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Supreme Cmdr

Universal Combat - First Impressions

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quote:


Originally posted by StarRider:

In fact, I was thinking over the weekend that the Edge to Edge title is being developed in part to satisfy all the Graphics Critics, to prove that 3000ad can produce a graphically wonderfull game in the 3000ad universe.


Not really. I just feel that our hard work was wasted on UC and serves as another fine example of don't f*cking listen to goddman publishers who aren't designing the damn game. All the time I spent pissing around with dummifying the damn game, could have been spent making it the BC game it was designed to be. i.e. a BC game that is to BCM what BCM was to BC3K v2. Sure I wanted to expand the series, but now that I think about it, there was too little time to do it properly.

So, E2E is a pure action game designed and developed as such; hence the reason another BC game is in the works for late 2005 or thereabouts.

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I am watching Star Trek right now. My comment is on graphics.

UC has better graphics than the original Star Trek, close but not quite as good as Next Generation.

BCMG is more like the original Star Trek in terms of graphics quality, the planets, more of a 2-d look to space, but the hyperspace affect is better than Star Trek.

I thought it might interest some others.

Take notice next time when you see with ST or STNG.

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OK - I'm going to give my two cents worth.

I love this game. I have been seeking a real time, real strategy, realistic game for a long time. I *enjoy* the time spent cruising towards a starbase after hyperjumping to it - let's me get the crew settled in, start repairs, check inventory, enter captain's log entries :-)

I enjoyed losing my shuttles on a planet and then reading the manual and asking questions here to figure out how to find them.

I think the graphics are awesome - and the interface completely thorough - almost everything can be accessed via the keyboard.

AND - it actually runs in a window - so I can mine a planet for hours while doing other things - very realistic. I was not looking for a new quake-engine based first person shooter. I wanted something with depth - and I got it.

Kudos to SC

(hmmmm - did this come out too Fanboy?)

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quote:


Originally posted by msteele999:

(hmmmm - did this come out too Fanboy?)


Yeah, but you're in good company

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First Impressions:

I registered shortly after buying Universal Combat, and after I received my confirmation I decided NOT to post right away. Why would that be? Because UC is not a game about first impressions ÔÇô that is, for people who have not played any of the Battlecruiser Millennium games in the past. In the past, I was interested in the BC games, but either the timing or other games being out on the market that I wanted more swayed me. Also, there were the reviews, which varied greatly depending on the site I went to.

Now, this may not seem like a first impression, but the background is very important because I have bought BCM:UC, and I have not purchased any of the others in the past. The main reasons that I bought this were: One, a decent PC Gamer review which said that the game had more depth than anything out there, despite a steep (huge) learning curve; Two, the price, since I wasnÔÇÖt sure if the game was what I was looking for (or if some of the more negative reviews were correct) and I was more willing to risk twenty dollars instead of forty or fifty for a game that just came out. If I was a fan of the series that would be one thing, but since I was not I was a bit more cautious in spending my money on a game that I was not sure of yet; Three, I have always wanted to play a starship simulator, and from what I read it seemed that the game more than fit the bill. So, I picked it up.

This is a game/genre where first impressions should not be taken as lasting impressions. If you have already played the BC series in the past, then UC was a much easier game to get into. However, for people who have just bought it and have NOT played the BC series (like me) it can be a very complex game that can be difficult to get into without a step by step in-game tutorial.

Graphically, I love the designs of the ships, some of the textures could be worked on when zoomed in close  but realistically the only time that would happen would be when you are viewing your ship from an external camera just to see how cool it looks, and to have lens flares cresting over some of its angles. In battle, you dont have a time to see if the artists put those extra airlock bits on. The space scenes were nice ( but sometimes the nebulas were overdone) and I like that different systems have different nebula scenes/colors  helps to keep them sorted out a bit. The engine trails were only so-so, even with particle effects on I was hoping for an option for engine glow instead, with an increasing glow for increased engine output. The weapon effects and explosions were all right, but seemed to lack a bit of punch to them (to me, the best effects etc for explosions and weapon hits/explosions are in Hegemonia, but that is an entirely different sort of game, but wow, those explosions were amazing). Im still working on getting my cruiser into the atmosphere without crashing into the ocean (laughs at self) but from what I have seen the amount of work put into each planet is very good.

