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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Szunti
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Post by Szunti »

If you made a bit of changes to the paths then it can be installed into the user's home directory.
Diff attached.
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Fortnight
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Post by Fortnight »

MustaphaTR wrote: I like that you did changes to zombies. Maybe you could add zombie infection logic too.
Sounds like a fun idea, can't believe I didn't think about it. Instead I've changed other things about the zombies to make them more useful, they might become too strong if they also duplicate when killing infantry. Would certainly make more sense lore-wise though and a neat unique feature so I'll consider it if I make a new version of overhaul.
MustaphaTR wrote: Uzbekistan is a bit too much different
Yeah I know, I don't see the point in adding a new faction that doesn't bring new gameplay to the table. I'd imagine most that don't like Uzbekistan would be more accepting of it if the Architect is removed and Engineer and MCV is brought back but then the new gameplay I wanna add to the game goes away. I really ought to explain the new faction in this thread...
MustaphaTR wrote: i think Walls/Wires and Adv. Power Plant might stay
The reason why Uzbekistan doesn't have walls is because of the Architect (same reason why they don't have non-naval transport early game). If they had walls you could just run to the enemy and wall them in or spam walls everywhere on the map (seal off passages over water etc). The walls have received a huge buff in that they can't be crushed and the other new mechanics (instant build + leaving a ruin) would just make the Architect too exploitable together with walls.

I'm more okay with adding Advanced Power Plant back in, it was removed from Uzbekistan because they don't really have many structures that requires power. So by not being able to build Advanced Power Plant they still don't become too string on the power front (have to deal with the need of more space, more credits per power unit and more queue time spent on power plants). It's also a counterweight against the strength of the Architect.

I remember now that I forgot to mention that I've made walls buildable on more terrains, for example beaches and bridges. In vanilla you couldn't wall yourself in if there's water nearby, the enemy can just walk around the wall on the beach tiles. Will edit my post on page 1. Went from two acceptable terrain types to five.
Szunti wrote: If you made a bit of changes to the paths then it can be installed into the user's home directory.
Diff attached.
I didn't realize this was an issue, is the home directory the preferred way for most people to install mods in OpenRA? I know that modifying stuff in the Program Files folders could need extra account permissions.

Btw, anyone notice that the forum was down earlier today?

I think that Sleipnir tried to fix the ZIP file issue that I mentioned the other day. Tried to upload a zipped version of group_comparison.gif again and got a different error message this time:

[tab]413 Request Entity Too Large
[tab]nginx/1.6.2

That's just a configurable setting on the webserver that needs fixing, the ZIP issue itself might be solved after that. :) Remember to set the limit to slightly higher than 5 MiB so that the overhead of the post's message body doesn't cause the page request to go over the limit.

Edit: The upload issue has now been fixed!
Last edited by Fortnight on Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Smitty
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Post by Smitty »

FiveAces wrote: I don't necessarily agree with everything in this mod, but the rocket soldier change definitely seems reasonable.
It makes no sense to me that rocket blobs have that much DPS.
Yes, they are supposed to be a hard counter to tanks, but right now they straight up evaporate everything except infantry -
this is part of why basepushing is so strong.
Rocket soldiers behind cheap, spammable barracks can clean up an enemy fortification too easily.
I have never once thought of rockets as being overpowered and having too much dps. And I especially don't think that rockets have anything to do with the base crawling problem.

Rockets are absolutely vital vs the basecrawl. If you want to fix the problem of buildings being too influential you don't target the thing that's best at killing buildings.

If you reduced rocket dps you would also take away the ability to get building snipes with small raiding parties.

If anything, I would say that tanks are too weak, not that rockets are too strong. (And I have my doubts about tanks being weak, something about Lorrydriver shoving 8 heavy tanks down your throat repeatedly will do that)

I think the issue of low tech spam has much more to do with the difficulty of getting tech out in the first place. So far the reduction in time to construct the radar dome and tech center has been the most reasonable playtest I have seen.

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Sleipnir
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Post by Sleipnir »

Just a heads up that we noticed a dedicated server for this mod was sending invalid game advertisements to the master server. This was causing problems for our monitoring tasks, so we are now rejecting connections from that IP.

