I don't remember XWA being that damn hard...

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I don't remember XWA being that damn hard...

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Forceflow

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Post by Forceflow » Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:19 am

Man, I mean I know I was never a great pilot, but I did beat XWA fair and square before and I did do it on medium. I know it took a while and some missions were frustrating, but here I am just barely in the first real mission and things go south... on easy...

I don't get it, so I really just wanted to play around in the game a bit and started a new pilot. So yeah, I remember the first 'training' mission from the rebels which sucked big time. So after a few tries I gave up on it. Then the Tie mission came up and I just couldn't get past it on medium. Thing is when I came to the part where we group fight T/Is all my wingmen get blasted within seconds (with my personal wingmen getting blown to bits and pieces in the section before that) So all T/Is head straight for me before I even have a chance to save anyone. So I bite the bullet and talk it up to old age and bad reflexes and turn the difficulty down to easy. Then the mission is almost boring because in the last section I don't even get to fire a single shot because my wingmen shoot down all fighters and bombers before I am even close to being in range to fight.
Ah well, off to the first real mission where you take down the convoy. Should be really easy, right? (This being on EASY and all) So I hype in, blow up all T/Fs really quickly and start to pick off the freighters. Sure enough one by one all friendly crafts are being destroyed by turbolaser fire from the Container Transports and the Strike Cruiser. Soon leaving me alone again... The Cruiser takes off, but that still leaves I think two or three Container Transports that have really good turbolaser coverage taking down my shields with just a few hits while I try to line up even one blast from my lasers.

This is going to take a lot of getting blown up before I'll be through the game again...
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Post by Kilroy » Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:52 am

XWA isn't very good about its difficulty curves. Some early missions are harder than the very late stages. Even as a fairly young person that convoy training assignment is usually a painful slog on a good day. Remember that you should be able to leave the area to rearm your torpedoes and come back. If you jump, fire your weapons, and escape repeatedly it should be possible to take out the objective before time is up.

Keep at it, reflexes aren't quite as important as refamiliarizing yourself with the controls and the specifics each mission requires. This game came from a time where often if you do not play a mission the exact way the devs intended things get weird or strangely difficult.

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Post by General_Trageton » Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:56 am

Sounds familiar. Ran the game last week to test the you know what and, just for fun, went to play that very same convoy mission on default medium difficulty. It‘s safe to say that not being shot down while in the hangar seemed miraculous enough. I started the mission, hypered in and got vaped by the very first fighter I met.

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Post by ual002 » Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:59 am

My beef was always with wingmen who get killed and cause you to agro enemy fighters. I mostly make my own missions now. [Went back to the default campaign last month for inspiration] now I try and have at least 1 or 2 essential invulnerable wingmen in my own missions. Helps alot.
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Post by capitanguinea » Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:14 pm

in some mission Wiseman was a bit cruel, by his own ammission. But the fact is that the most difficult missions are the training ones, and that means that they were there to teach hard lessons that you would exploit in pvp and other pve campaigns, as editor. In fact one part of XWA that was going to be included but was cut short, was an inbuilt mission editor (very similar to skirmish settings) a they imagined that people would get all sort of strange things going on in their personal battlefronts..

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Post by Forceflow » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:37 am

Ahh reloading... I keep forgetting about that one. Finally beat the mission but I find it kinda dumb. Go in, kill the T/F, dumb fire your torps at the first Container Transport, fly back and reload. Dumb fire your torps at the second C-T, mop up the rest. Ignore the Cruiser and just don't care that the whole rest of your flight group gets wiped out completely...
I am thinking maybe I have to try my hand at mission editing again. I should still have an Allied license somewhere...
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Post by Driftwood » Fri Aug 23, 2019 12:52 pm

Allied went license free some years ago. Get going!

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Post by Rookie_One1 » Fri Aug 23, 2019 1:05 pm

There is also YOGEME
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Post by BattleDog » Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:46 am

Hmmm.

It does seem like Wingmen have got less effective over the years.

I recall a few years back Darksaber complaining that the mission where Ties ram the Liberty was impossible because you just can't destroy them fast enough.

Thoughts I have on this:

1. Hardware - fast CU's have somehow turned all the AI cap ships into Jedi. Sounds absurd but in Freespace 2 there's a fighter that's supposed to blow up after you jump into a certain mission, after some dialogue. If your CPU is more than 333MHz she blows up early.

