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05.01.2013 , 02:12 PM | #1
I actually really like Colicoid War Game, it's a fun bite-sized Flashpoint. But I think it has some issues that could be improved, especially if it's getting a HM recycle in the future (because stealing your kids' birthday presents and re-wrapping them as Christmas presents is all the rage in MMOs now).

This is the worst part of the FP. At baseline, it's actually fun in a relaxing arcade-game way. Unfortunately, it falls apart quickly due to a few factors:
  • Slow. It's really... boring. Group members have on multiple occasions typed things like "zzzZzZzz" over and over, or had a contest of wordplay (which birthed Colicoid Snore Game, among others). I had one group member suggest BioWare sell Colicoid-themed advertising time to Doritos or Gatorade just to make the cannons less boring to sit through.
  • Too simple and too easy. The only things which make the cannons interesting are:
    • My computer is horribly underpowered and so the colicoids graphically lag and pop out of nowhere right next to me. Exciting!
    • Starting the cannons when the whole group hasn't loaded in yet. 3, or even 2-manning, the cannons makes them much more engaging.
    • Carrying out entire conversations in group chat about Kantian ethics or the maximum heel length you can wear daily without causing tendon damage.
  • No replay value. Because the cannons are so simple, and require no strategy at all, once you've seen this section once you've seen it forever. Your class, your group comp ... nothing has any effect on this section. It's very boring.
  • No XP from slaughtering colicoids. This is probably compensated by the mission-completion that occurs when you finish, but still. It feels wrong to spend 10 minutes of your XP boost killing bugs and not see XP pop up.

I think some things could improve the cannon section:
  • More health regen and standardized maximum health while on the cannon (in other words, Sage DPS don't die faster than the Vanguard Tank while sitting on a cannon due Health pool sizes)
  • In exchange for that survival boost, make the waves spawn faster, with more colicoids in them. The cannons are more exciting when you feel overwhelmed and outmatched; sitting there staring at the wall between waves helps put you to sleep.
  • Randomly spawn barrels or 'unstable colicoids' or something which can be targeted to do area explosive damage. This adds an element of caution; if you blindly spray your cannon all over, you'll waste an explosive too soon.
  • Randomize the Colicoid waves. Instead of predictably going "2 swarmers, 2 drones ... 3 swarmers, 1 strong ... 1 elite... 1 strong...", allow some quadrants to get massive waves that require additional support to take down fast enough. Encourage surprise results and teamwork / covering each others' backs. (This is part of what makes 2/3-manning it fun, btw)
  • Spawn a final Champion colicoid that the group needs to turn all their cannons on together to kill. Bonus points if it's completely gigantic, and has classic console game "Head and Arms" boss qualities with multiple body parts to shoot at. Cannon section needs a boss!

I generally feel the Cannon section is the weak point of CWG. However, the rest of the FP can feel too fast / rushed / empty. I've had multiple different people seeing CWG for the first time go, "That's it?"
  • Timing. Giving us CWG right after the epic Foundry / Maelstrom Prison sequences is a little... underwhelming. You just took on some of the most fearsome opponents in the galaxy in a daring raid, and now you are ... running an obstacle course for bugs. It's a bit anticlimactic in its level placement.
  • Right now, the 2 champion droids in the middle of the obstacle-course segment are 100% skippable even at minimum-level to enter the FP. This feels wasteful; give people something to fight. Link the 2 champion droids so they pull together, make them un-skippable, give the fight more interesting abilities and let it drop a piece of "real loot". This would help liven up the rhythm of the FP, interjecting a normal fight between the 2 obstacle courses.
  • Instead of just teasing us with the 4 opposing-faction contestants in the LS/DS choice, let us actually fight them as a Bonus Boss in the Arena at the end. This would be a much better finale than the charming, but boring, Annihilator droid.

Again, I think this is a cute / charming FP and I like it. But there are some rough spots and I think these changes (or other ones, it just needs some work) would help polish it up into a "real Flashpoint", so to speak.