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There's no Desire to Explore

Discussion in 'Starbound Discussion' started by Giraffasaur, Jan 20, 2016.

  1. bk3k

    bk3k Oxygen Tank

    Go back and play Koala. Tell me if you actually still feel this way. Small details can make a lot of difference.

    Also it features more variance in planet size(including some really big planets). And as mentioned to death - not directly coupling planet types with difficulty. Then of course you have the hunger(coming back) and temperature mechanics(presumably not coming back). The higher randomization of factors was just more... interesting. The modern builds have lots of nice bells and whistles. Progress is being made. But I can't help but miss the Koala magic.

    I don't want the sectors to return. But where danger/planets/biomes/plants are concerned, I think they should take half a step back. Perhaps they wanted more polished planets and systems, but they're really just too orderly now. We need more chaos. Sure add more biomes, planet types, dungeons, quests, etc. The new frosting would taste just as sweet on the old style cakes.
     
    Blevruz likes this.
  2. Lazer

    Lazer Existential Complex

    The main advantage of Koalas vs. current, in terms of variety, was not being led by the nose through each planet type in the same order as every other character, and having underground biomes that were not predetermined by planet type. There was the possibility to be surprised. There was the possibility of liking one planet more than others, instead of just choosing which of the 18 planet-types you prefer. There was a feeling of "Maybe I'll check out just one more planet before I start building.."

    I agree that Koala variety was lacking in many ways, but it was hands-down superior to what we have now. (I totally forgot about different colored dirt, but they definitely should bring that back, too. Every little variable helps reduce the chance of two visited planets feeling the same.)

    I'm always happy to see more biomes, but there's no reason at all new biomes can't be added to a more randomized universe.
     
  3. Oberic

    Oberic Spaceman Spiff

    I think there's a guy who could pull that off.
    Hint: It's @sayter
     
    sayter likes this.
  4. M_Sipher

    M_Sipher Master Astronaut

    I played it for a year. Hundreds of hours and thousands of planets.

    I don't NEED to go back and play it. I know it well.

    And I still say that "oh boy different dirt" is nothing to clamor over. The "desire to explore" in Koala quickly became a stream of dropping to a planet, finding different colored dirt in the secondary biome, then leaving the planet forever because that was boring and the odds of a cool dungeon or rare Vanity armor were just as good on a planet with an interesting sub-biome.
     
  5. bk3k

    bk3k Oxygen Tank

    I think you missed the point by about a mile. I'm saying go and play it NOW after having played giraffe branches for so long.

    In case you still don't get why I say that, sometimes our memory of experiences doesn't match up to reality when tested. You where once quite accustomed to Koala, and upon playing giraffe it had more "stuff." You're currently quite accustomed to it, not Koala. Upon moving back to Koala, you may find it more refreshing than you remember. Of course you're probably also going to miss some of the improvements from Giraffe, but I think you'll be having at least as much fun because of the things myself and others are talking about.
     
  6. M_Sipher

    M_Sipher Master Astronaut

    Yeah, no. Not at all. The Koala build holds little to no appeal over the Giraffes outside of maybe the nostalgia of a year ago. What we have now I find better in pretty much every regard. I've been back to the Koalas since the Giraffes hit; I backed up the entire Koala build, and went in to check old stuff and builds of mine as I worked on re-creating/improving them for the new version, and I just found dealing with it less fun across the board.

    Planet distribution? It's not like hopping to another desert world if I really needed another desert world is any harder now than it was in Koala. A "higher level" desert world in Koala is functionally just like every other desert world but with bigger numbers attached to its monsters (whooptee-shit), with one exception: the high-level ores and fuel are WAY easier to mine thanks to the haphazard surface-level distribution. All that did was take away any need to visit a Volcanic world for any reason other than its sub-biomes. Why bother? (Also, volcanics were tied to difficulty since those only popped up in higher sectors, so well um.) With what's coming up, I have vastly more incentive to check out Volcanic worlds. Biome distribution on common worlds? Like I said, that just resulted mostly in me dropping down, finding the planet has an exceedingly common normal sub-biome, and warping back up to leave the planet alone forever while I looked for something more interesting. That "magic" got old as the pulling a nickel from the ear trick, and amounted to busywork.

    And I hated the hunger mechanic. It was a poorly-implemented, obnoxious egg timer that was very quickly rendered mostly moot as food was readily available, but even then pretty much only existed to annoy me with a Pavlovian task. I MIGHT try it out with a side-character once in the final version of the game, but for my day-to-day enjoyment, I'm leaving it the hell alone, even with the legit improvements the new version will have. Temperature was similarly rendered moot comparatively early in the game, and until that point, exceptionally obnoxious as you got to choose between "keeping warm" and "not having the structural integrity of a wet paper bag" on higher-tier cold worlds.

