Hello, and welcome to another Tiberian Dawn: Ground Zero development update! Like last time, this is more like an outline for the gameplay. However, this should be the last one before we get into the real meat of the updates. As in, some of the stuff we've been cooking up under the hood.
To start us off, huge shout out to @CCHyper! He made us a new logo, featured above, and it's super awesome!
OverviewAs mentioned, vehicles won't have quite the same amount of focus as they have in the past. Don't expect to see, for example, large battalions of Medium Tanks rushing the enemy base with the same amount of regularity as in APB, TSR, or IA. Rather, they will be designed to play a supplementary role. Furthermore, expect them to have a few more weaknesses than in the past, namely closer cameras, slower turret turning rates, and a more advanced weak point system. The compensation, however, is the sheer amount of power they will pack. They'll be able to both take and dish out a significant amount of punishment, and in the right hands, can turn the tide of battle.
In short, while you probably won't see Mammoth rushes, just one Mammoth can do a lot of damage in the right hands, but a skilled and coordinated team can take it down.
Shared VehiclesSUPPLY TRUCK
Standard affair here. Supply Trucks, much like in APB, are low-tier, cheap transports that will allow players to refill their armor and ammunition after being inside for a short period of time.
You gotta get money somehow. The Tiberium Harvester is the most important vehicle in your arsenal, being the source of your income and all.
Flying buses. Take yourself and up to 5 friends around the battlefield. I'd love to say something more interesting, but you guys already know what's up, so I dunno what to add.
Your basic scout vehicle, this low cost option is the perfect choice for getting the lay of the land early in the game. Lightly armored and armed with an FN MAG, this is also a good choice for chasing down enemy infantry... provided they have no Rocket Soldiers or vehicles.
ARMORED PERSONNEL CARRIER
Similar in visuals and function to APB, this is a squad's best friend. It's armored shell can protect up to 5 passengers, and it's deadly M2HB machine gun can ward off infantry and lightly armored targets.
If you want to go hunting enemy vehicles, the Medium Tank is your best friend. While a slower turret rotation means it won't be able to hit infantry as well as past W3D games, it's range and firepower more than makes up for it. Any GDI team would do well to have a few of these escorting the team.
MULTIPLE LAUNCH ROCKET SYSTEM
GDI's artillery unit subscribes to a single philosophy: "Paint an area with death until it dies." While it may not be the best choice for destroying vehicles, it is good for taking out bases from afar, as well as devastating dug-in infantry.
The vehicle that has become the face of C&C. Armed to the teeth and heavily armored, this is GDI's go-to siege unit. While it's slow speed and slow turret rotation might not make it ideal for taking out enemy vehicles, it's more than capable of taking on Nod defenses. And let's not forget the TUSK missiles, which will help give it an edge against pesky infantry and aircraft.
As the First Tiberium War raged on, GDI quickly realized that it needed a fast attack unit to counter Nod's hit and run tactics. Enter: the ORCA. Chase down enemy vehicles, drop a bunch of Hellfire rockets on their faces, return to base to re-arm, rinse and repeat.
Lighter, faster, and squishier than the Humvee, Nod's classic buggy makes for a good early game scout unit. It's machine gun makes it ideal for taking out squads of infantry. Against vehicles, though... Nod has a solution.
Now for the other half of Nod's early game Dynamic Duo, the Recon Bike. The fastest unit on the battlefield, and armed with missile launchers, this is the perfect hit-and-run vehicle, as well as the best choice for chasing down enemy ORCAs. Be careful, however, because with it's fast speed comes the lowest health of the vehicle roster.
Since the announcement of GZ, some of you have raised concern about our decision to stick with an upgunned Bradley as opposed to looking for a different tank. Well, the decision wasn't made purely on visual merits. Nod's Light Tank will pull double duty as an APC, able to carry 3 passengers. This, combined with the 76mm gun, will help secure Nod's footing in a war against superior firepower.
Nod's preliminary field support/siege weapon, this mobile howitzer is ideal for shelling the enemy base or taking out dug-in infantry. Not that it won't do considerable damage to vehicles as well; there's just more optimal choices for it. Oh, and don't worry about trying to line your hull up with your target; Ground Zero will be using the Raad-2, which means you will have some limited access to a turret. Said turret will have a traverse limit, so you'll need friends to watch your back. Literally.
Heavily armored, short ranged, and packing a ton of literal firepower, this is Nod's battering ram. If you can get them into the GDI base, they will happily burn it to the ground for you. It's a risk/reward unit, especially since it won't have a turret and will be outranged by most other units, but it will have a high DPS and could be crucial for destroying the base.
A natural evolution of the Phase Tank, this is perhaps the perfect ambush unit. It waits in silence on the highway's edge, waits for it's prey to pass, quickly launches it's anti-tank missiles... and then disappears as quickly as it arrived. Bear in mind that the Lazarus stealth shield will be your only defense against the enemy. If you're caught, your low health will drop fast.
A lot of thought went into making sure the SSM didn't overshadow the Artillery. Ultimately, in my mind, it came down to comparing them to Age of Empires 2. Hear me out; the Artillery is the Scorpion, the MRLS is the Onager, the Flame Tank is the Battering Ram... and the SSM Launcher is the Trebuchet. Slow and steady, somewhat squishy, packing serious firepower (as in, two napalm-tipped Honest John missiles), and sporting incredible range. Be mindful of your surroundings, though, as the SSM will not be able to fire at close targets.
Nod's air support unit is focused less on hit-and-run tactics and more on staying power. Armed with an autocannon and frag rockets, this will serve as an excellent support unit for Nod, and will be able to reasonably engage GDI infantry and light armor. Skilled pilots may even be able to soften enemy defenses and do some serious damage to ORCAs.
ConclusionYeah, this took longer than usual, but I've been busy in my real life. Plus, development has kind of slowed to help focus on Reborn (2.0 HYPE!!!). Next time, we've got some cool stuff to show off, so stay tuned!