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Heart of Words 2 (spoilers, spoilers everywhere, so RUN! RUN AWAY)!


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Can't get an email to @Valeyard, so I'm posting my run of HoW2 here. The short version.: it's excellent.


Heart of words playthrough (aka "Get out the butt creme, kemosabe).


NOTE: Responding mish by mish, as I proceed through arc, so you can see my thought processes while in it. Also, I wanted to see if I could guess where this was going (because I like to see if I'm as clever as you are).:-)


M1: Nice intro. Not my favorite map, but loved the critters and end boss. Good start!


Intro text: I think we’re missing a word here “As you may have suspected, (from my) summoning…(maybe?)


Also: Recommend breaking text into paragraphs. Easier to read. 


Couple punctuation things:

Using IDF seer technology (insert comma)...

Fitted with seer helmets (needs comma)...

I admire your bravery; there's no telling what you'll find. 

I personally hate semi-colons (and so does Kurt Vonnegut), but it isn’t technically incorrect. But no one speaks with semi-colons, and I don't think anything is gained from writing so formally here (but note that this just a quibble).:-)


Quick Impression: Great writeups on the critters. Boss was pretty tough. I used flight pack to keep distance and had to pop incarnate powers to get through it.


M2. Goldstar mish here, mainly due the boss

Thematically brilliant. Perfect map. Excellent writeups. Great use of the genre here.


Dracula was a HUGE pain in the ass. He RAN all over the place. Exhausted my pets and got killed. Died again when he popped his big, unhittable buff. After I rezzed second time, I sniped and auotfired his ass. But had to wait for that buff to drop. True challenge there. Made a note to stock up on Insps. This was my favorite combat of the whole thing, because of the combo of speed and power and the fact that I had no idea what to expect from this asshole.:-)


M3. A slight step back after the brilliance of Drac, but well crafted. Cave maps generally suck, but it fits the theme (and it's not like we're going caves all the time).


Not near as strong as M2, IMHO (my expectations maybe). Part of this is the setting. Damned cave map has me navigating back and forth for rescues, then the long, bumpy ride bringing the Sheriff in. We sneaked past Mr. Outlaw, so I got him out, then took on the boss. Planned ahead this time, dragging out my pets, using Incarnate Alpha and just letting him have it. Stuck around for the ambushes, which I could see being a bear if a group ran this mish. Mind, this was by no means a poor mish. It just pales next to the Dracula one. I am a native Texan, so I was scrootinizin' yore dai-lects there, pard. Not bay-ad.:-)


NOTE: The Sherriff’s clue appears higher on the clues screen than the previous clues, meaning he’s probably higher on your objectives list on the Mish Builder screen. Might consider moving him second to last on objectives (right before your boss), so that his clue appears in the right place (using the clue order you established). Numbering your clues isn't a req, but a lot of folks do. If you're not numbering, then they need to be in order.


Secondary note: Right now, you’ve got a pattern going: rescue (x3-4, Boss). Careful you don’t fall into a rut (and maybe you won’t, I’m writing this as I go), because I was able to plan ahead for boss man. It’s a little game I play, to guess what’s coming, but, throw your players off balance every now and then, just to make them feel a little insecure. Paranoia is good.:-)  (UPON REFLECTION: The big surprise obviously came later. Or you TRIED to surprise me, but paranoia won out [see below])


REFLECTION: I keep thinking Lewis might be lying to me, but then, that’s probably because I have so many traitorous little shits in my arcs.


M4. Nice Noir Refs. Again, good boss. Similarities with M2 (Rescue, lead back through Boss spawn). Some issues with the first objective.

Heheheh…”Gunsel…” Hehehehe. Like.


ISSUE: The ???? nav at the beginning just confused me. I ended up fighting all the way through the map, passing what I know are going to be glowies on the way. Finally went back and affected the rescue. Sneaked by Al. Buffed and petted up, then slowed Al and just jousted his ass to death. As with all the rest, it’s a thoughtful and excellently presented mish. BUT: I had to go back and forth for glowies. Bunching them together would be preferable. And I really would just mak Obj #1 “Speak with Devaney.”


I appreciated the mashup of Maltes Falcon, and was there some Casablanca in there, too? Also this map was a welcome change from the cave (your players will appreciate the open spaces (though the baddies sure spread out, which means my AoE blaster has to work a little harder). Right now, I’m just happy I’ve been able to get by on my Incarnate stuff. I’m ALL stocked up for some nasty sh*t later though, be sure of that. All your bosses present good challenges.


