"During exploration of the unexplored regions many Captains have noticed that many of the recently discovered races are using the same ship designs. This has baffled many, until now. A ship has been found, abandoned, that may hold the answers to that very question"
Final Rating: 2 Stars
Synopsis: You intercept the abandoned ship and beam aboard her to begin your investigation. It's quickly revealed that the ship was sold in the Drona system, so that's your next stop.
Upon entering the Drona system you're immediately attacked by unidentified hostiles. After dispatching all of them, your scans locate a hidden base, so of course you beam down. After cutting through wave after wave of his guards the orion boss beams out at the last second. You beam back and tell your helmsman to "Follow that ship!"
He drops out of warp in another system where you quickly accertain the need to demolish 5 enemy squadrons. You then approach and board the base in this system. Again you have to cut through wave after wave of mercenaries. Right before the orion's demise, your engineer taps into the conversation with his boss.
You blow that base and head for the system where the orion's boss is. Once there you beam directly in the office of UGC Contact, who monologues briefly before two groups of her guards beam down right on top of your away team. You finish them off and then place UGC Contact under arrest.
Problems with the mission: Wait! Why am I trying to stop this again? Buying and selling starships is not against Federation law! What next? I'm sent to Risa to arrest all of the used car dealers?
I scanned the derelict ship and my science officer tells me, "According to this dozens of races have purchased ships from this base." Really? According to what?
Lots of misspellings.
Beaming two groups of enemies directly on top of the player isn't a challenge, it's "Killer GMing."
As you may have guessed, the Ferengi was named UGC Contact.
Final Thoughts: A simple story with far too much grind and an incorrect premise. Selling Starships isn't against Federation law.
Well I did ask for it. I think I am going to just take it down and rework the whole thing.
"The Otha System is technically in Klingon hands, but there are a few pockets of stubborn resistance left on Beta Otha IV."
Final Rating: 3 Stars
Synopsis: Upon orbiting Beta Otha IV you receive coordinates and beam down. Once there you're briefed on the situation and received your orders: Kill Everything.
You run around killing everything on the planet's surface. Then you hack into a console and use it to beam into the underground base. Then you run around killing everything in the base.
After shutting the dampening field down you can beam out of the base. Once back on your ship you join in the fight against the enemy fleet.
You're then offered a barrel of bloodwine and invited to a victory party.
Problems with the mission: All of the Klingon warriors on the planet were named "UGC Contact."
Eliminate Starfleet Troops (0/6) & Eliminate Base Defenders (0/6) Why do people do this? Just because we see it in exploration missions? Aren't you trying to write something better than a random exploration mission?
While I appreciate the back up, if there's a dampening field preventing me from beaming out then how did my reinforcements beam in?
Final Thoughts: I picked up "The Most Dangerous Game -- Ground" from Lieutenant B'Eta just before starting this mission, and turned it in when the mission was over. Think about that for a minute. I spent less than an hour playing this mission and I killed over 50 people.
What saved this mission from 2 Stars is that it does actually have a story, and the dialog that it does have is good. It's essentially an extended ground combat exploration mission.
"The U.S.S. Audacious disappeared near Vulcan space, leaving only a weak personal distress beacon to locate a starship torn apart by violent explosions."
Final Rating: 5 Stars
Synopsis: You enter an unimportant no-name system not far from Vulcan to search for the USS Audacious and immediately find a number of other derelict Starfleet vessels. Running a wide search pattern allows you to finally triangulate the Audacious' weak distress signal.
Passing through a small nebula brings you into contact with a pirate ship that was hiding, they attack and are quickly destroyed.
Upon finding the Audacious you see that it's a complete and total wreck. Surprisingly, considering the amount of damage, sensors pick up survivors. Interference prevents you from locking onto them, so you have to beam over to rescue them.
Once aboard you quickly discover that the computer net is down, but other systems have run amok causing the interference. While trying to locate nearby survivors you're attacked by malfunctioning security holograms, so you shut down the holographic projectors in your area. You have the survivors in this area beamed back to the ship and then your away team beams to another portion of the ship.
You get some information on what happened from this next group of survivors, and have some medical supplies that they need beamed over. You finally located the ship's chief engineer, and help her to shut down the problem systems so that all of the survivors from the secondary hull can be beamed back to your ship. Then it's time to take a shuttle craft to the ship's nearby saucer section.
