Thought you guys should see this.
Quoted from the RoseBum forums: Sat Apr 24, 2010, |RzS|dane wrote:Hi guys. I finally made it to the forums!
I'm sorry to hear that the RB server is no more - I hope that's temporary. It's the only place I've really enjoyed UT in recent years. I used to play at the |uK| server, but some of the players there (and admins) are downright nasty, and in the end I quit UT altogether for about 2 years before coming back and finding RB.
Anyway I've mentioned occasionally, during games, that a new version of siege was under development, but I try not to announce things too long before they're actually ready. That said, I've got to get this thing released - so somehow it's going to get done in the next few weeks. I'm planning to rent a server for Siege - it will be passworded, but the password will be posted here on the RB forums and nowhere else, so you're all welcome to play there. It will only be a 10 or 12 slot server though I'm afraid, unless you guys want to donate of course! :)
When I started writing SiegeM, the intention was to make Siege modular (hence the name) so people could write add-ons that cleanly provided new buildings etc. Once I started it became clear that a lot of the code needed a complete rewrite. Adding the necessary features would have been architecturally impossible using the old codebase, so unfortunately I've been at this solidly for over 12 months now - there's about 8 times the code there was in xxl2g (about 500 pages if you were to print it.)
I've just been browsing the forum to see what people were unhappy about in xxl2g, and you'll be pleased to know that most of the issues mentioned have already been fixed one way or another. Building through walls is now impossible, except in your own base (for maps like McSwartzly where the roofspace is a good place to build nukes). Container removal has been addressed - only players in the top 40% score-wise can remove other people's buildings, so players still learning the game no longer pose a risk, and players that join simply to remove things will now find it impossible. When something's removed, 1/3 of the RU goes to the remover, 1/3 goes to the original builder, and the amount returned now includes the RU spent on upgrades. (I'm planning eventually to make that RU go back to whoever did the upgrading, but the current system is at least an improvement.) If you build something with a high leech value in the enemy base (e.g. containers, inv. nukes etc) it now gets announced to the rest of your team but not the enemy, so hidden leeches are not really possible in most maps. For leech games, you can build a special symmetric RU Supplier, which can only be built when there are 5 or fewer players, and after a few minutes of gameplay (to allow map downloaders a chance to join). You need only build one - another is automatically created in the corresponding location of the enemy base, and these are announced to the whole game. When enough players join, both are automatically destroyed. In maps that are not symmetric (SiegeM analyses each map to determine this), you can only place them on middle ground equidistant from both cores, and instead of one for each team, a single neutral RU supplier is created for everyone. The point of all this is to (hopefully) reduce the amount of argument about when a leech game should become a 'normal game', and to make sure leeches are always fair.
In non leech games, when your RU is maxed you're now warned about it, and you lose 1 point for every 75 RU wasted. Essentially this means things like camping the entire game without ever spending your RU will result in poor scores (since you'll only get 1 point for every 3 kills while you're maxed). Manual teamswitching is now limited to 2 switches per game (this number is configurable by admins); nukes and other items can now be retrieved if you get teamswitched; abusive message filtering mutes offensive content *intelligently* - it understands leetspeak, messages split over several lines etc, and specifically detects abuse aimed at players rather than just muting specific words. Teleporters can't be built overlapping other buildings anymore, and buildings cannot be telefragged by anything (teleporters, translocators nor homing beacons); platforms no longer cause that annoying 'phantom platform' bug where they don't get properly destroyed, and you can now hammerjump off them; building something near a container doesn't cause it to go straight to 100% before it's actually ready anymore; feigning death in the supplier now makes you suicide; multigunning now makes you suicide; centerview now gets you kicked from the game entirely.
There's a completely new HUD and constructor menu system, so you don't have to fiddle about for ages if you accidentally go past the option you wanted (although the normal system is still there too); a fast PM system; a new player mute system; a map customisation system where admins can change the default location of the cores, build new walls, bunkers, stairs etc, so a lot of maps unsuitable for Siege can now be made to play well; gravity etc can be set on a map by map basis; there's a new help system, commands pages, and a server rules page that admins can modify using an HTML-like language; a completely new spawnprotect; you can now walk through teammates so maps like Hillforts work much better; RU recovery has been completely replaced with 'everything recovery', which restores ownership of your buildings, your score, full stats, time playing etc. There are 30+ new buildings and items, and the ability to infiltrate the enemy team, steal buildings etc; thermal imaging visors for seeing through walls; creatures you can ride on... And to deal more effectively with persistently botters and abusive or disruptive players, there are features that let an admin see which ISP someone is using, along with the ISP's abuse-report email and phone details. I may add facilities for automatically emailing abuse reports to the ISP, although that won't happen any time soon since it involves writing an email client in Unrealscript. Back when RzS was still alive, we succeeded in getting two persistent botters disconnected by their ISPs. This is a process I'd love to see more widely adopted (where clear evidence of abusive behaviour exists).
