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Weekly Discussion 83: Task/Strike force revamps - in detail


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On 1/6/2021 at 11:00 AM, Zepp said:

Been considering this and thought about a small amendment. If this proposed solution occurs then it is likely a 10-20% reduction in merits is likely. To balance that out (and give play-style choice) I propose that Reward Merits (awarded to all team members) be added as a random drop. That means that if people choose to make every mission a kill all/kill most they will likely receive more merits to counterbalance the reduction in TF-end merits.

I’m going to have to disagree on making merits a random drop. I don’t think merits should be rng. Players should be able to go into a TF knowing how many merits they will get out of it. 
 

I wouldn’t be opposed to some sort of bonus merit system though. Have bonus merits awarded to the team upon completion for killing more mobs. 

- Less than 90% of total mobs killed - no bonus. 
-90 to 99% - a smaller bonus (just in case there was a super sneaky minion hiding in the deepest darkness corner of a map. 

-100% of mobs killed - larger bonus. 
 

Still that might be too hard to implement. I have no idea. But I wouldn’t want merits to become random. 

Edited by Saikochoro
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Synapse Simple Fix:

 

  1. Investigate the electrical anomaly : remove this mission
  2. Hit the streets and thin the number of clockwork: remove this mission
  3. Talk to Positron: remove
  4. Defeat all clockwork in station: make this first mission, have it given by synapse
  5. Defeat all clockwork in station: remove this mission
  6. Defeat all clockwork in station: remove this mission
  7. Find the clockwork headquarters: remove this mission
  8. Stop all robots in headquarters: leave as is
  9. Patrol seek king's hideout: remove this mission
  10. Go talk to the foreman: leave as is
  11. Investigate the first warehouse: remove this mission
  12. Stop Clockwork Lord its guards: keep this mission, if possible move the 6 warehouse worker hostages from the first warehouse to this mission
  13. Babbage Ambush: keep this mission
  14. Get immobilizer from Positron: change to get it from Synapse
  15. Defeat clockwork king, his court: leave as is

 

---- So the TF would be

 

  1. Defeat all clockwork in station (Steel)
  2. Stop all robots in headquarters (Steel)
  3. Go talk to the foreman (Steel)
  4. Stop Clockwork Lord its guards (Sky)
  5. Babbage Ambush (Sky)
  6. Get immobilizer from Synapse (Sky)
  7. Defeat clockwork king, his court (Sky)
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Citadel Simple Fix is:

 

  1. Investigate Council Base (IP): keep as is
  2. Defeat all soldiers in base (IP): remove
  3. Defeat base leader and guards (Talos): keep
  4. Take parts to Fareed Abdulla (Steel): remove
  5. Defeat base leader, his guards (Sky): remove
  6. Defeat base leader, his guards (Sky/Talos): keep, make Talos always
  7. Defeat 40 council (IP): remove
  8. Defeat all soldiers in base (Talos): remove
  9. Defeat all soldiers in base (IP): remove
  10. Defeat all soldiers in base (Talos): keep
  11. Defeat Vandal and his minions (IP/Talos): keep, make Talos always

So the TF would be

  1. Investigate Council Base (IP)
  2. Defeat base leader and guards (Talos)
  3. Defeat base leader, his guards (Talos)
  4. Defeat all soldiers in base (Talos)
  5. Defeat Vandal and his minions (Talos)

 

 

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1 hour ago, BZRKR said:

Oh, and maybe change the scientist's powersets so she isn't the sadistic combination of high knockback energy blast and kinetics. My group's favorite is when she unexpectedly speed boosts you and then immediately loses sight of you when you zoom off.

That's Dr Todd in the Moonfire TF.  The scientist in Hess is just a simple rescue.

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1 hour ago, Saikochoro said:

I’m going to have to disagree on making merits a random drop. I don’t think merits should be rng. Players should be able to go into a TF knowing how many merits they will get out of it. 
 

I wouldn’t be opposed to some sort of bonus merit system though. Have bonus merits awarded to the team upon completion for killing more mobs. 

- Less than 90% of total mobs killed - no bonus. 
-90 to 99% - a smaller bonus (just in case there was a super sneaky minion hiding in the deepest darkness corner of a map. 

-100% of mobs killed - larger bonus. 
 

Still that might be too hard to implement. I have no idea. But I wouldn’t want merits to become random. 

Bonus objectives would also be another way. Something like the astral merit challenges in the itrials would be a nice way to spice up taskforces and encourage more thoughtful play.

 

I'm going to echo everyone and say trim old task forces to size. I would also definitely like the Shadow Shard ones to take place only in the shard so they could maybe be co op.

