[ETs] My Word to Say about Elusive Targets

Good evening assassins,

I’m Nouche, PC player and fan of the Hitman franchise, who discovered it a little less than a year ago and therefore got my first paid copy of a Hitman game, H2016, in late August 2018 only. Trust my word as far as you wish considering I am not a veteran assassin.

So I’m here to give my thoughts and suggestions about one of the most discussed topics down there. A topic that has been (strong guttural voice) dividing the community since they were introduced: Elusive Targets. I probably won’t be very original in the chosen topic, still.

So, before I state what I have to say, I would like to warn you of something before you post any answer: please consider the fact that things are how they are, the developers do what they do and that’s how it is is NOT a relevant argument. I’m discussing what they should do, not what they will do. I even prefer being confident and think things can change. If you happen to agree or disagree with the points below, please let me know and tell me why, as long as the reason is not what I just mentioned!

So, I am here to propose FIVE major suggestion LEVELS that would, I think, make the most number of people happy while dividing the community the least I can. I call them “levels” as I will give them from the lightest idea to the one changing the most from the current situation (the most extreme one, in a sense). In my opinion, just one of the following could be done to improve the system, but I really support all of them, as long as we can get a fairer system. They could all help in that.

LEVEL ONE
As you surely already know, Elusive Contracts come with Challenges. There typically are two for each: the Challenge for killing the target and the one for doing it Silent Assassin. The idea of this point would be to REMOVE those. Indeed, I consider them to be rather morale-breaking to players who happened not to get to play a target in time (like my with H2016 when I came too late) or happened not to get it Silent Assassin. They can be hard to stand for people who failed as they stay forever. I support the idea of giving XP points to people managing to pull off an SA rating on an ET, but I am against the idea of making it a Challenge as it stays there for eternity, whereas the reward suits don’t require all targets with SA.

LEVEL TWO
Perhaps fixing the Challenge issues we mentioned above is to be seen as what REACTIVATIONS are made for! Their only problem is that they only allow people who never finished (by success or failure) an Elusive Contract. This, I think, needs to be reconsidered. A reactivation is to be seen as a real SECOND SHOT, so even players who missed the first time could be allowed to retry. As we have seen, playing the game the earliest possible is better. Then it could definitely also have the advantage of providing two shots at ETs.

LEVEL THREE
Reactivations are great for those people who came slightly too late, but what about people who, as I said, MISSED, or came very-much-over-too-late? (Like me with H2016!) Well, those players are stuck. It is unfair, to me. Therefore, I can see two ways of tackling this problem:
Level 3, First Possibility
Simply letting Elusive Targets to reactivate continuously and periodically. It could be an automatic process that would run until the servers are decided to be shut down, and two-to-three days per target would be enough.
Level 3, Second Possibility
THIS POINT IS THE VERY CORE OF MY TOPIC. Indeed, we could see all ETs getting permanently unlocked at the end of the season only, but without their rewards. It allows people to get the rewards live, even if they miss some targets, while still being able to not throw the content away as it comes back at the end.
BUT I HEAR YOU! Elusive Targets coming back make them lose their purpose of being actual one-shot Contracts as a real assassin would do. So to make the targets still Elusive, I am proposing a COOLDOWN system, that would make a target have like a few days of cooling-down before being replayable (this again only concerns their permanent reactivation at the end of a season) after completed again.

LEVEL FOUR
It is basically Level 3, but with the rewards still available at the end. This is justified by other games, that have done similar things before. Let’s only look at Assassin’s Creed Unity. In this game, there is a “Legendary” class of gear that used to get released periodically by giving it for free to the best performing player in a group depending on their score. However, after a while, all players could go buy their Legendary equipment in the shop.
The interest behind this mechanic is that players who kill targets live to get the rewards early and can show them off in Ghost Mode, while the other players must wait for the season to end to unlock that same gear. But they CAN do it eventually.
I know we are in a world of so-called “geeks” who reasonably like to have exclusive items and rewards the other players cannot have. It is part of the excitement around the ET rewards. But I am certain we do not destroy that with this point: instead of getting rewards no one else has, you instead get said rewards before anyone else. And that is MONTHS, if not YEARS before the other players who have to wait until the very end of the season.

