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Warhammer 40,000: Battlesector - Space Marines vs Tyranids turn-based strategy

Discussion in 'Strategy and Simulation' started by Infinitron, Feb 9, 2021.

  1. Galdred Studio Draconis Patron Developer

    Galdred
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    I stopped taking part in Slitherine betas because I felt they didn't listen enough, and rushed their games too much, even though they could have benefited a lot from some more polish (especially Armageddon and Sanctus Reach), but they still implemented some of the suggestions, and eventually made the game better (but it probably was too little too late).

    But Chaos Gate did feature a lot of melee combat, and had veterancy (that mattered a lot for melee units actually), so it could still work. In Chaos Gate, you didn't really have much choice given how pitiful bolters were, you had to send the Assault marines in to take care of these pesky heavy weapons, and then wish them good luck after they jumped unsupported in the middle of the enemy lines, unless you were OK with letting the chaos marine snipe your own marines with a laser cannon.
     
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  2. Mefi Prophet Patron

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    One thing which I did wonder was how far the remake of Chaos Gate was influencing things but that is pure idle speculation on my part - the reasons are far more likely to be scope, budget, and trying to figure out ways round players' expectations/assumptions coming into the game. I think Chaos Gate, if it gets it right, is going to sell like hot cakes because of the direction it's set out in. Black Lab have gone a different way so I use a different reference point to compare across to. And Byzantine Games themselves have slowly been improving on how persistency/veterancy of units fits into campaigns - compare Sengoku Jidai with FoG2.

    I didn't ever feel not listened to but... will think how I can say some things more politely. One thing I feel safe in saying is that for Black Lab the actual team is really nice but the beta definitely is a beta and changes at that stage are going to be minimal. As I said, this game could easily have been released (optimisation aside) a few months back by another publisher.

    edited to change brainfart on maker of FoG's name. Also Sengoku, not Sidoku. Too hot. Brain fried.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2021
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  3. Galdred Studio Draconis Patron Developer

    Galdred
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    The new Chaos Gate will be developed by a relatively untested studio, though, so it is a tough call, because Black Lab seems pretty competent (Battlestar Galactica seems to have been pretty well received).
    Regarding the beta, I had the same impression: we were asked for feedback way too late in the development process (at the time I played Sanctus Reach, the best weapons against everything were high rate of fire weapons, even if they were supposed to be anti infantry, and single shots anti tank weapons were horrible at everything).

    Slitherine also tried to namedrop Chaos Gate (they marketed Armageddon as a new Final Liberation, even though it was much closer to Rites of War, and Sanctus Reach as new Chaos Gate, while it would have been closer to Final Liberation).

    Regarding FoG2, the irony is that not having veterancy makes more sense in the recent medieval iteration than it does in the ancient world. Vassals would usually not stick around too long, and you could not always be certain they would be there for the rest of the campaign, if they fulfilled their time obligations.
    But it is pretty different for a given force of Space Marines (and for modern professional armies).
     
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  4. Mefi Prophet Patron

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    I've not properly got beyond Chaos Gate's headlines just yet so interesting about the studio. Just me wondering really how far the licenses can overlap when trying to figure such obvious and clear direction away from that sort of progression within a campaign and the deliberate desire to avoid anything XCom-y (see also 'timers on missions' and 'evacuate units from map'). Although one dev of a TB game once said to me that the sole reason for his game totally avoiding anything XCom was because the comparisons were going to be inevitable regardless and least he could truthfully say he hadn't set out to make a shit ripoff.

    BSG Deadlock was itself largely built on a first game of original IP which failed. A lot of the similar issues in BSG are also apparent in Battlesector, thinking QoL of stuff and most especially if you're trying to reach a broad audience missing those things and without the budget/staff time to really make use of beta to hammer them all out. Huge chunks of that are just part and parcel of game development, I know, but it's still no less frustrating for being so even knowing that many of them are slated to be sorted further down the line. What I'd really like to see is the next stage on from this now from Black Lab. They'll have a clearer sense of who actually is playing their game, as opposed to generalists and putative 'influencers', and perhaps get to tailoring more precisely for them. That's something they did well for BSG so I'm hopeful of seeing the core gameplay moved on with some more of what I think is needed.
     
