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Open Letter to Haxus from French Empire
#31
It's not that he don't know, but that he did not actually said much about his vision of it.
I can see the game has rich background as a universe, but at the same time I can see that it is lacking some important characteristics that would actually hold the gameplay process together.
If he would share his vision of an end product, it would be easier to suggest improvements or at least to not suggest something that wouldn't fit at all.

It is not possible to embed competitive gameplay into SoH, you said? It is actually quite possible, just not on the level of, say, PlantSide (not without a serious architectural redesign). Actually, the competitive SoH gameplay circa 2012 was much more balanced, than that of today.
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#32
(05-23-2020, 11:29 PM)AnrDaemon Wrote: It's not that he don't know, but that he did not actually said much about his vision of it.
I can see the game has rich background as a universe, but at the same time I can see that it is lacking some important characteristics that would actually hold the gameplay process together.
If he would share his vision of an end product, it would be easier to suggest improvements or at least to not suggest something that wouldn't fit at all.

It is not possible to embed competitive gameplay into SoH, you said? It is actually quite possible, just not on the level of, say, PlantSide (not without a serious architectural redesign). Actually, the competitive SoH gameplay circa 2012 was much more balanced, than that of today.

For once I agree with you!
Let's hear Haxus.
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#33
Hazeron Wont Become What it Wants to be Like This
Hi I'm a long time player that was active during Universe 3, 4, and tried to rejoin at the end of 5. Unfortunately I joined right as the new designer came out however and ended up being unable to get back into the game because the bar of entry had been raised too drastically.

Hazeron's functionality as a game and a universal simulator has dropped dramatically because the designer changes, and while yes the implementation of bug fixes are important and necessary, the game that people get when they they can log on is not suitable for anyone but the most dedicated players.


I'm not going to argue as if I know what the game is supposed to be, but I am arguing that no matter what it could be, there are design flaws that will prevent it from becoming that. Primarily with the new designer update the game no longer has a learning curve, and instead has a skill curve, which means that the lowest bar for entry is unsatisfying. The blueprinting system is flawed as people did used to enjoy being able to make their own ships in their own way using the grid based system, but the 3D modeling required to design a ship now goes over the heads of a majority of people. In this, players are forced to make unsatisfying patchwork empires that are not fun to explore, as a majority will not look pleasing in the same way Spore Cities rarely looked pleasing. This will push people who find enjoyment in city building out of the game unless they essentially learn how to use a 3D modeling software, which only an extreme minority of any game would be willing to do.

This higher skill curve means that player retention will always be at an all time low. Public blueprints wont fix this of course due to the high degree of variance of buildings that can't fit into the needs of the player who can't model, and even worse with the removal of stacking buildings there's no way for players to make cities that can follow space or terrain restrictions without having to design a building themselves, which they can't. Spacecraft design is also a very in-depth process that require incremental increases in ship components due to the resource availability system, where a player needs to upgrade one specific part of their ship with every new component that becomes available. This becomes much harder in the current designer system and outright impossible if you're trying to avoid it.

All of this culminates in a dramatic drop in player numbers, and with that comes a lack of international politics, trade, war, alliances, a lacking of things to explore, a lacking of antagonist and protagonist peoples of interest, and an inability to act as a non-empire entity just doing space adventures. It makes Hazeron effectively a single player experience that just so happens to have a server connection. Whatever Hazeron is supposed to be, it wont be so long as there are no players there to make the scifi universe simulation possible.

The Solution MK1: Hazeron Classic
The Neutral Zone has always been the more empty of the two, and while there is valid reason for having a neutral zone, what would be even better is if that server space is instead turned into a version of Hazeron during one of its most popular or more stable eras. The Universe could be a no-strings-attached earlier build that is not updated and not considered for bug testing, but still allows people who want to play the game as it was before the designer change to still do so. This would allow people to continue paying for the servers while the primary Hazeron server is updated and made into whatever it is destined to be, and players can migrate over when they find it satisfactory rather than dropping the game entirely and hoping they will like it later.

The Solution MK2: Designer Overhaul
The much more drastic solution is having to redesign the designer, or edit it in such a way that people can proceed to use it and make satisfactory buildings with very low skill. Outside of drag and drop prefabs and reintroducing a grid based system though I'm not sure how it's possible, especially with buildings. The old system was simple enough that anyone could use it even if you had to learn its uses, but as it currently stands the work necessary to make a ship is more equivalent to just doing actual model design for free.
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#34
When it comes to large-scaled, Empire-related mechanics, I'd say it's fairly vital, all the more from a space opera narrative gameplay perspective.

