Red Alert Overhaul (third Soviet faction, Uzbekistan)

A complete overhaul of the game

Discussion about the game and its default mods.
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Fortnight
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Post by Fortnight »

Tighter helicopter formations

1) IdealSeparation has been lowered from 1c682 to 1c256.
2) RepulsionSpeed is now a constant 40 instead of aircraft movement speed.
3) WaitDistanceFromResupplyBase is now 4c0 instead of 3c0.
4) Helicopters can no longer a-move, stances has been enabled (ReturnFire default).

Motivations:

1) There is no need for helicopters to spread out that much since in actuality they won't all have the exact same vertical placement in the air. This allows for hovering groups to occupy less space and for tighter movement when moving across the map.

2) Helicopters will now be able to arrive to the place where they are ordered to go. In vanilla you'll notice that helicopters will point towards each other upon arrival. This is because they never really arrive to the point they are ordered to go because they block each other from going there with their RepulsionSpeed so it's very easy to end up in a "pushing battle" where two helicopters forever point towards each other. In overhaul this won't happen since they can overlap for a while.

Another problem with high RepulsionSpeed is not only formation but blocking. Several helicopters attacking the same target will require a large piece of the sky, much larger than would be needed in the real world (vertical space). Helicopters towards the back of the group will be delayed from attacking due to being unable to quickly reach their target. What's worse is that when a friendly helicopter in the front wants to go back and reload in base it might be prevented from doing so due to the group blocking their flight path (there is no pathfinding in the sky, just straight lines). This becomes an even bigger problem when mixing Hinds with Longbows because the Longbows has more movement speed and therefore higher RepulsionSpeed so the Hind will be running into a brick wall when trying to get past a Longbow.

I've noticed that these blocking problems is a big cause of failing to rearm large groups of helicopters. Sometimes the next-in-turn-to-land helicopter will be forever blocked by the other waiting helicopters, resulting in a stalemate. In overhaul this isn't a problem at all because of the lower and constant RepulsionSpeed, friendly helicopters groups will always let other helicopters pass through them no matter how large the group is. In short this solves the reload issue, ensures everybody can attack the desired target within a reasonable timeframe, allows for tighter formation during movement (and attack) and makes it possible to actually arrive at the target destination instead of dancing around each other with the helicopter tips touching.

3) Just a larger waiting area for larger groups of helicopters. When a new helicopter arrives to the waiting zone it might push the already-waiting helicopters around, causing them to go outside the 3 cell waiting distance. I'm not sure if that actually does anything to the queue but I increased the waiting space a bit anyway.

4) This is an unfortunate side-effect of the slower RepulsionSpeed but had to be done because attack-moving helicopters never give up at reaching their destination. In vanilla you can see how a-moving helicopters dance with each other at their target location, tip to tip, but that's only because they push so strongly against each other. In overhaul they would successfully reach their destination, get pushed out and then adjust their position to successfully reach their destination once again. This resulted in blobs of constantly moving helicopters overlapping each-other (menacing "helicopter clouds").

Since I don't think it's balanced for 20 helicopters to occupy 1 cell the a-move had to go and has been replaced by stances. It takes a while to get used to but works pretty good, simply CTRL+Z the helicopters to AttackAnything and move them close to a group of enemies (or just right click an enemy to issue a regular attack order) and they will "attack move" and kill them all. Helicopters are now vulnerable when in transit from point A to point B on the map though, which kind of could work as a balance mechanic I suppose (helis are good but you need to keep an eye on them during repositioning). The default stance is to ReturnFire, which means they will respond to a Rocket Infantry attacking them (in vanilla they would just take it and die if idle without having been attack-moved).

Another further unfortunate side-effect of not being able to a-move is that helicopters won't move at all when a-moved together with ground units that do support a-move. I think it would make more sense to move normally in such a case rather than stand still, I hope that it will be so in future OpenRA updates. Naturally in the end I wish for helicopters to have attack-move back in the future, if the "cloud" issue is resolved. One possible fix is to change the code so that the helicopter stops trying to reach their target destination if they have already reached it once.

Another possible fix is to enable path finding in the sky, which makes it acceptable to have higher RepulsionSpeed once again (although personally I think it makes sense for one helicopter to be able to fly through a group of other helicopters). With the current engine I think the benefits of low and constant RepulsionSpeed outweights the lack of helicopter a-move since it solves blocking problems and improves formations. By using the AttackAnything stance you get pretty much the same thing as a-move anyway, just takes a little while to get used to.
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Post by Fortnight »

Aircraft reload (and Helipad changes)

1) Helicopters can reload on airfields and planes can reload on helipads.
2) Helipads no longer has a bib (the traversable gravel beneath the structure).
3) Helipad now need 20 power (up from 10). Same as Airfield.
4) Reloading no longer blocks the aircraft production queue.

