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Author Topic: New Player Experience SUCKS  (Read 1530 times)

Megas

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Re: New Player Experience SUCKS
« Reply #30 on: November 18, 2022, 11:45:04 AM »

The problem with the scaling of classic intel bounties is the big spikes at certain thresholds.

50k is about five frigates.
80k-100k is about ten destroyers and frigates.
~150k is multiple cruisers plus everything before.
~200k is classic Hegemony Systems Defense Fleet strength, with one to three capitals plus everything in 150k bounty.
250k+ is endgame, with several capitals and max level officers.

Up to 100k is fine.  After that are the huge spikes.

I simply do not get enough cash (and access from shops) quickly enough to make the jump from several destroyers and frigates to get multiple cruisers as fast as they do, if I focus on bounties.  By the time I get some cruisers much later, they are packing capitals in their fleet.  Also, they may have better weapons than my fleet does.

In older releases, player could live on bounties alone and keep up with bounty progression.  In recent releases, bounties upgrade faster than the player can.

Also, base bounties are never worth doing for the money.  They are about 150k+ difficulty for only 50k to 80k - what a rip-off!  The only times I finish base bounties recently is either to save a zero-stability core world from decivilizing (by removing -3 stability from pirate activity) or to clear the system for me to colonize.  Otherwise, the helpless backstabbing core worlds can simply live with their pirate overlords.

Personally, I think there needs to be more breadcrumbs pointing to the guaranteed military contact on Coatl.
Does that guy have medium importance?  If so, he is worthless because he cannot offer the Omega bounty.

If I am dying for guaranteed military contact, I grab Rayan Arroyo at Eochu Bres along the main questline.  Of course, that is not a good option for those commissioned with a faction hostile to Tri-Tachyon.  (I avoid commission because I build my first colony early and I do not want accessibility lost because of faction politics.)
« Last Edit: November 18, 2022, 11:56:03 AM by Megas »
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Rick Random

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Re: New Player Experience SUCKS
« Reply #31 on: November 19, 2022, 01:18:08 AM »

There's hundreds of tutorials/tips videos on YouTube as well as a comprehensive Wiki/forum. Half the fun is making mistakes and learning from them. The game doesn't need dumbing down. If you want an easy space game there's hundreds on Steam, try Avorion, it walks you through the tutorial like a baby.
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Slim_NZ

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Re: New Player Experience SUCKS
« Reply #32 on: November 19, 2022, 02:31:24 AM »

There's hundreds of tutorials/tips videos on YouTube as well as a comprehensive Wiki/forum. Half the fun is making mistakes and learning from them. The game doesn't need dumbing down. If you want an easy space game there's hundreds on Steam, try Avorion, it walks you through the tutorial like a baby.

Why does every community manage to produce the condescending "gitgud" jack ass.  You're a cancer in gaming.

The idea of this game is to make money.  If you don't look after new players and create a satisfying experience, you get mass refunds and loads of negative reviews.

Also, if your game design necessitates a new player to go to a third party to try and work out what the hell is going on, then maybe there is a flaw in your game design?
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Grievous69

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Re: New Player Experience SUCKS
« Reply #33 on: November 19, 2022, 03:23:46 AM »

Guys chill it out with extreme views. Having more info available for new folks isn't "dumbing it down".

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Also, if your game design necessitates a new player to go to a third party to try and work out what the hell is going on, then maybe there is a flaw in your game design?
Damn, then I played so many "flawed" games that I absolutely loved.
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Alex

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Re: New Player Experience SUCKS
« Reply #34 on: November 19, 2022, 07:53:13 AM »

While noting that I've read through this thread and appreciate the feedback:

Why does every community manage to produce the condescending "gitgud" jack ass.  You're a cancer in gaming.

Please familiarize yourself with the forum rules and treat other members with respect.
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Mortrag

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Re: New Player Experience SUCKS
« Reply #35 on: November 19, 2022, 11:47:56 AM »

Guys chill it out with extreme views. Having more info available for new folks isn't "dumbing it down".

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Also, if your game design necessitates a new player to go to a third party to try and work out what the hell is going on, then maybe there is a flaw in your game design?
Damn, then I played so many "flawed" games that I absolutely loved.

I do agree with your intention to calm this discussion a bit down, but I also agree with the view of Slim_NZ that such a game, which demands you to read wikis/external articles, has not an optimal game design.

