This post was updated on .
I made a thread on Waypoint breaking down how Dominion works, how we should expect it to play, and how we may go about building it. I'm too lazy to convert this to RP format so I'll just link you to the Waypoint thread. Read, BAMP, and discuss.
EDIT by Godly: Edited in the post that Der Flatulator made
Today I'm going to analyze the new "Dominion" game mode in Halo 4 and attempt to formulate a rough foundation showing how to both play and forge Dominion when Halo 4 launches. This thread will contain speculation based on what we know about the game mode so far, thus the content herein is subject to change in the future. If you have anything to add or correct, please let me know.
What is Dominion and how does it work?Source: Josh Holmes explains Dominion
Dominion was introduced in Halo 4 to scratch the itch of the retired Invasion gametype from Halo Reach. It is a new objective gametype where players fight to capture and hold bases. Dominion uses Land Grab's 'tug-of-war' dynamic where players need to both capture the enemy's base and keep control of their own. However, the similarity ends there, as Dominion introduces "Base Fortifying", which means that the captured base is stocked with automated turrets, vehicles, weapon drops, and shield doors overtime.
When all of the bases are captured by one team, players on the other team are given overshields to help them recapture a base. However, they are also afforded one last life at this time, so they must use it wisely. Lastly, they have a waypoint over their head, which means the other team is going to be hunting them down. This period in Dominion is known as the "Last Stand." A match of Dominion is won when a team captures all available bases and then kills all of the players during Last Stand, or when the timer runs out, which then awards it to the team with the most points.
Events:12 minutes; 12 players .
Source: Dominion Gameplay
Capture: Players will need to approach a terminal inside a base in order to initiate the capture, seen here. A player remains stationary for ~2 seconds to initiate a base capture for 15 seconds. The opposing team can halt this process at any time by approaching the terminal. Once this phase is complete, a team is rewarded 10 points towards their total score.
Fortify: After a base is captured, it takes 30 seconds to fortify with turrets and shield doors, as you will see here. The opposing team can halt this process at any time by approaching the terminal. Once this phase is complete, a team is rewarded 20 points towards their total score.
Resupply: Once a base is fortified, it resupplies itself with ordnance drops every 45 seconds. The opposing team can halt this process at any time by approaching the terminal. Once this phase is complete, a team is rewarded 30 points towards their total score.
Recapture: The opposing team can halt any of the phases at any time by approaching a terminal in the base. If you capture their base, you are awarded 10 points towards your total score. However, if you recapture your base while they are capturing it, you are not awarded any points. This instead counts as Base Defense.
Last Stand: When a team has lost control over all 3 bases, they are given overshields, one last life, and a waypoint over their heads. This forces them to push towards the nearest base to recapture it so the match can continue. Once inside a base, white shield doors prevent them from leaving until it is recaptured, seen here.
Victory: Dominion is won by the team who either holds the most points after 12 minutes, or the one who captures all 3 bases and then kills all members of the opposing team.
Ordnance Drops: The most prominent feature in Dominion are Ordnance Drops, which are weapons that are dropped for a team from The Infinity. These happen every 45 seconds for a base that has been fortified.
Kill Cam and Final Kill Cam: Kill cams show the perspective of the player that killed you in place of your own personal death cam. Dominion features a kill cam after a player dies, as well as a kill cam for the last kill of the match. The Dominion kill cam.
Player-Specific Vehicle Terminals: To address concerns with Invasion, vehicles in Dominion can only be accessed initially by the team who controlled the base when they were dropped. They appear as red or blue holographic images on vehicle terminals and must be approached by a member of its respective team to 'activate' it. Once it is on the field, it operates like a normal vehicle in that it may be boarded or used by the opposing team.
Automated Turrets: Fortified bases spawn automated turrets which suppress enemies and help players defending the exterior of their bases. These turrets can be destroyed, but are deadly up close to an unsuspecting player. Similar to vehicles, these appear as holographic images and must be activated by a player before they become operational.
Overall, Dominion is a very team-oriented game mode and will require unique strategies and coordination in order to succeed. In the next post, I will illustrate for you how Dominion appears to play out based on the footage and information we have.
