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TerroirNoir's "Cable Channel of AE!" Reviews. Part 2.


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1 hour ago, Zhym said:

I really liked this aspect of these arcs.  You'd think Tyrant and his Praetors would start to notice all those Powers disappearing—although, given that they all seem to disappear once they reach a certain level of power, maybe each of the Praetors suspects the others of "disappearing" people once they start looking like they might get powerful enough to be a threat.  Something else I liked (but can't remember if @TerroirNoir has gotten there yet, so I'll spoiler it):

  Reveal hidden contents

At some point when Chimera (it's Chimera, right?) talks about what he's heard is going on, he is skeptical that Cole would personally be meeting people as they leave.  Which now that you mention it does seem rather unlikely, doesn't it?

 

Or am I remembering another Mr. G machination?  It does seem just like Mr. G to impersonate Cole as you're leaving Praetoria for Primal Earth.  Now I need to go check Cole's dialogue in that scene for any Mr. G-style speaking tics...

 

I did think that your second spoilered theory might be a thing, but I couldn't figure out a way to use that angle of it. I might yet!

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AE SFMA Arcs: The Meteors (Arc id 42079) Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part One. (Arc id 26756) X | 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) X | The House of Gaunt Saints (Arc id 37489) X | The Spark of the Blind (Arc id 40403) | Damnatio Memoriae (Arc id 41140) X  The Eve of War (Arc id 41583) X

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. X = Dev Choice/Hall of Fame )

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On 11/13/2022 at 7:41 PM, TerroirNoir2 said:

First things first, after dealing with a couple of Ghouls (Oh man, Ghouls are really annoying) I find that Stern isn't here.  He'll get chewed out by Chimera later I'm sure, but who is here is far more dangerous than Stern.  I think.  It's Mr. G.  He's got spies and fingers in every plot it's said.  So why he's here is curious. He says there's a few things that need doing along the way.  AND he knows my name.  Sheesh.

 

screenshot_221115-14-37-16.thumb.jpg.cdcd11316d187375c894dda2ad7a447a.jpg

 

 

Great reference to game lore, @Darmian.  "Chimera and I go back a long way" is a heck of an understatement, a heck of an understatement.

 

(Although to truly sound like Mr. G, maybe he should say, "Sinclair and I go back a long way, a long way.")

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17 minutes ago, Zhym said:

 

Great reference to game lore, @Darmian.  "Chimera and I go back a long way" is a heck of an understatement, a heck of an understatement.

 

(Although to truly sound like Mr. G, maybe he should say, "Sinclair and I go back a long way, a long way.")

Well, I was operating within text limits, plus I didn't think every sentence had to have that tic 🙂  As for the Sinclair/Chimera thing?  I was giving G the mentality that he created Chimera, as opposed to Sinclair being Sinclair, so there's that.  If I recall the vocal tic does reappear in one of the clues where he speaks to the player (pauses this to check) yep.

AE SFMA Arcs: The Meteors (Arc id 42079) Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part One. (Arc id 26756) X | 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) X | The House of Gaunt Saints (Arc id 37489) X | The Spark of the Blind (Arc id 40403) | Damnatio Memoriae (Arc id 41140) X  The Eve of War (Arc id 41583) X

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. X = Dev Choice/Hall of Fame )

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7 minutes ago, Darmian said:

Well, I was operating within text limits, plus I didn't think every sentence had to have that tic 🙂  As for the Sinclair/Chimera thing?  I was giving G the mentality that he created Chimera, as opposed to Sinclair being Sinclair, so there's that.  If I recall the vocal tic does reappear in one of the clues where he speaks to the player (pauses this to check) yep.

That would get tiring if used in every sentence, very tiring.  ;)  In this case, though, "a long way" also emphasizes the irony of what he's saying.  But yeah, text limits are a thing.

 

As for Sinclair vs. Chimera, I checked Mr. G's text in the official arcs, and he never calls Sinclair "Chimera."  I'm not sure why that would seem out of character for Mr. G to me—maybe because "Chimera" implies some level of respect that's not really there?  Or "Sinclair" implies a greater level of familiarity?  I don't know. 

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On 11/13/2022 at 7:41 PM, TerroirNoir2 said:

And there it is. Crystal Shard Alpha.  If they're calling it "Alpha" does that mean there's a "Beta" and so on? Never mind that for now though.

