Mission Title : Cloaked Loyalties

Author : @edwinsterling

Faction : Federation

Level Requirement : 32

Requirements : Shuttle Based Mission


Introduction:

A strange request sends you, just you, on a shuttle mission deep into the heart of Romulan Space.

Will YOU return at all?

This review has spoilers; if you do not want spoilers then do not continue to read this review.

Screenshot of Federation Shipyard at SekenoraAbout:

Your mission is classified. All you know is that you and your officers are to take a shuttle to the Ra’kholh System. Once there, you are to open your orders. Or so you were told, but no one tells you about the part where you are beamed aboard a Romulan Warbird. The Romulans try to convince you that you are in fact an undercover operative of the Star Empire, named Selek.

Your looks have been surgically altered, and your memories of being a Starfleet Officer have been implanted. When you point out your officers standing next to you could not be undercover as well, they speak up confirming that they indeed are spies… as are you. Slowly your memories as Selek come back to you, so do the names of everyone around you.

Your next mission, as Selek, is to infiltrate the Federation shipyard at Sekenora to steal the cloaking device on the U.S.S. Endeavor. This cloaking device is in violation of the Romulan-Starfleet treaty. You and your officers take your shuttle to Sekenora and board the U.S.S. Endeavor where you chat with Captain Myers. After your small chat with the unsuspecting captain, you take a tour of the Endeavor, while placing your officers at key locations.

After a plasma explosion and the evacuation of main engineering, you get in and retrieve the cloaking device, beam it aboard your shuttle, and attempt your escape. After disabling the sentry ship, you pull away only to be attacked by the ship of the officer you are impersonating. You escape from the Federation ship, to rendezvous with the I.R.W. Devridas.

You beam aboard with your officers and the cloaking device only to learn that the device is a fake. That’s when the Devridas is attacked. The cloaking device was outfitted with a transmitter so Starfleet could track the location of the cloaking device even if it is cloaked. A party boards the Devridas where you run into the real officers of the officer you are impersonating.

Screenshot of Federation Shipyard at SekenoraThe Starfleet officers try to talk you into come over to their side, because you are the real Starfleet captain that was captured by the Romulans and made to believe that you are Selek, but the officers next to you plead that you are a Romulan officer. After coming to the belief that you are indeed a Starfleet Officer, you leave with your real officers back to your ship where you are given a clean bill of health. You go to your quarters on the orders of the doctor to sleep the nightmare away… or has if only just begun?

Highlights:

The story was well done and had a good primes; the idea that you may be a Romulan spy made the story enjoyable and kept me wondering if I was really a spy or not, as well as how the story was going to unfold. The author did a good job letting people know that for the purpose of the story was that they should pretend that their captain was Selek.

Criticism:

Most of the maps were pre-made. When you first board, the I.R.W. Devridas’s Med Bay is so crammed with props that a Bridge Officer materialized and was stuck inside a bio-bed. I noticed floating objects in the pre-made maps, which is at times very difficult to fix with pre-made interior maps. All maps where generic. The space maps had no life besides the man-made variety.

While messing with the cloaking device, the device would disappear after accomplishing one task, and there would be some time gap from when it reappeared for another objective-related task. When you first arrive at Sekenora the I.R.W. Devridas is uncloaked in the same system as a Federation ship yard with ships all over, yet no one sees the uncloaked Devridas.

To the Author:

The only times when the cloaking device would disappear and reappear was when there was dialog involved, which means you have pop-up dialog in the main story line between objectives. A simple fix is to take out this dialog and put in a pop-up dialog on the map instead of the story line. This way, when the dialog would show up, it would not interfere with cloaking device, giving it the illusion of one object with multiple objectives.

When you enter the Sekenora map, an I.R.W. Devridas is uncloaked with a Federation base and ships within visual range. An idea would to have the Devridas and Sekenora in two different systems. By using triggers and star streak effects, you can have two systems in the same map. There are a few ways to make it seem more realistic with the Devridas.

Screenshot of Federation Shipyard at SekenoraQ : So if the cloaking device was a fake, then how were you able to cloak it to sneak it off the ship? If they knew that you were taken and to replace the cloaking device with a fake, why did they not capture you on the Endeavor? With right cloak and dagger spy stories, you have to be careful with even the littlest of details. Also be careful about using Reach Markers on space maps, because they can cause frustration for the players when they can’t trigger a marker be it at an unknown height or so small that the player is unaware of its location.

Conclusion:

Story had good plot and cliffhanger, with an excellent use of Bridge Officers on the U.S.S. Endeavor. Maps could use some spice, and some fixes in the story; otherwise a well done mission. I rate Cloaked Loyalties by @edwinsterling; 4 stars. I wish the author luck in the Foundry Challenge #7.


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