delta_ass

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delta_ass

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@acynicalmind:

Nope, not terrible at this game at all. I finished it. I've finished every other Splinter Cell game as well, so I'm quite good at stealth gameplay. This game just has a lot of bad levels and sequences that are frustrating.

-I have every right to put the side missions at the top of this blog. They were a major part of the campaign. There are two sets of side missions that are inexplicably terrible. One doesn't even use any stealth and has you gunning everything down like it's Gears of War. It's ridiculous for a stealth game. And anyways, there are plenty of other problems with the game besides these side missions.

-Yes, I'm complaining about the progression system. You didn't need them or have them in the other SC games. You were exactly the same from start to finish in those campaigns. Here, you start out loud and eventually get quiet as the game goes on. It's a very different experience from the previous SC games.

-I know exactly what it means. Don't gaslight me. Gaslighting is wrong. It means that the stealth is weakened because you are worse at it at the beginning of the campaign. You start out with the default suit and you're way louder. You make more noise and can be heard when you're rushing up on a guy from behind. This is totally different from how Conviction played. That's what I mean when I say the stealth is weakened. You can't do what you did n Conviction. You have to upgrade your suit and eventually you'll get to the same stealth and noise level you had in Conviction. This is obvious to anyone with a brain.

And I'm trying to shoot people in the head because that's what I've always done in all the SC games. Silently taking out guards with headshots is stealthy and completely true to how the other games played. Don't try and gaslight me on what is and isnt stealthy. Gaslighting is wrong.

-I absolutely know how to navigate around the dogs. I've finished the campaign on Perfectionist. But they're still incredibly annoying and frustrating because of how effective they are.

-Yes, I replayed the Kobin extraction and realized this. The Nouri's mansion is definitely forced-action and annoying.

-I have used the whole map to progress. I've finished the campaign. But this part is still forced-action and annoying. They have armored helmets that prevent headshots. This is unrealistic and goes against the spirit of a Tom Clancy game.

-The FPS section is forcing you into combat. It's a shooter sequence and you're forced into first person perspective. The game is forcing you into a particular method by putting you in FPS mode. That's not me, that's the game.

-The ending does feel like a quick time sequence. That's not a compliment though. That's actually how artificial and gamey it feels. In past SC games, you felt like you were playing the real game. Like with Doug Shetland's final battle. That felt like the real game, not a quick time sequence. This final battle felt incredibly contrived.

-Perhaps you're right. But the game never explains the term Fifth Freedom in this way so you understand it. None of the games do. If the game's narrative only shows you the Fifth Freedom as a way to kill enemies, then it's obviously going to be confusing when it deviates from that meaning. Bad storytelling there.

-I'm not misrepresenting anything here. There is indeed a lot of "actiony garbage" in this game. Far more then was ever in any previous SC game. That's why I loved those games and dislike this one. It's pretty obvious to anyone with a brain. Don't try and gaslight me. I've done more than just scratch the surface of this game. I've finished it multiple times. It's not a good SC game.

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delta_ass

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@steveurkel said:

I really question the people calling this goty if they have actually played God of war.

Having played it, I would never argue with anyone who had God of War as their goty.

But for us old school BattleTech fans, this is the BT game we've been waiting for for twenty years. This isn't just goty, it's got20y.

I haven't been waiting for a God of War game for twenty years.

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delta_ass

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@ghoststalker: THE CLAN JADE FALCON. The Jade Falcon Clan.

Yeahhhh the cartoon was pretty crummy, even by 1990s standards. Trying to combine serious Battletech lore with Saturday-morning hijinks didn't mesh together too well, and the cartoon also came out during that unfortunate time period when animators thought that because they COULD use primitive CG animation, they SHOULD use primitive CG animation. (Turns out they shouldn't have).

The entirety of the series is available on YouTube for those so inclined to watch it, though.

ExoSquad was the Mech cartoon from the 90s that still holds up. Very underrated show.

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Hey @alex, just FYI, the MechWarrior and MechCommander games are all in the BattleTech universe, so I highly doubt that you only know about BattleTech through the 90s cartoon series.

Now, just a couple tips for @vinny. I'm on my third playthrough atm, having put 216 hours into it according to Steam.

