Personally, after two years of Elusive Target, I am spent on the “you need to remember to play every week” side of the game (I hope it will only be reactivations this year).
But yes to all the rest : Merces are piling up quickly, and gameplay is too passive after a while. Well, the long loop of the gameplay is.
I mean, replacing tools costs 20,000 Merces after a fail. Double it to replace the weapons lost.
Tools will quickly go down to two at a time in vendors, at which point you spend 2000 M in every contract, while you easily make more by just doing some of the objectives.
And that’s without going into the fact that when the weapon wall is completed, you receive bonus Merces at showdown completion.
Currently when I loose a campaign it looks like this :
- Merces are halved, I still have hundreds of thousands.
- I lost at most three weapons, of rare to legendary quality
- During the first syndicate I buy back as many tools as possible (the crates are empty, the vendor sells 4-5 of them)
- First showdown is completed, I don’t have any missing common weapon, so it rewards me 10,000 Merces
- Second syndicate to the end, two tools at most at vendors. I make a net profit at every missions
- Even if I don’t buy back my missing weapons (which are always present at vendors, since it’s the only ones in the available pool), they are rewarded back during the later showdown. If I bought them back, emptying the pool, I receive 15,000, 20,000, and 30,000 M at the showdown. The last one comes with a campaign completion bonus that doubles it to 60,000 M.
In parallel, I have ignored couriers since the third day of play, and I was only interested towards the safe because of the Cat Burglar challenge. Which I now have. I will certainly still do some if I have the right disguise and am nearby, But I won’t pursue them as I did at the start.
Like you, and a reviewer I posted in the General Discussion topic (Akwartz, be aware it’s in french), I think more should be made of the Merces. Bribes.
The same list as you : undercover start, un-alerting territories, maybe reducing the number of suspects. At a large cost.
But I also think we should have more involved gameplay during the takedowns. Some strategy on what to do beyond “taking the targets, maybe doing the alerted territories first”.
Because we quickly lose the “I need to make money and go for safes and couriers”, and later on, since we have all the Merces we ever could wish for, we also loose the “I need to look and compare the payouts and available objectives to be certain to match them and receive payment”.
For the sake of players that don’t have as much advance, we can’t overall the economy. And genuinely don’t wish it.
Something I would propose though would be to have, in every syndicate, a hidden safe, and a hidden courier in every location. That don’t appear on the map. Unless you pay for it at the Safehouse. For a hefty price
And then, if you open it it, or subdue them, you gain a Burner Phone.
It would be a good money sink, and make the takedown gameplay much more interesting, strategic.