A game that demands you to explore to discover new things and understand what up around you? That's great. But still, the mechanisms which let the game work the way it does, these should be explained somewhere in the game.

But so far I can't remember a problem there with Starsector. Truth, I played it last time in May, but in my memory it was a lot fun exploration and sometimes a bit of "try and error", but still self-explanatory.
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Rick Random

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Re: New Player Experience SUCKS
« Reply #36 on: November 19, 2022, 11:55:02 AM »

There's hundreds of tutorials/tips videos on YouTube as well as a comprehensive Wiki/forum. Half the fun is making mistakes and learning from them. The game doesn't need dumbing down. If you want an easy space game there's hundreds on Steam, try Avorion, it walks you through the tutorial like a baby.

Why does every community manage to produce the condescending "gitgud" jack ass.  You're a cancer in gaming.

The idea of this game is to make money.  If you don't look after new players and create a satisfying experience, you get mass refunds and loads of negative reviews.

Also, if your game design necessitates a new player to go to a third party to try and work out what the hell is going on, then maybe there is a flaw in your game design?

I wasn't saying get good, I was saying if you're having trouble with a particular thing there are tutorials on all aspects of the game. It's not too out of your way to watch a ten minute video to find out where you've been going wrong?
Bear in mind, most people are well beyond the tutorial so it's do-able, if no one could get past it I would think you had a point.
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Lortus

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Re: New Player Experience SUCKS
« Reply #37 on: November 20, 2022, 02:12:08 AM »

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I would tend to disagree on the inverse difficulty curve.  Let me ask Linnis this, did the kids refit the ships from empty with a pile of weapons at a colony, or did they use your already at end game fit ships?  If they are not fitting from scratch, then I don't think this proves the game has an inverse learning curve.  I'm guessing the fact they are finding success is because you are playing the hardest portion of the end game for them, the fitting screen.  It only seems easy because you're an experienced player discounting the fitting step as not being part of playing at end game.  Fitting is arguably harder and more important than having average piloting skills.  Especially for full sized end game fleets.

I don't think they could come up with any good builds, but they could certainly use autofit, which would produce better results than autofit in early game with no hullmods or weapons.

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I think the appropriate comparison to the Wolf and Hound fight at the start of the game would be handing the kids infinite credits, a level 15 character with no skill points spent yet, 100 story points, and a set of colonies that can build anything in a month, and seeing if they have just as much success against an end game fleet such as a late stage Ordo, the double Tesseracts, or the Tesseract bounty.  My guess, which I admittedly have no evidence to back up, is they would have difficulty coming up with good fits and a good end game fleet composition without any prior experience that would have anywhere near the same level of success as your pre-fit fleets.

To be honest, after thinking about it a bit more, an equal 240 dp vs 240 dp fight with autofitted ships that doesn't abuse the OP stuff like hyperions could be harder than an equal early game fight where you can just savescum once or twice and get lucky.

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1. Do the combat tutorial
2. Jump to missions screen to learn without penalty
3. Begin a normal campaign

That could work, although missions to campaign is a bit jarring, as you have a whole new skillset you need to learn, and your skills of fitting a large fleet of elite ships with every weapon available are no longer going to help you. I don't think missions should be recommended to new players. They are disconnected from what a new player will face at the start, and they force you to learn information like memorizing every weapon that just isn't helpful in campaign. For instance you will almost never see a proximity launcher.

IMO if you do the tutorial, yes you should slowly unlock features as you go. An automatic fleet command AI till the game explains that to you sounds good.

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I'd be really curious to see how new player experiences are done well in a complex sandbox game with multiple game layers. If a player goes through the combat tutorials, some missions, and then the campaign tutorial, I think it should be pretty comparable to explaining the mechanics in other games.  It then becomes a question of convincing players it's worthwhile to do those first rather than just jumping right in.

To be honest, I don't know, but just because others do it poorly doesn't mean you need to. And yes obviously you should have an option to skip.

Also, early game bounty hunting is fun, but it's also a bit ironic that it's only really done in challenge runs. Even late game bounty hunting is not all that profitable. The only times where combat is truly profitable in the base game is stealing colony items and fighting AI fleets. There's a mod that really fixed this for me, which just saturates the sector with an obscene amount of high level bounties. I had a blast not giving a damn about money and just being funneled into fight after fight. I can understand that Alex wouldn't want to add this since the sector is run down after all, but just making more bounties could solve the problem.

