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An Impassioned plea to the developers.

Discussion in 'General' started by RayvenQ, Apr 20, 2016.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. RayvenQ Moderator

    Messages:
    562
    Dear developers, Hey guys, you know me, one of your moderators, glad to be so too, but as part of my moderating duties I feel the need to be something of a soundboard for the thoughts and feelings of the community as a whole.


    Personally, I love the game, I love the concepts of it, from Structural integrity, to the way your inventory was not just a bag of holding, but an actual, physical thing around you, that almost turned into a puzzle when you had to deal with getting your resources where they want to go. For the most part, I've been glad of the patches two, even though they have, for the most part, not been that heavy on features or content. But, it's understandable, can't have big features all the time, and those big features take time, that being said, I was generally happy with the updates, that is until about a month ago, when the new inventory system was introduced and some of the subsequent patches after that. They aren't, in my opinion all bad, some of the new features are infact a godsend when dealing with the small and usually plentiful small items,and even with the removal of area inventory, that is understandable and not so much a bad thing, so even with the bad there is some good, but then came along the removal of area building and the magic, bag of holding pockets, I.e the slot system.


    With that removal and addition,I and a lot of the community feel that it's taken the game the wrong way, because one of the main draws of the game was the engineering aspect and solving the problem of how to get resources from point A to point B, but with this addition and removal, it's made making those things rather pointless, as why build a cart or crane to move items, when you can just fit it all in your pocket, it's a similar thing with area building removal, you now no longer need to worry about how you're going to get your resources up to your top floor, as long as you yourself can actually get there, which again, removes a lot of the engineering potential aspects from the game.


    I'm not inherently against a slot based inventory system, but I feel it should still take into account, weight, volume and size of the objects you're carrying, so as I said early, the slot based system for small items, which are a pain to physically manipulate a lot of around you, would be fantastic, but not so much when you're able to carry entire trees in your pockets, this is, after all, meant to be a relatively realistic experience based on the technology of the intended time era.


    The reason I personally think you are altering the inventory system and, infact a lot of the core aspects of the game, are following, please note these are all assumptions by me, simply working on the available information presented to me.


    I think you're seeing a consistently low player count in Medieval Engineers, and, in my opinion, wrongly attribute it to the way the game handled inventory and resource management and are altering that part of the game (when it's a core draw for a lot of people, existing and future customers), when infact it is not what is currently (or was) IN the game that is the reason for the low player count, the reason for the low player count and sales is what is NOT in the game.

    Existing customers have, most likely, stopped playing the game due to the lack of actual features in it, with the features it does have simply not being enough to keep people coming back, except for occasional forays to see what is updated or added and coming back to see not much really has changed, this affects word of mouth sales, which are probably some of the best way of getting sales you can get. For example, a lot of the features that were planned to be added (but yet aren't anywhere in sight), mentioned in this developer post: http://forum.keenswh.com/threads/gu...ngineers-castle-siege-survival-clans.7361831/ would add tons of stuff to keep people playing the game and reccomending it

    Players considering buying the game see a early game, with not many features and thus wont spend their cash on something they'll get bored of relatively quickly. Such a radical change to what is rather a core feature of the game, and has an impact on a lot of the game and how it is played, will only alienate a lot of the existing players and eliminate a free source of advertisement for Medieval Engineers, in the form of word of mouth reccomendations, but won't neccesarily get you the players you're hoping for as there's much more completed and feature rich games in the style of this one.


    In summary.


    -Bring Back Area Building.


    -Do a bit of a reversion on the slot based system and limit it to the smaller items that are fiddly to deal with, leaving the larger items to be manipulated and for players to engineer soloutions about it.


    - Deal with timesink in the game by streamlining things, not removing things entirely (for instance, grouping researching items to categories, would streamline a lot of unneeded timesink)


    -Stay true to the core features of the game, they make it really unique and makes the game stand out from all the others of this genre. (area building, structural integrity, the physicality of your resources, limiting capacities to reasonable volumes and sizes)


    -More Content & Features to keep player count up and make the game worth coming back to and playing for a long time.


