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The second article in the series, aimed at providing insight into the changes and features of RotM version 5.

Posted by the_Farseer on Nov 6th, 2013

This article will be shorter than the previous one simply because it's an overview and not a detailed, item-by-item list of the changes that are to come. Invariably, there will be those of you who want that level of detail in this post but to do so would literally be hours of work and the info provided would be dryer than a Tusken Raider's...Sarlac pit...

Anyway, on to business!

Basically in RotM version 5, I want to almost completely redo the damage tables and unit statistics to make gameplay more realistic (or as realistic as one can make the Star Wars universe anyway). I was always bothered that plex rockets and turbolasers hardly did anything to infantry, while hand blasters and sniper rounds picked away at vehicles like they were made of concrete, rather than Beskar and Durasteel, etc. It made unit types armed with said weapons much less threatening and it locked them into a single combat role, while making them virtually useless in any other scenario. That "lock-in" discouraged the production of those units in late-game and really hurt any real strategy in the game because it forced a "rock/paper/scissors" scenario where players simply bring out the next trump card until you're both just building AT-ATs or T4-B tanks, respectively, and nothing else.

The idea is this: Rockets, turbolasers, any weapon type should do lethal damage to infantry. Before you jump to conclusions... I am NOT turning infantry into cannon fodder! That type of gameplay is less enjoyable than the rock/paper/scissors-type aforementioned and would not serve this mod well. In essence though, infantry will serve the same purpose that they do in the real-world; a front-line/advance unit meant for scoping out/securing a small area to clear the way for heavier units. They cannot be used for assault or act as a primary defense! Rocket infantry will not be altogether useless against regular infantry types as well. If I'm a regular soldier in the field and somebody shoots me with a rocket, I'm not going to shrug it off and say, "meh, I think I'll shoot back and kill you now," I'm going to asplode and die a terrible death. The caveat is that rocket squads are smaller, slower, and have a longer duration between shots that usually tips the scales in favor a regular infantry squad BUT it doesn't leave them out in the cold to die without the support of another unit type...

Similarly, light vehicles like the AT-PT or T2-B should now be thought of more like heavy infantry, rather than a "vehicle" that is suited for combat against larger foes. Compare it to an M8 Greyhound ( going up against a Panzer IV ( The T2-B would make a good distraction for the heavier vehicle because it's fast and armored enough that a stray hit won't cripple it but it can't hold it's own in a head-on attack. Alternately, it's weapons will quickly eat away at infantry but plex/rocket units can cause a great deal of hurt if they get off the first shot; no more click-and-forget unit management.

Lastly, turbolasers and other super-heavy projectile types will effectively one-shot every type of infantry. Gone are the days when a Turbo Tower can be taken down by patiently chipping away at it with a few squads of infantry; these structures and units are a serious threat to be reckoned with. So how do you take down a unit they is both effective against infantry and other vehicles? The answer is: carefully and with strategy. Air units can be a good choice in some cases because they are so fast that they can "evade our turbolasers" ;) . Units like the AT-AT are effective at taking down air units though, so then what? Obviously tow-cables are a NR-only option so if you play as the Mandalorians or are pitting the Remnant against itself in skirmish, the best answer is to use a combination of the fast, hit-and-run units in conjunction with a capable anti-armor unit. Run the fast guys by first (referring back to the T2-B, AT-PT analogy from the previous paragraph) and when the lumbering, slow, heavy unit has its back turned, send in the cavalry and do some damage. See? Strategy :)

I think that's it this time around. There aren't really numbers here, in case there are people out there who like to see numbers... The point is to try and avoid numbers, which are always predictable and consistent. A truly immersive combat experience has elements of luck, strategy, and predictability all working at once. Hopefully that all makes sense and my musing was enjoyable and gives you all something to look forward to! Thank you for enduring all the text!!

Post comment Comments
Emperorthrawn Nov 6 2013, 3:23pm says:

Yes!Finally a balance in land combat!I love the new Rise of the Mandalorians!

+9 votes     reply to comment
the_Farseer Author
the_Farseer Nov 6 2013, 4:25pm replied:

Glad you're excited!

+8 votes   reply to comment
kyle_katarn67 Nov 6 2013, 7:40pm replied:

That part with asplode and die a terrible death made laugh so hard

+7 votes     reply to comment
Emperorthrawn Nov 6 2013, 3:26pm says:

The link on the first comment is not mine.

+2 votes     reply to comment
the_Farseer Author
the_Farseer Nov 6 2013, 4:25pm replied:

I don't know what link you mean... All I see is your comment and then a lot of extra space...

+8 votes   reply to comment
Mitthrawnuruodo Nov 6 2013, 3:51pm says:

This is great, I've been waiting for a mod to do this for a long time.
PS: I suggest for the turbolaser towers that, since they shoot big lasers, manage to desintegrate light infantry when attacked. It could give a better feel to ''serious'' threat.

+6 votes     reply to comment
the_Farseer Author
the_Farseer Nov 6 2013, 4:23pm replied:

I haven't actually gotten to this yet but my plan is to make various death clones for all infantry, based on damage-type. For example, turbo lasers or other heavy ordinance will blow infantry apart, flame weapons will ignite bodies/corpses, Lightsabers will sever limbs or heads (occasionally, not always) and forceful impacts like Force Push or a grenade blast will send infantry flying in all directions.

Along these same lines, I also want to make the environment more interactive, creating "crush" clones for trees that are (for example) stepped on by an AT-AT or burnt death clones for trees and grass props that are caught in big explosions or in the path of flame weapons. This will be a large undertaking though so don't expect it soon.

