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The State of SE: My Thoughts

Discussion in 'General' started by iN5URG3NT, Feb 20, 2017.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. PyreStarite Junior Engineer

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    559
    Who would throw money again at KEEN to just wrap SE in a pretty little bow and start over with an SE2?
     
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  2. Frigidman Apprentice Engineer

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    306
    If they cannot finish yet another one of their games right, theres no way I would invest in them again in the future.
     
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  3. Forcedminer Senior Engineer

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    2,224

    I'd rather throw money at overkill for payday2 dlc.
    mostly because its optional and complete. O.o
     
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  4. PLPM Junior Engineer

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    841
    I´d be happy forever with:

    1 An overhauled procedural generation and encounters

    2 Aerodynamics and re-entry fun for planets

    3 Wheels being fixed and being able to mess with their handling characteristics (not needing a gyro forcibly to have a good experience)

    4 Higher max speed, even if you need to bolt down players to seats above 100m/s it´s worth it.

    5 Rebalanced block characteristics and armor/armor blocks, armor panels.

    6 Better combat options and blocks; varying effective ranges and limitations, making you feel accomplished with using them in a certain way or design, not just slapping as many as you can.

    7 More disciplined rotors and pistons; you ask them something they can´t do or the rotor head goes beyond a certain hard codded thereshold? They immediately get despawned, no loop of forces of attraction, It will lead to a frustrating experience that will set you back some minutes, sure... but it wont the ridiculous monster it has been let become. If you´re dealing with a very invasive disease, it´s sometimes better to amputate before it becomes worse, just as rotors and pistons do.

    8 Better and varied AI/behavior scripts for populating the world with.

    ...

    1 and 8. Combined, they give us variety within the world, this makes it possible to just explore and have fun.

    2 and 3. It makes planets be engineering/design wise, COMPLETELY different from space, and give new gameplay experiences to players in them, it gives the game a completely different side of the coin.

    4. It opens up one of the most limiting factors of the game which has been there since the beginning and has limited the game itself.

    5. This makes survival and designs less of a hassle and adds onto gameplay instead of taking away from it and limiting you. Armor is a shaky topic right now.

    6. It makes combat be complex and ever changing, you want to win a fight? Prepare yourself knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your design, and use it accordingly; take every advantage the loadout you´ve chosen has given you and fight well.

    7... The most infamous thing with SE is the reputation that rotors and like have, it´s not that rotors are bad blocks or anything like that, but how they´re implemented to work and what happens when they freak out. The forces involved in keeping the rotor head aligned with the block are simply too strong... It breaks them more than anything, It will never work due to how the forces are handled between the parts, in allowing freedom of movement, everything else has been doomed.

    But this is just a dream, one can only hope.
     
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  5. damoran Junior Engineer

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    608
    I echo the way you and others here feel about SE.

    It saddens me so much, I still want things to work out for this game so badly. I haven't played in months, not seriously in at least a year and yet I still jump on the forums, I still watch all the update videos and keep an eye on the workshop.

    Looking back, I feel that we are seeing the consequences of KSH never having a legit roadmap or gameplay.

    The lack of direction/leadership over the past two years is pretty obvious when the priorities for the game at this stage are new skybox and HUD. Not saying they are not welcome but it's been YEARS since your only functional blocks arrived and yet here they are still not working right.

    I was venting to my wife the other night about SE and how much potential it has and her response was; "how long until it comes out, I feel you've been talking about this forever?" I said, "I bought it in 2013 and still no idea when it will be finished." Her mouth fell open and she was like; "...are you serious, you need to just let that go, she's gone man." Lol, leave it to your spouse to tell you how it is.

    Keen, you guys work hard, you have some portion of what could be a great game in front of you. I really hope it is realized but part of me is realistically thinking perhaps it simply is not possible with the choices you made from the beginning. The engine, physics etc. just cannot handle what you are trying to do to it.

    I'll remain vigilant until the end...or something better comes along.
     
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  6. Sirhan Blixt Apprentice Engineer

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    455
    I haven't played this game in months. Every Thursday I check to see if the game is playable and it's always "Nope, either the current game-breaking stuff is still broke, or there's some new, game-breaking thing." There was a time when I could build something that had rotors and pistons on it, and it'd fly and not just explode randomly. A time when I could spend practically days playing with my pretend space legos. I look at my blueprint collection now, and see that there's almost nothing new in it before about a year and a half ago.

