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What did you think: Mirrors and Smoke

ambassadorkael#6946 ambassadorkael Member, Administrator Posts: 2,563 Community Manager
As with Survivor, we're going to make new threads for new content, so you guys can give us your feedback!

What did you think of the new Featured Episode, Mirrors and Smoke?
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  • nightkennightken Member Posts: 2,808 Arc User
    I'll just quote myself
    nightken wrote: »
    map was good... that the only nice thing I have too say about it.

    and why was the kentari bad guy wearing random preexist uniform pieces... also why was his head so big. was the mission rushed?

    and really stop with the useless large groups of toothless enemies, on the ground I was lagging so hard I personally wasn't fighting at all and in space I killed that last fleet almost by accident.

    if I stop posting it doesn't make you right it. just means I don't have enough rum to continue interacting with you.
  • jaredza#2872 jaredza Member Posts: 80 Arc User
    Well I liked the ground map a lot, it was really well made, it looked great. The space fighting was ok, but I didn't like the idea of firing to disable the second time around, if an enemy attacks my ship a second time after I already gave them a chance then I would be firing for maximum effect.

    The dreadnought escaping...Not mad about that either, they just decimated a farming colony of thousands of people, it seems kind of an outrage to just let them escape. As for the destruction of the moon, I didn't expect that to happen at all so that was an interesting development. But then seeing it get fixed with the snap of Kumaarkes fingers made the whole thing irrelevant. I did like the massed enemies at the end since I get to use my Oblivion Gateway on them.

    All in all I enjoyed the new FE. It was a nice touch that the pollution on the ground affected us, and so was making it so that an environmental suit stops us being affected. It was also nice to see Kumaarke being confident during the fighting. There were some things I didn't like that much but I still enjoyed mission overall.
  • sarysa#0502 sarysa Member Posts: 51 Arc User
    Generally liked it, though it seemed an entire moon being murdered did not elicit much reaction as many have noted.

    LOVED Kuumaarke's character development. She's definitely becoming stronger of will.

    The thinly veiled reference to the elephant in the Whi...room (in the real world) is kind of a return to form for Star Trek, and yet also kind of weird. I mean the series was always about anvil dropping and bringing up the complexity of issues, but it's kind of weird to see Star Trek go directly after a single person. Once people become more hip to this, I wonder how ESD chat is going to be the next few days.
  • jaredza#2872 jaredza Member Posts: 80 Arc User
    Generally liked it, though it seemed an entire moon being murdered did not elicit much reaction as many have noted.

    LOVED Kuumaarke's character development. She's definitely becoming stronger of will.

    The thinly veiled reference to the elephant in the Whi...room (in the real world) is kind of a return to form for Star Trek, and yet also kind of weird. I mean the series was always about anvil dropping and bringing up the complexity of issues, but it's kind of weird to see Star Trek go directly after a single person. Once people become more hip to this, I wonder how ESD chat is going to be the next few days.

    Someone in zone chat outside the mission area already said they want to stop playing because of what you brought up.

  • haxxsaw#9362 haxxsaw Member Posts: 77 Arc User
    As with Survivor, we're going to make new threads for new content, so you guys can give us your feedback!

    What did you think of the new Featured Episode, Mirrors and Smoke?

    I happen to like this episode. I feel it was put together quite nice.
  • psycoticvulcanpsycoticvulcan Member Posts: 4,160 Arc User
    I enjoyed it overall. The maps were great as always and I thought the themes were heavy-handed but appropriate.

    But I agree they definitely did not make as big a deal about the destruction of the moon as they should have, especially since it's apparently the breadbasket of the Kentauri. And restoring it literally five minutes later with hardly any effort was just ridiculous. Planet killing kind of loses its teeth once you can terraform them back to life in the blink of an eye.
    NJ9oXSO.png
    "Critics who say that the optimistic utopia Star Trek depicted is now outmoded forget the cultural context that gave birth to it: Star Trek was not a manifestation of optimism when optimism was easy. Star Trek declared a hope for a future that nobody stuck in the present could believe in. For all our struggles today, we haven’t outgrown the need for stories like Star Trek. We need tales of optimism, of heroes, of courage and goodness now as much as we’ve ever needed them."
    -Thomas Marrone
  • xyquarzexyquarze Member Posts: 2,091 Arc User
    Quoting myself:
    xyquarze wrote: »
    Overall, I am not really a fan of this episode.

    Let's start with the good: The first ground map is again an absolute piece of art. Second, not so much, but given the theme it makes sense. Space map and cut scenes also work fine. The "opposing propaganda" news stands were interesting. And the theme of the episode was good - for me, not everybody may like it, but let's face it, Star Trek is a tree hugging franchise, so it is appropriate to cuddle some plant life once in a while. But it's not all good, more on that later. Also, more exploration and "new faces", that's welcome.

