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[Discussion] DevBlog: Rebalancing the Universe

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I backed this originally on Kickstarter but only started playing a few days ago, and apparently picked the wrong time to start. So some of the logic doesn't make sense to me, and maybe I just don't get it. I thought industry might be something cool to try out. But quickly realized that in order to make the parts to build assembly lines you need an assembly line of the same size (btw 4 different types of them) to make all the parts, then schematics for each part but you can build it in the smaller assembly line. There doesn't seem to be an upward progression. If there was a full wipe the market would have to be pre-stocked with all the possible parts. For example no one could make a standard reinforced frame M because you need a metalwork M to make it, which requires the same reinforced frame (and an assembly line M to make the metalworker).

 

So after I gave up on that I tried out fuel refiners. Not as bad, but just like the assembly lines, you can buy all the pieces cheap but all the schematics are about 10x the price. It's literally not worth it to make any equipment for your own use. Fuel at least has a consumption rate, but how many reinforced frames are really needed.

 

Like I said, I'm coming into this fresh but it seems like the market is so flooded with cheap parts that the ore that it takes to make them is actually worth more then the end result. I read what they are trying to do, but I think people should be able to be self sufficient but it should take a long time to get there and crafting should be progressive. The skill system mimics Eve Online, you spend time progressing the skills you are interested in.  You can be a great pilot, great industrialist or mediocre at both depending on how you invest your time. Those are the negatives I see.

 

Positive: I like the crafting system, or I would if it was balanced. Building ships is pretty cool and I've seen a lot of cool ones strewn about the landscape.

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@Armaden - you can make most of the basic Tier 1 goods in your nanopack.  It is sufficient to build the Medium assemblers you talked about, although it makes parts at half the speed of a real industry.  Because of that speed difference, in pre-schematic days, many would start by nanopacking refiners, then smelters, then electronics and metalsworks, then assemblers - a fairly basic progression that made sense.

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37 minutes ago, Pleione said:

@Armaden - you can make most of the basic Tier 1 goods in your nanopack.  It is sufficient to build the Medium assemblers you talked about, although it makes parts at half the speed of a real industry.  Because of that speed difference, in pre-schematic days, many would start by nanopacking refiners, then smelters, then electronics and metalsworks, then assemblers - a fairly basic progression that made sense.

You are totally correct, I spent a lot of time wasted running around when I coud have just made the M. Total newb mistake.  I see where got lost on this now and appreciate you pointing it out.

 

I have one suggestion, I know that you can filter out nanocrafter only parts but it would be "nice" if nanocrafter was listed in the "CRAFTABLE IN:" list as one of the options. 

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OK - here is a basic request:

 

NQ broke every factory out there with the 0.23 release and the requirement that every industry have a purchased schematic.  Ignoring the "why can't I duplication schematics 10,000 years in our future" question... could NQ at least give us a tool to analyze our factories and tell us which schematics, and how many, are required?   It would be really nice if said tool worked with the marketplace and give us information like:  "Pure Iron schematic - Need 3, own 2". 

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Don't take this the wrong way (is there a "right way"?), but...

I don't think NQ thinks very far ahead, or considers the unintended consequences of their actions. It's like certain people who look at a problem and only see the surface symptom, completely disregarding everything that feeds into it and the many other symptoms that arise from them.
As far as getting people and orgs to interact, schematics aren't a good way to go. Unless the daily allowance is maintained permanently, or selling ores to NPCs gets expanded on to include higher tiers, then money sinks will dominate:
1. Taxes for placing TCUs can wipe out your savings quick, and it doesn't feed back into the player economy
2. Enough schematics to build just one element, with the things to support building it, is prohibitively expensive, and the money doesn't feed back into the player economy
For a player-driven economy, it is leashed tightly to the system in both income and expenditure. That means that all actions will revolve around the system's economic constraints more than anything the players want or do. They slow everything down artificially by forcing people to spend money that will just disappear from circulation, and then wait days to weeks before they can do it again on any meaningful level; that may be fine for the most casual "I'll only log in once a day for the free money" players, but not the majority of "I actually want to play this game more than a few minutes a day" players.
And some unintended consequences are going to be orgs merging to build up funds quicker via taxes or donations from their membership, forcing smaller orgs to fall farther behind, and solo players to be forced to join an org or spend unreasonable amounts of time trying to build up enough money to do anything of value.
Soloists and small orgs can sell resources, but that's all they can do unless they have enough money to buy the schematics to make anything. Bigger orgs pooling their money won't be buying much from the solos and small orgs, because their members will also be working to build up those same resources, and probably at a discount to the org.
That will drive solos out unless they're hardcore and gluttons for punishment, and small orgs will likely lose membership to the bigger orgs because they just can't compete with the massive income and resource mining.
What they want isn't being addressed by what they do. They're just slapping bandaids on the symptoms and hoping it works, rather than properly diagnosing the issue and recognizing that they're dealing with a problem that bandaids won't solve.

