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-   -   March of the Autarch (series) (http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/showthread.php?t=289261)

nrobbiec 06-29-2012 04:13 PM

March of the Autarch (series)
 
Federation arc, current missions:

Part 1: Jus In Bello: Level 31+

Part 2: SixSickSlickSlimSycamoreSaplings: Level 46+

Part 3: What Defines a Friend: Level 46+

Part 4: Apocalypse Descending: Level 46+

Part 5: March of the Autarch (coming soon)

nrobbiec 07-05-2012 04:10 PM

Part 3 is up and part 2 has been re-edited since the grant mission dialogue just isn't obvious enough.

drogyn1701 07-09-2012 09:09 PM

Played your series nrobbiec, and the in-game review system is so limited so I thought I'd go all evil70th and give you some in-depth feedback. For anyone else, spoilers ahead! You have been warned. Keep in mind I'm writing this as I play, so these are sometimes first impressions. Any suggestions are just that, feel free to use any or none at all :)

Note: Tested by a level 50 sci in a defiant refit with borg gear on normal.

A few quick overall notes:
I like the use of the All Good Things uniforms. Always liked those. A suggestion I always give people is to make the first button to enter the mission (the one you get when you reach the starting door) read something like "Begin: Mission Name." It helps people know they're in the right place.

Mission 1: Jus in Bello

Story:
Good: You've got me intrigued. What were the "monsters" on the station. Are they Tzenkethi? Are they minions of the Tzenkethi? Why did they attack? It has a lot of good setup. The unfortunate thing is that's kind of all it is: setup. But that's always the problem with Act I of a multi-act story. Not your fault.
Bad: There's not much here to work with. It's a four-map mission, and two of those maps are go from point A to point B and that's it. I think there's a lot of potential to expand this mission. Consider giving us more things to do. Have us scan things, maybe find a survivor of the attack and question them. Have us go through several rooms to reconstruct the station commanders log. And consider making more things to do on the space maps especially.

Maps:
Good: Good use of stock maps, the destroyed interiors were very appropriate. The things you added blended in well enough that I wasn't sure if you added them at all (more crates in some places I think). I wish there were more variety in the poses available for "dead" npcs, but as I recall there aren't any.
Bad: No backdrop on the space map. To put one in, click in an empty spot on the map, you'll see a button at the bottom that says "backdrop" then you can choose from premade ones or make your own. There is already a couple Briar Patch ones (but I don't care for them much).

Dialogue:
Good: What dialogue there is is polished. No typos that I found.
Bad: There's not very much of it. Consider having your BOFFs speculate about the attack as you move through the space map. Have them react more to what they see around them, especially the attackers on the station. I also found it strange that no one mentioned the unidentified ship near the USS Riker until it warped out offscreen.

Action:
Good: A good fight. I always enjoy fighting Fek'lhri.
Bad: Only one fight, but if that's the author's choice, i'll go with it.

Overall: I sense this might be your first mission (correct me if I'm wrong). I see someone sort of dipping their toes into the Foundry, seeing what it can and can't do. What I see is good, you have the basics down. There are no "UGC Contacts" or missing text or broken objectives. Well done and a good beginning, but once you get more confident, it could use a "Remastered" version.

4 stars.

Mission 2: SixSick..... you know the rest.

Story:
Good: I liked that you ramped up the stakes this early in the series. An attack on Earth! I liked the "previously on" bit. I may steal that :D I also liked how I comforted the cadet, that was a nice touch. and great twist at the end. Can't wait to see what that's all about.
Bad: You definitely ramped up the peril, which is good. But it was a bit jarring to go from a simple murder mystery to a full-scale attack. I think expanding the first mission would help with that. Also it seems like I should be more skeptical when Zoarhi says something is happening on Risa, he can "feel it." Consider adding some dialogue with him trying to convince the player. Risa was fun, but what happened to the Ferengi?

Maps:
Good: Again good use of stock maps. The forcefields in the Starfleet HQ are a great way to get around the fact that we can't damage the player with the sparks or the fires. Great touch! I like that you took me to the Moon, I'd never been by it on that map. It's cool how you can see the cities. You used respawn points! this is very good, lots of people forget that... like me!
Bad: Missing the backdrop on the Sol System. Also in the coming season six we'll be getting the new ESD space map. Whether to switch is up to you, but i thought I would throw it out there. I don't know if you put in the invisible wall by the ship by the moon, but I would take it out if its yours. It doesn't seem to serve a purpose. If not, I would bring the ship away from the moon a bit. I see a lot of maps where you have me go from point A to point B a long way away, which is a bit boring. Risa is a prime example. Consider moving your objectives closer together, or make more things to do along the way. That will also help with getting the player to take the path around the map that you want them to take.

