Q's anger management thread (chock-full of spoilers!)

Aginor

Vice Admiral
I always felt that WC3 was much darker than WC1+2, so while Saga may no exactly capture the mood of WC3 it comes quite close in my opinion. (The same goes for Forstchens novels btw.) It is dark, but there will also be some 'HELL YEAH' moments during the campaign.

@Quarto:
I'm looking forward to seeing what you think about the rest of the game, because the mood changes throughout the story a bit. Remember that Saga is quite long and you have only seen a small part until now. I think your description of the way the WC stories work fits quite well for Saga. You are still in the 'kick in the face' part I guess :)
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
So... the last couple of weeks, when I finally found some time to play games, I played StarCraft II. Oddly enough, I hadn't played it until this point, and I wanted to... you know, do some research on how talking heads cutscenes look these days ;).

Anyway, having finished StarCraft II, I actually found some time for Saga today. I played and finished the Valkyrie mission.

Is it time for more anger management? A bit of it, certainly. I'm pretty sure capship missiles have been mentioned here before. I think I may have mentioned them myself once or twice. Capship missiles are pure shit. They are bad. They are not good.

No, I don't mean in the sense, you know, that they're a challenge. They are difficult, but that's besides the point. They are shit, because they are not fun. You get within several hundred metres of a missile, and it still feels like you're pixel-hunting in a damned 1990s adventure game. I have to wonder how people playing this with joysticks coped - I played with a mouse, but even the precision of the mouse just didn't help.

I hope never to have to shoot at capship missiles again in Saga, but I expect that I will have to. I'm not looking forward to it. It's just not enjoyable. And you know, I haven't played WC3 in ages, but I'm pretty darned sure it just wasn't like that back then.

Next up - HUD colours. I guess the fact that I flew this mission with a blue HUD is my own fault. Especially since the last time I played it (when was that? May?), I did get as far as the transports, so it could have occured to me to change the colour of the HUD. Be that as it may, Saga kinda falls victim to its own customisation options here. Normally, what a designer would do is give the player whatever HUD colour works best - and if a particular mission requires a different colour, he'd find some excuse to switch colours on the player. For example, assign different HUD colours to different ships, do planetary missions using only the Hellcat, and give the Hellcat the amber HUD. Anyway, that's really more of a digression. While you could have prevented it, it's still not your fault I flew this mission with a blue HUD.

But really, HUD aside, the mission was fine once the missile interception was over. The atmosphere was a really nice change, even though it somehow made me feel claustrophobic (WTF?). I think I've said this before, but you guys need to pat yourselves on the back for implementing the atmosphere this way - it may seem like using a skybox is a simple and obvious solution, but simple and obvious solutions are often the hardest to come up with.

Also, I gotta give that first Valkyrie mission the Fonz (that's two claps, a double thumbs-up, and a "Hey!"). Probably the best mission...ever? As soon as the music hit (and the explanation; that it messed with the cats? Priceless), I got all inspired and stuff, flew a great mission, wasting kitties left and right. Loved everything about it, except the part where it ended...
I'm split on this. The mission itself was pretty dull. I mean, you were simply blasting through a bunch of identical transport ships. So... on the one hand, I can't help feeling that the Valkyrie music was wasted here, that this kind of thing would be better for a big capship assault mission. On the other hand, it made an otherwise dull mission more interesting - just as the atmosphere skybox did, too. This is good.

Finally, the debriefing after the mission. Naturally, I got yelled at a lot for having a few missiles slip past me. You know what's strange here? Given my reaction to some of the previous missions, I would have expected that I'd be pissed off at the game designers here. I mean, you knew how tough missiles are, so you shouldn't make people yell at me for failing to blast them all. Well... maybe it's just because I haven't played the game for a month, so I'm not that emotionally invested in it at the moment, but I didn't get angry. I just plain didn't care. Saga has a lot of people yelling at you, so you get used to it...

Looking forward to playing the next mission, in any case. But also angry about that :p. I'd been told to expect a big strike mission (and certainly that sounded like a lot of fun), instead I get to escort shuttles or something. Ah, well - such is war.
 

GBOOM

Petty Officer
I'm split on this. The mission itself was pretty dull. I mean, you were simply blasting through a bunch of identical transport ships. So... on the one hand, I can't help feeling that the Valkyrie music was wasted here, that this kind of thing would be better for a big capship assault mission. On the other hand, it made an otherwise dull mission more interesting - just as the atmosphere skybox did, too. This is good.

