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Visual Alternative for Sound Only Cues?


ArguablySo
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Posted (edited)

I am an avid Warframe player, and I have been since I started on January 4th of this year. I love Warframe, but I am hard of hearing and my friend I play often with, who has been an avid player since 2017, is Deaf. Over time, the two of us have realized that there are several missions others find incredibly easy that are rather difficult for us, to an extremely detrimental degree. This is including to the point where my Deaf friend cannot play certain missions himself at all due to sound cues having no alternative, causing him much undue frustration and many unfair mission losses. There are, similarly, many things that I find much more difficult than my peers of the same MR, or even for those who have been playing much less than I have. If the issue boiled down to "get good," that would be one thing, but unfortunately there is no skill involved in this issue, only the entire lack of a certain cue everyone else receives that we simply do not.

Please, DE, make some sort of visual alternative for sound-only cues to make this game accessible to deaf or hard of hearing players like us.

Sound-only cues and clues include, but are likely not limited to:

  • orokin caches
  • disruption demolists
  • zarium accolades
  • hostages in rescue missions (thanks, XHADgaming!) especially for Lua Rescue (thanks EothasianBoar!)
  • Solarians to be rescued in Corpus ships <though this is made generally somewhat doable due to subtitles popping up if one is close enough, the lack of directional sound does make this more difficult for some> (thanks, Armyfreak42!)
  • cephalon fragment tuning for lore (thanks, Drasiel!)
  • creature calls from random animal spawns when hunting (thanks, Magnus!)
  • higher level threats spawning near the player (thanks, Magnus! x2 combo)
  • skittergirl
  • rap-tap-tap

I will also mention that Octavia is built with a floor-based visual cue to utilize her abilities. This is a fantastic example of a visual cue for deaf and hard of hearing players to utilize for otherwise sound-based cues.

If anyone can add any more sound-only cues and clues that exist, please feel free to add them here. I will edit to add them to the list. My friend and I understandably would not have noticed there were any sound cues without being told why it was so hard for us to find these things, so your help would be greatly appreciated.

Edited by ArguablySo
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Posted (edited)
On 2022-05-16 at 4:41 PM, ArguablySo said:

If anyone can add any more sound-only cues and clues that exist

MR 32 Deaf player here. Never really checked but do hostages have sound cues? Like when you get close to the cell can you hear them inside? Seems like a natural thing that should happen.

This is the other big one I can think of outside of the Disruption small 5x5 dot point out targets, Please make this bigger DE I have my sound turned completely off in-game so I get zero help from the "hum" that Demolysts make. 

 

Luckily warframe can be played without sound which is a good thing. I am really disappointed that deaf doesn't get talked about more in the gaming world it has really hampered on what games I can have fun with. Anyone can be considered "deaf" in a game by simply turning the volume settings to 0 or by not putting on a headphones or muting the PC. 

 

For proof I am deaf, my alt account is named Cochlear that I gifted a mirage to.

Edited by XHADgaming
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Posted (edited)

This suggestion may end up getting moved to UI, as the "fix" would involve a visual change, but as the Deaf friend mentioned here? :( Please fix.

For Orokin Caches (and now with Zarium Accolades), I tried using Loot Detector, and it leaves me wandering a solo Sabotage mission for anywhere from 15 to 30+ minutes at a time, cuz when matchmaking, people simply extract when the mission is over. I have to check every single loot marker on the entire map, top to bottom, because I didn't even realize it was SUPPOSED to make a sound. And it sucks, because it means I have to compensate for something other players do super easily by giving up an entire mod slot.

Orokin Caches? Not required. It sucks to have to spend so much effort to get a couple more unusual mods, but if I really needed to, I can buy them from other players for plat.

Zarium Accolades? 100% required in certain bounties.

For Disruption, I also tried using Enemy Radar. Issue is; I'm in the middle of a crowd of 30+ enemies on all sides, and by the time the marker pops up on my screen, the demolisher is often too close for me to destroy before blowing up. When you can't hear the sound cue, you can't tell which direction it's coming from at all.

Even if a 'marked' enemy (or special resource/cache) was a different color on the big map (I'd play with the full map showing, if the marker showed up as soon as the demolisher was within "audio cue" range, whatever that is) -- like a purple or a white arrow, or a filled-in cache marker -- that would make these missions do-able. Still hard, in the case of Disruption, but totally do-able.