    Again, whilst a lot of these are my own personal opinions, they also reflect the feelings of a lot of the dwindling Medieval Engineers community. I thank you for the game, for the vision ,scope and scale and ideas of it, and am only writing this thread as I'm very passionate about base premises of the game and want to see it succeed.


    Thank you for reading!
     
    • Agree Agree x 41
    • Like Like x 3
  2. Ed Frost Senior Engineer

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    1,158
    haleluja amen.
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  3. Geneticus Senior Engineer

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    1,618
    I'd like to add a MP feature that took advantage of the manipulator could have been objects too large for a single person to carry could have used other players in co-op or porter bots, or teams of people on ropes.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. Commander Rotal Master Engineer

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    4,975
    Core issue identified right there.
    Right from the start i never had any interest in Medieval Engineers. The era bores me, the tech bores me, the heavy emphasis on destruction annoys me and quite frankly with the exception of Structural Integrity i don't see much else that couldn't be achieved by a Space Engineers mod, including Compound Blocks by simply using a lot of smalls hip blocks, which i assume is how the system works anyway but since @Xocliw doesn't seem to quite get what i mean when i ask how it works we might never know. Or it's a company secret, whatever.
    I wanna make this one clear because it's in my view a core issue with ME: it's not a standalone game. It's a Keen-SE-mod that decided to go A) paid and B) standalone. What ME needs - desperately needs - to attract new customers, be it SE players who're already "in the system" and just need to be convinced to bye the "new" offshoot or completely new players who might have a thing for medieval settings, is it's own identity. ME needs things that SE doesn't offer, ideally features that make sense for ME that don't negatively impact SE by their lack (see the entire Compound Block issue).
    In short: Medieval Engineers needs to be different. It needs to stop being "Space Engineers, just without Space", because let's be really honest with ourselfs here - Ray here is a passionate member of a tiny, tiny group of ME players. Most of us bought the game to support Keen and give a bit of a "thank you" for Planets, least i did and that's what i hear most of the time when ME comes up.
    Obviously the game is an even earlier Alpha than SE and we can't fault it for that. But that just means that removing a feature - particularly one that made it stand out from SE a little - is oh so much more of a no-no than it is otherwise. It's nice and all when i read in a Twitch Stream chat that the ME devs have high plans for ME but not only has there still not been any OFFICIAL word on that, i also haven't exactly seen anything comming to ME to put my ass into the seat in a while. As a player i have to deal with enough bugs in SE; here's my perspective of ME: "Why would i play an earlier, buggier version of Space Engineers with LESS options and almost none that i don't have in SE anyway?" And as a colorblind player i can't even use the one truly outstanding ME-exclusive feature, the Structural Integrity, because someone at Keen decided to use Green, Yellow, Orange, Red or whatever the hell that's supposed to be as weight indicators.

    To make a ranty post short: in my oppinion ME was a mistake from the start and if you want it to go anywhere listen to the very few players who, let me be blunt here, give a shit about it. They're rare, they're trying to help and they're doing it for free out of love for the game.
    Don't tell them "things're gonna be fine" in an unofficial chat somewhere else; rollback the Area Inventory until you fix the new version and get someone in Community Management to type up a long-ass "State Of The Game" blogpost. Confirm that features are still comming in, confirm WHICH ones, and then actually do it. ME needs it's own identity and cutting features isn't going to get it there. No, not even if you have something awesome and similar in mind for later, because at that later point you might not have anyone to play it anymore.
    Basically:

    [​IMG]

    Don't be these guys.

    Edit: like, here's a free one. Somewhere, at some point someone talked about farming and cattle. And stuff. That sounds awesome! Where's info on that? There is A LOT of potential in ME for an immersive medieval setting, or hell, just a plain old earth-bound setting. Finish those towns-folk NPCs that got datamined a while ago (and while you're at it slap that female face into Treebeard's helmet). Fix the idiotic bots.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2016
    • Agree Agree x 11
    • Like Like x 1
  5. MechanizedIT Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    354
    I agree with everything said in op, and as for the area inventory I think it should be limited to building only, not something a player can access by standing in one spot and moving inventory around in the area, it was over powered and let players access others inventories through walls.

