Upper limits of the game

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Styro
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Upper limits of the game

Post by Styro » Mon May 23, 2005 2:43 pm

I have a pilot who has just recently finished his 200th mission. Thanks go to most everyone here for ship design ideas and tactics, etc. My previous best was around mission 140. My pilot has been in my best custom ship for quite a while (cost = 414 credits) and all his wingmen fly in ships worth from 150 to 300 credits. The missions have gotten so easy it is almost pathetic. It seems like the only way to die at this point is bad luck or foolishness. Of my previous pilots who lasted past mission 100, one died from friendly fire (I rarely give my wingmen plectrons now) and the other died on a planet assault mission where I was too cocky and flew into the middle of the battle. He got hit from all sides by hordes of missiles. The biggest problem I regularly have is running out of missiles.

I have never made any custom missions, so I do not know exactly how this works, but I understand that the enemy fleet strength is based on the strength of your fleet. Can the enemy add more groups of enemy ships? For example, if the enemy fleet is supposed to be 150% of my cost and buying the standard ships he can only get up to 110% does he add more ships, or is he just out of luck?

Perhaps we need to add some more brutal missions and ship designs for the high-end like a Death Star mission or something. Imagine a space station with two or three rows of double strength shields and missiles and that has two groups of turrets and five groups of enemy ships. You get maybe one group of friendly ships for support. Or simply add another level of shields (triple strength) and more ships for the computer to choose from. I guess that would just delay the problem to mission 300 or so.

Has anyone else run into this problem?
Last edited by Styro on Mon May 23, 2005 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Upper limits of the game

Post by Thegreatnick » Mon May 23, 2005 5:10 pm

Styro wrote:I have never made any custom missions, so I do not know exactly how this works, but I understand that the enemy fleet strength is based on the strength of your fleet.


I have a feeling that you're wrong. The strength of fleet is pre-detremined. If you go to Design Mission page then click an enemy fleet it tells you how many credits the computer is allowed to spend on that fleet. I suppose it wouldn't be too difficultto program something that's equal to your fleet size, although incorprating it into a mission could be fun.

Mmmm...Death star idea.... I'm not so sure.
Maybe a home planet mission where there are a series of painfully powerful space stations in orbit around the planet that need to be destroyed first before the mission is completed. Of course this would need to demote the original attack home planet misson, maybe into attack enemy planet or suchlike.
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Old Man Johnson
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Post by Old Man Johnson » Mon May 23, 2005 6:27 pm

I lost my great commander at exactly mission 200. I got too cocky and took on 2 Warriors and a Hurricane with a crippled ship. Eh.

I was thinking that it seems the enemy gets better as you do; I'm not sure how that works with custom missions. I don't usually do them, because I'm always afraid I'll make it too hard or too easy and the game will be very unbalanced. Much harder than designing ships.
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Post by Legacy » Mon May 23, 2005 8:11 pm

I'm too brave/stupid and I always put myself into the hairiest situations to complete the missions, that's why my favorite ships are spinoffs of the Survivabubble, if I make it out of teh first hairy contact then I can repair and come back in after my squad has given up the fight or been killed. On the starbase mission, I was the last ship left with the starbase half damaged, and I refused to leave, despite dogfighting with several Heathens, Nightmares, and other heavier ships. I generally refuse to eject until I've lost all my repair bots and engines. Even when I lose my missile tubes, I sometimes stay in hte hopes that I can draw fire until they run out of missiles or kill eachother off by friendly fire. I'm kinda suicidal, but I have gotten myself killed to save a friendly ship several times, despite the fact that I was in a Chocolate Fog on an attack mission and the two Talons on my wing came in and launched an entire volley of 6 Yataris at a target with me in the way, destroying me utterly... I just can't let the bad guys win. Deth before dishonor kinda stuff I guess. Maybe I take this game a little too seriously, but there needs to be some practical benefit to keeping friendly ships alive beyond my strange attachment to wmy wingmates...

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Post by Fusion_power » Tue May 24, 2005 1:29 am

Styro,

You have found exactly what I encountered in beta testing. Its tremendously difficult to get past the 70th mission but once there, it progressively gets easier. By mission 150, its not at all difficult. This is the reason I designed the "Attack Sector Base" mission. Unfortunately, a few more of this class are needed. Please keep in mind that there are limits on the number of objects and missiles that can be onscreen at any given time. This places an upper limit on just how difficult a mission you can design.

The biggest problem with designing your own missions is that you don't have control of the flotillas. Consider the attack and defend convoy missions. You can put a convoy into a mission, but you have absolutely no control over the kind of ships that make up the convoy. Sean feels that the amount of time spent coding for this capability would be excessive. I think he is right, but the payoff in terms of added fun would be immense.

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Old Man Johnson
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Post by Old Man Johnson » Tue May 24, 2005 3:54 am

I know; when I create custom missions that are really hard just to see how fast I can get wiped out (with a new guy, of course) I find that I fire and fire and missiles just don't appear when there's too many ships around. Kind of annoying, but understandable.
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Styro
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Post by Styro » Tue May 24, 2005 3:57 pm

I have also noticed the limit on objects before where I fire missiles but they do not appear. I hadn't really thought about the ramifications in terms of not being able to make larger missions.