Sound wise its a mixed bag  I love the chatter going on throughout the game, in fact, I think there could be a bit more, but thats just because it adds to the atmosphere. The first time I activated the turrets and the gunner announced that they were being brought online, I couldnt help but to feel in control of a warship It was a nice feeling. After my first main combat, hearing as system by system went down was just as intense, and as I sat there in space with station after station offline, I knew what it was like to be completely helpless. Kudos there! The music ranges from very good, to all right, and there is one track in particular which starts off the EXACT same way as a track from the Aliens soundtrack The opening song I believe. The weapon effects are a bit muted, and I was hoping for more sound effects in the ship (claxons and alerts and the like).

The controls are where I can see why reviewers and first time players could get turned off from the game, and not be able to enjoy it to its fullest. I took a look at the cheat card, then went into the options to redo the controls, and found that I could not change the control scheme. That felt awkward, but I went ahead and used the existing controls as was. After a few weeks now, I am getting a hang of the controls, but still they could be streamlined quite a bit. Getting rid of the F2-F8 camera controls and placing there instead the different station controls would have been best, in my opinion. Say, F1 being the captainÔÇÖs chair view, F2 being the communication screen, F3 being the engineering screen/damage control. F4 the fire control monitor, F5 the landing bay screen, F6 Navigation, F7 Crew assignments, and F8 security for the ship, and then each station would have its own onscreen controls that you would use the mouse to navigate and access sub-screens on the monitors. I did really like that each of the screens had buttons you could use the mouse to interact with, and that it was not all keyboard/joystick operated. Another thing I noticed was how sparse some of the screens were ÔÇô and how the F1 cockpit view of the fighter and the cruiser were the same. Maybe a Wing Commander cockpit scheme could have been used for the bridge view and cockpit, which included all the info already present on the screen. It would also be neat to see different screens ÔÇ£blow outÔÇØ instead of just showing that they were offline.

Also with the control, at times it feels more like a thinking manÔÇÖs Wing Commander, with a joystick control and main guns facing straight ahead. The turrets really help the game to not have to worry about just being like a smarted up WC, but with the main guns being limited to firing straight ahead, and needing a missile lock on the ship in front of you, it brought the feeling of commanding a warship down a bit.

I havenÔÇÖt really delved into the FPS portion of the game as of yet, but after I have the starship aspect down well enough IÔÇÖll go into that aspect and see what I think of it.

All in all, I keep coming back to the game because I like it. There is a lot of depth to it, and a lot of freedom. I have read that there is a lot as far as mining, recovery, trading and more, but I have not gotten my skills to the point where I am able to enjoy the game to its fullest. In my impression, there are some areas that should be addressed ÔÇô especially to keep new people from not getting turned off by a huge curve ÔÇô but the potential is more than there. I have not played a game like this before, and it seems to be a genre by itself. Some people will just say it doesnÔÇÖt have the latest engine, or that it doesnÔÇÖt have the latest bells and whistles but they are missing the point ÔÇô with this game, YOU are in control, you have freedom, you have more options than any other game I have ever played, and with a bit of tuning, even the most jaded of reviewers and newbies could get into the game with no problem, and see what it is that they have been missing, Thanks for the game, and I canÔÇÖt wait to see what you do with the series from here!

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Nice writeup and yeah, you make a lot of valid points about interface, sound, controls etc. But remember, with a game of this size and scope, sacrifices (in the name of gameplay), have to be made.

Anyway, the next Battlecruiser title due out around the end of 2005, is going back to its roots in more ways than one. Its going to be a devasting (to say the least) surprise.

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Nice write-up, IMHO, and I'd agree with it, for the most part, but one minor point:

quote:

Also with the control, at times it feels more like a thinking manÔÇÖs Wing Commander, with a joystick control and main guns facing straight ahead. The turrets really help the game to not have to worry about just being like a smarted up WC, but with the main guns being limited to firing straight ahead, and needing a missile lock on the ship in front of you, it brought the feeling of commanding a warship down a bit.

If you press scroll lock you can aim the main guns (of your CC anyway). OK, they still point almost straight ahead, but it does allow for a little bit of tactical shooting.

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Guest dnoyeB!

