I care a lot for this game, and don't want to see it build up a lot of negative reviews; though I don't know much about the behind-the-scenes of this game, I had a couple recommendations with the Steam Summer Sale of 2019 around the corner.
- For starters, the price is too high. I am aware that it's not in your control as developers, but there is the Summer sale. I never played the 'vanilla' version of legacy much mainly because it was lacking replayability. I spent so much time with Barotrauma Extended (BTE) - even hosting servers and learning the sub editor with it - that now when I look at the Steam release, I feel like little has changed. This is a problem because those who have played legacy with BTE may have forgotten how little legacy had, and it's hard for even me to recognise how much was added to the base game compared to what it used to have. The 15% off sale during the game's opening wasn't enough to convince most BTE players, especially with the game's normal price being approx. 40$ CAD.
- Going off the previous point, it's important to remember that this game's about co-operation and multiplayer. A lot of people new to the game have been buying BT for single-player, and aren't finding it too enjoyable without their friends... who can't afford it because it costs more than what they're willing to spend. The price should be low enough - but not necessarily cheap - that groups of friends can all get the game and enjoy it together. Now that many people have already played the game, and lots have played the single-player and want to get into multiplayer, these people will be much more eager to pull in their friends, so long as they can afford it; this Steam Summer Sale is a good way to bring in a whole swarm of both experienced and new people, but it needs to be more affordable.
- Keeping it short, one thing I'm happy to see is that many things from BTE have been implemented into the game. This means that we can keep using stuff that we're used to from legacy, but now the AI works, tutorials work, single-player works, and now auto-pilot is reliable again. BTE is run by the community, but as a mod, it can cause problems that bug-out these mentioned game-mechanics, but by continuing to implement parts of BTE into the base game, we can make it waaay more replayable and bug-free!
- Further co-operation between the modding community (mainly BTE) and the game's own developers would be awesome to see. Bugs regarding the workshop and mods would be exposed and fixed, and more ideas from the community can be implemented in faster and built by the community itself. Merging more parts of BTE and other mods helps distribute these mods by incorporating it into the game's own files and programming, making sure that what could have caused many problems and bugs is now accounted for by the devs. Of course, I don't speak for the modding community, but I think it'd be pretty cool.
- One thing that I think you guys could take away from other developers is the concept of displaying live what's going on behind-the-scenes. Subnautica's devs used something called a Trello that they used to communicate between the devs, but made it visible to the public. I found this neat because I could see every bit of progress they were making; I could view what they had planned, what they were working on, 3D models and short clips of the devs testing things, etc. If Barotrauma ever wanted to get closer with the community, maybe look into establishing something like this so we can see what ideas have already been heard (you know, so we don't all spam the same things until the next update comes out).
- Lastly, I wanna' make one important recommendation regarding the upcoming sale. Reviews last a long time - just like scars - so it's advised to avoid receiving negative reviews for the sake of the game's development, especially in its current age. There are already many negative reviews from the game's opening due to its price, but now that many have already purchased the game, there aren't many complaints left to be heard. It may sound like a good idea to release a new update before the sale begins, but the game is already pretty bug-free, and by releasing a new update before another wave of players get their hands on this sweet game, it'd be in risk of exposing a lot of new bugs and stirring up more negative reviews. In my opinion, it might be safer to release bug-fixes before the sale rather than entire updates, and if it's necessary, release the updates mid-way or after the sale's over.
As I mentioned before, I haven't played online yet - only with one of my friends. The main barrier for me is the lack in filters. I'd want to be able to search for servers based on things like player-count and more importantly ping. I also would like to be able to hide servers with settings I don't want, such as only servers with/without in-game voice-chat.
I used to host a lot of servers in legacy, but the main issue I ran into was that the host didn't count as a client, so many commands wouldn't work on the host him/herself. I solved this by running two copies of the game at the same time, but now that it's on Steam, I can't easily do this, and even if I managed to, I'm sure I'll run into some problems. I'd want to have the control over my servers as a typical host does, but be on my own server as a client; maybe opening a server from in-game opens a dedicated server tied to your own client, so that you can still manage server settings even though you're a client - not through the server itself, though.
