What do you HATE (or at least dislike) in each Wing Commander game?

Mace

Vice Admiral
Yeah, but with the FMV, my guess is that using live actors cut into the budget. Can't pay Mark Hammill to be around for 1 month of shooting! I don't know the economics too well, but my guess is simple voice acting would have cost a lot less in 1993 then actually having to pay actors to show up and be filmed.
Mark Hamill was not that in demand in those days. Thse were the days he played the trickster in the flash live action series, had a minor role in Seaquest DSV, some b-movies and an episode of the outer limits.
 

Jdawg

Commodore
Yeah, but with the FMV, my guess is that using live actors cut into the budget. Can't pay Mark Hammill to be around for 1 month of shooting! I don't know the economics too well, but my guess is simple voice acting would have cost a lot less in 1993 then actually having to pay actors to show up and be filmed.

I think we will have to agree to disagree regarding the acting/story in WC3 vs. WC4. Oh, and one last thing...I remember several of my friends simply turned on the invincible setting in WC4 in order to get to the next FMV sequence. With WC3 they didn't do that. Make of that what you will.
Mark Hamill was not commanding that much money. those games I pointed out also featured Mark Hamill in them too. Mark Hamill is the bad guy in Full Throttle and Mark Hamill is a detective in Gabriel Knight.

I don't know how you can give such a pass to the Wing Commander 3 writing when you yourself admitted that flash was kind of a useless character after what disk 2 and as i pointed out valquero really brought nothing to the story, you could have wrote him off and nobody would have ever known the difference. plus all the fanfiction here of why Hobbes defected was a lot better than what actually showed up in the game.
 
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Jdawg

Commodore
I don't think it's controversial to say WC3 wins hands down in the gameplay department. WC4 was all about its FMV. The gameplay could have done with a lot more play testing and rebalancing.

It's a shame really because I think WC4 has better variety in its mission design. It's not always just hit your nav points or blow everything up. They do a good job of throwing in gimmicks to keep things interesting throughout and it gives you a good feeling of fighting a guerilla war against a vastly superior opponent. I could just never fully enjoy it because I have to choose between the game being either too easy or too frustrating.

Full disclosure I sometimes still turn on invincibility for the early missile turret ground mission because to hell with that. 🤣
I never had a problem beating the game on veteran difficulty but like I said my biggest problem was gameplay with the over-reliance on missiles. One issue a lot of people had with wc4 was the lack of cockpits, i actually like being able to see as much of the screen as possible, so it didnt bother personally.

that's another good point that you brought up about the Guerrilla force aspect of it. it was nice not going up against another alien race, hell bent on the destruction of humans. We had to wait one more game for that to happen. Lol. It's also one reason I respect the expansions of wing Commander 2 so much where the game switches to a pirate faction taking over the base, such a nice change of pace.

It's also one of the reasons speaking of another sci-fi game that Mass Effect never got over, completely with me. The Reapers plot was inherently boring because once again it's the same plot we've seen a thousand times, aka destruction of the universe. The Krogans versus the salerians, B storyline in mass effect was way more interesting than the main plot in that series. which is never a good thing
 
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MannerOfLoaf

Spaceman
I never had a problem beating the game on veteran difficulty but like I said my biggest problem was gameplay with the over-reliance on missiles. One issue a lot of people had with wc4 was the lack of cockpits, i actually like being able to see as much of the screen as possible, so it didnt bother personally.

that's another good point that you brought up about the Guerrilla force aspect of it. it was nice not going up against another alien race, hell bent on the destruction of humans. We had to wait one more game for that to happen. Lol. It's also one reason I respect the expansions of wing Commander 2 so much where the game switches to a pirate faction taking over the base, such a nice change of pace.

It's also one of the reasons speaking of another sci-fi game that Mass Effect never got over, completely with me. The Reapers plot was inherently boring because once again it's the same plot we've seen a thousand times, aka destruction of the universe. The Krogans versus the salerians, B storyline in mass effect was way more interesting than the main plot in that series. which is never a good thing
It doesn't help that ME was getting fed thru the standard Bioware story structure (Intro -> Hub w/4choices that must all be completed and can be done in any order -> Conclusion), which was just absolute death for trying to execute a compelling main plot. The B-stuff wasn't under that restriction and could actually have some fun little stories and such.

That same design over and over plus obnoxious party management mechanics like the influence system starting with Knights of the Old Republic 2 really put me off RPGs for awhile.
 

Jdawg

Commodore
It doesn't help that ME was getting fed thru the standard Bioware story structure (Intro -> Hub w/4choices that must all be completed and can be done in any order -> Conclusion), which was just absolute death for trying to execute a compelling main plot. The B-stuff wasn't under that restriction and could actually have some fun little stories and such.

