Ver Versão Completa : Invasion Mode/Operation Stonewall Preview

26/01/2009, 12:37
artigo original aqui:


Invasion/ Operation Stonewall é o novo modo de jogo que virá com TALES OF VALOR

basicamente será jogadores x AI.

Invasion Mode/Operation Stonewall Preview

Editor's Note: All screenshots in this article are taken off the official CoHO website, as they properly showcase of all of the map's features. If you're actually playing the CoHO beta with the proper files, the game mode is entirely in English.

Operation Stonewall, one of the new custom multiplayer modes found in Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor, seems at first glance to hold much in common with the popular D-Day Coop (http://planetcoh.gamespy.com/View.php?id=100&view=Maps.Detail) map. Described by Relic as a scenario where players defend a town against incoming waves of enemies, Operation Stonewall is actually quite a bit different from both the vanilla Company of Heroes style of basebuilding, and even twists D-Day Coop's formula to achieve a new style.

While it could be months before we play Operation Stonewall in Tales of Valor, the Company of Heroes Online beta recently added the custom gameplay mode to the game, allowing us to fully preview this new custom map. If you have Company of Heroes Online, jump into a game of Invasion to try out this new mode for yourself. If not, read on!

Setting up a game of Invasion works as follows: up to 4 players all play on the same side (you can pick either Axis or Allies), and a computer AI takes over the opposite team. If you have less than 4 players, you're required to close the remaining slots. Once that is done, you simply launch the game. While it appears in the map list as a map called Invasion, the mode's custom settings override options like Starting Mode and High Resources. Basically, all you have to do is fill up a game and you're good to go, bringing you into the game.

http://pnmedia.gamespy.com/screenshots/pcoh/94574240.jpg (http://planetcoh.gamespy.com/screenshots/?ss=300)

As seen above, the map for Invasion is relatively simple. In the middle of the map is your starting location, which initially contains a single unit-production building an an engineer. The north side of the map contains two pathways into the map that are used to deliver attacking AI waves. The east side contains one path, the south side one, and the east side has two. Your territory exists within the heart of the map, and cannot be extended in order to prevent players from simply building bunkers at the AI entrance point.

On the left of your screen, you'll see two notifications. One is your individual and team score, which is based on your kills, and the other is the countdown until the next wave of troops arrive. You have a quick bit of downtime to building some defences and units, but the first wave starts within minutes. While each wave involves sending troops out of one of the six entry points on the map, the actual order in which the AI uses the paths is randomized each game, meaning you never know what direction the waves will come from.

http://pnmedia.gamespy.com/screenshots/pcoh/87236916.jpg (http://planetcoh.gamespy.com/screenshots/?ss=301)

Your production building. Defend this.

Training troops in Invasion is a bit different than any of the standard Company of Heroes game modes. You are given a single building that both upgrade and produces units. This building is only capable of producing 3 units at first; Engineers for a cost of 100 manpower, Riflemen for 30 manpower, and a Jeep, if you're playing as the Allies. The building also offers several upgrades that allows you to customize your army. One option is an Infantry Upgrade, which allows you to research and unlock new infantry for a price, allowing you to deploy them on the battlefield. At the first level, you can pay to unlock a Sniper. After that, Ranger squads, HMG squads, and so on.

http://pnmedia.gamespy.com/screenshots/pcoh/93184960.jpg (http://planetcoh.gamespy.com/screenshots/?ss=304)

In the bottom right of these screenshot, you can see the options for your production building. The first two icons allow you to build Infantry and Vehicles. The two beside it allow you to unlock new infantry and vehicle. The rest are various unit upgrades and pop cap upgrades.

The Vehicle Unlock option works the same way. At first you unlock the Greyhound, then a M10, then a M4 Sherman, and finally the fearsome Pershing tank. The actual unit cost in handle strictly in manpower, and costs less than the normal in-game price. For example, the Pershing Unlock option costs 400 manpower, while actual Pershings only cost 275 manpower.

This adds a bit of depth to creating your army; do you want to go for the high end tiers of each section, or work on mixing the infantry and armor branches together? Or do you decide to get 3 Sherman tanks for less than it costs to research and build a single Pershing? In addition to units, the production building also offers a host of other upgrades if you're willing to part with the manpower. Included are population cap upgrades, sticky bombs, grenades, smoke canisters for the Sherman, and a few more options.

