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Game mode concept: Planetarium


Corvid

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Disclaimer: This idea literally came to me in a dream, so I can't guarantee that it's actually a good one, but it seemed too interesting to not write down and submit for refinement here.

To summarise, it's a mix between Sanctuary Onslaught and Disruption.

The general gameplay structure is that there are 5 waves in a round, with each round being the equivalent of a reward rotation in other endless modes. Like in SO, each “Wave” has you teleport into a random enclosed area with a randomly selected enemy faction. However, unlike SO, where you're tasked with killing enough enemies to survive for a set amount of time, here you need to complete a specific task within a set time limit.

While the wave objective in the dream was always the same, it occurs to me that it could itself be randomised in order to keep players on their toes. Some example objectives:

  • Killing enemies until a Key drops, which must then be taken to a terminal to unlock the portal to the next area (this was the one seen in the dream).
  • Collecting orbs that are scattered around the environment (stolen shamelessly from Void Flood)
  • Locating and collecting a number of items that don't show up on loot radar (bit of a scavenger hunt)
  • Killing a boss enemy (Simple, but effective)

Being able to clear these varying missions quickly is key to success, as each wave features a timer that counts down (I'm thinking from 60 seconds). This is where the Disruption influence comes in: Failing to clear the objective within the allotted time won't immediately fail the mission, but it will apply a randomly-selected debuff to the squad for the rest of the round. These debuffs could (where applicable) be pulled from the pools of the Disruption modifiers, the Nightmare modifiers, the Sortie modifiers and the Void Flood modifiers. They would persist until the end of the round.

The idea is that doing well will allow players to keep their momentum going, while doing poorly will make further progress more difficult, but still possible for the determined.

Any thoughts and suggestions are welcome.

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Conceptually, I think this could be amusing at least. Before any comments on some details, I have one big question: What is the general requirement for mission failure? Since you said running out of time won't fail it, there has to be some other condition. Just the player went down/out of revive?

 

Now for some things that piqued my interest

14 minutes ago, Corvid said:

Killing enemies until a Key drops, which must then be taken to a terminal to unlock the portal to the next area (this was the one seen in the dream).

At a glance, this looks hard to balance. Does the key drop based on RNG, or is it a set amount of kills? Because of it's RNG, completion could vary very wildly. Some people could potentially wipe out the entire zone each second and not get the key (exaggerating), and some could have the key drop within 4 seconds of the zone starting. But I feel making it drop on the number of kills kinda off.

 

18 minutes ago, Corvid said:

Locating and collecting a number of items that don't show up on loot radar (bit of a scavenger hunt)

I could see this one sparking some rage. Depending on how easy it is to find the items, this could be the easiest objective of this mode or the hardest. Or do you have some other idea on how to clue the players on where the items are?

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1 hour ago, Gamma745 said:

What is the general requirement for mission failure? Since you said running out of time won't fail it, there has to be some other condition. Just the player went down/out of revive?

Yes. The idea is essentially that failing individual waves would make continued progress more difficult, making death more likely. Bear in mind, failing 4 consecutive waves potentially means 4 Sortie-tier modifiers applied to the team on the 5th.

1 hour ago, Gamma745 said:

At a glance, this looks hard to balance. Does the key drop based on RNG, or is it a set amount of kills? Because of it's RNG, completion could vary very wildly. Some people could potentially wipe out the entire zone each second and not get the key (exaggerating), and some could have the key drop within 4 seconds of the zone starting. But I feel making it drop on the number of kills kinda off.

This was actually an issue that occurred to me while I was typing up the proposal, and I was hoping to get some input. One potential solution was to have the drop chance of the key escalate over time, so that it's more likely to appear closer to the end, to the point where it's guaranteed to drop in the last 10 seconds.

1 hour ago, Gamma745 said:

I could see this one sparking some rage. Depending on how easy it is to find the items, this could be the easiest objective of this mode or the hardest. Or do you have some other idea on how to clue the players on where the items are?

I think an audial cue like the Zariman Accolades would suffice. The main purpose of keeping them off the minimap is to prevent them from being located at the very start of the wave without any effort, since like Sanctuary Onslaught there likely wouldn't be any crates scattered around to throw off the search. 

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8 minutes ago, Corvid said:

Yes. The idea is essentially that failing individual waves would make continued progress more difficult, making death more likely. Bear in mind, failing 4 consecutive waves potentially means 4 Sortie-tier modifiers applied to the team on the 5th.

Good point. Sorties could have reduced health or shield, extra damage type from the enemy, or weapons restriction. Some combination could be downright nasty.

That made me realize something though, about the weapon restriction modifier. What happens if the players don't have the weapon that rolls as the modifier? They just straight up deprived of any weapons and have to make do with abilities and operator/drifter? Well, I guess it is supposed to be a penalty.

 

15 minutes ago, Corvid said:

This was actually an issue that occurred to me while I was typing up the proposal, and I was hoping to get some input. One potential solution was to have the drop chance of the key escalate over time, so that it's more likely to appear closer to the end, to the point where it's guaranteed to drop in the last 10 seconds.

Sounds decent. At the very least mission failure is not completely determined by RNG.

 

17 minutes ago, Corvid said:

I think an audial cue like the Zariman Accolades would suffice. The main purpose of keeping them off the minimap is to prevent them from being located at the very start of the wave without any effort, since like Sanctuary Onslaught there likely wouldn't be any crates scattered around to throw off the search.

I was thinking making the items a bit bright or contrasting the background, but I guess that would be too easy.

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1 hour ago, Gamma745 said:

That made me realize something though, about the weapon restriction modifier. What happens if the players don't have the weapon that rolls as the modifier? They just straight up deprived of any weapons and have to make do with abilities and operator/drifter? Well, I guess it is supposed to be a penalty.

Well, bear in mind that I used the qualifier "Applicable" when detailing which modifier pools would be pulled from. Anything that wouldn't be compatible with the mode (such as Electrified Conduits) wouldn't be in the pool, nor would anything that risks softlocking the mission (such as the aforementioned weapon limitations).

I think locking out specific weapon slots (as in Primary, Secondary and Melee) would be a fair substitute, so long as there's a failsafe in place to ensure all three cannot be active simultaneously.

 

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On 2022-08-24 at 7:25 AM, Corvid said:

While the wave objective in the dream was always the same, it occurs to me that it could itself be randomised in order to keep players on their toes.

This is such a cool idea, a suggestion I might add is that there could be special boss stages, where you fight existing bosses scaled to where you are in the run, this would make it similar (but not really) to the Bloody Palace from Devil May Cry.

Of course they wouldn't reward what they do on the star chart, namely, warframe parts, but they could drop specific relics at very high rates or specific rewards to that game mode.

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