Does anyone else feel like there is no reason to play the game?

  • Hi everyone,

    I've been keeping myself busy on one of the public servers and really am enjoying the game, but I have been noticing that other players log in for a few moments and then log out which got me thinking that, me as an active player, how am I benefiting from playing the game where everyone else is just coming into to spend their skill points and then eat their full?

    It currently feels like the game is set around building what you need for skills and workbenches and racing towards the higher tier technologies, but what happens when you have built and researched everything?

    I guess I am feeling that there is nothing to achieve until you have enough skill points for the next technology and I feel like there needs to be something that can only be achieved while actively playing the game. I compare the game frequently to EVE, where in EVE you can spend time getting skills, but if you never log in, you will have no money to purchase anything. In ECO I feel I am not influencing the world in a positive way by playing actively.


  • I agree I think that there really should be a reward for actually playing and not just feeding and waiting.

  • For me part of the reward is working together and setting goals.

    Our server "OldGits" has a growing and active community. I find it fun and not to obsessed with skills and development. I'm happy to paddle along and see our settlements grow.

  • Lot more should be added. to help keep this game grow. more law. jobs type set up. aggressive animals. weather . growth of the land like ors. and dirt water and stuff weather is major factor for this part i feel. Storms , floods. earth quick volcanoes. eco is and should be like mother earth . . much more.. reminder this is alpha .. im sure more will be added. to keep it a live. will take time and lot updates. im sure in time will be like eve .

  • Keep in mind that currently the goal is to stop a meteor from destroying your world in 30 days by researching tech and preventing that from happening . If your server has that turned off, then you are basically playing in a sandbox mode with no goals but ones you make for yourself.

  • Lots of things to do besides gain skill points: create roads, build, gather resources, etc. With the new economy additions coming in for 5.5, players who do this stuff will gain money much faster because they can trade with people, so kind of like Eve in that regard. And yes there's lots of tech tree stuff still to be added.

  • Thanks for the response JohnK, is there a roadmap that explains this in more detail? I would love to see what is in store for this game moving forward in development.

  • IMO, and this is a discussion that has been on the forum before, is the 'lack' of locking skill trees. Basically the current 'plan' is to make one guy the head chef, let him spec in cooking a couple of days, cook awesome late-game food and pretty much everyone can skill up whatever they want... or at least that is how i experienced the current state of the game. In the beginning everyone worked together so well, but in the end you had so many skill points that you can easily spec into other skill trees, which made certain jobs redundant - making players do even less. The economy part of the game is very important, especially since you can't promote active play by passive skill point gain. You're reliable on those jobs like road building and making certain goods. We sure did a lot of road building which sure was a lot of fun (we dug two tunnels through two mountains - it took 2 IRL days lol) but the late-game is just too much 'all over the place' right now. Once players can sort of 'claim' an actual job; like being a cook, carpenter, blacksmith,.. and maintain this role for a very long time without being able to instantly spec into other skill trees, that would promote more active play imo; and especially teamwork. After all that's what the game is all about - everyone works together to destroy the meteor and maintain the current (and good) state of the planet. This was the reward we had for a certain amount of time and it was great helping each other out.

    Very important skills like farming are a much needed trait because i've also noticed that (especially blueberries) are rare, same with been bushes and such. There's only one forest who has them en mass and farming (or eating/cooking) is a #1 priority in survival. Once greedy players start claiming those bushes, you're pretty much done because there aren't a lot of them to find in the open. It gets even worse if you play actively - you need lots of food to maintain a proper diet. Especially the end-game food needed a lot of blueberries, which caused a little bit of a crisis. I started to think about it and our active community only had 5 players eating from my stock, which isn't even a lot of players. Of course this is a work in progress as i've heard. It will be fixed in 5.5.

