Improving Space Engineers single- and multiplayer by fostering an economic and socio-economic environment, refining game mechanics and encouraging player interactions. Update: 26.09.19 (DD/MM/YY the one and only true format ) Some updates incorporating feedback and trying to clarify some of the points somewhat. 1. Player/Gadget/Tool-Inventory 1.1 Add a dedicated inventory for tools and gadgets to the player character. Improvement to the inventory management In regards to EasyInventory, this would enable players to seperate certain items from the backpack inventory incase of an inventory dump (dumping a certain amount of things while retaining the rest e.g. medkits) 1.2 Enable players to search and access each others inventory. A player should have to consent to let his inventory be accessed or searched, at least as long as he is alive. This enables players to ensure a rivaling parties member does not carry something unwanted or even dangerous, on “cooperative” missions or tours of ones base, such as explosives, weapons or, if turned into a physical gadget, a gps! 2. Physical GPS 2.1 The GPS functionalities, owners information and saved coordinates should be tied to an in-game GPS-gadget. 2.2 Players without a GPS on hand should not be able to get their current coordinates or see waypoints, this enables players to, for example, visit each others bases without necessarily disclosing there location. 2.3 It should also be possible to store GPS data on ships and stations to restore or backup your GPS-Gadget from those. 2.4 Backups and restores should be possible if you are in range of an antenna. There should be no physical interaction needed as this would be to much of an inconvenience. 2.5 The device should wipe all saved data after not being in possession of its owner for a certain amount of time (30 minutes?), a player should be able to claim ownership of a GPS in his possession preventing said wipe. A player should lose all waypoints upon death since the last time he backed them up if he does not recover the GPS before it wipes itself. The saved coordinates being bound to the gadget, losing, acquiring or defending it would become a meaningful event/objective. 2.6 There should be a possibility to jam all GPS in a certain area, rendering GPS and already saved waypoints useless for people in that area. There should be a countermeasure to a deployed jammer giving the player an option to react e.g. a jammer should reveal its position enabling the player to get rid of it/out run it. 3. Physical access rights management 3.1 Rework of the rights system adding the possibility to assign access levels to players. (recruits/soldiers/captains or security clearance 1/2/3/...) This would allow for a still general and easy but more granular, than atm, access/rights management. This creates the possibility to restrict or grant rights to groups of people in the faction, instead of just one player or all faction members. 3.2 A new rank/level can be created and "ranked" in a submenu of the faction menu. (It should also be possible to assign faction management rights to ranks in that menu) A faction members access level can be assigned in the faction menu. 3.3 Higher ranked access levels should automatically grant access to stuff set to lower access levels. 3.4 The physical item is basically your authentication token or ID. Anyone carrying your card can pose as yourself and access everything you’ve been authorized to. Your authorization being bound to the card, losing, acquiring or defending it would become a meaningful event/objective. 3.5 An access card should invalidate itself after a short(/server configurable) amount of time (5 minutes?) not being in its owners possession. If a player lost his access card it should be possible to invalidate it in the factions menu (UUID - token invalidation...). This way losing it would turn into a short but high risk situation. (risk balancing) 3.6 For special access outside the general rights management it should be possible to assign pins/passwords to blocks and whole ships/stations, allowing players (not necessarily in the same faction) to store those pins on their access card and granting access to anyone with said pin stored on his card. There must be a limit to the amount of stored pins to hinder bruteforce attacks. Allowing users to use passwords instead of smaller numeric pins would significantly increase security. 3.7 Rent/Lend cards Similar to special access cards with the option to set expiration dates, without the possibility to access the pins/passwords stored and being able to just give them to other players without them wiping themself after a certain amount of time. 3.8 Players should spawn with an access card. The new card should contain the access configuration of the previous card. (uid + ties to owner per card) Rent/Lend cards should be lost upon death without replacement. (Should invalidate itself only after the rent/lend expiration date is reached.) (This system could be fully fleshed out to reflect something like Windows-AD but that is probably too far... but basic ranks/access levels for grouping and ranking players should really be made possible... There would be also some caveats/problems with an implementation similar to Win-AD... ) 4. Ore distribution, mining, refining and assembly 4.1 Ground material should always consist of several materials with a “high” percentage of base/waste material (currently stone). 