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Joule's Revenge - 42922

 

This arc tells the origin story of the author's character, Exquisite Joule, who is heir to the Wentworth fortune, and has a masters in international finance, and is a priestess in the Carnival of Light, and is a Marshal when she goes undercover in Arachnos, and... yeaaaaah, it's gonna be one of those arcs.

 

1) The "security director" tells us that the three Wentworth children have been kidnapped, so we head to the local mafia hangout for some pugilistic interrogation. It's a defeat all, but I'll forgive that because the map is small. The enemies are a custom group with about five or six types. (Nitpick: "Wiseguy Capo" is an oxymoron. Wiseguys are the street level soldiers, capos are the bosses.) Hmm, they have a stone obelisk? And Clockwork?

 

2) Now off to a warehouse to rescue the kids, who are being held by Praetorian Clockwork, and also by the "Carnival of Death", a custom group with about 6 members. We save the kids but one of them was grabbed as we left.

 

3) To some caves to rescue Juliet, and also read some books for some reason.

 

4) Now some time has passed, and Juliet has been trained and has a wide variety of mutant powers. We meet her in the Praetorian office map and punch the Don together. The map is about four times as big as needed, but it goes fast because as an EB Joule steamrolls through mobs.

 

5) And finally to some caves, where the player again joins Joule in pummeling the Carnival of Death boss. Another defeat all, but the map is small and Joule steamrolls through the trash mobs again.

 

From a mechanical standpoint, there's nothing really wrong with Joule's Revenge. There's a few minor spelling errors and the custom groups are missing descriptions, but nothing major. The issue is that this entire arc is a *blatant* ego-stroke. The author's character is rich and powerful and respected by everyone; we know this because the arc tells us so, repeatedly.

 

511685448_huhhuhhuh.jpg.bfa0ab2aefba6953dcd3b94430fdec46.jpg

 

This is not sort of thing you put in a random AE. The player of an AE wants their own character to shine; we do not want to be repeatedly hit over the head with how amazing your character is, or trail behind her for two missions as she wipes out everything. This is the sort of arc you play by all by yourself, while waiting for mommy to bring another plate of Hot Pockets down to the basement.

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On 8/22/2021 at 3:47 PM, Kyksie said:

Joule's Revenge - 42922

 

This arc tells the origin story of the author's character, Exquisite Joule, who is heir to the Wentworth fortune, and has a masters in international finance, and is a priestess in the Carnival of Light, and is a Marshal when she goes undercover in Arachnos, and... yeaaaaah, it's gonna be one of those arcs.

 

1) The "security director" tells us that the three Wentworth children have been kidnapped, so we head to the local mafia hangout for some pugilistic interrogation. It's a defeat all, but I'll forgive that because the map is small. The enemies are a custom group with about five or six types. (Nitpick: "Wiseguy Capo" is an oxymoron. Wiseguys are the street level soldiers, capos are the bosses.) Hmm, they have a stone obelisk? And Clockwork?

 

2) Now off to a warehouse to rescue the kids, who are being held by Praetorian Clockwork, and also by the "Carnival of Death", a custom group with about 6 members. We save the kids but one of them was grabbed as we left.

 

3) To some caves to rescue Juliet, and also read some books for some reason.

 

4) Now some time has passed, and Juliet has been trained and has a wide variety of mutant powers. We meet her in the Praetorian office map and punch the Don together. The map is about four times as big as needed, but it goes fast because as an EB Joule steamrolls through mobs.

 

5) And finally to some caves, where the player again joins Joule in pummeling the Carnival of Death boss. Another defeat all, but the map is small and Joule steamrolls through the trash mobs again.

 

From a mechanical standpoint, there's nothing really wrong with Joule's Revenge. There's a few minor spelling errors and the custom groups are missing descriptions, but nothing major. The issue is that this entire arc is a *blatant* ego-stroke. The author's character is rich and powerful and respected by everyone; we know this because the arc tells us so, repeatedly.

 

511685448_huhhuhhuh.jpg.bfa0ab2aefba6953dcd3b94430fdec46.jpg

 

This is not sort of thing you put in a random AE. The player of an AE wants their own character to shine; we do not want to be repeatedly hit over the head with how amazing your character is, or trail behind her for two missions as she wipes out everything. This is the sort of arc you play by all by yourself, while waiting for mommy to bring another plate of Hot Pockets down to the basement.

Now look, that last bit really isn’t necessary. And you wonder why people don’t respond to you( well, generally I know why, most either forgot about the arc or don’t care to give you the time of day). Give constructive feedback not just yelp like reviews. 
 

Also, you’re talking about them ego-stroking? Dude you have a whole thread about reviews and you’re no cranebump( sorry if I got your name wrong crane!). Hell you don’t even HAVE a story to review. Who are you to give any authoritative review on AE? Hell, even crane doesn’t really do that, they offer feedback to help the artist.
 

