Feedback after 100 hours of playtime - Things are way too slow

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I recently bought this game and I have been playing almost 100 hours. There are many things I absolutely love in this game but some design decisions on live and testing are making me a bit worried about the future of this game. I have played already so much but I feel like I haven’t really progressed in the game and honestly, I’m getting a bit tired of all this. The game is so slow paced I feel it’s gonna put off many players. I want this game to succeed so I here I’ve gathered a few points from my play experience and suggestions to improve to make this game more fun and appealing for new players.

Experience on live server:

Good

  • Rich landscapes are very pleasing to explore
  • Chisel system opens up a lot of possibilities for builders
  • Portals and connected worlds make for fun interactions
  • Player created economies and structures make a truly unique mmo experience

Neutral

  • Crafting is slow but mass crafting and careful planning makes it bearable. Also teaming up and pooling resources helps.
  • Not much to do but it’s still pre-alpha so I understand.

Bad

  • Mining is way too slow
  • Little improvement on durability or mining speed on higher tier materials makes anything other than stone tools a poor choice. Gem tools are so expensive to make that they should have at least twice the speed and durability.
  • Finding gems is increasingly more difficult. They’re supposed to be rare but if they keep getting rarer it’s gonna make it way too hard. Maybe if they wouldn’t get more rare but instead would appear in random places. You would have to search for new places to mine and more likely end up in the hands of more players instead of going to the richest people.

Testing server:

Good

  • New skill system gives some nice progression choices
  • Objectives teach you how to progress in the game. Especially good for players new to the genre.
  • Beacon powering makes unused structures disappear over time but is still cheap enough for you not to worry about grinding fuel for it.

Neutral

  • Having to take skills for certain crafting recipes is kind of pointless since finding the materials for crafting them serve already as a blocker. I don’t see it as a big problem and might result in more collaboration and trading so that might not be such a bad thing. Although I feel this kind of goes against the nature of the genre where everything is supposed to be boundless (pun intended).

Bad

  • The already unbearable mining speed made even worse. The speed on live should’ve been the base level. Increasing stats to make it faster doesn’t really justify it when the base is so slow. Everything is so slow in testing that my friend who had played for 112 hours in live didn’t even finish the tutorial.
  • Walking is way too slow and I doubt people will put up with that for too long. Sure things can be improved with skills but it doesn’t really make sense for this to be so slow at the start.
  • Core functionality such as sprint, creep, joining a clan, etc. gamers are used to having from the get go are barred behind a skill tree. These should be available right from the start.
  • Jumping is so slow it feels like slow motion. Not very realistic if you ask me.

Criticizing without giving out any suggestions to improve it would be stupid. I did mention a few improvements in the points mentioned above but I’ll go further in detail so here’s a few suggestion that would make the game much more fun to play:

Make things faster

The slow mining and even slower thing in testing make a poor gameplay. No one wants to walk for hours just to find a mountain to mine just to learn how slow it is to mine. Live is just bearable but could be faster. Having the speed that you have in live could act as the base level and with stats you could improve it. I know this isn’t Minecraft but this is just way too slow for anything to be enjoyable. Also taking down blocks should be faster if you have placed them yourself. Dismantling a house that you built in a few minutes takes hours to take down. Maybe have a skill for builders which allows you to remove a block after a certain period of time after placing it. That would help builders design cooler things faster. Also shorten the amount of time to remove blocks you have placed yourself would make it easier but not sure how easy it would be to implement code wise.

Slow and expensive crafting should have equally good rewards

Currently crafting is so slow and expensive it barely makes up for the effort put into it. Coupled with slow mining, it is barely worth it to use anything else than stone tools unless you’re swimming in it. Different tiered tools should have much faster speeds and durability to make up for the effort. -1 hit for upgrading to copper from stone is not worth it. At least increase the swing speed too to make up for the extra effort and more expensive material. In testing it’s actually even worse since swing gets lower when you use stone tools compared to wood for instance. (don’t know about higher tier materials as I didn’t play for too long in testing)

So here are a few things I enjoyed and pain points that I had while playing the game. I absolutely love the whole idea and vision for the game so I’d hate for all this go to waste. I hope this feedback will make the game more better and give you some insight from a new player’s perspective. If you have any questions or would like me to clarify some stuff or anything, just leave a comment. Good luck to the dev team, you’ve done an amazing job so far.

