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Bluddy
06-19-2012, 11:41 AM
I'm trying to figure out why fighting seems less satisfying than in DC and DoP. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that monsters easily leave the scene of combat. In DC and DoP, monsters weren't much faster than you -- most of them were slower or at your speed. Additionally, they wouldn't move while attacking. What this meant is that you generally fought a monster until it died. There were some exceptions - imp and fiends would run away after you hit them - but generally, you were able to exchange blows with an enemy.

This is important because it lets you analyze the situation: are my shots hitting (ie is my attack high enough)? Are the enemy's shots hitting me (is my defense high enough?) Am I doing enough damage? Are my shields and armor holding up?

In Drox, a monster hits you and flies away by default. It's really hard to chase them down because that requires overly rapid turning. It's not really necessary since they'll come back to attack you. But if you're attacking several monsters at once, you usually hit them once or twice per monster rather than finishing them off monster by monster. This results in chaos, and isn't helped by the fact that you usually have too many monsters attacking you to keep track of their status.

Other confounding factors are that you have many layers of defense: shields, armor, and structure, and that your basic weapons have very long range (albeit at reduced strength). This means that most battles (in my experience) devolve into being chased by many monsters as you take hits and fire back as fast as you can. The only analysis you can do in this situation is that your laser isn't firing as fast as you want it to, which usually is a result of running out of energy.

I'm not entirely sure what to do to help battles feel more controlled other than reducing the number of monsters, making them stronger, and reducing their speed. I've found that attacks against individual monsters in gravity wells where the monster can't constantly get away and come back have seemed to be the most satisfying.

( Tchey )
06-19-2012, 12:22 PM
I like how mobs are moving around, it's more "spacy" this way. I'm often able to target the mob i want to shot at. Maybe i just don't understand your words here ?

However it could be nice to see some more static mobs, with maybe a normal speed, but they stop when they shot, they are slow to shot, but they shot very hard...

I think the lack of different weapons is more boring. As I can't upgrade my ship without spending very precious CP, i often have only one or two weapons (not enough slots to have more). And with the new energy sink in .901 i can't fire them often. So, i just turn around, fire three or four times, then wait to fire one more time, then wait to fire one more time... Not very funny.

I'd like to be able to take down at least one full pack before running out of anything to do but flying away. In .901 i need to consume one energy spike every two mobs, and it's bad.

spacehog
06-19-2012, 12:30 PM
I agree with a lot of the sentiments expressed here. One thing to explore, however, (if you're willing to spend even more precious energy during combat), is the medium-slot weapons that slow down enemy speed. This makes it easier to isolate individual targets and finish them off. I can't recall the name of the component off the top of my head, but I'm sure you've seen them around.

Aganazer
06-19-2012, 12:46 PM
I wonder if being able to zoom out more would help. Enough to make weapon ranges diverse.

Bluddy
06-19-2012, 01:09 PM
I wonder if being able to zoom out more would help. Enough to make weapon ranges diverse.

i think it would have that effect. But then again, you're seeing things from pretty far away at minimum zoom. I think it makes more sense to just reduce the range of weapons (including the monsters'), no?

Bluddy
06-19-2012, 01:18 PM
I agree with a lot of the sentiments expressed here. One thing to explore, however, (if you're willing to spend even more precious energy during combat), is the medium-slot weapons that slow down enemy speed. This makes it easier to isolate individual targets and finish them off. I can't recall the name of the component off the top of my head, but I'm sure you've seen them around.

I actually don't know which component that is. I've had a hard time messing with different components since there are so few slots and so little power to go around. I use the shield, armor and +defense/+attack medium components and keep thinking I need all of them. But I guess they're not really essential and I could swap something out -- I haven't been blown up the entire game. In my heavy components, I have thrust, which I have to have for usability and sanity reasons, a nuclear reactor, and a laser.

I dunno why but I'm just not getting a feel for what I need in combat. It might be a function of facing low level monsters when I've leveled up way past them (in fact that's quite likely), but it feels like my stats aren't doing much. I just go into a group of monsters and fire stuff and wait for my laser to recharge. Maybe it's just that I'm waiting for this interminable sector to end already. Everybody's lovey-dovey except for the Talon who just 'really really like' me but don't 'love' me, so now I have to keep doing them favors until I can beat the sector... man it's boring.

