Alpha Company Discussion

Discussion in 'NOTD Discussion' started by Reaper, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. Reaper

    Reaper Moderator/The Crimsonrine

    Lets do this right

    [align=center]Alpha Company Discussion
    Everything related to the Alpha Company Storyline to be discussed here.[/align]

    First thing I want to address is the magically appearing reinforcements just before Perses. They should be dropped in by pods or be dropped in by transport somewhere close to the teams position and players have to link up with them.

    @Ability- If you do come across this post please do share, what is the current or future plan for Alpha Company such as further storyline tweaking or mechanic additions?
  2. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    Unless there is a scream of "Oh gods, noooo!" sometime later today I'll take a crack at suggesting some stuff for my favorite storyline.
  3. Ramses II
    • Donator

    Ramses II Help, I can't change my title!

    Oh gods, noooo!

    (go for it arc)
  4. Lord NiteShade
    • Wiki Founder
    • Community Leader

    Lord NiteShade NOTD Staff: Wiki Founder/TeamSpeak Admin

    I'm tempted to say increase the number of Minis on NM. The early game dps is very much entirely based on them. I'm referring to the horde after you regroup, and to a lesser extent Demeter & Post Demeter hordes. Only Opcomm, FOs, or a randomized Assault can really boast helpful amounts of dps at such early levels. Having appropriate loot would also help. Maybe the sec team remnants at the armory get a few power weapons to offset this. The laser/pulse during the labs are rarely helpful as most players are decked out in gear by then (theres several hks/pulses, shotguns, barrett, and hmgs to be found).

    Also, the Pre-Perses reinforcements don't feel like reinforcements. They feel like they teleported in. They don't even pack sufficient numbers or damage to really help. Mostly their healbots or sponges, nothing more.

    Lastly, Shengs team needs a better death sequence. Currently they just explode, killing any immersion.
  5. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    Similarly to how I looked at Apollo Security Team through the Crazy lens of what might be in my sick, addled mind... We bring you Alpha Company!

    Alpha Company Has Landed:

    I like the Starport starting point. But I think the start could be slowed down a little bit more. Give a bit of dialogue to set up the scene a bit easier. Something like:

    General Koller: The remnants of the Security Team should be at the Starport maintaining the quarantine. Link up with them and await further orders.

    A marine wanders into the Starport and...

    Marine: Where is everybody?

    Marine approaches one of the dead bodies, such as near Charlie's usual spot:

    Marine: Looks like something ripped right through their armor.

    Marine: Where are the enemy's bodies though?

    50 seconds in, no spawns yet, then the shit hits the fan. Beastlings, Stalkers, Immortals, and Agrons start spawning heavy from near Alpha Company's dropship and the Security Checkpoint area north of Starport. Should be a heavy enough mass that the players themselves have little chance of necessarily standing their ground and killing.

    After about a minute of attempting to hold the line, or not you get:

    Unknown: Fall back to the east, don't shoot. We're here to help!

    Sheng and his boys appear near Epsilon Mine Site and start making their way towards Alpha Company. Then a more traditional progression where with the firepower of Sheng's Boys and Alpha Company they are able to hold the line against the horde and eventually demolish them.

    It's a small change, but I like it. As it puts a slightly more creepy spin on the start. The delay gives people who are new to Alpha Company time to get their bearings and can give them a moment of "What the hell?"

    Welcome to Hell:

    Sheng relates something about most of the Security Team dying during the intial outbreak, and the remnants are scattered across Apollo, desperately holding out but too few in number to do anything about it. The Starport was the largest concentration of survivors, and thus drew most of the horde. They didn't stand a chance.

    Players are then given the option to find some of these cut off members of the Security Team. Ping several locations around the map. The old Black Ops Hill, Fort, Scrapyard, old Erebos Cheese Ledge overlooking the Delta transport in Airlock, and Central Plaza.

    1 of these locations will merely be a "We were too late" option, dead bodies, no survivors, no enemies there.

    2 will be Ambushes. 1 being a troll spawn ambush a la the Security Cameras. A mass of Ghouls or Agrons which pop up to take out the marines who go to check. The other being a case where it looks like the Marines are alive and well, but as the marines approach several Hulks appear, and the surviving Marines turn into Infested Marines.

