One major gameplay modification brought by the Reboot Edition relates to the status of builder units: US Army‘s Shredder, Cartel‘s Skycrane & Chimera‘s Kodiak.
In the release edition of Act of Aggression, builders were “delegated”, meaning they were automatically created and assigned to their duty once a building order was given, and then were disappearing at the end of the construction. Now, builders will be fully playable in a more “classic RTS” way. You will be able to select them, give them movement orders, … but their main role will remain to build infrastructures.
In order to do so, the building menu was transferred entirely from the HQ (in the release version) to them. The former will keep the tiers upgrades, some generic researches … and of course the ability to produce more builders.
This is a major gameplay change, since builders will now be much more valuable … and therefore juicy targets. Being selectable and moved as any other unit, they will be able to sneak their way through unexpected paths, and not automatically take the more direct road, that is the one the enemy is expecting them from.
Grid & range restrictions.
But builders aren’t the sole change brought to the noble art of base building …
We have also used the opportunity of this massive gameplay overhaul to rethink the differences in building range’s restrictions between factions.
- US Army
American bases used to be the most cramped ones, due to a very short building range around the HQ or any new structure built. The least to say is that this will change. A lot.
US Army builders can now build structures anywhere. No restriction. All but one structures: MG nests. The latter have to be built on a grid generated by other structures, yet not all of them will allow it: Barracks, Field Generator & other MG Nests won’t generate a grid. It should prevent some nasty “turret rush” tactics which we have experimented during our internal tests. 🙂
Cartel’s building range was quite hard to understand, due to different range values depending on the structure it emanated from. We have standardized this: Cartel’s grid will now expand regularly with any new structure built, but Artillery Turret & Railgun which still have to be snapped to an existing structure.
Yet Cartel does not have the luxury like the other factions to deploy a base anywhere. But for Barracks, which can still be upgraded to be built without restriction, all other structures have to be built around an “alpha building” generating the initial building grid. And for Cartel there are only two of those: HQ & Refinery.
This means that, aside from barracks once upgraded, Cartel can only set its structures around its HQ and resources fields. A drawback compensating for the extra mobility of its builder which, unconstrained by the road system like its counterparts, can reach remote locations much faster than the latter.
Chimera has two “alpha structures” generating an initial building grid: HQ & Outposts. Unlike Cartel, other structures do not extend the grid, therefore they all have to be built within the original building range of the HQ, or later an outpost.
Yet the outpost can be deployed anywhere (like a US building), without restriction, and can accommodate any Chimera structure around it, including defense turrets. Although Chimera can’t expand as easily as the US Army, its secondary bases are usually strong and well defended.