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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


    If you're going through the trouble of updating all of the opposition stuff (pirates, IMDC, etc) could you make sure they have their turret priorities set properly? Currently a bunch of different things like some of the pirate bases and the Cerberus do not target player suits with their Gatling turrets which means that you can just straight up fly in and grind the turrets down for a free ship/base.

    I agree that the cargo ships need to be re-balanced such that the risk to reward is much more equal, however I would still make sure that there are a reasonable number of high-risk, high-reward spawns to ensure that piracy only playstyles are still viable.


    I think a persistent factional system would be amazing and go a long way to yielding an actual game. A viable economic/trade system not entirely tied to combat performance would also be nice. You should be able to trade at "open" trading stations as soon as you vet yourself or pay a membership fee, at least up until you start raiding them or have a really bad "accident".

    There also needs to be sufficient "neutrals" (free agents like yourself) that you can target without racking up faction +/- points as well, who are only protected by general space police or something similar. Or at least nasty pirates who are automatically everyone's enemies that you can target with no penalty/gain I don't think you want every single interaction to result in faction points.

    There should also be considerations for emission control and generally being stealthy/hard to find. While it's ok that the game knows where you are, the factions shouldn't. At least not precisely. They should only know locations of previous incidents/engagements and then have to search you out with a grid on a search pattern from there. If you're highly mobile and use laser ants and only short range coms you should be hard to find, none of this magically knowing exactly where you are and spawning a carrier up your pooper every 15 minutes like clock work shit.

    Which brings me to a final/general point: for player grid vs AI grid to ever be truly satisfying the game needs to move beyond fast spamming of grids coupled with extreme prescience of your location, but coupled with absolute moronic piloting. All enemy grids do is make a straight b-line towards the player and then stop when they get close, which means yo can basically just sit there and clip off turrets in a head on pass. Some interesting combat is possible against multi-turret beasts like the Eradicator, which can't just be neutered in one head-on pass. They will engage you in a turning fight, and that can be pretty fun. But some very basic maneuvering scripting could turn something like the Incisor into a dangerous opponent if they spawn in numbers.

    Another thing that I think needs implementing: scrap/derelic trading. One of the main issues with piracy/salvage is that you end up with these half ground hulks of steel drained of their cargo and valuable blocks. Now you do grind them periodically for plates/grids but they tend to accumulate much faster than you can dispose of them. It's literal grinding-grinding. Would be cool if you could just merge block a derelict to a scrapper NPC station and they split the resource cost with you in plates/grids (say you get 30% of the hulk value).
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2016
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 2
  2. russo_bolado Junior Engineer

    Great work! But... No love for Private Sails?

    Haven't opened the blueprints... PC's dead for quite some time. But what I miss the most is the fact that Cargo Ships aren't O2 friendly. This is specially bad for the Military Transport, which must be taken from inside in order to be fully hijacked. Without O2, you have to make 3-4 trips to a Small Ship parked near the Transport to avoid stifling to death.
  3. iN5URG3NT Senior Engineer

    Well that would be even better. As for my ships, nobody needs my permission to use them, just give me a credit and we are good. :D
    • Like Like x 1
  4. OrfanKrippler Apprentice Engineer

    Pirate ships instead of bases, which could then becoming moorings for fencing stolen goods. Also, the pirates should attempt to dock with your station and steal, not many pirates I know of who shoot first and do nothing else.
  5. BlackUmbrellas Senior Engineer

    Given the majority of pirate forces are entirely unmanned drones, I think it actually makes a lot of sense that their tactic is more "cripple passing ships", with it taking very little imagination to figure that this is followed by an eventual "salvage the wreck and grind it down afterwards".
  6. Seff Apprentice Engineer

    Definitely, and definitely. Giving the turrets proper targeting across the board is a must. I want high-risk, high-reward content but I haven't decided yet how exactly to implement it. Pirates are a prime choice for that sort of content. One of the thoughts I had for the Argentavis is that, instead of swooping in and bothering you it floats by like all other cargo ships - but if it gets close enough to you (or you get close enough to it) it'll start acting aggressively. This goes into the idea that the pirates shouldn't immediately know where you are from 20km away, but if they get close enough they'll have you in their sights. Another thought is the previously-mentioned resource-rich asteroids with a well-defended mining base parked on it. That would be an exploration find, so less of a reliable encounter, but at the same time I can be meaner with it because it's a fight that you have to go looking for.

