Part 2: TaurusInterlude: Basic Gameplay
We're ready now for the first set of instructions from the game's help file. With dated graphics from the original release accompanying, the following steps are given:
1. Build collectors to get energy.
2. Build weapons to fight off the Creeper.
3. Collect any technology and artifacts.
4. Connect to all Totems.
5. Once Totems activate, Odin City escapes!
The fundamental steps to winning a level/escaping a world. The only one of these we've not yet covered is point #3: Hope did not have any technology/artifacts to collect.
I neglected to include this in the Hope level. Good information here on our most basic, run-of-the-mill weapon against the Creeper. And right now, our only weapon, period. To this description which well summarizes best use of the Blaster, I would add that it is very much a short-range weapon. Also, it costs 25 Energy to build(2.5 Collectors, or 1.25 Relays worth) and you must also of course supply it with a steady stream of ammunition for as long as it is within range of Creeper.
Chapter 2: Taurus
How ... convenient that we didn't lose, say, collector schematics. Only the one that we don't need right away. Eh, maybe I'm being too harsh here. Anyway, Let's Get Rifting!
This 'nano schematic' is that thing at the bottom with the wavy green outline.
Or not. If it's not already obvious, the basic idea here is to teach the Commander about connecting to special items on the map. This is also good advice about how to use Blasters in pushing back the Creeper.
Always a good idea to get the lay of the land here. Odin City is protected by blocks, on high ground, and has four collectors connected to it -- yielding the output of 1.1 energy instead of the 0.8 it produces on its own. We aren't exactly roughing it here; the training wheels are off on Taurus, so we can build what we choose, where we choose without the total-control scripting of Hope. But we aren't up against it here. Two creeper emitters, one at medium elevation in the south -- and thankfully it's super-weak and won't expand quickly. The one in the basin to the east is more normal, but it will take a long time for it to fill that area and threaten the area on the islands where the Rift Totems are.
This is a good example of probably the most common Creeper World malady: overbuilding. Building at the right pace for your current economy is important in that ever-vital growth curve. Here, about 20 seconds after the previous image, I've got two collectors up and running and have queued up four more, in positions where Odin City can send packets to all of them at once. That's bad -- I've got a deficit and have used up the reserve as you can see from the Energy display. If I'd built just two, and then the other two, I could use the energy from the first two instead of spreading it out and ultimately getting nothing actually built for a while. It's important to build as much as your energy supply can handle -- and no more than that.
I saw what was going on, and was more careful after that group of collectors was finished. Here, a little further on, is a good example of what you're aiming for: depletion and collection are balanced, reserve is fairly low; I'm expanding at a more optimal rate now. You can also see the difference in how far and fast the two emitters are spreading creeper.
Once I get the higher ground basically covered with a well-spaced grid of collectors, I add a couple of Blasters as instructed by OPS in their briefing. It would have been better to place them higher, as here they are at risk of getting damaged/destroyed by the Creeper, being that close while they are constructed.
I get away with it though; the first one is finished and starts firing at the nearby creeper before it is advanced enough to attack.
Building a few collectors just over the 'cliff', I use them to support pushing the Blasters forward more.
Shortly afterwards, the blasters have eliminated all the creeper around this emitter. When you do that, only one Blaster is needed to watch over it. The emitter will only rarely pump out a bit of Creeper, with the Blaster firing at it just occasionally to keep it under control. This is known as 'capping' the Emitter, and the game tells you how to do this several worlds later, even though it's almost hard not to make it happen here, with how weak this emitter is.
As we've now build a collector within range of the nano-schematic, Relay tech is ours once again. I'm moving one of the blasters out near the larger basin, because why not. The only thing left to do is connect to the Totems.
Relays are naturally the fastest the way to do this. I can reach the totems on the islands without bothering with the creeper over by the emitter out that way on the east border. I could attack that, fill a lot more of the western area with collectors, etc. -- but all of that is completely unnecessary. It's also worth noting that while I have a bunch of relays laid out here, I'm not overtaxing the economy because Odin City can't work on the outlying one before the first 'link in the chain' is completed.
I build another Blaster just because I can, but mostly just wait for almost two minutes for the relay network to finish. Probably could have found a closer spot to move Odin City to in order to speed it up, could have done a lot of things, but there was no need to.
For the second half of the level here, I wasn't using as much energy as I could have, but there wasn nothing I could build to speed things up so it was just a matter of whether I felt like building things just to build them. We also didn't take back much territory from the Creeper; most worlds will require more of that.
Fitch is next; Odin City has survived again.