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ConanC

First impressions

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Here is my feedback on my first experience with the game.  I did two runs with the tutorial and then one afterwards.  I liked the story and combat, but I thought the game was too difficult.

In the tutorial run, in the second battle my ship got a bunch of critical hits against it.  I didn't realize I needed to deal with them, so maybe some callout to let the player know?  I managed to destroy the opponent's battleship and was sitting there wondering why the combat didn't end.  That's when I figured out to fix the critical hits.
 
It seems like the first 3 bars of my ship get destroyed really quickly, and then the last bar takes considerably longer to be destroyed.  Maybe it's because at the start I have no extra Ship Health?  Also seems weird that once a health bar is destroyed you can't get it back.
 
After the initial tutorial, the star map was zoomed way too far out (bug).  I couldn't see the nodes to navigate to and it didn't get any better that playthrough.  The second playthrough was fine though.
 
Squadrons:
Is there a way to repair my squadrons so they aren't always starting battles damaged?  Seems like all my squadrons get destroyed on every battle because of this.
I had no idea that asteroids damaged squadrons.  When I moved a squadron through one it was totally destroyed by them.  After that battle I would try to find paths around them, but the default paths the game chooses always seemed to cross them.  Maybe you could implement a way to trace a path around asteroids?  Maybe the squadron could stop along that path if you run out of command points and continue when you get more?
 
Difficulty:
My first run I read all the story and tutorials.  I was surprised that I got killed after the 3rd or 4th battle.  Is this game really that hard that you get killed that quickly in the tutorial run?  I did a second run right after that.  I was hoping that something I did in the first run would give me a small advantage, but no.  What can I say, I like legacy games as even if I have an unlucky run, at least I'm progressing a little bit towards getting more powerful. 
 
The second run went better.  I was able to get through 4 or 5 systems before being destroyed.  I felt like investing in Ship Health and Command Points was the way to go, but that made it so I couldn't buy anything else.  This lead to the combats feeling largely the same.
 
On the system map, there are little red triangles.  I thought that meant I'd face a battle there.  But even in places without those red triangles I face battles, so I'm not sure what they represent.
In one place I had the option to do a ground mission.  I almost left that without noticing it, so I would suggest making it more obvious.  I didn't have a Hero that was suited for it, but I tried it anyway.  I lost 70% of my Commandos and the rest were injured, but got a new hero for finishing it.  I didn't find a way to replenish my Commandos afterwards, which would have made me skip these missions had I run into more.
 
Anyway, I hope you find my feedback useful.  I'll try a few more runs, but I'm concerned this is just too hard for me to enjoy playing it much longer.

 

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Hello ConanC,

I am another tester, not staff, but I feel like answering some of your feedback:

"After the initial tutorial, the star map was zoomed way too far out (bug). " It has already been reported and the staff said they are working on it.

"When I moved a squadron through one it was totally destroyed by them.  After that battle I would try to find paths around them, but the default paths the game chooses always seemed to cross them.  Maybe you could implement a way to trace a path around asteroids?  Maybe the squadron could stop along that path if you run out of command points and continue when you get more?" I feel like asteroids and pathfinding are part of the game, it makes you spare extra focus points and makes the game harder. Indeed, the pathfinding seems counter intuitive at first because you think that the ships must auto-avoid asteroids, but I think it's intended.

Yes, the game is hard, several other testers felt that way.

"This lead to the combats feeling largely the same." I felt a little bit the same.

" I didn't find a way to replenish my Commandos afterwards" I think i got a random event in which I got 3 commandos, so you can definitely replenish Commandos. However, I feel like the ground missions are too rare, and replenishing is pretty rare aswell.

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10 hours ago, PackSciences said:

" I didn't find a way to replenish my Commandos afterwards" I think i got a random event in which I got 3 commandos, so you can definitely replenish Commandos. However, I feel like the ground missions are too rare, and replenishing is pretty rare aswell.

Shops can also have Commandos in them. I think early expeditions could just use a little more balancing; it's rough only being able to do one expedition with your starting 10 commandos then (unless you miraculously keep all 10 alive) needing to RNG a shop or event before you can run another expedition.

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Yes, I forgot to mention you can buy them in shop, but is it worth buying them?

They look like really long-term investment for really small reward.

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Mmmm , from my experience, a successful ground mission can bring you 100-150+ scraps easy, plus a weapon or a hero.  It can gives you a good boost on early game, but after the first expedition is it worth buying more commandos? Hard choice as always ^^ first, we have to find the shop who sell them, secundo there is a lot of scraps to spend in others upgrades...

