How to Tackle The Most Difficult Mission Types
Sometimes, there are missions that just make you want to scream, especially if you see that mission type pop up too often. For new players, the following mission types can be overwhelming; thus, I have written up some help for each type. Feel free to sign the guestbook and tell me about the types of missions which give you trouble, as well!
The "Rescue X People on an Outdoor Map" Mission Type
As I've said before, these types of missions really frustrate me as a player. They can feel as though they take forever to complete (and sometimes they do--over an hour spent looking for the last person to rescue is not my idea of fun).
However, I've discovered that with the help of a good team and a systematic search, this mission type is a lot easier! Here are some tips for rescuing people while staying out of the mental ward yourself:
- Resist the urge to fly around the map first. When you fly around the map haphazardly, it becomes very hard to tell where you have been and where you haven't been in terms of higher and lower terrain. The map display is little to no use when it comes to telling you what kind of terrain is where. Using Sprint is the best way to get every piece of terrain covered, even if it feels super-slow at first.
- Resist the urge to split up your team to search around. Even though it feels faster to do this, likely there are large (and I mean LARGE) enemy spawns waiting around on this outdoor map. Splitting up your team is a good way of getting one of your teammates killed--one person simply cannot handle all the enemies in outdoor map spawns, no matter how beastly your Tank is or how fast your Blaster is. It is much more efficient (and less debt-generating) to patrol small areas together, so that the entire team can take on groups.
- Search ground-level first--every alleyway, every little nook and cranny. Circle tall buildings or trees on ground level, and explore between buildings or stands of trees. This is where Sprint comes in handy the most--trying to fly or super-speed between buildings is quite frustrating to control effectively.
- Turn on NPC chat on your Chatbox. Make sure that NPC chat comes up in your Chatbox (either the Global or Chat tab, or however you have your Chatbox divided up), because this will enable you to "hear" when you are in range of a rescue. You'll likely see a line or two of text from some bad guys, followed by the rescued person calling for help, which helps you know to search in a small area around you. This has saved me literally minutes of fruitless searching!
- After you've searched ground-level thoroughly, move up to the next level of terrain as needed until you complete the mission. This can be tops of buildings, hillsides, or varying levels of staircases and ramps. Doing a search bottom-up instead of top-down is a lot easier, since most of your rescues are going to be closer to ground-level.
The "Blue Cave Layer Cake" Mission Type
Ah, the blue caves. So beautifully shaded, so maddeningly complex. Some radio missions and some Circle of Thorns missions place you in these azure undergrounds, which are likely one of the nine circles of Hell, as you quickly find out while trying to complete your objectives. The worst offender of these caves seems to be the room everyone affectionately refers to as "the layer cake" - a room of at least 4 or 5 separate levels, with a large column of space in the middle and small holes everywhere waiting to trip up the unsuspecting hero. This is trying enough for heroes with Flight, but characters with Leaping or Super Speed will be close to pulling their hair out in this room.
But this, too, can be conquered, with a bit more patience (of which I am sorely lacking, lol). Here are some tips for taking on this kind of mission and completing it without going bonkers:
- Do NOT split up your team in the layer cake room. This is a good way to get a team wipe in no time--because of the varying levels of terrain, it is hard to find teammates again once you have gone in different directions, and several of my heroines have died trapped without hope of assistance because of such a team split. Instead, search each layer carefully and thoroughly, not letting any of your team run off after bad guys. You may have to speak sharply to certain of your teammates to accomplish this, but it is necessary if you're going to get through this mission without having to choose from "Go to Base" and "Go to Hospital."
- If you fall down a level accidentally and can't get back up, tell your teammates where you are--someone may be able to Recall Friend you back to the team's position. If they can't, ask them to come to you, so the team stays together. Likely, when you fall down a level, you fall right into a group of baddies, so it can be difficult to extricate yourself from such a situation.
- If one of your number falls all the way to the bottom floor, this is actually a good thing. (If you're the one who's fallen, tell your team "Hey, I'm on bottom level.") This is good because this gives you an excuse to clear the bottom floor of bad guys, which will stand you in good stead as you work your way up the layer cake. Because you've cleared the bottom floor, you won't automatically get pounded if you or someone else on your team falls back down again. Plus, it's easier to take on the layer cake from the bottom up, because you can then work your way up systematically, and everyone can tell exactly which level they're on.
- While looking for glowies, make sure your "Sound Effects" in-game are turned up and that your speakers or headphones are loud enough for you to hear the glowie noise. This will help you triangulate on glowies within the layer cake room, which is otherwise a ticket to Frustration City.
The "Council Map Water Room" Mission Type
I am likely to type "AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" upon stepping into the dreaded "water room"--it's three levels, all of which have narrow walkways in between shallow pools of water, and a top level which has one of the most treacherous stairways in the game. (I've died many a time on that darned stairway--you get trapped by two mobs of baddies and that's all she wrote.) This is a very frustrating room for teams to take on; it is easy to get separated from each other, and hard to find each other again, and it's sometimes hard to tell what parts of the room you've searched and what parts you haven't searched yet.
And yet, even this room can be safely completed with a careful and slow approach. Here's some tips for wading in the water without drowning in failure:
- Keep your team all on the same level, and don't let anybody go off by themselves. The water room is best attacked level by level.
- It's easy to fall between the large gaps containing metal piping on the middle level; if you fall to the bottom level and the rest of your team doesn't, find your way to one of the two very long, gently sloping ramps on either side of the bottom level. Each will lead up to a short set of stairs and bring you up to the middle level again, in a little boxed-in room.
- Do not go up from the middle level of the water room until the lower two levels have been cleared. I don't care if you've got the most beastly mission-stealthing monster toon ever--attempting to ascend that long stairway to the top level without clearing yourself a retreat path is lunacy. (take it from me...). If the lower two levels are clear of enemies, then you can safely pull bad guys down from the top level through that aforementioned staircase of death, making it a trap for them instead of your team.
- For the most part, using your Map in this room is useless, especially if you've already searched a level of it thoroughly and have filled in all the area. I find that selecting another player's name from the Team menu on your Chatbox is a great way to keep track of at least one other person--when you select their name, they become a waypoint marker to you, making it easier to tell if they are a level or two up from you, or if they are on the opposite side of the room.