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Demeter will probably Kill the game if it goes to live servers..


Hagbard
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Ok, so what could be NQ's intention with the changes in Demeter that we are criticising here?

1. Reduce operational cost.

=> remove ground mining which creates massive amount of data in both server side storage and Internet traffic.

=> reduce number of tiles & constructs owned per player by implementing cost, this as well removes massive amounts of data in their database and helps with cost saving

Additionally this  will probably lead to the salvaging opportunities mentioned in the roadmap

 

 

2. Slow down player progression and therefore enable a longer player time in game (similar to introducing schematics when a player was able to reach "industry end game" in some months.)

=> make it harder to progress so reduce the amount  of ore which gets injected into the game

=> slower player progression leads as well to less constructs and therefore less data, which helps with point 1 above

 

 

3. Fix Lag.

=> we all know that massive haulers with an extensive number of elements are currently not working in the engine as it is today. SO using a simple change like the airbrake obstruction would kill those massive atmo capable ships and force players to use separate smaller atmo and space capable ships.

this will effectively remove the Lag monster ships from game

 

 

All of these changes could make sense and create a working game, but the break in the gameplay for existing players is probably quite brutal. In alpha all of that would have been OK. There was no “persistence” promised for the Alpha.

If NQ would communicate a bit more with the player base we wouldn’t have to speculate and maybe find ways together to  come up with ideas and potential solutions and/or alternatives...

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18 hours ago, FerroSC said:

Can you provide us any proof of these financial limitations or are you just making stuff up based on information you think you know but actually don't know?  

 

You mean you have not watched the last two NQ videos or paid attention over the past 18 months where pretty much every video has a reference to them having to cust cost and things being too expensive for them? The mining changes are brought in with one of the mentioned and direct drivers being the (financial) cost NQ incurs serverside on the current mechanic. I'd say NQ committing to just one weekend to test Demeter on PTS is another signal they can't afford to keep those servers running for longer.

Demeter is a crucial update for NQ, not opening the PTS for a good amount of time, allowing the changes to be properly tested over some time makes no sense other than not havin the means to provide that .. I see no other explanation but feel free to offer one if you do..

 

Can NQ still deliver the game they set out to create? Of course they can but the chance of that really s not very high. I do still have some hope NQ will make a fool out of me and make me eat my words.. And I wil lhappily do so if that time comes. But I do prefer to take a position of logic and common sense, based on clear signals and events.

 

--those who just dismiss anything I say outright may as well stop reasding here--

 

 

As you asked for "proof", here's my reasoning;

 

Facts:

  • NQ opening up the game to the public with "beta" last year was at least to a considerable extent driven by the need to start making money, JC said as much in the announcement.
  • It was never the intention to go public until release (kickstarter/post kickstart campaign, backer pledges during (pre) alpha, every indication up to April last year)
  • The main investor replaced JC as CEO, taking over NQ in March this year
  • JC has since left the company entirely (as per a post by NQ-Pann)
  • The last injection of capital was June 2019 (NQ announcement and crunchbase)
  • NQ has a total investment of around 24M, including backer pledges, and has been running on that for about 7 years now.

 

 

A simple calculation would show you (on an optimistic budget) NQ will need to generate about 350K a month to just pay the bills.

 

Known factors:

  • Office in Paris
  • Office in Montreal
  • Around 65 staff that we know of from LinkedIN
  • 24/7 fairly complex serverinfrastructure rented through AWS
  • At least two PR/marketing companies we know of
  • XSolla

 

The offices are (mostly) rented desks so those cost may actually be lower currently, which may well have alowed NQ some serious savings. But just the employee salaries will gobble up the majority of the 350K I am going with here, salaries in the Paris and Montreal areas are considerable.

 

There is no indication whatsoever that there was a new investment round or that one is coming. If it was/is, that would be a big positive and reassuring PR newitem to share, so silence here to me can only mean that here is none.

 

A reasonable and simple calculation from the above would lead to NQ needing about 50-60K steady paid subs to just pay their bills, and I am just not seeing those numbers.. There is 41K tiles claimed on Alioth and from a conservative number of about 20K backers and their alts or invited players on beta keys they handed out, none  of whom are paying a cent until release. The numbers are just not there.