REFLECTION: So, thorn, star, cape, bullet…not sure. Cape and Star remind me of Statesman. Thorn and bullet? Not so much. And since M5 is “news,” feels like we go back in time. Previous genres don’t necessarily give us anything concrete. Fables=dunno what that means. (Thorn in lions paw=someone is wounded). Horror=I think of crazy ass Malaise. Noir=crime. And…a western…So, no real idea. Though, when I get in, I don’t know whether I’m freeing the psychics, or past versions of the Phalanx. Let’s see where it goes.


M5. Excellent mish. Challenging, if you decide to take on Phalanx. Fine finale.


Entering mish and...am I right?


Yup…Brawler…Cit...Pos...Manti...Okay, so of course Statesman. But now I wonder if “evil” may have something to do with States turning on us. Paranoia, right?


Kill Recluse, check. Now...am I right to be paranoid?


Yup. Knew it. Everybody’s a traitor. (and you...you are a son of a bitch...[kidding]).:-)


So, ONE of these guys is a pain in the ass. Luckily, my spider sense told me I was going to be jumped, so I ran away from them to get the glowies and separated them before they pulled the ol' Cardassians turn on the Dominion in mid-fight trick.


However...they were close enough together for Pos, Manti and Cit to gang up on me, and just put me down, even with a super insps. Did drop Pos before I made my ignominious hospital run (well...the FIRST one...).


So now I’m going back in to try to snipe and separate, but I am not sure I can actually defeat the Tanks. So…this is gonna be a slog…


When I go back in, I realize the Phalanx is optional. I manage to pick off Brawler, when Cit finds us. I just run and dodge like hell, then drop BAB. I THEN end up in a firefight with Cit and Manti, in the long, open area. Good for me. I can hop over the middle section and make Manti crawl his way over. Cit goes down, then I iso on Manti and finish him off. I find all the Psychics, taking on States a couple times (to no avail [gd lightning!). After I’m free to go, I fly back in for one more shot at States and get THIS close, but the lightning zotzes me before I can free from a stun and heal. So I let him go his merry way.


So, the short version:



*It’s excellently composed, esp the writing and crafting. Lots of attention to detail with the customs. Care and attention is evident.

*It has a “fun house” feel with the different themes and environments.

*The finale is going to be an ass kicker, unless you see it coming (I did, and managed to split the Phalanx and take them down in chunks. Now, if all FIVE had been on me…ouch...I'm not sure which of my big guys can easily handle this, but it ain't my AR/TA blaster).

*Dracula is memorable as hell. Fun battle against a single target that runs like the wind and hits like a freight train. Loved it.


Look out for:

*Back and forth spawns, esp in M2. Running back through those tunnels is annoying. Part of the deal, of course, but getting things in forward order, before pulling the rescue back through the end boss would polish that one.

*The first objective in M3 needs to be stated, I feel. Maybe I’m a moron, but I needed to be told to go see that guy. It’s always a bit of a gamble when you’re trying to be more mysterious. This one, I feel doesn’t work so well, because you can fly right by Devaney, if you’re a fast (or stupid?) player (guilty on both counts).:-) 


Overall: It’s a 5. I saw Statesman coming (yay me). I saw the ambush at the end WELL ahead of time. Not sure why. Maybe design mind kicked in. “Hmmm…what would REALLY suck here?”:-) My suggestions are REALLY minor. It stands on its own well. I’ll put it this way - I’m SOOO not one who digs magic anything, or horror, or any high level play, and I enjoyed both the genre arc, and testing my poor little gun toter against the big guys. So, kudos there.


Nice job, and keep it up.




Edited by cranebump
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I have done a TON of AE work, both long form and single arc. Just search the AE mish list for my sig @cranebump. For more information on my stories, head to the AE forum sub-heading and look for “Crane’s World.” Support your AE authors! We ARE the new content.

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Thanks so much for the feedback--to you, Darmian and Ankylosaur...the input has been invaluable for a first time architect.


I've made numerous changes based on recommendations.  I'm optimistic that everything should run more smoothly now.


Part 3 is sadly a long way off...I don't like to rush things.  But I sincerely hope everyone enjoys the run as it is now.


Cheers all,


P.S. The pattern of objectives repeating was intended to be deliberate with each mission getting just slightly more complicated than the previous for reasons pertaining to the story.  There's no real subtle way to convey that...hopefully it wasn't too repetitive, but conquering a boss in each realm was necessary because of this particular Act.  Part 3 will not be following this structure  🙂


Edited by LordRassilon
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I already sent you a copy of this @LordRassilon but @cranebump and others can see it here.





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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) | Spirals: Part One. (Arc id 55109) |  Spirals: Part Two. (Arc id 55358) |  Spirals: Part Three. (Arc id 57197)

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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