Monday, February 6, 2012

State of the Xeno Mod

Ultra asked on the forum about what our overall plans were for the factions that we have not put into play yet. This is actually a good question. As always we are modifying desings as needed however this is the general design and play style that we are going for.

With the Earth Federation we are going for complexity. The idea is that the EF is made up of 3 full armies that are controlled by a general governing body. In game this translates to the player picking EF and then getting to further modify their choice in game. This is a huge tactical advantage as it forces your enemy to come to you and find out just what faction your moving with. On top of that this also allows you to pick a force and then find out what your enemy is using mid game to switch things up a bit. On the EF side you have UC, AW, and SEED.

UC is a force that is focused on defensive game play. Having said this that does not mean that they are a turtle army. They start out with slower but stronger units compared to the other 2 sides (and most other forces at that point in time) and go through a progression of gaining new technology as time go's on. The longer it takes for a UC force to win the more desperate the situation becomes for high command and they will continue to authorize newer and more powerful mobile suits to be used to win. This gives you a steady force that will continue to shift in focus as the game progresses but it also has the downside of you not being able to focus on speeding up deployment of units, things will just come as they come.

AW is a force that is focused on swarm game play. This is different than rush game play however. The force is designed to continually hit the enemy with many targets trying to overwhelm them. The disadvantage to this is that AW is such a threat in the global community that other armies (Zeon) will attempt to stop them whenever they can. To this end the AW player has to hurry and try to defeat it's opponents as quickly before colonies start falling from space (always a good way to ruin a great day).

Seed is of course sitting in a not-so-nice spot. The first course of action is to figure out what game play type we wish to go with here. Are we looking at a swarm army? A turtle force? How about making them a rush force? What units do they have that would fit into this kind of design? With UC about 50% of their units would sit in the tank/turtle category with the other 50% split between rush/dps (damage per second) and tactical/assault forces (units designed for attacking an enemy and forcing them off balance). AW's unit really made their own design, with so many weak units (daughtress's with their tenzans) with so many super units (all those mass production gundams) giving them a 65% rush / 20% tactical / 15% tank design. Truly AW is not designed for making a base. So SEED sits where it is until I can figure out what the units are telling me that their game play should focus on. (At this point it's looking to be the most direct straight up army that EF can deploy).

Now for the other forces that we've not talked a lot about. We have Zeon, Invid, and Robotech Defense Force. We actually have a pretty good idea where we want these guys to be (well, a good idea on Invid and Zeon with a general idea on RDF).

Zeon and Invid have a lot in common. They are both based around the idea of an invasion force. Where they are different is in how they do it, Zeon is an invasion force with the end game result being to control the Earth. Invid on the other hand have only one purpose, destroy the Tiberium and anyone or anything that has come into contact with it. This makes them very unique in their way of deployment.

The Zeon force is going to be based around tank units (units that are slow but tough and able to take a hit from all sides) and in a lot of ways will be THE Turtle force of the game. The idea will be that where they land they will place down a lot of heavy defensive structures and have a lot of heavy units. They will sit back, build up, then crush anyone that attacks with a massive counter-attack. The downside to this is their units will be a bit more exspensive per teir and their actual structures are not going to be very tough. Their entire design is based around cheap, quick to put up structures, heavy units and heavy defenses, and an income that holds it's own. As far as units/structures that we have for them is concerned we have a lot of Zeon units along with the structures from the original Xenoforce Mod. Defenses I will have to make myself (I have the designs done, just have to make the models).

Invid are a completly different beast. There are a few Invid designs floating around but they all focus around a central theme. The Invid units will have different designs that as time go's on will mutate into other designs. What this means is that when a unit is built it will be also given one of 3 upgrades randomly. It will either be given a speed boost (50% movement), a power boost (25% additional dmg) or a toughness boost (25% additional hp). The idea is that each unit is modified as the Invid Regis changes it's mind. Can this be done? I think so. Will it be easy? Not in the least lol. Now, here is the thing. I currently do not have any models for the units or the structures. At one point Doug sent me some units but I don't know what happened to them, so yea.... The overall design of the Invid is a force that focus's on Damage and is not interested in taking land. This means an Invid player will not have to expand their base very far to be successful, but they WILL have to kill enemy units. As far as their economy... yea I am not sure how thats going to work yet.

The RDF is another force that is unique in our game. Each and every other force in the game (Including NOD and Scrin) are military forces that are trying to take land or be a political power. The RDF however has little interest in "taking over the Earth". The easiest way to explain them would be as a Technologies Company with many military contracts across the world. In fact the RDF only has a few large installations on the world in Alaska and in the Philipine Islands. Most of the RDF work happens on Mars where the RDF has the only off-planet research facility. Now the RDF has 3 aspects in the show, there is the actual Robotech Defense Force from the 1st season, the Southern Cross from the 2nd, and the Robotech Expeditionary Force from the 3rd. I already have models for many of the RDF forces thanks to the first Xenoforce Mod as well as having all the structures that I need. At this point I need models for the Sothern Cross (Hover Tanks Rule pound for pound) and Robotech Expeditionary Force (Defiantly the Cyclone will be an interesting unit to design).

