How do you feel about ARES Mission difficulty?

Discussion in 'PvE Discussion' started by Aelo, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. zerobounds Founder

    1.) Do you feel like the non-group ARES Missions are appropriately achievable by 1-2 players?
    Yes, I don't have much trouble with them. The problem is if I want to solo that they are unreasonably far apart for me to actually do them consistently and I end up grouping to keep from traveling so much. I'd actually say the solo missions are more fun due to the fact that you have to actually fight through them, whereas in group missions you almost always have a runner nailing objectives and you're out in 30 seconds.

    2.) Do you feel the group ARES Missions provide too little / too much challenge for 3-5 players?
    No, the only missions that really pose a significant threat are the raider missions when all of the callboxes activate. Even then I've never had a full squad wipe. I wonder if most people posting here recognize the difficulty scale on the side of the mission map tag? Most people I run with have at least one IV gear item and multiple III's, so I don't particularly expect the current missions to pose any threat to us anyway if we play as a team.

    3.) Are you liking the occurrence rates of solo vs group content (i.e. increased rarity of group missions)?
    Yes, but like 1.) it's cumbersome to actually run the solo missions consistently, especially with a group in the area just blindly destroying them back to back you'll often not have the opportunity to finish it alone (before the group murderball arrives) or it will be done by the time you reach it.

    3.) What are you key sources of frustration with ARES Mission enemy engagements? Do you feel some situations provide unfair or insurmountable challenges?
    In a group setting they are pretty easy, hard enough to reprimand players that rush in alone and easy enough to face roll them if you play as a team. I don't think that they pose insurmountable challenges, I can't really think of a single ARES mission that we have abandoned because it was too hard. There is one mission that is in one of the lab daily zones where the enemies seem infinite and there is a confusing layout to the area. It's easy to get lost and hung up on scene objects. It's by far the hardest mission and with a team we're lucky to finish a bomb over 30% there because players basically get lost and the team cant regroup. I've died at the end of the mission and my team couldnt even find me to res me, the map is useless in these areas - useless almost regardless, but especially useless here.

    There's also a mission behind a waterfall that is difficult to navigate and gives us the same trouble. People can get the objective then wander around and not find the exit, making a loop back to the objective crate. Its silly, but if the map is not going to adjust to an interior view then we can't have these maze areas. It's ends up being a matter of replay frequency and memorizing the zones.

    4.) Ice cream: cookie dough or rum raisin?
    Why not both?
  2. psi Beta Vanguard

    1.) yes, easy on the whole. Far too easy once you get some half decent crafted gear, and know the routine.
    2.) Not much of a challenge once you get to 5 players; just a shooting fest.
    3.) never really look to see whether they are solo or group, to tell you truth. Quite a few of the group ones are soloable as long as you don't get trapped in a small space with lots of enemies.

    Now on to my frustrations:

    - ARES are on the whole are far too predictable. Do away with giving them a difficulty rating altogether, and sometimes randomly spawn higher level enemies, or more enemies. Give me "WTF" moments to keep me interested.

    - ARES missions don't have any consequences if you fail.
    Make them linked to what happens outside the cave. for instance:
    ... If the energy bomb detonates, a Melding bubble is created 200m around the spot for say an hour, denying access. And spawn a Strike team or 2.
    ... If we fail to kill the Tanken Chief, have Tanken spawn at any nearby Thumpers, and generally cause mischief until the Chief is killed.
    ... If we fail to recover the data pads, SIN couild go down within a certain radius, until the facility is reinstated (have to fight through Chosen and repair using a Crystite resonator or whatever). And spawn more Chosen; perhaps an Incursion.
    ... If we fail to recover the drill parts, no thumping within 300m until the mission respawns and is completed.
    ... If we fail to destroy the Aranha nests, increased Aranha spawn rate at nearby Thumpers until the mission respawns and is completed.
    ... just make life a bit more difficult in general for players in the locality if the mission fails.