    The MOST I might give the Koalas is the relative scarcity of the special sub-biomes, but really, that's minor, and mitigated by more sub-biomes existing and a vast amount of stuff to obtain from each, thus multiple explorations needed. Everything else I might miss is minor, correctable (shopkeepers having specialized wares), or easy enough to bring back eventually with the Giraffe version's vast improvements, like the few missing Biomes (we know the Tentacle Biome is coming back, the Heck Biome is easy enough to implement with actual unique dangers, etc).

    And then there's that I'm in this game primarily for its expansive building and creation, and the Giraffes have made an already-huge amount of options explode when it comes to tile options and decor (and transport to different parts of the builds, that's important), wiring options, and not having to deal with the fucking low-range drill all the time as my primary development tool. Oh, and having the wiring and paint tools eat up hotbar slots that other stuff could go in, there's that too.

    So no. No, I will not have "at least as much fun" in the Koalas, Starbound's first (and rough) draft. I had a lot of fun in the Koalas, it was where I started, and had it never gotten past that stage, I'd still be happy with it to this day. But the Giraffes have basically left those builds in the dust, and what little I might miss is easy enough to bring back, and bring back better.
     
    Tamorr likes this.
  7. Connor McNew

    Connor McNew Void-Bound Voyager

    I really, really hate the tier system progression and always thought it was just a place holder until ""the point"" of the game was more fleshed out.

    Had this game from the start, I understand it's still in development, but I'm failing to see the "end game" as clearly as I did when the game first became playable. I don't feel incentive to explore in the slightest; I feel like the game is one big harvesting chore, constantly ditching gear very quickly after I've crafted it. I picked the game up because it had promised early on to be the mold-breaker of this genre. I don't feel incentive to explore, I don't feel incentive to fight, don't feel incentive to build, don't even really feel incentive to progress because it's like "yay, I moved to the next tier, time to do the exact same thing I did last tier to move to the next tier."

    By far the worst part of this game is its progression, which is a major disappointment.
     
    Lazer likes this.
  8. Lintton

    Lintton Guest

    The problem with the lack of tiers, koala in particular, is that players would regularly not explore much of anything and regularly skim the surface, if not sticking to desert biome, cheesing the ore, and claiming to have beaten the game. Good luck getting said players to even a slightly dangerous environment because they Will. Not. Go.

    At least here, by the time they have reached the next tier past current, they will have visited a variety of environments. As far as armor progression, I don't know the endgame for this, but I doubt it will just end with no other updates. At any rate, the same problem applies, armor already has the cosmetic part down, taking away the variation in stats, will result in making the combat system oversimplified, and combat(or rather, difficulty) touches on a lot of the desire you are talking about.
     
  9. Lazer

    Lazer Existential Complex

    Personally I do think Chucklefish should completely abandon vertical progression in Starbound, since it's been 3+ years and they show no indication of having any ideas about how to make tiers different from one another- but that's a topic for a different thread.

    Anyway, I don't feel that having NPCs require the player to visit each biome is an actual solution to the problem of players not wanting to go to particular biomes. If the only way to get players to do thing X is to take away their freedom to do things Y and Z, isn't that kind of a red flag that thing X isn't very fun? Wouldn't it be better to approach X and try to add some inherently fun or rewarding aspect to it? People like a good challenge. This isn't an impossible goal.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2016
  10. Tamorr

    Tamorr Supernova

    I'll say this again, but the progression between Koala and Giraffe are for the most part the same. What Conner describes is pretty much all I did in in Koala up to a certain point. Granted the Tiers were done slightly differently. Tier = Sector. All I did was visit 1 planet at a time, upgrade fairly quickly. So the harvesting chore is the same, but was more abundant in the koala edition. The ore itself was not easy, it was very easy. Upgrading gear was a upgrade and forget system.

    I may have not gone into the "X Sector", but that was because it seemed trivial to go into. I have heard some people going through the tiers just as quick as they do now. They raced towards this X-Sector in order to have the best gear. I didn't even go that far. I got to gamma/delta and stopped. That was my last tier, and then the "Real" game began. I put it that way, because that is what I hear some mention doing and called it that, even in this current version of the game. For me "real" is not what I was thinking. It was end game to me. So the Gamma/Delta was end game to me.

    I didn't even really start exploring until I reached those tiers. Some more likely did the same, just so they would have the best armor to explore with. Sounds familiar to me as what is even done in this current version.

