Part 218: The MeltThe Melt (56:41)
Before we get into today's frivolity, I take a look around at some of the now-unlocked extras.
The Simulacrum is your basic procedural random mission generator thingamajig. It has a fairly dizzying amount of options that I'll be not delving into further.
The familiar-looking collection of maps by other players. This is the Grid view, it defaults to the Carousel which just shows one at a time with arrows to cycle through them, like the other PF screens. We'll be getting to at least a few of these in the future. Also worth noting is there aren't quite as many of these available as for the previous games, likely a reflection of the fact that this wasn't quite as popular as previous iterations of CW.
I briefly looked in here and it seemed the available options were robust enough. Not something I'm going to spend any more time on though.
There's no escaping Ticon Corp. The ship editor is clunky but functional, and we'll see that next time out.
This is where we're headed though. The description implied, at least to my mind, a sort of prequel story would be involved. A potentially sensible one.
And here's our first Inception mission.
No story, at least not here. We're just dumped in. Which you could argue is a positive change. I've seen the Inception missions described as being moderate in difficulty. If so, I am at best moderate in skill, because this one stalemated me for a while.
The advice given here is right on point.
Left-to-right we must go, with a limited fleet. No carrier, C-class, Varro, etc.
Just over a minute in. Particulate resistance appears to be ... significant, you might say. They have 1600 at the moment. We have 90 from our emitter.
They have a surprisingly hard time getting through the initial defensive line of land though, and it wasn't nearly as difficult getting our relatively limited fleet going. Wolf and Big Nose are our only real heavy-hitters, Marauder and smaller ships for crowd control.
I ended up using ships to advance on the top and bottom flanks, Omnis in between on that one good-sized island we have.
It took a bit of finagling to get the Grabbers properly positioned to route our particulate through the strips of land at the outer defenses. Clearly we'd need to seize the next couple of islands to progress, and both ships were needed to get the benign blueness on target.
Regular Marauder-Doppels and copious amounts of stunners were naturally on hang to complicate matters. No emergent though, for either side. I miss benign emergent. I like benign emergent.
Benign emergent have become my security blanket. I don't feel right without them.
Things might have actually gotten harder once I took the next island here, and I think I misindentified why at the time. A lot of particulate was bottled up behind them before ... now it had a target. I had to use every last omni with cannons on and every ship I had to hold it at bay, and still had to retreat in between the surges. I was always able to be secure behind the strip islands for the most part, but there was a lot of stuff blowing up and it wasn't always hostile.
The better part of ten minutes past before I could conquer the second island, and as you can see the enemy was far from pleased. All we'd really eliminated so far was a couple of energy mines and some land. That's good, but actual particulate production hadn't been touched and the mission was 20 minutes old.
Here's where our pushback started gaining momentum. The mass of particulate looks dangerous ... but we've managed to repair enough plasma to actually start turning the tide. As more and more of it was stabilized, the incursions were slowed more and more often and the fleet could be posted more aggressively.
That amp gem and the struc-protected emitter were the next targets.
Knocking that first emitter out took down enemy levels to only maybe 200 below their peak, still around 1400 hostile. And it was more difficult to make further progress than it looked, mostly because of that thing with the star on the right here. Turns out that's a Regenerator, which regenerates struc at an alarming pace. We were forced to go around.
Gradually advancing our plasma field seemed the only way. It was slow progress ... slower because the stupid doppels kept spawning right on top of where the big nose was, and knocking out its MK 7 module.
Eventually our HQ starred in eliminating the doppel structure while a bunch of their particulate milled about further back. Progress.
After getting that next emitter via a couple of lathe suicide runs, I decided to clear out one flank at a time. Here's me charging along the top, and failing spectacularly as built-up particulate at the back of the map put a few of its cents in. If you watch the video, you get to see repeated such bashings with time-skips to avoid all the rebuilding that happened in between.
Short version; I was never able to make it happen.
Eventually I just went after the regenerator, holding back just enough not to trigger all the enemy masses. In a strange conclusion to the mission, everything else apparently went boom when it was destroyed, because the victory screen came up immediately.
Next update will actually be covering the ship editor. After you see the dumb things I made, feel free to chime in with your own ideas. And then, Fountains of Beleguese will continue the Inception campaign. If The Melt was any indication, I'm up for stiff resistance in this series of challenges.