Feedback on base defense from a new player

Khalixxa
Khalixxa
Skilled Warrior
Joined Oct 2015 Posts: 454
edited 1 Mar 2016, 11:29PM
This is feedback from the perspective of a new player to the game. I've played the game for only a few months, but I feel like my perspective on this issue will help to improve the game's appeal to other new players.

The first time I was attacked by another player, my base was completely destroyed without dealing more than 1% damage to the attacking fleet. I've played a good number of other games similar to Battle Pirates though; I half expected to make a ton of mistakes early on so I tried to learn from it and prepare accordingly. Something I noticed after this was that my base level would increase as I did ANYTHING at all, which simply opened me up to attacks from higher level opponents. Every time I was attacked, it seemed more and more hopeless. The attacking enemy fleet would always be comprised of five identical ships that would simply stack together and charge through my base channel leveling every ship and structure, sometimes without taking a single point of damage. Now, I know that I'm not the best player by any means, but these base attacks are too one sided, especially considering the absence of any offensive strategy or ship diversity by the attacker.

After joining an alliance, some more experienced players informed me that I was probably being "farmed" by higher level players, and that there was truly no chance that I could ever defend my base until I got to a much higher level. So... this meant that a solution to the problem existed, but it would be at least a year down the road. Now, as game developers, you guys have to admit that this situation is very non-conducive to recruiting new players to the game. I'm not saying that new players should be able to easily tango with older players, but if the game seems to be broken for the entire first year of play, how in the world are you going to pull new people in and make them want to invest real money?

The answer to the question in this post's title is "yes", but not for new players. It's incredibly frustrating to hit your head against a brick wall trying to amp up your base defense assuming that you're doing something wrong, when you're just going to get unavoidably wrecked every day, your resources stolen, and have no recourse whatsoever. When you finally manage to repair and gather some resources, you'll find that you've just leveled up your base, and are now a viable target to even higher level opponents. You've basically just done all that work in order to "donate" more resources to your enemies.

Here are some general solutions to this that are inspired by some other games I've played:

1. Command Points

This is a resource that needs to be consumed in order for players to attack each other. Players accumulate this resource at a fixed rate, and they can store a couple days worth at a time. Attacks cost the same amount of command points regardless of the level difference between attacker and defender. What this does is increase the incentive for players to attack others of similar level, while still giving them the option to attack lower levels. Currently, there is no cost at all for high level fleets to bowl through hundreds of low level bases at a time, but if attacks cost command points, the attacker would want to optimize their usage of attacks. A player who chooses to attack low level people constantly will fall behind. You could probably get rid of any level-range limitation on attacks if you did something like this, and you wouldn't have to do any "stat crunch" either.

2. Increase the armor of all base defenses

Battle Pirates is the kind of game that should encourage large scale PvP raids. At present, attacking fleets can typically get in and out too quickly, even if attacking many bases in succession. This entire time scale should be stretched out to the point where it is more common to see multiple fleets or multiple attacks to take out a similar level base defense. It should NOT be so commonplace for players to log in to find their base and twenty other bases near them destroyed by a single enemy fleet. Slow that whole process down, and you'll see larger scale wars going on.

3. Make equipping structures happen separately from building/upgrading

This works very well in VEGA Conflict, and there's good reason for it. If we could simultaneously equip a turret and upgrade another structure, new players might not be so utterly screwed. Think of how crippling the current shared timer between equipping and upgrading is. We might as well not even touch our defenses until we have the best possible stuff in the game, ESPECIALLY since we don't even get a partial refund of equipment we replace. If we ever bothered to equip a Sentinel Missile III to a turret, we've just flushed all those resources down the toilet, and we've stunted our growth in other ways.

4. Partially refund the value of replaced equipment on structures and ships

Without getting at least a partial refund once we replace our lower level weapons with higher ones, what reason do we have to even bother with the lower level ones in the first place? Almost everyone who plays at higher levels will advise a new player to completely ignore their defenses, and this is just one of the reasons why. Any low level investment is a complete and utter unrecoverable resource dump, and this is to say nothing of the fact that they are also completely ineffective.


