Hello, Extinction Elites!
We’ve been getting a lot of chatter regarding our War Effort, the community-driven meta-game that wraps around our game. It is an aspect that players have been engaging with, and there are some great Reddit threads out there where players have been discussing it exactly how we hoped. However, there’s still justifiable confusion as to what exactly is going on and how to affect it. We’ve talked about it at a high-level concept, but we haven’t gone into the nuts and bolts of it publicly. So here are a few of the most commonly asked questions to set that right.
Can we win/lose?
In its current iteration, the War Effort is a never-ending tug of war between Humans and Dinosaurs. Technically it is possible to get an all red or all green map, but there are mechanisms that skew that not to happen. Having an all-red map means no one can insert into it, and all green means you won’t have much of a challenge. We want players to feel like they’re impacting the world but also need to find some consistency for the sake of an enjoyable player experience. We may have more concrete goals for players to work towards both as a community and as individuals in the future.
What activities affect the War Effort? Can we get the formula?
We can’t give you the exact formula as we’re tweaking it all the time and don’t want to be held accountable to the ravages of time, but I can tell you that individual results are based on a combination of these factors;
- Anything that gives the player research is tallied and tied to the region in which it was acquired. E.g., completing mission objectives, activities, and murdering dinosaurs.
- The above total is divided by the number of knockdowns you receive in that region.
- That total is then converted to a number between 0 and 1 based on A MAGIC NUMBER.
- A mission failure or victory then subtracts or adds a hefty chunk to that normalized number. The final value determines whether that region has a victory, remains neutral, or receives a pushback.
- These victories and failures are then logged, with the average result of all players being what determines the outcome for all players.
At the end of the mission, we can see how a zone is affected by your actions, but no stats about this or how it was determined? Is what is shown on the map what my session brought to the coming war effort update? If so, could we get more info on why the results look like that and what I did to make it so?
As of Pre-Season 4, the War Effort mission summary has been updated to include icons that indicate the actions your squad undertook that contributed to that region’s outcome that session.
I’m wondering if a one-player army could change the war effort efficiency by killing tons of Dinosaurs?
As mentioned a couple of questions up, the result when the War Effort updates is a culmination of all the community’s victories averaged out. This is to try and make sure the results don’t get skewed too heavily as the player base may fluctuate.
When I play the map showing my progress after, it does not reflect what I’ve been doing, I get enemy pushbacks where I’ve done all activities and unchanged or victories where I’ve not been focusing. Is it a bug or intended not to make sense?
It is absolutely our intention to make sure you understand how you’re affecting the War Effort and are well aware that we are coming up short in this area. We recently made a key hire with a User Experience (UX) designer whose area of expertise is making sure information and systems are communicated clearly and intuitively.
How do the War Effort and the effect on the map change depending on if you play a mission or expedition mode?
- The most important aspect of the War Effort as it works at the moment is the shuffling of content and difficulty around the map to add variety across multiple play sessions. The types of Activities (those side objectives like Hollows, Downed Dropships, etc.) you find in a region are all determined by its Threat Level, as are the Regional Assignments you find in Expedition Mode. So you should only find T-Rexes roaming high threat areas and, as such, the associated Regional Assignment.
- Insertion and Extraction are the next most noticeably affected systems. You can’t insert into a high-threat level area, and extraction takes longer or requires completing an activity in the highest threat level.
- You will find different configurations of enemy spawns and reinforcement waves during a mission depending on the region’s Threat Level.
- The flow of a Mission doesn’t change much, but the idea is that the world around its more static structure of an objective does, encouraging different routes taken and approaches.
If a player is disconnected, does it have a negative impact on the war effort?
Unfortunately, it does. Not finishing a mission, whether by crashing out or disconnecting, counts as a mission failure. This is something we don’t want to happen and will look into solving.
Will the War Effort become more sensitive to change if there are fewer players?
See above in some cases! As also mentioned, the number of players shouldn’t affect the outcome too much as it’s averaged out across everyone. However, many variables and unexpected events can and have thrown it off and have required us to step in and manually change the outcome. The introduction of Expedition Mode made it much easier to complete a mission which skewed the map green, and a sudden influx of new players pushed us in the other direction. This is all why we are in Preview and Early Access, so we can gather up all that delicious data, figure out what to do with it, and hone it better. Some of that may be that the maths of what we count as a ‘victory’ is too harsh, or it could mean that we need to build better fail-safes into the system itself.
Why is it designed to get fewer events and an easier map if we do well and get better?
Mainly because that’s the most intuitive way to interpret that players are pushing back the dino threat. There is some stuff going on under the hood, though, which means if one side gets the upper hand, then the update will start to push back harder in the other direction. Think of it like trying to hold a boogie board underwater; you can hold it down for only so long before it wooshes back up and cracks you in the teeth.
It seems that sometimes the map gets the same Emergence Events multiple times in a row, weren’t they supposed to be random?
Only new Emergence Events are random. Existing ones have a chance to spread if kept unchecked. If you see the same one cropping up multiple times, it has likely come from one that already exists on the map.
Hopefully, this gives you all some insight into what is currently going on with the War Effort. We’ve been keeping a close eye on it as devs and gathering as much data and feedback as possible to best make improvements. I look forward to being able to tell you more about those in the future.