 

Things they've told us about where they want to go don't mesh with where they're pushing it. They want player-owned markets (we all do), but with taxes going to the system, what is the benefit of having any except to place one in more central locations as a free service to the public? They said "no automation," and then they introduced the idea of mining drones. They introduced the space combat system to allow for anything a player could come up with, then decided that players should be restricted to what they could put on a core based on size because the previous (and very logical and efficient cube fighter) designs ruined the experience. It's as though they are focused purely on doing stuff, with little time spent on thinking ahead to how that stuff might be used and abused by players. Like scientists building a new and experimental bomb to blow up a massive asteroid, they don't think about or see the obvious other uses that they should.

 

On that note, I would suggest doing more outreach to the community to come up with that stuff. The game is sold as very player-driven, but based on the economy thus far, including taxes for market use and territory claims, and now including schematics, the efficacy of "player-driven" is suspect. So get more player input about "how might this be abused" and "what alternate uses might this have that we don't intend" issues, as well as "what solutions to these (specified) problems exist, which make the most sense for the type of game we're trying to create" (and loop back to the first two question sets).

 

Schematics could be a potentially good idea, but not as-is. Where's the player-driven aspect, or is it meant to artificially slow everything down to fit some unreasonable demand that development be slow (you want the game to have a long life, but this is not the way to do it)? Introduce a research aspect. Allow players to create schematic copies. (This is the future, not the past, but even in the distant past a person could copy blueprints, and today a person can copy digital and physical designs easily enough; what is so special about the schematics that they must only be bought from the system?) Come up with some creative solution, and then bounce it around the community to hammer out "how might this go wrong" and "what can be improved" details. Don't just throw something out that you spent days/weeks/months working on, only to find that people are creative and intelligent, causing you untold headaches and wasted time...and certainly don't repeat that same mistake time after time. It is insulting to us that you don't respect our ability to think beyond the level of single-function programs. It's also a waste of your time and money, which could have been better spent with a little more time planning for even the most basic ways that new features would be used beyond their intended functions. Moving the game forward is important, but so is taking the time to consider unintended consequences.

 

As critical as I am, I still think the developers are doing a good job. Some real and major issues to work out, but DU is a worthy venture.

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@Devolpers,

When the new damage system was applied and the kick to the stomach economy  Schematics changes happened, it has made the game extremely frustrating. It feels like now my Ship's core is made out of glass and is destroyed on every crash. I've gone through three medium cores and one large core(trying to tow my medium core ship back) in the last few days.... and I'm starting to "hate" this new aspect of the game. One because the economy  has made getting replacement parts too long to make and or  too hard to find. When you do find one, it is 3 to times the normal cost before this overhaul patch with the Schematics.  Everything is too expensive and or too few on the market, plus the travel time to get a replacement part is putting a serous dent in to my game play experience. I am now replacing many items on my ship because they have exceeded the maximum replace time. The extra stress of having to have a extra core on board my ship when i clip a invisible terrain artifact trying to get lift off the ground with a heavy load.  

.

-PLEASE REMOVE "THE DAMAGE TILL REPLACE scheme"... NOW! I understand this is suppose to be happening, and reserved for PVP damage...but that  was said a week or 2 ago.

-Please make dynamic Core more survivable on impact with terrain...or just remove that system until the economy has recovered from the Schematics overhaul changes and prices have normalized. 

.

Regards,

Signed, Frustrated Novark Citizen

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On 12/18/2020 at 4:57 PM, Rhotan said:

And, I am apparently not an OFFICIAL helper. Is there a program for that? That is open for discussion though. Why did I stop supporting the community as a helper and deflector shield in the Discord? Yesterday, there were issues with players crashing in game due to apparent bugs. We got a visit from NQ-Stormeye which went one step below riotous, but was fairly cordial. After all was said and done, I did not know who NQ-Stormeye then, and I do not know now. I inquired to three staff throughout the rest of the day and into the night even the simple question of what position does NQ-Stormeye hold at the company. I never received a response. In fact, one of the staff "pinged" NQ-Stormeye to mark the conversation and alert him to the query.

 

NQ-Stormeye is a GM, Rhotan. We do not have an official application for community helpers yet. This is a project that's in the works, however. :) We'd like to start up an official program now that the game is out of Alpha. Thank you again for what I am sure is tireless dedication to helping your fellow players. ❤️ As soon as we fire up an official program, you'll be among the first to know.

