Friday, March 11, 2011

‘Pirate Raid’

A big fat target with no weapons. Lovely.
The preceding story mission was: ‘Intel Delivery’

The following story mission is: ‘Escorting Bill’

I like this mission. It introduces you to a new aspect of the game and there’s a decent fight.

In the old version of Vega, options such as going to orbit or pirate mode were unlocked once you reached a certain level. I liked this and it made you feel as if you were making progress other than just going up a level. The new Vega system unlocks things as you advance through story missions. This approach makes more sense regarding in-game logic and although I wasn’t keen at first I have to say I think it’s a better tactic.

Jake Rattenbury appears again and tells you he has a difficult mission. He takes you nice and clearly through how to create a squadron. He also feeds you useful information, such as pirates get an XP bonus for completing a mission in a squadron, and the bigger the squadron the bigger the bonus.

There are a few things about squadrons he doesn’t tell you. One is a spectacular omission in this particular context. Namely, you cannot join a squadron if it already has a mission assigned. This means that you can’t recruit squadron members in the midst of ‘Pirate Raid’, which is what it’s supposed to be teaching you. Oops! I only realised this when I later tried to join deathWINGMAN in completing his attempt at this mission.

The only way you can do it is to cancel the mission, form a squadron, recruit, and then start ‘Pirate Raid’ again. The reason for this restriction is to stop pirates joining a squadron half way through a mission and claiming a free-ride so to speak.

There are other rules about squadrons, but the game will tell you when they come up. For example you can only join or form a squadron in orbit, which might be obvious. Another is that not any player can join your squad, even if you set for open access. A pirate can’t join a squad if it is attempting a mission that they haven’t unlocked yet. For example you couldn’t join a squadron trying ‘The Flying Wedge’ if you were only on ‘Pirate Raid’.

Well onto the mission. Don’t worry, I completed ‘Pirate Raid’ solo first time and it isn’t hard. Just do it without any wingmen.

When you get to the surface Jake marks a Colonial Transporter on the map. Your task is to destroy it and take the intel it drops. The ship is armoured and has a Colonial Guard escort. Jake advises hit and run.

Fly to the transporter and start firing. The escort soon arrives but if you keep your rate of fire up, and have an upgraded blaster, then you can blow the transporter before you take much damage. The ship drops some intel which you pick up using your collector. Then you can Afterburn away or stay and kill a few of the Colonial Guard. It would be good for in-game logic if the Guards dropped a pod when destroyed, even if you couldn’t Collect them before they were beamed back to their base. Note that the Guards do have Repair Droids so they are a little tougher than they look. It does get the heart beating just a little when you are attacking a big ship and see yellow triangles closing in on you.

So now you are a fully qualified Squadron Leader and have more intel for the Mysterious Pilot. The game moves on.

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