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Zero Hour Enhanced 1.0.0 Release Details: New Vehicle Content & Mechanics
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Supreme Banshee

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

PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2024 4:22 am    Post subject:  Zero Hour Enhanced 1.0.0 Release Details: New Vehicle Content & Mechanics
Subject description: When short blogs becomes huge bibles!
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Ladies and gentlemen! VectorIV, the leader of Zero Hour Enhanced, has been busy recently working on it and shared its progress report with us. For those unfamiliar with it, Zero Hour Enhanced is a modification for Command & Conquer Generals: Zero Hour that enhances the gameplay experience of the game according to VectorIV's visions. Here are his words, promises, and whatever else regarding te upcoming 1.0.0 version Zero Hour Enhanced. Bear in mind that any political views expressed in this post do not represent the views of this community. Filter it as a fiction:

Ah yes, the new year of 2024, the time of new exciting possibilities such as...the Anglosphere unleashing full-on fascism, the collapse of the neo-liberal world order, and upcoming WW3.

Things aren't looking too good, in all honesty, I don't really look forward to it, and I would be lying if I pretended otherwise. Times are tough, and all we can do is to push forward for a better world and shared future for humanity.

You know, when I heard stories about the US bombing in Bangkok a couple of blocks away from my home and my grandparents and parents hiding in a ztyping underground bunker, it all seemed very far away with the way the Western media portrayed the dissolution of the USSR as "end of history"; never I would have thought of the possibilities of experiencing such a thing in my lifetime. But oh boy, was it a BIG ztyping lie, lmao.

I mean, I hope not but that may be wishful thinking at this point. Only Washington knows the answer.

Doom and gloom aside, in other news:

This blog will be a short one, I promise.

In vZH or other RTS titles in general, arguably one of the monkey brain tactics the average player engages in is tank blobs; build a massive blob of tanks and just roll them over in two clicks.

Much like our ancestors, monkeys can grow some brain power and start to operate with somewhat more complexity.

Hence now your monke tank blobs will have some depth to them for the player to adapt and utilise in various situations at hand as an option to just outright committing to other units. Usually, by the time the newly built units get to where your vehicles were, the vehicles would most likely have already been pulverized by the enemy, AKA the average Starcraft 2 match.

Another feature that makes a comeback from classic ZHE versions is the co-axial machine guns. Personally, I never liked the no MG tank designs in any games, so I just added them even way back when MSN Messenger was the new telephone.

While the machine gun can suppress the enemy infantry, it's still not the ideal weapon to deal with them. That's where anti-personnel weapons, e.g., anti-air guns, HE munitions, incendiary weapons, etc., come in.

In 2003, Generals tank blobs might have looked revolutionary at its time but now, not so much. Many games released following 2003 have done a great job in developing somewhat realistic and stylized vehicle combat in such a way that is amusing to look such as CoH. And that's just it. That's the only game series to do just that.

Well, this is just that, but in Generals.

By the way, Generals and CoH are just three years apart. Let that sink in.

So, what convoluted features did I add this time to the vehicles and tanks that infer the so-called depth, you're just about to find out.

Tanks shells getting bounced off or penetrating the target

Armour Penetration System:
Well, sort of. Technically speaking, this is more like a glorified PDL system without the laser part. With the laser part being invisible, when incoming shells are about to hit an armored vehicle, there's a relative chance that the shell couldn't penetrate the armor and bounce off.

Depending on the armor in question, of course, shells of various caliber and velocity at what angle will more or less get deflected by the armor.

The general rule of thumb is:
  • IFV armor can relatively deflect light anti-tank and mortar shells. Other warheads, not so much.
  • MBT armor can easily deflect light anti-tank and mortar shells while relatively deflecting anti-tank and tank shells. Others, not much.
  • Super-heavy Tank armor can easily deflect light anti-tank, mortar shells, anti-tank and tank shells, and relatively high caliber tank shells. It cannot deflect artillery shells, rocket artillery, or high explosives.
  • Aircraft munitions can't be deflected by any vehicle since they always hit the top part of vehicles (generally the weakest part)

Honestly, this is a rather experimental feature, so I don't know how well this would received generally or how long it would last. It can look weird at times, like when mortar shells get bounced off, since PDL is coded in such a way that it scans for shells in 360°.

