Soldak Home   Drox Operative   Din's Curse   Depths of Peril   Zombasite  

Go Back   Soldak Entertainment Forums > Drox Operative > Drox Operative game
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-25-2013, 02:42 PM
Arren Arren is offline
Amateur
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1
Default Suggestions

I've just concluded a few games of Drox, and although I had some fun doing so, there are a few suggestions I'd like to make, as certain aspects of the game have grown tiresome.

(I'm consciously trying to avoid the approach of a certain other recent poster who basically laid out a redesign of the game, without regard to the impracticality of 'suggesting' such drastic changes to core mechanics. I've really limited my suggestions to presentation issues that could reasonably be addressed in a patch.)

What my complaints / suggestions mostly boil down to is: for a game so focused on loot, the presentation of items leaves much to be desired. The dynamic-world aspect of the game is audacious, which makes the rather under-cooked UI more curious. I must say that, although I don't regret spending several hours with the game (or paying $20 to the devs), I'll surely never return to it unless something is done about the cumbrous item management.

Specific suggestions:

  • Game Option: auto-pause when Inventory / Trading / Character windows are up
  • Wider radius of fog-of-war clearing around ship
  • Visual indicator of item 'rank'! This is the most galling omission. Item icons have the rarity represented by color-coded dots at icons' upper-left, yet there's no indicator on the icon for the rank (I. II, etc.) of the item, which is more important! This is such a bizarre omission, it really comes off as lazy. My choice would be a triangle at the bottom-center of the item icon featuring the Roman numeral of the item's 'rank'. This change alone would probably bring me back for at least one more round.
  • And/or: once 'rank' II items appear in a given ship's universe, 'rank' I items cease to appear, and so forth.
  • Along with the above: items below the current rank threshold should drop as instantly-liquidated credits.
  • In general: fewer item drops, better items! This would make the game so much more enjoyable. The process of endlessly picking up (or ignoring, yes I know about the existing option to ignore crappy items) grows so tedious, mostly due to the glut of throwaway items that inure the player to the excitement of finding good loot. Again, being that this is arguably _the_ core mechanic of ARPGs, it's very strange that more thought wasn't put into this aspect of the game.
  • "Fewer, better" also applies to quests. If fewer quests were assigned (especially the dull fetch quests), and the rewards increased, the game would be more fun. Even better would be rewarding the player with excellent items, calculated to be usable in their specific current configuration (e.g., if currently using a beam weapon, reward a better-DPS beam weapon within 5 Tactical points of being usable). This especially applies to race-vs.-race missions like destroying a planet.
  • The green plus on item icons, ostensibly indicating an upgrade over what the player currently has, is completely worthless. It values a rare 'rank' I item over a 'rank' IV item, which is ridiculous. This is another feature that is so lackluster it comes off as simply lazy.

I'm not trying to flame with my employ of 'lazy'. I know a vast amount of work went into the game. I use the word repeatedly because the aspects mentioned detract so noticeably from enjoyment of the game that their under-developed nature sticks out like a sore thumb. I wouldn't have spent the time to write up this list if I didn't think the game itself is worthwhile, with the potential to be better still.

Anyway, good luck with this and all future products, Soldak. I hope you take the time to consider these suggestions (that is, if you've not been thinking along similar lines already, which is more than possible).
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-25-2013, 07:28 PM
CautiousChaos CautiousChaos is offline
Expert
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 31
Default

+1 from me on those points. Fewer drops, fewer quests, higher quality of each.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-26-2013, 02:06 AM
droxop55 droxop55 is offline
Expert
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 28
Default

Loot Items ~~

For the part about loot items, this boils down to:
  • Enhance indicator identifying if item is better than something I already have while it is in space or in inventory.

Really, keeping the loot drop as is, but having the above give you a quick way to identify if you want to even mess with the item or not would be good enough. It would have to compare primary stat bonus with primary stat bonus though, and not the current way of comparing the two item's total worth (thats what the green plus sign is). Even if it has a green + sign while it is floating in space indicating it has a higher primary stat than what you have, that would be great.

Less drops, but better items, is an easy initial reaction to have to situations like this. However, its not a very good solution, because you are effectively taking away options for a person. Options and thinking about what to do with your stuff is essential, and you dont see it now, but if the game had less loot but better items, the decision process would be just far too simplified. I dont think the game should be responsible for how you handle what to do with all of the items, but it should be responsible for providing a means of quickly identifying if you want said item.