While your unit production building is by far the most important building in the game, it is not the only one. Scattered on all four sides of the map are civilian buildings that grant bonuses while occupied. Once increase the pop cap, one increases the the rate you receive manpower, and the remaining two boost up your ability to heal vehicles and infantry. These buildings also allow you to produce units like Rifleman as well as Rangers if you've unlocked them. If you're playing alone, these buildings automatically default to your possession, meaning you do not need to waste valuable troops by garrisoning the building. However, if you're playing with others, you have to garrison these buildings in order to gain their bonuses.

Since these buildings are essential to winning the game, they're extremely hard to take down. They have a ton of health so they can take a good amount of hits so you won't need to constantly be babysitting them, but since these buildings are closer to the AI entry points than your base, they tend to be the first targets, especially since the AI needs to take them down to win. They cannot be repaired and once destroyed, they're gone forever.

http://pnmedia.gamespy.com/screenshots/pcoh/65830282.jpg (http://planetcoh.gamespy.com/screenshots/?ss=302)

As long as you hold this building, you will receive a bonus.

You automatically receive manpower as the game goes on, and you get an extra bit of resources when you kill units, so there are no resource points you'll have to worry about. Engineers and Pioneers can also salvage wreckage for resources, but all they can recover is Munitions, which can only be used for a few unit abilities, like using the Sherman's smoke canisters or the Greyhound's mine-laying ability.

Because Engineers are relatively valuable units due to their ability to repair vehicles, your unit production building, and deploy defences like sand bags or MG nests, you probably won't want to leave them out on the battlefield unattended. Especially since their cost (100 manpower) could allow you to build both an Ranger and Rifleman squad for the same price!

After a minute and a half, the invasion starts. The game announces that enemy troops are arriving, and an attack indicator displays what path they will be using, so you'll know which direction the enemy will attack from a few brief seconds before they move in. In order to prevent users from camping, blocking the entrance with barbed wire, or laying mines right where the computer spawns, the AI drops a few flares in their entrance zone, and then follows it up with a few howitzer strikes.

While the first wave will only contain a handful of infantry, the AI sends tougher and tougher troops as the game progresses. Eventually, you'll end up fighting multiple Tiger or Pershing tanks, depending on which team you've selected. Once you've destroyed the majority of the wave, it triggers the countdown to the next wave.

Because enemy mortars and Nebelwerfers don't move from their entry locations, you might find it tempting to leave them where they are and concentrate on repairs/defending against another wave, and moving your units out of their range. However, this strategy won't work, as the AI "cheats" by giving mortars and Nebels unlimited range. So if you ignore them, don't be surprised to find that they're hitting your base and destroying all your units.

http://pnmedia.gamespy.com/screenshots/pcoh/4280003.jpg (http://planetcoh.gamespy.com/screenshots/?ss=303)

Invading forces will stream out of this section.

While you have no access to your character's doctrine abilities, you are awarded some single-use abilities as the game goes on, such as bombing runs and howitzer attacks. There are only about 4 of these abilities available during the whole game, so they're to be used with caution, as you don't want to use them in a non-essential situation. These abilities cost no munitions or manpower, so you don't need to worry about saving up for them; they're available for use the moment you get them.

While Invasion mode is fun to play, it does have its flaws. First and foremost is the lack of challenge with this new mode. It seems geared towards casual players and players who enjoy a good match against the AI, so experienced players might find it a bit too easy for their tastes. Similarly, the fact that the AI has to take out both your production building and the four bonus buildings around the map gives the player the end-game advantage, taking the edge out of the game. Losing your production building isn't the end-all it should be, because if you've unlocked Rangers, you can produce both them and Riflemen from these four bonus buildings as the enemy tries to take you out.

Because there is way for you to lose your flow of Manpower, Ranger spam from these buildings becomes a very effective tactic, making it nearly impossible to lose. If Relic wants to make the game more challenging, they should set it so that once the unit production building is destroyed, all researched unit upgrades are destroyed with it, meaning the player would be restricted to only Riflemen, which would make losing the production building as game-ending as it should be.

Overall, Invasion mode is highly enjoyable and a clever twist on coop maps like D-Day Coop. The gameplay feels like a mixture of the vCoH single-player mission where you had to defend Hill 317 against a wave of incoming enemies mixed together with the coop aspect of D-Day Coop. What makes it unique, however, is the fact that the unit production system adds a fair level of strategy as to what units you should produce, what upgrades you should purchase, and what defences you should construct.

Invasion is a gameplay mode that should appeal to most players, and will certainly become a casual favourite. In addition, the map also has the distinction of being perfect for farming the experience needed to level up characters up in CoHO. A solo run through Invasion on easy mode will net the player roughly 150 experience points, which is roughly equivalent to three rounds of comp stomping. Not bad for only an hour of work!