The problem with dogs?

Discussion about the game and its default mods.
zinc
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The problem with dogs?

Post by zinc »

Some people seem to think there is a problem with dogs, or "dog logic" in the game.

What is the problem? How should they be improved?

Are they different compared to the original game? In important ways?

Dogs have a number of uses where they do already work:

(1) Can be used to scout at the start of the game.
(2) Good for searching for crates at the start of the game.
(3) They work as vision extenders for infantry giving an advantage over allies in the early period of the game.
(4) They can camp outside a barracks and munch through newly produced enemy troops. If the opponent can't pull back forces to take care of it, they will probably be forced to place down some base defence, which may give you the opportunity to attack a different part of the enemy base.
(5) They can defend against early game rushes. A dog can wipe out grenadiers or rocket troops stopping an early game rush in its tracks. They can be produced quite fast and may save you in an emergency. Even facing infantry which instantly shoot dogs dead, if they are focused on attacking your base then dogs can quickly kill them along with other enemy troops.

The issue presumably is going to be the later game. At any stage of the game, dogs can still be useful against an APC attack, or troops sneaking into your base. Apparently they detect spies although I don't know how well they do that job. I have experimented a little bit with iron curtained APCs carrying dogs. If you drive into a patch of enemy troops the enemy will be focused on the APC when you release the dogs. You may get some kills. Might be worth it against shock troopers, in addition to just trying to run them over.

But you don't normally see dogs in the later game mixed up as part of an army. I'm not sure this means that they can't work in that type of situation. Maybe you just need to get the right situation and the right trick with them, and they could work well in the later game.

I have suggested that the cyborg doggie may be one way to see increased use of dogs in the later game.

So... anyone have thoughts on dogs? Have I missed out other possible uses of dogs?

Blackened
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Post by Blackened »

Dogs tend to have a few different problems.

1) they tend to eat each other if you have multiple ones attack a unit. 5 dogs can become 1 in an instant.
2) sometimes they bug out. They either won't move and attack the unit they see or they will miss and warp around.
3) dog vs dog often becomes a game of chance.
4) medics are better than the vision bonus.
5) very easily killed. This is why they can't be utilized late game. at 200 a pop they just don't cut what 2 rifle man can accomplish.

They do make good early game scouts but 1 wrong move and they are gone. Would you rather have 1 unit with 1 more cell of vision of a rifle or 2 rifles in 2 different locations?

Like I said before, medics counter their range increase. you can tank with the medic and kill the dog really quickly. Without the dog allies will win..

Camping outside barracks is good but easily countered.

They are good against rockets and grens but their attack bugs limit their usefulness.

I'm not sure about the apc. units exiting the apc exist in the same cell so most likely they would all die. Even if they didn't unless the person isn't paying attention a quick stop command will focus on the dogs.

Only other use for dog is passive stealth detection be that waiting in base for spies(they aren't bad at detecting) or using with a mobile army for detecting phase transports.

I think a price decrease and fixing their attacking bugs would put them in a good place. Either 50 creds, or if that is too cheap then 100.

The other solution is to take away rifle infantry's spread damage. making them a single target shot could allow multiple dogs to survive a bullet if some riflemen overkilled on a dog but I'm not sure the effect that would have on other aspects of gameplay.

Also FWIW in the original game they had a walking speed and would run when you targeted an enemy increasing their speed pretty drastically.

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Materianer
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Re: The problem with dogs?

Post by Materianer »

zinc wrote: So... anyone have thoughts on dogs? Have I missed out other possible uses of dogs?
6) They detect spys, let a few of them guard your base and especially the riffenery can pay off.
zinc wrote: Are they different compared to the original game? In important ways?
Yes besides of the bug wich should be eleminated the original dog where running (with own sprites) when you targeted an enemy unit.

Minotaur
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Post by Minotaur »

Dogs leap in the original and are targettable inbetween leaps, meaning focus fire via ctrl can kill if timing correct, here its like they are teleporting to the target.

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Doomsday
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Post by Doomsday »

I think Kennel should cost 0 energy.

Or maybe dogs could be produced from Barracks. On the other hand Kennel is quite cute and it is quite nice to have option of building Kennel and skipping Barracks in the early game.
The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
-Sun Tzu

Kwendy
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Post by Kwendy »

Can't dogs have some kind of smart targeting?

Chimpo
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Post by Chimpo »

I agree dogs are pretty lame, especially since allies have plenty of legitimately useful special units.

They can be savage but it's a real art to get the into a blob of infantry since they get dicked by rifles so easily.

Basically it's the landscape of the game where soviets have to make do with units that weaker or considerably more tricky to use (if more fun). Essentially you change that and all the babies will fall out of the arse of the game. To put it another way, the player base is held together by the easy mode allies that alllows weaker players a good deal of parity with more skilled and experienced soviet players.

As such nothing of what we say will be implemented if it means Soviets get some small amount of OPness, so really suggest away into thin air.

PizzaAtomica
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Post by PizzaAtomica »

This may be a bit of a weird idea but what if dogs could swim, like in RA3? It wouldn't make them more effective as an infantry killer but it would increase their function as a scouting unit, which I find the Soviets are lacking, and it would also add a little to the Soviet presence at sea, which I find they are also lacking. I for one would welcome the ability to get a few dogs to the oil derricks on Bombard Islands before the allies lock it down with their Chinook drop :)

zinc
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Post by zinc »

"Medics are better than the vision bonus"


I hadn't thought of that. However, it's still an advantage because of course the enemy will not always have medics.

Actually I found myself in that situation today, where I had a vision advantage from a dog and the enemy had a medic. I think I killed a troop or two and they retreated. I'm not saying it's always like that as there may be various factors like exact troop positions and number of troops that come into play.

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JuiceBox
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Post by JuiceBox »

Better yet why can't we have flying dogs? Strap them to a yak and drop them like bombs ? Or the dogs could do turds on the floor and it slows down infantry?
"I love the smell of JuiceBoxes in the morning"
LT. COL. Bill Kilgore
Apocalypse Now

Minotaur
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Post by Minotaur »

Dogs may swim but they should drown at open sea, can only swim for an maximum tile distance or the dog will be on timer upon entering sea and must go on land to not drown before it expires.
Still they would not be really useful in large bodies of water as speed must reduce when in water, perhaps add capability so can cross river without needing an ford/bridge ? After all they can leap up cliffs..

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JuiceBox
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Post by JuiceBox »

Or we could give the dog a snorkel?
"I love the smell of JuiceBoxes in the morning"
LT. COL. Bill Kilgore
Apocalypse Now

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Doomsday
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Post by Doomsday »

I think minor cost reduction and adjusting Kennel energy cost would be the simplest ways to touch dog balance.
The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
-Sun Tzu

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Clockwork
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Post by Clockwork »

JuiceBox wrote: Or we could give the dog a snorkel?
Why not kill two birds with one stone, if you cap the bio lab you can make dogs with gills?

Chimpo
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Post by Chimpo »

I dont know why dogs cant have a few more hit points.

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