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

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-17-2012, 06:49 AM
pnakotus pnakotus is offline
Champion
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 148
Default Response to Beta from a Dins fan

I wasn't sure about this game, but the 30-day thing sold me. I've played way too much Dins since it came out, so most of my responses are from that perspective.

I'm not sure how much of this is beta-ness, but presentation-wise the game suffers. The intro is laughable, the recycling of sound-effects is jarring (especially the 'armour clash' alert sound), and the game menus are simply the Dins ones, only blue.

First, everything is slow. You move slowly; you turn slower. For the first several hours it seems that nothing is happening - probably a result of the random map being stars linked mostly in series, rather than a web-like or random arrangement. The 'events', unlike Dins, are bland and have little effect on the player - the difference between 'one of your critical vendors is cursed' or 'a whole level of the dungeon is swarming with guys' and 'deliver this gift' or 'buy this vendor trash for us' really weakens the impact of the dynamic universe. If this takes a while to build up to speed, the game needs a 'jump in after 5 hours' mode where the galaxy is more established.

Second, everything is boring. Combat is boring because for a quite long time you can only support one weapon due to the 'EVE but broken' slot system, and those weapons effortlessly kill everyone. The 'spells' and 'skills' and synergies etc etc of a Dins build are gone or not present for many hours. The star systems are boring, because they're just a dungeon floor that has no walls. Your sight radius is so small it can take 15m of killing trivial badguys and manually driving around to find an exit or a planet or anything interesting to do.

Third, the dynamic galaxy seems either far too slow or not responsive enough. Everyone seems far too peaceful (even in the hours of expansion, during which nothing is happening), and even slaughtering a race's ships doesn't make anything happen beyond a declaration of war that appears to mean nothing but missing out on boring quests. Even having the entire galaxy at war with you only adds danger by the instant-fail timer. This is a huge contrast to Depths of Peril and the complex diplomacy with immediate and serious consequences to decisions, and the core importance of safeguarding your village in Dins.

Fourth, the game visually is less interesting. This is largely because space is boring, but the lack of different walls, lighting effects, and environmental effects makes any system more boring than most individual rooms in Dins. The absurdly bizarre 'traps' don't make the systems more interesting, and the lack of environmental effects (especially those with interactions, like freezable water etc) makes it all less interesting and mechanically bland than previous games. Nothing moves or has any real effect on you besides the random exploding swirlies and planetary gravity.

Fifth, the multi is not interesting. Dins had multi in only a fairly minor way, as there were few ways to meaningfully interact with your partners beyond 'go to the same place and kill guys together'. In Drox I haven't even seen a module that would assist anyone else, or seen a stat or bonus that would allow me to perform any team-based role. If its just limited to 'you take short-range guns, I take long-range guns', then that's a real missed opportunity.

In addition, I think the way ship development is handled isn't very interesting. Certainly, players shouldn't be allowed to pick what improvements they get (since high slots are far, far more important than any other slot, low slots are near-useless and almost nothing even fits there, etc) but the simple development from 'small and weak' to 'big and strong' just isn't very interesting. There is a lot of scope for different role and interesting multi even given the quite limited options in the game now, but this idea that you have a stat that determines how many slots you get is not helping.

Anyway, its a neat game once it eventually gets going, and I'm sure that throughout development it will improve (as the previous games have done), but right now it's less 'Dins in a 4X game' and more 'Dins with no walls or meaningful events'. If space was more interesting, things happened more quickly, and the factions were more interested in doing things as factions were in DoP, there'd be more to do than slowly trundle around looking for the next jump gate.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-17-2012, 07:02 AM
desophos's Avatar
desophos desophos is offline
Expert
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 65
Default

Unfortunately, I have to say I agree with the majority of pnakotus's post. Drox Operative feels lacking at the moment. I like the idea of a fusion of Depths of Peril and Din's Curse, but the execution leaves much to be desired. I believe in Soldak's ability to vastly improve the game, so I'll stick with it -- after all, this is just the very beginning of beta.
__________________
I used to be a captain like you, then I took a wrench to the knee.

DC Mods I use:
Balance Mod, Black Outlines, Bluddy's UI Mod, Faster Lifestones, NPC Full Equipment, NPC Pets, Safer Cave-ins, Smooth Sailing, Stack Size, The Architems, Wandering Vendors, 1.5x Monster XP, 15x Clear Bonus XP, Longer Respawn, Set Booster
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-17-2012, 07:11 AM
pnakotus pnakotus is offline
Champion
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 148
Default

I'm pretty confident that this is just a very early point and content and functionality will be added in future, but I don't see the point in sugar-coating feedback. I've seen people around make all kinds of contorted, positive-sounding comments about the intro, and someone just needs to say it.

