Commander
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 479
# 11
08-26-2013, 02:46 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxfederatica View Post
The main problem with trying to make time-travel missions in the Foundry is, of course, the dearth of assets (apart from TOS stuff) needed to make believable maps for specific time/space settings. One of the ideas I have in mind is a KDF trilogy about the slaying of the Klingons' gods, which according to Worf in DS9's "Homefront" took place a millennium prior. Alas, all the KDF buildings and most of the other KDF assets we have now would look very anachronistic in a story set 1,000 years ago. Not to mention that I'd also need a special space map of the Qo'noS system with Praxis still intact. (OK, I suppose I could make my own approximation of that.)
Yes, I had been wanting to do something going to ENT era but while we have costumes and ships, we can't do any interiors. Aside from a generic outdoors, we can't really recreate the modern day, or our past, or even to reliably do much of the 24th century. With timetravel, you're best off sticking to the recent past, something that doesn't require being on a ship or in a city, or something on DS9.

& Rose Tinted Mirror (Fed 31+)
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6,416
# 12
08-27-2013, 05:18 AM
The Black Hole: Too bad you can't tilt the Transwarp Gate effect on the side, that would be a relatively convincing Black Hole. Though probably be nice if they added a Singularity asset.

Defiant Scaling: With the Defiant's scaling difference in the TV show, I recall Doug Drexler saying they adjusted it to how they felt. Because back then they were using the real models and blue screening it, so the scale never was the same. That's why the Defiant model was so tiny next to the Enterprise-E in Nemesis. But that changed when they started going to CGI, where their models were true-scaled (but of course the producers adjusted it so it "looked good").

Dialogue with Object: As for Dialogue with Object, I would like to see. Especially the type of contacts that allow you to use ships as a contact object, because you can't always have NPCs in dialogue. It would be nice in the earlier versions of the Foundry to have ships in the backdrop as if you were voice-only, or using it as an object to indicate you're accessing a database.

Honestly never understood why Cryptic took that out?

What Kept me out of the Foundry? Two things: "The Grind" and Foundry bugs.

I have a very small fleet and the smaller the fleet, the harder you have to work, and there is the dilithum grind for projects and purchases........really has burnt me to a crisp. It really soaks the fun, that's why people call it "the job".

Then the Foundry, every time I log in there is always somekind of bug. Before LoR, there was this bug with the keybinds that messed up when I went from ground to space and completely messed up everything, and when you beamed back down, it then affected your ground character. Then there are the weeks that the Foundry editor is offline for whatever reason. Now Post-LoR its this load bug.

I'll be honest, Cryptic really takes poor care of the Foundry, which I don't understand why they brag about it all the time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by isthisscience View Post
Yes, I had been wanting to do something going to ENT era but while we have costumes and ships, we can't do any interiors. Aside from a generic outdoors, we can't really recreate the modern day, or our past, or even to reliably do much of the 24th century. With timetravel, you're best off sticking to the recent past, something that doesn't require being on a ship or in a city, or something on DS9.
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxfederatica View Post
Re: Time-travel missions

The main problem with trying to make time-travel missions in the Foundry is, of course, the dearth of assets (apart from TOS stuff) needed to make believable maps for specific time/space settings. One of the ideas I have in mind is a KDF trilogy about the slaying of the Klingons' gods, which according to Worf in DS9's "Homefront" took place a millennium prior. Alas, all the KDF buildings and most of the other KDF assets we have now would look very anachronistic in a story set 1,000 years ago. Not to mention that I'd also need a special space map of the Qo'noS system with Praxis still intact. (OK, I suppose I could make my own approximation of that.)
In my own Foundry mission of the telling of the Battle of Klacht D'Kel Brakt, it takes place in the TOS era in 2270, and I can have TOS Klingons, but there was no such thing with the Romulans. So I had to use STO-era Romulans in their place. Even worse, I couldn't use stronger NPCs because they used the Thalaron devices (which didn't exist in that era). I'm happy that the TOS Warbird is in the Foundry, just wish the Romulan TOS costume was available as well.

With ships, I wish they had a "Romulan D7" with the Warbird paint job so I wouldn't have to keep using the gray D7s with the Klingon logo. Also wish the Koro'T'inga was in the library as well, so I could it as a D-4.

