Part 227: Warp Never ChangesWarp Never Changes (1:13:13)
Inception finishes with the Particle Fleet mission that, so far, has taken me the longest to complete. This is largely due to the fact that it took me a while to figure out what exactly is going on. There are instructions ... but I learn a lot better visually than I do descriptively. So this one will probably make more than a few of you cringe. Grab that sedative.
Ummm what? We've been disturbing the universe for a long time now. It's literally what we do. And I'm seeing a lot of land in this map, which is generally good news.
Made the suggested tweak to the Thor, and here is the Supertanker that I intend to supply it with. Spoiler: I built it, but never actually used it because reasons.
I think mocking Ticon is the central point of this briefing. But the secondary one I only partially understood, and I do objectively think it's lacking a bit.
We have a pretty sizable square here, zoomed out. Only the lower-left is lacking opposition at first.
From a bit closer you can make out that we've got some amp gems and quite a few pods about - but there's also some stuff that isn't friendly.
This is the first big threat, at just under two minutes in. An enemy ship similar to our cruiser shows up, and we don't have enough to take it down quickly. The reason that's a problem is the green energy it's sending out to the three 'particulate bombs' nearby.
I sent in what we had and built up a Marauder, but it wasn't nearly enough fast enough. All three blew, and this was the result. Ruination. A second attempt ended fairly similarly. I got a couple of omnis up and expanded energy more quickly, but still didn't have the firepower to stop the same basic scenario.
Third time was the charm. I was a little more efficient in getting things built quickly, but the biggest difference was making the Marauder the first combat ship. It has the firepower to lead an effective attack on our unwanted visitor, and we were able to knock it out in plenty of time.
Other explosions happened anyway, elsewhere on the map, but those could be defended gradually as they approached.
They kept sending more ships at us, but we held them off. Got the DischargerXL up and gradually seized control of our local islands, started using the Emitter Control technique recommended in the briefing ... but I couldn't keep my HQ alive. Shortly before this, it was taken down by the doppel that was finished by the BiLathe's armor in the image here. Even in more secluded locations though, it was taken down.
With default fleet, the doppels would have been a lot more trouble. The BiLathe really held off that upper-left side admirably.
So about those 'spatial distortions'. Look at the white swirly thing at the bottom middle. It's a 'blue' or friendly one. So is this nearest one on the lower-right of the island to the left. These two are connected; which is to say that the one on the island feeds the one out in space; if it has enough mire to spare. It was sporadic here until recently because the island got attacked and needed to be re-mired.
That took me a LONG time to figure out. It's not difficult to discern that a red pairing, which we'll get to, also conducts it. But then there's that maroon-colored one. Near as I can figure, I think they can conduct both ... whereas as the briefing mentioned, blue particulate will attack a red 'spatial distortion' and vice-versa.
Got all that? Don't worry, I didn't either.
You can see here as well that our defense of the bombs finally failed here. This would eventually take out most of our fleet ... but since I wasn't facing explosions from all over the map at the same time, we were able to survive it. And at least the bombs are fire-and-forget weapons that destroy themselves in the process of blowing up.
After a rebuilding that involved losing the HQ yet again, I was ready to expand. There's lots of hostility elsewhere. Remember that big ball of particulate. At this moment, we're 15+ minutes in to this third try, and there are 3744 hostile particulate on the map. I do believe that's a record for me by a solid thousand.
Lower-right of the map. This was a considerably bad decision. I still made it work, but it wasn't the right move. I was wrong on multiple fronts. One, I didn't understand how the distortions worked. There's four of them here. Two, I thought those connecting lines were struc initially. They are not - they are simply narrow parts of elevated terrain. That means this Omni Invasion takes on extra sources of particulate from elsewhere in the map. And last but not least, remember that big ball from a bit ago? Yeah that one is connected to the central distortion here.
*facepalm*. Now the rather amazing part is ... it still worked. It just took a lot longer than it should have, and there was a period where my omnis started losing the battle and I couldn't figure out why.
That Big Nose and the islands surrounding it are center-right on this map. We'll get to that, but what's interesting to me is all the little bits of land around it. It's almost a minefield, only the kind that is totally impassable. They prevent any ship from moving into that area, without forming enough land to be exploited with omnis. I thought that was a nice piece of design.
I sign up Benign Emergent to handle their stupid ship attacks because I'm sick of it occupying so much of my fleet, and start to push upwards along the left side. By the way, notice the maroonish distortion now conducting our particulate, and that spidery bit of land on the right. That's the one that had the mass of particulate around it before we drained it on our previous offensive.
There is now 'only' 2500 hostile particulate on the map. It's a slow process with lots of plasma in the way, but swaths of territory are steadily cleared and the addition of a Hammer and Omni schematic most definitely help.
I probably should have just destroyed most of the omnis here to deal with the upper-left a little better, but I felt I couldn't move further after a certain point with the ones I had in place and so I did a bit of omni-hopping here. It took a fair while, but did have the advantage of knocking out more emitters such as this one.
After hemming and hawing, jumping back and forth and generally wasting time divided between two fronts, I went back to the upper-left. Everything was fine up till this last distortion ... which has massive incoming coming in from the particulate stronghold in the upper right. Even a Amped Hammer couldn't hold it off. I eventually had to leave that and a Marauder just to keep it under control, limiting my firepower on the other side of the map.
With less than 600 particulate left on the map, I thought I could handle a frontal assault with the BiLathe on their fortress. They proved me wrong. A second try with somewhat increased fire support again failed to crack their defenses.
The center island with the Big Nose is a bit interesting here. What I ended up having to do is surround it with enough Omni Cannons to lower down the mire. I can't actually land on it, because the spawner and schematic don't permit any room for that. Jerks.
You can also see that benign particulate is having an increasing effect. There's almost as much of it as the hostile stuff.
Getting the Big Nose (not yet in use here) and having the spare particulate to throw at it was the decisive blow. Built the Thor & Supertanker but never got to using them by the time they were ready. Once this emitter went down, I was able to eliminate the cannons, eventually make an Omni landing and ... you know the rest. Watch the video if you want details.
That's a lot of particles. A worthy finale to the Inception series, if I do say so myself. From a gameplay POV, I consider it definitely superior overall to the original campaign/Story.
Next ... custom maps! I want to try and find a way to deploy the Thor/Supertanker in one of them, but I don't know how feasible that will be. Either way, I'm sure more huge embarassing fails will be on the docket.