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MechQuest: Analysis of 3/26/09 Release

Posted by ZamuelNow on April 10, 2009

Major Steele wants YOU for the first part of a top secret strike behind the ShadowScythe’s enemy territory

About

The brand new NPC Major Braddock Steele has come to town.  The “Nuclear Duke“, seemingly filled with FPS homages ranging from Duke Nukem to Turok, is searching for a few Star Captains to help with a completely unauthorized mission to strike at the heart of the ShadowScythe.  Revealing himself to be the last survivor of the infamous Star Strikers, he decides to test you against a “pet” ShadowScythe that he’s captured, the new Crystal Fist.  After proving your worth, the two of you head off to an undisclosed moon on a suicide mission to take out a horde of Shadowscythe.

The mission itself is a redesign of the GPS missions but with key twists.  Instead of a healing truck with limited heals but the ability to Equip, there’s a healing pad with infinite heals and no Equip option.  Also, instead of stationary enemies, the ShadowScythe randomly move around the map each time you defeat an enemy.  This runs the risk of possibly cutting you off from your healing point if you aren’t careful.  Every 10 you defeat are saved so you don’t have to do the full mission in one sitting since there are 50 ShadowScythe in all.

After all are defeated, Steele compliments your skill and opens up a reward shop with Crystal Fist arms and heads.  He then gives hint that the next mission will be comparable to Westion’s 100 Floors.

Pros

First and foremost, the enemies scale between level 3-18 and the rewards are similarly leveled.  A low to mid-level SC mission has been badly needed for a while.  While I’m blatantly biased and prefer healing trucks over healing pads, the way the GPS mission was designed was very innovative and look forward to seeing it return.  Also, the instructions do a good job of explaining the mission style so we aren’t stuck with “lost in the desert…” problems.  Plus, on a story/interactivity note, finally having the Star Strikers brought to the forefront was very good.

Cons

While free players got to fight Steele’s “pet”, they had no other release.  This is a big deal because free players have also needed another mid level mission to help them naturally progress out of the dreaded 16-19 level gap.  Also, this mission has no incentive to venture away from the healing pad.  This is pretty minor but it’s something to keep in mind.  A random mini-reward like when you rescue Starbuck during the Hospital GPS would make it an interesting risk/reward situation.

Overall Grade of Release

9/10 Very good for what it was but the release inadvertanly shut out free players for the week.

Enjoy, and feel free to share your own thoughts on the release in the comments section below!

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One Response to “MechQuest: Analysis of 3/26/09 Release”

  1. Zeke said

    *is NSC*

    Anyways, I think it’s great to have a few more non-scaling, low level quests. It REALLY helps new players.

    ~Zeke~

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