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Apr 07

Standardizing Missions

GH1_MissionOffer

One problem in GH1 is that there is no rhyme or reason to the mission rewards. The cash prizes and other bonuses don’t strongly correlate with the risks and requirements of the job. As I’ve said before, I was just making things up as I went along.

Here’s what I think should be the new mission standards. The basic mission reward should be either 100% cash plus salvage or 200% cash without salvage. Completing the mission should give 1 point of renown and 100XP. The THREAT and REWARD functions should be used to set the difficulty of the encounter and the cash reward, respectively.

If the mission has special bonuses, the standard reward may be decreased:

  • Increase a desirable reputation (Heroism or Lawfulness, usually)
  • Special rewards, such as a mecha prize
  • Bonus experience or skill experience
  • The PC would not normally qualify for the mission but is offered it at a lower pay rate, as in the city defense mission

If the mission has extra requirements, the standard reward may be increased:

  • The mission requires a particular skill, reputation, or faction membership
  • Personal scale mission (300% base pay? No salvage because no mecha.)
  • Increase an undesirable reputation, such as Criminal or Villainous
  • Higher than normal difficulty

If I’m going to recalibrate all the mission rewards, this would probably also be a good time to either add the procedural text generator or decide that I’m not going to bother with the procedural text generator.

6 comments

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  1. Cornuthaum

    One of the things I am missing in GH1 is the absence of the “themed” Mechas from GH2. Yes, like the roses-and-flowers themed Buru Burus or the Death Vengeance Skulls and other things like that. I often took more missions in GH2 for a chance to fight enemy elites in themed mecha for a shot at neat specialist gear for my mecha. Especially because the specialist gear often had considerably less mass than equivalent non-special weapons.

    Is there any way of backporting those for missions or mission rewards?

  2. Francisco Muñoz

    I could give a shot…. but I’m still in the Heavy Actuators back port.
    The pascal code for the customization is more or less direct and not too large.
    The weapon lists are more complex as gh2 has a few new tags and different syntax (and there are a lot of them, 10 weapons per type x3 per theme x12?)
    Also someone needs to adjust the mission scripts if needed.

    So maybe in a couple of months…

    1. xpace

      I would also enjoy seeing some Themed Mechas backported from GH2. It wouldn’t have to be a lot. I think adding even a few would help keep things interesting.

  3. Leroy Kosaka

    I was wondering about something. It’s possible to enter into mecha-scale battles while the player’s party is on foot. Is it also then possible for mecha to appear in personal-scale battles? I was thinking of something along the lines of a group of thieves having a guy in say, a Strongarm, as some extra muscle. As is, the Bazookas and other anti-mecha personal weapons feel kind of pointless.

  4. Random commenter

    What I’d really eagerly see regarding mission standarization is certain minimal requirement in difficulty and reward for mission so it’ll make sense. To explain, currently there are many issues with such:

    – murder club missions that don’t tell you to find NPC in the city often send you into the wilderness instance where bioweapons (hunter-berserkers etc) roam. Even if you’ll overpower those strong opponents, rewards are somewhat lacking. I do think that this one is a bug though – if murder club guy is in wild, while do I fight monsters and if I lose to them, he runs away (it’s not always the case, often it is simply some NPC in town)?

    – convoy defense missions are either ridiculously easy (the trucks not only look like race cars [same sprite as rover] – they’re as fast, easily outpacing most opponents) making you wonder why the truckers need your help if they can just outrun any danger; or absolutely unwinnable when it turns out that bandits sport some super powerful mecha which in first turn one-shots the truck and in second – the player.

    – there no rhyme nor reason to bounty hunting. Not only number of opponents doesn’t match with what bounty hunter tells me (usually it’s far more many opponents, all of them wearing pink and equipped worse than one would assume) but the reward is pretty random.

    – generally, “serious” missions, like stopping some bandit in the early game, even when they involve mecha, often set the player against single strongarm and mission reward of $100 while cleaning a few levels of sewers from rats nets one several (or dozens) thousands.

    I have nothing against easy missions for weaker character (I mean they’re necessary, otherwise a few failures and game becomes unwinnable + newbie characters can only go further in the beginning through luck) but I think they’d use specific fluff when compared to pleas for help from super-equipped guardians who supposedly cannot deal with some gang of bandits but when you accept the job it turns out the whole gang is one/two vespas/strongarms (which I bet an average guardian could take with just their peacemaker – which is again, weird, because it means that mecha, no matter how big are all lightly plated) or when hordes of bioweapon monsters in some radioactive dump turns out to be a single gremlin.

    The same way it’s problematic when going in the opposite direction – turns out sewers under every city (also, apparently Snake Lake has two sets of sewers) are infinite and full of eldritch abominations once you’ll go deep enough and the person who sends you there is ready to pay you millions for going that deep instead of evacuating and nuking those sewers together with the city. Which is kinda weird.

    Also, quite often guardians and other folks suddenly expect of the player who till then fought enemies worth few thousands of mecha points to be able to handle mecha invasion squads worth several hundreds of thousands. I appreciate their faith but my, say, badger, no matter how well piloted is simply not sturdy enough to tank nukes (speaking of which, it’s kind of weird that one can dodge area of effect weapons while being in ground 0 and not on some mountain/among trees that could provide a cover).

    So, some missions should only be available at certain difficulty and some easier ones should have their own fluff (ie. mission where you hunt enemy mecha not being about hunting a band of hardened criminals but some crazed maniac who stolen and fixed up an old, crappy mecha from some trashdump and now goes on a spree).

    Also, a bug in the mission when one is to disable a mecha – for me it’s consistent that the game calls for my own character to be stopped. I know you know of that bug but there’s also another problem – it’d be nice if there’d be some check for enemies who are permanently disabled, beside the intimidation one. Right now, even if it’s a single enemy with no support on the way and it’s only a torso now with all the limbs and the head blown off, I cannot force him to surrender – failing the mission if I’ll blow him up or leave the map.

    Sorry if this post is a bit confusing, but generally – missions are very random and their difficulty doesn’t scale with their fluff well quite often. I guess it’s a matter of balancing, the same way equipment would use some of that (some, even light foodstuffs [not sure if not even pills] of weight of several kilograms yet not being able to completely fill one’s stomach and how deluxe food doesn’t do much for a character, but even death of your friends and losing your only mecha can be medicated with two chocolate bars or a massage).

    The game is fun even as it is, but since it’s a post about working on missions I thought I’ll share my take on how much stuff needs improvement to be truly great.

  5. Michael

    100 xp? hmm. how about

    – a percentage of total xp earned so far?
    or – a percentage of the xp spent on the skill with the highest xp?

    this to avoid having to do 50 missions ‘just’ to level up a skill with 5k invested in it already. off the cuff i’d think max(100, highestXpInvestment div 20..30) might ‘feel’ right.


    percentage based rewards might work better for cash returns as well. as an idea, i’d throw out 15% of the skill trainer cost for the avg?? of what the current personal skills would have cost.


    neither of these suggestion address that, but for the sewers, missions are either trivial or guarantee a loss. i would love to see mechas that get hammered for 10+% armor auto-deploy costly smoke and/or emp-charges to cap damage at the high-end. that is, if only to make me less reliant on save-scumming to keep team members around late-game.

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