Author Topic: BP: War in Heaven discussion  (Read 669196 times)

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Offline The E

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
This is the finest FSO campaign I've ever seen. Full stop. No quantification.

Now I'm just dying for part II... "join the club", I suppose.

Anyhow, specifics:
Spoiler:

4. The Graphics. Beautiful to a T. Granted, a lot of that was probably the 3.6.12 MediaVPs- hats off to the MediaVPs staff, by the way- but all the Blueplanet-specific assets were all amazing, especially the Luna sequence. Atmospheric flight, here we come?

Spoiler:
Truth is, many of the more spectacular mediavps effects, like the bomb flash and the burning debris, were developed partially for BP first, and then donated to the mediavps

Quote
Spoiler:
By the way, do all the scenes in that closing cinematic exist in one "mission zone"?

Spoiler:
There is actually no other way to do it!
If I'm just aching this can't go on
I came from chasing dreams to feel alone
There must be changes, miss to feel strong
I really need lifе to touch me
--Evergrey, Where August Mourns

 
Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
Just finished it.
Great Job from the whole team. Truely a masterpiece, that surpass AoA. Can't wait for Part 2

 

Offline IronBeer

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
Spoiler:
There is actually no other way to do it!
@The E: Guessed as much, just wanted to be sure.
"I have approximate knowledge of many things."

Ridiculous, the Director's Cut

Starlancer Head Animations - Converted

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
Ok, now my stupid wingmen went ahead and nuke the Norfolk when I gave them all the order to friggin ignore it, after smacking into me in a retarded series of collisions for the past five minutes and preventing my rearm :/
Thank you for failing the mission for me, worthless bozos.

Gotta do this one again too and pray they don't get any stupid ideas :/

I'm trying to figure out how to improve this behavior (the collision issue is really annoying, but I mean the Norfolk nuking) and it bemuses me that you somehow managed to get this to happen, because as soon as the Norfolk is disarmed/disabled, they:

a) get their goals cleared
b) the Norfolk is IFFed to Unknown
c) the Norfolk is protected

I've never seen it occur!

 

Offline Droid803

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
It was disabled but it didn't IFF change to unknown.
It was hostile and they just all swarmed it with Gattlers.

Also, I suspect this is an issue on my end, but...90% of the campaign has no music. At all. The only time there was music was the mission above the moon (the one where you do nothing but fly in a straight line)...

I'm pretty sure its just something with FSO or OpenAL on my end since I get no sounds anyway (even on retail!) with 3.6.12 builds, so I'm on 3.6.13 just to be able to hear anything.
(´・ω・`)
=============================================================

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
It was disabled but it didn't IFF change to unknown.
It was hostile and they just all swarmed it with Gattlers.

Also, I suspect this is an issue on my end, but...90% of the campaign has no music. At all. The only time there was music was the mission above the moon (the one where you do nothing but fly in a straight line)

:lol:

Your install is le borked. Get a debug log up pronto!

As a fix for the nuke issue I'm gonna armor the Norfolk a little.

 

Offline Droid803

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
I've tried debug it happens with retail. (not no music, but no interface/afterburner sounds)
I didn't see anything suspicious.

And yay! You used my dark Orion textures for the Carthage!
« Last Edit: August 08, 2010, 04:41:34 pm by Droid803 »
(´・ω・`)
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Offline General Battuta

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
I've tried debug it happens with retail. (not no music, but no interface/afterburner sounds)

Get a debug log up pronto!

 

Offline The E

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
One thing. If you encounter that "missing music" bug, quit the game and restart.
If I'm just aching this can't go on
I came from chasing dreams to feel alone
There must be changes, miss to feel strong
I really need lifе to touch me
--Evergrey, Where August Mourns

 

Offline Droid803

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
One thing. If you encounter that "missing music" bug, quit the game and restart.

That fixes it.
What causes it? O_o
(´・ω・`)
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Offline The E

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
Some bug in the sound code that hasn't been tracked down yet.
If I'm just aching this can't go on
I came from chasing dreams to feel alone
There must be changes, miss to feel strong
I really need lifе to touch me
--Evergrey, Where August Mourns

 

Offline Droid803

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
Ah, well I finished it.

Now that I'm done I can actually make an actual review.

Spoiler:
It was good. Not "go tell your grandkids" good like AoA, but solid, and recommended. For me, it didn't really live up to all its hype.
It didn't leave me going "holy crap, holy crap, that was awesome, I'm going to tell EVERYONE!" at the end like AoA did, but it did leave me thinking.

