Poll

What did you think about BPC difficulty

Consistently too easy
1 (1.3%)
Consistently too hard
5 (6.5%)
Generally balanced
36 (46.8%)
Some missions were too hard(post which)
34 (44.2%)
Some missions which were supposed to be hard were too easy(post which)
1 (1.3%)

Total Members Voted: 77

Author Topic: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]  (Read 22093 times)

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Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
There have been a few complaints about BPC being inappropriately difficult on the lower difficulties so I'm wondering what anyone who has played(or even better, completed) the campaigns thinks about it.

This is generally aimed at the people who played on the easier than insane difficulties(very easy, easy, medium, or hard) but feel free to post your thoughts if you thought some missions were imbalanced on insane/reality as well.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2015, 03:23:45 pm by FrikgFeek »
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
We tested a ton, but tested mostly on insane: it's possible that there was some difficulty creep on the lower settings we didn't catch.

We're also thinking about normalizing weapon recharge to always behave like Insane. Any strong objections to that?

 

Offline rance

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Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
To a certain extent I think it's working out what tactics will work for the particular mission people are struggling with. For example Her Finest Hour in WiH seems to require doing all the objectives in a certain order in order to succeed. (PS I mainly play on the easier difficulties)

 
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
HFH definitely has a certain 'flow' with objectives but there's no real set order. Obviously it's better to complete objectives closer to your starting point first and saving the Serenity is a no-brainer as it's on your way to any other objective you might want to do.

I've talked with several other people who played it on insane and there are different viable styles. Some like taking the Grimmlers with an Ammo pack and sniping the Mjolnirs/Auroras with Grimmlers before going for Neptune while I personally like taking the UX+Gattler and dealing with the miners while I send my wingmen for the Mjolnirs, then just dogfighting the Auroras instead of sniping them.
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded

 

Offline Spoon

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Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
Quote
This is generally aimed at the people who played on the easy difficulties(very easy, easy, medium, or hard)
Two of these are not easy.
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

 
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
as a below average FS - Pilot i say:

WiH is completely different to AoA in Missiondesign.

In AoA or Vanilla Freespace if you suc*, your Mission objective will fail (iE some ship is going to blow).
The player can survive way easyer than WiH.

In WiH. if you are a bad pilot you'll die in the first minute of the mission.
If you are a bad and refuse to die (constant evading whatever is shoot at you) AoA or Vanilla logic will apply (some Ship is going to blow).
The overall difficulty is higher than AoA / Vanilla - but so far i've not noticed anything particular strange.
Alsow the enemy (fleet com) behaves way smarter in WiH, than AoA. Attacks are carried out from multiple directions and distances in short order. So you spend most of the time beeing at the wrong place. The lack of a Treb-like missle makes it hard to assist friendly warships against newer GTVA Corvettes.
If you needed to assist whatsoever because a beam turret in AoA is killing a friendlie? Double treb it - done. Try that on a Modern GTVA corvette in the Ulahn with Hellfires  :lol:

The last point is a little bitter, for example:
If you save the vatician (vatican?) light cruiser from the Deimos.... you won't be able to save it from the second corvette as you have absolutely nothing to pull her teeth.... (those turrets seem to be armored way better than on the "old" ships).


To sum things up,
i do think "medium" on WiH is already pretty challenging if you are not practicing Missions in simulator (or by dieing multiple times till it works) to perfectionize it...

If this would be real life (only 1 try). Medium would already be impossible.
.. keep in mind if you play it first time you won't know where the enemy is.
Granted the Captials will screem for help but as they don't give any hint where it's coming from it doesn't help.

There is no target acquisition:
Nothing like - "Attention! Maxim Strike 3 o'clock high! Going after the Churchill."
So if you are in the middle of meele with some strike craft you will need time to:

- orient yourself (where am i - where is my Capital)
- you'll need to scan the void to eventually see the enemy (it could be everywhere as you have no hint)
- afterburn towards them and - if you did not kill it shortly after the message - evade the enemy fighter wich is after you

Add this to the Problem of hitting anything with tracking missles (as AI is better), the inability to destroy beem weapons of most modern ships if you don't carry specific ordonance (which you can't on ulahn) and even Medium is next to impossible there is ZERO margin in the Mission design, they are unforgiving, make the slightest mistake (wich you will as you don't know the missions befor you have flown them at least once) - you'll fail.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2015, 03:35:02 pm by Black-Sheep »

 
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
Quote
This is generally aimed at the people who played on the easy difficulties(very easy, easy, medium, or hard)
Two of these are not easy.



