I have also come here to praise this episode. It totally had a feeling of a good SP RPG and a good Star Trek episode. That said, I do have one complaint as a new player.
I started playing STO two weeks ago, and I must say I am finding it hard to make any sense of all the episodes. I wish there was a list in game or something of all the episodes and the order in which they came out. As it is now, I'm just accidentally running into episodes as I level my character, and I would like to do them all chronologically. Maybe I am missing something, so if anyone has any advice, please....
The new episode was really good. I was pleasantly surprised to see the environment getting more animated and alive. Me and my teamate took quite a bit exploring along the outskirts and inside the settlement. In a nutshell here are some of my highlights:
1) Variable dialogue and class options. Perhaps they could be made to have more of an effect as to how the mission plays out but this was a great start.
2) Side objectives. Lots of potential for side missions and even dailies. I would love to see missions like that fleshed out. Adittionally putting random merchants, mercenaries and other characters offering various other mission and purchasables will help make any planet and location we visit special for something.
3) Random discoveries. There was a few landmarks that could be used for perhaps an unrealted discovery. A previous crashed craft or a buried body or even an artifact of some sort. Even some of the buildings could have been made to have their interiors explorable and thus offering other possibilites (within reason), that could be added to it every so often if a location is important enough (like Defera).
4) Intelligence reports. Loved getting information that progresses the story line. We need more of this perhaps hinting and teasing on future directions.
5) The decoding. My favourite part of this mission. It felt really engaging and fun. My only beef is that I was doing it alone on my ready room instead of a brige station with my BOs
Thank you for the wonderful mission and looking forward to next week.
4) The diplomacy solution. The guard that could be won over with enough diplomacy points... just cool. Sadly I didn't have enough so he died... still I like that diplo rank actually had a use. More of this please.
Ah, so that's why my only option was to murder everyone in sight.
hahahaha, i released the prisoners but they all died horribly by the thalaron device that commander used i was like "well ... at least you died outside a jailcell right? *kicks remaining rubble that used to be prisoners*"
I know my praise (on top of everyone else's) will amount to nothing more than weeing in the sea, but I loved this mission! Everything about it ruled. I love the environment almost as much as I love the Defari homeworld (which is still the best environment in-game, I think) and The Vault itself.
I loved chatting to the random characters, and felt sorry for the guy who lost his brother. I'd like to think he was one of the guys I rescued in the mine. The moving spotlight and mine cart were a joy, and the Ferengi was a typical Ferengi - you just wanted to smack him with a frying pan (note to devs: put a frying pan in game).
Overall, the mission wins. Bugs aside, the story was great, the cutscenes were made of awesome, and the decryption puzzle at the end was the icing on the cake. Plus you've won me over with the idea of pets in games since getting my Horta.
Some things that I felt would have added to the mission:
- Missed GPL use. This mission was a perfect opportunity to put gold-pressed latinum to good use. Give us an option to ask the refugees how much debt they have, and another option to pay it.
Agreed. That was the first thing I thought of when they mentioned that they had a debt. If you can use your latinum to rescue Defari prisoners, it would be awesome to be able to pay off miner's debts too.
I agree with your other points too. The number of potential dailies on that map alone is immense. It's like Cryptic have developed a Mass Effect-like RPG but on a smaller scale. It's landscapes/environments like that that I'd like to see on Earth and other major planets in the future. Cryptic have shown they can do it, now let's see it!
Again, I have to say 90% awesome. Aside from the bug where you don't get any skill points as a completion reward, I found the tecnical quality to be good. Story was excellent, and I did enjoy the class specfici stuff (although I found the engineer one to be a bit too much of a guessing game.) I also thought the emphasis on diplomacy rability was interesting, although this also causes my one major gripe.
I'm all for diplomacy ranks being useful and meaning something in the context of plot and story. While I didn't personally get along with the "if you don't have x rank, you must kill them" thing, I can see the logic. (In my ideal world, I would still have given non diplomats the peaceful option, but made it much harder to get to through dialogue.) What really got my goat about the non-diplomat option was the way it was dialogued up. At the choice points concerned, your character is the aggressor. There is no "try to talk them round, fail and have them go hostile at you," there is merely "now I will kill you." In fact, in the Commanders case, this seems to be couched in terms of, if not glee, then certainly enthusiasm. No reluctance at all. If I am supposed to be a Starfleet officer, for whom diplomacy and talking around problems should always be my first resort (heck, even in a war situation, the federation prefers to try and solve things without bloodshed first.) I will kill if I must, but I will not haul out my gun and try and execute someone who's just not co-operating. Have my botched attempts at diplomacy cause offense if you like, I do not choose to be the bad guy here, and deliberately killing someone (when we know stun weapons are in canon already) who has already surrendered to me but won't tell me what I want to know, seems to me a very Tal Shiar action.
I can see klingons being happier with that choice, but feds? Outside of Section 31, I find it unlikely.
Great designs of characters and environments, great romulan uniforms, town felt alive. Great cutscenes and voice. I wish I'd felt like I could effect things more though. I wanted to rescue the brother, pay off the debts or intimidate Mardran into forgiving them, provide medical care, entertainment provisions, clear out wild animals, and not have to kill Commander Janek after you made her so redeemable in the cutscenes. I realize that envoys and higher don't have to kill her, but she could/should have been a recurring character and it is sad to waste her by killing her for her code.
My only other beef that nobody mentioned yet is that there was no explanation at all for how I ended up with a horta hatchling. Maybe it should have started following you after you saved eggs from Romulans or after getting the Horta accolade? Make sure that we knew it chose to follow us instead of being like a non-sentient pet?
Some/all of these things can be fixed by adding dailies to this map. After mission completion let us go back there and accomplish all the goals we didn't/couldn't in the main mission. A lot of work went into this place, let's get more use out of it. Also, I think we should find that Com. Janek miraculously survived the mine even if we killed her during the mission. She was cloned, she was given medical aid and transport off-screen, or something. She'd make a great recurring character, and an even cooler Boff.
I also don't like the tactical version of the accolades. Every class is more than capable of dealing with a few thugs. Tac officers should have been able to take out their hq above ground and their boss, or gone clearing a bunch of wild animals.
So, don't waste this map! Give us new dailies and whatnot using it, let us do the things we didn't get to do during the mission...and give me a reason, even a throwaway line, for why I have a horta following me around now. He should have a name, maybe too.
Very happy to see the Romulans getting more love. This week's ep was way cool, atmosphere was alive and I love the new pet quite a bit.
My only real complaint (carried over from last week) is the quality of the VO acting. I'm just not really too keen on how the people are reading their parts, specifically, the bad guys who seem to be gushing with eeeeevil. T'Nea and Temek are sorta OK, but Obisek and Hakeev...oh man, waaaay too much gush! Obisek needs to sound a lil more like a normal leader to garner sympathy from the players-base, and Hakeev just needs to sound authorative, arrogant and direct rather than dastardly and gruff like he's doing a Nausican impression.
Other than that, well done and thanks for the Horta pup.
I loved the evil rom/reman voices. T'nae is the one I didn't like. I know she's a vulcan so she is supposed to speak in something of a monotone, but she enunciated each word a bit too much and read too slowly so that it sounded like she was reading aloud rather than speaking. Obisek also spoke slowly, but I got the impression from his performance that this is simply the way he speaks rather than he was reading aloud. Loved Hakeev and Janek.