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The sorry state of PVE

Discussion in 'General' started by tankmayvin, Feb 23, 2016.

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

    Messages:
    2,863
    I generally shy away from posting eleborate whine/rant posts. But I think this topic deserves some serious awareness/discussion. People generally don't seem to like the core PVE features, but I think the issue is more problematic than that because they all share common issues.

    By PVE, I am exclusively talking about the "active" threats to the player, distinct from the passive threats such as not being able to respawn, running out of energy, suffocating or dying from smashing into things.

    So lets go over the various features, why they suck, etc.

    Meteors:

    -Basically a flat threat, they don't scale with player assets, time in game, location, etc.
    -Lame timer based spam. "Normal threat" basically has these things flying in at you more or less at consistent ~10 min intervals. That means they are just constantly pouring in against you.
    -There is no engineered counter. Turrets work in theory but turret logic and capability means they seem to have trouble hitting reliably, they target stuff that is flying wide and past at the expense of targetting incoming threats that will hit. I have found no practical turret number/setup that will actually make you proof from hits.
    -The only reliable counter is constantly hiding from the sun behind roids/planets. Or behind a giant armored wall.
    -They bash exploration ships to a pulp, they blast pirate stations to a pulp, they hit well defended ships that are stationary often enough that anything doing ops exposed to the sun is at non zero risk.

    Conclusion: Meteor mechanic is more or less broken, un-fun and actively hurts primary game mechanics like use of solar power, stationary base building, or really doing anything that involves more than hiding behind things.

    Dogs/Bugs

    -A flat threat: rough on fledgling players, nothing more than an annoyance to anyone with a couple of interior turrets on their base/vehicles and a reasonable ammo pool.

    -Annoying timer mechanic: a constant stream of these buggers will be coming at you, meaning that you're always checking on turrets, etc on the off-hand your IT has burned through all 1000 of it's magazines.

    -No zoning, etc. They come at you from all corners of the planet.

    -Fighting them isn't fun, at all. You just place one of the turrets overwatching wherever you are and then ignore them.

    Conclusion: Unlike meteors, these don't really "break" or render anything impractical but they just flat out aren't very fun.

    Pirate bases/IMDC ships

    -On normal mode these things are everywhere.

    -A very reliable source of ammo and parts. You can farm the drones for days to supply yourself all the U and reactor/thruster comps you will basically ever need.

    -Pretty repetitive/flat. Once you've got the tactics and craft down to an art taking these down they become pretty trivial and provide you with an insane amount of loot for the relatively little risk.

    -Engagement always on your terms. Combat only starts when you want, exiting combat is entirely your choice and there is no long term consequence if you bug out.

    Conclusion: attacking pirate bases is the best fun to be had in PVE, and it is pretty fun. They are a bit too easy, there is no scaling in difficulty and they simply reward you with too much stuff: Reward to risk is excessive.

    Cargo ships (remember these guys?)

    -On a timer, kinda spammy.

    - Basically a moving version of the pirate bases; free resources once you get the hang of them.

    - Reasonable diversity in the ships means there is some scale, but the fact they are basically dumb and moving balistically means there still isn't much to them.

    Conclusion: same as pirate base really.

    Argentavis (This used to be a thing)

    -A flat threat with a pretty high penalty for failure against fledgling players: it will mess you up. For well established players it becomes a spammed annoyance that you have to constantly deal with.

    Conclusion: A more fun version of timer based mobs.

    So what are the big issues?

    Pretty much all of the PVE threats are on timer based spam system with no zoning, etc. Which means there really isn't a sweet spot. You're basically getting spammed or you turn them off.

    Some of the PVE threats (meteors specifically) actively prevent you from enjoying or using the core game mechanics without the ability to design effective counters.

    The core issue is that I think keen needs to take a very serious look at the whole basis of the PVE system. Flat threats spawned on a short interval timer uniformly about in space and all over planetary surfaces quite simply don't fit in a game where players build their way from having very little, to ending up with potent craft and mega-vehicles.

    The best, most satisfying opponents are obviously the block based ones, and the drone spam antennas at least in principle allow for a somewhat decent defense even if the drones just b-line straight for the nearest player.
    They aren't necessarily fun to deal with and there is no depth. Most of them are single tactic, and often that tactic is simply put something between yourself and the bad, or build a turret.
     
