Wow

Thunderbolt

Rear Admiral
I've already played through the 'winning' (for want of a better word) tree of Episode 4 and I have to say it is amazing. The modified textures notched it up even further and the storyline and mood was perfect. As usual there is humor as well as tragedy and we can see more character development as the story unfolds.

I like the choice of music for Episode 4 too. If I could make a suggestion with music for Episode 5 I think the tune that plays when Colonel Blair defects to the Borderworlds in WC 4 might fit nicely for some missions.

So thats 4 episodes down, 1 to go

Keep at it !
And Thankyou to the Standoff team and everyone involved in its production and testing and for the CIC for hosting.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Thanks :).

In regards to the music, so far we've basically been recycling existing pieces from previous games. For episode 5, however, we'll be using our own musical set - and it's a really good one, too.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
Yeah, these guys definitely deserve a lot of thanks, now that I've seen a small portion of what goes into a project like this, I have to say you guys really have done an amazing job. I greatly enjoyed testing and helping to shape Ep4.


How did you approach the Hakaga strike the first time? (ie Which ship did you fly?)

The first time I tested that mission I think I died in 30 seconds because I couldn't get my jaw off the floor once I saw the Hakaga and his accompanying fleet.
 

Thunderbolt

Rear Admiral
Yeah, these guys definitely deserve a lot of thanks, now that I've seen a small portion of what goes into a project like this, I have to say you guys really have done an amazing job. I greatly enjoyed testing and helping to shape Ep4.


How did you approach the Hakaga strike the first time? (ie Which ship did you fly?)

The first time I tested that mission I think I died in 30 seconds because I couldn't get my jaw off the floor once I saw the Hakaga and his accompanying fleet.

Well the Hakaga strike was difficult but I got after a couple of attempts. My first piece of advice is to fly the sabre. Because you have 4 torpedoes and afterburners. Afterburners are absolutely essential for bombing missions. For that reason I never touched the Crossbows. So I ended up launching about 3 torpedoes into the Hagaka and some other strike groups got some Torps in and it went Boom.

The only downsides to the Sabre is that it has rather weak shields and it isn't great for dogfights - I think because of the positioning of the guns. It just seems really difficult to be able to accurately hit Kilrathi fighters. I find that dogfighting in the Rapier to be so much easier.

Clearing some of the Sartha's and Drakhri's before you launch torps might be a good idea as well. As those are the Kat fighters that carry dumbfires they pose a real threat to you and other bombers so be mindful of them.

Other than that it might have been just luck that so many other confed fighters got torpedoes launched.
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
That's just it, isn't it? Unlike earlier WC games, team work is really emphasised in the Hakaga strike. There's no way you can accomplish the mission objectives on your own, simply because you don't have enough torpedoes to go around. (I know there are also a couple of missions in Prophecy which have more capship targets than torpedoes on a single Shrike.) And I think that's great - the feeling of working together with your fellow pilots to bring down a gargantuan monstrosity is incredible. It made me understand the relief Stingray felt when he saw Bradshaw and the other Firekka pilots coming in to help.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Hmm, I'm just a little bit alarmed to hear everybody talking about how they did eventually take out the Hakaga :p. Our intention had been to make it well-nigh impossible, since destroying the Hakaga actually puts you in a better situation than Fleet Action.


(ah... but does it really? The damaged Hakaga was sent back home with two carriers as escort. If you destroy the Hakaga, those two carriers won't be sent away... so wouldn't you need to deal with these carriers in episode 5? ;) )


Also, about the Crossbow - I highly recommend that everybody try flying the Crossbow in these missions. It's a whole different ball game, and having 6 torpedoes instead of 4 gives you a significant advantage.
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
I had a go with the Crossbow. Lack of afterburners is a severe impediment. It didn't matter so much in WC2 because there weren't such huge distances to cross at a given battle.

How many Hakagas were there to begin with, and how many actually made it to Sol?
 

Eder

Mr. Standoff
The Crossbow is my favorite for this one. You have time to evade any attacks before they tear through your shields, so you're allowed to screw up much more often. As long as you just stay focused on surviving until almost all the fighters are gone, it's much easier than flying the Sabre.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
I dunno, I very much prefer the Crossbow to the Sabre in these missions. The lack of afterburners does make the mission much longer (trying to get on an engine attack approach, having to get several thousand metres behind the Hakagas....), but as far as combat goes, the extra armour and shields are great. You can actually take a dumbfire (and there's plenty of those around) and live to tell about it.

The Crossbow's guns are quite a challenge, and I think they put me off quite a bit the first time. Once you learn to choose your guns, so that you only open up with a full salvo when you're sure to hit, and otherwise limit yourself only to the longer-range mass drivers, the Crossbow turns out to be one of the best armed ships in the game.

