Saturday, April 19, 2008

Let's Not Play Homeworld

Well, I knew it was going to happen, but it happened. Homeworld refuses to run for more than thirty seconds, and my screenshot program completely screwed me... so I can't continue the Homeworld LP anymore...

Sorry bout this, guys.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Let's Play Homeworld - Mission 14 (Phase One)

Welcome back to Homeworld! Sorry that it's taken so long to do anything here, but this level is honestly the biggest and longest mission in the entire game, and it's rightly named 'Bridge of Sighs' because I've done more than that in this one level than I have in any other level so far. I'll present this in two posts, mostly cause it's gonna be huge.

According to Elson, there is a large hyperspace inhibitor network surrounding Hiigara. There is no way through without destroying at least one. He gives us the coordinates for a relatively un-protected inhibitor which we can blast our way through and get to Hiigara.

See all those red dots? Those are Ion Frigates... at least 100 of them... surrounding the central inhibitor. If we attack the sphere anywhere, the next frigates around the one we attack come, and so does the next group beyond - we can have a ton of these things attacking us, and since they focus on a single ship, it's a loss for that ship.

First things first, though. These hyperspace gates have to be destroyed, cause as soon as we breach the sphere, they send reinforcements, and in a big way - 2 Destroyers and 1 Heavy Cruiser per group.

Also we get Sensors Array research and I build a Sensors Array. It's useful for seeing all the ships on the screen instead of just the big ones. You might notice a few differences in my fleet - well, I had to go back. There is just no way to brute force your way through this level, and since I had so few RUs, I had no choice but to go back to when I had...

... my favorite ship! I also have a captured Heavy Cruiser, only 16 Multi-Gun Corvettes, 9 Salvage Corvettes, an extra Missile Destroyer, and probably a few more Multi-Beam Frigates and Ion-Array Frigates. So, for the Salvagers, I set them up behind a dust cloud...

... and STEAL the enemy's Resource Collectors. It takes a long while to do, but I capture all three and convert them into RUs. (I also retired my other Resource Collector and my 3 Assault Frigates.)

Next I start to blow up the three gates, it takes a LONG time to do, because two of them are on complete opposite sides of the map from each other, and I have to go around the sphere - too close and you call the Ion Frigates after you.

So now I send my Cloak Generator out with a sphere of Salvagers (I built 5 more for a grand total of 14) - I throw them forward and start snatching the enemy Ion Frigates. My third run gets a bit dangerous and I'm followed, but as I run away I snatch up seven of the thirteen or so frigates that chase me.

Leaving a BIG hole in the sphere!! But... I'm not convinced I'll be able to get through, so I'm going to continue the stealthy snatching and get as many Ion Frigates as I can. There's a clump of frigates near the inhibitor, and I want to be safe.

So this is my current fleet. Nine enemy Ion Frigates are sitting beside my Mothership, just waiting to be thrown suicidally at the enemy. I don't care if I lose a few, they're not mine, after all. See you guys when I'm done this awful, awful level.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Let's Play Homeworld - Mission 13

Welcome back.

Elson is a defector from the Taiidan. There have been talks about starting a rebellion for a while, but the atmosphere deprivation device being used on Kharak sealed the deal and the rebellion began. He needs us to connect to a relay station inside the Kharos Graveyard... the worst place in the game. I hate the Kharos Graveyard.

But I love this! Heavy Guns research! I almost immediately get this, and I start researching. I retire six of my Multi-Gun Corvettes, one of my Resource Collectors, my Carrier, one Assault Frigate, and three of my Defenders, but I manage to be able to build all three Heavy Cruisers once the research is done.

Until then, though. I put my Scouts in a group with my Missile Destroyer and send then up as high as I can and then forward to directly above the relay station, the reason being...

The Dog. I hate the Dog. He's like a Super-Salvage Corvette. He's fast, he's invincible, and well - let's see what happens when you don't go high enough.

He can capture ANYTHING so long as he gets a grip on it. He carries the ship away to the nearest hyperspace gate and that's the last you'll ever see of it.

Fortunately, I have two sacrificial lambs in the form of Assault Frigates. So I send one of these into the Graveyard and then send my Missile Destroyer and Scouts down as close to the relay station as I can.


I manage to dock with one of my scouts (that's it blowing up after it finishes docking,) and Elson gets in touch with his rebellion. They get their group together and he hyperspaces out after giving us the coordinates of where we need to be.

Until then, this is my beautiful fleet. Three Heavy Cruisers, four Destroyers, four Ion Array Frigates, four Ion Frigates, one Assault Frigate, two Missile Destroyers (I lost the one to the Dog), and eighteen Multi-Beam Frigates. I should be able to tear through the next level.

