12/02/2014

Of Bombers and Deathmatches

I'm not sure if you've noticed, but even though every time the subject of Galactic Starfighter comes up I make sure to emphasise that I'm not very keen on it and how very bad I am at the game in terms of skill... I keep playing it. I don't invest massive amounts of time in it, mind you, but still. I only participate in space PvP on my main, and only often enough to complete the weekly mission (meaning I play about four to seven matches a week), but why do it at all if I'm not a fan of space? To be honest I'm not sure, but I suspect that a variety of reasons play into it:

1) People have told me in the past that I seem to have a masochistic streak.

2) As terrible as I am at flying my ship and shooting things, I continue to be amazed by how many people there are who are even worse at this game than I am. The other day I got into a deathmatch where my team only got a total of three kills and pretty much ended up being farmed at the spawn point. Of the three kills we got, one was made by me, another was assisted by me, and I got two medals. Nobody else on the entire team even managed to acquire a single medal. This blows my mind, but at the same time it also gives me hope that maybe I can be better than that. Just a little. It makes me want to keep challenging myself to improve my performance. We'll see how long that'll last.


The fact that I got an achievement for losing that game just made it all the funnier.

3) Since I really like SWTOR and want it to do well, I at least try to see the bright side to all of its aspects; so I'm trying to find some fun in GSF even if a large part of me keeps telling me that it's really not my cup of tea and that I should just let it be. We'll see how long that'll last as well.

Anyway, after that little ramble I wanted to talk a bit about the 2.6 additions to Galactic Starfighter: a new gameplay mode: team deathmatch, and a new ship type: the bomber.

As far as team deathmatch goes, I have exactly one thing to say about it: it's pretty boring. I was a bit disappointed that the deathmatches seem to take place on maps very similar to the ones for the domination games, but the real problem from my point of view is that you can tell how it's going to end pretty much after one minute, and then you just have to sit through another ten minutes or so of the winner-to-be grinding the loser-to-be into the dirt over and over again.

To be honest, I believe that this is an inherent problem in any kind of PvP that has no other objective than to kill the enemy. If you have to balance pure PvP skill with an eye for strategy and teamwork to achieve objectives, this creates interesting scenarios where your ability to kill the enemy matters but isn't the only way to victory. If it's only about killing your opponent on the other hand, the thrill is usually very short-lived as match-ups are rarely balanced and one side tends to gain the upper hand very quickly. Arenas suffer from this as well, but at least they don't last long. If your enemies grind you into paste within a minute in an arena, at least you only have to do it one more time to prove that it wasn't a fluke and then you can go home. In Starfighter's team deathmatch on the other hand, no matter how hopelessly you're losing, you'll keep respawning until the enemy has scored fifty points (or the timer runs out), which means that on average every member of your team has to die four or five times, which is pretty tedious.

As for the bomber... I had no problem getting one as I had enough fleet requisition saved up to buy one right away, though I wasn't sure which of the two options to pick as I felt like I didn't really know much about the advantages or disadvantages of either of their components. In the end I went for the one that drops turrets and repair drones. I had pretty high hopes for this ship, as it sounded like it would support a slower sort of gameplay, which would make it ideal for less twitch-inclined players like me.

After trying it in a few fights... I'm not sure what to think of it to be honest. I can tell that a bomber that is left to its own devices to guard/support a specific area can be quite powerful, laying more and more mines/turrets/whatevers as time goes on. I honestly find it a bit too slow though, not to say boring. Even when you do well, it's not particularly inspiring to get messages about your turrets killing things that might not even be in your sight.

Also, the special turret/drone/mine-laying abilities all seem to have pretty long cooldowns, the range on the main weapons is short, and the ship is slow, meaning that in most cases I'd arrive to the battle late, prop down a turret and a healing drone, and then die before the cooldown on my signature abilities was up again while enemies danced around me and shot me from outside my regular weapon range. There was one particularly comical instance of this where the game actually flagged me as non-participating while I was frantically flying in circles, trying to actually get in range to hit something, anything at all. This got a bit better once I got to upgrade my ship a little though.

I'll probably experiment with it some more, but for now I've actually gained a whole new appreciation of my gunship and the ability to actually kill things occasionally...

5 comments :

  1. Here's the question I want answered: when you fly your gunship, are you yelling "pew pew pew" a lot?

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    1. No, I'm yelling: "Hold still already!"

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    2. Okay, I say that too, but typically when I'm on my Rogue trying to backstab someone. ;-)

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  2. Thanks for this post. I've been considering giving gsf a try to help level a toon or two and you provided a laugh along with the encouragement. What ship(s) do you enjoy most now that you've had some req points to spend?

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    1. I still like the gunship best because I enjoy the sniping. I'm not particularly good at it, but since it allows me to stay stationary and take some time to aim, it's still a better fit for me than any of the others. I'm starting to enjoy the bomber too, in domination games at least, cruising around an objective and popping out turrets and drones on cooldown. Scout and strike fighter just require way more dogfighting skill than I'll ever have.

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