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What Did You Think: Mirrors and Smoke?

xyquarzexyquarze Member Posts: 2,091 Arc User
Okay, was hoping for an official feedback thread, but I will give my opinion. Spoilers may be included.

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.
My mother was an epohh and my father smelled of tulaberries
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Comments

  • xyquarzexyquarze Member Posts: 2,091 Arc User
    What I forgot to mention: there's also two aesops/moral topics here with ecology and xenophobia. One per mission would have sufficed. Plus, in gameplay, the difficulty spike between the boss (quite a DPS sponge) and everything else (blows up when you look at it) is a bit large.
    My mother was an epohh and my father smelled of tulaberries
  • drakethewhitedrakethewhite Member Posts: 1,240 Arc User
    In a effort to be relevant they succeeded at being trite.
  • burstorionburstorion Member Posts: 1,750 Arc User
    Indeed, the fact millions were wiped out with a essential handwave then was handwaved with an instant revival of the moon was pretty insane (ignoring the fact somehow the planet was cultivated perfectly and wasn't just a massive jungle and despite protomatter being the genesis device, all inorganic structures were perfect)

    At least we didn't get the blame for once and the new enemy/allies were statted just right, powerful enough for their civillisation but with nothing that was really a danger - although if I may ask, any chance we could buy rebreathers from the vending machine if we never got them from ashes to ashes? I was rather dissapointed we didn't get that option
  • xyquarzexyquarze Member Posts: 2,091 Arc User
    Ah, rebreathers, didn't think of them. Probably environmental suits should work as well. Though the occasional slump isn't really problematic enough to justify the time to put them on.
    My mother was an epohh and my father smelled of tulaberries
  • drakethewhitedrakethewhite Member Posts: 1,240 Arc User
    burstorion wrote: »
    Indeed, the fact millions were wiped out with a essential handwave then was handwaved with an instant revival of the moon was pretty insane (ignoring the fact somehow the planet was cultivated perfectly and wasn't just a massive jungle and despite protomatter being the genesis device, all inorganic structures were perfect)

    This storyline shows a classic failure in scifi writing, the lack of realization of impact of a conceit upon future stories. You really want instant rebuilding of destroyed planets to be a thing? Just go back an rebuild Alderaan (yes, I'll mix settings because- analogy) with five minutes of work?

    I guess it's in line with the whole post-scarcity concept that ruined Star Trek in the first place. So why not?
  • nightkennightken Member Posts: 2,808 Arc User
    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?

    if I stop posting it doesn't make you right it. just means I don't have enough rum to continue interacting with you.
  • rattler2rattler2 Member Posts: 56,073 Community Moderator

    This storyline shows a classic failure in scifi writing, the lack of realization of impact of a conceit upon future stories. You really want instant rebuilding of destroyed planets to be a thing? Just go back an rebuild Alderaan (yes, I'll mix settings because- analogy) with five minutes of work?

    I guess it's in line with the whole post-scarcity concept that ruined Star Trek in the first place. So why not?

    I'm not so sure. Seems to me like they're using elements of the Genesis Device from Wrath of Khan, which was supposed to be capable of doing exactly what the Lukari did in the FE. We're seeing two sides of the same tech coin. One to destroy, the other to create.

    Although I WILL say the Federation may have been a bit more advanced in deployment system but... details.

    I'm fully expecting some kind of tie in to Project Genesis down the road.
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    I can't take it anymore! Could everyone just chill out for two seconds before something CRAZY happens again?!
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  • warpangelwarpangel Member Posts: 9,427 Arc User
    The story is good but predictable. It was immediately obvious the ships would attack (every time), that the landing party would be ambushed, that the defense minister would turn out to be evil, that the tzenkethi would show up... The tzenkethi succeeding at bombing the moon was actually unexpected, but the reaction to it was lame and implausible, as was Kuumaarke putting everything right back with space magic.

    The anti-eco-terrorists reminded me of Captain Planet villains. Not necessarily a bad thing, but unless they were going for 80's cartoon nostalgia they should've at the very least left out the part where the terrorists try to sabotage captain K's magic wand to cause another protomatter bomb explosion on their own moon.

    I would've liked an option to help the sick people in the streets.

    The gameplay was same old same old. I liked exploring the city for the accolades. How nice of us not to blow up the kentari ships, but I'd have liked to make that choice myself. Could've done without yet another "wait for Kuumaarke to tinker with her gadgets" scene, since actually defending her is as usual entirely optional. But at least it gave an accolade so not a total waste of time...on the first playthrough anyway. I do expect to AFK it next week, though. Overall there didn't seem to be much for the player to do. Once again Kuumaarke is the magician (literally this time) and the player is the lovely assistant.

    And yeah, that city map is pure awesome.
  • mhall85mhall85 Member Posts: 2,852 Arc User1
    Yeah, I wasn't all that impressed with this mission, either.

