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Big Wheels on Rovers A lot of times, I find myself trying to drive my rover, and getting stuck on really silly things... like a small bush with one small resource node on it. And I mean *completely* stuck; having to get out and dig the thing up in order to move. If you added in the ability to research Big Tires for the rovers that would lift it so it wasn't so low to the ground, most things could be much more easily driven over. This would add a cost of 1 Rubber to the medium and 2 Rubber to the large rover, and elevate them maybe an inch or so; just enough to lift them over obstacles like plants, rocks and resource bits sticking out of the ground. The increase wheel radius would also make it so the tires were a lot less likely to get suck in small crevices. Another option along these lines would be an upgrade that would add tank treads to the rovers, which would also be able to handle the terrain better. Maybe add the ability to crush obstacles to the treads as well, so it doubles as a trailblazing device. I also feel like this would make them a lot more fun to drive, since it would make the rovers feel like monster trucks. I don't know what changed in the rover suspension either, but they're super bouncy now. if I tap forward, it's like I jammed my foot down on the gas, then equally jammed my foot on the brakes a second later. This needs to be fixed in some fashion; either stiffening up the suspension some, or making the vehicle accelerate slower and stop slower to get rid of the jerky motions. Terrain Mapping Balloons This idea is to add a device that can be fixed to the ground at a certain point. It would be a base unit, a long tether, and a weather balloon-like aerial part with cameras. It's purpose would be to allow the astroneer to track all of their important markers via a holographic HUD. By pressing M, they would be able to call it up as an overlay that would show objects of interest within the balloon's line of sight. The objects would show as icons or letters associated with the thing in question around the astroneer, similar to how you can see directions around them when you hover the mouse over them. This would also show a basic distance in numbers from their current position. Things that would show are beacons, teleporters, vehicles, bases and dead bodies (aka your lost backpack). This would only work on the surface; it wouldn't be able to detect things underground. And it would have only a certain range, requiring the player to set up several across the planet to get complete coverage, but the distance would be appreciable. So for example, you set a beacon to the south of your base, then return, but it's out of your line of sight due to terrain or clouds. You press M, and to your south, either a 'B' for beacon, or a symbol representing a beacon appears, with the number '123' or something to show how far it is away. These devices would have a long range, but not be world encompassing. Maybe a max range of 500 each or more, depending on how large the planets are in general (I have no idea what units of measurement are used in the game for distance). If the player went outside the range of the balloon, the HUD would become unavailable. These objects would be able to be overlapped as well, so placing a second one on the outer edge of the first one's range would still detect some things in that first one's area. Beacon Icons/Skylights I mentioned this in other threads, but I think two ways to make beacons more useful would be if they had different icons along with colors. Icons for resources, pathing, dangerous areas and so on would make it easier to remember why they were placed. I also feel that the beacon's icon size could be larger, so as to be more easily read. The last idea would be a beacon upgrade. This would add a light pillar that you could also color to your beacon, similar to the light pillars thrown up by the alien teleporters. This would make them much easier to see (the colors would be visible to some extent, even during the day). The second effect of the skylight upgrade would be a kind of 'batsignal' type effect on the clouds overhead. One of the major weaknesses of beacons is they go above the clouds, rendering them invisible to people on the ground most of the time. This would have the beacons project their symbols on the bottoms of the clouds overhead, so even on cloudy days, they'd still be visible.
Astroneer's planetary navigation system is definitely lacking, and although there are many suggested features to make GPS and whatnot I think I have a solution that I think would be rather simple to implement compared to that. I am taking a bit of inspiration from No Man's Sky here, in that game if you have a waypoint on the far side of a planet it will appear on the point on the horizon in the direction of the waypoint even if it's far enough to be far below the horizon. This way the indicator is always visible. That game may have a ton of flaws, but waypoints is something it actually did right. This sort of thing could be adapted to Astroneer with what I assume would be relative ease compared to something like GPS. If a player gets too far from a beacon, rocket, base, corpse, or another player to the point where the beacon indicator will be below the horizon, than the indicator should sort of follow the player and remain about on the horizon no matter how much further they go. That way if you are half way around the planet in a rover and you want to get home, you will know what direction to start traveling in.
Please bring vehicle beacons back. It's baffling why these were removed, but they make it significantly easier to find your rover again if you happen to get separated from it. Possibly due to bugs, as happened to me a few times. Die in the middle of nowhere, spawn back at base. Well crap, where's my rover? Too bad it doesn't have a built in beacon like it used to. Well, maybe it should. That was a good idea I wish you hadn't discarded for some reason.