    - the one ARES mission that I think is stupidly dangerous is the Aranha one South (I think) of Shanty Town, where you drop down a shaft into a narrow corridor full of Siegers and exploding bugs; far too dangerous; not worth the risk. I just walk on by.

    - EDIT - do away with random traps for the unwary, such as vats of gloop in a pit, or walkways above instant death water. These add nothing to the game, and only cause frustration.
  3. CluelessNomad Beta Commando

    1.) Yes, but they take a lot longer alone, and are therefore not as valuable. Often someone will end up helping anyway because I'm taking so long, and then I might as well have chased down a group ARES instead.

    2.) No, they're great. At least they scale much better than tornadoes and invasions. Anyway, don't touch this.

    3.) I can't always find exactly what I need, but that's the same with every mission type. This encourages playing different stuff, and I like that.

    3.) I get frustrated when I mess up and die, but I want to stress that I consider this my fault, not the ARES. If you made them easy, they wouldn't be nearly as fun. Yes, their difficulty does create unwinable situations and that's unfortunate, but I'd much rather that than have them be too easy. In short, I like that we can fail.

    4.) Definitely cookie dough

    Thanks for asking, but I personally do not feel ARES needs balancing. Tornadoes and invasions on the other hand...
  4. 1.) In stock gear, I would not expect it to be soloed by a new player. This can be a bit annoying for people who don't really know what is going on.

    2.) Honestly they feel about balanced; I wouldn't make it harder because people in stock gear would have far too much trouble with them. We have to remember that this game is to avoid excluding new players in content that is too hard.

    3.) The rate of mission difficulty is fine, but I believe that the map should be more homogeneous with ARES missions.

    3.) As a recon, I find that it's very frustrating that it's impossible to predict and dodge the bullets of bandit assault and even sometimes bandit grenadiers. these two enemy mobs need to have a slight reduction in damage. Bandit camps are as of right now much too powerful.

    Also, what is up with enemies spawning after making progress in an ares mission? Again, this is very obnoxious for the recon class. I usually just dart for the door if I can and run away and re-advance from the beginning; I DON'T LIKE THIS!!!

    4.) Ice cream: Cookie dough. I've never had rum raisin, I'd like to try it. My favorite icecream is strawberry cheesecake.
  5. ValleySpirit Hero of the Accord

    you see a mission under the waterfall in shanty??

    you must be the ONLY person in all of Firefall who does
  6. Ronyn War Machine

    I spend most of my time playing ares missions because I absolutely enjoy them.
    Since they have been implemented they have consistently been improving so I feel like you guys have this well in hand.
    Anyway I will go ahead and give some critical feedback on the difficulty but it's all done under the understanding that I really like them overall.

    The difficulty is hard to nail down because it can be inconsistent, counter intuitive and anti-climactic.

    Sometimes you enter a mission and the enemies swarm while other times they barely notice you.
    That is inconsistent. If we could get the AI to do what its supposed to do all the time that would be great.

    Chosen are the true menace in the sense of lore but tankin are often much more dangerous currently.
    That is counter intuitive. If we could set up the enemies to appropriately take their place in the hierarchy it would improve the feeling in all of it.

    Reaching the end point of a missions is often just a "ok, that was the last switch to push".
    That is anticlimactic. If we could consider a more obvious staged approach, ramp up in challenge, maybe more minibosses..that would be fun.

    Otherwise the usual stuff....difficulty is partly created from the sense of consequence.
    I don't mean arbitrary consequence I mean real, cause and effect type stuff.
    It's that ramp up in challenge based on what we do and don't do. but it needs to be interesting whether we win or loose any individual exchange.
    Thats tricky because we need to feel like we gain something when we win and get loose something when we fail.

    This should have a two sided approach.
    1: cause-The chosen have exploded a bomb. Effect-now they can dig in and build weapons facility nearer to town which leads to a seige type situation. The longer we let them have that facility the more they expand their influence.
    2: cause-The chosen have been thwarted from blowing up their bomb. Effect-now they will start a convoy across the area which leads to a pursuit type situation. Something that is the chosen basically retreating so we have a limited time to chase them down and get something from them before they disapeer into the melding.

