View Full Version : Mobility suggestions

06-23-2012, 03:40 PM
Hey there. This here would be some beta-thus-far feedback. File accordingly.

My biggest problem with the state of the game right now is that the early going feels far too sluggish. This isn't just a matter of starting ship speed (though I was pleased to see that tweaked upwards a bit from where it was with the .900 beta release), but traversal in general.

In my current game, I've reached the point where I'm in contact with two races, and getting quests scattered every which way. The issue is actually getting to them. The recent ability to buy waypoints, and to purchase jumpgate activations, helps a bit, but there's still far too much dead time spent crawling across sectors. Some thoughts to help ease this:

1: Consider starting sectors already in contact with some or all of the active races there. You're supposedly a Drox Operative, after all, there to ply sides and rake in money. Why am I wandering into the job site completely unprepared and blind? (Coming in blind and with the need to slowly explore to make contacts would be fine as a starting option, but I don't believe it should be the default.) This would allow being immediately able to start prioritizing who you'd like to help, who you'd like to hinder, and have opportunities for initial plans to go thoroughly awry.

2: Likewise, consider starting conditions already knowing the locations of systems, or a core set of systems. Ideally, I'd like to see exploration turned towards something the player does in order to gain valuable information to trade to the races, as opposed to something the player does simply to be able to get places and as a game tax to pay to even begin playing the diplomacy game.

3: Traversal mechanics: consider being able to use any jumpgate either at a cost from anywhere. Such use could involve a helpless period of shields dropping etc., to prevent it being used as an easy flee option when in bad combat situations, and you could come out at the destination drained of energy/shields and with location around the jumpgate randomized, to add risk to choosing to use it. But that reward for taking the risk would be the ability to more easily hop around the sector to make friends and enemies. This could be something special that only the Drox Ops could do--it's part of why they're in such demand; they can outmaneuver anything.

Being forced to manually locate and activate teleport gates in every "level" made a lot of sense in Din's Curse and is clearly the carry-over here. But in Din's, that was part of the occasional bursts of frantic races against the clock, triaging active and unfolding quests against needing to get back to town right now to stop an attack and the last gate was three levels up and do I dare keep searching for this level's gate or would it actually be faster to get back upstairs? In contrast, Drox doesn't have anything akin to that, at least not in the early game that I've seen--and if it does, the general slowness of flight relative to size of systems means the same urgency effect isn't going to be there.

4: Within a system, let me click on the system map and auto-fly to that location. If I just want to get to the jumpgate two-thirds of the way across, I don't really want to manually drive there. I'll take over if I get attacked or see an interesting shiny thing, sure, but otherwise, rudimentary autopilot would be well-received.

Basically, all of the above focuses on quality of life things that'd help minimize downtime, in favor of increasing the uptime of more focused questing and diplomacy-wrangling.