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NCC-89471 mission registry and discussion
01-22-2014, 06:11 AM (This post was last modified: 05-08-2014 11:05 AM by NCC-89471.)
Post: #1
NCC-89471 mission registry and discussion
Mission statuses current as of 7 May 2014

Starfleet missions
  • "Ghosts of War, Part I" (aka "Dust to Dust"): Remastered
  • "Ghosts of War, Part II" (aka "Extraordinary Rendition"): Remastered
  • "Ghosts of War, Part III" (aka "Chasing Ghosts"): Remastered
  • "Ghosts of War, Part IV" (aka "The Portal"): Remastered
  • "Ghosts of War, Part V" (aka "Operation Wolverine"): Remastered
  • "Ghosts of War, Part VI" (aka "Time's Hammer"): Remastered

Klingon Defense Force missions
  • "Twilight of the Gods, Act I": Planned
  • "Twilight of the Gods, Act II": Planned
  • "Twilight of the Gods, Act III": Planned

Romulan Republic missions
For Federation allies:
  • "[Rom] Valley of the Shadow I" (aka "Into the Valley"): Published
  • "[Rom] Valley of the Shadow II" (aka "The Shadow of Death"): Published
  • "[Rom] Valley of the Shadow III" (aka "Fear No Evil"): In development

For Klingon allies:
  • "[Rom] Into The Valley" (KDF port of "Valley of the Shadow I"): Republished; visible only to reviewers
  • "[Rom] The Shadow of Death" (KDF port of "Valley of the Shadow II"): Republished; visible only to reviewers
  • "[Rom] Fear No Evil" (KDF port of "Valley of the Shadow III"): In development

Mission concepts (working titles)
  • "The Gamma Crisis" [Fed/KDF(/Rom?) crossover series]: A TBD Gamma Quadrant villain (the Hur'q, maybe?) attacks the Dominion and threatens the Bajoran wormhole.
  • "Ghost in the Glass" (Fed standalone, possibly expandable to a trilogy): A Mirror Universe tale involving alternate versions of characters from the Ghosts of War (and possibly Valley of the Shadow) series.
  • "Impolite Company" or "To The Four Winds" (Fed standalone): A Prime Directive mission about a civilization that has developed transporter technology, but is using it mainly to get rid of its undesirables (political dissidents, homeless, criminals etc.) by beaming them to random remote parts of their planet, where they are left to fend for themselves or die.
  • "Sam Soong, Android" (Fed standalone, possibly expandable to a trilogy): Responding to a distress call from a remote lab, you discover the prototype of a new class of android, basically Data 2.0, designed and built by (possibly) the Daystrom Institute based on the notes and other materials left behind by the late Dr. Soong.
  • "Turkana IV" (Fed standalone, possibly expandable to a trilogy): Tasha Yar's formerly gang-infested homeworld is now ruled by a brutal dictatorship established by one of the factions seen in TNG "Legacy", which has recast Tasha as a sort of mythical figure (either a great hero or a victim) and use that myth to justify their atrocities.
  • "Unsanctioned" (KDF standalone): A mission based on the "Unsanctioned Combat Arena" DOff assignment. You must investigate after your DOff fails to report in, which naturally leads to you having to compete in the arena yourself.


In the STO forums, my handle is paxfederatica.
On Twitter, @NCC89471 (no hyphen).
In game, on the StarbaseUGC blog, and now in the StarbaseUGC forums, NCC-89471.
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03-23-2014, 01:50 PM (This post was last modified: 03-25-2014 03:16 PM by NCC-89471.)
Post: #2
Ghosts of War: The story behind the story
[Image: GoWtitleonly.png]

The story behind the story

Warning: Mission spoilers ahead.

My first STO Foundry mission series went through a lot of twists, turns, course corrections and major revisions over the course of its development and even afterward. It will undoubtedly have more to go through in the future as inspiration strikes - or as the mission settings get extreme makeovers from Cryptic. Here I will take you through some of those turns, to give an idea of how it arrived in the state it's in now.

Whereas Ghosts of War is about the search for a stolen thalaron weapon, my original concept for the series revolved around a different type of weapon of mass destruction - a red-matter detonator, as seen in JJ-verse Star Trek. The first version of my story had a Gorn raiding party stealing the detonator from a Federation outpost, with the player ordered to track them down. The detonator had no red matter in it when it was stolen, rendering it useless for the time being, but also suggesting a wider conspiracy involving someone with access to red matter. That's as far as I got with that version of the story, in part because I soon realized I could not adequately re-create black hole implosions in a Foundry mission with the available tools and assets. So, I started over with a different type of weapon whose use, or at least the aftermath of which, I could re-create: a thalaron weapon.

Given the origins of thalaron weaponry, I shifted the first stages of the story arc from the Gorn to the Romulans, with the premise that the Tal Shiar had developed this weapon as a Death Star-esque deterrent against rebellion by the Romulan Star Empire's subject worlds. (This, mind you, was long before the Romulan Republic came along in the Legacy of Romulus expansion; given how well this fit together with my premise, it became the genesis for my Valley of the Shadow prequel trilogy.) Some rogue figure in the Star Empire then manages to steal the weapon and use it on a Class M world - one that's not inhabited, but with such an abundance of life that its complete destruction is an atrocity in itself. (To up the ante some more, I added a Federation exobiology team studying the planet as sentient victims.) It turns out that the senator is just a bit player in a wider conspiracy that spans the entire Alpha Quadrant - but just who is behind it, and what are their intentions?

Actually, this iteration of the story arc even went beyond Alpha Quadrant - the big reveal of the main conspirators would have occurred on a mission involving the Dominion in Gamma Quadrant, in the fourth of what was planned to be eight missions - the entire initial allotment of mission slots for Foundry authors. The original Part III would have followed the conspiracy into the Klingon Empire, while Part V would have dealt with the True Way connection. However, it soon occurred to me that the Part III and IV storylines were just variations on what I had written for Part II. Since I didn't want to spend three whole missions chasing the same bad guys, and was eager to get on developing with the rest of the series, I decided to drop the Dominion storyline altogether and condense the Klingon and True Way storylines (as well as loose ends from the Romulan storyline of Parts I-II) into a single mission - what is now Part III - thus reducing the series from eight to six installments.

Parts IV-VI of the completed series are essentially unchanged from Parts VI-VIII of the earlier version. The only significant difference is that in the earlier version, the thalaron weapon turned out to be a red herring; the real threat was to come from a metagenic weapon (a real one this time) developed by the True Way. This was one reason why I chose Celtris III as the setting for what are now Parts IV and VI, to make the touchstoning with TNG's "Chain of Command" 2-parter a bit more obvious. However, at the same time I decided to condense the series, I also sought to tighten up the remaining storyline, so I lost the metagenic weapon and just used the thalaron weapon as the threat, which not only makes the overarching storyline easier for players to stick with, but also ties the plot of the second half of the series back to the plot of the first half.

The series title is a classic double entendre - it refers to both the series' primary antagonists and to its echoes of the Dominion War, particularly in the later missions.

In future posts I will go more in-depth into each individual mission's development history - how each portion of the overall story arc coalesced into its present form, and how and why I built each map and costume the way I did.

In the STO forums, my handle is paxfederatica.
On Twitter, @NCC89471 (no hyphen).
In game, on the StarbaseUGC blog, and now in the StarbaseUGC forums, NCC-89471.
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