Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 891
# 1 Valley of the Shadow II
12-11-2013, 06:16 PM
It took a bit longer than I expected, and I ran into some pretty significant snags along the way, but at long last, Part II of my Romulan trilogy is now published!

"[Rom] Valley of the Shadow II" (aka "The Shadow of Death")
Mission ID: ST-HLAM39YR6
Author: @NCC-89471
Faction: Federation-allied Romulan
Level restriction: 31+
Duration: 60 minutes (estimated minimum)
Combat: Ground and Space
Summary: Having found evidence of a devastating new Tal Shiar terror weapon, can you uncover the truth behind it before entire worlds - and even New Romulus itself - fall into its shadow?

Mission notes:
  • As of this posting, this mission is still pending its first five reviews, so to make it available in search, select Become Reviewer.
  • KDF-allied version pending (unless we get Romulan mission designations first, which is rumored to be back on the table after all).
  • This series is a prequel to my Fed series Ghosts of War. (It is not necessary to play that series first, but Part II's plot does foreshadow it in certain places.)
  • This series takes place between Cryptic series "Vengeance" and "Freedom" in the Romulan Republic story arc.
  • Story-driven with heavy dialogue.
  • Designed to be played using a ship with a cloaking device. (Note: Player ship will sometimes decloak on dialogs and certain objectives, but not close enough for enemies to notice.)
  • Maps 6-8 made with substitute maps; will be rebuilt once their intended locales (New Romulus space and Command Center) become available to Foundry authors.

Last edited by paxfederatica; 12-12-2013 at 06:56 PM.
Lieutenant
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 76
# 2
12-22-2013, 09:43 PM
I just played through "Valley of the Shadow II", and I'm loving the storyline so far. I have a couple notes on things I noticed that might need some revision:
  • The mission info says that this takes place between the "Vengeance" and "Freedom" Romulan story arcs, however to my knowledge we aren't aware of Obisek's ultimate possession of the Thalaron triggers until we formally meet him in "The Vault". (Yes, Obisek appears briefly in orbit of Nimbus III in "The Undying", but not long enough to know who he is at that point, or what his intentions with the Thalaron devices are.) Furthermore, most of the non-Tal Shiar Remans up to that point are part with the Reman Resistance, which hadn't yet allied with the Romulan Republic, so it makes little sense for the Admiral of Republic Intelligence to be a Reman.
  • On the 3rd map, where the player's ship is in the system with the Tal Shiar base and moves to the planet's polar region to evade scans, the player says "Pilot, move us into geostationary orbit above the north pole." As far as I know, a geostationary orbit is defined as an orbit directly above a planet's equatorial region, since "geostationary" implies that the orbiting object appears to be in the same location at all times from the viewpoint of a ground observer, which is only possible in an orbit directly above the equator. I don't believe that any kind of orbit would allow a ship to simply stay over a planet's north pole, though I imagine the shows have shown starships simply staying in one place around a planet under their own power; it's probably simplest just to have the player say "Pilot, move us into position above the planet's northern pole."

Thanks for a fun mission!

Last edited by tylermaxwell; 12-24-2013 at 08:44 AM. Reason: Some clarifications and grammar/spelling fixes.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 891
# 3
01-14-2014, 09:50 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by tylermaxwell View Post
I just played through "Valley of the Shadow II", and I'm loving the storyline so far. I have a couple notes on things I noticed that might need some revision:
  • The mission info says that this takes place between the "Vengeance" and "Freedom" Romulan story arcs, however to my knowledge we aren't aware of Obisek's ultimate possession of the Thalaron triggers until we formally meet him in "The Vault". (Yes, Obisek appears briefly in orbit of Nimbus III in "The Undying", but not long enough to know who he is at that point, or what his intentions with the Thalaron devices are.) Furthermore, most of the non-Tal Shiar Remans up to that point are part with the Reman Resistance, which hadn't yet allied with the Romulan Republic, so it makes little sense for the Admiral of Republic Intelligence to be a Reman.
  • On the 3rd map, where the player's ship is in the system with the Tal Shiar base and moves to the planet's polar region to evade scans, the player says "Pilot, move us into geostationary orbit above the north pole." As far as I know, a geostationary orbit is defined as an orbit directly above a planet's equatorial region, since "geostationary" implies that the orbiting object appears to be in the same location at all times from the viewpoint of a ground observer, which is only possible in an orbit directly above the equator. I don't believe that any kind of orbit would allow a ship to simply stay over a planet's north pole, though I imagine the shows have shown starships simply staying in one place around a planet under their own power; it's probably simplest just to have the player say "Pilot, move us into position above the planet's northern pole."

