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There's no Desire to Explore

Discussion in 'Starbound Discussion' started by Giraffasaur, Jan 20, 2016.

  1. Giraffasaur

    Giraffasaur Big Damn Hero

    Hello my fellow gamers (and developers).

    I come to discuss a very important topic today: Desire.

    There are a lot of beautiful things to desire in a sandbox style game like Starbound. Lots of different races. Lots of different planet types. Lots of different creatures to discover. Weapons. Armors. Vanity items. So many different types of blocks = WONDERFUL.

    But then there are tiers.

    Before I go further, I want to state that some of the issue I'm about to address is being addressed. For instance, the new weapons are WONDERUL in that all of them are viable and none are vastly superior over the others (ignoring flamethrower for now). The player can choose how they wish to play instead of be forced to only use the best, highest tier single weapon. Having three late-game armors is also great; choosing how you wish to optimize what you already have is a great way to add more variety to the game. Also, aesthetic slots for how the player looks are fantastic. But with all that said...


    Tiers break desires and force needs onto the player. Progression is good, but not if it makes the player feel like nothing they progressed through is worth having anymore. I cannot count how many times I dumped all the crap that wasn't highest tier. Hatchling set? Gone. Too many times to count. Tiers don't create variety. They create an ocean of obsolete with a slim shoreline of optimal.

    So let's talk about exploring and why tiers hinder it.

    As a player, I have no desire to explore anything on a non-extreme planet. I don't get as many pixels, find nearly as good of items, find incredibly less ore, etc. There is NO desire at all to go backwards. Fiery stars are the ONLY stars to venture to, because they are optimal.

    I should find the difference in terrain, block variety and dungeons to be interesting, but I don't. Because they're not optimal. They're not as good. They're inferior. It's as simple as that.

    So how can we make these more interesting again? Well, the latest nightly seems to be on the right track: Having different techs do different things makes some more suited for a specific scenario than another. Nothing is optimal, everything is viable (ignoring certain tech requirements for certain atmospheres).

    Let's pretend, for a moment, there were not any tiers in the game. Let's pretend the first armor you craft is just as good as the highest tiered armor you craft. Now let's also pretend the starting planet (we'll call it a jack-of-all-trades planet) has every single ore in the game found equally below the surface.

    Since the armors are made of different materials, you simply have to find the material to create that particular armor. One isn't better than the other, but maybe they enable the ability to use a certain tech. The difference merely comes down to what ores you had the desire to find, and maybe give a slight viable benefit to play the game a certain way over another.

    So, about those ores. Maybe having every single ore on a starting planet is silly. Instead, I believe making certain ores only found on certain planet types (or maybe even biomes) would incentivize explorers to go to unique planets instead of just to a "highest tier." Now, if you want that particular tech, you'll need to brave an icy world. Or, if you want to upgrade that item, you'll need to find materials only found in a jungle.

    I mean, they got it right with oil. How many times have you looked through your galaxy map wondering "where is that Desert Planet so I can get my Lantern on a Stick?" Now think if this is how you searched for another particular resource for a desired item, like titanium. Or gold. Or rubium. To get that special gun. Or storage locker. Or ship upgrade.

    Incentivized, desired exploration. Boom.

    And even then, maybe you mix up planet types with atmosphere types. Because hey, we're still pretending tiers don't exist. You could have a hot jungle planet. You could have a non-oxygen desert planet. You could have a freezing cold forest planet that is radioactive, but is loaded to the gills with silver (which you need for that one thing you desire). The variety expands, but it doesn't restrict the player from exploration. In fact, it opens up the possibilities. It creates viability. It creates a desire to explore.

    All of this is possible ONLY if we pretend there weren't any tiers.

    So how do we get rid of tiers? If you've braved this long post, I'm curious as to what you think as well. Am I right? Am I way off? Tell me what you think.
     
  2. The MechE

    The MechE Existential Complex

    What if they kept tiers but had all planet types have a chance to be all difficulty levels?

    I understand the need for tiers. Tiers create progession. Progression feels good in games. That's why so many games have progression. You just need to do the progression correctly.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2016
    Omega68nova, Jellypuff and jakecool19 like this.
  3. lazarus78

    lazarus78 The Waste of Time

    They could keep the star colors to denote tier progress, then increase each successive star includes tier appropriate versions of the previous planets, so by the time you hit red stars, you have all planet biomes at tier 6. Then they could also adjust the star types to make them progressively harder to find, but not too much. Because as it is right now all star types are equally destributed.

    At least that is how I would do it. (And will, yay mod making!)
     
