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Tenno At War [Make Tower Conflict An Event]


notionphil
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The main issues with the metagame of Dark Sector conflict are that:

 

1) Conflicts block Dark Sector nodes for very long periods of time, rendering them unplayable

2) the Conflicts are so protracted and frequent, they become meaningless. I don't know or care who is invading or defending a node

3) an individual can't really play a significant role in a 48H conflict that takes 1000s of missions to complete.

4) no reason to support unless you're in the clan - battlepay is less than a normal mission

 

The end result is that each conflict is probably only interacted with by 0.01% of the playerbase, while the other 99.99% of the playerbase is inconvenienced, annoyed or oblivious.

 

What if instead of being insular clan-only slogs, Dark Sector conflicts were bold and brash quick events that engaged the entire playerbase?

 

From a Backyard Squabble to a System at War

 

Imagine the start of a Tower Conflict announced as an alert, marked by a Lotus insignia and the names of the engaging clans. Instead of a 48h slog, Conflicts are re-imagined as a 1h gamewide challenge that every Tenno will want to participate in.

 

Every Tower Conflict alert lasts only 1H*, and like any alert, each Tenno can only participate once. As now, rail deployment would take 24h so both Clans would be prepared for the conflict's start.

 

Alert Timing*

 

*The alert will be a total of 1:05, so all Tenno can prepare and attempt 60m missions. However, the mission has a cap of 1h, see below.

 

Each defending clan should be able to select an 8h window in which their alerts won't spawn, to account for time-zone differences/sleep etc. The game should also attempt to not schedule these alerts at the same time, and to stagger them throughout a day.

 

Attacker's towers deployment times will take this into consideration.

 

I also suggest the deployment timer is increased to 48h to increase rarity.

 

 

"Distract the Tower's defenders so that a lone Tenno can sabotage it's core".

 

Tower Survival is a unique take on Survival that deducts enemy Tower health based on the time that each player remains in the mission. It has a maximum time of 1H, at which a full 60 points is deducted and the out-of-air timer will start.

 

One minute prior to the Alert's end, air will no longer spawn in the missions (and the out-of-air timer will start), thus forcing all teams to extract so that points may be tallied. At that time, the Conflict's winner will be decided, and the cycle will start again.

 

Join Us, and Prosper

 

Tower Survival has a unique drop table, and provides a valuable award every 15 minutes instead of 5. There are no 'bad' rewards: 10K caches, Forma BPs, sought after Rare Mod cards, even chances at Catalyst and Reactor BPs. The more rare rewards only appear at 45m+.

 

Instead of "Battle Pay", the Clan will provide "Battle Support"; paid similarly in $ per Tenno who run a mission. Battle Support provides in-game reinforcement to Tenno with better combat supplies, giving them a chance to last longer - this potentially means better rewards for them, and more points for you.

 

Battle Support - Conditions that Bolster your Allies during Tower Conflict

 

When viewing the Clan choice screen you'll see the Battle Support conditions that each side will offer you with their allegiance. Clans can provide numerous elements to keep their supporters going, from Air and ammo to actual reinforcements.

 

Support List:

*these values are placeholder

 

Credits: Air

0= no air support, only what is dropped from enemies

500/tenno = once every 5 minutes

1000/tenno = once every 4 minutes

1500/tenno = once every 3 minutes

2000/tenno = once every 2 minutes (max)

 

Nanospores: Ammo Caches

0 = No ammo drops from enemies or in crates

1000 = 25% of normal ammo drops

2000 = 50% of normal ammo drops

3000 = 75% of normal ammo drops

4000 = 100% normal ammo drops

 

Ferrite = Health/Energy drops

0 = No Health/Energy drops

1000 = 25%

..

4000 = 100%

 

 

Rare Battle Pay: One-time expenses that will apply to all Tenno who support you.

100 Neurodes = Corrupted Moa Allies (all allies spawn at enemy level)

500 Oxium = Shield Drone Allies

25 Argon Crystal = Tenno Spectre Allies

 

We can assume that DE will be adding more Rail classes, with unique tilesets/etc, so I won't go into detail for Attacker Battlepay.

 

 

Conclusion - Put the WAR in Warframe

 

Tower Survival events will turn conflicts from a frustrating slogfest to a dynamic, system-wide war event that all Tenno are excited to participate in.

 

Feedback?

Edited by notionphil
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Wow. That's actually not a bad idea. But I think only allowing one hour to attack is a little harsh: A clan from a whole different time zone can attack a clan that's sleeping at the moment of the attack, or supposed to be: 2am in Canada, for example, is 2pm in Singapore, and vice versa.

