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Strummer Dec 9, 2013 @ 11:46pm
Baffled by gun-to-head hostage mission logic: please advise
I cannot seem to master this mission style. I do not understand what governs the alert state of the hostage guards (the ones in the lit up rooms). These missions do not appear to be on a timer so my assumption was that they are about noise. I never make it across the bigger maps to the more distant hostage before the guard kills him. I must be missing something here. Is it about limiting the noise from my team's weapons? If so, is all pistols the way to go, or pistols and silenced SMGs? If I am obliged to fight a big battle a couple of rooms away from the hostage, it appears that the tangos' weapon sounds alert the hostage taker and cause him to turn on the hostage even though my own team is using the stealthiest available loadout. Am I supposed to be stealthy and tactical or is a full-court press the only way to do this? This appears to be a great game type, like all the rest in fact, but whereas I have basically mastered the combination of stealth and aggression/speed required to win two or three star victories in the other mission types, I cannot seem to understand the logic governing the lit-up hostage guard's alert state or the tactics required of the player in this mode. Advice will be much appreciated as I do not want to avoid these mission types out of frustration. Many thanks.
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Showing 1-14 of 14 comments
Vulpe Nebuna  [developer] Dec 10, 2013 @ 1:30am 
Which mission do you have problems with, in particular? At the moment the execution happens at roughly 41 seconds of mission start, but they will do it quicker if the executioner gets a sight of your troopers.
th_pion Dec 10, 2013 @ 1:34am 
It should be made more clear by the game, that the stop execution missions are on a 40s timer ;)
Vulpe Nebuna  [developer] Dec 10, 2013 @ 1:39am 
Yeah, in the end the timer won't be as set in stone and there will be additional feedback to show this. Though for set "learn to play / get better score" missions the fixed timer seems to do ok.
Strummer Dec 10, 2013 @ 10:13am 
"Solomon Islands Embassy" is the problematic mission for me (and there's another, previous, hostage mission in this specific mode that I find troublesome as well.) Even allowing for player shortcomings (and I am pretty experienced and competent in the game) I would like to make the following observations in the hope that they will be helpful in fine-tuning scenarios of this type.

Gameplay problems that I believe apply top gun-to-head hostage rescue missions:

- The existence of a timer is not apparent.

- Being "seen" by the hostage taker is frustratingly abstract. I've been "seen" when there is no apparent line of sight between my troopers ands those in the illuminated room containing the hostage. Exactly the same thing goes for "hearing"; it's abstracted because who know's what the guard's hearing range is and how it might be influenced by open doors, etc.?

- The mission type does not support a careful, slice-the-pie, stealthy gameplay style because of the timer, yet balls-out assaulting often gets you noticed and the hostage killed. This makes it too trial-end-error.

- The great thing about this game is its lack of abstraction. The timed bomb defusal missions are great because you get to discover the location of the bomb, even from a distance, before the timer starts, and when it does, you see a countdown indication. For some reason, the line-of-sight mechanic seems to work more logically and less abstractly in timed bomb defusal mission than it does in the gun-to-head hostage rescue missions. I believe this mode needs a gameplay tweak to eliminate abstraction and the frustration that arises from it, before its true potential is realised. I just don't fel like playing "Solomon Islands Embassy" again.

Players and devs, please feel free to let me know your opinion of these observations and suggestions.
Strummer Dec 10, 2013 @ 3:41pm 
I just played two more of these missions, including "A View To A Kill". They drive me crazy. I am very frustrated. Here are the sources of my frustration:

- There's a tango facing the locked door where my team ingresses. It's the only entry point. We have to blow that door because trying to pick the lock alerts the guard who then barges in and ruins our day.

- So I blow the door on a go code and give my guys good routes and FOVs for the entry, covering as many of the angles as possible.

- The sound of the battle alerts the tango guarding the hostage very close to the entry point. He shoots the hostage and it's game over.

I really, really think you have to do the following to make these missions less aggravating:

- Do not place a guard facing every entry point, making it necessary for the team to make a loud entry. Make it so that on certain available points a picked lock will work.

- Do not put the hostages where a mandatory loud entry will get them killed within seconds. Or leave them there but extend the countdown.

- Make stealth play a feasible way of tackling these missions. In other words, allow for careful entries and room clearances so that the player can advance tactically instead of balls-out.

- For the balls-out approach, extend the countdown. The player has to win both a firefight in which he is outnumbered and a ticking countdown. It's not fair that he should always be dealing with boith simultaneously, especially with only four troopers. Make it so that the challenges are sequential, not simultaneous.

- Allow for less cramped and hectic initial entries. Almost every one of these missions obliges the player to go in, guns blazing, through one door, while enemies converge from a multitude of angles (and the clock is ticking.) Let the player get his team in and consider his options rather than have to fight the mother of all CQB battles on every entry.

