The death of a wonderful game

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The death of a wonderful game

Postby Lith7ium » 03 April 2017, 22:42

I'm not quite sure where or how to start this...

Watch out, wall of text incomming! Man all battlestations!

Lets say, I'm sad. Very, very sad. I've waited for this game for so long. The first time I started playing BFG back in the olden days on tabletop I immediatly thought "Wow, this would make a fantastic PC game as well! Wouldn't be so expensive too...". This was back in 2006, when this game was not even considered to be made. I immediatly saw the potential and was so happy when BFG Armada was announced! The tabletop had been aborted, I had moved out of the TT for cost and time reasons and there was the possibility to get back into the grim space of the W40k universe!

When it finally released I bought it directly two days after release ( I don't preorder games and wait for their launch, saves a lot of money since game developers tend to fuck up quite sincerly since preordering has become a thing ). And I had a blast! I loved the campaign, finished it in only two sittings and went straight to multiplayer, ready to restore order to the Gothic sector.

It was fun and interesting, but only for the first two weeks. After that, the player basis started to drop significantly, which is somehow normal to be honest. Most games experience a first rush and decline after the random players move on. But after about 220.000 sales there are only ~200 players left after merely a year? That is a tough pill to swallow.

And that is where and why I stopped playing. When the playerpool of such a complex game drops to this point, only the real freaks stick aorund. Which means, if you as a player don't invest a lot of time into learning the game to perfection, you are going to get absolutely stomped in multiplayer. Don't get me wrong, I can take a defeat, I am willing to adapt, I am willing to learn BUT I am not willing to put countless hours and hours of grinding into a game to compete with a player who has +2000 hours clocked in. Not in a normal match at least.

But I found that bitching about the game because I'm just BAD doesn't quite justify a complaint. So I digged deeper. I'm horrible at Wargame and still play it, I'm nowhere near my friend's skill level in Rainbow Six Siege and still play with them. So what is the problem with BFG Armada?

I asked around the community ( you might recognize me by now, I'm the guy that has been asking silly questions about the game and balance while you smashed my face into the ground ) and found a few major issues with the current state.

First and foremost, dear developers: I love the game you put together. I do not intend to attack your work, you did an amazing job. I have the biggest respect for people that can actually code and create something as complex as a video game. However, since I think that you do not want to see an amazing game like this dying, here are the problems I found with friends, community and myself.

1. Accessability

Now, that is a REALLY important point! BFG Armada is a complex game, with lots and lots of options to chose from in customizing your fleet. It can be extremly overwhelming for new players, especially if they don't know the universe or the TT! Why don't you let us try all ships from all races against the AI? For the love of Slanesh, let me experiment in offline mode against the AI! All I want to, is trying out new skills, upgrades, fleet sets! I STILL haven't seen the Tau Battleships because I have no Admiral in any mode leveled up to this point! I payed for this content, let me at least try it out against the flipping AI!

2. Balance

The balance has been a big problem in the game since launch. I do realize, that the point system of the tabletop has been used, however it somehow does not translate well into the digital world. Especially not the ship class restrictions! E.g. A Retribution battleship will cost you 246 points. For that price you barely get two Ork Terror cruisers, basically naked! The Retribution will shred them into tiny pices! The Eldar are another problem. They used to be completly overpowered at launch, I played them and totally agree with the OP factor. But since the nerf they have become close to useless. The word glasscanon also contains CANON! There needs to be a lot of work done in this segment. Especially the battleships are way to powerful for their cost. And pairing a player without access to them with a player which does will not work. Yes, ranked does get around that problem somehow, but I'm definetly not the only one who enjoys leveling up and customizing his fleet!

3. Upgrades

Now, that is a thing I do not fully understand. Maybe I'm simply lacking the understanding of the game mechanics, but do we really need so many upgrades? And are some of them not just completly pointless? Upgrading the range of macro weapons on Orc ships for example. Why would anyone ever do this? These guys don't even shoot straight at 6k, why would I upgrade them to miss at 9k? However, it can be brutally strong on Chaos, having freaking 12k range on a normal Carnage cruiser gives any Imperial player nightmares!