    The concept of exploring was there from the beginning, but I had the incentive to get to the end tier, or close to it that I wanted; then I would go off and explore. This is where I found my beloved Koala planet. I don't call it Koala planet because it was in Koala, although the one in koala didn't have koalas. So I guess a double meaning. The planet I sought out had a specific name and environment. The one in Giraffe has that and was inhabited by friendly koalas. That of course was an earlier version of Giraffe though.

    Like I was saying before, Exploration has more to it then just sight seeing, or what you would call the environment. Structures, lifeforms, flora, terrain, and treasure. Another part of exploration is what kind M_Sipher points out, and rather well I might add. It really had nothing to do with colored dirt or random variation. Although Koala had plenty of that, but that was just flat out Chaos without much of a structure or clue as to what even to expect in the terrain. Sure it was good for a time to go to each planet looking for this and that; but I didn't even do that from the beginning, I did it when I was in the 2 sectors I mentioned. The only reasons to even go back to prior sectors was to get low level tech.

    So in a way the prior tiers were left in the dust, unless the person wanted to have an easy fight; near peaceful time of it. Certain planet types were locked behind tiers even in that version. So if you actually wanted that you would have to progress to what ever tier. The only difference is with koala, it made the tier system upgrade and forget, because the current tier had all the planet types, and there was no reason to go back due to that. Loot was random, or well to a degree random. I don't want to get into the literal part of that, as to a player it will appear random.

    There were only a few types of weapons, and which ever one you wanted will be the one you strive to get the best stats. Well quite a few did anyway. I personally didn't care as long I had one I enjoyed the looks of. Plus they did not have crossbows in that version. Not that I can recollect, as I believe they were introduced in the early Giraffe versions. Now we have even more variety in weapons to choose from, and to some degree old weapons still can be used in later tiers; all depending on the armor used. Granted you more likely will want a stat upgrade for the weapon, but in that respects it is the same as before; just done in a different way.

    Vanity is pretty much the same as before. You still have to scout them out. Same goes for musical instruments. Building materials, as M_Sipher & myself are builders; is something we aim to collect and get. There is a ton more of that in this current version. Even though I don't completely see eye to eye with M_Sipher on certain points, I do rightly agree with quite a bit of it since we both have that similar incentive in what we like of the game. (This is observation in what was written, even in past things that was written)

    The bosses are another thing that is different, and was hardly what you would call challenging... One of them being overly tedious more than anything... If anyone remembers collecting brains, you will know what I mean. It was either you got what you needed right away or you spent hours or even longer trying to get what you needed. Now, the only grind is to get armor; simple as that. I think you had to before anyhow just to unlock the boss summon... That part in memory is rusty, however it was in the very least locked behind tiers. Now still locked behind tiers the boss get their own arena per say. This makes it more fluid in my opinion, so you fight the boss on their turf instead of "something you setup for". I didn't really even do that sort of thing back then, but plenty did, and dare I say they complained about it being too easy to cheese the bosses.

    Combat was quite changed, and a lot of people have complained or noted how easy it was in Koala and early Giraffe(minus the bosses). The only thing challenging was an early version of koala with the "Killer Birds". Then again I am average when comes to combat. So I adapted easily my tactics in combat. Before it was waiting for signals, and nice for a time; but that made combat a little lacking; Not to mention sometimes those signals read the same, since there was not many attacks back then. You could essentially mop the floor with most mobs. With the newest version, not so much. At least for myself. There signals still there, just done a different way due to the change. Unfortunately some parts make no sense, but what would you expect of a first implementation. There are other problems for sure, but this was discussed in another topic so I'll leave that at that.

    So on end note I say again, Exploration is More than it seems. Not everyone can see every part of it off hand at a glance, but isn't that part of exploring too...
     
  11. Jellypuff

    Jellypuff Subatomic Cosmonaut

    The illusion of diversity is still much more preferable than a lack of diversity.
    If you've seen one lush forest planet, you've seen 'em all, but i'm certain, that's gonna be different in future updates, with much more (mini)biomes, villages, dungeons, etc added.
    Some different wallpaper here and there wouldn't hurt, that's for sure and i really hope that "threat level = planet type" stops being a thing when 1.0 faceplants onto Steam's storefront.

    I wonder, if an "Explorer progression path" is still being planned.
    Heh, funny, because pre-giraffe, i wondered the same thing about the "Quest progression path".
     
  12. The MechE

    The MechE Existential Complex

    Koala sounds so awesome. The current SB is pretty awesome as well though. We just need more variety. Some of the things in Koala should be brought back.
     