Hopefully this is my first time posting a first impression

I have played all the BC games. BC always was a game that allowed you to do just about anything. Blessing and curse. Finally, 3000ad managed to get the kitchen sink in the game...

That kitchen sink would be the ground combat for me. The name Universal combat couldn't be more fitting.

As for the UI, yea its got problems. Mainly organization issues. The fixed UI is excellent, but the popup menus are bad. Maybe we need to add another screen or two. Perhaps a targeting screen, but something to rid ourselves of huge popup menus as much as possible. Nevertheless, the functionality is there, so one can make due.

I'm glad 3000ad has been so ambitious. I think its time focus on depth. the UC universe needs life breathed into it. I want ships flying by me on their own missions, and governments fighting wars and stuff that I am able to influence. I wan't an economy! I want a bit of galactic civilizations or master of Orion spice added in

---

EVE

A nice MMORPG, and I thought it was going to replace UC for me. But while it looks nice, its sorely flawed. Its not truly 3d, in fact its 2d in many respects. you can not fly with joystick, but can ONLY fly from 1 marked point to another marked point. Its basically a graphical UI to a database. If you play it you will see what I mean. Dont waste your time. Im back from my hiatus..

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Ouch...my first few minutes playing UC and I've already managed to mess something up. While making what I thought would be a routine planetfall on Mars in my CC(you can do that with the CC in UC, right?), I forgot to chop the throttle and ended up 30,000m below the ground- no reactor, shields, engines, or weapons- as soon as the re-entry scene ended. A second attempt with a new CC resulted in the same problem...it seems my AE thinks the CC is a mole or something. Or maybe I'm just overlooking some seemingly-minor detail that keeps getting me splattered.

In space, however, everything was fantastic. I'm sure I'll get planetfall right one of these times...

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Guest Shingen

Best advise when doing planetfall is:

* set waypoint on planet/moon in Tacops for CC

* turn off the AP/AI, set thrust to 0, target planet/moon in the FPI (Ctl+F) and jump manually. ( the game will ask if you want to land, say yes )

When you get out of planetfall, PULL UP and reverse thrust until you reach VTOL.

S.A.D.

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I'm playing it on my laptop cause my video card on my computer is dying and i'm waiting for the new nVidia card to come out. So I thought it would be horrible playing on a touchpad...

I was wrong. UC's graphics are awesome, the FP is fun, the music gets slightly annoying after awhile, but i'll end up liking it.

This is great SC, keep it up.

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ohhhh my... let me just... oh my...

Never in my life have I played a game like this, its so... good... I'm all about LAN multiplayer so IÔÇÖm going to have2 invite some friends over this weekend. Great game, I love most everything but there are some things I feel are missing - now for my list

1. shuttles cant equip weapons can they? Because I think they should

2. there are only mk1, mk2, and mk3 fighters in space right? I think there should be many MANY more

3. it would be neat to be able to have no CC, like, be a marine with a shuttle

4. more ships!

5. maybe different types of weapons for big ships would be neat (not just different missiles)

6. having a base on a planet as a sort of CClike instead of starting with a CC you get a base with some fighters, troops, ect..

Again, this is an awesome game, IÔÇÖve been playing it all day =/ hehe thanks Supreme Cmdr

[ 05-15-2004, 01:52 PM: Message edited by: Dave Shannon ]

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quote:


Originally posted by Dave Shannon:

2. there are only mk1, mk2, and mk3 fighters in space right? I think there should be many MANY more

4. more ships!


You aren't being serious are you, because if you are you are crazy. Take a peek in the Appendices for a look at all the craft types.

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Sorry, my bad, i was'nt verry clear...

what I ment was - you can't get anything but the mk1-mk3's in your battlecruiser can you? and is it possible if you started with mk1 fighters would you be able to get mk2 fighters? or maybe one of the other fighters?

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no you cannot interchange various fighters with others. and no to your second question. Not all carriers have the same loadouts so you can look around until you find one that has the craft you want.

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quote:

Originally Posted by Supreme CMDR

Anyway, the next Battlecruiser title due out around the end of 2005, is going back to its roots in more ways than one. Its going to be a devasting (to say the least) surprise.

