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 Post subject: I16 Details - changes to the sidekick system
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:07 pm 
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Posi has let oyt some more I16 details

http://boards.cityofheroes.com/showthread.php?t=186099

It seems side-kicking is getting a change a change that should help out our SG nights no end if it go's to live.

Quote:
I am pleased to tell you that in Issue 16: Power Spectrum we have two new features that are made to better facilitate the game experience by streamlining many processes that players spend time setting up.

The first of these is the new difficulty settings. A lot of in-game Broadcasts are powerful characters looking for “pads” so they can artificially increase their team-size to provide more of a challenge for greater rewards. With the new difficulty settings, these players can set their team size without having to bother other players with their Broadcasts. If they want to be treated as a team of 8, even when solo, they can.

The second feature is what we have come to call “Super-Sidekicking” but actually applies to all types of Sidekicking: Exemplaring, Lackeying, and Malefactoring as well. With this system, everyone in the team will find themselves automatically level adjusted to the level of the owner of the Mission that is currently selected. If there is no mission that is currently active, then the level is set to the leader of the Team.

If you are below the level you are getting set to, you are automatically sidekicked up to one level below the owner’s level, just as if you had sidekicked to them. If you are above the level, then you will be lowered to the level of the owner, just as if you exemplared down.

The players don’t need to do anything for this to happen, it all happens automatically. This means that no matter what level ranges you have in your group, you can ALWAYS play together and you can ALWAYS get XP. Yes, we are even changing the way exemplaring works so that you get XP while you are fighting at a lower level. There will be an option of having the “old way” of exemplaring, and earning extra Inf. instead, for those players who want to earn some more Inf. instead of levels.

Gone are the days of having to play “Mentor Tetris” (as we’ve come to call it) to make sure everyone in the team is SK’ed/EX’ed to the right person so that everyone is receiving XP, or having to tell your friend that they can’t join your team because you don’t have enough people to make sure everyone is SK’ed and earning rewards.

One of the other advantages to this system is that the level adjustments take place no matter where you are in the game. No more “My sidekick is out of range” messages. If you are about to undergo a large level shift, you will have a dialog box pop-up giving you warning and the ability to leave the team (handy if you are in combat at the time and don’t want to suddenly be fighting at a lower level). The range of levels that this dialog pops up is adjustable in the Options screen.

Now we are aware of a couple things that this system doesn’t do so well, and we are attempting to address most of them in the coming weeks. The first of this is the fact that you lose access to powers, especially the most-recently earned ones, when you Exemplar down. We are looking into some sort of fix for this.

Next is the fact that sometimes you just want to un-exemplar and kick some butt, especially when things look bad for the team. If you leave the team you will automatically start fighting at your superior level. This will enable you to save your team’s bacon at the cost of eating up any of the rewards they might have earned for those guys you defeat.

Badge hunters in the closed beta have pointed out that some badges are simply favorable to get once you outlevel the content where they are given. Since Super-Sidekicking makes manipulating the levels more difficult, we’re going to re-examine the requirements on some badges, and lower them where appropriate. Mentor badge credit is still given whenever you are the Mission Owner, and someone is auto-sidekicked to you.

Now one thing that is getting removed by this new system that is not going to be fixed is the ability to “bridge”. Bridging is the practice of sidekicking a low level character to JUST the right level to cap their XP earning on each entity defeated by the group. This was a side effect of how the Sidekicking system worked. While we have made adjustments to the Sidekicking system many times over the course of the life of the game to combat this, Super-Sidekicking eliminates bridging completely, since all rewards will be in parity.

Before we went and removed this playstyle completely from City of Heroes we wanted to make sure we were doing the right thing. We did extensive datamines to see how many accounts were actually participating in a “bridge” team, and were surprised to see just how low of a percentage it actually was. This may be a case where it is possible that the “advertising” in /broadcasts for bridge teams actually made the practice seem more pervasive than it really was.

