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0 comments by AmDDRed on Oct 9th, 2012

DisciplesIII has proven the new habit of game industry: there's the sequel to good old game, but this sequel is so arguable, that might be better if doesn't happen at all. Another one example of managers not game designers ruling the project.Third part of the game has twisted gameplay elements of predessesors that, if you just remove the name, you can see completely new TBS genre game, which is not bad at all. But bad thing is that is using not his name, thus destroying hope not only for improving previous games but for return of good old gameplay, which defines exactly Disciples game.In this article I will tell about my vision of what really could have been improved in original games without drastical gameplay change.

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= TERRAMORPHING =Or forming, doesn't matter. But first what you notice in game is total landscape change of territory that is yours. But what does it do except for marking your lands? That's the point that it does nothing. But if we think a little of developing this feature we can get a lot of new interesting gameplay improvements.== Motherland ==Territory itself can give bonuses.In practice, I propose to give additional armor both for damage and magic to armies located on their territory and make a little weaker hostiles. Or otherwise, for dark races (Bethrezen and Mortis children) it won't give anything but remove armor, thus making more damage. And Elves as Duality God children would have 50/50 - remove and add at one time.This coefficient must not be equal for every piece of your land, but must be dependent of distance to your land source (rod/garnison). For example, rod gives 5% bonus to defence at close. Rod range is, for example, 5 steps, so at fifth step armor bonus is not 5% but only 1%. If there's enemy rod close to the first one, they would weaken each other. Something like lowering bonuses modifiers at borders depending on how far is enemy land source.This would make more need in rod planters as strategical supporters, and would make need in planting rods not only near resources.And, as main factions receive bonuses from their native lands, probably, it would be fair if NPC races would have their one. Like, merfolks will have bonus at sea, barbarians - at snow mountains etc. And it would be great to have possibility to hire these creatures not only from special buildings but from garnisons located at their ex-territories and have possibility to improve them there. Something like capturing barbarian capitol. But, mb, this would be too much for Disciples.Also it would be great if lands would enlarge smoothly mixing with neutral or allie lands, but showing smth like conflict with growing into enemy lands - like being in no change with allie land, but changing every day with enemy land.== Rod Monsters ==Despite the fact the rods and rod planter were simply thrown away, leaving only "listening posts" like in WH40k:DoW, Disciples III idea of rod defender is not bad at all, especially if we implement it in D2 gameplay.Essence is that more time rod has existed on map, more powerful it monster is. Something alike summonned creatures, only living in rod and appearing when somebody is trying to take it off.There will be four levels of existing: zero level, when rod is brand new, with no demon inside; and first-third level, with each of them demon equiering new abilities. He still would be able to level-up after that, but it won't improve him much - we saw it in Disciples/Wesnoth.Type of magic attack of rod monster is dependent of it's race: undead would hit with death; legions - with fire and so on. But there rods that are put into resources - this make special rod monster which will strike with mixed magic - first source is "native" race magic, and second is resource magic (death, fire and so on). Gold mine, of course, is not magic one, but anyway, this rod monster, for example, can have more hitpoints, or hit with some material strike.Being attacked, rod monster is fighting alone, except for case when there are rod planter near by: it's the only leader, which can defend rod monster (or otherwise), fighting in one squad with him. For this rod planter will have "natural" restriction to have more then 4 units with him, one less then other ones.Experienced rod will spread his "land" influence more then the fresh one. The same goes also for other land sources up to the Capitol, as the maximal power of land source. So, if enemy puts the new rod near you old one, then the border will be much more closer to the new one, as old one has more influence. But, of course, if put 4 and more new rods, then the old won't be able to resist them and, probably, will become weaker (if evil race).The same thing would happen to the garnisones and the Capitol: when enemy lands will be under the wall of the city, it will influence the defenders and rod/capitol monster, thus making easier to capture it. But, of course, you'll have to plant a LOT of rods to overpower the capitol demigod.Talking about garnison monsters: if Capitol and rods, as land sources, have their own defenders, then why garnisons doesn't have one? Even more, there are free space for such (only 5 places maximum). Yes, of course, 6 places - and it's already a Capitol, but why not.Garnison defender's level-up can be made different ways: we can make it grow with time or with each upgrade of city, or combine this two by limiting monester level-up with city level, something like usual unit upgrade when you need to buy building to get him upgraded, just this time this is town level, and it's personal for each garnison.Or other options, like monster appearing from the very beginning; or only from 2nd (to have +1 level unlike rod monster), or 3rd (to have the same upgrade amount as rod monster), or even from 5 (as town build up completely and getting close to Capitol). But to know what's better iIt must be tested.= ARMY =Let's talk about leaders, if have started thinking of rod planters. But let's begin with higher rank guys - Lords.== Lords ==Original game had 3 lords: warrior, archmage and guild master.As land now means something more than just a your territory counter, it's quite natural to make one more lord: Landlord. He would have two abilities: first, raised land bonus (for example, not 5%, but 10%), second, his rodplanters will have 3rd level from the very beginning (with default or selectable perks) or they will have leadership of 2, which means that they will be able to get not one but two units. Will they cost more - 350/400 gold - that's the question, but no other abilities present.As an experiment, there might the second lord candidate: the guy who has replaced Guild Master in DisciplesIII. The one who had +15% gold more per turn. Let call him smth like "burgomaster" and leave everything as is. Let check if money would win the evil?..In any case, additional lords would increase game strategical possibilities.== First Leader ==And there's a question - what about leaders? Because it depends of a lord, which first leader you will receive! Who will be the first leader for these two new lords?This question is solved quite easily: we just need to give a choise of first leader. First, when playing campaign, many use to have "unnative" leader, as the main one (for example, combination of ranger leader and archmage lord with correct spells makes a marathone runner capable of passing through the half of the map in one turn); and second, when importing hero you choose your favorite one, of course, not the game given. As a result, everything would be much easier: starting the game you will choose leader the you like and play in your favourite style.