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    Appeal to the Council: A Noisy Niche

    Discussion in 'Council' started by Valiant70, Nov 19, 2016.

    1. Spoolooni

      Spoolooni Token Chinese

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      Oh screw it, if I really wanted to play a survival game, I'll grab a tent and go on a camping trip.
       
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    2. Azereiah

      Azereiah Way gayer than originally thought.

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      Quests, a storyline, NPC factions, etc. are all things I've been pushing for, Raisinbat. I think a lot of people have been pushing more for singleplayer content, because singleplayer content is part of why Minecraft got to be so popular in the first place.

      Minecraft's singleplayer experience is a standalone success, and multiplayer is just an extension of it. Starmade, meanwhile, loses players because the multiplayer scene relies exclusively on player interactions for gameplay content, which means you're pitting newbs against pros and there are extremely long periods of effectively no activity between interesting happenings. We're dying off because of a combination of loneliness/boredom and extreme difficulty in achieving success in combat.

      Also, here. This link shows a very, very, very rough idea of what schine is actively implementing and what they have considered. It is subject to change heavily, of course.

      StarMade Active Development Timeline
       
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    3. Raisinbat

      Raisinbat Raging Troll

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      And yet minecraft doesn't have any of these. I think a much bigger part of what makes minecraft so addictive is all the mechanical mods added like buildcraft, tinkerdinker, TEKKIT and whateverthefuck else, at least that's what my friends that are into minecraft always do. Not that questing and storyline can't carry a game, but it can't carry a sandbox that well unless you're bethesda, and schine is not bethesda.

      For me what really carries these things is progression. Scavenging for resources until you have enough to build the next machine so you can scavenge more resources and build an even nexter machine etc etc like factorio or fortresscraft. Starmade fails crafting resourcing and economy spectacularly.

      I would be totally okay with questing and story being the core of starmade if at least ship design and combat were fun, but all the ship design mechanics, with the exception of the logic, is pants on head retarded.

      Completely agreed. :(

      But these are just features without any design to them :( If you look at features alone starbound is clearly a better game than terraria, but in reality its the other way around, because terraria's features are actually well implemented. None of starmade's features are well implemented, and piling on more crappy features wont improve the game.
       
    4. Spoolooni

      Spoolooni Token Chinese

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      Here is my take on the several issues that are contributions to the constant inactivity of Starmade and it really does involve both Schine and the community itself. Starmade has been in development for years and unfortunately so has other space games that are beginning to refine their implementations of various content at much earlier stages where all Schine has mostly achieved is newer blocks, better textures, NPCs and a logic system that only a small portion of the community have mastered. That isn't to say Schine has done a poor job with all of those implementations thus far, the issue is that they aren't going to catch up with other space spelunking titles with the rate they are updating their game. Most developers have to wrestle with their player base as well as newer players to join or return their game and one way to do is is updates. The more updates, the more influxes and the more influxes, there is a much higher chance that players will remain behind if they enjoy what content is already present.

      I'm going to bring Interstellar Rift into the equation, a game that has chosen to bring about updates that are the opposite of aesthetic focused, they've brought about updates including player conflict, more player based weapons, handheld repair tools, new weapons and other additions that enhance the survival and single-player aspect of the game. I understand that every time I bring up Interstellar Rift, I get shafted immediately with futile, impertinent rebuttals including the infamous, "they do not have planets." Well, what if I said our planets we have currently are nothing but useless floating lag radiators that provide no benefit either than to look pretty? Interstellar Rift on the other hand, while having no planets, have developed the "Skrill" and its PVE enemy's AI to be so players could occupy themselves with singleplayer content. The point I'm trying to make here is that the Starmade development team have been dedicating their resources to the wrong parts of the game up until the NPC update and that has hurt their traffic considerably.

