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Author Topic: Feedback, thoughts after first playthrough (A13)  (Read 5423 times)

bonafire

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Feedback, thoughts after first playthrough (A13)
« on: April 23, 2016, 06:09:39 PM »

Just completed A13 (Cassandra classic, temperate forest, mountains). Took me about 5 game years, ~4 days of game time (as per statistics). Launched all (remaining) colonists to space. Never played the game before (but watched on Twitch a bit). Now I want to share some thoughts.

First of all: well done devs! The game seems to have a lot of depth and replayablity. It's like a rollercoaster ride, just when you think you're done with the game, ready for everything that can possibly happen, things go horribly wrong. Somehow (at least in my limited experience) the game manages to avoid death spirals, yet doesn't become too easy towards the end.

It's not all good though, there are quite a bit of UI annoyances, excessive micromanagement, bad pawn behavior and badly balanced stuff. I'll try to list the big ones here:

* Friendly fire. Unlike other people here on the forums, I didn't have big problems with infestations. The biggest single incident was a grenadier throwing a grenade into a middle of my colonists meleeing a a bug (1 dead, 2 permanently injured). Friendlies event where someone brings grenades, the friendlies seem to be their own worst threat. And the sappers look pretty silly by grenading a wall while standing right next to it, ending up killing themselves and their teammates. Something needs to be done.

* General tendency of worker pawns to run into danger zones. Basically every time there's an infestation or a mechanoid ship, worker pawns just need to run into the room to clean up slime, or butcher dead insects, or repair turrets that are under fire by a mechanoid horde, and get themselves shot/cut to pieces without micromanagement intervention. The game does offer a solution of defining zones, but the dynamic nature of threats makes managing the zones a usability pain.

* Prioritizing building a blueprint. It's super annoying that the pawn hauls one stack of things, then forgets the priority. If I say it needs to be done right now, why do I need to say it like 5 times?

* While we're at it, why is there no area prioritize command? Get all these turrets built, right now, without me finding pawns and clicking prioritize a gazillion times.

* The enemies are very harsh. Yet they're not harsh enough. I had almost continuos ~15 day war against the machines (first a psychic ship in my front yard, then two consecutive raids). The ship event went horribly wrong, I admit I made serious mistakes there, and lost all my fighters (half of my population in total, burned in inferno flames along with their gear), making the two following raids really an uphill battle. And here's the thing: it was a battle I shouldn't have survivied. The centipedes took control of my outside yard. I was expecting them to breach my base and systematically hunt everyone down (not that there would have been much hunting to do, as all my remaining colonists were in the sick bay, either full of holes or trying to patch the said holes) and lit every square of my base on fire. Instead, they roamed the yard, randomly headbutting structures. I find it hard to believe they survived over 2k years without being a little more goal-oriented. When they finally, by accident I guess, breached my base wall, their disorganization allowed me to take them down by a blind man (lost both eyes, sight == none) with grenades.

* Another example of not harsh enough: manhunting packs (wargs in this case) don't finish off and eat their downs. I would fully expect someone getting downed by manhunting wargs to be ripped to shreds. I'd accept the behavior from non-carnivores, but a meat-eater skipping a meal? No chance.

* It seems that raids in general are not much more than a bunch of crazy people wanting to get shot by turrets. Sappers and sieges make much more sense, but even they don't seem to have any other goals than random death and destruction. Maybe add some goals for them (e.g. steal a bunch of stuff)? Even their in-game description says their equipment level depends on who they raided last, yet they don't ever seem to try and steal anything.

* And, talking about someone with no eyes. They seem to be very productive for being completely blind. Cooking, constructing, mining, smelting metal slags, walking full speed, seeing the ugliness of the world, suffering the dark. Breaking the immersion a bit.

* Still about eyes. Given the rate they're a-popping, any trader worth their silver would see the business opportunity and stock plenty of bionic eyes when travelling to a rimworld. The said colonist lived blind for about two years, I didn't see any eyes to buy. I hope they end up landing somewhere with plenty of spare eyes.

* And last, but not the least, the shooting accuracy calculation. It seems sight and manipulation are the king, and skill is nearly irrelevant. Evidenced by a skill 0 shooter (!) with sensory mechanites being a better shot than a healthy skill 12 shooter. Also, why does shooting a sniper rifle need two good eyes, it has a scope for one eye only!