That same design over and over plus obnoxious party management mechanics like the influence system starting with Knights of the Old Republic 2 really put me off RPGs for awhile.
Also didn't help that the illusion of choice was broken right at the start of Mass Effect 2, when after I save the council in the first game they still treated me like I was an idiot even though they saw a Reaper right outside the window. The game turned into a Telltale Game for me right then and there aka a game where there's only an illusion of actual choice and consequence but the actual story still funnels through a strict path, which is not a good thing to me. Minor spoiler alert I can't tell you how my mad i was that I went through all the trouble of saving wrex to only never have him in my party again after me1, because some other players maybe did not save him.

A more modern game with choice that was executed pretty well was The Witcher 2. when at the end of chapter 1 depending on who you side with chapter 2 is completely different and you have different main quest, side quest and home bases. I played through that section twice to see everything and I got to give CD Project red huge Kudos on that
 
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drakopedia

Petty Officer
WC1:
1. Random asteroid collisions, sometimes it feels that an asteroid is "hunting" you.

SM1:
1. Espionage missions would add to the game. Maybe setting up a secret automated listening post.

SM2:
1. The strictly linear plot of SM1 doesn't make sense here. In SM1 you are behind enemy lines and thus there are really few alternatives with odds being against you (e.g. incorrect maps, no support, everyone being tense), so you can't fail. In SM2 despite overwhelming odds you are in Confederation space -even a newly joined one.

WC2:
1. Very depressing story - same goes for SO1 and SO2.
2. Feels as if your victories do not really count (in sharp contrast to the WC1 cutscenes) although you are in a larger and more powerful carrier group, which probably is sent to decisive battles.
3. Blair looks like he is in his 50s and he is always very grumpy (granted, life is not easy when everyone thinks you are a traitor).
4. Seems like inadvertedly a second, non-playable protagonist is created --you guessed it, hey Admiral Tolwyn, Tolwyn, Tol. Even at this thread people talk more about Tolwyn than Blair ;-)
5. I don't understand why the Confederation replaced Hornets with Epees.
6. The graphics, mainly for ships, are based on colder shades. The warm ones of WC1 added value to gameplay and immersion.
7. Stingray.
8. Not cool wingmen like WC1. Most of them gave a sense of being prima donnas or divas.

WC3:
1. Somehow I always had the impression that Eisen is manipulating and hiding things from Blair even though they are supposed to work closely and trust each other.
2. Blair has clearly a relaxed command style (that's totally fine) but its seems everyone is taking advantage of it for their own purposes.
3. The fact that Maniac is in a certain sense your only true friend as at least he lets you know where he stands, even for the wrong reasons.
4. Tolwyn is a much different person (probably because of the course of the war, but still he makes you wonder whether he was like this all along).
5. Victory doesn't have Dekker to command her marines :)
6. You can see the romance with either Rachel or Flint coming from very early in the game.
7. Not cool wingmen like WC1.

WC4:
1. Feels like a typical action movie from the mid 90s. All the necessary tropes are here: A secret organization (check) with a genocidal goal (check) which has a superweapon* (check) as well as inside information and guidance (check). Playing Mark Dacascos (check), Robert Rusler (check), Chris Mulkay (check), and 90s hair styles (Barbara Miles, Dr. Tuesday Brody -check). So this makes it somewhat less classic and timeless than the preceding games.

* Probably reflecting the fear of the 90s of what will happen with the nukes of the former USSR.

2. That feeling that Eisen is hiding something is confirmed. Why did he choose Maniac over Blair to fly his shuttle? When did Eisen and Maniac become close friends? Maniac seems to know what is going on --and he didn't let Blair know. And what kind of excuse says Eisen that Blair had to decide for himself? Even worse Vagabond essentially decides during the pursuit and Blair follows along. Also if Eisen is the "Navy's boy with a *few* friends in high places" why is he commanding the Victory?
3. The missions if Blair chooses not to defect the first time aren't that interesting (e.g. a first "accidental" clash with Seether).
4. The fission cannon.
5. Catscratch.
6. Not coo .. do I have to say it again? :)

Privateer + RF:
I find nothing wrong, they are close to the spirit of WC1.

Privateer 2:
1. Just not sure how it fits with the general WC universe.

These being said, I am a really big fan of the games.
 

MannerOfLoaf

Spaceman
Also didn't help that the illusion of choice was broken right at the start of Mass Effect 2, when after I save the council in the first game they still treated me like I was an idiot even though they saw a Reaper right outside the window. The game turned into a Telltale Game for me right then and there aka a game where there's only an illusion of actual choice and consequence but the actual story still funnels through a strict path, which is not a good thing to me. Minor spoiler alert I can't tell you how my mad i was that I went through all the trouble of saving wrex to only never have him in my party again after me1, because some other players maybe did not save him.

