What do you HATE (or at least dislike) in each Wing Commander game?

schlang

Rear Admiral
Still can't believe they got away with using that as the test sound.
the goold old 90s. you know, when people were not trying to get offended by everything and you didn't have to check the dictionary if the word you want to use can be used even remotely in any offensive/obscene context
 

Pedro

Admiral
the goold old 90s. you know, when people were not trying to get offended by everything and you didn't have to check the dictionary if the word you want to use can be used even remotely in any offensive/obscene context

Well not really; they clearly selected that line because they thought it was funny.
 

Captain Obvious

Rear Admiral
I guess I should opine:

Wc1- being forced to fight gratha in a hornet, or having to save a certain Ralari
Wc2 - the fucking Epee. Any Epee mission was insufferable. I'd rather fly a Ferret. 2nd place: The Crossbow, janky POS that it is.
WC3 - Rollins, die you obnoxious ginger! Flash was only slightly less annoying, but at least you could clown him (only to get more Flash so...yeah)
WC4- the gameplay, it wasn't smooth enough to keep up with the gun fighting. Oddly I'm not opposed to the missiles in 4, it makes for a natural evolution to me, but the frame rate was difficult to get around.
WCP - Rachel. It was just this weird Graduate vibe that was really off-putting. This isn't a knock on Ginger, it is a knock on the writing of her character. ***edit - also the total character assassination of Maniac. Who in 4 developed some maturity and real leadership and was turned into SpaceBiff again by the writing***
SO - its a power fantasy that lacks nuance, but we get to see the Plunkett and the Murphy so it at least gets a nod for new ships.

The Epee is my most hated ship in all of Wing Commander. What makes it hurt even more is that I actually have a lot of fun flying the Ferret. The game's already got a solid light fighter and then they make you use that piece of crap. I've had to restart Epee missions over and over again so many times. I don't mind the Crossbow too much even though it is just a worse Broadsword. At least it can take a lot of punishment.

I was also JUST thinking about Maniac in Prophecy. The writers just ignored the character development in WC4 and reset him to WC3 bully mode. It would have been great to see him functioning as an actual skilled squadron leader instead of reverting to Space Biff.
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
The Epee is my most hated ship in all of Wing Commander. What makes it hurt even more is that I actually have a lot of fun flying the Ferret. The game's already got a solid light fighter and then they make you use that piece of crap. I've had to restart Epee missions over and over again so many times. I don't mind the Crossbow too much even though it is just a worse Broadsword. At least it can take a lot of punishment.

I was also JUST thinking about Maniac in Prophecy. The writers just ignored the character development in WC4 and reset him to WC3 bully mode. It would have been great to see him functioning as an actual skilled squadron leader instead of reverting to Space Biff.
Funny detail, he only acted like that around those he did not fly with before. He always was space Biff except when he was near Blair or Hawk, and after Casey went out to recover a pilot under his command and dressed him down..
 

DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
Funny detail, he only acted like that around those he did not fly with before. He always was space Biff except when he was near Blair or Hawk, and after Casey went out to recover a pilot under his command and dressed him down..
Which honestly, should never have happened. Casey dressing him down I mean, WC4 Maniac would've just gone and gotten the pilots himself.
 

Wedge009

Rogue Leader
Clearly the goal of Prophecy was to make Casey the new 'player character'. As cringe-inducing as it was to have a senior officer humbled by a rookie pilot in such a manner, it's to help build Casey's story and character for the player. Given the flickers of maturity we saw in WC4 (particularly his dismay at observing the Intrepid's damage when he firsts arrives), it does seem a missed opportunity that Maniac is reduced to comic status in Prophecy. On the other hand, there were plenty of times he was treated as such in WC3 and WC4 too (eg Hawk/Panther's reaction to Maniac's antics), so it could be argued Prophecy was just a continuation of that.

Edit: From a story-telling perspective, I suppose there is some merit to teaching someone the goodness in responding with grace in the face of hardship such as bullying. The execution in Prophecy might not have worked that well, but I appreciate what I think is the intent in that teaching, in having Casey rescue the pilot when Maniac wasn't able to. Remember the CAG explicitly ordered him on another mission so he couldn't do so himself. (Okay, so Casey was rather snide in announcing to Maniac that he was going to make the rescue attempt, that wasn't very gracious, I know.)
 