Thanks for a fun mission!
And thank you for the feedback. I am currently making other minor changes to Part II so I will at least fix the geostationary reference. There have indeed been a number of references to ships hanging above a planet's magnetic pole; according to one early TNG episode it was known to be a sensory blind spot where one could hide from an enemy ship.

As for Zashek, Republic players get access to Reman BOffs long before "The Vault" (I had two of them myself by the time I got to that episode), so it still makes sense that there are Remans elsewhere in the Republic military before the alliance, including Republic Intelligence.

Last edited by paxfederatica; 01-15-2014 at 06:54 PM.
Empire Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 7,916
# 4
01-15-2014, 05:20 AM
I'll see if I can play your missions one day. Especially to check out that title trick you told me in my thread.
King of Lions rawr! Protect the wildlife of the world. Check out my foundry series Perfection and Scars of the Pride.
http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/sh...1#post13990891
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 891
# 5
01-16-2014, 08:16 PM
I have published a KDF version of VotS2, and republished the KDF version of VotS1 (having made so many changes to the Fed version since the last KDF version update that it was easier to just delete and republish the KDF version than to try and duplicate all the changes).

"[Rom] Valley of the Shadow 1" (aka "Into the Valley")
Mission ID: ST-HM84ZH6EK
Author: @NCC-89471
Faction: Klingon-allied Romulan
Level restriction: 31+
Duration: 50 minutes (estimated minimum)

"[Rom] Valley of the Shadow 2" (aka "The Shadow of Death")
Mission ID: ST-HKIN25JP8
Author: @NCC-89471
Faction: Klingon-allied Romulan
Level restriction: 31+
Duration: 60 minutes (estimated minimum)

Both KDF-allied missions are below 5 reviews, so you will need to Become Reviewer to gain access to them.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 752
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxfederatica View Post
"[Rom] Valley of the Shadow II" (aka "The Shadow of Death")
Mission ID: ST-HLAM39YR6
Author: @NCC-89471
Faction: Federation-allied Romulan
Level restriction: 31+
Duration: 60 minutes (estimated minimum)
Combat: Ground and Space
Summary: Having found evidence of a devastating new Tal Shiar terror weapon, can you uncover the truth behind it before entire worlds - and even New Romulus itself - fall into its shadow?
Where to post review: In this thread, and this one.


Mission notes:
  • This series is a prequel to my Fed series Ghosts of War. (It is not necessary to play that series first, but Part II's plot does foreshadow it in certain places.)
  • This series takes place between Cryptic series "Vengeance" and "Freedom" in the Romulan Republic story arc.
  • Story-driven with heavy dialogue.
  • Designed to be played using a ship with a cloaking device. (Note: Player ship will sometimes decloak on dialogs and certain objectives, but not close enough for enemies to notice.)
  • Maps 6-8 made with substitute maps; will be rebuilt once their intended locales (New Romulus space and Command Center) become available to Foundry authors.
Federation Mission - "[Rom] Valley of the Shadow II" (aka "The Shadow of Death")
Author: NCC-89471
Allegiance: Federation-allied Romulan
Project ID: ST-HLAM39YR6

----------Report Start-----------

Summary: This is a great mission with good map designs, fun battles, and excellent story dialogue. I enjoyed the mission from start to finish and would definitely recommend this mission to other players. It was a good installment in the series.

I did mention your excessive use of the response button "Continue". I have covered that as an issue in multiple reviews so I will not spend any more time on this issue. Suffice to say it needs to be addressed.