+13 votes   reply to comment
_w_ Nov 6 2013, 5:00pm replied:

Ambitious, but i hope you can pull it off amongst all your other great plans.

so will you give infantery, or maybe only certain types a bigger line of sight than some vulnerable vehicles, making them effective spotters in addition to cappers?

+8 votes     reply to comment
the_Farseer Author
the_Farseer Nov 6 2013, 5:16pm replied:

That's definitely a possibility. I will see about doing that after the damage tables are finished and I can test how the game plays with them.

+8 votes   reply to comment
Mitthrawnuruodo Nov 8 2013, 4:46pm replied:

Got it, so you practically want to add the frostbite engine to this game then :p (Would be awsome come to think of it)

+1 vote     reply to comment
the_Farseer Author
the_Farseer Nov 9 2013, 2:26pm replied:

Frostbite is a wonderful thing indeed :) A little much for this game but that doesn't mean we can't try to get as close as we can.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Plejadenwolf Nov 6 2013, 4:57pm says:

Ah, finally someone who cares for the damn rocket-infantry-paradoxon! It always wondered me in strategy games like Empire at War that when rockets are shot at infantry, they just don't care very much about it because a single shot of a normal infantry weapon can do more damage to them than a giant explosion which is, you name it, ridiculous.

Your previous versions of Rise of the Mandalorians were revolutionary all the way, but your current plans seem like a MAJOR improvement of the game. Especially your idea with the interactive environment seems like a great one to me. I was always shocked when I saw some of the very well done, highly detailed models stomping around in an environment which looks not as close as good as the models and their textures and is also rather useless in terms of strategy. This will add a lot to the overall immersion I suppose.

+5 votes     reply to comment
the_Farseer Author
the_Farseer Nov 6 2013, 6:04pm replied:

I hope you are right :) This isn't something that has been attempted before so I have no idea if it will be fun or not. We will have to wait and see!

+6 votes   reply to comment
Alpha473 Nov 7 2013, 6:23am replied:

I can't wait to play it! More realism in strategy was much needed

+1 vote     reply to comment
sinay Nov 6 2013, 6:45pm says:

So then you must be planning for a wide variety of infantry types to assert their role. After all in real life infantry is so valuable because its so adaptable. Super excited for this mod.

+5 votes     reply to comment
the_Farseer Author
the_Farseer Nov 6 2013, 11:29pm replied:

I don't plan on adding too many more infantry types but I do want to make the current ones more versatile. I already have added the nova troopers to the imperial remnant, plus snipers, etc.

+5 votes   reply to comment
Khanti Nov 7 2013, 6:27am says:

Good to hear version 5 is coming. Hope that "Mando Bombing-run" will not crush the game ;)

+2 votes     reply to comment
the_Farseer Author
the_Farseer Nov 7 2013, 10:47am replied:

That will be fixed.

+2 votes   reply to comment
spaceship_2012 Nov 7 2013, 8:04am says:

Sounds nice, but i think the main advantage of
the soldiers (taking cover to be very hard to hit)
should be involved, i mean while they do not take
a lot of shots, they can use their environment in
opposition to the vehicles, which can't. That makes
them tough in street and forest fights but weak on
open areas.
Please keep this in mind while coding and designing
this and give it a place in this mod.

+1 vote     reply to comment
the_Farseer Author
the_Farseer Nov 7 2013, 10:46am replied:

Unfortunately, there is a limit to what can be done with infantry in this game. Cover systems and that type of thing would be very difficult, if not impossible to implement.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Vithar-133 Nov 7 2013, 11:51am replied:

I believe the original Empire at War had zones on the maps where infantry got a defensive bonus. Looked something like circles of sandbags, iirc.

If that doesn't work, you could probably give each faction an engineer unit with low attack and defense that can build a bunker for a small price (or one at a time). Give defending infantry an edge that way.

+2 votes     reply to comment
the_Farseer Author
the_Farseer Nov 7 2013, 11:59am replied:

Yes, there is code in the game for "high ground" and "good ground" which give atk and def bonuses respectively. They don't really act as cover areas though, it's just an arbitrary zone that supplies a bonus while the unit is in it...the AI doesn't even really use them to their advantage.

+2 votes   reply to comment
Vithar-133 Nov 7 2013, 12:28pm replied:

I'm guessing you don't want to rewrite the game's AI, then.

On that note, maybe I'll use bunkers more often now.

+2 votes     reply to comment
the_Farseer Author
the_Farseer Nov 7 2013, 1:00pm replied:

Yes, even in just the little testing I have done, I've found that I use bunkers A LOT more than I ever did previously. They've actually become a quite pivotal tool in ground combat.

Coding AI is another beast. I understand LUA for the most part but some pieces of the game's AI are hard-coded and cannot be changed. I don't know if this is one such example or not; I haven't looked into it.

+2 votes   reply to comment
p*a*t*t*o*n Nov 7 2013, 10:53am says:

Yes! I'm glad other people are bothered by the damage models as well! I tried to balance it out with my mod but somehow I think you're going to do a much better job than I did ;)
Good luck to you sir!

+1 vote     reply to comment
the_Farseer Author
the_Farseer Nov 7 2013, 12:01pm replied:

Well, when I'm done I can share some tips if you want ;) I don't know if mine will come out perfect either but I guess we can compare notes anyway.

+3 votes   reply to comment
p*a*t*t*o*n Nov 9 2013, 12:20am replied:

Oh my mod is finished, lol. Ran out of time to work on it and just lost the drive :)
If you want to compare notes I'd be happy to give any help I can though.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Xtremelightning Nov 11 2013, 11:34pm says:

Now if only that LAN galactic conquest can be fixed.. ;)

+1 vote     reply to comment
the_Farseer Author
the_Farseer Nov 13 2013, 6:08pm replied:

It's being worked on.

+1 vote   reply to comment
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