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Pseudonymico posted a topic in Suggestions and IdeasA while ago, another person suggested adding a zip-line to improve mobility on hills. It fits in with some other parts of the game such as tethers and sliding down hillsides and could be a help with caverns and mountains, so I agree that it would be a good add, but I think going further and making a whole set of tools using overhead cables would be even better. For starters, cables themselves - a set of poles built in a batch like tethers or extenders that can attach to a surface and be linked together over a distance. Maybe built using resin or aluminium, to differentiate from tethers and extenders. The poles would be sort of an upside-down-L-shape, and just tall enough that the astroneer could jump up and grab the cable to slide down. Cable poles could attach to terrain or single sockets on platforms and vehicles, which would allow cable cars to transfer items. Next, a small motor that could clamp onto the cable and use a small amount of power to drive along it. This could clamp onto the backpack, or carry a small item. The motor would come out on an L-shaped pole, normally keeping the astroneer or socket looking a bit balanced, but able to swivel them out of the way if the cable got too vertical to act like an elevator (holding the cargo/astroneer to one side). Again, this could be made of aluminium, and be charged up at each destination when in automatic mode. Finally, a larger cable-car platform with a medium/two-socket connector, able to automatically transfer items over a long distance. This could have connectors on the cable attachment to turn it into an overhead train, attach cockpits to transport astroneers, and hook up to a generator of some sort for long-distance travel as well as being handy for use as an elevator or getting around rough terrain. The cable poles wouldn't need to be very high since the terrain tool could easily make them taller. Yes, I watched Sky Commanders too much as a kid.
Hey all! First off, some credit for these ideas go to EzCheezy123 and UtpoicVision. These lovely gentlepeople suggested a grappling hook that can be used for climbing mountains and rappelling, and I'm borrowing these ideas and building on them somewhat. Lemme know what you all think! Feel free to offer suggestions for different/better names and functions and such. Summary: Range Extender (augment) - allows the terrain tool to work at longer ranges Grappling Cable (augment) - turns the terrain tool into Batman's grapple gun / Link's claw shot Cable Anchor (printer) - creates permanent zip-line-ish cables that can attached to using "TAB" and moved along back and forth Range Extender (augment): First off, a simple augment that extends the max range at which the terrain tool can function. Lets say that the range of the terrain tool is 10 arbitrary units. This augment would increase the max range at which the terrain tool can be used by 5 units. With one range extender on the tool, it'd be 15 units. With two, 20 units. You get the idea. Applications: Anything one could possible want to do with the terrain tool, just farther away than is currently possible. Grappling Cable (augment): Imagine an augment that disables the terrain-altering functions of the terrain tool, but instead fires out a cable that affixes itself into the ground and that can be extended and retracted from the terrain tool. To fire the cable, the player clicks on where he/she wants it to stick with the flatten/leveling mode button. To extend/retract the cable, he/she would use the other two mode buttons. To detach the cable and reel it all in, the player would simply click the flatten/leveling mode button again. While the cable is extended, I don't think the grapple augment should be removable. It should be in the main (top) augment slot, otherwise it shouldn't do anything at all. The cursor would change to a crosshair. I'm inclined to suggest that the max range that the cable can be fired be greater than the max range of the terrain tool; this would make it more useful. I'd suggest 15 units as the base cable launching range, with 25 units total length on the cable. Adding additional grappling cable augments would increase the cable length by 10 units (45 units with 3 grapple cable augments installed), allowing the astroneer to rappel from much higher. Adding range extender augments would increase the max firing range by the usual 5 units (max 25 with one grappling cable augment and two range extended augments). This shouldn't be some kind of fire-across-the-map device, but it should be able to have a decent amount of extra cable for those awesome rappelling moments. (I gave it 25 units of cable as a base amount to allow 1 cable aug 2 range aug setups to be effective. If we decide that's too much, we can go with 20 units cable, and just have there be no benefit to using two range augs with a cable aug. I'd rather not do this, but, hey, balance is balance.) After the cable is fired out, while the astroneer isn't standing on solid ground (suspended in space by the cable), he/she should be able to swing around. If the astroneer is standing on solid ground, he/she would just walk forwards/backwards while facing in the same direction as the cable as the cable was retracted/extended. Applications: Climbing mountains, descending into / ascending out of caves / holes, having loads of fun swinging around as Space Spiderman or Space Bat...man. Cable Anchor (printable): Now, picture a permanently placable cable that can be used to directly move between two points. An astroneer would have to print two of them for them to be effective. The astroneer would go to one location (for example, the top of a mountain or the bottom of a pit) and place the device, pressing the button to anchor it into the terrain. Then, you go to a second location (for example, the bottom of a mountain or the top of a pit) and do the same thing, pressing the button to anchor it. The difference is that if they're close enough together (think of how tethers need to be within a certain distance to connect) a sturdy, taut cable will be shot out between them. The astroneer can now hit "TAB" to attach him/herself to the cable, and can move along its length using the normal movement controls, detaching at any time. Additional anchors could be printed and added to the line (just like how tethers work), meaning that with enough anchors in the right spots an astroneer could travel some pretty good distances. While an astroneer is attached to the cable, I'd suggest that the backpack / terrain tool be fully usable. I'm imagining a harness or something built into the spacesuit that attaches to the cable and slides along it without requiring hands. This would make carrying research up out of caves possible while traveling on one of these cables. This sets it apart from the grappling cable augment in a very significant way, as that shouldn't be able to be used while carrying a research pod since the terrain tool is out and being used. I'd suggest that the max range on the cable anchors be the same as tethers. This is for two reasons: one, this means that if the player places a tether next to each anchor, the astroneer can slide along the cable and still be tethered, getting precious O2 so he/she doesn't die. Secondly, the coding might be easier (go coders, you're awesome! Woo!). I don't like the idea of making cable anchors fit together in your backpack like tethers, with a bunch of them taking up 1 slot. If each took up it's own slot, then you couldn't carry a ton of them around with you at all times, and that would help with balancing. Also, I think using titanium to print them out of your backpack sounds okay. Alternatively, each could be printed from the medium printer and have to be carried around and placed like a medium solar panel. That seems to me like it would be a lot of work for a tether-length cable, but maybe that'd be a good balance. Testing would have to be done. Either way, it'd be printed and not be able to stack on each other like tethers. Applications: Permanent routes up mountains or down into caves/holes, potentially used while carrying research chests and similarly sized things.