    • Agree Agree x 34
  2. KissSh0t Master Engineer

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    3,548
    I am my greatest enemy :<

    When will proper AI be implemented? I would love to see some more teasers regarding Enemy Characters, or Friendly Characters.

     
    • Agree Agree x 7
  3. Sumyunguy Trainee Engineer

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    86
    Yeah, we really need a enhanced options menu and some better AI functionality. Some sliders for randomness, spawn rate, and difficulty come to mind.

    I would love to set a spawn rate and such for cargo ships and pirates, but I would take them fixing cargo ships for planets as a start.

    Bugs and dogs are also silly. What we need, as stated, is zones where these monsters spawn from. Something around the lines of:

    -A nest for bugs. Making lots of noise will piss them off or something.

    -A crashed ship or abandoned warehouse for those dogs. They spawn once you start salvaging the ship or attempt to get near the ship.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2016
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  4. Malohkan Trainee Engineer

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    41
    Aside from these other good ideas, I like the idea that the farther you go out from Earth, the more intense the pirates become. So as you venture further, the challenge gets greater and you need stronger ships/tactics to beat them.
     
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  5. tankmayvin Senior Engineer

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    2,863
    This works, or pirates could also be clustered around rich space resources, instead of being just random things in the middle of nowhere. They should be covering important roids, planetoids, trade routes.
     
    • Agree Agree x 9
  6. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

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    4,841
    The funny thing is that most of these variables can be exposed and added to the CFG file, even if it's not listed on the GUI and has to be manually tweaked in the CFG file. Since the game is technically in alpha, it's not even going to hurt if they give server admins a little more flexibility in setting up their servers. Do I really have to use a mod just to tweak a variable?

    If I turn on Space Pirates, as soon as I manage to hydrogen boost myself out of the atmosphere and drill my first asteroid I get two Argens making a b-line straight for me.

    I totally agree that meteors aren't config'ed to be interesting. We need better control over them with some min and max parameters. I, personally, would find it more interesting if I could set meteor storms for once every few days but make them a little more intense so that players could have time to mount a defense or just suffer once in a while.

    So many things could be done with just a little bit of work...
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. KissSh0t Master Engineer

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    3,548
    Maybe meteor storms only happen in certain areas? or around certain planets?

    Or even having meteor storms that literally last for a day in some places, that would be kind of crazy environment to survive in *__*
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
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  8. WhiteWeasel Senior Engineer

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    1,086
    While It can eventually be figured out, I made a MK II cargo ships mod a long time ago that added variations of the vanilla cargo ships with different kinds of booby traps, ranging from turrets that only turn on when you get super close to fool you. Gyro override traps that make the ship nearly impossible to commendeer. Thruster override afterburners to cause the ship to speed away if you approach from the wrong angle. Gravity bombs that smash you into the ceiling if you jet pack is off. And hell, the ship with same traps in different locations. And with my (unused) covert ops cargo ships I gave it traps that were plain in unfair like a self destruct system that would go off in 3 minutes with no indication you triggered any alarms.

    For all the gadgets we have now, it's a bit silly that cargo ships are still using only turrets and thruster bombs if I'm not mistaken. It would be nice if we had a bit more NPC ship variety.
     
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  9. Clunas Junior Engineer

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    564
    Well written. That basically sums it up.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  10. tankmayvin Senior Engineer

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    2,863
    It's called Normal mode for meteors ;)

    You're basically enduring a storm that lasts for days, but with a spawn interval of minutes instead of continuously.
     
  11. KissSh0t Master Engineer

    Messages:
    3,548
    Currently it's just based on a timer though, it doesn't matter where you are if you have meteors turned on, they just appear and target blocks owned by the player... it doesn't feel like you are in a dangerous environment... it just feels like God Marek is sitting in the distance taking pot shots at you with meteors.

    The only reason I have Meteors turned off is because it is a predictable targeted annoyance that is everywhere.

    If it were implemented in a way that is not predictable, not targeted towards the player or his creations, not annoying and not present everywhere, then I feel it would be a good challenge, and a good gameplay mechanic.

    Meteors need to feel as if it's a part of the world, not just something targeting the player.