    For all the cargo ships, their reward can be further fine tuned by the cargo they carry (and randomized through ContainerTypes.sbc), so if I've nerfed the ship itself too hard with my thruster cuts and faction theming I can give them something valuable to carry. The type, number, and speed of the reinforcements they call can also affect the risk. As it stands, the usual reinforcement - an Assailant - is just pitiful and hardly factors into your risk calculations.

    I'm actually torn a bit on private sails. I didn't like that it essentially offered the same number of thruster comps as the business shipment while having poorer defenses, so I built a small grid version (using 1 large grid cube = 3x3x3 small grid, so it's actually at 60% scale). Six small grid large thrusters is only 72 thruster comps, or about 1/6 of what it used previously. It has two small grid gatling turrets, which gives it good coverage, but poor range and lower dps than the large grid. One of my friends built an alternate version; large grid, 1 gatling + 2 interior turrets, a slightly enlarged body/no large cargo container to fit an interior. They both have their pros and cons and I'm not really sure which to use.
  7. OrfanKrippler Apprentice Engineer

    I guess that's fair. I would like to see the salvage the wreck part though.
  8. Devon_v Senior Engineer

    That's the one! Good God I built a whole large grid ship with twelve refineries and a dozen drills out of just the gyros and one engine pod on that thing. That ship doesn't even make sense, it doesn't have enough guns to fight, yet its dragging around an insane mass of heavy armor. All it does is refine, why does it need to be able to absorb incoming fire for days?
  9. BlackUmbrellas Senior Engineer

    My main input here is that I'm not sure Space Engineers is very well suited to trade stations and faction karma and such?

    Ultimately, this stems from Space Engineers being a block-based sandbox game. An NPC trade station is fundamentally non-enforceable because you can grind it down and destroy it. If you make it so that you can't by making NPC stations indestructible (or maybe spawn in the resources rather than actually holding them in a cargo bay), you remove the immersion and create a fundamental schism between how NPCs work compared to how everything else in the game works.

    Similarly, the idea that pissing off a faction would make them send their "boss" after you leads to an artificial ceiling; how can you repeatedly kill the Pirate King or whoever? If you can't, what do you do when you've beaten all the "bosses"? Suddenly you've run out of a big chunk of content.

    I definitely like the idea of having more varied NPC factions, both hostile and friendly, but I'm not sure the extent to which they could fill the roles people are talking about.
  10. Mike55520 Apprentice Engineer

    It needs an economy AND a reason to use it, more to do than just build and destroy, more technical.blocks like long range scanners ect
    A little heavier duty AI, spawning in and attacking someone u already know the location to mindlessly just does not cut it
  11. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

    If you're rebalancing Cargo Ships... is there time or desire to tackle Encounter Ships? They are badly outdated and mostly useless except for grinding down.

    Being able to find a viable small miner or welding ship would be useful, especially to the new players. There are other ship varieties but those are just two examples.
  12. Seff Apprentice Engineer

    I'm going to do my best. For some ships, I just can't see any way to fix them, except to cut them (Volunder and Coockie Monster). Others, like the Discovery and Renaissance, I'll do my best to update. I know there are small utility ships in the encounters (I've found them before) that I thought were okay, but maybe we have different definitions of viable. Either way, it's going to take a while to go through all the encounter ships and sort out what can be fixed and what is too far out of line, or too clang-prone.
  13. tankmayvin Senior Engineer

    If you grind down an NPC trading station, you make all other traders hostile to you. That should be a programmable condition.

    There is no barrier to having many "pirate kings" that are regional. Say one pirate king per 200km bubble or whatever.

