From my experience now with talking with a ton of new players during the Early Access launch I slowly get quite a good grasp at all the little unintuitive aspects of Infinity:Battlescape.
(Also, here’s a past post of me talking about this topic in general: Intuitive, Tutorials and the new player experience)
After some thinking about this I came to the conclusion that I think I should suggest following.
You know that sound and error message that appears when trying to warp but not fullfilling the requirements. Yes? “Duh, Duh, You need to go at least 240m/s!”
Put that on everything. Everything!
Fire missiles? No target! Select target!
In formation mode and change target speed. Not in free mode! Change to free formation mode.
Change target speed. Flight assist off! Switch on flight assist.
Weapons out of ammo and trying to fire. Restock ammo!
Weapon currently reloading and trying to fire. Wait for the indicator.
All weapons destroyed … weapons still traversing … and so fort and so forth. (Those ones ar a bit harder.
I think the situation with warp shows that this has worked the best. We had tons of people ask about how warp works. … now … almost no one. The game tells them if they do something wrong.
I think there should be two priorities:
Priority 1: Sound and Warning
Happens when someone tries something that has no effect currently
(Examples are trying to warp)
Priority 2: Only warning
Happens when someone tries something that has an effect but is not optimal
(Examples are going fast without warping)
Firing your interceptor while not having a target selected or not firing at the lead indicators.
This might get annoying with time … might allow for these to be switched off in the options.
Continuing discussion from this post:
Formation modes are currently very confusing and not so intuitive. You pretty much need someone explaining to you how it works. Why? Because there is almost no feedback of what is going on. There’s the “Follow” icon (nice icon by the way) and it is shown in the system menu. That is not really functional like that.
Generally. Feedback and info warnings is what seems to work best to inform new players. The warp mechanic is a good example of what works there.
Additionally. Currently the formation modes are only good for flying around. That also confuses people because the game is about fighting. I think having separate targets for shooting at and being in formation in is a must have, else the feature is pretty much useless and can be scrapped.
That is already quite a good addition.
What is also needed is that all the controls that do not work in this mode to either:
A: Break the current formation.
B: Inform the pilot that what he just tried to do has no effect.
Both of them need feedback. So it needs to be obvious and audible that formation has just been broken by my action or that my action had absolutely no effect or an effect.
Manual strafe controls should not break formation. Most people, when they start out, don’t use any higher speed setting then zero. They are used to something happening when they let go of the controls.
Breaking formation due to distance should also happen. That is more tricky though. I see that the game does that already though and also displays a big warning about that. Great!
I also suggest showing the formation mode in “THR” white space that usually shows the speed setting. “FIXED” Will be a bit confusing but I think that’s acceptable.
One must have thing. Additionally to maybe the target info on the top right, is a specific HUD change on the formation leader. Colour Change … anything.
I also think that the formation buttons and radial menus options should not just switch the mode but also be able to be pressed again to change the formation leader. So if someone always only uses orbit. He can bind that and use it repeatedly.
Bonus for showing the configured distance