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April 2 Chat Log

Highlights from the IRC meeting 3/19/98

(timestamps are USA Central Time)

[20:09] MAX2Paul: Hope everyone finally got their e-mails.. if not you'll get them shortly.. We have someone working on it..

[20:09] MAX2Paul: We bought an expensive mail server and it's worse than the last one.. :(

[20:10] CaptComal> The Power / Mining status bar is still confusing. Is it in its final state now?

[20:11] MAX2Chris: No! We're fixing that. In fact, I'm in charge of fixing that. I would appreciate any comments.

[20:11] MAX2Paul: Yes.. we'd love suggestions on this..

[20:11] CaptComal: can you post sample shots on the web? For your various ideas? Civ2 has a good set of status bars to use as a guide

[20:12] MAX2Chris: My first reaction is to give more warnings (either via the announcer or by text), but that doesn't solve the basic problem that the bar is hard to read. Thanks for the Civ2 comment, I'll refresh myself with it. Thanks.

[20:13] edward-d: I have a question regarding nav points, being able to plot courses in advance for your units, will that be available? for instance how does it work, cant seem to get them to do more then a straight line

[20:14] MAX2Chris: Waypoints are in. Hold down SHIFT when you left-click to move a group or unit. Everytime you shift-click, it will add that location to the end of the movement list. If you use the minimap, do a SHIFT-right-click to set waypoints. I use the minimap with a scout or AWACS with a spycam set on the scouting unit.

[20:16] CHynes: How do the research centers and gold mining stations work? They just don't seem to upgrade units...

[20:16] MAX2Chris: Well, research centers determine the maximum upgrade that GMS can do. Research centers no longer upgrade units on their own. You must use GMS to upgrade units. If you see "Research Needed" in a GMS, you need more research... :)

[20:16] CHynes: So you research, and then _BUY_ the upgrade...

[20:17] MAX2Chris: Yes, you're right!

[20:17] MAX2Paul: All of this functionality isn't in yet.. There'll be more powerful upgrading in future versions as well..

[20:17] LionDog: It seems like the effectiveness of attacking/defending with infantry(not the infiltrators) in MAX2 is low! They get blown away by just about any attacker in no time. Infantry should have some defensive bonuses or something that makes them more effective. In war, infantry is a staple unit.

[20:18] MAX2Chris: Infantry are not very effective combat units in MAX. This is true. Their primary reason for existence is to detect enemy infiltrators. We are working on some ideas to increase their effectiveness, and letting them go more places on the map was one of them. Still, they will never be as effective, as say a Lightning Cannon.

[20:19] LionDog: Here are couple reasons 1) Make them more resistant to missile attacks. (i.e. If the guidance for a missile is heat, then it is not going to find an infantry unit. If it is a radar then the infantry may be still too small) 2) Make them more resistant to direct fire, anti-armor weapons. The Assault guns to me seem to be an anti-tank weapon, yet they blow away my men like popcorn popping.

[20:19] MAX2Chris: Possibly. Those are ideas that might be interesting to play with. The Sheevat infantry are interesting. They work really well in big swarms. So it's definitely something we want to do to make the Human infantry more interesting as well. Spawn (Sheevat infantry) get bonuses when used in packs. Every Spawn gives a cumulative bonus to all nearby Spawn. Bonuses to Attack, Move and Shields.

[20:21] LionDog: My brother thought of a dig in feature...maybe a bonus for "digging in" It could be a defensive modifier...maybe harder to spot like the infiltrators as well.

[20:22] MAX2Chris: I've heard of that. It's on the list. Thanks.

[20:22] StratoSoft: about the different interfaces I haven't gotten the new beta so I don't know if they are in there... but will they be in any beta? the different interfaces?

[20:23] MAX2Paul: Some of the news menu screens are in the beta.. This is one of the things we'd like to get a lot of feedback on.. The in-game interfaces are mostly all done and should be in the next beta..

[20:24] CaptComal: a group of units selected seems to maintain formation all the time. Just click to move the group somewhere and they don't move there ... maybe ONE of them does, the rest keep formation (or get lost). Are there two ways to move the group ... with formation and without? It seems to keep formation when I don't want it to.

[20:26] MAX2Chris: It will be if you left-click to move a group, they do not keep formation. If you CTRL-click, they will.