    The remaining 2 being survivors of the Security Team that are holed up. When a marine approaches they should come under heavy attack from Stalkers, Agrons, and a Devourer or two. Should the Marines manage to get Sheng within range of them (Thus meaning you have to actually move as a team, not just send a runner or drop Mobility Infantry at them), they join up with Sheng's Boys. Survivor groups should be something like 1 Firebat, 1 Corpsman, and two Marines.

    Seige of Khe Armory:

    Considering the optional objective above it doesn't necessarily make sense to go to the Armory to meet up with a couple of Corpsmen and Mears. Instead it's a question of Sheng going "Alright, with reinforcements we can actually DO SOMETHING about all this shit! Lets go to the armory, gun you boys up a bit better, then we can really kick their mutated shit in!"

    Armory then becomes a trap, no weapon spawn ("Someone already cleaned this place out! Rebel scum!"). Like now it becomes a case of holding the line against heavy enemy hordes. Stalkers, Agrons, Hulks, Immortals, Beastlings, all set to spawn OUTSIDE the Armory. Either above where Ivan's house is, by the Fort, outside the main entrance. I'd actually suggest taking the Gargoyles out of this attack as their presence seems kind of Random at this point. No infested marines for them to give sight to. They don't come in thick enough numbers to really require particularly going after them. They mostly are just a nuisance. Either trolling the players because the spawns were a bit early/late and the Gargoyles appear during something else. Or a nonfactor.

    In return for losing the Gargoyles you instead get something new and weird. Infested Artillery. Several large spore crawler lookin' things unburrow near the Armory. Short sight range (5 or so) with detection. A heavy damage, decent AoE, slow attack with a 35 attack range. Something like 60 damage, AoE 3, attack speed 3. With several spawning within pissing range of the Armory being able to hold off the Infested, making sure Stalkers don't wallwalk up, that you hold ramps, etc, becomes much more vital. And a good reason not to have a bunch of Troll Gargoyle spawns.

    Charlie and Demeter:

    Instead of Charlie being some friendly infestor necessarily that shook off a tracking device it turns into:

    Sheng: Attacks like this are almost unheard of.... Wait. Earlier we found what we thought was a friendly infestor. We captured it in order to study the mutation. But without warning it went feral and launched a massive attack on my boys. We need to find her and put her down or this will keep happening.

    So it colors this as something where instead of just finding an Infestor because it might be good... something that is easier for strange marines on the situation to understand. Something is guiding the enemy. That something is a Charlie. Charlie must die.

    Granted, we don't actually kill Charlie off. Shoot her a bit, get a message from Keyboardsmashfacename saying something like "Stop you don't... RAGARBARGLEBLAHGAR!" The roar happens. Sheng gives a "Kill it! Kill it now before it brings them all upon us!" order. Koller might chime in and say "That's a valuable specimen, we need it alive!"

    This leads to Charlie/Demeter having an additional angle to it. Admittedly a more shallow on. Alpha Company can choose to keep gunning down Charlie, during which time she spits out incomprehensible noises and rage filled obscenities. Doing so will prevent Agrons and Huggers from spawning during Demeter. And also eliminate Charlie from the rest of the storyline. Killing Charlie will also inspire a Rampage in Demeter which increases her attack speed and move speed greatly.

    Either way, Demeter ends up dead in the end as the First Boss. Your choice to kill or spare Charlie leads to the A/B storyline choice.

    A Storyline: Sheng's Plan

    With Charlie and Demeter both dead, Sheng lends his expert opinion to the situation. Being that without the Masterminds Charlie and Demeter to guide the infested it should be possible for them to clear out the centers of the Infestation themselves, picking them apart with no guidance what so ever.

    Oh how wrong we can be.

    He wants Alpha Company to assault the slumbering hordes of the damned head on, burning them out before they become a threat. He relates how there is a massive egg trapped within the Airlock (Tartar Sauce).

    The mission won't really start up until the Marines approach the Airlock, drawing within a certain range of any of the Airlock/Dome B/Manufactorium entrances. Let them scout, scurry, do Seth, etc at this point.

    Storyline A: Burning the Mother Down:

    The idea here is that I want something unique from what currently happens is that rather than follow the Alpha Company style of sit back and rain copious amounts of death, we have an actual assault pushing forward against heavy resistance.

