I'm a fairly new player to Astroneer (played it for a couple hours when it first came out and just dived back in recently), and I figured I would take a few minutes to share some feedback. Overall, it feels like the game has a TON of promise, but current gameplay is somewhat sparse - this is to be expected since it's still in early alpha. Here are some pain points I've been experiencing:
My base on the exotic planet is apparently a night time base. Is Exotic tidal locked? This is super frustrating for energy production.
Research - I think this is already being discussed, but research right now is rough. I've unlocked a number of researches, but I don't think I've gotten any new research schematics from the last 100 artifacts, and I know of at least 3 or 4 that I'm still missing (truck, spaceship, etc). This feels SUPER grindy, and definitely takes away from the feel of the game. Combined with the fact that a player walks slower when moving artifacts, it makes pulling an artifact out of a particularly deep tunnel very frustrating. As an example, I spend a few hours mapping out a cave system, to finally find a new artifact at the very bottom. I get really excited. I then spend 5 mins hiking that thing back to my base. I unlock it, and....another compound. Great. /s
Draw distance - Hopefully this is being worked on in your core priorities, but draw distance is pretty bad right now. I have a rocking machine, with all visuals cranked to max, but things like resin deposits don't appear on screen until I get within a few meters of them. Maybe I've set something up incorrectly?
Smoothing terrain - I can get terrain fairly smooth, but the smoothing function doesn't appear to work correctly. Sometimes it smooths things out, other times it digs down - it just doesn't seem to make sense. Again, perhaps I'm doing something wrong here. But that brings me to my next point.
Tooltips - Some basic tooltips would be really handy. For instance, something to tell players not to build four modules off of the habitat when starting the game.
Compass - The current compass is near useless when driving. Having to get out every few moments to check your bearings is tedious. A compass that's easier to use, why not display it in a HUD at all times? And maybe add a marker on the compass to your nearest habitat/shuttle. Would make exploring MUCH more fun. Also, you wouldn't need to worry about getting lost and spending hours looking around for your base on the other side of a planet.
Driving - Driving can be pretty fun, but I find that my rover is flipping over constantly, especially once I've added an extra rover or two to it. The second and third rover modules in a train get stuck on terrain and flip, which then leads to the main rover flipping. Sometimes you have to try to flip them back over 4-5 times before the system resets them properly. This is especially frustrating on Barren. Perhaps the truck is better to use and has more "weight" to it, but I haven't been able to unlock the truck yet.
Some new research schematics and other added content would of course be a welcome relief as well. I know you all are busy with core priorities, but I'd caution against spending so much time on core priorities without new content, since doing so risks losing the playerbase you've already built in favor of a possible future playerbase that never materializes - hopefully you guys can find a good balance between the two.
Anyhow, I think most of these are QoL issues. Overall I'm enjoying the game, but some quick and dirty tweaks in some of these areas could probably go a pretty long way toward drawing in new players. hope you guys found this interesting, and keep up the good work!