Month now that FrogSwarm is on this game, the time pass and all promesses are like an infinite dream and will never happens. Where is our open world ? Epic corporation battle ? Alliances ? Power blocs ? Territory conquest ? big fleet battle ? And space discovery ?
To be honest, the sector conquest is real ******* and I moderate myself with *, actualy, we don’t use it at all because of poor design THIS IS NOT corporation battles, it’s just random. This game had potential before turning into a WoT like, we moved in to find an EvE Online style more dynamic. At the end, it’s not an MMORPG but a MOBA exactly like world of tanks. We are disapointed and people already started to stop playing.
To the dev, if you go over a wot like economy, you’ll loose a lot of player and your game will die when star citizen will come out. Be smart and try to see more than 1 year game bénéfits. Players who actualy play space ships wants more than just 16 vs 16 random player ducking in the face. They wants:
Fly over the infinite space all together searching for targets / discovering new systems
Have the ability to fight corporation vs corporation with unlimited squad space
Have the ability to create alliance between corporations
Have the ability to conquere space systems for having rare goods
See their name behind a system name conquered on a space map
Have the ability to sold theire unused ships
Have the abitity to exchange their rare modules in double / sold it for a good price on the market for players
I think many of the issues you have with this game have less to do with technology than you just wish the game had certain things. The ability to sell unused ships and a marketplace for selling/exchanging rare modules seem like items on a wish list rather than funamental problems with the game.
As for the rest, I think you are forgetting some fundamental problems with creating a persistent open user/battlespace in an area potentially the size of the galaxy. Your knowledge of IT systems and networking doesn’t qualify you to know anything about game design any more than my years as a web designer qualify me to critique game development and the reasons for certain developer choices. I can tell you though that I often had to make important choices about web design based on server interaction, particularly for databases and server-side functions (especially when implementing secure solutions).
So, from an equal footing then and with an open mind, please consider this:
Even allowing for a reduction to several hundred star systems, it would be virtually impossible to have a persistent world the way you seem to be describing your wishes. There are two MAIN considerations for any game - server overhead and client overhead. Every game in existence with an open world has effectively sandboxed it into portions that are only hundreds of metres or a few kilometres across.
The vast majority of them are two dimensional with a very limited 3rd dimension. The 3rd dimension effectively forms the side walls of the sandbox. But more importantly there are only a few dozen sandboxes in ANY persistent game. Add a true 3rd dimension and that sandbox turns into a cube. Instead of 10 X 10 X 1, now we have a sandbox that is 10 X 10 X 10, or 90% larger. That is a hit on server performance, but a HUGE hit on client-side performance and computer requirements.
Inside each sandbox the game engine draws according to map resolutions from a metre to dozens of metres. One of the reasons for relatively few textures inside a sandbox is that game overhead is reduced. The server tells the client to stick object ‘T’, a tree, at A3B2, and the client dutifully puts a tree there. You might think that rendering mostly empty space is easy since there are very few textures to render, but in fact the opposite is true because the unpredictable objects inside the sandbox (the players) can be anywhere at any time and must constantly be redrawn in relation to the others. Doing this in three dimensions is computationally intensive for both server and client because even empty hexes must be drawn or scaling is destroyed.
Furthermore, another space game, Freespace2 (which I played for quite a long time) had, with more primitive technology, both mission-based and squad-based instances (which was heavily clan-oriented) and was quite successful at doing both. But it was still heavily restricted in terms of the area that could be flown in. Missions with dozens of enemy fighters, cruisers, and battleships had severely circumscribed borders. It was possible to fly a long distance away from the action but that effectively meant nothing in terms of the overall game because only the distance metre counted up and the player became trapped in a micro-instance where if it took ten minutes to travel somewhere it would take ten minutes to travel back, but neither the server or the client was drawing anything new on the computer screen.
Star Conflict has a player limit to reduce the overhead of calculating where the unpredictable players are, considering speed, orientation, player inputs (turning, spinning, afterburners, when and what type of weapon is fired). The limited number of scenarios reduces both server and client overhead and fairly inexpensive computers can be told where everyone else is, although even with the limitations lag in plotting other player locations or even blipping (where they might disappear altogether for a second) is not uncommon.
Games with high overhead:
World of Warcraft
Star Wars - TOR
Dungeons and Dragons (even heavily, heavily sandboxed - this game also cheats by instancing the same setting, so my character can be in instance A, and my wife can be in the exact same location with her character in instance B on the same server.)
Games with Low overhead:
World of Tanks
You will notice that there is a trend in games with high overhead and low overhead, and I am only listing the games I’ve played in the last year. The larger the open space to run around in, the higher the overhead. I can’t even run battlegrounds in WoW or Rift any more because the overhead is too high for my current computer. Too many players in even a small space is too much for the old girl to handle and software patches have gradually made it impossible to play them. Luckily I have a new computer on the way…
What you want is both a persistent world for exploration, plunder, and battle and a finely tuned world capable of up close encounters, and you want to do it in three dimensions. I don’t think such a game exists, and if it did, there aren’t very many people in the world with computers powerful enough to play the game.
The other thing you want seems to be corporation domination of space, when star conflict is based on three competing societies/factions. World of Tanks (which I played a lot until recently) has two factions - red and green. But it also has a separate game called Clan Wars where, you guessed it, Clans battle for territory on a risk-style map of the world. The rewards of winning in these clan wars can be carried in a players account, so a special piece of equipment or gold can be used in the pub matches as well.
Even though I am planning to apply to a corporation, I wholeheartedly reject turning the game into a corporation-run festival. Clans, corporations, guilds…whatever you call them, they all turn into virtual mafias where attempting to play solo is impossible and not at all friendly to new players. In many games if you’re not in a clan or guild by the time you are out of Ace protection (implemented I think to give new players a chance to like the game before getting punked by someone so impossibly more powerful there is no hope of success) you will join shortly after you lose that protection.
There may be a way to have them coexist side-by-side with open play of non-corporation players, but I can’t think of one where corporation activities aren’t severely limited so they don’t turn into petty pirates.
Underlying all of this is the investment required to get a playable game onto the market without going bankrupt. I’ve seen other comments on this game being in BETA. There will be no functional difference OOB versus now. There might be a few more toys or tweaks, but effectively the game will be run around the update frequency from here on out. This game is here to make money, and there will be a few missteps along the way, but it’s really disingenuous to say people will stop playing because you aren’t getting the free to play game you want. It’s very nature, F2P, means new people will constantly be trying it out.
Planetside is F2P but with a heavy monetary component. It also invested a couple of years of time into developing the core game (reinventing the original) before releasing it. The original Planetside had tens of thousands of hard core players who were all waiting for the re-release and are happily spending money on a proven franchise.
Games like this one have to go slower. Should there be more of a corporation element? YES. Trust me, they are working on it. I think that is really your biggest beef with the game, and one that is probably the equivalent of developing another game on top of the current game.
I can’t cover everything here, and have tried to talk about several things and I hope it didn’t seem too convoluted.