How do I play Dominion?Source: Bravo's Dominion Strategy
For this section, I will be using the Halo 4 map "Longbow" as an example, as this is a map designed specifically for Dominion. Some of the following information will be provided courtesy of Bravo's video linked above.
Setup:There are 5 buildings on the map Longbow, and players spawn at the 2 furthest away from eachother in the back corners of the map. There are 3 bases in the center of the map known as Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie. These are the bases players will be contesting. However, it's easier said than done, as there are many potential strategies to go about capturing these bases.
Initial Rush:The beginning of a match on Longbow is the most critical, as it decides which team may pull an early lead and earn ordnance. There are several potential strategies that may be used here, so I will break down each below:
In this strategy, 3 players will run to the base closest to them to secure at least one base. This would be Alpha for the Blue Team and Charlie for the Red Team. The remaining 3 players will then push for the neutral Bravo base and clash with the opposing team. Once the first 3 have captured their base, 2 players will push towards the lower portion of the map to secure ordnance and stall the other team at their base. The other player will go where he is needed, whether that be at Bravo or with the other 2 on the opposite end of the map.
If you are playing with a regular team, this single player should be the best out of your team, as he will have to support either base as needed. He is the player who will be picking up ordnance or stalling the enemy team while the rest of his teammates respawn.
This strategy is similar to the 3-2-1 strategy, except 4 players will run to Bravo initially and only 2 will run to Alpha or Charlie. This ensures that Bravo is captured right at the beginning, and the remaining 2 players then grab the neutral ordnance and pull back to their base or stall the enemy. They do not attempt to take the other team's base until they have backup, as securing the ordnance and defending their base is of higher priority.
This is a full-out assault on Bravo base which sends 5 players to Bravo and only 1 to Alpha or Charlie. This should ensure that Bravo is secured, and the remaining player should at least capture his respective base. However, he has a slim chance at stalling the enemy or securing neutral ordnance, so it is best if he remains at his base on defense for 2 players from Bravo to come and assist him.
An important thing to remember for all of the above strategies is to push from your side so you are not in immediate line of sight from the enemy team's spawns.
These are strategies that I foresee being used on Longbow and being adapted for similar setups on other maps. They are just speculation at this point and different strategies may evolve when the game comes out.
After Initial Rush:As the match progresses, players will fight to defend their bases and capture the opposing team's base. However, a team must decide whether they want to capture all 3 bases or only keep 2.
Aggressive: The aggressive strategy requires a team to push to control all 3 bases on the map, and then eliminate the remaining players in "Last Stand". This is a good strategy if your team is more skilled and coordinated than the other, as it ensures the match ends and you accumulate more points for holding all 3.
Passive: The passive strategy requires a team to only hold 2 of the 3 bases, which can be Alpha/Charlie and Bravo, or even Alpha and Charlie. This strategy has the team wait out the timer so that they accumulate the most points at the end of the match. This may end up being the ideal strategy for even teams, as players are more likely to regain control of the base on their side.
In either of these strategies, Bravo may end up being the most critical base to capture.
How do I build Dominion?
According to this image, we will be able to build Dominion maps in Forge on one of the 3 maps. The exact specifics of how Dominion is forged are unknown; however, we can formulate a basic idea based on the above information and the thought process we used for Invasion in Halo Reach.
Setup: The general setup of maps seems to have 5 main areas - 2 areas for initial spawns and 3 objectives for players to capture. 2 of the bases provided are closer to their respective teams, which ensures that a team may capture at least 1 base. The neutral base should also have good sight lines to both bases, which forces players to control it for this advantage. This setup should become the standard for Dominion maps.
Base Design: A base should allow players inside safe spawning and opportunity to defend, but it should also provide the opposing team with ways to capture it. 2-3 tiered structures are standard practice, as they allow height variation and give players multiple routes inside.
A base should have no fewer than 3 entrances and no more than 6, as anything more or less becomes difficult to defend or penetrate. It's generally a good idea to allow players to access a roof section in addition to ground entrances, but it depends on the structure you create.