If the server admin can fix the problem and let us know then we can unblock the IP.

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Fortnight
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Post by Fortnight »

Sleipnir wrote: Just a heads up that we noticed a dedicated server for this mod was sending invalid game advertisements to the master server. This was causing problems for our monitoring tasks, so we are now rejecting connections from that IP.

If the server admin can fix the problem and let us know then we can unblock the IP.
Sorry about that, OpenRA is refusing to announce the server legitimately so I wrote my own program to just announce the server itself in the simplest way possible. Didn't mean to mess up things on your end, I've turned off my own announcements now so you can go ahead and unban the IP.

This sadly means the server won't show up in the master server's listing though, I'm using "OpenRA.Server.exe Server.AdvertiseOnline=True" so it should work but just doesn't. I've had people join the server so it is in fact online and accepting connections.

I suspect there is a thing in OpenRA where it doesn't announce the server if port forwarding is unsuccessful and since this server is directly connected to Internet (no router in between) the port forwarding can't be successful. It doesn't work with Server.AllowPortForward=False either. I'm out of ideas, if anyone can tell me what's wrong please do. I'd prefer the server to be listed legitimately if possible.

For anyone wanting to connect to the dedicated Overhaul server:

[tab]It's still online, just not listed. Select "Direct IP".
[tab]Address: rao.us.to
[tab]Port: 1234

Sleipnir I'm still getting "413 Request Entity Too Large nginx/1.6.2" when trying to upload a ZIP file here on the forums (it's 3.36 MiB in size so it's below the max 5 MiB limit). Should just be a text file setting you need to modify.
Edit: Works now, thanks!

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Fortnight
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Post by Fortnight »

Uzbekistan

My suggestion for the third Soviet faction has a focus on early expansion and hybrid technologies.

[tab]Architect
Replaces the Engineer and is exactly the same except that it also works as a base provider, meaning you can place buildings next to it. Cost is 500 credits if you have no Architect, otherwise 2000 credits. Regardless of cost it takes 20 seconds to train an Architect (Engineer takes 12 sec). So claiming Oil Derricks is delayed slightly.

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[tab]No MCV
Uzbekistan can't make new Construction Yards, instead they use their Architect in order to expand. The positives with this is that expanding is cheap and can be done early on, however since an Architect is slower and much more vulnerable than a MCV expanding is more susceptible for enemy interruption.

Architects also do not actually produce anything, they only provide placement. So if your Conn Yard is destroyed you can't build structures even if you have several Architects. This is a big weakness for Uzbekistan and does a lot to balance the strength of the Architect unit.

[tab]Helipad
This Soviet faction does not use airplanes, instead they make use of helicopters. This means no Paratroopers and no early Spy Plane. As long as a helipad is built they do however finally get a Spy Plane with the Tech Center (as all Soviet factions do in overhaul).

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[tab]Light Hind
Based on the Allied Hind but lighter and more agile. Easier to produce as well. Has 55% of the Hind's HP ("dies" on the third attack from a Rocket Soldier) and is placed in the middle of Hind and Longbow in terms of both movement speed and turn speed. Ascends/descends at the same rate of both Longbow and Chinook (which is twice as fast as the regular Hind). Has 7 cells of line-of-sight, the same as the Chinook (in overhaul, Chinook has further vision in vanilla) meaning it isn't well-suitable for scouting. The cost is that of a Submarine, 950 credits, however its simple design makes it easy to mass-produce so it can be manufactured in just 16 seconds (same time as a Chinook). The Light Hind has the same amount of ammo as the regular Hind (same reload time), however it has just one Chaingun. This means it takes twice as long to deal the same amount of damage as a regular Hind. The extra time makes it easier for Rocket Soldiers to launch their missiles at the helicopter before dying.

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I just noticed an issue with the Light Hind, it is currently not as fast to manufacture as I had intended... The problem is that I had changed the production time of the Hind, which got inherited by the Light Hind. I'll fix it in the next version of overhaul (if that ever happens).