Motivations:

1) This is another buff towards taking over structures from the enemy. It really only comes into play if you have done so, no team will otherwise have both airfields and helipads. Reality-wise it makes sense for helicopters to be able to land on an airfield but not so much for planes to land on a helipad, but we shouldn't drag reality into this since planes can land on Service Depots anyway in RA and sometimes the landing angle on the airfields is non-straight (perhaps passing through trees and buildings on the way down). Bottom line is that I think it's reasonable to provide a way for planes/helicopters to be reloaded even if the enemy faction's captured aerial structure has been lost. Planes landing on a helipad doesn't look all that pretty but it doesn't need to in a game if it improves the gameplay.

2) The helipad went from a 2x3 structure to a 2x2 structure, making it much easier to find room in your base for it. Space-wise this gives the allies a slight edge compared to the airfield (which is still 3x2) but to keep in mind that the airfield still has 1000 HP compared to the helipad's 800 HP (I made no change to that) and the airfield still provides the Paratroopers and Spy Plane abilities (plus Parabombs if you are Ukraine). With all that in mind the helipad deserves to not take up so much empty space.

3) The helipad used to require less power than the airfield, I assume this is because the airfield provides abilities. However if you build more airfields that extra power need just starts to add up without extra benefit. It's unfair that 5 helipads would require 50 power while 5 airfields would need 100 power, especially now that a helipad is just a four tile structure.

4) In vanilla your Aircraft units are kept in "ready" state on the production tab until there is a free helipad/airfield (they aren't free if a unit is reloading). However the helipad/airfield doesn't count as free even if there are only aircraft on the way to use it. Say that you have five helicopters returning from the other side of the map to reload and you finish building another helicopter. It won't appear and will block the production queue until all five helicopters have finished reloading - even though they haven't even begun reloading yet.

The "ready" unit can't come into existance in-between reloading helicopters either, it will block until all of them are reloaded. The wait might be forever if the player doesn't pay attention and the queue glitches like it sometimes can (though it happens less in overhaul due to the reduced RepulsionSpeed).

Anyway in overhaul the aircraft will ignore any reloading aircraft and come into existance as soon as it has been built, regardless whether the helipad/airfield is occupied or not. I'm using a bit of trickery to make this possible and have noticed that it can break the reloading queue in a way beneficial to the player (two aircrafts will reload at the same time on a helipad/airfield) but it only happens if a plane/helicopter gets constructed while another is reloading and it only happens for that particular reloading-queue. It isn't perfect but since it's not super gamebreaking, depends on circumstances and (above all) is better than new aircrafts being stuck in "ready" limbo it's acceptable. Perhaps there is a way to fix the double reload issue in the future.
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Post by Fortnight »

Easier selection

1) Rocket Soldier has received a little bit larger selection box.
2) All aircrafts as well.
3) Rifle Infantry has a little smaller selection box.

Nothing changes visually but this makes it a bit easier to issue attack orders on individual Rocket Soldiers in large infantry blobs, even when they are moving around.

Aircraft can now be much more easily selected, which is useful when you want to attack them because they can move pretty quickly. Larger selection boxes are especially needed for aircrafts because in vanilla you can sometimes hover over the helicopter graphics yet still not select them when you click.

Another thing that adds to the need of bigger aircraft selection boxes is that if they are hovering over ground units the ground units always get priority when you click down. Try placing a Hind over an ocean of infantry and it gets almost impossible to select only the helicopter (or attack it). In overhaul you might be able to find a place between the infantry to select the expanded box of the aircraft, especially with the slightly smaller boxes of Rifle Infantry if those are in the blob on the ground.

Note: Just to be clear this only affects unit selection, not hit boxes for projectiles or any other type of collision logic. I'll also repeat that the Attack Dog also got a larger selection box now, I mentioned it in a previous post.
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Post by Fortnight »

Silo (and Harvester, I mean, Ore Truck)

1) Silo now stores 10k credits.
2) It is destroyed very easily (HP from 300 to 30, Armor from Wood to Light).
3) Price up by 50 (to 200), build time up from 3.6 sec to 8 sec.
4) Can't be sold once placed, leaves a ruin upon destruction.
5) Can be placed further away from other buildings.
6) Silo does not require Ore Refinery before it can be built, same with Harvester.

Motivations:

1) Ore Refinery only provides 1000 ore storage now, building a single silo should provide all the needs for any excess. Many probably won't be floating enough to have issues with this anyway because they have several refineries but I want to make at least one Silo worth building since it opens up another strategic route in the game (attack the silo to make the player lose a bunch of money + you can actually look at an enemy silo and figure out how much money he has from how full it is).

2) Changing from Wood to Light armor actually makes it more vulnerable against all types of damage. Reducing the HP is to make it even more vulnerable, an easy target for the enemy to try and knock out. Makes it more important of how you position the building (best towards the back, close to AA defense, maybe even walled in).

3) The minor price increase and major time increase is because a Silo is pretty good now with 10k storage. Building several might be worth it to reduce losses if one gets taken out.

4) This is to make it so that you can't use the Silo as gates in walls.

5) Increases the possibility to place it closer to the spot where you want it to be, even if built early game with a small base.

6) This makes it so that you can build and place a Silo as soon as the game starts if you want to.

