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Scavenger Challenge
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Weeble
Starscape Jedi
Starscape Jedi


Joined: 25 Apr 2003
Posts: 1143
Location: Glasgow, Scotland



PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 10:17 pm    Post subject: Scavenger Challenge Reply with quote

I've just dragged my battered self into Zone 5 with a prowler equipped with an engine 3, generator 4, gravity scoop 2 and four blaster 2s. To stick to the scavenger challenge, I've not built anything myself. (I skipped the tutorial, so I guess technically you could say I built the prowler, but let's ignore that.) Also, just for the hell of it, I've avoided getting any of the special tech. You wouldn't believe how happy I was when something finally dropped an engine 3, or that precious cannon 3. I'm still stuck with three turret 1s and only one turret 3, which is not fun.

Observations so far:
  • The lack of shield technology seems to make very little difference. Maybe it's because the prowler is so small and many shots miss it.
  • The forward thrust is ludicrous, the reverse thrust is laughable.
  • I've now encountered that thing with the Aegis not opening the doors. Very often one side is crashing into stuff, while the other is fine. I think the idea of making each door independent of the other would suffice to fix it.
  • On a related note, I've once or twice found that the doors would open and the green landing guides appeared, but it wouldn't suck me in. Is that the same thing as above?
  • It's not really related to this all that much, but I noticed that even in 800x600, I'm not seeing enough of the bosses to avoid them all the time. The zone 3 boss would be much easier if you could see more of it. Maybe there's some way to make the camera always tend towards the center of the boss, keeping you near the edge of the screen? It's not like there's anything else out there to collide with on that level.

Now I just need to slog my way through zone 5. Easier said than done. I think the Aegis is in very real danger of getting blown to smithereens without any more turret 3s. Fingers crossed something will drop them.
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Lothar
Starscape Jedi
Starscape Jedi


Joined: 21 Dec 2003
Posts: 522



PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ooh, I like it... we should add it to the list of challenge games. When you finish, take a screenshot and write something up...
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Weeble
Starscape Jedi
Starscape Jedi


Joined: 25 Apr 2003
Posts: 1143
Location: Glasgow, Scotland



PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2004 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hurrah! Zone 5 was horrible, but the boss was a walkover. Little Nemo here is wonderfully maneuverable. The poor Aegis was falling to bits by the end. I finally retrieved the boss coordinates thingummy, and all the enemies in the world descended upon her. She lost one of her pathetic turret 1s and most of her health. Thankfully brave Nemo stepped in and got an absolute pasting while the big cannon 3 blasted the enemies away. Nemo limped home with 4 hit points.

Here's Nemo:

As you can see, I found an engine 4 towards the end, so it's kitted up with everything it could hope for. Well, I never found a gravity beam 3, but it barely adds anything. Those equipment pods seem to get pretty scarce in later zones.

Here's the scoreboard details:

That's probably the most pathetic completed-the-game score-card you'll ever see. If I'm feeling especially masochistic I'll try again on hard mode... Problem is, enemies never drop new hulls, so you've really only got one shot at it. That's harsh.
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Weeble
Starscape Jedi
Starscape Jedi


Joined: 25 Apr 2003
Posts: 1143
Location: Glasgow, Scotland



PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2004 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also thought I'd note my non-standard use of weapon groups. Group one is composed of the port guns, group two the starboard ones. It gives you the flexibility to charge half of them while firing the others. It's nothing amazing, but it's nice to have some kind of options when you're skiting about in a cardboard box covered in tinfoil, propelled by a scramjet.

Spoiler (highlight to read):
When I've got time I'll go visit the Xenarch on that save-game and see if I can scavenge up some drones and beams to put on the prowler. That should be cute. Thing is, I still don't trust those creepy robot guys. I just know they'd be worse than the Archnid if they ever got out. It's always the quiet ones you've got to watch for.
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Lothar
Starscape Jedi
Starscape Jedi


Joined: 21 Dec 2003
Posts: 522



PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2004 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow, that's awesome... one ship, no Xenarch, prowler... that will go in our hall of fame for sure.
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Poo Bear
Pod Team
Pod Team


Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 4121
Location: Sheffield, UK



PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2004 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's pretty cool Smile


p.s. the general Aegis docking fixes are done so hopefully the problems with doors sticking will go away in v1.5.

p.p.s Lothar - where's your avatar?
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Weeble
Starscape Jedi
Starscape Jedi


Joined: 25 Apr 2003
Posts: 1143
Location: Glasgow, Scotland



PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The following contains tech spoilers.
Spoiler (highlight to read):
The low-level beams seem pretty worthless compared to the equivalent blasters. The beam 1 fires very briefly and covers very little area. It then takes a long time to fire again. In contrast, blaster 1s fire quickly and provide a constant stream of damage in the area in front of you. Beam 2s fire for slightly longer, but don't seem a great improvement on blaster 2s. The real difference, however, is in the charge-up shots. Blasters produce a wide sweeping area of effect that has good range and lasts a long time. Even in zone 5 a set of 4 blaster 2s can kill a good number of enemies. Charged up beam 1s are short-range, short-lived and don't seem to have great damage. Charged beam 2s are also short-ranged and short-lived, and their improved damage is more than cancelled out by their huge recharge time. In order to take advantage of the potential damage output of charged beams you need to fly right up to the enemies you're attacking, which isn't a great idea. Blasters just seem to win out in every way.

I'll also note that having tried both, the low-level blasters are still better than the low-level beams for attacking armoured enemies. The beams should let you shoot accurately from further away, but the enemy's movement and low rate of fire makes this quite infeasible.

Obviously you're never going to equip a top-level devastator with beam 1 or 2s. The only reasons to use them are a) you haven't researched the better beam technology yet, or b) you're using a small ship without enough space for the larger beams. In both circumstances you're better off with the supposedly inferior blaster tech. It's a shame that this technology appears to serve no purpose other than to pad the tech-chain out to make there be 4 levels of beams like the other main weapons. (Not saying that's deliberate, just that's the way it seems to have worked out.)
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Bobacles



Joined: 17 Mar 2004
Posts: 123



PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

weeble wrote:
Spoiler (highlight to read):
It's a shame that this technology appears to serve no purpose other than to pad the tech-chain out to make there be 4 levels of beams like the other main weapons.


Spoiler (highlight to read):
Yeah, that sort of sucks. The pics for the beam-1 and beam-2 seem to look the same. A beam 1 has nowhere near the strength of a blaster 1, or a beam 2. Even the beam drones are level 2, (and use less energy, too!) while the blaster drones are level 1. Maybe beam 1's should be dropped altogether? Then the beam tree would shift one level down.

I'd be happy if it made room for a 2x2 beam weapon. Long range, energy efficient, massive power, extremely thick beam and cool effect.
Hey, it's not like I have a hidden agenda, or anything. Razz
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Poo Bear
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Joined: 14 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So, in summary, beams1+2 need to do slightly more damage and have a bigger charge-up weapon area to be sufficiently "better" than the equivalent blasters.

Fair enough.
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Weeble
Starscape Jedi
Starscape Jedi


Joined: 25 Apr 2003
Posts: 1143
Location: Glasgow, Scotland



PostPosted: Wed Apr 14, 2004 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's probably enough. They don't need to be better than equivalent blasters in every way, they just need to be better in some way. I would like to see either a) shorter recharge times on the charge-up shots or b) larger area of effect on the charge-up shots. Sure, they can kill most things they hit, but they don't hit all that much. I think a) is probably better. That way you can emphasise that blasters are wide area, medium damage while beams are small area, high damage. (And of course, ions are huge area, low damage.)
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Lothar
Starscape Jedi
Starscape Jedi


Joined: 21 Dec 2003
Posts: 522



PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beam 1-2's aren't even close to equalling blaster 1-2's right now.
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Fost
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All the above is true, but it seems I do better with the beams.
I've been trying to work out why, and I'm not sure, but it's either psychological Confused or something to do with the fact that you can 'drag' the beams around, so it's pretty easy to hit things with them.

I think this could just be me though Very Happy
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Weeble
Starscape Jedi
Starscape Jedi


Joined: 25 Apr 2003
Posts: 1143
Location: Glasgow, Scotland



PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't get me wrong, beam 4s are what all the cool kids have. Blaster 4s may have brilliant total damage throughput, but beam 4s let you lay down the damage precisely where it needs to be. It's just the lesser beam weapons that have little to recommend them.
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X-Fighter
Troll
Troll


Joined: 07 Mar 2004

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always kind of thought it was just a stylistic difference... I've tried alot of combinations, and several "theme" ships(all ions, all blasters, all beams, etc), and the blaster themes always placed second to the missile themes, and nothing else.(Most accurately, missiles>blasters>mixed weapon set>ion>beams).

The only real advantage of beams that I've ever found is the assault ability-- they're the only non-projectile type weapon, and because of this, they're the only weapon that stays put when you move... a blaster/ion/missile assault will only be slightly ahead of you when you're moving at full-speed, but a beam volley is always a constant distance ahead of you, so moving full-speed-ahead while attacking has slightly less danger than any other weapon assault(except bombs, but a bomb-themed ship is required to have some other weapons on it, and dropping bombs as you charge forward uses up your munitons supply rapidly)
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Dove
Starscape Jedi
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Joined: 13 Dec 2003
Posts: 89



PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2004 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm actually quite fond of blasters over beams. The place where beams really shine is doing pinpoint damage on capital ships--especially the ones you don't want to get too close to (the ones in zone 5, for example, or mining barges). I much prefer blasters to beams in dogfights for the front-loaded damage, though, even if beams are a bit more powerful. Beams make you sit still while blasters give you the ability to fire and *get out of there*.

But yeah, low-beams stink pretty bad. Especially in a prowler (which is where you'd use them), since late game in a prowler you rely so heavily on your ability to *get out of there*. Without compensating damage, there's really no point to using them. That's a shame, really, since nothing's cuter than a prowler with an engine 4 and four little beam 2's. Wink

And back on topic... that's an amazing challenge game. Since my prowler game, I thought I'd done it all... I've got to try that! Wow. Congrats to you.
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