AstroBubba

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  1. AstroBubba

    Lack of End game

    The current "endgame" is to explore all the planets and build a self-sufficient base (primarily, fuel generation) on each of them, done... Along the way, don't use Mineral Extractors, actually -look- for the resources you need, or haul it back from where it's plentiful. A significant part of the gameplay is how each planet is unique, and has varying amounts of different resources. Once you learn the planetary distributions, it will become a nice challenge to find that rare resource you need on a planet with little of it.
  2. AstroBubba

    Exploits don't harm Astroneer

    Good game designers have a strong framework of basic "rules" in which the game is played, and in most cases, a sense of progression as the game is played. Obviously, unintentional "features" will creep in that break the rules framework and will be discovered and used by some, but not all, players. Just because the devs. missed an obvious interaction that "shortcuts" gameplay does not mean that they intended for it to be there, nor will they want it to stay. As others have said, your ROI on any game is playable time; if your playable time is shortened (finally being "done" with the game) due to unanticipated bugs that shortcut the game's intended progression, that's a big problem. You also have to keep in mind that it's human nature to want to "take the easy way out", even if it negatively impacts the overall experience in the final analysis. Unfortunately, most people don't have the self-control, or intuition, to realize that a bug/exploit/crutch they are using will have significant impacts on the overall experience. I was lucky enough to quickly realize that machines that magically make rare resources from dirt was an incredibly bad idea, and although one that is still supported by the devs., it is still hugely problematic from an experience point of view.
  3. AstroBubba

    Mineral Extractor far too OP?

    You're really missing the entire point here aren't you? Trading Hydrazine was just as bad as the Resource Extractor; it was a poorly thought-out/executed "feature" that the devs. implemented, and later removed. Overall, the game is not about "building stuff", it's all about exploration and the thrill of discovery. "Building Stuff" gets you the tools and machines to make that exploration more efficient/fun. Building cookie-cutter bases with unlimited resources is basically pointless, and gets really dull, really fast. The game simply does not offer any significantly engaging "creative" aspect with building, and likely never will, it simply does not lend itself to a Minecraft/Rust, etc. open-concept building system.
  4. AstroBubba

    No Astroneer Left Behind

    If you need to start making artificial "quests/goals" to sustain your interest then the game is essentially done for you... This happens all the time in games & some apps like Pokemon GO; the players have plateaued and are grasping at straws in an effort to keep the game "interesting" and keep themselves "motivated". If a game was an enjoyable and rewarding experience but you've done pretty much everything there is to do without resorting to repetitive play, then that's the signal that it's over. There's no reason to flog a dead horse and try to extract "more" enjoyment from it. There are myraid great games out there to experience, give something else a try...
  5. AstroBubba

    Mineral Extractor far too OP?

    The planets orbit around the sun in basic concentric circles. Don't wait to get from one planet to another specific one. Look at the way they orbit and then jump between them. Tip: Radiated (the closest to the sun) orbits very quickly, so it can be used to quickly get better alignments.
  6. AstroBubba

    Mineral Extractor far too OP?

