Jump to content
Jimmy

Focused Feedback: The Graveyard Shift (Hero Story Arc, Level 20-29)

Recommended Posts

Spoiler

After giving Watkins respect he is described as "Watkins looks at you for a moment wild cold eyes, from over the top of his glasses. He takes several breaths, and continues."

 

Presumably the "wild" there should be "with".  And there should be a  comma before "and continues" in the second sentence.

 

Spoiler

"A user by the name of xMaladyction is so absolutely sure of her position that four hours ago they posted an address to anyone that disagreed with her, to fight them in real life."

 

Are the disagreements with pronouns here deliberate?

 

Also, that comma between "her" and "to fight" doesn't belong.

 

These are typos in the introduction before the start of the arc.  (For some reason I can't insert text before the spoilers.)

Edited by csr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Build 2 - October 31st, 2020

 

New Story Arc: The Graveyard Shift (Hero, Level 20-29)

FBSA NetOps Agent Watkins has set up a small command station in North Steel Canyon, as an optimal location to investigate... something. Being somewhat dodgy about his assignment, he has constantly referred heroes to Positron first, to establish a reputation. The tasks that Agent Watkins has for you are no small feats, and involve the clean-up of one of the city's most exciting showdowns. Heroes 20 and above should seek him out, and bring plenty of club soda to wash out any stains.

  • Contact: Agent Watkins, Steel Canyon
    • Listed in Ouroboros under Champion (Level 25-29) > The Graveyard Shift (27.01)
  • This arc features new maps, new environments, the return of the Vahzilok Wasting Disease (it missed you), interaction with the alignment system, an actual investigation with clues and interviews, new badges, three alternate endings depending on the choices you make in earlier missions and... dubstep
  • The Vahzilok enemy group has also been expanded with a wider level range with some additional tweaks for the higher levels

Changes in this build:

  • Agent Watkins added to Find Contact window
  • 'Zoombies' have been given an identifying aura and a new name to sniff them out
  • Agent Watkins' Intro Dialog before Mission 1 will not appear to players in Ouro, unexpectedly, during the arc
    • It will only show to players between 20 and 30 and do not possess any of the souvenirs from doing it once already
  • Mission 1
    • Added a clue to remind players to document things for Agent Watkins
      • This is just for narrative consistency. Many things don't need clues but still fill in plot, and are printed in the Rewards section of chat.
    • 'Zoombie' Bombs now spawn a somewhat less murderous distance from you before spawning in, instead of spawning right on top of you like they're directed by Michael Bay
    • Added flavor to the glowies (esp. some without clues) to inform the player that you are transmitting data to Agent Watkins live from the field.
    • Fixed most* generic spawns where cadavers were delivering dialog
      • *There are still some, but there's a reason, and I wrote it into the dialog rewards for defeating some of them
  • Mission 2
    • Fixed spawns (again!) that had talking cadavers
    • Changed spawn radius for Zoombies coming to Dubstitch's aid
    • Dubstitch power removal: Sonic Dispersion
    • Ambush AI changed slightly
  • Mission 3 (Hunt/Rave)
    • Opening dialog expands upon why the hunt is necessary
      • Watkins' contacts within his cadre, including a satellite operator and deep-dive researchers, are unavailable to him. Dubstitch is currently in Longbow custody to have her surgical pack removed
      • The hunt is lowered to 15
    • Glowie reward dialogs have been updated
    • Raverobber calls for help as he's being beaten up, and this time, his reinforcements should be more reliable
    • Some spawns have been diversified a bit to not be so incredibly boom-heavy
    • GLO_ST1CC is more appropriately dressed for the name
    • Spawns have been adjusted in the backend for proper conditional versatility
    • Only LTs give dialog
  • Mission 4 (Robbery Investigation)
    • Corrections to Pierce's investigation dialog, removing an accidental redundant redundancy in chat chat
  • Mission 5a (Investigations)
    • Minor text corrections
    • Dead Air clue will remove from list when appropriate
  • Mission 5b (VIP Lounge)
    • Corrected chat spam upon triggering the uber-rumble
    • This mission is designed to have you walk in on a mess, and it might not be the last time you see some of these NPCs 🙂
  • Mission 6 (Pathogen)
    • Changed the caption that says "Just me and you" to happen when it's actually just you and him
    • Some text corrections and changes to the Intro and SendOff strings
    • Post-Pathogen ambushes now come at a more humane pace
    • Some minor minimap fixes
  • Mission 7 (All variants)
    • Added a UI update after finding Pierce, to talk to Pierce
    • End-of-Arc bonus merits instead of influence
    • Potentially fixed not having a waypoint to grabbing a cure from the CDC