2. The patch either improved the turrets or made it easier to target fighters.

3. Wingman management - something we tend to forget, especially with passable AI these days. When attacking anything with turrets you should either all attack it or order your Wingmen to go do something else. In this particular instance I think the smart play is to order your Wingmen to go after the TIEs whilst you target the transports.
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Post by Forceflow » Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:05 am

The Wingmen do go for the Ties and even destroy a few, but as soon as the Ties are mopped up they start to go for the cruiser I think which blows them up one by one.
Might be worth actually recording the mission and then figure out exactly what happens. One of the other issues I have is that you have to dumb fire your torpedos which no one besides yourself appears to be able to do and makes the bombers quite useless...
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Post by Mark_Farlander » Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:31 pm

I've just played this mission (Battle 1, Mission 1: Convoy Attack) on Hard with XWAUCP v1.6 installed and I must admit it took me about 10 attempts before I completed it.
The problem here is that the 2 Container Transports have a higher rate of fire compared to the vanilla XWA and also to some older versions of the Craft Pack.
The AI of the Container Transports has always been set to Officer in AlliED, therefore they are Rookie AI on Easy, Officer AI on Medium and Veteran AI on Hard.
Since the AI and their order and WPs were never changed in AlliED, I have to conclude it's not a mission related problem.
It seems something similar to the doubled rate of fire of the turrets on the YT Corellian Transports (viewtopic.php?f=9&t=12057 ).

I personally agree with having 4 laser hardpoints per gun turret instead of 2 in the YT transports because in vanilla XWA those turrets fired inconsistently.
I mean they fired 4 shots/second when linked to forward position and 2 shots/second in auto fire mode.
Doubling the laser hardpoints per gun turret in XWAUCP v1.6 solved this inconsistency, so there is no turning back.

However, though this solution solved a problem, it also created a new one: the Azzameen Family missions are now insanely easy, especially the ones with the YT-2000.
So I'm evaluating a minor re-balance for those missions contextually with the next release of the Mission Update, while also increasing realism of events a little.

Speaking of Alliance fighter missions, I remember beating Battle 1, Mission 1 on Hard without loosing a single fighter and also destroying the Strike cruiser.
Now all the Alliance fighters were killed by the Container Transports and I had to take down all the convoy alone.
The difference is the rate of fire of the 2 Container Transports.
I don't know if they had the same doubling laser hardpoints per gun turret, but in case they had I must admit this threw this Alliance mission completely out of balance.

I recorded a video so that you can take a look at how I achieved to complete the mission on Hard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtGKTg3Zvtw
At the beginning of the video I show the General Options, in case you are interested at my Energy Levels/Throttle Presets.

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Post by Darksaber » Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:18 pm

Mark_Farlander wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:31 pm
I've just played this mission (Battle 1, Mission 1: Convoy Attack) on Hard with XWAUCP v1.6 installed and I must admit it took me about 10 attempts before I completed it.
The problem here is that the 2 Container Transports have a higher rate of fire compared to the vanilla XWA and also to some older versions of the Craft Pack.
The AI of the Container Transports has always been set to Officer in AlliED, therefore they are Rookie AI on Easy, Officer AI on Medium and Veteran AI on Hard.
Since the AI and their order and WPs were never changed in AlliED, I have to conclude it's not a mission related problem.
It seems something similar to the doubled rate of fire of the turrets on the YT Corellian Transports (viewtopic.php?f=9&t=12057 ).

I personally agree with having 4 laser hardpoints per gun turret instead of 2 in the YT transports because in vanilla XWA those turrets fired inconsistently.
I mean they fired 4 shots/second when linked to forward position and 2 shots/second in auto fire mode.
Doubling the laser hardpoints per gun turret in XWAUCP v1.6 solved this inconsistency, so there is no turning back.

However, though this solution solved a problem, it also created a new one: the Azzameen Family missions are now insanely easy, especially the ones with the YT-2000.
So I'm evaluating a minor re-balance for those missions contextually with the next release of the Mission Update, while also increasing realism of events a little.

Speaking of Alliance fighter missions, I remember beating Battle 1, Mission 1 on Hard without loosing a single fighter and also destroying the Strike cruiser.
Now all the Alliance fighters were killed by the Container Transports and I had to take down all the convoy alone.
The difference is the rate of fire of the 2 Container Transports.
I don't know if they had the same doubling laser hardpoints per gun turret, but in case they had I must admit this threw this Alliance mission completely out of balance.