    It felt very TNG, to be honest... but, that isn't necessarily a good thing. Early TNG was often heavy-handed and/or pompous and blasé about morality. I think this FE was more the former than the latter, but it DID feel like wiping out an entire population didn't quite matter. Add to that the double "bonk-bonk-on-the-head" over the environmental and xenophobic issues...

    Not the best, IMO.
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  • sarysa#0502 sarysa Member Posts: 51 Arc User
    edited April 2017
    I think Kuumaarke got a major upgrade in this episode. I've never seen her rattle a saber until now...it's nice to see character development.

    Agree with a lot of the points mentioned before me.

    As for the twin aesops, it's not what you think. All of the world's problems (xenophobia, propaganda, and environmental issues) are a direct reference to (albeit an exaggeration of) a certain political figure who has dominated the headlines for at least the last 12 months. (edit: the kicker is when Pentaaro said he wants to "make New Kentar safe [ag...]once more")
    Post edited by sarysa#0502 on
  • jaredza#2872 jaredza Member Posts: 80 Arc User
    **Spoilers!!!***





    Well it wasn't the whole population? They said "thousands" were on the moon, presumably they were agricultural workers? Maybe restoring the planet with the protomatter is going to be built on going forward?

    Still i usually prefer of a bad event in a story, book, game etc. is permanent. If you can reverse a tragedy with a snap of your fingers it takes away the impact of a tragedy.
  • walligigwalligig Member Posts: 308 Arc User
    IDK, I'll just say all I could think when the Prime minister started talking is that voice is way too young sounding to be coming out of someone looking that old. Other then that it just seems like your normal Federation saves the day mission.
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  • rattler2rattler2 Member Posts: 56,073 Community Moderator
    I think Kuumaarke got a major upgrade in this episode. I've never seen her rattle a saber until now...it's nice to see character development.

    Well... in all honesty... the Lukari are offshoots of the Kentari and there's still some animosity between them. Kinda understandable. But also a welcome bit of character development.

    66998372863950ee98cf7da9786e2ea9-db80k0m.png
    I can't take it anymore! Could everyone just chill out for two seconds before something CRAZY happens again?!
    The nut who actually ground out a Delta Pack, Temporal Pack, and Gamma Pack
    The resident forum voice of reason (I HAZ FORUM REP! YAY!)
  • jaredza#2872 jaredza Member Posts: 80 Arc User
    It was kinda cool hearing her tell them that they're making a big mistake attacking us. She seems more confident now.
  • saurializardsaurializard Member Posts: 4,265 Arc User
    walligig wrote: »
    IDK, I'll just say all I could think when the Prime minister started talking is that voice is way too young sounding to be coming out of someone looking that old.
    It could be the excessive pollution taking its toll.
    I think Kuumaarke got a major upgrade in this episode. I've never seen her rattle a saber until now...it's nice to see character development.
    It's very welcome, yes. At least, she doesn't act like a typical Deferi whose only way of defense is to plead not to upset the Balance.
    As for the twin aesops, it's not what you think. All of the world's problems (xenophobia, propaganda, and environmental issues) are a direct reference to (albeit an exaggeration of) a certain political figure who has dominated the headlines for at least the last 12 months.
    That's what I thought, as well, especially with the several attempts to justify what they're doing with the classic "but it will create many jobs!".
    #TASforSTO
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  • szimszim Member Posts: 2,500 Arc User
    I don't know. I never liked the idea of a Genesis device in the first place. But be it as it may, restoring a moon's biosphere and ecosystem within minutes after its destruction completely broke all immersion for me. It should at least have taken extensive surveys, more crews, ships, equipment as well as several weeks of work before the first attempt of restoration could have been conducted. It seemed way to easy, which negated any actual impact the Tzenkethi attack had, given that the lifes lost didn't seem to matter much or at all.
  • velquavelqua Member Posts: 1,215 Arc User
    As far as a continuation of the Lukari story arc, it was good overall. It was nice to see that the Kentari were alive and well, continuing to pollute the new found world. The media reports were a nice feature to investigate, much more easier than the one in Vorgon mission. I did feel a little of today's ideological differences between the perceived notions of conservatism and progressivism in the different telecasts presented. The ground map for New Kentar was a nice addition; I do hope we get to visit there much more often. The map is somewhat comparable to Mirror Bajor, which I had hoped we would have had more access to outside of the mission. I was a little surprised that the Prime Minister was much more open about having us help the Kentari. I would have thought she would have been much more reserved like the Na'khul when they lost their sun. Again, overall, it was a nice mission furthering the story along. I do hope that we find out more about these crystals as the story progresses.
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  • legendarylycan#5411 legendarylycan Member Posts: 37,017 Arc User
    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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  • rattler2rattler2 Member Posts: 56,073 Community Moderator
    szim wrote: »
    I don't know. I never liked the idea of a Genesis device in the first place. But be it as it may, restoring a moon's biosphere and ecosystem within minutes after its destruction completely broke all immersion for me. It should at least have taken extensive surveys, more crews, ships, equipment as well as several weeks of work before the first attempt of restoration could have been conducted. It seemed way to easy, which negated any actual impact the Tzenkethi attack had, given that the lifes lost didn't seem to matter much or at all.

