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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. UrbanLegend Apprentice Engineer

    Granted I don't play in survival mode that often. I prefer building elaborate creations that are survival ready. Basically, I'm working for Boeing, not NASA. Still, I would like to see some improvements to the PvE as the OP described.

    As a point of reference, I like to think of Space Engineers as a similar experience to films like the Alien films, Moon, The Martian, Interstellar, Oblivion, Apollo 13, Screamers, Pitch Black and Gravity. With similarities to Minecraft's survival mode.

    That is to say, at best, it's you and maybe a few friends trying to explore and "engineering the shit" out of stuff to survive in a hostile environment.

    More likely, that hostile environment is full of pirates, hostile aliens, rouge AI war machines from a forgotten war, dangerous animals, crappy weather, meteors and bits of debris flying at hypersonic orbital velocities.

    Worst case, you spend your list hours sitting alone, sobbing in the dark, critically low on O2, energy, ammo and any other critical supplies waiting for whatever is out there to finally chew/grind/blowtoarch it's way in here.

    I like the idea of more random encounters with more types of stuff, both in space and on planets. But to date, honestly, the bugs, cyberdogs, and pirate drones are a bit lame.

    Some suggestions (granted, this is not based on technical feasibility, so keep that in mind):
    Food and water for your engineer. I mean if you already have to fill up O2 and hydrogen for the jetpack and uranium for the reactors, might as well make keeping your engineer fed and hydrated a requirement as well. At least it gives you a sense of urgency about things. i.e. I "need" to get to that planet before water runs out.

    Instead of "random" the meteor storms / debris clouds should be detectable from long distances away, occupy a very large swath of sky, and move. That way you can see them coming and either move your ship out of the way or brace for impact and hope for the best. Or if you are on a planet or asteroid, you can either get to the far side or underground.

    Weather - It would be kind of cool if dynamic rain, snow and wind had an effect on ships and buildings.

    There should be some rhyme or reason to encounters. Like broadcasting long distances attracts other ships (many who are hostile or unknown). Lifeforms on planets mostly come out at night (mostly) or either afraid of or attracted to light/sound. The fun part is figuring out which.

    There's nothing wrong with a cargo ship occasionally belly-flopping onto a planet like that Star Destroyer in The Force Awakens.

    Maybe some random encounters with things or people who aren't trying to kill you.
    • Like Like x 2
  2. tankmayvin Senior Engineer


    Food/water only make sense if death actually has some consequence.

    The only time I even worry about O2/hydrogen is when I'm on an extended OP and don't have the capacity to respawn nearby, or I need extended continuity (delving deep inside a ship to be captured).

    With a mobile medbay, I often just let my character run out of oxy and respawn.

    So oxy is effectively optional even in survival, food/water would be even more optional since you can go without either for hours.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. BlackUmbrellas Senior Engineer

    I'm not really strongly for or against food either way, but I can agree here: medbay functionality could use some reworking. I think the common suggestion is that they should consume medical components?
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Late Late x 1
  4. UrbanLegend Apprentice Engineer


    I suppose it's all "optional" and really up to the player to define what sort of gameplay experience you want. Maybe set it up you can limit respawn to certain medbays (maybe you can already do that. I don't even know). That way, if you die out there in deep space, you have to respawn back at home base and figure out how or if you are going to take another trip out there to try and salvage what's left of your ship.

    Food and water could be optional or configurable. I don't want to eat 3 meals on my way into orbit, but maybe every 15 minutes. Or 60. Or never.

    I'm just throwing out ideas. I don't think there needs to be any one "way" they implement anything. But what makes engineering more interesting in general is having actual engineering problems to solve.
  5. tankmayvin Senior Engineer

    Sure. Sure.

    I'm talking about in the context of a way of playing the game in the most absolute literal, mechanistic sense, as I was in the my OP.

    No house rules, all options enabled at their baseline/default. Meteors on, oxy on, mobs, on etc, etc, etc. My only exception is that I make my days, 1 day. Because that's what a day is, 24hr.

    With medbays/respawn mechanics as they are in the base game, supporting your space engineer with oxy and hydro is somewhat optional. You can more than get by just respawning every time you suffocate.

    This would make food entirely optional unless you had to eat constantly, which as you pointed out isn't a terribly fun idea.

