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jdowny
03-22-2014, 03:29 PM
So AC IV is now the sixth game in the series (including Freedom Cry and Liberation) to use optional objectives. Do people still like them? Would you rather they were gone forever? Or perhaps better integrated into the game as something else?

Personally I can't stand them. Of all the features in the AC games, this is by far the worst for me. They may be optional, but having a big X or percentage loss come up when I've missed them is essentially punishing the player for not playing the game the way it's meant to be played. Assassin's Creed is above all about freedom. We get this in the parkour, the ability to climb any building, the combat. Optional objectives however, are not about freedom. They push the player to play a specific way and stop them from doing what they want, how they want.

You could argue they provide challenge. Yes, Assassin's Creed games are easy. So make them more challenging in a way that still allows for freedom of expression, not telling me to air assassinate a grenadier without being seen or to not kill anyone. More often that not this isn't a pleasant challenge - it's an infuriating process of trial and error and retrying. After all, if the player wishes he can make the game more challenging himself - in AC IV I would try and steal from plantations without killing a single person. It didn't always work out but that's the point of a sandbox game - there's a reward in spotting something yourself, trying it and learning from it without your hand being held every step of the way. These optional objectives feel more like a leash than anything else.

But I'd be interested to hear thoughts about what to do with them. Perhaps there is a way to integrate them better.

rcole_sooner
03-22-2014, 03:40 PM
I voted I like them.

They caused me frustration ... a lot of it at times ... mostly because I did not pay attention to know they were added until I saw I missed them.

Now I probably could never have gotten all of them anyways. That and I don't chase 100% .. it is just not going to happen, so why worry about it at all.

I like them over making all that stuff required, which would grind the game to a stand still ... for me. There were the handful of missions where what could have been optional were required (i.e. don't get detected). I hated that ... or at least strongly disliked it.

So, in the end, I decide optional is not so bad. Make more stuff optional. Maybe it not count towards the 100%, but I see this as how the game does difficulty settings over a menu choice.

I guess I could see voting to change it, where the optional objectives were more easily identified somehow ... but I would not want it to interfere with the immersion of the game.

frodrigues55
03-23-2014, 03:54 PM
I can see why people don't like them, but I personally enjoy it (and they nailed it on Black Flag in my opinion).

I usually play my way a first time, I don't get too focused on them unless I set out those goals for myself. Once I'm done with the plot, I try to unlock what I missed in order to reach 100%, which includes replaying the missions where I didn't get full synch.

It's not only another goal for me to reach, but also a great way to see how the developers envisioned and designed the enviroments in ways that I may have missed when laying down my own path.

I just didn't bother with Brotherhood, because the way the game saves when you fail the objective really got in the way. That, and the timed tombs, I hate those too.

adventurewomen
03-23-2014, 04:01 PM
I like them, gives an extra challenge when you want to obtain them. They do get frustrating, but have enough patience and you can achieve the optional objectives. :)

jayjay275
03-23-2014, 04:04 PM
Even though they do give an extra bit of a challenge, I don't really enjoy them. I would like to play the game how I want to, not how the protagonist apparently did.

I-Like-Pie45
03-23-2014, 04:05 PM
The EyeCue Solution

Don't play the storyline missions - no optional objectives to deal with - problem solved
http://25.media.tumblr.com/535c2f6e5b9666bf536196d1f94eb1c0/tumblr_mmi2d5OJ7b1r3dk4zo1_500.jpg

jayjay275
03-23-2014, 04:06 PM
Lol.

ze_topazio
03-23-2014, 04:53 PM
I don't mind them, provided they make sense, but taking a detour to the nearest river to fight, kill and skin a crocodile when I'm in the middle of a tailing and assassination mission, kinds of ruins the mood.

Assassin_M
03-23-2014, 04:53 PM
They're OPTIONAL objectives, why would I want to remove them?

