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Frigidman

The Point of Designing a Cool Ship?

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Have to ask everyone's opinion here (since this is entirely subjective), about why or what do you think is any point to spending the hours and days in designing a neat looking ship, when this game is headed toward more and more open-world PVP? Mentions and murmurs are that safe zones are going to be tuned back as much as they can, with no plans in adding more safe zones because the devs are more interested in galaxy wide warfare, than sustainable well-designed building activities.

 

For the discussion: Try not to attack others opinions on the matter. Try to keep it a healthy discussion, no pvp ;) 

 

So, few points (from my perspective):

 

  • A "death cube" is generally what wins out there.
    • Has maximum blob surface for armor.
    • Game allows it no problem.
    • Requires the least investment in time to get going.
  • A "designed ship" tells all the death cubes 'here is an easy target', because:
    • Someone who spends time designing and building neat ships, generally is not a heavy pvp'r. So they lack the combat skills.
    • A designed ship is never going to be as strong and potent as a blob of voxels with elements and weapons slapped on the side.
  • There are no repercussions to openly attacking others.
    • Its a free for all out there, no rules.
    • No NPC police to enforce anything.
    • No accountability in actions because "its just a game, get over it".
  • The moment you exit safe zones, you are basically committed to losing what you have.
    • So why spend hours/days designing something cool, just to have it thrown away in a minute.
    • Just slap together a death cube, and join the fray and have fun.

 

This leads me to a conclusion that:

 

If a player is a "Builder" type, this game is a complete dead end for them. There is no point to designing anything remotely cool looking, because it will not be effective in combat, and combat is all this game is about. They would be forced to live in a tiny corner, unable to create because of the lack of dwindling finite resources, almost like a leper colony... where the vast majority of players mock them and pick them off if they even try to head out of a safe zone.

 

As a side thought; why would the devs spend any real amount of work making building tools easier, or adding more building customizations and styles... there is no point to using them when the current tools let you slap a blob down and toss elements on it and be on your way.

 

 

In contrast to other games with open pvp (like ED, SC, EVE, general shooters etc):

 

Players are not 'building ships' from scratch (or their character, in a general shooter), having to design them piece by piece with mined resources crafted into items. Everyone has access to the same pre-designed in-game ships that the developers provided. They are already 'pre balanced' by design, and they obviously look cool while still being lethal. The only "build" options are to tweak loadouts. No one loses anything because when they die, they still have those pre-designed ships to head back out in. The only real loss there, is some credits. Not hours of work mining up resources and designing a ship block by block (when a designed ship is always weaker than a deathcube).

 

 

Your thoughts?

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I am waiting to see what kind of territory control mechanics (including space control mechanics) and electronic warfare systems are added to the game before making any judgments. If this civilization building game turns out to be just a pvp arena then it will fail. If builder types cannot create a mostly secure environment for themselves then most builders will leave and most "pvpers" will then leave because they no longer have no easy pickings at the edges of civilization.

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PVP needs to be rebalanced from the ground up.

 

Hit chance needs to be entirely based on the profile of the ship from the angle it's being shot at - not the core size.

 

Vector differences must play a much larger role. 

 

L weapons should have tracking that is pitiful. An L missile should simply be unable to effectively hit a small ship that is changing it's vector.

 

HP of voxels need to be rebalanced from the ground up and not just be weight based. More complicated to make voxels should have benefits over simple to make voxels.

 

A power system needs to be added to further cripple xs ships mounting L weapons - it should be viable to mount upsized guns, but it should come with some serious downsides - IE having to have a ton of capacitors that get drained fully just from a single shot and need time to recharge etc.

 

 

I disagree that building good looking ships for pvp is pointless. It doesn't matter if your cube is shot up or your pretty pirate ship. You're likley going to be scrapping them both and redeploying from BP anyway because fixing voxels currently is too much of a hassle. Easier to scrap and redeploy.

 

The only reason people are doing cubes currently is that there is an advantage for filling the build grid but no penalties.

 

Ultimately a pvp ship that doesn't get hit due to a small profile is better than one that gets hit a bunch but lives - you don't have to fix the ship that never got hit.

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I see it very simple - for now we build nice stuff cause its fun. PvP is not fully implemented, so even said cubes are not probably going to last. NQ will have to do something about that meta because if all the players see are meta ships and all the builders emigrated - this game will have neither graphics nor looks nor gameplay to find audience. Not to mention investment in voxel buildings going to waste. So i'm not worried and waiting for the future. 

