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foscor77

how much efforts would it take to redesign missions?

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Posted (edited)

I hate how missions are either fully offensive or defensive. They should be offensive and defensive by turn. like if in stage one the opp is defending and your team have to do the objective, the next stage it should be your teammate defending and opp trying to do objective.

 

But i guess its very hard to redesign missions? or is it not?

 

I seriously believe this single change is on par with engine upgrade to change this game for better.

Edited by foscor77
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I think what you ask can be made possible by the matchmaking system.

Late Orbit promised us that the matchmaking system will be revamped after phasing system is implemented.

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Yeah the missions could use a revamp, it’s pretty much one sided on defense unless you’re playing with a premade team against another premade

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1 hour ago, foscor77 said:

I hate how missions are either fully offensive or defensive. They should be offensive and defensive by turn.

+1

defendin players always have advantage ofc(if teams are balanced)

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Swapping sides in a mission  its already a thing (but yheah they are rare as winning the top item from a JMB).

They just could them happen more often.

 

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There are some missions in the game already which shift roles of both teams. "Constructive Criticism" has the Enforcers defuse bombs on 3 portacabins in Stage 3 and the Criminals burn the same portacabins down in Stage 6. "Bad Investment" requires the Enforcers to take over an area in Stage 4 and the Criminals to retake it in Stage 5 (though as far as I'm aware, the objective completes faster for the Criminal side for some reason; could be me misremembering things though).

 

I don't know how possible it would be to redesign missions, but I agree that it would be nice to see some more variety in mission flow.

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Posted (edited)

Background

I spent most of last week writing an overly complicated localization generator (TLDR: The stuff you see on streams that displays the mission stages instead of the mission description text)

This generator was based on consuming the API exposed by apbdb.com, which is parsed from binary dumps provided by Little Orbit some time after patch release. This gives us an insight into how information regarding stuff like missions is stored, but not how the code looks. We can only guess.

 

The mission system is an absolute mess. While the most basic of missions contain comprehensive stages, you have random fields like etimeofdayavailability, fowningsidebias, nowningsideviplives which makes you wonder exactly what the mission system was supposed to look like originally. The scavenger last stages look like they were made using duct tape and crossed fingers. You have strange sometimes-unused variables scattered everywhere that may or may not impact how a mission plays out.

 

I gathered with some help from the apbdb creator (Speed) that there's some sort of server side player distribution system which allocates mission stages based on which city blocks have ongoing missions. I believe this was made in an effort to spread out the population as much as possible, to avoid overlapping missions and terrible frame rates from a large amount of players being close in proximity.

A stage is essentially assigned a city block, where the objectives for that stage are chosen. This is logical, and is the case for most missions - except that you may recall that some missions (DIVIDE AND CONQUER:JG_BEM4_Dis1) have objectives several city blocks apart.

 

This is achieved by having two duplicate stages (two city block allocations) and marking the second one as bisconcurrent = 1. The server recognizes this and bundles them together into a single stage, seemingly on run time. It seems very hacky.

 

This is one example of many confusing edge cases that seems to make up the mission system.

 

The main topic

That being said, after looking at this stuff for a few days I think that I could more or less comfortably balance missions or maybe even introduce new ones, assuming that my understanding is more or less correct. Mixing defend/attack should not pose a problem - to my knowledge these are just special stage types.

 

In APB you have two sides: owner (attacker) and dispatcher (defender).

There's no actual faction restriction to missions, Enforcers can do criminal missions just fine, they are just not offered by Enforcer contacts.

 

When you are the owner and you get a defend stage, that is a special stage type:

In Divide and Conquer the Enforcers will :

Dispose a bomb on stage 1 (0) - This is stask: "Bomb Disposal" - owners are attacking

Guard a bomb target on stage 4 (6) - this is stask: "Bombing / Armed Guard" - owners are defending

 

Random info

There are some missions in the game that are either unused or are insanely rare.

Miguel Estebano and above offers this mission, but it's quite rare.

 

In "Bookie On The Run", an enforcer mission, you:

  • Hack a car's GPS (Hacking a vehicle target) and CSI an office building (Take pictures of a door)
  • You break into a building and find a small item which uses a katana sword model, which you then deliver.

