Matt's Review of Baz's Mod

This article is about a game mod for LEGO Rock Raiders. The contents of this page are not relevant to the original game or to do with official media.

To do: Make a template for things that are more archived forum posts of note rather than actual articles, also does the page/subpage thing only work with userpages?

This is a compilation of detailed feedback of the later levels of Baz's Mod by RRU user Matt. While most feedback only applies to Baz's Mod in particular, those who are making overhaul mods similar might benefit from taking aboard some of the suggestions at the end. Everything is written from the Point-of-View of Matt.


Foreword

SPOILER WARNING!: If you have not completed Baz's Mod yourself, and do not want to be told as to how to do some of the levels, I suggest you turn away now. While I haven't written a game guide, I did include how I did certain things in certain levels which could ruin the challenge if you are wanting to do it.

I just want to say first, that this is a truely awesome creation I have been reviewing. While some of the following feedback may come across as negative, I don't really mean it to be. It is just suggestions as to how it could be made better. But really, if you left it how it is, I would still give it 10/10.

The Levels

This is only a review of the levels from Molten Meltdown onwards. (I.e From level 12-33.)

Molten Meltdown

Pretty good design. Was quite annoying with the lava. It wasn't so much the erosion, it was the fact that it was right on the corner, so my Rock Raiders kept walking over the it. Lost a couple of my maxed out raiders due to this. Dunno if it was intentional or not, but it's a good raider killer level, lol.

Down in the Dirt

I very much liked this level. I congratulate you on the originality of having uneven land around your base. It made building more of a challenge rather than a formality. Also I was very surprised when I drilled into the cavern of sleeping monsters! Wasn't prepared for that and so I had to send my Raiders scurrying back to get some Laser Beams. (By this stage I hadn't realised I could have used the Chrome Crusher's laser.)

Seamless!

Very good design. Liked how crystals were scant, and that you suggested which vehicles to use :P. Prevented me from doing my usual build up base and use Chrome Crusher method.

Slimey Simple

A good challenge. Makes a change having Slimy Slugs as an enemy again. (Only ever had them before in Back to Basics.)

Slimey Simple Bonus Version

SS Bonus Version Complete (Win).png

(Objective is to collect 64 energy crystals.) Well I remember you mentioning that whoever could complete this level would be considered a master of the game. I took up the challenge and now consider myself master :P.

Cold Comfort

Good design, but I don't think having recharge seam right next to base is a good idea. Made killing monsters easy. I would just laser them which my chrome crusher, and it wouldn't matter how many crystals I went through as the seam was right next to the tool store.

Glitch

Cold Comfort Glitch.PNG

The Rock Raider is stuck in the water. (I think he was there when I drilled into that cavern.)

Lava Laughter

Nicely edited, keeping to the symmetry. Was quite a monster fest at one stage, and it was good that there weren't any recharge seams. Made me use my laser a bit more conservatively.

Water Works

Didn't really enjoy this one that much. Same with original. I guess it's because the map is so huge, and once you start drilling away from your base, your raiders always go and get the resources the furthest away. Really hard to get anything done. Also, you didn't really need a dock, as the Tunnel Transporter with a small digger is a lot more useful.

Split Down the Middle

Maze was a bit easy, but still better than original. Having 75 crystals to collect was a bit more of a challenge, but you seemed to drill most things getting to the base, soo all you really had to do was collect things. A bit easy like I said, but maybe I'm just being harsh on you from the point of view from a fellow Split-Down-the-Middle-Map-Maker.

Erode Works

Didn't like it that much, probably because I hate erosion. Wasn't that much different than the original, and maybe it could have been a bit more. Also, adding lava monsters could have made it more of a challenge. So, not my favourite level, sorry.

Rock Hard

Not too bad a level. It was good that resources were scant, and it was a struggle to get ore, which isn't a usual problem. Slugs and monsters added a nice little challenge, and keeping with the tight space made it quite difficult. Nice work.

Don't Panic!

Was rather difficult, and I was stuck at one point until I remembered an addition that you've added that wasn't in the original game. Even still, getting 100 crystals was a challenge, as there weren't many more than that. So well done. A lot better than the original, and one of the hardest levels.

Search 'n' Rescue

Interesting design. Certainly more of a challenge than the original, but again, a tunnel transporter with a small digger was all you really needed. Even so, I did enjoy it quite a lot, and I congratulate you on the design on the maze.

