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Mental Omega Campaign Experience

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#1 MentalC&C

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Posted 17 May 2022 - 07:39 PM

First off, love this mod. The expanded longer campaign, the units, division of known factions by sub-faction, Foehn's, careful music selection - it's good. Lots of maps for multiplayer, challenges, coop missions - also fun and great addition to the whole experience.

But I have been trying campaign recently. I have played every C&C installment (except for 4, which doesn't exist in my opinion), so, as some people suggested, it would be better to play on casual for Mental Omega, since I was playing campaigns on normal difficulty, and so I did.

But I think that MO's "casual" is vanilla "between normal and hard", if not "hard" in some places. I played Allied campaign Act 1&2, played Soviet Act 1 and started Soviet Act 2 when I decided to actually post some thoughts about the campaign experience.

Some spoilers for the campaign, I guess.


Allied campaign had some great missions, but I had to skip two - mission 11 Act 1 and mission 23 Act 2, I will come back to them in a minute, but let's focus on finale.

I was able to beat M24A2 on my second try once I realized that I need to possess precognitive capabilities to build bunch of Thor Gunships and Rocketeers for the final stage. In my first attempt, I've gathered a whole army in the backyard of Yuri's fortress and was making short work of the defenses when the game just deleted everything that I had during cutscene, rendering my progress obsolete and leaving me with absolutely nothing. The Psychic Beacons turned online, and that was it. On second attempt, I focused on Gunships and Rocketeers right away, leaving me with good force to break Psychic Beacons with. If I had any clues that my entire ground army would be wiped out in my first attempt, I would've changed tactics accordingly, but I had no clue that cutscene will eat everyone.

That is one of my problems with the campaign - without prior knowledge of the future events, it's very hard to beat missions, which is not fun. If I made a mistake, and I paid for it accordingly because I was stupid/reckless/not paying attention to misison's critical objective - that's on me, that's for me to learn from the mistake. But when the flow of campaign is such that it basically railroads you into certain playstyle and units because everything else is inefficient I wouldn't call it a good design. The solution would be to keep those surprises in campaign's flow, but allow player to recover somehow and not have player rely on being master of precognition, because that's just brutal. 


Second problem would be missions with multiple objectives to defend. Example - M11A1 for Allied and M09A1 for Soviet. Allied M11A1 is the worst mission so far - once timer starts, you are getting constantly assaulted by virtually everything from everywhere, and such attack spreads attention between my base, my naval yard and those three objectives I need to defend. It's too much to be honest - I need to defend too many things almost from the get-go, and I need to repel attacks from too many sides at the same time. If I had at least 10 minutes of peace to get ready before everything starts - with the assaults on naval yard, base and those three objectives - I would've been able to complete it. But my attention is dragged to too many things almost from the very start, and M09A1 for Soviets has same problem when you are getting attacked from too many sides, and to make things worse, you don't have access to defensive structures and stable income. Remember that Soviet mission in original Red Alert 2, when you had to defend a lab from the Allied forces that were chronoshifting constantly? That was fun. M09A1 is not so.


Third problem is general difficulty being all over the place. M10A1 for Soviets is the easiest mission I've played - finished it under 11 minutes, and the next mission is...unusually hard, since you have limited forces, limited capabilities of building, and Chinese forces are just all over you after certain point of the mission. Some missions in Allied campaign were also relatively easy, but next missions would flip the difficulty switch into complete opposite direction. I have no idea why it's like that, but that was my personal experience, and usually the last few missions should be the hardest, like last few missions in World In Conflict, which I replayed recently. But instead of a curve, it's a wild ride, where one missions could be a slog, one mission could be very hard, and next one could be very easy.


Forth problem would be timers. They are way too short or way too long in some places. I was laughing during Dragonstorm when I was waiting patiently for 30 minutes for reinforcements, and all I got were three Apocalypse tanks, several Tesla's and several Wolfhounds. Oh, and MCV, thanks I guess. And no money. That was laughable reinforcement for how long I needed to hold out, since I hoped I could initiate a slow counter-attack with reinforcements, but alas. Also that timer during Allied M20A2 was...for an hour, I think? You can do that mission in 30-40 minutes, maybe less. Some timers were way too short, but I can't remember the exact missions to make an example.


Now let me finish this with some words that might clarify the air. I am not that good in multiplayer RTS's, I consider my skills average with some rare big brain time moments, but my impression was that MO was build for the people who are very good at micro and going fast around the map. I've seen dev's videos on how to walkthrough missions, and I can't get to that level, no matter how hard I might try. And still I want to enjoy MO, and I think other people of my skill want too.


So, all that wall of text was for this statement - please, take a second look at the campaign the feel the difficulty curve. You might be able to play the campaign just fine, but you can make adjustments to make missions flow better, faster, and be more fair for players of general skill level. Maybe I am trash and rusty, but I feel that there is a room for improvement, because some missions were actually very fun in MO's campaign, despite how many times I had to replay them because I did something stupid or wasn't paying attention, like M17A2 of Allied campaign - very fun missions with limited troops, and you have just enough time to complete first phase.


I am looking forwards to Act 3, and I hope that one day the changes in the campaign will make it flow better and be more...accessible, sorry for using that word, for people with different skill levels. If people want it hard - they have normal and Mental, it's already out there, so nothing will be taken away, only gained in my opinion.

#2 Zharakov

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Posted 09 June 2022 - 06:49 AM

From my opinion, I think that you've been accustomed to the difficulty of Vanilla Ra2 and Yr Missions a bit too much and wasn't able to adjust accordingly when attempting MO. Also i think you may be the kind of person who likes to take his time to setup his base, build units, and plan strategies without any sort of outside pressure that forces you to think quickly to carry out objectives as soon as you can. Which is not wrong, it's how some people prefer to play.


Compared to vanilla Ra2 and Yr, MO is a whole new level of difficulty, the devs did not want to replicate the extremely easy missions of Ra2 that offer very little challenge and demand basic strategies to complete. MO actually needs you to use more brain power, learn different tactics (alot of the basic ones are thought in the campaign btw), know your units and the units of your enemies strength and weaknesses, make use of support powers, etc in order to accomplish an objective. 


Over the years the difficulty has been turned down a lot, especially in casual and normal settings, if you're having a difficult time right now then maybe its time to go on the wiki and study the better unit combos. For the missions that require you to monitor 3 places at once, well 50% of the outcome really comes from the initial planning on how to deal with those situations, and yes it might take some losses to finally win the mission. Those missions aren't that common so it's not that much of a problem, its a nice way to test your skills and how much you can take.


Also the difficulty of missions will vary, yes sometimes a earlier mission might be harder than a later mission, but that's not really... much of an issue. It's nice to mix things up around, and i don't hear anyone complaining about that. It would be difficult for the devs to adopt a "difficulty level-based" approach in creating missions, meaning making the next mission harder than the last, since their will need some adjusting to the story and turn of events.


I also noticed you haven't completed the Epsilon campaign, well i must warn you that if you aren't used to commando missions and having limited forces, you will have a very hard time accomplishing it. 

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