Hello again everyone!
With my nerves at an all time high, I am proud to present the conclusion to Not Our War on STO!
I'll give a brief description of the mission below-
Not Our War (Part 1/2)
In the thrilling conclusion to "Not Our War", see if you and your crew can solve the impossible situation that you were left in at the end of part 1!
Difficulty: Normal (Challenging)
Part 2 of 2
Warning: Graphically demanding mission! May need to lower some settings!
Approx. 50 mins: Action, Adventure, Heavy Dialogue.
Easter egg event triggerable in one of the maps!
Location: The Badlands
Length: 45 mins - 1 hr
I few things I wish to say about it:
-Last updated 2/7/12
- There is a puzzle like part in the story, but it's really not a puzzle. It simply can change how your story turns out as much as the Foundry allows branching stories.
- Experimental game play such as allowing the player as much freedom as is possible with determining how they want to end their mission. But again there really isn't much freedom, just allowing the player to tailor the story a little more to the way they may want to end it.
- I know that my last mission was hit because of 'needless' maps and zoning, so when i originally designed the mission, it was only going to be four maps. But that really left me unsatisfied with the way it turned out. So I separated some of the objective to more maps, which, may warrant the same 'needless' map critique, but I just didn't like how the story handled and the fewer maps (i felt) detracted from the mission as a whole.
- That said, their is one map, that may seem totally and blatantly a waste of loading time because it only has a few pieces of dialogue. But! that map actually contains an Easter egg trigger that will trigger with a small amount of exploration. Kind of like a last huzzah for the mission and so people don't say that it was a purposeless map. Well i guess you would still that if you don't find the Easter egg but I think it was worth it personal opinion wise!
(The Easter egg is also why their is a 4 lvl jump in the mission requirement)
Hope you guys enjoy it! And as always I love feedback! Not Our War would not have been nearly as good without y'alls help before, and the same is true now!
Just did a small update on Part 2!
I changed the map of DS9 to the legit one w/ wormhole! And I also redid some of the dialogue on the map, it seemed to be confusing to some people what happens with the choice that you make. So i tried to make that a little clearer.
I am pleased. My biggest fear was that you weren't going to have a way to solve the time-line trouble. I didn't even expect the prophets until someone said something about the wormhole. Well played good sir, well played.
As far as comments and critiques: You did a good job keeping the large scale battle feel in this one! And your use, placement, and wording of Dialog Skips is well done. I personally liked how you organized the gunning down of [SPOILER], and how you worked it so that it wouldn't muck up the game-play too poorly after.
Two small things; the interact trigger for the helm when you unlock it simply says "Interact" you may want the change that. The second is when in the ??? map, the individual you are speaking with refers to my captain as a "He", which is good... but if I was playing a female captain...
The rest here are optional for you to think on and consider, but the mission stands fine without them IMO.
The epilogue is nice, but I'm not a personal fan of writing one out for me. Simply giving a dialog option to order having an officer start gathering the information to contact people and them giving a response that eludes to you doing it eventually would flow better to me, but... that's just me.
(Something like: "I would like some information on the officers who didn't make it..." Officer:"So you can contact their next of kin? The Acting Admiral's wife and son perhaps, sir? We can look into it. They did a great thing for blah blah blah... we can make it so you can get into contact to tell them BLah Blah, Warm fuzzy feeling Blah!" "Very good.")
My Science Officer has been reminding me constantly in the story about the Temporal Prime Directive; which I think is great, important, and deserving of reminders. However, my responses as a captain seem to read to me as if I am ... obsessed with catching the Cardi or saving the fleet, rather than of the reluctant belief doing what I am is the only way to save the timeline. A few more options to give a bit of a middleground in the dialog response options would be nice.
When at DS9, if the option to move towards the Wormhole is chosen, the new CO of the 7th jumps right to the worst despite your previous help thus far, as well as accuses you of being an Undine. Not sure if that is the most logical choice for him considering everything he's seen. Also, the Undine weren't even known about then or given that name until a few decades later... Perhaps another dialog option by the Captain that makes it feel more like a last attempt to keep with the Temporal Prime directive and the safety of your crew over running like a coward. But then again, that could be an interesting choice option in itself.
