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Orange Dragon

New Hero Story Arc

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Wow. Watkins sounds like a jerk. And the idea that a hero failing a mission is "dereliction of duty" goes against the concept of heroes... if you couldn't fail a mission except by dereliction of duty, then how much of a hero are you for succeeding in it? Not very much, if it's that easy. Leaving aside the fact that it wasn't that easy. But as a hero, you should be expected to take on small odds (but NEVER tell me the odds ūüėČ ), and thus, fail sometimes. It's part of the hero business, and therefore, so is failure. It shouldn't be considered so unusual.

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6 minutes ago, Orange Dragon said:

Agreed. I just did the Faultline/Fusionette missions while getting to 20. But to be clear, having an annoying contact tell you they are disappointed in you is usually followed up with a "here's how to make it up". I'm obviously paraphrasing here, but the very final turn in mission goes something like this ...

 

Agent Watkins no longer talks to you.

Turn in mission to hazmat guy. Hazmat guys says "Agent Watkins wanted me to tell you that dereliction of duty usually comes with a $10,000 fine and is punishable by blah blah and you really shouldn't even get this cure for the disease you have, but blah blah and standards for heroes is getting higher now so it's OK to tell you that you suck."

Your response dialogue is "I'm sorry I failed. I choked."

 

I didn't choke. I had to fly across the entire zone of IP to get back to get to a 5 minute timed mission. Click glowies in a specific order. Fight mobs that have spawned after I had already cleared to the exit. Oh and the building is on fire and you are forced to pass through damaging zones. 

I think the end result justifies the dialog. If you fail the parameters of the mission, the player should be told they failed. If they succeed, vice versa. Luckily this game allows players to rerun content as much as they like.

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1 hour ago, Orange Dragon said:

...the contact basically tells you that you're a lousy hero and your response dialogue is to agree. 

I've only played through this arc twice, and haven't had the "pleasure" of failing the mission yet. Got lucky, I suppose. It sounds like you have a valid point there though - of all the places they could have given you a dialogue choice, that one would top the list.

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2 hours ago, Orange Dragon said:

It's interesting that you mentioned Protean. That specific story arc came to mind this morning when I wrote my follow-up and is the main reason I would walk back some of my initial 'unbalanced' review. Someone else mentioned using a Shivan, which honestly I sort of forgot about. But the failed mission dialogue is seriously egregious. There isn't a single other hero arc where the contact basically tells you that you're a lousy hero and your response dialogue is to agree. 


Failing the mission defaults to the Vigilante choice outcome, for which they definitely give you guff. Perhaps there should be a slightly different dialogue chain that kicks in if you fail instead of making the conscious choice to endanger the city.

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Oh, @Myrmidoncorrect me if i am wrong or not, but doesnt this arc

 

Give Rogue or Vig or Hero alignment points based on circumstances of completion?!?!

 

I believe that yes, it does actually affect your alignment. Correct me if I am wrong.

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1 hour ago, Hew said:

On that note, is Vahz wasting disease simply a foreshadowing of covid? That whole arc, that predates covid by A LOT of years? Case of projecting?

 

In the old arc you could run around the entire city with the Vahz wasting disease. ¬†In the current arc you have to quarantine or risk losing your hero status and possibly the mission? ¬†I don‚Äôt know about that, I‚Äôve only ran it once and went ‚Äúhero‚ÄĚ so as to not affect my teammates. ¬†

 

Old arcs are not judged by today’s events.  It can be fun to look at them and see foreshadowing and Orwellian prophecy.  However, it is another thing for an arc to be written in ways that reflects current events.  

 

Mostly I don’t want to be reminded of current political events while playing a game and the dialogue of this arc unfortunately did.  

 

 

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Posted (edited)
Quote

Mostly I don’t want to be reminded of current political events while playing a game and the dialogue of this arc unfortunately did.

 

@Brutal Justice Again I don't see the connection when there isn't any reference to COVID-19 in the story arc. Pandemics in general have existed throughout human history and the 'Vahziloks Wasting Disease' has existed since the beginning of the legacy game itself.

