Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 497
# 21
10-02-2013, 02:13 PM
Here follows my short review of this mission:

Overall the story is pretty good, but it kinda fails to draw me in. Still not a bad mission though.

First space map:

Ok number of enemy ships, not too hard as a VA, but as a lower lvl char, this is challenging.
Did feel weird to give away dilithium, why not just tow the freighter like you do with the other Fed ship in there?

Second space map:

Not much to say really, other than the exact point for getting the dilithium is a bit of a pain in the nacelles to find first time round. The Admiral you talk seem very defensive imo.

First ground map:

Nice map. Maybe a bit too many interactables, wich leads to a lot of running about. The ambush feels weird, since they spawn behind a hill, instead of on the path the player is on. Might consider to move the enemy spawn point to the same path as the player is on.

Before entering the admin building, I did notice that my science officer also acted as my engineering officer, despite me having my engineering officer with me. Do not know if this might be because of me playing as a Fed alligned Romulan or not though. Just felt weird.

Interior ground map:

Nice map again, well designed. The fight in the bar/cafeteria is ok as both a VA and low lvl char. The fight upstairs though is bloody hard as a lower lvl char, infact I wiped 4 times on a lvl 34 char. My BO's had good equipment for the lvl I was at, and so did my char. That needs to be adressed.

Bridge map:

This part was really well done. Felt like it might be from one the shows. Felt a tad odd to be ordered around as a VA by an officer lower graded than my char.

Here ends the review.

I know spotlights can't be altered after submission, but I hope some the issues I mentioned above can be fixed somehow. Nice mission, if a bit on the long side time wise, and reading wise...

Last edited by otowi; 10-02-2013 at 02:19 PM.
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,236
# 22
10-02-2013, 09:24 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by donperk View Post
Heaven help you, Zorbane!

I've been thinking further on the Bridge scene and I think Azurianstar hit on a solution -- though I didn't get what he was saying at first. If the player were more in a mode of "Let me take care of that" than "Aye-aye, mon Capitan", and if the player's BOFFs were engaged, I think it would have flowed better.

For example, rather than being asked to take the console to do a couple of rudimentary tasks, you might consider having the problem stated and then having your player instruct the Tactical BOFF to carry out the station actions.

When the console explodes and kills the one crew member, the Science BOFF could report that the crew member has been killed and that the vent needs to be closed. Then the player could interact with the vent.

Of all the interaction points, the fire part plays best as-is -- the player, who is already standing closest to the fire, just jumps in and takes care of business.

I know it's only a slight perspective shift, but it can turn what feels like step-n-fetchit tasks into something that has a more narrative feel. And besides, the triggered effects are just too cool in this scene. It's worth finding a way to make something similar work in another mission.

Again, I like the concept and am anxious to see where this tale goes as the other authors take their turns at telling CaptPFDennis's story.

Pretty much you got a good portion of my thoughts. And you made a nice point in having your BOFFs dialogue being part of the action. But my viewpoint comes from me being the character than me playing the character. I.E. like this was in a real Trek Episode.


As someone mentioned previously in this Feedback thread, your character outranking the Captain of the Resnik, which is true. But my Captain would've acted just like in the story in jumping to help in the time of crisis. Like Kirk did in Generations or Worf in First Contact. Because my character isn't the type that strips command on a whim in the middle of a battle, but instead lets the Captain run his ship, because that Captain knows his ship better than you do. Perhaps this would've been a good opportunity for branched dialogue, one going for the authoritative Admiral that would've took command, or the current option to help where you can.


Though let me try to explain about the gophering (jumping out of your seat to render aid and fix the holes). If this was real, I would've stayed at that console, because vacating that console very well could've meant life or death of everyone else on the ship. (Which apparently was the case given the options in the dialogue). Or likely one of my crew members (BOFFs) would've jumped into action in my place and I stood behind, ready to offer suggestions.

Again, like Don suggested, the BOFFs could've played a role in the story and been the ones to render the aid or take over the position of a fallen Resnik crewmember.

I could see the flow of the story being near continuous with dialogue of action after dialogue of action occurring in a steady flow than: "Give Aid to Fallen Crewmember" <render aid> Fix leak <fix leak> repeat. That to me felt like it was putting the brakes on the action.

Granted you couldn't have the explosions going off during that dialogue, but perhaps you could've reduced the downtime if you had nearby triggers that you move a little bit and the next set of dialogue pops out and X BOFF does Y Job, while you are still at the console, doing what you can.
Career Officer
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 63
# 23
10-02-2013, 10:31 PM
Hang on... There was an SS Burrard, an SS Cordova, and an SS Granville?