Rockin!!!! I Loved BCM and I'm currently Loving UC, but there is so much I want to see happen with the series. I was extremely disheartened when I read an earlier bit where SC said that UC was the last BC universe game before BC Online. I mean, without the publishers pushing the developers for time (and with SC's support) we might see things like Inside ship FP mode, boarding parties, ship capture and takeover, and even Mercenary Jobs generated in Roam mode, with spawned objectives and such. The game is great already, and it can only get better.

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I picked up a copy of UC because it was 20 bucks (I only had $23) and because the screenies and game description on the back of the box seemed pretty cool.

I had no prior knowledge concerning this game title. I hadn't read a single review. I just figured it was a cheap way to get my sci fi gaming fix(I was expecting something like... Freelancer, lol).

The first hour I spent downloading patches, adjusting my computer, and messing around with options to get everything working and looking good.

After everything was installed I just started messing around in Campaign, Roam and Instant Action to learn how to play.

Initially I was very confused and I died... a lot.

In frustration I made a visit to the 3000AD forums. My first impression of the 3000AD forums? WOW, OH THANK GOD!!! A tight-knit community of gamers and developers that are incredibly helpful and organized. :-)

Seriously, I was and still am VERY impressed with everything and everyone here. I've been going back and forth between reading forum info and playing UC for about 8 hours now. The experiance has been great. Frustrating at times... but great nonetheless.

I haven't even experianced most of what UC has to offer yet it has already changed my expectations of space simulators forever.

I don't think I'll ever be able to play(or at least enjoy) a "dumbed down" space sim ever again.

Ok... I won't bother including hundreds of more lines of text describing how much I love this game or how addicted I am now... I'm sure you readers have heard it all ;-)

I'll just finish up by saying that my initial gaming experiance could have been vastly improved if I had realized how vital it was to make a visit to the 3000AD forums for extra help and info. I figured I could just take the game out of the box, install, play and enjoy.

The UC box cover said lots of great things about the game itself but absolutely nothing about it's great gaming community/forums! :-(

Visiting the forums and learning about the whole Battlercruiser/UC universe has been just as engaging, interesting and fun as playing UC itself.

I would have glady paid 50 bucks for this game had I known what I was getting into beforehand. Once I get a debit card maybe I can donate an extra $30 over paypal or something?

Yup, I'm hooked.

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quote:


Originally posted by Ockham:

Once I get a debit card maybe I can donate an extra $30 over paypal or something?


hehe, welcome to our corner of the world. Where NOTHING is what it seems.

Seriously, keep the extra cash for the upcoming sequel due out....uhm, soon?

btw, don't forget that there is an 80 page tutorial included in the 2.00.10 patch!!.

quote:


Originally posted by Wolferz:

Keep reeling, SC I have the gaffing pole


LMAO!!!

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My VERY first impression. (This is after I installed the game, clicked on Run Universal Combat.exe)

WTF DO I DO and WTF am I doing?!?!? Hey, who are they? Mmmm red squares... probably not good.

--5 Minutes Later--

Wheres the quit game button.

-------------------------

Now, with that said, I actually did some research. I thought that like other games, I could get into the game somewhat easy. I was completely and extraordinarily WRONG.

Jumping into the campaign mode, I was hit with enemies that I didnt even know why they were hostile. After scrounging around the 'net a bit, I found the patch which had a tutorial. I was like "yay!!".

Did the tutorial. Got to a point where I had to exit my craft through the air vents or something and then walk on my ship, then zoom out and see the scale. When I did... my jaw litterally dropped. Then I read on some more and the page said that the smallest station was 10x the size of my ship, and I thought my jaw was going to break off and hit my keyboard.

Second Impression==> WOW!

So, now Ive almost became addicted to playing the game. Still learning. After the learning curve, consider me addicted

One thing I did think looked a tad weird. When you run on land. Just looks... ferryish and I dont like watching it. Just seeing my AE running like that is just.... well I dunno weird.

Other then that... WOW! Im glad I bought the game

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quote:


Originally posted by Azdrack:

One thing I did think looked a tad weird. When you run on land. Just looks... ferryish and I dont like watching it. Just seeing my AE running like that is just.... well I dunno weird.


hehe, ferryish?? Never heard of that before. I just call that run animation, weird.

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Okay, first things first. Installed, load up, and get my n00bish butt straight into a fighter scenario.

