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UtRR's: NOV 2021: Works in various states (and a holiday extravaganza!)


cranebump
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Annnnd…we’re BACK! Josh Jones is, that is. This turkey is just in time for turkeys! Er…and stuff.

RSofnKmLDl7CaALStohmw4JLO97xFPbQZiLwgBX_rSxhkO92tESthv7bneJQ6xRU_Ng9xqly1nG27LeVy75JJAjUWAX9-laxAU2Mlyx3DybKM3P47h7ankC1xnB9U22P1BdA_C44

Hey…why ain’t you groovin’ with me, friend?


 

The basics: So we’re at L10 (AR/WP Sent) in my exclusive, monthly AE romp. Since Dec is a birthday month for ol’ Crane here, thought I’d do some quick hits (arcs of 3 mishes or less). Also grants me a backload of reviews, just in case I overcelebrate next month and forget what’s whut.:-)

 

Let’s start with this short-short from this proven stalwart:

q-AkS6wSzHCRSe1TdcsdX9kaOlxmo68U4ZjpODLg5-eSaKaHK7iTIPgvaMcM5tOh_qvBB45oeh1ai1SrHM7bgzPTq49OK6lDtC5J3jdg6_w1DMIrX2wj0MP3XCFLXD3GyLEsceyR

mXP9bW5NKltzRiY9vfDUkZHG4zOAyRiWYXExmfkWKFZHh65ezwjHFgF9KCzeSHJRldiatU0qJc1lIh_dq4R4Q9LKgE38piLZ1Zg54EolCqYk9IXsoTeQX-e4Z5lMTlPzS2hW-q5l

It’s a L15-20, which is above our own current power, but what the heydee-ho. Let’s give it a go!

 

Our contact is an old fav:

DVcAvBQqR0b8jkPnnd-FpuKDEp1Bn6r9_iSq3V_ZhVVhiIPWEWvKmOtjclfIS4ebDbgRjntiZHAqDS59Z4vI4U3yjioc2YBGmvWF0R8HiDrV-qnJMAaMiZlBxNemOEqx_2DomGSJ

Will I be your yang? You betcha! Or something…Btw I can do stuff with my arms too, kemosabe.

 

M1:

Penny’s in trouble! (fancy that). And clocks are involved! (ya don’t say):-)

 

So in we go annnnd:

dr1D2D4xwLdR222pae8xeh9ZnADMSNTuo2Du8MSKQv9zIDAUTBbJ4zRHpFOA-gD_KCx7bmxkfbU6feODeiKlKbhtB2DOVdR_9Vdxbm-2dUPjbBXq1F04cATmpVP0jDgh7gULwY_Z

You’re not clockwork…(and har-har-har, spider face)

 

So I take a few pot shots and…

OiBeRVQOE9vGkpZuAfRUX-7tSCI1H1QCy7sZvfOxFJ8WqBtNDwU9NtvKVnKvB217EkYp7KMhFLDcfik82aokiFXDLJ2J6yMShvUySLKW8DXcJx2KhlNxPvPyGmMwDydhRmzGm_nc

Sheesh…they want that statue, don’t they?

 

A little further in…

oCc_ODL9P5r5ch7VyIOd6qcB-oT5CAxIQq4q1ImG4mQsrH1B3hqz_ktm4EC7r018vEQuHCFXLWFca331yzm7MO3gczhlKrNaLlnUaJHQMzp56fNcrEjMy9MiQCW3z7ZdfZBttfl9

Take that, Dark Knight! Or whatever!

 

IIgrdUpO-Xpb9TMVyYBv3mt2TVWV6kV2vrMHLC3mrzHO_jYmxeUlHD3InYJXXEzaBV3AA1D4LDIW4ZrQMp4Q2bpLk5S_V3mrtAdnEeQpeNzTsVOhDd4U4QplvuJ50528RRHeS2pKj

I sense you might know something…

 

So Dread tells me "Yo…we don’t even know who Penny is. Those stinky Lost have her. Want a sammie?

(okay, he doesn’t say it in quite that way, but this is how Josh hears things…it’s a gift, I know).

