Scout-kun is a lie... right?

Version 5.03 [1/24/13]

For public discussion of all things EXU2.

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User avatar UBerserker
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Subject: Re: == Version 5.03 [1/24/13] - Bug Reports & Discussion Thread ==

Post Posted: 31 Oct 2014, 19:30

Godspeed Sat42 play and comment G59 before it's thrown into the development hellpit!
Maybe.

Thanks Steadz! Forgot about that tool :D
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Subject: Re: == Version 5.03 [1/24/13] - Bug Reports & Discussion Thread ==

Post Posted: 31 Oct 2014, 19:59

Darkness comes as a surprise. The "shadow" theme brings about a formula that differs from the usual EXU2 experience. You're going to start this slow, and not just because the environment is very dark (to the point of being mostly pitch black): the unnatural silence, barely broken by the soft wind or the occasional humming or dripping, will make you ever wary about a potential ambush as you flash your (old) searchlight around you... and see some rather disturbing things.
This level is really scary. The horror-like atmosphere is fantastic for immersion and while relatively short (about 45 minutes on my first playthrough), this level leaves a big impression. The setting is that of Rrajigar Mine, which had already given everyone quite a fright back in the day. Here you'll eventually have to fight Shadow creatures in the form of modified Skaarj, Squid and Manta pawns. After the quiet start, hell breaks loose and you'll be fighting a desperate fight to find the exit.
It's a hard level. At one point, I realised that my anxiousness had made me much too slow: my searchlight ran out of battery! and it was pretty much mission impossible to count on my guns to light my way for the (substantial) rest of the level... I had to reload a save and speed through that crazy fight with all the Shadow Manta! and also rush through the final sections of the level, leaving me with a bit of battery to spare...
Nali: Magic or Telekinesis
Waffnuffly wrote:It's tarydium-doped smoothies. Drunk by the player, I mean. The player is tripping balls. The whole game actually takes place in a large city and the player thinks he's on an alien world.

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Subject: Re: == Version 5.03 [1/24/13] - Bug Reports & Discussion Thread ==

Post Posted: 31 Oct 2014, 20:03

UBerserker wrote:Godspeed Sat42 play and comment G59 before it's thrown into the development hellpit!
Maybe.


Haha no worries I actually already played the intro map as well as Nebiros' Crossing which will come with a big comment! the rest will follow of course - and it won't take weeks, either! :wink:
Nali: Magic or Telekinesis
Waffnuffly wrote:It's tarydium-doped smoothies. Drunk by the player, I mean. The player is tripping balls. The whole game actually takes place in a large city and the player thinks he's on an alien world.

User avatar Sat42
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Subject: Re: == Version 5.03 [1/24/13] - Bug Reports & Discussion Thread ==

Post Posted: 31 Oct 2014, 20:36

Sat42 wrote:Darkness comes as a surprise.
It's a hard level. At one point, I realised that my anxiousness had made me much too slow: my searchlight ran out of battery! and it was pretty much mission impossible to count on my guns to light my way for the (substantial) rest of the level... I had to reload a save and speed through that crazy fight with all the Shadow Manta! and also rush through the final sections of the level, leaving me with a bit of battery to spare...


And then I found myself in... Blackness!!! Aww, man, and there is not even a new (but old) searchlight around! Well, I made my way with my soon-to-be-extinguished searchlight through the blackness that Depths of Rrajigar had become, and after that cool passage in the tunnels with shallow water (where there was a bit more light), I found that I had to run through the final mayhem without a searchlight... and though I really tried, I could not make it to the exit (of course, I didn't remember the layout off by heart).
So I had to reload the level and rush through to the place where the final ambush occurs: that way, I still had just a bit of battery left - enough to see my way through to the level's exit! :P
It makes for some stressful gameplay, but it isn't scary anymore. While this is in any case another hard level, it can become very hard if the player doesn't have a working searchlight anymore. I don't know if an extra searchlight should be added at the start of Blackness, though... because, well, it was my fault for being so slow and it's always possible to reload - in the case of both "Shadow"-themed levels, the maps are short, so it isn't a big deal.
Overall, both Darkness and Blackness are very refreshing... and the latter made me understand that there's actually some kind of "persona", within this campaign, that opens the teleporters and follows the player character... "Run, mortal, run..." :wink:
Nali: Magic or Telekinesis
Waffnuffly wrote:It's tarydium-doped smoothies. Drunk by the player, I mean. The player is tripping balls. The whole game actually takes place in a large city and the player thinks he's on an alien world.