    The MechE, zeskorion and Apex-prey like this.
  4. Corraidhín

    Corraidhín Supernova

    Hmm... the things you ve put into perspective remind me of the Koala era, where sectors, while still tiers, worked pretty much in the same way any other sector would... they had an incredible variety of biomes, but with more hideous enemies, more ores yadayadayada... and some biomes were more common, such as tentacle... less threatening biomes would have more hazards such as meteor storms and acid rain to compensate the difficulty, making old familiar landscapes surprisingly more dangerous, I kind of miss that in the current builds, as indeed... we are forced to red stars that are rather unpleasant to the eye mostly
     
    Analogjacket likes this.
  5. lazarus78

    lazarus78 The Waste of Time

    Koala did not have more biomes, and they were much more bland compared to today.

    I think the main point about there being only 3 top tier biomes that lead to the feeling of the lack of biomes.
     
    Zzymotic likes this.
  6. Corraidhín

    Corraidhín Supernova

    Indeed, they ve really improved the way things are distributed, specially the mini biomes and underground parallax, it all looks amazing but as things are at the moment... we still end up with that feeling... rather empty, or rather lacking at the higher tiers, alas... but maybe they will find the solution to this
     
  7. Tatterdemalion

    Tatterdemalion Phantasmal Quasar

    There's another tier beyond the one we're currently capped at that allows combinations of all biomes and subbiomes, so keep in mind that more random variation will come eventually.
     
  8. jakecool19

    jakecool19 Big Damn Hero

    Well first of all I don't completely disagree with what you've said. There is some desire to explore lower tier planets only for vanity items and collectibles but, Starbound has the potential to do much more. I don't think tiers should be removed but, rather redone in order to prevent any planet from becoming obsolete. My idea is that all stars can have cold, hot, airless, radioactive, and safe planets(see attached picture). Stars will have 4 zones: The hot zone(red) that will be the closest to the star, the radioactive zone(green) the second closest to the star, the safe/airless zone(yellow) after the radioactive, and finally the frozen zone(blue) being the furthest away. Also the zones can be dependent on the type of star. Gentle stars would have a large habitable zone and a smaller radioactive zone, Eccentric star would have equal size zones, radioactive stars would have a large radioactive zone and a small habitable zone, frozen stars could have a large cold zone and a small hot zone, and finally firey stars would have a large hot zone and small cold zone.I think that there should be variety among the planets when it comes to hazards but, realistic ones. Nothing like a dangerously hot frozen planet or a dangerously cold volcanic planets. Tiers could instead be dependent on the size of the planet. For example Tier 1 would be any planet size 3000 and it would have iron, Tier 2 x4000 Tungsten ore (nightly), Tier 3 x5000 Titanium, Tier 4 x6000 Durasteel ore(nightly). Rubium can be found on x7000 hot planets, Aegisalt on radioactive x7000 planets, and impervium on cold x7000 planets. Also secondary ores like coal, copper, silver, platinum, and diamonds can be found on all planets but at different depths. Plants and trees can also be specific in that they will only grow in specific planets and on specific soils. Just a solution to the problem I thought would also help make the game more realistic. Anyway I'm sure CF will find a much better way to do this and I can't wait to support it.(Sorry this is so long and that the pic is so crappy.) uploadfromtaptalk1453351850132.jpg
     
  9. Corraidhín

    Corraidhín Supernova

    I like that picture... and your idea is very interesting... kind of like having each star with its own zones and biomes related to them? I supose that kind of locks variety depending on how close to the star of the system you are, unless it involved some different changes to avoid the very point at which we are in the current build
     
  10. Apex-prey

    Apex-prey Astral Cartographer

    i think this is the best starting point so far just needs a bit o tweeking
     
  11. lazarus78

    lazarus78 The Waste of Time

    Believe it or not, that is how they used to do it back in Koala. They had the planets grouped into hot, normal, and cold.

    Ive made this suggestion myself, but after learning that they used to do it already, I don't think that is how they want to do things.
     
    jakecool19 likes this.
  12. LilyV3

    LilyV3 Master Astronaut

    koala had more diversity, doesn't matter if I have a magma planet or volcanoe they hardly differ and each doesn't even differ withi its own kind. Koala was pure variety, and chances to see something new were HIGH. Chances to see something new on 3 different Magma planets is low now.

    So giraffe lacks interresting biomes. becaue once you advance to max tier all "lower tier" biomes are just a cakewalk. But the Old system allowed you to also find good wepaons and challange in ALL biomes. So yes explorng is boring because if you want to chesthunt good wepaons in the current build you will see hundrets of planets with basically 3 biomes looking more similar than koala ever had. And this is extremely dull.

