Shuttle transit has too many similar-looking layers.

gravithiccgravithicc Posts: 17Member
As a new player I was frustrated by the the confusing shuttle network. All the shuttles (and stations) looked and felt the same, and moving from one homeworld to another felt needlessly complicated. I just brushed it off and thought, "That's how the game is built, it's far too mature to change now." But with the recent Winterflame event that has you checking many homeworlds back-to-back, the shuttle system has gone from minor annoyance to primary roadblock in my hunt to find SS IronBeard.

Problems:
- Too many layers. You take 3 shuttles going from a planet surface to Omni station, and then 3 more shuttles to get to a planet near a different faction.
- The planetary stations all look alike. I know this will improve with time, so I'm not stressing out about it too much. It does make planetary stations seem like generic buffer areas, and makes them feel unnecessary thematically.
- The planetary stations use the same room for both planetary shuttles and faction-bound shuttles, which (I know it will sound silly) makes me forget sometimes which direction I'm shuttling to, especially if I look or tab away while the shuttle process completes. "Did I just come from the faction station or from the planet surface?
- The shuttles themselves all look and feel the same. Not a big problem to be honest, and I'm sure in the future there will be some variation to look and feel. Currently, though, it adds to the sleep-inducing tedium.

Possible Solutions:
- Making the planetary stations and planetary shuttles more unique: Many of the planet areas already have well built spaceport areas, some are nearly 20 rooms in size. Part of those spaceport areas can be moved to the orbiting planetary station to give it that racial uniqueness that planets already have.
If the planetary station is built by the same person as the planet surface, this opens up creative alternatives to the planetary shuttle: A customized shuttle experience to the planet's surface, maybe even omitting the shuttle on some planets and using a high-powered teleportion station or a big scenic lift travelling along a space station's tether to its planet. Heck, this could open up the ability to WALK TO between station and planet. Additionally, new players get to see racially themed content faster, because the station itself is (probably) built by the people on the planet below.
Of course if the planetary station is hand-built, then faction station shuttles could be placed in a different room, separate from transports to the planet's surface. This way you always know where you came from. If you are in the shuttle bay for the faction station, you know you came from there.

- Reducing layers in the shuttle system: One basic addition, please consider adding direct shuttles to and from each of the big 5 stations: Omni, Reynolds, Danica, Celestine, Iota. During peacetime, shuttle transit would be far more convenient, and during wartime, factions could disable shuttles from certain other factions.

Here is a visual aid that vaguely represents the requested Quality of Life alterations:

Comments

  • eeleel Posts: 23Member ✭✭
    edited December 2019
    But with the recent Winterflame event that has you checking many homeworlds back-to-back, the shuttle system has gone from minor annoyance to primary roadblock in my hunt to find SS IronBeard.

    Problems:
    - Too many layers. You take 3 shuttles going from a planet surface to Omni station, and then 3 more shuttles to get to a planet near a different faction.
    Can't you just gatewarp and use the voidgate irises? They make searching for Ironbeard pretty trivial. At 50 marks per transfer, it's probably 200-300 marks to find the ship in the worst case scenario (depending on where you start), in combination with the free PTP transfers.

    ETA: For your points on making the stations and shuttles less same-y, I don't disagree. Getting some different racial themes further down the line would be neat.
    CubeyNykara
  • NykaraNykara Posts: 106Member ✭✭✭
    Speaking directly to the new shuttle layout, I disagree with it. There is a number of reasons that you HAVE to pass through Omni (or Aleph voidgate) in order to get anywhere. From a game design perspective, this increases the chances of players having an encounter, which means an increased chance of fun and violence. From a lore perspective, Araxi became super rich, built a space station, and then forced the entire sector to go through her, making her powerful. I think you'll find you will only take that away from her over her cold, dead body. 
    RhindaraSteveXiru
  • gravithiccgravithicc Posts: 17Member
    eel said:
    Can't you just gatewarp and use the voidgate irises? They make searching for Ironbeard pretty trivial.
    I appreciate the tip. I don't use voidgates, so I didn't consider searching via space.

    Nykara said:
    From a game design perspective, this increases the chances of players having an encounter, which means an increased chance of fun and violence. From a lore perspective, Araxi [...]
    You make a good point about encouraging interaction through chokepoints. The lore reasoning I feel is more dependent on personal attachments to a character, and, since I don't care about Araxi at all, it's easier for me to suggest changing or evolving her lore.

    ---------------------------------------------

    I've modified my suggestion based on your feedback and the helpful discussions on the starmourn discord. Consider this new visual aid:


    - Omni stays as a central, neutral hub.
    - BloodArk is Scatterhome's primary station. Star Lilly is Song's primary station. For Celestine, I couldn't think of an existing area or station that fits their theme. The point is that each faction gets a bigger, themed station to live and play in. Their previous faction stations still remain, but they are demoted to mere planetary stations and are on equal footing with the racial homeworld stations. (Reynolds station is still above Haven, Celestine Crossings is still above Glisal II). This is a wild change in game design and lore, I know. No harm in suggesting it though.
    - The local stations/planets in a subsec are all connected to each other via shuttle. It used to take 4 shuttles to go from planet surface to another nearby planet surface, now hopefully it will only take 1 shuttle trip, assuming you can walk from the planet surface to it's station. Since all the shuttles in a subsec are now in a mesh network, you can now theme the shuttles in a subsec based on faction. (Or speed them up with faction effort, place guards in them, monitor them, etc.)
    - As an added benefit those Araxi fans, any shuttle going to or from Omni station can be owned and branded by Araxi too.

  • eeleel Posts: 23Member ✭✭
    eel said:
    Can't you just gatewarp and use the voidgate irises? They make searching for Ironbeard pretty trivial.
    I appreciate the tip. I don't use voidgates, so I didn't consider searching via space. 

    Sorry, searching in space is not what I meant! I assumed falsely that you were aware of the voidgate iris system.

    So, for my explanation, it might be best if you followed along in game.

    From Omni, Station Transfer List to any faction main station, in this example I will use Reynolds.
    From Reynolds, Station Transfer List to (6) The Scatterhome Voidgate.
    This takes you to a room with no exits, named 'At the Scatterhome voidgate iris' but gives three non-walking travel options:

    1. TAKEOFF LIST: allows you to head back to Reynolds. For some reason, the SH voidgate iris has options besides a shuttle back to the originating faction station. The other factions, I believe, have only a shuttle back to the faction station. Though, (3) to Solace doesn't actually work. (I've bugged it.)

    2. KEY PTP: this is the real treasure, it allows you to travel between the racial homeworlds within the faction with no waiting time. In this case, it is (1) Krell, (2) Gunurash III, and (3) the Blood Ark. Haven is a little more inconvenient specifically in the context of searching for Ironbeard, when you are not SH, but is the only one with this limitation, of all the Ironbeard orbit possibilities.

    3. GATEWARP: this allows you to warp via voidgate on foot, using the same voidgate links as space voidgates use. Like KEY PTP above, there is no waiting time, but do keep in mind each time you use voidgates on foot, you are charged 50 marks.

    Using 2 and 3 together allows a very quick search through all racial homeworlds except Haven (if you are SH, you can PTP directly to Haven from the Blood Ark, but otherwise you must go through Reynolds). Please let me know if I was unclear in above explanation, or if anything doesn't make sense, it should once you attempt a few passes through.

    Anyway, that should ease your troubles with actually searching for Ironbeard.

    This does get explained at some point in the main story quest, but probably only once in yellow text somewhere. I suppose the fact that we even need a detailed explanation on how the various shuttles/teleports/transports work is not a point in the current system's favor.
    gravithicc
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