I don't think I make it a major secret I do not care for Alerts, as they currently are implemented. Honestly, I think Alerts hurt people's desires to actually get out into the game and explore, as they spend most of their time in the Ren Center area waiting on the queue to pop. To add further injury to that point, lockboxes have basically ruined reasons why to even do the Burst alerts, now that it had a strong reason to to begin with, and Smash alerts have even less reason to. Everyone is pretty much on Grab for leveling and that's about it. Of course part of the way to fix this is to actually do things that encourage teaming beyond hitting a queue button.
One of the other problems with the current game, as it stands, is people are just punished for being on a team. You get less rewards (resources and XP), mission objectives are rarely shared so you have to wait twice as long to do the same missions, and building for a team is rarely encouraged due to how team mechanics are not very proactive and more reactive than normal. So to tackle this problem here is what I would do to fix this;Solutions for Encouraging Teaming
- Increase Experience and Resource rewards scaling higher with more team members. Let's face it, if you want people to team you have to make it feel rewarding to be on a team. Right now you are more penalized than rewarded, and people do not feel like teaming for instances and such because they feel it is a waste of their time. Even with a sidekicking system that allows low levels to join high levels or vice versa. Raise the amount of resources and XP people get to encourage grouping and teaming and perhaps even forming team dynamics. Only allow this buff as long as team members are within a certain distance so people aren't trying to game the system by forming a team up with 4 idle characters for the XP boost and running off to zone X or instance Y. This boosted XP and Resources should only apply for mobs and NPC drops, not mission rewards.
- Make sure ALL mission objectives are shared between team members. Nothing is more frustrating than getting no credit for your mission because that clickable glowie can only be used by one person. Nothing is more annoying than working towards a perk but only to find that because the perks are not shared throughout the team, you don't get credit. All of these things discourage teaming, and needs to be changed.
- Allow players able to turn in their missions from the mission window and get new ones. Currently, the SOCRATES mission finder is exceptionally cumbersome. Missions you want to find are never prioritized and you have to dig through hell and back to get them. Instead allow players to contact the NPC through the mission window with a contact button next to the mission once it is complete. This will help ease up on tensions of mass farming runs.
Of course the major downside will come from people that say they don't like to team. Fine you don't have to participate in team activities. You can still continue on your merry way and not experience these changes. There is no forcing, just encouragement. The team experience is actually major factor in these and helping make them rewarding will go a long way in that factor.Condense Alerts Down to a Single Alert
We have 3 basic Alerts but only 1 is really useful, the other two are just filler. Condense those three down. No more Smash, Burst, or Grab Alerts. Instead, condense them down to one Alert. Have them alternate between the current Grab and Burst Alert types, but the final reward isn't some singular objective, but instead both money, and XP with a boost for both. Change the daily quest from 3 of one of the types to 5 Alerts daily. Special Alerts and Rampages will remain unchanged.
Why do this? Smash and Burst Alerts have become the red-headed stepchildren now, as Burst the mod reward is overshadowed by the ease of getting superior rewards from lockboxes, and Smash Alerts are just short timer alerts that reward globals that are not changing the dynamics any, outside of people that see when a Nemesis Alert pops. Outside of that, the only time these alerts get done post haste is when it is the day that particular alert is the mission objective, otherwise they are not participated in as much as Grab is.
Unlike teaming though, Alerts would not participate in team experience boosts since you are not on a team, so much as a team up. Yea there is a difference. Those that are teamed will of course get the boosted XP and resources from mobs, but the end of Alert reward will not be boosted.
Finally, get rid of the ending cutscene on Alerts. It's the most annoying thing in the world, especially when several players will break off a boss fight before they are even defeated to go pose instead of finishing the boss fight. Especially some of the obnoxious looking characters you have to endure stuffed in your face.Patrol Missions
As a way to get encourage getting out in the world and getting the hell out of Millennium City, I wish to have implemented a type of random mission generation system called Patrols. Those familiar with City of Villains should remember them as Newsies, or later Radios for City of Heroes players. Basically, based on the zone you are in, you will get a mission that scales to the higher members level, not unlike how Adventure Packs and Comic Series work. These should be designed as quick instances with zone specific mobs and critters in them.
Each random mission will have an objective to complete such as turn off computers, kill a boss, save hostages, etc, the usual heroic stuff. At the end of a patrol, players and team members will get a reward of some resources, XP and a clue. Each Patrol Mission completed will reward a clue to all participants in said mission.
Once a player has gathered five clues, they can turn them in for an Investigation. An Investigation is a special mission usually up against one of the various organizations that may contain a super villain boss in it, based on both difficulty and team size. For instance, if you get an investigation to stop PSI from trying to kidnap latent psionics for their organization, you could be up against Psimon or Medusa in an Instance. In another mission you might have an Investigation against the Brain Trust and have to face down Lynx, Overbrain, Ape-Plus, Black Mist or Mr. Zombie.
There are a couple of basic goals of this. One is to encourage teaming of course. The other is to also try to inspire that flare of being a hero out on patrol listening for crimes and trying to stop them. This is also being suggested as a way to get people out in the world at large to see there is more than just the Ren Center and West Side. And finally, this is a small way to institute adding in the super villains into the game in a small way, that were either underplayed when introduced or never felt like super villains before.
Over all the idea is to inspire feeling like a hero where you investigate, gather clues and take down bad guys.
Potential Rewards for this can be;
- Recognition that is level appropriate to the player
- Resources of course
- Experience as expected.
- 500 Questionite making another way to earn Questionite.