Part 59: Day 16: PurposeDay 16: Purpose
The Final Act begins ... with yet more Obliteration.
Friendly as ever.
Gotta love Dax being comfortable enough with the Styglek threat to just totally disrespect and ignore them now.
Here's the initial problem. That terrain will decay soon, and when it does a Creeper explosion will occur.
** Doom Timer: 1:12
Once again, pretty darn fast. It'll take only half this long before we are inundated. This is a situation really custom-made for shields to temporarily protect us while we fight off the Creeper. But that didn't occur to me, since I wasn't in the habit of using shields.
I moved up to the top of the screen and laid down a few weapons. This is not far or fast enough, and seconds after this the creeper is basically everywhere. I didn't even manage to add a single second to the Doom Timer here. Once more the Liberation Ship perishes.
The second attempt, I didn't lose until 1:18. So I guess those six seconds are progress, of a sort.
Fourth attempt. The idea here is to get as far away from the creeper explosion as possible, and then I'm opening the far side of it early so much of the 'blast' will be directed away from the ship.
It worked partially, although I would have been better off opening them a bit earlier.
This was just good enough. I am taking damage here, but not being overwhelmed. The blaster helps keep a bit of the creeper away.
The Liberation Ship takes only minor damage before the Creeper begins to settle and recede. Now I have a new problem; I've got to somehow fight my way to dry land without being able to build up any reasonable energy supply.
Under the ground, we've got drones, gateways, emitter, all manner of gravity distortions ... fun stuff. First things first though of course.
I totally forgot about the Phantoms, which are originally on a 3-minute timer. Three of them hit well before I can belatedly get phantom coils up. The blasters have enough HP to survive this until the creeper falls back down, but of course this just adds to what I have to cut through, energy has to be diverted to repairing blasters and the ship, etc.
I'm ready when they return with a pair of phantom coils. Four this time, but only one reaches its destination. Good for that, but it takes a significant amount of very-limited energy to re-arm the coils in between attacks. This further delays the blaster efforts to gradually wear out the existing creeper. This is going to take a long time -- during which the subterranean foe will not just sit idly by.
Next time three phantom coils take out five of the wispy jerks.
After a bit I deactivate the blasters, putting up a launcher instead to take out deeper, denser volumes of creeper. This proves to be better use of resources.
I feel like shouting 'Land ahoy!' like a 17th-century sailor or something. Over 11 minutes on the mission timer and I'm just now building up reactors. Three on this ledge increases energy by almost half(1 to 1.45, 0.15 for each), but I struggle to build them and hold back the creeper at the same time.
Eventually though progress does start to snowball. I keep a blaster and a launcher activated, crawling them to the right as they push back the tide and slowly our energy pool grows. Here it's at 2.35. Shortly afterwards I was able to power both blasters constantly, and that pushed me over the edge in terms of being able to cut through the creeper more quickly.
I've added a tech dome here, cleared out the surface creeper, put more reactors on 'shelving' below, eliminated some of them on the left where I'll eventually want to breach the lower cavern. But I also didn't get phantom coils over to the right in time, and now I'm going to pay for it. Eight of the clouds here, and they are mostly headed that way.
Seconds later. Guhhhhh.
I concentrate on clearing out the creeper instead of making sure I have coils up, compounding the error into this. Entry-level course here in How Not to Fight Phantoms. I then proceed to spam too many reactors in the rebuilding, further slowing things down. And then on the next wave, a single phantom gets through and destroys most of them AGAIN.
So, 29 minutes on the mission counter as I finally get everything set up again and breach the lower cavern. The drones have long-before broken through, so they are the first thing to deal with. After pushing downwards further, my first two tech picks are a pair of packet speed upgrades and one reactor efficiency.
Gradually making progress here, and aiming for this HoloCube as the next target.
It must be said here that it is some serious hogwash that we have been accomplishing anything useful without being able to do this for as long as it's been going on.
We just 'met'(not really) this Thrade dude and now he's telling us what to do?
The penny drops. Aliana is(allegedly) still alive. I think Dax is going explode if Thrade is lying to us ...
The Commander seems not the slightest bit perturbed by the possibility(likelihood?) of this being a Styglek trap ...
After a couple more errors causing more damage to our units, I move down on the left. I want to take out those gateways so that we don't have this constant drone annoyance. Here, a second HoloCube awaits.
I really don't like the sound of an enemy that possesses a million galaxies.
Apparently so. It stays in place even when the creeper around it is destroyed. That actually doesn't seem to really help it here, if anything it should help us.
Building more launchers and excavating more room for reactors in the process, we move in and get rid of these gateways. However we can't excavate anywhere from here, including downwards ... another avenue of attack is needed.
It's time to deal with this setup on the right.
I go with the method of simply excavating more territory to increase this battle's 'frontage'. This area is soon cleared, but despite being over 50 minutes in at this point I'm really just nicely getting started.
One thing I've really not done well here is that I only have two TechDomes, and I chastise myself for that a bit at this point. I boost reactors again and grab the first range increase here.
From there I push down into the next section. A long, narrow tunnel to get to that emitter eventually ... and the only way further down is through a third HoloCube on the lower right.
I've got enough critical mass than I boost up to the standard 10 Tech Domes, and excavate my way around to the right while I wear down the creeper resistance here.
Really? That's it? You warn us to be careful and then give us no concrete advice otherwhise. Thrade, you're a bastard. A royal bastard.
Now we are at the very bottom. It's rough going to get through that narrow tunnel at the top, and at the bottom these lines/columns of creeper aren't static; they 'blink' and then reappear seconds later, fully restored.
ME: "You wanna play? Let's play!" as I move another half-dozen launchers into the bottom chamber. There are few problems that can't be solved by an over-abundance of firepower.
Density by the top emitter here is 125-150k; more like 1.5M below but that is actually progress as it's decreasing. It was closer to 2M initially. This shot is during one of the 'blinks' but if we keep hammering it, eventually we'll be able to cut things down to size. Cramming weapons in and carefully leap-frogging seems to be the only answer in that upper section.
Once we gain entry to the upper emitter's chamber, I start working on the bottom more. After clearing out a column of creeper, or part of one, I start moving a few weapons past it. This is a gradual process but it allows us to start firing at more and more of the columns at once when they re-appear.
Just now I'm paying for how long things took earlier on, because the less density builks up the faster this would go. We're over an hour here, so it's had quite a while to accumulate.
Once all the weapons are down in the bottom area, we can see the creeper supply visibly being drained when the columns re-appear. This is working, it's just a matter of time now as I continue to move gradually to the left.
It's only a few minutes later when, with massed firepower at the ready, we breach the final emitter's chamber and easily subdue it. I'm not sure I've ever wanted an emitter to die so earnestly.
The final ten minutes or so of this slog, on the right-hand side? That's a LOT of energy being expended there. Sometimes as much as 25 at a time, and there were points it would have been more if we had a larger supply.