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

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On 10/25/2020 at 9:51 AM, RubyRed said:

I'm guessing it was a bug then. It didn't change to the hand icon and I couldn't interact with it in any way. I also tried the new /interact command and it didn't do anything.

I'll try it again later today and see if restarting the mission makes it work, but just be aware it looks like it can bug out.

I only got the "hand" to click it by hovering over the outside edge of the computer screen. The front of the screen was unclickable.

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Just finished the Hero-side arc and it definitely had that old CoH nostalgia feel to it!

 

As a solo Fire/Dev blaster I normally play at +2/x4 but quickly realized that was going to be rough with +2 suicidal mega mobs so dropped to +0/x4 (losing smoke grenade really made it a challenge!)

 

I loved the new mechanics (Cortex illusions) the new maps (VIP/attic) and the custom baddies (Glowstik! Sneaks, Zoombies, etc) Would have liked the exploding tanks in Pathogen's mission to do more splash damage. I thought they were there to soften up the baddies and purposely lured them into their range and blew them up but they barely made a dent. So, what could have been a fun tactical challenge using the environment & positioning for strategy instead became a standard head-on blitz.

 

Only 2 gripes:

First, in the Pathogen mission, running against the clock with wave after wave of ambushes coming at me I didn't have a chance to read the text or options on the radio to Watkins. I saw the word, "Heroic" next to a choice and clicked it in a panic then went back to saving my ass!! I had no idea what choice I made or what my other options were.

 

2nd gripe was with the ending. After such an epic fight with Cortex and then him escaping, I find the duplicitous doctor and defeat the group around her, anticipating an epic final fight...but nope. I wanted the satisfaction of defeating the baddie but it ends with an escape and a chat. It felt unsatisfying for the lead up and amount of time invested.

 

Still, there's a lot to like in the arc and it's a great addition to the game.

Edited by Backfire

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3 hours ago, Backfire said:

Just finished the Hero-side arc and it definitely had that old CoH nostalgia feel to it!

 

As a solo Fire/Dev blaster I normally play at +2/x4 but quickly realized that was going to be rough with +2 suicidal mega mobs so dropped to +0/x4 (losing smoke grenade really made it a challenge!)

 

I loved the new mechanics (Cortex illusions) the new maps (VIP/attic) and the custom baddies (Glowstik! Sneaks, Zoombies, etc) Would have liked the exploding tanks in Pathogen's mission to do more splash damage. I thought they were there to soften up the baddies and purposely lured them into their range and blew them up but they barely made a dent. So, what could have been a fun tactical challenge using the environment & positioning for strategy instead became a standard head-on blitz.

 

Only 2 gripes:

First, in the Pathogen mission, running against the clock with wave after wave of ambushes coming at me I didn't have a chance to read the text or options on the radio to Watkins. I saw the word, "Heroic" next to a choice and clicked it in a panic then went back to saving my ass!! I had no idea what choice I made or what my other options were.

 

2nd gripe was with the ending. After such an epic fight with Cortex and then him escaping, I find the duplicitous doctor and defeat the group around her, anticipating an epic final fight...but nope. I wanted the satisfaction of defeating the baddie but it ends with an escape and a chat. It felt unsatisfying for the lead up and amount of time invested.

 

Still, there's a lot to like in the arc and it's a great addition to the game.

I believed that blueside, vigilante or hero, you would turn her over to the authorities because she has not done a single thing that makes her more dangerous than a common civilian. She manipulated you into taking out her allies.

 

And her story continues redside. 😄


"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!

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8 hours ago, Backfire said:

Would have liked the exploding tanks in Pathogen's mission to do more splash damage. I thought they were there to soften up the baddies and purposely lured them into their range and blew them up but they barely made a dent. So, what could have been a fun tactical challenge using the environment & positioning for strategy instead became a standard head-on blitz.

I don't think that's their purpose. They give you a short duration buff to counter the Wasting Disease if you're nearby when they explode.

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I loved the arc! It felt like a wonderful continuation into the universe's lore, with some neat hooks for the future.

 

Now, for nitty gritty, I just have some minor corrections I might make regarding mission text for 'The Graveyard Shift'. In the interest of not being too spoilery with my screenshots, I'll try to blur all but the salient details, but consider this a caveat for those that haven't done the blue side arc yet!

