Starting tool rebalence/multi-tool upgrade?

Discussion in 'Experimental Features Discussion' started by Kronoss, Nov 6, 2019.

  1. Albert

    Albert Lieutenant

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    Being able to figure out how a game works, is not a gameplay mechanic. It's a frustration lol like @Ambaire stated, the game is very unintuitive. I have been playing since late 2015 or early 2016, and so I have seen the updates happen and know how things work as a result.

    If I was to just pick up the game today and play it for the first time, I would probably return it before my 2 steam hours were up because everything is so unintuitive and I wouldn't know how things work. I love the game, but wish mechanics were explained so that actual gameplay could be improved.
     
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  2. Ambaire

    Ambaire Captain

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    @Kassonnade if you'd like an example of a long time player on the opposite end of the 'skill' spectrum, see this post by sillyrobot that I replied to a few days ago: https://empyriononline.com/threads/not-a-lot-of-survival-left-in-egs.49829/page-4#post-372901

    All this stuff that the 'vets' would like better / more 'challenging', some would consider completely insurmountable. And casuals probably outnumber the rest by a significant fraction. The question becomes how to make easy/normal/hard difficulties more nuanced rather than straight up <insert words here>.

    The game definitely needs a much better tutorial system. I believe that the 'advanced wreckage base start' that the planet picker recommends for advanced players would actually be better for newbies, and the drop pod start better for advanced players.
     
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  3. Kassonnade

    Kassonnade Rear Admiral

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    That's exactly the point. Eleon needs new sales to continue development, and the easier start is there to retain these new players, at least until they manage to get a more fine-tuned tutorial for beginners. There were some suggestions for that already, like making a standalone "tutorial" mode with all modules explained, with only 1 task to learn at a time, and things like that.

    Yes, I remember that, and Sillyrobot mentions this regularly. In fact this is also a problem for most younger players, since playing Empyrion gets closer to doing homeworks than "play".

    I have heard many good things about @ravien_ff scenario, "Project Eden", and how to make the game much more enjoyable for survivalists and veterans. Experimental is mainly to give feedback on new features and integration with older features, and less about balance and general gameplay, so I would recommend players to give that scenario a try to see how Empyrion can already be tweaked to satisfy even the hardcore players, even in this alpha stage.
     
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  4. imlarry425

    imlarry425 Commander

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    Agreed, in my experience it's a frustration when it isn't intuitive when I assume it will be- thinking that leaving decaying food in the fridge was the cause of all the food going bad vs a bug with power distribution, spending three months making sure my hand built SV's had the engine thrust run through the center of mass of the ship to maximize efficiency when it didn't matter, if I stick my head into a base and then back out my partner can waltz in and go full John Wick on the Zirax who are waiting for me to return etc.... all that stuff ends up feeling like a betrayal that I took on (the devs didn't ask me to) when there isn't anything to indicate otherwise.

    On the other hand having something play out the way you should have known it would is a payoff as far exploring the game being it's own reward. Knowing that "if I do X then Y will always happen" sucks a lot of the fun out.
     
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  5. Ambaire

    Ambaire Captain

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    One thing I would like to bring up is how building stuff could be made more intuitive. First selecting a rotation axis and then moving it counter/clockwise in regard to that axis is very awkward. I would much prefer a system like how Space Engineers does it, with 6 controls, each relative to how you're looking at the block, rotating around the X, Y, and Z axes. Would actually need 8 controls since there's one for shift up/down, but it would still work much better and more intuitively.
     
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  6. Ambaire

    Ambaire Captain

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    The new AI should permit the Zirax to follow you out of the base. Does it not?
     
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  7. Albert

    Albert Lieutenant

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    I love project Eden. It's got several starting planets, each with their own unique starts and challenges. Highly recommend trying it if you have not
     
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  8. Kassonnade

    Kassonnade Rear Admiral

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    The logistics interface is another very unintuitive feature that new players struggle with. Players begin with a very simple and straightforward system for crafting : put stuff in top slots of constructor, call orders in bottom slots, and finished products appear in the middle slots. First they learn that with the suit constructor, then with the portable constructor.

