The K Report: Side Missions

Discussion in 'Archive' started by Kith, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    [align=center]The K Report: Side Missions
    Huffing glue is not a “performance enhancement”[/align]

    nobody does side missions and that's bad mmkay


    Make the side missions a hard proc (Comms 10 minutes in and Chems at the start of Chapter 2).
    Make Side Mission completion a requirement for Speed.

    Increase Speed timer from 1:25:00 to 1:30:00

    Show Spoiler

    The side missions are, by and large, uninteresting. They're also ignored because Speed is so much more important in terms of rewards. Boosting the endgame rewards (such as Chems getting a huge credit reward) didn't help, so I’m going to try something different instead: have completion of side missions lead to ingame rewards and non-completion lead to ingame penalties.

    Penalty timer: 5 minutes
    A reasonable amount of time, in my opinion. Comms does not take long, nor is it particularly difficult. If the team doesn't get to the tower in time, the garg squads that spawn as a result don't necessarily spell death for the team, just some increased spawns to deal with and a higher emphasis on sticking together.

    Penalty for non-completion: Garg Rush!
    The Tower’s activation attracts groups of Gargoyles into the region, which then hunt the team. Rush groups spawn in squads of four (veteran) or six (Nightmare) every minute. These Gargoyles do not grant exp.

    Reward for completion: Lifesaver
    Downloading the communications increases the marines’ resolve to succeed in their mission for the sake of passing on the information that their comrades died for, granting all living players an Extra Life.

    Penalty timer: 8 minutes
    Just in case it pops in the middle of a mission or a bossfight, 8 minutes should be plenty of time for the team to finish what they're doing and then go do chems.

    Penalty for non-completion: Performance Enhanced Infected
    If the players fail to seal the containers in a reasonable amount of time, every enemy on the map has a 10% chance (Veteran)/15% chance to gain the “Juiced!” buff as a result of dipping into the scrapyard chemicals. “Juiced!” enemies deal 10% more damage, have a 15% increased movespeed, +5 armor, and if not on Nightmare mode, grants them the ability to sprint. "Juiced!" cannot apply to bosses.

    Reward for completion: git smrt
    As it turns out, someone was cultivating “Double Thought” cognitive enhancement drugs in the silos, which led to the breach in the first place. Once the containers are sealed, a DT Canister is dispensed in the middle of the Scrapyard, which is a one-use item. On use, it grants the player an additional talent point, but their move speed and attack speed is cut by 20% for 5 minutes in addition to losing 2 Rating.
  2. ArcanePariah
    • Development Team
    • Map Developer

    ArcanePariah Miracle Worker

    Alrighty, interesting ideas but here's a few things


    1) Must make it only activate during chapter 2. Chapter 3 in all stories is pointless, and Chapter 1 is also the time to scout and do main missions. Moreover, comms duration needs to be shortened or the spawns increased, right now the spawns end and you just chill for 50 for so seconds.

    2) Increased spawns. Honestly at this point, increasing spawns leads to the following: Players under skill X get punished and wiped, Players above skill X laugh as the game just got even easier as they power level off the increased spawns. Frankly I would purposefully autofail Comms just for the increased free exp. Extra Life <<<< free levels.


    1) Right now chems is a do or die, if you do not seal with in 2 minutes, the spawn overwhelm any team. It is a consequence of Agrons spawning with Rampgage (+100% attack speed and +50% move speed) and then on NM having charge to boot. The randomness of it and the suicide pact nature of it is what puts most team off. Not to mention the fact that it isolates and divides the team. No rewards is going to be worth doing it, either need to replace Agrons with something else, or remove Rampage from them.

    2) Assuming chems is changed to be not an all in affair. The penalty is rather temporary and basically non existant. It will go off and some random zombies will get some decent armor with a tiny bonus damage with move speed that doesn't totally suck. Within 2 minutes all zombies affected will be dead, and penalty gone. If chems pops in certain situations it will be completely undoable (Nydus mainly) and the buff, if anything, will help the team as it feeds the mobs to them faster at holdout and possibly buffs random agorons for engie to MC for super tanks. Hell I can see daring teams purposefully fail it to see if they can get super slashers or super BBQ.

    The only way this could be an actual punishment that isn't unfair would be to permanently boost all zombies damage by 20%, along with 10% MS. No armor or HP buffs should applied ever, since those can be utilized by the team (lasers/MC), not to mention most high teams field weapons that ignore armor anyhow or use skills to kill said enemies (OSOK mainly).
  3. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    I intended the gargs from Comms to be special, in that they grant no experience. Forgot to mention that.