When it comes to the buildings, luckily I didn't have the need, I had the interior underground so that no exterior model was necessary. While we don't have true era appropriate interiors to use (aside from the TOS Consitution set), a creative Foundry author can make a convincing custom interior. Trust me on that. Because I made a TOS-era D7 interior that is pretty convincing, only thing lacking is the green walls.

Last edited by azurianstar; 08-27-2013 at 05:31 AM.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,476
Hey All,
Stupid Kazafargin Microphone Thing a Ma What.
Yeah, my Mic is blown, hopefully should have a new one by the time the next show gets recorded. Fingers crossed.

So, I have a few reviews for this week, and since I has no Microphone, you get a typed thing from me. It's not going to be a down to the nitty gritty specifics type of thing, Go ask around, a lot of people are doing those kind of reviews right now.

From me you get some stream of consciousness, this is what i thought type of babble. So, here goes.


(1) "Cleaning a Slate" by Jonnescouts

I would have loved to review this mission. The few plays it has all give it decent star ratings. People said nice things about it.
I couldn't play it.
Nowhere in the mission giver, objectives, or other opening dialog am I told where to go to begin the mission.
This will lead me to my discussion topic later in the post.


(2) "Tal Shiar Turkey Shoot" by tyrannuslord
You might guess by the title that this mission is a GRINDER, and you might say , "But Hippie, you hate grinders."
And I would say "YOU'RE RIGHT !!"
and you would ask "why are you reviewing a Grinder?"
and I would answer, "the author asked."

Ok, yes this is a grinder mission. As promised in my review request thread, I will find ways to be constructive. First off, this is the author's first mission. And honestly setting up a simple combat map like this is a good way to learn your way around how the editor works. Also , being clear, this is a Grinder , not an exploiter.

On the map, there is a large circular station/shipyard, with "boss" level Tal Shiar Ships set up around it. They are spaced far enough apart, that you can draw the aggro of 1 unit and fight it away from all the others, but you do actually have to fight it. If you make mistakes, you could end up activating multiple units of Romulan "Boss" and "Sub Boss" level ships. So, it is a fight just a very very easy one.

First up, if I liked Grinders. I would like this one. It's actually a (small) challenge, doesn't use the exploits to keep enemy ships one place with no shields. The author puts a challenge into the mission in that it does become possible to activate more than one enemy squad and bring the challenge level up for yourself. It becomes a decent way to test your build against some Romulan ships in that case, where if you are careful, you control how many romulans you are fighting.

Finally, this mission begins on New Romulus. At the medical tent in the staging area. No matter what level you think the mission is, In this case level 16+ , because the initial interact point is on New Romulus, the mission is actually 50th level characters only, because you have to be 50th to go to New Romulus. I suggest moving that Starting point.

Oh yeah, and had I not gone and done this mission right away , I would have had no idea where to begin. It suffers from the same problem of NOT TELLING ME my starting objective anywhere in mission giver or opening dialogs and nothing in the Objective I am pursuing tells me where to go.


(3) "Fluidic Relations" by RenegadeSteve

Okay, if it's not clear by now, after these reviews I intend to start a discussion about starting objectives, and how to label them and why it's important. Three missions reviewed this week, and all had the same issue. This mission is at least clear on the journal dialog where you are supposed to go.

This mission is, to me, a really amazing concept. I didn't much like the execution of the concept, however.

This is a story about Undine Resistance who having spent so much time among the other races of the Galaxy, have come to understand and want to remain in real space, and seek refuge with the federation. It reminds me of the stories of Soviet Spies living so long as Americans during the Cold War , and not wanting to return to their homes. It's a really fun and intriquing concept. I really really like the idea behind the story here.

Ok, where it starts to fall apart for me.
On the opening map, where you get your assignment from an Admiral at a starbase. While there you can interact with the author's character and brigde crew in the station bar. I kind of felt like the very short interactions with the crew were empty and shallow. The stories and interactions between those characters while obviously meaning a lot to the author, have NO meaning for me, so the entire scene kind of fell flat for me. It also introduces the piece of the mission I found most jarring, in the character of the author's toon. A Saurian name Steve ? I'll get back to this later.

