NOTE: Issue 14 (the one with the Mission Architect system) is still only on CoX’s Test Server(s). It’s slated to go live sometime in the next few weeks.
I finally created my first story in the new Mission Architect; I was aiming for what I thought would be something relatively simple, humorous rather than really dangerous, and thus hopefully easy to write.
Lesson #1: I should have stuck with premade bad guys. It would have been a lot easier. On the other hand, I now know how to make my own custom groups and characters, and it’s not that difficult. It does, however, chew up a chunk of “save” space.
Lesson #2: The mission architect isn’t that difficult to use. Hurrah! Sure, it has a learning curve, but every option has a clickable ? that gives you more information and examples.
Lesson #3: No matter how well drafted you think your mission/arc idea was, it wasn’t detailed enough. This, however, will get easier for subsequent creations, since I now have a much better idea of how missions/arcs are put together.
I didn’t time myself to see how long this arc took to create, but it was spread out over several sessions starting sometime last week, as time allowed. If I had to guesstimate, I’d say 6-8 hours including the time to read the tutorial, enter the info, create custom chars and groups, test the various missions (4 in total), edit what needed to be edited, and test some more. Greater familiarity with the creation tool will cut this time down considerably, as will better preparation beforehand.
Various criticisms have already been levelled at the Mission Architect system, including the fact that it doesn’t let you custom-place opponents and the like — but then again, that’s quite consistent with CoX missions in general. I’m just glad they’re actually putting this kind of tool in the hands of the players; I’ve already played 3 player-created missions (and abandoned several more as just too difficult for my gimped scrapper self), and there’s a distinct added flavour to playing something another player made.
For those of you who have access and the inclination, the Story is called Catnapped! and it’s Arc #18799 — you can search strings, which should make it easier to find if you’ve a yen to try it out. Me, I’m going to try out Sente’s Missing Geneticist story! Well.. as soon as the Test server comes back up. Ain’t that just typical?