Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Captains.. I would be grateful if you would review:
'Mere Mortal Enemies' (Part 1)- ST-HK7V4FLG8

and

'Mere Mortal Enemies (Part 2)- ST-HAQVTQOWP (currently to be found in "review content" tab)

Synopsis:

"No plan survives contact with the enemy." -Field Marshall Helmuth von Moltke (the elder)- Human Strategist, 19th Century.

"To Ghe'thor with escape pods! HELM...RAMMING SPEED!!" -Captain Bhoo'tse- Klingon Strategist, 23rd century. (Last recorded words)

Your Ship is to be the vanguard of a relief force inbound to Darien: A remote federation colony under siege by the KDF.

As events unfold you will soon learn that nothing about the battle for Darien is as straightforward as it first appears.

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Mission features:
- designed for solo play, Fed31+ ,estimated duration: 60ish mins (most in depth dialog is skippable)
(NB:this mission will probably most appeal to players that are not in a rush to grind through content and are more interested in a decent story for their character to play a part in. )
- moderate amounts of space and ground combat.
-optional objectives, puzzles and branching narrative paths.

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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
10-03-2011, 12:30 PM
Edited and working with one known issue: Mission has one unavoidable bug where certain dialogs trigger from an npc contact they shouldn't.. nothing i can do about it I'm afraid.

*Prays for a patch* (one that fixes this, the dialog emote selector and... at this point i'd just settle for a patch that doesn't break anything else )
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
10-05-2011, 09:10 AM
So far got a 4 star.. helpfully reminding me to advertise the fact that this mission is longer than I estimate it to be...

and... less than helpfully, a 1 star with no feedback and no name so I cant even ask the guy if he encountered a bug

I mean... Who does that!?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
10-05-2011, 09:27 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pure_big_mad_boat_man
So far got a 4 star.. helpfully reminding me to advertise the fact that this mission is longer than I estimate it to be...

and... less than helpfully, a 1 star with no feedback and no name so I cant even ask the guy if he encountered a bug

I mean... Who does that!?

I am going to take a look to your mission when I get back in game.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
10-05-2011, 11:36 AM
Ok, how to start a review of this mission with out said that is maybe one of the best foundry missions? Well, I cant, because is probably one of the best missions out there. You manage to push the limits of the foundry to the limits and show us what the tool can do.
You not only give us grate maps, but also the possibility to make our own decisions and change the course of the mission, that is something not even a cryptic mission manage to do.

To bad the foundry is bugged as hell, and some of the prop dialogs appear in the incorrect moment. But that is something that is out of your hands.

To the foundry community I tell you that you should play this mission, and of the authors, just give it a look, I can learn a lot of things here.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
10-12-2011, 03:09 PM
custom forum sig.. kapow! pew pew!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
10-15-2011, 04:21 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pure_big_mad_boat_man
So far got a 4 star.. helpfully reminding me to advertise the fact that this mission is longer than I estimate it to be...

and... less than helpfully, a 1 star with no feedback and no name so I cant even ask the guy if he encountered a bug

I mean... Who does that!?
The drive-by 1 stars are the worst. I had two of those on my mission. No clue why. I guess they just didn't like it, but who really knows?

I think your mission length might be closer to 1.5 or 2 hours (granted I was not skipping anything). I didn't keep track of the time that closely, but it felt pretty long. I definitely wouldn't add any more length to the mission. Overall I liked it, although I felt a little bit lost during the investigation at times (wasn't that clear who to talk to next, although I'm not sure if there's any way around that).

Some minor criticisms:
  • There were some minor spelling/punctuation errors throughout the text. I just ignored it and it didn't detract that much from the mission, but there is stuff there to improve if you want to take the time (with so much dialogue I can understand that it would be very time consuming to go back and edit everything).
  • At the beginning the Admiral who gives the mission intro text doesn't introduce herself. So, I had no idea who I was talking to until later when she was identified as Admiral Patterson.
  • I thought some of the question sequences (such as with your bridge officers) would have been better structured as a branching dialogue rather than one after another. What I'm suggesting is where you ask a question, then go back and can either ask another question or choose "Done Asking Questions" to continue. It may sound silly, but being able to choose what to ask makes the process feel more interactive, even if you eventually cover all the same ground anyway.
  • In the part where we have the option of helping out the Coldstream, I would have preferred not to be told that it will benefit me to help them. I feel like it's more of a moral decision if I don't know that I stand to benefit. In addition, I thought one of my Boffs (tactical?) should have talked up how "we've been ordered not to stop for anything", while another insists that we need to stop, and then I make the decision between the two. Maybe that's what you were going for, but I didn't really feel there was a strong argument made not to help.
  • I liked the shuttle effect. It was also cool choosing where to beam in security teams. No other real complaints about the ground map.
  • Likewise the internal map was good. There was the stupid pop-up bug, as you know, but I just made the best of it. The way that all was handled was impressive.
  • Investigation was good for the most part, but I found myself lost a couple of times. I don't know if anything can be done to help with that. Maybe have a mission start dialogue that cannot be completed (only minimized) that can be used to "ask your officers for suggestions" about what to do next? If you get lost, just hit the Ops button and see what they have to say? Just a thought.
  • My help to defend the depot got decimated pretty quickly and then I had to fight everything by myself, which was tough as an escort on Elite (had to draw each group individually and died a couple of times). I only saw one ship come in to help me. I don't know...maybe could have used at least one or two more ships helping. I really prefer large battles when I have sufficient support. Even though it's less challenging, I think it's a cooler experience being a part of a larger fleet.
  • Another thing: Why were so many of the NPCs using the "twitch" stance? It seemed like they were all liberated borg or androids. Just seemed sort of weird to me. For a while I thought it might be hinting at some sort of mind control that was affecting everyone, but it doesn't seem like the mission went in that direction?

