Poll

Is VoidExpanse ready for "gold" release?

Yes
6 (40%)
No
5 (33.3%)
Other (comment)
4 (26.7%)

Total Members Voted: 15

Voting closed: January 23, 2015, 02:15:45 am

Author Topic: Is VoidExpanse ready for gold?  (Read 23032 times)

Hammish

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Re: Is VoidExpanse ready for gold?
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2014, 11:06:40 am »
Events like more aggressive pirates going after things should be fairly easy I think; look at the headhunter mobs that have a chance of spawning.   Just need to create a custom version of the general AI script for pirates and up the aggro radius while possibly at the same time setting them to spawn as a group, which should increase the likelihood that they hunt as a pack.

There's no real API for the game, though, just a collection of assets you can modify as you so desire.  By hand, like your father's father did it. ;)  That said, the vast majority of stuff CAN be edited and after you start digging around the AT guys are at least willing to listen and possibly oblige if you want a new variable added to tinker with (like the change to firing origin points, ect).  The only major thing you can't edit is the in-game GUI; even coming up with a more robust, larger galaxy shouldn't be out of the question since you have access to all of the universe-generation scripts and can tweak them accordingly.  How much spawns where, what shops have, game skills, all these are modifiable (and I've personally tinkered with the last two)

Another add I had, though: when you do release, you might want to think about finding someone with a lot of spare time to help out as a forum moderator, especially for the mods section.  Even if you don't have officially-endorsed mods downloadable through the launcher, having someone assisting with keeping on top of mods (common thread with updated links, possibly even subforums for the larger mods) will be a huge boon.  Best example I can think of along these lines was the game Mount & Blade, a small indie game done by a husband and wife that has managed to take on cult status in a way thanks to the various mods available for an excellent core engine.  And they made enough off that to be able to fund three xpacs and now a full sequel. :)

RavenFellBlade

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Re: Is VoidExpanse ready for gold?
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2014, 06:56:07 pm »
I would really love to say that the game is ready for prime time. It isn't. As someone stated earlier, it may be "ready" by today's not-so-exacting standards, I think you guys seem to be a cut above the rest. I take what you say about wanting customers to have the best experience possible at face value. While I have had a blast playing the game, I have had a blast knowing that the game is in an unfinished state. I've been having as much fun hunting pirates as I have hunting (and reporting) bugs. I haven't really run into any critical, game-breaking bugs, yet, but there are still enough of them to be distinctly "beta"-flavored.
The long and short of it is this:
1) I would expect the game to be as bug-free as is reasonable to expect. Your team seems to be doing an excellent job working towards that end, so hopefully that will be very near-future.
2) I expect the game to be feature-complete. This is a bit of a muddy pond, though... What, by your collective (Atomic Torch's) definition is "feature complete"? Is this just the main story line in Singleplayer? How about multiplayer? Is that "feature complete" in its current state, or do you see it as a work-in-progress still? Are crafting, scavenging, planetary interactions, or further development of the skill tree considered a part of the "feature complete" picture, or are any or all of these "possible future developments, time and budget permiting"?
3) Provided you are clear about exactly what you see as a finished product, and are prepared to deliver that product, only then should you be considering going live with the game.
4) Be realistic about what is likely to make it into the game post-launch, and then be completely open with the community about it. If crafting isn't feasible, the earlier you can definitively inform your customers, the less likely you are to see significant backlash. Look no further than Elite: Dangerous and the "offline single player" fiasco for a perfect example of what NOT to do.
5) As far as I can tell, you guys seem to be pretty much living up to all of these expectations, so far. I thank you for that.