I'm quite certain a number of the developers are from Greater Vancouver, BC.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,438
# 24
10-03-2013, 12:53 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mli777 View Post
Hang on... There was an SS Burrard, an SS Cordova, and an SS Granville?

I'm quite certain a number of the developers are from Greater Vancouver, BC.
I don't know what you're talking about

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: 841
# 25
10-03-2013, 01:48 AM
I'll be posting my thoughts here as I play through the mission.

  • I wish the initial contact was more agnostic to where you happen to be. When I accepted the mission, I was on ESD, so the whole "go to the ready room" really came off as weird. Obviously if I were in space it would have been fine, but a lot of time people are on the ground. I'd change that to just be a "receive message", there's no need for it to necessarily take place in the ready room.

  • Conversations could have used more multiple dialogue selections, in my opinion. But I suppose that's just a matter of taste. I understand that adding more dialogue responses exponentially increases time in making a mission (as I know firsthand), but I feel like it always adds a lot to immersion.

  • Upon asking the person about the music, a response is "Tell her you definitely will", but there's no indication of what that reply is meant to be in response to. I'm guessing it's something about telling the person you'll give the music service a try, but that's just a guess. That part also could have used a "..." reply, in case I didn't want to comment either way, without either being rude or feigning interest.

  • Had severe trouble finding the exact spot to dock. It needs to be marked better and the radius should also be much larger.

  • Mine surface map was very well done. Honestly, I felt this was on par with many Cryptic made maps, which is doubly impressive since you had to make-do with the Foundry's limited props. Story started to get interesting at this point.

  • I felt the trigger for reaching the downed guards should have been handled a little differently. Maybe let the player get a little bit closer before the pop-up? It kind of popped up before I even saw the guards, and I was like "What the hell?".

  • The inside of the building was pretty well done. Good touch adding more background materials. Loved the stairs. I don't know if it was a detail limit issue, but I wasn't sure why the entrance to this building couldn't have been combined with the previous map? The door could be open and close after you enter (object appears via Component Reached).

  • This may sound weird, because the scenario is set up to obviously be bad, but I felt somewhat swayed by Fautner's reasoning. The fact that STO is set up the way it is with guns blazing and ask questions later does seem to suggest the Federation as we know it is dead. Obviously you can't outright agree with what has been done on the planet, and I don't, but I would have liked a line of response that was more understanding or sympathetic to her arguments. Overall I felt the responses did not fit my opinion, which was that she was sort of right in what she was saying about the Federation, but still had made the wrong call and gone too far. For comparison, in DS9 Sisko at one point has to make a hard decision to get the Romulans onboard in the war, and I also believe his actions were justified. Fautner made a call along the same lines, but she went too far with altering the political landscape and development of an entire world and it wasn't justified. My biggest issue is I feel I was pigeonholed into being righteous and condemning everything, when I would have preferred to take a more middle of the road, albeit ultimately still critical, course.

  • A lot of the generic dialogue responses, such as "Get your officer back in line" would, in my opinion, be better if there were several actual responses to select from. For example, "Stand down, mister!" "That's enough of that!", etc. That would have drawn me in to the mission more.

  • The ending fight on the ground was a challenge and I died a couple of times, but I was playing on Elite and was totally out of practice for not having played the game for so long, so it was probably about the right difficulty.

  • On the bridge, Lt.Commander B'ting is sitting inside the floor!

  • The interacts with the console really should be standing animations. Either that or you need to specify to stand on the chair prior to interacting. My captain ended up sitting on the ground several times.

  • Others have mentioned some criticisms of the bridge part, and I agree with what they are saying, but I thought the part was alright overall. The use of fighting mobs to trigger explosions was good, although I felt like they could have happened more frequently.

  • Ending cliffhanger was good. I thought that was a good place to end it, although it also could have ended on the surface before the beam-up (for a while I thought it was going to end there). It's always good to draw people in for the continuation, so you get them coming back for more.


I'd give the story 4 stars (kind of a slow start, but caught my interest on the planet), set design and use of Foundry 5 stars, but game/dialogue mechanics only 3 stars. Combined 4 stars.

I felt the lack of multiple dialogue options held the experience back in several places, and I did not like the generic responses (ie: "Get your officer under control"). I would have rather selected a real sentence response from a list, even if they all had the same result. I was left wishing there was a more conciliatory/understanding response to Fautner's arguments. Obviously we can't agree with her overall, but I was still sympathetic to her views, at least as far as the Federation not living up to its ideals. As I recall one of the opposing NPCs made the argument about "The needs of the many..." which under the circumstances of the STO galaxy was actually a pretty strong argument. I think the player should have been given the latitude to be a little bit more accepting of the justification, even though I know in the end we have to oppose Fautner.

