Odyssey's Biggest Weakness: It lacks depth

I think I'm finding the concept some people think that this 'Alpha' (this isn't an alpha....) is only a small fraction of the overall megagame Odyssey is going to be to be quite unfortunate and predictably blinkered - I mean every SINGLE addition has been underwhelming - with the slight exception to mining and exploration changes which were at least a step in the right direction.

I will predict right now - this IS the entire game. There is no more. Except for PvP stuff of course, because that is apparently the only thing that really matters. The roadmap mentions nothing about exploration, mining, or well, anything other than combat and trading - which coincidentally is precisely what we mainly do already.

Oh and BGS stuff is and will forever remain a niche area that the vast majority of players simply don't care about* - and that's just more of the same as mentioned above anyway, and therefore should not be any higher of a priority than anything else.

This DLC is, sadly, yet another impending waste of time for those of us who realise there IS more to the galaxy than who has the bigger gun. Of course, as always, I'm still awaiting to be proved wrong. Remember, I paid my money just like everyone else, so my opinion is equally as valid.

* I'm talking about competitive BGS of course, I'm fully aware the BGS affects all aspects of the game generally.
 
The roadmap mentions nothing about exploration, mining, or well, anything other than combat and trading - which coincidentally is precisely what we mainly do already.
Well, other than mentioning exploration explicitly. And I don't know what mining you were expecting to do on your planet legs.

But hey, this is the forums - we don't need no stinkin' facts - we have things better than that - we have OPINIONS!
 
Missions are sub-par for the FP genre, and deceptively lack freedom of choice
And yet another example, covert assassinations, where you need to use the overcharge tool as there is no other way to commit a silent kill without detection.

This only gets worse if you compare Odyssey to, say, an average open world first person game. There are no traps you can set. There is no combat preparation beyond poking a couple panels in the CMD building. There are no distractions that don't require you to break and sneak into another secure building to poke a keypad. This is fine at first, but once you get bored of sneaking directly to the objective, or committing a massacre, it becomes glaringly obvious how little choice you have.



Settlements are littered with buttons and details that look important, but don't actually do anything, and the content almost entirely lacks any sense of cause-effect

So... what if we try flushing out the building by turning off the atmosphere! Cut open the emergency atmosphere control access on the roof and turn it off. Surely the staff will come running out to the next building and the guards will come looking for the controls now, right? Nope. -230 degrees celsius cold? No oxygen or pressure? Pff, the scientists and staff wearing business casual clothing don't mind. Helmets up and everything is peachy. Keep working. They don't even attempt to switch the atmosphere back on... I believe this is self explanatory of the entire point.

I totally agree with the above points. The stealth gameplay is pittiful, you cant even drag bodies once killed so you know for sure that another NPC will spot them and the base will go onto alert, then you are instantly targeted, even if there's no proof you were the one that killed the NPC - NPC's are Psychic!

I also agree with the atmosphere issue, if i was on the moon without a suit, just in my jeans and t-shirt with an oxygen mask, would I be totally fine walking around and doing my day to day? NO, i would freeze instantly, not to mention the moisture in my body being ripped out of me due to the vacuum! - This annoys me more than anything, ED is supposed to be based on realistic gravity and atmospheres, yet this sort of handwavium is ok?

There's also the fact that i can land on a 0.5g or less planet and jump like im the Hulk, yet when i run, it's like i am on a 1g planet? - Again, on the moon, could i run around like i am on the Earth? NO, the lack of gravity would require me to hop or skip as the Astronauts did on the moon landings.

GET IT TOGETHER FD!
 
Yeah, sure, but this is not feedback about Odyssey but rather the limited alpha phase 1..The lack of depth is kind of obvious when you are limited just to single system and few items that can be bought or obtained and few things that you can actually do.

I don't think more systems and weapons will help with depth. It didn't really help Elite to begin with.

It's core FDev problem, they just can't make deeper gameplay to save their lives. I wouldn't be surprised if it would end the same way - engineer your gear and just destroy npcs or spend ages going through shields and hp.