10 Likes

Keep in mind this is an MMORPG. You shouldn’t be able to do anything of importance quickly. As for the rarity of gems…they’re out there, you just have to find them. I know it can be very frustrating looking for deposits but Trust me…once you find them you’ll have a sense of satisfaction that not many games can offer. But it might take some lengthy exploring.

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I get that part but the stuff in this game is way too slow even in MMORPG terms. I’d have got a lot more things done in a 100 hours with pretty much any other game and that is the thing that bugs me the most. And I don’t get the sense of satisfaction you talk about when everything is such a horrible grind. I’ve had more enjoyable experiences in much more grindier games even if not sandbox voxel games.

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Gem stuff is not even worth at Live right now except grapples. I’m that friend he mentions that has 112 hours in. Also he has lots of valid points and the game should have certain things by default, like running. And it should be increased, not unlocked, like it is in Live. It can be nerfed for initial use but still it shouldn’t be as slow as it is. For the gem part, they are as rare as he says, we strip-mined 2 mountains with 5 people. Our total is not more than 20 in like 2 hours. Spawn rate is ridiculously imbalanced I guess.

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“I’ve had more enjoyable experiences in much more grindier games even if not sandbox voxel games.”

Now I totally agree.

I played Warframe
600 hours in 100 days
Tell me what is a grind. This game is not rewarding enough.

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Thanks for the feedback. There is lots of work balancing Testing still required.

Clearly the game shouldn’t feel like a grind and should feel like you’re progressing. We need to work more on the balance.

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Aye…patience fellow Oortians. Excellent feedback @toxip ! Balance is IMHO one of the most difficult things to nail, especially for a game in development. All in good time, epicness is in this games future I have no doubt.

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I know it feels slow but honestly I want it to feel slow. It makes progressing so much more rewarding. And I want it to be a little by grindy as well. Not completely but a little. I don’t want to hit max level quickly by any means.

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A lot of your points are valid and you got most of what’s not balanced in game on your list. Quite thorough and informative post.

I will only say a few things here regarding grind and resources.

  1. Balancing of crafting times and of resources distribution is not final. It has been a subject of criticism for a long time now and we will definitely see a lot of changes.

  2. I have been playing testing for three weeks now and I haven’t found current grinding too tedious or slow. So it’s a matter of one’s perception. It’s hard to make everyone happy. I’m playing Life Is Feudal as well where you can have your own server with your own progression speed set. I’ve seen a lot of servers with so different leveling speed that I can safely say that, really, players taste differ too much to satisfy all. LiF addressed that by introducing customization of servers. Primarily, Boundless will have one big world for all players. Private worlds that can be connected to the Boundless Universe are in plans but it’s hard to say if customization of different aspects of game will be available (most likely not, as that wouldn’t allow those worlds to be connected with others).

  3. As for sprint and a few other core skills. You are able to get them fast with very little effort. I look at this part of tutorial as kind of pre-game time. First hour gets you through basic interactions with the world and doesn’t require long travels. And when you eventually get sprint skill and basic craft you can start exploring more and easy enough.

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I am also new to the game and want to give my perspective.

I agree with some of your things, but disagree with others.

On live server:
I agree that mining feels slow and using uprgaded tools feels kind of unrewarding. They are just a bit stronger and better in durability. But I totally disagree with the rarity of gems at the moment. I got about 60 in 2 hours in a big cave very deep on a non-starter planet. I don’t know if I was just very lucky, but I think the devs want us to explore and find places where things are and remember those. I love that it is not like in minecraft. You can’t just dig down and find all the stuff you need. Exploration seems to be very imporant for finding resources and I really like that.

I started near a desert when I joined and tried to find copper and iron. It was a pain, there was a big cave near my place with almost just silver and soft coal. I tried to find some information and after some time I understood that resource distribution works different in Boundless. I enjoyed visiting other places with stacks of hammers to get other resources. For me it makes mining much more enjoyable. It also makes trading with other people much more likley.