    It seems simple for us, but even that is a little complex for brand new players, that have to check the various tabs on top of constructors to find what is craftable with it, that "intermediary" components will be crafted from primary, explaining the different "shades" of templates, etc. Then when they build their first base (which they have no clue it will attract deadly drones...) and put a first "real" constructor in, the interface changes and they have to build "containers" to be able to use their new constructor.

    That one feature was evidently made for "later game" and advanced players, and could have been delayed a bit. Now it mostly adds more UI cluttering, and with the general trend to reduce players capacity to salvage whole planet's contents this "automation" system (with the cargo extenders... arf) lost a bit of its legitimacy.

    Also, just remembered the whole chain of events and crafting required to get the first armor on, to be able to benefit from the integrated flashlight and jetpack.

    Player follows tutorial >> goes to mine a deposit >> player makes a deep hole, can't get out of it because no armor/ jetpack.

    Just for this one, requiring biofuel for the survival tool would cause a big problem. Right now players can still dig themselves out. That is a very frustrating situation to play for many hours and die stupidly at the bottom of a hole.
     
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  9. geostar1024

    geostar1024 Rear Admiral

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    I don't know, I'd rather not have to reach for 8 different controls when rotating a block. That said, it can take a bit of flipping around to get a block oriented how you need it, especially for blocks that lack any symmetry. I don't currently see a good way of solving this while requiring only a few keys.

    After recognizing that I never use the counter axis choosing and rotation controls, I ended up rebinding change axis to E and rotate clockwise to R, so it ends up being somewhat like the rotation controls in Factorio. I've found that this saves me a lot of time versus using the default keys.

    I mean, the logistics system doesn't claim to add any automation (aside from fewer trips transporting stuff between adjacent structures), does it? However, the switch to using external containers is very good groundwork for eventual automation (as all of that only will need to work with cargo containers rather than also with any device that might have an inventory).

    I think the logistics system would be somewhat easier to get comfortable with if players could use before acquiring a BA. If we had terrain-placeable storage containers that linked to the portable constructor, players would experience the change earlier (making it clear that the survival constructor interface is the odd one out). Or, one could go even further and have the survival constructor be able to link to other inventories too (by default, it's linked to the player's inventory, of course). Then there'd be no mid-game UI change.
     
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  10. Albert

    Albert Lieutenant

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    Once mass/volume/logistics was introduced, I quite playing for about 6-7 months. then I actually took the time to learn it. I am not sure if I even understand it fully yet, but whatever. Definitely needs a more user friendly system lol that's why none of my friends play this game anymore
     
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  11. Kassonnade

    Kassonnade Rear Admiral

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    I only use 2 keys : one for choosing axis rotation, and one to rotate clockwise. Too many bindings for construction, and not enough for ship in-flight management. We need more, or at least some alt-shift bindings.

    It's only an additional set of clicks that could have spared them lots of trouble if they only gave us alternate mouse-select options to transfer stuff via the control panel. As far as "automation" is going right now, we can't even rely on constructors to do their jobs from start to end without one or another problem...

    Just go back and read the original posts by Hummel explaining this. Tell me that new players will enjoy the read, just to be able to build something.

    https://empyriononline.com/threads/a9-logistics-virtual-toolbar-modular-containers.46783/

    If the explanations require a whole page of the forum, it is not what I would qualify as "intuitive".

    And now, add CPU on top of this... :rolleyes:

    Edit : I just can't picture an average player trying to put a CV large blue thruster on the underside of a CV holding on blocks on a planet, at the limit of his wifi connection... then drones show up and a zirax team start hacking the base... and player is going to see red because he's hungry... and it's dinner time so he has to leave the game, and game will save in that state... :eek:
     
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  12. Ambaire

    Ambaire Captain

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    I guess the main problem with Empyrion is that the devs keep adding more and more features and never going back and refining existing stuff that is crudely slapped together. I'm sure the devs 'have plans to refine stuff once it enters ~beta~' but some of this stuff needs to be addressed now. Like, the temperature system is how old now? And still completely 'why does it even work this way / why does/can it change so rapidly'...

