I immediately like the premise - have you played "Eagle Takes Flight" from ye olde FS1 days? Because that was an ADORABLE little campaign and we definitely need more like it!
FS was unable to find 1 ship class when trying to play the first mission. Hope that's not an issue
Backstory seems cool! It's different from the type of post-FS2 campaign that HLP has kind of settled into, so it's definitely a refreshing change
The "wretched-hive-of-scum-and-villainy" setting also seems ripe for smaller-scale storytelling, so that's a big plus.
lolol we really have this many Kaysers and Prom S? Must be leaning hard on that post-war military surplus! (But he's rich, so it makes sense) Only real problem here is not having enough Tempests, they're so tiny that most missions with them available should give 1000-2000 instead of the default 500. (Also, you give 500 of most missiles, and 100 Kaysers and Prom S, which looks a little strange - maybe reduce some of these, like Harpoons and Trebs)
Everything is on the horizontal plane, which looks odd in space. Select the Y-axis in the top bar and move some ships along it!
All the messages play immediately - maybe chain those events with a delay, or use send-message-list. You can use has-arrived-delay for the message about friendly bombers. Also, the messages don't come from actual fighters in the mission, which makes it hard to tell who's who. If you put the person's name or callsign in the "Callsign" field instead of "alt name", they'll show up automatically in messages and the target box.
Olympus Station is a GTF Ulysses, so that's the ship class I don't have. (I made him invulnerable with cheats lol) Whatever it is, the table entry (usually in a "-shp.tbm") and associated custom model and textures, if any, should be packaged with your campaign. Packaging mods together is kind of complicated (once you're closer to done, you might want to upload your campaign, including all custom assets, to Knossos - but for now, just for testing, if you package it all in a zip file with proper folder structure (appropriate files in "missions", "tables", "models", "maps" etc), people who want to test it should be able to wrangle it all into the correct place. Alternately, if your campaign depends on a mod that's on Knossos, just tell us which one and it should work fine
(Aha! I looked in your mission and it uses Blue Planet weapons, and the Asteria which is... probably in BP as well idk BP has everything lol. Also every mission gives you the Balor, and mission 4 gives you Vishnan stuff to use lmaooooo, but these are never made available in the campaign file/via SEXP so they won't actually show up in the loadout.)
The pirate corvette is guardianed (it very conspicuously stays at 1% hull even when getting obliterated with bombs), and jumps out when its weapons subsystem is destroyed, but nothing specifically attacks that subsystem - I had to destroy it myself, which I wouldn't have known to do if not for FRED. Also, the last message gets played just before the mission ends, so there's no time to read it. Maybe simply have it leave when it's under 15% hull (or whatever number), and put a delay on that end-mission event (it's already chained (Good!) so just set the delay to several seconds.)
I LOVED that the main character noticed how weird it is for pirates to simply run in suicidally and destroy everything. Too many campaigns (lookin' at you, Derelict) use pirates as simply low-level mooks to shoot, so it's very nice to have a try at realism.
Overall, a very good mission for someone who's been FREDding for 4 days!
Lol this guy seems like such a melodramatic douchebag
(But he's rich, so it makes sense) Definitely colorful writing, which is a nice touch! I'm noticing that mission objectives in the briefings are very specific about the wings you'll be facing - that's not the kind of thing we'd know ahead of time. Leave a little surprise for the player! In general, destroying specific wings usually aren't mission objectives.
I definitely like that large ships tend to depart instead of simply letting themselves get destroyed. Very nice realistic touch.
Maybe use a cap-waypoint-speed on the Poseidons to keep them from getting so far ahead. The waypoints are all in a line with one another, so it doesn't actually avoid the problem where they all bunch up at the end
Waypoint path 4 should be nudged a little to the right, and waypoint path 3 to the left, so the convoy sort of stays in formation.
Needs a return-to-base directive (or otherwise telling the player to jump out) when the convoy leaves.
Briefing objectives are better! (though it should be "destroy all enemy fighters
") (I didn't go through the whole thing for typos, but one thing that stuck out was the overly elongated ellipses.............. remember, it's never more than 3)
Names are a bit weird in this one: the cruisers have generic names, and the ship name is shunted to the "alt name" field. That's not how FS does it - ship names are always ship names, and "alt name"s are for alternative type
names (like "unknown" if the ship type is supposed to be new/unrecognized).
Good god, this is the first hard mission in the set. Cancer and Omega wing (odd pair of names btw lol) are as well-armed as we are!
lol you spaced out the waypoints in this one (good!) but swapped them - freighter and transport 1 start on the left and veer to the right, and freighter and transport 2 start on the right and go left. So they still bump into each other a bit lol
Also, think about giving freighters and transports unique names, just for flavor, rather than just "1" and "2". Maybe "Shippy mcShipFace"
Lots of dead time at the end of both missions 2 and 3 where nothing much happens after the combat is done, so I just time-compress by x16 and wait for the freighters to get to the node. Though, having too much time is better than having too little time and making the mission way too hard. Timing a mission right is not easy!
Mordock is named properly this time, so that's nice. I liked the twist where you're not supposed to fire on them first, but they're hostile to begin with, so I don't think it actually affects how the mission plays out.
Also "Lamda" 2 is ordered to dock with Alpha 1 and tow me back to base lmao
An intermediate thing you may want to think about: Acknowledging player failure, and adding debriefs for various failure states. I only went back and tested missions 2 and 4, but in mission 2, if the Nexus dies or I jump out right away, there's no debrief at all, and in mission 4, you get a success debrief even if you jump out the moment the mission begins.
This is the long and complicated and... kinda unrewarding part of mission design, because the "real story" you're trying to make is the one where the player succeeds and can continue with the campaign. But to make a really complete mission, you have to think about each important goal, and how the debriefing would respond to partial failure, total failure, or the player going AWOL before he's supposed to. Usually this is just a military CO scolding the player, but for your mercenary outfit run by
the player, you may have to get a bit more creative. (Some missions just disable the player's jump drive with the never-warp and allow-warp SEXPs to avoid this)
Also, backgrounds! You may want to add "starfield.pof" from the MediaVPs as a skybox (just type it in the "skybox model" field in the Background Editor, and save your mission, and anyone using the MediaVPs will be able to see it). Also possibly nebulae and planets - you could play around with making a custom background, or importing one from another mission file (The background editor can do this with the "Import..." option at the top).
Overall, very promising work IMO! Keep it up