Part 208: PotentialPotential (36:45)
We seem to have decisively passed the 'this will only take a moment' part of the campaign. The Story is officially half over as of this update - which means from now on we'll be moving closer to the end than the beginning. Whether that's something to lament or celebrate is something I leave to the reader.
You just can't get away from those darned Abraxians.
When are we not in the middle of a fight?
I was pretty disturbed here by the total lack of any real counter to the Stunners, which is our new Particulate threat for the mission.
The mission area is fairly significant once again. The lower-right is clearly safest to begin.
Attacks begin fairly early but we have a bunch of energy crystals to get the economy going, and some land to mire as well.
And yet you totally failed to mention it when discussing defense options because ... ?
In very Lia-esque fashion, Ticon teases us and then pointedly refuses to answer or even acknowledge the question.
Once again it is obvious that our CEO knows far more than he is saying. More questions than answers here but it appears that the adaptations of the Particulate are on a pretty short time-scale ... and also those of whoever (though I think we know darned well who) left these schematics here
Pushing up the right side of the map, we secure another energy source and some more land, along with a second 'license' for another Discharger. Not before we get hit with some stunners though - the Destroyer here has been tagged with one.
A Grabber directs the benign particles to better use and we snag another energy source. The Discharger is that strange-looking thing on the right here.
Once again our bluish buddies are vital in expanding to new territory, and therefore getting more energy up to get out of the initial economic crunch. On this map in particular there are a number of different asteroids and we need to move around a lot with the Omnis.
I spent a considerable amount of time being concerned about this passage here, which is mostly being fueled by the single emitter at the top of it. At various points such as here I threw a bunch of benign particulate up the channel, but didn't realize the 'right' way to deal with the threat until much later.
I realized I had perhaps too soon neglected the bottom of the map, where resistance seemed less significant but we could expand with a little concentrated effort - if I could afford the ships.
I noted later on in this level that I was using the Hammer more like a Shield than that thing Thor swings around. But my answer to many problems was simply to throw it in the path of most significant resistance and try to out-heal the damage. Which worked here, as it usually did.
Meanwhile this secondary task force essentially cleaned out much of the lower part of the map, getting a few more energy sources and eliminating pockets of resistance. This was the largest of them and didn't last long.
I'm finding that the equilibrium point in Particle Fleet generally happens around the stage of being able to build all of your ships and not run out of energy. Back at the top of the map, we've basically reached it now. Here we have almost no storage but a bit left, 30 coming in and going out, and haven't bothered to rebuild one ship at the moment (MicroTank) but everything else is up and running. So I'm bombarding another area with particulate and getting an omni beachhead near a Mire Spawner here. At this point Mire is 56-41 against us, particulate 1200+ to less than 300. So we have a lot of work to do yet.
Here you can see a bit of how spread out the fleet is - as a general pattern I'm finding I need to subdivide things more and more as we make our way through the story missions. Still looking to beachhead more landmasses at this stage.
Here's one of our dischargers taking out a Stunner. This whole concept seems very much to have been ripped from the CW2 'Phantoms'.
I get back to that passage I mentioned earlier, and get omnis into position for knocking out the offending Particle Emitter. This seems much easier than try to push ships up there with a microtank while also defending everywhere else. The ability of Mired land to absorb incoming particle attacks is something I definitely did not sufficiently appreciate prior to this level.
There are a couple of places that were particularly 'fun' to conquer, the land on the left of the screen here being one. I found it difficult to get benign particulate there, and I haven't totally worked out whether it was getting hung up due to distance or vestiges of enemy plasma - perhaps both - but in any case these were places where I did some omni-spamming and lost quite a few in the process. Even after eventually getting particles there.
Also worth noting, mire destroys mire spawners, but NOT the Stunners themselves. They have to be lathed to death. After gradually pushing leftwards and sometimes even remembering to bring up rearguard ships after an area had been fully secured, I eventually reached the climax.
Info Cache in the map's upper-left, and right here I think there's just the lone emitter beyond this, and a stunner on either side. The rest of the resistance has been eliminated. Which means it's time for more
Kami, have you not yet figured out that odds haven't got the first thing to do with it?
Platius, says the wind. Skarsgard, say the stars.
In this area the enemy particulate writhes around in worm-like shapes and constructions. We slaughter it without mercy regardless.
Anecdotally, I find myself more often drawn to the opposite conclusion than not.
If I haven't mentioned it before, I object to this here. Stats are always interesting, but we didn't find Stunners till halfway through the story here. Doppels and Emergent are stuff we don't know about for sure, and we're also apparently being told that there will be enemy ships of some form at a later date? I'm don't like it when the interface unavoiably announces as-yet-unrevealed stuff like this.
Well, one of those mysteries will be revealed soon it appears.