LEVEL FIVE
SEMI-Elusive Targets. The idea would be to get ETs to stay forever as soon as they are released, but just having the rewards being unlockable on the FIRST ATTEMPT only. That way, we can play around with the possibilities of the contract and getting the Challenges without worrying, while the future targets still allow us to have the rewards we may have missed. It fixes a problem we currently have: failing a target is not the end of the world as we still have a lot more time and other targets to get said rewards, but unfortunately ETs all have individual Challenges as well, that also stay forever but can’t be retried. Letting targets be replayed for their Challenges and contents only, outside of their rewards would be much appreciated.

Please note: There isn’t ANY SINGLE ONE of those levels that destroys the whole purpose of ETs in my opinion, as I never proposed to make them regular contracts entirely. It is indeed important to keep their lore.

So now that you have read all that, please tell me which level of those you are supporting, from 0 to 6. Zero being if you disagree entirely; and six if you happen to even want the entire ET system to be removed, even though I wouldn’t go as far myself! (And that’s saying something)

My ultimate goal, of course, would be getting things changed, so please share this as much as you can! I mainly wanted to say those things somewhere as I never found a very complete topic anywhere. However, if we can actually get the system to be reconsidered, it would be the best news I would have ever received about a video game.

See you below!

Nouche

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I think that when the time comes that IO is finished creating ETs, they’ll probably go with level 3.

Releasing them all or rotating them automatically.

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I still say Elusive targets should stay as what they were always intended to be. One chance one kill when they are gone they are gone. They are not part of the base game anyway so they are extra. Now with that being said adding unlocks behind them is part of the issue that sort of contradicts this statement because if you start later than someone else you have no opportunity to get those unlocks.

Only thing I do agree with as time has gone on is that “everyone” regardless of when you buy should be able to play each elusive target one time. It is not their fault they didn’t start the same time.

Perhaps there are periods of time or on a quarterly basis say that they are reactivated and you can only play them if you have never completed or failed which they have done already before and it seemed to work.

Just my 47 cents.

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Not so elusive targets

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Chef-assassin: I think you are right in a sense. The ONLY point on which I am a little in disagreement is that perhaps, since reactivations exist, ONE try is a little too harsh. I would prefer to have a few tries. Three or even just two would be enough if we want to stay low.

EDIT: Besides, my whole point is that we’re tied to this system. ETs may be extra, the fact is that it is not the case for a completionist like me, but also many others. To that effect, I must admit the intention behind ETs is wrong. It is actually a mess. Indeed, one the one hand, they give us a seemingly harder challenge we can have fun attempting as a good assassin, but at the same time, they make that unlock rewards we can’t get otherwise, and have specific and permanent Challenges that we can miss. They usually are unclear in their intentions; the same is true for when they released H1 in H2. H2 was technically a new game on its own, thus explaining why you’d lose everything, but they also added the exact (yet improved) H1 missions where old players lost their progress. Oh sorry, I forgot that stupid ICA Outstanding Performance Coin is one of the few only things that made it through and carried over, my bad, sorry… The whole one-shot concept is cool, but adding those most frustrating aspects give a very bitter taste to that “NEVER” the game shouts at you. If it were only for the throwaway content, I would manage to live with it and forget we miss cool content, but letting the system behave that way makes me try everything to change it.

IvanTheRysavy: SOME of my levels can be seen as making Elusive Targets a little less elusive. However, I am confident saying it is no problem as long as they get better in the process.

Here is an idea for Elusive Targets that pretty much solves all the issues for both sides:

An ET arrives, and is available for a limited time only, and has 2 challenges tied to it (completing & sa) and you only have once shot, just like it is now.

When the deadline for the ET is over, wether you missed it, failed it, completed it or completed it with SA, the ET now becomes locked. Not gone, just locked.

Now here is the thing, you can unlock 1 ET again for again 1 shot only, and you unlock it by having grinded a certain amount of Account level (lets say every 50 levels as an example, actual amount could be debated). This way people will have an incentive to keep on grinding the game, and all of a sudden your account level is actual useful for something. You can unlock any ET from the past with this system, weither you failed, missed or completed it the first time around.