( Tchey )
06-19-2012, 01:19 PM
As a space ship, i expect to be able to shot at very long range. I'm fine with the long range. I really do not think this the problem in this game. The game is already (too) slow, if the range is reduced, it will be worst, i believe.

Bluddy
06-19-2012, 01:27 PM
As a space ship, i expect to be able to shot at very long range. I'm fine with the long range. I really do not think this the problem in this game. The game is already (too) slow, if the range is reduced, it will be worst, i believe.

The slowness doesn't have to do with the range of your attacks. It doesn't matter whether the range is 'long' or 'short'. What matters is that you're not fighting every single monsters in the vicinity at the same time.

The slowness of the game comes from other things... not all of which I'm sure about yet. Partly it's the speed and turning speed of your ship. Partly it's that there are no landmarks, so you can't tell how fast you're moving. A big chunk of it is having to wait until everybody in the sector loves each other before you can move on. Another part of it is that levels are 4x bigger than DC levels, even though they have no walls to reduce the walkable size of the level.

( Tchey )
06-19-2012, 01:41 PM
I'm lacking english knowledge to express myself. I'll try...

I think if the range is shorter, then you have to move more in order to engage fight, so the fight will last longer. In.900 if a mob fly away, i can easily fire a little missile to his head, and boom. If my range is shortened, then i'll have to move before i can fire.

That is why i believe short range is a way to make the game slower ( = more move).

I love to fly fast into a pack, fire EMP then a nuclear bomb, witout having to stop or chase any mob. Massive boom. Then, if some mobs are still alive, i'll chase them and finish them with laser or anything single target.

However, since .901, i cannot. Energy is too quicky reduced.

I'm very curious to see how the game will evolve, and how many time we have to wait between each patch. I still enjoy it, but i feel i'm almost done at this point (one legit level 30+ toon, and one cheated toon level 50 and level 100 to see what's coming next and how the Command Points are spent).

Bluddy
06-19-2012, 02:06 PM
I think if the range is shorter, then you have to move more in order to engage fight, so the fight will last longer. In.900 if a mob fly away, i can easily fire a little missile to his head, and boom. If my range is shortened, then i'll have to move before i can fire.

That is why i believe short range is a way to make the game slower ( = more move).


Think of space movies like Star Wars or Star Trek. Can one side just 'fly away' effortlessly? Nope. The opponent will be on his six, chasing him down and firing a laser up his tush. You also rarely see very long range weapons or weapons without a weapon arc, since they trivialize the fighting.

That's why I think most enemies should have a speed that's closer to yours. You could then engage a function to automatically follow them (like that which is commonly available in first person space combat games) and fire away.

spacehog
06-19-2012, 02:20 PM
(I'll keep my eyes open and provide the name of the component that reduces enemy movement next time I see one.)

I agree with Bluddy that the combat is a little less satisfying than in Din's Curse. Playing Drox just makes me want to go back and play Demon War again. I think part of the reason it's hard to put a grasp on the game and the balance issues is because of the randomness of the sectors and the loot (which is also what makes these games great). There are so many variables involved it's hard to pinpoint the source of my frustration. The game fluctuates from way too easy to way too hard. I haven't found the middle ground yet. I spend practically all of my credits on energy, nanite, and shield stims. In any given battle I'll go through about 3 of each, just to stay alive and do some damage. Tweaking the components on the ships is a lot of fun, but I feel like there isn't enough flexibility. The components themselves are contingent on the power capacity, (as they should be, but I feel limited in what I can actually fit on the ship), and I haven't found a weapon combination that lets me do serious damage without having to deep throat energy stims every time the cooldown resets. I've never been able to fit more than one weapon on a ship without sacrificing other crucial components, and even then I never have the energy to support the additional ordinance.

(Also, combat against the other races has been nearly impossible for me. Unless I encounter a lone ship in space, chances are I'm not going to be able to hold my ground against the race ships. In the sectors I've played, winning is all about sucking up to the strong guy, and no one else matters. Taking out planets and reducing their power strategically definitely helps, but it's so hard to pull off.)