 

Regarding Chapter Two:

image.png.670db3e2af878d4e9a0c051cfd7290a4.png

 

I would suggest changing 'small time' to 'small-time' in its usage here.

 

Regarding Chapter Three:

image.png.ae3ef2ac37a4f0a06dbf08ed63b3f12e.png

'suprisingly' can be corrected to 'surprisingly'

 

image.png.639a50879bf577e1e4f54e593c9b720b.png

In the opening text for the door mission, I would suggest using the Oxford comma, since I've seen it used elsewhere in the arc.

 

image.png.e90cc526ef7847c9ffd0d0dec9bf708f.png

This dialogue appears when interacting with an object; 'avenue' can be capitalized here.

 

image.png.404c697bf165675ab0b23b804a697ff9.png

This appears in clue text. 'Rejuvenaton' can be corrected to 'Rejuvenation.'

 

Regarding Chapter Four:

 

image.png.3dbaba08fcd8136fefadb2e02277eb0f.png

This occurs when Dr. Pierce is asked if she recalls something being said. 'Hesistate' can be amended to 'hesitate.'

 

Regarding Chapter Five:

 

image.png.91a13a5d0878c9fd4f4834d11ef8adca.png

In this NPC dialogue, 'negotations' can be corrected to 'negotiations.'

 

Regarding Chapter Six:

 

image.png.537fb001e4347df7ba19a099dc89650d.png

This another place where the Oxford comma could be used.

 

Regarding the Heroic Finale:

 

image.png.895464f1b4534a2feaa226968e3687d8.png

In this NPC dialogue near the end, either the comma after 'Oh' could be replaced with a period, of 'Hey' could be made lowercase. 

 

Wonderful job again with this arc, and I look forward to seeing what else you guys come up with!

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On 11/25/2020 at 9:00 AM, RobotLove said:

I don't think that's their purpose. They give you a short duration buff to counter the Wasting Disease if you're nearby when they explode.

It took me several play-throughs to realize that myself.  The buff being applied is easy to miss when you're fighting a lot of bad guys, especially ones that are blowing up.

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On 10/27/2020 at 6:11 PM, Piecemeal said:

Leave the emotions at the door...

 

Much of your feedback was helpful, but not presented in an overly productive manner. I am trying to separate sass from feedback with this post.

FWIW I thought the feedback was fine. DIspari took the time to write some really detailed notes. There are much less constructive ways the same feedback could have been presented.

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Just finished the hero arc. Thoughts:

 

This arc awarded me 20 merits after about a 90 minute investment. I could probably speed things up by not reading the text and skipping fights, but I'm guessing this will cap out around 45 minutes. So I think it should be around 35-40 merits, if I understand the general formula correctly.

 

I agree with previous suggestions to make this a TF instead. Then the difficulty balancing matters less and the final fights can be a bit more dynamic (with a broader set of powers in play, I think there would be more solutions for getting through). As a fully IO'd EM/EA stalker, most of it was a breeze but I had to slurp serious insps to get through the psi damage at the end, and Raverobber having autohit unresistable -def (Liquify) did kill me once. Rock-paper-scissors at work.

 

The travel was tedious, particularly not being able to use mission TP or team teleport to get to Pierce. I'm surprised to hear that the police boxes were the short path; call box patrols are kind of canonical time wasters because you don't earn XP. Again, though, on a TF this would matter less because you can spread out to get the call boxes and cut down the time by about 80%.

 

The dialog seems like it could use a bit of polish. I could be wrong, but I think Watkins uses the wrong names for the two bosses you defeat in Mission 1. One of the bosses at the Rusty Rivet is referred to as Mander everywhere in text, but is called Salamander in the actual fight.

 

I liked being able to be Vigilante at the end. Didn't try the other options, but the narrative framing there seemed pretty solid.

 

Overall, I'm unlikely to play this again as an arc because of the low merit rewards, the travel time, and the relatively high difficulty. Assuming merit rewards were increased, as a TF I think I'd be more likely to play it because teams would offset both the difficulty and the travel.

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3 minutes ago, KeepDistance said:

Just finished the hero arc. Thoughts:

 

This arc awarded me 20 merits after about a 90 minute investment. I could probably speed things up by not reading the text and skipping fights, but I'm guessing this will cap out around 45 minutes. So I think it should be around 35-40 merits, if I understand the general formula correctly.