And a collection of random suggestions and minor nitpicks:
* Mushrooms don't use photosynthesis (google it), why doesn't devilstrand grow in dark?
* Inferno cannon centipedes seem OP most of the time, but especially in the early game. They're like the storyteller's way of saying, F U, I will watch everything burn. And that is what will happen.
* Why doesn't solar flare affect mechs?
* Why can't EMP-stunned mech be subject to the shutdown operation? It would be thrilling, since you don't know exactly when it's going to wake up, two-headbutt the brave shutdown-attempting colonist to death
* Why can't we harvest bionic parts from the dead?
* More ways to interact with visitors please: offer them food and drinks and beds, and maybe they like you more when they leave (or maybe they like you less if you don't offer the basic courtesies). Maybe if the visitor-accesible parts are impressive enough, some of the visitors will join your colony? Maybe just try to recruit them without capturing?
* It would be epic if mechanite diseases would have a chance of leaving permanent improvements, e.g. turning basic prosthetics into bionic ones. This would go well with a strange and overwhelming urge to ingest some plasteel and components for materials.
* Pawns seem to be very cool with losing limbs or eyes. I know I would be quite upset if I lost an eye or a leg (esp. if the replacement is a piece of wood).
* General purpose shelves! There's already a gear locker, but it only accepts weapons and apparel. I hate storing my food on the floor where alpacas walk all over it and leave their alpaca-filth on it.
* A way to choose source material stockpile for a recipe (instead of radius)
* A way to ask a colonist to leave the colony, without arrest-release. Take what you're wearing and go. Of course, they're very unlikely to comply if you just told them to drop all their clothes and gear.
* A way to temporary detain a misbehaving colonist, without having to re-recruit afterwards. They may fight back if they disagree.
* A way to capture without incapacitating. People with survival instinct are likely to surrender when they're outnumbered and outgunned. Show them a couple of impressive miniguns (useless in a real firefight but they don't need to know that) and a friendly suggestion to come with us: an offer you can't refuse.
* The smallest possible ship has off-center thrust (because the reactor has odd, and the engine unit even width). As a KSP fan, this annoys me to no end.

There, I think I got most of it out. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a new colony to manage (Cassandra challenge, boreal forest, flat).
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Nictis

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Re: Feedback, thoughts after first playthrough (A13)
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2016, 09:45:19 AM »

* More ways to interact with visitors please: offer them food and drinks and beds, and maybe they like you more when they leave (or maybe they like you less if you don't offer the basic courtesies). Maybe if the visitor-accesible parts are impressive enough, some of the visitors will join your colony? Maybe just try to recruit them without capturing?
 -Hospitality Mod

* Still about eyes. Given the rate they're a-popping, any trader worth their silver would see the business opportunity and stock plenty of bionic eyes when travelling to a rimworld. The said colonist lived blind for about two years, I didn't see any eyes to buy. I hope they end up landing somewhere with plenty of spare eyes.
 -Expanded Prosthetics And Organ Engineering (Up to you though if you want to build your own organs/limbs or just harvest and attach.)

* General purpose shelves! There's already a gear locker, but it only accepts weapons and apparel. I hate storing my food on the floor where alpacas walk all over it and leave their alpaca-filth on it.
- I don't know about shelves, but I know there are a couple storage mods (Kompression, 3D printer thing, one of them let you place pallets that stopped deterioration)

That's all I can think of right now, but I hope that you like some of those.
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PotatoeTater

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Re: Feedback, thoughts after first playthrough (A13)
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2016, 09:57:32 AM »


* Why can't we harvest bionic parts from the dead?

According to the lore, the bionics blend with peoples DNA, so after they die, the bionics will not reblend with a new hosts DNA.
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Life is Strange

cultist

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Re: Feedback, thoughts after first playthrough (A13)
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2016, 10:03:45 AM »

Workers running into danger: You identified the issue pretty well. In A13, colonists can be given a default action when encountering enemies unexpectedly - the default setting is flee.
The best solution is currently to give them personal shields - they don't need to fire a gun anyway and the shield will let them actually be useful in fights by repairing turrets and soaking up fire. A common "exploit" is to put a useless colonist with a personal shield in good cover close to the enemy. They'll waste all their firepower not killing that guy while your shooters safely pick them off.

Harvesting bionics: This used to be an option, but it was removed because it made getting bionics trivial (late game pirate raids are likely to have several atttackers with bionics). Lore-wise, it's because bionics are partially biological and die/break when the host dies. I think you can still harvest bionics from the living, but probably not stuff like joywire and painstoppers. Haven't had the chance to try it in A13.

Also, several people have reported odd shooting behavior in A13. Devs are looking into it.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2016, 10:05:37 AM by cultist »
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b0rsuk

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Re: Feedback, thoughts after first playthrough (A13)
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2016, 12:31:29 PM »

Blind people are strangely productive, while people with one leg want to spend the rest of their lives in bed. And the thing with one eyed sniper is true. My mother had mandatory shooting classes in high school, and she was the best in the class despite (because?) not seeing anything with one eye.

Did you know most raiders leave as soon as one of your colonists is downed ? They try to kidnap him and escape. So raids are actually more of a nuisance that a lethal threat, unless they burn down your hydroponic garden in ice sheet colony.