== Monsters for Leaders ==I was always confused by the possibility of hiring only those leaders which are in garnison/capitol. There are a lot of monster-leaders on the map, why don't we follow this?If we take a look at any leader then we understand that this is second level unit which has stopped in developing and getting additional perks. What if we might make leader of a unit? We have "stop upgrading" button, why don't we develop further this idea?When unit get to 2nd level and more, he can be turned into the leader in Capitol for 500 gold - and will continue to get experience according to his upgrade tree but without upgrades, of course.Units will receive perks due to their basic "class": warrior, mage, ranger and rod planter (maybe this artificial rodder will have leadership of two, maybe it's price won't be 500, but 350/400 - must test it). There might be upkeep in 250-500 gold for each level of unit turning into leader, but I don't think it's needed penalty: from now you will have one high-level battle unit less, and you'll have to think harder of how you're going to make it great leader.There may be a problem with "big" (two square) units due to their size. We can just not allow to create "big" leaders, which will solve logical fail with wearing artifacts. Or we can limit them to have maximum leadership of 4, not to wear some artifacts, and have cost of 750 gold. Even more, every unit-leader can have "dress code" restrictions - but, of course, we can also say that this is simple game conventionality.For this operation we can make new building at the Capitol in the same section with temple, guild and mage tower. And "burgomaster" will have this as default (like other lords having something built at the beginning of the game).Well, also we could have possibility of combining leaders together in one squad, like it was done in "Heroes 4". It's quite arguable change as it would make too much bonuses for one squad, but on the other hand, it would be like putting all eggs in one basket - and as we know of classical Disciples, squad is quite fragile for global magic...Might be worth of giving some special perks to units that have stopped their upgrading, but this may be a little too much into personalisation. Or not: give names, make a little randomisation...== Diplomacy ==Many TBS have possibility of forcing neutral unit become allie. Why can't we get something similar in Disciples?It must not be very simple - in the most of the cases, neutral squads are more likely to die of your hands (or otherwise). For them to join you must be several parameters checked, like: is attacked unit race frendly to the player's race; how much attacker is stronger then attacked units; how good is leader's diplomacy... AI must count his chances to make any damage: if it's very low or no at all (it usually can be told by first turn), then it better to give up.The same is about running away - computer is standing till the end. Even if there are only one supporter's left with no damage doing, it continues to cast spells till all is left of him is ash or jibses. It would be more logical to run away of the battlefield, and then try to give up.== Thief ==Thief is one very special character. First, he doesn't level-up, second, he does some very unique thing, which are not available to other leaders. And as he is single it's hard to call him leader...The thing is that now he will level-up.There was a Guild Master lord which gave to thieves new abilities. Now these abilities would open with new levels - but, as it was, they will be available to this lord from very beginning. How this will be done?There may be two options: whether it's available from the very beginning, whether Guild Master will be served by the best thieves of third level. As I think it would best about additional levels, as it will create unified system with Landlord's high level rod planters. On one hand, it would be good to start with special units of 3rd level, on the other hand, you won't be able to act freely at the beginning of the game because of neutral squad for experience, and to achieve new level this guys would have to work more then usually... That's why this option seems to me quite balanced.== More options ==What else can we thing about?I'd add possibility of destroying buildings in Capitol for having alternate unit upgrade during the same game (like wrong decision in long campaign mission). Do you want to develop another branch? Destroy existing building for it's initial cost. It's good if you have decided it early, but what if you need to revert building that cost you 3000 gold?..Also would be good if allies would be able to get into your garnisons for unit heal and ressurection (and otherwise) and ally basic unit hire. Why they are needed without upgrade building - unclear, but option is good. Can be usefull.= BATTLE =There are discussions about tactical mode: many don't understand why there are so less units in squad, why they are not moving - conventionalities all around. And these many think of tactical mode the first pretendent to be changed.But, before chopping with no painkillers, let's think of why it was made such way.== Running around ==If take "Heroes" as ethalone, then we can resolute that in "Disciples" strategical mode (global map) has taken almost everything from tactical (battlefield), leaving only moment of strikes. That's why there is not movement on the battlefield - all the movement had been done previously.But if we still decide to change tactical mode, then we can go in a "chess" way - something alike "Heroes5", but with much smaller battlefield. Units will move maximum for one step.We can leave old standard of no space between armies, or put few cell to make retreat easier: one cell if units will move and hit in one turn or two cells if units whether move wether attack. This movement thing would also make interesting collision about going for the last row of enemy unit: traditionally, you can't kill supporters before you slay all first row guys; now you can go for them, using empty spaces between guys of first row (which will be convinient for werewolf, for example). So there will be a lot of headache: will we count turn for movement? Will hits from behind and side do more damage? Or let's do the "tetris": while row is not fully dead, you can't access second one? Or some cover fields, you cannot pass?..In general, I'd say that it's not worth of it - it's better to leave everything as it was. All genius stuff is simple. I'm not wondering that DisciplesIII has not succeded with unit movement implementation, copypasted HoMM and added a lot of unusefull things turning game from TBS with RPG elements into RPG with TBS elements. They would better played "Etherlords"...== Thousand and one unit ==Six units - is it many or not? I think, for Disciples it's quite many. Of course, when ending campaign, with experienced leader leveling-up of his units is a matter of few not very difficult battles; but if you start from the very first level, then you will get 2 more leadership, thus filling up all 6 slots, is not very easy and fast.And if we remember that Disciples strategy is definetely not about single squad developing - he will be dead soon enought with magic, thieves, summoned creatures and enemy frag-leaders help - then we will understand that 6 units is a very good number. Even more - it would be very sad to loose, for example, 10 high-level units (which are trained with a lot of unreturnable low-level monsters) because of few "Armageddons" casted in the wrong time in the correct place.That's why I think that there's no need to change this element. But for others...== Side-bar ==I was always wondering about "big" units of why there's no possibility of placing them other way then "vertical"? I'd change this: in any case such monster is taking two slots, but working as one (one and half, let's say). If the big guy is behind, then there will be maximum of two mages, and it will be faster to go through the first lines to kill the mages. Or, if it will be in front, then big guy is opened for kicking of every enemy unit - all three guys in the first row and supporters from behind. Practically, all the positions will have their pro et contra.Realisation of this can be done in "Heroes5" way: if small unit is for one cell, then big unit will have four, but two of them must always lay on the battlefield. And to place it you will have to circle around your army placing.