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berryjon
May 30, 2011

I have an invasion to go to.



What is Homeworld: Cataclysm?

Cataclysm is a standalone expansion for the classic game, Homeworld. It builds upon the story of the former Kushani Exiles (now calling themselves the Hiigarans), or specifically the Kiith Somtaaw as they make their living in a dangerous Galaxy.

Like Homeworld, this game is a 3D Real-Time Strategy Game, centred around your mobile Command Ship, the Kuun-Lan, and the fleet you build over the course of the game to deal with the threats you encounter.

It also has the distinction of not being made by Relic, meaning that it received poor reception when compared to the other two games.

So is it any good?

I'll be honest. Cataclysm is flawed. The difficulty curve of the game is fairly poorly planned out, and the missions can drag on far too long, even when abusing the x8 Speed function. There aren't as many ship designs when compared to Homeworld, and their introductions are not well spaced, which leaves long stretches where your fleet is essentially the same, no matter what.

On the other hand, the voice acting in this game is a massive improvement, and the story is solid, if a little predictable.

I hear there's an HD remake!

Actually, no. Homeworld and Homeworld 2 are getting remastered, but a lot of the development files are gone for Cataclysm. That means that any HD remake would have to rebuild the game from scratch, an expensive proposition, and may be wholly dependent on the success of Gearboxes' HD work on Homeworlds 1 and 2.

So, about the LP?

Like my previous LP, this one will be a subtitled VLP. While the ambient music is not up to par, it is nothing to reject outright by talking over it. Unlike the previous game, there is only one Player fleet, with the other fleet being explicitly the enemy forces. You can still play them in Multiplayer, but I will save those skirmishes for later. NO SPOILERS PLEASE.

For other information, the Homeworld Cataclysm Manual is available for free download. It's an amazing document with so much information that gives life to everything that has lead up to this game. You should read it before watching the LP, if you can.

Videos!


Stuff from the Thread:

An... interpretation of the inciting event in Mission 04.

berryjon fucked around with this message at Apr 20, 2015 around 18:25

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Dabir
Nov 10, 2012


The mission 1 video seems to be private.

berryjon
May 30, 2011

I have an invasion to go to.

Dabir posted:

The mission 1 video seems to be private.

Fixed.

Mission 2 wasn't Private though.

Rabidredneck
Oct 30, 2010

Not pleasant when angered.

Can you adjust the sound a little? The music in video 1 was drowning out some dialogue.

Can't wait for the plot to kick in, this is an awesome expansion pack.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Yeah, that booming bass was a bit much as far as audio balance goes.

I'm also pretty sure that the intro with the Taiidani ships flying through the asteroids was designed to deliberately call back to the first Homeworld in as blatant a manner as possible. It's basically saying "Remember when it was bandits and pirates doing this? That's what the Taiidani are reduced to now."

berryjon
May 30, 2011

I have an invasion to go to.

Future missions do get the audio sorted out.

But I will lay part of the blame for this on the game itself. The internal audio balance gets messed up on occasion, and the music will get, well, bombastic. We lose about a line and a half of dialogue in mission 5 due to it, but I will keep that in mind for future recordings.

Dabir
Nov 10, 2012


It's not just that the voice acting's better in this game, it's so much more varied. Each ship's individual voice and personality, each one backed up by a paragraph or two of backstory in the manual. Tell a processor to attack something sometime, they're decently-armed considering their role and they're just so earnest about it.

Rick_Hunter
Jan 5, 2004

My guys are still fighting the hard fight!
(weapons, shields and drones are still online!)


berryjon posted:

Future missions do get the audio sorted out.

But I will lay part of the blame for this on the game itself. The internal audio balance gets messed up on occasion, and the music will get, well, bombastic. We lose about a line and a half of dialogue in mission 5 due to it, but I will keep that in mind for future recordings.

Was this the same reason why all the post/pre mission cutscenes in Homeworld had 50% more bass than the actual mission audio?

