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Map Expansion Should Have Been Held Back to Further Refine Mechanics


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I know this could be an unpopular opinion, because most people want a "bigger" game as fast as possible, but these VP issues where points go to opposite sides, countries are listed as winning combat rather than losing, and ghost ships rising from the depths with 0 crew to fight eternally, are all evidence that the expansion was too soon. Expansion created totatally unforeseen difficulties that no had on their radar, pun intended. Rather than do as they did, they should have kept the scenario at Germany vs. Great Britain, and further refined the base before adding three more nations.

If anything, two should have been added, not an imbalanced number. There has been literally no benefit to map expansion except to create an empty diplomacy tab that isn't even useful yet. I know barebones mechanics for this are coming likely in the next patch, but diplomacy should take a backseat to the basics of the game: combat and sustaining said combat operations.

I would rather have seen greater emphasis on logistics: fuel, ammunition, shipyards limiting production, than diplomacy and faction expansion.

I would rather have seen refinement in transports, their arming or not, design, and commerce raiding.

I would rather have seen weather effects actually visualized, and new battle backgrounds to the sky/sea.

I would rather have seen improved AI ship design and the refinement of the shipbuilder.

I would rather have seen new crew mechanics, rescues, taking prisoners, etc.

Mostly, I would rather have seen reconnaissance and spying to know what the enemy has and where.

I don't have to say anything about the eternal spotting overhaul needed.

In the end, UAD would have been better served by by several patches of Germany vs. Great Britain rather than a giant leap to map extension, that only has bogged down the game with bizarre issues that no one predicted. As it stands now it is unplayable with the VP issues and ghost ships, and these were not present pre-expansion.

 

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You're not entirely wrong, mind you.

But here's something to consider: If there are so many bugs by trying to expand the absolute barebones of the framework, how bad would it have been if the devs had tried to expand a fully-fleshed out framework? It might have gone without a hitch; a refined system might've taken the expansion quite easily. However, it is equally likely that everything would've broken down entirely. It might've required the devs to build the game twice (once for GB v Germany, and then again after the expansion bug onslaught).

Yes, as gamers, this patch is horrible. I haven't been able to drum the interest to play the game for a few weeks. However, I've settled into a... quiet acceptance that I'd rather have these issues sorted out now rather than at the end when we're getting ready for the game to release a final version.

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3 hours ago, AurumCorvus said:

You're not entirely wrong, mind you.

But here's something to consider: If there are so many bugs by trying to expand the absolute barebones of the framework, how bad would it have been if the devs had tried to expand a fully-fleshed out framework? It might have gone without a hitch; a refined system might've taken the expansion quite easily. However, it is equally likely that everything would've broken down entirely. It might've required the devs to build the game twice (once for GB v Germany, and then again after the expansion bug onslaught).

Yes, as gamers, this patch is horrible. I haven't been able to drum the interest to play the game for a few weeks. However, I've settled into a... quiet acceptance that I'd rather have these issues sorted out now rather than at the end when we're getting ready for the game to release a final version.

As a sometimes-software-dev, I think this is the right answer. I'd bet a few bucks that there was a bunch of shortcuts taken to code the basic GB/DE campaign, and the devs are fighting their way through the consequences now that they have to solve for more than a single possible situation (which usually means rewriting a crapton of logic, then rewriting it again when you find all your new mistakes). Everybody I know has been there, and the devs have my absolute professional sympathy.

Edit: also, it is technically a still a beta. I understanding wanting to be on the latest and greatest, and I'm not naive enough to think that the release won't have some bugs too, but if it's really unplayable for you, you can still revert to 1.04 and pause updates until you're sure the game is ready.

Edited by Dave P.
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I'm entirely sympathetic, the campaign in its current state of VP not being awarded correctly, and other issues, is disheartening to play.  However, on the flip side, expanding the campaign REVEALED these problems that might have continued further on if they had polished just GB v. GR.  I have deep reservations about having released the game to the wider public at this point, because with this many bugs present it may be a turnoff and generate negative word of mouth.  I'm sure the balance of that possibility of negative PR was debated vs. the increased feedback and testing generated, and the decision was taken to proceed with open beta (vs. the limited 'buy-in' beta earlier, with an increased price point to filter out the non-hardcore naval fans).

