Below Zero - Feedback/Suggestions

SupermothXSupermothX AustriaMembers Join Date: 2015-09-22 Member: 208094Posts: 2 Fully active user
edited August 2 in Ideas and Suggestions
Hi,

Playtime 1d 12h (until I felt I was done)

QoL:
  • Shortcut bar, add at least 1 more slot (or make it 9 like the mod). There are 6 tools that are constantly used and I always have to switch the builder tool with the resource-scanner/laser-cutter.
  • To open up inventory space (like almost all other games), make items hidden in the inventory when they're kept in the shortcut slot.
  • Prawn suit: while it's docked in the sea truck, make its inventory accessible without having to undock first. It's also still as sluggish as it was in Subnautica 1, and picking up resources with the arm-icon is still messy. Edit: The prawn suit also had a egg-and-hen problem: I had found the driller arm recipe and vehicle upgrade station a long time before the moonpool. :/

Balancing:
  • I had never enough lead. More LEAD! It seems to be more often in blueprints than one hopes. Sometimes I found myself heading out of my base just to find that one dark rock on the floor (and praying it wasn't silver again). Suggestion: Make a zone a lead zone (like quartz/uranium/diamond. And while in that zone, remove it from its galena shell--or in the existing zones where it spawns, place it more often on the flat floor or around its prominent zone features.
  • Magnetite, late in-game, I just run in by chance, and without the wiki I would not have found it (and with the scanner room's range requirement it's a egg-and-hen problem).
  • Some points-of-interest I just never found. Without the wiki I would've been lost again--could need more breadcrumbs. Or a small minimap that would reveal orange dots in range or something similar.
  • The fauna, as compared to the first game, felt more aggressive. Everywhere! I was hoping to find relief in some zones (and to add contrast) but every zone had either the sharks or something bigger and badder. Since there is such a lack of weapons, give us the appropriate tools and add non-lethal base-defenses etc. Make the sharks not attack the seatruck or not cause any dmg (only cause the scary atmosphere with its biting sounds?).
  • If you add beauty, why not keep some tranquil peacefulness intact in some zones? That's where people could house/base-build more comfortably, and later on in game, one could try and conquer the more hostile zones with additional bases.
  • ARCTIC SURFACE: Overall, I disliked the icy surface area and its design. It felt rather dead, static, small, and more like work to get through the mazes. Running around and around for hours and hours in this unhospitable maze, and trying to find every hidden blueprint and quest story, I was really annoyed and disappointed. I had been hoping for a much larger and more open area--as a stark contrast to the already existing maze underwater. It would've been more refreshing (akin to the open areas in ARK, maps: Ragnarok or Scorched Earth). Someone really likes its mazes in the design department, yet they can become exhausting to players without variety in its environment.

Overall, I felt there was some contrasting needed to amplify its effects:
  • Peaceful Zones vs Hostile Zones: would better amplify the scary/horror atmosphere (like movies do).
  • Underwater Mazes vs Flat-open-Surfaces: prioritize the new planned underwater zones. The surface is not why I love Subnautica.
  • Exploration (and resource-gathering) vs Base building: felt balanced. Only the small inventory was constantly annoying. Suggestion: mid to late game, add inventory upgrades--or free up space by keeping hotbared items invisible.

MAP SIZE
Since you saved a great deal of resources by making a map addon a separate game (and just adding all previous recipies and models), I had been hoping to see a larger map this time. Yet it's even smaller; even the separate zones feel smaller.
Suggestion: on the outskirts, instead of adding dead space, make it like a desert: add oasis of life on a vast open, flat terrain which should allow increasing the visibility resource-wise.

The sudden dead space and obvious map border was probably the biggest immersion-breaker. Oasis: resource-hotspots with life. This would add a reason to scout the more open outskirts of the map with the Seatruck and give the environment a bigger mental impact while traveling it and ask more attention of the player while being out there 'in the desert' to (Seatruck's battery life and drinking water supply).


SEATRUCK
Beautiful design! The first time I crafted and docked the new modules it was pure magic.

