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Hello, after a few weeks playing From The Depths, I really love the scope of this game, how ambitious it is, and what you should be able to do within it : build (almost) anything you like, see it behave according to in game (not so) real physic, and then use your designs in a war game interface, with an economy side to it. Really promising, and for the most part the game delivers on that, and it is probably the closest to the "perfect game" for me that I found anywhere.
But now, there is a general feeling of clumpsiness in the game's experience, and some steps that could improve it that are so simple that it quite blows my mind that the game made it to full release without them being taken. Devs, I hope you're reading!
First of, a lot of us spent, and are spending, many hours in the build mode. So enhancements there would have a huge impact on our experience. And due to one design choice, we can't see a thing and are ruining our eyes : I speak of the placeholder for the block we need to place : why is it saturated green or red and OPAQUE ?
Countless times building in tiny spaces I found myself swearing at this. Same for the Ctrl-P prefab mode (which is quite clumpsy in it's own right, often discouraging the use of it, whereas it is, with Ctrl-Z, one of the best quality of life addition that have been made to the designer), the purple box is blocking our vision (on what's inside) ! And what's inside is blocking our vision of where we want to fit the prefab... Also for a lot of blocks we have no clue what we're placing and in which direction before placing it. Another remark : why does the placeholder have shadows ?To make my life easier, I fixed time of the day at 12:00 when in build mode (great option to have btw, thanks), and it can be a real pain to see in which direction a block is facing if the noticeable part is in the shade (I'm looking at you belfeeder...). Also I find quite anoying that the whole referential of the camera (including key bindigs for block rotation) is rotating when you build on a subobject. This is quite headache inducing, and it certainly consumes my time to hit the wrong key everytime cause I'm building sideways from the main hull... I can't be the only one with these issues... Ok you kinda get use to it, and develop workarounds after hundreds of hour of play, but considering the amount of time we spend in build mode, fixing these is quite important.
Most of creative games in the world have made a very sensible choice: they use the same model than the block you want to build hen you have it "in your hand", but slightly transparent and eventually reddish or greenish to indicate wrong or good placement. Eventually we could have a slider for the thing's transparency in the options? I have even seen this change happen during development in another early access game (World of Castle) that had the same saturated green or red approach in the editor, and adopted the transparent approach after their community's outcry, so maybe that's quite an universal desire from players?
As a kerbal space program player, I must also say that the editor feels much more agreable there... The radial symetry and the offset tools are also additions I'd very much like to see happen in FTD, but I recognise that it is probably much harder to get those that the previous things suggested.
While we're here, if you're still reading, I understand that FTD's scope is much wider than KSP's, but there's definetly some features I'd love to see enhanced in FTD, like actual orbital velocities instead of gravity disappearing with altitude, a voxel aerodynamic model (as done by Ferram's mode in KSP) instead of weights/block based on orientation, no mode round (sloped) shapes bouncing inexplicably from the water, proper occlusion from drag purposes, a full use of the already present "aerodynamic heating" thing.
Also how can we see the arrows for the forces exerted on our craft?
Ultimately, balance : please give more love to sailing ! The powerfree dedicated blades makes sails totally useless, whereas THEY (and not helicopter blades) should be the real power free naval (why not aerial) option. For those who're interested, the from the depths sailing ai additional routine seems to control only square sails, the "sailing" additional routine controls nothing but gives orders that are meant for triangular sails that spinblocks can listen to. Took me a while to understand I needed both AI for my sail boat to function. (actually I wanted to use the canons of my guns as masts, and use the AI to spin the turrets as masts when there were no ennemies around, but couldn't find a "copy orientation of (mast) spinblock" command for turret in lua, and gave up.. :'( maybe if there's a mast with a simple weapon on it the mast-cannon could copy that azimuth with an elevation of 90° up? contact me if you can make something work!
Did you know that sails function underwater? I built a sailboat that has no roll and goes 50 m/s without even trying thanks to it. This is quite broken, but susceptible to damage. I'd ask to fix this (and break my stealth sailboat), but as long as zero consuption dediblades are a thing, there's no need to nerf sails even more imho.
Before I forget, I noticed that if a turret is on a turret, the LWC can control rotation of both turrets (and firing), but the Anti-missile controler can only control rotation on the first one (and firing on both). This means that in the designs like this I tried, with bots AMM and LWC, the LWC (with lower priority) would point the child turret to the ennemy main boat, while the canon wants to fire up to enemy missiles, leading the whole thing to hold fire and not shoot the incoming missiles. This is akward, could these two blocs have the same control over turrets, one way or another (LWC's way seems better to me)?
Lastly, it is too bad that radar detection is not changed by slope, this could be done with a very similar code to the drag aerodynamic model overhaul ^^
Thanks for reading this far !