@james thanks for the feedback thread. The two largest turn-offs IMHO are the lack of story and the lack of conflict (combat aside). The world desperately needs context and this is hurting the gameplay as many have mentioned. Bits of history which can be read off of ancient tech, more findable story parts throughout the world are a part of this but I believe people need a reason to do what they do such as “rebuild after a catastrophic event”, or “collect resources before the titans return.”. What world shattering event are we avoiding or recovering from?
Re: conflict… People need someone to compete with or fight. WoW pitted two large factions against eachother which provides endless competition between the two groups. This provides rich stories which players felt apart of. Eve online pits player factions against eachother for various reasons which lets the players actively contribute to the history. Like others, I came to boundless looking for that feeling as a major component and it is still lacking.
This can (and should be) worked into the history of the world in phases and the world wipe for 1.0 can be justified in story. The events in alpha/beta can make up the history which seeds the story of the full release. For example: Recovery/Escape: We, the children of Oort chose flight over fight and searched for new worlds to escape the titans. The sanctum, with its limited range, found one group of habitable planets beyond the titans domain and is slowly waking people up with no memory of their horrific pasts or the Oort who aided their flight. Here we find tech, find ruins, find tests which hint at the past. Stories are softly embedded in the backdrop of the world (though not as softly as it is now). Heck, you could release descriptions of certain items/artifacts/statues of the past and hold chisel “recreation” contests where the winner’s chisel statue will be used after 1.0 as part of prefabbed structures… Etc. Next phase could be “the titans have found us” where you release titans/dungeons/stories into the worlds which enrich the alpha/beta experience and give you further history to build upon. Using this you can test events, dungeons, rare spawns, etc. You sate the thirst for plot of all of the players and build a group with a good understanding of this era while planting information in events which will be used much later. When release comes, perhaps the titans find the sanctuary and destroy it… Perhaps there is a titan weapon which collapses the portal networks or renders the planets inhabitable… maybe we have discovered a special device which inhibits titan portals and manage to bring it back to the sanctum but not before the titans have rendered our worlds uninhabitable. Perhaps such a device gave us the chance to take back our home system and 1.0 is all about establishing a beach head. Stories could be seeded by memories of the once-great pixel-gate or Munteen chisel collusim… Maybe instances allow us to visit ruined parts of our old planets to recover things in 1.0. Knowing this, players would be incentivise to create masterpieces now knowing that they might leave a perminant effect on the future of the world/game. Storyline wise, you say thst it takes a generation or two to return to the home system or to before the Sanctum finds planets safe from the titans due to some specialized formation or said ancient device which justifies the skill-losses. Some event could give our people time to prepare while the titans figure out how to portal in to wipe us out… I’m just throwing out ideas here but I feel like this is a writer’s dream.
With story and conflict, people have a reason to build/collect and feel alot more attached to the world. As others have stated, we need more in terms of goals and reasons to do what we do in-game. We also need better reasons for visiting towns/cities. Portal hubs provide this a bit but having large, beautiful towns riddled with georgeous structures and empty halls leaves me wondering if all our work will be left abandoned in a similar way. The trailer showed a bustling town but with the current game mechanics, present and planned that I know of, I cannot see any reason to visit towns besides shops. It would be nice if mayor’s or prominent members could commission houses for NPCs which wandered around… Perhaps these NPCs could provide the quests and stories snippets to help fill-out the MMO feel.
One way or another, I do feel that lore virtually absent currently and that Boundless is missing an opportunity in alpha/beta to build a history which people will become invested in. Also, while the world must be remade, this continuation of history would give all of us a real reason to become truely invested. It would be awesome to hear about the people of Elara (a player town currently being built in Alpha) and their synergy with nature referenced in the lore of 1.0.
This is a bit long but I hope you found it constructive. My wife and I also maintain a list of smaller items which could enhance the game but nothing compares to the above