Where'd the Hellbug go?
I reached a milestone in Defiance today. I attained a 250 EGO rating. Along with the boost to my RL ego, this opened up the Contract system in the game.
A contract is basically a daily or weekly mission that is tied to a particular corporation. Completion of these contracts award what could be called reputation, but is really just another form of in-game currency. Each of the businesses (factions) has it's own reputation (currency) that can be used to purchase stuff from their store. I don't want to go into the companies here since I really don't know much about them yet, but the bottom line is, you get money for fulfilling the contract.
Since I wasn't too sure about this feature, but wanted to give it a shot, I chose the first contract on the list – Vision for the Future from Von Bach Industries. This turns out to be a collection quest in the Delta Bunker. I did not see such a bunker on the map so I headed to the wiki and discovered this was in a co-op mission. Now things were getting really interesting – I had not participated in a co-op mission yet, so it would be a day of firsts…
I entered the queue for the mission, and after waiting about a minute, I was teleported to the instance. There were 11 steps to the mission, ranging from freeing prisoners to turning off sentry guns, and I ran with 3 other players. There were plenty of ammo crates spread around so no one was worried about running out of bullets and I switched between my LMG and my BMG so I could keep people topped off with shields and health (as usual, I like playing a healer).
A few times it got messy and someone had to be revived, but it was a fun and varied instance – even if it was a bit weird not having much communication with my team mates (the chat system still needs a lot of work). I didn't see any explicit drops of the optical targeting sights, but I did get credit for collecting them.
The final boss fight as with a BioMan named Piercer who was using adrenaline to pump himself up. We had more revives here, but there was no question that the four of us would take him down.
One thing that was confusing after the conclusion of the instance was that I was not removed from the group automatically. Make sure that after you do an instance with random people, you go to the quick menu and leave the group manually.
On the whole, I enjoyed the co-op mission. Like most individual missions I've run across, there is a variety of things that have to be accomplished to reach completion. There may be a sub-quest that asks you to kill ten mutants or something, but it is part of a larger chain and seems relevant to what you are actually doing. This gives me hope that Defiance has learned from the mistakes of other MMOs, but I've only gotten to 250 EGO, so there is a lot of game left.
Edit: As of patch 1.013, only 175 EGO rating is needed to run Contracts.
That's a pretty cool looking robot over on the Golden Gate Bridge…
Too bad he blows me up whenever I get to close.
I have come to the realization that I may not be the target player for Defiance. The key to the realization is the first Rampage mission – Draw the Line.
The Rampage missions are a set of secondary quests that (at least as far as I can tell) give you a gun and plenty of ammo and tell you to kill everything that shows up within a certain timespan.
For the Draw the Line mission, you are given a light machine gun that does pretty good damage, 2000 rounds of ammo and 2 and a half minutes. You are told that mutants are planning an attack and we've got to stop them by, of course, killing them.
Apparently your as long as you keep killing things, your multiplier (over on the right) goes up and your score will reach the 75k needed for gold level. If you get hit though, you multiplier goes down. I can't seem to keep my multiplier high enough for a long enough time period to get past the bronze level (35k). On top of that, in order to qualify for completion of the pursuit – Mount Tam Exploration III – you need at least a silver rating (55k).
So basically, I am putting this off until I learn how to maintain my shots better and not get hit as much.
Nolan and Irisa before they stole the Libra Nova Gem from me…
Players who completed the Episode 1 missions helped the stars of the TV show find the gem that they used in the arkfall near St. Louis to get the terrasphere, so without us, the city would have been destroyed.
First view of my EGO…
The EGO or Environmental Guardian Online is the source of all Ark Hunter powers.
Stratocarrier New Freedom before the crash…
San Francisco has seen better days too.
Waiting for the ship to crash…
The three of us, Nolan, Irisa (the redhead), and I, preparing for the landing of the Stratocarrier.
Sniper rifles only work if you are facing the right direction…
Mutant Snipers are one of the first targets you go after in the game. I found this guy duing The Sniper Ridge mission which is the 2nd quest in the Main Mission line of Defiance.
Running around in the futuristic/post-apocalyptic world of Defiance has been a lot of fun so far.
I've been enjoying learning the details of using the various guns and EGO powers, and am intrigued to see how Trion and SyFy are able to integrate the game with the TV show. Like any new MMO, I have run into some launch issues (specifically – crashes and disconnects) and while Steam says that I've played 23 hours, most of that time has actually been spent downloading updates. Even so, I have been able to get a few missions knocked out and started to explore the starting area.
As many reviews have pointed out, the PC controls could use some work – it took me 10 minutes to figure out that F6 led to the system menu where I could logout, and there isn't much of a tutorial – its an FPS so what do you expect. For the most part, though, everything behaves like most other shooters, particularly Borderlands (to which I have seen a few comparisons). Eventually I tried an XBox controller (I played Borderlands on the XBox) and it worked nicely.
One concern is that I already feel pressure to make progress through the story – the character selection screen talks about Mission Episode 1 needing to be completed before April 15th, and as a casual gamer, I usually take my time in games (I've only reached endgame in one game – WoW – and that was after many years). I wonder how this will effect future players who miss out on the initial launch.
In any case, I've got my goal set to be ready for the first TV episode, and already have my TiVo set to record it.