accelerated interplanetary flights are way too long
It's been some years i had not played Pioneer, so i download the latest version on the main website and after trying some cargo run i felt something was not right, in my memories travel between 2 planets were much faster.
It's probably ok for someone that just fly a couple of time and move to another game as you don't play for long anyways, but if you try to really play the game to trade, increase profit to afford better equipment and better ship, making dozen of cargo run it's going to be an insane amount of time where absolutely nothing happen and you just wait and wait and wait ...
i recently tried with Frontier Elite 2 as it's the inspiration to Pioneer :
Frontier Elite 2 (dosbox version, 8000 cycles as recommended).
start on Mars
sell beam laser and missiles to buy an autopilot
take off , fly high enough and change the engine to the autopilot.
max time acceleration
+/- 30 seconds later you're in Uranus orbit. It's fast and how it should be
Pioneer (latest official release)
start on Mars
(no need to sell anything as the starter ship has an autopilot)
take off , fly a bit higher, right click on the Uranus target and select "medium orbit"
(forced with CTRL) max time acceleration
+/- 2 minutes and 10/15 seconds ! later you're in Uranus. It's way too long.
Remember that's a time in which there's nothing happening :
you're not having some talk with your crew, you're not doing any work on the ship, you're not controlling anything, you're not doing anything productive for your character career or survival.
All you are doing during that time is just looking at the distance number decreasing.
Please oh please make this waiting time a lot faster, it's absolutely not fun in any possible ways.
I haven't played this game in a very long time, but I think you would be right here @robsoie this would be a bug. No gamer player should have to wait 2+ mins doing nothing while travel is taking place that is much too long. 30s isn't that bad of a wait to simulate travel.
From what i read on this report :
It can be even worse in some situation (probably depending on your cargo/fuel/ship weight) as the user that did the report mentionned he even faced a case in which he had to wait 7 minutes just staring at the distance number going down !
Unfortunately from the replies it seems this is not considered a bug :
[quote]Also this isn't an issue, this is a design discussion which should be done on the forum, not as an issue.[/quote]
So considering how dead the community discussions (i guess this kind of "feature" isn't really keeping people wanting to play Pioneer) seems to be about Pioneer, chances are probably high it will stay as it is sadly if this is by design.
At least i still have Frontier Elite 2.
I think you have to think a bit more than usual here, that's true. Fuel, cargo and the ship used all play a role - you also have to be careful not to accidentally leave the low power thrust mode activated, otherwise you won't fly anywhere.
In general, however, I think it's very good that Pioneer doesn't take the casual route. There are more than enough alternatives, from the aforementioned 'Jumpdrive' to Elite. And I think it's important (and right) that it stays that way. At the end of the day, Pioneer is free, so the developers are absolutely right to do it the way they want. I also don't know if 'more causal players' would revive the project in the right direction. It think it would be more important to make Pioneer as such better known again.
I myself play Pioneer exactly because it is the way it is - and because it offers such a unique atmosphere I was more than willing to pay for it accordingly. If Pioneer were to become an space arcade fest now, I'd be pretty disgruntled, so from my point of view it should stay the way it is.
If there is something that I think should be addressed, it's the fact that there is no way to really create your own universe. The fact that I can't change the density of the inhabited systems bothers me far more than the fact that I have to take up two minutes of flight time due to a lack of preparation.