So yes, while there is no direct proof for any ofthis, the circumstantial evidence, the signals and straightup logic would lead to a reasonable assumption NQ currently has some severe financial limitations at least. Of course I can always be wrong, but I see no reason to believe I am.

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Simply leave the "tax" as is with territory unit deployment costs. This way territories are purchased when they can be afforded without fear of loss. If an ongoing tax must be applied, make it a "Mining Tax", due only when ore is extracted and based on the amount of ore extracted.
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2 hours ago, Xarius said:

No, I want the ability to pay for the things I have, without having to play annoying mini-games, and own 36 auto-miners to run a simple factory. 

I want a mission system that can't be exploited by having 20 alts AFKing and VRing into missions by limiting the number of mission packages a core can hold.

I want the players building the "civilization" to define the economy, not have it sucked away by an invisible entity with no gain. 

I want the developers to listen to the majority of people who have said at the current rate of tax and ore collection, this is a bad idea and is going to lead to less people enjoying and playing the game. Rather than the two or three people that align with their idea of "We do what we want and you'll get over it".

I want a new player to be able to log in and not feel like they are stuck on Sanctuary surface mining, mindlessly clicking ores like it's Cookie Clicker and not Dual Universe, to be able to pay for the over-priced components to build decent ships, that don't look like works of art covered in brake stickers.

That's what I want.

What do YOU want? Besides paying a useless tax.

I agree with the most, except buying components. All new players can build nice ships from, basic element, most of them are very  cheep and can be crafted in inventory. It is not casual game.

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46 minutes ago, Hagbard said:

Ok, so what could be NQ's intention with the changes in Demeter that we are criticising here?

1. Reduce operational cost.

=> remove ground mining which creates massive amount of data in both server side storage and Internet traffic.

=> reduce number of tiles & constructs owned per player by implementing cost, this as well removes massive amounts of data in their database and helps with cost saving

Additionally this  will probably lead to the salvaging opportunities mentioned in the roadmap

 

 

2. Slow down player progression and therefore enable a longer player time in game (similar to introducing schematics when a player was able to reach "industry end game" in some months.)

=> make it harder to progress so reduce the amount  of ore which gets injected into the game

=> slower player progression leads as well to less constructs and therefore less data, which helps with point 1 above

 

 

3. Fix Lag.

=> we all know that massive haulers with an extensive number of elements are currently not working in the engine as it is today. SO using a simple change like the airbrake obstruction would kill those massive atmo capable ships and force players to use separate smaller atmo and space capable ships.

this will effectively remove the Lag monster ships from game

 

 

All of these changes could make sense and create a working game, but the break in the gameplay for existing players is probably quite brutal. In alpha all of that would have been OK. There was no “persistence” promised for the Alpha.

If NQ would communicate a bit more with the player base we wouldn’t have to speculate and maybe find ways together to  come up with ideas and potential solutions and/or alternatives...

Agreed.

A change like this would not be as bad if it did not effect older players and newer players disproportionately. The current economy from Ore, Parts, Territory and PvP is based off a system that was formed in a much more free market then what this is being transitioned into.  People who have been around longer, and took advantage of the market are likely sitting on Billions, or for the average casual player probably hundreds of millions at least. To some extent they can weather this without too much worry in the near future.

But with prices as they are, newer or brand new players are going to be walking up hill with a carrier on their backs trying to get into a good position.

Something like is proposed, at the current values they have set, would only be long term viable if there was a wipe. So everyone could start off with the new way of doing things on the same foot.

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My play style for last several month was - buy natron, make kergion and sell it. My income at start was 1kk per day and 5-10kk quanta in the end. I think all newbies can start like that, because on Sanctuary no taxes for territory.

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1 hour ago, Hagbard said:

=> reduce number of tiles & constructs owned per player by implementing cost, this as well removes massive amounts of data in their database and helps with cost saving

If this is where we're going, I'm out at the end of the year. Because that just means a downward spiral going forward. We all want to build more, build those epic things that were shown over the years. If I need to daily grind, aka 'do the DU job' just to keep what I've already got, there is no room for growth and no prospects of this getting any better down the road.

