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What Are We Reasonably Expecting Will be Addressed in the "Survival Update"?

Discussion in 'General' started by Stardriver907, Jun 28, 2018.

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

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    I really don't have an issue with the 'basic' industrial blocks. I agree that Keen over-emphasizes how educational they'll be for new players, but keep in mind that they require less components which will ease the start burden with the new default small grid starter ships. Frankly this game is so old hat for me that I can't recall what it's like for this game to be hard and I suspect I'm not alone here, so I say give Keen a break on this one.

    In regards to ore being deeper. I tried a mod that did this because I too thought it was a good idea. What it actually does is frustrate players who can't detect the ore with the limited range of vanilla detectors. So it now requires a modded detector which adds more stress to the server. They find the ore, mine it all the same ways they would normally, but now with a longer trip down/up which makes the voxel file that much bigger. In the end this causes a lot more stress on the server and nothing really novel/interesting happens to make it worthwhile. Trust me, this one looks good on paper, but in practice sucks in mp.

    Having played with Scarce Resources, not having U on planets would make things easier for me. Anytime someone asks how to make the game a challenge, this mod is brought up. Every time. I'll probably still use it after the new changes tbh. Restricting the locations of certain ores may leave a bad taste in some peoples mouths, but in practice it is a great motivator for those that need it. It is one of those game mechanics that you just accept and then enjoy if you play it, like Dante's skyfighting, or Max Payne's bullet time.

    I think Han Solo would snigger at you thinking there's no such thing as animals on asteroids :p
     
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  2. Malware Master Engineer

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    9,510
    @Stardriver907 I have no problem with the blocks, it's the "research" I don't get. I find well made research systems in games to be fun. What we have here isn't research. It's not fun, it doesn't add to Gameplay and I don't understand what it is supposed to teach.
     
  3. WraithLeader1 Apprentice Engineer

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    Same here, there should be a research block that is really cheap. Or in the new survival block. You can research, for example the assembler, but not until you research the 'basic assembler'.
    That way you can slow down progression, without the way they are doing it... For my second stream, I turned that sucker off.
     
  4. mojomann71 Senior Engineer

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    I think it is more like quadruple the size. :) I agree was frustrating having such a large battery block. I am looking forward to the small batteries, even if I have to use several at least I can place them throughout the design instead of one huge chunk. :)
     
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  5. vadersson Trainee Engineer

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    As a real engineer I will comment that battery power density is really the issue and having large batteries makes sense. Look at a regular car, The battery is very small compared to the engine, but the battery in a typical car certainly will not drive it. Now look at an electric car. My batter is bigger than what would be the size of the engine. As for the comparison with a nuclear reactor, the reactors are probably too small in SE. If they would have said they were Fusion reactors, I could buy it a lot easier. But since it uses Uranium, it is obviously a fission reactor. That should be a lot bigger with cooling systems, shielding, etc.

    Sorry, I will keep real life out of the game. ;)
     
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  6. mojomann71 Senior Engineer

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    In the Martian didnt he have a fission reactor to power his rover that was only slightly bigger than a soda can, maybe like a 40 oz beer size? I know "Hollywood" but supposedly they based it on real life...who knows I am no rocket scientist... lol!
     
  7. Burstar Apprentice Engineer

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    No, mucking about with solar panels, and the limited range of the rovers were both significant plot points iirc.

    Modern day fission reactors are complexes visible from miles away, and fusion reactors are basically particle accelerators aimed at a magnetic containment bubble. Neither of these look to practically fit inside a car within the next 50 years let alone your microwave.
     
  8. Spaceman Spiff Senior Engineer

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    HAHAHAHA! Yeah, my real-life engineering brain keeps slamming up against SE's simplification, too. I just have to turn it off and go with the flow.
     
  9. mojomann71 Senior Engineer

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    Yup sometimes it is best to just say this is a game, I can deal with it being not 100% to real life. :)
     
  10. Calaban Junior Engineer

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    "ARGH! why dont these engineering games represent back EMF spikes when stopping/reversing a motor, rotor, or gyroscope?!"

    acually, I am rather satisfied seeing that unbolting a running gyroscope is at least somewhat representative of what happens to your face and spleen shortly thereafter.
     
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  11. Spaceman Spiff Senior Engineer

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    That is always exciting, to be sure!
     
  12. Stardriver907 Senior Engineer

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    Oh, I agree. The blocks are great but they hardly constitute a "research tree" and they shouldn't try to characterize it as such. They are blocks designed to be used in emergency situations, not learning tools.

    Yes. I would suspect that the smallest reactor you could find in 2077 would be the size of the current small ship battery. In my experience, the average person solves the battery power density problem by having a lot of batteries. Having a smaller more realistic battery for small grids simply means (to me) that the thing you are building does not have to revolve around how you are going to fit the giant battery into your design. A problem usually solved by dispensing with the battery and using the tiny unrealistic reactor.