Now, this isn’t my arc obviously, I have 3 of my own for me to play through about my characters, not really written like this, but still.

 

Offer actually good feedback, people will respond more. Give it a go!

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Posted (edited)

Huh? Whaaaaat? What universe do you live in?

 

Go through the previous pages of this thread and search for the word "thanks". It comes up seven times. That's seven people thanking me for reviewing their arc. Now, go into the game and type "Kyksie" into the AE, and you'll find that I do in fact have a published arc. (actually two, but one is a joke)

 

If you're going to criticize someone in the future, at least get the basic facts straight.

Edited by Kyksie
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8 hours ago, Kyksie said:

Huh? Whaaaaat? What universe do you live in?

 

Go through the previous pages of this thread and search for the word "thanks". It comes up seven times. That's seven people thanking me for reviewing their arc. Now, go into the game and type "Kyksie" into the AE, and you'll find that I do in fact have a published arc. (actually two, but one is a joke)

 

If you're going to criticize someone in the future, at least get the basic facts straight.

Normally I do and most of what I said still stands. Okay you’ve got what? 7 people thanking you , I’ll concede on the hyperbole, but once again, this doesn’t give you the right of passage to be a jerk in you’re last review of that creator’s arc. 
 

Look, we’re trying to encourage others to write more here, not tear em down. I’d imagine with that last comment on that individual’s arc, they’d be less receptive to feedback. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Seed22 said:

Normally I do and most of what I said still stands. Okay you’ve got what? 7 people thanking you , I’ll concede on the hyperbole, but once again, this doesn’t give you the right of passage to be a jerk in you’re last review of that creator’s arc. 
 

Look, we’re trying to encourage others to write more here, not tear em down. I’d imagine with that last comment on that individual’s arc, they’d be less receptive to feedback. 

 

 

 

I think the review was good, overall.  I would say the last sentence was perhaps a tad too rough and the review would deliver the same information, in a more friendly manner, if it was excised from the post.

 

While I would have omitted that last bit, I entirely agree with the reviewers opinion.

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I think you can’t really take every speck of what Kyksie says 100% seriously (though If he says there’s time wasters, there likely are). He’ll point out the basic stuff (like missing custom critter descriptions, a lack of basic proofing, for example) that indicates a lack of basic, um, professionalism, for lack of a better term. But it sorta reads to me as part review, part entertaining banter. This is definitely evident in the review’s last paragraph, where there’s the legitimate criticism of using AE as a vanity exercise, juxtaposed with the snarky end comment about Hot Pockets. It’s fairly clear that was meant to be funny. Not sure I’d find it so if I were the author, but I do think that, if I publish something, I have to be ready to be skewered. Because rarely does anyone create something that everyone likes.

 

P.S. I appreciate the mention, above. I didn’t think anyone actually read my little reviews. If they’re helpful, I’ll try to do more of them.

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Looking for SFMA content over multiple arcs? Search for the following arcs under "cranebump."

Ordinary People [3 parts] Investigation of a series of thefts leads you deep into a vengeful plot that threatens all of Paragon City. Will you and Kings Row's "ordinary" heroes be able to stop it? Leviathan [5 parts] The  assassination of a local politician with national aspirations sets off a media frenzy among everyone's favorite reactionary network, NewsAnon. Among their targets? You. The Cage Series [3 parts]: The Iron Widow is back! Or...is she? Your vigilante philosophy is put to the test in this tale of shifting loyalties and outright deceit. The Port Oakes TF [2 parts] Enos Childs is calling on Villains like you to join his glorious quest to drive Arachnos out of the Rogue Isles. One Shots:  Of Guns and Asa Ronan; The Tenuous State of Grace; Garden of the Will; Gravity; The Book of Bond's

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3 hours ago, Kyksie said:

Gravity - 42775

 

It's really good.

No need to look any further people. Everybody move along. Everybody move along. 🙂

 

(I’ll TAKE it!)

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Looking for SFMA content over multiple arcs? Search for the following arcs under "cranebump."

Ordinary People [3 parts] Investigation of a series of thefts leads you deep into a vengeful plot that threatens all of Paragon City. Will you and Kings Row's "ordinary" heroes be able to stop it? Leviathan [5 parts] The  assassination of a local politician with national aspirations sets off a media frenzy among everyone's favorite reactionary network, NewsAnon. Among their targets? You. The Cage Series [3 parts]: The Iron Widow is back! Or...is she? Your vigilante philosophy is put to the test in this tale of shifting loyalties and outright deceit. The Port Oakes TF [2 parts] Enos Childs is calling on Villains like you to join his glorious quest to drive Arachnos out of the Rogue Isles. One Shots:  Of Guns and Asa Ronan; The Tenuous State of Grace; Garden of the Will; Gravity; The Book of Bond's

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45 minutes ago, cranebump said:

No need to look any further people. Everybody move along. Everybody move along. 🙂

 

(I’ll TAKE it!)

