Author Topic: Eden Starship: Rising from the Ashes - Unwinnable  (Read 410 times)

Offline lordpalandus

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Eden Starship: Rising from the Ashes - Unwinnable
« on: April 02, 2019, 04:50:14 PM »
Hi all,

I tried out this scenario, and I do not think it is winnable.

On Normal, there is only a single Rare Ore node on the entire map, and it is in the enemy base. It is a single bar yield, and by the time I took the base, Plymouth AI depleted it down to 90 ore per truck (with Rare Ore Extraction). Returning the truck to the smelter, gives (with Smelter Postprocessing) 100 total bars per load. The volcano on the map, when it erupts will cover the rare ore mine with lava, making it inaccessible. I had four smelters and about 15 cargo trucks working that 1-bar mine, and by the time the lava covered the mine, I had about 4,000 in storage and the Spaceport built, but no RLV or starship components built. It is a starship victory, so you need to launch the starship.

There are no magma vents, or alternative ore veins on the entire map. You get a two bar common vein for your base, and the enemy base had a one-bar common vein with their one-bar rare vein. As there was no other rare ore opportunities, seizing the base with just EMP, Railgun, and Laser Lynxes was extremely hard, and the enemy gets regular reinforcements to the south, that eventually turns into Panthers. Just after the lava destroyed the rare mine, a horde of 15 panthers arrived and slaughtered my 25 something Lynx defenders, and at that point I rage quitted.

I am not sure how you can win at this scenario. With no alternative veins, no magma vents, and no alternative to your two bar vein, I was resource starved for most of the game and couldn't take advantage of the geothermal vents for power or panther/tigers for assaulting the enemy base. I had to let my morale dwindle to near zero to be able to focus all resource production into Lynxes, as I couldn't afford to build an army and build impulse goods or fresh medical centers/residences for the colony.

I like the theme of being my back against the wall, with a tough fight ahead of me, but this is too hard and too stingy on resources. If anyone can edit the map to add in better resources, or at least a couple magma vents, that will help a lot.
Currently working on Cataclysm of Chaos, Remade.
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Offline Vagabond

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Re: Eden Starship: Rising from the Ashes - Unwinnable
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2019, 07:28:08 PM »
Hey, thanks for playing the scenario and posting about it. Hopefully it is enjoyable despite being frustrating.

This was the first scenario I designed. While making it, I thought, what if the player has to launch a starship with a finite amount of ore? Strategy games are often played by quickly grabbing as many resources as possible and building things as quick as possible. This scenario requires rationing the rare ore and using it slowly/strategically over time. I thought it turned out well, but unfortunately it plays slower.

-Brett


Strategy Spoilers Below














Do not attack the enemy base until you can overwhelm them with few casualties. As long as you keep your tank squadrons high in number, enemy off site attacks shouldn't be able to devastate your forces until end game.

Initially focus everything into annihilating the AI base and establishing 3 rare ore smelters. You mentioned 4 smelters on rare ore, but 3 smelters maxes out the ability of a mine if paired well with cargo trucks. The earlier you get three smelters pulling in rare ore, the more you will have at end game. Remember to ration spending.

There should be no way to get 200 colonists before the volcano destroys your rare ore mine on normal or hard difficulty. Build offsite storage. Plan for 10K plus whatever starship components.

If you establish 6 common smelters between the 2 common mines, common ore should be reasonably plentiful. You can spam a lot of lynxes. Then you can pepper the lynxes with a few choice rare ore costing tanks. Either a decent number of thors hammer lynx or a couple of thor/emp tigers.

Make sure you research both Smelter post-processing and the research to increase rare ore mine yield (forget the name) very early to increase output.

The enemy should start to overwhelm your defenses near the end. Don't fall into the trap of pumping out a bunch of tanks to counter. Focus on the starship. You should be able to launch as they destroy your last forces but before their tigers make it to your main base. If you are a bit slow on launching, use some lynx or scouts as rabbits. The enemy attacks are dumb and can be fooled into chasing a small convoy all over the southern part of the map, giving you time to finish launching.

Hope that helps if you decide to try it again!

-Brett

Offline Crow!

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Re: Eden Starship: Rising from the Ashes - Unwinnable
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2019, 07:53:03 PM »
In multiplayer / colony mission games, Eden gets Lava Wall technology instead of blight walls.  In fact, in Rising from the Ashes, you get Lava Wall technology for free - it's available as soon as you get some Rare metals to work with.  So, one strategy is to do something like the screenshot here.

However, I was able to (without using any glitches) complete the scenario on Normal mode fast enough that I wouldn't have needed the walls anyway.  Focus on morale first (DO get med centers!), then economy, then military.  The enemy doesn't start sending attack waves until after you've gotten enough time to really scale up, so go all the way up to smelter postprocessing before bothering with lasers.