4.2 Ore patches should additionally contain a “significant” percentage of the assigned material. 4.3 The mined unrefined ore should not be divided into e.g. stone/iron/nickel each in there separate inventory slot, it should be treated as a homogenous mixture and should display its composition upon hovering over it e.g. Ore (stone 70%; iron 28%; nickel 2%). 4.4 The ore detector should be configurable to detect a percentage threshold of a desired material. 4.5 There should be dedicated mining containers which can only store ores. (store a higher amount of ore in the same space as a normal cargo container - trade off is versatility) (to clarify this should be in addition to being able to store ore in regular containers) 4.6 There already is a basic implementation of this in game where you can only find small patches of for example gold inbetween stone and therefore you automatically mine some stone while mining gold, this would be a more refined and broader applied version of that. With every tic you should get a mixture of ores e.g. 30l mixture consisting of stone 35%; iron 62%; nickel 3%; and this should then be added to the already mined ore mixture in your inventory, changing that mixtures composition accordingly. An ore patch should therefore be defined by what percentage of a given volume consists of a given ore and the player should be able to set his ore detector to only show patches over a certain percentage threshold. 4.7 The distribution could then also be much more granular, you could for example create larger ore patches with a lower percentage of the assigned ore or you could generate smaler ones with higher percentages. (and everything inbetween) Therefore big mining operations can utilize there throughput while smaller ones can scout for higher percentage patches. Also if you are desperate for some specific ore you could lower the percentage threshold of you ore detector significantly increasing your chances of finding said ore. 5. Tiered mining 5.1 Mining is quite nicely tiered already but i would propose one more higher tier mining laser, which doesn’t require constant supervision as it should be able to automatically mine in a cone (10->75m, at -70->70°, 3x3x3 block) without directly interacting with the environment. The Mining outcome should be in the ballpark of the standard large drill (effect a wider area but slower speed maybe - “pulse” mining - stages: charge up/pulse/clean up/repeat). The Mining laser should also incorporate a tractor beam collecting the ore (clean up stage). This should come with a significant power requirement (maybe even extreme high voltages only achievable utilizing special capacitors - which could then also be used to influence the mining speed). There should be different targeting modes available for this miner (target desired ore above certain threshold - target nearest voxel - point straight forward - manual targeting). 5.1.1 As is I don't see a significant reason for such a mining laser. We are well of with large drills getting the amount of resources we can possibly use (within a reasonable time) in game right now. But part of the whole proposed tier 3 thing and balancing, is a significantly higher resource expenditure, which in turn would call for a more practical way of acquiring more resources within a reasonable time/effort. Plus considering the proposed changes to the ore distribution, mining lasers could be used for lower percentage ore patches while still being worth the effort. 5.2 The power requirements for the large grid drills should be higher, as they should need to be considered while building a miner. The inventory of drills should be small*er. 6. Tiered refineries Refining blocks should also have a small inventory. 6.1 Tier 1 (small and large block) (lxdxh) basic refinery - inefficient (ore/ingot/waste ratio) - low power - high hydrogen consumption - can’t refine magnesium or uranium - slow - (large 2x1x1 - small 4x4x4) 6.2 Tier 2 (large block only) adv. refinery - high power - high hydrogen consumption - can’t refine magnesium or uranium (3x2x2 - 2 upgrade modul spots - efficiency and throughput - set amounts) purificator - input mixture of all ores - outputs “pure” uranium and magnesium ore + leftovers - 2x1x1 magnesium refinery - inefficient - high power - slow - 2x2x2 6.3 Tier 3 (large block only) industrial purificator - input mixture of all ores - outputs “pure” ores - high throughput (4x2x2 - 4 upgrade modul spots - power and throughput - set amounts) dedicated refinery - has to be set to a certain ore and then can only refine given ore - very high power consumption - high throughput - can refine magnesium and uran efficiently (2x2x2 - 4 upgrade modul spots - efficiency and throughput - set amounts) uranium centrifuge - can enrich uranium (enriched uranium needed for ammunition production - longer more efficient burn cycle in reactors compared to normal uran) 3x3x2 recycler - recycling the waste created refining ores or assembling components (turning it back into an ore mixture) 3x2x2 6.4 These changes would further extend and refine the basic implementation of tiered refining already in-game. 6.5 • ore to ingot ratio and refining capacity (kg/h) needs balancing 7. Tiered assembly It should be considered to introduce components which require other basic components to be assembled. 