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Escort Missions

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JayBezz
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Escort Missions

I love them. As a crowd controller nothing is more fun for me than wanking a civilian to safety leaving all the enimies dazed, confused, or even completely unaware of our presence.

If you do have "dynamic" mission starters (where I can see start a mission without going to a kiosk or NPC) then I'll likely spend all my time walking old ladies across the street for XP

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Pengy
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As a scrapper I hope there's

As a scrapper I hope there's an option to put the guy I'm escorting on Passive Follow. Nothing more annoying than "noncombatant" squishy AI that's basically "If player character is not attacking, initiate combat (move as close as possible to an ambusher). If player character is in combat, stand where the most grenades are going off (move as close as possible to the player character). If player character attempts to disengage, move toward the enemy again."

Pengy
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I'd go as far as to say that,

I'd go as far as to say that, while being able to issue any order I like and have it be obeyed without question should be restricted to pet classes, it should be possible for anyone to issue a polite request (like "get out of the line of fire" or just "stop standing in that bonfire") to any allied NPC and have it likely to be obeyed.

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Ugh ... Lady Jane ... Blaster

Ugh ... Lady Jane ... Blaster with a suicidal AI bias! I swear, she would deliberately try to aggro the map. Basically as stupid as Fusionette as far as the AI went.

One of my bigger pet peeves with Escorts is when they have a preprogrammed path to walk that drags them past every single bit of aggro between here and there. You just want to let them DIE as a warning to all other NPCs that the game world is dangerous and that stupidity can get even NPCs killed. It's as if they're contestants for the Darwin Awards or something.

Pengy, I would even be happy to have a more limited control over an Escort NPC than you're positing. Simply having a "come here" button that causes the NPC to move to the PC's location AND STOP and requires Line of Sight to the PC would be a tremendous improvement. It would essentially be a more limited version of the Mastermind "Go To" command, where it just makes the NPC move up to the PC's location when the command is Clicked. That way you get a sort of "coast is clear, move up to me" kind of behavior, in which you can leave the NPC behind (preferably behind cover!) before moving to engage some Foe NPCs, and then circle back to pick up your Escort and wave them forward again. Keep moving forward and Clicking "come here" to have the Escort "follow" the PC around. That then frees the PC to engage in ambushes of NPCs (think Stalker) and because the Escort isn't on a continuous "follow" status, but rather being issued commands to "go to XYZ coordinates" you don't have to worry about perception limitations (again, think Stalker issues with Escorts).


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JayBezz
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I'm all for more dynamic

I'm all for more dynamic (smarter) NPC AI.. but having an escort pull aggro is half the point!

While i also support some forms of non-violent missions (stealth through a mission objective for instance) I think it's a bit of a dull blade to think escort missions should be made to deal with NPCs not pull aggro is like asking a tree not to photosynthesize

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Foradain
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JayBezz wrote:
JayBezz wrote:

I'm all for more dynamic (smarter) NPC AI.. but having an escort pull aggro is half the point!
While i also support some forms of non-violent missions (stealth through a mission objective for instance) I think it's a bit of a dull blade to think escort missions should be made to deal with NPCs not pull aggro is like asking a tree not to photosynthesize

I disagree. If I want a tree to stop photosynthesizing, I can pull out a chainsaw and put out a "Free Firewood" sign.^_^

Not having any memories (escort or otherwise) from CoX, I have to pull a couple from CO. One is a cop in Westside, walking a beat in gang-infested territory. I expect him to pull some agg, and to shoot at gangsters that come within range of him. While I could wish for him to do a bit more self-preservation, I understand this is his job. The other is a photographer in the Canadian Wilderness, captured by hostile sasquatches. You rescue him, and escort him out, and whenever a combat starts he runs and engages the sasquatch in hand-to-hand combat. He's a photographer! He should be getting shots of superhero-versus-sasquatch action, not getting himself axed.

So, helping out with a combatant, sure, he'll pull some agg, and maybe get agged. But a civilian with a presumed non-combat job should not be trying to pull agg. It breaks the immersion for me.