 

I agree with previous suggestions to make this a TF instead. Then the difficulty balancing matters less and the final fights can be a bit more dynamic (with a broader set of powers in play, I think there would be more solutions for getting through). As a fully IO'd EM/EA stalker, most of it was a breeze but I had to slurp serious insps to get through the psi damage at the end, and Raverobber having autohit unresistable -def (Liquify) did kill me once. Rock-paper-scissors at work.

 

The travel was tedious, particularly not being able to use mission TP or team teleport to get to Pierce. I'm surprised to hear that the police boxes were the short path; call box patrols are kind of canonical time wasters because you don't earn XP. Again, though, on a TF this would matter less because you can spread out to get the call boxes and cut down the time by about 80%.

 

The dialog seems like it could use a bit of polish. I could be wrong, but I think Watkins uses the wrong names for the two bosses you defeat in Mission 1. One of the bosses at the Rusty Rivet is referred to as Mander everywhere in text, but is called Salamander in the actual fight.

 

I liked being able to be Vigilante at the end. Didn't try the other options, but the narrative framing there seemed pretty solid.

 

Overall, I'm unlikely to play this again as an arc because of the low merit rewards, the travel time, and the relatively high difficulty. Assuming merit rewards were increased, as a TF I think I'd be more likely to play it because teams would offset both the difficulty and the travel.

Aaaand I just realized I posted this in the beta forum. All this was about Live. Sorry!

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On 10/25/2020 at 10:28 AM, Piecemeal said:

I'll address one thing: There are several outcomes from talking to Dr. Pierce that cuts down on travel time after the robbery. If you choose right path to investigate, you go right to the shortest route. This was also an experiment in people drawing their own conclusions, like a detective, so the subsequent mission would be a reflection of what they might think is best. It isn't elegant yet but it's the start of a more immersive experience, in my own eyes.

I liked the idea behind this, but the evidence suggests investigating the park. However, it seems like there was a choice made shoehorn in a justification for so many pointless patrol missions from back in live with a little railroaded retcon.

 

Don't get me wrong, the retcon made sense, but it seems that you should have been able to find real evidence in the park that would have given you an actual reliable lead as to where they were going rather than extrapolated interpretations of data based on sketchy inferences from Big Brother that, given the zoombies, should not have been considered even slightly reliable...


Archetype Concept Compilation -- Powerset Concept Compilations: Assault Melee

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

The Great Archetype Concept Battle: Final Round

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

Archetype Proposal Amalgamation

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On 11/25/2020 at 9:00 AM, RobotLove said:

I don't think that's their purpose. They give you a short duration buff to counter the Wasting Disease if you're nearby when they explode.

I did not know that! Thanks! (but I'd still like them to be trap bombs!!)

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I didn't get a chance to run this in Beta, but I ran it in live and just finished... and I'm pissed off. The ending REALLY torqued me. I solo-ed this arc. The mission where you have to corrupt the data and then put out the fires: I believe it was designed to be failed. All of the ambushes and the fire damage made it tough to finish it in 5 minutes. I died, had to hospital, and wasn't able to put out the fires. I don't mind failing a mission, that happens. However, I *do* mind being called a coward at the end of the arc.  To be told that I decided to save my own life over those who may have perished in the fire.. that's bull. I wasn't given a choice to fight the fire or flee. I had to go off on my own because Watkins wouldn't talk to me. I finished the story WITHOUT his help. I solved HIS problem and he still tells me that I cared only about myself. Screw him. 
 

If Watkins were ever to turn up as another contact, I'd skip him because he's an ungrateful snot. 

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@Chuckers

 

Hey there! I looked through the files because I didn't recall writing anything akin to the nature of your experience.
 

This is the closing dialog from the vigilante ending if you fail Pathogen's mission: (Bolded to help show that I tried to wordplay around this sentiment you're experiencing)

Quote
You're not likely to forget the lessons you learned here today. Heroing is a tough gig, and sometimes you don't exactly save the day. You were faced with your own mortality and saved yourself from certain death, which nobody can blame you for. But as a hero, certain expectations are becoming more commonplace, and you failed to meet those unwritten rules about the greater good and the ultimate sacrifice. You don't know for sure if those citizens survived the short inferno before Pyrolicious showed up, but you knew you couldn't face the fallout of that failure. You finished the job alone, but at great cost to your pride. This might not be all smiles and photographs after all... and you've gained a great deal of influence in the city for this experience, for better or worse.