7.1 Tier 1 (small and large block) (lxdxh) basic assembler - basic components - slow - high power (large 1x1x1 - small 4x4x4) 7.2 Tier 2 adv. assembler - produces basic components at an increased rate - produces advanced components at a slow rate - high power (2x1x1 - 2 upgrade modul spots - power efficiency and throughput - set amounts) military assembler mk1 - fast bullet production - slow explosives and missile production 7.3 Tier 3 industrial assembler - also produces advanced components at an increased rate - high power (4x2x2 - 4 upgrade modul spots - power efficiency and throughput - set amounts) military assembler mk2 - very fast bullet production - fast explosives and missile production 7.4 There should be a distinction between certain productions, similar to civil/industrial production and military production. There are a certain products that are assotiated with a way more serious notion than general assembly/parts production, such as uranium refining/enrichment or weapons/munitions fabrication. This should carry over into space engineers. This would also enable to convey certain implications if you meet other factions... e.g a faction with a huge amount of military assemblers or magnesium refineries is probably more likely to be military combat centric and therefore maybe more aggressive. 8. Tiered Blocks Blocks associated with a higher tier should be substantially higher in cost than the previous tier (material/time). 8.1 Cheap tier 1 blocks for starting out. e.g. light armor; 8.2 Massproducable Tier 2 blocks used for general expansion. e.g. heavy armor; 8.3 Expensive high tech Tier 3 blocks for well established players and factions. e.g. composite armor; (very expensive in production(time and resources)/lighter and more robust than heavy armor) 8.4 In general there should be more tiered blocks to provide the player with a kind of progression in which he intuitively and naturally iterates and therefore further develops and refines his gameplay, improving his overall experience. Without the need for a complicated and restrictive tech tree. 8.5 Higher tiers should also involve more complexity if reasonable. e.g. ore mixture -> purificator -> “pure” ore -> dedicated refinery -> ingot - opposed to - ore mixture -> basic refinery -> ingot 8.6 Additionally a player should find new gameplay options with every tier. e.g. tier 1 - wheel based vehicle & basic atmospheric or space flight; tier 2 - traversing between planet surface and space; tier 3 - traversing space with a jumpdrive 8.7 Blocks of course don't have to be restricted to 3 tiers it can be 4 or even more and they can be anywhere in between, but having a clear “vision” at which “tier” (you could also say “point of time in game”) a player should have access to a certain block or feature helps to balance as you’ve already got other blocks/features in the same tier you can compare/draw reference to. 9. Players guidance - basic premise Providing players with a basic premise on what is happening, a crude outline on what is going on around them and what their role is in this world, does often help them immensely to get in the right mindset for a game. My preferred szenario The “system” you’ve just arrived in is owned by a massive corporation which doesn't really care what’s going on in the system as long as they get their share. This corporation provided you with everything necessary to start your own little mining/trading/mercenary... business. At the center of the system is a highly unusual planet with gravity anomalies and extremely rare resources. After you’ve gained foothold you start to expand and acquire technologies/licenses from the trading posts owned and run by the corporation owning the system. The "system" itself is split between three major factions. At first they don't really care about your presence, but as your business starts to grow, you get noticed by the bigger factions and they start to pressure you to join them. 10. Trading & Currency 10.1 • digital currency "credits" as an item only (no personal or faction account inaccessible to everybody else). Having the credits stored as an ingame item adds to the game as you now have another target/another thing to protect/consider and new situations arise. • transferable via antennas and physically via inventory • can be stored on a extremely robust and "secure" "server" You can't extract the credits by grinding down or destroying the "server". This should further incentivize players to try and capture/break into it rather than just grinding it down or shooting it to