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View Full Version : Thoughts + Bugs after 2 Sectors


Waffles
06-20-2012, 07:02 AM
I've played 2 sectors and gotten my ship to level 11, which is a small start, and here are my findings. I'm going to tear at a lot of things, and use too much hyperbole. Don't get me wrong, I like the concept of the game and much of the execution, and I love Soldak games, there are just things driving me crazy. This is approximately the game it should be: betas will be betas. I'm attempting to look in the scope of mild/moderate changes and tweaks as opposed to major redesign:

BUG:
1) Planet Defense Failure: If you attack a race's planet from outside the range of the defenders, they will sit there and let you blow it to smithereens. Best done with missiles. Definitely needs an AI tweak for defense.

2) Defending Ally Relation Increase Unreliability (Bug?): This seemed to make some races happy without any pact, some with non-aggression, some with alliance. It's by far the easiest way to improve relations, and I was extremely confused by why it didn't work all the time. Making it more predictable/a little less potent would be great. I don't know what the intent is though.

3) When races have large quantities of money and like you a lot, they give you tons of credits for no reason, which tends to devalues money and throws stuff off.

ISSUES:
A) I agree with most of what people have been saying, notably hippie syndrome.

1) Hippie Syndrome: Here is how to keep it from being a problem: Instead of requiring alliances with all factions in an alliance for victory, require alliance with just one: if all are allied with each other, victory is achieved. This way, you only need to goodie-goodie your way into alliance with one, rather than burning time and money rumoring your way up with all the races. Alternatively, when all races are in alliance with each other, the one with the highest view towards the player could very quickly, positively influence the others.

2) Exploration feels slow and troublesome: Perhaps increase maximum viewing distance (zoom out more) and fog of war removal increased. This has something to do with movement feeling slow also. So much time is wasted flying around empty space like an idiot. Potentially increasing speed would help, and if radar was a much wider thing that might help too, to discover planets/monsters/stellar travel systems.

3) Default Radar is AWFUL: It is substantially smaller than my field of vision at default. I don't understand why this isn't by default around the viewing distance of the screen, and bigger with upgrades. I suspect that until levels 20+ it remains uselessly bad.

4) Map Issues: From System View, it should be possible to switch to a different star system by right-clicking on it's corresponding starlane/wormhole. Jumping in and out of galaxy view is disorienting. Locating points of interest on the system view should be easier, potentially with them appearing as unidentified blips in the fog of war until you explore them more closely.

4A) Map/Quest Locations: Planets relating to Potential Quests/Current Quests should show up on the system map for easy navigation. Also, quests requiring exploration could give "quest waypoints", for example approximate locations of where a boss monster was recently seen, or the approximate location of some planet, if you don't already know where it is.

5) Movement feels very clunky and slow: Greater max speed doesn't appear to change acceleration, and turning speed seems static. I have a few ideas to remedy this. Increased overall maneuverability rather than just max speed would make sense: Including turn speed and acceleration. Increased turning speed at low speeds would help also. Something like buffing turn speed and reducing it by current/max speed. It would feel more like a car but it would help. If you are willing to heavily overhaul maneuvering, allowing strafing/backing up might work really well, though it might break the feel. Also, I would like an option so that ship movement ignores the mouse altogether (except target-moving), so the keyboard can be used for navigation without interference.

6) Unpredictable Monster Damage: Most monsters seem to do almost no damage to me/whittle away at my defenses reasonably, while others instantly break my shields and halve my structure - I'm not sure whether it is self destructs or missiles/mines or what. Regardless, to the untrained eye monsters vary randomly between harmless and instant death, which is bad.

7) Energy Issues: Soldak games have notoriously given miniscule
innate/statbased 'mana'/'energy'/whatever regeneration. I consistenly run my ship with 2 light components dedicated to battery rechargers and I think my energy is about where it is supposed to be, but only after vast overdedication to energy. At this point, I can use one laser of comparable tactics 70% as fast as it comes off cooldown, and multiple weapons drain me 'pretty fast'. This is where speculation comes in: I think something along the lines of .1 per engineering up from .04 would get things to a more reasonable level, and potentially a buff to battery rechargers also. It seems to me that 0 rechargers should feel like low power, 1 should feel good, and 2 should feel abundant, at least for a low component ship. Maximum energy amount feels great.

8) Shield Regen: Without a shield regen component, which I have not found by this point, the regen is abysmally slow. I haven't determined even a rough formula, but with 112 shields, the default .3 I have takes 6 minutes to fully recharge. A buff of this to a percentage of maximum would alleviate the 'shields are down' issue - perhaps 1%, or .5% if an "out of combat/hasnt been hit in 10 seconds" bonus is applied. Generally in scifi if a ship has had a little time to recover between battles the shields are fully recharged.

9) Wording of "Other Stats": Power Load, Max Power Load feel funny. If "Generation" wasn't such a long word I would recommend "Power Usage" and "Power Generation". Also an "Excess Power" stat with a tooltip that told you how much extra energy regen you get from the excess power would be amazing, and there is room for it. Crushing Blow seems bizarre also. The tooltips for the next lines seem rather redundant/uninformative. I would recommend rewriting them to something like:
"Find Extra Credits
Extra Credits Found: xx%
Increases credits found from exploration and destroyed enemies. Only random bonuses found on various equipment increases this."
"Tweaked Find Chance
Improved Chance to find Rarer Components: xx%
Increases chance to find higher rarity components with more bonuses. Only random bonuses found on various equipment increases this."
"Critical Hit
Chance to deal Double Damage: xx%
Critical hits deal double the normal weapon damage. Sensors increase this."
"Direct Hit
Chance to deal Max Weapon Damage: xx%
Direct hits deal the weapon's maximum damage. Only random bonuses found on various equipment increases this."

NOTES:
1) If you upgrade your ship's command heavily without getting stats enough, you suck. I understand "upgrading the ship size" as a modifier, and that having extra components is amazing, if you spend 5 levels right away to get to 4/4/4 your weapons and everything are terrible, and I stunted the power of my ship. Getting bonuses to engineering from upgrading command alleviates how much you cripple your ship from doing this, however it still feels off. I don't know how to work with this issue even a little. Goes up automatically? Limited Crew Points each level to go into it? Warn players with a message?

orb
06-20-2012, 09:35 AM
3) When races have large quantities of money and like you a lot, they give you tons of credits for no reason, which tends to devalues money and throws stuff off.

I had economical independence halfway through my first sector. Definitely too friendly :)


8) Shield Regen: Without a shield regen component, which I have not found by this point, the regen is abysmally slow.

Maybe shield regen could be tweaked to much faster (a magnitude up?) as long as you aren't being shot at for a number of seconds.


1) If you upgrade your ship's command heavily without getting stats enough, you suck. I understand "upgrading the ship size" as a modifier, and that having extra components is amazing, if you spend 5 levels right away to get to 4/4/4 your weapons and everything are terrible, and I stunted the power of my ship.

I really feel that module slots should be added a different way. Types of modules with different tradeoffs for different slot sizes, or something. Keep the "one ship you upgrade" thing, but make it so we really build it up, not just increase its size by dumping points in a stat.