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Subject: Re: == Version 5.03 [1/24/13] - Bug Reports & Discussion Thread ==

Post Posted: 31 Oct 2014, 21:04

This update isn't spoopy enough. You need to have Skeleton enemies, and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3W0klg3MzE <--- this as the soundtrack for a new level.
Gameite; "Shit sounds like a fable to me", till he jumps out the fuckin toilet when you're takin a pee.

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Subject: Re: Version 5.03 [1/24/13]

Post Posted: 01 Nov 2014, 01:14

Whoops, locked this thread before Sat42 could finish! Sorry bruh!
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Subject: Re: Version 5.03 [1/24/13]

Post Posted: 01 Nov 2014, 13:59

BUFF SKELETON wrote:Whoops, locked this thread before Sat42 could finish! Sorry bruh!


No worries!
My comments on the two final levels will follow today :)
Nali: Magic or Telekinesis
Waffnuffly wrote:It's tarydium-doped smoothies. Drunk by the player, I mean. The player is tripping balls. The whole game actually takes place in a large city and the player thinks he's on an alien world.

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Subject: Re: Version 5.03 [1/24/13]

Post Posted: 01 Nov 2014, 16:10

Highlands of Despair is... WOW, man! And given the way this penultimate level unfolds and the fact that the campaign isn't complete yet, this level actually "concludes" things better than the current final level... although no one is going to complain about having one more level for BI, either!
The start has a very "end of the game"-type of atmosphere: dead human bodies as well as bits of human bodies litter the ground amid rampant hell symbols... and the transmission from Polaris Command conveys an urgent feeling. There are also a few communicator messages from dead human soldiers (and even one from an associated downed aircraft) scattered about the map, and that adds credibility to the story's buildup. You know it's going to be epicness incarnate, all the more when you realise this is a redux of Edge of Na Pali (you go "backwards" this time round). It is also night-time in hell: you can see the stars and that's cool and incidently, it makes the map really dark in places (I was glad I got a new searchlight!).
It is kind of a grind to get through this amazing setting, but the level's variety and sheer generosity keeps things interesting: I had to go through so much crazy shit but I couldn't believe I had to fight several successive Archdemons!! But you're not completely on your own: at one point, the team waiting for you on top of the cliff (next to what used to be known as UMS-Chantilly) attacks two Archdemons and destroys them for you in the process! Of course, initially you cannot directly join the team for extraction. The fact that you can eventually explore all the grounds that were available in the original map is awesome (and naturally recommended for extra loot).
Once you get to the "end" of the canyon (what was actually the starting area of the original map), things fall quiet and renewed anticipation takes over you... entering that hellish circular chamber, the sky suddenly taking on a more vivid quality, you obtain the "Icon of Sin" and, dreading what should come next, you start to walk back outside...
And get one of the single coolest moments of the whole campaign! Accompanied by a suitable track, you see a hell frigate and several fighter aircraft flying above the scene in the distance! It's awe-inspiring and really adds to the player's experience...
And that's when you realise your troubles are far from over. In the absence of any clear indication as to what to do next, you make your way back to the canyon - where lava has now flooded the lower grounds and I for one got more than I'd bargained for!
Seriously, how was I to know those PentaPower powerups were actual powerups?! They look evil!! Turns out that with all the mess erupting around me, I first figured those were Doom Orbs or something... Which means I didn't pick any up at first, and dealt with the first wave without the x7 damage boost; I ran out of steam once I got to the second wave; that is when I realised I had made matters more complicated for myself! I had to reload and start again from my save in the circular chamber - that means one hour of playing time for "nought"! But I sure was happy to see those Archdemons go down with 3 pentapowered Beams!
I made it, in the end; took me 6 hours (5 hours if you don't count the lost game time), which makes this the longest-playing map that I've played in the whole of Unreal/UT (more than Skaarj Tower/Skaarj Castle, both of which took over 4 hours to complete, and even a bit more than UMS Solaris which took me five and a half hours!)... frankly, this is an extremely hard map. Although Realm of Corruption is still a tad harder (and, IMO, better), Highlands of Despair is BI's longest map.
And I rate this map as highly as Frostclaw Outpost. Music is varied and well-chosen, and alternates nicely with silence. The end of the level is great, too: you finally arrive at the "UMS-Chantilly" crash site, and that mysterious "persona" I have referred to before makes its most striking intervention yet: you learn that you were fooled into bringing back a battery (the "Icon of Sin") for the latter's "Keggerator" and all you get is a keg full of fucked up blood for your troubles! :P It is tongue-in-cheek in a way, but also opens up exciting perspectives for the story in the future :)
The v5.03 campaign could have ended here that it wouldn't have shocked anyone.
Nali: Magic or Telekinesis
Waffnuffly wrote:It's tarydium-doped smoothies. Drunk by the player, I mean. The player is tripping balls. The whole game actually takes place in a large city and the player thinks he's on an alien world.