[tab]Heavy Hind
Also based on the Allied Hind but with twice as much ammo (double reload time) and six chainguns instead of two. Has 75% of the ascend/descend speed of the regular Hind and 93% of its movement speed, otherwise the same health-wise and turn rate-wise. The large amount of chainguns makes the Heavy Hind able to deal extreme damage in short periods of time, quickly bursting down whatever they point at and is especially suited for buildings and light armor. However due to the way Uzbekistan designed its weaponry it is unable to deliver attacks with less than all six chainguns at the same time. This means it is very easy to overkill targets, wasting ammo. The Heavy Hind will be able to kill 8 Rocket Soldiers that are not standing in the same cell while the regular Hind or Light Hind can both kill 12 such targets due to less wasted ammo.

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[tab]Chinook
Uzbekistan has access to aerial transportation however due to the usefulness of being able to transport the Architect (especially with the movement speed and build time buffs Chinook has received) the Chinook is only available after a Tech Center has been built. Allies can still build them as soon as they get a Helipad, as normal.

Image

I forgot to mention the lower production timer in my post about the Chinook on page 2 and have updated it (point six is new).

[tab]No Kennel
This hybrid faction does not make use of Attack Dogs.

[tab]No Tesla Coil, Flame Tower (or Flamethrower infantry)
Instead of using typical Soviet defense structures Uzbekistan has been influenced by the Allied defenses instead. A side-effect from having no Flame Tower means no Flamethrower units as well, they do still have Grenadiers though.

[tab]Heavy Turret
The Uzbekistan defense structure is basically an Allied Turret, just dealing twice as much damage. It is extremely powerful against both vehicles and buildings (easily wins against a vanilla Mammoth Tank, almost wins against an overhaul Mammoth Tank and would win against a Tesla Coil). Actually also able to take out three Rocket Soldiers before they take out the turret, without repairing, and four Rocket Soldiers if repairing (overhaul nerfed Rocket Soldiers). Cost is 800 credits and power need is 60 (normal Turret is 600 credits, 40 power). Has 42% turn rate of the normal Turret so incoming attack angle could make a difference. Requires power to operate and can be powered down, just like regular Turret in overhaul. While the regular Turret only has Barracks as prerequisite you need a Service Depot before Heavy Turret becomes available, it would be way too powerful to have access to it early game since you can use Architect to deploy them into enemy Ore fields, usually killing at least one harvester before the enemy can react.

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[tab]No walls
This is because of the changes to how walls work. You can make and place walls instantly and further away from other buildings. They can't be crushed and upon destruction they leave a small ruin preventing further building there for two minutes. So with the Architect you can see how exploitable this would be, simply get one close to the enemy base early game and you could ruin their base just by spamming cheap Barbed Wire all over the place. That's the primary reason why walls can't be buildable for Uzbekistan. It would also be very easy to wall yourself in when taking over Oil Derricks, or block bridges and other narrow passages and thus ruining the early game.

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[tab]No Advanced Power Plant
With almost nothing in the defense tab the power needs of Uzbekistan is not large. The biggest drain of power would be if several Heavy Turrets were built. In order to still make them vulnerable against power attacks so the strategy remains in the game Uzbekistan can only build regular Power Plants, which can be destroyed faster meaning the player has less time to react to an attack vs power (initiate repair and send troops). It also provides some balancing against the strength of the Architect; to get 200 power you have to spend 2*300 credits, 2*7.2 sec and 2*6 cells of space, with Advanced Power Plant you just need 1*500 credits, 1*12 sec and 1*9 cells of space. That also helps towards keeping the attack-power-strategy viable versus Uzbekistan because in order to replace lost power plants more time, credits and space is needed.

[tab]Destroyer and Submarine
Allied influences are apparent in naval units as well, Uzbekistan has access to Destroyers for ground and air targets as well as regular Submarines for naval targets and scouting. They can also build naval transports like every other faction.

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[tab]Nuclear Submarine
Instead of having access to Chronosphere or Iron Curtain Uzbekistan has spent their time researching ways of making Missile Silo portable. They successfully managed to draft blueprints for a huge submarine complete with everything needed for an atom bomb strike. It takes just as long to build as a regular Missile Silo (1 minute) and isn't cheap at 4000 credits, but they are the only faction able to gain access to two nuclear warheads at the same time. If you have both a Missile Silo and Nuclear Sub the enemy will see two timers but if you only have one the enemy won't be able to tell from the timer alone if you have a Missile Silo somewhere or a hidden Nuclear Submarine somewhere.

