Due to a missing a trigger I haven't completed "Boldly They Rode" but I'm frustrated with with the prospect of repeating the whole mission at the moment so I'll just provide my comments to this point for what they are worth.
In summary this story reminded me of the best and the worst of the romulan campaign. If you are enough of a trekkie/trekker/whatever you choose to self identify as you will usually be able to recognize plot point inconsistencies writers may have missed or not considered. I try to look at the big ideas presented that make me find the overall presentation enjoyable. The general feel and flavour are critical and the overall consistency of an arc are the things that I enjoy the most.
"The 2800" was an enjoyable offering. It was a story rooted in DS9 and the Dominion. Because there was a consistent vision throughout the offfering it kept me interested for the most part. The only component that really hurt was "Of Bajor". My criticism being it was a tedious sequence of "go fetches". Collectively the parts fit together where other story arcs didn't seem to acheive that dovetailing. Both the klingon and romulan stories pulled this off as well subsequent arcs had me wondering what does this have to do with XXXX?, and why should my character care? A nice return to a focused story.
Visually this campaign was brilliant. The people in the eye candy department went to town and it showed. Bajor, the prison and the EVA walk in particular were all great looking additions to the environments. I'm looking forward to what you have waiting in the wings.
There was a bad part to my memories of the final romulan mission. The EVA while nice looking did concern me. I hopped a ledge that I probably shouldn't have and figured I blew my game. Surprisingly I got back on track okay but other posters seemed to have done something similar and hit a block. This reminds me of the "railriding" issues I had on the catwalks. Karukan was a uncooperative and died exactly when he shouldn't have. The open space in OPs had my character getting the guts flanked out of him from go. He died. Quite often. My targets shrouded and flanked and Karukan wouldn't get his wretched carcass out of my face. When I thought I had finally killed his sniping lackeys I gave him a beating only to miss his last friend who blew my side off as I death blowed him. I respawned to an empty ops with no exits and no Karukan alive to kill and put a tick in the mission box. I have to start the mission again. I didn't mind the EVA once but under the circumstances I'm not thrilled about a repeat.
I think it was KOTOR that had a similar eva section and it is often recalled as the very worst bit of that game (with good reason)...
The underwater bit on Manaan, as I recall, when you find that Star Map in the secret Republic kolto harvesting plant on the ocean floor. Otherwise known as "about ten minutes of my life I want back". I think the big tips in favor of "Boldly They Rode", however, were the reaction thrusters - you didn't have those in KotOR. Did the trip outside on DS9 take a while regardless? Yes. Was moving around in the suit sluggish without the thrusters? Hell, yes. Would I change a thing about it? Honestly...no.
On other bits: I see people go "aww, these stupid iso-chip puzzles" or complaining about the codes for the sensor recalibration bit - or, in past series, the whole brouhaha with the codes on the satellite in Coliseum, or the musical consoles on Drozana during the Devidian series. But honestly, puzzle-type games don't bug me quite as much. The reason? I grew up on Myst and its sequels, and have played most of the series (the only one I have not touched at all is End of Ages) multiple times in the two decades or so since the original was released. In that series, tedious puzzles were par for the course (especially in Revelation...Serenia just SUCKED).
I thought the series as a whole was well-done and somewhat exciting towards the end, and as someone who enjoyed some of the latter episodes of DS9, it did answer a few things. But that said, I couldn't help but think there was always this feeling of something missing. I can't put my finger on it, though...perhaps it was the not-so-glorious appearing of the new Enterprise, in as something of a cameo right at the end, like the cavalry charging over the hill at the end of those cheesy Westerns. (Hmm, maybe that was where something was missing - where the hell is the brand-spanking-new Klingon flagship in all this, eh?)
I'll preface by saying it was really good to have new mission content after so long, new story missions are always welcome and I hope they continue.
There were a lot of things to like about the series, but I do feel it wasn't a coherent set of missions like the previous three series. Of Bajor seemed very much like filter and din't add much to the overall story like the other episodes did. Also, it was never fully explained why the Prophets sent the fleet back into the wormhole - sure they wanted to restore what they had changed but why now? The quadrant is in an even worse state than it was in 2374 with the Klingon war, Borg return and Iconian meddling - seems the Prophets are rather sadistic.
