To give credit where credit is due, the cinematic cutscene folks have completely outdid themselves yet again.
If there is one reason to get the Thaumanova story mode over and done with, it is to go back into the fractals and see the unskippable cutscene which pops up when anyone new enters the fractals for the first time.
It may be unskippable, but it is glorious and gets the heart pumping.
I’ll be happy to keep watching it every now and then, and I suppose it also gives you a warning that someone in your party is new to the fractals and should be communicated with (assuming the PUG reaction doesn’t evolve to immediately quitting after the cutscene is over.)
There is more storytelling and pacing in this cutscene than the entire Thaumanova Reactor fractal.
Some choice moments frozen in time:
P.S. The lack of a waypoint in the story mode of Thaumanova appears to have been fixed via letting the whole party respawn once -everybody- wipes.
P.P.S. The pacing is still a piece of buggy shit as we managed to trigger Scarlet even before all colliders were turned off.
At least this time with a lot of “guidance” from me, ie. supplying tips like I was reading from a third-party walkthrough, my guild group minimized the arbitrary deaths from discovering stuff on their own (not my preferred style of play at all but faced with the alternative of having to completely wipe…) and we managed to insert two cooling rods where they were apparently supposed to go first.
But Scarlet turned up even before we triggered the last collider. Ridiculous, really. The design team needs to take some tips from previous dungeons like AR and MF about shit that is supposed to happen in proper sequence and blocking off access through impassable walls, rather than total party kills.
P.P.P.S. It turns out that my first PUG did indeed boot us out of the instance before it was over. We missed the completion reward of 13 silver that time. (How impressive. Not.)
Thank god for guild groups that hang around examining merchants for any changes, thus giving me enough time to view/screenshot all of the Dessa/Ellen Kiel exchange and for that completion thing to pop up.