So how will they work? I don't want the RDF to be like the EF so what I'm thinking personally is that we have 3 structures. One of them builds units from the RDF, one builds SC, and one builds REF. There are 3 teirs of units for each section. One unit from each teir will always be build-able (so you will always be able to build the basic veratech or basic hover tank) but the other 2 units in that teir can only be built IF you choose to build from that side first. SO how it will work is this. At Teir 1 if you build the basic hover tank then the other 2 SC units from teir one will be build-able and the other 2 RDF and REF teir 1 units will be locked out. At Teir 2 you can then build the basic RDF unit to get access to the other 2 tier 2 RDF units locking out the other 2 SC and REF units. Same with Teir 3. This means that the player will have access to a maximum of 15 different units out of the grand total of 27 units possible. I personally like this idea. This also gives the Robotech Force the most flexibility to change tactics mid game. If your looking for hard hitting units you start with the REF. Then you notice that your enemy is going to be hitting you with a swarm of units and you simply can't keep up with a war of tactical strikes so at teir 2 switch over to the Southern Cross to give you some Heavy Turtle/Tank units to protect yourself. Then at end game you see that your Southern Cross units are tough enough to stand up against the enemy and your REF units are fast enough for hit and run tactics but you really need some units that can both come up and support the SC forces while also being fast enough to retreat if things go wrong, so you go with the RDF forces and their Super Veritechs.

So the end game design looks like this.

GDI - Turtlers Army
Scrin - Damage Per Second /Super power/ Swarm Army
NOD - Rush /Super Power/ Elitest Army
Earth Federation (UC) - Turtler Army
Earth Federation (AW) - Swarm Army
Earth Federation (Seed) - ?
Invid - Tank / Swarm Army
Zeon - Tank / DPS Army
RDF - DPS / Elitest Army

A Turtler Army is designed to take a long time to execute but when it does it hits with a massive amount of power.
A DPS Army is designed to do maximum damage at the expense of the units themselves.
A Swarm Army is designed to over-run an enemy position with numbers.
A Rush Army is designed to hit fast and first.
A Tank Army is designed to take a hit and shrug it off.
An Elitist Army is designed to use special, expensive super units to deal with multiple enemies at once.
A Super Power Army is designed to be able to manipulate the entire army with powers and upgrades.

If you have any questions feel free to ask.


Alan said...

I have three questions.
1) What happened to the building that EF put in the middle of a tiberium field?
2) Will there be a subsection of Zeon for ZAFT (Which sadly didnt have many units) like for SEED and the EF?
3) Are you going to move onto something else while SEED is in this state of confusion?

Azuza K said...

I'm just starting on redoing Nod now (have had the final designs for the last week but been busy with other things).

By the time I'm done I hope to have a SEED design worked up. I'm thinking at this point to have it be based around basic mobile units and elite "super" units that you can only ever build one of at a time.

Anonymous said...

Okay sounds good will a beta be released once Nod is done?


Anonymous said...

Elite super units and basic units worked well in the Xenoforce for Generals where the super units had special abilities that had their cooldown reduced as the unit ranked up, and become available as the game progressed as to not provide powerful units to a user just commencing their skirmish. I think this would be a perfect fit for SEED.

Azuza K said...

I'm going to talk to Doug about SEED and see what kind of design he wants to do.

As far as the next release, after NOD and GDI are done I will be releasing a new update to the Original 3 mod and a Xenoforce Reborn update with the new GDI/NOD/Scrin for those who want to try their hands against the new forces.

UltraKiroXei said...

I made more reference at my Profile Moddb Blog so I'll have to added a lot of list so far without planning to make reference.

Alan said...

Off topic question.
How come on some maps (specifically Unfair Advantage) the camera is zoomed out to an extreme extent. Also the maps are slightly altered I was wondering as to why as they are not different maps.

Anonymous said...

Boss, i suggest SEED should focus on being a tact-ops force. Basing on your story, SEED is basically ORB with a little of the anime's other factions in. Mebbe it can focus on lighting up orb's first-tier mass-prod then use a lotta research.
sorta like its generals predecessor.

or it cud just be multi-role, like you said. E'en with just the orb suits, SEED basically can easily switch being turtling, swarming, rushing, and deep strike (like airborne mobile suits and transformable/flight-capable) ones. I think that'll suit the SEED strategy.

Azuza K said...

Alan - As for why the maps have been altered, I did this because I had to edit every map that was already there to add in the Xenoforce AI Scripts. As for Unfair Advantage that was my test map for trying to allow the user to zoom out further than normal, it didn't go as well as I'd liked so I did not do it to any other maps.

Anon - Seed in our story is the offensive force of the Earth Federation, how is that at all like Orb?

Anonymous said...

oh, i thought the storyline had orb in it, the neutral islands in the pacific. seems theyre with RDF... apologies.
but im still stickin to SEED being a high-research/multirole (capability switching) force, considering their weapons are highly experimental and very powerful 3rd tier units (like the freedom) and dangerous combined arms massprod ones (like the windam which can be sniper, assault and missile artillery at different times). just my humble opinion :3

Azuza K said...

Our story does have ORB in it, and ORB does play pretty much the same "neutral" roll that they played in the SEED story. It's just that ORB also gets support from the RDF in our story.

Also the problem comes down to a mix of what the players want and what is balancing. I want Orb to be a choice, but I also want Blue Cosmos to be a valid choice. If we made Orb come with the Archangel and the Freedom and the Justice and all of the Orb suits then I think that it would be an overpowering choice compaired to the Blue Cosmos choice of "additional mobile armors". But by breaking the Orb choice into just Orbs units OR only Freedom/Justice OR Blue Cosmos additional armors now it looks more balanced to me and I could see people actually thinking before making the choice.