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Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,819
I'd like you to try out my latest effort:

The Inner Darkness
ID: ST-HLP235DKL
Faction: Starfleet
Level: 31+
When a retired ambassador undergoes treatments for his rare, degenerative neurological condition in the Briar Patch, your presence is requested to provide a security detail against the combined threat of the Na'kuhl and the Ekosians. However, the greatest threat may prove to be within.

Caution: This mission may be on the long side and a touch controversial for reasons that may become apparent. No foul language or anything.

(At 75% publishing as of the writing of this post. Will obviously need 5 testers before it becomes generally available.)

Edit: 12:28PM EST 9/9/2012 Completed first playthrough. Found a batch of errors. Republishing. Pleased with the overall feel. The ground battles are difficult. The sets are pretty. Pathing looks good. Just some typos and loose ends.

Last edited by stoleviathan99; 09-09-2012 at 09:30 AM.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,819
# 2
09-09-2012, 04:37 PM
Teaser trailer is UP:

http://youtu.be/uF94coIO19w
Lieutenant
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 72
# 3
09-09-2012, 07:15 PM
I have to hit the hay, but I will try it later. Let me guess, was this ambassador a famous captain of a famous ship?
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,819
# 4
09-09-2012, 07:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ufpdewolfe View Post
I have to hit the hay, but I will try it later. Let me guess, was this ambassador a famous captain of a famous ship?
Possibly. :-)

Let's just say I'm feeling out my limits here. Easier to scale back than to scale forward.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,423
# 5
09-12-2012, 02:16 AM
One small bug encountered , but this was one of the most amazing pieces i have had the joy of playing through. Your knowledge of Lore and history made for an amazing story.
Glitch/Bug was that my Security Escort could go through Force Fields !!

Wish I could tip you more.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 236
# 6
09-12-2012, 04:53 PM
Tried to play the mission, but had some severe bugs that made me quit. Enemy NPCs attacked me through force fields, and sometimes my own Boffs would respawn outside the transporter room and get stuck behind a force field. I know these arent bugs you can control, just letting you know.

Also, I never really bought the devs excuses about the problems of small corridors until I played your mission. They look nice, but combat is absolutely terrible. AOEs pull enemy groups you arent even fighting and its just a big mess. Again, not your fault. But this map is definitely not cut out for ground combat.

Last edited by thetruthurts; 09-12-2012 at 05:02 PM.
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 830
Quote:
Originally Posted by stoleviathan99 View Post
I'd like you to try out my latest effort:

The Inner Darkness
ID: ST-HLP235DKL
Faction: Starfleet
Level: 31+
When a retired ambassador undergoes treatments for his rare, degenerative neurological condition in the Briar Patch, your presence is requested to provide a security detail against the combined threat of the Na'kuhl and the Ekosians. However, the greatest threat may prove to be within.

Caution: This mission may be on the long side and a touch controversial for reasons that may become apparent. No foul language or anything.
Federation Mission - The Inner Darkness
Author: stoleviathan99
Allegiance: Federation
Project ID: ST-HLP92SDKL

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

Summary: This is a great mission with several tough battles throughout. The story dialogue is very well written and detailed. I would highly recommend this mission to other players but not on Elite level.

It has been a while since I mentioned the use of "Continue" in a response button to dialogue. I am sure everyone understands the issue I have with it at this point. I will only mention it and suggest you find alternate responses for some of the "Continue" responses you used.

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: This is a good description. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this description.

Grant Mission Dialogue: This is a good grant dialogue as well as the follow on dialogue. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue.

Mission Task: This is a good initial task with a clear start location for 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 prompt.

MAPS:
New Ekos: This is a good map design with a good battle. The story dialogue is well written. 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" seemed overly used in dialogue responses.

U.S.S. Manheim: This is a good map design with several tough battles. The story dialogue is very well written. I noted a couple of items to consider changing:
-I understand with the use of force fields that it may be difficult but you should consider adding at least one respawn point deeper in the map.
-The use of the response button "Continue" seemed overly used in dialogue responses.
-The Ambassador Picard dialogue; consider changing "But before I compund the pomposity of my" to read "But before I compound the pomposity of my".

U.S.S. Manheim Deck 1: This is a good map design with very well written dialogue. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue or any issues with the map. I noted a couple of items to consider changing:
-The use of the response button "Continue" seemed overly used in dialogue responses.
-Consider changing the optional dialogue on the NPC's to triggered dialogue that can go away when the player reaches their quarters.

