Co-Op Feedback and Sugestions


  • I have noticed the developers are trying to force the co-op aspect of the game. In my opinion this is a bad move. If I was personally the developer of this game I would be finding ways to promote it rather than to force it. I have noticed over the change over from 5.4 to 5.5 the force co-op is extreme. This is starting to ruin the game for me and many other who wish to help and see this game reach it's full potential. Bellow I will list some suggestions that would be a great advantage for the developers to consider, I hope others with ideas to promote co-op without killing small group play will post as well.

    • Research table has a special button that allows other to join the research project and this will reduce the research time by x% per person.
    • All crafting tables have a join current job button, when the job still has materials needed and players join the job, it reduces the time needed to craft items.
    • Community organized jobs/contracts. Maker of the job places ghost blocks to design a structure and players add materials to a special community chest, builders then remove items and replace the ghost blocks with the required block.
    • Town Hall item when placed in a claimed spot make all tables in the claimed zone loose private storage and doubles the public storage making the crafting tables community tables for co-op jobs in a centralized area.
    • Road network provide bonuses to walk speed to go along with the cart speed increases, these road networks also act like a power network that allows the community to build a generator station and distribute power to the other players on the server.
    • if multiple people are working in the same area doing mining, tree harvesting or other related tasks the players get a bonus to reduce calorie consumption or an increased gather bonus.

    I would love to hear back from the devs as well as to why we are seeing the forced specializations instead of finding better ways to get co-op going.


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  • @Flix79 said:

    Community organized jobs/contracts. Maker of the job places ghost blocks to design a structure and players add materials to a special community chest, builders then remove items and replace the ghost blocks with the required block.

    This is basically already in the game with the contract system.

    Roads acting like power networks? That just doesn't make sense. The power system will be fleshed out in the future. For now it's proximity based.

    I don't think the bonus for being in the same area as someone else really makes sense either to be completely honest.

    The joining in to cut down craft time does sound like an interesting idea though, I think that could definitely be worked into the current system, but we'll have to see. The balance right now is being changed with every major patch (5.4, 5.5, 5.6 etc.) so we'll likely see a lot of changes to how everything works in the future. They're still testing things to see what fits best, so this is going to take some time.

    As for the "forcing" co-op, this game was originally intended to be used in education, to teach middle-schoolers how the ecosystem works, and that they need to work together. Releasing the game to public happened afterwards. I don't think making cooperation "optional" would be realistic, nor would it fit the theme of the game.

    SLG Support: support@strangeloopgames.com



  • @MGrand3 said:

    Roads acting like power networks? That just doesn't make sense. The power system will be fleshed out in the future. For now it's proximity based.

    As for the "forcing" co-op, this game was originally intended to be used in education, to teach middle-schoolers how the ecosystem works, and that they need to work together. Releasing the game to public happened afterwards. I don't think making cooperation "optional" would be realistic, nor would it fit the theme of the game.

    They bury power cables and other utilities in roads all over the world, in real life it's less maintenance to manage buried utilities than it is to maintain above ground utilities. How this doesn't make sense to you is beyond me, maybe the area you live in has nothing but above ground utilities, but where I live it's commonplace to bury power cables and other utilities under the roadway.

    I'm not saying to make co-op optional, if you read closer to what I said, I said to find a creative way to promote the co-op. History has shown that forcing people to work together instead of finding creative ways to entice them the to work together has created failure. I understand that this is targeted towards educational purposes, but in a the eyes of an educator this system of forcing co-op may not work. Lets look towards this in a logical sense. a basic classroom will have 10 to 30 students. If for example only 5 students are allowed at a time to play the co-op style the game is pointing towards will drastically fail. I as much as you devs want to see this game succeed. Perhaps it's time for the devs to get together and take a second look and ask "are we pushing to hard towards co-op?" I have seen that in the latest staging that even survival skills are being pushed towards specializations, I can say this much if I login to a new server and I have to wait for someone else to chop my wood just so I can build a house you will loose a lot of support from the educational community.



  • Specializations are in no way forced upon you. They're heavily suggested unless you enjoy shoveling tons of rock, dirt, and other materials which, to be fair, some people actually enjoy. I would even argue that it has become more feasible to function in a solo capacity given the changes to the to unlock skills in 5.5, though it is at the cost of your own time. If we were actually trying to force it, we would simply take the suggestion to completely lock people out of trees once they've placed points in others.

    I'll also have to completely disagree with your assertion that the game doesn't function with less than 5 players. On the SLG server we essentially only have 3-4 players who actually play consistently and, while there are certainly hiccups in progress occasionally, we manage just fine. There's even someone on the server (not one of us) who is actually just solo completing everything, albeit at a slower rate than the group does. This isn't to say there aren't balance changes needed or that everything is perfect as-is, but saying the game will "drastically fail" with 5 players is a gross overstatement.

    As far as I'm aware, there were no large changes to the survival tree between the current release and the current staging (which is basically just bugfixes at this point); at least none that would drastically push it towards specializations.

    It would help if you could actually expand on what specifically you feel forces cooperation in the game.

    • Ecoylent is not intended to replace every meal, but it can replace any meal


  • The 5.6 staging increasing calorie consumption to the 30's per swing without specializations is what suggests that you are pushing for specializing in a specific survival skill, based on my experience at the beginning of the game it's hard enough as is trying to get a balanced nutrition while maintaining your calories is rather difficult, to push the calorie consumption up makes it even more of a grind and taking away from getting a job finished. I do understand it's a balancing issue but I was well as others I have spoken to believe that current calorie consumption is spot on.