    A bigger problem than running out of content is the completely absence of content, or reason to build things.
  14. BlackUmbrellas Senior Engineer

    What would that matter?

    If you can successfully disable a trade station and feed it to the grinders, what would it matter that other trade stations don't like you? They can go into the grinders when their turn comes.

    Again, I like the idea of more lively NPCs, but at the same time I don't think a system with faction karma and quests and such really... fits Space Engineers. If it were me implementing it, I'd just focus on making NPCs more capable of reacting to their environment. Have the pirates prey on the cargo ships, have the cargo ships send out SOS pings, have encounter bases that send out ships to patrol their territory. Have the NPCs capable of interacting with each other, and then let the player react to that as they will.

    Instead of getting coordinate pings quest-style to go save a cargo ship from pirates, just let the player spot the antennae signal if they're in range. If they can get there soon enough to save the cargo ship from the pirates, well, there they go.

    I can appreciate the idea of a "living world" approach, but I definitely feel like making it too game-y runs against the grain of what Space Engineers is as a game. It doesn't need to be formalized; an emergent experience where players protect friendly NPCs entirely out of wanting to protect them (or turning to piracy themselves and tearing them apart) feels a lot more of a natural fit.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Ronin1973 Master Engineer


    I do think that cargo ships and encounter ships can be improved around planets by a couple simple changes. Granted this doesn't solve the problem of gravity, but will help:

    On cargo ships, turn off the backwards thrusters and leave them on for the other five directions and turn the inertial dampeners on. This should allow ships that are skimming through the upper part of the gravitational field to resist falling into the planet, except when flying in a direction directly at a planet or a vector that dumps them deeper into the atmosphere than the thrusters can resist.

    For encounter ships, turn on inertial dampeners, reactors, gyros, and thrusters. Again, if they appear in the upper atmosphere, they probably won't fall. But if they are too close, they will... of course.

    Just a suggestion, or perhaps you already have a complete solution up your sleeve. But it doesn't hurt to chime in. Perhaps there's an idea there.
  16. Seff Apprentice Engineer

    The solution I had up my sleeve was "don't play on planets" or "start and end every play session with a space master cleanup." And waiting for Keen to provide a fix for cargo ship/encounter spawning. 14 weeks since they said cargo ships were just temporarily disabled for new worlds. Temporarily sounds a bit too much like, "Soon" for my tastes.

    Might try it your way, but I suspect that it will end up with ships stuck in orbit burning through fuel/uranium, until they run out and fall. Assuming the ship is just skimming through part of the gravity well, and not traveling down into it or up out of it, it's going to decelerate after it passes the point where only the downward dampeners are firing and then the gravitational pull starts to pull back and down. The rear thrusters will only try to maintain the ship at 0 m/s, they won't stop gravity from decelerating it. Maybe this will only bleed off the acceleration that the ship gained as it entered the gravity well - that really depends on the spawn location and angle. If it spawned already in the gravity well and moving across it, it likely won't gain enough speed before the gravity vector shifts from ahead and down to behind and down for it to escape. Any downward angle at all and the ship is going to hit. For exploration finds that don't have any velocity to begin with, it's simply delaying the inevitable.

    Scripts/RC blocks can detect natural gravity vectors, so they could be made to, if they detect that they're in a gravity well, point up and go full burn. Depending on the ship this may be futile. Military Transporter is now a 1g capable lander/lifter. While not intended for planetary landings (not enough downward thrust), the Mining Hauler has 25.8 MN of forward thrust and is like 1.5m kg dry, so it could escape. The Business Shipment has like 1.5 m/s^2 of acceleration when empty, and that's ion thrust, so if it's even in like .1 g it probably can't escape and will still eventually hit the planet.

    What Keen really needs to do is just add a simple logic chain while spawning ships.
    1. Does the spawn point have natural gravity?
    2. If the ship is a Cargo Ship and has an initial velocity, will its vector intersect with a natural gravity field before it reaches where ever it's supposed to despawn?
    3. If the answer to both is no, spawn the ship/encounter.

