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 21850 times)

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Offline TacOne

  • 26
  • Dabbling Modder
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
Okay I got through The Plunder when I realized that Gamma 2 was invulnerable and I could send him into the cruiser fire to kill the auroras. Even then the Yangtze ended the mission with 4% health.

 

Offline Doko

  • 26
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.

Player's and Simms's wing (alpha) does the beam killing, gunships (gamma) goes straight for the Elissa if not managed by the player and does 15-25% of its health which is really not that useful.
I always micro gamma at the start of the mission and send em to kill beams while I clear fighters, and if on insane I'll usually go around the right hand side by the Utica and pick off auroras and nyx as they attack me while avoiding the cruisers as much as possible.

 

Offline Damage

  • 26
  • I'm a Major.
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
I consider myself a generally average player, not a great one.  I think the missions themselves are reasonably well-balanced, though I may be missing a couple of minor issues.  I'm just repeating something stated elsewhere:  Both AoA and WiH have a bit steeper of a learning curve compared to FS1/2; where you got used to having to do almost everything yourself, and it takes some time to get rid of that "reflex."  Learning how to effectively delegate your wingmen (and learning to trust them) requires some replays.

While I have no specific gripes, the missions where there is A LOT going on at once just seem overwhelming on the first couple playthroughs.  (Keepers of Hell, Universal Truth, Post Meridian, to name a few.)

Overwhelming--but not impossible.
I didn't feel like putting anything here.  Then I did it anyway just to be contrary.

 

Offline qwadtep

  • 28
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.
This. Even if Scalpels could kill TEI warship hardpoints in an arbitrary ten seconds of sustained fire (they can't), it's meaningless when the player can't survive half a second of that warship's return fire. There's a reason everyone sniped subsystems with Paveways in previous releases, and it isn't repetitive motion injury from pumping afterburners in every campaign ever.

The Diomedes is an excellent case study. It's always been a monster of a ship, even before Paveways could be shot down, and even before getting its new model. I genuinely thought the intended tactic for taking one out was "keep clear and let the warships do their job," that charging the Vilnius was meant to be avoided by defanging the Redoubtable at the start of the mission, and that saving the Dea Bricta and the Auxerre was your reward for completing the mission up to that point with Paveways instead of Slammers; apparently that isn't the case, and I'm just a bad player for dying more to the Medea on Normal in this release than in entire playthroughs on Insane in the past. Oh well.

On a different note, I don't know what the hell happened to My Brother, My Enemy. I almost came here immediately to ask if your wingmen had been buffed, since even on Reality they casually made it through the first half of the mission with 100% and 60%. Before I usually ended up screaming internally at their flying straight into trebs.

 
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
as to my brother my enemy.

my wingmen tend to die about 10seconds after fighting starts.
only once one survivd (i ordered both to go for the atalanta class fighter, and throw as many missles as i could on the enrys...).
however the perseus managed to kill one of my wingmen as i was taking on Zero...

this was the best try, in all others both die - me folling shortly afterwards (as i am not smart enough to take out 4 enemy fighters at once ^^)

EDIT: playing on medium,
but i always found this mission verry challanging (never managed to keep my wing alive... so far)

As for the Post-capella GTVA Ships,
they realy **** up the UEF Fighter wings now.

I find it hard to believe the UEF managed to stay that long in the fight - as even the decent fightercorps won't make a difference to a capship engagement (as it is now).

GTVA has - BEAM anti-Cap-Ship power like always PLUS Striking AAA weaponry comparable to the UEF vessles, able to shot down almost everyone and everything going for them (starting from the Torpedos..., fighter, bombers and javalins...). It made me lough as the mission briefing of post meridian Told Delta Wing (Ulahns) will be used as Fighter-Supression and Space superiority - i mean it's an ulahn right? But the better half was that those guys flew straight into the AAA fire of the Meridian and died faster than i could get in Range to engage anything....
 
Furthermore the UEF's long range fighting advantage (on the Karunas or Narayanas) is nullified as not a single warhead will make it to it's target - at least it seems that way.

while it's nice to have challanging missions,
your balance seems a little too far off right now. I mean - how in hell could the UEF possible survive till now in this war? Nearly every fightercraft must have been shot down by the AAA Beams and Pulse weaponry... the capships tend to go susicide afterall so.... ? please explain how this is supposed to work out?

