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Guest Chronojam

Blog 16 - Recap

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Guest Chronojam

By now you've probably had a chance to try out TS:Reborn and get a feel for what we're aiming towards. There are definitely bugs left to be crushed so please be sure to report them if you find any so that we can correct them as quickly as possible. Thanks to the new Launcher we can quickly deploy critical fixes; you might have noticed a few update notifications already for either the Launcher, TS:Reborn, or RA:APB to fix certain conflicts and crashes. The more information you provide for an issue, the faster it can get resolved.

Launcher Updates

Danpaul's been hard at work here. Recently, the Launcher was updated to add support for RA2:AR. Note that this game is unavailable, but is included to allow our BHP testing crew to easily download updates for internal builds without hassle. If you're looking to become a tester, we will be putting out the call soon for new helpers.

 

The Launcher is also able to uninstall or repair an existing installation; simply right click the version of the game you want to modify, and select the option you want. A "repair" will re-download any files that may be missing or damaged somehow, or correct for maps that somehow went missing.

 

Mx3VEzY.png

 

When it was first released, it lacked the ability to set certain configuration information. The Launcher has since been updated to include extended options such as adjusting the shader or texture detail, enabling first person and framerate displays by default, and the ability to choose your default resolution and whether or not to start the game in a windowed mode. Just go to the "Settings" tab to view these options.

 

JSnwuNa.png

 

Ion Storms Revisited

One thing that stands out when you play Tiberian Sun, or TS: Reborn, is the great atmosphere that has a touch of alien influence. Beyond tiberium itself, ion storms played a huge part in that atmosphere, and were very plot critical to the tiberian saga going forward. With the initial implementation in place, it's time to ramp up the effects, with care to make sure that both teams are impacted in an interesting way -- right now it's clear that GDI benefits most from a storm, something we aim to fix.

 

The following are some changes we're looking into. Note that not all may end up making it in for balance or other reasons, but we've got a good list here:

  • Interfere with Stealth - Currently, the ion storms disable Nod's stealth abilities. This is an interesting effect that can help you mount a charge into the Nod base past a set of Mobile Stealth Generators, and will require naturally-stealthed units to be careful with their positioning. On its own, it's a bit unfair, which leads to the next effect...
  • Disable Sensor Arrays - Mobile Sensor Arrays that detect cloaked and underground units may become nonfunctional during an ion storm, which will allow subterranean units to move around undetected for the duration, making underground ambushes easier.
  • Disable Radar - Ion storms knocking out radar service can make it harder to spot soldiers infiltrating your base or hiding around the corner.
  • Ground Hover MLRS - GDI's powerful hovercraft will be left stranded, and should avoid lurking off the coast when a storm is inbound or risk sinking to the bottom.
  • Riskier Flight - Flying units such as the Jumpjet, Bomber, or Harpy may find flight more challenging. Especially with lightning doing great damage.

Fabian will also be working on an improved set of effects for the bolts themselves.

 

Balance Changes

It's clear that some units underperform or overperform. The Ghostalker and Cyborg Commando are both slated to become much more lethal (especially towards infantry), while the GDI Jump Jet is getting some performance reductions that will force him to come closer to his targets. Another common complaint is that the Toxin Trooper is not accurate enough at range, which will be corrected. The Medic may gain some usability improvements to heal at a longer range, perhaps for less total health. There is a good chance the Disc Thrower will become a pay-for unit and be given a damage bonus, as well.

 

Several vehicles are under review as well. The Mammoth Mk 2 needs something done to increase its performance, and it might see a speedup and might even be scaled down slightly. The Mobile Stealth Generator may also have a change made to it, and the range of the MSG and MSA are being considered for change.

 

Infantry Hit Detection

There are two key problems interfering with infantry combat right now, both of which also contribute to the "overpowered" Jump Jet. The hitboxes for infantry have been revealed to be rather unfortunate, and require a complete re-do. Because of this, the top half of a Cyborg's head simply takes no damage (neither does a Jump Jet's pack) and several soldiers have either gaps where they should take damage, or take damage when shooting in places where there is no visible model (this is a problem with the Cyborg Commando). Both OWA and Fabian were working on fixes for these particular problems, and the results are far tighter hitboxes that should allow you to always hit what you are aiming at!

