Dev Talk #2: A Deep Dive into the Shipyard Update

Posted: //
Nov. 30, 2016, 7:12 p.m.

Updated //
Dec. 1, 2016, 8:51 a.m.

Rabid? Is that you? smile smile

lethal61#8149 posted (#post-71506)

I wouldend want to correspond with you either.

lethal61#8149 posted (#post-71552)

I could care less what your opinion is of what I posted and don't tell me to be carefull sonny I'm a 55 year old man and I don't mix words if your in here acting like a spoiled brat then I'm going to call you on it simple as that.
lethal61#8149 posted (#post-71557)

You havent invested anything and they owe you nothing junior or did you not understand that when you agreed to test. Your argument is invalid just as your rants are about you not getting your way well that's to bad isent it now go try to impress someone else it's just not working for me.

Suddenly the sun should shine through the clouds, an eagle should come out of the sky and take maintenance away beyond the horizon never to be seen again...

Posted: //
Nov. 30, 2016, 7:22 p.m.

First up, I appreciate the write-up and you guys getting together for it. This communication is a great step in the right direction. Thank you!

DN_Timo#1002 posted (#post-71417)

How’s that for a little “light reading?” We know it’s a lot to digest (a ship-load, really), but we do hope we’ve addressed most of your concerns and provided some clarification on the decisions we’ve made—and the intent behind them.

Unfortunately, I can't say I feel better after having read it. It has answered some questions, but it has also increased the number and severity of my concerns regarding the direction of this game.

My candid reaction: "That's a nice fantasy the designers are living in, but the game is moving away from/forgetting the single most important factor that is pivotal for its success: Fun."

Earlier, even in its more crude form, I found Dreadnought to be a legitimately enjoyable and engaging experience that made me lose track of time and want to come back for more. "Fun" is not an adjective I would (regularly) use to describe the game we have now. Tedious and Frustrating would be my descriptors for the current game flow/experience. When I look at the Dreadnought Launcher now, the question that runs through my head is: "Is it even worth the bother?"

Posted: //
Nov. 30, 2016, 8:05 p.m.

I think this Dev Talk was an affirmation, while many were looking to make drastic changes away from what they see as Dreadnought's current direction, and they want it "soon". Unsurprisingly, those people have been disappointed.

I feel very different about this. When I complained about something in the past, the Devs addressed it. Some were just bugs like Stasis Beam draining energy, but others were Purge Ram being too oppressive, etc.

I had to grind before Progress 2.0 and I will have to grind afterwards. Many of the veteran pilots who complain about the grind have already sunk hundreds more hours into the game, so completely changing the progression system would reset that grind and be pointless.

My concerns now include power disparity between the tiers, the negative stigma that fleet maintenance incurs, and Officer Briefing as well as module progression.

Thankfully for me, you are looking at those things, too. You also hint at my preferred direction on most of those topics as well, so congratulations, you pleased at least this player.

Posted: //
Nov. 30, 2016, 8:55 p.m.

Respectfully, the 5-tier, stat increase, maintenance cost model of Dreadnought doesn't seem the most fun or most profitable.

Is the idea that I bring a t2 ship in a vet fleet as a way to mitigate maintenance costs if I lose? But I don't actually intend to play it. Or is the idea that I bring a t2 ship in a vet fleet like a way to see how bad of a ship can I bring and still win. And/or still win by being carried by other people willing to bring t4. It seems muddled.

Posted: //
Nov. 30, 2016, 9:12 p.m.

Well, first off I wanna thank the devs and mods for posting this and being honest with there intentions with us, this is great communication and hopefully we get more posts like this in the future.

However while reading all of that my heart began to sink as it became apparent that you will be fixed in your methods. And because of the current design choices that are in the game I'm sorry to say that I won't be playing anymore. I just don't find the game fun anymore.
And honestly I don't think I can recommend this game to anyone either who isn't already familiar with wargaming titles.
This is quite literally and unapologetic "World of Dreadnought"

I had been planning to sink quite a large sum of money into this game if I liked the creative direction of the game and if it were to be less restrictive. Sad to say that won't be happening.
I still have some hope that they can stop it being "world of dreadnought" but its quite possible that this would never happen.

Posted: //
Nov. 30, 2016, 10:42 p.m.

I do not begrudge the devs for attempting to monetize the game. It is a "necessary evil" as it were to keep the lights on. I recently saw an interview with Donatelli about his vision for taking Wildstar free to play, and I am pleased to see that he has many of the right ideas regarding how monitization is done right under such circumstances. i.e. Not selling power. And also not making it "too painful."

However, I think that the devs are heading in that "too painful" direction with a blatant attempt to annoy the players sufficiently that they will cough up real cash to bypass a 4 artillery cruiser grind to get to the koschei. (for example) Transactions in dreadnought should "feel" good. Not as if one has been "forced" to do it because it was the only way around an unpleasant situation.

