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Snowflake
10-08-2020 at 05:35 PM
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Seaquest strategy and remaining questions

first with the things that need to be figured out still before i drone on with the tips and tricks.

questions
1. what deterines when a diver appears. Theres always some algorithm to the RNG, it does appear shooting out an entire row makes a diver a little more likely to appear on that row. this is far from 100% and its possible i'm seeing things that dont exist, but it at least appears to me shooting out the entire row has some effect on that probability
2. what determines, when a diver already exists, if shooting out the row will make him/her reverse direction?

strategy.
Surprisingly, the strategy from the game creator is wrong, however, bulding on it works and is a strategy i noticed @Blackflag82 employ. you get more points for remaining oxygen. so surfacing with 5 divers, going down to 4, repleshing oxygen then getting the next two yields a larger bonus. problem is, each surface, whether it be one diver or full sub advances the difficulty. this means using the instruction books strategy will give higher bonuses but you'll also lose half of all bonuses and half of all shoot em up points. is dividing the score by two for the bonus worth it? honestly, maybe, but theres a better way. dying also replenishes oxygen, loses one diver but doesnt advance the level. so you can die at 6 going to 5 (meaning only 1 remaining so less time wasted when you do surface with the full 6) and get the big bonus on every level meaning double the score roughly of the instructions tips

but wait you say, how is dying wise, that comes at a pretty obvoius cost. we'll you cap at out 6 lives anyway, so may as well lose those lives rather than just reach the cap and be denied the extra 1 ups. based on your skill levle of course, if you'd never reach 6 lives then maybe you dont wanna use this strategy yet. deciding when to start using this strategy has to factor in your skill level and expected future accidental deaths. i personaly like to wait till the 4th or 5th wave.

since this, like many games has loops with in loops (the inner most loop is where you do everything twice, the mid loop is number of enemies changing, and the outer most loop is speed) you can bypass certain segments by surfacing with one diver at a time taking advantage of how progression works. credit to @GregDeg for this. naturaly by passing a level means missed points opporunity and bringing you one step close to the levels you cant handle, but if you cant handle for example the 3 enemy formation on outermost loop 2 but can handle the 1 enemy formation on outer most loop 3 then sure, advance to it. ideally, never use this if you're good enough to handle the level, but knownig yoru limitations and when to use this is good.

i did opt to not use gregs technique of refusing to wipe out entire rows and instead leaving one behind. i'm honestly not sure which way is betteer, or if its purely style, but at least for now i find i do better wiping out waves. i'm not prepared to say my way is better maybe gregs is better and i'm just not good enough to utilize it.

by way of aim, knowing exactly where the middle of each row is will prove very helpful in the later levels as aiming at the middle makes it harder for an enemy to swerve around the shots thereby wiping out the rows before they can get you.

Comments
  1. Blackflag82's Avatar

    As for the divers: I'm not entirely sure, but I've also found that shooting out certain rows seems to have certain effect. I played some games where I tried to stay in the top two rows of the really fast levels and just grab those divers, and while some will come out, there often wouldn't be enough for me to advance the level, so I'd have to head down to the bottom two rows. I always had the impression that shooting the bottom two created more divers for the entire level, but I'm not sure if this is true or just imagined. No real answers there, but just an additional thought/observation. I've never been very good at picking up on definitive RNG myself, more just able to get a "feel" for what I think needs to happen next, and this game is definitely that for me.

    I could never get a good handle on Greg's technique. I tried for a while, but it felt like I was having to put too much "thought" into the process. Since I already had a basic strategy down, I opted just work on mine.

    Re: the level advancement - I could be wrong in how I was reading your strategy above, but you actually gain a bunch of points by advancing the level and then taking advantage of the higher oxygen bonus. Here's why: I just did a play through of the 1st four waves and grabbed 8k just moving through and ending the wave on the wave I started. But by advancing the wave to take advantage of the oxygen bonus, I will still be able to play that wave. I start on wave 1, collect all the divers but one and then press points until my oxygen is low and then surface. The wave advances to wave 2, I go down, grab my divers as quick as I can and then resurface taking the huge oxygen bonus. When the "new" wave starts I'm still on wave 2. I can play through it the same way and then advance the wave. The only way I lose a wave (and it's bonus) is if I advance the wave twice. The result of this method was that at the end of the 4th wave my score was 16.5k

    This can be especially useful once you get to the levels with 90 point sharks and some speed because you can employ a combo of dying and surfacing to get to play and point press each wave a lot more. Take the 3 enemy waves for example. I find I can score significantly more point in the 3 enemy waves than the split 2 waves so my strategy (if I can execute it) is as follows:

    1st split 2 wave - collect all but one diver and then point press until the oxygen is almost out. If I need to kill off a man because I'm maxed out and the next bonus will give me another life, I do that and then play the wave again and point press until my oxygen is low then advance the wave and take advantage of the bigger bonnus.