With the ability to bridge removed, we should see an end to those Broadcasts, in addition to /tells to characters who are in the right level range for being a bridge. To us cutting down on annoying spam only makes your game experience better. (Which reminds me, we’ve added new features to the in-game Email system to either shut it off entirely, or only receive emails from people on your friends list and/or people in your Supergroup. Another step in the battle against annoying in-game spam.)

With both the new difficulty levels and Super-Sidekicking, players can use the difficulty slider to increase the level of the entities in the mission so that they can earn more rewards. But this, at least, comes with the risk inherent with fighting higher level entities and larger spawns. As for low level characters missing out on accelerated leveling speeds, we are increasing the rewards they earn from level 1 to 20 (about 20% across the board) so that every player can get through the lower levels faster, not just those that know “the tricks”.

(These changes are currently being tested in the Closed Beta for Issue 16, and may be changed/modified by the time they reach the Live servers)

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 Post subject: Re: I16 Details - changes to the sidekick system
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 2:42 pm 
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Sounds fine to me. Almost everyone in AE was using the autosidekick anyway since the XP in there more than makes up for trying to find a team where you can be -5 levels to make max xp.

I also like the idea that you can adjust the diff for the mish when you are alone to make things more challenging..YAY.

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 Post subject: Re: I16 Details - changes to the sidekick system
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 4:08 pm 
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Both excellent features :D

I wish other games would learn from the sidekicking feature of CoX!

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 Post subject: Re: I16 Details - changes to the sidekick system
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 4:35 pm 
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are they stupid? the reason why nobody is after bridges anymore is because nobody farms in PI they are all in AE where the autosk system is already in place >.< argh.. this doesnt interest me really... its pointless unless they change AE... not sure how everyone else feels... its a cool idea.. but its totally pointless as the bulk of teamage occurs in an area that already has it...

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 Post subject: Re: I16 Details - changes to the sidekick system
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:30 pm 
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I think that may be the point partialy any way as one argument people have is that its far easyer to team in MA because theres no need for SKs and its a valid argument as far as the ease of teaming thing go's

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 Post subject: Re: I16 Details - changes to the sidekick system
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:10 am 
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WOW, seems that NCSOFT is really pulling out all the stops now and managed to make their already exemplary SK system even better. Of course this will be abused for farming, but why should we care?

No more losing time with sorting SKs!

YAY
Zos

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 Post subject: Re: I16 Details - changes to the sidekick system
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:06 am 
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This all looks great to me. It'll help bring some players out of the MA who are using it just for that reason, but mostly it will benefit people like us, Supergroups who struggle to team together when we are all different levels.

YAY for this! :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: I16 Details - changes to the sidekick system
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:50 am 
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Mission Architect, although a unique feature of CoX in the MMORPG world, is killing the game slowly unfortunately. It allows the creation of amazing farming mission where you can design an all bosses or lieutenants mission where mobs can be set at level 52 and auto-sk level at 45. A level 1 toon reaches level 17 after one round, which takes about 30 mins. This is tempting for many players, including myself. So this is why MA kills the interest on regular missions.

Such missions also provide loads of Architect Tickets, with 540 of which you can buy any type of rare salvage, or go with a level50 recipe roll with 4000 tickets, which usually gives expensive recipes. I noticed that people tend to go with the salvage, because after 3-4 runs you get enough ticket to get you 10 rare salvage which can be sold at 1m. Combined with the influence gained in missions, it's possible to make at least 17m withing 2 hours. This has a huge impact on the market, because the number of recipes dropped dramatically, as well as common salvage. Actually, rare salvage are common and common salvage are rare at the market because of MA.

To me, the resolution of the problem is very simple, however, I don't know how simple for Devs to implement it:

1) Remove any feature, making MA missions special: For instance, do not allow all boss/lieutenant missions, make it obligatory to add at least one enemy type at minion, lieutenant and boss level.

2) Do not allow the use of Architect Tickets to acquire regular market items like salvage & recipe, use those tickets just to unlock MA related items such as special map, enemy types. Just like Vanguard Merit really.