« Last Edit: December 01, 2015, 10:55:36 am by Black-Sheep »

 

Offline Doko

  • 26
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
I think staying alive in my brother my enemy is actually a "bonus objective" even though the game says otherwise. I'm personally fine with that. I do agree with your view of the GTVA though, they seem too good for the UEF to not have been annihilated by now.
I voiced this in #bp the other day and the answer was because basically of the UEF bomber squadrons. While I had my issues with how little they are showcased as the beasts they trully are, I think matt made a good point in that bombers will be the main course in act 4 where I imagine we are gonna be the **** that hits the GTVA's fan and goes directly into Steele's face. (Ricardo is rubbing off on me sorry!)


 

Offline General Battuta

  • Poe's Law In Action
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Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
Unless there's a bug at work I just don't think most of your observations are factually correct. UEF torps will brutalize GTVA ships at range, and pulse weapon balance hasn't changed since the last release as far as I know.

 

Offline yomi

  • 25
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
Unless there's a bug at work I just don't think most of your observations are factually correct. UEF torps will brutalize GTVA ships at range, and pulse weapon balance hasn't changed since the last release as far as I know.
Pulse weapon is waaay flashier now and looks deadly as **** :D
But i did notice even in Meridian, surviving AA seems much harder for some reason. I thought that Aoeulus cruisers were closer to Meridian main beam, so they could fire at player/incoming fighters.

 
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
I'm currently stuck at Plunder on Medium but I think the balance is fair. I had to retry Post Meridian a bunch of times because I didn't back off quickly enough after the Meridian's beams got destroyed. I also got rekt a few times because of the TAG missiles connected to the aeolus' beams though I only figured that out later. Are the TAG's supposed to be a 1 hit kill? If that's the case, it would be nice to have some kind of info beforehand that the GTVA aeolus has this weapon since I started to get pissed after getting sniped by the aeolus for the 3rd time without knowing where it got the range or accuracy to hit me with that beam.

As far as Plunder is concerned, I managed to destroy the escort by following the mission objectives, kill the beams with paveway's and after that focus on the aurora's. It seems the UEF frigates get tangled up with the escort rather fast though. I'd expect them to stay back a little more because of their advantage in long ranged combat.

Actually, how do the UEF frigates fare when in an up close fight? I'd think they'd be easy picking not being able to use all their forward guns, though the apocalypse missiles might have less of a chance of being intercepted because of the close range.

 

Offline General Battuta

  • Poe's Law In Action
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  • i wonder when my postcount will exceed my iq
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
Making the frigates approach more slowly is actually a great idea.

We had to do a lot of balance work to give GTVA ships a prayer up close. Point Defense Turrets on UEF ships tend to disarm GTVA ships really fast.

 
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
Well, if you want to keep your wing alive in My Brother, My Enemy you can just order your wing to depart and solo the mission. It's totally doable even on insane.

Pulses will murderize kents due to their huge top profile(that thing is almost 70% bigger than a Myrmidon!) but they won't be as effective against Uhlans if you keep dodging. They'll still kill you if you stay in there too long but you can actaully go in, scalpel a beam, and get out alive.
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded

 

Offline Doko

  • 26
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
In case someone is having trouble with plunder, steps to sucess (realism, but should work for any other difficulty I would asume)

Start mission!

Target the top beam on the siren
- c114 (gamma 1 destroy subsystem)
Target middle
- c124
Target bottom
- c134

Form up right behind beta wing, target Elisa's left main beam (middle cruiser), stay below the cruisers nose and aproach directly from the front where the turret coverage is minimal. As soon as you have range to drop paveways launch 2 of them at this beam, target the right beam and when you are at about 700-500 metters (about to collide) launch your other 2 paveways and kill this beam.
Immediately turn back towards the indus and dodge incoming turret fire and 0 to 2 perseus which are now chasing you. Let the corvettes kill them.
Around this time you'll see the directive to kill the siren's beams complete. C-3-9 to order gamma to attack anything, press E and C-3-6 (ignore ship) to tell them to ignore the cruisers and siren.

Lean back on your chair and about 4:30 minutes into the mission go towards the Agincourt, sit on his ass and launch your 2 remaining paveways. Move away from turret range and resume leaning on your chair until the end of the mission where the pods escape.

-----

To battuta's comment about slowing the UEF ships, That might help, but the main issue is that right now the cruisers are hardly ever in the gauss cannon cone of fire. Sit back and count how many times the frigates actually fire, it sure ain't much.
Another thing I noticed once I sat back and watched everything that is going on is that once there's no fighters left, alpha wing just sits there and won't even try to fire at the cruisers or siren.

