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All That Glitters Series - Vigilante - [1 - 54]


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Introducing - The All That Glitters series of Vigilante arcs. Yay! Fireworks

 

So I am working on a series. In truth, I always felt lucky getting anyone to play a single arc - so everything I have ever done so far has been self-contained. But several people have been putting together some great series, so I thought I would throw my hat in and take a stab at it (to mix some metaphors). I always thought having a series that unlocked new parts to the story as you leveled - like the in game Kheldian arcs - would be a good way to do it, so I went that route. 

 

Also, I felt that that The Gold Brickers were a somewhat low-level group that has lots of potential as a gang. On top of that there are several under-developed hazard zones in Paragon that could be the stage. All this underdevelopment means opportunities for me to fill it with something - hopefully good - we'll see... 

 

On top of that - I have never really taken a stab at writing for Vigilantes. It is a bit like writing a CoV arc, but with more positive motives - doing bad things for one group's view of the greater good. So I cast the villains, not as villains, but more like Rogues - doing bad things, but mostly for selfish reasons. And as is the gang's nature primarily targeting just the wealthy and those who abuse powers. Meanwhile you as a vigilante, are trying to take them down.

 

Finally, the fall of Praetoria is ripe for stories about the fallout. I've done a couple of stories about that already, (When Carnivals Collide and Policemen vs. Aliens) but they're just scratching the surface. "All That Glitters" originally referred to the Gold Brickers but is now just as much about the Goldside "stuff." 

 

Some of the key players 

 

Maybe I'll take a page from @Darmian and call each a season and each mission an episode. Here are the seasons and episodes...

 

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Golden Origins - What starts it all off?

  • 1.1 - Missing in Mercy - Arc ID: 35842 - 1-10 Final
  • 1.2 - Piracy in Port Oakes - Arc ID: 35355 - 8-12 Final
  • 1.3 - Capitalism in Cap Au Diable Arc ID 36056 - 12-20 - Final

 

Golden Expansion - Go west young corporation, to Paragon City

  • 2.1 - Boom Time in Boomtown, Arc ID: 34715, 15 - 20 -Final
  • 2.2 - Fortunes in Faultline, Arc ID: 37097, 20 - 29 - Final
  • 2.3 - Terawatts in Terra Volta, Arc ID: 34947, 25 - 35 - Final

 

Golden Digitalization - Digital Killed The Reality Star

  • 3.1 - Nervy Acquisitions in the Nerva Archipelago, Arc ID: 35058, 30 - 40 - Final
  • 3.2 - Suspicious Maneuvers in St. Martial, Arc ID: 37948. 35 - 40 - Final
  • 3.3 - Calamity in Kallisti Wharf, Arc ID: 36693, 35 - 44 - Final

 

Golden Evolutions - Revolutionary Alien Tech Can Change The World

  • 4.1 - Risky War GameZ in the Rikti War Zone, Arc ID: 37513, 35 - 43 - final
  • 4.2 - Pirates in Praetoria, Arc ID: 37754, 40 - 50  - Final
  • 4.3 - Grand Designs in Grandville, Arc ID: 38278, 50 - 54, - Final

 

 

Edited by Ankylosaur
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Golden Origins

 

These origins establish the premise that Praetorian tech is making its way into the hands of several groups and the lengths that the Gold Brickers will go to leverage it. I wanted an intro to where Langston comes from, to steep the players in their origin place. It's also critical to establish the significance of the shared island that both Port Oakes and Cap Au Diable are on (people often forget they are the same island). Additionally, though Aeon Corp hires Gold Brickers occasionally, my take on King Midas puts Langston at odds with Dr. Aeon too.

---

 

1.1 - Missing in Mercy 1-10

Arc ID: 35842

Status: Final

 

This was fun to do. Mercy had a big overhaul in I21 eliminating some tried and true contacts. Also has great maps available to us. 

 

Spoiler

The main story here is that a scientist from Praetoria was incorrectly processed when coming here and found his was to Mercy. He’s taking the opportunity to get intel on the groups in Primal Earth so he can find a home and leverage his tech knowledge with a group that would value it and support him. He’s providing Langston the know how, the next mission is where they get the tech from. You look for him while working with Mongoose,  Dr. Creed and more of those old well-known contacts that are no longer in the game. It’s a bit of a where are they now story too...

 

At least one character here shows up much later in 4.1

 

1.2 - Piracy in Port Oakes 8-12

Arc ID: 35355

Status: Final

 

I always liked Port Oakes. Like King's Row though, these days you spend no time there. I have never created missions this low as I like making custom characters and, well, at this level the player may be a little delicate. But its a great setting and serves to explain the start of Langston's sudden ambition.

 

Spoiler

The main story element is to introduce the Gold Brickers and how, eventually, Langston gets their hands on Praetorian tech. Leveraging the locale, the story focuses on Mooks and Family and some unique characters in those groups. While there are not a lot of unique outdoor maps, there is one that fits perfectly and a couple of casinos - Blackbeards and the Hook and Anchor - are both in Port Oakes. Those make for great little locales as well.  

 

Some threads sewn here show up again in 3.2 and 4.3.

 

 

1.3 - Capitalism in Cap Au Diable 12-20

Status: Final

 

Langston is from Cap, so we really should spend some time here. Also in the original Cap descriptions, there is another company DevCon or ConDev that the original storytellers seem to have never used. I've worked that in too. The Cap Maps are all very specific to the PTS story though... sooo.....

 

Spoiler

The core story here pulls together the various plots involving the power source of the PTS but from the heroes PoV (similar to what I did with Save the Diver and the Coralax, or Croatoa and Condemning Croatoa). But the twist is that Langston is sponsoring it so they can sell their power in Cap instead.

 

Plus one character shows up in minor roles much later.

 

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Edited by Ankylosaur

Try my AE Arcs: Search for @Ankylosaur for the below and more...

  • Dev's Choice:  Police vs. Aliens 2: Nictus Evictus - 50 -54 Rularularian - 41-54 | The Serpent Beyond the Horizon - 46-52  | Robolution - 25-34  |  Adventures in Wonderland - 25-54
  • Post-Praetoria Series:  All That Glitters: Post-Praetoria Tech | All That Glimmers: Post-Praetoria Magic | Arcs levels progress with story from 1 - 54
  • Featured: Spycraft & Spidermen - 40-47 |  The Genesis & Geneticists of The Coming Hamiggedon -  41-54 | Return to Faultline - 45-54
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Golden Expansion

With their success in Cap Au Diable, Langston sets its sites on expansion to Paragon City! They have tech, know how, and construction contracts from the City to leverage this Praetorian tech in new and unexpected ways. Some may be above board, but some speaks to a bigger plan. You get your first glimpses into ConDev here. 

 

2.1: Boom Time in Boomtown: 15 - 20

Arc ID: 34715

Status: Final

 

---

 Though they've not done anything overtly illegal, The Gold Brickers have come to Boomtown. Help Wyvern investigate.

 

Inspiration

 

Spoiler

 

The Enemy

So I have always been fond of the Gold Brickers. I like the mystery behind the Golden Roller, I like the retro-tech, Flash-Gordenesque gear, and I like their sort of duel role of the Sherriff of Nottingham (enforcement in Cap) and Robin Hood (pulling heists on the wealthy). Because King Midas never appears in-game it also gives me the freedom to make him whomever I wanted him to be, and I recently wrote an arc that let me explore a bit of his story and who he is. (The Ghost in The Machine.)

 

@Darmian noticed that in Khalisti Wharf, there were Gold Brick trucks at the stadium that is under construction. I also found Big Brother construction equipment there and decided to look into Langston Corp in Cap. Forgotten by me, these makers of Gold Brick bars obviously had some tie into the Gold Brickers, so they became a parent company that leveraged them. I visited Cap and found their home, their billboard, and their exploration badge...

 

The Allies

Also been a fan of the concept of Wyvern - a mercenary group funded by Manticore - CoH's Batman. They have a public face in Delia who is never seen in-game, and so this is your contact. They are clearly a vigilante force, and so you in turn must be as well...

 

The Setting

I always find the sense of place important in my arcs. While you can travel all over the place - the stories that center on a place often feel the most coherent to me (Faultline, DA, RWZ). The place helps with the mood and with feeling like you are making a difference. Looking at most of the original hazard zones that did not get a reboot, there have always seemed like pockets of opportunity. The lights are on in some buildings in Boomtown, terra volta, and eden - what's going on in those buildings?

 

There were two outdoor maps I could use for Boomtown and found some creative uses for other maps to fit them in...

 

The Story

Boomtown was the right level to start, so bringing the gold brickers there seemed a natural first step. WIth the construction map available, it became the anchor of the story - Langston Corp. is expanding there, and Big Brother construction has a role to play. Setting up the scene of this map in M3, with the riots and more is part of what drives the whole story.

 

Of course, I also needed to explain the Gold Bricker's unexplained high tech and tie them directly to Langston Corp. while also setting myself up for future custom versions of Gold Brickers. A high tech group that is expanding also gave me a good reason to use Praetorian tech as both a more modern Big Brother construction heavy equipment crew. It also let me use the Praetorian lab maps. 

 

So all of those things together, maps anchored in a hazard zone; a big corporation wanting to expand to Paragon and buying up land cheaply in those zones; that same company with a tech development/manufacturing arm and a construction arm that could build in those zones, and the need for them to have their own security set up for these un-policed areas, justifies bringing the gold brickers to Paragon City.

 

And Wyvern to be suspicious...