In my opinion, if Haxus does want this game to propose an adventure roleplay experience, this choice of game structure should achieve a symbiosis between individual adventurers/roleplayers and Empires. Since both Lore and Politics are built by none but the playerbase themselves, every player who wishes to play as a space adventurer is going to have to rely on already-established player empires.

Don't get me wrong, this concept is absolutely brilliant, as it means it's a game the Lore of which can be altered by absolutely everyone if they're brave enough to make a difference amongst the community. There are no established rules as there would be in, say, a Star Wars roleplay experience, where politics, history, species, and so on, are all already defined in a codex or by the source materials. But this freedom also means the political 'background' of the game needs to be fueled by willing players. Therefore, those who pick a rather political gameplay should find entertainment as well, otherwise they might as well get bored and your average lonely spacer who travels from an empire to another will end up wandering in an empty galaxy with next-to-no content to enjoy.

And for that very reason, and even though I can't believe I'm about to say that as a hardcore roleplayer myself, there shouldn't be an absolute focus on the individual-roleplay aspect of the game if it's to the detriment of its Empire-management counterpart.

To conclude, although I agree that war mechanics shouldn't be the game's main focus, I do believe it is a vital ingredient to a space-opera management/roleplay game which proposes features such as trade or diplomacy. War is something that makes the universe feel unsafe, hence interesting. Without threat, there are no stakes.
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#35
(05-24-2020, 10:17 AM)3Rat Wrote: The Solution MK2: Designer Overhaul
...

I don't know if the designer needs a whole overhaul, but it definitely needs a lot more automation and newbie friendly features. For example interior designing with doors and voids could all be automated with something similar to the old-style designer's cell painting of decks plans.
There has been a number of idea/suggestion threads posted about this and discussion about finer details and such are better found there.
See: (Idea thread) Ship Designer - Interior Layout Tool
And many other threads.

That said. If designer was to be totally overhauled, it would still have to create the same end blueprints as the current designer. While I still have plenty of complaints when it comes to how complex and confusing building volume is, the blueprints themselves are fine.
See: (Idea thread) Building Blueprint Simplification

Could even publish details about the .soh file format and let players attempt to make 3rd-party designers. Would still have to read them into Hazeron's designer to finalize them, but seeing what tools the community could come up with would be cool. I know Ikkir fiddled with reverse-engineering the .soh files when the new designer was first released.
Shores of Hazeron Wiki Moderator
hazeron.com/wiki/ User: Deantwo
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#36
(05-25-2020, 05:37 AM)Deantwo Wrote: I don't know if the designer needs a whole overhaul...

Okay I just went back into the game to try the designer system again and I actually cannot believe how hard some people are pushing against its changing. The designer is hell to use, even when I try to design objects in blender and then paste them in the system supports little to no drag and drop functionality and the face recoloring is impossible to manage without going through four face edits UI screens and having to mess around with transparency just to find the wrapping nodes of all the objects you need. I can't see how anyone at all can say that this designer is a positive development for Hazeron with just how hard it is to get things made in the system.

On top of that with things being as hard as they are to design, making objects for every building type is awful too, the volume system also messes up the entire city building math and forces you to make huge skyscraper-like abominations that take thousands of resources just to get made, and I'm supposed to make these four football stadium sized power plants when I'm a new town? Half of the building types don't even have models, they have maybe stand-ins that are created for a different building entirely and have to be jurry rigged to pretend to be a police station or a factory because there's all of maybe two suitable blueprint for most of the building types and they're either the rectangle aircraft factory or the overly complex Victorian style homes made by the small handful of people that don't want to rip out their hair while trying to make this system work. On top of that the 250 building limitation is going to force people to only build bigger and more complex models that make it so there can be no city sprawl and no ability to fully colonize a planet. We are stuck making one city per planet and we can't even build it to proper max efficiency even on a moon without making giant high-rises that house at least 200-300 citizens each.

We simply do not, and will not ever have the blueprint library necessary for people to make cities so long as the designer and city management system is like this.