Going back and replaying the mission, yeah, there's not a lot of challenge to the objectives when you're in the atmosphere. It is definitely the music that makes the mission. Think about how awful Star Wars would've been if it wasn't for John Williams soundtrack...

"Flight of the Valkyries" isn't played during a dogfight or in an even battle. It's played when someone's about to lower the hammer. And THAT is what's happening here. You're just blasting those transports left and right. No fair fights, just lowered hammers
 

Aginor

Vice Admiral
you want to see angry.. wait until you get to the kinney mission.
Yeah. Pretty sure he won't like that one.
I was surprised when someone told me he actually liked it some days ago.

EDIT: Now I remember what I also wanted to write:
About the long-range missiles:
I hated them in WC3 and I hate them in Saga. They are hard to hit and you have to use up a lot of afterburner fuel to chase them. In an Arrow or an Excalibur they are are less of a problem because of the gliding. They are easier to hit from the sides and you don't use much fuel. In a Hellcat those missions suck.
But let us talk about the good things:
Just like the mining missions I described in the other thread the concept itself isn't fun, but they are something different. Wing Commander (and space sims in general) normally consists of just two things: Shooting enemy fighters and shooting enemy capships. Granted, there are escorts and strike missions and patrols but... that's it.
So some things were added to just be different. Shooting capship missiles, laying mines, refueling/rearming and those things. They aren't fun. The refueling isn't even gameplay in WC2 or WCP. You just fly somewhere and watch your ship being refueled. Variety is the key, and that is why those are good things. They are not fighting fighters or capships.
...even if they suck :D

My criticism on Saga's missile strikes originally was that I thought too many missiles were used. After I did a missile strike mission myself I figured that the number is ok, since the player can shoot them down quite easily, provided a bit of practice. Otherwise the mission gets far too easy.
What I don't like is that in the Saga missions the player is actually able to attack the missiles while they are still invulnerable (shortly after firing/spawning missiles are invulnerable because of various gameplay reasons, one of them being that a ship under enemy fire that launches a torpedo would instantly blow up). You think you have an advantage of attacking them early, but then you can't hit them. I even shot one or two missiles into tight torpedo formations before realizing they were invulnerable. Even I got angry then and I'm a rather calm person.
I guess it is ok because I know you can beat that missions anyway and I'm not that great of a pilot, it just feels wrong because I thought about what tactic to use and did that, and it would have worked if the missiles had not been invulnerable.
That's why I placed the launchers much further away in my missile strike mission, so the missiles are vulnerable once they reach you. Which in turn makes the mission too easy IMO. So nothing is perfect I guess.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I think the real problem with the missiles (in Wing Commander III, anyway) is that there's absolutely no buildup. With ships the games are designed to gradually introduce newer and tougher enemies as you become more comfortable with flying. With missiles, WC3 dumps you in front of the hardest type of them on the fourth mission. And then they reappear so rarely as to not be something you're learning to deal with at all.

(I know they realized this and considered cutting the skipper mission entirely... they were somewhat stymied by the fact that the FMV had already been recorded and needed to have them introduced at a particular place early in the game.)
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Just like the mining missions I described in the other thread the concept itself isn't fun, but they are something different. Wing Commander (and space sims in general) normally consists of just two things: Shooting enemy fighters and shooting enemy capships. Granted, there are escorts and strike missions and patrols but... that's it.
So some things were added to just be different. Shooting capship missiles, laying mines, refueling/rearming and those things. They aren't fun. The refueling isn't even gameplay in WC2 or WCP. You just fly somewhere and watch your ship being refueled. Variety is the key, and that is why those are good things. They are not fighting fighters or capships.
...even if they suck :D
Well, here's the thing. I loved the original Wing Commander, which had nothing more than shooting fighters and capships (and asteroids and minefields), and I don't see how it needed more variety. Obviously, I do not think it is a bad thing that future WC games added extra stuff - but I enjoyed the extra stuff because it was fun, not because there was more of it. Variety is absolutely, never, ever the key, unless you're searching for the key to bad quality. The key is to pick the things that make your game better, and throw away the others.