    Currently at beginning of the game on a fresh server the fact that so much resources are needed for just your basic campfire cooking is unrealistic, this is forcing almost everyone to start off with pumping skill points into the campfire efficiencies taking away the skill points that can be spent better on developing a good co-op base. once we reach the researching and it's time for the new skill trees, the required amounts of materials that are needed right off that bat is forcing that wedge into the groups to divide them up into different trees hence where the forcing co-op comes into play. I could think of many ways that would be better to approach this while making people feel that they are not being forced to specialize in certain areas. For example..... make the town hall an early game item instead of a mid game item, now add in a polling station item where players can see the different trees to specialize in, give the players the ability to choose ahead of time, that they would like to do this skill tree, now the players are not stepping on each others toes and thee or four people going for the same skill tree. Lets face it, children don't have the worlds best communicating skills. But if you provide a good system where there is a community center for people to collaborate with each other you will have people not feeling pushed in a certain direction.

    I understand that increasing the materials required for crafting is to simulate destroying the ecology, but lets face the facts of what it feels like to the players. It feels like you want to make us grind to achieve a success. without us players you would not have a gaming development business, and I as one of the players am trying to provide good feedback on what it feels like from your customer base. My son is middle school aged A.K.A. your target base. I have let my son play this game and he lasted one half hour before he stopped playing. I asked him why he stopped and his response was that he was tired of grinding away at trying to make food.

    I hope you can take my feedback to heart and see where I am coming from as I am not trying to attack the devs but more trying to let them know how some of us customers are feeling.



  • The whole grind will even put teachers off.
    It's very distracting you have to eat and keep balance.

    I would have made the research table either linked or a community building more or less like the pumpjack.

    The whole efficiency system pretty much breaks economy,
    and kids seem to have a hard time calculating a fair price already.
    Some barely have an idea why just selling as a farmer and stockpiling currency doesn't work,
    not using fertilizer because it's not a requirement.
    If they have to adjust each time they learn a new efficiency skill it will become a mess.



  • As for the teaching aspect that is being brought up here I made this point in another post to which one of the devs promptly told me only one group is currently doing that meaning they currently do not worry about balancing around this aspect so besides this fact. The big issues is early calorie cost vs calories from early food I preferred the 5.4 of lots of calories on starting food but little skill gain it seems to make more sense from a building stand point



  • All other suggestions here I can see positive and negative issues but ethier way as they game gets more balanced we will see the direction the devs are moving for balance personally I see the most recent passes as a huge set back for the game as a whole but this type of testing needs to be done to see what works best on a whole



  • I wholeheartedly agree with this - there needs to be some sort of easy entry-way for people to live a sustainable, development-geared economy. That means basic survival skills (and early food) should be easy to obtain and environmentally minimum-impact - at least compared with industrial standards.

    5.4 had it going. If we increased only the mid-range skillset requirements (say, around the time of muffins), at least we wouldn't be seeing a world of abandoned log somethings from all the ragequit - and extinct wild crops. Especially camas. I wouldn't mind having affordable lumber back as a building material, either.



  • I see a lot of good arguments in here, but I believe the Devs are on the right track. You can't make a game educational if you abandon the realism of it.

    I think that the high cost of materials at the start is quite realistic, and using efficiencies to encourage players to become more efficient in order to progress more smoothly is realistic. Lets say in real life I am going to become a carpenter, I don't just go buy a drill and saw and automatically know how to make things that are high quality, it takes time and experience to get there.... that is what the efficiencies are simulating. I personally would love to see efficiencies gauged more on the number of products that you produce rather than eat healthy and you become an expert at carpentry.... but this is still in alpha and there will be tons of changes still coming.

    As for food not providing enough calories.... The server admin can easily make changes to the food and allow them to provide more calories, this is a very simple fix for the server admin honestly. As a server admin I have added more calories to the wild food so that people do not use up all of the wild plants at the start (which can be easy to do if you try to progress at a fast pace), but what I also did is drop the amount of skill points you gain from the starter foods. I believe if your going to get more calories then you should get less skill from it, now i didn't drop it drastically so say Huckleberries for example, they have very low calories but that is an easy fix.

    Huckleberries typically:

    private static Nutrients nutrition = new Nutrients() { Carbs = 5, Fat = 0, Protein = 0, Vitamins = 15};
    public override float Calories { get { return 70; } }
    public override Nutrients Nutrition { get { return nutrition; } }

    Suggested changes:

    private static Nutrients nutrition = new Nutrients() { Carbs = 5, Fat = 0, Protein = 0, Vitamins = 12};
    public override float Calories { get { return 120; } }
    public override Nutrients Nutrition { get { return nutrition; } }

    As you can see its a simple change, a few less skill points for more calories, not a drastic change but the server admin can makes these changes to any of the foods if they wish they are all in the Mods\AutoGen\Food folder.

    You as and admin can also change the EcoSim.eco file for any plant that you want, you can make them spread more or increase the number that are created in an area. (if you don't know how use the forums ask, there are plenty of people willing to help you)

    I understand it can feel a bit like a grind at first.... but honestly have you ever chopped down a tree... it takes time its not 5 hits and it falls and it is a lot of work you burn a lot of calories.... while some people may not like these aspects others may find that it is more realistic and while you may have a short grind at the start there is value found in hanging in there and progressing to where you are more efficient.... anyone who doesn't think that is an educational lesson in itself maybe just wants things handed to them and doesn't want to work for their rewards.

    This is an alpha and things will change time and time again but i understand where everyone is coming from and it is good to provide this feedback, no Dev expects to hear they thought of everything and made a perfect game right out of the gate. Every Dev I know wants constructive criticism so please keep letting everyone know how you feel and you never know maybe someone can bring to light something for you that you did not know.... like every server admin can change the calories on any food they want at any time and have it applied with a simple restart....it does not require a wipe.


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