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The relationship between UI, world depth, and quality of life


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As I was scouring the internet to see what essential element DU is missing, I ran across Valheim.  Wow, it is so much fun. Then I started thinking why?

I believe the answer to fun is the ratio of simplicity of use vs. the depth of the world itself.

Now, that definitely doesn't mean that a game should be simple, no not at all. What I found was that for everything that you do, every decision you have to make, every task.. the world gives back much more.

 

When the behavior of the world around you is novel, interesting, and most of all surprising, it gets fun. This requires AI, which for some reason JC stays away from. If it can't be in animals, then at least have it in non-living things. For example, in Valheim when you chop down a tree it can fall on you and injure or kill you if you don't get out of the way. Also if you build a campfire inside your home without ventilation, you get smoked out and take smoke inhalation damage.  Now, that's depth.

 

Depth is when your choices have implications and consequences. The world reacts to you in some way to acknowledge your existence. 

 

Depth for mining? - pollution,  depth for schematics? - research to tweak stats.  Depth to overbuilding? - collapse of structures.

 

Quality of life:  Good quality of life is when things go smooth with the mechanics of the game towards your goals. Poor quality of life is dealing with irrelevant roadblocks over and over again. I am not talking about in-game challenges but rather like trying to read a book when the person next to you is farting. Its distracting and takes away from the experience.


 

_______       UI complexity        World Behavioral Depth         Quality of Life
DU                    high                            low                                           low
Valheim           low                             high                                         high 

 

 

I really like DU and probably have spent thousands of hours on it. I sure hope they can right the ship. As I was writing this, my computer restarted on its own. This tends to happen within 10 minutes of logging out of DU.  So now I have to fully shut down the computer after a DU session to clear it (every time). I  upgraded my graphics drivers, etc.

 

Example of quality of life that's not so great. I don't think I will log in anymore for a while until that is fixed at least.
 

 

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True, its all painful issue for me too. DU has competly dead world with almost zero interactivity beyond some basic physics and ability to edit voxels. Its honestly feels like sort of tech demo some games show/share, where you just do some basic testing stuff in sterile stage of assets.

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I almost forgot to say this:

A game need to be consistent in it's core concept. 

For a space battle game, that implies lots of ships and lots of weapons fire. The building portion of DU is pretty good, but that's not enough for me personally. At any rate my focus here is on the space battle part of it. There is a fundamental impedance mismatch going on.

__gameloop__                        __Creation__                              ___Destruction___                 ___time and effort to recover loss___                                        ___metaphor___

      type A                                   low cost                                   high loss of ships                    low - just more output from a production line                              ants

      type B                                   high cost                                  low loss to ship                     low - no mining just to play again                                                   Ferrari  racing
         DU                                   very high cost                              very high loss                      high - endless mining to replace voxels and elements         rich teenager driving a Ferrari
 

See the problem?

 

Patch 0.23 completely reversed the creation side of the equation coupled with limited lifetimes of components.  Quality of life sank by an order of magnitude.

 

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This iteration of the game is a failure in pretty much all spects stemming from world generation on up through mining, crafting, and transfers into PvP. Until all those things recieve complete re-designs this game will never go anywhere. Because it all goes back to world generation and mining being short sighted and nothing will change that until the solar system itself is adapted to the actual needs of the players or fixing the myriad of issues that stem from it that basically make this game feasable for any form of longevity.

 

Also if you think this UI is complex Everquest 1 had a more fluid not complex UI system and that was made 20 years ago. The only good UI in this game is pretty much anything NQ did not make themselves.

 

And with the scripts as it is now it creates more imbalance then it solves and forces NQ to punish its playerbase since they underestimate us at every turn and dont have time to actually develop systems that work and are either not up to the challenge of making content or they just dont actually care to as much as doing the bare minimum to make things playable while at the same time sabotaging its playerbase whenever they get the chance rather than making hard finite limits to slow things down, develop all the actual things in world generation to slow people down or use reagent based mining and killing scans to force people to actually mine rather than eat up all the juice tiles but also that they really have no idea how to develop a game as much as they want to mimic all the games they like with no understanding of the systems those games use or how they come together to make a game fun as much as adding 27 year long progression tree time locks or shallow progression in general hoping that it somehow materializes into a smash hit without actually developing a game or having NPCs or QoL things like Turrets or defense schemes or mechanics since that is what it will take to turn this game into a game worth playing.