    Note how when we win the resulting mission is exciting but short lived where if we loose the resulting mission is exciting and long term.

    There are some thoughts. Keep up the good work.
    • Like x 1
  7. I think ARES mission difficulty is really all over the place. The difficulty indicators on the map are borderline worthless and it mostly depends on the location and mission type.

    Some locations are incredibly easy, such as those tiny two-story research buildings. There's one below Shanty Town and one in Northern Shores. It doesn't matter what kind of mission it is, you're going to have an easy time. There's a mountain west of Sunken Harbor with two ARES missions, one at the top middle of the mountain and one at the bottom southeast of the mountain that doesn't show up on the map. Both of those areas are small and easy.

    And then there are difficult locations. There's the bunker next to Trans Hub that seems to spawn with 100 enemies all crammed into that small area. Good luck getting to any timed objectives in that place. And if you have an item recovery objective, reinforcements spawn practically breathing down your neck. There's a cave system northeast of Broken Shores that seems to have a really large volume of enemies for being such a small place. There's a mission area southeast of Shanty Town that takes place in a two-story facility that has a high enemy volume that makes it difficult to cut through all the enemies in time to reach the bomb or hacking terminals (plus they fire at you from the second story as you walk in the entrance).

    The easy missions are blowing up Aranha Nests and Strifebringers and retrieving the Datapad. Retrieving recovery items can be more difficult since you sometimes have to make a trip back in through all of the respawned enemies, but the right strategy can make things easier. Data hacking missions can either be easy or impossible depending on the enemies. A dozen or two Tanken with few assaults and it's pretty much a free win. On the other hand, sometimes you get wave after wave after wave of Elite Tanken Assaults and Dreadnaughts and you can't even manage to get in the door before the timer runs out because they have so much health and there's so many of them.

    One of the reasons I hang around Thump Dump is because the missions in that area are both numerous and, in my opinion, pretty well balanced. There aren't huge difficulty spikes between areas and mission types most of the time. Getting an objective in Thump Dump's core room can be difficult with the high enemy volume in that room, but that's about it.
    • Like x 1
  8. 1.) Do you feel like the non-group ARES Missions are appropriately achievable by 1-2 players?

    This is entirely based on Battleframe choice. For example today I was in Transhub, when I noted the ares mission pop up outside, I see it is a yellow mission, I decide to go check it out, and before I am even over the wall I see 20-30 chosen pouringo ut of the tunnel, I drop my Heavy turret and multi turrets and start trying to whittle them down. about this time a recon based class (I think it was a raptor, not too sure was too busy trying to be alive) shows up and starts sniping like a boss. but more and more mobs are just pouring from the tunnel mouth, and then the snipers that are still in the tunnel have clearly dropped the melding portals as those mobs are pouring out too. Suffice to say I get to the tunnel mouth, just in time to hear Aero say "The bomb's core is at [insert some small percentage] stability" and a sniper and a bastion are barely to the door. I have no qualms about the fact that perhaps a dread/assault or other frames could have killed through this stuff much quicker. But the Frames that were present were just not killing stuff fast enough. I would go so far as to say, any ARES mission with a timed segement should not be listed as "Group not required" due to this very reason.
    Other forms of non group fall into the same category, it's all batteframe dependent. The arhana swarm missions? frame/locale dependent. can I snipe through a hole high up and only a few rush me at a time.. then it;s doable. are they in a small place where they can rush out of the door en masse.. welp.. that's a bummer. The Chosen missions "Are there a lot of small corridors? well all the assault/jugger AOE is going to kill me before my turrets can do any good. just from splash/ lack of dodge space. liek I said, Frame/locale dependent.

    I would definitely say, that you need to tone down the amount of mobs that spawn after picking up a datapad/mission objectives in some of the areas though, when I'm picking up medical supplies, even with all 3 multi turrets, my heavy turret and my one AOE thing out in a room, When 10-15 chosen/arhanas/raiders port in inside the room I'm kinda dead. and in a lot of longer missions it's not feasable to just make a run for the exit. and then the grind to re-clear everything to get back into the building so I can pick up what I already had, starts all over again, and that's just not fun.