I can also say that I get the same "lifeless" feeling from the game, at times. It DOES feel like a gigantic Pirate shooting gallery, with the occasional NPC Merchant getting ganked by pirates. On the one hand, I would like to see that "fixed" by some small degrees...but on the other hand, I also see it as painting the VoidExpanse as "Mad Max in Space", where pretty much everyone has either become a pirate, or become a victim of pirates. The few legitimate merchants you see are still desperately clinging onto their lives and their common decency, but life so far away from the rest of galactic civilization, stuck right next door to alien bugs wanting to eat your babies... it's taken its toll. This is a region of space where goodwill has gone to die. The game is really, in a sense, a story about more than just the physical survival of humanity, but of humans struggling not to lose their humanity, and the game starts off with you on the losing side of the struggle. In that sense, VoidExpanse is doing a pretty good job depicting that sense of desolation, like you really are just about the last person who isn't actively cannibalizing what little is left of civilization. Or maybe... maybe you are. Depends on how you play the game.
Having said all of that, though, I really do wish there were just a tad more variety in deep-space NPC interaction. Miners and Merchants are there, sure, but you don't really see a lot in the way of law enforcement. I also really do want to see a crafting system of some sort in place, preferably one that offers the ability to make unique equipment, or perhaps modify hulls such as improving stats, upgrading weapon slots, or altering weapons slot types. The crafting tree, as I see it in my head, would basically look like a secondary skill tree to the main one, wherein crafting skills require a prerequisite in both the base crafting level, plus a prerequisite in the associated skill branch, such as requiring second tier crafting plus medium energy weapons to craft medium energy weapons, etc. But that's just me digressing. I don't really know just how difficult it would be to implement a crafting system, or the scavenging system, or the ability to interact with planets... or even what, exactly, interacting with planets would even entail. Maybe have the "faction relationship" system... I don't know how to really put this... "Do more"? I don't really see a tremendous effect from faction relations, at this point.
Knowing where you feel the game stands, and knowing what features are certain, possible, and just not feasible in the short-term, and post-launch, is a good starting point for this discussion. 
The funny thing about space is that there's actually quite a lot of it.

jeeplaw

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Re: Is VoidExpanse ready for gold?
« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2014, 09:38:33 am »
Raven makes some incredibly valid points. I'm with him, I like you guys as a dev team. If you charged more for the game, I'd still buy it to support you. I've got the sort of insight that comes as a gamer who just turned 40 and who grew up with the all the greats, and not so greats, of all the games inside the space genre. I also interact with software dev teams on a daily basis, qa teams, marketing and distribution from the 50k foot and sometimes down to the 10 foot level.

So with that, I need to temper what the game should be with what you guys have the resources to do.

Any game you make should be fun. And as it is today with the upgrade paths, the skill tree, and quest system - sure it's fun for a bit, until the outer layers get peeled back to show the game for what it really is. It's not very deep. And that's fine. For the price point you're offering it, and for what you guys set out to do (from what we can all see), you wanted to build a fun game, and it is.

It's not the level of the X3 series, and that's more than fine. It's not an empire building game. It's not as shallow as SPAZ, and that's more than fine too. Is it as loot heavy as Drox Operative? Nope, and that's cool too.

But in my mind, what's missing from "going gold", is the procedural generation of the fun events that happen within any given star system that allows you to hang your hat on something. You guys have the framework for something great. Hammish has explored that, the other Danish fellow (I assume he's Danish?) has graphically modded ships as well. So you've proven to provide a really good framework to add on and mod the game and to allow the community to participate.

In my mind, you guys need something, ANYTHING, to stand out in the crowd. Serious question, and this is coming from someone who is often involved in multimillion dollar software publishing deals: what makes your game so great within the marketplace that enables it to stand out from someone else, to garner someone else's hard earned money to go to YOU?

So, again in my opinion:
1) Graphics are where they need to be
2) Music is where it needs to be
3) Platform is stable
4) Environment is large enough
5) Easy to use interface

6) Mission generation is too static, needs to be more varied
7) More random events or at least build us a mission generator front end.
8) A sense of allowing the player to feel that he is a part of the environment as opposed to just going sector to sector randomly picking up goods, or killing pirates
9) Crafting sounds good but again..to what greater good? To build the biggest, baddest ship? What is the reason to entice someone to keep playing? Eradication of pirates, aliens? Amass fortune?

Like I said, great framework and a fun time waster for upgrading ships, bigger weapons, better killing..but in the end that's all it is right now. Keep on going though, you guys as a dev house are definitely worthy of our support!
« Last Edit: December 30, 2014, 08:46:06 am by jeeplaw »

djs4000

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Re: Is VoidExpanse ready for gold?
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2014, 11:21:53 pm »
I hope it doesn't discourage you guys, but my short answer is no. Not Gold. Early access? yeah! RavenFellBlade and Jeeplaw have given you some great advice, and you guys do have a good product, that just needs a little bit more content.