    Which is about the time that planets happened, isn't it?

    I just find it sad that just about everything that is broken now is stuff that worked (mostly) fine a year and a half ago.
     
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  7. SpecFrigateBLK3 Senior Engineer

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    1,133
    I too have been on a break from SE, but that is because my computer is broken somehow.
    I've never found SE 'unplayable' for me, and I don't think I will.
    I'll report back when my computer is fixed and I play.
    Edit: It may be of note that I play with bottom-tier graphics settings.
     
  8. Arcturus Senior Engineer

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    1,649
    It is one of the early access problems.

    I feel like I got more than I paid for with SE, considering I got the game pre-planets and pre-exploration, but I'd take a wait-and-see approach to future KSH products.
     
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  9. AceNepets Apprentice Engineer

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    121
    Funny, I guess this is sort of like an abusive relationship? I keep playing this game obsessively for the rush of stealing a base or destroying other player's ships in combat, and the past weeks I've had more episodes of such than the entire 2.2 years prior that I've played this game. Yet I see, and totally agree with, how frustrating and sad it is to see it struggling and neglected.

    The current scenario is eerily similar to a research project I did in high school. I had a bit of an obsession with Early 20th Century exploration, and read a bit on Ernest Shackleton and others like him. Shackleton was my most favored figure, not that he was the first or greatest, but that he and his entire crew survived in the most desperate circumstances, which had killed other expeditions before ( Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1914–17). In my research project, I compared and contrasted Shackleton with another expedition that had very similar circumstances (Canadian Arctic Expedition 1913–1916). Like the Shackleton expedition, their boat became stuck in the ice and began to be crushed. The difference, among many, was that its leader (Vilhjalmur Stefansson) skipped out on the entire group when they needed his leadership the most, and as a result, most of the people in that expedition died.

    I started writing a long essay, but I should probably just leave the appropriate references, and get to bed.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_Trans-Antarctic_Expedition
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_voyage_of_the_Karluk
     
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  10. SpecFrigateBLK3 Senior Engineer

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    1,133
    I'm seeing a lot of negativity towards SE, and it seems to be from people with entirely different play styles from me. This question of play styles may shed some light on players' opinions.

    For me, the greatest joy in SE is survival, building up a large grid vessel off the yellow bus respawn that is capable of traveling in all environments. I had a pair of 3x3 wheels in the center and a pair of 5x5 at each end. All three thrust types. Enough reactor or battery power to charge the jump drive and operate most other systems simultaneously.
    I find my joy in being able to go anywhere, do anything. Boulders are pretty valuable if you get a lot of them. Roll up, deploy a microdrone to mine, drop rock, hook up, and keep rolling. The alien moon is really great, since you can pull oxygen from the air.

    What do you guys find joy in with SE? What is your play style and how does it affect your opinion of the game?
     
  11. Levits Senior Engineer

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    2,122
    I do not play SE anymore. I build with it. It's the only 3d building software that is simple, quick, and easy. I use the ships and stuff I build for the look (and attempted function <which often involves failures to no end). But gameplay (supposedly anything other than PvP) is lackluster at best.
     
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  12. Timberwolf Apprentice Engineer

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    246
    My greatest joy in SE is building a warship while balancing mass, speed, size, maneuverability, firepower, survivability, armor and versatility while also keeping it vanilla and survival ready, not to mention a visually appealing appearance. And that's where my grievances with SE start to show.
     
  13. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

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    4,763
    Well, in my opinion, Keen has spent a lot of time getting things to the point of where they... sort-of work. Then they completely ADHD "SQUIRREL!" and move on to some other feature leaving whichever feature they've been hyping in the dirt while they are off to something new and shiny.

    A couple years ago, we noticed all the new feature creep. It was raining a new block a week almost. As the game ballooned, there were comments about fixing it before moving on. The sentiment that came back was a bit of the "yeah, yeah... but look... new shiny to play with!"