I agree it would be thrilling to shut down stunned mechs. My proposal was to make them short circuit in rain rather than solar flare.
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cultist

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Re: Feedback, thoughts after first playthrough (A13)
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2016, 01:04:31 PM »

And the thing with one eyed sniper is true. My mother had mandatory shooting classes in high school, and she was the best in the class despite (because?) not seeing anything with one eye.

Is depth perception not a problem at long range? I guess it's only if you need to actually co-ordinate your hands with your sight (touching/grabbing something).
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Thane

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Re: Feedback, thoughts after first playthrough (A13)
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2016, 04:42:34 PM »


According to the lore, the bionics blend with peoples DNA, so after they die, the bionics will not reblend with a new hosts DNA.

So why can we yoink the bionics off of living folks then with no issue?
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Mathenaut

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Re: Feedback, thoughts after first playthrough (A13)
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2016, 09:49:03 PM »

And the thing with one eyed sniper is true. My mother had mandatory shooting classes in high school, and she was the best in the class despite (because?) not seeing anything with one eye.

Is depth perception not a problem at long range? I guess it's only if you need to actually co-ordinate your hands with your sight (touching/grabbing something).

More like it really doesn't exist at long range. The angle formed from the distance between your eyes bis too small at the ranges you can see with a scope. Additionally, having one eye magnified and one eye not, does more harm than good.

Blind people are strangely productive, while people with one leg want to spend the rest of their lives in bed.

Closest thing to an issue is that they adjust fast. Otherwise, blind people aren't as helpless as you think. Another case of 'reality is unrealistically easy'.

The 'enemies not harsh enough' seems to be more an AI exploit thing. From the OP description, the threats did everything but finish the job just fine.

I'm also sure that the shutdown operation last longer than the EMP stun duration. Though, I will need to double check.

The friendly fire problems in A13 (well, always a problem, but worse in A13) seem to be a consequence of the accuracy bug. Would still be nice to have practical melee, though.
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bonafire

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Re: Feedback, thoughts after first playthrough (A13)
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2016, 05:40:30 AM »

That's all I can think of right now, but I hope that you like some of those.

Thanks for the mod suggestions! I haven't really looked at mods yet, I usually want to get a good feel for the vanilla before diving into mods. Maybe I'll have a look for my future colonies.

In A13, colonists can be given a default action when encountering enemies unexpectedly - the default setting is flee.

I noticed that. Unfortunately fleeing has short activation range, and doesn't seem to trigger from enemies they can't see, so it doesn't work well against ranged enemies or insect bedroom spawn, where entering and walking single square is enough to cause dismemberment.

people with one leg want to spend the rest of their lives in bed

At least that can be fixed with a piece of wood lying around. I also quickly learned to stock spare parts pre-emptively; needing them is only a matter of time. The big problem I had is that eyes seem to be rare, I would have had the silver to pay for them but the traders didn't have enough.

Did you know most raiders leave as soon as one of your colonists is downed ? They try to kidnap him and escape.

Noticed, unfortunately. Lost many good colonists that way, and they seem to be as good as dead, I've yet to seen any of them to escape their slavery and come back.

I even saw the "satisfied with the destruction they caused and decided to leave" once, when I really had no one to send outside to fight and a well timed solar flare shut down the turrets (which then were, what a shock, destroyed by the raiders).

The 'enemies not harsh enough' seems to be more an AI exploit thing. From the OP description, the threats did everything but finish the job just fine.

And by failing to finish the job (or die trying), they broke the immersion. It made me feel like I lost to a bunch of badly scripted OP tanks, instead of an overwhelming force of nature I should have known to prepare against. They seek me out in the first place (deciding to raid me), then seem hell-bent to exterminate every last colonist (and animals, too). *Except*, when there's a closed door in between.

An AI exploit, sure. But one that needs to be fixed.

EDIT: the part about manhunting pack was an unfortunately timed prisoner release, I tried to re-arrest the guy but there was no time. They ate the prisoner's newly installed peg leg, and let him lying on the ground for the two days they stayed. Walking right around him, while my colonists cover indoors, for two days. The prisoner actually survived the whole time lying there, bleeding, in negative-celsius temperatures, for two days, but died of infection soon after I got him back in.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2016, 07:41:13 AM by bonafire »
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Lascer

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Re: Feedback, thoughts after first playthrough (A13)
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2016, 06:44:30 AM »

It's not all good though, there are quite a bit of UI annoyances, excessive micromanagement, bad pawn behavior and badly balanced stuff.

I really think the micromanagement is part of the charm of this game. It's sometimes annoying, and reading through this forum has shown me a variety of simple solutions relying exactly on that micromanagement I never would have thought of on my own. Which is why I think it's one key to what makes this game what it is. Requiring all the micromanagement gives it a flexibility not always seen in sims.

The UI needs work, but it works for the alpha build that it is. I'd guess that would get touched up closer to an official release.