The Harvester change is to make the strategy of building a War Factory before an Ore Refinery more viable, with this you can start making your second harvester while you are building the refinery. If the starting credits is 5000 it could be tight for cash but you can place the harvester production on hold towards the end to let the refinery finish first.

Not requiring a refinery to make a harvester will also not suddenly cut off your harvester production if your Ore Refinery gets taken out. It's a bit too big of a blow early game and could help a little for a comeback late game if you can make a new refinery and an extra harvester at the same time.
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Post by Fortnight »

Training/production time limit

No unit takes more than 30 seconds to make, with three exceptions:

[tab]Nuclear Submarine = Same as Missile Silo, 1 minute (Note: This is an unique unit for Uzbekistan.)
[tab]MCV = 45 seconds
[tab]Demolition Truck = 45 seconds

There are three basic resources in Red Alert: Credits, Power and Time. The last one can easily be overlooked but is actually pretty substantial in Red Alert compared to many other RTS games because while you are making one unit you are delaying the production of all other units in the queue, even if you have several production buildings for that queue.

Scaling production time with credits is fine for cheaper units until you hit a certain point when the time penalty combined with the higher price becomes too much. The motivation for this change is to reward all that extra effort put into obtaining higher tech. Producing Mammoth Tanks, Cruisers or Longbows is not the end-all solution to everything the enemy can throw at you during the endgame and having a half-done Mammoth Tank blocking the production of that super important APC or V2 Rocket that you need as soon as possible can be disastrous to such a point that you're wondering why you even bothered teching up in the first place.

Floating a ton of credits during the end game also becomes mitigated by this since you can better spend credits at the same rate as you earn them. This affects all units on both sides that are more expensive than 1250 credits (Soviet has more such expensive units).
This does not affect any buildings, they can still take more than 30 seconds to construct.
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Post by Fortnight »

Vision groups

The line-of-sight of units has become more "orderly", infantry and vehicles will have one of a set number of vision ranges and that's it. I believe this will help new players to more easily learn vision ranges ("If I see him with this unit, will he see me?").

Tanya/Sniper = 6 cells
Dog/Spy/Thief/Shock Trooper = 5 cells
All other infantry = 4 cells

+ Civilians are an exception, they have less vision (at 3) because they aren't reporting what they see as well as real recruits.
+ Medic and Mechanic vision ranges was increased from 3 to 4 so they get in line with the rest.
+ The descriptions for the 6/5 cell units remarks that the unit has "keen" or "extra keen eyesight".

Vehicles also have either 6, 5 or 4 cells of visions, the descriptions tell this by having for example "Vision: Medium" in them (for 5 cells).
[tab]The one vehicle exception is Ranger, which has 8 in vision.
[tab]The new Uzbekistan Spotter unit also has further vision, but that's in deployed mode (10 cells). Otherwise it has 5.

Buildings, Aerial/Naval units has a bit more varied vision ranges but I've still tried to group them. Submarine and (especially) Gun Boat now works as scouts for example. My general consensus is that 10 equals huge vision and 12 equals max vision, no unit should have higher than 12.

I'm aware that it's been discussed that planes should have higher vision (13 for Migs for example) however their circular idle movement just means they actually cover more scouting ground than hovering helicopters, even though both have the same vision. The fact that they can't dodge sudden air defense structures that come into vision in the distance is something that I think just comes with the territory of being a plane; they do get much faster move speed but have to pay for it with less agile fallback capabilities. Buffing their vision would give the planes too many benefits overall.

Note: Cell values above are rounded. For example, standard infantry vision is 3c896 (3.875 cells) because having exactly 4 gives an ugly vision-cone (wrote more about that in the post titled "Line of sight outlines" on page 2 of this thread). It does make the vision step between 4 and 5 cells a little bigger, something I actually think works out great gameplay-wise.

Sidenote: I've updated the "MiG and Yak" post on page 2 with something I forgot to mention (point six is new).
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Post by Fortnight »

Production queue build time speed reduction

You can make creation of units and buildings faster in Red Alert by building several production buildings for each queue. In vanilla all speed percentages looks like this:

[tab]Percentages: 100, 85, 75, 65, 60, 55, 50 (seven structures)

This means making for example a second barracks will reduce training time by 15%. A third reduces by 10 percentage, then 10 again, then 5, 5 and finally 5. Seven production buildings (Conn Yards as well) will half the times on their respective production queues.

In overhaul I've changed this to have different required number of buildings for different production queues:

[tab]Conn Yard: 100 (one structure)
[tab]Barracks: 100, 95, 90, 85, 80, 70, 60, 50 (eight structures)
[tab]War Factory: 100, 80, 60, 50 (four structures)
[tab]Naval: 100, 80, 60, 50 (four structures)
[tab]Aircraft: 100, 95, 90, 80, 70, 50 (six structures)

Motivations:

Conn Yard: There is no time reduction to the Buildings or Defense tab no matter how many Conn Yards you have. This is to balance expansion play style vs non-expansion play style. In the current state of Red Alert you pretty much have to expand or you will almost certainly lose. The benefit of expanding means increased map awareness (vision), new ore fields, possible production of units closer to the enemy as well as cutting off parts of the map. These things are still true in overhaul however in vanilla you'd also get faster building speed on top of it all, a huge 15% boost just from a single expansion. With this change it becomes a bit more plausible to have just one base and still keep up, while with the increased building speed in vanilla you really have little choice than to also expand as soon as possible.

