How to incentivize Haven Defenses and Nest Assaults

I know another topic has dealt with “make nests more procedural”. I have another thought on how to more effectively incentivize them through their effect on a story. For me personally, the issue with nest’s and lairs isn’t the repetitiveness - it’s the fact they don’t seem to offer a proportionate reward for their risk. In addition to that, at a certain point they feel more like optional missions and are therefore an inconvenience rather than a lynchpin to the mission’s success

These suggestions are based on my understanding that:
–Nests appear on given time intervals.
–Mist spreads at a flat rate.

How about:
–Undefended Haven attacks decrease the “nest spawn” timer.
—If player doesn’t defend the Haven but the Haven wins, it’s assumed that some Pandorans got away. It reduces the “nest spawn” counter by a percentage dependent on difficulty. I.E. 10%/20%/30%/50%.
—If the player doesn’t defend the Haven and the Haven is destroyed, another nest automatically spawns and the counter resets.
—Destroying a nest would INCREASE the “nest spawn” counter by a percentage dependent on difficulty. I.E. 50%/30%/20%/10%
–Mist spreads at a rate proportionate to the number of nests/lairs/citadels
—Destroying nests wouldn’t STOP the spread of mist, but would slow it down. Failing to address them would increase the spread.

NOTE: If any of these are currently incorporated into the game, it’s imperceptible - at least on Veteran. If these ARE being done, I think it says a lot that even a first time player diesmt recognize the threat.

This would allow difficulty and time-pressure to ramp up as the campaign progresses to help counter the increase in skills and equipment that the players get. It would force players to contend with all parts odd the map I’m about to win and have yet to address any issues in eastern Asia or Australia - and have fairly allowed Anu to die because preventing it isn’t necessary and only serves to piss off NJ with whom I’m allied.

This would force players to truly prioritize Haven responses and make them not ignore nests, in order to prevent the virus from snowballing - while also weighing response against the potential negative effects it will have on allies.


I don’t know how spawn actually works but in my campaign I feel that the faster I’m clearing them the faster they pop up. Which kind of breaks diplomacy on one side currently because you get more and more + to factions and on the other lead to the who cares about these approach. And structures are giving + to all unlike HD which have some minuses.

—If the player doesn’t defend the Haven and the Haven is destroyed, another nest automatically spawns and the counter resets.

Doesn’t that lead to more nest on the globe than it currently is? I’m kind of lost. I need to read it one more time.

don’t seem to offer a proportionate reward for their risk.

They give resources. You argue that risk is from perspective of doing campaign as fast as possible or from what point?

I get it now. But we still need to assume that devs want a game that you can’t lose on globe scope. Your changes are against that. And it’s obvious that the whole design with teleporting, endless raids available are for the purpose of eliminating GAME OVER. Yes you can squad wipe but usually the player ends game not the game ends you. Like how many of those 96% players who didn’t end the campaign actually lost on globe scope. I would say none if you play it more that just a couple first missions to know what is going on.

So whatever you’re proposing is just not going to happen I’m afraid. We would need some game mode for that, that you would activate in options as opposed to base game and function in reality as a mod for the game like complete overhaul.

Nests spawns are more aggresive on higher difficulties so there is that. But you still are in the loop where the more you’re destroying them the more they spawn and it doesn’t matter if you do them. HD are more important here. Probabely that’s even good for new and casual players. But campaign is losing sort of what I could’ve done better / different sort of thing.

[quote=“RepeatAfterMe, post:2, topic:13149”]

If you don’t do the defenses - yes, it absolutely does.

I argue that, at a certain point, the resources are not a proportionate reward. For the last 1/3 to 1/2 of the campaign, I’ve never felt a resource crunch that wasn’t alleviated within 45 second to 60 seconds by trading, or exploring one of the plethora of spots on the map. Therefore, the resources for completing the Haven Defense missions, I do not believe are currently proportionate. However, if you had to do these missions to actually slow the spread of the mist, that would create a totally different dynamic that would make them worthwhile to consider even when you don’t need or care about the resources.

I disagree with that. The entire premise of the game is “stop the aliens before the population drops below 10%”. The threat of losing is baked into the core of the game - it just doesn’t have a whole lot of teeth at the moment, IMO.

I would not venture a guess. I have zero telemetry to base any guesswork on, and no anecdotal experience to go off of.

Wouldn’t need a separate game mode, would need to alter the way coding functions. However exactly it’s implemented, mist spread would change form a static value to a variable one that’s calculated based on the difficulty and number of active nests.

