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The Great AE Idea!


BurtHutt

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Ok, so, this isn't new from me but I thought I'd give it another kick at the can. I've been promoting this for a few years and will give it another push! However, this time I will explain and flesh out the idea in one spot - right here! 

 

So, the idea is to have the players create radio/paper/tip type missions using AE BUT at the same time making it not a part of the regular AE we all know. Why? So players can add material to the regular game/canon and the Devs have to do less work trying to make as much content or focus on the items on their agenda (while also getting out far more content). This is by no means an indictment on our wonderful Dev team, it's more of a way to help.

 

In order for this to happen, we'd need a separate AE system (AE v.2.0) and not one that was housed in the regular AE buildings. The idea is to make new contacts at various locations and each contact is loaded up with new AE v.2.0 missions created by players. 

 

Initially, players would create their missions in AE 2.0 like they currently do in AE and then leave them there while HC team decides on when/if to add the mission to the game. Anything added to the game will be canon and the creators need to supply write-ups for the wiki and so on. There will be obvious rules and guidelines around submissions.

 

HC team will have a forum that they lock and unlock where players submit their missions. For example, forum gets unlocked, players can add their submissions until the forum reaches 15 total submissions (arbitrary number - 1 sub per player unless there's room). Then at 15, forum locked and the HC community team can look at the submissions, do a play-through and add the ones that meet the criteria. This could be done bi-monthly and maybe players adding content will get a badge and then later maybe some merits?

 

Initially, these AE contacts can be added to areas where the game needs more stuff to do. So, more for the level 50+ content (add contacts in RWZ, Ouros, Kallisti Wharf etc), Steel, Port Oakes etc. Match the mission theme to the zone if possible. These missions will also need to add regular rewards and not the AE tickets etc. For all intensive purposes, they should look and act like regular missions like with radios and papers. (HC will also give everyone advance warning that this entire project could be removed if it all goes sideways etc).

 

Making the mission part of the regular game and canon will incentivize players. HC overseeing this AE v.2.0 will ensure only proper missions get added to the system. Devs may have to do more front end work to set it up but then maybe it will be less work - hopefully missions can be drag and drop and would require minimal Dev work after set up. We'll also get way more content on a frequent basis. 

 

I really enjoy this game. I want to see it thrive and I think we can get a bump in players and interest with this addition. It would be a big game changer 🙂 I don't know what else is possible or if this would be too much initial work but I'd love to hear what others think and hopefully the Devs can chime in as well.

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I don't think this would play out the way you envision, and would instead tie up dev resources more than it'd be worth.  If players cannot be bothered to play the dev choice AE stuff more than they already do, this implementation won't remedy that.  What could be fun, though, is if players could submit costume ideas that could be featured in radios where you have to defeat a named boss - they'd keep all their normal powers, only using the player-submitted costume...

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7 minutes ago, BurtHutt said:

So, more for the level 50+ content (add contacts in RWZ, Ouros, Kallisti Wharf etc

Drop Ouroboros from that list. Ouroboros has a purpose, and it isn't to function like a regular zone.

 

Aside from that? I see a whole slew of complications with this, starting with you're going to run into that limit in an awful hurry even without incentives for the player base, there are some rather bad writers among us (I can't count how many times I've abandoned an AE arc or just ignored its story because of how badly it was written), and it would still eat up a lot of dev time as they would need to play through the submitted arcs while still looking for lore errors, story errors, and other problems just like they would when making their own content (only now they would have a plethora of player submissions to sort through instead of just their own).

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4 minutes ago, Rudra said:

here are some rather bad writers among us

This could be mitigated if these missions were limited to simply submitting a villain group, but sticking to the typical radio mission format of "retrieve X object/defeat Y-named boss/rescue Z-named hostage", with any text being strictly limited to stuff like "I hear [character name] is on their way" or something...

Edited by biostem
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3 minutes ago, biostem said:

This could be mitigated if these missions were limited to simply suggesting a villain group, but sticking to the typical radio mission format of "retrieve X object/defeat Y-named boss/rescue Z-named hostage", with any text being strictly limited to stuff like "I hear [character name] is on their way" or something...

This.

 

Also, reviewing the arcs could be done by non-Dev HC team. There could be a small volunteer group that was only AE v.2.0 quality assurance. That's all they'd do.  Sure, there are a lot of poorly done missions but those wouldn't get added due to the QA team. 

