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Suggestion: please deemphasize the low level arcs


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I’m a big alter and I also love helping other low level heroes in the game.  But I have noticed that the original mission arcs are no longer chosen by folks.  And I have come to realize it’s because we always get the same contact phone numbers that they set up during the free to play days.   The twinshot and Velez arcs are thrust forward to any lowbie character while arcs like the Hollows or even the standard origin contacts get overlooked because we have to physically go find the contact.   My suggestion is to either give out the cell number as soon as we get the contact (this is the 21st century after all).  Or to take away the free cell phone of those contacts we get when we get to certain levels.    Or maybe attach those contacts to specific origins like the original contacts.   Either way a lot of content is being overlooked because of these changes that happened when the developers were trying to make an easy button and in my opinion it has reduced the diversity of the game to those unknowing.

 

thanks. 

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Definitely not new.  Back in live, for several issues you were told about Officer Wincott in the Hollows on dinging a certain level.

No more.  Wincott was demoted, Twinshot was promoted.  Because the Devs wanted the New Shiny Arcs pushed right in front of you. 

 

I agree that I'd prefer it if none of them got popup messages shoving the contact onto me. Make them available in "Find Contact", sure. But that's it.

At the same time though, this is .... so trivial... and so very easily worked around... (just *don't* go talk to Twinshot....) that I personally don't consider it a big deal.

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It wouldn't be so bad, but twinshot is one of the worst arcs I've ever played.  And worse yet, it's not even a nice intro arc for first time players.  It's nothing like the rest of the game.  The game is a classic dungeon crawl for 95% of it, but this first mission is all about talking to the right people at the right time and not getting confused by the very confusing dialog.  I've been playing this game for years and that mission made me want to quit and go remake my toon so I can skip that arc.  I imagine how a first-time player feels. 

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I would love to see the contacts (and missions, really) redone. I am tired of every hero being sent to Montague Castanella regardless of whether he is an appropriate contact for them or not. I am ready to let the Circle of Thorns have their way with Percy...

 

I seem to recall back on live that we were sent to all sorts of contacts, but now there seems to be like 5 or so that I am doing ad nauseum.  

 

As for Twinshot, I don't mind the arc too much... ok, well, I kind of do.... but the problem is that by the time you are doing it you are already familiar with everything it is supposed to introduce to you.

Edited by Arnabas
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Blueside in particular is a snarled mess of contacts, some of which cannot be done, some of which are duplicate contacts and exact same story arcs but with a new contact name on it.  This is one of the reasons I have never completed a solo every contact Blueside toon but have done so on Redside quite a few times.  Not only is there more volume Blueside (of ahem, a lesser quality) but it is a part time job just figuring out which contacts to do.  At least if you are trying to hit them all.  Its a sad mess.

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As I'm currently doing both H side and G side full contact lists (I've done V side too much, even the unlockable contacts) I can honestly say that H side is rough.

 

G side you just have to worry about out leveling, cuz a single arc can get you a TON of experience.

 

You can't even get the "I did all the story arcs in Atlas Park!" badge until you get access to the O-zone, because of the split you have to pick. and most contacts don't even give you story arcs to do. Just 'Go. Hunt. Kill Random mobs' over and over again. I think I had literally 7 hunt missions, spread out over 3 zones there for a bit.

 

Definitely needs a clean up.

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I have been playing since Live.  On HC, I have done the TwinShot arc on every toon, but I haven't once done Frost Fire.  On live, that was the one arc that I loved/hated, because it would regularly stomp my character.  It was a Baptism by Fire where I could determine if my toon would survive.  Since I don't farm, a little variety would be welcome.

 

I would rather not have a list of contacts I have to seek out.  If I need to keep a sheet of instructions for my toons, then I might as well go back to Everquest where I have to research how to gain a item to make a device that will allow me to create a spell that should be part of leveling up to level 18.

 

Please, give me all the contacts I need for the first 20 levels.  Let me choose which arcs I want to do.  Hashaby/TwinShot/Velez are getting old.

 

And while I'm at it, I'm getting tired of the same contact having me street sweep for the SAME targets, in the SAME Zone, 3 times. 

 

Hey - go teach the Devouring Earth a lesson. Go kill 40 in Founders Falls.

You're done? Great!  Go do it again!

You did that one also?  Well, there are more out there - go kill 40 more.

 

At this point, I tend to ignore that contact.

 

Here's another one that pisses me off:

Let me introduce you to a friend of mine.