    Another effect of Chems that I was considering was to convert a regular zombie into a Hulk every 20 seconds or so.
  4. Ghost
    • Warden

    Ghost Warden

    Very much agree with AP's sentiments.

    For time limit I am also not a big fan of that because they can trigger during the most inopportune moments. I.e. while needing to seal domes in Sec, during gas in Alpha, During holdouts in Alpha, during HAL in Sec, during Nydus/Muta in EC, while waiting for Ere2 in EC, while doing domes in EC.

    Making it a pre-chapter 3 req also doesn't work for the most part as the latter sections of chapter 2 are usually a sequence from which you can't get out of without getting swarmed.

    Maybe a good idea is to make them activate around mid/end chapter 1 always and then ask people to complete before chapter 3, as they then have the rest of Chapter 1 and all of chapter 2 to do it. (especially for Alpha it needs to be chapter 1)

    For Comms, failing it maybe should decrease player vision range by 1 rather than garg spawns. That's actually a penatly that would make people seriously consider doing Comms or play with handicap.

    For Chem, its simply too difficult. You are bound to have someone die (usually team wipe)when doing Chems outside of Sec or good randoms in other storylines. Reduce agron spawn and devourer spawn and it could be more doable. Ticker could move a tad slower to compensate, but overall it nevertheless needs to spawn much fewer extra heavy zombies. Afterall, ot every team is pro and if you make the game too difficult by skipping it, you make people lose interest in playing NOTD. They are optional missions for a reason.

    The juice buff is too powerful - 5 armor obsoletes most non penetrating weapons and non dps classes. Higher HP creates super tanks. What I'd rather see as a penalty is maybe add (cloaked) parasites to the ambient spawn pool. Not slithers, parasites. That would make the team have the penalty of needing to invest in perception or use thermals or make more use of sight granting spells. If that isn't enough, maybe 5% bonus attack speed (not damage) to all non heroic enemies.
  5. QuantumMech

    QuantumMech Well-Known Member

    That is evil, beyond all comprehension. The problem I still see with these missions is that the benefit of getting speed for each story line is still greater than the reward for these two missions. Woohoo, I got a dt, but I lose rating, which, isn't that big of a deal, but I still really don't like that it. I guess an increase in credit/xp gain would be ok?
  6. Ghost
    • Warden

    Ghost Warden

    When I said add them to ambient spawn pool I didn't mean swarms, but single parasites. Maybe 1 every 20 seconds (considering that's chapter 3 where they appear). And randomly on map, not necessarily on top of team
  7. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    So now that I'm actually at a computer

    Considering the ambient spawns don't stop for Comms, this doesn't bother me so much.

    Like I said, the Garg groups do not grant exp. They only exist to harass your item runner and waste your ammo.

    I'm all for nixing Rampage, even though I steadfastly believe that people fail Chems because they're absolutely terrified of it and don't know how to handle it properly, such as Old Ivax. I've seen Chems be done without much of a fuss, the team just needs to place itself properly.

    The penalty is consistent throughout the game. That buff applies to all spawns until Chems is completed.

    I have zero issues with buffing the Laser considering that it's mostly useless, and I really don't mind the MC bit considering how scattered the buffed enemies would be and how hard the Engineer would have to work to get more than a handful of said buffed zombies.

    The point of the armor buff is to waste the team's ammo. Yes, an organized, high-level team will have plenty of anti-armor, but I'm... honestly not that concerned about it. Granting ALL zombies a MS and AD boost will screw the balance FAR more than a couple getting incidental buffs and becoming more resistant to armor because then the Engineer can MC with impunity. It'd also completely fuck the Tank because "all" includes bosses, and I'm fairly comfortable with where tanks are right now in terms of balance. They don't need to get nerfed any more.

    That's the point: giving priority to something that isn't the main mission. If we just leave it until Chapter 3 to wait for the penalties, there's no sense of urgency to complete them.

    That makes no sense, though. Comms would have no effect on the players' sight range because sight is not shared in the first place.