 

M2

So, Mr. Y sez, Hmmmm, well, okay. Here’s a map. Once received, we finally confirm what we’ve known all along:

hCKlQSZ2S_mdAtJNpN-cBzkonFLyf3FqS6SJulA56xnb0L8D352-FJr2lKeSy1k3sI8EmZ8poZei1dsyV0oIXuT3PKPDH_J7PBdOG6KwzqiJ8JXmQOvw_cgP7eraM_ZrpsaFR29m

Yep…Clocks have no artistic talent.:-)

 

So off we go!

 

OgvBTowWv-1Zd8bwJMA532etIDG_e-QDQxteLlG6gfrAto07IzKxZqhZ5dTpwazstcMMxWfRL-RViNc7--MeyIgYOhHud6Ca2N2Q3ChfGSA8XP5Jhm2neIh1gGR4bqfHoNX4EeZI

Hmmm…there’s an objective I’ve never seen.:-)

 

No Penelope YIN, but:

Fy4OAUkgAqd8nGGdFYlZtzHC12XwdgSmuvBkEZjpkQ0nMe2Kz-bHvwv4JyZBldwl_ET0yMaMVnCykJZDEQL8sE-90JNlBOSTyfdY3tFaH6RH2vm6gBiPhRcqgwq49G2BGtiXJ3Aj

If your name is Penelope, you WILL be kidnapped.



Mish ends with this nugget:

5yDO8AP1QNN3AQtf648HUhPkAV_bIzBV5TaF9IS_SlgbwNLzgutDpZuxtxCMguHl-HPNOIybvh648v9_eoe7Pq1B2lFT3-7rDkbC1Fh6n6GUEpQFP-fUtcvoOjqDZwmg1lSSQMtm

Speak for yourself, Clockie.

 

M3: 

So NOW the stuff hits the Clock fan:

5a1T6tUTzK87eXUBWqyWiawvFZWQqrdTdcSY82xL48yzMDQPe1WFuFBVG7LQAjEM3vDT827nnQJdFgYFUbpAoJ01QSK8xsqFKp--OnO39Hwtt4NmiIWRodDYrVNy3ZPiBTskTgYC

 

So here we go-and fast!

U19-lxuQLjpcQdUN0vRWnnmOI-9qJ6Vnd1VqnFB_jPSw9e2u4goJ_4AQRILNZhl2DVYAHudkUBxitxdCyGh3oqipwYRNwR2my8pL-hQ3FZOzcuHPQ5EKjXNn9NDVBlPaw04RKCE8

Hey…no one invited the big guy.

 

We do a fighting (shooting) withdrawal, and boom! Done.

 

Unfortunately, Penny goes off with the CW King, and Mr. Yin says, Thanks for nothing, douche bag.

 

But we WIN! And I dinged.

 

GOOD STUFF:

  • Clean as a whistle. Saw one minor (possible) typo (clockwork vs. Clockwork, since it’s a name thing.
  • Cannon-related-slips right into the Yin narrative.
  • Humor! (the kidnapping of the various Penelopes was unexpected).
  • Presented a fair challenge to my SK’ed L10 (who played at 15).
  • Managed to slip in 3 diff villain groups.
  • Felt like an in-game mish.
  • Last mish with short timer was a hoot! 

 

TWEAKS:

  • Doesn’t really need any as is. I think it’s supposed to be a drop-in to fill an in-game gap, so any inherent lack of resolution is taken care of by playing the Yin arcs (I think…I’m not the lore-hound other folks are, so this could be a mistake on my part).

 

Verdict:

  • Design-wise, it’s 5/5. Runs smooth as buttah! Story is well-crafted and plausibly drops into the existing game. It’s a short one (3 mishes), so it’s not super twisty and turny. Nor is it super deep, story-wise. 

 

Play this if: (1) You’re “yinnin’” for a slightly offbeat take on Clocks; (2) You like straightforward arcs where they don’t bog you down with extraneous reading/clues because they’re weaving this weird, alt-world (guilty here).:-) (3) You like ‘em fast and solid (this one is).

 

Don’t play if: You want something completely new and/or nuanced. This isn’t that. Rather, it’s a straight-up, get-in -there -and-do-it romp, right down to that last mish with the short timer. It’s got a story, but it’s dependent on in-game lore. Nice add to the Yin story, overall.


