Taken a break for a month, returning thoughts

so I’ve returned after not having played the game for a few builds (just after prospects and bargains), because the big download steam did was very enticing. So here are my thoughts having played… basically all day since the patch dropped.

1: Terror is… Terrifying. The visual and audio cues, combined with the thing that’s actually causing the terror gain (fog, snow, amazing discoveries I won’t spoil) really let you know that you should probably find a way out of your current situation, and sooner rather than later if you know what’s best for you.

  1. New enemies? That’s cool. What’s cooler is that I encountered a certain fungus’y enemy in a heavy fog bank, and the terror effect near the edge of the screen combined with the fog obscured it until it was able to belch a salvo (what a sound it makes!) into my flank. However! I get the impression I was meant to know what it was? Upon killing it describes the beasts inside as though I were meant to know what they were, yet I have the feeling the player wouldn’t know unless they have followed the hybras story? Maybe give a better description of what the ship is and who’s taken control of it upon defeating it for the first time.

  2. BRING BACK CUSTOMS! I’ve been making so much money with bargains and prospects, and thats fine. The prices can stay as they are, it feels amazing to limp back to New Winchester with no supplies and no food (because you just had to buy those crates of munitions from the shady guy in a trenchcoat) but then sell your cargo hold and make 500+ gold, however I feel its probably a little too easy to rake it in.

Which made me think of Customs from the Seas. With most of the bargains descriptions making it clear that the things you’re buying are a little less than legal, I’d love to see the random Customs search event to make a return. It’d help put the breaks on the cash flow, just a little, and also gives the player ways to deal with customs: maybe they get a hidden compartment, maybe they try to pay a bribe, maybe they know someone who can have a quiet word with the officer, etc. etc. Adding some extra risk to the bargains (not the prospects) seems like a no-brainer.

  1. Discoveries are amazing! Definitely had the intended effect of making me consider exploring the space between ports, instead of just taking the beeline route. HOWEVER: MORE FLOATY TEXT. The crates you pick up should absolutely spawn some floaty text giving a brief description of what you just picked up, because it’s sometimes hard to work out what you just picked up (also floaty text is one of the coolest features of Skies).

Closing thoughts: It’s really starting to feel like a full game! I stopped playing for a while because after a while there’s nothing to do in between storylets, so the game kinda became a text adventure but with 5 minute waits in between passages. Not anymore! I was constantly taking detours, exploring sections of the map I knew didnt contain a port, and generally enjoying being immersed in the world. I can’t compliment the work the team has done enough.

I would second bringing back customs.

I think it makes sense that the Reach, as wild and untamed as it is, wouldn’t have much customs enforcement. Albion, on the other hand, would be a good place to bring customs back.