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  • Individual Level Fast Strategies

    So I've been working on figuring out the fastest way to beat each level of the campaign. I've learned the first seven missions and I'm going to continue with mission 8 (Tombs of the Ancients) after I post this. I was wondering if there are any other players out there that like to do this sort of stuff. To me figuring out the fastest and most efficient way to finish a level provides a lot of enjoyment and tactical planning. So anyone else here work on this kinda stuff?

    Right now I'm playing on Easy difficulty (would like to jump up to Classic later). Seems to me the best strategy so far is to spam LAVs in the first few missions, then once you can build Railguns you start to spam those hardcore. You can use the LAVs to circle around and distract the enemy ships, allowing you to bring your Railguns into range so they can annihilate the enemy (often backed by three waves of strike fighters too!). A lot of times you don't need to focus on destroying all the enemy ships, often your objective is to just destroy the Production Cruiser or Siege Cruiser, or whatever it happens to be in that mission.

    I haven't figured out a way to skip cutscenes (which is rather annoying) but I have found out that during a sensor manager cutscene where fleet intel is pointing out your objective or whatever, you can still control your ships and issue commands, and even attack! A good example of this is in mission 3 (Cape wrath), once Rachel brings the artifact back to the command carrier, you can have all your units wait near the position where the enemy production cruiser will spawn, and during the cutscene where the artifact improves your sensor manager, you can select your units to attack the production cruiser and even destroy it before the cutscene finishes lol. This automatically completes the objective of destroying the production cruiser and then you immediately see the cutscene with the production cruiser getting destroyed and all the other ships retreating.

    There's a couple other little things I have found. Haven't found any glitches yet that could speed up a mission, but I'm still looking for some. So whats up? Anyone else interesting in looking for this stuff with me?

  • #2
    I think it's cool you are doing this. I won't offer any advice, hints, tips or tricks, but I am subscribed to this post. When testing, we do this a lot (as you can imagine) and it can have some interesting influences on level design. Good luck! I'm looking forward to any other posts.

    Cheers!
    Mike.

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    • #3
      Thank you for the support. I'll be sure to keep this updated if I find anything huge. I suppose I can make a pastebin of all the little things I've found once I've finished all the missions and share that with anyone interested.

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      • #4
        Interesting idea. Doing this on Classic will be a challenge.

        Another fun thought would be to try playing the entire campaign without suffering any casualties.

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        • #5
          Well I've finished playing all mission in depth looking for fast ways to beat them. I can't say for certain my strategies are any good or not since I don't have anything to compare them too. Tomorrow, since it is my day off, I'm going to play through all campaign missions from start to finish and see how long it takes me to do it. I'm hoping for maybe around 3 hours or less (very rough estimate).

          Still didn't find any useful glitches. Did manage to find some quirks (most are on mission 4, since I've played that mission the most trying to figure out the fastest strategy).

          1.) On mission 4, when enemy railguns are positioned on the slopes at certain angles, they can shoot upwards towards your units, and their rail bullets/beams/whatever you call them clip through the ground and hit your ships from below, even though there is solid ground below them and they are out of view.

          2.) Mission 4 also has a softlock of sorts, where an enemy ship can become frozen and unresponsive. Your units will not attack it nor will it attack you. This prevents you from completing the object "Destroy all remaining Gaalsien forces".

          3.) Salvagers can get stuck in certain places. This happens usually when they finish gathering CUs or RUs and want to auto-move to the next spot, but something is blocking their path, or they have to go around something. They stay stuck until you manually give them a path to take. (This is most prevalent on Mission 4 when they need to go around the huge wreck to the other side).

          4.) You can skip the beginning and ending cinematic cutscenes of each mission, but still haven't found a way to skip any others. Sometimes spamming the sensor manager open/close will skip some dialogue from fleet intel, but I haven't found anything consistent about it.

          5.) Like I said earlier, you can issue commands when fleet intel opens your sensor manager to point out objectives or whatever. This can be used to move units before you "fully" gain control of them at the beginning of a mission.