 

For our next run, we do with a work-in-progress:

7duk8OLlKsNb_wY4XcB-ISoXY6mupUtDgyNLZUUMgiK-1ezDgZ0EcpSAzrl9m7pFrnBi8D4qOg2pp5gBL4wkQnAoRbrGlz6iLptLWvj8r3kc00pncqzAkv6royovFBd5rpxHkq5H

Z8ZVqnMXPxQSR0TcK8quj18Ho_A9NAMdpGAxttzI3xnGM9eE7U6z2x1Tiz6dZ9i5FxGfgEEDki-v9Wz_hTNUQX3vNvxQnPH4GQQ9JEvIeYNqjblCA9J8fmhBmQq8iZfJvPedD7IS

So, overall, I LOVE the premise. As far as design, all of the pieces are there, just needs some work (obviously, since designer marked this as a WIP). 

 

With that in mind:

 

For starters:

No titles used at all: I guess that’s okay, but it’s a chance to add flavor to the story (or at least shamelessly plug it by reminding me of its name as a constant header).:-) This is not a big deal, though.

 

Carriage returns: Need to separate your paragraphs, or you end up with this:

hVKBQiE70vuNbF4F3vYVyvt_n6rjYeq7l9fnREM9rbtLRnF5mecG8l9oL06Mcp_hbX73_FjY6ZT2Yts5uAbbAqBY0629RQ7ZZphA_RFeCUdTr-82UfgZBYAIsquvR4ZJU2sANj0Z

This is a pervasive issue throughout the arc.

 

By the way, this sort of thing happens to the best of them (right, Darm?):-)

 

M1: 

Detectives and Family are in close proximity to each other, but are not fighting. They should be scrapping, but they’re not. Mish is about stopping the PPD before they wrangle explosives (ie., before they stop the Fam), so this doesn’t fit the mish. Placing them in battles with PPD would make more sense here. Also: if Fam are present, aren’t they going to mention me coming in and taking down PPD? Perhaps some verbiage that says I’m dressed as a Marcone, then make the Marcone patrols friendly to me. Place battles in the rear of the facility, near the explosives. OR: the PPD has already taken out Fam guards, but I arrive, wipe them out, and make it seem like the family did it. Otherwise, one wonders about red flags in the operation, causing it to be shut down. 

 

Now, some cool stuff:

Xxo3PvA-0YTTYpyRcZb6Nmiku9u2yYWT9w5FMFc7Yo08HAMfgp-ot1YLBbRz9o5RGFhGe1c9YBCqaWQOCPZdntnM02ik5vWY-hvL0phJSSdkLBzlLpqiRNV6CNdMHsAm0dVnZXvl

Love these white suits.:-)


 

And nice touches like this really make an arc:

Cbjc-seS88YCAkSeaFjx_EA1lC_Mqo1jtlbwMcDQYYO2_ors9IMk4K8M9BWLayGwsK5YrUlGlxhfevKWi0JjoWkShwlCP_mYrMx0ohgQAnBFMc0YkxHZRd7iUySYeFtCGaO4xla6

And a backup photo! Nice work, gents. Now have some bullets.


 

M2: 

Problem: Multiple patrols with the same dialogue. Spawn 1 patrol to speak the speech trippingly off the tongue, then make a second group of mute patrols. Otherwise, you get this:

unXlHimhFx2wpccH-w5xxG9XYCHY0VkLw4SkF2WpTGInDRM4UP6Y5WG7vxatRmc9DjGOnIrjyMGoKc1I7TK83BFoSnEvhNtUD3K-1UIP7jWxyhEy1W05BYuUkuLKq2PCYFiVBdvM

Double entry due to patrols=needless clutter (this is always a thing with dialogue, unfortunately). Sometimes this cannot be avoided. In this case, though, you can trim the excess a bit.

 

Explosives in M2 are different from explosives in M1. Remember that pic up there? That somehow morphed into the small barrels with timers on them. I **guess** they were tweaked or something, but I think it might make more sense, then, to just have explosives be in crates in M1, ready for shipment. 

 

M3: 

Bit of a letdown here, narratively. After all that buildup, the mish dialogue is extremely terse. I could understand that, if time were precious, but I didn’t get that indication from Agent Six. She seemed laconic. If it’s “No time to waste!” then make that clear. Otherwise, it’s a bit of a letdown. 