What was annoying the most:
  • Too little storage space per storage module. Suggestion: add storage capacity module upgrades inside, beside the lockers to expand them.
  • When opening lockers the naming-dialog gets miss clicked about every third try (and because they're so small in storage space I didn't even bother to name them).
  • The water surface breaking through the interior of the Seatruck was immersion-breaking, and I think there was no flooding (yet) from damage? (Like the cyclops)

Additional Seatruck module:
  • Make a 'docking module' that docks to the hatch of the base, with a ladder inside by which you can enter your base; also recharges the Seatruck.

What killed me most:
cold - 4x
lack of air - 2x
No beasty ate me :tongue:

My game killers in the end:
  • Lack of multiplayer - it's 2020 for crying out loud! You could've sold 2-3 more games just from my friends' circle alone. I could've convinced at least 2-3 to also buy it and play it together. We would've played the game easily 1-2 more times in multiplayer, even after singleplayer was done.
  • Exploration of the map - too small a map. Sub Zero is even smaller than the first map and—compared to other open-world games—a let down after that short but intense burst of addiction (yet you completely dominate the underwater game genre as you well know!).
  • There's never really an endgame to aim for (neither was there in the first game). No breeding, no endgame-dungeons, no unlimited upgrades or unlimited enemies to kill for gathering or to keep rolling the dice. Add experimental modules, randomized enemies with randomized loot.

The most fun, as always, was probably the underwater early and mid-game.

I'll be back in 6 months or a year to check back on how the map is growing and I hope you don't drown in your work...
Soundrmcgillvrey

Comments

  • HowardEHowardE TampaMembers Join Date: 2020-08-04 Member: 263008Posts: 20 Fully active user
    Hey, I haven't played zero yet. I hope that I'll start soon saunds very interesting
    jganly
  • NewbieSpamNewbieSpam Indiana, USMembers Join Date: 2020-08-07 Member: 263102Posts: 1 Fully active user
    I agree with this. I feel like if there's any one thing that doesn't fit or make sense in Below Zero, it's the moonpool. When you have the seamoth and prawn it fits and makes sense. Swapping out the seamoth to the seatruck, the moonpool doesn't feel right. The seatruck detaching the cockpit to go into the moonpool is clunky at best, and you can't fit the compartments in all at once. Nor can you access the storage, since it's detached from the storage module.

    The other issue with the seatruck is the depth upgrade modules. If you detach the compartments to use the cockpit as a faster and smaller explorer, which is where it acts like a hybrid of the cyclops/seamoth, then the compartments lose the upgrades causing them to be destroyed. Leaving the compartments in more shallow waters leaves them exposed, and then you have to double back to pick them up again. I would rather have to have 2 depth upgrades so the connected modules could survive than having it as it stands.

    I like and prefer the idea of having the seatruck dock with a hatch, even if it's a unique hatch. The only other thing I could come up with would be to have the moonpool expand or link up so that a full seatruck (with all compartments) could dock, but I think that would be more complicated to do.

    Personally, I enjoyed the cyclops/seamoth more, though I understand why changing was necessary for this map. I hope the experience is improved so the seatruck provides a better experience as being a hybrid of the two. It is a neat idea, and don't get me wrong I thoroughly love both games thus far. It just feels like the cyclops/seamoth were improvements over the seatruck, and not the other way around. Even putting the cyclops/seamoth into Below Zero, so that the seatruck is an extra option would be an improvement, regardless of how limited the cyclops would be given the map design.
    SupermothX
  • SoundSound ArizonaMembers Join Date: 2020-08-15 Member: 263288Posts: 1 Freshly registered user
    I just got the original Subnautica in late June and loved it so much I IMMEDIATELY bought the early access to Below Zero. Since then I've played it through several times and probably submitted like 75 in-game bug reports. But there are some larger issues that motivated me to write this long forum post. I hope somebody out there is listening.

    One thing that I really loved about the original Subnautica (hereafter referred to as the OG) was the open world / various play styles philosophy. I played it through several times, and each time I tried to explore in different directions, build my base differently, use the vehicles differently. This greatly enhances the replay value of the game.

    HOWEVER... In BZ I'm finding this far more difficult. While the world design concepts feel similar (like I'm still on the same planet, as it should) the gameplay feels totally different. It feels much more like I'm forced into performing events in a certain order, and there are some sections that feel just like a pre-designed obstacle course, rather than a challenge with multiple ways to solve it. Let me give you a peek at my first playthrough (with the Salad Days update).

