DSL-TC

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Considered by many to be the best mod for RA2 ever created, DSL: Total Conversion is different enough to be a Robot Arena 3. The main makers were DarkRat, Starcore, and Lu-Tze.

In the spring of 2004 DarkRat, Starcore and Lu-Tze had reached the point where they had considered leaving RA2. DarkRat was the premier replica bot creator and parts creator, Lu-tze the innovative parts and arena maker, and Starcore the to AIer of the community having just released the Starcore V2 pack. As a swan song Starcore brought the three of them together to do a final release. To wrap an ultimate pack around DarkRat's ultra cool replicas of Real Life robots. Most of DarkRat's bot at the time were only picture bots. Starcore with some help from ACAMS and a few others populated the internals of the replicas and Starcore AIed all the replicas to be the 'Stock' bots of the DSL pack. DarkRat continued building an extensive range of parts while Lu-Tze in her final months built most all the arenas of the DSL Total Conversion Mod. The team innovated left and right and worked with the rivaling forums bringing them together to work on more realistic parts and standards for the DSL pack. DarkRat accelerated the production schedule of DSL so that Lu-Tze could see it completed before she died. And she even pulled together in her literal final days with splitting migraines to fix a release issue so that the DSL mod pack would work with the download version of RA2.

goose took over from Starcore as co-ordinator for DSL 2. The BeetleBros, Clickbeetle and Firebeetle, were the main innovators, backed up by goose, Vincent and ACAMS. The brothers added Antweight parts, new replicas, new arenas and completely revamped the original Stock AI, creating a new base DSL Stock, with 6 bot teams. They added an Antweight team, a team that looked back on Robot Arena 1, and other helpful and innovative new parts. Vincent created a brand new spectacular UI. And ACAMS and goose did their behind-the-scenes work as they did for DSL 1. Clickbeetle later released the 2.1 patch, fixing a few minor flaws.

Clickbeetle is currently the only person known to be working on DSL 3, which should feature upgraded replicas, SHW's, a new race mode and a few components/bug fixes. It is unknown if Firebeetle, goose, ACAMS, or anybody else is helping him at this point.

Currently, DSL is being updated to 2.3 by FOTEPX. Before then, DSL 2.3 originally started out as mod collection pack known as DSL 2.2: Complete Edition, before becoming an update to DSL after Clickbeetle returned to Gametechmods. The update will include new and upgraded replicas, new components, stat changes for pre-existing components, a new UI, and new mechanics including overvolting. Modders that are currently working on it aside from FOTEPX and Clickbeetle include TGM, Mr AS, and Billy5545 who made new components, TommyProductionsInc, who made new replicas along side updating older replicas.

Bot building

Armor

We have still 4 materials, but now DSA is useless and the armor tab becomes realistic. You have to choose between 1,3,5 or 10mm armor of the chosen material, increasing weight and armor rating too. Example, 5mm of Plastic is stronger than 1mm of Steel.

DSL Armors are 6 times stronger than Stock Armors.

Components

There are plenty of new components, and all the Stock motors and batteries disappeared, as well as the Stock extenders.

A grand total of 5 batteries are now available, 8 different and more powerful spin motors (not including the gearboxes and different motor versions) and 6 burst motors.

It includes lots of new weapons including DSL bars that are a cross between an extender, a ramplate and a weapon, weapons from the replicas, and the old weapons are revised to be more realistic. Generally the heavier the weapon is the tougher and/or more damaging it is.

A lot of new extenders has been added, round extenders can now be used in the four armor materials, there are panels that can be used to build a shell spinner, drum components, bigger discs, and skirts with hinges (actually very weak servos) to use as protection/wedges.

Wheels have been changed for realism (now, the miniwheels are lighter than the shiny wheels). They also possess different grip, are widely extended in size and weight (from 6 to 40 kg), and possess different hitpoints too (bigger wheels are appropriately tougher ones)

Paint job

There are now more decals, textures and surface layers.

Bot fighting

AI bots

There are now replicas of real robots, generally built from cheatbot2 and unbalanced components (but original, to make them look as the real robots), and rebuilds of Stock AI bots, using only non-replica parts, and seriously more dangerous than the stock AI. Some have been greatly changed (LugNut is now Lock Nut, an extremely powerful HS, and Grog, the Warrior is now Grog, the Vengeful, a mighty shell spinner).

The stock AI bindings have been also changed because most of the stock AI bots drove really lousy.

Arenas

The old arenas are unchanged, but there are new arenas, like the Battlebox and the Robot Wars arena, but several exotic ones like the Drum of Death or the Cave arenas (respectively, with a big fan making the bots fly, and big rolling boulders crushing the bots if not avoided)

Sound effects

New music backgrounds have been added (Robot Workshop, Team HQ, Main UI) and the sound effects have been almost entirely renewed for more realism when fighting.


RA2-Mod Series List

Newest Mod Released: DSL-TC v2.2

Predecessors: DSL-TC v1.0, DSL-TC v1.2, DSL-TC v2.0, DSL-TC v2.1

  • Type of Mod/Patch: Total Conversion Mod
  • Mod Style: Realistic
  • Mod Graphics: 9.5/10
  • Mod Playability: 10/10
  • Mod Difficulty: Medium
  • User Friendliness: 8.5/10
  • Mod Features: More User Friendly GUI Interface, Brand new full set of HQ items to play with; including motors, wheels, extenders, etc., All new teams based off of the bots of the community and real life bots, AI Team number increased from 3 to 6 bots per team, More fully customized arenas including the Battlebots Arena, the Robot Wars Arena, and a Huge Monopoly Board, Replaced sounds to sound more realistic during fights, more AI types including "Omni" and "TopKnot", couple of cheatbot2 components which also hides the stock components. The mod also has a website.
  • Feedback Availability: Through the forums or through the DSL-TC official website.
  • Pros: Parts created to build bots that look more realistic, Challenging AI, DSL Patches and Fixes were generally easier to install and are explained thoroughly, arena and collision maps are generally well made, loads of new parts to play around with, promising and attractive GUI and backgrounds, new Introduction music when in the main menu, much more armor types to choose from.
  • Cons: Difficult AI can be a little frustrating for people playing RA2 for the first time, SHW AI take longer to load, Mod uses a specific method to install properly which may be confusing.
  • Community Popularity Rating: 98/100