Post news RSS Weekly Bulletin 10/06/2015

A quick summary of some of the things we did this week.

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Hey everybody and welcome to another weekly bulletin. This time unexpectedly weekly!
I've been making more minor props and working on faction buildings, and Morpher has been tweaking multiplayer balance.

Most of the early and mid-game units have pretty well defined roles, and their stats have been meticulously tweaked to a point where most of them feel about right. Beyond straight up balance there's also the goal of making each unit useful in a good range of circumstances. Take the Nod Attack Bike for example; it's good against vehicles, but so is the Tick Tank. It's fast and cheap, though, like the Scout Buggy. So why weren't we ever building them? These sorts of questions have been coming up frequently as we zero in on the feel we're going for.

The late-game, and the Nod late-game in particular, is still a bit of a mess. While GDI is rolling out Disruptors, Nod is still having to compete using Tick Tanks since most of their high-tech weaponry - like Devil's Tongues and Stealth Tanks - is not designed to deal with GDI's unrelenting force. Their superweapons, the subterranean bomb and the chemical missile have gone through numerous mutations but the way that Nod should be (or needs to be) conducting their late-game tactics remains a little unclear. It's possible to deliberately balance Nod to be a faction which aims for an early win, but that takes some of the fun out of things when they do reach the late-game.

Does Nod need a special building to launch it's superweapons from? Is the waste facility and its roving weed-eater a good gameplay element, considering its dependence on the map's vein supply? Are there any gaps in their late-game unit list? These are the questions we're in the process of trying to answer.

In graphical news, I remade an old set of overhead road signs which were never completed back in the old days. I put together some holograms too, but they're a ways off being implemented as of yet.

And I closed out the set of oil refinery props with a few remaining assets. With these additional assets we can now have oil fields, pipelines, and refineries where previously we could only have pipelines. This isn't the world's most important addition, but variety is the spice of life.

The oil derrick is animated. At this point I doubt it will be capturable since the TS engine has no way to easily allow such a mechanic.

Last of all, I've been working on a couple of multiplayer maps. Acropunk will be an 8 player map, players start on raised platforms around the edge of a large pit full of rocky mesas. The map plays host to a few tech buildings, such as a few expansion nodes in the central pit and powerplants around the map's edge. Hopefully the map will work well in both free-for-all and various mixtures of alliances. It's not finished enough for me to provide a look at the layout, but here is a quick shot of some of the environment:

(The edge of a player's platform juts out into the mutated pit)

And that's what we did this week!

jfpoliveira12 - - 3,725 comments

In my opinion, Nod never was to compete with GDI openly in late game, they had the best Superweapon, the best defense buildings and the best sneak attack vehicles. GDI had better normal units.
Nod lategame was a constant harass and building raze with Stealth Tanks and Devil's Tongues so that the GDI players would have to concentrate either on attacking with the risk of losing their base and means of reinforcement or go back and defend wich would give Nod more time to keep casting Cluster Missiles and Chemical Missiles.
The Cyborg units (mainly the Commando and the Reaper) were Nod's lategame brute force units that could actually compete with what GDI had. They were very expensive though and not as good as Disruptors and Hover MLRSs because that was not the way Nod was designed to play anyway. Also, never forget the Banshee wich was a vehicle killer and very good at it if you can micro them.

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Alex_06 - - 1,126 comments

What are the Nod units in that picture? I recognize the following:
- Devil's Tongue
- Stealth Tank
- Artillery
- Tick Tank
- Attack Bike
- Attack Buggy
- Subterranean Transport
- Repair Vehicle
- ??? (Laser vehicle? Heavy Tank?)
- Weed Eater
- Harvester

- ??? (Harpy replacement?)
- Tiberium Bomber
- Banshee

Oh, and that new Green Tib looks great. The new props are pretty awesome, too, good job.

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Orac| Author
Orac| - - 896 comments

The first of your ???s is the Sensor Array and the second ??? is indeed the Harpy.