- Fix AI on Combat Missions: Currently, the AI don't recognize enemy ships as enemies, and so they don't fire at the other team's sub. They shoot enemy players, but not the vessels themselves.
- Combat Mission Status Terminal Bug: During combat missions, if you're in the sub on the right side of the map, the status terminal won't flip the hulls to match the sub's volume. This can get disorientating when trying to understand the shape of your own sub, where flooding is actually occurring, and where the vessel's weapons are so you can order crew to man the correct guns.
- Cargo Mission Bug: My friend observed that in cargo missions, you need to dock to the second outpost with your main sub. Even if you have the cargo with you in a shuttle, it won't work - which makes sense from a campaign perspective, but for a typical server cargo mission, maybe this should be fixed?
- Inverse Traitors for Combat Missions: Traitors are weird in these missions; you're target is often your own enemy, so maybe in these missions, traitors are replaced with spies on the enemy ship in charge of sabotage 'n what not.
- Humans Vs. Aliens in Combat Missions: There's already a lot of alien stuff in the sub-editor, and most of it is very Human like. Why not keep pursuit and enable us to create alien subs and implementing more to combat missions in this sense? The game's lore hasn't been set in stone, so it wouldn't be too late to add something like this. Of course, this means creating new humanoid alien characters, but perhaps these aliens are like the Fractal Guardians, who protect the ruins with their own vessels and attempt to repel off Humanity? Both sides could have different technology, inventory sizes, weapons, etc. that could even give the game more replayability.
- Escort Missions: Missions where the crew must protect either an AI-ran ship (with its own crew), or there's a player-ran smaller ship/shuttle that must be defended by the main sub.
- 'Station' Missions: I can't think of many ways to further incorporate stations into the game in unique and enjoyable ways, but this is one possible method to introduce a sort-of station-editor: a large portion of the server's crew starts in their sub as normal, but somewhere between the two outposts is a station with the rest of the server waiting in it. The sub needs to travel to this station, dock, and either recruit the rest of the players or retrieve supplies to deliver to the next outpost. Perhaps shuttles may be docked to these stations (if they're supposed to have one), but need to be either re-docked with the sub or escorted to the next outpost.
- View Self with Health HUD Scanner Thing: It'd be nice if doctors or anyone with the scanner could see their own health-details, such as how infected they are with husks, the state of their own poisoning, etc. It really sucks not knowing how you're doing yourself while you can easily treat and save everyone else.
- Scanner Requirement: This isn't my own idea, but one thing annoying thing in the game is that anyone can see what's wrong with them - whether that's what poisons are in them, to even knowing they have husks in them. It makes it a lot harder to slip drugs into others as a traitor if they immediately detect what you did to them. Instead, people should only be able to see symptoms of what they have, while the scanner is the only way to see what people have. While wearing the scanner, treatment options would become way more accurate because you're treating for what they have, not just their symptoms.
- Finish Current Drugs: Some of the drugs already in the game seem incomplete.. Deusizine, for instance, is supposed to cause burns as a side-effect, but I've never actually gotten any, even after using 30 in rapid succession & the same goes for Antibiotic Glue, which is supposed to cause 'blood clotting', but doesn't actually cause any harm..
- Internal Damage from Pressure: Not implying replacing High Pressure with internal damage, but instead people slowly build up internal damage while they're under pressure, so even if they escape and get to safety, they aren't perfectly fine and need medical treatment after being crushed a bit. Still keep imploding though, but use internal damage as a consequence for this exposure.
- Defibrillators: They were in BTE back in legacy, but I never knew how to work them myself. Now that the whole medical aspect of the game has been overhauled, I think defibrillators are now more applicable rather than just using Stabilozine - a crafting material - to save lives.
