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Hey guys! Just finished playing the alpha for my first evening. I'm still very early in my playthrough, but have been taking my time to go through everything pretty thoroughly and takes notes (and video) along the way (for both my own sake and reporting's sake). Since I have quite a bit already, I figured I'd make a post tonight and follow it up with more posts as I get further into my playthrough. Here goes!

Gonna use spoilers to help condense information, hopefully the formatting works.

 

New "Cluster" Details Section

Spoiler

General

Spoiler
  • Asteroid selection would feel more intuitive if it had a tooltip explaining what it was, took me a moment to figure out what this part of the section was (especially since I hadn't seen the asteroid name before this point)
    image.png.fb6f7d3797e092f3c2c6fe7549f564b7.png


Diagnostics Panel

Spoiler
  • Love the customizability here, feels like a great addition!
  • Tooltip would be more intuitive if it showed current pin state rather than next pin state (if you click it)
  • Would be useful for tooltip to also show at least some minimal details on what triggers the alert when set to "alert only"
  • I like the "bouncing" effect a new alert has when it's added to the diagnostics list, but it would be good to have a clearer visual draw when one of them enters "alert" state, similar to the old red backing the alerts on the top left used to have, though does not have to be the same effect (to take this further - being able to customize colours on diagnostics when they're in alert mode, giving each diagnostic different colours, would be great, but also might be overkill considering how rarely most alerts trigger)


 Resources Panel

Spoiler
  • Similar to Diagnostics panel, this is a great addition, a lot of information in a good form (I really like the addition of the dynamic graphs)
  • Would be useful when mousing over graphs to see a tooltip with details on the period covered by the graph (or specific numerical information, if not overly complex, period covered and percent change over that period is most immediately valuable in my opinion)
  • To expand on above point about graphs, if you could click on them to expand a specific graph to see an expanded view (perhaps with a larger period covered, or at least more information), that would be wonderful
  • Ability to pin full categories, such as "Edible", instead of individual items, could be useful
  • An alternative to pinning full categories, being able to collapse all pinned items from a specific category into a single line item with a total would also be nice (so you could pin specific items in the "Edible" category and view the totals on a single pinned resource line, instead of just the full "Edible" category or a single item)

 

 

Tiles and Mining UI Feedback

Spoiler
  • New "Inert", "Polluted Mud Emission Blocked", "Emitting Polluted Oxygen", and similar messages in tooltip are great, a lot of transparency on what these tiles are doing (and helps a lot especially with some of the new tiles in the Swamp area - I know some emission messages were there before, but seems to have been greatly expanded)
  • "X Emission Blocked" message may read better if X was the resource it was trying to emit, rather than the tile type emitting it (so a polluted mud tile would read "Polluted Oxygen Emission Blocked" rather than "Polluted Mud Emission Blocked")
  • With the addition of new tiles that can collapse (mud, for instance), some clarity on these tiles would be nice. A tooltip line on tiles that can collapse without support would be good, even better would be a different colour or a warning icon on dig points that will cause the tile above to collapse, with tooltip details on the dig message specifying what might happen (this is especially useful for new players, but is just a nice quality of life for everyone in the swamp biome in particular)

 

Critter and Plant Feedback

Spoiler
  • Would be nice if Plug Slugs were highlighted on the power overlay for clarity's sake
  • Really like the idea of the Divergent critters tending plants (such as Spindly Grubfruit Plants), would be good if the Sweetle had more details on how this was possible on their Database entry, as well as having a line in their selected tooltip indicating that they can interact with those plants (so you can get a sense as to what the critters can do when looking at them, rather than having to find out they have the capability when you stumble upon the related plant), more feedback on this when I get a farm/ranch up and running down the line (Sulfur supply may take a while)
  • Creature diet lines (see: Pacu details UI) are getting extremely long, it may be worth splitting each diet item into a single line and making the entire section collapse-able for readability sake, it's very hard to parse in a single block of text (though you can generally get the jist after a couple items)
  • Swamp Chards feel like a good addition, they change the approach to early game in the swamp biome and mix things up, plus help to avoid the rush for food preservation

 

Swamp Planet Feedback

Spoiler
  • Feels like the starting section of the Swamp biome may have too many pockets of water right around/above the printing pod, between that and the collapsing mud, I found it literally impossible to expand to even fit in cots and an outhouse in both colonies I tried without flooding my starting area (which is manageable, just not reflected in the difficulty of the planet selection for newer players, they would likely get destroyed by this if they weren't prepared)
  • In addition to the above Swamp biome concern, there are issues early on (occurred for me on cycle 3) with water pressure destroying tiles above your base and pools of water crashing into your base from above as well. I knew about this mechanic and it just slipped my mind until it occurred, but water pressure mechanics aren't clearly explained, this might be a topic worth popping a tooltip up on when tiles first start seeping near the player's base
  • Beyond the above two comments, the Swamp biome feels great so far, very unique. The new systems to work with Mud, Polluted Dirt and Polluted Oxygen have added a very nice little new touch to the early game, and I'm really looking forward to exploring the biome more in the coming days!


General Feedback

Spoiler
  • The database entry for Bog Jelly (and a couple of other items) indicate different temperature requirements to properly preserve them (different than 0 degrees), as long as this is clear to the player when dealing with them directly (haven't gotten to this point yet), I really like this addition, adds some additional minimal management elements to refrigeration in the mid game
  • Water seems to drain body heat from duplicants VERY fast now, which is okay, adds a new survival element, but I feel it drains a bit too quickly. I had to dig through some water on cycle 1 in the swamp biome (it was 22 degrees Celsius water, good temperature), and all three of my duplicants had hypothermia by halfway through the first cycle because of it
  • Further on water body heat drain, I feel the mass of the tile should have some impact on how quickly it drains body heat, a duplicant standing in 10 grams of water loses body heat at the same speed as standing in 1000kg of water, which means even a small spill across a floor can very rapidly cause colony-wide hypothermia
  • Liquid Valve is currently under the Gas category in the research tree, under "Pressure Management". While the sub-category makes sense, it's strange that it's in the Gas category. It may fit better in the "Filtration" section of the Liquids research tree, as otherwise you can unlock and build liquid valves before you can even build liquid pipes
  • The new Duplicant traits that let them start with advanced skills is very cool, allows for some very unique and useful duplicants. This can be incredibly powerful (I've seen a duplicant that starts with a tier 4 skill, that's essentially +16 morale), and might promote very heavy rerolling in initial colony embarkment. It might be worthwhile to only make these traits available on post-embarkment Pod-printed duplicants, just to cut back on people feeling the need to reroll for hours on end before starting a colony.
  • Further on the new Duplicant "skill unlock" traits, it would be handy if spending skill points later for these duplicants allowed you to choose the skill directly behind their "free unlocked" skill, instead of just the ones ahead of it in the tree. As in, in the screenshot below, you would be able to follow backwards from "Super-Duperhard Digging" and unlock "Superhard Digging", instead of only going forwards to "Hazmat Digging":image.thumb.png.ce2c2ebc5947882fc88dae9150a4139f.png
     


That's all for now, I suspect I'll have a lot more to post about in the coming days as I build my colony up! I've also got a number of bugs, which I'll be adding to the bug tracker in the morning (took a while to write this post up).

Enjoying myself so far, great to see the new stuff, and I'm not even that far in! I'm really looking forward to digging further into it. Great work so far guys. :D

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