    I like @Geneticus idea about objects too heavy to move with one person. In my opinion, and coming from real world experience, one person is not going to pickup a 2.5m log, for that you could allow ropes to be attached to logs with a loop around it, or a hook of some sort, something I do irl is wrap a chain around a log and pull it with a tractor, in the game we'd use the rope drum or some kind of work animal if that ever becomes a thing.

    Like the op said, we love the game but feel recent changes are veering away from what this game was suppose to be about. Best of luck in the future Keen.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Hakon102 Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    300
    I fully agree with the OP/thread completely.

    -Slot based inventory for small things, tools etc. with max. Volume/Mass
    -Area inventory for Building.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. waterlimon Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,499
    I like the slot based system. Itll work just fine if configured correctly.

    I dont like being able to have big objects in your inventory (eg, the system not being configured correctly). Being able to do so indicates that someone doesnt know what their own game is about and just tries to make it more like other games (a guarantee that it cant ever be better than other games). Sure, maybe there are good reasons why such a system is best specifically for gameplay of medieval engineers, but that is just speculation (all they need to do, is say "This is required for planned gameplay to work best in the future", if they dont want to give uncertain details).

    It cant be that its "unfinished", because they already DID configure the amounts that you can carry - so either they have good reasons not to allow only small items in inventory (eg they decided that building carts and carrying items etc is inevitably going to be bad gameplay no matter how much its worked on), or they dont really think about the gameplay (maybe there is someone on the team who does, if so, better internal communication please).
     
  8. ZoqFot Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    25
    Everything RayvenQ said echoes my thoughts. I love both games and have pumped over 800 hours into SE, bought ME when it came out but only played it sporadically while the system was being worked on. Got back into the survival aspect a few months ago and was having a ball having to work around the transport of large objects, managing stockpiles, an actual building site. Then came the slots system. A TARDIS like set of pockets that, sure, sped up the gathering of materials but took away everything that made this an immersive and interesting game. Having left over bits of wood when you use less than timber10, gone. why? And then the spinner arrived (and promptly left again). I can't help but feel that this game is losing its way. It's making me less keen to play. And it seems a large part of the community agree. It's not the slots system itself that people object to, it's being able to stuff an entire tree in your pocket. That's just ridiculous, especially for a game that started out with some pretty realistic container capacity values and drew in players who appreciated that attention to detail.

    Plus some features that are being pulled (hopefully temporarily) such as resizing timbers in survival is really making it hard for players to stick with it. Creative has been largely unaffected but survival has gone backwards. Some feedback on why would not go astray.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  9. Ed Frost Senior Engineer

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    1,158
    that my friend is exactly the point... I would pay till i die to see them try sticking a whle tree plus some beds in their arses like they basicly make the engineer do.
    its sad that a system that created all the engineering aspects of the game has been slaughtered...
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. ZoqFot Trainee Engineer

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    25
    Slots system aside, it's unusual to see so many features being removed. If there's issues being caused by these features (such as massive slow downs), that's fine, I can wait until it's fixed but to just pull them without a why just raises a lot of questions, and then, shortly afterword, a lot of ire. I don't mind waiting, I guess I just want to know where they're going with these changes (and they're fairly big changes to implement without a why).
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  11. Ed Frost Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,158
    well. In my opinion there is so little in the game.. That when ripping one thing out, they nearly rip 50% of the game out.
    and the area inventory was more of a challenge than the new slot system.
    if they go back to area inventory, add something like farning and ores. Preferably somesort of minecart railsystem, which wouldnt be so unrealistic imo. Then we actually have more of a reason to play, less unrealistic than slot inventory, still challenging and thus fun...
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  12. SaturaxCZ Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,718
    I prefere realistic medieval game ( I dont mind litl cheating like: 1 man can cary half tree ), but harvest all tree in pocket... NO... We need go back to basic games like settlersIII and watch how much work is needed to complete somethink and come up with crazy machines/constructions to make it easy. ( im planing make medieval tree/corn harvester :tu:)
    We need it hard for example:
    mine ore ---> load and transport it ---> forge ---> load and transport it ---> blacksmith ---> tools/weapons/armours
    Prepare field ---> seeding corn ---> watering ( well or water system ( not real dinamic water, just effect, texture, atc... )) ---> harvest
    1.harvest
    corn ---> transport corn---> mill ---> flour --->bakery ---> food
    2.harvest straw ---> roofs or can be used for domestic animal later

