Alpha 12 - Story & Missions

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  1. Hummel-o-War

    Hummel-o-War Administrator
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    MISSION & STORY
    • Full update and revamp of all story missions (Story requires a reputation standing of at least 'neutral' with Talon & Polaris; Note: All story missions can be activated manually, but should be played in the given order!)
    • Update of Robinson Protocol (Tutorial), especially for basic vessel and base building/repair; Playable on Temperate, Arid and Swamp starters, but not on Snow starter!
    • Full update and revamp of Invader vs. Defender scenario
    • Updated Default (Random) Multiplayer scenario (does not offer Tutorial or Story Mission!)
    • Added/Updated Empyriopedia (F1) > Faction Report
    • Replaced several story-POI cores with NPC Admin Cores: Control Station (Minefield), Com Array (Moon), Mainframe (Moon), Ilmarinen (slight updates as well), Pirates Hidden Base and others.
    Story.png
     
    #1
  2. Hummel-o-War

    Hummel-o-War Administrator
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    -tba-
     
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  3. Foofaspoon

    Foofaspoon Commander

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    Started playing through the story last night... really enjoyed it (and clearly have done work already in presentation from experimental). It has got me very intrigued as to what is happening. Got all the good Space Opera stuff... sinister secret organisations (that may know a lot more than they let on), a big bad lurking at the edge of the galaxy, a mystery to solve with what happened to the fleet.

    As others have mentioned going forward, breaking up the bigger chunks will really help (perhaps multiple dialogue options, Play Log File A, Log File B etc) so people can read more at their leisure (and a way to go back through it).
     
    #3
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  4. Evolvei

    Evolvei Commander

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    #4
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  5. ravien_ff

    ravien_ff Rear Admiral

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    #5
  6. Asmodan

    Asmodan Lieutenant

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    As i like more Stories and Missions, i don't like how some of the Story is presented now. It throws a lot of Text at you while you are in Hostile Enviroment without pause the Game. I don't had Time for this at the moment it showed up (i was starving, radiated and attacked), clicked fast through and closed it after there was no end of the text in sight. After i secured myself and had time to read i found no possibility to reread all what i had to skip. Imho this would be better with Pause while you read or let this simply update your PDA with an option to manually activate it when you are in a save spot and have time or simply want to reread this stuff again.
     
    #6
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  7. Pach

    Pach Captain

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    Hoping this is the correct place for this feedback...

    This is for the Wildlife Cam mission, and other, similar missions like the Talon one to find Legacy POIs (although I've not run into it with them, but I can see where one could for POIs in radiated areas...)

    One of the new features is the game now picks waypoints for us to complete the mission. Unfortunately, finding another location doesn't complete the mission, as it used to. Being able to go to a different node was great, in case you found one being guarded by a drone you don't have the firepower to take out, or deep in enemy territory. But now, you MUST go to the waypointed one.

    See linked screenshot below.

    My third node was in Zirax territory. Right beside the POI.

    While this isn't an issue at level 25 with a shielded CV... it's a rather huge issue low level, in an unshielded HV. At this point, there is just no way I'm going to complete it, until I get a better vehicle to get in/out. And this was the FIRST TIME I TOOK THE QUEST.

    Is this sort of thing intended? If so, this could be discouraging to new players, as it is one of the earlier quests you can take.

    If not, it needs revamped: either a different selection criteria, or the option to complete with non-waypointed nodes, or the ability to force a new waypoint selection, or some other option so this doesn't happen.

    Thanks for listening.

    https://steamuserimages-a.akamaihd....201/11680E4988B0881E28CF98430A6561EFD9319213/
     
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  8. nexus_absolute

    nexus_absolute Captain

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    My first impressions of the story are about the way it is presented. I found it's location on the screen and delivery very difficult to follow.

    The text was not on the screen long enough for me to read it all and even though I have been playing this game for years it took me a few lines of text to realise I was having a conversation with my PDA and that this wasn't just exposition. I'm picking up the game for the first time again since A9 so this really feels new to me.

    After reaching the Hildagarde I had to back track through the PDA log to actually work out what was happening.

