The difficulty curve needs work

General discussion about the game.
curithwin
Posts: 151
Joined: Sat May 05, 2012 12:42 pm

Re: The difficulty curve needs work

Postby curithwin » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:18 am

GauHelldragon wrote:The op was say that "easy" is not easy, and it really isn't.


No it's not, but it's still fun!
Gorlom
Posts: 519
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Re: The difficulty curve needs work

Postby Gorlom » Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:26 am

GauHelldragon wrote:The op was say that "easy" is not easy, and it really isn't.

It's relative, it's not supposed to be super easy walk in the park. It's a roguelike, with whatever that entails...

It's easy compared to normal. But that doesn't mean that you should be able to complete every run every time. Besides you don't really want to make the gap between easy and normal bigger then it is already. :P

Part of the fun of this game and others like it is failing.
fall_ark
Posts: 98
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Re: The difficulty curve needs work

Postby fall_ark » Wed Sep 05, 2012 9:29 am

Gorlom wrote:
GauHelldragon wrote:The op was say that "easy" is not easy, and it really isn't.

It's relative, it's not supposed to be super easy walk in the park. It's a roguelike, with whatever that entails...

It's easy compared to normal. But that doesn't mean that you should be able to complete every run every time. Besides you don't really want to make the gap between easy and normal bigger then it is already. :P

Part of the fun of this game and others like it is failing.


Regardless of what's fun and not fun / fair and unfair, I think many new players come to the game expecting a "ragtag band on a spaceship having whacky adventures and running away from overwhelming enemy firepower, barely surviving a harsh universe". The variety of so many sectors, especially when you first encounter them, are truly amazing. The premise matches your experience: You are running away from the rebels, delivering an important piece of data to the Federation fleet that can turn the tide of the battle. You have sailed through friendly sectors gaining allies and supplies, escaped through hostile sectors fending off lasers and rockets, and stumbled through all those strange and alien sectors surviving ion storms and possible asphyxia. You managed it! The Federation fleet is in sight! You delivered the message, your ship barely functioning and your crew with wounds and scars, and yet.... the fleet does absolutely nothing. The only support they gave you is some hull repair and materials. You were supposed to be a courier, a survivor...yet here you are, on the front line, battling rebel ships even stronger than those in your supposed escape. I mean, what? I'd rather have a last sector that plays out an ending based on your finishing time (you were supposed to send this data ASAP), but the game is too late in the development cycle to change that much.

Anyway it just feels weird that a whole fleet look on while a courier vessel, fresh out of a 7-sector journey, smashes the enemy flagship three times in a row. Not that it isn't a fine game or an awesome boss battle, just....feels not right.
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zell_man
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Re: The difficulty curve needs work

Postby zell_man » Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:46 pm

GauHelldragon wrote:I agree with the OP on this one. I think a lot of you guys are missing his point. He's talking about the 'easy' mode difficulty of the game, which is certainly not easy at all in the last chapter. I don't see why making the 'easy' difficulty easier would hurt the experience of more experienced players, since they are undoubtably playing on 'normal', not 'easy'.

That being said, if people are still venomously opposed to such an idea, might I suggest adding in some sort of 'Tips+Advice' sort of pops ups that could come up to help people out? What about the addition of an even easier game mode (possibly one where you cannot get achievements or unlocks at all).


Yes, some sort of tip about how features work would be great...and I wouldn't have lost the first crew I teleported to an enemy ship simply because I didn't know how to bring them back.
icepick
Posts: 344
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:18 pm

Re: The difficulty curve needs work

Postby icepick » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:45 pm

It's hard to explain everything in a game full of nuance. Still, a manual would be nice. In-game or otherwise.
Sycraft
Posts: 2
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Re: The difficulty curve needs work

Postby Sycraft » Wed Sep 05, 2012 2:28 pm

My point wasn't just that easy isn't easy, but that it goes from easy to impossible in one sector. I could deal with the idea of a game with no easy setting, though I don't think it is a good idea (not all gamers are hardcore, some want an easy time). So I could be fine with the settings of "normal" and "hard" or "amazingly hard" and "completely impossible". Whatever is fine, though I'd say have more hard settings if you want higher challenges rather than not having easy settings.

The biggest problem is that easy -is- pretty easy, up until sector 8 at which point it is impossible. I went through 1-7 without too much trouble, since I do have more than a bit of experience with games including pausing, doing RTS micro, and all that kind of thing. Then I hit sector 8 and I am completely screwed. I tried again, focusing on different things, and again 1-7 no big deal, 8 impossible.

Yes, I was exploring as much as I was allowed to, though the chasing fleet and low amount of fuel put something of a crimp in that.

So I decided to try cheating. I gave myself a ton of scrap, maxed the ship, and bought whatever seemed useful. I got to the last sector, was able to get to the boss ship and had a major problem with it. At the end of the fight I'd lost 3 crew, a good deal of my ship was on fire and so on... and then it teleports away, so I have to fight it again. I barely could fight it with everything, no hope a second time around with a heavily damaged ship.

