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Lyranaar
06-14-2012, 01:27 PM
Intro:
New Soldak Logo intro video looks really cool. It played only at first start for me though.

Main Menu:
Perhaps it would be great to have a Play Intro button on the Main Menu instead of playing it automatically at each start. This button would be a nice addition in any case.

Creating Ship Screen:
Rotate Ship is very slow, perhaps faster would feel better.
It would be great to be able to mouseclick the ship and rotate it directly.

Multiplayer -> Create local Server:
Box Server Name doesn't scroll when entering longer name instead allows writing into the background outside the box.

Lyranaar
06-14-2012, 01:54 PM
Multiplayer -> Minimap:
When playing together it seems difficult to find each other quickly. Perhaps arrows pointing to other players on the edge of screen or minimap would be very helpful.

Gameplay:
At the beginning it is difficult to find out if a ship is hostile/aggressive (until it shoots you of course). Perhaps this could be shown somehow when quickly hovering over the ship.

When solving a quest the solving window is closed (in Din it stayed open). When solving multiple quests in a go keeping the window open would be nice.

Inventory/Trading:
At first glimpse this seems a bit overwhelming, especially the "which is which". Perhaps showing more clearly which part is trader, which is the active ship and which is the cargo space would help.
Showing the picture of the players ship in the Ship Components window or a background picture of it would be great.

Items probably would be easier to identify if each is quickly described as "Shield" or "Weapon" etc as a description after the name (Like the description of the escape pod, only shorter).

It would be great to be able to sort items at the trader into light, medium and heavy stuff.

Perhaps a tool tip when first opening the trade window could tell more about the "plus" on items and the "I" (as most new players don't read the manual before playing).

Castruccio
06-14-2012, 02:04 PM
I have played about an hour's worth and have acquired several levels.

In terms of polish, this is the best game Soldak has ever produced. Period. Way to take it to the next level guys. Very nice interface, great graphics, fantastic sound. I agree with Rosawitha's earlier post about the intro voice, though. While the intro itself is a fantastic addition, the voice is a bit over the top (the guy sounds too cool for his own good, or like the front man of a horrible pop band, and it makes me want to punch him).

Gameplay wise, it took me about 10 minutes to figure out how I was supposed to get quests. In Din's and Depths, you always knew where the quests were because there were characters in a main hub with big question marks over their heads. In Drox, you actually have to fly around for a bit, discover a race, and then figure out that you can talk to them and receive quests from them. It isn't immediately clear how this process works at first, and you can easily end up flying around for 10 minutes and not realize that you actually need to talk to a race and engage in a dialogue option with them in order to see if they have quests for you. Perhaps you could add a tutorial hint explaining this fairly early on.

The only real gripe I have about the gameplay at the moment is that the thrust speed (the movement speed of your ship) feels too slow for the default starting ship. I realize that you will eventually get items that boost thrust, but I think new players will want to hit the ground running as it were, and the slow speed of your ship breaks immersion because your first experience with the game is moving very slowly through empty space. I would like the movement speed of the first ship to be more similar to the movement speed in Din's Curse or Diablo 2. Max Schaefer (lead designer of Diablo 2 and Torchilight 2) talked at this year's E3 about how important movement speed is to immersion in ARPG's and I think he is right. These kinds of game are about running, gunning, and collecting loot on a big roller coaster ride. Maybe speed up the roller coaster just a tad so that the beginning of the ride is a little faster.

Also, great job on increasing the depth of the game mechanics from the typical ARPG standards. The way the components work together with the crew attributes and bay space constraints is really brilliant.

Finally, I found myself missing my skill trees and special abilities from Din's and Depths, but I assume I'll get some sort of special abilities later in the game. Right now I can just shoot with the left mouse button, and I'd like to be able to break up my shooting with some cool skills of some kind.

More feed back soon, after I've beaten the current sector!

PixelLord
06-14-2012, 02:22 PM
The only real gripe I have about the gameplay at the moment is that the thrust speed (the movement speed of your ship) feels too slow for the default starting ship. I realize that you will eventually get items that boost thrust, but I think new players will want to hit the ground running as it were, and the slow speed of your ship breaks immersion because your first experience with the game is moving very slowly through empty space. I would like the movement speed of the first ship to be more similar to the movement speed in Din's Curse or Diablo 2. Max Schaefer (lead designer of Diablo 2 and Torchilight 2) talked at this year's E3 about how important movement speed is to immersion in ARPG's and I think he is right. These kinds of game are about running, gunning, and collecting loot on a big roller coaster ride. Maybe speed up the roller coaster just a tad so that the beginning of the ride is a little faster.

I told you so, Steven. ;)

hint, Save your finger with "W"

Shadow
06-14-2012, 02:30 PM
Finally, I found myself missing my skill trees and special abilities from Din's and Depths, but I assume I'll get some sort of special abilities later in the game. Right now I can just shoot with the left mouse button, and I'd like to be able to break up my shooting with some cool skills of some kind.

You should start getting more active use components as you level. This is one of those things I need to see how it actually works out with real players. My intention is that people will end up with of usable components like they would if they had skills. If this doesn't happen I will balance things better and/or add new components.

Castruccio
06-14-2012, 02:34 PM
You should start getting more active use components as you level. This is one of those things I need to see how it actually works out with real players. My intention is that people will end up with of usable components like they would if they had skills. If this doesn't happen I will balance things better and/or add new components.

