Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 No Peace More Action- review
02-03-2011, 09:30 AM
I just played this mission and thought it was another solid Foundry Mission.
Unique story line, that goes into several Star Trek shows, great dialogue and costumes (almost all of them seemed created from stratch), and good mix of combat and story.

I recommend it.

Some pointers for re-edits of the mission:
-Blott character seems a little out of place just standing there right when you need him. You might think of having him be a computer console instead- like a historical interactive database.
-If you could somehow use the DS9 area more, like scanning out imposters within the delegates or something. You obviously put in time putting in all those people and such, so adding some content there would help the story and be kinda cool too.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
02-03-2011, 01:50 PM
Thanks for the review.

I may be misinformed regarding Foundry limits but one of the things here is that I THINK some of the tricks I'm using cause me to bump up very close to the mission limits. I know that two more maps would put me over. I think I'm less than 5 enemy groups away from that cap. (It's 100, right? You clearly don't fight 100 but every emoting NPC counts as a group. I need to research the limits better. I know I have almost 100 actors.)

With Doctor Blott, I was trying for one of those pompous observers you run into in Trek. I considered making him a computer and may take that into consideration when reworking things.

One thing I did with him that may not be immediately obvious:

He gives exposition. If you're not required to talk to him, you can skip some of that exposition.

You know how you get the "In 2268, James T. Kirk of the Enterprise went to the planet..." blurbs in normal missions. What I was playing with was the idea of having that dialogue attached to contacts who are not generally required that you speak to. So you can get that information if you talk to everyone but it's not required to finish the mission.

I'm not sure how to make a non-humandoid optional contact like that. My best guess would be to make a small contact (ie. a spider), name them something like "Interactive Computer Database", and hide them inside the geometry of a computer console to make the console look like a contact, when the contact is really buried inside the console.

Thanks for playing the mission! Great feedback!

One thing I'm noticing is that fleshing out individual environments eats up a mission budget fast and I use a lot of maps here. When Foundry goes live, I want to toy with making one VERY fleshed out, VERY large map where every inch of it gets used. Particularly with optional objectives and branching dialogue, I think it may be possible to make a mission that is basically a zone in a traditional MMO. The ability to recycle assets between tasks should help with that.

The basic structure will be something like...

Beam in. Get task. Task is easily accomplished at the beam in site, allowing you to finish at any time. But then having dozens of branching dialogues and optional objectives with a hundred or more NPCs. This would allow me to spend an entire mission budget fleshing out a single zone, without map transitions. Building interiors will actually be inside buildings without a map transition. All objectives will be optional and accessible from one map.

That will come with the features added in the next Foundry update and, frankly, would be a beast to do on Tribble and then have to re-do on Holodeck, given my plans to scratchbuild buildings from piecemeal art assets and create enough detail and functionality on one map that you never notice that you're using the same NPCs in different ways, getting sent on different tasks by the same NPCs, etc.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
02-03-2011, 01:56 PM
I'll go one further and suggest that I'd like to set one of these mission zones up so that it allows access to a space station exterior. I've been toying with ways to hide the ground so that I could have a ground map in space.

The first seed of that idea is in this mission when you see the shuttle outside the window at DS9 and the ship traffic around it if you look closely.

I'm eager to get my hands on the new ESD map in The Foundry as well as, hopefully, the Galaxy and Excelsior assets for use in ground maps.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
02-03-2011, 02:53 PM
Yeah I hear you on the limits thing. I pushed my NPCs too.

Your idea of making a full fleshed out map sounds great!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
02-03-2011, 03:19 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SBCouto View Post
Yeah I hear you on the limits thing. I pushed my NPCs too.

Your idea of making a full fleshed out map sounds great!
Yeah. I just want the branching dialogue as an option first because I think I could generate HOURS worth of content on a single map and I want to guarantee that players have the option to complete at various points.

Basically, an option to say, "I've had enough" after every half an hour of content... and maybe the ability to skip ahead to where they left off the next time they play.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6 Great Story 4 stars!
02-03-2011, 09:48 PM
My issues,

You had male NPC's called vixens, it's due to randomess of spawns.

Way too much dialog for me, I ran around and hit e....seemed to work. You almost eliminated the player.

My Tac officer was pretty smart fellow, he had very sound scientific info. So was the transport operator, starfleet and all security appeared to be completely negligent during such an important summit. maybe an actual ensign level spawn IN the summit room.

