Module changes in DARK NEBULA
Equipping ships with Modules is the most important gameplay system in Hades' Star. All combat and economic activities on all star types heavily depend on Modules. The exact same activities can range from mind numbingly boring to extremely fun, depending on how well tweaked the involved Modules are. Without properly designed Modules, there's no progression, no strategy, no gameplay, and no Hades' Star.
Given the importance of Modules, the Dark Nebula update will take the time to carefully review the role and place of every single module in the game. The goal will be to fix the current Module problems described in detail below.
Before presenting the problems, a reminder on problems and solutions (if you've already read this section from a previous blog post, skip to Problem 1 below).
The problems described here are set in stone. You may think that these are not problems worth fixing, or that they are not a problem at all. That's ok, but if you want to understand what changes are happening in the game, it's important to also understand what problems the changes are fixing, whether you agree with the problems or not. Being honest with what problems we are fixing up front allows the community to see where we are going and what we deem as valuable. It allows feedback to be focused, as feedback can now be framed towards whether a problem still exists or not, whether it became better than in live Hades' Star or worse. Having the problems we are fixing be non-negotiable also allows you to see early if the new game we are creating is for you, and save you frustration down the road.
If you see a problem described in this or an upcoming blog post, it means we will be making an effort to fix it in Dark Nebula. That doesn't mean the problem list is complete. By identifying more problems via your feedback, you could allow us to expand the list of problems we are fixing. So if your feedback is "You said X is a problem, I don't think so", it will be ignored. If your feedback is "I also think Y is a big problem too", it will be considered.
The solutions described here are NOT set in stone. The solutions you see here (or the ones implemented so far in the Early Access build) are meant to address the identified problems. Most of them are not final, and will keep getting tweaked throughout Early Access. Your feedback here is extremely important: Are the changes addressing the problem effectively? If not, why not? What is the part of the problem that still remains, or what new problem has been created as a result of these changes? Your feedback will be far more useful if you focus on *problems* you see (ideally by playing the Early Access build), instead of proposing solutions. If you must propose a solution, please mention the exact problem it is fixing as well.
Problem 1. Many Modules break game functionality and/or are inefficient solutions to poorly balanced game systems
Red Star Life Extender
Genesis / Enrich
Problem 2. Most Modules are poorly balanced, making players avoid them completely
The goal with the Dark Nebula update, and all updates after it, will be to introduce compelling gameplay and meaningful choices in module loadouts for all star types, in a careful way that does not interfere with the other elements of Hades' Star that make players come back daily. In practice, this means that regular Red Stars will still be quite repetitive and therefore accessible to players who do not like or want to bother with tactical choices and with giving too much thought to their loadouts. (For those players, an adjustment period where they learn the changes to their preferred modules will still be required). All other star types, including the new Dark Red Stars, will encourage and reward experimentation with different module loadouts.
Problem 3. The early game Module experience is terrible
Module Tweaks during Early Access
Time Warp deleted
Support Modules Renamed to Combat, can only be equipped on Battleships
Many modules will be changing the Red Star level they are awarded at
New modules being added
We will be experimenting with a lot of new Modules in Dark Nebula, some of which will make it into the final version. The high level goals for these Modules are the following:
- To better support diverse loadouts and interesting gameplay in all star types. Especially for PvP modes, having more Weapon/Shield/Combat loadout options would make those star types far more exciting to play. We want to make Modules that are fun both to play with, and against other players (i.e. powerful Modules that also have powerful counters).
- To provide a more exciting progression through all the available Red Star levels. We want to avoid the current situation where certain Red Star levels unlock mostly useless modules, or even no modules at all. Reaching a new Red Star level should always be an exciting time, and the new Modules at that level should be a big part of this.
- To support the evolving economy, including Hydrogen (there will be a lot of experimentation with Yellow and Red star mining modules) and Credits (base shipment payouts and different shipment bonus modules will be re-evaluated, with potential for new modules as well).
Providing Module Feedback
The simplest and most useful feedback you can give while playing Dark Nebula, for any available module, is this: Would you want to upgrade this Module to the maximum level? If not, why?
After you identify that module, the best thing to do is move on and test the next module, assuming you want to give the best feedback possible. The vast majority of players are stuck in the "single loadout" mindset and never change modules or really test anything. Extremely valuable modules such as Alpha Shield were never touched in the first week of Early Access, until the values came up artificially to force people to notice the module. Increasing the values to unreasonable levels to force people to test a module is one way to get the module noticed and tested, but it's also very time consuming and will invalidate a lot of the testing when values come back to reasonable values. So if you can, try to take initiative in testing modules nobody else is testing. It will help the update and is your best chance to personally affect the update.