There's now full language support for English, French, Spanish, German, Dutch and Polish (although not all the translations are finished yet) with a new menu system for tactical messages (e.g. "Enemy tele in left tower!" etc) that automatically translate to the language each player has chosen. Once the translations for the help pages are done, this should make Siege a lot more inclusive for new players with no English. When I started doing this, I'd seen a lot of Spanish players but very few players speaking Portuguese. But it seems there's a Brazilian siege clan out there, so I'll be adding support for Portugeuse - for now the Spanish and English will have to fill that gap. Pretty much all HUD elements support multiple languages now, the stats sheet, menus and constructor, and most of the messages that you get when building etc.
There are a whole load of additional fixes, removing current issues like players being able to crash the server easily, destroy nukes through walls without need for explosions etc. I'd rather not explain these in detail while there are still servers out there running vulnerable versions though. There are also a bunch more features that I've not gone into - these will be covered in the docs when I post them.
A lot of things still need doing - graphics options need adding (so very old machines don't struggle), 4 or 5 buildings still need completing, a LOT of new meshes need to be made, and the new teambalance needs testing. Some features will probably be removed before release, partly just to get it done before I die of old age, and partly because some of the new weapons and buildings may turn out to be too disruptive (things like the Turbines, Impulse Rifle and combo SSR). For anyone worried about this, each and every new building or item can be individually enabled/disabled by admins, globally and on a map by map basis, so if something is spoiling the game it can be fixed quickly without modifying the package.
Siege Annihilation is a working title - I'll probably change it to something better if anyone has any suggestions. Before that it was 'SiegeM' (which is still the package name) but that didn't sound very exciting at all! Unfortunately, just about every relevant word (e.g. Tactical, Infiltration, Annihilation etc) are already in the names of other UT mods, and I'm wary of misleading people into thinking the mods are somehow related.
I quite like the name 'Siege: Tactical Assault', since I'm hoping to include a Special Ops style game-type where the teams race to complete objectives (this can be taking over a preexisting base in the map, destroying something, reaching a special location etc). With the facilities for adding solid objects, bunkers etc the possibilities are pretty broad.
I'll be posting proper documentation with the rest of the features (and full API details for people that want to write add-ons) once it's more complete. For now I'll put up a few screenshots. These were taken at various stages of development, so some are missing HUD features etc that were added later.
(starting screen and combo ssr; compass with FOV indicator)
(new nuke effects and lens flare)
(thermal visor during an explosion)
(thermal visor in Hillforts)
New defense grids - you build emitters, and (as long as they aren't too far apart) a mesh of energy beams is created between them. Nukes will disrupt the field for a short time if the emitters aren't destroyed in the blast.
New team creatures. Top: swarms of attack bees. They're both vicious and fast, and will seek you out from a fairly long distance. When you're spawnprotected they won't attack, but just try to surround you so you have nowhere to go. Middle: Sliths that are significantly more aggressive than those in the original Unreal (faster, tougher, better spit projectiles and generally more vicious) that can be ordered around. These are useful to leave defending the base when you're out attacking, when teams are small. (Note that the creature ordering doesn't work properly yet.) Bottom: large team mantas that you can fly around on. These are real creatures, not reworked SLVs etc - you tell them where to go and they take you there, rather than aiming them directly like a projectile.
New solid geometry that can be added to maps and saved, in game, without UnrealEd. Everything in those pictures was added by SiegeM, and can be moved around by admins. New walls can be added, trees, the cores can be moved - even staircases etc. This opens up a lot of new map possibilities for Siege, and lets changes be made quickly without the need for lots of uploads and downloads.
New menu system, language support, built-in help and rules pages. The French, German and Dutch should be mostly alright; the Spanish should be pretty good - Rurik has checked it all and provided translations for some of the harder stuff (thanks!), but Polish is out of my league. Slavic languages have a complicated word ending arrangement, where the ending tells you who is doing what to whom etc, and adjectives sometimes come before nouns and sometimes after - I know for sure these will be wrong. So any Polish RB players out there, you're more than welcome to suggest improvements ;) (The same goes for anyone who speaks fluent French, Dutch, German or Portuguese!)
Turbines. These act like large fans that blow players, projectiles, smoke etc out of the way. You can build them pointing in any direction, to slice up enemies, to act as a cushion for long falls, or to make places difficult to reach or get into.
These pictures also show the process of stealing a building from the enemy. The first time you attempt to steal it, the building becomes neutral; the second time, if you're successful, it will belong to your team. The more expensive a building or item is, and the more it has been upgraded, the harder it is to steal. I may add options that make low health buildings easier to take, like in Command & Conquer. There is also the option for neutral buildings to be placed into individual maps from the Admin menu, that can be taken by whoever manages it first.
A few items. From left to right: the Nautilus is like an under water speed/jetpack; the med kit slowly replenishes your health; the Resource Store is a way to safely store RU if there aren't enough containers and you're in a hurry (e.g. holding a nuke). It's also a good way to donate RU, since your teammates can take it once you've left. Items are now protected from teammates for up to 2 minutes unless the core is <10% or there is less than 4 minutes of play remaining. This prevents your warheads all being nicked if you get disconnected momentarily. Teammates are also no longer able to upgrade your nukes.
I'll post some more stuff when I can. There are a lot of other features and details I've left out, since this post is already far too long. I thought I should post some info now though since I heard some of you guys are working on some siege patches, and it seemed likely there'd be some duplication of effort going on.