    Scattered throughout the airlock (And the Security Checkpoint area between the Airlock and Starport so you can't just stand outside perfectly safe and cheese it) several of Hades old Tentacles exist, erupting out of the ground when the sequence is triggered (Preventing the ability for the Marines to pre clear the area). They spread out creep around them, Hulks constantly spawn out near them.

    Meanwhile outside hordes are drawing in from across the map towards the Airlock, coming in behind the Marines. Starts out with Zombies/ghouls, moves up to Seekers, Devourers, Slashers, a Titan or two as the mobs progressively get more difficult to deal with. Even throw Hephaestus appearing in there after about 8 minutes of this objective being active.

    Goal here is to knock the Tartar Sauce/Ellie egg down to a certain point. Give it insane Sentinel style regen to prevent a single MobCon/SubMM runner from cheesing the objective. Ideally I'd also like it to be something where it is immune to AoE Bomb skills too, so you can't just hit it with a Nuke or two, or Artillery Bomb it into oblivion. Maybe only make it vulnerable when a unit (Sheng ideally so the team needs to move as one and not just use a runner), gets within a certain range of it.

    When the egg has been "Killed", the old Hades tentacles die. Maybe have Sheng say something like...

    Sheng: We got it!

    ... is it...


    Healing? But it should be out of commission for quite a while. We gotta find some way to put it down for good.

    Sheng points Alpha Company to the Lab complex, noting it's been sealed since the outbreak and there might be some egghead survivors which can help.

    Dr. Asshat Tanaka:

    When the Lab is approached Dr. Gunjan isn't there. Presumed dead, only Dr. Tanaka remains. Sheng and his Boys stays with Alpha Company as they draw into the Lab. Dr. Tanaka is filled in on the situation. Says that he has been studying the infested might be able to help.

    Standard Lab Rats chapter hold out, with Tanaka needing to be protected as he works and the Infested coming in hard on the Laboratory. Like before he will trigger the nerve toxin and make his escape. Sheng and his Boys will have managed to keep together in the Laboratory, and will survive and hold position there until the Lab Sequence is over.

    Merge A/B storylines back.

    B Storyline: Charlie and the Crazy Infestation Factory:

    With Demeter dead, Evafacesmashedonkeyboardname has apparently calmed down and is no longer roaring or spouting off random obscenities. Sheng suggests you should kill it now, but Koller cuts in saying that it seems docile now.

    One of the marines notices the mutilation that Charlie has suffered, the missing Kidney. At this point the optional "Cut a kidney out for Charlie" objective appears, and any living infestor who is killed via Knife from that point will procure a kidney for Charlie.

    Charlie starts to wander off, someone screams "Follow him!". Charlie starts to make her way towards the Scrapyard, shuffling along like she does. Maybe spouting off a few lines like "It beckons..." and "... so bright..."

    She leads the team to the Compliance Nexus in the Scrapyard. Says something like "He's calling..." Koller chimes in with "We're picking up some strange noise from Apollo."

    And then the hordes start coming in. Whatever was calling Charlie seems to be effecting most of apollo, with a heavy full court press coming towards the scrapyard, complete with Titans and Slashers. Several minutes into this carnage Koller chimes in with "They are being drawn in by a signal from the Compliance Nexus. They won't stop until the nexus is shut down. Blow it up."

    Objective comes to destroy the Nexus. As soon as the marines do, the spawns stop and they just have to mop up. Koller chimes in with a "There's some survivors in the Laboratory Complex, reporting they are working on a cure for the infection. Bring Charlie to them and hold until relieved."

    Storyline B: Dr. Asshat Tanaka and Barney:

    This is the standard sequence we are familiar with. Sheng and his boys say that their responsibility is to the citizens and they will go look for survivors. Gunjan is there and becomes Cromo the purple dinosaur. Same boss fight, same Lab Hold out, same Gas sequence. However Sheng's Boys never return from beneath Apollo.

    Merge A/B Storyline back.

    Nightmare Gas Sequence:

    This goes back to things as expected. The marines are split up in Apollo, with the third person camera angle locked in. Dr. Tanaka needs to be found again, same locations, I'm perfectly fine with it.

