Starborne - MMO4X

Fyff

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#21
90% of the browser strategy games are clones of Travian anyway. But apparently, the devs do explicitly reference Travian anyway :)
Yeah but I can't get one of my friends to play a web based game for the life of me. We play Civ V all the time though so maybe I can get them to play this. Have they addressed any pay to win allegations? I'm not watching hour long videos of a guy opening loot boxes.
 

Ukerric

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#22
Basically, the guy purchased two 10$ package of lootboxes, and compared to the boxes he kept around from 2-3 days of playing.

He got had more lootboxes, but lower quality, so he got overall less cards, but more rares/epic/legendary. My impression was that play time is making waaay more difference than premium store. Being able to send mission fleets every 2-3h vs twice a day is going to give you 4 times more boxes.

All cards are craftable from dust like Hearthstone (called "influence" there), so you should be able always make the one you really need by the time you need it if you've got loads of cards from play.

But yes. I'm pretty sure the alliances that will win will have Whales in them.
 

Eidal

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#23
I've never been that particularly concerned about P2W because I've never once deluded myself that I'd be competing in that top percentile regardless. Getting shit-stomped by someone on disability playing 18 hours a day feels functionally the same to me as someone playing 2 hours a day spending a fortune -- except the guy spending money is keeping the dev team employed.

edit: the pertinent questions: is the game fun? can the non-ubers feel like they're useful without spending a fortune?
 

Fyff

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#24
I've never been that particularly concerned about P2W because I've never once deluded myself that I'd be competing in that top percentile regardless. Getting shit-stomped by someone on disability playing 18 hours a day feels functionally the same to me as someone playing 2 hours a day spending a fortune -- except the guy spending money is keeping the dev team employed.

edit: the pertinent questions: is the game fun? can the non-ubers feel like they're useful without spending a fortune?
Advertised as a 4X game, I am assuming that guy on disability can raze your city, ruining those 2 hours you put in every night for a month.
 

Eidal

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#25
Advertised as a 4X game, I am assuming that guy on disability can raze your city, ruining those 2 hours you put in every night for a month.
If that happened frequently, then I wouldn't have fun, and I'd quit. My point is that the P2W aspect will, to some degree, expand the pool of people that can shit-stomp me. I don't particularly care how the player goes about doing it -- the functional question is how often am I assbeat by someone stronger than me?

Edit: I'm skeptical about unfounded P2W allegations. I remember arguing with my HoN playing friends about how LoL isn't P2W: "You can buy runes and unlock champions thus adapting to the meta faster and that's P2W."

I remember arguing with other people about how Eve isn't P2W: "Duh, of course Eve is P2W since you can just buy any ship you want."

Anyone familiar with either LoL or Eve would either deny that its P2W or argue that, ultimately, it's irrelevant to the enjoyment of the game. Some people just want a reason not to play something; some people just want a reason to justify why they aren't world-class.
 

Fyff

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#26
There is a main difference here. Each server will be up for X amount of time and then refresh new for everyone. The scheme here sounds a lot like pay to win to me. I hope it isn't. I have very little information (basically the first article posted) so I could be totally off base but there is a major difference between the games you mentioned and this game.
 

zombiewizardhawk

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#27
I mean, Travian was P2W and if this game is going to be anything like it, it will also be P2W with a dose of needing to be able to get online at any hour of any day.
 
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#28
Hey guys, I'm a dev working on Starborne and I thought I'd come say hi. We're quite overwhelmed with the amount of press coverage we got and we realized how little information about the game is actually out there. Our alpha test also coincided with the discussion around loot boxes which raised a lot of valid concerns about the pay to win aspect of the game, and we really haven't done a good job at explaining how we balance in game purchases to prevent paying players from running away with the game. If you have any questions about the loot boxes or the game in general, I'll be here to answer them. No PR filter, I promise.
 

Kaines

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#29
Hey guys, I'm a dev working on Starborne and I thought I'd come say hi. We're quite overwhelmed with the amount of press coverage we got and we realized how little information about the game is actually out there. Our alpha test also coincided with the discussion around loot boxes which raised a lot of valid concerns about the pay to win aspect of the game, and we really haven't done a good job at explaining how we balance in game purchases to prevent paying players from running away with the game. If you have any questions about the loot boxes or the game in general, I'll be here to answer them. No PR filter, I promise.
We're all ears....
 

Eidal

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#30
There is a main difference here. Each server will be up for X amount of time and then refresh new for everyone. The scheme here sounds a lot like pay to win to me. I hope it isn't. I have very little information (basically the first article posted) so I could be totally off base but there is a major difference between the games you mentioned and this game.
The point I'm (attempting) to articulate is that I don't care how someone developed an advantage over me: CC or basement dweller, its functionally the same. If I'm getting curbstomped so much that I'm not having fun, then I'll leave.
 
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#31
Apart from vanity and cosmetics, we are monetizing convenience features and time-savers. As this is an early alpha build, we're far from being feature complete, which includes monetization. That said, I'll explain what we're selling below.

Building queue slots


I think this is pretty self explanatory.

Mercenaries


Events are a PvE mechanic that drop components to upgrade outposts, which are structures built on the map. You can use mercenaries to instantly complete them instead of doing it manually.

Gating mechanics:

  • If you use mercenaries, you have to wait longer to unlock the next event. You are not able to outbuy a player who plays the game at a normal pace.

Booster packs, aka the loot boxes from the video.