See you then. It's a REALLY tough one.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Let's Play Homeworld - Mission 12

Welcome to a hectic, but slow mission. This is a lot of fun if you do it right. Although I haven't got a shot of it. It is VITAL to survival that you click the 'Do Not Launch' button for the Mothership (and in my case the Carrier - although I don't think it has anything with it... to be honest.) Also - I don't have as many pictures, but I swear I took a bunch of each wave...

Karan is yanked out of hyperspace by her quantum waveform collapsing. She emerges into a trap! Three Grav Well Generators, nine Support Frigates, six Ion Frigates, and one Missile Destroyer all wait around. If my Strike Craft launched, that would be the end for them. It's a rather easy battle, though, and as I sit around licking my wounds (and losing an Ion Array Frigate ;_;) they start sending more waves.

First a wave of Attack Bombers and Minelayer Corvettes rush my Multi-Beams, but I kill them off easy. Then next is a wave of Multi-Gun Corvettes and one Ion Frigate. Again, a simple match. During this time, Charlie tells me we can research Defense Fighter technology. So I do.

Between wave 2 and 3 I launch my Multi-Gun Corvettes and have them escort my non-combat ships up to a safe place. Wave 3 is two cloaked Ion Frigates with a Cloak Generator. I blow them all up easy. Then Wave 4 comes, a Grav Well Generator and an Ion Frigate.

Last is a big wave. A bunch of Multi-Gun Corvettes, a Heavy Cruiser, and 5 Ion Frigates come up from below - but I'm ready and I pound into them. A few Minelayer Corvettes harrass my Mothership by dropping mines at her, but she can handle it, and I send my Missile Destroyers to mop up the mess.

But wait! All is not done, we get a distress call from a Captain Elson of the Kapella - a Taiidan Destroyer. He wants to defect, and is being chased by a bunch of Ion Frigates. Can't let him be destroyed, so I rush over there with my units.

Or... they run over to me and I blow them up at the safety of home. Yay. I win, Captain Elson is brought aboard and for once in this entire game, I hyperspace out without harvesting every last pebble in the mission. There are tons of resources, but Minelayer Corvettes have peppered the level with mines, and there's a Carrier and a big escort of Assault Frigates, it just isn't worth it.

See you next time.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Let's Play Homeworld - Mission 11

Welcome back to a very short mission.

Charlie intercepts a coded message from the Taiidan empire. Seems they aren't happy that we Exiles managed to get this far in and become all buddy-buddy with the Bentusi. Unfortunately... that means the Bentusi are going to be in trouble next time they exit hyperspace.

Yeah... that sort of trouble. Almost immediately upon coming out, the enemy ships turn their attention on my Salvage Corvettes, who were doing nothing but just sitting there. I wanted so much to capture that Heavy Cruiser... but instead I have to blow it up cause I lose all my Salvagers ;_;

After very easily defeating the enemy, the Bentusi are very grateful! Do they give us some Superweapon Tech? Maybe they'll give us the Heavy Guns tech and I can build my OWN Heavy Cruisers!! What do they give us? We saved your life, Bentusi, remember that.

Crap... a slideshow. So apparently, our people were a great empire, but the Taiidan and our enemies (I imagine the Turanic Raiders were involved and perhaps the Vaygr (oh wait, you're not supposed to know about them yet!)) managed to kick us out of our world. The Exiles left the system and traveled for generations until...

... they basically just said 'Screw it, this world will do' and landed on Kharak of all places. The Guidestone was a relic from the moon around our Homeworld, and it is the only thing we have remaining of that past. Many spoke of our return. The Bentusi agree to return to the council and get some help from them.

Dang... that kind of sucked. I lost all my Salvagers, but I didn't have any research or resources or anything... I build a few Proximity Sensors, retire my Scouts, and that's about all I really can do in this level.

See you next time.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Let's Play Homeworld - Mission 9 and 10

Welcome back! I was in New York yesterday, so I didn't have time to upload a blog, and I was busy figuring out why my computer was being stupid today, so that's why the blog is so late today. However! I will do two missions to appease you.

Charlie lets us know the truth about the Garden Dwellers. He figures out that they decided against continuing and remained in the nebula. They began to destroy ships and cause problems for everyone. Eventually shipping lanes were not allowed through the nebula. The Garden Dwellers developed inhibitor technology and drew more people into the nebula.

Karan discovers an anomaly, and hops out of hyperspace to see what the problem is. Charlie detects a gravity well from a ship with an unknown profile and orders us to investigate. There are several inactive ships around the object. Good.

This is why I built my Scouts. I send them to one side and my Attack Bombers and Defenders to the other. The Scouts dive in and draw away the enemy while Bombers and Defenders start attacking... a strange-looking ship.

The attack does nothing to the ship itself, but each hit causes a fluctuation in the control field. We blow more and more of the ship away, and eventually the field breaks down and all those ships are ours! Yay! We instantly gain Guided Missile (gives us Missile Destroyers, but no Missile Corvettes ;_;) technology since I didn't kill the Missile Destroyer, as well as two Assault Frigates and Multi-Beam Frigates and one Ion Array Frigate.