Moving on, the combats. Just what the ever living .....? The initial maps are full to bursting with as many Undine ships as could be packed in. These are fairly tough fights, and while there are no kill objectives, it is nigh impossible to reach the objective markers without engaging more than a few of the Undine.
It's grindy ... very grindy. Annoyingly grindy. So grindy that I almost dropped the mission right here. One technical Note. Be careful of what you reskin. It was very interesting to watch an Undine Battleship split into a 3 part Starfleet MVAE.

So, as i said. I like the concept of this story, and finally (took way too long) after fighting the ships, I beam to some Undine Rebel camp. or rather get contacted and asked to go there. The mission totally fell apart for me at this Undine base.

Every Undine I spoke to did not feel alien at all. It was like having a conversation with friendly Bob, Joe and Susan from down the street. NOTHING about the alien dialog felt alien. The Undine use modern slang, and speak in conversational english.

beaming to some unknown Undine location. My reaction was , I don't trust these Undine even a little bit, yet here I am about to just beam to one of their places. It's a stupid thing to do, and no Commander in his right mind would do this. The dialog of course gives me no options as I pose heroically and seemingly just trust the Undine. THEY HAVE DONE NOTHING ... NOTHING TO EARN MY TRUST.
My captain would never make the decision to beam aboard their station under these circumstances. It's forced and at this point I begin to feel railroaded through the story.

Quick thoughts from here on.

- Undine Dialog is REALLY distracting and doesn't sound at all alien. I didn't like it at all. This is one of the two most jarring things about the mission for me, and drew me so far out of the story I couldn't reimmerse myself.

- Please don't make me run all the way from one side of a map to the other to do one thing then make me run back halfway through the map , then make me run back halfway to the end again.

- The "human name" shtick is the most annoying thing in the whole mission for me, right along with the Undine dialog. I counted 3 characters in the mission that use a human name despite being alien, and none want to discuss it. It's maybe funny once, but here it is overused, and instead of being funny, it became that thing that just stuck in my mind uncomfortably. What could have been a cute, funny affectation for one character, became, by the end, something that made me think the author just didn't want to come up with alien names, and instead of being funny or cute (in my case) it became a major sticking point for me.

- Decisions that make me say "What the *&^K !!!" are rampant.
A simple "We need your help" inspires my Captain to fight for the Undine's cause to settle on a planet in the Alpha Qaudrant. Shapeshifters, whose race actively has attacked the Quadrant, and we say "SURE, come on in, we'll let you set up a colony on this planet right beneath a major starbase. It makes no sense, my Captain would be fighting against this ending. And there is no dialog or option at all to express that I think this idea is a bad one.

In short, I really like the concept. I feel that it could be better executed.


Now, I have a discussion topic.
All three missions I played, had the same issue.
Starting Objective Information.
It is so important, and so many people miss it.

You NEED to place the information about where to begin your mission in as many places as possible.
Put it in the Dialog they will get in their journal.
Make the mission giver tell them, and put it in the Big yellow letters at he end of that dialog.
Name your first map and map objectives something like "Go to Kalferi System" "Search for Clues(Kalferi System)". Even if this "feels" weird because the map is actually the Blue Tomato System (or whatever it is in your story), doing it that way makes those objectives that appear in the mission log on the HUD display where the player actually needs to go.

I think it's one of those make or break things for a mission. If I don't know where to start a mission, I am never gonna play it.


Peace, Love and Warm Summer Rain
- John

Last edited by hippiejon; 08-27-2013 at 10:37 AM.
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,557
# 14
08-27-2013, 09:36 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by hippiejon View Post
Hey All,
Stupid Kazafargin Microphone Thing a Ma What.
Yeah, my Mic is blown, hopefully should have a new one by the time the next show gets recorded. Fingers crossed.
When you're gone, there's definitly a dynamic element to the conversation that's missing.

@greendragoon
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,512
# 15
08-27-2013, 10:46 AM
Hippie I have to disagree with your review of Fluidic Relations. If you remember the Voyager episodes with species 8472, when the crew discovered the8472 holographic representation of Starfleet Academy they were able to come to a diplomatic solution. They leave on friendly terms with the inhabitants so it does show that if they want to, they can be "nice' people like anyone else.

The names and dialogue I suppose are a taste thing and I thought it didn't detract from the story, but like I said that's just personal taste.