 

What I do not understand is that why this wasn't recognized at the start of the project? Did they expect bigger leaps in processing power and storage capacity? Lower AWS prices? Bigger software improvements that their development team couldn't deliver or were just unrealistic to begin with? Am I the only nerd with hopes of building an underground fast travel network, but also needing tons of ore to sell and build stuff with?

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1 hour ago, Xarius said:

Agreed.

A change like this would not be as bad if it did not effect older players and newer players disproportionately. The current economy from Ore, Parts, Territory and PvP is based off a system that was formed in a much more free market then what this is being transitioned into.  People who have been around longer, and took advantage of the market are likely sitting on Billions, or for the average casual player probably hundreds of millions at least. To some extent they can weather this without too much worry in the near future.

But with prices as they are, newer or brand new players are going to be walking up hill with a carrier on their backs trying to get into a good position.

Something like is proposed, at the current values they have set, would only be long term viable if there was a wipe. So everyone could start off with the new way of doing things on the same foot.

Again this is a major problem. The more NQ overlook these issues the more likely a full wipe will be required. I really don’t want to see this but current / increasing economic issues is making a full wipe make much more sense and necessity. ?

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56 minutes ago, Cergorach said:

If this is where we're going, I'm out at the end of the year. Because that just means a downward spiral going forward. We all want to build more, build those epic things that were shown over the years. If I need to daily grind, aka 'do the DU job' just to keep what I've already got, there is no room for growth and no prospects of this getting any better down the road.

 

What I do not understand is that why this wasn't recognized at the start of the project? Did they expect bigger leaps in processing power and storage capacity? Lower AWS prices? Bigger software improvements that their development team couldn't deliver or were just unrealistic to begin with? Am I the only nerd with hopes of building an underground fast travel network, but also needing tons of ore to sell and build stuff with?

Because from start Alioth was planned as PvP zone, that means war and destruction. Looks like they really need to do WIPE =/

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I am glad we are going to the auto miners but not sure why we had to add a mini game to do it. As for the taxes 1 mil per tile for a week is too much. maybe 250K a week would be better.

 

We have yet to hear what will happen after the tile is released if you don't pay. This would be a great salvage opportunity. 

 

The rollout of the airbrakes should have also been a major note as this changes a lot of ships. And not something we find out after logging into the PTS. 

 

As for killing the game, not sure about that. 0.23 did that pretty well. This does make the Sanctuary moon viable and maybe that is what NQ wants in the end. At least for now. The subtle way to do a wipe.

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1 hour ago, SomeOtherIdiot (SOI) said:

I am glad we are going to the auto miners but not sure why we had to add a mini game to do it. As for the taxes 1 mil per tile for a week is too much. maybe 250K a week would be better.

 

We have yet to hear what will happen after the tile is released if you don't pay. This would be a great salvage opportunity. 

 

The rollout of the airbrakes should have also been a major note as this changes a lot of ships. And not something we find out after logging into the PTS. 

 

As for killing the game, not sure about that. 0.23 did that pretty well. This does make the Sanctuary moon viable and maybe that is what NQ wants in the end. At least for now. The subtle way to do a wipe.

I have 3 accounts to cover a modest spread of skills, I love to tinker in the game, I am a builder by heart and abhor the destructive aspect of PvP. l logged into PTS and after looking around I canceled all three of my accounts not so much due to the changes (aside from taxes, while the idea is sound, those are just stupid expensive) but more so as to where the update indicated the game was going.

 

In short no content, just PvP and PvP is just lazy ... DU knows this, it's why all of their structures are invulnerable and messing with them is the quickest way to get booted from the game but anything a player created is fair game ... double standard much?

 

On another note, personally I will often spend hours in game looking at an immense treasure trove of player created art, there really are some amazing pieces laying around. Unfortunately nearly all of these examples will soon be wiped out. I understand why taxes are needed but damn this change will destroy so much of what makes this game great. <looking at you IC Spaceport and D4rk Castle>

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13 hours ago, Hagbard said:

Ok, so what could be NQ's intention with the changes in Demeter that we are criticising here?

The problem NQ has is simply that after 5+ years of development, they never managed to make the server architecture needed to deliver the intended game.

So all that is left for NQ to do, is to reduce the game down to something they can manage.

