Part 60: Day 17: TrickeryDay 17: Trickery
What in tarnation is this? Not Obliteration? Destroying the creeper is optional??
That course of action would be inadvisable Commander. You might want to check your emotions a bit here.
** Doom Timer: Infinity.
Shockingly for a level this late, we could actually sit here until the end of time. It sure doesn't look like it though. That thick layer of Creeper just under the surface is 500k in density throughout, and will eat through the surface in several places before long. Then only one place that we can drill down after that -- to a pair of drone-producing Gateways. And that's only the beginning of the 'fun' -- but let's not spoil any more than that for now. There will be time for that.
Up here, we have a few goodies and a HoloCube ... I check that out post haste.
So far what Thrade has said checks out, but ...
And here's why this level can't be lost the traditional, get-overrun way. Once the creeper breaks through, it goes into twisted-gravity mode and forms tendrils reaching to who knows where.
Repulsors help to keep it at bay, but they can only do so much and there's very limited room for reactors. Meanwhile there are breakthroughs everywhere now. It looks like they are trying to grow a grove of Creeper Trees up here or something. That makes it kind of hard to predict until you see where they are growing.
Slowly I'm able to build up more repulsors and blasters, which keep this under control in combination. Each subdued 'creeper tree' or 'creeper geyser' or whatever allows me to push further to the right, give more real estate for placing reactors, and so on. There's a half-dozen of them, so this is just half right now. As I move further, each infestation is more difficult to eradicate than the last due to the constant reinforcing as more comes up from below and density increases.
Check out this fourth repulsor, the one on the right. That just looks like a horribly dangerous position, but it actually works because the creeper will only flow into it's pre-determined locations.
Eventually I put a launcher in place to help clear out the thicker stuff, though it prefers to fire down into the pool below. There's tens of millions of creeper of course but success is assured eventually because it isn't being reproduced in this section; there's only so much. When I get to the technytes on the far right, I boost reactors twice and packet speed once -- the energy is a real issue right now.
16 minutes in. The surface is now under my control. You can see how the launcher has thinned things out some, and third beam from the right I'm getting a maker in place to make things easier. Soon I build a couple of Tech Domes are far more launchers than I can possibly afford. I gradually shorten up the repulsor beams to save what energy I can; it's clear by now that launcher salvos are going to be the best way to clear out this mess.
Eventually the anti-creeper and launcher fire gains the upper hand. I could have wrapped things up quite a bit more quickly had I been paying attention to detail, but it eventually got done.
First obstacle passed, and in a mere 24 minutes, I breach into the Drone Hallway. As you can see I'm really working on learning my lesson from the last mission, getting lots of tech domes up now that I have room.
This may be the first part I've seen that can't be done without weapon upgrades. There's enough drones and a small enough space that at least one range upgrade(and possibly fire rate) is required I think in order to have a large enough kill zone to squeeze blasters through. Fairly soon I acquire those, fail at first, but eventually keep boosting my capabilities and ...
There's a beach-head, so to speak. Now I just need to gradually and carefully fill the hallway with a lot more blasters.
Four blasters in each direction are sufficient to take out the drones and eventually the gateways. I dig down again to the next lovely obstacle. Those two bluish squares there I didn't understand for quite a while. But basically they are dense, small, fast-moving bundles of creeper. Far too fast to be targeted by launchers, although you can see the anti-creeper having it's effect.
Trying to place beacons anywhere in this rectangular path is a fool's errand -- it gets taken out by those things, so I built a few here in really strange places to extend the operating area far enough. The blasters are fine, they have enough bulk to survive the hits.
Mostly maxed weapons but the rest needs work still.
For the life of me I don't understand why I thought it was a good idea to to fight the creeper both above and below here. I said something about giving all my weapons something to shoot at but the opening is the same size(one-wide) both directions so it doesn't do any good in that sense. Not to mention I didn't even have to go after the upper part here I don't think. There's nothing that says I have to take out those emitters. Could have just let them sit there in a dense strip of their own creeper forever.
But that would have made too much sense. So I did this.
Oh look, they did that thing again with a box of creeper, only this one is bigger.
Once again a narrow passage downwards, and now there's a holocube -- and more drones. Lots more drones.
Yes, even the Styglek Consortium worships the being of light known otherwhise as Aliana Abraxis. The point, please??
So throw everything at them but the kitchen sink, and add that in too just in case it might help.
Didn't realize how inexpertly I'd done this till I looked back on it. Each block here has five million imbedded creeper. I brilliantly decided to take out three of them at once -- but the creeper eruption kept me from getting to more than one of them initially. I also thought it'd be fun to have many launchers too far away and others still building, so that they sucked up energy from the blasters.
Basically I royally underestimated this whole situation.
Once we got all three sections opened up, it was pretty clear who was winning. Not me. It could have been a lot worse; two blasters, one on each side, ultimately survived this whole situation and kept the drones from ripping upo a lot more of our infrastructure, which could easily have happened.
Once I got built back up again, I moved down on the left to take out the outer Gateway here. Inside the next level though, only decayable terrain protects the capsule from more drones, another gateway, and whatever fresh creeper I unleash. So if we don't take it out quick enough once I breach ...
"Woah. WOAH, that was only one square!!". Which is true. What is also true is that it was 19,742,000 creeper in that one square. And well, 10 each blasters and launchers got overrun as you can see.
Sorry Aliana, we were too bloody incompetent to save you. "Mission Failure! After almost an hour!!" 50:24 to be exact. By this point drones wer pathing through my rifts, almost all my weapons were destroyed, and it was going to take a while to rebuild. I did take out the majority of the creeper by the way. But not enough of it. And 'almost' doesn't really help when you've been savagely murdered.
This is one of my personal more memorable gaming moments, having fought all the way down through all that, only to know I'd have to do it over again. Of course that's only true because I was totally unaware of the possiblity of saving. I had to applaud the game's booby-trapping here though, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory at the very end.
I cut out almost all of the re-play; I did it more quickly esp. up top, but it still took a hair longer as I amassed a somewhat larger force. 53+ on the mission timer here. You'll notice I'm off-center here to the left. That's because I've centered the effort above a weak point. After building literally a few dozen more launchers and deploying a burst of several makers worth of anti-creeper, it was time.
This section only contains 5 million creeper. ONLY. Even so the result was not immediately obvious. What was obvious is that the game can't keep up with this much combat spam, as there was a noticeable slowdown.
After a minute or so though, the whole eruption had been pacified. Only drones were left, and we broke through wall around the capsule. Intentionally this time.
The legendary goddess speaks. She is alive, after all.
Another jail-break that is. After all there are still three more missions left -- so we can't have the final battle just yet.