My 2 cents is that you guys are sitting on what could be a fantastic multiplayer game, but seem a bit confused. As it stands, you have have created what is a fun little single player game. Content isn't huge, but for the price it's acceptable. You've added dedicated server support, which I think means you want this game to be multiplayer, but that's where the majority of features are missing. If you were going to make a coop game, peer to peer multiplayer would've been fine. At the moment there seems to be little reason to join a mp server just to play the story. MP should have crafting, and trading, and some sort of grouping mechanic, and any other mechanic that drives player interaction.

You guys have a beautiful looking game, with a solid engine, and a ton of great features. I think now you have to decide: do you make a deeper single player game, with more missions, more items and dynamic npc interactions, or do you focus on the multiplayer and add all the features that would drive a healthy online community? Either answer is fine, and you could even work towards both. You guys are a great team, and I think the game would do well as an early access title. Communities tend to respond well to EA games that have active devs who communicate regularly. You guys are exceptional at that. Whatever you decide to do, thank you for making this game, and thank you for being so good to your community.

Hammish

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Re: Is VoidExpanse ready for gold?
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2014, 08:29:23 am »
Oh, I did have one more piece of advice to offer, though this is something I just know I'm personally wary of (and someone mentioned it tangentially above regarding Elite):

Make a note somewhere that if you ever /are/ going to discontinue support for VE, that you'll at least release a version of the game with the Master Server connection disabled and glossed over.  I don't mind it, personally, and as someone who has admin'd plenty of game servers I like the accountability that it brings, having your login account connected to stuff... but people also want to know that they'll be able to continue playing their game for some time. :)

Zer0Glitch

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Re: Is VoidExpanse ready for gold?
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2014, 08:40:34 am »
Quote
Oh, I did have one more piece of advice to offer, though this is something I just know I'm personally wary of (and someone mentioned it tangentially above regarding Elite):

Make a note somewhere that if you ever /are/ going to discontinue support for VE, that you'll at least release a version of the game with the Master Server connection disabled and glossed over.  I don't mind it, personally, and as someone who has admin'd plenty of game servers I like the accountability that it brings, having your login account connected to stuff... but people also want to know that they'll be able to continue playing their game for some time. :)

^ Very much that! Couldn't have put it better myself. I'm fine with having a Master Server login while the game is in development and is being actively marketed and sold. But, God forbid, you guys can no longer support the Master Server, being able to play it with out having to log into one would be GREATLY appreciated! :)

Lurler

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Re: Is VoidExpanse ready for gold?
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2015, 08:50:41 pm »
Thank you again everyone for your suggestions here in this thread.

We've just released a new update where we tried to address as much of what you said in this thread as possible. I hope the game feels more complete now!

Patch notes for this update: http://forums.atomictorch.com/index.php?topic=409

Creat

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Re: Is VoidExpanse ready for gold?
« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2015, 07:21:33 pm »
I haven't opened the game in quite some time, but the impending release (and the fact that I actually have a bit of time now) sucked me back in.

My first comment is about a rather small issue actually (but the first thing I've noticed): While it's awesome (and important) that controls can be rebound, the interface for it is quite inconvenient. It's still not possible to bind a key that is currently bound, for example when I want to swap two keys. I first have to bind one of them to some random/unused button. It should give the option to re-assign the key (but do tell us in the dialog to what the key is currently bound).

The second issue is also of a rather mechanical nature: The launcher still downloads and installs the game into %localappdata% (of the current user). Please please please change this before release. This is not where executables and programs (or even games) go. They go in "Program Files" (as per MS guidelines). While it is now possible to change this manually, the launcher still doesn't request UAC elevation to perform updates (or the first install), making it impractical. This system is also a bit broken, I'm gonna make a bug-report post about that though (possibly tomorrow?). Another issue with this is, that when launcher is run with admin privileges, the game is also (unnecessarily) launched with admin rights.