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There's hundreds of tutorials/tips videos on YouTube as well as a comprehensive Wiki/forum. Half the fun is making mistakes and learning from them. The game doesn't need dumbing down. If you want an easy space game there's hundreds on Steam, try Avorion, it walks you through the tutorial like a baby.

To be honest, most of the tutorials are bad, and lead to a self perpetuating loop of bad information. It's not helped by the fact that all the advantages the player has + the free pick of ships and weapons means the game is really easy in the core once you get past the hurdle of learning the mechanics. It can kind of lead to these resources not being all that good and making new players flounder even more.

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Also, if your game design necessitates a new player to go to a third party to try and work out what the hell is going on, then maybe there is a flaw in your game design?

I think it can be argued that such a game has a bit of a charm to it? The two biggest video games in the world: minecraft and League of Legends really throw you into the deep end and it is basically necessary to use third parties if you even want to have a chance. For Minecraft it kind of builds on the preexisting feel of the game you could argue, and it's virtually impossible to condense League of Legends into a digestible tutorial. I don't think it's completely unfair to say that Starsector falls into that unforgiving game design genre like Minecraft, but I guess that's really a choice for Alex to make.

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I wasn't saying get good, I was saying if you're having trouble with a particular thing there are tutorials on all aspects of the game. It's not too out of your way to watch a ten minute video to find out where you've been going wrong?

Kind of going back to the minecraft example, in minecraft you really just need to know how to punch wood and kill a sheep to get going. It's a hell of a lot more info for starsector if you want to survive, and 10 minutes of some youtuber dropping info dumps onto you so you can actually play the game is asking a bit much from a brand new player IMO.
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Megas

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Re: New Player Experience SUCKS
« Reply #38 on: November 20, 2022, 07:04:04 AM »

In recent releases, cost of ships bigger than frigates went up, but the bounty payoffs stayed the same.  It is stupid to even think about fighting a bounty for cash only unless the player is either overpowered enough to crush it flawlessly or has an Industry capstone to true resurrect lost ships or exploit d-mods.

Bar missions that pay less then 100k for completing it then send a revenge fleet that is about as powerful as 200k bounty and persistently hunts your fleet across the sector are even worse.  You can run, but you cannot hide.  In effect, the mission is actually fighting a 200k bounty (which already underpays the moment a casualty is taken) for 80k (after completing the little side quest).  Makes those missions schmuck bait.

Contact bounties are more reasonable, provided they do not send your fleet at the edge of the sector for massive supply and fuel drain.  They pay about double of a classic intel bounty, which should be the minimum any bounty should pay, not just contact bounties.
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Thaago

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Re: New Player Experience SUCKS
« Reply #39 on: November 20, 2022, 11:27:19 AM »

I don't think bounty rewards are too low, its just that bounty hunting gets harder and requires more game mastery as the player advances through bounties. It has a "normal" difficulty curve as opposed to the inverse curve of most of the rest of the game.

The bounties available if the player has not done any yet require a single player frigate for on the order of 50k reward. Combining with other missions in the area, exploring, etc makes for a very profitable run for no investment. The 100k ones need a player fleet on the order of what they leave the tutorial system in (destroyer or two, maybe a carrier, a few kiting frigates), so again decent profit for no investment. Losing a ship in these fights is just fine: it is much less costly than buying the same ship because there is a high likelihood (or guaranteed if there is an officer or s mod) for recovery. This can make D mods, but D mods are a marginal cost much lower than the cost of the ship (no skills needed).

Later bounties at the 150k+ level get harder, but at the same time the player has detailed knowledge of the enemy fleets before going to do the mission: its reasonable to not do ones that look too hard or to refit the fleet to counter the expected enemy. These missions aren't quite as profitable as they were in past versions because it takes more skill investment to recover pristine/near pristine ships, but for a player that wants to go the industry route these bounties have "bonuses" on the order of 200k to 1 million credits depending on what ships they recover.