    Well, it sounds to me like ore detection needs a makeover as well. My whole point about this is that mining on a planet should be different from mining in space. Particularly, there should be equipment designed to operate in a gravity field (thus not requiring that mining machines fly), and ore detection should start with geography. There should be places on a planet where ore types are more likely, as opposed to everything showing up willy-nilly everywhere, and it should be harder to get. In space ore lies within easy reach and usually doesn't require digging a shaft. The trade-off is that deposits are small and spread out. The problem of ore detection can be eased by making it clear that a person does not have to canvas an entire planet to find ore. Real prospectors always start by looking for ore in places where geological forces would likely have caused the deposits to form. Then they use ore detection to narrow the search. Then they dig.

    For that matter, I believe ore detection itself should work differently on a planet. With ore lying deep below the surface, a long-range scan should only hint at the possible presence and type of ore (more presence than type). It should not guarantee anything. Mining is a risk-based business. I believe the reward should be that a large deposit should contain more than one type of ore. The Better Stone mod yields ore that, when refined, produces more than one type of ingot. Those large deep mines should be something worth pursuing and developing and not just something that will help you get your broken spawn ship back to space.

    Specifically, if the goal of most of the people on a server is to build a military fleet and wage war, there's not going to be a lot of interest in mining, and players are going to want that aspect of the game to be (unrealistically, even for a game) fast and easy. I can respect that attitude. I certainly understand it. Fact is that there are mods out there like the Shipyard and Nanobot that, together, essentially eliminate mining and building. Given the size of the resulting builds I can certainly understand the desire to use shortcuts and just get some ships in the game and/or get them fixed up fast. I get that, and I'm not against it (well, maybe that nanobots are a "thing" by 2077, but that's an argument for another thread ;)).

    I would like to think, though, that at least on a well-populated server there should be a viable alternative to relying on advanced (for 2077) technology that makes sense no matter how else you play the game. People that don't like mining should make friends with people that do.

    People that do like mining want it to be as interesting and rewarding as building military fleets and waging war. I believe that since Keen made planets different from asteroids, that difference should extend to include a different expectation of where the ore is, how it's found, how much you will find, and how you're going to go about getting it out. That's why I subscribed to that same mod, so that when I do get my server going, deep ore will be a thing. I don't expect the mod itself to cause anything novel or interesting, other than that it won't be the same as mining an asteroid.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2019
  13. Malware Master Engineer

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    9,510
    @Stardriver907 I'm not talking about the blocks at all. I'm talking about the "unlock feature".
     
  14. vadersson Trainee Engineer

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    78
    That was actually a Radioisotope thermoelectric generator. He could have conceivable gotten some minor power out of it, but IIRC he was using it for heat. He also probably got some rads too. Basically that is a decaying chuck of radioactive material that they use in the space program to power probes going too far from the sun to get solar power. In some ways, it is a small "reactor" though not quite what we think of as a reactor. It does not need refueled of course and is good for like 40 to 80 years.

    That said, you do make a fair point. We can assume that with advance fuel control and shielding you could make a smaller reactor. But a single block is still way too small.

    FYI, Skunkworks is currently saying they think they will have a trailer truck sized fusion reactor available is 4 years. We will see...
     
  15. mojomann71 Senior Engineer

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    1,672
    Oh yeah forgot he used it for heat!! Been a while since I watched the movie or read the book. Yup, I am one of those who will read a book more than once!! :)
     
  16. Spaceman Spiff Senior Engineer

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    RTGs are not reactors in any conventional way. They have no moving parts. (I know quite a bit about them having supported the Cassini mission back in the mid-90s.) The heat is derived from plutonium-238, a byproduct of breeder reactors used to make bomb-grade plutonium-239. It's enriched to nearly 100% to maximize its heat output, formed into iridium-clad pellets, and packed into graphite blocks called "graphite aeroshells". Those aeroshell assemblies are stacked inside an array of thermopiles that use the temperature differential between the core made up of smokin' hot graphite aeroshells and the outer fin structure exposed to the deep cold of space to induce a current. The thermopiles are configured in series and parallel to get the needed voltages and amperages to run the spacecraft's various systems. With a half-life of nearly 88 years, RTGs can pump out power day-in and day-out for a very long time. But RTGs are not limited to space flight, and have been used by the military and other services when a reliable power source is needed in an inaccessible location (such as deep on the ocean).

    Back in the early '90s, a single GPHS RTG (the Cassini mission used three) cost about $52 million; $40 million for the Pu-238, and another $12 million for the RTG structure and thermopiles.

    OK, I'm done showing off.
     
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  17. mojomann71 Senior Engineer

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  18. Stardriver907 Senior Engineer

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    You mean this business about you can't build "Y" until you build "X" thing? Did I interpret things correctly in that new players have to build the basic stuff in order to be "qualified" to build the advanced stuff? Don't they do something like that in ME now where you have to "research" things before you can build them? I didn't pay much attention during the play test because there were no actual "new" players streaming it.

    I liken the "unlock feature" as "learning tool" to "scarce resource" as "valuable commodity worth money". This is Scott Adams reminding us that if an engineer can't find a problem, they will create one. Tech trees seem to work in games where they were planned to be an integral part. Shoehorning a tech tree into a game that really doesn't need one can produce some... interesting results.

