Trapped dropship

Posted April 9th 2014

Associated movies

  • BCM100 - Heroic; Trapped dropship (7:56)
Looks like trouble there!

During my early experiences of trying to get a detached dropship turret, I caught sight of something interesting. One time after causing a flip and starting to fall to my death for the umpteenth time, I saw that the ship had got caught up in the near bridge. How had it happened?

The explanation was, I'd flipped the ship rather early. If you flip it early, before it's into the steeper part of its right-curving ascent, the brief levelling-out effect can cause it to fly significantly further up the battlefield, deep enough that the ship's left prong impacts the underside of the bridge, causing the ship to then get tangled up by the structure. Trapped, you might say. Maybe not always totally trapped, but badly impeded at the very least, and often it ends up stopped.

Yep, it's stuck alright

When I saw this, I was excited to think that maybe the ship would be prevented from vanishing, because it wouldn't be able to reach a scripted final height. However, in doing the flip so early, I was falling to my death, and all I could see for sure was that the ship was still there when I died. To see if it would stay there, it looked like I'd need to survive; so I started attempting survival by bouncing low to end up alive on the ground or on the low ledge.

Eventually I managed it and got my answer. The ship still vanishes. Apparently the vanishing works according to a schedule, rather than according to altitude. That was disappointing, but at least the trapped ship still made an amusing spectacle, and I was getting good views of it by surviving off low bounces.

Struggling along the deck

All that was in December 2013. But when I was later working on my tutorial movie BCM99 for getting a detached dropship turret, I realized it was possible to get the ship trapped and land on the bridge, for spectacular close-up views. You just need to leave the flip late enough that you can still get enough bounce to reach the bridge (previously I hadn't realized you could leave it so late). But you also have to still be early enough for the ship to get trapped of course; so what you're going for is a fairly narrow window of opportunity, for the flip and bounce to give you the required outcome.

It's also possible to reach the far bridge, where you can likewise get good views; and you can land on either of the bridge supports too.

Completely stopped

I subsequently made BCM100 to illlustrate all this with some nice clips. The movie includes a clip in which I manage to make a running jump off the right prong of the ship to reach the far bridge - a challenge which took me three attempts. You'll also see that the ship causes an incorrect shadow on the bridge deck. The part of the ship under the deck projects a shadow up onto the deck!

After the ship has hit the bridge, you may get a flip prompt again when close enough (e.g. on the bridge). But if you try flipping it again, not much seems to happen. I guess the bridge has too firm a grip on it.

While making the movie I learnt a few things. Firstly, on rare occasions the ship can escape its entanglement, to fly on a bit before vanishing. Secondly, when falling to your death, it is possible to see the trapped ship vanish, as long as you get bounced high enough to keep you alive long enough.

Incidentally, with a flip that causes the ship to hit the bridge, don't expect the turret to detach. I've never experienced that in all my many hours spent on this business.

The chase is on!

Using mid-air reboarding

The movie also includes a sequence of mid-air reboardings (starting at 6:08), allowing me to see the trapped ship from my Banshee (and to blast it for fun, even if it sadly doesn't do any damage). The five clips show different ways it happened, but they all have one thing in common. At some point, the dropship apparently gives the empty Banshee enough support that I'm able to get a boarding prompt (you can never board a Banshee unless the game considers it sufficiently upright and supported, I think).

The first of my reboardings was unplanned; it just happened. If you examine the frames, you'll see that after I bail, I get a flip prompt for the ship, then a Banshee boarding prompt. Thanks to my mashing of the X button, the game evidently accepted one press for the first prompt, and another for the second. The other reboardings feature the same sequence of prompts, except for the fourth which also had a Banshee flip prompt in between - so in that case my mashing answered three prompts!

I may not be hurting the ship like this, but it sure feels good!

If you try any of those reboarding styles yourself, don't expect them to be easy. There are some aspects of luck here, but also some of skill, in trying to maximize your chance of success. With each of my four intentional styles, it took plenty of attempts for each success.

Possibly the least difficult is the third; the one where you skim above the ship and briefly put your feet down before reboarding. With the others, the controller work is more difficult and it's harder to judge positioning.

In the fourth reboarding I try to match my path with that of the ship, before bailing. In the fifth I about-face and wait stationary, before bailing just above the ship's right prong. That's probably the most difficult, as you lose sight of the ship for a while before bailing.