    I agree that Rampage needs to be removed from the Agrons, but considering how people speed through NOTD nowadays, I wouldn't mind seeing an increase in difficulty by adding extra objectives and penalties for not completing them to make speed more difficult to get. If you follow a specific method, Speed is almost guaranteed. That bugs the hell out of me and I don't like it. Speed needs to be a reward for exemplary play from everyone involved, not just something that you get by following a specific strategy every time with 10 minutes and two teammembers of leeway.

    It hardly makes them obsolete, but it reduces their effectiveness by a significant amount. The only thing that becomes totally worthless in such a situation is the SMG, and that doesn't exactly break my heart considering that A: I don't like the SMG and B: It's not going to be an entire horde of enemies, just 1 in 10 or 1.5 in 10. All you need is some additional fire support from your buddies, and if it's something like a Slasher or an Agron, well... maybe you should go do that damn mission.

    If you have an MC Engineer, and if they can find each and every Juiced enemy to add to your zoo. It's my intention for there to be absolutely no visual indication as to what is and isn't Juiced.

    Nnnnnno. There's "making things difficult" and there's "complete bullshit". Parasites are already stealth killers, we don't need them to be moreso.
  8. Ghost
    • Warden

    Ghost Warden

    Except that you *cannot* do them at certain times and you are putting pressure on a team which may not be "pro", causing them to die regularly.

    Tell me how you want people to do chem + comm during Alpha lab+gas for example. Having mass muta and juiced enemies during that holdout and subsequent TPS moments will cause wipes on any but the best teams.

    And how would not downloading the comms cause more mutas to spawn? There aren't even any mutas part of the actual comm wave. We are implementing the penalties based on gameplay and balance not plausibility I would imagine.

    Again your argument for the penalties is that "some teams can get speed any day they want and its too easy". Some teams does not equate every team. Balance should not be around top teams and what certain people can possibly achieve but around the average team. This is not PvP where balancing around the pros is appropriate. You will lock out a large portion of the playerbase from 1. any hopes of achieving speed and 2. surviving/winning with such penalties which are on top of the status quo - i.e. no balancing to compensate for weaker teams.

    Consider that in an average game there's maybe what, 4.5-5k zombies depending on storyline? That's actually a lot of juiced up enemies and like I mentioned above, if it decides to activate at a time when the people simply cannot go and do the side mission, its a catch-22 situation. The other thing is that you are balancing toward heavier use of the flamethrower which already is one of the best weapons and heavily encouraged. This stymies variety in weapon choice by a fair bit.

    So a few people (mainly non EU) hate parasites with a passion whether cloaked or non cloaked because they confer hits faster and ruin rating. Rating currently takes 0 effort to get to 2500 if you have half a brain really.
    Also, like I said, these parasites are very rare and spawn singly, not in a nydus. I have yet to see people whining about the ambient parasite spawns in Survival which would be 3x higher than what I suggested. As for it being cloaked, again, where's the problem if people can have perception, thermals as well as talents to counter (simple AoE withot vision does the job as well, as would splash).

    Transcend prejudice on parasites - they can only mess with you singly if you solo around a lot or don't pay any attention.
  9. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    If the team is currently in the middle of a storyline event, then they wait until it's finished, eat whatever penalty enemies they have to, and then go handle the side missions. Six additional Gargs every minute is not "mass muta", and a shotgun can handle the entire group in a single attack. Juiced enemies will be a pain, but not a game-ending swarm of roided out enemies. These are manageable things, even by disorganized teams.

    The idea behind the Garg spawn is that the tower itself (being the tallest structure in Apollo) lighting up upon activation would attract the attention of the various flying infected scattered around the moon, not unlike how a car alarm functions in Left 4 Dead.

    Actually, my argument encompasses a lot more than just "people get speed too easily and that rustles my jimmies". The fact that the side missions are largely ignored with no consequence even WITHOUT Speed is extremely frustrating to me. Back in the day of :AM, if you ignored an objective, the game punished you for it. UA3 does the same thing; ignore a mission for the sake of your own skin and the game gets harder or you even lose experience. The marines of NOTD are at one point ordered by a fucking general to go do something (chems), and nothing at all happens if they don't. No penalty for letting dangerous chemicals seep all over, no reprimand from their commanding officer, nothing.

    Less capable teams will be able to survive these penalties if they take the time to complete the objectives. There are plenty of breaks in gameplay in every storylines' chapters to go and do side missions.

    Yeah, it's a lot, assuming that A: Chems procs at the beginning of the game and B: the team doesn't go and do Chems for the entire game. If it pops during a story mission, there should be plenty of time for the team to finish the story mission and then go handle chems. If not? Every now and then, the team will encounter a particularly tough enemy. I'm confident in their ability to survive.

