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 Post subject: overview of Massive-assault Domination
PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 3:40 pm 
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P.L. Marshal
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first of all - this isnt any sort of generic review for casual gamers who just want to know what's MA-D.There are plenty of such reviews on game sites.
This is brief list of differences between basic MA and MA-D written for hardcore MA fans who played from very beginning.
It describes 3 main groups of changes- singleplayer,maps and new units.

MA-D has a solid singleplayer part featuring 3 old modes and 2 new.
1)campaigns - changed significantly - now they arent only series of scenarios.There is a good storyline behind the describing war between PL and FNU and before each battle you see a debriefing where your side's commanders discuss political and strategical situation on planet and give you orders based on situation.Dialogues in FNU campaign were whitten by Kirill Mal (professional scholar of history)
are very interesting and playing campaign them is similar to reading a good book about war.Some humour too,
Then you go to war mode as in MA but campaign scenarios itself are much more complicated now.They usually consists from several parts (each similar to MA1 scenario)After you complete one goal you receive another (with same set of troops)so there is point in thinking and winning with minimal losses.Depending on storyline there can be different events (so debriefings are not only for background - they really matter in gameplay).For example there can be another secret ally given to enemy at certain turn or you can receive reinforcements.(sometimes enemy gets them too - you nearly won and now see a transport packed with enemy troops unloading in your safe underbelly.)
Goals in campaign will be quite different from basic (kill them all and take land) they can deal with taking and holding specific locations (spaceport for example) or destroying or defending a unique structure (for example there are bridges connecting islands and you should destroy them to prevent enemy from bringing more troops to your island)
Also in campaign there are "hero" units.You will know those heroes role and personality from debriefing - in combat mode each of them leads his own unit which may be more powerful that common unit due to this hero superior commanding skills.
say tank with 3 moves or rocket launcher with 4 damage
Difficulty levels are adjusted with great deal of care on easy level it can be walk in park even for newbie but on hard level even a veteran will have to think.
I stop here now because i dont want to re-tell the campaign storyline.But campaigns are exellently made and can be recommended to everybody before going to multiplayer.
2)scenarios...well...they also were improved.In general - same improvements as in campaign though without heroes.I should notice that some scenarios designed by Tiger were based on some situations which were in real multiplayer games.
3)worldwars.same as in MA1 but they are being fought on 9 new maps and
most significant change here is that on first turn you disclose only ONE country.So the first turn invasion to your main country which was a horror in MA1 now is very unlikely so FNU risks much less..even if enemy invades your main with one 12$ army you can probably beat them back with guerillas and secret army.So there is still risk but if you think good enough you can evade it.
When you choose difficulty level when playing with AI not only his behaviour changes but you get different number of secret allies.On easy level you have more secret allies than enemy (for newbies who want a piece-a-cake win).On hard AI will have more secret allies than you.
However the experienced player will probably beat even a hard AI but it is a good school for newbies.
4)career.if campaigns are series of scenarios then career are series of worldwars.
RPG element here comes from sets of bonuses you choose after competing each worldwar.For example you LAVs will have 5 hp instead of 4 or your transports will move 2 hex longer.
5)assault.this is cross between scenario and worldwar.
enemy have powerful defence line and you get some credits to by desired units and destroy forts.forts are special things appearing only in assault mode - impressive structures with 13 hits 4 range 3 damage and aircrafts can be based on them.They usually surrounded by deathturrets and bunkers so you will have to think really hard how to destroy them.

new maps in MAPR
first of all -new map look very beautiful with new graphics especially due to presence of rivers bridges and waterfalls
rivers make significant tactical factor too - they take 2 moves to pass (like any rugged terrain) and river between 2 countries is nobody's land (so you do not provoke guerillas by moving on it)
there are 10 maps
1 tiny 3 small 3 medium 2 large and 1 huge

1)Mikronesia- tiny map looks like cross between Bizzaria and Butterfly with big mountain in center.only 8 small countries.good for those who like finish a game within half hour.
8 small countries each players start with 2 small

2)SpaceStation "Thunder".Very cool-looking small map which depicts not a planet but a metal orbital station (impressively huge and reminding Deathstar from starwars movies.)Gameplay-vise map plays like Antarktikus (though there can be impassable lines between map parts so helicopters come in handy)
countries 8 small;4 medium
players starts with 2 small; 1 medium

3)Treasure Island.This map looks like enlarged Brimstone with same orange-red colour deserts and jungles.
It is considered small with 14 countries but that are ALOT of money to be gained.4 countries are rich 18$ and 6 are medium 12$ so you basically have endless income and can use most expensive units in huge map-wide slaughters
my favourite small map.
countries - 4 small; 6 medium; 4 large
players start with 1 small; 2 medium; 1 large

4) Antarktikus.Just old good Antarktikus.Remapped though.

