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Player jetpacks vs. hover vessels The sense of scale in this game has always been weird to me. When I started out back before having any talents, the world felt very big, and very mysterious. In this, a sense of immersion was there, not knowing what was over the hill in front of me, while also taking a long time to get there. This, of course, is no longer there in much manner. Currently, the idea of a hover vessel is entirely overshadowed by a player's two feet (and a jetpack sprint), for literally any purpose other than short-distance lugging of some resources early game. Especially with a maxed out jetpack-sprint talent, you move at 81km/h, which is literally faster than a hovercraft that's trying to stay safe. Additionally, players can jump extremely high with the use of a jetpack, with an oversimplified "refresh" method. Side note, but a better method is how Empyrion Galactic Survival does jetpacks. Google it Due to these very simple, but highly underbalanced features, the sense of scale, immersion, and a need for hovercrafts is broken (as mentioned before). Therefore, buildings and ships feel much smaller, planets feel much smaller, to the point where even a kilometer feels much smaller (a KM in the real world takes a while, even in a car!). To fix this issue, of player movement being comparable to a hover craft, I suggest 2 major changes. First, remove the double tap sprint* (in this, of course reimburse the players that have it upgraded). It's quite confusing to have 2 different sprints, and on top, one that is objectively better than the other for literally all purposes but immersion. Removing this alone makes need for a ship of some form a lot more valuable (including slowing progression in a sense). My second suggestion regarding player jetpacks is to simply make the jetpacks very similar to Empyrion. *Double tap sprint would just enable the normal sprint instead. Mobility Part 2: Electric Boogaloo Let's talk engineering and aerodynamics! The second part of this post I wanted to direct attention to the engineering side of the game. There's 2 major problems within the game's progression and ship construction, of which stem from 1 major issue: calculations for proper center of lift, lift itself, are not very advanced. The first of the two reasons for needing this is that hovercrafts, the most simple form of ship design, as well as normal omni-directional thrust space ships are almost extinct, due to literally being able to slap some wings on them and call it good. While of course the major downsides of a change such as this would be scrapping a lot of designs that rely on wings to function, I see a lot more major upsides for at least me personally (and I'm sure others will agree with me). First, ships that want to use aerodynamics (and wings) will have to prioritize proper shape, to optimize the amount of lift (and where the lift is located), will need to go through more rigorous engineering, and give more meaning to each ship crafted. Due to this, planes will be a specific market, of which space ships (without wings), and hover crafts will once again have a purpose due to being more simple to engineer. Additionally, anti-gravity will be even more valuable to larger vessels, due to air-space maneuvers being much more difficult, and requiring more skilled piloting to do normally. Continuing on, a better marketing image for the game, as well as an interest from the space ship engineering side of the community, would most likely arise from this. Due to the changes in how well crafted ships have to be, each ship will have a higher chance of looking more believable, and help with both marketing of the game (in luring people interested in aerospace engineering), and of course immersion. Lastly, major changes to ship progression within the game. This is because it would make each ship's thought toward the engineering side more pronounced, will make the progress slower, and for a lot of people more interesting and fun. Making your first proper plane will be an accomplishment, and if done right very rewarding (achievement tree for this stuff maybe?). On a side note, similar problems that this change would highlight would be the flight model, which doesn't work very well for omni-directional thrusters, due to not having automatic dampening against gravity (see most other space piloting games, one of the best examples would be the flight model of Elite Dangerous for this matter imo). What I would like to see specifically change to how wings and aerodynamics works is very similar to how Kerbal Space Program (and actual aero physics work). Firstly, surface area for not only drag purposes, but also rotational purposes would be appreciated. The way this would work, is that you have pre-baked model wings to work with (of which are literally just props), but additionally have "ailerons", or a more simple name "control surfaces", of which are controlled using yaw/pitch/roll depending on how they are set, and help control your vessel. While of course on their own, these mechanics don't really make sense in the current model, as aerodynamics don't exist (past drag), adding proper use for the cross sections of ships, as well as the aforementioned player-built wings, and pre-baked control surfaces, of which depending on how they are animated (extended, retracted, inverted extended) will apply to the cross section differently, would have 1 major effect. Due to the sudden change in the "air current" on one side compared to the other in terms of center of mass, and the surfaces seen (such as a control surface extended), would rotate the craft accordingly. Going "too fast", and turning suddenly would create a sudden increase in lots of drag, of which of course would in turn rotate the ship, as well as not only (potentially) damage elements (due to drag and high G forces), but also decelerate the ship, causing it to fall, and also cause the player to lose control of the vessel, if they are not skilled enough. High stakes KSP, OUCH! The final change that this would make is changes to air brakes, to become directional. First, I must preface this as "only if omni-directional thrust flight model is fixed". If it is not, this feature will make the game too difficult to actually brake properly not in a plane. Since by themselves, air brakes only increase the amount of surface area of the plane, proper placement would be necessary to make them functional. The proper mechanic here would be more that they extend and retract, and the drag mechanic does the rest. Of course, their "goodness" is still given in a different quantity (surface area when extended) as a stat. When piloting a plane, a player will have to use a combination of both braking properly to not decelerate too much to drop out of the sky, while also using drag of the wings to "skip in the air" (pull up, dive, repeat), to both glide with efficiency, as well as land. Good piloting will of course be required with this feature. Did I mention that already? The final change I'd make is indirect with the topic of aerodynamics, but more simply to do with space brakes. Since air brakes require more knowledge to use, a similar amount of thought should be put forward to make space brakes omni-directional, and apply thrust only where they are facing, of course the angled ones would also provide braking force to those directions as well. Conclusion While of course this post is 2 pronged, the first being the player jetpacks, the second being construct engineering, I felt that the topics combined in a way that they merited being in the same post. I hope that you enjoyed reading the post, as much as you hopefully want these feature changes in the game.