Barracks: Building a second barracks takes no effort at all, it doesn't make sense that you would get the largest boost from it. With my changes you get just 5% extra training speed on infantry per barracks, only when you build the 6th barracks you earn a 10% boost. Making one or two extra barracks is very easy.

War Factory: A barracks takes 10 seconds, 400 credits and 20 power. A War factory takes 48 seconds, 2000 credits and 30 power. That's almost five times longer block of the building queue. Since a second War Factory is so much more of a risk and requires so much more dedication of resources it makes sense to have it reward much more productivity. That's why you gain 20% faster vehicle production from your first two extra War Factories and 10% extra for the fourth before hitting the 50% cap (most would not build the fourth or it would be in the very latest of lategames).

For perspective it takes 1min 20sec to make eight Barracks and 3min 12sec to make four War Factories. Eight barracks is 3200 credits and 1.6 normal Power Plants. Four War Factories is 8000 credits and 1.2 normal Power Plants.

Naval: These gets the same scaling as War Factory because they need 30 power and is either twice as expensive as Barracks (Sub Pen) or 2.5 times as expensive (Shipyard). Also because they require a lot of water space that is limited on many maps (building naval structures in too close of a manner could risk produced units being stuck if they spawn on the wrong side). Mostly though it's because Red Alert is typically a land-based RTS, producing even a second naval building means delaying ground buildings that probably is more important on most maps.

Aircraft: Same as with barracks, building two Helipads is very easy and shouldn't be rewarded with a huge 15% boost. Making six Helipads (or Airfields) however requires some dedication both in resources, time, power and land space so you get awarded with a 20% reduction for the last placement. The earlier made Helipads/Airfields serves more of a reloading purpose than later ones (you won't really feel that you've gained much from having six reloading spots compared to four) so it makes even more sense that the later ones award the most percentage to make them worth actually building.

How many buildings that are required to cut production time in half is mentioned in the descriptions of the respective buildings. The MCV unit makes sure to mention that having several Conn Yards doesn't reduce any structure building times.
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Post by Fortnight »

Low power penalty

The penalty of having low power has been altered. Production/training of units still takes three times as long while in low power (same as in vanilla) but building structures, both defense and non-defense, only takes twice as long during low power (was three times as well in vanilla).

This is to reduce the impact of early game Power Plant rushes a little bit, they are still insanely strong but now it's possible to struggle through low power without having to cancel that half-made War Factory. 24 seconds to make a single Power Plant is such a long time early game when you don't have any defense structures to disable to get power back. 16 seconds is still a really long time, especially if you add the time it takes to finish that War Factory or Ore Refinery to it. I don't think this change diminishes Grenadier rushes (remember that training times are still tripled), just that it makes them more balanced.

The time penalties due to low power is mentioned in the Power Plant and Advanced Power Plant descriptions.
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Post by Fortnight »

Longer defense deployment

Instead of defense structures being placed in variable but near-immediate time it now takes three seconds to actually place the structure. This doesn't affect the build time, only the deployment animation.

The motivation here is that simply popping a defensive structure to fend off enemies is a little bit less effective, though still works. It gives a buff towards having a standing army around, ready to defend. Guards is something we rarely see in expansions, in part thanks to it being so easy to just pop a defensive structure.

The three seconds of deployment also gives the attacker more of a fair chance to react to what is happening, to either move his army away or to get free shots at the defending structure that is being deployed. Having a Tesla Coil suddenly appearing in the middle of your army isn't so fair after all and this requires a bit of extra strategy in placement from the defender (perhaps place the new defensive structure a bit further into the base and accept that the building around the base edge is lost, maybe sell it).

Non-instant defensive structures also gives a buff to walls, especially already-prepared walls meant to protect the side of your base. It'll make "base creeping" harder to do as well since while you are trying to build towers into the enemy's base his already-existing towers will get free shots for three seconds.

The only exception to this is the two types of pillboxes, they both only require a second of deploy time (due to the other changes made to those, which I'll go over soon). I'll also point out that this only affects actual defense structures with offensive capabilities, not everything on the defense tab. So the (ore) Silo, Missile Silo, Gap Generator, Chronosphere and Iron Curtain deploys like normal. (Walls are placed instantly, as noted in a previous post.)

The make animation for Tesla Coil is only 13 frames long so this change doesn't look super beautiful on the eye however I always put improvements to gameplay over what looks good. It's easily fixed by simply increasing the number of frames in the animation one way or the other, something I'm willing to do myself if people enjoy this change.
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Post by Fortnight »

The Pillboxes

Most people in the community seem to think that the current state of the Allied pillbox and camo pillbox is broken and agree that the pillboxes certainly are a bit too strong. However I don't think that simply increasing their cost is the best solution, it will just shift the imbalance over to Soviet (they already have a very strong ground defense, the only one that works over walls).