bits. 10.2 • universal material sold and bought for a set amount of credits This would act similar to a “reserve currency” (such as in theorie gold in rl) to stabilize the value of the standard credits. ( - i know that this isn’t quite the same but it should be similar enough to keep the economy stable for much longer than without it) 10.3 • main trading station only trading licenses, advanced parts and the universal material Basicly a place of interest for well established players and factions, bringing with it all the usual opportunities and gameplay a place of interest does. • normal trading station selling licenses & trading materials/components Again places of interest and of course trading, which in itself also adds a lot to a game. 10.4 • for every trade you have to pay fees depending on the amount you are trading Money sink to stop currency inflation. 10.5 • trading should be as easy as possible (choose between sell or buy/choose material or component you want to trade/enter how much you want to trade/ get displayed how much you would get or how much it would cost/select the affected inventories/accept or decline) So there is next to no UI/UX barrier of entry to trading. • prices for components/materials in trading posts should be depending on how much there has been "recently" sold/bought also considering stations nearby (acquisition prices should only go up to a certain standard price - if low slowly going back up until standard is reached) (the higher the volume of your trade the higher/lower the price per unit.) 10.6 • "server" containing credits only hackable with a decoder block (should take a long time - encourage players to physically take the "server" with them) • exchanging "credits" via antennas (time to transfer: normal antenna: depending on the distance to the destination upto ~25 minutes / laser antenna: set time of transfer ~45 minutes) Encourages players to exchange credits in person or at least being in a certain area which opens up new gameplay opportunities. • extremely dense universal material (small cargo space but really heavy) can only be sold/bought at the main trading station can be turned into nearly every other material (extreme energy consumption while producing) money sink + reserve currency + high roller toy 11. Licensing Implementing licenses for functional or production blocks, bought with credits and requiring ongoing fees as alternative to PCUs. 11.1 This would actually serve several purposes, one of the two main points is that it would reduce the amount of credits being in circulation on the server and therefore help reducing their inflation rate. 11.2 The second main point is that it helps to keep players in check. Since there are still computational limits to what a server can handle we sadly need a way to restrict what players are able to build ingame. At the moment many servers have set a hard PCU limit, which at a certain point creates a hard limit which can’t be influenced by the player himself on how much and what a he can build which often leads to rejection and frustration. With a licensing system there still is a limit to what a player or even a faction can afford but by implementing it within the games mechanics, effectively gamifying it and providing the player with a way to influence those limits, it becomes much more natural and easier to accept. Balancing of course, is key to a licensing system. 11.3 It should also consider people not being able to play for a while and people running out of credits. The prices of licenses should be the sum of however many days of ongoing fees of the same license (~3-7 days) so there is a reasonable barrier of entry getting a license, but also a fairly low barrier in selling one, knowing your not gonna be able to play/take advantage of that license. (maybe also a vacation system basically freezing licenses for upto maybe two weeks) If a player runs out of credits to pay his licensing his ships or stations should not become inoperable. They should still be able to maneuver, even if at a reduced velocity, it should still be possible to spawn at his medic station and the energy system should still function as normal. However production, refining and military equipment in need of licenses should not work at all. 11.4 A further point in support of a licensing system is server maintenance. Server admins/moderators(/tools) could check if there are inactive stations/ships/players and clean them up after them after a certain period of inactivity. 11.5 Having to pay licenses and subscription fees even provides players with an objective, something to pursue and achieve. Which many players do see as a motivation to progress further in the game. To which i have to say that it should never forcefully have a to heavy impact on players ability to play and enjoy the game. 11.6 • "ship core" (really robust) acts as brain of a grid (without it the grid will go into an emergency mode - basic maneuvering/production) consumes credits according to the licenses used on the grid (shuts down with no available credits) Adding a way to make a ship/station vulnerable for boarding and more + again the whole money sink and licensing thing. 