Phase 3 constructive feedback - Good premise, uninteresting gameplay

rootsrat

Volunteer Moderator
What I like (y)

- The variety of different types of life that can be found.
Really great to see so many different types of stuff to find! I hope there will be big variety in the actual organics as well, rather than just different colour variations.

- The new heatmaps, really cool
Very cool feature, I like it a lot! Looks and feel scientific. Nice one!

- The exo-tool scanning mechanics
It feels in line with the Pulse Wave Scanner, very good to see lore consistency there.

- Looking forward to seeing the final iteration of surface genertion system.


What I don't like (n)

- Core gameplay:
If the whole exobiology career is about scanning the organics and nothing else, then it's very disappointing. It would be the first career that forces the player down a singular path to achieve career's goals - and that would be just a grind. What I like about Elite is that it offers different activities to achieve any goal, which makes grind a non-mandatory feature.

This would make the grind mandatory.

- Having to gather 3 different samples "for biodiversity"
It artificially prolongs the gameplay for the sake of it. Very uninteresting. There should be more to it. Also, biodiversity should be visible in-game, if it's required for the reward.

- One specimen sample at a time
This is very ineffective and doesn't really make sense. You'd think a professional exobiologist would take more than one empty sample containers with them ;)

- Selling samples (aka The Reward).
It doesn't feel rewarding at all. Any more in-depth info about what you're selling would be good. Any comment from the exobiologist - "This is a genetic structure I've never seen before!" - something like that, to acknowledge receiving the samples. Just make it matter more for the player.

- The sampling minigame
Ugh. It's not very imaginative. I would expect something more puzzle-based, rather than a few quicktime events in a row. Just meh in general.


SUMMARY 😑
  • The new exobiology gameplay seems to be very simplistic and 1-way street.
  • The background and premise is great, with many different types of stuff to find.
  • However the actual gameplay is not very demanding and just boring.
  • There seems to be only 1 way to progress the career (by gathering and selling the samples - and there is only 1 way to do that), which is in opposition to the rest of the game.
  • Completing the only available gameplay loop doesn't feel rewarding at all.
  • The last 3 points combined make it seem like a very meh feature that won't be interesting and engaging. I hope there will be more to exobiology than this :(
 
Last edited:
- The new heatmaps, really cool
Very cool feature, I like it a lot! Looks and feel scientific. Nice one!
I like it, as a function, but I don't like the green color choice. If there was a way we could manually configure that, I'd be happy. Less intense green would be fine too.

- Core gameplay:
If the whole exobiology career is about scanning the organics and nothing else, then it's very disappointing. It would be the first career that forces the player down a singular path to achieve career's goals - and that would be just a grind. What I like about Elite is that it offers different activities to achieve any goal, which makes grind a non-mandatory feature.

This would make the grind mandatory.

- Having to gather 3 different samples "for biodiversity"
It artificially prolongs the gameplay for the sake of it. Very uninteresting. There should be more to it. Also, biodiversity should be visible in-game, if it's required for the reward.

- Selling samples (aka The Reward).
It doesn't feel rewarding at all. Any more in-depth info about what you're selling would be good. Any comment from the exobiologist - "This is a genetic structure I've never seen before!" - something like that, to acknowledge receiving the samples. Just make it matter more for the player.

- The sampling minigame
Ugh. It's not very imaginative. I would expect something more puzzle-based, rather than a few quicktime events in a row. Just meh in general.

All of the above. Very miniscule career, without award of any kind, and a very disconnected method to get there. It's basically one of the features and gameplays I won't even bother looking back to, unless it changes.
 
Agreed.

To be picky, "joint first" - the mercenary rank only seems to be increased by surface CZs (while double-dipping as a way to gradually increase combat rank too). Also feels like the same problem there: on foot missions should contribute to that too, perhaps?
Huh, really?

Any FPS combat should increase it, at all. Just like in ships. And if it's also increasing combat rank, seems like a bug to me.

