firstly and most importantly, your booth at PAX was excellent. Your staff was kind and knowledgeable, the line was fast moving, and the actual experience of playing the game was great. I wouldn't be surprised if you guys had one of the highest turnover booths at the expo, it was such a tight-run ship. I work as a software developer so I like to think I'm familiar with the process of getting to MVP (an alpha in video game terms?) and from my view you guys struck it perfectly. The game felt really polished while playing, but looking at it from an objective standpoint, it was run from a batch script and leveraged team speak. It was by far the best alpha or pre-alpha I've ever seen.
I'm really excited for this game. This style of sci-fi navy warfare is something I've been looking for since I discovered I wasn't hard core enough to play eve.
I do have a couple comments and it was suggested that I sign up for these forums to voice them, so I have. I hope this doesn't come across as a rant or as me blasting this game, because I think it's excellent as is, and I'm really looking forward to the final product.
In an attempt to keep myself on task I'm also going to use a sort've problem-solution format.
goal: make combat more confusing/chaotic, less direct
why: perfect omnipotence for a player is boring.
mitigations: the maps (& range) currently provide a lot of interesting strategic elements. The warp ability also frequently makes seemingly simple fights very messy.
suggestion: add more smoke and particle effects. One of my favorite combat systems was the one in World in Conflict because line of sight was very important and very hard to maintain, with buildings exploding into dust and many units intentionally firing smoke grenades. When a ship fires a salvo or a nuclear missile it might add an interesting gameplay element if that ship and/or its target were left in a position where they were in a cloud of smoke, and thus couldn't see and/or couldn't be seen. To that end I think that replacing the artillery craft's invisibility with some kind of smoke ability might be a good way to go. Certainly it would reduce the gap between the effect that skill has on experienced players (who still know exactly where that cloaked ship is) and newbie players (who have no idea where that ship is).
goal: make the environments more interactive (though not necessarily non-static), adding to the removal of omnipotence in fights
why: hiding behind terrain elements is a fun and effective dynamic but with purely static maps it will likely lend itself to a kind of counter-strike, or left-for-dead type map-fatigue (campers go here, check spot A, check spot B, get killed from spot C. Of all the possible places to be on the map the enemy is only ever at spot A, B, or C)
mitigations: specifically the warp but possibly other maneuver oriented abilities on many ships means that camping or playing the same spot repeatedly will likely become difficult or ineffective.
suggestion: add damaging (or smoke-creating or sound-producing or otherwise environment-changing) asteroids or solar flares or comets. I feel like a meteoroid-collision-wrattle like the one in interstellar (spoilers!!!) could add a really dramatic element to the sound-scape.
goal: make the importance of difference in attack angles more evident through UI overlay.
why: as a tanks and ships I assumed that direction you were facing was important, but I didn't know until I'd watched the dev videos that your weapon type could actually change based on how you were firing.
mitigations: I might just be an idiot, a friend of mine figured it out much faster than I did.
suggestion This can always be exposed through tutorials or (god forbid!) a manual, but adding some kind of overlay perhaps similar to the one in assassins creed black flag, changing your cross hair dramatically between weapon types, would make this more evident.
My .02, again I really enjoyed this game and I'm really looking forward to getting my hands on it again!
ps this form supports markdown!? :joy: