Author Topic: [HEAVY SPOILERS] Finally beat the game! Thoughts.  (Read 265 times)

MongooseCalledFred

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[HEAVY SPOILERS] Finally beat the game! Thoughts.
« on: February 18, 2017, 11:43:17 AM »
After 150 hours (half of that was probably EA) and 5 months, I finally beat the mothership! And I didn't even retreat once.

Act II
I really like the changes here. My previous run got stuck at the fourth boss back before Update 1.1, and still couldn't get through even with Update 1.1. (I was on Commander difficulty without a Tier 5 fleet.) The Act felt like raids, boss appears, raids, boss appears, squeak through boss, tier 4 ships, raids, clear out second boss, raids, third boss, raids, get stuck at fourth boss.

This pass was much better. I was playing on Lieutenant. I had the resources for Tier 4 ships immediately upon entering Act II, so I was instantly better off. The lowered raids, increased spawn times on bosses, and extra missions made the game feel less grindy and more varied. It probably helped that I had discovered the blitz.

One thing I noticed was that the target order for the bosses switched around between the two playthroughs. The first time, they attacked Yab, Xlar, Onir, then Tranzensis. I would have been annoyed to discover that the Collective artifact was a generator when there were no other unique buildings to use the power. The second time, they attacked Onir, Xlar, Tranzensis, then Yab. It didn't really make much difference that I installed the Collective generator, since there wasn't much point in installing the Hyoid once I researched it and triggered Act III. I had 80000 spare Dark Matter even with the installation, and 10000 fuel without a fuel plant.

Act III
This was actually easier than I expected, but I wasn't accurately predicting it. I expected it to be like the Xlar history mission, where you would visit the graveyards, start research, and get jumped by a Chruul fleet. Instead, I got to race the Chruul to the graveyards and try to complete the research before the reinforcements arrived. Since I had just finished training my second fleet up to Tier 5 ships and had gotten the third fleet's kinks worked out, I found myself with 4 fleets ready to deploy. Well, almost. Second and Third Fleets were farming Chruul space. (Is the portal guard too strong for Third? Send in Second and hope the next batch are weaker.) Second Fleet was on its way home, so it would have had to fly back through a portal to get to a graveyard. I choose to send it home first. I was able to deploy the first fleet to the science graveyard, the alien fleet (I had gotten ships from all four races) to the "fuel" graveyard, the third fleet to the tactical graveyard, and the second fleet to the engineering graveyard (after it got back home).

First Fleet got two fights while my science officer was engaged. I should have used Katrina Saarinen because her Bend Spacetime was less powerful, but oh well. The aliens were less well off. They only had one fight, but two engineers and a tactical had a very sparse amount of healing, what with the Korzan heal getting disrupted the first time I wanted it and the Xlar heal taking 3 ticks to provide very little. I had about 50% health coming out. I realized I should have installed some drones. (More on that later.) Second Fleet was able to beat the Chruul fleet and then grab the artifact before the next fleet arrived.

Third fleet had a more lively career. I had sent them from Chruul space all the way to the left of Xlar space with the knowledge that the Chruul fleet had two Tier 4 ships and a Tier 5, as did mine. (Suki was the Tier 5. Nice mission chain, nicer that she starts at Level 13, and I never did use Nuclear Strike to provide an opinion on it.) I beat the Chruul fleet, but by this time I knew there was another fleet coming. I decided to send in my fourth alien officer, a Yabling tactical. When setting it up, I discovered that it wouldn't take any equipment. So much for drones. I sent it out anyway, thinking that the Chruul would engage the first fleet to reach the graveyard. (I didn't want to be without any of my officer powers.) The Chruul engaged the solo Yabling ship. It promptly retreated, leaving Third Fleet to handle the Chruul. Suki was then able to research the artifact before the next Chruul arrived.

First fleet had gotten to clear out a pesky end-of-Act-II Chruul raid fleet in Yabling space. I didn't get any reward messages for it, probably because it had arrived in Act III. Second Fleet had gotten to visit the Xlar for the Tegida mission. (This too was a hold-over, although I didn't know which mission until Act III.) Once they dealt with that (and one officer had gotten Xlar Expert, now useless), they tried to cover for Third Fleet. I was able to grab the artifact and get both fleets out before the Chruul could quite swing into orbit. I then engaged the mothership before either fleet got back.

