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Thread: Core game design issues

  1. #1
    Lana Torrin's Avatar
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    Core game design issues

    So I have been playing a while and its still fun to play this game, but im starting to think there are some fundamental core dame design issues at play here. I just cant work them all out. So far I have the following.

    - Complete and utter safety on Alpha. Can sit AFK for hours.
    - Beta not only gives you PvP but also insta kill NPCs (Been to beta 3 times, never seen a sole, got killed all 3 times to ECM bots)
    - Islands are too small or too crowded with NPCs (pick one)
    - 'Safe spots' in most islands are massive. Its either too many NPCs or none.
    - 'Single player' content is limited at best.

    I really don't know what else is 'broken' because I haven't been able to PvP much (I have tried, I just never find anyone and end up running in to observers).

    Apart from re-balancing NPC spawns (especially the lower level ones) I also don't know what can be done to fix this..

    Save me FHC, you are my only hope.
    Quote Originally Posted by lubica
    And her name was Limul Azgoden, a lowly peasant girl.

  2. #2
    Gix Tyrionn's Avatar
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    The most fundamental problem I find is islands are progressive. A1->a2->b1->b2 This means noobs can't even pve on beta islands except for the odd light spawn and I wouldn't recommend them solo in a week old assault. This also means roaming pvp sucks as either you have a mech fleet farming heavies or a a non-combat bot as the only pve'ing targets. On a side note I love that a pvp'er has to find and bookmark all the epi spots to roam efficiently.

    Light bots are shit or higher tech items are too important. t2 guns/t4 lwf make the bots cost pretty irrelevant as the bulk of the cost is in items. Why fit a castel when a wasp with the same mods on it goes near the same speed(empty slots lololol) and gets more dps, shoots farther, sees farther, more hp etc etc. Nevermind that a t4 lwf + t2 fit assault will utterly shit on t1 fit lights for every stat. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uo4wDGLNZRA for an example. Watch how 2x assaults utterly rape lights by being faster. Its pretty obvious that balf could have done that fight without me.

    Speed is the only advantage of smaller bots over mechs because their hp are too small to take advantage of size. Note this is less true when your an outright counter to the enemies bot (kain vs bap etc) or the enemy is a retard who didn't spend 1 month playing and picking up support skills. With speed as the only advantage and mech's winning dps and hp wise at any range the only option is to not fight or be perfect with terrain.

    Terrain advantages are useless if the enemy isn't retarded, and mechs shooting higher means they can better utilize terrain versus smaller bots. Terrain's main function is in groups. Primary gets behind a rock and waits for people to stop shooting at him.

    Explosion damage ruins 1v1's unless your both fit for speed and range. Its nice to get a kill versus a blob with explosion damage being retardedly high but it only adds on to the uselessness of low ep light bots when <100m= death versus a mech sized target.

    Rock paper scissors balance ruins 1v1's but enhances groups. The game probably doesn't have enough variety out there yet for players to build groups to counter groups without this and "good terrain for x bot" doesn't help that. This will probably change alot when more groups have access to nexus's and start actually using them. Unfortunately with the server pop size out of the box tactics will have a hard time evolving, I mean there's only 2 main factions in the game imo.

    Adding a bonus to manufacturing at remote outposts helps decentralize the economy and keep good expensive. There is no incentive to ship goods to lower level zones (remember islands are a straight progression). If your manufacturing at a Alpha 2 why would you ship stuff to the poor light bot peons? Import cheaper minerals are free goods sure but why would you try and sell them your gear? Your getting medium sized kernals and drops that they won't use.

    Sorry if I'm prone to rant and be bitter but I've been burnt out on this game. I got kills my second day into the game and currently can't find the motivation to log in when I know that only 1 island can guarantee me a fight in under 4 hours but they'll use teleporters + ark scouts to get behind me if I don't show up in their dead timezone which is... 4 people in station afk and 2 are scouts for other groups dead.
    Last edited by Gix Tyrionn; August 2 2011 at 08:26:15 AM.

  3. #3
    Tailn's Avatar
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    Firstly I certainly agree that there are a number of issues with the game as it is in fact all of your issues above resonate with my worries since before the open beta. I pushed quite strongly for a large number of islands 90+ rather than the 6 we started and with the utter safety of living on alpha.

