Author Topic: Some thoughts and suggestions  (Read 1422 times)

TinCow

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Some thoughts and suggestions
« on: April 15, 2014, 04:02:04 pm »
I purchased and played the game this past weekend and thought I would provide some feedback.

First of all, I was a huge fan of the Escape Velocity series many, many years ago.  I also played a lot of Subspace when that game first got started, so I'm very familiar with the isometric space shooter genre.  I really think you've got the foundations for a great game here, and I'm very excited to see where it goes.  Combat and movement are already solid and the game looks gorgeous.  Your use of weapon hardpoints and aiming arcs in particular is inspired and really improves on the systems used by EV and Subspace.

I'm personally interested in VE for the multiplayer only.  EV:Nova was a spectacular game with a huge universe and tons of ships.  I've long dreamed of being able to play that game with a multiplayer aspect, I think you'll find a lot of success if you focus on that area.  You have a great system set up to make, essentially, a smaller, moddable version of EVE.  Give us the option to generate huge galaxies with tons of star systems, then let players form their own factions/alliances, build stations/platforms, and conquer systems, and you'll have a game that attracts a LOT of players and sustains interest for a very long time.  In short, give the players the ability to create their own content and purpose, and you'll really open this thing up.

On to more specific suggestions for improvements.  I understand this is an alpha and expect you already have a lot of things planned that haven't made it in yet, so please forgive me if some of this is redundant of what you already know.  First, please implement death consequences soon.  I noticed in the server config that there are already options for penalties to money and experience from death, as well as loss of the ship you are piloting.  However, these do not appear to work yet.  Adding those on will give a major boost to the experience, particularly in multiplayer.

Second, we need additional classes of ships.  I've seen some comments by the devs that it is not planned to implement fleets of ships controlled by a single player.  This seems perfectly fine to me, particularly with multiplayer available.  However, I think this game needs to eventually embrace much, much larger ships with several more tiers.  In particular, I think 'carrier' ships with small drone fighter craft are needed.  EV:Nova did this really well, by having both dedicated carriers as well as carrier upgrade modules that converted cargo space into hangers for fighter craft.  This also opens up the option for numerous types of upgradable drone craft.

Third, the game needs a sense of active warfare between the factions.  In most sectors, it's just pirates everywhere.  The home sectors of the factions should be largely safe and free from enemies, with enemies showing up more frequently as you get out towards the fringes.  It seems a bit odd at the moment to have pirates constantly swarming around (and getting killed by) the turrets the dot the major central sectors.  We should be seeing these sectors largely peaceful and patrolled by ships loyal to the local faction, which attack anyone (AI or player) who targets a friendly or neutral ship in that sector.  At the same time, factions which are hostile to each other should occasionally launch fleets into each others' territory, resulting in AI battles in contested areas.

Fourth, commodity trading needs to be implemented.  I do not believe it is important to integrate the actual planets into the game.  The stations are perfectly fine and can do all of that on their own.  Control a station, control the planet.  However, these needs to be a galactic economy to make being a merchant/trader a viable career.  That means many different types of goods with different prices at different stations, to give players the ability to discover and make use of trade routes.

Fifth, increase the social interactivity for MP.  One immediate improvement that would help would be the ability to use the game chat while docked at a station.  At the moment, I can only chat with other players while flying, which is very dangerous and inconvenient.  It would be nice if I could park at a station and then talk to a friend about where to go next.  Beyond that, allow us to make in-game alliances with other ships and trade money, items, etc. back and forth.

Lurler

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Re: Some thoughts and suggestions
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2014, 10:15:06 pm »
I really think you've got the foundations for a great game here, and I'm very excited to see where it goes.  Combat and movement are already solid and the game looks gorgeous.  Your use of weapon hardpoints and aiming arcs in particular is inspired and really improves on the systems used by EV and Subspace.
Thanks :) I hope we can deliver even more interesting experience.

I'm personally interested in VE for the multiplayer only. You have a great system set up to make, essentially, a smaller, moddable version of EVE.
Funny thing is - actually it is exactly what was on our minds when we decided to include multiplayer.

Give us the option to generate huge galaxies with tons of star systems, then let players form their own factions/alliances, build stations/platforms, and conquer systems, and you'll have a game that attracts a LOT of players and sustains interest for a very long time.  In short, give the players the ability to create their own content and purpose, and you'll really open this thing up.
Certainly. Additionally you could mod any of that and make even more unique multiplayer servers. Each admin can create their own small MMORPG with custom gameplay.

First, please implement death consequences soon.  I noticed in the server config that there are already options for penalties to money and experience from death, as well as loss of the ship you are piloting.  However, these do not appear to work yet.  Adding those on will give a major boost to the experience, particularly in multiplayer.
Certainly. But the reason we haven't included any consequences, and in SP in particular, because we didn't want to frustrate new players who can't yet properly play the game. We don't even have a tutorial yet. As soon as tutorial will be in place and some other things are implemented we will include some forms of penalties for death in both SP and MP.

Second, we need additional classes of ships.  I've seen some comments by the devs that it is not planned to implement fleets of ships controlled by a single player.  This seems perfectly fine to me, particularly with multiplayer available.
It is possible to do with mods. But at this point I don't see that it fits very well with the core gameplay. But again, you can do it with mods. There are some missions in the game (IIRC) that lets you control a mercenary. Using this idea you could implement a complete fleets of ships under your control.

In particular, I think 'carrier' ships with small drone fighter craft are needed. This also opens up the option for numerous types of upgradable drone craft.
Drones are already in the plans, although they will not make an appearance soon for certain. But again, I think it is possible to implement drones even now using the scripting API.

Third, the game needs a sense of active warfare between the factions.  In most sectors, it's just pirates everywhere.  The home sectors of the factions should be largely safe and free from enemies, with enemies showing up more frequently as you get out towards the fringes.
Well, the factions aren't exactly in the war with each other. At least the main ones. But yeah, we plan to eventually have more active faction interactions and independent from player. For starters we want to implement Xengatarn - they will try to conquer even more systems inside the Void Expanse, but other factions such as Order and Freedom will try to stop them.

It seems a bit odd at the moment to have pirates constantly swarming around (and getting killed by) the turrets the dot the major central sectors.  We should be seeing these sectors largely peaceful and patrolled by ships loyal to the local faction, which attack anyone (AI or player) who targets a friendly or neutral ship in that sector.  At the same time, factions which are hostile to each other should occasionally launch fleets into each others' territory, resulting in AI battles in contested areas.
True. Again, this is already in the plans. We want to have some form of "Concord" if you know what I mean :)

Fourth, commodity trading needs to be implemented.
I should say more, it should be implemented in the first place. Because right now all the shops are just placeholders. There is no actual system for trading, you can only buy and sell stuff for a fixed price. We plan to have an actual economy with demand and supply that would change depending on the actions of the player(s) and NPC traders. As well as adding more items and a way to produce some of them.

Fifth, increase the social interactivity for MP.  One immediate improvement that would help would be the ability to use the game chat while docked at a station.
That is actually a very good suggestion. I will try to sneak it in the next version.

Bottom line: I really appreciate your suggestions! And there are a lot of things planned!

daselk266

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Re: Some thoughts and suggestions
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2014, 02:33:12 pm »
I love it when devs put in this much effort to reply. That was a serious WOT that lurler read and took on board, which is awesome because I agree with all his suggested features!