Arcen Games

Games => A Valley Without Wind 1 & 2 => AVWW Brainstorming => Topic started by: x4000 on April 26, 2012, 09:07:59 AM

Title: Brainstorm Ideas For "Major Anachronism" Missions.
Post by: x4000 on April 26, 2012, 09:07:59 AM
So.  The former anachronism missions were very much puzzle-based, but frustrating to new players.  Part of the problem was that they didn't have any idea what the heck they were supposed to be doing.  Part of it was that they had no way to practice without just doing lots of observation and failing many missions.  I think that the changes to the basic anachronism missions were needed... but I can understand the dismay at losing the puzzle-y aspects of them.

So, a few thoughts:

BESTIARY

This is something that really needs to come into the encyclopedia anyhow, for new players and otherwise.  I've been putting it off, but I think that the time has come where that really can't be done any longer.  During the Major Anachronism missions, I'm figuring that this will simply be disabled so that you can't use it as a cheat-sheet at that time.

MECHANIC FOR NOT ALLOWING PLAYERS TO JUST GUESS AT RANDOM

In general, what made the prior version of Fix The Anachronisms a puzzle was that you couldn't just go around guessing and shooting anything you liked.  Certainly going back to the older mechanics of "kill an enemy that is from the wrong time period and you lose" would work for this.  And, to be sure, this variant of our existing mission type is intended for advanced players only; so it being "too hardcore" in this fashion might be beside the point.  But is there a better mechanic that folks want to see?

All right... Discuss. ;)
Title: Re: Brainstorm Ideas For "Major Anachronism" Missions.
Post by: eRe4s3r on April 26, 2012, 09:15:35 AM
taken from talk in patch topic..

hence my suggestion

1) Make game-mode like the old one (you can fail if you commit errors)
2) But increase error tolerance. Each enemy type gets a counter and you only "die" if you kill more than X enemies of a wrong type.
3) Killing the wrong type should give a floaty popup (rift destabilizing + screen-shake?) or something that hints that you kill you the wrong enemies, subtle maybe....
4) Killing the wrong enemies could also do something else.. ideas?
5) there could also be more variables to consider here, why is this mission only focused on time anachronism? Why not the element of enemies? Or their color (heh, that'd be cute ,p) or even flying vs walking enemies. Why not restrict the mission to killing certain enemies with a certain element, or traps?

This would make it largely skill/preparation based, not trivia, or trivial and imo, quite fun ;p

I am not a fan of "trivia" tests in games, feels like school. And this one certainly feels like that. Particularly given there are like 100 monster types and what not.. this is one of these missions that's gonna be impossible in AVWW 5.0 in the 1.0 form. (the current form of this mission is pretty much too easy).
Title: Re: Brainstorm Ideas For "Major Anachronism" Missions.
Post by: x4000 on April 26, 2012, 09:20:21 AM
Note: the point of this is to be a trivia test, not a skill test; the existing fix-the-anachronism mechanic now employed by the base mission is already a skill-based mechanic.  I don't think we need two!
Title: Re: Brainstorm Ideas For "Major Anachronism" Missions.
Post by: eRe4s3r on April 26, 2012, 09:32:35 AM
So what's to stop anyone from opening the wiki (or a list) and cheesing this mission? ;P I think if it's supposed to be a trivia test it's unlucky to use something that changes with each patch.. like every time you add a new monster ^^ That makes it essentially a requirement to cheat with this mission (in its 1.0 shape) in some way anyway.

You could say "you can ignore them" but when I started the game, 4 missions were "boss towers" and 3 missions where fix the anachronisms....  that doesn't exactly offer a lot of variety in the beginning (Well, if you are unlucky like me, I always seem to get the worst starting situations possible unlike in AI War, where I always get the best ones) ^^
Title: Re: Brainstorm Ideas For "Major Anachronism" Missions.
Post by: x4000 on April 26, 2012, 09:39:44 AM
The Major Anachronism missions will only appear once you've completed a goodly number of the basic skill-based Minor Anachronism missions, I should have clarified.  And by then you have many more options on the world map.

In terms of stopping someone from cheating at a puzzle of any sort: well, that's why there's a skill component also, which already existed.  But the simple fact is that some folks like puzzles and are upset that the puzzles are lost from this sort of mission type.  This mission offshoot is for them, while the base mission type is for you.  That way everybody wins and has something that fits with what they want.
Title: Re: Brainstorm Ideas For "Major Anachronism" Missions.
Post by: Mánagarmr on April 26, 2012, 09:54:07 AM
I honestly thought that in their previous incarnation, they very much were "Major", however, some lenience would perhaps be required. While I don't mind restarting once because I had a brain-derp and shot the wrong monster, someone might. Give them a feedback. Screen shakes (oh god please no!), a flash or something and adding a counter "The rift is destabilizing!" with 2-3 monsters left to "fail" on before the mission truly fails could work.