I cannot express how badly this system needs to be changed, how badly it needs to be tossed out and replaced with something similar to the already great system we had. Anyone who says this is easy is either a liar or doesn't actually use the designer, and anyone trying to approach this lightly isn't telling Haxus the truth. We need this changed, and we need it changed as soon as physically possible. Please do anything to fix this system because it's going to kill Hazeron.
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#37
(05-27-2020, 01:35 PM)3Rat Wrote: Okay I just went back into the game to try the designer system again and I actually cannot believe how hard some people are pushing against its changing.
Who's against changing it? Dean was arguing about word choice because he's pedantic like that, but he explicitly acknowledged that it needs a lot of improvement.
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#38
So, did anyone link this to Haxus while he was online?
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#39
(05-27-2020, 01:35 PM)3Rat Wrote:
(05-25-2020, 05:37 AM)Deantwo Wrote: I don't know if the designer needs a whole overhaul...

Okay I just went back into the game to try the designer system again and I actually cannot believe how hard some people are pushing against its changing. The designer is hell to use, even when I try to design objects in blender and then paste them in the system supports little to no drag and drop functionality and the face recoloring is impossible to manage without going through four face edits UI screens and having to mess around with transparency just to find the wrapping nodes of all the objects you need. I can't see how anyone at all can say that this designer is a positive development for Hazeron with just how hard it is to get things made in the system.

On top of that with things being as hard as they are to design, making objects for every building type is awful too, the volume system also messes up the entire city building math and forces you to make huge skyscraper-like abominations that take thousands of resources just to get made, and I'm supposed to make these four football stadium sized power plants when I'm a new town? Half of the building types don't even have models, they have maybe stand-ins that are created for a different building entirely and have to be jurry rigged to pretend to be a police station or a factory because there's all of maybe two suitable blueprint for most of the building types and they're either the rectangle aircraft factory or the overly complex Victorian style homes made by the small handful of people that don't want to rip out their hair while trying to make this system work. On top of that the 250 building limitation is going to force people to only build bigger and more complex models that make it so there can be no city sprawl and no ability to fully colonize a planet. We are stuck making one city per planet and we can't even build it to proper max efficiency even on a moon without making giant high-rises that house at least 200-300 citizens each.

We simply do not, and will not ever have the blueprint library necessary for people to make cities so long as the designer and city management system is like this.

I cannot express how badly this system needs to be changed, how badly it needs to be tossed out and replaced with something similar to the already great system we had. Anyone who says this is easy is either a liar or doesn't actually use the designer, and anyone trying to approach this lightly isn't telling Haxus the truth. We need this changed, and we need it changed as soon as physically possible. Please do anything to fix this system because it's going to kill Hazeron.

I agree that the designer is awful in general, but I disagree pretty strongly about how you paint the citybuilding situation. 
I played back when the buildings were all same-models with levels tacked on, and when planets were grids-- and I'll admit I hated the new system and wanted the levels back....at first.

Once you get past the initial shock of having to relearn how it works, there are some great user-submitted designs (Henri, Jack Katogh, Vooker525 looking at yours, among others! Thank you) that cover every building you'd need. And IMO they make up for the building designer's shortcomings. 

As for the 'being forced to build bigger and more complex models to colonize a moon', have you actually tried doing that? You will quickly discover that you run into the building volume limit quite easily when building larger structures, especially on a moon. Sometimes a floating platform + biodome + the basics can just about fill the volume if it's a gas giant.

A tip if you are struggling: what I like to do is just add a 100m-deep 'basement' beneath the existing structure. It is a simple cube shape that no one will see. That way you can keep it looking a normal scale while gaining a lot of volume. Learning how to do this in the designer took me less than 2 hours (starting from 0 experience). There are people in discord who can help you if you run into any issues. And you probably will. It's buggy as hell.

That said, there is one thing that I really miss about the old citybuilding and it is road snapping to grids. Why. Can't. They. Just. Snap?! Ughh... 

But I agree wholeheartedly about the SHIP designer. I have made some cool things in it using imported meshes, but then when I have to design the interiors myself I just can't bring myself to do it. I have to steal ones from other ships. And it's a painful process even then, sometimes taking an hour or longer to merely calculate the volume while making my computer scream in agony. If I didn't have a decent PC it would not even be possible to run, which is a huge problem in terms of fairness. Needs a major rework imo. I would take the old ship designer back in a heartbeat.
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