    2.) Do you feel the group ARES Missions provide too little / too much challenge for 3-5 players?

    Not Really I feel the provide the right amount of challenge, I've never really had a full group wipe, as long as the group is not playing like a bunch of idiots.

    3.) Are you liking the occurrence rates of solo vs group content (i.e. increased rarity of group missions)?

    This is hard. It has happened to me several times that I have spent a considerable amount of time working my way into various missions, only to get to right before the final objective and have 2-3 people show up nick the objective and either a) just run out leaving me in a room of 13 odd chosen or b) complete the mission giving me a fraction of the rewards I would have other wise gotten for the time I invested. It's really frustrating.

    4.) What are you key sources of frustration with ARES Mission enemy engagements? Do you feel some situations provide unfair or insurmountable challenges?

    there are 4 main areas that frustrate the hell out of me

    First is the "Someone has been here and failed so there are 200 mobs at the door" syndrome. Happens very regularly. I show up I drop my turret and before I can even start healing it the 5-6 juggs/assaults/grenadiers have all shot it/me and it;s dead. and again. and again.. and then all my turrets are on CD... and then unless they ahppen to be trapped otu of line of sight they all turn on me.

    Second is the seeming ability for my opponents bullets/explosions to pass through solid objects. Rare but more than one I will be standing behind a wall, and either a jugg will shoot the other side of the wall and I will take damage or I will get sniped through the wall. very very frustrating.

    Third is the mobility issue I mentioned earlier, in a game that seems to rely on your character being mobile, to force weaker frames into areas where there is little to no area for maneuvering and sticking them against a never ending wave of enemies is just buttclenchingly aggrivating.

    Fourth is the Enemies aggro tables. It just seems to be unbalanced, Yes I understand that I am the one placing the turrets, but they are the ones shooting you, perhaps, you should stop chasing me, and shoot them. just once? please?

    4.) Ice cream: cookie dough or rum raisin?

    Someone said both and I'ma going to have to agree with them.
  9. 1.) Yes, they're doable, they're just way too easy, usually, though.

    2.) I can do them solo, in stock gear. It takes time, but I can do it. I'd say bump it up.

    3.) What?

    3.) Having 10 other players swoop in and clean it out in less than a minute while you're working on it.

    4.) Neither, Oreo~

    Overall, I'd say I tend to avoid them. They're too short, too easy, rewards can be iffy for the amount of work that I put into completing a some [I forget which specifically, thanks poor memory], and their only "difficulty" comes from cramming more and more enemies in a room, some of which are easily dealt with thanks to their moronic AI that tells them to cluster under something higher than them. Splash damage, ho!

    Oh, slightly off topic, but what the f*ck is with enemies wanting to get right in your face? I'll see two ranged guys right up in eachother's face, or standing on one of my deployables. Rework the AI, I beg of you. It's really lame when enemies seem like they WANT to die.
  10. I can't stand the splash damage that happens to you doing a mission...especially when people constantly move in front of you causing you to die or commit suicide. Its getting a little irritating .
  11. I like the difficulty level right now for Ares missions. My only request would be the occasional Stage 3 or 4 mission - to add to the crazy dynamic event hubbub. Because honestly, I can almost complete any Stage 2 group mission in about twice the time it would take me and a friend by myself with any frame I own. (that includes my stock Mammoth and stock assault). It just doesn't feel challenging anymore, except in some of the really LARGE caves (like the one by Jacob's Pass or the hill East of the arclight fragment, and even then I have to really blunder around to make it hard.

    4) Cookie Dough forever.
  12. Psychiatrist Beta Commando

    I feel overall that ARES Missions are too easy, solo and group ones..

    Some have bugged spawns though and are incredibly hard and incredibly fun.

    Not sure if New Eden is intended as a "starter" zone. If that is the case then the ARES Missions are too hard.

