BattleNodes: Unity is a Starcraft II modification which combines the best elements of a real time strategy in a team-based, action-packed environment.
Welcome to the third BattleNodes: Unity Development Report. Even more screenshots, talking about snowballing and news about the completion status of the mod; how close is it for a beta release?
Posted by maddriver6 on Jun 19th, 2012
Welcome back to the BattleNodes: Unity Development Report. Here are the main topics of this third installment:
The third zone introduced is the Power Plant. It is located diagonally opposite to the Mining District. It is the closest zone to the Western entrance to the Blue Base. By controlling this region, it becomes easier for Blue Team players to access the center of the map and Operations, the next and last Control Zone we are going to take a look at next time.
The Power Plant was the main energy production facility of the old space platform colony. While it was taken offline right after the conflict started, it has been brought back up in order to provide energy to all defensive structure and landing beacons.
It is a relatively hazardous area, as electric arcs can endanger even the most well equipped soldiers.
Now let's take a quick look at the snowball mechanics in this game. First of all, for those who don't know what snowballing is, it basically means that once a team or player starts doing really well (the snowball starts rolling downhill) he becomes increasingly powerful (the snowball gets bigger) and eventually can become very hard to deal with.
It is a common mechanic in many games of the "Moba" genre. There your character gains experience and money by killing others. The more experience he has, the more levels he gains, the more levels the better abilities. Same goes with money: the more kills a player gets, the more money is awarded, meaning better overall items. Snowballing has its pros and cons, which are obvious. One of the reasons behind its implementation is to give players a sense of progression and to help the better team end the match quicker so that they don't end up playing for 60 minutes against a team they're dominating.
A match in BattleNodes is inherently designed, by choice, to last for around 15 to 20 minutes, as it was said in the last Development Report. So the need for snowball mechanics is not existent. There are no powerful items you can equip your character with, there are no levels which give you an advantage over an enemy.
However, what gives the better team an advantage is the point system and the reinforcements system.
Basically if a team does really well, they are most likely controlling the most Control Zones (CZ) on the map. The more CZs , the more Control Points (CP) your team gains. The more points, the faster the Force Fields protecting the enemy base are disabled, leaving it open for a final attack. It is quite simple.
Not to mention that each controlled CZ gives you team additional reinforcements, which will help you push the enemy defenses faster.
Better map control also means that the team will have more chances to capture the Protoss Relic located in the center of the map, and by doing so they gain extra CP.
It all comes down to which team is able to coordinate and play better overall and not the bonus stats offered by items or levels.
It is a departure from the classic method of "the rich get richer". It will hopefully bring a breath of fresh air in a rather standardized genre, where everything and everyone have certain guidelines they follow. BattleNodes won't necessarily follow most of those guidelines. I guess we will just have to see how it will turn out in the end. Which brings us to the next topic of the day.
So how close is the mod from an actual public beta release? At this stage it is quite difficult to say exactly, as unexpected things can appear and ruin the schedule of the few hours I can dedicate to the mod.
If I am to make an assumption, I would say that the current level of progress is at around 60-70%. The terrain is done for the most part, some tweaks here and there can occur, but nothing major.
Most of the map triggers are in place, tested and fully functional. Values still have to be adjusted and I've just started working on some data tables which will allow me to better balance things out.
I would also like to have a test version of AI controlled opponents and allies out and ready for when the mod will be made available, so that is still something that requires a lot of work. I had plans for UI changes, but in this case it all depends on the available time. I will not push other things back because of the UI. The interface can be worked on later at any time during the public beta. What is important right now is to have a functional release, with most features available so that you will get a better experience out of playing the mod.
With this we're wrapping up the third BattleNodes: Unity Development Report. Hopefully it provided you with a better idea of what to expect and offered more information of the general thinking process and design of the mod. If you are interested or simply curious, you can visit the mod's website at: Moddb.com
See you soon!