I believe our goal of nerfing pillboxes shouldn't be considered successful if they are used less. Instead our goal should be that they are used differently, in a way that is fair. Therefore I prefer a different way of balancing instead of throwing money at the problem. :lol:

+ The classic cost of 400 credits for Pillbox and 600 credits for Camo Pillbox remains the same as always.

+ Instead they are built empty, meaning you can't just pop a Pillbox in the middle of an attack to quickly kill off the enemy infantry before they can even retreat. I believe this is the main thing that caused the pillboxes to feel inbalanced.

+ In order to make use of the Vulcan minigun inside the Pillbox you need to manually put a Rifle Infantry in there. In a way this increases the price of a Pillbox by 100 credits since that's the cost of a Rifle Infantry.

+ The Pillbox being built empty makes it more clear to people that they can put other infantry inside it. Put a Rocket Soldier in a Camo Pillbox and you've just made a poor man's Sam Site, with the rather big bonus of being a trap since it's invisible until the attack happens. It's not really a poor man's option at 600+300 credits though...

+ Armor type has been changed from Heavy to Light. It makes it so that Rifle Infantry (and Ranger) can actually do damage to the thing. Grenadier and Flamethrower units also does plenty more damage against it now that it's Light armor, which makes sense (grenade/fire into a pillbox should be pretty effective). Same for both Hind and Yak aircraft, works much better against Light Armor.

+ HP is lowered from 400/450 to 300 for both pillbox types. This is because Rocket Infantry actually does less damage vs Light armor compared to Heavy armor. They still need more shots to destroy a Pillbox now though, in vanilla it takes 8 rockets to destroy a Heavy armor Pillbox at 400 HP, in overhaul it takes 12 rockets to destroy a Light armor Pillbox at 300 HP. So yes, towards Rocket Soldiers the Pillbox is actually buffed. However, in vanilla it takes three (!) V2 rockets to destroy a single Pillbox, in overhaul it is destroyed by just one V2 rocket.

+ Because the Pillbox is now destroyed much more easily the garrisoned unit will no longer die with the pillbox. Instead it crawls out just as the Pillbox is being destroyed. This was a needed balance change so that Pillboxes doesn't feel crappy, on paper it may look like too much but when you play it really isn't as big of a deal as it sounds. Even when Tanya is inside.

+ Pillboxes can now also garrison an Engineer, Medic or Mechanic and they can use their "attack" from inside (looks like a blue muzzle flash). This adds some new tactial use of pillboxes, you can for example keep an Engineer around to repair buildings much more safely than when standing out in the open. Mechanics can be safe near the front line, repairing your vehicles and then spring out to take over a husk when the time is right.

+ Units inside pillboxes won't survive a nuclear explosion though so keeping a Mechanic in a Pillbox near the Conn Yard to quickly recover the MCV husk after destruction won't work. (Sidenote: See "Conn Yard and destruction" on page 1 of this thread for more on the MCV husk spawn upon a destroyed Conn Yard.)

+ Grenadier will get a small boost if inside a pillbox (in case you get access to both). They can now have their grenades layed out on a table and therefore are able to throw them more quickly after each other and without delay on the first throw. Though it's usually still more worth while to put a Rifle Infantry inside rather than a Grenadier... :P

+ Tanya has been fixed. Few people probably notice this but in vanilla Tanya's attack power is halved when inside a pillbox. In overhaul I've made sure she has the same attack both outside and inside a pillbox (more on that when I cover Tanya's changes later).

+ Because of the required preparation measures and the time it takes to get a unit inside the pillbox it takes just one second to deploy both variants of it (compared to three seconds for all other defense structures). It still takes a bit longer to deploy the pillboxes than it did in vanilla, where it takes 650 milliseconds to deploy both variants.

+ Pillboxes now only need 10 power instead of 15. It's basically a hole in the ground with a light bulb, I don't see a problem with a normal Power Plant being able to power 10 pillboxes. The Vulcan minigun might need a bit of power too but not too much. This change ties in with a nerf to the Allied Turret, which I will go over later. Spoiler: Turrets now require power to operate.

[tab]So to sum things up my take on balancing the Pillbox is to nerf the way it is used rather than to increase its price.

It promotes planned defenses, which is more fair to the enemy while still being useful and affordable so that pillboxes doesn't fade into oblivion. Simply increasing its price feels like a dangerous road towards making Soviet defense much better, which in turn might eventually increase the outcry to nerf the Flame Turret and Tesla Coil.

Whoops, I intended to have the Pillbox take 10 sec to make (as in vanilla) and have the Camo Pillbox take 20 sec to make (5 sec longer than in vanilla) but notice now that I forgot to change some values back from testing so the build timers are incorrect. I've written it down though and will fix it if I make a new version of overhaul.
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Post by Fortnight »

New Sounds

Ever since I played the original game back in 96 it always bothered me that so many missiles shared the same audio sample. So I've tried to give most of them their own audio variant, subtle as they may be in some cases.

Mostly I've mixed different sounds together from the C&C series to make a new sound but some have been brought in from other places. I've tried my best not to break the "look and feel" of Red Alert in doing so (sound and feel?). Tried to adjust volumes appropriately as well.

