Part 75: Custom: Strange FieldsStrange Fields(Lucid 3)
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** Average Time: 44:28
I don't expect to be as quick as the average time on any of these, but it's worth noting regardless.
There is no spoon.
There's some rather strange stuff going on right off the bat. The white 'emitters' here actually produce anti-creeper. Which is various shades of pink, because reasons. We're also completely surrounded by terrain, so we're not going to lose this unless we inflict it on ourselves. Of course, there's a difference between being able to not lose, and being able to win.
Energy crystals and ore abound, along with all of the 'free' AC. You can see various schematics as well; we start unable to produce any weapons of any kind. Also ...
Unit limits. That's new. 99 Reactors is still a lot, as is 69 Ore Rigs. I don't think I've ever built 69 ore rigs. I would later discover that this is a cap on how many you can have active at one time; you can replace any you lose and that doesn't count against you here. It's just 'no more than 69 ore rigs active at any one time' or whatever. Reach the cap and you can't build any more.
Seconds later. The blue creeper 'swirls' around us. As you may have guessed by the background, this is a zero-G environment; but there are definitely strange forces at work controlling the flow of the creeper, hence the title of the mission and the briefing text.
Here's what's below us. Another thing obvious by now is that there is no fog-of-war, so beacons are completely unnecessary. We can go wherever, so long as we can get there without being destroyed. There's a Holocube down here, and a whole bunch of emitters. All of them are 100k every half-second.
The situation above us is quite similar. The map is pretty much divided into these three sections. I go about harvesting all the goodies we have first:
I think there's a limit on pretty much everything you can build here.
Then you will see that it is not the anti-creeper that moves, it is only yourself.
I spent a few minutes doing this, getting our allotment of Reactors up. Except for reasons that I can't explain, I didn't actually notice that I could build eight more. Got thrown off a bit when I went to build Tech Domes, only to realize that you can't build them on this map. Whatever TechNytes we can discover and pick up is what we get, and that's all.
8 Blasters, 4 Launchers, and 15 Makers is our limit there. So we have only minimal conventional weaponry available. Everything seems to be telling us 'go right' here; that's where the AC is concentrated, and the narrowest area to dig through. Ok then.
I upgrade the weapons a bit before opening it up. Soon the anti-creeper starts tunneling to the right across the expanse. Clearly it has a mind of its own as well.
Soon that turns into this. So if we're supposed to just follow the flow here ...
I follow it below, to the right, and into this area ... but then creeper didn't behave and stay put for long.
Cut off from all supply - there are no microrifts on this level - our entire 'expeditionary force' is cut off and destroyed by the enemy.
There isn't a 'constant pressure' mechanic here, it's more of a 'stop-and-go' thing. That is, I can pound away like this for a while and not get anywhere, and then all of a sudden the AC will push across the channel or whatever and form that wall on the right side, completely independent of me doing anything to make it happen. So I sort of have to wait for the opportunity, then try something else, then rebuild and wait for the next chance when that fails.
One thing about the tight weapons limit is I never lost all that much. Energy is no object here. I don't need anything close to the reactors I have, because I can't use up that much juice.
Third time I tried this; essentially building shields across and hoping to protect them long enough for the whole cycle to complete. I need a way to maintain a sustainable pathway here, so that I can supply weapons elsewhere and go on the attack. This didn't work though; we got overwhelmed by the swirling Creeper.
Eventually, after more trial, error, and losses, I found I was able to hold off ... barely, I think ... the swirling force with a couple blasters and a launcher. I theorize that the circular motion is triggered by a certain creeper concentration or density in this area, much like the FBCCs in the story mission. The launcher apparently does enough, along with the AC, to keep it at bay.
That gives me the support I need to push into this area now. You can see that part of the 'whirlpool' section is totally clear of creeper below the AC blockade. I also definitely need to keep finding new sources of ore to fuel that beast as much as possible.
It takes some doing to pound away at the concentrations here; I'm a half-hour in at this point and just now figuring the thing out. I have to go for some packet speed upgrades, as the blasters are struggling to keep energy even after a couple of them. Eventually the five emitters and one gateway in this lower-right area go down, and I'm rewarded with a bunch of ore deposits.
I break through at the bottom, grabbing some technytes embedded there, and start eating into this lower trench. Unlike that previous section, this part feeds the whirlpool so I should start actually getting some positive traction. Maybe. Possibly.
I'm ... uh ... not impressed with the contents of this HoloCube.
As I make my way towards the left, back up top the creeper has rotated more. Most of the area is actually clear, but the AC blockade holds.
Breaking into this area, we were pretty much at the mercy of the million-density creeper in there. Even with shields placed, once it decided to come, it was coming ... drones assisting it.
Most of it stayed, but some of the creeper flowed up the tunnels and into the whirlpool. It was a race to see if we could get back down there and clear out enough of it before it wanted to release more. It was quite the tedious operation, if a successful one, taking almost 20 minutes more before I acquired the capsule and the technytes surrounding it. But there is no other way in.
After that it was a quick wrap-up, including some more upgrades and the repulsor schematic.
Hey, if everyone could stop getting drunk, we have work to do. This is from the HoloCube at the top.
I don't really need these repulsors. I just put them in because I didn't have a good reason not to. We have the energy to spare. I brought up the rest of the weapons including the makers since we don't need them for protection anymore. That helped push up to ...
Six with one blow. Not bad. I went left next, where we got the Dark Beam and which was mostly an annoying trip through that narrow winding passage.
Then, after multiple failed attempts at getting it operational before the next drone destroyed it, I eliminated the final emitter and gateway with the dark beam here. Just because I could.
I wanted to flood this with AC from the top-down, but the flow didn't want to go that way. It wanted to go right-to-left. So fine; we have a 2-dark-beam limit, and I put their destructive power to use. Opening up the bottom end though allowed hundreds of millions of AC to flow in, though after the point where it really would have been useful. In any case, it was pretty simple to wrap up this area.
Interesting and weird. I rather like the limit-weapons idea. Not that difficult once I figured out how to stop the creeper from swirling, but I was going nowhere and getting there fast until then.