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Bluddy
06-19-2012, 02:01 PM
Why does the game feel so slow compared to DC and DoP? Here are my answers.

1. The victory conditions require that you play the sector all the way from its start (each race has 1 planet) to the conclusion, where whoever remains in the sector has an alliance with you. I'm on my first game, where everybody is allied with me except for the Talon, who are just my friends, and now I have to do stuff for them until they will ally with me.

A better victory condition would let you sample as much of the 4x as you wanted (and needed), and then let you move on. So you could go through the beginning of the 4x, then move on, or you could jump into a well-developed sector where races already expanded, then move on once you've met the victory conditions, or you could choose to wait until everything resolved itself.

2. In DC and DoP, many levels were there, but would really not be used by you. You'd only use them to find the stairs/entrance to the next level and maybe solve 1 quest. In Drox, the quests basically require you to explore every system over the course of the game. This isn't a bad thing, but I think there needs to be a lot of functionality to assist you in doing this efficiently.

3. Lack of agency. Remember how, once you finish off the bosses in DC and only have a couple of required quests left, the game would drag? You'd be forced to finish those quests, but the threat to the town is gone. Well, in Drox there's nothing to lose -- no town and no covenant. I know there's a losing condition, but it doesn't seem very menacing. So your involvement is only as deep as your interest in toying with the difference races. I think it's important to establish real stakes for the operative, where if a serious client loses, you lose (EDIT: ) or at least suffer extreme consequences like your global reputation dropping precipitously.

4. Exploring a system can take a long time due to the fog of war. And you have to do it a lot more in Drox. Fog of war, begone!

5. It appears that levels are 4 times bigger than in DC, even though there are no walls blocking your way to limit the practical available area. Not sure how much of the space is used for 'out of system' area though.

6. Judging what items to install or take with you takes a long time. You have to consider the possibilities, how many slots you have, how much power etc. At the end, you usually end up with something pretty similar to what you already have because of the limitations -- at least at the lower levels I've played up to. But you're still spending a lot of time tinkering with this stuff.

7. The movement speed and turn speed of the ship. I have found myself skipping many storage pods and derelict ships both because it takes too much effort to turn around and get them and because I know that the items are probably not going to improve on what I have given my power and space limits -- I just constantly await the next command point upgrade to get more slots.

One thing that could really help with movement speed is to have one speed for normal travel and one speed for combat. The trick would be that regular travel speed takes too much power to maintain shields or regenerate energy, so whenever you anticipate combat, you'd want to switch immediately to combat speed.

Castruccio
06-19-2012, 02:09 PM
One thing that could really help with movement speed is to have one speed for normal travel and one speed for combat. The trick would be that regular travel speed takes too much power to maintain shields or regenerate energy, so whenever you anticipate combat, you'd want to switch immediately to combat speed.


This. Excellent idea. Wouldn't be hard to implement either, I don't think.

pnakotus
06-19-2012, 05:19 PM
The teleporter costing money doesn't help. It's not much money, especially compared to the time it saves you, but if the game encourages you to drive through space, there should be something going on. In a game like Dins players were using the gate to skip to the action, the fun part, the critical point; in Drox, they are encouraged to endlessly truck backwards and forwards manually, without there being much 'going on'. In many sectors it just feels like the 'village', the collection of vendors, is five or six totally peaceful sectors wide. :)

Bluddy
06-19-2012, 05:27 PM
The teleporter costing money doesn't help. It's not much money, especially compared to the time it saves you, but if the game encourages you to drive through space, there should be something going on. In a game like Dins players were using the gate to skip to the action, the fun part, the critical point; in Drox, they are encouraged to endlessly truck backwards and forwards manually, without there being much 'going on'. In many sectors it just feels like the 'village', the collection of vendors, is five or six totally peaceful sectors wide. :)

Great point. I think the cost on the jump gates is not a good incentive. It makes sense game-wise but it encourages going through the wormholes or 'stairs'. I only recently started ignoring the costs on the jump gates to get to where I want to go, and the difference is huge.

Also, if you think about the layout in DC and DoP, you had:
Quest Givers and vendors -> jump gate -> travel -> quest performance
And now you have
Quest givers and vendors -> travel -> jump gate -> travel -> quest performance
where both travel segments are much longer than travel in DC or DoP.
(I think this is basically your point in different words)

Granted, the ability to get quests from the relations screen is excellent and a great relief from having to do all that extra travelling. But that also adds another screen you constantly have to check, in addition to the map, which is now a constant reference.

pnakotus
06-19-2012, 05:34 PM
I believe the intention is that the systems will be cut-throat havens of danger, war, and shenanigans. At that point it would probably be fun to have so much to do/kill/explore/interact with during much longer-term quests than Dins quick in-out.

Bluddy
06-19-2012, 11:01 PM
I don't know which thread to put this in, but I just wanted to say that I started a new sector after giving up on trying to convince the Talon to like me in the previous game. I chose a small sector this time, and the Drakk and Shadow quickly declared war on each other. I chose the Drakk side and the game quickly became awesome as I flew sorties against the Shadwo. It really completely depends on what's happening in the 4x.

Also, the game really handles some things well. The early expansion phase is well represented, because this is when monsters should dominate the game. Later on is when I'd like to see quests against other races which aren't really there yet.

On the other hand, the down side of playing the early game is that wars between races are short. After defeating the Shadow planet, the Shadow became extinct.

orb
06-20-2012, 09:24 AM
The teleporter costing money doesn't help. It's not much money

I honestly never think about that money. I started off struggling, then one race kept rewarding me for being a nice guy and I had 22000 credits before being done with my very first game. Even after meddling with rumours I always have a 5-digit amount of buffer money.

In many sectors it just feels like the 'village', the collection of vendors, is five or six totally peaceful sectors wide. :)

Speaking of vendors: I don't see anything distinctly different about the types of things planets change. A quest item appears occasionally, but that's not something directly usable by the player. They all seem to have one of every upgrade (except cargo holds - I never see those).

Bluddy
06-20-2012, 12:31 PM
I honestly never think about that money. I started off struggling, then one race kept rewarding me for being a nice guy and I had 22000 credits before being done with my very first game. Even after meddling with rumours I always have a 5-digit amount of buffer money.

Yeah I've had this as well and I'd consider it a bug in the AI. It seems that once you have an ally, he likes to lavish money on you. I'm guessing the money is in percentages of what he has, because he might have 100,000 credits and he'll give you about 5,000, which makes all money collection irrelevant for you.