Next Colony after 10 days
In my last post, I describe my first impressions from a new strategy game placed on steem blockchain. Well for me it was a big disappointment, so maybe I wrote to aggressive and didn't mention any light sides of the game. After 10 days I can describe my impressions less emotionally, and with more knowledge of the game.
UI - we get some changes, especially speeding up the website, or simply, but a very useful button in the building site that links to skills if you do not have them. But still we do not have much information there, like for example on what lvl we need to have ship skill to be able to produce it (ppl asking about it all the time), there is no information on the website about battleships stats, and the battle module starts on June 8th. There is no summarized information about the empire. The overview page show only text, info about "events" (like successful missions), and on what planet you are, very little. I would want at least info about ongoing missions (attacking fleets must be there), maybe all planets with summarised info like if there is ongoing production, or how much resources are there. The menu at the mobile view has very small buttons, and the overview page is not fully responsive (you must scroll right to get to the menu). Galaxy map doesn't allow to zoom in and out (and it would be nice to see your planet bigger and to see your empire in a larger perspective. The map is also nonresponsive.
Gameplay - nothing has changed here, and I have even more to add to my last post. Longtime needed to build first ships was, as dev said, implemented to make the game more balanced (so multi-accounts, and players with a lot of steem to spend didn't get to fast great advantage in a game), but as i see it now, it only helps ppl with a big pocket to be dominant force in Universe. Those who paid a lot for resources already started exploring (as someone said on discord it is also boring - there so no "events" only 3 options - you found the planet, you didn't find the planet, and you get destroyed - with no additional story behind) and get their next planet(s) their empires will be rising exponentially, and those who did not invest a lot of steem won't stand a chance in a competition. When "premium" players will start building great fleets to join in the fights, the free account will just start the exploration. Doesn't look to me as a balanced game.
Next new minus of the gameplay is fleets speed. Of course, it has a good explanation (more in Pluses section), but without any additional feature in the game (like markets for players on which you can sell and buy ships and resources faster than sending it directly to the customer), it nearly destroys possibility to become a trader...
Transparency - some says that this isn't good cause game will become a place where bots will play for us. Well, I think different. First of all, it is game on the blockchain so transparency is something that should be the priority, as it is one of the main reason why blockchains are so interesting technology. If I wouldn't care about this, there is plenty of strategy games on the internet. I also think that bots in the game will be good for ppl, cause this will be as PvE mode, and I will be happy that space is not so empty, and I can play with someone (even if it is just a bot). It will also be a challenge to defeat bot users. I already hear about antibot coalition and this is great, and I can't wait to see it.
Open API - the game is giving with transparency and open api great tools to "modders" and all who wants to make something for themselves for the game. We already have (paid) bot to manage the economy from(?) @ReggaeMuffin: https://shop.buildteam.io/product/nextcolony-autopilot-monthly/, a great statistics page from @rafalski: https://steemweb.pl/statistics/next-colony, spy tool from @scriptioner https://spycolony.herokuapp.com/index.html, the 3d galaxy map from @cryptoriddler (in progress, first version is here: http://cryptoriddler.bplaced.net/3d/galaxymap/html5/ ), and probably many more to come, it is even possible to make whole new website for the game.
Tradable items - it is also something that is a great thing on blockchain gaming. Games allow to earn (or buy) something that can be traded with someone else, and can't be "stolen" by admins who "ban" you, or something like that. Devs are saying that they want to make everything in the game to be tradable, it is great, and I am very happy about it.
UI - it is simple (besides that some things are not intuitive), and nice. I am not tired using it (besides the menu at mobile). Graphics are amazing thanks to @bronkong, with all these easter eggs on them ah great work (pity that you must open image in a new window to admire them)!
Galaxy map and exploring - I am a great fan of Ogame game, but what I've always missed in it was exploring space, something must have in space game! And here we are, exploring, and a map with a lot of undiscovered space. I was really excited about this module. For now, I still can't use it, as a free player I've only reached the 7 level of exploration ship... Nevertheless, it is a great thing that I hope will be developed further, so we will be able to find not only planets, and that there will be some stories there as it is for example in Stellaris or Endless Space.
Balancing game - Devs are talking about it very often, that they want to make this game balanced, and it is very important to me, and I am happy about that. Can't say much about this because it will be shown in the later game, for now, I see that the "premium" players have a great advantage. In the other hand thanks to random spawning new players we have balance in populating space, and also lower risk of multi-accounts to be overpowered. We have also slow ships that also prevent us from to fast growth of empires with multi-accounts
Ideas from players - Devs are open for suggestions from players, that is very important, as the game is on "alfa" stage. It is more a draft of a game, then a finished game. I hope it will look different than in the DrugWars where we also get alfa but devs listen mostly to themselves.
The game has many problems, but it also has great potential, and for now, it is a game with the best perspectives on the steem blockchain, so I will stay to watch it, and I recommend the same for all who likes strategies and steem