5)Eden.Eden shares same idea as Twin Islands map from MA1 .It is medium naval map with two continents with big sea between and around them.However it is smaller than TI and there are only medium or small countries.Tactics include Naval fights and amphibious invasions
countries - 8 small ; 8 medium
players start with 2 small; 2 medium.

6)Beotorum.This medium map plays exactly like Anubis - map divided by narrow channel into two jaw-shaped islands.Primarily surface fights with some naval action for channel control.Graphics are better though with lush green fields and forests.
My favourite medium map.
countries - 9 small; 4 medium; 4 large
players start with 2 small; 1 medium; 1 large

7)medium - midgard.This is island map designed for naval warfare like Wasserland but it is medium sized.Looks like Wasserland covered by antarktik snows and ice.In MA1 wasserland problem were endless sea spaces and very long game time.In Midgard there are narrow stretches of waters instead of wide seas so war goes much faster - usually it plays like series of fast island-hopping operations
countries 7 small; 4 medium; 3 large
players start with 2 small;1 medium;1 large

8)large - inferno
This map looks like volcanic archipelago.There is an uninhabitable island in center with huge volcano and circle of large islands around it. Very good map - probably my favourite.
countries 8 small; 6 medium; 4 large
players start with 2 small ;2 medium; 1 large

9)large -swamp
this map is very..unusual and quite hard to understand.it is similar in size with new paradize.there is one big continent in center and 4 medium-sized continent-islands around it separated by narrow stretches of land.Large parcels of land are covered by swamp.Swampy terrain works like desert - 2 moves per hex.
I think majority of newbies will be puzzled by this map because it requires very unorthodox tactics.Helicopters rule here and amphibious platforms.
countries: 9 small;8 medium;4 large
players start with 3 small;3medium;1 large

10)"switzerland"
well..this is HUGHEST map ever seen with 35 countries.It looks like huge continent in west with immence mountain ranges and several different sized islands in east.Definitely richer and larger than New Paradize Difficult to describe Speaking simply on this map you will see anything which can be seen in MA-D .Endless money and there can be a whole fleets of carriers and leviaphans fighting for naval supremacy.
In multiplayer probably will take a month to play:)
countries 14 small;14 medium;7 large
players start with 4 small;4medium;2 large

New units.
overally there are 10 new units 2 of them are identical for FNU and PL and 3 are specific for each side
speaking in general- PL units are big strong and deliver big damage but they are very costy so you can use them only if you accumulate a lot of money.In most cases you wont see them because you will need weaker but cheaper stuff to cover front. plus PL has a transport helicopter (that's like having a UPS which moves over any terrain and even over enemy units)
FNU units are sophisticated,maneurable,with high range and due to this they can be used to kill enemies without getting under strike.
So both side has its benefits and troubles.game in general is balanced very well.

units descriptions.

1)FNU pillbox - this is a cheap defence unit used to cover borders.actually both pillbox and LAV imitate modern infantry so role is the same -holding the line.Difference is that pillbox can not move (so it is for defence only) but it can shoot for 2 hex
HP -4
MOV-0
DAM-1
RNG-2
COST-1

2)PL bunker - same as pillbox

3)FNUantiair power field generator.alot of people in MA\MAN were requesting to give them protection from enemy bombers so here is itcovers 6 hexes around it from attacks (and flights) of bombers and helicopters.moves slowly.moves on transports but not works in them.Can be loaded on platfom and work from it making effective cover for naval units.
HP -3
MOV-1
DAM-0
RNG-0
COST-3

4)pteroshield - same as previous

from here goes description of special units

5)FNU attack helicopter.good thing about choppers is that they fly fast over everyting including rugged terrain and even mountains.they can land anythere and even hover over water.and best thing that they can jump over enemy units.so there wont be unbreakable stationary defence lines anymore you can always move chopper over enemy line and kill that annoying annihilator.should watch our for guerillas though.Helicopters are fragile and should not be used as frontline troop - only for flanking operations and striking in back
HP -3
MOVE-4 (over any terrain)
DAM-2
RNG-2
COST-3