    Well... I figure by this point the Lukari have streamlined the setup process as, if you went through the Lukari rep, they've already performed several already. So odds are they have everything they need to quickly set up. The fact the Tzenkethi attacked was just a coincidence, and since the main Lukari ship with the tech, the Reskava, was present, she was able to respond immediately. Combined with the data provided by the Kentari... I can actually understand the rapid response.
    66998372863950ee98cf7da9786e2ea9-db80k0m.png
    I can't take it anymore! Could everyone just chill out for two seconds before something CRAZY happens again?!
    The nut who actually ground out a Delta Pack, Temporal Pack, and Gamma Pack
    The resident forum voice of reason (I HAZ FORUM REP! YAY!)
  • drakethewhitedrakethewhite Member Posts: 1,240 Arc User
    szim wrote: »
    It seemed way to easy, which negated any actual impact the Tzenkethi attack had, given that the lifes lost didn't seem to matter much or at all.

    I think Star Trek's post-scarcity includes lives. No one ever seems concerned about them no matter how many are lost.

    Which makes sense, without either religion or economics to give them value- they really don't matter until you can't crew your ships anymore.
  • betanembetanem Member Posts: 122 Arc User
    My head hurt after playing this mission, it was like being beaten over the head with a piece of ham in the shape of a fist. :/
  • smokebaileysmokebailey Member Posts: 4,491 Arc User
    I liked it quite a lot
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  • postagepaidpostagepaid Member Posts: 2,872 Arc User
    The defence minister was very obviously going to do what he did after our first encounter, he also looked like he was modelled off an 80's cartoon baddie with the big green head.

    A much better plot twist would have been the prime minister offering one hand in friendship while holding a weapon in the other.

    Kumaarke was much less likeable in this, she went from curious explorer taking first steps out the door to overly judgemental and self righteous. The waving magic wand to heal the moon happened way too soon in the story, protomatter is sold as a really bad thing but she has the gear on her ship to terraform any world she wants at a whim. At the very least there should have been a trip back home to collect the proper gear and staff.

    Feel sorry for any low levels during that tzeench fight as I can see it taking WAAAAAY to long for ships that lack the abilities for the frontal missile that appears to have no cooldown, I had it three times back to back salvo-like.
  • jorantomalakjorantomalak Member Posts: 7,133 Arc User
    The defence minister was very obviously going to do what he did after our first encounter, he also looked like he was modelled off an 80's cartoon baddie with the big green head.

    A much better plot twist would have been the prime minister offering one hand in friendship while holding a weapon in the other.

    Kumaarke was much less likeable in this, she went from curious explorer taking first steps out the door to overly judgemental and self righteous. The waving magic wand to heal the moon happened way too soon in the story, protomatter is sold as a really bad thing but she has the gear on her ship to terraform any world she wants at a whim. At the very least there should have been a trip back home to collect the proper gear and staff.

    Feel sorry for any low levels during that tzeench fight as I can see it taking WAAAAAY to long for ships that lack the abilities for the frontal missile that appears to have no cooldown, I had it three times back to back salvo-like.

    Yeah the maps were nice new kntar reminded a little of bladrunner , but the points you make are spot on kimaarke went from likable to arrogent pris , the moon was restored to soon couldve banged another FE out of that and made the story longer, speaking of that the mission overall felt to small and the end was just abrupt.

    The tzen portion was fun but as you said players without the gear and or experiance fighting the tzen will have a tough go of it.
  • lordmalak1lordmalak1 Member Posts: 4,673 Arc User
    edited April 2017
    The city map is beautiful, but sadly wasted on nothing more than a accolade quest. Aside from the moon vaporization and instant resurrection (which was total eyeroll) the mission was pretty standard meh.

    So they fixxed the protomater decay problem from the original Genesis torpedo ?

    Thanks for the easy spec point
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  • starmanjstarmanj Member Posts: 690 Arc User
    Story/Mission was good that last battle with Dredghnot was a Pain way to long to take it down
  • lordmalak1lordmalak1 Member Posts: 4,673 Arc User
    starmanj wrote: »
    Story/Mission was good that last battle with Dredghnot was a Pain way to long to take it down

    LOL, it was easier than the battle before the moon got nuked. I got 1 shotted by the dread and the resulting explosion killed all the enemies. On respawn, the encounter was already over, and I had won.
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  • nimbullnimbull Member Posts: 1,563 Arc User
    I plowed through all the badies including the dread. It was all like "Braaah!" and I was like "BFAW3 TS2" and it was like "ack!" and dead. Seriously though I had no problems in space or ground. It was a nice pace through everything. The ground set however doesn't excite me much but the mission was good.
    Green people don't have to be.... little.
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