It might be good to have each of the races' starting ships begin with one active component. That way, you'd introduce the concept from the beginning of the game and the promise of finding more such components would be readily apparent and enticing from the outset.

viper34j
06-14-2012, 02:39 PM
It might be good to have each of the races' starting ships begin with one active component. That way, you'd introduce the concept from the beginning of the game and the promise of finding more such components would be readily apparent and enticing from the outset.

+1

I haven't played the game yet, but I think it would make the racial choice a more interesting one if the starting loadout for the ships were different based on race (if this is already the case, ignore me...). The techno races could start out with a shield, or an engine booster, while a tactical race could start with a weapon component.

Lyranaar
06-14-2012, 02:55 PM
Item Fire Fighting Tools:
Part of the description seems to be off place. "Things like barriers, cloud seeding and slurry." Or this description is too short and missing something.

The first sentence should probably be "...but otherwise they aren't..".

DeathKnight1728
06-14-2012, 02:59 PM
So far, great game and here's what i like/want more of-

-Classless system that works. The races dont really have differences that you get (at least not that i know). Steven i think that this would be even cooler if each trait was explained. It stated that if you play a certain race, you get different traits. I think it would be cool if the traits were explained if they have any merit to the game.

-Mostly, that you werent making this game without us dop and dins curse fans left out. I can already feel the similarities to dins and especially depths of peril as the factions were done excellently so far. The regeneration obelisks (dins curse), factions and relations (dop). This is the highest selling point, no one gets left out.

snow
06-14-2012, 03:18 PM
Interesting so far.

It would be nice if activating modules didn't cancel a movement order.

Also, while you can click on an object/scan target and you move there - if you just click empty space, your drive only stays on for the duration of the click. It'd be nice to be able to click-move.

ASWD navigation - it's not obvious (to me) that A/D only work when you're stationary. As soon as the drive comes on, the ship points toward the mouse cursor and ignores left/right
This makes mouse-shooting hard when running away!

The 'hit box' for a starlane structure ends considerably before the bottom of the visible structure (ie where you can click on it)

The game is stuttering very badly for me at times, often in combat (which is very annoying). Pauses can be up to 2 seconds or shorter.
I've got a cpu monitor running, and on this quad-core, only two cores are even showing activity .. neither even slightly straining. Overall cpu usage about 10%, so I don't think it's cpu.
Dins Curse demo did the same, but no other games do this.

snow
06-14-2012, 03:24 PM
Another comment.. "Crushing blow"? Really?
It was a laser strike!

I think changing the critical messages to be more space-game appropriate might be a good idea! :)

torikamal
06-14-2012, 05:27 PM
A couple tweaks I would enjoy:


Getting experience for exploring planets. Doesn't need to be much, but it encourages exploration beyond just trade. (I'm an explorer).

Hitting the delete key works fine to get rid of skills on the bar, but to me it feels more intuitive to click/drag/drop it somewhere on the main area (like if you were dropping an item from your ship).

I may have missed this, but a marker on the system your black box is in would be awesome for crazy forgetful people like myself.

Shadow
06-14-2012, 05:38 PM
ASWD navigation - it's not obvious (to me) that A/D only work when you're stationary. As soon as the drive comes on, the ship points toward the mouse cursor and ignores left/right
This makes mouse-shooting hard when running away!

The game is stuttering very badly for me at times, often in combat (which is very annoying). Pauses can be up to 2 seconds or shorter.
I've got a cpu monitor running, and on this quad-core, only two cores are even showing activity .. neither even slightly straining. Overall cpu usage about 10%, so I don't think it's cpu.
Dins Curse demo did the same, but no other games do this.

There are some options on the game options screen that you might want to play with. One turns off the follow the mouse stuff.

It might just be things loading for the first time they are used. Does it continue to stutter or does it get better over time?

Another comment.. "Crushing blow"? Really? I think changing the critical messages to be more space-game appropriate might be a good idea! :)

I know. I like how it works, but I haven't though of a better name for it yet.

I may have missed this, but a marker on the system your black box is in would be awesome for crazy forgetful people like myself.

They show up on the system map.

Castruccio
06-14-2012, 05:39 PM
I told you so, Steven. ;)

hint, Save your finger with "W"

The turn radius could use some tweaking as well. It kills the action to have to wait 4 second for my ship to turn around. Also, the slow movement speed and wide turn radius combined takes away from the player's tactical options. Unlike Din's where the movement of your character was tight and the speed was fast so you dodge and run away from shots, you can't dodge or run in Drox because it takes you 3 seconds to get going at a good clip and 4 seconds to turn around. If the turn radii were tighter and the speed was faster, the game would have a bit more pep and you could maybe even dodge shots.

Hyfrydle
06-14-2012, 05:57 PM
One thing I feel I really need is making the quest log sortable by race and system. With alot of quests it gets complicated fast. Or maybe show current system toggle might work.

Also a better indication that a quest has been completed.

Really enjoying the game it reminds me of Space Rangers 2 in a really good way.

PixelLord
06-14-2012, 06:03 PM
The turn radius could use some tweaking as well. It kills the action to have to wait 4 second for my ship to turn around. Also, the slow movement speed and wide turn radius combined takes away from the player's tactical options. Unlike Din's where the movement of your character was tight and the speed was fast so you dodge and run away from shots, you can't dodge or run in Drox because it takes you 3 seconds to get going at a good clip and 4 seconds to turn around. If the turn radii were tighter and the speed was faster, the game would have a bit more pep and you could maybe even dodge shots.

Actually, as you get more and more thrust, the turn radius decreases significantly. In addition, you can also use the "D" and "A" keys to turn if you want. I agree about the initial speed. Initially, I am constantly looking for anything to improve my thrust when I start a new game. Guess what goes in my shared stash ASAP?

