Return of the faction missions! Initial thoughts?

spoilers

#1

What a pleasant surprise to wake up and see the new missions are in game with this week’s patch! I know we had some teasing on twitter but release still seemed like a ways off.

Have you enjoyed it too? Gotten all the rewards yet? Tell me what you think!

I haven’t finished it all yet but I wanted to get down my initial impressions below:

  • It is great seeing more missions and more “game” in the game. I like the idea of the tunable difficulty for better rewards in the single-player missions, and I want to see more of the missing old missions put back in and redressed like these were.

  • Playing a Dragon it was awesome to hear from Daimon again, if only for a few voice lines. Having some VO instead of just random SMS texts adds a lot to the mission.

  • Guise of the Kongamato is a thing of beauty.

  • I was surprised the chest rewards were basically the same thing as we get in a scenario. I am not sure what I was expecting, and it makes sense since scenarios and these elite missions are usually solo work, but the chest and the rewards being the same kind of takes a little out of both.

  • While I love the toggleable difficulty, even at lower levels I groaned looking at the hundreds of thousands of HP on the enemies and bosses. Sadly even the boss fights did not really feel so much challenging but rather a test of endurance, jogging away from attacks and doing a dps rotation until they keel over.

To elaborate on the last point, the bosses at least should feel harder than they are. Players at the required IP and story progress are supposed to have survived Tokyo by this point, so they can dodge out of the more frantic filth, Oni and ghost style attacks. Mechanically I think that the “boss” style enemies did much more damage (punishing missed dodges or interrupts), attacked faster (requiring more precise movement, dodges or survival abilities) and had less health (making the fight faster). If possible I would prefer to see them need things like hard interrupts, or a buff that needed to be purged, or needing debilitated applied to damage them enough. In other words, the bosses should feel like a harder test of execution at the least, and should test player’s game knowledge and build at higher levels.

Haven’t finished the new SA story yet but looking forward to savoring that brand new bit later. I like the direction taken with adding back missions and putting in the elite difficulties for solo work, and the effort put into updating them for SWL. I think the bosses could be more challenging and there should be some kind of change to differentiate the rewards from scenario rewards.


#3

I loved hearing Kyota when I ran my Dragon through the car park mission.

I’m OK with the rewards being the same as scenarios. I have characters that do extremely well in scenarios, and characters that don’t, so having an alternative for my alts that aren’t great in scens is fine to me. I’ll still run scenarios on my characters that are good at them.

I understand why the bosses have high health, so don’t mind too much in the missions that aren’t Venetian Meatshield Crisis!


#4

I liked feeling that being part of a faction kind of meant something again… :dragon: for life.


#5

Things with inflated health pools that hit for wet noodle damage are tedium, not a challenge.

Also, when I read here that at least the first mission is supposed to happen post-Kaidan, it’s so much more disappointing that Arturo gives us a “cold call” in the second mission. What a senile old chap he must be.


#6

I have only played two of the three missions (not sure why Shambala isn’t appearing for me), I tend to agree with the comments about the boss health and lack of tactics.

The new lore is nice and the fact that I can play the missions again is nice.


#7

It’s not Arturo. Different voice all together.

Rogue Agenet is an E5 mission. My E3 alt didn’t get to play with rocket launchers either.


#8

I’m just happy that Dame Julia and the Pyramidion aren’t just set dressing any more. They were what made these missions great for me.
Also, I really dig those Faction Masks.


#9

Yeah, E10 would be significantly improved if everything had half the health and twice the damage.


#10

Frustrated and disappointed. Super casual player who has zero interest in the gear grind but loves the story, been waiting for this to come back and while I was miffed that it dropped without proper warning (we had an idea that it was coming we had no firm date) I was happy enough to be able to do a single new mission and revisit Dame Julia. I love that cranky old lady so much.

But low and behold, I’m screwed. I’m sub-300 power, which means that despite more than enough gear to clear all the other story content in the game, I’m screwed out of the second and third missions. And given that I generally don’t find the combat/gameplay of SWL (or TSW) itself terribly fun, I really don’t want to spend hours/days grinding gear for it.

I see no reason why these are gated behind higher gear reqs rather than simply just adding the more difficult versions that they already did. These are bloody returning missions, not new missions. It makes me not even want to try the (apparently short?) new mission.

And for those who didn’t play the harder difficulties…did the normal version of the first mission feel like mobs had a pointlessly excessive amount of life? Because holy hell, mobs feel like they could have half the life with more actual abilities or higher damage and it would have been a lot more enjoyable. Slightly more difficult/more awareness required without just making enemies massive HP sponges.


#11

E5? That seems a little extreme. I’m all for providing a challenge but E5 pretty much is a huge sod off to all casual players.


