Difference between revisions of "User:Androgeos Exeunt"

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(Added biography of how I came across FreeSpace 2.)
(Difficulty Level: So much for that.)
 
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Hello. You can call me '''Androgeos Exeunt''' or '''Altiris Helios Exeunt''', since I use either one as my nickname. I've been a (somewhat) regular player of FreeSpace 2 ever since I came across a torrent containing the ISO files for all three CDs of FreeSpace 2.
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Hello. My screen name is '''Androgeos Exeunt'''. Since almost everyone on HLP calls me as either '''Andro''', '''Androgeos''' or '''AE''', feel free to address me using either one of those three.
  
Most of my time on Hard-Light Productions is spent crawling the forums or editing certain portions of the wiki. My main focus are the FreeSpace 2 Main Campaign articles. However, I also do a spell-, grammar- and/or punctuation-check from time to time on random articles.
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Most of my time in the FreeSpace community is spent on the Hard Light Productions Forums, where I am a member. In addition, I lurk on the community's Discord server.
  
I used to do quite a bit of FREDding on fred2, so I know a bit of FRED language. However, I'm more of a pilot than anything else, and not a very good one at that.
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The most visible contributions I've made to this community are on this very wiki. I've also recorded two voice lines for [[Blue Planet: Age of Aquarius]] and created a logo for the FreeSpace Campaign Restoration Project.
  
==2001 - How I Came Across FreeSpace 2==
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==FreeSpace Preferences==
One word: coincidence.
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===Light Settings===
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I originally used Spidey's light settings while playing, until Quantum Delta complained that the ship images I took were too dark for some monitors. I've since reverted to using no light settings at all. It's a boon in multiplayer, I assure you.
  
Back in 2001, I was ten and very young. However, I already knew how to view the contents of a CD on Windows. Some months ago, I learned how to install a game called Descent 3, which came with my family's second desktop computer. As the second disc of Descent 3 did not have an AutoRun script, I decided to look at its contents. Most of the CD's disc space was taken up by installation files for Descent 3, which were useless to me, but I did manage to find two trailers, one of them being the FreeSpace 2 Trailer. I was completely swept away by what I saw. I re-watched the trailer many, many times over, but at the end of it, I felt that such a game could not exist because it was far too realistic and ambitious, so I gave it little thought.
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===Controller===
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It used to be a keyboard only, but since playing the original ''Sublevel Zero'', I now use a combination of a mouse as well as a pitch-focused WASD keyboard layout.
  
==2003 - www.FreeSpace2.com==
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Here's a little history about the time I played FS2 on a MacBook: it took me a while to adjust, as the MacBook keyboard lacked enough keys for me to bind all key commands. Most notably, the MacBook keyboard had no numpad and the six keys directly above the Arrows, so I couldn't bind both the ETS and individual shield quadrant augmentation key commands without having an unwieldy keyboard setup or conflicting commands. As I arguably used the ETS keys a lot more than the shield quadrant augmentation keys, I ultimately decided only to bind the equalise shields command and the ETS keys. To compensate, I bound the transfer shield <-> laser keys to the TAB key which, in single player mode, served me just as well, if not better.
2003 was the year when my family finally subscribed to a dial-up Internet service. One of the first sites I visited was www.FreeSpace2.com and, to be quite honest, I didn't expect much from that site. The main page seemed to hold true to my expectations, but then I discovered the Downloads page, and I realised that, far from what I initially thought, FreeSpace 2 ''had'' been released - one year before I came across the trailer, in fact - and that there was even a demo available.
 
  
Sadly, I was on dial-up, which meant that I couldn't download the demo due to its size. 62 MB is a lot to ask out of a 56 kbps connection. If you've never experienced dial-up before and think that I'm spewing garbage, here's a little note: it takes ''one hour'' to do 12 MB, and that's not counting the probability of a timeout, which usually happens about 36 minutes into the download. What I did do was to steal the ship images, wallpapers and music from the site before I began to bide my time.
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Using a mouse to aim has improved my ability to fly more manoeuvrable ships since I no longer overshoot as much.
  