    Personally I would like to see the text at the top/centre of the screen rather than the bottom. Also, maybe identify the different speakers through better defined text colours and/or fonts so it is clear when I am speaking and when someone else is speaking

    Overall through it's really great to see some fleshed out story appearing and the way the first set of missions are laid out is kinda cute. Have a thumbs up on me.
     
    #8
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  9. WyldFalcon

    WyldFalcon Ensign

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    I've played through the story missions somewhere around 8 times since mid 2018... maybe Alpha 6ish?
    I'm loving the new missions, the dialogue improvements, the progression in general. It definitely feels like more of a story-driven game now than ever before.

    There's a lot that can be improved on:

    1. There are typos/misspellings in the new English dialogue. These should be pretty easy to correct.

    2. As mentioned above, there are times when the dialogue moves too fast to read everything, and the full dialogue is no longer available in the PDA. The addition of the manual skip-ahead button is great for when it's too slow, but we need a remedy for when it's too fast, or switch it so that it will always wait until the user clicks ahead.

    3. The dialogue introduces a LOT of topics, characters, ship names, names of programs/backgrounds etc with no or very little explaination, most of which are only relevant to the plot but not to the gameplay, and it feels like 'Keyword soup', meaning a lot of potentially important things that we're not actually attached to because we don't know their context. Maybe adding background info about the characters/ships, what was going on before the crash etc into the PDA would be helpful, otherwise streamline the exposition process so we're only focused on one or a couple things at a time and the rest could be found optionally in datapoints etc.

    4. The opposite of 3: while the dialogue gives a lot of exposition to the plot, it gives almost no information about what to do on the planet. The tutorial is good for the first few steps through recovering the HV, but the base-building portion seems out of place (there's no discussion of managing weight/volume, containers/extensions, cpu limits). There's probably no reason to build a base at this point, certainly not right there, and mining/managing the resources to do so hasn't been talked about yet.
    After the base section, there's nothing regarding SVs. There's a crashed SV(the Dart) next to the CV wreck in the first mission, but no discussion of what to do with it. This has already confused a bunch of people because the instructions for recovering the HV are basically 'get into the vehicle and press P to bring up the menu and see the missing devices', but this doesn't work on the Dart because the Core is missing.
    There's no discussion of how to use cores, their functionality in vehicles, or their ability to take over/scrap wrecks.
    I think this could be improved by using the first section of the tutorial through fixing the HV/bike as is, and then diverting to the older style modular tutorial, where there would be separate missions for building your first base, building your first SV, HV from scratch, etc. Instead of progressing through them, tell the player that they're available to play in any order after repairing the hoverbike, then default to starting the first solo mission. This would also give the opportunity to offer Advanced tutorial missions to explain concepts that come later (CPU usage, Shields, Warp Drive, Repair, etc)

    5. Specific to the new version of the 'Totally Overpowered' quest - I really like the introduction of the Pirate faction and a mission based around them. The problem is, their are signals suggesting that this should be taken on in multiple different ways.
    This is the first time we encounter them, and as such our reputation is Neutral when we reach their base. We're told to enter the base, but it's locked and we're not given any indication of how to do so, and the inhabitants are non-violent at this point. It seems like we should be able to unlock/negotiate our way inside, but I haven't seen any sign of being able to do so.
    Desroying the door or drilling into the base makes them hostile, and it seems like we're encouraged to fight our way through this. Getting the recipe at the end seems to trigger on killing the Commander in the middle, so their might not be any kind of potential non-violent solution anyway.
    However, even if we kill everyone inside, then we find that they have an indestructible admin core and a Trader, suggesting that we're not meant to destroy/scrap everything, we're meant to be able to work peacefully with everyone here like a trading station. To me at least, this left me feeling cruel, like I had started a war against a faction that didn't want one, that could have been avoided.
    If there should be any non-violent way through this, please let us know and/or offer some indication in game of what it might be.
    If this is designed to be a combat mission - start with their reputation at Unfriendly so combat is automatic, and consider making the asteroid base scrap-able.
    Following this we're back to the old plot of the mission, but we've skipped the lava and alien planets (which were really exciting parts of the mission, but definitely should have made this the last mission in the quest line), but we're told that our suit would be upgraded as a reward. I was lucky enough to already be wearing an Epic Heavy Armor that Id' found in a container, and so I didn't get a reward here. Maybe just add the armor to the player inventory, instead of replacing what they currently have?