- Heart Rates & Vital Signs: Perhaps one way to see how much time you have to revive people or how healthy people may be is to glance at their vitals. Could be as simple as opening the health menu on someone or using the scanner - or both.
- Fentanyl & Morphine: I find these two drugs are too similar - I don't know what the differences are between them if there even are any. I don't know much about these drugs in real life, but maybe try to make them a bit more distinct?
- Meth Side Effects: Meth seems to have no downsides....... XD Which makes it my favourite drug now as a replacement for energy drinks from BTE.
- Rework Flashlights: To be honest, flashlights are my #1 complaint. Whenever you want to hold one, it always goes to your head slot. I once drowned because it replaced my diving mask with itself without me noticing. It's very difficult as it is just to hold them so you can point them in other directions, and the best way to fix this is to remove the ability to place them on your head. It already looked really off - like someone stabbed your eye with a flashlight - but maybe, rather than scrap the idea, implement a sort of headlamp mechanic to the game. Maybe they can be placed on the security helmets, or your headset can be upgraded to combine itself with a flashlight. As well, because your head remains directed forwards, it'd be nice if your head tracked your cursor to a certain extent - especially when in a diving suit.
- Flare Adjustments: I recall that in legacy with BTE, the flare rounds the mod added would sink significantly slower than anything else, allowing one to make a sort of trail of flares in the water, or just place a small light-source that you can hang around. If possible, maybe slow the sinking-rate of current flares so they can serve this same functionality, as well it'd be nice to introduce a flare gun that can shoot these flares further than you can throw them (maybe to get the attention from a passing ship out of sight).
- Diving Chests: I don't know if it was BTE or not, but when I used to play legacy, there were diving chests - crates that didn't sink nor float upwards; they were completely stationary in water. With the improvements in mining, bring back the diving chests so miners can carry more resources to and from mineral deposits would be 'a very nice.
- More Character Storage: Though I miss being able to shove spare batteries and other things into my pockets, I haven't run into many inventory crises in the current version of BT. However, I feel that Engineers having the only access to tool boxes is unfair and not even required for this job - if anyone, it should be Mechanics, but everyone should have access to extra storage. Rather than bring back clothing storage, however, I thought it'd be neat to implement a backpack system: different jobs have different types of packs with different sizes, but there are other, more specialized packs that can be used. I can't think of any specific examples except for some sort of long-range radio or a portable charger, but others may have better ideas for what could be used.
- Chemical Weapons: Rather than having to use drugs to poison people, I think it'd be nice to add other, more indirect measures of inflicting poisons. Gas grenades could be added, ranging from tear gas, to smoke screens, or even airborne poisonous drugs; maybe a grenade that you can put any drug in and it will disperse & affect anyone in it's range, so doctors could put healing drugs in them to help many people at once, or put existing toxins in them to kill everyone who's not wearing a mask. Aside from gasses, maybe being able to make a 'bomb' of sorts that spreads acid into local water that burns anyone who swims or wades through it. Could go through suits or be blocked by them, your call.
- Grenade Launchers: We've got the grenades, now we just need a grenade launcher :)
- Static Rail Launchers: There are those singular railgun loaders, but what'd encourage me to actually use railguns on my subs is if there was a static, horizontal rail shell launcher that could fire like a missile. There are already depth charges for below your sub, so why not something for in-front? As well, these could be handy for shuttles.
- Alien Ruins to Alien Temples: Lets be honest, the ruins have gotten too many major changes. Though I like where they're going, they don't feel like ruins anymore.. Instead, consider renaming them to Alien Temples since those are ancient, but not 'ruins'. As well, I feel like the ruins have lost their scariness since legacy; what made the ruins very uncomfortable was that they were dark, seemingly empty, and all the doors were open - but there were motion detectors everywhere that would lock you in the ruins if you crossed them, and if you didn't have a cutter, you're doomed. The Fractal Guardians were in some of the ruins, but because you had no idea if they were in a specific alien ruins - let alone where in the ruins - you'd always be terrified to enter the dark confines of the sturdy structures. Also, I've come across many crawlers and mudraptors in ruins, and personally, this 'ruins' them for me. To make these 'alien ruins' scary again, reduce lighting, more creepy ambient sounds, more traps (not specifically lethal ones, but perhaps ones that trap you in the ruins like in legacy), and prevent other creatures that aren't Fractal Guardians or other sentient-based creatures from spawning in them. By making the traps lethal, the ruins lose their scariness and just become another hazard.