    Now where A/B come in here, is that if you went the A, Sheng's Boys route, Cerberus is every bit the son of a bitch that he is right now. Gaze of Death will be used. The Stunlocks, the Invulnerable/Vulnerable cycle, the Medic Hate and such. If you went route B, and have Charlie still chilling along with you, nibbling things, Charlie can do her thing to help calm down the nightmares. Gaze of Death will not be used, and the Invulnerable cycle will only last half as long.

    Aftermath of the Nightmare:

    If you went route A with Sheng's Boys, you are given the same choice you had before. To use the Anti-Toxin that Tanaka was supposed to be developing for you, or to kill him because that's how the UGC Marines roll. If you were with Charlie you don't get the Anti-Toxin option, but are instead stuck with tearing down Compliance Nexii. Maybe because Charlie said "He mutilated me, he spread the infection, he must die!" and Nibbles the life right out of the bastard. Go Charlie, honorary 9th Alpha Company Marine!

    Route C: What, you expected honesty out of the guy who poisoned you?

    Dr. Tanaka says he managed to complete the Toxin, and if it was fed into Apollo's life support that it should eliminate much of the infested population. Like exists now he takes you down to the Scrapyard Entrance to start pumping out toxins. However unlike now, it gets revealed that yeah, Tanaka is really an asshat. And his "Toxin" is actually creating more infested and powering them up. Certain zombies (Hulks? Stalkers?) start spreading creep wherever they walk, not just when they are killed. Maybe a damage buff on the enemies coming out during this period as well. You may now put a bullet between his eyes for continuing to be an asshat.

    After the toxins the Nakagawa Bay mission pops up. And the storyline will NOT progress until the marines manage to complete it by either rescuing every last civilian or letting them die off horrible. It's no longer an optional time for you to prepare to annihilate IVAX.

    Route D: I will choose a path that's clear, I will choose free will.

    If however you kill the asshat Doctor, by one method or another, you end up on the "Destroy all the Compliance Nexii" mission instead. Pretty much the same as before. A nexus though will have an ambush scenario surrounding it. They still call for the walking damned after all. And those of less will than Charlie are susceptible to their whims. Infested marines, ghouls, zoombies, 1-2 Stranglers at each one ready to punish the unwary Rambo. The nexii all die, storyline progresses. No Nagakawa Bay civ mission.

    IVAX hate Alpha Company! IVAX Smash!:

    I'm fine with this fight as is. With the rework of the segments right before it it should no longer be a situation where the whole team is basically waiting around the corner with baseball bats and boards with nails to jump IVAX before he even knows what's going on. Maybe randomize his spawn a bit more so he doesn't always appear in that same spot around Dome A/C that he does now. It would be nice if the players didn't automatically know which direction he was coming from. My idea is to have him appear in Epsilon, Abandoned Mineshaft, Mine south of Comms, or Starport.

    Last Stand:

    I like the random location for this. However instead of having the couple of Marksmen, Corpsman, and Marine random just pop out of warp next to Alpha Company, have it so that the reinforcements are at the location that Koller tells you to head to. Have it so there is 1/2 units for every Marine in game. Give dead guys control over their Reinforcement like Linh's Company. Perhaps assign the reinforcement units based on player slot. So player 1 will always get say, a Firebat. Player 2 a Marine, etc. Ensures a fair mix of units, assigns clear "if you're dead this is what you get" without having to give each player one of each.

    For the love of all that is Holy I would like to see Perses stop attacking if stunned. Really how many stuns are there in Alpha Company? Faith and Vengeance, Repulse, Monofiliment, Shockwave, Towers? Some of these being somewhat limited like Vengeance, expensive in finite resources like Energy or Shells for Shockwave and Towers, or very short term like Monofiliment.

    Also like to see it's Air to Air attack get removed, and just allow it's Air to Ground attack to hit either Ground or Air. It feels like so much of a screw you that it can take out Reapers, Mindjacked Wraiths, etc, almost instantly due to it's high number of high damage attacks without impeding it's DPS against Alpha Company at all.

    Anyway, there it goes. My crazy ideas in a nutshell.
  6. Blaqk
    • Development Team
    • Webmaster/Ops

    Blaqk NOTD Staff: Operations and Web

    Okay, Alpha Company needs better scaling. I just solo'd myself up to Cerberus before wiping to the shockingly large waves. Here's what I noticed.

