More Feedback, Another Player Perspective


#1

Now that I’ve finally gotten a chance to get into GSB2 in some depth, here are my thoughts. I’ve divided them into Presentation (graphics, UI, sounds and so forth) and Mechanics (actual gameplay) for ease of reading. Apparent bugs and general peculiarities will not be included here, as they belong elsewhere on the forums.

All the points below are intended as constructive criticism only, in the effort to make GSB2’s full release as successful as it can be. :slight_smile:

And here we go …

Presentation

I want to toss my support behind the notion of having a default visual appearance for each hull. While I am enjoying the customizer, the fact is that part of what drew me into GSB1 in the first place was that inside of ten minutes, I’d designed half a dozen ships and was already blowing stuff up. Visual customization is terrific, but it plays better as something you can do, rather than but thou must. (And for those like me who want the ships to look as awesome as possible, it is definitely but thou must.) Default appearance also means that any challenges posted by players who don’t particularly care about the visuals will still look good.

Side note on customizing ships: The ability to slide components underneath the main hull would be appreciated. (Specifically, on the Nixon fighter hull, I could not get any wings that actually looked attached. If I could slip the wings just under the hull, it would look a lot better.)

I also agree that the first battlefield (Atterion III) is kind of busy for what should be the kiddie end of the pool. I think the combat size is perfect, but all the asteroids and what-have-you is really distracting if you’re not used to it. The extra “terrain” features should be eased into as the player advances through the core missions.

Another terrain thought: The nebula on Paleovost IX (third scenario) is thick enough that tracking the ships is quite difficult. I like the concept of having some bits of nebula for the ships to pass under, but it may need to be thinned out a little to avoid interfering with the best part of the game: watching ships go a-splode in gratuitous color! :wink:

Zoom factor: This needs some adjustment. Especially on the second battle (Yamaxxia Prime), the camera is zoomed in way too far (to the point that as the voiceover says “Enemy fleet detected”, my ships jump in filling my entire screen). Especially with long-range weapons in play, this makes the battle incredibly hard to track - the target of my missile launchers is almost invariably off the screen if I’m set on the ship doing the shooting.

Module descriptions: These need some more detail. For example, the Recon Projector System: I can see this is a support beam, but there is no indication of exactly what it supports. The Shield Support Beams and Propulsion Beam I can figure out from the name, but a bit more detail in the description there would also not be amiss. The Combat Tractor is another extremely vague module.

Very small thing: I might suggest instead of “Warhead” the term “Payload” be used, or even just “Damage Type” or something similar. It is a bit jarring to look at a beam laser to check what kind of warhead it has. :wink:

Mechanics

Dreadnoughts: As mentioned elsewhere in the forums, dreadnoughts don’t really feel “special” to me as is. The measures already mentioned work well to my mind, so I will just say this: Dreadnoughts should be scary. If my dread’s turrets lock on an enemy ship, the crew of that ship should be scrambling for the lifepods. (Or at least for the head, to clean themselves up.)

Camouflage Shield: After unlocking this module, I decided to make a stealth cruiser. I deployed a few of them on Atterion III to see how they worked, and … they jumped in, remained visible, and started tossing out gunfire. Assuming the camouflage shield works similarly to GSB1 (cloak, get into range, decloak and go to town), cruisers need some shorter-range weaponry and/or guns that fire from under camouflage. (Admittedly, I haven’t gotten everything unlocked and investigated yet, so it’s possible such weapons are still waiting at R&D.) The notion of a cruiser that silently, invisibly sails into the enemy’s face, then pops up to hand out some explosive love notes before vanishing again, is really what camouflage is all about.

Honor unlocks: I agree that some of the costs appear pretty low, particularly given the huge budgets of many of the missions (and the large volume of honor that can theoretically be achieved from them). There also seem to be some … oddities … in how the costs are assigned. (The Combat Tractor Beam has an unlock of 1,250, while the Heavy Combat Tractor Beam is sitting at 600.) Just food for thought.


#2

A couple of rather niggling points, which are starting to grate ever-so-slightly:

Presentation

In the design screen, is it possible to reorganize the weapons to group them by type? In GSB1 there was a sequence: beams, bullets, missiles, plasma, miscellaneous. That makes it a great deal easier to choose which type of beam I want to use when they are clustered together than when I have to spend time hunting through the list for them. The new icons help somewhat, but grouping would make it a lot easier to tell what the options are.

When admitting defeat, can there be an option to go back to the deployment screen rather than all the way back to the main menu? Most of the time when I abandon a fight in the middle it’s because I want to tweak my deployment and try again.


