Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 11
05-10-2011, 04:09 PM
Quote:
It was odd that the two UGC contacts typing at the center consoles ignored the battle and just kept typing. I guess they had a deadline.
I like to read (most of) your reviews, but I think you could do better ones, if you studied the Foundry editor and its limitations a bit.

To an author your quote sounds like stating the obvious. Contacts do NOT interfere in any kind of battle. Contacts named "UGC contacts" = Forgotten to set the display name.

There are reasons to use contacts instead of friend/enemy groups sometimes, depending on mission context and functionality intended for the NPC. While the author could have used group members (which are either friendlies or hostiles) which can have a weighted "job function", and thus can fight, this is just one example of technical choices/limitations in the Foundry.

I think if you just went ahead and created like two or three maps just for fun, your reviews would get even better. A critic without knowledge of the medium he is judging does not run on full impulse and never at warp speed.

Just my humble opinion. Otherwise keep up the neat reviews. If Cryptic ever decides to allow for dual language dialogues or unlimited missions/author, you might see some of mine.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 12
05-10-2011, 04:37 PM
Along the lines of what Leirus is saying the beeping noises occur because all ground interacts have that noise. We can set the animations, but the noise will always be various bleeps and bloops.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 13
05-10-2011, 05:03 PM
I tend to agree with Peregrin. While this is a limitation of the tools today, it is also a shortcoming in the mission. No criticism against the author though you can only work with the tools you are given.
That said, this type of feedback is certainly seen by the devs, and if they see that this is regularly a complant or problem with missions (ie bad reviews because of tool limitations) then I fully expect those aspects to be given some attention in the tools.

Make sense?

So yes, while it might be a bit harsh to criticize a mission because of a toolset limitation, its perfectly reasonable feedback, and overall could work to the community's advantage.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 14
05-10-2011, 05:09 PM
STARFLEET

Murder On The Homefront
ST-HAL9Y9ZQ4
by Powerhelm

"A high ranking Starfleet official has been found murdered in a small village on Chapel III."

Final Rating: 3 Stars

Synopsis:
You warp into the Chapel system to find that the crime scene has been secured and a medical officer is preparing to begin an autopsy on the victim.

Beaming down, you speak with the doctor who explains that he has the body in a stasis unit and that security is holding the witnesses in a nearby lounge. Speaking with the witnesses gives you a general overview of the events, then you head outside to the crime scene.

After scanning the crime scene you discover a man nearby who is delusional and also obviously the killer. You have security take him into custody and then scan the nearby crates that the Admiral brought with him to the planet. Scans reveal that they contain enough explosives to destroy the entire colony, and that a remote arming device is active. Instead of immediately beaming them into space you decide to head back indoors.

Once there you find the remote terminal that has been rigged to detonate the bomb. Using info you learned from the rambling of the crazy man you're able to decrypt and shut down the detonation program.

Speaking with the doctor again, he informs you that his analysis has revealed that the dead Starfleet Admiral was really an Undine. Then the mission ends.

Problems with the mission: The mission door was not listed in the Mission Tracker. Players have to be able to find your mission even if they forget previous information or go AFK.

The author consistently used it's to mean its. It's is not possessive, its is.

Bugs that I didn't mark down for: Many colonists are named "UGC Contact" and the Admiral's body was floating above the chamber he was supposed to be sealed into.

Major plot issues not resolved:
What was the undine infiltrator trying to blow up? And where exactly did he get and how was he able to transport that much explosives? Those crate are the size of automobiles. Federation security must be a real joke if someone can just take a ship to another planet with 3 cars full of explosives powerful enough to crack a planet.

Why did simply reading the undine's mind cause the betazed to go insane? We've seen betazoids in the shows read a lot of strange minds and not go suddenly insane.

And most importantly, why did my captain not immediately have the explosives beamed into space? By not doing so he criminally endangered the lives of everyone on the planet's surface and should be immediately relieved of command for incompetence!

Final Thoughts: A well written, if simple and straightforward mission. However, the ending was anti-climactic and left too many important issues unresolved. I'm not certain if this was supposed to be a murder mystery or a statement about how badly the Federation has been infiltrated by the Undine.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 15
05-10-2011, 05:45 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leirus View Post
I like to read (most of) your reviews, but I think you could do better ones, if you studied the Foundry editor and its limitations a bit.
All authors have to work within the limitations of their chosen medium.

