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Suggestions And Ideas For Infiltration: Alert Levels


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MOTIVATION


 


The forums have apparently been seen their good share of discussion on how to make the game "more enjoyable", especially as to how to exploit other aspects of the gameplay beyond farming, rushing and grinding. People seem to sorely miss a way of enjoying and making better use of all the powers, playstyles and weaponry that warframe offers, but that are not adequately valued. I personally feel that the omnipresent call for "end game content" also relates to this, as the only "challenge" in the late game seems to be (I'm not there yet myself) grinding and grinding and grinding. This is an example (https://forums.warframe.com/index.php?/topic/110205-how-rewards-kill-good-gameplay/) of such discussion.


 


So that I don’t stand only in the criticizing end of the argument, I’d like to suggest some ideas for missions and mechanisms that emphasize those other aspects. I realize they definitely need more work and even though I tried not to give plain “raw ideas”, they’re still pretty raw atm.


 


*INFILTRATION*


 


The game promises – one way or another – that “stealth gameplay” is a viable, fun option. I know I got very excited by that idea. But truth is, it’s hardly “viable” in many different missions or against certain factions, it's only fun up to the first few times you accomplish it, and very non-rewarding – especially when you consider how the game rewards players most of the time (resources, credits and xp). Doing missions stealthly takes 3 times as long as normal and yields far less xp, resources, mods and credits.


 


So here are some ideas of how to make stealth viable and fun.


 


NEW GAME MECHANICS: STATES OF ALERT


 


Imagine there are a few (3 to 5 maybe) “states of alert” in the game, ranging from “no threat detected” to “first priority threat reported”. The basic idea is that higher states of alert mean more trouble for the Tennos and should be avoided as much as possible.


 


RISING STATES OF ALERT: Higher states of alert come as a result of clumsy actions, such as letting enemies report the invasion through data pads, leaving survivors that can report the incoming threat behind and raising really loud noises – explosions and breaking windows, etc. Different factions have different ways of reporting threats. Corpus use cameras, computers and flying couriers, grineer use computers, radio and scouts, infested have sniffers and flying messenger bat-like crits. In some missions, accomplishing the goal will automatically turn the alert levels all the way up – such as when generators are destroyed. Yeah, no one said it would be easy to go out alive, Tenno…


 


PREVENTING ALERTS: Ways of preventing alerts from being delivered are rich. True stealth (killing or slipping through unseen) is just one of them. Decimating the whole crew of the room before they can report, getting to data pads before the enemies and destroying them, cutting comm lines so they can’t be used, destroying cameras before they see you, chasing down scouts and couriers before they get to the next platoon… all of these will add new levels of strategy and team play. Especially true when there are enemy lookouts on the top of mezzanines and hills – Pull, Teleport, Super Jump, sniping, Shuriken, Decoy, Sonar, Mind Control… all of them are suddenly given a whole new level of usefulness and strategic value. Mobs and devices that are used to report threats are properly signalled in the minimap so as to allow players to take proper action.

 

THE DANGERS OF HIGH ALERT LEVELS: Having the alert level increased can have consequences that range from mildly annoying to downright lethal. The "lethal" part is especially important, considering the current power creep the game is facing. What I mean is, so that players will give a damn about alert levels, their consequences have to be more than just adding more bullet sponges in their way. Some suggestions (including "annoyance" and "truly lethal"): Suspicious mobs will be on the lookout for intruders and start shooting as soon as they hear anything. Warned platoons may organize strategic defences, including well positioned snipers, flamethrowers, shield bestowing devices, healers and toxic ancients in choke points. Doors may be locked in advance to hinder the invader’s progress or trap them, and storage cabinets + containers can be previously locked or crashed by the enemies. Optionally, felled enemies might even drop less loot (especially health, energy and ammo). All sorts of hazards may be set up, such as devices capable of depleting shields or energy, lights turned off, detonation of flash-bang grenades, slowing+freezing floor pads, turrets, lasers, and health consuming toxic waste. In some cases, crushing waves of “endless” enemies might avalanche the invaders (though I have high reservations against this one option). Other enemies will equip heavier, deadlier gear, such as heavy armor and rocket throwers, while robots and infested will have time to adapt and methamorph into more deadly versions of themselves.


