Frontline Chaos is a Total Conversion mod for C&C Generals Zero Hour. It will replace the original sides, and introduce 2 brand new armies: Revenant and Legion. The mod's goals are to supply a completely new story, including campaigns for both sides, and a balanced and fun multiplayer experience.
Today, a showcase of the revised primary resource of Frontline Chaos.
In the time since last update there has been work done on various parts of Frontline Chaos. Besides the usual bug fixing and tweaking of various stats, the notable changes / additions are:
As this all is a bit too much for one update, I will now focus on the last mentioned change, the revised resource. The story (and oh boy what a story it is) behind the new infantry and GP will be for a later update.
If you are not fan of long design choice stories, skip to the bold TL;DR part
So, to the subject at hand. Resources. As referenced to in the March 2015 update, the primary resource in the mod is Litenium. It has the looks of Red Alert's Ore, the mysteriousness and toxicity of Tiberium's... well Tiberium, and overall was a fancy idea at the time. The idea to use geodes (aka rocks with crystals in them) came as a random suggestion from a fellow modder, and was more original then what I came up with back then. The ingame look went through various iterations, but basicly remained the same idea: piles of rocks with some crystals thrown in for making it look less dull and to hint at the geode origin.
However, lore wise it was kind of flawed. Geodes normally form over a very large time span. In the current timeline of Frontline Chaos, there are roughly 6 years between the 'delivery' to Terra and the first documented discovery. The other lore issue that existed is how can it spread itself? A rock cannot 'grow' another rock, and a potential dangerous resource that can be removed permanently by simply harvesting it after being discovered is not that dangerous after all.
Initially I handwaved these facts and pushed these issues ahead to get on with the mod. The idea I had from the start with this resource is to have it grow / regenerate ingame eventually. Roughly a year later when trying to finally implement said idea I begin to see the flaws. How do rocks regenerate or grow? They don't. The next best idea is to have some kind of mine that drills up Litenium from time to time, but that also had some issues:
After going back to the drawing board and putting random ideas out on paper, my eye fell on the idea of using plants as a resource. Plants could solve many lore issues I had: plants can grow quickly, plants can reproduce themselves, plants can have self-defence mechanisms that can be dangerous. An sufficient alien look complemented the idea.
TL;DR Time to introduce the new resource in Frontline Chaos: Prohicus Litenii or Litensplant
"Litensplant at first look resemble a hybrid of ordinary Terran plants. The base of the plant consists of a large red-purplish root. ... From the top of the main root one or more sets of dark blue leaves grows ... The usage of the leaves is eventually the same as that of other plants: to be able to photosynthesise."
"The primary way of reproduction for Litensplants is by the supporting roots, and underground shoots that grow out of the main root. These shoots will spread laterally underground to form new plants nearby. This way a single Litensplant can slowly but surely reproduce itself ... A recent theory is that the new plants are genetical 'clones' of the original plant."
"The oily substance created during the photosynthesis process has been found to be highly combustible. As one of the first companies to research the possible economical values of Litensplants, M-Tec was able to discover several uses for the Litensplant oily substance."
"In its raw form, it has been discovered to contain various heavy metals ... After many experiments a way was found to split these heavy metals from the oily substance ... The waste product of this process is still very similar to the unrefined form ... When thinned by several chemical processes, the product has proven to be a working alternative for fossil-based oils."
"Alternatively, scientists have been researching the combustible properties for military purposes. As the raw substance sticks to most materials, it is comparable napalm ... a mixture of the oily substance and napalm has proven to give a much more intense flame, which burns longer and sticks even better then normal napalm."
"The plants themselves continuously release a bio-corrosive agent in gaseous form. This agent is highly dangerous to nearby biological lifeforms ... A single mature Litensplant causes plants and grasses in a 3-6 meter circle to slowly wither and die. Trees fare better, depending on the species and range from the Litensplant ... Small wildlife like birds or rodents are easier overcome by the fumes, as the gas can enter the lungs. This results in a slow agonizing death, as the lungs are slowly corroded away, suffocating the creature."
"The effects of a field of Litensplants are disastrous. ... Dead wildlife surrounds the field, having succumbed to the noxious gasses ... Unprotected humans fare no better. The lucky ones succumb to the gasses as they corrode the lungs away ... The unlucky ones who hold their breath or rely on their own air supply will be corroded from the outside. Blisters will appear on the skin, and the skin will be eaten away to reveal the flesh underneath ... Unconfirmed report exist of individuals that were able to keep standing or walking long enough to see their own flesh being corroded away to the point that bones became visible."
"While a hazard to biological lifeforms, field research has proven that the gasses have limited to no effect on other materials. Trials with hazmat suits have shown that the gasses are unable to breach most Tier-2 hazmat suits. Metal also seems immune to the effects, even in larger Litensplant fields. As long as the gasses are filtered out, vehicles will have no problem passing through even the largest of Litensplant fields."
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