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Feedback Pyre's Thoughts on 1.3

Discussion in 'Starbound Discussion' started by PyreStarite, Jul 23, 2017.

  1. PyreStarite

    PyreStarite Cosmic Narwhal

    I have already written a review for the 1.0 release. Most of the things covered in this review have not really changed. I will be covering everything that has changed in Starbound sense 1.0, including Vaults, Terraformers, and Mechs. The 1.0 review can be found here. http://community.playstarbound.com/threads/pyres-thoughts-on-1-0.123715/#post-3128319
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    Mechs and NPC Ships
    I'm glad to see that they brought Mechs back into the game, but I am not exactly happy with how they were re-implemented. Before they were tech upgrades for when you wanted a little more fire power planet side, then they got removed during restructuring. Now modular space-focused mechs have been re-introduced into the game and I am definitely appreciative for their large initial customization pool. There are a lot of options when it comes to mech armor and weaponry, like mouse guided missiles or a energy sword. The variety of weapons for the player to chose from is actually so great that they player can not actually use them all within reason because each one is very expensive to craft. I was able to try out many of the late-game mech weapons, those being; guided missiles, energy sword, shield drone, and swarm drone. If I had to give fun-value awards for the mech weapons, swarm drones would get the cute award as they were entertaining and actually semi-useful at the very least and energy sword would get the favored award as I could always depend on the sword to defend myself by swatting at the pesky space flies who's best way of damaging me was contact damage. The fact that there are so many possible combinations for mechs makes me actually wish that I could select between more than one mech without having to go back to a mech station. I would really like a feature, maybe a tech console specific for mechs that allows the player to switch between their owned mechs, say one for long range, another or close range, and one last one for mining. This could be possible giving a tech console like mentioned before but can be taken home to the ship or through interaction with SAIL.

    I do have issues with the space monsters, which I will go into detail now. Each space enemy felt unique with the exception of the cosmostache and masteroid, their only differences being that cosmostache had a horrible turning radius where given the right variables could actually orbit the player and masteroid came in small, medium, and super-sized varients but could still change direction better than cosmostache really could. All enemies utilize contact damage, which in my opinion being its existence is a stain on gaming's history. I despise contact damage, and I would accuse normal monsters of having if it weren't for the fact that I can stun-lock them and not experience it. My issue with space monsters using contact damage is that melee focused space enemies have large amounts of it and all they need to do is tap you to take off half of your mech's health. When fighting trifangle is that they would do more damage trying to path through me than actually landing their bolts, and sometimes when in tight spaces chirpoterror would plow through me. Heavy drones, on the other hand, felt like honest mid-boss space enemies that can on their own give the player a run for their money if they are not careful, but what irks me about them that with how difficult it is to kill them while not being killed by them, the drop the same amount of scrap-loot as normal small space enemies. I just wish that it was more rewarding to manage to kill them, oh, and they come in lots of different colors. That's cool I guess.

    With the fleshing out of space exploration, the player can now use their mech to visit friendly and not-so-friendly space installations. Space stations would be cool, if it weren't for the fact that they only serve as glorified loot caverns and places to buy station transponders and trading items for a dull trading meta game that you yourself can't actually unpackage or use for yourself. I want to be able to crack open a Ration Supply and get random ingredients from it, or at the very least replace Ration Supplies with Rations which could serve as an extremely cheap and semi-effective food source, and Electronic Supplies act as reward bags for random electrical components like silicon boards or copper wires. I don't find the idea of going form station to station hoping to trade in my stocks appealing, I would much rather tax the daylights out of my tenants for living in cardboard boxes, which I actually don't because I have morals, but you can still do that. Make Trading Supplies act as Reward Bags please!