    So all that was meant to say is that food/water and other things like that require an overhaul of the carefree respawn mechanic before they will ever be meaningful features. This isn't to say that food/water is a bad idea for a mechanic.
  6. Cronos988 Junior Engineer

    I once played a "Bronzeman" version of minecraft with some mods that overhauled the food mechanics so that farming and sustenance was a major concern, and surviving off the land was hard (and the land was dangerous). What I did was install a mod that randomized your respawn location everytime you died, within a certain radius of the location of your death. The modpack had mapmarkers so you'd know where to go, and a "tombstone" mod that made your items not despawn on death, so you didn't actually loose anything on death. You just had to make it back to you base.

    That was really fun for a while. It led to perfecting the early game survival and setting up supply depots in the general area where i could expect to repawns so I'd have an easier time. Sometimes by the time I made it back, I was halfway up the progression again. Unfortunately the setup did have some problems. Spawning at night would often mean you died over and over again, sending you respawning around wildly, and the random location generator didn't work properly, so sometimes you'd respawn three times in the same location, making survival more difficult and the journey more boring.

    Nevertheless, I think a system along those lines might be a good halfway point between a full "ironman", which is undesirable in a game with as much time investment as SE, and deaths that are essentially meaningless. On the other hand, it's probably a lot more boring to simply fly back to you base than to make it throught a minecraft jungle biome at night. And using the permadeath feature would have you hack every single piece of equipment, not very fun either.
  7. BlackUmbrellas Senior Engineer

    Fun fact! You can do that vanilla now. You know how when you spawn, it's in a random 16x16 area or so? You can change the radius from the Actual Spawnpoint that people can randomly appear in.
  8. UrbanLegend Apprentice Engineer

    One nitpick, a day is only "1 day" on Earth. None of the planets in SE are technically "Earth".

    I think the answer is depends on the survival scenario you want to create (again, referencing various films):
    Gravity - You are trapped on a wrecked ship or station in orbit and just need to get to the planet before you run out of O2. In this case, food and possibly even water may not be concerns in this timeframe.

    The Martian - You are trapped on an inhospitable planet and need to survive long enough to build a spacecraft to escape. Now it becomes more like The Sims, Minecraft where you need to think about your daily survival routine of securing and rationing food, etc long enough to build your escape craft.

    Pitch Black / Aliens / Starship Troopers / Screamers / Avatar - Trapped on a planet with a bunch of hostile lifeforms / robots. I've listed the films on order of how much preparation you have before being thrown into the scenario, ranging from "shit...we're stuck on this death planet with nothing but whatever crap survived the crash", ranging to "shit, my platoon's been assigned to Firebase: Bug Lunch on Death Planet" where you have to maintain a base long term.
  9. derpy87 Trainee Engineer

    argentavis is still in the game. just need direct x9 on as well as drones and cargo ships.
  10. KissSh0t Master Engineer

    Pitch Black is such a cool movie.... how freaky would it be if there were other aliens on alien planet that only come out in the dark..... and were strong... and like to eat..... Engineers.

  11. Seff Apprentice Engineer

    Regarding food, we use the Advanced Life Support mod on our survival server. It's fairly low impact at the moment. Mostly needs stone and ice, two things that there are plenty of. The rate of thirst/hunger isn't too troublesome, but without a death penalty of some sort it is somewhat meaningless. So, essentially, +1 to what's already been said. Food could work, but it really needs respawning to be more consequential for it to mean anything. Maybe this will come with the 'skill' system they mentioned in the roadmap (loss of some skill points on death?).

    Using the stairs block (not the slant window grate, the actual stairs block) vertically instead of horizontally, so you go up two blocks in the space of one block. It works best if you can put a catwalk at the top, because there's a little bit of a lip there that can hang you up when you try and walk back down it. The Slope Ladders mod does the same thing but with a better model/collision box for it.

    If it's stupid, but it works, it isn't stupid. It really simplifies a lot of interior layouts, and lets you skip using passageways for up/down movement between levels in a ship (or building really big staircases).

    I am not sure if you're making a suggestion for limited cargo ship crashes or being an apologist for the current state of things, but the problem with it currently is that it's not just occasional and there is something wrong with it. If you enable cargo ships while you're on a planet, it happens constantly and it lags the game to hell from all the collisions.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. StuffYouFear Apprentice Engineer

    Yes, the first one looks Awesome, second one looks cool, third makes you wonder about your cargo container situation back at base, the tenth one will make you groan cause you haven't even disarmed the turrets on the first one. That is just the first hour. After a few hours with them enabled you cant see a damn thing due to all the beacons filling up your screen. I have a reasonably higher end computer, it plays planets just fine with ~50 to 100 wreaks on the ground, but it takes around 10 minuets to load from a save. Hope you have netflix!
    • Funny Funny x 2
  13. KissSh0t Master Engineer

    Do you have an SSD?
  14. tankmayvin Senior Engineer

    Given the fact that the roadmap promised very little in the way of PVE content, the inclusion of a skill tree there is rather disconcerting to me.

