When APB’s missions were well matched, in good locations and with sporting players, they could be great fun. Unfortunately this was not always the case and players could be “lumped” with an unenjoyable mission.
There were several reasons why the missions could go wrong, from the mission itself to the opponents just being douchebags. First and foremost was issues with the matchmaking. Without going into details on the reasons (thats for another day), there were many reasons why players could be stuck in an unwinnable mission. No one likes to be beaten and certainly no one likes to get absolutely destroyed. Having to constantly attack an objective knowing you don’t stand a chance is not fun and many players opt to just give up. Within APB there are two ways of doing this. The first is to just ignore the mission and drive around, visit a contact or otherwise muck about until the timer goes down. This (hopefully) isn’t as enjoyable as a typical mission and the core gameplay for the team running away and even more dull for the team just sat there waiting. The other way out of the mission is to quit. Those are your options. Keep getting slaughtered, be lame coward and run away until the timer ticks down or be a rage quitting arsehole. Yey!
Wanting to quit isn’t just limited to getting beaten. Broken objectives and dull missions are potential reasons why both sides may want to end a mission but more importantly, griefers and exploiters who thrive on ruining other people’s enjoyment. APB badly needs a means to abandon a mission as a cleaner way to give up than raging.Voting systems are increasingly popular with two approaches, both with drawbacks. The first is to have both teams agree before any action is completed. If both teams are reasonably sporting and not really enjoying a match then they could vote to end evenly, or with one team forfeiting. I strongly believe that both options should be available as you can’t seriously expect a player to conceed an obvious win because the opposition has given up. The second approach is to allow a team to quit, either voting as a team to abandon or individually. This is potentially far too open to exploitation or over use, but would provide an easier way out. Personally I’d use both approaches, allowing players to vote on a decision but if one team refuses, a “mission rage quit” option is available.
However it is impostant that any system to abandon a mission is be considered as a “last resort” by players. One thing we don’t want is for missions to be ended quickly on a regular basis. Part of this could come through motivation to complete a mission, such as the cash and standing already awarded. Additionally you can look at the converse, punishing players who fail to complete missions. This can include a DNF stat, identifying and shaming players who don’t stick it out or maybe even a message for all to see… “SomeDude rage quit against ABetterMan”. I’d certainly be keen to include the words rage quit or similar within any messaging, including the command to abandon a mission. Players should be under no illusion that what they are doing is considered bad sportsmanship, but we’d rather we did this than quit and it saves them restarting (especially with APB’s load times!). A combination of these would provide motivation to finish missions.
Players should be encouraged to be sporting, not rage quitting douchebag pussies.