Basically, when Devs manage to equalise regular & MA missions, then salvage & recipe drops could be added into MA missions to revitalise the market.

The reason why I wrote all above is that lately I began to think that the game is dying at its very core: people are not doing regular missions anymore. And bringing new content or Going Rogue system will temporarily change that. And it's really making me sad. Having said that, I do not blame farmers, because I know most of them are doing it to be able to enjoy the PvP aspect of the game, which is another design flaw of the game, but this is another issue to be discussed.

Those 2 new features coming with I16 are really good and important in my opinion. The new difficulty setting system is definitively important to get people to do regular missions. However, if auto-sk system is not properly implemented to MA, and if people could still create missions with level 52 mobs and auto-sk level at 45, I think nothing will be changed.

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 Post subject: Re: I16 Details - changes to the sidekick system
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:34 am 
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Be fair MA is not killing the game the players are killing the game MA doesnt force you to use it you are at any time free to go do other missions but the players choose to do MA missions.

Its just like when papermissions came along it was said at the time they were killing the game because every one was just running paper mission after paper mission (and as a side not i can run papermissions far quicker and more effectively on most of my characters than i can AE missions)

Quote:
1) Remove any feature, making MA missions special: For instance, do not allow all boss/lieutenant missions, make it obligatory to add at least one enemy type at minion, lieutenant and boss level.


this just wouldn't work to a team that can effectively wipe out a Boss spawn in seconds Lieutenants and minions would be nothing but a blink all that would happen is that you would have to run more missions but you would do those missions quicker so the time vs reward would hardly be affected.

Quote:
2) Do not allow the use of Architect Tickets to acquire regular market items like salvage & recipe, use those tickets just to unlock MA related items such as special map, enemy types. Just like Vanguard Merit really.


again this would not work the idea behind MA was that you could if you so wished lvl from 1 to 50 without doing anything but player created MA content to lvl you need enhancements and that's what tickets give the tickets replace normal drops so no tickets = no drops = cant truly lvl which would probably kill MA which considering its a feature would be a bad thing.

what i would like to see tho is the removal of the ability to purchase specific rare salvage this should just be another random roll

or they could add in a random rair salvage roll option at the current rare salvage price and hike up the cost of the specific salvage

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 Post subject: Re: I16 Details - changes to the sidekick system
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 1:32 pm 
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MA, either directly or via players, is killing the game in my opinion Mess. As for players using MA missions for farm is a different topic to discuss, however, we have to acknowledge first what type of players prefer MA farm missions, why do they do it. As well as, if the MA farm could be less appealing with simple modifications by Devs...

Paper missions is a good example and you're right. It was said at the time that paper missions were killing regular missions but with the introduction of Reward Merit at the end of each arc Devs tried to balance the use of both type of missions and it worked well I guess.

Again, you're right that with paper missions, you get fast xp alone, but I don't think it provides better XP than MA farm mission done by a full team, and I think that's the problem here.

My suggestions are simply an effort to bring MA missions down to regular mission level, so that people might enjoy MA missions just for its content, rather than earning fast xp. Because this is what I believe would resolve the MA problem once and for all.

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The Intrepids:
Blastor-Level 50 Energy/Fire/Electrical Blaster, Dr. Blast-Level 50 Robotics/Force Field/Mace Mastermind, Holy Blast-Level 50 Peacebringer, Blasting Spines-Level 50 Spines/Regeneration/Body Scrapper, Heatblast-Level 50 Invulnerability/Fiery/Pyre Tanker, Fire Blast-Level 50 Fire/Kinetics/Leviathan Corruptor, Thunder Steel-Level 50 Ninja/Ninjitsu/Mu Stalker, Israfel the Fallen-Level 50 Sonic/Thermal/Dark Corruptor, Blastor Ascended-Level 50 Psychic/Energy/Force Blaster, Fright-Level 50 Kinetic/Dark Armour/Energy Brute, Calibro-Level 50 Dual Pistols/Radiation/Power Corruptor, Nlidia-Level 50 Gravity/Storm/Ice Controller.

