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Post Re: ss is dead
Hey guys,

Nice post and with dev attention. Read a bit and thought I'd put my 2 cents (and ill try not to do too much of a wall of text).

SS was possibly the only game I ever should have played if it had the same sense of adventure, challenge, and the unknown as it used to.

Historical factors that attracted me to SS:
1- intricate and complex economy (supply/demand off AI bases, open merchant world, player-base build economics of scale formulas, colony economics).
2- Playerbase could police community through pressure, impacting anything from player behavior to team building, to economy.
3- Hardcore-ish game made playing more of a novelty and ensured you had to remain sharp if you wanted to stay on top of the game.
4- Complex ship design, niche setups for niche situations... Loved every second of going to the drawing table with Hooch, Jiraque and co to get an edge on the latest SS starship technology, haha.

I started this game close to the very beginning, (2005-2006ish). Played for a few months, or years... cant remember, was the best game in the world and then stopped for my university studies. I didnt have a social group in the game, people seemed to have a team culture, and player reputation actually meant something as players could take punitive action against players, death strikers were fucking scary and made people run away. Economics had issues, some were abused, but rogue trade slavers and merchants could actually make somewhat of a living.

Also, the game was quite challenging, credits were hard earned, ai were actually a pain to fight and you required some skill to get through the game, there was a sense of adventure when it came to exploring unchartered territories, DGs, and Pspace. All this while protecting yourself from pirates (iWin, aggro base on some routes...). Low level dungeons had high-end low-level commods that were worth quite a bit. Today (or last time I played, people just have hoarded years of commods and goods. Not to mention how multi-client farming DGs have made some products overabundant.

I came back a bunch of years after, and played to the start of C2... The point at which the game had begun to rapidly degrade, not necessarily because of graphics, but because of gameplay feel and the, so-called, re-balancing efforts which simply shifted OPness.

Points :
1- MC ruined merchant trading, players who actually took the time to map out stores, items, and their prices could actually make a decent buck when they were good at keeping track of supply/demand
2 - Game was a hardcore/ish then, where you could lose more via being hunted (pirates, aggro bases, etc etc), your actions had consequences.
3- Bases were balanced, they were useful defences. Today galaxies get rolled through by OP ship builds which brings another point -
4- Gap between t19-, t20, and t21+ too great. Players with skill and t18 setups could have some merit in PvP or even PvE, now it's just a race to t21+ and skip all the low content. Made available through easy DG farming.

Personal Comment:
Care-Bear players were handed what they wanted, game was nerfed overall and turned into a rush-grind-win environment. Aside from the point, too much attention was given to end-game, very team-focused (nothing wrong with it, but solo PvE, economy, and PvP was neglected in the process). The game began to feel more like WoW-like games where each player had a specific, boring, purpose.

Also... The fact that, in the past, game design allowed player policing through politics and punitive action (PvP...) made the community a lot more bearable. Now devs or admins have to intervene in the game on too much of a granular level (players 3rd-party-camping DGs for example) when players are misbehaving in the game.

I'm not stating all this to change anything, perhaps the new direction of the game is working for the company's finances. But if the devs/admins actually care about making a noteworthy/complex/intellectually challenging game perhaps a lot of content or content direction needs to be brought back to the drawing table. This is the reason SS was an attractive game to me, and some noteworthy players I know do not play the game anymore.


Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:03 am
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Post Re: ss is dead
reyjalrm wrote:
Hey guys,

Nice post and with dev attention. Read a bit and thought I'd put my 2 cents (and ill try not to do too much of a wall of text).

SS was possibly the only game I ever should have played if it had the same sense of adventure, challenge, and the unknown as it used to.

Historical factors that attracted me to SS:
1- intricate and complex economy (supply/demand off AI bases, open merchant world, player-base build economics of scale formulas, colony economics).
2- Playerbase could police community through pressure, impacting anything from player behavior to team building, to economy.
3- Hardcore-ish game made playing more of a novelty and ensured you had to remain sharp if you wanted to stay on top of the game.
4- Complex ship design, niche setups for niche situations... Loved every second of going to the drawing table with Hooch, Jiraque and co to get an edge on the latest SS starship technology, haha.

