Is this game supposed to get significantly harder by launch?

PIECEofTOASTPIECEofTOAST Member, Common Beta Backer ES1 Posts: 31

9 hours into the game and I just beat it, I loved every minute of it, but now that I am not going towards any goal I am not sure what else to do. I am not that good at video games because I have similar play time in spelunky and I can hardly get past the first stage in that game. I am just wondering if the developers plan on greatly increasing the difficulty (or perhaps the variety, either works) before the launch of the game.

Obviously it's beta so much will change, but I just wanted to make the suggestion that in my opinion the game should be significantly harder. The first 3 stages all feel like the exact same difficulty (very easy), stage 4 feels kinda hard, and stage 5 it finally starts to get a little challenging. In my opinion the first stage should be quite easy, but after that it should start quickly getting harder with every stage. It feels rather boring at the moment because the first 3 stages are so easy that they don't feel like a threat in any way, and they essentially just feel like a waste of time as a grind for fuel and resources to make it to stage 4. By stage 2 I think I should feel at least a little threatened. (obviously it should still be pretty easy, but at the moment it feels impossible to die here unless I tried to).

Alternatively you guys could add difficulty options as well, (easy, normal, hard, or something). But I personally would rather have a progression through the game instead of picking an artificial difficulty option.

Either way I still really love the game, I just hope to have a little more challenge in the future. Keep up the great work if you are reading this devs <3.

Update: Also after I wrote this I came to the realization that most other players on this forum aren't in the same boat as me (I see many saying they are stuck on sector 2-3 with many hours in the game). So I wanted to mention exactly <i class="Italic">why this game is too easy for me, and what strategies I use to make it that way.

Some of the utilities in this game are straight up broken. Stealth is the biggest offender here. If you are in a fight you can let your shield get completely drained and then immediately activate stealth, your shield will recharge while stealthed and you can still continue shooting the enemy. You can also use it to completely bypass terran and enemy bases and completely negate the difficulty that's supposed to be associated with them. For instance it's supposed to be risky to raid terran bases, but all you have to do is go up to them and shoot/steal everything while completely ignoring all the turrets and enemies, then as soon as you have gotten everything you want activate stealth and get out of there without taking any damage. The same strategy can be done with energized boost as well if you haven't found a stealth utility yet (just boost away and avoid all damage).

Dodging is also broken in this game, and probably needs a rework. Currently if you follow the circular pattern of "shift, d, ctrl, a, repeat" and just fly around in a circle while fighting you can completely avoid almost all enemy fire without having to waste any boost. In my opinion energy should be separated into 2 meters, one for boosting and one for shooting, then it should be much harder to dodge without using boost. Currently you can avoid most enemy fire and you don't even need to waste any resources to do it, so it results in dogfights being very simple and easy even with many enemies.

Terrans are far too abuse-able. Like I said earlier it's incredibly easy to raid their bases, and the same goes for their freighters. If you see a terran freighter you should kill it almost every single time. Fly up to it and start shooting all the compartments while flying around it in a circle, ignore the fighters around it. As soon as it's dead scoop up everything it dropped and then use one of your utilities to either fly away or stealth out of there. The amount of loot you obtain from them is absolutely insane, and it's very little risk to get it.

It's also too easy to avoid challenge. Almost every sector allows you to jump out almost immediately, so I just make sure I always have a healthy supply of fuel (easy to do if you abuse the terrans) and if I see a sector with too many hazards/enemies I just completely ignore it and go to the next one. The hardest parts of the game for me are the sectors that have "warp drive disabled" because it actually requires me to stay there and fight some stuff if it's challenging,

I'll probably make a video showcasing the strategies and stuff I am talking about, but I am going on a vacation for a few days very soon and don't have the time right now. But basically a lot of this games mechanics can be quite easily abused to avoid damage and gain a lot of resources.

And like I said, I'm not complaining, obviously the game is early in development. I just thought I should bring these issues up because I think it's a great game and want to see it get better.