    2nd split 2 wave - same as above and then advance into the 3 enemy wave. But instead of immediately taking advantage of the larger bonus, I play the wave with heavy point pressing allowing two deaths (three if I'm feeling in the groove) and then get the big oxygen bonus after a death without advancing the wave.

    1st 3 enemy wave - Now I point press heavily, same as above...Play until I have 3 lives in reserve, advance the wave (if I'm close enough to gain another life then point press to that life and then dies to take advantage of the large oxygen bonus)

    2nd 3 enemy wave - Same as above, but deplete lives down to one in reserve and then advance the wave and immediately take advantage of the bonus.

    Then I begin replenishing lives to take advantage of the later waves again. If I do this right at the higher levels with the max diver points then I can basically get three-three and a half 3 enemy waves instead of just two.

    I have found good life management is the key to my higher scores. I forget exactly how much can be managed with point pressing in the 2 and 3 enemy waves - I think it's about 5k to 5.5k-ish for each life (though I'm not as proficient with the split enemy waves). And then each wave completion will almost get you a life if you have full oxygen and all the divers (in the later levels). So the end result is in the later waves when it's still controllable and allowing for an accidental death here and there, you can lose 3 lives and gain 2 back - if your score is near a 10k life bonus at the start of a wave and your lives aren't maxed out you can even get an even trade of lives for a bit - 249,700 starting a 3 enemy wave should net you about 5.5k so life 1 would bring you to 255,xxx, life 2 would bring you to 260,xxx, life three to 266,000, and then advancing the wave and finishing level 275,xxx so you'd get 3 lives in exchange for 3 lives and be set up that the 1st life of the next wave will also get you a life on that playthrough.

    So if I watch my points correctly and manage to get through without accidental deaths (or at least accidental deaths that have net at least 80% of a level's points before death) then I believe one could get at least 15 life playthroughs on the 3 enemy waves and be able to begin the 1st 1 enemy way with 2 lives in reserve with a 3rd life attainable on that wave playthrough with a another one coming (or close to it) on completion.

    Okay, I just realized how long this got. I got excited that someone else is playing Seaquest and talking about strategy and started to nerd out a bit. Hopefully some of the above is helpful.


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  2. Snowflake's Avatar

    ok i'm gonna break up comments for digestion, but i'll be damned it looks like wave progression is even more complicated than i thought -- cool, im gonna increase my score ;) well...once i figure out the exat complexities. you seem right in that i oversimplified, yet some quick experiment shows it might be even more complex than you laid out as well. anyway more on that later, now for terminlogy. we cant discuss well without being clear what we mean.

    Heres how i label the waves, phases, loops, whatever. not trying to force my terminology on anyone, just what i find useful, the waves go as follows

    1.1.1 -- one fish groups
    1.1.2 -- one fish groups
    1.2.1 -- two fsih groups
    1.2.2 -- two fish groups
    1.spread.1 -- two fish spread
    1.spread.2 -- two fish spread
    1.3.1 -- three fish groups
    1.3.1 -- three fish gropus
    2.1.1 -- one fish groups

    2.1.2 two fish groups

    and so on.

  3. Snowflake's Avatar

    oh damn! i just did some experimenting, this is amazing

    ok, surface with a full sub (call "sf" going forward) and surface with 1 or more divers but less than full (called s going forward) i thought both advanced the difficluty but thats not entirely true.

    Only a "sf" increases point values. A "s" ALWAYS increses difficulty -- meaning yes you can do a higher difficulty while still having the old points values. a "sf" only increases difficulty if the point value from previous "sf"s finally catches up with the difficulty.

    This explains why sometimes i found a later wave seemed to have 4 phases for each fish formation instead of two. but it wasnt entirely consistent and i was very confused. now i get it, in the later difficulties my "s"s were advancing me to quickly and i needed to catch up. it just worked out this wound up in requiring for full surfaces per phase later.

    This means theres the instruction book was correct, you are correct and i was wrong. deaths really arent needed for the bonsuses, all deaths do is let you get more attempts at the low yield points from shooting (the real money of course is in full surfacing with full oxygen).

    with this knowledge, i can die less earlier giving me a higher buffer of lives. also in the later levels where i was surfacing with a full sub and low oxygen cause i couldnt afford a death but also thought an earlier surface would deny me a phase i can now maximize as well

    wow i thought i finally had all the strategy and it was just reflexes left. this though will change my points even if i gain zero increased skill. also it means greg method to skip certain phases doesnt have the punishment i thought it did. i used that only in emergencis because i thought i was foregoing points from the lost phase now i realize i'm allowed to make up for it later.

    i'll stil chose not to point press with shooting, i feel that gives so few points and drags out the game that it'll just wear me down and take away later focus needed for the real points of surfacing.

    LikesBlackflag82 liked this post
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