Honestly I'm not happy with direction they went, I hoped for more Sim style combat and instead we got this almost indie like FPS.
 
I don't agree with all your points however you got some good and very important points regarding what we have seen so far.
And that's the keyword, so far, we really don't know how deep the game is when it all comes together.

I guess we just need to wait and see, however some of your observations is very valid.
 
Having thought about this for at least a minute I've come to realise the greatest issue with Odyssey is that a great many stations have a woefully lax attitude to safety when it comes to preventing fires.

Not only is there a shocking lack of basic safety equipment to mitigate fires it seems that the default setting for the npc is to run away from the fires and call me for help.
 
And that's the keyword, so far, we really don't know how deep the game is when it all comes together.
The thing is we have every thing to know what happen when we interact with NPCs : death.
Even when you're legitimately here to help them, they just try to kill you. What do you expect ?

Having thought about this for at least a minute I've come to realise the greatest issue with Odyssey is that a great many stations have a woefully lax attitude to safety when it comes to preventing fires.

Not only is there a shocking lack of basic safety equipment to mitigate fires it seems that the default setting for the npc is to run away from the fires and call me for help.
Then they try to kill you if they see that you have helped them.
 
Having thought about this for at least a minute I've come to realise the greatest issue with Odyssey is that a great many stations have a woefully lax attitude to safety when it comes to preventing fires.

Not only is there a shocking lack of basic safety equipment to mitigate fires it seems that the default setting for the npc is to run away from the fires and call me for help.

In an age when interstallar travel is a simple as hopping on a bus, you really would have thought that people would stop using those scented candles all over the place.
 
Lacks depth? We barely saw a small portion in phase 1. We are still about to see other parts of "on foot" game play and most importantly how it connects with existing game mechanics.
It's an alpha. Surprisingly. They haven't shown anything for teasers much beforehand. This is pretty much all they got. OK, there better planet gen - if you're in to that thing. And more lootie scanning and elfroot plucking to fuel the hamsterwheel for progression. That's it.
 
Edit: I feel like my intro makes my opinion seem skewed against Odyssey as a whole, and that's my mistake. But it would be a waste of your time to add a long rant about what I like about Odyssey to this post, and would detract from the message of the post as a whole, but I'll just quickly add here that I think Odyssey is a welcome and positive addition to the game as a unit, however has some serious yet addressable weaknesses that I strongly believe may hamper its reception and ultimate potential. That's what this post is about. This is not about why "Odyssey is bad and you should all review bomb it on release". Not at all.

To start off, I wanna point out that I'm not saying that Odyssey is horrible, and I think it has a ton of potential. But from the way I currently see it, Odyssey is missing quite a few things that are going to prevent it from getting good reviews and good reception when it comes out. In fact, even with bugs aside, I can see Odyssey getting rather negative reviews from fans and journalists alike if what we're seeing in Alpha is representative of the final product. Given the <2 month release window, I'm very afraid that it might very much be representative of the final product.


I'm not here to beat the bloodied horse. No, this thread isn't about Apex/Supercruise times. No, it's not about enemies being bullet sponges. Rather, it's about just how shallow Odyssey's content has been turning out to be after some quite extensive playtesting. To try to avoid a disorganized mess, lemme try to break it down into some categories:



TLDR; it feels horrifically linear, and after you dig for ten or fifteen hours, you suddenly hit the floor of what Odyssey's existing content has to offer you in terms of replayability. And that's a huge problem.

  • Missions are sub-par for the first person genre, and deceptively lack freedom of choice
  • Settlements are littered with buttons and details that look important, but don't actually do anything, and the content almost entirely lacks any sense of cause-effect
  • Progression is nearly non-existent compared to ship gameplay, and relies entirely on repetitive grind
  • Odyssey is obsessed with making you fight, or at least commit crime

Lets dig in, shall we?



Missions are sub-par for the FP genre, and deceptively lack freedom of choice

The title explains this one fairly well. Initially when loading into Odyssey, you're presented with quite a few mission types. This looks great, and for a while, it feels great (besides the unpolished difficulty and nonstop death). But once I got the hang of it, and started to learn the basic patterns and flows of gameplay, I decided to try to branch out a little, to try to do my missions creatively. And this is where Odyssey fails.