By the way, the Security officer in Terra Volta needs help.

<ignore this because I'm a few levels low for this zone>

I go to the new contact:

Hey - Nice to meet ya.  Here's something: The Security Officer in Terra Volts needs help.

So I've heard.  Catch me in 3 or 4 levels - when I don't have to deal with groups of 10 purples

<ignore this one also>

 

Luckily, I can do radio missions.  Or Street sweep.  For DE.  In Founders.  Again.

 

Sorry - I'm in a mood, and I'll show myself out now.

 

Edited by Rishidian
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1 hour ago, Cutter said:

The Find Contact system in general needs an overhaul. This should definitely be part of it.

Agreed.

 

1 hour ago, MTeague said:

At the same time though, this is .... so trivial... and so very easily worked around... (just *don't* go talk to Twinshot....) that I personally don't consider it a big deal.

With respect, you're talking like a seasoned veteran.  We still have new players coming in.  In fact, I've been in talks to encourage 3 new starts hopefully soon.  As I've given it some consideration on their behalf, I've come to realize just how many details they're going to need to absorb quickly to function at least competently.  So a design that eases that transition is worth the effort.

 

1 hour ago, Shred Monkey said:

 I imagine how a first-time player feels. 

I think this is the heart of the matter.  We've got a lot of seasoned vets, myself included, who can figure things out and adapt, but the system should be considering just how overwhelming the newbie experience is, and adapt for their needs.

 

 

1 hour ago, Arnabas said:

As for Twinshot, I don't mind the arc too much... ok, well, I kind of do.... but the problem is that by the time you are doing it you are already familiar with everything it is supposed to introduce to you.

This has been one of my major beefs regarding Twinshot.  The arc should start with level 1, level 2 at the latest, but even then, if I recall correctly the player is directed towards a trainer to explain how that works, so yeah, level 1, not level 6. 

 

(After that's fixed, I'd want to see the NPCs stop doing the jitterbug in every mission, and especially stop clinging to the player avatar.)

 

19 minutes ago, Rishidian said:

I have been playing since Live.  On HC, I have done the TwinShot arc on every toon, but I haven't once done Frost Fire.  On live, that was the one arc that I loved/hated, because it would regularly stomp my character.  It was a Baptism by Fire where I could determine if my toon would survive.  Since I don't farm, a little variety would be welcome.

 

I would rather not have a list of contacts I have to seek out.  If I need to keep a sheet of instructions for my toons, then I might as well go back to Everquest where I have to research how to gain a item to make a device that will allow me to create a spell that should be part of leveling up to level 18.

 

Please, give me all the contacts I need for the first 20 levels.  Let me choose which arcs I want to do.  Hashaby/TwinShot/Velez are getting old.

 

On live, I ran over 500 Frost Fire missions in a year and a half before I stopped counting.  That's not an exaggeration, and the real number might be closer to 750.  In homecoming I've run it twice...I think, over the same time period.  I usually do not even think of Wincott or the Frost Fire arc. 

 

I'm not sure what the best solution would be, especially with powering through the first 20 levels using the PW2 XP bonus gifts, but I do think the game has evolved enough that Matthew Habashy should be offering introductions to several contacts, Wincott included, rather than two.  If the player is still below the Hazard zone recommended level, maybe frame the contact's nameplate in the same colors that our NPC opponents rank in: purple, red, orange, yellow, white, green, blue, gray...but still offer the opportunity.

Edited by Techwright
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Pulling an idea out of my butt, so take it for what that's worth...

 

On first login to the city proper (not the tutorials, they're full enough), the Find Contact window should auto-open, with additional explanatory dialogue in the vein of:

Quote

"This is the Find Contact window. Every 5 levels, new contacts will be added here. Click any contact in this window with the text You don't know this contact to be teleported to them, where you can engage and discover the missions they have to offer. This is not a complete list: many of these contacts introduce others as you grow your relationship with them. Origin contacts are identified with the appropriate origin symbol - they introduce contacts of other origins. Contacts who start mission chains (which must be completed in order) are identified with a chain-link symbol."

 

The FC window should populate the character's origin contact at each level band, and any other level-appropriate contacts outside of the origin chains (e.g. Habashy & Twinshot at L1 (requires reworking all the Shining Stars stuff), Wincott at L5, Montague at L10, Jim Temblor at L15, the initial contact for the SSAs (also at L15?), etc.). For stuff like First Ward, it should only populate whichever contact you need to unlock the zone (blueside that's Mistress Eva in Talos, no idea for redside) and allow the player to explore/discover the rest through the story. No spamming all the repeatables/alignment-locked dorks!