    I should also add that Keen seems to be using the Gamer's Approach* to the problem of helping new players. In this case it's "That game over there is kinda like ours and they do this. Maybe we should do that." It's not that that won't work, it's just that it probably isn't the solution. In fact, they may need to employ several solutions in order to help new players. The game is that complex. It doesn't help that different people play the game differently and need different help.

    Perhaps @Spaceman Spiff could use that brain he's been hiding to come up with a differential (get it?) equation that will generate a solution.




    *Gamer's Approach: Quickest idea you can come up with that will generate a result that is not necessarily a solution.
     
  19. mojomann71 Senior Engineer

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    @Stardriver907 new players were not needed to do the unlocking. If you started a new world with the progression option no matter your previous experience, you started out with the basic blocks and had to start the progression tree from scratch.
     
  20. Stardriver907 Senior Engineer

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    INB4 @Malware asks, "and this helps a new player learn, what, exactly?"
     
  21. Burstar Apprentice Engineer

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    He forgot the most important part though. How much power could a typical RTG generate even if 100% efficient?
     
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  22. mojomann71 Senior Engineer

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    I do agree, for a new player starting from scratch this tree really doesnt teach them much. They think "Oh if I want that cool looking block I gotta build this other block." It doesnt really teach them how or what. I Guess that is what the tutorials are for though. Then again the tutorials do not go over the progression (unless they update them.)
     
  23. Burstar Apprentice Engineer

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    452
    As for how it helps newbies learn. Scaffolding works mainly by trying not to overwhelm them with tmi while simultaneously directing what is most useful to learn first. For example: Find the number one in the text line below.

    r p k A g u I D q d Z 1 K z w a U G e f m t r O

    Not only do the instructions immediately prevent you from considering any letters, but also tells you to look for one, and not two or three in the first place, while also limiting the obvious mistake to the L. It's important though to have a guide so I suspect Gud.AI will be brought in for that.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2019
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  24. Roxette Senior Engineer

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    All of which has migrated a long way from this thread's original question...

    The answer of course is...

    [​IMG]
     
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  25. mojomann71 Senior Engineer

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    Most thread's topics take a right turn somewhere along the way though. :D
     
  26. Burstar Apprentice Engineer

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    Yeah, Shia Lebouf is not the answer to that question. It is the answer to 'how to make my hearth throb'.
     
  27. Malware Master Engineer

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    9,510
    Exactly. A proper, well made research tree would have completely hidden blocks not learned yet, helping to prevent overwhelming the new players and teaching certain core aspects first - and would be fun. This thing? Well. I guess it's pretty clear I don't like it :p
     
  28. Spaceman Spiff Senior Engineer

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    Hey, it's what I do. It's WHAT I do. It's what I DO. IT'S what I do.
     
  29. Stardriver907 Senior Engineer

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    @Roxette Actually, Medieval Engineers needs magic. Space Engineers needs shields and lasers ;)

    YOUR heart, maybe...

    This thread has made at least three right turns, which means it made a left turn.

    Or maybe it's four right turns, which means at one point it was going backwards...

    And because I'm closing in on 8,000 hours playing the game I find it difficult to see the value. 8.000 hours ago, though...

    I'll just say I'm glad it's not my job to figure this out, because if it was I'd probably get fired :D. I can't recall ever playing a game that had a tech tree, well implemented or not, so I can't attest to how effective they are, let alone suggest a proper approach.

    I still believe a good part of the problem is the misuse of the word "survival" when talking about playing the game. This means Keen is using the "basic" blocks as "starting" blocks, and assumes players will begin playing the game by being "stranded" somewhere. The problem is that being "stranded" in SE is a pretty easy obstacle to overcome even for new players, and new players tend to think of getting off the planet as a "win condition", which means after a few short sessions they have "beat the game" and "now what?" Keen can easily get around that problem by not implying that new players have to start from scratch, i.e don't call it "survival" mode. It's "Normal" mode in that you have to find and mine resources in order to make anything, you build blocks one at a time, reactors and hydrogen engines need fuel, batteries need to be charged before you can use them, and if you don't pay attention to your health you will die. You start the game from scratch, but the goal is not to "survive". The goal is whatever you decide the goal is. If you can't figure out a goal, play on a server that has one.

    In my opinion, a tech tree approach works best in a game that has a campaign. You start out with basic skills and learn how to overcome basic obstacles. After having done so, the game rewards you with more skill, and at the same time the game "ups the ante" in the obstacle department. By the time you get to the last mission there's no obstacle that you can't overcome because you "know everything." Therefore my suggestion would be that "survival mode" would be a campaign, and perhaps that campaign could be the Xbox version of SE.

    Otherwise, I don't think the next major update should be concentrating on how to ease the pain of trying to learn the game. They should be concentrating on easing the pain of playing the game.
     
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  30. Malware Master Engineer

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    9,510
    That's what they wanted to call it. Or Manual mode or something like that. The community wouldn't have it. So survival it is.

    Tech trees are common in survival games. They help space out the game a little, and adds a little "game" to the game, and as I said earlier helps new players by not overwhelming them - something that's an issue with SE. Their effectiveness depends on their implementation. Like food systems, they can be an annoyance if done wrong.
     
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