    Any experienced player could solo Stage 4 Group Missions with Stock Gear, while an inexperienced one might have difficulties doing the Stage1 Solo Missions.
  13. 1) Yes and no depending on location. The caves area that has holes in the roof is artificially difficult. It says no group required and is my tier yet it spawns upwards of 20 + enemies at a time and the only way to really complete it is to just sit on top shooting grenades down for 5 minutes, which you don't even get EXP for. This leads into question number 4.

    2) Too little challenge. Players can move so quickly around dungeon areas that the number of enemies doesn't really matter much. Especially when you have shields and such from friendlies that allow you to shoot through them.

    3) Yes

    4) The spawns are god awful. I'm tired of having enemies literally spawning on top of me or in areas i've just cleared. I know it's because I haven't "learned the spawns" and know how to abuse the AI as well as T4 players but they're still bad. I can't really provide a fix to the solution since I do not know how the dungeons are handled program wise but making spawns happen further away, possibly making more spawns with less enemies per spawn point rather than these giant clusteres would be helpful for making it a bit more paced.

    5) Cookie Dough. I wasn't aware people actually ATE RAISINS
  14. Bvat Mobile Fortress

    Most of them yes, although the level and group vs non group seems a bit... arbitrary. Some group missions are soloable and some solo mission are not as easy as those group missions.

    Would like to see more instances at the same challenge/reward level as BWA. The group I normally run with can breeze through most 'group' Ares missions so fast you can barely keep up. BWA is fun and challenging but currently running it 4-5 times a day would be nice for a similar, but different challenge.


    Solo content is not really solo-able by the average new player in new gear. Would be nice to either see a few missions doable by the average noob in pure stock gear and/or a mentor system for new players that could help them learn the game and run enough missions together for the new player to have an idea what to do? Details would have to be worked out but perhaps along the lines of: new player goes to a kiosk and puts in a request for help to any currently online, non-afk mentor. Anytime after the mentor and the new player have completed 10 or more Ares missions in a team together they go back to the kiosk together and graduate the trainee. Each receives 1k of a random resource for participating, the trainee receives a graduation hat. After graduating 10 trainees the mentor receives a drill instructor's helmet. This would ease a player into the game without cumbersome tutorials for those that need addition instruction without adding anything 'game breaking' into the equation.

    • Like x 2
  15. Natjur Beta Commando

    We don't have Cookie dough favour ice cream in New Zealand
    but we do have Cookies and Cream but most people prefer Hokey Pokey ice cream

    What are you key sources of frustration with ARES Mission enemy engagements? Do you feel some situations provide unfair or insurmountable challenges?

    High level players (T3 or T4) charging into solo missions (that you have half cleared), getting the objective, spawning the extra mobs and charging out again leaving you to die to the extra waves.

    Clearing the mobs should be part of the objective.
  16. As far as solo bomb missions go I need a time increase on them(2-4 mins). ATM if the map isn't real small and any more than stage one I just run in hit a few mobs and leave to reset it to something else as its a waste of time. If you don't want to increase the time then give some reward for a partial completion. Otherwise I just go in and destroy the mission as it is. Sorry but I view this as a favor to other players even if the 5 man teams view this as a dis-service, its that bad.

    As quoted by the great goblin of whomever "Time is money friend" ;P
  17. I think some of them are a little to hard. I am just speaking from the perspective of someone that is just starting to get into lvl 2 gear. With lvl 1 and Stock gear some of the missions are way to hard.

    Why? Because of the amount of Grenadier and Assault spawns. A tight spot in some of the underground bunkers and maybe a chosen drone putting up a forcefield and you end up having the choice to get closer and eat 3-4 Assault blasts, die a couple times cleaning it out, or abandoning the whole thing.

    It wouldn't be so much of a problem if the missions wouldn't be on a timer.

    I like the way they are. Although i feel they are a little repetitive. To bad you guys can't make the enemies scale according to the number of players present, because...

    ... i am a person that plays most of the time during off hours in my time zone/region. Meaning i am playing when few people are around and as result i find myself either running out of missions or be hopelessly outgunned.

