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Author Topic: Most underdeveloped aspect of game?  (Read 1847 times)

SonnaBanana

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Most underdeveloped aspect of game?
« on: August 20, 2020, 07:34:33 PM »

Excluding the lack of story/side missions, which aspect of the game is most underdeveloped and could use more love?
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Eji1700

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Re: Most underdeveloped aspect of game?
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2020, 07:51:00 PM »

I'd say ship to ship communication.

I know that on some level this is because it's part of the story stuff, but seems a waste that I can communicate with all these other ships, and the options are just a shell of a system that will (hopefully) eventually be fleshed out.

At the very least in the EV games you could occasionally get simple missions from it, temporary escorts, and a few other things (fuel mainly, but there's a system for that.).

I'd love to see some level of depth, especially since it seems a decent amount of effort went into making pilots uniuqe and giving EACH ONE OF THEM a rep system.

I'd love the idea where you smuggle to a planet in the hegemony, which hates you, by bribing all the local pilots enough that they don't inspect you fleet, and similar stuff like that.
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Nameless

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Re: Most underdeveloped aspect of game?
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2020, 09:49:36 PM »

I'd say the station commanders and random fleet captains relationship.

You raise specific captains and station masters relationship through distress calls/errands but that doesn't seem to change anything.

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Megas

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Re: Most underdeveloped aspect of game?
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2020, 06:08:24 AM »

Better transition from murderhobo (level 1 fighter) to space lord (level 9 or name level fighter), akin to early D&D for fighters.  You go from being a dog for some lord to be the very lord to sends dogs to do stuff for you.

Better support to what happens after a total core kill, if that does not result in an automatic Victory screen then Game Over.  ("You killed everyone and no one is left to stop you from ruling the sector with an iron fist!  ALL THERE BASES ARE BELONG TO YOU!  HAVE A NICE DAY!")

Pathway to total sector colonization and domination.

A way to permanently destroy zombie factions (or neutralize them like the Pather bug) to eliminate babysitting problems caused by them... and maybe a way to resurrect them after you destroy zombies.

Better late-game opposition, beyond immortal zombie pirates or Ordos grinding for alpha cores.

A way to reactivate the gates and escape the sector (to explore, colonize, and dominate the systems there).

LESS BABYSITTING!  Something to encourage those do not care about conquest to not destroy the core worlds just to stop the babysitting.

Definite win conditions that end the game.

EDIT:  Core worlds with competent defenses.  Part of the babysitting problem is I need to defend the core worlds from pirates, so their worlds will not decivilize if I want them alive.  If making every world have high command is what it takes for worlds to defend from pirates, then every world should have high command.  (To be honest, Patrol HQ should scale like in the first 0.9a release.)  I would say that it would be nice if factions send their expeditions at pirate bases if the player does not kill pirates, but that is pointless if the pirate base respawns the next day.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2020, 06:53:02 AM by Megas »
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SCC

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Re: Most underdeveloped aspect of game?
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2020, 10:43:10 AM »

My biggest issues are either a lack of endgame (purpose of the game) or a lack of interactions with factions (technically can serve as the former). Winning or basically winning is easy now, the only reason not to do smash everyone after you get a capital ship or two is spending more time on earlier game phases willingly, to check out and use more ships.

Ced Riggs

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Re: Most underdeveloped aspect of game?
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2020, 12:30:31 PM »

My biggest issues are either a lack of endgame (purpose of the game)

Endgame is a mistake [engadget.com]. I do not want something I need to grind towards to finally enjoy the "real" game, I much rather want a flattened power curve, with an interlinking system of story missions spawned from templates, where I can participate at every fleet size. If the game is pointless until I get to endgame, then the development of anything but endgame is wasted development time.
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Megas

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Re: Most underdeveloped aspect of game?
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2020, 01:09:02 PM »

Quote
Endgame is a mistake [engadget.com]. I do not want something I need to grind towards to finally enjoy the "real" game.
There will always be endgame, which is whatever the player needs to beat the final boss, or whatever works the best when the game is at its hardest in an endless game.

It will feel like that when the game shifts.  Like if player wants to keep playing a low-level murderhobo until the end (or splatters against a wall of enemies that no lone warrior can win against) instead of evolving into another level of power that plays differently than before.  Instead of being a bigger pauper that begs other lords for work, he becomes a lord himself that can command his subordinates and crush the other lords.

It seems like the article dislikes endgame that does not play the same as before.  In other words, it wants a game to play exactly the same, only with bigger numbers later.

(Note, I did not play World of Warcraft.  Was in no mood for it after quitting the grindfest of Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction in endless Baal runs, among others.)

I guess in an endless game, having an endgame that plays different that earlier is not ideal because player will spend most of his time in the endgame until he is bored.  If the game has a win condition, and the game ends after achieving it, then gameplay shifts are not bad because the player cannot play the endgame indefinitely.  Online games that encourage grinding want their games to be endless.  (A 180 from classic arcade games that either have a time limit and/or are Nintendo Hard to get the player to feed more money to the machine.)