    First of all, I went into this totally blind. I did not start off with any walkthroughs or having watched any youtube videos. All I had to go on was my recent experience with the OG, so I had some idea of what to expect. Also, my play style tends to be cautious. I hate dying and losing work. I feel like this should NOT be one of those arcade games where you have to play the same level over and over until you can do it without messing up. Rather, it should be a world you can explore safely. It's a SURVIVAL game, and I think the goal should be just that. So, anytime you have somebody die from unforseeable circumstances or things they cannot control, I think you're hurting the experience. Now, I know there are other play styles that are less cautious and more willing to take chances and just reload their saved game if they fail, and that's fine. I just also think there should be a way to do it safely... To treat it like a REAL experience. If this was really you and you wanted to live, would you take long excursions into uncharted twisting caverns with only 60 seconds of air, just hoping that you'd run into a conveniently placed oxygen plant? Absolutely not! It feels too contrived.

    Ok. So to start off with, THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH RIBBON PLANTS IN THE STARTING AREA!!! In the OG acid mushrooms are literally EVERYWHERE in the central biomes. I feel like somebody on the design team is thinking, "there are plenty of ribbon plants to do what they are supposed to do." But the problem is, a new player doesn't know what they're supposed to do. They explore in whatever direction chance takes them. And I ran out of batteries long before I discovered the deeper places where more of them grow, or before I found the blueprint for a battery charger. Several things that contributed to this: One, I never found the small habitat in the mid-depth twisty bridges. Which means I never got that habitat builder tool or the wall locker blueprint. I didn't get a habitat builder tool until I made it all the way to delta base. The other reason I ran out of battery was because of the super horrible hand scanner tool. This thing sucks batteries so bad!!! And the info it gives is so poor that you're really better off without it.

    Ok so here I was, stuck with no battery in my seaglide, so all exploration happens at a snail's pace, and any deep water exploration is out. I was lost and stuck, and hadn't even really begun the game yet. I feel like somebody said, "If we make basic resources more scarce, it will force the player to explore new areas." Wrong! You make advanced resources scarce to force the player to new areas. Basic resources should be plentiful, otherwise, people get stuck and it's no fun! We always need a safe place to come back to. There should be so many friggin' ribbon plants that, like acid mushrooms in the OG, it would be impossible NOT to find them. Also, I think you should make it so the battery recipe takes only one plant instead of two, because they're bigger than acid mushrooms.

    I finally went on YouTube to see how people were even playing this game. There I watched a guy start a new game and after getting the first few initial upgrades, he immediately did a deep dive into the twisty bridges to find the habitat tool and scan seatruck fragments and get Alan in his head. And the path to Al-an was this ridiculous pre-designed obstacle course chain of oxygen plants. The only way it worked was because he already knew where stuff was and what he was supposed to do. I never found ANY of that!

    So here are the problems. As a cautious player trying NOT TO DIE, I'm NOT going to:
    Take 150m dives into dark trenches in shark-infested waters with no dive suit and 60 sec of oxygen.
    Take long exploratory jaunts down twisting tunnels, trusting on conveniently placed oxygen plants to save me.
    I will go to these places when I can do so SAFELY.

    So... in order to continue my game, I researched the command window and used it to continually recharge my batteries and give myself more copper, because I was tired of swimming slowly around the shallows smacking rocks and getting mostly titanium and storing it in a mess of floating lockers.

    So anyway, thanks to the YouTube walkthrough I was able to get past these early hurdles and get my seatruck, and after that I was very excited about the ability to customize my own build with various modules. I love the whole concept of the seatruck and I hope you keep it. Of course the first thing I did was build a storage module, but I was like, "WHAT? ALL THE COMPARTMENTS IN THIS WHOLE STORAGE MODULE TOGETHER ONLY CARRY AS MUCH AS I CAN FIT IN MY POCKET, OR A WALL LOCKER? WHAT?"

    So yeah I've already submitted feedback on that, but come on guys. I spent a lot of resources on this module and it barely has enough storage to bring basic supplies with me (food, water, first aid, beacons, spare oxygen tank, repulsion cannon). So I was like, fine, I'll build another one. But then it made my rig drag butt so bad it was barely usable. Thankfully you increased the speed a little with the 'Stranger Pings' update and I was excited to see in the change logs that you increased the storage capacity as well, until I played it and found out you only increased it by like TEN SLOTS? What's up with that? This module is big enough to hold four wall lockers, and yet it can only hold resources equivalent to one? WHY?