Keep my finger on the afterburners... whee this thing flys fas(BOOM)t. Damn didn't even last 2 seconds against that capital ship.

Sigh, I guess I should drag my sorry butt into the comfy chair of a big bad Aestorm CC.

Roam mode was very exciting. Learning to land my CC was a frustrating task until I got the hang of doing waypoints.

All in all, a very nice and wide open game. I haven't even tried any of the scenarios or campaign mode. I suspect I don't really want do after I'm enjoying myself so much in Roam mode.

I can do anything I want! I can beam Resnig down to the middle of an enemy base and OTS his sorry ass! (Resnig deserves it, he always reloads STS missiles when I'm in atmoshpere... dumbass)

Alright, before I turn this post into a run of the mill south park episode of "OMG you killed Resnig!", I would like to congrats SC for doing a great game. He obviously had great foresight on what a true "Simulation" really means. I've been looking for a sim with depth and anything-goes for the longest time. I think I just found it!

Now I think I should reinstall my OS to get rid of those annoying CTD's....

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Ooops posted to the wrong forum before Sorry Derek, you even gave me the link ...

I love the game, not even scratched the surface of it yet (although have scratched the surface of a couple planets with my hull). My only gripe is the GUI beeps. They seem to blare out of my speakers while the battle noises and spacecraft FX are a lot more quieter. I like to immerse myself in games, especially games that allow your imagination to play a big part in them. I find it hard so far with this one because when I go to assign power BEEP and then go to tactical BEEP to assign this marine BEEP and this marine BEEP ... I over-analyze things - especially games. So far the only thing I can see that I would change would be more options. Options to turn off GUI FX but leave on the game FX. But all in all ... I think I may have found a new addiction

Could I just try to replace some .wav files with blank wav files so that it doesn't play the beeps?

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(SC, I'd like to apologize for wasting your time with my earlier posts. I wasn't thinking entirely clearly, but that's no excuse.)

Initial thoughts...

First of all, the overhauled graphics look gorgeous, and I like the new soundtrack, too. On the other hand, I concur with DrugCheese WRT the GUI beeps: they seem incongrously loud.

The mouse control is nice and smooth, allowing me to finally retire my less-than-entirely-functional Cyclone 3d.

I initially found the new HUD rather distracting, but adapted to it quickly - although, the status bars and their labels on the left are misaligned at 1280x1024; I don't know if this is a game issue or a gfx driver issue, but it's a bug in something. It works fine (and silky smooth) at 1280x960, though.

The slight alterations to the controls have claimed their first casualty; while engaging Zerin Station (I launched from it, then spun around and salvoed all my missiles at it), I managed to eject from my CC while trying to activate ECM rather than Jamming. I had a great view of the following battle, though, and my leaderless crew aquitted themselves well before they were killed. It also gave me a chance to ogle the new shield effects.

The one major gripe I have is the new speeds. It takes years just to get back to the station you launched from - or at least, it seems that way after BCM. I can't even express my speeds in kps any more without looking silly, let alone fractions of c.

It's also somewhat bizarre to see a missile slam into a station's hull, followed by the station's shields - quite some distance beyond the hull - lighting up.

On the whole, though...I like it. I like it a lot.

Further thoughts now that I've played it for a while:

The long pauses in bridge crew speech break the immersion somewhat, although I can just imagine them consulting their script as they give reports. The drive trails also seem to be intermittent at times; perhaps I'm hitting some kind of particle limit? On the plus side, I just found a shiny new Crumicron and 1200k worth of ground-defence hardware in a cargo pod.

[ 06-10-2004, 01:08 AM: Message edited by: ToxicFrog ]

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quote:


Originally posted by ToxicFrog:

although, the status bars and their labels on the left are misaligned at 1280x1024; I don't know if this is a game issue or a gfx driver issue, but it's a bug in
something
.

It's also somewhat bizarre to see a missile slam into a station's hull, followed by the station's shields - quite some distance beyond the hull - lighting up.

The drive trails also seem to be intermittent at times; perhaps I'm hitting some kind of particle limit?


  1. the screen is misaligned at certain unsupported resolutions (I have yet to address this). check the VCF
  2. with shields, missiles won't impact the object at all - thats why they are shields
  3. contrails are based on the velocity of the craft. They are not rendered at low velocity.

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