Once there you try to access the computer, but it sets off a booby-trap that wrecks the shuttle and nearly kills the away team. You finally find the captain and most of her senior officers, and the ambassador they were transporting on a classified mission. He's dead and your doctor's analysis shows that he was killed before the incident that destroyed the Audacious.
Beaming back to your ship, you're attacked by a couple of pirate cruisers. You defeat them and beam the remaining survivors to safety.
Then follows the epic epilogue involving the report and the discussion with your security chief about your suspicions as to who assassinated the ambassador and then blew the ship to bits in order to cover it up. Part Two is named.
Problems with the mission: The mission door was not shown in the Mission Tracker. This right here almost cost this the mission its well deserved 5th Star. Players have to be able to find the mission door.
I realize this star system was only near the Vulcan system, but I had some trouble believing that a starship graveyard could build up that close to the center of the Federation.
Also, how do Orions keep getting this close to the core worlds of the Federation? Don't we have patrols, sensors, something? Aren't we at war with them? They don't even have cloaking devices. If they can get this close to Sol undetected then they can invade Sol and end the war. So why haven't they done so?
There was a real problem with the "search for the ambassador" objectives. I kept having to leave the area and then return in order to trigger the next pop-up. I didn't mark off for this, because I'm not sure if it was a bug.
Finally, while I don't have a problem reading, some of the pop-ups really should be consolidated. Especially the shorter ones where the captain doesn't respond.
Final Thoughts: Normally I hate the use of vision obscuring effects, but in this case the author used them sparingly, only when they made sense, and in one case to cover the movement of an NPC from one room to another. Well done.
It was a long mission that didn't feel grindy. There were a lot of pop-ups, but I didn't have to read a novel every time someone had something to say. It was also a great example of how to do a 'Part One' right. It was entirely self-contained with just one dangling string that would lead you to part two.
Despite a number of minor problems, which if solved would definitely improve this mission, the excellent story and dialog were good enough to keep it in 5 star territory anyway. It definitely felt like Trek. In fact, I've watched actual episodes of Star Trek that weren't as good as this mission.
Please add Part 1 of my new series into your mission review madness.
Spawn of Medusa
Level: Any level player (Approx 1 hour)
A new enemy, unlikely ally, and plenty of action in this start to my new series.
*Decent Ground Combat
*Decent Space Combat
*Dialogue Heavy storyline
*Fairly easy Trek trivia based puzzles for newer players
*Heavy objective interactive storyline.
"Increased pirate activity lead to a larger problem, with someone you wouldn't expect behind the trouble."
Final Rating: 4 Stars
Synopsis: You warp into the Toron system to investigate rumors of piracy and immediately encounter several destroyed freighters and an indigenous cruiser that claims that Starfleet has been attacking their ships.
After rescuing a local escort from a Terran Empire ship masquerading as a Starfleet vessel, you find out that they've kidnapped the Toron Governor.
You track them to a nearby system, where you're mistaken for your twin, and bluff your way aboard their flagship. Once there, you speak with the captain, an old adversary of your counterpart, but he refuses to turn the prisoner over to you. After speaking with a number of his officers, to ascertain their loyalty, you find one that is willing to help you, for a price. She reveals the location of the prisoner.
You're able to slip away, instead of going to your assigned quarters, and manage to free a number of prisoners, but security is tipped off and you have to run-and-gun your way to an engineering console, so that you can lower the shields and beam out.
Upon returning to your ship with the freed prisoners, the Imperial ship attacks. After destroying the ship, the governor thanks you for your help. Before you're able to leave the system however, you're contacted by your first officer, or rather his double who is transmitting from a hidden location. You're informed that your opposite isn't happy that you've ended their operations in this area, but he has chosen to thank your for eliminating his old enemy by allowing you to leave, alive.
Problems with the mission: The mission door was not listed in the Mission Tracker.
A few spelling mistakes. Such as lead instead of leads in the opening blurb.
The biggest problem was that we never did find out what the Empire was trying to accomplish.
Final Thoughts: A good, but fairly simple story, that has great dialog and makes excellent use of branching dialog. There's even a couple of minor plot twists that I didn't foresee, but actually made sense.