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Outpost Series Games => Outpost 2 Divided Destiny => Topic started by: Crow! on February 24, 2019, 11:01:13 AM

Title: Eden campaign, hard mode, mission 8
Post by: Crow! on February 24, 2019, 11:01:13 AM
I'm working on putting together a speedrun of the Eden hard mode campaign, like the one I did of Plymouth a while ago (https://www.twitch.tv/videos/289233528).  Last night, however, I spent 4.5 hours beating my head against just one mission of it, and only completed it one time out of many, many attempts at it.  I need some new ideas.

Mission 8 begins with you having only laser and railgun weapons, the panther chassis, and an EDWARD satellite deployed.  Smelter postprocessing is available for the first time here.  You have to build up an army (weaponry not specified, but a full mix of chassis is required), deploy 3 starship parts, and mine a lot of extra metals.  The Spaceport and an advanced lab are ready in the structure factory.  You an (and must) go up to Tiger tech, and you can also get the EMP, Acid Cloud, and Starflare weapons.  Grenade range, reload rate, and heat dissipation are not available.

To the best I can tell, Plymouth's attacks appear to be agnostic to how far along in the mission you are - massing a military, massing production, rushing military tech, and doing nothing at all seem to each produce about the same size attacks, and those attacks start at full size right from the get-go.  Attack types include 2 mirowaves with a RPG panther behind, an ESG tiger with RPG panthers, and a capture squad with EMP lynxes, spiders, scorpions, and a stickyfoam.  Attacks can come from the south, the northeast, or the northwest.

A big part of the problem is the large area I have to defend.  The initial common mine is a 2 bar to the east, and the only rare mine per se is a 2-bar far to the southeast.  There are also magma vents that are somewhat closer.  For the first three attacks, if I split my forces to defend both the north and the south, then my defenses aren't strong enough to with the fight, and if I don't split them, I'm likely not in position to avoid losing noncombat vehicles.  Placing Tokamak or Advanced Lab bombs in the path of enemies can delay most of the attacks, but the ESG and the capture squads ignore them.

Since the enemy forces don't get any more numerous as the game goes on, once I've reached ~8 tigers with supporting lighter units, I'm okay for the rest of the mission, but the only strategy I've found to make that happen so far is to commit all my defenses to one of the three attack paths, and then give up and reset the mission if that's not the angle Plymouth chooses for all three of the first attacks, leading to a 12% success rate.

Surely, there's a better way to handle this.  Does anyone have suggestions?
Title: Re: Eden campaign, hard mode, mission 8
Post by: Sirbomber on February 24, 2019, 06:46:25 PM
I haven't played the campaign in years and the mission in question was never particularly memorable for me.  If you post your save game, I'll run through it when I get the chance and see what you might want to do.
Title: Re: Eden campaign, hard mode, mission 8
Post by: Crow! on February 24, 2019, 07:33:30 PM
Here's the save, titled "Eden Hard".
Title: Re: Eden campaign, hard mode, mission 8
Post by: Hooman on February 25, 2019, 05:47:04 AM
That's a pretty good description of the problem you are having. I love how you've calculated a percentage success rate for your chosen strategy.  :D

I'm tempted to suggested maybe some non-military losses are acceptable, but I suppose not for a speedrun.

In case it might have been useful, I took a look at the DLL for Eden08. Didn't see anything particularly enlightening. I haven't analysed the code in much depth, but it looks like the attack groups are randomly chosen.

There are a number of triggers:
Code: [Select]

There is some asymmetry, where 3, 5, and 6 only have the "N" option, not the "Q" option. I'm uncertain what the letter designates. The last one looks to be a repeat trigger for long running games.

The triggers all call the same code, with different parameters. The code the triggers call sets up the attack groups. Based on the parameters set in the trigger callbacks above, and some random numbers, it selects a group to spawn. Each group has both an Easy and a Hard variant, based on difficulty setting, such as Group1AEasy and Group1AHard. The options are (with Easy/Hard stripped):
Code: [Select]

Again, there is some asymmetry, with later level groups having more letter variations.

More random numbers are used, and then CreateUnit and ScGroup::TakeUnit are called in a loop. That would where the attack group is formed.

I didn't see any code to suggest the player's current state of progress is used to determine any aspect of the fight groups.
Title: Re: Eden campaign, hard mode, mission 8
Post by: Sirbomber on February 25, 2019, 08:02:21 PM
This one was tough.  Plymouth pretty much never stops attacking, usually from multiple angles at the same time.  This mission throws an absurd number of disasters at you, and I suspect a Plymouth attack is on the table of random disasters it rolls on.

You start with more structures than you can power, since crappy base design and random chance was Dynamix's idea of "difficulty".  Idle your Rare Ore Smelter (but keep the Rare Storage operational) and your Robot Command Center.  This will get you juuuust enough power to have everything else up and running.  Deploy the GeoCon you start the mission with (there's a fumarole northeast of your base).  At your Structure Factory, load the Advanced Lab kit into a ConVec and build that somewhere, and start building another Vehicle Factory.  Have all your Cargo Trucks start hauling common ore.  At the Standard Lab, start researching Scout-Class Drive Train Refit, then Efficiency Engineering once that's done.  Your existing Vehicle Factory (and the new one, once it's up and running) should be pumping out Laser Lynx as often as possible.  Plymouth relies on hitting often and from multiple angles, and by drowning them in the cheapest, fastest units we have, we're going to offset that advantage as much as possible.  Once your Advanced Lab is up and running, start researching EMP.  Once that's done, start making EMPs, and begin transitioning trucks onto rare ore after you have a few.  From here you should be all set; just make sure to focus fire on that ESG Tiger, and keep it disabled with your EMPs.  Also be on the lookout for Plymouth trying to take out your trucks hauling rare ore.

PS: Screw this map and its electrical storms.
Title: Re: Eden campaign, hard mode, mission 8
Post by: Crow! on February 25, 2019, 08:55:48 PM
Oh, I didn't realize Efficiency Engineering was available already.  I hadn't taken the consumer factory tech, so I never saw it listed.  The electrical storms here are indeed silly - they're so frequent, they often overlap each other.

Re: attack groups, some of the attacks get spawned as two portions, one created a few marks after the previous.  Those attacks can be the same type, or different, and can come from the same angle, or from two different directions at once.  The first attack (at mark 70-75) is only one strike force, while the second (at mark 105-110) and third (at mark 140-150) consist of two.

I am going to slow down the game speed from 10 to 7 in the early portion of the game.  With the game running slower, my effective APM is much higher, and it seems to help a lot.

My strategy for the military is presently to rush Tiger technology, and in the meantime, save the game before the second and third attacks get created (so, at about marks 100 and 135).  If I can't handle what gets selected, I can reload and reroll something more manageable.  Each half of those attacks can consist of anything from 1 lynx and a few spiders up to 3 lynx, 4 panthers, and a tiger; I have no practical solution for defending if I get two instances of the full size attack before my Tiger production is online.

For the economy, I begin using the rare mine, but I eventually retire that smelter in favor of two placed next to the magma vent just to the north.  I clone a few starports to fund the initial wave of railgun tigers without needing to slow down production at the structure factory, but I don't bother with starship component cloning, because by the time I can safely set it up, I can have sufficient mining that I'm research limited instead of resource limited for finishing the mission.

I'll take a look at how big of a difference efficiency engineering makes.  If it lets me make Lynxes fast enough to handle multiple fronts as early as the Tigers can, that might free me up to research things in a more optimal order.