I started this game close to the very beginning, (2005-2006ish). Played for a few months, or years... cant remember, was the best game in the world and then stopped for my university studies. I didnt have a social group in the game, people seemed to have a team culture, and player reputation actually meant something as players could take punitive action against players, death strikers were fucking scary and made people run away. Economics had issues, some were abused, but rogue trade slavers and merchants could actually make somewhat of a living.

Also, the game was quite challenging, credits were hard earned, ai were actually a pain to fight and you required some skill to get through the game, there was a sense of adventure when it came to exploring unchartered territories, DGs, and Pspace. All this while protecting yourself from pirates (iWin, aggro base on some routes...). Low level dungeons had high-end low-level commods that were worth quite a bit. Today (or last time I played, people just have hoarded years of commods and goods. Not to mention how multi-client farming DGs have made some products overabundant.

I came back a bunch of years after, and played to the start of C2... The point at which the game had begun to rapidly degrade, not necessarily because of graphics, but because of gameplay feel and the, so-called, re-balancing efforts which simply shifted OPness.

Points :
1- MC ruined merchant trading, players who actually took the time to map out stores, items, and their prices could actually make a decent buck when they were good at keeping track of supply/demand
2 - Game was a hardcore/ish then, where you could lose more via being hunted (pirates, aggro bases, etc etc), your actions had consequences.
3- Bases were balanced, they were useful defences. Today galaxies get rolled through by OP ship builds which brings another point -
4- Gap between t19-, t20, and t21+ too great. Players with skill and t18 setups could have some merit in PvP or even PvE, now it's just a race to t21+ and skip all the low content. Made available through easy DG farming.

Personal Comment:
Care-Bear players were handed what they wanted, game was nerfed overall and turned into a rush-grind-win environment. Aside from the point, too much attention was given to end-game, very team-focused (nothing wrong with it, but solo PvE, economy, and PvP was neglected in the process). The game began to feel more like WoW-like games where each player had a specific, boring, purpose.

Also... The fact that, in the past, game design allowed player policing through politics and punitive action (PvP...) made the community a lot more bearable. Now devs or admins have to intervene in the game on too much of a granular level (players 3rd-party-camping DGs for example) when players are misbehaving in the game.

I'm not stating all this to change anything, perhaps the new direction of the game is working for the company's finances. But if the devs/admins actually care about making a noteworthy/complex/intellectually challenging game perhaps a lot of content or content direction needs to be brought back to the drawing table. This is the reason SS was an attractive game to me, and some noteworthy players I know do not play the game anymore.


And they say I'm the one who wants to make the game carebear, glad someone else from the old days remember what it was like. This game is as carebear as ever, but mostly for end game players.

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Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:59 am
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Post Re: ss is dead
Likely because there was too much focus on end-game content.

I still think the exclusion of GG, taking away BvB, allowing MCing and a lot of other factors made it Care-Bearesque for any PvP and PvE content. Even if GG was still in play, the new neurobound commods would make any repercussions a lot more negligable, at all stages of the game.


Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:11 am
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Post Re: ss is dead
reyjalrm wrote:
1- MC ruined merchant trading, players who actually took the time to map out stores, items, and their prices could actually make a decent buck when they were good at keeping track of supply/demand
2 - Game was a hardcore/ish then, where you could lose more via being hunted (pirates, aggro bases, etc etc), your actions had consequences.
3- Bases were balanced, they were useful defences. Today galaxies get rolled through by OP ship builds which brings another point -
4- Gap between t19-, t20, and t21+ too great. Players with skill and t18 setups could have some merit in PvP or even PvE, now it's just a race to t21+ and skip all the low content. Made available through easy DG farming.

Personal Comment:
Care-Bear players were handed what they wanted, game was nerfed overall and turned into a rush-grind-win environment. Aside from the point, too much attention was given to end-game, very team-focused (nothing wrong with it, but solo PvE, economy, and PvP was neglected in the process). The game began to feel more like WoW-like games where each player had a specific, boring, purpose.