 

18 minutes ago, Brutal Justice said:

Sort of like governor Polis of Colorado, the state I live in, on November 13th saying in a press conference, "the more family members who make the decision to self-quarantine, the more likely it is that you're not bringing a loaded pistol to Grandma's head." In reference to Thanksgiving gatherings.

I guess it makes sense to explain the context of your statement, but bringing up political events on forums is frowned upon¬†ūü§Ē

Edited by Glacier Peak
quotes located incorrectly in post fixed

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2 hours ago, Hew said:

Oh, @Myrmidoncorrect me if i am wrong or not, but doesnt this arc

 

Give Rogue or Vig or Hero alignment points based on circumstances of completion?!?!

 

I believe that yes, it does actually affect your alignment. Correct me if I am wrong.


It grants you a Hero/Vigilante point based on your choice, so yes, it can help affect your alignment if you choose to continue to the Morality mission in that system. 

 

I am hoping that we see a lot more of these types of Morality options going forward.

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7 minutes ago, Myrmidon said:


It grants you a Hero/Vigilante point based on your choice, so yes, it can help affect your alignment if you choose to continue to the Morality mission in that system. 

 

I am hoping that we see a lot more of these types of Morality options going forward.

Thought so. Integration into Morality is a fantastic addition this brought to the table I feel.

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6 minutes ago, Myrmidon said:


It grants you a Hero/Vigilante point based on your choice, so yes, it can help affect your alignment if you choose to continue to the Morality mission in that system. 

 

I am hoping that we see a lot more of these types of Morality options going forward.

This is a cool concept, but I had no idea until reading this thread that it was an option. Also, if failing the mission defaults to Vigilante you do not get a morality point for failing, which is good. I checked.

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4 minutes ago, Orange Dragon said:

This is a cool concept, but I had no idea until reading this thread that it was an option. Also, if failing the mission defaults to Vigilante you do not get a morality point for failing, which is good. I checked.


That’s correct. You only receive the Morality point when you are the player making the choice. Auto-correct, mission failure, tagging along in a team are all exempt from that and if you’re do receive any Morality point for any of those circumstances, definitely report it.


Playing CoX is it’s own reward

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Personally, Agent Watkins' dialogue was giving me a headache so I stopped trying to read after the second mission. Of course then comes the bit where the game punishes you for speeding through dialogue trees by forcing you into the busywork-heavy side of the arc (on top of already sending you all over the city like it's 2005).

 

The actual mission difficulty? Well, ask me again if I ever decide to give the arc a second chance. I played this one on my purpled/Incarnated-out blaster, so aside from the massive Freak aggro on one mission due to a hasty decision, there shouldn't have been much that challenged me.

 

(Okay, but I'll say the Zoombies were stupid. Hear them coming, fly up out of range of their bombs, watch them futilely run into each other under me until it gets old, zap them and get back to real content.)


Playing on Excelsior. Champion forever.

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4 hours ago, Brutal Justice said:

Mostly I don’t want to be reminded of current political events while playing a game and the dialogue of this arc unfortunately did.  

 

 

Thats why I avoid the Rikti stuff.  Ever since the aliens started taking over Cleveland pretending to be City Officials and Corporation owners.  Sheesh, like I need that in game too.

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15 hours ago, Orange Dragon said:

Agreed. I just did the Faultline/Fusionette missions while getting to 20. But to be clear, having an annoying contact tell you they are disappointed in you is usually followed up with a "here's how to make it up". I'm obviously paraphrasing here, but the very final turn in mission goes something like this ...

 

Agent Watkins no longer talks to you.

Turn in mission to hazmat guy. Hazmat guys says "Agent Watkins wanted me to tell you that dereliction of duty usually comes with a $10,000 fine and is punishable by blah blah and you really shouldn't even get this cure for the disease you have, but blah blah and standards for heroes is getting higher now so it's OK to tell you that you suck."

Your response dialogue is "I'm sorry I failed. I choked."

