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Is It Just Me Or Is The Dark Sector System Lacking...?


Darkwave5
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So before the typical instant baseless arguments, hear me out.

 

As it is now, the dark sector system requires clans and alliances to build solar rails, claiming ownership of the mission and getting possible kickbacks for owning it. this part of the design is great and gives clans/alliances an objective. These missions also give bonuses in the form of resource and xp bonuses for running it, so it's win/win.

 

The problem with the system is everything else about it. The contesting mechanic disables the bonuses, and the core mission type, replacing it with a pseudo-sabotage mission against the clan of your choice. This on paper isn't an issue, but once you apply human nature to the idea it falls apart. As it is most of the areas are contested, for no other reason than group A wants what group B has.

 

We're now in a situation where the dark sector missions are only playable during a small window during rail deployment, after which point you're stuck in a conflict where nobody can run the missions for the bonuses, and in general only get a joke of a reward for doing them because nobody can afford to pay out decently, and even if they do and win, the next person will just drop a rail to contest it all over.

 

Combine that with the flawed logic of "we offer them for free so people will love us" defeating the entire point of the ability to even own it vs it being an npc mission, especially given at even 15% tax, it rarely comes out to more than 100 of a resource over a 20 min survival.

 

 

So what kind of solutions could be put in place to make the system actually make sense? a few I would pose, though i'm sure there's plenty of other solutions....

 

1) a weekly lockout, missions can only be contested 1-2 times per week, meaning you'd have 2-4 days of contested mission at most, and 3-5 days of the intended mission minimum, have the lockout reset for ALL missions at a specific time, giving a level of strat to when it's attackable/defendable.

 

2) remove the ability to set a tax, instead add a percent of the creds/resources earned by people running it directly to the owning clan's treasury, and scale back the amount earned by players by the same amount, same net achievement as having a set tax rate, but without the psychological affect of "OMG GAIS THEY'RE TAKING SOME OF MY HARD EARNED REWARDS FOR DOING A SUPER EASY MISSION FOR A TRUCK LOAD OF STUFF!!!!"

 

3) If the first bit is added, possibly shorten/remove the deploy time so that it takes up less of the contested cycle, or shorten the actual contested timer.

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I especially like your second suggestion; the post as whole is well written and sums up the issues with the Dark Sectors nicely. Weekly lockouts for stability and accessibility for other players sounds very appealing, too.  +1

Edited by ZephyrPhantom
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It just feels that the whole dark sector deal is just badly made and rushed out the door. I kinda wish they held it back but let melee 2.0 out. As is, aside from a few tweaks, melee 2.0 is awesome but the dark sectors is just a mess.

 

No delay in the contesting, locked out of the mission, the mad rush to the available mission in the 24 hour window before the next 72 hour contest (That nobody plays) begins. It's ridiculous. It makes the sectors feel like an alert mission.

 

My suggestion would be to maybe allow multiple rails to the dark sector, maybe up to a max of 5 or 10. Preferably 10. That way they'll begin and end at different times and allow everybody to access the mission hopefully all the time, though that could backfire and make it so nobody can access the mission ever.

 

Whether we like it or not, it's a Tenno Civil War in a way. In the solar rail missions we fight specters that are named after the members of the alliance. In other words, if I deploy a rail and you fight against it and you run into a volt in the mission with my name, you are, in essence, fighting me. It feels weird and the more that I think about it, the more I don't want to be part of any alliance so I can just run dark sectors when they're available instead of pseudo-pvping other tennos. Ya know, those guys we're supposed to balance the universe alongside.

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Taxes are hardly incentives

 

How do you explain a solar rail being locked for 7 days, though? A magical forcefield?

how do you explain current set up of just letting another solar rail sit there and be deployed without being harassed before its even finished. Game mechanics.

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So before the typical instant baseless arguments, hear me out.

 

As it is now, the dark sector system requires clans and alliances to build solar rails, claiming ownership of the mission and getting possible kickbacks for owning it. this part of the design is great and gives clans/alliances an objective. These missions also give bonuses in the form of resource and xp bonuses for running it, so it's win/win.

 

The problem with the system is everything else about it. The contesting mechanic disables the bonuses, and the core mission type, replacing it with a pseudo-sabotage mission against the clan of your choice. This on paper isn't an issue, but once you apply human nature to the idea it falls apart. As it is most of the areas are contested, for no other reason than group A wants what group B has.

