Worst Mission Ever

Silver_Fox

Captain
Howdy,

Long time no post, but a replay via the joys of www.gog.com has lead me here.

Many of us have that certain mission we absolutely love to play and can't wait for it to be announced in briefing, however my question is, what mission do you detest hearing it's coming up?

I have a kind of top 3: The Ralari escort, I don't think I ever successfully passed that one. Second, the Gwenhyvar, how the hell did a renegade get Confed's latest and greatest fighter? Finally the one I really dread, Novaya Kiev in WC2, rescuing the comm courier. I don't think I've ever been able to smash the Ralari.

So what's yours? If you could avoid any mission, what would it be?
 

capi3101

Admiral
Any of the atmo missions in WCIV. Couldn't tell you how many times it took me to get that right; only time I ever reached one of the losing endgames...
 

Whistler

Commodore
Pelius system in WC:IV. Flying with no shields and the speed of a scimitar against bearcats and excaliburs. Not the best fun I've had in Borderworlds space. The only mercy was the missions were blessedly short.

One other in WC1 during the Firekka campaign. There was one mission where you had to escort two Draymans at the same time. Often knocking each other WAY off course and sometimes got so damaged that the minefield would finish one if not both off. If I autopilot they would ram and collide with each other. Only way I found (after much desk smashing) was to escort them through the minefield manually.

I never had trouble saving the Ralari personally...never understood what people were complaining about. Dogfighting rapiers was far more intimidating, but I had a tougher time fighting off the Jalthi in Gimle. Angel just isn't that good imo.
 

-danr-

Vice Admiral
I hate to boast, but on my latest replay - I completed the Kurasawa Ralari escort first time! Either I got slightly lucky, or 20+ years of playing this game have paid off.

The toughest missions for me are: The aforementioned Kurasawa, SM1 Supply Depot, K'Tithrak Mang 1, Alcor 1 (after getting drunk with Rachel) and Prophecy Comm Station defence - but that doesn't make them the ones I want to avoid - because I enjoy playing them.

For me, the worst missions are any of the SM2 Dralthi sorties - I find the pancake to be an awkward beast, I really don't like flying that ship! Particularly the Drayman rescue mission. I think Origin missed a trick here, imagine if SM2's supership had been captured Jalthi or Gratha! Instead of mission after mission running away from Hhriss, you could actually stand and fight and enjoy flying a Cat ship instead of simply getting through the mission and hoping to be back in a Rapier soon.
 

Ijuin

Admiral
Pelius system in WC:IV. Flying with no shields and the speed of a scimitar against bearcats and excaliburs. Not the best fun I've had in Borderworlds space. The only mercy was the missions were blessedly short.
Just an FYI, but if you do as Pliers recommends and divert your useless shield power to the engines, you can bring your speed and acceleration back to normal.

Also, I agree with the folks who say that the fly-a-Dralthi missions in SM2 suck. The Dralthi has the shields and armor of a Hornet, but is SLOWER and the shorter-range mass drivers require you to get in closer to the enemy (thus exposing yourself to their mass drivers and neutron guns, whereas the Hornet's lasers allowed you to attack from a longer range and avoid this). The weapons and speed require a flying style more like the Scimitar, but it just doesn't have the protection to survive as long as a Scimitar.
 

Wojo

Rear Admiral
The subject line requires this:

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Not so much a 'worst mission', but any time in WC2 I would hear/see the word 'Asteroids' would set me shuddering. For some reason in WC1 they were easier to navigate, in WC2 it just seemed that rocks would pop up out of nowhere. Of course in later games asteroids were pretty much non-existent, and I found I missed them. Listen to me! Can't decide if I love or hate them!
 

Pedro

Admiral
Not so much a 'worst mission', but any time in WC2 I would hear/see the word 'Asteroids' would set me shuddering. For some reason in WC1 they were easier to navigate, in WC2 it just seemed that rocks would pop up out of nowhere. Of course in later games asteroids were pretty much non-existent, and I found I missed them. Listen to me! Can't decide if I love or hate them!

Less non-existent, and more larger and distributed. They basically changed from a navigation hazard to eye-candy. I must admit I don't know which I prefer. I *think* the eye candy, because I always felt it should be possible for a skilled pilot to navigate the asteroids at high speed - but the fact they pop in and *seem* to have a velocity always in direction opposition to your own turned a potentially fun high speed weaving and dodging sequence into a slow and steady movement. If I had time I'd love to try creating a middle ground between the two.
 

Whistler

Commodore
Just an FYI, but if you do as Pliers recommends and divert your useless shield power to the engines, you can bring your speed and acceleration back to normal.

My usual practice in normal ops is to divert damage control power equally to the guns and shields. In Pelius, shield power went to damage control and guns with a little squirt at the engines to maintain a semi-normal speed. Though like Pliers said, the extra armor still slows down your ship even with the extra allotted engine power.