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JayBezz
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Foradain wrote:
Foradain wrote:

So, helping out with a combatant, sure, he'll pull some agg, and maybe get agged. But a civilian with a presumed non-combat job should not be trying to pull agg. It breaks the immersion for me.

I'm not saying they should "attack" I'm saying they need high threat. Otherwise the entire purpose of the escort mission is null.

Who wants to escort something that's not in danger? Take away the nature of escort missions and you take away the PURPOSE of said missions. For those who say "but that kind of mission is hard for my role" I can't tell you how many "defeat 50 X" missions were difficult for MY role.. much more so when there was a boss fight involved.

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Darth Fez
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I had a 'thing' about (most)

I had a 'thing' about (most) escort missions in WoW:

NPC: "Thank you for rescuing me! We're in grave danger! The cave is collapsing and more guards will be here shortly!"
NPC begins walking toward the exit at a calm and casual pace.

Honestly, most of the time CoH wasn't much different. The hero carrying the victim(s) to safety is - or may as well be, if it isn't - a trope. It was doubly annoying when I played my mastermind. She had no reason to respect the 'victim's' wishes or desires and had six robots, any one of which could have carried a (unconscious) person out considerably faster. It's as though the character said to themselves, "The mooks in here are no threat to me, but this person is in mortal peril. To spice up my day let me see how dangerous I can make it for this innocent victim, without getting them killed. Glee!"

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Jaybezz, did you ever run

Jaybezz, did you ever run anything other than a Controller? From some of your other posts on other threads your favorite style of play is 'race to 50 then start enjoying the game.' It's great when you can stroll around Holding every goon in sight and the principle arrives without a scratch.

Now try doing it on a Blaster or a Scrapper.

Just saying...your idea of a fun challenge might not mesh with everyone else...

I remember when Star Wars was cool...a long, long time ago...

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JayBezz wrote:
JayBezz wrote:

I'm all for more dynamic (smarter) NPC AI.. but having an escort pull aggro is half the point!

It's also "all the stupid" of Escort Missions, because the NPC has zero perceptual awareness (except the kind that reduces their own chances of survival by aggroing everything in sight) and just casually blunders forwards into trouble like they have a Death Wish and then it's YOUR OBLIGATION to come and Save Them from their own utter and abject stupidity. It's the equivalent of having a sign posted that reads "don't pee on the electric fence" and having that sign surrounded by skeletons and corpses of (you guessed it!) idiots who can't read and do the deliberately, and obviously, stupid thing.

Even when you want to yell at the screen "Stop. Don't. Come back." because the NPCs are just Too Stupid To Live Without You ... they just keep lumbering forwards blissfully unaware of Impending Doom™, until they get attacked and then they panic and demand that you come save them from their own manifest stupidity.

The cardinal sin in all of this is not that you're having to escort or "protect" an NPC. No, the fault lies in that the NPC is programmed to be as dumb as a raw potato, freshly dug from the ground ... leading to A LOSS OF RESPECT for the NPC as an individual WORTH SAVING! It's the Incompetence On Parade factor that is objectionable.

It's the same phenomenon as why Azuria and the M.A.G.I. Vault were considered so totally worthless in City of Heroes. Practically NO ONE had any respect for Azuria, because she was always reliably LOSING STUFF that had been given to her to keep safe, leading Azuria to becoming the butt of far too many jokes simply because she was manifestly incompetent at the job she was ostensibly performing!

It's bad enough when other Players act like idiots, getting themselves in way over their heads and expecting their Team to dive in and save them (over and over and over again). It's worse when NPCs act that way, simply due to the feeling of HELPLESSNESS their behavioral stupidity generates.

I have no problem with the route an Escort Mission needs to take being "fraught with danger" in which your character needs to protect your Escort. That's perfectly fine. But when the NPC you're escorting does everything in their power to get THEMSELVES AND YOU killed ... the natural reaction is to want to "teach them a lesson" by letting them die BECAUSE they were Too Stupid To Live™. Indeed, in many cases, were it not for some sort of "reward" for keeping them alive, most people would be perfectly fine with letting the idiots get themselves killed (and a lot would bring popcorn and heckle).