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Beta tester here with my impressions.

I got to the boss of the second sector after a few runs. Finally saw a better version of the piercer gun, mkII (3 focus I think 30 damage), and mkIII (3 focus 40 damage) just before the boss. Died on the boss due to him deploying 3 squadrons 2/3 times (I think 8 waves total) versus my 2 squadrons twice (4 total). He had 4 bars of health. He deployed lots of mkIII cruisers. Had 2 weapons mkIII piercer and AOE weapon but I lost health bars and could never get enough focus to use them one last time to save me from the last cruiser.

Ground missions can bring down the scrap haul and I always went after them if I had commandos and the hero had at least green on one of their trees. Preferable green on one and orange in the other. Ground missions in sector 2 were much more lethal if you didn't have green and orange. Lost a whole mission with just a green on one tree.  I spent a lot of scrap replacing them.

Getting that second squadron deployment early was key. Especially because I would typically place fighters in front of the cruiser. The cruiser does more damage 2 squares away. Together they make a powerful combo.

I saw that super nuke weapon on one run. The one the psychiatrist/shrink station says they will use on you if you try anything funny. Takes 5 focus but does 50 damage to a huge area. Sold it since that's a ton of focus. When I beat the first sector boss (3 bars of health) it gave me 300+ scrap and a store opened up. I used all the scrap repairing all the damage I took, 2 bars, of health 4 squadrons. Unlike FTL you don't pick the next sector to jump to you just go to the star screen and you start at the far left again. I don't know if that will change in the future. It appears the exit point will always be generated in the middle at the far right.

I also saw a beam weapon but I have noticed that only piecers can damage enemy hulls. I didn't try the beam weapon but I hope you can change the direction of the beam, similar to FTL. If not it's probably better to sell it.

 

Suggestions:

If you upgrade ground expedition size to say 11 then you must have 11 commandos to run any missions from then on. It should increase the maximum you can send not the max and min.

I don't feel like fuel efficiency, any step, does anything. Even at max (3), I have had stars give me 0 fuel. Even with 0 fuel efficienciencyI have pulled 3 fuel from a star...

 

Overall:

It is quite a challenge and I know personally that getting a 2 bar enemy first jump is very unlucky and will be a restart. I love the lore weaved in. Especially once I got to the psychiatrist/shrink station or when you get to the end sector boss and they comment on how you look just like the last guy they killed.

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Seems like Second Squadron first is the best strategy.

"It appears the exit point will always be generated in the middle at the far right." I guess it's for symmetry. Is that an issue? I think it's fine and it brings symmetry in top/bottom decision.

"I don't feel like fuel efficiency, any step, does anything. Even at max (3), I have had stars give me 0 fuel. Even with 0 fuel efficienciencyI have pulled 3 fuel from a star..." that's a good point. Maybe fuel efficiency needs to be increased?

"It is quite a challenge and I know personally that getting a 2 bar enemy first jump is very unlucky and will be a restart" Yes, I don't understand. Sometimes you start a run and it's a super easy opponent, and sometimes it's a 2 bar enemy. It's really an issue that forces the reset.

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Hey, good morning.

Some of you already gave answers and that's great. Thank you a lot. I will add some clarification on the current status and expectations of the features, I hope that will answer most of your questions ^^. If you still have something to ask, feel free to do so !

(maybe I should od some kind of FAQ from this)

Bugs:

  • Yes, the star map bug where it's all shrinked in the bottom left corner is known and has a fix that will hopefully be available next week, along with other urgent bug fixes.

Upgrades:

  • Fuel efficiency: The fuel efficiency actually increase Odds of higher fuel on stars, but since there is zero visual feedback of it's action it's very hard to feel that it is working. We are thinking to rework both the upgrade and the interface to display clearly when the upgrade was useful by writing it with a nice color upon refueling along with the bonus fuel amount you got.
  • Expedition shuttle size: Another one of the upgrade thrown a bit fast into the kickstarter demo without enough thought put into it ? (as an excuse, time was short!). Nonetheless, the issue is known and we are looking for a way to fix this. Probably remove all expedition minimum commando limit with a big bright warning if you try the expedition with lesser than 10 commando (you fool).