In design, I think the intention is that the pressures in Dins (monsters vs village) will be taken up by the more complex interactions between factions and your squad (which doesn't have any planets, which makes it less interesting). However, in the games I've played this doesn't seem to be happening, and (just like a 4X game) the early game is full of slow expansion and nothing really going on besides 'buy me some wool' and 'kill this guy you already killed because there's nothing else to do'. The idea of protecting planets/vendors, preventing attacks on systems/the village, preventing sabotage/finding spies or whatever seems missing in the current game. Just taking ideas from other Soldak games (like planets upgrading defenses instead of just spawning useless guards, being able to interact directly with teams' military, go on joint missions, have clear and direct goals to compete towards etc) would dramatically improve things.

I'm not really sure what can be done about the combat. If high slots were just for guns (as in EVE) and displaced more of the items to the lower slots, this would allow more interesting pew pew, but break much of the rest of the itemisation. Moving some stats into the ship itself and making the ships simply tradeable (as I've seen suggested) might mitigate this, especially if this provided a reason to support factions. At the moment, you just magically get a bigger ship from literally nowhere - if you had to support a faction so they would BUILD you a better ship, based on their tech levels (which you have input into and can assist with), you'd immediately have a reason to care about any of them.

I said this a year ago, and I think it is still good advice. Play Space Rangers. The game wouldn't work at all if you had to wait 5 hours for the universe to get 'set up', or if there were no bad guys trying to eat everyone. It wouldn't work if helping or hindering factions in a variety of direct and indirect ways wasn't driving the dynamic world. It wouldn't work if you had to drive manually across systems full of respawning zero-threat space worms to get anywhere. Drox is a different game and is aiming for different strengths, but at the moment it seems like a step backwards from Dins in how well things actually work.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-17-2012, 07:53 AM
Valgor Valgor is offline
Elite
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 600
Default

I don't know why you're complaining about the game's menus, they've been that way since Depths of Peril;
they're functional and the similar design adds a feeling of familiarity if one has played any previous Soldak game.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-17-2012, 08:05 AM
pnakotus pnakotus is offline
Champion
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 148
Default

I don't know why you wasted your time making a throwaway response to a tiny part of a series of points, either. UI should be designed to do a job, and should change as that job changes. It probably shouldn't just be recycled menus from what, six years ago, especially for what is now a fundamentally different game. Regardless, this is just a small element of larger issues, like the recycled sound. The real problems are the 98% of my post that remains.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-17-2012, 08:32 AM
Caal Caal is offline
Elite
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 326
Default

Having had no experience with space games, I thought it was just me that found at least the early game dull, glacially slow, and confusing. Thanks for this.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-17-2012, 08:36 AM
Lyranaar Lyranaar is offline
Expert
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 75
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caal View Post
Having had no experience with space games, I thought it was just me that found at least the early game dull, glacially slow, and confusing. Thanks for this.
Just a quick question in addition: Which controls do you use? Which speed does your ship have?
I found the playing experience changed for me drastically (to the positive) after having max speed and using WASD and configuring the toggles. (A speed of 120 or even 150 feels almost painfully slowly to me as it also influences the turning speed heavily.)

Just curious.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-17-2012, 08:50 AM
pnakotus pnakotus is offline
Champion
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 148
Default

The thrust/turning control should definitely be the default; the stock Dins-style mouse-driven setup really accentuates the horrible turning radius. Unfortunately, this also exposes the simplistic 'mash 1 until everyone dies' combat even more clearly. I'd suggest that every weapon come with a skill on it beyond 'pew' to make more decisions around equipment (and maybe give other items a skill on top of their stat bonus as well). If your engine could attack people behind you, or your shields could be boosted, or your lasers fire a rapid anti-missile burst (or whatevers) there would be more to do than 'fire laser 10000 times, kill everyone' and power management would be more interesting.

Speed making the game not boring is fine, but that sort of ship setup isn't (it seems) a decision a player can make; it is down to drops and vendors to allow you to do this and the unpolished slot system to not break everything else. Being stuck below thrust 100 for ages (possibly hours) really sucks for new players, and it doesn't seem that you can be fast but slow turning or slow but fast turning. This is probably an easily resolved itemisation issue, though.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-17-2012, 09:16 AM
Caal Caal is offline
Elite
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 326
Default

After seeing this post:

http://www.soldak.com/forums/showpos...50&postcount=1

I am attempting to build a ship this way. I have a level 4 ship now with a max speed of 200. I am moving by holding the W key and using the mouse for direction. Despite that, questing seems to take an eternity, I never seem to have anything other races want, and figuring out how to make optimal use of the equipment is confusing. I am chalking most of this up to my inexperience, but I believe the OP's points are quite valid. I think the game could seriously benefit from a good tutorial, or at least a series of LP videos.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-17-2012, 09:18 AM
Valgor Valgor is offline
Elite
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 600
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pnakotus View Post
I don't know why you wasted your time making a throwaway response to a tiny part of a series of points, either.
It's because I knew why you made those other points and agree with some of them (like the slow and rather uneventful early game);
however, I couldn't come up with a reason for why you might think the menus inappropriate for Drox, just because they've been re-used since Depths of Peril.
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 01:48 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2007 - 2019 Soldak Entertainment, Inc.