    Bonus round: Add a min/max natural gravity characteristic for each spawngroup, so we could have atmospheric, lunar, and zero g spawns.
    Extra credit: Optional height to averaged local planetary voxels and orientation to natural g for spawning planetary stations, crashed derelicts, etc.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  17. Seff Apprentice Engineer


    I made it smaller, lighter, better protected, better forward acceleration, swapped the singe large container and reactor for 6 small containers and 12 small reactors, doubled the armament + improved fields of fire, and wrapped the drone-brain in as many non-deformable blocks as I could manage to prevent damage leak/armor deformation from killing it. Then I gave it a snazzy paint job.

    Sound risky?

    That should hopefully make it more dangerous and less susceptible to lucky kills through destruction of cargo or reactor or necessary-drone-bits. I went ahead and did some visual restyling. I want to avoid that when possible to maintain the vanilla aesthetic, but it had way too much space-brick going on.
  18. Wizlawz Master Engineer

    0.o a PvE thread

    anyone say "You are ONLY limited by Your Own Imagination" yet? {i did not read the entire thread passed the OP}


    /sign, agree, agree.

    ahhh maybe Someday.....

    Until then: Fly Well, Fly Safe......oh wait....
  19. Spets Master Engineer

    I turned off meteors almost since they was added to the game. Deadly accuracy, it didn't feel like something random, but just timed and nonsense constant bombarding. and they never changed it a bit, even to the amount of complaining about that
    Cargo ships was a good addition, but it also didn't seem like something rare or random, they just spawn every few minutes. Derelicts would be a fun addition, but never done.
    I don't know why they turned off Cargo ships, that could be the most interesting survival gameplay with planets, also, they should make random wreck ships on planets so you can scavenge, explore, discover. So much stuff and potential and lot of open survival gameplay on planets and there is still almost nothing done yet :/ And I stopped playing survival a long time ago because of the lack of survival features and bugs.
    After 2 years playing this game mostly creative and waiting for some real survival experience, I think Im starting to get a little tired of waiting, and looking for other promising games like Planet Nomads, and maybe Astroneer. but still, not losing faith on SE yet
    • Agree Agree x 3
  20. Morloc Apprentice Engineer

    Save them out after plowing them into an asteroid. You cut the resources in general, and make recovery more complicated. It's also interesting for the player. A lot of the ships should have damaged versions (as well as their intact counterparts).


    I'd play with meteors as they are, but only if I could turn down the frequency to about 1% of the current minimum. Even then, I'd prefer that the swarm have a random deviation from being directly on target (there'd still be a chance of being directly on target of course). A few degrees off would create a nice show that'd make you go "phew!" and might clobber a rover or rig you had near your base, but wouldn't represent a 3 day repair project.

    I like the spiders, but they need to be a bit more random. Also, having them spawn inside a tunnel even though your hauling rig is protecting the entrance is goofy. You're just going to die and reload or give up hand drilling. Yes, you could build and move little defense stations as you mine (reactor + turret) but cripes, that's slow-crawl-no-fun-time. No underground spider spawns.

  21. tankmayvin Senior Engineer

    An emergent system isn't contrary to what's suggested.

    However emergent is just a buzz word for something that occurs with good programming. Spamming cargo ships and then pirates on timers, with the latter attacking the former is really no different than generating "piracy" events. In fact that's exactly what it is. It's not emergent, it's something that's designed to happen.

    If factions or whatever don't remember you and thus mount a greater and greater defense every time you come around, you'll quickly become the big-bad and be able to trivially prey on weaker enemies. Because of the flatness of resources in SE, weaker opponents always retain their value. You need T comps at all points in the game for eg.

    If, however your actions have consequences which bring in heavy hitters which actively hunt you, etc. There is scaling.

