Is the current game worth $5/month? I *think* I can justify $1

Alright, I obviously greatly enjoy this game. I’ve poured a lot of hours into the game directly, into interacting with the community and the devs, and into building tools outside the game. We have a pretty good group here.

But, I’m worried about the game on a number of fronts. These things have been accumulating in my head, but the degree to which I was depressed by the announcement of an imminent monthly subscription model shocked me, and told me it’s time to put this all together and, hopefully, start a conversation.

I wouldn’t make such a strong claim just for fun, so this is going to be long, and detailed. A lot of the detail may only be of interest to the devs. To keep it readable tho, it will spread across 3 posts, and I’ll tl;dr each one.

Let’s start with the most obvious:
1. The game lacks the basic functionality to be ready for early access.
When I try to get friends to play the game, they tell me I’m describing what people do for work. There are still way too many core game functions that are just that.

1a. Ship loading is horrendous.
Unless I want to move all units of a single commodity, the current system is just bad.

1b. Calculating what you need to haul (consumables, inputs) is horrendous.
I should not have to run outside tools to do even basic assessments of my in-game operations, and yet that is what many are driven to.

In the past, we have heard a concern from the dev team that they “don’t want to play the game for” us. This is not a real response to this situation, unless the suggestion is that the following process is the game you think people want to play:
i. Looking up how many RAT I consume on a base in one screen
ii. summing across a few worker tiers
iii. multiplying that number by 30 (or whatever day supply)
iv. subtracting how much inventory I have at that base (which I have to look up in another screen)
v. and then load that quantity into the resupply ship, using the aforementioned horrible ship loading process.
And then repeat that for every consumable.
And then repeat that for every production input, using slightly different logic and different screens to look up the amounts.

If this is the game you think people want to pay to play, I am strongly suggesting you are wrong. This is supposed to be a space economy sim, but we currently run our operations like its the 1800s, manually calculating our future inventory every month.

A basic improvement would be a screen showing days supply of anything/everything, with a field to enter desired days supply and get back how much you need of each to achieve that. Add a way to have a ship get loaded by those amounts from available inventories at its location, and you’d push things wildly ahead.

It’s odd there’s such barebones stuff here. This is the core of your game: supply chains. I never want to load a resupply ship again with the current system, I dread it, loathe it, every time.

1c. Queue management is literally work.
I’ve discussed with the devs before. I have zero interest to requeue 5 H2O 20-cycle orders into my Prom RIG ever again. Why do you make me do it?

The devs shared that there’s interest in keeping this basic gameplay for new players. I’m all for that. We also discussed a number of ways to maintain that without forcing veterans to keep pushing the same dumb button every day or 2. Where are we on that? Back in July or August, @Counterpoint promised a QOL queue feature. Where’s that at?

1d. The financials are a thing, that does not work.
Just remove them from the game. I love the idea of them, and you’re so close, but as currently implemented they are apparently worthless. I asked @Martin to tell me how he uses them, and he had no answer. If the developer can’t make sense of them, what’s the point?

But while we’re here…
1e. Producing a product is not a loss incurring event.
No business leader or owner, and no government, would accept posting a loss for consuming inputs during manufacturing. It is not a thing outside a child’s lemonade stand. It is incompatible with accruing the value of purchased inventory as an asset on the same balance sheet. It is the primary reason the financial statements are worthless.

I believe the aversion from capitalizing production was concern on how many costs to try and capitalize. This is a fair question at design outset, but the answer is always “some of them”, and not none. The value of the input materials should always be capitalized.
If you will have an accounting system in your game, then have one. If you don’t want to make the decision yourself, follow what the EU demands.

tl;dr – Performing most core functions in the game is tedious and just not fun: loading a ship, calculating needed supplies, managing queues. The financial statements should be removed if they will not be fixed.

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The next broad issue is how
2. Development protocols need improvement, in some cases establishment.
I am referring to standard practices when developing a game with a live playerbase. Currently, they seem lax. Maybe this was almost ok for a one-time donation model, in pre-early access. But if you will ask me to monetarily reaffirm my support every month, I will ask you to earn it.
Some examples of what I mean:

2a. Populous’s seeming total lack of roll out testing.
I’m sure no one needs me to say this, but the game is a live & dynamic system. Introducing changes is tricky, since it can be hard to predict all possible outcomes. However, the Populous launch looked as if no test had been done whatsoever. Not even a basic make a backup of the live world, turn Populous on, and fast forward a few weeks and make sure the workforce populations weren’t doing anything crazy.