For instance, a Vindicator normally has full military thrust at 400 kps. With the Pelius mods, your best speed without afterburner won't break 350 kps. Same is true for every fighter, you will take a significant penalty to speed regardless of power allocation. I just have a strong aversion to dodging Tachyons with no shielding.

I agree wholeheartedly about the Dralthi missions in SM2. They were a terrible choice for clandestine work. Give me a Krant, Gratha, or as Hunter put it, "one of those hot new Hhriss," then you'd have a much more enjoyable "secret mission."
 

pigsonthewing

Rear Admiral
The subject line requires this:

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Not so much a 'worst mission', but any time in WC2 I would hear/see the word 'Asteroids' would set me shuddering. For some reason in WC1 they were easier to navigate, in WC2 it just seemed that rocks would pop up out of nowhere. Of course in later games asteroids were pretty much non-existent, and I found I missed them. Listen to me! Can't decide if I love or hate them!

I couldn't agree more. my first pc which I played WC2 on barely met the requirements, so reacting to the asteroids was hindered, but damn those asteroids were more or less guided projectiles. Broadsword was the worst too, I've lost count how many times I thought I was clear of an asteroid but evidently the rock would clip the wing... yyyarrrgghh...
 

cff

Kilk'dymga'qith laq Ik'vikvi
The weapons and speed require a flying style more like the Scimitar, but it just doesn't have the protection to survive as long as a Scimitar.

Really? Given the choice I'd pick the Dralthi over the Scimitar any day. I don't think it has less shields, but even if it does, this is largely compensated by the smaller size of the ship and the better alignment of the mass drivers. I think I'd even prefer the Dralthi to the Raptor. But really - I am fine with anything but the Scimitar. Heck - give me a space suit instead :-P
 

-danr-

Vice Admiral
Really? Given the choice I'd pick the Dralthi over the Scimitar any day. I don't think it has less shields, but even if it does, this is largely compensated by the smaller size of the ship and the better alignment of the mass drivers. I think I'd even prefer the Dralthi to the Raptor. But really - I am fine with anything but the Scimitar. Heck - give me a space suit instead :-P

Ijuin has a point about the Scimitar's added protection, an extra centimeter of armor on the flanks, and two cm more front and back - the shields are more or less the same on both ships. I find it difficult to explain what I don't like about the Dralthi, it's almost like it handles too well and doesn't feel like it has any presence. Also I seem to recall the Scim has more gun power and hence a longer volley of Mass Driver fire - but I might be wrong about that.
 

Ijuin

Admiral
My usual practice in normal ops is to divert damage control power equally to the guns and shields. In Pelius, shield power went to damage control and guns with a little squirt at the engines to maintain a semi-normal speed. Though like Pliers said, the extra armor still slows down your ship even with the extra allotted engine power.

For instance, a Vindicator normally has full military thrust at 400 kps. With the Pelius mods, your best speed without afterburner won't break 350 kps. Same is true for every fighter, you will take a significant penalty to speed regardless of power allocation. I just have a strong aversion to dodging Tachyons with no shielding.

I agree wholeheartedly about the Dralthi missions in SM2. They were a terrible choice for clandestine work. Give me a Krant, Gratha, or as Hunter put it, "one of those hot new Hhriss," then you'd have a much more enjoyable "secret mission."

IIRC, if you divert 50% of all power to the engines (e.g. ALL of the shield power goes to engines), then you get full speed and acceleration out of your craft in the Pelius missions.

Flying a Grathra would be neat--it would be sort of like the Raptor's "little brother", with less speed and longer range Laser guns in place of the Neutron guns (a superior combination IMO due to the opening up of the option of longer-range combat--seriously, I would have loved to see a laser/mass driver craft available in the WC1/2 era--the Prophecy-era Tigershark shows that it's a viable weapon combination for lighter craft even in the heavier-armored combat environment, and against WC1/2 craft it would rival the Rapier's laser/neutron loadout).

pigsonthewing said:
I couldn't agree more. my first pc which I played WC2 on barely met the requirements, so reacting to the asteroids was hindered, but damn those asteroids were more or less guided projectiles. Broadsword was the worst too, I've lost count how many times I thought I was clear of an asteroid but evidently the rock would clip the wing... yyyarrrgghh...