 

Again, I'll emphasize these missions would be pretty straightforward and basic. I think many could make decent missions. It would allow for some variety and originality to the game...I'd be more than happy to run some radio-style missions that didn't have any Council etc in them. 

Edited by BurtHutt
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1 minute ago, BurtHutt said:

reviewing the arcs could be done by non-Dev HC team. There could be a small volunteer group that was only AE v.2.0 quality assurance. That's all they'd do. 

IMO, this "review process" should be limited to making sure the custom characters are properly balanced and their names/bios/chatter are inoffensive and/or not lore breaking or infringing.

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5 minutes ago, biostem said:

This could be mitigated if these missions were limited to simply submitting a villain group, but sticking to the typical radio mission format of "retrieve X object/defeat Y-named boss/rescue Z-named hostage", with any text being strictly limited to stuff like "I hear [character name] is on their way" or something...

Papers/Radios are already randomly generated with this method, so that wouldn't add anything.

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1 minute ago, biostem said:

IMO, this "review process" should be limited to making sure the custom characters are properly balanced and their names/bios/chatter are inoffensive and/or not lore breaking or infringing.

Yep. For sure. That's the entire idea.

 

I like AE but it went right where I predicted it would back when it came out. It's such a powerful tool and it's not being used to it's full potential. Add to that, the HC Dev team is volunteers and very limited so they can't add a lot of content all the time. 

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5 minutes ago, BurtHutt said:

Also, reviewing the arcs could be done by non-Dev HC team. There could be a small volunteer group that was only AE v.2.0 quality assurance. That's all they'd do.  Sure, there are a lot of poorly done missions but those wouldn't get added due to the QA team. 

That would go a long way to making the suggestion more viable. The devs would still need to go through the QA'ed content though.

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Just now, BurtHutt said:

I like AE but it went right where I predicted it would back when it came out. It's such a powerful tool and it's not being used to it's full potential. Add to that, the HC Dev team is volunteers and very limited so they can't add a lot of content all the time. 

Agreed.  I reckon that the proportion of players that want to kill stuff and get rewards in a quick & efficient manner is much larger than those that want to read detailed and intricate plotlines and characterization.  I'm not faulting either group, just stating my observations...

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1 minute ago, biostem said:

Agreed.  I reckon that the proportion of players that want to kill stuff and get rewards in a quick & efficient manner is much larger than those that want to read detailed and intricate plotlines and characterization.  I'm not faulting either group, just stating my observations...

Well, that's the beauty of AE v.2.0 - we can have both. We might even have contacts that just provide one arc created by a player because it was crafted in a very professional manner.

 

Personally, my belief is that this is a game and the visuals and fun play are more important than detailed and complex narratives. I look at the Aeon SF and HC arcs - too much info dumped and it isn't easy to read as you play. When someone suggests you go to the Wiki if all of the info wasn't there for you = issue with the mission.

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1 minute ago, BurtHutt said:

Well, that's the beauty of AE v.2.0 - we can have both.

I think keeping "Player-submitted villain groups for radio missions" separate from your "AE 2.0" is a better way to go.

 

2 minutes ago, BurtHutt said:

We might even have contacts that just provide one arc created by a player because it was crafted in a very professional manner.

What about doing something like utilizing the various police call boxes found in many zones for this purpose.  I feel like we may get to the point where the number of new contacts becomes too cluttered.

 

3 minutes ago, BurtHutt said:

Personally, my belief is that this is a game and the visuals and fun play are more important than detailed and complex narratives. I look at the Aeon SF and HC arcs - too much info dumped and it isn't easy to read as you play. When someone suggests you go to the Wiki if all of the info wasn't there for you = issue with the mission.

You'll get no argument from me.  I also find the "Someone tells you stuff" popups in some missions to be intrusive and cumbersome, and heaven forbid they add more unskipable cutscenes...

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13 minutes ago, BurtHutt said:

When someone suggests you go to the Wiki if all of the info wasn't there for you = issue with the mission.

I haven't encountered this problem. I've encountered the problem where the player can't read what is going on because the team is saying to just click and go, but not where the mission was missing info that had to be looked up on the wiki unless the information is intentionally being left out to surprise the player or the mission is a stealth kill all.

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39 minutes ago, Rudra said:

I haven't encountered this problem. I've encountered the problem where the player can't read what is going on because the team is saying to just click and go, but not where the mission was missing info that had to be looked up on the wiki unless the information is intentionally being left out to surprise the player or the mission is a stealth kill all.