    6. Specific to the 'Offworld Grave' quest - this was a lot of fun, and I was really glad to see what was basically the old Robinson Protocol rebuilt as this quest, instead of having the Titan be part of the first mission and the Radar Station be disconnected as in A11.
    My biggest concern here is the new drone fight after retrieving the code pieces in the Titan. We're given a long dialogue at the Commando console, where IDA warns us that when she sends the signal, the Zirax will throw everything they have at us, then she goes ahead and does it right away, and we're into a fight that's either very easy, very difficult, or next to impossible depending on how we're equipped. This seems to be the premier for the new Bomber drones, and they're a lot different than anything we've seen before.
    The new drones move fast, have what appears to be infinite accelleration(no speed-up or slow-down, just stop and go full speed), they move seemingly randomly and turn on a dime. They're very hard to catch/hit, they've got lots of hit points, and they're firing rockets.
    I've collected feedback from several experiences different people have had with this:
    One person basically found it impossible because they were lightly armed with a retrofitted starter SV, as we hadn't had any kind of ship-based combat yet, or any indication it was coming.
    One person had a CV with auto-targeting cannon-turrets, which had no problem taking down the new drones with no issue.
    In my case, I was in a late-game shielded SV with plasma cannons, geared up to be ready to take down base defenses, and while I almost died in the few seconds it took to get back to my SV, I found that once I was up, they couldn't destroy me, but I couldn't destroy them either. I spent 45 minutes chasing them, burning fuel and hundreds of rounds of ammo only to down one of them, and eventually gave up, letting them have the wreck of the Titan while I moved to the Comm Station. They're essentially too maneuverable to be able to hit with any kind of slow ammunition, and it seems like Turrets are the way to go here.
    This leaves a great opportunity for improvement in the story: IDA has warned us about an upcoming fight, and then we're thrown into it. Instead of jumping in at the end of the dialogue, how about a simple question like 'Are you ready?' before IDA sends the signal. If the player answers 'Yes I'm ready' then it proceeds as normal as with when they click 'Lock and Load' now. If they player chooses 'No, I need time to prepare' then the dialogue exits until they come back and confirm they're ready. Having been warned, this would give them time to prepare for a fight, bring in their favorite vehicle, build a small base, core and arm the wreck of the titan with defenses, even just time to heal up their character, whatever they may choose. It seems that, since we're already warned about the fight, there should be a chance to say 'wait a minute, don't do the thing that will make them attack me until I tell you to'
    Following the drone fight, we're on to the comm array and radar station. We're told that the radar station is heavily armed so we should sneak in through the comm array. I love the new Comm Array that's essentially unguarded inside, it always felt like going through the old comm array was actually harder than getting into the station.
    Two points here - 1. On my moon, the Comm Array was within firing range of the Fortifications outside the radar station, so taking them down was necessary anyway. 2. The 'Heavily armed' defenses on the radar station were much easier to take down than the drones that we just fought. It seems like if someone can win the fight with the drones, they can probably take the radar station without going through the comm array. The first part seems like a pretty easy fix, just ensure that the Comm Array spawns a higher minimum distance away from any fortifications. I don't know what to suggest about the second part. Based on my statements about the drone fight, the easiest way to beat that without being overpowered might be to set up defensive turrets on the Titan, which of course you can't bring with you to the radar station, so that would keep continuity there.

