Extended Edition Android Beta Test and Feedback!


I've been playing the Beta for a week or so, after playing the 1.0 edition up to level 20 in the previous weeks (thanks to Many a True Nerd's video, btw). Had some general and specific feedback on the beta.

Generally, vastly improved experience. The enemy factions feel more distinct now, and encountering them in a random order keeps things more interesting. I think there have been some improvements in some weapons modules - lasers in particular feel more effective than previously, when I'd ignore them in favor of missiles in every case. I like the hazard environments a great deal. The new drops are intriguing. I know I've not seen all the new equipment that is included in the update. I find my ships are equipped much less consistently since the drop frequency seems higher, but more interestingly I think. The addition of time limits initially irritated me, but I got to really appreciate the sense of urgency they created. Overall, very pleased.

Some specific issues I've been having.

It is much more difficult now - even playing with a fighters-heavy squadron, I've only been able to complete East, and keep getting wasted in Normal mode surprisingly fast, sometimes withing three turns of start. The combination of hazard environments - especially ones that limit escape jumps - and aggressive enemy ships keeps wrecking me. Difficulty is one of those very personal and subjective things, but I'm finding it less enjoyable than I did previously because the frustration factor is higher. I feel like I'm getting fewer resources as well, so being able to quickly expand the squadron - and the number of targets the enemy has to fire on.

I have trouble evaluating weapons - especially the new ones - when I can't identify any special properties they may possess. For example, what is 'ion damage' ? How is a photon cannon different from a energy cannon, other than higher rate of fire and range? Missiles can shoot through shields - to my great joy when I have four burst turrets firing at close range, and my anger when I'm getting chewed up by those g-damn missile-firing fighter ships - but what are the other weapons' special properties? I'd like more information on the details screen when comparing kit for my loadout.

Going fighter-free still feels inordinately difficult. Ships without hangers are tougher and have one more heavy weapons mount, but it doesn't feel that significant an advantage when the defensive and offensive properties of a screen of fighters is considered. In the previous version, a favorite build of mine was a close-range brawler built into the toughest hull I could access, mounting missiles with burst and hull damage upgrades and a teleport. Jump in right on top of an enemy, waste it, then 'port as close as possible to the next. Repeat. Since the update, I've had no luck making the brawler work anywhere near as consistently.

It feels like there ought to be modules for upgrading thrust and maneuvering values of a hull. On that note, I might suggest the addition of some new hulls that change the move/maneuver dynamic - a class of saucer-shaped craft for example, that can change direction without having to turn around first. Waiting for the ship to complete that big U-turn makes sharp close maneuvers impossible or dangerous. And especially considering the new hazards, I'd really like to see modules that boost jump-drive recharge rates. Running away is an even more essential a tactic now, but it's harder to pull off. In fact, if there was generally more pushing/pulling/warping/jumping special movement, it would really mix the game up. Weapons that shove enemies away or draw them in (like tractors do with fighters) would be fun.

I'm still not sold on the utility of some modules and fighter types, particularly the repair and shield-regen functions. I find the cost in firepower (and the ability to more rapidly remove the enemy's ability to cause damage) to far outweigh the benefits in endurance. I'll mount a repair beam if I have a free slot, but will sell it or swap it as soon as I find or want to buy something more offensive. If these worked better, I'd reconsider this.

I ended up writing more on my critiques than praise, so I should really repeat that overall, I love the updated game, and look forward to seeing how it evolves as the launch approaches.

Y'all are doing good work.

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Extended Edition Android Beta Test and Feedback! - by Bailywolf - 12-04-2015, 07:40 PM

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