  • ROCKFISH_HCKROCKFISH_HCK Moderator Posts: 579
    Hi! Thanks for your feedback!
    Cloaking is indeed broken in this build. You should be visible for enemies once you start shooting (as it is written in the cloak description).
    For all the other points: We are working on it and yes, there will be more challenging things in the game to come.
  • ES_1637ES_1637 Kickstarter Beta Backer ES1, Space Dog Posts: 16
    Here's my take on the same issues, some in agreement, some not as much.

    I was also surprised at how quickly I reached the end of the game, but I'm not sweating it too much based on what I've read around here about coming changes and additions. More missions and more stuff to keep you exploring in a particular area has the potential to significantly extend a game's duration.

    The incoming cloaking changes are definitely necessary, and I think it might still need another drawback added, a reduced duration of effect, or some combination of the two; as it stands I can pretty easily bypass the threat of alien gunships with jump suppressors by boosting in, hacking, then boosting back out, all under the protection of my cloak and without any need to give away my location by firing a weapon. The jump suppressors on small stations surrounded by turrets and mines were typically more hazardous, which seems backwards.

    - Have boosting leave some sort of trail or cause some other sort of disruption to cloaking that adds a chance of compromising stealth and allowing enemies to detect the player as if a weapon was fired.
    - Have cloaking disable shields for the duration of the effect (prevent shield recharge, maybe even deplete them entirely) and require the standard shut down time to pass after the cloak runs out before shields start to recharge.

    I can't speak on the dodging issue; I've tried to employ a similar tactic and haven't found it to be quite as successful. Maybe it's something to do with how I'm dodging that's influenced by the use of a controller instead of keyboard? The "shift, d, ctrl, a, repeat" approach should theoretically have you dodging in a square pattern, something that feels unnatural when controlling with an analog stick; my dodging pattern definitely came out a bit more rounded.

    I'd agree on the exploitable terran freighters and bases; outlaw base defenses seem reasonable. I had assumed that attacking terrans would result in a pretty harsh response, so I'd wait until I was done with everything else in the area, pop their tech containers, then jump out. I waited until I was absolutely desperate for some fuel before I gambled on assaulting a freighter. It proved much easier than expected, and any repercussions were gone on the next jump. Maybe repeatedly attacking/robbing terrans should come with the risk of getting flagged as an outlaw that traders and service stations deny access to? Making all terrans hostile for the rest of the run seems a bit much since it could double the number of enemies in some systems.

    My first run that made it all the way to sector 7 included a lot of systems with jump suppression (didn't count them, but felt like more than half), including two or three that had multiple sources of jump suppression to track down and hack, so I don't share the concerns about it being too easy to bypass an area. It could be that I was on the unfortunate end of the probability spectrum for that run, as I do recall there being fewer instances of jump suppression throughout most of the previous 15 unsuccessful runs. Maybe the probability of there being jump suppression in a system should be increased?
  • WeatherManWeatherMan Kickstarter Alpha Backer ES1, Space Optimizr Posts: 53
    edited August 2016
    You could give select ships scanning beams that work like short range,huge AOE beams to detect cloaked enemies.

    This could also be a tool for the player to detect invisible enemy ships (this should really be a thing, the AI seems just as capable of the player so it should share all of the equipment).

    Terran interceptors that follow you through warp would be a good idea to make messing with them harsher, I'd like the idea of every faction having a tough interceptor type ship to rival your own colonial interceptor. They should be as powerful as the player but for balance they should never be unavoidable, so players quickly learn what they are getting into for really messing with terrans/bandits/loitering.