This is SUCH as great game. But a lot of the missions, especially the latest additions, are gun-to-head hostage rescues and I feeel strongly that this play mode and the design of these missions needs urgent fine-tuning. Unlike the rest of the game modes, this one is not yet fully thought through or developed, and the abstractions, such as how the enemy notices the presence of the troopers, thereby causing an immediate hostage execution, and overwhelming odds against the player are frustrating.
Last edited by Strummer; Dec 10, 2013 @ 3:44pm
ezfeeling Dec 10, 2013 @ 7:58pm 
A few note on the hostage execution maps.

1. They usually will not kill unless the room is open and they hear gunshots. (there are some exceptions, but usually those can be handled by making sure you are doing firework some distance away from the hostage room.)

2. Scan the hostage room to see what you are dealing with.

3. a neat trick I have is to open the door on the side so when the door is open tango will not spot you. Prime a flash and enter will give you the best chance on tricky ones.

4. Alternatively, what you can do is to have 2 guys do flash/breach enter. What this invloves is have one guy doing breach charge. When it is done, have another guy prime a flash into the room. When you see the flash thrown animation, immediatly click on blow. This will blow the door just in time for flash to fly into the room, allowing you to clear a locked down room with little trouble.

Strummer Dec 10, 2013 @ 8:28pm 
The trouble is that the player has no control of which doors swing open as the result of his required loud entry breach. The randomisation of enemy plaement just make it more complex. The upshot is, these missions are too much of a lottery, which undermines tactics.

Neat trick with the blow and breach!
Vulpe Nebuna  [developer] Dec 11, 2013 @ 8:51am 
While I agree that the game is a little light on feedback on certain events, and still random in parts... the Stop Execution missions are really supposed to be the toughest you face. I don't have my books with me at the moment to properly quote "Cold Zero" but really Hostage Rescue is one of the situations that doesn't go well with slow, silent, methodical clearing of a building.

On the other hand, it makes sense that once the bad guys are on the way to execute a hostage, they prepare for your response. They guard the entry points. They are ready for you.

Tha being said, I can currently clear both hostage situations in a View to a Kill quite easily, this will probably work much better once we can share replays :) Flashbangs work wonders but the trick is indeed to make it out of the hallway without losing people
Last edited by Vulpe Nebuna; Dec 11, 2013 @ 9:22am
Strummer Dec 11, 2013 @ 9:39am 
Thanks as always for responding. It's good to know that these missions are supposed to be the hardest. I must have spent over two hours trying to beat A View to a Kill yesterday; I think I got one 1-star and about 60 defeats but the 1-star might be wishful thinking!

It's good to know that the particular difficulty of these missions is a design feature. There are more missions of this type than any other in the most recent update and my heart sank when I saw this. I will work at improving my blast, bang and storm play style but in general I like to slice the pie and move tactically, covering all possible angles, a technique that is not well suited to missions with two types of failure triggers (the 40 sec timer and the slightly over-abstract proximity trigger).

I take your point entirely but still feel that the ultimate refinement if this mission style, if the above challenges are to remain the same, would be to offer a stealth entry option that would require the player to move further, and therefor take longer, to reach the objectives but would not embroil him in a furious firefight on initial entry. The alternative strategy would be to enter closer to the objective but to have to fight your way to it, essentially giving up the initiative from initial entry, which is how a lot of these missions have to be played right now. I just realized that I might be able to do all of the above in the mission editor! I assume stock missions cannot be edited, though, or can they?

Thanks again for responding.
Vulpe Nebuna  [developer] Dec 11, 2013 @ 9:50am 
They can be edited but there may be admin rights involved with saving them, so tricky to do now.

Even now you can go for the silent approach - depends on the map, also accept a little local comotion by manual breaching the door and having a 2nd trooper ready to shoot with a silent weapon.

Also note that the execution mission are the prime contender to being improved by the snipers.

On the other hand, the single missions are to be treated as challenges, so while you can adapt a lot, there is a definite element of specific challengei n each of them.
ezfeeling Dec 11, 2013 @ 11:30am 
I wonder if the silent approach actually works. Even with silenced weapon, tango seems to hear the gunshots and everyone pour in.

For "A View to Kill", I took screen shots of how I 3 star the map just now.

If you need more assistence, the rest can be located here:
Professor of Doom Dec 11, 2013 @ 2:37pm 
It appears that the only silenced weapon in the game is the MP SMG? None of the hand guns can be silenced?
BLEED Dec 14, 2013 @ 12:10pm 
^work in progress game, probably *nudge nudge* will be in the next update
Strummer Dec 17, 2013 @ 8:02pm 
Wait I just got religion: Breachers with shotguns followed out by troopers with pistols to assault the hostage rooms. Only one star but progress.
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Door Kickers > General Discussions > Topic Details
Date Posted: Dec 9, 2013 @ 11:46pm
Posts: 14