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  5. holla_cabezas_de_mierda Arcane

    holla_cabezas_de_mierda
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    A game that had a turn-based combat system that sort of fixed that 'safe' style of play and caused a more aggressive play style that was natural and benefited and pay dividends for being aggressive vs. being too cautious was the Gears of War Tactics turn based game...the system by where you overwhelm the player with enemies but then give bonus action points for aggressive and/or dangerous kills and moves would seem to fit in well with the Space Marines combat style-- but since Gears of War already thought of it, perhaps its too late. Gears of War Tactics also mixed in overwatch. If Gears of War Tactics had a better strategy layer and upgrade system it would be truly really amazing game, as it was the turn-based combat system was one of the best and most innovative I have seen in a computer game in years. I was really surprised by it.
     
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  6. Parsimonious cook Augur Patron

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    IMO they could have achieved similar results in Battlesector if they made proper use of the tabletop rules for synapse network. I would place a number of synapse creatures on the map and as long as at least one of them lived the player would have to contend with waves of gaunts and gargoyles - this would encourage aggressive gameplay since you would have a strong incentive to explore the map and kill the synapse creatures. This would also remove the problem some people have with the mopping up after the objectives are accomplished - just like in the tabletop, if there are no more synapse creatures left on the field, Tyranids lose.
     
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  7. Mefi Prophet Patron

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    One unforessen problem of altering missions to make them less complex is it does seem to have left a number of players trying to be completionist confused because there are now several different ways 'bonus objectives' are handled. There's the missions, mainly at the beginning because influencer feefees were hurt, where things all got idiot proofed and pretty much your bonus objective has to be completed to end the mission anyway. Then there's the two mission types which are closer to how all missions were. You get a primary which will eventually turn to 'kill the last nid' and a secondary which you can ignore if you want. And the other type is a secondary with 'save the units' where the bonus reward is linked to the number of those types of units you save. Adding to the confusion is there's at least one of the first type which should be awarding bonus points but needs the fix arriving on the release version to do so.

    Missions are definitely things I want to see iimproved with future DLC, assuming they go narrative style again. There's a real tension between the scale and the objectives which needs to be resolved better.
     
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  8. Space Satan Arcane

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    Okay, I played it enough to never touch this shit again.
    It is good old Slytherine once again with their timeless motto "We sell our games,we do not play them". Lack of basic understanding how UI works and RNG-based balance at its best. No way to speed up your unit movement, missions where if you place your units wrong during PRE MISSION PLACEMENT(!!!) about three of your squads will be wiped out instantly and other shit like that. Their lazy design so endemic in their games is just baffling. They could fix most shit but they just don't care because they are Kalypso v2.0 - basically a studio that pumps shovelware.
     
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  9. Hobo Elf Arcane

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    Finally unlocked the Librarian and he's.. useless? His most useful ability is Blood Lance, which costs 14 coins to unlock and it has a 2 turn CD, is still worse than a Baal Predator with a Flamestorm Cannon. I'd rather take the tank which costs an extra 65 PT over the Librarian but is able to deal crowd control every turn. By the time I got the Librarian I had already gotten all the Predator upgrades. He could've been useful, as a free Hero unit, but not like this.

    The Battle Sisters are also pretty crappy. I like them so I use them, but statistically they are much worse than the Intercessors while only being slightly cheaper. All of this is makes sense of course. They wouldn't be better than an SM, especially a Primaris, but c'mon. All the SoB upgrades you get with Sister Verity just makes them slightly more on par with Intercessors, instead of adding something new to their arsenal that Intercessors can't do. There isn't much you can do in this game where the 20 extra PT cost of using an Intercessor over a Battle Sister will make or break your army loadout. The 20 unit army cap is a bigger limiter on your army than the PT cost is to be honest.

    Oh well. I'll just keep adding more Predators and Hellblasters to cook the 'Nids.
     
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  10. Mefi Prophet Patron

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    Sisters of Battle got nerfed to the ground just prior to release and need rebalancing for MP anyways. The battle squad's +3dmg skill was probably the most OP ability in the game until then. They're most useful now for when you need something at 50 points which carries a couple of grenades once you've begun messing around with loadouts on difficulty settings which gimp the points you can spend.