  13. Lazer

    Lazer Existential Complex

    Koala had a lot of bad problems for sure, but unpredictable planets were a good thing.
     
  14. Wisty

    Wisty Subatomic Cosmonaut

    I'm not sure that removing vertical progression is the way to go. All of the other games of this type have a degree of vertical progression. Sure I have really only played Minecraft and Terraria, but hey, those are the 2 big games that brought this genre of game into popularity. Terraria in particular is most similar to Starbound, and the vertical progression in that game was great in my opinion.

    The main problem I see with planet exploration is that one planet type isn't necessarily different from another planet of the same type. Once you find a desert planet you are comfortable with, there is no reason to travel to another desert planet unless you are looking for a certain dungeon that isn't on your current planet. In the end visits to other planets just become dull surface runs of stumbling over terrain and monsters in a hasty search to find some kind of place of interest to exploit for blocks. There needs to be a little something on each planet that no other, or at least few other planets have.

    I can't help but remember Terraria and wonder what made the world in that game so interesting. It is hard to really come up with ideas that could be taken from Terraria and applied to Starbound, mainly because in Terraria you were stuck to a single world, and in Starbound you are free to visit as many worlds as you want to. Why did that one world in Terraria take so long to become dull though? The only conclusion I can come to is that the world in Terraria was designed to contain all of the content in the game, while planets in Starbound are designed to be incomplete. To contain things on them that another planet may be lacking in, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The point after all is to travel to different planets. The problem is that this means that planets can't accomodate every player at every level of progression. They become obsolete and they need to have something that allows them to get back up to speed with the higher tier planets. I think I have a couple of ideas that could fix it.

    Personally I feel like it is too easy to reach the core of a planet, and actually reaching the core of a planet has few rewards. When I land on a planet with intent to mine it, I pretty much just dig straight down until I reach the bottom, then I go back to whichever underground biome has the softest rock and avoid all the others. How many biomes did I just zoom through? Don't know, don't care. Because those biomes have almost nothing to offer me that I can't get in the next one down or the next one above. The place with all of the cobblestone has all of the same ores as the place with the sand or the snow, and the sand and snow are much quicker to dig through. I'm never forced to stop in this biome and get what I need to move onto the next one, making mining a much less adventurous and involving activity than it could be. I think every planet should contain every tier of ore with each tier being 1 biome level below the next, and hazard and monster tier would also increase to match. This insures that each and every planet has a natural resource that high level players may be interested in going back to acquire.
    Generally I think that all planets need to at least have some kind of scaling element to keep high level players on their toes, but make sure that low level players are able to steer clear of the challenge that they aren't prepared for. Terraria did this by only allowing players to unleash the forces of light and dark only after defeating the wall of flesh, and even then only when they chose to unleash them.

    Next, I think that tying planet type with star type is a mistake. Fiery stars right now seem to contain the highest tier planets right now, but the problem is that those planets are almost exclusively volcanic or dead planets. I think that star types should have no effect on the type of planets that can be found in that system, but instead effect the type of weather you see on that planet. That way you could still have an arctic planet in a fiery system, but that arctic planet would get meteor storms and firestorms similarly to the kind of weather you would normally see on a volcanic planet, and that the same kind of pattern would apply to a volcanic planet in a frozen system.
    Admittedly I haven't paid much attention to weather effects in the giraffe builds, so I may be entirely wrong in my presumptions of the current weather system.

    Finally one thing that I think planets need most of all is events. Right now there are events in the form of weather, but those get old pretty quickly and most weather events have no actual effect on what I can or should be doing. The kind of events I have in mind are more similar to Terraria's blood moon. I'm not saying though that every planet should have a blood moon, though really I think everyone who played Terraria liked the blood moons. They were like back when you were a kid and got really excited when you saw a thunderstorm coming...anyway maybe you could at least include the blood moon on some planets as an homage? One simple example of an event that I can think of off the top of my head would be a stampede. An event where one particular type of wildlife, in massive numbers, charges from one end of the screen to the other. This kind of event could potentially surprise players and provide them with a unique challenge that they would not be able to find on a planet where stampedes don't happen.
     
  15. M_Sipher

    M_Sipher Master Astronaut

    This is something I admit I didn't address when it came updating/expanding the assets as a variety move rather than just hitting the RANDO button on the universe. And let me give an example via short story.

    Just a few weeks back, I went on a planet hunt. I'm going to be re-starting my colosso-build come the new update (also because something went bad on the old homeworld, and it was on a planet from the very first Giraffe build and was missing the nicer new backdrops and stuff), and I wanted a planet with a specific look, or at least, within a specific range of appearances. As I build a lot of giant trees (Floran), I wanted a Forest planet with reddish-brown treetrunks and greenish "bushy" foliage.