    That's pretty much the crux of it, but apply it much further along in the game... All planets have Compound & Resin, you just have to look for it if you didn't bring any/enough with you. Having it available for "free" on any given planet makes it completely pointless to have planets that are "resource-poor" in certain ways. The entire point of having a solar system with different planets that feature different resource biases means that you leverage the strengths and travel around, harvesting what you need and going "home" (if there is one), or off to a new base under construction. If you don't want to be bothered to go back to Terran and want "hardcore" mode (or if you really need to), you simply have to look for it, and pressing forward on Barren, Tundra and Radiated looking for Compound and/or Resin means that you will travel far & wide, and see lots of interesting things. When you finally spot that outcrop of Resin on Tundra you will feel the thrill of "victory" since you've beaten the odds and found what the planet was hiding. (yes, caves do have it too, more often than the surface, but those tend to be more time consuming and dangerous!)
  7. Yup, I posted this comment a few days ago... "Astroneer draws heavily on RTS concepts, but doesn't offer the counterbalancing concept of an opponent working in real-time against you. As I mentioned before, the time it takes to research anything is essentially pointless since elapsed time is not a relevant measurement of anything in Astroneer. The time it takes to research is just a pointless time-sink with absolutely no impact on the final outcome; it makes no difference if you just sit in your hab/rover and let the research complete while you grab a coffee/go to bed, and that is a blatantly obvious problem."
  8. People chatter about "endgames" and maybe something that would be cool would be terraforming a given planet such that a player's oxygen requirement is eliminated, or greatly reduced. Let's face it, after a bunch of hours of gameplay, Tethers just get annoying and significantly limit free-ranging exploration on-foot (like mountain climbing, just for the fun of it!). Don't get me wrong, Tethers are an awesome idea, and add a huge amount to the game's overall experience, but once you reach a certain level of experience/progress, the novelty wears very thin. Yes, you could put a whack of Tanks on your back and go for quite a long time, but that impinges on your ability to harvest goodies you might find, and in the end is just extending a finite time you can explore. Terraforming would require significant research, and resources to "fire-up", but maybe the effect would be gradual as well. Perhaps some kind of "pressure" reading on the backpack would be indicative of a planet's atmosphere (or lack thereof), and that could change between planets, making each planet more unique in that regard. As the terraforming station(s) run, that planetary pressure reading would slowly increase, making your oxygen last longer. The really tricky part is how to balance it all such that you can't simply mow down a mountain after the first hour of gameplay and build a terraforming station by going absolutely nowhere. It needs to be a goal that requires significant exploration (on and offworld) and effort to accomplish. (all part & parcel of how the Resource Extractor and Trading Station are really bad ideas!)
  9. AstroBubba

    Mineral Extractor far too OP?

    There's an extremely good reason for that... The vast majority games are not engaging/compelling enough to support completely open-world play (no specific goals/progression/limits), and I'd lump Astroneer right in with them. Astroneer is far too limited in scope to be a vehicle for expression and exploration alone. There are nowhere near enough creative and exploration options to keep a wider audience engaged (a la Minecraft). Astroneer's "building" system supports the Tech-tree, nothing else, there's zero ability to be creative beyond lining things up nicely! Hell, the pre-release Rust allowed far more creativity in building and expression, even though it was a complete disaster as a multi-player experience, and the PvE experience was too shallow. Astroneer is all about exploration, and in its current form, working your way up a tech-tree to make that exploration easier/more efficient. There are significant conceptual disconnects in how the current release addresses progression though the tech-tree, and resource "management", but with a significant effort, it could be a very challenging and rewarding experience for any player, and easily satisfy most game players who like this genre. Realistically, most games are played about 20-40 hours then put aside as "done", regardless whether or not the player "finished" them. This is the kind of litmus test that the devs need to reach for, but they have to be exceptionally careful not to include pointless time-sinks (research) to drag-out gameplay.
  10. It occurs to me that Astroneer does not yet leverage the other planets in the solar system in any significantly useful way in overall gameplay. Some kind of surface scanner you mount on a shuttle, or a launched reconnaissance probe, would fill-in the details in some kind of astronomical "map". This idea borrows heavily from Elite Dangerous, but it would be a way to illustrate what elements exist, in what quantities, and what conditions are present, on the various worlds. This would dovetail nicely with the idea that certain rare elements need to be acquired to unlock (or build) various "high-level" items. For example, the Large Shuttle might need Astronium or Hematite to build, making it essential that you travel to get some. That said, you don't want to lock required technology behind prospecting success, just "better/stronger/faster" iterations.
  11. AstroBubba

    Mineral Extractor far too OP?

