Ugh, it's been taking a while to rebuild my mission from Tribble. I've added a new section or two, which I was stuck on for a while on how to fit it into the story, but I think I have it figured out now (aside from a very annoying NPC/object placement issue I'm asking about in another thread).
Once I'm done with the work on the new sections of the mission, it should come along a lot faster as I can cut and paste almost all of the rest of the mission text. Hopefully I'll be able to FINALLY finish it and be able to ask if you can give it a private review (spoilers, you know) sometime soon. This thing's been taking WAY too long to finish.
The Winter of Our Discontent
"A Federation world is the scene of a bloody revolt. A group of separatists will not rest until their world is free from its Federation obligations. Can you and your crew find the targets of their political upheaval, or will democracy fall on the planet Renorilliax?"
Final Rating: 4 Stars
Synopsis: After an in-depth briefing on Renorillax by the Admiral, you enter the system and slow to full impulse. After beaming down to the safe house in the Nera'ver'antis Highlands you speak to your contact who arranges to get your away team into the capital city unnoticed.
There's a problem along the way and you're ambushed, but you make it to your awaiting contact in the capital who fills you in on the latest details of the situation.
You make contact with a group of loyalists, rescue a member of parliament, and interrogate a rebel prisoner. He explains Starfleet's involvement in the rebellion. You find out where the Prime Minister is hiding and you're off to rescue her.
You have to make your way through the rebel occupied city to the Prime Minister's hiding place, which presents you with the opportunity to engage in as much or as little ground combat as you wish.
You free the Prime Minister, but she refuses to leave her people during this crisis. A short speech on the history of Renorilliax makes it clear why. Since you can't just beam her out, you arrange a meeting with the rebel leaders.
While speaking with the rebel leaders they begin quarreling over certain details. The situation is resolved and you accept the rebel's surrender.
After beaming back to up to your ship, you engage rebel warships and rescue some captured Starfleet personnel. The Admiral finally arrives and is quite pleased to see that you were able to resolve the situation without backup.
Problems with the mission: The player really should have had more involvement in the discussion that led to the rebel's surrender. My captain ended up feeling like a bystander instead of the hero who ended the rebellion.
In a lot of places I felt less like the mover-and-shaker and more like someone who was simply along for the ride.
Final Thoughts: The author did an excellent job of taking the flaws in the current political situation in Star Trek Online and using them to explain the antagonists' actions in a way that was entirely realistic.
When I found out that I had to cross the rebel occupied city my first thought was; "Ok, here comes the 'Kill (0/5)' part." I was pleasantly surprised that that was not the case. I saw plenty of soldiers, and could have done a lot of ground fighting if I'd wanted to. I chose to sneak through the city and avoid the patrols. It was nice to have the choice, and frankly was a lot more 'Trek' than chewing through waves of enemies.
It's an excellent story with great dialog. The problems noted above should be fixable with some rewording of the player's responses, and were the only reason that this mission didn't get 5 stars.
KCM - Trouble at Starbase A14
"We have received a distress signal from Starbase Alpha 14 - Lateri System Beta Ursae Sector."
Final Rating: 1 Star
Synopsis: After beaming to DS9 and speaking with Admiral Marconi, all he can tell you is that they've received a distress call from Starbase A14 in the Lateri system. I guess he couldn't have mentioned that over subspace.
You warp into the Lateri system and, after the starbase doesn't respond to hails, you realize that you have to destroy 3 groups of Jem'Hadar ships.
Upon beaming aboard the station UCG Contact informs you that that Jem'Hadar are running around causing problems. Time to kill another Jem'Hadar (0/3). Then you take the turbo lift to the second floor.
Once there you have to kill more Jem'Hadar (0/5), and then run around lowering a bunch of foece fileds and then take the turbo lift to the third floor. Once there you have to run around clicking on fires to put them out (0/4). Then again, and again and again. Then you meet UGC Contact, the station's commander, who informs you that the Jem'Hadar seem to be after an unknown 'create.' More Jem'Hadar beam in. After killing them you have to take the turbo lift back to the first floor.
After killing another (0/5) you take the turbo lift to the ground floor where UGC Contact salutes you and gives you hearty "Job well dun".
Upon beaming back to your ship you have to kill more Jem'Hadar ships (0/4) and then another (0/4). Afterward, you contact the admiral who is going to investigate why the Jem'Hadar would attack Starbase A14 and wonders "what was in that create"?
Problems with the mission: The mission door was not shown in the Mission Tracker, instead I was urged to "locte Admiral Marconi."
A great number of misspellings throughout the entire mission, e.g.; the blurb page it's Admiral not Admaril. Also, neither capitalizing the first word of a sentence, nor punctuation at the end of one, is optional.
Final Thoughts: A number of branching dialog and effects show that the author knows how to use the Foundry tools quite well, but this mission was nothing but a kill-fest and a click-fest with no plot and no story. It was just a bunch of "Kill (0/3)" and then a couple of "Kill (0/5)" and then some more "Kill (0/4)". With no explanation as to why.