It seems the support for launch arguments in a file called ".launch_args_custom" seems to have been broken. I used it to pass "-popupwindow" to the game while still being able to run it from the launcher, but this no longer works. The parameter works fine when VoidExpanse.exe is called directly with the argument, but doesn't seem to respond to using the mentioned config-file.

Speaking of -popupwindow: It would be really nice if the "full screen windowed" option could simply be available in the video options (since unity already supports it anyway).

ai_enabled

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Re: Is VoidExpanse ready for gold?
« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2015, 08:52:41 pm »
Creat,
It's still not possible to bind a key that is currently bound, for example when I want to swap two keys.
Thanks for reporting! We improved it in the v1.0.2 released yesterday.

It seems the support for launch arguments in file called ".launch_args_custom" seems to have been broken.
The game data is separated on static part (which is including executable file, unmodifiable and supposed to be stored in Program files) and dynamic part which is located in user documents. So ".launch_args_custom" file should be located at "<user documents>\AtomicTorchStudio\VoidExpanse\.launch_args_custom".

It would be really nice if the "full screen windowed" option could simply be available in the video options (since unity already supports it anyway).
Hm, I can't find the Unity API method for doing that. The game is built to using fullscreen DX9 mode already. But there are no option to change the window style to "popup" window with the current Unity API. So we can't add the option for that...

The second issue is also of a rather mechanical nature: The launcher still downloads and installs the game into %localappdata% (of the current user). Please please please change this before release. This is not where executables and programs (or even games) go. They go in "Program Files" (as per MS guidelines). While it is now possible to change this manually, the launcher still doesn't request UAC elevation to perform updates (or the first install), making it impractical. This system is also a bit broken, I'm gonna make a bug-report post about that though (possibly tomorrow?). Another issue with this is, that when launcher is run with admin privileges, the game is also (unnecessarily) launched with admin rights.
Yes, you're absolutely right and that's why we divided the game data on static and dynamic parts. Sure, we will update GameLauncher soon to use the "Program Files" folder by default.

Regards!

omicron

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Re: Is VoidExpanse ready for gold?
« Reply #24 on: March 16, 2015, 02:54:02 pm »
so...here my few cents...

1. i love the game. playing about 23 hours now ;)

2. what bothers me is the fixed gun mount.
when i aim at a target with automatic flight (ship turns with mouse i mean)
the guns, who can turn, aim at the target, but the stationary guns doesn`t.
the problem is: when i aim with the  tracking guns i hit with them...no problem
but when i try to correct the vecktor for the stationary ones, i miss with the tracking guns.
would be nice if the ship allign to the stationary wapons ;)

3. good big universe!
but nothing to explore :(
the only thing to explore other sectors is quests and the yellow boxes.

4. yellow boxes are a good idea!
but once empty, always emty and the guard comes always back.
maybe the emty ones disapear? would be great ;)

5. guard of the yellow boxes.
havy! maybe it`s me, but this thing always hits. (emp 4tw :P)
is there a chance for a easy game mode, where the npc`s
have more fail shots like a normal player?

6. savegames
the game uses just 1 savegame spot right?
i don`t trust it ;)
i had never problems with it, but what happens when a savegame is damaged?

7. ships
i love the design of the ships. never saw a game, where nearly every ship is that cool!
but...when i am specialized on lasers i just can use a few of them.
you ever think about just - I  II  III -  slots without specialisation?
maybe with an upgrade, an very expensive ones.
i love upgrades!

8. sectors without minimap
wich one had that idea?
thats evil!!!!  :P
another upgrade to avoid that maybe?
i love upgrades!

9. quests
just a plenty of them. it`s ok, but i can`t repeat them.
in the main systems they just need my help 1 time.
maybe repeatable after a while?
and maybe i can select wich one i want to do?
there is no sense of mining mission when i am in a fighter with just 100 cargo and he needs 150 of something.
it`s not possible to deliver it step by step, you have to deliver it all in once.

10. fuel
good idea with that, makes is more interresting. should i engage more fights, or go and get fuel?
when i am in the red sectors, the way to refuel gets longer and longer.
fuel consumables would be nice ;)

thats it...just a few points and maybe you think about one or another point
point 2 is my favorite so far  ::)

keep going in that fantastic way you did!

yours faithfully
omicron, the friendy austrian who speaks a crappy english  :-\
 

Silberspeer

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Re: Is VoidExpanse ready for gold?
« Reply #25 on: March 16, 2015, 09:59:55 pm »
It's a chest of coins, actually! :)
Ok, let's do it.