    Now to the trying to save you bit.
    I know this will come across as fanboiyish but i will say it any way. They went live with a game that they knew was no where near complete, that as well as cost is why they have openly tried to keep the player numbers relatively low and not push advertising. Going live where they were was a decision that I am completely behind, the core mechanics are there the rest is content and new features, that does mean that there is relatively little to do in certain aspects and some areas either feel light or lacking and there are a number of balance issues to be resolved with some existing content.

    I have no idea how they may make alpha's more engaging unless in the fullness of time the importance of those 6 islands ends up akin to noob and 1.0 systems in stEvE.
    Beta Npc's can be very harsh but there is no reason you should be killed by them unless you take on the wrong spawn, right now they are apparently very underpopulated lets see how the upcoming intrusion changes alter this.
    plenty more 'single player' content is planned energy collection corp sponsored assignments and the beefing up of the current NPC missions and mission systems.


    Does this help at all? it is a sad fact that the game needs more players and lots more space to make the most of the core game play that the game was designed to support (player driven content). But this will take time to get there, game needs time to grow to attract a wider audience for all of the reasons you stated above really.

  4. #4
    Ryoko Matsui's Avatar
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    The biggest problem I see (as a pre-release beta player) is the lack of content on Alphas after a certain point. Certainly the new Alpha islands alleviated that some, but it's still there. The game as is, is more aimed at "do as group on Betas" gameplay, rather than anything else.

  5. #5
    Lana Torrin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryoko Matsui View Post
    The biggest problem I see (as a pre-release beta player) is the lack of content on Alphas after a certain point. Certainly the new Alpha islands alleviated that some, but it's still there. The game as is, is more aimed at "do as group on Betas" gameplay, rather than anything else.
    I think this is the problem to an extent.. To push this they need to make alpha even less appealing to groups, reduce the amount of stuff that you can mine to the absolute minimum needed for T1 stuff, no really large deposits.. I also think thinning out the spawns a bit (on both alpha and beta) would be helpful (less chance of blindly running in to them like I always seems to somehow manage, plus those that are there will be fought over).

    The game needs to cater for people wanting to solo because players WILL want to do that, but it can do it in a way that they are at a disadvantage..

    I think they are moving this way slowly.. The removal of epi from T1 items is a great step because now you can make T1 completely from alpha, but you cant make T2 or up.. This allows starting people to actually make something of use right off the bat.

    I just don't think they have a very good base to build on right now (although they aren't above ripping out what they have and replacing it with something better, aka intrusions 2.0, which actually looks very very good)

    Edit: Oh, FYI, I still log in and play and I have 2 accounts now (paid for 6 months on both) so its not like im upping and leaving at the first sign of an issue. I'm just bitching somewhere where I know I wont get told to go back to wow..
    Last edited by Lana Torrin; August 3 2011 at 12:56:59 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by lubica
    And her name was Limul Azgoden, a lowly peasant girl.

  6. #6
    Tailn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lana Torrin View Post
    I just don't think they have a very good base to build on right now (although they aren't above ripping out what they have and replacing it with something better, aka intrusions 2.0, which actually looks very very good)
    You should have seen the industry changes that were made (6mths before release or so), they are totally not above completely scrapping existing systems and making something fantastic in it's place.
    And yes I know that was during beta and we expect things like to change greatly however live is running with very little difference to beta the only obvious changes are it now costs and I dont live in dread of loosing my EP and assets to game wipes.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lana Torrin View Post
    I think this is the problem to an extent.. To push this they need to make alpha even less appealing to groups, reduce the amount of stuff that you can mine to the absolute minimum needed for T1 stuff, no really large deposits.. I also think thinning out the spawns a bit (on both alpha and beta) would be helpful (less chance of blindly running in to them like I always seems to somehow manage, plus those that are there will be fought over).
    Essentially we need 2 things right now, reduce the profitability of Alphas and make soloing possible not the cheapest option but some what attractive else where.
    I like the idea of creating more pressure to expand out with greater competition for spawns and resources, unfortunately reducing either of these enough may well end up with a very bad new player experience and extremely empty maps.
    Perhaps for NPC's adjusting the balance a little and creating fewer spawns that are good for hunting (little or no ewar and killable bots) while making the remainder of the spawns more difficult or less worth while. To go with this the less attractive spawns should perhaps have much reduced aggro ranges and be on much tighter leashes, this would reduce the danger of the more dangerous spawn to travelers.
    I have no idea about how to balance mining though lower amounts of resources will just make mining even more horrendous an occupation than it is already.