12. SafeZones Basically…i would advice to try to avoid them whenever possible. Try providing alternatives like shields… 12.1 Trading post shields For stationary server trading posts i would propose very durable shields, if attacked giving players inside the shield an audible and visible alarm and enough time trying to escape before going down. If enough damage is inflicted, the shield should go down and the trading posts should go offline for a set period of time (10-30 minutes) before it comes up again with full shields. Players and objects inside that shield should be invincible as long as the shield is up. Weapons shouldn’t be operational inside those shields. The (serverside!) trading posts themself, sadly, have to be indestructible as if not they would be constantly destroyed. The players should be able to defend the trading posts adequately. 12.2 Player shields • high energy consumption • variable durability and recharge rates • impenetrable by enemies if up (if the enemy is inside before you activate your shield they should not be pushed out!) • can shoot inside out 12.3 Player offline protection e.g. If a player is the last online member of a faction and wants to safely log out, there shouldn't be any damage inflicted upon the factions stuff for "insert amount of time here", before he can safely log out. After there hasn't been any attacks, in said amount of time, the player can log off and the shield (or whatever) would turn into a save zone... This would prevent many of the problemes people have with the current implementation. 13. Server, faction, world building and other ramblings 13.1 • only the admin should be able to see who is online You simply should not be able to figure out who attacked you by looking at who is online… maybe show whos online in your faction in the faction menu. 13.2 • 2 to 3 “fictional" rivaling “server” factions, players/player factions can join (in principle similar to alliance and horde in wow, you should have to choose the side your on, so you’ve already got people you can associate with and already got a common enemy – supports/pushes player interaction) 13.3 • player created factions with more than 3 members have to join(/associate with) one of the server sided factions (still remaining as their own faction though) again pushing player cooperation/interaction 13.4 • player factions in your “server" faction should be automatically set to be allied Lowers the barrier of entry into an already existing “community” as you’ve got something in common (enemy and faction - common interest). • player factions affiliated with a rivaling "server" faction should be automatically set to be enemies Creating a common enemy/goal for a group of players fostering player interaction/cooperation. • solo players and smaller factions are considered neutral At the beginning there should be all possibilities open for you. You can work with all factions and see with which you align the best. Or you can just do your own thing. 13.5 • player factions should consider to specialize... mining/military/trading &/exploring (scouting/collecting information on enemy factions or lucrative ore patches also delivery and trading) further pushing player/faction cooperation and interaction (consider to encourage specialization with specialized licenses) 13.6 • advanced parts initially only obtainable through trading or progressing far enough to build advanced production blocks (which can produce more advanced parts required to build improved thrusters, weapons and other blocks) improving player progression and therefore experience 13.7 • custom designed starsystem more or less centered around an highly unusual planet with extreme gravity and (maybe if not too demanding) corrosive atmosphere with special asteroids “floating” in gravity Common point of interest for the whole server. Adds an element of risk and more to the game. 13.8 • extremely rare resources (for example an anti gravity material needed to build gravity generators and jump drives only available in asteroids floating in gravity right above the atmosphere - exploring - makes information on location more valuable - challenge adds to gameplay experience) 13.9 • several surrounding planets with moons for variety reasons with their own peculiarities in a not to far distance (3-5 planets + center) Giving players spots to explore, build, hide, scout and much more. Some server factions might even claim a whole planet together or maybe just a moon... 13.10 • at some point the further you travel away from the center it will start to get continually darker to the point of total darkness (dangerous to explore & great to hide in) This disincentivizes players from spreading too far which would reduce the chance of interaction with other players next to zero (turning multiplayer into singleplayer...) + it is actually really fun to explore in the dark only using your ships headlights. 