While playing one of the *other* Superhero MMO's recently, I've been running into a frustration. Champions Online has added content in the form of "Alerts", which to their credit, often take your hero out of the city to 'exotic' locales for one-off adventures. This is all good so far, and I'd like to see something similar be available in CoT.
However, too often you get a scenario like this:
Contact: "Okay, there's a big bad guy hiding in a bunker. We need you to find out out about his defenses. Go to these coordinates and shake down the Commander." [Rec'd Mission: Defeat Commander] Then your map points you to a location to the East where you find a fortress-like installation with some goons. So, you mop up the goons, fight the commander and he coughs up some info. No problem. Return to contact.
Contact: "That's interesting. Looks like we need you to take down their communications. Go to these coordinates and knock out the satellite dishes." [Rec'd mission: Destroy Satellite Dishes] Your map points you West this time, but you find an IDENTICAL fortress-like installation with a slightly different mix of goons. Okay, knockout dishes while fighting off more squads of minions. No problem. Return to contact.
Contact: "Great Job! Now if we could only neutralize his missile defenses we can send in troops. Do you think you could..." Right, right. Sensing the pattern. [Rec'd Mission: Destroy Missile Launchers] Now you go South to, you guessed it, Standard Villain Issue Fortress No.3.
You see what I'm getting at. I realize the incentive to get as much as you can out of an existing resource, but after not too long it feels like you're just padding content. Not to mention the return trip to the contact 4 or 5 times. Don't these people have walkie-talkies at least?
Now there's no mathematical solution to this problem. No formula that can be applied. This is about writing and composition. There's already been enough lamentation about the "Kill 20 Mopes" type missions. But it's such a common feature of the MMO landscape that I guess we're all kind of resigned to it. But I'm asking you Devs out there to be cognizant of this. If this is truly a "By Gamers. For Gamers." creation, then I'd cautiously hope for a little better.
We see what you're doing and have a good idea why. These forums give us hope, but can also generate greater disappointment if those hopes are dashed. So please, if when you're plotting a mission or storyline and you ask yourself "Would they start to get bored/impatient/frustrated at this point?" By the time you ask yourself, the answer is probably 'yes'. I'd rather have a 10 minute mission that feels like I've actually accomplished some satisfying feat, than feel like a glorified errand-boy, or a dog chasing his tail for 20.
I'm also sorry that there's no way to offer a simple solution that can be universally applied. I'm just sending up a great big "Pretty Please with Sugar On It."