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 Forum index » Other Projects » Alpha Projects » Tiberian Sun - Reform » General Discussion
Service Drone
Moderators: SuperJoe
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SuperJoe
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Joined: 03 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:17 am    Post subject:   Service Drone Reply with quote

Here's a kinda unique unit idea I've had in mind for a long time, just couldn't think of a proper way to execute it. The Service Drone. Basically they work like the drones from C&C generals. You attach it to a vehicle (by force-firing), after that it will keep following the unit around until either one of them dies, or you give it a new target.

The drone serves two functions: It will slowly keep repairing the vehicle, and it will reveal any nearby stealthed units. The latter is very handy since in TS your only stealth revealing options come from deploying a unit, or keeping your jumpjet infantry in the air. The cool thing about the drones is that they will stay in the air without any micro-management. You can of course order them around directly if you wish to scout ahead of your vehicles, or pull them back to safety. To keep things balanced, the drones have very little hp and are extremely slow while on the ground.

Now the biggest problem I have with the unit is that I can't think which faction should get it. Logically I think it belongs to GDI, but that might make the GDI repair bay useless, and worse yet, make the jumpjet troopers useless (I've worked hard to make them useful in the mod).

What about Nod then? Nod does not have a "jumpjet style" stealth detector in the mod yet, so for that role it would fit perfectly. But Nod does have the mobile repair vehicles, so this would kind of overlap that role. Then again, the repair vehicle repairs things quickly, while the drone takes a long while to fully repair something. And one of them is ground unit, another air. Gameplay wise I think Nod is the one who should have the unit, but I still think the unit has a GDI feel to it.

Giving Forgotten the drone doesn't make much sense. It's simply too high tech for Forgotten to have. Also Forgotten have mutant mechanics for repairs (they repair slowly too and are fragile), and tiberium flyers for mobile stealth detection (they use the jumpjet logic as well).


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SuperJoe
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Joined: 03 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Figured out a way to balance it for GDI. Using the alternate warfactory trick, I've made the repair bay into a "barracks" that can only build these service drones. If you sell or lose the repair bay, you can't build the drones anymore. Was actually surprised you could turn the repair bay into a barracks without causing any problems. It works as both a barracks (for the drones) and for repairing vehicles.
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Orac
President


Joined: 11 Jul 2008
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's pretty awesome.
I wish I'd thought of this idea.

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Bu7loos
Commander


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Location: Kuwait

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep that is a very nice idea ,way to raise the bar Super-joe ! Smile

@Orac: I guess we are bussy making new stuff than to give time to think of what we currently have.
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OmegaBolt
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Joined: 21 Mar 2005
Location: York, England

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does it continue to target the unit when it's fully healed though?
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Krow
Commander


Joined: 30 Jan 2010
Location: Malaysia

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IIRC they don't, unless you use the guard unit command. RA2 has it, and I'm guessing TS does too.
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SuperJoe
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Joined: 03 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OmegaBolt wrote:
Does it continue to target the unit when it's fully healed though?


Yes, the drone will continue to follow whatever unit you attach it to. Doesn't matter if it has full health or not. They can even be attached to follow infantry around, not that they will repair them, but they can provide stealth detection. It's actually kind of funny, because this "feature" is what makes the mutant mechanic require bit of extra work. They too will keep repairing a fully healed unit, and you need to order them to stop.

Btw fun use for the drones is to attach them to harvesters, but unfortunately they do stop following it when it docks into the refinery.

EDIT: Just realised the drones can also be used to repair buildings. Need to take that into consideration in their price. Though even multiple drones together still repair much slower than the normal repair function, so they don't work that well in emergencies or when under attack.
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Atomic_Noodles
General


Joined: 05 Oct 2011

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can't you just make their building Verses 0%?
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SuperJoe
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Joined: 03 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Atomic_Noodles wrote:
Can't you just make their building Verses 0%?


TS has only a very limited selection of armor types (none, wood, light, heavy, concrete). Many buildings and vehicles (even some infantry) share armor types, so there isn't much that can be done here. But like I said, it's balanced by the fact they repair extremely slowly, and I will balance the drone cost. Thinking something around 500 credits.
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Lin Kuei Ominae
Seth


Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Try AV=yes on the projectile, to make them able to target vehicles only. (Not sure anymore if force firing was able to override that)
You can also play around with the range. When a jumpjet moves over a building, it takes the art.ini Height into account and adjusts it flightlevel accordingly. Since vehicles are lower than buildings, you could give it a range that is just enough when hovering above a vehicle, but not when moving over a building.

