You might've noticed that we released version 9.8 of DTA last weekend.
This is a relatively smaller patch, consisting mostly of balance and gameplay changes. They are, however, fairly important ones, and address several feedback items that our community has given to us over the last couple of versions. We'll go over the most significant of them and explain our motivations behind them.
Before that, however, let us mention we also added a bit of new content with this update: the "A Bridge Too Many" Co-Op mission, and the "The Ice Must Floe" multiplayer map. Grab some friends and go play them!
 A Bridge Too Many by Rampastring
 The Ice Must Floe by Chronoseth
Starting with the gameplay changes, we reduced the damage green tiberium causes to infantry by 37.5%. Previously green tiberium dealt as much damage to infantry as in Tiberian Dawn, while our maps, including tiberium fields, are typically are much larger. This denied infantry use in tiberium-heavy maps a bit more than we, and our players, liked.
Not surprisingly, the advanced infantry, two of which we added in the previous update, didn't have their balance entirely perfect, and they have been adjusted:
- The GDI Grenade Launcher had a bug that caused it to never go prone, which effectively lowered its HP in some situations (most weapons in the game deal reduced damage to infantry that are prone). This has been fixed.
- The GDI Grenade Launcher is no longer immune to crushing. It was never meant to be a front-line unit, since it has the range to fight behind tanks, and the speed for hit-and-run attacks.
- The Allied Machine Gunner was found to be a bit too strong. Large groups of these were able to slaughter massive numbers of enemies without any backup from other units. To reduce its power, it will no longer go prone, its veterancy buffs have been reduced, and its damage against tanks has been cut by 20%.
- The Chem Warrior and Shock Trooper were found to be outclassed by the GDI and Allied infantry additions. They've both got a 19% increase in HP. For the Shock Trooper, we also fixed a bug that caused it not to auto-fire on nearby enemy targets.
- The Soviet Flamethrower infantry was found to be overpowered and was toned down; it fires slower and deals less damage to buildings, infantry and recon units. It is, however, still an effective companion to Soviet armies for its price.
We also adjusted the balance of some of our aircraft. We likely aren't done with tweaking aircraft yet, but here is a "first batch" of balance changes as we continue to work on more of them.
And then, some individual unit changes:
- The ORCA was found to be a bit too weak for its price, so we reduced its price from 1100 to 1000. In case it is still found too weak, we'll be buffing it by other means, since the ORCA is a relatively high-tech aircraft and reducing its price below 1000 would feel wrong.
- The A-10 Warthog was found to be too weak for an epic unit by most of our players. We specifically tracked this into it feeling too risky to use: its high damage made it extremely powerful when the enemy had no anti-air defenses, but due to its low HP, it was easy to lose even to the tiniest amount of anti-air, while a good AA cover left it no space on the battlefield. To reduce the risk-reward and make it more useful in all situations, we increased its HP and reduced its price, but also reduced its speed to make surprise A-10s and "A-10 kamikaze" less punishing.
- The Yak was too strong and was the go-to aircraft to build as Soviets, even outclassing the Mig's anti-armour damage with its massive area of effect. We reduced its damage by 6% against buildings and 20% against tanks.
- The Mig now deals 20% more damage against artillery and tanks. This makes the Mig truly fearsome against tanks, and gives the Soviet aircraft distinct roles where you want to prefer Migs against heavily armored targets, but Yaks against lightly armored ones.
We recently moved the Nod Cyborg epic to tier 3 (Research Facility) from tier 4 (Temple of Nod), alongside the Stealth APC. We felt this was good for making Nod's power progression more linear, but it also turned out to open the door to some really oppressive mid-game cheese attacks with Chem Warriors and the Cyborg in a Stealth APC, especially if the Nod player rushed for this combo. To balance it, we've moved the Stealth APC back behind the Temple.
Version 9.6 made the Chrono Tank actually powerful again, and now it truly works for multiple purposes, including epic fire support and surprise cheese attacks on the enemy's base. It is powerful enough that we felt it no longer needed its anti-air weapon.
Talking about anti-air, we felt that Allies needed to spam a bit too many of these to achieve an effective mobile anti-air defense. It made them tedious to micromanage, especially because Allies depend relatively a lot on numbers even when it comes to regular ground forces. We shifted its power to be less spam-based by increasing its price and damage, so you need fewer of them for a decent AA cover.
Finally, this is not related to gameplay anymore, but we also remade the mission briefing screens to be higher in resolution and closer to those of the original games:
New mission briefing backgrounds created by Bittah_Commander
That covers most of the changes for version 9.8. Alongside these, we've also been doing a lot of work helping CCHyper get the Vinifera
engine extension ready to be usable for the whole TS modding community, and continued work on the Covert Revolt
campaign, still scheduled for next year.
As usual, you can download the build here on ModDB
, or if you have DTA installed already, you can update through our client.
See you on the battlefield, commanders!