Most missions don't actually have many avenues to go down. Here's a scenario: you arrive at a pitch black settlement. You need to reboot the reactor and put out the fires, but the glow of flashlights all over alert you that it won't be easy. Sneaking in, you notice a couple powered-off sentry turrets. Great! If you can get the power back on, surely they'll come to life and mow down the bandit invasion? So you make your way to the reactor, taking great care to avoid the bandits. You cut your way into the reactor room and boot it up. The lights come to life, the base drones power on and take flight, and the turrets wake up and begin scanning the base. Awesome, now time to wait for the bandits to face their reckoning from the base they assaulted... any moment now... But the drones and turrets never do a thing. They can only target and interact with players.

That's just one example of just how lifeless the missions are, and just how much freedom they lack. For another prime example of this lack of freedom, see the stealth-enforced reactor shutdown missions. There is only one single linear way to successfully approach these missions. 1. Make way to alarm controls, 2. Disable alarms, 3. Disengage reactor, 4. Get the out of there fast and book it into the desert because even if the alarms are off, AI will always investigate a reactor shutdown and see you if you stick around for more than ten to twenty seconds. And yet another example, covert assassinations, where you need to use the overcharge tool as there is no other way to commit a silent kill without detection.

This only gets worse if you compare Odyssey to, say, an average open world first person game. There are no traps you can set. There is no combat preparation beyond poking a couple panels in the CMD building. There are no distractions that don't require you to break and sneak into another secure building to poke a keypad. This is fine at first, but once you get bored of sneaking directly to the objective, or committing a massacre, it becomes glaringly obvious how little choice you have.



Settlements are littered with buttons and details that look important, but don't actually do anything, and the content almost entirely lacks any sense of cause-effect

There are few buttons in the settlement that do much. Base defenses, alarms, auth scans, and the reactor regulator. Beyond that, the options are very scarce. Honestly, I'm not even asking for more to be added. I'd just like the buttons that are there to do something real. Lets take a look at atmosphere controls. Sure, they depressurize a building... but what does that do, really? It nearly equalizes the temperature with outdoors and removes the oxygen and pressure, which affects your suit power use and can get you killed if your power runs dry. Also, it puts out fires. Alright, seems right.

So... what if we try flushing out the building by turning off the atmosphere! Cut open the emergency atmosphere control access on the roof and turn it off. Surely the staff will come running out to the next building and the guards will come looking for the controls now, right? Nope. -230 degrees celsius cold? No oxygen or pressure? Pff, the scientists and staff wearing business casual clothing don't mind. Helmets up and everything is peachy. Keep on working. They don't even attempt to switch the atmosphere back on... I believe this is self explanatory of the entire point.



Progression is nearly non-existent compared to ship gameplay, and relies entirely on repetitive grind

Right now, I assume most of you who have completed a few missions could buy every gun if you wanted. I'm sure some of you have already. This gun lineup you already own is a large chunk of what will be in the full release. On top of that, there will only be 3 suits. In totality, pretty much any of you with anything better than a Sidewinder probably have enough credits to buy every single item of progression for footfall gameplay and barely break a sweat. There are no attachments to toy around with beyond engineering. There are no suit modules you can tinker with to make an optimal build for what you do.

So that leaves us with ONE path of progression: engineering/upgrades. The current way to go about this? Pick every settlement you come across dry, again, and again, and again, and again. Google the spawn locations of materials, and cheese the heck out of Elite in every way you can figure out how so you can slowly acquire the very rare materials to conduct upgrades. It's like engineering but far worse and far more boring, and being forced upon players very early into the Odyssey gameplay loop. I can only imagine how many people this will turn away from Odyssey after they play for a few hours.



