After playing for around 60 hours I want to give a complete feedback of the game. I am aware that part of the points I mention is on the roadmap, but I want to mention them for completions sake.
First I must say, that I really like the fundamental game and I put far too much time into it the last days, steam says 80 hours but some of them were tapped out. After watching the youtube video of the streamer ZiggyD I knew that this is exactly that kind of game I like and i was not disappointed. I completely played solo and have no desire to play it in multiplayer and the last 40 hours were in the beta branch of the game.
The following points are in no particular order and got a lot longer than initially planned.
1. New user experience and tutorial: The only thing i really struggled with is that you only need to tap space to activate hyperdrive. I Think I spent around an hour to figure it out completely. It would have been helpful if it said "tap space" instead of "press space".
2. Exploration: I like the exploration aspect of the game but is has some issues in the later part of the game. While I can reduce hyperdrive cooldown, I would really like to also be able to reduce the calculation time otherwise exploration and long distance travel later in the game just takes to long. I think a new block or a repurpose of the computer block would do fine here.
If you have long radar range it takes too long time for the plips to reappear.
It would be nice to have a way to find wormholes and I also would really like the ability to buy a map of the factions where they mark down the different stations they have. I know that the system is only generated if you enter it first.
3. Mining: Feels rubbish to me. Beside the first hour or so of the game I never mine again. The mining system is useless since it is very easy to spot asteroids with minerals. The main point is that salvaging is just so much more efficient even with the latest update. If you find huge wrecks or derelict station that give you hundreds of thousand of minerals in just a few minutes.
Perhaps give mining systems a boost in mining effectiveness.
4. Salvaging: I really love salvaging. It feels so satisfying to blow up and destroy the ships and stations. I mostly salvage in the scrapyards because of the density of wrecks. And I feel for a great part of the game it is the most reliable method to make money. Timewise I feel I also get more weapons and systems than pirate hunting.
5. Trading: It is a mixed bag. Early game it is quite easy and reliable but if you need hundreds of million of credits it becomes more of a waiting and luck game. The trade system should also really show me how much they have and need where it shows potential trade routes. It is a bit annoying that there are no sustainable trade routes.
Trading doesn't scale. I basically make the same amount of money in the starter zones than around the core.
Early on i found trade quest to be a really good income method and i enjoyed doing them.
6. Shipbuilding: I like the shipbuilding but I lack the effort to produce anything more than a flying cube. It would be really nice to have a pure building mode where I am unhindered by crew, pirates and potential cargo and fighters that I need to conserve.
Sometimes the tooltip for the potential change is bugged, which is annoying. I also would like to buy my own or other people's creation at a shipyard. I would like to be able to see the average hp and weight of every block in the selection to make better comparisons between materials. It would also be nice to be able to have a static toolbar where i can choose what to put in and it stays there for the next session.
The fixed turret block should give a bonus to the installed weapon. Perhaps depending of the material faster firing speed, reduced energy cost or faster cooldowns.
7. Flying: A lot of annoying drifting and the fastest way to stop that ist take the hand of the keyboard, which feels very counterintuitive. I would like to have a toggleable speed throttle for the max speed, since in many cases i don't want to be faster than 300 m/s or so.
8. Owning Stations: I really like the ability to build stations and the like. But I am a bit confused what exactly the non factory stations do and I have not build one so far. I would also like to be able to build portals. My main issues is with how long it takes for a building to be profitable. On a server 10 hours or a few days may be fine, but for me in singleplayer it is far too long to enjoy. A server option to change the production cycle length would be nice.
Sometimes a cargo hauler bugs out and blocks your station which is quit annoying. I would also like to be able to see the stock of my station and ships in an overview.
9. The own fleet: I mostly didn't bother with owning further ships, since after my first test the AI just felt to wonky to be reliable.
10. Crafting: I really like to have a systematic way to upgrade your weaponry. I would like to also be able to craft systems.
I initially didn't bother with crafting since I believed the bonus damage etc. was not static for the factory. Since then i like hunting down a turret factory with the boni i want.
11. Enemies: My main issues with the enemies is, that bigger ships don't feel more threatening than smaller ones. They barely do more damage if at all and only have more hp which makes it just boring for them to kill.
There are the L and I shaped enemy vessels which are particular annoying. The former because the targeting sometimes doesn't work correctly and the later often start spinning around uncontrollably which makes hitting with some weapons almost impossible.
12. Weapons: Weapons seriously lack tooltip. I want to see the dps instead being forced to calculate it by hand, also how many shots till the weapons overheats and how long the cooldown is is also essential to make decisions. At the moment I always have to check every cooldown weapon manually if I find them acceptable for me and I never by them. It is a bit strange that some weapons special abilities are noted and some not. Some missing examples, piercing block damage for railguns, salvaging lasers doing no damage to shields. Either the loading screen tooltips a wrong or this should really also stand on the weapon itself.
There should be an assist for firing long shots that factors in flight trajectories and projectile travel time, also fine as a system.
I feel the weapons are a bit flimsy and especially on bigger ships they look tiny. I personally would like to have capital weapons that I need to design the ship around. The fast firing nature of most weapons also feels out of place for capital ships.
Possible redesign: Weapons come in different tiers and blocks should have a static damage reduction depending on thickness/block size and type. The weapon tiers would be point defense, normal and capital. Point defense are short range with independent targeting and try to shoot down enemy fighters, future torpedoes and perhaps missiles on their own. They are just like now just fixed against the hull.
