So who is playing homeworld 2?

i am only at mission 7, finally able to build me own destroyer… cant wait to get a battlecruiser… the thing looks like a star destroyer!

im thoroughly enjoying it, tho so far i haven’t notice a big difference between 1 & 2…

I’d comment, but I don’t want to ruin your enjoyment of the game.

I played a warez rip of it over a friends for a couple of hours on the weekend. No movies or narrative speech*, but the game was all there. I got to halfway through mission 2 and gave up in frustration at the difficulty. Definitely glad I decided to cancel the preorder. More time to play GalCiv.

I sort of enjoyed the downtime between scripted events in HW1 and Cataclysm. It gave some breathing room to rebuild lost ships, research and the like. I felt railroaded by just the first two missions in HW2.

*except for the intro sequence, which was a pale imitation of the one in the original Homeworld. I even reinstalled it to check my memory wasn’t faulty. I think it was the Agnus Dei soundtrack that lent it sophistication.

I am, and I’m enjoying it far more that I thought I would.

Worst thing about the game is the mission design. As mentioned before it’s not “beat the AI at strategy or tactics” but “beat the designer’s twists and set events”. I ususally wind up playing each mission twice. Once to figure out what happens, and the second to complete the mission.

Unfortunately that makes the first go through incredibly hard, and the second pretty easy. I realize that stand up fights are what the Player Vs. CPU mode is for, but one or two of them in the SP game wouldn’t kill me. The SP game rapidly throws you into some weird stuff, so it doesn’t give you the time to develop your new tactics like multiple resource patch harvesting, or strike group load out. The storyline is engaging enough to make me continue, but I’m enjoying Player Vs. CPU more.

On the other hand, the best thing about the game is it is a 2003 version of Homeworld. Interface, management, ship design and graphics are all top notch. Fighters are not useless when you go up the tech tree, and defenses are worthwhile. Some twists in the ships and research make for new tactics in battle, which is fun.

I’d say HW2 is a great game for fans of the genre or more specifically of HW. But it is by no means a must-have game for all gamers.

ugh… those kinds of missions are what annoyed me about MechCommander. I will probably get around to picking up the game sooner or later though.

I have it. I spent my first four days with it swearing at it, so this is kind of rant-ish.

First of all, the single player game is not a strategy game. It is a script game. Simplest example: mission 3, the carriers attacking the shipyard. I took out the corvette and fighter one, then sat there killing frigs while finishing research. The remaining carrier - the one building frigates - just kept building those idiotic infiltrator frigates over and over and over. Didn’t matter that I had a wall of captured frigs and about 15 bomber and corvette squadrons between it and the shipyard. Didn’t try to pump out a few missile frigs and clear a path to have a slightly increased chance of success. Nope, just kept building the same damn useless thing, endlessly. AIs of any stripe are capable of more decision-making than that.

Next, the auto-hyperspacing. I’ve seen a lot of the supposed justifications for it posted on the relicnews boards, and I don’t care, this is equally idiotic. The net result is that the player finds the victory condition that ends the mission, and then stops just short of it while finishing up everything else they want to do - reorganizing the fleet, researching, harvesting, etc. Keeping the “resources collected” upon hyperspace feature, but leaving hyperspace to be something the player manually activates, would’ve completely resolved this whole issue. Instead Relic makes the player feel like they’re being permitted to pretend to direct a cut-scene.

The dynamic spawn is bad. To a certain extent, this is a useful feature. But the way they’ve implemented it, there are many missions where the appropriate thing to do is to actually retire your entire fleet before hyperspacing, in order to have less to fight against in the next mission - I’ve seen stories of being faced with ungodly numbers of enemy battlecruisers in some of the later missions if you try building out your fleet, versus cakewalks if you have just the MS and a ton of RUs. Hey Relic: punishing the player for doing well is not good game design!

No difficulty setting. Dynamic spawn is supposed to take care of this. It doesn’t. It just leaves players who don’t have the hang of things very frustrated. It’s also extremely exploitable by min-maxers.

Formations and tactics. What the hell? What was wrong with HW1’s system for this? That was intuitive enough for me to understand perfectly inside of 30 seconds. HW2’s system is largely useless. Ships on F2 do squat, ships on F3 are mutinously aggressive - I tell them to fly out of the fight, they start off, then they notice somebody nearby is in combat and it’s “supporting friendly ships!” Yeah, go get your useless asses blown off, you idiots … Frigates will go fly halfway across the map in fruitless pursuit of a scout squadron. As for formations - is it possible to, for instance, set a group of frigates to “frigate wall” and then set a group of fighters to “fighter screen” around that frig wall? I can’t figure out how to do it. Equally annoying: I set some frigs into “capital phalanx” with a destroyer. Destroyer in front, frigs following along behind; good, destroyer will get shot at first. Attack something. Destroyer gets in range, stops, starts shooting, frigs immediately break formation and charge forward into combat and get blown to bits. Yeah, that works reeeeaaaal good. Where is the sphere formation? That was one of the single most useful setups in the game. As it is, I tend to just move my ships in clumps. Which actually brings up another minorly annoying point - when I’m moving 10 bomber squadrons to near a specific point (a gate, or along a dust belt), I specifically do not want them spreading out in one wide line - I want them all on top of each other. So I have to manually micromanage that.