    Something interesting Keen could do is having a huge meteor appear very very very rarely for when a player is on a planet, it could leave a big crater and maybe leave a large deposit of ore at point of impact... and it would not target the player on purpose...

    Maybe Meteors could burn up in atmosphere leaving smoke trails in the sky?

    Maybe meteors could give off immense light when burning up in the atmosphere, like real Meteors.

    The idea of Meteors is good, it just needs to be implemented in a way that is fun, challenging, interesting, and in a way that it does not feel like it is targeting the player.

    Here is a good recording of a real meteor entering earths atmosphere.

     
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  12. tankmayvin Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    2,863
    They target space pirates as well in current builds. Spawned in stations get dusted constantly by them.

    I tried my hardest to play with them on in survival recently. They are not a hard mechanic to deal with, they just severely limit what you can do because you constantly have to micro manage every single grid to be in the shade, or else you will take random hits no matter how many turrets you spam.

    It's not fun, it's not a challenge. It's just annoying.

    All of these are good ideas to make them interesting.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  13. PureEvil Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    73
    I couldn't agree more. These PvE options are either a nuisance at early game that makes people not using them or a no-threat-at-all at late game. Those features simply do not scale with time and need to be reconsidered.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Sumyunguy Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    86
    Perhaps even differing levels of meteors, with each level being configurable in frequency.

    I could tolerate micrometeor storms that slightly degrade more vulnerable components outside of a ship, for instance.

    Any meteor storm should have less of an impact on planets with an atmosphere. Larger meteors could be more sparse than smaller ones, rather than having your base pelted with massive rocks.

    Again, an option set for meteors that isn't either a)none or b)death would allow people to tweak how destructive a meteor storm can be and how often it will occur along with a random interval to set for each level of severity.
     
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  15. Taemien Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    468
    My biggest issue with 'PVE' threats is their method of spawning. They seem to be a drain on resources, rather than an obstacle to overcome.

    Sabroids and Cyberhounds for example, spawn near you and attack. Then again. And Again. They're meant to be similar to monsters in Minecraft (if I had to guess). But in that game you have a general idea when things will spawn or even where. You also had a means of dealing with the spawn mechanics by placing light sources. I think something similar should be implemented here.

    This way when you have a base you're relatively safe (stuff can still spawn and wander over however). And any spot you setup a camp is relatively safe as well.. the main danger being while you explore. This would help when you first start a world. Threats are there, but not imminent.

    Its not a 100% solution. That being AI and all that good stuff. But as a good temporary solution, a means to limit spawns around your structures by building things would be a good start. And maybe even a bit fun.
     
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  16. splitsie Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    115
    I completely agree with the points about the limitations of PVE at the moment. I keep hoping (and considering where PVE was not too long ago I'm still fairly hopeful) that keen will gradually get better and better threats that add longer term fun to the game.

    With better AI they could potentially improve the sabiroid experience by taking a page from the starship troopers block and having 'brain bugs' type bosses that if you are managing the basic threat well enough (trigger could be a certain number of kills) you get a reprieve for a while then get attacked by a brain bug and its horde of sabiroids. There could be a variety of tactics introduced when the AI gets further improved.

    The cyberhouds could have something similar except be brought in numbers by a group of pirates that use them to attack the unsuspecting.


    While all of this would be nice it may take a while, what would be nice to add and shouldn't be too difficult (I'm basing this on virtually no programming knowledge) would be for the pirate mining bases on planets be randomly spawned on planets, at least then we add more variety to the simple AI threats
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. Echillion Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,334
    Keen needs to sort out the factions so the right ships/stations are in the right faction and act accordingly?

    -Argentavises should not be following you for over 250K and a hour and a half! let alone have 2 of them following you!

    -Argentavises spawning IMDC stuff like weapons platforms that are green to you yet blow you out of the sky?

    -Cargo Ships that cant avoid predesigned and placed planets?

    -Fix the autopilot? It would help with the cargo ships hitting the pre placed planets?

    -Meteors on anything other than a no sun rotation/space only map are a no-no! (Unless your feeling destructive or suicidal?)

    -Suicide dogs was a bad idea and Tomas owned up to that one and its been sorted somewhat would have been better if placed on the Mars planet?

