Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Sphere Where Thoughts Gather Vol.3

Universal Propositions Extant Online

Somewhere between "AC3E is the BEST" and "Whatever man, seriously." lies The Sphere Where Farts—Thoughts Gather.
In other words: mo' random bullshit.

My latest art piece, called "Th3r3 Iz N0 5pWWn"

I'll start this one off with something that I forgot to say on the previous outing. It's not clear if this was intentional or not.
So Rena has a special move when you fight her in the Night Raven, the Pugachev's Cobra. Now, I don't know if that's possible or not with a plane like that but it makes sense for her to  know how to do it, a small minute detail that I never noticed until a few years ago, because her main plane is indeed the Flanker, which can do just that. Pretty cool detail.

The serpent motif with Dision goes deeper than what he says out loud to the player and it ties in with his story and who he is:
From overt visual cues like the Ouroboros logo, to the sound of a snake hissing throughout Lithium (M18, M45), to mission titles (Heart of the Serpent). And the overall shape of the fighter Dision uses as Ouroboros, the black project myth from the last century "Aurora", also resembles the head of a snake.

The surprise element of GR as they sneak up on the UPEO personal plane during M09 Scylla and Charibdis can be completely sabotaged by simply pressing the Square button.
It's really obvious, looking back on this mission, that the writers and developers were going for a short sequence where you just escort Clarkson and Fiona and then you see the enemy fighters closing in. If you wait and do that, without changing course as soon as the mission begins, you won't hear the UPEO Chief until Dision and Co. are in visual range.

On top of that, watch closely how the GR fighters are flying really, really close to each other, masking their multiple radar signatures until you see that there were more than originally anticipated.

On one hand it's nice that they didn't use a scripted event for that and that they're actually there, realistically, instead of just spawning close to you out of nowhere, but on the other, having them visible on the map right from the get-go kind of undermines the suspense and element of surprise that they were setting up.

Fiona's voice can still be heard even after supposedly dying in the UPEO personal plane crash?!
Food for thought, could Fi still be alive at the end of the General and UPEO routes, living under a new identity as a GBS reporter, above all suspicion? Or is it just another case of cost-cutting? You be the judge.

Wingman AI can be brilliant, but can also be braindead:
I have to give to the GR aces Dision and Keith. I recently saw Dision engaging an airplane on M20 Megafloat, with both missiles and guns, and he did so without dilly-dallying, just one missile quickly followed by a short and precise machine-gun burst (or maybe it was the other way around?). And after that he started heading for the last target on the map, a Neucom carrier, and again, a missile directly to the SAM on that ship. No additional tries, no time wasted. He didn't finish it off but I think it's because the speedboat appeared, as he went there soon after it spawned. Keith did good too but I didn't see it with my own eyes, I just heard him on comms saying things like "Yeah!" and "I've got you now!". They're pretty fun to be around.

I also have to give an A for effort to Cynthia for managing to destroy at least one Aeon Generator during M47 Self-Awareness, which can only be destroyed from certain angles. I also remember Cynthia scoring a few hits against the Night Raven on M46 Pursuit. That gal Cynthia, she's alright.

But when the AI doesn't work, it doesn't work and it can take them ages for them to shoot their target down. The first mission is a pretty bad start for the AI, and that goes for Rena too, whose Flanker doesn't seem to do much better than the EF-2000s that Fiona and Erich. It can go both ways during this missions, they either shoot planes down quickly or they just keep chasing them, and chasing, and chasing, and chasing.... You're better off not counting on them for that mission. They seem to do better on M02 Bravado, at least on average.

And while I'm badmouthing Erich and Fiona, let it be known: they are completely useless on their respective final missions. All Erich does is get enemies on his tail and little else. Rena would definitely do a Cobra in that kind of situation, if someone even managed to get on her six. Like, Erich ma man, didn't you see Top Gun?! Use the brakes next time! And Fiona... oooh, Fiona's even worse, on M52 Sole Survivor she just flies away from the action, that's all she does. This is without doubt, Hall of Shame material right there.

Most Braindead Moment Award: Keith on M29 Betrayal against a certain type of plane (one of the better ones, just can't remember which). He just sits on their tail, using guns only, but his aim is off by a small margin. He just keeps shooting at the same place, and this goes on for like forever. Of all people, why did it have to be you, Keith...

Why DID the Night Raven explode after Rena used it to shoot at the Sphyrna?
The Night Raven is often seen shooting its laser beam in individual beams, single or short bursts. Could using her main weapon as a persistent cutting laser beam have caused an internal explosion? Or did Dision have a bomb in it as a fail-safe, in case it got in the wrong hands? The mystery, as they say, continues...