Really, if you wanted to do something shnazzy, and give an excuse for why your ship explodes even if you try to run you could do some tweaking and add a third choice. When talking about the wormhole escape, have your science officer make it a tad bit more obvious that trying to do so may destroy the ship. Then you add a third choice where the science officer says they've been trying to calculate the changes made in the timeline, and if the group with you does perish at DS9 then the timeline is restored, with one exception... your ship if it survives (with no way back out of the timeline). In order to keep with Temporal Prime Directive, you, your crew, and your ship, mustn't survive.
This leaves the player captain with three choices. A) Stand and fight with the 7th for honor, glory and everything good, B) Try save your ship and crew despite the obvious danger it will not work, but leave the others (With dialog choices from the player giving reason from the proper Captain worried about his crews lives while in a wrong time to a good old fashioned coward.) Or C) Choose what is best for the time line, but know you are asking your own crew to die to keep with the federation's principles. Do you Go down with your ship fighting honorably like the time altered Tasha Yar? Do you run like a coward since you have a slim chance of survival? Do you try to save your crew, but leave the timeline to correct itself? Do you ask your crew to do the unthinkable for the sake of your or the federation's belief? Do you want to see if you can actually take em?! I think doing that will put a reaaaally nice capstone on the ending, as well as give an excuse for all three situations to trigger the next map transfer.
Spoiler But advice on how to mechanically make something work!
(Also, you could have the "Mines" activate with a reach marker that is in between the wormhole and the original start point if someone tries to run. Just outside so when they respawn it will not trigger, but if they fly to close a Dialog pops up saying "O Shi-" and also have the final objective reward trigger explosion FXs around the ship and area to represent the big boom. It would help the transition to thinking I was dead better) Spoiler over.
The only other bit of advice makes me feel awkward saying it. Mainly since it's the exact opposite of one I gave for part I. I honestly don't think having the first map actually as the bridge of the Admiral's ship would be a bad thing. It would give a player the chance to acclimate if they don't play right when they finish part I and would help set the setting better. Having a simple objective or two to run in and heal the admiral or help do/interact/fix something quick before the assault that forces you to defend the hall will give it a hair more of substance and I think go over much better then just the dialog.
I've been watching your reviews for both missions and know you're probably worried about the extra "pointless" maps thing, but I don't think that would be pointless. Keeping with my earlier advice, I honestly think it'd be helping the plot. Buuuut... like it was your call to delete a map last time, it's yours again to add one. Also, I think it would give a more cinematic feel to playing the mission rather than reading those sections in dialogs other then the comms chatter from the other sections of the ship.
Speaking of cinematics, when they are(hopefully) added to the foundry go back to this one! One for the Admiral and another for the ship ramming would be AWESOME!
Also unrelated: Breen, LoL.
Again, my two cents turned long! The first two mentioned you should change. Everything else after the underlined warning is yours to ponder and do what you think fit. Tied with the first half of this mission I really loved it, and enjoyed the conclusion. I'm glad I got to play this. So thanks for making it!
I played this mission and I enjoyed it. It was a good conclusion, but there were a couple of things.
After starting this mission, even with the recap I was still sort of confused why I was suddenly beaming aboard the Admiral's ship. I think you might want to put more of a comprehensive recap option just to get the player back up to speed.
I don't know if you've played my missions, but you can see what I'm talking about at the beginning of Atlas Affair part 1. There's an option to quickly recap the whole previous mission, similar to what's done in the shows. It gets you up to speed on the whole 2+ hour mission in about 2 minutes. (If you're actually planning on playing Dereliction Duty, you probably shouldn't read the recap first though, as it will tend to spoil it.)
I think something along those lines might help the mission for people who didn't play it back to back. For those who do you can leave the option to skip or have a brief recap.
Ship Could Use A Turbolift Wall
On the part where we fight the Cardassians on the ship, it would be nice to have a turbolift wall placed where we go for the objective to go to the bridge. You can easily add a wall - turbolift 01 to that map. You might have to load in a couple of times to get the light stripe lined up, and to get it properly centered, but it should not be difficult to do. It would be a lot better if we actually stepped into a real turbolift to head for the bridge, and hiding the "barn door" would also be a plus.
Balance In Fleet Battle Seemed Off
I played both parts of your mission on elite. I know you probably try to balance it for normal, but In the first mission I only had a little bit of difficulty. This time, the dominion reinforcements completely decimated the fleet before even one of them died. That left me fighting everything by myself and I was forced to pick all of the ships off by myself, which was hard since they were all clustered.