 

Here are a few examples of the existing, unfortunate hitboxes that Saberhawk spotted:

 

1NdVv1y.pngHnz6DZV.png

tArcFbj.pngPEWrZK1.png

 

From these overlays, you can clearly see how you need to lead your target more than a bit for any hope of hitting the head on a Nod rifle soldier or GDI Officer, and the Cyborg Commando still has normal human legs. The Jump Jet soldier is a bit better already since he was adjusted just prior to launch, but his large pack presents a tantalizing target that does no actual damage. In the upcoming patch, he'll instead take ~80% of normal damage when hit in the jetpack.

 

A second problem contributing to infantry problems: the engine wasn't transmitting really useful movement data for infantry, which could lead to jittery movement during laggy circumstances. This makes it harder to hit your target or even see where he's going sometimes. Jump Jet soldiers in particular become much harder to hit than they should be. Ironically initiating an actual jump action causes movement data to be used for position calculation, but not jump-jetting :v: It does use movement data for vehicle positioning, which is why they appear less jittery in general.

 

There is actually a third issue related to the hitbox problem. Some of the world-boxes, used for detecting bumping into other objects and terrain, were inconsistently sized. This meant that some infantry, upon purchase, could get caught on nearby building parts. This is really frustrating since it makes you waste the purchase, and will also be fixed along with hitboxes in the coming update.

 

Maps & Mods SDK

We're busy collecting files up for the new version of our tools compilation. As we've mentioned before though, we don't have access to all of the source files that we should just yet, and some are still in the hands of former Reborn team members. Once we get some suitable level samples put together we'll be updating the tools package so that you can make fan maps or just poke around how the game works. The Launcher is also slated to allow you to download and configure the tools for each project at a later date, as well.

 

If you are super-eager to get to work on a fan map you can find information to get you started by using the existing tools package and checking out the fan projects subforum.

 

See you next time!

 

ydk8HoL.png

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Guest forg0ten1

Sounds pretty good, I'm liking the fact that disc throwers probably wont be free anymore. I'm wondering if it should be the same way with nod's rocket soldiers.

Edited by forg0ten1

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Guest namechanged

More tester selection? Maybe third times the charm.

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Guest SiminaI

 

More tester selection? Maybe third times the charm.

Time will tell (I think? (I wait for this time, lol))

Edited by Siminai

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Guest sterps

In regards to the Ion storm changes... i agree with all of them, except the one about the mobile sensor array. Ion storms had no effect on them in Tiberian Sun, i don't see why it should now...

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In regards to the Ion storm changes... i agree with all of them, except the one about the mobile sensor array. Ion storms had no effect on them in Tiberian Sun, i don't see why it should now...

It's mainly to give Nod some advantage on the battlefield, since currently GDI has the biggest profit of Ion storms for revealing all stealth units. Remember that MSA also reveals stealth units on it's own, not just the underground, so when Ion storm hits GDI basically already gets one portion of the MSA's effect (even if they don't have one currently).

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Guest Airking

there will be a warning though, about a minute before? so HMRLS dont sink unexpectingling

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Guest Chronojam

Yes, you'll get a warning since these effects could be quite potent. One other thing I forgot to mention that came up was having tiberium fields attract more lightning than other spots on the map, to make it risky for mutants and cyborgs to attempt free healing during an ion storm.

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Guest Zeta1125

Will MRVs continue to repair buildings or will they be restricted to vehicles only?

 

Also, concerning the disruptor, it seems it's attack field is very limited for infantry, the ray looks like it hits an infantry but doesn't do damage some times; are you guys thinking of leaving it as is or changing it a bit so it works more like a flame thrower in terms of area of damage?

 

You forgot to mention that you're gonna fix Titan and Wolverine aim and lastly, will the wolverine bullets get tags or are they going to continue as invisible?

Edited by Zeta1125

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there's a reason it has no tracers... it actually shoots from its chest so the tracers would look stupid...

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Guest APB_ICE

Can we make each shot alternate between the Wolverine's guns, like the Heavy Tank and Devil's Tongue? This would solve the tracer problem while also giving the Wolverine more realistic ballistics.

Edited by APB_ICE

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Guest ChronoSeth

Can we make each shot alternate between the Wolverine's guns, like the Heavy Tank and Devil's Tongue? This would solve the tracer problem while also giving the Wolverine more realistic ballistics.

This is a bad idea. Ever tried hitting infantry with the flame tank in renegade (or TSR, for that matter)?