 

 

 

2.2: Fortunes in Faultline - 20 - 29

Arc ID: 34947 

Status: Final

 

Langston is unveiling a new robot product in Faultline. What are they up to?

 

Spoiler

 

The Purpose

So this was a fairly late edition in the series. I had already written series 1-3, but realized I needed something to better set up 4 and ConDev specifically. It also gave me a chance seed some of 3, to vindicate you for the fight in Steel by exposing the Gold Brickers as criminals, and even to better set up the next mission by introducing the Robopals in a non-combative way. It's got so many little seeds in it I almost called it Foreshadowing in Faultline.

 

The Place

The story is fairly straightforward but it let me use a few unique maps to the area. I've used Overbrook and Highrise before, but always wanted to find a way to use the Skyway Highway map. A Gold Bricker heist was just the reason I needed. With Wyvern and Longbow and the Gold Brickers flying around, it takes advantage of the wide open space as best it could. 

 

The Story

As I say - straightforward. The Gold Brickers are pulling some tech heists and at least some of it is being delivered to ConDev. So you get to meet them and their Praetorian and Rikti weilding tech troops much earlier. It should be a fun ride though. The first mission is a great oppotunity to explore the Robopal line and put in a lot of characters. The rest of it comes with some urgency and is fairly fast-paced so should move fairly quickly.

 

 

 

 2.3: Terawatts in Terra Volta - 25 - 35

Arc ID: 34947 

Status: Final

 

Langston, Corp. continues to expand their operations in the abandoned corners of Paragon City. With a new presence in Terra Volta, help Wyvern investigate what they are up to.

 

---

 

Inspiration

 

Spoiler

 

Update - the below was written before I put the Faultline arc between boomtown and this. Since Wyvern's level range has been expanded, I could slot in Faultline as the 20s mission and push this up 5 levels to span level 25-35, which feels right since Manticore is a contact in a zone in this range and you go to his house...

 

The Place

With the Boomtown story complete, I turned to another often overlooked zone: Terra Volta. This is a large industrial area with some buildings in ruin, but others completely functioning, and other than the trial and exploration badges - absolutely nothing to do here. While there are no direct maps for Terra Volta, there are a couple of generic industrial maps that fit there. (I was first thinking of using Crey's folly for my industrial story and those maps - but it has a green fog and was not the right level. Plus, it's used often as a destination for missions.)   

 

One of those maps is very vertically oriented. So this was a chance to try to do a airborne style mission. How cool (thought I) would it be to have Wyvern, the gold Brickers, Sky Raiders and the Freakshow that fly all battling it out on this skyward oriented map? We'll see if you think so - but I had to pursue the idea.

 

And then there is Wyvern - and Manticore - and Manticore's mansion. How could I not leverage that while I was still in the right levels for Wyvern (who tap out at level 30).

 

(NOTE - since the new release of CoH Homecoming Wyvern goes to 44! might have included this later had I known, but it still works well.)

 

Lastly, by using Terra Volta I could use the Praetorian Power Lab maps... <-- that was before i did 1.3

 

The Story

Langston has an industrial arm, so seemed like a good anchor for the next story.  They are still expanding by Redeveloping abandoned corners of Paragon City. In my take they are manufacturing Praetorian Clockwork and using them at Big Brother Construction, but they see a market to make them more appealing to us Terrans. Another retro-future milieu is the Fallout series, so taking some inspiration from there, I  made the Langston Robopals - multiple series of robots from home helpers to military units. Was fun to put robots in sweaters and firefighter outfits, though I had to sneak back to the previous story and add in a Mr. Security bot to foreshadow this...

 

Langston also needs power for their manufacturing plants, and Terra Volta is aging, so applying some Praetorian power tech would be welcomed. There is more to why they need power, but that comes later. 

 

And those are the bones of the arc. I hope you enjoy it!

 

Side Quest!

One of the things I often do with outdoor patrols, if its possible, is create a sub-group of all fliers I call a Squadron. I first did that in Rularularian with a Longbow Squadron for example. I find that if fliers are on patrol, they take some interesting routes, e.g. over buildings, and its fun to watch them wander.  

 

So having written as many arcs as I have, I occasionally have old things I can reference in my own, for want of a better name, Anky-verse. Terra Volta has Sky Raiders, and custom Sky Raiders are a huge part of my Robolution arc. I already have a Sky Raider Squadron so throw those in here. I think I may include defeating a boss as "unlocking a side quest, which really just is an ad for my Robolution arc. I can do the same thing in season 3 with a different gang...

 

 

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Edited by Ankylosaur

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  • Dev's Choice:  Police vs. Aliens 2: Nictus Evictus - 50 -54 Rularularian - 41-54 | The Serpent Beyond the Horizon - 46-52  | Robolution - 25-34  |  Adventures in Wonderland - 25-54
  • Post-Praetoria Series:  All That Glitters: Post-Praetoria Tech | All That Glimmers: Post-Praetoria Magic | Arcs levels progress with story from 1 - 54
  • Featured: Spycraft & Spidermen - 40-47 |  The Genesis & Geneticists of The Coming Hamiggedon -  41-54 | Return to Faultline - 45-54
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Golden Digitalization

Langston has big dreams of a digital future that extends us all, or at least those who can pay for it. This establishes the deviously technical end of the Langston family with implications for people everywhere. It also reasserts the Mooks into the mix as they share the island Langston claims as home.  

 

 

3.1: Nervy Acquisitions in the Nerva Archipelago - 30-40

Arc ID: 35058

Status: Final

 

 Langston Corp. built a Gold Brick Candy factory in Nerva? They must be hiding something pretty big to build so out of the way. Help The Doctor find out what...

 

Inspiration

 

Spoiler

 

UPDATE!

I moved this arc from Eden to Nerva for several reasons: 

  1. Eden - even in my notes below - was a bit of a stretch to begin with.
  2. It troubled me to have no outdoor map - no visible sense of locale. I was able to use Fountain Island for M1 instead of a generic warehouse. 
  3. If you look at my writing sequence post, this was a pretty early arc. Since the the overall plot has evolved and the isles are more intrinsic to it it is not jarring to go here. The last two arcs in the series were 3.2 a late addition in St. Martial, and 4.3 in Grandville, is so bringing this to the isles instead works really well.
  4. There is a better Crey Facility to raid here than the abandoned Utopia Complex that I originally used. Crey has a large walled complex on their own island in Nerva.
  5. Nerva is independent of Recluse's Rogue Isles - and Langston is looking for a bit of independence.
  6. ConDev was shoehorned in here - and got a tiny bit better treatment
  7. Wyvern was updated to span more levels in game and is a visible in game element on Fountain island. Their level change already had me work them in  - so now it is a little less forced as they appear in 2 missions - not just suddenly at the end.
  8. It allowed me to put in a dash more connection to the end game story (4.3)  

 

What follows is from the original Corporate Espionage in Eden

---

 

The Place

Sticking with my theme of Langston expanding to underused Hazard Zones, we turn to Eden. Just inside the entrance is Arcadia, where there are some fully functional warehouses on the north side. A home for Langston expansion? You bet. 

 

I also have yet to really use Crey in an arc, and wanted to use them. Their stories fit in well with mine here, and they have "The Utopia Complex" on the south side of Eden. (Usually their stories take you to Crey's Folly.)

 

The Story

Langston does make Gold Brick bars, so are using those warehouses to manufacture and distribute them - again because of cheap land. (I'll concede this location is a bit of a stretch. Its really inhospitable and fairly out of the way, but it fits what I need close enough...) This part of the story lets me tell you a bit more about Langston, how they came to be, and who is running it all now.

 

Of course they are up to something more than candy bars that The Doctor wants you to investigate. And yes, its the same "The Doctor" from the Doctor's Ally badge. Once you do you realize there is a Praetorian Biotech lab it all plays off of the The Doctor Revenant story line and involves Crey over at their Utopia Complex on the south side of Eden.

 

And then there is the Doctor part of the arc, which allowed me to use a mob that I think looks kinda cool but would have trouble working in with a map that seems awful to use and worth avoiding, but that together I thought created a really neat and memorable experience...

 

Side Quest

The natural, local, independent enemy is the Devouring Earth, but I think most people are fairly bored with them. So instead, I get to reuse my Gaians from The Genesis and Geneticists of the Coming Hamiggedon, an arc I really like that has gotten only a few plays. Will include a clue after facing them that advertises it! 

 

 

  

3.2 Suspicious Maneuvers in St. Martial 35-40

Arc ID: 37948

Status: Final

 

The Mooks have a casino in St. Martial? What are they doing there? 

 

 

 

Spoiler

 

I only just became aware (thanks @Darmian) of Sgt. Schorr who has opened up some new ideas for me around a third arc here.  

 

I always felt St. Martial was full of untapped potential in it's upper right corner. The casino strip and the flop would be anchor areas of any other zone. And what is with the lack of easy transportation to a tourist zone? There is even little area of concrete that with the addition of a dock a ferry could pull up to, or at least make it a helipad. Anyway... 

 

As I was rounding out the story with the finale, I realized I needed a bit more foreshadowing. The Mooks make a come back, and where better than in an area controlled by The Family. in fact, if you tour the area you will see the Family giving many a Mook Gunner cement shoes, so they should be around.

 

Throw in the Lucky Six map for the Double Sixes Casino, The tiki casino map for Bamboo Kat's casino, and the giza map and you're half way there. Network, and many characters from the Sgt. Schorr arcs, which also take place here, helped flesh it out, and I even - and this is a bit of a personal victory - used the President Marchand map. What?! 