 

Instead, how about a simple 12-hour alert, after a 24 hour notice? 

 

Of course, this presents its own problems, such as protracting the battle as before, though slightly shorter. Perhaps there can be a middle-ground to be reached? Perhaps it can be done as our current alert does, including after we complete the alert, the Dark Sectors are accessible again? The tax is according to the current alliance, and goes to their coffers as well, to discourage spam attacking solar rails? 

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Wow. That's actually not a bad idea. But I think only allowing one hour to attack is a little harsh: A clan from a whole different time zone can attack a clan that's sleeping at the moment of the attack, or supposed to be: 2am in Canada, for example, is 2pm in Singapore, and vice versa.

 

Instead, how about a simple 12-hour alert, after a 24 hour notice? 

 

Of course, this presents its own problems, such as protracting the battle as before, though slightly shorter. Perhaps there can be a middle-ground to be reached? Perhaps it can be done as our current alert does, including after we complete the alert, the Dark Sectors are accessible again? The tax is according to the current alliance, and goes to their coffers as well, to discourage spam attacking solar rails? 

 

Thanks for your feedback, good point abt the timing.

 

The goal is to make these exciting, time-sensitive battles that players don't want to miss.

 

With a 1h alert on a challenging mission + amazing rewards + you can only run it once, I think the bulk of the players who run the alert won't be in the clan anyway. This is why I made battlepay encompass a much larger portion of the experience.

 

If we really need to, we could have an interface that allows the defending clan to select a 'window' in which their alerts won't spawn. IE, sleeptime in their area. I think the invasion timers should be more staggered anyway, so this concept will work towards that. I'll add that to the OP.

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(I think your polymer bundle support is copied from Ferrite's and not what it should be. Something doesn't look right with it or it's lacking clarity)

I like how this creates incentive to support taxes. Taxes lead to better resources for more engaging and in depth missions, that also last longer and thus have higher chances of rewarding players with the timed mission rewards instead.

 

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(I think your polymer bundle support is copied from Ferrite's and not what it should be. Something doesn't look right with it or it's lacking clarity)

I like how this creates incentive to support taxes. Taxes lead to better resources for more engaging and in depth missions, that also last longer and thus have higher chances of rewarding players with the timed mission rewards instead.

 

 

Hi Luke. Yes it was a typo, thanks.

 

Yes, the goal is to give clans the opportunity to 'save up' for big attacks with an increased likelihood of overthrowing an intrenched defender. Also to make 'skill' play a role in the outcome and totally remove the role of grind.

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Hi Luke. Yes it was a typo, thanks.

 

Yes, the goal is to give clans the opportunity to 'save up' for big attacks with an increased likelihood of overthrowing an intrenched defender. Also to make 'skill' play a role in the outcome and totally remove the role of grind.

Music to my bulging, bloodshot, grind-tired eyes.

ANYTHING that rewards skill over grind has my vote. I hope DE gears itself towards events more along this line! We've already got quite a couple of grind walls. Don't see why we can't start making skill walls noe.

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I feel the "Battle Support" element should be done more through parallel missions than just paying for stuff. Example of what I had in mind (might be really bad ideas):

 

Deception alert: You take for one side in the Tenno conflict and invade a random ship through an alert taking place randomly in the 60 minutes period (or maybe periodically through the main event). Your objective on said ship is to redirect it toward the survival mission of a cell who is backing the 'enemy' clan. Whenever someone complete this mission, a group of Grineer/Corpus/Infested are spawned in the 'main' survival mission and act as wild cards. The less enemies died in the Deception mission, the longer the wild card event last in the affected mission. Stealth and speed are paramount for a good intervention. Wildcard events are limited in each session (you can't be invaded thorough the whole period). Orokin Defenders group is hostile toward the invaders as well as the Tenno squad. The Invaders would be set to be lower leveled than the average at the moment of the invasion.

 

Mobile Defense alert: You take for one side in the Tenno conflict and invade a cargo ship of a random faction, in similar fashion to the previous one. Your objective is to fend off the defenders of the ship while stealing their cargo and redirecting it to a random survival mission in favor of the same side you chose. This gives them more Air Supply and drops ammo stocks and the like. Combat skill and efficiency are paramount for this mission. 

 

Assassination alert: One of the two rail's Neural Sentry (or whatever is sending the Orokin Defenders to battle) is vulnerable in an alert. Choosing to attack one will weaken the flow of enemy on said rail, giving a breather to whoever is doing the survival. 