I found it convenient to build a tube all the way down the map to connect the two bases rather than setting up a CC in the captured base, but either method will work.  Your initial mine's position is random; try pressing GNN a bunch of times to see where it's allowed to be, and start the mission for real once you see the position you want.
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Offline lordpalandus

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Re: Eden Starship: Rising from the Ashes - Unwinnable
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2019, 12:56:26 AM »
It was enjoyable, until the lava ate my mine up and I realized I was doomed. I might give it a whirl again later, now that I know a few more tricks that might turn the tide, due to both you and Crow!'s suggestions. Totally forgot about the Lava Walls.

I take it the scenario uses custom sheets.vol too?
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Offline Crow!

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Re: Eden Starship: Rising from the Ashes - Unwinnable
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2019, 12:34:58 PM »
Along the lines of thinking of a scenario with limited resources, what about a mission where your primary source of income is salvaging rubble?  Either rubble already on the ground, or rubble created by destroying derelict buildings on the map, or perhaps both.
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Offline lordpalandus

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Re: Eden Starship: Rising from the Ashes - Unwinnable
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2019, 01:29:15 PM »
Could likely work... especially if meteors left rubble behind when they impact the ground. Otherwise resources would be super finite.
Currently working on Cataclysm of Chaos, Remade.
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Offline Vagabond

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Re: Eden Starship: Rising from the Ashes - Unwinnable
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2019, 05:47:16 PM »
Hmm, being able to build lava walls is actually a bug. I'm a bit embarrassed that big of a hole made it through my testing. I must have made a mistake in how I disabled them in the tech tree so they are always available and just didn't pay attention to their existence.

A scenario partially or fully requiring rubble for ore was actually on my todo list. Just hadn't gotten around to it. Currently working a new coop multiplayer mission. I would probably do it as harvesting an abandoned base to complete an objective instead of meteors providing ore. Perhaps some skirmishes required to access different areas with more rubble.

Rising From the Ashes didn't require editing sheets.vol. It just has a slightly altered tech tree, new map, and mission DLL. Editing sheets.vol affects the entire game, so should be done with the mod loader for a polished product. Otherwise, it would change how the entire campaign plays, etc.

-Brett

Offline pente

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Re: Eden Starship: Rising from the Ashes - Unwinnable
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2019, 06:02:41 PM »
Evacuation Under Fire mission 1 requires rubble, right? I just replayed it the other day and used quite a bit of rubble. It's pretty much what you described here. It's a good mission.

I haven't beat Rising From the Ashes yet myself, maybe I'll give it another whirl. Sans lava walls of course!

Offline lordpalandus

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Re: Eden Starship: Rising from the Ashes - Unwinnable
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2019, 08:21:45 AM »
I managed to beat it by cheating, but I don't think I would have succeeded otherwise. I still stand by my unwinnable statement; the mission cannot be beaten legitimately without cheating. It is a lot like the Eden Population mission... if you do not research weapons, the mission is a cakewalk. If you do research weapons, eventually every raid sent at you will be 40+ units of mixed panthers and tigers and you will eventually succumb.

I removed the rare ore cost for Panthers and Geocons. That is the only thing I changed, to cheat.

I managed to build a RLV (only one as they are costly) and collect all the ore before the volcano erupted.

However, the last 12 Plymouth raids were 12-15 Tigers. If I only had Lynxes, I do not think I would have won the game. But Panthers have better armor and health, so they weathered the storm of Tiger raids better.

-----

I like the concept of the level, and the limited nature of resources (in fact I really like this idea), requiring tough decisions of the player, but felt that with all those Tigers Plymouth was sending at me, one must question why they simply didn't eradicate me BEFORE I had a chance to eradicate their forward base. If they are literally swimming in 30,000+ common and 10,000+ rare, why not crush me like a bug. I wouldn't have had the economic ability to resist them.

I'd rate it as 3/5. Great concept, mechanically well-made map, but had to cheat to win, which loses you 2 points.
Currently working on Cataclysm of Chaos, Remade.
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Offline Crow!

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Re: Eden Starship: Rising from the Ashes - Unwinnable
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2019, 02:34:06 PM »
Here's a video demonstration of one way to beat this mission in hard mode, without any cheating, in less than an hour.  My strategy has changed a bit since the post I made before, and in this video I actually forget to research smelter postprocessing, so this really could be even faster.  The volcano erupts just barely before I launch the starship.

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/406063564

A couple further notes:
The massive tiger attack is not supposed to be beatable.  I believe the mission scales the size of the attack based on your own army size to make sure you can't win against it (unless you're cheating - Palandus apparently was able to hold a couple waves with reduced cost Panthers).  Instead, that attack is your final time limit for launching the starship - tigers move slowly, after all.