    So the same blocks same problems come in, get fixed, reappear, get... ummm "fixed" then they throw up their hands and say well "it's broken... ummm.." Pressurized rooms? They are still in the game but now an option rather than a feature. Rotors and pistons... just enough bandaids applied to make them work for 5 minutes before exploding. Xoc can show us as many dancing green trees twirling around, but the game is still missing reliable ENGINEERING blocks.

    Honestly, the more I delve into the depths of the game, the more WTFs I have to let out. More control of procedural generation? How about being able to spawn NPCs at specific places? Random cargo on encounter ships? Nope. Oh, and a few updates with hype about the Visual Scripting tool... but nothing about how to use it. When pressed, it's basically um... sorry... no...

    Then we get into some of the inane decisions. Hey... the glass... it looks like glass. Let's throw dirt all over it for 6 months and let them beg us to see out of it again. Welders? They're not for welding very much.

    The biggest lack is support. SE will be made or broken by the USER generated content offered. But generating anything that's more intense than placing a block takes hours and hours of experimenting, pouring over forums, reddit posts, Steam posts, just to figure out why something isn't working and what information was never passed along to the content creators... the server hosts generating custom worlds, the modders, and the scripters.

    Alright. I'm tired. Half of this post probably isn't coherent. I don't feel like going back over it. I'm not trying to offend anyone. There are talented people at Keen. I just feel that they are mismanaged and no one has any long term vision for the game anymore.
     
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  14. sacksquatch Trainee Engineer

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    50
    Thank you for mentioning this. I'm really excited about this now.
     
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  15. Levits Senior Engineer

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    2,122
    Gotta wonder. How well to modded pistons/rotors handle? I know for a fact that the large rotor with a tunnel through it was pretty solid (for the life of me I'll never remember what it's called). Sure the initial placement had that one bug where it jerked violently (<an understatement). You had to put gyros and thrusters on whatever you were building before attempting to place the thing. But it was very reliable afterwards; at least I could never break it loose... not sure about online/multiplayer though. What would be the most reliable piston/rotor mod to date?
     
  16. Commander Rotal Master Engineer

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    4,975
    @Xocliw @Deepflame
    Pretty much sums it up in one go. Performance is worse than it has been in a while, newly introduced bugs left and right, no fixing of the old ones in sight (Tapping's been broken since September, and it's a Conveyor-issue - they have been running like complete and utter shit for months now. Y'know, the blocks Deepflame fixed right before leaving? His absence is not just missed but deeply noticed ingame.), shit like Lense Flares make it in despite them knowing beforehand people wouldn't like it, the new blocks are inconsistent at best, nearly identical at worst and design-wise range from cardboard box to melted banana and yet for the most part the only ones they're changing seem to be the ones that were fine redesigns. Armor was released unfinished and, though better now, is STILL unfinished. Block selection has issues SOMEBODY over there who actually plays the game should have noticed thirty seconds into testing that week's update, further cementing my hate for the Branch-system and dislike for the weekly update scedule that simply. does. not. work. anymore.
    You want to know why i think it's called a beta? Because they're hasting towards the end and were going for the christmas time hype. 'cause i don't see SE in Early Access by December anymore. Working or not i expect a release somewhere between summer and December. Probably around christmas again, i reckon.
    Look. Not finishing it featurewise while they do so... that's one thing. I've written off a bunch of stuff i consider vital for feature completeness simply because they don't seem to want to work on features anymore and i try to prioritize fixing what's already in now. Looking at the wording of the game designer entry on job page methinks someone up there is getting antsy. Okay. Fine. No FemGineer, no missing connection blocks for Ramps, no Halfblock, no small ship blocks... i get it, the mayans were almost correct, the sky's falling down in 2018 and they want to push SE out the door before that, fine.
    But the game gets actively worse lately, and that's a different topic entirely. And it's not JUST coding and bugs. It's gameplay or visual decisions that baffle or anger me. "Early Access", Alpha and Beta are NOT acceptable excuses for this:

    [​IMG]

    this

    [​IMG]

    this

    [​IMG]

    or this

    [​IMG]

    nevermind this

    [​IMG]

    and even this

    [​IMG]


    I could do this all day. And that's bad for a game that's perpurtodely in "beta". Especially considering Keen's definition of that word.
    --- Automerge ---
    I wouldn't mind paying for extraordinary new features (like a Soft Sci Fi DLC with a bunch of blocks and two or three features, an interior decoration pack or a pack or a properly long campaign) as long as the price is fair and the content is meaningful.
    Paid "First Release" is cheap but it's also completely pointless so i'm currently not holding my breath on that front.
     