Anyway, sometimes they don't make sense at all, like air assassinating a Grendier or killing a high number of red coats when Connor himself did not particularly enjoy killing.

frodrigues55
03-23-2014, 04:57 PM
I don't mind them, provided they make sense, but taking a detour to the nearest river to fight, kill and skin a crocodile when I'm in the middle of a tailing and assassination mission, kinds of ruins the mood.

LOL yeah, that was weird. I think they are best when the game says, for example, "don't get detected" and gives you all the tools necessary for that to happen. It's really something when you pay attention to the enviroment and see how to accomplish that by means that weren't in your face before.

SixKeys
03-23-2014, 05:07 PM
I don't mind them as long as they're unobtrusive and fit with the story (no randomly skinning crocodiles). But I think they should be changed to work more like trophies. They should be like hidden achievements so that when you accidentally get one, it feels like you're being rewarded for doing something creative, instead of the devs flat-out telling you "do this during the mission or you failed".

rob.davies2014
03-23-2014, 05:08 PM
I think the only optional objectives that should be in the game should be 'Remain undetected' and 'Kill no one'.
And they should be implemented the way the alarm bells on the plantations were; your in-game reward for the mission is more if you complete it without detection/unnecessary killing. Maybe if you are a member of an Assassins Guild, this is their policy for making sure the protagonist keeps the Assassin's Creed.

They shouldn't be necessary for 100% because that just makes it frustrating.

Optional objectives like 'Skin a crocodile' or 'Kill target with rope dart' are just stupid.

SixKeys
03-23-2014, 05:17 PM
I think the only optional objectives that should be in the game should be 'Remain undetected' and 'Kill no one'.
And they should be implemented the way the alarm bells on the plantations were; your in-game reward for the mission is more if you complete it without detection/unnecessary killing. Maybe if you are a member of an Assassins Guild, this is their policy for making sure the protagonist keeps the Assassin's Creed.

Better yet, handle them like Freedom Cry: getting detected meant plantation owners would start killing innocent slaves because of your actions. That's a much better incentive for stealth than just getting a few less barrels of loot.

Kagurra
03-23-2014, 05:44 PM
I hate them. In every AC game that I've gone for them, I always always keep doing the mission that way even when I reply it, because "that's the right way". It limits freedom, whether it's optional or not. The assassination missions haven't been as open as AC1 in a while though, so maybe that's part of the problem.

Rugterwyper32
03-23-2014, 05:51 PM
I like them but I feel they should be changed in some way. I'm thinking similar to the Trials for the levels in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. By that I mean, your first run of the game won't have any extra constraints, but upon replaying you can choose to do the challenge at hand. It could go from a mission in battle in which you can't get hit or you fail to having to kill the target in a specific way that would require more challenge, stuff like that. But of course, that'd only be unlocked after beating the mission once and it's be optional to go back and do it.
Also, make it give you a good reward. My main issue is that I really see no good reason to get 100% as there's no good things from doing it. Take a note from older games, stuff like sound tests and art galleries being unlocked for doing stuff was actually pretty worth it in my opinion. Man I love Metroid Prime.

poptartz20
03-23-2014, 05:56 PM
I don't mind them... and they are OPTIONAL.

Also I think since AC doesn't have a difficulty mode that's what makes it "challenging" for some. so in a way a built in optional difficulty mode.

Locopells
03-23-2014, 05:58 PM
Better yet, handle them like Freedom Cry: getting detected meant plantation owners would start killing innocent slaves because of your actions. That's a much better incentive for stealth than just getting a few less barrels of loot.

That kinda bugged me actually - you got detected, the overseers would runaway from the heavily armed man that's actually a threat and killing their mates, to kill the slaves. Work that one out.

jayjay275
03-23-2014, 07:42 PM
I don't mind them... and they are OPTIONAL.

Also I think since AC doesn't have a difficulty mode that's what makes it "challenging" for some. so in a way a built in optional difficulty mode.

I don't mind them so long as they're not attached to trophies...

JustPlainQuirky
03-23-2014, 07:50 PM
Keep them. Optional objectives are things you work for to get 100% synchronization.

