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The Chrono Tank really opens up a lot of attack possibilities on Siege for the Allies and in that sense it is a true counter to the Soviet Yak.

... Too bad the map is out of rotation still!

Edited by Raap

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5 minutes ago, Raap said:

The Chrono Tank really opens up a lot of attack possibilities on Siege for the Allies and in that sense it is a true counter to the Soviet Yak.

... Too bad the map is out of rotation still!

It isn't. Hostile Waters is. Siege just never got a chance to come up tonight with all the bot restarting :v

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cough I like what I see cough

So anyways to all the new chronodrivers; on all maps that allow said Chronotank, this is the overhead map as mentioned above:

 

This interface is how you will "chronoshift" around on the map. If you do find yourself getting stuck in places, I'd advise making a forum post detailing it in the "bug reports". This is fairly new to the game, testing has been done to fine tune everything and prevent MOST cases of getting stuck on rocks, inside buildings, ontop of buildings, etc. but its not 100%

hope I'm not breaking any rules or such by posting this since, its already out in the wild as an official update, but yeah gimme a heads up and I'll edit the post accordingly if such issues arise.

Chronotank.gif

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7 hours ago, Raptor29aa said:

Is Hostile waters out of rotation due to the possible new naval repair bay?

Hostile Waters has been permanently cut from the official servers as Pushwall doesn't think the Repair Bay can fix the naval 'field' persistence issues. I support this decision, no reason to keep something around that a majority no longer enjoys.

I will still finish the Repair Bay (I had to wait on the current game version before I could do so), I needed to add a submarine docking area (ships can dock so it would be unfair if subs could not). Suffice it to say it is a bit of collision trickery to get it right.

Hostile Waters will continue to exist as a Lunar-like map, meaning it will receive general patch updates like unit balance and such, but active development, following the Repair Bay addition, will stop. Moderators can opt to run it on-demand and if anyone ever decides to host their own server then this map will be available for them as well.

Short post-mortem on it: When Delta launched we had a different, mostly older player base. During this time I had a LOT of requests to bring back this level (in context, I never had so many requests for anything else ever before), and so I did revive it while remaking it from scratch, and adding gameplay to the icebergs (which were just giant floating rocks in the original .9935 version). Fast forward to today however and the bulk of that audience no longer play the game, and the current player base has a distinct dislike towards anything non-core gameplay.

As a side note, the decision to axe Hostile Waters also goes hand in hand with the decision for the entire game to never create maps that significantly deviate from the main formula, and also to avoid creating maps with a focus on 'hold the middle'. To that end, Siege is on the edge of the chopping block for permanent removal as well, but I think Pushwall wants to try a few more things with it, I am not sure.

On a personal note, I think Under might be at similar risk, because it is essentially a one way 'hold the middle' map as well.

 

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10 hours ago, Raap said:

As a side note, the decision to axe Hostile Waters also goes hand in hand with the decision for the entire game to never create maps that significantly deviate from the main formula, and also to avoid creating maps with a focus on 'hold the middle'.

Really it's "hold the middle" combined with the middle being too easy to hold, basically required to hold, still being hard to launch an attack from, and then either taking forever to reach to try to break the hold, or taking forever to avoid.

On HW, it costs money to get to the icebergs (which seems to turn people off of making the effort no matter how much money grows on trees - see earlier versions of HW) and there are only a select few points the icebergs can be entered from which makes them easy to camp. Avoiding the middle entirely also takes a ludicrous amount of time.

On Siege, the ramparts are an incredible defensive position, nigh unassailable at times, and the ways around them are fairly lengthy. But at least there's more than one way around them now - it was such a dull map when your only choices as Allies were ramming headfirst into 10 indestructible Volkovs on ramparts, or taking a Chinook party the other way and losing all 6 of your guys to the 1 Hindkov that decided to stay at home.

Under doesn't seem to be at quite the same risk - the map is very small so it takes very little time to attempt to break the hold on the middle, and while vehicles only have one way in, infantry have three - not to mention there's the 2 backdoor base entrances for infantry (killing the rocks just makes one of those harder to use instead of removing them entirely, and there's a 3rd if you count LSTs) as well as the naval factor.

I'd say River Raid is closer to that, but I see surprisingly little vitriol directed at the map despite it having been permanently in rotation ever since the introduction of the remake in April 2016, and don't remember much hate for the original version of the map prior to Delta either. I've been long considering opening up the infantry-only cave/beach routes to vehicles to make the map less meatgrindy but at that point it may need base defenses.

Pipeline also has a "hold the middle" mechanic in its oils, but - again - is relatively open and small, and it's hard for a team to keep all the middle objectives under control at once because there are plenty of ways to reach them by foot and it doesn't take forever to do so.