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  17. Cetric Junior Engineer

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    790
    Trouble is you only see the moaning never-satisfied troublesome customers. That gives a wrong general picture. Contend optimistic people tend to be invisible, because they don't spill up forums and commentaries, if they are a majority or not.
    And in case someone says something in favor of Keen, he risks getting brandmarked as 'fanboy'.
     
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  18. Timberwolf Apprentice Engineer

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    246
    It's that Star Trek picture that gets me. :woot:

    That aside, I can see where you're coming from.

    That passage block, when flipped on its side like in the 4th picture, makes for a great block to simulate the cramped submarine feel. (Hell, I'd love one that's a block wider)
    Problem is, it doesn't work well that way and it can't be used in tandem with lights or other wall mounted blocks (I don't think it's airtight either). A side door simply doesn't work with the passage block.
     
  19. Lord Commissar Junior Engineer

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    848

    i would call myself generally content with SE. as i said many times, there's nothing like it out there. up until recently, i haven't said much about it aside from reporting bugs. but recently, i found the only thing i could build were carriers or basic ships, because anything involving a PMW was impossible. and while i saw waves of people asking keen to fix merges, they instead made lens flares. again, i don't care if merges take a while to fix - at least communicate and let us know you're working on it. if you say nothing, it makes people lose hope.

    while i'm willing to stick it out and hope Keen fixes things, i'm still afraid that my friends in the game are going to lose interest long before then. it doesn't matter how content you are if you have no one to play with.
     
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  20. Forcedminer Senior Engineer

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    2,224
    I'd call SE simply a love hate relationship.

    you love playing it enjoy spending ages getting a small sample of each ore and begin getting large amounts of iron for building a base with only for something to go horribly wrong
     
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  21. Potter Apprentice Engineer

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    496
    This is pretty much how I feel about it. I do think they are working on stuff but the lack of communication is pretty discouraging. I think it would do all of us some good to see Keen very clearly state what their current focus is, what troubles they are having in development, and what their long term plan is to deal with those troubles. I do think that Keen putting in lens flares can't really be used as evidence that they aren't working on the merge fix though. Those are two very different departments. The art/graphics team probably had it ready and they put it in the update to give it some more content. That being said, it would be nice to hear that it's being addressed.

    All in all I really, really hope this game gets the finish it deserves, and the results we deserve to see. I think it would do the devs some good to look at @Dwarf-Lord Pangolin's post and start re-evaluating their approach to the game's physics. Moving parts have been too dangerous in the game for far too long. There are a lot of good points in this thread and I think Keen should take them to heart when deciding how to communicate with us in the future.
    --- Automerge ---
    This. SO MUCH THIS. I am so afraid that this will happen, and there is no other game that comes close to the potential that SE has. It is getting really old calling it potential, but this is why some of us defend the game the way we do. We don't want to see this dream die.

    This is what needs to happen. You are 100% spot on. If the founder of the faction leaves, he's gone and that's it. The game plays that way, and so does reality.
     
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  22. Burillo Junior Engineer

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    648
    ...except when Marek is playing the game, people keep complaining about dirty windows, "Marek the micromanager" etc. damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    that said, i do think SE need to improve their community communication. they've improved on that somewhat with hiring Xocliw, with community streams and whatnot, but i don't watch them, and there's not a lot of communication going on from SE HQ with regards to SE roadmap or what the team is working on. at least we got to read Marek's blog back in the day, and now that that's gone, the game feels direction-less because no one is going for the effort of outlining the direction the game is aiming to take, and it feels like each week we get completely random features. in previous videos, Xocliw used to show us the dev team, let them speak, do sneak peeks of what the team is working on, but nowadays it seems like the update videos are just outlines of contents of this week's update, and that's it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
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  23. Lord Commissar Junior Engineer

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    848
    I suppose i should clarify. My problem is not in the fact that they are releasing new art updates. In all i think the game has become very beautiful visually and certainly outdoes its current competitors in the genre. However, there's two ways to release art updates:

    1) (the preferred method) "hey guys, we know merges are having issues right now and we want to let you know we are working on that issue. expect a fix in a few weeks or so. in the meantime, enjoy this new texture."