 

Story wise, it gets The Doctor reconnected with the internet and the audience reconnected with the Mooks and gives ConDev more depth earlier in the series.

 

 

 

 

3.3 Calamity in Kallisti Wharf 35-44

Arc ID: 36693

Status: Final

 

Big Brother Construction has been building out Kallisti Wharf while Langston is building infinite lives. Is that everything under construction in Kallisti?

 

Spoiler

 

The Place

Kallisti is unused of course, but Big Brother Construction and even Gold Brick trucks are present around the Area. This lets me establish a home here easily. 

 

The Story

So, we have digital beings and we have digital templates to imprint them on. Hello immortality and clones! King Midas wants multiples of himself and to make money selling immortality to the wealthy. It's a bit like Altered Carbon...

 

This is essentially the big finale for the core gold bricker story.

 

 

 


 

image.thumb.png.82959fc8b8a6f2cf923f91e4b915a227.png

 

 

Edited by Ankylosaur

Try my AE Arcs: Search for @Ankylosaur for the below and more...

  • Dev's Choice:  Police vs. Aliens 2: Nictus Evictus - 50 -54 Rularularian - 41-54 | The Serpent Beyond the Horizon - 46-52  | Robolution - 25-34  |  Adventures in Wonderland - 25-54
  • Post-Praetoria Series:  All That Glitters: Post-Praetoria Tech | All That Glimmers: Post-Praetoria Magic | Arcs levels progress with story from 1 - 54
  • Featured: Spycraft & Spidermen - 40-47 |  The Genesis & Geneticists of The Coming Hamiggedon -  41-54 | Return to Faultline - 45-54
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Golden Evolutions

 

With ConDev making appearances in the arcs before now, its time to dig into their story. Where are they getting all their tech, who's behind it and what is the overall end game here?

 

4.1 Risky War GameZ in the Rikti War Zone 35 - 43 

Arc ID: 37513

Status: Final

 

Number Six in the Rikti War Zone has suspicions of ConDev connections. Help him investigate.

 

Spoiler

 

The bigger question is how do you use the Rikti war Zone for a non Rikti story? Well, its not really a non-Rikti Story, but the MO of ConDev is to acquire and repurpose other groups' tech for advantage. This is where Pinkie Langston finally makes an appearance as the leader of ConDev too and where we get into a new plot thread to drive towards some sort of large-scale ending for such a long series. 

 

I stumbled upon the Rikti Freaks while working Policemen vs Aliens, and leveraging them made great sense, but then how do they get their Rikti powers? So that lead to the Transformation pods - very fitting with Rikti Freaks, and a good way to justify reusing Bile in here too as T3h R1kt1m4n. Of course, now that they are all Rikti'd up, they need cash and are selling their spoils. Meanwhile, I planted the War Walker seed way back in 2.1 Boomtown with a goal of using the Council outdoor warzone, which always seemed like it was just a dressed-up Rikti Warzone map. With the council in the RWZ, and after the whole Striga debacle with the New Praetorians, it made sense for them to be rebuilding at this sad little outpost. The New Praetorians got wind and attacked, the council retaliates in a pretty epic battle, letting me use the Bulge for good fun, and all of that is really just a backdrop to figuring out where ConDev gets their Rikti tech and a tie in to where they get their Praetorian tech.

 

It was also fun to bring Faultline and Fusionette back from 2.2, Psicicle from 1.1, and Mordrogar from 1.3.

 

But ultimately, it introduces some new mysteries, lets you work with the New Praetorians, and sets you up nicely for 4.2.   

 

 

4.2 Pirates in Praetoria 40 - 50

Arc ID: 37754 - LFF

Status: Final

 

After the raid on the ConDev base, the New Praetorians want to find out where ConDev is getting all their Praetorian tech and shut it down. Help Marschand and the crew!

 

Spoiler

 

Confession - I have not played much of the Goldside. None-the-less, i am intrigued by it. Policemen vs Aliens, which is really a Kheldian story, was my first foray into trying to get my arms around it. This whole series was my second.

 

Building out ConDev as a mob had me dig deeper into the mob designs too - and exploring South Aetna into what was around the area. Of course, ConDev is able to do what they do because they have a direct link to Praetoria. This is where you go and shut it down, but more importantly, start to question why they are building up such a large army. Which you discover in...  

 

 

4.3 Grand Designs in Grandville 50-54

Arc ID: 38278

Status: Final

A finale - for something this long has to feel worth it. I only hope I succeed at making it feel worth it all...

 

Spoiler

 

As you can see in all my titles, "the place" anchors the story. There is no set of maps that seems to be in as good a supply, yet as hard to work in somehow than the Grandville set - at least to me. But as this all started in Mercy, Ports and Cap, it seems fitting to tie back there.

 

And really, that is where the big objective comes from - where else would you need a big army that could actually accomplish something if you succeeded?  

 

Worried it all may feel a bit out of left field though so may go back and do a 3.3 to keep a small connection to the Isles thread in the middle of the series. (UPDATE: I did - it was actually 3.2 though. And then I set 3.1 in Nerva bringing in more tie ins to the isles and more foreshadowing throughout.)

 

 

image.thumb.png.5ab5de3bf5be2160622c075ccea957d8.png

Edited by Ankylosaur

Try my AE Arcs: Search for @Ankylosaur for the below and more...

  • Dev's Choice:  Police vs. Aliens 2: Nictus Evictus - 50 -54 Rularularian - 41-54 | The Serpent Beyond the Horizon - 46-52  | Robolution - 25-34  |  Adventures in Wonderland - 25-54
  • Post-Praetoria Series:  All That Glitters: Post-Praetoria Tech | All That Glimmers: Post-Praetoria Magic | Arcs levels progress with story from 1 - 54
  • Featured: Spycraft & Spidermen - 40-47 |  The Genesis & Geneticists of The Coming Hamiggedon -  41-54 | Return to Faultline - 45-54
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Side Arcs

 

Now that I have built the whole main thread, because it leverages and references several of my arcs I am considering retro-fitting those to fit them into the same universe. They will still be standalone, but like All That Glitters uses some of the things in these arcs - these arcs will be more considerate of the things going on in All That Glitters. I'll label these as All That Glitters Sidequests in their titles. 

 

Directly Related

 

Side Arc: All That Glitters Side-Quest (Post 4.3): The Ghost in The Machine - 46 - 54

Arc ID: 33968

Status: Final 

 

This is what I created before any of the series and source of how I thought about Midas. However, it does not fit neatly in. Storyline wise I tried it as a the initial finale, but it did not really work. As the genesis of the whole thing it slots in nicely as a kind of epilogue - another example of the Langston / Aeon conflict. Made some small changes to address the meta AE/reality aspect of it - namely just a few sentences in the opening intro text - that help frame the nature of the missions better and how they relate to the real world events they often imitate or predict.

 

 

 The Magic side of the Praetorian Influx

Much of All That Glitters stems from a simple change in the game, i.e. there's a an influx of praetorians and their tech and that could upset the current balance of power as groups get hold of them. But ATG focuses on the tech side primarily. What of the magic side?

  • Save The Diver, Save the World - my first ever arc, it was also my first ever to win a community driven award on live in 2011. It was kind of vigilante mission before there were vigilantes (before Gong Rogue) and stems from wanting to bring the Coralax lore to heroes (before heroes could just go to the Rogue Isles).  As its premise for you getting involved you are hired by someone to dig into this in the Rogue Isles, and that is what Wyvern does - so a possible rewrite with Wyvern asking you to do it on their behalf fits in all to well. Plus it features Faerlun, a character in ATG you meet in 1.3 so there is a tie in. It's also sitting at 4 stars, which is i suspect because the first map requires you to find a glowie on the flooded ruined city map and that is daunting to people. From some of the activity community here it gets positive feedback so a refresh and republish may be well in order here. But, could that flooded ruined map be Praetoria instead? Or maybe the Coralax come out of the oceans in Praetoria after Hamidon's wanton destruction? possibilities....
  • When Carnivals Collide: In this one the struggle is between the Praetorian ex patriot carnivals and our own evil one. However, it was built on the premise that both Vanessa Devores were alive and well on primal earth. I recently discovered the outcomes of the Underground trial which makes Praetorian Vanessa De Vore dead, or at least embedded in Desdemona's mask - not someone you can rescue in my M5 mission 🙂. This has big implications - either, the carnival of light has to restore her to a body from the mask or doing so could be a plot point of its own that the player must execute. It's also currently a rogue arc and a rewirte could recast it as a vigilante arc to tie it into the ATG world more easily for the RPers that try this (if any ever do).  

 

Crossovers

Other stories I have have connections directly in these arcs. I could update them but likely will not.

  • Policemen vs. Aliens - You meet Buddy from this arc a few times in ATG. It's VERY related to Praetoria - but I think it is what it is - a Kheldian story.
  • Spycraft and Spidermen - This takes place exclusively on Warburg and uses a Longbow agent - Agent Goddard - as the contact as he is stationed on Longbow's ship there. But it could be turned into a Wyvern contact with minimal effort. Plus Marshal Blitz and the Blitkreig show up in both. 
  • Robolution - The Sky Raiders you meet are the same involved in Robolution, but there is no praetorian angle in this arc nor do i think there should be. I had created a blueside version once upon a time using Longbow, but it felt a little flat.
  • The Genesis and Geneticists of the Coming Hamiggedon - This takes place mostly in Eden and reuses customs in ATG 3.1 that are integrral to this story, but is too tied to the contacts to fit in and bringing Praetorian stuff into a Hamidon story should come with its own special treatment.
  • Return to Faultline - The few who played this gave very postive about how fun and fast paced this was while being light-hearted. - a fun sort of mystery solving gang adventure. I used Duke Mordrogar as a bit of comic relief in later ATG stories - maybe I should insert him as the mastermind behind the Demon onslaught that kicks this off? Foiled again, Duke!