6)FNU submarine - is naval equivalent of helicopter.can go under enemy destroyers cover and kill big ships in rear.also has longest striking range allowing it to kill those fast-going transports.maneurable unit for naval flanking operations.
HP -4
MOV-5
DAM-2
RNG-2
COST-3
7)FNU amphibious platform.This is probably most unusual addition - transport unit moving like amphibian which can carry anything on it (exempt ships) and unlike other transports the transported unit can fire while moving on platform.So you actually get new unit with 3 moves over any terrain .However if platform destroyed then unit on it destroyed to.The most effective use of platform is placing a rocket laucher on it - as result you get unit with 4 range and 3 moves making it 7 reach..able to operate in and very hard to be caught.Weapon of true masters.
HP -3
MOV-3 (amphib)
DAM-0
RNG-0
COST-2
8)PL transport helicopter.Carries one unit and moves over any terrain (same as described about FNU chopper).Can be used to carry troops over mountains and enemy defence lines making havok in enemy rear.Imaging a ostrich unloading into enemy undefended capitol,crushing planes and killing loaded transport:).Such front-hopping operation can really change course of battle though it highly risky..guerillas are big threat in this case
HP -3n
MOV-4
DAM-0
RNG-0
COST-2
9)Bullfrog.This is super-heavy robot.Designed for breaking enemy frontlines.Nearly same power as two normal robots.Most durable unit in game and can fire twice per turn.Expensive so can not bge used very often.Main problem with it that it can not be transported on UPS or helicopter so bullfrog pretty useless if away from heat of battle.
can be used in naval invasions.Probably will be first-priority target for FNU aviation and rocket launchers.
HP -11
MOV-2
DAM 3+2=5
RNG-2
COST-6

10)Leviaphan. what can i say?MOST powerful naval unit in game."Thing in itself".Can change the whole course of naval battle.Can be used to bombard land very effectively.Longest reach so will probably always fire first.I would say it is absolute weapon..but look at cost.You can play several games but never see this unit in action.Because you will never have money to get it and you will probably need simpler but cheaper units to control map space.But if it comes o big naval battle Leviaphan rule all.
HP -10
MOV-4
DAM 3+2=5
RNG-4
COST-10


i suppose this is what you all wanted to know so i hope you happy now.
and i am happy that i finally finished typing in all this.
see you in MA-D!

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Last edited by Mrakobes on Fri Feb 25, 2005 7:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 3:58 pm 
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Sea Wolf
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Very nicely done! Looking forward to seeing it in action!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 2:45 am 
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Tough Nut

Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 6:34 am
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Oh, thanks a lot. I'll need some time to "digest" all those improvements :)

I'm so happy to see a transport helicopter. Please devs tell me that this is inspired from my idea on the "new units" thread :D
Those new units (amphibious platform, attack helicopter, transport helicopter) open some very interesting perspectives. I can't wait to play this game 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2005 5:18 pm 
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Sea Wolf
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In relation to the AI, I hope it uses its toughest brain at the level playing field level. Nothing irritates me more than having to switch on the cheats to also get the smarts.

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 Post subject: Suggestions
PostPosted: Sat Feb 26, 2005 7:11 pm 
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Levy

Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2005 12:31 pm
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What about the option to allow access to all the different units? (i.e. either side can build the 6 team specific units)

Obviously there aren't graphics done for this, but perhaps a simple palette swap instead of having to draw new models?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2005 10:23 am 
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Conscript

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FNU powerfield generator has 4 HP not 3.Pteroshield has 3 HP.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 2:24 pm 
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Sea Wolf
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Is "Assault" mode multiplayer or singleplayer or both?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 3:33 pm 
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P.L. Marshal
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Chupakabra - true youae right i was looking at preroshielf when wrote it somehow thikngi they same.
Placid - of course assault is single only...who would play something like this in multiplayer? it would be boring for defending player just stand and wait...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 5:56 am 
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Levy

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Kudos to you, Massive Assault is wonderful. I came from oldskool RTS but I have found your game extremely innovative, challenging and satisfying.
In addition, your support and the attention to the community is extremely well done.

I have discovered Massive Assault recently, so I'm not updated on everything but I would like to ask you some questions about Domination.

In particular, I have not understood the new play modes: internet "RTS" style and LAN play.
I would like to involve my LAN friends but we usually arrange team play (2vs2, 3vs3 and so on) but, from what I gather, the new modes are however focused to 2 players, is'nt it?
If you could be more specific around these two point, I would thank you very much.

Thanks


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2005 8:13 am 
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Sea Wolf

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ma/domination/pr are all 1v1 games, no good way has yet been thought of to include more than 2 players and keep the game how it is. The rts just refers to being able to watch your opponent take his turn as far as i'm aware.

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