The elephant in the room concerning this unit is of course that some maps doesn't have water. But many do and it's very easy for Uzbekistan to run with an Architect to the nearest puddle and make a Sub Pen really quickly (which can then be sold after the sub is built to better hide your nuke if you want to). Also, currently maps are designed with water not taken into consideration as much, if a faction was added to the game that actually has a big usage of water of course new maps would be designed around that fact and old popular maps would probably be modified to add at least some water somewhere. Even without the Nuclear Sub the faction still has a lot to offer on land-only maps, this unit is very end-game and very much something that victory doesn't depend upon. With all this in mind I don't see water requirement for one of its high-tech units as a deal-breaker for this faction.

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[tab]Spotter
An iconic unit for Uzbekistan serving several roles. It is fast, can take out infantry, provides good vision, detects cloaked units and works as the team's primary anti-air defense. All this at an affordable price of 550 credits. Order the Spotter to deploy to make its driver exit the vehicle and set up an outpost. While in the outpost the unit will have the same line-of-sight as Hind/Yak (10 cells). The driver will then however only have his M1 Carbine since the M60 Machine Gun is mounted on the car (only available when the Spotter is undeployed). So in outpost form the damage output against ground targets is that of a single Rifle Infantry, just with a bit more range due to the increased height above ground. However when in the outpost the driver has access to the car's anti-air battery, able to unleash a flurry of missiles against any aerial target within range.

Spotters work well in pairs, one being deployed while the other remaining in the car nearby for decent damage vs incoming infantry. In base it's wise to set up two outposts next to each other however since on their own they might be taken out by aircrafts before being able to shoot them down from the sky. Keep in mind that for all intents and purposes the outposts still counts as a vehicle. This means while they don't require power you can't use the Repair tool (C) on outposts, the Mechanic can however repair them even in outpost form (Engineers can't interact with outposts and Tanya can't use C4 on them).

The spotter's movement speed is right in the middle of the movement speed of Light Tank and Ranger. It is only 5% faster than an APC (Ranger, APC and Spotter has exactly the same attack in vehicle form btw). The turn rate of Spotter is double that of Ranger, to make quick deployment/undeployment possible. It means it's a bit easier to escape from running into enemy groups with the Spotter compared to the Ranger. In car form the Spotter's vision is halved, being equal to for example Medium Tank or Heavy Tank. Due to the anti-air battery the Spotter can't bring along a passenger like the Ranger can, these two units have the same HP though. The Spotter's health and armor type is exactly the same in Outpost form.

I just realized that Hijackers might not be able to take over Spotters while deployed as Outposts, something I need to make sure they are able to do in the next version of overhaul (if that ever happens).

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[tab]No early ground transport
Because of the strength of Architect the only way to transport him is on water (via naval Transport) or in the air (via late-game Chinook, only available once Tech Center is built). This is both to make it less easy to expand over large distances early on but also to not provide easy hiding places for the Architect (otherwise you could keep him much safer inside an APC in your expansion until he is needed). Note however that since now can deploy a Supply Truck into a Supply Tent in overhaul (works as a temporary barracks) it's possible to use this as a way to "transport" Architects longer distances more quickly, however it adds a 500 credit cost to the Architect along with the risk of giving the enemy 500 credits if he takes out the Supply Truck in transit.

[tab]No early heavy armor
Not counting the Harvester Uzbekistan does not get any heavy armor vehicles until a Service Depot or Tech Center has been built. This is another intentional balance measure against the strength of Architect and his early expansions.

[tab]No early base defense
This has already been mentioned above but I'll just explicitly say it here that Uzbekistan does not have early defensive structures. This balances the fact that Heavy Turret is really good and, again, counters the strength of the Architect and his early expansions. Instead of having defense structures ready to place Uzbekistanian players have to rely on the Spotter Outpost's good vision to notice and respond to early attacks. The cheap and fast-to-produce Light Hinds are meant to act as the faction's primary anti-infantry response, instead of popping a defense structure.