I'm also willing to admit that my problem might be the way I've allocated the attribute points. I'll keep playing around with component setups and attribute points and see what happens.

Despite all the gripes, the game is a blast. I'm confident that it will continue to evolve through the beta because Shadow is an awesome and attentive developer. I definitely don't regret spending the money, and I'll probably end up buying any expansions, etc.

I'm almost hesitant to complain at all because no two sectors feel exactly the same. Maybe my misfortunes are the product of bad luck and randomness, and not the game mechanics themselves.

GunFox
06-19-2012, 02:22 PM
Perhaps a speed penalty for structure damage? As ships sustain structural damage, they suffer increasing speed penalties. This would make combat more decisive.

pnakotus
06-19-2012, 05:42 PM
If the combat issue is that the weapons are an unsatisfying mix of range and damage, all that matters is the relationship between range, speed, and combat time. In Dins it wasnt that guys were 'slower', I think, its that it took 'longer' to exit your effective range. In Drox, a guy making a turn will almost certainly take him out of range, and by the time you turn he's miles away. You have less skills, and once he's away from your pew pew there is nothing you can do (and he'll exit sight range quite quickly too.

You're basically fighting jets in the fog. I think (since your sight range being around screen size is important) that turning needs to be far smaller, or scale needs to be larger (ie all ships are smaller while everything else stays the same, thus increasing 'effective' range).

This said, if combat in Dins was using the same spell over and over, people would have complained.

Bluddy
06-19-2012, 05:53 PM
If the combat issue is that the weapons are an unsatisfying mix of range and damage, all that matters is the relationship between range, speed, and combat time. In Dins it wasnt that guys were 'slower', I think, its that it took 'longer' to exit your effective range. In Drox, a guy making a turn will almost certainly take him out of range, and by the time you turn he's miles away. You have less skills, and once he's away from your pew pew there is nothing you can do (and he'll exit sight range quite quickly too.

Well put. When the imps ran away from you it was a little annoying, but you could chase them down if you wanted to and finish them off. And you then had immediate feedback regarding how well you were hitting. Here you can't do that, so you land a hit and move on to the next ship, land a hit, and repeat until all are dead. You get minimal feedback.

A big part of it is also that in DC and DoP, not everybody could attack you from anywhere on-screen. So not only could you terminate combat with a monster, you could also deal with the 3 nearest monsters + any ranged monsters. Other monsters had collision blocking and limited range preventing them from attacking you all at once. You also had the option of standing in a corridor to reduce the number of monsters who could hit you even further. None of that exists here, and the long range/non-collision blocking of monster attacks means they can all reach you simultaneously from all over the screen.


This said, if combat in Dins was using the same spell over and over, people would have complained.

True. There isn't enough variety in the early weapons. On the other hand, in DC, you're stuck with the same skill trees for 100 levels, so the trade-off here is that you have more variety over time rather than more variety at any one time. I just don't know if the variety of skills here matches what's in DC and DoP.

Bluddy
06-20-2012, 06:56 AM
I should report, as has been pointed out by others, that mines are extremely satisfying to use. This is one attack element that works very well. Because every ship is moving and because the default state of combat is usually several ships chasing you, mines have a huge advantage in that they make the game about predicting which enemies are going to trip over your mine, which is really fun.

I'm inclined to suggest that your own ship's turn speed should be made much faster without regard to your thrust. If this happens and enemy ships' turn speeds are reduced somewhat, it would allow you to chase down enemies and reduce the tedium of travel significantly.

( Tchey )
06-20-2012, 01:47 PM
I've been playing with mines lately. It's nice, but i feel they lack a little power or something, as most of my level mobs need 2 to 4 mines to die, and only 1 to 2 missiles.

Explosive missiles are way better than mines.

Maybe only raise the range and the sensibility, but not the damage, so when a mob passes close to my mine, but not into my mine, it exploses anyway.

Or lessen energy cost, and reuse time, so we can set a mined field and plan a little more our fight.

spacehog
06-23-2012, 03:32 PM
I actually don't know which component that is.

I found another one of those components. They are medium slots and are called Drive Dissipators. They do fair damage but also weaken enemy defenses and slow down their movement.