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southernPotato

You need to be able to make new bases when lost

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In any good exploration game, it's possible that you may stray too far from your base and not be able to find it easily. While you are able to keep yourself alive with filters and mined oxygen as you search for your base, this still pushes you to find your original base. I believe you should be able to create new bases should you find yourself lost and without a habitat in tow (or should you simply want a relocation).

The ways to implement this given the current crafting system are not too clear. I DON'T believe that a habitat is the solution here because it doesn't work well with how habitats are currently implemented. The ability to make a new base anywhere needs to be available when the game starts, not later once you've researched habitats. Additionally, the habitat's production cost of 2 compound would be too cheap if you could simply make one without having a printer available or having done the research. So, my suggestion leaves habitats alone and introduces a new way to start bases:

My Solution

What I have in mind is that you could create a platform anywhere. As these platforms would probably provide oxygen, the cost of making them should not be too low so as to prevent players from simply plopping them down every time they're about to suffocate. However, the cost needs to be manageable enough that a lost or otherwise base-ready person could decide that it's time to settle down and then have started the base within a reasonable time-frame. I figure around 3 or 4 pieces of resin is fair - this cost is higher than the typical cost of such a platform when you're expanding an existing base (1 piece of resin) and it may take some effort to gather up before the base can be started, but it is certainly doable.

The next thing to worry about is how to craft a 3 or 4 piece item with only yourself and the environment available to you. I believe I have a solution for this too. Since the crafting slot in your inventory only permits 1 item, the item you craft would take 1 resin and turn it into some item (called "platform-base" or "platform-node" or something). When placed on the ground, this item would prompt you for 2 or 3 more resin (in the way a generator prompts you for organics or coal) and would then turn into the platform. At this point the platform could either become active, or alternatively it could be picked up and moved as a non-active platform (perhaps being able to place it on a vehicle might be too overpowered) before clicking the "plant into ground" button like on a habitat.

Devaluing Habitats

If the changes I have outlined are implemented, habitats in their current state would become rather useless. They would cost less, but they have to be transported by vehicle or spaceship to where they will be used, making them undesirable. To counteract this, habitats would have to be made more valuable than a base spawning from a platform (a habitat-less base). As it stands they offer a home beacon, but since a beacon can be crafted from 1 compound this is not a tremendous advantage over a habitat. If a habitat-less base did not provide oxygen, habitats would become a meaningful part of a base. However, I hesitate to suggest this as it seems a little harsh upfront, and it is overcome somewhat easily by having a vehicle present. I leave it then to this forum to discuss - and hopefully to the developers to decide - what additional features habitats can provide.

A Final Word

Allow me to end be stating that I believe the ability to spontaneously create bases is vital to any exploration game. Being hopelessly lost is one reason this feature should exist, but I personally enjoy the freedom that comes from knowing that if I walk over a mountain and a fourth of the way around the world from my base, I can decide that I like it where I am and leave the old base behind. Deciding to settle new places can feel a great deal more and exciting if you don't depend on returning to old bases again before setting up anew.

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2 hours ago, southernPotato said:

1) In any good exploration game, it's possible that you may stray too far from your base and not be able to find it easily. While you are able to keep yourself alive with filters and mined oxygen as you search for your base, this still pushes you to find your original base.

2) The ability to make a new base anywhere needs to be available when the game starts, not later once you've researched habitats.

3) What I have in mind is that you could create a platform anywhere.

4) I believe the ability to spontaneously create bases is vital to any exploration game. Being hopelessly lost is one reason this feature should exist...

A well written post, but I have to disagree:

1) The possibility of straying too far from base and getting lost is exactly what the devs intended.  They wanted to immerse players in the Astroneer's world.  So if the Astroneer doesn't have a good sense of direction, he should keep his base in sight before traveling too far away.  As the Astroneer explores farther away from base, he notices that the base marker is dropping below the horizon (because the planet is a sphere).  That's why they give you the ability to make beacons right from the start. 

A technique I use is creating a ramp with terrain tool, like 20 or 30 meters high.  Walk up the ramp and place your beacon at the top.  This will allow it to be seen from a farther distance over the horizon.  Sometimes the clouds will block your view of the base & beacon markers,  even while standing at the top of the ramp...  do yourself a favor and build the ramp to point in the direction of your base.

They wanted people to pick up on the fact that the Astroneer needs to learn actual land navigation techniques if he is to survive.  For instance when the Astroneer first lands on Terran, he notices the band of stars  running perpendicular to the horizon directly over his base.  And the band of stars aligns to East - West on his compass. 

So he knows that should he travel too far East or West from base and forgets to set a beacon, he can follow the band of stars in the sky back to base.  He knows that if the band of stars is no longer perpendicular to the horizon, he can check his compass to see if he needs to go North or South until the stars are again perpendicular to the horizon.

2) Absolutely not, the research requirement is the perfect barrier to entry for obtaining the Habitat in order to start a new base.

3) Again no, for the same reason as #2.

4) I believe the ability to spontaneously create bases is contrary  to any exploration game.  Being hopelessly lost is the fault of the Astroneer for not realizing the situation he's in... a completely unexplored solar system with no GPS assets in place to create maps.  However it may be that the devs plan to add a mechanic for crafting and launching satellites as you progress in the game.

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