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silver7017
06-08-2020, 06:22 PM
I am a big fan of drox operative, so the instant I noticed drox 2 on steam, I picked it up. I have played for about 4-5 hours so far, completing 3 sectors and gotten to level 12. here are the things I have noticed so far:

ancient races give a really huge amount of legend points. I accidentally completed my second sector before even leaving my starting star system because there was an ancient race there that didn't like me. I wiped them out and boom - instant legend victory. given that ancient races just show up normally in drox 2 instead of being a special event, it would probably make sense to reduce the legend point rewards somewhat. ancients are still rather powerful compared to other races, so increased rewards make sense, but maybe increase the loot or xp and reduce the legend points. personally, I would suggest making unique modules that only drop from ancient races. their descriptions hint at unique tech, so it would be great to actually have that show up in the game.

weapon variety feels pretty bad at low levels. while there are actually a decent number of options, the feeling of variety is absent. you pick a major weapon group and everything behaves the same. the only major variant to beams (at low levels, at least) is the power virus (which I do love), the variants for projectiles are the double version and the piercing one. these are a good start, but a great way to make players feel like they have more choice for gear would be to add basic weapons in many different permutations with minor effects. cryo guns that do thermal damage and reduce thrust on hit, gamma rays that deal much higher base damage at a lower fire rate and higher energy cost, a lightning gun that chains to multiple targets. there are a lot of ways to make the same basic game mechanic (beams and projectiles) feel totally different. I know a lot of interesting weapon variants start to appear at higher levels, if things are the same as in drox 1, but I feel like the early game experience can benefit greatly from having that variety also. maybe limit certain weapon types the way cloaking is limited - the lower level cloaking only works on shadow ships, but at higher levels that requirement is gone. this would further differentiate the choice of race at the start, and make it feel more significant beyond just a few extra equipment slots. it could also further differentiate the experience of fighting against certain races, as their weapons could show up more frequently in their drop tables. I could make a few examples of the sorts of weapon variety I am imagining, if you'd like (though obviously I can't tinker with the engine, so I won't be able to make something like the chain lightning I suggested).

next, I feel like there are artifacts from the previous game that should probably be removed. this was already hinted at with ancients giving probably too many legend points, because they used to be special event monsters. scavengers and their racial modules are similar. in drox 1, scavengers were special because they were the expansion race, so it made sense for them to have special gear that only they can use. in drox 2, they are a standard race, so it would make sense if the scavenger component, at higher levels, could be used by all races. this would bring it in line with the cloak which is race specific at low levels and then opens up.

finally, bugs. the first that I noticed is that my minimap has some visual artifacts at the edge, where the map meets the out of bounds area. I can provide screenshots tomorrow if it would be helpful. next is that quests to kill structures such as fighter bases and quests to kill planets don't seem to work correctly. instead of completing, they fail with a message about how the target no longer exists. I can try to reproduce these tomorrow too.

there is probably more, but this is just the stuff that stood out the most after a few hours. there is stuff that I feel is well done, but I want to take a bit more time and compare and contrast with the original so I can get a better idea what things are genuine improvements and what things are just things I have always liked about drox.

also, thank you for being a great indie dev and continuing to put out great games. =)

EDIT: I remembered a sound bug I ran into. it seems that your audio system just blindly plays whatever sound queued up for it at the time. this can lead to many of the same sound playing at the same time, creating things that are way too loud. specifically, when many races declare war at the same time due to World War I style alliance webs this can get painfully loud. it also occurs, to a lesser extent, when you have dozens of missiles following you when you are fighting enemies that use swarm launchers. the rumble of the missile exhaust is probably way louder than intended. I don't know how your audio system is coded, but a good trick for avoiding this specific problem is to check if a specific audio clip is already playing, and if it is either cancel the existing one and start the new one or just don't start the new one.