Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,489
# 61
04-22-2013, 01:57 PM
Right, so... I played "Revelation" and "Mind Games". I'm a little hesitant to get into these. Firstly because there is a lot that is wrong with them, and secondly because other people seem to think they are okay so I feel like maybe I just didn't get it?

But, here goes anyway.

First off, we're told by our new Tal Shiar handler that they want us to investigate anomalies in "staffing manifests". So, they've got some people that are in the wrong place, or too few, or whatever. Our first officer sifts the data and tells us something is probably going on in Hobus. Instead of just saying "We should go to Hobus", tell us WHY. Are there discrepencies with passenger manifests in and out of that system? There's a lot of missing and redacted data... What kind of data? Give us some context here. "I found a pattern" and then "We should go to Hobus" doesn't sound like an officer giving the captain a brief upon which to make a decision.

When you get there, data indicates the presence of a base. It does? Is the same data that we haven't heard anything about? The lack of motivation feels like I'm being led around by the nose here. Tovan needs to explain his thought process.

We scan the system, isolate the background signals, and then scan the system again. We find a something. Let's check it out. "The contact is a Romulan ship. What are they doing here?", my crew doesn't wonder. "They're charging weapons!", they fail to exclaim. Is nobody else on my ship surprised to that a Romulan ship fired on another Romulan ship without any attempt at communication?

"I wonder what they are trying to prevent us from finding". Who is 'they'!? Why does my crew seem to know who we're up against but I don't?

"This is probably an ambush, sir". Which is why I was cloaked. Emphasis on was.

Scanning the planetoid, I'm told that we can expect resistance. But at this time we don't know who's down there.

Up to this point, the mission is written by somebody who already knows what's going to happen and what's going on. It's NOT being written as if it's from the perspective of somebody who is trying to figure things out e.g. our character. Our Tal Shiar handler makes it sound like we're hunting down a suspicious clerical error to hide a mole, and then suddenly we're engaging multiple warships and a large asteroid base with no indication about who or what they are. Importantly, nobody seems to think this abrupt shift in our mission is at all strange.

We're handed the name "Taris". Perhaps I should point out that as a new player joining STO for the Romulan campaign, I have no idea who Taris is. The whole revelatory paragraph is frankly poorly written. It should read something more like "Here's an authorization for research materials from Taris... The same Taris who was a Praetor of the Empire? Wasn't she responsible for the subspace weapon that destroyed Romulus? Wait. She is here. Here, on this station! We have an opportunity to bring this monster to justice!"

Speaking of poorly written... "Assault the command room". My first officer should never presume to give me orders.

As Taris explains her position, it would be nice to know what, exactly, she thought she was doing for the benefit of all Romulans. "I thought I was doing something for the greater good" is completely unsympathetic since it lacks context. Also, her comment about appealing to the Iconians makes her look like a complete idiot. Hakeev was working with them, and Hakeev built the bomb (at least in her version of the story). Why would the Iconians help in any way.

Why are the Tal Shiar assault troops hostile to us? We're here as agents of the Tal Shiar, and they knew we were coming. At their request.

The ending was kind of silly. We have no idea where that gateway leads to, we don't know how to operate it, and it takes the same amount of time to yell in your commlink "Get me out of here!" as it does to run across a room into a big alien portal.

What should have happened is that the Tal Shiar ships would have set up a transporter inhibitor field. Your crew escapes back to your ship in a shuttlecraft, but you stay behind first to operate the shuttle bay controls and then to blow up the gate. As the facility starts to explode, a Tal Shiar assault squad runs up and says "It's all coming down! We need to get out now!" (remember, the Tal Shiar are not hostile because they think you're one of them). In the confusion, you get beamed to Hakeev's ship instead of your own. Except Hakeev knows you're not who you seem...

(Mind Games starts here)

Continuing the theme: A neat idea, but the execution is not very good.

First off, don't show us the indoctrination. Tell us "Hakeev is very creative". "Let me show you what my masters have taught me". Hakeev raises some device, and then the screen flashes white. As we fade to black, we hear disturbing mechanical and grisly sounds with no visuals. Then we wake up in the detection block.

Do not give us an inner voice.

The fact that we have an inner voice instantly tells us firstly, that we are still we, and secondly, that the indoctrination isn't working. Don't give the player this information. The player shouldn't be sure whether they are still controlling their original character or somebody else. For that matter, change the mission segment to something innocuous like "A day at the office". We should wake up, think "Wow my head hurts", and then we immediately get a message from our handler that we are supposed to be reporting for our duty assignments. Give us a friend to escort us there, somebody sympathetic. The food is terrible, when are we going to get paid, did you hear about that brawl the other day? Hakeev should be trying to ram into our head this alternate identity, and he will do that by giving us supporting illusions like those of having persistent friends and affairs as a Tal Shiar agent.

Nobody should mention conditioning, or indoctrination. Because you don't know anything about that and Hakeev wouldn't be eager to tell you. "You" just completed your special training, and now you are ready to take your proficiency tests.

At the morality decisions, we don't have an inner voice. Take the color coding off the choices and mix them up. Give us some "duds". The morality choice needs to make sense in the context of our forced reality. In our conscious reality we are a Tal Shiar agent and we should have no problem with picking up the pistol. But our subconscious (emphasis important) will balk at shooting somebody we recognize. Our choices at this point should be "Yes, sir" (accept the brainwashing), "Who is this prisoner?" (hesitate/dud), and "Wait, don't I know her..." (reject brainwashing).