Quick note: I'm going to leave your original post up for posterity. However, a quick reminder before I go further - please refrain from posting screenshots of communications you have with NQ staff or other players to make a point. We understand that the 'no screenshot' rule applies mainly to private conversations, but your post is in danger of crossing the line of naming and shaming as you are publicly critiquing a response you received from an NQ staff member. While it's perfectly fine (and even encouraged!) to voice your discontent so that we have the opportunity to learn and improve, airing targeted grievances with the use of screenshots brings the post a step beyond constructive criticism and into potentially harmful territory. In conclusion, if you're neutrally sharing information (an announcement, a feature clarification, etc.), a screenshot is fine to include. If you're using screenshots to 'build a case' against someone, reconsider creating a public post and instead bring that information directly to an NQ staff member for review. We are always happy to help.

 

Now that that's out of the way, here is the community structure you requested:

  • Community Helpers = volunteer players who pitch in to lend support where needed in the community. 
  • Moderators = volunteer players who assist others and enforce the rules on Discord and here in the forums.
  • GMs = employees who provide in-game support, but who are limited in doing so; their role is to direct players to the proper resources as needed. They pass information up to the CMs and help us provide more round-the-clock community coverage.
  • CS = employees who officially respond to support tickets. 
  • CMs = employees (like myself) who serve as the main messengers that carry information between players and the rest of the development team, and vice versa. (Similar to a GM). We also handle the running of contests, official announcements and general community engagement. Unlike GMs, CMs do not appear in-game to provide support.

 

When we say we are bringing information back to the team, this is what we mean:

  • If it's a technical game question, we ask the programmers, game designers and/or QA. If it's a basic gameplay question, we typically just double check with a designer or one another.
  • If it's a question related to the server (outages, downtime, etc.), we bring the information directly to those monitoring it.
  • If it's related to marketing materials or any of our social media spaces, we bring the question to those departments.
  • If we're presented with an idea, suggestion or other feedback (positive and negative), it is delivered to the Game Design team (+JC), who then ponder the feasibility/pros and cons of implementation. Then, if approved, it would go to the programmers in charge of implementations.
     

Please note:

 

Our volunteers and staff members alike are wonderfully diverse, meaning not everyone speaks English as their first language. For this reason, you may receive responses that seem unexpected to you (like what you quoted re: "false positives"), so please keep this in mind at all times. It's always okay to ask for clarification if you're confused due to an unexpected response. :) Try to assume positive intent whenever possible, as our helpers and staff (as you would well know, being something of a helper yourself) are only here to assist to the best of their ability. What NQ-Stormeye was saying is, essentially, that we have to follow procedure lest we create a "too many cooks in the kitchen" situation.

 

What I mean by following procedure is this: Helpers, Mods and GMs can keep an eye on emergent situations (bug related or otherwise) and compile player reports. Those reports are then summarized and placed in an internal space where CS and CM can take action. CS takes action by prioritizing those bug-related tickets and tackling them, and CM takes action by creating messaging to be spread to the various community spaces. If each tier of community attempted to act independently to get to the bottom of an issue, we'd risk losing important information or communicating the same thing too many different ways, resulting in more confusion.

In conclusion, nobody is trying to give anybody the brush-off. ❤️ Rather, we're all working together in an attempt to form a more efficient chain of support.

 

On 12/18/2020 at 4:57 PM, Rhotan said:

I suggest putting the brakes on anything but the simplest of content changes, roll back the restrictions of on NQ repairs and teleports for players to get people back in action and up in the air AFTER they have submitted a ticket with log files on new crashes caused by "bugs" so that devs have their info, the player has their repair, and the issues can be addressed without patches going on top of bad code to further complicate the matter.


As promised in a previous reply, I have reviewed our reasoning behind this recent "keeping the port in support" change. :) Here is where we stand:

We ask that players use in-game support chat or an official ticket to request a teleport to avoid visual clutter from building in Discord's help channel. This is all part of the aforementioned process we're developing to ensure scalable efficiency & speed of responses. (No, we're not perfect yet but please bear with us! We will get there!) Outside of bugs or glitches, players can assist one another in getting from point A to point B. NQ-issued teleports only make sense when an issue within the game renders a player unable to play properly.

 

Additionally, I can see that you are frustrated by the current support backlog and I would like to touch on that. We are addressing it and, as JC mentioned in his most recent DevBlog, we have learned a great deal from the rollout of the most recent game patch. Going forward, we will be changing our tactics to avoid some of the pitfalls you mention. We care a great deal about providing a great experience for our fans.