[tab]-- -- -- -- --

So there you have it, something different for sure but I say there's nothing wrong with variation and there's no need for all the factions to work 100% the same. The old gameplay style is still around and I'm confident it's fully compatible with the new style of gameplay required by Uzbekistan. There's always kinks to straighten out but there's nothing that can't be solved. If it turns out that Uzbekistan doesn't work well because of X there's always Y to fix it.

If you have your doubts I want you to try playing a few matches as Uzbekistan vs the AI (if you can't find someone to play a proper match with). It's really fun and the new style of gameplay brings something else to the game. :)

If I had to figure out a way to make Uzbekistan more in line with how the rest of the game's factions work it would be to remove the Architect and bring back the Engineer and MCV. However that means there's no longer new gameplay introduced and the faction just becomes a mixture of Allies and Soviet. Where's the fun in that? :drunk:
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noobmapmaker
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Post by noobmapmaker »

Impressive work and well presented. Uzbekistan sounds like a fun and crazy faction to play with. Really like the Architect and the nuclear sub. Im curious what dynamics will evolve around the single MCV. Obviously opponents want to destroy it and the Uzbeki's want to defend it.
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Fortnight
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Post by Fortnight »

Thanks, I'm always interested in hearing more opinions!

Church

When destroyed the Church will always spawn a Priest (civilian) and an Alms Crate so you can steal money from the poor just like you could in the original Red Alert game (in OpenRA's vanilla Red Alert mod nothing spawns from destroying a Church).

The crate itself won't give you much though so this is more of an easter egg. It'll either have 42 credits, 63 credits or (jackpot!) 84 credits. In the original Red Alert game it gave you 1000 credits but in a more competitive multiplayer game such an amount would give players spawning close to a Church too much of an unfair edge.

I've also reduced the vision from the Church to 3 cells, it actually provides a whopping 10 cells of vision in vanilla. I don't know what the civilians does with the vision but now it'll have the same amount as the rest of the basic civilian buildings. This doesn't really do anything so I can't really motivate the change, I guess there's no problem with the Church having large line-of-sight. :P Engineers can't capture the structure anyway so it wouldn't affect gameplay even if it provided 100 cells of vision.
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Fortnight
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Post by Fortnight »

Civilian houses

In vanilla nothing happens when you destroy a house, in overhaul doing so will spawn civilians most of the time. Houses that are just 1 cell has 66% chance to spawn 1 civilian. Houses that are 2 or 4 cells can spawn 1, 2 or 3 civilians at variable chances (I don't feel like calculating the exact chance percentages here but it should be pretty rare that nobody spawns). I've made sure they appear in decent positions (doesn't overlap each other) and have made sure that things like are just cloth lines, wells or fields (without some kind of house) doesn't spawn civilians.
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Fortnight
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Post by Fortnight »

Civilian people

Civilians no longer gives experience points. In vanilla when you sell structures and gain civilians these will drop like flies to a single enemy Rifle Infantry. First of all it doesn't really make sense that he learns anything from basically just executing people. Second of all it makes even less sense that he gets promoted from doing so (levelling up/gaining rank = promotion). Even if the faction is "evil" it's hard to believe they would hand out medals for almost no work. :)

Civilians can no longer pick up crates. This gets rid of the off-chance that neutral people walking around randomly picks up a crate that you are on the way to pick up. It sounds rare but has actually happened to me! Story goes I noticed the plane dropping a crate next to a civilian and sent a Ranger to fetch it. Before he arrives a neutral civilian strolls into it and gets +1000 credits. D'oh! The downside is that you can't pick up crates with your own civilians but most of the time you don't want to do that anyway, in case you get for example a duplicate crate.

Civilians can no longer level up. It doesn't happen often but when it does it's strange for a civilian to gain a rank since it isn't even in the military to begin with.

Sidenote: I think there isn't enough civilians in OpenRA's Red Alert mod compared to the original game, it had many more apperances (color combinations) than three. Not that it matters much, just a note on the side.
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Fortnight
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Post by Fortnight »

Armed civilian

In vanilla the armed civilian will always look the same however sometimes he is not armed. In overhaul he is always armed so you immediately know how many armed civilians you have simply by looking at your group of civilians.