 

As far as scripts go NQ needs to ban the use of just adding scripts into the game willy nilly and have them all approved so that all players can buy/use them and that NQ can see what real imbalance the players are actually creating not only to make markets practically unuseable but also that the data mining, flight scripts, and all other PvP scripts and private scripts are destroying the game as much as they think it adds value. Until that changes this game will remain the same broken lagged out experience it is now.

 

Shallow progression makes for shitty MMOs. EQN found this out and it looks like DU is headed down that road too. Most things I thought I found fun in this game basically stem from the random quirks the game throws at you but then again most of the bugs, glitches, and spastic events it creates in unexpected crashes and losses arent so fun afterall 6 months in. I like to call this a game of Tragidies because of that to anyone who asks what game im playing. Now im the sole survivor of the group I came in with who have all left and will likely never return no matter if this game gets good or not.

 

This game is too grindy for no real reason, too locked and gated at every turn to make it fun, too lopsided in the time it takes to do anything or the 27 years worth of progression it takes to have any real meaningful experience to even feel like even the experience any other basic MMO offers up front for no real reason, and the fact that NQ does not want to offer NPCs or any aspects you would expect because they feel the players should build their game for them while failing to offer any good base elements to help us help them achieve that and if scripts were policed or they knew what they were doing it would free up a lot of resources being bogged down in game to allow for actual fun elements to be brought in.

 

Its sad but I dont really see this game amounting to anything resembling a game until the whole thing is redone as even a full rebalance at this point is little more than trying to put a bandaid on an amputated leg they never thought to develop in the first place or knew they need.

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Without making a big science out of it, I can tell you why Valheim is great:

 

- If you have the Swedish melodic-death-metal band Amon Amarth in the trailer, it's an automatic win.

- You have a reason playing cooperatively

- You have a Viking setting where you can challenge the gods. -> PvE

- You have AvA (Avatar vs Avatar), it's optional 

 

Odin owns all of you! We see us in Valhalla!

 

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4 hours ago, Dupont said:

This requires AI, which for some reason JC stays away from.

 

 

 

This is the biggest irony, since JC really has a PhD in AI ....

 

Relying on "player content" alone is a huge fail for the game. Player content can never "create" Aliens, monsters, beasts, interesting quests, old civ ruins, cultures, the urge to actually explore the bloody universe ... it puzzles me immensely that people (JC) don't get this.

 

I mean, for crying out loud, we just flew God knows how many billions of miles through space, spent thousands of years to finally reach a solar system with habitable worlds, a new exotic place - but there aren't even freakin INSECTS to be found on any of those planets?!

 

Where is the attractiveness to all this? Where is the need for exploration? Why would I want to explore dead, boring planets which offer nothing, absolutely nothing worth of finding or even looking at? Where is the "I wonder what I could find if I finally manage to fly to that very distant planet"? Where is the AWE and WONDER?

 

Is the definition of a "fun game" the process of producing crap, that everyone else can produce, and then sell that crap in order to make money, just for the sake of making money??
You do not need space game for that - you don't even need planets, ships, anything - you just need a bloody smartphone and can slap together a mini game where you produce crap, sell it, rinse and repeat, make money, then what? produce more crap of course ... because what else is there to do?

 

Do they even realize how BORING this is?

 

As I said - future, distant space, planets, a whole universe before you ---- where is the AWE and WONDER, where is the spirit of exploration? Where are the exotic and fascinating things to be found and seen? Where is the mystery?

 

BTW, I have talked EXTENSIVELY about ALL OF THIS in ALL of my DU videos on my channel - but since I am not a shill, or an "influencer" naturally no one watches my videos so it all falls on deaf ears.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, sHuRuLuNi said:

 

 

This is the biggest irony, since JC really has a PhD in AI ....

 

Relying on "player content" alone is a huge fail for the game. Player content can never "create" Aliens, monsters, beasts, interesting quests, old civ ruins, cultures, the urge to actually explore the bloody universe ... it puzzles me immensely that people (JC) don't get this.

 

I mean, for crying out loud, we just flew God knows how many billions of miles through space, spent thousands of years to finally reach a solar system with habitable worlds, a new exotic place - but there aren't even freakin INSECTS to be found on any of those planets?!

 

Where is the attractiveness to all this? Where is the need for exploration? Why would I want to explore dead, boring planets which offer nothing, absolutely nothing worth of finding or even looking at? Where is the "I wonder what I could find if I finally manage to fly to that very distant planet"? Where is the AWE and WONDER?

