Finished Freelancer campaign (no spoilers)

Without any out of the way trips, the single player campaign took me (according to the handy dandy clock) 16 hours, 53 minutes.

Good points:

Recognizable characters and good voice acting. In Freespace, Starlancer, X-Wing, and most Wing Commander games (save III and IV), the other pilots were irrelevant. In Freelancer, the characters were actually semi memorable.

Cutscenes. The cutscenes were good – they may not have looked as good as, say, Unreal, but I don’t recall them going on too long or being boring.

The control scheme is easy to use. Almost… too easy…

Bad points:
Not once was I challenged by any of the missions. The only time I died in a mission was when I accidently stuck my ship in formation and it wouldn’t move, making me dead because everyone shot me.

The entire key seems to be to have enough money before the last 4 missions or so to stock up on potions.

The mission briefings also gave far far too much of the mission away. The effort to shoe-horn the single player missions into the rest of the mission structure just sort of blew away any sort of consistency. Some character would say “are you up for so and so”, the dialog box would flash up on the screen telling you EVERYTHING about the mission, and then you’d sit down and have the character tell you about the mission that you just read about on the screen. Lame-O.

The later mission also suffer “you’re required to fly straight down this trench” syndrome. They aren’t even connected to the rest of the universe, but take place somewhere far far away.

In addition, the “reward” that is offered to you for the last mission I guess is stupid, because, well, you could take advantage of it 2 missions before! So its like “great… errr… already got that…”

One thing that also bothers me slightly is that no one ever changes clothes. You and the other characters run around and piss people off and not once does the character you meet in the first mission change out of her official getup. In addition, none of the other characters ever change ships – in fact, their ships are pumped up far beyond what is normally allowed, and as is common for most of these game, are usually indestructible.

Gimli and Sulu’s voice parts seem to be very small. I’m not too concerned about that though.

Also, too many things took place in bars.

At this point, we’ll see how much value this game has after the single player campaign is done. I tried multiplayer briefly the other day, so I’ll give that a whirl, but I’m slightly wary about spending time on someone else’s server when it could go poof at anytime.

How are people finishing the SP campaign so quickly?

I have just finished mission 4 and am now trolling about in Bretonia, tagging the stations and planets for info for future trades. Other than the main trade lanes, I’ve done little extra exploring. My game clock is approaching 15 hours, and I’m still finding that the net worth trigger point for the next mission is too low. I would have preferred it to be raised by about 10-20k credits for each level increment to allow for a bit more Free Play between story missions.

I get the impression that the “point” of the SP campaign is to take you on a whistle-stop tour of notable locations before the whole game world is opened up to you when you finish the story.

Still, it’s a great game - having lots of fun with it, and I haven’t tried multiplayer yet.

Spooky Gaming Moment:- Playing last night, I jumped into the Cambridge system, to find that one of the locations is named after the place I live, Cardiff (South Wales), so I decided to visit the Cardiff Mining Base. Once docked, I found a guy in the bar with my name, Sam Jones. I was scared. Is it coincidence, or is FL picking up my name from the Windows registry?

[Twilight Zone theme]
Submitted for your approval–the story of a man exploring the farthest reaches of deep space only to meet…himself. Coincidence, or fate? The answer lies…in the Twilight Zone.
[TZ end theme]

Now I’m the first to admit that I haven’t played Freelancer yet (been a long, cold winter with relatively little business!), but the following caught my eye:

I’m a little confused. Potions? Suddenly I have images of Diablo in space running through my head…

I was planning on buying Freelancer, but… Potions?

Can someone please explain?

Nanobots and Shield Generators. They serve the same purpose as potions.

I dunno, I’m finding the campaign battles pretty tough.

cutscene
plonk
400 million ships are attacking! AAGH!
“incoming missile”
“shield failed”
potion potion potion potion afterburner mine potion missile
phew, I survived! But I only have 3 potions left

20 friggin’ minute cutscene
plonk
400 million more ships are attacking! AAGH!!
etc.

I guess I just suck at space sims. Actually I haven’t died too many times in campaign, but the stupid cutscenes annoy the piss out of me and make every death seem twice as bad. I should be able to ESC out of story cutscenes too dammit.

One frustrating thing about the non-campaign part is that it’s hard to make a profit, at least in the early stages. I’m in Bretonia post-mission-4. I should have bought a cargo ship instead of the light Breton fighter I guess. I keep sallying off to take random missions, making incremental profits of a couple thou per mission. This gets boring so I decide to explore a bit, maybe do a little asteroid mining, etc. Invariably when I do this I get attacked by 44 quillion corsairs. I survive but I have spent so many of my slingshot missiles (which were supposed to be better than the javelins dammit!) and so many shield potions that I end up losing money just re-stocking. It’s like playing an RPG where, after a particularly intense battle, you lose experience points.

Leveling treadmills can be frustrating when you feel like you are moving backwards on them. And I don’t feel like I’m moving forward with my equipment. My current ship hardly feels any more powerful than the Defender I had before. In fact it’s got 1 less gun slot. My higher level guns and higher level missiles still feel pretty wimpy. The only real noticable improvement is that my new thrusters allow me to go on afterburners for longer periods of time.

Not found it too difficult myself. I’m at the same stage as you in the campaign. Had a few hairy moments where I’ve been down to 1 or 2 shield potions.

One frustrating thing about the non-campaign part is that it’s hard to make a profit, at least in the early stages. I’m in Bretonia post-mission-4. I should have bought a cargo ship instead of the light Breton fighter I guess.

I just bought one of those too - the Cavalier, right? I was kicking myself since I visited the nearby Battleship in the Cambridge system, and found the Heavy Fighter version of it.

I keep sallying off to take random missions, making incremental profits of a couple thou per mission. This gets boring so I decide to explore a bit, maybe do a little asteroid mining, etc. Invariably when I do this I get attacked by 44 quillion corsairs. I survive but I have spent so many of my slingshot missiles (which were supposed to be better than the javelins dammit!) and so many shield potions that I end up losing money just re-stocking. It’s like playing an RPG where, after a particularly intense battle, you lose experience points.

not sure what you mean by losing experience points, but I can see how you can fight your way to a monetary loss in this game. The loot should be better or there should be a levelled bounty on the criminal ships you destroy.

I’ve been trading a lot in between story missions, and using the proceeds to munchkin out my ship, so I’ve been staying ahead of the difficulty curve.

Leveling treadmills can be frustrating when you feel like you are moving backwards on them. And I don’t feel like I’m moving forward with my equipment. My current ship hardly feels any more powerful than the Defender I had before. In fact it’s got 1 less gun slot. My higher level guns and higher level missiles still feel pretty wimpy. The only real noticable improvement is that my new thrusters allow me to go on afterburners for longer periods of time.

I prefer the tighter turning circle of the light fighters - you can easily outfly the heavy fighters of the game.

not sure what you mean by losing experience points, but I can see how you can fight your way to a monetary loss in this game. The loot should be better or there should be a levelled bounty on the criminal ships you destroy.

What I mean is that in Freelancer, money essentially is experience, since you need it to level up, and the only way your “character” (i.e. ship) gets better is by buying new stuff. So if you go on a mission and come back with less money than you started, it’s as if you’ve lost experience points. I’m just carrying along the RPG analogy here. Of course, most freeform sims going back to Elite had the same system, so this isn’t anything unique to Freelancer. I just wish, as you say, the loot were a bit better. I don’t like losing 800 credits worth of potions and, in return, getting a 100-credit thruster…

I didn’t really trade at all.

The one big pile of money I got was in Liberty, where I grabbed some Cardamine from a derelict and sold it all on Manhattan (afterburning to the docking point). Luckily, after that was the missions where I had to leave Liberty, so it wasn’t too bad. I suppose the 30,000 I made from that helped me, because I was able to buy a heavy bretonian fighter (heavy fighters are always at battleships), dress it up to the nines, and just kill guys for cash to add to my stash and get to the next level.