    Also i've seen primetime where 20 people would jump onto one group mission. Same goes for Defenses and the like.

    Playing during off hours, like 5am in the morning, i see most of the map being taken over by the chosen and as result, i end up with a rather limited selection of missions available to me. On top of that its simply impossible for me to reclaim a watchtower on my own. Yes, i am aware that if i would have a Mammoth or similiar available and it outfitted with level 4 gear, i probably wouldn't face that problem, but as i said, written from the perspective of someone that has just spend like 30-40 hours in the game yet, and is limited by the constraints due to cost of research (seriously, i can't really afford the crystite to upgrade all the things i would need to research for level 2 and 3), i end up quite a lot in situations where i am outgunned or simply have no options available for my Tech level.

    As such i would really like it if enemies could scale with the number of players being present in the vacinity.

    Needless to say that a group mission or even a solo mission (because its closest) undertaken by 10+ people is no challenge at all, and i see that quite frequently when people just finished some bigger event. Like an incursion, a warbringer or a tornado and then everyone heads in the same direction.

    If enemies would scale, maybe by calling reinforcements if a certain threshold of players in the vacinity is surpassed, or by increasing the number of new spawns/level of mobs depending on how many players are currently in the mission, it would be great.

    Ideally you'd never run out of missions, if your not geared already, there would always be something to do. Sometimes i find myself thumbing just for the exp, after i tried to fight some overtaken watchtower on my own. Ending up fighting level 4 enemies (purple), with little to no help. (At times the game is a ghosttown in the morning)

    In my opinion scaling would really help allivate some of the frustration and make it accessible all around the clock, as well as providing a challenge even in the event that to many people went into a mission.

    I think i already mentioned it. The number of grenadiers and assaults are on my list, at least for tight and narrow spaces where you cannot avoid them. There isn't much dodging in some of those tunnels. If you then add in some sniper behind them, it usually boils down to a fight around a corner. Something you can pop out from for a moment and fire a few shots down the tunnel. And honestly thats kinda boring.

    The biggest source of frustration for me however is how much of a meatbag higher level creeps are. I get it, i shouldn't be trying to fight those creeps with my beanshooters, but as i mentioned at the times i am playing sometimes there is no choice. When most of the map is in chosen control and they are running around in big packs of purple, some of them wandering even through the few level 1 outdoor missions that still show up, there is no way around it. And for me that is a big source of frustration. Of course, you feel like a boss once you defeated that chaos strike team, by your lonesome without dying, but i wouldn't call it a fun experiance to get there.

    I actually like the level 4 creations at the Melding Tornado. They aren't meatbags and seem to pose a threat to even higher geared people. Dunno why they are different (maybe its because there are so many, or because you have those big artillery to look out for), but i think they are great. Just the right amount of threat and HP, not to be meatbags and bullet sponges.

    Another source of frustration for me are the mission timer. Especially Bomb missions. There is no problem when being done in a team, but solo? At times it feels like i barely made my way to the bomb, before it goes off. If the detonators are a bit hidden on top of it, thats all time i am missing to complete the mission successfully. And nothing is as frustrating as clearing 3/4 of a mission only to have to abandon it, because its time runs out.

    Think i am taking the rum raisin. Never had that or heard of it. I am curious.
  18. I do too. It has been showing up for me a couple times. Not that i am up there much, but i have done that mission a couple times.
  19. Mithrals War Smith

    I think ARES missions are in a good spot, i can rush almost any mission in a few mins in my t4 gear, and imo thats how it should be.
    It seems like im the only one that dont mind the respawning tho, at t4 most things are so easy that its fun to be on your toes when it comes to respawns. Ive gotten used to it and adjust my playstyle and awareness accordingly. I can understand this can be frustrating for some ppl tho, but we all find enjoyment in different things.

    Im hoping for some harder content soon, even if that wasnt the response you where hoping for.
  20. Zertwvi Founder

    I think that enemies should have more abilities instead of more health. It's stupid that chosen don't have any abilities while humanity was able to make so many of them.