I frapsed today WCSaga for the first time, and it just happened to be this very mission.
Didn't do that great, lost a few capships, but still was able to complete the mission.
Note that I exploited both of the Excaliburs main advantages, the glide and auto-aim feature quite extensively.
PS: I had some problems with Fraps and WCS. The game crashed me twice (never did that before), and I had some FPS drops during the recording (from 60 to 30), which alse seemed to affect my mouse control in weird way, as it was suddenly moving twice as fast, which made me overshoot pretty badly sometimes.
PPS: The [youtube] tag offered here isnn't working.
No, the auto-aim is a feature of the Excalibur; why would you want to turn it off? I mean, for the first couple missions after you get the Excalibur, it may seem overpowered, but pretty soon you'll be facing so many enemies at once you'll be really glad you have it.
I also think that this mission is the most difficult one to achieve with no loss. I have try about 8 times at easy level and finish most of the time with one capship blown.
So I agree that the difficulty is a bit too high. But remember guys that the difficulty balance is a real pain to adjust.
Some hints :
- Save your afterburner fuel with the auto-glide trick
- Adjust power levels : lower engine level to the miminum, it gives your shields and guns a good boost. Following the difficulty level and the battle time, you can again adjust between shields and guns.
- Dart dumfire missiles : they are far much powerful than the others, at least x2, see technical database. No cat's fighter survives a single dumfire hit. The dumbfire speed is very good and the bomber are easy to target with little practice. I usually miss some hits but anyway not more than with auto-targeted missiles. Just be sure to not fire when you are very near the enemy, the dumbfire blast will blown you too.
- Unfortunately, I recently see that the B key does not target the nearest bomber or capship missile, only the next on the list. So a workaround: verify the distances by pressing the B key N times, afterburn to the nearest bomber group. And if there are other types of cats around, you have the choice : target another bomber B key (with the risk the next bomber's very far) or H key to blow the near fighters and be clear to after auto-target the near bombers.
Hope it helps, the reward is a medal only obtained in this mission
"When all else fails, read the instructions." Config : Core i7 2600K - 8Go - nVidia GTX580 - Creative SB X-Fi - Logitech G5 - Win7 Pro x64
Guys, this mission is DESIGNED to be nearly impossible to win with ALL capships intact. Sometimes you just can't win it perfect in a war. Some people will win this (we did, and even we fail most of the time)
Sorry guys it's not bad game design just because not everybody is able to do it. The main objective of this mission is to save the Armageddon, secondary is not to lose too many other ships. Not losing ANY ships was always meant to be near impossible. We are full scale frontal assaulting a hostile planet with all its defences for crying out loud.
Just because every causal crap game nowadays lets you win even the most idiotic action movie stunts without a scratch doesn't mean every other game is badly designed only because not everybody can beat everything on first try.
This mission is possible and hard, and it is supposed to be. This game is not designed to be aced by everybody. Period.
As already stated in another thread: If you want to ace everything and rush through an action movie and feel like Bruce Willis on steroids this game it not the one for you. We never targetted that audience and we never intended to. This game is supposed to kick your ass every now and then and it lets you continue most of the time despite failure. If you don't like that, sorry. Go play CoD. This game, like most of the older designs, make you actually work for your success and sometimes simply WON'T let you get that one more medal.
No, it isn't bad game design to have nearly impossible objectives. It IS bad game design to send the player on a thirty-minute mission (several of which are spent on superfluous, unskippable dialogue) only to scream at them at the top of debriefing (complete with helpful attack-enemy-bombers-first recommendation) like there was a damn thing they could have done. The fact that it's done without even offering the player any means to rise to the occasion, like wingmen, and having Dr. House belittle the player throughout is just meanspirited.
It doesn't make sense in-universe for the brass to assign unrealistic objectives like "attack a fortified planet without taking any losses" and then kill morale by chewing out the player for failing. It makes no sense in-engine for it to be implemented as a secondary instead of a bonus objective.
But I think the fact that you feel the need to bash the player in-mission, bash the player in the debriefing, and bash the player when they come for help speaks volumes. I'm not sure why you didn't just paint a big "YOU SUCK" across the Armageddon. Maybe spell it out in city lights on the planet.
At least, given that this is the most viewed and replied-to thread on this particular forum, I know I probably won't be alone in playing CoD.
To be honest: I found this mission very playable. two escorts lost on first try. One due a stupid mistake on my own part. I went on with the campaign as I always except the first result (in a way realisitic).
The mission is beatable if you use the Excalibur to its fullest advantage. The Excalibur even negates the disadvantage of playing with the mouse. Perhaps we expected too much from modern players when we designed the mission - the player is required to assess the situation and respond to the biggest threat while utilizing every tool in his arsenal.