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Railjack: The experience so far


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Let's start this out with perspective.  I built my ship over the Thanksgiving holiday, because it was literally the only new content.  12 hour waits, multiple parts, and a rather painful amount of eximus unit grinds on a single planet to to get everything.  Yeah....still remember using a laser cutter to harvest ores too....

After that bit was done, we have the actual gameplay.  Basic ship features locked until you could rank up.  Ranking up was difficult because the ships and potential were garbage, and everything was bound functionally to being lucky.  Lucky in getting drops, lucky if vacuum worked, and lucky if the RNG gave you anything worth building.  Oh boy.  What joy.

So you grind through everything, because there's no reason to build until you get the strongest stuff.  You get the strongest stuff, and it's only useful to grind out the intrinsics you need....because a power function for level grinding is just miserable.  Once that's done, you let Railjack sit, because there's no reason to deal with the messy thing.

 

Come back some months later, and there are some fixes.  The resources have in one case been quadrupled, and doubled in most others.  The equipment can be upgraded.  Finally, there's a mission to grind at the end....for cosmetics from the sentient ship.  Ouch.

 

 

-------Let's fix this.--------

Power Layout:

On the dev stream you noted everything being parallel to existing resources, but not the same.  Fantastic.  Avionics=mods.  Dirac=endo.  The bit missed is that there's no forma analog.  There's a direct negative correlation between powers and resources.  Finally, there's no reason for side guns if you choose good avionics...similar to nuke warframes and the Ignis making up the majority of character choice at lower levels.

Instead of this you're trying to make the avionics a personal function...except when they're not.  I mean, how exactly does a Bulkhead mod suddenly get applied to the ship when one person is the pilot, but not the other?  Likewise, having a good player run a grind session with newer players is now a chore, because suddenly their peak equipment just isn't valuable.

My point here is that you have a lot of "open" ideas.  That doesn't bode well, when you're on revision 3 of a system less than two years after launch.  Maybe this time we can slot in only abilities, and have the basic functions of the ship (shield, health, armor, and speed) based upon the relative levels of the intrinsic segments?  For example, if each of the tenno were at rank 10 of engineering the health would be maxed, while pilot would max speed, gunner would max out armor, and tactical would give armor.  This would allow for low level players to focus on one area, but not be a functional impedance in any open job.  Of course, the solo players would be angry....unless you could get the same benefits from fully trained AI companions.

Likewise, those attack avionics need rework.  Void Hole was the king of everything, but ate a nerf.  Tether is now the king, and if your Railjack doesn't have it you can functionally log out and enter a new game in less time than it'll take to clear an area.  Maybe instead of having one king here you can boost the other stuff up.  I remember using an energy shield to ram enemies....until it became energy intensive and turned off.  It's probably time to give us full control over two potential attacks, one defensive maneuver, and an internal heal.  The reasoning here is simple, wide area AoE, single target damager, defensive to allow for getting out of a situation, and a heal for parity with other game modes.

 

Once you've restructured powers, there's now a reason to use all avionics.  No more immediately shelving the repair avionics....because they're marginally useful.  A full and planned team can constantly have all issues dealt with, only experiencing great danger if they don't have communication or if they overextend their resources.  That's tempered by random groups not coordinating....so if you're trying to drive team play in this game it's a relatively soft start with incentive and little penalty for the solo experience.

 

 

 

Onboarding:

Limit the number of components to 3, or allow us to build in parallel.  Likewise, shorten the build times to 8 hours.  Finally, don't include any of the new resources, so that people can immediately plow them into equipment on their ship.

Why?  The construction being less intensive in time is so people can start immediately.  There's nothing like an extended wait to sour opinions.  Likewise, the 12 hour waits make it impossible for people to reasonably complete more than one in a day.  

 

 

Tutorial:

For the love of all that is holy, have one.  It doesn't have to be hard.  Spawn 5 ships, and have a tether that makes the railjack invincible.  Phase one is to gun them down.  This gets people used to the movement, and is absolutely consequence free.  Next, spawn in a crewship without enemies.  Have the player get out, go to the ship, and board.  Once there, show them how to hack the core, destroy it, and get out.  Have the Cephalon temporarily unlock the artillery and slingshot, and spawn two more crewships once the player returns to the ship.  Have them kill one by slingshot boarding, and the other with a shot by the artillery.  Finish up by having them move to a point.  It's simplistic introduction to the mechanics, but it'll inform people of what is here.  Right now the tutorial is to barrel headlong into guns....and isn't really friendly to new players.

 

 

Mechanics:

Kill the stupid three tier gear.  It's just a pain to manage more names that tell you nothing about function.  Instead, give us a base version.  Have wreckage drop, but require that these section be slotted into the base weapons.  Think of this as there only being Sigma railjack guns (which makes clan research paramount).  You can get a Sigma 1-3 weapon, then slot in two potential upgrades.  The upgrades would be an overdriver (+fire rate, +heat build-up), an injector (+elemental damage, -fire rate), or a buffer (-heat build-up).  In this way you could build up the guns to be what you wanted, rather than a cookie cutter line.  They also offer as much grinding, because the upgrades would be as costly as the current options.

Decrease the hidden mechanics, and be open with players.  I got all of the +fire rate +heat weapons, and maxed them out.  Great.  Now they literally don't drop anymore.  The +elemental damage ones do.  Huh?  Ahhh.....hidden mechanics where if you have stuff it doesn't drop.  Fine.  Likewise, at one point I could get parts from the Spectra Vandal...but that broke.  Maybe transparency is best here.

Finally, let's talk about the ship maintenance.  It could go with the hidden mechanics bit, but I think this deserves its own section.  Don't repair a breach immediately, or another will instantly open.  Wait for 1000 HP to be lost, then there's no difficulty.  Why?  The change to only having one of each bad event happen makes them matter, but if I cannot repair them and there's even a penalty if I can means I shouldn't.  If you want to see this in action have a dedicated engineer, and watch them lose their minds bouncing around an improperly accessible ship to try and close a new breach while still being told that a breach is sealed by the Cephalon.

 

 

Intrinsics:

I believe you're on the right path here.  Archwing improvements locked behind railjack is pretty non-friendly to new players.  Also, basic abilities of the railjack being locked make this really frustrating.

 

 

Missions and rewards:

Do not add more exterminates.

Fix the bugs that allow us to manipulate enemy spawn by bouncing around missions.

Give us rewards with overlap.

Do not make railjack take longer.  The 20+ minutes with a bad random group are already hard.

Give us rewards that translate into the rest of the game.

 

 

 

This has already been long enough.  Please, make railjack 3.0 what 1.0 should have been.  Namely, fun and rewarding.

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