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  #1  
Old 08-31-2013, 10:47 AM
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PixelLord PixelLord is offline
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Default Patch 1.021 - Drox Guild Involvement Comments

This thread is for comments regarding a new feature for IotA. As a new feature, your comments and suggestions will be greatly appreciated as well as just plain needed!

With patch 1.021 Shadow has added an "Advanced Option" on the "Set Up Sector" screen for the level of "Drox Guild Involvement". A setting of Minimal is basically "off" (no change from previous patches) with various other settings each increasing the chance that the Drox Guild will command you to complete mandatory quests in order to win a sector.

Upon the Drox Guild offering (offering is really the wrong word as all are mandatory!) a quest, a Drox icon will flash on the screen. There may also be a timer if it is a timed quest. And timed quests start when the quest appears, not when you actually accept it. In patch 1.021, Shadow has intentionally given excess time to complete any quests, and these times will be adjusted down based on player input to more challenging levels.

Clicking on the icon will reveal the Drox Guild Quest screen from which you can "Accept" the quest (Clicking Accept is rather a moot point since all quests are mandatory to win the sector - but for now I believe it's necessary to have an open quest slot on your Quests screen in order to Accept it). Upon Accepting it, the quest will appear on your Quests list (taking up a slot).

when making comments, it would be helpful to list your ship level and other options especially pacing, sector size, and Drox involvement level. Thanks in advance for your help.
________________________________________________

With a new ship, Tiny sector, and Heavy Drox Involvement; my first quest from the Drox took 45 minutes to appear (activate all Jump Gates). I was given 1.5 hours to complete the task. I already had 4/5 jump gates activated. I completed the quest 4 minutes after it first appeared.

Same ship (level 8), new Tiny sector, Heavy; Eventually get timed (1.5 hours) Drox Quest to make Dryad not the most powerful race (they were at the time). Completed this quest in about 10 minutes.

Same ship (level 12), new Tiny sector, Heavy; Got a timed (1.5 hours) Drox Quest to "Destroy the Fringe". At the time the Fringe were the most powerful, and I had made significant progress in improving relations. Completed quest in about 15-20 minutes.

Same ship (level 15), new Tiny sector, Heavy; 15 minutes into the sector I get a Drox quest "No Diplomatic Win". I was in a strong position for this type of win (2 races and I have Mutual Protection Pacts). This quest is not timed. I finally complete this quest after 1.2 hours by achieving a Fear win.

General Comments:
  • No sense of urgency yet based on excessive time allowed to complete quests.
  • Need better in-game description of how Drox Involvement Quest system works.
  • "No Diplomatic Win" quest gives me nothing for completing it (other than allowing me to win the sector) - this was the hardest quest for me to complete so it seems to me there should be some XP and credits reward.
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Last edited by PixelLord : 08-31-2013 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:51 PM
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Level 33 cortex ship. Tiny sector, early development, using the same galaxy as the previous game. Lost the sector within about 15 minutes. I don't know why.
The Drox quest was to open all the starlanes. Note the discrepancy between the two countdown timers. Also, the size and placement of the timers is a bit obnoxious.

http://s988.photobucket.com/user/Abe...tml?sort=6&o=0

Last edited by RoboAV : 08-31-2013 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 08-31-2013, 07:36 PM
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Oh dear.... This is going to make hardcore even more fun!
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Old 08-31-2013, 08:35 PM
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Level 7 Lithosoid ship. 6 races, early developement, new galaxy, heavy Drox involvement. Have more than enough money for an economic win, but the Drox quest to protect the Dryads for X amount of time is at 50 minutes and counting down.

50 minutes to twiddle my thumbs.

Don't like having a visible timer on my screen at all times, much less 2 of them displaying the same information.
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Old 08-31-2013, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoboAV View Post
Level 7 Lithosoid ship. 6 races, early developement, new galaxy, heavy Drox involvement. Have more than enough money for an economic win, but the Drox quest to protect the Dryads for X amount of time is at 50 minutes and counting down.

50 minutes to twiddle my thumbs.

Don't like having a visible timer on my screen at all times, much less 2 of them displaying the same information.
Protecting a race for X amount of time is probably not a great Drox quest. Much like the loathed 'protect our planet for X time' quest.
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Old 08-31-2013, 08:57 PM
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PixelLord, how did you defeat the Fringe so fast?
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Old 08-31-2013, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluddy View Post
PixelLord, how did you defeat the Fringe so fast?
SPOILEr ALERT!