Additionally, the thought that the only reason we find this system so painful is because we already know what ships we like from the previous system is silly. New players aren't idiots, they will read descriptions or look up youtube videos or ask around so they can plan ahead. Especially with such an epic grind involved to get to anything they want. It's inevitable that new players will also feel the, "I want the heavy healboat, why is it locked behind 4 irrelevant-to-my-cause artillery?" vibe everyone is feeling. Not a vocal minority. EVERYONE.

Many of these "new ships" they added which are really just watered down versions of their original selves with some new fancy skins would have been better put to use as paid cosmetics. Many of these ships are very pretty and people would be thrilled to shell out to make their favorite ship in terms of mechanics their favorite ship in terms of appearance. For example, the Harwick is a gorgeous skin for the Jupiter Arms tactical cruiser.

Making ships and modules purchasable with credits or GP was perfectly fine. It wasn't "pay to win." Pay to win is when certain, typically more powerful, items/powers/characters/etc are ONLY available if one pays. If someone wants to shell out hundreds of dollars to get ALL THE THINGS immediately, while another chooses to grind their way through the game to get them that's their prerogative. Additionally, with a sufficient population for match making to work as it should, such a "wallet warrior" would not be "op" because they should be matched against players with similar skill and similar loadout regardless of if that player paid with GP or with credits.

Ironically, this is where the whole "experience-progression" system gets in the way of monitization. The fact that someone who wants to come in and buy all the things can't simply have them, but must first grind exp to unlock the ability to buy them is entirely contrary to the "pay to get it now or grind to get it later" mechanic that most successful monitization schemes employ.

I realize that a great deal of work must have gone into the tier system, but unfortunately, it's not going to work as intended. Any game with tiers has the inevitable fate of top tier being best tier and no one wants to go back down and play the lower tiers. People didn't work so hard/swipe their card so hard to get the bestest, shiniest toys just to occasionally play them when their credit reserves will allow it. And legendary isn't so terribly appealing considering that basically the "original dreadnought" experience is available at tier 4, so why bother with the shirt losing mechanics in tier 5?

The maintenance system was clearly implemented to try and make all tiers/brackets relevant. One farms credits in the recruit bracket, one farms exp in the veteran bracket and one loses their shirt in legendary bracket to force them back down to the credit farm. This was a smart idea in terms of keeping all the brackets relevant, it was a terrible idea in terms of player satisfaction.

All ships should be available in their basic form right from the start so players can make their diverse fleet out of ships they actually want to play rather than the ships they are forced to play. If one wants to keep a "tier" progression system, they can make it so that all the weapons and modules are available to that ship from the start at tier 0, and then the player can choose which modules they wish to level up. Those modules are leveled solely through credits or GP. Exp doesn't really have a place in a game like this. Think of the ships as a player's fleet of cars. You don't pimp your precious rides with "experience" you pimp them with cash. Heaps and heaps of cash.

In a tier system, modules that originally gave nothing but a boost but then "grow up" into a form that drastically handicaps your ship for a better bonus is silly. Many people will want to simply stick with a 150% boost with no penalty than get a 170% boost that makes one take bonus damage and zaps all their energy. Additionally, the lower tiers don't prepare one to deal with these mechanics, once they are implemented, by doing it this way, so remove them, or keep them uniform from the start.

If one still REALLY wants tiers to ships, the ships should still all be available from the start, but there is a cost to upgrade the ship itself with the associated boosts. Still a cost of credits or GP, player's choice. And one could even still lock modules out until the ship has been upgraded to an associated tier if they don't want that module appearing in any way, shape, or form in a lower tier.

If the devs still want to be able to apply a level number to a captain because of the feels associated with pounding one's chest because they are level 80, then apply a point system to every module/ship and as the captain fills out their collection of ships/modules, their number goes up. However, in an ever expanding game, don't attach a title to a rank. You will have to endlessly invent new titles or re-define old ones with each addition, so save yourselves that headache up front.

Speaking of development headaches. A tech tree or any form of progression that gets a tree or sphere grid or any other sort of visual "map" representation will ultimately turn into a pain if you plan to add anything to it. You have to create new nodes or roots or branches to slip things in and re-arrange them, generally aggravating your playerbase with the changes. Or you have to add a whole new tier with all the associated development costs so that you aren't tinkering with what's already been done... but the playerbase isn't going to take kindly to that either. The old system of ships and modules in the market made far more sense lore-wise and was far more straight forward and expandable.

If you want credit sinks so that lulls in module/ship releases don't result in a surplus that allows players to simply get them with credits, you're not going to get that done with maintenance if it doesn't exceed a player's income. Frankly, I don't have many suggestions for how to get that done given this game doesn't really have any of the traditional economy found in mmorpgs. But perhaps you could implement rentable things or consumeables. Perhaps theme music that lasts a few days, perhaps a theme that plays on your enemy's death screen until respawn a la APB Reloaded. Maybe a ship cosmetic that can only be rented for a time before it will expire and need to be re-purchased. An epic hull configuration or special coating, perhaps weapons that perform the same but look different, etc.