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Alex_06 - - 1,126 comments

Nice. Kinda disappointed Nod lost its Blister Tank. They sure could use a late-game unit. Something sneaky or original, like that Microwave Tank or Tarantula from DTA...

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Morpher - - 91 comments

Scarab Tank

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Alex_06 - - 1,126 comments

Is that an MP unit? :D

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DaViperDragon - - 424 comments

Nod's main strategy was cyborg rush, or a mix of vehicles such as ticks, mobile stealth, and mobile artillery, with a stealth tank harasser fleet.

So Yes, i do believe nod needs a late game unit besides the cyborg commando, something like... if possible.

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Morpher - - 91 comments

We're still deciding on how to give Nod some strength later on that isn't effectively a "Heavy Tank" to go toe to toe with GDI. We currently have a WIP unit that uses Tiberium based weaponry. A green tiberium beam which fires continuously on infantry eventually transforming them into a Visceroid and a blue beam which is used against armour. I think Nod does suit a strong infantry though...

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MrTimm - - 4,994 comments

I keep forgetting to follow this mod when it post its weekly bulletin update's. But today I made sure I clicked on Track mod.

Nice update as always!

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Morpher - - 91 comments


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Templarfreak - - 6,723 comments

There are a couple good ways I can see Nod's compositions rolling out:

If Artillery had splash damage and their projectile landed a little bit faster, then supporting them by some Stealth Tanks or Bikes for AA + harassment would work out very well.

The second thing, Nod's usual Light Tank unit in both TD and TW (Though not so much in TS) was virtually useless because it never had a support unit for it.

In TS, the Tick Tank actually had this unit. The Reaper. Though the composition was still underwhelming because there was just better things to use. But Tick Tank + Reaper, if it's cost was slightly reduced (Like 650 for TT and like 950 for Reaper, with changes to health and armor to compensate) it'd be a very viable composition.

With this in mind, Nod's Light Tank needs a support unit. These qualities are also best for this support unit:

Slightly longer range. (Say, 5 for the Light Tank and 6 to 6.5 for this unit)
Fast and mobile.
Easy to pick off. (For balancing)
Decent enough DPS to support.

What this creates is a good dynamic of players trying to pick off the support unit when the Nod player is caught off guard, or requiring having to do some form of harassment that makes an impact so they can out-macro, or have better micro.

There's unfortunately no way to make Infantry really interesting. The only good Infantry mechanic in TS is Jumpjets. Infantry can't even hover. If you were in RA2, I could provide a lot more ideas for them. =P

Finally, Bike/Buggy is always a strong composition for how much harassment potential it has. I like the KW incarnation the best. Buggy's were quite tanky and Bikes were fragile.

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SquishyforGDI - - 401 comments

Why not a simple tank hunter, punchy cannon but regular armour and no turret, possibly deploy to fire, use in conjucture with regular armour and anti air/infantry units to take out disruptors.

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Asylum9 - - 6 comments

Wow. Here I was suspecting the mod was dead, and it looks more beautiful than ever.

Something that counters Disruptors effectively might be a good idea, as long as it can be defeated by some other GDI unit (like the MLRS or some type of infantry, even if it's a squad of tier 1) — that way GDI's late-game gets more nuanced as well, instead of the typical reliance only on mass production of some T3 tank.

Just one criticism of the otherwise spectacular graphics: the infantry are very large relative to vehicles. The rocket soldier is about as tall as the buggy is long, for example.

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Orac| Author
Orac| - - 896 comments

We shrank the infantry for a while, and the results were blobs of poorly defined pixels. It's not a giant issue on the default infantry because you've played TS and can remember what they look like, but with new infantry it was really hard to get them to look human let alone get them telegraphing their weapon.

So at the moment we're using full sized infantry until we can find a happy medium between blobs of pixels and the current TS scale.

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Nyerguds - - 359 comments

Those oil silo things need some more smudges... they look way too clean :D

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TiberFCSL - - 283 comments

Loving the new tiberium :)

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