Polaron
Oct 13, 2010

The Oncoming Storm


I love that one of the ships in the post-battle wreckage at the end of mission 1 is the Sulaco shuttle from Alien. I also like that the Somtaaw icon in the upper left corner that pops up whenever the Kuun-Lan's captain is talking uses the fleet colors you've picked.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Dabir posted:

It's not just that the voice acting's better in this game, it's so much more varied. Each ship's individual voice and personality, each one backed up by a paragraph or two of backstory in the manual. Tell a processor to attack something sometime, they're decently-armed considering their role and they're just so earnest about it.

I love how absolutely sullen your harvesters sound in this game. "Yeah yeah, harvesting, whatever."

Slaan
Mar 16, 2009

I GAIN POWER FROM EATING PEOPLE, JUST ASSUME I'M ALWAYS VOTING TO EAT PEOPLE



Nap Ghost

The first game's fleet command and intelligence voices were better, but the ship designs and unit voice acting are much better than the dry repetition of the first game. They feel much more alive; I particularly like the Scout's voice acting.

Also, gently caress those Somtaaw haters. Nabaal et al suck!

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Y'know what, I'm going to take the controversial stance that Cataclysm's fleet command voices aren't actually inferior to HW1's and say that they're easily just as good. The first Homeworld's voice acting on the whole was very sterile. It had its moments to be sure, and I think that "dryness" could be argued to be appropriate for the very somber tone of the game, but I also think that it gets talked up a bit too much by fans of the game when it's largely just sort of there.

Polaron
Oct 13, 2010

The Oncoming Storm


Kai Tave posted:

Y'know what, I'm going to take the controversial stance that Cataclysm's fleet command voices aren't actually inferior to HW1's and say that they're easily just as good. The first Homeworld's voice acting on the whole was very sterile. It had its moments to be sure, and I think that "dryness" could be argued to be appropriate for the very somber tone of the game, but I also think that it gets talked up a bit too much by fans of the game when it's largely just sort of there.

Plus, Fleet Command in this game has some definite moments to shine.

Gothsheep
Apr 22, 2010


I always thought it was neat how the Acolytes extend their two side wing-things whenever they enter combat. It's a neat little touch.

Lateinshowing
Oct 10, 2012


Fun Shoe

I seriously love the creative thought put into... well, EVERYTHING about this. And we've only scratched the surface it seems. All the names, designs, the backstory.... feels like we don't get that level of detail anymore, or more specifically the detail is relegated elsewhere (usually more pretty graphics). Can't wait to see more of this.

Kibayasu
Mar 28, 2010



Kai Tave posted:

Y'know what, I'm going to take the controversial stance that Cataclysm's fleet command voices aren't actually inferior to HW1's and say that they're easily just as good. The first Homeworld's voice acting on the whole was very sterile. It had its moments to be sure, and I think that "dryness" could be argued to be appropriate for the very somber tone of the game, but I also think that it gets talked up a bit too much by fans of the game when it's largely just sort of there.

Since when was this a controversial opinion? I guess I've just always talked about HW:C with people with good taste because I've never heard anyone say that Command/Intelligence were worse in Cataclysm.

berryjon
May 30, 2011

I have an invasion to go to.

Rick_Hunter posted:

Was this the same reason why all the post/pre mission cutscenes in Homeworld had 50% more bass than the actual mission audio?

Effectively, yes. The prerendered scenes have their own audio, independent of the in-game audio.

Polaron posted:

Plus, Fleet Command in this game has some definite moments to shine.

I named this thread the way it is for a reason.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Doctor Rope

I strongly suspect, despite your assertions, this LP will in fact be righteous.

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

Kibayasu posted:

Since when was this a controversial opinion? I guess I've just always talked about HW:C with people with good taste because I've never heard anyone say that Command/Intelligence were worse in Cataclysm.

I've rarely heard anyone making GBS threads on Cataclysm, but it usually seems to get slotted into a general position of "not quite as good as Homeworld...but way better than Homeworld 2 of course." A lot of people do dog its plot for being too "sci-fi derivative" compared to HW1's (which I'm not going to spoil, it'll become apparent soon enough) but ehhhh, on the whole I actually think that Cataclysm is, in many ways, an improvement over HW1. From little things like the voice acting to being able to direct attacks from the sensor map to the various ships and upgrades feeling more creative and distinct, I feel like it kind of gets unfairly relegated to "little brother" status not because it's bad but because the first Homeworld is sort of enshrined as a classic (which, to be fair, it deserves to be).