          And thats it for the little things. Like I said, the first 3-4 missions can be completed by just building LAVs and using the AAVs you recover from the Boneyard. Once you get Railgun tech, you can start building loads of those (and make sure you have 3 wings of strike fighters). I usually build 2-3 Artillery Cruisers when able since they shred large groups from a distance and I also try and snag all the Honorguard Cruisers that I can with Rachel and her hacking upgrade (You can nab three in the Whispering Gallery mission). The Kapisi is honestly the most powerful ship you can use though, just throw all power shunts into missiles and range and watch it shred enemies while just chugging through missions. Once I get Assault Cruisers I try and build like 6 of those since they can move quicker than Battlecruisers and still tear through pretty much anything they get thrown at (with the exception of Battle Cruisers, 1v1 a Battle Cruiser will beat an Assault Cruiser). The only times you really have to play carefully are on the Whispering Gallery, Torin Crater, and Khar-Toba. Those missions you can't just blitzkrieg your way though and you have to micro your units and use height advantage and so forth. Otherwise you'll end the mission with too few units for the next one and would have to waste time building new ships.

          Thats pretty much it for now. I'll update tomorrow after I do the full game.
          Last edited by theoblivinator; 26-02-2016, 12:52 PM.

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          • #6
            3 hours, 4 mins, 31 seconds. Very rough, can definitely improve this and make it faster. I already know I was 5-6 mins slowers on mission 4 than normal. I'm going to work on this some more. I uploaded my recording to Youtube if anyone wants to watch and give me some feedback on how I can improve, I'm sure I can't figure everything out on my own.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GFYeQy4dzk

            Last edited by theoblivinator; 27-02-2016, 02:00 PM.

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            • #7
              2 hours, 54 mins, 24 seconds is now my new record. Played considerably better this time. Haven't found any new strategies, but I have a few little ideas I'm going to test out. I still think this can be much faster. I have encountered more bugs this time which I'll list below.

              1.) On The Boneyard, the friendly Interceptors (both groups) take off, circle around, then never leave the map. They just fly around in circles. It's kinda funny actually. I encountered a camera glitch when I focused in on one of them. Seems like if the camera follows them out of bounds, it auto snaps back to the center (?) of the map. It was a little odd when I experienced it. I want to look into it a little more.

              2.) Twice I've had to play Beladin Dune Sea with no background music. No idea how I'm causing this, but on a practice attempt and this recorded run I just did, there was no background music at all. Just voices and the battle sounds.

              3.) During the intro cutscene to the Whispering Gallery, no enemy units or ally units are loaded. The camera is just moving over the empty desert. Once the sensors manager pops up, they all spring into the map.

              4.) Railguns, both your own and enemies, are able to shoot through slopes towards other enemies. I mentioned it in a previous post, but I'm encountering it a lot more frequently now. It's is very very prevelent on Khashar Plateau (particularly with Honorguard Cruisers).

              5.) Also in a previous post I mentioned that Salvagers can get stuck on the wreck in Kalash Site and Kalash Wreck. Well to add to that list, Rachel, Support Cruisers, and even the Kapisi itself can also get stuck on the wreck in those two missions if they drive to close to it or at a weird angle. It's rather annoying. I also had Rachel get stuck between the Kapisi and a rock wall in the Gaalsien Base mission.

              Still no bugs that make the missions faster. I'm still looking for them. Here's the link to the recording I made, which features all the quirks and bugs I just listed.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5eNreCfnls


              Last edited by theoblivinator; 02-03-2016, 07:25 PM.

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              • #8
                I've uploaded a pdf file that contains my notes about the strategies I use. Let me know if there are any errors or if you have something else to contribute.
                Attached Files

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                • #9
                  Very soon Im going to be attempting more runs and trying the bring my time down. Ive watched my videos and I can see lots of places to improve. Already with practice I can go 4 to 5 mins faster in the first 7 missions. I really want to practice the last two missions next and see if I can save considerable time (I think I can save a ton).

                  I also submitted this game to speedrun.com You can visit the page here: http://www.speedrun.com/Homeworld_Deserts_of_Kharak

                  So anyone out there interested in this yet? Or am I still flying solo?

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                  • #10
                    2 hours, 49 min, 36 seconds is now my new record. Played better than the last time, but I'm still frustrated with this time. It could have definitely been around 1.5 mins faster, which means I'm still going to improve it.