Odyssey is obsessed with making you fight, or at least commit crime

This one barely needs explanation I'm sure. Nearly every mission you get sent on is an illegal action, including the legal missions. Break in here. Kill people here. Steal this here. Do some fighting here. That being said, I'm aware that not all mission types are out yet. With that being said, Odyssey is so obsessed with making you fight, that a large amount of even peaceful missions are stacked so high with enemies to fight, that they typically become combat missions anyhow if an enemy shines their flashlight in your general direction. 75% of the time, even on missions like reactor reactivations at Threat Level 0, I end up becoming Rambo, gunning down hordes of enemies on my way to the escape shuttle.

Sure, it's Elite Dangerous, not Elite Snuggly, and there ought to be challenge just as there is in the base game. But on the other side of the coin, I'm sick of mowing down 20 bandits single-handedly when I'm just trying to be a repairman, and I'm tired of hopping and sprinting off into the frozen wastes as a Goliath drone chases me down because I made the mistake of jumping three seconds before a guard decided that he wanted to search me while im 30 feet in the air. Of course, like I mentioned, in the base game there's hostile challenge put against you even on the simplest of missions, but it is never overwhelming odds, and it isn't nearly as common. Odyssey just feels obsessed with making you fight. It feels obsessed with becoming an FPS over an adventure game. I never go into a mission in Odyssey expecting to roleplay or to conduct myself peacefully. I always go in expecting to fight for my life or flee. And that, above all else, is immensely disappointing.




So to conclude, I really like Odyssey's structure. The visuals are stunning, the small details are great, and the atmosphere is unrivaled. But after getting somewhat experienced in what Phase 1 has to offer, the content that has so far been presented feels far too shallow. It feels linear, and in a space simulation game with a heavy catering to open ended exploration, roleplay, and immersion, linear is the last thing I wanted to see from Odyssey.
I could not agree more!

As now, suits and weapons lack even basic data like weight, per-shot damage etc.

The gameplay is artificially bloated and unimaginative, like why are you FORCED to by different suits for different tasks?
Why can`t not replace sidearm on your flight suite with a Cutting Tool and thereby trade off your offensive power for capability to finish repair missions early on?
Why can`t you buy extra pockets, extra weapon sling or stronger shield that would make you heavier and slow down your movement?
Why are ANY improvements to weapons and armor are locked behind mindless material grind and thereby mandatory exploit abuse?
 
I still think if you don't expect a certain kind of game play and just take it for what it is, it will still be fun to play - it is disappointing, when I compare it to my expectations, but if I take it for what it is, it will be something I'll be doing and I guess I will have fun - if I don't do it too often - but that is with everything in ED like this - nothing is really compelling if you just do a single thing all the time - economy is meh, trading is meh, mission running is meh exploration is meh - but if mixed and you do just what you currently like to do, it is an entertaining game. Mediocre in pretty much all of it's parts, but does it matter for as long as it is fun to play.

For those who think it is not mediocre - just think of the GUI - is it consistent and can be used with mouse only like in most other games?- no. Or communication between players, is that a system which has surpassed the 1980s?- not at all. It is stuck in being mediocre wherever one looks - but still fun to play. Is the economy dynamic and player-driven - no. And I could go on and on with this - it is in it's very kernel a very mediocre game - but still fun to play. Even simple things are not there or hard to do, like trading stuff with other players. Or take what it takes you to contact another player in a station before he ran off to somewhere else - 2 minutes time to get to the Apex taxi, of course they have to run and cannot react to anything or they will miss their taxi - not even enough time to look at it closely, they have to leave in a hurry - why?
 
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It's so clever how someone can form a solid opinion on something after only 1 week of the first phase of an alpha testing release.
We know Frontier have disabled a lot of features for phase one and we know there are things that will be in Odyssey that will not be in the alpha at all( spoilers!! )

Please come back one week after the actual full release of Odyssey, assuming you've managed to play through all the missions and combat zones etc and done some exploration etc etc etc. At that point your opinion may worth the time to read it.
 
GET IT TOGETHER FD!
Its this kind of feedback that gives developers a huge sense of accomplishment in multi year projects.




It's so clever how someone can form a solid opinion on something after only 1 week of the first phase of an alpha testing release.
We know Frontier have disabled a lot of features for phase one and we know there are things that will be in Odyssey that will not be in the alpha at all( spoilers!! )

Please come back one week after the actual full release of Odyssey, assuming you've managed to play through all the missions and combat zones etc and done some exploration etc etc etc. At that point your opinion may worth the time to read it.
This.
 
