30/07/2019

The Shroud Bugged Out

You may have surmised from the fact that I was talking about doing the Dread Seed quest chain in my last post that I was also going to do the heroic missions that cap off that very same chain and the one for Macrobinoculars this weekend. I'm very fond of both of these missions because I'll forever remember the first time I did them both being hilariously chaotic.

You would also think that after successfully completing them half a dozen times I'd be able to knock them out pretty quickly at this point, but this is a notion of which I was quickly disabused this Sunday.


And to think that we started out so well! When we met up in front of the Shroud's lair, I was immediately pleased to note that all of us were actually on the correct step of the quest. Most of the previous times that I've done this mission it usually turned out that someone still needed to do the part that I like to call the "taxi chase", and then it always took some time to get them caught up with the rest of us. Our team on the other hand - consisting of me and my guildies Mostyn, Ken and Uni - looked like it should be able to make short work of the whole thing.

Unfortunately it soon became apparent that I was the person in the group who had the most experience with the mission, which was less good. As it turns out it's very easy to follow the instructions of other people telling you to click the button in front of you, but being able to do so doesn't necessarily mean that you now automatically know what everyone else in the group is supposed to be doing.

Already in the second room we briefly got stuck as everyone else went into the little side alcoves and started clicking the buttons there, while I ran up and down the corridor yelling about how I knew that there was something for me to click here but I didn't know where it was. Fortunately another guildie who happened to overhear us on Teamspeak was able to point me in the right direction (the ceiling). "It's like the blind leading the blind," Mr Commando observed wistfully from the other side of the table.

Then things got buggy though. We got to the part with the droid in the security station, where mines keep going off around him, you kill the turrets surrounding the station, he summons some droids, and after you kill those, he surrenders. The problem was that we killed the turrets and then nothing happened; the mines just kept beeping away and the next phase refused to start.

This is actually something that had also happened to me the previous time I did this quest, though back then we'd been able to reset it by simply walking away from the area, and when the sequence restarted it completed properly the second time around. That didn't work this time though. We ran all the way outside the phase and back in, even tried wiping the group by suiciding on the laser grid, but nothing seemed to work.

Eventually we exited again and reset the phase, which did not reset the first two puzzles but respawned most of the mobs, so we had to kill those all over again. Fortunately the security sequence also started up properly this time (we noticed that messages about escalating defenses popped up in the middle of the screen now, which hadn't happened before).


Though then we got stuck again because when the droids finally spawned, one of them managed to somehow run inside the controller's defensive shield, where he was untouchable and kept us stuck in combat. Fortunately this time we were able to reset the thing by simple getting some distance. When we tried again we made sure to instantly stun and nuke any droids coming out of the station right next to the shield.

Then it came to the puzzle part, one I thought I remembered reasonably well. One person mans the security station (this is usually my job), one has to go into the room with all the poison gas, one to the droid assembly line, and the last to the elevator. How and why any of these things go together and interact in a logical way I don't know; I just know that they do.

We started off with me at the security station, Mostyn by the poison room, Uni at the droid assembler and Ken at the elevator, but Uni kept complaining that he couldn't get in. "When I click this thing, doesn't the door go up?", I asked. "Yes, it does, but there's another one right behind it. It's like it goes up and stays closed at the same time." While this sounded quite inane, I was quickly reminded of a visual glitch that I sometimes see in cut scenes involving doors. The problem was that for Uni it was more than visual: the "second" door remained solid and wouldn't let him pass. Mostyn walked over and was able to walk right "through" it in front of Uni's eyes.

So we decided to have Mostyn and Uni swap places. However, Uni's game would have none of that either: While he didn't see any doors at the poison room, he was still prevented from entering by an invisible force field.

We tried swapping him with Ken, but now Ken was having problems with the poison room. He could get inside; but he couldn't click the console! "I can see where I'm meant to click, but it's just not letting me interact with it!"

As a last ditch effort, we were going to try having Ken back at the elevator, me at the poison room and Uni at the security station, but of course he couldn't click on that either.

Everyone agreed at this point that it would be best for both Ken and Uni to leave the instance and restart their game, since whatever was wrong seemed to affect them in specific and not the instance as a whole. "Are we going to be featured in a blog post now?" Uni asked on the way out. Well, you've got your answer!

After they'd both relogged and rejoined the group, it at first turned out that they had loaded back into the wrong instance, so they had to leave the phase again to switch instances outside. But once we were finally all together again, everyone was able to get through doors and click on things, and we literally unlocked the next step on the first attempt. If only it could have been that easy right away!

Fortunately nothing that came after caused us any more serious issues, Mostyn just fell to his death once and in the last fight people were running in circles like headless chickens for a while, but that didn't prevent us from getting it down.


Ken went to bed after that but the three of us who remained also needed the Dread Seed heroic so we did that too, and fortunately it went down without a hitch, except that I swear those power cells get deadlier every time I do the part where you have to power up the turrets. I know they are supposed to explode if you get hit while carrying one, but I've also been one-shot seemingly just from stepping on a floor cable while carrying a cell (are neither the cables nor my shoes insulated?!) and this time I managed to fall over dead literally the moment I clicked on one to pick it up.

Another bug I had previously encountered but which fortunately didn't happen again this time was one of the doors not opening for a group member (who was fortunately only helping out at the time and didn't need to be there for the final kill anyway, and unlike the Shroud heroic, fighting Lord Tagriss doesn't actually require a full group of four players).

Still, though. I used to think that the toughest thing about these quests was finding a group for them, but now I'm not so sure anymore. I mean, we had a whale of a time because we are friends who trust each other and are able to see the funny side of most mishaps, but can you imagine trying to communicate Schrödinger's door to a pug group? They'd just think that you've gone mad! Hopefully the Bioware devs will find the time to fix some of those bugs before they ruin too many groups' experiences, even if this isn't one of the most popular quests in the game.

4 comments :

  1. Aand.. this is why over-reliance on scripting is bad!

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    1. You know, I did think of you and that post after I finished writing this! I'd still say that there's a big difference between quests and combat encounters though.

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  2. That's happened to me so many times. I tried one night with a full group, and we could. not. finish. the. quest. I eventually quit and filed a bug report (in my defense, it was half past five in the morning) and it was never resolved.

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    1. I want to ask which "that"? Any specific bug? Or all of it? XD

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