User avatar Sat42
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Subject: Re: Version 5.03 [1/24/13]

Post Posted: 03 Nov 2014, 18:54

The last map, Telefire Research Laboratory, is awesome but not overly remarkable, perhaps in part due to the fact that it's a redux of Cellars at Dasa Pass, which came without any dramatic centrepiece (apart from the action itself). Unsurprisingly, the action is what makes BI's last map memorable, with the reskin and new lighting job bringing about that cool tech theme which I enjoy a lot. The Cybernetika track fits the map really well.
It's very hard, and as in Frostclaw Outpost, cameras are everywhere. This is the one map where I got into trouble because my XLoc beacon was destroyed. Here is the story:
Sat42 wrote:I never had any problems with the translocator except once, in the last level (Telefire Research Laboratory): then, I remember having trouble in a particular room so after a couple of reloads I decided to position the translocator disc up on a ledge before triggering the battle; the thing is, I changed my mind right afterwards and ran away, deciding that I had other options to continue the level... and indeed, I was able to get quite a bit further, however I got to a point where I simply had to use the translocator - but then, whenever I tried to use it (whether clicking the left or right mouse button), the result was my instant death! And naturally I felt so screwed, because I no longer had my save from just before I positioned the translocator disc on that ledge, and consequently, I had no choice but to restart the level from the beginning... That translates into one hour of lost game time! But I honestly thought that was just a bug (which could arise from the fact that the XLoc beacon had been positioned and forgotten for over half an hour of game time). But yeah, now that you mention it, it must have been destroyed :P (but I didn't trigger the big battle in that room and the random spawning shouldn't have interfered, even though I did show my face again at one point and got shot at - but again, the device was up there on that ledge...)

Serves me right for making a silly mistake, I guess! If you count that hour of lost game time, then this level took over three and a half hours to complete.
"Organic Anomalie Detected" God those were annoying :P
Honestly there was a range of enemies that could really cause a lot of trouble: the Queen and Slith variants, Skaarj Fiends, Shrapnel Mercenary Elite (curse those guys!)... I was happy to still have quite a few flares in reserve, including those Megablast flares...
The one interesting addition to the story here is the experimental Telefire system for Hellscape Defense! But we'll have to see what becomes of the story later, as for now the last map ends abruptly with the knowledge that the Telefire project is complete.
Nali: Magic or Telekinesis
Waffnuffly wrote:It's tarydium-doped smoothies. Drunk by the player, I mean. The player is tripping balls. The whole game actually takes place in a large city and the player thinks he's on an alien world.