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012




I just finished reading the instruction manual. Apparently Somtaaw has figured out a way to defy the laws of thermodynamics because their Ion inducers are "cooled by the cold vacuum of space".

I believe I audibly groaned when I read that.

Neurion
Jun 3, 2013

The musical fruit
The more you eat
The more you hoot


Oh man, it's been a long time since I'd played Cataclysm, and I knew I remembered it fondly for a reason All the little quality-of-life improvements are wonderful. Issuing commands from the Sensors Manager, the time acceleration, the unique voices for all the units, hell I think I might even love the music a little more than Homeworld's. Pilot View is also loving awesome.

I'll reinforce what everyone's said about Fleet Command and the Tactical Officer. I love their voice work. Tactical actually makes me think of a kinder, more competent Janeway.

I had forgotten about the Support Frigate ambush in Mission 2, but I knew something screwy was up from how fast those frigates moved, and by the horizontally paired exhaust trails coming out of what should've been a single vertical engine!

And that accent on the Somtaaw Kiith-Sa, I love it!

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Doctor Rope

I'm also really glad to see we're a mining ship not originally intended for combat. I love that element of the original Homeworld; if the Taiidan had left them alone the Hiigarans would probably have just gone home. The Mothership was intended for exploration and a long colonial voyage, not a war. So starting as a mining ship that, while it's ready to defend itself, is mostly for building poo poo and then jury-rigging it into the center of a combat fleet (which I'm certain will end up happening) is really in the right spirit of things.

Neurion
Jun 3, 2013

The musical fruit
The more you eat
The more you hoot


Night10194 posted:

I'm also really glad to see we're a mining ship not originally intended for combat. I love that element of the original Homeworld; if the Taiidan had left them alone the Hiigarans would probably have just gone home. The Mothership was intended for exploration and a long colonial voyage, not a war. So starting as a mining ship that, while it's ready to defend itself, is mostly for building poo poo and then jury-rigging it into the center of a combat fleet (which I'm certain will end up happening) is really in the right spirit of things.

That's another thing HW and HW:C have over 2. In Homeworld 2 it's WAR right out of the gate, and it doesn't really draw you in. It feels like there's less story progression in 2 and more just fighting in a bunch of different places to pick up macguffins.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Doctor Rope

It's hard to explain, but one of the reasons the Hiigarans make such compelling protagonists is that they pretty much don't start fights. Someone else is always the aggressor, and for the most part in HW1, even after the death of Karak, they still mostly just wanted to escape and go home. Their enemies pursue them and fight them, and while the Hiigarans don't seem to like to start fights, they're really good at finishing them. I like that a lot in a hero.

nine-gear crow
Aug 10, 2013

red bird

Neurion posted:

That's another thing HW and HW:C have over 2. In Homeworld 2 it's WAR right out of the gate, and it doesn't really draw you in. It feels like there's less story progression in 2 and more just fighting in a bunch of different places to pick up macguffins.

Homeworld 2 felt like it was all about mythology over 1 and Cataclsym which were all about story. Relic had built this giant universe for themselves for Dust Wars, but when that collapsed they just couldn't manage to pare things back enough to craft a tighter story.

I just want to say that I really love the intro to Cataclysm. It feels so much more cinematic than anything in HW1 or 2. It's just a shame that the music is so compressed and fuzzy. I bet the master track sounded amazing.

You also get the sense of what a bunch of petulant space dicks the Taiidan are. At the end of HW1, the Angel Moon is all white and pristine, and then wen we see it at the start of Cataclysm, it's all charred and bombed to hell. What the gently caress guys?

nine-gear crow fucked around with this message at Jan 2, 2015 around 06:41

ZeeToo
Feb 20, 2008

I'm a kitty!


Ah, Cataclysm. I kind of like how the game portrays carriers in the story, here. A carrier isn't just another ship. Every carrier is a powerful, self-sufficient forward base.