It appears that the tigers attack based on your completion of the Phoneix Module research topic.  Don't complete that particular topic until you've collected enough metals to complete the mission.
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Offline lordpalandus

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Re: Eden Starship: Rising from the Ashes - Unwinnable
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2019, 04:17:02 PM »
Ah. That would explain a lot.

Well, I completed the Phoenix Module a good 250 ticks before the game ended, which probably explains why I got so many brutal Tiger waves.

I don't like that as a final time limit kind of thing. The volcano, sure, having it wipe out the rare mine, means I need to be more efficient and resource conservative, but waves upon waves of cheating enemy, and the only way to beat it is with cheating as well, totally ruins it.

If you are to do an enemy attack wave as a final time limit, trigger it when you launch the Phoenix Module, rather than research it. That way, you still need to have been resource efficient, as you still need to launch 10,000 of each resource, but instead of getting wiped out because you wanted to be resource efficient with researching things ahead of when you need them, it would feel fairer. You are racing against the clock, which encourages players to try and resolve all of their resource-based problems ahead of time BEFORE they need them, rather than rush to get them at the last moment. I try to have all the food, common metal, colonists and research done before I get the Phoenix launched so that if anything, the only thing I'm waiting on is rare metal to get filled.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2019, 04:19:58 PM by lordpalandus »
Currently working on Cataclysm of Chaos, Remade.
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Offline Hooman

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Re: Eden Starship: Rising from the Ashes - Unwinnable
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2019, 08:12:18 PM »
Lol Crow!, way to pick up the gauntlet. Challenge accepted! Nicely done.

Interesting note about the Phoenix module. That would be helpful to know.


The odds against you might not always be fair, but they can often still be overcome.

Offline lordpalandus

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Re: Eden Starship: Rising from the Ashes - Unwinnable
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2019, 09:05:57 PM »
It is true that many unfair situations can be overcome, but I play games for enjoyment not unfairness. If I wanted unfairness, I'd get off the computer and go outside and do something meaningful or maybe not, as I get hit by a bus driven by a drunken monkey.
Currently working on Cataclysm of Chaos, Remade.
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Offline Vagabond

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Re: Eden Starship: Rising from the Ashes - Unwinnable
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2019, 10:10:23 PM »
Sort of strange watching a video playthrough of the mission. Never occurred to me that consumer factories could be used so effectively. Also I didn't realize keeping your medical center at 50% demand does more for your population than leaving it at 90-100%.

For the end game tigers, researching or launching the Phoenix module (I forget now which without reviewing the code) trips a tiger attack. After that, the normal interval attacks are bumped up to tigers. If you happen to fulfill the Phoenix module requirement at the right time, you may get a double sized attack as the special wave plus the normal wave appear close to simultaneous. This way even if you fight off the final wave, more will come and finish you off.

lordpalandus, it was a bit of a low blow to attach the tiger wave with the Phoenix module. I wanted to get the impression that your colony was doomed without launching. Some people like difficult and unpredictable challenges, but I can see how it is annoying, especially for a casual playthrough.

Watching part of the video, reminded me one of my favorite parts of coding the mission is how the cargo trucks and convecs retreat proportionally to how far down the player's attack makes it into their base. Originally, AI convecs would load up replacement guardposts and send up the earthworker to patch walls in the middle of the attack, which seemed silly and not natural. So I made all their units retreat during attacks from the front lines.

If you play as a pacifist for too long I believe the AI will attack, but it is never a significant threat.

Maybe this weekend I'll try to fix the lava tube bug.

Pente, yeah I thought the rubble harvesting in Evacuation Under Fire was fun. If you are playing it, I recommend rescuing the vehicles in the garage before the first save. Otherwise, something can happen that seems to corrupt the saved game. We never tracked down if it was a bug in the game code or how I programmed it. I wanted to expand on that theme and have the player create an entire base by harvesting a 3rd party's location. It might play too slow though. I half-coded the 4th mission in that series but never finished it. It had some unique aspects that hadn't been explored before that I was excited about (forcing the player to send scout and attack squadrons off map that would return later from offscreen with rescued cargo or mission reports). I programmed the off screen to work, but never got around to actually adding the meat to enemy attacks, etc.

-Brett

Offline Vagabond

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Re: Eden Starship: Rising from the Ashes - Unwinnable
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2019, 09:00:48 PM »
Okay, I fixed the tech tree to not allow lava walls. Thank you for pointing it out so I could fix it! Updated tech tree is attached to first post (file with ver 6)

https://forum.outpost2.net/index.php/topic,5803.msg88236/

-Brett