Monday, May 12, 2014

What are the most important improvements to be done to space in EU?

What are the most important improvements to be done to space in EU?

I think Entropia Universe has something unique with walk-around and drivable space-ships which communicate between planets with an open first person experience on the ground as well as in vehicles. I haven't seen this anywhere else and if anyone knows of any other game which does anything like this (even as a single-player game) I'd be very interested in hearing about it. The closest approximation I've encountered is X-Rebirth (which has no planet-side open world and extremely limited interior world design on ships). In spite of this remarkably desirable combination of game features, I think that there's a lot of room for improvement in Entropia Universe's delivery of the space game.

It's been said that the players make the rules in Entropia Universe. Well, if that's the case, lets bring some positivity into this forum and talk about some of the improvements we hope to see implemented in Entropia Universe's space.

The first thing I'd like to see fixed is the bug which allows different instances of the exact same ship to have different top speeds (See: 2012 & 2013 - and both videos show the pirates gaining ground even when the quad is flying straight and level). Space is supposed to have more than one planetary world and, in my opinion, this bug is killing the other planetary operations by imbalancing the game so much in favour of space pirates that the pirates can -and are- keeping the bulk of new incoming players bottled up on Calypso. If pirates can make their quad go faster than the other guy's quad, they will - and this only guarantees that they can loot everyone they can see (or have seen), pursue, gain on and shoot down. Ezy-peezy-lemon-squeezy. This leaves absolutely no room for the challenge of outmaneuvering the pirates before leaving the vicinity of space dock as they can always catch up later - as the linked video shows.
Did I mention I'd like to see space mining of asteroids using mining attachments on vessels like Sleipnirs? That's not going to work as long as the game mechanics of space continue to be imbalanced so heavily in favour of pirates.
I'd also like to see the boundary for space given 4 dimensional topology so that when I fly up to z-ordinate +4096, instead of bouncing off an utterly nonsensical invisible flyscreen, I simply continue on to z-ordinate -4096. There's a thing about this dynamic in either special or general relativity (I forget which) and, yes, a fourth space dimension (in the boundary topology of the universe) may well be a mathematical hack - but the rationale still remains great material for science fiction.
I'd like to see round planets: The eastern-most margin of the easternmost server should be linked to the westernmost margin of the western-most server (at the same latitude) so that the world is circumnavigable and, ergo, more believable. it doesn't have to be a perfect Mercator, Wulff or Schmidt projection - just take away the medieval world edges. You may well be able to fit world edges into the WoW and Elder Scrolls Online genre - especially if you load them up with very high level monsters, but edges of the world are a Medieval element which has no place in a futuristic fantasy.
The reason the above point is relevant is because I'd like to see some basic orbital mechanics (just simple baseball physics for the existing vehicles) so that players can choose where to re-enter the atmosphere and where they will touch-down and where they will enter space when they lift off. This would include a hull temperature gauge on vehicle instrumentation so that players can fly their ship down and make an informed choice about the angle of descent - too steep and hull temperature goes critical. After 20-40 seconds of critical hull temperature you crash and burn.
I'd like to see more instrumentation in vehicles including speed (in km/h planetside and au/h in space), hull temperature, thruster tt, fuel reserve in PED, vehicle SI and vehicle tt, mounted weapon tt and let's have mounted weapon SI to make criticals meaningful, etc - I shouldn't have to pull up the "Item Info" to get a reading on all this.
I'd like to see a variable throttle with an off switch so I don't have to change seats whenever I decide to take a pit-stop in a safe zone.
Space Anchor: a spin state which can be applied at the quantum level to some part of the ship (say, the thruster - just to make it more interesting) which burns no fuel, decays nothing and simply immobilises the ship so that it can't be pushed or towed.
Space towing so that when I've had one too many (or simply lost count of how many "too many" I've had) and consequently run out of fuel, I can call up a friend and get a tow to a space station (where it can be programmed that the towed vehicle will disengage and crash land on spawn with sufficient force to destroy the vehicle - thereby ejecting the trapped pilot and/or passenger).
Coming back to the baseball level of orbital physics, I'd like to see different planets in different orbits with distances between specific planet pairs varying by season and relative orbital position. Let's have at least some parts of the game which are a challenge to the mind as opposed to just being a challenge to the wallet. While we're at it, it would be nice to see the missing star(s) of Entropia Universe make an appearance in space and please do have a damage zone around the star where ships take incrementally more damage per second as they get closer to the star (assuming they've strayed too close to begin with).
I'd like to see at least 50 more ship types.
I'd like to see these ship types in at least 6 displacement classes: aircraft, corvettes, frigates (landable), destroyers, cruisers, and capital ships.
I'd like to see at least a dozen ship specialties: e.g. stealth ships, shuttles, mining ships, hunting ships, salvage ships, fighters (anti-aircraft), torpedo corvettes (anti-ship), frigates (heavy drop-ships like the vessels seen at Celeste Outpost on Arkadia or The Megavolt on Calypso), Destroyers (light escort vessels), Cruisers (heavy escort vessels), and capital ships such as battle-ships (capable of bombarding set coordinates in planetside PvP from space - not just other ships in space) and aircraft carriers (e.g. the current motherships used for ferrying passengers). And by specialisation I really do mean specialisation. No more looting players from anything but a salvage vessel - or a mining ship with the right attachments (which decay significantly with every looting). Mining ships and salvage ships are not military vessels and should either not mount weapons or should at least be disadvantaged in combat (severely limited range on mining ships, no room for weapons on a salvage ship). Weapons on hunting ships should be penalised firing on other ships (limited penetration) and weapons on military vessels should be penalised against mobs (limited undamaged or intact loot). If an avatar is killed in space by a heavy weapon, a significant proportion (30-70%) of the loot should be lost to weapon damage.
