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nox
01-12-2013, 10:58 AM
So, my son an I picked up the demo and played it for a bit - and I have to say we're both amused and impressed with it. We bought the full version after a couple of days and I'm looking forward to some multi.

We were sitting having tea and discussing what we thought the design influences were - Armada, EVE online, starcon2, etc.

I really appreciate the immense flexibility that the ships have with regards to design. There are numerous types of ship slots, different types of ship equipment (some very uncommon, others less so), and lots of nuanced interaction between those components. The races having race specific slots and items also permits certain ship designs that work better in one race or another. I appreciate that complexity, it lends itself to sophisticated gameplay.

I feel that the techs are introduced fairly slowly as well, which permits the player to broaden their complexity at a pace, rather than being vastly overwhelmed.

There is some significant quirkiness with some things - such as an inability to use multiple fighter bays, and the odd methods that the AI use to relate to one another.

There are a lot of good aspects but I won't really enumerate them here, what I wanted to give was constructive feedback about the parts that I have stumbled over and offer those up for consideration.

1) AI Politics are wonky

First, the AI relates to one another in ways that make it challenging to really manipulate the game to do what it seems you are there to do. It's very difficult without just spamming rumors to change factional standings - I wish there was a 'more clever' way to invite or encourage strife between factions.

The problem I see is that faction standings don't seem to adjust to the situations they are in. Faction A is losing a war with faction B. His allies, faction C and D do nothing to help because they are neutral or like faction B, despite the fact that he's bombing A into dirt. This trends towards a 'tipping point' situation where a slightly larger faction pretty much always wins, because smaller factions don't 'feel threatened' enough.

I might suggest a little "enemy of my enemy" AI in some of the factions (not all, though), and some "always help the loser" AI in some factions, and maybe even some "fight the power" AI in some factions. That way the situations can be a little more dynamic.

2) Races stop expanding
I've had a race down to their last planet in a sector with a race they are at war with, with a colony ship parked at that last planet. I destroy every other planet in the sector leaving it completely open for taking - and they do nothing. I've seen a lot of this, in fact. It seems that only some races are properly expanding.

3) Races do not retake
Race A and B are in a war together. A bombs B's planet to neutral. Along comes C, and colonizes B's old planet. B forgets about the planet and moves on. What I would rather see, is that the planet remain 'claimed' by B, so that C's action is considered hostile. This prevents the whole slimeball 'friends with everyone expansion' routine from dominating the game.

more as I think of it. please keep building the game, and I wish you guys success.

Shadow
01-15-2013, 11:35 AM
There is some enemy of my enemy/enemy of my friend stuff in there. It could probably be expanded though.

The races should still try to expand. In your specific case, they might be waiting on building an escort for the colony ship. I'll look into it though.

nox
01-15-2013, 06:10 PM
Steven, I really wanted to say again that I like how broad the ship development options appear to be. I'm still sub level 30, but I like that there are qualitative options / rare equipment later in the game.

I just created a 'romulan bird of prey' style ship that I've been playing, with my own personal goal of ensuring that each sector grind itself down in devastating warfare before i take it over. The ship has almost no defenses, but uses a shield recharger and cloaking, fast moving and very high damage front loaded weapons with EM beams as backups (debuff attack and defense). It's very amusing to me that I can take a concept like this and build it in the game.

I'm thinking that the races should have a seperate pocket for buying player goods and for buying player resources.

Here are some ideas that occurred to me :

- races might pay less for things they produce

- buying something they don't produce from the player could give them research credit (speeds research production on that item in a bank bonus credit fashion). you could use this to lower the bonus amount a race was willing to pay for an item

- if a race is cash poor and had a wealthy ally, they could produce a 'freighter' instead of ships. the freighter doesn't cost money to make but if it reaches an ally that has money it boosts the ally's production and rewards the producer cash. This is just a lateral mid-game move to allow races to shift production/cash if they have excess.