The characters, I felt were a lot less identifiable with than in AoA. Most specifically the main character. I could empathize with Sam, but Noemi for me felt...detached and her beliefs were so different. It was certainly interesting watching her realize herself, but I never really felt right flying as her. Perhaps its just because I never got to see what happened in Sol in the BP verse, but got to see the events of FS2. That made me far more attached to the GTVA than the UEF. Sure, the UEF are the victims of this war, but if they knew what was good for them they would stand down. If they can't even take on four GTVA destroyers in their home system, they'll never survive a Shivan incursion.

The plot was fairly slow for the first act, which consisted primarily of escort missions of one variety or another, even "Darkest Hour" and the attack on the GTD Meridian didn't feel very intense (mostly because my wingmen just blew everything to bits without me even doing anything). Perhaps it wasn't meant to be played on Easy/Medium but rather on Insane (or maybe it was the lack of intense music cause of the sound glitch that I didn't know about). It all changes in the second act, though. "Delenda Est" was masterful, if not cripplingly frustrating, seeing as it's so effing difficult to save the Katana and Altan Orde from the Deimos, only to have them be gutted by the Imperieuse anyway. I would have to admit, though, that seeing the GTVA the badass mofo Steele lay the smackdown on the UEF was satisfying, yet saddening at the same time (hearing all the "goodbyes" and all).

Shame FSO's sound code is glitchy and I played 80% of the campaign without music (and without knowing it) :( :( :(. The pieces I did hear were superb. Even without music though, the missions were designed well enough to make me think that it might have been intentional, just to...make the mood eerie yet solemn (until I realized EVERYTHING had no music including the mainhall). I really should play it again with music.

The graphics were great, though a bit lag-inducing :P
It was...interesting seeing mutant versions of the Kadmos, Tane, Morana, and Liberty flying around as civilian ships.

All in all, I don't think I have any real qualms about the campaign, there was nothing wrong with it, just that I would have preferred it be done from the GTVA perspective instead, but that would be a completely different story altogether. :P

It certainly did show me how hard it is to fight against what you believe in...even in a game. The backstory was just too well done and polarized me far to much for me to truly enjoy flying for the UEF. XD The GTVA spent the whole campaign asserting its badassery, so I guess I'm happy with that.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2010, 05:48:49 pm by Droid803 »
(´・ω・`)
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Offline Spoon

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
Finished WiH today. Took me 3 days. So here's my honest review (Spoilers may be included, read at your own risk)

My pc didn't had too much trouble with the visual goodies so yeah, WiH is a sight to behold. You wouldn't guess the game is 10+ years old if you play WiH.
The writing was really well done, Battuta showed his skills there. At times though, a bit too much. :p long logs and briefings makes WiH feel more like a novel then a game at times. I mean, the log entry inbetween the mission
Spoiler:
where you lure the Carthage and then scramble to follow it
was a bit of a flowbreaker.

The characters are realistically written, felt kinda Battlestar galactica like in atmosphere. Though I personally couldn't really care too much about them, they are realistic but not really 'likeable'. But hey, perhaps thats just me. I just personally start to lose interest rather fast when a lot of time is devoted to how persons feel and the state of their emotional health etc. (And really, I just hope
Spoiler:
simms dies for good so the lesbian subtones will stop...
)
Best character of the game is Seele. Kicking ass in the name of the GTVA, I salute you dear sir o7

In terms of Fredding the missions are all solid and well done ('cept for the last mission, which was impossible to complete without cheating. Even when I turned invincible and fully focused on taking out beam cannons, the Katana nearly died), the checkpoint system works beautifully. The skip dialouge parts didn't seemed to do much for me though.
When I think back, a few missions really spring to mind:
Spoiler:
the one with the dialouge tree (I felt kinda quilty going through that one only once, knowing how much effort it takes to fred that one) the one with the ejected gaian dude/chick/hostage situation, the missions where you face several pilots with nicknames and the cease fire over the vasudan ship (Which was quite a masterpiece of writing I might add, I too didn't liked shooting anyone in that mission.)
The only rotten apple was the last mission.  :ick:

Gameplay wise though, I was less enthusiastic about WiH. I really felt that so much time was spend on military tactics, military language and 'realistic' combat that the WiH team forgot that this is... a game? Several times in Act 1 I felt like I was just a useless presence on a field of cool looking battleships doing their thing without me being able to influence anything. "Why bother going after that fighter? It won't be a threat to that capship with its endless flak doom cannons anyway. Oh hey, bombers! Something relevant to kill!". I felt I was just there to witness a story being told. The GTVA is kicking ass (Hell yeah!) and the buntu's are a bunch of stumbling fools in comparison. And you are just there... looking at it happen. The first few missions felt kinda disjointed too (little relevance to each other) Act 2 was better in this regard, on occasion I actually had to do things (though it was often fine to let your team mates do the killing too) and it finally felt like I had to 'play' the game when the Uriel gunship became available. The missions started becoming 'chained together' too, instead of the "Escort this, Go here, Do this" of act 1.
Perhaps I was expecting too much Vassago Dirge level of 'holy **** wow' moments. I feel like I fell victim to 'overhype' for this campaign :(

