So I've finished the beta Imperial and Necron campaigns and I have some thoughts, feedback and ideas, so in no particular order:
- The campaign map could really do with having a view more zoom levels. The default system view is far too zoomed out, and the only other zoom level takes you out to the sector view. It would be good to be able to zoom out further whilst staying in the sector before then transitioning up to the sectors map. This also applies to the battles, again it would be better to be able to zoom out further in these as well.
- I really hope there is going to be more mission variety in the full release. All the battles being domination gets VERY boring VERY quickly - and this needs to be more frequent that a few unique missions, there need to be a variety of different mission types to capture a system.
- Please bring back the ability to have more customisation of individual ships as in BF:GA1. I miss ship favours, ships specific skills (rather than them being just linked to the flagship) and levelling up the crew to improve different ships in different ways and tailor them to specific roles.
- On the same topic, greater individual ship customisation could be linked to the ships levelling up - its not clear to me exactly what levelling up a ship actually changes at the moment other than a small buff to bravery in the imperial campaign - this doesn't really incentive being cautious with you veteran ships as the diffidence between them and stock ships is negligible (so far as I can actually tell).
- Is it possible to move ships between fleets t be able to manage the composition of fleets - I can understand why this may not work between an imperial and space marine fleet, but why not between two imperial fleets?
- I think the games economy could do with some improvements. At the moment there isn't really any resource management to speak of except for deciding in which system to spend a fixed sum levelling up. There is no ability to tailor a system, which makes these upgrades and the approach to levelling feel very arbitrary.
- Fleet names at the moment are almost pointless as only the first two words in the title are actually displayed in the GUI (at least for me playing at 1920x1080) these could at least scroll to show the whole name when you hover the cursor over them.
- I may be doing something wrong but the ship engagement orders don't seem to be working. I set the ship to engage at 3km head on, and it stops at long range and doesn't close in.
- It would be helpful to be able to cycle between all your owned fleets from the feel management view rather than have to go back to the system map in order to switch to another fleet.
- If fleet special orders are going to be linked to the admiral then it would be good if they could accumulate more of these skills - starting with 4 and then unlocking on at level 4 doesn't really make for a lot of scope for progression of your admirals throughout a campaign play through.
- On the topic of the upgrades that can be achieved from the accumulation of renown - I think these should be applied on a fleet by fleet basis, rather than globally, again so that individual fleets feel more unique and special in the game. Fleets that you have had for a long time and built up lots of renown would be more valuable and more important in the game than newer ones that you have just constructed. This would also fit better with the lore of the game.
- The fleet icons shown of the system map should actually have some relation to the flagship of that fleet to increase immersion, and help you recognise specific fleets (i.e. if the flagship is a luna cruiser the representation should be this on the system map, if it is a retribution battleship then that is what should be shown). At the moment they seem to all be an illustration of a cruiser of that race.
That's all for now - I think some of the above should be fairly simple changes that would improve the game play and quality of life, and others are more substantial. At the moment I don't think the game should be released as it is. It's much bigger than BF:GA1, but also much shallower - its lost a lot of the character, role playing and progression that gave the feeling of ownership of your fleet in that game, and should have been some of the core aspects that were brought over into BF:GA2. At the moment the focus on more ships, and more factions seems to have been at the expense of these aspects that made me love the first game.
The ingredients are there to add this depth back into BF:GA2, but think that the Devs need to take a couple of months to listen to the community (I'm not the only one with this view) and implement some of the ideas and suggestions that are coming out of the Betas.