Sound can be pretty important in an RTS, it immediately tells you what's going on off-screen without you even looking. What kind of enemy is attacking and how many. Since you can hear sounds through the fog of war in Red Alert (even full black shroud) its even more important.

Here are the units that have received new sounds, it's difficult to describe sounds but will try to write something:

+ MiG: The air-to-air missile, both launch and impact sounds (the impact is similar to the classic xplos.aud but I've made it by mixing together two different explosions from two different games).

+ Hind: Used to sound exactly like the pillbox, now it sounds similar but has its own variation mixed in to distinguish the two. Hind attacks are 40% weaker than pillboxes vs infantry but do the same damage against everything else. Sidenote: Yak still has the same audio as Pillbox, however since it fires two at the same time it sounds more powerful than the pillbox, which is appropriate since the Yak do attack harder than the pillbox (pillbox still do 50% more damage vs infantry though). All three of these units will still kill most Infantry in one burst anyway.

+ Light Hind (new unit for Uzbekistan): Has the same attack capabilities as the regular Hind but only uses one chaingun so the audio profile reflects that with a different distinguishable sound.

+ Heavy Hind (new unit for Uzbekistan): Attacks with three times more chainguns than the regular Hind so I've borrowed the CNC95 Guard Tower sound and modified it a bit to give a really powerful sound for this unit.

+ Mammoth Tank: The tusk missiles have been reworked and their attack audio is now "poof poof swoosh", where "swoosh" is the same as the Mig's Maverick missiles. The poofs might be drowned out by music in some cases... I notice now that I added hovrmis1.aud for the tusk missiles, which is exactly the same as the already-existing missile7.aud. Whoops, will be fixed if I make a new version of overhaul. I think my original plan was to use a shorter version of the sound.

+ Longbow: A discrete change to mainly the beginning of the sound to give it that little "missile ignition" sound that orca helicopters use. Don't worry, the typical tsSsSs travel sounds of orca missiles is not used.

+ Engineer: Low-volume drill sound when repairing buildings and a warning sound when blowing up a ground blast (to clear mines or crumble walls).

+ Attack Dog: I actually removed the sound for the DogJaw. Since the dog is glitched it sometimes happens in game that the dog "stares" at a moving enemy unit and rotates towards it as the enemy moves. During that time the dog starts and cancels several attacks, making dogg5p.aud spammed even though no attack happens. Not a pretty sound so I removed it. The exact same audio is used when right-clicking to issue an attack order with the dog so the sound isn't gone from the game, it's just not repeated once the leap happens.

+ MAD Tank: I've completely changed the way the MAD Tank works so I've repurposed its audio, for example it's "I'm about to blow" audio is now used for charge-up purposes and the "I've blown up" audio (that you usually don't really hear, you hear the mine sound) is now used for thumping. I'll describe the changes of MAD Tank later.

+ Phase Transport: A completely new missile sound to go with its completely new missiles.

+ Chrono Tank: A unique missile sound here as well to distinguish it from everything else.

+ Sniper: Now uses the sound of a Barrett M82 when attacking so you can really get a feeling of the bullet. Sniper is a special unit that you can only get in overhaul and only via crate drop, more on that later.

+ Giant Ant: Now uses a shorter version of its selection screetch audio to signify an "ok" when ordered to do something. It still attacks silently when biting, I assumed its an intentional minor benefit with the unit (for possible sneaky flanking during an assault). Giant Ants (and Zombies) are special units only trainable in Barracks if you use an Engineer to capture a Biological Lab (civilian building not available on all maps).

+ Zombie: Previously used the same audio as the ant, which didn't sound right to me. In overhaul the zombie has its own selection sound, three "ok" sounds when ordered to do something, five death sounds and five attack sounds. I'm really pleased over how the zombie turned out, since it's such a rare unit you might want to start a skirmish and use the /all cheat to check them out. Or hear them out?

+ Civilians: Now have their very own death screams! This way you know you don't need to care so much if you hear unit lost and just a civilian death scream instead of a normal soldier death scream. I'm sure I'm not the only one that has been bothered by the female civilian getting a male voice when she dies? :lol: At first I planned to just give her Tanya's death scream however that would make you think that you've lost your Tanya unit when playing Allies so the best solution was to bring in new voices. It might take a moment to get used to them but in the end I like how they turned out. Almost makes it fun to kill civilians. :twisted:

+ Crate Pickup: When picking up a duplicate or "free units"-crate in vanilla you get no audio feedback, the units just plop into existance. In overhaul you get a typical "collect pickup" sound for these two particular events so you always get some kind of audio feedback. Originally I intended to have a short "wind blow/whistle" sound for this but I couldn't get it to sound right. In the end the current audio sample probably turned out better.

+ Spotter/Outpost (new unit for Uzbekistan): The anti-air missiles uses a shorter version of an otherwise familiar rocket launch sound. The deploy/undeploy sound is also new.