On testing server:
I agree that the skill system is nice, but needs some change or some more guidelines. The first time I wanted to make fossil extract I wasn’t even 100% sure which perk I need. I also think that sprinting etc. should be available from the start, but may be buffed with the skill tree.

I do not agree that mining speed feels even slower on the test realm. I put some points into strenght and hammer mining and am much faster then on live server. I think it should be mandatory to put many skill points into something to do it good and fast. In this way people have to specialize and play together to get things done faster. Just imagine everyone can mine, axe, shovel, explore, build and maybe other things in future at equal speed without specializing. People would not have to work together to reach some bigger goals and that is what makes an MMORP and a good game.

What I hope for the future:
I hope that the team and the community finds a good middleway. Please do not make it to easy and do not let everyone become a powerhouse after little playtime. Please do not take out the importance of exploration when you want to find different resources on your own. Let people work together to reach goals.

All in all I am really enjoying Boundless and see huge potential.

EDIT: Some formatting.

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Yes, it was painful to use all unlearning points just to figure out what crafting skills you need to unlock what you want.
Good news is that in its final shape GUI will provide information on recipe requirements etc.

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With all the imbalances and hard to find/craft etc I also hope that game will stay hard to play, though with more reasonable stuff (which I think is coming with next update skills etc). I do like a thought of putting several 100 hours in game gets me more stuff than someone who has put 10hrs. Also, I think there is a big learning curve as it is now. At one point I was sure I’ll never craft higher level items, at one point I was sure I’ll never do looking for gems, all that passed, now I have a few locations for hunting gems, and I’m not afraid of taking on higher level items. I guess it all comes with experience. And I like it :smiley: I grew up with games in which there was no save games and checkpoints. Once you turn on your C=64 how far you make it into game is what you have done in that session. So every time I have played bunch of games from the beginning. Lately I have hardly found much challenge in any game. So, all in all, I like it how it is in Boundless :smiley:

Also I like how it is not like mc, as Rafur said, where you just dig anywhere and find the same stuff with same distribution. This way it involves some skill, reading through threads about resources etc. Basically how much you give that’s how much you get. I know it sometimes seems as dead end, but if you keep at it you’ll eventually accomplish what you wanted. And with better balance there will be less dead ends :slight_smile:

Once when I played on mc server, I wanted to make a slime farm, so I had to find slime chunk. So, I have carved out something like 8x8 chunks 3 blocks high, and waited for slime to spawn. Also needed to make fences on chunk edges to know which chunk slime actually spawned. That was more fun than it sounds. If you have world seed you can find slime chunk with tools for that. But that kinda ruins the fun.

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On point 3 though, you can indeed get them pretty fast but it’s painfully slow to do it because of slow walking and mining which is the problem in my opinion. In anycase, be it short or long tutorial, these features are very basic stuff found in most games which should not warrant unlocking.

Think about it this way: you learn on how to level and how to spend skill points by unlocking basic stuff, so you don’t have to make important decisions on what path to take too early.

When you complete Core group of skills and unlock next ones, that’s when you have to start thinking what skills you want and which ones you don’t. Thanks to going through unlocking basics like sprint or simple craft or compass, you already know how leveling and learning skills works.

Try to see things from perspective of different players, new ones coming into the game. Some will find tutorial too easy and go ahead using experience from other games and their intuition. But a lot will appreciate step by step slow learning curve.

As I said before, it’s hard to satisfy all, and a good system is carved to accommodate different personalities and different needs of players.

I’m not saying that your point of view is invalid, just saying try to drop the should approach and try could instead. There is no shoulds in anything, be it real life or games.
The current state of game is such and such and it can change (as opposite to should change, because this or that player wants it that way).

Peace and Love :innocent:

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Currently ruby is fairly abundant it seems but emerald on the other hand was very hard to find. Also I’ve heard that emeralds that spawn in mountain caves don’t spawn back on the cave faces after getting mined which makes them increasingly harder to find. I do agree that they shouldn’t be too hard to find but the rarity should be consistent somehow. Also if they’re rare, the reward for crafting should be equally balanced so a rare material such as emerald would have a very high durability to make up for it.