Ugh, edited the OP, hope you're happy.
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded

 

Offline TacOne

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Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
I'm currently on mission 9 of WIH (The Plunder, where you have to capture the logistics ship) and it's kicking my ass. This is on medium.
There are three main objectives: Stay alive, destroy the Aurora wing, and prevent the frigates from dying. So far I've managed to do that once, and then I didn't have any paveways left to disable the Anemoi's engines.
I don't remember if I thought this mission was terribly difficult or not when I played it before in the old version. My current problem is that while I think that taking out the Auroras will let my frigates win the capship engagement, I can't kill them quickly enough to matter because the cruisers and/or the other fighters will completely wreck me if I take my attention off of them long enough to smack the Auroras.
I did a couple of tries where I tried to help the frigates by trying to disable the cruisers' beam cannons, but I can't line up a Paveway shot quick enough to not get whacked. If I ignore the cruisers and Auroras and defend myself against the enemy fighters I won't be done quickly enough to affect the capship battle and I'll lose a frigate.

Now, I'm probably not playing the mission entirely to my strengths with regards to giving wingman orders and the like, but I feel like unless I get really lucky with the AI doing their job really well I can't win the battle without getting killed. The previous missions of WIH have felt right on. Even My Brother My Enemy wasn't too bad, but if those were SOC pilots then now I must be facing SOC2: The SOCkening pilots.

 

Offline Spoon

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Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]

I never realized that pointing out the obvious made me macho.  :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

 
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
AI classes in The Plunder are mostly Major, Captain, and a few Colonels.
The SOC Pilots are Generals and Colonels. The AI classes go: Liutenant->Captain->Major->Colonel->General

Maybe you're straying too close to the cruisers and getting killed by their point defences in addition to the enemy fighters? Are you having trouble with disabling the Siren's(The Chimera corvette) main beams before she opens fire?

This could be one of those things that pops up on the lower difficulties due to both friendly and enemy AI being worse.
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded

 

Offline yomi

  • 25
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
I think there are several missions that suffer from spike of difficulty(at least on Insane).I will start with those that i don't think it's really an issue for them to be harder than others:


Her Finest Hour - It's difficulty comes from extreme complexity of mission. Player has to learn a lot, and possible replay few times, to chose best course of action. Last update made it even more difficult, with 2 extra corvettes, Fighter Sweep, and ability for enemy pilots to detect you if you get to close. Player has lot's of tools, and overall missions is very fun, and getting killed feels like you really made some mistake, instead of feeling cheap. I think i won this one over 50 times (not even kidding), and overall for me it's the most fun mission i ever played in any freespace mod. Becouse of that and becouse of grandeour of mission i feel difficulty spike is appropriate.

Delenta Est - Similiar case to above. Biggest problem is that mission is really long, and getting killed near the end really sucks. But ability to load game really helps a lot.

Darkest Hour - My only problem is with last part, when Diomedes arives. To be fair I guess i got used to, that in other version(before diomedes update) Indus could handle it alone. On insane on the other hand, if you at this point of the mission lost most of your wingmans, or need repair, it puts you in really bad spot. Since you need to kill at least one beam to get Indus to win, and you don't have access to grimmers/archers, you have to get really close to it which can be very problemtic :D. I guess i'm very salty about this one just becouse I lost multiple times there just becouse i couldn't pull away fast enough/unlucky beam slashed me from far, and saves were kind of broken at first (upon loading the Base would just explode). This problem was fixed when i restarted game though.

One Future - This one feels really like it's impossible one insane(at least if you try to kill this capship). Even if i manage to kill it before it kills me, shortly after wing of fighter/bomber kills me of almost instantly. But than i guess i didn't get used to custos, and didn't try that much.
 
The Plunder - This is only mission that feels really unfair. If I get even close those cruisers and CV they just shred me with their turrets, since rest of friendly fighters just charge strike into them and enemy stick close to cruisers at start, you can't really pull enemy craft away from them. Also gamma is doing terrible job at disarming Siren so it's your priority to do it for them. I finaly found a way to easily beat this mission just by charging at Siren, disarming him, and than keep away from fight for the rest of mission(Aside from disabling logistic ship ofcource). Also since you don't have access to uriel yet, you really need to take paveways, instead of Slammers and Grimmers (not even sure if grimmers are aviable in this mission)-> so you can't really play as sniper here :D
Why i think difficulty is a problem here? I don't think you can really win here on Insane by actively participate in battle. In most missions you are discouraged from just jumping happy into formation of enemy ships, but here exactly this happens. I have to watch, how my wingmates are having fun, while I have to stay really far away to not almost instantly gimped by cruisers, which feels very anticlimatic.
For some reason, this mission seemed way easier before this update. (I guess too easy, since i remember you didn't have to do almost anything to win).


I really hope that my post doesn't look like rant :D

 

Offline Snarks

  • 27
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
Can someone tell me what the actual difficulty order is? It seems like higher difficulties might actually be easier sometimes. I played BP on medium, and I thought it was generally balanced although the big fight missions with capital ships tend to be harder. I also noticed First Run and Second Run replacing Very Easy and Easy respectively. Is there a significance to that?

