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Fun with Freelancer fans

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by Saint_Proverbius, Sep 4, 2003.

  1. Saint_Proverbius Administrator Patron

    Saint_Proverbius
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2002
    Messages:
    11,414
    Location:
    Behind you.
    I replied to a thread about Freelancer in comp.sys.ibm-pc.space-sim about how awful Freelancer was. In fact, most everyone was growling about the game.. Then along came this guy, and here's my reply:

    • Subject: Re: Freelancer... totally underwhelming
      From: "Saint_Proverbius" <proverbius@rpgcodex.com>
      Newsgroups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.space-sim

      Sherlog <sherlog@t-online.de> wrote in
      news:3f54f082$2c14c3ea@meow-labs.de:

      > You don't have to fly a single random mission, ever, unless you want
      > to. If you want to play the single player campaign then you have to
      > fly the story missions but that's it. Of course, in the end there is
      > nothing you can do with all your cash except buy the fighter &
      > equipment of your choice and then go pick some fights with battleship
      > fleets or other players.


      You're missing the point here. Not flying the random combat missions
      doesn't justify not having trading missions. The whole point is that
      there's a lack of those kinds of missions, not whether or not the random
      combat ones are optional.

      > I agree that the random missions should have been more varied -
      > Privateer was much better in that regard - but if you find them
      > _boring_ you are using the wrong ship or taking the wrong missions.


      Please tell me where I can find the trading/shipping/courier missions in
      Freelancer. :\

      > You don't have to fight unless you want to. Destroying one of the
      > depots in the New York system will neutralize all baddies in Liberty
      > space;


      Which I would contend is combat. Breaking stuff and killing things, after
      all.

      > add a well-chosen bribe and you'll have neutralized almost all
      > factions.


      In the mean time, you still get a bahzillion piraty types trying to kill
      you while you make the money to buy them off. Not to mention when you bribe
      a bunch of pirates, you're also going to have to bribe some of the "good
      guys" as well, because that'll sink your reputation with them in order to
      gain a better rep with the "bad guys". If they're neutral towards you,
      that'll sink your rep pretty quickly.

      >> [...] Ever tried playing the single player with a freighter?
      >
      > Good idea - more people should try that. The freighters have more raw
      > firepower than even the heavy fighters and they can fry most enemies
      > in mere seconds just with guns. During the early campaign the
      > freighters (especially the Mule and the Dromedary) are much more
      > powerful than the fighters, albeit a tad more difficult to use in
      > combat.


      You're joking, right? A freighter has more firepower than a heavy fighter?
      A humpback, the best freighter in the game, only has class 6 turrets max
      and class 7 normal guns. It can only have 2 guns and 6 turrets. Now, the
      Falcon class heavy fighter, which isn't even the *best* heavy fighter can
      have five class 8 guns and one turret. Those two extra weapons certainly
      don't make up for the difference in power of the class six versus class
      eight weapons, and the manuvuering ability of the humpback makes it easy
      pickings for heavy fighters.

      Hell, the Falcon heavy fighter even has 6200 armor versus the Humpback
      freighter's 5800, and the Falcon heavy fighter can have class 8 shields
      versus the humpback's class 7 shield maximum. Even though the frieghter
      shield generators pump out more shields per class than the heavy fighter
      ones, that class difference still ups the ante here.

      > Of course, the lack of torpedos and the poor manoeuvrability mean that
      > the freighters are not the first choice for general combat,


      No, but the fact heavy fighters have torpedoes means that freighters blows
      your claim of firepower out the window, doesn't it? Oh, and torpedoes also
      work well on freighters, but move too slow to work well on heavy fighters.
      Thanks for proving my point.

      > but you
      > don't have to kill any battleships or cruisers during the campaign
      > unless you want to and the freighters are certainly adequate for
      > taking out small fry like fighters quickly and efficiently.


      You'll never survive the fighter waves from those cruisers and battleships.
      You can't run. You can't maneuver. You're a sitting duck for them. And
      that's not even counting the cruisers, gunships, etc. that also go hand in
      hand with those missions.

      > Also,
      > flying a freighter means that you have plenty of cash so that you can
      > afford even the most expensive weapons/ammo, and in a freighter you
      > can carry home much more loot (esp. H-fuel from gunboats or depots).


      Which is a moot point when even the lowly Mollies can splash you in the
      best freighter before you can even get to a tradelane.

      > One of the fastest way of getting rich during the Liberty phase of the
      > campaign - where you cannot access any of the really lucrative trade
      > routes - is using a freighter for preying on pirate convoys at
      > jumpholes, preferrably not too far from a base where the loot fetches
      > a good price.


      The Liberty system is about the only system where a freighter is viable, I
      agree. That's because it's faily agile, and nothing around you can do much
      damage to you, allowing you to take out small packs of pirates or running
      when the heat's on. However, that changes quite a bit once you get to
      Bretonia.

      > The race with Dexter Hovis is a bit trickier in a freighter than in a
      > fighter, but if you can do it in a heavy fighter like the Crusader
      > then the freighters should be no problem. I did it with the Dromedary
      > in the first try (this was not the first time through the campaign,
      > though).


      The Crusader is faster and turns a lot better than that big beetle. I'd
      have to see you beat that race in a Drom to believe it, and even then I'd
      think you messed with the scripting to do it.

      > Gee. If you want to cross a puddle without getting wet feet then
      > either wear rubber boots (i.e. equip good shield & weapons) or drain
      > the puddle (make sure the major criminal factions are not hostile -
      > there are only two that really matter). A good trader earns more than
      > a million per hour, so what's a couple hundred grand for bribes? And
      > neutralizing almost all criminal factions by smashing depots takes
      > less than a minute, if you are so inclined.


