Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 How to create...?
01-27-2011, 05:12 PM
I'm looking for an effective way to create that "Oh, s**t..." moment in a mission. That moment when you realize that the next few moments of your life are going to suck.
*spoilers follow if you want to play it through*

Let me explain:
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I have two fleets: One Federation; one True Way. The True Way fleet is destined to be wiped out. The story is these two fleets are actually allies, but the Foundry mechanics don't allow that at the moment (but since one of them is being destroyed, it's not an issue). Then a massive Borg fleet (like six cubes) flies in and wipes out the True Way fleet while at the same time attacking the Fed fleet. I put in enough NPC Fed ships that the six cubs shouldn't be too bad strength-wise, though it should still be difficult.

At the moment, I have the player get lined up with the Fed fleet and once they reach their mark the Borg fleet appears. They appear about 15km away from the Fed fleet and is made up of mostly cubes. They appear as this massive green wall. (If you have never seen six cubes appear 15km off your bow.... wow) The wall of Borg is what keeps the Fed and True Way from attacking each other and the True Way are easily destroyed by the Borg.

Here's my question: Should I drop the Borg just outside of weapons range to give the player a chance to soak in the horror of the situation, if only for a moment? Or should I just go ahead and drop the cubes right in the firing range and have the player not be given any time to think? Because it is just empty space and then all of the sudden it is wall of cubes.

This is only one Act of the whole mission, so there is more to it than just this.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
01-27-2011, 10:51 PM
I'd say, let the player pause and think. Some players are faster than others, some are slower and will need time to process what's going on. If you pause the action for a moment, you could sneak in some dialog popup from a BO saying there are some odd readings on the sensors and then drop the Wall of Borg. It should help focus the player's attention and perhaps get them excited for the upcoming fight.

I designed and hopefully succeeded to create such a moment with dread and terror, in ground combat by mixing several enemy types that together exert nasty crowd control on the player and his/her away team. I made sure however to explain the situation before the action starts. I think it worked much better than simply throwing the player into the fray.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
01-28-2011, 06:37 AM
If you want suspense, then keep them just out of reach.
If you want panic, then put the Borg right over their heads and watch the light show all around them.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
01-28-2011, 11:23 AM
I've used similar "I've soiled my armor" moments in my missions... I've tried to draw the aggro away from the player so they can get their bearings and either fight or retreat...


Some reviewers don't appreciate that quality but I sure do... I like to somewhat prepare the player for something with a pop-up dialogue, but that's just me and some players don't bother to process the thought that something bad is about to happen...
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
01-31-2011, 12:36 AM
In my opinion, absolutely give the player a few seconds to let a little poop out.
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