Currently, a player can make an excellent, small, fleet. Then win a single mission and unlock a vast plethora of upgrades with the huge honour reward.
Each mission has specific upgrades unlockable by completing it.
For example: Defending Sirius -> Cruiser Minimal Armour, ECM Shield, Frigate Armour 3
So the player completes the mission in normal and hard. He earns enough honour to buy two of the upgrades. Then, using upgrades from later missions, he returns and achieves more honour and buys the third upgrade.
This can be emphasized to the extreme. New players begin with only Frigates and Fighters and a minimal selection of modules. Oh no! Expert difficulty on mission 1 is too difficult. My Frigates and Fighters cannot succeed! So the player tries the next mission, progressively gaining upgrades until he feels he can return and conquer the expert difficulty. The player must carefully choose upgrades to assist his conquering of each mission.
This method will: Help to resolve players completing missions on all difficulties before moving on to the next. Thus all races are not unlocked at the same time.
Prevent players from unlocking most of the upgrades via a couple of small fleet, high honour victories.
Create a stronger feel of progression and reward, greatly needed given the lack of a story mode.
Prevent a ‘one strategy fits all’ fleet until many missions have been completed. The game designer knows what upgrades are likely to be
available to a player at each stage. Expert difficulty can be intentionally too difficult, if upgrades from later missions have not been obtained.
Allow for control over how difficult a particular upgrade is to obtain.
This method requires: Reworking the existing mission deployments to create suitable fleets for the player to face.
Assignment of honour to individual missions.
Assignment of upgrades to individual missions.
Deciding on an initial availability of ships and modules. Then locking the rest and assigning them to missions.
Cruisers need to become an unlockable. Indeed, why not have most specific hulls as unlockables?
It’d be less overwhelming for the new player to have less hulls and items available at the start.
It would also teach them that frigates are actually useful (I suspect most people, like me, went straight for the big cruisers, only learning much later how useful frigates can be)
Getting to play with the Big Ships would feel way cooler, if you had to play with a bunch of small ships for a few missions first
Taking down those cruisers in the tutorial mission felt ‘epic’ to me. It would’ve been even more so if I’d had to do it with frigates (hmm, sounds like an excuse to trash my data files and replay the missions, with self imposed limits )
One comparatively simple way to implement a basic form of this, would be to make people invest honour points to increase their ‘maximum ship length’.
Indeed - we’ve had precisely this debate before, but it deserves to be brought up again. In that spirit, here’s what I posted last time - my opinion has not changed, save that hulls and races could also be honor unlocks just like modules:
but choosing WHAT to unlock with your honor is part of the strategy, isn’t it? The only thing i don’t understand about honor is why it’s called that. Shouldn’t you earn money or something? I dunno, just a suggestion…
I have long toyed with the idea of scrapping the current system for unlocking races and making it honour based instead. The main problem with this is that you need to set up a system where the really really good players don’t feel like it’s too easy, but absolutely 100% prevent more casual players from being stuck unable to unlock those other races.
Maybe a hybrid system where the races unlock after you beat all the missions anyway, but you can unlock them earlier by spending points…
The really really good players will feel a greater sense of reward, when they defeat expert missions with a lot less upgrades and unlocks than other people.
The more casual players can continue completing missions in Normal and get enough unlocks to complete the more difficult missions more easily.
If you want 100% certainty that casual players can succeed, then you need to improve the current system. You need to make it so that the player becomes more and more powerful on a endless scale. You haven’t implemented that yet. At the moment casual players may never unlock all the races, based on what you just wrote.
A hybrid method of unlocks will work, but I still implore you to implement a much stronger game progression. Take all RTS games for an example. The single player progressively introduces the buildings and units over time. It’s never a case of unlocking the best/most powerful things first from a list of everything you can get in the game, already revealed to the player. At the moment, there’s no playing to find out what you will get next. No graceful introduction of game concepts or basic strategies.
Hi there i was just going to make a new topic on this subject lol
Anyhow after only having the beta for one day I noticed that you are given almost all the hull types(never mind the new races hulls) and nearly all the items straight away.
It would have been more fun to earn most of these hulls and items by completing missions rather than be given nearly all of them straight away and be a lot less confusing.
This game reminds me more of rollercoster tycoon game rather than any other as you design and build up something then see how it works then modify it to the best you can, But unlike rollercoaster tycoon in GSB you are given nearly everything at the start. Its almost like your playing in sandbox mode instead of the campaigns or challenges, in rollercoster tycoon at the start you have a few rides and coaster designs and need to wait for the rest. This brings excitement and anticipation into the game.
What i think you should do is remove all the hulls and equipment that new players can access at the start except for a fighter hull or two and a frigate hull and make more missions, with each mission you earn a new hull and some new equipment is opened to be bought in the HQ.