Edit: and lets be real - if they make building / playing pacifically / not pvp oriented role unsustainable, i (and probably other people too) will just emigrate to different games. Not the first time, nor the last.

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1 minute ago, Elrood said:

I see it very simple - for now we build nice stuff cause its fun. PvP is not fully implemented, so even said cubes are not probably going to last. NQ will have to do something about that meta because if all the players see are meta ships and all the builders emigrated - this game will have neither graphics nor looks to find audience. Not to mention investment going to waste. So i'm not worried and waiting for the future. 

I am very worried because Worlds Adrift was in a very similar position and things didn't end well for that game despite all the potential it had. 

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14 minutes ago, Mordgier said:

I am very worried because Worlds Adrift was in a very similar position and things didn't end well for that game despite all the potential it had. 

Truth be told i stopped caring about that stuff long time ago.
Boundless, Atlas, World Adrift, Second life, Citadel forged in fire - thats only what i can recall out of my head without even going to steam library - are games with great potential squandered by strange choices and/or inability to make game interesting/playable for wide audience. It won't be first time game will lose me as players. Nor will it be last. This game scratch many itches for me, but i can scratch them just playing few different games. Between minecraft, factorio and odyssey update to ED or this new tie fighter sim, i'm not worried i won't be able to scratch one of the itches this game provide. I will take whatever fun i had and leave taking my cash with me. 

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10 minutes ago, Elrood said:

Truth be told i stopped caring about that stuff long time ago.
Boundless, Atlas, World Adrift, Second life, Citadel forged in fire - thats only what i can recall out of my head without even going to steam library - are games with great potential squandered by strange choices and/or inability to make game interesting/playable for wide audience. It won't be first time game will lose me as players. Nor will it be last. This game scratch many itches for me, but i can scratch them just playing few different games. Between minecraft, factorio and odyssey update to ED or this new tie fighter sim, i'm not worried i won't be able to scratch one of the itches this game provide. I will take whatever fun i had and leave taking my cash with me. 

 

This game does something the others don't though - and that is do all these things in one game. That is very appealing to me - but it must do all of these things well enough to hold players.

 

I think that he mining requirements need to be tweaked - especially just for voxels - and pvp needs to be overhauled for this game to survive. 

 

I'm talking out of my ass here but I would say that if the game doesn't manage to do these things by end of Q2 in 2021 it's going to lose too many players to recover.

 

I personally am committed to playing this on my 3 subs till March 2020 and then seeing if I want to keep going.

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I am in this game to build, period. So how the safe-zone ecosystem turns out, is going to be a deciding factor if I stay or not.

 

As to why. For a builder type the process of creating is just as fun as the process of destroying for PvP'ers. The challenge then is that destroying usually is much faster and easier then creating, resulting in builder types being pushed out of the game.

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I agree with all accounts above.

 

As it stands, trying to 'look to the future', its hard to tell. It already gave me one sleepless night pondering "should I really invest my time here" ... "is this headed the right way". Granted I've got a year sub plunked in, so I'm here for that time. I hope during that time I see movement towards positive vast-audience changes, and less pigeon holing to one demographic. From a business perspective, rounding it out to entice all three kinds of gamers, is a good thing to push for. However, devs have visions too, and its still their baby to do with as they please.

 

In the meantime, our lil org is off building and fiddling around with what the game can do, slowly, cause crafting is a sloowwwasssspaaaaaaiiinnnn ugh ;) 

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IMHO, there is no realistic vision for the game. It makes me sad. The promises are so vague and grand, people see everything in DU. 

 

After six years of dev, the foundations for this game should be done and solid as diamond.

 

You can't build a civilization on a cracked foundation, and this foundation is like a thick soup. If someone told me this game has been in dev for 10 months, I'd believe them. 

 

JC isn't a game designer. He's an ideas person. It's dangerous when someone like that is at the helm, because they have fleshed out exactly 0 real details about how the game will actually function. It is a collection of "great ideas" and "hey wouldn't this be so cool" without a comprehensive plan. A complex project requires a solid foundation. That means knowing exactly what's going to be built on top of it. 

 

The balance between building and PvP should have been hammered down years ago; instead, they seem to be completely winging it

 

Humility is really important in development. Ideas that seem easy rarely are, especially at scale. Everything is soul-crushingly difficult. Being a brilliant roboticist doesn't mean you're going to be a humble leader that listens to designers and engineers that have been down this road countless times. 

 

If anyone remembers Lionshead and their propensity to overpromise...try "Civilization Sandbox". 