As for the Hakagas, I can't seem to recall - either there was 5, or 6 of them (and another 6-7 still under construction... IIRC, there was 12 altogether). The Hakaga we encounter in Episode 4 is the only one that didn't make it to Sol, both in Standoff and in the book.
 

Thunderbolt

Rear Admiral
Hmm, I'm just a little bit alarmed to hear everybody talking about how they did eventually take out the Hakaga :p. Our intention had been to make it well-nigh impossible, since destroying the Hakaga actually puts you in a better situation than Fleet Action.


(ah... but does it really? The damaged Hakaga was sent back home with two carriers as escort. If you destroy the Hakaga, those two carriers won't be sent away... so wouldn't you need to deal with these carriers in episode 5? ;) )


Also, about the Crossbow - I highly recommend that everybody try flying the Crossbow in these missions. It's a whole different ball game, and having 6 torpedoes instead of 4 gives you a significant advantage)

Hmmm

Well i tried it again on the Sabre and killed the Hakaga after a couple goes where I didnt get killed or too badly damaged. The 2 Snakiers got killed as well and quite easily. I saw one confed bomber take a whole Snakier out solo because there were no Kilrathi fighters anywhere near the Snakiers.

Then I tried it on the Rapier and I also wanted to see what happens if you lose so I didnt exactly do much at all and all the Kilrathi fighters all eventually got destroyed so I had to autopilot back to base otherwise the Hakaga would have been killed anyway.

So all in all I have to say its much easier than the Snakier fight in Episode 3. If you want to make it nearly impossible to win you might have to tweak the mission a bit. Maybe have more Kilrathi fighter reinforcements from the 3 carriers at the navpoint. That is about 550 Kilrathi fighters in total so I suppose you could add more. Secondly maybe have a timelimit before the Kilrathi send reinforcements in from other carriers. The Kilrathi have another 4 Hakaga's and plenty of Snakiers so they have thousands of fighters at their disposal and I imagine they would counterattack any Confed strike force very quickly.

Personally though I found it so much easier because this mission there werent any Broadswords and those things are horrible because they are slow and it takes them ages to move into position to lanuch torpedoes. With Morningstars and Sabres the Kilrathi ships were just too inferior esp with the AI to really pose much of a threat.

To be honest I found the hardest mission is when Bradshaw disobey's orders and tries to save the Confed Cruiser by himself.

Keep in mind that this is all constructive feedback and is just what I noticed from doing the mission a few times. So I dunno you could tweak the mission a bit in a patch. My suggestion is to get some more feedback first :)
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
You can actually take a dumbfire [in a Crossbow] (and there's plenty of those around) and live to tell about it.
Arguably, in a ship with afterburners, I don't have to worry about DFs. Keep in mind I normally favour heavier ships with stronger defences to lighter, manoeuvrable fighters.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
What difficultly are you playing on? On Hero I found it pretty hard to nail all three carriers, at most the 2 Snakiers would go down, but the Hakaga would still have some engines and a launch bay or two.
 

Toast

Space Marshal
Hmm, I'm just a little bit alarmed to hear everybody talking about how they did eventually take out the Hakaga :p. Our intention had been to make it well-nigh impossible, since destroying the Hakaga actually puts you in a better situation than Fleet Action.


(ah... but does it really? The damaged Hakaga was sent back home with two carriers as escort. If you destroy the Hakaga, those two carriers won't be sent away... so wouldn't you need to deal with these carriers in episode 5? ;) )


Also, about the Crossbow - I highly recommend that everybody try flying the Crossbow in these missions. It's a whole different ball game, and having 6 torpedoes instead of 4 gives you a significant advantage.


Oh, I don't think killing the Hakaga was easy, but I did manage it on the first try somehow. (Must have gotten lucky. The next 3 times I played it, we kept running out of torps.) That said, I've been practicing on the Ep3 Verdun and Snakeir missions for... oh, about a year now. ;) I'm sure a lot of us have - and from the sound of it we've gotten pretty damned good at them. I think without a year of practice it would have been harder, but those two missions in Ep3 are serious challenges compared to any official WC game that came before it, and I think all of us have gotten way better at certain skills ultra-critical to Standoff:

- conserving afterburner fuel
- gunnery sans ITTS
- flak evasion
- situational awareness (i.e. who launches torps, and where and when to kill them), including use of rapid targeting, taunts, wingman control, and navmap

Every WC game has been fairly winnable without having to be particularly good at any of the above. Standoff pushes its players to limits never before necessary, I think.

