Sunday, February 24, 2013

Scrin, NOD, and the UC oh my!

Recently I've been contacted by a very helpful person on the xenoforce reborn moddb page about balancing issues with the O3 mod.  I say very helpful because unlike the normal "this sucks" or "I like my army better this way" he had a lot of very helpful and useful criticism about problems with the balancing of the O3.  The funny part is Doug and I had already been talking about what this person brought up and we were already planning on making some changes.  It was just helpful because he helped validate the issues we were noticing.

For example, the Scrin planetary Ion Storm ability doesn't really do much against NOD because it can't detect stealth.  This makes it super-powerful against GDI and a non-starter against NOD!  Worse, it's something we simply overlooked and had not noticed, so I say thank you for that!

Now that the UC is shaping up to be almost done we plan on going back in and changing the O3 just slightly, this is NOT a "Re-do" again of the o3 though.  These are simply balaincing and bugs that need fixed, or units that need re-designing.  An example of a unit needing redesigning would be the NOD Salamander.  While some people love the Salamander model Doug apsolutly despises it.  Myself I'm in the "whatever, it doesn't do anything to me or for me" column, I just don't care about the model.  However Doug has recently gotten his hands on some cool looking models that we plan on using for NOD to help show that their end game units are heavily influenced by Alien Technology.  In short NOD is the exact opposite of the Robotech Defense Force. What I mean by this is that the SDF1's memory matrix helps guide humans in the Robotech story, applying advance technological ideas to our existing level of comprehension the Legion Memory Matrix dose the opposite.  It steadily advances NOD's understanding of technology to the point that the end result of what is being built isn't really understood, it just works that way.  The Avatar already has that look upon it, where it's not what GDI was doing with mech technology at all and the only thing that it even resembles in the CNC universe is the Core Defender, and even then the Core Defender wasn't the most human of designs as it was built by CABAL.

What does this have to do with the Salamander and Medusa?  Legion is a Memory Matrix without a Battlefortress to live in.  The solution that Legion comes up with is the Medusa, or a new Battlefortress.  It's alien in design but built with human materials.  The new model for the Salamander and Medusa are like the Avatar, they are very evil and ominous looking.  The Salamander's design is going to change, becoming a unit that is like a Mini-Medusa.  Smaller, faster, and designed to get in close and deal damage to ships like the Kodiak and the Scrin Capitol ships, the Medusa is going to be very valuable to NOD.  The Medusa on the other hand is going to still be that massive ship that is flying though the air (though smaller than what it is right now) that is a simple powerhouse, it's a freaking battle fortress and it needs to fill the roll of Armored Carrier and Heavy Battleship in a very simple and streamlined fashion.

This brings us back to the Scrin.  The current designs for their Capitol Ships will be gaining a bit of a boost in terms of functionality.  The Harbinger for example I'm looking at being a more valuable form of defensive platform.  Scrins problem is they just don't have much of a defensive network.  We're going to be fixing this with a few changes, but what I would say to people is if you want a defense line build Harbingers.  Place them around your base like you would defense turrets.  Then turn on their Ion Storm ability.  With enough of them you can have yourself a wall of very powerful turrets that take out anything that comes near.  If I can pull it off I plan on the Harbinger to still be able to launch it's fighters while in this mode though.  THAT will make them even more powerful in a defensive line, having carriers launching fighters from a far distance that repair that also can shut down and destroy enemy units that get near..... a simple frontal assault will not work against a force like that.  If I was playing as UC and I saw my enemy doing that for their defense I'd switch quickly over to GP03 and start pumping out GM Snipers.  Get in close, hit the ship hard from a distance while stealthed to open a hole, then fly in with GP03 and start making their lives miserable.  Of course the counter to GP03 will be to have an Eye-Of-The-Storm or 2 there for backup, but thats what Super Gundams and GM-III's are for.

The point is we're still working on things and making sure that whatever we do there IS a counter to that side that just seems impossible to beat.  You may just have to think a few steps further than your used to.  Back to my GP03 example I'm sure a lot of people who see that kind of force would build GP03 (or GP02 and go with the Nuke.  Always a great place for a direct firing nuke) would also go with Hi-Nu Gundam.  Myself I'd go with RX-178-0 and not Hi-Nu.  Hi-Nu is a very powerful unit, but I'd rather have a production boost and try to mass-produce as many heavy hitting and fast units like Stark Jegans, Super Gundams, and Powered GM's as I could if I was fighting a fleet of Scrin Capitol Ships.  I'd use Hi-Nu gundam for dealing with GDI and their massive ground force.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The power of the Gundams compel you!

There have been some questions on what bonus's / powers will the Gundams really give and how will they work exactly in the new version of the MOD for UC.

First of all we are trying to make it completely automated.  No "hit the power, tell it where to attack" nonsense.  If it can do it the unit should do it automatically so that the player can focus on formations and troop movements and not have to worry about making the unit fire the proper weapon.

As for what units get what exactly, it's pretty straight forward.  Keep in mind this list is subject to change based on how things work out but as of this moment this is what we're looking at.