    +I dont know why only 4% want inteligent bots ? I did hope we will together with bots creat: food, buildings, tools, weapons, atc... incrase number of population and creat trade caravans routs and stops, post system and army, give orders + waypoints to attack castles from sides, weapons, tactics atc... and creat all living towns with or without us... so bots will live... and word will start live... ( Perfect time burn and raze castle+city + kill all :D )

    In other case dont do realistic game and give us magic pistons and rotors + new levitating ore + magic for next update, so we will play it like space engineers in diferent time ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016
    • Agree Agree x 4
  13. Ed Frost Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,158
    i like the way you think...
    i think that switching back to old inv system and just giving us ores forging and farming will get rid of a lot of frustration... since for me, frustration started when there were updates containing... nothing besides maybe 3/4 bugfixes... i expected to have more content to be added last year... but instead nothing.
    thats why im actually mad that the only thing that was fun gets slaughtered...
    if they give us smarter minions (description in signature), it would help a little. things to do fixes 99% of the issues people have with the game... we dont think the area inventory is stupid and way too hard.... its the challenge we want, but to complete that challenge, there has to be more stuff to do. why put effort in something when the only thing you need is wood and stone.. now give us ores... make us use metal for certain components, extra challenge. add farming, new way to get food... dont have to walk around the map 3 times to find enough food to last an hour.
    food, ores, forging, AI should be prioritized. area inventory should be brought back to us... at least make the current slut(intentional)inventory toggleable... make it be possible to choose what kind of inventory you want.
     
  14. ZoqFot Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    25
    I'll admit I would have thought that working on the AI would have fixed quite a few frustrations for those having issues with the time taken to cart materials around (As I understand it the reason behind the slots system) but then, GoodAI (see what I did there) is easier said than done, especially if you are building it from the ground up. It may a while before they can get the AI to a workable position. I would like to see them operating machinery (or running in the giant mouse wheel of my car contraption) and farming when it happens.
     
  15. Ed Frost Senior Engineer

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    1,158
    for me it just is that the hassle isnt worth my time... Since besides the hauling rocks and wood for your building is all there is... Sothats where is get frustrated.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  16. bobhendly Apprentice Engineer

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    132
    I second all of these points, and add another: I basically never play medieval engineers because it is so unoptimized. It is just a laggy mess for me, and I cannot enjoy even what it does have. I still keep the game in my steam library because I have faith that the game will be improved into a full blown castle building game.. Think, stronghold 2 but with actual control over things.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. Ed Frost Senior Engineer

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    1,158
    unoptimized is something we have to deal with for now, just like bugs... I think they should add at least 3 new features within 2months max. Otherwise my faith in this project will actually... Be gone.
     
  18. SaturaxCZ Senior Engineer

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    1,718
    I dont think developer can pick good solution in this case:
    1. They will give new thinks in game and all will be mad how buged game is.
    2. They will start fixing bugs first and people will get bored without new blocks. ( but after they fix it they can start give in game new thinks and hipe will start )
    3. They will give in game new think + try bugs fix them with next updates ( I think this is moust dificult for developers and take longest time to finish game + some updates can break gameplay ( basicaly SE is 3. option ))
    It just need time and im not sure 2 months is enought.
     
