An honest question for the devs, and some suggestions

Discussion in 'Other' started by Frunobulax, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. Frunobulax

    Frunobulax Void-Bound Voyager

    Hi there - I have an honest question about Starbound. Something I really do wonder: Why are we not allowed to save during missions? I'm really asking you for your actual reasons: why? What were the goals of this in terms of game design?

    I mean, really, can anyone tell me the reasoning behind this? During development, someone must have said "Let's disable saves during the missions!" Did anyone ask "Why?" The traditional standard answers for this are "to prevent save scumming" and "To make it more exciting!" Both answers are very bad.

    First: I bought this game. I want to have fun with it. Repeating missions over and over and over and over again until I can finish them is NOT fun. It's frustrating. Frustration is not fun. Don't you want your game to be fun? Isn't that the whole point of a game? And how dare you try to dictate HOW I have fun with it? It's MY game. I bought it. Why can't you let me play it the way I want? You let me mod it, why do you artificially restrict how I have fun with it? If I want to (or, really, HAVE TO) save scum, tell me, WHO DOES THAT HARM?

    Second, Is it "more exciting"? NO! Well, maybe for a few masochists. But there's a "hardcore" mode for exactly that reason, right? For the masochists? Why couldn't you have made that a Thing in Hardcore mode, but not normal mode? Or why couldn't you make it an OPTION, with a checkbox in the settings? As it is, it does NOT make it more exciting or tense, it just makes it incredibly annoying and frustrating! Even worse, you do it in missions that MUST be done, not optional side quests. If I want to fix my ship and play the rest of the game, I *HAVE* to beat the "Erchius Mining Facility" mission. Maybe you consider it fun, but I don't. I want to continue playing the game and enjoying all the full features, but you put a roadblock in my way, but you put a sign on that roadblock that taunts me: "Want to use all the full features of the game you just bought? Well, first you have to finish our Reflex Test to see if we judge you WORTHY of it! Ha ha!"

    Yeah, yeah, I know - everyone is gonna jump on this post and say "You just suck! that mission is easy!" Well, yes, I DO suck now. I freely admit it. I used to rule at side-scrollers - when I was 17. Now I can't. Is it fair that only people who can pass this test are allowed to play the rest of the game they bought? Past the very beginning? Oh, I'm sure if I do it enough, if I practice for endless hours, through a combination of sheer persistence combined with luck, I might be able to finish the mission eventually. But that's just the first one - there will be more. Each one will be an exercise in frustration. Great. Sure looking forward to that.

    Disabling saves does accomplish one thing: IT MAKES ME HATE CHUCKLEFISH! It makes me pound on my keyboard and curse the descendants of whichever developer thought this was a good idea. Why did no one slap them when they suggested this? EVERY TIME I HAVE TO START A MISSION OVER, MY HATE FOR CHUCKLEFISH GROWS. Which is very sad, because otherwise, I love this game. I *want* to love it. Other than this flaw, it's superb. Why do you ruin my fun by making me want to throw my monitor through the window? Why do you hate me? Why did you do this???? WHY???????

    You just don't seem to understand that you have a broad customer base. Sure, there are plenty of young people out there with lightning reflexes. I'm not one of them. I'm old. I remember playing the first Pong cabinet game. I've played thousands and thousands of games since them. I was even a game developer myself, working on A-list titles. And for the life of me I can't understand this decision. There is just no good explanation for it except "Everyone at Chucklefish is a sadist."

    And it's not even as if I can keep trying over and over infinitely. Each time I try, I use up salves, and they take plant fiber. And plant fiber is becoming very scarce on my starting 0planet because I've used so much of it making salves. So every two or three times I fail, I have to spend hours more searching for fiber so I can make more slaves and try again. Gee, thanks for that! And, of course, since I need this mission to fix my ship, I can't even say "screw it, I'll go somewhere else." Nope. I can't even find more fiber, I just have to keep digging up the whole planet. Whee!

    Seriously, I would recommend this game to my friends if it wasn't for the "disabled save game" BUG. And yes, it's a BUG, not a feature. One of the things I like best about this game is that it overall does a very good job of combining a little action with exploration and crafting. It's generally an excellent balance. but when it comes to missions - WHAM! No balance at all! Nonstop difficult combat, very few puzzles, AND no saves! The balance goes right out the window.

    What makes it even MORE sad is that there are SO many other options! Here are the alternatives, ranked in order:

    1) Best of all: just allow saving at any point in the game.
    2) Next best: have it as an option in the settings screen: "Allow saves during missions?" Let every player decide for themselves. If they want to play Hardcore, that's what the mode is there for. Everyone is happy!
    3) Do what GTA V does: say "You've tried this mission several times and failed. Do you want to just skip it?"
    4) Have alternate ways to achieve goals. Maybe by playing a mission, maybe by exploring and crafting, a puzzle, whatever.
    5) At the VERY least, have more checkpoints!!!

    Let's look at the data! WITH saves disabled across the board, you have a certain percent of people who are happy with the situation, and a certain percent of people who think it totally blows. So SOME people will always be unhappy. WITHOUT saves disabled, or with it being an option, then you have NO unhappy people - EVERYONE is happy. Nothing is lost. Everything is gained. It's a win-win-win - 1) Chucklefish is happy because their customers are all happy (people like them and the game better, and more copies are sold), 2) bad players like me are happy because we don't have to smash our keyboards, and 3) all other players are happy because nothing has changed for them, they can still play the old way. How often does that happen in the world, that everyone involved can be made happy with a teensy simple change? It's pretty damn rare to be able to make everyone happy. So why don't you?

    If you don't want to do it, can you convince me why this should NOT be changed?

  2. Ainzoal

    Ainzoal Pangalactic Porcupine

    You can't be serious
  3. Frunobulax

    Frunobulax Void-Bound Voyager

    Did I not sound serious in my lengthy post? If you disagree, in what way? Why?
  4. Masiakasaurus

    Masiakasaurus Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    That mission is actually harder than most. Enemies hit relatively hard and you can't just skip it and come back when you've got higher tier gear.

    Interestingly, you didn't have this problem in beta. Dying in a mission forced you to do the 'ol walk of shame to get back to where you were from the start point but enemies didn't respawn. It allowed you to do suicide hit-and-runs against the boss/level, which is presumably why it was changed (why they felt this was a problem, of course, is beyond me).

    If you're frustrated then feel free to turn on admin mode (press enter, type /admin and press enter again). You'll be invincible and you can toggle it back off by doing the same command again. Some people consider it cheating but like you said, it's your game, play how you want.
  5. Frunobulax

    Frunobulax Void-Bound Voyager

    Thanks for the admin tip. that is a decent workaround. Though I think I shouldn't have to do that and my point remains - there's no good reason for that to be the default. A game where you have to cheat to progress is flawed.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018

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