In most cases it makes no sense to have people just stand around and ignore a pitch battle, so an author should take steps to avoid that.

I have played with the Foundry a bit, and I am aware of most of the limitations. But I am reviewing stories, not the limitations of the Foundry tools. And I am reviewing them from the point of view of someone who isn't a Foundry author. Why? Because most of the people who play and rate your missions are not Foundry authors. They're not going to cut authors any slack for issues that they're not aware of and so I don't either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nagorak View Post
Along the lines of what Leirus is saying the beeping noises occur because all ground interacts have that noise. We can set the animations, but the noise will always be various bleeps and bloops.
I've interacted with a lot of people in the Foundry that don't beep like a starship control panel when I talk to them. If they do so it's because of a design decision made by the author, and I mark down for that. People don't beep like a computer when you talk to them. Once again, the author has to work within the limitations of the tools that he has available to him.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 16
05-10-2011, 08:50 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine_Falcon View Post
STARFLEET

Into The Lions Den
ST-HCX9VUX7S
by QuanZen

"Remember the Koybayashi Maru? Well that was just one of many Starfleet Simulations that a Starfleet Cadet must face."

Final Rating: 3 Stars

Synopsis:
This is mission is a holodeck training mission for a Starfleet cadet. In this simulation, you and your fellow cadets, designated Extraction Team Bravo, will beam down to Rura Penthe. Your mission: link up with Team Alpha, free Starfleet prisoners, and successfully extract from the area of operations.

You beam down into a snow storm. You locate Alpha's damaged shuttle and are attacked by the local wildlife. You enter the prison facility and, fight your way through to where Alpha is holed up. Both teams are ambushed on the way to the extraction point, but you finally reach it and are beamed up to your ship.

Once there you find out that it's overrun with Klingon boarding parties. You split up and fight your way to Engineering. Once there, the bridge calls and informs you that they're under attack and need help getting the shields refreshed. The engineer walks you through the process and the shields are restored.

Then you head to the shuttle bay to deal with the remaining Klingon soldiers. Afterward, you use your command codes to override the security lock-out so you can take the turbo lift to the bridge.

Once there you take command of the ship and disable the waiting Klingon ships. You set the transwarp gate to blow right after you enter it so that the Klingons can't follow you back to Federation space.

After exiting the holodeck, the Admiral who's been observing the training simulation, critiques your performance and informs you that you've done well.

Problems with the mission: Mission door was not shown in the Mission Tracker.

Survive Mastiff Packs (0/3) Really? Clear cave of enemies (0/3) These are unnecessary, and only serve to make the mission seem longer for no apparent reason.

Some typos - Mission Objective: Kill reaining boarding party & "Myself and the majority of my staff was"? No, I and were.

The engineer tells me to take the shields offline, but the interact bar says I'm taking the Warp Core offline. Which one is it? Then the engineer calls me back and is shocked that I just took the shields offline. What? You just told me to take the shields offline and now you're surprised that the shields are offline?!?!

Final Thoughts: With the exception of a few mistakes, the story and dialog are good. This mission does a good job of being what it's billed as: a training simulation for a Starfleet cadet.

The two biggest things that prevented me from giving this mission 4 stars were not putting the mission door in the Mission Tracker as the first objective and this.
Thank you so much for taking the time to review my mission. It is my first Foundry Mission and my decision to continue the Simulation Courses depended on the feedback I received for this first mission. I will make sure to make the neccessary corrections that you have pointed out. The mission lacks in story due to my follow up mission being about the cover up in the first mission. So hopefully the second mission will be alot better and I should be able to use the Foundry tools better the second time around.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 17
05-10-2011, 10:11 PM
STARFLEET Level 31+

Eyes Only
ST-HU3I2TQOO
by Zarrax

"You have been tasked by Starfleet Command to assist in the recovery of information from a troubled Cardassian mining operation on one of the stations in the Cardassian sector of Beta Ursae."