Castruccio
06-14-2012, 06:03 PM
So I just noticed that you can accept, decline, and turn in quests from the relations screen which is great. This saves you from having to travel to a race's planet to deal with quests. A tutorial tip for this would be a wonderful addition.

Also, pressing the tilde key to enable the console shows that the game couldn't find textures/outline.ctx. Not sure what that is about.

Castruccio
06-14-2012, 06:06 PM
Actually, as you get more and more thrust, the turn radius decreases significantly. In addition, you can also use the "D" and "A" keys to turn if you want. I agree about the initial speed. Initially, I am constantly looking for anything to improve my thrust when I start a new game. Guess what goes in my shared stash ASAP?

Yeah, getting something to increase my thrusters is priority 1. I haven't had a thruster component drop yet, so I didn't know about the turn radius decrease. Right now the speed and the wide turn radius are slowing the action down for me in a way that I don't like.

Bluddy
06-14-2012, 06:08 PM
Only played a little bit, and here's my feedback. The game (at this early point, and from reading others' impressions) is marvelous as far as the quest system and relation system goes. Seriously, it represents the culmination of the relation/quest system from the previous games, and it feels incredible. Now that races are doing real things, there's room for some really creative quests and it shows.

In terms of the micro, I think the controls need tweaking to provide maximum mobility. It's fine to provide options for different control schemes, but the default controls need to be fluid. I'd like to be able to click on a point in space and have my spaceship go there, even if it take time due to movement/turn speed limitations. For longer-range travel, an autopilot key (what 'W' is now) where the mouse leads the way is an excellent idea, but it has to disengage not only when I click, but also as soon as an enemy shows up.

It also feels to me like there are a few too many beam weapons being used both by my enemies and myself right off the bat. Beam weapons are more boring because they're instant hit -- you can't really dodge them. Projectile weapons represent stuff you can dodge and are therefore more interesting. I'm ok with beam weapons being used from really close range -- these would be the equivalent of melee weapons in DC. But in an ARPG, I think long-range beam weapons trivialize combat somewhat.

Another movement option that would be really nice is if you could follow another ship. Rather than clicking all over the place, you'd hit a key/button and then click on a target ship, and you'd keep following it as much as your engines allow you to. You'd use this method to get in range of your weapons, or to stay in formation with other NPCs.

Cosmetic comment 1: I dislike the sound of the thrusters when they're on. Something more subtle, like a distant engine hum, would be more enjoyable.

Cosmetic comment 2: Items still drop as if you're in a dungeon (ie they fall down), when you open chests and stuff. It's probably already on your todo list though.

In general, the game looks really awesome so far. Great job.

Eduardo X
06-14-2012, 06:57 PM
A couple of points of feedback:


People have already said a lot about the movement... I'll leave this be. I'll just say it feels really clunky at the moment.
The minimap is not very useful at the moment. If we were able to see different planets and ships and what not in the distance, even if it was not too far away so as to not mess up exploration, that'd help a lot. Also, the edge of the solar system is barely marked. As the play background is so dark, it's hard to notice when you're drifitng out of the system. Also, having big icons for discovered wormholes, travel lanes and jump stations would be a great help.
The map... being able to add waypoints is great. If we could actually add them to planets or other structures, that'd be MUCH better. At the moment, I have to click NEAR them to get the waypoint to activate. I'd much rather just be able to click on the planet.structure. Also, adding a specificly colored waypoint for quest locations that are already discovered would be grand.
That leads to quests... I currently have 2 quests to kill boss ships in one solar system, but dammit I can't find them. I've spent probably 45 minutes to an hour flying around this one system looking for the bosses. I don't think this is working as intended. Maybe they're actually outside the solar system. Might that happen?
Is there any chance the screen could be zoomed out? This may be another balancing issue, but at the moment, even with a pretty high screen setting, things feel very claustrophobic.


That's pretty much it. I have questions about the amount of available components. How can I add more? That's not feedback, though, just questions. I'm really enjoying this, as expected. Thanks for making another enjoyable game!

Eduardo X
06-14-2012, 07:04 PM
Sorry to make a new post rather than editing the last one, but that one isn't up yet.
One more suggestion: is it possible to have structures revolve around the sun? It may be too much of a hassle, but it'd be neat if planets had orbits around their suns.

snow
06-14-2012, 07:07 PM
There are some options on the game options screen that you might want to play with. One turns off the follow the mouse stuff.

It might just be things loading for the first time they are used. Does it continue to stutter or does it get better over time?



It gets worse in combat or when interacting.

Setting CPU affinity to lock the game onto one core seems to have fix it for the most part though.
That seriously needs looking at..

However, the sound does seem crackley now - though that could be by design.. I'm not 100% sure.

snow
06-14-2012, 07:11 PM
Actually - scratch that, that wasn't what did it. Setting the game to run fullscreen was what stopped the pauses - I was running in windowed mode. (a full-screen, windowed mode would be most ideal though)

Shadow
06-14-2012, 07:32 PM
That leads to quests... I currently have 2 quests to kill boss ships in one solar system, but dammit I can't find them. I've spent probably 45 minutes to an hour flying around this one system looking for the bosses. I don't think this is working as intended. Maybe they're actually outside the solar system. Might that happen?

That's pretty much it. I have questions about the amount of available components. How can I add more? That's not feedback, though, just questions. I'm really enjoying this, as expected. Thanks for making another enjoyable game!

Some times it's hard to find bosses especially, if they move around much.

If you increase your Command with crew points you will eventually get a ship upgrade. Most, but not all, ship upgrades give you more slots.