Greetings. I'm fresh in after watching the gameplay video, and reading around a bit here - and digesting it for a couple of days for good measure. I'd like to share my impressions with you all, as probably everyone else does, since there's precious little else to do with this game as of yet. First off, what I liked: The scale. The sheer scale and the level of detail, with seemingly free curves, angles and block sizes, which leaves me to believe it's possible to build near-perfectly detailed smooth-surfaces, as opposed to what any other building game allows the player: Meaning, be stuck with 1 (or in an extreme case 3) meter sized blocks, and jagged slopes if you want a curve or a flat angle. That is amazing, and so is the thought of an eight kilometer long structure that doesn't wreck the game into 1FPS hell, especially since guess how long is an Imperial Retribution Class Battleship? You guessed it. Eight kilometers, plus ramming spike. And here I am stuck for the past couple of years, begrudgingly yet lovingly building a 1:7 scale bastardized mini-replica in Starmade, all the while wishing it was 1:1, better detailed, and not pixelated. However, for that to work, prefabricated blocks (a.k.a. cockpits, thrusters, weapons) NEED to change; So far the current system merely seems to be copyin what Space Engineers does, yet their method was faulty to beging with: No matter how well detailed and good looking prefabs you add to the game, and no matter how many varieties, they can't fit every design: Clearly, what tech we see now would have no place on a voidship from Warhammer: 40.000, or for that matter Stargate, Star Trek, Star Wars, or any other franchise, or any even partially talented builder's own designs. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- What NEEDS to happen, is the ability to build custom prefabs in-game, just like building the ship itself, then assigning functions to them through some menu, marking attachment and animation points, etc, so everyone can have the perfect part that perfectly fits the vessel he likes, and not just one general, bland sci-fi design! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- That one is important. If nothing else happens until release, it needs to be made a reality, unless you're fine simply aping Space Engineers. .... And with that done, we reach the cause of my wariness. The game's nature as an MMO, and it's planned payment mode-OHGODNOTANOTHERONEOFTHOSEPOSTS!!!!!!!!! Bear with me please. I'll try to make it entertaining. -MMOs lock everyone together. Smaller private servers allow for replicas of Different universes, different ways of playing, or gatherings of people with different mindsets. Lock all that together, and you unleash all the horror of every "which faction would win in a cross-franchise battle" forum flamewar ever written in the history of the internet, with all the grief attached to it. And, there'll be no way to avoid the kind of players you'd rather not mingle with; Did you spend 300 hours lovingly building a masterpiece? Tough luck when the powergamers fly in with their literally 8-polygon cubeships and manage to trash it because they didn't waste space on something as trivial as accurately replicated interiors. Does your six year old son enjoy flying the very first, and superest spaceship he ever built? It's like 20 blocks long, and looks like a clay dinosaur someone stepped on, but oh the innocent fun he's having! However, that smile will quickly turn into disappointment when cannon shells a thousand times larger than his ship start raining in from fifty-thousand meters, or just, more prosaically, encounters his first really sick griefer, (Don't get me wrong, I firmly believe we grow through pain, and no child should be pampered, but neither should we expect the little ones to face all the evils such an online community can throw at them all at once.) What I'm saying is: Smaller, dedicated servers are better, with closer communities, which in turn are closer to the people running the show, thus are better served, and better able to find a virtual home they can enjoy themselves the way they want. That was the reason against a centralized server. Now for the dirty financials: I personally think it's robbery to pay a monthly fee. I can buy the things I like, and then they'll be mine forever, or at least until they decompose. Buying a game once, then having to pay ANY fee just so I can keep accessing it is the definition of evil, and the lazy company's way of getting rich. -Some idiots who think they can act all cool and cinycal write stuff like "yeah, how dare they ask money for their product" Which is BS and makes you sound retarded. I'm perfectly fine paying for the product ONCE, as they deserve it. I'm also willing to pay for an expansion, as that has a fair amount of work put into it, and as such, has worth. What doesn't have worth, is not pulling the plug from the server, and waiting for your paycheck. -Some people say it takes money to run the servers. It does, but take the initial price of the game, say 60 Eur for an AAA title. Most companies go rich simply by selling a succesful game. Some companies even