#3

Agreed. One good way to implement this could be a default appearance but a button that can be pressed (“Reset to base hull”) - for people that DO want to design their ship visually from the ground up.


#4

One more strong bit of feedback because it’s already caught me three or four times:

In the research screen, if a module is race-restricted, its description and/or stats block needs to say that. I haven’t unlocked any of the races beyond Terran (I have the honor, I just haven’t finished playing around with the Terrans yet), so I’ve now spent honor on several modules I can’t actually use. Very off-putting.


#5

Fixed in version 1.17!

as are some of the others…but also some fantastic feedback here. I shall work through this list today…and tomorrow…and…errr… :smiley:


#6

I’ll change the default value in the next build, but in the meantime, you can edit OPTIONS_MINZOOM in config.txt (in My Documents\My Games\Gratuitou Space Battles2)

There isn’t a way for a patch to change that value so you will have to change it manually if you have an existing install…


#7

Thankfully, this is the same as GSB1, so I knew where to go and change it. But yeah, a wider default zoom is all I ask. :slight_smile:


#8

perhaps you could include an option in the options menu that changes that value?


#9

Thumbs up to this!


#10

Okay, a few more points that have come up for me while doodling around with the beta:

Presentation

I miss the Victory! fanfare from GSB1. Functionally, because it provides a clear division of when the battle has been decided (the current grey Victory! popup doesn’t catch my eye, even in the middle of the screen); and instinctively, because a victory should have a triumphant fanfare. (I feel much the same way about the Defeat! music as well, but I haven’t hit a Defeat! screen yet in GSB2.)

Battle Size: While massive, sprawling battles are definitely gratuitous and cool, I find it is near-impossible to fine-tune strategies from watching the battle play out; there’s just too much going on. Plus, quite frankly, after a few giant battles, they all start feeling the same. I’d like to see more small/medium/large battles (the 40K/80 pilot type so common in GSB1), particularly in the earlier scenarios, leading all the way up to a few huge slugfests with hundreds and hundreds of fighters/gunships, scores of frigates/destroyers, and dozens of cruisers/dreadnoughts. I know that, for instance, after the “official” scenarios of GSB1, the giant battlefields of the Praetorian Industries mod felt epic. The ones in GSB2 so far, don’t, and I think it’s because you get tossed right into them with no buildup.


#11

And a bit more feedback from my brain.

Presentation

I am fairly sure I’ve seen this point elsewhere in the forums, but the slot positions on some of the ships in the design screen have got to be adjusted. In playing around with the Y’ootani, I had to directly edit a ship file using the Blackbeard dreadnought hull to get a particular weapon into a slot (slot 25, for reference). If it wasn’t for my experience modding with GSB1, I wouldn’t have known how to pull it off, or even that it could be done that way. Also, I just gave up on a Sundance dreadnought because I absolutely could not get a module (any module) into the hardpoints along the centerline (with 360 degree fire, making them highly valuable).

I don’t know if the slot sizes need to be reduced, or maybe they just need positioned further apart. I’d like to see all the slots far enough away that I can hover over each hardpoint and see only the arc of fire for that hardpoint instead of two or three arcs of hardpoints clustered together (an inability to do this is what made me give up on the Sundance).

Mechanics

Regarding gunships, one thing has jumped out at me - all twelve gunship hulls, regardless of race, have exactly the same configuration (2 hardpoints, 5 standard slots). As a result, even with the divergent bonuses, all the gunships I’ve designed so far look and play precisely the same way. I’m not suggesting the number of slots should vary all over the place, but more variety makes the hull class more interesting. For example, part of why the Empire’s fighter forces in GSB1 were so powerfully “meh” was that they all had 1 hardpoint, 2 standards. It takes some massive differences in bonuses to keep different hulls of the same configuration feeling relevant, even more so when they are among the smaller hulls.

And having hulls within the same race that have bonuses all over the place feels very disconnected (e.g., if hull A has a speed bonus and power bonus, hull B has an armor bonus and speed penalty, and hull C has just a targeting bonus, there’s really no feel of a coherent fleet at all). Varying the slot configurations somewhat is a powerful tool in making the different hulls play to different strengths while still feeling like they come from the same shop.

I would like to see perhaps most of the races have a gunship with only 4 standard slots (cheaper by default, but more restricted in potential loadouts), and perhaps someone to have one with 3 hardpoints (perhaps the Kraugerisk, as they have the only multi-hardpoint fighter hull).