 

Just some examples. The point here is to have different missions where skill matters, and where organized clans can work together. One step further could be to decide directly who you'll support, making it so that you can time your assassination mission toward the end of the mission when the cell you're supporting needs it the most, or try to give the enemy a bad start with a wild card invasion. 

 

Just rambling a bit. 

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I feel the "Battle Support" element should be done more through parallel missions than just paying for stuff. Example of what I had in mind (might be really bad ideas):

 

Deception alert: You take for one side in the Tenno conflict and invade a random ship through an alert taking place randomly in the 60 minutes period (or maybe periodically through the main event). Your objective on said ship is to redirect it toward the survival mission of a cell who is backing the 'enemy' clan. Whenever someone complete this mission, a group of Grineer/Corpus/Infested are spawned in the 'main' survival mission and act as wild cards. The less enemies died in the Deception mission, the longer the wild card event last in the affected mission. Stealth and speed are paramount for a good intervention. Wildcard events are limited in each session (you can't be invaded thorough the whole period). Orokin Defenders group is hostile toward the invaders as well as the Tenno squad. The Invaders would be set to be lower leveled than the average at the moment of the invasion.

 

Mobile Defense alert: You take for one side in the Tenno conflict and invade a cargo ship of a random faction, in similar fashion to the previous one. Your objective is to fend off the defenders of the ship while stealing their cargo and redirecting it to a random survival mission in favor of the same side you chose. This gives them more Air Supply and drops ammo stocks and the like. Combat skill and efficiency are paramount for this mission. 

 

Assassination alert: One of the two rail's Neural Sentry (or whatever is sending the Orokin Defenders to battle) is vulnerable in an alert. Choosing to attack one will weaken the flow of enemy on said rail, giving a breather to whoever is doing the survival. 

 

Just some examples. The point here is to have different missions where skill matters, and where organized clans can work together. One step further could be to decide directly who you'll support, making it so that you can time your assassination mission toward the end of the mission when the cell you're supporting needs it the most, or try to give the enemy a bad start with a wild card invasion. 

 

Just rambling a bit. 

Thanks for the feedback.

I like the idea of multiple mission types, or a multi-pronged strike which could culminate in a single mission type that is otherwise too 'difficult' without the prior weakening runs. Cool ideas which could certainly be an expansion of this concept.

 

For now however, I'm trying to think of simple fixes to give the other 99.99% of Tenno a reason to get excited about Clan v Clan battles.

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Kinperor, that idea is exactly the sort of thing I've been struggling to brainstorm and articulate for a long time now.  Love it!

 

As for the rest of this, love that too (not that that should be any surprise by now, this is a Notionphil thread after all).  As it is the Rail missions are slow - literally, I thought the regular Towers had bad optimization sometimes... - rarely profitable unless an alliance is willing to burn a lot of cash on battle pay, and frankly not all that much different from existing Void missions aside from the one room at the end and the lack of interesting loot most of the time.  The Shades are a great twist that I'd like to see more of, but even then they're a single gimmick to an otherwise unremarkable event.  While I'd also suggest extending the time on this, maybe even as far as twelve hours to play without the one-hour cap on the mission, the plan itself is solid.

 

As one last recommendation, it might be possible for a player to choose between Defense (versus Shades and automated Solar Rail sentry machines) and Survival/Sabotage.  Defense would add HP to the selected alliance, or reduce the opponent's damage score, or however the calculations end up being done, while survival works as already stated.

 

...Dammit, now I'm depressed again because this isn't already in the game.  I need to stop binge-reading your threads.

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*Cue rapturous applause.* 

 

This... is... brilliant. It fixes many of the issues I had with Dark Sectors when I found out how they worked. 

- Dark Sectors being rendered inaccessible for enormous amounts of time because of petty squabbles where both sides are simply pitching "No tax!" or "We also have no tax, don't let them monopolize!" As if I'm supposed to care who owns what rail. 

 

- Dark Sector tower raids being completely uninteresting after the first time through. Run to this one room that looks really cool, but you only need to hit four buttons and then run to the exit. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. *Monotonous "enthusiasm"* Seriously, though. The tileset is pretty, but it's just the Void with altered lighting. The specters are really cool... but they get really old very quickly. You can't even really engage in epic melee duels with them. How disappointing is that? 

 

- The same inability to make a noticeable dent that accompanied the implementation of invasions. Nearly everyone runs those until they're done with battle pay, and then bam, they're out of there. Unless they've earned all available battle pay, the Invasion is Infested, and they have weapons to level. Then they might stick around. Run this once, and I'm done! Yes! 