 

image.thumb.png.5ab6f47e5174a8a4976b16fe16de2841.png

 

Edited by Ankylosaur

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  • Post-Praetoria Series:  All That Glitters: Post-Praetoria Tech | All That Glimmers: Post-Praetoria Magic | Arcs levels progress with story from 1 - 54
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Backstory

 

The story is evolving as I write it. I know how hard it can be to keep up with all of it though, so if you want to know some of the backstory premises, I'm sharing them here...

 

This is pretty spoiler filled, so I'd discourage you from exploring it unless you like to know the key plot points before you watch a movie. 🙂

 

Spoiler
Spoiler

 

We'll start with what The Doctor tells you in 3.1...

 

Family Overview

"It all begins with Lawrence Langston, who started Langston Corp. in the 1950s as a confectioner. His Gold Brick bars were wildly popular and in just a few years he became quite wealthy off of them. His brother, William, was a mechanical engineer and used some of the new family wealth to start a heavy equipment subsidiary, primarily construction equipment, but some military too, under the name of ConDev, and later, Langston Labs. When Recluse came into power and started building out Grandville and Arachnos technology, William made a mint.

 

"So, what of the Langston company and clan today? Both William and Lawrence are now deceased. While William had no children, Lawrence had five.

  • Alton, who you met in Boomtown is the oldest. He leveraged his uncle's heavy equipment and started his own construction business, Big Brother Construction.
  • Byron, a technology golden boy disappeared as an intern at Aeon, Corp. under mysterious circumstances.
  • Carmela, who you saw in Terra Volta, followed in her uncle's footsteps and became a mechanical engineer, eventually running ConDev and rebranded it as Langston Labs.
  • Dalton, became a chemical engineer and took over the original confection business. However, he also leads their biochemical research at Langston Labs. And then there is
  • Eugene. Being very short and the last of the five everyone calls him "Pinkie." I'm not sure what he does."

 

In-Game Evidence 

Things you can see scattered around in the CoH game worldd that support the story:

  • Langston's HQ - Langston's home is in Cap Au Diable, not far from WPSDR. Behind its mansion-like HQ There is also a large door leading into the hillside.
  • ConDev's HQ - based on the Cap description, in the wiki, I suspect it was in the main square of Cap with its black and red rook logo. If its somewhere in Cap I have not found it. I wonder if the AE replaced it? (It does not naturally tie to Langston, but worked it in by having it renamed as Langston Labs since evidence of it went away - its complicated.)
  • Gold Brick Bar Billboards - I have not done an exhaustive search, but there is one Gold Brick Bar billboard by the Clocktower in mercy (and therefore in the Missing in Mercy arc) and also near the Langston HQ in Cap. I am sure they are around the isles but wonder if they are anywhere in Paragon.
  • Gold Brick Trucks - There are Gold Brick Trucks parked near the Arena in Kallisti Wharf. There may also be some near the HQ I think.
  • Big Brother Construction - This name is plastered on the back of all of the construction equipment in the Kallisti Arena.  

 

The Trigger

As said above, the big impetus for change here is the fall of Praetoria. This foisted many new things onto the landscape,

  • People, such as Praetorian scientists, military folk and criminals, looking for a new home and livelihood.
  • Tech, Praetorian tech that opened up new opportunities. 
  • Opportunities, for someone to take advantage of the above - Midas has a big enough picture perspective to jump on it being digital

 

Motivations

  • Langston Corp. - being run by the whole family, the different members have different motivations.
    • Alton - Alton just wants to make money. He has a great construction business and sees loads of real estate in Paragon that could be developed. He loves the idea of cheap labor from the Clockwork and sees an opportunity to sell them too. Everyone else in the family keeps giving him projects and he has a few of his own going. Being in the construction equipment business he also handles all manufacturing work at his plants - like the Infini-Life Med tech, the Robo-pals, the new gold bricker gear, etc. 
    • Byron - Byron is King Midas. He was digitized by Dr. Aeon (Egon) as an intern at Aeon Labs. Dr. Aeon does not realize this is who King Midas is. Byron is the mastermind behind most of these plots and has a broad and longterm perspective as a digital being. Byron does want to get back at Aeon (see the ghost in the machine arc and the Capitalism in Cap arc) but in many ways counts his condition a gift. He is the voice in the Mainframes and the one who is a through line through everything.
    • Carmela - Carmela, as a mechanical engineer and the CEO of Langston Labs, she is motivated by the possiblity of all this tech and wants to get her hands on it, understand how it works, and put it to use. She also had the idea for the Langston Robopals, to make the Clockwork more accessible. She thinks they'll make a ton off them if they can get them approved for sale. She also really does want to set up new and better powerplants and thinks they will make a ton off the new energy plant if they can prove its viability.
    • Dalton - Quite similar to Carmella, Dalton wants to do the same with biotech. With some of the old ConDev research and the newer Crey stuff, he is the mastermind behind the Infini-Life product/service. Sure he has to do some questionable things to make it a reality, but who doesn't want to live forever?
    • Eugene "Pinkie"- Eugene, with a bit of a Napoleonic complex wants power and might. He is the one behind the ConDev forces. He admires the tech his uncle William made for Arachnos, and ressurrected the ConDev name. With the help of Carmella's Langston Labs, he is taking all alien tech he can get (Rikti and Praetorian so far) and leveraging it to build a big, unopposable army. Byron's a little wary of him, but really wants his Gold Brickers out of the securing facilities business so is happy have a strong arm in the family who wants that role.
    • William - He's still alive as a brain in a jar. It took Carmela and Dalton to pull him out of his Cryofreeze, and what they came up with for him isn't super pretty, but he is really a mentor to nephew Eugene. He wants to see his legacy continue. His group produced much of the Arachnos tech to Orb Weaver specs (which fits in nicely with that Gold Bricker mission where you get the Gold Bricker back pack and discover its like some Arachnos tech). In hindsite, he realizes he has the technology to get as much power for the Langston's as Recluse. In his current form he is the only one who can stay on the irradiated Praetoria for any length of time.

 

 

The Overall Flow

The basic flow - so you can get a high level view is

  • Series 1 - Establish the landscape
    • 1.1 You discover someone is recruiting ex-Praetorian Scientists and meet Hornet
    • 1.2 You discover the Gold Brickers are stealing Praetorian Tech
    • 1.3 You discover Langston Corp. is using Praetorian tech and will go to incredible lengths to win.
  •  Series 2 - Empire Building
    • 2.1 You discover that Langston is expanding and building in Paragon with Big Brother. First intro to ConDev too.
    • 2.2 You discover that Langston are expanding their products with the Robopals. Also that they are gathering Alien tech and ConDev tech. 
    • 2.3 You discover they are trying to become the fabric of the city by building a power plant and that they need power for some human consciouness transfer process. 
  • Series 3
    • 3.1 You discover that midas is digital and that Langston needs Crey's Revenant tech.
    • 3.2 You discover that the mooks and langston are working together to open Infini-life in St Martial.
    • 3.2 You discover experience the Infini-Life product and face Midas
  • Series 4
    • 4.1 You confront ConDev discovering who you are dealing with 
    • 4.2 You stop their scavenging of Praetorian tech.
    • 4.3 You discover their ultimate plan.

 

 

Possible Future Plot Points?

  • Is Dalton secretly Alton's son, as in D'Alton? Who's his mom then?
  • Was Lawrence Langston Cryo-frozen too?
  • Is there actually something nefarious about the Gold Brick bars?  
  • Will Aeon ever  figure out who Midas is?

 

 

  •  

 

image.thumb.png.97cfca13fb74a9cc0be1a5dc3f4e9cc8.png

Edited by Ankylosaur

Try my AE Arcs: Search for @Ankylosaur for the below and more...

  • Dev's Choice:  Police vs. Aliens 2: Nictus Evictus - 50 -54 Rularularian - 41-54 | The Serpent Beyond the Horizon - 46-52  | Robolution - 25-34  |  Adventures in Wonderland - 25-54
  • Post-Praetoria Series:  All That Glitters: Post-Praetoria Tech | All That Glimmers: Post-Praetoria Magic | Arcs levels progress with story from 1 - 54
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  • Ankylosaur changed the title to All That Glitters Series - Vigilante - [1 - 54]

So - from level 1-54 this is done-ish - on its first pass. All the arcs are fairly solid - though some of the later ones may have some sharp edges.

 

It's a lot to write a series - and I am a little - spent. 🙂 Impressed that @Darmian and @cranebump have completed any!

 

I think I need some feedback and additional perspectives before I can make much more headway. Feedback welcomed and encouraged!

 

At the same time I know it is a lot to ask of anyone to play a series, so I'm worried few will take the bait - but if you happen to - would love to hear what you like and or hate.

 

And if you could be kind with stars in its early stages, always appreciated.

