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Follow-Up AEs to the Skulls/Superadine Arc


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So, it had always bugged me that there was never an actual follow-up or conclusion to the Skulls stuff in Kings Row after Eagle Eye. The only other mention of the Petrovics happens in an entirely different arc, and you don't actually fight them. Instead, they are taken out offscreen.

So... I decided to put on the gauntlet and say "Fine, I'll do it myself" and created two AE arcs that continue the story with the Petrovics and (hopefully) give it a pretty satisfying conclusion to that entire arc. 

The first AE story arc is called "A Super Deadly Vendetta" which focuses on helping a hacker/oracle styled character named Emily Dallas who is looking to find and take down the leader of the Skulls, Veles, with your help. This takes place after the Superadine Ring and Lords of Death, but can be played at higher levels and even sort of gives an explanation to why you aren't using your full abilities in the first two missions if you're a higher level (since you do fight Trolls and Atta and there's no way to accurately recreate them so they can fit a higher level). The arc ID for this one is 33606.

The second AE story arc is called "The Mystery of Morana" which follows up the "A Super Deadly Vendetta" story arc by bringing back Eagle Eye, who informs you that the Skulls are after Emily now, while also diving deeper into who exactly Morana is from the Lords of Death arc. This one involves working with the Regulators for some missions, so if you're a low level, you may be kicked up to 40 for the stuff with Back Alley Brawler. This one is pretty dark as far as AEs go, but nothing that really goes against the Terms of Service set by the admins. The arc ID for this one is 43694.

 

Obviously these two aren't perfect due to AE's annoying restrictions, but I tried the best I could to wrap up the Superadine Ring/Lords of Death story arcs in a way that didn't feel too contrived. I'd possibly flesh some things out here and there or expand dialogue in some areas if I had the option to.

Some of these missions may be tough due to the custom made death dolls and death walkers, so it might be a good idea to play them with a friend or at +0x4 or lower. At least that was the case on my main, though I don't have an OP build, so you may have a different experience.

But yeah, the two of these were the best I could do with what I had to work with, and they were pretty fun to go through while testing them. Also open to feedback on how to improve either story if anyone has any suggestions. Both stories are meant more for pure hero characters rather than vigilantes, rogues, or villains.

Also go easy on me, because these two are technically the first AEs I've ever published.

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They're going on my To Do list.

 

*It's a bit long, that list!  But I'll get to them!

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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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I played these today.

 

Arc 1.

 

I have no real comments except that you should try to make the level range consistent. If this means that you have to make a few custom mobs (like Atta), or make the whole arc lower level, I think it would gain from it. However, after playing arc 2, I think your story could gain from showing off 'upgraded' and higher level Skulls and Trolls, as a new and more potent threat to Paragon City. So I would try to bring the arc up to whatever level seems reasonable. With the events going on in arc 2 I feel like this could be up there with Dark Astoria, and I would even suggest that you might tie your story in with those events.

 

Arc 2.

 

The first mission has us saving six different hostages, which are all named in the navbar. I would suggest using the navbar text so it says "X hostages left to save" or similar, and hides their names. If you make the text in the singular and plural text boxes identical, all of them will be displayed as the same objective in the navbar.

 

Another thing I noticed is that there are too many people called Emily in these stories. There's Emily Dallas, then Emily Edwards, and for a while I thought they might be the same person, but then Emily Edwards seemed to change name to Madison? I'm not sure what is going on there, or if I misunderstood something.

 

Now for the one that impressed me the most. In the hospital you have victims scattered all over the floors. I really, really wish to know what you are doing to make this happen without them standing up when you get too close. I haven't figured out what kind of objective to use for this purpose so if you could explain how you pulled that off, I'd be terribly happy.

 

The story makes a lot of sense and would work well for an introduction to Incarnate-level Skulls messing around in Dark Astoria or elsewhere. I liked it. For your first published arcs, these are great. My only real complaint, and it's a minor one, is the level range discrepancies.

 

Oh there was an empty clue in one of the missions of arc 2, it just said "Betrayal" as a title, and had no text.

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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 feedback! Unfortunately when it comes to the level discrepancies, it has a lot to do with needed characters being locked behind certain level walls, namely the Trolls and Back Alley Brawler. There's no way to recreate the Trolls in the AE character customization that doesn't feel weird and out of place because of how unique they look. Yeah, I could make one that is kind of like a pretend Atta, but that kinda feels like I'm being lazy there considering how much time and effort I put into Veles, Morana, and Chernobog. I don't wanna half-ass custom characters. That especially comes in terms with Atta, who is a very low level elite boss. I honestly wish they would unlock the level caps for the enemies. That's the main problem with the first arc, because the Trolls play some part in it and it wraps up Veles's stuff with Atta. And I've gotten more complaints from the level being lower due to a loss of skills. Plus it would make fights like the Superadine Veles a pain if you do it on AV solo.

Onto the second arc, let's talk about the hostages. So, AE has a ton of civillian characters but I can never just have random doctor or random female. If I pick random, sometimes a tattoo artist will appear, which I don't want to happen. And I didn't want every hostage to be a clone of another, that would get really boring for me really fast. But, I didn't know you could do that with the text, so thanks for the tip! I'll be making that change. 