+ Destroyer: The missiles now sound like the missiles from the CNC95's missile ship that can sometimes be seen patrolling the waters (especially on the very first GDI mission). It's just such a nice sound and it's deeply embedded into my brain that that is how missiles from a ship should sound. :drunk: It's an instantly-recognizable audio cue that makes you think "uh-oh, there's enemy ships in my harbour".

+ Missile Submarine: These have had their attacks changed completely and with it comes an unique launch sound to alert the player under siege.

+ Supply Tent (made from the Supply Truck): There's a new deploy sound and the half-health and destruction sounds uses modified versions of wallkil2.aud (it's a sample that exists in Red Alert's sounds.mix but I don't think it's actually used anywhere in OpenRA's Red Alert mod. By the sound and name of it I think it should be used when destroying Wire Fence, Chain-Link Barrier or Barbed-Wire Fence). Edit: Looked it up in the original Red Alert game, it's supposed to be the sound of Wire Fence being run over (not (necessarily) the Barbed-Wire Fence, just the Wire Fence).
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Post by Fortnight »

Lobby changes

1) Normal AI is now the default bot (instead of Rush AI as in vanilla).
2) Explored map is now the default.
3) Smaller spacing in the faction drop-down.
4) Unplayable game speed.

Motivations:

1) Normal is normal, it's what people usually should want to play against, right? Especially new players. It just seems more logical to me to have Normal as the default instead of Rush.

2) If I had to bet I'd put all my money on that most people want to play their matches with explored map. It's a waste of time to force people to again and again go into the Options tab just in order to click that little checkbox.

3) I first tried to increase the vertical height of the drop-down but it seems to be impossible in the current engine, so instead the space/padding between the flags/faction titles was reduced. This was needed because otherwise you'd have to scroll down to select Uzbekistan, which adds an extra unnecessary step before starting.

4) This was originally something that I put in just to make it easier to debug my AI changes; I'd join as a spectator and let bots fight each other and take notes on how they do. I intended to remove the setting before release but ultimately decided to keep it in there. It really is so fast that the game becomes unplayable but it might be fun for some to fool around with, just for giggles. I also thought that pros might get an extra challenge towards playing against the AI if they use super fast game speed. Dunno whether or not the network code has trouble handling this speed though, have only used it offline. (I know that the "Fastest" setting now isn't true, since it actually isn't the fastest one anymore... I'm fine with Unplayable not being an option in the official mod, for now see it as beyond what you're supposed to consider! A seperate list on its own, if you will.)

I have noticed that the "unplayable" game speed does seem to screw up the timers in the game (like the seconds counting down for the Atom Bomb). Timers are correctly reduced by the appropriate time but one second takes longer than a real second. I don't know why this is happening since a second is till a second on the "fastest" setting. Another thing that makes "unplayable" unplayable...
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Post by Fortnight »

War Factory exit cells

War Factory can no longer be blocked by placing a single vehicle in front of the opening, you now have to block all three cells beneath the building. I know that some peolpe love the WF blocking strategy however I do think it's unfair to players that are not aware of it.

One of my reasons for making the overhaul was to try and make the game more beginner-friendly and this blocking thing is really not beginner-friendly. We don't need this to annoy new players so they go and play another game instead.

There are two other reasons as well:

+ Sometimes when you have multiple War Factories (one in your main base and the other in your expansion) it happens that your newly built vehicles block the exit of your primarily selected War Factory in the expansion. Then when you build another vehicle it spawns in your main base instead of where you want it. With more exit cells the chance of this happening is greatly reduced.

+ A tank can move diagonally between two other tanks (imagine the other two being parked to the left and below the cell that the moving tank is going out of). So there should be no problem with a tank exiting the War Factory diagonally with another vehicle directly below the garage port and the wall to the side of it. Besides, the port is pretty wide, there's lots of space.

I've made sure there's a bigger chance for vehicles to exit straight down like in vanilla Red Alert, if possible. I do think the benefits of this change carry more weight than the downside of losing the WF blocking strategy, especially if it will make new players feel that the game has more fair play and therefore will queue up for another match instead of rage quitting.

Blocking the Ore Refinery is still possible but it's not as big of a deal there because you might have a tank on its way from the WF and it makes more sense for the dumping spot to be blockable to new players rather than the WF, which has a wide door that the produced vehicle should be able to fire out of anyway (like they could in the original Red Alert game). I'm also mentioning in the Ore Refinery description that the dumping spot could be blocked so there is fair warning to even new players.
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Post by Fortnight »

Husks

1) Now uses Light armor instead of Heavy.
2) Capturable by both Mechanics and Hijackers.
3) Light Tank no longer spawns a husk upon destruction.
4) Husks last for 45 sec, except MCV husks that last for 90 sec.

Motivations:

1) This mostly makes destruction of husks via force-fire quicker overall but also makes it possible for all units to dispose of them (even for example Rifle Infantry, which had a hard time dealing with the Heavy armor).

2) I meantioned this before but Hijackers now has a greater purpose in being able to capture husks as well. Only allowing the Mechanic to do so before gave Allies too much of an edge, especially now when destroyed Conn Yards leaves a MCV husk.