Edit: It's not obviously increasing combat rank, unless by "gradually" you mean "infantesimaly"? Mine's not appeared to move at all and only increased when I shot ships down.
 
Last edited:
If you followed the Odyssey announcments and trailers, you would have notice one thing in common - It was never about Exploration and Exobiology. The fact that they add it at this level, surprised me once i saw the Alpha plan.

So your dissapointment is unfounded, since they never promissed anything to begin with.
Should be happy instead that we even got what we got.
 
If you followed the Odyssey announcments and trailers, you would have notice one thing in common - It was never about Exploration and Exobiology. The fact that they add it at this level, surprised me once i saw the Alpha plan.

So your dissapointment is unfounded, since they never promissed anything to begin with.
Should be happy instead that we even got what we got.
Yeah, you‘re not wrong. I think they made the mistake and have the phase 3 for exploration. They created an expectation that shouldn't be.
 
Last edited:
If you followed the Odyssey announcments and trailers, you would have notice one thing in common - It was never about Exploration and Exobiology. The fact that they add it at this level, surprised me once i saw the Alpha plan.

So your dissapointment is unfounded, since they never promissed anything to begin with.
Should be happy instead that we even got what we got.
and yet, if you mentioned that during the prelude to the alpha, all the white knights were saying "just wait til the alpha.. just wait til the alpha" yeah, they messed up there :ROFLMAO:
 
Last edited:
Great feedback and I agree on all points - even the positive ones!

Based on what we've seen for exobiology, I think it's fair to say that it was never a high priority for them in Odyssey (and I'm not trying to be deliberately negative). I think that if they had previously communicated this then we wouldn't have had such high expectations for it. Making one phase of the Alpha dedicated to it just increased our expectations further beyond their original intentions.
 
Any FPS combat should increase it, at all. Just like in ships. And if it's also increasing combat rank, seems like a bug to me.

Edit: It's not obviously increasing combat rank, unless by "gradually" you mean "infantesimaly"? Mine's not appeared to move at all and only increased when I shot ships down.
It's pretty slow, but my Alpha character has only ever killed footsoldiers and skimmers, and mostly the footsoldiers, and is almost at Mostly Harmless.

Based on what we've seen for exobiology, I think it's fair to say that it was never a high priority for them in Odyssey (and I'm not trying to be deliberately negative). I think that if they had previously communicated this then we wouldn't have had such high expectations for it. Making one phase of the Alpha dedicated to it just increased our expectations further beyond their original intentions.
Dedicating an entirely new Elite rank to it I think also sets high expectations...
 
Dedicating two new Elite ranks to fairly limited and shallow gameplay loops does seem an odd decision, almost as if FDev are trying to pad out the content to make it seem more significant than it really is. Instead forcing people down a narrow path is everything they claim Elite Dangerous is not and will just lead to more accusations of "grind" from those who actually care about the arbitrary ranks.

It's a shame as there are new features and improvements that should be getting talked about a lot more than they are, but gameplay and UI elements dominate the discussion: the former because of its limitations and quirks, the latter because it is arguably unnecessary and indisputably unfriendly to use.
 
Even though there are 'bits' of the alpha that have been less than enthralling (mainly the (hopefully) badly bugged exploration assets) going back to play my Colonia based CMDR the last couple of days to bring him back from the 'black' and not seeing new planetary tech on the journey was odd...

I'm happy to have bought alpha access and to have Odyssey on this account, but the 'finished' release has a lot to put right before I'll spend again (I refunded one preorder) for the other accounts.

Being blunt I find it a little odd that 'some stuff' is being held back for release rather than being tested by us lot, at least if it was likely to break we'd find a way to break it before it went 'live'... but we apparently need some untested 'surprises' to encourage us to buy the expansion 🤷‍♂️
 

rootsrat

Volunteer Moderator
Agreed.

To be picky, "joint first" - the mercenary rank only seems to be increased by surface CZs (while double-dipping as a way to gradually increase combat rank too). Also feels like the same problem there: on foot missions should contribute to that too, perhaps?