[20:26] CaptComal: left click had them stay in formation

[20:26] MAX2Chris: There is a bug with groups right now, and that move logic is going to be rewritten to be more efficient, anyways.

[20:26] CaptComal: ok ... good ... it seems awkward now.

[20:26] MAX2Chris: Right, the programmers were checking out the formation code and left it that way. It will change.

[20:27] CHynes: When will multiplayer be supported in the beta?

[20:27] MAX2Paul: not for several more versions at least.. We're still working on the internet portion, and still talking about how we're going to do.. that is, if we're going to mail out CDs..etc..

[20:28] CHynes: I don't mean inet, I mean stuff like IPX, TCP/IP, and hotseat...

[20:28] MAX2Paul: Internet play is *supposed* to be done this Monday.. but it will need a lot of work before it'll be ready to send out..

[20:29] MAX2Chris: The network code is all wrapped up in one big chunk. When one part of it works well, they all well, supposedly.

[20:30] MAX2Paul: All modes are being worked on.. IPX is fairly stable right now.. not sure about hot seat..

[20:32] kebler: In reference to the Power mining status bar, Does it worked like a gas gauge, When full you have resources 1/2 full & empty?

[20:33] MAX2Chris: Not really.

[20:33] kebler: Does the concord units take an extremely long time to build or is this my resources?

[20:33] MAX2Chris: It's a proportional bar. The larger it is, the more resources you have. If the top bar (power) is longer than your bottom bar (material), then you are running out of power. Concord units do take much longer to build. They are more expensive, and they aren't really balanced yet. They do not have their final stats.

[20:34] CHynes: What kind of alien units are there going to be?

[20:35] MAX2Paul: Lots of different types.. I need to update the web site with all of them.. Many of them are up there though..

[20:35] CHynes: what's the URL?

[20:36] MAX2Paul:

[20:38] edward-d: well I had a problem with buying upgrades, is that a problem I had over 4000 in refined gold if not more and I cant upgrade anything even if the buttons are there to buy them I click and nothing happens the buttons don't even go down like they do when you buy upgrades in max 1, I'm wondering if it is supposed to do that or if its a bug.

[20:39] MAX2Chris: Were you doing research?

[20:39] edward-d: yes I had research building and the options where already researched

[20:39] MAX2Chris: If all the stats said "RSRCH" (or something like that), then you needed more research. If there was a gold number next to the stat, that's the cost in gold for that upgrade.

[20:39] edward-d: some said it say others didn't

[20:39] MAX2Chris: What was the research level?

[20:40] edward-d: those that didn't the option there was to purchase and the button for adding was there but wouldn't work

[20:40] MAX2Chris: When you start the game, it is not upgrading any units. Click the checkbox to start an upgrade (this interface will change) Select all the upgrades that you want to make, then click DONE. I'll check the beta and see what's happening... :)

[20:42] StratoSoft: Don't know if you've answered this recently but What is the latest estimated release date for the game?

[20:43] MAX2Paul: dunno.. sometime in May perhaps. may-be. if we're all done.. and have a really clean and fun to play game by then..We've basically been give extra time to add and fix stuff.. We all want this to be a great game..

[20:47] AJensen: I know this is probably beating a dead horse, but here goes: I seem to recall back a while ago you guys were saying putting powerplants back in was getting high priority. But in the report a few days ago, it was 'C' level. What happened?

[20:48] MAX2Chris: It's a C for the difficulty of doing it. It's not a C because we don't want to do it, but there is a lot work involved in any of the methods we are discussing. If we could come up with a better, simpler way, it would change priority.

[20:48] AJensen: Difficulty? I don't understand. You managed it well enough in MAX1.

[20:49] MAX2Chris: But this isn't MAX1. We changed some of the things that made it easy to do in MAX1.

[20:50] LionDog: (btw, the Max2 team is doing a great job with this game!) What changes are planned for unit graphics or is this final for the human units? Relating to this, are units going to be colored(like in Red Alert or Dark Reign) for each side or is the config option that displays a colored box around the unit, the only way to tell who's who?

[20:51] MAX2Paul: Thanks.. :) None of the unit graphics are final.. We're still working on ways to make the units more visible..Our artists have come up with several ideas besides the 'team colors' from MAX1, including playing with the contrasts between map and units, colorizing the units.. etc..