    Less convincing to me:
    Gameplay: Two major turn offs for me: first, the "enemy warp out when whittled down enough". After all, it's a decent boss fight, I'd like to get rewards for it. Also with the rebel faction: I get that the first encounter is "disable only", but not the second time they come after you. Also a disconnect: on ground we should have "phasers set to stun" then... would make the second ground map quite crowded though. Second turn off: time gate. Okay, not an actual time gate, but "Kuumaarke slowly plays on the console and we have to keep her from getting shot at" feels similar enough to me. Maybe only my problem: neither on ground nor in space seem I to be able to draw enough aggro to keep enemies focussing on me. Especially in the boss fight that is a disadvantage/inconvenience when the dreadnought always turns away from you.

    Story: While I love to hug-a-tree, as mentioned before, I feel like this was a little heavy handed. Actually: very heavy handed. It lacked any kind of subtlety. Possibly an effect of the other problem: too much was going on story wise in too little time - what happened here could/should have easily been two to three episodes to fit stuff in. Would probably not have sat well with those not liking the theme though. But the end "Thank you, we have to thank you for all of it" by the prime minister just minutes after thousands or maybe even millions of her people have been eradicated was a bit too easy. And who's going to do the farming now? After all, all people trained in it are gone. (And how did the protomatter know what exactly to recreate? After all, all organic stuff was gone as well...). I also hope it wasn't intended as a surprise that defence guy turned traitor. Because that reminded me a lot of the infamous Divide et Impera, ehm, "plot twist". While I was more hoping for a revamped Saturday's Child, which could very well fit into this arc.

    As for the real world reference: I dunno, maybe some added lines, but the general concept of these kind of politics wasn't really invented by the guy you didn't mention. Yes, he may have been a catalyst, but I could easily see this episode having happened even if events in the last 24 months were different.

    As for players wanting to leave the game because of the political stance I'd say "good riddance". Not that it is wrong as such, I have abandoned media for similar reasons. But these people would have been in the wrong IP to begin with.
    My mother was an epohh and my father smelled of tulaberries
  • shadowfirefly00shadowfirefly00 Member Posts: 1,019 Arc User
    Well I liked the ground map a lot, it was really well made, it looked great.
    A shame there wasn't more of it... along with more opportunities to learn about the Kentari beyond the things you have to interact with, and the optional news terminal. I'd made comparisons to Helghan back when I got a good look at what turned out to be Kentari soldiers in the promo poster; that said comparisons actually hold up amused me. I'll have to use demorecord to take a better look, but the Kentari armor appears to be based on a mix of TFO battledress and security kit pieces... which actually works; I will state again that there is zero good excuse for that to not be unlocked as a tailor option with the complete set (on which note, the two Romulan ground sets need some of that, too).
    As for the destruction of the moon, I didn't expect that to happen at all so that was an interesting development. But then seeing it get fixed with the snap of Kumaarkes fingers made the whole thing irrelevant.
    I imagine there's a bit of study and setup involved with the Lukari terraforming process, but the fact that it's so relatively-easy is sort-of justified in the lore (not only did they develop it out of necessity, but it's one of the two things that draw the Tzenkethi's attention).
    I did like the massed enemies at the end since I get to use my Oblivion Gateway on them.
    Don't have one of those; made do with Cold Fusion Flash and Endothermic Induction Field. Between those and judicious use of zone pause (AKA Mark and Execute) and boff management, the groups of tangos were dropping very quickly indeed.
    All in all I enjoyed the new FE. It was a nice touch that the pollution on the ground affected us, and so was making it so that an environmental suit stops us being affected.
    That was a nice touch (see also: that one puzzle room in 'Hearts and Minds').

    As for the rewards proper: they look interesting. The ground set looks like it'll let you replicate the kit used by RA3's Desolators (their RA2 'ancestors' used a radiation cannon, which can be 'represented' here by the CRP). Pleasantly surprising was the addition of the Kentari missile system (something the Kentari ships themselves don't use, oddly enough).
  • mattbzhmattbzh Member Posts: 10 Arc User
    I'd so much wish to tell you what I thought of it, but the server crashed before I could play it ^^
  • ightenighten Member Posts: 181 Arc User
    edited April 2017
    Nice first map - pity not much happens in it. The farm map was a bit poor though in comparison. All in all enjoyed it - Have to agree with some of the other points, the writing needs more subtlety.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • saurializardsaurializard Member Posts: 4,264 Arc User
    edited April 2017
    What the world needs from Star Trek in times like these are less divisive political messages and more messages (I know I'll get **** for this) like that found in Star Trek Beyond that promotes unity and fellowship in the face of tremendous odds.
    So "don't destroy your environment, especially if it's for glory and money", "don't try to pretend a problem doesn't exist and don't demonize those saying it exists", "creating jobs isn't an excuse to destroy your environment", "don't be racist", "help your people with acts, not propaganda" are divisive political messages, now?