He's right though. It is really good.

AE SFMA Arcs: The Meteors (Arc id 42079)Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part One. (Arc id 26756) | Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part Two. (Arc id 26952) | Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part Three. (Arc id 27233) Darker Deeds: Part One (Arc id 28374) | Darker Deeds: Part Two. (Arc id 28536) | Darker Deeds: Part Three. (Arc id 29252) | Darkest Before Dawn: Part One (Arc id 29891) |

Darkest Before Dawn: Part Two (Arc id 30210) | Darkest Before Dawn: Part Three (Arc id 30560) |

 Bridge of Forever ( Arc id 36642)* | The Cassini Division (Arc id 37104)* | The House of Gaunt Saints (Arc id 37489)*The Spark of the Blind (Arc id 40403)* | Damnatio Memoriae (Arc id 41140)* The Eve of War (Arc id 41583)*

I Sing of Arms and the Man (Arc id 42617)* | Three Sisters (Arc id 43013)*

(*Pre War Praetorian Loyalist. * Pre War Praetorian Resistance.. * Pre ITF Cimerora. * Post ITF Cimerora. Dev Choice/Hall of Fame )

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  • 3 weeks later

Cage Match  - 43425

 

Kathryn Walker was a middle child, sandwiched between two overachieving brothers in a bright, shiny suburb of Providence, her adolescence a whirl of soccer practice and backyard parties. At eighteen, she didn't enroll so much as wander into Providence Rhode Island Community College, with a major in partying and a minor in binge drinking. Far too many of her nights were spent in a drunken haze at the fraternities and sororities at neighboring Paragon U.

 

One evening, following an incident at the Advanced Physics department involving an irrational particle accelerator, a few joints, and a pair of purple hair scrunchies, Kathryn woke up with purple skin, hair and glowing purple eyes.  The precise details are not important because no one has ever managed to duplicate the exact circumstances under which it happened, and many people have ended up looking very silly, or dead, or both, trying.

 

Soon after, she discovered that she could generate 'purple energy' from her hands, eyes and other parts. The scientists at SERAPH ran a few tests, then shrugged. Discovering a wholly new form of energy was old hat to them, and stories about lab accidents happened every day.

 

With few career paths open to Purple People, Kathryn registered as a hero, taking the name "Purple Lovin'" at the suggestion of the registry clerk, who had partied with her at PRICC earlier that month. Able to use Purple Energy to both protect her and knock out foes, she rose quickly in Security Levels. One day, she joined Kyksie on a task force for Penelope Yin. Kyksie was taken by how intently she attacked the Freaks and Council, more so by how she attacked several Long island Iced Teas at the bar afterwards.

 

"So..." Purple burped, wiping her chin with the back of her robe, "Those Council guys were Nazis? Like really Nazis?"

 

"That's right." Kyksie sipped a tall veggie shake. "Straight from the second world war."

 

"Like the guys who burn stacks of tires down in King's Row?"

 

"No, those are neo-Nazis. They came later."

 

"The original Nazis didn't burn tires and drink Natty Light?"

 

"Yeah. No. Whatever."

 

"They did?"

 

"I, uh..." Having reached the end of her shake, Kyksie looks around Capetini's, hoping to find a distraction. "Yeah. I guess."

 

"And those 'Freakshow' guys. They really cut off their own hands and replaced them with hammers and buzzsaws?"

 

"Yep."

 

"That must be kinda hard at times."

 

"You don't say."

 

"Like when they have to go pee. How do-"

 

"Right. Pee. Is what I have to do. Now." Hopping off the stool, Kyksie fished a twenty from the back pocket of her gi, pushed it across the bar and headed for the door.

 

"The restroom is over th-"

 

"Weren't you briefed? Heroes always do it from the rooftops. Just ask Batman." Kyksie slipped out the side door and super-leaped into the warm September evening, desperate to escape Purple's vortex of stupidity. She certainly wasn't the first person to worry that the power of a small nuclear reactor was in the hands of Paragon's biggest ditz.

 

The two didn't cross paths for several months, until last week, when Kyksie got a call from Iron Widow requesting her aid on a weekend in which she was already double booked. Stoner Dude was busy, Guy Montag wouldn't answer his texts, and Mystress Yiffstress was on a weekend retreat with the League of Extraordinary Yiffers. Sighing, Kyksie thumbed her phone and called the name at the very bottom of the list.

 

purpy.jpg.00aa2782eab936a5bd6d2a6a852155a8.jpg

 

 

So the contact is this "Iron Widow", and she starts out by telling me there's more to being a hero than "doing the right thing". Well, duh! I didn't get to be security level 50 without knowing a few things, you know. Being a hero means talking to your contact, blasting the badguys, then finding a new contact. That's three things right there. Oh, and free drinks afterward! At least at Pocket D. Those fuddy-duddies down at the Rusty Rivet keep shutting me down after four. Pfffft.

