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 06-15-2012, 03:24 PM
cthonic cthonic is offline
Amateur
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 24
Default cthonic's list of feedback/criticisms

These are all criticisms, yes, but I'm very positive about the game. It's great fun and has kept me hooked. There's certainly work to do, but what you have is already better than many indie final releases.

May as well jump into it! I'm level 25 and have played about 5 rounds. And please don't take anything I say personally. I have the utmost respect for all of Soldak and really appreciate all the great work you put into your games.




MAJOR ISSUES:

*You are way too slow at the start of the game. This is the biggest issue I have with the game, and one that could ruin reviews as it leaves an incredibly negative first impression. Initial thrust should be no less than 50-75, because the game is next to unplayable at any value less than that.




BALANCE ISSUES:

*Beam weapons are terrible. Take two fictional weapons, a Missile and a Laser. Both have, say, 100DPS. The missle launches once every three seconds, the laser every second. This means the missle does 300 damage per hit, while the laser does 100.

At this point it's a pretty clear division of weapons: Missles are hard-hitting but slow, ideal for bosses, lasers are weak but quick, ideal for trash.

The problem right now is, for some inscrutable reason, both weapons require the same amount of energy to fire. This means the laser requires three times as much energy as the missle to do the same amount of damage. You will rapidly run out of power using a fast-attacking weapon when compared to a slow, large projectile.

Then we run into the problem that beams are just bad in general. They don't have exceptional DPS for their iLvl, plus they're three times worse in efficiency. Where beams are truly terrible, however, is when you account for the dropoff damage (only 25% at max range), especially when combined with how janky movement is in the game.

In short, beam weapons are just really, really bad.


*Peaceful, expansion-focused races win. This is largely due to the fact that if a race runs out of planets it loses. If a race can keep everyone calm and steadily expand, it rapidly becomes the dominant one. Warlike races tend to piss everyone off right off the bat and die unceremoniously (the Fringe gets wiped out ASAP every game I've played). The Hive and Humans seem most able to pull this off when left to their own devices.

This is partially because colonies are totally destroyed when a planet is captured. Not only does a warlike race have to conquer, they have to then colonize as well.

It'd be nice to see a more dangerous or warlike race "win."


*AOE is king. It's an ARPG so of course this is true, but it's to the extent that I don't really see the point of taking single-target weapons as-is. I think cranking up the cooldowns on things like bombs might be a good idea -- I want them to wipe out packs, but I don't want them to be "I win" buttons.




UI:

*Please add more quest markers! It's unbelievably frustrating and boring to get a "kill a pack of xyz" quest in a zone and then have to "lawnmower" back and forth across the empty space looking for it. In Din's (etc) this was less of an issue since you're in a dungeon and walls means there are only a set few number of places to look. In Drox, however, the lack of structured zones can make things into a needle-in-an-infinite-void situation.


*The minimap is worthless. Do I need to equip radar for this to be worth a crap? I don't have the Computers to do it so I haven't checked. If that's the case, make it clear you need to equip a radar item for that to be worth anything. If not, please start showing me planets, treasure, enemies, etc. And maybe zoom it out a bit.


*The automatic stat analysis/upgrade suggestion system should prioritize the "primary" stat of an item. This means the big yellow ones. Why would a weapon with 5 less DPS be better than the one I have now? Why is the generator with 100 less power better than what I have? I assume you're checking this via iLvl?




GAMEPLAY:

*The first 30 minutes are fever-pitched; the next two hours are sluggish. Races quickly die out and the game goes from the more interesting and varied diplomacy phase to the dull "faction farm" phase in about 30 minutes. This is a rather generalized complaint that my later points will flesh out (and suggest ideas to change this), but, in general, the flow of the game seems to be incredibly top-heavy.


*The optimal strategy is to pick one race and kill the rest. Is that intended? I got the impression I was an armed-to-the-teeth warrior-diplomat more interested in galactic peace than galactic peace by genocide. Perhaps adding additional rewards based on how many races are left standing at the end would encourage more diplomatic play?