The skills are just inconsistent. Some like "Efficent pilots" can be godlike on carriers (and Space Marines!), while increasing the troop value ONLY against incoming troops CANCELING THE WARP JUMP is WAAAAY to situational. And only by TEN! Why would anyone ever pick this?

4. Skills

Following up with inconsistency; Skills. Also way to situational. I have not picked the "Disruption Bomb" on a single ship. Why would I ? Shields go down fairly quickly anyway, the meat is in the hull, they are useless against Eldar. And although they are named differently, they are pretty much the same amongst all races. Less skills and more diversity would be the key! You can give the races a lot more profile here!

5. Gamemodes

Now, I understand, that the gamemodes have been transferred from the TT. But while something works out in a turn based game it does not necesseraliy work in real time, even with optional slow motion. For example, the transport escort missions. Quick, stealthed (and sometimes even upgraded!) Eldar transports are almost impossible to catch, while some smart positioned Tau vessels will atomize every other races transports without getting into danger themselves. Orbital bombardment is even worse, my Imperial ships simply can't keep up with chaos or, the mighty godemperor behold, Eldar! It was frustrating and incredibly hard in the campaign mission, in multiplayer it is just rolling dice if you have a proper, fast moving fleet.

6. Differnces between races

This is a tricky thing. I can't put my finger on the exact problem right here, but I feel, that the races play far to similar. The problem are definetly skills and upgrades, but then still it feels somehow boring to try different races. I get the feeling that the Tau are just chaos with front mounted weapons, while Space Marines are somehow just Orcs without the Dakka. Maybe that's just me though.

So, those are my, my friends and some of the communities most major problems with the game. If you made it this far, you definetly deserve a cookie, here, have one!

Another thing is marketing. If you buy the game now, it will set you back 40 bucks, over 50 with the DLC's. That is quite steep for such a niche game, maybe you should adjust the price. Also a free to play weekend would be able to get the game into a second spring after the previously mentioned problems have been fixed. Talk to the people at Focus, they should know how to do marketing.

So, a long post comes to and end. What do the other community members think? Am I wrong? Do you agree?

Also, again to the developers: I love the game you put out. It just needs a bit more polishing in my opinion. Keep up the good work. Btw, any news on the Necrons?^^

Btw, I'm sorry for any grammatical or spelling errors, I'm not a native english speaker. :?

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Re: The death of a wonderful game

Postby malcontent333 » 03 April 2017, 23:59

1. I mostly agree with you, but keep in mind you can use the custom game mode with/without skills to try out different ships against ai.

2. Agree about issues with Elder, but that's about it. 2 terrors should be a fair fight against a Retribution. I would like to see some points increases for leveled up/upgraded ships however.

3. Agree mostly again. The upgrades are mostly fun for me, but they have definitely been a balancing issue. I'd like to see them reworked to be a little more race specific and add points to whatever theyre installed on.

4. Basically the same for upgrades. I would disagree with the disruption bomb though. It's great for lance fleets and kannon orkz. Skills are tricky as mechanics like detection are based around them existing.

5. Don't really have an issue with missions. Sometimes they're fun, sometimes frustrating.

6. Not sure what the problem is here. I'm happy with how the races differ. They are a little samey, but what would you change? Sure orkz and marines both like to board, but they have to go about it differently. Chaos and Tau like to shoot, but if you try the same tactics with both, you'll likely lose.

I agree that marketing is an issue, but I worry that a free to play weekend would further hurt reviews. The mechanics can be difficult to pick up, and friendliness in the community is hit-or-miss most of the time. My concern is we'll get a stack of negative "game sux, too hard" from people that spent little time playing, which would likely have a negative impact on future sales. If we get a rework of the matchmaking system, free weekend might be ok. Getting the price down to about 40 US$ including the 2 dlc would probably be a good move, but I think the current price is fair enough for all the enjoyment I've gotten and continue to get.