 

Anyway, this Iron Widow says we're going after Kirk Cage. I saw him on Fox News a few times, something about strikers and fair working conditions, whatever. I think he's rich or something. But anyway, this Widow person doesn't send me to blast Cage, I have to free some allies, Sea Witch and Spinnerette, and there's already an ally named Kazan there. So why do we need more? I dunno.

 

Then we go rescue Cage's daughter Crash from the Circle of Thorns. Apparently she's angry at her father and because of that has been hanging around mages learning magic and grafting coral to her hands. I try to tell her that wearing black and promiscuous sex are easier ways to rebel, but she just shrugs.

 

Now we have to go pick up one Vinny Dubowski.  We went to a huge cargo ship, blast a few guys and find Vinny, playing poker with a few deckhands across a cargo crate.

 

"Hi! I'm Purple Lovin'. I'm here to rescue you! Or kidnap you."

 

"Which one?"

 

"I forget."

 

Vinny shrugs. "Get back to me when you remember."

 

"Okay."

 

I spend a few minutes thinking, then come to a realization. "But, either way, you come with me, right? So it doesn't really matter which one."

 

"Good point," Vinnie burps. He gets up and begins following me back across the ship. But then- get this- in an access corridor halfway through, he spies a loop of pipe protruding from the wall and jumps across the pipe and lodges himself in the space between it and the wall!

 

"A-ha!" Vincent shouts triumphantly. "I'm going to stand right here and not move!"

 

vinny.jpg.c87da9617f5df6051a9cec25a3f5aeed.jpg

 

"You can't do that!"

 

"Yes I can."

 

"No you can't!"

 

"I just did."

 

I tried running up the corridor, then back down. Then back the other way, then back again. Then I hovered in the air for a while, then, after an intense burst of thought, went back down the corridor the first way while still hovering. Nothing! Then I tried holding my breath, then bribing Vinny with a half-eaten Payday bar in my back pocket. He just wouldn't move! Grrrr! So finally I just flew outside the ship, perched on the bow and smoked a joint. Twenty-five minutes later, the mission timer ran out, and suddenly we were both standing in the secret hideout.

 

"How'ja do that?" Vinny sputtered.

 

"Ancient Oriental secret." Heck, I have no idea.

 

Then we kidnap Cage's wife... or was that a rescue? No, that was totally a kidnap. But then things go bad and we have to blast some guys, which I totally do, cuz blasting stuff is what I'm best at! That's what all the trainers say. Cage got away, and Widow says it wasn't about him, but at least I get paid, so off to Pocket D!

 

Anyway, Cage Match was a fun mission with lots of clues and people to blast. The only downer is when you're rescuing that guy... or kidnapping him? Whatever. And he just stands there in the pipe. Anyway, what was that Kyksie said about rooftops? I'll have to try that.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Kyksie
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  • 2 weeks later
Posted (edited)


A Super Deadly Vendetta - 33696

 

This is nice, with a very well written contact named Emily Dallas as a sort of hacker girl who has a grudge against the Skulls; the arc fits in very well with the canon missions. The player fights against a custom group of Skulls, which allow the character to play this at level 30 instead of the usual 20 for Skulls. There are even "Super Skulls" as tough bosses (missing an opportunity for a pun on "Super Skrull", but eh.) Emily's dialog is excellent throughout.

 

The problem here is the difficulty. The player faces Deadlock, then Veles as an EB, then Veles again. The first two fights are very hard, with the player reduced to level 30 and the mobs summoning ambush waves. The final fight has Veles as a fully powered Dark Melee/something, which gives him a fear attack and a powerful life drain attack, and all his attacks debuff accuracy. I was unable to beat him twice despite a big handful of inspirations each time. Hilariously, the arc sendoff said to play this with archvillains on for a "more accurate" playthrough.

 

Once again, people... be careful putting EBs in, doubly so if the player is reduced in level, and don't just add ambush waves willy-nilly.


There's also a sequel called "The Mystery of Morana", which has a pretty good plot that I won't spoil here. It was also hard, although not quite as hard as the previous one.

 


Strange Signals: Radio Liberty  - 43693

 

This has an interesting premise; the player stumbles on a radio playing music by D.J. Donnerblitzen or something, and in between songs he plays resistance chatter from another dimension, kinda like Man in the High Castle, except that the player can do something about it by heading off to punch Nazis. It's a fun idea that works well. However, the writing is... bad. Really bad. I'm going to be charitable and assume it was done in a hurry; after a few review passes, this could be pretty good.

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User Unreachable - 44217

 

The contact is named Lukas, who tells you that his friend Gina has become stuck in a virtual reality, except that this time it's some kind of pocket dimension or something, and it's malfunctioning, so you need to go in and get her out. This is a bit of a cliche, but oh well. We hop in and punch some mobs from a custom group called "prototypes" who are training dummies or something. Then, we need to go clear her browser history or something. There's a pretty tough EB here, but the posting for the arc gave fair warning, so I brought a powerful Widow and was able to beat him without much effort.