1. It's good to know it!
2. Well, you can bind tracking guns to different mouse button and shoot fixed and trackers separately. That is the only reasonable way.
3. What do you suggest? What are you missing most?
4. No. There should be the chance of empty chest, for spicing up your life.
5. Ok. Imagine a game with no effort needed. How long will you stay there?
6. You can backup your saves. But no duplication or other tricks are possible.  I could also say, that we have implemented a saves protection system, so don't worry about it.
7. Yep, upgrades are cool. But in current game architecture we find universal slots inconsistent. And in a close future in won't change.
8. See the part about spicing up your life and efforts:) It is not an incredibly tough task and it changes your gameplay for some time. So - just go for it.
9. Let's start from the end. Mining mission means mining ship, I presume. We would fix it if there were no other way to solve the problem and if it was a blocker. But it is not. So, just be flexible and creative. Repeating quests - well, we'll think about it, sounds quite interesting. Especially when there is a possibility to play after finishing the game.
10. Yeah, I just had an idea to discuss adding some little fuel to the loot crates. Will see, what colleagues say.


Danke, und viele Gruesse zu Osterreich! ;)



omicron

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Re: Is VoidExpanse ready for gold?
« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2015, 08:17:45 am »
It's a chest of coins, actually! :)
Ok, let's do it.

1. It's good to know it!
2. Well, you can bind tracking guns to different mouse button and shoot fixed and trackers separately. That is the only reasonable way.
3. What do you suggest? What are you missing most?
4. No. There should be the chance of empty chest, for spicing up your life.
5. Ok. Imagine a game with no effort needed. How long will you stay there?
6. You can backup your saves. But no duplication or other tricks are possible.  I could also say, that we have implemented a saves protection system, so don't worry about it.
7. Yep, upgrades are cool. But in current game architecture we find universal slots inconsistent. And in a close future in won't change.
8. See the part about spicing up your life and efforts:) It is not an incredibly tough task and it changes your gameplay for some time. So - just go for it.
9. Let's start from the end. Mining mission means mining ship, I presume. We would fix it if there were no other way to solve the problem and if it was a blocker. But it is not. So, just be flexible and creative. Repeating quests - well, we'll think about it, sounds quite interesting. Especially when there is a possibility to play after finishing the game.
10. Yeah, I just had an idea to discuss adding some little fuel to the loot crates. Will see, what colleagues say.


Danke, und viele Gruesse zu Osterreich! ;)

thanks for the fast response ;)

let`s do it again!

2. that`s a good thing, do it the hole time, but try to aim a stationary enemy (base defenders, small ones) and try to hit him as fast as possible with the stationary weapon.
you will see that you have to do corrections. (not in manually mode, maybe i am too old to handle that one :P)
the ship did`t do the full turn to the cursor, it stops about 15 - 20 degrees before it.
omg...i hope you understand that what i mean.  ;D

3. maybe secrets? anomalies to scan, rare enemies to find with good loot.
i have no idea how difficult it is to give a ship a specific colour, but would be great if rare enemies have another one.

4. hehe ok. maybe i just should remember then wich chest i looted :P

5. don`t missunderstand that please. i like difficult games!
but when i kill a heavy enemy and just get 20 2d ore...mmmh
when i know the reward is great, the risk is worth it.
maybe just 1 time, that it`s not farmable, becouse that ship comes always back.

6. ok great! the fear is from another game...you guys know how to do it ;)

7. hm ok, but is you make a upgrade, tool, or booster that costs maybe 300.000 credits, it`s nothing i can buy at the beginning and i have to
make money by farming for it. so i stay longer in game with a target.
maybe speak about it, just a hint.

