The Let's Play Archive

Descent: Freespace

by Goldom

Part 12: Let's play Advanced Training #2

Let's play Advanced Training #2

Actually, on second thought, let's not. I'll just do it for you and report back. It was slow, drawn out, and the instructor was more inaudible than ever. Instead, we'll have a totally non-video update today. Trust me, this wasn't worth a 7 minute video.

(All instructor lines are in quotes, the others are my comments)

"Unlike heat seeking missiles, such as the MX-50, you must acquire a lock on your target in order for an aspect seeker to home."
"However, the aspect seeker is well worth this effort, as its homing ability is much stronger."
"Once fired, the aspect seeker will track its target anywhere in space. Once the heat seeker loses track of its target, it is not likely to reacquire lock."

"Notice the red indicator moving towards your target. That's the aspect diamond. Once it has moved onto your target, you'll see the lock indicator. This indicates your Interceptors are locked and ready to fire."
"Now fire one Interceptor at your target."

"A round of Interceptors can be fired every 3 seconds. Fire another round and note the countdown timer in your weapons gauge."

The countdown only applies to the bank of missiles that fired, meaning you can switch and use the other while one reloads. This is more helpful on missiles with longer reload times such as bombs. However, when you fire the last missile in one bank, the countdown carries over to the other bank.

"Note that the Interceptor is nearly useless if fired before lock as (sic) been attained. This is a crucial difference between the Interceptor and the MX-50."

We target some subsystems, and see how we can lock on them. Then we destroy the freighter. A while later...

"In order to gain aspect lock on a moving target, you must keep the target's lock box in a fixed location inside your HUD reticle."
"I will now call in fighter drones. When the first drone enters, target it and acquire lock. Try to keep the target indicator in the center of your HUD reticle."

Then some drones warp in far away...

Aspect seeking missiles are best at a good range. The Interceptor can lock on at about 1000m, and when fired over such a distance, can aim pretty well. They aren't as great at close range, since chasing its target requires more sharp angling.

Finally, it's time to learn about shields.

"As the shield absorbs damage, it becomes weaker. However, it automatically regenerates itself over time."

"There are a number of ways you can manage your shield. The simplest is the equalize quadrants function."

This is something that needs to be done near-constantly during a battle.

We can also transfer energy to a specific quadrant.

More useful for running away / towards an enemy. I suppose if you were a master you could use it during a fight to stay better protected, but I normally just equalize when I'm moving around a lot.

And that's it for the level. I'm not sure why this last thing wasn't explained yet, since it's the last training mission (for real this time, I'm pretty sure), so I'll give it a quick go.

This is the energy management. You've got guns, shields, and engines. Basically, how much energy you give each determines how quickly that feature recharges. The guns we've had so far use so little energy that I've been minimizing the gun energy every level I remember to. Eventually, they'll need a good amount, or it'll run out. Their energy bar is on the right side of the reticle. In addition to charging the afterburner gauge, the engine power also determines your max speed.

They're pretty intuitive to use on a real keyboard, because moving them up/down is mapped to the Insert, Page Up, etc. area in the same order. This did me absolutely no good the first several times when I was playing on a laptop...

Let's meet the debriefing