If the current backend cannot support this, then you need to remedy that. It’s not acceptable to introduce game-altering changes without a realistic roll-out test.

2b. Apparent failure to means test a new, reaction policy: active contract cap.
This change was made quickly in reaction to a player simply playing the game as designed, a la piracy (we’ll get to this in more detail in the third post). Without trying or even being that aware of it, I hit the cap, and was effectively cut off from a major part of the game (for how I play at least). I don’t know if there was any attempt to check whether the cap selected was too low in advance, but it was.

I was told no solution would be available for at least a week, and I’d just have to wait until my contacts fulfilled on their end. To say no solution is available for a few weeks is, frankly, not a great way to keep customers.

If you need the ability to make quick changes that could have unintended side effects, you need a policy about how to handle those side effects. ‘Whenever we can get around to a possible fix’ is a policy, but it’s not great PR.

2c. The lack of communication about developmental mistakes, and development in general.
When a full fledged company makes mistakes, it admits to it and puts a plan in place to avoid repeating them. I’m not aware that has happened for either of the above mentioned issues, but I think its something the community would like to understand.

Perhaps these things are semi-ok in first access, but right now I do not think the community has any awareness that things will be different in Early Access.
Better understanding of the development planning, large and small, would also be great. The devlogs are often brief, hyper-specific digests of a specific feature, that ultimately don’t tell us very much. Occassionally discussing your view for a macro part of the game is needed. An example: do you envision individual people with whole fleets of ships, and how common do you intend that to be? What level of wealth is intended for a player to obtain their first non-starter ship? That Ignition is only a few weeks away and we don’t know this seems bizarre.

As a final note, remember that we are your only source of reviews & testimonials. What am I supposed to say if asked about how new content roll-outs go?

tl;dr – Seemingly basic development protocols are sometimes not followed, with negative outcomes. More communication about how the company will improve in its process is needed.

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3. The game design quality is lacking.
Some of these could be attributed to the game is not done yet. But, that defense starts to go out the window with a monthly subscription model…

3a. Populous seems to contradict itself
Populous has a bunch of odd choices, but let’s start with the one that probably pushed me over the edge:
3ai. Growing high tier workers requires large lower tier worker populations.
3aii. Maintaining high tier workers requires the smallest lower tier worker populations possible.

3aii may have been made less of an issue with the last change. See 3c below. But that aside, it was released with this logic.

It appears that all need requirement is driven strictly by total planetary population. The breakdown by need type only matters in calculating a particular tier’s happiness.

This would then mean that achieving, say, 50% Safety fulfillment on a planet requires the same amount of POPI support as 50% Education fulfillment, albeit appropriate buildings of each. So if it takes 100% upkeep on a level 3 SST to get to 50% Safety, we should expect it will take 100% upkeep on 3 LIB to get 50% Education. But, the costs of those two upkeeps are intentionally wildly different.

This holds up for all needs. And since higher tier needs cannot be more fulfilled than lower tier needs, the only sensible POPI build plan is to bring buildings for all needs you care about up to the same level. How boring. The problem is solved, and there’s little room for any specialization between planets. The only decision is up to which need tier to support.

That some bizarre unachievable-in-the-wild planet with only engineers & scientists on it is the ideal planet on which to maintain such a population seems like a mistake. 3ai, that you need big lower tier populationts to develop higher tier populations makes sense. Having the conflicting drive to then cull your lower populations to reduce the costs of supporting your higher tiers doesn’t make sense.

3b. Habitable populations had runaway pioneers.
Tho it seems this may have been fixed now (see next point), it’s a little confusing how it was not detected in test. Pioneers only care about Life Support and Safety. Their happiness is predominantly the average of the two. On a habitable planet, i.e. all CX planets and most starter planets, Life Support is pegged at 100%. Therefore, Pioneer happiness is floored at 50%… and so their population will never decrease. And even moderate amounts of Safety will push happiness over 70%, causing growth that can never be shed.

Big thing to miss.

3c. The apparent intent of the Populous mechanic has completely reversed since launch
At and before launch, we were told that the POPI upkeep would be mandatory to support workers. With the last change, upkeep seems to be totally optional, with having open jobs a much cheaper and better option to manage happiness. Unemployment easily overwhelms need fulfillment.

The mechanic is then simply a delay in getting workers, a delay to when the POPR fire. Maybe a few POPR, if the worker population is still developing.

So, which was the intended design? Is this what you envisioned? Is it still being tuned? Without giving any quantitative specifics, can you tell us how you want it to operate from a macro level?

