Current State of Dreadnought Development

Posted: //
June 19, 2016, 11:26 p.m.

Updated //
June 20, 2016, 12:19 a.m.

I find the current state of dreadnought development extremely atrocious at least from what I have observed. There are also some proposed solutions to each point but they're not perfect.

There’s a lot of what is wrong, annoying or just plain horrible with the development behind Dreadnought. (I also have grievances with the game itself, but I will keep it to development for the most part since that is what the subject is about). I understand the development team is busy, but some of this is just flat out horrible in my opinion. I also understand that there is probably a reason to the current method of development right now (or maybe there isn’t a reason, who knows).

Short list of what I have noticed that's been happening:
-Lack of Communication
-Balance Team
-Internal Build
-Lack of Updates

Lack of Communication: “We hear you!” or “I will pass this along to the development team” do not count. They do not bring results or clear signs of will they ACTUALLY be seen or heard by the key members of the development team who need to see that. For the record: I don’t expect all of my or someone’s pet windowlicking dog’s ideas to be implemented (let's be honest, some of my ideas are not that great), I just expect something more tangible on if something is actually seen or heard by the key members of the dev team. At this current point, all it seems to be with these kinds of responses is just typical PR garbage to keep the population at bay from rioting or leaving because of the no news. The devs on both Yager and Sixfoot have been awfully quiet about what is planned, what will be released, what is scrapped, balance plans especially on the forums. As I have said before in a different post, Discord and Twitch should NOT be the primary means to find out stuff about the game. I personally hate twitch and streaming in general, so I do not watch those DN streams out of principle (99.99999999999999% of the time). That being said, I know that some people don’t hang around on the DN Discord frequently to catch all of the dropped hints at content and all that or the part that not everyone can make it to the DN Streams because it is more convenient to the Europeans.

This lack of communication is also leaves me cautious about the development team because this is exactly how the P2W fiasco that happened: No communication from the developers (If there was a message saying that this was to occur, it was not clear and it was not on the forums until the stink was raised, I vaguely remember seeing a certain Community Manager spilling the beans about this patch in discord and then ninja vanished after that cough EmptyTuxedo cough), someone decided to go ahead and add officer briefings to be Premium Currency ONLY, huge stink got raised, got reverted after a very short time (let’s not forget that SixFoot attempted to JUSTIFY that decision, which was a huge mistake on their part), damage has been done. The main thing to take away from that fiasco is that the developers didn’t communicate clearly to the community that they had something planned for that fiasco. The thing they had initially planned was to give us a way to earn premium currency, then make those briefings Premium currency only. But they messed the order up so now a lot of people are either wary of their decisions and the lack of communication.

What would be an appropriate solution to this lack of communication would be to be to first give us a clear development plan of what is planned to come to the game. Secondly, make the forums as a primary means of communicating to us about these planned changes, not discord and twitch, those two can still be used as is for all I care, however I expect that the forums should and will contain most the planned content information. Third, ask the playerbase what they want more frequently. Also, the lack of frequent balance patches would fall under here, but I have it in store for another section.

The Balance Team: Their main offense is the patch that nerfed Energy Generator, buffed drain torpedoes, etc etc. What were they looking at? Data of who/how many players use it? Was it something that occurred in the INTERNAL build? Also side note: We are not on the internal build but I will cover it on another point. Either way, the balancing doesn’t make any sense one bit. If it was because of how many players were using it, stop and think about it. What rank do you unlock energy generator? What rank do you unlock all the other 4th slot destroyer modules? Energy Generator is unlocked at level one. So of course 70%+ of the playerbase is going to be using the SURPRISE SURPRISE, THE ENERGY GENERATOR. Now if it was something that occurred in the internal builds, once again: we should be on the same build as the internal, not 2-3 builds BEHIND the internal build, secondly, IDK what game the balance people were playing but the bittervets that I've listened to found energy generator to be quite mediocre if not useless for just about everything else but the Gora. So of course majority of the bittervets are going to be appalled and scratching their heads at this nerf decision when the nerf and fixes should’ve been applied to Purge Ram and Disruptor Effect.

The solution to these pointless balance changes is to actually listen to the players, more specifically, the ones who used all if not majority of the modules AKA the bittervets, nerf what needs to be nerfed, buff what needs to be buffed, fix what needs to be fixed. Remove what needs to be removed, add what MAJORITY of the community thinks needs to be added (read as: Accurate Surveys/Polls).