What arc you're getting hit by determines the location of hits that can land on you. A hit table, if you will. You can see the different arcs of a Mech when you aim at a target and there's a segmented ring around their feet. From the frontal arc, all of your front armor sections are available to be hit by randomly, but the legs are only going to be hit 20% of the time, according to the hit table distribution. This makes the legs the safest place to store ammo, as 80% of the time you'll be getting hit on the torso and arms. Of course, ammo explosions in this game are much less lethal than the tabletop version, where they usually blew up your whole goddamn Mech. In this game, ammo explosions require two crits to detonate, will only detonate on ammo bins that are at least half full, and ammo explosions will only destroy the section that they are in, and do not transfer damage over into adjacent locations. Functions like free CASE ammo storage in tabletop. This makes them much more forgiving.

Now, when you present your side arc to the enemy, the hit table changes dramatically. The only locations that the enemy can hit are the arm, side torso, and leg, on that side (also a 1% chance of a cockpit hit, but we don't like to discuss that). The center torso is completely removed from hits. This makes it very useful to present your side to the enemy, if you're trying to shield a particularly vulnerable side, or center torso, from the enemy. Of course, this does increase the odds of a leg hit, as it's 1 of 3 locations available, so this is slightly more concerning for ammo preservation. You can move the frontal cone of your Mech in the movement phase so that your cone edge is just barely allowing you to hit the enemy Mech, in order to present your side arc. This tactic is a great way to preserve your center torso, or a section that's just been breached or has heavily weakened. I personally tend to present the frontal arc at the beginning, and then resort to side arc shielding when needed in the fight.

Now for Mechlab customization, the first no-brainer is to always max armor on all frontal armor sections. Rear armor is a lot less important, so I'll usually devote only 25-35 pts to those locations. Max armor is the best way to protect your Mech, because a ton of armor provides a massive boost in survivability, compared to adding on a medium laser or a heat sink. The armor pts are much more useful, particularly when you use a skill like Bulwark which turns powerful enemy volleys into sandpapering on your armor. Bulwark is the most powerful skill in the game and really makes things pretty trivial. The downside for me is that it turns the game into playing a turret, which is no fun.

Bulwark is easy and the path of least resistance. Evasion is the other route to go down, but the ability of the enemy to shave off evasion charges with weapons fire, when they usually outnumber you on a mission, makes evasion much less useful and reliable. Of course, you can still do it, I played my second playthrough completely relying on evasion/no bulwark, but it's just tougher. You have to stay at long range and rely on the enemy to miss their long range shots, once they start to remove your evasion charges. But it's a lot more fun, and allows for really satisfying maneuver warfare. There's often situations where you'll be placed in a map and have two enemy lances coming at you from opposite directions, and you'll need to rapidly swing over and engage one lance, trying to wipe them out before the second lance can move to engage and complicate matters.

The best way to generate evasion and increase mobility and just get anything done with movement in this game is jump jets. Every Mech you use should have jump jets, if you're not going to have them bulwark tank. They generate max evasion very easily, take up very little tonnage as long as your Mech weighs 85 tons or less, and help navigate all kinds of challenging vertical heights that the devs love to throw into nearly all the maps. Most maps in this game are designed to block long LOS and create more close range brawls, and so they're definitely designed to help emphasize the utility of jump jets. The one downside of jump jets is the heat they generate, and it can be a bit limiting, but you should be good if you outfit your loadouts so that the heat meter is ~75% full, and maybe spend a turn in a Forest (25% cover) to let your heat cool back down.

For weapons, most people will say that the LL and PPC are the worst weapons in the game. I think they're probably right. The problem is that because energy weapons in general were the best and most useful weapons in tabletop, having no ammo explosion risk to worry about and no stability mechanic to suffer from, the devs nerfed the LL and PPC quite hard. They generate 30 and 40 heat in the game, when the tabletop versions only generated 24 and 30 heat. This massive spike in heat makes them very hard to justify, because you have to add in so many more heatsinks to properly use this, and this is in addition to having so many biomes that degrade your heat dissipation to 75-85%.

MLs, on the other hand, are the best and most efficient weapons in the game, and were that way in tabletop as well. They've always been the bread and butter in the BT world. They weigh one ton, generate 10 heat, and deal 25 damage out to 9 hexes. That's an incredibly efficient little weapon. Most people tend to load up on MLs or SRMs to max damage for short range brawlers, and it's a very effective build. Use a Precision Shot ability and you don't have to worry about them scattering damage. The 9 hex range is also not as much of a handicap in this game, since they've limited your LOS view distance to 10 hexes.