3d. Populous has a theft problem
This has been brought up before, but bootstrapping a new planet with some partners, spending weeks or months of time and resources, only to then have 3 people roll up and peel half your hard earned scientists from you is not very fun. There’s also almost nothing to do about it. Build an ADM and try to jack up taxes on them? Only an option if you can form a new corp, and are not governing somewhere else (and can afford a ADM). It disincentivizes investment, and leads to disillusionment as you realize there’s just nothing you can do, and worse, more people could show up at any time and siphon more.

Not fun.

Lot’s of suggestions have been made here, to get away from the naked round robin system. Some way to preferentially attract workers to your base specifically could help. Obviously this would be tricky to balance, but that’s why this is in the design section. The current system is not good.

Well… unless of course the recent change has trivialized developing all tiers to simply putting down an extra few production buildings. But then, again… why even have the POPI?

3e. Piracy is not well designed, mostly due to the weak ratings system.
People were recently reminded that piracy was a thing. Unfortunately, they were also reminded that there are very few in-game tools to respond to it. Again, game systems that leave players with bad outcomes that are difficult or unrealistic to avoid or remedy is bad design.

We are told the ratings system is supposed to be a superior solution to a black list or white list, but as currently implemented it is not. It is trying to mesh two separate risks, financial & piracy, and so fails overall. Someone’s activity should not “make up for” their lack of reliability – I recently had a set of B rating required orders accepted by someone with C reliability, and the absurdity of such a scenario struck me.

The only other tool players have is to maintain a manual black list outside of the game, perhaps aided by word of mouth. And now we’re back to operating like its the 1800s.

tl;dr – Design mistakes seem to sneak into the game too often to suggest adequate testing is being done pre-release.

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I understand, all of this is a lot. I still have hope for the game, tho at the moment it all feels very much like work. But hopefully a conversation can be started around some or all of these points, and we can help you build a better game, and a better company. Ultimately, that is my intent with this post.

I think having a much better understanding of what the game is trying to be, what the dev team envisions for the game once all development is done to satisfaction, would help. Maybe these complaints fall on deaf ears because all of these issues and events happened exactly as intended?

Just a lot more communication would be welcome.

I hope other players will come and throw in their thoughts on these issues (and any other big ones I missed?). Maybe I’m totally off base?

However, if it is internal financial constraints that are forcing you to introduce monthly subscriptions now, with the current game as described above, then I seriously fear the game will fail.

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So believe it or not, I actually read through all four posts :slight_smile: I agree with a lot of the QOL items in 1. As for 2 and 3, I have really not paid any attention to Populous AT ALL. I honestly have very little clue how it works, what it’s supposed to do, etc. I think that actually kind of feed into his points though. Overall, it’s 777’s final sentence that catches me. A jump to a subscription based model seems to be really early. From the conversations I’ve had with many in the community it appears the feeling is the same and few, if any that I have talked to plan to pay a monthly fee.

The game definitely feels like more work than a game should be at times, but I still play it. I enjoy it and have fun with it, especially the community around it. I’m concerned the game will die out with a subscription model, but understand funds must be generated somehow. I personally don’t see a solution there, but I’m afraid going to subscription too early will be rough.

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I’ll try to be shorter. I have 2 global NO to pay 10$/month.

  1. UI just not polished for release. Simple and core things is overcomplicated. (consumables tracking, managing CX/LM orders, etc)
  2. Economic simulator with shared wallet (infra/pop)? Seriously?
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It is great to have this dialogue - especially with the QOL improvements that have been discussed in the last several devlogs (and what Martin had to say today).

1 a/b/c - agree completely that this will improve enjoyment of the game for the more established players that are a critical part of how the game evolves.

2 c - I’ve been a little surprised that there isn’t more of a “read the docs” vibe to the development approach to this game. So many amazing player built tools! So much of the dialogue here and on discord is about, well, math. It’s almost like we could just pull the whole discussion over to github.

Which sorta brings me to the burning question for the devs, I guess - How can we help you? This player base is crazy committed to the “work” of the game. It is literally a community that is trying to build a society in fake space. Is there a vision for a more collaborative development of this thing as it grows?

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I align very much with Taco in this discussion.
The QOL of the overall gameplay is very much in a state of disarray as players continue to scale up to larger numbers of bases…

As for the launch of populous and everything surrounding it. It is just way too much for me to want to even try to understand it. I do understand that some of the members of this community love stuff like this so I am not against it but I do wonder if it was made a bit more complicated than it needed to be, which is fine but from the overall view of what I, a single person, has seem from the community, it is mostly ignored/not understood by the majority of the player base and should probably be adjusted (read: probably simplified) so that a larger amount of the community has the desire to understand, adopt and support it.