As-is, there are missions I cannot do on my own, and I have to ask my friends to do these missions for me. I don't have a lot of friends who play Warframe, and I'm generally awake/playing at odd-hours. It gates me from doing entire missions, drastically slowed my star-map progress, has stopped me from being able to get certain frames (both normal and Prime), and makes it so I can't just do whatever bounty I need.

I'm one of those types of people that are generally happy to throw myself at a problem until I find a solve for it. This does not appear to have a fix I can put in place myself. I cannot describe my frustration when asking people, "Gosh, how are you guys so good at finding these things?" And to have been told EVERY time, "They make a sound. Duh." It gets very old, very fast. (And to the many people who have had to tell me this; I'm sorry. :( )

Please add a small visual indicator. I'm told the sound cues are directional, which sounds heavenly. Even just a slight particle effect, or a small angled flash in the general direction an "important sound" is made would help. (Whether on the mini-map, or on the screen itself?) Void Storms seem to do something like this, and they're just subtle-enough not to be intrusive, but notable enough that I generally notice them.

 

16 minutes ago, XHADgaming said:

Never really checked but do hostages have sound cues? Like when you get close to the cell can you hear them inside? Seems like a natural thing that should happen.

I didn't even think about Hostages! Is it an audio cue?? I just kinda figured it was a crap-shoot and that everybody was randomly guessing at which of three the Hostage might be in. That would make a lot more sense... :(

Edited by PersonaThief
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34 minutes ago, XHADgaming said:

Never really checked but do hostages have sound cues? Like when you get close to the cell can you hear them inside? Seems like a natural thing that should happen.

PersonaThief and I looked it up, and apparently, they do in fact make noise--the hostages apparently bang on the door. We totally thought these were hack guess-and-checks, where you'd just have to keep unlocking cells until you found the right one by chance. Nope! There's a sound cue there too!

Thank you for the assistance in figuring that one out, XHADgaming, and for adding your voice to this.

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Posted (edited)

I would also like to add that those with Auditory Processing issues or any kind of sound sensitivity that may cause discomfort (and thus causes you to turn the sound low or off) are also welcome in this conversation. Your undue difficulty matters in this as well! I know for a fact plenty of people that play this game are on the Autism Spectrum, for instance, and those sensory issues also can cause similar issues playing the game.

I also know plenty of people turn off the sound in favor of listening to music or podcasts, even those with perfect hearing or no sensory issues. As XHADgaming pointed out, some people just prefer to have the sound off!

Edited by ArguablySo
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Posted (edited)

For those players without any known auditory issues;

I've definitely seen posts (especially now that Zarium Accolades are a required bounty-completion thing) where people are complaining that these sounds are hard to hear, whether over "ambient noise" or just in general. In at least a third of the bounties I've done in public groups, I watch as people say, "I don't even know what I'm listening for." Clearly (at least for Accolades) the sound is neither distinctive, nor particularly loud. I dunno which in-game sound setting controls 'what', but it doesn't sound like hearing-players are able to make these sounds clearer or easier to hear either.

It's gotten to the point where, even if I do join a public group, sometimes three people who can hear just-fine will all be wandering around for upwards of 10-20+ minutes looking for the darn Accolade. Something isn't quite working, here.

Edited by PersonaThief
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I bet you guys never even knew about the lore hidden in cephalon fragments. If you mouse over the unlocked images a sound cue plays and you have "tune" it buy adjusting where the mouse pointer is until you get it in the right spot and the lore dialogue pops up.

I do need to mention that there is a visual indicator for demolysts, there are flashing red ring like things on the direction a demolyst is coming from, but! and this is a big but, it's range is shorter than that of the ringing noise. I personally can only barely make out the ringing noise but I did notice the visual indicator... it's just really hard to see in the mess of effects going on and has shorter range than the ringing.

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1 hour ago, PersonaThief said:

For those players without any known auditory issues;

I've definitely seen posts (especially now that Zarium Accolades are a required bounty-completion thing) where people are complaining that these sounds are hard to hear, whether over "ambient noise" or just in general. In at least a third of the bounties I've done in public groups, I watch as people say, "I don't even know what I'm listening for." Clearly (at least for Accolades) the sound is neither distinctive, nor particularly loud. I dunno which in-game sound setting controls 'what', but it doesn't sound like hearing-players are able to make these sounds clearer or easier to hear either.