== Waiting ==There is the button "wait", that was implemented in Disciples2. It can be upgraded a little bit.Let's pretend "Heroes5" copypasted unit turn queue from DisciplesIII (actually, it can be polished a little bit and put back): as we remember, if we press "wait" button, unit's turn will fly away into the round end. I suggest that "wait" effect would not send unit to the queue end but after the next unit. Awaiting unit avatar may have some sand clock animation.== Blocking ==Also there must be possibility of setting unit for blocking ally from hits. It won't do anything but cover - at least one time. At least non-magical attacks.== Trainee ==Get some units to map with the time to have possibility of training few high level squads. Make this optional as enemy with more territory will have advantage of gaining more experience for his support squads.== Pop-corn ==And the last thing that tactical mode asks for - is special effects. The fight must look similar to "Etherlords", "Tekken" and "Dawn of War" animations. Few options of animations for lucky strikes, fatalities, defense and death (there might be even nice scene of turning dead unit into ashes or smth else)... And, of course, the possibility of speed it up or turn it off. Yes, epic animation of battle is quite notable part of Disciples, but not so important, so for FOSS realisation of D2++, you can use just simple models, and even sprites.= SKILLS ="Disciples" skills have always reminded me perks of "Fallout". And the same they were some serious help for destroying enemy units, unlike these childish "+5 to Death magic defence" of "DisciplesIII".Probably, it's quite obvious thing but still I'll tell it: there must be pack of perks, available for all leaders. But, besides them, there must exist special perks for each type of a leader, special perks for each type of lord, special perks for each race. And also converted units should have there own traits.== Foredefence ==It would nice to have some perks alike "Tactics" of Heroes: it will be usefull when you are forced to fight, for example, you can regroup for retreat. I don't know if this would be fair and "disciplish" enough.If we continue the idea, we can also make defence from the global magic: when you're about to be hit, you will be warned of some unknown spells going down from the sky or elsewhere. You will do air magic defence but noooo - it was a rock, earth magic. But the next level you take upgrade of "Foreseeing" perk and now you understand what's going to happen, but you have no recources. And you fail again.These feature may be for all. But we can give only to certain type of leaders (warrior/mage) or even certain type of leader under command of certain type of lord. Choosing lord's favourites may give certain bonuses.== Experience ==I think, modificators of non-upgrading level-ups must be lowered: in "DisciplesI", unit, reaching the end of it's upgrade tree, has stopped gaining any experience at all, which is not very good."DisciplesII" has improved this part of the game, but, at least in campaigns, there was developed only one overpowered leader, and that was dimming true strategical mode from the eyes of player.Second problem was succesfully solved in "Battle for Wesnoth", where units are leveling-up alike "Disciples" with choice of who to be, but secondary levels (without turning into somebody else) are not giving big advance in front of enemy except for gaining full life instantly. It's quite good feature.If we talk of campaigns then between scenarios there must be possibility of taking no only one unit but several: main leader, secondary/rodplanter and thief; for player to be used of developing few characters at once.== Inventory ==There is quite much claims for inventory being too much abstract: to wear some boots you need to have perk for this, like your leader have never seen boots in his life before.Maybe we should have possibility of using items without needed perks - it will only limit magical effect of item to very low. Probably some additional items like armor could be implemented, but there are doubts if it won't get Disciples too much into RPG.= MAGIC =Magic is a mighty thing in "Disciples". And first what I'd certainly changed - it's an option to disable spell animation, and possibility to make spell pack to cast them all selected at once (like improve defence, hits and so on).== Fog of War ==When you have all map opened, then you can cast spells everywhere you want, which is quite nasty. In the beginning I thought that it would be better to strike only on your land, but it was considered not very smart.But we can implement fog of war: it will be clear at your land; there will be misty at lands you'd been at, but these are not yours yet; and completely dark at unknown ones. Your lands will whether open new territories whether won't go to the unknown lands.This would both save you from enemy spells (and otherwise), and would make a need of recoinassance for succesfull war actions. Not like in previous games: you open map and have half of the victory in your hands.== Book Revision ==Balance that was based on 4 old races has broken with Gallean people return: new mana has appeared, and elves wer neither good (Imperium, Clans) neither bad (Undead, Legions), so it was unclear what kind of magic will be using.But the developers did it smoothly: thanks to dual nature of elves, chaos and order, madness and clear mind of Gallen, elves have become the center in the cross of the good-bad races relations (Clans-Undead & Imperium-Legions). That's where come spells of +/-30% of armor: plus for us, minus for you and there goes the same 50% that take off bad guys and add-on good ones. It's interesting, that "DisciplesIII" had possibility of making this feature as developers has chosen imperium, elves and legions as playable races, but for some "innovative" reasons, they have decided to create their own frankenstein. Also like old spells, elves need one mana type for first and second levels of magic, and then were added 1-2-3 mana types for further levels. So elvish spells fitted the game quite naturally. Of course, it doesn't cancel the fact that other races doesn't need Gallean mana at all. The same, DIII was created only thinking of elves, human and demon mana: nothing for upcoming add-on for Undeads, nothing for unfinished add-on for Clans...I think, that elvish mana needs to be included into other race spells from the very beginning. 5 spells levels for 5 manas: 1st level for native mana; 2nd level for two manas and so on. It would interesting to make magic combinations logical: for example, if you combine air and earth manas, you get meteor shower; fire and water makes deadly steam; death and life makes poison - and so on.= INTERFACE ="Diciples" is the game of no hurry. It is quite slow: your turn, enemy turn, spell effects, epic unit animations... Very meditative. And interface is helping this.How could we increase the speed of the game? First, we might take "HoMM" idea of fast movement by double click, which disables animation allowing "overjump" leader to needed place. For animated movement we need possibility to stop it by one-click.Second, we could bring oftenly used things to the main screen, such as most used spells and spell packs or garnisons with forces inside.= THE END =Here I stop as my ideas end. In any case here are enough ideas too say that this won't be DII any more. But, if any of these will come to realisation, then it would requier many time to test it. But still I hope I have interested you. )