 

I hope this was insightful! Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions.

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gamers gamers always love to lose their progress right?{[(Right)RIGht?]RIGHT?} that they paid money for right?{[(Right)RIGht?]RIGHT?}. well anyway great job NQ, until now I was fully recommending your game as fun for even casual player, so going back to all those recommendation to took it back, hopefully noone purchased anything yet, but thanks for making me relise this sooner before I dipped more money into your "game".....
maybe{[(Maybe)MAYbe]MAYBE} I'll try this game again (once it's fully launch [no more early acces money for you]), don't want to risk another waste of my time and my money, BYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

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I am so confused as to why this game has taken so long to come out? it has been in beta way to long? and with  the time spent to not even being able to play a smooth running game? my husband and I downloaded and paid for 1 month. my husbands pc is an alienware and the specs are more than the high limit and it lags really bad. my pc just needs more ram. but I cant hardly move. I love the outlook of the game.  this game reminds me of Landmark everquest next beta. that went belly up because they got to lazy and ran with peoples money. it had some lag but nothing like this game. I cant even do anything. I would pay 15 a month if it ran smooth. but I am going to request my money back because the point was to find something my husband and i would play together. we both like different gaming stuff but this fit us both and was allot like landmark. again I would pay 15 a month if you would make it a smooth game.  otherwise im out.

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On 1/1/2021 at 3:14 AM, FoxtheGinger said:

gamers gamers always love to lose their progress right?{[(Right)RIGht?]RIGHT?} that they paid money for right?{[(Right)RIGht?]RIGHT?}. well anyway great job NQ, until now I was fully recommending your game as fun for even casual player, so going back to all those recommendation to took it back, hopefully noone purchased anything yet, but thanks for making me relise this sooner before I dipped more money into your "game".....
maybe{[(Maybe)MAYbe]MAYBE} I'll try this game again (once it's fully launch [no more early acces money for you]), don't want to risk another waste of my time and my money, BYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

I agree 1000%

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Well, missed any notification on the quote from NQ-Naunet above. Would love correspondence from the appropriate member of the "Team" in regards to ticket 41868. 

 

My posting of Stormeye was not intended to shame him or anyone else. It just gives relation to what I may be referencing or why I may be referencing it, but I get the message. The language thing is no issue, I got the gist of the comment about "false positives". I've even switched to google translator if needed to help someone. Even google translator will butcher translations if the sentence structures are out of context. 

 

Your communication reduced a full page of rant to a short post. See how wonderful communication can be? Still, I ask for response from JC or someone in that area on ticket 41868. If we can use it as a tool to reduce tickets and get players back in the game and still safeguard RDM items... I suggest it be disseminated to the player base. I also suggest the repeal or a moratorium on the "Keeping the port in Support" until some of these bugs can be worked out by the devs. Get the ticket, do the needed action, repair, teleport, etc... and get players up and running. They can't afford constant bugs crashing them and such. Thanks for the Kudos... 

 

~Rhotan~

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I fear the delay in 0.23 promised rollbacks "adjustments" is going to cost NQ dearly going forward.  I was logging in daily just to get the reward, but have stopped doing that as well - just can't hold my breath anymore.  Others previously active players I still discord with are bascially in the DU?  D-what? camp now, having moved on to other games.

 

The last meaningful (barely) Release Notes were from December 18th,  over two week ago (ignoring 1R0.23.7 which fixed emotes - that being so critical to gameplay).  This is making many of us agree with Rhotan and Blazemonger when they claim you may have heard, but you didn't listen.

 

Please prove us wrong.

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NA-Naunet, now that I know a little more about the general workings and how the workflow goes... I applaud you. You interact with the community and that is good. I thank you for your efforts.

 

Now, I turn my ire to the one I think that needs it. @JC I understand you have a vision... but to achieve your vision, you need support. Support from the player base in particular. Yes, you heard us... but ignored us. Since it is fixed now, I will speak on the matter. My ticket, 41868, was about the 'exploit' and restoration of element lives. I stumbled across it, promptly reported it, and added the twist that if it did not compromise protections on player creations, such as custom lua, we be given a green light to give this information to the players as a way stemming tickets, boosting morale among the players, retaining players, and otherwise putting a cherry on top of the sh*t sundae we have been served. Not only did I request this, I followed up regularly through different channels. I got nothing but static.... no response, no reply, no guidance. Not only have you spent the time on fixing this 'exploit'... but the players are still faced with the exact same dismal service from your end of the business. 

