Dune 2000 wishlist

What is missing from the d2k mod to make it fun?

Discussion about the game and its default mods.
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Matt
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Dune 2000 wishlist

Post by Matt » Sat Sep 08, 2018 1:01 pm

Dune 2000 got way less players compared to the other OpenRA mods. There is also few interest from the competitive sector or from streamers.

What shall we do to improve this? Rebalance it like the TD and RA mod? Implement some missing features from the original? Any thoughts?

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anjew
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Re: Dune 2000 wishlist

Post by anjew » Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:47 pm

A lot of complaints I hear about is the fact its missing elements from the original, cant remember what specifically but it is often brought up and referenced as a reason to pay d2k no interest.

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Sleipnir
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Re: Dune 2000 wishlist

Post by Sleipnir » Sat Sep 08, 2018 5:18 pm

The proper starport behaviour is the biggest one that i'm aware of.

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EnkerZan
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Re: Dune 2000 wishlist

Post by EnkerZan » Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:34 am

Here's a list of all the problems with the game in general:

Starport mechanics are different from original game
General game balance
AI's lack of concrete use
Lack of AI settings
Large number of imbalanced maps
Doesn't have new units or changes like the other C&C games got in OpenRA
Everybody hates worms
No air units
No diverse defense towers

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WhoCares
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Re: Dune 2000 wishlist

Post by WhoCares » Sun Sep 09, 2018 1:44 pm

"Everybody hates worms"

:lol:

Also, D2k never has been as popular as its 2 older brothers back in the days. For my part i loved Dune2 and have been so disappointed by D2K.

"Ok, so they took red alert and put Dune unit theme. Come on devs at least try a bit harder before releasing something you would call new."

So i barely touched it and moved on other game that were actually trying to innovate. If i had no interest back then, it will be pretty hard for me to have some now.

And with some awesome mods incoming such as crystallised doom, shattered paradise or Apolyton, there more appealing options then D2K for those who seek to have break from td and ra.

maceman
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Re: Dune 2000 wishlist

Post by maceman » Sun Sep 09, 2018 2:55 pm

I loved playing the original d2k when it came out but as much as I've tried in the past I can't get into the OpenRA version.

For me the main problem is the lack of good balance. Every game just becomes a spam fest of random units with no real counters.

Also the production side is just bad where you are always producing all kinds of units with no real option to focus on one or two. I think i would like it better with an extra queue per factory like TD.

I would like to see the starport working properly, but thats not the reason I don't play it.

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MustaphaTR
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Re: Dune 2000 wishlist

Post by MustaphaTR » Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:05 pm

OpenRA Worms are annoying, imo, mostly because they are more cleaver than original. Dumb worms in original D2k took a target location, moved there and eat the target if it is still there, get a new one otherwise. OpenRA ones actively pursue the target.

Map Pool isn't the best indeed. It was pretty small but i added a lot of original maps, which aren't all that balanced. We really need some people to try making balanced maps for D2k.

I still see Starport (and maybe destructible/buildable area giving Concrete) as the last logics missing before we can get to start to balance the mod. I made a mod that rebalances D2k, SirCake made modmaps for that purpose. There are ideas going around about what D2k needs in terms of balance.
No air units
No diverse defense towers
I had contrallable air units and Anti-Personnel defences which differ per faction in my mod. I feel like i really should update it to Modding SDK, it is stuck at an old version.

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EnkerZan
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Re: Dune 2000 wishlist

Post by EnkerZan » Mon Sep 10, 2018 3:01 am

I have a small balance mod for Dune 2 and 2k as well, not sure how to convert 2k over to this as the modding tools for OpenRA are vastly different with more options than what I used before.

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JOo
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Re: Dune 2000 wishlist

Post by JOo » Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:47 am

EnkerZan wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:34 am
Here's a list of all the problems with the game in general:

Starport mechanics are different from original game
General game balance
AI's lack of concrete use
Lack of AI settings
Large number of imbalanced maps
Doesn't have new units or changes like the other C&C games got in OpenRA
Everybody hates worms
No air units
No diverse defense towers
- Starport mechanics are different, is correct
- game balance is on par with the original ... theres only a handful of players .. and probably every single one of them thinks he knows whats best to change on the balance ...
but as soon as only one changes the core balance ... the other 4 wont accept it
- the AI sucks in general, in every single mod ... not being able to expand with mcv's to other rock-islands and having to disable
concrete for the AI (because theres probably no code for it to use it properly) ist just one of the many nitpicks on d2k
- idk about the maps , but as far as i know ... theres a couple of mirrored ones ... and the fact that there are actually air-transports for harvesters makes it somewhat less of a pain to balance since the "refinery - orepatch - position" doesnt matter as much ... sadly of course that isnt the case for the early game
- d2k has a lot of different gameplay elements, units that act very special ... of course no controllable air-units , no diverse defense structures means it "lacks something" ... but that also makes the game different to other mods

i could also ask , why does red alert have no carryalls to transport harvesters faster over air ? why is there no intergalactic market-place to buy units ? why cant i place towers on walls in red alert ... but in d2k i can ?