My first thought when the subscription model was being applied in the near future was that of many within the community and it is echoed in 777’s post very well. Too much, too soon.
Which is frustrating for all involved (Dev team and the community). There a a metric shit ton (see: 69 assloads) of stuff still needing significant work despite it being an overall good gaming experience at this point.

I totally get the devs and great PrUn overlord (molp, right?) needing to get paid. At the end of the day bills need to be paid. Maybe we should have been having this discussion nearly a year ago so that we, the community, could voice concerns and ideas so that the devs could look to implement some of these ideas for things like QOL improvements which probably adds more overall monetary investment into the game than say a new system like populous (which I highly doubt any of us asked for) because for better or for worse, at the end of the day, players are the ones that pay the bills.

I do have to agree with 777 that the testing being done seems to be incredibly lacking… Umm, I am aware there is a test server. I am not aware if many within the community are in it, how active it is or the overall idea behind it but it does feel like these big updates are dropped on us out of nowhere and we are forced to learn on the fly… Does anyone know within the community what the cost/material needs for ships are? As in those within the test server. If so, why isn’t that shared with those not in it? For one it would give those with the info a massive advantage in rpeparing while others can’t. We are aware that costs might change but there is definitely more communication that needs to done between the devs and the community.

The Dev team has a number of very hard conversations coming up among themselves and with us. I really hope this game thrives and continues to grow and isn’t forced to “ignite” before it has enough fuel to burn for a long time.

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Yeah, so I often engage in the game design talks and I often see the devs being open-minded and accepting of constructive criticism, which is great. But I have to agree with 777 (and the commenters) on most points. Especially the QOL stuff. Filling the ships, to choose an example - it became a sort of a minigame, a math excercise maybe, to figure out problems like “my inventory contains 58 BDE and I need to load 36 onto my ship, how do I do it in the least amount of drag-and-drops?” - it can be fun sometimes, but I would very much prefer this simple “Move X” button. PLEASE! I could repeat other things that have been written a million times already, like the queue issues (maybe at least if your screens remembered your last choice…) and whatnot, but thats wasted effort.
Past Ignition, if EA is supposed to have any chance of keeping paying people, there need to be several QOL updates! Put a big pause on more content, we dont need that now, we need ways to enjoy the content that exists. Seriously. Lets add corp management on the urgent QOL list, like removing people, making more conscious choice about how dividends (= tax revenue) is allocated and whatnot.

basically tldr: If you focus on QOL features for early EA updates, I think it could work. We have enough content for EA, but we need ways to actually enjoy the content.

PS: Mad is right, I still hate shared infrastructure in capitalism simulator. I think we can make POPI work reasonably well eventually, but please, try to stay away from further shared infrastructure as much as possible. If Energy ends up being POPI no.2, I am ragequitting, honestly.

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Indeed. I’m also agreeing on most of these points.
I also think the PoP Infrastructure is a bit overdone.
People ( me included ) can’t really see the bigger picture of it.
I’m filling pop consumables wherever I think it’s needed, but I actually have no clue about the results.

I’m not against paying a small sub, but 7 € / month is rather much indeed for the game at this point.
Usually we get paid to work, but here we are going to pay to be able to do some work ( a bit too much, but you get the point ).

I agree there should be more focus on corporations , as we all “need” to form a solo corp to be able to effectively govern a planet.

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Not been there for long, but i agree some actions feels like uneeded chores and could be automated. Or at least better displayed in UI

For example what’s really irritating me right now is the fact that i have to click on 2 tabs to see my bank account, my damn bank account. It s an economic simulator, it should be displayed to me all the time no matter the screen i’m looking at, and i mean in the general interface front and center, i shouldn’t have to sacrifice a screen, or waste time clicking to see how much i have.

Edit :
Also why can’t I filter the shipping by destination, do I really have to look at all the offers, instead of saying, I m going there show me the deals ? Currently i find it way simpler to have a network of partner needing shipping than go throught the full list of deals.