 

We do get some customs in M3:

pvQ9lVP26NDxa9tsV9NCrPxTPjNMRzNgzxeRedLtlwjV6BIve5-M8qvByDvFk2yGXeJeo5yn5bwahbJCo2T6Gdenhvzdymu3Oz6mIFOCTR14bIg-Ccg1zIeP6BCnkrPTV1w9fcUB

Who are these guys, indeed? 

 

VERDICT: It’s a work-in-progress, as noted. So, some fixes to make. That said, the big things are done well. Perps have motivation for what they’re doing (ex: Haskins in M2; the “luring” of bad guys to the docks, explaining why I have Hellions, Mooks there, and so on). The shadow org’s ultimate goal is GREAT. And since you reveal who they “really” are, that could take us into a 4th and 5th mish to get at the source of the whole thing. In short, this is a great idea. I want to steal it.:-)  Meanwhile, make the minor fixes, pump up the tension in M3 (add a short timer? It’s a small map), and you’ve got a solid arc here. Good bones here!



And now, a second work in progress:

bqKMRgCXFRamO7TmYCYAUqY3Oy-IMMmPgBOxzmsjZGjSG37FsjtnsEa0NLKzFfstkWsmRYT8vzYjeJMHpJaw5CMWJH8c9-SpR7a4RsTvG0XZu9PkAa1UAjRdD48XDvsUcIL2a4UA

9BW5R1UvjU732dQyf5-BtOB3J831DxiXQgpCrOhvOazArH1datwlKjhXBN5_Y62UUkwmFCigddHUX1q2DpIVUjel1B-vl3iDmKhc2rSI4djWnAHvaRkC2GAjs-kz-spa92dLBxpH

 

Only one mish so far, but it is pretty well done. Two things:

  1. Map seems huge and empty.

  2. Clues spawn is a bit wonky. The clue you’re supposed to recover pops up at top, which was after the two clues associated with the bosses. Might work better if the right glowie popped up after the 2nd boss?

 

Good stuff:

  1. Didn't catch any typos
  2. The customs in this were a challenge for my L11. Good fights.3KVhjknOkrfbCPAQz2bef08l0Dtj5iar4YPhqKTNrS2NVOYkklds8DEnQV7cCRK46dtJm5rhfwdbuIp-SZwcELcpnj6lgvOcN7u-aFjQJLzhizn9XTGYh9STkgpGWKZtIY4kpATt

And they be uuuugly, too!:-)

 

Interested to see where this goes.

 

 

And finally, just a quick report here on a finished Holiday arc:

V7v2mor41zMvhRwVimVdpUSCQ3i749eHxdwQUwl_1HtQGHpiXi2oaPOiFoAcvbbYmfhvFWdq9mTloJFwDiQGD2-EF12KqRXzxwYDNrMO0RsGQUUpDCABgjXgp4GoRCpJGWqK9N8i

lmtxMnYv_o3e8harygcfk5doa8WxpG_yz_Cv6SqquCxWEp0OIn8dKuFyp7GMZL4rFXhJziHLG2m0UQz0MZHDdOB22FIp3gvdra1osMrC4qrbaa_DgecD52VyQbLp29yweutuWo6B

jTa4ZJqJlShDw8ltIeHfuuNsSAi5vNoalGhAEjhKWWiuQy_1m7GNtZTHBLtQ0lwVrSkZUJKXrBoRodB1tN9igZeupuR1KZfaVy7R6-1_uVoGXXC7hdA0nB2Z-v-6z8CnEcDlmkoE

Your wish is sooo not my command.

 

VERDICT: Oh, this was fun. Got to riddle a couple of pop stars’ butts with Josh bullets while they were singing their obnoxious songs. Novel use of objects. Humor. Interesting maps and customs. It's really good stuff. Enjoyed it!

 

Thanks to this month's designers for sharing their creativity. A big **BUMP** goes out to @Take One, @PW, @Kartanian, and @FlyingCarcass.

 

In the meantime, keep it super, all.

 

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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Thanks for playing my old arc. It was made for a competition the original devs held, where the point was to include a moral choice. This was solved by letting you decide if you wanted to save Penny, or not, in the final mission. As you discovered, if you do save her from the Lost, the Clockwork show up to bring her to their King, and her father gets very disappointed. If you don't save her from the Lost, something else happens. Glad you liked it!

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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Ahhhh...that explains the basic idea. That last mish was a hot shot! I didn't bother to clear or anything. I may have to play again and not save her to see what happens. 

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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