Things get posted about automation, but I think it would be helpful to make a unified list of some of the good ideas I've read/thought about regarding possible implementations.
An improvement on the Trading Station. Adding the ability to send or ferry resources back to one of your bases launch pads, or choose to trade scrap for the desired resources.
New Dynamite Uses:
Explode extra-large & unscrappable rubble into smaller scrap
Use dynamite to mine bedrock and return the resources (astronium, namely)
Craftable - Picker: A single-node item. Comes with a one-directional (to / from) tube that can connect to other pickers, and a single ingredient slot on top. Vacuums surrounding items while in "Source" mode, but places items on adjacent open nodes when in "Destination" mode.
If the picker isn't connected, or the destination picker doesn't have space, then nothing happens.
Placing a resource in the Picker's single ingredient slot will instruct the picker to "filter" and only interact with resources that match the filter resource. Default = blank = all resources.
Craftable - Cargo Train: A "large" platform that sits on a rail.
Craftable - Rail: Can be chained to designate the cargo train path. Is stored/placed similar to tethers (has charges)
Craftable - Stop Node: Stops the train. Has an embedded Picker.
Contains a UI to resume the train, or toggle a flag for the train to automatically resume when it's cargo becomes empty or full.
If no rail is ahead of the stop node, then "resume" reverses the train.
When a train is at the stop, the Picker attempts to empty the train's cargo into it's "destination" picker, if connected.
Terraformer Upgrades - AKA Augment Simplification
Problem: While I love running boost/wide mods to make mining a breeze, I think the interaction is pretty lackluster. It's typically "set it and forget it" but it takes up 2+ inventory slots. This gets especially hard on the player inventory when you typically want a work light, 2 canisters, tethers, and some mods. Expeditions get cut short quickly due to lack of space. Additionally, starting a game without these mods feels extra sluggish until we can find some copper.
Solution: An improvement on the Base, the ability to invest in permanent upgrades for the Terraformer. I think it would be great if we could deposit our Terraformer along with resources & bits to permanently "upgrade" our terraformer to have a higher speed, a build in canister, width, etc. Maybe even a talent system?
From there the augmentations could be more specialized. Maybe just make them baseline, because I think base building with terrain shouldn't be a "mid/late game" unlock.
Additionally, I would love to see more tools for building structures with the terraformer more easily. For an groundbreakingly 3d game, base building is an incredibly 2d experience without a massive amount of time spent tinkering with polygons. Basically all bases exist on the same z-axis
I would love to spend some time mocking these ideas up into graphics, I know some people are a lot more visual than others. But let me know if you have any questions and perhaps I can spend some time doing that this weekend :)