On the testing point, I get it you can improve it with skills and make it faster. I do think that the skill system is great that people who like mining can improve it and people can specialize in different professions and thus would need to collaborate to do things efficiently. That is a good thing but the problem is the base level you start with is paaaainfully slow. I don’t think many people would like to grind for so long just to get to a comfortable level on the speed. The base level should be comfortable enough not to waste any points on improving it if you’re not a miner for instance.

I agree that not everyone should be a powerhouse and also encourage team play but some balance needs to be done if you can’t really progress much in 100 hours of gameplay. I’m a hardcore gamer and if someone like me can’t achieve stuff in 100 hours (in fact with our 5 man group, make it 500 hours) then I doubt a more casual gamer would give up much earlier. Maybe not much balancing is required, have the base level at Live levels and improve speed through stat points.

Fair points, I understand but I feel like sprint and crawl are such basic features that should not be locked behind a skill tree even if it was fast. Considering the super slow walking speed as well, it makes the first steps like hell even for new players. Maybe have stuff that are not as crucial to gameplay be unlocked through that tutorial? Well joining a clan isn’t that important in the beginning so I can accept that.

So a system that doesn’t make starting out too annoying would be nice. Also if it’s a tutorial, they should be skippable like in most games. One of the pain points for a hardcore gamer is unskippable tutorials. I get that a new player may want that but someone more experienced with games should be able to skip it and learn just by trying out.

As for the should word, this is feedback based on my experience on the game so these suggested improvements are what should be changed to make it enjoyable for players like me. Obviously it’s up to the developers to decide where the appropriate balance goes but I think arguing about using could or should is just semantics. I have given my honest feedback and suggestions to improve it and hope to strive things forward with that. I love this game a lot but in its current state it’s so painful which is why I wrote the way I did it to express that.

2 Likes

I was actually thinking about that suggestion to make tutorial like kind of advisor in some games that can be hidden and have filter to set how frequently it pops up. That would be interesting.

As for the sprint and such. Who knows maybe they will change it and make it part of starting skill set. It doesnt bother me much which way it is. I simply can see and understand logic behind both setups.

1 Like

Well I do not feel that in the current live version mining is too slow, of course it needs some rebalancing, but still manageable. I use copper and gold hammers now, but I used only gold hammers before and I was able to mine enough gold+copper+coal+fossil to replace them and still mine a lot other things with them before I needed to make more gold hammers.

And about other things, while you made a great feedback, I still dont think that current live gem distribution is bad, maybe its true for like amethyst, but not for all (especially diamond). Before the redistribution nearly everyone used only gem tools (and look at those buildings with the tons of gems used for decoration), but nowadays it gets rarer, beacause the players pre-redistribution stacks getting depleted. It needs to be a rare sight, when the game will be released there will be more players, so more explorers to find those gem rich places, and if someone find them, he/she must feel special about it. Finding gems must be a very very great reward for world explorers! And others will use titanium, its more grindy to craft, but easier to find. So you must chose, you will spend your time exploring, or grinding for the best things. But there will be people who will sell those shiny gem tools, and others can sell them like a lot of healing brews or tons of building materials. While explorers find gems, others mine out thousands of base materials.

And I aggre with @Spoygg and @boundmore, this game will be hard and slow, with a great learning curve, mostly because its MMO aspect. Of course it will not be for everyone, there are no game currently which everybodies favourite. Sure Boundless needs fixes and have some balancing issues, but I like it slow and hard… (yea baby hit me! :yum:)

EDIT: Skippable tutorial is a good idea! Especially when we will be able to make more characters than one.

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Okay, I should probably clarify the gem situation a little. Some Gems such as Ruby and Diamond are much easier to find than others like Emeralds since we had a lot of trouble finding even a single piece compared to how much you could get ruby for instance. I do agree, they need to be special but if they’re special, they should also give an equal reward. Making gem tools other than grapples is a waste of time because they hardly make it worth it for the effort. A suggestion would be to give similar variation to gem tools like grapples have. Maybe certain gem tools would mine certain resources faster or give bonus resources per mine? Or simply have better durability? This would create a market for each type of gem.

I think gems in the future will be used in grapples and weapons mostly, and as decoration, but there will be people whose will use them as tools too!

Anyway we should wait until the next live patch, cause this:

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