1st hour impressions

ES_6701ES_6701 Kickstarter Alpha Backer ES1, Space Optimizr Posts: 1
Spent an hour with the game so far. These impressions will likely change as I play more.

Likes a lot: Music/Sound design, environment design/visuals, map size. Combat is fast and punishing

Do not like: Little direction when dropped in, Very little ability to dodge/enemies pretty much must be tanked, too many systems dependent on energy/running out of energy feels overly punishing, some upgrades extremely expensive right off the bat, no inventory systems for new weapon/equipment pickups

Minor nitpicks: no mouse speed slider, no customizable key/mouse bindings, not all asteroids destroyable, destroyable asteroids do not fly apart when cut in half, base sensor range is very small, all health/energy bars are same size with no way to estimate how much HP something has, upgrade unlock conditions unclear

The sound design, at least for the warp/gatling/shotgun/plasma cannon/missiles are beautiful. Background/combat music is catchy and atmospheric, weapon and engine sounds are punchy and makes them feel very powerful to use. The environment design is beautiful, immense sense of scale. I have boosted for a minute in one direction and not hit the edge of an area if there is one. The combat feels a lot like the Galaxy on fire series only faster and more punishing maybe too punishing

My biggest complaint about the combat right now is that evasion of enemy fire is extremely difficult (no engine upgrades so far). I am not sure if it is because the ship is too slow or if enemy tracking is too good but despite boosting, rolling and strafing like crazy I am still getting dinked constantly. I find it more efficient to just facetank damage and "joust" with enemies. Boosting does not seem to put any real distance between myself and enemies when I wish to disengage to recharge shields.

Energy is in short supply having to be split between boosting, the energized boost (which requires both energy and a cooldown to function), and both weapons. Running out of energy in combat is very punishing, as you cannot fight back and you cannot run away. An ammo system for weapons that use ammo would be nice. A larger starting energy pool/recharge rate would be really nice.

I wish weapon and equipment pickups were persistent between deaths, but I understand that it does not make logical sense in the theme of the game.

Upgrades get expensive fast, especially with credits not accumulating between deaths.

Not going to elaborate too much on my minor nitpicks since they more than likely will be resolved as the game moves out of alpha.


  • TensETensE Kickstarter Alpha Backer ES1, Space Booster Posts: 25
    The inventory is a nice idea! And I totally agree. It seems like everyone is screaming in unison about the energy problem.
  • EvilGamerEvilGamer Kickstarter Alpha Backer ES1, Space Pro Posts: 10
    Yep, I pulled up the gameplay forum while getting food and read that complaint (badly worded) and its absolutely valid, I eliminated an enemy and went to try to burn away to continue the fight on my terms...nope. On some level it makes sense not to be able to leave fights whenever you want but the current level isn't viable.
  • EchoReaperEchoReaper Member, Common Alpha Backer ES1 Posts: 21
    edited April 2016
    Yep, too many things use energy and the game is focused on tanking since there's not really a good way to dodge/outmaneuver opponents in the open. I would suggest:

    For energy:
    - Separate boost energy from weapon energy (pretty silly that if you get low on weapon energy, oops can't even think about boosting out of the fight, and if you boost away from enemies, you don't have enough energy to counterattack afterwards)
    - Energy (or overheating would be better imo) per weapon instead of for all of them (that way when you can't use hull-effective weapons on an enemy w/o a shield, you can switch to shield-effective weapons to do a small amount of damage instead of sitting there like a duck "hi my weapons don't work for now -- let's have a picnic")

    For maneuvering / combat:
    - Increase default base speed (feels really sluggish atm)
    - Increase default boost speed
    - Increased turning speeds at lower ship speed
    - Decreased turning speeds at higher ship speed
    (both of those introduce a tradeoff where you can try to persue an enemy, but he can stop really quickly and spin around you, taking advantage of your inmaneuverability)
    - Make it easier to tell which direction you're getting hit from
    - Implement some sort of reusable tactical shield that absorbs all damage but can only be deployed for a second or two for gameplay that's more interesting
  • GrimlockGrimlock Common Alpha Backer ES1 Posts: 9
    In regards to the tanking the damage. Until you get nano bots, is there anyway to repair or any way to go to the stations to repair?
  • ROCKFISH_HCKROCKFISH_HCK Moderator Posts: 579
    Not now but as you suggested we want to implement repair and refueling stations, too.
  • TaldrenTaldren Kickstarter Alpha Backer ES1, Space Optimizr Posts: 11
    I am having a real hard time seeing anything. There isn't enough contrast between the target icons and the massively busy backdrops.
  • ES_3329ES_3329 Kickstarter Alpha Backer ES1, Space Optimizr Posts: 2
    Actually, that's a nice touch in a way.. i remember blowing up two terran fighters and I lost where the base was that they were protecting :smiley:
    No scanner, and limited scanning range must have put me outside it's "notice me" on the hud.

    I saw some "popups" with small asteroids as I moved into it's field - I'm presuming the nature of an Alpha.
  • madeuspawnmadeuspawn Common Alpha Backer ES1, Customer Posts: 8
    Just finished my first hour and so far only 2 problems.