screen0blue.thumb.jpg.dac10497d16359d6b82cd2304c29a017.jpg.aa61ea2fc7557bbcbf82cb59e002a97d.jpg

 

screen1blue.thumb.jpg.0883a08b59fe7a515779c6dcc88e4903.jpg.8bd2044285b6f76ac48768f80d75afa7.jpg


Got time to spare? Want to see Homecoming thrive? Consider volunteering as a Game Master!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had a lot of fun doing this in a group of five! 🎉

 

It felt a lot more ironed out than my first run. I'm going to do another solo one later in the week to smell the roses a bit.

 

Spoiler

Dying in the fire during the Pathogen mission kinda throws things off pace when you need to travel back from the hospital, especially since you're supposed to be quarantined. Is it possible for it to respawn you in the Pathogen room after the boss has been killed? Might be a big ask at this point.

 

  • Like 1

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Lines said:

Had a lot of fun doing this in a group of five! 🎉

 

It felt a lot more ironed out than my first run. I'm going to do another solo one later in the week to smell the roses a bit.

 

  Hide contents

Dying in the fire during the Pathogen mission kinda throws things off pace when you need to travel back from the hospital, especially since you're supposed to be quarantined. Is it possible for it to respawn you in the Pathogen room after the boss has been killed? Might be a big ask at this point.

 

It would require a little too much work at this point - because if you died in the first group, you could go right to Pathogen, and then the entire map would be full on your way back with 5 minutes on the clock. The alternative would be to have a hospital on the map, but that also proved to be a nuisance. So at this stage, we're looking at the rule of cool and a little handwaving on that bit.

 

I'll look at the fires, but they're directly copy-pasted in from... somewhere. I didn't make those numbers up, I took them from another script.

  • Like 2

"Science. Science, my friend, requires radical gambles and adventures in malpractice sometimes. Take solace in the fact that I tested the majority of these things on the dead, the re-dead, and the nearly departed before I went to live trials.

 

Honestly, most of my "specimens" were several iterations past being considered a human being with their original fingerprints, teeth, or IDs. So it was rather a lot like experimenting on moaning clay putty."

 


Got time to spare? Want to see Homecoming thrive? Consider volunteering as a Game Master! For science and community!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ran the arc and it looks good, only thing I have is there is no waypoint for the 'Get your vaccine from the CDC' mission in independence port.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/28/2020 at 7:38 PM, Mystic_Cross said:

and apparently there are choices in this arc that can affect what missions you get, because my blaster finished the arc without getting the same "get antiviral from CDC" mission. He did however get a mission for Pathogen's warehouse, so I remembered the location and brought my tank to that spot. There was still no marker, but talking to the PPD Hazmat Commander outside Pathogen's warehouse completed the mission, and subsequently the arc since this was the final mission for my tank. Below is a screenshot with map location in south IP for the Hazmat Commander: 

 

iVdoFGZ.png

 

 

 

3 hours ago, Calverleyj said:

Ran the arc and it looks good, only thing I have is there is no waypoint for the 'Get your vaccine from the CDC' mission in independence port.

Go to the location on the map and talk to the Hazmat Commander to complete that mission. I guess that one didn't get fixed this time around. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got it, finally. Dumb error on my part!


"Science. Science, my friend, requires radical gambles and adventures in malpractice sometimes. Take solace in the fact that I tested the majority of these things on the dead, the re-dead, and the nearly departed before I went to live trials.

 

Honestly, most of my "specimens" were several iterations past being considered a human being with their original fingerprints, teeth, or IDs. So it was rather a lot like experimenting on moaning clay putty."

 


Got time to spare? Want to see Homecoming thrive? Consider volunteering as a Game Master! For science and community!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Piecemeal said:

I got it, finally. Dumb error on my part!