 


CANCELING ALERT LEVELS: Alert states can be turned back down through hacking and avoiding new threat reports for a time, for example. Central control rooms and information nodes can be reached in order to totally turn off those alert levels, but they are certainly heavily guarded and that will be a messy detour.


 


IMPLEMENTATION: There are several ways in which these Alert Levels could be implemented:


1) Always Present: Alert levels are always there and become a present theme in the Warframe game-play; harder missions or different styles of missions definitely have an impact of how important they are though, ranging from thematic to a real point of concern.


 


2) Stealth Missions: In these new missions, you have to get from A to B without raising suspicion, lest everything is lost. The winning conditions of these missions is having alert levels not go beyond a certain threshold.


 


3) Nightmare: Alert states are restricted to Nightmarish levels as a type of Hazard.


 


4) A combination of the above (and the best in my opinion): Include Stealth Missions as a new type of mission; in the case of other missions, alert levels go only to a certain level, which is not extremely annoying or lethal - raising no alert makes life easier, but not caring about it at all is also a very viable option; as an extra "hazard" (like the eventual cold, fire or exploding ammo boxes), sometimes missions start with an "extra survailance level", in which case alert levels can go up to their highest, meaning real trouble if Tennos are not careful. Naturally, certain missions (defense and survivel, for example) won't have alert levels at all.


 


FINAL REMARKS:


 


In order for these ideas to work, I realise A LOT of work would be necessary. It's definately not just the case of adding a counter on the top of the screen. New units, new scenario interfaces, minimap tweaking and a lot of testing + retesting would be required. Still, I really wanted to throw this ideas in the air and see if anything useful can be gathered from them.


 


TL;DR: In order to add more variety to gameplay, I suggest that a new mechanic called "alert level" is implemented. Alert levels are raised by clumsy actions in the mission, and mean more trouble for the Tennos. I suggest many different ways to implement this new concept. In my opinion, it should not be enough of a hindrance so as to spoil current gameplay and make stealth obligatory, but in some specific cases (like some hazards or specific missions) it should make stealth essential. Important note: by "stealth", I don't mean necessarily crawling your way through scenarios, but being careful not to leave a mess behind and being on the lookout for ways to avoid threat reporting. I believe that this would also make powers that currently are overlooked much more useful (eg. Teleport, Super Jump, etc.).


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Some really good ideas here. Sounds similar to stealth tactics in games like splinter cell or such. I really like the idea of enemies setting up defenses in rooms after alerts are raised or ambushes and the like. Could bring in some new enemy types like magnetic field generators for grineer, electric shield generator for corpus and the like. It could slow the game down the the devs want, give rewarding stealth to those who want it, give added challenge to those who want it, and add a new dimension of gameplay to Warframe. something that it desperately needs.

 

But you're exactly right, this is a very complicated new system requiring new AI and interfacing. It would be very complicated and time consuming to implement. They would also have to refine the targeting AI. I feel like it's pretty unpredictable in it's current state. I.E. I can do jumping jacks in front of a corpus camera and it won't see me, or it will see me 500 meters away through space and time.

 

This would completely change how the game is played and that would definitely upset the people who don't like change. But I can't find many holes in this idea except for the difficulty in creating the system.

 

Well thought out post. Good Job.


 

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This, I think, would work well with the split between stealth oriented 'frames (like Ash or Loki) and more 'tanky' 'frames (like Rhino), along with the huge middle ground of 'frames that aren't focused on either. 

 

You want to use stealthy 'frames - get a group together to sneak through, want to smash everything in sight - get the appropriate 'frames thjat can handle the heat.  And the rest can use a mix stealth and flat out assault that is really fun.

 

Right now, IMO, stealth is pretty much a no-go unless you're alone (or somehow get a like-minded group together), PUG's just tend to run rampant as default.

 

***

 

Instead of imply reducing loot drops at higher alert levels, simply divide it between the greater number of opponents - you still get the same amount of stuff using either playstyle - don't really want to handicap those who like to run through like a rabid dog.

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Wow I'm very surprised at the number of positive reviews (all of them!!!). I was afraid lots of people would find this too imposing a change, likely to spoil what is already going on. Please, if you support the idea, keep discussing. We never know when some of the ideas at least might be taken into account.

 

Again, thanks guys =D

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