Also the game is incredibly punishing for newbs like me : hey, here a shipment for planet XX-666, hey where’s that ? where do i click to see the map ? what was that planet again ? How long does it take to get there ? Click on the local market to see if i can find another deal, find another deal, planet YY-555, shit here we go again… Hey do i even have even fuel to handle that extra trip etc…
Honestly the complexity of such a basic and core action (logistics in a sim eco game) put me off paying a sub when the time will come. Any other sim eco game where shipping/logisitcs matters this much would have, when i click on a deal/planet, map of where i am and where i go, estimation of time and fuel usage, AT LEAST. I get that it s a text sim and graphics may prevent more infos displayed, but hey if you re trying to make me pay 7/month for a text sim, the core aspect of the game should be fluid and beyond reproach.

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I want to thank @777isHARDCORE for this well thought out and presented argument. I would also like to thank everyone else that created value-added thoughts for this discussion. Not to walk over old ground, but there are so many things that need to be looked into and possibly fleshed out before this game moves from an “Alpha” state. Some of the major QOL issues:
* production queue management
* ship-loading
* local market sorting

Then there are some pure game-play mechanics that may need to be re-looked at:
*Corp management
*The whole Pop update (my opinion)
*More intuitive map (the hover over every dot to find a system is hateful - my opinion)
These are just a few items, for me, that are roadblocks to a subscription model…and if I am honest, I really want to give you guys my money…

I hope the Dev team understands that all these post come from a place of love within this community.

McG

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I have many of the same feelings and concerns and I feel better seeing your summaries that state what I have been thinking. I feel like I’m not alone out there on these issues or just being a negative person. I don’t have to worry about the subscription price as I am prepaid due to my backer package for over a year but I am concerned about the player base growing. The game would be much more dynamic and fun with an even larger community of active players.

I’ve tried to bring up my concerns in a lot of ways up to and including visibly quitting the current universe. It would be great to see the developers respond to all of this but especially your section 2. The points in sections 1 and 3 are important but the concerns about the development processes are the most critical. If the development process improves it will be much easier to deal with the items in 1 and 3. We really need an active test server and a documented change rollout process if the game does go in to a “live” state with subscriptions.

Based on reading this and the other threads about the pending subscription changes I find that I’m an outlier in being a big supporter of the subscription model. I would much prefer a flat per month subscription with no tangible in game benefits to keep the game as pure as possible. I’d have no problem paying $5 per month as is if the game had a large player base. I’d happily pay $10 if we got the QOL updates you detail as well as corporation management tools and the “Governor Accounts” for managing funds that have been brought up so many times. I’d gleefully pay $20 per month if we got all the previously mentioned plus improved development practices and faster development (imagine Populous, Ignition and a large QOL/bugfix update within a 4 month period). Imagine a large portion of the roadmap getting implemented over the next year! All that being said I know I’m an outlier. If PrUn doesn’t work out I know I will go back to trying to build my own version of this and that will cost me a lot more than $240/yr.

I am also willing to contribute what I can beyond subscription cash to make the game successful. One example of this that actually made it into the game was writing descriptions for all of the materials that were missing descriptions at one point. If the developers were able to crowd source or open source some items for the community to work on I’m sure people would contribute to speed up the development process and to lower costs for the developers.

One aside that I will mention here since I referenced the backer packages earlier is that it would be nice if the developers gave all of the backers an update on the physical items and other backer rewards ahead of activating to the subscription model.

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Hey everyone,

I am afraid I can’t address all the points that 777 and the rest of you brought up, but I wanted to acknowledge your input anyway. Most, if not all, of the issues are well known and have been discussed before. I perfectly understand that this very fact leads to some frustration and I also appreciate that you have elaborated in such detail on the issues you see because it shows the team and myself just how much you care. So…keep it coming!

When the EA release happens, we will most definitely put out a revised short-, mid- and long-term roadmap as well as a “State of the Universe” address that should cover the most important points mentioned on this thread and beyond.

Meanwhile, I want to add a few points I think are of relevance to the discussion, especially to those that are “new” to the community (as in: have been here for a year or less).

First and probably most importantly: Many of the day-to-day problems we see are owed to the fact that the current Alpha (which is actually Alpha #7) has been running far, far longer than was ever intended. We made the conscious decision early on that we want to favor gameplay and content over QoL features because we assumed frequent resets every few months or even weeks. That just never happened, and we now have players running far larger operations than we had ever planned for this iteration of the game.

