EDIT: Just wanted to give a shoutout to CnCSaga who we just did an interview with recently! I'll be posting the full English interview when I have a chance, but the German version is available here if you can read it. Thanks a lot, CnCSaga!
So, some of you who downloaded the incomplete Minimod 3.0 noticed a few changes to the Defense Bureau. Since there was no readme file, I'll tell you precisely what those changes were:
-The Defense Bureau now has a support structure build queue.
-The Defense Bureau can now research an upgrade called Revised Operating Procedures (which I'll call ROP for short). This upgrade was intended to increase the power output of any of your Allied Power Plants on the field.
Current known bugs:
-ROP doesn't really work properly. I was actually midway through working on it when the decision was made to cut 3.0, so it couldn't be tweaked properly. I also never got around to giving it a description paragraph, which is why nobody knows what it does. Last I checked, it PERMANENTLY increased the power output of ANY friendly Allied Power Plant that was built AFTER the upgrade was researched. Lots of problems there.
The main reason behind these changes is the Spectrum Tower. It's a pretty freakin' iconic Allied structure, and yet it never sees any use in vRA3. Why? Well, the way I see it:
-It required the Defense Bureau, which unlocked too little to be useful on its own. We fixed that already, Defense Bureau is worthwhile for other reasons.
-Spectrum Towers needed to be built in groups in order to reach their full potential. You can't do that unless you focus 100% on it because...
-The power requirements are too high. As the Allies, you practically need a power plant PER TOWER. Also...
-The Allies are the ONLY faction that has a hard time building multiple defenses at once. If you wanted a pair of Spectrum Towers at once, you needed a second MCV. This wasn't an issue in RA2 because everyone was limited to 1 queue, but now the Allies are easy to outproduce.
We are also focusing pretty hard on making the Defense Bureau more of a need-to-get, need-to-keep structure, sort of like the Battle Lab and Nanotech Mainframe.
Having the Defense Bureau linked to Allied power economy makes it a structure that you need to keep protected in the endgame. Giving it a support queue makes sense with the structure's lore (Defense Bureau makes defenses olol) and lets the Allies fortify an expansion a little easier.
Another option is to make the presence of the Defense Bureau allow the player to upgrade power plants and Xworkshop power output individually, and possibly make the player purchase an upgrade with the Bureau's secondary that grants the second build queue. This allows for a higher degree of fine control but also lessens the importance of the Defense Bureau overall; if it's just the power you're after, you can purchase a few upgrades then sell the DB.
Making the Defense Bureau a production building makes turret crawling with the Allies SUPER EASY. Try it yourself.
Also, the Allied vulnerability in their power economy and building production is one of their big weaknesses, and (in my opinion at least) we've already given the Allies a ridiculous number of advantages over the other factions.
What do you guys think? The power thing is probably necessary, it seems stupid to have to tie up your Main Structure production every minute or so with another Power Plant unless it's the early game. Not so sure about the support structures, but we REALLY want Spectrum Towers to see more use. Any alternative suggestions you can think of?