Dialogue:
Good: Overall good. Dialogue with the survivors was excellent. Hilarious dialogue with the Gorn!
Bad: Again consider some more dialogue. Watch a few episodes of Trek and see how much the bridge officers talk amongst themselves or give the captain information. You have some, and what there is is good, but I think it needs more. Also, captain was mispelled once when talking to Queesyyngoe.

Action:
Good: I engaged the fleet, but don't hold it against me, lol. It was fun. The ground action was good. I like the way the Tzenkethi fought (Fek'lhri right?).
Bad: Nothing particularly bad. You might add a space encounter on the second earth space map. Like maybe you have to dispatch one last warship that was going after the survivors.

Overall: The plot thickens! I see a lot more confidence with the Foundry. What you put in was polished and well-executed, but again I feel like it could benefit from expansion in dialogue and more objectives on each map, especially the space maps. Don't forget to put that this is part 2 in the mission summary.

4 Stars.

Mission 3: What Defines a Friend

First thing, you have the start location in the opening mission text, I would also put it in the mission accept dialogue and the mission summary like you did in SixSickwhatever.

Story:
Good: I like that we're hopping all over the galaxy. I think the best sort of political epics/techno thrillers do this.
Bad: You might make mention at least of the Prime Directive, since we seem to be meddling in affairs between the Romulans and the Tzenkethi. I think its justified, since its an independent station, but maybe have a BOFF bring it up. I feel like R'Kel should ask about his mother, or I should say she sent me. Family relationships are rare in STO, I would expand that one.

Maps:
Good: You have backdrops! Excellent! Cool looking Romulan station. Like the backdrop on the ground map, made it very dark and atmospheric! Good map choice for the Tzenkethi ship.
Bad: The Romulan ground map ended really abruptly, I'm not sure what was going on there. I also question the need to go to a second and third part of the Tzenkethi ship so soon after arriving and using the same map. Seems like that could all be accomplished on one map, or vary it up and find some other similar maps to use. Do anything you can to avoid really quick maps (I'm also working on improving in this in my missions). On the Tzenkethi ship, half the away team beams in across the room, consider moving the spawn point out from the wall a bit.

Dialogue:
Good: That little reaction "Hirogen and Breen, something's not right." is what I've been talking about. Those little but realistic dialogues are what can breathe life into a mission.
Bad: In the first dialogue with the Romulan station, consider having the player ask a boff what happened when the signal was lost. Then maybe a discussion on what to do next, rather than go straight to "beam over." Consider adding to the dialogue with the captain. Maybe give him the hypospray, then have him explain the next objective a bit more. We also need a little bit of summary of what we did at the end of the Tzenkethi map, have someone say "Thanks for freeing us captain, what will we do now?"

Action:
Good: Nice variety of mobs. Keeps things more interesting than just fighting the same guys over and over. Awesome 3 way fight at the end, wish it could have gone on longer, but you have control over that of course.
Bad: The enemies on the first room station were just standing there. Consider having them do an animation, like scan the cargo containers or put in some Romulans to fight like in the other rooms. Consider spreading all of them out a bit so they're not in formation all the time. When they stand together like that it looks unnatural, and makes them extremely easy to kill.

Overall: Again lots of good, lots of potential. You know how to make friendly mobs of different races, that's a good step. I think this was my favorite so far.

4 Stars.

Mission 4: Apocalypse Descending

Story:
Good: I like how you're carrying through on the telepath angle from mission 2. Continue pulling on story threads like this. Very good twist at the end leading into Part 5.
Bad: As much as I like galaxy-hopping, it is a bit annoying to go back to nearly the same place I left in mission 2. Consider putting the start point somewhere a bit closer and more varied, like Starbase 39. Wouldn't even be a big change, since that's the map you used. Remember to put the start point in all three locations, opening dialogue, mission summary and first mission text. The P'Jem part of the story is quite well done, but the mission as a whole felt far too short.

