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Herkie update (May 27)

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I got another update from Herkie on FB to post here:

"I have played TBG (released version)and Reboot again and compared it. And yes it was bloody difficult. I may tweak the AI before releasing it and NOT tested it. I don't know what happen, I think I was playing the wrong untweaked version. I will revert to that untweaked version and I may have to reduce numbers of hostiles drastically.  There are also two options I will make. Either I will have Widowmakers available for most missions or tune down the NI fighter's hitpoints. Or maybe do both.

About the "horney" thing. I will take it out. Bad joke. He he he.

By the way, you can post my plans about the difficulty factor. Tell them I am doing an update and considering ALL their comments. Oh yes, please do send me the comments here in MSG, I can't log on to HLP.

Oh yes, regarding the transport race mission. Even if we have easy enemies, you will fail! There are events that will happen that will spell doom if you don't do the correct strategy. Do this:

1. Orders all your fighters to protect Katrina.

 2. Destroy the nearest group of NI transports and NOT the farthest group. Do this in exactly 3 minutes because bombers will arrive packing with deadly Hellstorm missiles. I say three minutes because by the time you  destroy the NI transports in time, you eill be suitably near the bomber's arrival point.

 3. In dealing with the Archanias, destroy Weapon subs on both in exactly 2 minutes, beyond that they will fire! I hope you are packing the Blizzard. You know trebs are actually a misleadind distraction which I intentionally placed, don't ever use them in TBG.

4. After the Archanias, deal with the other group of NI transports. At this point, they are awefully near their goal. One TBG rule: Forget the fighters, don't get distracted by them unless they are the objective. Don't even try to avoid them, your shields can take it. Stick to your priorities.

5. Now, after dispatching the 2 groups of NI transports, survive the chaos! It is time to deal with those pesky fighters Everyhing is scripted at this time. By the way, forget the 3rd group of NI transports, they are dead anyway.

If you do this, you will see that this mission is actually very easy. Things will be VERY difficult if you don't discover the right strategy. If you got the right one, you will find things are ridiculously easy. My designs now require thinking and trial and error, a lot of it.  Post these exact words.

I think you guys find it hard because you did not find the secret. Hmmm... maybe my difficulty factor was only just. After all, these mission designs are different from the ones I use to make. Like I said in the release page.

If you haven't notice it yet. There are a lot of "distractions" in all the missions. From hostile crafts and capital ships; fighters are number one distractions and they should be unless they are the target or attacking your objective, events in the missions that will draw you out of the fray; the enemy's strategy, even from your loadouts; there are weapons available that are utterly useless like the Trebuchets, even from the briefings or you CO's instructions in battle; your COs might not know anything in their point of view; it's not a story flaw - read beyond the words. If you are drawn to these distractions then you will fail the mission.This is no longer a typical FS2 universe, things are different now. You may have to rethink the way you fight and see things in The Aftermath world."


This may be a bit of good news.  While it doesn't fix all the issues people have raised with TBG, it looks like there's a chance now that the overall difficulty could be lessened at least a bit (perhaps players could even get Widowmakers more often).

Sounds good! For me the hitpoints of the Vasudan fighters were a bit much. One suggestion that I have is the inclusion of friendly vasudan fighters in missions where we have allied capital ships. I just find it strange that an allied Archania isn't deploying fighter and bomber wings to assist.

I got another message from Herkie on this issue:


"I will tone down the AI once more and maybe make Widowmakers available--- just MAYBE, if I find the missions easy enough then will stick to the original availability.

As for the hostile hitpoints, I can't just reduce them. There is a reason why I increased them in the first place. Some of our story plots needed it. If I tweak the hitpoints, some events in line with the plot may not or will not happen. I will have to scrap the missions and redesign new ones and, consequently, drastically alter the plot like the ending credits. It is easy to write in paper but to make it happen, accounting for the technical aspects, a work around has to be made. The designer of Sword of the Stars once said, "design is about figuring out the problem then fleshing it out... You have an idea and run it in the game, you will end up having a different game."

So there nothing I can do about the hitpoints without having to redesign the missions."


So now it looks like we might not get a health adjustment on NI fighters/bombers.  At least the possibility of getting Widowmakers more often is still alive though.

You can change HP for individual ships in FRED though. You can keep them the same as in the original release for those that require it or vice versa.

(Another update)

In response to the previous update I basically asked Herkie why just nerfing the health of NI ships would break the game and not just make it easier.  He responded:


"The Pearl Harbor mission for example. The bombers at first were normal but thru a dozen of test, they don't get near the Midway. They get ripped apart by the Ice Queens even before they can fire. Plus normal Vasudan fighters were all eliminated in 2 minutes and I have to respawn them a lot. There two options, reduce the weapon power wwhich will affect the fight the Shivans or two increase the Vasudan hitpoints which is plausible since they too had advancements.  I chose the latter. It is akso a way to not respawn them a lot. Another example is the threat to the Saturn. More examples are the mission Midnight Run, Diamond in the Rough, and Solar Eclipse. NI squadrons  are gone in less than a minute if they are normal. Practically all the missions. The secret of killing them quickly is to equip the new guns and missiles. The Kayser is outdated against the Devastator which has more power and higher ROF. The Tempest, tornadoes and hornets are useless too. Use the Screamer, they are agile, more power, with longer range. In double fire mode, they are deadly. The best weapon for quick kills is the Starfury."


I think people would rather see a few more respawns than making each individual fighter a chore (or feel like a boss enemy).  It was like this in AF1 and a lot of complaints I've seen about TBG also say they liked how things were in AF1/Reboot better.  People enjoyed going through enemies like butter in AF1/Reboot.  I can understand making the Vasudan NI fighters a little tougher than the Shivans (to account for tech advances), but like has been said before that should translate to less enemy fighters...gameplay should go slightly ahead of strict realism in this regard.  A lot of TBG fights feel like chores.
Herkie seems determined to make this a lot more difficult than AF1/Reboot when, based on what I've read here, people want the difficulty of TBG to be lessened and closer to what AF1/Reboot was (you can have tougher enemies but the numbers should be lessened then).  I'm hoping he can at least be convinced to let us have Widowmakers.

I've also tried his suggestion of using newer weapons.  I've done this on very easy and the enemies still take a long time to kill.


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