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Fun and Unfun in Survival mode

Discussion in 'Survival' started by yendortoad, Mar 26, 2014.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. yendortoad Trainee Engineer

    I have played Survival mode a few times now. It was very addicting. As a sandbox, you have to set your own goals as to when you are "done."

    In the 1x realism mode, I found the initial hand drill mining fun. The low efficiency just makes you want to build up to a real mining ship - a fun goal. After my first trip back with a full mining ship, I found that transferring all the ore 400L at a time was very Unfun. It has been suggested that a fix to this would be to allow you to open any two inventories that are within "reach" and transfer as much as you like from one to the other. This change would still allow for the tight personal storage capacity, but not force you to do the same transfer action 200 times just to move all the ore 3 meters from one bin to the next.

    My next game I played at 10x just to avoid the tedious transfer problem.

    My next goal, after a nice mining ship, was to set up a refining base. Even at 10x, I found the times to refine some ores taking away from my Fe refining time. So, my next goal was to build a refiner for each ore type. That way I would not have to wait for any one type to finish before I could get the next type (its a BIG sandbox, so build all you want). Once the massive refining station was done, I started looking for other goals. In order to build any large projects, one would need to have help to make it more fun. But, I worried about playing in an "open world" where after I spent 100 hours making my perfect station, someone would come along and smash it. And before some of you call me a Care Bear, just picture what happened when you were a kid playing in a real sandbox. If the another kid came over and stomped on your projects (just because he could and thought it was fun) you would go cry to mother and she would just tell you, "well, don't play with him any more."

    Although it might be fun for some to play a PVP game, I think the time element in setting up your base to produce ships would take too long. My strategy in a PVP survival mode game would be to quickly mine a bit of Uranium for power, mine a bit of Fe for steel, then build a long ram at the end of my rescue ship. Find the other player's ship, and crunch his reactor - game over! Whoever can do it fastest wins. No need for a base, interesting ships, etc. Of course, if your opponent does the same thing... Then you would have like two knights jousting with their rescue ships.

    1. Set up a point system for all the armor/weapons/components etc. on a ship. Then, players could use the creative mode to design ships within the point limit and copy and paste them into an arena game. With set limits on ship point values, players could compete in playoffs and show off their skills in design and piloting. (even Care Bears like me could get into this!) Arena games would be exiting to watch - maybe even have a few "camera ships" in play to record the fun! The point values would keep things competitive.

    2. In the survival game, you start with a full capability in refining and assembly. The thing that makes a survival game more fun is building up. So, we should start with only a "backpack" power core/refiner/assembler. Then you are dumped into a world with no ship. You have to hand drill mine and slowly process your ore until you can build the "small" power/refine/assembly units. After that, you can build the "normal" units. This build up adds more fun to the survival game - not starting with all the full comforts of home on the rescue ship. Maybe even add one more layer of units on top that is even more powerful than what we have now.

    3. Achievements. Have a list of achievements to obtain while playing survival mode. Things like: Working base (refiner, assembler, power, med station), Mined XXX units, Processed XXX units, etc. This gives players a set of goals that they may want to work towards (or not). And, bragging rights, if the achievements are hard enough.

    4. More stuff to build. Once you have a refiner, assembler, power, and med station, what next? Yes, its a sandbox, but how many of you did not bring other toys to the sandbox to play with? Some ideas: 1) Gardens for growing food (would need to add ice back into mining for water). 2) Oxygen plants (would need to make water and oxygen needed to be replenished at med station instead of just power). 3) Food processing plants (see 1). 4) Better hand tools (start with slow tools, and get better). 5) Pressurized rooms - take the spacesuit off! (I know, too much programing!) but add all kinds of indoors stuff - furniture, decorations, etc. Make your home sweet home! Just a start - you guys will be programing for life!

    Well, that's about it. Too much fun as it is - keep up the good work!
    Thank you Thank you Thank you
  2. McHendrik Apprentice Engineer

    All I want is a secret NPC enemy base to find, invade, destroy, etc.

    I know there's too many AI posts, but hear me out: I think the players can make these for each other.

    The idea would be, you go in creative and create a base with automated turrets, etc., and somewhere in it is a secret item in a storage container. This could be a nice upgrade (bigger backpack, longer battery life, etc.). You get this scenario JUST SO, and then upload it for other players to try out.

    That secret item would be nice, but you have to get to it alive, which means building the right combat ship with your limited resources. So you do survival, but you have a reason to build a combat ship and try to survive the heavy fire to get to the objective.

    Absent some upgrade, just the objective of beating this scenario would add a ton of fun to those of us that really don't want to do PvP, and the BEST part is that OTHER PLAYERS build the scenarios. Keen doesn't have to do anything but make turrets auto-fire at enemies. No complicated AI at all.