The Institution:
Admiral Blast-Level 50 Energy/Energy/Mace Brute, Darkest Blast-Level 50 Mind/Psionic/Leviathan Dominator, Arbiter Blast-Level 50 Crab/Mace Arachnos Soldier, Unmerciful Steel-Level 50 Dual Blades/Willpower/Soul Brute, Mind Blaster-Level 50 Dark Miasma/Psychic/Psychic Defender, Blastor Reborn-Level 50 Ice/Electric/Force Blaster, Superiora-Level 50 Invulnerability/Super Strength/Energy Tanker, Gaia Queen-Level 50 Plant/Empathy/Stone Controller, Shadow Seer-Level 50 Fortunata/Soul Arachnos Widow, Zamana-Level 50 Time/Beam Rifle Defender, Wild Raven-Level 50 Will Power/Street Justice/Energy Tanker, Nlador-Level 50 Titan/Fiery Brute.


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 Post subject: Re: I16 Details - changes to the sidekick system
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:09 pm 
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I feel that CoX is dying off for several reasons and that it cannot be attributed to just one change like the introduction of the MA system.
For me there have been many changes that have killed the spirit of the game over the last year or so and I can’t see that any of the changes that are coming will revert it.

For me there is only one thing left that they can do to save themselves and that is to go to Micro payments and/or offer a lifetime subscription.

This change is a must and they need to do it soon…..very soon.

Sadly I no longer feel the urge to play the game, I’m hooked on LOTRO and loving it. I can’t be sure how long that will last, but there is much to learn yet and I want to learn it. I’m not rushing to level 60, I’m enjoying the journey too much. :D

Saying that though I do still love teaming with Intrepids. It’s the best bit of CoX. You’re all so mad (looks at Anna) and lovely (looks at everyone else). :D

My ideal would be for CoX to be £3.99 (or less) per month with the optional booster packs at £6.99.

Why is NCSoft charging so much? LOTRO game time card is £6 a month and there are no booster packs, but NCSofts is £8.50 and then you have booster packs if you want the extra goodies that all your mates can afford…. It’s about time they reduced the cost of this old game to bring it in line. :evil:

If Champions online is launched with an opportunity for lifetime subs then won’t more people start to think….well why haven’t NCsoft done this yet? Why are we still paying such a high price AND having to pay for booster packs? 8-[

Bring down the price of subs pleeeeeeeeeeeease!

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 Post subject: Re: I16 Details - changes to the sidekick system
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:33 pm 
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afraid i agree with blast on this... and its partly why i havent been playing of late... heroes now bores me... before i14 i rolled two characters... i had started to get into them... i go away for a weekend... come back and i14 is live...

do i manage to get some teamage on these two toons outside of the MA farms? nope... and thats sadly what its like.... tbh the only way.. they can resolve the issue... which is what it should have been like on release... is to hit the MA Xp with a nerf bat.... just like they did with the popular family farm map..... as well as doing the change to tickets system that blast suggeted.. cos atm... your unable to buy anything on the market without a massive amount of inf... nerf the xp in MA and the farmers will go back to PI

If people want to look at other peoples content or create content they can... it will just mean a different pace of leveling... and it will be more about enjoying player based content... (which is what ive always thought it was about?) and less about a fast buck and/or xp especially as the bulk of players who would be interested in it... are people such as myself who have been around for along time... and have seen pretty much all of the other content in the game....

MA is a great feature but it was poorly implemented... the devs were niave to think that people wouldnt abuse the system and despite some minor changes..... are still abusing it... imo and the result? hardly any of my global friends are ever online? even within the intrepids ive seen numbers deminish.. and if things carry on the way they are going... i wont be staying... ive alreayd deactivated my 2nd account... but it angers me... after spending 750 quid on subscription... is this the thanks i get?

The game ive loved and enjoyed for 4+ years turned to a farmers paradise...... do i regret paying that amount not really its been fun and its been great teaming with you guys the intrepids... along with the player meets... its been a blast... but all these features do in my opinion is add more fuel for the famers fires.... so for those who are going to try the other hero game... look out for me and john (pain).... cos we are both on it

sorry for the rant...

