I would like to take some time to discuss the recent patch. In no way will i berate, humiliate, or otherwise get angry about this patch. I would like this to be constructive so I’m going to begin with what Star Conflict may or may not have been built for - and offer suggestions.
First off, I’m not a part of Gaijin, and I have had exactly 0 time helping develop it, so much of this has/was already considered, yet i feel compelled to write these observations down because i truly enjoy this game. And that brings me to another point. This is THE best space shooting game i’ve ever played, and i’ve been playing games since my dad brought home a Tandy 8088 in 1987.
This game is fun, exciting, fast paced, looks great, and has a very streamlined feel.
Some of my first observations was that no ship in any one tier was a dominant ship. Starting in T1, i initially found the lack of options and low power of guns/missiles to be frustrating. But as i got better at the game, i saw the reward. As i learned how to fly better, faster, and use my modules and guns more effectively, i started to do well. And some kid off the street just recently downloading the game was not able to spend 50 bucks and get the ‘best’ ship, and own everyone without flying.
Kudos to Gaijin for having a very fair and balanced weapons/modules system.
Then i moved to T2 and there was a BIG power jump that I had to get used to. Suddenly frigates felt a bit under powered, and interceptors had a real role to play in most arcade combat. After that learning curve, I finally was able to get a set up of 3 ships i really enjoyed, got some friends to play and we’ve been playing ever since.
This last patch introduced mixed matchmaking, and though it’s not a terrible idea on paper - i truly believe that Star Conflict was not designed (From the ground up) for mixed matchmaking, and here’s why.
One has to achieve loyalty (forgive me if i get loyalty and reputation mixed up here) in order to achieve ‘levels’. Such levels give access to higher tiers, as well as more powerful ships in each tier. Mixed match making doesn’t work in this environment because players need to win to get significant loyalty gains, in order to progress to higher ships. Even *IF* this was a design decision to get people to pay more money, it STILL doesn’t work, because i can’t simply pay 20 dollars and get a Tier 3 or Tier 4 ship right off the bat. I still have to fight my way through arcade after arcade with a cointoss effect - Whoever has the most ships in higher level Tiers on their team; wins.
I can’t tell you how satisfying a game can be when my team is down 1/2 and I somehow carry the last two bombs solo through a field of enemies to win the game. This becomes nigh impossible when ships with more modules, more missiles and faster ships can disable and destroy me over and over.
_ There is no equal footing. The power jump between tiers is substantial, and with no way to REACH those without strings of losses and overall unhappy game play - gamers will not want to stick around. _
Now, if Star Conflict was designed to be a slow progression through Tiers, then Tiers should fight each other, and mixing will only cause problems.
Here though, is a way it CAN work.
Remove the loyalty from the game. Allow players to save money, skip tiers all together, use real money to purchase ships, in whatever Tier they want. THEN you give the player the choice: Spend 20 bucks and get a Tier 4 ship, grind out gold for weapons, OR, stay in your T2 ship and try and compete against ships of higher Tiers.
The above option is NOT optimal because it’s very close to Pay2win. You’re telling the community “Play lost games all day until some months from now you can grind enough gold to get a T4 ship, or pay us 20 bucks and we’ll hook you up.”
Overall, not a great message. This would also cause problems with implants; if loyalty were removed.
Tiers and loyalty and reputation were built into the game from the ground up. The game had some issues, but overall ship balance up through Tier 3 (this statement does not include ship repairs, simply power balance) was very decent.
By adding mixed Tiers, it harms the lower tier players because of the significant power difference between Tiers - and rewards the higher Tier players with easy kills and defenses (Though the player representation is MUCH lower, i’m guessing most of the player base is in upper Tier2 right now).
I understand you all wanted to try it out, and you had the guts to do so. You’ve received your feedback and I hope you listen carefully before your next move. I’ll be eagerly awaiting what happens next.
One last thing before I go. One other solution (If you’re fixed on keeping mixed Tiers) is to add a cap to the Tier populations per game. I.E. both sides can have a maximum of 2 (Tier 4), 3 (Tier 3), and 5 (Tier 2). Tier 1 shouldn’t be in the mix; ever. Both sides must go by the standard, so if only 3 Tier 4 ships que up, only 2 of them would get drafted into the game (One on each side).
I hope you understand that this writing is a labor of love - if i didn’t like the game i’d have not spent the time to write it.
Thanks for a great game so far.