So my point is that Escort Missions are fine so long as I can respect the survival instincts of the NPC that I'm Escorting ... otherwise, why am I bothering to Escort this dumb {FNORD!} again, who can't even use a spoon without injuring themselves? If I can't respect the NPC that I'm Escorting, then the Escort Mission DESIGN is a failure. Full Stop. End of discussion.


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JayBezz
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Yeah.. how dare that

Yeah.. how dare that character not be as smart as me.. I don't want to play with it.

I just disagree with the above statement and think that being elitist is never good for a game whether the character is playable or not, it's a virtual world where reality is purposefully suspended. Sure I would love if the game reality could bring the complexity of my imagination to life, but I don't put that on the developers. I want them to get as close as possible to creating a virtual environment where I can act out my imagination's desires.

I don't know.. I guess I just dont have it in me yell at the old lady crossing the street "YOU'RE TOO SLOW!! WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU?! I DON'T EVEN WANT TO HELP YOU ANYMORE, WALK YOURSELF!"

Comicsluvr wrote:

Jaybezz, did you ever run anything other than a Controller? From some of your other posts on other threads your favorite style of play is 'race to 50 then start enjoying the game.' \

I've played enough MMOs to have played every playstyle that's existed (Looking forward to melee healing in Wildstar as that will be relatively new). I know that my preferred playstyle is debuffing. Specifically debuffing movement and enemy efficiency.

If this were my first MMO I'd be more willing to "see what I like" but I know what I like. I don't think MMOs are the same as they were so many years ago when leveling a character was a design goal. Sometimes you need to re-evaluate why we do the things we do. Leveling is one of the mechanics I wish to evaluate because the gaming community has generally outgrown the "I'm brand new to this" idea that most RPGs have had. This is especially apparent when people do Tabletop RPGs because even if you don't start at "level 1" there is never a lack of stories to tell.

The same was said about "learning your travel power".. I don't want to wait to learn to fly if my character can fly. In that same vein I dont want to wait to learn to be a crowd controller if my character can already do that. Experiencing content where my concept is not fully mature is not a game mechanic I wish to engage in. I fully welcome the first "All Endgame" MMORPG even if it's not City of Titans.

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Fireheart
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I've often thought that what

I've often thought that what was needed was a 'Rescue Torpedo'. Find that person you need to save, whip your handy 'Rescue Torpedo' out of Hammer-space and stuff the hapless fool into its smooth and shiny, impervious embrace, snap it shut and Fire it towards the exit - *ZOOOM!*

You patented 'Rescue Torpedo' will swiftly deliver your victim to the nearest hospital for proper 'treatment'.

Be Well!
Fireheart

Redlynne
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Fireheart for the win.

Fireheart for the win.

Helpless Idiot: "Please, you've got to get me out of here, the other NPCs want to {insert dire fate here} me!"

Player: "Sure thing! Hold still..."

Player clips a blinking red LED onto Helpless Idiot

Helpless Idiot: "Uh ... what's this do?"

Helpless Idiot is teleported to nearest Hospital for psychiatric evaluation and counseling

Player (clapping hands in satisfaction): "Ah. My work here is done."


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Comicsluvr
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JayBezz wrote:
JayBezz wrote:

Yeah.. how dare that character not be as smart as me.. I don't want to play with it.
I just disagree with the above statement and think that being elitist is never good for a game whether the character is playable or not, it's a virtual world where reality is purposefully suspended. Sure I would love if the game reality could bring the complexity of my imagination to life, but I don't put that on the developers. I want them to get as close as possible to creating a virtual environment where I can act out my imagination's desires.
I don't know.. I guess I just dont have it in me yell at the old lady crossing the street "YOU'RE TOO SLOW!! WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU?! I DON'T EVEN WANT TO HELP YOU ANYMORE, WALK YOURSELF!"