    If these were fixed I could enjoy playing SE again - maybe?
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Seff Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    236
    I'm working on a mod to help address some of this. Redesigning the vanilla cargo ships to be less valuable (huge cuts to thruster comps and reactors on them, mining ships are all pure hydrogen, commercial ships are ion-drive solar sails with very few thrusters, military ships are ion/hydrogen hybrids) and better defended (improving armaments and removing blind spots). Not going WhiteWeasel's direction with boobytraps because I want to make the mod multiplayer/DS friendly, so no sensors. Also no rotor doors. All cargo ships have also been updated with pressurized interiors, airlocks, and RP decoration (passageway "bunks," chairs, "TVs," etc.). Well, all except the Military Transporter, which I should finish tonight. It's the last of the cargo ships that I have to do. Speaking of, no more unconveyered turrets.

    Also planned for it is fixing pirates. For one, the IMDC stuff was never properly implemented. I bug reported it immediately after it came out, and in five months it hasn't been fixed. That is, frankly, sheer incompetence. It is a thirty second fix. There is no spawngroup for the station, it can't spawn. The name of the pirate antenna on the Cerberus doesn't match that in the pirateantennas.sbc, it can't call Vulture Fighter-Bombers like it's supposed to. Because of these two oversights, what amounts to a lack of copy/paste and a punctuation error, the entire faction is broken. That'll be fixed. There is something broken with the Argentavis that is making it not leave - that will be fixed, or the Argentavis will become an encounter instead of a cargo ship. There will be hostile miners on very rich asteroids (you can spawn them together as an encounter). The pirate AI scripts will be a little smarter (fighting from beyond range 0, firing fixed weapons). The pirates will receive similar upgrades as the cargo ships, making them better designed, more threatening, and providing fewer resources when you destroy them.

    Exploration encounters will receive a tweak. They let in ships that they should not have let in, like the Volunder and Coockie Monster. The former, because it's loaded with waaaay too many resources. The latter because it's an unholy altar to Clang.

    Not to hijack too much, but Keen's failure to adequately implement PVE gameplay is one of my major irritations with them, so this thread is of special interest to me. If you've got suggestions for things to implement along these lines - tweaks that can be done without external scripting or changes to blocks, just changes in what ships spawn where and how and when - I'm keen interested to hear them.
     
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  19. The Churrosaur Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    744
    I like this. It's not only cool but it scales in a very sandbox-ey way.
    To start you would occasionally run across them, presenting a valid (but manageable) threat to starting players. As you physically seek out their territory (maybe mining deep?) or build larger facilities they start to come in legitimately threatening waves. Until, finally, you take the fight to them. Fighting tunnel by tunnel through endless hordes of bugs to finally eradicate the nest and give yourself some much needed respite. It's a challenge that presents itself organically as a desired end goal and therefore drives the player to build and progress to the point where they can complete it; giving a natural incentive and reward. Plus it would be fucking awesome.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016
    • Agree Agree x 2
  20. BlackUmbrellas Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    2,818
    Cargo ships were designed well before autopilot was a thing; they never got the update. Presumably this is because Keen had just started rejiggering them to make use of some of the Pirate functions (they were trying to make them call reinforcements, although IIRC they didn't get that working) but then they shelved the feature and disabled it when planets came out. As those of us who have messed with the files and re-enabled them can testify, this was probably done for good reason; without some sort of autopilot function, cargo ships rapidly turn any planet you're on into a scrapyard that kills performance.

    I'm sure they'll revisit the feature again eventually once they're done with their current loadout of bugfixes; the main problem I can see is that the autopilot function (or even the pirate pathfinding) aren't really suited for the randomized spawn points and trajectories of cargo ships. They'll need to expand the programming used in those to allow for something like that.
     
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  21. BlackUmbrellas Senior Engineer

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    2,818
    While this largely sounds interesting, I am a little disappointed in the "remove blind spots" bit. I rather enjoyed how cargo ships had particular weak points you could identify to make sneaking up on them or landing a crippling blow possible.
     
  22. Aracus Senior Engineer

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    1,931
    Just imagine sending a drone down a nest, flying through the tunnels, you hear a screech, swing the turret around just in time to catch the movement of a sweeping leg, then as the camera disconnects(for being destroyed) you get 2 seconds of static before it cuts back to your control position..
     
  23. Seff Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    236
    There will still be some blind spots, but things like the mining carriage - it has one turret, so it's entirely blind underneath, and the antenna directly behind the turret makes it blind to the rear as well. That's pathetic. The Business Shipment just has two interior turrets, and they're both on top, so again it's completely blind over half the ship, and completely helpless against anything combat oriented. A free large reactor floating through space with a bright blue and white paint job and active beacon to help you find it.

    Finished up the Military Transporter. It's no longer a solid brick of heavy armor, but it can now bring a whole lot of freedom to any planet that needs it. Too tired to BP and publish everything tonight. Grabbed three for you guys to tear apart. Paint, lighting, and toolbars/block naming not final. Like what you see? Don't like it? Found a problem? Let me know.


    Military Escort
    H2/ion hybrid, reduced thruster component count, can land/take off from moons, 2 minutes of full burn hydrogen thrust, composite light/heavy armor, no more exposed interior blocks, progblock/timer/rc so it can be adapted into a pirate/AI ship, RP interior, airlocks, o2 tank + 4 gens, arc furnace, assembler.

    Mining Transport
    H2 only, two tanks, untested on planets/moons, o2 tank + 2 gens, assembler, 2 refinery, reduced to one large cargo container, RP interior/airlock/pressurized interior added, turret positioning tweaked. The really big change here is that the ship is no longer 3k-ish thruster comps. It is now 0 thruster comps.

    Commercial Freighter
    Ion sail, thrusters reduced massively - lost ~2k thruster comps. Right pod converted into crew quarters/RP interior, landing pad on top of left pod expanded, added stairway down to airlocks, added airlocks, oxygen/generator, +2 arc furnace, -1 reactor, passageway between pods, +2 rocket turrets, probably other things that I'm forgetting. Included cause, as above, it has a blind spot. You can be safe from the rocket launchers if you keep the sail between you and them. However, the little sideways solar panels that could block the gatlings firing to the rear have been removed.


    This doesn't fix all the problems with cargo ships, but is this at least the right direction for putting PVE in a less sorry state?
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016
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  24. BlackUmbrellas Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    2,818
    I can't currently boot up the game, but the thing that immediately jumps out at me is that the way you've gutted the "towers" to make room for the hydrogen tanks is really, really ugly. They really need that plating along the sides to look right. Maybe use catwalks, if there's no way to organize it so that the tanks are moved around?
     
  25. iN5URG3NT Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,132
    I think scripted events would be amazing, something like this perhaps:

    Pirates:
    Player has large grid of >100 blocks - Light drones attack sporadically, nothing heavy, but keeps you on your toes.
    Player has large grid of >250 blocks - Light drones attack slightly more frequently, occasionally spawns slightly more dangerous ship.
    Player has large grid of >500 blocks - Light drones replaced with slightly more dangerous ships, defence starts to become more of an issue
    Player has large grid of >1000 blocks - Small grid ships replaced by large grid ships, similar size to Banana Boat.
    Player has large grid of >2500 blocks - Player now faces small battle group of mixed grids.
    Player has large grid of >5000 blocks - Small large Ships in battle groups replaced with larger ships, say about 1kt.
    Player has large grid of >10000 blocks - Player will face the "Pirate King" and his flagship. Supported by battle group. Can be considered a "Boss". Drops something unique and possibly a trophy, whatever.

    Factions:
    All cargo ships assigned a faction and a grade.

    Grade 1 = Things like the Business shipment, private sail - Most Common
    Grade 2 = Heavier, but still civillian - Common
    Grade 3 = Military transports etc - Rare
    Grade 4 = Large and valuable ships that require a team to raid or a very good ship - Very Rare

    Factions can be sourced from workshop.

    Hypothetical situation:

    Now:
    You raid a Cargo Ship.
    You steal lots of loot.
    You are pretty smug, and can build what you want.

    What I propose:
    You raid a Grade 2 Cargo Ship of the IMDC faction.
    You steal lots of loot.
    You are pretty smug and you start thinking about what you can build.
    10-15 minutes later "You are wanted for piracy against IMDC, pay a fine (Resources) or prepare to fight"
    You fight and kill enforcer, screen displays "IMDC Faction Favour -1", more IMDC ships will spawn and attack till you pay the ever increasing fine
    At "IMDC Faction Favour -3" you recieve a new message " Greetings Engineer, this is <Insert Faction Name Here>, sworn enemies of IMDC. We will offer you support (Resources) and a letter of marque from our leader (Player choice, if accepted +2 Favour for new faction, - 2 Favour for IMDC.)