Based on your earlier comments, rather than “that can’t happen without a separate game mode,” I believe what you mean is “I don’t want that to happen without a separate game mode.” Which is a fair response.

Yes, but I’m basing this off of Veteran, which is described as “The standard game difficulty”. Typically, difficulties like this are the intended balance/experience. Whereas easier modes are more relaxed than the intended experience for those who want less challenge, and harder modes are more try-hard than the intended experience. My recommendation is based on that for those who want extreme challenge. Playing what I understand to be the intended experience, I’m saying that I don’t feel there is a worthwhile incentive to defend havens, nor do I feel the mist spreads at a pace that feels remotely threatening. My recommendations are what I feel would help address both things I identify as issues.

I don’t feel I’ve experienced “faster spawns based on destroying nests” so I dont’ believe it would be a loop.

I agree. Just, from what I’ve heard from people who were explaining how devs approach a game, I’m sceptical this direction would be even considered. I understand why this is important. But what arguments do we have that this is important for devs to change their mind. None. That’s why I was talking about mode type settings that would allow different approaches to let some people play the game differently. Currently the approach is that if you want that you need to self-restrict or imagine those mechnics existing already. And that the end result is the same but with commitment of resources. This was some explanation that was given. So a in-game mode or mod or settings would be improvement to what we already have.

And maybe changes to mist spawning will be made in base game. But I don’t see forgoing of “Let players chose what they want to do” approach. This seems like a main core here. And tinkering with resources or incentive would kind of force someone to do sth. I don’t agree with this aproach but we have it currently. So let’s enjoy what we have.

Like if there is a mission kind of hidden because there is Ui glitch and players don’t see it, then if I write to devs, they’ll change it because they think it’s important to do this. If I write about mist changing mechanics it would be completely different reaction. At least based on my assumption on what was written on this forum.

And in the end this is nothing bad. It’s their game to make. I just won’t be going thinking how to make something if even devs don’t want that. Like feedback forum is fine if there is actually someone putting this together. I’ll be not puting much balancing proposal there because it’s waste of time. But if we come with some new approaches to missions or other changes there is high chance it would be implemented. They showed alredy that they care for that.

1 Like

Well, my primary argument would be that we have a game, where the key conflict is “Oppressed Humans vs. Oppressive Aliens,” the key goal is “Help Oppressed Humans Destroy Oppressive Aliens Before Aliens Take Over Earth,” and the key mechanism to accomplish the goal is “Engage Oppressed Humans in battle with Oppressive Aliens”. And that key mechanism fails to attract players in the late game. I think we’ll both agree there.

Now the problems, in my opinion, lies here:

  1. In late game, because the player has generally overcome the lack of resources, lack of equipment and lack of skilled soldiers, the key mechanism loses its incentive. People play games to feel rewarded, whatever that reward is. I want to craft a great story/narrative. You want to try to maximize the most efficient way to play possible without feeling overpowered, and other people have their own rewards they’re playing for. I feel the common trend of peoples’ complaints, is that ultimately, at least toward the mid-to-late part of the game, they simply don’t feel they’re getting the reward for their efforts that they really want.
  2. Because of the lack of incentive and/or significant in-game effect in the late stages, it becomes really obvious to people that it’s simply grind, for the sake of grinding and extending the life of the campaign - which goes back to the key mechanism losing its purpose late game. Like right now, I just found out that I have at least another 10-15 days of research before I can get to the last mission… and all I want to do is do the last mission. Why? Because grinding out Haven Defenses does not have a reward I desire. It’s not going to impact the game, it doesn’t affect a narrative, and whether I do or don’t do it, my game is beyond the point where it really has any ramifications. So if I do it, all I REALLY accomplish, is dragging the game out another 30 minutes instead of just ignoring it and burning the clock out on the Geosphere. In truth, it’s almost more of a punishment than a reward at that point.

I mean, I can’t really self-restrict the nests into spawning faster or mists spreading faster based on whether I attack or not. I happily would, but I don’t see a way that you can really apply a self-restriction that gives that effect.

When you clear alien base, next spawns shortly. So there is no set interval for them, except start of the game.

Later on there is almost constant number of them. Unless player is super effective at clearing geoscape of red dots, then Pandorans are screwed.

But mist spread isn’t affected by number of alien bases. It just goes there preparing land for next alien bases. Only mist repellers built by player and Synedrion can stop it at part of the map.