 

- Crappy battle pay. I mean, wow. Some of the sectors in Jupiter, Ceres, and Saturn have the chances for Sensors and Cells going for them, but everywhere else is not worth taking a piddling 100 credits for the luxury of interacting with some gimmicky player ghosts. I'll admit to shamelessly running that one Sinai conflict multiple times for the easy 10k+ reward the incumbent had going for them, though. Amazing vault, that. 

 

Derp, that was kinda redundant... explaining everything that you just solved to you. Because you didn't know that already. It goes to show how enthusiastic and hyped I am over this idea, though. Now, on to my suggestions and cautions for you. 

 

1. First, I want to suggest eliminating zero-tax policies on Dark Sectors. I know, I know, everybody hates taxes, but I think that there needs to be some boon to investing in (and defending) a Solar Rail aside from simply having an ego-sticker on the map. Nobody can blame a clan for setting a tax rate if they can't not. For starters, I'd suggest a 15% minimum tax. Conversely, 85% maximum tax. Resource drop rates for Dark Sectors need to be buffed. Quite a bit. I'd say 75-100% bonus resources, because there's always going to be at least a 15% tax on whatever players earn. Experience bonuses can remain the same, because I am fairly certain that those points can't be taxed. 

 

2. Somewhere further down the line, I would like to see Tenno-specific enemies populate rails. Nothing but shield drones, Fusion Drones, and Fusion MOAs gets boring very quickly. We need infantry. We need heavy infantry. Even if they're robotic proxies like the MOAs. We need something to bring an end to the monotony, though. Elaborating on this further, clans should be able to select from a custom pool of unique Leader enemy types. I'm not saying Mook-eximus-whatever. I'm talking about a completely new enemy that has no direct counterparts, and draws from an entirely separate set of influence bonuses. None of this cheap energy-drain, fire-blast, poison-aura nonsense that does nothing more than add annoyance to random enemies. I'm talking enemies that actually change the way you have to fight their support troops. Snow globe leaders would be an excellent example of this, if enemy units knew to take advantage of the snow globe and the leaders steadily advanced on players. This idea obviously isn't completely fleshed out in my head yet, but I'll throw out an example that might help anyone else who supports this start thinking about it:

Bulwark Eximus (Placeholder, obviously...)

 

Leader unit with a moderately sized, periodic AOE influence that cloaks allied units with Iron Skin like armor with no duration. This armor reduces all incoming damage by 90% and reflects back 5-20 damage per shot taken to attackers. Explosion damage from weapons like the Ogris and Penta are negated entirely but not reflected, and offensive Warframe abilities are similarly ineffective. Melee attacks do not reflect back to the user, but suffer from the same damage penalties. This makes attacking with conventional weapons unfavorable but still possible with a slight preference for melee, and avoids rage-inducing self-inflicted insta-gibs when using fully modded weapons. This is in response to the fact that Leader Units have a habit of coming out of nowhere. 

 

The Bulark's AOE pulses every five seconds, and allies that are in range at that time receive the buff. Allied units will also work their way towards the leader on their way to the Tenno to receive the buff. The leader itself will not benefit from its influence, and consequently prefer engaging the Tenno at range, nearby its buddies. Killing the leader instantly debuffs all of its affected allies and leaves them slightly more vulnerable to damage for a short duration. 

 

Volatile Eximus

Leader unit with a wide area of influence. It applies a very noticeable debuff on its allies, rendering them more vulnerable to damage. In exchange -some of you have probably already guessed where I'm going with this - enemies slain by the Tenno explode in a manner similar to Nova's Molecular Prime... with the catch being that they damage the Tenno. (Note that the debuff visual will need to be different from that applied by Molecular Prime. I'm thinking the "targeted by leader" circle that appears on Tenno when affected by Arson Eximuses... Eximi? Bleh.) Enemy AI will also be altered to that of melee; they will rush towards the Tenno. However, they cannot detonate themselves. Provided the team is controlled enough not to have itchy trigger-fingers, the enemy will be rendered less dangerous. Killing the Eximus, naturally, removes the buff and reverts the AI patterns. Enemies that have been stabilized have a higher chance of dropping O2. 

(Some of you can probably see the trend of Warframe-ability inspired leader abilities here, but it can branch into other things as well.) 