Report abuse Black Mesa

0 comments by AmDDRed on Oct 2nd, 2012

Well, Black Mesa is over.First, about game.It's good old new Half-Life. I mean, that it's recalling memories of how it was before, but it looks a way different. And this is cool: this is how the remakes should be done - recreated from scratch, keeping the main idea, script, looking with one eye at what already had been done.
And Black Mesa looks great.There are quite a lot of places thrown away - like railway stuff, like returning in the middle to one map you've been in beginning, but on the other side of lattice, like some offices... They say that it was decision to remove boring places, but I must say, these places, when you've been alone to the some massive complex, no soul around, just you and the same lonely beasts - this made a feeling of catastrophe, of being abandoned. And that your life is in your hands: no goals, no world saving, just you and cruel world. It was perfectly told in the beginning of the "Black Mesa": when you're awaiting for weapon to receive, but they are simply not giving it to you!!! And you just go and go, explore the world a bit claustrophobic and scary...
IMHO, this messianic message of Gordon ruined Half-Life2. In Black Mesa I've got more of the script message telling me "Gordon is the centre of the world! He must save us!". Well, I guess, that's because of removing "boring" places, where you were wondering plotlessly. So, talking of this game, I must say that it leaves strange feeling of being enlarged and conspect of original simultaneously.Some levels requier optimisation: like the last one, where it was 1FPS slo-mo (I wonder how I had patience to win), mined building could be made as separate map, especially, as, after getting in, you can't get out except by lift down.
And one more thing: scripts were natural in general (I mean, they worked making feeling of a real world), but in case of helicopter in the mountains (which was loosing aim and shooting in unknown direction thus becoming unbreakable) and in case of triple(!!!) spawning to the same cooling reactor room (actually, very convinient thing - where they came from? hell, another dimension!) - they were quite annoying.Otherwise it was good. Music appeared in BM and it fits well the game.
Second, about balance.Levels wasn't the only thing changed: they've also changed the behaviour of enemies and weaponry. I've played on hard level.
Comparing to original, gameplay has become meaner. Enemies are very mean: grunt's electroshock is fast and precize, xen soldier is now not only shooting autoaimed flies, but also is running and kicking; xen dogs now attack in packs, with nice effect - usually effect of death; zombies throw stuff at you; soldiers are just mean with their shotguns and machineguns. I wonder why didn't they made headcrabs act like facehuggers - if these can get through helmets, then Freeman's walks without cover, as game arts show us, is quite dangerous for his head, and these jumpy bastard would do smth more then just unpleasant moments of game. Less light for damaged facilities, more doomish claustrophobic darkness and flashlight, with headgrabs jumping from corners, more!.. I'd say that this is good thing, that creature have become dangerous. It makes game challenging. Of course, there were moments when you were just catching moments they've missed you and you got them from save to save, trying to survive under heavy fire in shieldless suit... You know, suit without batteries is quite fragile thing - health is going down with bullet speed... But still it was interesting.
The bad thing is about weaponry. They've made it... prefferable, I'd say. My main weapons for the Black Mesa were glock17, magnum and shotgun. Glock helped me to get rid of nasty "rabbits" and fishies, magnum helped to cool down soldiers and others from the far, and shotgun - from close disctance. Machinegun was totally unprecize: shooting far it was useless, as clips loosing after clip but your enemies continue to wound you; shooting close range it took whole clip to kill one enemy, while he was continuing to shoot you and not alone - and reload time is somelike deadly one. Even magnum was unprecize: I didn't understand the system how should I shoot in alternative "sniper" mode. Rokkit launcha and Gauss rifle were too late and not too much ammo to spend it on smth then tanks and helicopters.
There was also xen soldier's weapon shooting with flies. It surprisingly was found not at xenobiology lab where it would fit perfectly (and it was in original) but at completely other place. Why? Probably, they just needed to give it, as it was in HL. They could have give it in Xen, it wouldn't matter as it was the same mostly useless: selfaiming flies can hit enemies around the corner, but there were no enemy that would just sit and wait to be killed - they were running to you. And it had the same problem that machine gun had - full clip per person and deadly reloading. So, generally this weapon was used to kill barnacles and break boxes thus saving shells for instant deadly shotgun. But the scene of taking control over this weapon was interesting one )....This stupid oldgame habit to make weapons less killing with difficulty raise is pissing me off. Make enemies stronger, not player weaker!..
I've heard that Black Mesa team is going to remake Half-Life multiplayer also, after Xen part of the game. Good thing - I really hope they would implement also Opposing Force arsenal (and make remake of OP as well )).Btw, I've never understood why the crossbow? Why not the sniper rifle?..
Third, about genereal feeling.Freeman has surprised me. With these new old enemies, after fights with military guys, his journey now seems to be ultra-dangerous, and requiers strength of truely unusuall man. Even armor of suit wouldn't save him, if he would be just another ordinary scientist. He must have tactical knowledge, he must have good weapon skill, be in a good shape, think and react quickly... Well, now we're looking at some HL version of Jason Bourne, actually (especially if you remember that normal human don't carry 10 types of gun with ammo).
Just imagine - morning, 27 years old performing kata's. He's very concentrated in this everyday doing, as always in everything he does. He's smart and full of life. On wall we see photos him being with long hairs in leather jacket in some moto-club. Second photo showing him in aikido kimono, smiling - he looks very much after "Samurai Champloo" hero. Third one shows him in military dress holding paintball weapon, some guy is near buy. This guy is Barney.
There are a lot of books in his room, and computer working. He is used to read a lot, use his time efficiently, get very deep in the debris of what he's interested. He also kinda likes japanese wisdom - don't show yourself without need. He has received aikido dan, he has been training with paintball team and because of this learning special force tactics. He has passed security guard training of Black Mesa, after he has known about it from Barney.
This kind of guy would have survived in all these strugles. This guy is more believable. But of course it's no more old one geekish scientist with Woody Allen glasses, now it's Ivan the Space Biker )) Joke )

Report abuse Nexus 2: Kickstarter Accident

0 comments by AmDDRed on Sep 29th, 2012

Hi there, again.