I firmly believe that missile interceptions make Saga a worse game than it would be without them. And of course, Saga would be a worse game without missile interceptions than it would be with fun missile interceptions, but that's no excuse. It's just not good to throw something unenjoyable at the player in the hope that the extra variety will make him happy.

Of course, this is all purely subjective. Maybe I'm the only one in the universe who found all the missile interceptions so far in the game to be irritating. I can't really tell what others think, right? All I know is that if I said that it was only a lack of time that prevented me from getting back to Saga and playing the Valkyries mission a second time, I lied. Unintentionally, mind you. Lack of time was certainly an issue, but when you want to play something, you make time. A couple of times with StarCraft II, I stayed up until two in the morning. My wife was telling me at midnight to go to sleep, and I assured her that I would be there soon, and I absolutely meant it, because I just wanted to finish the current mission. But then I failed this mission, and I just had to replay it and win. How different is this to the Valkyries mission in Saga, where failure didn't urge me to play again, but instead encouraged me to leave the game alone for a month? I simply did not look forward to shooting at those missiles again, especially after I realised (having failed on the transports the first time) that I actually needed to save my missiles and my fuel for later.

So, all I know is that there's at least one person out there who very nearly put Saga down entirely because of missile interceptions. That one person most definitely does not agree that variety is key. He believes that fun is key, and fun is missing when shooting down missiles in Saga.
 

Aginor

Vice Admiral
Well, that's something everybody must decide on their own I guess.
Like I said before, most people I talked to love that mission.

Variety is absolutely, never, ever the key, unless you're searching for the key to bad quality. The key is to pick the things that make your game better, and throw away the others.
I can't agree with that. I call that the WOW approach because WoW did that, killing almost all the variety. That was what made me leave the game for good. Of course the things that were still there were fun. But they killed everything else just because there are people who don't like it.

So yeah, I guess it is subjective. And there are a lot of subjective things that make people stop playing games. Too easy, too hard, too much variety, no variety, bad story, too much story, bad controls, complex controls, bad graphics and so on.

And please remember that nobody will flame you because you don't finish the game.
So you shouldn't force yourself to play, that way a game will never be fun for you, and then it becomes a waste of time.
Fun fact (IIRC): over 50 percent of the people who bought Portal didn't finish it (they don't have the achievement you get when you win the game). I thought "WHAT?" One of the greatest games of our time, and half of the people who bought it didn't even finish it?
But that's pretty normal for games I guess. I asked some of my friends and it seems I am... the only one I know who has finished (almost) all games he bought. Strange world.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
I can't agree with that. I call that the WOW approach because WoW did that, killing almost all the variety. That was what made me leave the game for good. Of course the things that were still there were fun. But they killed everything else just because there are people who don't like it.
I think you will agree there's a difference between removing existing features from a game and simply not adding new features :).

And please remember that nobody will flame you because you don't finish the game.
So you shouldn't force yourself to play, that way a game will never be fun for you, and then it becomes a waste of time.
I know. But I want to like Saga. It's a Wing Commander project, after all, and I know a lot of the people who worked on it. That's also why I'm posting so much criticism, as I explained before - because I think that unlike a conventional game developer, you guys will actually appreciate the feedback, and in some cases you may even take it into consideration when working on a patch.

Fun fact (IIRC): over 50 percent of the people who bought Portal didn't finish it (they don't have the achievement you get when you win the game). I thought "WHAT?" One of the greatest games of our time, and half of the people who bought it didn't even finish it?
But that's pretty normal for games I guess. I asked some of my friends and it seems I am... the only one I know who has finished (almost) all games he bought. Strange world.
From what I've heard, 50% is actually pretty good, supposedly 30% is a more typical value. But I haven't seen any statistics that confirm this.

For me, it tends to be that I either play a game and complete it, or I don't play it at all, and it stays on my shelf, often shrinkwrapped. At some point, when I noticed I had about twenty unplayed games on my shelf, I simply stopped buying games. These days, I buy just a couple of games a year.
 

Nomad Terror

Rear Admiral
Fun fact (IIRC): over 50 percent of the people who bought Portal didn't finish it (they don't have the achievement you get when you win the game). I thought "WHAT?" One of the greatest games of our time, and half of the people who bought it didn't even finish it?

Portal has been bundled and made free a lot. That attracted more of an audience to it than would have normally just bought it outright. Some significant percentage of these people would have played until the puzzles became significantly harder and became frustrated and quit, or played a few levels and realized the game wasn't for them. It's not really a good example.
 