imo the reason why theres not enough players , is because dune2000 in general lacks a decent fanbase ... and getting the shoe-box full of existing fans of the original to play exactly "our" version is not gonna happen anytime ... even the openra-streamers doing a special once in a while highlighting d2k is not really adding anything to the popularity

its nice that we have the mod though ... i like the fact that the main-developers of openra keeping it alive and maintained although it doesnt get a lot of attention from players ... but we should really not put any more heavy effort into it imo

we can thank pchote (sleipnir) for adding the important mechanics for the sandworm and concrete and MatthijsBenschop for the carryalls being able to pickup vehicles and transport them from a to b ... these are core-mechanics for the mod ... before that it was just a "desert-red-alert"

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avalach21
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Re: Dune 2000 wishlist

Post by avalach21 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 6:30 pm

Hi guys. I will start off by saying that I was much more familiar with the C&C titles growing up, playing all them during their prime shortly after their release. It was only later (~2003-2005) that I found out that the Dune RTSes existed (I guess I recognized the Dune 2000 LONG LIVE THE FIGHTERS boxart from the Westwood product catalog) and began to become interested in them, seeing as they laid the groundwork for what became one of if not my fav PC gaming franchise. I will say that even in the Dune universe, I am more familiar with Emperor (Dune3) and Dune for Sega Genesis than the original Dune 2000.

I think it's immensely important that development continues on the Dune2k mod, and I hope that Mailaender feels his work is not in vain. I know this may sound stupid, but I feel that OpenRA obviously is a great way to actually play these games with improvements, but it is also a way of "archiving" and "preserving" these games, allowing them to be played for fun but also examined as specimens of the golden age/foundation of the RTS genre. While the original games can still be played with what in my opinion are kind of hacky, glitchy patches with convoluted/ugly menus and various glitches, the OpenRA mods allow anyone to install them on a modern system (of nearly any OS) with ease and play/examine them for what they are and how they established what RTS is today. As an anology, the Great Sphinx was discovered and excavation began so that we could appreciate this forgotten piece of art. It would be a tragedy if the excavation stopped at 50%-80%, and the rest was still hidden beneath sand. The excavators also "touched up" certain aspects of the legendary monument and added certain types of layers to it to "preserve" it so that future generations can continue to appreciate it witout further deterioration. Again, I know it's a bit of a silly analogy, but I feel like that is also what we are doing with these Classic RTS masterpieces and the OpenRA engine.

While I love Red Alert to death, it's not only D2k but also TD that I feel are criminally underplayed. I know there have been many discussions about TD and there is currently at least 1 active thread discussing the finer balance tweaks (I believe D2k could use some balance tweaks as well), but as a general assessment, I feel that, from a design standpoint, more people would play TD and D2k if they were perceived more as "mod maps" with different rulesets rather than secluded off into separate mods. For example, the average player would seem to be more inclined to join a "UoE" mod map or hell.. even a CG420 ruleset map before a TD or D2k game since it is listed right next to all the other Red Alert games, doesn't require you to go through a pop up message and reload a totally separate mod etc. I'm not sure if what I am envisioning is making sense to anyone, but maybe TD and D2k games should all be listed together with RA games, not separating the server lobbys in the listing, and perhaps just have a little icon next to the server name to indicate the "mod" or "ruleset", and if you join a TD or D2K game, it would load straight away without a pop up asking if you really want to do it. Also, I doubt this is very feasible, at least without significant restructuring, but maybe even load up TD/D2k games without requiring closing the "mod" and loading up a "separate" mod (all "Gen1" "mods" (TD,RA,D2k) assets could be loaded up together?)

Now on to a bit more specific points/ideas: Obviously as mentioned, the Starport functionality seems to be one of the most frequently mentioned missing features. The "Retreat" function is also missing, so adding this in would be cool, and perhaps could even be tested for adding in to the other mods (why not??) Generally speaking, I noticed some "unpolished" aspects to the visuals... for some reason the movement of vehicles seems to be less smooth than the original, and certain visual effects are weird (Sonic tank???) Addressing some of these concerns would help make the D2K mod feel "polished."

I am a big fan of keeping the mods as true as possible to their original source material and when adding in enhancements, I think it is best to draw them in from sequels in the same series, (or at least spiritual sequels... dont mind C&C features crossing over with Dune). D2K I believe could use a few enhacements..