I, too, love this game and would be thrilled to see more content.

Your English is better than many native speakers.
Orkz is never beatin in battle. If we win we win, if we die we die fightin so it don't count. If we legz it we don't die neither, so we can come back for annuver go, see!

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Re: The death of a wonderful game

Postby Ashardalon » 04 April 2017, 02:01

1. has more to do with willingness to spend time on them
i get that time is something not everyone has
but you just cant really appreciate a custodian when you dont understand a tau C
getting these ships immediately will give you too much to learn at once and make you miss some intricacies
atleast thats how i see it
there is the custom mode to try out things and it will give you a custodian to try, but i do admit its a little basic would be cool if it had a more options to just try things out like the ranked fleet builder

2.eldar are tricky, just their speed makes them dangerous and the difference between a eldar noob and veteran is the difference between a easy win without ever even having voids go down... and crying in a corner
that is the problem with speed being such a important stat in this game
and thats hard/impossible to balance
also what are you doing with your terrors that they cant beat a retri
i love a big target with my orks

3.the warpout upgrade is for a nurgle ship with void overcharge in data recovery or assassination
it a ranked upgrade, it has basically no significance in persistent and i wouldnt mind it disappearing but it has its use
also a ork gunz ship will be using lock on combine that with the range upgrade means your voids will never regenerate
9k is usually a good range to fight orks, with that its not anymore
have seen a few fleets with it and they are scarier then you might think
but yea they are very situational depending on faction and build and i would like more faction specific ones
i would really like the extra hull points for orks back, its a dps bonus for my ram fleet i dearly mis
more faction specific ones would be nice

4. if a marine BB spots you it will shoot its bombardment cannons, thats its main dmg, but most of the danger will come from its crit chance, if those shots hit voids its a incredible waste and them wiping the voids for the broadside macros without the high crit chance is just wasteful
so using disruption bombs is almost essential, same for my retri since again the plasma macros have a slow reload
or making novas useful vs a BB, that is 1 bomb dealing 400or500 dmg! compare that to the plasma bomb that i do find pointless
and you can/should do it before you spot and unleash your macros, the strength of those is to start the engagement with the enemies voids down so your first volley isnt wasted
that and tau shield armor
the longer i play the more i find a use in skill i used to think pointless
but again like the upgrades i would love it if there where more faction specific ones like the WAAAAAAAAAGH!!! skill for orks and the tau repair drones and push

5. while my favorite is just the cruiser clash, i like the diversity of the mission and seeing someone who custom built a ship to give me not a chance in hell since i like to just build my fleet for general purpose, it always kinda impresses me
although data recovery or assassination vs marines is the worst :( but when you get a win vs them it feels soooooooo good
i think the vs eldar thing is kinda balanced since eldar rely on hiding, even if they outpace you they still need to hide to survive so the autoreveal makes those missions kinda balanced except vs marines
also isnt eldar transports speed below 150? and just touching them is enough to make them fall apart
the planetary assault thing is a little rng, had a bombardment area spawn under my enemies C while i was defender, was a little frustrating :)
but its a balancing act in getting enough to win the time to kill them all, or just getting all the positions to win
as a slow faction you can see it as something that forces the enemy to go somewhere letting you lay a trap
as a slow attacker, you can go for a questionable point forcing your enemy to close and try to stop you, forcing them in a range or position where you have the advantage
i like it, its a fun mission
i might be weird

