My first test feedback & questions

So I got my test key today, and I spent about 3 hours crafting my first MMORPGs. So I figured I’d give some feedback, and ask some questions that I didn’t quite find an answer to (yet).

I did some searches on the forum but I didn’t really find any recent discussions on these topics, so I’m making my full list here. If there’s already a discussion going on about any of these points, feel free to link me to that discussion.

  1. The UI animations - I like the UI, but the animations are too slow imo. Especially at the start of the game, I feel like I’m spending more time waiting for the UI to respond, than I am actually playing the game. This is a big deal for me. My suggestion would be to reduce the duration of all the animations by 25-50%.
    1.1. Another (minor) issue with the UI - the tabs in the bottom left corner aren’t fully clickable. If I click at the top of a tab (above the text but still in the tab box), it doesn’t register and I’m instead clicking on whatever’s in the game underneath that bit of the UI. So that might be a bug/oversight.

  2. The tutorial - is there any way to turn it off? I couldn’t find an option to disable or skip the tutorial. I tend to just “click on everything and figure stuff out on my own” so once I’d gotten past the initial setup (at the point where I was waiting for some of my players to hit lvl 2) I lost interest in the tutorial missions. I quit the game and started a new world, so I could try another approach, but instead it had me start over again with the basic movement tutorial. My suggestion: on the first screen of the tutorial, have a “skip tutorial” button that unlocks everything the tutorial would, and that just lets me play and learn on my own.

  3. The cursor - the animated cursor is really fun, and I found the switch to turn it off, but what I’m still missing is an option “use system cursor”.

  4. Key bindings - I’m assuming (hoping) this is on the roadmap? I have an AZERTY keyboard, so the default WASD controls are just not usable at all. So I hope we’ll be able to rebind the keyboard controls in the near future.
    4.1. Another suggestion on the topic of keyboard controls: camera rotation with Q/E (or in my case, A/E) keys.

Lastly, a question: is there a guide somewhere for characters customisation? Cause I messed around with it and it seems there are a lot of options, but I had no clue what I was doing, and then everybody unsubscribed… So a guide / reference of some kind would be useful.

Overall I think it’s a really cool game, at least so far as I’ve been able to play it since didn’t get past the first zone / level because of the tutorial thing. Hopefully that gets improved soon so I can really get to making an awesome MMORPG :slight_smile:

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  1. RE: “GUI transition effect speed”, I’ve had that same feedback from someone else as well, recently. It’s easy for me to adjust that speed; I’ll have a play around with it! RE: “clicking through the tops of action bar tabs”, I’ll look into what’s going on there!

  2. Right now there are two stages to the “tutorial”; there’s an initial “basic” guided tutorial (which teaches camera control, etc), and then there is a set of starting “quests” that accelerates you to version 1.0.0, where you can release the game. The idea was that you’d get the initial movement tutorial only the first time you started a new game, and that after that you’d skip the guided tutorial for all new games you started after that. But… it looks like I broke that a couple versions back. Adding that to the bug list! If you want to skip that initial tutorial segment in the current versions of the game, you can open up the file c:\Users\<your username>\AppData\Roaming\VectorStorm\MMORPG Tycoon 2\mt2.prefs in a text editor, and change the line finishedTutorial 0 to finishedTutorial 1, and it’ll stop putting you through that initial tutorial sequence. I’ll think about whether (and how!) it would make sense to make the quest-based tutorials optional as well.

  3. RE: Using the system cursor…wow, yeah, that should have been obvious! I can do that really easily. This is on the list, too.

  4. Yeah, remappable key bindings are already completely supported by the game engine, I just haven’t built a GUI to actually let you remap them yet. I have to stop putting that off! Do note that in addition to WASD, you can also use arrow keys, if that helps. Providing keyboard buttons for rotation is a good idea, too! Putting that on the list as well.

Character customisation is changing a lot right now (and is only about 2/3 implemented in the Steam build); there’s no guide to it yet, but that’s coming!

Thanks heaps for your feedback! It’s really, really useful to get feedback from a fresh pair of eyes! :smiley:

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And I’ve just realised that I’ve made the mistake of using keyboard keycodes (explicit letters) instead of keyboard scancodes (position on keyboard) in my keyboard handling functions.

“WASD” ought to work fine for you, if I’d coded that right the first time; it ought to just be using the keys which are in QWERTY’s ‘WASD’ positions on your keyboard, regardless of your keyboard’s layout, instead of using your literal ‘W’, ‘A’, ‘S’, and ‘D’ keys. That’s just an embarrassing oversight on my part, and one that’s trivial to fix! So… that fix is coming in the very next build, likely about 12 hours from now. (Rebinding keys is also coming, but will probably take a bit longer)

If it helps, you can also move the camera around by moving the mouse while holding down the middle mouse button. That might hold you until the fix for keyboard handling comes through.