    As for dodging: Outlaws (especially them) and other fighters never disengage from an attack run if you try to boost in tight circles around them, and that leads to the two of you just shooting each other constantly in a death spiral until usually the weaker outlaw ship is destroyed.
  • ROCKFISH_HCKROCKFISH_HCK Moderator Posts: 579
    Some good ideas here!
  • WeatherManWeatherMan Kickstarter Alpha Backer ES1, Space Optimizr Posts: 53
    You could also add onto the terran interceptor idea by making them fly a straight line towards other terrans after they follow you. They would make them hostile to you if it gets close enough.
  • MaheekrMaheekr Common Beta Backer ES1, Customer Posts: 26
    edited August 2016
    I just beat the game and it was a very dissapointing end. Why do I think that? Well, in a few runs ive come upon a great ship... when you have faced that large ship which (I think) you have to destroy becasue it has the jump suppression on it, and it has like twenty cannons on it, and twenty regular ships aiding it, to get to the next sector, and you have to use damage limiters, damage boosters, arc-9000s and so on to beat it. Then in this run I just met the end after just jumping a few sectors without meeting heavy resistance. I was really hoping to grasp how to beat that large ship. I was close once.. well yeah. Im going to play more because I want to beat it. I assumed it had to be faced to beat the game... it made me intrigued. What if there is something worse out there? What if there is a hive ship insanely huge which has to be nuked to bits and so on. I sort of assumed that I have to have the best upgrades or close to it to beat the game. Or at least have to be incredibly clever about how I go about it.
  • PIECEofTOASTPIECEofTOAST Member, Common Beta Backer ES1 Posts: 31
    Es1637 commented on the dodging not working as well for them, essentially the moment dodging becomes "broken" is when you can learn to control your ship in a way that it is constantly changing direction while also constantly maintaining high speed. I.E controlling your ship in a circle. Im not sure what attempting this is like on a controller but on keyboard it's quite easy. Essentially what this results in is the ai being unable to predict your movements (they aim where you are going, but because your path is constantly changing they inevetably will predict wrong). And it results in you moving fast enough that the delay of their shots will cause them to miss when aiming directly at you. It basically exploits the ai behavior because its very hard for ai to learn and predict patterns in this way. To get this to work properly however you must make sure you also keep distance, if they are too close their shots wont have enough delay and the effect will be null. When doing more basic stafing "left, right, repeat, for example) this isnt a problem because you will have moments where your ship sits still while changing direction.

    I wont deny that this strategy takes a decent amount of skill, and I think players should be rewarded for learning things like this, however I think games reach a point where if tactics like this become *too good* it can result in the game becoming boring for high skilled players. Most of my previous gaming background is in fps games, so keyboard strafing has become quite natural for me. So I just worry that the game might be too easy from this alone.

    A way to remedy this would be to make certain ai "agressive", so they have the tendency to rush close to you instead of shooting you from midrange where they are easily dodged. I also like the idea of seperating boost energy and weapon energy (similar to elite) so that the game promotes boosting during combat, while also making shots more difficult to dodge when you arent boosting, because currently I never touch it to save precious energy for firing weapons.

    This certainly is not the biggest or more important issue out there, but dodging is one of my favorite parts of dogfighting or space games, and it will be disappointing for me if the best way to dodge is simply following a pattern.
  • WeatherManWeatherMan Kickstarter Alpha Backer ES1, Space Optimizr Posts: 53
    The rush style AI should also be able to strafe while closing on you instead of flying a straight line.

    Keeping boost and weapon energy the same is actually a good design choice, as it promotes more skillful management of the game systems. It also makes the boost non-exploitable in combat, since players shouldn't be using it for normal speed in combat. (Pickup the daredevil module that removes weapon cost and you'll see how overpowered just boosting is.)
  • PIECEofTOASTPIECEofTOAST Member, Common Beta Backer ES1 Posts: 31
    You might have misunderstood my point, I think dodging while flying normal speed (unboosted) should be much less effective, and in return you would get more energy dedicated to boosting as an alternative, which would require better management and timing and take more skill (and be more interesting and fun, imo). Currently I dont touch boost in combat because it wastes far too much energy to be worth it. It's much more effective to just save it for weapons. I agree that micromanaging energy *would* be a good addition to the game if it werent for the fact that at the moment it's a bad idea to do if youre playing to your max effectiveness.
  • GiraffasaurGiraffasaur Administrator, Moderator, Space Cat Posts: 1,110
    edited August 2016

    I agree that micromanaging energy *would* be a good addition to the game if it werent for the fact that at the moment it's a bad idea to do if youre playing to your max effectiveness.

    Effectiveness isn't measured in firepower. Evasion is half the battle. There's a reason why Webber Drones are dangerous if not dealt with.
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