 

I didn't choke. I had to fly across the entire zone of IP to get back to get to a 5 minute timed mission. Click glowies in a specific order. Fight mobs that have spawned after I had already cleared to the exit. Oh and the building is on fire and you are forced to pass through damaging zones. 

Wait, what? Dereliction of duty? Okay, I was already heavily questioning how Agent Watkins could "order" my character to do something, and now we're getting into fines and punishment? I call BS. Heroes are freaking VOLUNTEERS, their license is just that, permission to use their powers to fight crime, as long as the follow the same rules the PPD. They don't get paid, unless they work for Hero Corps or are a mercenary. The idea that the FBSA can just order them around is ludicrous to me, and facing fines and punishment for failure on top of that? For risking their lives in exchange for NOTHING? Again, I call BS.

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I ran it a 0/1 and found it extremely challenging, but that's what I liked about it.   I'd very much like to see equally challenging arcs for Incarnate level play.  The ones we have now tend to use gimmicky, one-shot-kill powers (the blue stuff in Apex and Orbital Lance barrages in Tin-mage) to provide the challenge to high-lvl teams.  I'd love to battle foes that can give incarnates a run for their money without using these cheap, gimmicky tactics.

 

I'll admit that I also didn't like the 5-minute timer, but timed missions have always been a pet-peeve of mine.  Just a personal preference.

 

The dialogue and story I found quite good.  It could have been tightened up a bit, yes- but the length was not a deal-breaker for me.  At least the author used correct spelling and punctuation.  I see plenty of AE arcs that are barely readable, which really breaks my immersion. 

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One other thing I did like about the arc. For the Cortex mission you have the choice of going in via the front door, or via the roof (given as a dialogue choice at the end of the Wasting Disease mission). Choose the roof - the NPC dialogue is hilarious when you do that.

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43 minutes ago, Soyuz said:

One other thing I did like about the arc. For the Cortex mission you have the choice of going in via the front door, or via the roof (given as a dialogue choice at the end of the Wasting Disease mission). Choose the roof - the NPC dialogue is hilarious when you do that.

I have yet to enter from the roof... Got to try that.

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I have some changes coming along, need to test them locally first. And I will happily re-write the failure part - that was added late in the development when I was told "Groundhog Day" repeat task on failure was not the way we wanted to go anymore as a design philosophy. I was fighting burnout at that point, and the writing suffered as I chiseled it in. I'll rewrite the dereliction and choke bits, gladly. I didn't intend for the tone it delivered.

 

Come to think of it, have you ever stared at something long enough, or repeated a word enough times that it loses all meaning? I had been staring at these codeblocks for the better part of a year, largely alone. So everyone take a deep breath, we'll get through this, and the future content will blossom for it ūüôā

 

---

 

Without going into specifics, the way the Viral Cocktail affects you will change (for the better), the disease-cancelling lab station buffs as well (For the better). Several fight mechanics on both red and blue are getting tweaked.

 

One of the things I'm going to need going forward is arranging teams across a wide variety of builds during testing. Unenhanced, sort of enhanced, DO's, SO's, some IOs, IO'd out the yinyang, solo vs teams.

 

I think the most ardent testers were of a certain build type, and difficulty feedback  was more anecdotal than anything. And with those certain types of builds, and player experience, I think very, very few people failed Pathogen's mission as a result. Most people told me "I saw this glowie I couldn't click on so I made a mental note of where it was" or "I thumbtacked my map when I saw it"

As for the long flight back from the hospital, fly to the north tram and take it to the south tram to reduce the amount of time to get back.

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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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49 minutes ago, Soyuz said:

One other thing I did like about the arc. For the Cortex mission you have the choice of going in via the front door, or via the roof (given as a dialogue choice at the end of the Wasting Disease mission). Choose the roof - the NPC dialogue is hilarious when you do that.