    They could have made cargo containers optional but recommended for base/etc constructors and just have a small internal storage for them, giving the option to use the internal storage to begin with and then upgrading to dedicated storage...
     
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  13. Kassonnade

    Kassonnade Rear Admiral

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    So now just put yourself in their shoes 2 minutes. What would you prefer to do, given all what we just discussed : fix and refine all these features we just mentioned, or just tweak the survival tool to use biofuel ?

    Of course, it's much easier to work on the survival tool, isn't it ? And once it will be done, other players will beg them to backpedal and make it easier, while everything else stays untouched. What will they be more inclined to do ?

    Right. And you can see the truth in this simply by reading how many times the same circus happened in the Steam reviews and threads.
     
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  14. Ambaire

    Ambaire Captain

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    I actually haven't read any Steam reviews for it since at least Alpha 6.. suppose it might be interesting.

    The main problem I have with the game right now is how enthusiastically the devs are peddling this CPU nonsense, talking about how it will allow 'specialization' and whatnot, when it's basically just another level system with harsh power penalties for going up a level. Do not want / do not care for, at all.
     
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  15. Kassonnade

    Kassonnade Rear Admiral

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    If we take each feature one by one and dissect it, because of the creative nature of human mind, we will find potential qualities and fun in them, even in a very rough state. But if we look at the whole game and keep history of the development in mind, we have a very different picture.

    It has become an habit to "split" all issues and features in different threads, and it makes it hard for newcomers to find the information they are looking for. And even for experience players, it is a puzzle to find specific information. Imagine if all experienced players would leave the forums so the developers have to answer themselves to all queries. Imagine if THEY had to make all the game's POIs and stock ships, scenarios, etc.
     
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  16. ravien_ff

    ravien_ff Rear Admiral

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    I'm playing around with adding a "beginner" planet to my scenario with a custom tutorial. Base attacks are disabled and the crash site is safe for a kilometer in every direction so players can learn the basics at their own pace.

    Working on a PDA tutorial to teach the various things players need to know their first day. It's a lot to teach someone and I have to balance being in depth with not overloading someone with too much information.

    It's also a lot of work so I might only have the basic part of the tutorial done by the time 10.6 goes public. The rest might have to wait until later.
     
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  17. Ambaire

    Ambaire Captain

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    Here's something hilarious I thought you might like. You know how the game has gone from a flat map with no travel past, to a map with a green boundary, to a curved planet map and then the boundary being 'removed' but still present in the form of the no build/mine zone, right?

    Well, it's still that flat map in case it's not readily obvious, and it's not all that well balanced between equator and poles either. See the image below for details. Despite the pole grid squares visually appearing a quarter of the size of the equator ones, they're all .5km on a side. This means that it takes roughly the same time to travel from ~45 degrees north to the polar area, as it does to travel ~45 degrees north to ~45 south... you'd think it could be a little more evenly arranged.

    Except then you must remember it's still a flat map and that 'tiny' polar region is as big around as the equator is. jfc

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. imlarry425

    imlarry425 Commander

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    They never get that far- John Wick is in there with them. With a pencil.
     
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  19. Kassonnade

    Kassonnade Rear Admiral

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    Maybe you could even have a fixed start in an indestructible POI with a series of locked rooms where players learn one or two tasks at a time, with mandatory completion to unlock the next stage.
     
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  20. Ambaire

    Ambaire Captain

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    And another random thought. Why does every single destructible rock always drop 2 mini rocks, regardless of whether it's tiny or a gigantic spire? leaving aside the random ones that fall through the terrain but it seems we have some bug reports on that so maybe it'll be fixed by alpha 10...

    Apologies for spamming posts but I'm feeling depressed and bored right now so I'm spam refreshing the forums for any new posts that I can reply to. maybe there's something wrong with me
     
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