A lot of the prestige objectives in Freelancer have issues in my opinion. Different players have differing opinions on which PO’s need to be altered, but from what I’ve seen the complaints fall into a few categories:
- The timed missions are too demanding and/or tedious, with narrow time limits and obnoxious timer reset conditions.
- Collateral kill objectives are unreliable, with the firearm variant being the most RNG-based.
- Silent Assassin is just too steep of a requirement for some randomly-generated missions.
I agree with all of these to some extent, and I think a few changes could have a big impact here. First, rerolling prestige objectives. I think the best way to implement this would be to allow it only once per campaign segment (4 times total in a campaign). Second, flat-out removing or completely reworking some of the problem objectives listed above. I would honestly prefer just removing most of the time-based PO’s, as well as the Firearm Collateral PO. I’d be interested in hearing others’ opinions on these objectives, if they enjoy them more than I do!
Finally, I think that an expanded list of PO’s, some of which add difficulty modifiers rather than stacking objectives, could be a great idea! Here are a few ideas for those:
- You must be wearing a different disguise for every target kill.
- The mission is timed, but the timer only starts when the player kills the first target. The player can see the timer duration ahead of time, and has the opportunity to incapacitate the targets and set up a route through the level before triggering the timer.
- Several special guards are dropped into the level. They don’t have usable disguises, are in a constant hunting state (but take a moment to recognize you, like a regular enforcer), can walk anywhere in the map, and immediately investigate your location any time you knock out or kill anyone. They will be alerted by this from any distance on the map. If they find you or a body when they get there, they can alert surrounding NPCs just like a normal guard. They aren’t any more powerful than a regular guard, and can be killed like normal.
- Kill someone in view of other NPCs, making them witnesses to the crime. At least one witness must survive to the end of the mission. This will almost certainly blow the disguise you’re using at the time. The victim can be anyone, but possibly restrict it to targets only for extra challenge?
- Two prestige-only targets are added to the level. They don’t contribute to the main objective when you kill them, only the prestige objective.
- An item must be transported out of the level to complete the objective. The item is in a semi-secure location, and after the player picks it up, it makes a beeping noise every so often (30 seconds?). A countdown to the next beep is shown onscreen. The noise will act like a distraction if NPCs hear it, attracting them to you. Also, when the item beeps it causes NPCs to see 47 as committing a crime if they are looking at him at the time. The item keeps beeping if dropped, and NPCs will stash it like a briefcase if it’s found. The item is an obvious liability when completing other objectives, but a skilled player could use it to manipulate guards if they grab it early on.
Thoughts? My goal with the list of PO’s above is to avoid excessively limiting the player, as the SA and timer objectives do. Rather, I want the PO’s to create opportunities for strategizing around unusual circumstances, with a moderate amount of leniency (insta-fail PO’s are bad, especially in hardcore mode). I’d love to hear other people’s ideas for tweaks to PO’s.
Thanks for the fantastic new mode, IOI!