Author Topic: Feedback - Unexpected Turns and too many clicks  (Read 41 times)

Offline ArnaudB

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Feedback - Unexpected Turns and too many clicks
« on: May 15, 2018, 08:00:20 AM »
The Last Feedback

(Edit: at the time of writing, the second DLC has been installed (Betrayal) but not the second (Technology) due to me wanting to figure out what the first DLC brought before going for the second.)


Hello everyone,

In waiting for Ai War 2 to get properly released with enough features, I went back to Ai War 1 then recently to The Last Federation. I had only played a measly twenty hours in TLF to my hundreds in AI war. That was perplexing since I liked TLF’s premise as much as AI War, and my last playthrough was apparently in 2014. Changes and DLCs content made me happy, but oh boy did I figure out why I left after a couple dozen hours.

The good first. The best thing about the game is the unexpected turns it takes at every game: the changed solar systems, the varied starting relationship, the attempts at ruining people lives making the federations better and the much more common attempts at making people happy causing much frustrated grief between war-like and honor-bound species. It’s all good, always have a backup specie, work on two axes making friends friendlier and at the end you can have two new mutual friend making everybody friend. Or, you know, ensure you have one side to become a federation when one wipe out the other.

The sheer freedom in being to move between planets, that it takes time yet so little you can move around with no penalty yet still physically moving between the places. That’s wonderful too, that freedom you see and feel.

Now what is there to cause problems? Well, the interface and specifically the interface that punishes the player the better the player plays. How so? When you want to research and technology or build something: both necessary, fulfilling and cash-rewarding actions, you need a lot of clicks and menu interactions. I wish to build an university: select the planet, open friendly action, select the build option, select the building, give the okay, activate super-speed, close the completion menu. That’s seven action with only ‘activate super-speed’ having a keybind.

Do I want to build three universities (the maximum number)? That’s three times as many clicks so twenty clicks. Do I want to build three others buildings three times? That’s a hundred eighty more clicks to do. It’s worse the better manufacturing the player has, since as the cost in time get lower, the more incentive a smart player has to order something build.

Technology research has the same issue, but emotionally feel worse. Unlike building (where you’re pay very well), research is better with short researches times thus scientists. Often it means researches are going to be 1-2 months and it’s going to take six-seven click per research again. Worse, since it gets annoying to navigate through menus again, it encourages putting off researches which hurt the player and force him to research in bulk.

This interface issue happens in other places. In this case the Bovarines works as a good example. They have an ability to better the relationship better two races at a credit cost, and you have to select both races every-time even if you’re only focusing on two races for a while. The player has to go through the menus and select the races in a sometime finicky drop-down menu. So what happens? The smart player stack up on credit and make his selection once, then spam ‘okay’ a bunch of time to skyrocket a relationship between two races rather than anything more complicated or smarter.

The same happens when using Andor’s trade-boosting option : you can stack the trade route ‘okay’ till the game force you to manually change which trade route get boosted.

With all this said, and likely elaborated in such a complex fashion that it must resemble one of my convoluted scheme from within the game, what could be done? I see a few alternatives.

The first is a list of ‘last actions’ taken allowing to repeat an action already taken, such as lauding, improving relationship between races or bribing a race. The second is shortcuts (hotkeys) allowing to navigate to the friendly-hostile menus and within the various menus that are within the menus. The third is the ability to queue non-instant tasks on a planet, possibly complimented with drop-down menus (like for research) to not close when an option is selected. The fourth would be the ability to build multiple of a same building rather than one at a time.

Those are the possibilities I see at the time. Is there other stuff? That’s likely. For now what come to mind is the exploit allowed by the “Tax breaks” kind of option, sinking others RCI values in favour of economy. “Tax breaks” can be spammed by telling a race to invest elsewhere than economy, then counselling “tax breaks” again for the low total price of half a thousands credits. It does make easy to make some races join to due the catastrophic state of their RCI of the day, but it does feel really… unnatural to be listened with such contradictory and devastating results.

…You can probably guess I do as well in Betrayed mode as in Federation mode. I seem to be very good at being destructive with friendly advice.

Or am I?

This constructive criticism was written in the full spirit of an helpful Hydral.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2018, 09:52:12 AM by ArnaudB »