The Tyranid Mod is an ongoing additional race modification for the original Dawn of War series, based on the Tyranid army from the Warhammer 40k tabletop game.
A bit of an update on how 0.5 ought to play, just to let you know we're not dead yet. :P
Posted by zahaqiel on Jun 13th, 2010
Things have been pretty quiet, we haven't had new pics or videos to show. Which is a shame, because we're making real progress - it's just the coding kind, not the "yay! new models and animations!" kind.
So to give you all an update, I'm gonna describe how Tyranids should work in the next release because we're radically changing the way they play.
Tyranids don't give a damn about power plants or requisitioning more troops. They only care about two things - gathering biomass now so they can spawn more gaunts, and tyrannoforming the planet so they can get more biomass later for the hivefleet. With this in mind, we're screwing with the way you play.
So far we've made Requisition our stand in for biomass, and we've moved Req production off strategic points and listening posts (because biomass is everywhere!) and onto Reclamation Pools, which you can build pretty anywhere because that's how Tyranids roll.
In our next release we're introducing Influence, which is basically your "how much you can tyrannoform the map" resource. It'll work a lot like Faith (a rechargeable bar you can make bigger) but at the same time it'll also work a lot like Ork Resource (things will unlock the more you have). You'll get more Influence by putting more Spore Chimneys out there - so the more Spore Chimneys you have, the more technologies, buildings and abilities you'll have access to.
Basically we've reversed how everyone else does it. Everyone else needs to go out and capture points to get more units, and then use buildings they've camped at home to tech up. Tyrands can camp their production at home and expand their reach to tech up.
Sounds awesome? Wait until we get to...
Tyranids don't build bases. They bring a whole hivefleet (or splinterfleet) and drop what they need in from space. No units on the ground to make sure your hives get built? Who cares! Tyranids have plenty of hives just waiting to be dropped from orbit. Little folks scurrying about to build things is for everyone else - Tyranids are too busy scurrying about killing things to waste time building what they've already got floating up in space.
Those of you who've played Soulstorm are probably pretty familiar with the Dark Eldar soul ability bar. We're going to be using something similar as a permanently accessable build menu. So long as you have your Hive Spire HQ building to beacon for more hives from the hivefleet, the build bar will be available to you. So long as you can see a place, you should be able to drop a hive on it.
There are two exceptions though - Spore Chimneys and Magma Vents. These two need you to find the appropriate place to put them with a Synapse critter and then for them to start the growing process. As I said before, spreading out and capturing points will help allow you to tyrannoform your battlefield, so more the more Influence you have the more hives you can drop in.
But remember, these are large space-dwelling organisms and you're dropping them from orbit - buildings land damaged and will slowly heal themselves up, so while you can tyrannoform wherever you like, placing hives in harm's way is a quick way to lose them.
Which leads us to...
Tyranids are adaptable. That's the most important thing to remember. They don't care about where they are, they don't care about how they kill, just as long as they get to eat in the end. They're going to be the most mobile race in the game, since they can set up shop anywhere on the field and keep rolling.
The trick is to remember they're slow starters. Building a new base means putting down a lot of weak, easy-to-kill buildings that have only passive defenses. Tyranids are not a turtling race, use your units to protect and spread. And don't forget, if you have Influence to spare, you can kamikaze a hive next to a fight to get the home-ground advantage.
And for people who're taking on Tyranids, remember that Tyranids are even more tenaciously annoying than the Eldar. Doesn't matter if you think you have them cornered, they've probably got at least one backup base, if not more. Scout for Tyranid infestations and kill them early. The only way to beat Tyranids is to prevent them from spreading.
We're aiming to make Tyranids the badass race from 40k you all know and love - an adaptable, tenacious spreading infestation of teeth and claws. We're doing some stuff we think is pretty innovative and different to make them work the way they should without being ridiculously overpowered or unbalanced, but it's taking some time to get right.
When we can, we'll show you new UI pics to give you some idea of what this will look like, but at the moment we're still finishing up the code. We think you'll find the wait's gonna be worth it though.