Confused outpost dropships
Posted November 29th 2011
Blimey, I've really gone and done it now. All three outpost dropships are drifting around unable to make their drops because the outpost has vanished! Must be quite confusing for them. Anyway, here's how to obtain that situation and see some related novelties.
Three drifting ships
After stealing Jun's Falcon, escape from normal bounds and get the relay outpost loaded, all as described for combat at the relay outpost in another article. As before, preferably use the wandering dropship escape method.
Remaining outside normal bounds, kill the existing covies (make sure you get all of them; it's safe to go as low as 110 feet for a clear view), then get the outpost unloaded as described in the set-up work for getting blind covies. Without reloading it, dismount somewhere to trigger the first dropship; e.g. on some hillside near the missing area, or on top of the invisible ceiling of the missing area (at about 387 feet). You can subsequently reboard if you like. Bear in mind that you best not be close to the aforementioned ceiling when the kill-zone comes into force shortly, as you can get killed up there.
One by one, each of the three dropships arrives but then starts drifting around, thwarted in its mission to drop troops at the outpost - because there's no darned outpost there! Hah, they weren't expecting that. The ships freely drift through the scenery and through each other, and sometimes a ship may temporarily blink out of visibility. While this is going on, you'll hear Carter if he's not aboard the Falcon ("How we doin' Kat?"), but there are no replies from Kat as there's no outpost.
Before long you get the fallback prompt and things end up much as described in my Isolated relay outpost article, for the case where you're outside the outpost's load zone. Some of the dropships may do some falling. The Banshees whizz in and get amusingly destroyed by smacking into the invisible boundary of the load zone.
After getting that situation, I had an idea. What would happens if I get the outpost reloaded after I've got multiple ships on the scene? Will they suddenly all try to drop troops at once, now somebody's put the ground back? Potentially, yes! But before I say more on that, let me mention something about the contents of ships.
Once a ship has spawned with the outpost absent, it can still make a dropping action if the outpost is subsequently loaded, but it'll actually have no troops aboard! You can easily see a ship do an 'empty drop' like that. For example, head over near where you can reload the area, wait until you see ship 2 spawn, then do the loading. In that case the ship will head straight in for a drop as normal, but when the doors come down you'll see that it was a wasted journey. No covies! The emptiness seems to be due to the absence of the outpost at the time the ship spawns. No outpost means no troops.
Any drifting ship can potentially drift back and do a drop (maybe an empty one), and it's consequently possible to see multiple ships making drops at similar times, merging freely with one another in unnatural fashion - quite a weird sight!
If you want to try and get all three making drops at once, I suggest getting the outpost reloaded any time between about five seconds after ship 2 starts drifting, and just after ship 3 spawns. But ship 1 will have been drifting quite a while, so you may need a bit of luck for it to be drifting back in the vicinity at a suitable time. I had one case where the three ships made their drops with really excellent synchronization. Other times it's been a bit more scrappy, but I doubt you'll have much trouble getting a decent triple drop. If you delay the reload until after ship 3 spawns, all three ships will be empty. That's a lot of covies not turning up for work today!
The way things were done there, only ship 3 might have troops in it. But with a bit of adjustment to the plan, you could for example arrange for ship 1 and ship 3 to have troops, making for more covies disembarking in the case of a simultaneous triple drop. Here's how you could do it after loading the outpost for the first time. Land and dismount, then reboard and kill the initial covies. Ship 1 will spawn a few seconds later. Let it do so while the outpost is there, but get the outpost unloaded before it arrives, to thwart the drop. Fly back to where you can reload the outpost, and get it reloaded shortly before ship 3 spawns.
Ship affecting some items
While playing about trying to get simultaneous drops, I saw something interesting. A drifting ship came up through the storage building adjacent to the outpost and took a wooden pallet with it, which had been lying about within. Basically the ship came up through the floor and collected the pallet on the top surface of one prong of its fork (on a corner of the tip). The pallet was forced through the ceiling and then parted company with the ship, flying through the air as the ship settled to make a drop with the others. Another time I saw some blue barrels get knocked by a ship. The upshot of all this is, ships apparently don't drift through everything.
In the 'Three drifting ships' section, I mentioned that you shouldn't be too close to the outpost area's invisible ceiling when the kill-zone comes into force. However, there's an exception. For some reason it's ok if you're standing on the Falcon on the ceiling. You don't die, and the Falcon remains. It's strange, because if you were at a similar height in the Falcon, you'd be killed.