*Planets are too weak. This contributes to the fever pitched early game: When planets have only slightly more HP than a boss and are easily exploited to death, races are quickly wiped out, which leads to the phenomenon of a chaotic early start followed by a dull drawn-out end.


*Planets are easily exploited to death. By this I mean you get a missile, stand out of range of the planet's defenders, and fire. The defenders don't respond. You can easily wipe out every race right out the gate with this method. Fixing this could help the top-heavy problem with the game flow.


*Everybody starts in the same zone. Again, it contributes to the chaos, and sort of limits the importance of exploration.


*Farming faction is counter-intuitive. It's best to let a pack of raiders survive and then run the tools that fix their planetary sabotages than it is to kill them, because fixing the sabotages is easy, quick, and gives as much, if not more, faction as killing the raider pack.


*You have to farm a ton of faction. This is a tedium thing. You and the Humans are all that's left of civilization after the chaos on the first thirty minutes of the universe. Now, unless you want to spend an exorbitant amount of money on your side of the alliance agreement, you need to do tedious, repetitive quests that reward 1-1.5 faction at a time. And farm up Technology and planet info which you can donate (though this doesn't give much faction either). Your reward for this is a chest that often contains worse drops than a boss. Boring.


*Tactical should not be the only weapon stat! Why not spread out weapons across the different stats? Beams could be Engineering, Explosives could be Tactical, Ballistics could be Structure, the weird stuff/debuffers could be Computers.




FEATURE SUGGESTIONS:

*More random quests, especially in the endgame! I don't want wait five minutes between "Colonize this planet" quests while trying to farm up faction to finish the game. Throw more Din's style stuff at me, replete with faction rewards.


*Add an option for individual system map size. We can limit the number of systems in a galaxy, but we can't limit the map size of each system. I don't really like these big sprawling zones. Being that there is no structure, 50% of the zone is just empty, making for much less content per square inch than any of your other games.


*Make some more varied map types! For instance, a map made into a traditional dungeon due to the inclusion of asteroid "walls" could be a refreshing change of pace.

Last edited by cthonic : 06-15-2012 at 04:13 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 06-15-2012, 04:37 PM
Shadow's Avatar
Shadow Shadow is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 9,412
Default

Radars improve your minimap.

The better item suggestion is based on credits value currently.

Races don't always start in the same zone.
__________________
Steven Peeler
Designer/programmer
Depths of Peril, Kivi's Underworld, Din's Curse, Drox Operative, Zombasite, Din's Legacy, & Drox Operative 2
Patreon
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-15-2012, 04:57 PM
cthonic cthonic is offline
Amateur
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 24
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
Radars improve your minimap.
In what ways? I know Radar is a numbered value and not just "Radar 1/2/3," so I'm curious what it does. I'm also not a huge fan of having to use a precious equipment slot just to have a UI component function.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-15-2012, 05:03 PM
Valgor Valgor is offline
Elite
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 600
Default

I think they increase the distance you can see blips on the minimap.
But yes, I found radars to be quite useless, too. There's not much incentive to use one since the player can gather all the required information from the system map just as well.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-15-2012, 05:09 PM
Shadow's Avatar
Shadow Shadow is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 9,412
Default

Yeah, currently radar will increase the range that blips show up on the minimap.
__________________
Steven Peeler
Designer/programmer
Depths of Peril, Kivi's Underworld, Din's Curse, Drox Operative, Zombasite, Din's Legacy, & Drox Operative 2
Patreon
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-15-2012, 05:49 PM
Bluddy Bluddy is offline
Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,055
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Valgor View Post
I think they increase the distance you can see blips on the minimap.
But yes, I found radars to be quite useless, too. There's not much incentive to use one since the player can gather all the required information from the system map just as well.
Good point. All upgrades are competing with each other for slots, and if all a radar does is give you a better minimap, then it's not competitive. If it gave some counter measures to spoof enemy missiles, that would be a different story, but there might be another component for that.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-15-2012, 05:56 PM
Shadow's Avatar
Shadow Shadow is offline
Super Moderator
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 9,412
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluddy View Post
Good point. All upgrades are competing with each other for slots, and if all a radar does is give you a better minimap, then it's not competitive. If it gave some counter measures to spoof enemy missiles, that would be a different story, but there might be another component for that.
Radar components also improve your attack stat.
__________________
Steven Peeler
Designer/programmer
Depths of Peril, Kivi's Underworld, Din's Curse, Drox Operative, Zombasite, Din's Legacy, & Drox Operative 2
Patreon
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-15-2012, 06:01 PM
Bluddy Bluddy is offline
Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,055
Default

Great comments cthonic -- very insightful.