  19. ZoqFot Trainee Engineer

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    25
    It was more the fact that things already in the game got pulled to make way for an overhaul on the fundamental way the game is played. Such sweeping changes to fundamental gameplay basics is what alarmed most people. The discussions on whether bugs or features should be rolled out first is one that's not new and most games have covered it in one way or another. Had the changes been minor (degrading equipment and the stone axe comes to mind) the concern would have been less. Timeframes are always tricky and Keens dedication to weekly updates is admirable. Not all the updates need to be filled with new features but something new needs to be added on a relatively consistant basis (soesn't have to be every update but if we know something new is coming every few weeks, months, whatever, we're less likely to be concerned) to keep people enthused in the project. It's not so much that ME has stalled with the feature releases but that things that are teased in the intro shorts are still absent after a significant period of time. We know some of the features that are coming but don't know what or why the hold up is occuring.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  20. SaturaxCZ Senior Engineer

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    1,718
    True, it would be nice hear where is problem ( specialy for blocks from teaser ) or have roadmap with date for features release, but you see how roadmap with dates work in other games: release for example january ,but they didnt write 2017 ;) ( extreme case ) or daley 1/4 2/4 year ( normal ). What we realy want to hear is how developers imagine finished game in this moment, because every update go in diferent direction and its hard to tell how will it end.
     
  21. Speshal_Snowman Apprentice Engineer

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    175
    Totally agree!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  22. Stori3D Past Productions Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    298
    Agree, agree, agree.

    The devs added features like bots that were disastrous & then let them languish. Then they took away dozens & dozens of compound blocks, totally nerfing our ability to make interesting things. Then they took away the engineering aspects and turned it into easy mode.

    They are correct that the player base has dropped. But their prescription (we need it easier!!!) is the wrong one, IMO. Add content, features, blocks. Keep "Engineering" as a central part of the game. The game could be golden. It should be. And hopefully it still can be.
     
    • Agree Agree x 5
  23. Ed Frost Senior Engineer

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    1,158
    thank god... People have brains... Now only make the devs use theirs...
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Funny Funny x 2
  24. UnstableOrbit Trainee Engineer

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    It is telling that (almost) everyone seems to agree on what the basic problems here are. To me, it is even more telling that a thread like this has gone almost a week without a developer being accountable and even acknowledging that this thread exists, especially when it is made by a moderator, someone who you'd think Keen might pay slightly more attention to.
     
  25. MechanizedIT Apprentice Engineer

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    354
    Agree, I think a response is needed. At times I feel bad for these devs, but they made the decision to go 'Early Alpha', which means you are making a commitment to include the players in the development of your game.
     
  26. ZoqFot Trainee Engineer

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    25
    This is from the devs on the Steam discussion board: I happened to be on and saw it. Hope they don't mind if I repost it here.

    "CptTwinkie [developer] 27 Apr @ 4:44am

    The changes that are starting to happen to ME are being planned out, step-by-step, and very carefully. Removing the area inventory was a decision that was made because it makes sense for the programmers. They needed to get a lot of code in place for new things and keeping the old inventory working during that process would have been too much.

    We know that removing it without having a replacement ready is really not cool. We have people who play and test the game every day and they are not having a good time either. So we know that you guys aren't happy about it. We weren't happy to be doing it but the decision was made to ease the work for the new system.

    We've also heard your feedback about the slot system. "Carrying a tree in your pocket," was the best description we've heard. The good news is that the slot system allows us to easy change what can and cannot be carried in your inventory. Once we have more of the system in place, we will be able to rebalance things in a more reasonable way. Believe me, when I say that we want the game to be fun to play, it's because we play it every single day and we want to enjoy our jobs."
     
  27. Ed Frost Senior Engineer

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    1,158
    i just want my old inventory back.... No to almost nothing stuff in arse...
     
  28. Thermonuklear Junior Engineer

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    611
    That comment should be stickied. Lots of worry and damaging rumours could've been averted if the reasons behind this kind of a change would've been communicated to users...
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  29. MechanizedIT Apprentice Engineer

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    354
  30. Ed Frost Senior Engineer

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    1,158
    oh god... this is going to end bad
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
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