    I have suggested before that I would love to see a large number (9+ based on the current population and spread of islands) of small islands with no terminals or outposts and no protection but a huge network of teleporters creating a web backwards and forwards giving people a chance to run away and get lost from a rampaging mob. Pop a nice selection of npc spawns geared for solo or small group work and some small but very dense mining spots and you have some great fun times available.

  7. #7
    Lana Torrin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tailn View Post
    I have no idea about how to balance mining though lower amounts of resources will just make mining even more horrendous an occupation than it is already.
    I gave my mining idea a try and it was shot down by people that don't truly understand how broken the 'stand in 1 place for 2 hours and shoot the ground' mechanic is.. The idea was basically remove the tedium without removing the time requirements.. Also having the deposits be able to be mined out and then they respawn someplace else would help a bit..
    Quote Originally Posted by lubica
    And her name was Limul Azgoden, a lowly peasant girl.

  8. #8
    Marlona Sky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lana Torrin View Post
    I gave my mining idea a try and it was shot down by people that don't truly understand how broken the 'stand in 1 place for 2 hours and shoot the ground' mechanic is.. The idea was basically remove the tedium without removing the time requirements.. Also having the deposits be able to be mined out and then they respawn someplace else would help a bit..
    What? I thought it eventually mines out? Well that has to be changed.

  9. #9
    Lana Torrin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marlona Sky View Post
    What? I thought it eventually mines out? Well that has to be changed.
    Well they can be mined out, but they always regrow where they are..
    Quote Originally Posted by lubica
    And her name was Limul Azgoden, a lowly peasant girl.

  10. #10
    Hehulk's Avatar
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    I'm actually wondering if you think that having to go scanning for new deposits before you can mine would be an improvement, or if I'm reading it wrong. Scanning islands right now is a bit of a pain, having to do it on a weekly basis

  11. #11
    Marlona Sky's Avatar
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    I think the big question to ask is; is it at all possible to make any form of mining fun and exciting? I mean, it's mining. We hate it in EVE and it is just as boring in this game too. Has anyone played any game that has something like 'mining' in it, that didn't make you want to /wrists?

  12. #12

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    I remember setting up a home-made macro to mine in ultimate online because it was boring there also. If anything it was worse because you couldn't really carry a significant amount of ore. To more ore you would mine it into a pile next to you, move one step towards to refinery, pickup ore & move to one space in front of you, move forward, pickup ore & move to one space in front of you, on and on and on until you & your pile of ore arrived at the place to refine it. Good times.

    Edit: Maybe it wasn't a macro, just a stack of quarters on the attack/mine button, I don't remember exactly.
    Last edited by Aypse; August 4 2011 at 09:23:16 AM.
    Hi.

  13. #13
    Tailn's Avatar
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    Boring mining is to balance the afk'ness of it. I however agree that another resource collection method is in dire need for sandbox MMO's.

    I have in the past month been pointed to a statement from the devs (no idea where it is now though) that migrating mining spots is on the list of changes so when a spot is cleared another else where will begin to appear. While for miners this may well seem to be a pain in the neck it does open up the world to a new career in cartography the devs just need to improve the trading of scan results.

    I would live to see each scan result being unique if you remove make a physical copy it is removed from your geoscan results but there also needs to be a transfer method that does not require both parties to be online or at the same place, drop box, attachment to a mail, 'contract' or a market item.

  14. #14
    King of the Babe Thread Donor Jolin's Avatar
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    I don't understand why they don't implement the SWG method. Migrating mining spots with different concentrations, scan it, plop a mining factory thingy down. Your skills could affect extraction rate at poor concentration spots and what not.

