Falling Fire

Righteous Fire Rutter, Part Two


1) When you walk into the bar at Perry, Captain Goodwin asks you to see the Admiral. (She still hasn't made major yet).

1) Admiral, Escort service against Kilrathi incursions. Perry - Ragnarok ( 2 - *1*) - Blockade Point Alpha -- now with lots of new Nav Points.

Your mission is to clear all the backside Nav points, then join task force.

1 *2* (lots of Dralthi -- too many, if you do not lure them out into open space you can end up using your missiles here and still get a bit hammered, alt encounter is two Gothri novices -- easier than easy) 3 (Dralthi, easy in open space, randomly, you get a Confed Stilleto to help) *4* (a few Dralthi and a named command level ace in a Gothri) and then 5. The task force is down to two ships.

Nav point 5 seemed to last forever. I lost the Broadsword, but saved the Paradigm. I'm not at all sure of the design parameters and did not take any risks. Forced them off, rammed more than I liked (with low shields), used my four remaining missiles, and noted that waves often came at n (rather than n-1) so that if you string the last guy out, you sometimes will have time to recover a bit (I did not, but you might try it).

I would not willingly run many more missions like that one. It was rough (at least it sure seemed rough to me. Maybe the Paradigm never really is at risk, maybe the Kilrathi waves don't really go on forever. Sure.). Once was enough for me.

Return to Perry ASAP.

2) Search Fariss Quadrant, looking for Mordecai. You get the War, Pestilence and Famine assignment, then return ASAP. Directed to refuel at Nexus (Macabees). Probably a set-up.

Maybe a clue on to the end of the game.... [at this point, one does not want any more Kilrathi killing assignments out at the blockade points. Leave that to Bluehair from Wing Commander in a real military ship with missiles that really can kill a Kilrathi.]

Some random encounters, a clue at the end. Save your missiles for breaking out of the War jump point, where Retro aces in Talons wait for you. All the Retro encounters will chase you from Nav points, so let them chase you if there are asteroids. (Remember to hit F8 and thread the gap). Save at Troy. Return to Perry, then go to Drake in Capella to follow-up on the clue.

Final Mission

If the Pirates are not neutral, or if you encounter the Retros that now hound Pirate bases, fight your way out of Drake. Go to New Caledonia. Repair, rearm.

Capella 1

Crab 3 to 1 (veer left to avoid hidden action field of asteroids).

NC 4 to 6 [ship dealer] to 3.

17 AR Retro Ambush, fly through on afterburners 1 to 3 (random encounter).

Telar 1 to 3 (Mung bean/frog encounter).

Valhalla. 3 - 2 - *1* save at Valkyrie.

Jump at 4. New Eden System.

Eden 1 has infinite waves of battle toads (actually, just eight of them were reflected in the kill totals). Hidden asteroid field. Eden 2, Gaea. You have to land there (I saved the game at this point under the "fool" heading).

The mission computer says just "go to." Do not believe it. You must clear the Nav point, kill your targets. To do that easily, you must have a 100% ship (i.e. completely repaired and stocked up), all your equipment (every upgrade), ready to be a toad killing dog (a little Black Company humor there).

When you land, use the tab key to find the fields (the mouse can miss things). Take the stupid risks. (When you land, having taken out the welcoming committee at the Nav point, you will note that the computer reflects "no missions" and no change in the number of missions completed -- meaning the mission appears to be a failure).

When I say, take the stupid risks, I mean worship at the temple, confess your sins, etc. You will get the mission back, with instructions.

Launch and get your bearings, find the gray moon (requires a visual ID, use Gaea for your Nav point reference), head towards there at 250kps (it appears that you cannot reach the moon. I've tried, hoping for another secret base). Leave your Nav locked on Gaea. As soon as they come after you, run a little, followed by battle toads. (This gets you out of the asteroid field). Kill them off, one at a time (every time you finish off a group, more will come in waves, or, you go back towards the moon and they will surface) until all the toads are gone.