Final Rating: 2 Stars

Synopsis:
Warping into the system you find something unusual on the sensors, but you decide to ignore that and head to the mining colony. The asteroid colony's shields are down and they're non-responsive. You can't beam over because of the massive interference from the unusual thing on sensors that you've decided to ignore, so you have to take a shuttle.

On the way to the shuttle bay you decide to pick up medical supplies, but because they're Cardassians you have to do some research and create them from scratch. Once at the shuttle bay you have to do some alterations on the shuttle. Doesn't anyone else work on this ship but me?

Once you get out of the shuttle the first thing you see is a body. That's never a good sign. Then you have the option to tag the body for transport (I thought the transporters didn't work).

Searching the computers yields no useful information. Searching the bodies reveals the commander, who is still alive and wants you to know that the big shiny thing could have made Cardassia great again. Scanning the shiny thing causes your ship to call in with a report that a big symbol is all over the screens. You give the order to transport back, even though you had to take a shuttle because transporters won't work because of the interference.

Arriving in your Ready Room, you take a call from an Admiral who yells at you to "Destroy Omega!" before hanging up. Uhm... ok. What's Omega? Thanks for the info. Then the bridge calls. It seems that they've managed to clear the interference and they found a Borg sphere hiding beside the unusual thing that you decided to ignore. The Borg have beamed Omega aboard so you decide to beam over to the Borg sphere.

Aboard the Borg sphere you scan a couple of some of their systems, which gives you no info, but you do notice that the Borg are praying to Omega. You decide to scan a bunch more Borg consoles, but this also does nothing. You find out how to destabilize the Omega Molecule (oh, so that's what Omega is), but this sets off Borg security, so it's time to beam back to the ship, even though the Borg sphere's shields are up.

More Borg ships warp in. After quickly destroying them you decide to beam several torpedoes into the Borg sphere (even though its shields are up) and it explodes. Situation over.

Problems with the mission: Capitalizing the first word in a sentence is not optional. Sentences must end with punctuation. And trivorders?

Why am I replicating the medical supplies? Does no one else work on this ship? Once again, why am I working on the shuttle? Puzzles are great, but not when they make no sense.

Lower the containment field to get better scan data? Wait what?? I'm not lowering the containment field and risking releasing the thing that killed everyone else here!

Wait, why am I beaming aboard the Borg sphere again? Why not just destroy it?

Final Thoughts: Why does no one explain to me what Omega is? Or that it's the Omega Molecule? Or what the Omega Molecule even is? Yes I know what it is, but not everyone has seen that one Voyager episode.

Why did I ignore the big anomaly in space that's causing so many problems? And why did the transporters suddenly work when a minute ago they didn't? And why did they work through the Borg ship's shields? And why were the Borg praying to Omega?

A story is about explaining things to the audience. When this mission ends there's too many things that were never explained.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
When I asked Peregrine to review my first mission, I did expect honesty and I got it.

quote "And trivorders?"

If I managed only one spelling mistake I class that as a plus.

quote "Capitalizing the first word in a sentence is not optional. Sentences must end with punctuation."

Yes agreed, mistypes do happen and can be fixed when I get chance to.

quote "Why am I replicating the medical supplies? Does no one else work on this ship? Once again, why am I working on the shuttle?"

If I just said this was being done, you would have less to do, and there is no way currently for you to have your away team actually do things in the Foundry, so you have to do them yourself. I thought that by adding in Cardassian requirements rather than just going over with the standard cure-all hypo made more sense. Having to make adjustments on the fly for the anomalies interference added to the mission in my opinion.

quote "Why does no one explain to me what Omega is?"

OK more info is needed, I assumed (wrongly) that since I had seen the episode everyone else who played STO had also seen it and knew what Omega was. Although the information was not to be disseminated amongst the crew, I guess I should inform the Captain involved just in case they hated Voyager and didn't know about this directive.

I can expand on the Admiral's explanation and give more details out at that point, as well as lengthening the Cardassian Commanders dialog to explain why they brought IT on-board prior to you finding out what IT is.

I will add lines getting the science dept to work on cutting through the interference to get the transporters working in time for the beamout and to do more digging into the anomaly itself.

I think I will alter the dialog from borg shields raised to raising giving you chance to get out and then to deposit torpedoes later if this is a better scenario than a miraculous ability of getting around Borg shields.