It isn't missing info but there are times when the leader is the only one able to read the info. Also, some of the caption boxes overlap and aren't easily read. The new arcs have big time info dump and I couldn't be bothered to go and read up on the stuff. They're too convoluted and I haven't played any of them more than once - due to the noted issues and they just were not fun to play.

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6 minutes ago, BurtHutt said:

It isn't missing info but there are times when the leader is the only one able to read the info.

That has always been true of all the missions/arcs. Only the mission holder/team leader gets to read the information. That was just as true back on Live as it is now on HC. Unless there are popups to give the rest of them team the information being discussed by the leader with the contact, which I will warn you now will upset a large portion of the player base to have even more pop ups, there isn't any way to share the information other than to do the mission/arc yourself. Or go to the wiki and read what the leader got to see. That isn't an issue with the mission, it is a limitation of the game. (Which is why my friends and I repeat arcs, even TFs/SFs, if any of the rest of us that aren't the team leader at the time want to read what happened for ourselves. We just rotate who is leader, and re-run the mission/arc/TF/SF until everyone gets to see for themselves what we went through. Though often the rest of us just choose to go to the wiki to get caught up.)

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9 minutes ago, Rudra said:

That has always been true of all the missions/arcs. Only the mission holder/team leader gets to read the information. That was just as true back on Live as it is now on HC. Unless there are popups to give the rest of them team the information being discussed by the leader with the contact, which I will warn you now will upset a large portion of the player base to have even more pop ups, there isn't any way to share the information other than to do the mission/arc yourself. Or go to the wiki and read what the leader got to see. That isn't an issue with the mission, it is a limitation of the game. (Which is why my friends and I repeat arcs, even TFs/SFs, if any of the rest of us that aren't the team leader at the time want to read what happened for ourselves. We just rotate who is leader, and re-run the mission/arc/TF/SF until everyone gets to see for themselves what we went through. Though often the rest of us just choose to go to the wiki to get caught up.)

Yes and I would rather not see it anymore. Dialogue boxes are fine to get info to the rest of the team. 

 

However, this AE v.2.0 doesn't have to be at that level. It's more towards doing to easy missions and adding variety/content to the game. Adding new missions every couple months would be great. I think it's been almost 8 months since our last update? No issues with this and this AE option gives us a bit of a remedy. 

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2 hours ago, BurtHutt said:

Dialogue boxes are fine to get info to the rest of the team. 

Yeah, those are helpful for letting others read along. As long as your team leader is the only one talking to the contact.

 

"Good, you're back. What happened?"

"Deliver this package to Manticore."

"Archon Ippoletta is on the loose.

"Do whatever he tells you to."

😄

 

Edit:

Or if the team leader is calling it in to the contact.

*Positron looks for his intercity public address system*

"Ahem. Apologies to the citizen's of this glorious city. Blazing Inferno Fire, thank you for reporting back to me. Your next task is...."

🤣

 

Edit again: Sorry, I'm easily amused.

Edited by Rudra
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On 11/17/2023 at 4:21 PM, Rudra said:

 which I will warn you now will upset a large portion of the player base

Citation needed.  You can just make it a mission pop-up like on entrance and exiting a map, one click and it goes away like a teleport prompt or a Fortune prompt.  I have never heard until now anyone complain about these things.  And AE and even other missions, really need help to involve people - might not bring one single more player into the AE missions, but it's a decent QoL change that would help players who are (or doing other stuff) enjoy the game even more, so it's still worth thinking about.

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Don't bother with those farming chores...
Skip your homework on the Market...
Play any power sets that you want...
Because this game is easy.  Go have fun!

You'll be perfectly fine, promise! 

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12 minutes ago, Clave Dark 5 said:

Citation needed.  You can just make it a mission pop-up like on entrance and exiting a map, one click and it goes away like a teleport prompt or a Fortune prompt.  I have never heard until now anyone complain about these things.  And AE and even other missions, really need help to involve people - might not bring one single more player into the AE missions, but it's a decent QoL change that would help players who are (or doing other stuff) enjoy the game even more, so it's still worth thinking about.

Citation can't be provided. My reference is purely anecdotal. From complaints I've gotten from a friend that I need to use less clues in my AE arcs (which I reduced) to complaints from those I've teamed with (on occasion) complaining about the existing pop-ups (which occured on mission entrance, mostly along the lines of "This isn't my mission, why do I have to have the pop up too?"), to some half-remembered comments made on these forums.

 

(Note that I said "a large portion", not "a majority".)

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