I like that Starsector lets the player graduate from being a low-level dog to something of a space lord later.  I wish it would lean more toward space lord things as player gets stronger fighting only in plot-important stuff (or wimps he wants to splatter on a whim) while he commands low-level grunts to take care of all of the babysitting chores that he cannot be bothered with, or raise multiple fleets to follow him and engage endgame enemies with many fleets that no one fleet can win alone due to CR attrition.

I do not want to be the same low-class murderhobo begging for work after I reach the pinnacle of power near the end of a game.  I want my high-level demigod to rule systems and fight strategic threats that are beyond the might of a single fleet... or blow up the world like a maniac!
« Last Edit: August 21, 2020, 01:17:01 PM by Megas »
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Schwartz

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Re: Most underdeveloped aspect of game?
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2020, 01:23:02 PM »

I'm going to say something controversial - not because it is necessarily true to the question of the OP, but because it's floating around my head, anyway:

Shield and flux mechanics.

Flux is an amalgamation of heat, power, shield use, shield being hit, fighter setting, phase energy etc. It works, but it could work just as well having several counters for various things. Heat dissipation could be a problem for ballistic weapons, power grid could be a problem for energy weapons, CPU cycles could be a problem for missiles. Venting heat could be a separate thing from downclocking weapons to not stress the power grid, etc. Venting flux is very all-or-nothing, and flux management is also pretty simple.

There's a single efficiency stat for shields. All directions that shields cover, they cover 100%. All directions they do not cover, they do not cover at all. There's no advantage to hitting shields from different directions, or advantages for hitting the bubble straight on at 180° for kinetic damage vs. glancing shots. Different ships could have differently shaped shields with different strong and weak points, different capabilities for handling burst damage or various damage types, different dissipation curves, differently placed shield generators...


To answer the question more honestly, I would probably pick interaction options. Like setting up outposts and mines on asteroids and planets. Setting points for friendly faction fleets to protect or patrol. Sending fleets to attack. More options when you attack stations & planets. Social interactions etc. More tactical overlay options like in previous versions.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2020, 01:25:27 PM by Schwartz »
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Daynen

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Re: Most underdeveloped aspect of game?
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2020, 01:40:22 PM »

There will always be endgame, which is whatever the player needs to beat the final boss, or whatever works the best when the game is at its hardest in an endless game.

Well, you're not wrong in this part; there will always be a final boss, an optional boss, etc. and it SHOULD require you to step up your game a bit to tackle it.

The sticking point is not that the final challenges of a game require adaptation; it's that in a lot of cases these days the "endgame" is so disconnected from the core experience up to that point that it requires players to completely discard most of what they've enjoyed so far.  Theme park MMO's and the raiding endgame are of course ubiquitously guilty of this.  I did play World of Warcraft for several years and I can confirm that it is exactly this tonal shift and pre-endgame cutoff that creates that coin flip between hunkering down for the grind or walking away.  The change required to go from a leveling character to a raider is night and day; you're simply not playing the same game anymore.  While it's great to introduce players to something new when they're "done," it's partly the fact that they ARE "done" before this new stuff even kicks in.

While starsector seems to suffer LESS from this phenomenon, it's still there; thankfully Alex seems to be catching wind of the things that contribute to it and working on changing them, such as the hard cap on fleet size.

As for underdeveloped?  One thing I think I might like to see is more variety in the battlefields on which we fight.  I know space is vast and mostly "empty" but it doesn't have to be.  There are asteroid fields, moving pulsars from neutron stars, solar flares in the corona of a star, gravitational pull from a nearby black hole...the list of stellar phenomena, even just the ones presented in Starsector, goes on.  Yet they have minimal, passive effects on the battlefield.  How differently would you approach a battle knowing you had fields of asteroids to navigate?  What if you could expect periodic flares to scorch sections of the field at semi-predictable intervals?  Would you still bring tons of heavy capitals if you knew the gravity of a nearby black hole would pull them off to the left during the battle, dragging in debris and asteroids with them?  Perhaps you're crafty enough to lure a determined bounty hunter close to that supergiant star because your fleet is more maneuverable and equipped with solar shields?

Oftentimes in fiction it's the environment having a direct impact on things that puts the protagonist/s in an exciting situation; Starsector could use a dose of that.
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TJJ

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Re: Most underdeveloped aspect of game?
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2020, 02:11:01 PM »

Replayability.

Outside of mods, or replaying to check out the changes after a major update, I find there's very little motivation to revisit the game after a 'complete' playthrough.

At the moment the only significant variables between runs, are the order in which you unlock blueprints, the faction you choose to support, and the skills you select.
Of those, only the skills are of real consequence as they will likely determine your choice of flagship & fleet composition (which does have a very real impact upon how the game plays).
The factions are obviously not fleshed out enough to give a significantly different play experience, and the order in which you unlock blueprints is only a transitory difference.

On first glance you'd expect the visually wonderful & varied astrography of the sector to create wildly varied experiences, but in actuality it isn't all that impactful upon how you actually play the game.