      Another point I'd like to raise is our current communally divisive, unhealthy, confusing, unfriendly and temporal form of progression through discovery and logic technology. On one hand, we have fantastic engineers and those talented in logic, discovering new ways of enhancing gameplay experiences by transforming conventional ships from their previous sluggish, inefficient, weak, futile and un-enjoyable machines to pilot into exploitative warships of mass destruction (and lag). On the other hand, we got "RP-focused" players that refuse to advance beyond the vanilla model of the game. They are constantly creating ships that look good yet are utter trash and can't even hold up in some PVE circumstances. They are complaining about PVP-focused players that are outclassing their ships. In the end, these worthless yet beautiful ships resemble an allegory of kalopsia; Beautiful on the outside and inside, ugly in performance. However, the worst part is, the PVP-focused engineers aren't open sourcing their discoveries because Schine insists on nerfing everything and anything players discover or use in order to circumvent an overall, unrewarding, un-fun and unwieldy combat system. Yet if they don't share such information, faction warfare and PvP continue to be a one sided battle. The little guy who enters the game has to arbitrarily start out the game from scratch in a grotesque vanilla ship against the big guys that have all the informants on their side. As Raisinbat has constantly emphasized, we need to observe and critique our current combat system, we need to stop coming up with a vaccine every fucking time someone discovers an exploit and get to the roots of the problem: "why do people use these exploits to begin with?" or "why are players straying away from non-exploitative game-play?"

      The game to me right now, is nothing but a fucking shit show. Yet I keep playing because I love my ships, I love Red Eagle, I love my designs and I love that I can change them into 3d models.
       
      #44 Spoolooni, Dec 10, 2016
      Last edited by a moderator: Dec 12, 2016
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    5. Thadius Faran

      Thadius Faran #1 Top Forum Poster & Raiben Jackpot Winner

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      This whole thread is just...

      Y

      How is adding radiant quests pointless? Is Skyrim pointless?
       
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    6. Spoolooni

      Spoolooni Token Chinese

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      Now another thing I'd like to raise up is a huge lack of public attention towards some of the more community focused individuals that stream fairly often, mostly referring to streamers like Raiben or Nightrune who effectively engage the community in this high-energy, passionate and creative interaction just by broadcasting on twitch. I feel as if the official Starmade stream does garner a lot of attention to the game and we have seen it bring new faces to our community, albeit it is rare that they stay. I do wish that some how we can radiate more attention through showing our support to these streamers, whether it be giving a shout out to them or generously hosting for them. Perhaps as a community we can time things well by getting these people to stream right after the official starmade one so these new faces can get accustomed to the lens of the players as opposed to the lens of the developers.

      In addition, there's a lot of mention of the Starmade reddit that is fairly active, but not quite active enough to be a high functioning platform for promotion. We seem to have all these sexy ships coming from the players but none of them are making it to the the eyes beyond Starmade Dock. When I showed my ship for example, certain people thought it was from Star Citizen which was a huge surprise for me because it really showed that this game, thanks to the help of Kupu is quite a beautiful piece of work that really encompass the presence of artistry and craft in video game as Saber emphasized in one of his ship review videos. We all need to collectively get on Reddit, start posting screenshots of our work there and maybe relink it to Starmade Dock, get the people here onto Reddit as well. There's a lot of funky things we can do on Reddit like upvoting the hell out of a palatable screenshot so it appears on the first page when someone searches "Starmade."
       
      #46 Spoolooni, Dec 12, 2016
      Last edited by a moderator: Dec 12, 2016
    7. Mortiferum

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      Back on topic.

      The need for food/ water/ whatever is kinda fine. Though would this make server side warfare even more difficult for newbies who now need to mine for his ship, then get food, fuel, to face a larger group.
       