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Awesome, thanks! Though the key was DidTutorial instead of finishedTutorial. But it worked :slight_smile:

My main issue with those quests is that I’m usually doing the things in a different order. I start by putting down a path, and then I’ll build a graveyard and an inn. But the quest for building a path is only after the one for building an inn. So perhaps you could check when starting the quest, and if the player has already done X earlier, the quest is automatically completed? Or perhaps automatically complete the starting quest as soon as the thing happens, whether or not it was accepted by the player?

Right now, by the time I’m up to the quest where I have to build a second zone, I’ll generally already have several zones actively in use, so it’s a bit redundant at that point, I think that’s the main thing for me here.

That’s what I’m doing now, so it’s not a huge issue. But WASD would be more ‘natural’ than using the arrow keys.

That works, but I feel like it moves way too slowly compared to my mouse movements. I would expect the world to “snap” to my cursor. Perhaps this needs some tweaking?

Speaking of camera movement, is there a reason free camera rotation is only allowed when the camera is close to the ground? I’d love to be able to have my camera somewhat above the treeline and rotate it so I can look more in the distance, because as it is now the viewport is rather limited.

Ah, so I’ll wait until it’s fully implemented :slight_smile:

I was wondering though, will we be able to create / remove character or monster classes? For instance, what if I only wanted a single type of player instead of 5? Or if I wanted to add 20 different kinds of mobs?

In one of my test games I started an MMO called “Wizards of the West” where I only wanted to have wizard type players. But then I found out I couldn’t remove or disable the other types (or at least, I couldn’t find how to do that). So having this freedom to choose which player classes we have in the game would be really cool.

I also had a question about the ingame gold - is there an overview of how much gold is earned, how much players have on average (per level), …? Because I have no idea how high or how low I should set the price for blacksmiths and shops.

Lastly, I have a few additional issues / suggestions after playing a couple more hours (my apologies for the wall of text).

Custom autosave interval. Right now, the game crashes every so often, and when I restart I’ve often lost a lot of work. This is a bit frustrating, so I’d like to be able to configure the autosave interval, so it saves every e.g. 5 minutes.

Better unsub feedback. Sometimes, I see waves of “unsub” messages flying up, but I have no clue why my players are unsubscribing. So an overview of reasons why players are unsubscribing would be really useful (same concept as the thoughts in the overview panel but then about unsubscribe reasons). Or, if that would be too “cheaty” (cause a real developer wouldn’t be able to read minds either), perhaps you could let us see the average stats of players who unsubscribed in the last x amount of time (per player class), so we can see which of their needs are too low.

Price settings. I haven’t found an option anywhere to set or change the price of my MMO. Is this in the game (yet)? I’d love to experiment with charging higher prices but getting fewer players, vs making the game completely free to purchase and play, and making money off of microtransactions.

Region capacity upgrades. Right now, 500 is a hard cap on the number of players per region. But what if I want to build a large city, where lots of players come together to trade items, buy weapons, … Then 500 players really isn’t a lot. I’ve tried placing server objects but they didn’t seem to change anything to the limit - perhaps this is a bug, or I’m using it wrong? In any case, I’d love to be able to “upgrade” regions to allow for higher player counts.

Let players “collect” quest, or choose them more randomly. I might be seeing this wrong, and there might already be more at play than would appear, but right now it feels like players will go to a quest giver to get a quest, go do that quest, then come back to the quest giver to complete it. And then they’ll go find a new quest. All in a very linear fashion. This behaviour causes new players to all take the same initial quest, causing a lot of complaints that the server is too crowded because everyone is walking the same stretch of road to get to the same mobs.

In the starting area in my current test game, I’ve got 3 quest givers. One has 3 quests that sends players to different corners of the starting village, one has 4 quests that sends players to 4 mobs areas on different sides of the starting village, and one sends players to the inn, tavern, shop and blacksmith (located throughout the starting village). Right now, all players will spawn and head for the combat quest giver, take his first quest, and they’ll all go and try to kill the same spider. So the spiders field is empty, the players unsubscribe because they can’t complete their quest and level up / fill their needs (at least, I think that’s why they unsub in this case), and there’s a parade of players on the one road that leads to the spider field, while the rest of the village is empty.

Some images of this issue:

So my suggestion would be: let a player collect quests from nearby quest givers (within x distance), and then make them choose one of those quests (perhaps one that would fill their lowest need, but ideally it would be randomised).

