Some thoughts on the mod...

Glabro

Spaceman
For some reason this gem of a mod passed by me over the years, and after just completing Secret Ops, it was time to test it out. Needless to say, I play on Nightmare.

I have to say that the entire concept of flying Scimitars out of a Bengal is excellent and the nostalgia factor is high.

You really get the feeling of flying glass cannons, as even the Scims or Grathas easily die to a concentrated effort by the bugs, something that happened much more rarely with the sturdier, modern confed ships. It's clear that the BW are all about putting the most firepower they can on the old crates they fly.

I'm only at the beginning, but the missions show a level of complexity and variety that's almost unrivaled, and the fiction seems well-written and adds to the experience.

I just spent several hours trying to survive mission 3 (a, I think, with the Fralthi intact). I cursed you to the lower hells at one point and cut power to my computer by smashing my fist on the table, causing the power cord to unplug from the extension....but I finally did it. This must be the most insane Wing Commander mission ever devised that is part of a campaign! A test of endurance and nerves, and all about resource management (fuel, gun, missiles). In fact, so much so that I don't even know if the Scim has any hope...There's no way I was able to save the station the second time around, and simply surviving the mission (I had 0 ammo, 0 missiles except the useless anti-rads, and fumes in the fuel tank, wingmen gone by the time the last Manta blew up to my ever so pathetic lasers) was a huge relief.

You guys are sadists, but I'm still looking forward to what's next. Right now I need a shower, my neck is all sore from being so tense for the last 3 hours....
 

Glabro

Spaceman
Wow, didn't see that coming...after fighting my way through the not so easy retreat mission, I'm presented with a game over....

So that would mean I need to somehow save the station....any tips? I'm going on full afterburners after the Mantas with plenty of ammo and missiles, but to no avail - the station blows up the second time.

Do I need to take out the corvettes first or something?

Gah...not looking forward to spending another three to five hours on that mission. Any other tips? Or should I just give up and skip the mission on Easy or something?
 

Dyret

Super Carrot!
If I recall correctly, there was nothing more to winning that mission than taking down the red Mantas and Corvettes as quickly as possible. It's not that bad.

I would also recommend cranking the difficulty down to normal.
 

Glabro

Spaceman
It really was that bad on Nightmare. Or then I'm in a completely different league to the rest of you - I only managed to survive the mission with the station destroyed one time.
Like I said, Hero was too easy.
 

Dyret

Super Carrot!
Yeah, don't get me wrong, I seem to be one of the least skilled pilots here, I've never played anything on higher than default difficulty, or been able to get through Standoff.

I remembered the mission on Ace as being fairly 'easy when you know how', I'm sure Nightmare is, well, a nightmare under any circumstances. :)
 

cff

Kilk'dymga'qith laq Ik'vikvi
There are some strategies that work most of the time, but it is definitely one of the most difficult missions of all WC games for me. Basically yes, go after all torpedo carrying craft ASAP. More importantly do not aim to derstroy them, but rather make sure that they are unable to make their torps score.
 

Iceblade

Admiral
Use the scim, it is the anti-torp craft with those vipers. The banshee's lasers probably work, but I would go with the stormfire on knocking out torps. Also I usually just sit around the station's comm towers waiting for the torps. Btw, the red mantas only carry one torp apiece, so after they launch don't worry about them. Barracudas, though, carry 4 of the things.
 

Triple-B

Commodore
I remembered that mission also. I always play on nightmare and had a real hard time in surviving the mission and protecting the base. personally, I think the Scim is piece of real junk. I always prefered the more agile banshee. her lasers are weak, but at least she is fast. Speed is what you need in order to intercept the red mantas. First thing you do is, position yourself close to the base and always stay in the near vicinity of the base. Then intercept the mantas and also launched torpedos, whenever you see any at once. But be careful, don't come to close on those torpedos.
 

PopsiclePete

Mission programmer
The current OpenGL for WCP/SO will work with UE just fine provided you make sure the launcher's options are set to 640x480. It'll be less pretty than WCP/SO or Standoff's implementations though because it'll use the low-res 640x480 UE backgrounds and none of the updated art (apart from the starfields) will be used. If will give you antialiasing and automatic lighting effects, though.

I guess I could try to come up with a slight update to the UE package in the coming months. One think that has been bothering both Quarto and I is that there are so many things to fix in UE; we don't want to invest time to fix it all so it's hard to get motivated and started on just a few things while knowing it'll make only a slight difference on a flawed project. Don't get me wrong, I still like UE... but just like you like your own drawings and stuff you made as a kid. This being said, I'll try looking into it. The minimum.
 

Iceblade

Admiral
A shame that implementing an in-game fiction viewer would require a lot of extra work. Potentially even recompiling most of the missions. In any case, UE might loose some of its charm if it was completely "modernized." Improved graphical rendering is nice though.

And child's drawing? That seems a little too disparaging of what is a great game/mod. You make it sound like it was Ultima II compared to Ultima VI or VII. You guys are too hard on earlier selves I think.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
I think, if you look at what we achieved in Standoff, Ultima II versus Ultima VII is a very apt comparison, actually. UE was a huge effort, certainly the best we could do at the time, and certainly you could never have Standoff without it... but it's still very primitive and outdated.
 

Triple-B

Commodore
The current OpenGL for WCP/SO will work with UE just fine provided you make sure the launcher's options are set to 640x480. It'll be less pretty than WCP/SO or Standoff's implementations though because it'll use the low-res 640x480 UE backgrounds and none of the updated art (apart from the starfields) will be used. If will give you antialiasing and automatic lighting effects, though.

I guess I could try to come up with a slight update to the UE package in the coming months. One think that has been bothering both Quarto and I is that there are so many things to fix in UE; we don't want to invest time to fix it all so it's hard to get motivated and started on just a few things while knowing it'll make only a slight difference on a flawed project. Don't get me wrong, I still like UE... but just like you like your own drawings and stuff you made as a kid. This being said, I'll try looking into it. The minimum.
cool, thanks :)

@ Quarto: I wouldn't say that UE is prmitive. It is just built simple, but nevertheless a great game
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
@ Quarto: I wouldn't say that UE is prmitive. It is just built simple, but nevertheless a great game
Well, that's exactly what primitive means - it's basic and very simple :). For some reason, people these days tend to consider "primitive" to be an epithet, but in fact, it just means that something is uncomplicated.

I'm actually starting to seriously think about a small UE update. It's been hanging in the air for years, and it may be a good start for a final effort to tie up the loose ends I've left dangling in both UE and Standoff over the years...
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Mainly I want to finally solve a couple of mission bugs that were reported years and years ago - for example, you can basically break mission 9 if you do the wrong thing.

Graphics are the least of my concerns - apart from adding support for the OpenGL renderer used in Standoff and the WCP/SO patch, there is nothing to be done, because the last thing I would want to do is actually improve UE beyond what it was. As Pete explained above, it's just too huge a subject - there's so many things that could be improved in UE, that if one were to do it seriously, it would amount to a completely new project. And the thing is, any such project would contain a vital flaw - namely, that unless you completely rework the story (to the point where the only thing left of UE would be the name), you'll still end up with something that feels like the best we could do ten years ago rather than the best we can do now.
 

Triple-B

Commodore
improving the graphics to the standoff engine is enough, I guess, no one here awaits a complete game overhaul
 

PopsiclePete

Mission programmer
We can't bring graphics on par with Standoff unless we remake the models and textures. What we can do is to bring it on par with the WCP/SO version of the OpenGL.
 
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