It's gotten to the point where, even if I do join a public group, sometimes three people who can hear just-fine will all be wandering around for upwards of 10-20+ minutes looking for the darn Accolade. Something isn't quite working, here.

what you can hear is also very personal depending on how your ears are shaped and what abuse you have rendered on them, I have buddies that can hear a rare crate seemingly from across the map but can't hear the accolades. I can't find a rare crate to save my life via the audio cue but I can hear the accolades super clearly.

We really need another slider outside of sound effects for those things so we can just crank that because cranking up sound effects doesn't help at all because it makes all the other noises that cover those things even louder.

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I always find the need to apologise going into Disruption missions because I can't hear the beeping. I can hear the prisoner inside of the Orokin Cell due to how distinct someone-shouting is from the ambient silence of Void missions - but a Demolitionist's beeping amidst all manner of gunfire and explosions and ability sound effects? Yeah, nah. The game has so many accessibility features for visual-impairments - I would love to get some for the audio-impaired! 

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4 hours ago, ArguablySo said:

I am an avid Warframe player, and I have been since I started on January 4th of this year. I love Warframe, but I am hard of hearing and my friend I play often with, who has been an avid player since 2017, is Deaf. Over time, the two of us have realized that there are several missions others find incredibly easy that are rather difficult for us, to an extremely detrimental degree. This is including to the point where my Deaf friend cannot play certain missions himself at all due to sound cues having no alternative, causing him much undue frustration and many unfair mission losses. There are, similarly, many things that I find much more difficult than my peers of the same MR, or even for those who have been playing much less than I have. If the issue boiled down to "get good," that would be one thing, but unfortunately there is no skill involved in this issue, only the entire lack of a certain cue everyone else receives that we simply do not.

Please, DE, make some sort of visual alternative for sound-only cues to make this game accessible to deaf or hard of hearing players like us.

Sound-only cues and clues include, but are likely not limited to:

  • orokin caches
  • disruption demolists
  • zarium accolades
  • hostages in rescue missions (thanks, XHADgaming!)
  • Solarians to be rescued in Corpus ships <though this is made generally somewhat doable due to subtitles popping up if one is close enough, the lack of directional sound does make this more difficult for some> (thanks, Armyfreak42!)

I will also mention that Octavia is built with a floor-based visual cue to utilize her abilities. This is a fantastic example of a visual cue for deaf and hard of hearing players to utilize for otherwise sound-based cues.

If anyone can add any more sound-only cues and clues that exist, please feel free to add them here. I will edit to add them to the list. My friend and I understandably would not have noticed there were any sound cues without being told why it was so hard for us to find these things, so your help would be greatly appreciated.

I agree everything. I have normal hearing probably but still disruption for example is much harder if not using headphones like after shower etc. But thinking how much worse it can be for players with worse hearing or deaf. I think demolyst used to show icon when they spawned but that made it too easy so they removed it?

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1 hour ago, Drasiel said:

I do need to mention that there is a visual indicator for demolysts, there are flashing red ring like things on the direction a demolyst is coming from, but! and this is a big but, it's range is shorter than that of the ringing noise.

The visual cue range is generally so short that by the time the indicator is present it's next to useless; the demolyst is already where it needs to be (or only a second or two from its goal) and explodes with a loss unless you have several speed mods and a riven.

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4 hours ago, ArguablySo said:

I will also mention that Octavia is built with a floor-based visual cue to utilize her abilities. This is a fantastic example of a visual cue for deaf and hard of hearing players to utilize for otherwise sound-based cues.

You know what...?

That's actually an interesting suggestion for a "sound to visual" accessibility option.

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1 hour ago, Drasiel said:

I bet you guys never even knew about the lore hidden in cephalon fragments. If you mouse over the unlocked images a sound cue plays and you have "tune" it buy adjusting where the mouse pointer is until you get it in the right spot and the lore dialogue pops up.

I had no idea about that at all! Added it to the list. Thanks, Drasiel!