    8. Az14el

      Az14el Definitely not a skywanderers dev

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      Well I did spend a good 700 hours on it I guess so I can't say I disliked it, but the damn radiant quests were so pointless that i forgot about them entirely until now

      Todd Howard should be tazed every time he says the word Radiant
       
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    9. wafflepie

      Joined:
      Nov 14, 2014
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      In my opinion, something that both Starmade and Minecraft majorly lack (but more so with Starmade, for now at least) is a reason to do things. Starmade's building system is super in-depth and complex, and gives you far more options than minecraft does, but the gameplay loop is simple: build ships to mine resources, use the resources to build bigger ships, and repeat, occasionally building a stationary base instead. Ships are also used to fight other ships, but with the exception of NPC pirates, this only happens with other players. And the rewards of fighting a battle are rarely greater than the cost, resulting in most combat being for defensive or roleplaying purposes.

      In Minecraft, there's more stuff to do. Fight various monsters in different environments to get special items, obtain and farm new crops and animals for their unique uses, explore to find specific biomes, NPC villages, and other things. It's lacking in other areas, though, most notably the fact that any large structure that doesn't have to do with item farming or item storage has no functionality. Starmade, in which what you build is also your means of transportation and combat, does this better.

      What Starmade needs is more progression and motivation, goals you can set for yourself other than mining for a resource or building something that's only purpose is combat and aesthetics. There should be a reason to explore and to fight over specific systems and planets, and more stuff to think about when building other than firepower and coolness.

      I don't know exactly what those would be, but I have some ideas. For example, there could be rare resources that are very useful, but only found in certain systems and planets, encouraging players to fight over control of the sources of these items, making combat and territory gains potentially rewarding. (Perhaps this could include alien wildlife.) And a complex NPC system could allow players to make meaningful considerations in interior design, as crew would require housing, food, entertainment, training, etc. (I think this is planned). And maybe crew could require periods of shore leave, encouraging players to build stations for their off-duty crew to reside at.

      It'd also be interesting for plants to be farmable, and have a purpose (maybe making food for crew, or the ability to convert them into ore resources at a rate of something like 10 plants of a specific type = 1 capsule of a specific type). Core drilling, where each planet has a certain ore found in its core, which can be extracted at a steady rate by player-built drill structures, has also been suggested.

      Stuff like that, combined with the upcoming NPC factions with which players can interact extensively, would give players more incentive to do things and more of a sense of progression. The lack of that, I think, is the reason Starmade hasn't taken off like Minecraft did: players have to make their own goals, which isn't always fun, especially for certain people.
       
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    10. wizardoftrash

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      Requiring food/water/fuel will only add an inconvenience that drives away players.

      If food is scarce, then it will be more convenient to simply make short mining/building trips and then allowing yourself to starve so that you can re-spawn (usually with a half-full or full food meter). This would disincentivize player interaction because players are much more limited in how far they can travel before they run out of supplies and re-spawn at their base. If you are already at your own base working on a build using the base's cargo, dying of starvation/thirst there would have basically no effect since you would lose nothing. For survival to actually matter here, the penalty for dying would have to be much worse.

      If food can be farmed, then it'll only be a minor inconvenience to gather/carry food or ice. It'll boil down to needing to remember to eat now and then. Some players might enjoy that maintenance activity, but it will barely affect the way people play. Abundant food would boil down to needing to keep a stack of carrots or something on you and that would be pretty much it! Worth re-working the game genre? nope!

      The reason why Minecraft has a food system in-place is in-part because it is an extension of your health bar, and minecraft's primary focus is what you are doing with your own character. The monsters attack YOU, YOU mine the blocks, YOU build each thing block by block.

      Starmade's focus isn't on YOU as an astronaut, its about your ships and your constructs. Any meaningful mechanic for this game is going to be rightly tied to your ship, your station, and your fleet and food/water simply doesn't satisfy that principle. Right now the game is in a place where it has RTS elements, and the NPC update gives a taste of some civ-like gameplay. Couldn't we push that a bit further and find a way to incentivise players to attack/defend NPC factions? If players had more tools to scan-for and detect fleets, or to use SCOUT fleets to create notes in your map of the location of hostile ships, Starmade could easily become a strong contender in the Strategy Game genre. It already has the framework for this style of play, the trouble is that most of the gaming community is oblivious to that.