Actually - scratch that, that wasn't what did it. Setting the game to run fullscreen was what stopped the pauses - I was running in windowed mode. (a full-screen, windowed mode would be most ideal though)

So running in a window gets you lots of pauses? That's strange, I almost always run in a window.

torikamal
06-14-2012, 08:18 PM
I actually have the same issue with running in a window. Full-screen pretty much resolves choppiness.

Not sure if this is adding to the complication or not, but my main monitor is 1920x1200, and my secondary is 1280x1024.

Roswitha
06-14-2012, 09:07 PM
My mini-map shows my ship, but nothing else. Does anybody else have this problem?

EDIT:

Okay, it's not that it doesn't show anything. It's that it has a teeny, tiny range. Look at the attachment. I've circled my ship. The planet just went out of range and dropped off the minimap. You can still see markers for the escort ships.



EDIT:

If this is a feature and I need to get a bigger scanner (or whatever) you might put a green ring around the useful part of the minimap.

PixelLord
06-14-2012, 09:37 PM
My mini-map shows my ship, but nothing else. Does anybody else have this problem?

EDIT:

Okay, it's not that it doesn't show anything. It's that it has a teeny, tiny range. Look at the attachment. I've circled my ship. The planet just went out of range and dropped off the minimap. You can still see markers for the escort ships.

It really does work differently in Drox than in the previous games. In order to increase the range, you will need to find and add ship components that do so. This is how many ship components will work in Drox to improve ship capabilities.

Castruccio
06-14-2012, 09:40 PM
I still haven't found an item to increase my ship speed or decrease my turn radius, and it is making me sad. :(

Maybe this could be a part of gaining command points. Each time you get enough command points to get a new ship, that ship handles a bit better.

PixelLord
06-14-2012, 09:49 PM
I still haven't found an item to increase my ship speed or decrease my turn radius, and it is making me sad. :(

Maybe this could be a part of gaining command points. Each time you get enough command points to get a new ship, that ship handles a bit better.

Usually most colonies will have a ramjet drive or two (though they don't have to have them - which would be bad luck). You can equip your heavy items slots with 2 ramjets until you come across something better (a ramjet with a lot more thrust or a nuclear drive). So you might not be able to have that nuclear power plant until later when you can just have the one drive. Also, keep in mind that, if you upgrade your ship too quickly, your thrust speed will slow due to the increase in your ship's weight. Sometimes it's best to wait until your thrust is past where you'd like it to be before you upgrade.

Castruccio
06-14-2012, 09:58 PM
Usually most colonies will have a ramjet drive or two (though they don't have to have them - which would be bad luck). You can equip your heavy items slots with 2 ramjets until you come across something better (a ramjet with a lot more thrust or a nuclear drive). So you might not be able to have that nuclear power plant until later when you can just have the one drive. Also, keep in mind that, if you upgrade your ship too quickly, your thrust speed will slow due to the increase in your ship's weight. Sometimes it's best to wait until your thrust is past where you'd like it to be before you upgrade.

So the the tool tip for max speed says: "the max speed of your ship is usually the thrust your engines and thrusters provide divided by the weight of your ship." Now, it says my ship weight is 50 on a ship I just created, my thrust is 63 and my max speed is 126. How is this calculated according to the equation in the tool tip?

PixelLord
06-14-2012, 10:14 PM
So the the tool tip for max speed says: "the max speed of your ship is usually the thrust your engines and thrusters provide divided by the weight of your ship." Now, it says my ship weight is 50 on a ship I just created, my thrust is 63 and my max speed is 126. How is this calculated according to the equation in the tool tip?

Being the artist, I actually don't know how it's calculated, but I'm sure Shadow (I mean Wakuseino - see below) can and will answer this.

As this is the beta, it's really important to hear about problems like this. I know it can be frustrating if you're having a run of bad luck with the lack of thrust components. Most times there are ramjets all over the place. I usually use 2 heavy slots for ramjets and the third for the laser early on. Eventually I end up coming across a more powerful ramjet (say 60 thrust or so). That's when I dump the other ramjet and plug in a nuclear power plant. Then I usually have enough power to upgrade my laser to something more powerful, add an EMP in a medium slot, and add a battery recharger (those things are worth their weight in gold).

Once you do find some thrust components, you'll probably be pretty happy. I'd just advise everyone not to upgrade your ship until you have more thrust than you need for your current ship.

Wakuseino
06-14-2012, 10:17 PM
Think of it as a percentage. 63/50 = 1.26 = 126. This means that essentially, if you want the max speed which is apparently 200, you want thrust equal or higher than double your weight.

*Ehem* Anyways, I think the issue is less the speed and more the vastness. The sheer vastness of areas makes things seem like a lot of aimless wandering at the start, especially when you're looking for a boss or a specific kind of enemy: There's so much space they can be hidden in that finding them seems to come down to luck.

And on to what I'm pretty sure are bugs: I have been given a quest to terraform a planet from scratch that I was already on the third stage of terraforming. And on a similar note, I have also been asked to scout a planet that I have already scanned... Unsure of what to do, I gave them the planet information, obsoleting the quest... Only to have them ask for me to scout that exact planet again.

I mean, they might not be bugs, but they sure seem like it to me.

Castruccio
06-14-2012, 10:42 PM
Think of it as a percentage. 63/50 = 1.26 = 126. This means that essentially, if you want the max speed which is apparently 200, you want thrust equal or higher than double your weight.



Ok, thanks for the equation, and thanks for the tips about the thrusters Pixel Lord.

