Part 169: Riftworld & Pop-UpRiftworld & Pop-Up
Literally a Riftworld, thanks to the fact that there is one running through the middle of the planet. Plenty of creeper structures in the south, and while there are goodies in the NE there's nowhere to land there - and I'll be kept busy enough that an early guppy operation is pretty much out of the question.
Well under a minute, and the creeper approaches. There is some pressure on the start here.
This is the general form of the defense, from almost three minutes in. Get as much help from the Sprayers as possible, supplemented with standard weapons, a good amount of of Beams are required to deal with significant Spore attacks ... and the big question per usual in these types of matters is whether there will be enough energy to sustain it all.
Answer this try; NO. I soon had 6.7 energy coming in with a deficit of about 8. That's a real bad ratio of course.
Here's where I gave up after limping on for a while. I've added a little more energy - up to 8.6 - but it just felt like a gradually losing battle. Also, this is one of those with weirdly specific payloads on the spores; 53, 84, etc.
Take 2 - 7:48 video
I try to get a little more done before the spores come, but I'm not quite ready for them when they show up. This goes quickly.
Take 3 - 8:39
Here I prioritized beams, then reactors, ore mines for the sprayers, and a Forge a bit earliers. I decided to see how long the AC could hold off the Creeper by itself, and use the energy saved from that to try to power up infrastructure faster. This worked much better - about the most I got up to was a deficit of 5 with 12 coming in. That still isn't great, but it's sustainable.
Almost six minutes here, and the creeper is starting to pile up. I've got a solid reserve of energy, overprotection against the air raids, and I start putting Mortars up so we can kill larger quantities of the blue menace. Combined with holding the high ground, this proves enough to begin a slow pushback.
A lot of concentrated mess to get through, but once it gets started the SuperNullifiers have a field day. Naturally I accelerate the process by building a couple SuperBerthas once I have enough zones cleared.
The crossing to the other side simply requires a few guppies and massed artillery fire, easily done with a raft of power zones. At the end, there's another pointless device in the middle of this cluster in the opposite corner.
Pop Up is quite the visual spectacle, intricately designed. And overdesigned IMO, because it doesn't end up being that interesting to play. But let's take a moment to appreciate how cool it looks with all the blocks. Pretty darned obvious of course that we're starting in the west.
The beginning pretty much plays itself. Collectors everywhere, grab the ore, beams and sprayers up. But ... then what? Aggressively ramping up energy with reactors is about the only useful thing to do for a while - which I did some of - because we literally have to wait for the creeper to eat through a bunch of the blocks before we can do anything.
There's a healthy group of Spores for ya. Many of them at only 25 yield, some at 50. I lose a couple things, put up more beams to turn this into a laser-light show, and then when the creeper gets close enough ...
I could have built guppies and done this sooner. This would be a real weird level to speed-run. But basically, the creeper has eaten away territory for us to operate, our AC is holding off what little gets through just fine, and now we're going to invade that space and start offensive operations.
As I start expanding this wedge, the final retaining blocks holding back the rest of the creeper go down. Well most of them - you can see underneath the mass that there is still some straight east here, but we're going to have a lot more company soon. Ten minutes into this slow-developing level, but its about to get real.
That first emitter becomes a SuperBertha to help limit the flow, and then strands of Digitalis on north and south with healthy amounts of runners become an issue. So it's Sniper Time.
It takes a bit of time to properly spread out the required number of weapons to beat back the flood, along with sufficient numbers of beams steadily moving forward with the advance. This part is mostly just busy-work, and this next row of opposition here doesn't make the fight all that much easier. Once a little more artillery is in place, the creeper melts away pretty quickly though and I'm able to lay waste to the strongholds in the east. The creeper is vanquished once more.