This is still very early in the beta state, and I'd even argue this is still alpha, given classical uses of those states in project development.  The campaign map is not fully finished.  Diplomacy does not currently exist in anything even resembling the final intended state.  MUCH of the graphical modeling of ships is still placeholder, or missing (witness; all the new hulls and superstructure and gun models coming in 1.05).  Portions of the research tree refer to things that are not yet implemented (submarines).  Setting a deployed surface force to 'invasion' has yet to generate a port strike mission (for me, at least).  A problem I started a thread on about targetting getting weird when shot trajectory gets occluded by a non-target ship has seen no dev response nor addressing in patch notes.  And on, and on, and on.  This is not a problem, this is what I expect of a game/project this early still in dev.  I expect these things to be fleshed out, fixed, improved, as the game goes on, and to fix a problem, you first have to find it.

So in sum, after two paragraphs of my wordy behind expressing itself:  TL;DR I'm glad they did expand the campaign, to catch bugs now and be able to fix them in time to further expand the factions available.

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On 3/20/2022 at 10:16 PM, AurumCorvus said:

You're not entirely wrong, mind you.

But here's something to consider: If there are so many bugs by trying to expand the absolute barebones of the framework, how bad would it have been if the devs had tried to expand a fully-fleshed out framework? It might have gone without a hitch; a refined system might've taken the expansion quite easily. However, it is equally likely that everything would've broken down entirely. It might've required the devs to build the game twice (once for GB v Germany, and then again after the expansion bug onslaught).

Yes, as gamers, this patch is horrible. I haven't been able to drum the interest to play the game for a few weeks. However, I've settled into a... quiet acceptance that I'd rather have these issues sorted out now rather than at the end when we're getting ready for the game to release a final version.

Possibly, I guess we will not know. But the things I was suggesting they work on might not directly correlate to the current difficulties. It it is true, these issues might have always cropped up, but everything else would he much more refined and thus the product more palatable to wait around with...most importantly to the masses who could rate this up or down on a whim.

 

On 3/21/2022 at 1:34 AM, Dave P. said:

As a sometimes-software-dev, I think this is the right answer. I'd bet a few bucks that there was a bunch of shortcuts taken to code the basic GB/DE campaign, and the devs are fighting their way through the consequences now that they have to solve for more than a single possible situation (which usually means rewriting a crapton of logic, then rewriting it again when you find all your new mistakes). Everybody I know has been there, and the devs have my absolute professional sympathy.

Edit: also, it is technically a still a beta. I understanding wanting to be on the latest and greatest, and I'm not naive enough to think that the release won't have some bugs too, but if it's really unplayable for you, you can still revert to 1.04 and pause updates until you're sure the game is ready.

This sounds very plausible, I just wish if that was the case they were clearer about it. They were never particularly transparent to begin with, but now it is worse. Granted, no one expected a war in their country of headquarters and that would obviously hurt production, but from the bits they have told us, they are not currently in any danger which is wonderful. They have mostly shrugged off the situation and pointed to all their other satellite locations globally. I guess time will tell what happens.

 

8 hours ago, UnleashtheKraken said:

I'm entirely sympathetic, the campaign in its current state of VP not being awarded correctly, and other issues, is disheartening to play.  However, on the flip side, expanding the campaign REVEALED these problems that might have continued further on if they had polished just GB v. GR.  I have deep reservations about having released the game to the wider public at this point, because with this many bugs present it may be a turnoff and generate negative word of mouth.  I'm sure the balance of that possibility of negative PR was debated vs. the increased feedback and testing generated, and the decision was taken to proceed with open beta (vs. the limited 'buy-in' beta earlier, with an increased price point to filter out the non-hardcore naval fans).

This is still very early in the beta state, and I'd even argue this is still alpha, given classical uses of those states in project development.  The campaign map is not fully finished.  Diplomacy does not currently exist in anything even resembling the final intended state.  MUCH of the graphical modeling of ships is still placeholder, or missing (witness; all the new hulls and superstructure and gun models coming in 1.05).  Portions of the research tree refer to things that are not yet implemented (submarines).  Setting a deployed surface force to 'invasion' has yet to generate a port strike mission (for me, at least).  A problem I started a thread on about targetting getting weird when shot trajectory gets occluded by a non-target ship has seen no dev response nor addressing in patch notes.  And on, and on, and on.  This is not a problem, this is what I expect of a game/project this early still in dev.  I expect these things to be fleshed out, fixed, improved, as the game goes on, and to fix a problem, you first have to find it.

So in sum, after two paragraphs of my wordy behind expressing itself:  TL;DR I'm glad they did expand the campaign, to catch bugs now and be able to fix them in time to further expand the factions available.

