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What Dual Universe needs in the short-term future


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I'm more active in the Discord, but sharing your opinion there is mostly taken with a grain of salt and is bombarded with memes.

So its clearly time to take my opinions to the forum to have an discussion about them.

 

I'll will share my opinion on three topics and I hope with the short-term plans 'the new' NQ will tackle these. I fiercely hope that the game will be a success.

These topics are the first baby-steps, I'm not even talking about the mission system and pvp or any other gameplay loops.

 

Community Manager

Honestly, it is one of the most important jobs of an online games these days. Especially for an MMO where the gamer is also a important stakeholder, their input is insanely valuable.

They really need to step up in communication with the community, after .23 it went downhill quickly.

 

Suggestion: Hire one or two dedicated CM's and make them responsible for setting up a plan to improve on this aspect. They should be interacting a lot with the community, get their feedback, pass that feedback to the business and come back with answers to the community, give the community room to discuss.

 

Roadmap / plans

We have seen a few roadmaps, and none of them are making any sense anymore. I would love to see a realistic roadmap for the rest of this year.

Be honest in the plans, we (or I) cannot handle unrealistic roadmaps anymore that make me demotivated every time I look at it.

 

Suggestion: Rethink the plans made and come up with a solid idea of what the future looks like. Communicate this and stick to it, if one of the plans is not doable anymore for some reason communicate this better.

 

Schematics

Well.. we have already talked about it. Schematics are pretty cool the implementation is however, bad. Just listen to the community, a huge part didn't like it and instead of mostly ignoring it, NQ should be in a discussion with the community to improve it.

 

Suggestion: Its not about schematics are bad, its about how NQ (not)took the feedback or came with a solution. Just for the love of everything, think of and communicate a revised schematics plan.

 

 

And for the love of DU, get better in communication.

 

 

 

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I think schematics are well past being something that can be removed. What would be good to see is NQ work on ways to make them an actual item in game, not just something you buy from a bot.

 

NQ has three CMs that I know of, hiring a replacement for Naunet and having one dedicated to engagement with the community would be a start.

 

I'd agree a sensible short/mid term roadmap and a projected release timeframe would be nice. If there is new investment coming which allows for more time, push release out by two years, commit to getting the base feature set done in one year and then move to actual beta with feature freeze and use the time to get what you have stable, optimized and polished. And if NQ can/does push out release, please make the effort to get all Kickstarter goals in before release.. including AVA combat..

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2 hours ago, Honvik said:

No what is needed is a Viable 'reason to play'.

 

We need astroid/rare materials.  We need territory warfare.

 

Honvik

Premier of the Empire

 

Cannot agree with you more! But the first step is getting the basics implemented in a good way. After that these should be high prio,

 

18 minutes ago, blazemonger said:

I think schematics are well past being something that can be removed. What would be good to see is NQ work on ways to make them an actual item in game, not just something you buy from a bot.

 

NQ has three CMs that I know of, hiring a replacement for Naunet and having one dedicated to engagement with the community would be a start.

 

I'd agree a sensible short/mid term roadmap and a projected release timeframe would be nice. If there is new investment coming which allows for more time, push release out by two years, commit to getting the base feature set done in one year and then move to actual beta with feature freeze and use the time to get what you have stable, optimized and polished. And if NQ can/does push out release, please make the effort to get all Kickstarter goals in before release.. including AVA combat..

 

Schematics cannot and should not be removed, I kinda like them the way you say. They should be items instead of buyable from a bot.

 

Three CMs? I'm didn't know that, surprises me even more that the communication is so dramatic.. needs some work there.

 

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1.  Remove schematics.  They were broken from the start.  Their sole reason for existence is to slow player progression through money grind.  Horrible design and useless at protecting the long term health of the economy.  Remove it and think of a better way to do it.

2.  Announce a full server wipe on launch.  Anyone arguing against this is simply wrong.  A 'player economy' game where you will have mined out planets and billionaires on launch day?  Stupidest thing I have ever heard, and would be an instant turn-off to new players expecting a new game world to be, well, new.  Which brings us to #3...

3.  Announce possibility of occasional partial wipes (items/skills, some regions, etc) throughout the Beta (Calling it Alpha would be more accurate).  Game development requires iteration.  Iteration which is stifled by treating this as a live environment.  They cannot move the game forward while worrying about disturbing the existing economy/balance.  It is Beta, nothing should be considered permanent.  Don't like it don't play an Early Beta that is two years from release.

4.  Completely redo mining.  It is one of the most boring and simplistic 'loot grinds' I have ever played.  Those that defend it by proclaiming 'supernode' as smugly as possible, realize that making money faster doesn't make it any less boring, it just contributes to ruining the economy faster.  Further using 3 territory scanners at an intersection should be considered an exploit.  It's not emergent, its manipulating an in-game mechanic created to simplify gameplay (a real ore scanner would care about range not arbitrary boundary lines).  

