Perpetuum Redux

As promised in my prior post, I logged in to Perpetuum again, armed with the new info about controls the a game GM provided for my in the comments.  Let’s take the “new stuff:”

1. There are hotkeys to targeting “R” is primary target and “F” is secondary target (P.s. “U” is unlock, “V” is interact)

I tried using these hotkeys and the R would set an existing locked target as primary, but wouldn’t start locking a selected mob.  Since you only fire at primary targets, I didn’t see the point of even trying to use F.  V was a nice little shortcut to loot containers of mechs I’d killed, but far enough away from the WASD that by the time I found the key to push it, I could have more quickly clicked the interact button on screen, so that’ what I stuck with doing after trying to use the V a few times.  Yes, I could have remapped it, probably to F, but I was already frustrated enough with the game at this stage of my play session (see below) to simply be wanting to dock up and log out, so I didn’t bother.

2. Options > Gameplay > Use Alternate robot control method for strafe turning left and right.

This changed the strafe keys to turn keys.  All well and good, but I want to use my keyboard to both turn AND strafe, not 1 or the other.  I still count this as an extremely poor design decision.  Strafe with Q and E, turn with A and D.  You’ve obviously programmed the functionality in for both turning and strafing, so let me put both capabilities on my keyboard at the same time!  Thanks.

3. With the addition of the big building there are some sort of “roads.”

I saw no changes to the landscape during this play session from my prior ones.  I suppose you could use the buildings for landmarks if you could pan the camera low enough to actually be able to see farther than a couple hundred meters, but since there’s no 1st person view if you pan low it’s hard to get a decent viewing angle when zoomed out, and when zoomed in your own mech blocks the view.  I took a screenshot of the local “terminal/station” and while yes you can see pretty far when trying to move wit hthe camera this low it feels claustrophobic due to the ground filling so much of the screen.  Still… no roads, nothing to really give you a sense of where things are, and if you get too far from the terminal for it to show on your overviewlandmark window then finding the direction you need to go to get back is annoying at best.

I appreciate the GM’s attempt to be helpful, but if the functionality to lock a target after selecting it in the overviewlandmark window doesn’t exist, then say so.  Don’t tell me a shortcut to set primary on an existing locked target.  And there aren’t any roads and the camera angles aren’t conducive to using buildings as landmark, so I’m not sure what the 3rd point was really trying to say.

So anyway….. I logged in and it had been 2 weeks so I had about 20,000 skill pointsextension points to spend.  I put them in to fitting skills and now could not only fit the armor plate, but a weapon upgrade as well that boosted damage and rate of fire.  I took a bounty hunting mission and headed the 3 km out of town to the spawn point for the mobs.  I saw a couple of newbie mobs on the way just as I was leaving the terminal, but the other 4 minutes of the trip out were boring while watching the boring landscape roll by.  The mobs spawned down in a valley and to get down to them one had to go through a series of switchbacks on the far side and work back once down in the bottom.  and of course once the mission was completed, work back up the switchbacks, etc.  All told the extra distance necessitated by this made it more like 4 km of travel each way — about 8 minutes of boring nothingness each way.

A the spawn pojnt the mobs were heavily camped, so it was difficult to get a lock before someone else did and get that 1st shot off to tag it as mine.  I eventually did and got through the 10 mobs I needed for my mission, but it was an exercise in frustration to do so.  These mobs dropped some decent kernels, missile ammo, and even the occasional missile launcher, and since the chatter is that missiles are the superior weapon system in the game right now, it made sense that people’d be going after them.  Add in that mob spawn points are few and far between, and you have the mess I found myself in.  This was why I was getting so frustrated that I didn’t bother to rempa keys as mentioned up above.  I mean c’mon, even SWG had the good grace to spawn a mob location for you when you accepted a mission, not simply send you to an already extant spawn point.  Well it did after everyone complained that their missions were being camped/stolen, anyway.  It worked SO much better after that was changed.

Still, I did manage to finish the mission, and after I climbed back out of the valley and got back to the outbuildings around the terminal I remembered to take a screenshot of my “Yagel.”  4 weapon hardpoints as opposed to the Arkhe only having 2, but not much else to distinguish it from any other lowbie robot that I saw.  In the background you can see the ground overlay that tells you where you can’t go becuz it’s too steep.  The multi-legged robots can traverse up to 51 degrees, iirc, while the 2-legged mechs are limited to 48% or something like that.  Didn’t sound like much of a difference when I read the specs, and that actually kind of annoyed me — I like the idea that the mechs are big weapon platforms while the light robots are scouts and able to spider-climb up cliffs and such, thus using the ground to their advantage to make up for their lighter armor.  And who knows?  Maybe as the game develops that’s how it will be in practice, but for now. . . I saw a couple of “Assault robots” but if I wanted to buy one of my own I’d need a lot more money ground out than I’m willing to give time to this game.  I never saw a mech, nor even saw one for sale.

Sad to say, this game still doesn’t impress me.  I wish it did.  I *really* want to like it.  Big stompy robots in an EVE-type universe?  My 1st thought upon hearing that was “Hook me up!!!!!!!!!”  But the implementation just doesn’t “have it” for me.  Lock times are too long, locking ranges are too short, especially given the lock time.  (As an aside, I took the “reduce lock time” skill, but still had a 12.5 second lock time, so apparently it’s bugged/not working.)  Movement is too slow and too limited by the terrain.  There aren’t enough mobs populated, and pve missions use existing spawn points rather than creating their own, so you’re fighting to finish your mission due to all easily accessible spawn points being camped by kernel/weapon loot hunters.  Overall the game simply feels too restricted and unpolished for me to give it a thumbs up.

Posted on December 7, 2010, in Perpetuum. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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