    This would basically be a version of the custom dungeons people make in Neverwinter for each other. I think it would be awesome.
  3. Aurenian Apprentice Engineer

    Now that is a good idea. Even just containers with some refined ores in them would be good enough to be the treasure.
  4. Gwindalmir Senior Engineer

    I also don't like how you start with everything already. Currently at the start, the only real challenge is to make sure you can find and refine enough fuel to keep going.
    I hope that a minimalist survival start type will be supported in the future. I know the game mechanic doesn't support it currently, but that can change.

    I wouldn't mind starting with a small ship (since our suits need to recharge), and just a small cargo container for storage. It gives me more motivation to get something up before I die (which resets the player, since there would be no medical room yet).
  5. Drunken_doc Apprentice Engineer

    Only the limited carrying space spoils my survival fun. Going to and fro with ore is just tedious.

    I'm eagerly awaiting conveyors.
  6. Aurenian Apprentice Engineer

    @ Pheonix the problem with starting with nothing is you can't build or refine anything.

    That said, I'm working on a map where you start in an escape pod and have to salvage a debris field to get what you need for a reactor, refinery, and Assembler.
  7. wasteland.soldier Trainee Engineer

    Unfun: spending days building a sweet operation, only to have a griefer come along with his rescue ship and plow into it. Come on, that's not PvP, that's just griefing. I play Eve Online in an nullsec alliance fighting Goonswarm daily. I'm definitely not a carebear. I'd love it if somebody would come to my server, start a rival op, and start coming over to attack mine. But spawning with a gigantic battering ram breaks that possibility. Hopefully faction-only beacons will at least partially address this issue.

    EDIT: forgot to mention the tedious welding. I definitely don't want a creative-style build experience, but I also don't want to play a welding simulator that a four year old could be equally effective as myself at. Fabricator modules can't come quickly enough. Perhaps also an upgraded welder that can be built as an intermediary step?
  8. Gwindalmir Senior Engineer

    I know the currently gameplay mechanic don't support this, but it doesn't mean it's not possible. Maybe we can start with a blow torch or something to manually refine a small amount of ore. Not terribly realistic I know. This will give us a small amount, just enough to create a small refinery and then assembler (which I know don't exist yet).

    However I am interested in your salvage map when you are done.
  9. pipakin Apprentice Engineer

    You can change the prefab rescue ship. Replace it with a small ship with only thrusters and a little fuel. The downside is that player will need to use someone else's refinery to get started.
  10. BiggLou55 Apprentice Engineer

    Hopefully items 1, 3 and 4 will come as the game develops (remembering this is an early access alpha)...

    As for item #2, you can do all of this now. You can create your own starting conditions in creative, then copy it and start a survival game with it. You can also publish it to the Workshop for others to use as starter/primer. My point is you don't have to choose one of the premade starting conditions for survival. Just make your own! :)
  11. Lancar Senior Engineer

    The rescue ship has got to go. It's counter intuitive and breaks the game flow every time you die. It's fine as a placeholder for now, but in the future it will not do.
  12. BiggLou55 Apprentice Engineer

    +1 to this...

    But it's not the ship per say, it's the fact that a functioning med bay is required for consistent respawn. You don't have to immediately dismantle the rescue ship on your firsts spawn.

    Example scenario:
    You just started a new rescue ship survivor mode game with some friends. Instruct everyone to Take some time and figure out where you want to go, point the ship(s) in that direction, get up to a reasonable speed, then coast all the way there (turn of dampeners). When you arrive, turn dampeners back on and park the ship. You should have 3 days of "at rest" power remaining. That will keep your medbay online for respawn (this means you will not spawn a new ship if you die as long as your original ship has power and a functioning med bay). Your first priority should be finding Uranium (lots of it) and dedicate your remaining power to refining it. after a while you should have enough power to start building a small platform What should you do after you have power? Dismantle the med bay on the rescue ship and rebuild it on your platform... But EVERYONE must build their own Med Bay on the platform. That is key to eliminating the unlimited derelict rescue ships.

    Also keep in mind that those ships NEVER despawn, so if you just let them drift off into space, you are generating lag in your game. Why? Cause everyone's system is dedicating CPU cycles to track those ships. Grab the SEToolBox (see Mod forums) and open you save file. You will probably see ships hundreds and even thousands km away from your last save location. (hint: delete them from the save file to reduce lag).
  13. jasonrubik Trainee Engineer

    I was just gifted this game by a friend, and haven't tried it yet... But I know that what a person could do is try to ignore / avoid the existing assembler and refinery. If there is a possibility for a true minimalistic early game then it could be achieved in this manner. I will try to survive with nothing to start with, except drill, grinder and welder, and see where it takes me. Perhaps it is not possible whatsoever, but we will see.