 

THEN, remove all the other "X has contacted you" pop-ups, as well as the auto-added contacts. The onus is placed on the player right from go to use Find Contact on a regular basis to meet new people who want to tell them where to go and what to do when they get there.

 

Finally, make the window sortable by, at the least, level band and zone.

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@Cutter

 

So many alts, so little time...

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12 hours ago, Cutter said:

 

The FC window should populate the character's origin contact at each level band, and any other level-appropriate contacts outside of the origin chains (e.g. Habashy & Twinshot at L1 (requires reworking all the Shining Stars stuff),

 

Twinshot and Dr. Graves need to be gutted and rewritten anyway.  The only thing either of those two arcs is good for ATM is teaching you to hate the writers.

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7 hours ago, Black Zot said:

 

Twinshot and Dr. Graves need to be gutted and rewritten anyway.  The only thing either of those two arcs is good for ATM is teaching you to hate the writers.

Actually I like the writing on both arcs.... mostly. 

Redside, you really, REALLY, need to be allowed to simply execute Omnicore at the end. (Optionally)  But I'm vindictive like that.

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44 minutes ago, MTeague said:

Actually I like the writing on both arcs.... mostly. 

Redside, you really, REALLY, need to be allowed to simply execute Omnicore at the end. (Optionally)  But I'm vindictive like that.

 

Seriously?  What's good about that mess?  The only character the writing fits is a drooling moron who shouldn't be in the hero/villain business to begin with and has no chance whatsoever of being as big a deal as the player character will become.

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I'll definitely say the new arcs (especially Twinshot and Shauna Stockwell) should either have some tweaks, or not be pushed nearly as hard, if for no other reason than they're very unlike the rest of the game.

 

Twinshot's first arc (especially the first mission) feels like a second tutorial, complete with a walk-through on how to interact with glowies.  As if we didn't learn anything between the tutorial and 5 levels of playing.  The fact that a Boss-level enemy shows up regardless of difficulty settings (even at 0x1, no solo bosses) at the end of that missions is just icing on the cake. 

In that same arc, when you investigate Manticore's mansion, you again fight bosses (regardless of difficulty), and then have to find a secret passage (which doesn't glow or make noise), something I can't recall even occurring elsewhere blue-side.

 

Shauna Stockwell's arc is... gold-side tough, complete with EB fights, difficulty setting ignoring bosses, and player seeking, stealth ignoring ambushes (that then camp the door if you can't take them out the first time (looking at you, Shut Down the Superadine Den)).  I would definitely mark it as a challenging arc for veteran players, not the default "go do this" you get when you enter KR. 

 

Slightly off topic, while Hashaby's AP arcs are fun, the zone spawning in the new AP should probably be looked at.  Mobs don't spawn like that anywhere else blueside.  With a very short respawn timer and no proximity detection for mob spawning, it's very possible to be locked in combat until you run off or are defeated.  Seriously, if you accidentally aggro 2 groups with a low-damage toon, the 1st group will respawn before you finish off the 2nd group.  I'll even say that the new spawning in those areas in AP doesn't even feel like CoH anymore, instead more like one of the several Korean MMOs I tried while waiting for CoH to come back.  Personally, I don't think it's a good idea for a new player's introduction to street sweeping to be in an area with unique mob spawning rules.

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I play low levels almost exclusively. 

 

The old contacts missions at low levels are often terrible.  You get sent to street sweep in PP, do patrols, and other boring or really hard missions.

 

Only after the old contact missions are cleaned up should any new players be pointed to them.

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On 3/17/2021 at 10:38 PM, Techwright said:

I'm not sure what the best solution would be, especially with powering through the first 20 levels using the PW2 XP bonus gifts,

Maybe something linked with Ouroboros would do the trick?

 

But really I have to ask your opinion of the elephant we;re avoiding here... why are people powering through the first 20 levels?

Edited by Herotu
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31 minutes ago, Herotu said:

Maybe something linked with Ouroboros would do the trick?

 

But really I have to ask your opinion of the elephant we;re avoiding here... why are people powering through the first 20 levels?

I don't know about the first 20, but I power past the first 15 because the dearth of powers makes characters boring for me to play.  By about level 16, I have a good enough power selection to find play interesting.  The journey from 16 to 20 is relatively short, after that.

 

So that's the reason for me, at least.