      IF ONLY MORE GAMERS KNEW THAT STARMADE COULD PRACTICALLY BE AN RTS
       
    11. Groovrider

      Groovrider Moderator

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      The only issue I have with the above minecraft analogy: In MF, even with the most powerful armor in the game the slightest bit of damage will take points off durability, even if I take no damage what so ever. Even if I decide to play it with hunger turned off, my expensive magic weapons and armor will eventually wear out and will need to be repaired or replace at significant cost. The tools I will use to make and repair it will wear out too. Managing your resource drain through USE not necessarily combat or damage is what keeps MF players exploring and building, not just worrying about your health bar. SM may not need food but it sorely needs a durability mechanic of some kind outside of combat loss.
       
    12. Matt_Bradock

      Matt_Bradock The Shrink

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      My biggest concern isn't the lack or presence of upkeep, whether personal (food, water, oxyigen) or shipwide (reactor and/or warp fuel, munitions etc)
      The main concern is the fact new players are thrown into the deep water with 0 knowledge, while the crafting system is both too easy in some aspects and unnecessarily complicated in others.
      There is no sense of achievement as you have access to every single tech from the start, since you spawn next to a shop.

      Let's take another game for example. Those who played it will recognize.
      You spawn in an escape pod in atmospheric re-entry on a planet. You steer it best you can to a relatively clear landing site, and grab the few basic pieces of equipment and resources from it. There is no shop, you have no parts to build a ship, only a small amount of raw resources and very basic tools to mine and hunt - or defend yourself from the indigenous that might see you as potential food.
      If you chose wisely, your planet's atmo is breathable. Luckily, a quest immediately pops up, and turns out to be a tutorial about the game's crafting system and how to set up your first little outpost, and craft your first weapon that sucks a little less.
      You have to worry about food, but it can be found on any planet and you don't have to look hard. You have to worry about water, but you can generate purified water from natural lakes or snow with the right tool. You have to worry about oxygen, but as long as you find a water source that won't be a problem either. However you have to also take care of fueling those machines, and for that, you have to mine, and to access the better tools, parts and machinery, you have to upgrade your constructor. So you set up your first little outpost to offer shelter from all the things that want to kill you and process your resources, then you set out to find more.
      They are easy to find, but the start planet doesn't have all types. Just enough to make your first shuttle with basic drives and weapons, and go to space to find the rarer resources in asteroids or the moon. Of course there will be hostile mobs you need to avoid or defeat, and the further you get from your starter point, the harder they hit and the more it takes to bring them down. BUt that progressive difficulty also lets you learn, and the game helps you learn, bit by bit as you unlock and access the more advanced tech, learn to build bigger vessels, better tools, machinery and weapons, a mobile farm, warp drive to travel to other planets etc.

      In Starmade you have access to everything from the moment you spawn, but you have no freaking idea what to do with them. The game has a basic tutorial, if it works, but that doesn't tell you a lot. It doesn't tell you which factory makes a specific block. It doesn't tell you the resources needed for a block until you actually have the factory to craft it and try to craft it. It doesn't tell you how much power you need to operate a factory or to power the factory enhancers. It doesn't tell you why you should create a faction and use the faction modules to claim a base or your ship. It barely tells you what do you need for a minimal functioning ship, or how the systems scale, you're thrown into the void with no freaking idea, and if the random number generator didn't like you, you gonna run into the range of a pirate station the moment you leave spawn, die, and lose everything you had because you spent all your starting money on your first pathetic little boat. And there is no option to reset your character and get your starting inventory and credits back.
      Simultaneously, it has nothing to work towards. No quests to fulfill, no achievements to get, and since plain survival is no problem, you don't have to work towards making your life easier. No wonder many people only see the game as a building simulator and only play on buildservers, maybe or maybe not participating in PvP tournaments.