All three of these maps also don't exactly have the strongest of base defense layouts - and River Raid doesn't have base defenses period. So a team "holding the middle" on them has more incentive to actually press the attack. Meanwhile Siege's defenses are pretty strong, and Hostile Waters may not have any frontal anti-boat defenses but the naval building is very easy to repair and very hard to interrupt repairs on.

TL;DR hold the middle, middle being basically unbreakable, bases being hard to attack, and gargantuan map sizes/long travel times is not a good combination.

If I can spare the time I might look into recreating the HW play space anew with basic visuals for the sake of testing how it might play if:

  • the distance between bases was smaller
  • the base layout encouraged attacking non-naval buildings for more reasons than just puntos
  • the island layout allowed placement of AA in positions that could actually prevent a chinook from landing
  • the icebergs were smaller and more spaced out so they could still be used as boat cover without suffering the current issue where they create passageways that force boats into single file and prevent them from turning around
  • there was no "hold the middle" element

then if it tests well I can try to recycle Raap's HW assets for it or hand it to him and see if he can spice up the visuals. The naval repair bay might even get used for that as a teamed, killable structure so that there's another spot by your island other than just your NY where you can go to sell/repair.

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at some point the map went from being hostile waters to hostile skies then to hostile ice bergs. I think the map’s main point was naval combat, and I see too much ice berg and helicopter Skirmishes. I get helicopters are needed to break blockades, but their use should stop there. It’s called hostile waters for a reason.

EDIT: I am not discouraging the idea of hostile skies... in case anyone was making a map like that.

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23 minutes ago, Raptor29aa said:

at some point the map went from being hostile waters to hostile skies then to hostile ice bergs. I think the map’s main point was naval combat, and I see too much ice berg and helicopter Skirmishes. I get helicopters are needed to break blockades, but their use should stop there. It’s called hostile waters for a reason.

I was thinking, if I go through with Greybox Waters, of taking a page out of the book of the RA expansion mission "Top of the World" - making it so any infantry who happen to find themselves stranded on the icebergs takes gradual damage (to the effect of taking 2-3 minutes to kill a regular infantry) because it's too cold. So you can't just camp out a wall of rockets on the bergs forever. I can understand not wanting to completely axe infantry from the equation however and I guess that led to the sloped bergs with ridiculous rewards.

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The iceberg content was actually me giving in to the requests of more (relevant) non-naval gameplay. The original map (which in hindsight was much more popular) only had naval units and a gimmick unit to break stalemates. And at some point, too much time went into it to axe it completely based on yet another wave of feedback. In short, players often do not know what they really want, opinions keep changing and while changing an opinion is free of charge, altering game content based on this, is not.

This is why a lot of game developers avoid pleasing too many audiences. It is easiest to focus on one specific niche and deliver for that specific audience. My desire to create deviating gameplay severely conflicts with that line of thinking.

Triple A games make these mistakes all the time as well when they add maps or game modes that do not get appreciated by the majority of their players. The only unfortunate casualties here are people who do appreciate gameplay variation, and I can say that at least when it comes to my contributions, the more significant deviations have ended. I won't say I'll never hide a bonus objective inside a level ever again, as I still think they add something to the game if they are truly a bonus objective, but no longer will a primary objective be anything other than 'destroy the base' in the traditional formula.

All in all I do not consider it a complete loss. Obviously I would have preferred it if more people enjoyed it but I can not change that outcome. Hostile Water's assets were largely created with re-usage in mind, and I still think that my take on the naval buildings is better than the regular buildings. So who knows, some other level might use some of the assets... Maybe one day someone other than myself can do contributions, that'd be something.

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2 hours ago, Raap said:

and I still think that my take on the naval buildings is better than the regular buildings. So who knows, some other level might use some of the assets...

I've been meaning to get around to this for a while but mirroring the Advanced Naval Yard while ensuring all of its extra components also mirror properly proved problematic last time I tried.

Why would I need to mirror it, you ask?

Well, the repair bay and LST spawn zone are both on the left hand side of the building. Plus the building is twice as large as the original. And on Coastal Influence and Under, you know what else is directly to the left of the naval yard? A big old f-off cliff. So move the ANY further to the right to allow boats to park in the repair bay and LSTs to leave? Nope, no can do, because then on Coastal Influence there'd be no land for either side's LSTs to beach at and no room for Missile Subs to aim at any buildings behind the ANY, and on Under V2s would be able to hit the enlarged, further-right ANY from the Soviet base - further enforcing the "kill rocks ASAP" mentality. I get the feeling you did not design the ANY with "other levels" in mind :p

The ASP is also problematic for some of the same reasons. The LST spawn is on the right hand side of the building. On Under/CI this once again leads directly into a cliff. But the dilemma here is that the repair bay is on the left and we certainly can't mirror that without making it incredibly inaccessible on Under/CI and further encouraging Allies to spam ships down the short route on Pacific Threat since that would mean Soviets wouldn't be able to repair subs facing that route.