==2005 - Demo Pilot==
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===Difficulty Level===
My dad purchased a new desktop in 2005, shortly before we upgraded our Internet connection from dial-up to broadband. When the switch was done, the first thing I did was to download ''Little Fighter 2'', which until today is probably one of the few games I like above ''FreeSpace 2''. The next thing I did was to download the ''FreeSpace 2'' demo and give it a try. I played with it for several months, while at the same time generating a huge liking for the [[GTC Aeolus]] due to [[Crisis in Capella]]. I also generated a huge liking for the [[GTM MX-64 Rockeye]] and the [[GTW Prometheus R]], because they were the best weapons available in the demo.
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It has been Very Easy for the longest time, and I used to be proud of it.
  
My family's new Internet connection came with an old IBM PC that was acquired by Lenovo. This third desktop PC would not play a very prominent role until much later.
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I started playing FS2 by using cheats on every single player mission. Ironically, the demo disables progressing through cheating, so I do play through missions legitimately from time to time. When I cheat, I do it on Very Easy or Insane; the latter difficulty gives me insight into just how challenging the game can be, and I hold everyone who has completed the main FreeSpace 2 campaign on Insane without cheating in the highest regard. Extra points if the person has been playing the game on both single and multiplayer since the days of PXO and SquadWar.
  
==2006 - Frog Ship==
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Despite the assessment of another member that I could probably do okay on Medium difficulty, I've historically avoided doing it under any circumstances due to my teenage perception of "all or nothing". Recent forays into FREDding have changed this, with my playtests being done on Easy difficulty.
Shortly after reading on Wikipedia that the FreeSpace 2 License Agreement had a clause stating that the game could be freely distributed at no charge (or so I thought), I decided to see if it was possible for me to obtain a copy of the full game myself. As coincidence would have it, I was also doing a little reading-up on the BitTorrent protocol at that time, and I eventually decided to settle on trying out Azureus after Mainline failed to work. Shortly after I learned how to get the client to bypass my modem's firewall, I did further research on the protocol and found The Pirate Bay. I did a search and immediately found what I was looking for: a torrent file that contained the three CD ISOs of FreeSpace 2. The ISO also had a third file; this was the installer for FS2_Open 3.6.5. I downloaded everything and learned how to use Alcohol 120% to burn the ISOs into CDs, effectively creating a hard copy backup for the game. After playing the first few missions of the full version, I got bored with the differences between the demo and it and tried the 3.6.5 installer. Because of my actions, I learned what SCP was and subsequently learned about the FreeSpace 2 Source Code Project, as well as Hard Light Productions.
 
  
By this time, I had already recognised that PlanetDescent was probably the greatest Descent resource there is on the Internet, and I've taken to reading the news. One of the snippets was pretty interesting: a member called "Rake" had cancelled a project called "Fusillade" and was about to shut down his website, but not before letting everybody know the links to all the trailers and videos he has made thus far. These included his Flail videos which, among others, also comprised of "Flail Descent", "Flail SCP" and "Flail Babylon". Watching "Flail SCP" gave me a new link to FS2_Open: scp.indiegames.us. That was when I came across both
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===Ship Selection===
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Ever since I started playing FreeSpace 2, I've preferred flying heavy assault ships and abusing ETS settings to fly them like a heavy interceptor or an afterburner with guns. The main reason for this is because I tend to overshoot or undershoot my target when flying an incredibly agile ship with a fast turn rate. I also scoff at pilots who seem to think that having a lot of speed and agility will make up for lack of protection. On the other hand, I acknowledge that even the best armour in the world won't prevent your destruction if you don't fly smart or fast.
  