13.11 • in low gravity „orbiting“ trading stations (or on ground)(neutral ones and some only trading with members of a certain server faction) creating a variety of situations 13.12 • one main trading station in space with a continuous jumpdrive-jammer for high rollers, trading only high value items and displaying prices of all the other trading stations 13.13 • server trading stations will have to be indestructible (might go temporarily (~10min) offline if enough damage is inflicted - huge shield capacity) 13.14 (<- nice to have - unrealistic/unpractical) • each of the server factions should have their own style/set of (basic) models (basically 3 to 4 sets of models for thruster, weapons and armor(skins?!) visually distinctive functionally equal) only one set (+ the default one) available per faction to have a visual identifier - no real difference in stats to keep things easy and balanced) + well mods... 13.15 • first person only (ok this is my personal preference for multiplayer since it usually results in a way more planned out and thought out play style overall. I do understand that this is definitely not popular amongst players.) 13.16 (not so much of a deal anymore since you can set seperate multipliers - the inventory size multiplier, still, should not interfere with calculations... a full x1 cargo container should act diffrently then a full x10 cargo container) • inventory size multiplier 1 - bigger inventories should be achieved by getting higher tiered cargos (also if you change this it messes with mass calculations) player inventories on the other side should be comfortably large from the beginning on! (mech suit? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) Most players are comfortable with smaller cargo inventories if the player character inventory is bigger to begin with, making cargo freighters actually useful. A larger character inventory might be far from realistic but sometimes you just have to follow the rule of cool or in this case convenience. 13.17 • don't show player names (name broadcasting disabled by default) 14. Other ramblings 14.1 • kinda everything needs balancing (hydrogen/inventories/components/power...) 14.2 • more powerful sensors 14.3 • a dedicated block blocking or detecting mining Players should be able to detect mining activity in certain areas especailly around their base, so they can activley search and prepare. (Doesn't have to point out where the mining is taking place only that its happening...) 14.4&5 • dedicated jumpdrive and gps jammers A jumpdrive jammer could be implemented acting like an emp - a one time burst + charge up time - shutting down an insecured jumpdrive for ~10 minutes maybe and countering that, a jumpdrive should have an ability to temporary (5-10 minutes) protect itself against such a burst and should then also have to charge up that protection. If you anticipated the blast you could be ready for it and get away and if the enemy has the drop on you, you have to withstand until your jumpdrive is up again. You'd never be completly blocked from using your jd for an extended period of time. 14.6 • energy weapons (hitscan laser and ballistic plasma weapons - maybe require energy capsules or similar as ammo…) 14.7 • something like this would definitely be awesome (holy grail type awesome) But there are a lot of things which have to be addressed first such as ownership, factions, player count, server load... 14.8 • uptodate modding “guide” pretty please! 15. Monetization 15.1 I quite like where KSH is positioned in regards to monetization at the moment. So kudos! Keep putting out those skins and variations of blocks as long as everybody can build a version of and interact with them I’m totally fine with that! Maybe consider adding a few new blocks for everybody with purchasable variations this would be a win win situation in my eyes. 15.2 Also if this keeps going and there are a lot of purchasable skins/dlcs, please consider offering bundles, so that players who are new or coming back to the game don’t get overwhelmed or even deterred by the sheer number of things. 15.3 Oh and go and have a gander at the things in the workshop and consider maybe throwing a bone to some of those creators, maybe a steam gift card or similar and ask them if you can bring some of their stuff over to vanilla! Parts of this: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1682356734 for example... Closing statement Everything here is just ramblings of someone passionate about SE and subject to discussion! I always enjoy feedback and am open to additions or changes. There already exists a more basic version of this (Previous post: https://forum.keenswh.com/threads/m...drequest-tldr-http-imgur-com-a-3al7x.7392595/) from about two and a half years ago, where some additional block ideas are listed if you’re interested. I’ve started this “rework”/extension of that concept with plenty of time on my hands but it also took way longer than expected (youtube can be very distracting) so I’ve had to start speeding up a bit midway through… maybe I will finish fleshing it out in another two and a half years... There is a lot more to most of the things here so if anybody wants to know more just send me a message on reddit (u/WArLORD_3k)!