Map Layout: While we don't know the exact sizes of the Forge maps yet (though they are not as large individually as Forge World), we know that Exile and Longbow are large maps. We don't necessarily need to build huge maps, but there should be enough space to accomodate vehicular play as well as afford teams safe backend spawn locations away from the action.
And that concludes my analysis of the new Dominion gametype in Halo 4. It was fun to speculate even though I imagine this information may change in the coming months. However, I am confident in my breakdown, and I hope you have found this useful. If you have anything to add or correct, please let me know. Thanks for reading!
Awesome work, Goat. You have succeeded once again where others (me) got burnt out.
Magic BBCode button :) (with a few tweaks)
derflatulator@reachingperfection ~ $ $do || !$do ; try
try: command not found
derflatulator@reachingperfection ~ $ sudo rm -rf /
What Falt said... there is a BBCode to HTML button for a reason. There are a couple of changes you would need to make, but using header tags means it won't take long at all.
I honestly have no clue how this works. Thanks guys.
How does it look?
This post was updated on .
Looks pretty nice; Comic Sans FTW haha!
I'm a total hypocrite giving HTML advice as I hardly ever take advantage of any advanced formatting, but since you asked, I'd just say drop the unnecessary bold tags nested inside some of the header tags, and use H4 tags for the headers you have that are only in bold, as well as the names of plays, for consistency more than anything. Since those bold items are sub-headers, after all.
They will still look bold and white, only in a different font than Arial for me; Gill Sans/Trebuchet/Calibri according to Chrome.
Either that, or use H3 tags for the bolded titles that aren't in H tags right now, and keep the play names in H3 tags since it's obvious they fall under the "initial rush" category? Then everything that's a header is in a different font and color.
OT, I watched the latest BTS vid, and it seems like the specific Dominion Forge gear might just be linked up to a phase by default, possibly able to be edited by phase and certainly by base. I didn't even notice the hard cover and antennas that pop up with Fortify and Resupply phases or the stadium lights that switch to captor colors. So many great gadgets, all UNSC themed too. And forgeable monitors/displays (visible in the meltdown bits)!
I wonder how many bases might be allowed for the sake of customs- imagine all the crazy stuff that could be done with blocking off areas progressively not only with neutral/captor-specific shield doors but the hard cover that pops up as well, or normal physics and phased moving parts and maybe even magnets. Oh man...
This post was updated on .
Dominion Guide for Forge, courtesy of BS Angel's Waypoint blog and Certain Affinity.
They have a whole series of basic forge tutorials up, and there's a spawning/gametype labels/custom games tutorial in the works.
Game specific should be set true for objects you don't want in the way in other gametypes; no object will animate or deploy in other gametypes but will appear*
Spawn labels for dominion objects should be set to 1, 2, 3... for Alpha, Bravo, Charlie... etc., up to 5 bases
0 may link to all bases or simply be inactive, pending confirmation.
Dominion Object Labels:
Base Terminal - "DOM_Base"
Base Stripes - "DOM_Decor"
Base Status Monitors - "DOM_Bigscreen"
Decorations - "DOM_Decor" [Wires, Junction Box, Battery]
Antennas - "DOM_Fortify"
Turrets - "DOM_Turret"
Turret Monitors - "DOM_Screen"
Barricades - "DOM_Fortify"
Vehicle Pads - "DOM_VPad"
Shield Doors - "DOM_Shield" Set refresh freq. w/respawn timer. may allow for object phasing in Dominion?
*exception: will behave normally in all gametypes, uses object spawn settings
Ordnance Drops - "[Alpha/Bravo/Charlie...]_Resupply"
Unspecified labels: Speculated Use
DOM_Base_Zone: Respawn zones specific to base control, contextual to teams?
DOM_RES_Zone: Respawn zones specific to teams but not specific to base control?
Dominion: just object: dominion: true?
NO_DOM: Object will not spawn in dominion?
Other things to test: will setting a turret or vehicle pad to DOM_Base allow for different size/shaped terminals/effects?
This post was updated on .
You should consider looking at how weapon placement is done on the 343i maps. I have found each base has three identical drops. One near the base object, one outside on the ground level, and one up on the roof.
