As the game is still in open beta, I want to share some words on my experience from a newcomer point of view. Please forgive me for my english, I’m a french player. Even if the game is developped by a russian team, I hope my opinion can be heard.
I have played Star Conflict OBT for 2 months by now. With almost 9 days of battle time and unlocking rk15 ships, I have experienced most of the game’s facets, but I still look at it with fresh eyes.
You’ll find a TLDR section at the end of the post for the laziest of you, fellow pilots
Wall of text attack in 3…
First and foremost, I found the game pretty interesting. The ship lines, different gamemodes and ship customisation give it a good depth. It give a real incentive to grind the ships line to get more interesting builds. Each ship role is well described in game and you can easily choose what fit you the most.
It’s a bit overcomplicated though. Informations are really hard to get… Ships resistances are hidden by default, the difference between standard and expert piloting modes is not clearly stated, you have to try it to understand. No easy way to switch from one to the other, no free aim in expert… That’s design decisions which I don’t understand and create a bad gaming experience for players that mix interceptors and frigates in there ship’s loadout. Lots of beginners are also lost with the implants system. I find it really interesting, but it’s hard to understand that a ship benefit only from the implants of equal and lower rank than the ship’s one. From a balance point of view, with the tier distribution, it’s a bad decision imho. I’ll explain it later in [an other post to ease the discussion about my main suggestion](< base_url >/index.php?/topic/23013-remove-tier-5/).
On the global economy, I understand that micromanaging ammunitions and reparation might be interesting to help the immersive feeling. When you look at it, you can save some money (I even shamelessly flyed without ammunitions / missile for a while). But I think the ammunition credits sink is useless… The reparation one is enough. When you add the fact that credits gain through loots don’t appear in global credit income, it start to be really hard to track your average gain. it’s again an information transparency problem, you have to check and double check something to know how it works, and it start to be annoying really fast to look after informations on wiki and forum when they should be given in game. Maybe the vouchers amount earn is a bit too low, but with a license it’s ok, so I won’t argue with it.
The grind is really long too. At least for european players that are not used to it in most of the games. When I first tried Star conflict, the first thing that get my attention was Sector Conquest. It give me incentive to unlock ships and with a truly HIGH playtime, i was able to start it only with one and a half month. And with full mk1 ships that I have bought with the week-end sale (really good commercial idea, those sales keep players in) and 2 weeks of license… That’s way too much, even if I didn’t especially rushed the T5.
Fortunately, the game is fun and start to be interesting from T3, which keep me hooked. It’s a pity that the game doesn’t evolve around it’s current endgame (sector conquest) and mainly consist of T3 battle (even in pve, I find it much more interesting to do T3 than T5).
While talking about economy, I found your DLC really expensive for what is mainly quality of life improvments and premium ships. The Gold premium ships are also a bit expensive, but they’re not much more interesting than standard, they are mainly specialized ships imo. So I guess it’s ok. My main concern about premium ships is that maxed synergy standard ships don’t gain a bonus (Like another + 5 % free synergy gain, to bring them to 10%. I hope it’s not to much to ask ).
On top of that, the matchmaking doesn’t give any reason to fly in a 3+ player squad. Queue time is way too long and most pilots tend to go alone or in 2’s squads when they could have create a 4 pilots squad. It’s a shame for a game that put so much incentive on teamplay.
I really think that the matchmaking should be much simpler. But there is already a discussion about it here : [Please simplify matchmaking by MegaGrubby](< base_url >/index.php?/topic/22869-please-simplify-match-making/). Most players want to be thrown quickly in battle, even if their opponents are a bit stronger. If you know that the next queue time will be less than 2 minutes, being stomped by a good team is much easier to accept.
More on a gameplay point of view, I found the differents ships to be well balanced with the different chassis and roles. Empire benefits from hulltanking and their +7 % damage. Federation’s are the quick and agile ones. And Jericho’s are the shieldtanking… Hum, squishy ones that are neither fast nor shieldtanker? As in this topic, I think that Jericho’s ships need an upgrade to make shieldtanking much more interesting for them, even if their ships are not as slow as the empire ones…
ie. The Prometheus and Katana, both rk.9 command ships, have a similar hull + shield value. Even if the katana has higher speed, its shield regen is the same for twice as much shield. Shield’s resists are also the same, and much lower than hull’s resists. I don’t think that the shield regen is enough to help jericho’s ships. Maybe an increase in shield regen / resist for jericho ship can help, or give them a passive hull regen to compensate the weaker shieldtanking.
But there is already a topic about this here : [Possible way to fix Hull V. Shield advantage by Engle](< base_url >/index.php?/topic/22957-possible-way-to-fix-hull-v-shield-advantage/page-2). I think there is to much modules and implants that improve hull than shield resistance, mostly due to the double upgrades from adaptative shield (why does it improve hull’s resist?) and Beta-accelerator “Gigas II”.
On gamemode, PVE is pretty solid, with beatifull scenery and good story in each mission. It quickly becomes boring, but that’s ok, you can’t make dynamic events everytime you do it. I hope the open world will help to solve this issue and have interesting dynamic content.
PvP is great and fun when there are objectives. Gamemodes names are dull though… Not different enough to clearly understand what you’re doing before the game starts. Combat recon (the captain thing) is not that great, but that’s ok. I already gave my opinion on Team Deathmatch, it’s imo pretty dumb. Some ships didn’t fit this game mode, is boring and static fight mostly won by who brought the biggest gun. It could be great if we could blacklist some gamemodes, but that won’t help with matchmaking.
I also have a concern about communication with the devs. It really looks like you didn’t share ideas with the community. The patchnote come and it’s only surprise, no discussion before it. The game is still on a beta stage, so it’s understandable that you want to try quickly new things with a wide audience, but sometimes it’s weird. Like the Singularity buff… It was already a good weapon from every pilots view… I can only beg you to share and talk a bit more with your community. To end with a good thing, I really enjoy your events with the community and the devblogs, I just find them too short !
I’m very fond ot your game, but here are my main issues / suggestions :
- Too much grind.
- Ease the transition between Standard and Expert Piloting mode (toggle key?). Let the Expert mode be able to use free aim.
- Fix hulltanking / shieldtanking imbalance
- Not enough in-game informations.
- Not enough communication.
- Simplify matchmaking to speed up queue time and encourage teamplay.
- Add a gamemode blacklist
- [Detailed suggestion about removing one tier (4 instead of 5)](< base_url >/index.php?/topic/23013-remove-tier-5/). I think it can help the balance and matchmaking issues, but I put the discussion in another topic. Follow the link