The Second To Last Outpost
"Her name is Dr. Beverly Rasmussen, and she needs your help..."
Final Rating: 2 Stars
Synopsis: You warp into the system and speak with the doctor aboard the USS Cruciform, who recently rescued her after her shuttle was attacked by Romulans. She needs you to go to her research station and retrieve data valuable to the war effort.
You warp to Iota Cassiopeiae. As you approach the research station you scan it and the nearby wormhole. Romulan ships decloak, inform you that this system has now been claimed by the Empire, and attack. After destroying them your sensors detect Romulans on the station.
Upon beaming aboard the station you wipe out an entire Romulan company, rescue several captured scientists, kill a dozen giant spiders, and click on just about every console on the entire map.
Back aboard your ship, several Talarian ships show up, and you're able to treat with them. Afterward you're informed that rather than return the research data, and complete your mission, you've received clearance to investigate the inner planets of the system, though it's never made clear why you would want to do so. Oh well, off to the first planet.
You encounter a bunch of unrelated stuff there, which gives your science officer an excuse to ramble on about unobtainium for a few minutes, and then some Romulan ships decloak and attack. Then it's off to survey the third planet.
Once there, Romulan vessels decloak and attack, again. Afterward, you approach a disabled Romulan ship. Sensors indicate lifeforms aboard that aren't Romulan, possibly prisoners, you beam a tactical team aboard to recover them, while you remain at your post on the bridge, like a captain is supposed to. Then more Romulan ships decloak and attack, again. Not only does the team rescue prisoners, but they also retrieve valuable data from the Romulan's computers, indicating they were doing research and testing on creating artificial wormholes. Then it's off to the primary target, the second planet in the system.
After arriving your ship becomes disabled by an unknown force and you beam down to the planet to investigate. On the surface you suddenly feel the urge to kill (0/5) Romulan squads. Afterwards you meet the natives and they inform you of strange ancient ruins that may be the source of the force disabling your ship. On the way to the ruins you feel the need to kill more Romulans (0/2), and then you enter the ancient ruins.
The underground complex that you enter is obviously old and filled with ancient technology, and 137,482 giant Talaron Hook Spiders (roughly). After grinding your way through wave after wave after wave of spiders, you encounter the computer that still runs the complex. He explains a lot about his creators and the natives on the surface. Then asks your help making repairs.
Once the long and extensive repair process is finished, wave after wave of both Romulans and the natives beam in and start fighting over who gets the privilege of killing you and taking possession of the ancient site. After you slaughter all of them, and the reinforcements that they beam in, the ancient computer walks you through the process of protecting this system from a catastrophic stellar event. Then you beam back to your ship.
Back aboard your ship, 7 squadrons of enemy ships decloak right on top of you, literally. More reinforcements arrive, but you're saved from having to grind through them by the ancient one who simply moves the ships to another star system. Cause he can. Then you make contact with Starfleet Command and inform them of your success.
Problems with the mission: The sector block for the mission door isn't shown in the Mission Tracker.
Talaron Hook Spiders in the doctor's station? Why? So what did the doctor do? Grab a rifle and fight these spiders every time she went to the bathroom?
Accessing the computer consoles aboard the station was odd, I couldn't do it AT any of the consoles, I had to stand in the middle of the platform and type in the air.
When I went to access the tertiary console two interact bars came up. One said access tertiary console, the other just said interact. The second one labeled interact did nothing.
Why does a private research station have a self-destruct mechanism? I can see a military starship having one to prevent the ship from falling into enemy hands, but why would Dr. Rasmussen care about that?
If this data is so vital to the war effort, why risk losing it by sending my ship off exploring the other planets in the system instead of delivering the data?
Having ships decloak literally right on top of me is always a bad idea, especially when it's 7 groups of ships all at once. Also, being ambushed by 137,482 giant spiders is just annoying.
Final Thoughts: The author put an incredible amount of work into this mission. The amount of text in this mission is enormous, and when speaking with people other than your bridge officers you're offered multiple branching dialogs that allow you to control how your captain reacts to the people and offers you the opportunity to get a lot of information from them. Also, the dialog is just very well done. Everyone who speaks sounds like an intelligent adult with some personality.
On top of that this mission is epic long, it took me over 3 hours to complete it. In his defense the author does specifically warn players on the blub page that this mission takes 2+ hours to complete.
However, a large portion of the text is unnecessary and extremely long explanations, and much of it has nothing to do with the mission or story at all. Also, the amount of combat involved was far far beyond what was necessary. Once the mission was over I'd killed hundreds of spiders, for absolutely no reason, over a hundred Romulan soldiers, dozens of Romulan ships, and a couple of native ships and soldiers on top of all of that.
The story is excellent, the dialog is excellent, and I don't mind a mission that's really long, but longer isn't necessarily better. This mission didn't feel like an epic long story, it felt like it was drug out excessively for no real reason. I mean, does my science officer really have to spend 5 minutes explaining what deuterium is to me? My character is a Starfleet officer, not an idiot that just fell off of the turnip truck. And the 137,482 giant spiders that had absolutely nothing to do with the story? A couple of groups of spiders, coupled with the joke my bridge officer made about them would have been a great addition to the story, but I fought so many of them I started to just hate it.