    2) "hey guys, here's a new texture" (which nonverbally speaks that either we haven't seen or we don't care about the issue you've brought up).

    interaction is key here, and in the end that's going to produce customer loyalty and keep people around. if that doesn't happen, people will lose hope and drift away to the companies that are taking an active interest in their playerbase.
     
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  24. notintheface11 Trainee Engineer

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    18
    Speaking from a little bit of insider information about the inner workings of KSWH here. I'd prefer not to say how I know this but I'm sure most of it is no surprise to anyone, anyway.

    I hate to break it to everyone, but Marek hasn't been involved directly with the game for at least a year. The person in charge since that happened has changed several times, and it's usually someone with little to no experience in game design and who is COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY disconnected from reality in terms of how the game should be developed. The leadership consistently ignores advice and suggestions from within Keen from people who actually play the game and from the good folks who actually spend time interacting with the community. There's a huge push from the leadership (probably via Marek who clearly wants to blow this thing and go home) to develop shiny objects to get the game looking AAA, and while the programmers and testers are telling them what the game needs and the community is screaming about, resources get BLATANTLY allocated from these things to unasked for features. A perfect example of this is the campaign. Now, I love the campaign and I think it's brilliant and the level designers at Keen are doing a great thing for the game by showing people the things you can do. But there's not a single person in the community who asked for a single player scripted experience. And for the dozen or so meetings that occurred within KSWH in the months leading up to the campaign, the resources of artists, programmers, and testers was devoted to this thing that doesn't make the game better in any sort of lasting way.

    This lack of leadership directly influences the sense of chaos and disorganization that is palpable even from a forum's eye view. There are certainly a lot of people at Keen who know exactly what's going on and what needs to be done. But the structure is simply not there to apply resources where needed or to set priorities or goals. When goals are set, it's from the viewpoint of a business or salesperson who is only interested in making the game look more like NMS because he doesn't play the game and simply can't understand why his team wouldn't want the game to sell more copies. Even Marek doesn't understand what makes the game great at this point; it's been way too long since he had any involvement in his original vision.

    Keen needs leadership that isn't completely and utterly detached from the design process. Until that happens, we're going to continue getting lens flares and melted banana cockpit seats instead of tangible improvements, all the way until the game is released. Rotal is 100% correct; I think Keen is aiming to get this game out by Christmas 2017 and then move most of the team to a different project. They've been kicking around ideas for over a year now, investing in things like VR games for their staff (their SE staff, mind you) so they can figure out what that will be. Meanwhile SE rots in a corner while the team just sort of scrambles to figure out how to put out the fires the leadership has indirectly started. It's a mess. And I don't have much hope of it getting better.

    I'll always love this game. But it will never be markedly better than it is now. I've accepted this. For now I feel like I could still spend hours tinkering with the stuff that does work, exploring modded worlds before they break, and trying to cobble together a nice-looking asteroid base with one friend on MP. But I'll move on soon, and I fear that I'll have nothing but a bitter taste in my mouth when I do.
     
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  25. Burillo Junior Engineer

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    648
    sad!
     
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  26. Avaslash Trainee Engineer

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    I cant agree more. SE has taken me on a similar journey. It was an amazing game at first mostly because I never experienced anything like it before. I quickly fell in love and committed countless hours to creating the best ships I possibly could (Kaikohuru, Rangatira, Koroko, etc). But as time went on, and performance got worse (I built a $700 pc JUST to be able to play SE) my love slowly died. I got this game because I wanted to play with people. I wanted to be able to actually USE what I made, not just make statues. I got Avorion last week and holy shit my mind has been blown. Does it have the "realistic physics" (if you can even call them that) of space engineers. No. But it doesnt matter. Why? Because it has LIFE. The universe is huge. Alive. Things happen. There are missions. And you can build ships of infinite size that you can battle against your friends, with no performance problems. And not just that, the building potential is nearly limitless. Countless shapes to work with that can be scaled in infinitely small or large increments, stretched, distorted. Its perfect. Space engineers is dead to me. It will take a lot for them to bring me back around. I don't think the Workshop will be seeing much more from Rangatira industries.