==2007 - SCP Problems==
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My first legitimate mission death was in [[Argonautica]], while I was flying a [[GVF Horus|''Horus'']]&mdash;a layer of shielding didn't stop the hurt from a [[SB Nahema|''Nahema'']]'s Piranha explosion blowing away the remaining 23% of my hull. I've reserved a special hatred for the ''Horus'' since then, described in verbose detail below.
In early 2007, the desktop that had FS2_Open installed broke down due to a burnout of both the graphics card and motherboard. Until today, I still suspect that the eye-candy of both Descent 3 and FS2_Open were ''too'' great for my computer to handle. Indeed, slowdowns were pretty frequent while playing FS2_Open.
 
  
When the desktop was repaired, I tried to install FS2_Open 3.6.9, but to no avail. Each time I tried, the game crashed, so after a few weeks of attempts, I gave up and let it be until near the end of the year, when I decided to install the game and run [[Just Another Day]] on the IBM PC. It crashed on that computer too. At this point, I finally gave in and did something that I've been thinking of doing ever since the start of the year: join Hard Light Productions. My first posts were fairly long and contained lots of crash code. A significant number of HLP members in good standing pitched in and eventually helped me out by telling me to update my IBM's graphics card drivers.
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====Canon Ships I Prefer to Pilot====
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# '''[[GTF Ares|GTF ''Ares'']]'''&mdash;I fell in love with the ''Ares'' when I first saw it on Rake's Flail SCP video. Then I ended up in the cockpit of one and fell in love with it even more. Its huge powerplant and missile banks means you can become quite a killing machine if you load it up right, and if you're lucky. There isn't much else that can compare to it. Agility-wise, I've piloted better ships, although on the lower difficulty levels, the ''Ares'' is still able to defend itself somewhat.
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# '''[[SF Mara (Terrans)|SF ''Mara'']]'''&mdash;This is the only canon Shivan fighter you can fly. It's just slow enough for me to effectively pilot it with a keyboard, and it has an even larger powerplant than the ''Ares'', capable of easily firing the [[GTW UD-8 Kayser]] for lengthy periods without stopping. However, I rarely fly one of these because they're not common, so I still prefer the ''Ares''.
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# '''[[GVF Tauret|GVF ''Tauret'']]'''&mdash;Strangely enough, I disliked this ship when I first saw that the tech room rated its manoeuvrability as "Poor". It was only after I decided to pilot one myself that I realise that the tech room was more or less lying in this regard. I love to chuck missiles at everything I see, and the ''Tauret'' has two missile banks larger than that of the ''Ares'' to fit.
  
==2008 - RTM==
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====Non-Canon Ships I Prefer to Pilot====
Now that my problem with FS2_Open 3.6.9 was solved and I had an account on HLP, I decided that I should start trying out some of the mods and campaigns. I spent the first six months playing FS2_Open on the IBM before I switched to playing FS2_Open on the MacBook I bought for school. I felt it was appropriate since the IBM was essentially an old reliable that can't keep up.
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# '''[[GTF Nyx|GTF ''Nyx'']]'''&mdash;I find it difficult to overstate this fighter. It has eight gun mounts, cavernous missile banks, relatively good speed and agility, and is very durable. It's a difficult choice between this and the ''Ares''.
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# '''[[UEF Uriel|UEF ''Uriel'']]'''&mdash;Nothing is more satisfying than hearing the sound of the Archer after using the mouse to make a precise aim at a far-off turret. It seems to turn a bit too slowly, though that might only be my imagination given the fast pace of skirmishes between the GTVA and UEF.
  