    Truly "emergent" gameplay requires insanely sophisticated coding and a very, very high population world of stuff to go about interacting. SE is rather sparse by design.
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  22. tankmayvin Senior Engineer

    Funny thing about meteors is that because of the way they target, you can avoid them pretty much 100% of the time by merely drifting at 10-15 m/s.
  23. SirLANsalot Apprentice Engineer

    I like this idea. A planet under constant barrage but to augment that, it would be a SUPER rich environment in minerals (aka ALL types present, in LARGE veins), both on the surface (from the impacts) and below. This would give a great reward to whoever could land and establish themselves on the planet without getting wiped out. Either on the way down to the surface, or while on the surface.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  24. StuffYouFear Apprentice Engineer

    Seff Ive been working on for the last few weeks a military transport that crashed into earthlike in singleplayer survival. It has been my mission(and way to kill time) to make it space worthy and get the damn thing off the ground. Frist, as it is now it is around 6+ million kg, I believe 1 million heavyer than stock, and it takes ~16 large airthrusters to lift it on earthlike. Without fans assistance it requiers atlest 5-6 large hydrogen thrusters to lift it.
    Second Ive been updating it for real use in survival but its lacking guns and having a hard time filling in the interior due to the way glass wont multyblock. The distribution of resources are a mess inside. The hanger looks badass though and has a hell of a view for the cockpit with the hanger doors open.

    Useing both fans, ions, and the hydrogen from 4 tanks I can make it to around 20k, but have yet to escape gravity. Two of my tanks were at 99% full and the other two were 45% full so it may be possible if I just top them off. Also loseing the air turbines might be worth the reliance on pure hydrogen in weight savings.

    TL:DR, I need to look at your transport but it probably cant do earth launchs, I will try and workshop my world if you wana look at my halfass handywork, you might like the hanger. Rest of mine is terabad
  25. Seff Apprentice Engineer

    Aaaas yooouuu wiiiiiiish. /westley

    Military Transporter
    Converted from heavy armor brick to light armor with heavy armor frame. -8-9000-ish thruster comps from removal of large ion engines, some small ions added to compensate - most thrust comes from h2 thruster system. Rotor door removed, replaced with ramp and airtight hangar doors. Topside gyro ballpit removed, installed crew quarters and command deck. Removed interior wall maze, installed engineering compartments, ready rooms (with showers and arms lockers), cryo-med bays (for carrying and healing troops), and drop room (where troops sit during planetary drop). Removed booby trap. Removed large cargo containers. Increased landing gear. Moved 'airlocks' forward and inward, made them into double door airlocks. Added exterior interior turrets for bringing freedom & managed democracy to bugs and cyborgs sabiroids and cyberdogs at 600 rounds per minute. Removed large reactor, used 10 small reactors spread throughout the ship for power. Made o2 ready with tanks/gens/vents. Assembler and arc furnaces added.

    From your experience with your own ship and the glimpses you've seen of this rework, you were probably expecting this to be underthrustered, but I got really brutal with the mass-shedding. This one can take off and land from planets because it's 2.266m kg dry with 8 h2 tanks with 25+ MN of thrust under 1g planetary influence (meaning I accounted for the 30% power from the ions). The bottom missile turret may have to go somewhere else, I rather expect the hitbox is just a hair too big, and it'll get crushed upon landing.
  26. Mobiyus Apprentice Engineer

    Very interesting topic, I couldn't agree more with OP. I hope something good will come out of this, be it mods, worlds, scenarios or attention from Keen.
  27. StuffYouFear Apprentice Engineer

    My god Seff, I didnt know you could do that to stairs with them on their side.
    It either shows how good at ship layouts you are, or how bad keen is at walkable collsions.

    Im gona have to take a grinder to mine before its even presentable
  28. Seff Apprentice Engineer

    I actually learned the trick from Whiplash141, who learned it from a newbie friend of his who didn't know you weren't supposed to use stairs like that.
  29. BlackUmbrellas Senior Engineer

    I can't boot up the game to see for myself; what are you two referring to?
  30. tankmayvin Senior Engineer

    That's a very nice upgrade.
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