3) The Light Tank husk gave Allies an unfair edge in blocking the Ore Refinery (APC or Mobile Flak doesm't leave husks). Nobody builds a 500 credit Mechanic/Hijacker to take over a 700 credit Light Tank husk, which then needs to be repaired from red HP, so I don't think anyone will really miss the Light Tank husks too much.

4) This is to make it more possible to train a Mechanic/Hijacker after the husk is created and still make it in time to take it over (instead of needing to have them already prepared and waiting for a battle to spring out). In vanilla all husks last for 30 sec.

Sidenote about MCV husks from Conn Yards: They are not created in the middle of the Conn Yard but rather to the side of it in order to avoid being damaged by any remaining attacks in the air meant for the now-destroyed Conn Yard. Rockets etc always go towards the center of the structure so you don't want the husk to spawn there. Also, when deploying the Conn Yard we see the MCV truck being parked not in the middle but to the side so the spawning position makes sense. I've made sure the angle is correct on the resulting husk as well.

Unrelated sidenote: In vanilla there's a graphical glitch happening when the game switches from the MCV actor to the Conn Yard actor, you can see it suddenly getting a different rotation when you deploy the Conn Yard. This has been fixed in overhaul.
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Post by Fortnight »

Exploding infantry

Most of you probably don't know but as I wrote in http://www.sleipnirstuff.com/forum/view ... 646#299646 there is an issue with the current state of Grenadiers exploding. The developers intended them to deal 40 damage when exploding but they are actually dealing 500 damage (with armor reductions the intended damage was 36 and the actual damage became 450). This is mainly a .yaml issue that is very easily fixed, I'll just copy my previous post into this thread:
Fortnight wrote: Meanwhile I found an issue in the Grenadier logic inside infantry.yaml, looks like Grenadiers actually aren't supposed to deal as much damage upon death-explosion as they currently do. Inside the Explodes trait it has "UnitExplodeSmall" set as Weapon but nothing is overriding the EmptyWeapon-value. So the default is used, "UnitExplode", which means 500 damage is dealt instead of the intended 40 damage. Ouch! No wonder a group of Grenadiers always explode all at the same time.

The onion here is that when you force-fire your Grenadiers and kill them yourself then "UnitExplodeSmall" is used by the game. But when the enemy kills your Grenadiers the correct "UnitExplode" is used. Why is that the correct one? Because EmptyWeapon should be used if the unit carries no cargo, which Grenadiers never do. Looks like we've got a bug here!
Overhaul doesn't just fix the issue though, I've changed it so that the explosions aren't as severe and now happen more often instead.

1) The explosion can only damage infantry now (vanilla affected all armor types with varied amounts)
2) Reduced damage from 0-36 to a constant 9.
3) Explosion damage guaranteed to be full in 0c640 (was intended to be diminishing over 0c426 in vanilla, though due to the .yaml issue the damage radius got much higher at 2c508).

Motivations:

1) For balancing purposes it makes it easier to make sure the explosion only affects the intended type of units (infantry). Especially since other damage will be dealt to vehicles when they run over Grenadiers (only happens for Grenadiers ...and Zombies).

2) This makes the death explosions not nearly as severe as in in vanilla. But they are still there to help out against large groups during early game rush attacks.

[tab]3 explosions kills a Grenadier.
[tab]4 explosions kills a Flamethrower.
[tab]5 explosions kills a Rocket Soldier.

3) This is also to make balancing easier, it will always take exactly 9 hitpoints from the infantry standing right next to the guy exploding (doesn't matter if he is standing up or laying down).

We now have *three exploding units:

[tab]Grenadier
Explodes 100% of the time. This is up from the 50% chance in vanilla and a necessary change to make Grenadiers not broken during early rushes (each explosion means it takes 1 less rifle attack to kill the Grenadier, three are needed on a Grenadier with full HP). Also: Grenadiers now damage vehicles if run over by them. This vehicle-run-over-damage explosion is a lot stronger than its regular explosion since the force won't escape anywhere except into the vehicle (50 damage).

[tab]Flamethrower
Explodes 50% of the time. This is up from 0% in vanilla. Since these units are the fastest to take out buildings in the game (except Tanya or a nuke) the defender needs something to help them out to clear a group of Flamethrowers if spotted in time.

[tab]Rocket Soldier
Explodes 25% of the time. This is up from 0% in vanilla. This is a nerf to big blobs of Rocket Soldiers and isn't nearly as bad as it sounds. Remember that it takes 5 explosions to kill 1 Rocket Soldier. If they have only other Rocket Soldiers packed closely around them (at 25% chance to explode) it'll still require an absolutely huge amount of Rocket Soldiers all bundled together before any kind of severe chain reaction can happen. It's a nerf but not a big nerf. More like something that makes sense, surely Rocket Soldiers haul around just as many explosives as the Grenadiers.

* = Zombies also explode upon death but only if run over, damaging the vehicle by getting stuck in its gears. The explosion is less powerful than the one from running over Grenadiers (this one only does 37 damage) but it adds up fast, especially since Zombies won't try to get out of the way of vehicles. Just as when the Grenadiers get run over only the vehicle actually doing the crushing can get damaged.
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