Are people still finding combat frustrating?

I know shortly after Steel was released, there were quite a few people upset about the new difficulty of combat. Is this still the case? I know things became less lethal in later builds, but I haven’t kept my finger on the pulse of the forums.

I ask because I recently died (foolishly trying to go up Adam’s Way), and have been considered doing a combat-focused Let’s Play, since I feel like I’ve got a good grasp of how to do well in the new system. Would anyone be interested in this?

Yes it is still frustrating, not a game breaker for me but it is not intuitive to sneak up on things in the dark get a hit in and then start reversing. If your mirror and iron stats are low it takes a lot of shots to kill something as well so it is very time consuming.

Hah, I haven’t played since they made early combat harder by getting rid of the deck and aft guns. I’ve been checking in here sporadically, hoping for a sign the early game has got less frustrating, but mainly I’m seeing advanced players enthusing over new challenges - which is having precisely the opposite effect on my desire to play.

So, go ahead? I was invested and I want to be enthusiastic again. More tips might give me the illusion I can game the fun/annoyance ratio!

EDIT: Forward and aft guns, not deck. I think. It’s been a while.
edited by Kirr on 11/24/2014

I think part of the problem stems from the lack of creativity around ship trade-ins. There seems to be no other sensible progression other than your starting ship > merchant > frigate/dreadnought.

One solution is to relook at the existing ships, and give them a few tweaks. The cutter has far too little hold space to be usable. Its a smuggler, so make the hold 30, speed +5%, veils +20, iron -10, mirrors -10 i.e. avoid combat, run cargo quickly. Increase the hold space in the corvette to 50 make it a slight upgrade on your starting steamer. This type of thing…

Alternately, there should be an option to install upgrades to ships. So, forward and aft slots in ships could be installed into ships that don’t have them, but for a price (echos, obviously, but also weight, speed reduction etc). Other possible improvements could include plating (extra hull, but extra weight), or converting crew quarters to hold space. This would give a new element to you planning: do you skip the upgrades and go for a better ship, or pimp out the one you have?

Enemies need a lot of their additional powers from the old builds back. Their only choices are to ram you or shoot you, and neither of those scale to where player power scales to now. When their additional abilities are back in, I don’t think it will be as easy as just reversing and shooting until they’re dead.

Ok, there’s a some interest here and there’s been some on IRC, too. So tentatively I’ll plan to do the first session on Wednesday, at about 21:00 MST (GMT -7). I’ll see about getting twitch set up tonight and post more info then.

Its not so much that it is frustrating, more so that it simply not interesting and not very rewarding both in terms of fun and echos.

I think the problem with combat is how easy it is to avoid. No where in the Zee is actually dangerous, since avoiding enemies is just a matter of keeping distance and briefly turning out lights if needed, with maybe the occasional FULL POWER!. This means that every fight happens on the player’s terms, which makes them much easier.

oh, I’m a scheduling idiot. I’ll actually be doing it two hours earlier, 19:00 MST (2:00 GMT, sorry brits! but it’ll be archived). Twitch

Actually I feel this is a fine line – remember, the game isn’t supposed to be combat-intensive. Rather, I think players fleeing from monsters should feel the need to act with urgency – push those engines, turn off that light – take short-cuts at your own risk, or give a wide berth to monsters (no pun intended). Remember this game has permadeath, so making monsters unavoidable or too good at chasing would make players really frustrated every they’re killed by an unavoidable monster.
Personally, I’d rather see monsters LOOK like they’re going to kill you – but if you’re fleeing, you should have a little leeway, at least if all you’re doing is trying to survive.

edited by SouthSea Rutherby on 11/26/2014

I don’t find combat frustrating, per se. If anything it’s quite easy to fight ships and albino morays without being hit. I haven’t found a way to kill swarms of bats and giant crabs without being hit, but I guess there’s a method.

What I find frustrating is that fighting involves a huge waste of fuel. Most of the times it isn’t even worth it.

By the way, now there’s no way to do Observations?

Delicious friends, the stream shall begin in about 15 minutes. Twitch

edit: and more, now!
edited by cheshster on 11/27/2014

I’m still using the beginning steamer with heavy guns and it’s not too hard to fight most things as long as you learn how to fire while going backwards… Standing and shooting gets you dead every time, but continuing to move while firing and being aware of where the opponents can fire is the key to it.

Observations went away with the Steel update. I don’t remember reading if they’ll be back or not.

I hope they will be back, they were a nice touch. I love playing the Naturalist type.
edited by Bluebeard on 11/27/2014

More streaming! I wasn’t planning to play today because Thanksgiving, but then they decided to drop Sapphire on us. So I will play!

I’ve actually been having a lot of success with the Corvette! That smaller hold means you can’t carry as much fuel and supplies, but the firepower means you can afford to get into more fights and replenish your stores from the loot.

I’m still not sure how I’m actually going to manage it, even with a stopover at Palmerston I don’t think I’ll be able to carry enough fuel for a full loop around the map. But I’ll figure it out.

And on that note, I’ll be streaming some more (hopefully with some actual fights this time!) in two and a half hours, 15:00 MST, 22:00 GMT. Twitch

Hmm. It seems like it’d be chancy to make it all the way around the map on one hold’s worth of supplies, but it might be doable if you can figure out a route.

Off the top of my head, both Lifebergs in the north and Pirate Frigates around Gaider’s Mourn are great ways to replenish you supplies. And sea monsters in general tend to be pretty edible.

Also, Khan’s Shadow has decent rates on both food AND fuel, and tends to spawn at a more central latitude.

Also also, the Mangrove College has some options that foist supplies on you. The Iron Republic has cheap fuel too, but isn’t convenient to anywhere BUT if you’re swinging around from the south it might be worth it…

…but yeah. The premium on hold space definitely makes it much more challenging, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to miscalculate at some point and end up adrift. But it’s felt much more rewarding than the cargo-heavy playstyle.