The recent changes to the game tried to address the proliferation of jail builds and to encourage more ways to defend the objective. Whatever one thinks of this goal, we can all agree that this has not been successfully achieved.
Assuming that this goal remains the priority at Epic games, what steps could they take to achieve this?
1 Keeping the 5 CC trap mechanic
If, and this is a very big if, this mechanic is to remain in the game, the players need to know which husks have reached their trigger point. The recently developed tags above the husks’ heads that appear from Instigator shots or Ventures modifiers, could be a way to identify such husks, albeit that it may not be possible to have more than 1 active tag active at once. If the mechanic is to remain, the player needs to be able to spot a CC immune husk. Alternatively, an effect like the standing still damage perk on a weapon being activated should appear on the husks?
Similarly, If this mechanic is to remain in the game, there needs to be a serious eduction of the player development piece that has yet to arrive in the game. I cannot see this getting written into the storyline, nor can I see an education piece being delivered to the player about these traps. Given all of the associated issues educating players about this new mechanic, I cannot see how it can remain in the game. Most players play the game without watching youtube, reading reddit or looking for 3rd party services to tell them how to play the game. It should be the game that informs you, and I can never see how the game will achieve this? To be fair, the game also never told us about freeze or tyre traps being directional according to how you place them!
2 The actual mechanic of 5 hits and the husk is immune could be improved.
What if the mechanic was changed to consecutive hits? Or the activated immunity only remains for a set number of tiles? What about the husks becoming wall weakening husks after successive CC hits? While all of these ideas would lead to over complicating the game for players, as the current 5 hits on a CC trap already does, they could all provide a more workable solution that did not render half the traps in the game next to useless. Whilst a mix of these ideas may be better, I think the added complexity in the game mechanics is completely unexplainable to new and casual players..
3 A very simple step to mix up gameplay would be to exclude certain classes of heroes from missions?
Have an RTD mission with no constructors – this may lead to a stall or kill build, but it is unlikely to lead to a jail build. I am aware jails can be built using health and healing trap perks but with certain modifiers, we know this will not work. On other RTD missions exclude another class of hero. By mixing things up this way, it could add a lot of variety to what heroes get played and to the techniques used to complete the mission. By way of example, if only constructors were allowed to do an encampments mission we are not going to see 90% of players with Mega Base, Base Kyle or Powerbase! Given how simple this solution might be to implement, I think this may be a good way forward; particularly if we retracted the CC changes, making all traps useful again.
4 The kill counter methodology
As already stated by many, there is a contradictory logic of defending an objective by killing an amount of enemies in a set time period. Assuming that implementing this methodology was accompanied by removing the CC 5 hit rules, this could still lead to jails being built and enemies being mass killed. However, it is more likely to lead to more run and gun involvement and kill trap tunnels, which does seem to be the desired outcome of Epic. If one assumes that players would want to get the mission over and done with asap, then there are a lot of boxes ticked by this methodology coming into more missions. It does not need to be all missions…
5 Automatically spawning tougher enemies
This always seemed the most likely change as automatically spawning smashers, more riot husks and the mini boss in mini boss missions, would appear to address many of the issues. Given this was not done, suggests there must be some technical reason that makes this much harder than we all imagine. If there is not a technical reason, it seems very very strange that this was not the first choice to address the issue. From my experience doing missions in ventures, I had noted changes in the spawns in RTL missions where smashers seemed to regularly spawn in the first wave and the spawns would continue past a first spawn, so perhaps this was tried but deemed too difficult to roll out in the main game?
6 Rollback the changes
Do nothing and leave it alone.. This seems very unlikely and ultimately would lead to a boring situation with jail building dominating the approach to missions, even with the changes to trap crafting resources. However, if this was accompanied by excluding certain hero classes from missions, this may be the simplest of solutions.
I am aware I have waffled on a bit above, but I am going to ask you to read a bit more, as I also want to share my thoughts on endurance.
1 I don’t think it is a reasonable position for the community to assume that there has to be a build that allows it to be achievable afk.
2 As with this year’s Frostnite, introducing 3 or 4 of the waves being kill waves, would most likely address many of the issues with the afk builds, particularly with say 2 of the waves being random waves.
3 The smasher bridge solution outsmarting the AI is clever but silly at the same time. These enemies need to be killable by traps and/or firepower. It has been a long time since I have seen anybody trying to kill smashers in the later waves of Twine Endurance as one burns through ammo whatever hero you are playing and the time to kill is exhaustive. The old style 5 times impact floor launcher was fun but became a meta for killing all enemies. The impact threshold concept was effective from the perspective that after a point in time the Smashers ceased to be immune from launchers (note the reverse mechanics now in the game) but the flaw was that they then took super damage from impact traps. The better solution may be that they simply got moved about by the impact traps, allowing us to push them into kill boxes. Again with this type of mechanic potentially being in the game, the changed status of the enemy needs to be communicated to the player using the tag indicators.
4 The alleged server issues from players repeatedly running endurance could be solved simply. Just limit each player to one endurance run on their base per day? Or one endurance in each zone on their base per day? Although the other missions in the game are repetitive, so is endurance? There is no reason we should be able to play this indefinitely…
5 Unlikely as it may be, develop other content for players to play! The fun of endurance is building it and refining it. Give us a permanent frostnite style mode to occupy us, where we can use all the toys and it gets insanely difficult. We start at zero and go until we die!The part of this game that is really missing is actually something that is uber tricky and the trend of making every hero, weapon, trap and survivor more powerful is pointless without something hard. I may be alone in my thinking, but I actually want some difficulty, albeit if it is only available to me after completing all my SSDS and endurances. The lack of a challenge is what is missing for the end game players and missing as an incentive for the non end game players to complete the game…
Lastly, I am going to briefly list what I see as the right things for Epic to focus on going forwards aside of the CC and endurance issues listed above:
Expand the Play With Others to Events and Ventures
Expand the number of hero load out slots and make them sortable by hero class with a tab – 10 per class
Focus heavily on husk scaling, Smasher AI, wall strength, impact thresholds, weapon strength and trap strength – optimising, rather than reinventing this, is the secret sauce of the game.
Develop a 4th event for the rotation instead of running Dungeons twice.
Create a test environment and test developments!
When 3 is optimised, develop ever hardening content for the end game players akin to endurance and Frostnite that always ends in the player failing.. Success can be failing later rather than winning every time! Survival time is all that matters here…
If you got this far, thank you for reading! I love the game and hope the best days for it are still to come! Please improve and add to these ideas as you see fit, or deride them if they deserve it!