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2 hours ago, Drasiel said:

I bet you guys never even knew about the lore hidden in cephalon fragments. If you mouse over the unlocked images a sound cue plays and you have "tune" it buy adjusting where the mouse pointer is until you get it in the right spot and the lore dialogue pops up.

The WHAT

I'm missing LORE?! Noooo! D: I'll have to go see if I can futz with it, and figure out how to "tune" it. Cuz ironically, DE is fantastic about making sure everything is subtitled. I think that's why it stands out, to have something be so blatantly in-accessible when the game is so easy to play (and fun!) otherwise.

  

2 hours ago, Drasiel said:

I do need to mention that there is a visual indicator for demolysts, there are flashing red ring like things on the direction a demolyst is coming from, but! and this is a big but, it's range is shorter than that of the ringing noise. I personally can only barely make out the ringing noise but I did notice the visual indicator... it's just really hard to see in the mess of effects going on and has shorter range than the ringing.

This is what I was referring to when I mentioned 'by the time the marker pops up on my screen'. I can see it once it shows up. And about 5 seconds later (tops), the point gets blown up. If I'm lucky, I'll stumble across the direction it's coming from at-random while frantically flinging myself around in every direction I can think of. If I'm not so lucky, I plant myself on top of the point and STILL can't kill it in time.

The range on the visual indicator is clearly significantly shorter than the audio cue, cuz I'll watch people start mobilizing a solid 5-10 seconds before I see the indicator, if it shows up at all. Super helpful when you have teammates that can hear, but also very frustrating when I'm basically dead weight on that team. Not even a good Defense frame (like Frost) can stop a demolyst from one-shotting the Disruption point. (Unless you can get it to freeze solid just-outside 'exploding range'.)

 

There are so many ways to implement this kind of accessibility, and they're already doing it for a ton of other parts of the game! Octavia's musical abilities, the hunting-call-slider for conservation. I don't even know what-else, because these are the only issues I've had that were too severe for me to find work-arounds. I know that during conservation, the animals that spawn randomly are supposed to make a noise; I got-by just running around with my tranq aimed at all times, when I was in the mood for hunting. But it doesn't show you if you're "close" to one, unless I missed something. I have to spot the 'glow' myself.

It could be as simple as 'flashing' the correct terminal, during a Rescue mission, in-time with the Hostage calling out, or having the edge of your map glow red within audio-range from the direction the Demolyst is approaching from. (So you still have to figure out 'exactly where'.) It's still something that someone can miss, if they aren't paying attention, but the information is 'available' to them.

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I forget if Oculysts spawning have a solid visual indicator or not, but they really really should!  (Especially as they are a required part of the main story quests)

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4 minutes ago, PersonaThief said:

It could be as simple as 'flashing' the correct terminal, during a Rescue mission, in-time with the Hostage calling out, or having the edge of your map glow red within audio-range from the direction the Demolyst is approaching from. (So you still have to figure out 'exactly where'.) It's still something that someone can miss, if they aren't paying attention, but the information is 'available' to them.

I may be biased, as we already admitted to being friends, but I especially like the idea of the demolyst's mini-map icon flashing once it's in hearing range. That would be super easy for me to miss if I wasn't paying attention and doesn't really make it too easy, especially for the hearing folks who likely wouldn't have reason to watch the minimap much, while also being very accessible.

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Just now, TrojanTurkey said:

I forget if Oculysts spawning have a solid visual indicator or not, but they really really should!  (Especially as they are a required part of the main story quests)

I always end up confusing them for Something Else(tm) but IIRC the screen actually flashes like you're about to be attacked by somebody when Oculysts show up. It's enough to make somebody pay attention when they can otherwise pop up anywhere on the map at-random, and that's all we're asking for. :) Having the screen flash any time somebody wants to rip my arm off and feed it to me is very helpful! (Especially with the new Eximus re-work. Yeesh.)

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7 hours ago, PersonaThief said:

I didn't even think about Hostages! Is it an audio cue?? I just kinda figured it was a crap-shoot and that everybody was randomly guessing at which of three the Hostage might be in. That would make a lot more sense... :(

Especially in Lua rescue, you need to listen to hostage telling you "I'm in here" as you are switching to different portal, trying to find them. You can face check every portal, of course but being able to hear the hostage is makes a huge different there. 