      We're not talking about a puddle here, we're talking a tsunami. There's
      pirates at most every jump in that game, everywhere. Zillions of them.

      Once again, your earning potential is severely limited by the fact that
      freighters are completely and utterly outclassed by fighters, especially
      when those pirates travel in packs of 3-5.

      > Also, if you trade in civilized areas with good tradelane connections
      > then you can simply ignore the baddies because you can always get away
      > before they even beat down your shield. This is different if you face
      > human pirates but in MP you can hire human wingmen or make a convoy
      > with a couple of other traders.


      This is hardly the case since there aren't very many decent routes which
      don't have systems with gobs of pirates in them somewhere. Even New
      Manhatten has pirates in it occationally, and there's always the ever
      present fun of tradelane disruption.

      > Note: it is not recommended to buy bribes during the singleplayer
      > campaign - the story will play havoc with your reputation sheet.


      Which is another one of my big criticisms. It's hard to claim you're free
      to choose what you want to be when the story chooses for you who is pissed
      off at you and who isn't.

    Anyone who thinks freighters are combat capable in Freelancer need to play passed the Liberty system. It goes downhill for freighters after that.
     
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  2. Walks with the Snails Erudite

    Walks with the Snails
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2002
    Messages:
    2,443
    Location:
    The Lone Star State
    Yeah, the Rhino's firepower is pretty good next to its other early counterparts, but after that it's suicide to try and fight with a freighter. This guy really doesn't know what he's talking about, you're quite literally a sitting duck in Freelancer with a freighter, there's absolutely no hope. Even when you switch to turret mode to actually be able to hit anything that can dodge slightly, you get totally pounded on by everyone and blow up in a few seconds. The only way I ever survived is just hitting the cruise engines and then firing countermeasures like there's no tomorrow to stop the cruise disruptors, which didn't work that often. The cruise disruptors seem to be good at dodging the countermeasures. I didn't even bother trying to protect myself after a few tries as a trader later on, just paid a few bribes and ran around in that German uber-freighter until I could afford an Eagle. Even then, "friendly" pirates get pissed off again when they demand you drop your cargo and you don't. :P

    What was that about supply depots? Do you just piss off Liberty Navy enough doing it to make the pirates neutral or something?
     
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  3. Crazy Tuvok Liturgist

    Crazy Tuvok
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Messages:
    429
    This guy is completely full of shit if he claims to have taken a freighter thru the entire game. It is, in a word, *impossible*. It is marginally possible in the Liberty system, but after that it is useful for frequent reloading and little else. It is also totally unneccasry as money aint scarce and big bucks are awarded for pure fighting missions (not that there is any other kind). I suppose it might be possible in MP with some wingmen.
    Moreover it is a waste of time as the economy model in Freelancer sucks ass due to it being static. In a dynamic economy it would be fun to be a trader or a pirate, as it is I found trading to be to be complely ancilllary to blowin shit up real good; I'd pick up goods when I could but it was hardly engaging enough to warrant dedication to it.
     
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  4. Saint_Proverbius Administrator Patron

    Saint_Proverbius
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2002
    Messages:
    11,414
    Location:
    Behind you.
    That's a big problem with Freelancer, the routes are static, the good ones are far apart, and so on. If you look at Elite, it had static prices too, but it was fun. Why? Because there wasn't the idea of the mega route, really. You basically travelled from planet to planet, going from agricultural world to industrial to agricultural world - you didn't keep running the same old route ad infinitum. The whole time, you were moving on.
     
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  5. Crazy Tuvok Liturgist

    Crazy Tuvok
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Messages:
    429
    I find it weird that the economy in Freelancer is so poorly designed. One of the features the game touts is the ability to keep playing after the SP story is done. But what is the point - to fly around and shoot stuff without even a reason as in the storied SP game? Or trade goods by running exactly the same routes back and forth over and over again? If the economic model was a bit more robust then there would be a reason to play after the game as trading would be viable and piracy would be more engaging.
    As it is the *only* time I had any fun moving goods was moving contraband to the outer systems across the civilized ones. But I sure as hell wasn't gonna do it over and over again.
    There was a lot I liked about Freelancer - just a pity that so much of what was originally promised was dumped.
     
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  6. FrankHorrigan Liturgist

    FrankHorrigan
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Ireland
    The first time i played through the game i completed it with a freighter, including the chaotic last missions. I always prefered the trading side of the game, simplistic as it was. I kept saying ill get a heavy fighter when i get near the end of the game.. and then the game was over before i knew it.
     
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  7. Ibbz Augur

    Ibbz
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    485
    Frontier had a great route right near the start - Sol to Barnards Star ferrying robotics and on the return trip, luxuyries. After about two hours of doing that route you could afford to buy any ship in game - And it was safe from pirates :)
     
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  8. Crazy Tuvok Liturgist

    Crazy Tuvok
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Messages:
    429
    FrankHorrigan: I stand corrected then. If both you and that other guy say it can be done, I take you at your word.
     
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  9. Rayt Liturgist

    Rayt
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Messages:
    192
    Location:
    Swingin' Groningen
    I managed to get that Dromedary freighter (when I was level 10?) and completed the single player campaign with that. It's a pretty decent machine and can mount pretty powerfull guns. The only trouble I had was with the mission where you had to beat the colonel in a rac, the freighter is a bitch to turn. And you can haul immense amounts of goods which means you'll have tons of money.

    Anyway, it looked pretty, but after completing the campaign there was not much to do and the random missions you do inbetween quest's are no fun, so it has little replaying value. The biggest problem I had with it was that you got thrown into the story right from the start. It lacked the freedom of Privateer where you could fly around, do missions (which seemed more fun than the ones in Freelancer), get better ships and such for hours and days before even beginning with the story.
     
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