 

It probably couldn't be made to work that way while still having the same effectiveness against infantry without ugly workarounds.

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Guest XCABAL

Can we get an update on when we get the juggernaut?

It is my favorite unit and was disappointed to not see it in the release.

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Can we get an update on when we get the juggernaut?

You will get an update that contains the juggernaut. At some point.

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The Wolverine used to shoot from it's arm cannons with tracers but we found during testing they basically couldn't hit infantry because people would aim with the reticule, which is actually a dead spot between the two firing points so zero bullets hit the target.. if you tried to aim with one arm cannon then only 50% of your shots would be hitting home and you'd be constantly guessing how much offset you need on the reticule to be "aiming" at the (moving) enemy infantry with the arm cannon.

 

So we change it to shoot from it's chest, the same way the AR Sentry Gun and Pillbox actually shoot from the centre point between the two visual guns (since the AI literally CANNOT offset it's aim to compensate for off centre muzzles, as we found during testing...)

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Guest sterps

 

In regards to the Ion storm changes... i agree with all of them, except the one about the mobile sensor array. Ion storms had no effect on them in Tiberian Sun, i don't see why it should now...

It's mainly to give Nod some advantage on the battlefield, since currently GDI has the biggest profit of Ion storms for revealing all stealth units. Remember that MSA also reveals stealth units on it's own, not just the underground, so when Ion storm hits GDI basically already gets one portion of the MSA's effect (even if they don't have one currently).

 

I still disagree. You can't base this on the current version of reborn. Gameplay will play out differently once units are balanced properly. When an ion storm hits, and subterranean units surface, and hide behind your buildings, the quickest response units GDI has are already disabled due to the ion storm (HMLRS, Not sure what they'll do to air units and jump jet inf, but they shouldn't fly either). So during an ion storm, Nod's subterranean units would already have a speed and retreat advantage. Disabling the MSA during an ion storm guarantee's entry for Nod Subterranean rushes, whether it be devils tongues, or an apc/inf rush.

This may lead to GDI taking to camping during ION storms.

 

Nod having stealth initially is already a great advantage for them over GDI. Base defenses don't detect stealth in reborn ( in Tiberian Sun Vulcan cannons did), and you literally have to be right next to an enemy stealth tank with an infantry to see it when it's stealth. If it's a little further away, it's completely cloaked...forget about when you're in a vehicle...the only way to see a cloaked stealth tank when you're a vehicle (not in MSA scan range) is to a) get a lucky shot on them or b) run into them, even then most drivers will just think it's lag.

They're really effective in reborn, they just don't get enough use right now because the rockets they fire seem weak against vehicles, though not against structures.

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Nod having stealth initially is already a great advantage for them over GDI. Base defenses don't detect stealth in reborn ( in Tiberian Sun Vulcan cannons did), and you literally have to be right next to an enemy stealth tank with an infantry to see it when it's stealth. If it's a little further away, it's completely cloaked...forget about when you're in a vehicle...the only way to see a cloaked stealth tank when you're a vehicle (not in MSA scan range) is to a) get a lucky shot on them or b) run into them, even then most drivers will just think it's lag.

They're really effective in reborn, they just don't get enough use right now because the rockets they fire seem weak against vehicles, though not against structures.

 

I would be for base defenses to shoot stealth units, or at least if they get to a (very) close proximity (question for danpaul what is actually planned and can be done with the new turret scripts), so that for example stealth tanks wouldn't be able to access guarded gates like nothing's happening, but they could get around them still somehow if they can find a path. At some point we had the base defenses shooting stealth units all the time but it was mostly bad for the chameleon spies to get into GDI base on most of the infantry only maps.

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currently the turret ai has a stealth detect flag that is on or off. we could make it a stealth detect range instead I suppose...

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Guest credulo

GDI Base defenses on TS do not detect stealth units - only if you " hit " then with the vehicle, so stalking around an enemy base on those old times was tricky - moving one step by one with the mouse clicks.

 

Well, at least that was on TS. I didn't had FS, so there is a possibility that WW made a patch which turned component towers to detect steath at a certain range. However, doing that will kill almost all possibilities of stank rushes on TS_Crossroads. Assuming that is the only decent rush strategy, aside of SAPCs from the beach, things would get difficult for the brotherhood here....