If someone wants to take out additional challenges because they're unsatisfied with the results they got, then they're just being silly IMO.

frodrigues55
03-23-2014, 08:17 PM
That kinda bugged me actually - you got detected, the overseers would runaway from the heavily armed man that's actually a threat and killing their mates, to kill the slaves. Work that one out.

What I understood is that the slaves would see the fight and take that as a sign of rebellion, so they would start fighiting too and eventually be killed by the better armed men.

SixKeys
03-23-2014, 08:47 PM
Keep them. Optional objectives are things you work for to get 100% synchronization.

If someone wants to take out additional challenges because they're unsatisfied with the results they got, then they're just being silly IMO.

No-one is saying take out the challenges because they're hard. The people who don't like them want them changed to be less obtrusive and less disconnected from the story. Somebody in another thread recently gave a great example of how silly the sync constraints can be: in ACR Ezio needs to steal a painting for Sofia, so the player threw a bomb into the vendor's market stall, killing the salesman and causing a huge panic in the busy market, all for a small, worthless painting. He got the 100% constraint though, which means he performed the mission exactly as the assassin did. Even though dozens of innocent civilians were left injured and traumatized, yep, that's exactly how Ezio did it. Congratulations.


What I understood is that the slaves would see the fight and take that as a sign of rebellion, so they would start fighiting too and eventually be killed by the better armed men.

Yep. Adewale was just another black slave to the plantation owners.

lothario-da-be
03-23-2014, 09:14 PM
An option to turn 100% synch of before I start the game would be enough imo. Just make it so that I don't see see it anytime if I don't want too.

Sushiglutton
03-23-2014, 09:43 PM
They represent an extra layer of handholding that really isn't needed imo. I hardly noticed them in AC4 (I guess some of the HUD options I had disabled made them disappear) which was fine. As long as you can turn them off, so you don't get spoiled about what's going to happen in the mission right when you start it I'm ok with their existence. I don't care about 100% or trophies anyway.

lothario-da-be
03-23-2014, 09:45 PM
They represent an extra layer of handholding that really isn't needed imo. I hardly noticed them in AC4 (I guess some of the HUD options I had disabled made them disappear) which was fine. As long as you can turn them off, so you don't get spoiled about what's going to happen in the mission right when you start it I'm ok with their existence. I don't care about 100% or trophies anyway.
Its a gift you don't bother with trophies, I do and it can be annoying :/

Farlander1991
03-23-2014, 10:07 PM
I don't mind optional objectives, PROVIDED that they're about the 'what', rather than the 'how', and make sense in terms of character and what's happening.

AC3 had some good optional objectives which I think should be used as a basis:
1) Assassinate a general during fort infiltration as Haytham (that's a side objective which you can do whichever you want, and one of the few instances where eagle vision is actually useful in the game as you need to find the dude, and since it was an infiltration/rescue mission this objective didn't interfere with the flow of the level)
2) Stop executions while running away from Monmouth battle (added intensity, something Connor would do, can do it in a variety of ways)
3) Throw out tea during the Tea Party (again, makes sense in context, and since the whole scenario is a combat scenario anyway, adds additional multi-tasking which I honestly appreciated)

And a bunch of others. Yes, it also had tons of really awful optional objectives, but... oh well.

By the way, my favourite AC4 optional objective is to pickpocket the Templars during their meeting. So awesome and so Edward.

So I think optional objectives can be good. The problem is, I think, that missions were not designed with optional objectives in mind (in both AC3 and AC4), and were added as an afterthought, which leads to non-sense like 'skin 3 crocodiles' because, really, what sensible optional objective that doesn't intrude with the flow of the level and doesn't push you into a certain particular style of gameplay can be there?

frodrigues55
03-23-2014, 10:09 PM
^ Great examples.

I couldn't stop laughing when I saw the "pickpocket templars" on AC4. It was so simple but so genious lol.

Sushiglutton
03-23-2014, 10:23 PM
Its a gift you don't bother with trophies, I do and it can be annoying :/

Yeah I had to retrain my instincts a bit. Basically I noticed how trophies and 100% ruined the experience in a lot of ways and made me spend hours doing things I didn't enjoy one bit. And that is kind of a stupid thing to do when you are playing a video game! I prefer to replay the games instead.