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Subject: Re: Version 5.03 [1/24/13]

Post Posted: 03 Nov 2014, 19:00

Telefire came much later, in OPEN BETA.
Map 15 was always the last demo map before v5.00.
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Subject: Re: Version 5.03 [1/24/13]

Post Posted: 03 Nov 2014, 19:16

UBerserker wrote:Telefire came much later, in OPEN BETA.
Map 15 was always the last demo map before v5.00.


Which explains the current state of affairs, storywise. Thanks for enlightening me!


Overall, it can be said that Batshit Insane v5.03 is already great all-around. It doesn't take itself very seriously storywise and there's lots of humour, making this almost a parody of itself, although the atmosphere can sure as hell be dark and scary at times... which is good considering the dominant imagery here. Where the campaign does a good job at taking itself extremely seriously is when it comes to gameplay: there's a lot going for it here, especially for hardcore FPS players. This will be too much for a lot of players, I guess, but given its design goals it is highly accomplished.
It's not my style, yet I enjoyed it a lot and that is why it was my pleasure to provide some substantial feedback on my gaming experience across the scorched surface of Na Pali.
Given the fact that it blew me away on several occasions, I'd like to thank EBM, Enzyme, UArchitect and especially Waffnuffly who leads the EXU2 project for providing me with hours of fun :)

I'll soon be moving on to v6 :)

But first, next up: G59 ;)
Nali: Magic or Telekinesis
Waffnuffly wrote:It's tarydium-doped smoothies. Drunk by the player, I mean. The player is tripping balls. The whole game actually takes place in a large city and the player thinks he's on an alien world.

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Subject: Re: Version 5.03 [1/24/13]

Post Posted: 03 Nov 2014, 19:33

It was only for Demo v4 I think or from v3 - it was for long anyway.
EXU2 started with 6 maps ending at Gauntlet, then it got 4 additional maps ending at the Doomhouse, then other 5 maps ending at Despair and lastly Telefire released on Open Beta.
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Subject: Re: Version 5.03 [1/24/13]

Post Posted: 03 Nov 2014, 22:39

Also I look forward to your comments Sat42 - of course in the G59 thread - maybe this will be a good time to personally talk about the levels.
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Subject: Re: Version 5.03 [1/24/13]

Post Posted: 04 Nov 2014, 05:01

Thanks so much for taking the time to provide such detailed commentary - that's the stuff designers live for!

One of the things I still need to do is clean up Map 15 since it's got a lot of rough edges these days, both in terms of not giving you a clear indication of what to do (like many people thinking Pentapower was something bad), but with gameplay assists as well when you get in a tight spot. I have some ideas there, but they're only partially implemented at the moment, so hopefully I can get something thrown in.

The Map 12 remake is gonna be worth the wait, too. It's got an awesome new look and way better gameplay.
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Subject: Re: Version 5.03 [1/24/13]

Post Posted: 04 Nov 2014, 22:05

BUFF SKELETON wrote:Thanks so much for taking the time to provide such detailed commentary - that's the stuff designers live for!

One of the things I still need to do is clean up Map 15 since it's got a lot of rough edges these days, both in terms of not giving you a clear indication of what to do (like many people thinking Pentapower was something bad), but with gameplay assists as well when you get in a tight spot. I have some ideas there, but they're only partially implemented at the moment, so hopefully I can get something thrown in.

The Map 12 remake is gonna be worth the wait, too. It's got an awesome new look and way better gameplay.


Looking forward to playing the enhanced versions of these maps (and getting the v6 feeling in general)! :tup:

UBerserker wrote:Also I look forward to your comments Sat42 - of course in the G59 thread - maybe this will be a good time to personally talk about the levels.


Yes, I've just finished Voidness - I'll start commenting later (starting tomorrow), as I've got urgent IRL stuff to get on with - but indeed, this will be a good time to talk about the levels :)

Waff, if you want to lock this thread now, you can! :)

Cheers!
Nali: Magic or Telekinesis
Waffnuffly wrote:It's tarydium-doped smoothies. Drunk by the player, I mean. The player is tripping balls. The whole game actually takes place in a large city and the player thinks he's on an alien world.

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