Here is this weeks Development blog, brought to you by Ryan3k at our own RA:APB & Reborn Forums and edited for ModDB by myself.
Ryan3k:It's Wednesday, so here is the APB Development Blog.
As you probably know, Wednesday is now the official day for the APB blog because Renardin randomly posted Reborn's version last Sunday. I think it's better to spread the updates out over the week instead of posting two blogs on Sunday. Of course, this is assuming a Sunday Reborn blog is going to actually be a regular thing.
So. I'll start off by thanking the community for their input on the hero limit issue in last week's blog. However, as it turns out, the poll did not show an overwhelming consensus on either side of the issue. The final decision in the matter is up to the team.
There is a new debate we want your input on this week: Phase Tanks. Should they make a comeback for .994? We see a lot of possible abuse issues with the Phase Tank, plus a lot of kinks to work out in terms of balance, but at the same time, it's return is something that has been generally assumed by the public for a good while now. Long ago there was a new model and texture for the Phase Tank (it was a brownish color, if I remember, correctly). Unfortunately, the texture asset is totally lost, and I can't recall if the model is missing. So if the Phase Tank does make a comeback, either the old, funny GREEN one will return, or someone will have to prepare some new art assets.
Moving right along: We have a new map pretty much ready, except for one tiny issue: There is a special unit which needs a texture done. Further details willfully withheld. Oh, and remember the map, Seamist? Made by Tweekbee, this map will be included in .994 as the first official ASSAULT MODE map. This map can be seen in the wallpapers released a while back.
(Category5: If you pay attention, there are shots of two new maps in tester The Aces of Razgriz's trailer, Seamist being one of them. Thaw being the other. Oh, and since I've spurted this out before on the forums, I'll let you know that the map Ryan3k speaks of is Maze, and the unit is the Soviet MiG. WTF MiG?! Nope, not tellin' you more than that.)
The team is currently looking into incorporating a damage factor for units that are in or near exploding vehicles. Think back to Red alert: If you lost a Mammoth Tank, then when a Rifle Soldier survived its destruction, that soldier was not unscathed. One strategy toward this was my idea: tying driver injury to the current health percentage of his or her vehicle. There are a lot of logic issues in terms of the coding with this strategy, though. We'll see how things go.
Neosaber is working on tweaking armor and damage for helicopters. Hinds will now be able to destroy Longbows, and Longbows will probably have a payload of 12 weaker missiles instead of six stronger ones. (Category5: We may decide to simply make the Longbow's ROF slower. We're going to be playing around with this a bit.) This change has come about because helicopters are too difficult to combat in many cases, especially on the map "A Path Beyond." Specifically, Longbows basically render Soviet ground rushes ineffective. This is why we see the hackneyed "OMG SHOCK+CHINOOK RUSH" tactic attempted so often. Air units will be more of a support and recon unit in the future instead of being the centerpiece of the Allied strategy on air-enabled maps.
Random other tidbits: Chronojam is in the process of thinking up the layouts for the new buildings, the Sergeant has had mixed reviews so far (there is a bug in which the Soviet alt-fire warhead is capable of destroying walls and destructible bridges). That leads to another question which I figure I might as well ask the community: Should it be kept that flame-based and shock-based projectiles can break walls, or should this capability be scrapped?
Thanks for reading; more to come next week.