 

Is the definition of a "fun game" the process of producing crap, that everyone else can produce, and then sell that crap in order to make money, just for the sake of making money??
You do not need space game for that - you don't even need planets, ships, anything - you just need a bloody smartphone and can slap together a mini game where you produce crap, sell it, rinse and repeat, make money, then what? produce more crap of course ... because what else is there to do?

 

Do they even realize how BORING this is?

 

As I said - future, distant space, planets, a whole universe before you ---- where is the AWE and WONDER, where is the spirit of exploration? Where are the exotic and fascinating things to be found and seen? Where is the mystery?

 

BTW, I have talked EXTENSIVELY about ALL OF THIS in ALL of my DU videos on my channel - but since I am not a shill, or an "influencer" naturally no one watches my videos so it all falls on deaf ears.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lol that clown JC actually has a PhD in AI and wont even do anything for this game?

 

Honestly players are not devs and we can only really use the tools we are given. Who in their right mind wants to go to somewhere to check out someones playschool playhouse you cant do anything with vs fighting some kind of AI alien armada, npc police force, npc vendors, npc military, npc dungeons, fight creatures in all those tunnels we dig vs what players make you cant do anything with?

 

Hell JC right now could just as well give NPC access to the same talent tree, same skills, same mining bot, and use auto piloting, and building, and whatever really and just ask the community to help build more AI scripts and we could easily have AI running in this game.

 

DU is boring, stale, and sterile for no other purpose other hten JCs wet dream of some giant EvE battles that will never happen because there is absolutely nothing to this game that isnt locked behind 27 years of que to finally have any kind of fun. There really is not much to the game as is and will continue to be no matter what they add. New solar system? Its going to get ransacked 10x faster than this one. Guild wallets, mission systems, and the other time wasted systems that have no real effect on this game unless AI is present since nobody will pay more than just doing things themselves and it changes nothing but dead on arrival mechanics. Gems? Whats the point when everythings been mined and nobody is going to really go splunking to find them. DoA too.

 

They could have spent the little resources they had actually developing a game and thought they knew better but guess not. They litterally could have probably done anything differently and it could actually be fun. But I guess they hate all the best parts about space exploration, sci-fi, high technology, aliens, and anything worth exploring, fighting, and pretty much anything resembling an mmo with a space theme for no real reason.

 

 

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18 hours ago, Warlander said:

They litterally could have probably done anything differently and it could

This actualy I think some sort of cruel "Motto" of our endless feedback/discussion/arguments in this game since Alpha.

 

They could do many things, but they not. And we can influence this very little. So enjoy you ride in train as passenger, sure you can curse train driver (or jump off), but he not giving much muck or, more realisticly, kinda passed many turns and brakes not that reliable. Perhaps we even survive and arrive to some station this year : )

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The core idea from JC was "NQ makes the tools, so that the community can make the content". And this is where his academic background shows (making complex systems by combining simple mechanics, and emergence found in such complex systems). And by itself it is a good idea, even if a largely unproven concept in MMO's.

 

But JC also decided to add more layers of unproven ideas to the already unproven core idea like one shard, open world unlimited voxel driven building/terraforming, finite resources etc.

 

And all this is guaranteed to fall apart when NQ is unable to deliver the tools needed for the core idea to work, being seemingly unable to deliver a steady stream of progress or fixing bugs in a timely manner, even after having scaled up massively. And then on top of that starts putting dampeners on the 'emergence' to try and shape the game to extend play time and 'cover up' the lack of tools for a complete game loop.

 

So in short, this game is built on three shaky pillars.

1. A shaky foundation pillar where you have multiple layers of unproven concepts that define the game.

2. A shaky production pillar lacking the tools needed for the core idea behind the game to cause 'emergence' that can be sustained long term

3. A shaky technical pillar with lots of performance and stability issues that cause player grievances and put hard limitations on the 'emergence' capabilities in the game

 

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@CptLoRes, on "most critical thing lacking" I tend to agree with Ivan (he even put it elaborate way many times here and in Discord) -- not tech, tools or bugs, or even bad disign here, lack of features there (issues, but survivable ones) -- its very serious lack of stimulus.

 

This stimulus, beyond competitive PvP (with meanigful territiry/resouce control), can be only achieved via engaging (and preferably -- group based) PvE. So in this regard I think initial stubborn "no NPC" policy was very bad idea. Its hard to remember games, that gained anything from dropping of NPCs, they just too useful of tool to glue together game systems, especialy if they not perfect to begin with.

 

 

 

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