A Dual Strike Veteran (ha, Veteran) plays DoR

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DxDyDzD
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A Dual Strike Veteran (ha, Veteran) plays DoR

Postby DxDyDzD » Sat Jun 12, 2010 5:10 pm

Introduction
So, I mentioned a while ago (viewtopic.php?f=23&t=11816&start=76) that I got Dark Conflict (I’ll call it DoR from now on, as well as using the NA terms for units and COs). I’ve just finished Dual Strike enough times to unlock all the CO wallpapers (as well as to triple-check my HC guide), so I’ve moved on to DoR. I’ve tried a few strategies for some maps (the early Campaign and Trial ones) and here are my initial impressions of DoR. I’m looking for advice on how to be a better player at Campaign and Trial Maps (i.e. single player mode), so if you have any tips, please share them.

Scoring
This section is my take on the new scoring system. I realize that some tips below have already been discussed by Translucent Air in the stickied topic, but I’ve listed a few more which he hasn’t mentioned.

Firstly, the new scoring system makes most maps impossible to get a 450 for. However, it is true that all maps can be 300+ed (which means an S-rank). It is possible to calculate the theoretical max score by assuming that the enemy helps your score in every way possible, like letting you OHKO his units, or building one unit from every base/airport/port every day.

Now, on to the individual components of your score. Speed remains unchanged from previous games, it’s based on the number of days you took to complete a map. One thing to note is that if you would finish the map before the 150-point limit, it may be wise not to finish immediately but use the remaining days to improve Power and Technique. However, due to the strict time limits, “highest score” means “fastest” on most maps.

Technique has changed. It’s now based on the number of units you have and the number of units the enemy has. There’s a penalty if your units get destroyed, or if the enemy joins his units.
In previous games, losing units meant that you had to produce 9 more units for each unit lost. In DoR, you can’t save your Technique score this way. On the other hand, situations which would have lead to less than max Technique in previous games can result in max Technique in DoR. For example, in T28: Plasma Bubble, you can lose 2 units out of 3, produce none, and still get full Technique.
Some tips here:
1) Don’t let the enemy join any units. This wouldn’t be a problem if you don’t leave any wounded enemy units around.
2) Let the enemy build as much as possible. While in previous games, it would have been wise, given the opportunity, to plonk a unit on an enemy base to halt production, in DoR, you’d want to avoid that and let the enemy to produce more units, since doing so would help your Technique score.
3) Don’t build if possible. You’ll have a harder time trying to win with only predeployed forces, but not building increases your Technique.
4) Don’t let any of your units get destroyed. The previous games already penalize you for losing units, so this is carried over from them.

While Speed and Technique are easy to calculate from the in-game intel screen, Power is a pain. Every single attack you make affects your Power, so you have to be careful not to make unnecessary attacks.
You get a bonus +100 to the damage percentages in the Power score every time you get a KO. Thus, you should try to get many KOs instead of just leaving an enemy wounded. The main tricks for high Power are:
1) Let the enemy attack your units, then destroy them with other, healthier units. The point of letting the enemy attack first, instead of you initiating the attack, is that your units’ counterattacks do not factor into the Power calculations. It serves the useful function of dropping the enemies’ HP into KO range of your other units.
2) OHKO enemy units. Anti-Airs seem very useful due to their ability to OHKO enemy Infantry, Bikes and Mechs. So do predeployed Missiles, in destroying air units. Note that the minimum requirements to OHKO a 10HP enemy unit are a 10HP unit (yours), 90 base damage and 0 terrain stars. This adds 190 to the damage percentages, for one attack.
3) Let one unit score many kills. Due to the level-up system, units get stronger for every kill they score. If one of your units kills something, it gets a small attack boost, making it possible to score a KO on something else, which will in turn give it an attack boost, and so on until it reaches Veteran. Getting those attack boosts is helpful in OHKOing enemy units with defense boosts granted by terrain.
4) CO a unit. Doing so gives it Veteran status immediately, which means more killing power. I haven’t played until the missions where you can CO units yet, so I can’t tell how practical this is.
Tips for Power improvement:
1) Kills at 50% damage percentage or more will never harm your Power score. If your current Power score is below 150, adding a kill at >50% bumps it up. If your current Power score is above 150, adding a kill at >50% drops it slightly, but it will not drop below 150.
2) If you’ve finished a map with less than 150 Power, any kill you make at (the last 2 digits of your Power score)% or above will improve your Power. If your Power score is only 2 digits, you need to destroy more units. :)
3) KOing a weakened unit may not always improve your Power. For example, KOing a Recon on a road with an Infantry adds 112 to the damage percentages for 1 attack. This is less than 150, so your Power might drop.

