Covert Operations is an add-on for Command & Conquer which features 15 new missions, new music tracks, and multiplayer maps. Unlike the original game, the missions of Covert Operations can be played at any time and in any order, and are not accompanied by mission briefing cut-scenes. It added two new units to the game, and the new missions are more difficult than those of the original. The add-on pack features the DOS version's soundtrack, which includes music that was absent from the Windows 95 (or Gold Edition) version. Covert Operations was originally needed to unlock secret missions, which were later enabled by a patch to the main game.
Greetings Commanders! DTA version 8.0.0 just released, a patch that first and foremost sees big changes to Nod in order to return them to their roots in terms of gameplay. It also brings significant balance changes, big graphical improvements, as well as new content.
Let's first take a look at Nod's new design. While 1.19 did bring a more balanced and streamlined Nod, over time both staffers and fans came to feel that it somewhat removed Nod from their original identity. 8.0.0 makes an effort to retain a good balance, while also giving Nod their speedy and aggressive playstyle back.
A big part of Nod's playstyle becoming too steady was their reliance on the new Microwave Tank as part of a slow and methodical combined arms push. Since the Microwave Tank has seen several reworks without really finding its place in the game, we feel it is time to put the concept to rest altogether, and so it has been relegated to crate unit only in 8.0.0.
In its place will be the Heavy Raider, a unit that could be described as a middle-ground between a light tank and a heavy recon unit. It possesses a speed higher than that of any tank and uses the same armor class as a recon unit, but with much higher health. From its twin chain guns spews a storm of incendiary munitions, which will burn through all but the heaviest units. This unit should provide Nod with a lethal lategame multi-tool, and ensure that they can retain the initiative and outmaneuver opponents even into the lategame. It also compensates for an unintended effect of 1.19's Buggy nerf, which resulted in a more balanced early-game, but made playing Nod fast late-game unviable.
The Harbinger was not well received by fans and certain staffers on account of feeling thematically out of place in the game. It also never really felt like a synergetic addition to Nod's roster, and was found generally hard to balance.
Therefore, we are replacing it with a new epic unit; the Illuminator.
This new unit is designed both to be the pinnacle of Nod's own tech, as well as better following their combat doctrine. Based on Nod's early research into the Tacitus, it is the first ever plasma-based unit, a forefather to the plasma weapons developed for the Cyborg Commando and Banshees of Tiberian Sun. The highly sophisticated power system on board this tank also allows it to push high speeds despite its strong armor. It is the ultimate hit-and-run unit, delivering extreme bursts of damage in a single shot and disengaging before the enemy has time to kill it.
The SSM has been rebalanced to be a slight outlier where artillery is concerned, being much faster but slightly shorter ranged and bringing further agility into Nod's lategame. It can effectively kite heavier enemies and also provide extra punch to a frontal attack.
Chem Warriors are getting a big overhaul including a brand new model, and will no longer just be green flamethrower infantry. As we wrote in more detail earlier, their new iteration are given armored suits to protect them from enemy fire and to make them uncrushable, at the expense of speed. They also deal more damage to tanks and less to base buildings.
Flame Tanks have received some big buffs, and can now even be a danger to lighter tanks, especially if grouped. This will allow Nod some manner of direct fighting power, but with the use of tactics more unique to them.
Nod's Gun Turrets now have a longer range. The range buff should help Nod more efficiently defend against steamrolling, and to survive the ardeous early rushes of the harder AI levels.
Lastly, Nod's Hover Transports have been given a unique model of their own, and now deviate from the others in having additional carrying capacity, but less health. This is to make it easier for Nod to use their strength in numbers when the transports are needed.
Next after Nod, the balance changes in this patch largely revolve around the Soviets. We mainly wanted to address their over-reliance on the Behemoth. Alongside other issues, this uber-artillery largely made V2s pointless.
The Behemoth has received a nerf to its range and so will still be a backliner, but not fully artillery, as the combination of extreme range and health caused the aforementioned problems. We have also disabled the flames spreading (the spreading flames are still visible in the animation above), to make its area-denial capacity more reasonable.
To compensate, the V2 launcher now has less minimum range and better damage to buildings and tanks, putting more focus on it as the Soviet's primary artillery.
The Soviet Flamethrower has been buffed a lot, and in addition to killing infantry should now also be proficient at taking on enemy recon. This is to provide the Soviets with better options for countering harassment and make it into the lategame with a strong economy, as they now cannot rely so much on just getting the Behemoth out.
As we previously revealed, the Shock Trooper also has a brand new model to make it more visually clear that it is a higher tier of infantry and cannot be crushed.
As with Nod, the Soviets are also getting their own unique Hover Transport. Its unique feature is being armed with twin cannons at the front, allowing it to help clear a beach for landing and even assist the landed units against pushback. They also make it harder to ambush and kill it on the waters. As a trade-off, it has had to give up a bit of speed.
The Allies are receiving two major balance changes:
Firstly, their Gun Turrets are being nerfed to match the Nod ones in stats. This eliminates the inconsistency of two identical defenses performing differently, and means it will not be as easy for the Allies to fortify themselves into an unbeatable position.
Secondly, the Chrono Tank was given a large buff to its health, but an equal nerf to its damage. This is in an effort to push it into more of a flanking role on the battlefield, instead of only being viable for destroying poorly defended bases.
The Allied transport model also got improved, but follows the same design as the old one.
In addition to new graphics and balance, 8.0.0 also brings new content. For starters we have a brand new singleplayer mission! Chainbreaker, developed by Rampastring, has you playing as the Soviets and requires you to fully utilize their combined arms as well as the new amphibious transports to win. It also has improved difficulty scaling compared to earlier missions.
As well as the new mission, we are releasing a whole bunch of new multiplayer maps! These are:
Parted Paradise by Tiberius,
starting players on each side of a tib-infested ridge. Will you make a mad dash for the golden field in the north, or control the ridge as well as whatever secrets lie to the south?
Asymmetrical Warfare, a joint effort between Tiberius and Rampastring to create an asymmetrical yet balanced map.
Each player starts with their own way of building an economy, and ultimately reach the illustrious middle city hosting a valuable Stock Exchange.
Island Conquest by Tiberius,
where the recently added amphibious transports can really be put to use, as two pairs of players vie for control of an island region where each islands holds its own prize. Beware of rushes however, as the teams are connected by a bridge between their starting peninsulas.
We hope that you will enjoy the improvements and content of this patch, and join us for some online fun on CnCnet! The rest of the staff would like to especially thank our newest member Flame for making this update possible, as all of our new models are by his hand.
As usual, you can update DTA to the latest version through the client as usual or alternatively download either the full zip package or the installer from the download page.
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