 

Now I need to go update her user permissions or something, I dunno. The mission has a five minute timer, which would normally be a no-no, but the map is very small. I stealth over to the glowie and...

 

WTF? The time for the interact bar is ninety-nine seconds. Remember how time-wasters are my biggest pet peeve? Yeah. Don't do this. And then, after the timer bar finally ticks down... Sorry, your file is in another glowie. I find another and make with the clicking... another ninety-nine seconds, making it impossible to finish in the allotted five minutes. Mission failed.

 

But Lukas found a backup file in the pocket of her jeggings, so now I need to go back and restore her Apache Subversion files... hell, I have no idea at this point. Back in, and... oh joy, it's a defeat all, with an escort and two defends thrown in. I start slogging through the mobs, rescue Gina, defeat the EB boss again and... the mission abruptly fails with no explanation.

 

User Unreachable sucks. I have no problems with challenging mobs when warned about them, but when you take multiple egregious time wasters, add an unwinnable mission, and layer it on top of a cliched story, you get a big pile of poo.

 

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A few comment on this review:

 

11 hours ago, Kyksie said:

I dunno. The mission has a five minute timer, which would normally be a no-no, but the map is very small. I stealth over to the glowie and...

 

. . .you failed the mission because you have no idea what you were doing. I've included a few clues on my thread for those unable to read the in-game clues tab.

 

11 hours ago, Kyksie said:

I start slogging through the mobs, rescue Gina, defeat the EB boss again and... the mission abruptly fails with no explanation.

 

Typical rookie mistakes are abandoning a defendable object before clearing the final ambush and getting confused when a critter finally destroys it. The result is another mission failure. 

 

You didn't read the clues, clearly didn't complete the optional objectives, and made a silly mistake. Now you call my ae "poo" because of your shortcomings? I admit the story itself is cliché, but come on, man! You could do better than this.

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1 hour ago, huang3721 said:

A few comment on this review:

 

 

. . .you failed the mission because you have no idea what you were doing. I've included a few clues on my thread for those unable to read the in-game clues tab.

 

 

Typical rookie mistakes are abandoning a defendable object before clearing the final ambush and getting confused when a critter finally destroys it. The result is another mission failure. 

 

You didn't read the clues, clearly didn't complete the optional objectives, and made a silly mistake. Now you call my ae "poo" because of your shortcomings? I admit the story itself is cliché, but come on, man! You could do better than this.

 

Well...out of curiosity, I played this. And here's what I think.

 

Kyksie's right about M3. Full stop.

 

Other stuff:

Timers are uniformly long and slow (and not just this mish, either, though this one is heinously long, and obviously geared to make me fail). 

 

Case in point? In M2 (not M3), I clicked on one, hopped to a separate window to type the sentence, above, and when I got back, it was still counting down.

 

As for M3: Screw this mission. I clicked on a Rikti computer, since those ostensibly contain what I need (I assume).  And here I am, typing what you're reading right now, waiting, hoping I got the right one.

 

Well, I DID summon an Elite Ambish, which basically cleaned my clock, despite me popping Insps and everything. 

 

So, here's my inescapable conslusion: you made me stand around for nearly 2 minutes, then ambushed me with a very tough mob, just so I would die. I therefore stood outside and let the timer wind down. I guess I learned my lesson. And, yes, I did reread your clues - not for long, though, because I only had 5 minutes to actually get into and complete the mission - LESS, when you count the ridiculous use of timers. My suggestion is to reduce the timer length. If this hurts your soul for some reason, increase the timer to at least 10 minutes, especially if it's a tough mob, and you'd like me to go back in if I faceplant (or maybe just so I have time to review the previous clues, as you suggest). Otherwise, I'm just going to stand outside and wait (while you, no doubt, blame me for my own demise, as you did Kyksie, above).

 

M4 (finale)

I got END drained and KB'ed constantly. Defended one of the mainframes, but not the other. Mish failed, and that was it - because I could not get back in there to save the 2nd mainframe. Btw, I was running an exemplared L50 with loads of IO sets and a ton of Insps. It's not like I had a chump toon. Plus, I know how to run blasters (especially this one). For this one, I'd limit it to one mainframe. You want to keep the ambushes and everything, I think that's fine. But you did this to me twice, and, frankly, I'm not sure why. It felt like it a bit anti-player.

 

Verdict:

I don't have any issues with your main idea. The elements are competently executed. You know what you're doing with AE. However, you seemed out to make sure I failed, which I inevitably did. And in such a way that I don't want to try again, because I know the deck is stacked against me. It's player-unfriendly there, as is. I can't imagine how I'd fare with a L20. Maybe it would be easier, I dunno. Main thing was all the END-sapping, coupled with KB. And I was popping large Def and DR Insps - against normal mobs. 