Then you head into the asteroids to go one on one with Jones in his Centurion. He is loaded with four Steltek guns. Jones will try to evade missiles and will run into rocks if you throw some missiles at him. Keep a full load (three or four) of IR or FF missiles for this part of the mission.

The mission makes for a total of 15 to 16 kills, including Jones (who you chase into the asteroids) and his last lackey. Keep a sharp eye out for debris. Remember your tractor beam. Wonder why not even one gun survived. Return to Gaea (amazing?!), for final dialogue. Catch Drake in Capella and the Admiral at Perry to close out the credits and the dialogue.

Take a vacation.

BTW, there is a hidden jump point in the asteroids as you head out towards the gray moon.  It jumps into another asteroid belt in another system, but doesn't show up on any of the maps (and doesn't exist until Righteous Fire). My guess it that Jones originally ran through the jump point and you had to chase him until the design team decided to scrap that encounter and do the run/jump routine earlier in the game. Interesting easter egg of sorts.

Wonder, kvetch. Look for Tayrn Cross (the missing reprise). Get ready for the next mission.

Other notes

Ok, you claim that Righteous Fire was too easy....

Well, play it again, and this time try the new Galaxy Class "Gunship."

Or the improved Tarsus Scout. Or the Orion Superbarge.

The game has built in difficulty leveling -- you choose the ship you want to fly and that puts on the difficulty levels.

The Orion comes with up to level 7 engines and level 7 shields.

The Tarsus comes with up to level 4 engines and level 3 shields. (If it just had a hard point for a rear mounted tractor, it would be perfect).

You can play and win the game in a Tarsus now -- that gun cooler and the low profile really make a difference.

You can play and win the game in a Galaxy.

As a matter of game design, I would note that as a player I would much rather have four guns in the front than two turrets (since you can only use one firing location at a time). [ However, if you run level 5 engines, level 4 shields and gun coolers, you can get basically an infinite level of repeat fire with only two fusion cannon. If I had time for rigorous comparison I might suspect the overall rate of fire to be better in the Galaxy Gunship than in the Centurion].

As a character, if I had some crew, I might prefer to have turrets. I am hoping that the game will add crew members (real or robotic) the next edition or ITTS turret slaving (so that the turrets fire on the ITTS targeting along with the main guns).

I'd like something to put in turrets, tracking scanners, or something, that makes turrets something other than a place to stash a tractor beam and to act as a damage sink (a damage sink is an item of equipment purchased so that it will take damage in the place of something useful. In Privateer the guns in turrets are damage sinks. They are hard to aim, hard to hit with and they do not have much functionality, but they do take damage).

[To be honest, in many ways without crew members for the turrets, the Orion is actually inferior to the Tarsus. Same number of firing guns. Fewer missiles launched at the same time. Worse maneuverability, less cargo space. Larger target profile. So it can carry a little bit more armor and has better shields. I try it once in a while, but I don't like it.]

Anyway, you can play through the game in a Galaxy. Try that on for size if you say it is too easy..

Starting over, in a non-military ship, the game can be won. It is harder to ram opposing ships (you have to shoot very straight) and you need to use photon torpedoes instead of missiles (again, shooting straight). You have to fly smart rather than just fast (but you can outrun most Confed and Militia groups that detect your contraband).

Here are the steps.

First, build up to either tachyon cannons or fusion cannons, speed enhancements, engine five and shield five to start.

That is the minimum to get in the door safely for just "general mission play."

Note that once you've killed Mordecai, if you just take some Kilrathi killing missions, after you've killed a number of them, Confed, Militia and Bounty Hunters become your friends again, while the Pirates and Merchants remain neutral. If you avoid killing Pirates, while they will list as hostile on your manifest, they can be talked into neutrality easily.  After you've killed some more Retros, Pirates are your friends.

With those changes, your only non-plot hostile encounters will be with Retros and Kilrathi. (As a note, it is fun to see the alternate dialogues you get when the military and pirates types are neutral. A whole new world -- and one where you can talk your way out of fights -- or not get attacked at all by pirates).