This is the closing dialog from the vigilante ending if you intentionally break quarantine:

Quote
You know that you did the right thing, even though the methodology was a bit unorthodox. Agent Watkins got the end result he was looking for - only not by his own plans, which suits you fine. You couldn't risk the lead going cold or the next phase of their plan going off while you sat around. Quick thinking gets results. And in the end, you thought quick and got the results, so maybe you don't really need to answer to anyone but yourself...

The closest thing I could find to your experience comes from the Hazmat Commander, who is a stiff who sees the world is black and white.

 

If you fail, he says:

Quote
He's not mad at you. Never was. He knows failure as well as any of us. He suspected you disappeared because you're not accustomed to losing a fight, or not being able to save the day. He said to tell you that he understands. He doesn't condone your actions, but he understands them. Now, the vaccines are prepared, and yes, you can have one. 

And if you break quarantine on purpose, he says:

Quote

I'm keenly aware of your current state. The vaccines are prepared, and yes, you can have one. Unlike some people, I'm still following orders and doing my job.

 

I even did a whole directory search on the working files and didn't find the word coward anywhere. I'm sorry that was your takeaway from the mission/arc, but it wasn't designed to be failed! If you can get away from the first ambush after Pathogen and leave them alive, they'll womble after you slowly, so take a look for those glowies ahead of time and beeline to them. It's not that bad!

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"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!

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13 minutes ago, Piecemeal said:

@Chuckers

 

Hey there! I looked through the files because I didn't recall writing anything akin to the nature of your experience.
I even did a whole directory search on the working files and didn't find the word coward anywhere. I'm sorry that was your takeaway from the mission/arc, but it wasn't designed to be failed! If you can get away from the first ambush after Pathogen and leave them alive, they'll womble after you slowly, so take a look for those glowies ahead of time and beeline to them. It's not that bad!

Hey Piecemeal, thank you for your response. Reading it over, because I didn't save myself, I went BACK into the mission and it ended, it reads as sarcasm.  He didn't use the word "coward", but that's what I felt like he was implying.

If I had let time run out while I was standing outside the door.. well.. that's a different story. 
 

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I just ran this in Live. I used the non-spoiler complaints as warnings and took my minmaxed Brute to play it on minimum settings.

 

It was fun! I really enjoyed it. 😄I do agree its pretty tough though, with my groups seeming to be mostly all lieutenants. I'm not sure most of my other characters would be capable of doing it solo. Even my supertough toon needed to pull out a couple pets for the fight with upgraded Cortex. I really enjoyed the mechanics, but it would probably be a nightmare running it blind first time with a team with Confusion running rampant.

 

The difficulty even on minimum did slow me down and I lost focus on completing it, so it took me a few days. It is not something I would do on every toon or repeat much. 

 

I wished there was more to the Freakshow inclusion. Their characters were among my favorite and I was sad when they were gone. I was never sure who was controlling the Zoombies. None of the regular Embalmed ever exploded for some reason, even after I started leaving them last to see if they would.

 

The only thing I wish were changed is the Wasting Disease wasn't obvious--I had to check my buffs. I wish it had an actual aura to make it more noticeable, and if you used a temporary restorative like the medical destructibles or the air blasts, the aura visibly lessened or went away.  It felt too mechanical to check buffs to see if I had a buff or debuff currently.

 

Looking forward to doing the Redside sequel...

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Ran this with a level 20 with other players at level 20 or below, so the street version not the Oroborus version. Set at 0/0.

 

First mission, zombie insta-spawn mob shows up, the group is tight like a good mission team, zombies blows up, and kill the entire team.

 

Continues to happen in other missions, whoever is the target of the zombie insta-spawn mob get killed unless they are flying or running around all over the map trying to avoid them instead of fighting them. Immobilizes and holds don't stop them. Best for the team leader to move away from the group and sacrifice themselves to save the rest of the team.

 

There are enemy types that unless you get a hold on them immediately and keep them held, they will kill you instantly if you are in melee range.