    I must have visited at least a hundred Forest worlds looking just for that combination. So many white-trunked trees, grayish craggly trees, purple thorn-trees, viney-trunk trees, cotton-candy-tops, huge leaves... And that's just on Forest worlds.

    (And then there's the factor of what dungeons/villages are on the planet. As in, I really only wanted a Sewer to integrate into the build, and a nice empty stretch to rebuild a USCM prison over it, then my giant forest. I didn't want any friendly villages, Apex labs, Glitch castles, etc, largely because the setting I have very clearly in my head means I would need to tear down those structures entirely and that's not a slow process. Neither was finding the right combination of looks and structures that I felt "yeah, this works for the story in my head". Did I like the night sky's arrangement of planets? Hmmm.)

    That level of single-biome variety is something that I DO think CF should do for all the main planetary biomes, and is currently lacking in most of them. The Forest planets got the most variety thanks to them being mostly a dumping ground of pre-existing assets from the earlier build, but it's a perfect example of how to liven up the variety. I think Alien worlds in particular should have a much bigger variety of trees and weirdness, greater variety of rock color, more random bizarre vegetation (even if the actual farmables/consumables are the same). More "wallpapers" per planet as was said, with 1 in say 20 showing off a wrecked starship or Glitch castle or whatever in the distance. Look at some of the dinosaur-era plant life for inspiration for Arid world variety; that stuff was a lot hardier back then.

    But, that's an asset-creation thing, and that takes time, and the artists do seem to be largely engaged with more important main-game art duties at the moment than creating a bunch of, well, frippery. If they can add a better variety of looks into each world's grab-bag of visuals, then just randomizing biomes and having 75% of the secondary biomes just be "slightly different dirt" won't need to be a thing. And that can easily come in time.
     
  16. Lazer

    Lazer Existential Complex

    Randomizing biomes and adding new art assets aren't mutually exclusive though.
     
  17. Lintton

    Lintton Guest

    Many people did Terraria did 1 character per world. if you did a powered up character in a world on a regular basis you have starbound's gameplay. with further variation on mobs and mob behavior, you improve starbound's strengths, but no one planet is going to have everything, no one world to have the full gamut of difficulty. that is the point of exploring.
     
  18. Coldboots

    Coldboots Scruffy Nerf-Herder

    The great thing about Starbound as opposed to Terraria, is that it appears much friendlier to modders. I've put vanilla Starbound on the backburner for now as my opinion mirrors the OP in that I find exploration rather stale after a few systems. Building colonies is nice, but sometimes you want to go on a rampage with these colonists and their silly demands. There needs to be a meaningful exploration game on top of everything else.

    However, I've modded my offline version of starbound to use a number of mods including Frackin Universe. In that mod, you'll have more exploration than you've bargained for. It'd be cool if they could at least implement a similar feel to the exploration from that mod. One way to accomplish that may be to not hinge the tier of planets to the stars they belong to. Back when you could find any planet under any system, exploration was much more robust even for having it like that. And we have readings on our nav computers to see if a place might be too much for our characters to handle, as well as specialized equipment and precautions to make when traveling to certain planets. The implant system kinda killed the survivalist feel the game used to have, and just added a hard gate to progression rather than encourage exploration.
     
  19. Wisty

    Wisty Subatomic Cosmonaut

    I will admit that my idea of having a single planet provide the full range of difficulty would actually cause some players to explore less. I mean why go visit another world if everything you need is already here? But I still think that doing this would help improve exploration on a smaller scale. I mean, how can I enjoy exploring different planets with different biomes if I can't even be bothered to explore the individual biomes of a single planet?

    There are some ways I could see encouraging exploration of other planets in this kind of system. You could include more different types of ores that look different, but function mostly the same as one another. I think that in one of the later Terraria patches, they added lead ore which you could craft lead armor out of, which was identical to iron in it's use, but looked different. If I recall correctly, no world could have both iron and lead either, so it added a unique feature to each world you played.

    This may be an unpopular opinion, but I wonder if it would encourage exploration if high tier planets only possessed one of the 3 top tier ores. What if I had to find one planet for aegisalt, one for Rubium, and one for Violium?
     
    jakecool19 likes this.
  20. Lintton

    Lintton Guest


    i think that would help, i once suggested that the planet increase in variation, but change the metal ore distribution on the biomes remains associated with the tier it came in(a dangerous tier desert planet would not have aegisalt ore , for example, but would have iron ore.).
     

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