    That's also my last point; it's an alpha. The game isn't finished yet and nobody can really use the term 'playing'. It's more or less 'testing' and 'reporting bugs', rather then playing. Always keep this in mind. I'm actively involved in a lot of EA titles on steam and also games like eco, which aren't on steam yet. A lot of the new developers listen carefully and appreciate bug reports/suggestions a lot which is one of the things i actively support them with. That's also the thing you're supposed to do imo. Beside reporting bugs you can have some fun with road building or have a giggle at flying carts (haha), whatever you like the most. More content will be added and the current systems will be tweaked accordingly. I'm looking forward to 5.5 and will hopefully start testing again very shortly. :)

    @Johnnyonoes if you subscribe to the newsletter you are able to see new features faster. I received a mail which had video's of 5.5 in it! Not sure about the road map but they do give away new features on FB and mail.

  • Thanks for the response JohnK, is there a roadmap that explains this in more detail? I would love to see > what is in store for this game moving forward in development.

    No worries, as Fredds00n mentioned best place is Facebook, and also Slack. We will post our game dev docs on FB a lot of time too.

    Great feedback Fred, thats something I've been thinking about myself, if we want to prevent 'skill gods' in later game, and starting to lean towards it. Perhaps there are some branches in the skill tress where you choose one option, and the other becomes locked off permanently. Or, it becomes insanely expensive (20,000 skill points) so a single player can still get every skill, but it requires speeding up time.

    This will be helped a lot by deeper and wider skill systems, and we're hoping to keep expanding that so there's 30 days of continuous skill gain available, and then mods to extend that even further towards infinity, but even on top of that thinking some locking off is necessary.

    Thanks for the input, definitely helpful as we're actively working on all this stuff.

  • Two main interesting points were brought up, so I thought I'd drop in my thoughts on both of them.

    1. Playing vs Not

    One of the important aspects of the game is allowing players who have limited time to play to still positively affect the game without feeling completely eclipsed by those who can play for multiple hours a day. That said, the game cannot progress without people being online to horde resources, build infrastructure, and do other time consuming tasks. A server of players who only log on once a day for 10 minutes to eat food will get nowhere and, while the game may not currently reflect this a well as it should, the need for roads, buildings, and farms will cause this to happen. The fact that it doesn't currently is a balance issue, along with the severely chocked early-game skill point gains.

    I've been pretty restrained in jacking up the prices of constructions (and most of them haven't changed much since 4.0) but that's going to significantly change going forward. There is going to be a huge emphasis placed on efficiency and speed skills to encourage specialization through that rather than simply the ability to perform a task. Not only should this help specialization, but it should give players who are on a lot a bigger reason to gather resources and create means of doing so.

    1. 'Skillgods'

    I definitely agree there is a flow issue with skill point gain in 5.4 and there is also an issue with all skills (especially lower tier ones) being easy to obtain which ends up producing a scenario where players can learn everything. I do not, however, agree with ever completely locking off a tree to a player, nor do I think even restricting skill points in other trees is a good idea.

    If the game were to lock off skill trees as you skill some, there are scenarios where players will become so indispensable to the entire server's gameplay that, if said player stopped playing, the game would become unplayable with no method of recovery short of console commands or restarting. If, for example, your cook (a tree which everyone else is now locked out of by virtue of choosing other paths) suddenly decides to stop playing, you've now lost all access to non-primitive food which would stonewall progression significantly. The same can be said for almost any number of roles.

    Increasing the cost of other skill trees as you place skills is another suggestion that has been made, however this also comes with its own issues. The early portion of the game is meant for players to experiment with different things: hunting, farming, cooking, building, etc. Not everyone spawns into the game knowing they want to cook food for the next X hours of their time in Eco and certainly not everyone wants to just cook food that whole time either. Making tiny uninformed decisions in the early game drastically impact a player's successful later on is something that will drive players to restart. Making it scale with the "tier" of skill inhibits late game changes (which are already hampered slightly) causing a situation similar to hard locking skills out, although this is slightly more recoverable.

    In 5.5 a lot of the skill point gain and resource cost food has been altered significantly to lower the skill gain later in the game and to encourage the efficiency and speed skills. Ideally you can still be a jack-of-all-trades, but the whole "master-of-none" will actually be applicable.