    (For those wondering)
    https://steamcommunity.com/workshop/filedetails/?id=678308719
     
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  27. Potter Apprentice Engineer

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    496
    Yeah but the problem with him playing was that he wasn't playing. They sat him down in front of a webcam for three hours out of a week and had him play with stuff. He didn't play the game like we do. If he's going to critique the game and lead his team, he needs to clear out a week of his schedule, sit down, and eat sleep and breathe SE for that week as we all have. Play survival, experience frustration with desync and explosions. Play creative, experience limitation of available blocks, unnecessarily similar looking blocks, etc. And correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that's what people were saying around the time he did the live streams too. He just nitpicked silly things that he noticed at first glance. Of he spent hours gathering and refining iron and silicon, and then assembling girders and bullet proof glass to make the windows on his new ship, he probably would not have thought that the glass needed to look like it was taken from an all glass landing pad.

    Again, solid points. I wasn't necessarily saying you had said that the merge block fix should have taken priority over lens flares, I was just making a point that those who have said that should take a step back and think about how not every member of the team works on the same thing.
     
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  28. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

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    4,763
    I think the game stinks of bad management, not bad developers and programmers. Solving of core issues isn't fun or sexy. Working WITH the community is important on early release games unless you have a hard roadmap rather than a quickly jotted down wishlist (remember that?)

    Again, you have to look at the game from a content creation point. That's the beauty in the game. If you never touch a thing in the workshop, what kind of game do you have in single-player survival? Scripted missions are a waste. People are done with them in a day or so and then what? It's a sandbox game.

    Now think about the workshop. It's FAN-F'ing-TASTIC. That's what got me to buy the game in the first place. The user content creation.

    If the management at Keen gets a reality slap and realizes that's the SELL portion of the game, they might reorient some of their priorities. It sold 2 million copies WITHOUT pretty(?) blocks, redesigned sound, and all of the bells and whistles that someone thinks will make it into a AAA game. It won't.

    It's a sandbox game. Develop tools for better content creation, stamp out bugs.
     
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  29. Avaslash Trainee Engineer

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    72
    Yes but you're seeing the complaints of some of the most dedicated, creative, and successful players in the game. That holds weight. And dont assume that those who dont post are by default positive. There are many amongst them as well who harbor negative views of the game. Why dont you hear from them? They dont give a shit. They probably just left and played something else. The reason why you hear the outcry from SE's most dedicated players isnt because they are some unique negative minority. Its a cry for help! We want to see the game develop because its something we loved and cared deeply about. But they lost us. And we are begging them to help themselves. Because if the game loses the incredibly dedicated players like @iN5URG3NT then how long before all the players who dont really care too much leave? Not long.
    --- Automerge ---
    IF they give me a re-fund on Space Engineers 1 sure.
     
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  30. beelzerob Apprentice Engineer

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    429
    I'm going to disagree with this.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Founder's_syndrome

    I think we've all seen what can happen when Marek gets involved again after so long out of the loop. Weird, capricious changes that no one asked for. The fact that he was blamed for the welder change even though he had nothing to do with it shows that there is a bad history there. He's moved on, or at least he should. What he REALLY needs to do is what he claimed he was going to do in one of his blogs...put someone else in charge of SE. Is there anyone in charge of SE right now? Because I sure don't know.

    You need only look at @Deepflame over at ME to see how incredibly awesome development could be in the right hands. It's not just that ME is becoming a GAME, and that it has a clear direction and development plan (one week bug fixes, one week small update, all working towards larger update), but Tim has spent some serious time responding to the forums. Good answers. He acknowledges the issues and addresses them. Bless him for that.

    All SE needs is for one person to be in charge of identifying the greatest issues and then communicating to us that they are actually AWARE of them and that they are resolving them at the exclusion of all else. I think SE has too long worked on the premise of "teaser's and unexpectedly cool reveals at patchmas". While I've LOVED that...the last 3 Thursdays have made a mockery of that with their new "features" while incredible bugs persist. I'm ready to grow up past expecting new features in exchange for getting solid permanent fixes to issues.
     
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