Mission Difficulty Settings for Squishies

3 06 2009
Alien Raid leaving player city, click for larger view

Alien Raid leaving player city, click for larger view

Babaente and Tireen, on thier way to another mission located at the oasis just north east of the outpost and bridge over the acid river in Newland Dessert, saw an Alien ship just leaving a city raid. While they had never themselves taken part in any Alien battles (froobs can fight Aliens that land and invade cities, but cannot enter the Alien ships). The had heard mixed reports from thier enforcer friend Babaoroody. He had told them tales of partaking in defending his guilds city from an Aliens. Apparently it involves a guild member (sloob) throwing some sort of switch in the city that takes down some kind of net that normally prevents Aliens from landing there. Shortly after this is done, many small Alien craft may appear, and may encounter sporadic resistance from planet based air patrols. Next a medium sized Alien ship lowers close to the surface and begins beaming down waves of attacking Alien soldiers. While Baba has gotten experience, when he has been teamed with guild mates defending the city, and could loot the Alien corpses, much of the drops require the AE expansion in order to be used. Baba’s speech does draw faster and his expressions get more animated when he starts to describe how the waves start out with small and medium sized soldiers, and eventually a good sized Alien General is the last and hardest foe.  The last, at least, for Froobs, as only Sloobs may proceed at that point to board the alien ship for more Alien carnage.

Flat Top Ridge along Newland Dessert Acid River, click for larger image.

Flat Top Ridge along Newland Dessert Acid River, click for larger image.

Our pair were discussing this when thier yalms reached the Newland Dessert acid river Ridge where they paused for a few minutes to admire the view and enthuse together about how the ridge top would make a dramatic battle field. In a few minutes they left the scenic, but devoid of mobs ridge and descended to the oasis mission entrance. Since both had reached level 68 recently, they had bumped up the mission difficulty level a notch or two. Although they had increased the level by 1 or two points, they got a mix of big cats and hammerheads. Even when they fought well coordinated, in the first level, Babaente’s health dropped below 50% in several individual mob combats.

When they took on this task to mission for tokens to reach thier 250 token boards, they were around level 65 and they set the mission difficulty level to where it pulled missions with mobs 14 levels below them at around 51. Every few levels they have been adjusting the difficulty setting up slightly and then use Mission Buddy to get the actual level that resulted. when they pulled this batch of missions, they thought they were ready to take on mobs only 11 steps below them at level 57. They soon found this was not wise and that they should be pulling missions with mobs no higher than 54 (current level 68 – 14 =54).

Thier friend, the grizzled enforcer Babaoroody had tried to tell them about this, although his settings and margins were much different. “The basic idea is you find what level of mobs you can handle consistently, and then always pull missions to yield that equivalent level” Baba had said. “The only time you pull higher level mobs, is if you have more help.” by which Baba later explained, meant a full team or one or more high level friends present. Of course Baba and our duo knew this advice was relevant mainly for thier professions. Other professions with effective calms, roots, pets, etc. have other ways of doing things.

As they level up, it is becoming more evident to our pair that for missions as a duo, need to be dialed down in difficulty as Baba had recommended. While our NT can easily kite mobs at and above her level, she is not in her element in the typical mission, especially missions in tight narrow spaces. As an NT, Babaente is not built for tanking. Her body and her equipment set up are meant for kiting, or dealing damage from behind a tank and supporting the tank. So while our NT and trader could be out racking levels up with Babaente kiting, they still needed to run missions as it is the only way to acquire tokens for thier token boards.

So when Babaente and Tireen hit the second level of the mission, and one small mistake sent them both back to reclaim. Babaente’s mistake was to not look close enough at her mini map, and she did not verify what she thought it indicated before taking action. In her mini map it looked like there was a single red pie shape floating security cam in the room. She proceed on this assumption and motioned for Tireen to take up a position close to the door where the trader could see and shoot the camera. Just as Babaente was starting to move closer to already open door, a large cat pounced on her from the room.

Startled, she stumbled slightly to the left enough to catch the eye of the security camera, and the next thing she knew, she had a security cam, two floating sentries, and a large cat beating her and Tireen up. Tireen fired on the cat, and Babaente tried using area of effect nukes to harm all 4 mobs. Unfortunately all the cams and the cat focused on harming Babaente, and while she was winning in terms of outlasting 2 of the sentries, her health was down past 50% and even after a quick first aid infusion, she could see that she was taking damage much faster than she was reducing the health of the cat and the remaining sentry/cam. Meanwhile Tireen was pumping her shotgun furiously, but in an a quirk of the crit Gods, none of her monster Vector crits made an appearance. Babaente was reaching for her Company Policy hacked boosted graft for some additional healing, when her health ran out, and Tireen was left by herself.

The big cat still had over 50% of its health and it soon became clear that even if Tireen managed to kill one of the mobs, the one left would still finish her, which is what eventually happened.

Back at reclaim our pair talked over this latest set back. It was becoming clearer to them that the further they leveled, the less leeway they had in the level of mob they can face as a pair. If the mobs are any higher than 14 levels below our pair current level, they deal out damage way faster than our duo can survive. At around 14 levels below thier current level, the most of the mobs still appear red in the target display, and still give good experience.

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