I did think of adding dialog about required reading from the academy regarding the Borg reaction to Omega but since Omega is Captain Eyes Only, it wouldn't really be on the curriculum so I can't see anyway of getting the point across that the Borg's fascination with Omega borders on the almost religious need for its perfection.

One thing I noticed when playing it again that wasn't mentioned probably because it may be seen as a foundry limitation was when beaming out of the Ready room, the dialog states the away team has just docked in the shuttle when clearly they are in the room with you. Originally I had put the spawn point in a corner but prior to publishing it I ran though it for about the 5th time and managed to a ppear in the wall so moved it so I couldn;t be marked down by being incompletable so I guess I will also have to alter that dialog too.

I am grateful for the opinions expressed here, by Peregrine, for taking his time to review all the missions people have asked him to, and if anyone else would care to try this mission either before or after alterations, be my guest.


At least I'm not HIghlander 2 with phasers lol.

(please note I went out of my way to check punctuation and capitalisation in the reply)
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 19
05-11-2011, 08:03 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zarrax View Post
If I just said this was being done, you would have less to do, and there is no way currently for you to have your away team actually do things in the Foundry, so you have to do them yourself. I thought that by adding in Cardassian requirements rather than just going over with the standard cure-all hypo made more sense. Having to make adjustments on the fly for the anomalies interference added to the mission in my opinion.
And this is just the kind of feedback you have to take with a grain of salt, because while one person like PF may say "Im the Captain, why should I dirty my hands", someone else would enjoy it. You should also remember that a very small minority of the playerbase actually use the forums, so what one person says here about your mission isnt going to matter to the vast majority of the playerbase and people who will eventually play your mission.

Some people also seem to think being overly critical and picking things apart in minute detail makes you a good reviewer, but it doesnt. Being able to provide constructive criticism that an author can actually apply while also showing them respect for taking the time to make content for other people to enjoy makes you a good reviewer.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 20
05-11-2011, 04:33 PM
Quote:
quote "Why am I replicating the medical supplies? Does no one else work on this ship? Once again, why am I working on the shuttle?"

If I just said this was being done, you would have less to do, and there is no way currently for you to have your away team actually do things in the Foundry, so you have to do them yourself. I thought that by adding in Cardassian requirements rather than just going over with the standard cure-all hypo made more sense. Having to make adjustments on the fly for the anomalies interference added to the mission in my opinion.
It is a better example of what I said earlier. You can play it all on one map actually.
"Why do I fight those Federation Rebels? Let my security team do it."
"Why do I replicate XYZ? Let the guy that usually hands me my drinks handle it..."
"Why do I patrol this section of space? Let my tactical officer go out there in a shuttle..."

Yes, through dialogue you can have all that happen. But you do not see any action then. Also, not all characters are VAs. Some might still remember their initial training and perhaps like to get their hands dirty.
((Aside from the fact, if a Cryptic mission states you to exterminate some plant life... You.. do it? ))

You say you only judge on story value, but you do not. You critizise on technical limitations. Some people are better working around them then others. And for some there simply is not work around. If you say:

Quote:
But I am reviewing stories, not the limitations of the Foundry tools. And I am reviewing them from the point of view of someone who isn't a Foundry author. Why? Because most of the people who play and rate your missions are not Foundry authors. They're not going to cut authors any slack for issues that they're not aware of and so I don't either.
It is hypocrisy. People who actually want to play those missions might be reading your reviews to find a good one. They are written quite smug 'n smart, but I have found some good missions myself rated badly by you - and you cannot tell me it was because of the story there. It was about "technical" or "pseudo-technical" issues.

"Why do I have to fight those Klingons on the ground? Can't I just order their base bombarded?"
Ultimately: "Why do I do anything myself? I am a Vice Admiral. Let some fleets go there, clean up whatever mess they find."

Really, you are doing great reviews, but do not get arrogant about some minor points. That is a talent I HAVE and DO NOT want to share.

If a story is bad, in most - not all - cases I agreed with you. My own Foundry contributions are very much dialogue heavy. If there was a German Peregine, though, would I get a low rating because he had to go sabotage a station and click on the targets himself?
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