 

image.thumb.png.b3b363b982890649b86b512010822504.png

Edited by Ankylosaur
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  • Dev's Choice:  Police vs. Aliens 2: Nictus Evictus - 50 -54 Rularularian - 41-54 | The Serpent Beyond the Horizon - 46-52  | Robolution - 25-34  |  Adventures in Wonderland - 25-54
  • Post-Praetoria Series:  All That Glitters: Post-Praetoria Tech | All That Glimmers: Post-Praetoria Magic | Arcs levels progress with story from 1 - 54
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I'll put some odd things I find while playing here, so I can use screenshots.

 

The contact has default AE hologram info:

image.png.5a4c381a4fe278f1bd86a5c9d6ca49ed.png

 

 

Starting with All That Glitters 1.1:

 

Mission 2: Some Longbow were friendlies and some were hostile. One of the battles had friendly Longbow. Some Longbow wardens remained standing around, also friendly. Not sure if you can work around it but the battle should be fixable.

 

Mission 3: The navigation has a weird extra "Biopulse" showing up in it, like this:

image.png.1fd5f1d153a72cca168333dc2f3d877f.png

 

I also found a Dr. Geist held captive by some Infected, and none of them were hostile. Looked weird, until I checked the Captions tab and saw that they were actually talking. So no problem there I guess, except the typical bug with npcs talking all at once.

 

I really like how you get one npc to lead you to another npc who leads us to a third npc, I have tried to get similar things to work but I have never figured it out. You'll have to reveal your secrets. Ve hav vays ov makin you talk!

Edited by Take One

Check out my stories in the Mission Architect. Just search for "@Take One" or "SFMA". Here are some enticing titles:

  • Praetoria-related: Earth Revolution Red, Earth Revolution Blue
  • Mercenary Action: West Libertalia: Born And Raised, West Libertalia: Global Empire, West Libertalia: Love And Rockets
  • Soldier of Arachnos Arcs: The Tangled Weave, A Taste For Evil, Faultline By Night, Fear And Loathing On Striga, The Warburg Connection,
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All That Glitters 1.2:

 

The contact for this mission also had default AE hologram information:

 

image.png.e196d774625794d61a01755d61b99c01.png

 

Mission 1: Seems like padding? Investigation is cool and all but this didn't really feel necessary. If Vicious really wanted to "size us up" he could throw a couple of Mooks at us and see how we handle them, so the mission isn't just "click one thing and leave". Now, having finished the arc, I still think this mission could use a quick fight. 🙂

 

Mission 3: 

Found some leftover html in some dialogue, see attached screenshot. And here's the combat I was looking for in mission 1. I guess it could be a bit samey if this kept happening.

ss.png

Edited by Take One

Check out my stories in the Mission Architect. Just search for "@Take One" or "SFMA". Here are some enticing titles:

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  • Mercenary Action: West Libertalia: Born And Raised, West Libertalia: Global Empire, West Libertalia: Love And Rockets
  • Soldier of Arachnos Arcs: The Tangled Weave, A Taste For Evil, Faultline By Night, Fear And Loathing On Striga, The Warburg Connection,
  • Various: Project Dragon, Evolve Or Die, The Murders in the RWZ Morgue, The Last Crystal Out Of Cimerora

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All that glitters 1.3:

 

Mission 1:

Briefing had a typo - "his hoard of fiery demons". Should be "his horde of demons".

I found a patrol of hostile Luddites, which is weird since the other Luddites are friendlies. Or the protestor Luddites should also be hostile.

 

Mission 3 debriefing:

Not sure if it's a typo or something: "Who is his Duchess, and imaginary friend I hope?"

Should this be: "Who is his Duchess? An imaginary friend, I hope."

Also: "No one took him that seriousl and one one thought he had that kind of power"

 

Mission 4 briefing:

"Perhaps it's the Duchess that who really summoned Bat'zul"

 

 

Check out my stories in the Mission Architect. Just search for "@Take One" or "SFMA". Here are some enticing titles:

  • Praetoria-related: Earth Revolution Red, Earth Revolution Blue
  • Mercenary Action: West Libertalia: Born And Raised, West Libertalia: Global Empire, West Libertalia: Love And Rockets
  • Soldier of Arachnos Arcs: The Tangled Weave, A Taste For Evil, Faultline By Night, Fear And Loathing On Striga, The Warburg Connection,
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Thank you for all of this feedback and your refinements

  1. applied all typo fixes
  2. contact details - this may be a bug as I checked and all the contacts do have details.
  3. 1.1 M2 - fixed those longbow
  4. 1.2 M1 - used your suggestions and have a more interesting M1 as a result - thanks for the ideas!
  5. 1.3 M1 - the luddite patrol were a holdover. originally I had both luddite and goldbricker patrols, but decided the luddites worked better with animations (pamphlets and torches), and the gold brickers as patrolers (as the flying paths are more interesting). So I made that patrol an enemy but forgot to make them gold brickers and give them dialog. anyway - fixed that 🙂 

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  • Post-Praetoria Series:  All That Glitters: Post-Praetoria Tech | All That Glimmers: Post-Praetoria Magic | Arcs levels progress with story from 1 - 54
  • Featured: Spycraft & Spidermen - 40-47 |  The Genesis & Geneticists of The Coming Hamiggedon -  41-54 | Return to Faultline - 45-54
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51 minutes ago, Ankylosaur said:

contact details - this may be a bug as I checked and all the contacts do have details.

I don't know. The contact for 2.1 has proper information. So something weird is going on.

 

On with All That Glitters 2.1!

 

Mission 1: Capt. Jim was supposed to have a special beam rifle and complained about not having his sonic gun. But he was an ordinary Goldbricker boss as far as I could tell, with a sonic gun.

 

Debriefing: "Seems like Capt. Jim to think may not be"

 

Mission 2:

Debriefing: "And was that the same voice as beforespeaking through it?" - missing a space

"He started a constuction company"

 

Mission 3:

Clue: "no one has seen Demolition Dan since they he went to Steel Canyon"

Debriefing: "you freed some their own" - missing an "of"

 

Mission 4: 

Found a battle with hostile workers vs hostile robots, but the other workers on the map aren't hostile.

Debriefing: "vigillantes"

 

Mission 5:

Alton Langston: "Yeah tthe lab turned out"

Debriefing: "you're lawlessness should be monitored" - should be "your"

 

Did you know that the map you picked for the construction worker protest where we go to save Demo Dan is in a part of Steel Canyon called "Royal Overlook"? Since you're you I'm going to assume you know. Maybe you could use that and hint at "King" Midas owning or having a hideout in the big building in the middle of the map. You should definitely mention the name of the neighborhood, just to further associate Goldbrickers with their King.

Check out my stories in the Mission Architect. Just search for "@Take One" or "SFMA". Here are some enticing titles:

  • Praetoria-related: Earth Revolution Red, Earth Revolution Blue
  • Mercenary Action: West Libertalia: Born And Raised, West Libertalia: Global Empire, West Libertalia: Love And Rockets
  • Soldier of Arachnos Arcs: The Tangled Weave, A Taste For Evil, Faultline By Night, Fear And Loathing On Striga, The Warburg Connection,
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I commented on the other ones in-game so here's for All That Glitters 3.2:

Mission 1:

Once I had my shell there was no map-marker to show where I was supposed to go. Not sure if that's something you can fix, if you did something new with it or what, because all the other map markers had worked previously.

Debriefing:

"Reveal's their real allegiances" should just be "Reveals".

Clue: Consciousness Uploader Demo Device

"Mr. Serenity explained the the Consciouness Uploader Demo Device uploads a copy of your conscious that they can insert into a Shell, a human template. If your body ever dies youc an go on in a new one!"  - The first "the" should probably be "that".

Clue: Reborn Shell Creation

"insert a consciousness into it, and htey have a demo"

Clue: Consciousness Installer

"The Consciousness installer has reticulating arms that install a consciousness into a Shell." - I think this should be "which".

"The consciousness it installs does not have to be the consciousness of the original bodies owner." - should be "body's".

Mission 2:

Briefing:

"But Paragon City is has had to get creative"

Mission: 

Some Wyvern patrols are hostile?

Unexplained Praetorian troops and warwalkers on every street corner, but maybe that'll get an explanation later.

Somehow clicked past the debriefing so I don't know.

Mission 3:

Briefing: 

"hopefully your consciouness is stored within it too and we cab purge it all"

Clue: Dr. Whorisky's Terminal:

In this clue, the company is called "Infini-Life", but I have seen it called "Infi-Life" in other places. Can't remembere where though.

Clue: Revenant Spinal Devices

"She wonders if they will work her shell"  - missing an "in" or "on" after "work".

Clue: Revenant Amplification Ingredients

"Based on the ingredients she things the serum wil make their shells"

Debriefing:

"We can't let anyone else get dupped." - should it be "duped", or is it The Doctor making up slang for "duplicated"?

Mission 4:

Briefing:

"The time for subtlty has passed."

Mission: 

image.png.a2fe9c884c437199ef5c9057d9323c4c.png

This kind of stuff is just confusing and overwhelming. I'd rather see "Defeat all enemies in office!" than this.

 

Mission 5:

image.png.660dc92edbb5e64292d915558802b0d1.png

Another crowded navigation window.

 

The Doctor asks if I didn't defeat Zepplin and Spitfire, and if they were recreated using the template tech? 

OF COURSE they were, Doc, you were there and you know what happened.