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42 minutes ago, EothasianBoar said:

Especially in Lua rescue, you need to listen to hostage telling you "I'm in here" as you are switching to different portal, trying to find them. You can face check every portal, of course but being able to hear the hostage is makes a huge different there. 

That's definitely an issue for hard of hearing people if the sound is a directional cue; subtitles wouldn't quite cut it then.

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, Drasiel said:

We really need another slider outside of sound effects for those things so we can just crank that because cranking up sound effects doesn't help at all because it makes all the other noises that cover those things even louder.

I do agree that this should be implemented. This would make things a lot better accessibility-wise for hearing folk. A visual alternative is still needed for non-hearing folk, but it would certainly be much, much better for the majority of the varieties of people out there. Awesome suggestion.

Having a separate slider for in-mission audio hints is a fantastic idea, and absolutely something one could realistically adjust per-mission.

Edited by ArguablySo
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20 hours ago, PersonaThief said:

The WHAT

I'm missing LORE?! Noooo! D: I'll have to go see if I can futz with it, and figure out how to "tune" it. Cuz ironically, DE is fantastic about making sure everything is subtitled. I think that's why it stands out, to have something be so blatantly in-accessible when the game is so easy to play (and fun!) otherwise.

  

This is what I was referring to when I mentioned 'by the time the marker pops up on my screen'. I can see it once it shows up. And about 5 seconds later (tops), the point gets blown up. If I'm lucky, I'll stumble across the direction it's coming from at-random while frantically flinging myself around in every direction I can think of. If I'm not so lucky, I plant myself on top of the point and STILL can't kill it in time.

The range on the visual indicator is clearly significantly shorter than the audio cue, cuz I'll watch people start mobilizing a solid 5-10 seconds before I see the indicator, if it shows up at all. Super helpful when you have teammates that can hear, but also very frustrating when I'm basically dead weight on that team. Not even a good Defense frame (like Frost) can stop a demolyst from one-shotting the Disruption point. (Unless you can get it to freeze solid just-outside 'exploding range'.)

 

There are so many ways to implement this kind of accessibility, and they're already doing it for a ton of other parts of the game! Octavia's musical abilities, the hunting-call-slider for conservation. I don't even know what-else, because these are the only issues I've had that were too severe for me to find work-arounds. I know that during conservation, the animals that spawn randomly are supposed to make a noise; I got-by just running around with my tranq aimed at all times, when I was in the mood for hunting. But it doesn't show you if you're "close" to one, unless I missed something. I have to spot the 'glow' myself.

It could be as simple as 'flashing' the correct terminal, during a Rescue mission, in-time with the Hostage calling out, or having the edge of your map glow red within audio-range from the direction the Demolyst is approaching from. (So you still have to figure out 'exactly where'.) It's still something that someone can miss, if they aren't paying attention, but the information is 'available' to them.

Other cephalon fragment type items have this hidden lore as well but I believe only the original cephalon fragments completely hides it behind the tuning puzzle, the rest have the "hidden" lore written at the bottom of the image and you use the tuning puzzle to have it read out to you. I've actually thought for a long while that I should record myself "solving" them so ordis's lore is more accessible to those who lack in the hearing department but knowing the internet it's probably out there already.

Spoiler

Searching the beast of bones warframe I found this video on youtube that should be serviceable as if you full screen it you can read ordis' subtitles

 

I agree that the visual indicator on demolysts needs to be better. I have to rely on it or wear headphones turned up far too loud to locate the sound. It's better than nothing but I still won't inconvenience a public group by needing to carry me because I can't hear it and that's not fair to others. My clan knows I can't really hear it so that's the only time I really play disruption. I'm not a huge fan of the mode to begin with but a large part of that is probably because of the frustration of locating demolysts.

18 hours ago, EothasianBoar said:

Especially in Lua rescue, you need to listen to hostage telling you "I'm in here" as you are switching to different portal, trying to find them. You can face check every portal, of course but being able to hear the hostage is makes a huge different there. 

The only time I have ever heard any of the hostages call for help is when I'm already opening the cages at random. Doesn't matter if it's uranus, corpus ship, lua portal, I just have to be very good at cyphers because I'll never hear the person.

5 hours ago, ArguablySo said:

I do agree that this should be implemented. This would make things a lot better accessibility-wise for hearing folk. A visual alternative is still needed for non-hearing folk, but it would certainly be much, much better for the majority of the varieties of people out there. Awesome suggestion.

