Gameplay polishing review

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Gameplay polishing review

Post by Ancillius » Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:28 am

first things first:
I think this game has great potential and is on a good way to be one of the most interesting games. I have tested the game for 30 hours now and I think I can now tell what (IMHO) needs some polish.

I On Ship:
1. Boarding Bots. Bots are coming endlessly, even after their ship is destroyed. Fighting against 2 Ships is almost impossible to do since 8 Bots are comming endlessly onto our ship. Even after destroying both ships (got lucky) still they are coming. This seems really buggy.
-- Please fix.

2. Scanning and Science:
This would be game changeing. But as a Captain you do not have much Info about enemy ships. Just shields and hull. Asking my science officer she can only tell me what class the ship is. After scanning (which at least starts the bot problem 1) theoreticaly she can tell me the internals of one enemy. This is nice but will mostly not happen because there is no time to do this. The fighting usually starts instantly.
-- give the science station more time to do things. This can be done by adding more screens, making results visible somewhere else or simple by letting ships spawn with much more distance.

3. Fight Ship-to-Ship
3.1 Fighting one ship is fun (as long 1 does not happen, e.g. a drone). Fighting multiple ships is not fun. Hit rate of bots is near to 100%. So has the AI. Ships are firing even while their crews boards our ship. You cannot fire back in this time. Multiple Enemies once the boarding starts you will not fight enemy ships anymore.
-- fix please
3.2 Enemies are always "in a pack". This is on the one hand interesing, but on the other annoying. Seperating them should be possible.
-- Maybe one could disable a ship for some time (a stasis missile or something) which makes the ship inoperatable but also unvulnerable. Could work like Crowd Control from RPG games.
3.3 Scanning for ships. After a hard fight against one of three mission targets (drones in a nebula) it was impossible to find any one of the two others. Mission failed.
-- Active scans should reveal the position of the ships to both: you and the enemy. Maybe to have it more interesting install a "stealth system" which avoids detection by active scans. Think of a disadvantage for stealth mode like "half shields", "high power usage" or something.

4. Money and Missions
4.1 While the pace seems ok for long time play, the chaos level rises quite fast to 6. The ships equiptment does not. We got random loot (mostly worthless) and Scrap. Missions give about 2k a new reactor costs 20k while one mission costs up to 1k repairs/fuel/missiles/cooland/etc... So 20 missions... The biggest reactor we found is 200 grands. This is just one component. Exotic eqiptment is approx 100k every other main component too. This takes forever. Many missions by my faction are not payed in any way. No reward, no money, no loot. Just costs and maybe some reputation (which is nice, but see 4.2).
-- Make missions more interesting and easier to obtain. What are Long Range Coms for, when my boss does not have any missions for me?

4.2 Mission difficulty
One of our first missions was "destroy 2 ships of your class". Impossible (as above). Reputation Lost.
Next: Destroy 3 Drones...theoretically possible, but very hard. And not possible fighting them all at once. See above. Not possible to solve.
Others: Escort a Ship, Kill one Ship, etc... easy peasy
-- Have missions with a difficulty set.

4.3 Finding missions:
As above... annoying.
-- have a more efficient mission system.

5. Bot AI
The system is quite nice. BUT picking just one option (the first true clause) makes the system unflexible. SciBOT mans his station in combat, but does not fight against invaders. So you need to control bots "manually" by giving out orders like "repel invaders", "offensive attack" and so on. Having the opportunity to do this is very nice and enjoyable. But getting shot at and not fight back at all is strange.
To get this done the system hast priotity groups (like "flying ship"). This would solve all problems and still be complex but usuable.
-- Make priorities groupable.

Mr. Morague
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Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:10 am

Re: Gameplay polishing review

Post by Mr. Morague » Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:57 pm

1. The boarding bug seems to be partially random. I get it from time to time, but never change settings. They usually go away after one or two warps, if you survive. Alternatively, boarding and claiming their ships, then salvaging them almost never results in that bug for me.

2. The most I'd change right now about how scanning works would be to find out what equipment the crew is, and maybe highlighting the ship systems for people unfamiliar with the ship layout. The problem with trying to stealth as something other than the Stargazer or with low EM signatures is that you spawn too close too enemy ships. Some enemies are meant to do that and that's fine, but other than those enemies I believe they should spawn in range to be detected but far away enough to not get fired upon immediately.

3. All ships have turrets that automatically fire at enemies they can see. Only gun that doesn't do this is the main turret. I agree that some enemies should be spread out a little more, especially shock and phase drones. Regarding disabling other ships, you can board manned ships and disable their reactor while they're shooting at them or use lightning turrets, which has a chance to disable enemy ships for a short while. Active scans have a range. If you can't find an enemy, try moving awhile in the opposite direction and scanning. While tedious, it works eventually. A stealth system is already in the game, and works well though certainly has room for improvement. At EM 1.0 you can be detected easily at an enemies max sensor range. You can get higher EM and thus much more easily detected by getting more damaging weapons, better shields, a stronger reactor, and a better warp core or you can get lower EM and be much, much harder to detect, less damaging weapons, decent/worse shields, a weaker reactor, and a better or worse warp core, depending on if you want to stay and fight or not.

4. I agree that more missions should be added and the chaos system tweaked, but that should wait until they're done with whatever they have planned. Regarding the reputation lost mission, you should try and strive to get Block Long Range Comms immediately or avoid those missions. I disagree that finding missions is hard, especially for the CU and WD. However, once the end game is reached, the game does find it hard to keep players engaged other than finding things like Warger's Secret Third Sector, Project Megaton, V'uurog(?), and fighting infected ships.

5. The bot system is perfect as is, though certain behaviors and actions do need to be fixed/tweaked/added. It is actually very easy to set it up so that bots do everything you want them to while simply using the ship, boarding, or going planetside with you. When I have access to my bot behavior I'll post it here, though it is mainly for stealth/boarding, it works well in general.
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Re: Gameplay polishing review

Post by Edinstein » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:43 pm

You can refer to our roadmap to see where we are with things like polish. We will likely be polishing the game more throughout this year.

Thanks for the feedback and suggestions! A couple thoughts:

1. Bots definitely shouldn’t be doing that after their ship is destroyed. We’ll look into this, thanks for letting us know!

4. We’ll be looking into fixing, removing or restricting the 2 vs. 1 ship missions. They may have been possible at one point in the past, but with some of the new balance changes we’ve made it might not be the case anymore. As for missions in general, we definitely want to add more missions with progression, easier ways to find missions, and the main Lost Colony mission line.

Mr. Morague
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Re: Gameplay polishing review

Post by Mr. Morague » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:57 pm ... sp=sharing
They will act on their own and do it well most of the time, but they can also follow the commands I felt useful. (Though don't always trust the pi bot with repairing the ship.)
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