    Ores back then were tier related as well. But I was not forced to do this in specific biomes, I just did it on a planet I liked visually and had to deal with stronger mobs. Also subbiomes, is there even diveristy between palnets? This weird "underground ouposts" or wooden/plant houses + strange pressurised avian tomb like china roof styled "subbiomes" seem to be on ANY of these planets. So basically omnipresent in that biome. Hows that "exploring" when you already know whats there? You just rush through it loot chests DONE. Even tech chests aren't tech related anymore, so fidning oen doesn't trigger the "oh what tech will be in it" feeling.
    Generally aside vanity and instruments the game currently hardly knows anything "treasure hunt worthy"

    The current game even with technically more biomes offers a lower true variety than the old builds did.
    Also a lot visual difference got destroyed, naming backgrounds of planets which were paired by tree kind. All lush planets have the same fir trees. -.- lame. And the most other biomes have also a extremely limited set fo available trees. It never snows on them? why? why should there not be snow on forrest and lush planets? Why no small Snow surface minibiomes? Ice only seems to appear undergorund. and hey, remember when grass even came in diffrent colors? We speak about alien planets plants and lifeforms. Why should they all have a tone of green?

    good old amazing planets and backgrounds

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    They were truly rare to find on the specific planets and a real reason to explore.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2016
  13. jakecool19

    jakecool19 Big Damn Hero

    Oh I would have never known, I bought the game in April 2015. Anyway like I said before I'm sure that Chucklefish will find a much better way to solve this slight dilemma.
     
  14. Kexy Knave

    Kexy Knave Cosmic Narwhal

    Different star types would effectively change the ring each zone starts at. I loved earlier versions because places weren't just "next tier up" they all had everything. Made exploration fun since it wasn't "Welp, finished this mission on to next type of start for a half hour."
     
    Lazer likes this.
  15. Lazer

    Lazer Existential Complex

    The way I remember Koala, it had "sectors" which were basically separate universes, with a sector for each difficulty tier. Each sector had all planet types. As far as I know, distance from star had no influence on planet type, and there were no "star types" or groupings of planets-types. We thought sectors were the dumbest system ever until they launched Giraffe lol.

    You could find really weird stuff underground. I'm talking large, large biomes of frogman ruins or gnome cities built on soft brick, subterranean crystal caverns. You were never sure what you'd find. Weather types, mob vocalizations. Even though there are now technically more biomes, planets felt more unique in Koala because everything wasn't slotted into tiers and planet types in a purely formulaic fashion.

    They really went in the opposite direction they should have, in my opinion. I'd love to see planets with more than one base surface-biome, sub-biomes unleashed from "parent" biomes, planets having more than one difficulty tier based on depth or certain biomes. But I guess that's just not the game Chucklefish wants to make.
     
  16. Tamorr

    Tamorr Supernova

    Actually Koala version didn't have all biome types in all sectors. It was progressive. As in a biome type or few were added to the mix each tier/sector. At least the versions I played they were like that. So they had progression in a couple ways; sectors and biomes.

    I actually don't mind how they have it now, but that is me. Since they are going to have an ultimate end point where things will mix up; My only patience is to see how they go about it. Right now since they don't have that last tier or so...; It all does kind of be similar, the only difference is terrain variation. And not particularly between biome but individual planets. I am sure even the biomes have a designated rough look, but it is the terrain I always look forward to.

    So for me, I can actually feel like I am exploring, adventuring, and the like. Of course it helps that my overactive imagination reacts easily to these things. Easily entertained seems to be a trait I have since being a child. Can't really expect everyone to be that way though... That is myself. :nuruhappy:
     
    jakecool19 likes this.
  17. LilyV3

    LilyV3 Master Astronaut

    iirc the koala had not all biomes int he lower tiers, yet it had all bimes in the higher tiers, so in sector X you could meet ALL biomes and highest threat.
     
  18. Zzymotic

    Zzymotic Seal Broken

    Also, each star's actual composition hasn't been exploited. Depending on what kind of star their is should determine what elements can be discovered on nearby planets.

    Also what about discovering rare and unique star systems?

    [​IMG]
     
    Corraidhín and jakecool19 like this.
  19. WingedSpear

    WingedSpear Big Damn Hero

    Theres not much i can say since you and Lazer said about everything, and yes, i had way more fun in Koala, to the point i stopped playing Starbound in Giraffee until they release at least the Hunger System, but i dont have much hopes about they bringing back the idea of Koala, maybe the game could be perfect with the old exploration system, with the new GUI and features (combat, quests, etc...) and also bringing back the Hunger and Weather, thats my dream for Starbound, if that ever happen, i could come back and start working in the game in a more serious way, making servers and comunitys, but with this current Starbound i dont feel exited about anything =/.
     
    Kexy Knave likes this.
  20. cooltv27

    cooltv27 Heliosphere

    you know what my favorite thing about koala was? THE 1-100 DIFFICULTY SYSTEM!
    gathering iron to slow? just go to a higher difficulty planet and get more, but watch out... the mobs are a lot more dangerous.
    not quite up to the challenge the current planet gives you? just find one slightly lower level and you should be fine!
    the only thing that ruined it was how easy mobs were (excluding birds) but with the new mob system I think the really old difficulty system might work pretty well
     

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