Ravager Eximus

 

A leader unit that does not provide buffs to its allies, in exchange for drastically improved buffs to itself. Think miniboss, but awesome. The leader has an array of armor plates with exposed weak points. These are not sequential weak points like those found on Ruk, vulnerable only when he overheats, but persistent weak points that simply reward a player's ability to hit them. The armor causes incoming weapons fire to bounce off (for aesthetic purposes...) and negates all damage. The weakpoints are like hitting a normal body. No bonus damage multipliers or anything like that. The Eximus' armor does not negate melee damage, but provides a 30% resistance to melee attacks. 

You're thinking that this is another enemy that it's best to attack in melee, right? Well... that may be the case for some players... but, it's a powerful melee unit with Warframe-like capabilities. They can come in a variety of flavors: sword eximi, axe eximi, hammer eximi, polearm eximi, etc... The unit can jump fairly high, wall-run, slide, the works. And it will use jump, wall-run, and slide attacks as well. If a Warframe successfully blocks the Eximus' attacks, they take no damage, but are sent flying. The eximus will also likely switch targets at that point. It's there to sow discord and panic in the enemy, not bully the poor glass-cannon player into oblivion. This also makes the knockdown it inflicts more of a "bad positioning" hazard rather than a "S#&$, I can't defend myself," hazard. Channel blocking provides a guaranteed parry, though there will be no riposte opportunity. Instead, the Eximus will be more vulnerable to melee-induced stagger, allowing the Warframe to combo it. HOWEVER, it's not as simple as only channel blocking. The Eximus' last boon is that it possesses a smash-attack that will shatter a channel-block, send the defender flying, and completely drain their energy. (No other damage is incurred.) This attack will only be triggered when the targeted player channels a block for longer than 2 seconds. This gives players some grace time without allowing them to simply cheese the Eximus. Players that are not being currently targeted can channel block as long as they like. Ideally, its attacks should be telegraphed... and most should be dodge-able with the right timing. Once the Eximus is eliminated, its allies are struck with massively damaged morale. Some will panic and flee, others will freeze in shock. 

These sorts of leaders can be purchased using resources... with at least one "free" Eximus every 25 minutes. This adds a bit of strategy to defense as well as offensive support for clans engaged in Solar Rail conflicts. Of course, the "Ravager Eximus" would be something that is to me an "ideal" enemy leader... and DE can start out with some leaders that are simply more well-considered than AOE fire mooks or energy-drains. I hope they get to where I want them to, though. 

3. Lastly, I want to see the enemy factions occasionally scrounge up the resources to pump out their own Solar Rails/ Fomorians/ Big Bad Structures etc. I think this is particularly integral to the success of Dark Sectors as "end game" content. There needs to be a definitive bad-guy beyond whoever happens to be vying for a tax income. As it stands, very few clans would be audacious enough to vie for that sweet, sweet 85% tax. Nobody is that evil. But the Grineer might as well be. And the Corpus could probably stand to up that to 100%. Point being I don't want to see "end-game" turn into hackneyed politics over treasure-hoards. The Tenno should have the opportunity to stand united as well, rather than needing to pick between strangers that have zero association with them. Grineer could tax Credits into the ground, and Corpus could tax resources. Infested could debuff XP gains. The faction in control of the Dark Sector would also replace its resident enemies. This way there'd still be a reason to go to the Dark Sector, but just as many reasons to get the enemy off of it. 

S#&$. I know I said "lastly," but I just remembered one more thing. It'd be really cool if clans had the option of submitting their own in-game message text for the transmissions players hear when fighting for them or against them.

I know, I know, this is the internet and people will invariably submit some stupid stuff, but perhaps it wouldn't be too much to have submissions checked over for compliance. There are only so many Dark Sectors, and it sounds like conflicts will be a little more reasonably spaced out under this model. 

Of course, for those Warlords who are suffering from writer's block or simply don't care, DE's dime-a-dozen lines will be the default fallback. It shouldn't take many human resources to moderate in-game messages for Dark Sectors, and DE might even be able to outsource the effort to in-game moderators like the ones they have on the forums. 

That said, even without my suggestions I really hope your vision of Dark Sectors makes its way into the game. It sounds a lot more like "end game" than "Fight over who gets to control the areas people can go to for efficient grinding, and in so doing prevent people from having access to said areas." 

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I'm on board with all of those suggestions as well, especially the enemy types. Anything to break up the pacing of gameplay, without being unfair, is a good thing in my books.

DE has indicated there is more on the way with solar rails....hopefully it's more than just deploy time tweaks.

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Ugh. Only that would be unfortunate, but it would surely be a quick fix. But like Nugget_ pointed out before, they have an unfortunate habit of leaving quick-fixes as it is, until the community reminds them, continuously and in an aggressive fashion, that the quick-fixed items need a long-fix.

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