Would that be a fix for the missing waypoint? Did you figure out what was causing it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Mystic_Cross said:

Would that be a fix for the missing waypoint? Did you figure out what was causing it?

Yes. And yes!

  • Like 3

"Science. Science, my friend, requires radical gambles and adventures in malpractice sometimes. Take solace in the fact that I tested the majority of these things on the dead, the re-dead, and the nearly departed before I went to live trials.

 

Honestly, most of my "specimens" were several iterations past being considered a human being with their original fingerprints, teeth, or IDs. So it was rather a lot like experimenting on moaning clay putty."

 


Got time to spare? Want to see Homecoming thrive? Consider volunteering as a Game Master! For science and community!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the hospital / in-mission respawn point is an issue that either requires handwaving or complicated programming solutions, what about a third option?

Grant players a temporary Awaken-strength Respawn-on-the-spot Power, with a minor Invulnerability period, and name it something like "Determination" for the duration of the time when it doesn't make sense to leave the mission to hit the hospital.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, just finished it up on a lvl 20 mind/pain controller.  Trying to go for something super fragile to see how easy it was.

 

Very slow going, slowly confusing every explody guy.  Also funny as hell. Ran into a bit of trouble with Cortex.  But I was able to deal with it via AoE sleep + cheesing the elevators.  Turned into a scooby doo bit for a while.  I go up, soothe, 50 guys pop up, I confuse/hold/go back down.  Repeat.  I didn't die though!

 

On him.  I did die a few times when I misjudged the timings on my holds.

 

I did want to know that in the diolog with the contact I wasn't always sure which diolog option would trigger what.  Like the end of the final mission when you're talking with the radio. I didn't realize that blurting out "But the real criminal is actually X!" also meant "And I am willing to kill thousands to stop them!" It read to me more like I was trying to warn them?

 

I wouldn't call that a problem with your writing or anything though.  It's just the inherent nature of the AT fields that keep us all perpetually bound within our own minds.

 

So anway, my biggest issue was the final mission.  The fires.  I wasn't sure how to get through them safely.  There's one part near the middle of the map I think where it's an office space inside the hall.  You have to go through a door and inside the little room, then out the other side.  But both doorways were slathered in fire and lvl 20 controller HP is only enough to take like... a second and a half of that damage.  Most of the fire I could go over, but that bottle neck killed me.  Then I had to desperately get across the map in time.  I made it with a minute to spare.

 

 

But I defeated it solo at 0/0 with only SOs on a not super optimized critter.  Even if I cut it close.

-------------------

 

All that aside?  This arc was a BLAST.  You outdid yourself Peicemeal.  One of the most immersive arcs in the game and really highlights what this game engine can do with a talented writer and developer busting their ass.

 

Now I'ma see if I can't break it.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, ABlueThingy said:

Ok, just finished it up on a lvl 20 mind/pain controller.  Trying to go for something super fragile to see how easy it was.

 

Very slow going, slowly confusing every explody guy.  Also funny as hell. Ran into a bit of trouble with Cortex.  But I was able to deal with it via AoE sleep + cheesing the elevators.  Turned into a scooby doo bit for a while.  I go up, soothe, 50 guys pop up, I confuse/hold/go back down.  Repeat.  I didn't die though!

 

On him.  I did die a few times when I misjudged the timings on my holds.

 

I did want to know that in the diolog with the contact I wasn't always sure which diolog option would trigger what.  Like the end of the final mission when you're talking with the radio. I didn't realize that blurting out "But the real criminal is actually X!" also meant "And I am willing to kill thousands to stop them!" It read to me more like I was trying to warn them?

 

I wouldn't call that a problem with your writing or anything though.  It's just the inherent nature of the AT fields that keep us all perpetually bound within our own minds.

 

So anway, my biggest issue was the final mission.  The fires.  I wasn't sure how to get through them safely.  There's one part near the middle of the map I think where it's an office space inside the hall.  You have to go through a door and inside the little room, then out the other side.  But both doorways were slathered in fire and lvl 20 controller HP is only enough to take like... a second and a half of that damage.  Most of the fire I could go over, but that bottle neck killed me.  Then I had to desperately get across the map in time.  I made it with a minute to spare.