Again Nexus team wants to sell us Nexus 2 for funding. This time it will happen on Kickstarter - platform which helped to collect Fallout (and Planescape:T and so on) creator to collect 1 million dollars in two days for their own new game (fucking amazing, isn't it?).
Kickstarter.com
So, technically, Nexus 2 will be on Unreal engine. Even it's not opensource engine, still it's one of the richest industry engine, which would help to fasten the development, also it would be easy for modding - and even more, developers say about their own tools given to modders for better modding options.

In general, it's good choice for HW lover to spend it's money, while Complex team is still thinking of Unity3D engine. So - spread the word!

Report abuse Good Old Homeworld

0 comments by AmDDRed on Sep 29th, 2012

Hi there, folks!

There's a site, called GoodOldGames, smth like Steam, but a little bit different. It's specializing on old brands (and some quite new ones) and selling it without DRM. That's the cool stuff.

There's many good games already, causing some sharp nostalgy feeling. But there's no Homeworld 1-C-2.
If you go here, you can see a list: Gog.com - with community asking for a new good old games. And, of course, there's Homeworld.

So, if you're registered there, just go and vote. I don't know if it will change anything, but still it can change a lot, especially if we remember rights of HW games being in one hands.

Report abuse Homeworld 2 kamikaze

0 comments by AmDDRed on Sep 26th, 2012

Btw, have anyone tried to make kamikaze realisation in HW2?

I was just recalling HW2 lately, and thought of way how to implement this stuff.
It would be smth like adding new weapon, which would be activated as special one (like scouts), and the same time ship scuttle would happen.

I don't know if that stuff already done. Is it? )) and how?

Report abuse Hiigarians

0 comments by AmDDRed on Aug 13th, 2012

...
- What do you think of our ship?
- It's very nice one.
- And like every ship it requires repair. How do you think, if, with the time, we replace absolutely all the parts of this ship with new parts will it remain the same "Silent Prayer"?
- What a strange question... I guess, yes.
- And if we take all these old parts and rebuild ship of them, would it be "Prayer"?
- Emm... Well, actually, first one can be considered as true "Prayer", but the second also can't be taken as a copy or another ship. Well, probably, yes, it would be a shitty, but "Prayer" version. Why do you asking me these questions?
- I'm thinking of our place in universe. Many years ago our race has been divided to the conquered and outcasts... Conquered majority has stayed at homeplanet, slowly assimilated by taiidans... Of course, it's never one-way path, and taiidani has taken a lot from hiigarians, especially their high rank people. We now believe in one God, for example - and it's just one obvious detail of a culture...
- Well, for you as keeper of "thousand religion" kiith must be obvious that it's not very uniting detail.
- We have lost our faith of Sajuuk, and scattered it into pieces. Now looking through them we see false mirroring of demons. While we smelled the sea of fire of Kharak, we had belief and I felt Sajuuk by our side. But what happened next...
- Taiidani empire crushed, Hiigara has become our world.
- Yes, exactly. And I am thinking of that billions of hiigarian taiidans. Many of them were ancestors of those hiigarians who stayed here.
- So what? They are assimilated now. They are not hiigarians, They are taiidani. We are true hiigarians
- Unlike us they have always been hiigarians. Even if it's only first generation of living at the planet. We are now guests here. Lamb who have become the lion. We are ancestors of politics, high rank men who were responsible of decision which led us to this point of no return. Maybe, they even had no people support at this time. And our culture has been twisted many times away of original, so we don't remember it. But we come here and say that we are true hiigarians. What right do we have? What right do we have to treat these people as second sort citizens with no decision rights?
- The right of power. The same right Ristiu used against us.
- Mad emperor has taken what he has deserved. But what about justice?..

Report abuse RealDoom3 Feature List

2 comments by AmDDRed on Aug 10th, 2012

This is the list I’d like to see in some Doom3 mod.
General idea appeared when I was playing D3 at Nightmare skill with NoHUD mod (which is removing HUD, your C.O.).

Pistolero
The first part of the game, while I got a shotgun, was very challenging: pistol does very low damage, shoots rarely, so you can’t just correct your fire by decols. Also with 25 health allowed for Nightmare every miss is quite deadly. So here I lacked for laser aim. Or/And for close sight of weapons target point (this idea appeared while playing QW:ET).
The same stuff with machinegun: it got no tracing fire bullets, so if you see no marks on walls of your shooting, then it’s problematic to correct line of fire.

Then, it’s simply is not understandable, why marine cannot hold one-hand pistol and one-hand flashlight simultaneously? It’s understandable for other weapon that are hold with both hands, but pistol? So, thus pistol would become the “dark corner weapon”.

Next, double pistols: at the beginning of the game while you don’t have shotgun or machine gun, double pistols would be very appreciated. Even if you have these weapons, you can lack for ammo which never happens for pistol. In dual version it would be not so precise, slow reload but fast fast answers for unexpected threads.

Then, it would be really fun to take zombie-solders shield for having super-defence while shooting with simple pistol.

So, these are the way of how pistol could have improved the original game switching from “just another starting weapon” to one of the game features.

Melee
Talking about other ingame stuff: marine could have kicked some ass not with uncovered fists but with wrench - it’s heavier and fits more for a cold weapon that the flashlight. And talking about flashlight - if we hit enemies with it, why can’t we do it with other weapons thus pushing away the guys that have come too close to you (and this happens quite often)? At least, with leg )

Granada
Continuing talk about weapons I need to mention grenades: grens are usually needed to make enemies whether to stop following you or to stop hiding from you. And sometimes you don’t have time to press 5 (or what button it was) hold LMB and throw grenade. Sometimes you need just to throw it. So it would be great to have some button that will automatically switch to grenade, drop it and switch back to whatever you’ve been using.

Realismo
So if we are talking of realism, like you cannot hold flashlight and rocketlauncher simultaneously, or removing medkits at nighmare skill, or no HUD in real life, or possibility of holding pistol and flashlight at one time, then we must admit that no men can hold so much weapons and ammo as the DoomGuy did. So we must limit weapons that he can carry.

That’s why I’m talking of three type weapon system: light, normal and heavy weapons.

