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In Red Alert 1, the MCV cost was lowered to $2500. This is what "should've been" all along. $5000 is absurdly high for a vehicle, and makes base expansion prohibitively costly. The new cost as it is is fine, and around where it should be.
OpenRA will have both a "C&C-Classic" mod and a C&C mod for OpenRA. The C&C-Classic mod will have *exactly* all the same values as the original game. If you want an authentic experience, go play that one. Meanwhile, the main C&C mod is modernized and made to reflect what years of RTS experience after C&C has taught us. It's much more fun, while still being true to the spirit of the original.
There is no need to weaken defenses. That would actually ruin things, because the game is quite well balanced as it is. Changing the stats of multiple units is far more radical than simply imposing a restriction on how far you can build from your construction yard (about 10 tiles away). For most games, the player won't even notice.
We have to face the fact that the original game just wasn't that well thought out for multiplayer. It was one of the first RTSes ever that supported multiplayer, and it was rushed to market before being fully polished. Its focus was on singleplayer. Multiplayer was not really refined or balanced--it was made in an era where they had little RTS experience. The fact that Nod had no guard towers in the original doesn't mean they should be removed. They actually fit quite well.
Once you try playing with the cooldown you will see it is fine. It will only be around 8 seconds. It will have no noticeable effect on gameplay, except for players who try basewalking across the map very quickly.
The feature will be fixed soon.
If you want to expand your base, you still can. Just redeploy your construction yard into an MCV and move it to the new location. You don't have to worry about losing your MCV too much because it will pop up in your next crate if you lose it. (Crates come fairly often).
The reason it is temporarily disabled is that basewalking is insanely good with multiple build queues. With say 5 MCVs (only $2000 each in OpenRA), you can save up many turrets in your build queue and deploy them all near an enemy base at the same time. Keep in mind that C&C 95 did not have multiple queues, only sped-up production, which is not as powerful.
The future solution will incorporate a maximum build radius around construction yards, and probably a cooldown time before placing new structures around an MCV.
Since your mod is dead, do you have any neat .SHP files you want to share with the modding community?
Your graphics look great! I'm impressed by the potential of your mod.
If you aren't aware of it, there's an open-source and designed to be modded version of C&C/Red Alert out there, called OpenRA. It's basically a very well made clone of the C&C engine, which can be loaded up with data from any of the games (C&C, RA, Dune2000, etc.). Later games like C&C2 and RA2 use similar data structures and these graphics formats can be imported for use, as well as graphics from any other mod that has ever been made for C&C/RA.
It might be easier to do a project for OpenRA (and longer lasting, since I don't know how many people who will play the old RA software forever), and easier to find people who might want to contribute to it.
Is your mod available for download?