It’d be nice to have some kind of highlight on bases that are detected but not permanently scanned yet.
Increases strafing / side thrusters power on all small ships. The interceptor got a decent boost and now has the same strafing power than the main thrusters. Bomber and corvette also received a small strafing boost
While i like mostly symmetric thrust, like 60-90% is good, no difference at all is boring for the pilot. Small differences in thrust strength per direction can be leveraged by better pilots and provide a bit of extra depth that’s appreciated.
Moderately stronger forward thrust (more towards 60% but not so huge that its overriding) also encourages players to tend to close distance in fights which is usually a pretty good thing, so someone cant strafe away from someone using side thrusters and guarantee a maintained distance indefinitely.
The core game loop:
Im finding that rewarding credits on structure kill is a problem, a strategy i noticed and made use of is to buy a cruiser or destroyer, suicide run a fully built base, get enough credits for another one by destroying those modules and just respawn and do it over and over again. it creates a situation where you rush first to 300/1000 credits by killing turrets in the interceptor then just combo bases down continuously with very little sense of defense, essentially ignoring other players. The battles feel pointless to pursue, instead the only thing it makes sense to shoot is bases: its just suicide bombing bases faster than the other team. Station shields might help, if you’re required to actually control the space around a station for an extended period of time and lay siege with energy weapons before you can pierce shields it means suicide cap rushes are less important, and an actual extended battle nearby is important and the defense has time to defend before the base’s critical systems and spawnpoints are gone. Looking forward to the other station features.
Jan also mentioned torpedos feel kinda bad and i agree, but if they have the role that you can go under base shields with them and you cant do the same with capitals, maybe their role will shine more.
I totally agree with your assessment on the current gameplay, but I disagree on the suicide run thing. It might be true with low player numbers but as soon as someone defends a station with a capship it becomes very difficult to destroy the station without wasting credits/ships bigly.
For example I read in chat that flavien was going to finish of the station, I then spawned a cruiser there and successfully foiled his plan. This was with low player numbers, I imagine that even in a battle with 50 players it will be very difficult to destroy a station.
What is currently missing is better awareness what is going on at the battlescape, if the systemmap shows enemy capitals on the map when they are detected it would drastically lower the chances of just mindlessly grinding down a station I believe.
Balancing is naturally also not good at the moment to prevent the suicide run thing, capitals are too cheap and easy to get/or destroying things gives too many credits.
Capitals feel somewhat disposable.
What might prevent the suicide run thing would be increasing station turret damage, so that cruisers have a hard time surviving as long as a stations turrets are alive.
Here are my thoughts on the not so fun situation with installation takedown, especially when it comes to capitals.
Currently the most effective thing to do is hit and runs. That applies to most engagements. I think hit and run should be a viable option but not in every case.
I think Flavien has a good plan to make it more interesting:
In his posts he hints that he still envisions similar gameplay to how we have it now but only at a certain stage of the fight. I think that’s reasonable.
Hit and runs with smaller ships, below the shield of installations. Disabling said shields as well as disabling turrets. After that bigger ships can move in.
Bigger ships will have the option to blow trough installation shields but a hit and run won’t cut it, as it will take much longer. So this opens a couple of options. With a combined fleet being the most effective one.
Capitals staying back, guarding the carrier(s) while smaller ships move in.
As for turrets, they are quite damaging to capitals currently. Especially the artillery variants. Problem is that hit and run allows a capital pilot to only expose himself to the turrets for a few seconds.
The “Reactor” component that can be blown up extraordinarily easily as a capital player also isn’t helping with the balance there. I like the component, it should be an option to either go for the reactor or the individual modules. Currently a destroyer can head right to the reactor and blow it up in seconds, then proceeding to destroy a land installation without getting hit by its turrets.
Land installations should have some (any?) more artillery turrets … and eventually they will get extreme range weapons that will make capital approach much more dangerous.
Did not have much time to write down any feedback from first Alpha weekend, but some quick notes:
Scouting mechanic is great, lacks info/feedback like so many things - is that station already scanned? What is my scan range in the ship i am flying? Did the planet surface i am flying over already get scanned before? Etc.
We are starting to see ship roles manifesting, which is great. Bombers finally have a role - Torpedos are in a great spot to take down stations and land bases. They are however still useless against moving capships. IMHO the current torpedos should stay mostly as they are, lose the need to toggle the (useless) safety lock off, lose (useless) lockon option and be clearly labeled as the anti-structure option once we actually get weapon loadouts/switching. Maybe also lower the refire time on them. A new anti-capital torpedo/cruise missile should be developed with better manouverability/tracking but worse damage. Bomber pilots should be able to take a double load of one option or a mix of 2 of the 3 available options ( Anti-Structure, Anti-Capital, Anti-Fighter ), but never all 3 at the same time.
Have not been able to test corvette resupply but like the idea. Still not sure about Corvette’s combat role.
Currently Destroyers are quite unattractive for lack of a clear need. Cruisers are the top dogs right now, a Cruiser group is essentially unstoppable ( by anything other than an even larger cruiser blob ) because Bombers can not yet counter them in any realistic fashion.
We are still far from seeing the real team dynamics, for lack of players, coordination and battlefield awareness - so solo ship use looks a lot stronger and group ship use appears weak cause it rarely happens so far.
Carrier functionality and the remaining station mechanics will have a huge impact for sure.
When you are dead, you really cant do shit atm. No stats checking, no chatting …
The more you die and respawn, the more annoying it is that you have to reconfigure your ship each time, camera, weapon groups, safety lock… remember the setting on a per ship class base.
When you are a small ship and hide inside the spaces of a space station, and try to peek out and shoot missiles/torpedos at a sieging capital ship, its auto-tracking turrets will see and hit you well before you can even get a lock. Peek and shoot thus does not work, which is a shame. Station shields might help with that, but hugging structures should maybe also make life more difficult for autotracking turrets?
Direct mode is fixed indeed. Hooray! You can get a decent compromize in terms of mouse sensibility between fast turning and precise aiming in Inty, for me its somewhere at 3.5 - 4, which is not excessive. However, now i need an option to have “Invert Pitch” effect direct control mode only and not target control mode that i use for the fatties.
Increasing/Decreasing target speed steps still only works outside of warp, not in warp.
Station scanning is really confusing - there were multiple (all?) hostile stations that i did not see until i was very close to them. Still i could not scan em.
Lots of floating turrets everywhere
At long range, make installations the top targeting priority, not a random small ship npc next to the station.
One random hit by station energy guns will oneshot kill one critical system if you are in a small ship - not cool. Make shields the first to always die, so you can at least run/manouver.
The direction indicator is invisible on the ice planet, and very poorly visible even in darkest space.
Agree - i change control mode between ship classes, never within a ship class.
In the long run we inevitably need decent 3rd person controls + HUD for the turret based ships, and several different systems plus different management depth compared to the 2 twitch-based 1st person combat ships ( Inty/Bomber ).