Or a time-based mission. Get in, fix it, get out before the rift collapses. Every wrong kill cuts the timer by a set time? I dunno, just blarping ideas here.
Title: Re: Brainstorm Ideas For "Major Anachronism" Missions.
Post by: Bluddy on April 26, 2012, 09:57:04 AM
I like eRe4s3r's 'lives' idea as one option, and I think it's a good one.

Another option would go along the same lines as eRe4s3r, except instead of having, say 3 tries, if you hit the wrong enemy, you get a countdown because of temporal instability. Within this countdown you have to kill a correct monster or you lose the mission. This helps with the situation where you accidentally killed the wrong monster because it was in the way.

Another idea is to have the wrong monsters fight the right monsters at the same time that they fight you. This could happen only around the player character as he moves around so that you won't get all of the monsters eliminating each other within 30 seconds of the mission, but the idea is that you can see that there are 2 sides (the monsters that belong and the ones that don't) and you have to 'choose' which side is the right one. This should be much easier than not having any idea which monsters don't belong. Plus, monsters fighting monsters is awesome. Oh, did I mention that the game should feature monsters fighting monsters since it's awesome? ;)

I think an advanced version of this mission would be great (using eRe4s3r's last point): it would give you 3 tries + the ability to cancel a missed attempt if you hit the right monster within the countdown (ie. the combination of my idea and eRe4s3r's idea.) The trick is, you have NO IDEA what the criteria are. It could be anachronism, it could be by element, it could be by flying monsters vs walking, it could be technological monsters vs organic, you've no clue. The idea here is to use your deductive powers to figure out what the criteria are before you kill too many monsters and lose. This is where the mission type switches from memorization to deductive abilities, and IMO where it becomes amazing. Of course, many different possible criteria need to be programmed in here, but all of them must make sense. When you lose (or win), the game reveals what the criterion was so you're not left wondering and cussing.
Title: Re: Brainstorm Ideas For "Major Anachronism" Missions.
Post by: x4000 on April 26, 2012, 10:04:38 AM
Actually, I really like Bluddy's idea there.  This would be an all-new kind of mission then, something called "Unstable Monster Rift" or something like that.  I'm not sure.  Temporal Instability is a misnomer since it wouldn't always have to do with time.

And the cool thing here is that it requires no memorization and doesn't even allow for any.  This would still be something new that is unlocked after you do a few of the easier as-they-are-now Fix The Anachronism missions, but it would have a quite new twist to it.
Title: Re: Brainstorm Ideas For "Major Anachronism" Missions.
Post by: Mánagarmr on April 26, 2012, 10:17:30 AM
Bluddy's idea is dead-on awesome for another type of mission, absolutely! Implement, dear sir! :D
Title: Re: Brainstorm Ideas For "Major Anachronism" Missions.
Post by: Hyfrydle on April 26, 2012, 10:19:33 AM
This is just off the top of my head but what about on a wrong hit another mob is spawned which may or may not be an anachronism. This would then make solving the puzzle a bit harder.

I wasn't a great fan of the original anachronism missions and had decided not to do them so I'm looking forward to trying the new ones when I get home this evening.
Title: Re: Brainstorm Ideas For "Major Anachronism" Missions.
Post by: x4000 on April 26, 2012, 10:24:56 AM
Bluddy's idea is dead-on awesome for another type of mission, absolutely! Implement, dear sir! :D

Another type of mission? As in, are you hinting that you still want Major and Minor Anachronism missions as described?  Just making sure my understanding is clear.
Title: Re: Brainstorm Ideas For "Major Anachronism" Missions.
Post by: x4000 on April 26, 2012, 10:25:21 AM
This is just off the top of my head but what about on a wrong hit another mob is spawned which may or may not be an anachronism. This would then make solving the puzzle a bit harder.

I wasn't a great fan of the original anachronism missions and had decided not to do them so I'm looking forward to trying the new ones when I get home this evening.

Ooh, that's cool too!
Title: Re: Brainstorm Ideas For "Major Anachronism" Missions.
Post by: Bluddy on April 26, 2012, 10:39:39 AM
Just thinking more about my new mission type suggestion, and trying to refine the mechanics. You'd have a buffer of X (say 5). Hitting the wrong monster uses up the buffer, and when it's empty, you've lost. But if you get the right monster, the buffer fills up (by 1 or by 2). The first hit will always be a guess since at that point you have no info.

I like the idea of more monsters spawning as punishment in the anachronism mission, especially if there's a time limit. In fact, there could be a time limit in the advanced version and no time limit in the regular version.
Title: Re: Brainstorm Ideas For "Major Anachronism" Missions.
Post by: eRe4s3r on April 26, 2012, 10:47:36 AM
First off, Major Anachronism Missions = MAM's too lazy to type that all the time ;P

It would be nice if these MAM's become less unforgiving, in that case I'd potentially even like them. 1 kill should definitely not cause the end of the mission though. The ideas so far all sound like good ideas to make that mission more fun to me. I would be only for more variations if these variations are all considered 1 anachronism mission in the seeding, because if not there'd be a chance all available missions are anachronism just different variations...

