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City of Heroes: Rebirth => AE/Mission Architect => Topic started by: Donkyhotay on May 11, 2021, 03:32:58 am

Title: Donkyhotay's AE missions
Post by: Donkyhotay on May 11, 2021, 03:32:58 am
Here is a list of my AE arcs if anyone is interested.

Name: The Many Lives of Lord Recluse
arcID: 774
Length: 5 missions
Level: 40-54
Description: Portal Corp has learned that 5 alternate versions of Lord Recluse from parallel dimensions are planning to invade Primal Earth. We need you to stop them before they do. Despite the warning there are no *mandatory* fights with any EB's, AV's, or GM's.

Name: Shining Stars: The Search for Dillo
arcID: 797
Length: 2 missions
Level: 35-54
Description: Dillo from the Shining Stars has been replaced by a Nemesis automaton! Find out what happened as you track him down and rescue him. This mission assumes your character is a hero that has completed all of the Shining Stars arcs.
Title: Re: Donkyhotay's AE missions
Post by: Lazarillo on May 19, 2021, 07:07:24 pm
I had a need for some tickets, so I gave these both a try.  A little feedback, if you're looking for it (or even if not, I suppose).

Name: The Many Lives of Lord Recluse
A really neat idea.  Parallel dimension counterparts tend to be fun, and this one ran a nice gamut from creative to quirky.  Plus, I liked having missions with big mean baddies (who absolutely kicked my butt the one time I did try engaging...and the other time when Lord Reclusive and all of his clones literally spawned right on top of me...) that could mostly be avoided by focusing on other objectives.  It's a cool concept I'd enjoy seeing more options for in missions in general, I think.  The humor was a little hit-or-miss for me.  I got a good chuckle out of Lord Footloose and Captain Makorena, but there were what felt like several references to cold blooded murder for a laugh that...I just thought were, well, kinda cold-blooded (Fissionette's bio, the debriefing from mission #4).  I'll note that the kind of subtle stuff regarding the mission contact that could be fairly easily missed was pretty amusing, and felt like a reward for actually trying to read through things though as noted, the way it all ended was a little dark for my tastes.

On the technical side, everything looked okay.  I was running at +1x2 and a couple of the baddies didn't spawn for me: I got two Lady Recluses in mission #1 instead of any appearances by Ghost Widower and I got multiple Lord Recklesses, too, but I can't remember from the mission briefings if there was anyone missing from that (I saw Fissionette and the crab person...incidentally, was that person supposed to be a canon counterpart, too?). Also, does the Helsing NPC in mission 4 have some sort of perception-boosting power?  She aggro-ed like mad, which was a little annoying.  Might have just been bad luck, but you may want to re-evaluate her powers.

Name: Shining Stars: The Search for Dillo
I absolutely adored this story.  Just some good lighthearted heroing.  You have a real good handle on the Shining Stars characterizations, IMO, because it was silly, but not in, like a patently ridiculous or out of character way.  Most notably, it was Flambeaux at her Flambeaux-est, in a way that had me laughing as I rolled my eyes, which is how she should be.  I had slightly mixed feelings on the last mission.  It was fun to fight alongside Dillo again, but on the other hand, the half-baked excuse to keep the mission going felt, well, half-baked.  And on the other, other hand, the final "twist" when the boss summons his ambush felt amusingly full-circle with the old Twinshot arcs too.  So up and down, there.  Maybe do something with the urn that gets name-dropped a couple times, instead, to set up the last confrontation?