  • Great responses folks! Looking forward to all the features mentioned to be put into the game!

  • Is there a point to games like this? Of course, You set yourself a goal. What's the point of minecraft and people still play that non stop. Well, Eco is a prettier version of minecraft, just build something, start a new project while you're waiting for skills to accrue

  • First off, I love this game and hope that it will continue to progress and with a few tweeks be a huge success. I realize this is alpha and some of this is scheduled to be fixed already although I do not know what is in the works specifically. I have a few suggestions but first let me share what my perception has been on how people are playing the game.

    My experience consists of:
    I have played a good amount of time, 100+ hours total on 3 different servers. I have been constently checking the number of playera online on other servers that I do not play on.

    What people are doing:
    Server first starts up and there are 6-20 active people logging in day 1. People are chatting, building their first homes, gathering food, spending SP. There are lots of things to do and it is fun. Then you realize you have spent all your SP, you have built all you can, and you have your food as balanced as you can understand it should be. Everyone starts logging off.
    Next few days the more active people will be on more so sometimes in order to setup a few extra buildings, setup a mine, build a few roads but primarily all people balance their food and then log off.
    By day 6 it starts to become a ghost town and ther is rarely more than 1 or 2 people on at any given time.

    What is the problem:

    1. People have no engaging incentive to be online. It was mentioned that infrastructure needs to be built, food horded, buildings built.
      In reality right now people (for the most part) dont care about building roads to other people because the other people are not ever online accept to balance food for a few minutes.
    2. They dont horde food because its not needed because no one is online burning through it and so there is no benefit of gathering more than you need for yourself.
    3. People probably do the most at building new buildings, setting up the needed housing for each workshop which does not take too long and is at a good spot imo. This part is fun bit is limited in what is needed.
    4. There is no danger in the world other than the 30 day off looming event. Nothing attacks you. Housing/Roads are not damaged, etc.
    5. The food system is too ambiguous. When I first started I had no idea there were different tiers of food. I thought the balance was all that mattered and didnt want to expirement with what few precious SP i had thinking at first the max in game SP was 100. Then I thought it was 150, the 200. Now through testing I realize it is in the 400s currently.
    6. Because of the lack of people online everyone tends to go for the jack of all trades rather than specializing. Although typically there is a tendency for people to try to specialize unfortunately this does not persist past day 3.

    My phone is dying. Will post my ideas for solutions from my PC.

  • Proposed Solutions:

    1. What if there were clear stages that needed to be met in order to reach the goal of defeating the ominous meteor in the sky? IE. You needed to build a War room that after being build is announced to the whole server with it's location and everyone has to go to this place to get needed skill scrolls, there is a giant doomsday clock counting down the meteor strike in this building. Then from this war room the server is required to set up a single or multiple towns that have X amount of buildings each. Then Infrastructure is required to be put in place to connect the towns, run electricity and water systems and so on and so forth.
      (whether or not these examples are doable or even good ideas is debatable but some sort of stages should be in place that people can work toward day to day rather than just knowing that 30 days from now they should have the skills to do something against this meteor that is coming)
    2. I think people will be more active with food systems once there are reasons for people to be online using up calories and farming is working.
    3. seems to be in a fairly good spot for how buildings work but it would be nice if people were given more direction or incentive to start closer to each other. If there was a bonus people got for building within a certain proximity to others this would go a long way and make it more fun in general.
    4. Maybe tornadoes or earthquakes can hit and weaken buildings. After being hit more than once (twice?) if not repaired the buildings could collapse. keeping a balance on this would be important so that it isn't making people worried while they sleep ( maybe can only happen once a week or something or while players are online).
      Animals or other things that can attack you or some how hurt you or your properties.
      Lightning storms that could take out electrical items.
      Floods, the list goes on
    5. If the food you ate simply said what tier it was in or there was help text that gave more info. Maybe if a value was assigned to different foods to indicate which were better. Maybe you guys want this to be ambiguous but i feel like its something everyone struggles to understand when i play with different people.
    6. I agree with the admin that posted on how you don't want to lock people out of certain skill trees but you do want people to specialize more. Maybe you could do this for example: allow people to open all skills but they are only allowed to specialize in say 2 different areas. This would lock out any speed or efficiency specialization skills for the trades you are not specialized in. After overcoming the meteor then maybe the ability to open up the other skills will be unlocked.