I never used missiles, so my profit stayed high, and since the combat wasn’t hard, potion use was at a minimum. It just wasn’t hard.

Now I’m flying a freighter. Mining equipment from New Berlin to Fuchu Prison in a Humpback netted me ~200,000 cash. I’ll do that a few times, then go find someone to make me friends with the pirates, and then go explore their space and get El Uber Ship that I can mount my Class 10 guns that I’ve been lugging around on.

You don’t have to be a pirate to use your Class 10 guns. While the Titan has the most armor and is a Corsair ship, the Eagle is another ship that can handle level 10 guns, and is a Bounty Hunter ship, so you can maintain your “goody two-shoes” rep, if need be.

Yeah but I hear there are cool things out there to look at on the fringe, and I just mainly want to go out there and explore for a bit.

I figure this is what I’ll do until GalCiv shows up.

I never used missiles, so my profit stayed high, and since the combat wasn’t hard, potion use was at a minimum. It just wasn’t hard.

How do you do hull damage without missiles? All my lasers are nearly useless for anything but shields.

Does anyone else find it ludicrous to the point of being almost funny that pirates, guerillas, and other assorted criminal forces are larger, more skilled and better equipped than all the national armed forces + police put together? It’s like being afriad to leave New York because of the high chance of a wing of ace pirate F-22 Raptors making a bombing run on the harbour.

This is just one indication of the intellectual and creative zero-sum game the string of project leads were playing in their muddled heads.

Well, it is supposed to be a wild & woolly universe…

There are guns other than lasers.

There’s one gun that’s specifically designed to do damage to shields. Mount one of these. Some of the other guns (pulse cannons, particle weapons, tachyon guns), can do serious damage to hulls.

As ever,

Loyd Case

Some of the other guns (pulse cannons, particle weapons, tachyon guns), can do serious damage to hulls.

I’ve mounted lots of different guns. They’re all lasers to me. :)

I guess I should read the hull damage ratings more closely. My philosophy so far has been “if it’s more expensive and my ship can use it, then buy it.”

On top of shield vs hull damage, you’re supposed to pay attention to the TYPE of shield a weapon does well against (positron, tachyon, gravitron, etc). I suppose if you know you’re going to be in a single area for a long time then you can analyze the weakness of shields that race commonly has and load up on guns that are effective on that type.

In practice, that seemed like a pain in the ass and I never knew what was going to come up in the campaign, so I just tried to get a good spread of weapon types in order to be moderately effective no matter what.

I do it the same way. But I still assumed that gun damage primarily applied to shields, not hull. All’s I know is whatever combo of guns I’ve had so far, hasn’t done much hull damage compared to missiles. Except maybe when I had my big Rhino with 3 dozen turrets. That ship had some firepower…

Last night I got to make the Denver/Tokyo thanks to Don Quixote hauling luxury goods one way (buy for @230 sell for @810) then came back solo hauling engine components (about the same profit as lux goods). I started in a patriot at level 4 then moved up to a rhino and ended up with whatever the japanese cargo ship is called that can haul 175 units plus 150k in the bank and being level 19. I will probably get on tonight and try and make a couple more round trips then set off in search of a really good fighting ship. If anyone is interested in making the trip with me message me in game.

Monkey boy was with me on two of the trips out to Tokyo but he got really bad lag when we got disrupted on each run and was killed. Anyone else get lag like this when they are disrupted?

– Xaroc

heh. I’d wondered what had happened to you after I logged off. Glad to see it worked out. :D

I’m actually trying to not just milk trading runs like that, and just do one every so ofter, and run faction missions to get cash.

On that note, how do you get in good with the pirate factions? Does attacking cargo ships just immediatly raise your rank with them? Do their bases sell ships? Where are their bases, and can they give you missions? I’m thinking it would be fun to start a pirate after this character is maxed out, and going on runs against the supply depots around the bases and planets. Does anyone know if this is viable?