 

Meaning that starting with 0.23 and much more visible now with demeter, all so called 'updates' are designed to remove user content and limit player growth.

 

All nicely packed into a nice presentation about "reducing lag" and making a better looking game. And suddenly they also found time to make and release a vertex tool preview video, only the most requested feature in the game for as long as it has existed. Looks a lot like "Bread and circuses" for the masses to me.

 

 

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14 hours ago, Hagbard said:

Ok, so what could be NQ's intention with the changes in Demeter that we are criticising here?

 

What if NQs game-designers actually honestly think that r0.23 and all bad patches after it are interesting and creating good Gameplay experience.

 

Before every patch there has been lots of well written comments and arguments about what may be "not fun" or what may go wrong.

How ever there has been also a vocal group in favor of those terrible changes. Seems like NQ is listening only those who support their proposals.

I Think that our voice has been week.

What can we do about it. (I know we can)

 

- Call To Action – Say NO to territory taxes - 

 

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11 hours ago, Cergorach said:

If this is where we're going, I'm out at the end of the year. Because that just means a downward spiral going forward. We all want to build more, build those epic things that were shown over the years. If I need to daily grind, aka 'do the DU job' just to keep what I've already got, there is no room for growth and no prospects of this getting any better down the road.

 

Exactly this. Many of us have been playing in a way that made sense with the existing mechanics, NQ actively drove the action of claiming tile to "embed" your (groups)  main base by surrounding this tile with owned tiles, preparing for TW to come where an attacker woudl need to come through any surrounding tiles to get to the main core tile. Many groups, both big and small, have followed this suggested path and prepared for the coming of TW that way.

 

Now NQ is basically throwing all that out he windows, TW is but a distant memory and seems to be off thetabel fo rthe foreseeable future at best. And our (group) efforts to build a secure place for all of the members of the orgs is not "punisshed" by a level of taxation which pretty much demands constant griinding and activity in game. And do not eventhink of taking abreak or for whatever reason not being able to play for an extended period of time.. you will come back finding your territory gone and your stuff handed to someone else. 

 

The looming org changes, which are still mentioned and I'd expect will still arrive, mean that most woudl be weary of any serious dependency on the org as you never know what NQ may pull off next.

 

Personally, I set up my tile and my stuff in a way I can come back in once the game is at a level I want to. Right now, I'm just forced to pack up and move everything to Sanctuary.

 

And then there is the mentioned issue of a good many players  sitting on billions, many of those obtained through exploits, meaning they can just pay these taxes for years and hardly even notice while other will have to grind their way through this every week.

 

It all just reeks of yet another system that NQ really has not given much though to the fall out for and they are not allowing the time for both proper feedback or possible action on their end. If we're lucky they may find some time this coming week to make some changes and have anoher weekend of testing. More likely, we'll just see them drop Demeter on the live servers in two weeks or so as they need to rush to the next update before Xmas to be ready to annouce they are releasing the game (at least that is the feeling I have of what is happening)

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38 minutes ago, Jake Arver said:

Exactly this. Many of us have been playing in a way that made sense with the existing mechanics, NQ actively drove the action of claiming tile to "embed" your (groups)  main base by surrounding this tile with owned tiles, preparing for TW to come where an attacker woudl need to come through any surrounding tiles to get to the main core tile. Many groups, both big and small, have followed this suggested path and prepared for the coming of TW that way.

 

There has been also other features which has encouraged us to by our own land.
First territory unit / tile free at every planet and moon

Total 29 free tiles, before any payments were required. Now they cos 116 MIL per month!!
Next tiles were fairly priced

Connected tiles will boost energy
Connected tiles will boost mining units
Connected tiles will boost defense in Territory warfare

 

To first encourage player to do things and then punish about it is extremely bad game-design.

Territory tax is absolute bad idea and should newer go live.
If taxes are needed for money sinks, they need to be VAT type. This means that they will be due only if player does some actions to create value. Not automatically by timer.

 

Generally taxes should not be collected by "Aphelia" because "Aphelia" is not such an entity which should act actively in this game world. Its role must be limited to be a main actor in Lore.

 

How Player Nations may newer be able to collect taxes via RDMS if Aphelia is already  maxed out the reasonable amount of taxes.
 