What i mean by opened is that some equipment should be blacked out and should only be opened when you complete a mission and then ready to be bought with honour points.
This means that over time new hulls and equipment is shown to you and becomes available.
Also I read that after completing the missions on normal you get to unlock a new race or such, well how about this i noticed that there are three main races(there could be more have not noted any yet other than a rabbit hull) and you have three difficulty settings.
Simply when you complete each mission on each difficulty you get a new hull type for each of the different races one for each difficulty. One hull per mission, one races type per difficulty, three hulls in total.
Lastly and sorry for the length of this thing ill try and cut it down a but when i finish writing but if you do end up making more missions please have all hulls and nearly all equipment at least 3-5 missions before the end so you get to play with nearly every hull type and equipment for 3-5 more missions.
Whoo Thanks for reading that…unless you skipped to the end heh.
Yeah. I agree on that the amount of available hulls and items should be reduced on the start because I don’t really understand why I would pick a longer frigate over shorter frigate when both have same amount of weapon slots and standard slots available and both have that kind of boosts which don’t benefit my design idea at all. Isn’t it so that the smaller the ship, harder it is to hit?
I would like it too if there were unlockable hull types which would open when you progress in the campaign or which you could unlock with your earned honor points.
well, i kind of agree with the hybrid idea, but be sure to let the players who bought the game before to keep what they have gotten. I first had 1.14, but then almost all the modules i unlocked were locked again in 1.15. I don’t want that to be the case again.
I agree with many of these ideas. Here is what I posted on Cliffski’s blog:
I only recently bought this game and am very satisfied with it, but this issue did become apparent to me, and I have been pondering it the last couple of days. I enjoy really pushing the limits and after replaying just a couple of missions on expert a dozen times, I had way more honor than I ever could use.
One thing to consider from the perspective of a hardcore player, is that having so many hulls and modules available from the start compelled me to spend hours designing ships before I could really enjoy some gratuitous battles. Therefore, I would certainly encourage more hulls and modules to be locked at the start.
You are right that for some players it is too easy to get honor, but we don’t want to honor starve the casual player. The answer might be to reformulate how one earns honor so that there is diminishing returns for how much under-budget you can get. I also think that the percent of fleet surviving should enter the calculation so that winning with few casualties is more honor than winning with one ship standing. To achieve these goals mathematically, I recommend using a logarithmic function on the budget difference and just multipling the result by the percent surviving.
As for the race issue, I think all the races should be unlocked from the start, but lock the missions, hulls, and modules for each race independently. All honor gained playing under one race would be usable only for that race. Basically, its having four independent game progressions to work on so noone will get bored playing one race continously.
Adding superflous things to spend honor on wouldn’t hurt any, but the suggested mathematical function would be a clever way to normalize honor gains among players of all skill levels.
JediTony: I absolutely agree with your idea of having all the races unlocked at the start - with most of their hulls etc locked. I’m not so sure about independently locking the missions though. But only because the four races are currently so similar to each other in terms of modules and weaponry. Completing the game four times over with rather similar races would feel like playing single player through on a old beat-em-up. A series of fights against the same old characters, with mine being a little different to last time. BUT! It’s true that to lock a lot more stuff at the start will require more missions, in order to provide enough honour with a reasonable game progression rate.
I’m sure that I’m rehashing a bunch of previous ideas but I figure this is a beta so I can toss my $.02 in.
As for the honor unlocks, I like the idea of greatly reducing the amount of items the player starts with. I’d be willing to start from a clean slate if that’s what it took. As it is now it seems like the majority of the modules that one would use start unlocked, and the player really only focuses on unlocking superfluous modules that are used in very specialized situations (e.g. Decoy missile launchers, cruiser lightweight armor, etc.). Why start the player with Cruiser armor I-III? The player could start with Cruiser Armor I, some basic modules, and have to work to unlock things the other things that he or she wanted to go for. This has the benefits of giving the player more of a sense of accomplishment and allowing the players time to get familiar with the different components. As it stands now I still don’t quite understand the differences in the various modules.
Also JediTony has a pretty good idea. The idea of having four separate “campaigns” (for lack of a better word) seems like a good one.
But I must say, with all this said, the game is amazing. I think you’ve done an amazingly good job, and I look forward to playing the game for a while. It’s perfect for the hardcore strategy gamer because you can tweak a fleet lay out pretty much indefinitely. Everything I personally, and I’m sure the same goes for most people here, am posting is just ideas on how to make 99.9% pure gold 100%. Thanks for giving me a great game that I can run on my bottom of the barrel laptop (with everything set to max by the way) in Korea while I work on lesson plans/correct homework.