    Librarian is junk for campaign to be quite honest - can make a case for a few skill tree lines being objectively worse than others too. (Assault marines would be my other example.) He's more interesting in MP because of wings not having a CD so he can zip around the map.
     
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  11. Hobo Elf Arcane

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    Damn shame. Whatever they did, they went a bit too far. At least the Seraphim seem to be a lot more decent as their PT cost is 5 less at 45, but there seems to be some extra potential with the Hand Flamers and Inferno Pistols. They seem to be a much more equal match to Interceptors and Assault Squads with more clearer defined pros and cons.

    Flying around with his wings is kinda fun, and he's a really good melee unit to boot I found. Great for flying to those high value Tyranids and murdering them, but this is a piss poor representation of a Librarian unit who should be a formidable Psyker rather than merely a stronger flying melee unit. Blood Lance just does too piss poor damage while being on a 2 turn CD to justify the high cost to unlock it. Vision of Angelic Fury isn't all that great either. Do I kill my enemy or reduce their Momentum? Gee, I wonder.
     
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  12. Mefi Prophet Patron

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    Think it reflects more the MP balancing than anything else for the librarian and it comes at making it fluffy but suboptimal for campaign. There's a couple of unlock skills where the debuff makes little to no sense on campaign but is actually pretty clever for MP. Whether the balancing should have been so heavily towards MP is another question, and perhaps reflects a lot on how Black Lab and their regular testers see/saw the main focus of the game in the years to come. That there's no army painter to even distinguish playing the same side, well, wiser minds than mine were being prioritised.
     
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  13. Hobo Elf Arcane

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    Big brains if they think they can attract a healthy MP focused community with a game that only has two factions. The MP tournaments that Slitherine keep hosting are cool for community engagement but seems to be giving them the wrong ideas about who their customer base really are.
     
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  14. Mefi Prophet Patron

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    One advantage of a Steam release is at least the feedback there will reinforce the later beta feedback rather than the earlier closed shop stuff which compounds on itself. Not that they're deaf, a lot of it is priorities on the budget ahead of release for companies who'll celebrate 2.5k concurrent players on Steam as a rollicking success. But if it gets them thinking of SP as the main priority and emphasises the need to match the little quality of life things to the presentation they're aspiring to have then it's all to the good cos it all feeds into enabling a healthy MP scene, if that's what they are hoping to have. As Relic found, trying to reverse engineer it these days is a recipe for chronic failure.
     
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  15. Hobo Elf Arcane

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    Finished the campaign. Thankfully you did not need to play mop up crew for the last one. I just slowly advanced with my Predators acting as the vanguard until I got close enough to the boss to fly in with three Seraphim squads armed with Inferno Pistols. Needless to say that made really short work of the final boss unit. I really enjoyed the Seraphim + Inferno Pistol combo in this game. They were extremely potent units.

    I think the individual missions were overall alright, though there were a few missions that could use some tuning. The mop up phase is kinda pointless and I wish they got rid of them in the early missions. This became a bit less of a problem the more you got into the campaign. The big sad is that there's pretty much no replay value. By the end of the game you had unlocked all the skills for your heroes so there isn't much you can do to try different hero builds / army compositions. Though this was something that we were well aware before the games release.

    The two missions that were imo the lamest were both Sister rescue missions. In the first one your objectives are: to hold a crash site and keep the sisters alive. The thing is that the first objective is a trap and the crashed plane will always explode (dealing damage to anyone close by). If you try to do the mission as the objectives suggest then your sisters will get swarmed by Tyranids before you can get your main army to help them. What you have to do is just start running away from the crash site to your army; there's no negative consequence for doing this.

    In the second mission you again have to protect 7 out of 7 Sisters but this time they are even further away from your army and surrounded by some really nasty Tyranids. The tactic once again is to just keep running and using corners to avoid LoS while beelining to your army. I'm not sure if it's even possible to do this mission with all 7 Sister squads alive as I kept losing one on turn one to a single cannon blast, because they are so weak. You only need to save one to win, but it's a bit weird that the mission has been balanced in a way where it's almost entirely impossible to complete it with the developer set "perfect" score.