I noticed a few minor typos here and there on this one.  Twinshot not capitalizing the first letter in sentences in briefings, Flambeaux calling the Prussian Prince of Automatons "nemesis", stuff like that.  Dillo's line when he gets rescued in mission 2 is missing a word, I think, because it didn't make grammatical sense (and not for the usual Dillo reasons).
Title: Re: Donkyhotay's AE missions
Post by: Donkyhotay on May 19, 2021, 11:00:45 pm
Thanks for the feedback, The Many Lives of Lord Recluse is meant to be somewhat dark given that you're diving into the various possible ways Lord Recluse (the big bad of the primal universe) could have turned out. It's a big reason why your encounter with Lord Footloose, the most light hearted of them, is last. Thinking about it though I probably should list it as a vigilante, rather then as a heroic, mission arc. You're probably right though that the debriefing from #4 could be toned down, or at least made more subtle, and I think I might rewrite that section. I'll also take Fissionette's bio into consideration since the darkness there isn't necessary. While most of the characters you meet are variants of primal heroes/villains (White Scorpion, The Mantis Corp., Penelope Yang) Dungeoness is not meant to be based on any primal character but is one I made up myself. Sure the focus of the arc is on the different ways people we know could end up in alternate universes but I figured I had to have least one character that is a complete unknown.

Emily Van Helsong has no perception boost abilities, she's a corrupter with ice blast primary with thermal for the secondary. She's actually set to a pacifist setting allowing her to die but she's not supposed to actually fight even if she is attacked so I'm not certain why she was running off for you. Originally she was supposed to help you fight but she had a tendency to get into fights and die which is why I set her to pacifist. Maybe I should turn her aggressive and just make her an optional objective to avoid frustration?

Most of the "Recluse" fights aren't supposed to be fair. One of them
Spoiler (hover to show)
is as absolutely *unfair* as I could make it without indirectly affecting the mandatory objectives. It's also why during the Lord Reclusive briefing you are advised to "request an emergency evac portal" (i.e. hit the exit button ASAP) after destroying the generator. During testing I also occasionally had issues with duplicated bosses and I blame AE limitations there. The AE allows you to create and add *groups* but not *characters*. Making multiple characters for the group helps, this is why
Spoiler (hover to show)
but depending on the RNG duplications still sometimes happen. More so the higher your teamsize is.

You're absolutely right that the 3rd mission in The Search for Dillo is shoe-horned in and I'm not thrilled with it myself but I'm uncertain how to fix it. When I originally planned out the arc I had intended it being just the first two missions and with it ending after
Spoiler (hover to show)
. However it felt unsatisfying to find and rescue Dillo but never get to even talk to him. If the AE wasn't so restricted I would have
Spoiler (hover to show)
. However since there is no way to despawn an NPC or allow a real conversation with an NPC in the AE the only other alternative was a 3rd mission. I did consider making the 3rd mission be teaming up with Dillo to get the urn back but that felt even *more* shoe-horned in and more the start of a completely different arc since it had nothing to do with rescuing Dillo. Again, I don't really like having the 3rd mission shoe-horned in like that but I think it's better then not really getting to see Dillo at all.

It seems like I always miss things while proofreading no matter how careful I am. Thanks for pointing them out, I'll go over the text more closely and try to fix them.
Title: Re: Donkyhotay's AE missions
Post by: Donkyhotay on May 24, 2021, 03:28:56 pm
So I've rewritten The Shining Stars: The Search for Dillo and managed to eliminate that 3rd mission that was sorta just "tacked on" at the end. I'm much more pleased with this version as I was able to keep all the character interactions I wanted (especially with Dillo) despite the limitations of the AE without resorting to an extra mission. Honestly in hindsight I'm embarrassed it took me so long to figure out. It's been republished with arcID: 797 for those that want to try it out. Let me know what you think.

Also I am taking the feedback I've gotten on The Many Lives of Lord Recluse and am cleaning it up as well.
Title: Re: Donkyhotay's AE missions
Post by: Donkyhotay on May 24, 2021, 04:57:54 pm
So I finished cleaning up The Many Lives of Lord Recluse. Since this change was much smaller and only took a little time I was able to simply edit what was there instead of taking taking it down and republishing it so it's still the same arcID: 774 it had before. I reformatted the text, mostly breaking up the info dumps so they are easier to read and converted the text to use the same coloring scheme the official missions use (orange for NPC actions for example). This is also something I did for The Shining Stars: The Search for Dillo as well. I also made the Anarchy Alliance a bit more obviously villainous rather then confused heroes, toned down Fusionette's bio, and did change the alignment to vigilante since it's strongly hinted you kill at least one of the major characters you "defeat".

