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Author Topic: Comparing D1, D2, and D3  (Read 3232 times)

Offline Ashes

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Comparing D1, D2, and D3
« on: November 08, 2011, 10:26:48 AM »
Everyone here can appreciate how deep the gameplay is in the Descent series, and I feel like writing. So let's compare different aspects of Descent gameplay.

Just keep in my mind that my opinion is probably different than yours, and take this with a grain of salt.

Singleplayer:
All three Descent games have good default single player missions.

D1 was treading new ground at the time. The level designs in First Strike were very rough around the edges, and rocky. Yet, the levels are classic. I have the first half of the set etched into my memory from playing them so much.

D2 tried to be more alien-ish, and that made for some crazy levels. Crazy doesn't mean bad, however. But some of the levels are massive. If you want the challenge, D2 singleplayer has it.

D3 added more story and complicated goals to the single player. While it has some drawbacks, I really liked being able to go outside.

Cooperative:

D1 coop hasn't changed much in the past few years. First Strike is always fun to play with friends. Whether it be a LAN game, or hunting robots with Teamspeak on, D1 coop can be pretty extensive.

D2 coop is great, too. While it still has the limited to 4 people, the levels allow for more branching out... But some players will get lost. D2 coop has a faster pace than D1.

D3 coop is tricky, but still very fun. The large levels allow more people in the games. But you have to be careful, some levels lock players out of certain areas. I'm talking about the fuel refinery level and Dravis Stronghold. Still, once you figure it out, nothing is more satisfying than imagining Dravis when six people show up on his doorstep demanding money.

Anarchy, Free-For-All
D1 is a timeless classic when it comes to anarchy levels. The infamous Minerva comes to mind, as well as other great levels like the Manes and Neptune. As long as you choose the level depending on how many people are joining, you shouldn't run into any problems.
D1 FFA games are very fun, and not at all slow like many people would think. Most players who stick to D1 can tricord well, which keeps the game fast-paced.
D1 is very balanced, no one weapon will dominate every game.

D2 FFA games are fast, fun, and sometimes frustrating. Still, it's worth it. D2 brings more diversity to FFA games because it has more weapons. Everyone has a favorite. Whether you're a skilled dogfighter, a tunnel rat like myself, or a earthshaker bomber, D2 has something for you.
D2 does have some balance issues, though. Besides the overkill with shakers, the Gauss is undoubtedly the most powerful weapon.

D3 is very different from the first two. Since you spawn with an afterburner, and the weapons are stationary, it is very fast-paced. However, I think that it requires less skill than the first two to play. Still, it's fun, even with its flaws. Balance issues stem from having three different ships, and things like triple fusion. But you can fit a lot of people into smaller levels.
D3 also differs in level size. Most d1 and d2 levels have tight tunnels. D3 is more wide-open. It's like comparing apples to oranges. You can pull off moves in D3 that would get you killed in D2. D3 is also very missile-based. It's easier to get kills and be killed in D3.

Anarchy, Duels
D1 duels are all mind games. When you're playing against skilled players, in small levels like Neptune, you have to keep focus. Prediction is a HUGE part of D1 duels. You have to think about what your opponent is going to do next. D1 is very mentally stimulating.

D2 duels are skillful and have the mind games of D1, but it also requires you to be sneaky. Remember that the Pyro is a loud ship, and everything you pick up, every time you use the afterburner, every time you open a door, it makes a noise. Skilled players will use their ears to hunt as much as their eyes in D2. Flying around at high speed with the afterburner will get you killed, fast.

D3 duels are surprisingly skillful, at least from what I've noticed. The community of D3 also differs in playing style. Most pilots pulse the afterburner without noticing. This can get them killed easily in D3, but the duels are still very specialized. Skilled pilots can get kills in the blink of an eye.

