Hello. Excellent new game! I played the game and wanted to add a few suggestions for the main mode (the one on the map).
Damage should stay after battles. As it is, there are airships that attack my places, which I nearly destroy, but then they "retreat" because they run out of ammo, fully healing. They quickly fly back to their base and back again to attack. My base keeps the damage it took even though I won (any destroyed modules), however, their ship needs no repairs. This has repeated 8+ times in a row by the ai with the same ship before I quit the game. Humans can use this tactic too, though I imagine they never would because it takes forever.
AI shouldn't know what my defenses are like in my cities. Example: I have a base with only 1 huge tower when I notice it needs one small upgrade. I refit it, and it only takes a second. However, instantly when I do, 7 different nations send an attack ship to base. The tower was rebuilt with plenty of time to spare, though it was destroyed by point 3...
Fire extinguishers should be unlocked for everyone always. Nearly every battle is won from fires, and it would be much more interesting if ships could actually just get shot down instead of always burning to death. It also makes it so that the winner of a battle is whichever ship first gets a volley of well timed shots to hit a few spots, causing 2 separate fires that overwhelm the ship and crew. While this is fine, it is all that ever happens, and it would be more interesting if ships could be designed to fight fires more effectively (fire extinguishers).
Thanks for reading!
Captain, Engineering Corps
Now even though these are valid points I have been able to beat the "Campaign" So in my thought these would make the game easier.
And you should try out Multiplayer ;)
I am really enjoying the game as well! I agree with everything Orion987 says above, especially the fire extinguishers point. I am really enjoying the battles as well, but I think they come down to fire destroying the ships too often.
Hello! Thank you for the detailed feedback. Commenting on each point in turn:
Right now, damage is only retained in terms of modules totally destroyed, and everything else gets insta-repaired. The fix here is going to be having to actually repair minor damage as well, perhaps automatically, but still taking some time. The AI also needs to be taught to refit its ships - it currently has a tendency to go conquering with ships that have had all of their guns blown off.
I'll be introducing a simple espionage mechanic in a while which lets you spend money to see the state of enemy defences. The AI will then switch over to that method rather than the current cheating one of just telepathically knowing the state of your defences. As a temporary fix, I might have it count the under-construction ship/building as already complete, which will at least stop the "invasion on refit" problem.
I might also just put in a hard block with the AI that the same fleet can't re-invade a city within two minutes or something, to prevent silly things like this.
This is an interesting one from a game design perspective. Basically, I agree that there is a problem, but disagree with your solution for it.
The problem is that fires are so destructive that you need fire extinguishers to deal with them.
So why not always unlock fire extinguishers? Because fire points exist. That's what I mean by this being interesting from a game design perspective. I absolutely understand your frustration about the extinguishers. But one very important design goal for the game is that all module types should be useful in certain situations. Any module that is overshadowed by another in all situations might as well not exist.
To prevent this from happening, modules should be situationally better than one another. For example, grenades do huge amounts of damage, but to use them effectively, you need a small, manoeuvrable ship with a good service ceiling. Putting grenades on a hulking ground-hugging battleship is pretty useless, and you'd be better of with cannons or maybe rockets.
The solution for the "ships without fire extinguishers always burn up" problem needs to involve re-jigging things so that there are some designs or combat situations where fire points are better, and others where extinguishers are better. This doesn't make getting extinguishers in strategic mode useless - the space of possible ship designs grows with each module you unlock.
The likely solution is going to be something along the lines of "make fires less bad, make fire extinguishers less good". So I might reduce the chance of a module catching fire, which in itself should make some well-placed fire points sufficient in many designs. Then, I'll actually make fire extinguishers worse. The three ways I can think of right now are to decrease their water capacity, increase their cost, or make them slow down crew more, making them less suitable as "improved corridors".
This will take some balancing and testing, so it's possible that by the next update, fire extinguishers will be still too good, or now too bad. All part of the development / alpha / early access process, I'm afraid. What's more, as I add more modules and mechanics, and make balance adjustments elsewhere, the balance between fire, extinguishers, and fire points may shift and need to be corrected again.
OK, that got a bit long, but I hope it was interesting. Again, thanks for taking the time to leave detailed feedback.
Actually, if you don't mind, can I post your fire extinguisher suggestion and my answer on the news feed / IndieDB? Basically, I really like the way it illustrates some of the design thoughts that go into the game, and, uh, I want to show off that people are making good suggestions on the forums! :)
Sure, post whatever you want. I appreciate you asking.
As far as fire extinguishers go, IMO they are balanced currently. If they are the only option in small ships, they may put out one fire or two, but you'll run out of water nearly instantly. The fire points have significantly more water, but obviously take up more space AND have less access points (no top access/movement). From my experience, ships with only fire extinguishers run out of water nearly instantly, which is good. Ships with only fire points tend to get overwhelmed by fires at the corners of ships. Ships with a balance (good access to fire points, with a fire extinguisher covering hard to reach areas) are balanced, and much more interesting. Although this is just personal preference at this point, I'd unlock fire extinguishers from the start and make them slightly more expensive.
Edit: I have yet to see an AI ship with any parts blown off, but I think this is because all the ships I fight have burnt to death or run out of ammo before this could happen.
Does anyone feel that rockets are too inaccurate? I have tried to use them on ships, and found them to be so inaccurate that it is not remotely worth the increased damage. Similarly, there are many times I have one a battle with a worthless ship (like a single cannon and no other weapons) because the other ship had like 4 rockets and none of them could do anything. When they did hit, the increased damage wasn't that noticeable. On the contrary, I have found grenades to be too accurate. High flying ships group their grenade tosses so closely that a single, light wooden armored ship with 3 grenadiers can blow off all the guns of a ship with many cannons, gatling guns, or riflemen before taking any significant damage. I don't think it's that they do too much damage, just that they are so well grouped that they become much more effective than any other weapon IMO.