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Author Topic: 'What Lies Beneath' should be doable via stealth, should give a reward  (Read 97 times)

Thundercraft

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I've never done Agnes Copperfield's "What Lies Beneath" quest chain before. (According to the wiki, this quest dates back to Beta 0.6. But, somehow, it was new to me.)

Anyway, I was disappointed that this was set up in a way to make the stealth approach difficult to nearly impossible and which requires disturbing the nest in a major way.

The two obvious ways to succeed are to (1) kill the queens and bugs ruthlessly or (2) use followers to help distract them while the player grabs eggs and bones as fast as possible. Option 2 is particularly dangerous as the player character will still take damage as the bugs will not ignore you, even though having followers (or Rol) will help distract them.

This seems to contradict the dialog with Agnes for Part 3:
Quote
Agnes: Look at that, fascinating, multiple queens.
Agnes: We need to get some samples from their food and egg.
Quote
Player Character: Is this where the fighting starts?
Quote
Agnes: Try not to make a scene. Maybe we can make some lights and scare them off? Here, I have some, use them and keep them away from the eggs and food.

Granted, Agnes does give us the Light Box Script and a Light Box, suggesting we use them. And making lots of Light Boxes and laying them down does seem to (mostly) keep them at bay. But this is rather tedious and resource intensive, particularly for an optional side quest that does not reward the player with anything - that is, aside from the satisfaction of having completed it.

Yes, Agnes does give us the Light Box Script and one Light Box. However, more than likely, the player will leave behind multiple Light Boxes for this quest. Moreover, the Light Box Script only costs 90 meat and is only worth 5 meat if we sell it to an NPC. Further, most players will have already purchased the Light Box Script from Lao Lee way back when we first meet him at the Rock Formation. (The Light Box is indispensable in providing enough light to see clearly while mining. The Head Lamp is barely enough and not as useful as laying down a Light Box.)

Considering how Andhera are very light sensitive, I would think leaving behind a bunch of Light Boxes would disturb their nest in a major way. They might be tempted to relocate to a different cave or at least move to a different corner of the cave. Agnes stays behind to study them further, but if the player's actions forces them to relocate...

Also, having followers of any sort, including quest followers like Rol, makes this both easier and more difficult. It makes this quest easier in that the Andhera may attack them instead of the player character, so they are not surrounded and take damage so fast. But it makes things more difficult because they randomly roam around the player character, provoking the Andhera into attacking long before the player gets close enough to steal anything. I had considered doing this quest later, without Rol and after temporarily dismissing my followers. But that involves lots of risk as the Andhera would all be focused on the PC.

The main reason that the stealthy approach is impossible is because both the eggs and the bones were placed smack dab in the middle of the three queens and their brood of males and workers. One can not sneak around and grab them while they are not looking as they will notice you (or Rol or your followers) long before you can grab even one egg or bone.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2017, 05:24:35 PM by Thundercraft »
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Thundercraft

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Re: 'What Lies Beneath' should be doable via stealth, should give a reward
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2017, 05:21:56 PM »

My suggestions for this side quest are simple:

(A) Make Agnes give the player some tangible reward for helping her out. (Something more than one Light Box and the Light Box Script.)

The quest location is an Andhera nest located very far away from Earth Camp and completely out of the way from the main quest, such as Rol's "Heading Out West!" It is also quite time consuming for a side quest and it does involve quite a bit of danger. In real life, most people would turn Agnes down or refuse to help as soon as they see that it involves three queens (and their brood) - yet, we're expected to grab their eggs and food without killing them. This sounds insane.

(B) Relocate both the eggs and the bones in an isolated corner of the cave, far away from the queens and their males and workers. Preferably, the eggs and bones would be located close the first waypoint, where Agnes instructs the player to dig.

Please, give the player the option to be sneaky. Don't have the eggs and bones guarded so closely. You could make it so the Andhera are alerted as soon as the player takes anything (or takes at least 5 eggs). That would at least give the player the option to safely lay down a bunch of Light Boxes (or erect walls via Build) before they are alerted.

Also: There is only one natural entrance to this cave complex. As such, the Andhera would only expect an intrusion from that direction, placing their food and eggs in the deepest recesses of the cave. Instead - against all logic - I found that going in via the cave entrace makes it both easier and safer to grab the eggs and bones.

Even though the Andhera are animals, they have demonstrated animal cunning. They should have the cave entrance guarded and concentrate on that direction.

By having the cave entrance guarded and placing the eggs and food close to where the player is told to dig, this rewards the player for following Agnes' advice in digging. The excuse she gives is that digging is quote, "easier". But, logically, that makes no sense. Why spend all that time and effort to dig if the player can just walz into the entrance? And why bother to dig if the player must fight with the Andhera (or place down dozens of Light Boxes), regardless of whether they dig down or use the cave entrance?

(C) Also, please consider adding some sort of mineral deposit in this cave complex, preferably something rare and valuable like Diamond. (Mine inside or near an Andhera cave? Am I insane? As the saying goes, "No risk, no reward.") I was disappointed that my scanner did not detect anything to mine. Though, I don't think Story Mode has a scanner upgrade to detect Diamond... Maybe have it as a surface (floor of the cave) deposit near where Agnes tells us to dig?

GAME SAVE: Here is my game save, so you can test my claims:
http://www.mediafire.com/file/saw067y5sx9dwqn/save11-2017-09-19.zip
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