Though I quite cheerily murdered folks in Dark Souls by invading their world – hey, look, everyone knows spooky woods have murderous guardians – I’ve yet to invade another player’s base in Metal Gear Solid V [official site]. 120 hours in, no one has invaded my own Forward Operating Base either. Loading MGS up this morning to see what a new patch brought, I noticed Konami are offering a whole load of rewards for invasions and it makes me wonder… do most people skip invasions? Have you intruded?
Forward Operating Bases, to briefly explain, are extra structures you can build in the seabase management side of The Phantom Pain. They let you assign a whole more of your abducted pals into developing weapons, treating the wounded, delivering intel on enemy movements, and so on. They’re a quick and relatively cheap way to reach deep into the tech tree, certainly quicker than acquiring more-skilled staff. But! FOBs can also be invaded by other players of similar tech levels, who can steal a chunk of your resources and staff. If you’re online, you can fly over and fight the defender off yourself – that sounds fun. If you’re busy or offline, you’ll be told they came and get to invade them in return.
Konami had said FOBs were optional but, past a certain mission, if the game’s connected to its online servers it’ll force you to build one. Many players are ‘opted into’ these invasions, then, but I suspect few are trying them. Like I say, I’ve never been on either end of an invasion, and Konami keep adding things to push people towards them. They recently ran an event where you could invade an NPC FOB – with plenty of in-game popups to remind you of this – presumably to introduce people to the idea. They’ve added theft insurance too. Now ongoing events are offering decent amounts of staff and cash if you invade folks or expand FOBs, and the loading screen spams advice about dealing with intruders. They stopped just short of saying “YOU GUYS, YOU CAN INVADE BASES, PLEASE TRY IT C’MONNN.”
(A cynic might say Konami simply want folks to spend real cash on microtransactions that boost FOB development, but I’ve received so many of the ‘Mother Base Coins’ free simply for logging in regularly that I’d only need to buy them if I wanted an unnecessary number of FOBs.)
I still won’t invade anyone during these events. Firstly, I know how how much effort goes into acquiring resources and decent staff, so I sorta don’t want to be a dick to strangers. I wouldn’t want them to retaliate and take my precious S-rank staff in return, either. With a chunk of the tech tree still to unlock, I don’t want to slow that down. And if you do get killed invading someone, you must pay an expensive ransom. I like to think I’m in a classic cold war stand-off with all the other Big Bosses, not wanting to go after them because they’ll come after me.
I do dig the idea of flushing an intruder out the nooks and crannies of my own Mother Base, though, watching them deal with chokepoints and security systems I carefully placed myself then storming over to chokeslam them. I’d definitely have a go if Konami ran some sort of ‘training exercises’ event where you could invade other folks simply for funsies, not taking or losing anything.
But you, how about you? Are you invading anyone? Have you been invaded? Did you even know you could? I realise The Phantom Pain has a whole load of menus with meaningless names that some might simply ignore. What would get you to play them?