    At least now by building two storage modules I can use it for a decent supply run. One module mostly for food and gear, and one for gathered resources. But it's not enough to use as a mobile base as I would like.

    Oh, and also regarding the seatruck speed, I can't see where the horsepower upgrade does anything. I would expect it to make my rig faster with no attached modules but I don't think it does. I also don't feel like it makes much difference when pulling a long train of 4 or 5 cars.

    Also on the seatruck, it's a huge pain to have to click the exact spot of the hatch on the top of the truck to enter. In both the prawn and the seamoth, you could click just about anywhere on them to get in. This is a real hassle when you're in a tight tunnel or when you're running back to the truck in a dead sprint, almost out of oxygen or with a creature on your tail!

    Fabricator module: Ok, it's somewhat convenient to have a portable fabricator. But the additional drag on the whole train? Probably not worth it. Especially since it gives you so little additional storage! (What, ten slots?) How about two full wall lockers on the opposite wall? Now we're talking, because really, what's the point of bringing along a fabricator if you can't also bring enough resources to use in it?

    Aquarium module: Lol I thought this was gonna be lame but I like it because I really get tired of wasting time chasing fish around. Even with a grav trap it's just a tedious hassle. However, this thing doesn't really attract fish; they have to practically swim right into it. So what I do is deploy a grav trap right next to this module when I'm parked and it works fairly well.

    Docking module: It's great to be able to bring the prawn along. BUT... there is an entire wasted wall that could have... you guessed it... a WALL LOCKER ON IT! Also, please make the the prawn fold up his legs when he's docked. It just looks ridiculous and impractical otherwise. Also with the docking module, please be CONSISTENT on controls! In the front cabin you can exit by clicking either the ladder or the hatch. But in the docking module, clicking the ladder doesn't work?

    Sleeper module: Day and night cycle so rapidly that I hardly see a use for this. BUT... at night, everything is much DARKER than it was in the OG. Especially above water. Like, on my first playthrough I just started using the 'day' command every time it got dark, because you literally cannot see your way around at night, so there is no purpose to even exploring. So I have actually never built this module. I say, keep it for those who might want it (and it darn well ought to have some storage with it!), but just make it so the nighttime is not as black as death. Give us some moonlight, for cryin out loud!

    Final thought... I agree with the post above, that the land-based stuff it not where this game shines. While I do like the snowfox, the mazes are tedious and confusing and it all looks the same. In fact, I did a second run-through to visit all the alien sites and it took forever to find the the master arch, EVEN THOUGH I LOOKED UP THE COORDINATES ON THE WIKI. And then I couldn't find my way back out! Same goes for the frozen leviathan; I never would have found it without the coordinates.

    Look, if you guys just make like 5 more ocean exploration games I will play them. You don't even need to make new creatures or intricate plot lines. Just give me new worlds to explore and a cool little custom seatruck to do it in.

  • ggandavaggandava avenue e council bluffs IAMembers Join Date: 2020-08-16 Member: 263300Posts: 2 Fully active user
    my game wont load like im in the game but ive been sitting for over 12 hours and its still loading to the title screen
    Catalytic
  • ggandavaggandava avenue e council bluffs IAMembers Join Date: 2020-08-16 Member: 263300Posts: 2 Fully active user
    i have made a creature called the slender fish (srry if my picture didnt come with it)
  • cyberjunaidcyberjunaid Members Join Date: 2020-10-10 Member: 264578Posts: 3 Fully active user
    I have an idea, well not really an idea but a feature. I have not played below zero yet, trying to remain spoiler free. Since microsoft is about or has released the DirectStorage API, it would be cool for the game to incorporate it. This would effectively eliminate the pop in problem that was seen the original game. Again I do not know if this problem persists in below zero but almost instant load times in a game where the pop in problem was immersion breaking would be cool.
    Nvidia has enabled support for it, and I think AMD is following suit.
  • darrindarrin Frankfurt; GermanyMembers Join Date: 2019-02-15 Member: 250965Posts: 94 Advanced user
    Not sure if the 'pop in' issue is that much the fault of the Subnautica development team.