Pros:

  • ET’s still retain their elusive nature
  • Gives players incentive to keep on grinding the game
  • Account level actually has a purpose now
  • You still have shots at previous ET’s that you missed or failed for whatever reason. Hell you can even improve upon your old score if you decide to do so
  • ET’s remain somewhat prestigious, as people will have to put in a lot of grinding to unlock another shot

Cons:

  • None?
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Yes yes…grinding levels can grant you say one Elusive Key every 50 levels…

Now imagine you could get this same Elusive Key … for say…2.00 USD… but you can buy a pack of 3 Elusive Keys for 5.00 USD… saving you 1.00 USD.

J/K I’ll stop now… :stuck_out_tongue:

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I seriously think that this idea would be a pretty good solution. Don’t see any immediate downsides to it, maybe you do?:slight_smile: (just to be clear, talking about my idea, not your joke about monetization )

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I love your idea man… I was just joking about monetizing it. And it incentivizes people to keep playing.

But part of the reason I thought up of the joke is that the grind for 50 levels or something is excruciating if you failed an H2 ET after already finishing campaign and so on…

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That is why the actual amount of grinding is up for debate, but i feel like it definitely shouldn’t too be easy/fast to earn. It needs to be a big goal with a good reward, which is another attempt at an ET.

As for the 50 levels example, ive done around half of the all the challenges, and im around level 450. That would give me 9 extra shots already. I think people that done most if not all of the challenges are around level 600, which are 12 shots.

Imo that is very reasonable, might even border on too much/easy. But again, the actual number required could be finetuned, and should also make sure that people don’t waste their extra shots early on.

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Ah, so you’re saying the process of earning “ET keys” begins at level 0? I interpreted it as you meant “once you fail an ET, you then have to gain 50 levels.” Starting at level 0 and just being able to save up the “keys” seems a lot more reasonable, I like this idea.

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Yeah that is what i meant. Sorry for not explaining it more clearly.

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Also note that if this system existed back in the first month or so of H2. There was only one ET (The Undying) and I think most players would have been level 100 easily… so you have maybe two Keys at that point.

If you failed The Undying you used one and still have one. Not so painful.

Then later we have all these Legacy ET’s and so on… that’s when the grind may start to creep in.

But some guys are level 1,000+ and may have 20 Keys if it’s one per 50 levels. 20 Keys basically is enough to last you almost an entire season of 26 ET’s.

To earn a level required you did about 4 to 5 Challenges which isn’t too fast especially later on when you have to do The Classics and others you can’t do in one run.

If the Keys allowed you to replay any ET you wanted (Completed or Failed) then they can become a regular consumable.

Then we go back to “Can it/should it be monetized!”… :stuck_out_tongue:

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I’m usually strongly against micro-transactions in games, but in this instance I think I’d be fine with people having the option to buy more ET keys. Doesn’t really affect my (never-purchasing-anything-resembling-a-micro-transaction) experience at all. :slight_smile:

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But for all intends and purposes, it is meant to be a grind, not just a free extra shot that you get without any effort put in. Like i said, at level 500 you have acces to 10 of them, which should be generous enough, assuming you have the hitman know how and time to complete atleast half of them (which really shouldnt be too much to ask for a hitman player)

But that is an insane amount of time/grinding that they put into the game, these types of players will surely have completed most of the ET’s, and in their situation theyll only use it for new cool kill ideas or to beat their own time. It doesn’t make them redundant, especially not for the average player.

It should not

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Just a disclaimer: I’m an actual Marketing Executive so I’m sort of wired to think this way about monetization. Hahaha.

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All good points. It helps to think about when someone would want/need to use the Keys and how much you think they may have at the time.

The two kinds of people you end up with are streamers who want 99 ways to kill an ET but don’t like making new accounts over and over… or the really inept players who fail them all and want one more chance.

Yes monetizing them is preying on these people. Not to mention it creates an avenue for favoritism. IOI could secretly give 100 Keys to popular streamers in the same way devs give 100 Lootboxes to popular streamers to dazzle their viewers with.

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Hadn’t thought of this. Damn, why do humans have to be so rubbish? We’re why we can’t have nice things…

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Don’t think that would be the case with Hitman though. First off because it’s a niche game and not nearly popular enough. Secondly because lootboxes can give those streamers something that the average players dont own, whereas with hitman it would just be 1 extra shot for an ET at their choice, and everyone has their initial shot + up to 10 extra shots by just grinding the game till level 500. It’s way less “bragging rights” if you know what i mean.

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