The "Playing the first hour" Experience

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The "Playing the first hour" Experience

Postby Necroscourge » Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:13 pm

Knowing that the game is still rough on the edges, many things not final, etc; it's still good that new players continually five their new players experiences, as that is probably the most important thing to any player: What their abilities within the first hour are. I also went to bed after an hour of playing last night, that helps too.

I started in a system surrounded by many that looks similar to it, in a huge probably repeating pattern. I like to imagine this will eventually change, so I won't complain about that too much. But my first battle was against the UI as I tried to exert my will over it.

Ship and Troop creation: Rough, but I managed to figure out that ships needed a hull, all the parts, then they needed to be built and launched. All seems good, except for one thing. Having so many choices of different guns and weapons with different ranges and powers is daunting to the novice, and the designer does not let you really know much about the final product until it's done where other games ship designers let you know "Hey, to move troops you need X, to launch fighters you need Y" where I eventually had to figure out that certain tasks needed specific launchers as I made designs unable to do what I wanted (Not even sure my fighter ships work yet...) This resulted in a wave of slow, but I hope powerful frigates and few speedy transport cruisers when I figured it all out.

I had to reference the manual to figure out making troops, but by the end of the hour I had a Planetary Outpost on another Terran planet. A serious trap here is that for making sectors on the other planet, the only choice was not the PO but any other sector as well. I didn't fall for it, but what if I had accidentally tried to build other types of sectors, got frustrated, and left? There needs to be a way to have this process more friendly to new players, but I just woke up so it evades me for now. In addition, if you try to build other sectors without the pop... nothing happens. No error, no indication you are doing something wrong. That is part of what sent me to bed last night, as it was better than watching 10 citizens appear every few minutes.

By the time I had my other planet, there were two other new players in my system that were already starting to choke me out for room in my starting galaxy. As I heard there is some kind of mechanic for protecting your integral planets, I find it very odd to put players in the situation where they need to exterminate new players to have a system to their self... in a MMO about persistent empire building. I can play over many situations in my head where planets change freely over night and most of daily play is just butting heads with the other two players in your home system. Afterall, I as a player want to dominate my part of space and then spread out, but how to do that if I am always trying to strong arm against so many other empires at home?

I can imagine many players getting tired of logging in, seeing their fleet and planets wrecked by the alpha dog of their starting system, and then just quitting or starting over somewhere else. I welcome the fanboys to point out any ways I'm wrong or going to be wrong here.

So... Combat. Didn't see any, and I don't know how much fighting players versus fighting bots will happen. It's tempting as a game designer to think there will always be enough players around for constant player fighting to occur but the harsh reality is that there needs to be bots to stomp to build confidence. I don't know if there are any pirates to blow up, but I'd like to see some in the way of space stations spewing out baddies to blow up.

All in all, I had a great time finally getting the chance to play NA. I would be playing right now if the server was up!
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Re: The "Playing the first hour" Experience

Postby Sypheria » Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:15 pm

Good news.
The server is up. :P
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Re: The "Playing the first hour" Experience

Postby Necroscourge » Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:23 pm

Onward to gather new data!
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Re: The "Playing the first hour" Experience

Postby NameAceSNIPER » Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:37 pm

A lot of the systems you are asking for, are being implemented now and some are actually already in the game just in early stages. For example the odds of a alpha in the system wiping you out are quite small, something that is brought up by the devs is how war is actually quite costly. I believe Sypheria said that actually population and resource growth won't be in effect until next week. When it does go into effect war will be very costly so people will think twice about fighting, since your ships will be on a automated Ai system while your offline in the future. As for the excuse well what if a huge player has near limitless resources. Well there is a thing called the zone of conflict which is a decent sized circle that limits the amount of CP a person can bring in. Well not so much limit more like it decreases the effectiveness of ships when a person sends in a fleet that exceeds I believe" 50,000 CP" Theres a lot more to say but I just stopped into say that a lot of the things you where talking about are being implemented.

I should also note that the information 'I wrote above is off of memory from various livestreams, dev blogs, and forums. So take the specific information I gave lightly as I am sure that Sypheria will say a lot of what I said has changed or is currently in testing and subject to a lot of change as is normal in a Alapa.

Also welcome to the game.
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Re: The "Playing the first hour" Experience

Postby Necroscourge » Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:43 pm

Of course they are going to be implemented, that's why I am talking about them. This cultural "Give people reasons not to give feedback" thing gamers are starting to adopt universally (Especially on Steam) has to get thrown out the window, for sure in a time where the game is changing the most. The great thing is I am finding out that a lot of my initial concerns were already addressed in game, kind of.

Resources and Sector building, at-least the devs know it is a bit wonky how it is. But aside from the "Not showing on list" glitch I also had a problem with my ships as I told them to dock when I thought I had a spaceport built but didn't. The ships then locked up, and I could not longer launch from the Outpost spaceport pad. Thankfully, it seems a server wipe occurred so that's no longer a problem. I would prescribe a trade network functionality that allows you to automate transfers of resources, or letting resources at planets be used at any planet, but with additional costs and fees for the rapid transit required to move the resources for construction.

I also had a slight heartstopper moment, a force of grey ships I could not identify were cruising around my planet but my fortress shield kept them from killing trying anything funny. I can't wait for some type of planetary defenses. But what I would really like is a way to "hail" ships near you to ask the fleet hovering around my territory just what the hell they think they are doing.

Something Syph told me today was that the game was not so much modelled after the 4x formulae but derived from military DIME strategies; something I was not too familiar with. I thought about that for a second, my gamer pride me snorting "Not a 4X!? Heresy!" while the logical me thought "Well that makes sense, nations rarely truly destroy each-other anymore." But the truth of the matter is when you say "Not a 4X" I can't but think you are just referring to the normal goal of 4X being total annihilation rather than the actual genres content. Probably looking into that too much. So I guess my question for the dev team is can we expect a sophisticated diplomacy system for player interaction?
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Re: The "Playing the first hour" Experience

Postby Sypheria » Fri Dec 12, 2014 5:10 pm

There will be.

We are also adding hailing and planetary defence platforms.

Automated resource transport will be part of the optional premium subscription.
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