 

We're now in a situation where the dark sector missions are only playable during a small window during rail deployment, after which point you're stuck in a conflict where nobody can run the missions for the bonuses, and in general only get a joke of a reward for doing them because nobody can afford to pay out decently, and even if they do and win, the next person will just drop a rail to contest it all over.

 

Combine that with the flawed logic of "we offer them for free so people will love us" defeating the entire point of the ability to even own it vs it being an npc mission, especially given at even 15% tax, it rarely comes out to more than 100 of a resource over a 20 min survival.

 

 

So what kind of solutions could be put in place to make the system actually make sense? a few I would pose, though i'm sure there's plenty of other solutions....

 

1) a weekly lockout, missions can only be contested 1-2 times per week, meaning you'd have 2-4 days of contested mission at most, and 3-5 days of the intended mission minimum, have the lockout reset for ALL missions at a specific time, giving a level of strat to when it's attackable/defendable.

 

2) remove the ability to set a tax, instead add a percent of the creds/resources earned by people running it directly to the owning clan's treasury, and scale back the amount earned by players by the same amount, same net achievement as having a set tax rate, but without the psychological affect of "OMG GAIS THEY'RE TAKING SOME OF MY HARD EARNED REWARDS FOR DOING A SUPER EASY MISSION FOR A TRUCK LOAD OF STUFF!!!!"

 

3) If the first bit is added, possibly shorten/remove the deploy time so that it takes up less of the contested cycle, or shorten the actual contested timer.

 

+1 for writing it constructively. Not many people can do that right.

So free cookie on the house.

 

I agree. I love the missions but in my honest opinion they need to make the contesting time shorter or have a cooldown period before the area can be contested again because it doesn't give us a chance at running their missions at all. It just makes me frustrated at clans for doing it, and I don't want to be put into a situation where I'm angry at anyone.

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Let me ask this, are you currently in an alliance that owns a Sector?

 

Your first proposal would only add to the monopolization of these Sectors and doesn't help the overall model of Dark Sectors.  If an alliance had a week to collect taxes, then any attacking alliance would be at a disadvantage, since they would be behind on credits for battle pay.  The only way to counter act this is to put these Sectors in a state of perpetual war (ie. Incumbents have less time to collect taxes, limiting their advantage slightly).  But doing so hurts the players who don't give a damn and only want to play infested missions.

 

In my opinion, if an alliance wants to claim a Sector for themselves they should work for it, contributing resources and what not.  No one said it was for free.  And DE explicitly stated it was meant as areas of conflict.

 

Your second proposal isn't in sync with DE's plan.  The ability to set taxes adds to the politics of the game.  Might as well remove Dark Sectors all together and just add better "farming" areas.

 

Your third point, I agree with.  Deployment time should not be 24 hours and conflict time should not be 48 hours.  But in the end it doesn't matter, these areas will always be contested and someone in some timezone will always be locked out.

 

EDIT:

In my opinion, it would not be a bad idea to remove Dark Sectors for the time being.  Of course you would keep the research room and anything else you researched.  Just remove them, rework them, and re-release it when there is a better system in place.  As it is now, most players have no incentive to help anyone and only really care about the bonuses.  And I doubt any Alliance could match the credit rewards of a T3 void key or even the Sector's credit rewards.

Edited by Longhorns
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perhaps idea of locking rails could be removed completely. If it is being contested then player can choose if he wants to fight for the clans or wants to go through the rail and fight infested. Same way as he can choose between nightmare and regular mission. Clans can have their little fights, players interested in dark sectors can have what they want. It would also show how much players care about this "conflicts".

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perhaps idea of locking rails could be removed completely. If it is being contested then player can choose if he wants to fight for the clans or wants to go through the rail and fight infested. Same way as he can choose between nightmare and regular mission. Clans can have their little fights, players interested in dark sectors can have what they want. It would also show how much players care about this "conflicts".

 

I'd like that, actually. Right now it takes way too long for dark sector nodes to become available again, for too short a period.

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perhaps idea of locking rails could be removed completely. If it is being contested then player can choose if he wants to fight for the clans or wants to go through the rail and fight infested. Same way as he can choose between nightmare and regular mission. Clans can have their little fights, players interested in dark sectors can have what they want. It would also show how much players care about this "conflicts".

I like this, maybe even making it so that if the Tenno choose to just ignore the conflict and go to the mission it has a chance for Tenno Specters to appear in the mission itself, giving both a reason to do the conflict if you don't like them, or to do more conflict if you want a bit more challenge in the Dark Sector missions?