I recorded a video so that you can take a look at how I achieved to complete the mission on Hard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtGKTg3Zvtw
At the beginning of the video I show the General Options, in case you are interested at my Energy Levels/Throttle Presets.
If your happy with the YT's having 4 quad lasers I'll leave those alone, the Container Transport, could easily be resolve by removing the hardpoints from the rear turrets, the turrets would still be there for ecstatic, but gameplay and balance would be restored as the transport would then be the same as the original version

Anyone can fix this easily using XWA Opt Editor, I'll remove the hardpoints now for the next version of the XWAUCP/DSUCP release, don't say no because by the time you read this I'll have change it!
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Post by Mark_Farlander » Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:09 pm

I did not understand this thing: were the hardpoints per turret increased for the Container Transport in XWAUCP v1.6, or were just the rear turrets without hardpoints at all in the original version?

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Post by Darksaber » Sat Aug 24, 2019 7:11 pm

No I added three more turrets to the back braces, which adds 6 more hardpoints to the container transport (12 in total) on the XWAUCPv1.6/DSUCPv2.6, I thought at the time of adding the turrets that it looked better, but I didn't think of the consequences to the game.

What I have done is to keep the turrets, but remove the 6 extra hardpoints

And no the original container transport only has 3 turrets = 6 hardpoints
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Post by Rookie_One1 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:36 pm

What about reducing the number of hardpoints per turrent, from two to one ?
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Post by Darksaber » Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:57 pm

Yes that's another possible solution :)
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Post by Driftwood » Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:13 pm

I think that would be the ideal solution myself.

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Post by capitanguinea » Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:52 pm

sorry for the question... are the hardpoints shared between turrets and docking points around the hull? I am suspecting so recently.

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Post by WarHawkster » Thu Aug 29, 2019 7:37 pm

I've been having real issues with the escape kothlis mission, that one where you evacuate the rebel base. My last attempt I along with wingmen were destroying all ties/bombers, and disabled at least one ATR to prevent subsequent waves, finally felt I was going to beat it this time and EXX mission failed. Something preventing the shuttle from completing mission, I guess it was destroyed? I think the problem is with the Executor's size, coupled with improvements to CPU over the years like brought up before, it just absolutely murders everything in its path. At this point i think i'm going to have to cheat and pull up Allied, either set the shuttle to invulnerable or push the Executor waayy back from the mission area.

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Post by Forceflow » Thu Aug 29, 2019 7:52 pm

Yeah... I do feel at some point we have to take a closer look at the missions. It really does seem a lot of them got way harder. I also just had a lot of trouble with the mission were you have to rescue prisoners from a Neb-B. You escort a group of Y-Wings that are supposed to disable it. But for some reason the Y-Wings would only be able to do that if I dumb fired all my torpedos at the Frigate and took it's shields down within seconds of arriving in the third region (and even then it only worked once). Else the Y-Wings just would break of the attack run way too early and then don't even bother at all. I changed the mission in allied so that the jump point was farther away from the station giving the Y-Wings more time for the attack. It worked, but then it almost felt too easy since the station was so far away that the Ties really weren't an issue until it was far too late.
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Post by WarHawkster » Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:26 pm

Well I tried moving back the Executor to jump in at 25km and that seemed to do the trick and make the mission play out more like it was intended to be.

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Post by BattleDog » Sun Sep 01, 2019 1:18 am

Darksaber wrote:
Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:57 pm
Yes that's another possible solution :)
The downside to this solution is that it whilst it reduces the overall "weight" of fire it means the Container Transport has no blind spots.

That's going to leave it better defended than a lot of corvettes, especially against warheads.
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Post by BattleDog » Sun Sep 01, 2019 1:20 am

Forceflow wrote:
Thu Aug 29, 2019 7:52 pm
Yeah... I do feel at some point we have to take a closer look at the missions. It really does seem a lot of them got way harder. I also just had a lot of trouble with the mission were you have to rescue prisoners from a Neb-B. You escort a group of Y-Wings that are supposed to disable it. But for some reason the Y-Wings would only be able to do that if I dumb fired all my torpedos at the Frigate and took it's shields down within seconds of arriving in the third region (and even then it only worked once). Else the Y-Wings just would break of the attack run way too early and then don't even bother at all. I changed the mission in allied so that the jump point was farther away from the station giving the Y-Wings more time for the attack. It worked, but then it almost felt too easy since the station was so far away that the Ties really weren't an issue until it was far too late.
The original Frigate only had four turrets, two per side, and was virtually undefended from the front and back, and completely naked from the top.

One of the first mods I ever did was to add more hardpoints to the NEB to make it more like the earlier games.

I'm guessing that was changed in the patch.
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