My Salvage Corvette goes and docks with the ship. And Charlie finds out it's millions of years old. The purpose is unknown, but he develops a technology based on the gravity well ability, Gravity Generator (gives us a Grav Well Generator... which I never use.)

Almost immediately, the Bentusi show up. They want the tech, and are willing to give us Super-Heavy Chassis research (gives us Carriers.) We ask for help against the Taiidan, but the Bentusi don't fight. They are willing to assist us by summoning the council, and the Taiidan listen to the council.

Now it's time to build what I can. I finish research and spend a good two hours getting the minuscule resources in this area. I build three more Destroyers and two more Missile Destroyers as well as a Carrier (for a very specific purpose) and five Repair Corvettes. We now hyperspace out of there.

We are at the edge of the Taiidan empire, and Charlie discovers a weak point in their defenses. There is a research station near an active supernova. The ships defending the station will be sparse, but this is perhaps one of the nastiest levels in the game.

There is a minimal guard around this station, but that's not the problem. The problem is two-fold. First - the supernova is emitting radiation which destroys small ships in a moment. Second - the only way to the research station without losing all your ships is by following a path of dust clouds...

... patrolled by these guys. While they themselves have no attack, they spit out mines. TINY mines. TINY mines in a wall. TINY mines in a wall CONSTANTLY. I hate Minelayer Corvettes. We do, however, get the research necessary to get these guys as well as Proximity Sensor technology (which will be useful two missions from now.)

After managing to get through without losing any ships, we come up to our first Heavy Cruiser! Huge ships that can murder my ships. I pile on all my guns and blow it to pieces, and then its Destroyer escort.

Once we get past them, we get to the research station. An enemy Carrier is there, plus a ton of - I imagine - some kind of sensor, and some Ion Frigates. After destroying the Carrier (who shoots out a bunch of Multi-Gun Corvettes) an Assault Frigate group comes up and tries to off me. I kill them, kill the sensors....

... and turn my attention on the station. It goes away permanently, and I stick behind and just wait.

My own Carrier goes out to the asteroid field and starts to harvest the many resources in this area. I build only ten more Scouts for the next level and nothing else.

See you next time!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Let's Play Homeworld - Mission 8

Welcome back, sorry I didn't make a blog yesterday, the game was frustrating me to no end, and so was my screenshot program. Anyhow, on with the next level.

Charlie (who I've learned is Fleet Intelligence, by the way... but I'm still calling him Charlie) tells us that the hyperspace inhibitor did some technobabble and kept us from warping out. Also, the mothership core is identical to our own :O Which is strange cause ours was reverse-engineered from the wreck of the Khar-Toba! :O

But, we're not out of the nebula! We should have hyperspaced out. Charlie lets us know a triangle of motherships is keeping us from warping out, only one can keep us here, and we need to get out now. An ambassador from the Garden-Keepers comes and tells us we must join.

Karan, in her sweet, kind voice tells them that we can live in peace, and we both likely come from the same planet. The ambassador, clearly torn, tells us that we will fail, and the evil that forced them into the nebula will destroy us, and then come after them. They don't want that to happen, so they attack!

The Garden-Keepers attack with a new, pretty ship - Multi-Beam Frigates. I looove these units. They can blow the heck out of anything with 4 rotating beams of glorious goodness. They are a bit on the paper-thin side... but I'll let that slide cause they're so sexy. There are 17 in this level (2 waves of 3, 2 waves of 2, and 1 of 7 (!)) and I will try to capture everything I can. After blowing up two of their motherships...

... they retreat across the entire map from my current location... sigh. Charlie lets us know that there is a friendly signature in the same vicinity of the last mothership. So, I lumber over there with my 9 Multi-Beams I captured (1 got destroyed) and my battle group. A few groups of swarmers and fuel pods later, and I come up against this row of 7 multi-beam frigates. Naturally, I capture every one of them.

The last mothership is surrounded by the wreckage of a ship identical to the Khar-Toba on Kharak. They have the same origin as we do :O Which is a shame, cause we've all but destroyed them, heh... oh well. The last mothership goes down in record time because of 36 beams of death spiraling from my multi-beam frigates.

After waiting for my Salvage Corvettes to bring back the Multi-Beams, I clear the last Fuel Pods in the level and go back to regroup my fleet while waiting for my harvesters to get every last bit of space dust in this entire level.

No research in this level, but a ton of resources. I have to build 6 Defenders and 22 Multi-Gun Corvettes to replace the ones that got killed this mission. I also retire my Interceptors and build 10 Scouts (you'll see why soon) and 25 Attack Bombers. My beautiful fleet has lost some big guns, but with the addition of 16 Multi-Beam Frigates, anything that comes my way will feel my wrath!!

See you next time.