 

Beyond that, I'll add this: your response, above, is a primer in how not to take criticism (you complained that Kyks didn't complete your optional objectives, which evidently means they shouldn't be optional, thereby making that your fault, not his). You disagree with the commentary about your premise, well and good. Premise is subjective. But when you get told by the reviewer who's #1 thing is time wasters that you have time wasters, you should sit up and take notice. That's a mechanical thing that you have control over that inhibits enjoyment of your arc. I'm a REALLY nice reviewer, and I did not like M3 AT ALL. The long timer ruins any chance I have of bouncing back if I screw up. It's punitive. Put M4 on top of that, and I'm left with a sour taste at the end. Which is too bad, because the overall execution of it is clean and competent (though I don't like being so directly coached on how to play it - I'd rather get hints from the contact or something, so it least it looks organic). 

 

As for criticism, take what you can use from it, and move on. None of us is perfect. I've had some comments about my material that I didn't like and/or didn't agree with at first. I've found, though, that when someone bothers to comment on something I designed, and points out a flaw, they're almost always correct in their assessment (or at least they have a point). Anytime you put something in the public sphere, you have to resolve yourself to not blaming the audience if they don't respond the way you thought they should. As the writer, it's my fault if what I want to happened didn't. Just saying "the audience didn't get it," or some such, is an ego-driven waste of time, and a barrier to improvement.

 

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to write the mish. I'd do a bit of work on it, were it mine. Either way, keep on scripting. Original content is always welcome.

 

Crane

Edited by cranebump
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Looking for SFMA content over multiple arcs? Search for the following arcs under "cranebump."

Ordinary People [3 parts] Investigation of a series of thefts leads you deep into a vengeful plot that threatens all of Paragon City. Will you and Kings Row's "ordinary" heroes be able to stop it? Leviathan [5 parts] The  assassination of a local politician with national aspirations sets off a media frenzy among everyone's favorite reactionary network, NewsAnon. Among their targets? You. The Cage Series [3 parts]: The Iron Widow is back! Or...is she? Your vigilante philosophy is put to the test in this tale of shifting loyalties and outright deceit. The Port Oakes TF [2 parts] Enos Childs is calling on Villains like you to join his glorious quest to drive Arachnos out of the Rogue Isles. One Shots:  Of Guns and Asa Ronan; The Tenuous State of Grace; Garden of the Will; Gravity; The Book of Bond's

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I made the challenge too hard. Sorry about those minions.

 

7 hours ago, cranebump said:

Case in point? In M2 (not M3), I clicked on one, hopped to a separate window to type the sentence, above, and when I got back, it was still counting down.

I set the timers between 10-15 seconds. If that is too long, I can reset it to 4 seconds, or even zero seconds. Interestingly, additional 11 seconds for collectibles can make a small map mission into a time-waster.  

 

M3

I decided not to limit the M3 to 10 minutes because I was afraid of giving false hope. In a worst-case solo brute force scenario, someone could enter M3 with no inspiration and had to run the cycle multiple times. (ambushed, defeated, bought inspiration, killed their ambushers, triggered the ambush again, and so on). People complained about failing a five minutes mission and called it time waster. Imagine going to the hospital multiple times for ten minutes only to fail the mission.

 

I wish for an "I messed this mission; please let me skip it now" button.

 

M4

I think it's OK to reduce it to one mainframe if the minions are too challenging. Still, it won't help if someone prematurely abandons it, as Kyksie did earlier.

 

My mistake is not giving enough information that M3 is a puzzle mission.  It's deliberately hard, and you are not expected to succeed on your first try. Kyksie didn't understand it, and he resorts to brute force. It's still OK. However, complaining that a brute force method wastes time is weird. Brute force takes a lot of time.


It is a poor attitude to call a mission unwinnable because the reviewer made too many mistakes while playing it. The forum is a two-way communication venue. I can object to that review. 

 

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I suppose we can chalk this up to a lack of communication. The arc was advertised as a challenge arc, wherein one is pitted against tough mobs, so I came in expecting to succeed by hammering through with a powerful character. If the arc advertisement had said "If you click the wrong glowie you will fail" I would have been prepared for that.

 

Nonetheless, I stand by what I said earlier. Forcing the player to stand around and do nothing for 99 seconds is not acceptable under any circumstances.

 

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Match Point - 44239


What can I say... another masterful AE from one of the great ones. Six months after being betrayed in their quest to bring down Kirk Cage, the player has finally pieced together enough clues to take action. First you track down Malloy and have a little talk while dodging kill squads, then infiltrate yet another Mafia pasta-eating contest for some pugilistic interrogation. Then you track down and clobber Protean, for whom the author wisely used a custom NPC, and not the in-game Protean, who has an obscenely powerful end drain which makes him almost impossible to solo.

