. That and the story of Robotech doesn't end with a 13 year old girl in space singing to whales in her birthday suit. Kinda important.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Slowly coming together.

So I'm almost done with Nods infantry, most of the units are in their proper positions now. The only thing I have to work on now is what units get what upgrades based on the "doctrine" that is designed into the game.

This of course brings me up to todays post. The 4 doctrines are as follows.

Sector 9 Doctrine
Black Ops Doctrine
Homeland Defense Doctrine
Tiberium Guard Doctrine

As I was working on this something started to become apparent. While we changed the name of the houses to doctrines we were still trying to use the old designs with these new names. Thats just not going to work.

Taking it from a pure outside of the game perspective this is what the organizations are supposed to represent.

Sector 9 are the secret police of Nod. They are the internal check and balance force. They use stealth technology, laser technology, plasma missile technology, plasma grenade technology, and are generally focused on giving slight speed boosts and using cybernetic bodies to complete missions.

Black Ops are a more a loose group of teams that can focus on specific mission objectives. Where Sector 9 has no problem destroying a building to kill a target Black Ops will only kill it's objective and is not interested in collateral damage. They use Bunker Buster Missiles, high caliber machine guns, and sniper weapons extensively. They also use stealth technology to some extent.

Homeland Security are a full military force that are designed around stand up fights. They use plasma grenades/rockets and heavy armor at the expense of speed. They are there to make sure the job gets done and to hold the ground.

Finally Tiberium Guard are more of a research and development team. They use chemical weapons, thermal rounds, concussion explosives, high impact body armor, and extensive use of seige equipment like Mortars to get the job done. If it's an odd or uncommon weapon it was probably developed and used first by the Tiberium Guard. For example, they use concussion explosives on their Scorpion Tanks main cannon, causing infantry that are hit to become suppressed and vehicles to take a slight "pause" before they can move again. Very handy.

So there you have it, once I wrote it out it was easy to see how the upgrades should get worked out. If you have a suggestion as to how one weapon/vehicle should gain an upgrade like my example with the Tiberium Guard Scorpion Tank let us know. Otherwise have a great week guys.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sundays post is early this week.

I had a friend of mine pass away this week, he was about my age so it was a little odd. When my grandmother died we all kind of saw it coming days before it happened so it was not a big surprise but this, this was different.

So having said that there has not been much of any work done on the mod the last few days. I'm going to try to get on to it tonight I think, but I wanted to say something that I think needs to be said. I keep copies of the Mod in many different places, I have it on my main computer, my backup HD, my USB Thumb Stick that I keep on my keys, in my Sisters house down the road (which reminds me I need to update that copy at some point, it's almost a year old..) and finally in another state. Yes, Doug has a complete copy of the work. I do not know what his opinion of this is but if something ever did happen to me I would expect him to make what we have done made available to everyone online, open source. This mod started thanks to the original creator making his mod open source when he left and I have every intention of doing the same.

Death is not an easy thing for some to deal with. I think I take it better than most, I have not been busy being sad for my lost friend but in trying to make others who also lost said friend feel a bit better. Shit happens and then you die, but I believe everyone who is living hopes to leave some sort of lasting impression upon this world before the end, it is one of the fundamental things that we as a society seem to strive for. If it happens to me so be it, but maybe someone else will see what we have done here with this mod and get into modding on their own because of it. Maybe they will start tweaking the settings to fit their own tastes. And maybe that will have an effect on someone else, you can see the butterfly effect here.

Because in the end that is all we have. The Butterfly Effect. And twinkies. Those things last forever......

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The work on Nod continues.

So the other day on the Mod DB website I asked for some ideas from you guys on new names for the houses of Nod. Our old names were the Templars, the Sisterhood, the Assassins, and the Inquisition. While I am sure there are a few out there who like these names I just never cared for them that much myself. After getting a bit of feedback from Doug, Kunaiswarm, and a few others these are the names we have come up with, each with a brief description of what the player can expect from going with this house/branch. Oh yea, and we have changed it from a "house" to a "branch" from within Nod.

Sisterhood is now Section 9 Security.

Section 9 Security is an experimental research and development branch of Nods Military. They are the counter-espionage force of Nod, designed to hit hard, fast, and first. Their technology includes extensive use of laser weaponry along with some limited use of cloaking technology and plasma missile technology.

Assassins are now Black Operations.
Black Operations, or Black Ops are more of a loose group of teams within Nod than a solid branch. This fluidity allows the Black Ops to conduct missions that can not be linked back to Nod directly. They use extensive use of cloaking technology along with weapons that do pinpoint damage. For example, a Black Ops unit equipped with a missile would use a Bunker Buster missile which is designed for armor penetration and not collateral damage, meaning these missiles are more powerful against a single target and do not do splash damage.

Inquisition is now Homeland Defense.
Homeland Defense is the military might of Nod. These are the forces that the world sees at large in Nod Controlled areas. In third world countries, towns that have been over-run by bandits and warlords are offered protection by Nod's Homeland Defense. It is the Homeland Defenses Cyborg technology that is sold to the wealthy and powerful people of more prosperous nations as protection. In game this means the Homeland Defense units are focused on power and toughness, taking a direct approach to enemy encounters. They make extensive use of plasma missile technology.

Templar are now Tiberium Guard. This is the main defensive branch of Nod, but more than that these are the support and relief troops that are sent into areas that have already been liberated by Homeland Defense. They focus on medical and armor technology, picking this branch will grant the players units additional armor and health along with things like protection from Tiberium. Some of their units even give up speed for additional armor, for example the Avatar will give up 35% of it's normal movement speed to gain 50% additional HP making it a great mobile defensive unit.

Let me know what you think.