 

screenshot_221114-14-37-06.jpg.5b942c33ec84f151dc4675709d385ef6.jpg

 

 

A question about this for @Darmian (more spoiler tags, because I think some of this might be reflected in the next arc):

Spoiler

We've got Chimera's description of the crystal, the device with the strange logo, and the time travel through the crystal.  Although it's never stated outright, it sure sounds like Praetoria has stumbled on something connected to Ouroboros.  And since there's no "Pillar of Ice and Flame" destructible object, the "Shadow Crystal" makes a pretty good stand-in.  

 

Is this meant to be about Praetorians somehow stumbling onto Ouroboros?  Or is it just a very similar crystal-related time travel thing?

 

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1 hour ago, Zhym said:

 

A question about this for @Darmian (more spoiler tags, because I think some of this might be reflected in the next arc):

  Reveal hidden contents

We've got Chimera's description of the crystal, the device with the strange logo, and the time travel through the crystal.  Although it's never stated outright, it sure sounds like Praetoria has stumbled on something connected to Ouroboros.  And since there's no "Pillar of Ice and Flame" destructible object, the "Shadow Crystal" makes a pretty good stand-in.  

 

Is this meant to be about Praetorians somehow stumbling onto Ouroboros?  Or is it just a very similar crystal-related time travel thing?

 

No it isn't. It's meant to be

Spoiler

the Praetorian version of the Cimerora Crystal in the Midnighter Mansion, which if you check the Night Ward mansion (which was originally in First Ward (or its predecessor but got translated to Night Ward in the War on Magic) is missing.  The spot for it is there but no crystal.

 

AE SFMA Arcs: The Meteors (Arc id 42079) Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part One. (Arc id 26756) X | 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) X | The House of Gaunt Saints (Arc id 37489) X | The Spark of the Blind (Arc id 40403) | Damnatio Memoriae (Arc id 41140) X  The Eve of War (Arc id 41583) X

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. X = Dev Choice/Hall of Fame )

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5 minutes ago, Darmian said:

No it isn't. It's meant to be

  Hide contents

the Praetorian version of the Cimerora Crystal in the Midnighter Mansion, which if you check the Night Ward mansion (which was originally in First Ward (or its predecessor but got translated to Night Ward in the War on Magic) is missing.  The spot for it is there but no crystal.

 

Ahhhh!  Yes, that makes sense.

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1 minute ago, Zhym said:

Ahhhh!  Yes, that makes sense.

That just came from me wandering and thinking about stuff that's in the game, or not, as the case may be.  Like, there's a bunch of bereft demons in Night Ward, just hanging out near the water over beside the old asylum.  Survivors from the War on Magic I feel.  Since there's no CoT in Praetoria. At least not any more! Lots of odd stuff like that.

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AE SFMA Arcs: The Meteors (Arc id 42079) Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part One. (Arc id 26756) X | 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) X | The House of Gaunt Saints (Arc id 37489) X | The Spark of the Blind (Arc id 40403) | Damnatio Memoriae (Arc id 41140) X  The Eve of War (Arc id 41583) X

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. X = Dev Choice/Hall of Fame )

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1 hour ago, Darmian said:

Like, there's a bunch of bereft demons in Night Ward, just hanging out near the water over beside the old asylum.  Survivors from the War on Magic I feel.  Since there's no CoT in Praetoria. At least not any more! Lots of odd stuff like that.

 

@Darmian - I loved exploring all the oddities in Nightward that you shared, like the ghost heroes, the angel, the demons. Plus the one I found! The dead milkman... 🙂

 

image.png.189450cddec540f3e392cd95724148ae.png image.png.5411983f4361b31e050eaa2553b666b8.pngimage.png.fae9185f7b92b600614d11e04f556396.png

 image.png.c32bc47be284135b2bbb38726d0679ad.png image.png.48148fd1587eae0fa443925dd284151c.png image.png.edcf1af2bbe334d461769e75a85c5b1d.png

Edited by Ankylosaur
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First Ward and Night Ward really are great.  So many little Easter eggs like that.  It's kind of a shame there's not more reason to go to either place.  They're good settings for the Level 20-40 Praetorian arcs, but after that there's not much reason to go back other than exploration.   

 

And "Recently Deceased Milkman" sounds kind of like a Monty Python sketch.

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54 minutes ago, Zhym said:

And "Recently Deceased Milkman" sounds kind of like a Monty Python sketch.