      At the current point the game would be easier sold as a team arena style thing like Robocraft where you build your stuff in creative mode, then have at each other and blow each other up, without having to spend a day after to rebuild what you lost after the match ends. But it seems that aspect of the game is plain ignored despite being the most action-packed free PVP fun the game has to offer right now. Yet, Ares Mod was abandoned both by creator and by community, and there are 0 battlemode servers running. Instead, PvP only exists in BnS when it happens, griefing newbies, or on the forums flaming each other.
       
    13. wizardoftrash

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      At the moment there are 3 baked-in things that threaten to damage your ships during regular use.

      1: the environment. I have lost ships to warping into suns before, and I very nearly lost one literally yesterday doing that (burned a nice toasty hole into my ship, NARROWLY missing my ship core and cargo for my mining frigate). Carelessness can easily damage a ship, and that can be a minor loss or a colossal one.
      2: Other Players. This is less of an issue on a low-pop server with big empty spaces, but in a perfect world other players would be enough of a threat to fill this "durability" need. Even with redundant jump drives, you could jump into a sector, take a few hits before you are able to activate your backup, and jump immediately into another hostile sector. Running away still can consistently damage or cripple your ship.
      3: NPC Pirates. I usually only run into trouble with pirates when I join a new server and try to get set up. In-between spawn and my destination sector to claim, getting attacked by pirates is almost guaranteed and I fail about 1 out of every 3 trips to or from spawn getting attacked by pirates in a shuttle. When I don't fail, I inevitably suffer some damage.

      Beyond these, there are some stranger things that threaten your ship.
      4: Bugs. Your ship might have disconnected from your base while you were logged off, or perhaps when you hopped out of your cockpit it was randomly hurled from you into nowhere? maybe CLANG claimed your ship? stuff happens, especially in multiplayer.
      5: User Error. Did you get out of your cockpit while it was flying really fast? yeah its gone. there goes 2 hours of work, bye bye!

      It isn't as if you can place 5 blocks on a table and get a new ship. Even the hardest items to repair in mine craft can be fixed in a heartbeat with almost no infrastructure. All but the most particular of end-game items can be outright replaced when lost.
      To completely replace a lost ship you need to have already set-up a big enough shipyard, saved the ship as a blueprint, and have enough finished components to print another one. If you lose the ship without a blueprint or a shipyard, you are re-building it from the bottom-up which could take hours. And this is all for one ship! When we are talking fleets, multiply that out across 5, maybe 10 ships per fleet? It would be a NIGHTMARE if I had to constantly check my fleet ships for durability loss when they have had no combat engagements whatsoever.

      Combat wears your ship out, and at the moment, traveling long distances exposes you to great risks as well. Mining however exposes you to very little risk (apart from accidentally jumping into the star in your own home system). Timing potential NPC attacks to ambush mining vessels could be a nice way to keep things spicy and interesting.

      One thing I could be comfortable with however is introducing a mechanic that causes wear or damage from pushing a ship's limits. The Power Update proposal opens the door for some pretty neat concepts. The "Heatbox" concept could be worked in a way where your ship's reactor damages your other systems when your heat levels get too high, or better yet overload and meltdown if your cooling systems get damaged or destroyed while they are in use. This would make it so that combat, travel, or even Mining could wear out your ship if you experience an environmental radiation spike, or if you spam your mining lasers and keep your reactor heat level too high for too long. My main concern is not impeding fleet mechanics by creating more upkeep. If you could adjust fleet AI to "fly safe" and not push their heat level above certain levels that would be an acceptable "wear" mechanic.
       
    14. Serene-Switch

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      To add to your last point I would also argue that StarMade AI is lagging behind the development of the rest of the game. If the AI had the ability to use all the systems (except perhaps the jump drive) that players have access to including the new auxiliary power system, not only would AI ships provide a greater challenge, but their size and power could naturally increase as the game progresses (in the same way AI Factions expand) thereby making the game (and whatever fetch, explore, kill quests) scale in difficulty as it is played.
       
      • Agree Agree x 3
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