But it looks super cool so maybe I'll just keep it in indefinitely.

PGZ-95 deploying its anti-air mode

Anti-Air & CIWS Deployment System:
Maybe a downgrade for some, an upgrade for others, but for me personally, it had to be done. I had no other choices.

I ran out of weapon slots, especially on PGZ-95 and PGZ-08, since they have smoke dischargers, the main cannon, and missile launchers.

Obviously, there have to be two versions of the main cannon and missile launchers: one for ground and the other for air. That's just how SAGE works. This makes it require four and plus one more, making for five in total, which is impossible to be coded in normally as the hard limit per set is always 3.

Technically, it could be avoided by moving some weapons to an Overlord-style invisible turret, but it's rather buggy, and ideally, I would wanna avoid it entirely.

There are two vehicles in the mod that I utilize the Overlord-style invisible turret thing: the ZBD-04A and the UH-60M. The UH-60M works flawlessly. The ZBD-04A, however, can be buggy sometimes. How buggy? Well, I'll let you find out. It's kinda hilarious xD.

Back to the deployment system, it's as said in the subtitle. You, the player, must deploy the anti-air system first before the unit can engage air targets.

Once deployed, the unit becomes stationary and switches to its anti-air set of weapons that can only engage air targets. If you want it to engage ground targets again, simply undeploy the unit and it could once again move out and operate as it once before.

But does that mean EVERY anti-air capable unit uses this system?

The answer to that would be no. The exceptions are usually solely mounted with heavy machine guns, e.g. Technicals, Humvees, Warriors, HMG Gunners, etc. Otherwise, they use the anti-air deployment system for consistency.

But to compensate for the lack of mobility, the anti-air range is extended considerably so it could stand up to enemy aircraft.

ZTZ-88A upgraded with armour skirt, HMG gunner and GP105 ATGM

Left: individual rocket pod upgrade (object upgrade)

Right: universal rocket pod upgrade (player upgrade),

affects current and future units unless explicitly said otherwise

IRL Accurate-ish & Individualised Upgrades:
Ranging from the BGM-71D 'TOW' ATGM on M2A3 'Bradley' IFV to GP125 ATGM on ZTZ-96B 'Tigress' MBT, by default, can be upgraded on an individual unit level. Since they're supposed to kind of be limited special types of munitions, I think they need to be made into upgrades rather than just being installed by default.

"But does that mean that one would have to upgrade everything individually?" You may ask.

Not really, in some cases.

For each faction, there should/will exist at least one upgrade you would expect to see from vZH, i.e., TOW Missile Upgrade and Scorpion Rocket Upgrade. In ZHE, it works kinda the same as vZH, i.e., every vehicle is upgraded, plus the ability to upgrade units individually early on and even more options across many vehicles.

Even more, armor skirts and pintle-mounted gunners can also be upgraded in some vehicles to even further increase their effectiveness. Maybe it's getting a little bit redundant at this point, but hey, redundancy is the name of the game. Also, It's cool to see Battle-master Tank firing missiles while the HMG gunner's blasting the enemy and that's all that matters!

If you've played CoH before, you may know exactly what I'm talking about.

(no visual update yet here's an uwu helix)

Minor Air Rework:
So before we go any further, let's hear from today's sponsor: EmpireVPN! Just kidding. EmpireVPN isn't real, and they aren't sponsoring me. I'm only getting paid in Xi bucks.

Let me rephrase that aircraft is getting some updates.

That's right! Even though the models haven't even been upgraded yet, the available aircraft, both from vZH and 0.9.x, will receive some mechanic reworks in preparation for future updates. It also has to play well with other stuff added.

That being IRL accurate-ish weapon set (having machine guns, accurate payloads, etc., like updated ZHE vehicles) and roles. Now, this will be getting expanded whenever I get to actually modeling things, so consider this WIP (work in progress), so don't expect much from this.