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DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
I can see that, but it still doesn't quite fit in my mind. I mean Maniac was one of the first to agree to defect with Eisen. He may not be the sharpest tool in the shed but he's certainly not lacking in loyalty (to those he respects/likes) or a willingness to flout authority. He's also at conscious of the impact of his decisions in 4 (though he covers it with humor and bravado). We get a bit of a taste of the more mature Maniac at the end of Prophecy when he tries to keep Blair from going on the gate mission, but ultimately agrees and offers to help.
 

YCDTD

Commodore
Clearly the goal of Prophecy was to make Casey the new 'player character'. As cringe-inducing as it was to have a senior officer humbled by a rookie pilot in such a manner, it's to help build Casey's story and character for the player. Given the flickers of maturity we saw in WC4 (particularly his dismay at observing the Intrepid's damage when he firsts arrives), it does seem a missed opportunity that Maniac is reduced to comic status in Prophecy. On the other hand, there were plenty of times he was treated as such in WC3 and WC4 too (eg Hawk/Panther's reaction to Maniac's antics), so it could be argued Prophecy was just a continuation of that.

Edit: From a story-telling perspective, I suppose there is some merit to teaching someone the goodness in responding with grace in the face of hardship such as bullying. The execution in Prophecy might not have worked that well, but I appreciate what I think is the intent in that teaching, in having Casey rescue the pilot when Maniac wasn't able to. Remember the CAG explicitly ordered him on another mission so he couldn't do so himself. (Okay, so Casey was rather snide in announcing to Maniac that he was going to make the rescue attempt, that wasn't very gracious, I know.)
If these games were made now, we would get a lot more dialogue that would allow for real character development. There was a missed opportunity to juxtapose Flash vs. Maniac in WC3. Flash is on his way to being the new Maniac, but Blair's influence sets him on the right path. I quite like Josh Lucas as an actor, and if you had replaced Vagabond with the more mature Flash in WC4 I would have no complaints. It might even work better; if he died the same way, I feel like it would be even more impactful since he started off so selfish and scared.
 

Jdawg

Commodore
If these games were made now, we would get a lot more dialogue that would allow for real character development. There was a missed opportunity to juxtapose Flash vs. Maniac in WC3. Flash is on his way to being the new Maniac, but Blair's influence sets him on the right path. I quite like Josh Lucas as an actor, and if you had replaced Vagabond with the more mature Flash in WC4 I would have no complaints. It might even work better; if he died the same way, I feel like it would be even more impactful since he started off so selfish and scared.
Dont hate that idea at all, but after beating flash in the sim, his character arc just kind of vanishes
 

Captain Obvious

Rear Admiral
I hate that the Bearcat can only be used in one mission before the Dragon becomes available.
I just finished replaying WC4 today (my yearly marathoning of all the games has brought me back here and this thread ended up being a pretty convenient place to nitpick) and this struck me too. It sort of lets out the steam of stealing the Bearcats in the first place when you're suddenly handed the game's super fighter right after.

Also I know I mentioned the missiles earlier but my god I forgot just how unbalanced the gameplay is. Anything above Veteran is just too frustrating for me to bother with these days because the one hit kills just come out of nowhere. "Realistic" maybe, but not very fun.
 

FekLeyrTarg

Rear Admiral
I hate that the Bearcat can only be used in one mission before the Dragon becomes available.
Actually, you can fly the Bearcat earlier if you decide to capture them at the beginning of Speradon.
Also, in many missions, you can choose any other fighter than the Dragon if you'd like including the Bearcat, even though there's barely any reason not to choose the Dragon.
 

DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
Actually, you can fly the Bearcat earlier if you decide to capture them at the beginning of Speradon.
Also, in many missions, you can choose any other fighter than the Dragon if you'd like including the Bearcat, even though there's barely any reason not to choose the Dragon.
In the remaster, we've been racking our brains to try and find a way to make the Bearcat worth flying, but the biggest hurdle is that you get it at most 4 missions before you get the Lance so it almost isn't worth it.
 

YCDTD

Commodore
In the remaster, we've been racking our brains to try and find a way to make the Bearcat worth flying, but the biggest hurdle is that you get it at most 4 missions before you get the Lance so it almost isn't worth it.
I appreciate the effort! One option would be to allow the player to do Speardon and then Circe, but that would be more in the purview of a remake.