 

I do hope NQ can focus and make some definitive progress in the next few months. They need a veteran in the field with fresh perspective that can challenge JC's inexperience and hasn't spent 10,000 hours staring at the game...

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31 minutes ago, michaelk said:

IMHO, there is no realistic vision for the game. It makes me sad. The promises are so vague and grand, people see everything in DU. 

 

After six years of dev, the foundations for this game should be done and solid as diamond.

 

You can't build a civilization on a cracked foundation, and this foundation is like a thick soup. If someone told me this game has been in dev for 10 months, I'd believe them. 

 

JC isn't a game designer. He's an ideas person. It's dangerous when someone like that is at the helm, because they have fleshed out exactly 0 real details about how the game will actually function. It is a collection of "great ideas" and "hey wouldn't this be so cool" without a comprehensive plan. A complex project requires a solid foundation. That means knowing exactly what's going to be built on top of it. 

 

The balance between building and PvP should have been hammered down years ago; instead, they seem to be completely winging it

 

Humility is really important in development. Ideas that seem easy rarely are, especially at scale. Everything is soul-crushingly difficult. Being a brilliant roboticist doesn't mean you're going to be a humble leader that listens to designers and engineers that have been down this road countless times. 

 

If anyone remembers Lionshead and their propensity to overpromise...try "Civilization Sandbox". 

 

I do hope NQ can focus and make some definitive progress in the next few months. They need a veteran in the field with fresh perspective that can challenge JC's inexperience and hasn't spent 10,000 hours staring at the game...

I don't think it's as bleak as that - but I do think that the devs have more ideas about WHAT they want rather than HOW they want it.

 

The devil is in the details and we just don't have them - especially in how territory control will work, what will and won't be PvP.

 

The fact that we do not know what will happen to Alioth is something I just can't wrap my mind around. Will it be pvp? Will it stay pve? What is this nonsense about half and half? How can we be committed into building large structures if we don't know what will happen to them?

 

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To the original point: Because it's fun to build spaceships and there isn't much else to do. 

 

To the rest: I haven't been around very long but I do wonder where this game is headed because it seems like two different games slapped together, to me. 

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The OP thinks to build an XS Death Cube is very easy but it's not. true from the outside, it might look primitive but the trick is in the right placement of the elements to cramp all these large stuff inside that relative small building area to be effective. There will always be a Meta and you as a designer will always have to make compromises that the craft does what it is supposed to do and was it was intended with it. Right now PvP builders build to be effective in this way but later on shield bubbles might be added for lets say break a bit current Meta. NQ could also restrict weapons to core size in xs core only go xs weapon and so on. The investment a player or a group does on a big ship should have benefits not like is now just a bad thing to fly large. For now PvP is avoidable and if you want to show of a build that is for expo then why fly it to the pvp zone where the only guys going to see it are they sitting on a gunner seat aiming at you?

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20 minutes ago, Walter said:

The OP thinks to build an XS Death Cube is very easy but it's not. true from the outside, it might look primitive but the trick is in the right placement of the elements to cramp all these large stuff inside that relative small building area to be effective. There will always be a Meta and you as a designer will always have to make compromises that the craft does what it is supposed to do and was it was intended with it. Right now PvP builders build to be effective in this way but later on shield bubbles might be added for lets say break a bit current Meta. NQ could also restrict weapons to core size in xs core only go xs weapon and so on. The investment a player or a group does on a big ship should have benefits not like is now just a bad thing to fly large. For now PvP is avoidable and if you want to show of a build that is for expo then why fly it to the pvp zone where the only guys going to see it are they sitting on a gunner seat aiming at you?

Nobody is talking about leaving safe zone now. Everybody here imho are worried about safezone shrinking to sanctuary and maybe alioth. Now, I don't care what happens in pvp zone beside knowing more or less how meta is shaping out. But if meta suddenly start where alioth atmosphere ends, or worse, start on sanctuary atmo end, thats when this game start to die for everyone but people who don't care about soft wipe every week. 

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I want safe zones to disapear , but Allioth and moons. It is what was promised to us I hope NQ delivers that. 

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5 minutes ago, Walter said:

I want safe zones to disapear , but Allioth and moons. It is what was promised to us I hope NQ delivers that. 

This thread isn't about safe zones. There is already a thread for that, with much 🍿

 

This is about building, or more specifically, spending the time to build things above and beyond the most basic flying brick needed to do pvp or travel through pvp.

 

There is zero skill involved in making a deathcube.

