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Is there a Rosetta Stone for Armored Core? Beginner desperately seeking help.


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#1 Ernst

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 03:56 AM

Will playing AC1 help clarify the rules and mechanics of later installments?
Is there an AC game that is more user-friendly than the rest?
Is the series influenced by a tabletop game I can study?
Are there other easier consoles games that might help me develop the skills I'll need to even begin playing AC?

I didn't grow up playing mech games. I find these AC games especially intriguing, but they provide little to no instruction or feedback so I don't know what I'm supposed to do, what I'm doing wrong, or how to correct it. The only penalty in ACVD is tedium, but in Silent Line any failure is catastrophic. I'm sure my mechs are of poor quality but have no means of correcting that as I cannot afford to upgrade them. Maybe I don't even possess the finger dexterity to pilot one? All I know is I'm getting killed over and over and over, and no amount of practicing in Test Mode is helping that. I've read the ACVD Beginner's Guide and it was definitely very informative about all manner of topics that were not so much as mentioned in-game. Still I'm getting crushed in Story Mode and dare not set foot in PVP yet. I'd love to experience multiplayer eventually, but truthfully I'd be happy if I could just get into some robot havok alone.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

#2 FromCheng

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 10:35 AM

1. Playing earlier AC games will get you more accustomed to playing and adapting around the mechanics of later games.
2. 4th gen is the most user friendly/easiest to get into, but it doesn't necessarily prepare you for the other games.
3. No
4. If you play any simulation games that should help you get better adjusted to the AC series as you will be more used to looking at a myriad of stats and doing alot of trial and error.


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#3 Nescient

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 10:40 AM

ohai.

 

1. nope. Maby a little... PS1 and PS2 games are nearly identical. 4th and 5th gen are basically separate entities. 

2. early games are generally easier. 5th gen is the most upfront with its mechanics and the easiest PvP to approach

3. NO! But it does have a rigid meta that works somewhat like a tabletop.

4. fuck no. If anything it works the opposite way. Easier games tend to soften armored core related activity. ACFA is the one catch-all that polishes the skill-sets common to its peers.

 

if you're a musician i doubt finger dexterity will be a problem. Get one of us to merc for you or hop into FB for more direct advice.


2. 4th gen is the most user friendly/easiest to get into, but it doesn't necessarily prepare you for the other games.

 

Strictly from a PvE perspective. 4th gen PvP is pretty much the most relentless tech practice I'm aware of (finger dexterity). And its the definitive hyperbolic time chamber of lag training...


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#4 Gripheenix

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Posted 19 December 2016 - 10:43 AM

Well, to answer your questions, in a blanket: Not really, to all of it...

 

Playing AC1 will only help you be better at the first 3 generations of the game, which is to say just the PS1 and PS2 titles. That's because they all play rather similar to one another, gradually adding more and more mechanics as the series progressed. 4th and 5th gen both play completely differently, so most of the skillsets acquired in the previous games don't translate over all that well. On top of that, until Nexus, there was no analog control, so you'd have to learn the original AC control scheme, which is great once you get used to it, but so terrible when you aren't.

 

Probably the most 'user friendly' AC games are AC4 and 4 Answer. 4th gen has some very complex mechanics, but generally speaking, you don't really need to understand them, in depth, to clean house in the story (save for a small handful of specific missions). 4/4A build the player up to be immensely more powerful than any other AC games ever did, and the base gameplay was heavily streamlined from the preceding titles. As such, the games are rather easy, with the caveat that you at least have an idea of what you're doing.

 

There really isn't any other outside avenue for study, that would honestly help you understand AC more. Armored Core is a one-of-a-kind thing, and that's probably the main reason for its rabidly loyal fanbase. Unfortunately, the bit about nothing getting explained, is kind of a staple of FromSoft games, for better or for worse. On one hand, it's refreshing to have a game that doesn't hold your hand, and sit you through 4 hours of tutorial, before squaring you off against the final boss. But, on the other, it does make it difficult for newcomers to get into.

 

Most of the people who are good at AC games are only so, because they stuck to it, and forced themselves to get better. Unfortunately, there really isn't any sort of 'on-switch' for understanding the games. It all just comes with practice. Eventually, it will just click.

 

Though in terms of statistical data, one piece of advice that I can give: When examining parts in the shop/garage, you can press Triangle for more detailed stats, and press Select to highlight a specific stat for a more detailed explanation of what it actually does. However, the stat descriptions are generally still pretty vague.  Still, better than nothing.

 

Also, as far as Silent Line goes, you might have a bit of an easier time if you played AC3 first, as you can carry over your save file from that game, into Silent Line, with all of your parts, which would definitely make the early game a lot easier.

 

Past that, just practice, practice, practice. Especially movement. Knowing how to move well is arguable the most important skill in the series, no matter what game you're on. Wish I could give you some more specific answers, but unfortunately, without knowing exactly what's causing your struggle, I can't know where to direct those specifics...


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#5 Ernst

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 02:26 AM

Thanks for the input, everyone. I'm going to keep practicing with ACVD, and probably start trying to collect all the "numbered" games as well to get a look at the first games of every generation. A former roommate had Dark Souls and I spent 2 days straight beating my head against that wall so I'm somewhat aware of From's vague-yet-hardcore tendencies, but - having more experience with RPGs and Castlevavia than with flight/tank simulators or racing games - the expectations were a little easier to grok. I'm also not sure I'm moving as fast as I'm supposed to be, but even still I'm having trouble turning precisely or aiming at the speed I am achieving. I'll keep practicing. Is it true that once you've started ACVD there's no going back to AC5 and importing its data into ACVD even if you deleted ACVD first?

#6 Nescient

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 07:53 AM

You move like ass. You overshoot or miss turns and aiming is obviously beyond you. And even when you do get better and notice it, you're going to repeat that cycle a few times through campaign as you reach the difficult missions and adjust to the better parts. Then you get to do it all over again (one way or another) for the first few big play style jumps (i.e. tank to bipedal). At least that was how it felt to me, lol.

 

The series is a lot like dark souls. Boss fights are similarly pitched battles, some are impossible without specific setups. But generally the first challenge in a souls game is a boss fight or boss like mob... Armored cores early missions are comparatively easy but the control learning curve is immensely steep. The final bosses in Last raven and for answer take monumental effort to beat.

 

Stick with it as long as you're enjoying some aspect of the game. The early grind is hell, frankly the worst thing you could do, from a pure performance stand point, is switch games trying to manipulate difficulty. 


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