Overall I consider the mission storyline to be 4 stars, because I enjoyed it, but it was maybe bordering on being just a little too long. Technically (in terms of Foundry use) the mission definitely deserves 5 stars, and as a Foundry author I can appreciate the effort that went in. Hopefully my 5 star review will help counter an unfair 1. I look forward to the next installment. I'll also try to convince a friend or two to play your mission.

FWIW, it seems like we enjoy making similar story driven missions, so you might enjoy mine if you have the chance to tear yourself away from the Foundry editor. I'd welcome any feedback you may have.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
10-15-2011, 06:49 AM
Hey thanks alot for taking the time to leave a review post. This is exactly the kind of constructive feedback I was hoping for.

Further to your points raised:

-A few of the people reviewing so far have pointed out that it could use another pass at spelling and grammar, so I will definitely take another run through when I have the time. (Failing that what I may do instead is offer my services at painting forum sigs and foundry mission posters in exchange if people are willing to thoroughly proof read for me since a painting probably won't take me as long and will be more fun!):p

-One thing that jumps out at me here as an easy fix is a quick rewrite of the dialog prior to the 1st optional objective "Rescue Coldstream".. I totally agree with the idea that telling the player they can gain from it negates the value of the moral choice so I will most likely change this at the earliest opportunity.

-I was unsure as to how open ended to leave the investigation part. Something I don't particularly enjoy in missions is where you're given an objective and then the author waypoints you and holds your hand all the way to it's completion. There's nothing particularly engaging about that for me if it's a constant feature, I'd rather be left to figure out the solution myself occasionally.

You're definitely right though, a few more dialog prompts and a persistent dialog box to talk it over with your Boffs are going to be worthwhile adding here.

-I wonder about the combat at the end. Which choice did you make earlier in the mission? This dictates who shows up to assist you at the end. Although the two assisting forces are pretty much equal, just skinned differently. ( I think one has 2 cruisers instead of a battleship, but I should really go back and check this.)

I think I get a false impression of the durability of friendly NPCs since my main toon (with whom I tested this) flies an intrepid refit. So if I see a friendly about to go down in flames I generally have a spare heal to throw at him. I can see how this fight would potentially be frustrating for a high dps escort pilot (for example) once the friendlies are down.

-About the twitch stance.. I totally never noticed! I guess I just characterised too many of them as being "twitchy".. The hyperactive cadet, the mysterious ambassador's aide etc etc... You're right, I should probably tone this down a bit as it could be misinterpreted given the way the story unfolds in the latter stages. (Having said that, this will probably be alot less noticeable once the emote options are fixed in the dialog editor.)

Thanks again for the feedback (and for vouching for me in the court of the Grand Nagus!)

I will definitely try out 'Dereliction Duty' this evening, looking forward to it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
10-21-2011, 07:25 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWBIVQ3tmy4

Featured in this weeks bitesizeUGC..


This review will let you know what you're getting in for

Please note: The known foundry bugs (which ARE NOT my fault) mentioned in the video have since been addressed in a republish by highlighting the bugged dialogs which you can then dismiss as they appear. (Which is the best I can do until cryptic fixes this bug.)

Thanks to CaptPFDennis and RogueEnterprise for taking the time to play and review my mission.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
10-21-2011, 10:05 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pure_big_mad_boat_man
-I wonder about the combat at the end. Which choice did you make earlier in the mission? This dictates who shows up to assist you at the end. Although the two assisting forces are pretty much equal, just skinned differently. ( I think one has 2 cruisers instead of a battleship, but I should really go back and check this.)

I think I get a false impression of the durability of friendly NPCs since my main toon (with whom I tested this) flies an intrepid refit. So if I see a friendly about to go down in flames I generally have a spare heal to throw at him. I can see how this fight would potentially be frustrating for a high dps escort pilot (for example) once the friendlies are down.
Sorry for not responding to your question. I chose to assist the fleet rather than go back for my away team. I also made a tactical error in the final battle that may have made it worse than it otherwise would have been. In order to try to get rid of some of the reskinned shuttle groups I activated F@W but that just ended up drawing the fire of all the enemies, so I died and by the time I had managed to respawn and head back the "friendlies" had either been destroyed or almost destroyed. If I hadn't done that things might have gone better.

In general I've discovered that the "weakest link" in terms of difficulty is an escort played on elite. The reason being that it's such an unbalanced ship with high damage output but very limited durability. You simply can't survive long enough to complete some difficult encounters. In comparison a cruiser can generally handle more enemy vessels successfully (don't really have much experience with a science ship).

Also, one thing to keep in mind about the fighter groups is they seem really weak, but on elite they can put out a serious amount of damage, and they actually don't die that quickly. So, they can be quite a challenge. It might be safest to either switch the two helping vessels to battleships, which would increase their durability while not really increasing their damage output that much, or you could add a third friendly cruiser.

By the way, I don't know if you've already done this, but it might be good if there was some sort of penalty for not running the blockade. We were told to go in as quickly as possible and not stop for any reason. Maybe something else goes wrong because we chose to stop and assist? Just a thought.
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