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19 minutes ago, Walter said:

I want safe zones to disapear , but Allioth and moons. It is what was promised to us I hope NQ delivers that. 

It's hard to make "promises" about a design detail when you're making it up as you go.

 

They don't even know what they're going to do with Alioth now after 6 years of development, so I doubt they knew enough when they made "promises" to take them seriously...

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Frigidman said:

This thread isn't about safe zones. There is already a thread for that, with much 🍿

 

This is about building, or more specifically, spending the time to build things above and beyond the most basic flying brick needed to do pvp or travel through pvp.

 

There is zero skill involved in making a deathcube.

How I said a good cube is in the placement not in the design. It is not that easy.

 

3 minutes ago, michaelk said:

It's hard to make "promises" about a design detail when you're making it up as you go.

 

They don't even know what they're going to do with Alioth now after 6 years of development, so I doubt they knew enough when they made "promises" to take them seriously...

 

 

NQ shared its vision with the Backers long time ago. Now you come here and want to bend all in carebear fashion

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Come now guys, lets not have this thread devolve into the arguments about when/if/how/who said/what said about safe zones :D 

 

Please.

 

edit: Actually reading my OP ... I guess I did hint about it, but it wasn't my intention to purely discuss only about the wellbeing, or demise of such safe zones.

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There are some really good points and perspectives here. 



 

Keeping in mind that this is new territory and the overall design of the universe is key to an enjoyable experience for everyone I would like to state a few things I have observed and learned from previous games that follow along some of the same concepts as this game.



 

The game that this reminds me the most of is Empyrion Galactic Survival. Empyrion had, and still has, some very similar challenges to its overall design. Some design challenges I think they solved pretty well, others not so well. 

 

Similarly Empyrion was significantly focused on the pvp part of the game. Of course the most important thing to pull off for successful pvp is balance so you can keep it fair and possibly even more importantly, interesting. This is particularly challenging in a game where you don't have pre-designed mechanisms of warfare as people are excellent at finding workarounds to the ways the game was "intended" to be played and with a game that is completely open ended like this is it's virtually impossible to prevent any possible exploit creative people that play these games can think up. 

 

One of the first major issues in Empyrion pvp was the same thing we see happening on here in DU. In order to be competitive, people are just building bigger and thicker bricks because at the end of the day pvp skill takes a back seat to it being mostly a numbers game, whoever has the most blocks and guns wins. There were a couple of ways this was addressed in Empyrion, first they implemented a system to discourage this type of building with a system they called "cpu" which basically had a certain amount of points that were available for a build and each item you added has a point value. Once you pass 100% of the available points you start to see a proportional degradation to the performance of your build. 

 

The second thing they did that had a big impact was the implementation of shields. Shields used two consumables to function, one was a mineral you would mine and the other was power to recharge. These changes greatly reduced the number of bricks flying around because they simply wouldn't move because they were over the max point value so much. The shield actually allowed a ship that was not specifically designed for pvp to survive long enough to escape the pvp area and get to a pve zone. 

 

Something Empyrion could do better is with the zone design. I don't have any great ideas to offer here. This is a hard balance to maintain as well. If you give people a pathway where they can completely avoid the pvp zone it kills the pvp experience. On the other hand if you force everyone to go through pvp you are going to hurt the player base that just enjoys the building or other non-pvp aspects of the game. 

 

Empyrion has "systems" that you warp into and in some of those systems you may have all PVE areas and some all PVP and others a mixture of both. One key to the systems layout are the warp paths. They use some that are one way and some that are longer so you have to have a bigger warp drive to use them and this allows some gating to help keep things under control for balance purposes although it definitely has an impact on the game immersion. 

 

Another aspect that I really think DU could learn from Empyrion is the Creativity Mode. You could always start the game in single player and select creative mode and it would allow you everything available to build with. Then you can save your blueprint and use it in game. I don't understand why they don't implement something similar DU, it sorely needs it, it would only improve the ship designs in the game and make it more imersive.



 

Another game this reminds me of is Satisfactory. I think DU has this aspect of the game down pretty well without overdoing it. I always thought that Empyrion made this part of the game way too easy. Don't get me wrong though there is still some big improvements that I think that can be made with this part of the game as well. Its definitely a bit sloppy in the tier design.


 

The game physics of DU is done really well too. Punishing but doable. I know it is probably really complex to implement properly but I would love to see some level of structural integrity implemented as well. Empyrion did not do this well but it also didn't have as robust of a physics engine as DU.  I could just imagine a big ship tearing itself apart by someone making the structural framework too thin and placing gigantic thrusters on it and someone doing a turn and burn too fast. I know I am probably asking too much with this though. I always wished while playing Empyrion that it had the impact on flying from the physics of the ships like DU does and it's one of the many reasons I switched over to DU.