Voyager episode in question - http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/In_the_Flesh_(episode)

Check out my Foundry missions:
Standalone - The Great Escape - The Galaxy's Fair - Purity I: Of Denial - Return to Oblivion
The Defenders - Duritanium Man - The Improbable Bulk - [WIP] Commander Rihan
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,983
# 16
08-27-2013, 10:53 AM
Seems like later episodes of Voyager were essentially trying to reverse the damage done by a disastrous first contact. The first contact anyone from fluidic space had was with the Borg. That's bound to get things started on the wrong foot. That episode Zorb references seems to be moving toward an idea that Species 8472 might be decent folk like us and suffering from a terrible misunderstanding of who we are.

Of course STO kind of reverses that trend and makes them into a straight villain again.
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Forum Logic dictates that if the devs don't do what a poster wants, they therefor actively hate what that poster is advocating for.
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Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,476
# 17
08-27-2013, 10:59 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by zorbane View Post
Hippie I have to disagree with your review of Fluidic Relations. If you remember the Voyager episodes with species 8472, when the crew discovered the8472 holographic representation of Starfleet Academy they were able to come to a diplomatic solution. They leave on friendly terms with the inhabitants so it does show that if they want to, they can be "nice' people like anyone else.

The names and dialogue I suppose are a taste thing and I thought it didn't detract from the story, but like I said that's just personal taste.


Voyager episode in question - http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/In_the_Flesh_(episode)
Zorbane,
I agree and remember the episodes you reference. And no where do i say that the idea of a diplomatic solution with the Undine is impossible.
It's the whole idea of a diplomatic conversation with these Undine that I actually like.

BUt ...

(1) The federation is currently in a known conflict with this species. They are infiltrating our space. I am not saying we couldn't have a diplomatic solution, just that there is no way that said Diplomatic solution would be , here settle on this happy planet beneath this major starbase. It would be , great you can get your asylum. Now here please enter these starfleet intelligence monitered holding facilities while we question and interrogate you first. Sorry, them just getting the happy planet, because one admiral mind walked with them ? No, just doesn't fly.

(2) yes, they can indeed be trusted , sometimes. But nothing in this mission, no where , do any of these Undine do anything to earn my trust.

and
(3) Yeah just a taste thing, maybe , but for me having an Undine be all casual and conversational like we are old buddies, and speaking with modern slang in some cases, is jarring and not at all alien to me.

(4) The name thing. Funny and cute character thing when used with one npc. Overused and annoying when 3 of the major alien NPCs you meet have the same strange human name affectation. Once would have been funny. Three times , was just too much.


As always, these are just my opinions.
As Zorbane proves, we all like and are affected or bothered by different things.
Just because i don't like something .... well, your opinions may vary.

I always suggest people play a mission for themselves.


peace
- John
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,512
# 18
08-27-2013, 11:02 AM
I can agree to disagree, although for point 2 they did help you fight other Undine (and in other words help you kill other Undine)

Also this means we can't be friends anymore (jk)

Check out my Foundry missions:
Standalone - The Great Escape - The Galaxy's Fair - Purity I: Of Denial - Return to Oblivion
The Defenders - Duritanium Man - The Improbable Bulk - [WIP] Commander Rihan
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,476
# 19
08-27-2013, 11:10 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by zorbane View Post
I can agree to disagree, although for point 2 they did help you fight other Undine (and in other words help you kill other Undine)

Also this means we can't be friends anymore (jk)
Rescuing a ship that is under attack and then that ship helping to fight the things that were attacking it, does not earn my trust. Reverse the situation. I am under attack and they rescue me, they have now done something to earn my trust.

As presented, I maintain that I have no reason to trust them, and just get railroaded into "Ok I will trust you" decisions. Branching dialog could achieve me feeling less railroaded.


ALSO this means we're not friends anymore.(j/k)
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 547
# 20
08-27-2013, 11:12 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by drogyn1701 View Post

Of course STO kind of reverses that trend and makes them into a straight villain again.

Only reason they are straight villain again is because they too have been influenced by the Iconians subversively. They opened up a gate on one of their worlds and opened fire call of duty Airport style. "Remember, no Iconian."

To tell the truth, I'm expecting some kind of calm down or splinter thing, much like the author of that mission was/is. It's funny, I have this crazy theory Admiral Quinn is an Undine, and started promoting wilinilly to weaken the Feds, but then was then moved by their will to strive and has defected.
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