Lorien

Rear Admiral
I will say one positive thing about the missiles in Saga, they do increase the reward factor for the Excalibur a heap. I went from Q's reaction to missiles to deliberately taking the time to shoot down missiles and torpedoes because it suddenly became fun to do.
 

Dondragmer

Rear Admiral
In most Wing Commander games, any one ship is easy to destroy. The challenge comes when ships are multiplied. This is good game design, because they can be reused in different combinations. The "shoot stuff, and shoot more stuff" gameplay has more variety than at first glance. Yes, you have no trouble with one Darket. How about five Darkets? How about Darkets defending a destroyer? What if the Darkets are escorting Paktahns? Now you have a Destroyer to defend and the Paktahns are attacking it...

The Saga capship missiles would be much more interesting if they were mixed into other encounters. Imagine if destroying a missile - even an entire wave - were trivial. The fun would come when you have a wave of missiles and fighters attack simultaneously. This would take some tuning. If there is only just time to destroy all the missiles before they hit, it's annoying. If there is time to destroy all the fighters before worrying about the missiles, it's tedious. If you can destroy some, but not all, of the fighters, you have meaningful decisions - which is a good thing.

Did some aspect of the Saga / Freespace 2 engine make this combination of capship missiles and fighters impossible? Does the Confed AI have to be specifically told it's dealing with a capship wave or a fighter wave? It does seem capable of handling individual missiles launched by bombers.

Having completed Saga, I endorse Quarto's views of the earlier missions. It did feel like those heavily scripted moments turned up less often towards the end of the game. However, during the final attack on the Wrathgar, I'm heard something about attacking turrets. I attacked the heaviest turret I could find, and it seemed to be invulnerable. Are the Wrathergar's heavy turrets made invulnerable to make sure it has anti-capship guns left for events near the end of that mission? If so, it did feel like one last moment of some puppeteer yanking my strings for their amusement.
 

Aginor

Vice Admiral
I think you will agree there's a difference between removing existing features from a game and simply not adding new features :).
I do. :) But look at the WC games: Origin DID add stuff.
- WC2 added refueling and torpedo bombers and controllable rear turrets and missions where you have to pick up stuff with the tractor beam
- Armada added strategy to the gameplay. It was one of the first games that combined strategy with action gameplay that way.
- Academy... ok, it was not very different I think. It just was without a story like the other ones but it was a cool simulator.
- WC3 changed the graphics style completely, added destroyable turrets, flying through capships, laying mines, killing missiles, the Leech missile, and the ability to choose weapons.
- WC4 added real mission choice, guns with ammo, and... probably more which I forgot, it was the least innovative part of the series IMHO
- WCP added things like a ship with a booster (the Wasp was awesome) even more weapons that worked differently, like the rocket pods (I loved them in the Tigershark), the swarmer pods in the Wasp, or the MIRV. Those new weapons changed gameplay quite a bit and added a lot of variety. Which I think was a good idea. It also added a cannon to destroy capship subsystems, capships that could not be killed by just shooting their hull from a random direction, and it had huge battles with more than 4 wingmen and lots of enemies (which were uncommon before although other WC games were already capable of doing that).
- WCA did things completely different, they dropped the story and added stuff floating around in space and so on. They even changed the perspective of the player from first to third person. (ok that wasn't Origin but people will flame me if I omit WCA just because I happen not to like it that much. It wasn't a bad game and it is part of the series)

So they did add stuff (and also dropped some stuff) between games, always trying new stuff while keeping the core gameplay parts like you said, tweaking and trying to polish them.

For me, it tends to be that I either play a game and complete it, or I don't play it at all, and it stays on my shelf, often shrinkwrapped. At some point, when I noticed I had about twenty unplayed games on my shelf, I simply stopped buying games. These days, I buy just a couple of games a year.
I do it similarly. Since I am one of the guys who actually buys his games I only buy them if I really want to play them. And normally I only buy them when I finished the game I was playing before. And when I have bought them I want to see everything (ok, almost everything) I paid for.


@Nomad Terror:
I know, but I stumbled upon the numbers a while back. With Steam the developers know whether people have played it or not, which is why those statistics exist.
But as Quarto said: It is quite normal that at least half of the people buying a game do not finish it.

