Echo #105: XP and experience changes

For a while now Sector Six had a bad gameplay loop. This is how I think it works:

1) Level 1 player plays at level 1 region and reaches level 2.

2) Player sees “Warning: Difficult mission” on level 2 region missions because often player’s spaceship has level 1 items.

3) Player decides to stay at level 1 region to get better items and to clear the region. Because it’s a lower level region, the player gets XP slowly.

5) After completing numerous missions in level 1, the player reaches level 3 and moves to level 2 region.

6) But level 2 is now a lower level region, and the player continues getting XP the slower way. Region 3 missions still have that “Warning: Difficult mission message”, because the player was playing in level 1 region and can only have level 2 parts.

7) At this point players only have two choices: Play in level 3 region that is difficult and slow because enemies are strong or play in level 2 region which is easy, but leveling up takes a very long time because enemies don’t give much XP. The only way to get out of bad gameplay loop is to play those difficult level 3 missions, until the ship is good enough for them and move to level 4 region as soon level 4 is reached. The other choice can make the player always stay in lower level regions, always out of range of good experience.

Probably there are more reasons to why that happens, such as mistakes in spaceship building, the high rarity of weapon damage parts, players just wanting to clear the regions, etc.

In the end, it all combines into a hellish mixture of mechanics that makes game slow and boring.

I intended for players to always stay in their level regions - that’s where the game is most fun.

Changes to combat the bad gameplay loop:

1) Change “Warning: Difficult mission” message For example - “Recommended maximum armor for this mission: 4000 | Your ship has 3800”.

2) No longer give XP to players after they fail the mission.

3) No longer give XP to players in lower level regions. This would allow players to play at their own pace - it’s probably the most important change.

4) Reduce the number of mission completions needed to clear the region. For players who like to clear regions, this makes the game slower than I intended.

5) Remove pylons and nodes from drops until they are reworked to be useful again. Pylons and nodes would still be obtainable from vendors.

6) Make generic parts better. I think this would make the game more fun overall.

7) Remove region level XP bonus and instead double the amount of XP minions give.

Right now I’m implementing these changes and also trying to fix the save file corruption problem.

Patch is coming soon.

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