Author Topic: Proximity Alert!  (Read 255 times)

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Offline Iain Baker

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I have been playing Scrolls of Atankharzim and enjoying it greatly. The first stealth mission sees you recceeing a shivan cargo depot, and this involves the usual scan-the-thing tasks plus the need to get withing 2000m of ships and targeting them to record them.

To aid you in avoiding detection it has on screen gauges which show the distant to ships and gun platforms that will detect you if you get too close. They are easily seen and interpenetrated. As a result, this was the only obligate FreeSpace stealth mission which hasn't sucked monkey balls - at least IMO. I highly recommend playing this mission to see how much they help. If more obligate stealth missions had these I wouldn't keep skipping them  :lol:
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"Everything is Permitted" from War in Heaven is really fun. It has on-screen gauges, too.

 

Offline Iain Baker

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"Everything is Permitted" from War in Heaven is really fun. It has on-screen gauges, too.

Honestly, I hate that mission with a passion. Same goes for most of Tenebra for that matter since most of its missions are obligate stealth missions. Great storytelling, but not at all fun to play - I ended up watching a lets play of the entire chapter to engoy the story without having to put up with the game play.

I found the guages and text boxes in EisP to be overwhelming - too many of them tucked away at the edge of the screen making them difficult to keep tract of. The guages in Scrolls are suprior to any i have seen in any freespace campaign. It has the 'highlight all fighters with white boxes by pressing F5, F6 etc'. mechanic which is always useful AND the bars in the middle of the screen which makes it obvious which enemies you need to worry about, how close they are getting, when you are out of danger etc.
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Offline 0rph3u5

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The proximitry tracker from Scroll is indeed an excellent quality of life-addition for stealth missions; however Scrolls approach to Stealth missions does have a few flaws as well (see the respective release thread for my thoughts on the matter)

However the problem with those damn stealth missions isn't in quality of life features but in if you find an approriate sequence of objectives - Scroll is a step up with adding just plain counting to the mix, WiH's Tenebrae is a bit too reliant on scanning things, BtA with it special issue gear represents an insteresting move but is very dependent on the player taking the time to understand the briefing...

"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nyrissa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline General Battuta

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"Everything is Permitted" from War in Heaven is really fun. It has on-screen gauges, too.

Honestly, I hate that mission with a passion. Same goes for most of Tenebra for that matter since most of its missions are obligate stealth missions.

Only one is. The whole point of Tenebra is that you don't need to maintain stealth and you always have options if you lose it.

Mission 1 is assault, you don't need stealth.
Mission 2 is EiP and if you lose stealth without careful planning you're probably ****ed.
Mission 3 you're in a capship, no stealth.
Mission 4 is a giant battle, you can play it all without stealth.
Mission 5 is a tower defense mission, you don't need stealth.
Mission 6 is in your brain.

EiP is the closest to obligate stealth, though.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 02:37:31 pm by General Battuta »

 

Offline General Battuta

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The problem with most stealth missions is the instant fail if you're detected, rather than the situation just becoming Interesting.

 

Offline Iain Baker

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"Everything is Permitted" from War in Heaven is really fun. It has on-screen gauges, too.

Honestly, I hate that mission with a passion. Same goes for most of Tenebra for that matter since most of its missions are obligate stealth missions.

Only one is. The whole point of Tenebra is that you don't need to maintain stealth and you always have options if you lose it.

Mission 1 is assault, you don't need stealth.
Mission 2 is EiP and if you lose stealth without careful planning you're probably ****ed.
Mission 3 you're in a capship, no stealth.
Mission 4 is a giant battle, you can play it all without stealth.
Mission 5 is a tower defense mission, you don't need stealth.
Mission 6 is in your brain.

EiP is the closest to obligate stealth, though.

Fair point.

Mission 1 was pretty fun turning the gas miners into giant bombs

Mission 2 was horrible, since it was pretty much obligate stealth. That mission could really be improved by adding a checkpoint once you have positively identified what ship she was on. This would make making a mistake far less irritating, since you wouldn't have to go through the boring and time consuming rigmarole at the beginning - scanning the station, working out what ship it is (which is randomised I take it) etc. It would also encourage more experimentation with the various ways you can off her too, since you could restart from that point.

Quick question - when detected by an aurora - how far do you need to get from it for it to lose track of you? I was never able to shake one off no mater how far I got, how fast I went, what direction I glided in or powered down and drifted in. I have a suspicion my BP install was borked in places as I experienced a few weird glitches in various missions. I notice one of the recent updates has fixed one of the glitches, so perhaps it will work properly now if it wasn't before.

3 is probably ok if you ignore the McDuff until after the troops have been inserted so you are not time pressured. I generally do not like time pressure in games since I resent being rushed. Generally if a game has time limits I simply won't play it, and if specific missions have them I will usually skip them. But that's just a personal quirk, born out of my general loathing of being told what to do by anyone or anything. I imagine most people are not as averse to time limits as I am.

4: Again - time limit, plus the general overload of there being so much going on, so many new keys to remember, new mechanics and commands to remember, HUD elements to take track of, messages to read etc. Having watched a lets play of it where I could pause and rewind when ever I needed to it will probably be less overwhelming if I try it again.

5: This would have been fun if it wasn't bugged to hell when I tried it - after placing the tanks in the rts view my controls screwed up making it almost impossible to fly my bloody plane. I have seen posts by others who had a similar problem - apparently bringing up some of the menus by pressing F3, F4 etc. fixes it, so I'll try that next time if it happens again.

6: This worked fine as far as I can tell. Quick question here too - is the iceni supposed to be jerking around like it is having a fit?  (Or dancing very badly  :p)

I will give Tenebra another go in the next few months and see if I get on better with it next time around.
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Offline General Battuta

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I'm not arguing with your general opinion, just with the need for obligate stealth.

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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The problem with most stealth missions is the instant fail if you're detected, rather than the situation just becoming Interesting.

Seconded. (Add the quotation marks around "interesting" - to signify that "going loud" should be a choice that diminished the experience)
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 10:21:12 pm by 0rph3u5 »
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nyrissa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Another contribution factor to the state of stealth in FS, might very well be the choice of craft that are employed in stealth missions:

The Pegasus, the Path and the Loki are very much off-brand interceptors, that fail compared with the on-brand versions (the Perseus, Seraphis and Valkyrie) - the only exeption, fresh in my mind, being the BP2's what-you-called it. That fighter is actually a bit closer to stealth units in RTSs - a glass cannon.

Other attempts to work around this are BtA and PI:

- BtA goes all in the "mission specific equipment"; making "The Will To Act" a benchmark of sabotage-style stealth mission.

- PI's "Through the Minefield" is a good example for a surveilance-style stealth mission, as it has not problems turning the Pegasus into a swiss-army knife when needed (*a sudden listening device appears in your secondary bank*)
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nyrissa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

  

Offline 0rph3u5

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Another case study worth mentioning is "Ruins" from Vasudan Imperium, as it a stealth-recon mission without using a dedicated stealth fighter or captured enemy craft.
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nyrissa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."