My wife and I started playing this game a short while ago and we’re in love with it. We have been playing constantly, and have been noting down our thoughts on our experiences. Below, please find our suggestions and opinions on how to improve various aspects of the games. All of the items below are meant to be constructive as we really enjoy playing.
Just for context, my wife and I play pretty much side by side, and we’ve met one other friend in-game. The three of us have started a Settlement called Elara on Solum and all of the below was discovered while building and playing together.
Usability Enhancements In General
- When continuously clicking on the normal craft button quickly, the item expanded often closes itself and the user clicks on another item by accident. This often occurs even if the user still has the mats for the desired item.
- Have more feminine options in character customization as my wife and our other female in-game friend feel that the existing options don’t give females enough representation.
** It would also be nice to have a wider variety of customizable choices.
** We believe that this would also help attract new players as well.
- When the player can’t craft something due to a lack of materials, or lack of a skill point for bulk crafting and mass crafting, an error message indicating “not enough wood” or “requires a skill point in… “ or something would be a much better user experience instead of closing the inventory. Currently this forces the user to reopen the and rescroll to the item of interest. It is also extremely unclear that a skill is needed to use bulk crafting and mass crafting.
** Possibility: Disabling the buttons and adding a mouse-over tooltip would go a very long way.
- The player is losing a LOT of inventory slots to tools which forces them to spend an inordinate amount of time consolidating and managing the small personal inventory. This is particularly frustrating in the early game.
** Possibility: Maybe all common material tools could smart stack.
- The ability to customize joystick keybindings and sensitivity would go a long way. The defaults are sensible but the sensitivity needs tweaking (preferably by the player)
Usability Enhancements for Group Play
- It is incredibly difficult for new players who have decided to play together to find each other in the world knowing nothing or little about the game.
** E.g. My wife and I would like to play together, so we have to shoot the same spot on the planet, find each other, and friend each other. Without prior research/planning, and without being next to her, this would be extremely difficult.
** Now that we have been playing a while and have a settlement, we “think” that our settlement will show up on the planet, but even now we’re not sure; how does an IRL friend join us easily?
- Shift clicking items transfers the stack but does not automatically combine stacks. This means a lot more inventory management when playing with friends and trading/consolidating items out in the field.
- The ability to change the order of the build queue would help promote shared beacons. When player two, three, and four have queued a half an hour of builds and player one need a new tool, player one shouldn’t have to delete the queue and recreate it… or find another crafting table.
- If a player has a torch/light cube it should be visible for any player in the direct vicinity. Currently players cannot see other players’ light sources.
** May wife and I wouldn’t even have realized that this isn’t the case that if she wasn’t playing physically next to me.
- It’s also hard for a player to find a friend in a cave unless that friend drops a torch instead of carrying it.
- Spending skillpoints on being social is antisocial… as a new player, it is undesirable to sacrifice damage or protection skill points in order to “yell further” early game.
** This is promoting the usage of 3rd party chat tools and makes it harder to speak with other players who the player is just meeting or who the player doesn’t play with regularly.
- In-game chat and private messages would be extremely nice to have. Once one player meets another, it would be lovely for them to be able to coordinate at a distance using mail or a PM.
** Maybe instead of reinventing the chat for non-speaking/non-yelling, integration with an existing chat system such as discord could be provided. This would have the benefit of allowing groups/guilds to chat while offline.
- The in-game chat should cut off at some point and wrap. It gets too long being slanted
- Walking through water should ideally make splashing sounds.
- When looking at an inventory such as at a crafting table, the camera changes so that the character is visible. This is ok but the character fidgets so much as to be highly distracting. It would be lovely if the player had the option not to stare at ourselves or to fidget less.
- In shelves/storages, if the grapple profile was rotated, it would be more obvious
- In a shop with 25 shop stands, a visual indicator of whether or not there is money in the “Takings” could save the player a ton of time.
Game Experience Enhancements
- The lack of quest givers, areas with diverse history, and no opposing force to combat really takes away from the MMO part of the game. Solving this could really push this game to another level.
- The world currently feels absolutely barren. The lack of NPCs provides a ghost town like feel which is counter the feel of the game. It currently feels abandoned.
- We know there are discussions about NPCs and we don’t have any suggestions on how to incorporate them yet.
- Given the ghost town feel, a player driven economy doesn’t feel like it works currently. New players are constantly worried that they will run out of coins using warps and buying items and it is not clear to them how to obtain more coins. As more seasoned players, we only know of foot-traffic and shops as a source of coins. It would be nice to have something to fall back on as either a base for the player driven economy, or a temporary alternative.
** Building a shop in a city seems like a reasonable way to try to obtain coin but with the sheer number of shops present and the lack of people in those cities, it feels like a large barrier to new players especially since it’s unknown how to add to an existing town. Does one just grab a slot and start building? Is that intruding on someone else’s space. How big can my space be?
- Allowing the use of wooden tools as fuel in furnaces would be nice to have early game
- It takes a long time to get to a point where playing is comfortable due to the skill system. For example, skill progression feels slow and realizing you need a skill to build an extractor and a different skill to use it is frustrating.
Thank you for all the hard work!