Missionreward balancing based on time effort

It always bugged me how some missions are short but still give full reward while other missions that take 2-3 times longer give exactly the same making me skip some mission intentionally. After running most missions a lot I just can’t bring myself to stretch my farming longer than need be.
So I thought: What if rewards from missions (Shards and XP) scaled with time effort. Not really changing the total of all missions but redistributing.
So I crunched some numbers and this is what I came up with for my testcase of South Africa (As it has few missions and is level 50 all around).

I took my times of running it (which are most likely relative close to a reasonable runtime for higher gear players and probably the fastest it gets as it’s more balancing for eole that ran it real often and not for firsttimers) and rounded them up to the next halfminute to account for some mistakes.

-Cult of Personality
Shards: 1575>1686
XP: 6198>6633

-Things that go bump in the night
Shards: 1575>908
XP: 6198>3572

-One flew over
Shards: 1575>1956

-Wraith of the Dawn
Shards: 1575>2594
XP: 6198>10205

-Into the Fold
Shards: 1575>1946
XP: 6198>7654

And the Sabotage missions who normally get a 25% bonus on xp get that one timebased split among them:

-Foulfellow and Gideon
Shards: 1575>1427
XP: 7745>7885

-Public Enemy number one
Shards: 1575>519
XP: 7745>2867

The numbers are a bit flexible and more “better but not good” but timeeffort based balancing would probably look like this. Question is now: Is that something we want, need, is viable or even makes sense?

I can tell a little why I came up with it: Nightmare in dreampalace is an extreme case were a mission takes like half an hour but is rewarded like something that costs 2-4 minutes and despite me liking the lore I don’T wanna spend half an hour for chump change. So I thought how would it look like if it is based on time a reasonable high player needs for rewardwise. I understand why funcom implemented the same rewards among all missions the same based on type, zone and level. Because it is simple and easy on the developers but I think some finetuning could make some missions more interesting/“viable” without really impacting the overall xp gain.

Thx to all that sit through my rumbling and I would be happy to hear your two cents to it (From “utter garbage” even if it hurts to “Interesting/cool thought”)

  • Good Idea
  • Bad Idea
  • No opinion/Meh

0 voters

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In the current setting xp and shards have no value (to me), so I would encourage an inclusion of the other associated currencies, like Dawn’s Favour, filthy keys, gear bags, (even MOFs).

If the idea isn’T completly kicked out of the room by a large part of peole I can put in more time and see how other things like dawnfavor and bags would be impacted.
Sadly it gets way more complicated once you come into regions were not every mission is level 50…but it should be possible since it should still have an intact progression for people leveling through it the first time.

It’s an interesting idea, and one that probably should have been implemented from the start, but honestly, it’s pretty low on the priority of things that need fixing in the game. Plus, it would require a whole lot of work, and as has been pointed out many times on many different threads suggesting changes to the game, there’s just not enough resources at Funcom to allow major fixes to SWL.

There’s also some practical issues as well. You only mentioned SA, but how would you propose balancing rewards in the zones before Tokyo? Just because the enemies are weaker doesn’t mean the missions don’t take as long, especially the sabotage missions. Would you propose balancing all mission rewards based on end-game players’ runtimes, or just SA and Tokyo? How would that affect progression for low-level players?

On a philosophical level, it’s actually kinda sad that this is even a topic for conversation. Playing the game should be about doing whatever it is that you find the most entertaining, and reward consideration should be secondary. Instead, since the game is so grindy and limited, it’s all about efficient farming. Essentially, the grind has become the game. In your example, running Nightmare in the Dream Palace should be it’s own reward since it’s something you enjoy doing.

That’s not an attack on you personally; I’m guilty of this as well. I have a set farming route, or rather 3 farming routes that I rotate since I’m not a patron. I get little to no enjoyment from running the same missions over and over again, but it’s a quick way to knock out dailies and build up some shards for the museum. Now, maybe your proposed system would mean more people would widen their farming to include different missions, but I’m not sure it would really impact how people play to an extent that would justify the time spent on implementing it.


My goal is to not touch the sum xp/shards of a zone. But for below 50 missions I think it is reasonal to set the scope lower. Instead of reshuffeling a whole zone it would be reshuffeling stuff in a certain levelrange. Like required level range of three apart (like 48-50 or 15-18).
I would have to look if and how well it works. Especially if I rebalance bags it would slowly start becoming more work than a side project. Something that falls into responsibility of the system guy from funcom. I still probably could do it but it would be hours and hours of getting stats, testing numbers and doing number crunching to make it work. It would be something I wouldn’t like doing without any hoe of it both ever being implemented in some degree and having the support of the community. Call it a community project to iron the kinks out of the game.

I feel like, even if the rewards were equal for time invested, most would still look for the shorter route. Unless something like nightmare in the dreampalace becomes worth a lot more, Per time spend, than the rest, ppl wouldnt wanna do it more than they do now.