 

I always wanted it to be about The Dead Milkmen and a bitchin' camero, or a big lizard in someones back yard, or someone who will dance to anything by Book of Love, or a punk rock girl, but you know - that's probably just me... 🙂

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Glitters: Gold Brickers (9 Arcs)Glimmers: First Warders (9 Arcs) |  Glints: The Awakened (3 Arcs) | Glows: Nictus (3 Arcs)

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On 11/10/2022 at 4:44 PM, TerroirNoir2 said:

[Mission 4 = Ok, tricky to judge this one. Storywise it works well and I like it.  The map has issues!  Nothing @cranebump can do about that short of changing it for another map unfortunately.  I died three times after the one shown above, but that was deliberate.  I was testing the boundaries of the void, and yeah, there's spots where your flight just cuts out and you die.  The Herald needs a flight power if you want her to be able to follow you to Zoria, then again it wasn't a needed objective so didn't prevent a mission completion.  The Key Holders can appear under trees and on the outside boundary but that just slows you down, it doesn't affect the story.  Now, despite all that, I liked this mission!]

 

Hi!  It's your friendly neighborhood big-opn-map-hunt-hating curmudgeon here!  And this one...didn't bother me as much for some reason.  Even though it is a big damn opn map and there are lots of nooks and crannies everywhere.  I think it's that the keymasters—er, holders—have a story reason to be hard to find.  Plus, this mission has a climactic feel to it (or at least it did until Mission 5 came along...), so running around the map to kill everything while hunting for the spawns felt more natural somehow.  And it's a cool map that I don't see often (the only other mission I can think of that uses it is in Scirocco's arc).

 

Fun story—well, okay, boring story, but fun to experience: I forgot to check my threat level and started Mission 1 at x8.  That was painful.  The Captains hit hard.  And at least one of them had Return to Battle or some other rez power that made him invulnerable when he came back.  Nasty.  Anyway, I turned it down to x4 for the rest of the arc, and that was about right to keep things interesting but not overpowering.  Then this happened:

 

On 11/10/2022 at 4:44 PM, TerroirNoir2 said:

OH SWEET BEARD OF ZEUS!  Where did all my endurance go?!!?

RUN!  So I run as fast as is HUMANLY possible, weaving and dodging, and throwing grenades and Plasmatic Tasers (popped when a sliver of blue rebuilds) behind me in a bid to get away from the bunch of bots that literally just tanked all my endurance.

 

Yeah, that.  Except instead of running, 70s Man's first impulse is to try to shoot everyone until there's no one left to attack him.  It's usually a pretty good tactic, but this time it...didn't work.  That was quite a rapid ass-kicking I received.  Ow.

 

BTW, Angevin's force fields were really handy.  But at x4, he didn't last that long, alas.  Nor did any of my other allies.  Oh well. 

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12 hours ago, Zhym said:

First Ward and Night Ward really are great.  So many little Easter eggs like that.  It's kind of a shame there's not more reason to go to either place.  They're good settings for the Level 20-40 Praetorian arcs, but after that there's not much reason to go back other than exploration.

 

If you enjoy the First Ward/Night Ward mobs/lore - All That Glimmers is all about the groups here. You might be seeing that soon, depending on what @TerroirNoir2 picks up next. (Presuming @TerroirNoir keeps going of course...) 🙂

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  • Post-Praetoria Campaign:  Explores the effects on Prime Earth of The Fall of Praetoria. Intro 1-20, Others fork off it in the 20's-ish to 54

All That Glitters: Intro (3 Arcs) 

Glitters: Gold Brickers (9 Arcs)Glimmers: First Warders (9 Arcs) |  Glints: The Awakened (3 Arcs) | Glows: Nictus (3 Arcs)

All That Gleams: Finale (1 Arc)

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5 hours ago, TerroirNoir2 said:

With his endurance tanked he wouldn't, but I've found him extremely durable most of the time!

Angevin wasn't even with me when the endurance-sapping horde jumped me.  The issue is more that my toon is an incarnate blaster who is fully equipped with the latest and best IO sets the market has to offer, so he does lots of damage and has good defense and resistances.  What he doesn't have are heals or buffs to keep squishier NPCs alive (and most NPCs are squishier than he is).  So while x4 makes it interesting, it also means NPCs don't last long.  That's not just in AE—when I end up in one of those "keep the NPC with a death wish from getting killed" missions, I usually have to turn the mission settings down to +0/x1 to have any chance. 

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13 hours ago, Zhym said:

 

 And it's a cool map that I don't see often (the only other mission I can think of that uses it is in Scirocco's arc).

It really is a neat map. Floating base or something. The old map for that one was an open Croatoa map. Wasn't bad, but felt a bit boring for some sort of pocket dimension holding "one thorn to rule them all." I feel like this map feels less grindy because it's unique. I was also lucky enough to have my Key Holders pop in in places that weren't too hard to find. All that said, I'm still wondering whether an Oranbega-type map maps the most sense. It'd still have some of the same issues, but grouping might be easier (and no chance of falling off the map into oblivion on multiple occasions).:-)

 

Speaking of this mish, I used a black speech of Mordor translator to get Azh Gaddur (one ring is Azh Nazg, I think?).