    Cronus's health does not scale. At 1947 sr, Cerberus and Demeter had right at 4k health each. Cronus walked up to me and said "Bitch, I have 13,500 health!" In addition, Cronus's lasers need to be redone. In their current form, they're the biggest dick-move in the entire game. Taking 30 damage from his lasers probably stacked 10-15 hits onto you. Any squishy class unlucky enough to get hit ONCE by his lasers are likely to have their ratings tank that game, even if that one laser hit is all they took. In addition, Shadowstep will laugh at his lasers. One of the reasons I was able to survive Cronus and his non-scaling health was the fact that I could shadowstep right through his lasers without a scratch. I didn't try, but I wager if you just sprinted through the lasers you'd either come out with most of your shields or not even scratched. Between unfair and douchey compounding hits and dodgability these need to be reworked.

    The "Find Tanaka" sequence does not scale with the number of players either. Holy shit, I started the gas sequence with all 245 energy. I found Tanaka with 30 energy and 2 seconds to spare. If the team has fewer than 4 players at the beginning of the sequence, you need to add some sort of time bonus. As it is, if one player dies on the way to his goal, it's basically game. Example: SMM goes to Helipad, Medic goes to EC start, Everyone else goes to Alpha. Medic dies right as he gets to the gate to Stalkers. There's 30 seconds left to find Tanaka. No one is going to make it in time. It took me 38 seconds to get from the Starport dropships to Tanaka at Easy Company start with Shadowstep and Sprint basically never being off their cooldown.

    When Sheng comes back from dicking around with his team after Cronus, he's vulnerable. He has 35 shields, 200 health, and is a very high threat priority. I actually walked around knifing shit because it completely ignored me and Tanaka for Sheng.

    I also found a cool Cerberus cheese hole that I'll tell you about once all these other things are fixed. ;)
  7. Ability
    • Development Team
    • NOTD Creator

    Ability NOTD Creator

    Blaqk, Cronus HP should be scaling with players. Please let me know if you are seeing a repeat incident.
  8. Blaqk
    • Development Team
    • Webmaster/Ops

    Blaqk NOTD Staff: Operations and Web

    13500 / 0.35 = 38571

    That's what his health would be with a full party. I typically see him hovering around 22000 in the few Alpha games I'm in which have sr in the mid-1800s. Maybe the sr makes that much of a difference. :l

    I'll try again with better preparation for the Cerberus waves and see if I can't get some better feedback.
  9. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    Hmm, so it should be 4725 HP for Blaqk, not counting the squad rating jump.
  10. Blaqk
    • Development Team
    • Webmaster/Ops

    Blaqk NOTD Staff: Operations and Web

    Just killed Cronus. This time he spawned with 16800 health. Took my only hit from his laser which swept me. Stacked 7 hits along with Short Circuit and a stack of Venom.
  11. Ghost
    • Warden

    Ghost Warden

    I think the player modifier applies before difficulty modifers are added possibly which is why the effect is rather small.

    As for why your 2 Cronus have differing HP, I have no clue.

    SR difficulty caps at 1801.

    For the hits from laser, maybe it changed, but 3 weeks ago I was trying to get Silver Star in NM Alpha and the beam didn't stack that many hits on my rifle, but then again I moved away the moment it proc'd. I suppose if you move in the same direction as the laser, or remain static, you are likely to take more hits than getting stuck by the outer section of it only. (Think of it as a flamethrower projectile but with increased thinkness instead of increases length)
  12. Blaqk
    • Development Team
    • Webmaster/Ops

    Blaqk NOTD Staff: Operations and Web

    Couldn't finish the "Find Tanaka" mission. A stray hit from a hulk that spawned underneath Tanaka gave me cripple. That's pretty much game in Alpha. I'll give it one more chance before I move on to Easy Company.
  13. Blaqk
    • Development Team
    • Webmaster/Ops

    Blaqk NOTD Staff: Operations and Web

    Yet another Alpha wipe. I can't do enough damage to Cerberus in the time that he's vulnerable to kill him. He pretty much regenerates everything I do once he becomes invulnerable again.