Run the Gauntlet

Isn't possible. After using up all my air trying to complete it, I opened up your WAD and opened up the level in the editor. I found that there is no drillable wall at all leading to the target cavern. So yea, bit hard to complete. Note: I haven't, and will not look at your other levels in the editor. I only did it for this level to check that my theories were correct, and that there was no possible way to complete this level. See for yourself:

RtG Impossible in RRE.PNG

However, assuming that the intended path was that huge line of hard rock, I still think that you could have done a lot better with the level. It was still very similar to the original, and I think you could have changed it to make it a lot more difficult. There was lots of unused space in the level, and I reackon you could have made the monsters more of a threat. I wanted to see things like having to race through huge amounts of sleeping rock monsters to get to the next vehicle or something. All they do is emerge, and then either go back in, or just smash a vehicle nearby. (That you don't need.) And the huge amounts of hard rock to dig through doesn't really make it hard, just annoying and time-comsuming. So sorry, one of my least favourite levels.

Air Raiders

Was an interesting challenge at the start, with a fast air diminish rate, and monsters spawning from the hard rock around your base. It didn't help that your Rock Raiders always wanted to go clear the rubble that was miles away. However, once you got things under control, it was just a simple matter of drill every wall. An upgraded Chrome Crusher or 2 makes it no challenge at all really. The monsters also seem to diminish as well, as they only seem to emerge from the hard rock near your base, and once those are taken care of, there's no other sign of them. I think you could have at least added a cavern of sleeping monsters or something.

Water Lot of Fun

Not that much different to the original level, and again, at the end, it was just a case of drill everything and collect. I think you could've adapted it, so that you had to build a base on the other side, and there not be a path that goes all the way back around again.

Ice Spy

Good that it was hard to get energy crystals at the start, but once you started getting a supply, it was yet again a case of drill and collect. The monsters weren't much of a challenge as they were always sleeping. If you made it so there was at least some hard rock near your base where they emerged, it would have been a bit better. (Also, basically all the walls were dirt so just an upgraded small digger was really all you needed. I did however use the chrome crusher to easily take care of the sleeping monsters.) Although, I did like your design of the water streams going towards the area of energy crystals. It's something that isn't seen much, so I congratulate you on the originality.

Oresome!

Too easy for this stage of the ladder, as yet again, it was mainly drill and collect. The few places where you have to use the Tunnel Transporter by now, aren't very challenging. Also, the monsters were easily taken care of while they were sleeping with the laser of the Chrome Crusher, so they didn't present any difficulties. The lava flow was also easily taken care of, as it didn't erode very fast, and you would just build a few power paths, and that's that. Interesting design with the expansive caverns, but as I said, not difficult enough for this stage of the ladder.

Fire 'n' Water

The main thing that struck me is the same as in Water Lot of Fun. Why have a cavern that comes around to your base again? The mission objective says to build a base on the other side, so I wanted to be made to do that. I was wanting small space, not many resources, and a faster eroding lava flow which makes you have to get out very fast. Consequently, you would have to build another base on the other side, which is what is intended. The lava flow that was in this level was a slight annoyance, but again, if you build your buildings far from it, and huge amounts of power paths, you can just leave it for the level. After this, unsurprisingly, drill lots and collect.

Lake of Fire

I actually think this was easier than the original. Sure, getting 100 crystals was a lot more than before, but getting them is rather easy. Mainly down to the additions you've made. Even if erosion cuts off your path to a group of dirt, with the new and improved large mobile laser cutter, you can just drive over the lava and laser it. After this, you can use the overpowered Tunnel Transporter carrying a small transport truck to go and get them. Also, having all those crystals to the right of the map was rather unnecessary. I think I managed to get 91 crystals without going over there, and could have got the 100 target by using the crystals from my buildings. However, if you do go over there, there's tons more, and I could probably have just forgotten about erosion, moved my base over there, and still completed the mission. So sorry, I always liked the original, but I think you made your version a little too easy.

Back to Basics

Well! This was the most annoying level ever. However, while this was partly due to your design, it was mainly down to other, unintentional factors. Here's my run-down of my attempts:

Attempt 1: I knew it would be a hard level right from the start, when I saw a slimy slug hole 2 squares from my power station. Nevertheless, I ploughed on, but when the slugs started emerging, my traditional tactic of killing them with my chrome crusher's laser didn't work. The hole was just too close to my base, and I actually ended up shooting my own base and vehicles. After chaos kept growing in my base, I thought no, this isn't working, and so I stopped the level. So I congratulate you on this level, as it is the first level where I was unsuccessful on my first try. (Baring from the occasion times during previous levels where my game crashed.)