Quote
            var INACTIVE_DIALOG_MINION2 = "Right so anyway, I was having a smoke up on the roof and..."
            var ATTACK_DIALOG_MINION2 = "...smoking's bad for my lungs. I'll just take yours."
            var INACTIVE_DIALOG_MINION1 = "...wait, we have roof access? Councilman Hammett was living large!"
            var ATTACK_DIALOG_MINION1 = "Maybe this roof lounge is why Hammett WAS living large. Not 'is'."

 

Quote
            var INACTIVE_DIALOG_MINION2 = "He came to me looking to lose some weight. So I chopped off his leg!"
            var ATTACK_DIALOG_MINION2 = "Hah hah hah... Hey wait a minute, the front door is that way!"
            var INACTIVE_DIALOG_MINION1 = "Oh man, that's a risky move, but he did hit his target weight. Not your fault, honestly."
            var ATTACK_DIALOG_MINION1 = "I knew that rooftop lounge was a risk."

 

Quote
            var INACTIVE_DIALOG_MINION2 = "I can't believe he found her."
            var ATTACK_DIALOG_MINION2 = "Whoa, wait a second, where the heck did you come from?"
            var INACTIVE_DIALOG_MINION1 = "He used to be a hero. He knows all the tricks."
            var ATTACK_DIALOG_MINION1 = "In all my years, nobody's ever jumped us from the back door!"

 

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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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48 minutes ago, Piecemeal said:

I have some changes coming along, need to test them locally first. And I will happily re-write the failure part - that was added late in the development when I was told "Groundhog Day" repeat task on failure was not the way we wanted to go anymore as a design philosophy. I was fighting burnout at that point, and the writing suffered as I chiseled it in. I'll rewrite the dereliction and choke bits, gladly. I didn't intend for the tone it delivered.

 

Come to think of it, have you ever stared at something long enough, or repeated a word enough times that it loses all meaning? I had been staring at these codeblocks for the better part of a year, largely alone. So everyone take a deep breath, we'll get through this, and the future content will blossom for it ūüôā

 

---

 

Without going into specifics, the way the Viral Cocktail affects you will change (for the better), the disease-cancelling lab station buffs as well (For the better). Several fight mechanics on both red and blue are getting tweaked.

 

One of the things I'm going to need going forward is arranging teams across a wide variety of builds during testing. Unenhanced, sort of enhanced, DO's, SO's, some IOs, IO'd out the yinyang, solo vs teams.

 

I think the most ardent testers were of a certain build type, and difficulty feedback  was more anecdotal than anything. And with those certain types of builds, and player experience, I think very, very few people failed Pathogen's mission as a result. Most people told me "I saw this glowie I couldn't click on so I made a mental note of where it was" or "I thumbtacked my map when I saw it"

As for the long flight back from the hospital, fly to the north tram and take it to the south tram to reduce the amount of time to get back.

Look, your work is much appreciated and for this player at least lifted the game to new levels. So, burnout, that's annoying but I can only applaud the results. 

 

(As an AE aficionado my only complaints are "why can't I do that?!")

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1 hour ago, Piecemeal said:

 

 

 

OMG that is hilarious! I luv it!

 

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3 hours ago, Piecemeal said:

I have some changes coming along, need to test them locally first. And I will happily re-write the failure part - that was added late in the development when I was told "Groundhog Day" repeat task on failure was not the way we wanted to go anymore as a design philosophy. I was fighting burnout at that point, and the writing suffered as I chiseled it in. I'll rewrite the dereliction and choke bits, gladly. I didn't intend for the tone it delivered.

 

Come to think of it, have you ever stared at something long enough, or repeated a word enough times that it loses all meaning? I had been staring at these codeblocks for the better part of a year, largely alone. So everyone take a deep breath, we'll get through this, and the future content will blossom for it ūüôā

Hey Piecemeal. Thanks so much for commenting and listening to criticism. I hope it was taken as constructive criticism and not an attempt to tear down your work. I will admit that I was more than a little taken aback by the content and I'm sure my anger and frustration were apparent in my posts. As I said, I genuinely appreciate the work the Homecoming team is doing to bring a game that I absolutely love back to everyone. 