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I like this, maybe even making it so that if the Tenno choose to just ignore the conflict and go to the mission it has a chance for Tenno Specters to appear in the mission itself, giving both a reason to do the conflict if you don't like them, or to do more conflict if you want a bit more challenge in the Dark Sector missions?

nothing better than being radial blinded while being assaulted by lvl 80 ancients. This would be a lot of fun.

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Taxes are hardly incentives between fighting for random alliances or clans who leave a one line tag.

 

If they could adjust the various bonuses. I may be more willing to fight for one side over the other.

If you can choose what weapon type are boosted for that rail.

Example earth. both are 15% resource, 15% kill xp, 20% bonus if using melee.

Changing melee to rifle or pistol, suit, sentinel. etc.

Suit would be popular around Venus.

What if one could change the % values within a certain range.

Take 10% off the reward credits for a extra 5% in resource or xp or 5% off resource or xp for 10% more credits.

 

Each rail should have two types of missions, Defense and Sabotage.

Forget the nonsense current raid type mission.

Imagine a defense mission with waves of specters and moa. Protecting 4 power cores in a Interception style, but if they are fully "captured" they are destroyed.

Or steal a Rail powerplant from specters.

Then its a proper war. Not a silly race. Each wave you complete multiplies your success in restoring health to your rail or damaging the enemy rail. It effectively lowers the hp of the rails and makes it a tug-o-war. Something that can be resolved within two days in a more engaging manner.

 

Defense or Sabotage of your chosen rail should be assisted by the owners. Have the owners choose a single equipment given specifically for protecting your tower and attacking others. Which supply people with rail only earned equipment. (I think a good incentive to play and collect if DE wont let many units drop anything important)

So its not just credits.

You do attack missions to gain defensive gear from the owners, do defensive missions to earn attack gear. Costs by rarity of that systems resources. Because.

Attack gear could offer a AOE damage boost for a weapon type for a limited time.

ex: Rail team pistol boost equipment. costs 100 uncommon materials per player

Defense gear could be radar, shields things, floor traps. CC stuff. Like a pool of orokin stage ice

ex: Rail ice floor equipment. costs 300 common materials per player

Each equipment supplied would be Small, med, or large depending on the tier of planet the rail located on to restrict giving young or lazy players too OP equipment.

 

-----

Pipe dream.

Always contested? A way to increase your rail mission time?

How about another two mission option.

A: Do the Dark Sector for bonus.

B: Work with a 3ed party the current rail owners hires to slow down the deployment of the encroaching rail.

Use the current shut down reactor mission for harassment. You cant stop deployment, but you make it take longer.

The 3ed party could be sub factions of grineer and corpus. And you can earn loyalty points working for them for special resources in making their own variations of weapons. Like a Derf Custom Spectra if your side hired the Corpus Anyo Roughriders.

Edited by Firetempest
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Let me ask this, are you currently in an alliance that owns a Sector?

 

Your first proposal would only add to the monopolization of these Sectors and doesn't help the overall model of Dark Sectors.  If an alliance had a week to collect taxes, then any attacking alliance would be at a disadvantage, since they would be behind on credits for battle pay.  The only way to counter act this is to put these Sectors in a state of perpetual war (ie. Incumbents have less time to collect taxes, limiting their advantage slightly).  But doing so hurts the players who don't give a damn and only want to play infested missions.

 

In my opinion, if an alliance wants to claim a Sector for themselves they should work for it, contributing resources and what not.  No one said it was for free.  And DE explicitly stated it was meant as areas of conflict.

 

Your second proposal isn't in sync with DE's plan.  The ability to set taxes adds to the politics of the game.  Might as well remove Dark Sectors all together and just add better "farming" areas.

 

Your third point, I agree with.  Deployment time should not be 24 hours and conflict time should not be 48 hours.  But in the end it doesn't matter, these areas will always be contested and someone in some timezone will always be locked out.

 

EDIT:

In my opinion, it would not be a bad idea to remove Dark Sectors for the time being.  Of course you would keep the research room and anything else you researched.  Just remove them, rework them, and re-release it when there is a better system in place.  As it is now, most players have no incentive to help anyone and only really care about the bonuses.  And I doubt any Alliance could match the credit rewards of a T3 void key or even the Sector's credit rewards.

as for your first question no, i'm in a small 100 person clan that isn't in an alliance, so i stand to gain nothing from it, then again neither does the owner given the cost to deploy them and the glaring issues with the tax system.

 

As for the taxes part, there is no politics of it, either you're running at 0% tax, or you're having a fraction of the player base running it because the majority of them are too greedy (or mathematically challenged) to realize how small of an overall impact it has, even at 15%. that's not politics that's conform or die. the tax has literally zero impact on the actual contesting of the missions, and plays such a small part in the overall scheme beyond "how many people will run this mission" it's not worth trying to justify it as such.