  • Light weapons: pipe wrench, second pistol;
  • Normal weapons: shotgun, machinegun, plasmagun and ;
  • Heavy weapons: rocket launcher, chaingun, BFG9k, chainsaw, grabber and droid;
  • Grenades - counted separatedly;

So, you have three slots for everything (except for 1st pistol, flashlight and Soul Cube can’t be dropped). Light weapons can be put to the all slots, Normal - to Normal/Heavy, and Heavy only to their own. That would make player think of the battle strategy and planning if he think he will get enough ammo for selected type of weapon in nearest future. Also it would make class-based game possible.

Here problem can appear that at one point player would need to face enemy with only wrench because of the ammo depleated. So, I suppose it needs to be thought of increasing the damage done at nightmare skill, because you would be wasting too much ammo on one enemy as it is - first; second, with no HUD it makes ammo waste more “succesful”; third, sometimes it becomes way too survivalistic to kill zombie-soldiers. Even demons are less living. Headshots must be deadlier. )

Zombie
Talking about zombies, I think, it was a great idea that zombie, after been killed, have got up and kept wondering further. Playing some levels you need to return back to some points and these guys could become quite annoying - and you will have to act carefully. The same is about soldiers.
To make ashes of them you will need some heavy weaponry: like chainsaw or RL, otherwise...

Also, some scripts at D3 are creating human soldies appear from nowhere, just because of the “magic”. Let hell’s wizardy be left for demons and let zombie patrule around from the very start of the level...

Respawn
As I said at some point nightmare game becomes very challenging and then you die not just often but very often (for example in the pool with headspiders): no UI, no possibility see for ammo left, only 25 HP - and very long loading. It sucks very much, so I propose player respawing at last used medicomp after he dies to not reload map.

Machinegun bot
We should use it better. It has to have improved AI, more advanced controlling system and be used as a heavy weapon: deploy and control. Also in TDM it could be served as an interesting tactical option - that’s why I located it in the Heavy Weaponry.

Other stuff
Well, I don’t know about other stuff. I like the blur system of HD2012 mod (and it’s graphics of course); I’d like to see modern graphics, ioDoom3 etc... Btw, there is no liquid walking sounds - no water, but there’s blood.
Also I was thinking about System Shock alike hacking to get hidden stuff (“Lllok at youu, haakka...”), but probably it would be too much, as marine is not hacker. Or not? Who knows what hobbies did he have - and if we make classical pipe game like wire connections as he cuts and reconnectes wires, probably, it would look natural.

And surely game should be replayed to get the picture if gameplay is not broken smwhere.
It’s pity I have no knowledge of how these things could be changed to get this game renovated in upmantioned manner )

Weapons

  1. Zoom for weapons QW:ET alike;
  2. Laser aim point for pistol and machinegun ();
  3. Pipe Wrench as a weapon;
  4. Grenades can be fast thrown w/o switching to them (like pressing "g" throws granade and returns to previous weapon);
  5. Double pistols;
  6. Weapon limitation: 1 heavy weapon (chainsaw, RL, Plasmagun, BFG or Chainsaw), 1 standard weapon (shotgun/double shotgun or machinegun), 2 pistols and 1 melee weapon (except for torchlight);
  7. Pushing kick with weapon (usefull when cornered or reloading);
  8. Possibility to take shield of dead marines with you;
  9. Spider bot as a heavy weapon (deactivated while carrying);
  10. Flashlight and pistol holding simultaneusly

Spider Bots

  1. Upgraded Spider Bot AI: don't shoot while player at path, try to find new location for shooting;
  2. Spider bot advanced control;

Difficulty Level

  1. Medkits removal on Veteran skill (it’s easy anyway);
  2. "Nightmare" skill goes with no HUD;
  3. "Nightmare" skill goes with "Novice" skill damage (mb, even more, powerfull headshots);

Enemies

  1. Undying zombies and soldiers (reviving after some time, except for overkill - would be pain in the ass till RL or Chainsaw);
  2. Zombies and soldiers are walking/patrulling at level from very beginning (for not appear by shitty scripting);

Deathmatch

  1. Different DM types: King of the Cube; Cooperative; Demon Attack; Assault and so on;
  2. Class-based game (when you choose your weapon set at very beginning);

Other

  1. Sounds of stepping at liquid and short life decals of bootprints (there is no sound as there is no water, but developers forgot about blood filled corridors);
  2. Respawn after death at Medicomp location, System Shock alike, (for faster revival, w/o reload - or just need quick load or checkpoints);

Report abuse Relic: WH vs. HW

0 comments by AmDDRed on Jul 1st, 2012

Watching the evolution of the Relic's Warhammer40k games, I can see one straight line: first, we had strategy and armie under our control in Dawn of War, second, we had tactics and platoon under our command in Dawn of War 2; third, we had TPS and two uncontrolled squad members in Space Marine (at least, Relic could have implemented target priority for them, like "help me", "shoot farshooters" , "kill closest" - kinda lacking tactics in SM, especially, as we command uber soldiers, not halks).

It would be fun (or not) if they will make make HW3 first as a tactical game like Nexus, and then, as strike craft wing space simulator like Descent - in the walls of the MegaStations, playing as a leader of a wing followed by several fighters or corvettes... As a sidestory, for example like Tambuur bounty hunting, it would be nice, but still we associate HW as a space RTS.

However, I don't think that would be bad, as it would expand universe. We can even think of different genre games of HW:
1. Kharak: Total War;
2. Exile: the Tambuur Accident;
3. Somtaaw tycoon;
4. Vaygr of Orion;
5. Spec Ops: Hiigarian Landfall;
6. Homeworld: The New Republic;

What you think of it? )))

Report abuse Taiidani Fleet - The Key to a Victory

0 comments by AmDDRed on Jun 28th, 2012

Quite old article translation (sorry for bad english and mistakes), where I was trying to analyze fleets of Homeworld - more about taiidani fleet, how it has influenced known ones. Original is found here: Homeworld.su.
Something similar was written here, just about little armies: Moddb.com

KUSHANI
So, let's begin with Homeworld triumphants.
In the first game kushan and taiidan fleets were actually the same. Yes, it can be explained by developer's lazyness and lack of time to make really different race, but even this thing can be taken as a part of game universe logic.