    And now my final comment on 1.3 related updates; NPC ships. It is cool to be able to visit wandering ships and anomalies and explore them for their secrets and loots, which when alternated with planet exploration is a refreshing change of pace, exploring with the mech is. Stations, both player made and pre-generated, are made from new blocks which connect diagonally which is a welcome addition in my mind if it weren't for the baseless suspicion in the back of my mind that says they may cause lag. What confuses me, however, is that NPC ships are also made of blocks of the same type. I understand that people took the time to design these ships for the player to explore, but the player's ship is not made out of blocks, it is made out of big sprites. If the player ships are made out of sprites, then why aren't the NPC ships? Wouldn't it have been easier to just draw new sprites for random NPC ships than meticulously design modular one-dimensional ships out of blocks and still make them look good? And I use the term one-dimensional very seriously. It gets old after a while exploring NPC ships, that you just walk form left to right like on a planet. After you get to the ship, there is nothing to explore besides go right and loot as you go. Even when you get to the bridge of the ship you have the chance of meeting a merchant, and they will only sell a selection of the furniture available on the ship. The fact is that there is almost nothing to do with friendly ships besides looting and extremely limited furniture shopping. Enemy ships, on the other hand, are just the looting part except you have to fight for the loot. Enemy ships you can board only come in two flavors as of right now, bandit junker ships and occasus button-door ships, but at least the occasus ships have more than one dimension. I hope that more kinds of hostile ships get added later into post-development, like; Avian Fanatic, Floran Hunters, All Seeing Knights, Dreadwing Fleet, etc. Also, why is it that NPC ships have mech bays but the player's doesn't? You would think that would be an important facility to have for owning a mech.

    All-in-all with mechs and the basic entirety of the 1.3 release, a lot needs working on as it doesn't flow the best that it could. A few irks that I have with mechs is that you can't summon them from the ship, you need to beam down with them to use them. I want to be able to "mecha activated" on top of bad guys, but at the same time I have done that already, granted the long way. To be frank, mechs are OP on the surface and being able to summon one at any time would make clearing dungeons way too easy. The only way that would balance a player being able to summon a mech at any time would be to limit them to signal availability like being able to beam away, and for NPCs to have access to their own mechs. Mechs already clean out house on the surface, so in order to help balance them out for surface use would be to tone down their damage and the intensity of space combat in general so it transitions well from surface to space. What would also help spice up and prolong combat is if NPCs had access to out of the ordinary weapons like unique weapons that they could drop, say the whip, or staves, or wands, and how come NPCs can't use items like bandages? I know they have horrible accuracy, essentially aiming and closing their eyes as they fire, but I don't want the AI to be incompetent or stupid. If they have an opportunity to heal, then they should be allowed to use some inventory supplies that if they do not use then they can drop. Letting the AI heal would also help counter guerrilla tactics and other cheeky tricks like slowly whittling them down.

    Ancient Vaults and Loot
    Adding post-End Game content is a step in the right direction in my mind, and these Vaults have finally given me something truly new to explore and work towards, inspiring the sense of wonder and curiosity that I thought I had lost for this game. There are a hand full of flavors that ancient vaults can come in, and even then each one is randomly generated, and the few that I have been in have been well structured and flow well as multi-dimensional mazes that I can truly get lost in. The only exception to this I have found in a Vault is a mis-placed block on the stairs of a desert piece, so I hope that gets cleaned up soon. Each smashed pot and enemy drops ancient essence, a new end-game currency that can be used to either help craft terraformers at the Terraforge or upgrade select legendary weapons at the Ancient Anvil. Each vault has a Vault Guardian that must be defeated in order to access the Terraforge and Ancient Anvil. Each encounter with a vault guarding is different from the last as each can come with different attacks and have a different gimmick for beating. Once the guardian is defeated, it will drop a substantial amount of essence and the door to the Terraforge, Ancient Anvil, and exit door is opened. The introduction of upgrading legendary weapons with essence allows the player to get more powerful even when late game equipment has already been acquired, but like as if I needed to get more powerful with 600% damage multiplier + rage. All-in-all, the Ancient Vaults are a welcome addition that have brought something new and refreshing to the game.