The MacBook provided me with all the hardware I needed to run FS2_Open to its fullest. The only drawback is that there was no Mac version of fred2_open. Fortunately, I had left the bare basics of FS2_Open on my IBM, having left behind a few mods and the basic components of FS2_Open 3.6.9. It was during this phase of using both Windows and Mac for FreeSpace that I created and released Training Simulator Module TSM-69, which simulates a broadside battle between the [[GTVA Colossus]] and [[SD Lucifer]]. This single mission, designed for FS2_Open but possibly runable on retail FS2, was fairly well received.
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====Canon Ships I Dislike With a Passion====
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# '''[[GVF Horus|GVF ''Horus'']]''': Perhaps the only ship in FreeSpace canon that can truly make me openly use the word "hate" on it, the ''Horus'' flies like rubbish with me behind the controls. The ''Horus'' has the most atrocious pitch and yaw rate of any fighter I have ever flown&mdash;a small moon could easily fit inside the amount of time this abomination takes to do a 360-degree turn. Forget the fact that it's fast ''if you can't even turn properly''. The [[GVF Serapis|GVF ''Serapis'']] may be less durable, but at least that thing's nimble enough to avoid exploding [[GTM Piranha|Piranha]]s. This ship cannot.
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# '''[[GTF Perseus|GTF ''Perseus'']]''': My dislike for the ''Perseus'' has waned a little ever since I started to learn how to pilot agile ships with a keyboard more effectively, but it's still there. I know a lot of FreeSpace pilots love the ''Perseus'' because of how it perfectly balances speed, agility, durability and loadout, and I won't disagree. However, I find the ''Perseus'' turns a little ''too'' quickly for comfort. This was the first fighter I flew where I kept overshooting targets. If I'm just shooting down bombers and bombs, the ''Perseus'' is probably one of the better ships I can ask for. For everything else, I'd rather fly a [[GTF Myrmidon|GTF ''Myrmidon'']].
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# '''[[GTB Medusa|GTB ''Medusa'']]'''&mdash;The Medusa was introduced to me in [[Slaying Ravana]], and in hindsight, I think it's quite cruel since I overlooked it in favour of the [[GTB Ursa]], which is superior in every way except speed and manoeuvrability, both of which are not really necessary when you fly a bomber.
  
==2009 - Present Day==
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====Non-Canon Ships I Dislike With a Passion====
And so here I am, eight years from the day I came across the first link to FreeSpace 2 and one year from the day I joined HLP. Most of my time on HLP is now spent welcoming new members using a modified beam graphic and more or less trying to be helpful.
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# '''[[GTF Vesuvius|GTF ''Vesuvius'']]'''&mdash;With its Shivan-style paintjob, it's nearly impossible to distinguish a friendly from foe. Whee. Let's have fun shooting each other and turning traitor on every mission!
  
==Flight Style==
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===Weapon Loadout===
I use the keyboard. It's a bit unwieldy, but it gives me all the keys I need to fly a ship in FS2 properly.
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I'll make no secret about my poor accuracy. Put me in a fighter with a rapid-fire cannon, and you'll be safe as long as you're in my reticle. I just ''cannot'' do anything with low-damage, high-refire primary weapons, because I'll end up shooting the space immediately surrounding my target. On the hand, I'm no marksman, and I don't have the patience to line up shots using weapons that deliver extreme damage at a very low rate of fire. My best bet is a primary weapon that deals reasonable damage at an average rate of fire. Dual-linked primary weapons work as well. Even a Subach will fit the bill nicely as long as I mount all six guns of a ''Myrmidon'' with it.
  
Cheating is a common practice of mine during single-player, as well as playing on Very Easy, but do not mistake this for poor flight skills.
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As for missiles, I prefer those that do damage; it doesn't need to be heat- or aspect-seeking. As long as I can use it with my primary weapons and it deals good damage for the maximum number of it that I can load onto my ship, it's good.
  
My preference in a dogfight is to unload as many missiles as possible at long range before moving in and attacking using primary weapons. My primary weapon preference is a dual loadout that either emphasises on a good rate of fire or a combination of high shield and high hull damage. Naturally, my preferred primary weapon will always be the [[GTW UD-8 Kayser]]. As for secondary weapons, I prefer missiles with extreme range and/or high damage. Hence, I use [[GTM Tempest]]s, [[GTM Tornado]]s and [[GTM Trebuchet]]s most often.
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====Preferred Canon Weapons====
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;Primary
 +
# [[GTW UD-8 Kayser]]
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# [[GTW Mekhu HL-7]]
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# [[GTW Avenger]]
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;Secondary
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# [[GTM Trebuchet]]
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# [[GTM Tornado]]
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# [[GTM Tempest]]
  