    Again, great game you guys have made so far. I think it has much potential and look forward to all the changes coming in the future. Hope this post didn't sound too negative but rather came across as intended, positive criticism.

  • @Johnnyonoes said:

    Hi everyone,

    I guess I am feeling that there is nothing to achieve until you have enough skill points for the next technology and I feel like there needs to be something that can only be achieved while actively playing the game. I compare the game frequently to EVE, where in EVE you can spend time getting skills, but if you never log in, you will have no money to purchase anything. In ECO I feel I am not influencing the world in a positive way by playing actively.


    yah its been debate alot game mostly rewards you for being offline best way play game is to log in do few things then just log off play something else for while then hop back on play some more.

    it really is more of a casual game experience, for people who do not want spend a lot of hours behind the game all time.

    biggest fix would be simple just make people play game to earn levels to earn skills it works for most game that are like this for example empyrion galactic survival me and my friends run both a Empyrion server and eco server, we play both we tend to play empyrion way more often then we play eco main reason well we just do not need to play eco we dont need to put that many hours into eco...

    the game plays it self in empryion if you do not play game you do not unlock any new technology you do not get no new research or skill points, experience is reward by doing things in game and its fun to do things to earn rewards.

    eco is oppsit we get reward for logging on and eating then logging off when we get enough skill points we then play game for couple of hours build what ever it is we where saving our skill points for then we eat and log off and wait for more skill points, eco is endless waiting game.

    sure people say you can build roads and blah blah but honesty there only so many roads your going build there only going to be so many buildings you build in the game, and there is no point to be in a game just to dick around if there no reward for doing so.

    there also 5 of us and we have no need or want to play with random people we do not know, so if game trys to push more social aspects to force people to play in larger groups honestly we will probably just stop playing game all to gather.

    they really need to focus on rewarding players for putting time into game and actually playing the game that is what this game really should focus on that is core of the game experience building and doing things in the game there for that is what should be rewarding experience and just doing stuff to do stuff or to try to meet a goal is not a rewarding experience for groups of us it may be for some people but not for a lot of us.

    but here are other topics on this issue in past.

    there also alot more topics on this where people think something should be change so your not alone alot of people think game play should be changed to make it more rewarding experience and fun to play.

  • Just throwing this out there but why not just limit the skill gain when offline? Like instead of 1(skill point rate) go 0.5(skill point rate)? Casual players would still get skill points, while people actually playing would be rewarded for playing. Doesn't even have to be half the rate, but a reduced rate while offline does make sense to me

  • Well, my reply from a month ago is wrong. After a month and seeing servers slowly lose people as everyone techs up and people just log in to feed and log out as they few points makes maps become ghost towns is real. After a while, there's so much one feels like building and after leveling to max tier in chosen fields, there's no real incentive to keep playing.
    Good ideas brought by others, to change earning skill points; maybe as people do a certain job, which would reward people that spend more time doing a task with more sp earned.

  • Yeah lol, biggest thing I've noticed is that there's really nothing keeping you focused on the game. Which I mean is fine because alpha, but hopefully that eventually changes lol. The meteor is a cool idea, but there needs to be smaller challenges you have to deal with other than building and not building too many of certain things so you don't destroy the world lol

  • The thing i would like to see would be a stats page of what you've done in game and through that they should set prerequisite to reading scrolls.

    Right now our server leaves scrolls in a chest for any book thats made. Any Joe schmoe can join the server and without spending a skill point be at the same level as i am.

  • @Faalin The availability of the scrolls is just down to the kindness of other players. The scrolls could easily be hidden in locked boxes or private storage.

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