last month I complained somewhat about the campaigns becoming quite unbalanced since 2.6.
Since you modified them in 2.65 I tried them again.
In general I got much fun, so great job.
Yet, there are still many issues.
I'm mostly getting in the feet of a new player, keep that in mind. Deneb, for example, is the 4th mission of a game he completely discovers !
As a general rule: I noticed the maps are started in "fast" speed. I think some of the issues could be alleviated if they are started in normal speed.
Deneb: Mac advises to go to the north/slightly north-west. This is an advice, why not do that ? Wrong: if you follow this advice (yes I repeat myself on this), this makes this map more difficult than it actually is. There is no way you can have a big enough army by the time the "whale" is on range, and then the army can't reach the second plateau on time.
Generic note: wrong advices is very recurrent on lots of maps in Imminent Crisis and Escalation.
Calethaon: it starts slow and becomes quite punitive towards the end. While the original advice to build a factory is not bad, this mission is, in the end, won by defenses. Building units is a loss of time and ressources. Also if I remember well, you get repair bay in this mission. They come quite close to the first plane attack. Some more delay would not be bad. In general: building units slows down terribly the building of air defenses and repair bays, and makes the mission more difficult.
Roceda: the 7th mission for our poor inexperienced guy. You have to be very very fast. I systematically have to try it several times before managing it.
Decanus: while Mac is talking to you and moving the map everywhere, preventing the player to do anything, the starting defenses are crushed. If you take the time to listen to Mac: you are good to restart the map. You should make the defenses a bit better to at least repel the 1st 2 attacks.
This is where I saw the maps are started in "fast speed". Setting it in normal speeds helps a bit.
Artorius: again a map where you have to be very fast. Mac advises you to build an orbital fabricator and a sky factory, for the pan. Well, the sky factory is not any more necessary, for this at least.
Also the new player will again, follow the advice and build those 2 as fast as possible. Again wrong, as you should 1st build defenses, factories etc. Once you capture the Turinium generator the game becomes quite punitive and you do not have the resources to build defenses there if you go too fast.
Silgul: I had to do this map twice. The 1st time time the ennemy crushed the defenses I built close to Mac ... who left his army in his base. He had lots of units which he did not move while my defenses and army I placed there were crushed. On the second trial I went faster, took more regions and made a better job blocking the ennemy.
Drengi: Mac and Myself are connected. I know the ressources he earns, we earn the same amount. Then, how come he gets crushed ? While I understand you want to give some challenges, this is the last mission after all, giving a bad AI as an ally, is not the good way to do it. Note: I could save him, but his should not have happened.
In general I found it a bit easier than Imminent Crisis. I do not know if it is thanks to experience, or unit balance or scripts. Yet, there are flaws.
Leo: one of the best examples of a good idea gone wrong.
- No resources: so why is there an advanced factory ?
- Halee tells you that Rygos has no air defense against the harbingers. Wrong. One of the points has a constable+falcon. They can destroy one harbinger. 2 Harbingers can destroy them but you loose so much time doing so.
- The auto factories: 13, really ? After 8 minutes they are upgraded. At this time you can hardly destroy 2 or 3. The harbingers are so slow ...
- Conclusion: the map is actually easy, just build 2 harbingers and send them to the ennemy nexus. But why setup an unfeasible objective ?
Lagoan: do we really need this rampager at the very start ?
Polaris: Haalee warns you to build air defenses: for once nice advice. Yet if you focus on air defenses, as advised: game over. Also, being scripted, if you do not build air defenses to match the script: game over. After 2-3 restarts, when you know how to deal with the ground and air attacks (oh yes: you are told to focus air-defense, but ... yeah, ground is not to be ignored ...).
At the end of the mission, Haalee tells that Archimedes did not care about you and relied on the auto factories. Hum .. So why did he come crush my forward defense on the west with an army, with at least one Dreadnought ?
The last 3 missions: are quite nice. Some challenge, but more logical.
Hopefully you will take time to review this campaign in the next patches
Cassiopea: quite nice. Some challenges, but again "logical".
Bug: at one point Samuel tells you the communication or whatever is jammed. If you save and reload, the jamming sub-objective disappears. By the way, I did not get what is the consequence. Both ennemies already were attacking me on the 2 fronts and so knew I was there. And reaching (100 or 0, I do not remember) did not prevent from winning the map. This part is very strange.
Glarus: another good idea gone wrong, very very wrong.
- quite at the beginning you are proposed to help Nihilon, or yourself. If you choose Nihilon, the ennemy arrives quite fast with drones. If you know it , and go as fast as possible for the energy projector, you are ok. But:
- you must know it, which will not happen on the 1st trial -> game over
- you must be very fast. As I said in the beginning of my post, starting the mission in normal speed will help alleviate this a little bit.
- The artemis': I do not know what to say. Do they ignore they are artillery ? Artillery = something that stays in the distance and bombard. Artillery is not supposed to rush right in the middle of defenses ... This is the single worst AI and script I have ever seen in a game. I understand you want to offer a challenge ... but really, not this ... You could for example give less artillerty at each spawn point and have the player help with air defense (air attacks happen after some time, so Haalee can cripple the bombardment with planes and the player should provide air support).
Griffinclaw: very very nice mission. A bit hard early in the beginning, almost as usual, and then it is ok.
Only, I had one bug: Haalee could bring an avenger and a destructor right above the middle radioactive area. I can provide a save if you need.
- This could not have happen as I have orbital annihilator everywhere and even if she could find a spot to teleport them, I had enough defenses everywhere for those 2 little things
- And, above all: nothing of what I brought there attacked them, nor did they attack anything. I had defenses, I brought planes and several different units. No fight. They where just looking at each other, drinking a beer, or whatever drones can do to have fun ...
I have yet to play the other missions.
Ah yes, and not related to campaigns: I saw other posts about this: army formation just do not work.
- I usually have 25 artilleries (artemis/destructors) + other mix of units, repair/drones/.... Yet: they do not place themselves to bombard the position. You have to close little by little, and at one point, the close attackers will go in the the defenses and get destoyed. The army should understand you simply want to bombard and get into formation by itself. Or give us army formation we can manage.
- no ennemy army: get in bombardment position.
- Ennemy army closing in: get back in defensive formation.
- Only one dreadnoughts gets included in athe army. Which means that the other 2 often get far away in front of the army not moving as a whole. I often see my Overmind, get alone in the middle of the army or base. This is true for both CPH and Substrate. You have to constantly micro-manage the other 2 Dreadnoughts. And one can wonder if the army support bonus (like targetting computer) actually work, as they are not part of the army. The AI is very bad with Dreadnoughts as well. I often see it send its Overmind in the middle of the ennemy base and defenses. This occurs in lots of the missions.
- Mobile anti-orbital: they help a bit, there are still occasions where the army get exploded by orbital powers despite having 2 or 3 of them.
- Army pathfinding does not work in narrow passes. There is at least one map with a narrow pass where the army did not know how to go through. In the end I press "b", let them go, and pressed "v" again. Painfull.