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Melliput Mobsters

Mac/Windows

 

Author: Celtic Minstrel

Rating:

Difficulty: 10-25

Version: 1.0.7

 

[composite=eyJ0aXRsZSI6Ik1lbGxpcHV0IE1vYnN0ZXJzIiwidGlkIjoiMTU4MzkiLCJ0YWdzIjpbImF2ZXJudW0gdW5pdmVyc2UiLCJsaW5lYXIiLCJzaG9ydCJdLCJiZ2FzcCI6eyI1IjoxLCI0IjowLCIzIjoyLCIyIjoxLCIxIjowfX0=]

Composite Score: 3.3/5.0

 

Best: 25.00% (1/4)

Good: 0.00% (0/4)

Average: 50.00% (2/4)

Substandard: 25.00% (1/4)

Poor: 0.00% (0/4)

[encouragenecro]

 

[/composite]

 

Keywords: Avernum Universe, Linear, Short

Edited by SylaeBot
Automated Sybot edit; worker IPB::csrThread/vanadium

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I loved it. The plot was engaging. The design was good (except for a few minor flaws). The combat was well-balanced and very fun, with great original enemies. I loved the Dread Chickens especially. laugh.gif My only complaints are the bugs, including one that forced me to edit the scripts in order to trigger the ending. However, the bugs are mostly small and overall it's a great scenario.

 

Rating: [rating]Best[/rating]

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(**Spoilers**)

 

It was a somewhat interesting scenario, with a reasonably engaging, if simplistic plot. It has some interesting twists. The combat I found to be pretty decent, although it's basically generic monsters. A lot of the space seemed pretty unnecessary, but on the other hand, it's good for people who want a little extra to do in the scenario. That being said, if I ever finish my BoA scenario, I can guarantee it will be a pretty basic scenario too, so I should expect what I dish myself.

 

One thing does trouble me however, the King and Queen seem okay with the fact you killed their son. Yes, he's a traitor, but he's still their son. He also didn't really have any motives.

 

[rating]Average[/rating]

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Content: This scenario tries to be more than the basic "island with one quest on it". It's debatable how well it succeeds. A lot of the extra content in the main town and in the outdoors is either underdeveloped or buggy. I was pleasantly surprised by the length of the main quest chain. I had thought it over, but I was still a couple twists away from the end of the scenario.

 

Story: This scenario was one of the entrants in the Randomised Scenario Contest, and I think it was given the toughest description to work with. There's only so much you can do with "Nephil Mobsters". Sorry. There still is a story here, but you'll find that the motivation provided for NPCs is lacking most of the time.

 

Pacing: A lot of the stuff you do in this scenario isn't relevant to the plot. For instance, most of the first dungeon is filler. This is mostly a matter of taste; if you dislike tightly focused but overly linear scenarios, this one might give you more of a sense of exploration. Like I said earlier, the action ramps up nicely near the end. The last fight is nice (though the setting had a bit too much empty space). "I have to go and do that? Nice!"

 

Combat: I found this scenario to be pretty "Monty Haul" -- a fair bit of loot thrown at you. Like I said, three quarters of the first dungeon is filler, but things picked up after that. I remember one of the last fights (the altar fight) to be pretty good.

 

Scripting: This was another area where this scenario was a bit too ambitious. There were a couple areas in the main town that were innovative, but incomplete. A casino, where you buy your chips only to find that there's no gambling available. Or an inn that's supposed to collect the items you leave behind, but does not do so. Perhaps I was playing an outdated version, I don't know. Also, I found staircases difficult to navigate in this scenario.

 

Aesthetics: Some graphics don't have a transparent background set up correctly; again, this might be due to me playing an older version. Also, this was a scenario that could have used the fixed version of the waterfall graphics. The main town lets you travel to the upper level of buildings, which gives you a nice view to the streets below, but since you don't actually do anything in most upper levels, it's a bit of a wasted effort.

 

Overall: A bit overambitious, but still enjoyable. [rating]AVERAGE[/rating]

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A note to designers. Technical flash is great, but make sure there's some substance to back it up, AND that you're not getting in over your head. If CM had done this, the scenario would have been far better off for it. Knowing the premise of the scenario, I went in excited, and came out rather disappointed.

 

PLOT

The plot is supposed to be about Mobsters in Melliput. That's why it's called Melliput Mobsters, because the main villains are the mobsters. Of Melliput. If you're aware of the RSC, then you also know that these are supposed to be nephil mobsters.

 

Only, we don't really get a feeling for anything mobstery. Instead, the whole thing feels like your bog-standard generic evil secret society. They don't have motives, they don't have much of an agenda, they just are. Which only really cuts it if you're dealing with some abomination Man Was Not Meant To Know. There's a book tucked away that expounds a bit on what they're doing, but there's a reasonable chance it could be missed if the party isn't thorough in exploring the city. 'Course, character motives all around were pretty poorly explored.

 

Anyway, it's pretty straightforward. There's a twist you can see coming a mile off, but I won't spoil it in case there's a slim chance you might be surprised when you see it.

 

GAMEPLAY

Combat balance felt spot on. Admittedly, it felt at times like the designer was throwing random monsters at me, and he certainly seemed to have a fondness for splitting monsters, but everything felt good for a L10 party.

 

Other than monster splitting, there's not much in the way of unique challenges or battles. It is, for the most part, pretty much hack and slash all the way through.

 

Oh, right, loot balance is off, as I believe other reviewers have already mentioned. There were enough magic items and sellables coming in that I could practically fill a swimming pool with the amount of gold I was getting (I'd estimate around 10000-15000 gold total, WAY too much for a scenario of this level and size). I was able to kit out (what amounts to) one full priest, two lesser priests, and a full mage with every spell this scenario had to offer, while still having cash left over for a rainy day.

 

AESTHETICS

This is where the scenario suffers the most. Town design is okay, as is outdoor design, but various graphical glitches mean that things such as walls and doors are interspersed with massive blotches and blocks of white space, amongst other problems. Dialogue is also bland, unappealing, and sparse; trying to get more than two sentences out of any NPC is akin to pulling teeth, and every single NPC is nothing more than a two-dimensional cut-out there to either sell you things or advance the plot. Likewise, the dialog box writing is short, spartan, and often somewhat awkward. The designer clearly meant for there to be an air of exploration and discovery, yet there's no atmosphere or flavor to encourage it... almost everything is painfully plain and bland.

 

TECHNICAL

The designer was clearly in WAY over his head. You can see half-finished and buggy things like the casino and hotel. You've got the aforementioned graphical glitches. And most of the technical wizardry is in places that doesn't really need it. If he had applied even half of the effort he had put into the casino and hotel into making better content, this scenario would be much better for it.

 

VERDICT

[rating]SUBSTANDARD[/rating]. Might be worth a look, but one hopes that the next scenario CM makes learns from the mistakes of this one.

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