Part 136: Demo World & EarthDemo World & Earth
Another two-fer. We begin with the final planet in Lich98.
Demo World appears to be relatively basic with a little of everything. There's a reason for that:
Huh. So this one had its own little niche in the development process apparently. Interesting.
The central plateau has a Spore Tower on it, but is still the most inviting location. I'll try to eliminate it before it activates.
One cannon on north and south to slow the advance of the Creeper in both directions - but the first north one got destroyed before finishing and this second one almost did. Disaster was barely averted at the beginning here. This is just over a minute in, so clearly it's not meant to be a super-safe and easy level.
I tried an early Forge, and got that blown up too, but enough Reactors and weapons eventually pushed the enemy of the plateau. That SuperCannon in the southwest protects another Nullifier, and general serves as a linchpin in the defensive network for a long time.
After a gradual buildup of energy fills most of the starting area, I put up a Sniper to take aim at some of the Runners in the Digitalis to the west, and with upgrades starting to come in begin forming an attack group.
After reaching the southern border and taking out a couple more Emitters in the process, I task a few weapons to go north. Removing this threat effectively cuts the creeper in half, with only the northeast corner remaining to challenge me on that wing.
The finish requires taking out an elevated emitter protected by digitalis. Overall I think this map does its job pretty darned well. A middle-of-the-road planet that won't challenge an experienced player, but requires a solid strategy to avoid an early defeat and puts you under pressure in the first minute. Then a little bit of everything as things ramp up on the attack later.
Fisherck is our next system. Earth is a bit on the larger side, with two moderate-sized planets and then a tiny one.
This seems to me clearly an homage to the Classic Earth level, one of the official bonus designs from CW1. And I must say that as such, it's done quite well. The difficulty is slightly different, but similar. I really like the way the terrain is done here aesthetically. Very realistic-looking oceans, a reasonably sized continental shelf effect as well. You can find potential starting spots on at least four continents as well, so there's some choice to be made. Clearly it was important to put some attention to detail here - I was pretty impressed by this planet.
I didn't pick one location - I chose three. We have the high ground to start but there are reasonably strong emitters in multiple directions from pretty much anywhere you go.
I went a little too energy-heavy and took too long on weapons in this attempt. You can't just rely on the ore here, and trying to do so got the eastern seaboard of North America flooded. Northern South America and NW Africa followed suit soon, and it didn't look like I'd be able to save it.
Take 2 - 32:30 video
I thought the three-continent start was the right idea, particularly given that it is quite possible to hook them up with Relays. I wanted to try to do it better.
I had similar problems, but was a little more prepared in general and was able to fight back. Losing Florida was a problem though because it isolated the North American network. The panhandle is where I need a relay in order to connect to our neighbors to the south.
Here's an overview shot not long afterwards; this is 4:09 mission time. Africa is under threat from the Med to the north and Indian Ocean to the east. The mountains in the latter direction delay it though so I don't really realize it yet. And while the energy display is too small to read here, I have 10.4 income, deficit of 10. That's ... not good. I'm focused here on trying to defend in all directions on every continent, which is essential, but you've got to be fairly efficient to do so without totally sinking the economy.
That Forge proves to be absolutely vital, as a couple of energy efficiency upgrades push the income level to almost 17.
Here's the next critical moment, as southern Africa is flooding as we approach seven minutes in. If I don't hold this and the Forge goes away, I'm in big trouble. Fortunately the other two continents are pretty secure so I can focus efforts here for the most part.
I lose some things and plunge myself into deficit again in the process, but getting Mortars up and scattered around really helps push back the tide in multiple directions.
Soon afterwards, I've got a stable and secure situation at last and enlist the Sprayer to help pacify the north Atlantic Basin.
On the west of the map, the depths of the Pacific look a lot more imposing as I shift my attentions that way. With the proper application of just a little more firepower though, it goes away surprisingly quickly.
Pushing up through Europe and the Middle East towards Asia is made slightly complicated by the Himalayas. That's only a small hiccup though, and once I get a few more weapons in place we quickly push through the east of the map and past Japan to the final emitters.
This was an engaging, worthy successor to the original I thought.