Originally Posted by Thebullfrog
I think it's a combination of these. They keep pushing things out too soon to hit sales, but I've suspected for a while there's a disconnect within the office. What Braben seems to want the game to be, what Brookes seems to want, what Sandro seems to want, and what it actually is aren't lining up at all. I feel like all the head people there all want something different from the game, and it's becoming an increasingly disjointed mess.
I'd say it's been a broken disjointed mess for years, not only recently. Career paths have always been shallow. People have almost always spammed mission boards for charity missions (I also did these for my last few Fed ranks though I did my Imperial rank the usual way). People have always been disappointed with trade and exploration and mining. Always. People have simply been quiet about it, waiting on the promise of "more to come" to come to fruition. I think I have somewhere near 13,000 ship kills under my belt, mostly in RES sites and some in Combat Zones (probably 80-20 split) and along the way I went through a number of phases of frustration until eventually becoming numb to the lack of purpose
I don't know if this is a flaw with all open world sandbox games or just this one, but purpose
is sort of a thing that drives humanity as a species. Thus the lack of a easily definable way to give yourself a purpose
in the game is at the core of the problem. For me, anyway. And so I've made my fun by finding small goals or milestones to motivate me to play. Those became my purpose. To get some specific ship. To get some specific upgrade. To get some specific rank. Unfortunately, those are all shallow goals with shallow means to reach those ends. Shoot some shit. Trade some shit. Visit some shit. With little engagement or investment into the experience. While sufficient to keep me playing, lack of anything deeper (say new military relationships giving me special missions to do for her Majesty that others don't see, or special trade missions given by persistent NPCs that know you by name after awhile or the ability to issue orders and take whole fleets into CZs and command them with basic commands) meant after my self-made goals were completed, I'd be lost for a reason to play anymore.
Of course, depth remains a general issue and I have seen no progress made in the what? 2 years or so that I've been playing now? RES sites got the super-dangerous "no cops here" additional sites which really aren't any scarier or more challenging in a reasonable way (nobody in any ship is going to pick a fight with the wing of 3 elite anacondas, Frontier). CZs got...well, nothing really. Bug fixes I guess? Exploration got...nothing except some profit increases. Surface landings haven't gotten anything since release outside of a couple of additional points of interest that really offer nothing new in the way of gameplay. While still objectively the most relaxing way to play ED, driving around in my buggy is another one of those experiences where you're perpetually left with the "man...so much potential here" feeling. Imagine a variety of surface colors beyond beige and white. Imagine realistic mountains, cliffs, rock formations. Imagine caves and underground tunnel systems full of all kinds of interesting treasures, giving us reason to have headlights on our SRVs. Imagine all the things that No Man's Sky tries to be successful with, but imagine Frontier actually making them work. From surfaces to exploration to combat to trading, there could and should be so much more...makes the fact that they keep bolting on new, usually lukewarmly-received features instead of enhancing what they have all the more frustrating.
Yea, that empty feeling you have right now of missing potential is how everyone who is a long-time player who plays a variety of games feels. That said, I'm not inclined to give up. Foundation remains at the top of its class. Flight engine is excellent as are most of the fundamentals. Combat is fun enough for me to just jump in random small ships and see how long i can last. But that's not purpose
, right? That's an arcade experience.
Perhaps the curious challenge here is similar to the challenge of making it as an individual student on a large college campus: You have to not only find your niche, but it's gotta be able to reach out and keep you engaged. Frontier has made a bunch of things that could be the niche for most of their players, but the long-term engagement opportunities, relationship-building, opportunities to put your name on something after all your hard work, opportunities to shape the course of maybe just one or two systems in the bubble, opportunities to gain the notice of the big persistent NPCs one day...those are what are needed. But that means depth, depth, and more depth. More variety, more to do, the opportunity for the unexpected to happen, and a reason for us to care.
Whether it will get there or not is anyone's guess. But if it doesn't, I can find contentment in the goals that I was able to set and accomplish, and the fun of strapping on my Vive, jumping into my Enhanced-drives outfitted chrome Eagle and turning and burning in a local CZ. The shit is still thrilling. Maybe not 4 hours/day thrilling, but an hour or two here and there? I can live with that. It's not like I didn't get my monies worth of entertainment out of my 1,800 hours of play. Wanting it to have been a richer experience doesn't take away from my individual accomplishments or enjoyment in the past. I have lots of great memories to date, from choking to death the first time in my Sidewinder because I didn't understand how fuel worked to getting enough rank to buy my first Clipper to finally being able to afford an Anaconda after 4 months of daily play, and a bunch of little moments in between filled with other players, NPCs, and fun ship experiences along the way. I hope we get more and better going forward, but if we don't I and my 1,800 hours spent will be okay. For those of you struggling, I suggest you set goals for yourself that can be done with the tools we're given and accomplish them. Go upgrade a few more ships to Grade 5. Go see the horsehead nebula. See the Great Annihilator with your own virtual eyes. Go work toward that ship you want. Go learn to fly and fight FA Off. See if you can't find things to enjoy along the way instead of keeping yourself perpetually disappointed by what isn't here. Or, just stop playing. There are literally thousands of other games you could be playing and having fun in. Isn't that the point of gaming? If you can't find the fun, spend your time on other things. Life is too short to be salty over a game not having enough of what you want.
Good luck, CMDRs.