Expedition

  • Is it worth? Simple answer: totally. Replenishing your commando should be your number one mid-term objective. The balancing is still being worked on, we are thinking of giving a more probabilistic information when selecting a hero so you won't be surprised if he dies.One kind of shop do sell them, you have to look for stations to increase your odds. In the near future we will add an upgrade for "seeing" system content in advance for you to see the content of shops, it will help you a lot to choose your path amont the stars. In fact it's an important part of the game design we voluntarily omitted in order to have the demo ready for the kickstarter without dying of too much work (We still need lot of energy to make this game awesome with you!). For the expedition, there is actually 3 kinds of rewards and we plan to add more. In the near future you will be able to see the kind of reward to expect, so you will be abnle to concentrate risky mission on what you really need it.

Fight:

  • Hull bar (health) represents structural part of your ship. When one is depleted, it's the whole part of the ship that is utterly destroyed. At the end of the fight your mechanics on board are only able to repair a fair amount of the damages but the structural damages need to be repaired at a mechanic shop. Unfortunately, all stations do not have this kind of equipment so you have to look for it.
  • Path finding: We talk about it there 
  • Balancing: an answer I made on another thread 
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4 hours ago, IndyNarf said:

Upgrades:

  • Fuel efficiency: The fuel efficiency actually increase Odds of higher fuel on stars, but since there is zero visual feedback of it's action it's very hard to feel that it is working. We are thinking to rework both the upgrade and the interface to display clearly when the upgrade was useful by writing it with a nice color upon refueling along with the bonus fuel amount you got.
  • Expedition shuttle size: Another one of the upgrade thrown a bit fast into the kickstarter demo without enough thought put into it ? (as an excuse, time was short!). Nonetheless, the issue is known and we are looking for a way to fix this. Probably remove all expedition minimum commando limit with a big bright warning if you try the expedition with lesser than 10 commando (you fool).

Thank you IndyNarf for explaining fuel efficiency. Good to know fuel efficiency is being reworked. I did a run without any and a separate one with max . The one without any tended to average me 1 fuel per star while max efficiency averaged 2.

Removing the minimum for ground expeditions would be interesting. Certainly would make it a more difficult choice and no longer lock you out if you only had 9 commandos.

 

4 hours ago, IndyNarf said:

The balancing is still being worked on, we are thinking of giving a more probabilistic information when selecting a hero so you won't be surprised if he dies.One kind of shop do sell them, you have to look for stations to increase your odds. In the near future we will add an upgrade for "seeing" system content in advance for you to see the content of shops, it will help you a lot to choose your path amont the stars. In fact it's an important part of the game design we voluntarily omitted in order to have the demo ready for the kickstarter without dying of too much work (We still need lot of energy to make this game awesome with you!). For the expedition, there is actually 3 kinds of rewards and we plan to add more. In the near future you will be able to see the kind of reward to expect, so you will be abnle to concentrate risky mission on what you really need it.

Love the idea to see the shop's contents before jumping in. Make's sense that they would broadcast their menu. Maybe shops use an encrypted signal that only imperials can decode and/or broadcast from buoys/relays? This would prevent scrappers and such tracking down their signals and taking their stuff. Maybe have a ship upgrade to hear it 1 or 2 jumps away?

Seeing the big reward for the ground expedition would help with the decisions but I do appreciate the randomness of it to simulate real life. You never know if you will get a weapon, scrap, squadron or another hero at the end.

I ran a few more runs and due to some luck, pulling a mkIII cruiser my second ground mission and buying 2 squadrons from that same mission to use my fighter/cruiser combo. I was able to do extremely well. I defeated the boss in the second sector using 3 squadrons slots and 7 deep squads, 3 of which were cruisers, without losing a single health bar. Having a fighter and 2 cruisers out is very effective provided the enemy doesn't AOE it to death. At the end of this run, I had one point short of max focus, health, squadron size. If I had gone to sector 3, after using the 300+ scrap I got from the boss I would have soon ran out of meaningful upgrades to obtain besides better squadrons and/or weapons. As the sectors expand with beta progress will the upgrades you can pick from also grow?

Other questions:

I recall seeing this question before but any plans to also have special slots, like FTL's 3 specials slots, added at some point?

Have you experimented with having a faster focus regeneration skill or would that imbalance things?

I had 21 fuel and 20 commandos at one point. I was trying to see what the cap was (since there is a skill to increase it). What is the cap? Can it be displayed so you know what it is? At this point, the skill to increase it seems useless.

Are there plans to have hero's level up? I noticed humans all start with 3 skills and the faction's start with 4. You likely don't want them to get high enough to have all 9 skills because then ground missions would lose their sting but progression would help them feel not just alive (the events that need their skills do that) but that they can evolve. 

 

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Yeah this seems to be a common complaint, game is still great though, story is very strong and I think the community likes this the most out of the recent updates

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