5.  Implement additional game loops.  

6.  Implement additional game loops.

7.  Implement additional game loops.

8.  Reduce the lag by removing inactive vehicles.  And start thinking how to address this on a larger scale because the starter planet is a lagfest despite having basically zero active population.  How is that going to scale when (if) there are enough active players to keep the game alive?  Every multiplayer builder game on the market has a decay mechanic for a reason. It goes against this game's vision but this game's vision goes against the laws of limited computing power.  Either way, there needs to be a plan yesterday.

9.  Realize #8 is unlikely to ever get solved leading to an untenable future. Update resumes.  

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7 minutes ago, Taziar said:

2. Announce a full server wipe on launch.  Anyone arguing against this is simply wrong.  A 'player economy' game where you will have mined out planets and billionaires on launch day?  Stupidest thing I have ever heard, and would be an instant turn-off to new players expecting a new game world to be, well, new.  Which brings us to #3...

 

This is a simple solution for a complicated problem. 

If we do it your way we are nailing the coffin. 

 

There are several consequences of a wipe right now:

1. Current player base will feel betrayed on the promise made of "no more wipes" and will see their efforts, their vacation days taken just to play this, wiped. 

This will make sure most of the current players will never come back. 

2. Everyone will see soft beta launch as a way to force subscription money in. And will assume it was a lie from the start. 

Adding "layers" to the list of NQ adjectives. 

3. Without a decent plan on how ingame economy can work in harmony(and we dont have one) we will probably see something similar happen after the wipe. Not fixing the problem and giving strength to the idea that NQ cant fix this. 

 

This does not mean i dont agree with a wipe. But not now, and not frequent. 

 

What i think NQ should do is to admit that beta release was not ready for "soft release" and announce a single wipe at 1.0 release. 

If we are properly informed that current player progress will not matter after game release, current "injustices" will not have any significance. 

It all becomes part of "beta testing". 

 

After this announcement. NQ will be free to give or take any advantage to any player without social consequences. 

If they wana give a guns to every player to do proper pvp test, they can. 

If they want to reset some org's wallet, they can. 

 

No wipe is needed, only one before release l. 

 

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'Your Way' is actually not any different that what I said.  

1.  Tell people now (short term plan, remember?) that there will be a wipe when the game goes live.  (Apologies and other politicking is a given)

2.  Establish that this is a Beta and permanence/balance is not guaranteed.  (Hence why I said 'announce possibility' of partial wipes during beta, which means as needed to facilitate development, it was all about changing expectations not arbitrary wipes.)

 

They were both about reestablishing with players the fact that this game is a Beta and very much subject to change.  Because it needs to be clear that people are Beta testers, not children given a golden ticket to become billionaires before the rest of the population joins in.  

 

Also, the Beta soft release WAS solely a way to force subscription money.  People would be naïve to think otherwise.  Because from a development perspective it was a horrible choice serving to create a player base of beta testers that feel entitled to be treated like live customers with character/world permanence.  It also created financial risk to engaging in normal iterative game development, which will just kill innovation and slow progress to a halt. It was all about milking the Beta-tolerant players of money. The subscription absolutely shouldn't exist during beta but I don't see them changing that. 

 

Note:  The fault doesn't just lie on the players, the Devs are complicit in creating and enabling that entitlement (and their blatant cash grab).  But frankly, how we got here is far less important than how to fix it.  

 

Note 2:  As to the 'existing player base', keeping them happy at the expense of future customers is foolish.  They aren't even a fraction of the players required to keep the lights on. 

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14 minutes ago, Taziar said:

Also, the Beta soft release WAS solely a way to force subscription money.  People would be naïve to think otherwise.  Because from a development perspective it was a horrible choice serving to create a player base of beta testers that feel entitled to be treated like live customers with character/world permanence.  

 

Yep, honest "we were wrong", overhaul plan (of many game mechanics) + 1 year of Beta (at least) + wipe and fresh start with serious marketing push. 

 

Problem is, many people are not exactly keen on wipe (to say the least!), prefering to do all kind of mental aerobics to justify why they must keep their stuff (generaly by any cost), even if it means less chances of game to be succesful.

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Main problem with admitting that the soft-release was not actually a release, is that it makes NQ open to all sorts of liabilities with regard to subscription players.

If not then why would they abandon the "new planet tech" reset of Alioth etc?

 

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59 minutes ago, CptLoRes said:

Main problem with admitting that the soft-release was not actually a release, is that it makes NQ open to all sorts of liabilities with regard to subscription players.

If not then why would they abandon the "new planet tech" reset of Alioth etc?

 

 

The Devs simply painted themselves into a corner which is why the Beta subscription was so bad an idea.  The game was nowhere near ready for release( and still isn't), soft or otherwise, so they clearly did it for financial reasons.  Unfortunately, sub fees tend to come with certain expectations from players which should have been managed the moment subs were announced.  Instead they decided to appease players (rather than risk losing the subs) and treat the game as live despite it being absolutely horrible from an early game development perspective and completely untenable once it reaches the actual launch and new customers find out the brand new game world is a piece of already chewed gum.    

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