 

Mining in this type of game is obviously a major part and I think it's particularly important to keep it interesting. The game I believe that has done this best is Elite Dangerous. It has the perfect ratio of complexity to reward. Think core mining…

 

Anyway I am getting off subject of the OP here so I will stop but as with any game in development you hit a point where your decisions have a major impact on the future course of the game and to me it looks like that's where Dual Universe is currently. The more successful indy games I have seen, and I play almost exclusively indy games, have all listened carefully to the feedback of their communities and made smart decisions based off that feedback.

 

I wish Novaquark the best, I know it has to be the most challenging genre of game to be designing. Good luck!


 

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1 hour ago, ExPLiCiT said:

The game that this reminds me the most of is Empyrion Galactic Survival.

Interesting you bring up Empyrion (you had probably blown up a few of the POI I built or upgraded lol). It is a decent example of some of the struggles of trying to appease the pvp-vs-builders spectrum. However it was not all a single server everyone is on. This allowed a wider audience to play the game how they wanted to play (small servers, co-ops, single pve or just creative mode), but when they make sweeping changes that only benefit one side (the pvp end), they lost momentum.

 

You mention their CPU addition... arguably it was one of the worst decisions they made. And as you said, it came about as an attempt to 'balance' the pvp end of things... however in doing so, it negatively impacted the creative side of things (the Builders). The devs had their view though, and refused to budge on the overwhelming negative feedback during internal testing, and pushed it out the door regardless that most all internal testers were against it and brought up bountiful arguments and alternatives to just make it a bit better without all the drawbacks alienating their creative audiences. Same thing happened with their method of making Shields require the most rarest of element in the galaxy to function. Another bad decision they ignored their internal testing group on... "it was for pvp balance".

 

While Empyrion does do a lot of interesting things, and has more content (so to speak)... many of its growing pains, DU could learn from. And yes, the structural integrity system is a laughable mess :D When they added it, it reduced almost every building into "a mound of blocks" because anything remotely creative would fall apart with just one hit. Space Engineers has ship-based integrity, which you can rip parts off for not building correctly... but that game suffers from a lot of physics issues too (maybe because of it).

 

DU is in a unique position I think. It has Space Engineers, Empyrion, Starship EVO, Satisfactory, and even Intersteller Rift and Astrox to draw from.... seeing 'what failed', and 'what jives'. I'm not sure it could be compared to Elite Dangerous, Star Citizen, or any of the X series... just due to those are not 'builders'.

 

Hope is a dangerous thing ;) 

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3 hours ago, Walter said:

How I said a good cube is in the placement not in the design. It is not that easy.

Maybe so, but it's definitely a heck of a lot easier than building a real looking space ship that resembles as such with true creativity. I guarantee it takes a lot less time to create a stupid cube meta ship than a creative ship, and once you have said cube meta ship, you just blueprint and redeploy after being destroyed. That's infinitely faster than creating a second new creative ship that's different than the first. So your argument is mute and not helpful to this discussion, as you are not going to convince anyone that it will sustain the future of this game for PVPers or Builders. Period.

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First I would like to say, that I know NQ is not happy with the state of PVP.  And second they will adjust things to move away from the cube meta.  

 

Now with those things said.

 

Yes and no.  Yes you can always design a cool looking ship but if it is a bad design where the rule of cool over ride the rule of function.  Then well it will just be fodder for better ships.  

 

No, it really doesn't matter what it looks like if it works.   Which is where we are now.  This is true with many real life combat vehicles.  Early designs were more function than form.   Look at the first ironclads.  

 

But there is still more to come on balance and meta changes.   I imagine there will be several different meta styles in the near future.

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Don't care for Design or beauty. A ship has to fulfill a task and it needs to do that job well. Min/max ftw with all allowed exploits and to circumvent restrictions. If that means cubes, fine. Idc.

Would never ever buy a well designed ship if a cube does the job 5% better. 

 

And I'm not a guy running around like a little kid "uuuuuuuuhhhh That's a beautiful ship" and being impressed by such. To me if doesn't matter at all 

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Pvp is not the only factor that needs tweaking for this game to improve. Theres the minimg time, frame rate on starting zones, ore and components requirements quite high(especially for solo players), tool and UI optimization, among many other things. My hope is that they take some of the feedback put out by the players here in thsi forum.

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