#12

Unfortunately I’m sitting at 446 Item level and not really interested in grinding to get it to, I guess 450 or 500, is required for E5. I’ll get it eventually hopefully with Holiday events and stuff. Leveling signets is what usually holds me back.

I’ve always hated the higher Elite levels. Even on just E4 stuff feels like it has way too much HP. Thats a reason if I run scenarios I just stick with E1 or 2, because otherwise its just an unfun slog.

Just a bit odd to see something require a higher item level. When item level isn’t really an issue with all prior content. Especially if you want people newly post-Kaidan doing them. But I guess pushing people to grind for gear for a reason might keep some players around longer.


#13

For the first faction mission, Into Darkness, I mostly agree with this, though with anima allocation set at 100% DPS the bosses took less than two minutes each. This was e5, the highest I could do.

The next mission, Venetian Missile Crisis, ups the difficulty significantly. If you’re having trouble with this mission: The boss was about as hard as the ones in Into Darkness, but that last fight against the waves of enemies was tough. I died a lot until I adjusted my anima allocation. I recommend setting your anima allocation to 100% survival, but only for the final fight. The rocket launcher seems to be just as effective at that setting.

I haven’t played Rogue Agent yet, but I’m looking forward to it.


#14

Faction missions are back?


#15

Where are these missions,how do I get started?..cant seem to find that info anywhere :smiley:

edit for others wondering: found the into darkness mission on the billboard thingy in Agartha…once that was done the next one appears on the same board…assume the last will as well… o.O


#16

Enemies have too much health. Other than that, more stuff to do always appreciated.

It’s not understandable. These missions have cooldowns. 8 hours for patron, 3 days for free players. They can never make scenarios obsolete through time efficiency.


#17

did they offer Collectors Edition for Faction Missions?


#18

I am fine with the higher IP requirements for the faction missions. They are supposed to be assignments that represent us making progress as an agent, after all.

Plus, it provides players with non-group content that is (supposed to be, anyway) more of a challenge regardless of IP level.


#19

I rather liked Funcom put some real effort into rewriting Dragon’s Into Darkness so it actually makes sense in the new late-game context. That showed some real promise in terms of content actually being properly reworked (unlike, say, certain cut scenes in the now-main Egypt story)!

Unfortunately, I didn’t have to wait any longer than Venetian Missile Crisis to see that would remain a rather unique show of attention to detail. I mean, there’s absolutely no reason for the caller to apologize for a cold call in the new context, so that’s right back to the sloppy-lazy adapting we were already used to. For shame.

Thinking about Funcom’s claims about who they target audience for SWL is, the faction missions are beyond terrible. I mean, this game is supposed to be for all those people who didn’t enjoy grinding AEGIS and Augments in TSW, right?
It’s supposed to be for all those players who are not among the, according to @TronQuixote’s claims on this forum, 1% of players who ever even touch elite dungeons.

As such, there is no good reason why a competent developer should release story-type content - and given they tell the tale of the faction war in SWL, these missions are story-type content - that’s aimed at just the one percent. Absolutely none. So why did Funcom do it?

These faction missions needed an all-audiences story mode version literally yesterday, as in they should never have been released without one.

That’s particularly true given the excessive HP sponginess of mobs imo makes these missions the worst content in the game to date. Seriously, I’d much rather spend the same amount of time playing 2-3 scenarios at the same elite tier than suffer through the drag of Venetian Missile Crisis - and I don’t even like SWL scenarios.

That said, on to jollier things.

“Public Enemy Number One” is a fun little change of pace in that it is basically the first time ever the game suggest there’s competent bounty hunters, too. I really would like to know how the guy apparently teleports between his sniper spots though. I mean, he does teleport, right? Because if he doesn’t, that’s a bit of a design flaw. There needs to be an explanation how he can move between different positions faster than a human or even a bee ever could.

I was pleasantly surprised by the side mission “Eavesdropping” popping afterwards. Nice little side detail to see who’s now taking an active interest in what we’re doing.

Also, I now have a guise that I totally need to take on a romp through a scale model of Tokyo…


#20

I’ve only done Into Darkness, so far.

I thought the time vs reward ratio was OK. It took me around 10 minutes to do it (by avoiding fighting as many enemies as possible) which is the same time as a scenario, and I got similar rewards as a scenario.

My biggest disappointment is that the rewards are exactly the same as a scenario, with 3 glyph distillates & 1 weapon/talisman distillate.

I would have preferred if it had been 4 weapon/talisman distillates instead.

I find it very boring to wait hours in a queue for a dungeon and I can already get glyph distillates by solo scenarios. I would have liked a solo play method of gearing up weapons & talismans.


#21

I’m pretty sure a competent bee could flicker like that between rooftops without particular effort, especially one sent by the Phoenicians.