[20:53] on the real time it seems to just wipe me out when I first land took 5 trys to get a good start and tried changing computer status and made it worse does those work in the beta?

[20:55] MAX2Paul: This is a known problem.. the AI is being worked on..

[20:55] MAX2Chris: The Computer AI levels are not final. The easier levels are not easy enough.

[20:55] MAX2Paul: And the difficulty levels are not final..

[20:55] its not that bad if your far enough apart when you start

[20:55] MAX2Chris: That's true. Some maps are easier than others.

[20:56] MAX2Chris: We may need to make it that the AI on lower difficulty levels starts farther away. Right now, it will only keep out of your red/yellow circles on the choose landing site screen.

[20:57] CHynes: I have had times where two planes occupied the same square. Is that supposed to be allowed?

[20:58] MAX2Chris: Nope, that's a bug. I just noticed that started happening recently. It has something to do with the group code, which is being changed and worked on. If it keeps happening in future betas, please report it.

[21:00] edward-d: I don't know if anyone mentioned it earlier, but I've noticed that the concord multi roll aircraft do not attack the air units they only do air to ground, aren't they supposed to do both, as to fusion power, that could be a researched upgrade like in outpost

[21:01] MAX2Chris: The Concord Ground Attack Planes no longer can attack both air and ground units. It was too powerful of a power. We changed it very recently. What do you think of it?

[21:02] edward-d: I like it

[21:02] MAX2Chris: We found that people would not build anything else, even if we made them take forever to make...

[21:02] edward-d: it gets to be a pain in the but when you don't have any air cover for your air to ground units

[21:02] MAX2Chris: That's what Fighters are for. We're open to ideas on this one. But all of our QA players would build nothing but CAPs, and that's not a good sign of a properly balanced game.

[21:04] LeJohn: Will the AI's attack each other in Max2. This was a real problem in max1

[21:04] MAX2Chris: What was the problem? It depends on the difficulty level.

[21:05] LeJohn: an enemy unit could move through a base and not be attacked but you would be immediately attacked. In all modes 0 - God.

[21:05] MAX2Chris: At expert or above, they tend to ally against whoever is in the lead. (And the human player has priority if everyone is tied) So, yes, at higher levels, if you are doing well, they will gang up on you.. :)

[21:07] mjohnson: Will networking allow use of mixed network types. i.e. TCP/IP over the internet, and IPX over a LAN at the same time or TCP/IP over LAN and a modem-modem connection?

[21:07] MAX2Chris: No. I don't think so. Too many technical problems, I would guess for the reason, but I'd have to ask the programmer for a specific answer why not. Too many technical problems, I would guess for the reason, but I'd have to ask the programmer for a specific answer why not. It's an interesting idea, the only thing I've heard close to it, is 3-way modem games. Which we are not going to do.

[21:09] CHynes: my concord planes turned green! aren't they supposed to be red?

[21:09] MAX2Chris: They are colored depending on your player color. It's sort of testing one of the options for differently colored teams. It might be busted and showing you the wrong color... :)

[21:10] CHynes: I thought units don't show team color. I _am_ playing as team 2 (green)

[21:10] MAX2Chris: All the unit graphics are going to change. Including the Concord. They are still in an earlier form.

[21:10] MAX2Paul: concord units were colorized as a test. The unit colorization is one of the ideas we're looking into to make the units more visible..

[21:11] CHynes: I like it...

[21:12] LionDog: Once a missile is shot at a unit, will it keep following the unit, even if the unit has moved out of the missile launcher's original range? This can look kinda funny when you have a fast unit running away from a missile attack.

[21:12] MAX2Chris: Yes. Missiles will catch up to and hit all units eventually.

[21:12] LionDog: Any plans to have a limited range on missiles?

[21:12] MAX2Chris: Nope.

[21:12] MAX2Paul: However the missile graphics are changing.. so it won't *look* quite as bad..

[21:13] MAX2Chris: It's a maxim in MAX that you cannot avoid being hit if you've been shot.

[21:13] Meghan: We have reached the bottom of the queue.

If you find any errors please report them to so they can be corrected. Thanks.
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