Quote:
The optimal strategy is to pick one race and kill the rest. Is that intended? I got the impression I was an armed-to-the-teeth warrior-diplomat more interested in galactic peace than galactic peace by genocide. Perhaps adding additional rewards based on how many races are left standing at the end would encourage more diplomatic play?
This is a very important point. During development, I (or someone else) raised this point. There has to be an incentive not to let a race get too big. What I'm thinking of is that the bigger a race is, the less it should care about Drox, particularly if the Drox operative didn't help it grow. If it feels indebted to Drox for helping it grow, it might care about the operative a little more, but otherwise, it quickly starts thinking it doesn't need the Drox and it start becoming more and more hostile towards the player, giving him worse trades, worse prices and fewer quests. An all-powerful race can carry out quests internally.

The key is that you need to keep all your client races thinking that they NEED you. The way to do that is mostly by keeping other strong opponents to threaten the particular race, but it's also through sabotage and other covert means. This means that you can never let one race just grow unchecked -- they'll soon throw you to the dogs. Instead, you must seek out the other races and figure out where you can make yourself needed first, and always balance out the growth of one race with other races.

You might even want to have a game counter other than relation towards you -- Drox dependency. The more races feel they need you, the more successful you are. A race might hate you, but they'll still be civil towards you because they'll feel that without the Drox they are doomed. The victory condition would then be to make all races feel dependent on you beyond a certain amount, and the best way to lose is to let one race take over the whole sector.

Letting 2 races get big would then be a viable strategy, but a risky one. They might unite and turn against the Drox, or one of them might conquer the other and then you're dealing with 1 big race, which would again be a problem.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-16-2012, 01:40 AM
cthonic cthonic is offline
Amateur
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 24
Default

This is a cross-post of mine from another forum I read, so apologies to the staff if they've already read it. I wanted to repost it here just to keep things organized, and to hear what the other members thought:



*The equipment slot system is holding the game back. It's obtuse as hell and adds another layer of unnecessary complexity that just serves to confuse.

I mean, I get it. Heavy slots are generally armor, engines, primary weapons, and generators. Medium are generally armor, secondary weapons, shields, and computers. Light slots are a grab bag of anything from cooldown abilities to resistance boosts to crew that level up with you.

The thing is, none of this system makes any damn sense. It's totally non-intuitive. I guess it's supposed to add a layer of flexibility, because sometimes I'll find an engine that fits in a Medium slot, which frees up a heavy slot for something else. But it's a fake flexibility. Every player has to take an Engine (Heavy, sometimes Medium) and a Generator (Heavy). Everything except the most gimmicky of gimmick builds will also take at least one Armor (Heavy or Medium), one Primary weapon (Heavy) and Shield (Medium).

In short, of your 8 combined Heavy and Medium slots, 5 are already spoken for. It's a false choice, and the bizarre way it's presented just makes things extremely confusing.

Make a paper doll (paper spaceship?) system. See Space Rangers 2: You always have a slot for an engine, shield, armor, generator, computer (well, scanner in SR2's case) and radar. Then, depending on your hull (Command, in Drox's case), you get a varying number of weapon and accessory (equivalent to Light) slots.

Only the appropriate item can be equipped in the appropriate slot. That's crucial. The player should immediately see they're missing a basic component, instead of staring at the neon wall of items in their inventory and then trying to figure out where they put the new gun they found.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-16-2012, 01:44 AM
cthonic cthonic is offline
Amateur
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 24
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadow View Post
Races don't always start in the same zone.
What's the chance they do/don't? I'm up to eight rounds now and they've all started in the same initial zone with one planet each.
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 05:33 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2007 - 2019 Soldak Entertainment, Inc.