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Pushwall:

Incredible update! I love it. Some things though.

Complex is a great map to have sneak demos, M.A.D. Tanks and Mammoths. Is it possible just to remove the crono tanks from that map specifically or are you going to just see how it plays out for a bit before any decision is made?

With the Phase tank now being visible on Radar.. will buying a thief allow you to be radar invisible again? 

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19 minutes ago, Threve said:

With the Phase tank now being visible on Radar.. will buying a thief allow you to be radar invisible again? 

I wanted to do this, so that you can make the choice to have an easier time infiltrating at the expense of not being able to carry on the fight if you lose your phase. But radar doesn't work that way anymore :( Even if I enable the option for passengers' radar markers to be visible, those markers are only visible while the vehicle is unstealthed, unlike back in Beta. So they got a price reduction instead.

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@pushwall I noticed the Chrono tank is not as good at taking down hinds as the phase tank was this intentional? Also phases can’t hide from hinds like they used to... was this intentional as well?

@Raap being unconventional is not bad at all look at seamist or pipeline. I just feel in hindsight you should’ve kept it simpler. I am not saying this as a put down, considering I don’t have level building skills, but you might’ve been trying too hard at your art/craftsmanship.

When I have more free time I will try my hand at creating a level. I have an unconventional idea or two of my own. But I am not going to share just yet.

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I use the Phase Tank more heavily now since the price drop. It’s extremely easy to surprise Hinds and get away before any major damage happens. Most helicopter pilots don’t really seem to pay attention to the radar, since they have a better view from up above. 

I don’t really like them being visible on radar, since it makes it harder to sneak into a base now, or wait for tanks to pass by. Being able to have Phase Tanks out before Mammoth Tanks is really nice for Allies, though. 

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2 hours ago, Pushwall said:

I wanted to do this, so that you can make the choice to have an easier time infiltrating at the expense of not being able to carry on the fight if you lose your phase. But radar doesn't work that way anymore :( Even if I enable the option for passengers' radar markers to be visible, those markers are only visible while the vehicle is unstealthed, unlike back in Beta. So they got a price reduction instead.

Hmmm. Time will tell which is best. Are we allowed to know when phases appear on radar? 50m, 100m? This knowledge would help me know how far to avoid tanks and such. 

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Just now, Threve said:

Hmmm. Time will tell which is best. Are we allowed to know when phases appear on radar? 50m, 100m? This knowledge would help me know how far to avoid tanks and such. 

Same range that everything else appears on radar.

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I still remember the days of when Phase tanks were invisible not only to radar, but soviet defenses as well when they were cloaked. It was always worth a laugh or two to see the reaction of a soviet player bought a demo truck and found it blowing up right in the middle of the base.

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6 hours ago, Pushwall said:

I've been meaning to get around to this for a while but mirroring the Advanced Naval Yard while ensuring all of its extra components also mirror properly proved problematic last time I tried.

Why would I need to mirror it, you ask?

Well, the repair bay and LST spawn zone are both on the left hand side of the building. Plus the building is twice as large as the original. And on Coastal Influence and Under, you know what else is directly to the left of the naval yard? A big old f-off cliff. So move the ANY further to the right to allow boats to park in the repair bay and LSTs to leave? Nope, no can do, because then on Coastal Influence there'd be no land for either side's LSTs to beach at and no room for Missile Subs to aim at any buildings behind the ANY, and on Under V2s would be able to hit the enlarged, further-right ANY from the Soviet base - further enforcing the "kill rocks ASAP" mentality. I get the feeling you did not design the ANY with "other levels" in mind :p

The ASP is also problematic for some of the same reasons. The LST spawn is on the right hand side of the building. On Under/CI this once again leads directly into a cliff. But the dilemma here is that the repair bay is on the left and we certainly can't mirror that without making it incredibly inaccessible on Under/CI and further encouraging Allies to spam ships down the short route on Pacific Threat since that would mean Soviets wouldn't be able to repair subs facing that route.

The Advanced Naval Yard has this separation in order to avoid 'traffic' at the front. It would have been super annoying to have ONE GUY in his Destroyer block the entire Allied team's naval advancement. So I made that split to move repairs and LST's away from ship spawns, and additionally, made it impossible for ships to re-enter the spawn bay. I designed this for gameplay, and HW's terrain just happened to suit it.

Making everything forward-facing is asking for problems, plus it is work, and I'd argue altering terrain is easier because these are often map segments with relatively little detail to begin with. Expanding a cliff to gain a coastal cave is literally hollowing out a piece of static mesh and ensuring the script zones cover the new area properly.

Anyhow, as usual, just my 2c!

