Harbinger PC Early Access Feedback
#1

Greetings!

This thread is for the Kickstarter backers, who pledged to receive the Early Access version now before Christmas Smile

Please, give us your feedback. Below are features that we think you, as PC players, would want. Do you agree?
  • Bandboxing.
  • Precise controls, more precise interface.
  • More content, more complexity to the game play overall.
  • More complexity to targeting. Targeting individual fighters.
  • Targeting ship systems.
  • Move own individual fighters around.


What more comes to your mind? Please don't spare anything, good or bad. As this is our chance to make the game better, together with you!
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#2

As for features, I rarely want to target individual fighters, but I do, sometimes want it - when a fighter is carrying missiles, or stands off too far for drones to auto-engage. The problem is, I can only dispatch drones by the squadron, and that's overkill for fighters.

Never needed to move my fighters around, except to use them as missile sponges. I don't think this is what you intend for fighters.

Bandboxing is interesting . . . but if I forget to include a ship in my bandbox move order, will they break formation? If I include them all in a bandbox, will they re-form? Fleets aren't really big enough for bandboxing to be required, but a lot of PC players will miss it if it isn't there.

I's like to see hangars drop. Enemy hangar variants, color-adjusted to signify their human alliegance.

I'd like to see detailed fighter control, in terms of being able to tell them to sit on close point defense, or to range out and attack from a distance, and whether to do that one ship at a time, or to split their numbers between all the ships around. (For fighter mop-up.) Being able to do that on a per-hangar basis isn't absolutely necessary, I think.


Can I recommend that you implement modules to improve shield regen, and have it commonly equipped by enemies? This might help solve the issue that shield-destruction is a neglected offense, with laser drones and energy cannons often discarded, or only one of each put to use. This would require shields to be taken seriously, not in the early game, and not in every bbattle, but often enough to require anti-shield equipment.

I think that perhaps limiting drones to automatic, close-range use, and requiring manned fighters to manually target ships for attack might be quite useful in balancing drones vs. fighters. This would severely limit the range of drones, but also permit more drone counts, as you might expect with automated systems.
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#3

Before I forget - I want PD to target asteroids.

WSAD panning of the screen.

I should be able to manage by entire fleet inventory on one screen - the PC has the real estate for that.

Please, please make the tractor beam useful as more than an anti-fighter weapon. I sooooo want to tractor down missile ships to pull them into general weapons range. Right now, all it's good for is pinning fighters for inaccurate weapons like rockets, and if you're going to put a tractor beam on there to kill fighters, why not a laser, with greater range, perfect accuracy, and a one-shot kill?

Is is possible for lasers to be able to refire quickly if they didn't use their entire beam on a missile? Switch to a 'heat' model that some games use. The laser fires as long as it likes, and builds up heat as it goes. Once it hits overheat, it's disabled until it cools down completely. This can result in exactly the same performance we see now against capital ships, but they would be able to quickly retarget missiles, and for the larger lasers, multiple fighters, instead of spending their entire firing cycle on one target.

Also . . . regarding depth and complexity . . . maybe look to space adventures like Freelancer and such. Include some third-parties upon which you can engage in pirate attacks, or defend from your enemies. They might ask for help or escort, and aid you later if you help them regularly, or attack on sight if you prey upon them. Some of these might be traders, bringing new stock to the stations. You might be able to pick up resources from destroyed asteroids to trade, in excahnge for the risk.
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#4

From a fine Commander elsewhere:

I would certainly suggest to change the "tap here" to "click here". It sounded exactly like I was looking at the android version on windows... And it also crashed for no apparent reason (no trace file).
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#5

I agree with that - there's no need for a confirmation tap with a mouse's precision.
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#6

A few minutes play. Looks like a direct mobile port! Even for simple actions like moving your ship. I expected to move my ship with the right mouse click without confirmation and to zoom out further! I expected to bind actions and to draw select the ships/drones. I expected to change the music/sound level and I hope for an option to load external music.

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#7

I didn't see a forum for the recent updates, so I figured id include my comments here.

Pros:
The new sectors
Increased difficulty
New story missions
Increased information
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#8

@steph. Yes, this early access version still has much the same user interface as the mobile. But that will change. This is more how we want the game to look on PC in the end:

[Image: dc4b3f5e3c36b3db4597a5e9c9aa786f_origina...1e7faa68e4]
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#9

Just adding some good points from a fine Commander:

With a week-long deadline, there are more important places to put your effort. If you want to release further updates later, taking your time, movement would be a big place that you could add some polish and glow to make the game feel shinier. But right now, I think making the UI more PC-oriented is more important. Bandboxing, UI re-arrangement to put more info on the screen. Precise volume control. Control groups. (Select ships by bandbox, and CTRL-1 makes that a group - pressing 1 recalls that group as a selection, allowing you to command it.) Perhaps use right-click to move, and left-click SOLELY to select ships, so you can move or select without worrying if a ship is in your way.

With all that settled, if you have time, or feel like updating further, perhaps expanding on equipment systems with things like enemy hangar drops and engine/shield/armor slots to adjust performance more towards a player's own play style would be one area where you could perhaps more easily add content that would be immediately popular, and add a lot of depth.



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#10

To provide context - I contacted the devs directly, so that I could determine if harrying them about movement refinement wa a productive course. If they'd made a choice already not to go that way, I didn't want to be a nuisance.

I love graceful, shiny, polished AI behavior, which is why movement here tweaks me so much. (Some of my favorite games are those that allow you to give simple orders to your units, resulting in complex or intelligent behavior that needs no micromanagement. - for instance the space sims that allow you to simply indicate to irbit the target at X distance.) But given their timetables, and a direct question about how to prioritize those refinements, I responded as above.

Back to the PC updates - I noticed that the Celestials carry a lot more death rays into battle - even in the first map! Ow! This makes Celestials much less desirable as a starting opponent. Still didn't have much problems, but then, I handle death rays carefully, and with extreme prejudice. And they're not so common as trolgars packing missiles.

Still, celestials are far too repair/energizer heavy. Is it possible to limit enemy equips to one repair beam/shield energizer per ship? It's frustrating in the early game to come up against a ship with a shield energizer, two repair beams, and a tractor beam, and not yet be well armed enough to take them down, despite being able to shoot them at standoff distance forever.
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