(Foreword: my vitriol is a tad high today. Let's just say I get pissed when medical "professionals" toy with a member of my family's health. Sorry if I offend.)
As I'm working on my plug, I'm playing other TCs and MSs for inspiration... and apparently to find out what NOT to do. Here are some major pet peeves (and problems I hope to avoid):
- IF YOU'VE DEFEATED ONE FLEET, YOU'VE DEFEATED A THOUSAND
Missions where you are asked to destroy a fleet are booooooooring. The steps are generally: 1) let enemy fleet exhaust all its missiles. 2) pick one ship and beat on it until your shields get low or the ship explodes, 3) run away and recharge, 4) repeat steps 2 & 3!
I'm not against combat missions in general, but PLEASE challenge me! Don't bore me.
Don't just multiply the amount of times the player has to re-use old tactics - force them to learn new ones!
- EASY ON THE DESCS
I enjoy feeling like I'm following a story. I wouldn't really enjoy a plug that is simply battle after battle, with no explanation as to WHY you're fighting.
But please, MINIMIZE your descs. I really don't care what PN had for breakfast. I don't care about the PN's love life. Or about their "martial arts training"... never going to be believable. In 3 missions I've gone from couch potato to the most fearsome hand-to-hand warrier in the universe? I also don't care about long descriptions of combat. "The marine forces made quick work of the Pirates" is plenty.
I'm not saying that descs should only contain the mission's objective - definitely there needs to be a story and motivation. But unless there is a compelling reason to include combat, or romance, don't include it! Example of a "compelling reason": PN falls in love, love interest is evil and uses PN to destroy good guys. PN seeks redemption. It's an old story but the "romance" serves a purpose. But romance for the sake of romance does not belong in EV.
- If you're tempted to check that "don't show shield or armor state" box... don't. Does it make ships harder to beat? Sure. And depending on the ship's stats, it can make it near impossible. Does the increased difficulty make it more rewarding to actually destroy the ship? NOPE! I get more of the "thank God that's over and done with" feeling.
A few ships in EV:Nova don't display the armor or shield status. It's cute and novel. The novelty wears off fast though.
And finally... for the love of all that is good, enough about freaking telepaths already. No one cares anymore.
PS Take your "organic ships" and shove em too.