AFAIK, in WC2 and its associated games (SO1/2 and Privateer), asteroids have actual motion to them instead of just sitting at the coordinates where they are spawned, and this includes lateral motion relative to your ship, which makes it more like dodging through a crowd of moving people than dodging through a dense group of trees. You can't simply dodge where the asteroid is NOW--you have to watch for where it WILL BE later.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
I agree wholeheartedly about the Dralthi missions in SM2. They were a terrible choice for clandestine work. Give me a Krant, Gratha, or as Hunter put it, "one of those hot new Hhriss," then you'd have a much more enjoyable "secret mission."
You know, that's precisely the reason why you were given a Dralthi. Game design is not about giving players what they want, but what they need :). Flying secret missions with a ship that lets you obliterate everything in your way would ruin the experience. The first couple of missions you fly in a Dralthi, the thing that makes them interesting is that you're supposed to be safe, but the enemy is able to see past the camouflage, so you are forced to fight in one of the most miserable ships you've ever flown, alone. It's dangerous, difficult, and thrilling. If, on the other hand, you had a Gratha or a Hhriss (I'm not sure you'd enjoy a Krant quite that much), you would enjoy the combat a lot more, but the missions would become run-of-the-mill. The whole experience would not be different in any way to the rest of the game.
 

-danr-

Vice Admiral
You know, that's precisely the reason why you were given a Dralthi. Game design is not about giving players what they want, but what they need :). Flying secret missions with a ship that lets you obliterate everything in your way would ruin the experience.

I hear you - regarding game design, flying the inferior Dralthi certainly makes for a unique challenge, but didn't you get a sense at times that some of the missions would be unwinnable for a good number of people playing the game? There's a lot of times where it makes more sense to run away from the enemy than to attempt combat. I know that in some cases this is what the mission had intended (such as the Snakeir recon run) - but other times when enemy presence just slowed down the flow of the mission, i.e: you're flying the Dralthi alongside Angel, en-route to rescue a Drayman, you encounter a Ralari with heavy Gratha escort, only option: run away! :)

I found encounters like this only made frustrating obstacles during missions that would usually need replaying 2-3 times before success, whereas if we'd had used captured Jalthi, we'd still get the thrill of flying an alien ship, and relish having six guns to tear the enemy apart with!

I guess I just found the whole Dralthi experience too frustrating. I too wouldn't favor a Krant, I just thought the Dralthi made for missions that in the long run people would find annoying.

But hey, who am I to argue? I should be grateful we got to fly a Kilrathi ship, and I guess the Dralthi is the most iconic choice.

As a side thought, I wonder if any Wingnuts have ever succeeded in destroying every enemy encountered in the Dralthi? I know I've tried the Snakeir convoy a few times, and always failed...
 

Whistler

Commodore
A guy can dream can't he? Flying that thing I sounded like Hunter in Freedom Flight.

"I hate this fighter - lousy, cheap piece of junk - goddamned flying pancake - I should have stolen something decent, like one of those hot new Hhriss fighters - "
 

Wojo

Rear Admiral
Less non-existent, and more larger and distributed. They basically changed from a navigation hazard to eye-candy. I must admit I don't know which I prefer. I *think* the eye candy, because I always felt it should be possible for a skilled pilot to navigate the asteroids at high speed - but the fact they pop in and *seem* to have a velocity always in direction opposition to your own turned a potentially fun high speed weaving and dodging sequence into a slow and steady movement. If I had time I'd love to try creating a middle ground between the two.

Freelancer was a really nice middle ground - beautiful asteroid fields which didn't insta-kill you when you bashed into them, but if you were in combat and didn't dodge enough they would strip your shields and make life difficult. Here's hoping Sq42 take a leaf from that book...
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
I found encounters like this only made frustrating obstacles during missions that would usually need replaying 2-3 times before success, whereas if we'd had used captured Jalthi, we'd still get the thrill of flying an alien ship, and relish having six guns to tear the enemy apart with!

I guess I just found the whole Dralthi experience too frustrating. I too wouldn't favor a Krant, I just thought the Dralthi made for missions that in the long run people would find annoying. But hey, who am I to argue? I should be grateful we got to fly a Kilrathi ship, and I guess the Dralthi is the most iconic choice.

An important thing to consider here is that games in the early '90s were not forgiving! Games were just hard: sparse save points (if any), no selectable difficulty setting, unfair odds, no tutorial and so on. I'm sure the developers fully intended some people to replay some missions 5-10 times before they could move forward. Creating a scenario where players could just seamlessly flow through a game without failing, which is common today, would have been absolutely unthinkable to game design at the time. And the expansion packs were supposed to be harder than typical games of that era!
 

Delance

Victory, you say?
Kurosawa escort on WC1 is actually fun and give you a respectable chance to go to Rostov, fly with Iceman and rack up your kill board.
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
I've never finished the Kurasawa Ralari mission and keep a save on my PC just to go back to take a crack at it once in a while.

(The GOG emulation is good but starts to stutter on that mission, which makes it all the harder)
 

OSH

Rear Admiral
Kurasawa 2 (Ralari escort) - I've completed it, but was very hard. But I think, the worst mission in all WC series is Bifrost 2 - so beautiful name and so EXTREMELY hard to complete. I've completed it too, but it was a truly nightmare. Of course, missions where you fly with a pancake are hard too. I've completed today Corsair 3 mission, with destroying Ralari, Snakeir and 16 other ships - it was hard also.
 
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