Not all ships should be easy to fly. Some ships should lack an onboard computer and require manual engine-balancing during flight, regular maintenance stops during long hauls, extensive flight planning and more exact calculations for atmospheric re-entry lest they burn up in the atmosphere and the stackables become forfeit to the local Planet Operator. When I say calculations, I don't meant a pull on the slot machine handle either. If the player's figures are right, they are right - and if they are wrong they are wrong. And if players can't do the math, they can fly a more modern or more consumer-friendly ship. This would be a good balancing offset for a stealth ship or something used for smuggling which transits subspace to avoid unwanted attention.
Realistic SI. A quad should not be able to damage a mothership without high yield torpedos and one shot from one of the guns on a capital ship should instakill a quad and produce an AOE at the edge of its range. Also, heavy guns should have 100x the range of direct fire mounted weapons like Kismet, and should be capable of delivering a fire pattern to coordinates not visible to the gunner - which would be obtained via a scout or a spotter. I would also like to see a heavy BLP weapon for capital ships which, likewise, is powerful enough to instakill any quad on a hit and damage any quad which strays into the muzzle-flash zone within a cone of fire beginning at the muzzle with a 50m width and extending to 100m where the diameter of the fire cone drops to zero. Motherships and other capital ships should only be vulnerable to sizeable gun platforms (destroyer class and above).
I'd like to see more collision damage - and if ship in warp collides with my little aircraft while I'm creeping across space - that should be bug on the windshield instakill instead of yet another bug in space in the form of "why the hell am I still flying along perfectly on course?" In fact, I'd like the near miss of ships at warp to produce a shockwave which damages the affected aircraft, knocks the aircraft right off course and throws it into a spin until brought under control by the pilot. It would just make things that much more interesting.
I'd like to see craftable navigation lights which can be fixed to ships by their operators (in the event the players decide to mitigate some risks by adapting their own variation of "International Rules for the Avoidance of Collisions at Sea" to space - or for decoration if they don't)
I'd like to see critical hits which really are critical and not just extra damage. If I take a critical hit in a vehicle, either the steering should be impaired, or or the maximum speed reduced, or the fuel economy decreased, or the weapons go offline or have reduced effect or range, or some other system malfunctions until the vehicle's SI is fully repaired. I shouldn't be able to fly across space with a 90% damaged quad and not notice anything wrong with the way she handles. Some of my proposed ship specialties (e.g. stealth ships for smugglers) should not be RK-5 repairable (as a matter of game balance) and, every time they are destroyed, should require return to a planetside dry dock (i.e. a glorified crafting/repair terminal for space vehicles at a space port) for repair. Perhaps, instead of welding wire, such repair with a suitable number of nova and blazaar fragments might have a positive economic effect all-round given that these are so generously distributed to hunters.
Let's see shops on space stations. They'll be a hit - and give more players reason to come out and enjoy all these benefits of space which I am hoping to see some time before MA's competition bring such benefits out (e.g. Star Citizen). Check your rear-view mirror guys, you're not the only people driving on Sunday.
A wider variety of repair tools with SIB and which max out at 10 level intervals - at least seven please and let's see the yields and the economies of these tool make high level vehicle structural engineers worth paying for on larger ships facing more determined opposition. Not everyone who picks up an RK-5 wants to be a crafter and, frankly, the rk-20 lacks sufficient repair speed to make its inefficiencies worth paying for - even when maxed.
Either make all vehicles unlimited or make the karma titles which players pay so heavily for apply to the player when piloting any vehicle instead of sticking karma to a mindless inanimate ship.
Here's a crazy halfway measure just in case the last idea is unpalatable at both extremes. Make all wrecked items (i.e. at 3% tt condition) function as a blueprint for their own reinstatement at a crafting machine (or a dedicated space dock for some of the larger and specialty ships I hope to see introduced) following the same resource consumption and crafting skill success/failure rules which are applied to blueprints - only, once the vehicle is restored successfully to any tt value above 3%, the wreck is consumed (because now it is a vehicle or item). Also, when a ship or aircraft is patched up this way, it should become nameable by the player. This will add another reason to engage in crafting activities which may appeal to some of us who generally won't craft for other reasons. It will also take the bitter edge off limited items for those of us who are offended by the whole throw-away aspect of some consumer cultures.

Anyway, I'm airing this so that other customers who are patronising EU can add add emphasis to anything they think I've put too far down the list or suggest alternatives that I may have overlooked. I'm sure we'd all like to see space improved and made more interesting and enjoyable. So, this is about what things would make EU's space more interesting and enjoyable - on the assumption that something will be done about it eventually because, ultimately, a more enjoyable and more interesting game experience will lead to a higher turnover and more profit for those invested in EU.

Mercurio Thomaso Morat

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