Author Topic: Dawn of Armageddon -- narrative Dawn of War AAR  (Read 901 times)

JasonPratt

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Reply #45 on: November 14, 2019, 08:40:49 PM
post-Season Fakely Anticipated Questions :D
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SO, HAVE YOU STARTED SEASON TWO YET?

Not yet, i.e. not at the time of posting the end of Season One.

WILL THERE BE A SEASON TWO?!

Theoretically. I enjoy playing DoW:Soulstorm:UltApoc:Etc. a lot! And I have plans for how the story will end. But this is a good stopping place in case I never get around to doing Season Two.

ASIDE FROM THE ULTIMATE ENDING, WHAT OTHER PLANS FOR SEASON TWO DO I H-- I MEAN DO YOU HAVE?

Villains! -- I really, really need to create some true antagonist characters, but oddly I’m constrained in that I don’t know enough about the Fall of Cadia storyline to figure out how to design many yet. I’ve made some plans, but they need expanding and filling out.

DO THOSE PLANS INCLUDE MARID AND HER CHILDREN?

Marid as a character more than her children per se, yes.

DO THOSE PLANS INCLUDE CHAOS DEVOTEES HIDING AMONG TEAM PRESTER?

Yep, though not overly much since after all Team Prester would be highly motivated and capable at detecting any serious problems along this line.

SEEMS LIKE THAT WOULD BE EVEN MORE TRUE OF TYRANNID INFECTION, THOUGH...

Yep, but I have a plan around that already. I’ll add here that Marid was just a handy bystander originally for P-John to cry in front of for dramatic purposes.

SO IS THAT REALLY PRESTER JOHN??!

That would be telling. And kind-of unimportant really?

DID THE BATTLEFLEET GOTHIC ABILITY HAVE A LITERAL “WIN” BUTTON!!?

No! -- much to my surprise. And I say that, because some of the UltApoc ultraweapons do have a “Win” button, including one I showed (but never got to really use) back when introducing the Tyranids into the story.

DID THE BATTLEFLEET GOTHIC ABILITY JUST WIPE OUT EVERYTHING ON THE MAP IN THIRTY SECONDS FLAT?!

Also no, and also somewhat to my surprise. Allow me to indulge (even more than this entire thread already counts as an indulgence!) in an extended digression on how the final mission really ended.

I thought the Gothic attack would do one of two things: either sweep from one direction or another across the map base by base, destroying each one in turn, until no enemy base was left standing; or else target unit production buildings in some similarly systematic order (like the building with the most hitpoints) until no building was left standing. In other words, something you might reasonably expect “Battlefleet Gothic” to do.

What happens instead, as far as I can guess from watching it happen (and NOT watching it happen!), is that the computer randomly chooses one enemy unit, and launches the least superweapon at it; then randomly chooses one enemy unit nearby for the next superweapon; and so on through all four of them; whereupon it resets the search-choice for a random enemy unit (structure or troop or vehicle, anything) anywhere on the map. If a flyer is hovering over your base, guess what?

 


Thhaaaat’s right! -- Battlefleet Gothic might decide to hit that one flyer with a nuclear missile, right over your base! In the example illustrated above, the bomb went off over a wing of my base that had nothing but a requisition point capped, and no troops nearby, so the worst that happened was some buildings got scuffed by the expanding shockwave. (It hurts buildings a lot within the first 25 meters.)

Anyway, the weapons then go on a highly abbreviated timer and they’re shot off again at other randomly chosen enemy targets and their environs; which means they’re likely to hit in staggered waves, since each weapon has longer recharge timers on a scale with their powerlevel.

Those weapons are, in order of power:

1.) Orbital strike. This is carried over from vanilla Dawn of War, and involves a few artillery blasts landing within a designated circle (though since the AI is choosing the targets I can’t see the circle in this case.)

2.) Orbital Bombardment. An UltApoc upgrade to the strike, which adds (I think) four more strikes around a central strike.

3.) Particle cannon. This thing just lands on a target and grinds it down. The key thing about the beam is that you can select it like a ground vehicle and move it across the ground by the usual ‘click to send it over there’ method. It stays active for 20 seconds or thereabouts (I never timed it). It has a very narrow focus, about the size of a single Titan. In other words, it has to be manually managed to some real degree to get its best effect.

4.) Tactical nuke, the largest such nuclear blast in the game (so far as I know), with a blast radius of 25 meters and an expanding shockwave for another 35. It easily fills the camera even on a far zoom out. Within the first zone it kills most troops, and heavily damages most structures and vehicles. The shockwave continues damaging troops but isn’t so damaging to vehicles and structures.

This all may sound great, and the best part is that you pay once and get this repeating effect for the rest of the match COMPLETELY FREE THEREAFTER as long as your nuclear weapon center stays up. In fact, you can double up with your own manually targeted four-mix from your structures as much as you can and want to pay for (those do cost resources).

However, there’s a huge drawback due to the lack of true targeting rationale -- which would have been easy to code in, but which I suspect is missing for balance purposes. This effect is meant to finish off a floundering enemy base in grand style.

It is NOT intended to do my work of progressively wiping five more-or-less fully functional and upgraded enemy bases off the map. If I try to use the effect that way (which I obviously did), then the AI just randomly targets enemy units around the map wherever. I didn’t even know anything was happening for the first several minutes after I triggered it!

This lack of focus is compounded by the Particle cannon usually needing to be manually guided, when I often didn’t even know where it was shooting. And then I discovered that, just like a land vehicle, the beam can’t be sent to park over a building, like an enemy stronghold! It can target a building to start with, but can’t be sent to ‘stand’ on top of another building, or even on top of a unit exactly, only nearby. So to make a direct hit with it, I have to send it on a path through the base, or back and forth. I once used it to hunt a couple of Demonhunter Titans the AI had built, and they just walked around and away from it mostly!

Consequently, I completed “Project No” (ha ha) at around the one hour mark (as noted in my AAR) -- but the mission kept going for another hour and a half! (To be honest, I’m unsure if the “Battlefleet” threw a nuke at an enemy flyer over my base, in that snapshot above, or if the AI managed to get one of its own nukes out at me. But that snapshot happened at the hour-thirty mark: about 30 minutes after pressing the “win” button, figuratively speaking!)

I had to build a company of melee and ranged Terminators, AND a short company of Land Raiders, and march them around finishing off the enemy bases -- while trying to dodge the Battlefleet effect myself!

Worse, there was an ungodly traffic jam of my own allied Eldar and Tau units at the gate, and my Land Raiders (with a few Predators) couldn’t get out (the Termies could deepstrike). So I had to call in my own Particle cannon (and pay for it), twice, on my own allies and forces at the gate, just to clear out enough to let my power hitters (and theirs) get out!

 


That snapshot is 2 hours nine minutes and 42 second into the match. I still had around twenty minutes to go! (Enough so that I had to do this AGAIN later to break up the traffic jam again!)

....{inhale} sooooooo, it was a mess. But man, an epic fight. I’d like to see a pvp 3x5 fight here someday. If anyone has the most recent version of UltApoc, contact me on Steam or here, and let’s set up a Groghead match!

The map designer likes to use this as his special graphic for the map’s loading screen, even though the background terrain definitely isn’t this map. But I thought I’d share it in conclusion. Something like it may happen in Season Two, after all. {g}

 


If you made it this far, I hope you enjoyed the story and ride!

-- unless you were scrolling down to see how the season ends, and found this buffering instead. Thus the deepness of my strategy becomes apparent.  >:D