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Hello!

Thank you so much for your feedback! Yeah, when both players lose their drifters it very easily ends in a stalemate. 

There are a few solutions I have been considering. The first thing I want to get rid of is the enemy teleporting/map looping. Of course, there would need to be an out of bounds area on the sides as well but I would make the play area a whole lot larger so the size doesn't feel to small. 

That doesn't exactly directly address this issue, but this next idea might. I have been thinking about a surrender system, not only for enemies but for the player as well. Enemies might surrender when you are completely annihilating them or when maybe they have lost all horizontal or vertical thrust. The player would also have the option to surrender, though it would be more likely a "tactical retreat". They wouldn't lose a life but maybe they would lose some money and the player wouldn't advance and have to retry the enemy again.

Another change that might help is with weapon range. I have been thinking of removing the range for a damage drop-off system instead. That way if it ever comes down to only vertical thrust, you can still poke each other.

I could also make the warp core start with some vertical and horizontal thrust. Another simple solution would be to make a small game rule where you lose if you no longer have drifters (like the floatron rule).


While not all of these solutions will be implemented immediately in the next upcoming update, I will make sure to do my best and fix this infinite nothing gameplay. Thanks once again for this feedback! It really helps during these early stages of development.

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I've been playing the game some more and it's gotten to a point where I just can't anymore.  RNG just plays such a huge role in whether or not you have the parts you need to make a viable island.  Twice in the last day, I started a new game to find three forges.  Every enemy ship always has better weapons, defenses, and movement than you, no matter what you build.  If this only affected the enemy island design, I could sort of see it.  Sure, it's weird that you can replace all your stone with dirt or un-equip most of your weapons to weaken a boss, but it also seems to scale with stage somewhat, and maybe the enemy needs an advantage in raw numbers to compensate for their lack of brains.  But where I lost all hope was when I discovered that the quality of your island affects the loot that drops.

Having trouble finding horizontal movement items?  Just get your lateral acceleration down to 20 or so, the game will start dropping them.  Not finding any weapons?  It's because you foolishly equipped the few weapons the game gave you, so it decided that you had enough weapons and stopped giving them to you.  Just cut yourself down to a 2x2 brick with one cannon, two thrusters, and the warp drive.  Of course, one false move and you're dead, but that's basically the way the start of the game plays anyway.  Oh, you took a hit and died?  Better esc to the title screen and start over.  Otherwise you'll end up with no lives left in the late game when you need them.

What ever happened arbitrary challenges?  Whatever happened to RNG actually being random?

The more I play this game and the more I start to understand how it works under the hood, the more angry and frustrated I get.  I love the concept and the core mechanics seem fun.  Building your base is fun.  Getting loot is fun.  The combat is fun when it actually works.  But it feels like every time I'm just starting to enjoy myself, I get screwed by RNG or physics.  Maybe if you could see the cooldowns on each block so you know when the enemy's about to fire, or maybe if you were allowed to buy as many of one item as the enemy can buy, it would be less infuriating.  Or, hell.  Unlocks.  If I were getting pop-ups that say "You've unlocked <name of item,>" maybe I'd be able to tell myself that RNG in future games would be less shitty than RNG in the game I just played.  Maybe that's why roguelites do it in the first place, I don't know.  

What I do know is two of my favorite games are Shellcore Commander and Enter the Gungeon, so you'd think a game that combines them would be the best thing ever.  But so far it's been pure torture.  Looting mechanics are supposed to drip-feed the player dopamine, but all I'm getting on my end is pure cortisol.

Hey man!

Firstly and fore mostly, I am so sorry that you feel this way. Games should feel fun and I apologise for any stress of frustration this game has caused.

I was quite surprised when I read your post when you mentioned how the game works. I think it is really interesting to see how sometimes RNG can mess with us. Truth is, there is really nothing under the hood. The value of your island displayed in the stats is simply for aesthetic purposes and it really does not affect the enemy generation. It is the same thing for item drops. Item drops don't have access to view your island and determine if you need a certain item or not. 

The one thing that exists to try and minimise the RNG in the game are the forge and shop, though the forge does a poor job of it right now and feels very random. The shop will always contain certain types of items so that if you are lacking in a certain item like floatrons or shields, you can fully rely that the shop will have them.