    Usually, game developers use a game engine (like Unity in case of Subnautica), buy a few extra plugins (like a wave simulation, fish animation or a highlighting feature), design their own assets (corals, plants & fish) and position them somewhere in the game.

    And finally, they add some code for the game logic (like energy consumption, etc. or creature behavior).

    Sure, there are plenty of ways to optimize this, f.e. by loading things in advance, but things like a DirectStorage API should IMO be taken care of by the Unity engine developers, not necessarily every team that uses Unity.

    So the best way to avoid 'pop in' might still be to limit the view distance. But this is easier in a normal 'ground level' game in which every hill blocks line of sight than it is in a gravity-less underwater game. I guess that's why Below Zero is more vertically oriented and doesn't have a grassy plateau anymore. And at least I haven't experienced any 'pop in' issues in Below Zero.
  • cyberjunaidcyberjunaid Members Join Date: 2020-10-10 Member: 264578Posts: 3 Fully active user
    darrin wrote: »
    Not sure if the 'pop in' issue is that much the fault of the Subnautica development team.

    Usually, game developers use a game engine (like Unity in case of Subnautica), buy a few extra plugins (like a wave simulation, fish animation or a highlighting feature), design their own assets (corals, plants & fish) and position them somewhere in the game.

    And finally, they add some code for the game logic (like energy consumption, etc. or creature behavior).

    Sure, there are plenty of ways to optimize this, f.e. by loading things in advance, but things like a DirectStorage API should IMO be taken care of by the Unity engine developers, not necessarily every team that uses Unity.

    So the best way to avoid 'pop in' might still be to limit the view distance. But this is easier in a normal 'ground level' game in which every hill blocks line of sight than it is in a gravity-less underwater game. I guess that's why Below Zero is more vertically oriented and doesn't have a grassy plateau anymore. And at least I haven't experienced any 'pop in' issues in Below Zero.

    I understand. I am not an expert in how game development occurs using engines. I just wanted it to out there, in case they forgot lol
  • BlackIronWyvernBlackIronWyvern Members Join Date: 2020-11-04 Member: 265207Posts: 1 Freshly registered user
    Sounds like a lot of good ideas
  • horngyihhorngyih Selangor, MalaysiaMembers Join Date: 2020-11-05 Member: 265217Posts: 1 Freshly registered user
    In Subnautica, the Trash Can was introduced to delete of items that would mean it literally aids "Garbage Collection" that would free up memory for tracking items created.

    Could we perhaps have instead of a Trash Can that simply deletes objects to perhaps allow players to Recycle items with a Recycler that breaks down items into component ingredients, it doesn't even have to be 100% efficient like base deconstruction but instead breaks it down to some key ingredients similar to like scavenging Metal Scraps into titanium, we often find items that we already have and have need for only one - being able to recycle items into key materials would also encourage scavenging and exploration.
  • JeLinJeLin Members Join Date: 2020-11-05 Member: 265224Posts: 5 Fully active user
    horngyih wrote: »
    In Subnautica, the Trash Can was introduced to delete of items that would mean it literally aids "Garbage Collection" that would free up memory for tracking items created.

    Could we perhaps have instead of a Trash Can that simply deletes objects to perhaps allow players to Recycle items with a Recycler that breaks down items into component ingredients, it doesn't even have to be 100% efficient like base deconstruction but instead breaks it down to some key ingredients similar to like scavenging Metal Scraps into titanium, we often find items that we already have and have need for only one - being able to recycle items into key materials would also encourage scavenging and exploration.

    Instant Karma:

    128?cb=20200830061423
    Recyclotron
  • rmcgillvreyrmcgillvrey Vancouver bcMembers Join Date: 2020-11-08 Member: 265308Posts: 1 Freshly registered user
    Loving the game and I agree with everything above, however on the topic of bigger maps it'd be nice to be able to build a large base in a heavy resource area. I loved my giant base in ilz and after 12 hours on my world I still can't find an area that offers both a lot of deposits and the space to create a large base
  • AWEJOKERAWEJOKER Members Join Date: 2018-08-30 Member: 243126Posts: 2 Fully active user
    The moonpool is indeed a bit unnecessary feeling especially because you can already make upgrade modules in the fabricator
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