The bad pawn behavior is debatable, because while it is a thing, much of it is just that you didn't amend the standing orders you've given them. Your pawns are running into firefights to clean the raider blood of the ground? You could have drafted them, or created a zone special for the non-combatants during battles, built a door that separated the battle zone from the rest of the base (and ordered it forbidden). It's micromanagement, but its *options*. The whole game is a balance between tactical and simulation. The pause button is my best friend.

That said, each new build seems to be getting closer to an acceptable 'autopilot'. The options all start when you dig into things a bit more. Making pawns automatically set to flee in the face of danger helps... the next step might be a way to designate where they flee to (a beacon or something), and an extended awareness. But still, really, who's fault is it if you didn't tell your people to stay inside during an active raid.

The game changes drastically when you start adding mods. It gets increasingly difficult to find a good balance. Especially because what one person thinks is balanced, another will entirely disagree, and the next will find some simple micromanagement solution to sidestep. I'm planning on being much pickier about mods for this build.
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Shinzy

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Re: Feedback, thoughts after first playthrough (A13)
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2016, 07:06:59 AM »


According to the lore, the bionics blend with peoples DNA, so after they die, the bionics will not reblend with a new hosts DNA.

So why can we yoink the bionics off of living folks then with no issue?

Well they're not dead yet! didn't you read, "after they die" duh *rolls eyes*

or maybe it's the most convenient excuse to keep part harvesting in balance (there's a lot of bodies) for that
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viperwasp

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Re: Feedback, thoughts after first playthrough (A13)
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2016, 09:12:35 AM »

 A way to choose source material stockpile for a recipe (instead of radius) <--- I would love it if all Workstations had an option to choose which stockpile they are allowed to accept materials from! Even if you could only choose 1 stockpile per Bill that would be amazing! Finally I would also want Bills to be assigned to individuals instead of anyone as well. That way I can give my best crafter for example the job of making the best equipment/gear when other stuff can be worked on by everyone else, setting the skill level required helps but does not eliminate the use of these other options.
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Nictis

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Re: Feedback, thoughts after first playthrough (A13)
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2016, 12:40:58 PM »

A way to choose source material stockpile for a recipe (instead of radius) <--- I would love it if all Workstations had an option to choose which stockpile they are allowed to accept materials from! Even if you could only choose 1 stockpile per Bill that would be amazing! Finally I would also want Bills to be assigned to individuals instead of anyone as well. That way I can give my best crafter for example the job of making the best equipment/gear when other stuff can be worked on by everyone else, setting the skill level required helps but does not eliminate the use of these other options.
I just wish there was a way to set the maximum skill as well,  keep my chef happy by not having him butcher people...
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mbond

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Re: Feedback, thoughts after first playthrough (A13)
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2016, 01:38:44 PM »

You've never played the game before, and on your first try you got everyone launched into space?

Man, do i feel like a dunce now.

As to specifics:

1. I think the micromanage is what makes this game what it is. There are some aspects that I would like to micro manage MORE.

1. The centipedes with mini-guns showing up and killing the cat 5 minutes after you unpause the game at the start is a bit annoying.

1. Shooting accuracy is annoying. I had an incapacitated centipede last night. Walked one person right up next to it and they still couldn't hit it.
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Mathenaut

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Re: Feedback, thoughts after first playthrough (A13)
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2016, 02:30:57 PM »

And by failing to finish the job (or die trying), they broke the immersion. It made me feel like I lost to a bunch of badly scripted OP tanks, instead of an overwhelming force of nature I should have known to prepare against.

That's exactly what happened though. Finishing the job doesn't change that, it just gave you a chance to recover instead of wiping your game. Far as immersion goes,  I think this would be pretty low on the bar of things that would break that compared to other constraints.[/quote]

Quote
They seek me out in the first place (deciding to raid me), then seem hell-bent to exterminate every last colonist (and animals, too). *Except*, when there's a closed door in between.

If they are there to destroy your colony and your colonists can't do much to stop them, then it would make sense. Your colonists aren't any more of a threat, and by admission it was extraordinary circumstance that allowed you to recover. Doesn't sound like you would have managed without some strategy and alot of luck.

Quote
EDIT: the part about manhunting pack was an unfortunately timed prisoner release, I tried to re-arrest the guy but there was no time. They ate the prisoner's newly installed peg leg, and let him lying on the ground for the two days they stayed. Walking right around him, while my colonists cover indoors, for two days. The prisoner actually survived the whole time lying there, bleeding, in negative-celsius temperatures, for two days, but died of infection soon after I got him back in.

There's a world of difference between that happening to one of your prisoners vs that happening to one of your colonists. Consider the alternative: Just release a prisoner into a manhunt spawn, then gun them all down while they ignore everything else and eat. Fun circumstance I guess, but it's lose/lose if you're arguing realism.
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