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A possible solution to lategame welding in Survival mode

Discussion in 'Survival' started by Endless, May 5, 2014.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Endless

    Endless Trainee Engineer

    A major concern in transitioning from the scrappy early game settlements to the lategame armadas is that every single block must be welded by hand, which quickly becomes the bottleneck in the construction process as every other step - mining, refining, and assembling - can either be automated or can be done on a much more massive scale than welding. I suggest making welding in the lategame automated as well, and here's how: an automated shipyard!
    I suggest that a modular shipyard system be added to the game. A single shipyard would consist of any number of smaller shipyard blocks, which would be station blocks and have a size of around 5x5x5 armor blocks. In order to create a ship, your shipyard must be large enough to accommodate it, and you expand your shipyard by simply building another shipyard block adjacent to the first. So, consider that each shipyard can accommodate 5x5x5 worth of large ship blocks; if you wanted to build a ship that is 12x7x6, you would need to build a matrix of shipyard blocks of size 3x2x2. Please let me know if/how I can clarify this point, I'm not really sure how to convey it more clearly.
    Now for actually building the ship. So, you've built one or more shipyard blocks using the hand welder and you want to produce, oh, let's see... 5 fighters.
    First, you need a design for the shipyard to build. You'll switch to blueprint mode by pressing a key or interacting with the shipyard in some way. Now, you can place blocks using the creative mode toolset; they'll appear ghostly and blue and they won't cost resources because they're simply a blueprint and you're not actually building anything yet. Once you lay out your entire design in this way, walk up to the shipyard's console (or select the shipyard from the station's console) and click "Save Design." You'll be asked to give it a name, at which point it'll be saved to a list of named designs. When you select that design from the list, it'll show you:
    a) all of the resources needed to manufacture that design;
    b) all of the resources currently available to the shipyard;
    c) the time needed to manufacture that design considering the current size of the shipyard.

    Let's go through each of these.

    a) This is fairly self-explanatory; the ship will cost the same amount of resources as if you were building it by hand.
    b) Shipyards have a cargo port in the same way as cargo crates, conveyors, and refineries have cargo ports. Once you attach a cargo crate, a conveyor, or an assembler to the shipyard, any resources made available by that block can be used by the shipyard to construct your designs.
    c) A larger ship or more than one ship takes more time to build. However, a larger shipyard will have greater manufacturing capabilities: it can work on multiple parts of a ship simultaneously or even build multiple smaller ships at the same time.

    Now we get to manufacturing. Once you have the needed resources hooked up to the shipyard for the design you want to build, you'll select the design from the list, select how many you want built (5 in our case), and hit "Manufacture." It will begin building the ship back to front, block by block, without further intervention, and the resources will be drained from the available pool of resources as the ship is built rather than being taken in one lump sum.
    Once the ship is done, the shipyard will haul it via crane to the nearest empty space outside the shipyard and leave it there for your use. If there is no empty space available for the ship to exit the shipyard once completed, construction will be paused and the ship will be left in the shipyard until space becomes available.

    Suggestions, feedback, criticism, and support are all welcome.

    Edit: an aside, the blueprint mode could be useful outside of shipyards - quickly drafting a design, making sure it works, and knowing its resource costs without investing time and resources could be quite valuable.
    Some suggestions made by others below:
    BlackScythe and Cyber Cheese suggested components of a repair system. The repair system would weld unwelded or damaged blocks on a selected ship and add on any blocks placed on the ship using design mode (described in the third paragraph from the top of this post). To use the repair function:
    1) Fly a ship into the shipyard.
    2) Access the shipyard's console or select the shipyard from the station's console. There will be a list of existing ships inside the shipyard next to the manufacturing section (described using the bulk of the post above). They will be named after the design used to create them or named "Unnamed Small/Large Ship" if they were created by hand.
    3) Select a ship from the list and click one of the options beneath the list: rename, repair, or scan.

    This would be a good opportunity to add a scan option as suggested in other 3d printer posts. Fly a ship into the shipyard, select it from the existing ships list, and hit scan. The ship will be added to the shipyard's design list using its current name.
  2. BlackScythe

    BlackScythe Apprentice Engineer

    i like your idea, i thought it might be a good method for automatic welding by adding a "welding frameblock" so you can build a 3d Frame, add a storage container and everything inside the Frame get welded. if you want to build a bigger ship -> build a bigger Frame. tada there you go
  3. DofD

    DofD Apprentice Engineer

    I also like the idea but if we get a shipyard, where is the fun constructing and designing the own ship and seeing it evolve over time
    I know you still design them in some sort of way, but i for my part would prefer a upgradeable welder that puts the blocks together faster or has an AOE like the new Grinder Block
    But never the less i like your idea, it is nice

  4. Cyber Cheese

    Cyber Cheese Apprentice Engineer

    +1. I think, as has been suggested with 3D printing, the shipyard should be hollow so that:
    (1) you can build your design inside,
    (2) the process is better visualized rather than assembler-like,
    (3) you can make modifications or repairs to existing ships by flying them inside with unfinished parts, and
    (4) you can copy an existing ship by flying it in and pressing a scan/save blueprint button.

    I like the shipyard idea better than a ship-based welder (although they are not mutually exclusive) because:
    (1) it provides a natural way to eventually incorporate a save/import blueprint feature for survival mode,
    (2) it adds variety versus the grinder and hand drill, which simply "scale up,"
    (3) it is more realistic; while a faster, wider tool for deconstructing and drilling makes sense, welding always requires precision so you need a solution that involves a lot of tiny welders and automation--if you already have this, then why wouldn't there be an auto-welder?
    (4) it makes reloading a gravity gun feasible without stocking up a bunch of warhead ships in your ship
  5. Endless

    Endless Trainee Engineer

    Thank you for the support, Cyber Cheese, and I agree that a repair function would be extremely useful. And yes, the shipyard is intended to be hollow. My idea for scaling by placing more adjacent to one another is that parts of the frame that would obstruct travel from one shipyard block to the next would be simply removed.

