Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 123
# 1 Mission Dilemma
02-07-2013, 07:00 AM
I have talked myself into a dilemma and perhaps I'm just thinking about it too much or trying to cater to everyone at once, but here it is:

In my mission, I have an objective set to reach a certain location. However, there is a locked door before that location. Rather than set other objectives to guide the player to unlock this door, I have used invisible objects and dialogs as a puzzle of sorts in order to trigger this door's release. The dialogs offer hints and direction through the use of green mission text, but there are no official objective directions that show up in the little side-mission-window below the mini-map.

Is this expecting too much of players? I don't want to hold their hand through this "puzzle". Will not having each piece be an official objective cause players to not be able to figure it out? The player will be required to read the dialog in order to know where to go next and what to do, so those that just click-through the dialogs will be lost rather quickly. But like I said earlier, the dialogs give pretty clear directions on where to go and what to do next through the green mission text; there just won't be any "reminder" directions that show up in the side-mission-window.

Is this a bad idea? Will I run into reviews from players who click through the dialog and then have to drop the mission because they don't know what to do next? Even if I state in the mission description that it is a requirement to read the dialogs carefully?

I really like the idea I have developed because I think it adds a lot of exploration and that sense of not knowing what lies ahead. The player knows they have to reach this certain point, but they aren't given a giant neon sign that tells them how to do it. The first direction is more of a hint but once they find that first Invisible Object (which is actually over an NPC), the dialogs provide pretty clear directions on what to do.

Is this type of exploration mission okay to do?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 129
# 2
02-07-2013, 07:19 AM
If you like low rates and plenty of "Broken!", "Cr*p!", "impossible to complete", "I have no idea what to do" comments, then go right ahead with your plan.

Once I had a missions which told this to the player:

"Collect some berries... The plant is about 2m tall and have dark red fruits. The plant grows north, between some massive rocks."

If you turned straight north you could see 2 massively huge 200m tall rock pillars literally meters from each other. Between those pillars, there was one single tall bush with a big dark red fruit on it. That was the ONLY bush like that on the entire map and looked a little out of place.

This was too much for most players to handle.

Last edited by pendra3780; 02-07-2013 at 07:29 AM.
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,748
# 3
02-07-2013, 07:39 AM
yes its fine, but it is always a slight risk.

you can always try it and see how people react. if 9/10 people are fine with it then its as good as you can hope for.

you will get some people who dont read (or do read and still mess it up) so dont be put off as everybody gets negative comments even on missions that dont deserve it.

if no one gets it, then you can always change it, and even ask some of the people who struggled to re-review by mail.

just keep in mind to make it crystal clear. what seems obvious to you (as you designed it) is not always that obvious to others coming in and not knowing what to expect. just make sure if you do it, the text truly is as foolproof as you can make it.

House of Cards - Lvl 46 Fed mission
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 297
# 4
02-07-2013, 07:49 AM
I know what you mean. I've had some very simple missions, and some rather complex ones with puzzles and the like, and I think you will always run into people who don't quite understand what to do. I have one out there where you read a Romulan Commanders log and he blatantly says what the secret code is to get a console activated, and people don't seem to catch it.

What I've been doing is trying not to exactly hold their hand though tough areas, but place subtle suggestions that reading is important. You won't catch everyone, but get creative in your writing, and add something in the mission objective dialog like, "Review crew maintenance logs" or something like that. It doesn't really say, "Read this to open the door" but the average person will be like, "Oh I should read this because there could be something important in it."

Anyway don't get discouraged by reviews. Even the best of the best get 1 star reviews because you can't please everyone.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,185
# 5
02-07-2013, 11:16 AM
I like missions that have puzzles. I play the Foundry for the challenge and the more challenging it is, the better.

Unfortunately, a lot of players are only in it for the "goodies".

I myself, will play the puzzle, but, you could always create an "Easy Button" to bypass it for the Farmers.

DO NOT let the haters stop you from doing it YOUR way.

Some of the best missions I have played have gotten low ratings, because some players can't be bothered to actually play the game.

Posted by: drudgy
I have one out there where you read a Romulan Commanders log and he blatantly says what the secret code is to get a console activated, and people don't seem to catch it.
I think I've played this mission...
I love nice long walks in the country.
Especially if they're taken by people who annoy me!
Ar ais olc leis an doer olc

Last edited by oldkirkfan; 02-07-2013 at 11:19 AM.
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 522
# 6
02-07-2013, 11:38 AM
This is a problem largely unique to MMOs since in the majority of other video game types there are areas where you need to do something a dozen times to get past a certain enemy, or solve a very obscure and difficult puzzle or series of puzzles and this is perfectly acceptable. In MMOs this is considered a no-no of the highest order.

I think the envelope can be pushed much further, however, than simply spoon-feeding info to your player or watering down enemies to ensure that no one ever (gasp) has to re-spawn. I like to make reasonably difficult missions because, for me, the best use of the Foundry is to provide the end-game content that is so spartan in STO. There are complaints, yes, but if you warn the players in the mission description that a mission is intended to be challenging they seem to give you a much longer leash in this respect. Some people don?t read but there is nothing you can do about that.

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