U.S.S. Manheim Deck 2: This is a good albeit short map design. The story dialogue is well written. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue. I noted one item to consider changing:
-Consider adding triggered optional dialogue and interactions with the crew scattered throughout the deck. This would make it a little more detailed and flesh out the story.

New Ekos: Final Assault: This is a good map design with a good battle. The story dialogue is well written. 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" seemed overly used in dialogue responses.

Ekosian Capital: This map design is okay but the enemies are all in one area and pretty tough. I had to respawn at least 8 times to kill them all. Consider spreading them out in the area a little more to give the player some chance of beating them with fewer respawns. I noted no spelling or grammatical errors with this dialogue.

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

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

This critique report also filed 09/12/2012 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. Also see Evil 70th's list of missions at "Evil 70th's Missions".
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,819
# 8
09-12-2012, 11:25 PM
I appreciate the review.

I have a hard time with dialogues between two NPCs without "Continue," something I've discussed with Havraha before as well. Using an ellipses every time feels forced and what I'd really prefer is the ability to recolor button text to distinguish between paraphrased action buttons and dialogue. (For what it's worth, my assumption would be that button text isn't dialogue.)

I've played through the mission multiple times.

I think the best route for me regarding difficulty and bugs is probably to nerf the difficulty of fights that are close together a BIT and move the spawns slightly. The intent was actually to make people think more about pulling (hence the use of a scout NPC) but aggro is unforgiving in such tight spaces.

With regards to the forcefields, I can only think of one that even allows you within line of sight of enemies (which is what results in firing through forcefields, something I can't help except by keeping the player from achieving line of sight with enemies.

Overall, the lesson there for me is that combat difficulty shoots up dramatically in confined spaces. I like the feel (in fact I dramatically prefer it) but I need to scale back from what my instincts might be on other maps.

The final fight is significantly overtuned. I do give the player some options for cover (the bar and the alley) but I think a two fold approach here might be to scale back difficulty while having a bridge officer suggest using the bar as cover. (Players might not be used to this since many aspects of Foundry maps don't work as cover. The bar does and using it adds a certain thrill to the fight.)

Overall, this along with a couple of typos are what I plan on fixing.

Also to be considered are:

Respawn points. Optional dialogue with crew when heading back to the Transporter. Drawing people's attention towards Rene when he first appears. (Many people miss his first appearance and dialogue since it involves visiting an out of the way area.)

Overall, I am satisfied with the reviews and how this mission turned out. I really do plan to specialize in ground combat using tight spaces going forward (the thrill factor is high) but I can acknowledge that it's a severe challenge for me in STF gear with an Elite Fleet Weapon, meaning that the difficulty can afford to take a dip. Even the easiest enemies become much more... engaging to fight on a tight map. I plan to take this lesson going forward as I eventually plan an encounter with Borg in even tighter spaces. That really means getting acclimated to easier mobs posing more challenge.

(I find this engaging, in large part BECAUSE it makes fights challenging without relying on enemies whose attacks or stats are overtuned. The challenge is situational and you have to stay awake and focus more on your environment than being able to rely on stats or prep work like turrets. I know some people's mileage may vary and I definitely found that what would work on a larger map is overtuned here.)

With regards to respawns...

The trick with such a tight map is placing them far enough away. It would be easy to have players respawn on the other deck. It's difficult to have multiple respawn points on one deck as the respawn point would trigger well before you got close enough to that part of the mission, causing you to respawn on the wrong side of an invisible wall.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 236
# 9
09-14-2012, 12:22 PM
As foundry authors it is our responsibility to be aware of the way the game is designed, and then design our missions accordingly. Unfortunately the small ship interior map you used does not work well with the way Cryptic designed ground combat. That is not your fault, as you did not design ground combat or make that map. However you did choose to use it in your mission.

Last edited by thetruthurts; 09-14-2012 at 02:06 PM.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,819
# 10
09-14-2012, 02:45 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by thetruthurts View Post
As foundry authors it is our responsibility to be aware of the way the game is designed, and then design our missions accordingly. Unfortunately the small ship interior map you used does not work well with the way Cryptic designed ground combat. That is not your fault, as you did not design ground combat or make that map. However you did choose to use it in your mission.
I would have designed ground combat this way if I had.

The last fight is sizably overtuned and uses an open space. (My best run still has 3 deaths in it.)


The interior fights are basically how I think ground combat should be, with mobs that are maybe 10-15% less difficult. I don't get how people are playing that they wouldn't enjoy this. Most that I talk to DO but I'm not exactly clear on why this is worse than standard ground combat. I find it sizably BETTER and wish that all the combat was in more cramped spaces.
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