Very true! You're hired as a mercenary when doing missions, so it does make sense to have them increase the rank.

Dedicating an entirely new Elite rank to it I think also sets high expectations...

Yeah, it sort of makes you think there's going to be quite a few things involved.

Even though there are 'bits' of the alpha that have been less than enthralling (mainly the (hopefully) badly bugged exploration assets) going back to play my Colonia based CMDR the last couple of days to bring him back from the 'black' and not seeing new planetary tech on the journey was odd...

I do like the sandbox potential for on-foot events, we did that quite a lot with my friends over the last few weeks. Really amazing.

The missions are really cool, I like them a lot, even more in coop with other players.

CZ's are a bit meh, but shoud be fun when there is better performance and with 12 vs 12 PVP.

The whole exobiology thing is the odd one that doesn't impress.

I agree.

On the other hand, we already have CQC...

Tru dat :D
 
A very good summary of the Alpha state for exobiology.

They have a great platform - 400 billions solar systems to explore.
They have great graphics and sound.
They have a great modal and animation for the scanning tool.
They have a good sets of modals and textures for the 'life' so far.

The heat map idea is good ( I'm looking forward to it actually working, it's currently broken on more planets than it's working for ).

But the game play loop is hobbled:
  1. Point tool at plant, press mouse, wait, press mouse wait, press mouse, done. ( Now I can't sample any other life that might be near by because I only have one sample container! that's crazy! )
  2. Go off and find two more examples of the same plant to get my arbitrary required 3 samples.

My suggestions:
  • The scanning needs to be more than a simple point and click reflex game - it needs to actually be a puzzle or pattern to solve.
  • The different bio-diverse versions should actually look a little different.
  • The scanning tool should have an alternative mode that just takes a photo of the life form - maybe in normal / infra red / x-ray and other spectrum's.
  • The rewards for samples should scale, so one sample will give my the current low pay out - if I've actually collected 3 different samples then I get more reward.
  • The reword process should actually show me some pseudo science type info on the life form and the photos of the life ( in various spectrum ).
 
If you followed the Odyssey announcments and trailers, you would have notice one thing in common - It was never about Exploration and Exobiology. The fact that they add it at this level, surprised me once i saw the Alpha plan.

So your dissapointment is unfounded, since they never promissed anything to begin with.
Should be happy instead that we even got what we got.

So in other words, minimum viable product again - be happy, keep playing, keep grinding...

... no. 🤦‍♀️

There are other (better) games out there that don't require you to put up with lazy & substandard "gameplay" loops. 🤷‍♀️

I had very low expectations for Odyssey, and they've somehow managed to meet them on every aspect so far.
 
The rewards for anything in the alpha are 'unrealistic' in comparison to the base game - bar agreeing that they are low, which they are - it is perhaps the easiest 'fix' to do, hopefully the 'balancing act' coming to the released version will be taking a serious look at both payouts and acquiring the 'new' engineering materials...

Last night was a classic - picked up a mission for 2 Compression-Liquified gas + credits - got to the mission hotspot, despite 4 relogs the mission blueprint didn't show up... Although I did pick up a lot of other tat... Annoying!
 

rootsrat

Volunteer Moderator
The rewards for anything in the alpha are 'unrealistic' in comparison to the base game - bar agreeing that they are low, which they are - it is perhaps the easiest 'fix' to do, hopefully the 'balancing act' coming to the released version will be taking a serious look at both payouts and acquiring the 'new' engineering materials...

Last night was a classic - picked up a mission for 2 Compression-Liquified gas + credits - got to the mission hotspot, despite 4 relogs the mission blueprint didn't show up... Although I did pick up a lot of other tat... Annoying!

I personally wasn't talking about the amount of Cr received, but the general feeling of comepleting the exobiology gameplay loop. It just didn't feel rewarding, regardless of how much money was being paid.
 
Top Bottom