8. where does spicing up begins and frustration ends? :P
open the map about 50 times, bumping in nearby every thing hehe
zooming further away would be less depressive ;)

9. ah! ok, nuff said! ;)

10. good idea!

and a last question: do boosters stack,
when i buy 4 times the fuel reduction in the sience station?

vielen dank ;)
( it takes maybe an hour now to repost with brainstorming and remembering all the english words i learned YEARS ago and a dictionary, but i better answer in english ;) )

Silberspeer

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Re: Is VoidExpanse ready for gold?
« Reply #27 on: March 17, 2015, 10:03:08 pm »
thanks for the fast response ;)

let`s do it again!

2. that`s a good thing, do it the hole time, but try to aim a stationary enemy (base defenders, small ones) and try to hit him as fast as possible with the stationary weapon.
you will see that you have to do corrections. (not in manually mode, maybe i am too old to handle that one :P)
the ship did`t do the full turn to the cursor, it stops about 15 - 20 degrees before it.
omg...i hope you understand that what i mean.  ;D

3. maybe secrets? anomalies to scan, rare enemies to find with good loot.
i have no idea how difficult it is to give a ship a specific colour, but would be great if rare enemies have another one.

4. hehe ok. maybe i just should remember then wich chest i looted :P

5. don`t missunderstand that please. i like difficult games!
but when i kill a heavy enemy and just get 20 2d ore...mmmh
when i know the reward is great, the risk is worth it.
maybe just 1 time, that it`s not farmable, becouse that ship comes always back.

6. ok great! the fear is from another game...you guys know how to do it ;)

7. hm ok, but is you make a upgrade, tool, or booster that costs maybe 300.000 credits, it`s nothing i can buy at the beginning and i have to
make money by farming for it. so i stay longer in game with a target.
maybe speak about it, just a hint.

8. where does spicing up begins and frustration ends? :P
open the map about 50 times, bumping in nearby every thing hehe
zooming further away would be less depressive ;)

9. ah! ok, nuff said! ;)

10. good idea!

and a last question: do boosters stack,
when i buy 4 times the fuel reduction in the sience station?

vielen dank ;)
( it takes maybe an hour now to repost with brainstorming and remembering all the english words i learned YEARS ago and a dictionary, but i better answer in english ;) )

Hi! Seems, like a habit already:))) Ok, let's do it again

2. well... okay :D
3. We are thinking about ships colors and, actually, about a possibility to manually set the skins for ships. To give players a possibility to make their own skins. It sounds exciting, but we need an implementation plan first. Anyway, idea is already there, I hope we will be able to do it. Secrets? Maybe.
5. Hm, does it happen too often?
7. Ok, I'll. say it more clear. NO. :D No upgrades. Forget it. It's just not possible. We'll think about adding an expensive ITEM, but that's all we can do.
8. Well, yeah, it is so. About zooming out - we don't have an IRIS engine, or whatever name it has. The one from Wargame Red Dragon. Zoom has its measures.


Ok, boosters. Now they are not stacking, but this is a bug and they will stack in a new version. We fixed it.

Well, cya, come again! Anyway, my German is worse, than your English.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2015, 12:55:44 am by Silberspeer »

WelshPixie

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Re: Is VoidExpanse ready for gold?
« Reply #28 on: March 18, 2015, 12:06:21 am »
3. We are thinking about ships colors and, actually, about a possibility to manually set the skins for ships. To give players to make their own skins. It sounds exciting, but we need an implementation plan first.

Awesome! I'd love that :D

I assumed what Omicron meant when they mentioned upgrades was the ability to purchase a more expensive item rather than upgrading an item that you've already purchased - the same way that the other upgrades in the game work (like when you replace your shield with a better one, I consider that to be upgrading it). I'm not sure how that would work with lasers on ships though - perhaps some ship hulls that have generic weapon slots instead of specified slots?

Silberspeer

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Re: Is VoidExpanse ready for gold?
« Reply #29 on: March 18, 2015, 12:58:55 am »
Awesome! I'd love that :D

I assumed what Omicron meant when they mentioned upgrades was the ability to purchase a more expensive item rather than upgrading an item that you've already purchased - the same way that the other upgrades in the game work (like when you replace your shield with a better one, I consider that to be upgrading it). I'm not sure how that would work with lasers on ships though - perhaps some ship hulls that have generic weapon slots instead of specified slots?

Yeah, I described the only way upgrading is possible.
And there will be no generic slots. This is our motivated decision.