 

 

But I defeated it solo at 0/0 with only SOs on a not super optimized critter.  Even if I cut it close.

-------------------

 

All that aside?  This arc was a BLAST.  You outdid yourself Peicemeal.  One of the most immersive arcs in the game and really highlights what this game engine can do with a talented writer and developer busting their ass.

 

Now I'ma see if I can't break it.

 

Thank you. In the next update, the number of fires reduces by just over 25%. If the bottleneck is still an issue, let me know.

 

All told, that kind of challenge is acceptable since there's a badge attached to it.

  • Thanks 2

"Science. Science, my friend, requires radical gambles and adventures in malpractice sometimes. Take solace in the fact that I tested the majority of these things on the dead, the re-dead, and the nearly departed before I went to live trials.

 

Honestly, most of my "specimens" were several iterations past being considered a human being with their original fingerprints, teeth, or IDs. So it was rather a lot like experimenting on moaning clay putty."

 


Got time to spare? Want to see Homecoming thrive? Consider volunteering as a Game Master! For science and community!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, CrudeVileTerror said:

If the hospital / in-mission respawn point is an issue that either requires handwaving or complicated programming solutions, what about a third option?

Grant players a temporary Awaken-strength Respawn-on-the-spot Power, with a minor Invulnerability period, and name it something like "Determination" for the duration of the time when it doesn't make sense to leave the mission to hit the hospital.

While not everything can be air-tight wrapped in logic, this mission as it stands will likely stay the way it is - if only because of there being a badge tied to it, and trying to make that challenge acceptable for the risk. As stated above, I reduced the number of fires by 25% in the next wave of changes. That should help soloists the most.

  • Like 2

"Science. Science, my friend, requires radical gambles and adventures in malpractice sometimes. Take solace in the fact that I tested the majority of these things on the dead, the re-dead, and the nearly departed before I went to live trials.

 

Honestly, most of my "specimens" were several iterations past being considered a human being with their original fingerprints, teeth, or IDs. So it was rather a lot like experimenting on moaning clay putty."

 


Got time to spare? Want to see Homecoming thrive? Consider volunteering as a Game Master! For science and community!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Piecemeal said:

Thank you. In the next update, the number of fires reduces by just over 25%. If the bottleneck is still an issue, let me know.

 

All told, that kind of challenge is acceptable since there's a badge attached to it.

Thank you for responding! I agree the challenge is worth it.  It was rough but I managed it playing with what amounted to one hand behind my back.  A little more breathing room on the fires should ensure everyone has the opportunity to enjoy your work.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also finished the arc this weekend on a level 50 blaster with a so-so build (some premium IOs, some SOs, even a couple of DOs!).  And it is pretty dang hard solo at that level.  I died more than I am used to and got very close to dying a dozen more times.  Part of that is dealing with Vahzilok -- their toxic vomit is hard to defend or resist, they can rez, and the explosions can catch you if you aren't constantly vigilant.   Beyond that, it seemed that there were parts of the arc where there were more critters than usual for a 0/0 solo run -- the ones that come to mind are Cortex and his ambushes and some of the warehouse rooms.  And as BlueThingy mentioned, the fires can get crazy.  For me, it was trying to get a blinkie without dying.  I made it, and then the ambush got me while the counter was going off.  Luckily I had the [Return to Battle] temp power.

 

I had previously run this on my level 50+ namesake tank and it was difficult at points for him too.

 

I'm not advocating that it be watered down any more, but there should be flashing neon lights at the beginning that this is harder than usual and you might want to bring friends.  Flashing neon is required because there is a lot of text to read and it has to stand out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just finished this arc on an L28 DP/Nin Blaster with a fairly expensive build for that level.  I ran at base settings.  She died twice.  Once to the fires bottleneck, which killed her before I realized she was even in trouble and once fighting Cortex's respawn when I simply ran out of insps and Smoke Flash failed to hit in time.  The combination of the -HP debuff and those fires is a real issue.  Having to beat Cortex and all those spawns is just hard.  I should have used the elevator to go up and clear spawns to get more insps, but I was too slow to run for it.