These drop cards, which you can use to customize your fleets and space stations, similar to Civ 6's policy cards. You get these by doing missions, or purchasing them through the store. You can also break down cards you don't need to craft new ones.

Gating mechanics:
  • A player who plays the game at a normal pace will have access to plenty of cards.
  • Even if you have the "Super Duper Galaxy Destroyer" card, you can't use it until you've unlocked it through gameplay. Cards have level restrictions on them which cannot be circumvented by purchases.
  • There are only so many slots you can put cards on. You can't buy fleets or stations, you need to build them yourself through gameplay.
Lastly, our baseline for a F2P player is not one that has to play 24/7 to never feel compelled to buy things in the game. The balance isn't quite there yet, but that's why we have these alpha tests. We take feedback seriously and we'll iterate on the game until we have a payment model that is fair for you as players and sustainable for us as developers.

Edit: formatting is hard
 
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Daidraco

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#32
The guy on that stream is so excited for life. Reminds me of a puppy or something.

Are we going to run an FoH thing on this game if we have enough, or?
 

Ukerric

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#33
Hey guys, I'm a dev working on Starborne and I thought I'd come say hi. We're quite overwhelmed with the amount of press coverage we got and we realized how little information about the game is actually out there.
Yup. The game has been in open alpha/beta for over a year? Just found about it because none of the strategic gamer channels I follow on Youtube did a feature on it (get quill18 to feature the game and watch your following explode).

Only question: OSX build? It's Unity, so you should be able to push one at one point. Seeing only a .msi and no .dmg makes this one a sad puppy...
 
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#34
We have only recently come out of closed alpha and thought we'd try out a public test. Advertising this alpha version was never a priority at this point and we're realizing how we shouldn't have slacked on that end, but hey. Even though we're getting panned as a P2W mobile clone in some places, the publicity got us to fill out the map in less than 48 hours.

We'll definitely clean up our website and image material before we go public the next time though. (The "Starborne Introductory Video" was an investor pitch and never meant to be used as promotional material outside of that, but now it ended up becoming the face of our game)

The game currently only supports Windows, and we'll try out a Mac build alongside the companion apps in the next test.
 

Eidal

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#35
iMaple iMaple , how will the game accommodate players who wish to play with friends? I'm assuming you'd have some mechanism to let people start relatively close if they start together; what about if your game is amazing and people spread it via word-of-mouth... how would late-comers get to play with their buddies?
 
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#36
Currently, you can choose the starting sector to spawn in, and the only way to ensure you spawn next to each other is by joining at the same time. We want to add a reservation feature in the future where you can sing up with your buddies and you automatically start the game next to each other.

Late-comers being able to play next to their friends who started earlier is a different story though, as spawns are done in a way to ensure people roughly start at the same time as their neighbors to prevent players from getting steamrolled by the guy who had a two week head start.

There are ways around this however. Since you can plop down stations anywhere on the map you could always build a station next to your friends and have them help you catch up.
 

Fyff

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#37
iMaple iMaple - Thank you very much for coming in and talking to us. We really do appreciate it!

So, advertised as a 4X, is the game play going to be leaderboard based or are you going to be able to wipe people off of the map as you would in a game like Civilization?

How big is the plan for maps right now? i.e. - Would it take 6 hours for a military unit to travel across the map?

Will there be different servers? If so will there be different server types?

Thanks again!
 
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#38
iMaple iMaple - Thank you very much for coming in and talking to us. We really do appreciate it!

So, advertised as a 4X, is the game play going to be leaderboard based or are you going to be able to wipe people off of the map as you would in a game like Civilization?

How big is the plan for maps right now? i.e. - Would it take 6 hours for a military unit to travel across the map?

Will there be different servers? If so will there be different server types?

Thanks again!
The game takes place on a seamless map where you can see and attack anyone. Currently you can destroy enemy stations, and we also want to add the ability to conquer them. If you lose all your stations, you are eliminated from the game. As the only win condition at this point is controlling the most strategic points, it makes the game very territorial.


The current map contains 379.141 hexes and can support up to 2.492 concurrent players. We don't have a definitive target number here, but we want to have a map size that creates dynamic gameplay throughout the six month game period without getting stagnant as it does in many MMORTSs towards the endgame. We're going to experiment on this and the next map will likely be closer to a million hexes.


Cross map movements like you describe will take a few days until you reach the late game and unlock various speed boosts. We want players to focus on regional conflicts first which naturally evolve into larger distances as the alliances grow. It also prevents players from just griefing the new guy on the edge of the map because it's not a viable thing to lose access to your units for a week.

 
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Ukerric

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#39
Even though we're getting panned as a P2W mobile clone in some places,
Seems weird, because the UI and game don't look like they're good for a mobile-type UI instead of mouse.
 
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#40
Seems weird, because the UI and game don't look like they're good for a mobile-type UI instead of mouse.
It's just a guess, but I think it comes from the word "MMORTS" which many associate with the mobile strategy games like Clash of Clans. In reality, the game is in many ways a successor to early browser strategy games such as Ogame, Travian and Tribal Wars. We chose to create a client-based game because it allowed us to innovate without being constrained by the limitations of the browser as a platform.

Our "Loot Boxes" are in a similar situation - they're booster packs really, as they contain only cards and you can purchase other things separately. They just happen to be boxes that contain loot, which evidently does not leave a good first impression.

But I'm happy this happened now to be frank. We're still in alpha, so we can address these issues to avoid running into the same problem at launch.