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Author Topic: Campaign tutorial mission is brutal  (Read 1910 times)

Megas

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Re: Campaign tutorial mission is brutal
« Reply #15 on: November 25, 2019, 05:45:24 AM »

Last two times I did the mission, the miners drifted far enough away that I could rush to the gate, fix it, then get out without a fight.  Then I can go back and pick off those fleets after the system bounty gets posted so I get even more money.

These days, I pass on the tutorial.  Got to get a head start on the zombie pirate horde and maybe scaling bounties.  Before my character can play space cop, he needs a home, and the sooner he can explore, the better.
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bobucles

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Re: Campaign tutorial mission is brutal
« Reply #16 on: November 25, 2019, 05:47:05 AM »

Oh that storage annoys me sometimes!
I never remember it exists, and eventually I end up at war with the Hegemony and still have to pay for stuff stored on their planet.
To be fair, I've seen a lot of new players gloss over it as well. The rewards from returning the derelict ships aren't announced like normal quest rewards, so it gets lost in the fluff. It'd probably be better to dunk the rewards directly into the inventory, and maybe include some extra crew as well.

The previous "salvage the tutorial ships" mission doesn't actually allude to the rewards at all. The player enters the mission pondering if they can or can't afford to recover the ships, but learning what ships are worth salvage is an experienced skill, not a tutorial skill.  In truth, they are guaranteed a free fill up when they return so the question is moot. It'd probably be more important to say something like "Don't worry about their condition. Bring them all back and we'll fix them up, on the house." The quest reward can teach by example, giving the player the repairs, crew and supplies that they need to manage their new ships.

The tutorial mudskipper should probably come with crew (it fits 100), that way the player only has one concern on their plate at a time and can go directly to the salvage operation. There still isn't enough crew to supply all the tutorial ships, but it's enough to keep them in the green while introducing the fleet crew topic. The tutorial fleet needs ~200 extra crew in total, which will set players back $10k($40/crew!). That's most of your starting bank! But if the mudskipper has 100 and the quest reward gives 100, the player should be mostly set.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2019, 05:50:49 AM by bobucles »
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muffalo

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Re: Campaign tutorial mission is brutal
« Reply #17 on: November 25, 2019, 07:40:32 AM »

Aye, if the Tutorial on "Normal" is winnable, I'd like to see some veteran player get it done.
I mean if the bug is gone and the ships get fully repaired, it probably is winnable but I am too lazy to go and check. I still dislike that mission, it was good until the point where the ships are salvaged - all those ships and weapons are just too much to handle for a tutorial. In my opinion, the whole salvage quest should give you some strong destroyer or whatever and a handful of weapons to learn equipping it. The pirates should have some easily beatable ships so that a new player wouldn't have to deal with a fleet of cruisers and destroyers for their first battle. Then at the end you go back to report, they tell you "cool, now we take back our stuff, you are good to go" and then the normal game begins with the starting ships. Additionally, supplies are very unfun to deal with in tutorial - they are dwindling with every day, you are super broke and only learning what's going on.

In contrast, now that I got to play regular campaign a bit, the learning curve is much more fun there. I started with Wolf and got to hunt pirate scouts earning some money from Hegemony. Then I got a Gemini on the black market; it was tempting because it seems to be both a freighter as well as a reasonable combat unit. I installed some fancy bombers and now can take on both stronger pirates as well as some trade quests. I am saving for a destroyer now and will try to take some bounty quests afters that.

This wasn't smooth by any means. I took a few unprofitable deals, got caught and crushed by a pirate destroyer (well technically it was a stalemate), tried to do bounty and stumbled on AI ships that wiped me (turns out that warning beacon was there for a good reason). But overall it was much steadier learning curve than tutorial.
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Plantissue

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Re: Campaign tutorial mission is brutal
« Reply #18 on: November 25, 2019, 09:38:50 AM »

Yes I agree. The tutorial shouldn't allow you to recover so many ships. Recovering one frigate is enough to teach you the mechanic. Afterall, one of the commonest "mistakes" a new player make is running out of supplies. Recoving a Venture is also a "trap" as you can't possibly defend youself against most pirates that can now catch you.

I feel like the Total Supplies to Finish Repairs information should be placed on the Supply Use on the main screen instead of on the fleet Screen. It is a much more valuable information than supplies used for repairs and CR recovery.


I second that skipping the tutorial is more fun, though that might simply be because of the "galatian stipend". Also I think there may be a large difference in difficulty depending on what start you have chosen.
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DatonKallandor

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Re: Campaign tutorial mission is brutal
« Reply #19 on: November 25, 2019, 09:42:36 AM »

Aye, if the Tutorial on "Normal" is winnable, I'd like to see some veteran player get it done. At least the Hard Missions feel like there should be a way to win. (Normal Tutorial = Impossible Mission)
It's perfectly winnable. It's not particularily hard once you know how the game works. Usually I don't even bother trying to split up the 2 pirate fleets at the jump point and just go after them both at once. But if you go through the maneuvering to split them, it's a simple fight if you salvaged all the ships (as the tutorial tells you to).
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bobucles

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Re: Campaign tutorial mission is brutal
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2019, 12:22:50 PM »

It's perfectly winnable. It's not particularily hard once you know how the game works.
Well. I think the point of a tutorial is that it should be perfectly winnable if you don't know how the game works. Because that's kind of the point of a tutorial.