I disagree with items that you dont want being able to be imminently liquidated. That completely removes the concept of inventory and selling. If you could just fly around picking up what you want and instaselling what you dont, you would take more feeling away from the game than you would be gaining. Instead, trash items should have more uses, like combining two or more in a gambling fashion to have a possibility of getting something better. But as mentioned earlier, you should have to think about what items to bring with you with your limited inventory.

Questing ~~

Questing is a bit more complicated. Quests usually boil down to asking yourself one of these:
  • What can I do in this solar system that I am in
  • What quests give me the most XP
  • What quests give me the most credit
  • What quests give me the most fear
  • What quests give me the most rep for X
  • What quests give me the most legend

And sadly there is no good way to facilitate getting a nice filtered list of all quests that fall in these categories. If anything, Id like a way to filter ALL QUESTS from ALL RACES by the above. and then fill my quest log with 7 of them.

Less quests, better value of the quest would be similar to less loot, better loot. It is taking away options. Maybe doing X lesser value quests over period of time X actually is faster than doing one quest Y that is of a higher value. Lesser valued quests are there to understand the value of the more lucrative quests.

Having said all of the above, Soldak has always been about playing the game your way.

The real solution here is:
  • Add an option at sector creation for less loot, better items
  • Add an option at sector creation for less quests, better value quests

And let the players decide.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-26-2013, 08:11 PM
Bluddy Bluddy is offline
Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 1,989
Default

I think the reason it seems like there's too much bad loot is because you get so much good loot from having so many (too many) vendors. How many other ARPGs have this many vendors? Also, the definition of good loot is very narrow because it boils down to having an item that draws less power and/or has a better primary stat -- the extra modifiers from rare items are pretty much useless.

Another issue that's similar to what the OP mentions is that I've noticed that by around level 20, comparing items becomes mentally tedious (for me). Because there are so many different stats and item types, having to mentally go over them and compare them to what I have, and to consider if perhaps 'this other build with this much power would work better' becomes tiring. In other ARPGs, you only have a few primary stats, and items generally increase in quality. In Drox, there are potentially many directions in which to go and different item combinations, and I keep wanting to compare what I have to what's in my stash (which I can't see at all times) plus I have to compare power requirements. This may also stem from the fact that rare items are not better, meaning that the field of comparison is always wide. Anybody else have a similar experience?
__________________
Mods: DC Balance UI | DoP UI | Drox Guild Time Silence | DL Texture | Join our Discord!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-27-2013, 04:18 AM
ScrObot ScrObot is offline
Champion
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 244
Default

I agree that the abundance of vendors in their current state is probably harming things. I don't mind a vendor at every planet, but I think it should get more specialized. Races should offer a majority of the thing(s) they specialize in, with a handful of other item types thrown in as well. Rich planets could have more and better items than poor planets or planets that are having unrest for any reason. A race that has a treaty with another race could end up with some of that other race's specialized item types, since they're presumably trading.

(These are the kinds of things that I think would help give glimpses into the 4x game beneath -- actually seeing how Fringe had almost only power supplies at the beginning, and once they ally with Shadow, then you start seeing more cloaking items showing up at the Fringe vendors..)

This could also help the problem where if you are underleveled in a stat; with specialization like this, you could spawn a wider range of item levels so some "worse" ones compared to the sector level or whatever would show up (in small quantities) as well. Or even have it semi-static, where it automatically spawns 2 of the specialized item type at a 4 levels below the sector level or something.

--

Also, please implement a basic sorting to the vendors! It doesn't have to be anything fancy, but grouping the same type of items together would make life so much easier. (= If they could be sorted first by slot type (so all the heavies are together, all the mediums etc), then by item type, that'd be awesome. Further sorting by "level" of the item type and/or the behind the scenes value of the item would be icing on the cake. (=

And if you're feeling saucy, per-cargo bay sorting would be fantastic too. (I would only use it if I could do it to an individual bay, not all bays at the same time; I like to keep my extra crew, consumables and items that I'm saving organized in a particular way.)
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-27-2013, 04:53 AM
ScrObot ScrObot is offline
Champion
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 244
Default

Regarding comparing items, I wonder if we could figure out a way to better display which may be "better" via the existing green + icon. Primary stat should be the first thing it looks at IMO, THEN the internal value. I'm not sure if power consumption and other bonuses should be factored in when trying to determine whether to display the + or not.

Perhaps some way to denote which things are better across multiple categories; "value" of the item (like it currently does), primary stat and power consumption are the three things I can see being useful. I can't think of a great idea off the top of my head, there's so little real estate on that little icon.

