0.17 Intro mission feedback

Place to discuss the game balance, recipes, health, enemies mining etc.
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Burner Inserter
Burner Inserter
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Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:11 pm

0.17 Intro mission feedback

Post by melind »

Wanted to provide some feedback as an experienced player.

- Having biters actively drive the story is very nice.
- Robo pal is great, it might be fun to give him a personality and have him get up to hijinks in addition to helping explain/drive the plot.
- Not being able to hand craft wire/gears at the very start felt weird. I switch the machine to craft gears and then wire, I suspect new players may get stuck on this.
- The middle section felt good, when you can just try to build stuff without worry about biters.
- Research felt a bit slower then a normal game? But overall the pacing felt much better then previous intro, I thought the pacing could be even faster to be honest.
- I think it would be better if biters actually spawned in the biter bases and attacked from the biter bases (even if it is you forcing spawns out of biter structures). Would allow players to clear biter bases if they so desire.

Survival section is where I had the most trouble. For reference, I like playing with biters, I like playing death world games, so I'm more then happy to shoot up biters, but I think the biggest problems in the intro are here.
- Too many biters, too frequently. I saw in another post that the number of biters that spawn are based on pollution, but the scaling is way too high. I started out with a small base, similar to what a new player might make, only 8 iron smelters and 8 copper smelters (I had 4 of each, but increased to 8 in this section). I started with one machine making bullets, but it was woefully under producing the number of bullets needed. I added 2 more machines but even 3 machines creating bullets were unable to keep up (and keep in mind, 3 machines making bullets 100% of the time eats almost all of my iron plates, so research had stopped.
- This basically means that it is very easy to get into a death spiral that you can't build your way out of. Once you fall behind increasing production only creates more biters and gets you killed faster. Even when correctly assessing what you should do to fix it (turn everything into bullets).
- If the biters overwhelm your defenses you just lose the game, feels bad for me and I expect may feel really bad for a new player that doesn't really understand what is happening.
- The best survival type mission I've played in in StarCraft 1: Terran mission 3: Desperate Alliance. They do a good job of communicating incoming attacks, ramping up difficulty through the mission, and letting you recover from a partially failed defense round. I'd even suggest playing this mission to get an idea of how I think this sort of mission can be very well designed.
- If you really want to put the player into a hardcore 'protect your base from biters' mode where failing to defend is a real possibility, I think you'll want to start with a safer scenario that won't result in a game over. For example, you could have players core base be safe, maybe 'defended by old weapons', eg a bunch of laser turrets with solar panels/accumulators that ensure safe areas to build even if there is a total failure in player defense. Then the player is tasked with building an outpost and then triggering an event where they need to defend it. If the player succeeds in defending the outpost they are tasked with clearing out the nearby biter base that is threatening it. If they fail to defend the outpost, they are tasked with clearing the outpost of biters, clearing the biter base and rebuilding the outpost again. That way they can take as much time as they need to learn how to effectively fight and defend about biters. Once a player has a good grasp of what it takes to defend and attack against biters, I think its fair to make them actually defend their main base.

Sorry that went longer then I intended. I really love the new direction of the intro mission so kudos on what is done so far. I'm hoping there later missions that will help a player transition into mid-game bases and designing things on a larger scale.


Manual Inserter
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Re: 0.17 Intro mission feedback

Post by syntaxers »

The current mechanic for spawning biters in the tutorial is not based on the same pollution mechanics as in freeplay. Instead, it's scaled based on the research progress and production as a percentage of pollution. This is detailed in the dev post here: viewtopic.php?p=401791#p401791.

At 90% research completion, the biters are spawned at a rate such that killing all of them will require dedicating 100% of your factory production to bullets.

This means that (by design) the player "has no chance to keep up" after 90% research completion and will need to "hold out."

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