 

Offline General Battuta

  • Poe's Law In Action
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Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
If the mission is self playing like that on Realism then I need to redesign it again. The whole point was to require player engagement after the beam disarm.

 

Offline Doko

  • 26
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
I don't think you need to honestly. You can easily break this by not lettign the player control gamma at all (which would make sense considering she's not running the show) In which case the player will have to assist in killing the siren's beams. Less paveways and no beta's charge to distract turrets and fighters covering the cruisers.

And to help tune the difficulty at lower settings you can always beam and or turret protect the player a bit if distance from cruiser > 1000 or somethnig around those values. Let it play out more like a dogfight mission with some obstacles but not as brutally zoning as realism is.

 
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
Yeah, idk about even having to kill the beams on the cruisers. I just banzai the Siren and kill those MBlues before she gets a single shot off. If she does one of your frigates will lose like 50% hp instantly and you'll have to work overtime on the cruisers to save them.

After the Siren is defanged you can go back to the frigates and pick off a few fighters. Once the cruisers are close go in for the merge and clear out the Auroras to achieve ECM superiority. Once you have that and if your frigates are at 30%+ you've basically won.

Maybe buff up the damage values on those pulses against capships so the player has to snipe them off too once the Siren goes for guns? Or FRED them so they attack specific subsystems and stuff.

It's also somewhat possible to fight near the cruisers if you do boom and zoom. Full burners with slight movement will evade most pulse shots so you can get near your target, snap off a 150m 6maul+hellfires shot and burn away from there. If you get hit by  beam you'll get knocked around and almost certainly die unless it punts you out of pulse range.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2015, 02:29:24 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

 
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
Based on flying the mission quite a few times on Medium, I'd suggest the following to require Plunder to have a little more player involvement:

1. I'd have the GTVA fighters intercept the Wargods sooner. To let the dialogue finish you just let the Wargods jump in a few clicks further from the escort so when the dialogue ends the Wargods have extra distance to cover which gives the GTVA fighters ample opportunity to intercept. This makes taking out the beams on the Siren and getting back out more of a challenge because right now taking out the beams on the Siren (on Medium) is incredibly easy.
2. Have the frigates move close enough to fire their mass drivers and then stop. As soon as the GTVA escort gets close enough have them start moving forward again to get the feeling of 2 fleets crashing into each other.
3. To make the outcome of the close up fight less certain, I'd just have 1-2 GTVA wings with the capability to seriously harm the frigates launch from the Agincourt when the close up fight has started. Explanation would be that they just finished resupplying. Now you need to go and kill those wings between the mess of fighting capitals in order to succeed. (kinda like you do with the aurora's now but something that poses a little more danger to the frigates)

Of course, I've never created or balanced a mission before so I could be totally wrong with my suggestions.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
I do appreciate the thoughts! In general feedback on the missions as they are is more useful than ideas for how the missions could be, just because BP mission design operates under some fictional and logistical constraints.

 
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
Alright, if I spot any more stuff that seems off I'll let you know.

 
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
Figured I would drop my thoughts in here as well.

First and foremost, in a world where "difficult" single player games involves spamming single or combo key strokes to trigger a character action, BP's level of complexity and real difficulty is refreshing.

From my experience with BP complete, if this were real life and run at medium difficulty, winning would be impossible. The UEF would have simply lost. The player is privileged to both information and a skillset that allows for mission completion beyond "normal" human capability (not to mention AI enemies).
However, this is not real life (or a book for that matter). This is a video game, where mission design strives to give the player options. Options, whether they be in the difficulty of the opponent or in how they go about achieving a victory scenario.

I think mission difficulty should be left as is, for all missions, across the board. If a mission is too difficult, play it at a lower difficulty and then turn the difficulty back up afterwards.

Or be like me and play it 10-15 times over until you get it right (looking at you, The Plunder)

 
Re: Thoughts on Blue Planet Complete difficulty [POLL]
Not sure what you mean, but I could probably oneshot medium or maybe even hard without using any of my prophetic prescience. I'd bet most of the people who regularly play on insane could oneshot most campaigns on medium or below. And it's not like our 'skillset' is above what a real combat pilot should have. It's probably below that.

Then again, even furyAI isn't good enough to give the player a real challenge even on insane. You still have to use superior numbers and conlifcting objectives.

Though if this was 'real life' the only difficulty option would be insane, as that's the only difficulty that doesn't give the player artificial damage reduction and magic reactors that refill your shields and guns 2 times faster.
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded