So let's talk about Eridani

Post ideas & suggestions you have pertaining to the game here.
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Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:05 pm

So as per George's end-of-year report, Eridani could do with an overhaul. It's a grand system, but it's very old and not really up to standard any more. Let's use this thread to talk about what we like and dislike about Eridani, and what might be ways to improve it.

So for me, Eridani is a great system with a few problems.

Here's what I like:

+Lower level than Tau Ceti, with relatively fixed spawns. I won't run into anarchists or AXTIR or whatever when I'm doing a run, and when I alter my starting systems for Elemental Shift I can have the weaker ships start in Eridani and the stronger ones get a Tau Ceti spawn

+Arco Vaugn is a good source of early gear, depending on RNG

+Compared with Tau Ceti, it's a fairly small system that doesn't take very long to clear if you know where things are. It also doesn't overload the player.

+Fewer asteroids mean that if there's ore to be mined, it's easier to find.

+There's no stock Makayev dealer in the station cluster with a howitzer that can one-shot beginner ships (this is a Tau Ceti problem at times)

My issues with Eridani:

-Compared with Tau Ceti, the potential for credit-making is vastly lower. You can even get a Korolov station in Tau Ceti.

-The tutorial railroads towards a particular weapon (the smartcannon)

-The tutorial and Arco Vaugn quests don't really link together

-Commonwealth habitat missions are extremely unreliable in terms of how many you can get.

-Selection of stations in the Starton cluster can really influence credit/gear potential

-The system doesn't feel alive in the same way Tau Ceti does, and it doesn't entirely make sense that it's the major center that it is.

-Since stations (and thus the starton cluster) got scaled up, the centauri base near the starton can be far too close, leading to traffic or guards killing the centauri ships or just blasting the station entirely.

-If you don't know where everything is then it's a pain to find loot and clear the system.


In terms of changes....maybe add some form of industry to Eridani so that it feels more alive? Perhaps a shipyard for Earth Industries or Honuko-Tomashi or some other company that we don't see much infrastructure for. Something for the traffic algorithm to send things to, maybe more consistent spawnings for centauri....maybe even more occupations. The general system is mostly fine, I just think it needs a little more of everything to compete with Tau Ceti's loot potential. A lot has changed and improved since Eridani was designed as a system.
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Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:01 am

I like your suggestions, but I'd like to highlight what George said, namely that Eridani is going to be most players' first experience with the game and it really needs to sell them on the experience. Eridani in other words needs to be showing off what the game is capable of and getting players hooked so they continue playing the game. I definitely think that adjusting station selections and adding some heavier corporate presence sound like worthwhile things, but when I think of stuff that Transcendence does that players would be interested in, I think of things like:

Being a space pilgrim with scary magic powers. This is a really unique concept and yet it's hardly relevant at all until the back half of the game because of the difficulty of getting Domina powers. I'd support giving the player more powers at the start of the game. Maybe replace Sustain with Defense. Add an Invisibility power that lets you sneak around and look at things without being attacked, but it goes away if you deal damage. Whatever is done on this front, the powers should be worked into the tutorial so the player knows about them. Maybe the Hand of Solace should get to use higher-level Domina powers to fend off the Penitents. Something like "<PLAYERNAME>, back off! Domina, protect us!" and then they use Circle of Wrath.

Finding and buying ship upgrades. The game does this a bit with the SmartCannon but it doesn't hurt to throw a few more variable upgrade options the player's way. Maybe Arco should always have some level-4 armor (damaged or pristine) on his ship.

Encountering factions with neat abilities. The standouts here in my mind are the Sung, especially their slave camps; the Charon Pirates with their capital ships that show up if you kill too many frigates; the Ferian mining swarms; the Huari and their flexible opinion of the player; the Omnithor who outfit other ships with their side-mounts and send Hunter-Killers after you when you destroy their stations; Luminous and its dynamic drone designs; the entire Black Market and smuggling system. Currently about the only interesting thing you can encounter in Eridani is Centauris taking a station hostage, which isn't bad but also isn't very much. The Anarchists seem like a good option for adding some depth; they could get rudimentary attack software (like the Sung but weaker), and there's room for them to do software-based attacks on stations (e.g. diverting traders to their stations to rob them; holding the station's computers hostage and requiring the player to track down an unlock code).

Inferring cool details about the world through minor bits of setting. Stuff like the fact that Benedict has an arm cannon or that Slaver stasis pods are used for biological computing is only mentioned in passing but adds a lot to the world. The fact that Urak Sentinels are drones is I think mentioned obliquely once in the entire game? And leads me to believe that Hornets are also drones while the Earth Shuttle is the only manned ship used by Anarchists. Throwing a few extra tidbits like that into the writing would be a big help to getting the player invested in the world.

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Tue Jan 08, 2019 3:00 pm

-I think the Benedict tutorial should start immediately upon docking at Sisters of Domina, rather than making the player find it through the "Matriarch's Chamber". On my first playthrough, I docked, clicked on some other tabs, and left. The green rings marking the station went away, and I thought that was it. I had no idea I could trigger a game tutorial. For the rest of that playthrough, I was a bit more confused than I needed to be. I didn't see any missions in my log except to get to the core, so I started gating through system after system, missing most of the game.

-I would like to see a Black Market station in Eridani, perhaps near the large outlying planet with an asteroid ring in front of it where two or three Centauri camps sometimes spawn. Along with that, I'd like to see a hotel close to Sisters of Domina. I think these would pique my interest as a new player. I remember being very curious the first time I found friendly markets that wouldn't let me do business. My first visit to the forums was to find out how to get black market status, and I imagine this is true for other players too. That was probably one of my first indications that there are hidden depths in this game, and helped inspire me to keep playing. (It was also my first indication that a lot of features are nearly impossible to discover in-game and can only be learned about on the forums or wiki... which is very useful information for a new player, lol! ;))

The Black Market really needs some care, attention, and fresh writing-- I find them to be one of the most woefully under-developed great ideas in SoTP-- but that's for another thread. Suffice it to say that Black Market stations are a good, easy, long-established way for new players to see something sexy and cool that makes them want to continue.
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Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:57 pm

My suggestion would be to make it more a core system that you would need to visit more than 1 time, reusing the stuff already present.
Backtracking if you will, make that a part of the game.

A good example is EP it's starting system is a ling between 3 routes of systems.
Now you dont need that, you can make it a more core system by storyline and or function.

-To reuse for example the current stations there that buy damaged armor sheild and guns. Having these a rarity would be a nice addition to what thinkerers do (maybe increase sellprice while your at it).
Major buffs to what amounts they can buy / cash they have for that would also be nice. Every game i swim in damaged items without a real way to repair them convert them or just sell them.

-To reuse ''letter of Arco Vaugh'' give him a separate quest, that for example, he in the end was not really a pirate instead trying to kill some pirates, in preparation (to buff up) for his journey to the core... so why revisit? Example would be you found his wife and kid in a El500 couple systems further who had decided to join her husband to the core and waited there for him (hoping to catch(up) whit him). Than since you killed him (presumably) your new quest is to retrieve his body. Or perhaps it is not a default requirement to kill him at all, or even better, he was still alive in his escape pod that dint launch from his wreck..... ect ect ect

PS by default i sell the smartcanon, pls make smartcannon ammo sellable.

-Have some mining quests, a to make money, b get starting gear (mining cargo hold and laser to go do the quests), see how it goes, keep the excess ore,or even pay off the items that you borrowed from the local mining company. Some later quests can be for ores that are not found in the starting system, or even have them identify an pirate infested piece of asteroid belt in a system or 2 over that needs mining.

I know all this backtracking would cut into your opinion of ''flow'' of the game, but dont you need content/ depth to a game to make it flourish a bit more?
PS all this potential backtracking costs fuel, i do recommend an overhaul of that, including doing away whit fuel rods overall, going for something like those solarreactors in this mod
link}=d Reactor Pack 912}, made by PM i think.=link}
instead. (fual rods/ radiation is already present in space anyway).

-Eridani needs to be alot bigger even if it is just to avoid spawned stations shooting eatch other, as before posts mentioned.

-St katherina can have mission(s) you to haul cargo to a Eridani factory, protecting them, (perhaps an entire convoi?) from pirates, throughout the systems. Onec back in Eridani that factory needs to send his goods to St Katrine...
- Same as above can be done for Korolev mission(s)

-last but not least for all this backtracking, the galaxy(part) as is doesn't properly evolve, meaning; Centauri raiders never get upped weapons, there should be triggers present in eigther time or jumping true specific gate that triggers an evolution aka upgrade for all starting systems. Looking something like this;
Onec you arrive or accept the transfer mission you may assume you have or bought the right gear(upgrades) to make it to St katrina in the first place, therefore an (for example)Centauri raider should also get an upgrade, for example, put an faster projectile railgun-type (forgot the ingame name) on it, or smart-gun, have it fire missiles, or have them join up whit their mother-ship from which they launched in the first place, along whit armor and shield ups ofc. Actually, all of that together would be a nice up for the 1st up of those raiders, 2nd up for 2nd time / gate trigger gets them another upped version, so on so on, that if you would revisit Eridani from Heretic, you get challenged versions to fight, instead of ignored & annoying radar bleep thingy's.

Having several storyline and hauling, mining run arounds from/to, and in between St katherine&Eridany, would not be a bad thing at all, sure that ''flow of the game thingy'' would get booted, but if you have fun... isnt that why we play the game in the first place?

Hmm this post is getting way to long.... anyway, lots of potential stuff, i hope these suggestions help o7

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Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:59 pm

Adding on the Shrike/Song's list, I noticed that visiting Benedict and him decreeing "kill Centauri" quests robs the player of income. Normally, it is a good idea to wait until habitats give you missions to kill Centauri for money, but Benedict is all too eager to order player to kill them one another another for free. Benedict should tell the player to visit habitats to get a mission to kill Centauri, not give those quests without money. Benedict could pay the player, but that clashes with his "offers training, nothing more" intro.

If mining is to be relevant in Eridani, then it needs to be as rewarding as it used to be before 1.5. Trying to mine in Eridani today is a joke, unless player is lucky with huge deposits. Mining still needs work. More useful early and less painful late. I could go more into late-game mining problems, but that is not relevant here.

Tinkers is a fun magnet for mods. It would be nice to have guaranteed Tinker station here. Maybe a mini-quest to fabricate an easy item, sort of like Ancient Pledge from Diablo 2.

Someone mentioned Black Market. Not a bad idea.

@ Tiber: I retired and removed Reactors912 some time back after George changed how solar items work. If fuel is meant to be a clock, then having unlimited fuel early might be a problem.
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