- Lockables & Cabinets: The fact that the toxin cabinets can't be locked is very inconvenient; they look perfect for storing hazardous drugs and husk eggs, but often ships don't have any way of restricting access to these cabinets. Making it possible to lock these cabinets like Doors or Secure Lockers would be great, as it gives ship designers more freedom over their subs; no one is forced to lock these, it just makes it an option. As well, perhaps it could be handy to add designated first-aid cabinets that could store small amounts of medical supplies, and cases for defibrillators if they're added.
- Refilling Welding Tanks: I don't know if there's already a way to do this, besides just deconstructing an empty tank and re-crafting it again, but it would be handy if there was a more automatic way to refill these tanks like oxygen tanks.
- Electrified Water: Maybe if junction boxes are damaged from being submerged, anyone nearby is given a shock and stunned for a brief moment. Perhaps if batteries are dropped in water they drain while shocking anyone in close proximity, or if an EMP / Stun grenade is thrown into water, it's area of effect becomes enlarged.
- Natural Husks: husks in the form of a sort of worm that swim around those large husk egg sacks, which can infiltrate crew members and take control faster than eggs. Perhaps, if this is added, husks that take on a lot of damage have a chance of fleeing their body in the form of a worm and try to swim away from the danger.
- Elevators/Lifts: Personally I hate using ladders, but introducing lifts might actually add new game mechanics for subs. For instance, maybe elevators can only move between two positions; anywhere in-between would require a ladder instead. Maybe they can behave like hatches, closing gaps between floors. Maybe there could be a small 'weapon loading' room accessible via lift, while the sub's ammo is stored at the base of the lift, requiring crew to grab shells or coilgun ammo boxes and then ride the lift up and into the room. There could even be horizontal lifts that could transport a person across a hallway quickly to get to hull breaches faster, or to move supplies into a storage room from across the ship.
- Miner Job: Meh, it's an idea since mining's a thing, and I'm not sure if there are any jobs that are better with Plasma cutters. Miners could get mining helmets with built-in lights, as well mining packs (if backpacks are added) and are slightly more deadly with their cutters compared to others.
- Armour Stands / Mannequins: Similar to Diving Suit Lockers, except they can store & display clothing and armour, useful for security and armouries. Could even be used to store unique backpacks (if added).
- Dangerous Welding: I think welders got 'nerfed'.. I hated how deadly they were compared to actual weaponry, but now I feel they're too weak, and you're better off killing things with a wrench. Same with Plasma Cutters - both of these are extremely hot, so they should be lethal, but not as deadly as they were before. Deep sea welding is dangerous in real life, so maybe try to replicate the same dangers in the game?
- Ladder Bugs: A couple of times I've seen people climbing specific ladders while handcuffed on certain ships; not that there's much that can be done about it.. As well, there's a bug where you can climb ladders faster if you interact with something like a cabinet or a junction - which also gave me the idea of elevators in the first place.
- Emotes: Not my own idea, but I totally agree with it. Emotes such as pointing, saluting, surrendering, waving, kicking, facepalming, sitting, a heart attack, and even dabbing; nice for those times where you want to give someone a high-five for doing a good job :)
- Crouch Sprinting: Because why not? It would be funny :D
- Energy Drinks: My personal favourite item from BTE, I might as well be an addict to these, with or without an actual addiction affliction.. Now they've just been replaced by Meth, but I'll always miss those Corn-a-Colas.. ...I'd kill a crew member for one of those, too.....
Larry Lanceped / Issac Miller,
Proud owner of the Canadian Larry's Kitchen server from legacy.