    #TASforSTO
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  • k20vteck20vtec Member Posts: 513 Arc User
    edited April 2017
    Can you create artificial nebula with genesis device? Or soliton wave?
    Speaking of which how many ways can the feds reckt planets and bigger?
    Nice city. Beautiful.
    Remind me of TNG episode first contact, but only a bit
    That pm remind me of someone
    Why are those aliens using phaser rifles
    Why even need terraforming when you just protomatter a planet in seconds. Genesis device atleast had a flaw...
    Hast thou not gone against sincerity
    Hast thou not felt ashamed of thy words and deeds
    Hast thou not lacked vigor
    Hast thou exerted all possible efforts
    Hast thou not become slothful
  • nikdangernikdanger Member Posts: 27 Arc User
    What the world needs from Star Trek in times like these are less divisive political messages and more messages (I know I'll get **** for this) like that found in Star Trek Beyond that promotes unity and fellowship in the face of tremendous odds.
    So "don't destroy your environment, especially if it's for glory and money", "don't try to pretend a problem doesn't exist and don't demonize those saying it exists", "creating jobs isn't an excuse to destroy your environment", "don't be racist", "help your people with acts, not propaganda" are divisive political messages, now?

    You're both off base. The actual moral of the story is it doesn't matter how much you TRIBBLE up the environment because some friendly alien with high tech will clean it all up for you. With a two edged sword-it can kill everything, and/or create everything. Oh, and Hillary finally got elected to high office somewhere. Still wearing the same pantsuit, tho. :smiley:
  • wildeye042wildeye042 Member Posts: 79 Arc User
    edited April 2017
    Enjoyed the episode. Combat was minimally gratuitous. City map design/artwork made me want to sightsee. Accolades helped to encourage urge to explore. Transition between destruction of moon's surface and its restoration jarringly abrupt.

    Generally, I'd like to praise the ground map designers and artists of this season; maps have avoided excessive transitions, limited LOS without feeling claustrophobic, and been visually lush without being garish. Kudos.
  • saurializardsaurializard Member Posts: 4,264 Arc User
    especially when those messages you described that are being preached are not practiced by those doing the preaching.
    And that's an excuse to continue not practicing them, because...?

    #TASforSTO
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  • legendarylycan#5411 legendarylycan Member Posts: 37,017 Arc User
    MORE MISSILES!

    that is all​​
    Like special weapons from other Star Trek games? Wondering if they can be replicated in STO even a little bit? Check this out: https://forum.arcgames.com/startrekonline/discussion/1262277/a-mostly-comprehensive-guide-to-star-trek-videogame-special-weapons-and-their-sto-equivalents

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    A werewolf goes "Awoo, what's this?"


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  • thatcursedwolfthatcursedwolf Member Posts: 1,617 Arc User
    If you're going to go that far on the caricatures the prime minister should have passed out and then been chucked into a shuttle.
    This is my Risian Corvette. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
  • sarysa#0502 sarysa Member Posts: 51 Arc User
    edited April 2017
    If you're going to go that far on the caricatures the prime minister should have passed out and then been chucked into a shuttle.

    Oh god, I laughed out loud to this. Well played.

    I'm pretty neutral when it comes to he-who-remarkably-has-not-been-named, but criticalthinker's arguments were convincing. The tl;dr is that the episode's implications were way too one-sided for Star Trek.

    Plus having background-binged Bill Nye's series recently as well, it's kind of sad. Everything is becoming politicized nowadays. Everyone is planting a red flag or a blue flag. I guess it's just a cultural phase, but it's not only sad on a visceral level, but now not even Star Trek (or STO) can claim to be above politics anymore. Worst of all, it feels like there's nowhere to escape from it.
  • garaks31garaks31 Member Posts: 2,832 Arc User
  • saurializardsaurializard Member Posts: 4,264 Arc User
    but now not even Star Trek (or STO) can claim to be above politics anymore.
    ...
    *looks at TOS episodes involving Romulans and Klingons, then at The Undiscovered Country, then DS9, then Voyager, then Enterprise, then Into Darkness*
    Errrr...

    #TASforSTO
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  • sarysa#0502 sarysa Member Posts: 51 Arc User
    edited April 2017
    but now not even Star Trek (or STO) can claim to be above politics anymore.
    ...
    *looks at TOS episodes involving Romulans and Klingons, then at The Undiscovered Country, then DS9, then Voyager, then Enterprise, then Into Darkness*
    Errrr...