For bar missions, you can run/hide/dodge away from 'revenge' fleets. Its not even particularly unusual to dodge fleets that are too big for the player - isn't that the standard gameplay in any hostile system or when doing any transponder off mission/trading?
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Lortus

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Re: New Player Experience SUCKS
« Reply #40 on: November 20, 2022, 12:17:16 PM »

The only reason you would ever take multiple bounties is for a challenge run. The system bounties are decent if you are really tight on money, but trading is almost always gonna net you more money. Instead of that 50k reward bounty you can haul drugs for 100k revenue and 50k profit. Instead of that 100k bounty you can run 300k drug runs for 150k profit. The 300k+ bounties are actually decent enough to give you an ok profit, and they can drop you some nice ships, although you will either have to fix them up for a high cost or take the newbie skill, but at that point there are far better ways to make money, like remnant hunting for 450k per alpha core, or raiding spaceport and making 3 million+ per month of profit.

Also aside from in game time, bounty hunting is also less efficient in IRL time. Even if it takes me the same amount of time to go to a bounty and kill it as it takes me to trade in the core, I will still be making more money per real life minute if I am not engaging with combat at all, which is a bit sad.
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Megas

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Re: New Player Experience SUCKS
« Reply #41 on: November 20, 2022, 03:53:12 PM »

Later bounties at the 150k+ level get harder, but at the same time the player has detailed knowledge of the enemy fleets before going to do the mission: its reasonable to not do ones that look too hard or to refit the fleet to counter the expected enemy. These missions aren't quite as profitable as they were in past versions because it takes more skill investment to recover pristine/near pristine ships, but for a player that wants to go the industry route these bounties have "bonuses" on the order of 200k to 1 million credits depending on what ships they recover.

For bar missions, you can run/hide/dodge away from 'revenge' fleets. Its not even particularly unusual to dodge fleets that are too big for the player - isn't that the standard gameplay in any hostile system or when doing any transponder off mission/trading?
The 150k fleet is the first big spike, and when it happens, every bounty is like that except for the one 50k bounty that is forced occasionally once every few months.  There is practically no choice for anyone interested in fighting intel bounties if the player does not have a fleet that can trivially defeat them.  Going from destroyers and frigates to several cruisers plus all of the destroyers and frigates before in the 80k-100k weight range for only about 50k more is a massive spike.  It does not matter if the player has advanced knowledge when all bounty options are more or less the same in difficulty.  If every bounty becomes too hard (because enemy progresses too fast), then the player hits a brick wall.  Yes, player can get money and ships another way (with black market trade abuse), but it does not feel good to stop all of the sudden because bounties power level much faster than the player can.

Like I wrote about revenge fleets, player can run from them, but the revenge fleet is persistent and will catch up eventually.  It is annoyance if my fleet is too weak to kill them, and most core fleets are either not enemies or too small to munch on the revenge fleet.  (Relying on NPCs to kill them easier said than done, and when it happens, it is a lucky break.)  If my fleet is strong enough to fight them, I do not need to waste time on those kind of bar missions.  The one time I tried one of those missions, I had a colony with a battlestation, and I lead that revenge fleet to its well-deserved death at my colony.  After that, I never took another similar schmuck bait mission.
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Hiruma Kai

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Re: New Player Experience SUCKS
« Reply #42 on: November 20, 2022, 07:34:33 PM »

Personally, I think there needs to be more breadcrumbs pointing to the guaranteed military contact on Coatl.
Does that guy have medium importance?  If so, he is worthless because he cannot offer the Omega bounty.

Well, if we're discussing this in the context of early game bounty scaling, I would say he's not worthless. He's a replacement for intel bounties, which now that I think about it, also don't get you any closer to the Omega bounty.  You only need a single high or very high contact for that bounty.  I personally am happy when I can get multiple military contacts in one station, or at least systems next to each other, as that helps me grab 2 contracts at the same time, with a tiny bit of control over direction (i.e. either more difficult or same difficult mixtures).  May only go out with 1, but I get 4 possible locations, and sometimes I get lucky with 2 in the same direction.

If I am dying for guaranteed military contact, I grab Rayan Arroyo at Eochu Bres along the main questline.  Of course, that is not a good option for those commissioned with a faction hostile to Tri-Tachyon.  (I avoid commission because I build my first colony early and I do not want accessibility lost because of faction politics.)

Yeah, that's what I typically do, and run into the same problem if I'm not doing a Tri-tach or no commission run.

I don't think they could come up with any good builds, but they could certainly use autofit, which would produce better results than autofit in early game with no hullmods or weapons.

Fair point, autofit would likely get them something useable with an end game pile of weapons.