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Heroes

Mistress Heal (lvl 50 Defender)/(lvl 32 Defender)
Rockealie (lvl 50 tanker)
Nictus Heal (lvl 50 Warshade)
Kheldian Heal (lvl 50 Peacebringer)
Felispine (lvl 50 Scrapper)
Tickled Pink (lvl 50 Tanker)
Evasive (lvl 50 Scrapper)
Amplified (lvl 50 Blaster)
Madame Heal (lvl 50 Defender)
Dominatrix Heal (lvl 50 Controller)
Countess Heal (lvl 50 Defender)
Healie (lvl 32 Scrapper)
Black Chastity (lvl 37 Scrapper)
Sakhmet (lvl 32 Scrapper)
Feli (lvl 27 Scrapper)
Kynxie (lvl 20 controller)
Radealie (lvl 19 defender)
Insecta Sapien (lvl 14 defender)

Villains

Foxie Fatale (lvl 50 Stalker)
Hot Heal (lvl 50 Corruptor)


Last edited by Healie on Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: I16 Details - changes to the sidekick system
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:33 pm 
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I relation to a life time sub deal for CoH i think I'm right in saying that pretty much every one would jump on it like it was the last gold ticket for the chocolate factory but such a deal could cause more problems than it solved.

For champions many who take up the life time sub will be those who have played the game in beta and liked it i imagine the number of non beta players to take it up will be small as come sept 1st the life time sub option disappears so any one who just picks the game up after launch is not going to be able to take the deal and of course its clear why CO are offering the deal it lets them recover a very large chunk of development costs as well as establish a player base for at least the first year (lets face it if you've just put down 120 quid your gonna want at least some of your moneys worth back) these are all solid good reason but when transferred to CoH they don't work.

CoH is already 5 years old meaning that its more than likely recovered its development costs and has probably recovered a good chunk of the NC/cryptic bye out costs it also already has a good solid player base with a lot of 5+ years veterans which is pretty rare in the MMO world its even rarer to still have beta testers active within the community so it would be disadvantageous for them.

Of course if they so wished they could spin it as some kind of one of special offer which would reduce the number of takers up and if they are going to offer such a deal (which seems unlikely) i would expect it to crop up around GR launch.

Finlay and this is just a personal point i don't actually agree with the logic of reducing the price of CoH because its a old game for the same reasons that i disagree with the idea of MMOs getting sequels MMOs that are designed well should not age they are after all supposed to represent persistent worlds and it should only be a old game for long time players for new players it should be new.

also when was the last time you took a proper brake from CoH Betty as i find not playing for a chunk of time helps a lot when i start to find the game less fun.

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 Post subject: Re: I16 Details - changes to the sidekick system
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:49 pm 
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I still think the Players are to blame healie that's not to say the Devs are blameless yes they were very niave to think people would self regulate it was never going to happen.

the nerf XP thing unfortunately cant happen at least i don't think it can because there's no distinction between mobs in the architect and mobs in the rest of the game so if they nerfed them in MA it would be a global nerf which would be bad.

Of course what they could do is reduce XP globally and then up the XP reward at the end of missions and story arcs but to be truly effective you would probably be looking as a %50+ reduction in mob XP but that could be taken really badly by the player base

In short to truly do anything meaning full with the MA farming problem they would have to go back on there 1 to 50 claims and rework the entire reward system for it which i really cant see them doing any time soon.

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 Post subject: Re: I16 Details - changes to the sidekick system
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:35 am 
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Mess, we had a similar discussion some time ago about MA farming missions and farmers.

I personnaly prefer doing regular missions with friends, invite strangers to our teams, and form new friendhips just like old days. I think you and I are on the same side here. However, farming existed from day 1 of CoX but it wasn't disturbing others like us. In a way, things were well balanced then.