    Thank you, BlackScythe. Regarding the welding frame, in addition to having blocks welded for you, I wanted to make the design process quicker by making the creative mode toolset available; hence the design system. However, perhaps as a part of the repair system that Cyber Cheese suggested, allowing the shipyard to weld incomplete or damaged blocks would be an excellent feature.

    This would also help to address DofD's concern, which is that the design system would not support expanding a ship gradually ("seeing it evolve over time") rather than building it all at once from a design. This can be fully addressed by expanding the repair function. Using the completed repair system would look something like this:
    1) Fly an existing ship into the shipyard.
    2) Access the shipyard's console or select the shipyard from the station's console. There will be a list of existing ship designs, which can be renamed, repaired, and "scanned" using this screen. Ships created from a design will adopt the design's name, while ships created by hand will be called "Unnamed Large/Small Ship."
    3) Select the existing ship you want to repair and click repair. Any incomplete, damaged, or ghostly blue blueprint-mode blocks on the ship will be queued for welding.

    Scanning a ship, by the way, would copy its design into the shipyard for reproduction. This is an idea that other 3D printer posts have suggested that I would like to include in the modular shipyard, but not be its sole means of producing a ship.

    I've edited your suggestions into the original post.
  6. KissSh0t

    KissSh0t Master Engineer

    I really like the idea of scanning a ship and saving it as a design, and then being able to automatically build it in a ship builder.

    Another thing could be that you can give designs to other players and then they can build the same ship themselves in their own ship builder.

    Sharing is Caring~
  7. Endless

    Endless Trainee Engineer

    Thanks, KissSh0t. I also thought that it might make taking an intact enemy ship home more profitable than the sum of its parts, since it would allow you to steal its design wholesale.

    Unrelated: I've been thinking about the merits of an upgraded welder or a large ship welder attachment, and while I'm a staunch supporter of the 3d printer method of lategame production, I have to admit that needing to bring a massive ship to a shipyard for repairs or additions that are trivial relative to its size (but still massive compared to the player) is rather impractical. Having both available would, in my opinion, be very useful logistically.
  8. Taeonas

    Taeonas Trainee Engineer

    To be honest what I really want to see here is a welder bot. Placing a block is nothing much, and dumping materials in it usually isn't to bad either, though a porter bot could be nice there too actually. By 2077 both of these should be more than reasonable consumer products. I mean, every block we make is standardized, and there aren't that many of them.

    To clarify, I mean a little robot that does nothing but weld blocks ready to be welded, and maybe another that retrieves components from a cargo can and fills up your placed blocks, maybe only if you flag them somehow or something. I have no idea how feasible such a thing is programming wise, but in an ideal world where magic code spewing squid-pixies create virtual things ex-nihilo for my amusement, I think little helper robots would be really cool, and cut out the tedium of welding, grinding, hauling, and such in a fairly realistic and reasonable way. Robots are great at repeat actions, and really that's what we all hate, so... yeah.
  9. td6092

    td6092 Trainee Engineer

    This. This a million times, especially the ghost-block mode - it would be extremely helpful to be able to plan out the complex internals of a ship beforehand instead of placing, welding, placing, welding ad infinitum. And by the time you've finished the structure you think you wanted, you've changed your mind and have to go back and grind away again. For smaller ships it's possible to work around this problem by designing in creative mode and then switching to survival to actually construct the ship, but this requires either a photographic memory or really good documentation with screenshots. Engineering in real life isn't done slap-dash on the fly; design choices are carefully considered, then finalized, made into blueprints, and then the object is constructed according to the design. I think this suggestion would add to the realism of the game and allow players to really think like engineers.
  10. dvsmessiah

    dvsmessiah Trainee Engineer

    i think that what you guys might want to call it is a ship assembler small and large....with that this assembler can pull material from you storage...that a welding arm can make the parts....this was you can have a ship yard that would be as big or as small as you want it...welding arms could be large and small for small ship repairs...this would be nice to have to program the small ship to patrol around an area for any damage area then make the repairs

    so floating in a ship to a set of rollers (tires) through to a grinder so that you can get the materials that you need to build your ship...then on to a place where you can with something that looks like a ore detector scan the ship for blue prints of your ship that you took apart...much like what is in the current assembler under blueprints....this would include any ship that that you or your friends have...these options would be available in the control panel under scan,assemble or use blue prints...once done you can choose to repeat the built ship as many times as you want...

    the above scenario would be something at a space station...how ever if you are on a distance asteroid of some sort this where the antennas would come into play and be able to grab the blueprints from your base....this stays true to the game progression where you have to build things in order to have them....

    just my thoughts on the mattter
  11. tyschr

    tyschr Trainee Engineer

    This is simply brilliant. I love it, just like you originally stated. I've been wanting a way to incorporate the symmetry mode from creative into survival without cheating and this is absolutely perfect. Would be awesome to see this come to fruition. Just make the shipyard parts cost a fortune to build and maybe have a slightly lower efficiency rate with materials- so that there's a challenge and still some benefit to doing it by hand.
  12. ataaron

    ataaron Apprentice Engineer

    No need to suggest this, its already planned to work like that as stated by the devs they wanted to implement an ingame "3d printer for ships"
  13. dvsmessiah

    dvsmessiah Trainee Engineer

    yea after 20 mins of typeing that out i saw the 3d printing and large ships post...but oh well... at lease i was thinking like the devs
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