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AuroraSonicBoom

Living Game: Any Completed Mission Affects Solar Map Progression

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As it stands now, mission generation for alerts, infestations and invasions in solar maps is for the most part still entirely governed by RNG, which isn't inherently bad, but deprives players of the feeling that what they do in those missions is important and affects the state of the solar map and factions.

 

Making players able to ever so slightly influence the probability of certain events occurring would give every mission, no matter how menial the task and insignificant the rewards, an additional layer of importance. The knowledge that anything the player does has a small impact on the state of the game at large, the notion that the next random mission one decides to play could be the one that tips over the scales of balance and allows the Corpus to launch an invasion against the Grineer elevates the entire experience of playing the game and plants the subtle seed of doubt and excitement in the player's mind, whether they are uncertain that their actions will result in something they consider positive, or on the other hand hoping that they'll lead to the outcome they desire.

 

Adding meaning to all those "junk" missions would also allow for more cohesion between rather generic mission objectives and the impact they might have on the enemy. Such a feature would basically take syndicate faction relationships, apply them to the main factions, make it a systemic part of the base game and let the community as a whole be responsible for the decisions and ramifications of their cumulative actions.

 

Now, let me go into a little bit more detail on how I think such a mechanic could be designed.

 

Each planet or moon on the solar map is given a set of stats, like players in a sports team. Earth for instance could have the following properties:

 

Planet: Earth

Controlled by: Grineer

Leader: Vey Hek

Next Invasion Target: Mars

Preferred Ally: Mercury/Captain Vor

Military Power: 15%

Defenses: 50%

Infested Spore Containment Breach: 85%

Hours since last Infested Outbreak: 42

Sentient Interest: 2%

(...)

 

These stats can be used to calculate the potential of Vey Hek's forces to defend itself from a hostile invasion or invade another planet with a low defense rating. If Mars had a particularly low defense rating at the moment, the probability for a Grineer invasion on Mars would increase. Infested outbreaks would occur if the Infested Spore Containment Breach counter reached 100%. Spore Containment, Military Power and Defenses are always slowly increasing and reset to their default values after an Invasion or Outbreak has occurred on the target planet.

 

So how would players manipulate any of those stats and therefor indirectly guide the Grineer, Corpus or Infestation to do what they deem right? By playing missions that modify those numbers.

Just like planets, individual missions could have stats attributed to them, that would be applied to the planet's properties if it was completed. Every standard mission type would affect either the Power, Defenses or Infested Spore Containment Breach of a planet. Sentient Interest would increase from anything the Tenno do in their own interest, such as defending a cryopod. The higher Sentient interest is, the bigger the odds for a Sentient event to occur, however that is going to affect missions.

 

Defense

Planet: Phobos

Military Power: -.5%

Defenses: -5%

Infested Spore Containment Breach: +2%

If Target: Tenno

Sentient Interest: +5%

 

Examples for other mission types:

Crossfire

Planet: Earth

Military Power: -5%

Defenses: -2%

Infested Spore Containment Breach: +5%

 

Deception

Planet: Neptune

Target: Corpus

Military Power: -5%

Defenses: +-0%

Infested Spore Containment Breach: +10%

 

Capture

Planet: Earth

Target: Grineer

Military Power: -5%

Defenses: -5%

Infested Spore Containment Breach: +2%

 

Excavation

Planet: Phobos

Military Power: -5%

Defenses: -15%

Infested Spore Containment Breach: +2%

Sentient Interest: +5%

 

Survival

Planet: Mars

Military Power: -5%

Defenses: -15%

Infested Spore Containment Breach: +20%

 

Exterminate

Planet: Earth

Military Power: -15%

Defenses: -10%

Infested Spore Containment Breach: +15%

 

Hijack

Planet: Saturn

Target: Grineer

Military Power: -20%

Defenses: -2%

Infested Spore Containment Breach: +1%

 

Interception + Mobile Defense

Planet: Pluto

Military Power: -10%

Defenses: -15%

Infested Spore Containment Breach: +2%

If Target(Intel): Tenno

Sentient Interest: +5%

 

Rescue

Planet: Pluto

Military Power: -5%

Defenses: -1%

Infested Spore Containment Breach: +2%

If Target: Tenno

Sentient Interest: +5%

 

Sabotage

Planet: Ceres

Military Power: -15%

Defenses: -5%

Infested Spore Containment Breach: +10%

 

Spy

Planet: Earth

Military Power: -5%

Defenses: -5%

Infested Spore Containment Breach: +5%

If Target(Type of Intel): Tenno

Sentient: Interest +5%

 

The numbers are of course exaggerated to illustrate the idea more clearly. In reality, a single player's influence would be miniscule and the amount of influence a single completed mission has would be scaled to the number of active global players.