I was honestly disappointed with the player selectable weapons (and how little info was being provided about what they do in the weapon loadout). A high RoF dakka gun, a slow RoF energy gun, an anti subsystem primary for the first part of the game. Along with the default dumbfire, aspect and swarm missiles. To be honest, I expected some more creativity there. I hardly felt it mattered what weapons I brought with me. (An other case of too much focus on awesome capship weaponry?) I actually felt a feeling of joy when I got to fly the GTVA stuff in that one mission.

The music was a bit of a hit or miss at times. Like, I was completely getting pumped up when the track in the first mission started playing... but then after those first few fighters it just promptly ceased... That was such a turn off  :p  An other case was the music used when you fly
Spoiler:
over the moonbase.
It felt like victory music but... all you did was fly and talk. Yet in several cutscenes and other cases the usage of music was spot on and plain epic.

In conclusion: WiH is a really good, polished campaign, that put its focus a tad too much on military tactics and capital ships (and imho, a bit too much on the emotions of the characters) and seems to forget at times at it is a game instead of a semi-interactive novel.
Here's hoping that for Act 3 and 4 the WiH team will focus some more on the gameplay and less on trival things like the distance of the earth from the moon and the position of the sun :p

Also, as im typing this, I see Droid803 posted a review too and I'm glad to see he agrees with me on what a badass Seele is and how satisfying it was to see him kick UEF ass :lol:
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 

Offline Droid803

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
* Droid803 agrees with Spoon

He probably said it better than I did.

I do have to add that the VLS torpedoes on the Karuna are awesome.
I have a thing for the Vagyr battlecruiser, see, and I'd love to see something that mounts like a rack of 10 of them along the op of the spine :nervous:
(´・ω・`)
=============================================================

 

Offline Scotty

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
I have now finished the campaign.  Review is as follows:

Firstly, generalities.

I was immensely impressed at the quality of the campaign at the end of Act I.  By the end of the campaign, I was absolutely blown away by the depth and quality presented.  I could feel a connection with the character as she plunged into the horrors of war, watched treasured friends die around her, struggling with the morality of an ever shifting conflict that shakes her to her soul and back again.  I could fairly taste the desperation as the UEF suffered blow after blow after blow, and feel the burning fury of pilots who had lost everything but themselves, and sometimes even that.  

Beyond the emotional connection to the protagonists, the combat sequences were masterfully executed, exhibiting wonderful, if challenging, balance, believable chatter, unique objectives, and enough recurring characters and vessels to lend a sense of solidity to the gameplay and overarching storyline.

The vast new and improved aresenal of both the UEF and GT(V)A leads to a varied and interesting combat dynamic, not altogether unlike an amazingly beautiful game of rock/paper/scissors carried out instead by kilotons of nuclear fury, shattering reports and impacts of ballistic cannons, and the harshly concentrated death and destruction of high-yield energy weapons.  Space superiority fighters are exactly what it says on the tin, Interceptors shoot down bombers, bombers kill capships, and capships kill everything smaller than them, up to and including other capships.  The way the player moves from flying the Uhlan SSF to the Interceptor fighter to the gunship is carried out in a believable way, much more so than the retail Freespace 2 campaign, where pilots are seemingly transferred between squadrons and combat roles at the tip of a hat.  There are only very few nearly useless weapons, while nearly everything else finds a decent use in different situations.  Granted, there are some stupidly good weapons, but those are used little enough, or are frequently unsuited the objective at hand, making their exceptional quality as weapons slightly less noticeable.

There were scant few bugs, and only one thing dampened my enjoyment of the game as a whole: the Karuna.  I am fully aware that the BP team is already trying to fix that, but everytime a Karuna enters the field, it pulls the rug out from under the framerate, making escort missions hellaciously irritating in practice, if not in theory.  Perhaps being forced to use a control scheme I am unfamiliar with exacerbated the problem, but it exists nonetheless.  

The music used was completely appropriate, a wonderful mix of hopeful, hopeless, triumphant, exhilarated, furious, and mournful.  Music can make or break a campaign, and, as in the vein of Age of Aquarius, the music for this campaign doesn't merely not break, or even make the campaign; it elevates the campaign on a gilded pedestal of awesomeness.

I have to leave for the moment, but I'll write the rest of this when I get back and edit this post.

