When I wrote my review and said that it would be possible that next week most of the problems would have been solved, I meant as "anytime soon". Somehow the developers took it literally and decided to really solve them before weekend.
Some aspects of the game are still slow paced and give a browser-based game design feeling, like the rank requirement, or the several days long timers for crafting some items that aren't even something you'd actually desire enough to wait that long. Although you don't need to spend the waiting time in game and may have lots of stations with separate assembly lines.
But the game is playable and if you're into universe exploration and a bit of management you can have fun with the game. Most bugs are the kind you'd expect from EA and relogging will fix.
The missions still have ridiculously low rewards (worse than shooting trash to sell scraps). But, unlike many other mmos, they're not the main source of money until you're able to work the player market. And the npc ran stations are not the best way to get anything other than fuel. You can pretty much scan a planet and find the $10mil ship.
I'm keeping the original review and the patch I noticed the problem solved.. but do look for videos:
If you're still making up your decision on whether to buy this or not, make sure you watch gameplay videos.
The game seems to have a lot of potential, although it is not likely to ever be a mainstream game. But as for now, it would only be worth buying if it was on a 95%-off sale. Of course, this is early access and the team actually seems to be working, so it is possible that next week most of the problems will be solved. To be fair I'll try to update whenever I see any change.
Playing this for 6h, I haven't experienced any sign of lag, only seen minor bugs and got disconnected a couple times.
There's only a few problems... have you ever played those browser games where you'd click a few buttons and come back 6-24h later to click a few times again? I had the impression that I was playing one of those. Except that I couldn't just wait the 6-24h. I actually would have to navigate for countless hours to get $4000 and repeat until I make a few millions to get an upgrade on anything.
[v7.6.1] After you log in, you get dumped in the middle of nowhere with a ship that will make you wonder if you shouldn't just get out of it and fart your way across the universe to see if you go faster. And, the answer is yes, you would have a much higher chance of reaching something before you die than using that ship. Unfortunately, it's not possible.
Along with your space exploring snail, you get a message that seems to be a sketch of a tutorial quest. The problem is that the quest will pretty much tell you to go around the universe looking for stuff and to bring them to someone somewhere. Yes, you have to figure out by yourself where are the stuff they asked for, along with who and where are "us" from the message. And you'll probably die in real life before you figure out how many of those you could have found.
[v7.6.1] That's about when you'll figure out that other players might be able to help you.. so you decide to give the chat a try. Then you'll hit enter to start chatting and say hi... it won't work.. so you'll try to say "testing"... then the chat willl open with "esting" and you'll find out that the developers decided to innovate and T is the hotkey to start chatting. All fine until you notice you're going in a random direction for a while and try to move your ship. Then you'll notice they innovated even more and the escape button doesn't close the chat... all you can do is say "wwwwasdadsdwasdaswddsdawdsdawsdwomfg how do I close chat?". Then someone will tell you to send an empty message to close it. Still all fine.
There are some players that will really be helpful whenever they can, and some that will tell you to go play CoD. And you'll probably be directed to the wiki. Don't go. You might feel scammed if you see the part that reads "We currently have 113 articles about the free-to-play MMORPG set in an Infinite Universe". It didn't feel very free-to-play when I bought it here in steam.
Anyways, after a while you'll feel lost and unsure if you did complete the tutorial mission or not. This will be solved a few hours later when you figure out what the mission dude meant by checking your PDA and you'll see that they actually wanted you to deploy a station. It wasn't just if you wanted a challenge. That was the mission.
Then you'll feel desperate because you have no idea how to accomplish that. And at this point anything seems to take at least a couple weeks of non-stop gameplay to be accomplished. Then you find out that the little triangle button is where you get missions from. "So that's what the chat people were talking about! Holy Crap! 17x323?????". Yup, the best paying mission is offering you about $4000 to travel 340 sectors. It takes a bit more than 2 minutes to cross 1 sector. Which seems perfectly reasonable given that it would only take like 13h of gameplay each direction and you only need about 5 million to get started. So.. if everything goes well.. you should be able to grab a cargo ship in about 3 years of gameplay (rl time). Then you can start gathering assembly parts to work on a station and complete the tutorial mission.
[v7.6] That's when you decide to just enjoy the environment and fly around exploring the universe. You're almost starting to enjoy the game and you suddenly stumble upon an unknown planet! You can name it! Or maybe not. The game asks you to "donate" in order to be able to claim objects (to name planets and stars). What in the seven hells do they mean by donating after you just spent so much for the early access of the game (which might eventually turn out to be just for the early access if the wiki is right). I have no idea. No one online was able to explain. But it seems like it means exactly what the text says... after you purchase, there are parts of the gameplay that will require you to make "donations".
If you pretend you didn't see that and refrain from deleting the game immediately, you might stumble upon the "wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww Nebula". That was the apex of the gameplay for me. I couldn't stop laughing when I imagined the player wondering wtf was wrong with the ship that wouldn't move because the game was setting the name for the nebula instead of controlling the ship.
[v7.6.. still can't place orders, but the npc stations have purchase orders so you can sell some of the stuff you find] Then you might decide to go to the trade hub people were talking about and make some profit out of the stuff you looted. Only to find out that "You must own this station to place orders". So... you need a station to get the money to buy a ship to get the pieces to build the station you need. Either that or you can spend the next few years holding the space bar to save fuel and navigate around the universe on quests that pay nothing.
That's about it. This game is not slow paced. This game is too slow to even see something slow paced. It's a slower version of a browser based game adapted so you have to actually spend the countess hours in-game instead of clicking and coming back in a few hours/days. And the extremly slow speed made no sense to me given that the universe is infinite.
[turns out that the bug wasn't about having no station, but the map won't show up the edges of the sectors when zoomed out. The station exists right in the border of two sectors and it's pretty tricky to find unless you imagine that zooming in would allow you to see farther.] Other than that, no one was able to explain to me why the game said I claimed a sector but had no station or deployable units on it and couldn't deploy the units I found there because "someone" had claimed it. I'm just guessing that's a random bug and the game shouldn't have said I claimed it in the first place.