But if the idea is to make this a trivia puzzle with 1 live then I am out (I mean, I do not play that mission then) ;p I really, really do not like sudden death trivia puzzles. So my suggestions will always be how to make it not that kind of mission.

The current implementation is a nice starter mission and fun imo, but too easy and even too boring to be played more than twice or trice. Hence my angle on this. Obviously this is subjective ;P

I agree with Bluddy's Ideas (All of them)
Title: Re: Brainstorm Ideas For "Major Anachronism" Missions.
Post by: Mánagarmr on April 26, 2012, 11:38:54 AM
Bluddy's idea is dead-on awesome for another type of mission, absolutely! Implement, dear sir! :D

Another type of mission? As in, are you hinting that you still want Major and Minor Anachronism missions as described?  Just making sure my understanding is clear.
Yes. I love his idea, but it's not exactly an anachronism mission. So I'm rather into something like the old Anachronisms, but..."harder" for the MAMs.
Title: Re: Brainstorm Ideas For "Major Anachronism" Missions.
Post by: jabrazelle on April 27, 2012, 08:05:33 AM

Or a time-based mission. Get in, fix it, get out before the rift collapses. Every wrong kill cuts the timer by a set time? I dunno, just blarping ideas here.

This could be an awesome mechanic to add to the missions. I get frustrated when an accidental kill instantly ends the mission.  This would keep you in the mission but still have real consequences for killing the wrong thing.

Also, you could put mob spawners in the missions to add extra difficulty.
Title: Re: Brainstorm Ideas For "Major Anachronism" Missions.
Post by: jabrazelle on April 28, 2012, 11:22:14 AM
I just got pwned by the new mechanic in the most clever way.  A worm was pushing another mob with it that I couldn't see so I reflected tons of damage onto myself in two shots.  Maybe mobs should be able to move through one another?
Title: Re: Brainstorm Ideas For "Major Anachronism" Missions.
Post by: sforcier on April 28, 2012, 08:57:53 PM
I'm a new player, and my expectation was that I'd get more than one chance before failing. That's the only input I have on the direct question.

Additionally, I have some suggestions that are related to this mission type and the new player experience, but which don't directly answer the question of "how to fix the mission type". I'm hoping it's more appropriate for them to be here rather than a separate thread.

1) Don't give this mission type until the player's passed "the honeymoon phase".

I was able to complete the boss tower and silent assassins (the only other types I've seen so far... that's how new I am) on the first or second pass at my preferred difficulty. I've tried at least ten times and I have yet to beat a "Fix it" mission. I've tried the beta version a couple times as well, to no avail. I've only completed three other mission so far (so I'm still tier 1), it seems too soon for such a hard mission type. This is exacerbated by...

2) Even if it's only early on, make sure you don't stick the user with all of the same type of mission.

I read a post where x4000 said (roughly) if you don't like a mission type, don't do it. I agree, but I got stuck with a cluster of "fix its" early on. So now I have to grind, just to pass the time. To add insult to injury, I find my first "Secret Mission" and I'm really psyched about the sheer discovery of something new, and... dang if it's a "fix it" mission. Then I find another secret mission and it's a "fix it" mission. I'll tell you I got pretty frustrated.

I did finally get another stealth and boss tower, but I'm still at tier 1 cause they weren't official missions.

Edit: I finally beat a "fix it" (v1.0005). But it still took half a dozen more attempts. They're just hard for me I guess.
Title: Re: Brainstorm Ideas For "Major Anachronism" Missions.
Post by: khadgar on May 01, 2012, 06:15:19 AM
Here's my take on both the current and any new "sort out the time jumble" missions. Given that they are supposed to be more "puzzley" than other missions, why not tone down the combat aspect of them? In khadgar-land

Minor Anachronism -- "You must usher the monsters back to their own time," the mission sign informs you. You enter the mission, and are informed that the jumbleometer is at 50% jumbley. You shoot a seize spell at the sea worm invading the lava flats, and they it freezes in place. The jumbleometer drops to 41%. Good work! You see a fire bat heading towards you. You always hated those things. SEIZE! The bat explodes violently, and the jumbleometer rises to 68% Oh crap, you'd better be more careful in which monsters you warp out of the time jumble!

Major Anachronism -- "Stop the time jumble from getting worse by defeating the invading monsters!," the mission sign informs you. You enter the mission in the lava flats. This terrain is unlike anything you've seen before. It's half lava flats, half abandoned town! An urban crawler rolls into the lava, unfazed, and begins shooting at a utahraptor. It handily defeats the utahraptor, and the message log informs you that the jumbleometer is at 15% and rising. You dispatch the urban crawler, hoping for a reduction in the jumbleometer, but it doesn't happen. Looks like you have to defeat all the invading monsters before the local monsters are entirely wiped out.