I haven't played through the *whole* campaign just yet, although I would be done it I hadn't stopped to replay each of the major battles a few times to try different strategies, but I just want to say... the first time I played this, I found myself grinning from ear to ear because it's utterly bonkers and I immediately loved it. I really
hope we get to see more of this style of combat/campaign, because it's freakin' awesome!
I'd say calling Warmachine a remix of BP is selling it short; to me it feels more like a reimagining/modernization of FS2 combat (clearly inspired at least partly by modern fighter combat, given the hugely increased lethality of everything involved, the staggering variety + greatly increased importance of missiles, and of course who can forget the absolutely stunning
model for the GTF Achilles), that just happens to be using BP AoA as a testbed. Oh, and the visuals in general (especially the weapon visuals) are gorgeous
- major props on that!
The battles feel much more dynamic and engaging; Forced Entry in particular is brutally hard in an awesome way, as it challenges all your prior assumptions about tactics. Shivan heavy assault fighters have become much more of a real threat (as they should be); previously you could afford to ignore a wing of Basilisks or Lakshmis for a while, as they couldn't do that much damage to a capship... if anything, Shivan HAFs were just easy prey, but now they're as much a threat (or almost as much) as bombers are, pounding ships into oblivion if you're not careful.
At the same time, missiles like the Spectre hard-counter bombers, allowing a single Achilles to - at least on lower difficulties - take down three whole wings of them at long range in short order, which helps balance the increase in heavy assault fighter lethality by letting you dispatch bombers more efficiently.
One of the more fun gameplay elements, IMO, is dealing with Shivan swarm missiles launched at you... they'll launch a huge salvo, you'll go "oh crap", turn around, hit your burners, hit glide, flip around again, shoot down all the missiles before they hit you, and fire back at the fighters if they're still in range - before coming out of the glide and hitting your burners straight at the enemy fighters to commence your counterattack. When pulled off successfully, it's very satisfying.
As feedback: the Sarissa is good in power, but I find myself feeling like its range is too short pretty regularly given it's supposed to be a sniper weapon.
And the Massacre is great fun, but given the effect on target often feels a tad lacklustre (I'm pretty sure its shield damage is quite low, which means you need to spam an absolute boatload of them to take down or even significantly weaken a wing of enemy fighters... which is what its targeting style suggests it's for) I think it might be a good idea to make them smaller / allow fighters to carry a few more of them
The Tiamat is an excellent weapon, other than the fact it has a pretty high chance of hitting my
fighter any time I use it - regardless of my opponent's distance or my speed. It even hits me when fired into empty space! I've come to call it the "stop hitting yourself" gunpod
On the Achilles it's around a 50% chance, on the Ishtar it's more like a 100% chance.
Oh, and here's a - possibly very dumb - idea (just throwing it out there) regarding the Vishnans' ship/weapon selection: it might be interesting to have a very large
class of Vishnan "bomber" (more like a long-range strike platform) with dismal maneuverability and only a single primary - but that primary is a cruiser beam, albeit quickly chewing through its (necessarily large) energy reserves [giving it a slow fire rate, dependent on the use of ETS to maximize its damage potential]. Perhaps a couple turrets could compensate for the weakness against strikecraft without making it too terribly OP.
There's way more I could say, but I'll end with this: bravo, y'all have done amazing work here! *claps* Warmachine blew my mind just as much as playing BP for the first time did, potentially even more so. It's absolutely incredible what you - and the FSO team, having made so much of the new stuff possible - have done. Sincere thanks to everyone involved for making this, and to the wonderful community who made it possible; I for one had and am having a blast.
And I'm certain plenty of other people definitely have/are too, who simply didn't think to post about it.
This is definitely getting added to my list of all-time favourite campaigns (in no particular order - Blue Planet, Exile: Into the Dark Waters, and now Warmachine). The FS2 community never ceases to amaze me.
Sorry for the wall of text