 

Add the Viral Cocktail to this, and death upon death to whittle down mobs.

 

This really needs to be better scaled for a team that isn't filled with level 50s powered down to the mission level cap.

OR possibly this is truly the hard mode that some players are looking for, but will never play because they won't play it with a level 20.

 

Maybe in the future, I'll play it on a team with level-locked 29's to see if it makes more sense at that level.

Edited by UltraAlt
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On 12/11/2020 at 8:10 PM, Lamia said:

The only thing I wish were changed is the Wasting Disease wasn't obvious--I had to check my buffs. I wish it had an actual aura to make it more noticeable,

It has an aura at this point at least.

Not sure if they added it in an update or if you just didn't notice it.

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Off on a bit of a tangent here, but when you run this as a team it's tough to follow the story. The dialogue came fast and furious at parts and you really don't get a chance to read the mission logs etc. Also, the talk to leader option also leaves the rest of the team kinda unknowing. I don't know if I was misreading or distracted but it is tough to follow/read MOST missions in game.

 

I'd suggest some changes to that (which I've already noted on forums and directly to Devs). Change it so the entire team has a chance to read what's going on and get into the story.

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4 hours ago, BurtHutt said:

Off on a bit of a tangent here, but when you run this as a team it's tough to follow the story. The dialogue came fast and furious at parts and you really don't get a chance to read the mission logs etc. Also, the talk to leader option also leaves the rest of the team kinda unknowing. I don't know if I was misreading or distracted but it is tough to follow/read MOST missions in game.

Most of the mission in-mission dialog boxes in these mission show up in the upper left side of my screen - where my map is located.

I'm not going to close my map so i can read the dialog while I'm actively fighting. I rely upon my map too much I guess.

 

Teammates not being able to see the mission texts from contacts both in the main game and in the AE are really an issue as some get great enjoyment from reading this.

Also, sometimes this information give clues into what one might expect in the mission and that can be very useful information.

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I welcome the new content, I like the interesting new maps, but I agree there are some scaling issues.

I can blame maybe half of my dozen faceplants on the "viral cocktail," but the rest?

Multiple waves of Insta-bomb zombies are not my idea of fun.


Disclaimer: Not a medical doctor. Do not take medical advice from Doctor Ditko. Also, not a physicist. Do not take advice on consensus reality from Doctor Ditko. But games? He used to pay his bills with games. (He's recovering well, thanks for asking!)

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My only complaint and its not really a complaint, more of an observation.. On the mission where you have to beat the Freakshow EB (forget his name ATM sorry) on the old Freakolympics map. He has a sonic power to knock you back HARD and used it twice against my ice tanker. I was able to beat him with a Sentinel, a Corruptor, a Controller, and he never tossed me about, until I used the ice tank and I was like woah where did that come from? I didn't even know he had that power in his arsenal, then I wondered why he didn't use it against my other alts. Just hates Ice tanks I guess.

Edited by KC4800

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On 11/29/2020 at 9:21 AM, KeepDistance said:

This arc awarded me 20 merits after about a 90 minute investment. I could probably speed things up by not reading the text and skipping fights, but I'm guessing this will cap out around 45 minutes. So I think it should be around 35-40 merits, if I understand the general formula correctly.

I did a bunch of speed tests in the Open Beta and finished it far faster than 45 minutes.  The posts appear to have been consigned to oblivion, and I don't recall the exact times, but I believe I was able to get down to around 15 minutes by using auto-complete and was only about 6 minutes slower not using it.  Right now it's 40 merits for the 1st run through and 20 thereafter.  Anyway, they'll data-mine the times to get a better value eventually.

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I've got a bunch of changes coming, to continue to hone this experience for all players.

 

Thank you all for your patience.

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"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!

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25 minutes ago, Piecemeal said:

I've got a bunch of changes coming, to continue to hone this experience for all players.

 

Thank you all for your patience.

 

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Just a little note, in the vip bar- if you want us to take out mander then name the guy that or tell us to take our salamander, my kiddo was so frustrated trying to find mander, also if you want us to rescue the staff say that, again a bit of frustration from a kiddo who stealths everything and was sure there was an issue when there was no glowies or typical investigation items. It's a little thing but on an already long mission with lots of zoning it's sometimes nice to have clearer objections

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