The scenario design leaves me very unimpressed. It’s a railroad (I don’t just mean the overall storyline, I mean in terms of going from objective to objective within each mission). The ship limits are extremely annoying too. I keep contrasting it with Cataclysm’s setup, where any given mission would set you up with a goal and then leave you alone to figure out how to do it, and where your fleet had an absolute size limit but the actual makeup could be any mix of any shiptypes you cared to play with.

I haven’t gotten a chance to play much with the bigger cap ships yet, but the balancing on frigs seems extremely off to me. Basically, they have the survivability of a HW1 corvette. The fact that there are corvette squadrons with the firepower of a frigate doesn’t help - pulsar or laser or missile corvettes going up against a frigate = dead frigate pretty fast. Bombers are even worse. If it hits yellow (40% or so health left) and you don’t have massive strike craft support, you’ve probably lost that frigate. Coming from HW1, where a dozen ion beams converging on one assault frig took a minute or so to kill it, it’s very odd.

Units are overspecialized. You’ve got fighters, good against other fighters; bombers, good against frigs and up; gunships, good against fighters/bombers, pulsar vettes, good against other vettes and maybe frigs, flak frigs, good only against fighters/bombers but not vettes, torpedo frigs, good only against vettes and maybe frigs but definitely not bombers, ion frigs, good only against frigs and up, etc. etc. etc. … and you just say “fuck it” and throw whatever the hell you have into the fight and don’t worry about optimal tactics. Tank rush.

The storyline, regardless of the retcons they’ve tried, flatly contradicts some pretty basic aspects of the universe portrayed in HW1, and those changes are not improvements. It doesn’t feel like a science fiction game - too much mysticism.

I don’t know what multiplayer is like. Doubt I’ll spend much time with it - I expect that’s where you meet the hardcore, and the hardcore, from reading relicnews forums, is not a bunch of people I particularly want to spend time with. Don’t think I’ll get rid of this one, but I probably won’t ever replay it. It certainly was not worth $50.

Skirmish mode is good and I’ve played only one multiplayer game out of eight or so where I got my ass handed to me.

But the campaign is abysmal. If I’d been reviewing just the campaign, the game would have a score in the 40s.

Skirmish mode is good and I’ve played only one multiplayer game out of eight or so where I got my ass handed to me.

But the campaign is abysmal. If I’d been reviewing just the campaign, the game would have a score in the 40s.

Rollory, everything you say is true, but why the hell am I enjoying it so much ?

Good points, though.

Maybe you simply don’t mind the contrived and unfair scenarios (yes, I know, all game scenarios are typically contrived an unfair, but HW2 is exceptional in this regard.)

Or perhaps you gather a lot of enjoyment from finally beating a frustrating mission?

I guess so, because I do agree with everything Rollory said (scripted events & IA, etc). Maybe I expected less of the game and was pleasantly surprised.

Or perhaps you gather a lot of enjoyment from finally beating a frustrating mission?

Actually (I’m playing mission 9) I don’t find it that hard. Apparently it gets tricky around mission 12. But I do have to play some missions twice, once to “get it”, the second time to do it right. That’s a little bit frustrating, but I still enjoy the tactical side of the game very much.

Because you like the pretty colours, shapes and noises.

Mission 9 took me six tries.

  1. At first I didn’t have a big enough fleet.
  2. Then I lost the shipyard and the Dreadnought wouldn’t undock.
  3. Then I saved the shipyard initially but lost it again.
  4. Then I learned that no, 10 flak frigates isn’t enough, I needed to keep the production queue full of them.
  5. I forget. I was quite upset at this point.
  6. Passed.

Mission 12 is just balls-out stupid god-awful. Wave after wave of battlecruisers. Like… I dunno. I just can’t wrap my head around that kind of design. Maybe if this was the 1980s, yeah.

Silly me :D

Rollory raises a lot of good points, all of which point to rather poor design decisions on Relic’s part. The first time I shut down HW2 in a burst of irritation, about two hours and four missions in, I thought to myself, “Was Homeworld 1 a fluke?”.

I enjoy the game, I really do, but the thing that annoys me is that it should have been so much better. Instead of a game that feels like a super-polished Homeworld, we have a game that feels like Warcraft in space, with a Homeworld-type interface. Every mission feels the same, build/assemble a large force and overwhelm the enemy in whatever predetermined way was set up by the designers.

Silly me :D[/quote]
Actually no, I figured it out.

Prodigy’s French. They eat snails and frogs. They invented sado-masochism. Of course he’ll like the self-flagellation of Homeworld 2 ;)

I am really enjoying Jedi Academy.

Hmm. Me no likey to hear the bad things like I’m hearing. Everyone I’ve talked to about the game says its uber hard. I haven’t fired it up yet but I’m rapidly losing interest in doing so anytime soon especially since I picked up DnD Heroes for xbox the other day.

I thought HW1 was fairly hard at times but that Cataclysm was for the most part a fun and much better single player campaign (I had no reason to want to use cheats in HWC).

D&D Heroes is out? I didn’t know that. The game looked fun when I saw it at GenCon – kind of a more complicated Gauntlet.