 

Clue: Midas' Plan Architect Entertainment Plan - one plan too many

 

 

Please ignore the screenshot below, I don't know how to delete an attached file :S

 

image.png

Edited by Take One

Check out my stories in the Mission Architect. Just search for "@Take One" or "SFMA". Here are some enticing titles:

  • Praetoria-related: Earth Revolution Red, Earth Revolution Blue
  • Mercenary Action: West Libertalia: Born And Raised, West Libertalia: Global Empire, West Libertalia: Love And Rockets
  • Soldier of Arachnos Arcs: The Tangled Weave, A Taste For Evil, Faultline By Night, Fear And Loathing On Striga, The Warburg Connection,
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On to All That Glitters 3.3:

Apparently I had already played this, before it became a part of this enormous series. Since I can't remember much about it, I'll do it again!

 

Mission 1:

Debriefing: 

"suped up Hellions" - the internet informs me that the expression is "souped up",

 

Mission 2:

The contact talks about "feeling" things, which seems weird when it's an A.I. and shouldn't feel much if anything. Perhaps a different term would work better, unless you intend for this program to come off as more alive than it really is. I guess it's a matter of taste and style, so not really a problem. Options could include to "track" or "detect" the ongoing hacking.

 

Mission 3:

Lead Shocker: "I think he used some of basic concepts" - missing a "my" there.

Keystone: "get a load of that writing, right?" - here, The Hacker is deriding the writing of what is supposedly an AE mission, but as we all know the Frostfire mission is happening in the "real" world, so either this AE mission is an accurate report of what happened in the game's reality, a simulation to replay a historical event you might say, and The Hacker is complaining about how the author didn't spice up the words that the real Keystone said, OR he thinks that the "real" event was also an AE mission and all of the game reality is also taking place in the simulation OR possibly something else. Funny I guess... I just wonder what The Hacker thinks.

 

Mission 5:

Debriefing:

"at least you have protected the it." - Not sure what this was supposed to say.

 

 

I felt that this was the weakest of the arcs, sadly, because it had a very thin story in my opinion. Most of the mysteries revealed are also already revealed in the arcs leading up to this. I would suggest maybe another capstone arc for the series, where you more actively hunt down the antagonist, instead of merely follow the instructions of a potentially corrupt AI. We're still supposed to be vigilantes after all, so why are we working within the rules of the system? Let's break the rules of the AE, perhaps at the cost of the lives of other users or some such morally questionable tactics, to make us feel like we are doing evil deeds for the greater good.

 

Tooting my own horn here too: I felt like my own arc, "The Doctor Returns", handled a similar idea in a better way. But that's of course entirely subjective 😛

 

Thanks for these arcs, more stories are always welcome!

 

Check out my stories in the Mission Architect. Just search for "@Take One" or "SFMA". Here are some enticing titles:

  • Praetoria-related: Earth Revolution Red, Earth Revolution Blue
  • Mercenary Action: West Libertalia: Born And Raised, West Libertalia: Global Empire, West Libertalia: Love And Rockets
  • Soldier of Arachnos Arcs: The Tangled Weave, A Taste For Evil, Faultline By Night, Fear And Loathing On Striga, The Warburg Connection,
  • Various: Project Dragon, Evolve Or Die, The Murders in the RWZ Morgue, The Last Crystal Out Of Cimerora

These are just a few, and more to come...

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@Take One - thank you for all of this! The feedback is a gift that has helped give me gain some much needed additional and fresh perspective:

 

  • 2.1 - This was the first arc in the series that I wrote, and after putting missions before it and developing the missions far after it, I have fiddled with it changing a few things - and a few related things were not updated (like the Gold Bricker who no longer has an energy weapon). I applied all the typo fixes, and the Royal Overbrook mention (Which used to be a totally different map).
  • 2.2 & 3.1 - thanks for the feedback here too - all applied
  • 3.2 - Sorry about this one. Frankly I did not think anyone would get to this yet. I have even only played it once myself and had planned to run through it this weekend and tidy it up but you did that for me! Applied all your typo fixes as well as the "too many objectives" problems. 
  • 3.3 - Was unsure if this would work and it did not. While The Ghost in The Machine was my inspiration for who Midas is, that story does not neatly fit. Made it a Side Arc instead and will continue the series in the 4.x missions that explore ConDev. And a big shout out to your "The Doctor Returns" mission that I just played. It was awesome. (I was worried my idea was a duplicate of yours! (Thankfully it wasn't, but it was interesting to see how we put the same two things together for a story - The Doctor and AE.)

Additional thoughts...

  • I have not even started 4.x stories that explore ConDev - just some vague outlines, motivations and masterminds in my mind and may take a little of a writing break - just polishing what is here.   
  • To do ConDev justice, I think I will need a new 2.2 (Fragment in Faultline?) that introduces ConDev in more depth earlier in the series - they currently just get mentioned in 2.x and start appearing in 3.x. 
  • When I finish that I will bump up the current 2.2. to 2.3 and increase its level range now that Wyvern goes to level 44. The whole reason the Manticore mansion mission was in 2.2 was because Wyvern capped at 30 previously.

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  • Dev's Choice:  Police vs. Aliens 2: Nictus Evictus - 50 -54 Rularularian - 41-54 | The Serpent Beyond the Horizon - 46-52  | Robolution - 25-34  |  Adventures in Wonderland - 25-54
  • Post-Praetoria Series:  All That Glitters: Post-Praetoria Tech | All That Glimmers: Post-Praetoria Magic | Arcs levels progress with story from 1 - 54
  • Featured: Spycraft & Spidermen - 40-47 |  The Genesis & Geneticists of The Coming Hamiggedon -  41-54 | Return to Faultline - 45-54
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All That Glitters 2.2 Revamp:

 

Mission 1:

Briefing: "They call they call them 'Robopals.'"

Intro popup:  "There's a clear buzz of excitement in the air. You hear ooo's, ahh's and applause as Robopals demonstrate what they can do clashing up against the sounds of construction and picketing construction workers."  That's a lot of stuff happening in that second sentence, and it feels a little clunky to me. Maybe just a comma between "can do, clashing up" might make it easier to read. In fact, since the mission actually shows the demonstration and the picketing going on, maybe just the first sentence is necessary.

Mission: I like all the familiar faces you've managed to put in here. Nice details!

The Boomer has the default AE description for Lieutenants.

One Mr. Handy spawn was inexplicably hostile, including the citizens by his side.

Clue: "you discover plans for the Gold Brickers to raig a Lost lair"

 

Mission 2:

Briefing: "they are hitting one of *** old ruins of Faultline" - a missing "the".

Clue: ConDev Badge:  "a Black and red rook" - Black is capitalized for no reason.

Clue: ConDev Files:  "several files" and "several prototypes" - looks a little weird to have it repeat like that. "charactersitics" is spelled wrong.

Clue: Personality Scanner: "scan a peron's personality"

Clue: Personality Installer: "modify a peron's personlity by modifying their mind." - I would imagine that you have to modify someone's mind to modify their personality, so it doesn't really explain it.

Debriefing: "Clearyly, someone has spooled ConDev back up as and org"

 

Mission 3:

Mainframe: "I'm sure I'll regret to saying it"

Clues: there were no clues. Not like they are required but the other missions provided plenty, so I thought at least one about what you find on the whiteboard might be good. It's easily lost in the chat otherwise.

 

Mission 4:

Intro popup: "while the smoke of billows into the skies" - something is missing there, or the "of" is unnecessary.

 

Mission 5:

Various mistakes in the npc chatter. "Theiving" - thieving. "Though" - thought. "What you need backup, wimp?" - "What? You need backup, wimp?" (that last one I'm not sure about, it just doesn't look right as a single sentence.)

Ollerus doesn't seem to fight. Is he set to pacifist?

Various glowies without any kind of message in the system channel when interacting with them. Are you taking after my own laziness?

 

 

All in all a simple romp through various groups that make up the Goldbricker family of tricky thieves and villains. A nice selection of maps too, we really got a lot of nice Faultline maps, and that Skyway highway heist map is a godsend 😛

 

 

 

Check out my stories in the Mission Architect. Just search for "@Take One" or "SFMA". Here are some enticing titles:

  • Praetoria-related: Earth Revolution Red, Earth Revolution Blue
  • Mercenary Action: West Libertalia: Born And Raised, West Libertalia: Global Empire, West Libertalia: Love And Rockets
  • Soldier of Arachnos Arcs: The Tangled Weave, A Taste For Evil, Faultline By Night, Fear And Loathing On Striga, The Warburg Connection,
  • Various: Project Dragon, Evolve Or Die, The Murders in the RWZ Morgue, The Last Crystal Out Of Cimerora

These are just a few, and more to come...

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Some of those I thought I had already fixed! Fixed it again. 🙂

 

(Don't know if you ever encounter that bug where you reopen something that was published and it uses an old cached version before your most recent publish. I'm going to blame it on that. 🙂

 

Thanks for taking the time to play through it. I think - other than errant typos - its done.  Have made a few other little tweaks, swapping a map in M2, and applying some changes to M4 like we discussed. 

 

I think I can call this whole suite from 1.1 to 3.2 final now. Moving on to the 4.x series...

Edited by Ankylosaur

Try my AE Arcs: Search for @Ankylosaur for the below and more...

  • Dev's Choice:  Police vs. Aliens 2: Nictus Evictus - 50 -54 Rularularian - 41-54 | The Serpent Beyond the Horizon - 46-52  | Robolution - 25-34  |  Adventures in Wonderland - 25-54
  • Post-Praetoria Series:  All That Glitters: Post-Praetoria Tech | All That Glimmers: Post-Praetoria Magic | Arcs levels progress with story from 1 - 54
  • Featured: Spycraft & Spidermen - 40-47 |  The Genesis & Geneticists of The Coming Hamiggedon -  41-54 | Return to Faultline - 45-54
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All That Glitters 4.1:

Here we go again...