 

 

 

until there is a real cost to the clans involved, the current system will be a perpetual contested situation. If you wanted it to actually be about politics, truly requiring people to communicate, you'd have to completely overhaul the entire dark sector system, making a lattice system of supporting rails, supply lines, and vulnerabilities, as well as a high cost on the individual groups involved, a cost that would make it become a question of risk vs reward. none of that is the case now as the cost of rails is a drop in the bucket for mega alliances and unrealistic for isolated groups, has zero strategy beyond "pay more than the other guy to hold x mission" and has very little risk OR reward with the current tax situation.

 

the system in it's current form is the equivalent to a popularity contest to decide who gets to put their face up on a billboard along the road. they make next to nothing off said billboard beyond getting their name out there, and the factor that decides who wins is nothing more than who is willing to bribe the most people to vote for them... so i guess in that sense it is sort of like politics...

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Keeping in mind, it is a Brand new system, without its first update or tweaking as of yet since U13 was released... it is to be expected.

 

Some things that could be done with the system to balance things out as of right now...

 

Make the Taxes affect the rewards given for playing the node.

 

If you want more affinity per node, put in a higher taxation amount.

If you want less affinity per node, keep them low.

 

This could bring a reason to actually have territory wars over the Rails.

Do you fight for more Affinity Bonuses? Or Do you fight for your resources and credits?

 

The same could be done for Resource Drop Rates.

 

Higher taxation amount, higher drop chances.

Lower taxation amount, lower drop chances.

 

 

I dunno. Just something that popped into my head... again.

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How do you explain a solar rail being locked for 7 days, though? A magical forcefield?

Rule 1: don't use logic.

If we do, we run into issues such as "Why do solar rails exist in the first place when drifting through space with zero friction and zero required energy is much faster and less wasteful for interplanetary travel?". The answer to all but the most ridiculous of these situations (e.g. That "tileset in the sun with level 100 lava monsters" thread from a while back) is always "screw it, gameplay's more important".

I'm fully for the lockout idea. Even if it can't be explained lore-wise, the boost to gameplay that it offers is phenomenal and very much worth it.

EDIT: Whoops, just read that post that explains it lore-wise. Point still stands, though. XD

Edited by SortaRandom
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That's Blizzard's M.O.

Games, especially science fiction games, need to at least flirt with science or else the immersion is broken. The system has to make sense even if it's made up.

It's a bit too late for that in the case of solar rails, though. XD

Still, though, if I had to choose between something that made perfect sense and good gameplay, I'd go for good gameplay. TF2 wouldn't be nearly as fun if only one of each class (each canonically an individual character) could be on any team at any time, for example.

I'm not saying that it's perfectly fine for games to go all-out-stupid for how much/little flirting with science is to be done, but if it's something whose silliness is at least ignorable that adds loads to the gameplay (e.g. independent class selection in TF2, or the entire Space Ninja concept of Warframe that every one of us loves), then hey, full speed ahead. That's what fiction is, after all.

Edited by SortaRandom
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How do you explain a solar rail being locked for 7 days, though? A magical forcefield?

Considering we have all the crazy crap that we already have in game (fireballs, lighting shields, anti-matter that doesn't behave like anti-matter at all etc etc etc) it's really quite easy.

Here's a quick idea shooting from the hip... the sheer amount of time and resources it takes to clear out the previous attempted rail and put into place the new one. Or how about, waiting for the energies of the void to be stable enough and be properly aligned to even allow another rail conflict attempt. The way this game is set up pretty much ignores plausible reality in so many different ways coming up with a "lore friendly" (lol lore in warframe) explanation is child's play.

===

As per the OP... I tend to agree with you; the rails should be available far more often than they can be contested but the real reason clans don't have the money to pay anything is because the community makes such a huge deal about taxes; because they think it's greedy for an alliance to get any of the huge amount of bonus loot they get running the missions on that alliance's back.

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Here's a quick idea shooting from the hip... the sheer amount of time and resources it takes to clear out the previous attempted rail and put into place the new one. Or how about, waiting for the energies of the void to be stable enough and be properly aligned to even allow another rail conflict attempt. The way this game is set up pretty much ignores plausible reality in so many different ways coming up with a "lore friendly" (lol lore in warframe) explanation is child's play.

 

 

That's fine, as long as we/DE can come up with a reasonable explaination, it's good.

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