    Hell they could even graft on what they have in PI. IE more harvesters on the spot, faster the ore gets mined out.

  15. #15
    Lana Torrin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tailn View Post
    I would live to see each scan result being unique if you remove make a physical copy it is removed from your geoscan results but there also needs to be a transfer method that does not require both parties to be online or at the same place, drop box, attachment to a mail, 'contract' or a market item.
    Anyone that thinks eve's contract system is stupid needs to play this game TBH.. It is in desperate need of a contract system..

    My idea was basically the same as what Jolin said.. Scan down a site, drop mining robots, come back in x hours and pick up can.. The can was visible and could be destroyed (on beta obviously) so there was an incentive to protect it.. Or you could risk it.. The can would obviously need a much longer timer than the existing ones so you could come back a few hours after its finished mining and it still be there..

    Edit: Was a bit more complex than that but essentially that was the idea.. ALSO, I recommended keeping the existing 'stand there and mine' mechanics for people that wanted to do it manually and have the automatic system bring in about 1/4 the amount per hour (so standing there is a better option if you wanted to do it).

    When I write my own MMO mining will be fully automated and the 'work' will be in finding the sites (prospecting)
    Last edited by Lana Torrin; August 5 2011 at 01:40:08 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by lubica
    And her name was Limul Azgoden, a lowly peasant girl.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lana Torrin View Post
    Anyone that thinks eve's contract system is stupid needs to play this game TBH.. It is in desperate need of a contract system..

    My idea was basically the same as what Jolin said.. Scan down a site, drop mining robots, come back in x hours and pick up can.. The can was visible and could be destroyed (on beta obviously) so there was an incentive to protect it.. Or you could risk it.. The can would obviously need a much longer timer than the existing ones so you could come back a few hours after its finished mining and it still be there..

    Edit: Was a bit more complex than that but essentially that was the idea.. ALSO, I recommended keeping the existing 'stand there and mine' mechanics for people that wanted to do it manually and have the automatic system bring in about 1/4 the amount per hour (so standing there is a better option if you wanted to do it).

    When I write my own MMO mining will be fully automated and the 'work' will be in finding the sites (prospecting)
    The nice thing about PO is the devs probably realize mining sucks and they are likely to tear the whole thing down and rewrite it into something that makes sense and is fun in a reasonable time frame.

    I can live with bugs and design flaws, as long as I feel that they will be corrected. It is when they get ignored for years that it starts to irk me (I am looking at you there Eve).
    Hi.

  17. #17

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    You can actually be banned for griefing. I received multiple GM warnings that using an alt in a flagged Arkhe as bait to get other people flagged would get my account suspended for griefing.

    I did it anyways, they never banned me. Then, the patch following my 4-day rise to #1 on the killboard, they implemented multiple warning messages involving PvP. If you try shooting someone who is flagged, a big fucking warning comes up that basically says "If you shoot this guy, a character named Ohh Yeah will undock in a Baphomet and fuck your shit".

    Game is gay now, not playing anymore.

  18. #18
    Marlona Sky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohh_No View Post
    You can actually be banned for griefing. I received multiple GM warnings that using an alt in a flagged Arkhe as bait to get other people flagged would get my account suspended for griefing.

    I did it anyways, they never banned me. Then, the patch following my 4-day rise to #1 on the killboard, they implemented multiple warning messages involving PvP. If you try shooting someone who is flagged, a big fucking warning comes up that basically says "If you shoot this guy, a character named Ohh Yeah will undock in a Baphomet and fuck your shit".

    Game is gay now, not playing anymore.
    Come on man. You were using a robot that is free, as bait. Zero risk. Now if they did not allow Arkhe to be PvP flagged on alpha islands then I'm sure your baiting would be allowed because at least your risking something. So do that or go to beta islands for some pew pew.

  19. #19

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    Dev's dealing with people being dicks and driving away potential players, news at 11.

  20. #20
    Lana Torrin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arele View Post
    Dev's dealing with people being dicks and driving away potential players, news at 11.
    Pretty much this.. The last thing the game needs right now is people being dicks in it.
    Quote Originally Posted by lubica
    And her name was Limul Azgoden, a lowly peasant girl.

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