Although having currency or exp or traditional mmorpg type progression in a co-op pvp game may be folly in the first place. Dota2 seems to make money purely from cosmetics and merchandise and I think that would do very well for dreadnought too. Players appreciate not having unpleasant mechanics just to monetize and they certainly enjoy pimping their ride/character, especially if it's in the form of easy microtransactions, 5 dollars here, 5 dollars there.

Dota2 doesn't need an unpleasant, grindy progression system to encourage people to spend money to bypass/ease the grind, and they don't need a grindy progression system to make people feel "invested" or like they have "progressed." People feel as though they have progressed by getting better at the game, by making new strategies and beating the player that took them to pound town all last week. The game is fun and draws people back in, why? not because they've been sucked in with psychological trickery that conditions them into playing, but because the game is actually fun. And no, not every player pays or pays a great deal, but they don't have to.

The completely free players provide content to the paying players by being their team mates and opponents, and while those players may not pay anything into the game, there will be many who make up for it by shamelessly buying EVERYTHING, and many more who will at least shell out to pimp out their favorite heroes. I have no doubt that the same thing would apply to dreadnought. I know I bought GP to get the Trident, not because the hero ship is good mechanically, heck no, that ship is a paperweight and generally terrible, but that hull is gorgeous and I wanted my monarch to be glorious. Though, now that benefit is lost as apparently only tier 5 ships can be customized in such fashion... incredibly limited given the intent for tier 5 to not be played all that often...

sigh It feels like the devs are making a series of "good on paper" decisions that in practice fall flat on their face. Mechanics that should do what they are "supposed" to do, and yet the players LOATHE them. Or looking at other games where these mechanics seem to work and thinking they'll do just fine for Dreadnought... and yet they do not seem to do fine at all. Perhaps because they are not a carbon copy but have been adulterated to fit this game and some how the success is getting lost in translation. And writing this little monologue probably won't change that, but here's my two cents anyway, I suppose. Do with it as you will. Provided anyone of consequence to the development process actually reads any of this.

Posted: //
Dec. 1, 2016, 3:54 a.m.

I certainly appreciate the post finally addressing the massive amount of concerns with Progression 2.0 and more importantly the Tier System.

You've made your game's vision and direction crystal clear, I can honestly saw that i'm quite happy after reading it.

Happy that i'll no longer need to wait on the edge of my seat waiting for you guys to see the error of your ways.

Happy that i'll no longer have to comb the forums or listen to livestreams for signs of hope.

Happy that i'll no longer feel the need to write up "ways to improve X" or "comprehensive feedback" posts

Happy that i can finally stop trying to convince my friends this is a game worth playing because it'll get better.

Happy that i'll be able to free up ~10GB of storage after i uninstall.

Posted: //
Dec. 1, 2016, 6:28 a.m.

"Building Your Fleet" MEGALUL
If only I can get a full packed vet fleet, cause I got real life to deal with.

尊重Respect友善Friendly包容Tolerance理解Understanding 十萬青年十萬肝,GG輪班救台灣

Posted: //
Dec. 1, 2016, 7:26 a.m.

Updated //
Dec. 1, 2016, 7:30 a.m.

DN_Timo#1002 posted (#post-71417)
It’s also important to note that, in a ship’s Tech Tree, players only have to research items using XP to unlock the next ship. They don’t have to purchase any of them (using Credits). This might be useful for anyone who’s dead-set on avoiding a certain ship.

Direct complete LIES. You still have to buy the ship itself with credits, even if youre not planning on using it at all and want to skip through it. You wont get access to the next tech tier otherwise. (games like World of Tanks, Warthunder, Armored Warfare, etc let you skip through tiers without buying the respective vehicles)

Please, either change that in-game, or remove that text from the interview, if you dont want players to feel like they're being lied to all the time (which is currently the case with many of us)

Posted: //
Dec. 1, 2016, 8:10 a.m.

Agree Agree Agree

NikaSharkeh#4942 posted (#post-73403)

DN_Timo#1002 posted (#post-71417)
It’s also important to note that, in a ship’s Tech Tree, players only have to research items using XP to unlock the next ship. They don’t have to purchase any of them (using Credits). This might be useful for anyone who’s dead-set on avoiding a certain ship.

Direct complete LIES. You still have to buy the ship itself with credits, even if youre not planning on using it at all and want to skip through it. You wont get access to the next tech tier otherwise. (games like World of Tanks, Warthunder, Armored Warfare, etc let you skip through tiers without buying the respective vehicles)

Please, either change that in-game, or remove that text from the interview, if you dont want players to feel like they're being lied to all the time (which is currently the case with many of us)

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