I've also buffed the Pea-Shooter Pistol. In vanilla it does 1 damage to infantry, which is halved when soldiers under fire lie down, which then becomes zero because OpenRA rounds 0.5 to 0.0. So then Pistol won't do any damage at all. In overhaul it does 2 damage to infantry, so when soldiers prone they will still receive 1 damage from Pistols. Armed civilians are still awful as they should be but I think they should at least be able to deal their 1 damage before being left dying in the sun.

In addition armed civilians will no longer be able to attack anything except infantry and barrels, meaning they won't waste their precious DPS on buildings or vehicles (which gets rounded to 0 anyway) and instead attack the soldiers standing next to them.
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Fortnight
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Post by Fortnight »

Selling structures

When you sell buildings in OpenRA the refund amount depens on how much health the building has left. In vanilla the game also uses the building cost and/or refund amount (can be configured in the .yaml files) to determine what infantry units the building should spawn upon selling. Each building has a pre-defined list of units that the game picks a random unit from to spawn and then subtract its cost from the alloted credits pool. Repeat until space (1 unit per building cell) or money is spent.

The problem with this is that you get both units and credits so the actual refund value can be really random. For example: Say I sell a War Factory at full health three times (getting 1000 credits).

But I also get infantry spawned. First sell gave me 700 credits worth of infantry (not counting civs): 6 civilians, 1 Engineer, 2 Rifle Infantry. Second (400 credits): 5 civs, 4 Rifle Infantry. Third (300 credits): 6 civs, 3 Rifle Infantry.

In overhaul I've gotten rid of the randomness and always spawn only civilians when you sell buildings, with one exception: Selling a Conn Yard at full health gives you Civilians + 1 Engineer + 500 credits refund (instead of the classic 1000 credits refund + random infantry that may or may not contain an Engineer). As long as the Conn Yard has over 50% health (over 250 credits refund) you'll get an Engineer as well so there's a little bit of extra refund value going on here as well (250+500=750, when the refund for half health should be half of 1000 credits) but this is only for one building compared to all buildings in vanilla.

Selling a defense structure (that has an attack) always give you an Armed Civilian. Selling Gap Generator, Radar Dome or Tech Center should give you at least one scientist.
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Fortnight
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Post by Fortnight »

Duck and cover

A couple of attacks have been made single target yet more of a cause to prone.

Rocket Soldier attacks: Same AOE causing damage but soldiers a little further from impact will now lie down on the ground as well, there's after all an explosion nearby.

Rifle Infantry attacks: In vanilla some damage splashed over from the target being attacked to surrounding targets. In overhaul only a single target actually receives damage. Other soldiers will however lie down in a bigger area around the one being attacked.

APC/Ranger/Spotter attacks: Same as above for Rifle Infantry attacks. (Note: APC/Ranger/Spotter has exactly the same attack as Rifle Infantry, just with a burst of five rounds before reload.)

Sniper attacks: Only one guy loses his head but other soldiers will lie down on the ground in a much larger AOE than before.

Oil Derrick explosion: Much larger AOE but this no longer causes damage. It doesn't cause any harm to a soldier when he is standing next to any other building that's exploding.

Helicopter/Plane crashes: Even when out of range to receive damage soldiers will still lie down on the ground as you'd probably do in reality.
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Fortnight
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Post by Fortnight »

Fixed death animations

I noticed OpenRA uses some incorrect death animations, specifically for BulletDeath used by several small caliber weapons such as Tanya's Colt45, Rifle Infantry's M1Carbine and Spy's SilencedPPK. In vanilla OpenRA people will be gibbed upon being killed by BulletDeath instead of the intended "agh, i got shot!"-animation used in the original Red Alert. You can check out videos on YouTube and verify how infantry are supposed to die, for BulletDeath they aren't supposed to be gibbed but instead put their hands up to the sky and kneel down into a corpse.

There could be two causes to the problem: First one is that OpenRA separates DefaultDeath and BulletDeath into different animations when they should set DefaultDeath to equal one of the other death sequences (for Rifle Infantry it should then equal BulletDeath for example).