They kind of go overboard at some moments, though. Yeah, sure, Kiith Nabaal, you go ahead and look down on the Kuun-Lan from your... carrier. The Kuun-Lan isn't rather superior to a carrier in capabilities or anything.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Kai Tave posted:

I've rarely heard anyone making GBS threads on Cataclysm, but it usually seems to get slotted into a general position of "not quite as good as Homeworld...but way better than Homeworld 2 of course." A lot of people do dog its plot for being too "sci-fi derivative" compared to HW1's (which I'm not going to spoil, it'll become apparent soon enough) but ehhhh, on the whole I actually think that Cataclysm is, in many ways, an improvement over HW1. From little things like the voice acting to being able to direct attacks from the sensor map to the various ships and upgrades feeling more creative and distinct, I feel like it kind of gets unfairly relegated to "little brother" status not because it's bad but because the first Homeworld is sort of enshrined as a classic (which, to be fair, it deserves to be).

Well, it's like Deus Ex and its "sequel? What sequel?". That non existent game isn't bad by itself, but it is the sequel to one of the highest ratest games of all time. And it doesn't really fill the shoes it set out to fill.

Krumbsthumbs
Oct 23, 2010

2nd Place.
1st Loser.


I think I knew this game was going to be amazing when I noticed how well armed the mothership is in this. Those six guns have some serious range, and they provide some substantial firepower if a dogfight is happening around the Kuun-Lan, which is all the goddamn time.

Jumping onboard for the voice acting lauding as well. Homeworld had some pretty hefty punches delivered by S'jet, but Cataclysm is no joke.

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.


Grimey Drawer

Kuun-Lan is a great mothership. They managed to hit the nail on the head here and do the whole "we're forced to redesign and experiment the place we loving live in on the run" bit much better than the original.
This is by far my favorite HW game in just about every regard; as great as the first one was with style and story, it just isn't too much fun to play. Cataclysm is still a blast.

berryjon
May 30, 2011

I have an invasion to go to.

Krumbsthumbs posted:

I think I knew this game was going to be amazing when I noticed how well armed the mothership is in this. Those six guns have some serious range, and they provide some substantial firepower if a dogfight is happening around the Kuun-Lan, which is all the goddamn time.

You could kill the Mothership in HW1 with a flight of 15 bombers, and do it with impunity.

Try that sort of stunt in HWC, and the Kuun-Lan will go and promptly win the battle while taking negligible damage.

And then those guns get upgraded.

FredMSloniker
Jan 2, 2008

Why, yes, I do like Kirby games.


berryjon posted:

And no, I have no clue what caused my Acolytes to spaz out there for.

Looking at the video, it looks like your harvesting operation came under attack from a small group of Interceptors. The Acolytes engaged and destroyed them at octuple speed.

Incidentally, thinking of quality-of-life improvements, did you mention that you can now give orders while paused? Because you can now give orders while paused. And since you can also select units and give orders from the sensors manager, if you need to you can pause the game, select exactly the units you want, give them the orders you want, then unpause.

berryjon posted:

But in general, anything I can salvage, while not counting against my SU, will be less effective than home-built ships.

I'm pretty sure salvage in this game does count against your SU, which is one reason it's a lot less useful than it was in Homeworld. (The second reason you mention in that sentence, and the third will come up later.) At least, I remember having to retire a chunk of my fleet to make room for mandatory salvage in a later mission.

You also neglected to mention why the Processor's repair beam upgrade is great: the beams operate automatically. You don't have to direct it to repair ships.

One last complaint. (Er. I should say at some point that I'm enjoying the LP, shouldn't I? ) Your final video encode is still pretty bad. Here's a random still from it. Note how hard the text is to read:



660 kbps video isn't a lot, even for 640x480. Could you maybe bump it up a bit? 1500 would probably be plenty.

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



Something that hasn't been noted yet is that all the Somtaaw units are designed to be as multipurpose as possible.

The Acolyte, for example, transforms into your "Corvette" (it's more of a superheavy fighter), and can be upgraded to fill even more roles. The Processor is capable of repairing nearby vessels and can defend itself and its from a reasonably-sized attack wing. The heavier ships will take this principle and run with it to amazing places.

MJ12 fucked around with this message at Jan 2, 2015 around 09:26

Kai Tave
Jul 2, 2012


Fallen Rib

JcDent posted:

Well, it's like Deus Ex and its "sequel? What sequel?". That non existent game isn't bad by itself, but it is the sequel to one of the highest ratest games of all time. And it doesn't really fill the shoes it set out to fill.