    Also, I'm not balancing towards heavier use of the Flamethrower, I'm aiming to make tougher enemies. Yes, the Flamethrower would work very well against juiced enemies, but that's running the risk of getting hit due to the Flamethrower's short range and the enemies' buffed movement speed and damage. ALL weapons except for the HMG/Stinger will have a harder time taking down Juiced enemies.

    Make up your mind on your thoughts about general player skill.

    It's not that they're Parasites, it's that cloaked enemies are awful. Cloaked enemies present the issue that they're made almost completely worthless/harmless if you're able to detect them, but a potential death sentence if you don't have detection. They're MUCH more likely to screw an inexperienced/uncoordinated team than a couple tough enemies, as not everyone will drop points into Perception or have Flares constantly going or be using high-splash weapons. Parasites are the smallest enemy in the game, so if you don't have detection, you're probably not going to see the distortion caused by them when they're cloaked.

    Juiced enemies are intuitive: They're big, they're angry, and they're tougher than normal, so staying the fuck away from them is probably a good plan.

    Cloaked Parasites are not intuitive: They're small, difficult to see even when you CAN detect them, and even if you DO detect them, unless you manually target them with an attack or a skill, your character is going to outright ignore them.

    I'm hardly prejudiced against them, they just have their place and being cloaked is not it. Considering your apparent concern for less skilled teams, I'm surprised that you think that Cloaked Parasites are a good plan.
  10. ArcturusV

    ArcturusV New Member

    I'm back from an epicly long move.

    Anyway... If I may. The issue comes down to:

    Side Missions are completely ignored with no penalty.


    Because Speed Bonuses provide more rewards in every way that matters (long term) than anything else.

    It strikes me that perhaps the simplest, most elegant solution is:

    You cannot get speed bonus unless you clear all objectives.

    This makes a certain level of sense. Speed is supposed to be a bonus for exemplary play, as mentioned previous. Which means going above and beyond bare minimal effort to do something that is quite extraordinary. Being able to clear all missions, and get speed? Sounds like the definition.

    Of course if you wanted to be less hard core about it you could just say... keep Speed where it is. Keep objectives like they are. But give a massive boost for actually doing everything and in time for speed.

    I gotta lot to catch up on. Hope to see you all later.
  11. ArcanePariah
    • Development Team
    • Map Developer

    ArcanePariah Miracle Worker

    Before we go any farther, I must ask a simple but major question: Are side missions optional?

    UA3 punished you and so did AM because there were no (IMO) "side missions" there was the main mission that just happen to draw from a fixed pool of mission to make up whatever happened as the main mission.

    If you make a mission "optional" and THEN punish for not doing it, it is no longer optional. If we want to make side mission more encouraged then we provide either large generic bonuses or unique powerful rewards (And no, 1 extra life is not unique nor powerful, and 1 DT can for 1 player is unique but not all that powerful, it amounts to some free XP). If we are going to provide penalties for these "side missions" then rework them into main missions. No sense calling then "side missions" when they are designed to screw or hinder the main mission in any significant fashion and thus aren't really optional.
  12. Ramses II
    • Donator

    Ramses II Help, I can't change my title!

    I agree with arcV. Make the speed bonus only apply if you complete all available side missions, increase the speed timer if necessary. Don't have any penalty for not completing side missions though (what AP said).
  13. ArcanePariah
    • Development Team
    • Map Developer

    ArcanePariah Miracle Worker

    You would have to increase timer, even today with good teams you have maybe 5-10 minutes to spare. Comm's chews up at least 5 minutes, and chems is at least 3-4 minutes assuming perfect run (no one steps off hexes, spawns never force you to back away).

    If we rework speed this way, we then need to ask, what is the benchmark for doablity? On one hand, people feel game is too easy and should be made harder, but on the other, if you make it so only the top people can do it, even then it is less then 50/50, no one is going to bother, it will be a waste of time and frustrating.