    At + 5 Favour with faction you can trade with cargo ship of that faction rather than raiding them.
    At + 7 Favour you recieve a Small Grid Ship from your faction.
    At + 10 Favour you recieve a large grid ship from you faction, something unique and some kind of trophy.

    Attacks and fines increase with negative favour, this culminates at Favour - 10 when the faction you pissed of attacks with it's flagship. Defeating this will again give you something unique and a trophy.

    I'd say the more factions the better, with a minimum of six. Factions would also have their own alliances and will react accordingly. I.e. If you reach +5 in faction A, you get +1 in faction B, because they are allies. Fines and attackers would be related to the size of the Cargo Ship you stole.

    NPCs:

    Distress Calls, Ambushes, derelict (or are they?) vessels, trading stations, battles. All tied in with faction.

    Hypothetical Situation:

    Screen displays "Distress call recieved! <GPS Location>
    Fly to location.
    See Cargo Ship under Attack.
    Realize attackers are from a faction you are trying to build favour with.
    Player can choose between the Cargo ships reward, or to assist faction in it's destruction and loot.
    Protecting cargo ship earns captains thanks, and from now on, every 2 hours, he'll drop you off some resources.

    Just a few ideas there which would, IMO, help make SE an actual game.
     
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  26. WhiteWeasel Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,086
    Sensors don't work properly in multiplayer? That's a shame because that really limits the kind of traps you could use.

    No kidding, my Tips to improve Your Exploration Submissions guide is my polite way of saying that I was not happy with the quality of some of the ships that were let in. I think I even encountered a couple that weren't even conveyored properly, how the hell did they even get in?! And don't get me started on the small ships that have 50-100 uranium in it....
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016
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  27. PurrfectBlinky Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    26
    "Realism is the best game designer" KeenSWH states, so grounding all these things in some kind of reality could be something they should lean towards. Having nests of hounds that spawn them (whatever is making these buggers, it's churning them out way too fast) and allowing enemies to be part of factions that have goals of their own should be the reasoning behind attacks and whatnot. Also meteor storms could be broken up in just here and there a meteor, that drops valued material on inpact or is destroyed before that. We have meteors on earth, but even in a meteor storm like we have each summer only a fraction of those things is big enough to survive planetary entry. As planets in SE are relatively small it makes sense that there are larger and less burned up meteors.... but still, focused attacks from swarms of meteors suggest intervention from extra terrestrial parties. Like the naquada meteorite the goa-uld send.... Keen please keep to your ideas of realism, and think of a smarter way than timers to do the implementation.
     
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  28. Oselotti Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    837
    Meteor storms should be just random clouds what travel in space until they hit something and don't try to aim anything. After they fix the meteors they can start to add more hazards in space like micrometeors and cosmic radiation. Then the danger is same for players and npc enemies and we can make proper plans how to protect our things against a hostile enviroment and things starts to get more fun. Meteor storms were actually pretty fun until I noticed they are aiming to me.
     
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  29. Clunas Junior Engineer

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    564
    Or that big red one with 5000 of everything including uranium, 2 large reactors, and miles of ion thrusters...
     
  30. Seff Apprentice Engineer

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    236
    This morning I tried blending the tanks in a little better with some catwalks as you suggested, but couldn't really produce anything I thought was an improvement. I'll keep it in mind as I work on polishing this up, but it already checks the boxes I was looking for. Maintains vanilla aesthetic (roughly), improved function, reduced reward. Beauty is both subjective and not required.

    The mod I linked earlier in this thread does something similar, except instead of going by simple block count it assigns weighted values to different blocks and spawns a pirate encounter every so often that it thinks is an appropriate challenge for the player. It could use a few more ships/variety, though. Why not volunteer some of yours? :3

    Yeah. They can be a bit laggy in general, but on rare occasions they'll get stuck in some kind of trigger loop where they switch on and off very rapidly and proceed to crash the server. No bueno. An evil more insidious than Clang.

    Four more years ships!

     
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