Edit: I feel like my intro makes my opinion seem skewed against Odyssey as a whole, and that's my mistake. But it would be a waste of your time to add a long rant about what I like about Odyssey to this post, and would detract from the message of the post as a whole, but I'll just quickly add here that I think Odyssey is a welcome and positive addition to the game as a unit, however has some serious yet addressable weaknesses that I strongly believe may hamper its reception and ultimate potential. That's what this post is about. This is not about why "Odyssey is bad and you should all review bomb it on release". Not at all.

To start off, I wanna point out that I'm not saying that Odyssey is horrible, and I think it has a ton of potential. But from the way I currently see it, Odyssey is missing quite a few things that are going to prevent it from getting good reviews and good reception when it comes out. In fact, even with bugs aside, I can see Odyssey getting rather negative reviews from fans and journalists alike if what we're seeing in Alpha is representative of the final product. Given the <2 month release window, I'm very afraid that it might very much be representative of the final product.


I'm not here to beat the bloodied horse. No, this thread isn't about Apex/Supercruise times. No, it's not about enemies being bullet sponges. Rather, it's about just how shallow Odyssey's content has been turning out to be after some quite extensive playtesting. To try to avoid a disorganized mess, lemme try to break it down into some categories:



TLDR; it feels horrifically linear, and after you dig for ten or fifteen hours, you suddenly hit the floor of what Odyssey's existing content has to offer you in terms of replayability. And that's a huge problem.

  • Missions are sub-par for the first person genre, and deceptively lack freedom of choice
  • Settlements are littered with buttons and details that look important, but don't actually do anything, and the content almost entirely lacks any sense of cause-effect
  • Progression is nearly non-existent compared to ship gameplay, and relies entirely on repetitive grind
  • Odyssey is obsessed with making you fight, or at least commit crime

Lets dig in, shall we?



Missions are sub-par for the FP genre, and deceptively lack freedom of choice

The title explains this one fairly well. Initially when loading into Odyssey, you're presented with quite a few mission types. This looks great, and for a while, it feels great (besides the unpolished difficulty and nonstop death). But once I got the hang of it, and started to learn the basic patterns and flows of gameplay, I decided to try to branch out a little, to try to do my missions creatively. And this is where Odyssey fails.

Most missions don't actually have many avenues to go down. Here's a scenario: you arrive at a pitch black settlement. You need to reboot the reactor and put out the fires, but the glow of flashlights all over alert you that it won't be easy. Sneaking in, you notice a couple powered-off sentry turrets. Great! If you can get the power back on, surely they'll come to life and mow down the bandit invasion? So you make your way to the reactor, taking great care to avoid the bandits. You cut your way into the reactor room and boot it up. The lights come to life, the base drones power on and take flight, and the turrets wake up and begin scanning the base. Awesome, now time to wait for the bandits to face their reckoning from the base they assaulted... any moment now... But the drones and turrets never do a thing. They can only target and interact with players.

That's just one example of just how lifeless the missions are, and just how much freedom they lack. For another prime example of this lack of freedom, see the stealth-enforced reactor shutdown missions. There is only one single linear way to successfully approach these missions. 1. Make way to alarm controls, 2. Disable alarms, 3. Disengage reactor, 4. Get the out of there fast and book it into the desert because even if the alarms are off, AI will always investigate a reactor shutdown and see you if you stick around for more than ten to twenty seconds. And yet another example, covert assassinations, where you need to use the overcharge tool as there is no other way to commit a silent kill without detection.

This only gets worse if you compare Odyssey to, say, an average open world first person game. There are no traps you can set. There is no combat preparation beyond poking a couple panels in the CMD building. There are no distractions that don't require you to break and sneak into another secure building to poke a keypad. This is fine at first, but once you get bored of sneaking directly to the objective, or committing a massacre, it becomes glaringly obvious how little choice you have.



