Astroid/Bored Players: Idea add Other Threats and Death

  • Greetings!
    I just finished my first 30 days and needless to say we almost didn't destroy the astroid and we had 8 of us on low collaboration. Why? One might ask? Well because 6 of the 8 players were bored and stopped playing day 10.
    They had their specialties, but when it came down to laying the road, mining ores, gathering resources, anything not to do with their specialty, they didn't participate. It ended up being a lot of work on one or two of us and frankly anytime we were able to get anyone else to log in, they would play for 20 min and then say "Well, I've got nothing to do." And log out, when there was still plenty of moving materials, constructing tailings mines, clearing areas for new workspaces, etc. They just lost interest. I think a lot of the frustration comes from not being actively engaged after reaching level 7 in their respective specialty. The set their crafting table or workbench to make the unlimited amount and just tell the other players to "Put Material A in Stockpile X and it will output what you need in Stockpile Y". There isn't any maintenance required for the machines/workspaces or specialty interactions that only those with the specialty can do or fix. Maybe adding more required interaction with machines while they are working to make the specialties more engaging.

    I propose adding different threats to the game. Environmental challenges are random. Some take little to fight off, other take more work. Example the meteor takes a good 20-30 days to destroy with a lax community. But instead of this being the goal of everyone playing eco why not have a set number of days that each group plays and then random environmental challenges show up via mail or courier.

    The different challenges could be:
    Volcanic activity in X amount of days and players need to save a town at the base of the volcano
    Overpopulation of a certain animal
    Hurricanes hitting established towns or land claims
    Fires in the rainforest or tundras from lightning strikes
    Oil spills
    Gravity/mines collapsing/gasses

    The host chooses for example 30 days. Within the first day, a message is delivered saying a fire has started and needs putting out or the rainforest will burn. The solution may be to dig a ditch to prevent spread this early in the game. But a small challenge that some players can take care of. Then the next day a new environmental challenge is brought to your attention. A volcano is showing seismic activity and will erupt in 10 days IRL. This senerio seems straight forward: Don't build near the volcano, however, there is an NPC town at the base and you have to figure out how to save it. Then maybe you have an issue where there is an overpopulation of a certain animal or hurricane is going to hit the land in 5 days IRL and decimate a part of town if not reinforced properly.
    Or maybe the metor is the first one and the fire happens in the middle of the longer you play the more environmental challenges.

    You could even pick and choose different challenges and what order they come in or pick a certain amount of days and have it randomize the challenges.

    Overall I love this game, but when people just quit because it is no longer fun or just feel like the tasks are too overwhelming or boring. I feel like something needs to be added or changed. Maybe our issue is that we needed to choose a higher collaboration so we depended on each other more for the worksites. I think I will wait to play again, once this game goes into a full launch and all the new content gets added. Maybe it will supply a more diverse setup.

    And finally, please add fall damage and death/hardcore mode into the game. Players need consequences for their actions and things that fall on your head should hurt. Players are way too invincible in this game and add to the mundane and boring parts of the game when you don't have to worry about what you are actually doing in the game. Death should be added and made permanent. (New character creation req and lose all abilities that player had and work stations become unusable by other players unless they have the same skill point setup otherwise only that player can deconstruct or go back into that profession and reactivate the machines again for reuse)

    TLDR: Add more challenges besides meteor (customizable or random), change specialties to be more interactive/maintenance for players so they don't just set up infinite loops of crafting for everyone to use once they hit level 7. Add death where people have to start over add all they built becomes unusable/broken and the player can deconstruct everything or go into the same profession and reactivate the old machinery once they get their skill points back.

  • My team is about 20 days in and having a similar experience – many players (including myself, who founded the server) getting bored, because it wasn't quite clear what they were supposed to do.

    But I'm not sure that extra environmental challenges will fix the problem.

    I think there's a combination of problems that are hard to address:

    1. Some professions naturally feed into the endgame. (i.e. mining -> smelting -> mechanics -> electronics, whereas tailoring just sorta... ends AFAICT?)
    2. There's sort of a "decisionmaking bottleneck" where you need some people to plan out how everything fits together... but you don't actually need ALL players involved with this process, (really no more than 2-3). So then you have a bunch of people with nothing to do but manual labor. No creativity or agency. This isn't actually fun (esp once you've done it a million times).

    We also found that in the first half of the game, each player had their own house to build and needed to afford good food. But later in the game we had plenty of food, houses were basically built, and then there wasn't that much to do that you could do independently, instead of everything was tightly coupled into a single monolithic project (which, again, only a few people needed to do the planning for)

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