A we remember, in the game's beginning kharaki space fleet concisted of collecter, scout, research ship and drag-n-puller "salvette", thus meaning that kharakian had only one fighter class battle ship. Yeah, there are plans for scout chassis development, thus getting the interceptor; research for making smth at the size of "salvette" using it's chassis; and the research ship as an example of smth similar to the frigate class.

What helps kharaki engineering to make the leap jump? - Salvage of the empire's frigate. Immediately we can build resource controller - noncombatant ship. It seems, that taiidani frigate tech made capital ship production available.

After that frigates were done like sausages - support, assault... Bentusi has given ion tech - and here comes the ion frigate... Of course, kushani could not buy it, as turanic ion array frigates would give enough information for research - another question how good it would be, and would there be any good of it as in the next combat kushani will capture high quality taiidani ion frigates... Any way, the talk is not about the ion cannon technologies but about the taiidani being tactical and strategical inspiration for kushani fleet.

Yes, kushani had two ships that taiidani hasn't: stealth fighter and drone frigate (btw, both technologies have found it's place in somtaaw fleet). But why? First of all, both tech give us a sign of kushani exile number: about 3k mothership crew plus 600k Sleepers against 137 taiidani star systems (billions and billions). Stealth tech tells us about hiddden recoinassance, and drone frigate - about AI-tech development for human casulties and resourse minimisation. As counter-tactics, taiidani have defense tech: Defense Field Generator Frigate and Defense Fighter - kushani even didn't get it to research. Both ships tells us about massive battles, big fleet strategy, not the kushani partisanish one.

But still kushani had to copy both tactics and strategy (with very little difference) of the taiidani fleet, as they were copying there ships. And while taiidani enemies were strong enough (I mean first years of the Hiigara Landfall), and kushani had enough funds to keep big fleet, they kept on holding to the taiidani art of war...

TAIIDANI
So, the revolution broke out. Empire has fallen. A lot of worlds decided that their path is not the taiidani one, and not all shared ideals of Taiidani Republic. Thus Empire divided to Republic, based by revolutioners-separatists, and Loyalist Worlds, still hoping for revival, who was led by dictators or huntas.

Republicans got some tech from Bentusi. Many consider that because of this Republic's new fleet should be renovated and became more technically advanced, but Loyalist - otherwise, remain unchanged since Empire fall.

It would be true, if number of Republic worlds is less or equal to Loyalist one. Then republicans would seek, like somtaaw, new ways, non-standard decisions for victory achievment... But in this case - Empire heritage has left in the hands of the Republicans. Personally I doubt, that military centers would be located in the star systems which loyalty could be doubted - like those who didn't wanted to consider themselves as taiidani.

Second, if we take HW2 fleet, then we can see, that tech in general has remained the same: railguns, ions, plasma, missiles... I think, the same thing has happend as to the machines of WW2: they had been improved in armour, caliber, engine, but from outside it remained the same, was named the same and served same purposes.

You say, "how can you compare 4 years and 115 years (from Empire fall to Makaan's rise)? But the same infantry with spears or swords was used for centuries, until rifles changed the picture of the battle. Airplane's piston engine would still be used if not reactive ones. But what can you change in space? No aerodynamics, no landscape, and no rule-changing tech at least till HW2. More then that: vaygrs didn't use ion tech, but hiigarians has taken taiidani DFGF - the result seems to be something in between of Somtaaw force field and taiidani thing.

So, we can say that the Republic has remained with the same empire fleet (of course, with little replaces - like salvette being pure kharaki thing). And that's good, as Empire fleet was the most powerful: if we take a look at Homeworld War, then we can understand that taiidani fleet was fighting against the same "taiidani" fleet, so it could not bring any strategy change thus changing ship roles/ adding new ones; it could bring only new tactics to fleet manuals.

Completely another thing is about Loyalists. They had been left in minority, with completely other producing capabilities. If frigate can be built from carriers and space stations, then super-capital ships requiers some big factory. Even full population mobilisation could not help to make enough super-capital for full squadrons. And how much years could they treat their people without danger for their authority and economics?

Yes, HW:C shows us that at least 15 years Loyalist were able to use empire structure fleet. But the same HW:C shows us the crysis of loyalist militarism: the are forced to ally turanic raiders and even Beast, as they feel that the end of them is near...

Besides that, not only production capabilities are bigger for Republic, but also research ones. As was mentioned before, republicans would have their ships more superior along the same visual look. If so, then loyalists having a problem: they always will be second in that race.

So, taking in consideration beforementioned, loyalists has silensed after the Beast War: like Georgia's example showing us, not every economics can handle heavy military expences. Also, if we compare loyalist to the Ukraine, and Russia to Republic, then Russian can remake guts of MiG-31 to the level of 4++ and create T-90 tank, as T-72 evolution; then Ukraine can only have what she have in case of MiG plane, and T-80 can be be upgraded with more features.

What am I pointing at? Loyalists, as Somtaaw kiith, were forced to move to ship modular production system. This allows ship to get upgraded of needed circumstances, to use "local" technologies, and overall get cheaper production. And of course, it changed the battle strategy, distancing from classical Empire fleet structure, and, by the status, loyalist fraction got more and more closer to the turanics: to pirates and pirate kingdoms. As we know, Tobari were taiidans as well...

VAYGR
Vaygr. Look, it seems to be the force that can smash Republican fleet. But it seems only from the first sight. Was Makaan's victory something "natural" or was it only because of some jokers in his arm? Let's see what of consists his fleet.

First, despite the fact the vaygr mostly rely on strike craft, they have uberwaffe - super-capital ship, cruiser with "trinity" cannon and load of heavy missiles. What can it tell about their fleet?

If we recall pirate fractions, like kadeshi or turanic raiders, then we can find some similarities with vaygr: these also relied on strike craft with anticapital ship support of frigates and carrier-cruisers.
Of this we can get two consequences:
First, most of vaygr world did not needed big efforts to conquer them, as did not have enough forces against strike craft;
Second, it seems, that Makaan has started his career as a pirate/raider or miner, alike Somtaaw, even something both of these roles: this guess may be witnessed by the fact that vaygr wasn't very much known race in the galaxy.