    On second thought, can you even craft an assembler without an assembler ?
  14. ViperMan Junior Engineer

    No - a player cannot refine ore into materials without a refinery, nor can they assemble construction elements (steel plates, etc) without an assembler.
  15. Peppe Trainee Engineer

    Why wasn't it fun for you to solve that manual transfer problem with say some fun blocks in the game? It is like you say manual drilling was going to be an issue at 1x and solved the drilling part and just stopped. Solve the next problem... you are a space engineer.

    Hint-- ejector/connector and collector?

    If connectors do evolve into being dock-able conveyor type blocks this issue will go away, but for now you can just eject that or into a collector.
  16. Peppe Trainee Engineer

    My favorite start and what i would expect most servers to switch to is a custom small respawn ship.

    This is currently what i like to start a world with:
    Two station blocks for scale. Cargo container holds all the parts needed for a refinery, assembler, and small reactor (station/large ship).

    If i was to use the ship below on a server i would take away all the light armor plating and probably grind down the cockpit to about the red line. Griefers won't be able to do much with a ship like that and they can't repair the cockpit without bulletproof glass.

    I've tried more difficult starts where I factor in the dissassembled value of everything on the small ship and then reduce the materials in the cargo container to require you to build the small reactor and assembler first and dissassemble the remaining parts in order to build components to finish the refinery. Was interesting the first time and actually not too annoying on 3x+ inventory, but very tedious grind on 1x. In the end it just delays building your own first mining ship too long in my opinion.

    I should also note I play hardcore -- if i die i start a new world (unless it was a bug that killed me). So medbay is not needed in my single player worlds unless i take damage.
  17. jasonrubik Trainee Engineer

    That does suck, but I do understand, but I hope that the devs consider adding some sort of rudimentary early tech tree to get out of "the stone age" so to speak. I'm sure that a guy floating in space could build at least something from space junk or rocks that might improve his scenario, if only slightly.

    Perhaps there will be an optional starting condition for just this type of brutal self punishment !
  18. jasonrubik Trainee Engineer


    Even that seemingly small starting equipment appears to have a lot of pre-made materials. I was expecting much less starting resources, since in actuality the issue is not resources, its tools/abilities.

    I think a good starter tool can be added to compliment the grinder, welder, and drill...

    I propose: The tool bag. (btw, I have no idea if this already exists. I have yet to play)

    1. A set of hand tools that will allow the player to construct their first rudimentary furnace (refinery).
    2. Use these various tools to build certain components that would normally require an assembler, especially the requirements for the actual yet-to-be-built assembler.
    3. Don't drop the tool bag, or else it might drift off into space.


    I think this might be fun ! But, then again, what am I comparing it to ?! I still need to play this game !! :)
  19. tharkus Junior Engineer

    I totally agree with the autor of the post and others that think survival can be more challenging, encouraging and entertaining.
    i love the game and i know its alpha but the survival game (not pvp oriented) game lacks something.
    maybe a enemi AI ship to survive from, maybe npcs to interact/trade, the mentioned things by the people here, etc.

    lets hope , when the most important things be added/fixed (optimization, multiplayer working fine, etc) i know the devs going to surprise us. :)
  20. Disposadwarf Apprentice Engineer

    Space ships are a complex system requiring well made parts. Not requiring assemblers and refineries, is like getting someone on a desert island to build there own motorboat from island resources, it aint going to happen. There is a minimum amount of infastructure required to start. this means that if it is ever destroyed, players will have to start again. i dont see this as a bad thing. it means that you can effectivly lose, if you dont have a rescue ship with the Stuff.
  21. jasonrubik Trainee Engineer

    I guess you are right... space is a rather hostile environment that humans did not evolve to survive in.

    There must be some form of middle ground possibilities... not so much to make the game more difficult for no apparent reason, but just to allow for the ever so slight possibility of maybe being able to survive without a pre-made refinery & assembler, if one were skilled enough, then maybe this advanced player would be able to progress forward in the game. This would be an alternative to death for the most skilled players, but like I said, a very very difficult path, that ends in death almost all the time.

    Currently this path does not exist, no matter how smart or skilled the players might be. This could be changed, and it would make for some amazing stories for those who managed to pull it off.
  22. Assumption Trainee Engineer

    1.) This is called mass. It would be easier to set a limit on the number of weapons and mass, with no need for an arbitrary point system. If the mass ratios given in game aren't quite realistic, well that's another, smaller issue.