I see what you are saying about the vast areas Wakuseino, but I think they should be kept vast as long as they can also be kept interesting. Increasing the speed would be a better option than decreasing the size of areas since the areas can be made to contain all sorts of goodies and monsters. Also, increasing the speed and making the ships handle a bit more tightly would give the player some dodge options that he doesn't currently have.

Perhaps the max speed could be kept at 200, but the speed values could be re-weighted so that each point of thrust meant substantially more speed than each point currently means.

Wakuseino
06-14-2012, 10:53 PM
I can agree with that, but the problem is that while yes, it does indeed have a lot of potential, the truth is that for the most part, there's nothing around near the start. It is a vast empty space.

It doesn't have to be this way, of course, but the way it currently is tends towards it. Part of the problem seems to be that monsters like to bunch up and have a tendency to attack each other. In my experience, this is resulting in lengthy periods where you're not really doing anything beyond aimlessly wandering, followed by frantic periods where you're dealing with attacks from half a dozen enemies at once.

Another possibility is giving us a bit of an expansion on the radar, or at least something that's capable of giving us the general direction towards the starlanes and planets we don't know of so we aren't just flying circles around the system and hoping to stumble onto them.

The latter optiion has some potential as well: Have it as a default equipment on starter ships, perhaps make three variations split between the starters, where one detects warp lanes, one detects wormholes, and one detects planets, with advanced forms capable of detecting multiple types at once.

Of course, feel free to pick it apart.

Aganazer
06-14-2012, 11:09 PM
Man, so much fun. I really love the ship components. I kept hauling around a pile of component's I was waiting to use. The interactions and trade offs between components is great. So many great decisions to make here.

I made it to level 5, maybe 6.

-Its really hard to find gates. All the missions were in systems I never found. This annoyed me because there were obviously tons of systems I could explore but only two that had mission objectives.

That begs the question: Are we only supposed to take missions for areas we have already found?

Lots of other little stuff:
- The help screen for keybinds doesn't include "r" for relations.
- A zoom for the minimap would be great.
- Ship rotation in the ship creator is clunky and slow.
- On the map, some kind of click to set destination would be great.
- Status effect icons show the time remaining in the tooltip text, but some kind of overlayed progress indicator on the icon would be great.
- The character screen doesn't say anything about Thrust or what your max speed is.
- The main character status panel with bars for shields, energy, etc... It has 4 bars on it. That is a lot more than the traditional RPG stuff with only health and mana. Its a lot to keep track of. Being slightly color blind the green and yellow look almost exactly the same. Maybe just a small icon on the side of them would be enough of a visual indicator of what they are. For example, a little lightning bolt for energy, an armor plate for armor, a blue sphere for shield, etc.
- Item tooltips have nice colors, fonts, and a border, but other than that they suffer from a bit of a wall-of-text effect. Little things like a line under the item name or maybe some icons showing their energy use and other very common item properties would make them a little easier to mentally parse.

NefariousKoel
06-14-2012, 11:11 PM
Finally, I found myself missing my skill trees and special abilities from Din's and Depths, but I assume I'll get some sort of special abilities later in the game. Right now I can just shoot with the left mouse button, and I'd like to be able to break up my shooting with some cool skills of some kind.


This is definitely something I've been missing. :(

Perhaps we don't even need flashy skills, but a few 'Specialization' tech trees that let you specialize (and get some bonuses) in certain stats/buffs might be some quick filler if Skills aren't on the list.

I realize that the mix of components you have is what makes a character's setup unique, but it feels like much less customization than your previous RPGs, currently.


Also: An extra level of camera Zoom Out perhaps? I've wanted that for Din's Curse, too, because it feels so close & claustrophobic for my far-sighted preference. But the main reason is that we have weapons with ranges further than the visible area. It's not so bad since the missiles home on the nearest mouse cursor target so this is just a secondary request.

Aganazer
06-14-2012, 11:15 PM
That leads to quests... I currently have 2 quests to kill boss ships in one solar system, but dammit I can't find them. I've spent probably 45 minutes to an hour flying around this one system looking for the bosses. I don't think this is working as intended. Maybe they're actually outside the solar system. Might that happen?

I normally hate quest objective markers that you can see on maps, but I don't think I would object in this one instance.

Shadow
06-14-2012, 11:45 PM
I normally hate quest objective markers that you can see on maps, but I don't think I would object in this one instance.

You do get markers on your system map for some quests like comets and rescues.

transigent8
06-14-2012, 11:48 PM
My first sector and I'm stuck with being able to access only 2 systems via starlane, 1 via wormhole and about 3 more available via jumpgate trade if I had the credits (exborbitant to say the least). It really needs more branching navigation trees or at least better map detection for star lanes. You would think that it would be easier to find well traveled star lanes than stumbling on them after exploring the entire system. Next game I will definitely not do another Huge sector.

Shadow
06-14-2012, 11:53 PM
I should probably give a hint in the game that starlanes and wormholes are always along the edges of star systems.

Castruccio
06-15-2012, 12:33 AM
It might be nice to have an option in the options menu to turn off or turn down the thruster sound. I tend to play Soldak games for hundreds of hours, and I don't know if my mind will take that sound for that long. In the Eschalon RPG's for example, you can adjust the noise level of your footsteps to your desired level so that you don't go insane listening to 30 hours of foot steps.

secretkillerofnames
06-15-2012, 12:34 AM
Hi Soldak,

Thanks for making my day. I've played Depths of Peril and Din's Curse and used to play Star Control II which I see this as being a massive improvement on.

