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Author Topic: Player Expectations and Early Game Balance  (Read 432 times)


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Player Expectations and Early Game Balance
« on: March 03, 2019, 12:45:13 PM »

Overall I think the last few official updates have really helped to open up the early game's starting options.

There is a lot more nuance in what you can do to get a bit of cash flow, and that extends to a variety of play styles. You can trade effectively with missions both from the bar and intel, you can salvage what you find on the fringes of the car world and take on surveying missions if you want to explore to start, or you can get right into combat early on with paid bounties.

Though all of these options are possible and explicitly encouraged through their immediate and open representation on the mission board, in my opinion the difficulty between each option is a bit confusing to the new player right now.

Details (--CAUTION-- spoilers contained):
- The average starting pirate bounty is pretty strong with typically a couple to several vessels above a frigate present. That is at lv 0. A level above that can include capitals with mods, but I assume its far above the strength of the derelict equivalent.

 - The starting tiered derelict has only a couple frigates, on average, defending it. So if you are exploring you will need very little combat capability early on. Trading and bounty hunting both require a lot more by comparison.

 - The derelict survey vessels can be a large jump in strength from the probes with a lot more defenders present. So a salvager or explorer suddenly finds that they went from needing a frigate or two to several frigates and a destroyer.

 - Some bar missions leading to weapon caches, on the other hand, are guarded by high tier REDACTED and are within a star's corona. That is a really difficult encounter for a new player. To have a large enough fleet to deal with the defenders, the corona's effects get worse and more costly/difficult to manage.


 - Like the fleet strength indicator added for the next update, maybe include something in the mission ui later down the line to give a general sense of the mission's difficulty.
 - I think starting encounters between play styles should roughly match each other in combat difficulty. Not 100% equal, maybe, but at least fairly close. Otherwise you run the risk of a new player unknowingly choosing a more difficult route simply because of role playing preferences. Though this point is less relevant if the player is explicitly made aware of that fact.