 

Then the player meets up with a really well done NPC named Juan Jiminez, the "Devil of King's Row". I think he's an original character, I can't recall seeing him ingame. We bust into a warehouse and blow up some trucks. It's a defeat all, but the map is small and it fits in with the plot ("leave no witnesses"). Amusingly, one of the trucks was on top of a shipping crate. Finally, we track down and clobber the guy responsible, who has a plausible background and motivation, a nod to Marvel's Daredevil.

 

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Yet another great arc, with top-notch writing, tons of clues and details, and no time wasters. Go play it.

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Agh! That GD truck! I ran that with 2 other maps, which I exchanged for the map I finally used, then tested it multiple times for that stupid truck in the air spawn. Didn’t happen so I thought, “Good-finally got it.” But noooooooi!:-) (it is funny though)

 

(and yeah it’s Daredevil all over it. And KRD is a nod to vanity-I used Juan in Ordinary People. Then I drew up an AR/TA blaster who is one of my Incarnates now. Juan is actually in the KR zone (I think on a rooftop not far from WW’s) and his official NPC backstory (which I pasted straight out of the wiki), plus my use of him in Ordinary People, I felt, allowed me to push his story forward a bit (to fit with my running of him as one of my PCs). Beyond that, What can I say? I like callbacks.:-)) thanks for the run and the kind words.

Edited by cranebump

Looking for SFMA content over multiple arcs? Search for the following arcs under "cranebump."

Ordinary People [3 parts] Investigation of a series of thefts leads you deep into a vengeful plot that threatens all of Paragon City. Will you and Kings Row's "ordinary" heroes be able to stop it? Leviathan [5 parts] The  assassination of a local politician with national aspirations sets off a media frenzy among everyone's favorite reactionary network, NewsAnon. Among their targets? You. The Cage Series [3 parts]: The Iron Widow is back! Or...is she? Your vigilante philosophy is put to the test in this tale of shifting loyalties and outright deceit. The Port Oakes TF [2 parts] Enos Childs is calling on Villains like you to join his glorious quest to drive Arachnos out of the Rogue Isles. One Shots:  Of Guns and Asa Ronan; The Tenuous State of Grace; Garden of the Will; Gravity; The Book of Bond's

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  • 2 weeks later

More Tsoo Shenanigans - 44446


The contact is Azuria (her bio pokes fun at how she loses stuff) who tells the player she's been having disturbing visions regarding the Hellions. Kyksie is booked cutting the ribbon at the new Woodvale branch of Paragon Pizza Pie ("We gave Hami an offer he couldn't refuse!") so she phones yet another of her associates...

 

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So, this chick Azuria can hook me up? Sweet. She gives me the address where Some Hellions are dealing, but instead of regular Hellions, it's a custom group, "Defeated Hellions". Except they're not really defeated, they attack me instead of showing me the goods. The boss, Hellflame, tells be the Tsoo already came and bogarted their stash. So Azuria gives me another address, and I go punch more Hellions, and some Tsoo are there too so I punch them. Except that I can see right through the Tsoo! This is good stuff.

 

But now we need to find out where the Hellions keep their stash, so I sneak into a warehouse and smear lipstick on some crates or something. Then we find that they loaded the goods onto a cargo ship, so we head out to the docks and punch more dudes. I need to find a tracking beacon that's hidden in a body bag, but it's nowhere to be found. I look in every last place, finally scouring the concrete floor of the drydock...

 

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...wait, what's that...

 

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The bag is invisible... until it isn't. This is, like, really good stuff.

 

Finally, the Hellions are doing some Real Bad Things, so I bust into (wait for it) a warehouse, smash some obelisks, punch some Hellions and eat their Doritos. The day is saved, I guess. Azuria wants me to stay and debrief, but I have to catch the monorail to Skyway before the El Super Mexicano closes and Hector goes home.

 

Edited by Kyksie
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  • 3 weeks later

The War on Crush - 44506

 

A nice quick arc - a detective has discovered that a variant of fixadine called "Crush" has made its way to Kallisti wharf, so we make with the punching. There's a few EBs but they aren't hard. Custom mobs, many clues, fun mob chatter, this arc covers all the bases.

 

 

The Flames of Corruption, Chapter One - 44601

 

Agent Brown tells you that Hellion activity is on the rise, so the player hops in and rescues several low level heroes, who are lovingly written with great costumes and bios. Investigating further, the player discovers that a new breed of Hellions are doing Bad Things, so we punch them. Again, there are EBs but not hard. Personally I enjoy self-contained stories so I probably won't be reviewing the 83 other arcs in the series, but still this one is very good.

 

 

Working With the Enemy - 44554

 

Didn't play: even at only 5 seconds, 45 glowies in one mission is too time wastey. The writing is good and the author does warn the player in advance, so I can't really complain. I suppose this might be worthwhile if the player is playing CoX for the purpose of killing time, which seems to be the case for many people.