The Internal Build: I’ve heard it again and again from the devs, “The build you are on is 2-3 versions behind our current internal build.” (paraphrased but still the same meaning). IF we are going to be behind an internal build, it better be only ONE version, not two, not three, just one. If the devs WANT accurate feedback whatsoever, then, we the playerbase need to be on a more up to date build testing this stuff. Not a build to hand down to us and tell us to go play while we make special surprises! Because if we say “Purge ram is broken!” or “Sentry Catapults are broken!” (This was a thing in the alphas) it might not be the case in the internal build, this makes feedback very hard to be accurate. I can understand that such and such map is not ready, so it isn’t part of the released build. I get it, there some things that the playerbase shouldn’t be testing because it isn’t ready. But. Two to Three versions behind? Ok that is ridiculous. What do we not have between the versions we are on compared to the internal build? What balances do we not have that is in the internal build? What modules and changes we do not have? This was semi acceptable in the alphas. But since this is beta, I personally find this not acceptable one bit.

The solution to this? It is very simple at least on paper (probably isn’t but oh well maybe someone else has a better idea for this): Put us on the internal build that does not have unfinished content like PvE or the 5th map or the new game mode if it isn’t ready yet. And maintain an one version difference per build.

The Lack of Updates: This applies to both balance and content. Content I understand that it can take a while to release and be ready. But, we have the exact same maps, modules, ships, and game modes from the alphas to the beta with nothing new added other than 5 hero ships. I am fairly sure that is a problem. Also taking away 6 hero ship sets that existed in the alpha is a terrible move on the development team’s part. The lack of frequent RELEVANT balance patches also ties into here because after a month and half of closed beta, we only got one maybe two balance patches (rest iirc were hotfixes/maintenance stuff) and those balance patches were absolutely irrelevant and garbage (see the points about balance team as to why these balance patches were garbage).

A simple fix would be to have the balance team listen to the community (and have the high ranking players opinions weigh in more since they put in more time into the game than a low rank player, which is a fact, end of story) and either fix or balance things on a weekly to bi-weekly basis (I would find bi-weekly would be very dangerous for the game atm, keep that in mind). A simple content patch would be to: surprise surprise, RETURN THE 6 HERO SHIPS WE HAD IN ALPHA, this simple content patch will have players happy for about a week or two or even longer (do not estimate the power of good cosmetics). Oh and I am fairly sure that there is other content that can be added to beef the proposed patch. This patch would bring back a lot of the players who stopped playing the game because it got stale for them.

Anyways, the point is I want dreadnought to succeed and at least launch out of closed and Open Beta successfully and be a decent game if not excellent. So I may be harsh on some of my points, and honestly though? I don’t care. If I have to be harsh, loud and obnoxious to be heard, then I will be harsh, loud and obnoxious to be heard. I didn’t want to be the one that had to make this thread. But it looks like I have to be the one to make it and that means there is a problem if I have to be the most vocal one on a negative subject such as this. That being said, if the development team truly DOES listen to us. Then they need to change how the development is done. Both Sixfoot and Yager. Neither are safe from this topic. You guys listened to us during the P2W fiasco and I commend ya’ll for that. Take it a step further and listen to us again and change the development method or at least be aware that the ice ya'll are on is getting thinner and thinner with no news. Dreadnought Devs will regain some of the trust that was lost from me (maybe others as well). If nothing is taken from this thread, then it is clear to me that no one from the development team is listening, none of the information that was supposedly being passed on by the moderation team was being passed on, and that the devs already chose to sink the ship.

I may be a bit extreme on my views but I’m fairly sure there others who have the same feeling that they’re fed up with the lack of news if not more moderate on their views. I'm just the loud and extreme harsh person.

Bonus subject, The Forum software: I will keep this brief since it doesn’t tie into the development as heavily as the rest of the stuff. I get it, the forums are supposed to have players post their ideas and so on and not be super advanced or fancy. It still doesn’t change that the Forum coding is horrible. The problem is: the forums can barely do this properly. Bad word filters, terrible prefixes to hyperlink and embed images, posts having built in scrolling instead of just being a wall of text.

A simple fix is to scrap this homebrew code, burn it with fire, slap the person who made the forums because they are incompetent at making a decent homebrew. Then switch to a better forum code like BBCode or something else that isn’t terrible (I'm not a forum software expert, I just know that this particular forum code is homebrewed and is garbage). Alternatively if that is too much, then improve the forum software and make it less irritating to use. I guarantee you that some people that actively avoid the forums because of how terrible the software is would post more often if the software wasn't so horrible to use.