    7. There are still a lot of ways to break mission continuity. I found multiple places where I accidentally triggered a future conversation by doing something, then had to go back, complete an earlier objective, then have that conversation again at the right point in time. One of these was leading up to the drone fight mentioned above. We have two consoles on the Titan-Rear we have to activate. I activated the console on the bridge, was congratulated for having found all the code, given a long dialogue and told there was a fight incoming, then realized it hadn't triggered anything and that I didn't have the third piece of code yet, so had to go find another console. When I triggered that console and its dialogue, I then had to go back to the bridge, replay through that conversation path, and then get to the fight. It felt cumbersome/awkward to have the same long conversation with IDA twice within a few minutes of one another. This could be solved by disabling dialogue triggers until all of the prerequisites are met.
    On the other hand, it's also possible to accidentally disable some of those entirely and break the quest. The first mission to the crashed UCH ship involves activating a console there, but there's no core in the ship, so we've already seen instances of people finding the ship without having started the mission, scrapping the ship for parts, then starting the mission and finding that they can't activate the necessary console.
    In previous builds, I've accidentally broken the quests by de-coring/scrapping the radar station/comm array prior to needing the teleporter, de-coring/scrapping the orbital alien wreck used in 'Ancient Revelations' and being unable to trigger the switches/etc for the mission, mining/scrapping the alien asteroid used in 'Uncertain Outcomes' and then having nothing to go back to for that part of the mission, etc. I appreciate that the new Pirate base has an admin core to prevent this (except that as mentioned in #5, the only trigger is on killing someone, so this probably *should* be scrapable), and I haven't checked whether the cores of the later mission-based POIs have been upgraded, but since there's no core in the first mission wreck, my guess is that this is still possible (and also possible on the Titan in mission 4).
    I don't have a good solution here. My general thought is that all mission-critical objects should be indestructible until used, but that seems difficult to implement. Maybe an IDA warning when approaching within a certain distance of a mission-critical POI, warning that we shouldn't destroy it because it seems like it will be important later.

    Overall, I'm exceptionally happy with the changes made in A12, and I'm having a great time playing through it again. I love coming back to this game every few months and seeing the development happen, and this one has added so much that I'll be busy for weeks exploring/enjoying it. I hope the developers will take some of this feedback into consideration for future improvements, as this game has an incredible amount of potential, and is constantly getting better and better.
     
    #9
  10. Inkognyto

    Inkognyto Ensign

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    This please. I started it last night, while I was going through reading what I think was the background, I got slaughtered by a bunch of spiders. I had no idea where to respawn but knew if I did next to my body, I'd be killed again. I had read for like 10 or 15 minutes.

    So I picked at a station... a few km away. I didn't want to slog again, so I restarted, and due to how wordy the background was. I skipped the tutorial completely.

    I have no idea what I or how things work and frankly, i'll figure it out, but if the tutorial is buried in all of that wordy background crap, no thanks.

    I love lore, but give me lore, don't give me lore, and a tutorial where I stand there for 10 minutes reading through it all.

    Tips and hints on what I should be doing. Let the player read the lore at leisure when they need a break or they are waiting for some of the base blocks to create.

    At this point, I'm 2 hrs in, and doing stuff. The game wants me to go somewhere but I ignored it because it's past 3 spider spots. There is ZERO incentive for me to do the story, but given how clunky it was to read. I don't see any.

    Let me explain clunky, a line by line dialog between I think the PDA and me, recalling a previous log. I have to hit a button to get the next line, I read fast. Give me the whole log so I can read it all in like 20s. Don't make me sit in menu and feed me it. That's archaic.


    If you want people to do it, there has to be some hook or reason. I don't want to repeat what I read before, and I wasn't sure what I had started so I've decided it's not worth it.
     
    #10
  11. ravien_ff

    ravien_ff Rear Admiral

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    This would be nice. They could make it a function of the @p setting (this is what gives multiple "pages" that auto advance in the dialog). So for example if @p2 is used, then the next page appears after 2 seconds, but if it's @p0 then the next page will never advance until the player hits right click.
    This would let dialog be able to auto advance pages when it's desired by the creator, but also be able to be manually advanced for everything else.

    Or something similar.
    Right now you can do it but it takes multiple dialog entries in the config file to do so.
     