There is only one Emily in the story that I know of, and that's Emily Dallas. I likely got Madison Edwards and Emily Dallas mixed up once, but the main focus is on Emily Dallas. Madison Edwards is the girl Morana is possessing. It's a quick fix, which I did as I type this.

The hospital scene was actually fairly simple. So, basically what I did was created a custom group called "Victims" and then added in some custom models alongside some police and security guard models into the custom group. The custom models have a sort of liquid effect on them that I colored red to simulate blood. From there, it was simply a matter of making 11 boss encounters, setting them ally so they don't get up and attack you, boss placement set to any, and set the enemy group difficulty to hard so that there's more than one on the floor. The animation in question is called "Dead Slab." Hope that helps!

Regarding Dark Astoria, while I've been there in-game, I'm not entirely familiar with everything going on there enough to have it all take place there, at least not as much as Kings Row and the surrounding areas. It's a neat idea, I just dunno if I'd be able to do it justice.

There's still some things to fix in the second arc here and there, but all things considered I think I did pretty well! I wanted it to be something all levels can enjoy, and I think what would help extremely is if the level caps on the enemies were removed from AE. So that lower levels don't get immediately destroyed by higher level stuff.

I am working on other AE's with (mostly) custom enemy types, so those shouldn't have any level discrepancies.

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55 minutes ago, Beaminator said:

The hospital scene was actually fairly simple. So, basically what I did was created a custom group called "Victims" and then added in some custom models alongside some police and security guard models into the custom group. The custom models have a sort of liquid effect on them that I colored red to simulate blood. From there, it was simply a matter of making 11 boss encounters, setting them ally so they don't get up and attack you, boss placement set to any, and set the enemy group difficulty to hard so that there's more than one on the floor. The animation in question is called "Dead Slab." Hope that helps!

 

Thanks, that's exactly what I needed! I wonder why I never got this to work... I think I must have tried all kinds of other variants but never stumbled upon this.

 

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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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  • 2 weeks later

I just played your arc. In my opinion, this one is more survivable than the first one. The first two missions are slow because my blasters have to play cat and mouse with Super Skulls. However, things get fast from the third mission onwards.


Also, I love seeing Elite Bosses fighting on my side. Seeing all three mowing down mobs of Skulls in the last mission was beautiful.


One more thing. In the hospital mission, all victims suddenly wake up, run straight to Morana, and start punching her once they are close enough. Somehow, Morena accidentally aggroed them.

 

Titanium by David Guetta plays in background:

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Edited by huang3721
typo
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If you are looking for some custom trolls and skulls for higher levels - this should jump start you.

 

 

Edited by Ankylosaur
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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: Praetorian Tech | All That Glimmers: Praetorian Magic | Arcs levels progress with story from 1 - 54
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@AnkylosaurYeah but the problem with the Trolls is just the fact I can't recreate the faces. Maybe it's just the perfectionist in me, but it would feel weird to do it that way.

@huang3721As for the bosses attacking the elite boss, unfortunately there's not much I can do about that. I'd have it to where it's just a conversation with the Morana manifestation but unfortunately that isn't an option. And yeah, I think one of the coolest things about the last mission in Mystery of Morana is actually getting to see the Regulators in action. Or at least what I would interpret they would be like, since it's hard to tell what Eagle Eye's skills are.

Devs, mind giving in-mission conversations maybe? Would make things a whole lot more interesting if possible 👀

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Some things that would definitely make my life easier and that could possibly be implemented if the devs are able to:
 

  • Unlocking level caps for enemies
  • adding in precise spawn points for allies/enemies/objectives
  • adding in a dialogue tree for characters in-mission that won't aggro other characters

I could do a whole lot better stuff with just the last one, since I'm working on missions with more custom enemies and allies that should be pretty fun.

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20 hours ago, Beaminator said:

Some things that would definitely make my life easier and that could possibly be implemented if the devs are able to:
 

  • Unlocking level caps for enemies
  • adding in precise spawn points for allies/enemies/objectives
  • adding in a dialogue tree for characters in-mission that won't aggro other characters

I could do a whole lot better stuff with just the last one, since I'm working on missions with more custom enemies and allies that should be pretty fun.

 

The level cap is somewhat mechanical. A mob that is designed to be challenging at level 20 is just not going to be challenging at level 50 if it has the exact same powersets. So unless they are planning on using Trolls at level 50 and want to make high level versions (like they did with any number of the mobs - look inside to see how they evolve) your only route is customs or forcing players to jump levels in an arc. To me, the former is the better end user experience. I think you will find most players are pretty accommodating about customs in AE so will overlook the faces.

 

Spawn points are such an ancient wish-list item we have to assume that its just not easy to implement.

 

There are some ways to do some creative things with escorts and conversations, but have their own quirks and limitations. Having an actual dialog type character in missions would be nice to have. 

 

 

Edited by Ankylosaur
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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: Praetorian Tech | All That Glimmers: Praetorian 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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