In your description you mention the issue with BOFFs sometimes not appearing as intended in your story. I have never actually seen this issue in any of my missions. I also only noted this issue in your dialogue on the first couple of maps. If you used the multiple BOFF or NPC in dialogue chains on other maps then is seems unlikely to be an actual issue with the Foundry. The issue could be related to your labeling the BOFFs in the dialogue string. This could be interpreted as an issue with the BOFF labeling. If this is what is being referred to in your description because folks are complaining that you had a tactical officer labeled as an engineer then it is most likely an issue with labeling. Remember that some players do not split up their away team assignments with at least one Tactical, Science, and Engineer which can also cause issues. You can leave the Name of the BOFF blank and avoid the potential for mislabeling one of the players. A final possibility to consider is when you first generate dialogue it asks you to select the default BOFF for that string of dialogue. You must select that particular BOFF in order to continue the creation of that dialogue string. In that dialogue string you can select a different BOFF or other NPC for any other portion of the same dialogue string. If you are not careful in that selection you can select the wrong one or it may revert to the default BOFF or NPC you selected at the start of the chain. I would suggest a careful review of each chain of dialogue if you have multiple BOFFs or NPCs selected in that chain. I have found that if the BOFFs do not show up as I intended it typically is because I selected the wrong one in a string with multiple BOFFs.

One last thing, I mentioned your use of "RECENT CHANGES" and "AUTHOR'S NOTES" in the description. The [MissionInfo] writing is the majority of your description. You need to use the description to highlight the best aspects of your mission and tell the potential player why they should spend time playing your mission instead of someone else's. It is the initial look at your mission and a chance to draw us in to your mission. There is nothing wrong with "RECENT CHANGES" and "AUTHOR'S NOTES" but, in my opinion, they should not be the bulk of your description.

Below are a few things I noted while playing the mission that I wanted to let you know about. Everything in this write up should be seen as suggestions on ways I felt you could improve certain elements of the mission. They are yours to do with as you see fit.

Mission Description: The description of the story is overwhelmed by your "RECENT CHANGES" and "AUTHOR'S NOTES" dialogue. Consider providing more of the story in the description to draw the players in and make them want to click the 'Hail' button. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this description.

Grant Mission Dialogue: The grant and follow on dialogue is well written. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue. I noted one item to consider changing:
-Consider changing the use of the response button "Continue" in the follow on dialogue to "..." or something along those lines.

Mission Task: This is a good mission task with a clear location for the start of the first custom map. I noted no spelling errors with this task.

Mission Entry Prompt: This is a good use of the prompt. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue.

MAPS:
1: Drozana VII space: This is a good map design with well written story dialogue. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue. I noted a couple of items to consider changing:
-The use of the response button "Continue".
-The issue you mention in your description regarding the BOFF’s displaying incorrectly. I will discuss this in my summary above.

2: Nimbus III surface: This is a good map with simple, optional combat and well written story dialogue. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue or any issues with the map. I noted one item to consider changing:
-The use of the response button "Continue".

3: Bironex Prime space: This is a good map design with good optional combat and well written story dialogue. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue or any issues with the map. I noted one item to consider changing:
-The use of the response button "Continue".

4: Bironex Prime surface: This is a good map design with good optional combat and well written story dialogue. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue or any issues with the map. I noted one item to consider changing:
-The use of the response button "Continue".

5: Bironex V space: This is a good map design with well written story dialogue. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue or any issues with the map. I noted one item to consider changing:
-The use of the response button "Continue".

6: Mol'Rihan space: This is a nice map design with well written story dialogue. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue or any issues with the map. I noted one item to consider changing:
-Consider moving the spawn point closer to the Federation and Klingon ships. There seems to be no point to having the player fly half way across the map just to beam to the other ship.

7: U.S.S. Pax Federatica bridge: This is a good map design with well written story dialogue. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue or any issues with the map. I noted one item to consider changing:
-The use of the response button "Continue".

8: Mol'Rihan space: This is a good map design with fun battles and well written story dialogue. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue. I noted a couple of items to consider changing:
-The use of the response button "Continue".
-The pseudo puzzle for the player to figure out what order to process the data seemed unnecessary to the story.

---------End Report----------

Thanks again for authoring and for giving me the chance to review your work. You did a great job creating this mission in the series. I look forward to reviewing/playing more of your work in the future.
Brian

This critique report also filed 03/23/2014 on forum posting for: In depth mission reports upon request.
If you would like a detailed review of your mission please visit my forum posting "In depth mission reports upon request" for details.
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