Dome500
03-23-2014, 11:41 PM
They're OPTIONAL objectives, why would I want to remove them?

Anyway, sometimes they don't make sense at all, like air assassinating a Grendier or killing a high number of red coats when Connor himself did not particularly enjoy killing.

This

Locopells
03-24-2014, 01:52 AM
What I understood is that the slaves would see the fight and take that as a sign of rebellion, so they would start fighting too and eventually be killed by the better armed men.

I guess. It's just irritating when you get spotted by an extra overseer you didn't know was there, but despite being right in front of you, you can't get to them before they run away and start killing slaves...

Calvarok
03-24-2014, 08:18 AM
Optional objectives should be changed so they don't count towards the amount of sync you get for a mission, and are instead about unlocking animus data files.

Instead of being so specific, they should be more general. Like giving you a secondary target on an assassination, or stealing a document. They should all be optional things, and all of them should lead to somewhat substantial flavor rewards. More like collectibles than telling you how to play the mission.

Opportunities like killing enemies quickly, using specific ranged weapons, or taking advantage of environmental things are all just stuff that the level design should encourage. Give lots of freedom for us to do what we think would be a cool way to complete objectives, don't overtly tell use how to do things.

RinoTheBouncer
03-24-2014, 09:08 AM
There should’ve been an “I DESPISE THEM” option.

They’re totally pointless. I mean of all the out-of-synch things we do in the game the whole time, they’re trying to be precise with whether a soldier detected me before dying an not even being able to tell anyone that he saw me? Gimme a break. I’d rather have real mission objectives and some story-related, original replay value, not cheap optional objectives. ACII had non of that and it was long and rich enough to be damn entertaining.

itsamea-mario
03-24-2014, 11:28 AM
Y'know, i quite liked them, the way they were done in Brotherhood was pretty bad, but in AC4 i think they were done quite well, mainly not having to restart the whole mission if you failed one.

frodrigues55
03-24-2014, 11:32 AM
they’re trying to be precise with whether a soldier detected me before dying an not even being able to tell anyone that he saw me? Gimme a break.

That's not a problem with the optional objectives though, it's just how the stupid detection system works for the game in general, including story missions that tell you not to get detected. But I agree they are bad and need an urgent fix, it simply doesn't make sense.

jdowny
03-24-2014, 12:42 PM
Optional objectives should be changed so they don't count towards the amount of sync you get for a mission, and are instead about unlocking animus data files.

Instead of being so specific, they should be more general. Like giving you a secondary target on an assassination, or stealing a document. They should all be optional things, and all of them should lead to somewhat substantial flavor rewards. More like collectibles than telling you how to play the mission.

Opportunities like killing enemies quickly, using specific ranged weapons, or taking advantage of environmental things are all just stuff that the level design should encourage. Give lots of freedom for us to do what we think would be a cool way to complete objectives, don't overtly tell use how to do things.

Oh man, this. A thousand times.

As long as they don't count towards 100% of a mission, I'd be happy. What the player unlocks could be Animus data files as you say, or even something more in-story, such as a document, map, letter etc. Something optional that gives the player more background and the story more depth. There should be some sort of reward for making us do these tasks instead of just attributing towards 100% sync.

For those asking why get rid of them because they're optional, two things:

- They count towards 100%. If you're not fussed by that, fine.
- The game does seem to go out of its way to point out to the player that they didn't do the optional objectives in a bad way. They could have just left this section blank. After all, the people who notice them are either the ones aiming for 100% or are after an extra challenge. But they put a big cross through or take a percentage off, as though we're the ones in the wrong here. It's slightly infuriating and unjust.

We all like challenge. But challenge should come from good level design, not these out of character objectives tacked on at the end.

Dome500
03-24-2014, 01:41 PM
Optional objectives should be changed so they don't count towards the amount of sync you get for a mission, and are instead about unlocking animus data files.