I think such a system has incredible potential to make the game feel truly alive and would work in both the old and new star chart regardless. If the new solar map can turn every mission into an (supposedly more meaningful) alert, a player influenced mission generation behind the scenes could finally start fighting the incredible narrative disconnect every Warframe player has to have when doing random mission that we are told are important but don't seem to have any consequences except to act as loot generators.

 

Thanks.

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Can't believe no one has commented.

 

Anyway, the concept sounds exciting. Really, like having each mission type affect a planet in a certain way sounds awesome, and I'm sure you could tie Syndicates in to add another layer of conflict and possibility, maybe even triggering shifts in alliance (I remember DE saying that was a possibility in the future, but it's been a while).

 

One question though: How would stats "reset"? For instance, if we chipped away at a planet's military power, would it just regen at a fixed rate?

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One question though: How would stats "reset"? For instance, if we chipped away at a planet's military power, would it just regen at a fixed rate?

 

Didn't really look at the thread again since it seemed to have the popularity of a rock, but I just know realized you asked a question.

 

To answer it, each planet would have a default set of statistics it could snap back to after a conflict, invasion or outbreak would be over. Alternatively, if you're confident in the system's stability, you could turn the time since the planet has had its last conflict into a statistic of its own to influence the influx of player mission completion. You know, give player mission completion only half as much influx as before/normally for a certain time to prevent a vicious cycle in which certain planets are becoming farming hotspots for the community. Implementing diminishing returns is important here, so players intending to exploit the system are discouraged without completely cutting off the planet from being part of the star map progression.

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I'd like to point out something to change in your suggested stat numbers to make more sense:

 

All the mission suggestions show decreasing both military power and defenses (they all show increasing infested chance too, but I don't have any current suggestions to change that).

 

I'd suggest changing it to where missions decrease one (ex: military power) while increasing the other (ex: defense). I think this would help even out stat changes without just completely decreasing across the board. This may not seem to make sense immediately about why they wouldn't both decrease, but I'll explain my thoughts.

 

For example, if you do an Exterminate mission, then you would decrease their military power in the area, but once the Grineer cloned and returned they would beef up security and increase their defense.

Doing a deception or spy mission doesn't necessarily weaken their military might, but you could plant false info or steal the blueprints for the base that would expose weaknesses and lower their defense. With that being the case, they may have seen you, but not know what you stole and request reinforcements to increase military might.

 

Overall, I really love the concept. It really would add a nice layer of involvement to Warframe and make it a "living" game like you mentioned. Just wanted to point out the percentages detail that didn't make sense to me for balancing, unless there was something I missed or some detail you forgot to mention that would take care of it.

 

Edit: To discourage over-farming, once a node has been run so many times(Draco,Triton) that its defense/military power has decreased to a certain level you could have it change faction/mission type for the invading party.

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...

 

Yeah, there's many different ways to go about this issue, but in the end it was just about presenting the concept and using stats to highlight the dynamics of such a system. I didn't put that much thought into the smallest details since developers usually just take inspiration from these suggestions and go with their own implementation instead of copying it 1:1. Both ways work, both ways would have specific advantages and disadvantages.

 

As for your ideas, the point in my suggestion was to whittle down a planet's stats to eventually make them likely for some kind of attack, after which it would "reset", allowing for IMO more immediate and definite progression, and less potential stalemate situations where players completing missions end up balancing each other out all the time. We've seen how boring that can get with our current faction invasions. But hey, in the end its just a concept. Both approached would work with their own advantages and disadvantages, it's mainly about presenting the idea to the devs so they can implement their own version.

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I'm not saying it's a bad idea, it's just that players in this game are motivated by greed and profit. You can dangle concepts for them to do things all you want, but if the Infested offered them a new weapon with a Catalyst and a slot, the entire player base would fight for the infested.

 

You add push-pull mechanics into this game before forcing people into sides they can't wiggle out from, they will min-max the mechanics back and forth to get the most out of them.

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