I actually like ground combat, my VA is specced for it, but when it makes sense. Kill (0/5) Romulans followed by Now kill their reinforcements (0/3) is just a boring grindfest that adds nothing to the story. Combat is supposed to be the climax of the scene, not the constant game play. This is Star Trek, not Doom.
The real problem is that this mission really amounts to about 30 minutes of excellent story and game play, sandwiched in between 2 hours of unnecessarily verbose dialog and far far more combat than actually makes sense.
"A Ferengi is selling infected Romulan Ale to different Romulan Colonies that have settled on asteroids due to the Hobus Event that destroyed their homeworld."
Final Rating: 1 Star
Synopsis: You warp into the system with orders to find and arrest the Ferengi trader that's been selling contaminated Ale. As you approach the colony you're contacted by its governor, Laris.
After you brief her on the situation, and inform her of your orders, she loses her marbles and decides that it's all a plot by the evil Federation to deprive her and her people of their precious booze. Upon informing Starfleet Command of her demands, they decide to honor her wishes and order you to observe and monitor, but not arrest, the Ferengi trader.
You beam down to the Romulan colony, and are met in the cargo bay by Laris and six people who all share the name of 'UGC Contact'. She explains that Starfleet has contacted her, so she's decided to allow to speak to the Ferengi and observe the testing of the Ale.
After beaming to another part of the asteroid you're allowed to speak to Lais and several other Romulan officers, and then you beam to another part of the station. Once there Lais tells you that they've tested the Ale and it's fine, but it's obvious that she's lying, and she refuses to allow you to take a sample to be tested. Another Romulan warns you to watch out for the Ferengi trader as he has a reputation for vengeance.
Once back aboard your ship you encounter the Ferengi trader who demands payment. You inform him that Lais has the Ale but has decided not to pay him. He starts spouting threats, but a distress call brings you back to the Romulan asteroid colony, which is being attacked by Klingons. You destroy all of the Klingon ships and then receive word that Zog's forces are invading the colony. End of part one.
Problems with the mission: The mission door was not shown in the Mission Tracker.
A lot of misspellings, and there, their, your, you're, were and we're are different words with different meanings. Also, it's making not makeing.
Why are the Romulan ships that you see when you first warp in labeled 'Alien Cruiser'?
When I flew over the Romulan asteroid colony I didn't get the beam down prompt, I had to fly under it and very close before I got the chance to beam down. The trigger volume needs to be expanded.
Lais' party are all named 'UGC Contact'.
What? I'm going to be a test subject for their new transporter? No way I'd ever agree to that.
My servants? Now he's just being a jerk. He knows they're officers aboard my ship.
And, the nebula static effect? Why?
Final Thoughts: The text was a mess of misspelled or incorrectly used words. The dialog often made little sense. The Federation has helped these people to found a colony, and survive. Why Lais goes off of the deep end and decides that my mission is some kind of evil conspiracy by the Federation just makes no sense. And her refusal to take a minute and just test the Ale makes even less sense.
There's very little story here and it ends with very little plot advancement. I realize that this is a 'part one', but even so it should have some explanations given and some plot lines closed. Otherwise the mission ends up feeling like it was just abruptly stopped mid-story. Which is exactly how this mission felt.
Shadow War - Mist in the Night
"Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to Rendezvous with the USS Valkyrie at an undisclosed location. There, you will recieve further instructions..."
Final Rating: 3 Stars
Synopsis: You drop out of warp and close with the Valkyrie before speaking with her captain. Your mission is to infiltrate a nearby enemy base and retrieve data from its main computers.
After dropping out of warp near the enemy base, you engage the patrolling ships, and then beam aboard the enemy base.
You sweep through the base, neutralizing defending soldiers, until you reach the main computers. After downloading the target data, and scanning some prototype weapons, you defeat reinforcements before beaming back to your ship.
More enemy ships warp in and attack. Once you've handled them, the Valkyrie contacts you, they're on the way but they need you to hold the area until they arrive. The Valkyrie warps in just as you've finished the next wave of enemy ships.
You then beam aboard a dry docked ship, which is believed to have several prototype weapons on board, and seize control of it from its crew. As the Valkyrie's officers attempt to get the prototype ship underway, you beam back and defend it from more enemy ships that want to destroy it to prevent it from falling into Starfleet's hands.
Once they get the prototype ship underway, you all warp out and meet up with other Starfleet ships. You beam aboard the USS Odin and meet with the operative that was in charge of this operation. He debriefs you and gives you the opportunity to join their covert organization.
Problems with the mission: A few misspelled words. It's isn't possessive, its is.
Much of the operative's dialog was a little over the top stereotypical secret agent-ish.
The dialog with my bridge officers suffers from the typical hand-holding and BOs telling the captain what to do, rather than the reverse as it should be.
Final Thoughts: This is an excellent example of how to do a "Part One." It has its own story and plot, both of which are resolved before the mission ends.
Overall this is a simple story that is well done. Some work to remove the hand-holding by my bridge officers and fleshing out their dialog would definitely bring this story up to 4 star quality.