Back at the Starbase, I was doing two things. One, my newest recruit, Elijah Jakande, was repairing the base. Being Level 10, he could only do the fourth tier of repair, but it was still enough. And he had better stats than the Aliens. I only performed 3 repairs before engaging the mothership, so I probably could have gotten away without any. But why waste 100000 Materials when the graveyard artifacts don't have rooms? (I was fully prepared to scrap some multipliers or Diothrium reactors to support installation.) The other thing was a room invasion. I pulled Bucky Rodgers, Elaina Park, and the Yabling to fight it. I was a little worried when I saw that they were Elder strength, but then the two engineers hibernated and left the tactical to its fate. This is when I started thinking about the fact that Bucky's only inflict attack is Tear Gas. And   that Alien officers don't have any cool new powers.

Mothership
A few surprises here too.
    A: Chruul Chitin keeps getting weaker. (Obvious case of balancing at work, but it could have used a little lore/story behind it. Maybe research at the Chruul lab to increase penetration? Halcyon 6 providing a fleet buff for once?).
    B: I seriously thought that there would only be three layers. I even took a screenshot of Backstab delivering the crushing blow to the third layer.
    C: Doom Cannon is useful on the last layer. Thank you for letting me use a supercharged Doom Cannon to get rid of that pesky, speeding Jaw!
    D: No info on the Mothership. This isn't much of a surprise, but it does mean most strategy tips are coming out of the files. ;)
    E: The fight amounts to one continuous stretch, not individual battles. If I had known that, I might have brought some consumables, beyond the Omega Drones IV and V that I finally equipped. This messed with my strategy somewhat. It's built on the assumption that all powers are warming up at the beginning, not cooling down. I still had plenty of heals left, since both science ships had both standard heals and at least one set of Omega Drones.

I'm not sure if these next items are bugs or not. It appears that the mothership copies my officer abilities. That's probably not a bug. However, it tended to use animations that looked like they ought to have originated from me. I did see Meteoric Smash used a few times. It was fun watching the meteor go by the time I evaded it. A more important bug is that the Hull Leach effect (presumably from corrupted Siphon Dark Matter) placed a Heal over time on me and a Damage over time on the mothership. And I never saw either one do anything. This last isn't a bug, but it is a design flaw. I got too clicky at the second Station battle, so I only saw the second screen about the Chruul. We need either a back button or a recap so we don't miss important information. Typo: the Terran text is missing a "the" in "taken part in massive structure's defeat."

Conclusion
The transition from Act II to Act III is a little abrupt. If I hadn't been looking at spoilery threads, I might not have researched the Hyoid with the same "let's see if this still triggers Act III or waits till I install it" attitude. The fights weren't really challenging, but that's to be expected on Lieutenant difficulty. I did lose two officers once. And won one battle with all ships at Critical. But such is the life of a secondary fleet. Somehow, I don't seem to have lost any extra greenshirts in this run. I'm still torn between "kill greenshirts to get rarest achievement" and "don't let anybody die." And the main purpose of cadet upgrades is still fishing for Bucky Rodgers.

The game is way better than it was at Launch. And I'm sure it will keep getting better, what with my favorite devs working on it.
Bucketlist.scratch(Beat_Halcyon_6);
Bucketlist.add(Let_More_Greenshirts_Mysteriously_Die, 74);
Celebrate with me! I finally hit Sentinel!

MDI_Cassentra

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Re: [HEAVY SPOILERS] Finally beat the game! Thoughts.
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2017, 10:22:37 PM »
We <3 you too, MCF.

I've shared your findings/questions about the Mothership with the team. Some of them do seem to be slightly off, so expect tweaks for 1.3.1.x when it launches. Thanks for sharing! :)

MongooseCalledFred

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Re: [HEAVY SPOILERS] Finally beat the game! Thoughts.
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2017, 03:04:53 PM »
Bucketlist.add(Let_More_Greenshirts_Mysteriously_Die, 74);
They're on to me!


Even though I was down to 3 tasks and the missing Accuracy tasks that got fixed...
Celebrate with me! I finally hit Sentinel!