                    Khar-Toba went horribly wrong in this run, first I issued a move command to the wrong Baserunner when I was setting up the scanner network, causing me to have to wait like 30 seconds for the other one to trek to the location. Secondly I positioned my Cruise Missile wrong on the Ashinta, so it backed up away from the Missile, and my fleet. So the Cruise Missile hit nothing, and I had to waste time chasing my fleet after it. Very frustrating simple mistakes that lose time. Speaking of Cruise Missile errors, I positioned the Cruise Missile on Khashar Approach that is supposed to take out the Assault Force wrong, and only took out less than half of it. Once again I had to move my fleet towards them to destroy them, wasting time.

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kx2uFeLQjUw
                    Last edited by theoblivinator; 03-04-2016, 05:37 PM.

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                    • #11
                      2 hours, 49 mins, 10 seconds is now my new record. I set this last week and forgot to update this thread.

                      This was a horrible run and really didn't deserve to be my new record. I only saved time on the final mission and played poorly throughout a lot of the missions as you can see from the splits. New strategies worked well in The Boneyard mission which saved a lot of time, but I lost it all in future missions by playing poorly and having some bad luck too. I'm definitely going to improve this, it'll just take lots of practice, as well as grinding out attempts for the best luck (which really sucks, I hate grinding for good luck).

                      My new goal is to have a run be lower than 2 hours and 45 mins. It should be possible considering my "sum of best" is right at 2 hours and 45 mins, I know it can go a lower. I don't have a video of this run because there was a significant improvement over the last one, and I was disappointed in my performance.

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                      • #12
                        2 hours, 41 mins, 38 seconds is now my new record.

                        This run went well. There was only one large mistake, I targeted the cruise missile on Khasar Approach incorrectly and had to destroy a lot of the leftover ships with my fleet. Everything else was rather minor or RNG related (like the Kalash Site mission). I want to improve this to go below 2:40, I know it is possible, but again I'll be getting into the nitty-gritty aspect of running this game. I did have a run where I was 7 mins ahead real-time up to Torin Crater, if I maintained that lead, plus incorporated the new strategies I feel like I would have been 8-9 mins ahead which would have put me below 2:40. That run ended in a softlock on Torin Crater (which BBI has yet to say anything about). I want to try and get on that sort of pace again. Wish me luck.

                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApM6xFAdfIY

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                        • #13
                          2 hours, 35 mins, and 29 seconds is now my new record. Again I set this like a week ago and forgot to update here.

                          This run went well again. New strategies in some missions and general good luck/good playing in others brought this time down a lot more than I thought it was going to go. Torin Crater still managed to troll me a bit, that mission is definitely the run killer if it goes badly. I've been doing more practice and I can definitely bring this time down to 2 hours 31-32 mins, but I really want to see if I can get it below 2 hours and 30 mins, that would be really cool.

                          I have attached a poor picture of my splits since I forgot to screen capture it properly as well as the youtube link.

                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlQ05ReNuRI


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                          • #14
                            I play campaigns from a different perspective. I treat each unit as if it carries vital human (kharakian) lives. I try hard to replay missions with as little life loss as possible. I often can make a small mission last far longer than may need be to succeed at the mission. One thing I do miss in this game is the stats on the campaign on lost ships! I have to do the math... bah, haha.

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                            • #15
                              2 hours, 28 mins, and 27 seconds is now my new record.

                              This run had a sloppy start in the first few missions due to me playing poorly and also a bit of bad luck on Kalash Site. It managed to get my act together and smashed the middle missions to bring my time down and then a new strategy for Torin Crater allowed me to destroy my old record. My goal for this game was to get below 2 hours and 30 mins and I have achieved that. I'm not going to press for a much lower time unless some new strategies are discovered. Right now I'm working on a guide/tutorial for the campaign and a run that is much cleaner than this one and I'm proud of it. That would be my final run for this game.

                              Huge shoutouts to twitch user XNTricity, a BBI Dev, that showed me the new Torin Crater strategy that allowed me to beat that mission very quickly. I can't believe I didn't think to try that myself. It makes me wonder if there are other missions with quicker strategies that I haven't been able to figure out myself. I welcome all suggestions.

                              I've attached my splits and the Youtube link to the video.

                              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKa0jNvqoKk

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