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Joined: 2006-10-02

Just tried out The Ship trial last night, which was made available on Steam...

The trial didn't really work as well as planned - it didn't take into account the fact that most players don't know how to play. As much as I opposed forced tutorials, this is one instance where I would support it (provided there's still a "secret" way to skip it) - there's plenty of first time players that jump right in without learning the basics. Whether you call them griefers or noobs, they're still disruptive - at least they're obvious when they get a debt.

For those who don't know, you basically are on a ship taking a luxury cruise. And for a plot twist, you basically have to hunt down a specific target and kill him - while keeping yourself healthy (by eating, resting, etc.) You need to find the best weapon for the job (common ones such as axes or pool cues make an easy kill, but don't give much money), track down your target (you get a location update every 30 seconds), and commit the murder without being caught by security (e.g. using a weapon in front of too many passangers or being caught on film.)

The AI players are rather weak, which is to be expected from this style of gameplay - but they still teach the basics of the game. They search for items, explore the ship, and attack when they get the chance (sometimes a little early.)

There are a few things I would like to see improved:
- Elimination mode doesn't have a round timer, and currently requires all players to find their victims (or get killed). This results in long matches that causes players to become bored. One way things could be sped up would be increasing the player's needs during late gameplay (to force them to move more and be at vulnerable locations). Alternativly, the game could create elimination loops, where a group of players are assigned targets without waiting for the rest of the server.
- In my opinion, griefers remain on the server a bit longer than what should be expected. I can understand constantly being nailed by security, but if they are simply killing random players, it usually shows right away.

All in all, it's a good game, but don't yet feel convinced to buy it just yet.

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