Mission 1:

Briefing: Gaussian gives us an explicitly unnecessary explanation of who he is and what he does. If you're going to do this, don't have the guy point out that you should already know this. There is a contact information window for people who genuinely don't know who a contact is, and a standard contact from the game requires even less introduction. Just a pet peeve of mine I guess, but if he was going to tell us things we already know, he might as well have given us a recap of what we had done in the previous stories in the series, because by now we might have forgotten... Which leads me to nicely ask for a recap of what happened previously in the series, perhaps in a clue if it doesn't fit anywhere else. But I admit that this is purely for my convenience since I am forgetful. Anyway, on with the show!

The (sub)title of the mission: Hunting Rilti Hunters

Mission: I think the guy I was supposed to find and interrogate got killed by someone else, because when I found a soldier to lead me to him, there was just a random minion left of his spawn. I hadn't even noticed his text popping up. This is not your fault, of course, just saying that it's a potential snag.

Clue: "you over heard them" should be "overheard"

Debriefing: The tone seems a bit dry, but maybe Gaussian is just a matter-of-fact kind of guy and isn't prone to exaggeration or emotions. Or you haven't spiced this up yet, which is fine too. Gaussian says that we have to investigate why they are gathering weapons and how they are able to use Rikti gear and even healing powers. The first question we already know the answer to: they sell the weapons, or use them themselves. I believe Gaussian informed us of this when the mission started? The second question would probably be easily answered by having Vanguard doctors check any of the Freaks I defeated and presumably sent to their brig. But assuming that none of them talk or that there's not enough left of them to poke at, I'll go along with his request for now.

 

Mission 2:

Briefing: "Fussionette"

Mission: the boss has some lofty speech patterns for a Freakshow. Nothing wrong with that but he sounds less like a Freak and more like some take-over-the-world type of villain, to me.

Debriefing:

  • "Freaks were tricker than"
  • I don't think you need to tell us that the energy traps waylaid the team, we could see that. Also, I don't know if a trap can waylay someone? You can perhaps use a trap when you waylay someone. Either way, it's a superfluous sentence, in my opinion.
  • "Here's everything we gather from each of your reports"  - I think "everything we have gathered" sounds better, but I'm not sure if it's really an error.

Mission 3:

Mission: 

  • Alec Parson: "What they are doing with the Praetorian Robitcs is impressive", "Eager to work work together"
  • Pendragon: "I've heard of you deeds"
  • Some Vanguard soldiers are hostile.
  • Privateer: "I knew we should of loaded"

Mission 4:

Briefing:

  • "You never know if they have anything else..." - I feel like this entire sentence is unnecessary. Could probably be shortened to "They were showing off their full might in Councilvania, but you soundly crushed them." or something like that, to further drive home how succesful the operation was, instead of casting doubts on our success. As it stands that sentence basically says "The council might have more robots hidden somewhere but maybe not" so it's not telling us anything useful.
  • "The New Praetorians hve moved on"
  • Ah, I should have finished reading. The sentence about the Council not having any robots left is proven false in the same debriefing as they are already retaliating. Well, we all knew they always have more robots hidden away.
  • No mention of potential allies, or indications of the presence of a difficult opponent. It's not necessary but it has become a kind of convention.

Popup: "the general behind the the attack."

Mission:

  • Quite a lot of "We got problems!" spamming from the Vanguard.
  • Burkholder: "A warning volley that fotells your ultimate destruction!" - foretells
  • Both Burkholder and The Riktiman use the same kind of lofty language. Both of them even use the phrase "fie on you" which I find unusual.
  • Fusionette: "Let's turn our powers up to eleven" - missing an "up".

Mission 5:

Briefing:  

  • "Since we never responded they have probably already gone ahead without you, but based on how today's gone I know you don't mind showing up a little late to the party." -- I would remove the red part, because it sounds weird (to me) and makes the sentence run on for too long. The green part is fine but I would suggest "fashionably late" instead, to make the sentence even shorter.
  • "You going to help them out?" - I think it sounds a bit too casual for Gaussian.

Mission:

  • Alec Parson: "Thank you for coming name" - missing a $name variable here.
  • Grant Creston: "Some of these ConDev seem to be Praetorian refugees." - missing a "be"
  • Capn' Reiner: his description goes "The Pixhain is an enhanced soldier with the most advance heavy artillery equipment available. Combining short, medium, and long range arms, the One Device to Destroy is a almost a Ship of the Line's worth of hurt in a much more dexterous and mobile package." - I have no idea what "One Device to Destroy" means in this context. It looks really weird. Maybe it'll be explained later on. Also, I think dexterous and mobile are almost synonymous, unless you mean that they are literally good with their fingers, so you can probably remove one of them.
  • Lab tech: "Prtoect the device!"
  • Allies: Only Aurora Pena seems to fight, but this might be a bug in the AE. I had to run back looking for an ally I missed, so maybe they should be optional?
  • ConDev forces: sometimes a rikti drone is a "Brigatine", sometimes it's a "Sloop"? I think boss names should be spelled "Cap'n", since it's a shortened "Captain".
  • Capn' Bligh: "Let's take out this Cheers Luv and his gang that invader our hideout" - should be $hisher, and "invaded"
  • Mainframe: "scavengers pulling htemselves up"
  • Pinkie Langston: "All these strangers in a strange land have found a home with me" - missing a "land"

Clues:

  • Consciousness Uploader: "Like the one you experienced at Infini-Life"
  • DNA Scanner: "Though Infi-Life is shut down"; "nee Revenants."; "they had captured the DNA of the Rogue WIdow Psicicle, Marauder a Duke Mordrogar" - the list of names here seems jumbled up somehow.
  • One of the above (Infini-Life or Infi-Life)  is wrong, but I don't know which.
  • Langston Brains: "You found a clipboard on the outside of the refrigerator which read:" - should be "reads".
  • If the Consciouscness Uploader was used to capture the consciousness of super-subjects, does it mean that they are left mindless or that their minds are copied? I found Mordrogar running around so either he hasn't been put through it yet, or it only copies but doesn't remove the consciousness.

 

 

So this was certainly interesting. I really like the odd Freakshow variants that show up in the game, and the Rikti variant is one I tend to forget because it's blink and you missed it. So it was fun seeing them here, doing Freak stuff. The Council did their Council thing, nothing out of the ordinary - but the mission fighting all their robots seemed like more of a climax to the arc than the actual last mission so that might be a problem. Finally what we all came to see: The ConDev. A rather boring name for what the group has become, interdimensional tech pirates. Maybe a name-change is coming up? An interesting concept, and I'm looking forward to find out what made them go with that aesthetic. I think I figured out that they are made up of two types of seafaring pirates, the picaroons and the brigandeers (?), ex-IDF and ex-Resistance forces from Praetoria. So unless Capn' Bligh and Capn' Reiner are the actual founders of the Picaroons and Brigandeers, I hope we find out more about the formation of this group in the next or future arcs. The pirate theme makes them seem a little silly in my opinion but that's a matter of taste, of course. And weirdly themed villain groups is not unheard of in superhero stories.

Check out my stories in the Mission Architect. Just search for "@Take One" or "SFMA". Here are some enticing titles:

  • Praetoria-related: Earth Revolution Red, Earth Revolution Blue
  • Mercenary Action: West Libertalia: Born And Raised, West Libertalia: Global Empire, West Libertalia: Love And Rockets
  • Soldier of Arachnos Arcs: The Tangled Weave, A Taste For Evil, Faultline By Night, Fear And Loathing On Striga, The Warburg Connection,
  • Various: Project Dragon, Evolve Or Die, The Murders in the RWZ Morgue, The Last Crystal Out Of Cimerora

These are just a few, and more to come...

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Thanks for the great feedback! Tremendous gift to capture all of that. The text was rougher than I realized. I think I had been looking at it all too long, but that is why a fresh perspective is so valuable. I will apply all of those changes.

 

As to ConDev, I have been struggling with how to bring them in in detail. I agree their costumes are a little over the top and retconned that in as a call out from the doc in 3.1, but decided they embraced their identify as pirates - there is a reason behind it but it's about as detailed as why are the Goldbrickers Retro-scifi. 

 

As to mob design - the ones with gold accents are primarily using Praetorian tech, the ones with green, primarily Rikti tech. The group names are using specific attacks/costume parts: Buccaneers (PPD with rikti blaster), Picaroons (Resistance armor/dual pistols), Swashbucklers (Rikti Sword), Privateers (Dual blade/olympian guard), Reavers (IDF)) or are vanilla IDF (Paixhans, Blunderbuss, Culverin, Man O' War, etc) or Rikti tech (Clipper, Frigate, Galleon).  Of course, the other source of the theme is just that there are a lot piratey names and costume parts I can leverage to support a custom tech mob that is scavenging alien tech. 🙂   

 

As to M4 - I agree - that is a pretty exciting climactic kind of end scene, but flow-wise did not feel like the final mission - maybe I'll see I'll if I can rework that somehow. Have an opinion on the two thoughts below?

  1. Maybe ConDev should attack instead of the council in M4 which may bring them more to life and be a better lead-in to M5?
  2. Or maybe M5 becomes M4 and the retaliation is ConDev because of that? (Cause that was not their only hideout)

As to what is M5 today - was worried about that map being too big and the objectives being too many but compensated with lots of allies that should help it flow. Also - how was the final boss?