Outmaneuvering two enemy fleets is probably too tall an order for the entry level player. That kind of maneuver requires practice, and you basically autodie if you screw it up. Players will naturally learn it over time anyway. Instead, I think the tutorial should introduce a more useful topic: team battles. Towards the end of the tutorial you took care of the lesser pirate patrols and have all the information to break out of the system, so it makes sense to try busting out. The planet has a defense station to take care of home, so if they loaned a small fleet, the combination of their firepower and tutorial ships should be enough to break through one of the gates. Once the jump point is open, they can call for help and their overall problems are solved. That way the player gets a taste of a larger battle, they learn about having allies in battle, and they still have the safety of it being a totally one sided thing.
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DatonKallandor

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Re: Campaign tutorial mission is brutal
« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2019, 01:27:11 PM »

It is also perfectly winnable if you don't know how the game works. The tutorial isn't particularily harsher than the rest of the game, and it scripts the enemy fleet as well as constantly reminding the player to quicksave and quickload if things go wrong. A perfect environment to learn how to get good enough. If you can beat the tutorial at your chosen difficulty (and it's not that hard to do so), then you can also survive the more chaotic and far more swingy environment outside the tightly scripted tutorial.

Having a team battle show up in the tutorial is a good idea, but making the tutorial essentially "safe" is entirely counterproductive, because the rest of the game is very much not safe.
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bobucles

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Re: Campaign tutorial mission is brutal
« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2019, 02:36:46 PM »

but making the tutorial essentially "safe" is entirely counterproductive, because the rest of the game is very much not safe.
Do please detail the number of games you've played where players get a game over in the tutorial. Being safe is half the point, the other half is teaching the most basic skills that players need to get started. Don't think of the target audience as "a pro gamer doing Starsector for the first time", the target audience of a tutorial is more like "Your grandpa". If it doesn't make sense to him, or if it goes off the rails doing inexplicable things, or if it demands too much of the player at once, it's not a good tutorial. Losing the tutorial should take a special effort, and I don't mean "try the same thing except better" but more like "why did you scrap your flagship" or "why did you use transverse jump" or "why did you fly into the sun". I mean, those are all funny ways to lose but you really have to earn them. Except for that last one, everyone does that their first time.

The game tutorial is pretty nice for the most part. Most of my complaints really boil down to nit picking. There are spots where the flow of events can be smoothed out a bit, and places where the player could use better information. The fleet salvaging mission is particularly important because the difference between doing that "right" and doing that "wrong" basically determines if you win or lose the tutorial. It could use a little love.
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Cyber Von Cyberus

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Re: Campaign tutorial mission is brutal
« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2019, 02:55:58 PM »

I agree that there should be more information about the mothballing mechanic when you first recover those derelict ships since that can make the difference between a successful salvage exploration run and a fleet that is bleeding CR while rushing back to the core world. However I think the 2 fleets guarding the jump point should stay, the game makes you save before you go fight them so you can load back and it is a perfect place to practice kiting fleets or fighting an uphill battle.
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"When life gives you lemons, throw them out of the window and show life the lemonade you bought from the store yesterday"-Cave Johnson

Thaago

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Re: Campaign tutorial mission is brutal
« Reply #24 on: November 25, 2019, 03:10:56 PM »

A quick question for those having trouble with the tutorial: was this on easy or normal mode? That will help in terms of feedback on difficulty.
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Plantissue

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Re: Campaign tutorial mission is brutal
« Reply #25 on: November 25, 2019, 03:12:23 PM »

Aye, if the Tutorial on "Normal" is winnable, I'd like to see some veteran player get it done. At least the Hard Missions feel like there should be a way to win. (Normal Tutorial = Impossible Mission)
It's perfectly winnable. It's not particularily hard once you know how the game works.
You should never need to know how the game works to complete a tutorial.
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DatonKallandor

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Re: Campaign tutorial mission is brutal
« Reply #26 on: November 25, 2019, 03:57:11 PM »

How else would the tutorial confirm that you have understood what it's trying to teach?
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Alex

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Re: Campaign tutorial mission is brutal
« Reply #27 on: November 25, 2019, 05:58:22 PM »

I will say that the final battle of the tutorial is intended to be a bit of a challenge for a new player, since it's a good place to practice combat - it's essentially a fairly predictable "main-menu-mission-like" setup with low stakes (since you've got a save right before the fight). And if the player can't beat it and doesn't at least learn a bit about combat from trying to do so a couple of times, I think chances are they'll have a tough time with other parts of the game - where the stakes are higher.

... I'm basically echoing what some of you are saying here, aren't I? But, well, it's exactly the intent of the setup.

If it gets too difficult due to issues with the ship-salvaging portion of the tutorial, though, that's definitely an issue!

The fleet salvaging mission is particularly important because the difference between doing that "right" and doing that "wrong" basically determines if you win or lose the tutorial. It could use a little love.

So, right, that's a fair point; made a note. I wouldn't say you could outright *lose* it, since it's possible to not even fight the fleets guarding the jump-points (and I've seen first-time players figure that out), but, yeah, the scary-looking supply costs for ship recovery, and people trying to mothball ships when they don't really need to, it all gets a bit confusing there.

The guard fleets are a lot weaker on "easy", btw - iirc they don't even have the Venture.
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muffalo

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Re: Campaign tutorial mission is brutal
« Reply #28 on: November 25, 2019, 07:03:48 PM »

A quick question for those having trouble with the tutorial: was this on easy or normal mode? That will help in terms of feedback on difficulty.
My troubles were on normal, I haven't tried on easy.
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Arcagnello

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Re: Campaign tutorial mission is brutal
« Reply #29 on: November 25, 2019, 07:49:16 PM »

The fun thing about the tutorial for me is that I have not even completed it. I got really annoyed at the damn supply shortage as soon as I got my hands of those salvaged ships, mothballed them (after learning how to from a walk thru before buying the game) and went to the base with no money.

Starting a new, normal difficulty campaign and learning to figure everything out as I stumbled, crashed and burned my way thru the unknown was much more enjoyable and somewhat entertaining, in a screwed up sortn of way.
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