Also, depending on how you count, we have 1.5 developers working on this project…for long stretches of time it’s actually more like 1.2 and if you take into account that there is more to developing and operating an MMO (did someone say developing an MMO with an indie team was a bad idea?) than just cranking out gameplay features, it ends up being even less. So we constantly have to make painful trade-offs between what we focus on and what has to be backlogged. Just mentioning this to ground your expectations in terms of “developer excellence” :wink:

Last but not least, I just want to reiterate that we use the term “First Access” for something between pre-alpha and alpha, and the term Early Access for “Alpha on the way to Beta”, meaning an actual in-development product and not an “almost-done-product-but-we-call-it-EA” kind of thing that marketing people do these days. I think we have an actual disclaimer about this in the sign-up process that our most active players probably haven’t seen in quite some time :wink:

Anyway…didn’t want to ramble that long. As said, more (and better structured and worded) info will follow in due time. So far, we also haven’t decided on a final EA release date yet. For the sake of a relaxing Christmas (to the extent to which a week with family can be relaxing) we might actually push it into 2021.

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My suggestion is: Stop new content! Take some time into fixings these issues and polishing what is there already. There is enough content already to keep players entertained for 1+ years (after a reset, of course).

If EA is necessary rather soonish for financial reasons, I would recommend the following:
Launch a new server/universe with EA Subscription model, while keeping current universe alive, closed to new players signups and turned it into a “test” universe.

By doing this, you may encourage current players to pay for a subscription right away for a chance in a new world, instead of them quitting because they wont invest their RL money into a dying universe. You also get to test Ignition and changes in Populous/QOL in an advanced universe vs EA universe. Changes can be deployed in Test first and when tested, deployed into EA server.
By the time that the game is polished, you can go ahead and delete the current server.

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This is the bit I agree with most. I think currently there’s a bit of a disconnect betwene the community viewing PrUn as a game, and the developers viewing PrUn as a testing server. Both are legit and understandable. But i think a move to subscription needs a clear understanding that to some extent (not fully, but to a greater extent) the game is live and there should be more thorough testing on the test server.

My main query is what’s the solution? The game is running out of money, is there another monetization strategy we can suggest (as i’ve tried to start some discussion on). Comrade raises a great suggestion in making use of the community. I wonder if more of the legwork could be passed onto the community, not as a “do this for us, we’re lazy” but as a “fresh eyes, invested people who we want to involve, whilst also enabling us to focus limited resources elsewhere”. I think this would’ve been greatly helped with Popi. I think there’s a slight belief that opaqueness is enjoyable, but i’m not sure that’s true. Challenge is enjoyable, not knowing what you’re doing isn’t. I think the community can definetly make thing challenging for us :stuck_out_tongue:

I actually think one solution for some of these QOL issues would be a reset… This universe is too old and we don’t currently have the development resources required to fix the issues at play quick enough… Not the best solution perhaps but a solution.

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Thanks to everyone for the great responses! Especially to @martin for giving some insight on how you guys are viewing things.

Making it clear that “QOL” features are low priority and will be low priority for a while is good to know, tho I don’t agree with it. I would describe a lot of my issues in this dept not as QOL, but just basic functionality.

As for prioritizing big game features over core functionality, that’s not an unreasonable policy in and of itself. But when the features you are starting to implement require huge economies to deploy, this starts to look a little rickety.

What’s the point of implementing a shipbuilding functionality if players can’t realistically run operations to actually build the ships? Every ship requires scientist produced items; some require many. How could anyone get to that level without running head first into these rusty “QOL” obstacles?

I did not actually say that :wink:

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That’s true! But mostly because you really didn’t say anything.

Why is stuff like this a secret?

+1 to thabichi’s suggestion to let existing PrUniverse run without Reset as Test Universe, while starting New Universe (Reset) as Subscription EA under whatever new set of Rules. Go ahead & throw changes at us poor schmucks who keep plugging away in Old (now Test) Universe; be more gentle to (new) Players in new (Subscription) Universe. 777 is right - playing this is more like “work” than “play”. I’m crazy enough to enjoy it, but I might wake up someday & realize that it’s a waste of valuable (limited/scarce) Life Time that would better be spent with Real People in the Real World.

A “simple” (hahaha) API to allow Players to dump numbers into spreadsheets/whatever would be one way to sidestep the problem that people want a bunch of different things.

And a simple “Repeat Production” button could simplify much of the tedious part of the Production interface.

(I actually kinda enjoy the little puzzles of how to move Mats into my Ships with the fewest number of Clicks, but that only works for Math-puzzle Geeks like me, and it could get old after another few thousand clicks)

Most frustrating specific detail for me is still the random difference between Projected Fuel Use & Actual Use when I click to Launch a Ship.

Best of luck, and many Thanks, to Devs!