 

Again - thank you for being willing to take an early run and for all this great feedback.

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  • Post-Praetoria Series:  All That Glitters: Post-Praetoria Tech | All That Glimmers: Post-Praetoria Magic | Arcs levels progress with story from 1 - 54
  • Featured: Spycraft & Spidermen - 40-47 |  The Genesis & Geneticists of The Coming Hamiggedon -  41-54 | Return to Faultline - 45-54
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4 hours ago, Take One said:

Quite a lot of "We got problems!" spamming from the Vanguard.

interestingly that's actually a feature of the map - but i daresay they do 🙂

 

4 hours ago, Take One said:

One Device to Destroy

is a mispaste from destructible devices  🙂

 

4 hours ago, Take One said:

The tone seems a bit dry, but maybe Gaussian is just a matter-of-fact kind of guy and isn't prone to exaggeration or emotions

you are spot on - I also don't feel like I haven't really captured the essence of Gaussian. He is supposed to be straight forward but I think he's a little boring as I have written him. I picked him as he runs offense with the sword, but had considered Levantera too. Borea may be the best choice as she is the least developed But she seemed a little Borea-ing too 🙂 Also felt a bit awkward using him since you just did in your great Libertalia arc. 🙂

 

On the other hand with burkholder and the riktiman - i must have being channeling the same voice 😉 Fie on you!  <---says i to me.

 

4 hours ago, Take One said:

Which leads me to nicely ask for a recap of what happened previously in the series, perhaps in a clue if it doesn't fit anywhere else. But I admit that this is purely for my convenience since I am forgetful.

 

That's a good idea. @Darmian does a nice job of this with ( I think) mission begin clues in his Dark Deeds series. Mission souvenirs might work but only if people go back to read them. I'll probably wait until I finish the last two arcs and circle back and do M1 mission clues "The Story So Far" for all them.  

 

Edited by Ankylosaur

Try my AE Arcs: Search for @Ankylosaur for the below and more...

  • Dev's Choice:  Police vs. Aliens 2: Nictus Evictus - 50 -54 Rularularian - 41-54 | The Serpent Beyond the Horizon - 46-52  | Robolution - 25-34  |  Adventures in Wonderland - 25-54
  • Post-Praetoria Series:  All That Glitters: Post-Praetoria Tech | All That Glimmers: Post-Praetoria Magic | Arcs levels progress with story from 1 - 54
  • Featured: Spycraft & Spidermen - 40-47 |  The Genesis & Geneticists of The Coming Hamiggedon -  41-54 | Return to Faultline - 45-54
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2 hours ago, Ankylosaur said:

As to M4 - I agree - that is a pretty exciting climactic kind of end scene, but flow-wise did not feel like the final mission - maybe I'll see I'll if I can rework that somehow. Have an opinion on the two thoughts below?

  1. Maybe ConDev should attack instead of the council in M4 which may bring them more to life and be a better lead-in to M5?
  2. Or maybe M5 becomes M4 and the retaliation is ConDev because of that? (Cause that was not their only hideout)

As to what is M5 today - was worried about that map being too big and the objectives being too many but compensated with lots of allies that should help it flow. Also - how was the final boss?

Maybe ConDev decide to do something else under cover of the Council attack, like try to steal something very important from inside the Vanguard base, or kidnap someone, or something like that. You can then put some ConDev mobs in the mission, doing something, hinting at the real ConDev mission going on behind the scenes. Then, when we find them and fight them we figure out what they were up to and we can question our prisoners or track them to their lair. I don't remember how we found their base in the first place. Also, they would probably have a disposable base as a temporary place to reconvene after their mission, so they don't lead Vanguard back to any of their more important bases, so the final mission would then be to bring back whatever they stole, or rescue whoever they kidnapped. Oh yeah I remember now, the find was more or less accidental - Gaussian sent a group of other heroes to check out the location of a possible base. Maybe we can confirm this location during the Council attack and realize that the first patrol was sent into a lion's den. Maybe the first group was normal Vanguard troopers, and we bring the cavalry in the form of heroes like Faultline, etc. Make it seem urgent, there could even be a timer on it so that if we fail the thing they stole is lost. Since this is the last mission, the final text would then reflect this without causing the usual "so it made no difference after all" feeling when a failed mission doesn't have any consequence.

Check out my stories in the Mission Architect. Just search for "@Take One" or "SFMA". Here are some enticing titles:

  • Praetoria-related: Earth Revolution Red, Earth Revolution Blue
  • Mercenary Action: West Libertalia: Born And Raised, West Libertalia: Global Empire, West Libertalia: Love And Rockets
  • Soldier of Arachnos Arcs: The Tangled Weave, A Taste For Evil, Faultline By Night, Fear And Loathing On Striga, The Warburg Connection,
  • Various: Project Dragon, Evolve Or Die, The Murders in the RWZ Morgue, The Last Crystal Out Of Cimerora

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All That Glitters 4.2: 

The contact has the default hologram description.

 

Mission 1:

Okay that was a lot of objectives. Well, six of them. And lots of clues. A nice way to make us active participants in the story, we don't just go where a contact tell us, we go do our own investigation, and come back with results. Good! I didn't notice any errors or typos this time.

Stylistically, the briefing and debriefing was a lot of "so and so says" which became a bit repetitive. But at least it's clear who's talking. I might consider changing it so that one person, e.g. Marchand, does most of the talking and assigns the jobs in the debriefing, with input from other voices, but it's a minor complaint.

 

Mission 2:

Noticed a weird thing in the Picaroon info:

image.png.9fedfed3a7abb7b58690214a157bccbe.png

 

A clue mentions someone being "on" Praetoria. I believe it should be "in" Praetoria.

 

Mission 3:

"everyone else knows their way around the city so they can be more efficient" - a missing word.

 

Mission 4:

Nothing to note.

 

Mission 5:

image.png.741e8ff8a99105852ba3199bdeab9f96.png

These objectives could use a clean-up, specifically Aurora Pena and Mainframe.

 

The bomb placement sites were already placed when I found them, instead of "fading in". Once I had found the bombs the bomb placement sites also faded out, and started blinking. Not your fault of course, it's some AE weirdness.

 

This story felt proactive, as we found most of the clues ourselves, and went investigating on them. I'm not sure if the New Praetorians are vigilantes, or even why this arc is supposedly a vigilante arc, since we're not working outside the law as far as I can tell. But I'm not gonna nit-pick. As for revelations, I don't feel like we found out much we didn't already know, just setting us up for the true revelations to come. A few things were revealed or rather confirmed, since the actions of ConDev in previous episodes have showed them having access to Praetorian tech all along. But at least now there's a final mystery to look forward to for the next episode.

 

Check out my stories in the Mission Architect. Just search for "@Take One" or "SFMA". Here are some enticing titles:

  • Praetoria-related: Earth Revolution Red, Earth Revolution Blue
  • Mercenary Action: West Libertalia: Born And Raised, West Libertalia: Global Empire, West Libertalia: Love And Rockets
  • Soldier of Arachnos Arcs: The Tangled Weave, A Taste For Evil, Faultline By Night, Fear And Loathing On Striga, The Warburg Connection,
  • Various: Project Dragon, Evolve Or Die, The Murders in the RWZ Morgue, The Last Crystal Out Of Cimerora

These are just a few, and more to come...

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On 2/14/2021 at 8:10 AM, Ankylosaur said:

The text was rougher than I realized. I think I had been looking at it all too long, but that is why a fresh perspective is so valuable. I will apply all of those changes.

As a writer and editor, I can say the most difficult text to edit is your own.

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All That Glitters 3.2 revamped:

 

I don't have much comments on this except for one thing: the clues.

 

I've pasted in the clues I got through the arc below.

 

The first mission has a clue about the Family/Mooks situation, but nothing about the actual information I came to collect.

The second time I meet Network - the same problem. The clue talks about Network's heist, and where he hid the information, but explicitly says I don't look at it until I get outside - but outside The Doctor talks about what we found as if I already know what the information says.

There are clues for Mr. Serenity and Ms. Doula, which aren't very useful as clues. Also, the one for Ms. Doula has a paste error where it says "he" instead of "she". I'd just get rid of those clues, or make them more useful than simply "these robots attacked you".

The clues for the machines are equally superfluous, since we don't know what they are for. 

 

I would probably clean up the individual objective clues and create some kind of end-of-mission clue that goes through what you discovered during each mission instead.

 

Besides this, the only problem I noticed was a Family goon in the last mission talking like a Wailer (I think it was near the Hellion guy, so maybe he was supposed to be guarded by Wailers?) and in one of the mission briefings/debriefings there's a broken piece of html (br>) at the end of a line.

 

The EBs were tough but I was on a tanker and didn't have any problems with them.

image.png

image.png

Edited by Take One

Check out my stories in the Mission Architect. Just search for "@Take One" or "SFMA". Here are some enticing titles:

  • Praetoria-related: Earth Revolution Red, Earth Revolution Blue
  • Mercenary Action: West Libertalia: Born And Raised, West Libertalia: Global Empire, West Libertalia: Love And Rockets
  • Soldier of Arachnos Arcs: The Tangled Weave, A Taste For Evil, Faultline By Night, Fear And Loathing On Striga, The Warburg Connection,
  • Various: Project Dragon, Evolve Or Die, The Murders in the RWZ Morgue, The Last Crystal Out Of Cimerora

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