Hopefully this will change as the game becomes more fleshed out; I'd love to burn as many hours on Starsector as I have the likes of civ4 & ck2 :D
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Megas

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Re: Most underdeveloped aspect of game?
« Reply #10 on: August 21, 2020, 03:04:05 PM »

So far, much of the environment means less PPT or impaired mobility, which are more annoying than interesting.  Being forced to fight next to a black hole because a pop-up base spawned there is aggravating.  I do not have a problem with few or no environmental hazards in the game.
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FooF

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Re: Most underdeveloped aspect of game?
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2020, 03:18:40 PM »

Flavor

It's hard to put my finger on this but the "Combat Chatter" mod really highlights the lack of this in-game. That mod adds a bunch of flavor text to battles that add some humor, useful info, and personality to the various ships in the fleet. Ships don't even need officers to contribute though I'd say a Vanilla-incorporated Combat Chatter would probably tie it to Officers. Since the game pushes you into fights, I think the in-battle flavor needs to be amped up so that the campaign-layer isn't the only thing that has distinction.

Beyond combat chatter, which would be welcome, having enemy captains call out vendettas or seek revenge against certain ships in the middle of battle would also add flavor. It wouldn't even have to be against the player ship, necessarily. Imagine you're fighting a pirate armada and you land a Reaper against the flagship, blowing it up. This triggers an event where all the ships nearby the flagship change tactics and are out for blood against you specifically. They charge with reckless abandon to kill you but also shout stuff over the comm about how you're dead. There might even be some visual indicators that they have "blood lust" or whatnot. Lesser versions of this kind of revenge could occur throughout the battle in RNG fashion.

Maybe not necessarily that but something like it, especially in battle.

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Scorpixel

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Re: Most underdeveloped aspect of game?
« Reply #12 on: August 21, 2020, 04:18:54 PM »

Flavor

It's hard to put my finger on this but the "Combat Chatter" mod really highlights the lack of this in-game. That mod adds a bunch of flavor text to battles that add some humor, useful info, and personality to the various ships in the fleet. Ships don't even need officers to contribute though I'd say a Vanilla-incorporated Combat Chatter would probably tie it to Officers. Since the game pushes you into fights, I think the in-battle flavor needs to be amped up so that the campaign-layer isn't the only thing that has distinction.

Beyond combat chatter, which would be welcome, having enemy captains call out vendettas or seek revenge against certain ships in the middle of battle would also add flavor. It wouldn't even have to be against the player ship, necessarily. Imagine you're fighting a pirate armada and you land a Reaper against the flagship, blowing it up. This triggers an event where all the ships nearby the flagship change tactics and are out for blood against you specifically. They charge with reckless abandon to kill you but also shout stuff over the comm about how you're dead. There might even be some visual indicators that they have "blood lust" or whatnot. Lesser versions of this kind of revenge could occur throughout the battle in RNG fashion.

Maybe not necessarily that but something like it, especially in battle.
Having the crews and officiers of each behave slightly differently based on the faction, in reaction to in-combat events, is a way to flavour things up, like a chain of command.
In your example ragtag pirates would rather rout until they find a new big boy to hide behind, basically the Grunt-Elite behaviour, on the contrary the hegemony being almost unbreakable and continually pushing, LC/LP officiers having an itch against high-tech ships, the remnant stoic and efficient without exploitable  tactical weaknesses.
Sadly, sounds like very late polishing work instead of priority tasks, as it's both secondary gameplay elements and most likely painful to implement.
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FooF

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Re: Most underdeveloped aspect of game?
« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2020, 05:29:37 PM »

Sadly, sounds like very late polishing work instead of priority tasks, as it's both secondary gameplay elements and most likely painful to implement.

Correct. I'm not saying this is a priority issue but I do feel it is where I feel the game is underdeveloped. For as absolutely awesome as combat is (and that's the core tenant on which everything is built), it's the one place that lacks, for lack of a better word, personality. A little flourish would go a long way, albeit, in the polishing stage of the game.
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SCC

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Re: Most underdeveloped aspect of game?
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2020, 09:21:30 AM »

I did not mean to imply the endgame is to involve radically different gameplay, but rather that Starsector ought to end somehow, shouldn't it? There is no winning condition or a final quest or anything of the sort. Alex appears to be aware of that. I don't play any MMOs, so I was unaware of the connotations.

On first glance you'd expect the visually wonderful & varied astrography of the sector to create wildly varied experiences, but in actuality it isn't all that impactful upon how you actually play the game.
Starsector has a lot of replayability, but it comes from the battles, not the campaign gameplay. Campaign is there just to make you use various ships with various loadouts in various battles.

Shield and flux mechanics.
I have no stance on shields, but issue with flux is that if you make all those systems independent, you will make the flux management simpler, because there are fewer drawbacks and they are related to the same system, whereas now a hot loadout is trading staying power for more offensive power, especially when attacking. That is, unless you make those different systems somehow related still, which increases complexity even more and goes against the point of making those systems separate.
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