    Astroneer, in its current form, is a tech-tree centric RTS-esque experience (gather, research, build, expand, and eventually "max-out"), not a "building" game in any way. If you don't pursue research, you really won't get very far and it will become tedious after a while. The building side of the equation is 90% dedicated to leveraging the tech-tree, not "building for the sake of building". Most "creation" modules, once unlocked, have very limited (or no) use in larger numbers, and most of the rest simply support those modules in some way. The issue that a lot of forum members don't see is that the progression through the tech-tree should unlock the potential for new and exciting experiences, which it does to a degree, but the game itself is its own worst enemy in that regard. Astroneer has countless wonders to explore and experience, but there's a disconnect in the execution of the tech-tree concept and the motivation to explore.
  12. AstroBubba

    Mineral Extractor far too OP?

    Exactly... Contrary to other posts, the average player will not play the game for 1,000+ hours (which is honestly kind of ridiculous based on how limited the game is at the moment), and without focus and balance, they will burn-out very quickly and end up being quite dissatisfied with the game. System Era needs to sell a game to a broad audience, not a few near-obsessed players. Putting aside wide-open "building" games like Minecraft and PvP-centric building games (Rust, etc), almost all games need challenges, puzzles and sense of growth/direction. With respect to a game that centers around "building", Astroneer's building system is far too limited, "modular", and after a while, pointless, and won't hold anyone's interest for any length of time. It's like having a Lego set with ten parts that don't fit together; there's almost no ability to "personalize" anything, other than where you drop predefined modules. Terrain modification is fun, but the novelty wears off very quickly, and is more of a tool than a creative outlet. Astroneer draws heavily on RTS concepts, but doesn't offer the counterbalancing concept of an opponent working in real-time against you. As I mentioned before, the time it takes to research anything is essentially pointless since elapsed time is not a relevant measurement of anything in Astroneer. The time it takes to research is just a pointless time-sink with absolutely no impact on the final outcome; it makes no difference if you just sit in your hab/rover and let the research complete while you grab a coffee/go to bed, and that is a blatantly obvious problem. Basically, the absolute brilliance of Astroneer is the Tether. The Tether is the constant limiter to exploration; you need to either risk short forays, or set-up long Tether networks to ensure that you survive, and in some cases a misstep can put you beyond Tether reach and a panicked rush ensues. The other great concept is how the planets have varying distribution of resources, and should encourage exploration and "remote" base development, but this concept was broadsided with the introduction of tools that create/trade required resources for ones already on-hand.
  13. Did a boneheaded thing last night and neatly back-up a small rover into the bay and proceeded to build a crane and the printer nicely plopped the crane on the rover but when I drove away the crane promptly fell off and become an unmovable part of the scenery! I guess the printer should not allow you to build things that can't be applied to a given vehicle configuration, or later moved "by hand". I haven't tried it, but can you build a crane with no vehicle in place? Maybe large items like the crane and large storage can act like a Habitat, where you have to "deploy" them to permanently attach them to a given platform, giving you the opportunity to move them around if printed alone. Also, there should be obvious limits, like printing a large storage/crane on a small shuttle. That ability serves no purpose whatsoever, other than to "punish" a player's probably inadvertent choice.
  14. The official Wiki suggests that you can use the Crane & Drill Head to "open" a Worm's bedrock nest to retrieve lost items, but that no longer seems to be the case (drill head has no effect on the bedrock). Was this intentional, or just an oversight that will be corrected? I'm a bit on the fence if the Worm should be a "Black Hole", or there be some way to retrieve lost items. Maybe a high-level research item like "Diamond Cutters" would allow it, but it means that you're probably just going wait 'till later to extract your revenge on the worm!
  15. AstroBubba

    Astronium worth 5000 bytes!

    I think you're kind of missing the point of the Inhibitor Mod... I assume that it's there to quickly & easily take surface deposits of any given resource and not leave huge, annoying, craters behind. If you have to "dig", you might as well just use the Wide Mod and do it faster, and cover the hole if you really want to. Also, the ability of the Inhibitor Mod to gather from rare resource "rocks" is apparently a bug, and may not even exist in 5.1a since that would make the Crane & Drill Head kind of pointless.