    There just isn't ANYTHING to level up your skills against.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

    I ran a solar power only server for a while (no planets). The kicker was that meteor storms were on. I had a lot of long time players like the challenge. The more power you needed, the more solar panels you had to expose to the sun (static sun). You had to build your base in a manner where it was protected except for the panels. Everything was based on the challenge of overcoming the constant bombardment and repairing damage if you didn't have enough turrets defending your panels. Some players used scripts to retract panels if a storm was detected (not sure how advanced their scripts were).

    Starting out was difficult, as you were constantly juggling recharging batteries versus getting out of the way of meteors with your custom respawn ship.

    The point is that game had risk and reward that approached being balanced. As your game progressed, your base required more upkeep and keeping a stock of ammunition handy or other coping methods. You were truly challenged by the environment.

    The downside was in order to keep the challenge up, I had to block the use of reactors which meant people having to redesign a lot of their blueprints or just not use them. I think if Keen allowed more control over jihad dogs, spiders, meteor storms, pirates, etc. through CFG file changes, admins and single players could probably cook up some settings that created enough challenge and balance in PVE.

    I think if Keen devoted a team... even for a couple of months... into revamping encounters, cargo ships, dogs, spiders, pirates, meteors, etc. to having meaningful, dynamic, and adjustable relevance to the game, playing would become a lot more entertaining and rewarding. It's alpha so definitely put more controls in the hands of server admins. Even if they are locked down later, people are going to come up with the right combinations and amount of challenge to keep a server entertaining.

    People need reasons and motivation to interact with the server and each other. Right now, there's not much.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. tankmayvin Senior Engineer

    I think that would be reasonably fun with the old default static sun and old turret balance/capabilities.

    In the current build you can't build a base because eventually the soft bits will get exposed.

    More importantly with current turret performance, unless you nab raiding bases you are going to be just utterly burning through ammo that is one of the most expensive things to replace, without any guaranteed that you won't be taking base hits. Ammo is insanely expensive when you get down to it.

    Also, without a lot of players to spread out the targetting, managing meteor cover is a constant fiddly thing to worry about. So it hits lone/coop players worst than spread out players.

    The rest of your post is totally on point.
  17. Cthulhu616 Trainee Engineer

    I really miss the exploring in the PVE... there may be some basic exploring, but there isn't any exciting about it... well, maybe in the beginning if you find some uran or something.

    It would be great if you wouldn't have all blocks and components available from the beginng. let's say you start with some basic Blocks and components and extend the list by discovering and examining abondoned or crashed ships or stations. To gather the blueprints for blocks and components you could grind the part down (block blueprint) and disassamble the unknown components in the assambler (component blueprints) or maybe download blueprints from other assamblers (which may require to repower and repair it's grid). This could be extended as well... let's say you have to grind down more complex blocks like reactors, refinieries and all that stuff more often than once to get the full blueprint and at least available to built.

    i think this would be a great way to extend the exploring part of the game, which atm is nothing more than finding some ore deposits (which just became boring after several hundred hours of gaming)
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  18. Lothos Apprentice Engineer

    i think what keen needs to do first is fix the faction system. people have alot of good ideas for various things to do to balance PVE, but without the faction system working right its kinda meh in my mind. You need to give players a reason to go somewhere and a reason to build things/consume things. And right now that only thing is the meteors/dogs/spiders which lack AI. You only have to move if you run out of resources because of repairing/rebuilding.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. StuffYouFear Apprentice Engineer

  20. Light_gemini Junior Engineer

    I think theres a key point to decide before expanding the pve wich is to decide the nature or origin of it all.

    To be more clear: will pure random events (meteors, spawns etc.) be enough to achieve a good pve and end game expansion? Or should it be faction/location based?

    Do random chances to spawn a pirate ship be enough or the game has to create a faction, assign territory ownership to it (grids) and have pirate stuff spawn when you get inside its territory?
    Should meteors be an entity that occupies a location, wich travels through the world and spawns meteor storms when you get close to it?

    If we think on the location based solution then it requires lot more work and developement and it would require us to start a serious "campaign" to ask Keen to do it. Given current roadmap it may take important amounts of whining.
  21. Oselotti Junior Engineer

    No. Enviroment gives just a challenge for thing what you have to do in that enviroment.
  22. UrbanLegend Apprentice Engineer


    This. A couple of ships is fine. A steady rain of ships from orbit is stupid.
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