Anyway, i'm wondering if the focus of this game is less on loot than the other games or if I'm missing something? Because I just played for around an hour and only found 2 things in that time.

I also wonder about the viability of "find x and kill them" quests when they are so hard to find. I don't think you should stoop to a quest indicator to point the user in the right direction but maybe the "news ticker" might update with rumours of their location.

I have felt pretty lost but slowly over the hour things became apparent so I don't know about the necessity for excessive hand-holding. Fixing it so I can thrust with W / shoot in whatever direction with left mouse button without decelerating is important, as all major battles so far have played out with my sitting still shooting at people. Am I right in deducing this might be possible in the options menu?

chrs
Lloyd

Eduardo X
06-15-2012, 12:55 AM
I just had an odd thing happen on a quest to help quell unrest on a planet. The planet needed Level 4 Mild Non Lethal Weapons, and lucky for me, they were also selling them. I bought them then sold them right back and solved the quest.

Maybe another suggestion: I couldn't figure out what to do with an item once I arrived at the necessary planet for a while and just took a guess selling it to the planet. Maybe make another dialog button to deliver the item?

aReclusiveMind
06-15-2012, 01:13 AM
I've invested about 4 hours or so into Drox Operative at this point. I've completed my first sector (small size, yet surprisingly large) after reaching level 8. I upgraded my ship to the Light Frigate stage in the process. I'm going to address some of my concerns and also a few that I've seen others pose here.

1. Issue: Ship speed is too slow... at times. I would agree that this is true at the start. Starting us off with a slightly faster ramjet drive wouldn't hurt. It was also a bit disheartening to upgrade my ship's size and see my speed decrease in the process. I understand why this is, but it wasn't clear this would happen when I initially decided to use my points in command. I had a rough level or two investing in helm to finally get a faster engine.

Max Speed is displayed below DPS, Attack, and Defense on the character sheet. Note that if you are near a planet's gravity well it will show a reduced speed. I have found that a max speed of 140 or so is satisfactory for my Light Frigate. I do like the fact that I have to choose between being very agile or being less agile but protected. I also saw that you can get additional thrusters in the medium slot in addition to the heavy slots. I'm not sure people are aware of this yet. With a main engine and a second medium size engine, ship speed and turn radious should become pretty nice.

2. Most of the quests mention that they can be turned in by talking to the faction as well as via visiting the planet directly. I found this pretty intuitive. I had a pause for a minute when I had to deliver an item to a planet, but re-reading the quest informed me I needed to sell or donate it to the planet to complete the quest.

3. I agree the ship rotation at ship creation and in the shipyard is very slow. Minor issue.

4. When turning in completed quest on the relations screen, it goes to the "Cancel" screen when finished. It should bring you back to the main menu automatically if you have no more quests to turn in.

5. I'd like to see items dropped on the galaxy map that have been identified look different than ones that haven't. I often travel with nearly full packs and have to drop items to examine others. The problem is dropping say, an identified laser, makes it look identical to the unidentified one on the map (both called Laser). This leads to me picking the wrong one up a time or two, dropping it, and trying again.

6. It doesn't appear that any ships aside from yours are affected by pre-placed mines in the system. Is this done on purpose? Even my fighters did not trigger them.

Comments:

Once you get good relations with a race, I'd advise using the trade menu to gain access to their warp gates. This saved me a lot of time looking for stargates in each system. I was able to use my relationship to warp directly to zones they were giving me quests for. This may help eliminate frustration for some people.

I like the way that I have to make decisions on which equipment I want to use in the slots. I have the feeling that with larger ships the level of involvement is going to increase greatly as more active skill items become available. Using the EMP emitter has been a great help so far. I have tried and enjoyed lasers, fusion cannons, ram accelerators, emp, and fighters so far.

It'd be nice if ships that were part of your current quest appeared on the radar as green !'s. I wouldn't want to see it on the main screen of course, but seeing that I have an enemy I need for a quest on my radar would help me narrow in.

During one of the terraforming missions I was asked to pick up some computers. As the previous item had required I buy an item at another planet, I thought this was the case again. It was only later that I realized it was an enemy drop. Maybe a hint stating that this item can be bought from vendors or needs to be obtained from enemies would be helpful.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my first night with the game. My gripes are all relatively minor. The game is quite different than other ARPGs and it is going to take everyone some time to get used to all the changes. I also feel like the larger my ship gets, the larger my options are going to get. Sure, you start with one laser, but within one night I'm up to two or three weapons and will likely have even more tomorrow night.

EDIT: Just now experienced the same issue described by Eduardo. In my first system in a new sector, two human planets both suffer from unrest. Both requested Mild Non-Lethal Weapons. One of them already had the weapons, so buying them and then donating them back completed the quest. I'll have to look for a source for the other planet. Also, I just now noticed the "Search for Goods" button on the quest screen. That will probably end up being helpful in the future!

desophos
06-15-2012, 01:41 AM
After playing this game pretty much all day, I have some feedback, as one might expect. Although I may be overly critical, I truly want this game to be the best it can be. I would love to hear Shadow's input on the issues I've raised here.

Major concerns:

Racial specialization. One of my main concerns about this game so far is replay value. Din's Curse had massive replay value because each class/hybrid played very differently. The starting ships/races in this game appear to differ only in their starting stats and stat bonuses on Command level up. Other than minor stat bonuses, each race seems to play exactly the same. As other people have suggested, one possibility is adding different starting equipment for each race. Another is adding race-specific stat bonuses, like how each of the Din's Curse class trees had a set of bonuses to certain stats.

