Author Topic: PvE Engagement Curve  (Read 4075 times)

Offline HamsterIV

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PvE Engagement Curve
« on: September 12, 2017, 08:03:57 pm »
The game play of PvE seems less consequential than the PvP. There are fewer moments of frantic button mashing followed by cathartic release. Bringing down an enemy ship is less of a rush and the Game Over Screen does not leave me overly proud or regretful. I acknowledge that bots will never be as fun to stomp on as your fellow man, but I think there is more at work here. I would like to address the pacing and the engagement curve of the PvE mode.

I am referencing concepts brought up in the Extra Credits video:

Whether intentional or not GOI's PvP adhered strongly to the ideal engagement curve:

1)    Initial spot
1.5) No shooting approach phase
2)    Guns in range
2.5) First clip expires or first mallet
4)    Armor strip
4.5) Armor recover
5)    Armor strip again
5.5) Armor recover
6)    Final Armor Strip
6.5) Mortars going out
7)    Did the mortar hit before armor recover?
7.5) Ship killed
8)    Victory cheer
8.5)  Back to spotting

Yet in PvE the steady stream of enemy ships with trivial armor and hull values means the player is at a constant level of stress with less peaking and release. The obligatory boss ship encounter does up the difficulty but it is more of a steady rise than a peaking and release.

Games like Left 4 Dead handle the engagement curve very well for a dynamic PvE experience. For a lot of the play session the player is moving cautiously with periodic spikes in intensity from special infected. Bigger spikes come in the form of zombie swarms or Tank battles. The players are allowed lulls and safe rooms to reset the base line with the climax being the 2 tank finally with multiple swarms. The desperate rush to the extraction point from the best defensible position providing that last little spike at the end.

I would like Muse to reexamine their AI director and Allicance NPC ship designs with this  peak and release design philosophy in mind.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2017, 08:10:17 pm by HamsterIV »

Offline Richard LeMoon

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Re: PvE Engagement Curve
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2017, 02:47:40 pm »
Tanks in L4D tend to come alone, or with few other zombies in the area, letting the peak focus on them. Bosses in GOI tend to be treated as just another ship, with an equal number of small ships still spawning in. Perhaps this would be a good starting point.

Offline ObliqueFault

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Re: PvE Engagement Curve
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2017, 03:22:57 pm »
I think this is an excellent point, and would like to second it. Gunners and engineers have a particularly flat engagement curve, because they're just treading water while the pilot completes objectives. As it is, when you destroy an enemy ship there's always another one right there, so it never really feels like a victory.

Boss fights are an exception to this, because they provide a spike in difficulty for all three roles, followed by cathartic release when/if you destroy it. That's good! We just need to create similar curves in the rest of the mission.

I suggest making the small ships come in waves of variable difficulty.

That way, there would be times when you REALLY NEED to (kill a ship/complete an objective) before the next wave hits. This would add a lot of pressure, which would feel great when released. And defeating an especially difficult wave would provide a feeling of triumph for the whole crew. If this is followed by a short breather before the next wave arrives, it would be a perfect engagement curve.