Right, here’s some random ramble. I played a bit last night (before the previous post), so none of this is particularly fresh in my mind.
Before this, I only played once or twice during beta weekends, and I had absolutely no idea what was happening or what I was supposed to do. I sort of still don’t, but I did manage to make a little more sense out of stuff through trial and error, and had quite a bit of fun! So here’s what I think is missing:
First and foremost: a beginner’s guide or a tutorial. I think an active member of the community would be better suited to make one, rather than the devs. Some of what should be covered:
- Basic controls for exploration and getting from place to place - how to fly, how to boost, how to warp. The different control schemes as well. How to read the relevant parts of the HUD, namely speed, target speed and the like.
- How to find and reach a battle.
- Basic controls for combat - how to target, auto assist & different formation options (I still didn’t figure those out entirely), how to fire the guns (LMB and RMB), how to fire missiles (first how to lock on, then Right Ctrl). Cover the combat-related HUD elements, like the ammo counters and the gun heat gauge.
Just those should be enough for people to jump in and have fun with some combat. You might think this is covered by the in-game help screen (F9), but trust me as a recent noob - it’s not.
Some more things that should be covered for those who want a deeper understanding of the game mechanics:
- How money works.
- Combat mechanics - how the damage system works, how much damage each weapon does. How to get more missiles (if there even is a way).
- Different parts of the menus (comms, overcharge, etc).
- Different types of ships (personally I only played with the interceptor so far, I’m sure other ships play way differently)
- Battle mechanics - what’s the goal of the attackers in any particular battle, what’s the goal of the defenders.
If a guide like this already exists, I couldn’t find it. Make it prominent. Pin it. Link to it from the website/FAQ. Make the beta accessible to new players.
The other thing that’s missing is actually closely related - better indication of what to do. The bottom-left tells you something like “join the battle at X”, but doesn’t seem to give you any meaningful way of how the hell to get there.