However, MA just brought things at maximum about farming, I mean what were Devs thinking when they allowed the creation of all bosses missions, possible to set the mob level at 54? No matter how well the idea is, no engine or system should allow a toon to be developed from level 1 to 50 within hours. This is just wrong and totally Devs' fault.

As a non-farmer, it would be too easy to blame MA farmers for the current state of the game, but in all fairness, they're not doing something different, they still doing what they used to on a new and better ground provided by Devs. And I cannot blame new & young players to be affected by this system either. I personnaly do not have more rights than farmers, nor do I have any right to judge/blame others for their play-style since everyone is paying the same fee per month. It is completely Devs responsibility to fix this issue.

What I think is that MA missions should be brought down to regular mission level, not by reduced xp, but reduced content. Do we have an all bosses mission in a regular arc? Then it shouldn't be allowed in MA mission either. Once we have a balance between regular and MA made missions then I really think things will be like old days, the farmer community will still farm either with regular or MA missions but I think new players and semi-farmers will be less impressed by the speed of xp gain and decide to explore the game.

But say MA farming issue is balanced, or forget that, say it's completely removed from the game with a special NCSoft Mind Control software coming out from each player's screen :). The system is still flawed. Say we have a wonderful MA world where we all try new content created by SG mates or other players everyday. We rate their arcs, they rate ours, there are thousands of good missions and we all love each other in a perfect utopia :). There's still no salvage & recipe drops, and the market, as well as the invention system, is dead. Then what? we'll blame people again, asking them to play MA missions less and regular missions more?

No sir, anything performed by players under the given game engine is legitimate. If there is problem, the blame should be on the engine and their creators.

Oh, what is not legitimate then? Well, if some players manage to crack the game and multiply their damage & HP by 50 and start killing other players in a PvE environment, ok then we can blame them :).

As I said in my previous message, I think regular missions and MA missions should be set on equal grounds. The minute you add a boss character into the mission, the mission creator should ask the player to add one lieutenant and one minion character as well. Maximum level of the enemy should be set at level 50 and according to the team size and selected difficulty level it should go above level 50 with the necessary minion/lieutenant/boss mixture automatically just like regular missions, and more importantly MA missions should also drop salvage and recipes.

As for Architect Ticket, it should be treated like a Vanguard Merit, to unlock special MA related items as well as special costume parts for instance. Or more server space maybe, with a substancial amount, encouraging creative players to prepare longer & better missions. But no recipe or salvage roll, otherwise, Vanguard Merits should also be allowed to that for players spending more time in RWZ.

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 Post subject: Re: I16 Details - changes to the sidekick system
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 11:59 am 
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Ah but MA missions are on equal grounds with normal missions in theory unfortunately in practise the players have found ways to exploit the tools.

On specifically the all boss missions there's nothing wrong with them they are balanced for risk vs reward but that balance go's out the window when the mission designer adds buff bots.

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 Post subject: Re: I16 Details - changes to the sidekick system
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 2:42 pm 
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i see your points mess with regard to xp nerf.... but to truly remove the farmers from MA it would be the only way... blasts idea would work.. how ever it wouldnt stop the farming... and therefore.. all it would do would return farming back to normality (pre i14) also with regard to the risk vs reward that is also true.. but as you say... the buffs.... why the hell did they put buff bots in the system in the first place? it doesnt make any sense to me.... its a feature the system could have easily done without..... saying that... not all boss maps are like that.... pyrobeams ones for example.... all your basically fighting is enemies with a high HP something that a fire/kin can cut through.... perhaps the devs will do some more alterations.. or maybe this new sidekick feature they are hoping that it will encourage the player base.... (outisde of the farmers) to move away from those missions... i doubt it somehow...

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 Post subject: Re: I16 Details - changes to the sidekick system
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 8:58 am 
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Healie wrote:
or maybe this new sidekick feature they are hoping that it will encourage the player base.... (outisde of the farmers) to move away from those missions...


I suspect thats one of teh reasons its beeing implimented as it should make non MA teams far easyer to make.

Quote:
i doubt it somehow...


Yea me to :(

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