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Player Progression Rate and Time Investment

#1
So, I'm guessing there will be two types of LT players:
1) Those who have lots of time on their hands
2) Those who haven't :)

Basically, how long should we expect to play to progress in the game? I loved X3, and the fact that it took you hours and hours on end (especially at the beginning) to achieve something, say, buy a new 1 million ship or a new space station, was actually part of its appeal. That was years ago however, and I unfortunately don't have as much time to spend in front of a computer anymore, but I'm assuming some people will still want a slower-paced game.

How do you guys think this can be handled? On my side, I was thinking of some kind of sliders to tweak various progression-related settings:
- Income modifier: a modifier applied to all events that would cause you to get money, so that by default completing a mission would net you 1000 credits, however this modifier could be set to 500% so that you 'd actually get 5000 credit, or to 50% so you only get 500 credits, making the game feel faster or slower
- Time modifier: similar to the above, but for the timer required for some events to complete. Say you start a planetary upgrade of a ship construction, and this would by default take 4 in-game hours to complete. This modifier could be set to a 400% faster so that this would only take 1 hour, or to 50% where it would take 8 hours
Last edited by Edster on Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Player Progression Rate and Time Investment

#3
Thanks for the reply! I did see this topic before posting mine and thought the questions raised were somewhat different, with this topic focusing on time investment (how long will it take me to build my armada?) while the other one focused on difficulty and AI scaling (will I still have a challenge once I have built my armada?)

In any case, early days, so I'm definitely not in a rush to get a definite answer :)
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Re: Player Progression Rate and Time Investment

#4
As much as I like the idea of player freedom, I don't think the player should have control over too many of the constants in the game's algorithms. It's more code work for Josh to do and it just seems kinda cheap. You can already do whatever you want, but why not work for it a little bit?

It's the difference between playing Minecraft on Survival and Creative. You feel a lot more satisfied when you build a fifty-block-high monument out of pure gold after MINING all of that gold rather than just spawning it e nihil.

I mean, that's just my opinion, but it still needs to be a game rather than just someone's god playground.
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Re: Player Progression Rate and Time Investment

#5
I fully agree with you, I'm certainly not saying I want to get the biggest carrier in the game after playing for two hours. If I take the example of X3 however, it took me maybe 40 to 50 hours to have enough cash to start the empire building part of the game (in part because I didn't focus on it and spent quite a bit of time exploring). And even then I was far from being able to purchase a capital ship.

That's a matter of balance really, the problem being the equilibrium point might not be the same for everyone :-) . i am more than happy waiting for a beta to see for myself, reason for bringing that up now is that it is much easier to write code with tweaking of game constants in mind now rather than rewriting it later, should the idea be deemed useful (which it might not ;-) )

Another way to handle this without exposing game engine constants would be to have some settings for universe generation: you could choose to start in a resource rich universe (or a resource rich part of the universe), with many missions available or you could start in a more desolate section.
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Re: Player Progression Rate and Time Investment

#6
Hey Edster,

It's a good question, and the general idea is to make sure that, regardless of what "level" you're at in the game (by that I mean how long you've been playing), there's always enough content to keep you interested, even if you're not at the top of the chain.

So what you say is true - you won't be owning a massive carrier in a few hours, just like you wouldn't do so in X3. The amount of hours required for gain will be similar, but the amount of content that bridges the gaps will be vastly different. In X3, there wasn't a whole lot to entertain you while you stared starry-eyed at that Silicon Mine L, knowing that it would take however many more hours of your life before you could finally afford it.

In LT, the progression will be a lot more continuous, but not necessarily any faster. With all the procedural missions filling the universe, you'll always be able to hop right into the game and have fun. The economy will span a similarly large scale. And of course, it doesn't take a fancy ship to go out and explore/chart things! So no, you won't be dominating everything in sight after a few hours - but you WILL be actively engaged with the world and won't have a problem with boredom :)

Hope that answers the questions in a way that is satisfactory for you yet still vague enough to give me plenty of room to wiggle on implementation ;)
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ~ Henry Ford
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Re: Player Progression Rate and Time Investment

#7
Hey Josh,

That sounds great! I definitely don't have an issue with having to work for the goods, after all the fact that you had to invest so many hours to get that Silicon Mine was what made it so special to own once you finally made it, but you raised the exact problem I also have with that: there's not that much to do apart from ferrying weapons from a system which is 10 jumps away.

Seeing you're aware of this and already thought of solutions is very encouraging, and it definitely answers my question :-)

Thanks again!

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