Investigations and sabotage would also be ‘fun’ to balance. I am extremely quick in making my way through cost of magic, but im sure many have quite a different time feel for it.

As a whole i just dont think its worth the time spend balancing, even when you ignore my points above.

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This, because the actual limiting factor is the rigid MoF system. That’s the limiter on how willing people with more limited play time will be to put up with long mission re-runs; as is they simply won’t.

That said, it’d be great if SWL were a game were re-running extra long missions is something people want to do because of the nice rewards. Quite frankly, I kind of doubt that it could actually be that without kicking the mindnumbingly boring “progressive” gear system to the curb, because what really gets people playing extra long missions in other games tends to be cool loot.


This game is moribund, so the chances of any sort of balance on time/reward is unlikely at best.

I’ll tell why I voted ‘bad idea’. Because no one will raise rewards for long missions but instead will nerf rewards for short. And already tedious farming will become even more disgusting. Why it will be nerf? Because past ‘crime records’ don’t exactly encourage me to believe in raise.

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I think this would be a waste of already severely limited development resources. And I don’t quite get whom this is meant to benefit. The free player who spends all day farming solo content? I for one would still not routinely re-run longer missions even if the rewards were increased tenfold.

The only nerf I really can remember reward wise was the container nerf, buffs we got a lot of shards and destillates added to stuff. Correct me if wrong. So I am a little unsure what you mean by ast crime records.
I also tried to take care to make the numbers a rebalance only. Neither a buff nor a nerf. If I didn’t read of the numbers wrong the oold numbers and the new numbers should add to the same.

I would be the greedy one and say, in that case leave the current rewards alone, and beef up the rewards for the longer missions.

I get that the idea is to try and level out the mission reward playing field so that people feel a little more incentive to experiement with their routes and revisit some different missions. I’ve done the same myself as I’m checking out routes in Transylvania instead the usual cuplrits in SD, SA and KD, just to add some flavor to clearing main missions for MoF.

I agree with @Nytha that I wish there was less incentive to have to go after MoF first, but since MoF is the only way to get stuff off the AH (or unlock weapon pages or fuse your gear or what have you) you gotta prioritize it.

A change that might be more interesting is making longer missions count for as 2 or 3 missions for the purposes of the daily. If Dream Palace or say Confontations and Revelations were worth 3 missions there would be a big incentive to run them.


That is a freaking interesting thought.
Since yesterday I send a little time (not to much but a bit) thinking about it. What if theoretically dailies wouldn’t be a static “do 3 main missions” but do “100 mission points”…it would be crazy much developing and it is more a theoretical than an actual idea short missions just award less “mission points” or how you wanna call it and bigger ones award more. Making you send a certain time doing main missions instead of a certain number.
It would I think still hit minimalist (people that run the shortest missions and do only dailies) but people that take it a little easier on the efficency suddendly could pick from a far larger pool of missions without really spending more time running than others before hitting the daily mof count.
Halfbacked I admit it but I love throwing stuff at the wall and see what sticks…maybe a great idea comes up. A few things in here are already really good points.

A mission points system does sound like a cool idea.

The devs could assign points based on average completion time of each mission. Alternately, you could use it only for main missions, and/or make it a separate currency you can spend on new weapons/talismans/distillate vendors. I doubt Funcom would go for it, unless we can justify how they could make money from it. (yes, yes, no resources to develop, and all that). And I’m not sure if the player base would appreciate the value of the diversity.

I don’t think adding math to the challenge system is in any way a good idea. You’d just end up with a spreadsheet, or a list of the most efficient ways to get the 100 points without wasting too many.

If they wanted to encourage players to do a wider variety of missions than they perhaps normally do, all they’d have to do is bring back some of the classic TSW challenges.

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Weekly challenges, what a novel concept that could make a game much more appealing to weekend warriors. And Funcom still wonder why people say TSW was a far superior game in so many ways.

Or maybe they just pretend they wonder, idk.

I do kind of miss the TSW challenges. With the SWL ones I don’t really feel much of a motivation to stay in game after I’ve completed them. With weekly and daily challenges (both revolving) it gave me more motivation to try new things and keep coming back to see what was around.

They’d still need tweaking for easy mode SWL but it bringing back the old system could be a good way of encouraging players to spend more time.

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OD’s chest nerf for example.

Yeah, I miss the varied daily challenges and weekly challenges of TSW as well, but unfortunately, a lot of that relied on varied content that isn’t in SWL. The rotating daily missions based on region and type could still be a thing, but again that would just default to a list of all the quickest missions of each type in each zone. I remember in TSW I had my go-to mission for each daily mission.

Bringing back weekly challenges would be interesting, but I’m worried it would just serve to highlight how little there is to do in the game. There’s only one PvP minigame (no Rosenbrawl doesn’t count), there’s only 1 raid, and there’s only 5 dungeons. So the weekly challenges wouldn’t really encourage people to do more varied content, they’d basically just be the daily challenges but bigger.

When did we have a nerf of the Occult rewards?