Also look at Meltdown. Unlike the other maps that are larger, this one starts each team at Alpha and Charlie bases, while leaving Bravo in the open in the middle. The initial spawns are just steps from the base object. In smaller maps they do not require the spawning to be outside of any base like we see on Longbow, for example. Also, the center base on Meltdown is not in an enclosed structure. Walls and ceilings are not a hard requirement to protect the base. But I would suspect you should not allow a banshee if you have outdoor bases.
Also, consider the spawning. Each base has an assigned Respawn Zone. This makes the team that holds that base able to spawn in and around that base. In fact it strictly encourages this behavior. There is an Anti Respawn Zone that prevents enemies from spawning in the base. This is overcome by the Respawn Zone in weighting, so a team can spawn in their base if the outside is dangerous, while preventing enemies from spawning inside. The truth is that the spawning isn't perfect. The code should disable this zone for the base owners, but I do not believe that it does.
The thing about the new weights for Respawn Zones for H4 I believe lend to Dominion at the expense of CTF. In Reach you could not out weigh a Respawn Zone by enemy proximity. In H4, you can outweigh the points within a base by being in the middle of the base. This has the benefit that if you overrun an enemy base, they cannot spawn in it and probably will spawn significant distances from it, giving you time to take the base from them.
By setting the Anti Respawn Zone to spawn sequence 0, you are not tying it to any base, thus it will repel players who do not own the base. Those that do own the base will have the much stronger Respawn Zone (base assigned by spawn sequence) out weighing the Anti Respawn Zone. But let me make this clear...
A Respawn Point in the Respawn Zone and in the Anti Respawn Zone will have less weight than a Respawn Point in the Respawn Zone and outside the Anti Respawn Zone. This implies that in general owners of the base will spawn around the center of the base and not in the middle of it. What can drive them into the center of the base is enemy proximity outside the base, which is the greatest negative weight (apart from LOS) in the game.
This design is also found in 343i maps for CTF. The immediate area of the base around the flag stand is surrounded by an Anti Respawn Zone assigned specifically to the flag's team, driving them away from the flag, but still somewhere in or around their base. Why I do not know, since an enemy proximity at the flag is far more negative than the Anti Respawn Zone.
I wanted to talk for a moment about the game type versus the map that supports the game type. Any additional observations are welcomed.
The game type gives the incentive to take control of as many bases as possible. The disincentive is that to do so you spread your team out thin to hold them.
If your team is vastly superior to your opponent, then you can spread out enough to take all three bases. If the teams are more equally matched, then taking two and holding them will lead to victory. In either case, the amount of disincentive that your team can bear will be directly proportional to the difference in team skill.
If red team takes two bases, then for the blue team the game begins to play similar to Invasion's dual objectives, where the invading team moves more of their team toward the objective that has the least defenders. For example, if Alpha is held by two blue and Bravo by four blue, then red could hold Charlie with one red while rushing five against Alpha and allow blue to hold Bravo. Even though Bravo (in the Longbow example above) is far more powerful, the scoring will not be any greater for holding it.
This is the game type at its fundamental core. But the maps provided by 343i tend to have too many power weapons spawning too often, making camping at the bases sometimes too strong to overcome with numerical advantages. Couple this with the enclosed bases, penetrating the defenses can become impossible even against a single defender with rockets or worse (and now there is worse). Bravo is high above A and C, and can look down upon both, where A and C cannot see each other.
The point is that all of these issues are not game type issues, but forge issues, that can cloud the ability to mount a simple offense using numerical advantages. It seems that by forging new concepts, the game play can be more engaging and offer more hope to the team that has less skill. It is in our hands as forgers to come up with maps to play Dominion where strategy can overcome simple massive CQC fire power of rockets.
DOM_UPGRADE and DOM_SHIELD can both be used to force arbitrary Forge objects to spawn in when a base is fortified (link the objects to the base with Spawn Sequence). DOM_UPGRADE will not modify an arbitrary Structure object's color at run-time, even if the object is dual-labeled with DOM_DECOR; I have not tested DOM_SHIELD's effects on object color.
