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Spy 2.5: This Time, It's Interpersonal


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So I've been running Spy 2.0 missions for a while now, and I think I've gotten pretty good at them. But what bugs me is, I basically have to run them solo. They're pretty much unpuggable, from my perspective, because the vaults themselves don't have anything that encourages teamwork. If you bring the team into the vault with you, that's three extra guys to get spotted by a camera or trip a laser and set off alarms. If you leave the team outside the vault, they'll get spotted by outside mobs and set off alarms. If three of you each do a vault separately, you have to worry about the other two guys screwing in their vault and setting off alarms in yours (plus, what do you do with the 4th guy).


What Spy 2.5 needs is a reason to bring other guys. That means giving the other guys things to do that help each other achieve the main goal. To that end, I suggest changing Spy missions from three vaults, to one vault and three control centers. The reward structure stays basically the same: successfully hack three things, get three unidentified items. One of the three things has to be the vault in order for the mission to be successful. If you hack all four areas, you don't get any extra rewards; it's just an extra shot at getting your total hacks up to three if you screw one up.


The three control centers are Camera, Laser, and Duct. Each control center has two or more hackable consoles (to get all three rewards, you have to hack at least two different control centers and the vault, you can't just hack one control center twice and the vault once). Hacking a control center temporarily shuts down certain security features in the vault and in the control rooms. For instance, hacking one of the consoles in Camera Control shuts down some of the security cameras in the vault, in Camera Control, and in Laser and Duct Control. Hacking Laser Control does the same thing for some of the lasers in those areas. Hacking Duct Control opens some or all of those unbreakable duct covers. These shutdowns are only temporary; after a few seconds (10-15 on easy difficulties, maybe 5 or less on the hardest difficulties), the security features turn back on—the cameras and lasers start running again, and the ducts close.


Remember I said that each control center has multiple hackable consoles? When a control console is hacked, it locks out for twice as long as it works. So if you hack a Camera Control console and shut the cameras down for 10 seconds, the console you just hacked will be unhackable for 20 seconds. If you want to keep the cameras off, you have to go to one of the other Camera Control consoles and hack that, making your way past whatever security measures aren't affected by the other hacked control centers (plus ones that are still active if your buddies haven't hacked fast/well enough). On harder difficulties, there would be more consoles per control center and the lockout would be longer, so you'd have to cycle between three or more consoles to keep security shut down.


Alarms in each control center are separate, but setting off an alarm in a control center immediately cancels any hacks that are running in that center. So if you're in Camera Control and you shut down the cameras for 10 seconds, but you set off an alarm, the cameras all come back on and the console you hacked is still locked out for 20 seconds. 


The basic idea is, everybody on the team splits up and takes one of the control centers or the vault. If everyone does their job right, most but not all of the security measures (cameras, lasers, inaccessible ducts) in the vault—and the control centers—should be shut down, meaning that everyone will have a fairly easy time of it. While the control center hackers can keep security shut down, the vault runner can get the data. Once that's done, everyone heads to extraction.


If things don't go well, then the vault can still be run, it's just harder. There are laser traps across every ceiling, cameras everywhere, and most of the ducts can't be accessed (basically the way it is on the hardest Spy 2.0 runs now).


And you can still run Spy 2.5 solo, same way Spy 2.0 is now. You access and hack two or more of the control centers, and you run the vault. It'll be harder, because there won't be anyone to shut down the cameras and lasers and open the ducts, but still doable. But there'll be good reason to bring a team along.

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Well, it would be significantly more than just button monkeying. Essentially everyone in each of the areas would be doing the same thing—bypassing security measures that are still in operation in order to get to a hacking console. I'm picturing the security consoles in each control center being in separate rooms, so it's not just running back and forth in the same room; you have to run the security center gauntlet to get to the next console everyt time. The guy going for the vault would be just as much of a button monkey as everyone else, he just has to do it once.


As far as actual working-together-in-the-same-place teamwork goes, I think there would have to be some pretty significant changes/additions to gameplay to make that happen. Like maybe if you could walk up to a laser grid and interact with it to somehow create a gap or opening in it that your teammate could pass through, so you could essentially "hold the door" for each other. Or maybe if there were some way where you could give your buddy a one-shot supercharge to jump speed/distance, so they could leap long gaps that might otherwise require wallrunning or something. I dunno, the gameplay mechanics as they currently exist don't really support any kind of actual cooperative action beyond reviving downed teammates.

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