I don't know...maybe add a couple more friendly groups to the fleet and remove them from the reinforcement group. You could spawn the extra friendlies when the reinforcements arrive so it won't alter the balance of the first engagement.
I have to agree with most of XR-377's comments. I think a lot of his suggested changes are worth taking into consideration. Especially on the DS9 map...I was sort of confused when I died. That needed some more foreshadowing, I think, or at least some indication that something went wrong (space explosion fx around the ship, etc).
I'd also like to add that I wouldn't worry too much about losing points for unnecessary maps, etc. My recommendation is just to make the mission the best you can as you see it. It's good to take into account feedback, but only to a point. So, if you have 5 unnecessary maps then maybe there's a problem, but one or two you can probably get away with, with only a slightly lower score, if at all.
Also, I've noticed that a lot of feedback seems to cancel out. For example, in Atlas Affair I've had people say they didn't like the addition of one of the characters, and then others say they thought it was the best part. Opinions are surprisingly varied. The only problem is when everyone starts saying the same thing. At that point you need to take notice.
@XR - Thanks for the feedback, I've been waiting for it . I took the first two changes and I'm very glad you pointed two mistakes I made as well. The "Undine" comment wasn't supposed to say Undine. It was supposed to be Changleing (retrieval fail) but you were right, I kind of took berizsl's character to the extreme in that case. I've since toned down the betrayal language. I also realize that I kinda of pigeonholed the players character to a one or the other choice in the mission (in regards to responses) which i didn't mean too. I've changed the responses of the player from the personal motivation sounding ones to a middle ground approach.
And with that I did keep the last order of the Captain where you can fight the good fight. But then I also added the third choice of seeing the mission through, to make sure the timeline was restored. I also reworded the Sci officer's plan to make it sound much more risky and likely to fail. With that, spawns the third choice as you suggested since the player may be neither the coward nor the personally invested.
In regards to the epilogue suggestion, I really, really like that! Makes more sense as well for Trek. I'll definitely try to get that kind of ending in there as I agree with you about it.
Lastly, about the bridge lvl, It's funny because in the original script I had the player on the bridge first then to deck 1 then back to the bridge. But as you said I was worried about all the loading. And while I would love to have that original bridge scene in that I wrote, and add more cohesiveness to the story. I'm still not sure I could justify that. But I'll def think about for sure!
@ Nagorak - Thanks as well for the comments! As always, greatly appreciated!
I added in the turbo lift wall as you suggested. I hadn't actually noticed it was an asset, until your comment lol.
The battle balance - it's such a difficult thing to test in the foundry and in the game unfortunately. I've tested it multiple times (like the first mission's) with and without player involvement to tune it, but its just so dang unpredictable. In each test, with my foundry toon, my lvl 50(elite), and with a mate (elite), it worked out pretty well for me. Not to say that your comment is any less true (i experienced that a many times in the first mission) so I may tweak it to make it easier, but I do not think too many people have had problems with it. I feel like it really comes down to which npc's get focused on during the opening shots of a battle. And i find the battles tend to be easier if you target what every other npc targets to help them out so to speak. It's unfortunate when a battle gets lopsided in the beginning and its no fun.
I think it's hilarious that you had little difficulty on the first part of Not Our War (elite) becuase I had the hardest time lol! That one completely worked the fed's and me, in seconds. Especially after just coming through the wormhole. Haha, very interesting.
But thanks again for the input guys, i really appreciate it! and the changes should be live by now.
Just went and played through the mission again (elite) and changed the battle you were talking about Nagorak. I just broke up the reinforcement wave into two waves. Make it easier for the player.
Also for the Easter egg, Dialogue is supposed to trigger before you get to it to explain the context. It wasn't hooked up properly, that's now fixed as well.
And for XR's sake Ill post it here so you don't have to play it again just to see it lol
Sci BO- Wait a second Captain, something isn't right...The timeline!
DS9 Commander - Calling all federation ships, we are detecting a large Breen Imperial force approaching DS9! All ally ships respond immediately!
I am a bit stumped with Part IV of Not our War II. I defeated the Dominion fleet and now want to intercept Duvar, but I can't find him. I went to the circle marked on the map, i crawled over the entire map but he is no where to be found. What am I doing wrong?