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Private Preston

Discussion in 'Release 67 Feedback' started by Bedawyn, Jun 30, 2019.

  1. Bedawyn

    Bedawyn Avatar

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    Most of us, at one time or another, have been justifiably freaked out by something serious happening that we couldn't prevent or otherwise productively respond to.

    How many of you have had a stranger under those circumstances, someone who hadn't lived through what you did and knew almost nothing about what you or your loved ones had experienced, tell you to calm down?

    How many times did that actually WORK? Or was it more likely to make you just want to smack the condescending jerk telling you that?

    Now, add in PTSD, anxiety disorder, or anything else that might lead to an actual panic attack? Seriously, YOUR HOME AND FAMILY WERE JUST DESTROYED BY ZOMBIES!!!! And then some stranger comes up and tells you to calm down, and you're going to react to that HOW??

    Add in the rate of military suicide that is exacerbated by a culture of stoicism that tells you you're supposed to deal with all sorts of traumatic things that OUGHT to make normal healthy people freak out but you're not supposed to be affected by it or admit that you're freaking out or to seek help?

    Seriously, devs, what on earth were you thinking?

    I'd be offended on behalf of all the vets and folks with PTSD and panic attacks that I know, if the whole thing weren't just too ridiculous to be worth offense. So I'll settle for extreme eye-rolling and WTF!? grimaces instead.

    This quest actually does give a compassionate, healthy option for the avatar: the "do you want to talk"? response. But veteran players will recognize, since it's on the far right, that the game is treating that as the "ignore this quest" response. New players, who don't know that yet, if they have any actual sense of compassion or common sense, are liable to click that and be confused when Preston just tells them to go away. The "calm down" option elicits him praising your compassion, but there's nothing compassionate about invalidating someone else's grief or fear, or about telling strangers what they ought to feel. Or for that matter, about someone's CO or fellow soldiers sharing their personal business with strangers. Everyone who GIVES that quest needs to be smacked.

    There's been lots of small cumulative improvements in the game over the few months I've been playing, but this quest is NOT one of them.

    Seriously, devs, what on EARTH were you THINKING?! :confused:
     
  2. Sannio

    Sannio Lead Quest and Level Designer Moderator SOTA Developer

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    That was my fault. Sorry about that. I'm making changes to the quest based on your feedback. The "Want to talk" response will become the first one, and Preston will appreciate your compassion. When given the "calm down" response, Preston will now rebuke the player and cut off the conversation. If you think that works, I'll try to get it in as soon as possible.
     
  3. Bedawyn

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    Thank you thank you thank you! For taking this seriously and for not going on the defensive -- I'm opinionated about most things and even when I'm trying to be diplomatic, often fail. But this particular one -- in real life I interact with a LOT of people who are trauma survivors, many of whom are vets with PTSD, so I couldn't help but get worked up about this one, and I tend not to be diplomatic when I'm worked up.
     
  4. Bedawyn

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    I've been thinking overnight about how to give out this quest without the quest-giver seeming like an unprofessional gossip. So here's my suggestion: Put one of the guards that was removed from the center of camp on the platform instead, with a patrol route from about Loc: (-64.576, 30.033, 11.947) to Loc: (-99.738, 30.633, -7.551), and give them the quest. This will take out three birds with one stone:

    (1) I can't stop thinking that Kinsey is making a huge tactical mistake by not having a guard there. It has a perfect view of the abandoned village and would prevent Garridon and Preston from being isolated (currently, a zombie or Ebon Dawn could take them out easily without the rest of the camp being aware).

    (2) The patrol route is off the official road, but not far off it, and a guard pacing back and forth there would still be visible from the road. Since this is a side quest with only a small reward, a player who sticks to the road and misses the quest won't be penalized much. But a newbie who might otherwise stay on the road is more likely to leave it if they see someone moving off to the side. And finding an NPC to talk to and a small quest OFF the official road so quickly into the game might encourage people to explore more later on, rather than taking it for granted that there's only one metaphorical road they should be following.

    (3) One end of that patrol route has a great view of Garridon's post; the middle of it has a great view of Heloise's post. The other end has a view of Preston's post, but not a good one. The tree at Loc: (-27.693, 15.851, 19.777) would prevent a guard at the platform from getting more than an occasional glimpse of Preston. This provides a perfect excuse for that guard to be thinking and worrying about Preston. They could easily say "I saw you come up from the river. Did you talk to Private Preston on the way?" or something similar and use that as a segue into giving the quest. This kind of conversation might feel more natural and less gossip-y than having one of the guards in camp simply bring Preston's name up out of the blue.

    A couple potential drawbacks to this suggestion:

    (1) Brand-new players will be coming up from the river, but more experienced players might have entered from elsewhere, where a guard there won't have seen them on the road, so it would be best if the dialogue reflected that, which might be tricky.

    (2) The view of the village from the platform might be TOO good -- Sigourney is well within signalling range. A guard on the platform might even have seen them losing that fight, if it happened during a day with good visibility -- or if not, would probably have seen that the scouts WEREN'T signalling their okay-ness. It makes it harder to believe that Kinsey has no clue what happened to the scouts, and might call for tweaking her dialogue (to the effect that she knows they're in some kind of trouble but with Quentin dead too, can't spare anyone to go investigate/rescue).

    Hope this is helpful!