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Darkstar387

Tiberian Dawn - Extended Operations *SEPTEMBER UPDATE*

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I use looping time triggers to create teams all the time, but Phantom Strike was an exception because I couldn't effectively gauge how long it would take the player to set up their base. The people I had play test the map played very differently, so I initially had teams attack every 200 time units but that took even longer than the autocreate trigger to cycle. If I lowered it, the teams would sometimes overwhelm my testers because they had taken so long to set up a base. Phantom Strike was one of the first missions I made, I've since started using built it triggers to spice it up on those "delayed base build" missions

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Yeah built it, cell triggers and even putting "destroyed" on some enemy units is a good way to go on "delayed base" missions.  I particularly like built it because it directly responds to the player's style.  An aggressively expanding player will be attacked aggressively, but build too slow and you wont be ready for the enemy's timed or autocreated attacks.

Here's something I posted a while ago regarding "stacking" built it triggers: https://forums.cncnet.org/index.php?topic=1968.msg30298#msg30298

 

Also, since stealths can't activate cell triggers while cloaked, "discovered" is a really good substitute.  I use "discovered" for all kinds of things never utilized in the game.

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I've never used "discovered" partly because I can never get it to work.

And yes, Stealthed units not triggering Celltriggers is a just-as-annoying problem in Red Alert too.

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I should do a whole thing on how "discovered" works.  Rule #1, you can't discover your own stuff unfortunately. 

 

I actually like that stealths don't activate cell triggers... kind of gives them a unique quality to exploit :)

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... Would it still be possible to make single player missions with the new theater by developing in a theater supported by the XCC editor and then switching out the theater by modifying the missions .ini file?

As far as I remember, it worked that way when I tested the Jungle theater.

Jungle is still inside the game, yes; it can simply be filled in and used without any extra hacking. I originally used the Jungle entry for Winter, but I switched that to its own entry ages ago.

 

However... one large problem is that trees and other terrain objects have a "theater ownership" internally, which obviously doesn't have Jungle enabled on any of them. For basic templates (the "hard" map terrain in the .bin file) I made sure all tiles are accepted, since missing tiles just turn non-refreshing black, but for terrain this can't be done since missing entries can actually crash the game if they end up on the map.

 

Actually, it would be interesting if some kind of existence detection can be built into that rather than an "ownership list". The game does that for the music playlist, so it shouldn't be too hard.

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Jungle is still inside the game, yes; it can simply be filled in and used without any extra hacking. I originally used the Jungle entry for Winter, but I switched that to its own entry ages ago.

but there is only that ebtry in the .exe, there was no theater for that unless tschokky made his one?  :O

 

That internal theater ownership for terrain objects also existed for RA, but Iran fixed that in 303p, so now boxes can be used in temperate or trees for interior etc...

Can you fix that too for TD?

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Uh... read the rest of my post? I kind of explained that in detail. If by "fixing" you just mean "enabling it on everything", then the answer is "yes, but it's not safe and will crash the game". Specifically, see the radar crash I had in one of the previous versions of my patch, caused by an incorrect ID which changed all instances of a certain temperate/winter tree type into a different, desert-only terrain object when saving the game. Filling these ownership values to allow everything to appear in all theaters would cause exactly that same radar crash. Not to mention the invisible objects on the map.

 

As I already said too, a much better way is to actually check which files exist when loading the theater mix file, and adjusting the "ownership" value on the fly based on that. Though I'm not sure which is done first on mission load; the theater loading or the scenario read. It'd be logical if the UI is the very last thing it does... and theaters aren't loaded in advance on startup; they're loaded when needed. So, I dunno; it'd probably require some kind of logic on startup that preloads all theaters and sets these values.

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8 New maps have been released as part of a preview for the second map pack. Download em' and give me your thoughts.

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I'd like to know if that mission with part 1 and 2 has different maps or just different levels of difficulties (triggers and teamtypes)?

 

\edit

 

In the case of the missions repeated in both packs: The missions inside PACK02 overrides the ones in PACK01 or are they the same?

It would be better to keep the PACK01 as official and inside the PACK02 only the new missions to avoid problems.

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All kidding aside, I am curious: is Chimas's request doable? I don't plan on slowing down anytime soon, and I'd love to make some maps in a new theater. I've got 0 experience programming in assembly, but how hard would it be to add in support for new theaters?

It isn't hard.

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I'd like to know if that mission with part 1 and 2 has different maps or just different levels of difficulties (triggers and teamtypes)?

 

\edit

 

In the case of the missions repeated in both packs: The missions inside PACK02 overrides the ones in PACK01 or are they the same?

It would be better to keep the PACK01 as official and inside the PACK02 only the new missions to avoid problems.

 

Burning Sands is a 2 part mini-campaign but separated into 2 separate missions (so you can play the 2nd one without going through the first). Both levels are different. Play them and see. I worked really hard on these new ones, I'd really like your feedback.

 

Also, the missions in Pack 2 DO override the first ones. I've made some modifications to the existing missions.

 

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These missions are great so far. As someone who has really only played single player these are pretty tough but the challenge is fun. I've had to play and think in ways I never have before. I also realized that Light Tanks suck. I haven't been building them at all since since Rocket Soldiers are so much more efficient for removing Medium Tanks. I've also been spamming buggies for infantry control and having to make a gank squad of Recon Bikes so I can starve out the AI by shutting down their Harvesters. One game I even made a barrier of Turrets + Artillery(something I've never barely found a use for besides sniping AGTs) behind them for turtling.

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Very happy to hear, thanks for the feedback!