    After thinking a bit, one MAJOR thing that colossally (and this is somewhat subconscious and conscious thing) makes side mission VERY unattractive is that the vast vast majority of rewards are only rewarded at the end with victory. If you wipe at ANY final boss or prior, you have just spent that entire time for less then half the rewards, be it medals (you get none), XP (Final kill + victory + speed = over half the XP in an average game) or credits (Vast majority of credits comes from late game bosses, final bosses, end game cans, and MoH itself). Any side mission that can remotely lead to wipe means you spend all the time and effort for nothing. This is probably the reason chems is still not done today, Chems XP <<<<< Speed Win and Chems Credits <<<<< MoH credits.
  14. MSluiter

    MSluiter Member

    Get rid of the random activation time, and add a reward worth doing them for. People don’t do these side missions because:
    -They never activate.
    -Too many players are already dead to risk it
    -Wastes limited ammo
    -Activate too late in the game or when the team has no reason to return to that portion on the map
    -Rewards are minimal
    -Puts several medals at risk
    -Are only available in 2/3 of campaigns
    -Can only realistically be attempted at specific points in the campaign

    Try this.

    Chem Auto activates 10 mins into game
    - It adds 10 extra minutes to the clock to make speed.
    - Rewards with an ammo cache on completion
    - 1 random weapon or item (HMG, Shotgun, Arc reactor, or HCM)
    - More creds (40 regular 80 nm per player) and XP (10 regular 20 nm)

    Comms Available any time, DL time reduced from current long ass time.
    - It adds 5 extra minutes to the clock to make speed.
    - Rewards with a small ammo cache on completion
    - More creds (10 regular 20 nm per player) and XP (4 regular 8 nm)
  15. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    I actually really like the idea of making Speed only available if you manage to complete the side missions as well (assuming they're hard proc and not random anymore). I don't really care if it's cutting things really, really close; I'm tired of seeing Speed get farmed so hard with such little effort. If people complain about it, then we can boost the timer from 1:25 to 1:30.
  16. ArcanePariah
    • Development Team
    • Map Developer

    ArcanePariah Miracle Worker

    I would be fine with this as well. The tricky question becomes, did we just make speed totally worthless?

    My main objection to making "optional" missions tied to speed is that right now, the only thing that REMOTELY pushes teams to do anything at any pace at all is speed rewards. Remove that, and some may still do it, but many will just go a completionist route (wait and do everything) and just chillax so to speak. Just camp everywhere, and at the beginning of each chapter, take your sweet time to sweep the map for every drop of gear, since there is no reason not to.

    What I feel would be more workable is leave current speed as is, lower the bonus a small bit (say 10 - 15XP), give a bonus for completing all objectives, and then maybe another small bonus for doing both (So say, 15 XP bonus for getting everything, and another 15 for doing both). Make it so it is worth doing one or the other, and even more rewarding to pull off both. Speed should come with a decently better XP then completing everything, mainly because (and we could ramp difficulty to make this more true), going faster is usually risker.

    Main point: Don't force players to do both, give them the option based on playstyle and team style.
  17. Ramses II
    • Donator

    Ramses II Help, I can't change my title!

    Agree with everything but this point. If speed is already much more efficient in time vs. medals. Don't make it more efficient in time vs. XP.
  18. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    What's funny is that everything is starting to sound like the "perfect bonus" thing that I suggested a while back as an alternative to speed, except now it's an upgrade.

    Anyhow, if we make Speed harder to get with the same amount of reward that it currently has, sure, people will start playing easy lazy mode. That's just how things are. However, our "tryhards" will continue doing the best they can and working to gain the most bonuses every time by putting forth the most effort. I don't foresee any issues.
  19. ArcanePariah
    • Development Team
    • Map Developer

    ArcanePariah Miracle Worker

    Thing is, that is what exactly is being done now, "tryhards" sorted out the most effective method, even with dead classes (honestly in all stories, with a good crew, there is 2-3 classes that do next to nothing), and are reliably farming it with people they know are reliable. Yes, I can get together a crew and (relatively) easily do Speed NM of any story. Most players can not however. And even my games lose MoH a decent # of times and once in a while full on wipe.

    I would give it a week, maybe 2 until we are back to the same situation of people farming speed all day, the only variable that might change is less people will be invited to try (less margin for error = more picky about people).
  20. Kith
    • Development Team
    • Designer

    Kith NOTD Staff: Anti-Fun Wizard Skeleton

    I've updated the first post with what I think to be the better option, with the original in spoilers.

    Honestly, I'm all for Side Missions being required for Speed. It'd make Mobcon a LOT more viable, considering that the team would no longer be able to just wander around the map and grab items as a group. Speed would require the majority of the team to run from objective to objective in the most efficient manner possible while one or two others grab items.

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