@Dondragmer:
No, there isn't anything preventing mixed missions. I even think Saga did combine that once or twice. And what you described is exactly the thing I did in the missile strike mission for my mod. It was far too easy to shoot all those missiles down, so I added some fighters that would normally not be a real challenge just to give the turrets and wingmen and the player something to chew on while also keeping an eye on the missiles. That way I didn't need that much missiles.
And IIRC the Wrathgar's turrets are not invulnerable. They are just heavily armored with lots of hitpoints. That ship is huge and extremely dangerous. Destroying it flying a single fighter takes half an hour, even if it is a Longbow so you have four torpedoes and aftwerwards you fly into the hangar and blast the hell out of it.
But yes, big fights (not only in Saga) sometimes suffer from the "Battle of Endor" syndrome: The player does a lot of things but it doesn't matter too much because the fight is sooo big. In such missions you have to find a possibility to make the player immportant, and/or use story elements/sub-goals to make sure he at least doesn't feel useless. I think it worked nicely in Saga. Not perfect of course, no game is, but enough that I liked it (mind I didn't create DD missions since I was way too bad at FREDing back then, and I didn't play some missions either before release, so despite being on the team I often have more of a fan's view. And I think Tolwyn and Keldor did a great job with the missions, although of course some of them have their flaws.)
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
I do. :) But look at the WC games: Origin DID add stuff.
We're not really talking about Saga specifically now, I guess, but going into general game design theory - but that's ok :).

Anyway, yes, Origin did add stuff, I mentioned that myself. But the really interesting part - and this is something that even today, we only have some vague idea about - is how much stuff they chose not to add. Things that were left on the drawing board, or which were in fact implemented in some form, and then tossed aside because they weren't working quite as they should.

And of course, Origin took an extra-interesting step of making experimental side-projects (the history of WC games is not linear, there are branches!). I would argue that some of the side-projects were basically large-scale beta tests for controls and new gameplay mechanics. We see significantly revised control schemes (I mean primarily the mouse controls) in Privateer, and in Armada. In both cases, these experiments seemed to end on a "let's never speak of it again" note - WC3 in any case went back to the controls from WC1/2. Armada also tested a wildly different speed-manoeuvrability configuration, to see how players would enjoy high-speed combat. The players didn't, so Origin didn't ever return to the idea.

Things always get added, but not all things planned actually make it into a game. Sometimes, you just see that something you wanted is not turning out to be fun. You can try improving it until it is fun, or you can cut it. Either solution works (of course, sometimes something is beyond improvement), but you shouldn't leave it unfun just for the sake of variety.

- Academy... ok, it was not very different I think. It just was without a story like the other ones but it was a cool simulator.
Actually, it was Academy that added the leech missile - although it was not a ship-disabler, but a shield-killer. You could use it to destroy a Kilrathi capship without torpedoes.
 

Aginor

Vice Admiral
We're not really talking about Saga specifically now, I guess, but going into general game design theory - but that's ok :)
Yeah, I got carried away a bit. Par for the course I guess. :D

Actually, it was Academy that added the leech missile - although it was not a ship-disabler, but a shield-killer. You could use it to destroy a Kilrathi capship without torpedoes.
Right! I didn't play Academy much so I didn't remember that. But I somehow remember being very excited when Academy was released. I just don't remember why anymore.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Because it was your very own mission builder, that's why! You had unlimited WC2-style missions at your disposal!

...And then of course you realised that WC2 missions suck without a story, and the mission builder is pretty limited compared to what WC2's developers must have had ;).

If you think about it, it would have been pretty amazing had Academy offered the possibility of at least adding a talking heads briefing, not to mention of linking missions in a campaign. Technologically, probably not a big deal (though it would have required more work - these weren't the days when dev tools were designed with game players in mind) - but alas, these were the days of expensive floppy distribution, where cutting the package down by two or three floppies was a huge deal.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
So, I just finished the next mission - the last Vega mission, where you escort a convoy out of the system.

As usual, the thing that I remember the most are the capship missiles :p. I'm sorry to keep picking on these things, but you know - having just spent so much time complaining about how irritatingly difficult they are to destroy, I really couldn't help noticing how easy they were this time. Almost as if they were... you know, scripted ;).