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LONG FORM: 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. Mobius [5 Parts]:  Visions of past, present, and possibility collide, as you and the Autumn Wards unravel the mystery of the 7-year time gap. 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 Bleed [3 parts]: Your investigation of arcane fissures in IP leads you to uncover a 100-year old secret shrouded in magic, blood, and betrayal. One Shots:  Of Guns and Asa Ronan; The Tenuous State of Grace; Garden of the Will; Gravity; The Book of Bond's; The Lost Girls; Injustice Systems; Wednesday’s Wyverns; Of ‘Dine and Men; Dark Legacy; Shadow and Silver

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59 minutes ago, cranebump said:

I'm still wondering whether an Oranbega-type map maps the most sense. It'd still have some of the same issues, but grouping might be easier (and no chance of falling off the map into oblivion on multiple occasions).:-)

 

I wouldn't, personally.  I find some of the Oranbega maps to be annoying—not on the level of the layer cake cave or the Council pool room, but they can get hard to navigate.  Plus, my character always seems to get stuck on those damned torches. 

 

Falling-into-oblivion issues aside, I think that map works really well.  And using the "Herald of Zoria" to mark where Zoria spawned was really helpful, too.  

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10 minutes ago, Zhym said:

And using the "Herald of Zoria" to mark where Zoria spawned was really helpful, too.  

That one seemed consistent. Everytime I finished the chest-click, it seemed to be right there, then it was off to Zoria. Don't want to miss his gloating, do we?:-)

 

One thing I do need to check is population. Since it's essentially an "empty" map I had to populate it by objectives (ex: patrols). I was sort of in a hurry to get it back up and running, so I'll likely need to check #'s. It felt a little empty during tests.

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LONG FORM: 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. Mobius [5 Parts]:  Visions of past, present, and possibility collide, as you and the Autumn Wards unravel the mystery of the 7-year time gap. 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 Bleed [3 parts]: Your investigation of arcane fissures in IP leads you to uncover a 100-year old secret shrouded in magic, blood, and betrayal. One Shots:  Of Guns and Asa Ronan; The Tenuous State of Grace; Garden of the Will; Gravity; The Book of Bond's; The Lost Girls; Injustice Systems; Wednesday’s Wyverns; Of ‘Dine and Men; Dark Legacy; Shadow and Silver

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11 minutes ago, cranebump said:

One thing I do need to check is population. Since it's essentially an "empty" map I had to populate it by objectives (ex: patrols). I was sort of in a hurry to get it back up and running, so I'll likely need to check #'s. It felt a little empty during tests.

 

It didn't seem empty to me—or at least not inappropriately empty.  It's a pocket dimension secretly holding The One Macguffin (or not).  It makes sense that it wouldn't be teeming with people.  And to the extent it was sparsely populated, that made searching for the Key Holders less difficult.

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22 hours ago, Zhym said:

Ahhhh!  Yes, that makes sense.

Primal version versus Praetorian version.

 

screenshot_221116-20-10-22.thumb.jpg.d694436958d5997be50fe04b645d364b.jpg

 

screenshot_221116-20-11-14.thumb.jpg.bdf3e0c32786397a8050e6ed8d186dab.jpg

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AE SFMA Arcs: The Meteors (Arc id 42079) Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part One. (Arc id 26756) X | 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) X | The House of Gaunt Saints (Arc id 37489) X | The Spark of the Blind (Arc id 40403) | Damnatio Memoriae (Arc id 41140) X  The Eve of War (Arc id 41583) X

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. X = Dev Choice/Hall of Fame )

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8 hours ago, Ankylosaur said:

(Presuming @TerroirNoir keeps going of course...) 🙂

I intend to!  Work has me busier lately so I'm a bit slower but I intend to get through all of it.  Plus all of @Darmian's and all of @cranebump's. THEN we will see.  I've got some other stuff lined up to take up the gap after that.  And then TerroirNoir 3 will make an appearance no doubt!

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18 minutes ago, Darmian said:

Primal version versus Praetorian version.

[snip]

 

I blame (Praetorian) Percy Winkley. 

 

Come to think of it, the pillar in the Primal Midnighter's Club only goes to Cimerora.  Would what a Praetorian Cimerora look like, do you suppose?  The same? 

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28 minutes ago, Zhym said:

 

I blame (Praetorian) Percy Winkley. 

 

Come to think of it, the pillar in the Primal Midnighter's Club only goes to Cimerora.  Would what a Praetorian Cimerora look like, do you suppose?  The same? 