I spread rumors (negative) so that everyone declared war on them. Then let nature take iit's course. I was surprised how quickly the Fringe met their demise.
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Last edited by PixelLord : 08-31-2013 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:17 PM
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I've played 4 or 5 tiny sectors with heavy Drox involvement and I have to say that I don't like what it does to the gameplay. As soon as a quest pops up, you have one big timer on the screen, then two timers once you accept. I can only think the reason for multiple timers is that you might get multiple quests handed down from Drox High Command... which would then mean 3 or more timers? Beyond the screen clutter it creates, just having that countdown creates an imperative to do that quest and that quest became what I was doing. I was no longer evaluating the situation or making choices about how to proceed through the sector. The Drox Quests became a linear path that I could not ignore.

Everything in Drox is timed already, but with subtlety. I know that quest to Find Plans isn't going to hang around for long, the planet handing out any given quest might die or the race takes care of Cannibal the Superboss before I can. None of that wonderful complication invoves a timer that is randomly imposed on the game world rather than being a part of it.

You cannot finish a sector without doing these quests, but the reward for them does not significantly move you toward that goal. If the quest tells you that making an alliance between Draak and Human is the key to this sector, then forming that alliance should catapult you towards victory.

The quests feel like artificial barriers rather than adding to the experience. My apologies for being so negative about this feature, but I really didn't like the way it made me feel led by the nose the entire time I played.

I would rather see the optional Drox quests be given more weight by using large amounts of Fear, Legend or Economic points as rewards rather than- or in addition to- chests.
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Old 09-01-2013, 07:26 AM
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Thinking about some of the feedback here, I'd say we want as few Drox quests as possible to involve timers, just as the towns in DC don't have a survival timer. The 'timer' part should usually be an organic part of circumstances that threaten the quest victory conditions. Timers also, as RoboAV mentioned, force completely focusing on the Drox missions, when in reality you want to give the player space to figure out how he can both solve the Drox missions and his open goals for the sector.

For example, a quest to destroy a race, or to make a race lose power (as mentioned by PixelLord) -- these quests don't necessarily need to be on a timer. The timer could be used internally to decide when the Drox come up with a new objective perhaps, but in my mind at least, the Drox guild quests are supposed to give you more fleshed out end goals rather than immediate things to do quickly most of the time. Sometimes the Drox guild's goals will cause tension, and sometimes they won't -- and that's ok. For example, getting an alliance between 2 races doesn't necessarily need to be on a timer. Sometimes it will be extremely easy to accomplish, and won't be tense at all. Other times the two races will be sworn enemies, or one will be close to being wiped out, in which case the situation will be far more tense. The one exception to this that I think requires a timer is exploring the galaxy, which contains no possibility for tension at all as far as I can see unless it's on a timer.

One way to improve the 'protect race Y for X time' mission is to have the protection of a race as a bonus goal: so long as the quest is in effect, you can keep doing whatever you were doing, but make sure that this race is kept alive. In this case, it would be useful to hide the timer for the quest. It wouldn't be necessary though to finish the quest to win ie. so long as the race is alive, you can win by any of the victory conditions.

It's worth checking out how a leading race was destroyed purely by turning everybody against it. Can this be done consistently? Is the race AI not reacting properly to declarations of war by other races? I think this is great if it works once in a while, but should definitely not work consistently.
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:23 AM
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I just got a 'make Dryad the most powerful race' quest when I haven't even met Dryad yet, though I've met the other 4 inhabitants of the sector. I think this is really cool -- it makes me have to think about the endgame and how to progress already, and I feel like I already have a stake in the game.

In terms of the counter, a flashing icon is always a bad idea -- the icon definitely should not flash. Secondly, I probably don't need to see the seconds of the timer -- they're almost as distracting as the flashing icon. Hours and minutes are enough.

I think it does make sense to have this quest be on a timer, though I got 2 hours, which is probably too much. I also think that if the timer is made less distracting, this is a pretty awesome addition to the game.

A more interesting quest though, IMO, is to *keep* race X as the most powerful race. This quest would not display a timer -- it would be in effect as long as the quest is active. In this case, you'd have to make sure that race X, which is the leading race, remains powerful, which means your goal is to keep the other races down while not necessarily destroying them. Taking the time to destroy any one race could allow another race to take the lead, which would make you lose if the goal is still in effect.
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