Attempt 2: I tryed a different strategy this time. I would never get more than 10 energy crystals (more than this and slugs start emerging), and instead, I would gradually move my base to a different location, away from holes. Unfortunately, I discovered that you had put holes in most new caverns, and so I again congratulate you on remembering to do so. However, I finally found a spot to build my base, far from the reach of any slugs. Now, the annoying bit: In the time moving my base, I had clicked the X in the priorities next to energy crystals, as to make my Raiders stop collecting crystals. When I turned it back on though, they still refused to collect any crystals. Even manually trying to collect them wouldn't work. Same with vehicles. They would collect crystals from newly drilled rock, that had been drilled once the priority was back on again, but any crystals drilled during the time it was off, they just wouldn't go near them. I don't know whether this glitch is just apparent in your Mod, or in the game itself. I do have recollections of them being unresponsive before, but never like this. After drilling everything, and having about 110 crystals, I stopped again.

Attempt 3: This time, to avoid the glitch, I would have to build fast, by moving my base while not turning off the crystal priority. I managed to successfully do this, and soon the crystals were flowing, and thankfully, the unresponsiveness wasn't an issue. However, with everything drilled and about 165 crystals collected:

Stupid Crash Message.PNG

It took me a long time to get over this, and have yet another go...

Attempt 4: Same strategy as attempt 3. Thankfully, it didn't crash at 165 crystals, and soon I had collected every crystal. Which was a problem. There are only 199 crystals in this level. Yes, I went over to those islands to get the crystals, and I teleported up all my buildings. Nope, stuck on 199:

BtB 199 Crystals Total.PNG

Now I do think there is a possible glitch here. I'm sure that in previous attempts of this level, there were 6 crystals on one of the islands, and 3 on the other. This attempt, there was only 3 on each island. Now while I can't prove this, I opened up the level in the editor, and according to that, there should be 5 crystals on each of the 3 squares, totalling 15 on each island. I only saw 3 on each island. Now I did notice in the level 23 folder a "dugg_23.map" and also a "dugg_23_old.map". Does this have something to do with it? Either way, there was no way I was attempting again, so I actually debugged passed it. Sorry =(.

Hot Stuff

Well the first thing is in the mission briefing. It still says to collect forty-five energy crystals, which should be changed to 200.

Onto the level. It was quite surprisingly difficult. At first I thought it would be a routine drill and collect, but there were certainly some extra things that made it a little more difficult. The first being the eroding lava at the top. It made me work fast, and it was something I had to constantly check on.

Now, it was good that you had slimy slug holes around, but most of them were too far from my base, so once I got past 10 crystals and they starting emerging, they would just go back in, as that's what they seem to do if your base is too far from their hole.

However, there were two that caused me some difficulty. When I drilled into the cavern that had the hole to the south of my base, my base was too close, and so a stream of slugs did swarm my base. What's more, lava monsters starting emerging from one of the recharge seams next to my base! So I now had a lava monsters and slugs swarming my base. Thankfully, by this stage I had my trusty Chrome Crusher, so I just fired 'mah lazor. I also teleported up the buildings closest to the hole and thankfully the slugs stopped coming towards my base.

The monsters were strange though. Have you ever had them emerging from a recharge seam before? About 10 came out, and then I never saw any more. Either way, it made a change having monsters destroying my buildings, and it was a nice little challenge.

Once I got over this episode, I kept on collecting, but then when I drilled into the cavern to the west of my base, another hole, but this was close enough to my base. So yea, another stream of slugs, but this time I was at 165 or so crystals, so there was like 15 of them pouring into my base. (Before I was only at 20 or so, which meant only a few slugs came out.) However, the tactic of just moving my base slightly worked again, and then I was done.

So overall well done on the level. Was certainly more difficult than I expected, but you still probably could have made it more difficult. The only monsters I saw were the sleeping ones, and the ones that emerged from the recharge seam, so I think you could have made them emerge from a few more rocks.