    Some unit balancing needs to be done. Imo the Assault and Death Company units were pretty bad. They didn't really excel at anything in particular. Aggressors were made redundant once you got Dreadnoughts and Predators. Inceptors were OK until you unlocked Seraphim who were much better imo. Like Sanctus Reach, the game got easier the more you relied on heavy units rather than regular infantry. The enemy really struggles to deal damage against Dreadnoughts and Predators and it's easier to keep them healed up since the Tech Marine's heal ability does more healing than the Priests'.

    As I probably said before, it's overall a fine game and despite being riddled with lots of problems both big and small, I think it serves as a good platform for future updates. Provided that they take notes from Fantasy General 2. That game should be Slitherine's standard for campaign DLC imo.

    Edit: Also there's a roadmap for the game if anyone's interested.

    Show Spoiler
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Mefi Prophet Patron

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    Was hoping Slitherine were going to release some figures, they hinted at it but seem to have ducked out of it. Wouldn't be a surprise if this has sold as many copies in the first week of release as BSG: Deadlock has over its near 4 year lifetime on Steam. Somewhere in the region of 30,000 copies would also fit in with the Steam NextFest figures. From an interview they recently did, it's 7 full time members of staff, 6 regularly contracted in for specific things (music, 2d art, sound effects and voice production etc.) and then another 7 for everything else (voice acting).

    (Interview is here: https://www.pixelsift.com.au/post/w...tern-australia-made-one-of-the-best-40k-games )

    Little story about one of the missions Hobo Elf mentions, it was initially possible to do it 100% on 'normal' difficulty (much more of a dice roll on hardest) but the absence of an animation for a large nid to show it lifting itself up to shoot over obstacles led to them very late on changing where nids were placed and so making it impossible (in my view). There's also a line of sight bug there crept in with the optimisation whcih shouldn't be there which is making it harder still with the nid artillery.
     
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  17. rashiakas Cipher Patron

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    Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    The game is pretty mediocre. My biggest gripes are:

    1. Casualties don't matter. Endless replacements of Space Marines is shit. Also makes the game super easy because you never care if someone dies.
    2. No XP. This closely ties into problem number one. I really don't understand how they could screw this one up. It's a staple for a reason.
    3. I think Nyds are super boring as enemies. Give me Orcs, Eldar whatever, something with some variance. Bug after Bug just feels too samey.
    4. Movement ranges are greater than shooting/visual range. I never understand why they do this. If a gun's range is shorter than a Nyd moves in one turn, what kind of shit gun is this?
    5. Terrain doesn't matter.

    Wouldn't recommend it right now, maybe DLC will fix it.
     
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  18. Alpharius Learned

    Alpharius
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    Finished it as well. It wasn't as bad as i thought (or i wouldn't have finished it) but rarely if ever challenging on max difficulty. I rate it :2/5: - about the same as Mechanicus.
    I played it trying to maximize the amount of nids killed per turn with no regard to casaulties, as if there was a turn limit. It could have really used a real turn limit imo.

    The death company marines looked and sounded like chaos space marines from Dawn of War, which was kinda neat. Would have been great if other units voice lines were just as good. They looked so similar to csm that i suspect the chaos faction is either coming in dlc or was cut at the last moment and animations reused.

    Played one multiplayer match as tyranids and apparently campaign AI has absolutely no idea how to do it properly. Managed to kill a full hp dred and a full hp predator in one turn with 10 termagant squads and i abused them to about half of the potential maximum effect. They get +50% damage for each adjacent friendly squad (at least if it said squad has swarm tactics modifier, not sure if it applies to warriors and other bigger bugs) so its +400% damage if they have 8 adjacent firendly squads. :hahano: Same applies to gargoyles, hormagaunts and genestealers.

    (One termagant squad costs 30 points with basic weapon, and 40 points with devourer weapon that deals 2 times as much damage).

    While synapse doesn't seem like its worth it, unless the marine player brings lots of cheap infantry.

    Will probably play some more multiplayer though it seems it is balanced about as well as Sanctus reach or worse.
    Not seeing much matches that i can join though. (Zero right now).
     