Maps:
Good: Again good use of stock maps. Space map looked good.
Bad: Instead of having the last two objectives on P'Jem as simultaneous, consider having them one after the other, so that way the mission ends on exactly the note you want it to and exactly where you want it to.

Dialogue:
Good: I see you're starting to experiment with branching dialogue, this is good!
Bad: In the first dialogue with Admiral Keru, it's a little awkward to have claim twice in the sentence. There's not much dialogue beyond that first map, I would look into adding some. Delving a bit into the characters like you did in the first map is excellent, you missions need lots more of that! Star Trek is about character first and foremost.

Action:
Good: Ferasans! Sort of. Fun fight with the carrier.
Bad: No complaints really.

Overall: A good installment. I really liked going to P'Jem and the possessed monks and the twist! Could benefit from another sequence before P'Jem maybe.

4 Stars.

Conclusion:
You're doing very well. I see you learning your way around the Foundry just as I did. Once you make Part 5, I would go back and look at all these and apply what you've learned to expand each part. A very good start to your Foundry career.

nrobbiec 07-10-2012 05:40 AM

Wow! Okay where do I start...

Yes I love the All Good Things uniform too.

With Jus In Bello: yeah I was trying to go for something dark and slow, I had to add the Feklhiri holograms because it felt too slow and like nothing was going on. Also I'm quite fond of the Feklhiri :P yeah lie flat - front is the only pose where they don't move at all.

SixSick... such a long title but it was the only thing that worked: I wanted it to be jarring, the Tzenkethi will attack a minor installation one moment and then throw themselves at Earth the next. Like the sudden Breen attack in DS9.
With Zoarhi, he's Aenar but I don't know how obvious that it is since I can't make an an actual Aenar in Foundry so used a Visor :P the Tzenkethi killed the Ferengi, no use to them anymore, I loved writing the Gorn.
I used Undine squads for the Tzenkethi - I based them heavily on Rough Beasts of Empire's description so I wanted them to use energy attacks but not guns since Tzenkethi are like electric eels.
The thing with the fleet battle is, if left to themselves the Tzenkethi will destroy the Federation fleet which needs to happen for the story.
I actually prefer this design of ESD, I've never really been fond of the space umbrella.
To be honest with HQ I used force fields with sparks and fire just to do something with those random rooms at the side.

What Defines a Friend: I was proud of that Romulan station. On the colony at the end a Tzenkethi Node appears and then disappears but I can't make it disappear permanently so I threw in blink and you'll miss it dialogue. Not too fond of that but it seemed like the best idea.
What I wanted to do with the warship was to show that it was just layers of these holding cells. A very cold sterile design throughout the ship.
I just wish there was a way to have an NPC group of whatever you want and then choose their allegiance, instead of them all having Federation weapons. I worry that breaks the immersion a little.
I do like the idea of the formation being unnatural since they are under the control of the Nodes but if it makes them easier to kill that probably takes a little fun out of it.

Apocalypse Descending: Yes, I had to throw in the Ferasans like that, I loved using the carrier and the fighters. Oddly the costumes are called Starfleet Caitians but those don't look like Starfleet uniforms and with a disruptor and a bat'leth in hand they make convincing enough Ferasans I think.
The dialogue with Lieutenant Nyte is a reference to my very first Foundry mission Thy Own Enemy, along with Captain Olsson I'm keeping all my missions in the same universe as it were.
Yeah it felt short to me too but I couldn't think of anything to add and personally I prefer for something to be short than to have stuff added for the sake of it.

I'm very pleased with a consistent 4 star rating thank you for that, and I will take your advice to heart while dabbling with mission 5 and future stuff. I think I will revamp the little things at a later date. Thanks for all your work with the reviews

drogyn1701 07-10-2012 06:25 AM

Oh I totally forgot to tell you what I thought of your Tzenkethi design. I liked it, my thought was as I was playing is that yours is a design they might have given them on the Original Series, whereas mine was more TNG or later when they had the ability to add more detail to their makeup designs. I won't say one approach is better than the other, there are certainly fans of both.

Using Undine was a great touch. Electric eels... I never would have thought of that :D

nrobbiec 07-10-2012 07:18 AM

When I was reading Memory Beta I just got this impression that there was something very aquatic about them, smooth features, no bones, bio-electricity. I wanted to run with that.

That is the great thing about unseen enemies isn't it? I often wonder what the Fen Domar could look like.


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