Also... The fact that, in the past, game design allowed player policing through politics and punitive action (PvP...) made the community a lot more bearable. Now devs or admins have to intervene in the game on too much of a granular level (players 3rd-party-camping DGs for example) when players are misbehaving in the game.


I dig your writeup, thanks for taking the time. I just want to respond to a couple points because I feel that the game has gotten a lot better in certain aspects since you quit.

1- With Industrial Commods in, I think you can make a pretty good buck on a single client again. You don't even have to build a galaxy, although we've also streamlined the building process on the low end so that it should be more accessible. This change is from just 1 uni ago so it's still relatively new and people are still figuring it out. I'd encourage you to come back and give it a whirl.

2- I agree that we have eliminated most avenues of catastrophic loss. The old game (ca. 2005) did have a hardcore appeal to it, but I just don't think we made the right choices to preserve that. The power creep on gear and the ever-increasing work you had to do to obtain it meant that eventually the Gear Glue system was going to cause more ragequits than it was worth. In an alternate timeline SS could have become a really snappy 2D arcade version of EVE, but even going back to the first few years there were already changes going in that moved us off that track. So we are basically here to stay now, and trying to find the best niche we can.

3- We have actually paid especial attention to the base-player balance in the past few years. At this point it's no longer possible to just roll through anyone's galaxy with a PvB fleet. Bases are pretty darn strong now versus players.

4- I agree that the power curve went out of control around T20. We have been focusing most of the dev team's attention on the early game experience, though. So while it still may be true that people will want to get to T20+ as fast as possible, we are trying to make sure that they have plenty of quality content to experience on the way.

You are spot on that there was much too much dev attention on the endgame over the years. This is something we have moved to correct in recent times, but it would have been really helpful to the game if it had happened earlier. As far as the game becoming Care-Bear, that's a pretty old discussion that I'd rather not revisit. I think there are plenty of interesting and challenging interpersonal aspects of the game right now. It's a lot less brutal than it used to be, but I really think we need to embrace the challenges SS brings to the table now, instead of always going back to how it could have been. As I was saying, we have renewed our focus on solo PvE and economy. PvP in the sense of territory contesting (i.e. BvB) has also been focused on. Ship-to-ship PvP hasn't historically been a focus on the dev team, but we do have a couple active players on the team right now who have been thinking about how to spice it up.

Having also played since 2005, I know just what you mean about admin intervention in player affairs. There has honestly been a hard stop to that lately, though. My most recent active stint ranges back to 2010 and I honestly can't remember the last time there was a controversy about admins intervening. It certainly hasn't happened in the past few years. So from my perspective I think we have indeed returned to a time in which players police each other and politics is a big part of the game.

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Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:32 am
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Post Re: ss is dead
All I seem to see recently is the same old players trying to find excuses to stop playing, Sure the playerbase isn't as big as it was but thats due to next to no advertising and the same old players eventually leaving. Hardly anyone actually knows ss exists.

I personally think the game will do well on steam, its light graphics wise (almost any current budget laptop could easily run ss), arcadey game and inexpensive considering the sheer amount of content you get.

The only thing I realllly want to see is a change so subscribing has some meaning at a lower level, even if this is just a xp bonus to a certain level and some p2p only content for lower levels. Hell even if you can get a few basic holoprojectors that are nb it would be a reason.

The entire game is so focused towards the higher end content that its pointless paying a thing for a month or three depending on pace


Thu Aug 25, 2016 6:44 pm
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Post Re: ss is dead
potato2 wrote:
All I seem to see recently is the same old players trying to find excuses to stop playing, Sure the playerbase isn't as big as it was but thats due to next to no advertising and the same old players eventually leaving. Hardly anyone actually knows ss exists.

I personally think the game will do well on steam, its light graphics wise (almost any current budget laptop could easily run ss), arcadey game and inexpensive considering the sheer amount of content you get.