As always, any and all feedback is appreciated.
Title: Re: Donkyhotay's AE missions
Post by: Draggynn on June 27, 2021, 08:28:55 pm
Hey Donky,

I needed some Architect tickets and so started playing through the Lives of Lord Recluse.  I thought it was an appropriate arc for our server that runs on puns and enjoyed the mission text, but had some questions about the mechanics implemented.  Because I was focused on tickets I didn't see all of your versions this run through (since I sometimes hit the ticket cap before making it that far) so I'm not certain how you intended the Lts. to show up in the first mission, as I never saw them, but I saw in this thread that you were having issues with duplicates.  I cleared the first floor and clicked the computer without ever seeing them.  Do you have Lady Recluse as a boss and then the Lts. in a group surrounding her?  If you wanted to avoid duplicates you could make each of the Lts. a separate boss spawn, and as long as you put them all at the end of the mission, and the computer in the front or middle it should be possible for the player to skip them.

I played at level 50 and in the Lord Reclusive mission, all of the enemies spawned sub level (because they capped out at lvl 35 or something).  Was this intentional?
It's true that you can't make the ambush a single character, but you could have Lord Reclusive spawn as a boss somewhere in the mission, rather than as ambush.  The players wouldn't have that same "jumped" experience, but you could get him solo.

No issues with the Penelope Yang mission, but again only saw her.

In the Lord Wreck Loose mission I couldn't find the second escort so I eventually just gave up.  I'm sure I just missed it, but if you made the escort spawn do something special it would be easier to spot it.  I also have a pet peeve about Masterminds in AE missions.  They tend to be a pain with little reward and often low challenge.  I think the occasional MM can be a nice flavor, but I was running at x8 and running into 3-4 MMs every spawn which were producing lots of grey zombies that were just messing up my targeting.  I know this is just my personal preference, but my frustration with them meant I was unwilling to just clear the mission to find the hostage, which I would have done if it were another enemy.

Hopefully I can play it through again soon to see the rest of it.  I well understand the frustration of trying to work within the AE limitations (I still can't figure out why one of my ambushes won't spawn) but think you did a good job working with what you had.
Title: Re: Donkyhotay's AE missions
Post by: Donkyhotay on June 28, 2021, 01:35:13 am
Thanks for trying it out! The enemies in the 2nd mission being sublevel is intentional. The contact even mentions afterwards that some people feel sorry for them but they would be dangerous if they escaped and able to arm themselves. It's one reason the mission is vig alignment.

Almost all of the Lord Recluse variants are safely hidden in the back of the level while your mission objectives are in the middle. This is done intentionally because the Lord Recluses are meant to be as strong as the primal version. The first two I was able to kill with a well equipped char but the 3rd and 4th I couldn't take out by myself even with with the difficulty bottomed out. The 4th mission Lord Recluse variant (Lord Wreck Loose) I intentionally designed to be as absolutely *unfair* of a fight as the AE would let me. This is why the contact always warns and suggests that you avoid confronting the variant directly.

Which character did you find on mission 4? That will let me know which one you couldn't find. One of the characters is doing an animation, the other is just cowering but in a bright white coat in order to make them both somewhat more visible. Although both are set for "middle", during testing I found that the game would sometimes place one of the rescuees to the far left of the entrance, behind the rocks, and I also would waste time searching all around the boss until I learned to check over there.
Title: Re: Donkyhotay's AE missions
Post by: Draggynn on June 28, 2021, 03:13:25 am
The portal tech was the one I could find.  I think on most outdoor maps positioning is ignored, but there might be some exceptions.
Title: Re: Donkyhotay's AE missions
Post by: Donkyhotay on June 28, 2021, 01:18:42 pm
I specified middle but I do think you're right that it doesn't matter too much on that map.

The portal tech you found simply uses the cower animation. The one you couldn't find is a witch like char that uses the "soul steal" animation on the zombies surrounding her (she's trying to absorb power from them to recharge her magic). It isn't the flashiest of animations but it does have an "energy aura" type effect on it.