That being said, I have future plans to make the player feel less frustrated, since I am certain you are not the only player who feels this way. One thing that significantly hurts the game in terms of replay-ability is the lack of persistence between runs. I have plans in the next few months to add this basic feature and was actually gonna have some sort of permanence in the next big update. However there were some core changes that needed to be made that will significantly affect the game in the long term, so I have delayed it until those changes are complete, but it is still scheduled for being up next.

Thank you so much for sharing your feedback again! 

Wow.  Seriously?  The enemy island values are fixed based on the level and the generation is completely random?  That's astonishing.  It really goes to show how eagerly the human mind assigns value to random noise.  I was so sure adding a shield caused the opponents to get shields early, for example.  Now that I know that's not the case, let me play some more and see how I feel about the experience.  I was second-guessing things that weren't an issue.

That said, RNG shouldn't make it impossible to win.  (Yes, even in a roguelike, assuming progression or learning the game's systems aren't a deliberate part of the intended player experience.)  Just about the only mechanic I didn't learn on my first run that reached stage 8 was that those energy weapons that bypass shields are probably what I need in order to stand a chance against the last boss.  (Later on, I sort of guessed that you might be doing the FTL thing of a weapon type being impractical and under-powered most of the game but then pretty much necessary for the last boss, but I haven't made it to the end since then.)

All right, I just had a decent run, by which I mean my RNG was uncanny.  4 missile systems by area 2 and plenty of pulse launchers before the end boss.  I couldn't get past the second to last boss, in part because I tried to practice aiming the energy weapons.  I don't want to give you the impression that missiles are OP, because then you might nerf or remove them rather than fixing all the unusable weapons, but everything other than missiles is pretty much impossible to aim, especially against a fast moving enemy bobbing up and down, which is pretty much all of them by area 7 or 8.

What exactly is the intended gameplay experience, here?  Right now it feels like you're bobbing around taking carefully timed shots with your cannons at the start of the game, which only works if you get right on top of the enemy and maybe nudge an expendable block into their core or only thruster if the opportunity presents itself.  Then you get missiles if you're lucky, or a wall of random trash guns if you're not, bind them all to 1, and do drivebys on the enemy until you've worn them down enough that you can afford to slow down enough to actually aim at something important.  All too often, though, you'll end up trading hits with the enemy, which is NEVER a good trade past area 2 or 3, because all the enemies have crazy amounts of armor and/or horizontal speed you could never in a million years find or buy by the endgame, let alone that area.   They you get to the Island at the end, and obviously it's an OP crazy-pants over-the-top boss like in FTL, but it has so many layered shields that even missiles are useless, so you need to use the pulse weapon that passes through shields and hits blocks.  But since that weapon functions like a cannon in terms of how well you need to aim and time it, you basically are a sitting duck for the boss, plus you're trying to use a skill you've long since stopped using for most of the game.

The real problem is the core combat loop.  Assuming I don't have crazy good missiles, shields, and movement, to the point where I can kite the enemy along and pick off shields and weapons systems until it's safe to drift close enough to take out thrusters, there's just too much going on at once.  In my head, I need to somehow keep track of my cooldowns, the enemy's cooldowns, the speed the enemy ship is currently going, the speed I'm currently going, whether or not my guns are aimed at the enemy yet, and in order to look at all that stuff at once on a big screen monitor, I'd need eight separate eyeballs that can swivel independently.  And that's with me binding everything to 1 and just mashing right click whenever I think I have a clean shot.  If you want me to somehow World of Warcraft hotbar individual weapon systems and use them strategically?  Popping their shields with a bank of shotguns or machine guns and then firing a penetrating horizontal laser into their core?  That's basically impossible.  I know one dude I have ever met in my entire life who could keep track of that much complexity in realtime, and he solves mazes instantly by looking at them.

Each individual part of this game is great, but the sum of its parts is just a frustrating, borderline unplayable mess.  It has amazingly deep systems, but you bought that depth with way too much moment-to-moment complexity for a realtime game.  You get these split seconds in which you can fire, and you have to set those moments up, and if any one of like, five different dynamics isn't as well-aligned or timed as you thought it was, you miss.  Meanwhile, the enemy basically never misses unless I'm out of range.  It's like you picked a core mechanic that was easy for a computer to do but hard for a human.

Fortunately, there's an easy fix for all of this.  A way to make all this agony go away, make the game more accessible, and you don't need to develop persistent systems or dumb the game down in order to streamline it.  Are you ready for this?  This is gonna blow your mind.  All you have to do is change a single number.

Double the turret rotation speed.

You're welcome.