Instead of being so specific, they should be more general. Like giving you a secondary target on an assassination, or stealing a document. They should all be optional things, and all of them should lead to somewhat substantial flavor rewards. More like collectibles than telling you how to play the mission.

Opportunities like killing enemies quickly, using specific ranged weapons, or taking advantage of environmental things are all just stuff that the level design should encourage. Give lots of freedom for us to do what we think would be a cool way to complete objectives, don't overtly tell use how to do things.

100% agreed.

The bold part is the most important one here.

We should not be forced to play a special way in order to fulfill optional objectives, we should rather have the opportunity to acquire something, kill a secondary target, save an Assassin brother or something similar, something that IS actually an objective in the game world, and not just an "do things our(developers) way" implication. Optional objectives should be opportunities that come up within that story mission you can do, but not have to do, and which are HELPFUL for the character himself. Like saving a fellow brother, acquiring a valuable Templar document, overhearing 2 instead of 1 conversation in order to get more information about your next target, stealing a letter from the guy you just tailed to an important meeting, freeing a prisoner from the cell you are close to, in order to get information or to let him distract your enemies. Things like that.

Bastiaen
03-24-2014, 05:08 PM
There are more of us that like them than I thought!

Kagurra
03-24-2014, 05:31 PM
100% agreed.

The bold part is the most important one here.

We should not be forced to play a special way in order to fulfill optional objectives, we should rather have the opportunity to acquire something, kill a secondary target, save an Assassin brother or something similar, something that IS actually an objective in the game world, and not just an "do things our(developers) way" implication. Optional objectives should be opportunities that come up within that story mission you can do, but not have to do, and which are HELPFUL for the character himself. Like saving a fellow brother, acquiring a valuable Templar document, overhearing 2 instead of 1 conversation in order to get more information about your next target, stealing a letter from the guy you just tailed to an important meeting, freeing a prisoner from the cell you are close to, in order to get information or to let him distract your enemies. Things like that.

Yeah. I agree. I really hate how they dictate how you play the mission, even after you finish them and replay said mission. Ruins the feeling of freedom given to us in AC1. So if they aren't going to get rid of them, at least do this. I'd be happy with that.

RinoTheBouncer
03-24-2014, 05:49 PM
That's not a problem with the optional objectives though, it's just how the stupid detection system works for the game in general, including story missions that tell you not to get detected. But I agree they are bad and need an urgent fix, it simply doesn't make sense.

Yeah, I mean in general the whole synching and detection system along with optional objectives is flawed. They’re gonna justify it by saying “The Animus synchs every details” well, fix the animus. Make us feel like we’re living the Assassin’s life as well as the guy/girl using it. We don’t need to achieve a “score” to extract data about an Apple of Eden in ancient times.


Y'know, i quite liked them, the way they were done in Brotherhood was pretty bad, but in AC4 i think they were done quite well, mainly not having to restart the whole mission if you failed one.

I totally agree that it was great that you don’t have to restart the whole mission to do an option objective that you’ve missed in ACIV. However, I think they need improvement in general. Just drop the percentage and make the “Full Synch” thing some sort of a side activity to unlock extra Animus files or something like that.

GunnerGalactico
03-24-2014, 06:01 PM
We should not be forced to play a special way in order to fulfill optional objectives, we should rather have the opportunity to acquire something, kill a secondary target, save an Assassin brother or something similar, something that IS actually an objective in the game world, and not just an "do things our(developers) way" implication. Optional objectives should be opportunities that come up within that story mission you can do, but not have to do, and which are HELPFUL for the character himself. Like saving a fellow brother, acquiring a valuable Templar document, overhearing 2 instead of 1 conversation in order to get more information about your next target, stealing a letter from the guy you just tailed to an important meeting, freeing a prisoner from the cell you are close to, in order to get information or to let him distract your enemies. Things like that.

I fully agree. I like fulfilling optional objectives, but only up to a certain extent. When you are playing the game, you are supposed to have the freedom to decide whatever course of action you want to take, whether it is a stealthy approach or frontal approach. We should not have to be restricted to play a certain way.