Every time you reject the brainwashing, you're "punished" by the screen going all bloomy and whobbly, and the situation will slightly alter itself. Continuing the example, if you initially reject the brainwashing, you are punished and then Satra is replaced by somebody with a different name. It's still Satra, but our programming has been adjusted and refined so that we don't recognize her as Satra. That's how you play mind games.

This continues until Khimek tells you to go to the med bay. When he knocks you out and deprograms you, now is when you throw in the exposition about the programming you received, and the player is relieved to know that they are still themselves. Khimek needs to provide some kind of proof that he is who he says he is since both the player and the character should be suspicious as hell for more shenanigans, and he also needs to mention that he's giving the player a covert in-ear communications device.

After that, the rest of the mission is fine.

So... Yeah. Mind Games. It's an interesting premise but it could benefit from some RADICAL overhauls. Remember: I'm tough because I love you. <3
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 176
# 62
04-22-2013, 02:09 PM
Originally Posted by captwilhelm View Post
Jumped in game to test. Made my romulan char and the nice cutscene started playing. However the text was fading to fast. There wasn't a single sentence I could finish reading. I was on the middle of it and then it faded to show the next. It would be nice if they staued on the screen longer. Specially for those who are not native english speakers (like me).
I am native and it was to fast for me.
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 776
# 63
04-22-2013, 02:31 PM
Originally Posted by momaw View Post

So... Yeah. Mind Games. It's an interesting premise but it could benefit from some RADICAL overhauls. Remember: I'm tough because I love you. <3
I thought Mind Games was okay as is (about on par with some old fed missions), but I think this version would be much better. Or maybe combine the two ideas, where you can still have the inner voices, but every time you make the "wrong" choice, you get zapped and put back to the begining and each run through after gets rid of the inner voices. Then the player will start to make the "right" choices so that he doesn't have to do all the running around again. Now that's indoctrination. It also explaines why no one seems to care when you beam a live mine into the room with them, everything get reset.
Joined September 2011
Nouveau riche LTS member
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 176
# 64 Stepping in : Salvage Dispute
04-22-2013, 03:08 PM
Gather intelligence = done,
Breach the Defensive Asteroid Field = done.
Stop Salvaging Operations = How?
Destroy Salvaged Warbird = done
Defeat Stations Picket = I have destroyed every target I could find but it still won't turn green! What am I missing?
Disable Station Defenses = done.
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 176
# 65
04-22-2013, 04:43 PM
Originally Posted by randolf2 View Post
Gather intelligence = done,
Breach the Defensive Asteroid Field = done.
Stop Salvaging Operations = How?
Destroy Salvaged Warbird = done
Defeat Stations Picket = I have destroyed every target I could find but it still won't turn green! What am I missing?
Disable Station Defenses = done.
I restarted it and it completed. It seems it got a glitch the first time. There is probably a bug that causes it to get messed up sometimes. I hope the Devs. can find it and squash it.
Empire Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 820
# 66
04-22-2013, 05:44 PM
I would suggest to alter the mission flow between Revelations and mind games.
Corrently, you get your new ship right between those two missions. And for that you have to beam out, fly back to new romulus, flottila if you want to customize the ships lock, train boffs etc etc. Then go back into the start of mind games. It breaks the flow completley.
And be honest, a new ship, players will go after it right away. Especially if it means getting out of the hunchback.

I would either, the easy way, adjust xp gain so that the character does not level to 20 after revelations, either before or after.
Or the complex way. Since the next ship for most people will be the mogai, delay the level up after revelations to the end of mind games and have us play out a boarding action of a mogai that we take over because our hunchback got so badly damage during the final fight that it can't be repaired anymore.

-= ISE: 12:19 -=- CSE 12:41 -=- KASE 11:59 -=- HSe 8:06 total =-
-= KAGE 5:43 =-
[7:07] [Combat (Self)] Your Dual Disruptor Banks - Overload II deals 123086 (41096) Disruptor Damage(Critical) to Assimilated Carrier.
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 36
# 67
04-22-2013, 07:03 PM
Originally Posted by momaw View Post
-snipped for space-
Mind games needs to suffer a critical nonexistance failure.

It's horrible in a few ways

1) You should always consent to the ability to have to torture someone.

2) Yes, I know Star Trek does it. Star Trek is also a show, this is a game, the narrative structures are COMPLETELY different. You might go: This is what the Borg do! Well, yes. I don't care. Mechanics vs narrative things are totally different.

3) Let me add my voice: should need a trigger warning

4) Removing player agency is generally a bad thing.

and finally:

5) Look, Cryptic. I get you dont' want us to be evil, whether due to the IP or CBS (both real possilibities) but don't give people meaningless choices.
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 67
# 68
04-22-2013, 07:41 PM
Sometimes the cutscenes and switch to zone prevents you from picking up any drops.
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 891
# 69
04-22-2013, 08:16 PM
My only gripes so far are pretty trivial.

You guys really need someone to re-read a lot of your NPC dialog on almost all of your new Romulan missions. The spelling and grammar are horrible. Wrong versions of words (your instead of you're and there instead of their) and lots of spelling flubs.

I like the tone of the missions. I really enjoyed Mind Games, but like others have said - fake choices aren't really any fun.
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 39
# 70
04-24-2013, 08:42 PM
Sporadically throughout the missions i will have a mission bug and when i go to sector space after confirming a BO asking to go to sector space, the mission will reset and I will have to redo the mission from the start

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