    I'm done for today.
  14. Lord NiteShade
    • Wiki Founder
    • Community Leader

    Lord NiteShade NOTD Staff: Wiki Founder/TeamSpeak Admin

    This Alpha start sequence with 5 agrons on Nightmare needs to go. It's totally bs that we have to deal with 5 1200hp+ foes with almost no levels or items. I see zero reason for this other than to force early remakes and make the FO waste shells. Premium example of fake difficulty.
  15. Ghost
    • Warden

    Ghost Warden

    I agree it is quite difficult now. We did manage to beat it consistently by holding up in the mini creep forest though.
  16. Lord NiteShade
    • Wiki Founder
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    Lord NiteShade NOTD Staff: Wiki Founder/TeamSpeak Admin

    I'm not saying its not beatable, its just ridiculous compared to the other campaign starts. Apollo team A does also have to fight agrons, but they are not aggressively chasing you, and you get pistols, which are far better damage against them.

    Overall it just seems like an excuse to make ppl waste energy and ammo, with a high chance of death.
  17. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    What Nite has said. The heavy Agron spawn on Nitemare mode for Alpha is just.... insanely over the top. Finally got to try it out yesterday despite the protests of people over it being a horrible idea.

    We had a fairly tight team, a few scrubs but some solid veterans in the core. And still had to remake 5 times on it.

    This is due to the following Reasons:

    No levels or Equipment with which to face Agrons.
    Their Spawn protocols result in them popping up in ways that are just begging for deaths, like two of them spawning right on top of the team, on either side of them.
    Reference: AgronTeamAgron
    No space between them because they are spawning right on top of the outlier members of the team. Even when the team is stuck in a dead end area like the Cliff south of Starport or the Prison Cells.
    And charge with the point blank spawns means that someone is going to get chewed up, HARD, before they can get away, if they can. And it's not like Alpha Company is almost entirely squishy, fragile classes... OH WAIT IT IS! Only reason we beat it was on the strength of having 3 Flamethrowers, and that's just excessive.

    Having the spawns in fixed locations, like the Runner Team in Apollo faces, could fix it if you are hell bent on having a ton of Agrons spawning right at start.
  18. Lord NiteShade
    • Wiki Founder
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    Lord NiteShade NOTD Staff: Wiki Founder/TeamSpeak Admin

    If the Agrons are to stay, Alpha needs to start off better equipped. It makes little sense from any standpoint that such a well trained first strike team would go into an enemy hotzone so ill equipped, but thats largely a game mechanic. A few extra items like hks or shotgun (hell even a c4 or something) at the Mil Base would at least help fight the agrons. Currently they are just far to ruthless and add nothing to the feel or real difficulty of the campaign. It's just an unnecessary hurdle to make the opening minutes more difficult.
  19. Lord NiteShade
    • Wiki Founder
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    Lord NiteShade NOTD Staff: Wiki Founder/TeamSpeak Admin

    Here's an Alpha NM it was either 1937 or 1947 sr, cant remember.
    Either way, we didn't win, died to Perses.

    Key points:
    Agrons at the start are ridiculous, especially their charging larva. with only Gauss rifles and flamers (from flamethrowers) the larva are really hard to kill.

    Minis AI needs a serious revamp, we have to base our entire chapter 1 playstyle on compensating for their poor ai. It's really bad trying to go through the airlock, as they routinely get stuck on eggs and such.

    Larva during the gas sequence is just dumb. We cannot realistically be expected to deal with charging larva, with their low threat and small sizes. You can't outrun them, because their cooldown for charge is incredibly brief. This is on top of all the other crap thrown at us during this sequence.

    Ivax's shockwave needs to go. Forcing us to fight Perses with next to no energy is what got us killed. We are not going to lose speed to sit around and wait to regen because Ivax has a cheap skill.

    Titan spam before Perses serves no purpose other than to make players lose. There's far too many, they can charge, and you are brutally low on energy from Ivax.

    Lastly, Perses Shields need a revision, we lost because a shield spawned in an area we couldnt reach. If you are going to have Perses fights at a number of locations, then the shields NEED to be fully accessible regardless of location. Otherwise thats just putting your fate in the hands of luck.
  20. Blaqk
    • Development Team
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    Blaqk NOTD Staff: Operations and Web

    As I once found out the hard way, if you're caught on the bridge when the firewave starts just pause, save, and leave.

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