Blasts from the Past
This section is a comparison of useful techniques used in previous games, to how they would fare if used in DoR.

Old Technique: In previous games, you’d usually spam units (if you lost quite a few) to improve Technique. In DoR, you’re in deep trouble if you try that. Every unit you produce or lose increases the magnitude of your army by 1, which decreases your Technique. You’ll want to lose and deploy as few units as possible (leaving them wounded is OK).
Old Power: In previous games, you could take as many hits to KO something as you needed, but as soon as you KOed it, it got added to your Power score. In DoR, taking multiple hits to KO an enemy makes it hard to get 150 Power. Additionally, attacking but not KOing units is a very bad idea. Not only does your Power score suffer, leaving wounded enemy units gives the enemy a chance to join them with healthy ones, harming your Technique score.
Recon Suicide: In Dual Strike, it’s effective to charge powers by attacking Tanks with your Recons. Not so in DoR. There are no gamebreaking COPs like Sami’s in DoR, so charging a COP doesn’t let you win much more easily. It also harms your Power score, since the base damage of a Recon vs Tank is terrible.
Animations: The new animations are presented as bars, which makes it much easier to approximate how much HP the enemy has left. This is vital in some maps like T23: Metro Map. The circles used in Dual Strike pale in comparison, where you could only approximate from 9-10 HP and 0-1 HP.
The AI: It seems to be mostly the same as Dual Strike’s. However, I’ve noticed that for the T5: Eerie Lake guide, the enemy Infantry didn’t attack my Bike. Had the same situation occurred in Dual Strike (with an Infantry/Mech instead of the Bike), it would’ve been attacked. It could have been because there was a city that it could capture, or that the programming for dealing with Bikes is messed up. I’ll need to play more to understand this, though I'm leaning with the former.

Aesthetic Changes
This section is a list of non-gameplay related changes from previous games.

Units don’t move on the map until you’ve confirmed their final action (Wait, Fire, Supply, etc.). I think this was implemented as a change in Fog of War rules, since if you took a move back in Dual Strike in FoW, you’d lose fuel as though you had actually made the move. I consider this as an aesthetic change and not a gameplay change because if you moved around too much or got ambushed in Dual Strike, you’d reload. Same deal in DoR, minus the moving around part.
You can play any Campaign map you’ve unlocked at any time. This is unlike previous games, where playing a particular Campaign map meant that you’d have to start a new Campaign and play until that point. This was especially unfeasible for late-game maps. Given the new scoring system and the quick save deletion (see below), this is most welcome.
Finishing a map automatically deletes the quick save file. Don’t assume you can save on the final day and experiment on how to improve your score from there. As soon as you complete the map, even if you soft reset, you’re booted back to the overworld.
There is a quick save feature in DoR. In Dual Strike, if you saved and wanted to reload, you’d have to quit to the mode selection screen and re-enter the game mode you were playing. In DoR, you simply go to Options and load.

Conclusion
That’s it, my impressions of DoR, as someone who’s more familiar with Dual Strike. If you have any criticisms, comments or advice, please reply.

Update 1
I noticed a few more things:
1) The AI is abused to build indirects on some maps (at least more than in Dual Strike). These indirects will be unable to shoot the capturing Infantry because a) it doesn't have enough range (e.g. T4: Metro Island, C14: A Hero's Farewell) or b) it moves away, but the AI isn't smart enough to continue covering the HQ with it (e.g. T8: D-Island).
2) The AI really doesn't like attacking Bikes even when it can maim it. Second example in addition to T5 is C19: Salvation. The enemy Infantry go for your Infantry (when your Bike is on a Road and your Infantry is on a Forest) and the War Tank goes for your Recon.

fcastro

Re: A Dual Strike Veteran (ha, Veteran) plays DoR

Postby fcastro » Mon Jun 21, 2010 1:50 am

I dont like this game... Why didnt you buy AW2 instead =(

Blackbird

Re: A Dual Strike Veteran (ha, Veteran) plays DoR

Postby Blackbird » Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:07 am

Lol, don't discourage him! DoR is a great game. All of your information looks correct to me. I'm not really the best person to ask about it though; there are plenty of players that are a lot better at DoR than me.

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DTaeKim
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Re: A Dual Strike Veteran (ha, Veteran) plays DoR

Postby DTaeKim » Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:56 am

It sounds like you've got the gist of the game.
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