This would however mean that there is one misplaced (unused) death sequence for some units in OpenRA. There are for example five death animations for Rifle Infantry in the e1 shp file and OpenRA uses six death animations, where the sixth is "electro" and comes from an external shp file (same for all infantry except AttackDog). Since die1 and die2 would point to the same one if DefaultDeath simply refers to a different sequence that means one death sequence is unused.

I figure the second possible cause might be the correct one: The sequences are simply mapped in the wrong order.

Here's how it is right now:
[tab]DefaultDeath (die1) = sequence 1 (hands in the air)
[tab]BulletDeath (die2) = sequence 2 (gibbed)
[tab]SmallExplosionDeath (die3) = sequence 3 (horizontal splat against the ground)
[tab]ExplosionDeath (die4) = sequence 4 (thrown in the air to the left)
[tab]FireDeath (die5) = sequence 5 (burned)
[tab]ElectricityDeath (die6) = external sequence (bzz)

Here's how I think it should be:
[tab]DefaultDeath (die1) = sequence 4 (thrown in the air to the left)
[tab]BulletDeath (die2) = sequence 1 (hands in the air)
[tab]SmallExplosionDeath (die3) = sequence 2 (gibbed)
[tab]ExplosionDeath (die4) = sequence 3 (horizontal splat against the ground)
[tab]FireDeath (die5) = sequence 5 (burned)
[tab]ElectricityDeath (die6) = external sequence (bzz)

This brings with it some changes in the weapons .yaml files, for example for large caliber which should be changed from the current ExplosionDeath to the DefaultDeath so that the right animations are still used.

Furthermore I'll mention that SmallExplosionDeath and ExplosionDeath should swap name (not reflected above). Because if SmallExplosionDeath is small then ExplosionDeath is bigger, right? Currently the shells from Artillery and Cruiser both use SmallExplosionDeath, but surely they should be bigger explosions than those used by tank shells? The tanks all use ExplosionDeath, which leads to the conclusion that the two names should be swapped.

Looking at the explosion animations will bring more confirmation that the sequences are mapped incorrectly. The biggest explosion should cause the most gruesome death animation (labelled as "gibbed" above by me). However that sequence is used by BulletDeath in vanilla, the biggest explosions use the explosions that should be used by the small explosions and the small explosions use the animation that should be set as DefaultDeath and be used by tanks.

In overhaul I haven't actually fixed all the naming conventions, I've instead just changed some weapon's DamageTypes from "BulletDeath" to "DefaultDeath" so that Tanya, Rifle Infantry, Spy, APC, Ranger and Spotter gets the correct animations when they kill someone (the "hand in the air" one). I've however intentionally left the attack of Pillbox/Hind/Yak at the incorrect death animation (they remain at BulletDeath, which are incorrectly mapped to the gibbed sequence) because I think it makes sense to have someone gibbed when shot to death by a powerful minigun/chaingun.

I'd of course rather have the incorrect mappings in OpenRA fixed instead of just changing the weapon DamageTypes, I only took that shortcut in overhaul to save time since I don't know if any of this will lead somewhere. I also believe that swapping SmallExplosionDeath and ExplosionDeath is worth the time it would take to do it, even if they are just names it's probably best for everyone for years to come if they make sense (by making sense I mean that SmallExplosionDeath should use the less violent explosion animation sequence).
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Fortnight
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2016 7:09 pm

Post by Fortnight »

Crates

Crates are lots of fun but they do mess up the balance, 1000 extra credits can give a big edge early game. I've tried to make crates more fair so that there should be less reason to turn them off. I haven't changed the crate amount, two of them are still dropped at minute 1, 3, 5, 7 etc like always.

1) You can no longer get hide map crates, reveal map crates, heal units crates, invulnerability crates or exploding crates (vanilla has two types with variable strength).
2) The only thing you can get from a crate the first three minutes is three Rifle Infantry (you won't get this after three minutes).
3) After three minutes you'll get either a cash crate or a level up crate. The level up crate has been buffed to two ranks instead of one.
4) After six minutes you can also get duplicate crates, the basic "give 1 unit"-crates and the "give light squad"-crate. A new crate has been added here that gives you 1 hidden unit: the Sniper (exists in vanilla but you can't obtain it).
5) After nine minutes all crates becomes available, you can now also get the "give 1 mammoth tank"-crate (soviet only) or the "give heavy squad"-crate. You can now also get a MCV from a crate, if you don't have a MCV/Conn Yard.