My ship choice is a toss-up between the [[GTF Ares]] and [[SF Mara (Terrans)]]. While the Ares is good because it has six gun mounts, the Mara is arguably better because it recharges energy faster, has larger missile banks and is more manoeuvrable than the Ares, although it only has four gun mounts.
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====Preferred Non-Canon Weapons====
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;Primary
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# [[Rapier]]
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# [[Maul]]
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# Quasar
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;Secondary
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# A.C.R.
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# Hurricane
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# [[Paveway]]

Latest revision as of 10:54, 5 July 2020

Hello. My screen name is Androgeos Exeunt. Since almost everyone on HLP calls me as either Andro, Androgeos or AE, feel free to address me using either one of those three.

Most of my time in the FreeSpace community is spent on the Hard Light Productions Forums, where I am a member. In addition, I lurk on the community's Discord server.

The most visible contributions I've made to this community are on this very wiki. I've also recorded two voice lines for Blue Planet: Age of Aquarius and created a logo for the FreeSpace Campaign Restoration Project.

FreeSpace Preferences

Light Settings

I originally used Spidey's light settings while playing, until Quantum Delta complained that the ship images I took were too dark for some monitors. I've since reverted to using no light settings at all. It's a boon in multiplayer, I assure you.

Controller

It used to be a keyboard only, but since playing the original Sublevel Zero, I now use a combination of a mouse as well as a pitch-focused WASD keyboard layout.

Here's a little history about the time I played FS2 on a MacBook: it took me a while to adjust, as the MacBook keyboard lacked enough keys for me to bind all key commands. Most notably, the MacBook keyboard had no numpad and the six keys directly above the Arrows, so I couldn't bind both the ETS and individual shield quadrant augmentation key commands without having an unwieldy keyboard setup or conflicting commands. As I arguably used the ETS keys a lot more than the shield quadrant augmentation keys, I ultimately decided only to bind the equalise shields command and the ETS keys. To compensate, I bound the transfer shield <-> laser keys to the TAB key which, in single player mode, served me just as well, if not better.

Using a mouse to aim has improved my ability to fly more manoeuvrable ships since I no longer overshoot as much.

Difficulty Level

It has been Very Easy for the longest time, and I used to be proud of it.

I started playing FS2 by using cheats on every single player mission. Ironically, the demo disables progressing through cheating, so I do play through missions legitimately from time to time. When I cheat, I do it on Very Easy or Insane; the latter difficulty gives me insight into just how challenging the game can be, and I hold everyone who has completed the main FreeSpace 2 campaign on Insane without cheating in the highest regard. Extra points if the person has been playing the game on both single and multiplayer since the days of PXO and SquadWar.

Despite the assessment of another member that I could probably do okay on Medium difficulty, I've historically avoided doing it under any circumstances due to my teenage perception of "all or nothing". Recent forays into FREDding have changed this, with my playtests being done on Easy difficulty.

Ship Selection

Ever since I started playing FreeSpace 2, I've preferred flying heavy assault ships and abusing ETS settings to fly them like a heavy interceptor or an afterburner with guns. The main reason for this is because I tend to overshoot or undershoot my target when flying an incredibly agile ship with a fast turn rate. I also scoff at pilots who seem to think that having a lot of speed and agility will make up for lack of protection. On the other hand, I acknowledge that even the best armour in the world won't prevent your destruction if you don't fly smart or fast.

My first legitimate mission death was in Argonautica, while I was flying a Horus—a layer of shielding didn't stop the hurt from a Nahema's Piranha explosion blowing away the remaining 23% of my hull. I've reserved a special hatred for the Horus since then, described in verbose detail below.

