Okay, taking this idea from the "worst ship of all time" polls that Keith has been doing, what I want to know from folks is what the single thing you'd most like to see changed about this game this week. Please link to a mantis issue if there (hopefully) already is one.THE RULES
We're talking about this week, so we're mostly talking about nondestructive bugfixes, balance tweaks, mission adjustments, usability improvements, and so on.
Preferably just one item per poster, but if there are a couple of things you just feel are absolutely critical for the game, then feel free to go ahead and mention them all; we'd rather hear about it than not, although we are trying to avoid getting overwhelmed with things that aren't actually that important to the broad playerbase.
To further clarify: we're not talking about new features -- we'll get into that territory next week!A SPECIAL PLEA FROM ME
Bear in mind that this isn't the last week for the game, okay? If you've got some pet thing you'd like to see done, but it's larger and/or something that would interest very few players, can you give us your second-most wanted thing instead?
Basically, the more successful AVWW is, the longer we can maintain it in the fashion that we have been maintaining AI War for the last three years. AI War has been paying the bills for three years running now, and let us grow from a part-time staff of 2 (Pablo and I) to a fulltime staff of 5, plus a few part-timers. Our second game Tidalis, on the other hand, basically came out and flopped dead immediately; it didn't even earn back the money that I put into it. In fact, in its whole life Tidalis has earned less net-for-Arcen-after-staff-royalties than AI War did the single day that it first came out for Steam.
I think most people here know that none of the Arcen folks are "all about the money," but at the same time the money is what lets us keep doing what we want to do with our lives. And what I really, really want to do at this point, is keep making more AVWW and AI War for another three years. To do that, we have to make sure that the game is as compelling as possible for new players, and that they aren't stumbling over the interface or whatever other problems constantly. We also have to make it so that the game doesn't just fade out and lose interest after a few dozen hours, but I think we're already there -- some of you have played hundreds of hours of AVWW, you tell me, and most of you seem to have played dozens.
After 1.0 comes out, the rules change a bit: then we're not trying to make a product; we're trying to improve something that already exists. It's the state that AI War has been in since March 2009, and I so
prefer that state compared to the prerelease state. I feel like that's when it's the most exciting time for hardcore players of whatever game, because the game can get just deeper and deeper for them.
The general response to AVWW has been extremely positive thus far, but I'm still nervous. Tidalis did exceedingly well with the press, but then failed commercially. So it can certainly happen, and has happened to us. I don't think that this is where this game is headed, but at the same time I'm trying to leave as little to fate as possible. If there's some little tic the game has that is just driving some segment of the players batty, then I want to know about it and fix it!THE PLAN WITH THESE "TOP ITEM YOU WANT CHANGED" THREADS
We'll run this one for a day or two, possibly more, and use the feedback you give us to help focus our efforts. We'll also be working on stuff from mantis that is already on our personal hit-lists. After a certain point we'll lock this thread and open up another one, where people can then give us their feedback all over again (the idea being that you get to actually tell us more than one thing that bugs you, over the course of the week).