The Mission Terminal is the centerpiece of the Mourningstar hub. Here, players share the space with others, and access a variety of missions. We want all players to find a few missions at any point in time that are relevant to their character’s competency. Missions get dynamically populated on the Terminal according to either predetermined narrative or emergent events that happen inside the world.

We’ve learned a lot from our work on the Vermintide series, as well as from looking at similar titles. With that knowledge, we built something suited to the W40K universe while making the system a bit more dynamic than what you’re used to when coming from our -Tide games.
Inspired by the analog nature of the technology layer present in Warhammer 40,000, the Terminal emulates the space cop fantasy where the world is alive, and the Mission Terminal is ever-so-changing, reflecting the perils and urgency of its contents.

In terms of presentation, we chose to go more diegetic: Fewer floating menus and more of an in-world setup where everything “lives” on the Mission Terminal. This makes the whole experience feel better grounded into the universe and more distinct and easy to understand for players (some early feedback helped us steer the ship right in the sweet spot between clarity and immersion). Missions are displayed in different ways:

  • In a small panel: where users get a very condensed idea of what they have to expect about the selected mission
  • In a medium panel: where users get access to quick play (a fast way to queue in missions) or events of critical nature get displayed; this panel also acts as a legend for better explaining the small panel's iconography

An expanded panel is also present when you select any particular small or medium mission panel, where users get all the information they need to embark on said mission.

Furthermore, as you prove yourself to The Inquisition, the more trusted you become on the Mourningstar. This progress follows through in the Mission Terminal, unlocking higher difficulties, and better rewards following that trend. However, with the co-op nature of the game, it was essential for us to allow the possibility to play missions together, even if players are way apart in progression.

As for missions of critical timing, these get highlighted in the middle of the Mission Terminal. These urgent encounters have better rewards and higher intensity in combat, so in true grim-dark fashion, you might not survive :).

You will first be introduced to the Mission Terminal, during the prologue once you have completed basic training. When the Mission Terminal is accessible, players can team up and start a mission. The first player that selects a mission initiates a vote for the other Strike Team members in their team, with the possibility of any player in the Strike Team being able to start voting on a mission.

Missions send you and your Strike Team deep into the Tertium Hive. A mission follows this structure:

  • Mission Difficulty:
    - Relates to the power/strength of the enemies
  • Mission Name
    - Flavor-name for the mission
  • Mission Location
    - Where this mission is taking place
  • Where this mission is taking place
  • Mission Type (Objective)
    - What are you doing inside of the mission (note: some missions can have side objectives)
  • What are you doing inside of the mission (note: some missions can have side objectives)
  • Rewards
    What will you get for playing the mission; we have various types of rewards that fuel progression:
    - Experience: The driving source for empowering your character.
    - Ordo Dockets: Can be used to buy new weapons and apply modifications to them.
    - Weapons: The player by succeeding a mission has a chance to be rewarded with a weapon to add to their arsenal.
  • Mission Timer
    - How long is a certain mission available (upon expiry of a timer, new missions “populate” the Terminal)

Some missions can have modifiers; we call them Special Conditions. An example of this is a Power Supply Interruption. Missions with this Special Condition, will be (as the name suggests) darker and add a unique way of playing the level. A Special Condition could also apply on a more global scale in Tertium Hive, and we call this a Global Condition (pinned at the top of the mission board). During a Global Condition, the game will alter the missions more frequently. There could, for example, be a blackout in the hive, and therefore almost all the missions available are affected by Darkness.

Given all the specs that missions can have, this makes the world transcribe its dangerous and chaotic nature while allowing us to expand on it more easily in the future.

Thanks for reading and see you in the Mourningstar!

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