    2.) It's beyond the scope of realism to have backpack sized refineries and assemblers (No amount of in-game skill or out of game walkthrough justifies you doing the impossible, and this game's appeal lies with maintaining a realistic sandbox). The closest thing to your idea I can see fitting into the game is something like automated mining ships, and your only hope without your starting ship is to hijack one and use its onboard refineries. Justification for a mobile assembler ship, without spending a lot of dev time on AIs doing ship building, is something that would take more thought. Maybe if the 3-d printers start happening there could be automated ship printing done, and you'd have to sneak into these places to use the assemblers and start building. If anything your idea is a good place for the modding community to step up for those interested.

    3.) Achievements are unnecessary and they don't need to show up in a sandbox as well as every other game in existence. Maybe a few added with the Steam integration is fine. As it stands, building your base is achievement enough, especially if you crash your ship early on or get hit with an unlucky asteroid towards the start of your adventure. If the game isn't already tracking how many of something a person is building, it's not worth adding yet. Since the game tracks gyroscopes etc attached to ships I have a feeling that is already partially added, though adding the aggregates of your mining is probably more awkward and doesn't add much to the gameplay. Another thing for modders.

    4.) The idea of nutrition and a few more life support systems is possibly a good one. Being able to upgrade tools/jet pack and suit storage is maybe another good addition, though really building ships to accomplish hand tool tasks accomplishes this and there's not much reason to make the hand tools even slower than they already are. Furniture is again largely out of the scope of the game at this point and I think without optimization adding atmosphere will complicate the code and drag down the "fun" aspects of the multiplayer game (aka factions and many people doing things with ships).

    The basic gist from what I see is that most of your ideas are better things for modders to do than for the developers. Making the game mod-able would be a better expenditure of time than adding most of these things, and even that shouldn't be too big a priority at this point, with factions and multiplayer optimization still not finished.
  23. jb_aero Trainee Engineer

    This was posted well before the conveyor system was added. Ya darn kids with yer 'letronics 'n flyin machines!
  24. Tiger313 Apprentice Engineer

    Heavy armor on a station should be able to stop a collision with a large ship, and small meteors. Heavy armor on a large ship should be able to stop a collision with a small ship. It should dent, and repeated attacks at the same spot should eventually punch through, but in it's current state it's not protecting you. All it does is take up resources, as trade-off for being a binder for useful blocks.
  25. Fireball14 Trainee Engineer

    This one +1;

    Module to eliminate drill shake. Right now drill shake has nothing to do with real world physics. Even if you put one small drill on huge ship with mass of 1kk tons, its still shakes like crazy.
  26. MegaMiner Junior Engineer

    I currently use the Spartan Respawn Ship http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=276459303, although I hadn't yet thought of the idea of just including the pieces to build the assembler and refinery. Now I will have to update the ship. I really like this idea :) Even less mass for the griefers to use against people :D
  27. WhiteWeasel Senior Engineer

    Is it possible to make it so that only one can be spawned per player on a map?
  28. Bagpuss Trainee Engineer

    Personally while I am impressed with the new connector patch I've found it less fun than the old dropping cargo into a collector method.

    I liked mining for a bit, parking up my ship over a localized gravity field and setting rows of ejectors/connectors on throw out, into the collectors "below". Then while it emptied I got on with other tasks like building a ship, setting the ore I wanted refined first or programming the assemblers.

    Now I just reverse my ship, connector to connector and instantly all the ore is pulled into the refineries.

    I think it would be nice to have both methods in the game as some sort of upgrade path.
  29. Polenicus Apprentice Engineer

    Actually, it IS doable, but it simply means there needs to be a source of those manufactured parts, which leaves you with two options:

    1. Drop the player in a world with nothing but their grinder, welder and drill. No starter ship. No resources. Nothing. Turn cargo ships on. They'd have to hope something shows up before their suit power runs out, and that it's something they can realistically catch. This relies a lot on the RNG and is probably not the best solution, as it just provides a hump to get over, and relies a lot on luck.

    2. Modified crashed ship scenario: Player is dropped on an asteroid, which has debris scattered about the surface (Not all in one clump). The debris is designed to provide all the parts needed for an assembler, refinery, reactor etc but the player has to scavenge them from half-broken parts of the destroyed ship. Possibly scatter the pieces over a couple of nearby asteroids. Player has to work with his inventory limit, power limit, and knowledge of what parts he needs to decide what to scavenge each trip to ensure he can get up and running before he exhausts his power.

    Both I believe can be constructed using SETools.
  30. florek Trainee Engineer

    but... they are both in game. you still can shoot your cargo into collectors.
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