Second, you need to learn how to hit with photon torpedoes (all over again -- it just like the old days in the Tarsus -- or, if you are in the Tarsus, just like it is, so to speak. Note that when you start with the Tarsus, you start with slightly better equipment in and a little more money in Righteous Fire than in Privateer). Two hits with a fusion cannon, followed by a photon torpedo will destroy almost any Talon. That is really just one co-ordinated squeeze of the trigger. For improved Retro craft, it can take two (and you should count on two volleys for any point defense mode).

I admit, for most missions, you just use IR missiles. Fire and forget. But there are a couple missions in there where twenty missiles are not enough if you can not ram your enemies. (A Galaxy is not always a really good ram attack ship. Just a little too slow). On the other hand, with the heavy engines and shields, you can just set speed to between fifty and zero (makes it easier to hit your enemies, gives you longer target zone times) and start pounding when doing point defense.

For the final encounter, (and for all Kilrathi killing missions) consider your dual banks of torpedo launchers as a fully powered Steltek gun with only twenty rounds of ammunition -- it is enough to win the passage at arms with the supercharged Centurion the villain flies.

Give it a try and tell me if it the game is still too easy.

As I see it, the game just has built in difficulty levels and some people are playing at the easier settings, then complaining about it in print later.

Now if I can just find Tayrn Cross, the scenario is complete!

Useful information:

Weapon: Range: Damage: Refire Energy: Abuse

Steltek Gun 5000 m 19.0 cm .37sec 8 GJ VHigh

(unboosted) 3995 m 10.0 cm .45sec 10 GJ VHigh

Fusion Cannon 4400m 6.6 cm .5sec 12 GJ High

(100k credits)

Plasma Gun 2856 m 7.2 cm .72sec 22 GJ High

(80k credits)

Ionic Cannon 4080 m 5.4 cm .6sec 15 GJ Medium

(40k credits)

Tachyon Cannon 4250 m 3.7 cm .4sec 8 GJ High

(20k credits)

Neutron Gun 3060 m 6.2 cm .65sec 18 GJ High

(5k credits)

Meson Blaster 4420 m 3.2 cm .4sec 8 GJ Medium

(2.5k credits)

Particle 3400 m 4.3 cm .5sec 11 GJ Low

(10k credits)

IR Missile 7650 m 17.5 cm 2.5 sec 0 Medium

FF Missile 7200 m 17.5 cm 2.5 sec 0 Medium

Torpedo 3600 m 20.0 cm 0.3 sec 0 Medium

DF Missile 8000 m 13.0 cm 2.5 sec 0 Medium

Gun Cooler: Refire in 75% of the time required. (Seems faster). Thus a Tachyon Cannon would refire every .3 seconds instead of every .4 seconds.

Shield Regenerator. Shields regenerate 25% faster.

Engine/Shield levels. +15% increments.

Speed/Thrust Enhancements. +18% increments.

Isometal Armor. Double Tungsten armor (seems better) for 40cm Durasteel.

Advanced Repair Droid. Repairs twice as fast. (This is the second real bargain, along with Fusion Cannon).

Late flash. According to Origin product support, you do not get the Steltek Gun back at the end of Righteous Fire. The availability of four fusion cannon is supposed to make up for that. It seems that if the character had all his motivation and drive tied up in getting that gun back, when he's just about brought down the house is not a time to expect him to give up and back off. Just because no one else gets one either...

The real gripe is that the character comes away without anything as the way of a "plot related" reward except 80k credits. Six "good" missions in Perry will net you about the same amount. 45k to 60k is generally an acceptable amount for that number of missions, with 80k (or more) possible. If the return of the gun had not been used as such a plot driver (e.g. let us say that early on, the gun had been disassembled and destroyed), with revenge or survival instead, then it would have been better. Actually, what the game should have done is given the character an unboosted Steltek gun at the end, perhaps with the improved range, but the unboosted damage. That leaves the plot resolved much better. Much, much better. Yet without the deus ex machina potency of the boosted gun.