The game starts out extremely, extremely slowly. Not only is it unclear what exactly the player is supposed to do, but the player also gets very few quests to begin with. I suppose the lack of quests is because the races haven't contacted each other or encountered any problems, but the normal speed should be faster at the beginning. The speed later is fine.

Stats feel unrewarding. I tend to just save my crew points for when I want to equip a certain component. Stats should be more than just component requirements. This may be fixed by adding race-specific stat bonuses, as mentioned earlier.

Minor concerns:

Rotation speed. As many others have mentioned, the rotation speed and turning radius feel clunky.

Jump gate fees. I very rarely use jump gates. It may be just because I'm a miserly credit-hoarder, but the fees seem too high to me, even when the race who controls the system likes me. I almost always end up just heading through star lanes.

The game over window is messed up. The text is far too big for the window (I'm playing on 1366x768 resolution) and the lose time changes to 23:59:59 when the game over window pops up.

Various typos. I will proofread the game files and give you the files and line numbers of the typos.

transigent8
06-15-2012, 02:05 AM
Yup, there just is not that much incentive to try out different races and go through the hamster wheel again. Maybe if the races had specialized traits or relationship bonuses/malus. DC had skill trees to play with but the skills are item specific in DO and item slots are limited so there tends to be less variety in playstyles in the low-mid levels.

kerzain
06-15-2012, 02:58 AM
I've been wanting to level up more than one race in order to see if various racial bonuses present themselves later on, because I didn't want to make suggestions that just happened to already be in the game, but at a level I haven't yet attained.

I do think racial differentiation should be more than merely cosmetic, with major differences perhaps being innate racial skills or bonuses (like an overall 5%-10% discount on Helm requirements for Shadow race as an example, as opposed to a flat starting bonus of 2 points or something -- or special merchant discounts etc.

Other ideas include stuff like exclusive weaponry or equipment that only fits in a certain race's ships. I think it would be even cooler if these exclusive items were something more than an existing component type that is merely more efficient, and perhaps might provide some sort of special ability (like an auto-triggered random emergency teleport/warp to someplace else in the system when your ship reaches a certain critical safety level, maybe one long cool downs, or single-use).

The thing is, it's easy to just come up with tons of ideas, without fully understanding how they'll affect the late game until I've had a chance to play it more. I'm also apprehensive about tossing out a bunch of suggestions, when for all I know they're already in the game, but I just haven't progressed enough to see them just yet. But, there's certainly one way to find out! I just gotta keep playing.

desophos
06-15-2012, 03:02 AM
Perhaps we don't even need flashy skills, but a few 'Specialization' tech trees that let you specialize (and get some bonuses) in certain stats/buffs might be some quick filler if Skills aren't on the list.
This sounds like a fantastic idea. Tech trees instead of skill trees. I like it.

NefariousKoel
06-15-2012, 03:03 AM
This sounds like a fantastic idea. Tech trees instead of skill trees. I like it.

Could even make race-specific ones, if time were available.

But I don't know if there are enough modifiers to go around that many times without a lot of repetition.

snow
06-15-2012, 04:11 AM
So running in a window gets you lots of pauses? That's strange, I almost always run in a window.

Yes.
I toggled the setting, and the pauses came back immediately. One thing I could try is having a window smaller than the monitor-size. Currently it's set to monitor resolution/windowed (which of course is smaller as there's the window decoration around it).

Lots of other games have "Windowed full-screen" which would be ideal - instant task-switching without losing anything to window decoration.. That's what I'd really prefer.

Bluddy
06-15-2012, 08:20 AM
I agree with the notion of race specialization.

One thing that can be done is to have each race able to make an item type fit in a lower level slot. So one race could make all armor fit in light slots, encouraging lots of armor. Another race could do the same for lasers, etc. In this way, each race encourages a different configuration by allowing many more of a certain type of item, and therefore each race becomes a different 'class'.

Aganazer
06-15-2012, 10:59 AM
I like these ideas on race specialization.

Some ideas in regards to that:
- Race specific crew
- Each race gets a bonus (maybe 10%) to certain component types. A preferred weapon type maybe. A 10% thrust bonus for one race. A 10% shield bonus for another. 10% extra damage to missiles for a race. etc.

Unrelated, but are there any options for managing pause? The ONLY time I ever want to unpause is when all windows are closed or I am identifying things. It would be a nice quality of life feature to auto-pause when any windows are open and then unpause only during the short time period to identify things or when all windows are closed.

torikamal
06-15-2012, 11:38 AM
I do like the ideas for further differentiating the races.
I think I'd like it to take the form of one special race slot and one special race ability that could use ability points to upgrade


For example, the Shadow race would have an equipment slot (in addition to the normal ones, that would only take cloaking devices.
Drak perhaps have a race slot that only takes weapons.


Race abilities would be unique to each race.


Perhaps the Cortex could have a tech control ability that would allow them to take control of an enemy ship that was at least one level lower.
Maybe Dyads could summon asteroid shields.


I think these two tweaks would go a long way towards further distinguishing the races.

spacehog
06-15-2012, 03:04 PM
I'm hesitant to contribute much feedback at this time as I am still rather unfamiliar with the game elements. That said, it looks great, sounds great, and the gameplay is super fun (and challenging)! Congratulations, Soldak, on an outstanding product.

I've seen a handful of comments regarding the initial speeds of ships. My pennies: the slow ships don't bother me in the slightest, and it makes improving thrust that much more rewarding.

In regards to comments about the ship controls: I recommend playing around with the control options that are already available, as I'm sure there is a combination that will suit most players. Using the auto thrust 'w' key setting and 'a/d' for movement works really well for me, and saves the mouse for targeting and loot gathering.