- Call To Action – Say NO to territory taxes - 

 

 

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There was always going to be an upkeep mechanic for territory, that in itself was not a surprise. The way NQ is going about it now though is simply the least effort possible and the lowest possible cost in dev time and resources. 

They could have brought in proper power management, as in;

  • Have the TU consume powercells, like warpcells over time,
  • Have different tiers of cells which would provide more benefits and/or would run for longer.
  • Having to place an expensive powercell in a TU to make it stay active and provide it's protective functionality would be fine.

 

Tier 1 would run a month and just power the TU. Tier 5 would run for 6 months and give all the benefits if more owned territory with T5 cell TUs were on adjacent cells.

 

Once a cell runs out, it loses it's benefits except for ownership of the territory and linked rights while the remaining energy dissapates. T1 will take 48 hours to drain entirely, T5 will last for another month. After that, the claim is released and any constructs on the tile are open to attack/salvage..

 

 

But hey.. I'm no game designer, what do I know..
 

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1 minute ago, Jake Arver said:

There was always going to be an upkeep mechanic for territory, that in itself was not  asurprise. The way NQ is going about it now though is simply the least effort possible and the lowest possible cost in dev time and resources.

 

I know.

But I'm strongly against any timer based automatic "releases of ownership".

My opinion is that hose who propose that are just seeking cheap and easy loot. Nothing else.

- Call To Action – Say NO to territory taxes - Say NO for easy loot -

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Jake Arver said:

I do not disagree with a release of ownership if upkeep is not paid. It makes sense in many ways. But the way NQ is going about it now is just a cheap cop out.

 

 

So you proposing just hidden Territory tax in form of "upkeep payments". Still timer based easy loot.

Edit: Or did I understand it wrong. Sentence is too complex for me. English is not my native language.

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1 minute ago, Jake Arver said:

There was always going to be an upkeep mechanic for territory, that in itself was not  asurprise.

You of course wouldn't mind showing us where that was mentioned... ?

 

The problem isn't so much that you have to pay upkeep, but that you can ever loose a tile due to unpaid taxes/rent. I have no issue paying x amount per week for mining rights, or even sales/production rights. I just never want to loose those tiles I've claimed outside the territory warfare mechanic that was 'promised' (but still a long ways off). Also the Alioth/Madis/Thades safe zone is imho sacrosanct as this was talked about by the CEO/developers when this game was launched into early access beta.

 

I of course need to realize that maybe many other things have been told to the KS backers in the years previously. But from my perspective, I wasn't there for that, I was sold on the vision that was promoted on the beta launch.

 

Besides to what was 'promised' in the past, it's also bad for customer retention/return in the MMO space. MMO's have been around now for a long, long time. And by now we know that people's interest and RL obligations change, people leave, for a time. Be that EVE, WoW, or any other long running MMO. If your items/character disappear when you are gone for a while and your subscription lapses, years later there is very little additional attraction to get into that old MMO you played a while ago, but all your stuff/characters are gone. If/when you take another break due to interest/RL, your stuff/characters will be gone again... Better go for a game next time that doesn't do that... Imho this is why certain older MMOs still have returning players, besides the nostalgia, the players have an investment in the game.

 

If the starter moon is the only persistent tile in DU outside of taxes/rent or your continued subscription. That tile will be heavily build upon by those players that decide to stay. That also means you have to load all the stuff of your neighbors, etc. And anything beyond that on a Static Core Unit will be very functional and/or very small. While deploying stuff from Blueprint is luckily an enormous time safer, deconstructing cores is a TON of work! I'm was working on building a tower (multiple L Cores) on Madis that will have tens of thousands Glass panels. Those are a pain to place, but deconstructing those towers would be a Pain and if I had to do that before a dormant period, that would greatly sour the experience and getting back to DU would be very doubtful. Maybe a way to quickly disassemble static cores into their component parts would soften that blow a bit. But if you don't have the time or the motivation anymore to disassemble your static cores, you're still F-ed. Maybe compactify the static cores that are on it when the tile lapses... But that is asking for misuse (build a static core on planet x, fill it up, let the tile lapse, move the compacitified static core to another planet and place).

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