MiniWall, feedback after the open beta
As a short introduction, I did not play the alpha, and spent around 70h in this beta, around 45h building and 25h raiding. I was also on the unofficial discord for most of the beta.
Overall I think the main features of the game are well-made, fluid and enjoyable, I plan on buying the game at release. Yet, as of now, I think the experience, especially of builders is undermined a lot by the number of non-breaking bugs all around the main stuff. I can't play without seeing a minor bug every 5 minutes, and it get old quickly for some. But let's go into more details:
Overall the raiding experience was really a blast, the movements are fluid, the skills cap huge and the tools you can use allow for some variations and more hardcore approach to challenging content. There are very few bug that can actually kill you (claw grappling bug, HVR stuck or insta kill bug, bedrock or props height issue blocking you) but it is so rare that the experience is not ruined.
The social mode allow to have fun is some many multiples way and is a great boost for the community. Some more featuring features or quick filters (like most liked map or being able to favourite some builder) could improve the experience.
The current elo system is a bit useless and I can't wait for a more meaningful system on that part, elo matchmaking could actually solve a lot of the issues mentioned below.
2) Builder experience:
The building experience works also fine when you are in building mode, designing outpost is fun and easy and the only crash I found was with using the duplicate feature in a weird angle.
There is nonetheless a big BUT here, there are way too many bugs around this feature that the experience is quickly ruined:
You get low amounts of mats (or have to relog between every outpost to fix that bug), wrong stats in report, fake red alert every 2 minutes, a lot of bug with the capacity amount when prestiging that force you to remove traps placed under overcapacity and replay can not appear, bug or lags and in some case crash your game. (You can check some of my previous bugs reports if you did not encounter some)
Overall sustaining yourselves with building is possible if you are good and economic with prestiging (no prestige above 5 if kda is lower than 10 and/or low amount of raid attempts for instance), but you can not progress as a pure builder.
Basing the life span of an outpost on the amount of raid it gets like it is the case now is very risky if the game can't manage to ensure a stable average amount of raid attempts. I do understand the need to have ephemeral outpost to ensure a good amount of raid attempts.
It is also fairly unfair that you put 2-10h building an outpost, just getting back your input cost once you receive raid for 1 or 2 days, while just 10-20 minutes of raids can get you the same amount of synthite...
On a side note, we found huge variation in the numbers of raids we got on outpost even with the same difficulty rating. The way maps are put in the pool of other players is quite unclear and can be quite frustrating. (Do I not get raid attempts because my exterior look ugly, or because I am not able to refresh my outpost after every raid attempts?)
3) Visual and sound polluting props should cost capacity or difficulty rating:
Spamming lights, glass, or ventilation not only worsen the player experience by buffing up loading time, being extremely aggressive and overall less fun. They also arguably put more pressure on the mind and can divert attention from true traps.
As such, as both a way to balance and offer a better overall raiding experience I believe those kind of props need to be more controlled.
4) Issue with min-maxing normal difficulty:
Normal difficulty should be outpost that are easily clearable (lets say 90-95% of attempts) by new people with no mechanics, low or no usage of the hook and basics gears. They need to be able to discover the game in a relaxed way and always have a way to progress. Min-maxing base, especially if all veterans do it will ruin the first experience of the new players. This is also encouraged by the fact that those maps are more played, especially at release and, as so, are easy way to farm kills or prestige points.
Here are two examples of maps I did, that are both of normal difficulty, illustrating the issue:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rX48hLtyfs4 (death tunnel with light and glass spam) On this one there are three main way to clear it:
a) Learning to recover ammo between the two corrosives cubes and do it slowly.
b) Rushing trough it by either using the hook and melee, or using range attack on the right claw and the bolt-shoot once studying the defence.
In both cases those are not mechanics expected from someone that started the game 1h ago.
On the active pool, this map had a 25% of completion, and only 10% for people with basics gears. kda was about 7-8.It also illustrate my previous point of light pollution from props and glass.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6jK_Bqcb04 (fake path into kill zone into maze)
This one is probably showcasing the worst of the current meta. As a new player you are confronted to a fake path HVR (For those not knowing how it works, if a path leading to the genmat made by second wave holocube is shorter than the true HVR path, the HVR will takes it) rendering the HVR feature useless and confusing new players. Then you get your regular min-maxed killzone to rack in the kills, and after that the player discover that the true path is in a maze with no HVR to help. Do I have to remind you this is normal and most people won't use boost in order to avoid long hvr path?
And yes I know the fake path is too short, the maze is lazy and easy to solve, and the kill zone not near min-maxed, that's because I put this one in the active pools and I am not that evil, but you get the idea...If all veteran builder put those kind of map in the normal pool at release it will be a carnage.
5) Overdrive mode should be remade:
Overdrive mode has for me two major issues right now:
a) It encourages to make outpost that can't be finished:
I do not mind that kind of thing, but right now the best answer is to make a maze...
b) It is mostly not worth it:
Getting more genmat at the expense of a lower life expectancy (so less synthite overall) is not really a trade that is worth.
It also do not procure more reward or even a warning for people encountering those kind of bases.
5) The variability in inter and intra difficulty pool is way too big:
People min-maxing base versus people learning or just wanting to have fun placing trap or doing beautiful base make for an huge variation in actual difficulty level making it rather useless.
I had normal map harder than some brutal ones.
On the other hand, the jump from a poorly crafted dangerous difficulty to a min-maxed brutal one is even more insane.
I would like to propose a few way to solves issues:
a) Had more constraints to normal and dangerous difficulty.
b)Add two more difficulty rating between dangerous and brutal.
c) Use some elo matchmaking system to truly predict a map difficulty.
Another issue is that, the first thing most builder want to do when trying the game is to build a base of doom spamming traps and guard everywhere, which is fine! Sadly it saturate the brutal pool with rather identical outpost (maybe having a meta will do the same yeah...) but more annoying, reduce the amount of raid attempts in brutal difficulty.
What I propose is to lock the max difficulty rating behind some achievement (like reaching x outpost at P10, or getting an outpost with more than 500 kills and 10+kda) so people get to learn how to build before doing those kind of map.
6) Need for more time sink and end-game goals:
Considering previous project by the studio I do not worry much about that point. It takes about 50h-100h of raiding depending on your rushing speed and difficulty to max out chimera, advisor levels and unlock pretty much everything. After that resources get useless and we do not have any more goals to chase apart from the pure fun of playing the game.
My dream would be to be able to prestige outpost above 10, without refuelling them or getting more capacity, but still getting xp and more skins :p
7) Communication and report managment:
No official discord.
5 minute "anti spam measure" between each bug report on the forum.
No in-game bug report button.
The survey with multiples pages not letting you know what the next question will be or where you should put some feedback.
The survey spawn windows in game each time you log in despite you having already responded it.
The communication towards peoples already playing the game was really bad for a game of this size and disappointing. It is for me one of the biggest issue I had (the other being the use of easy anti cheat but let's not go there). This is maybe where I would expect the most improvement as I do believe they are pretty cheap to implement.
If you read it this far thanks, and I can't wait to have you guys opinion on this fun game.
See you in two months!
Edit : fix spelling mistakes.