There you have it. D1 and D2 are very balanced, and D3 is almost a completely different game. I suggest that if you haven't played all three, that you do so.
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Offline NUMBERZero

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Re: Comparing D1, D2, and D3
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2011, 10:38:39 AM »
Pulsing the AB makes you go faster than just jamming it down.
"I hate not being able to move in three dimensions. Cramps my style." -Cpt. Jack "Heartbreak One" Bartlett (Ace Combat 5)

Offline TechPro

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Re: Comparing D1, D2, and D3
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2011, 02:00:49 PM »
Pulsing the AB makes you go faster than just jamming it down.
Not quite correct in that the end result is that you reach your destination faster.  Pulsing the afterburner doesn't make you go any faster than just using the afterburner, however when you use the afterburner it has a burst of speed that slacks off a little after the initial burst.  When you "pulse" the afterburner (if you time it right) you repeatedly hit the peak of the pulse, thus keeping your ship nearer the peak of that speed burst while using the afterburner.

(just clarifying this minor detail)  ;)

Offline DarkWing

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Re: Comparing D1, D2, and D3
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2011, 04:30:17 PM »
If you really want an alien (and bizarre) feel to the level, do the D2 Vertigo levels.   :P

You know, the first D2 Vertigo level is a great Coop 'cause everybody ends up all over the place yet very near.

Offline Ashes

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Re: Comparing D1, D2, and D3
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2011, 05:27:29 PM »
Yes, pulsing does make you go faster, but only in D3. It gets a little slower as your afterburner runs out, so pulsing is efficient. But what I meant is a lot of people are so used to it, that they do it constantly unless flying backwards.
If I remember correctly, the D2 afterburner will not lose speed when held, but it still runs out quickly.
Gah, that's kind of hard to explain.

And man, I forgot about Vertigo! It's one thing in Descent that I never played, mainly because my file for Vertigo has always been corrupted after a certain point.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2011, 06:03:29 PM by Ashes »
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Offline NUMBERZero

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Re: Comparing D1, D2, and D3
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2011, 05:52:01 PM »
Just did a "Mythbusters" with Darc.
MYTH: Pulsing the afterburner makes you go faster.
I was pulsing, Darc was flat burning.

No AB cooler: Ships arrived at destination at the same time.

With AB cooler: Pulsing ship was much faster.

Conclusion: Half busted, half confirmed.
BUT, pulsing is WAY more efficient in both scenarios. Less drain on energy, and you always have fuel. Letting the AB burn down to 80 and then recharge about 15 points back is most efficient.
"I hate not being able to move in three dimensions. Cramps my style." -Cpt. Jack "Heartbreak One" Bartlett (Ace Combat 5)

Offline Ashes

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Re: Comparing D1, D2, and D3
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2011, 06:04:54 PM »
Good detective work, Zero.  :D
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Offline -<WillyP>-

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Re: Comparing D1, D2, and D3
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2011, 06:07:02 AM »
In the end, I think it depends on what you want to do. To fly a longer distance at higher speed (talking about D3) pulse the afterburner. To get out of a bad situation in a hurry, where you only need to go a short distance at maximum speed, hold it down as long as it lasts.
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Offline Scyphi

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Re: Comparing D1, D2, and D3
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2011, 07:49:29 AM »
I need to remember the pulsing afterburner trick...always forgetting it in-game.

But then again, I play multiplayer so infrequently, one could argue that it probably isn't surprising.

I personally think that in terms of single-player, D1 was the best, because that's where the most originality exists. Back then, D1 wasn't easy to mod, almost to the point that it was pretty much impossible for most, so people building levels had to get inventive with what was already there, and MAN, did some people get really creative. I really think it's because of this creativity that we got level elements like the 4D rooms/tunnels and the hall-of-mirrors effect. And sadly, I just don't see that creativity continuing onward for D2 and D3 like it did for D1.

Not to say D2 and D3 aren't good in their own right, though. Both opened up new venues that D1 couldn't, and in terms of gameplay, are still pretty much just as fun. :)
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Offline TechPro

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Re: Comparing D1, D2, and D3
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2011, 09:30:49 AM »
In my home (with myself and three sons who play...) when we get together for a game it's pretty well a given that we'll CoOp, Anarchy, FragTag in Descent 3. If we've got plenty of time we might drag out D2 or D1 but we'll have a hard time picking the level to play.  Usually it's Descent 3 that we'll play.

 

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