@Raptor29aa My sole motivation is to push the boundaries of W3D. If not with gameplay, then with aesthetics. You will have seen this evolution of things, from my earlier work, to Siege, to HW, and eventually to Dread Plateau (which is still a long way out). Since gameplay isn't something I can afford myself much breathing room on any longer, that just leaves graphics.

Edited by Raap

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1 hour ago, Raap said:

Making everything forward-facing is asking for problems

I think you're missing the point I was trying to make. I never said the ANY's repair/LST should face forward. It's just that they're on the wrong side to be suitable for Coastal/Under where you are forced to go right to reach the Soviet base - and even on Pacific Threat, having the repairs on the right side would provide further encouragement for Soviets to go long and attack the left side. On Hostile Waters the ANY would have worked pretty much the same way regardless of whether its LST+repair bays were on the left or right, but you chose to put them on the left and now here I am stuck with a building that requires extra building work, terrain work, or both to be suitable for those other maps where you want to see the advanced buildings replace the originals :p

Even if I opt to just cut holes in terrain instead of mirroring the building so repairs are on the right, there's still the problem where it would take forever to bring a boat from the sea to the repair bay, or get an LST out of the LST bay and into the sea, as in both cases you have to go all the way around the building - extra problematic for boats which have sluggish handling and are also long enough that there would need to be a lot of clearance between the repair bay and the cliff to eliminate any chance that W3D physics might kick in and get the boat stuck. And even more clearance if cruisers become a reality! (In which case I'm sure I could axe the "cargo boat" part of the ANY to make room for spawning those. Repairs, on the other hand, would be a different matter.)

But I guess I would have had to mirror eventually anyway regardless of what you chose because who knows there may be naval maps in future that demand the Allies' LST/repair bay to be on the left instead of the right :v

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56 minutes ago, Pushwall said:

I think you're missing the point I was trying to make. I never said the ANY's repair/LST should face forward. It's just that they're on the wrong side to be suitable for Coastal/Under where you are forced to go right to reach the Soviet base - and even on Pacific Threat, having the repairs on the right side would provide further encouragement for Soviets to go long and attack the left side. On Hostile Waters the ANY would have worked pretty much the same way regardless of whether its LST+repair bays were on the left or right, but you chose to put them on the left and now here I am stuck with a building that requires extra building work, terrain work, or both to be suitable for those other maps where you want to see the advanced buildings replace the originals :p

Even if I opt to just cut holes in terrain instead of mirroring the building so repairs are on the right, there's still the problem where it would take forever to bring a boat from the sea to the repair bay, or get an LST out of the LST bay and into the sea, as in both cases you have to go all the way around the building - extra problematic for boats which have sluggish handling and are also long enough that there would need to be a lot of clearance between the repair bay and the cliff to eliminate any chance that W3D physics might kick in and get the boat stuck. And even more clearance if cruisers become a reality! (In which case I'm sure I could axe the "cargo boat" part of the ANY to make room for spawning those. Repairs, on the other hand, would be a different matter.)

But I guess I would have had to mirror eventually anyway regardless of what you chose because who knows there may be naval maps in future that demand the Allies' LST/repair bay to be on the left instead of the right :v

I think I lost a portion on that post in a faulty edit.

What I was adding, was to say you could easily mirror the naval buildings in 3DS, if it solves the problems on the current maps.

As for Cruisers, if they were to spawn in place of the cargo ship, then you'd need three clear sides on all maps...

You need to do something different to Cruiser spawning. One thing I mentioned somewhere or to someone is that those big ships should spawn off-map as a cinematic and sail in while the owner is teleported into the driver seat upon purchase. Not even the "Advanced" Naval Yard is big enough to support a cruiser properly, unless the ship is downsized to the size of a Destroyer of course.

31 minutes ago, OrangeP47 said:

Biggest change: Raap now has an avatar.

Well, you know, if someone gives you a green name...

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I have to admit, I actually like the layouts of the ANY and ASB better than the standard buildings. I would totally be in favor of having them be the new standard if possible.

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I think you mean the buildings?

Select "single player" on the W3DHub launcher, then go to Skirmish. Set up a match using the map "RA_HostileWaters" and you can explore this map solo (there are no AI units for this map).

---

SIDE NOTE: Ain't it about time we filter out the RA_ prefixes from the level selection and ending score screens to instead refer to a proper string with the proper map name, like "Sea Mist" instead of "RA_AS_Seamist" (new players don't know what all this prefix stuff is about plus we pretty much decided to can assault maps a decade ago, and recent discussions also concluded to stop [significant] core gameplay deviation anyway).

Edited by Raap

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1 hour ago, Killing_You said:

I think he meant the Chrono Tank. It's available for purchase on most T5 maps.

Right! I got a bit lost in the topic hijack there.  :v

Edited by Raap

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