Well are we talking Invisible War or Human Revolution? Because I think even the most generous assessment would be hard-pressed to argue that Invisible War is actually on par with the first Deus Ex the same way Cataclysm is with Homeworld, while Human Revolution actually received many favorable comparisons to the original (which in some respects it imitated too slavishly). Invisible War may not be the worst game ever but it's not on HW: Catalyst's level in terms of being a good sequel.

Jet Jaguar
Feb 12, 2006

Don't touch my bags if you please, Mr. Customs Man.



Biscuit Hider

"Hey, we totally saved your bacon back there. Mind helping us out?"

"Nah, we have poo poo to do. Later, taters!" *warps out*

The other Kiith can be such DICKS.

berryjon
May 30, 2011

I have an invasion to go to.

FredMSloniker posted:



660 kbps video isn't a lot, even for 640x480. Could you maybe bump it up a bit? 1500 would probably be plenty.

That's weird. It should have been encoded at 1600kbps actually.

You know what? Let me make another encoding run with my raw files, and see what comes of that. I'll leave my computer on over night to do that, and see what's up in the morning.

EDIT:

Oh Christ on his CROSS!

My loving subtitles were forcing the loving video to resize from 800x600 to 640x480.

Pardon me while I rage for a few minutes, then I'll get reprocess everything.

Let this be a lesson to all you LPers out there - KEEP YOUR RAW FILES.


MJ12 posted:

The Acolyte, for example, transforms into your "Corvette" (it's more of a superheavy fighter), and can be upgraded with <SPOILERS>

We don't have those yet. Please refrain from spoilers.

berryjon fucked around with this message at Jan 2, 2015 around 08:26

MJ12
Apr 8, 2009



berryjon posted:

We don't have those yet. Please refrain from spoilers.

I didn't think those counted as a spoiler since it wasn't plot related but I fixed the post for you.

Poil
Mar 17, 2007



I swear the recon ships are using the same voice actress as the Lunar Corporation units in Earth 2150.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Listen: we get it, you don't like the thing and that's okay. Use more creative descriptors instead of using slurs. Be considerate. Spice up your writing and also stop being a gigantic ass.


I love Kiith Somtaaw, and anyone who hates on Cataclysm can go suck a big fat Bushan-Re. I honestly liked it a lot more than the original, since it felt like a way more personal story. Sure, HW1 has its moments, like the Burning of Kharak, which are just awesome, and a lot of cool touches in general, but Cataclysm feels like it really makes the universe feel a lot more alive, and it felt like they really did a lot of work to push the engine with regards to in-engine cutscenes. Like, the battle at the start of the first mission is obviously TINY when you look at it, but with camera angles, good choice of music, etc. they manage to make it feel like there's really a major engagement taking place for the space around Hiigara.

With regards to the mission pacing... I never quite felt it myself, but since you point it out, I think it's really intentional. As some people have mentioned, Homeworld 1 is sci-fi and strategy mixed with a dash of mythology/exploration, while Cataclysm is sci-fi and strategy mixed with horror. The music and the "slow" parts don't so much make the game slow as make it tense, especially later on when you start wondering what the game's going to spring on you next.

Obviously, if you know how to "game" strategy games, i.e. always collecting all the resources and doing everything you can before completing an objective(because completing an objective almost always causes more enemies to spawn or the AI to upgrade to a new stage of hostility, and rarely has an actual time limit, no matter how urgent the briefing might sound), and so on, a lot of the tension goes out of it. But if you play the game, uh, like a newcomer to the genre, for lack of a better term, rather than someone out to beat it so hard its developers feel it, I think it really works.

anilEhilated
Feb 17, 2014

But I say fuck the rain.


Grimey Drawer

I think the pacing issues more or less stem from the fact that the original Homeworld pretty much expected you to "game". Cataclysm's campaign is much more accessible and beatable without foreknowledge - and it's giving you time to adapt and react.

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Carbolic Smokeball
Nov 2, 2011


I always loved how all the old rivalries between Kiith seem to have flared up again since retaking Hiigara. They're still cooperating peacefully with each other but it's clear some tensions from the past are returning now that survival isn't 100% reliant on cooperation.

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