Teir 1 -
RX-78-2 : Grants RGM79 the ability to call in airstrikes and GM Sniper the ability to call in artillery strikes.

RX-78-6 Mudrock : Grants RGC80 and RX77D better targeting sensors for the ability to always strike when they fire.  Grants Guntanks autoloaders for faster fire rates and reloads.

Gundam Alex : Converts RGM79 and GM Sniper 2 to the Cold Climate versions, increasing their stats and swapping the RGM79's MMG to a Bazooka and granting the GM Sniper 2 Stealth.

Teir 2 -
GP01 : Powered GM's locomotor switch's to "hover" allowing it to move over all terrains and weapon switchs to a beam rifle.  GM Custom gains longer range beam rifle, detects stealth, and gains greater vision range.

GP02 : Powered GM's can repair themselves in the field.  GM Customs can call in Core Boosters for fire support.  RGC 83's can call in Core Fighters for fire support.

GP03 : All units around GP03 gain a 20% increase to fire rate / movement speed due to moral boost.  If GP03 dies ALL units lose 20% decrease to fire rate / movment speed for 60 seconds do to morale loss.

Teir 3 -
RX-178-0 Prototype : All Lieutenants and Field Operation Mobile Suits gain a 25% increase in production speed (they build 25% faster).  FA-RX178 and Super Gundam gain G-Defenser drones that help with fire support.

RX-93 Nu Gundam : GM-III units gain an anti-beam armor coating giving them an additional 35% protection from laser and beam weapons and 20% from lance weapons.  Stark Jegans now detect stealth and gain a 25% increase in movement speed.  Armored Jegans now gain a true "hover" locomotor like Powered GM's can gain for better movment on the field and gains anti-air hip missile pods.

RX-93-2 Hi Nu Gundam : All units around Hi Nu Gundam gain a 20% increase to HP and Damage Output due to Moral boost.  If Hi Nu Gundam is destroyed ALL units have a 20% decrease to HP and Damage Output for 60 seconds do to Moral Loss.

As for what the Lieutenant Units and what they are, these are elite "build only one" units that are much stronger than the normal teir unit out there but they don't gain any bonus's from the Gundams.  The other point is you can build them whenever you want, you don't have to have a specific gundam on the field to get them.  This is the Lieutenant list.

Teir 1 :
GunCannon Prototype
GunTank Prototype
RX-77-3 Heavyarms Guncannon

Teir 2 :
GM Custom Hazel Unit
Powered GM Hazel Unit
GM Sniper Hazel Unit

Teir 3 :
RX-178-2 Gundam
RGZ-91 Gundam

So you can still gain some serious backup firepower no matter what Gundam you go with to help offset the fact that you may not want to put that RX78 out on the front line for fear of losing the bonus it offers for example.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Return of Gundam Mudrock

So there has been a lot of updates to the mod in the last few weeks since the last update.  First we've replaced the Explorer truck of uc with a Big Tray.  This is cool for a few reasons, first it helps further the graphical separation between GDI and UC.  Second the structure will not only deploy and further build out the forces but it also will be the main structure for deploying both defensive structures AND will be the deployment spot for all Special Operations Units.

What are Special Operations Units?  SOU units are mostly classified as artillery units or units that are designed to fulfill a special roll in the field.  All those units that you read about in the back history of "these units were expensive to mass produce so the Earth Federation only built a few" are probably in this category.
Another interesting change is the fact that defensive structures are going to come with backup.  That means you deploy the main weapon and then some defensive units will also deploy based on that type of structure.  A basic defensive cannon will come with some commandos for anti-infantry support.  That heavy anti-air sam site?  How about a few RGC-80's to help protect it from ground attacks?  Yea, you get the idea.

Finally we have the current (but never final) Gundam list.  There are 2 new Gundams being added to our pool giving us 9 Gundams on the UC side.  The new design calls for 3 teirs, each teir having 3 units to choose from.  You build a unit from the teir and you get access to different bonus's and features on the units.  You can only have 1 gundam from each teir built at a time, but if it dies you can rebuild it or build a different one to go a different direction.  This is the new list.

Gundam RX-78-2 / Gundam RX-78-6 Mudrock / Gundam Alex
Gundam GP01 / Gundam GP02 / Gundam GP03
Gundam RX-178-0 Proto / RX-93 Nu Gundam / RX-93-V2 Hi Nu Gundam

Yep, Mudrock and Hi-Nu are back in the game.  I will go into detail on what powers you actually get from each unit at a later posting but let me be clear that we are working very hard at making sure that each unit gives a bonus that helps offset other concerns (in other words obviously RX-178-0 Proto isn't as powerful as Hi-Nu Gundam but RX-178-0 will give a bonus that may make it worth it to some players to use depending on your stratagy).

Now for the down side, the only thing that this new design has to remove are the capitol ships that used to drop the units in.  It would be nice keep them in but at the moment they just are not needed.

More to come soon, including pics on ModDB.