Oh come now...there is supposed to be a hyperbole gauge around here somewhere...

You have to admit that there is a HUGE difference between the helpless old woman and the fit, healthy IDIOT who smiles and waves as he walks into danger. The former is doing the best they can given the circumstances. The latter is expressing his desire to not live and why should I interfere with his free will?

You want to know the BIGGEST problem with escort missions? They're terribly weighted. If you're a Tank then draw the aggro to yourself. If you're a buffer, either bubble the principle or heal him after he does something dumb. If you're a scrapper...well...try to kill stuff faster than he can spawn it. Blaster? Same thing. The whole concept is weighted against the DPS classes. Now if I can race ahead, spawn everything and then sweep the area (assuming I know his route) then I'd consider it. However many escort mission spawns don't show up until the principle is nearby.

No thanks. Give me an intelligent principle or just let me kill him and move on...

I remember when Star Wars was cool...a long, long time ago...

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Comicsluvr wrote:
Comicsluvr wrote:

just let me kill him and move on...

The amount of INF that I would have gladly parted with to be able to KILL AN ESCORT ...

It is an absolute CRIME that I never got to order my Ninjas to splatter Jake Emmet's brains like he so richly deserved!


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JayBezz
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Comicsluvr wrote:
Comicsluvr wrote:

The whole concept is weighted against the DPS classes.

Purposefully so.. In a MMORPG almost ALL of the game tends to be suited to DPS classes. I want more utility in ALL combat and specifically letting every role shine both in a team and independently (soloing).

The entire concept of alternative mission objectives seeks to do exactly that. I don't doubt there will be PLENTY of places for DPS players to shine. But to quote a friend "You got your shine; why hate on mine?"

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GH
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Jaybezz wrote:
Jaybezz wrote:

nothing is more fun for me than wanking a civilian to safety

Way to give that citizen a helping hand.

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

GH
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Escort missions really did

Escort missions really did need to stop being rescue missions. I get that the idea is that these are innocents or thugs who are maybe swapping sides from good to bad or vice versa. I get that it's game mechanic but from the outset I really did dislike them.

1) villains have NO motivation to save people.
2) every chance the hostage will get stuck / killed. Lifts were always dodgy.
3) what do you mean I can't bubble/superspeed/turn the hostage invisible.

And on that note, escort missions were particularly annoying for stalkers.

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev

JayBezz
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:)

;-)

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Why cant we simply bash the

Why cant we simply bash the NPC over the head, knock em out and carry em to the door?

Sometimes the ones that seek out agro is annoying. Now I would understand if I enter and get to them they are knee deep in battle. But usually the yare guarded by two enemy cowering, then as soon as you set them free they want to fight the entire map.
I'm like "WTF? if ya that much of a badass, you wouldn't be in this mess to begin with. Sit down somewhere."

GH
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^^ god yes, this happens in

^^ god yes, this happens in so many games.
Sometimes you have to "rescue" an iconic character, let's say "UberDude" who is an SS/WP Elite level badass.
It's stupid you have to rescue them at all but maybe they were ambushed, tranquilised and are sleeping it off in a cell so let's go, heroes!

You fight your way in through some pretty rubbish minions that you seriously doubt had the ability to take out UberDude.

You find UberDude alive and well, on his knees, hands behind his head and there's a lt and a minion standing guard (a boss and a lt if you up the difficulty).
Seriously..

If we're going to rescue "heroes" then please lock them up in cells or chain them to walls with shackles made of unbreakablium or have them sleeping off the effects of tranquilisium. Or have the complex lined with Mercurite or mystical symbols of power which steals their mojo. Just *something* so I don't feel embarrassed about rescuing them.

And then the second they are "free" from that boss / lt / minion combo, they want to rampage through the building and you need to protect them as death = mission failure. Ugh.

Back to retirement.

If people won't pay enough to finance its creation, it is not worth creating.
/Segev