I encountered one audio bug that I haven't been able to replicate; upon opening the quest screen from the relations menu, the 'click' sound from accepting quests repeated incessantly until I restarted the game.

In the input options screen, there are designations for up, down, left, and right, mapped to the arrow keys. I haven't found a use for these yet. It would be awesome to be able to navigate the quest interfaces and other menus with the arrow keys (which I suspect is intended) but that doesn't seem to work on my machine.

As I become more familiar with the game elements I will attempt to leave constructive feedback. In the meantime, I'm enjoying the hell out of the game.

NefariousKoel
06-15-2012, 03:15 PM
I agree with the notion of race specialization.

One thing that can be done is to have each race able to make an item type fit in a lower level slot. So one race could make all armor fit in light slots, encouraging lots of armor. Another race could do the same for lasers, etc. In this way, each race encourages a different configuration by allowing many more of a certain type of item, and therefore each race becomes a different 'class'.

That may be overkill for balance, though.

I was thinking of smaller customization things like lowering the Power Load on certain module types (ex. -1/-2/-4/-8/-16 Power Load for Missile Modules on Missile-oriented race - with minimum level requirements for each rank) or some of the stats & modifiers (+# Thrust, +Defense, +Thermal Resist, + Credit Find %, etc). It could give some extra replayability to each race if there were some branching spec trees that helped favor different gameplay styles a little bit. Enough to add to character customization, but not so much it imbalances the gameplay.

Shadow
06-15-2012, 04:26 PM
In the input options screen, there are designations for up, down, left, and right, mapped to the arrow keys.

Off hand I don't remember about left and right, but up and down cycle your right click slots around.

Shadow
06-15-2012, 05:11 PM
ASWD navigation - it's not obvious (to me) that A/D only work when you're stationary. As soon as the drive comes on, the ship points toward the mouse cursor and ignores left/right
This makes mouse-shooting hard when running away!

Someone might have already answered this (even possibly me), but there are options that control things like this in the game options.

snow
06-15-2012, 06:54 PM
If you enable the thrust toggle, clicking on anything requiring scanning pilots the ship over - you start scanning, and fly straight past. It doesn't stop at the object. Tricky.

Enabling "hide crappy loot" hides technology drops too I think!

Auto-target will lock-on to something, and then cheerfully report it's out of range.. while you're being dog-piled by 5 other ships.

Options -> screen shake.. 'Earthquakes' might possibly be an overlooked explanatory string from a previous use of the engine..? :)


It's *very* unobvious (to me) how to upgrade your ship.

I thought it'd be something you could buy from advanced races..

Then I read the manual but couldn't spot it. (I've just gone back to check. It is there - it's two sentences in the explainations of attributes. I had to search for 'ship' to find it - 'upgrade' or similar didn't get it).

I actually found it while reading tooltips for attributes in the game, after several hours of playing.

kerzain
06-15-2012, 08:25 PM
Here's a small bug:

When attacking a planet's colony with rockets, if you are positioned too close to the planet the rockets will do circles around the planet, and eventually expire before they connect and explode.

Pic: http://i.imgur.com/DHmAj.jpg

Lyranaar
06-16-2012, 06:43 PM
Strange Multiplayer Bug:
A strange bug just occured for us in multiplayer (local server). After logging in the client saw herself as smallest human ship while being Drakk and Level 3 ship, I saw her displayed correctly.
We got the quest "discover race" and found Drakk. She got their name in color of Drakk but named "Human" at the planet and in relation screen. This stayed that way after exiting and reloading the game server and client.

We saved (hopefully) all necessary savegames. Shall I mail them, are they of any interest?

Some small bug:
In the game before always my wingman was "blamed" for killing a colony while I was actually guilty. After reloading this sorted itself out though.


Some Suggestions:
Please add Crew Point redistribution! The way it was handled in Din was great! That way you can experiment much better and the learning curve is friendlier.

It would be great to have a faster way to get to the racial get quest/solve quest dialogue. At the moment you have to get there through 3 windows, that makes this important function relatively difficult to reach. In multiplayer things can get very hectic without any pausing.

In addition it would be good to see the "relation gained" text for a much longer time, in the quest relation window or in the log, By the time you close all the windows this text is at the moment already gone.

When in the racial trading window you have no information where a planet location is. This makes deciding which planet best to trade to a race difficult.

General game speed: Perhaps the all over flying speed could be turned up just a little. This would fit perhaps better to the general pacing of the game.

Flying mode without stop and with WASD is really smooth and huge fun that way! But it's not intuitive to set that up.

Recharge Stations would great to be marked on the map. Just a little colored dot would be perfectly enough.

Arrow on the edge of the screen for direction of the multiplayer partner seem to be really important when it gets rough. In fights you always lose each other, especially when there are lots of mines.

The mines from the "Foul Acanthos(?)" seem to be a bit to strong, if there are some enemy ships this quite often results into a mass group suicide.

The overall game difficulty seems a bit high as it isn't easy to get the equipment to play a game on the player level. But perhaps we just suck at the moment.

In the race relation screen it would be nice to see the level of the race.

It would be great to be shown the base level of a system.

A small typo:
The Brunts want us not to try their "patients". Is this joke intendend? Or is there a quest involved we didn't discover? :D

Overall:
Wow, addicting!! I need to return to playing!

Lyranaar
06-17-2012, 12:20 PM
The "all-human-on-client bug" just occurred again. This time the Utopians posed as human. ;)

It seems to be happening when starting a game right out of a won game without ending/restarting etc. first.