    The devil is in the details...or the lack of detail, as far as those examples go. The leap from issues to people is enormous.

    It's interesting that you mention DS9, which occasionally got so heavy handed that one could argue that Star Trek was no longer post-racial...aka it was so normal to the setting that it was never mentioned, which for 1966 was absolutely awesome. Even then, the most it went into politics was "1950's racism was bad" and "don't let this awful version of 2024 happen" mixed with strawmen. (admittedly a low point in the series) It didn't caricature Newt Gingrich or any particular person. Aside from that, DS9 was very fair with Quark -- a caricature of capitalism. His arguments regarding Feranginar were rather convincing considering our real world systems don't work in a setting with magical replicators of post-scarcity +10.

    Voyager was post-gender. It was just normal...no big deal made about it. Not sure why that's listed. Haven't seen ST6 in over a decade so I'm lost with that one. TOS R/K were straw totalitarians at most, and never really even established as communists. Enterprise...maybe the Xindi arc parallels 9/11? Even then, they gave the Xindi fair treatment.
  • discojerdiscojer Member Posts: 533 Arc User
    Is it just me or have some conservatives taken over the "ZOMG THAT OFFENDS ME I NEED MY SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE SAFE SPACE!" parade?

    You realize there is a difference between criticism and trying to prevent speech using force? I don't see anyone calling for Cryptic's office to be protested, much less riots.

    Criticism = acceptable use of free speech.



  • psycoticvulcanpsycoticvulcan Member Posts: 4,160 Arc User
    edited April 2017
    For what it's worth, "First Contact" (the TNG episode, not the movie) had a very similar concept to this mission, with a progressive government clashing with traditionalists who didn't like change. In that case the government decided to delay joining the galactic community until they'd gotten their internal problems sorted out. And of course "Demons"/"Terra Prime" had xenophobic humans violently resisting contact with aliens and even attempting a coup to prevent the Coalition of Planets from being formed. Neither of those examples were particularly two-sided.

    So this kind of concept isn't new to the franchise by any means, and it really hasn't been treated any differently than the mission did.
    NJ9oXSO.png
    "Critics who say that the optimistic utopia Star Trek depicted is now outmoded forget the cultural context that gave birth to it: Star Trek was not a manifestation of optimism when optimism was easy. Star Trek declared a hope for a future that nobody stuck in the present could believe in. For all our struggles today, we haven’t outgrown the need for stories like Star Trek. We need tales of optimism, of heroes, of courage and goodness now as much as we’ve ever needed them."
    -Thomas Marrone
  • piatminipiatmini Member Posts: 13 Arc User
    tl;dr: This episode had a ton of potential, but blatant bias made it feel like a piece of propaganda (which, ironically, is one of the things the episode is criticizing).

    I agree that the differences from criticizing an issue (racism/xenophobia), and mocking a person (Trump) is quite large. Besides, if you are going hate a group of people because you claim they hate a different group of people... well you see how that goes. That said, I don't think the episode was bad because of the blatant real world references, but because it was so one-sided.

    I think it could have been a great episode if they had given fair treatment to both sides (indicating that you've at least listened to both sides of an argument) and then let the players chose a side. That could produce an interesting, dynamic story arc (as long as the judgemental tone is dropped). I acknowledge there are technical issues, such as needing to add a "switch" to remember the choice made the last time the previous mission was played. There would also need to be a way to have two players who picked different sides to play a follow on episode together, but I think that allowing decisions to actually matter is the hallmark of some of the most memorable RPGs (Mass Effect, Wolf Among Us, etc). Perhaps even asking at the beginning of the next episode which choice was made (as was done in Neverwinter Nights 2's expansion) would be an easy fix, although a bit unrealistic (I say in a world were temporal mechanics/ quantum physics are ignored on a regular basis).
  • saurializardsaurializard Member Posts: 4,264 Arc User
    Voyager was post-gender. It was just normal...no big deal made about it.
    There were the Malons and the danger of pollution and dumping waste somewhere instead of treating it.
    The issues of healthcare in that episode where the Doctor is kidnapped.
    The "there is no afterlife" episode first released close to Xmas.
    The one with the Devore, persecuting people just because they're telepaths.
    Haven't seen ST6 in over a decade so I'm lost with that one
    The fall of URSS, the end of the Cold War, the rampant mistrust and racism, Praxis being Chernobyl, Chancellor Gorkonbachev getting targeted, the fear that this will be the end of Glorious Russia, the attempted coup to prevent peace.
    #TASforSTO
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