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Guest sterps

GDI Base defenses on TS do not detect stealth units - only if you " hit " then with the vehicle, so stalking around an enemy base on those old times was tricky - moving one step by one with the mouse clicks.

 

Well, at least that was on TS. I didn't had FS, so there is a possibility that WW made a patch which turned component towers to detect steath at a certain range. However, doing that will kill almost all possibilities of stank rushes on TS_Crossroads. Assuming that is the only decent rush strategy, aside of SAPCs from the beach, things would get difficult for the brotherhood here....

 

I'm pretty sure, in Tiberian Sun and Firestorm, only Vulcan Cannons had a small stealth detection range. RPG's and SAM's didn't.

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GDI Base defenses on TS do not detect stealth units - only if you " hit " then with the vehicle, so stalking around an enemy base on those old times was tricky - moving one step by one with the mouse clicks.

 

Well, at least that was on TS. I didn't had FS, so there is a possibility that WW made a patch which turned component towers to detect steath at a certain range. However, doing that will kill almost all possibilities of stank rushes on TS_Crossroads. Assuming that is the only decent rush strategy, aside of SAPCs from the beach, things would get difficult for the brotherhood here....

 

I'm pretty sure, in Tiberian Sun and Firestorm, only Vulcan Cannons had a small stealth detection range. RPG's and SAM's didn't.

this is true, and infantry had a small stealth detection range as well, along with wolverines, and titans once they reached Star level

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Guest SEAL

 

 

I'm pretty sure, in Tiberian Sun and Firestorm, only Vulcan Cannons had a small stealth detection range. RPG's and SAM's didn't.

this is true, and infantry had a small stealth detection range as well, along with wolverines, and titans once they reached Star level

 

I do not remember units having a small detection range, and I played Tiberium sun alot. What I think you guys are mistaking this for is when a stealth unit scrapped up against another object, it uncloaked momentarily.

 

As for the Update, my opinion on Ion storms, is basically what you said except that I dont much care for it disableing MSAs or Stealth. Maybe I'm thinking too Tiberium sun, but they do balance out very well (especially with radar being down), so I wouldn't mind all that much.

 

As far as beefing up the Mk2, number one is more god dang Damage for the railguns. Those things were like a one hit kill on infantry and it takes like 5 shots to kill a rifle. (This can be fixed with added damage and larger splash damage). The MG on the front also needs more damage (only slightly). The speed of the Mk2 is fine but it needs more torque so it doesnt stall on hills. As far as size, it's size is fine.

 

Ghost Stalker=to make him more lethal, go with the Tiberium sun Approach to his railgun. Switch the projectile from an explosive to the renegade Ramjet Rifle, increase the bullet travel time, but give it a tad boost vs. vehicles. This will allow it to hit multiple infantry in one shot, but require more precision shooting (in other words, it will be a much better weapon, but require a better shooter).

 

Cyborg Commando=I don't have a clue...he seems fine to me, but that needs to be considered after everything else gets updated. Maybe higher damage and a slower fireing rate?

 

And one last thing, Rocket soldier missile tracking needs to be increased, because it locks on about 15% of the time.

 

-End Rant/Opinion/Whatchamacallit-

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Guest Loyal2NES

 

there's a reason it has no tracers... it actually shoots from its chest so the tracers would look stupid...

Perhaps you guys can find a decent workaround in the future, but for now? Honestly, in the absence of a better solution, I'd prefer stupid-looking but functional Wolverines to Wolverines that look right but are useless at their intended role because I can't tell where or how to adjust my aim.

 

And on that note, are there any plans to fix the jittery reticle Wolves and Titans suffer from while mobile?

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Walkers will always suffer from a jittery reticule because the muzzle bone bounces up and down as the vehicle walks. They work best if you stand still to fire, or aim at big things that are hard to miss.

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I suppose Titans could get their range increased because of this to compensate. They're still hard to use for efficient combat.

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Guest Loyal2NES

Walkers will always suffer from a jittery reticule because the muzzle bone bounces up and down as the vehicle walks. They work best if you stand still to fire, or aim at big things that are hard to miss.

You don't see this being a problem in urgent need of fixing for an anti-infantry platform?

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You don't see this being a problem in urgent need of fixing for an anti-infantry platform?

Unfortunately GDI command insists on using outdated fire-control systems from 2002 even though it's 2030 and technology has advanced since then. We are trying to convince them otherwise, but these sort of changes take time.

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