  • xHydrax
    xHydrax
    Minor Nuisance
    Joined Feb 2015 Posts: 190
    edited 1 Mar 2016, 4:49PM
    you have 2 choices as a new player, do what most do, don't waste time with a guard fleet, and hit repair and move on. or option 2. spend a small fortune and be competitive.

    and you're command point idea if flawed, a limit wouldn't make people hit higher level bases, quite the opposite, they'd hit more low levels to make sure they got their ali points before using all their points.

    i also disagree with the 2nd point. a well built fleet should be able to take out that many bases, it can take months to build a decent fleet, it takes a few hours to repair a base.
  • Khalixxa
    Khalixxa
    Skilled Warrior
    Joined Oct 2015 Posts: 454
    xHydrax said:
    you have 2 choices as a new player, do what most do, don't waste time with a guard fleet, and hit repair and move on. or option 2. spend a small fortune and be competitive.
    I'm interested in seeing the game get better, and I know I'm not alone here. If the game stays hostile to new players, we are simply going to leave and play other games. While I appreciate the advice, players should only be expected to favor balance issues up to a point. This, to me, is beyond that point.

    xHydrax said:
    and you're command point idea if flawed, a limit wouldn't make people hit higher level bases, quite the opposite, they'd hit more low levels to make sure they got their ali points before using all their points.
    Command points (or similar mechanisms) have worked wonderfully in a ton of other games. Look at the PvP system in games like "Bleach: Brave Souls" or "Tiberium Alliances". Having a resource that is consumed equally regardless of your target always pushes the incentive in favor of an optimum (highest reward per attack). The worst anyone could argue is that a command point system would do nothing at all in Battle Pirates since ally points are also rewarded regardless of target level. Well, then ally points are flawed, not command points. Optimizing the gain of ally points will always mean attacking the weakest opponent possible, so the ally point system is currently regressive and needs to be improved.

    xHydrax said:

    i also disagree with the 2nd point. a well built fleet should be able to take out that many bases, it can take months to build a decent fleet, it takes a few hours to repair a base.
    A "well built" fleet is indeed able to take out many bases. It's questionable though whether this should be the case. I mean, why on face value, should a large scale PvP battle involve so many more bases than it does fleets? How does that make any sense? And why should a "well built" fleet so often just be five of the same ship stacked on top of one another?

    I'm not saying that this style of game cannot be really good (if its even intentional by design), but we have to admit that it doesn't seem right. Yes, a good fleet takes more time to repair than a base, but from the point of view of a new player, this seems really awkward. Shouldn't large scale battles involve many fleets on both sides and relatively fewer bases? It seems like the roles of bases and fleets are reversed from what they are in most other games: bases are the little weak things, and fleets are the big powerful things.


  • Launch68
    Launch68
    Potential Threat
    Joined Sep 2014 Posts: 31
    Fleets blowing up bases like that was a game design, so that players need to coin repairs on docks. Its a flawed concept that had a nice hand in killing the game. It should not be a major part of the next game. The problem is they use the stick approach to getting coins, With the sole carrot in the game being a 5 minute speed up. They failed to take in account casual players, and low end players, and the accumulative effect on the loss of these players, and the effects it has on the community. They knowingly or unknowingly incentized newbacide, which daily farming the newbs hurt the game.

    I'm surprised they havent offered me and a small group of others to come up with the new game concept, which attracts players, and folds in all types of players into the game, in a way in which all are useful, and to increase the level of pvp combat.
  • Khalixxa
    Khalixxa
    Skilled Warrior
    Joined Oct 2015 Posts: 454
    What exactly is supposed to make new players want to purchase coins?

    If we see a bunch of flaws, are we supposed to want to pay money to see those flaws maintained as part of the core game mechanics?


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