One of the most common criticisms I've seen people give for missions (including the originals) is that the AI doesn't offer enough of a challenge. I admit, I myself found little use for for static base defenses in the campaign. I almost always used infantry as my main line of defense because they could be moved. I'd usually only build a single turret or tower for the purpose of absorbing enemy fire while infantry swarmed the attackers and inflicted the most damage. I wanted my missions to have to think defensively as well as offensively and force players to use the full arsenal.

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I usually use infantry early because they're spammable and cost efficient and because Turrets are more expensive and take much longer to setup but Turrets are so much more effective once you get a few up. Turrets with a few Flamethrowers work really well too. The Turrets take care of any vehicles and the Flamethrowers clean up infantry.

 

I never build Obelisks. They're completely worthless. since the AI always has Ion Cannon and will just instantly kill them thus wasting all my time and money. Sam Sites are worthless too. The delay they have before coming out of the ground makes them completely ineffective at dealing with Air Strikes and they're not needed for Orcas since the AI never uses them offensively. You can just cheese and put a sacrifice unit in a corner somewhere to deal with Air Strikes. A group of 5 Rocket Soldiers can also take down one instantly.

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Plausible deniability was a cool mission. Pretty easy since you get infinite units and such but I liked the concept. Even though it was one of the easiest missions it was was still frustrating because of the game's garbage path finding. My units kept going around cliffs the wrong way and getting cut down. Path finding is always a problem in the game but this was like the worst.

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Do you think adding a timer to trigger the AI to start base production for some missions would be unreasonable? There are a few missions where you start with a decent bit of units and you're suppose to find/escort an mcv or base. However, I noticed in a few missions you can completely ignore finding your base and MCV and wreck the AI base before they start spamming units and then while they're weakened or distracted you can start building your base.

 

I did it on Behind Enemy Lines as GDI. I roamed around scouting the map before I bothered to touch my MCV picking off random nod units. I found an AI harvester and destroyed it then the few remaining random units on the map rushed toward my 3 Mammoth Tanks and I cut them down. After that I grabbed my MCV and started building a base and camped the Tiberium Field with my Mammoth Tanks and the AI was out of money and completely helpless before I had spent my starting 5000 credits.

 

I did this on Overlooked as well. It took more tries but the general Idea was to take down the Guard Towers at the east GDI base andpark all of my starting units except a NOD buggy inside the empty and dormant GDI base. I took my second buggy and move it outside of the base. Once I did that I ordered my remaining units to take down the production buildigns before getting swarmed. While that happened I sent my second buggy down to my base and spammed units to defeat what remained of the GDI starting map units then crushed the base.

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In the case of Behind Enemy Lines you may  need to redesign the base layout. The AI got stuck REALLY easily with how fast they were building units.

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Hmm, interesting feedback.

I try to avoid postponing the production trigger for a number of reasons. Firstly, if a "Create Team" trigger is activated but the "Production" trigger hasn't been activated, the team enters a queue and is built the instant the production trigger is activated (assuming the team can't be made with units already on the map". This led to some scenarios where the player would become mobbed with enemy teams because they took too long to activate the production trigger and the AI went and built 6 or 7 queued teams all at once. Secondly, sometimes I would remove the refinery from the start of the map and order the AI to build it once the production trigger activates but for some reason the AI will build up to 3 harvesters per refinery when I do this, which I don't like.

 

I was aware that Overlooked could be easily cheated because the GDI base was vulnerable but I didn't think about it in Behind Enemy Lines. Camping the Tiberium field was a good strategy, I'd say you just played the mission intelligently but I don't like how easy it sounds. I just reviewed the logic and the AI should have built forces as soon as you crossed into the field. I think you're right about the base redesign. The problem is the location of the airstrip, some units get stuck above it and they won't let each other out. I will rectify this mistake in the next map pack.

 

Keep the feedback coming, you have no idea how important it is!

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Search and Destroy:

The AI doesn't seem to pressure me as much as they usually do in your missions. I don't know if that's intended or not since the mission is labeled medium difficulty. I think the player has too much Tiberium nearby as well. I had more money than I could spend. Also, the AI built a lot of stealth tanks in the western base but never did anything with them. I don't know their script is broken or they got stuck.

 

Rock and A hard place:

Two of the Mammoth tanks that are at the starting location are enemies despite having the player color.

 

Peacekeepers:

The three AI Artillery at the start don't work. You can shoot at them but they'll just sit there and not attempt to return fire. The only sign of life they have is then hopelessly trying to evade Grenadier fire.

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Search and Destroy:

Doesn't feature bases, are you sure you have the right mission name?

 

Rock and a Hard Place:

Damn, I knew I fixed that at one point but I must not have uploaded the right file. I'll fix it in the next release.

 

Peacekeepers:

The artillery is meant to be static, kind of like a fixed coastal gun. No error there, but I can see why it would initially confuse players.

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The beginning of Lone Rider is nearly impossible. As soon as you reach your Construction Yard you get rushed by GDI units. It took a lot of save state abuse to get the Construction Yard and sell it as well as capturing the refinery without dying. Is the Chinook thing random? Sometimes the Rocket Soldiers land at the base and sometimes they land in the top left corner which = loss.

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The Lone Rider isn't impossible. Speed is essential for the first part of the mission. The AI will eventually attack the Con Yard if the player takes too long getting out of the canyon (Hint, don't wait for a second airstrike to take out the tank). Second, the helicopter unloads its cargo in the corner if it's LZ is blocked. There's a secondary unload point but I don't remember the waypoint number that defines it in the game logic. I will fix that 2 in the next map pack, which I hope to release  within the next 2 months.

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Hey everybody, just a quick update: I've finished maybe... 4 more missions and modified pack 2 so expect a release within the next month. :cncsmirk:

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Hey everybody, just a quick update: I've finished maybe... 4 more missions and modified pack 2 so expect a release within the next month. :cncsmirk:

 

Woo!

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