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41 minutes ago, Herotu said:

Maybe something linked with Ouroboros would do the trick?

 

But really I have to ask your opinion of the elephant we;re avoiding here... why are people powering through the first 20 levels?

I prefer to take my time levelling. I immediately turn off XP anytime I join a group, so that I can control when I level better.

But the most common reason I can think of for whizzing through the first 20 levels?

 

Missing SUCKS. And people want to at least slot some SO's or equivalent level IO's.

The very early levels when you have just Training Origin enhancers and Dual-Origin enhancers can be rough for certain powersets. 

Especially anything Defense Based. Defense never REALLY stacks up enough until you have many slots and good enhancements.

A low level /SR can be... frustrating. Esp because at low levels, you don't have any meaningful Defense Debuff Resist and a few Skulls can debuff away what you do have. 

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On 3/18/2021 at 12:04 PM, Black Zot said:

 

Twinshot and Dr. Graves need to be gutted and rewritten anyway.  The only thing either of those two arcs is good for ATM is teaching you to hate the writers.

At least the Graves one is self aware to a certain point.  Ask about the ferries and so an and you get that entire "What?  How do you not know about the ferries by now?" attitude of the Arbiter.

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3 hours ago, Herotu said:

But really I have to ask your opinion of the elephant we;re avoiding here... why are people powering through the first 20 levels?

Simple answer: because they can.

 

Less snarky answer: It's complicated.

 

For me personally, once I found out about Homecoming, I still remembered the first 20 levels in the original game as the end-drain marathon, and combined with limited powers, I didn't really enjoy it.  Plus, it was, for the most part, heavily treaded territory for me, as I'd run everything many times in the Original Game.  (I've stated elsewhere that I lost track of Frostfire missions after I crossed the 500 mark).  So finding any way to get to 20 quickly, and to lesser-known contacts, was to be desired.  Interestingly enough, even with some modifications made by Homecoming team, DFB  quickly moves me up the ranks, and with P2W's 2x XP boost combined, I hit level 16 after four brief runs, and until recent changes to single origin enhancements, I could use special bonuses on P2W's free damage enhancements up to level 22, That's 6 more levels of DFB, but not that many more trips through.  Controllers, possibly my favorite archetype start getting good around 22, and if I get bored between 16 and 22, there's always a few runs through DIB, or if I want, a Posi 1 or 2 TF.    Note that I never use an AE farm.

 

All that sums up why levels 20 to 22 serve as targets to speed to, and the reason why contact missions (with lesser XP) tend to get ignored, including Frostfire.  I do think the recent change to allow single origin enhancements far earlier will likely address much of the end-drain issue, though I've not tested this yet.

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Really appreciate the feedback.  I agree the find contacts button could be the answer.  I do agree that those old missions have some bad ones.   But at least they are different.    I wouldn’t be upset if they got some overhauling though.    

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6 hours ago, Techwright said:

All that sums up why levels 20 to 22 serve as targets to speed to, and the reason why contact missions (with lesser XP) tend to get ignored, including Frostfire.

From that, it seems to me that the issue is with the abilities system, not mission arcs.

Edited by Herotu
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19 hours ago, DougGraves said:

The old contacts missions at low levels are often terrible.  You get sent to street sweep in PP, do patrols, and other boring or really hard missions.

The "The Security Chief for Perez Park has asked for you by name" mission that you seem to get around level 6-7, where you talk to him and he sends you into Perez Park to defeat Circle of Thorns, who all seem to be at least one if not three levels higher than you are, is the most egregious of these, in my opinion. It's also my automatic first use of autocomplete -- talk to the Security Chief, get the mission to defeat the Circle, and autocomplete to get it done with (don't autocomplete the 'Talk to the Security Chief' mission itself, because that just auto-accepts the defeat Circle mission).

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20 hours ago, MTeague said:

The very early levels when you have just Training Origin enhancers and Dual-Origin enhancers can be rough for certain powersets. 


No offense, but you're months out of date with the current state of the game.  Issue 27, Page 1 (November 2020) deprecated TO's (they can only be bought from SG base NPC vendors) and made level 5 DO's and SO's available at vendors.

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3 hours ago, Doc_Scorpion said:


No offense, but you're months out of date with the current state of the game.  Issue 27, Page 1 (November 2020) deprecated TO's (they can only be bought from SG base NPC vendors) and made level 5 DO's and SO's available at vendors.

Fair enough. I don't always read patch notes closely, and it's been awhile since I rolled a new character.

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