A more modern game with choice that was executed pretty well was The Witcher 2. when at the end of chapter 1 depending on who you side with chapter 2 is completely different and you have different main quest, side quest and home bases. I played through that section twice to see everything and I got to give CD Project red huge Kudos on that
Yep, I got that game off GOG last year - now I just need the time to start a new rpg :D
 

FekLeyrTarg

Rear Admiral
I personally disagree with many of the opinions regarding Maniac in Prophecy.

While in WC4 he did show a bit of maturity, he didn't really develop much further.
He kept bragging how awesome he is, getting into trouble with Col. Dekker and endangering Catscratch in the process.

Considering this, I think he's actually within character in Prophecy.

And it's not unrealistic either.
I've seen a lot of people in my life, especially narcissists, who barely develop at all even in decades.
So Maniac staying the bragging fool even in Prophecy is totally believable in my opinion.
 

DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
I think people hate on wc4 missiles so much is tied to more to the gameplay (though a 50% instakill chance may be a bit much though honestly much lower than real areal combat). By that I mean that as soon as a missile is fired at you, you get the lock warning but beyond that your only real defense is to pick a random direction, pull hard, and start dumping decoys. You don't know if you're turning into the missiles or not. If you had additional instrumentation to help plan your defense, people probably wouldn't hate it as much. Also people got used to being able to tank missiles in 3.

Prophecy has similarly overpowered missiles like the swarmer AB. The enhanced IRs are also a bit op but on the whole you get tons of missiles and are encouraged to use them. Don't get me started on SO, where the missiles and guns get jacked all out of balance.
 

drakopedia

Petty Officer
I tend to agree that Maniac didn't really mature much in WC4, he just adapted to the harsher environment of Border Worlds and Intrepid but still remaining pretty much Maniac-esque to the core. To be honest though, after WC2 I didn't really like him, he was more one-dimensional like the movie or even the books Maniac. I always really wondered why Blair tolerates him in WC3/4.
 

Jdawg

Commodore
While he is still a braggart in wing Commander four, he's more playful about it and not a bully like he is in Wing Commander 3 or in Prophecy. He is still maniac in Wing Commander 4 just a slightly more mature version.
 
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drakopedia

Petty Officer
[...] He is still maniac in Wing Commander 4 just a slightly more mature version.
The way he influences Catscratch shows otherwise I believe, but he by being Maniac all along just can't understand the mentality of a rookie. Moreover, I cannot help but wonder whether Maniac may be silently questioning that this time he is really on the right side
 

YCDTD

Commodore
Prophecy has similarly overpowered missiles like the swarmer AB. The enhanced IRs are also a bit op but on the whole you get tons of missiles and are encouraged to use them.
This is a good thing. From a game design perspective, I would not want the player to act in an unrealistic manner (conserving missiles - like you do in WC3).
 

Spertallica

Rear Admiral
  1. WC1- Asteroid Fields spawning asteroid fields in front of you no matter which way you turned, with little regard to how fast you were going

  2. WC2- Thrakhath's flagship looked awesome..... but you never get to blow it up (or better yet, watch it get phase transit cannoned)

  3. WC3- I loved WC3- but wow, did I hate the complete aesthetic shift in this game from WC2; it drove me nuts that none of the in game ships carried over from WC2, and the cool, 50's tailfin retro inspired design of the Concordia was swapped out for... a hanger with engines strapped on it. (and yes, I get that was a major plot point of WC3, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder) A close second was not being able to save the Behemoth. I replayed that ambush mission so many times, and it would have been really cool if there was an alternate "winning" arc involving 500,000,000 gigawatts lancing into Kilrah

  4. WC4- reusing the Victory model for the Lex/Princeton was a mistake. Would have been wayyyyyy cooler had they actually used a Confederation class dreadnaught or the Armada heavy carrier for the Lexington. Also, Melek looks messed up in this one.

  5. WC5- The way the engine was set up, capships really didn't fight each other in engine; and that was a big draw for me in WC 2 and 3. (Tip of the hat to the Standoff Team for solving that problem in Vision). Also, a lot of the fun "gimmicks" from WC 4 were gone (stealth, flashpak, etc.). Close second- bugs were nowhere near as compelling of an enemy as the Kilrathi, and I realize they were set up to be mysterious; but I think some of the most compelling scenes in WC3 and 4 were from the bad guys' perspective, which just doesn't work when you are trying to keep your enemy a mystery.

  6. Secret Ops- I hated how we moved from quasi "hard" sci fi weapons like neutron guns and mass drivers to.... dust cannons or cloudburst guns. Also, the crew interaction and narrative cutscenes are solely missed.
 
Regarding the comments about Maniac, I remember that he matures a bit during prophecy, especially after losing BW pilots under his command. If I remember correctly, he also generally follows orders in combat, which I found odd

WC4- reusing the Victory model for the Lex/Princeton was a mistake. Would have been wayyyyyy cooler had they actually used a Confederation class dreadnaught or the Armada heavy carrier for the Lexington. Also, Melek looks messed up in this one.

It sucks that they couldn't get Tim Curry again.
 
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