Nod for the drones would have been bad, as the jumpjet stealth removal field effect is done even on your own troops.

Once started, can they land again? If not, Ionstorms might be an issue as they simply kill them all.
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SuperJoe
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Joined: 03 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lin Kuei Ominae wrote:
Try AV=yes on the projectile, to make them able to target vehicles only. (Not sure anymore if force firing was able to override that)


Unfortunately AV=yes only works for buildings afaik. E.g. limpet drones and mines use it. But I remember giving it to an infantry weapon, and the unit would still fire the weapon on infantry and building when ordered to do so. Even when the unit had a secondary weapon without AV=yes.

Lin Kuei Ominae wrote:

You can also play around with the range. When a jumpjet moves over a building, it takes the art.ini Height into account and adjusts it flightlevel accordingly. Since vehicles are lower than buildings, you could give it a range that is just enough when hovering above a vehicle, but not when moving over a building.


Could try to experiment with this. Though what about buildings that have Height=1? I don't think the building repairing is a massive problem, logically the drones could be able to do it. You could see it as an intended feature. Of course it would need to be balanced properly.

Lin Kuei Ominae wrote:

Once started, can they land again? If not, Ionstorms might be an issue as they simply kill them all.


They can land just like the jumpjet infantry. Though I made them very slow on ground (Speed=2), so generally you don't want to keep them on the ground. Unless you are trying to avoid AA weapons or take cover in an ion storm. Since they are considered infantry, you can actually load the drones into an APC. I don't think it's extremely weird though, since the drones aren't much bigger than people. Could even be a tactic to use APC to carry them past heavy AA defences.
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Vefbl4
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Joined: 07 Feb 2007

PostPosted: Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool.
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Krow
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Joined: 30 Jan 2010
Location: Malaysia

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just read through the mutant mechanic thread and method that you used. Definitely cool.
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SuperJoe
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Joined: 03 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Krow wrote:
Just read through the mutant mechanic thread and method that you used. Definitely cool.


The service drone actually uses a different method to do the healing (based on cyborg reaper splits logic). Overall the effect is the same, but slightly less hacky and easier to implement. Still left the mechanic with his old particle based healing.
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Crimsonum
Seth


Joined: 14 Jul 2005
Location: The fine land of Finland

PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SuperJoe wrote:
Lin Kuei Ominae wrote:
Try AV=yes on the projectile, to make them able to target vehicles only. (Not sure anymore if force firing was able to override that)


Unfortunately AV=yes only works for buildings afaik. E.g. limpet drones and mines use it. But I remember giving it to an infantry weapon, and the unit would still fire the weapon on infantry and building when ordered to do so. Even when the unit had a secondary weapon without AV=yes.


Funny thing, Limpet Drones will attach themselves onto passing cyborgs, even without force-firing.
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SuperJoe
Commander


Joined: 03 Sep 2009

PostPosted: Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crimsonum wrote:
Funny thing, Limpet Drones will attach themselves onto passing cyborgs, even without force-firing.


Are you sure? I tried and they didn't attach to cyborgs. The deployed limpet mine won't display an attack cursor (much like the samsite doesn't), so can't force-fire it. AI owned limpets won't attach into passing cyborgs or infantry, but if you go within their weapon range and attack them, they will retaliate. Since they can't attach to infantry, they simply disappear. This AI behavior is quite annoying, in my mod I have mines with AV=yes that should only explode when a vehicles drives near them. But the AI will explode the mines on infantry if they are too close to it and attack it.
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Abom
Vehicle Driver


Joined: 03 Sep 2013

PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:15 am    Post subject: Re: Service Drone Reply with quote

Hey SuperJoe, might be 4 years late, but can I use the mod codes u made for this? If u stilll have it ofcourse!

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Lin Kuei Ominae
Seth


Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pretty much everything is given by the gif.
-a negative damage weapon to repair stuff by force firing on it (a warhead with 0% on none armor, to avoid infantry being repaired)
-the drone being a jumpjet infantry with the different image and changed jumpjet settings (see JumpjetControls in rules.ini)

Pretty basic stuff.
Only the combined usage of otherwise pretty basic logics to create such a unit makes this ingenious.Wink
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malius123
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Joined: 14 Aug 2010

PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

its that ingenuity, that makes me play reform time and time again, despite my focus on mods with more artistic focus.

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