I believe the only other place that you see these kinds of things are in the now disabled RTW tutorial missions.

Some variance in where equipment is used would be interesting.

 

I am being told by Russian players that the Innova developers experimented with having random last stages in the middle of missions. So on stage 3 you'd play a shortened version of Escort/VIP, and then continue with ordinary objectives. Would be cool to experiment with.

 

TLDR

I ASSUME this is not a lot of effort, it just takes time to sit down and understand the system which is terribly old and scattered with confusing patches + forgotten features.

(+NA servers makes 70% of my bullets go through people, and apparently that makes me creative.)

Edited by rooq
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Changing mission stages to switch more often between offense and defense? Doable but a decent chunk of time.

 

Revamping the entire mission system? Preferable but a shit load more time.

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42 minutes ago, NotZombieBiscuit said:

Changing mission stages to switch more often between offense and defense? Doable but a decent chunk of time.

Less of a task than you'd expect, probably.

 

42 minutes ago, NotZombieBiscuit said:

Revamping the entire mission system? Preferable but a shit load more time.

Lets assume that they'll have to do something like that for phasing. I have no idea but I can imagine a lot of difficulties in their path.

Yikes.

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12 hours ago, rooq said:

The mission system is an absolute mess. While the most basic of missions contain comprehensive stages, you have random fields like etimeofdayavailability, fowningsidebias, nowningsideviplives which makes you wonder exactly what the mission system was supposed to look like originally.

I wouldn't call those random, but are more like holdovers from some of the original mission designs which i believe were meant to be more GTA esque.    Could still be recycled for more mission variety.

 

The time of day requirement could give some insight into why most of the RTW guns had flashlights on them, the OBIR(or was it the N-TEC?) being the only one with a presumably working one.

Edited by SkittyM

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5 hours ago, SkittyM said:

I wouldn't call those random, but are more like holdovers from some of the original mission designs which i believe were meant to be more GTA esque.    Could still be recycled for more mission variety.

 

The time of day requirement could give some insight into why most of the RTW guns had flashlights on them, the OBIR(or was it the N-TEC?) being the only one with a presumably working one.

Random in terms of our current perspective based on the game that was actually produced.

Edited by rooq

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On 1/9/2020 at 3:43 PM, MartinPL said:

"Bad Investment" requires the Enforcers to take over an area in Stage 4 and the Criminals to retake it in Stage 5 (though as far as I'm aware, the objective completes faster for the Criminal side for some reason; could be me misremembering things though).

You remember correctly. However this might have been patched in the meantime.

 

On 1/9/2020 at 4:03 PM, rooq said:

I gathered with some help from the apbdb creator (Speed) that there's some sort of server side player distribution system which allocates mission stages based on which city blocks have ongoing missions. [...] This is logical, and is the case for most missions - except that you may recall that some missions (DIVIDE AND CONQUER:JG_BEM4_Dis1) have objectives several city blocks apart.

And some missions feature somewhat unique objectives (radio towers, for example), which simply only exist in a few spots.

 

Also "dummy"-objectives which, I guess, were supposed to be randomly assigned, but just so happen to always be assigned the same letter.

 

 

On 1/9/2020 at 4:03 PM, rooq said:

That being said, after looking at this stuff for a few days I think that I could more or less comfortably balance missions or maybe even introduce new ones, assuming that my understanding is more or less correct. Mixing defend/attack should not pose a problem - to my knowledge these are just special stage types.

I think a more interesting twist on the system would be tug-of-war mechanics for missions, which could dissolve into a classic finale if certain conditions are not met within a certain timeframe. The current system is just too predictable after a while.

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2 hours ago, Revoluzzer said:

I think a more interesting twist on the system would be tug-of-war mechanics for missions, which could dissolve into a classic finale if certain conditions are not met within a certain timeframe. The current system is just too predictable after a while.

Sure but this would require rewriting the code.

I was approaching potential changes from the perspective of not changing code.

 

I am sure that they will overhaul the entire system eventually.

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I faced this problem when I was fixated on pumping specifically one of several contacts . if periodically to change contacts present  problems not .

Edited by yood

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while missions are being reworked might as well fix the spawn system 

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