Author Topic: Initial Reflections  (Read 527 times)

Offline Leglaen

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Initial Reflections
« on: April 04, 2014, 11:57:01 AM »
First, thanks to Arcen for letting me test the game. I'm not entirely familiar with Mantis, but I think I'll get the hang of using it. But here are some general thoughts and impressions after a solid 45-minute session.

1. It's fun. Enjoyable. Very pleasant on the whole, even now. Best to start with that.

2. Some elements of the solar map appear unintuitive--I thought I could (left? right?) click on a planet to bring up its type or details about its
Instead (and this may be my ineptitude or my rush to play without reading), I find that my ship is moving to the planet. In other words, it is not clear how I can check the details. Eventually, I found the 'planetary details' button and it worked...though (NB) I don't see a 'close' button for the planetary details screen.

Also: I have to make a few clicks to get to the planetary details screen. Maybe I should be able to know the color typology (e.g., big = gas giant, blue = watery, blue-green = terrestrial)...but it was not entirely clear and I had to spend some time looking at every type of planet.

A war was declared while I was on a dispatch mission...but I do not think I was able to stop the dispatch mission in-progress--is this intentional? Or did I miss something?

Final comment: chalk it up to my ignorance perhaps, but it was difficult to distinguish between fleet/armada and simple planetary defense force on-screen. (I.e., the SIZE differential may not be as great. Or perhaps I was zoomed out too much. Maybe a system similar to Sins of a Solar Empire could work...where the icons become larger as you zoom out?)

Random positives: I was pleasantly surprised by the Acutian political 'parties'. Quite intriguing a process that the player can influence. Fairly straightforward. Also, the distinction between friendly and hostile actions is very clear and easy to see in the UI.

3. Combat: Overall very easy to get in and start playing. As a Turn-based veteran it was not difficult to understand.

However (!), I attempted to smuggle spacefaring tech to the Andors...and what began as a simple scenario (reach the drop point) turned into a 44-turn epic o' chaos. Admittedly, I was rushing through the turns, but I became somewhat frustrated by the 'get hit for 1,000 dmg and reset withdrawal count to 5' routine. I can see how getting a hit on the hull might disrupt hyperspace (or whatnot) calculations...but piddly little 1,000 damage on the shields?

I even attempted the gamey strategy of "use special powers for 5 turns so you don't get hit"...but that didn't work. Ultimately, I realized I could evade shots (somewhat) and managed to end the long engagement.

In any event, I enjoyed the first interactions with TLF--it definitely has much promise and even now delivers on quite a bit of that potential! Thanks.

Offline x4000

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Re: Initial Reflections
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2014, 12:08:29 PM »
Awesome, thanks for the notes!  A few responses to specific bits:

1. The solar map GUI definitely needs work, it's one of the things most lagging behind.  I'm not really sure how much I like the controls as they presently stand for the planets, either.  I think I need to shift some stuff around there.

2. The planetary details screen is the least-polished screen in the game at this point, heh.  It's on my hit list for sure.

3. The dispatch missions have some bits that are unclear, to be sure.  You actually can cancel out, but it's not clear that you can.  There are substantial revisions to the interface for that coming, hopefully before Monday.  What you're saying with that is pretty much right in line with everyone else, so that's good.

4. Not sure what you mean with the armadas and planetary defense forces -- all of the above are armadas, it's just if they are docked there are not.  Was there something more you were expecting or looking for?  Specifically, the game caused some expectations or confusion for you with this, so obviously there is a problem with its conveyance.  But I'm not sure what exactly it made you think was going on, versus what actually is going on.  Can you elaborate on this one any?

5. The smuggle spacefaring tech was really borked in version .817, sorry about that.  Fixed now in .818, although it's now a lot more baseline challenging, too. :)  The withdraw requirement at the end of such missions is also now gone, as that was annoying.  But if you do go into withdraw mode yourself, then that same mechanic still applies.  When running away, I think that sort of mechanic makes sense, but it shouldn't be in your face all the time.

Glad you were enjoying it!
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Offline Leglaen

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Re: Initial Reflections
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2014, 12:55:02 PM »
Thanks for the quick reply!

As for the defense armadas, I'll have to play later today to make sure....but during the war (Andors and Skylaxians), I was able to click on an Andorian fleet traveling between planets and a screen appeared asking if I wanted to ambush/surprise attack. There was no concurrent screen for the (smaller) ships that fly around each planet. I assume if I want to attack the armadas around a planet, I need to go to the 'hostile action' screen and then choose that type of mission.

In other words, there's an UI difference between 'ambushing' a fleet in space and attacking an armada around a planet. One just takes a click on the armada in space; the other requires that you go into a different screen.

Is that more clear? Again, I'll check later today.

Offline alocritani

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Re: Initial Reflections
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2014, 01:07:45 PM »
About defence armadas: ships travelling between planets are called skirmisher in game, and you can attack them (surprise attack)
Ships around planets cannot be attacked this way (except pirates ships) but can only be attacked using hostile or friendly acts.
Hostile act will let you attack planetary defence forces (alone, with support or joining attacking fleet) while friendly acts let you help defending forces to fight invasion.

When a planet is being attacked by pirates you (currently) cannot attack them by friendly acts (helping defenders) but you have to launch surprise attack against them (but I think it could be subject to change).

Offline x4000

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Re: Initial Reflections
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2014, 03:59:00 PM »
Thanks for the quick reply!

As for the defense armadas, I'll have to play later today to make sure....but during the war (Andors and Skylaxians), I was able to click on an Andorian fleet traveling between planets and a screen appeared asking if I wanted to ambush/surprise attack. There was no concurrent screen for the (smaller) ships that fly around each planet. I assume if I want to attack the armadas around a planet, I need to go to the 'hostile action' screen and then choose that type of mission.

In other words, there's an UI difference between 'ambushing' a fleet in space and attacking an armada around a planet. One just takes a click on the armada in space; the other requires that you go into a different screen.

Is that more clear? Again, I'll check later today.

Ah, yes!  That makes perfect sense.  That distinction is going to be going away soon, actually, so that will solve that. :)
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!