Possibly it would.  Or at least in game terms to a Cimerora without the 5th Column presence. And there is such a map. 

For me I figured the Praetorian magic users, being engaged in a war with Cole, never got around to finding Cimerora but had made the crystal.  And then it got refitted to do other things 🙂

 

Praetorian Percy's derangement/betrayal/death/etc I think paved the way for Cole's forces to assault the Mansion, seize the crystal, among other things, before the others managed to shift the entire building into Night Ward.  Or what became Night Ward.  I have theories about that too.

 

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AE SFMA Arcs: The Meteors (Arc id 42079) Dark Deeds in Galaxy City: Part One. (Arc id 26756) X | 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) X | The House of Gaunt Saints (Arc id 37489) X | The Spark of the Blind (Arc id 40403) | Damnatio Memoriae (Arc id 41140) X  The Eve of War (Arc id 41583) X

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. X = Dev Choice/Hall of Fame )

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Arc 12 from our first author on "TerroirNoir's Cable Channel of AE" Reviews is @Ankylosaur's All that Glitters 4.3: Grand Designs in Grandville.

 

So after all the shenanigans of working with Wyvern and Delia and the Doctor and....who shows up to meet me but Manticore!  Excellent!  (Weird double vision since Alternate Universe Engineria is currently working for Chimera!)

 

Mission 1: Fab News. Manticore is straight to the point. After all we've been through with the Langstons and the Goldbrickers, Longbow is finally taking note of them.  Not before time I say! Well, Arachnos is involved now, somehow mixed up in the thing with the Mooks and the Family, and the illicit supply of Praetorian tech.  (I've always had trouble with that.  I mean I know the Rogue Isles, or as I learned from Ghost Widow, the Etoiles, is effectively a rogue state, but they're still a foreign state with their own laws et cetera, so how is what they do on their own territory illegal?  Nevermind.  Back to Manticore!)

 

So we (not me, Wyvern it seems) have an inside agent in Arachnos who has been feeding out intel concerning Warwalkers and Goliaths and who all knows what else.  All happening in the "Fab". The fabrication zone in Grandville.  So our Colleague (and that's her code name) needs extracting and will have more information for us once out.

 

Looks like Engineria is off to Grandville.

What fun.

 

Longbow is dropping me off by a submarine and in I go alone.  Sheesh.  I really need a vacation by now I think!

And right out of the gate we have Langston scientists informing Arachnos on the uses of Warwalkers!  Oh, time to put a few kinks in your style while I search for Colleague!

 

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Right, after menacing that guy I move on down the giant ramp to find Colleague. And...I'm quite happy I have stealth on!  Oh my oh my.  I'm gonna slowly creep by you, you crazy woman.  I've heard of you and you are nasty.  Just a bit more.  Activate flight and scoot up out of her line of sight. Whew.

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And sometimes getting out of line of sight of one maniac brings you into line of sight of another.  Crey is here too, and they are NOT happy about Langston's presence.  I reckon the phrases "Stealing Thunder" and "Corporate espionage" or...something along those lines is being thrown around.  And as I said, Juan Hernandez, one of Crey's VPs, has spotted me!

 

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I never seem to meet anyone friendly!  Well, apart from say Hornet and Ollerus and the Doctor, ok I DO meet some.  But MOST want to kill me.  I mean ...never mind.  Juan here seems to know who I am as well!  Did I upset Crey too?  Maybe.  My life is a whirlwind of interestingness...ness.  

Let's see if I can deal with Juan here before his giant friend behind us takes an interest!

 

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And I do!  Ok, sometimes things go right!  Now to find Colleague.  This Fab place is damn big.  Just need to avoid Silver Mantis on the way out is all.

 

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OH CRAP.

Well, I avoided Silver Mantis.

NOPE.  I'm just going to fly like the Bejeeezis out of here, as though Michael Flatley himself was chasing me, legs swinging all over the place. I can do combat, but I know my limits!  And I'm not calling Buddy in to help on this one, he doesn't deserve that sort of treatment!

 

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Ok, ok.  Got away from Black Scorpion.  Seems like this place being huge has advantages after all.  Oh, hey, there's Colleague!  

 

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Several stunned and dropped Arachnos later.

 

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Oh Colleague I LOVE you!  You can fly!  So that means we don't have to try to sneak by Silver Mantis, who is still at the entrance to the ramp, and the only exit out on foot, sneaky woman.  We slowly climb up and jet out to the Longbow sub.  And Colleague climbs in and we're away!

