Dwindling Confidence

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Calan Caitin, Apr 6, 2019.

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  1. Calan Caitin

    Calan Caitin Avatar

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    For the most part during my time playing SOTA, I have tried to be cautiously optimistic with the abilities of the developers. This past release however has really dropped my confidence level tremendously. One would think after 5 years of game development, patches and updates would mostly be run of the mill. Seems lately, things have taken a back slide to the earlier days when you have no idea how the game is going to look, play etc. after a patch. Small issues, like the visual of always having an instrument in hand persist. Missed promises like rewards delivery, added features are the only constant in the game anymore. With all the issues that still remain and new ones that pop up monthly (some of which won't be fixed) SOTA is feeling more and more like a somewhat polished beta version rather than an officially released game. I would highly suggest postponing (should be used to this) Episode 2 and concentrate on actually fixing Episode 1.

    Calan Caitin
     
  2. Calan Caitin

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    Oh... forgot to mention the lazy, less than wow stretch goal rewards lately. The Krampus mask looks like the only one that any effort was put into. Recoloring items that already exist is a lazy ass way to reward the players that are funding your game.
     
  3. Weins201

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    I have to question what ones calls "Features" There has been almost no added true content since the Obsidian Trials. BTW Seasonal stuff is not really a feature.

    Sadly this same sentiment is more and more relevant
     
  4. Calan Caitin

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Oooooh! Haunted snowman and snowman mask really looks scary! The lack of effort on the part of Portalarium is quite obvious. A first year student in 3D modeling could do better. Pretty sure I don't even need to mention the "torture table" that is nothing more than a wooden table with 3 little items on it that are so small, you have to zoom in to see what they are.
     
  5. Sol Stormlin

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    I'd love to be able to actually torture people with the torture items.
     
  6. Alexandra Cornfellow

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    I'm still having fun.
     
  7. Geskra

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    The rewards haven't ever been all that special - Its like an adult complaining about the contents of a birthday or halloween party swag bag. Yeah its got neat things like a skull-shaped pez dispenser and a spooky ghost pin. And then these characters show up complaining about the 3d-printing of the spooky spider ring! *Examines adorned hand from afar* "Hmm.. my confidence is dwindling." This is hilarious. I do like your shimmery rainbow heraldry gambeson though.
     
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  8. Calan Caitin

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    You attempt at sarcasm is as lackluster as Portalarium's amount of effort. Which is the point of my post.
     
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  9. Brass Knuckles

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    I’d love to add my options to this thread but the amount of grief I’d get just isn’t worth it.

    Good post @Calan Caitin
     
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  10. Geskra

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    Top notch.
     
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  11. majoria70

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    Well no one said this has not been a roller coaster ride. The minute we hit the dip then we hit the high road. I don't expect that to change with this dev team. All I know is they said they are going for it so lots of things are still planned. I would say to keep checking and keep putting feedback out there so it get's heard. Right now we are not doing major content since we are ramping up for Ep2 and cleaning up Ep1. All we can do is cross our fingers and keep trying to be heard. So just imo as someone here since 2013. Massive updates and changes have been done in that time and we do still need some more stuff of course. Hang in there is my opinion or keep watching since we never know what surprises are in store.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2019
  12. Mishikal

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    If you are on the livestream, you will discover that the recent issue in textures for the last few patches were due to new Unity features (vs an issue with the game development). The new feature was enabled because (once it works) it will allow the game to move beyond the rather small scenes we have now. This is necessary for the goals they have for episode 2. The long term idea is to reduce the number of necessary scene switches. One of the issues in this recent round of patches is that the bug in Unity wouldn't show up in their development builds, only the production builds (and those take 7 hours to generate). So their ability to quickly/easily find & debug them is near zero.

    And while there may not be a huge amount of new stuff going into the game (although with all the ongoing changes for dungeons, it seems there's a lot of new work going in to me), one of there overall goals is to improve/increase performance. Those don't result in a lot of "visible" changes, but it does end up in a lot of code changes & feature tweaks. And unfortunately (I've found this in my own line of work as well) it's often extremely difficult to know the "real world" effect of these changes until it hits your user (or in my case, customer) base.

    Overall, is it annoying? Sure. But this isn't really a "static" sort of game (like you see with WoW, where you get an expansion and occasional updates). This is a game that gets changed monthly. So yeah, there's going to be rough spots. Maybe after episode 5 is complete it'll stop changing so much. :p
     
  13. redfish

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    Although part of me is glad they didn't spend so much time and effort on a haunted snowman mask lol.

    Can you show a screenshot of the torture table so I know what you're talking about?
     
  14. Vladamir Begemot

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    In fairness, the table wasn't promised and was thrown in as a bonus, which is why Darkstarr gave an emphatic No to any talk of making it better.
     
  15. Black Tortoise

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    me too! loving each release more n more
     
  16. oplek

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    It's very difficult to stay enthusiastic about incremental bug fixes and performance increases month after month after month. Dungeons are very niche in that they're not really for solo players, so it's difficult for people like me to stay interested in that.

    I see the communication problems (and the sudden abandonment of keeping the forums updated in favor of multi-hour non-searchable single-person 720P/60fps-only vlogs that have become more about monetization leaving the community to shoulder the burden of trying to unofficially transcribe what's said without compensation) as exacerbating this issue. I'm sure this has been suggested before, but it'd be nice, if communication were to be rebooted, if they had a development dasbhoard like this, for us non-stream watchers. That'd be nice.