The only thing I realllly want to see is a change so subscribing has some meaning at a lower level, even if this is just a xp bonus to a certain level and some p2p only content for lower levels. Hell even if you can get a few basic holoprojectors that are nb it would be a reason.

The entire game is so focused towards the higher end content that its pointless paying a thing for a month or three depending on pace


Meh, call them excuses if you want, the point is I got bored with the new orientation the game took.

I agree with you on the steam thing... SS is an immensely good quality game compared to a lot of MMOs on steam, all it needs is a marketing nudge in the right direction.


Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:42 pm
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Post Re: ss is dead
anilv wrote:
reyjalrm wrote:
1- MC ruined merchant trading, players who actually took the time to map out stores, items, and their prices could actually make a decent buck when they were good at keeping track of supply/demand
2 - Game was a hardcore/ish then, where you could lose more via being hunted (pirates, aggro bases, etc etc), your actions had consequences.
3- Bases were balanced, they were useful defences. Today galaxies get rolled through by OP ship builds which brings another point -
4- Gap between t19-, t20, and t21+ too great. Players with skill and t18 setups could have some merit in PvP or even PvE, now it's just a race to t21+ and skip all the low content. Made available through easy DG farming.

Personal Comment:
Care-Bear players were handed what they wanted, game was nerfed overall and turned into a rush-grind-win environment. Aside from the point, too much attention was given to end-game, very team-focused (nothing wrong with it, but solo PvE, economy, and PvP was neglected in the process). The game began to feel more like WoW-like games where each player had a specific, boring, purpose.

Also... The fact that, in the past, game design allowed player policing through politics and punitive action (PvP...) made the community a lot more bearable. Now devs or admins have to intervene in the game on too much of a granular level (players 3rd-party-camping DGs for example) when players are misbehaving in the game.


I dig your writeup, thanks for taking the time. I just want to respond to a couple points because I feel that the game has gotten a lot better in certain aspects since you quit.

1- With Industrial Commods in, I think you can make a pretty good buck on a single client again. You don't even have to build a galaxy, although we've also streamlined the building process on the low end so that it should be more accessible. This change is from just 1 uni ago so it's still relatively new and people are still figuring it out. I'd encourage you to come back and give it a whirl.

2- I agree that we have eliminated most avenues of catastrophic loss. The old game (ca. 2005) did have a hardcore appeal to it, but I just don't think we made the right choices to preserve that. The power creep on gear and the ever-increasing work you had to do to obtain it meant that eventually the Gear Glue system was going to cause more ragequits than it was worth. In an alternate timeline SS could have become a really snappy 2D arcade version of EVE, but even going back to the first few years there were already changes going in that moved us off that track. So we are basically here to stay now, and trying to find the best niche we can.

3- We have actually paid especial attention to the base-player balance in the past few years. At this point it's no longer possible to just roll through anyone's galaxy with a PvB fleet. Bases are pretty darn strong now versus players.

4- I agree that the power curve went out of control around T20. We have been focusing most of the dev team's attention on the early game experience, though. So while it still may be true that people will want to get to T20+ as fast as possible, we are trying to make sure that they have plenty of quality content to experience on the way.

You are spot on that there was much too much dev attention on the endgame over the years. This is something we have moved to correct in recent times, but it would have been really helpful to the game if it had happened earlier. As far as the game becoming Care-Bear, that's a pretty old discussion that I'd rather not revisit. I think there are plenty of interesting and challenging interpersonal aspects of the game right now. It's a lot less brutal than it used to be, but I really think we need to embrace the challenges SS brings to the table now, instead of always going back to how it could have been. As I was saying, we have renewed our focus on solo PvE and economy. PvP in the sense of territory contesting (i.e. BvB) has also been focused on. Ship-to-ship PvP hasn't historically been a focus on the dev team, but we do have a couple active players on the team right now who have been thinking about how to spice it up.


I tried getting a PvP contest going, no one seemed interested... I got 4 hits (i dont expect it to be a home run either, but still..)