At the final battle I got killed in the room with the summit. Mobs shooting through walls.

Prior to that, I went to the "bend", then dance dance dance, at the end of the first dance, Probably could've broken the mission, by not dancing the second time, instead just killing the boss spawn.... The dancer character would've filled me in on the story despite the boss dying... parallel objectives are cruel.

On the Plus, Nice maps, good use of costume, nice atmosphere. Ship outside the window on DS9 was a nice touch. Great story! 4 o 5.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
02-04-2011, 06:01 AM
When did you play? I went back and THOUGHT i renamed all the Vixen spawns as "Conmen" but that was in the last fix build on Monday. It's possible that change didn't go through or I missed a group.

I do need to doublecheck the class costumes for the BOs. I used a balance. It seemed a bit odd on my playthrough but I think it comes out weird if your oldest tac/eng/sci BO on your away mission is also the one slotted in your ship's highest ranking station. So if your senior science office is on your away team, you may get a non-science BO taking over his dialogue for ship communications from a non-away team science officer.

Dialogue is pretty heavy and I was leading people a bit by the nose.

The idea with the dancing was to try to get you to set a waypoint and abandon your BOs while you dance. Hence why there are so many dancing options. That's why you're even told you should set a waypoint and leave them behind. The idea is to let them do the fighting while you go elsewhere.

That's definitely one mechanic I want to play with. Say, for instance, trying to set missions up so that you're required to leave individual or groups of BOs behind at one location while you go to another. This would become easier if I could set failure conditions or implement timers where you have to be in two places at once.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
02-04-2011, 06:21 AM
Incidentally, I think the dancing might be a nightmare above "Normal" difficulty. I was trying to setup the enemy encounter so that the enemies were fairly easily hyandled by the BOs without you being present.

The original idea was one where you'd have a number of tasks to complete in the state room including multiple stages of dancing, talking to people and diffusing bombs and each one would involve your BOs, left behind, ganging up on a single enemy as a parallel objective. So the big idea would be that they have to tend to one (small) problem in the hallway every time you tend to a problem in the state room.

The problem is, I don't think there's a way to have them face enemies one at a time and so I wound up giving the player a series of dance objectives to keep them away from the BO battle in the hallway.

I was trying to go for a very 40s gangster noir feel, which I think was probably most successful when you have the scene with Zara sitting on your ready room desk with the drinks laid out.

The big shoutouts to that are the lady in the red dress sitting on your desk in the ready room, the "create a distraction" sequence with the dancing, and the part where you fight the boss in a dark and smokey alley.

If we ever get the ability to set costumes for players, behavior mechanics for NPCs, and have some on the fly triggers, I'd like to add a section where you judo chop a guy from behind, steal his clothes and run around in disguise. That may work better in another mission though because I can see that eating up a lot of budget resources.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
02-05-2011, 12:07 AM
Yes aside from pam anderson on the desk. No problems, I was told that the enemy would be at the bend, I ran there, no mobs, so I ran into the room, Dance Dance, saw spawn, Dance ad nauseum. Then go the kill em.

He's smoking me, I run back into the conference room he's shooting me in the back through the wall, i'm cabbage. Call for help, call for help, I get my BOff to revive me... then I make him meet his maker. Two Starfleet officers right down the hall, no assist... just odd security was so bad....


Do a friendly starfleet spawn at the door, move their npc group marker and redress them as collegues for the summit 2 ensign level at the door, the rest redress as senators in the conference room. If they mow down your boss, up the boss or add an ensign group WAYY down that long hall, non objective, couple more actors at boss spawn...Just to make it seem unfair, though you know better


It's Actor costumes to be renamed, yet it's funny I have dudes blowing sweet love songs in my ear.... No accounting for taste! I like how you embraced lower level mobs for your DS9 Mission but maybe actual cardis are better than orion redress... And Vixen males in suits....

And got I nailed by a DSE on the way to the mission, but It's not against you. 4/5 stars
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
02-05-2011, 12:26 AM
Quote:
The problem is, I don't think there's a way to have them face enemies one at a time and so I wound up giving the player a series of dance objectives to keep them away from the BO battle in the hallway.
Maybe a BOff force field would be a good suggestion, it's not even used by Cryptic.... Player Through, BOff nought.... Very good suggestion. It's way to make a Single player mission...
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