    I don't see them "ramping up" for EP2... "preparing", maybe, but where are the hires? Where's the "ramp up" part? How will they do that with diminishing incoming due to a series of poor business decisions, from an exhausted community with depleted good-will, absent community service, and a backlog of increasingly irate box-purchases waiting for months on end for any shipment, while the people who'd be responsible for that are doing tech support for a dog cam.

    I don't know what they're doing anymore. I keep hoping this will turn around, but it's like watching a increasingly deserted city where block by block is going offline, one by one, from disrepair and neglect.

    I look at the roadmap, and there's not really much there to get hyped up for. Ability to remove the house from a row lot? Cool, I guess. New continents with more adventure zones? Neat. Tweaking the NUE? Again? Where's the sailing, base-building, daily/weekly/one-time achievements etc? Later episodes.... like when there's no players left? Every release (when the release is ready, and not on an artificial schedule) should have some new mechanics/content. Failure to do this keeps the countdown timer ticking away.
     
  17. Tardis

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    I think you have to be realistic about what can be done with a small development team. Software is hard, and the longer something has been in development the harder it is to maintain and add new things without re-writing a lot of code, because inevitably what looked good 5 years ago, isn't what you need now. I think Episode 2 is important for the game. In order to get a level of players needed to maintain and even possibly grow the game (meaning more devs) there need to be new players. Cleaning up episode 1 will only go so far. Also, in what I have heard on the live streams, it sounds like they plan to use the episodes to justify changes to the core of the game. Remember this is a business, and in order for it to stay in business and there to be something for us to play, they need to make money. That means more players are needed. A lot of the things in the game will improve if we can grow the user base. The economy, for example, would be a lot different if there were 2-3x the number of players in the game. I have been playing a little over a year, and still enjoy the game a lot. I imagine if you have been playing for 3+ years, that you might not have the same enthusiasm. I never have played a game where the devs regularly engage with the community like this. I also have not played games where something new comes every month. Often small, and sometimes with challenges, but every month the game gets an update. If you look at some of the big budget AAA games like Fallout 76, and see the level of issues they have had, it seems easier to forgive the missteps of this small team. I am guessing the Fallout team was not on a Twitch stream apologizing for the problems and interacting live with the players.
     
  18. oplek

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    I know. I'm a software engineer. The realistic bit here is that they very well may have painted themselves into a corner, and there's no way out. Take the monthly telethon rewards. They're recycling more rewards now than they were... to alleviate the backlog and to stretch their funding further.... but also reducing how much income they make. They started off with a lot of momentum, and went off the rails.

    ... which won't happen if they artificially delay important updates until later episodes. That's my point. Why do they need to "justify" that with incrementing the "episode" number, unless they plan on going ahead with the standalone-game plan, which will devastate retaining the core playerbase, and most likely will draw relatively new players? If it'll be a central-game update, there's no point in consolidating all EP2 changes in one go.

    And ... ? Not all circumstances across all business and games are identical. Port has postured themselves from the beginning as being crowdfunded and community-driven, organized around this "agile development" model, which depends on the month-to-month monetization from players. Their model revolves around monthly updates.

    FO76, relatively speaking, just launched, and looks like its ramping up P2W aspects in its online store, presumably because people aren't buying enough "atoms" for the cosmetics-only items. Without that, we don't really know long they'll keep the servers up. SOTA has been persistent for almost 3 years. We're now mostly a stagnant playerbase that has mostly consumed what there to consume. The two scenarios are not that similar.

    Whether other games out there don't have monthly new content/mechanics isn't really relevant. If SOTA was more successful with obtaining/retaining players, it wouldn't matter if the bored-out-of-their-minds veterans stayed (from a business perspetive). But as it is, neither new nor veteran players are being retained. We largely have the players we have, and to not throw them an occasional bone is foolish, even if it's impractical.

    They already are doing this, with dungeons, even if it's part of a larger system. I never said they had to be massive new mechanics. The MOTD is a good example... if it wasn't an entire *year* too late. The improvements can be log-hanging fruit.

    They're not going to perpetually squeeze enough money out of the same people with bug fixes and another tenth of a FPS performance boost, on average, and survive. They just aren't.
     
  19. Weins201

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    what problem , LMAO

    Nailed it.

    On point again

    The main point of this whole thread has it roott very grounded and substitiated.

    There are the Sycophants left on these forums that seem to see nothing but the silver lining.

    Anyone with any real wherewithal is bakcing away.

    This is the ONLY place that one can find a consensus of success. Sure you can get a good feedback here and there out there but the general feeling is :(

    You see more posts like this because thoe last few are deeply concerned.

    Their communications are complete garbage.

    And comment by Chris that he just ignores us who are overly critical are a perfect example of why it is going downhill and not moving forward.

    there are 6 diff lines of communication that is used to both receive and feed info to / from us.

    Only one should be used. PERIOD!

    There will be no one left after eps 2 if they stay on the path tey are on, it will be the last one that anyone new comes to even look at.


    THE COMMUNITY IS THE ONLY THING THAT KEEP A NEW PLAYER IN FOR MORE THAN A FEW MONTHS. O N L Y, if the players supporting the game keep getting sour tastes, a new player will just walk around for a few hours and walk out.

    does this sound bad sure, do you like it? Not if you only see the silver lining. but sadly this is the blunt truth.

    Can it be turned around sure, but it will take the actual care and effort of the team.

    BTW there are hardly any posts in this thread that have actually gotten to the down and dirty of how many little things are still broken and or unfinished.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
  20. VAX-11/780

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    That's probably a red flag.
     
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