Note that DOM_UPGRADE does not prevent an arbitrary Forge object from spawning under other conditions (Respawn Time reached); I have not tested if DOM_SHIELD prevents spawning. You can set the Forge object's Respawn Time to Never to prevent it from spawning until the linked Dominion base is fortified, but this can cause problems when editing. (In Halo 3, Run-Time Minimum could be used to force a Never item to respawn. In Reach, this did not work, meaning that it was impossible to edit items that were not Placed at Start and Never respawned. I have not tested Halo 4's behavior, but I expect it to mimic Reach's.)
DOM_FORTIFY-labeled antennae can be stood on while rising. Could be useful as a one-time lift in puzzle maps.
The Shape set to a DOM_VPAD determines the area in which you receive a prompt to activate a Vehicle Pad. If the Vehicle Pad's Shape extends through a wall, then you can activate the Pad from the other side of the wall. (The vehicle will spawn, and you will teleport into it without being affected by obstacles.)
It is impossible to create a Turret Screen that shows the status for a specific turret. Turret Screens linked to a base reflect the status of all turrets linked to that base: the screens will only ever show that something is wrong if all turrets attached to their base have been destroyed. (I tried giving a screen and a turret matching User Data fields; this had no effect.)
Todo if I feel like it:
- Test the effects of applying DOM_BASE, DOM_TURRET, DOM_FORTIFY, DOM_SCREEN, DOM_BIGSCREEN, and DOM_VPAD to arbitrary objects
- Test the effects of applying DOM_SHIELD to arbitrary objects (suppresses spawning? changes color?)
- Attempt to create bases past Echo (5)
- Attempt to create a base with multiple DOM_BASE Base Terminals
- Attempt to create a base with additional DOM_BASE items that spawn after a delay
- Attempt to dual-label a fortification (barricade, turret, etc.) with a valid label and DOM_BASE (edge case of previous two list items)
CA explanation of DOM_BASE_ZONE, DOM_RES_ZONE, and DOM_UPGRADE. ExMem was right about BASE_ZONE.
Full list of all Forge gametype labels.
This post was updated on .
DOM_UPGRADE forces spawning of arbitrary objects -- it'll make an item spawn if it hasn't already, but it will not delay or suppress standard respawn times. DOM_UPGRADE does not set team ownership on an object.
DOM_SHIELD delays spawning of arbitrary objects. The item will not be present at round start, and will spawn <respawn time> seconds after base fortification, or immediately upon fortification if it is Placed at Start. DOM_SHIELD does set team ownership (with visible coloration) on arbitrary Structure objects.
Any object can be used as a DOM_BASE without causing abnormal or impaired functionality. However, if the object despawns for any reason, then it stops being a base, and it will not become one when it respawns. Despawn causes include moving an object (even a vehicle) and having it despawn; walking over a weapon that you're already holding and picking up all of its ammo; having a destroyed object's wreckage despawn; and detaching a turret from its base.
Note that if a vehicle is a DOM_BASE, capping it is tricky. You have to stand close enough to start a cap, but if you're too close, you'll only get a vehicle entry prompt. Weapon DOM_BASEs didn't appear to be cappable at all, but maybe my Spartan Laser test had too small of a Shape set on it.
If you have multiple DOM_BASEs for a single Spawn Sequence, they all function independently, with their own capture-fortify-resupply cycles. So you can have one base be fortified while two others are still capping, and all belong to the same spawn sequence. They each award points (and presumably XP), and they all get called out by the announcer. ("FORTIFIED BRAVO! BRAVO ALMOST FORTIFIED, DEFEND AT ALL COSTS! BRAVO ALMOST FORTIFIED, DEFEND AT ALL COSTS! FORTIFIED BRAVO! FORTIFIED BRAVO!") The first DOM_BASE to fortify will trigger standard fortification effects (DOM_SHIELD, etc.) for that Spawn Sequence. I have not tested the effects of a differing-cap scenario (two DOM_BASEs on one Spawn Sequence; Red caps both, then Blue steals one and only one).
VPAD with a DOM_SHIELD label functions normally, except that immediately upon fortification, one of its vehicle will force-spawn without being triggered by a player.