 

As for the content itself.  I think it's excellent, though I have to say I really dislike Agent Watkins.  He's very prickly, taking offense at things that seem pretty minor.  I also disliked the "direct order" bs.

 

I decided to run through the arc again with a level 50+3 "speed" toon.  In this case a Sav/Bio Stalker.  I ran at 0x2yn (because I forgot to reset it for the first 2 missions) and 0x1yn (that's Boss on, AVs off) as I was going for speed.  It was a cake walk.  With some rubbernecking (I took a few different options in the dialog) and bosses on it took about 42 minutes.  This is definitely a Stalker friendly arc, where you can skip much of the hard stuff.  Taking out Pathogen was a little slower than I expected.  Though waiting out the ambushes before he reappeared actually took more time.  The fires aren't a problem on a tougher toon.  Though the blinky actually spawned in the bottleneck room, so I had to deal with the flames and spawns I'd bypassed to get it.

Edited by csr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Poking around again.  Trying to find the time to really dig in and give a solid deep dive in to this thing.  Haven't really had the chance.

 

But!  Did catch something I wanted to document before I forgot:

"Statesman wasn't above getting a cat of a tree, you know."

I believe the word "out" is missing from this sentence.

 

Also, thanks for the cute description in Newt's info!  It's appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BUG: The contact store still is not working when starting the arc from Ouroboros.

 

1. Start arc in Ouroboros

2. Teleport to contact via large Ouro crystal

3. talk to contact and ask about the store

4. Try selling something from your inventory, it doesn't work.

 

The store seems to work properly when starting the arc within the appropriate level range by speaking with the contact.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So far I've run through this arc on a level 50 Tank and a level 30 Tank via Ouro, a level 28 Blaster via contact, a level 50 Blaster via Ouro and a level 50 Controller via Ouro and it's played refreshingly different on each of them. The level 50 Tank laughed the whole way through. The level 30 Tank had a tougher go and had to stop to rest several times, partially due to the number of enemies and partially due to changes with Energy Melee. Overall it was not much more difficult for the level 30 Tank.

 

My level 28 Blaster had a bit of a rough time and several deaths, a handful of which were delivered by the psi-clone ambushes, and then there were a few I could've avoided... like standing in a fire patch and not moving when my 5yo distracted me. For the level 50 Blaster things went a lot smoother, having a few set bonuses and better slotted powers really made a noticeable difference. The way the missions played between the two felt unique to each character, even though they both had the same powersets.

 

The level 50 Controller was the most interesting playthrough for me. I was able to lock down most of the mobs, even the "zoombies" and the entire host of missions felt much easier overall. I got into a real life or death battle though, when the psi-clone ambushes came. Had to make use of all my controls several times to get through that. I was really in doubt as to whether I was going to survive or make a hospital trip, but it all turned out swimmingly in the end.  More than that, it made me feel like having a Controller/Dominator along on a team for this would be beneficial, without being necessary.

 

A level appropriate Controller would likely have a tougher time solo without their pet(s) available, so it's a good thing that they'd be handy on a team running this.

  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/2/2020 at 9:30 AM, Bionic_Flea said:

 

I'm not advocating that it be watered down any more, but there should be flashing neon lights at the beginning that this is harder than usual and you might want to bring friends.  Flashing neon is required because there is a lot of text to read and it has to stand out.


Here is a good use for the red font.


Playing CoX is it’s own reward

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mission "Check call boxes" does not say what zone it is in.

Neither in the nav box nor in the mission dialog.

 

I had moved out of the zone where the pharmacy robbery took place (at least I think that is where this character is in the arc), I'm thinking maybe Skyway?

But the information doesn't say where it is located.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, UltraAlt said:

Mission "Check call boxes" does not say what zone it is in.

Neither in the nav box nor in the mission dialog.

 

I had moved out of the zone where the pharmacy robbery took place (at least I think that is where this character is in the arc), I'm thinking maybe Skyway?

But the information doesn't say where it is located.

That's odd. It is skyway. Are they not appearing on your map as objectives?


 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Lines said:

That's odd. It is skyway. Are they not appearing on your map as objectives?

Didn't go to the zone. Didn't have time to run around looking for where it was.

It wasn't listed in the Nav bar or the mission information through the nav menu.  It is usually there. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...