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Just to echo many others, a lot of the older TFs would be much improved if they didn't consist of several mutually identical missions. Synapse and Citadel are probably some of the worst offenders with their "Clockwork in warehouse" and "Council in caves" missions that are virtually indistinguishable from each other. I think, from a story progression point of view, each mission in a TF should be unique enough that the objectives, location or something else would distinguish it from the others in the sequence. Additionally, defeat all type missions should be avoided unless it makes sense given the story context and the mission can be arranged to be in a smaller, less convoluted map.

 

Additional reward merits for playing at higher difficulties and using the optional difficulty settings is a pipe dream, but I'd really like to see it happen.

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19 hours ago, Eva Destruction said:

Yes, it's possible that someone else in the zone will clear the base before you get there, but if the respawn time is short enough it shouldn't be much of a problem, especially since Striga isn't usually heavily populated.

Putting the radar dishes in an "instance" in the open world zone would eliminate the problem of someone else doing the work for you, I think, unless they're doing the exact same mission at the same time.  This would add a bit of immersiveness while also fixing the problem with the existing radar missions.

 

Also when you click the blinkie at the radar dish it would be nice to have an actual effect or animation happen.  The radar bursts into flames or explodes or animates with a WHHOOOOoooooo descending note sound and the dish sags and points at the ground.

 

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20 hours ago, Saikochoro said:

I’m going to have to disagree on making merits a random drop. I don’t think merits should be rng. Players should be able to go into a TF knowing how many merits they will get out of it. 
 

I wouldn’t be opposed to some sort of bonus merit system though. Have bonus merits awarded to the team upon completion for killing more mobs. 

- Less than 90% of total mobs killed - no bonus. 
-90 to 99% - a smaller bonus (just in case there was a super sneaky minion hiding in the deepest darkness corner of a map. 

-100% of mobs killed - larger bonus. 
 

Still that might be too hard to implement. I have no idea. But I wouldn’t want merits to become random. 

There will be a set number of merits as per my proposal. However, the RNG suggestion would help adjust for a reduction in merits caused by streamlining, but designed to favor a different playstyle (using existing mechanics [Vanguard Merits already have this in place]).

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2 hours ago, johnnysc said:

Slightly off topic, but my wish list includes a new Back Alley Brawler task force to finish off the Kings Row Skull story line.

I'd like a twist on this. Marauder shows up! Deadlock gets a surprise. 

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I wonder whether the removal of so many defeat all missions from Synapse and Citadel is that great an idea, given that on a typical hero career I typically coast from level 15 or so to late 20s or early 30s on the strength of the XP they give.  Granted, adding a Moonfire or two to the rotation is even more beneficial for character development. 

 

I would shorten Synapse, but not that much, and throw in a twist or two: maybe turn one of the defeat alls in Steel to something involving low level Tsoo or Family, and perhaps turning one of the Skyway missions into something with Trolls.  Just mixing up the mobs a bit would make Synapse that much less boring while not seriously impacting its XP haul, which remains the chief attraction.  The same would benefit Citadel as well; move all of the IP missions to Talos, and throw in a mission involving Warriors or other underused mobs from the level range. 

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11 hours ago, Heraclea said:

I would shorten Synapse, but not that much, and throw in a twist or two:

I would like to see both Synapse and Citadel get the Posi treatment: make two TFs and link them as a story.  I realize this is more work but if I had my druthers this is what I'd do.  I agree there's a certain amount of using long task forces as a way to grind XP, but I still think they're super long.  Breaking the long TFs in half should provide a reasonable compromise.

 

Oh, and when you break these TFs in half, make some reasonable replacement text for when you first talk to a contact.  Be much more clear about which option does what.  "Talk about what is going on in the rest of the city" isn't a really great description of starting a task force.

 

Actually that's another TF that could use revamping: Positron's starting text in Steel Canyon.  Can we get a bit more than "Character what can I do for you?"  Maybe explain that there are two task forces and one takes place in Steel Canyon and one takes place in the rest of the city.  Do this in-character, Positron explaining events to us, and then do it a second time in orange text that later missions used for breaking the fourth wall and giving instructions to the player.  The choices that a player clicks on at the bottom of Posi's text box should also have "(Start Positron Task Force Part 1)" and "(Start Positron Task Force Part 2)" added to the end of the current choices, just to be extra clear to players.

 

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Anything that makes them less of a time-commitment, reduces the amount of filler text (by which I mean, unnecessary dialogue that isn't interesting and does not add to the plot or, at least, provide some humor) and boring running from one point to the next would all be appreciated.

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