Canon Ships I Prefer to Pilot

  1. GTF Ares—I fell in love with the Ares when I first saw it on Rake's Flail SCP video. Then I ended up in the cockpit of one and fell in love with it even more. Its huge powerplant and missile banks means you can become quite a killing machine if you load it up right, and if you're lucky. There isn't much else that can compare to it. Agility-wise, I've piloted better ships, although on the lower difficulty levels, the Ares is still able to defend itself somewhat.
  2. SF Mara—This is the only canon Shivan fighter you can fly. It's just slow enough for me to effectively pilot it with a keyboard, and it has an even larger powerplant than the Ares, capable of easily firing the GTW UD-8 Kayser for lengthy periods without stopping. However, I rarely fly one of these because they're not common, so I still prefer the Ares.
  3. GVF Tauret—Strangely enough, I disliked this ship when I first saw that the tech room rated its manoeuvrability as "Poor". It was only after I decided to pilot one myself that I realise that the tech room was more or less lying in this regard. I love to chuck missiles at everything I see, and the Tauret has two missile banks larger than that of the Ares to fit.

Non-Canon Ships I Prefer to Pilot

  1. GTF Nyx—I find it difficult to overstate this fighter. It has eight gun mounts, cavernous missile banks, relatively good speed and agility, and is very durable. It's a difficult choice between this and the Ares.
  2. UEF Uriel—Nothing is more satisfying than hearing the sound of the Archer after using the mouse to make a precise aim at a far-off turret. It seems to turn a bit too slowly, though that might only be my imagination given the fast pace of skirmishes between the GTVA and UEF.

Canon Ships I Dislike With a Passion

  1. GVF Horus: Perhaps the only ship in FreeSpace canon that can truly make me openly use the word "hate" on it, the Horus flies like rubbish with me behind the controls. The Horus has the most atrocious pitch and yaw rate of any fighter I have ever flown—a small moon could easily fit inside the amount of time this abomination takes to do a 360-degree turn. Forget the fact that it's fast if you can't even turn properly. The GVF Serapis may be less durable, but at least that thing's nimble enough to avoid exploding Piranhas. This ship cannot.
  2. GTF Perseus: My dislike for the Perseus has waned a little ever since I started to learn how to pilot agile ships with a keyboard more effectively, but it's still there. I know a lot of FreeSpace pilots love the Perseus because of how it perfectly balances speed, agility, durability and loadout, and I won't disagree. However, I find the Perseus turns a little too quickly for comfort. This was the first fighter I flew where I kept overshooting targets. If I'm just shooting down bombers and bombs, the Perseus is probably one of the better ships I can ask for. For everything else, I'd rather fly a GTF Myrmidon.
  3. GTB Medusa—The Medusa was introduced to me in Slaying Ravana, and in hindsight, I think it's quite cruel since I overlooked it in favour of the GTB Ursa, which is superior in every way except speed and manoeuvrability, both of which are not really necessary when you fly a bomber.

Non-Canon Ships I Dislike With a Passion

  1. GTF Vesuvius—With its Shivan-style paintjob, it's nearly impossible to distinguish a friendly from foe. Whee. Let's have fun shooting each other and turning traitor on every mission!

Weapon Loadout

I'll make no secret about my poor accuracy. Put me in a fighter with a rapid-fire cannon, and you'll be safe as long as you're in my reticle. I just cannot do anything with low-damage, high-refire primary weapons, because I'll end up shooting the space immediately surrounding my target. On the hand, I'm no marksman, and I don't have the patience to line up shots using weapons that deliver extreme damage at a very low rate of fire. My best bet is a primary weapon that deals reasonable damage at an average rate of fire. Dual-linked primary weapons work as well. Even a Subach will fit the bill nicely as long as I mount all six guns of a Myrmidon with it.

As for missiles, I prefer those that do damage; it doesn't need to be heat- or aspect-seeking. As long as I can use it with my primary weapons and it deals good damage for the maximum number of it that I can load onto my ship, it's good.

Preferred Canon Weapons

Primary
  1. GTW UD-8 Kayser
  2. GTW Mekhu HL-7
  3. GTW Avenger
Secondary
  1. GTM Trebuchet
  2. GTM Tornado
  3. GTM Tempest

Preferred Non-Canon Weapons

Primary
  1. Rapier
  2. Maul
  3. Quasar
Secondary
  1. A.C.R.
  2. Hurricane
  3. Paveway