I get the sense that the scenario was almost designed to be black and white, but in the end I still felt there were some shades of gray (which I actually think is good!), but then I was prevented from expressing that view point by the limited dialogue choices that were presented to me.


Click here for my Foundry tutorial on Creating A Custom Interior Map.

Last edited by nagorak; 10-03-2013 at 03:39 AM.
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,236
# 26
10-03-2013, 03:01 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagorak View Post
[*]The ending fight on the ground was a challenge and I died a couple of times, but I was playing on Elite and was totally out of practice for not having played the game for so long, so it was probably about the right difficulty.
You know it occurred to me while reading this. Maybe it would've been better to have the NPCs pre-spawned and locked behind an invisible wall than having them suddenly appear?

After all, we know how people aren't too fond of NPC spawning right on top of them.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 841
# 27
10-03-2013, 03:48 AM
I know you said that you're planning next time (assuming there is a next time) to just get the whole series done well in advance of even announcing it. But even with the upcoming releases, I wonder if quietly publishing them early for feedback might not be advisable? A lot of us, even those not involved in the project, could help give feedback on the mission before it is officially released (and spotlighted). Trying to run through and catch all the bugs and typos yourself is difficult, not to mention sometimes other people will be able to point out flaws/shortcomings, as well as offer criticisms that you might not have anticipated.

Normally this wouldn't be a huge issue, since you can post updates after the fact, but with the missions apparently going straight to being uneditable, it becomes quite problematic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by azurianstar View Post
You know it occurred to me while reading this. Maybe it would've been better to have the NPCs pre-spawned and locked behind an invisible wall than having them suddenly appear?

After all, we know how people aren't too fond of NPC spawning right on top of them.
I thought it was OK under the circumstances. but I was struggling with even remembering how to play. I might have died either way, but it was worse with being out of practice. I was also playing my Tac captain, which wasn't even the character I'd played most recently, so I struggled doubly to get back in the saddle.

I actually think a sudden attack can sometimes be a good thing, just as long as it doesn't interrupt someone reading a dialogue. I think some people may have trouble with that part, but personally I don't mind having an occasional challenge.


Click here for my Foundry tutorial on Creating A Custom Interior Map.

Last edited by nagorak; 10-03-2013 at 03:53 AM.
Career Officer
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 63
# 28
10-03-2013, 11:53 AM
I can see that the Admiral is following the tradition of other Flag officers going rogue, much like Pressman, Norah Satie, Commodore Stocker, Jameson, Leyton, Janeway (arguably she was insane even before getting promoted), etc.

Even in Canon Trek, the Admirals always seem to lose their marbles.

Last edited by mli777; 10-03-2013 at 11:59 AM.
Commander
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 375
# 29
10-03-2013, 12:03 PM
Amazing use of props guys, I loved those maps. I can't believe I didn't think of the colony bench as part of stairs? To be honest, it needed something to back it slightly to detract your eyes from the base of the bench and the empty gap but the concept of the different plots was great - and the time into doing those small details like the floor nobs, great attention to detail. Many others wouldn't have bothered for such a small thing but it came together well. Gameplay wise, the bridge scene was very well done - again an interesting way of putting it together far more interesting than it could have been.

I liked the plot and the moral play, and I'm really looking forward to part two. Perhaps as a concept a little over-used but I'll reserve judgment on that till I see what you do with it. At this stage though I'm bugged by the thought that with so many centuries of people trying to ignore the prime directive, how can the Federation not have some damn good checks and balances against this happening? Seems a little contrived. Especially with the speed you uncovered it, it is almost like they wanted you to find it so they had an excuse to kill you (and perhaps just a slight moral quandary from someone - maybe the Captain - going from breaking the Prime Directive to murdering a Starfleet captain and a ship full of Starfleet officers. Not everyone has the same line, some cross it far sooner than others and it seemed like for such a moral institution everyone was on the very same - wrong - page). Maybe you could have kept a little mystery sooner, or strengthened their argument? But anyway, I did really enjoy it and I'm sure I'll love where you take it in the next part
Captain
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,726
# 30
10-03-2013, 05:40 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by zorbane View Post
[SPOILER]

I've gotten a couple reviews where the player couldn't figure out how to dock at Orbital Station Delta. Did anyone else have a similar issue?
Yes I just had the same problem. I flew up the marker. I flew above the station, below the sttion and around the station. No dice.
Play more STO Foundry! (You can thank me later.)

A TIME TO SEARCH: ENTER MY FOUNDRY MISSION at the RISA SYSTEM in the SIRIUS SECTOR
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