DOM_DECOR works on Dominion Barricades.
My File Share contains a Film showing this test off in detail.
TODO if I feel like it:
- Test multi-team cap scenarios (Red caps two Alpha terminals, then Blue caps one -- who owns the base as a whole, and linked assets like turrets and vpads?)
- See if Trait Zones get assigned team ownership when set as DOM_SHIELD (if so, we can make bases that apply traits only to their owner, among other things)
- Do DOM_BASEs work if they're not Placed at Start? Signs point to no, but needs specific test
- If all DOM_BASEs on the map are destroyed/deleted at run-time, what happens?
- How to DOM_BASE_ZONE and DOM_RES_ZONE behave when set on mobile objects? How do they behave if their underlying objects despawn? (Do they return when the object respawns?)
- How do DOM_BASEs function if they're assigned a team in Forge? Can we make a map in which one team owns a base by default, or in which one team cannot cap a particular base?
- Do Dominion objects work in other gametypes if assigned a team and spawn sequence?
Which is exactly why I won't use it. Why would I want something to spawn in response to taking a base, yet it could spawn before the base was captured? Have you noticed 343i/CA doesn't use it either?
My tests show me that the spawning of the object (in my case a one way shield, not a dominion shield) will spawn immediately regardless of the respawn time value... Also, if you are too close to it then it won't spawn immediately, but after a time, which as far as I can see doesn't have anything to do with respawn time value.
So the advantage is that you capture all of the Alpha bases to get more points for holding Alpha???? Can you merge the bases together and cap them simultaneously?
In my tests, a DOM_SHIELD Strut that had a respawn time and was not Placed at Start did have a delay between fortification of the linked base, and the Strut spawning.
Psychosis687 noticed your latter observation as well: a DOM_SHIELD Dominion Shield that is too close to a non-destroyed Dominion Base Turret will not spawn. Kill the turret, and then the shield can spawn. If the turret then respawns afterward, the shield remains up.
Very strange. 343i must've done some wacky stuff to the game's object-spawning code.
Yes to the first question.
No and Maybe to the second question. Capping one base will not auto-cap the others that share its letter. It might be possible to have the bases' Shapes overlap, such that a player can stand in the intersection and capture both at once, but I have not tested this.
A "preassigned base" is a DOM_BASE that has had a team owner set in Forge. Their behavior is as follows:
- They were never captured during the match, so they do not have scoring/fortification cycles. They won't award Base Points to their owner, won't fortify on their own, and won't resupply.
- They aren't fortified, so linked DOM_SHIELDs and the like do not spawn and are not team-assigned.
- All teams, including the owner, see the waypoint as "CAPTURE".
- However, the owner can't actually capture the base. When in range, the owner team sees a message stating that "YOU OWN THIS BASE".
- All other teams can capture the preassigned base. Once they do so, the base returns to normal (the preassigned owner can capture it normally).
- The preassigned owner CAN interrupt the first attempted capture by an enemy team.
Psychosis687 also found a weird bug that caused a Bravo base to have an icon instead of a letter, on its waypoint. This base "hijacked" all labeled fortifications on the map (including preassigned ones and ones with different non-zero spawn sequences), such that fortifying the glitch base converted these fortifications to one's team. AFAIK he's still researching how it happened.
Interesting, very interesting, but it is all beyond the realm of Dominion for MM, and I suspect nothing forged with these types of configurations will be able to get into MM. If 343i accepted these behaviors, then they would essentially be adding to their own specifications and making it more difficult for them to fix bugs and make their own enhancements later.
I've a hypothesis as to why DOM_SHIELDs behave so unreliably.
In Forge, if you spawn an object through a player, they die. I loved precision-killing with a Grid in Reach... Now, let's say that a Red Team player is in the doorway of a Blue Team base right as it's fortified. If the shield were to spawn right then, it'd impale the Red player and kill him. So the gametype is coded to wait until that area is clear before spawning a shield.
This is known behavior both in H4 and Reach. Things simply won't spawn if you are near their spawn location. Even if they could spawn without hurting you, you could still be considered too close.
Tested and confirmed, Cobb did a detailed write-up on another thread.
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