Success! And she's looking forward to seeing Positron again.  An old flame maybe?  Who can tell with these people.

 

Debriefing with Manticore informs me that Langston will be rebooting the entire Arachnos system to integrate all the ACUs, BCUs and Warwalkers I saw there into their system. After that?  Who knows what Arachnos will do with them. He's off to confer with Ms. Liberty (who I don't trust for some unknown reason!) to see what can be done about a strike with Longbow on this operation.

 

[Mission 1 = This is a simple rescue that can go soooo wrong if you're not careful.  Simple doesn't mean stupid or bad, elegant maybe.  Fun stuff.  No, I didn't fight the big bads because I'm not even a big good, but good stuff all the same.]

 

Mission 2: Saving Agents Longbow. I have my new badge title up! Manticore doesn't notice.  Oh well. Anyway, he's saying that we've been reading the intel all wrong and what is actually happening is one of the biggest attacks on Arachnos seen since, well since I dunno, Statesman showed up and punched some holes in things?

So a missile was launched from Warburg. At Grandville.  Yeah, let that sink in! And it coincided with the reboot that Langston was doing for Arachnos. A massive EMP took out whole sections of Arachnos's defences and so on.  But it also dropped two Longbow Chasers containing vital field operatives into the middle of the chaos.  Indigo and Crimson.  Engineria (that's me) has to go in and get them out safely, though knowing those two they will not need that much rescuing.  And the Warburg Arachnos are there in force too, as the Blitzkrieg has been spotted.  Oh lovely.  Happy memories of that thing!

No, don't tell me any more or I won't go!

 

Later, Manti!

 

Oh man!  It's heavy here!  I mean heavy.  Here comes the oddest Abbey Road cover tribute I've ever seen.  And I'll be staying the hell away from them, thenkyewverymuch.

 

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Oh man, they are everywhere.  Arachnos Warworks fighting those Piratey version, Ships of the Line, and the Arachnos ones are getting hammered.  And I thought I caught a glimpse of Captain Mako!  A glimpse is enough I think.

 

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CRIMSON!  I'm a comin' for you, pal!  Yeah, yeah, Manticore filled me in on the EMP thing, now hit the GIANT ROBOT for frik's sake before I get stuck to the sole of its foot!

 

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So I get Crimson safely to the Grandville city door.  From there he can vanish into the under city or whatever that place is called, and, I dunno, be all sneaky or whatever. That's up to him what he does now.  Seems him and Indigo discovered that Dr. Aeon is no longer nutripaste flavor of the month after some foul up with a D-Rifter. Whatever that is.  I'll just tell Manticore and nod when he understands what I'm reporting.  Like I usually do.

 

Now, the thing that bothers me is I saw Indigo when me and Crimson were making our way out, but she was practically sitting underneath the Blitzkrieg!  She's a special ops kinda gal, and I'm not.  I'm still a newby when it comes to a lot of things in this world of heroes.  However, time to go and hope I'm not seen.

And avoid Arachnoids.  UGH. Nasty spitty webby things.

 

And manage it I do.  And there's Indigo, and her downed Chaser just nearby.  Come on, girl. let's skedaddle!

Sand everywhere?  Can I recommend my new tailor at Icon?  This armor is great!

 

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Of course things seldom go to plan, and we have to battle our way through some people along the way.  Well Indigo does a large amount of the battling, but I helped!  Honestly!

 

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Then...aw, would ya look at that!  Crimson waited for her!  Now that's loyalty.  Ok, time for me to get back to Manticore, and this time see if he notices my new badge title.

 

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Back with Manticore I learn that the Fab area where all the Warwalkers were stored was outside the EMP blast zone, so THOSE ones went for a walk. And took a direct route into the heart of Grandville after stomping their Arachnos guards into the ground. And when things did come back on line, quite a lot of the automated defences attacked their own side, i.e. Arachnos!  No wonder Mako was down there in person.

And then it gets MORE interesting!

 

[Mission 2 = Oh hell, another mission of stompy fighty madness.  Lots of fun, plenty to do and plenty to get you killed!  Great fun.]

 

Mission 3: Grandville Squaring Off. Manticore is on a roll here with the speeches! The Family and the Mooks (All Family ultimately but like lots of families, strife ridden) are in Grandville. Wyvern and so on thought it was going to be about selling Warworks to Arachnos.  Looks like they've temporarily joined forces and are battling against Arachnos! And, stop the presses! King Midas sent a message just moments ago declaring Port Oakes and Cap au Diable independent of the Rogue Isles!  Seems the Goldbrickers/Langston want that island for themselves.  Midasland? Goldbrickerville? Langstonia? And they've shut down the PTS and Aeon is out!  

