Salvage-less Run?

Salvaging is one of the most iconic components of the Homeworld experience. Newer players often overlook it and take it for granted until they burn out on Mission 5 or 6, lacking the funds to bolster their fleet and hitting the unit cap for frigates remarkably early (I think you’re only allowed to build 6 in Classic!! What??)

So here’s a challenge - beat the main campaign only using the Salvettes for mission-specific tasks. You’re allowed to use them on Karos Graveyard in order to get your stolen ships back, but otherwise, only objectives (Mission 2 and 3). For bonus points, do it in the Classic game - the unit balances and unit caps are different. Is this even doable??

I think the salvage mechanic, for some at least, became such a crutch that the idea of a no salvage play through is thought of as a challenge.

The truth of the matter is that the game as a whole and the dynamic difficulty specifically is balanced around the unit cap. It’s actually the salvage mechanic that breaks that balance, allowing you to go over the cap and in turn making the dynamic difficulty go a little haywire.

It’s fun, make no mistake, especially having to start getting creative with some of the later missions when you have a far over cap fleet and having to save the Bentusi or survive the surprise wave of frigates on the last mission. In the original it was surviving well over 30 multi beam frigates on top of the swarmers.

So yea, I’ve done no salvage run through and while it is no more (perhaps even slightly less) challenging than one where do use (not abuse) it I feel that it is for me WAY more fun because the game is optimally balanced to give a challenge without being impossible when you are at the unit cap.


Oh, I can’t help but ask since this seems hinted in your response but… do you mean that, by going over unit cap by salvaging, you’re essentially causing the game to spawn more enemies? I remember in Chapel Perilous I had a gigantic fleet and all of a sudden there was like 30-something Assault Frigates in X formation, huge waves of Heavy Corvettes and Attack Bombers the likes of which made me think, “If I hadn’t salvaged all of these ships I’d be doomed!” Then the final mission rolls around and it was way too easy because of how much stuff I had (this is all from my Classic playthrough, mind you).

Yea there’s varying levels of dynamic difficulty in both HW1 classic, HW2 and HW:RM. They also have it in HW:DoK.

1 Like

Makes total sense. The amount of time and effort I wasted on salvaging only to meet a final mission where I was way too powerful… I think I was just scared! I remember playing the game when I was probably only 12 or 13 and finding the game far too difficult, so I got a strategy guide and just used salvagers almost all the time. I think in my latest run through I probably spent upwards of 6k RUs on salvage corvettes. They paid for themselves, sure, but my fleet composition was a bit lackluster, creatively speaking.

Not quite accurate. HW1 Classic did have a reactive scaler, but it had an upper limit so it would not spawn excessively and was not really noticeable most of the time: that’s in stark contrast to what HW2 and RM does, where salvaging is redundant and a time wasting exercise due to the excessive scaling.

1 Like

Building a full fleet is, often, enough for excessive scaling. I usually decommission half of my fleet before I do the Balcora Gate level so, you know, it survives through cut scenes.

1 Like

Quite accurate actually. Like I said, varying levels. I hope I wont need to explain how what I said and what you said is the exact same thing?

Again, as per my first post. I ran through the game no salvage and the scaling felt extremely solid even with full fleet. Challenging without being impossible.

Granted what I find a challenge another might find impossible or even trivial but HW1 and HW2 to a slightly lesser degree was made when games didn’t give you everything on a silver platter. Where you could still fail if you didn’t pay attention or think things through.

I’ve already done this a few times in classic :stuck_out_tongue:

Infact I recorded finishing the final mission in one of these play throughs. Note how my fleet at the beginning doesn’t have ANY captured ships.