Two Cloaks, One Dagger
"Fleet Admiral B'helat is requesting your presence in this system to discuss new intelligence in the war against the Klingons that can't be discussed over an open subspace channel."
Final Rating: 4 Stars
Synopsis: You warp in just in time to save the admiral's battle group from destruction. Then you beam over to help repel boarders and regain control of his damaged flagship.
He briefs you on the real reason that he called you in and, after stopping another group of attackers, you go to warp briefly to the target location.
After beaming down to the base you encounter minimal resistance while searching for evidence of the base personnel's activities. After hacking into a database, a containment field drops and you realize that this whole thing was a trap. The trapper then appears and explains that the trap wasn't for you. That's when the Undine infiltrator is revealed.
You manage to escape from the containment field and beam back to your ship right before the infiltrator's ship destroys the base. Once there, you have to fight off attacking Undine ships while the infiltrator escapes.
Afterward, you find the where the infiltrator's ship is hiding, along with more Undine ships that are trying to help him escape. After destroying them, you beam a tactical team aboard the infiltrator's ship and capture him.
Problems with the mission: My captain should have responded to the hologram to at least attempt to divert suspicion.
"Wait... you can't do this! You Undine scoundrel!" Grandpa? Is that you? - Ok, that wasn't really a problem, but it does seem a bit out of place.
Final Thoughts: Good story and dialog, with some good use of of branching dialog as well.
I liked that my captain had another away team beam aboard the infiltrator's ship to capture him. And I especially liked the difficult choice presented at the end.
To Free or Not to Free
"Starfleet would like you to oversee delivery of a new "Peacemaker" weapon to the Sol System."
Final Rating: 5 Stars
Synopsis: Upon beaming down to Memory Alpha, you receive your classified orders and the location of the weapons research laboratory. Once your ship arrives in system, you make contact with station security and, after transmitting your authorization code, are allowed to beam aboard the station.
Once there, Doctor Kirakis and his paranoid chief of security brief you at length on the situation. Some of your senior officers express their concerns about what you've been told as you walk to Dr. Bannix's laboratory. He explains how the transfer will have to take place and then you head to the main laboratory to speak with Dr. Gallar.
After speaking with his assistant, and going through decon, you're allowed into the clean room to speak with Dr. Gallar. He seems a bit strange, even for a liberated drone, but then you all beam back to the ship.
Your ship takes point, while the science ships tow the weapon and cloak the whole thing. You warp to a nearby transwarp conduit to speed the trip back to Earth. Before entry, the doctor takes a shuttle out to examine the weapon, to ensure that it remains capable of transwarp travel.
Borg ships warp in, announce that they're here to reclaim their lost drone, and attack. After the fight, you lower the shields that you've been holding on the shuttle, to prevent Dr. Gallar from contacting the Borg, in order to beam him back to your ship, but he blocks that and beams over to the borg ship.
You quickly beam over and begin searching for him. The borg ship is damaged and many of the borg ignore you while you hack into various consoles. After fighting a couple of drones that are active, you finally locate him and head for his location. Commander Alban's team beams over and joins you in fighting against the borg while you confront Gallar. After taking care of him you confront the dying queen, it seems that Gallar made a fatal mistake, and you have to beam out before the borg ship is destroyed.
The science vessels warp out, taking the doctors back to their laboratory. But before you can leave the system more Borg ships attack, and the weapon is destroyed in the crossfire.
Problems with the mission: Dr. Bannix seems to have an aversion to auxiliary verbs; "I so relieved that Starfleet sent us a military vessel." A couple of other misspellings, quenn instead of queen.
By the time I had to try the fourth console it was starting to seem like they were put in just to make the mission longer. The same thing could have been accomplished with 3 or even 2 consoles.
Possible plot hole: why was the borg ship damaged before Dr. Gallar beamed over to it?
Final Thoughts: This is a involved story, with great interaction between the captain and bridge officers, and scientists who are engaged in some questionable research.
The story definitely has a theme, perhaps even a moral, and while it may be just a tad bit heavy-handed for some, I think that most Trekkies will agree with it and enjoy the story all the more for it.
Awesome, PF. Thanks for the review! It's a great opportunity to get very specific feedback instead of simply a star rating from most mission players.
"Scoundrel"..... heh, I actually originally used the "b" word (The second half of that movie, Inglourious _____ ) but the profanity filter caught it and I couldn't think of a better replacement. Perhaps, "scum"?
Responding to the hologram... hmmm I've been getting intermittent feedback about that particular conversation. Should it simply be extended with more interaction perhaps?
Anyway, this mission was my first foundry foray, so if anything pops into your head about actual Foundry mechanics I could have used differently or better I'm definitely all ears.
Thanks again for the review, I'm glad you liked it. I 'v been thinking of ways to make the Captain a more heroic figure, and will at least rework the dialogue during the final confrontation so you feel more involved in the story.
PF is going soft on us. There are now two 5 star reviews within 2 pages of this thread! What's the deal? Missions getting better or have you lowered your standards? I request a review for Star Trek V... it's the only way we'll know if you're still on the up and up.
Congrats AgentYae (Audacious Aground) and Capt.PFDennis (To Free or Not to Free).