Perhaps across the horizontal bar of the plus have 3 black dots, one for each thing we're tracking (value, primary stat, power), and if it's better, that dot is yellow rather than black. There'd obviously have to be a help entry or something to explain this.

--

(I'm on the fence about this, but I typed it out so I might as well post it. (= )

Also, I still think the individual item art, while nice looking, is far too complicated in its current state. For example, there's 7 "levels" of power plants, each with their own unique art. If these could be whittled down to just 2 or 3 icons (say, levels 1-3 are one icon, 4-6 are one, and 7 is one), I think things would get a lot easier as well. (Or, have it so there's a simple base icon at level 1 that gets stuff added to it as it levels up; even though 1 and 7 would be very different, you'd still be able to see root level 1 elements in the level 7 item, and they'd all obviously be from the same "family" -- facing the same direction at the same angle, etc. I know an item art overhaul is probably unlikely, bug a guy can dream. (= )

There are already some similarities between item types and levels (for example, shields I think follow a logical icon evolution, at least in some of the earlier levels), so it seems like it's already partially there, but it's not consistent. It's hard when you come across a higher level of an item and you have to consciously look at it and think about it for a moment to make the distinction that this is actually just an engine, even though it looks completely different.

I think if that could be streamlined, it would very much help when comparing things, since it wouldn't be the chaos of 40 different icons in your inventory, which you may be able to figure out what they each are, but you'd have to consciously think about it. Plus the fact that with fewer icons, you'd get used to them quicker and be able to identify them at a glance much easier.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-27-2013, 01:40 PM
nox's Avatar
nox nox is offline
Expert
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Elsewhere
Posts: 64
Default

'Bad' loot is relative really. We wouldn't know what truly perfect loot was if there wasn't so much loot to choose from.

As it is, I see so many of a given item that I am able to pretty much figure out what ideal stats will be.

That being said however, there are a lot of junk items. The fact that there are multiple factors that have to be good to make an item exceptional increases the rarity of truly good items.

While looking for a replacement shield unit, rather than there being a single factor that raises the quality of the unit, one has to find a unit that has both a decent power consumption and a good strength. Finding one that is in the top 10% of one factor, then the top 10% of the other factor means you're throwing out 99% of the items you find. Every other item with 2 factors has the same issue.

"Rare" items are no better than common items and because of this 99% of the 'rare' items - even those of the appropriate level, are not useful.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-27-2013, 02:21 PM
jeeplaw jeeplaw is offline
Expert
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 28
Default

Agreed. The rare, elite and artifact designations are sorta crap in my opinion. In a proceduraly generated game, it's hard not to be able to control some of that, but from a design stand point you either go 100% procedural random generation or you pull from a loot table and mix/match those stats up off the basic ones already there.

Mind you, still love the game. More tweaking needs to be done though (and the devs have been doing a great job).
Quote:
Originally Posted by nox View Post
'Bad' loot is relative really. We wouldn't know what truly perfect loot was if there wasn't so much loot to choose from.

As it is, I see so many of a given item that I am able to pretty much figure out what ideal stats will be.

That being said however, there are a lot of junk items. The fact that there are multiple factors that have to be good to make an item exceptional increases the rarity of truly good items.

While looking for a replacement shield unit, rather than there being a single factor that raises the quality of the unit, one has to find a unit that has both a decent power consumption and a good strength. Finding one that is in the top 10% of one factor, then the top 10% of the other factor means you're throwing out 99% of the items you find. Every other item with 2 factors has the same issue.

"Rare" items are no better than common items and because of this 99% of the 'rare' items - even those of the appropriate level, are not useful.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-28-2013, 03:53 PM
Sedlex Sedlex is offline
Expert
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 71
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluddy View Post
the extra modifiers from rare items are pretty much useless.
I don't agree. In some of my builds, I've found the stats from blues and purples to be as important as the actual item stats (and sometimes more, in "dead" faction slots).

Consider that secondary stats on these items are usually a bunch of resists. If part of your defense is built around mitigation (and mine sometimes are), then it's invaluable to get the most out of resists found on other slots than dedicated low slot items.

But I'll admit it relies on a specific type of build and is valid, as far as I'm concerned, only for resists. Modifiers for crit rate etc. are rendered pretty much moot by the fact that anyone who wants a decent crit rate will probably build for it with much more dedicated items than secondary stat boosts.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:08 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2007 - 2019 Soldak Entertainment, Inc.