turn some of that money back into the game, and keep releasing patches and content for their game out of love, duty, and for making you interested in buying an expansion or a sequel. Take then, say 15 Eur a month sub fee. Sell just a million copies. That's ( 1KK x 60 ) + ( 1KK x 15 ) if everyone only ever just pays for a single month and quits. That's 75 million euros. That alone is enough to pay a decent salary for all your employees, cover your expenses, buy and maintain your own server park and keep a decent profit for the rest of all the lives of everyone involved. For the next 20 years, which is an extremely long time both for a game to still be played and for a studio that doesn't disband not to secure another round of income, these costs become less than trivial. There can be only two reasons for this amount not being enough: - Attempting to run a space program, or being greedy. But surely not everyone quits after one month? And the income keeps racking up. But, as I've said, I don't even want their servers. I'd run my own as long as I'm interested. As would countless others. Boom, no server costs, no maintenance for the company. Just keep patching for a year or two until things become solid enough to call truly finished. (Hells, a finished game on release day is a far off dream these days.......) That's all there is to it. They don't need your monthly payment to keep the operation running. They just want it. Take WoW for example: Their players pay their monthly sub fee, yet still have to pay full Tripple-A price for every expansion that comes out. Boom, double profits. Next point. Some of you believe, and even the dev blog claims, a P2P system with a monthly subscription fee protects the player more because..... reasons? In a truly F2P game, yeah, any moron can grief away with dozens of new accounts every day, true. But how does a monthly fee offer more deterrence from bannable behaviour than a buy once model? I already don't want to lose access to what I bought once, can I somehow don't want it more? I understand I would have spent more money on it, but in exchange for that money I received playtime, which I used up, and is impossible to take away without a brainwash, even if the account itself is lost forever. After a while you'll max out either way, and it can't take that long to start anew from scratch once you know how the game works. So I either care or I don't. There are no further magnitudes. And that's a true cause to worry about: Evil people write dev blogs like that, and stupid people believe them. Edit: Almost forgotten last point: In the end, it doesn't even matter what kind of payment model You, I, the next fellow, or the company want: Name a monthly-sub MMO that isn't WoW or EVE and didn't vanish or become F2P, because most of the people willing to be robbed monthly got hooked on those two way back when it was new and hip - And the only reason they won't quit, because that'd make a lie of their past 10 years and probably prompt some dark deeds now. Probably some fresh and sustainable MMOs exist out there with a P2P model, but I sure as hell am unaware of them. TLDR: -Exbawkshueg. Yay! -Let players build custom prefabs in-game! -Custom private servers cater to different needs and negate server costs for dev. company. Like Starmade. -P2P is bad 4 u, phat lewt for company. You stooooopid if you believe otherwise. -Buy once is decent, respectable. -Yer not WoW, yer not EVE, P2P ye won't succeed.
In the kickstart promotion video, at 0.50min, JC mentioning that "you can build anything you want, space ships, cities, orbital stations, there is no limit in size" Jc mentioning here the infinity big, from voxels of 25cm What about the infinity small? or at least smaller than 25cm? NQ is missing something in the building part, 25cm voxels will not allow to build a chair, a table, a lamp, a frame, or any decoration objects, to put in (and in fact the only things you can build) empty space ships, empty cities, and empty orbital stations Its like, think big, look at it from far, and forget about details The content of DU is pretty well thought in global, at the scale of civilisations organisations, but what about in details, at the scale of one player? What will one player see ingame? Very detailed textured mesh based elements stuck on very contrasting flat voxel builds? NQ shouldnt forget who will pay and play, who they are targeting when they talk to builders and coders, to lot of people who spend their days on 3d modeling softwares pushing the latest technologies, day by day, making scenes more and more realistic that you cant make anymore the difference. I m talking about gamers who are also architects, interior designers, industrial designers, graphic designers, CG artists, animators, developpers, coders etc... Is DU going to be the game for gamers who grew up with 1m3 blocks in minecraft, who got maturity now to play with 0.25m3 voxels? NO right?! DU isnt based on java and still have a bit more than 2 years of development And i think the community should keep in mind to push further and further the possibilties of the building tool of DU to make it the greatest sandbox of all times