6. that seems definitely you in my opinion
and thats why i think the build up to bigger ships is necessary
if i spend a few months playing chaos and switch to imps its as if the game is lagging, they move the most similar of any 2 factions but the difference in how they feel is so noticeable
its one of the things i like most about this game, none of the ships are just reskins like a lot of games do (TWW im looking at you and your giants/trolls/armored trolls/renown trolls...)
every single faction has their strengths and weaknesses every ship has a feel to it
but you need to play them for a few weeks atleast to really learn them and find your way of playing them
for example you say tau and chaos are similar but one has very loose formations trying to bait the enemy into splitting and getting picked of one by one where the other holds a solid line and bashes whit everything it has into one target taking it out one at a time
sure those ended with the same goal but its a very different way of playing, a very different way of achieving that goal

7. where is my cookie?!?!

i do agree with malcontent that a ftp weekend is a horrible idea
most of the negative reviews this game has had was from people who played half a hour and couldnt overcome the learning curve so blamed the game
that would be a lot worse with a ftp weekend
and while some people are like me and will let you go the moment they see you start your warpdrive some are real assholes and will do everything in their power to burn your ships
again since new players will die a lot learning the mechanics, dont know if they will get a good impression

and pricing seems fair honestly, 50 moneys for a game like this, sadly the standard for this kind of quality is becoming closer to 150-200 moneys and they have had sales, getting this at 50% of a while back would have been 25 so thats almost indie game price

i really hope the devs give us a few hints, just a few sprinkles of hype would be enough to draw so many people back
i have noticed that a lot of people have 1000+ games on steam so they simply dont have enough time for them all and sadly this one gets forgotten in the masses
but every time people where reminded i heard them say things like "damn this game is amazing"
they just need to be poked and reminded a little more often
dammit devs stop being so sneaky!

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Re: The death of a wonderful game

Postby Imperator5 » 04 April 2017, 10:12

I get around all these issues by playing PVE.

I have said a lot of things about how PVE could be improved, so I won't rant here about them.

Please help me change skirmish to be customisable. Its very important for PVE players.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=515 Mod idea.

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Re: The death of a wonderful game

Postby Romeo » 04 April 2017, 15:53

I gotta say, I share almost none of these concerns, but like Imperator5, I just play campaign and skirmish; Couldn't care less about multiplayer.

The game's biggest sin in my eyes was the fact they didn't keep trudging ahead with it. I would have happily given them more money for more races, more ships, more game types, etc.

Hopefully there was still enough initial success to justify a sequel or something...

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Re: The death of a wonderful game

Postby StarSauron » 04 April 2017, 19:51

In my opinion we need here more Updates and DLCs factions.

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Re: The death of a wonderful game

Postby Romeo » 05 April 2017, 16:19

StarSauron wrote:In my opinion we need here more Updates and DLCs factions.

I agree, though I wonder if it's financially still viable.

This was a somewhat niche game when it came out, but the months and months of utter silence from the devs mean almost everyone has jumped ship since then. Even if the most loyal core would still buy a new race coming out, their already small market will have shrunk to extremely low levels by now. They needed to do that while the game was still being played.

That's why I think their only real hope now is a full-on sequel. They need to restart their market, as the first game's market has already died.

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Re: The death of a wonderful game

Postby Hallbregg » 05 April 2017, 17:39

Romeo wrote:
StarSauron wrote:In my opinion we need here more Updates and DLCs factions.

I agree, though I wonder if it's financially still viable.

This was a somewhat niche game when it came out, but the months and months of utter silence from the devs mean almost everyone has jumped ship since then. Even if the most loyal core would still buy a new race coming out, their already small market will have shrunk to extremely low levels by now. They needed to do that while the game was still being played.

That's why I think their only real hope now is a full-on sequel. They need to restart their market, as the first game's market has already died.

My thoughts exactly

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Re: The death of a wonderful game

Postby Bosie » 05 April 2017, 18:00

Warhammer Total War 2 has just been announced, perhaps Gothic 2 will be too...

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Re: The death of a wonderful game

Postby Romeo » 06 April 2017, 16:00

Bosie wrote:Warhammer Total War 2 has just been announced, perhaps Gothic 2 will be too...

Dare to dream, right?

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