I recall at least one mission where you could not use the Bearcat when you should have been able to; Speradon - Capture Fighters. The excuse was it would too difficult to tell opposing ships apart (?). What, nobody uses IFF codes?

Here is an idea: you could modify the MIPs to fire from missile hardpoints as well as torpedo - so you are not stuck with the Avenger.
 

YCDTD

Commodore
Dont hate that idea at all, but after beating flash in the sim, his character arc just kind of vanishes
Yeah, and again a victim of WC3 being ahead of it's time. Look at the amount of recorded dialogue in games these days (Mass Effect comes to mind) compared to the WC series.

And I use "these days" loosely. Mass Effect came out in 2007! Will it really be (in one more year) 10 years since ME3 came out?!? Where does the time go?
 

Jdawg

Commodore
Yeah, and again a victim of WC3 being ahead of it's time. Look at the amount of recorded dialogue in games these days (Mass Effect comes to mind) compared to the WC series.

And I use "these days" loosely. Mass Effect came out in 2007! Will it really be (in one more year) 10 years since ME3 came out?!? Where does the time go?
Im not going to chalk it up to the time the game came out solely. The writing and outline was not good and full of half baked characters in wc3. A yr later they figured it out a lot better with wc4. Maniac was a fuller character. Hawk and panther were not just pure evil or good fighting over the soul of blair, but had some nuances. Sosa was written head and shoulders better than rollins. Catscratch while not my favorite was a lot better as a new rookie than flash ever was. Also they gave the villains more to do. I love watching tolwyn, seether, and paulsen chewing scenes. We didnt get enough of the kilrathi in 3. Wing Commander 3 had way too many characters and not enough story to give any of them. Like you could have cut out Vaquero and lost nothing to the story

Plus if you look at other genres of games like adventure games, they were telling far better stories with way more dialogue than what was even in Wing Commander 3. Wc3 actually was not that groundbreaking as far as story-driven games go at all in general, fmv sure. Games like Gabriel Knight, broken sword, and full throttle all came out around 93-97 and had way more well-rounded characters and dialogue than wc3.
 
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YCDTD

Commodore
Im not going to chalk it up to the time the game came out solely. The writing and outline was not good and full of half baked characters in wc3. A yr later they figured it out a lot better with wc4. Maniac was a fuller character. Hawk and panther were not just pure evil or good fighting over the soul of blair, but had some nuances. Sosa was written head and shoulders better than rollins. Catscratch while not my favorite was a lot better as a new rookie than flash ever was. Also they gave the villains more to do. I love watching tolwyn, seether, and paulsen chewing scenes. We didnt get enough of the kilrathi in 3. Wing Commander 3 had way too many characters and not enough story to give any of them. Like you could have cut out Vaquero and lost nothing to the story

Plus if you look at other genres of games like adventure games, they were telling far better stories with way more dialogue than what was even in Wing Commander 3. Wc3 actually was not that groundbreaking as far as story-driven games go at all in general, fmv sure. Games like Gabriel Knight, broken sword, and full throttle all came out around 93-97 and had way more well-rounded characters and dialogue than wc3.
Yeah, but with the FMV, my guess is that using live actors cut into the budget. Can't pay Mark Hammill to be around for 1 month of shooting! I don't know the economics too well, but my guess is simple voice acting would have cost a lot less in 1993 then actually having to pay actors to show up and be filmed.

I think we will have to agree to disagree regarding the acting/story in WC3 vs. WC4. Oh, and one last thing...I remember several of my friends simply turned on the invincible setting in WC4 in order to get to the next FMV sequence. With WC3 they didn't do that. Make of that what you will.
 

Captain Obvious

Rear Admiral
I remember several of my friends simply turned on the invincible setting in WC4 in order to get to the next FMV sequence. With WC3 they didn't do that. Make of that what you will.

I don't think it's controversial to say WC3 wins hands down in the gameplay department. WC4 was all about its FMV. The gameplay could have done with a lot more play testing and rebalancing.

It's a shame really because I think WC4 has better variety in its mission design. It's not always just hit your nav points or blow everything up. They do a good job of throwing in gimmicks to keep things interesting throughout and it gives you a good feeling of fighting a guerilla war against a vastly superior opponent. I could just never fully enjoy it because I have to choose between the game being either too easy or too frustrating.

Full disclosure I sometimes still turn on invincibility for the early missile turret ground mission because to hell with that. 🤣
 
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