    Terraforming
    I have personally not had the resources to craft a terraformer, but I did have a Fungal one drop from a guardian, which I am not going to use because there are enough mushrooms in the galaxy. The ability to change a planet's environment on a mass scale is yet another welcome addition to the game for me as it adds another layer of player customization and preference. Now I can have a colony in a floral meadow, bringing back life to a scorched world and still be able to mine solarite from below the surface. I have nothing really much to say about terraformers due to my lack of direct experience with them. Yet I have the nerve to comment and critique them.

    General Gameplay Changes
    Quite a few subtle things have been changed. The ability to pause the game is a godsend that should have been in the game from the start, but I'm glad it has finally found its way in. The introduction of automatic doors is an absolute must on my ship, as NPCs + doors right now just leads to a bad time for the player. If a NPC stands too close to a door and a player tries to open it, then the NPC immediately tries to close the door again. More often then not, if you are trying to walk through an open door, then the NPCs will slam it in your face. I know that alternate biomes on planets is not exactly a new feature, like finding a plains biome on a forest planet, but when the alternate biomes spawn alternate biomes is when it gets urksome. I came to a volcanic planet to look for foundry biomes, not more forests and alpines! Don't believe me?
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    I get that anomalies or freaky contradictions can exist like in real life, but my point stands; I see more random out-of-place biomes like these than I do foundaries. This may be a result of my rotten luck, but it proves how ridiculous it can get. There are still plenty of issues in the game, like how wood structures still spawn on volcanic planets, Avian subterranean temples bursting from the ground into the sky like
    this, NPCs giving you quests to go to the literal other side of the planet and expect you to take them there or bring people back or both, quests weirding out like enemies spawning in the wrong place or birds flying away, charging enemies will plow right through you despite having your shield up, NPCs not running away when being attacked although one could say this is realistic. I have had five too many quests failed because NPCs got turned into dinner when walking form one side of the planet to the other. I had a multi-stage quest just for someone to have Shepard's Pie, first I had to get pearl peas , corn, and wheat. Standard enough. I got the food stuffs and walked from the spawn to the village only for them to tell me to walk to the other side of the planet to go get steak from a merchant despite the fact that I had 10 steaks in my inventory. I drudged my way to the dungeon on the other side of the planet to get the steak and drudged my way back to the village to be told I need potatoes now, when I brought the potatoes back they told me to go mash them now. You can see how lengthy this process had gotten, especially if a food requires ingredients you can't grow in the dirt. NPCs can randomly follow you around which is cute almost never, because they quite often follow you out of town and then the get turned into noms for monsters. All bandits for some reason are humans... I am detecting some prejudice against humans here. I noticed that you took away my precious Platinum, which I find Abolutely...!
    ...forgivable, but I am incredibly sad now that I can't comfort myself with a bed of Platinum ingots or Rubidium.
    All and all, the game still has issues, but if we didn't complain about them, then the Devs would never know what to fix, but my biggest issue with the game is that there is still a lack of a minigun for players.

    ...seriously though, make the trans-continental quests and door in face slamming stop, it makes me want to not spend any time at all in villages.

    There are some good things here, like how Hylotl Cities became more dynamic with their floor levels and how there are now two different kinds of Abandoned Apex Lab dungeons (A mostly intact one and a wrecked one) which I hope is a generation feature that spreads to other dungeons and villages. I see that you also expanded the Miniknog standard issue joke book. See? I care about the books. With regards to generation, I request that some actual towers be added to the generation pool on Toxic Ocean planets, they are all over the background afterall, and add something to explore on Arctic Ocean worlds. I know there isn't too much to put on a frozen ocean world, but I would suggest moving the science outposts there and create a variety of glacial cave generation through the icebergs.

    All-in-all, the game is walking in the right direction, just don't forget to squash the bugs and smooth the features.
     
    jvm222 likes this.

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