 

I'm just going to throw this out there. If there is any interest in having your work looked at with an eye to edit for content, I would absolutely be interested in helping out. While I would not consider myself a 'professional' editor, I have beta-read and edited for content several works by authors who were published by small independent pressses. Editing for grammar isn't my strong suit (I know the basics), but I would say I'm pretty good at editing for content.

 

As an example: Agent Watkins refers to the Vahzilok by two different nicknames in the story, both the Vahz and the 'Lok. For consistency, I would recommend that you pick just one and have him refer to them that way throughout the story. My preference being the 'Lok. Nitpicking to be sure, but consistency like this, in my opinion, makes the work look more polished.

 

Anyway, I hope my offer is taken in the spirit which it is intended. I am in no way implying that the work needs to be rewritten or that I could do a better job. I simply mean that a fresh set of eyes on the dialogue could help point out areas that have room for improvement. Obviously there would be no requirement or hard feeling is you chose not to use my input, but the offer stand regardless. 

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@PiecemealSorry for my tone earlier, I do appreciate the work you're putting in. That said, the way you framed things in the arc; the FBSA being able to order a Hero on a whim, laws that can impose fines and punishment for failure or doing things their own way, I just don't see being beneficial towards maintaining a force composed mostly of volunteers. When most Heroes are risking their lives to protect the city, and most of the time all they get in exchange is some platitudes, who but the most devoted would consider it an acceptable risk when some agent can not only give them a direct order, but charge them with dereliction of duty for failure or non-compliance? What about Hero Corps? It would be bad for business if at any time the FBSA could commandeer a Hero from them for some task.

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4 minutes ago, Ritikesh said:

@PiecemealSorry for my tone earlier, I do appreciate the work you're putting in. That said, the way you framed things in the arc; the FBSA being able to order a Hero on a whim, laws that can impose fines and punishment for failure or doing things their own way, I just don't see being beneficial towards maintaining a force composed mostly of volunteers

A "Hero" walking around with a  bazooka, or tommy gun, or nuclear reactor strapped to their back is DEFINITELY going to be registered SOMEWHERE with regards to life and limb regulations.

 

You don't get a free pass to carry around an m16 just because some time years ago you served in an armed forces group. 

 

The restrictions and means of indexing and managing who has what are definitely going to be in place.

 

You definitely don't get a free pass on blowing buildings up either. 

 

It seems reasonable that for a given amount of looking the other way, you would be expected to execute on requests from government associated with where you live.

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22 minutes ago, Hew said:

A "Hero" walking around with a  bazooka, or tommy gun, or nuclear reactor strapped to their back is DEFINITELY going to be registered SOMEWHERE with regards to life and limb regulations.

 

You don't get a free pass to carry around an m16 just because some time years ago you served in an armed forces group. 

 

The restrictions and means of indexing and managing who has what are definitely going to be in place.

 

You definitely don't get a free pass on blowing buildings up either. 

 

It seems reasonable that for a given amount of looking the other way, you would be expected to execute on requests from government associated with where you live.

That's where the "follow the same rules expected of the PPD" comes in. And of course there would be rules and regulations for whatever equipment a Hero uses, but those would be covered under their own laws. Also, the most punishment I've seen in-lore for a bad failure is in an Indigo mish, where Malta attempted ruin a Hero's career by blowing up a building, where I assumed the Hero would either just have their license revoked, or contacts simply wouldn't talk to them. Nothing ever pointed to anything close to "dereliction of duty", and the new Atlas arcs point out that there are Heroes who "hung up the cape", so to speak. Can the FBSA command them to do a task, as well? It also doesn't take into account alien Heroes from other planets or dimensions, volunteering their services.

 

Edit: Also, to be clear, I'm talking about Heroes who try their best to follow the rules. Now, for the Vigilante who decided to enganger lives by leaving the disease factory to go after the bad guy? Yeah, I can see the FBSA getting pissed and pressing endangerment charges. A Hero that, for whatever reason, came up short and likely nearly lost their own life in the process? Sorry, but "dereliction of duty" and being ordered around, I see as going too far.

Edited by Ritikesh

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