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I would like to see long term economic goals. A market system in which you could buy, sell & trade items using research points as currency. The trade platform connects to a database outside of game that everyone playing Astroneer in the world could interact with. Any other avenues that would allow long term goals on a multiplayer level I am eager to hear.
What better way to invest in your own settlement then to network with other NPCs from the same or other planets. Plus expanding your own settlement to house traveling merchants or companions would be a nice way to encourage people to actually want to go back home. These implementations would also make room for more achievements such as making a city for 10 or more NPCs or establishing 3 or more trade routes with other settlements. I guess the best way to start towards this path would be to add some interesting NPCs with programmable AI such as telling them to look for resources, make this building, or find more people to trade with. To go more in depth, these NPCs should be capable of learning what buildings you want by showing them things you've previously built or scanned from exploration: so perhaps you could call this some sort of blueprint mechanic. But this would be hard to do without some actual building mechanics which leads in to my next topic... Building mechanics are a must have! If you're looking for a specific style of building, perhaps the Terraria building mechanics with a 3D twist would fit pretty nicely. With the ability to flatten terrain, you can place floors and then walls and finally a ceiling with materials that you have collected or crafted. Before you place an item, it shows a preview. If you really want to get fancy, you could add some sculpting mechanics, not like the terrain tool, but perhaps more precise and smarter so you won't end up making holes in your building. And finally furniture or other kinds of decorations/utilities such as lights, seats, tables, etc. Sounds like a lot but I guess pre-built buildings would sound like a more practical solution and is bare minimum satisfying. I personally would be happy with that. And finally networking. This would be a great incentive to exploration because you can find new settlements with NPCs to trade with your own. With this, you can draw in resources, grow an economy, and bring the planet or maybe even the solar system to life. But how can one go about doing this? Well, I'm glad you asked! Setting up trade routes could be a breeze. First, the player would have to sign some sort of contract with the head NPC of another settlement. Then, you would have to craft signs that point and direct other settlements towards your own within a given time frame and that follows guidelines such as flat-wide roads and a sufficient inventory otherwise the trade is off and your settlement rep would go down thus discouraging other NPCs to trade with you. But what if your rep is too low? Don't worry, you could do tasks for these other settlements such as hunting and gathering certain resources or sending messages to other places. You could also increase your reputation by maintaining your own healthy settlement. The more happy NPCs, the higher your rep. You could also create even more settlements and throw them in to the mix. Just imagine looking down on your planet and watching everything come to life. But these are only end goals. I understand how hard it would be to actually add these features. Plus I'm not really sure if this would fit in to the style/theme of the game. In fact, I'm not entirely sure on what the whole idea is besides resource gathering and going to another planet. I hope this post gave you guys a good idea. Constructive criticism would be much appreciated. Thanks for reading!
So there's a thread about hydrazine farming and then trading it for basically unlimited resources as long as you have power, and I had an idea to fix it. I would have posted this there, but I had a bunch more ideas, and I thought it was appropriate to start a new topic. So here's my idea for the farm fix plus more: Make the hydrazine canister a crafted item, and when mining hydrazine without one in your backpack, it will give solid hydrazine that can't be used on a spaceship or shuttle (more on that later). It should be a generally expensive item to create (the canister) so that trading it away might not be the best idea. Change the function of the fuel condenser to be a converter, it takes solid hydrazine on one side, turns it into liquid, and puts it into a canister that you put into another socket on the other side. Converting solid hydrazine to liquid should only give one charge into the canister (that's half the can). Add in another module or 2-socket crafted item that looks similar to the old fuel condenser and call it fuel storage. Fuel storage takes liquid hydrazine from your cans and stores it, kind of like a battery. There should be one socket for in and one socket for out, or a switch type interface like the printer, so that when you put a half-full canister on the machine knows what to do. So, effectively what would be done with these changes: Hydrazine would be more valuable but not any less common. The resources to make the canisters would be more valuable. Beacons would be more useful, if you wanted to only get liquid hydrazine from mining. (Mine the can full, go back and store it, come back and mine with the empty can). Hydrazine farming through the fuel condenser would be eliminated. An effective way to store fuel would be added. (And to take it with you on a spaceship if the devs go with 2-socket item requires another third socket somewhere to take your canister). Fuel storage would be a thing that you would want for-sure with the changes, who wants to make storage for all that solid hydrazine since cans don't just come from nowhere now? Hydrazine makes more sense... it's the only thing in the game that goes straight into something else (the can) that you didn't have to make yourself. Let me know what you guys think of my ideas! If you guys like these I might have more about vehicles and whatnot, too.
Frankly, Hydrazine is worth way too much. I get to a certain point in any point of Astroneers save where I'm simply grinding away, using the fuel condenser and trading Hydrazine to get any and all resources I need, and I find myself with very little or no reason to go out and explore. I think that this needs to be balanced by doing one of two things 1. Making Hydrazine worth nothing as a trade commodity (unless a dynamic player economy is in place), or by 2. Making Hydrazine tanks/fuel containers cost Titanium to build, much like oxygen tanks, and said tanks you would be able to refill with the condenser, but a filled fuel tank wouldn't return once traded and would still be worth its current trade value. As it stands currently, fuel-and-trade is too easy to justify any other form of gameplay. I think it stands as the single most important issue to address about the core "feel of the game", it doesn't promote exploration at all. It just feels cheaty! Thanks in advance for the consideration, I know you guys must be swamped. Keep it up, cheers!