EDIT:  1000th POST!
« Last Edit: August 08, 2010, 09:19:07 pm by Scotty »

 

Offline thorbin

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
Thanks again for your help in troubleshooting my Freespace 2 installation. Once I got WiH working, I almost couldn't stop. :yes: The missions were well crafted, and bring a growing sense of doom. I have to agree with the performance issues. Some of the larger battles turned my system into a slideshow a few times, but it is probably nothing a little fine tuning couldn't fix.
I also thought your selection in music was excellent. Your opening cutscene made good use of the music from the Star Trek trailer, and was there a piece from District 9 (that somber chanting music which would pop up when a mission went particularly bad)?
I look forward to part 2 with baited breath.  :hopping:

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
Gameplay wise though, I was less enthusiastic about WiH. I really felt that so much time was spend on military tactics, military language and 'realistic' combat that the WiH team forgot that this is... a game? Several times in Act 1 I felt like I was just a useless presence on a field of cool looking battleships doing their thing without me being able to influence anything. "Why bother going after that fighter? It won't be a threat to that capship with its endless flak doom cannons anyway. Oh hey, bombers! Something relevant to kill!". I felt I was just there to witness a story being told.

You know, I'm surprised to hear this, because it's rather contradictory to what I thought about the first version. Combat in WiH version one was simple, clean, goal-oriented, classic FS. The player always had a purpose and it was clearly defined with pretty much one exception that was almost unnoticed because it was an in-mission cutscene. However they'd clearly worked on having things make sense from a strategy standpoint. (Well, sort of. I think the UEF was getting their ass kicked because they didn't really understand and that view seemed to surprise a few people.)

Of course I also believe that UEF flak at that stage was a lot less impressive. And it was pre-Fury AI, which from what you've said may have contributed to damaging your view by making the capitals much more impressive.

I was honestly disappointed with the player selectable weapons (and how little info was being provided about what they do in the weapon loadout). A high RoF dakka gun, a slow RoF energy gun, an anti subsystem primary for the first part of the game. Along with the default dumbfire, aspect and swarm missiles. To be honest, I expected some more creativity there. I hardly felt it mattered what weapons I brought with me. (An other case of too much focus on awesome capship weaponry?) I actually felt a feeling of joy when I got to fly the GTVA stuff in that one mission.

That, I know they were warned about.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
Gameplay wise though, I was less enthusiastic about WiH. I really felt that so much time was spend on military tactics, military language and 'realistic' combat that the WiH team forgot that this is... a game? Several times in Act 1 I felt like I was just a useless presence on a field of cool looking battleships doing their thing without me being able to influence anything. "Why bother going after that fighter? It won't be a threat to that capship with its endless flak doom cannons anyway. Oh hey, bombers! Something relevant to kill!". I felt I was just there to witness a story being told.

You know, I'm surprised to hear this, because it's rather contradictory to what I thought about the first version. Combat in WiH version one was simple, clean, goal-oriented, classic FS. The player always had a purpose and it was clearly defined with pretty much one exception that was almost unnoticed because it was an in-mission cutscene. However they'd clearly worked on having things make sense from a strategy standpoint. (Well, sort of. I think the UEF was getting their ass kicked because they didn't really understand and that view seemed to surprise a few people.)

Of course I also believe that UEF flak at that stage was a lot less impressive. And it was pre-Fury AI, which from what you've said may have contributed to damaging your view by making the capitals much more impressive.

I was honestly disappointed with the player selectable weapons (and how little info was being provided about what they do in the weapon loadout). A high RoF dakka gun, a slow RoF energy gun, an anti subsystem primary for the first part of the game. Along with the default dumbfire, aspect and swarm missiles. To be honest, I expected some more creativity there. I hardly felt it mattered what weapons I brought with me. (An other case of too much focus on awesome capship weaponry?) I actually felt a feeling of joy when I got to fly the GTVA stuff in that one mission.

That, I know they were warned about.

Spoon's criticisms are rooted more in comparison with his own mod than FS2 retail. *shrug* But they're definitely things we're interested in improving, especially weapon diversity.

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
Spoon's criticisms are rooted more in comparison with his own mod than FS2 retail. *shrug* But they're definitely things we're interested in improving, especially weapon diversity.

No, I'm pretty sure he has an overall point. :P
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: BP: War in Heaven discussion
Spoon's criticisms are rooted more in comparison with his own mod than FS2 retail. *shrug* But they're definitely things we're interested in improving, especially weapon diversity.

No, I'm pretty sure he has an overall point. :P

We'd like to improve weapon variety in R2; we cut several weapons from R2 that in retrospect maybe should have stayed there. But other points were simply consequences of our design decisions and are, as the saying goes, intended behavior.