Here is how things are so far:
  • Air Superiority Fighter - These are stealth fighters specialized in fighting other aircraft in order to establish air superiority, meaning friendly close air support and bombing run campaigns can be carried out more effectively.
  • Close Air Support Attack Aircraft - Aircraft specialized in ground attack missions alongside friendly troops utilizing a wide range of armaments, including bombs, missiles, rockets, autocannons, machine guns, or directed-energy weapons.
  • Stealthed Attack Aircraft - Aircraft specialized in ground attack missions much like close air support, except rather than getting in close, instead missions are carried out further away to avoid enemy retaliation.
  • Super-Sonic Attack Aircraft - Aircraft specialized in ground attack missions equipped with advanced super-sonic capable engines enabling them to reach their targets intact deep within enemy territory.
  • Multirole Combat Aircraft - Jack of all trades. It can be refit into a variety of roles i.e. attack aircraft, fighter, reconnaissance, etc.
  • Attack Helicopter - The helicopter version of the close air support aircraft. This class isn't required to return to the airbase for replenishment of payloads like vZH.

Smoke Generators & Smoke Dischargers:
Perhaps a small recap: IFVs and MBTs, by default in most cases, will be able to generate smoke using their engines and, in some cases, dischargers for range cover smoke capabilities.

Is it the most realistic thing ever? Probably not. Look, I'm not an engine nerd. I can't be bothered to look it up, so there's probably someone angry in the comments already saying, "HOW COULD YOU DARE SAY X ENGINE CAN PRODUCE SMOKES WHEN IT SCIENTIFICALLY CANNOT??? ARE YOU STUPID???😡😡🤬"

To that, I say to Alsume I go! Naturally, vehicles without dischargers can be upgraded with it at a small cost.

Vehicle Mine Clearance Upgrades:
Well, also sort of. Only two vehicles in ZHE have the ability to upgrade with the LEGENDARY Dozer Blade! (that being: the T-62M 'Marauder' MBT and the T-292 'Ravager' Improvised Superheavy Tank)

When upgraded, the vehicle now has the passive ability to automatically clear explode mines in front of the vehicle.

But don't get too cocky with the dozer blade, as the vehicle might be able to clear said mines, but they're not immune to them! This means there's a small vehicle that could rotate at a weird angle and then explode in comedic fashion.

And that's about it.

"But what of the other faction's dozer blades?" You may ask. Well, I can't be bothered to add them at the moment but I do intend to at some point. And that's the end of that.

Totally worth the many sentences I've written!

Full-salvo rocket artillery barrage

Half-salvo rocket artillery barrage

Full-Salvo & Half-Salvo Rocket Artillery:
As the subtitle suggests, in place of the 0.9.x high-angle & low-angle barrage, SPMRLs now utilize full-salvo and half-salvo instead. This means that firing in full barrage will exhaust every single shell at its disposal, and then the vehicle will enter a long reload cycle.

However, when firing in half barrage will exhaust only half of the shells, and then the vehicle will enter a shorter reload cycle. Very useful when targeting soft targets, a short barrage will already destroy most if not all of the targets, while a full barrage will just waste ammunition if you're not babysitting the thing.

I had to ditch the 0.9.x feature because it was buggy visually speaking, and I need an excuse for this paragraph to exist.

Preattack & Reload System (Again):
Like the infantry's system, but there's no need to do any animations this time Very Happy

Also taken into account each vehicle's IRL capabilities, e.g. auto-loader, caliber of the gun, game functionality, ability modifiers, etc.

Is it 100% REALISTIC??? Probably not.

"How does this even affect vehicles?" You may ask. Well, I'm gonna save it for the faction overview next time when some war doctrines and GPs come into play!

Reworked Crusher Level:
Perhaps the most controversial ZHE change of all time.

When the new infantry is being played in the early game, it's rather comedically stupid that one fast moving vehicle could just wipe out a whole squad of infantry in a non-sweaty match between the average players. And then, nobody would want to ever build infantry ever again; just like in vZH!

And that's why I made every single-wheeled vehicle (except Dozer and Bomb Truck) unable to crush infantry! Infantry can now be played without constantly trying to hide in buildings anymore.

And now it's time for me to hide in my basement from the mobs of angry, sweaty ZHE players coming for my head with massive guillotines!

Next time, we'll be covering the new doctrines and GPs for each faction in 3 separate blogs. Until then!

For further information about Zero Hour Enhanced, visit the ModDB Profile, and Discord Channel. That's all, folks! Stay tuned at PPM for more news coverage on Zero Hour Enhanced!

Key Words: #News #ZeroHourEnhanced #Generals #ZeroHour 


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