 
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
The difficulty order is as shown in the game, the renames have no extra signifigance. First run(very easy)->second run(easy)-medium-hard-reality(insane).


I guess this just shows how different styles can make the same mission harder/easier on the same difficulty level. I thought Delenda Est was a complete Turkey Shoot on insane, but I did it in a Kent. I can imagine having difficulties if I used the default Uriel as it's slow and likes to explode anywhere near a Nyx.

The Plunder mainly comes down to disabling those MBlues and pulling back to the frigates. As the tev battlegroup closes in to engage with their pulse weapons their fighter screen will follow so you can dogfight them once they're nearby. You can also try throwing some dirks their way and see if that causes them to attack you to draw them away from the flak jacket.

One Future can be hard, but it's totally possible on insane. Just get yourself in a good position where you can kill the reactor and are hidden from most of the mass drivers, set ETS to full shields and keep using the 'shield boost' power and engage with your railgun. You should be able to kill that reactor before your weapon energy/shields run out.
Just make sure you position yourself so that your turrets can effectively engage enemy fighters and don't try to take both the Morena and the fighters on at once. Using padlock or external view might make this easier. You are completely right about the mission requiring knowledge of the Custos. You need to somewhat accurately judge how fast you can turn and know where your turrets are to effectively engage fighters/bombers.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2015, 05:14:31 pm by FrikgFeek »
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded

 

Offline Doko

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Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
I would like a bit more consistant armor types for turrets and in some cases more vulnerable. You can take out double digits worth of hull trying to kill the AAA BEAM on the valerie but the main beams are pretty vulnerable. I imagine this is mainly due to mission balance, yet there is nothing wrong with the player deciding he wants to first kill some AAA because he is low on hull, but did a good job at keeping the station High on hp.

The medea could move a little slower to allow a surviving gamma wing to hit the beams with its archers. Currently the AI can't do this as the 28 m/s is too much for the dumb AI to compensate for, and for paveways to turn (lol)

The plunder is the main offender in the lower difficulty setting because of how bad paveways are, specially when there's a networked array of turrets ready to kill anything that even resembles an interceptable missile. At some point you are told that killing comm subsystems is good, but how the **** do you do that with the armor values of those cruisers and paveways that get shot down?
Helping with defanging is not only pointless it is also detrimental, your uriel wing will do fine without you and it will take away from time you could be spending hunting nyx and auroras. Your corvettes launching missiles makes more of a difference than anything else you could do.

Everything else I find challenging but well balanced and fun to try and improve on.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
Don't forget Scalpels!

 

Offline General Battuta

  • Poe's Law In Action
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Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
And hey at least I put a dialog skip into The Plunder!

 
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
Don't forget Scalpels!

But that's the problem, getting within Scalpel range means getting inside the pulse and AAA envelope, and in practical terms, at my skill level at least, that means a substantial risk of death. So I don't try to use Scalpels, I run the **** away from the cruisers and let my immortal or disposable wingmates deal with it. This only really got annoying in The Plunder, as far as I recall.
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.

 

Offline Doko

  • 26
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
Scalpels work once the cruisers are in range of the UEF capital ships. Before that you are dead if you try to face a cruiser for more than half a second.

My criticism of this mission is not in its design which is good, its the way the player is presented with several options that in practice are horrible. Clearing the fighters should always be your top priority while letting gamma do the thing they are good at. If the player is not gonna have the option to fly a uriel might as well just tell him to go lure and kill the escorts.

On a positive note, no matter how many times I've restarted this mission trying out different things, the principal Simms line never gets old!

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
Huh — in testing I never ever got a good result on the mission unless I helped Gamma take out those forward beams, to be sure the Siren didn't get even one shot off.

 

Offline TacOne

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Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
AI classes in The Plunder are mostly Major, Captain, and a few Colonels.
The SOC Pilots are Generals and Colonels. The AI classes go: Liutenant->Captain->Major->Colonel->General

Maybe you're straying too close to the cruisers and getting killed by their point defences in addition to the enemy fighters? Are you having trouble with disabling the Siren's(The Chimera corvette) main beams before she opens fire?

This could be one of those things that pops up on the lower difficulties due to both friendly and enemy AI being worse.

I haven't had any problems with the corvette's beams. I usually pop a couple of paveways over to take out the one or two beams that the AI missed, no issues there. My problem is that if I then do nothing to not get killed the frigates die. I'm honestly not entirely sure what they die to, though, but I assume it's just massed fire from the cruisers.

The criusers are definitely kicking my ass if I get too close. I didn't quite feel that the non-beam point defence has ever been this potent in previous versions of the game. And while disarming the corvette is easy, disarming just the beams on the cruisers is next to impossible. Not really because they intercept them too well, but because the time it takes to wait for an aspect lock is time that the enemy fighters use to shred you.

And hey at least I put a dialog skip into The Plunder!

And thank you so much for that!