I played around with the mission designer last night and discovered that I was totally wrong in my assumptions. It does not scale the enemy to match you - it just has a set amount of money for each group of ships. That explains why the missions get easier.

I thought that one solution would be to create more high-end missions since you can set the required rank. There are two limiting factors, though. The limit on the number of objects would be reached with any more difficult missions (I regularly hit this limit on the War and Sector Base missions). And my current pilot made Admiral around mission 39, so it still would not solve the problem of escalation beyond that point.

Adding more missions at the Comander, Commodore and Admiral levels would at least add some more variety, but the object limit would need to be addressed.

I think we could also spice the game up with more mission variety. I think the current missions are great, but if it was easier to test your own missions I think people would create and post some interesting things. However, nobody wants to spend several weeks building up a good pilot only to have him get killed while tweaking the difficulty of a new mission. If there was a arena mode where you could fly one mission where you set the amount of money available and pick the mission (or have it select a random mission - just to try out some better ships) that would fit the bill.

For an example of a different mission, I started making a Run the Gauntlet type mission where there is no realistic way for you to destroy the defenses. You just have to run through or around them, destroy the target, and get out. This one may scale well because later you could actually try to defeat the defenses (at least until you ran out of missiles). I put a group of shuttles (the objective) surrounded by four turret rings and three groups of enemy ships. This one, obviously, would exceed the missile limit. It would be fun to design missions with specific ship types in mind (like one requiring more stealth, for example just as the Colonizer mission requires more radar). But we would need more control over what ships are available to make this viable.

I think this is a really great game as it is, but I would like to see some sort of closure for my pilot. Perhaps it would be as simple as a victory screen at ~200 missions (or even fewer if it only takes ~40 to become Admiral). On the other hand, I still have lots of room to improve my fleet and I will not be totally satisfied until all my wingmen are flying 300+ credit ships. I just wish there was a worthy opponent to fly them against. :)
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Old Man Johnson
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Post by Old Man Johnson » Tue May 24, 2005 6:29 pm

I suggested an arena-style mode a while back, but no one responded. I still think it would be a really good mission testing idea, along with allowing you to add custom ships to missions.
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Post by Fenny » Wed May 25, 2005 3:59 am

Man, I've only been playing for about 3 weeks now and I've only had one pilot reach 15 missions and 3 or 4 of those were in fact "failed" after being forced to eject before completion. Obviously, I need to work on strategy and ship choices, formations, etc...

But, just hearing you guys talk about the intense missions against those monster ships, well, it makes me kinda...well, I get kinda... umm...

Well, let's say I get a bit aroused... No, I get extremely aroused...!!!

I'm an old man and this game is like a drug....
Some kind of Merikon Mind-Bending pharmaceutical. I MUST have it...

But, seriously, I get some wonderful advice from these forums. I've now gone through and read virtually every post and my play is improving pretty quickly in terms of strategy, using radar or stealth for certain missions, etc... Thanks to all the regular contributors, very much.

One question though... Am I to understand that, if I save a game then load the file and play with that pilot, and he dies, then the file is deleted? I can't re-load it and try again? If so, that's kind of an interesting twist...

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Post by Sean OConnor » Wed May 25, 2005 8:44 am

Yes, if you die then you are just dead and you can't come back. Some people hate this but I wanted people to think carefully before taking a risky decision. If you can just get "reincarnated" every time you slip up then it will remove all the tension of the game.

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Post by Steve! » Sat Jun 04, 2005 9:54 pm

I have reached mission 115, since mission 90 the game has been stupendously easy, helped in no small way by the enemies being utter cowards and constantly hyperspacing away. Which annoys me as its now almost impossible to get a gold cross, the baddies dont hang around long enough for me to chock up enough kills.

The game has been so easy, since i moved onto fully armoured ships (8 blue on each side) that im really considering removing my repair drones, in the last 25 missions, they have not once been used and in mission 89 or around there, they repaired an engine and a scanner. Also my wingmen tend to rarely die now, as i put them in the most heavily armoured ships i can get.

I've won attack enemy planet and attack sector base with no real trouble. Even though I'm merikon, which means i don't get warriors in friendly squaderons.

So i feel there is an upper limit, once you reach the really chunky heavily armoured ships, the challenge fades away. At this level bad luck alone isn't enough to kill me, and I've been foolish enough to have had a lesser ship blown to pieces on several occasions and survived with no real problems.

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Post by Old Man Johnson » Sat Jun 04, 2005 10:51 pm

Merikon (Blue) get Warriors as teammates. Are you sure you're not thinking of Zyans (Orange) or Straylians (Purple)?
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Post by Steve! » Sun Jun 05, 2005 8:29 am

whoops, yes I'm thinking of zyans, the orange ones

And yes, bad luck alone won't always kill me anymore, that is, if you consider an ally shooting 4 plectrons into your rear shields at point blank because theres an enemy directly in front of you as 'bad luck'.

Thankfully I survived, the rear shields taking all the damage.

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Post by Old Man Johnson » Sun Jun 05, 2005 1:14 pm

When I was still playing my super commander, I had a ships with 8 Super Shields on all sides. This made me kind of reckless and I made stupid mistakes I normally wouldn't have. But, whatever. I could afford them.
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