TL;DR: I am being loud and obnoxious again. Deal with it. I am tired of this silence. No news is very bad at this current point considering the P2W fiasco (I'll probably forget about that fiasco when we get a reasonable content patch and more time between the event). I am also tired of the lack of communication to the players about the plans for balance (and content) and how information for content is being spread for Dreadnought.

'Member when SixFoot tried to justify making Dreadnought P2W? I Do! No seriously I 'member! Also 'member "The Article"? I 'member!
SixFoot, a very accurate company name. They only bury their games Six Feet under.

Posted: //
June 20, 2016, 2:48 a.m.

i 'mostly' agree with you :p (almost 99% :p)
nice rant i guess heh.
i've pretty much been saying the same thing since alpha?
how often havent i asked staff for basic things like an up to date known issues list or faq or intended features.
every time you ask they give a reply saying they'll pass it along and that's it: you never hear from them again + it never happens.

how can you expect us to test stuff, if you dont even give us a list of issues you know about or list of issues we should stop reporting.
how can you expect us to be interested in your game if we dont even know what you are and arent doing now? (i mean i hear alot of rumours from your own staff about things being implemented soon or being put on hold in the development cycle so we no longer know what you are actualy going to end up giving us)

World of dreadnoughts ftw!

Posted: //
June 20, 2016, 8:35 a.m.

Aye, a list pinned up high in an easy to see place of known issues and oft mentioned suggestions would help us 'feel' how things are at any given time. Something more than 'come to twitch for some clues' could be nice, a community rep who has an idea of things in the works, keep us interested and guessing to a degree, but make it educated guesses rather than firing into the dark.

Thanks and keep it up, just let us know what your keeping up and how high it is.

Just do it.

Posted: //
June 20, 2016, 8:39 a.m.

Agreed on everything regarding the forum software and communications.
But when it comes to balance and internal builds... well, maybe my past experience as an actual game balancer skews my perspective here, but those builds will contain unfinished content, and interdependencies, and what you're basically asking for here is more frequent, if small, patches. Which I guess I can agree on.
When it comes to asking people for opinions, however.... A lot of people don't even know what they want, but they don't know that they don't.
I assume the energy module nerf was a stopgap while they, as they said, were investigating shields in general and the Gora specifically.
I guess I still overall agree, but I don't think it's that bad. Besides the forum software, obviously.

We need "Alpha" and "Beta" Camo Patterns! Just plaster the Word all over the ships hull in various sizes and angles !
Link: Artillery Overview

Posted: //
June 20, 2016, 8:48 a.m.

Yup, agreed, I think a lot of the people who know a lot of the current issues have gone quiet because repetition can be annoying AND they know that the patch we were sort of promised a few weeks back will include a lot of things that will change the whole dynamic, so its kind of academic to argue current balance knowing, or thinking that new maps, new game modes and importantly new modules will alter play as it stands.

Just do it.

Posted: //
June 20, 2016, 9:35 a.m.

Better communication would be nice, and I don't think anybody likes this forum software, but the rest sounds like a bit of bittervet syndrome mixed with entitlement issues. Also who puts internal builds to public testing?

My Dreadnought tools and resources: Dreadnought Datamine | Snib's Dreadnought Steam Launcher | Hangar background noise remover

Posted: //
June 20, 2016, 9:46 a.m.

The only thing I agree with is that this game should stay as far away as possible from pay to win mechanics. Other than that I feel like your ranting is a result of too much self entitlement. Dev builds are not released to us because they are often way out of balance and may even have placeholder graphics, icons, sounds, or any other number of things and not to mention a whole slew of bugs. From what I have seen around here it looks like the game may get a good update soon with a lot of new content.

Posted: //
June 20, 2016, 10:12 a.m.

Official Announcement section definitely needs to take the reins back from twitch and discord. I still play but significantly less since the communication from any developers has been such a trickle. Need more news, more timeline details, more things to test.

Posted: //
June 20, 2016, 10:42 a.m.


Posted: //
June 20, 2016, 10:43 a.m.

I agree on the lack of communication. I have.. effectively stepped away from the game for the time being. It has simply been too long between major adjustments and lurking in discord for a faint trickle of vague information week after week just isn't worth my time.

The game needs a lot of work and I'm sure the team is working on it, but as a player and customer(who has effectively paid for a AAA title), I simply haven't "seen" it.

At the very least, a (bi)monthly newsletter might help the image of "Closed Beta" being a development phase instead of a cash grab.

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