Normal Weapons are similar to the way they are now. But since armour and more sturdy block reduce the damage by a fixed amount faster firing weapons would be less useful against bigger ships. They also might need specific blocks to place them or give them bonuses.
Capital Weapons should be massive and should require the ship to be designed with them in mind. They should be slow firing and activated over an extra button press. Projectile weaponry has ammunition that needs to be stored and/or produced through the assembly block. Energy weapons need huge generators and even bigger batteries or perhaps special cooling blocks.
The weapons could either drop as huge blocks that need to be incorporated into the ship or there are special blocks that allow to place a single capital weapon into it. More high tier weapons need more volume.
This would of course need a redesign of the current turret limit system, but would also allow more variety in turret systems.
13. Fighters: Feel completely overpowered. At Least the self crafted ones. There is barely any opportunity cost for having a huge fighter swarm and mostly the lack of hotkeys stops me for using them in every fight.
If you craft your own fighter there is no reason to make them not size 1 since I found that the few stat points lost are in no comparison to having more fighters. This might not be an issue if you have a really huge ship since you can only have 120 fighters max. I never had one of my fighters die and killing enemy fighters in factions wars is a real struggle. Mining and salvaging fighters are really useless.
Small hangar doors leads to problems and the fighters of my first ship were unable to come back after launching them.
My main issue is with the lack of opportunity cost that fighters have. If I want more weapons I have to sacrifice system slots. A reduced max fighter number and a system that betters fighter usage would be a way. Then at least i would have to build my ship around the fact that it is a carrier.
Possible rework: Size matters. There could be limited ammunition or operation time for fighters before they need to come back and refuel. Bigger fighters would have a dramatically longer operation time. This would also hinder the fact that I was able to kite bosses and let my fighters kill them while I run away. Enemies seem to always focus you first.
Another way would be to scale the damage of fighters with their size. You can either have many weak ones or less powerful ones or you build a real dedicated carrier with huge hangers.
14. Overall difficulty: I played on in insane and the difficulty didn't scale after a certain point. Making cruisers, battleships etc much more powerful would be a good way to feel threatened instead of just giving enemies a damage multiplier.
The only time i died were crashes against, when I was far too fast in an asteroid field.
15. Progression: After the first two games, I felt little incentive to slowly go through the different tech tiers. After an initial buildup I directly made my way to the core region and started there to power myself up. There no challenge on the way that stops a total beginner ship to make the travel.
16. Factions: Until short before the end I didn't notice that they have traits. I think being friendly with one faction should give you a malus with others, but it seems I could get friendly with all factions, but the aliens, through selling enough asteroids to them. I would like to see the relation of factions to each other.
I think there should be a faction strength value and actions like quests and destroyed ships should influence that. A faction with less strength send weaker ships as reinforcement or stops sending raiding parties.
17. Quest: If they give reputation than it seems there is no notification for it. I would like to have a chain quest to eradicate a pirate station and get rid of them.
A quest to raid shipping lines of the factions enemies would also be interresting.
18. Piracy: Never done it but it feels like going through a wormhole to the edge and bullying weak factions is very easy, since you get the same wares independent of where you are.
There should be faction sponsored piracy or privateering and stolen goods of the enemy faction is treated as differently to normal stolen goods. Perhaps like in real life with a hefty selling cut.
19. Research: A good way to get rid of useless gear when you are no longer hampered by money.
20. Shields: Seem to strong. I avoid fighting before I have shield completely and afterwards it becomes quite easy.
21. Systems: I overall like the systems but some of them I find very useless.
Mining is useless, see above.
Energy to shield converter: the bonus is too small compared to the pure shield booster to be of use.
Engine Upgrade: I never had a problem with velocity only with not being able to stop fast enough.
Battery Upgrade: Never felt the need for bigger battery.
Object Detector: The usefulness at the exsotic stage increases dramatically.
Reduced hyperspace computing time.
Salvaging: Shows the mineral density in wrecks.
Brakes/thrusters: Better stopping power and steering
Systems for specific weapon types
Minor bugs: Shipwrecks sometimes multiply if you destroy them very fast.
I once duped my equipment in the non beta branch but I was unable to replicate this.
Sometimes ships and wrecks teleport around a bit i hefty firefights.
Cargo haulers sometimes get stuck in custom made stations.
I once found a mine with no docking station.
Crashes: For me the game crashes with constant regularity with an average of once per hour I think.
While I have an older pc with a 580 gtx card i don't feel the crashes are related to that. Most crashes happen in transit or when pirates try to warp in. Extreme amount of small wreckage also seems to contribute to crashes, but this seems to be better in the beta version.
Sometimes it crashes again at the startup, but i think it is mostly correlated to how long I wait till I try to restart the game.
Freezes: Sometimes the computer freezes completely. It happens less often than crashes but still with regularity.
Progression crippling bug: Two times after a complete freeze I basically had my progression reset. After the restart steam would fail to recognize that Avorion is installed and I had to reinstall it at which point it found the installation and downloaded only a small part. If I then try to restart my game I find all my fighters gone and the squads reset to the default. The bigger problem is that the entire map has changed. The factions are either gone or I can't interact with them. It seems there was a change in the game seed.