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New Horizons Version 13 has been released!
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Supreme Banshee

Also Known As: banshee_revora (Steam)
Joined: 15 Aug 2002
Location: Brazil

PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2023 3:59 pm    Post subject:  New Horizons Version 13 has been released!
Subject description: Includes new spooky treats and tricks!
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Comrade General! We have news for you. Lee3y, the leader of New Horizons, has recently published New Horizons Version 13. For those unaware of what is being written here, New Horizons is a modification for Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge that tweaks the gameplay, factions, and units with more emphasis on realism. It also provides new campaigns. Here are the updates from New Horizons Version 13:

Greetings fellow Command & Conquer fans; I release now the latest version of the New Horizons mod for Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge, that being Version 13 (which supersedes Version 12B-3). As always, I highly recommend reading the articles on the previous releases to learn more about what’s new, should you be interested.

What’s New:

Horror Mode

This version brings about the release of a game mode I have been planning for a long time (some years!), which I have finally gotten around to doing. Actually, the new game mode is split into two sub-modes of the same theme (more on that later). And so, gentlemen and (presumed) ladies also, I present you with the long-awaited (by me anyway) Horror Mode!! I was considering calling it 'Survival' mode, but I found that a bit too unspecific, so this 'mode' is in fact horror-themed, complete with facing hoards of monsters such as zombies, various creepy creatures, and the like..

A bit of background:
While developing this, I originally intended to make it so that when a player selected 'Horror Mode', then the Yuri faction/playable country would be swapped for essentially a 'Horror Country'.. This ended up for technical reasons not quite working out. So I ended up making a whole new country, ominously named the 'Forces of Darkness' (FoD). Obviously, when this faction is selected as a player for a game, this is the one that is horror-themed (and Yes, it can be played as both an A.I. And Human player!). Use of this faction is primarily intended for the two Horror sub-modes, although it *Can be selected for any of the other modes; however, the A.I., as well as balancing functionality, goes out the window (as such, an A.I.-controlled FoD, will just camp and do nothing much else but seek out resources).

But anyway, the two Horror sub-modes are as follows:

1- 'Horror Mode'; this is essentially based on my previously created 'Infantry Divisions Mode', whereby gameplay is focused primarily around the infantry. This makes fighting the zombie hordes all the more challenging and akin to most horror movies whereby the use of heavy military equipment is absent.

2- 'Horror Mode Advanced'; this imaginatively-named variation of Horror Mode is based on my previously created 'Mechanised Divisions Mode', whereby Some more serious military tech is available, but still focusing on ground-based combat (after all, fighting the hordes of monsters would be far less of a challenge if the players can just deploy squadrons of fighters and bombers to level them, right?). This mode can be interesting in terms of widening the scope of certain games, such as when standard faction countries are fighting, with a FoD team thrown in the mix.

FoD 'base';

During the development and testing stages, I Literally ended up breaking the game, so a lot of effort went into rebuilding things so that things ran with stability. Fortunately, the efforts have paid off, and everything seems to work, leaving no known errors (all modes checked, including the new campaign missions). A word of advice: if you choose to play either of the horror modes, please bear in mind your specific operating system's capabilities; even selecting just One FoD team can be quite a load on the system. After all, even just one FoD is capable of literally flooding a map with hoards of monsters of all varieties. You have been warned!
With that said, I hope everyone enjoys surviving the onslaught of monsters (including some interesting surprises); these modes will be expanded in the future.

Reminder on online functionality, as per the previous version release;
"One small limitation (as per the CNCNet documentation) is that custom game modes are not selectable on custom maps, for now anyway, but the custom modes can still be played on many available maps (alternatively, you can still launch via the standard/offline launcher, and play the custom modes on Any map, including randomly-generated ones)."

The Horror Mode(s) is one of 2 modes I have long been intending to release; the other remains a secret/surprise and indeed has a completely different theme (which I doubt anyone would guess, but don't even try guessing as it is a secret, so you may only speculate! Muahaha).

Another Massive New Map

That's right, I made another massive new map from scratch. It is not quite the crazy detail of my 3rd NH campaign mission map (and its associated skirmish derivative), but still quite epic. The map has been some time in the making, and I've finally gotten around to finishing it (unlike my 3rd NH mission map, this map is not based on a real location). I called the map 3 Cities; in reality, it's more like 'One City Plus Two Large-to-Medium-Sized Towns', but I thought that was a bit too long. So obviously, there is one large city zone in the map's center, plus two towns connected via a main highway. There are a variety of other habitats throughout the map, including rural farmlands, swamps, forests, and industrial and mining zones. It's a good map to play on Any mode.

Here is a render of the new map (bear in mind that the render does not necessarily include All of the map's details, especially mod-specific ones);

And here are some in-game screenshots on this new map featuring the new Horror Mode:






