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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Warning: This is an extremely text heavy mission. Don't even bother with it if you don't want to read!

Click here to watch the 3 minute review of the mission by BitesizeUGC.

Faction: Federation
Level: 16+
Location: Draylon System, Beta Ursae
Length: 2-3 hours (depending on how much of the entirely optional dialogue you explore)*
Verified compatible with all difficulty levels (Normal, Advanced, Elite)

Presenting Task Force Odyssey
For the past 18 months, pirates have been plaguing the shipping lanes between Sol and DS9. Dozens of lives have been lost, and many tons of cargo have been stolen. Now the U.S.S. Odysseus has gone missing while out on patrol to find the pirates. Admiral Anita Gonzales from Starfleet Intelligence has assembled an anti-piracy task force to save the Odysseus, and Admiral Marconi has suggested you be a part of it. Help Task Force Odyssey investigate who is behind the attacks, and put an end to the pirate threat once and for all!

Find the Pirates? I think I've done this before...
I know, from the description it doesn't sound much. It's not an epic story. You aren't saving the Federation or the galaxy from imminent destruction. You're trying to find some pirates: ZzzZzz. I asked a friend for her initial impressions upon accepting the mission, and she told me it sounded generic. You know what? She was absolutely right! But the quality isn't in the premise, it's in the delivery. Finding pirates has been done in STO before, but never quite like this.

More ST, Less STO
My concept behind this mission was to try to capture more of the feel of a TNG or DS9 episode, and less that of an STO episode. In that vein, the mission is actually an investigation, and by that I don't mean you just drop in and blow up 10 ships and sort it out from the wreckage. You actually have to find clues to the identity of the pirates by investigating derelict freighters and completing text-based puzzles (hence the name of the mission, a bit of a play on words). What is more ST? Attend an actual task force briefing. Travel at warp. Explore strange systems for clues. Meet interesting characters who may provide help-- or not! Less STO means no excessive combat, no mindless "destroy 4/4 ships", and no single-handedly defeating 20 vessels by yourself-- you'll need help if you want to succeed.

An Interactive Story
So what exactly makes this mission different? I call it an interactive story because character interaction is a major part of the mission. You don't just click through every pop-up dialogue. Instead you select the response that fits your character. Depending on what you say, people will react differently. Some may help you if you respond correctly, but won't if you insult them. You can pick a fight, or try to talk your way out of a tough situation. It's all up to you! The dialogue trees in the mission are so extensive that I simply could not complete it until the S4 Foundry patch. Before that the Foundry became so bogged down that it was rendered completely unusable!

A Galaxy Of Characters-- You're just a part of it.
Things are happening aboard the Galaxy-X class, U.S.S. Atlas. You just happen to be there. The crew is having conversations amongst themselves. You can listen in if you want to hear more-- or not. It's your choice. Bend your ear to the local rumor monger, Cadet Pargu, who can fill you in on the most recent happenings. Or you can talk to Qig who might be able to "acquire" some goods for you-- just be sure to have something worthwhile to trade! Oh, and there's also some dissension in the ranks of the task force, but I don't want to give that away!

Final Thoughts
This mission has taken me well over 100 hours to complete. Unfortunately, that's not an exaggeration. It could even be almost double that amount of time (it's hard to tell at this point because I had to split off parts of the mission due to length). Part of that time was due to the Foundry being bogged down prior to S4, but the rest is just reflected in the effort I put into the maps, effects, branching dialogues, etc. I've probably devoted more time to creating some of the dialogues than others have spent on their entire missions.

If you enjoy story driven missions, and have a couple hours to spare, then I recommend giving Dereliction Duty a shot. And please feel free to mail me in-game with your feedback, or post it here (especially if you encounter a problem!). I'm always willing to listen to suggestions of how I can improve the mission, or make my future missions better. Thanks again!

Update 10/25/11
I was initially worried about the reception my mission would receive. While, I enjoyed making the mission, and felt satisfied with what I had achieved, upon publishing it I quickly learned it could take upwards of 3 hours to complete! I spent many hours making the mission, yet I found myself wondering if anyone would even want to spend the time to play it! One person who left a review said it took them more than four hours to complete, but fortunately they also said they enjoyed every minute of it.

To make a long story short, so far the reception to Dereliction Duty has been overwhelmingly positive, and has completely exceeded my expectations. At this point, If not a single more person played my mission, I would still consider it a success, and the time I devoted to it would be well spent. I'm extremely gratified that people enjoy the mission, and I want to thank everyone who played and provided feedback.

Update 1/24/12

The first part of the sequel to Dereliction Duty, Atlas Affair (Part 1) is now available in the Foundry! See this link for more details.