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HL2: Episode 2
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Author:  Kastanok [ Mon Dec 17, 2007 6:19 pm ]
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Ummm, hello? There's an easy mode for a reason. :P Find a difficulty that challenges you while not being impossible and stick with it. At least, that's my philosophy. There are others.

Author:  locworks [ Mon Dec 17, 2007 9:18 pm ]
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I see what you mean. However, setting the difficulty on Easy for the last EP2 battle won't get me far if I don't use the car. I'll eventually run out of ammo and the other bad things will still happen (see http://www.hylobatidae.org/minerva/forum/viewtopic.php?t=123&start=30)

The problem is me failing to figure out what the designers meant for me to do. It's a bit like when your weapons are taken away in M:M. Quite a few people ran around the level, looking for ways to smash the crates or to get to the locked armouries instead of riding the elevator down, dodging the soldiers and the stalkers and throwing spanners in the works.

Changing the difficulty doesn't change anything in these situations. If you don't "get" the point of the challenge, you're stuck.

Deciding whether the designers screwed up, by making the solution not obvious enough (e.g. "Run them over, Freeman. We're a bit short on ammo these days.") or whether the player had a "momentary lapse of reason" is a whole discussion in itself.

I did quite well on the other parts of EP2 on Normal, so there is no need to stick to playing on Easy for the whole game.

Author:  Kastanok [ Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:04 am ]
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Ah, I see the problem. That makes sense.

Valve gave conflicting messages about how to handle the hunters. One NPC specifically says to use the AR2's alt fire to take them out. Then you don't get any extra ammo for it through the entire end battle. Though they've trained you to take out zombies with the car, that knowledge has been sort of 'over-ridden' by the energy orb idea.

Author:  Mark [ Tue Dec 18, 2007 4:49 am ]
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I used to play games through the first time on easy, pretty quickly, then if I deemed the game worthy, come back and play through on hard. I'd then try to get through every ambush with minimal health loss or use of "special" weapons (AR2 alt-fire, grenade launcher, etc). But then with HL2, I found that hard wasn't really all that hard, and both episodes and now M:M I've simply played on hard mode the first time.

I think the last time I cheated the first time through a game was Doom2. I recall some dumb level with a maze of really narrow walkways above toxic goo, and simply got tired of falling and dying: IDDQD and IDCLIP and I was at the next level.

Author:  scutter_2 [ Tue Dec 18, 2007 5:52 am ]
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I personally found the run-down-the-hunters-with-the-car idea to be fairly obvious, since by that point it had been made pretty clear that blunt-force trauma seems to be the most effective against hunters (magnusson devices work pretty well too, by the way). Another mechanic that became obvious quite by accident is for a hunter to cover the Charger in flechettes, and have them do some damage once you collide with it (only really has an effect if you aren't going fast enough to kill it outright).

Once the fight got under way, I took the rebel's little AR2 speech to just mean 'If you find yourself in a tight spot, can't maneuver to take a hunter down fast enough, and you have an energy ball, use it.'

Author:  locworks [ Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:47 am ]
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scutter_2 wrote:
I personally found the run-down-the-hunters-with-the-car idea to be fairly obvious, since by that point it had been made pretty clear that blunt-force trauma seems to be the most effective against hunters

The main big fights against the three-legged dart throwers were on foot (first encounter and the White Hart Inn ambush). That's very strong training, which taught me to use the conveniently placed logs and standard weapons. Also, using the car to run them over reduces my suit points, which are very precious to me.

There is also Real Life conditioning, i.e. the number of Redneck Pickup Wipeout Rampage Mania III games one has played (in my case, 0) and one's tendencies behind the wheel of a real car (very careful and civil).

Author:  Kastanok [ Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:28 pm ]
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Thinking about careful driving, did anyone else find that driving across Ep2's beautiful countryside at least as enjoyable as the fighting? I was really enjoying myself before the ambush at the Inn ruined the driving experience.

Here's hoping for a mod or a future game that features extended peaceful driving oppertunities.

Author:  phuzz [ Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:08 pm ]
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personally I find driving the car/buggy in HL2 to be a bit too twitchy, of course, I'm going to blame part of that on my less than cutting edge pc now, but compared to, well, any driving game it just feels a bit tacked on.
Nine times out of ten when I try and run over a hunter (especially in the last battle) I end up with the car wedged up a tree or rock and the hunter having dodged me now shooting the fuck out of my back :(

It took me quite a while (and a lot of quick saves) to get through that final battle on Normal difficulty, but for a quick laugh I enjoy playing through a short mod or level, preferably filled with zombies and breakable stuff armed with my trusty Soopa!-shotgun
AKA changing the number of shotgun pellets fired each time from the default 7 to a more reasonable 150-200, whilst forgetting to reduce the damage done by each one (sk_plr_num_shotgun_pellets 150). Highly recommended :)
One shot to the face will take down a hunter at close range, or even an ant lion queen. You might also want to up the number of shells you can carry (sk_max_buckshot 200).

I have thought that maybe it's time for valve to up the number of pellets fired and drop the damage just to make the shotty a bit more realistic, although above about 400 pellets and I get insta-lag with each shot.
The results are worth it though :)

Author:  scutter_2 [ Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:18 pm ]
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There is also Real Life conditioning, i.e. the number of Redneck Pickup Wipeout Rampage Mania III games one has played (in my case, 0) and one's tendencies behind the wheel of a real car (very careful and civil).

Well I've not played any such games either, and have similar driving tendancies. Although I admit, I did get a kick out of watching the classic movie 'Deathrace 2000'.

I also feel having watched all 5 of the pre-release gameplay trailers helped.

Author:  Kenny [ Tue Dec 18, 2007 9:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Grubs suck!!!!

I've managed every single achievement in Episode Two, even that god-awful torture of a gnome carrying mission (There should have been an easier way to stick the damn thing in the Charger), with the sole exception of that "Get some Grub" achievement. Most annoying thing EVER. I was within 9 grubs! *swearing fit*

Someone needs to make a guide to finding every single one of those so I can satisfy my achievement cravings! (Not to mention the very last Advanced puzzle of Portal- that's a real head scratcher!)

Author:  Mark [ Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:15 am ]
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I spent HOURS per day playing GT3 a few years ago, so I'm well versed in "creative driving techniques." (GT3, and GT4, I gather, don't have a damage engine.)

I found that the gnome could be wedged in the rear window of the car so that it wouldn't move unless one hit a big bump or made an emergency move. Get the gnome to lie down with the top of its head (hat, really) just behind the front seats. It'll slide side-to-side a bit, but won't move front-to-back unless jarred. I used this method except during the chopper chase - it took me so much time to get the thing positioned that I ended up dying... on easy. After that I simply shot it forward with the GG a coupke times, moved the car forward, then repeat about 6 times. I do not claim I found this method on my own. . . .

Author:  Yar Kramer [ Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:30 am ]
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I second the "training: take out hunters on foot" thing. You'd think with all the thought they put into training the player in Portal (button = box = door, orb = catcher = platform, and the brute-force Chekhov's Gun with the Weighted Companion Cube), they'd've made it clearer that you were supposed to run over the Hunters with cars.

Oh, and also the "my computer's crappy = too twitchy = miss everything I'm trying to run over" thing. ;)

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