Having a separate slider for in-mission audio hints is a fantastic idea, and absolutely something one could realistically adjust per-mission.

I am all for non auditory methods on top of that slider. I allegedly have zero problems with my hearing and medically I'm all good but I simply cannot hear certain tones and pitches. I've rather enjoyed the explosion of decent subtitles in all things over the past decade.

You know what might be an interesting visual indicator for the demolysts? If the enemy ai ran towards to them to "protect" them from us. you can hear the beeping I think 3 tiles away from the actual demolyst so if enemies in that range ran towards the demolyst and followed it you'd have a clear visual indicator and mayhaps a bit more interesting challenge on to of it.

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12 minutes ago, Drasiel said:

You know what might be an interesting visual indicator for the demolysts? If the enemy ai ran towards to them to "protect" them from us. you can hear the beeping I think 3 tiles away from the actual demolyst so if enemies in that range ran towards the demolyst and followed it you'd have a clear visual indicator and mayhaps a bit more interesting challenge on to of it.

This is a really good idea. I like it a lot. People who like challenge will love it, and it makes demolysts seem all the more threatening, in a new and special way, while also becoming a flavorful (in a flavor text kind of way) visual indicator.

My only concern would be in the possibility that enemy-attraction abilities such as Octavia's 2 might clash with it and cause confusion. Perhaps the enemies suddenly become immune, or there'd be some sort of "stronger pull" toward the demolyst?

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17 minutes ago, Drasiel said:

You know what might be an interesting visual indicator for the demolysts? If the enemy ai ran towards to them to "protect" them from us. you can hear the beeping I think 3 tiles away from the actual demolyst so if enemies in that range ran towards the demolyst and followed it you'd have a clear visual indicator and mayhaps a bit more interesting challenge on to of it.

2 minutes ago, ArguablySo said:

This is a really good idea. I like it a lot. People who like challenge will love it, and it makes demolysts seem all the more threatening, in a new and special way, while also becoming a flavorful (in a flavor text kind of way) visual indicator.

My only concern would be in the possibility that enemy-attraction abilities such as Octavia's 2 might clash with it and cause confusion. Perhaps the enemies suddenly become immune, or there'd be some sort of "stronger pull" toward the demolyst?

The idea is fun. Maybe instead of attracting the enemies that are already 'there' (in order to avoid conflicting effects), the generalized spawning enemies within the level could slow down a smidge, and 2-3 distinct 'squads' worth of enemies could come out in front of the Demolyst. If you pay attention to where they're coming from, you'l know where it's coming from. (And you'll still have to deal with the stuff around it, to get to it!)

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6 minutes ago, ArguablySo said:

This is a really good idea. I like it a lot. People who like challenge will love it, and it makes demolysts seem all the more threatening, in a new and special way, while also becoming a flavorful (in a flavor text kind of way) visual indicator.

My only concern would be in the possibility that enemy-attraction abilities such as Octavia's 2 might clash with it and cause confusion. Perhaps the enemies suddenly become immune, or there'd be some sort of "stronger pull" toward the demolyst?

That depends on how those abilities work under the hood if they have a cap to the amount of enemies they can pull at a time then the constant spawns should allow a steady stream to still travel past them towards the demolyst. Otherwise a "stronger pull" like you suggest might be necessary.

3 minutes ago, PersonaThief said:

The idea is fun. Maybe instead of attracting the enemies that are already 'there' (in order to avoid conflicting effects), the generalized spawning enemies within the level could slow down a smidge, and 2-3 distinct 'squads' worth of enemies could come out in front of the Demolyst. If you pay attention to where they're coming from, you'l know where it's coming from. (And you'll still have to deal with the stuff around it, to get to it!)

that could also definitely work.

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Posted (edited)

Here's a Lua rescue and why the sound makes a huge different here. You need to hack each console to change the destination of the portal, then enter when you connect the right portal to rescue the target. Hostage in this don't automatically walk out of their cell when you open it. You need to go into the portal to rescue them. And why the "I'm just so good at hacking and open cage at random" is a lot slower process on Lua rescue.

Random hacking until you get it is actually faster on any other tileset. 

 

Edited by EothasianBoar
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