RinoTheBouncer
03-24-2014, 06:23 PM
I fully agree. I like fulfilling optional objectives, but only up to a certain extent. When you are playing the game, you are supposed to have the freedom to decide whatever course of action you want to take, whether it is a stealthy approach or frontal approach. We should not have to be restricted to play a certain way.

EXACTLY to both posts.
I mean, Nothing is True. Everything is Permitted. Right?

Sushiglutton
03-24-2014, 06:31 PM
100% agreed.

The bold part is the most important one here.

We should not be forced to play a special way in order to fulfill optional objectives, we should rather have the opportunity to acquire something, kill a secondary target, save an Assassin brother or something similar, something that IS actually an objective in the game world, and not just an "do things our(developers) way" implication. Optional objectives should be opportunities that come up within that story mission you can do, but not have to do, and which are HELPFUL for the character himself. Like saving a fellow brother, acquiring a valuable Templar document, overhearing 2 instead of 1 conversation in order to get more information about your next target, stealing a letter from the guy you just tailed to an important meeting, freeing a prisoner from the cell you are close to, in order to get information or to let him distract your enemies. Things like that.

Yeah I would enjoy that more, but I think the main reason for optional objectives isn't to provide more challenge, but rather to help the player and to give an incentive to use a greater variety of the mechanics. For example most tailing missions have an optional objective of the type "kill x enemies of type y". Then the enemy type is used as breadcrumbs to make it easier for the player to find the best route. Other optional objectives are there to make players test non essential weapons like ropedarts for example.

I agree that having more open objectives would be more fun, but that would defeat their purpose. For this reason I think the best solution is to just allow the player to disable them through the HUD (as I think you could in AC4, because I never noticed them before the mission summary screen).

Shahkulu101
03-24-2014, 09:56 PM
Kill them - kill them with fire. There are always little nuisances which make 100% these games a boring pain in the arse and optional objectives are certainly one of them. And, forgive me please, I also want to play however the hell I want without being penalized. Get rid of this stain on the series.

frodrigues55
03-24-2014, 10:37 PM
Yeah, I mean in general the whole synching and detection system along with optional objectives is flawed. They’re gonna justify it by saying “The Animus synchs every details” well, fix the animus. Make us feel like we’re living the Assassin’s life as well as the guy/girl using it. We don’t need to achieve a “score” to extract data about an Apple of Eden in ancient times.


LMFAO. Agreed. It's not like they haven't already changed so much of the history, fixing the simpler things wouldn't be that horrible. The animus has been used as some kind of convenient excuse to justify what doesn't work in the core gameplay. I hope they improve on that too.

RatonhnhakeFan
03-24-2014, 10:39 PM
They need to go, period. I don't mind collecting feathers and other crap for 100% synch, but doing the missions in specific dictated way is BS for an open-world game by definition.

Shahkulu101
03-24-2014, 10:47 PM
They need to go, period. I don't mind collecting feathers and other crap for 100% synch, but doing the missions in specific dictated way is BS for an open-world game by definition.

^ This. This very much

jdowny
03-24-2014, 11:38 PM
It's kind of interesting - I suppose I should have put a fourth option: not fussed. It seems that the ones that hate them really hate them, but the ones who like them seem to be pretty dispassionate about the whole thing. But I really hope they're not present in Unity. They've gone on long enough I think.

UKassassinsfan
03-25-2014, 03:30 AM
I voted for like them, while i still think changes could be made, without them the game would be far too easy! I guess it brings back this old chat but IMO assassins creed is one of the easiest games out there, especially if you don't stick to optional objectives! Yes it feels annoying when you slightly don't get 100% but then it's so satisfying when you do!

Dome500
03-25-2014, 03:55 AM
I voted for like them, while i still think changes could be made, without them the game would be far too easy! I guess it brings back this old chat but IMO assassins creed is one of the easiest games out there, especially if you don't stick to optional objectives! Yes it feels annoying when you slightly don't get 100% but then it's so satisfying when you do!

There are other and way better ways to make a game more challenging...