Although depending on how early is early game we are talking, autofit can get you something, as it's a bit of an exaggeration to say you start with no hullmods and no weapons.  All planets stock some small weapons (light autocannons, machine guns, a smattering of small mount missiles), so auto fit on something like a Lasher or Centurion usually comes out at least usable.  Wolf might be stuck with a Mining Blaster as it's medium energy mount though.  Although, against typical early game pirate fleets, a Mining Blaster will work.  Might even be a better choice against an Enforcer led frigate pack of Cerberi .  You also start knowing some key hullmods, including Safety Overrides, Hardened Subsystems, Unstable Injector, Reinforced Bulkheads, and for cruisers and capitals, Dedicated Targeting Core.

Destroyers start to be a bit more iffy with medium mounts, especially missiles, which are RNG to find in the blackmarket.  Although Arbalests and Heavy Mortars are very common, so an Enforcer or Hammerhead can likely be autofit without too much trouble.  Something like a Manticore, less so.  Mid-game cruisers and capitals are definitely where an autofit without a pile of saved weapons is going to potentially start under fitting badly.

To be honest, after thinking about it a bit more, an equal 240 dp vs 240 dp fight with autofitted ships that doesn't abuse the OP stuff like hyperions could be harder than an equal early game fight where you can just savescum once or twice and get lucky.

Perhaps I misunderstood what people meant by playing around at end game.  If we're talking about trouncing 200k bounties/only 240 DP worth of NPC faction ships or pirates, then yeah, I'll admit that is a bit of reverse difficulty curve since you can simply deploy an equal quality fleet and player decision making will probably make up the difference.  Since 240 DP fleets start popping up at the 200k bounty level.  On the other hand, that's at the level of deploying a Hammerhead, Drover, and 2 frigates to take out a pair of frigates (i.e. fast start versus an initial pirate fleet in Corvus).  Complete over deploy effectively in both cases.  At the 300k bounty level you're looking at something like 350-400 DP in the opposing fleet total.  So it's not just 240 DP vs 240 DP, but 240 DP with half again as many reserves.

I guess I was thinking things like fully farmed (so leveled up) Ordos from a red system, Double Tesseract, or the Tesseract bounty as typical end game fights.  Tesseract is like 320 DP worth of all alpha core Ordo plus the Tesseract on top, against your initial 160 DP fleet deployment (which could go up to 240 DP if you realized you needed to add fast point cappers to your fleet, and how to fit those point cappers, but that takes experience).  That bounty fleet could certainly be a rude awakening for players used to NPC faction fleets or even some mid-level Ordos with only a single Radiant, even with experience.

I will also throw out there that there are no safety override Hyperion autofits.  Possibly Alex wants people to stumble upon that particular combination instead of being handed it.  So you kind of have to know about the SO + teleport interaction to realize why it's so survivable.

Quote
1. Do the combat tutorial
2. Jump to missions screen to learn without penalty
3. Begin a normal campaign

That could work, although missions to campaign is a bit jarring, as you have a whole new skillset you need to learn, and your skills of fitting a large fleet of elite ships with every weapon available are no longer going to help you. I don't think missions should be recommended to new players. They are disconnected from what a new player will face at the start, and they force you to learn information like memorizing every weapon that just isn't helpful in campaign. For instance you will almost never see a proximity launcher.

IMO if you do the tutorial, yes you should slowly unlock features as you go. An automatic fleet command AI till the game explains that to you sounds good.

Hmm.  I would have thought doing the missions first would count as unlocking game features as you go as opposed to being a jarring whole new skillset.  I see it as a feature instead of a bug. :)  You have all the campaign skills locked away, and focus on "unlocking" understanding how combat works without any worry about deploying too much and running out of supplies, or having your ships completely destroyed, or getting completely off script and flying around in the upper right of the map and running out of supplies.

Also, you don't need to do any fitting at all to complete all the missions.  You just have to understand how to use your ships.  All of the missions can be completed with default fits.  In fact, I would expect most beginners to jump straight to the big Play Mission button instead of the smaller refit button.  Or perhaps check out refit, mess with it a little bit, and then hit reset afterwards, since they're not sure of what they are doing, and then hit Play Mission.  The fact you can play with fits is merely a great bonus, not the primary point.