Of this comes conclusion that his fleet strategy relied on strike craft, as it was better known to him, and he had no option to build bigger craft. Of this comes absence of ion frigates, as this is weapon of advanced galactic core empires, not some dawgs from the outer rim. ...But he has big non-similar to anything cruiser... About this later.

So, Makaan comes to the big world. He is misleaded, he counts himself as a prophet and Messiah. And his goal is to collect all three Great Cores. But this is not so easily done: one Core is at the Bentusi, other - hiigarian one. Both are defended by Galactic Council, which main force is Taiidani Republic with it's victorious fleet. Which in it's defeat has proven it's power (I mean kushan and rebel over empire).

What Makaan should do? Search for the allies. And then he half-conquers, half-joins (after demonstrations of his force - "you will join or die"(c) - ideological reason) Loyalist forces and other half-pirates, thus enlarging the number of his Armada and advancing it. Quite short stop at Loyalists allowed vaygr to make technological leap (like vaygr tech tree is very similar to HW1 one), and to become more taiidani alike.

But have this changed something? No, as the Loyalist fleet structure was half-pirate, the same as vaygr one, Makaan did not included it to the basic strategy as deeper modernisation would make Armada slower, more uncontrollable because of different tech used, untested, expensive and that would requier strategy rethink. That's why Makaan getting more squadrons, moves forward.

Only problem on his way are the giant outposts and hyper-inhibitors defenders, that blocks the path to the Taiidan Homeworld. Lessons of kushan, which silently destroyed hyper-inhibitor, were taught well...

Here Makaan would need some craft that would destroy with high efficiency non-moving objects, like Nomad Moon etc. And Makaan gets one - the "Humpback" battlecruiser with his Trinity Cannon main weapon as something very unique to the overall missile madness of vaygr (of course it had missiles but for selfdefence of capital ships like frigates). It even is buildable separately of all. But was this cruiser the reason why taiidani failed?.. I don't think so.

Makaan had a Joker: the Great Hyper-Core, which allowed him to make super-long jumps, and taiidani strategist where not ready for this. To catch Makaan, republican would need to split their fleet to parts, and that would be the suicide. All taiidani key worlds were known to him - it wasn't useless to join with loyalists, with their spies, relations and simple knowledge where are hided most valued things in Republic.

And thus, Republic wasn't able to answer to this move: check & mate. As the result, divided from inside (low moral, "Makaan is the Messiah!", "To Hiigara!" etc) and outside, Republic has given up. I guess, there was also some Taiidan homeworld defense and terror with ADW before that...

Immediately Vaygr has taken course to Hiigara, to get it on knees also. But hiigarians weren't dumb enough to simply sit and watch enemy's coming: they've studied this enemy for a long time already, and they did understand what are the advantages of Great Core - hiigarians have used it twice already for the same purposes. And the did know that if Makaan wins he turns to them, as he claimed himself as the "uniter of the cores"...

HIIGARIANS
...And Hiigara starts preparations for upcoming war:
a) elite fleets are sent to allies, like Sobani ones;
b) new ship is required for being capable of large fleet maintaining - and that's the Pride of Hiigara (we must remember, that hiigarians had no time to project and build completely new ship - and that's why old Mama-ship project, as a proven itself, had been taken and upgraded a little);
c) new fleet paradigm is taken (we even know when this was discussed, by admirals Paktu & Riif-Sa, for the first time: date from HW1 - Kharaki year 1302 - Hiigara year 86, 29 years till Vaygr Invasion).

This new fleet is quite alike vaygr one. Of course, we for sure can say that it's been influenced by it, but that can be simply threat lowering - now not taiidani were major problem to them, but raiders. But anyway, it can be compared, with little "national" differencies:
First, the basis of hiigarian fleet were frigates;
Second, carrier was more universal;
Third, unlike vaygr, hiigarians were anti-strikecraft concerned;
Forth, hiigarian battlecruiser was thought as mobile target threat not unmoving like vaygr one.
And we can see that hiigarian new fleet mixes vaygr mobility and solidness of Republic's fleet.

Also, the same as we've taken look at vaygr fleet, we can take a look how correlates taiidani and hiigarian fleets: hiigarians have more frigate then everyone else, and that means that since Beast War their main enemies were pirates and half-pirates, that didn't need big crafts for it's defeat. But the taiidani fleet hold even two destroyers, which means that they are ready to kill even bigger guys. Like Bentusi, for example. And if not being so jumpy, Makaan would have a looot of troubles...

PIRATES
...But we've missed two important moments in taiidani history: kadeshi and the Beast.

Let's start from kadeshi. Analyzing kushani Nebula breakthrough, we can notice two cicumstances giving undeniable advantage to exiles. First of all, they theGreatCore, allowing overjump, unlike other craft; second, mothership allowed to respond flexibly to changing conditions.

Taiidani recoinassance squadrons, sent to Nebula, had no such possibities. First, they could not move with giant hyper-leaps: most possibly, kushans has overjumped main patrol zone of kadeshi, and they have met a little of ships.
Second, taiidans would not be able to engineer and construct immediately new antifighter corvette or frigate. Third, taiidans would not be able to calibrate their sensors to find hyperspace blocking ship. As a result, taiidani squadron, even it wins first battles, would give up to kadeshi themselves...

Does it means, that kadeshi is force that can smash taiidani fleet? Of course, not. Kadeshi just knew how to use these circustance for their good. Outside, no one had knowledge of what awaits in the Nebula. And fear has big eyes. No one could tell, what ships is using enemy and what tactics is good against him: "no one returns...".

The same problem was about the Beast: new, unknown before, strategy of the enemy. But as soon as Somtaaw comrades have invented vacination againt the Beast, everything got back to it's places. And old tradition and trustworthy fleet of taiidani went forward victoriously...

Report abuse Calendar

0 comments by AmDDRed on Mar 18th, 2012

January
These are the pictures from new calendar of "Astlandia" company ("Ostland, mein fuhrer!"):
Imhoclub.lv
Nazis are glorifyied in Latvia: Imhoclub.lv