 

I used to think there was a room where the "big-wigs" or departmental heads would gather once a week and have a meeting with the more important issues taking precedence on how to continue, which policies need amended, reversed, strengthened and such.  I was wrong. It is not the entire management of NQ... it is YOU @JC.  I posted once you should be glad that I am not your boss... I double down on that... you would be in a wheelchair after your legs had fallen off from where I chewed your arse so badly. If you cannot take the time to answer a simple question with a viable reason and take someone else's suggestion to heart, admitting that the path you have taken may have been in error... it defines you as an effite snob who looks down on the player base. 

 

Why am I so harsh? I lay the blame of the descent of a potentially great game at your feet. Your actions have increased ticket submissions exponentially, swamping the help chats and support channels, with new bugs while not remedying the old bugs. And when the people who work the front lines as Staff and GM's get asked about how to fix these issues, a lot of times they do not know. Instead, they take the info 'up the chain' and wait sometimes days before we get word about fixes. Even then... we have already figured it out. 

 

How many tickets does one require of a certain instance or bug, let's take the adjustors sticking, before your department can pinpoint the cause of the issue and work for a viable solution to the problem? It did not take long at all for you to fix what you refer to as an exploit. Players face exploits that you have put into this game all of the time... from your end. Your department is responsible for the development of code correct? You code it, we play it, we report it, and you are all over fixing a potential workaround while allowing the underlying causal to remain. 

 

I could go on for a couple of more hours... I will end it with this... you are failing the player base. Your vision means absolutely nothing if you cannot get other people to share it with you. I humbly request that you bend over, count to ten, raise up swiftly and yell "POP"!  If you are brave enough to perform this standard self-help exercise... congratulations, you have just pulled your cranium from your crack. 

 

 NSk68qn.png

 

These elements can no longer be stacked, they can no longer be used in blueprints, and since you cannot stack them... you have to place each and every one of them manually... going into your inventory, equipping the element, and then placing the element. Were you aware of this part of it? You may have heard us, but you sure didn't listen to a word that was said.... and have not been listening to what has been said. 

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I also want to let you all know that while I always poke the team about the tickets you bring to me, I can't fast track them. I also can't guarantee that a representative from another team will come to the forums or Discord to speak to issues you're having. Occasionally they're able to fill me in on a situation and I'm permitted to bring some information back to you all, but that's the most I'm able to offer. Those are the boundaries of my role. :) 

 

(I think the above goes without saying, but I feel compelled to make it clear just in case.)

 

Thanks again for all of your understanding and feedback, though. You know I'm passing it along! :D 

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I applaud the decision to correct the issue. NOW.... NOW you seem to have heard us. You advertise a player created universe, or alternate reality. Even this one small step validates such claims as the players have altered their realities, in game, through voice. I think everyone involved, from the highest staff to the lowest newbie, has the same goal in mind.... to be part of the best gaming experience possible in Dual Universe.

 

     I would think we all would rather sing the praises of a wonderful game with a clear-cut, hassle-free evolution (at least as hassle-free as possible) of a wonderful game with great potentials. An evolution which developed through collaboration of player and staff alike. A staff which is attentive and responsive, which also has the authority to make judgement calls to 'fix' the little things that do not require investigation due to loss of large sums of quanta or value. For example, bugged fuel tanks, where they cannot remove the fuel to pick up the tank. Staff should have the ability and leeway to make that judgement call. If you need the ticket, request one, after they get the number, provide the relief to the player.

 

From my perspective, of haunting the help chat and terrorizing staff and players alike... I personally believe that the next big thing which would have the absolute most impact in every facet from server stability, a reduction in lag for players, reduction of 'hard' crashes (which results in crashes all the way around, and thus, tickets flying in) are the massive amount of constructs surrounding the marketplaces. To this end, I offer the following suggestion as a resolution: 

 

Flatten the immediate areas around the marketplaces, populate that pre-built structures that can be "rented" to players/orgs for utilizing and running their advertisements and businesses from. 'Dot' that with parking spaces for xs/small/med size craft, and push the larger craft to the outer ring of the aphelia owned areas. While you are at it... fixing the docking with either software or hardware would be a good thing, or put in transit teleporters to the marketplace or 'neighborhoods in the aphelia 'cities'. I know it has been mentioned prior as well, but 'digital garages' may be a way to go as well. Doesn't even need to be flat... could go all Sim City on it... 

 

In closing, to JC and the dev team, thank you! THIS, this shows you listened. If you happened to perform that "self-help" exercise, don't worry about the ring around your forehead, it will disappear in time. Occasionally, we all have to perform it. Just some will not admit it.... 

 

 

'Do not walk in front of me, I may not follow. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Instead, walk beside of me, and be my friend...' - a paraphrase of a quote by Albert Camus

 

Rhotan

 

 

 

 

 

 

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