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So my suggestion would be: let a player collect quests from nearby quest givers (within x distance), and then make them choose one of those quests (perhaps one that would fill their lowest need, but ideally it would be randomised).

This is exactly what they do. However, each quest giver gives out their quests in order, not all at once. So they’ll do the quest-giver’s first quest, then return and pick up the second quest, then return and pick up the third quest. So if you have just one quest-giver with three combat quests, and everybody wants to go do combat, they’ll all be doing that same first quest simultaneously.

You’ll probably find that it works a lot better if you give each of your three quest givers one combat quest, each pointing to a different monster zone; that will spread people out a lot more!

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Ah, that makes sense, thanks!

I was thinking about it in terms of the “combat tutor” or “trading tutor” types of NPCs that you have in the starting area of most MMOs, where you go to the NPC of the subject you want and you can get a random quest that relates to their subject.

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Ah, it makes total sense for you to have thought that, too; I clearly need to teach that better!

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Perhaps you could even have both? With a toggle to enable or disable “random quest giving” or something.

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Server objects need to be “powered”; they consume bandwidth the same way other objects do. (I need to set up a way to communicate whether or not a server object is “working” right now).

In practice, the “500-players-per-region” mechanic was a “off the top of my head” solution for a problem new players were running into; they had too many players in a single region, and they couldn’t get enough monsters for everyone to be able to do their quests; you wound up with players just wandering around, searching for something to fight. Putting a cap on how many people could be in a region, with some obvious penalties for hitting the cap, helps encourage people to make extra starting regions to balance the load, or to improve the rate at which people are gaining levels.

It was in the game in the past, and will be again in the future! It was just overlooked during a GUI update a few months back, I think. Everything from F2P to purchase-price-only is supported by the game simulation right now; you just can’t currently get at the configuration values right now. It’s on my list!

I love these ideas.

With that said, there are typically just three reasons why people unsubscribe from the game:

  1. When logging out, their “happiness” value is less than zero, AND their “happiness + addiction” value is also less than zero. Note that normally, players will travel to their “home” inn before logging out, but if someone’s “happiness” value ever reaches -10, they’ll immediately log out right where they are. If you see someone unsubscribe while out and about in the game, it’s probably that their happiness level has dropped really far! Lots and lots of things affect happiness; getting killed in combat, having bad social encounters, being affected by game bugs, etc. Bad things happening tends to lower happiness slowly, and good things happening tend to raise happiness slowly. To give players feedback about this, we’d need to keep better track about why a player’s happiness/addiction levels are what they are right now, and we don’t currently hold on to that information. I’ll have a think about it.
  2. At the start of a new day, anyone who can’t pay the subscription fee will unsubscribe instantly. (See comments re: price settings; I think we’ve lost the old GUI interface which let you adjust this, but there ought to be a new one soon). The default subscription fee is currently $15/day. Which is absurdly high by real-world standards. Maybe I should lower that to something more believable, and lower the price of everything else in the game as well, to compensate. :slight_smile:
  3. Anyone who is banned, technically is treated as having unsubscribed.

Right now, the autosave interval is set to 10 minutes. I agree with you; 10 minutes is far too long, and 5 minutes would be a lot better. Making it optional and configurable is worth doing, too.

Do note that the game will also automatically save whenever you exit, and immediately before your game goes up by a major or minor version number. (Those saves don’t use autosave slots; they’re so you’re able to go back and allocate points or techs differently, if you change your mind about what you chose)

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Took me a while to ‘get’ the bandwidth system, but I got it working now, thanks :slight_smile:

That’s something that happened to me as well, especially in my starter zones. I like building MMORPGs with storylines, where you really progress from one stage to the next by following quests. And with the limited number of mobs like they are in the game now, that’s not really possible.

So I was thinking, instead of having a low/medium/high density setting, you could have a “minimum” and “maximum” number setting, and the game will spawn new mobs every x seconds but as soon as the total number of mobs in an area dips below the set minimum, it’ll spawn additional ones, so there are always some mobs in the area. That way, for the starter area, I could have a relatively small lvl 1 zone with always 100-500 mobs to fight, so all newbies can grind as much as they like, but then on a higher level I could have a quest “find the legendary” where I have a large zone with only like 5-10 mobs in it, so players have to “search” for their target.

I don’t know how much work that would be to implement though, and how set you are on the current solution. But I think it would open up a bunch more possibilities for story-based quests (even if it’s just for us as players and the virtual players in the game don’t see any difference other than there are a lot of mobs to fight).

I’m looking forward to making a $500/mo game and seeing how many (or rather, how few) people sign up for it :smile:

I see this already made it into the latest update, fantastic!

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