Slugs were good, but maybe move the holes closer so you can't escape them by just moving slightly, and actually have to move the whole base like I had to do in Back to Basics. Also, having recharge seams right next to your base meant it didn't matter how much you fired your laser or how much the slugs drained your power. I think you should have moved these away, or just not had them.

Rocky Horror

Well it was good that you had Slimey Slug holes right next to the base. It meant I had to move to my base to a location away from the holes. What's more, the stupid priority disable glitch meant I had to work fast again.

However, once I found a suitable spot away from the slug holes, it became a bit too easy for a final level really. You just needed a couple of Upgraded Chrome crushers, and several upgraded small transport trucks and you were raking in the crystals.

I did like the seam rooms though. I LOLed when I drilled into the first one, and saw this huge clump of ore seams. (Well it was even better when I drilled into the other one of energy crystal seams :P) It also made me do some conversative drilling for once though. I had to drill in a way to get the most crystals out of the seams. (I also used a small digger to get 3 crystals out of some of the ones that I was going to get none from.)

So things were going nicely, but with most walls drilled and about 165 crystals collected, my game crashed. Now, since it seemed like a typical crash, I didn't bother to actually really notice the message that I got when it crashed. I expected it to be the usual really.

However, when I tryed the level again, at exactly the same point of about 165 crystals, my game crashed again. I usually get the message which is shown above, but this time, I noticed the message was slightly different. This new one (I couldn't take a screenshot had to restart my computer) didn't have the option of sending an error report. It just said that what you were working on may have been lost.

So what I'm thinking, is that this is a special crash just for your level. The previous crashes have been quite random (although I did crash on Back to Basics at about 165 crystals... coincidence?), and have occured on any level, whereas this has occured twice in a row on the same level at the same point.

So after spending about 1 and a half to 2 hours on each attempt, I can't really be bothered trying again, where most likely it's going to crash again.

General (Possible Changes)

The Overpowered Laser

Like I've mentioned, I do use the laser on the chrome crusher a lot to get rid of the monsters. This is one shot-one kill, and maybe it shouldn't be. Usually I'm using the Chrome Crusher to dig into a new cavern which will have monsters in it. I just laser them all and move on. I don't even have to put on Action Stations. So for this reason, I don't think you should have recharge seams right next to the base, and you should change the power of the laser, so it doesn't one-shot the monsters. If you think there should be recharge seams in the level, hide it away in a corner or something. (Like you did in Split Down the Middle.) I found out this works on slugs too. While it's quite hard to hit them, if you have a chrome crusher defending your base in a slug mission, you don't have to worry about turning off the power and other inconveniences.

The Overpowered Tunnel Transporter and Chrome Crusher

I think that the Tunnel Transporter is a bit overpowered. Like I've mentioned, it makes all the water vehicles redundant, as it is far superior to them, and can also go over lava. I'm not saying it should be removed, I just think it should take a lot more crystals to build, same with the Chrome Crusher. The Tunnel Transporter currently takes 4 crystals to build and the Chrome Crusher 5 crystals, but I think they should be both boosted to 10 at least. I mean, an upgraded Chrome Crusher is really all you need. As mentioned before, it can kill monsters, and it can drill through anything in a second or so. The Granite Grinder which takes 3 crystals, takes comparitively, forever to drill through hard rock, and can't kill monsters.

Building Requirements

On the note of requirements, I think you should also need to build more, if not every building, in order to build the next one. Usually when I do a level, I build Teleport Pad, Power Station, Support Station, Super Teleport, usually Upgrade Station and possibly another support station. I can do this very quickly usually (due to the extra resources you have added), and then I have all vehicles available to me. (And then with the overpowered Tunnel Transporter and Chrome Crusher, can usually easily complete the level.) If you made it necessary to build the other buildings like Ore Refinery and Geological Centre before you could build the Upgrade Station and Super Teleport, it would slow me down. Also, possibly having to build 2 of some buildings like Support Station and Teleport Pad as a requirement for some of the later buildings could be a good idea. This would also mean that there would be bigger bases, which, for me, would make it more epic (and also it would be harder on levels where space is limited; you might have to start a base elsewhere, where there is more space - adding to the challenge.) Also, make the buildings use a lot more resources to build. Due the the Super Teleport's power to teleport down the overpowered Tunnel Transporter and Chrome Crusher, it would be good if it took like 100 ore and like 20 crystals at least to build. This way it would be more of an achievement building the best building.