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  19. ricolikesrice Arcane

    ricolikesrice
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    i regret buying this.

    its a (slightly) better looking sanctus reach with voice overs but sanctus reach was definitly the better game.

    more varied and interesting campaign, more varied and interesting unit roster, imho better balance/difficulty as well... battle sector doesnt offer any improvements other than visuals and audio.

    battlesector isnt total shit and if you like Sanctus Reach you ll likely semi enjoy this too - but i personally got bored 1/3 into the campaign already, mostly due to the lack of variety in everything
    getting sanctus reach with all of its DLCs is a much, much better deal right now.

    since the basics arent bad there s hope this game might turn out better once the DLC train is rolling, but seeing how little content they packed into the base game i can already guess that the Imperial Guard roster is gonna be a commissar, a leman russ, a sentinel and 3 types of infantry (slightyl exaggerating but you get the point .... )
     
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  20. Hobo Elf Arcane

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    Looking at the Steam forum for Battlesector you guys aren't exactly alone with these feelings. Some of the most active and frequent threads are people complaining about the lack of content, lack of unit variety, repetitive mission design and how crap the MP is (probably would've been better to not include this feature, at least on release, and concentrate on making the SP experience as strong as possible). Lots of people are waking up to the fact that this is a more presentable Sanctus Reach but worse gameplay. The only real innovation Battlesector brings over SR is the Momentum system which, I must admit, sucks a lot. I never found myself making any tactical decisions surrounding this mechanic. I simply ignored it and sometimes I'd enjoy the Surge effect if I got it, but it was never anything I tried to consciously attain.

    I agree that DLC will make or break this game. The DLC better hit it out of the ballpark or this game will fizzle out faster than SR did, despite it being a really solid game. They won't be able to make half baked DLC with a tiny unit roster and a meh campaign. And woe to the devs if they try to skip out on campaigns entirely and just make unit DLC for MP / skirmish.
     
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  21. Removal Learned

    Removal
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    This was a huge issue with their BSG game as well, if they follow the trend of that game DLC will probably be meh
     
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  22. Parsimonious cook Augur Patron

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    Strap Yourselves In
    Eh, the multiplayer indeed blows even on the technical level. Like I just clicked on a public game to join, was asked to select an army (had a default army at 1000 points), clicked on the default one and when the game loaded I found out that I had a 1000 pt army in a 2000 pt game lmao. Would have been nice to get at least some "are you sure" type of warning...

    The SP campaign was OK, though honestly I still think this is a 20 € game rather than 30 € one. We will see about the DLCs I guess.
     
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  23. Mefi Prophet Patron

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    MP with two factions tailored for people only interested in MP with two factions is what it always was going to be for the moment.

    My money would be on them answering some of the initial complaints about unit variety by dropping a FLC of units, they've taken soundings on that a couple of months back after beta feedback on it but goodness knows how far along they've taken it yet. Gives some idea of how long it takes them to get even half a dozen models (assuming nids too) done. Sounds like Sisters of Battle in a DLC is already at pulling in the voice actors from what Slitherine's senior execs have been hinting so that shouldn't be too far off.

    BSG: Deadlock is an interesting comparison because they did start to try different mission types with the later DLC. Battlesector's starting from the place where they've gone back and dumbed shit down, from a combination of idiot players and Black Labs' own hit and miss attempts at giving players a clear steer on what they should be doing. Whether they can resolve the problem of the scale of the combat making it harder to land mission types on any kind of sweet spot for challenge and playability is what'll decide the future I reckon. Unlike Sanctus Reach, I really got into this one's sense of how 40k at this scale should feel to play. The system underneath works for me although stuff like the momentum is still in a weird place where it's grotesquely abusable while also being totally ignorable. I have strong feelings about balancing MP for MP's sake and letting the SP campaign be balanced for itself so meh.
     
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  24. Zboj Lamignat Arcane

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    Your money will be on "F"LC allright.
     
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  25. Mefi Prophet Patron

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    I'll spend money on a Sisters of Battle DLC. I'll put money on the first post-release content being a FLC unit pack.
     
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