Weirder still, Midas heard I (as in me!  the I that I am, you know, Engineria!) was on the beach in Grandville and messaged us for my help.  

I may need to have a sit down.

Manticore and Ms. Liberty agree that we should help them.

I may need a lie down now. (I'm getting a "better the devil you know" gut feeling here!)

 

Thanks to my effectively independent contractor self I can go help then achieve INDEPENDENCE(!) from Arachnos without drawing in UN sanctions or what have you.  Manticore actually doesn't expect them to win, but destabilizing Arachnos in any way is good.

 

Ok, I'm going to spruce up my uniform and then see what I can do.  Oh boy.  I'll have Buddy on speed dial, along with my summoning amulet.  Refill the old utility belt for all I need, and try not to die.

 

Ok, here I am in Grandville.  I need to link up with the revolutionaries and take down the front guard of Arachnos.  NO PROBLEM.  Right.  Right.  Let's not get over confident, Engineria.  

 

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First to join me is Bloody Vicious.  Now, Bloody V, as can be gleaned from his name, isn't the nicest of people, but he's always done right by me, so that's good.

 

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Next up is Dr. Cohen!  Oh, me and him go back a while now.  He's not pleased to see me personally, but he seems to be pragmatic about it and we're all on the same side now.  For now, Dr. C, for now.

Shortly after that King Midas and Princess Zoe join the fight.  Well, we join them is more accurate.  So, that's Midas, Zoe, Bloody, Cohen and me.  On we go!  I see Mr. Rodney up ahead.  

 

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With Rodney on board we pick up Guido Verandi, and then ahead we can see Alton Langston.  Regular family shindig with these Langstons!  And after that, we have Wretch to deal with.  And if Wretch is around then Ghost Widow must be around somewhere too!

 

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And there's Wretch!  Down a side alley.  I snipe him and he comes a charging and a roaring at us, and straight into the group!  And we're standing right at the feet of one of the revolutionary Warwalkers.  Handy!

Wretch goes down, although considering his issues I felt a bit bad about that.  Not so bad that I was going to let him him me more though!

As suspected, Ghost Widow is around, and she's not giving up without a fight.  Though how you ultimately defeat a ghost is beyond me.

 

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Magus Mu'Drakhan appears behind us and he and his floaty friends have a go at sapping our endurance away but he gets his comeuppance too, and that leaves Dr. Aeon standing on the ramp above us, surrounded by his assistants.  He's not at all happy about the attempt to oust him from Cap Au Diable.

 

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We battle through his forces, which are suddenly reinforced by MORE versions of Dr. Aeon!  I pull back and slap on Kinetics Repel, pushing them off us and we circle around him, the real him, until he's cornered and he drops. Or TP's out?  I lost track of him visually in the fight.  Either way he went down and we slogged through mopping up his troops.

 

Time to get back to Manticore and report in!

 

Manticore informs Engineria that Amanda Vines, the reporter, was broadcasting the entire thing from within the Arachnos building!  Everyone, including Lord Recluse, saw us take down Dr. Aeon!  People are gathering and demanding their independence for "the big island"!  Now we wait for a response from Lord Recluse!

 

[Mission 3 = Fun and tough.  The final fight with Aeon was a free for all of powers and versions of him hopping around us but we managed to hold him off and defeat him.  Fun stuff indeed!]

 

Mission 4: Decisions, Decisions. WSPDR announces that Lord Recluse has offered King Midas the governorship of Cap Au Diable and Guido Verandi the governorship of Port Oakes!  Instead of actual independence.  Which, frankly, I as Engineria never thought was going to fly.  Lord Recluse has this whole deal with the strongest proving themselves but that would have been a step too far. 

 

William Langston, miraculously alive (sure sure, body #87) is going to sign a treaty with Lord Recluse....and has requested Engineria to witness it.  

Oh, that's a lot of limelight on a mid level super who would get her ass handed to her by a lieutenant on a bad day.  Sheesh.

 

Amanda Vines is wating for me in the lobby of the main building in Spider City.

Oh boy.

 

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Let's just get this over with and I can get the HELL OUT OF HERE.  

Why thanks, Bloody V.  Just keep painting a target on me why don'tcha?  C'mon, Vines. Let's get to the treaty. We pass others along the way. Midas, Zoe, Guido, the whole gang. Plus plenty of Arachnos telling me to watch my back.  Right.

 

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And we arrive up in time to hear Lord Relcuse talking to Langston.  Does that little speech feel like it has knives hidden in it?  I think so.

 

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And he's ignoring me.  (Good, he's frankly terrifying most of the time!)