Settlements are littered with buttons and details that look important, but don't actually do anything, and the content almost entirely lacks any sense of cause-effect

There are few buttons in the settlement that do much. Base defenses, alarms, auth scans, and the reactor regulator. Beyond that, the options are very scarce. Honestly, I'm not even asking for more to be added. I'd just like the buttons that are there to do something real. Lets take a look at atmosphere controls. Sure, they depressurize a building... but what does that do, really? It nearly equalizes the temperature with outdoors and removes the oxygen and pressure, which affects your suit power use and can get you killed if your power runs dry. Also, it puts out fires. Alright, seems right.

So... what if we try flushing out the building by turning off the atmosphere! Cut open the emergency atmosphere control access on the roof and turn it off. Surely the staff will come running out to the next building and the guards will come looking for the controls now, right? Nope. -230 degrees celsius cold? No oxygen or pressure? Pff, the scientists and staff wearing business casual clothing don't mind. Helmets up and everything is peachy. Keep on working. They don't even attempt to switch the atmosphere back on... I believe this is self explanatory of the entire point.



Progression is nearly non-existent compared to ship gameplay, and relies entirely on repetitive grind

Right now, I assume most of you who have completed a few missions could buy every gun if you wanted. I'm sure some of you have already. This gun lineup you already own is a large chunk of what will be in the full release. On top of that, there will only be 3 suits. In totality, pretty much any of you with anything better than a Sidewinder probably have enough credits to buy every single item of progression for footfall gameplay and barely break a sweat. There are no attachments to toy around with beyond engineering. There are no suit modules you can tinker with to make an optimal build for what you do.

So that leaves us with ONE path of progression: engineering/upgrades. The current way to go about this? Pick every settlement you come across dry, again, and again, and again, and again. Google the spawn locations of materials, and cheese the heck out of Elite in every way you can figure out how so you can slowly acquire the very rare materials to conduct upgrades. It's like engineering but far worse and far more boring, and being forced upon players very early into the Odyssey gameplay loop. I can only imagine how many people this will turn away from Odyssey after they play for a few hours.



Odyssey is obsessed with making you fight, or at least commit crime

This one barely needs explanation I'm sure. Nearly every mission you get sent on is an illegal action, including the legal missions. Break in here. Kill people here. Steal this here. Do some fighting here. That being said, I'm aware that not all mission types are out yet. With that being said, Odyssey is so obsessed with making you fight, that a large amount of even peaceful missions are stacked so high with enemies to fight, that they typically become combat missions anyhow if an enemy shines their flashlight in your general direction. 75% of the time, even on missions like reactor reactivations at Threat Level 0, I end up becoming Rambo, gunning down hordes of enemies on my way to the escape shuttle.

Sure, it's Elite Dangerous, not Elite Snuggly, and there ought to be challenge just as there is in the base game. But on the other side of the coin, I'm sick of mowing down 20 bandits single-handedly when I'm just trying to be a repairman, and I'm tired of hopping and sprinting off into the frozen wastes as a Goliath drone chases me down because I made the mistake of jumping three seconds before a guard decided that he wanted to search me while im 30 feet in the air. Of course, like I mentioned, in the base game there's hostile challenge put against you even on the simplest of missions, but it is never overwhelming odds, and it isn't nearly as common. Odyssey just feels obsessed with making you fight. It feels obsessed with becoming an FPS over an adventure game. I never go into a mission in Odyssey expecting to roleplay or to conduct myself peacefully. I always go in expecting to fight for my life or flee. And that, above all else, is immensely disappointing.




So to conclude, I really like Odyssey's structure. The visuals are stunning, the small details are great, and the atmosphere is unrivaled. But after getting somewhat experienced in what Phase 1 has to offer, the content that has so far been presented feels far too shallow. It feels linear, and in a space simulation game with a heavy catering to open ended exploration, roleplay, and immersion, linear is the last thing I wanted to see from Odyssey.
Whilst you might be right in the long run, You're slagging of Phase 1 of an Alpha. I would not like to work for you, we would all be sacked 1st week in our 4 week probation cycle ;(
 
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