I wish we could still PvP in earthforce, and that layer warps werent right out of Sol :-( that was a pretty big nerfball. Although that being said, I remember t22 space being a realllly cool spot and would make for an amazing PvP area.

Sign, this thread makes me want to get a month or two sub just to give the game a try again, but am afraid I will get bored or too busy after a week and just let it go to waste :P


anilv wrote:
Having also played since 2005, I know just what you mean about admin intervention in player affairs. There has honestly been a hard stop to that lately, though. My most recent active stint ranges back to 2010 and I honestly can't remember the last time there was a controversy about admins intervening. It certainly hasn't happened in the past few years. So from my perspective I think we have indeed returned to a time in which players police each other and politics is a big part of the game.


Yeah... but it's not the same policing as it used to be, back in the days you could actually royally fuck someone over if they just went all out trolling and ruining everyone's experience. Now all players can do is slap someone on the wrist and a few weeks later they are in a new team and got it all figured out again. In 2013 I got someone actively banned, if it were 2005-6 we would have just mopped his ass for doing what this person did.

Oh, while we are on the topic of "Making StarSonatamerica great again" server needs a 100% wipe, and battle thatches and spheres need to be able to use base gear :-) pretty please with cherries (ok im done with immature asks)


Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:53 pm
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Post Re: ss is dead
reyjalrm wrote:
Oh, while we are on the topic of "Making StarSonatamerica great again" server needs a 100% wipe, and battle thatches and spheres need to be able to use base gear pretty please with cherries (ok im done with immature asks)


:lol:

Nice seeing you back BTW. Hope you do give it a whirl or maybe just boot up a f2p and see how you like the new early game stuff we've done. Oh, and keep an eye out for next reset (mid September) as we are putting in a whole new system for obtaining Class Skills. It's not exactly a rebalance since it's endgame neutral, but we've streamlined the process a lot and I think it'll really help new players.

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Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:08 pm
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Post Re: ss is dead
Is there a way I can F2P on my old subbed accounts? Right now it wont let me in because they are expired.

I just poked in on my new account, dont really feel like grindfesting tonight


Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:28 pm
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Post Re: ss is dead
Yea i wouldnt recommend any grindfesting till after the reset, im really excited to see how the beginning of the game plays out with the new skills now.

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Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:30 pm
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Post Re: ss is dead
reyjalrm wrote:
Is there a way I can F2P on my old subbed accounts? Right now it wont let me in because they are expired.

I just poked in on my new account, dont really feel like grindfesting tonight


We are in the process of brainstorming ways to let people play on lapsed P2P accounts, but we just haven't gotten to a place on that project where we are able to make it happen yet. It is definitely on the table but it's really complicated in terms of making sure we don't suddenly lose half our subs. Short answer: not right now but we do really want to find a way to make that work.

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Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:03 pm
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Post Re: ss is dead
anilv wrote:
reyjalrm wrote:
Is there a way I can F2P on my old subbed accounts? Right now it wont let me in because they are expired.

I just poked in on my new account, dont really feel like grindfesting tonight


We are in the process of brainstorming ways to let people play on lapsed P2P accounts, but we just haven't gotten to a place on that project where we are able to make it happen yet. It is definitely on the table but it's really complicated in terms of making sure we don't suddenly lose half our subs. Short answer: not right now but we do really want to find a way to make that work.



Cause I would come in and poke around a bit if I could, im super busy with work and sometimes coudnt play for weeks at the time. But if there was limitations like no base building and no xp gains/skill advancement or reset I think it would be a good gateway drug to getting resubs ;-)


Fri Aug 26, 2016 8:39 am
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Post Re: ss is dead
reyjalrm wrote:
anilv wrote:
reyjalrm wrote:
Is there a way I can F2P on my old subbed accounts? Right now it wont let me in because they are expired.

I just poked in on my new account, dont really feel like grindfesting tonight


We are in the process of brainstorming ways to let people play on lapsed P2P accounts, but we just haven't gotten to a place on that project where we are able to make it happen yet. It is definitely on the table but it's really complicated in terms of making sure we don't suddenly lose half our subs. Short answer: not right now but we do really want to find a way to make that work.