As I said, the problem is the curve in that it isn't. It is a slow line, followed by a high wall. The idea with good game design is that things get slowly harder. They may start very hard or very easy, there's all kinds of range for games, but that as you play it difficult ramps up as time goes on and the player learns the game. In this game it does ramp up, right until sector 8 at which point it shoots through the roof.
fall_ark
Posts: 98
Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2012 2:41 pm

Re: The difficulty curve needs work

Postby fall_ark » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:15 pm

Sycraft wrote:So I decided to try cheating. I gave myself a ton of scrap, maxed the ship, and bought whatever seemed useful. I got to the last sector, was able to get to the boss ship and had a major problem with it. At the end of the fight I'd lost 3 crew, a good deal of my ship was on fire and so on... and then it teleports away, so I have to fight it again. I barely could fight it with everything, no hope a second time around with a heavily damaged ship.


The boss fight(s) got a bit used to. Why not have a few more cheating runs to see how to best handle the boss? I'm sure you can beat the game after a few tries. Even if you don't get good equipment (e.g. no stealth, no high-tier weapons), there's some chance of winning against the boss if you have the resources to blow.
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The New Romance
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Re: The difficulty curve needs work

Postby The New Romance » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:51 pm

fall_ark wrote:Regardless of what's fun and not fun / fair and unfair, I think many new players come to the game expecting a "ragtag band on a spaceship having whacky adventures and running away from overwhelming enemy firepower, barely surviving a harsh universe". The variety of so many sectors, especially when you first encounter them, are truly amazing. The premise matches your experience: You are running away from the rebels, delivering an important piece of data to the Federation fleet that can turn the tide of the battle. You have sailed through friendly sectors gaining allies and supplies, escaped through hostile sectors fending off lasers and rockets, and stumbled through all those strange and alien sectors surviving ion storms and possible asphyxia. You managed it! The Federation fleet is in sight! You delivered the message, your ship barely functioning and your crew with wounds and scars, and yet.... the fleet does absolutely nothing. The only support they gave you is some hull repair and materials. You were supposed to be a courier, a survivor...yet here you are, on the front line, battling rebel ships even stronger than those in your supposed escape. I mean, what? I'd rather have a last sector that plays out an ending based on your finishing time (you were supposed to send this data ASAP), but the game is too late in the development cycle to change that much.

Anyway it just feels weird that a whole fleet look on while a courier vessel, fresh out of a 7-sector journey, smashes the enemy flagship three times in a row. Not that it isn't a fine game or an awesome boss battle, just....feels not right.

You might have a point there. While I don't know nothing about Easy mode and think that Normal is okay if even a mediocre gamer like me managed to win at least once, giving the option of a speed-pronounced game would be nice and in keeping with the spirit of the story. So, being able to chose a "speed" adventure or a "fighting" adventure at the beginning might be something worth looking into. I think both have their advantages, but I guess if Subset gets the boss "right" on both difficulties, it might be obsolete (but still nice to have).
azurereaver
Posts: 11
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Re: The difficulty curve needs work

Postby azurereaver » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:07 pm

I hit this same wall. I had been playing as engi ship with some light drones and the ion gun for disabling their shields. That doesn't work AT ALL in chapter 8, and barely works in chapter 7 (on easy).

Then I watched a video of someone else playing through the boss and immediately copied several strategies.

When to cloak to avoid attacks
The advantage of the crew teleporter - the value of having crew that specialize in boarding (more scrap! plus savings on not using missiles/drones to take out ships)
Bombs/missiles for ignoring shields
turning off non-essential systems to avoid spending on ship energy/reactor upgrades I don't yet need
tactically swapping between active weapons
the value of taking out the enemy bridge so they are evadeless

My first attempt against the boss I had made it all the way there with an engi ship with no missile weapon (I had 30+ missiles, and got the achievement not on purpose) and 30 movement energy too, no teleporter or cloak. Of course I lost! I couldn't damage the ship without missiles/bombs or crew teleporter to get past the shields.

The boss requires a completely different strategy to defeat than the rest of the encounters in the game (on easy). I don't mind, but I think that is what this thread is really about.

To the OP, I'd say concentrate on using the crew teleporter to kill off the crew of every ship you meet, and never leave a system until the last moment - you will beat the boss then.
icepick
Posts: 344
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Re: The difficulty curve needs work

Postby icepick » Wed Sep 05, 2012 6:47 pm

I think the difficulty curve is fine. The ships gradually slope up in power.

If you're hitting a wall there's something you're missing. Missiles or boarding or cloak or whatever. You have to maintain a constantly upgrading system of attack and defense or eventually someone will exploit your lack and mop the floor with you as described.

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