    #11
  12. Balthazod

    Balthazod Lieutenant

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    I have been doing the missions during the test phase about 6 times now and still not managed to do them all in one game even though I have done them all over the the 6 games. Missing waypoints is a big issue, I finally finished the tales of the past for the first time ever as it did give a waypoint previously I dug at the monument to no avail and a million cubic ft of dirt later but now with the WP I finally find the 900yr old prisoner, but this mission was bugged as well with the monsters not turning up at the tower.
    Both the pirate base and the mainframe had Zirax bases in firing range making it not possible to complete without risk of being shot by a AA laser.
    As someone stated earlier the timing of the IDA info is poor you and too fast as you are focused on other things at the time when entering the Titans.
    The main thing that bugs me with the final release is the removal of the Legacy from the planet, thats half the game for me. Doing the storyline is a not rewarding, its just one trap after another with little loot and goes no where.
     
    #12
  13. Trump

    Trump Commander

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    Also the power curve is unexpectedly high. Totally overpowered is a death sentence in light armor with T1 weapons and a hand full of bandages which is what you're likely to have at the time you start it.

    Offworld grave I didn't do until I had a CV covered with turrets and a shield. I can only imagine how completely destroyed a player would be if they were trying to use a T1 SV.
     
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  14. Asmodan

    Asmodan Lieutenant

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    Ok, i just finished Offworld Grave and the Xenu Mainframe did a Self Destruct and i could not activate the Teleporter because there is no Power after the Self Destruct, so i had to manually complete the Step and jumped from that thing to the Ground and had to walk 3km to my SV. Maybe i could be 1s faster but i think the Self Destruct is not necessary and you should be able to simple teleport back. Or at least give us more time to leave that thing.
     
    #14
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  15. Trump

    Trump Commander

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    The Illmaren had the same problem for me.

    Overall the quest line has an interesting story, but the mechanical aspects need work.

    The pacing is way off. There is too much text to scroll through and it's annoying to read after the first time. It's also annoying to try to read while you're freezing to death and being shot in the head by drones. I'd much rather that you'd find datapads that you could safely read at your leisure while at base and find clues or passwords that would allow you to skip the walls of text on your next playthrough. The new dialog system is great for "good job, here's your reward" type stuff, not 4 paragraphs of text.

    There are WAY too many ambushes. It's bad enough that every doorway in every POI had a sentry gun that pops out and shoots you in the back, but the quests triple down on this. It's really not fun for 10 drones to spawn on your head in the middle of a conversation. It wouldn't be so bad if there was a 30 second delay so you could get into position. Near the end of the quest line I was actually surprised when any step didn't end in an ambush. Wait? I was able to talk to the NPC and 30 Zirax didn't jump out of the walls?

    Also the rewards are basically non-existent. Certainly not enough for me to want to do them again in a future playthrough.
     
    #15
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  16. Paganizer

    Paganizer Commander

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    As already mentoined. Quests a nice, but you very easily end up doing the different parts "out of sync". In "Offworld grave" I started stripping each section of the ships before I had done a fly-by of them all.. So had to manually complete 3-4 parts of that questline. Quest system is just to rigid. I don't know how to solve that issue, but at some point, when you can't manually complete parts, it's gonna be an issue.

    Same quest. The zirax bombers were impossible to deal with in an SV without autotargeting. They were zooming all over. Ended up just leaving them for later until I had a CV or homing rockets.

    " the Xenu Mainframe did a Self Destruct and i could not activate the Teleporter because there is no Power after the Self Destruct" - Same happened to me :)
     
    #16
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2020
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  17. Brimstone

    Brimstone Rear Admiral

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    My own experience is echoed in the thread on what you wished you knew at the start... the drone really needs to feature in the Robinson Protocol. Let's save new players some heartache...
     
    #17
  18. StyxAnnihilator

    StyxAnnihilator Captain

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    One thing I find horrible, are the dialogues, keep clicking and clicking. Should be a "jump to last".

    Also some mission steps should not be able to do before others have been done. Like the Titan and finding consoles to interact with. (do not remember the name of the mission).
     
    #18
  19. Hummel-o-War

    Hummel-o-War Administrator
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    Complaining about not being able to skip dialogues in the STORY feedback thread. ehm.. .lol? :D (Or did i get something wrong?)

    Most of the times it is not possible to 100% make sure the order is right. But if you find the consoles earlier, this should not break the PDA at all.
     
    #19
  20. TrashMan

    TrashMan Commander

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    Agreed on all of this
     
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