 

 

The Gathering Storm - 44641

 

The player is an up and coming henchman working for "The Conquering Storm", helping him take over the world, muuuah ha ha ha!!! You trap and defeat his enemy, Mighty Mega Mind; there's a cool gimmick where you free some dudes from his mind control and they help you. Then he sends you to aquire the Secret Weapon, which is only referred to as "the Secret Weapon". You decide to betray Conquering Storm and use the Secret Weapon to conquer the world yourself or something.

 

Playing this arc I almost got the idea that it was written by a child. There's a few spelling errors and odd grammar, but above all that it's written with a bright enthusiasm that's genuinely fun to read. The villain actually says "Muuu ha ha ha ha!!" unironically. If this actually was written by the author's 13 year old cousin, congrats, great work!

 


The Grand Bank Tour - 44842

 

You go into a bank map, defeat one or two bosses, click a glowie, then walk back to the exit. Repeat four more times.

 

 

Steamed Hams But It's An AE Story - 44843

 

Yep, it's the Simpson's 'steamed hams' gag in AE form. There's basically just one joke, but it's done well, although we could have done without the defeat all in the final mission.

 

 

Edited by Kyksie
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  • 3 weeks later

Kelly Kane - The Making of a Hero - 41555

 


Welcome back, True Believers! Kyksie is busy helping Portal Corp thwart the Praetorian version of Starbucks's plans to open a branch in Founder's Falls, so this week's AE reviewing duties fall to Paragon's ditziest superhero, Purple Lovin'. Just don't let her hear you say that, because then you'll spend ten minutes explaining what 'ditzy' means, then another ten minutes explaining how the monorail always comes back to where it began even though it only travels on one direction.

 

Hi gang! Purple Lovin' here. Kyksie was busy again this weekend, so she asked me to review a few AE arcs. The contact for the arc is "Your Super High Tech Computer", which I guess is something the big heroes have. Pfft. Me, I have to wait for Mynx or Penny to send me updates on my phone. At least I can play Candy Crush while I'm waiting.

 

Anyway, as soon as I figured out how to log in (why won't it let me use 'PASSW0RD' as a password?) the computer sends me an e-vite from Lou Tefner, head of the Paragon Playmate empire, inviting me to a playmate party at his mansion. Yaaaaay, open bar! I arrive at the mansion fashionably early, grab a Long Island Iced Tea, and start chatting with the bikini clad Playmates and shirtless PlayGal Men. (the whole arc is PG-13 at most, nothing really naughty). But then some Skulls bust in and kidnap some people, so I zap them, but they stole some jewels or something.

 

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Then, former Playmate Kelly Kane appears on the Crime Computer and tells me that some of the supermodels are robbing a jewelry store, so I head in and zap them. Clues lead me to a party, where I find out some Freaks had kidnapped the models, led by sleazy producer Lamont Bannon. Bannon smiles at me, but I sigh and remind him once again that I only did it because I needed the money that one time. Further clues take me to a TV studio, then to a warehouse, where I'm joined by Kelly, who has now become a hero under the name "Techno-Bunny". We clobber a Carnival of Shadows EB, free her model friends, and head back to the party for more drinks.

 

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This is a top-notch arc, with great writing and lots of details. There are dozens of custom NPC, all with bios and individually done costumes. It does come across as a bit of a vanity piece- I'm assuming Techno Bunny is one of the author's characters- but I can forgive it because the player isn't bludgeoned over the head by how amazing she is. My only gripe is a few difficulty spikes. The final boss is an EB who summons ambush waves, which required my 32 Brute to eat a handful of pills to beat.

 

 

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On 11/23/2021 at 9:35 PM, Kyksie said:

Kelly

Kane - The Making of a Hero - 41555

...

This is a top-notch arc, with great writing and lots of details. There are dozens of custom NPC, all with bios and individually done costumes. It does come across as a bit of a vanity piece- I'm assuming Techno Bunny is one of the author's characters- but I can forgive it because the player isn't bludgeoned over the head by how amazing she is. My only gripe is a few difficulty spikes. The final boss is an EB who summons ambush waves, which required my 32 Brute to eat a handful of pills to beat.

 

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for taking the time to run through the first arc in my series.  And thanks for the great compliment and feedback! 🙂  And yes, Techno-Bunny is a character of mine, and I hate typical vanity pieces too - so I tried to keep the player the center of the action and make them the one to influence her growth.  There is PvE content where we do similar, so tried to emulate that.  (And I tried to carry that on into arc 2 and 3 and as well.  I hope you try them too - would love to read your review / feedback on them as well.)

 

And yes, the final fight, you may need to chew some inspirations if you're solo, but that's why they are given in the game - and it's also why I give you a "helper" for that last boss fight.  Otherwise, the fight gets dumbed down and isn't as climactic as it should be.  

Edited by Frozen Burn
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