Also, Loriss came off as dumb. I can buy the Jem'Hadar not accepting defeat, but Loriss' excuse in Of Bajor that she is following a Founder's order and won't budge until she hears otherwise seems out of character to other Vorta we have seen. Sure, they are slaves to the Founders but they aren't stupid. Loriss would have expected DS9 to already be under Dominion control when they arrived and should have immediately suspected something was wrong and once she had reviewed historical files should have been smart enough to realise the orders she received were out of date and the Founders had countermanded whatever orders she had taken by signing the Treaty of Bajor.
I'm a bit surprised to see so many negative feedback on this mission. I personally loved it. You had several puzzles to solve, like the disable sensors (and for those who are stuck, my piece of advise is: read carefully ehat is being said and if necessary, take notes). The general enviroment of external DS9 was great and gave me a real scale of how huge is DS9. And on the end, we managed to keep the EVA suit after all, what is nice (even though it doesn't have any use outside the mission, it is good to wear it for simply fun). What I think it could be improved:
When the space suit is given to the player, emphatize it has to be equipped on a armor slot. I initially though it was a device.
I don't know if it is just me, but I don't know how I got around the crashed Bird of Pray. I mean, it's engine went critical, I jumped, it exploded and then magically I appeared on the other side. A bit weird.
When the Jem'Hadar ship goes verify the crash and you have to go override the targeting ship, it would be nice something more challenging. Like a timer saying: you have 3 minutes before it detects you.
The ground combat inside DS9 was fine. I initially though: well, now things will be difficult. It's me versus a station full of Jem'Hadar. But I managed to handle the situation quite well. The little traps were a nice touch although I kept wandering after the mission: shoudn't those controls be hidden and with some heavy security to access then? After all, we don't see they on the DS9 social map.
Now the final battle on space needs a bit review. It was fine and has the number of ships that the second wave should have. But it was said there wer a fleet to arrive at DS9. And sincerely, the fleet was composed by 3 more ships more or less, if I'm not mistaken. That's not a fleet and don't givee the feel of "Sacrifice of Angels". And my little science vessel were literally oblitared several times. So my request is: more ships on that fight. It will help give the feeling of a more epic battle and help more fragiles ship to don't get blown so meany times.
And the cutscenes were really awesome. The ones on the first two episodes wasn't good. They improved on the third and fourth and on that made them awesome. And the arrival of the enterprise on the middle of the fight was very well done. It definetely remebered First Contact and it was a yet bigger surprise when we saw the Andorian Capitain on the bridge. I honestly thought he was dead on the last episode. The disapointing part is that it doesn't turn the tide of the Battle. At least not on a noticeable way. It fails on feeling powerfull, so I think it needs to be improved even if this means to overpower the enterprise (and I will emphasize the Enterprise speciffically. I'm not saying to improve the class as whole).
Overall, a awesome FE finale and one that showed what Cryptic is capable. Really good and I think it will be hard to Cryptic do a mission as good this one in the future (if a Dev read this, what I hope for, consider this a challenge ). So... When is FE 5 released?
The EVA was interesting. I like that they are playing around with the environment (the Lemuria area in CO comes to mind).
The final ground battle was highly irritating. Lets fight a shrouded Boss that holds you in a corner and drops invisible mines. not fun....
The final space battle was an effing zergfest. Anything but my cruiser went up in seconds. Eventually in my other ships I flew away and let em fight it out. so incredibly not fun.
For the whole series.... I played the series on 11 captains and doing repeats. Ive done the finale on 4. The drop tables are broken... I did a few captains on Easy, some on advanced and some on Elite.... Strangely enough the only purple item I saw and the only gold box I got (2 actually) came from easy. Loot was the same otherwise. I put up with one-shot kills to get better loot and this series appears to have the same loot table across the board.
I have 2 Melee captains that didn't fair well. Even with Mobility shields and other protections they were constantly being knocked around and had terrible times connecting blows.
The missions was decent enough, the usual problems with team play, tho.
Don't you guys test these in team settings before you release them?
The first one in the series was horrendous with a team, then next few weren't too bad and then the last one aslo has issues for a full team, although not as mind bendly frustrating as the first one.
All in all, I'd give the series as a whole about a 7 out of 10...
I still think the Rom series was the best so far.
Now, please let's not have to wait another year for more new missions.