Perhaps, one could argue these things could have been caught in a smaller setting or even on their end with test computers, but as I said above, I guess we will not know. I just don't want to see them biting off more than they can chew, rushing to expand expand expand because they are now on the clock at the mercy of Steam ratings. I understand we bought in early and this is what is to be expected overall, but that doesn't mean that each update, each step on the path, has been perfect. I just think another couple refining patches testing new mechanics and fixing bugs at a 1v1 level would have helped, obviously not with diplo or multi-party battles, but everything else (i.e. Ghost Ships).

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Oh this game is 100% still an alpha. We are still playtesting brand new content, it's not like we're reviewing the game to see if it's ready for release. The problem is because it's labelled as a beta, people expect a certain level of functionality from what is essentially placeholder content.

Take the UI for example. It's atrocious. Genuinely awful. For the earlier builds it served ok, but with all the new content in 1.05 it's just rubbish. Eventually it will need reworking completely from the ground up to accommodate the steadily growing content, but because people are expecting the game to be playable RIGHT NOW, time and effort will be spent on polishing something that is going to be replaced completely down the road. I'd argue the same thing for new hulls too, since if they still intend to implement anything resembling the trailer video for this game, the entire hull system will need replacing completely and any effort that goes into fixing the current system is wasted.

It's about setting the right expectations, this game will not be functional for a good long while yet. If the expectation was set that we are paying to be playtesters, rather than paying for a semi-complete game, I doubt this would be an issue. Make no mistake about it, once you could get paid to be a playtester, nowadays you have to pay to be a playtester. I wouldn't get mad at the devs for it either, that's just the state of the industry currently. Alpha testing has been outsourced to paying customers and rebranded as open beta testing

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On 3/30/2022 at 11:24 AM, Spitfire_97 said:

Oh this game is 100% still an alpha. We are still playtesting brand new content, it's not like we're reviewing the game to see if it's ready for release. The problem is because it's labelled as a beta, people expect a certain level of functionality from what is essentially placeholder content.

Take the UI for example. It's atrocious. Genuinely awful. For the earlier builds it served ok, but with all the new content in 1.05 it's just rubbish. Eventually it will need reworking completely from the ground up to accommodate the steadily growing content, but because people are expecting the game to be playable RIGHT NOW, time and effort will be spent on polishing something that is going to be replaced completely down the road. I'd argue the same thing for new hulls too, since if they still intend to implement anything resembling the trailer video for this game, the entire hull system will need replacing completely and any effort that goes into fixing the current system is wasted.

It's about setting the right expectations, this game will not be functional for a good long while yet. If the expectation was set that we are paying to be playtesters, rather than paying for a semi-complete game, I doubt this would be an issue. Make no mistake about it, once you could get paid to be a playtester, nowadays you have to pay to be a playtester. I wouldn't get mad at the devs for it either, that's just the state of the industry currently. Alpha testing has been outsourced to paying customers and rebranded as open beta testing

Well they have fixed some things shortly after I started this thread, so while it's not moot, at least some things have been alleviated. I do not expect the game to be finished soon, and I am not saying it should be perfect right now. I understand where it is at. My issue is people "...expecting the game to be playable RIGHT NOW..." as you say, because this can lead to things like rushing map extension to try and placate the masses. That is my point.

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1 hour ago, Littorio said:

at least some things have been alleviated

Sometimes you need to jump into the deep end, you’ll discover all your problems much faster. Pushing the envelope better.

Edited by Skeksis
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1 hour ago, Littorio said:

My issue is people "...expecting the game to be playable RIGHT NOW..." as you say, because this can lead to things like rushing map extension to try and placate the masses. That is my point.

Then we are in agreement. I was adding to your point rather than trying to contradict it, I know you're not one of them. Those people are I assume at least partly why the devs jerry rigged together a campaign before the game was ready for it, because lets face it, it's not. As you list in your original post there are numerous half completed elements of the game that could've been worked on before new content was started, at least finish what you started before moving on right? 

I just worry that things like the ship builder will get buried under a mountain of campaign related issues, and the date for the ship builder overhaul keeps getting pushed further and further back thanks to new content taking priority when in reality the campaign should be the thing that gets pushed back. Hence my point about expectations and the downsides of calling an alpha a beta. I've already seen what happens to a game when new content is put ahead of bug fixes, I don't wanna see this game go the same way

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1 hour ago, Skeksis said:

Sometimes you need to jump into the deep end, you’ll discover all your problems much faster. Pushing the envelope better.

Learning to swim, yes. Making this game? No. Because the deep end here will be built on the foundations of a leaking pool that's cracked and slowly draining. If the cracks aren't fixed no one is going swimming for long.

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