 

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So I sign the document and leave.  Amanda Vines does her reporting and I report back to Manticore. (Somewhere alternate me is saying THEY are working with the sane one!)

 

Manticore is blasé about it!  Sure, the Langstons got what they wanted ultimately, despite ALL our efforts along the way to stop them, and so did the Mooks.  But as long as Arachnos is weakened then Manticore is happy about that.  

I'm unsure I made the right choice here.  It's hard to go against someone with the clout of Manticore of the FP though.  Why do I think this is going to bite us all in the ass later?

 

[Mission 4 = Unexpected. Dramatically excellent though.  Bravo.]

 

Mission 5: The Consequences of War. Now I'm getting a lecture in civics from Manticore.  Hmm.  The Big Island, Cap Au Diable/Port Oakes, is going to have to live with my choice for years to come.  MY choice?  I witnessed a treaty, that was already agreed on between William Langston and Lord Recluse.  I totally overheard that! Plus I'm not sure being the fall gal for many a Wyvern and company mission works like that.  Seems to me, Manticore, that you're hanging me out to dry here!  But he's advising that I go check out what's going on now that Langston has taken over.  Feel the undercurrents.

 

Ok then.  Ok.

 

Ok, first things first.  What happened the damn sky?  Really?  And we thought Dr. Aeon was the crazy one?  And these guys are wondering about me signing.  Well yeah, I had my doubts, until I overheard Recluse and Langston, and knew it was effectively a sealed deal.

 

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Oh hey, Duke.  At least you're still being your old self.  I've actually grown rather fond of you.  I'll leave you alone.  You keep fighting the good fight!  You hear?

 

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Throughout my walkabout I hear plenty of people questioning whether I did the right thing, and hey, apparently, I was a pawn of Langston all along, and I've been seen beating up civilians in Kallisti Wharf of all places.  I bet I drown kittens too, according to some.

And then I DO get into a fight with some civilians!  Oh thanks, Olivia.  Thanks.

 

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Though most of the papers report that despite their successes, Langston and the Robopals and so on are reeling from being sued, shut down, not granted licences.  Looks like having a seat at the table means having to know how to use a knife and fork properly.  Somewhere Countess Crey is laughing I imagine.

 

Ok, Manticore.  I'm done.  Let's go home.

 

[Mission 5 = interesting.  Nearly a Scouring of the Shire moment in some ways.  Well done.]

 

Verdict.  Well, this has to be a BIG verdict, because it's not just the end of this arc, but the end of this entire string of arcs.  Individually it works well as an arc of two halves.  Cannot fault it on that.  Great stuff.  Overall the entire plot came together very well. If I had any complaint, then maybe it could have been shorter! And I wasn't entirely sure of Manticore's motivations, but he is near Vigilante so there's that.

However, all that said I'd definitely recommend it to others to run this entire thing and really get a feel for the thing, because even playing and commenting like I have been, I've still left SOOO much out. For various reasons. Brevity, not wanting to spoiler stuff (that's a biggie!) and also being wary of my upload limits!  Yeah, go play this, folks! Have fun with it!

 

Next up from @Ankylosaur is All That Glimmers 2.1: Death in Light Astoria.

(Having no 1.1 and so on threw me for a bit there!)

 

Next up on TerroirNoir's Cable Channel of AE Reviews is @cranebump's Mobius 4: Dempsey's Hard 8.

 

Edited by TerroirNoir2
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2 minutes ago, TerroirNoir2 said:

(I've always had trouble with that.  I mean I know the Rogue Isles, or as I learned from Ghost Widow, the Etoiles, is effectively a rogue state, but they're still a foreign state with their own laws et cetera, so how is what they do on their own territory illegal?  Nevermind.  Back to Manticore!)

 

Its' part of why this is Vigilante and Wyvern...

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

  • Dev's Choice:   Adventures in Wonderland - 25-54  Rularularian - 41-54 | The Serpent Beyond the Horizon - 46-52  | Robolution - 25-34  | The Genesis & Geneticists of The Coming Hamiggedon -  41-54 | All That Glows 4.1: Nictus Evictus - 40-54 
  • Post-Praetoria Campaign:  Explores the effects on Prime Earth of The Fall of Praetoria. Intro 1-20, Others fork off it in the 20's-ish to 54

All That Glitters: Intro (3 Arcs) 

Glitters: Gold Brickers (9 Arcs)Glimmers: First Warders (9 Arcs) |  Glints: The Awakened (3 Arcs) | Glows: Nictus (3 Arcs)

All That Gleams: Finale (1 Arc)

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