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One of the takeaways from a recent(ish) Weekly Discussion was the possibility of leveraging the AE for further content, along the lines of tip missions. Seems reasonable. There is good stuff in there, might just need a tweak or two to align it with everything else. Thoughts here are sprawling/rambling so feel free to take this apart to see what might or might not work.* As with everything it is easier said than done. Tip missions are usually single missions while the majority of AE SFMAs are not. Those usually hit 5 missions. Usually. This brought up the concept of a "tip arc", and in this context "tip arc" is simply a catchall term for an AE length arc of missions. That in turn led to a discussion about keeping them separate from regular tip missions., especially since the majority of AE arcs have a definite contact rather than a mysterious radio message, or a note slipped into your drink at a nightcub. Populating the game with myriad new contacts, or writing code to repurpose/add to existing contacts is no doubt code heavy and time consuming. And isn't needed. If we leverage the AE missions we can leverage the entire AE structure as well. Notional idea: We have three areas in the game world. Paragon Dance Party, Rikti Monkey Fight Club and Studio 55. Apart from the odd RP session in the second, of those the first two are mostly dead space. Studio 55 gets a small bit of traction as a hub from Praetoria to Pocket D (and Bobcat as a contact). Stick at least one AE contact Avatar in each of those places that can generate any appearance etc whatever, just as they do in any AE. Now for the other bit! One of the "complaints" I get from some players is that however good an AE mission might be it's still not a "real" mission. The suspension of disbelief is not there because of the nature of the avatars and the green beam. SO...add part of the AE console to the base Mission Computer allowing you to select the arc you want to do, then off you pop to see your by now generated contact in the aforesaid place. You step into Paragon Dance Party and there they are, waiting for you. All you need now is 5 doors. That's it. 5 doors. So step out into the game world and head to a door! If this were to utilize the quasi TF function of the AE then you could just invite further players after you accept the mission, rather than it being locked to the player/same alignment team in a base. Will they give full XP/drops? Dev's Choice missions already do that, so why not? Will they cost 1 Reward Merit to play like other things in the Mission computer? I don't know. Even if they did it's 5 times cheaper than what's in there already. Ok. I could have expressed that a lot more concisely. And some will see it as convoluted but it is an attempt to achieve the suspension of disbelief without literally recoding every AE and adding contacts and everything. *Caveat. This next sentence may offend. If you only reply to this to start a gate keeping argument about how Paragon Dance Party/Rikti Monkey Fight Club/Studio 55/the entire game itself should be left as they are "because", then you need to go play on an i24 server somewhere because you're not contributing,
So, time to stand on the soapbox again - I'm crossposting a version of this in the Discord. Praetoria could "instantly" - for a given value of "instantly" involving lots of work and time - have two new zones added to it without breaking any canon/rules or what have you, if First Ward's and Night Ward's Undergrounds became available. No immediate need for figuring out why there's suddenly extra zones narratively. The zones themselves could be built using any combination of the existing Underground tile sets, with possible use of parts of the Underground incarnate trial sets. (<- presumption there). Plus could actually push Praetoria up to level 50 content, especially if the Night Ward version - what horrors are down THERE? - is treated a bit like the Abandoned Sewer Network.) Thoughts? Oh, and even in the First Ward version the lower you go the more DE it could get. Night Ward? Sheesh. Finally get the CTA station in First Ward open. And where does this door lead? Now, this is as an aside to any other discussion about expanding the level experience in Praetoria Proper (Nova/Imperial/Neutropolis).
I have been going through a lot of the mission architect AEs and have obviously played things that go from really bad to really good. There are some that I think would just fit right in to the main game immediately though and some that would with a little bit of fixing. Have the rest of you a list of games like that? The dev choices are weird because they contain both arcs that could fit right in like the above mentioned ones and also arcs that are fun but really should be only in the AE because they would not work in the game at all even though they might be a good experience to play. I have not finished all their stuff but these three writers I would put any of their stuff that I have played so far into the main game. @Darmian and @cranebump and @Take One. I am not excluding others yet but I just have not got to them properly. Darmian has a whole set of Praetoria work that feels part of the game and their other stuff feels the same. But I have not finished the long story yet so I will finish that. Cranebump has stuff that is really right for the Kings Row feel and when I am playing it I feel I should be running to Blue Shield to level up when it is done. Take One has stuff that involves West Libertalia and they also have the same exact feel I get from when I play anything with that. But that is just me and the story AEs that I like playing.