The worthwhile ACs to use in this game are the AC5 and AC20. In tabletop, the AC2 and AC5 were completely useless and didn't do enough damage to justify their tonnage. Because of this, they were buffed by a lot for this game. As a consequence, the AC5 basically took the damage role of the AC10, while weighing less and having more range. This really pushes the AC10 into the realm of being a bad weapon, because its original role was taken by the AC5, while its new form in this game isn't enough of an upgrade to sit as a useful intermediate step between the 5 and the 20.

LRMs are currently regarded as wildly overpowered, because of their stability advantage and indirect fire. LRMs scatter damage across multiple sections, so the devs gave them the benefit of being the most effective stability damage dealers. By standing behind a hill and upping your pilots with Tactics to reduce the indirect fire penalty, you get a Mech that can easily push enemy mechs to the point of knockdown, while having to risk no return fire. The Centurion and Orion V should be your goals for each weight class, as they are the best LRM boats for the Medium and Heavy classes. Any +upgrades should be focused on +stability, so your missile boat can generate all the stability damage on its own, filling up the stability meter on enemy Mechs, allowing your other Mechs to knock them over with more flexible weapons loadouts.

A thing to note for Mediums: the 50 tonners in this game will always have more free tonnage to use for loadouts, compared to the 55 tonners. This is because the 50 tonners use a smaller engine and are slower than the 55s. This frees up a bit more tonnage.

Ammo should be sufficient for a bare minimum of 12 turns of combat. Some of the longer story missions can push that up to 16 turns of combat. I've certainly run out of ammo at the last 1 or 2 turns of those missions, but had enough energy weapons to finish the job. But yeah, in general, make sure you pack enough ammo for 12-16 turns of fire.

The best way to salvage Mechs is just knocking them down over and over again with LRMs. Medium Mechs will have pilots that are incapacitated with 3 injuries. You can just accomplish this by blowing out two side torsos and knocking them over with a leg destruction. Not too hard to do. But in the later game, Heavies require 4 injuries, and Assaults require 5. This makes the strat a lot less useful, so just load up on LRMs with +stability and keep knocking them over.

Final tip for Mechlab customization: The thing you need to know is that every Mech comes standard with 10 heatsinks built into its engine. That means it'll dissipate 30 heat a turn by default. Thus, what you should try for is to use one hot weapon that can take advantage of this dissipation, and then a cool weapon to balance it out. For example, a PPC and an AC5, or a PPC and a large LRM. Or an AC5 and lots of MLs. This will give you much better results then simply boating all cool weapons (wasting the excess heat dissipation), or all hot weapons (running hot and filling up every tonnage with heatsinks).

The logic of DFA: Death From Above is a really neat attack that a lot of players dislike using. This is because it deals equal self damage to you that it deals to the enemy. So people wonder why this would be a useful attack at all? Well, it's because of the distribution of the attack damage. When you use DFA, you're inflicting damage onto an enemy's torso and arms (very rarely a cockpit). That's because you're landing on top of them. But you're only taking self damage on your legs. And as I've said at the beginning, the hit table distribution means that you're only taking enemy weapons hits to the legs 20% of the time. So usually in a given battle, your leg armor is going to be relatively fresh and unblemished. While their torso and arms have probably taken a lot more damage, because your weapons have been hitting them 80% of the time. So when you factor in that reality, the distribution of damage to your fresh legs versus their severely weakened torso and arms makes a lot more sense. That's why DFA is advantageous for the attacker.

The Damage Probability Decision: Sometimes you'll be presented with a choice between hit percentage and damage. This often takes the form of a situation where you'll have a certain limited amount of heat to spare, and a choice between firing a LL at 90% to hit, or 3 MLs at 80% to hit. Or something along those lines. As a new player to the tabletop game, I'd make the rookie mistake of going for the higher hit percentage every time, only to watch as my damage didn't do enough and I got mauled by the enemy at close range. This is a natural instinct, because people always want a sure thing. But if you look at the odds, the 3 MLs at 80% would all probably have hit anyways, dealing a total of 75 damage. The LL would have only dealt 40 damage. Both generating 30 heat. At close range, losing damage trades like that is how you lose. So yeah, this is something that more experienced BT vets will know and utilize, but aren't immediately evident to new players. Effectively wielding the heat efficiency of weapons like MLs is a huge part of success in the BT game, tabletop or otherwise.

For people who are interested in the lore, I transcribed the Star League sourcebook (IMO the best written BT sourcebook to date) to my blog: https://www.giantbomb.com/profile/delta_ass/blog/the-star-league-part-1/29487/