An automatic fleet AI controlling a much larger fleet around my ship would be a terrible learning experience for me.  What would you expect me to take away from piloting, say, a Wolf in a much larger fleet that is ensuring my side doesn't lose?  What is the lesson you're trying to communicate to me?  I suppose if I get out of position in a Wolf against a much larger fleet, I'm dead.  Maybe that is the takeaway?  Don't fly far in front of your fleet and then take the enemy fleet alpha strike?  Although I suppose if I know what I'm doing, I can bait a first volley of missiles and fighters that way - but that means conserving my phase skimmer charges for the retreat instead of for the closing.  Perhaps an advanced concept?

In my opinion, the best place to learn how to pilot a ship is in a small 1 on 1, or even a 2 on 1 with the 2nd ship on your side being purely a distraction as opposed to a kill ship.  Anything else is just adding un-needed distractions to what the player should be focusing on to get better at the game, or even worse, doing the killing before the player has a chance to do or learn anything.  If you can complete the tutorial by walking away from the computer, my guess is it isn't teaching much.  I'm wondering if that is why Alex doesn't explicitly introduce the autopilot button, as far as I can remember.

At some point, you are going to have to turn fleet control over to the player, and at that point, I feel small is better, like a 1 or 2 ship fleet, so as not to be overwhelming. If you do the 1, 1, 1 start (Wolf with Kite and officer into tutorial) this is what you get out of the campaign tutorial.  A 2 on 1 situation.  Then later, it's 2 on 3 really terrible unshielded ships.  Then you jump up to 6 ships. Which are fighting better equipped and larger opposition.  Which if you haven't had issues with the first two fights, is not an unreasonable thing to do.  It is also the same progression the missions go through.

The way the missions scale up look along the lines of what I'd want from a fully fleshed, hand holding combat tutorial.  They're not perfect, but they are certainly not bad.  And they are very easy to change at this stage if people have suggestions.

The very first mission from the menu is literally 2 frigates on your side versus a destroyer.  So that is a 2 on 1 situation, although arguably a bit harder than the campaign start.  No need for an automatic fleet command here though.  It just relies on the base AI to flank.  Which is the entire point of the mission.  To introduce the concept that two fast ships can flank a slower, more powerful ship, and one can back off and vent while the enemy ship is busy with the other one.  This is a fundamental concept that would potentially get lost in a large fleet furball. The mission also starts with the ships completely fit and usable.  You can refit them if you want, to experiment or whatever, but it's totally optional and not expected.  In fact, I'd be willing to bet most players would just hit the big PLAY MISSION button instead of the reset and refit buttons first when put on that screen.

The second mission introduces the benefit of having a strong but slow anchor ship (in this case the Venture) which your Hammerhead can retreat to or behind as a safe place to vent, and also teaches the importance of staying together and not venturing off alone in a faster ship.  Again, only 2 ships, so no need for a fleet AI.  It also introduces capture points for the first time (prior mission had none, this has only 2 to fight over).

The third mission adds more ships now (instead of 2, now you've got 6), but keeps the primary ship the same as last mission, so you don't need to learn anything new about your own ship - just learning to command the new ship type, carriers with bombers, as well as how to take out a much bigger ship through superior maneuver.  It also shows the importance of the placement of your bombers relative to the target.  It also kind of shows how important it is to pick off frigates first (and that Piranha bombers work against Dominators, not so much Tempests).  At this point you might say, a fleet AI could be handy, while you pilot the Hammerhead, but that was kinda last mission.  At this point, it should be about learning how positioning on the macro level affects a fight on the micro level.

The fourth mission introduces completely new ship types, and a new type of battle - a retreat battle.  It show cases a couple different mobility systems, in a relatively low stress environment where you're just trying to chase things, which is another important concept.  Chasing can also pull you out of position as well to catch other ships.

Note to Alex: Should 4th mission talk about a fleet wide search and destroy order (which is not a thing) but instead about a full assault?  Also, this would be a great mission to mention deploying frigates on the left or right side with multiple clicks.

Anyways, I could keep going down the list, but I feel the missions currently are hand crafted encounters designed to teach the player core combat concepts and make them better at the combat portion of the game, irregardless of whatever bonuses or over deployments they might be able to do in the campaign.  If you can pull off every single mission, you will have no problems with the combat portion of the game.  Like if you can beat the Last Hurrah without refitting, 175 DP vs 236 DP, that should mean you're fine in almost any NPC faction fight once you get to that point.  And it lets you try each of the lessons as many times as you like without any pressure until you can exploit the thing it's trying to teach you.
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