Cause I would come in and poke around a bit if I could, im super busy with work and sometimes coudnt play for weeks at the time. But if there was limitations like no base building and no xp gains/skill advancement or reset I think it would be a good gateway drug to getting resubs ;-)


Yup, we are trying to figure out a way for that to work. The main concern is that if we give lapsed P2P too much access, we will suddenly lose half our subs.

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Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:18 am
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Post Re: ss is dead
reason I gave this game a go back in 2005 (1st account) then 2006 (now my main rp account) was because it was hard but rewarding. The reason I stayed was because of the community which gave me a chance to get engrosed in the game beyond f2p.

Getting steam rolled 2 unis on the trot by Toxic (sadly RIP) and Traders gave me the drive to progress to defend my team and its players who id formed a rapour with.

The game lacks this more than anything.

IMO not stopping MCing (which I did after 3 years of playing and own 4 accounts + access to tls accounts and my bros 3 accounts) was the killer blow to SS, not carebear additions or anything. the fact the ubers were easier then, items and commodns more available, gals can be defended by 1 person and their accounts not team work. Removed the human and team work side of the game.

Bring back the team work and the game will take on a whole different form.

Everything else is a result of this 1 flaw.

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Fri Aug 26, 2016 4:29 pm
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Post Re: ss is dead
xzume wrote:
reason I gave this game a go back in 2005 (1st account) then 2006 (now my main rp account) was because it was hard but rewarding. The reason I stayed was because of the community which gave me a chance to get engrosed in the game beyond f2p.

Getting steam rolled 2 unis on the trot by Toxic (sadly RIP) and Traders gave me the drive to progress to defend my team and its players who id formed a rapour with.

The game lacks this more than anything.

IMO not stopping MCing (which I did after 3 years of playing and own 4 accounts + access to tls accounts and my bros 3 accounts) was the killer blow to SS, not carebear additions or anything. the fact the ubers were easier then, items and commodns more available, gals can be defended by 1 person and their accounts not team work. Removed the human and team work side of the game.

Bring back the team work and the game will take on a whole different form.

Everything else is a result of this 1 flaw.



This was the same for me.
When I first played it was because the social aspect was so great, first major team I was on was Traders with Hart of Gold as the director and had a lot of fun with him and FallenSeraph + a bunch of other lads. Died a lot to various players and was harassed with my ship being towed over my spirit which back then you automatically entered and had no PvP aura. I didn't care, because I was still chatting with the guys and having fun.

Eventually left and joined up with Aortal and Hellfrost on Vazaha Vigilantes and had a whole heap of fun defending our single galaxy which was the shit. Lost bases to someone, but again still had the community to chat with and Retyu in all chat.

Joined TFC, started doing tech 20 things like equipment and shields, those things took planning and required a bunch of us on vent to co-ordinate effectively. Many times we wiped after an hour or two of attempting and then conceding we couldn't do it, but we didn't care because again we always had the interaction and fun with each other.

Ever since I came back, that has just gone. You want to do T22, alright let me get my 7 accounts and we'll just steamroll through and get you everything, alright cool, I've got that... So, what are you guys up to? Oh, colonies, okay cool, oh you're logging off now because it's all set and done and you've just made 30b today. Okay... Oh, some devs are exploiting and killing off the game, okay coo... Oh, where did everyone go?... Oh... Well at least everyone has their comfy autism fort.
The social part of this MMO is so far detached it's now on a discord server rather than in-game.

The game has just become a hamster feeder, push button receive reward. The most activity this game gets lately is the start of a uni when everyone is looking for space to claim and once that's done, it takes a few minutes to setup everything thanks to the item-teleport from Free Market and import / export tabs. There's no challenge in anything and with just a glaring power-gap between classes there is even less of a challenge in PvP. The only way to get ahead of anyone is to jump on whatever exploit is fresh and that's not a challenge, that's just bullshit. Combine all that with minimal interaction and I may as well be just play Escape Velocity Nova.


Sat Aug 27, 2016 10:28 pm
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