(I do wonder sometimes - are these things so obvious to most people, or is it just because I make games for a living? At work, I usually obssess about trying to conceal the scripting as much as possible, but then people show me some big title like Gears of War, show me how painfully obvious the scripting there is, and I'm forced to conclude that for most people, scripting is either unimportant, or invisible)

Anyway, other than that, it was a nice mission. Fighting against big bombers was a nice change, and for the first time in I don't know how many missions, I came home severely damaged - not by a capship explosion, but by gunfire. Generally, I fly very aggressively and ignore a few missiles too many, so I either come home undamaged or I don't come home at all ;). But with Pakhtahns, things get more exciting.

The only other thing that struck me about this mission is again the credibility gaps in the dialogues. Either the pilots would have been told before takeoff about the importance of the convoy (probably along the lines of: this convoy is crucial, but you won't find out why), or they wouldn't have been told at all (i.e., they certainly wouldn't have heard about it in flight from the convoy leader). The pilots' reaction was a bit weird as well.

Oh yeah, and one last thing: "They glassed the surface. We expect casualties to be high." Understatement of the year :D. Very nice cutscene, though...
 

Aginor

Vice Admiral
(I do wonder sometimes - are these things so obvious to most people, or is it just because I make games for a living? At work, I usually obssess about trying to conceal the scripting as much as possible, but then people show me some big title like Gears of War, show me how painfully obvious the scripting there is, and I'm forced to conclude that for most people, scripting is either unimportant, or invisible)

I think it is mostly the latter one. Most people either don't mind scripts that look scripted, or they don't recognise them. If you play games for a long time you get similar skills in judging scripted behavior, but I'm pretty sure anyone who has used a mission editor in any game a few times knows how it works and notices it much faster. In a similar way like reading TVtropes too often can kill movies for you because you instantly recognize the tropes.
Fun fact: There are people who just get so immersed into a game or movie that they don't notice scripting and stuff at all. If you show them the mission in the mission editor afterwards they make long faces because they just didn't notice they were on rails all the time.
I'm also a Dungeons&Dragons game master, and I often compare it to scripting games. The players are not supposed to know you are directing them. But some will, regardless of how hard you try to conceal it. And of course it is easier to notice in a game becasue of the limited possibilities you have.

And yeah, those cutscenes are quite nice, Tolwyn (and I think Lars as well) did a great job there. But they were a lot of work for such short scenes. I remember talking about lighting, shockwaves, and mushroom clouds of antimatter explosions for hours on the forums, Tolwyn creating several versions and everyone commenting on how they looked and which one could be the best and why. It was worth it though, people seem to like them. :)
 

Lorien

Rear Admiral
So, I just finished the next mission - the last Vega mission, where you escort a convoy out of the system.

As usual, the thing that I remember the most are the capship missiles :p. I'm sorry to keep picking on these things, but you know - having just spent so much time complaining about how irritatingly difficult they are to destroy, I really couldn't help noticing how easy they were this time. Almost as if they were... you know, scripted ;).

(I do wonder sometimes - are these things so obvious to most people, or is it just because I make games for a living? At work, I usually obssess about trying to conceal the scripting as much as possible, but then people show me some big title like Gears of War, show me how painfully obvious the scripting there is, and I'm forced to conclude that for most people, scripting is either unimportant, or invisible)

There were a few instances of me thinking "Am I glad they scripted that" during the game, particularly revolving around the CapShip missiles.
 

Aginor

Vice Admiral
For me it is the other way round. Missile launchers are invisible ships in the engine that have only one weapon ( a capmiss launcher). They are spawned somewhere, assigned a target, and despawned after a period of time (normally after the time it takes to shoot one or two missiles).
If the missile launchers were placed further away the missiles wouldn't be invincible that often and you could shoot them down much more easily. So easy missile missions are not more scripted than the others, just a bit differently. Placing the launchers further away.
(Actually I'm not sure whether Keldor and Tolwyn did balance it that way, but it is the easiest way to to it.)

When I built my mod's mission that includes a long range missile strike against the Kilrathi by a Terran cruiser I noticed that laser turrets are able to shoot down those missiles fairly easy, you have to have a lot of missiles if you spawn them far away. Or you place the invisible launchers closer to the capships. That way the first few shots can't destroy them (and the player has less time to do it), thus increasing the chance that one or two missiles from a volley get through.
I decided to do it differently in my mod, I added some enemy fighters that keep the turrets busy. So the player actually has to do something despite the fact that not too many missiles are on their way.
 
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