1. Concrete - Concrete honestly nearly kills the game for me. The way it is implemented in D2000 is soooo cumbersome and makes base building an absolute chore. I believe if we redesigned the way concrete building works, it could make base building in D2k go from the most cumbersome/annoying to one of the most fun & enjoyable. I have a couple ideas.. Perhaps you should be able to queue up multiple slabs of concrete, and place them all at once, then they would appear on their own as they are completed. Also, I believe concrete should definitely be able to be placed underneath vehicles and infantry (so you don't have to annoyingly move them out of the way which is making an already cumbersome & annoying thing even more obnoxious) and perhaps even allow it to be placed under already placed structures (not 100% for or against this, but it would definitely be convenient). Another idea would be to somehow click a modifier or something that would add the concrete cost into the structure, and then automatically place concrete in the footprint of a structure when deployed (kind of like the Con Yard does when the MCV deploys). One last option would be to draw some sort of square out and then have a per tile cost for the concrete that it builds out one by one. The dev time & effort spent figuring out an intuitive and enjoyable way of building concrete for D2k mod could also eventually be used to enhance the Tiberian Sun mod.

2.Production Tabs - Continuing on with the concrete point, perhaps there should be a "Defense" tab which could potentially be merged with the "Upgrades" tab and Concrete slabs, walls, as well as defensive structures could be housed there. Building concrete to "upgrade" your base also would be fun if you could do it in the meantime while one of your other structures are building in the Structures queue. To me, I see walls, concrete, and base defenses as "Base upgrades" so it makes some kind of logical sense to put them in the same tab and even production queue with the upgrades. (then u have to decide if u want to "tech" or invest in defense/base upgrades). Further more since there is light, heavy and high tech vehicle tabs, each containing only a few vehicles, perhaps they could all be condensed down to one "Vehicles" tab, even if they all maintain their own queue? Not a huge issue, but it just feels kind of silly to have all these separate tabs when there are so few vehicles per tab.

3. Neutral buildings - Neutral buildings have IMO greatly enhanced the game dynamics for the C&C games and I think adding them in to RA and TD mods is one of the best features/improvements OpenRA offers. Maps with neutral structures add more strategic options and give extra dimension to the game.. While it is interesting & unique how bases are constricted in D2k to only certain areas of the map based on terrain, it is already cutting down on a lot of the dynamic play you will see in RA and TD, so the lack of neutral buildings only further lessens the potential for dynamic play. Some ideas would maybe be something to the effect of a "Spice Mine" which would function like an oil derrick - perhaps something more Dune lore appropriate that people more familiar with the books/movies could offer some input. Another idea is to add in a "smuggler starport" that you could use to buy extra units, maybe some unique ones, or ones available only to other factions etc. Maybe some others would have ideas for other neutral buildings that could be implemented? but in any event, i think they would def add some more interest to the game.

If you made it this far, thanks for taking the time to read through this.. I do think the D2k mod is a great addition to the OpenRA ecosystem. It is so far along, I really do think it would be worth it to continue developing it and I think it does have the potential to be a well played & enjoyed mod. I would be glad to help in any way that I can.. I do agree with JOo that Dune2k maybe never had as big of a fanbase as the C&Cs, and maybe it was never as great as them to begin with, but it certainly has its interesting unique vibe & quirks and with extra love & care, it can be improved to be better & more popular as an OpenRA mod than it ever was in the first place. :-)

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MustaphaTR
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Re: Dune 2000 wishlist

Post by MustaphaTR » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:05 pm

I have updated my mod to Mod SDK so you can run it without needing old OpenRA version isntalled, if you wanna test it is here: https://www.moddb.com/mods/mustaphatrs-d2k-mod

Matt
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Re: Dune 2000 wishlist

Post by Matt » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:08 pm

This version of the mod now uses the OpenRA Mod SDK. So old installation method is no longer valid. You no longer need OpenRA engine itself installed. SDK will install the engine for you. Unzip the archive file and run make.cmd and write "all" on cmd window that opens and hit enter. It should install the engine and build it. Then you can use launch-game.cmd to run the mod.
I think you should use proper releases. The Mod SDK should include the scripts to create installers and upload them at GitHub.

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MustaphaTR
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Re: Dune 2000 wishlist

Post by MustaphaTR » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:20 pm

Matt wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:08 pm
This version of the mod now uses the OpenRA Mod SDK. So old installation method is no longer valid. You no longer need OpenRA engine itself installed. SDK will install the engine for you. Unzip the archive file and run make.cmd and write "all" on cmd window that opens and hit enter. It should install the engine and build it. Then you can use launch-game.cmd to run the mod.
I think you should use proper releases. The Mod SDK should include the scripts to create installers and upload them at GitHub.
Engine version is older than Mod SDK becoming a thing. Proper releases don't work at least without seriours editing to the engine. I had to apply 2 PRs to get the manual building to work. Actually updating the mod to lastest engine would take too much too. I didn't want to bother either.

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