Motivations:

1) The positive crates (reveal map, heal and invulnerability) were removed because most of the time they aren't even worth the time to pick up the crate. "Reveal map" is not a big deal and completely pointless if the map is already fully explored (most servers start with explored map). "Heal units" is not something that brings joy to the player most of the time except in super situational circumstances (like if a plane drops the crate right in the middle of your army during a battle). "Invulnerability" is gone since I've watched many streams when they get it and nothing clever/strategic ever comes from it, just disappointment that it wasn't a worthwhile crate. Such a crate sounds good on paper but in practice you rather want something else. Due to fear of exploding traps in vanilla it's rare people pick up crates with a tank anyway.

The negative crates (hide map, napalm trap, explosion trap) were removed because, well, they don't add any fun to the game. If you spot a crate in vanilla you send some poor infantry over to pick it up instead of a vehicle, just in case it's a trap. It waste's the crate's potentional in case it's for example a duplicate crate. If it is a trap the player will just feel annoyed, especially if he really went out of his way to get the crate. The enemy won't see what happens most of the time so that player doesn't get any enjoyment out of the trap either. So in overhaul you know you'll always get something good in a crate, you can send a vehicle to pick it up with no risk. I know the reasoning with the trap is some kind of "risk-reward" argument but in my book it's better to remove annoying things and make sure there's as much fun in the game as possible.

2) The imbalance crates add to any player lucky enough to get them dropped near their base diminishes over time in a match. 1000 credits is not a big deal when you have 5 harvesters but if you pick up such a crate close to the 1 minute mark a thousand credits can be a huge deal. An early lucky crate can be what brings the player into an unfair advantage. So in overhaul you'll always get just 300 credits worth of Rifle Infantry from the first crates, which is still a big advantage but not game-breaking enough to warrant crates being disabled completely on the server. Note: This crate is only available during the first three minutes so you won't get just 3 Rifle Infantry from a crate during the mid/late game.

3) Between 3-6 minutes you'll get either 1000 credits from a crate or +2 ranks to the unit that picks up the crate. This is a decent step stone to increase the value of crates as the game goes on. After 3 minutes your economy should have begun rolling so 1k credits is good but not super good. I increased the rank award to 2 levels instead of 1 as in vanilla because one level didn't feel like sufficient reward. Two ranks might also not sound like a big deal but it does make a difference if you rank up a vehicle such as Ranger (since trap crates are gone now its worth getting the pick-ups with vehicles, even Tanya dares to get them now).

4) Between 6-9 minutes you can get even more crates in addition to the credits/ranks (all have equal get-chance). I added a Sniper crate (for both Allies and Soviet) because it's a neat unit, perfect as a fun crate reward.

5) After 9 minutes all crates are available (except the first "three Rifle Infantry"-crate naturally). The game should be in full swing now, moving into the late game if not there already, so random crate rewards won't break the balance too much and just adds to the enjoyment. This is when you should be losing your Conn Yards so this is when you can find them in crates (you are pretty much guaranteed to get a MCV in a crate if you have no Conn Yard/MCV).

The reason you can't get a MCV-crate before 9 minutes is because it's actually exploitable, in vanilla you can "teleport your base" to the other side of the map very easily early game: First find a crate, then sell your Conn Yard and then pick up the crate you previously found somewhere else on the map. Since you don't have a Conn Yard the game will give you a new MCV and you can now build your base there instead (while keeping any buildings in the old place). In overhaul this exploit isn't possible, you shouldn't legitimately lose your Conn Yard before 9 minutes in most games and if you do your loss is deserved. :p Or just try your best to hold out for a few more minutes so you can pick up a crate after the required time limit. Crates dropped before 9 minutes but picked up after 9 minutes will contain a MCV since OpenRA determines its content when you actually pick up the crate, not when the crate spawns.

Sidenote: I think there was another type of crate in the original Red Alert game that would grant your unit the ability to cloak.
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