    1. The controls for the left and right sticks on the game controller feel like they should be reversed. Especially when in first person.
    2. I haven't come across any nano bots at all and credits are very scarce. I think the first time I found credits was on my fourth run. This kinda goes against the death as progression mechanic.
  • GrimlockGrimlock Common Alpha Backer ES1 Posts: 9
    I've found 2 nano bots out of my first 90 min of play, and they don't do that much. They also i think require other material to do repair in conjunction. But i might of regained 5% of my health I think. I wasn't sure due to the way the interface works with that.
  • EvilGamerEvilGamer Kickstarter Alpha Backer ES1, Space Pro Posts: 10
    nah you just need nanobots, I've repaired two entire ships worth of damage in the same run.

    Its fairly random though, I lost the life support system earlier and had to go find some (you have a good bit of time before you die when that happens but being subject to RNG at that point...is a questionable decision).
  • sakkysakky Kickstarter Alpha Backer ES1, Space Optimizr Posts: 6
    edited April 2016
    I put in 46 minutes so far. i agree with alot of this. I found a few nano's but got killed by interceptors before i could use them. I did get to make some more rockets but what was needed for them i had no clue.

    the menue feels very limited, but i was expecting that from a alpha. it would be nice if there was a easier way to see what you can or cant craft with the items you have, or at lest see what you need to craft a item. That way you can know what to look for.

    far as the energy I thought it was infinite as I only noticed it going down when boosting. when firing my weapons I kept looking at the top of the screen where the indicator for the missiles were. so that was a little confusing.

    re maping of controls would be nice but i dont expect that tell later down the line.

    I am wondering how you go about getting a different ship. not sure if you can yet or not, but i didn't see it.
    I'll check out the 360 controller while playing tomorrow, but so far i really like the game.
    One thing I am really wondering is if the displays in cockpit veiw work at all. i'll have to keep an eye on that next time.
    (P.S, I hope when the game comes out you'll release the sound track too. I really like it.)
  • ZenTigerZenTiger Common Alpha Backer ES1, Space Dog Posts: 12
    I would like if there was an option to toggle button to have your ship always moving and when you want to slow down/ stop, then you hold the button down, just for people like me that might prefer to be moving without holding the thrust button. Loving the game so far.
  • TastyTasty Kickstarter Alpha Backer ES1, Space Optimizr Posts: 2
    Great Alpha guys, I appreciate the tent poles RockFish have put up and mostly it's working well.

    Positives -
    1. Looks fabulous - runs smoothly at very hi res.
    2. Combat is fairly well balanced, good fun and enjoyable - I've read a lot of posts asking for it to be nerfed, personally I don't think it's any harder than GoF and I'm playing with a controller, normally I'd be HOTAS and I'm a bit of a gorf with a 360 controller for flight. For example on my 2nd run I got 22 kills, didn't get to the end of the sector but made plenty of credits. Maybe ppl are hoarding their missiles, I used them freely and could craft plenty more, u have to try hard to run out.
    3. Lots of variety in each zone - True in 4 runs (total playtime about 90 minutes) most of the zones have been blue-ish in colour and fairly similar but there's been wrecks, a Teran freighter guarded by a gunship, huge asteroids with hollow sections and crystal to mine, plenty of containers, drones etc. It's a great start and more than enough for an Alpha.
    4. Sound is immersive - Great score that doesn't get boring or annoying (major props, that's hard to do) and has lots of variation, great job there. Weapon sounds and atmospherics are good, no suggested changes at this point.

    Opportunities for Improvement -
    1. Sometimes item-drops drift inside larger objects and can't be picked up. Some collision detect for items vs world objects would be awesome.
    2. The UI for repairs is not super intuitive. I think I've figured out that collecting ore performs an auto-repair and I can also preview how much repair my supply of nano-bots will perform but it's not totally clear what I'm doing on this screen. Anyway I know I'll work it out, a little head-scratching for the first time player I think, personally I don't mind not being spoon fed, especially in a rogue like. Depends on your intended audience.
    3. Desperately needs an item comparision system - when I open a container I need to know what type of item it is and how it compares to similar items I already have so I can make an informed choice to ignore it or switch out. This could be like Borderlands, show my current weapon/device compared to the new one and it's a single click/press to ignore or switch. I found a Disruptor, reclaimed my gatling gun (thinking the disruptor was a primary weapon) and still couldn't mount the Disruptor... I had no idea what type of slot that would go in, but by that stage my gatling gun was gone (perhaps I could have re-created it, I didn't try, I will next time).

    Anyway, that's a quick impression. I'm very glad I backed this, it shows great promise, excellent work to all at RockFish. I will play some more and post impressions using the DK2.

    Tasty, out.
  • ES_6956ES_6956 Common Alpha Backer ES1, Space Dog Posts: 7
    my first impressions- i love the equipment variety, however i wish we had a way to view new shields and identical weapons(or similar sounding ones, like Scatter Gun vs Flak Cannon) before making a decision

    As far as energy goes, i actually like how it's a shared resource between weapons and boosting, as that requires you to put forethought into every engagement. If this were to be separated into 2 bars i feel we'd lose the "oops you've screwed up" moments, it's not like we're going to cry and quit the game immediately if we die to a frigate or something.

    Shields IMO are nicely balanced, however recharging does take a long time, but i guess that's the whole point of it for beginners. This whole "critical chance" system seems very unappealing to me, as it's not clear how much damage a critical even does, nor how much damage a single bullet even does. if my Pulse gun only does 34 damage per round and crits give 125% damage, i'm not really gaining much by going from 34 to 42 on one round every few energy bars.
  • ROCKFISH_AndiROCKFISH_Andi Administrator Posts: 1,317
    Hi, thanks for your feedback, we'll show more info on items that you're about to pick up and give you the option to switch with your current equipment (should you have no free slots)
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