But the missions in Ep4, so far, have all been hard. Really, really hard. When I go back to the Ep3 missions now, they seem so relatively easy... and I haven't forgotten that they used to give me fits. Defending capital ships in Ep4... let's just say that sometimes I find myself looking back at the Verdun defense mission and realizing what a difference it makes that the Verdun takes two torpedo hits to kill. In hindsight, practicing the Sao Paulo mission would have been better practice for Ep4 than the Verdun mission. Now I wish the Stiletto or Epee were selectable because their extra speed would be helpful for chasing down all those &^*@%$# torpedoes!
 

Toast

Space Marshal
I had a go with the Crossbow. Lack of afterburners is a severe impediment. It didn't matter so much in WC2 because there weren't such huge distances to cross at a given battle.


I tried it, the Crossbow actually does make these missions easier in a lot of ways, you just... end up having to do a lot of waiting :(. The Crossbow has really, really good maneuverability for a bomber, so while you can't chase down enemy fighters, all you have to do is pick a target and taunt it into running straight down the Crossbow's jaws. The Crossbow will never really have any trouble coming about in time to bring its guns to bear, and your massive shields pretty much let you do this without fear. Even dumbfires - most of the time, the Crossbow's cannon spread intercepts the dumbfire before it gets a chance to smack into your shields.

"Never play chicken with a Crossbow"

As for the capships, it may help to spend a little time thinning out the turrets before you do your torpedo runs. Also, while you're thinning out the turrets, you're distracting them from all the other bombers on your side.
 

Toast

Space Marshal
Hmm, I'm just a little bit alarmed to hear everybody talking about how they did eventually take out the Hakaga :p. Our intention had been to make it well-nigh impossible, since destroying the Hakaga actually puts you in a better situation than Fleet Action.


(ah... but does it really? The damaged Hakaga was sent back home with two carriers as escort. If you destroy the Hakaga, those two carriers won't be sent away... so wouldn't you need to deal with these carriers in episode 5? ;) )

That Hakaga was damaged? Suddenly I feel so much less accomplished... :(
 

Eder

Mr. Standoff
Q means that in the novel, that Hakaga was damaged, but not destroyed, during the battle in Sirius. Then it was sent back to Kilrathi space along with 2 carriers as escorts.

In Standoff you can destroy it and the two Snakeirs as well, but hey, FA tells us that even if you didn't, they would retreat anyway. :p
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Actually, they're not the same carriers as the ones that retreated - in the book, the Kilrathi lost a carrier in Sirius, so at least one of those Snakeirs is actually that ship. The carriers that escorted the damaged Tarvakh back into Kilrathi space... well, if you destroyed the Tarvakh, you'll have to deal with them :p.
 

powell99

Aviation Junkie
I have to say taking the Sabre up without torpedos is a real treat. It's definatley one of my favorite fighters. Though for the Hakaga I could only manage it with the Crossbow. It was impossible when I was in a Sabre, I mean either I got killed or my wingmen did, it was just nasty. I even had to turn down the Diffuculty which was sort of annoying, but still on the easier difficulties it's a tough mission, I'm looking foreward to play through Episode 4 on a tougher diffuculty to get the full experience.
 

Thunderbolt

Rear Admiral
Actually you guys are right - It is easier flying a Crossbow i got it after the 2nd attempt because I was too careless the first time :) . And the level I play on is Hardcore

And yeah I agree with Toast. The reason why people are probably cruising through the Hakaga mission after a few attempts is because missions in Episode 3 like the Verdun and Snakier were so difficult that after practicing on them for a year people are absolute pro's in the cockpit. I remember it took me about 10 goes to save the Verdun when i first got up to it(before I had a joystick though). Now that mission is easy for me to breeze through because I know all the fighters and how they fly and their endurance etc. But I still find the Snakier mission in Episode 3 difficult because so many things can go wrong.
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
- conserving afterburner fuel
- gunnery sans ITTS
- flak evasion
I think I was quite a good marksman in WC1/2 without ITTS. It's a little harder in a Standoff, though, because ship movements are a lot more fluid and so it's more difficult to predict where the fighters will be when your gunfire reaches them. Although, I have pulled of a few surprising hits when tracking fighters through tight turns on occasion. :)

Regarding conserving fuel, I'm disgusted at how happy the Kilrathi seem to be in draining their afterburners. It feels like they never stop afterburning - this is something I've only noticed since Episode 4.

As for flak evasion, well, the flak in WC2 felt rather random to me. The flak effect in Standoff is a nice simulation, but it is usually quite easy to dodge since they're still discrete points of gun fire (I think).
 
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