User Interface Enhancements

This is something I've been meaning to implement for a while now and have finally got around to doing. Thanks to features enabled via the Ares extension (as always, all hail the Ares extension!), I have paid much attention to it, wait for it... Creating group selection types!! I know, I know, mind-blowingly exciting stuff, but bear with me as I explain, as it will be worth it. Essentially, I have made the game far easier to Control (that is, I have made Playing easier, Not the game itself easier!). This has to do with the amount of micromanagement required. An example, if you are trying to assemble/control an army or group you have created, you would often want to select all units of a certain type by selecting one such unit (say, a mobile recovery vehicle), then hit the 'Select All' button at the bottom of the screen, in order to move them all specifically. You could do this for Every Single type of unit in the game, be it infantry, vehicle, aircraft, etc... But now, in order to make things Far less complicated, I have created several category types, which should Greatly reduce the amount of individual mouse clicks a player has to do (and thus greatly reduce the amount of hand/wrist stress and effort!), in order to complete whatever task they set. So, let's say you've got a relatively large land attack group, and you are assaulting an enemy base; you have tanks, I.F.V.'s, infantry loaded in trucks, and possibly (hopefully) even air defense units... All in all, it can be quite a task to control; you used to have to, for example, click on each transport type (at the least) and order them individually to deploy, and if everything were bunched together, then all your tanks (also, of varying types) would be clumsily huddled together with them. If you wanted to separate the tanks, you would have to waste some time doing so. But now, it is possible to select, say, a BMP-2M loaded with infantry, then hit the usual 'Select All' button, and instead of just selecting all the BMP-2M's, you are now able to select ALL the BMPs, be they BMP-2s, BMP-2Ms, or BMP-3s, and then hit 'deploy', to unload them all at once. Likewise, you can select a tank, hit that good old 'Select All' button, and now, instead of just selecting all the T-72B3s, you will now be able to select all the T-72B3s, T-80BVMs, T-90Ms, (or even M1A2 Abrams tanks if you have them)... You get the picture. You can then move all your tanks forward separately.

To give you an idea, here is a general guide to the selection groups I have made (this may be subject to change/expansion in the future, of course):

-Light infantry; generally most rifle-based infantry, such as G.I.'s, conscripts, V.D.V. paratroopers, Contract Soldiers...
-Canine; literally, if you happen to own dogs from multiple factions...
-Engineers: select all engineers regardless of type.
-Specialised infantry: this applies to the heavier classes of infantry, such as missile troopers, flamethrowers, etc..
-Jetpacks; all jetpack-based troops.
-Transport Trucks; literally, the troop transport trucks.
-Mine trucks; all mine-layers.
-'Technicals' is the colloquial term used for the lighter vehicles. In this case, I have made it quite broad to include pickup trucks, buggies, trikes, Humvees, GAZ Tigr-M's, and even the M-113 and M-1126 Stryker A.P.C.s.
-S.P.G.s; the Self-Propelled Guns, such as the PLZ-05s.
-M.B.T.s; all Main Battle Tanks, though I have broadened this to include the tank-based support vehicles, such as the BMPT 'Terminator' and T-15 H.I.F.V...
-Tank Support: again, quite broad, but this group includes many infantry fighting vehicles, such as Bradleys, BTRs, or BMPs, as well as some other stuff, such as Pantsir-S1s and (ZSU-23-4) Shilka's...
-Transport Helicopters; such as Chinook's, Mi-24's, or even Yuri's V.T.O.L. landers..
-Fighters: All fighter aircraft capable of engaging both ground and air targets.
-Bombers: All ground-attack aircraft (such as A-10s, Su-25s), as well as all bomber aircraft.
-Light landing crafts: Select the main hovercraft transports in your possession, regardless of faction origin.
And lastly (for now),
-Heavy landing craft, namely, the 'Zubr' giant hovercraft.

Model & Visual Overhauls

I have made some overhauls of certain models. This includes, in some cases, entire model replacement to some minor modification/touch-ups, some of which probably won't even be noticed or appreciated. The noticeable stuff mostly has to do with real-life technological advancements, which have rendered some older models obsolete. Primarily, this concerns the rate at which Russia has updated its tank fleet, in line with the ongoing S.M.O., which, of course, means that visually, the models in-game needed updating. The changes are mostly just visual to the models. However, these changes in real life have also resulted in increased characteristics. For the purpose of game balancing, I have tried not to change the unit properties too much (they have been tested for balancing), but the updated units have received a small increase in strength and, therefore, associated costs. Please note I have not included the use of anti-drone barriers/cages, as this would obscure the detail of the models, but I have included the use of the new anti-drone E.W. units in some models.

Here is a screenshot showing a glimpse of the updated T-series tanks;

One unit that has gone through the biggest overhaul is the TOS-1A 'Solnstyepok'; the entire model has been changed, and in addition, the visual effects of the strikes of the thermobaric warheads have been updated. The warhead visuals are not the only update, as the properties have been enhanced/rebalanced and include an additional burning effect; this can result in cases where, say, a large building may have just managed to survive the initial barrage, but shortly after due to the incendiary effect, the building is destroyed.

Here are some in-game screenshots of the overhauled TOS-1A barrage strikes;





As well as the new actual models, including while firing;


AI Enhancements

As usual, the AI underwent enhancements, including taking into account the new modes. I reiterate that the development and testing phase, which I cannot stress enough, was a Huge pain in the ass, whereby I broke the game's AI randomly and had to redo it. But it seems to have paid off.


As always, there are many more miscellaneous tweaks, not all of which I can remember. One key thing I did was further rebalance the shock troopers (nerfed a little) as they were over-performing (especially when garrisoned, and especially the Heavy Shock Trooper). Since overhauling the TOS-1A, I have also removed the option to build the second one, which came with the extended-range guided munitions; this was partially for balancing purposes, as well as for simplification, especially given the all-round improvement taken into account in this version release.

I sincerely hope wherever you are playing from, that you enjoy the new additions, as well as all the stuff from previous versions. As always, have fun!

You can find more information about New Horizons by visiting the ModDB Profile. You can grab the latest version of New Horizons by clicking Here. And that's all for now! Have fun and enjoy New Horizons!

Key Words: #News #Release #RedAlert2 #YurisRevenge #NewHorizons 


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