Dralthi mk2/Crossbow/Morningstar

Kaunisto

Rear Admiral
As game design, what do you think about each of the ships added in the expansions?
Having recently replayed all these parts got me thinking this aspect.

Dralthi in itself was nice. It replaced the mud pig, being similar but slightly better and just different enough from all others to fly to be interesting. And it was OK that they didn't throw in some supership, I feel Raptor and Rapier are well balanced top ships.
The great element of course was being in the enemy ship, going undercover. Unfortunately the mission design didn't use this properly. Most of time they either attack you or there's something like 5 Hriss wing that'd be completely suicidal to take on. There's only that one time where you get to really backstab jalthis, take one completely by surprise. I wish there had been one normal patrol (like 3 salthis, 3 krants, 2 grathas) to do with Dralthi, letting you attack each wing unexpectedly.

Morningstar is what you want in expansion: fast, exciting action. It's a more hectic alternative to Sabre, more dangerous for lack of turret (and less armor, I believe?)
Not to mention Mace, nicely executed idea.
If there were more Morningstar missions I might grow to dislike it (like WC2 Rapier), but as the bit of spice to the series it is, I really like Morningstar too.

I left Crossbow last because it's what actually got me to think this. I don't dislike the ship itself (aside the wide spread of weapons), but...
It's boring to play - despite good mission designs. And worst of all, it doesn't add anything to playing Broadsword, it's just a slightly worse version of it.
I wish they had switched Broadsword and Crossbow. For me Broadsword is the clearly best ship in WC2 (as best for defeating enemies, not most fun) and as WC2 is pretty easy, I feel Crossbow would've done for that. You could've then brought in Broadsword in SO1 as this supership and thrown that against heaps of enemies.
Now Crossbow is just Broadsword with a small handicap.
 

Dondragmer

Rear Admiral
Morningstar is what you want in expansion: fast, exciting action. It's a more hectic alternative to Sabre, more dangerous for lack of turret (and less armor, I believe?)
Not to mention Mace, nicely executed idea.

The Morningstar was fun, but the Mace exposes a place where the script and gameplay don't like up. Maniac says he likes it.

WC2-SO2 Mace 1.png
WC2-SO2 Mace 2.png


But his AI doesn't know how to use the Mace, so he never does. (I think - has anyone witnessed it?) Of course, if they had implemented it, we'd get annoyed with him stealing kills and blowing us up without being able to do anything about it.

Gameplay would be even more annoying if Jazz knew how to use it. I like to think that Minx hated the Mace so much that she threw hers overboard and Jazz never had the chance to equip one.

Also, for a new ship the Morningstar is drawn with a lot of rust on it.

WC2-SO2 Morningstar.png


I left Crossbow last because it's what actually got me to think this. I don't dislike the ship itself (aside the wide spread of weapons), but...
It's boring to play - despite good mission designs. And worst of all, it doesn't add anything to playing Broadsword, it's just a slightly worse version of it.
I wish they had switched Broadsword and Crossbow. For me Broadsword is the clearly best ship in WC2 (as best for defeating enemies, not most fun) and as WC2 is pretty easy, I feel Crossbow would've done for that. You could've then brought in Broadsword in SO1 as this supership and thrown that against heaps of enemies.
Now Crossbow is just Broadsword with a small handicap.

I agree with this. I caused most damage in the Broadsword and Crossbow from the rear turret, because the AI doesn't know to avoid it. So, the massive front arsenal didn't gain a lot, and I missed having the option of using the side turrets that the Broadsword gives.

Also, having made the Crossbow a centrepiece of Special Operations 1, it's weird that you fly the last mission in a Sabre. At least they include a script justification, saying that there's no time to repair and re-arm the Crossbow that Blair is flying in the previous mission.

WC2-SO1 Crossbow to Sabre 1.png
WC2-SO1 Crossbow to Sabre 2.png

I've always wondered if this was just because they wanted to reuse the ending backdrop from WC2. It has crew standing around a Sabre, with one of them sitting on it.

WC2-SO1 Ending.png

But I do like the character of the cockpits. The Broadsword feels rugged and tested, the Crossbow feels shiny and new. The Rapier in WC1 also achieved this.

WC2 Broadsword cockpit.png
WC2 Crossbow cockpit.png

But I wish they'd drawn a counterpart to walking up the ladder into the Broadsword. It really sells the notion that, in contrast to the fighters, you're flying a massive bomber.

WC2 Broadsword ladder.png
 

Kaunisto

Rear Admiral
Also, having made the Crossbow a centrepiece of Special Operations 1, it's weird that you fly the last mission in a Sabre. At least they include a script justification, saying that there's no time to repair and re-arm the Crossbow that Blair is flying in the previous mission.
That however makes it even worse that in the other last mission (that comes if you lose that) you fly Sabre for no reason at all, which also makes the two somewhat similar. It would've been better if that one had Crossbow. Then again, there was the mission before these where you already had Crossbow against Gothris.

I do wish the AI could use Mace against the two Fralthras in that one mission.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Internally, Maniac has a separate loadout profile for his Morningstar that doesn't include the Mace... which was done because he would accidentally blow the player up constantly during testing.
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
I do wish the AI could use Mace against the two Fralthras in that one mission.

No problem :p , but you do know the actual trick is to get one Fralthra to fire on the other, the one that blows up leaves the other damaged and easy to finish off..
 
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