Unexpected isn't determined by principles of game design, but by what your players expect. I nearly made a post similar to this myself.Zavier wrote:It is not unexpected. There are expectations that a harder difficulty will be harder. It also states what your max crew is from the beginning.devius wrote:The problem with that is that it's unexpected, because:Zavier wrote:On anything above easy you should not have enough crew to man all the rooms until you get the bonus guys towards the end.
So its working as intended! =]
The limit on hiring crew based on available crew stations, and the limit based on tokens available are visible limits that make sense both in logic and design. This is how the real world operates, and is familiar from how other games operate. The shipwide limit isn't as visible, and is an arbitrary decision without a visible analouge in-game. It makes design sense, but that is not a level that most players analyze a game at. They just play.
There needs to be some way to separate in player's minds the number of crew stations on a ship from the number of crew a ship should support. This might even be as simple as, when displaying the ship and your crew limit, also displaying the number of crew stations. (Crew stations: 21 Crew limit: 18/19. ) This would be like saying, "Yes, I know you have stations for more crew. Yes, I'm aware you can afford them. This is not the same thing as your ship's crew capacity." Maybe star-control regulations can be cited, indicating that you can't put more crew on the official payroll. (Handy explanation as to why you can still take on story volunteers.)
EDIT: And yes, the explanation by each difficulty would help as well. Though this still might confuse people who try the same difficulty with different ships.
I think as long as the player knows from the start that they won't reach 100% peak function without getting story crew to fill the gaps, then it won't be so painful when players come up against these limits. This kind of thing isn't so irritating when you know it'll happen. But when you don't know it'll happen, and this new limit, absent from your first game, interrupts your grand plan of 100% effectiveness, it can be EXTREMELY irritating.