spinlock_1977

Open Question: Could you NOT trade Hydrazine?

93 posts in this topic

On 5/7/2017 at 8:25 AM, CobraA1 said:

My personal opinion: I think the fuel condenser needs to go away. Why do we have a building dedicated to creating a resource out of thin air? At the very least, make it a multi-step process so it takes actual effort, or make it use another resource so it's not completely free.

Once that is taken care of, then perhaps they could add trading hydrazine back into the game again.

I'll provide you a reasonable scenario why it shouldn't.

At the very beginning of the pre-alpha, I'd stranded myself on a planet with zero surface resources, brought none with me and only had a ship, a pack of tethers and a single small solar panel in a bad position that received light less than a third of the planet's entire orbit. Needless to say it consumed many hours of digging and exploring to come up with the resources to finally build a fuel condenser and get off that hellhole of a planet. And it was likely the best time I ever had in this game.

So at this stage of the game's development it has a purpose. Perhaps there's a scientific explanation why we can create hydrazine from thin air, but given that it's inconsistent with expected science and the other game mechanics I predict it's just an enabling mechanic the devs gave to us until their priorities allow them to really nail down a reasonable value and method of producing this resource. Simply removing it is like using a sledgehammer to install a picture hanging nail and breaks the game for notoriously finicky "co-developers" of Early Access.

More constructively, these discussions could help the devs solve this problem. There's some really great ideas people are thinking up and that's what Early Access gaming is all about.

Edited by travin

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Ok, sure, it would make existing players that were able to play with the hydrazine trading happy if they had kept that feature in.  However, consider the following scenario.  I don't know the actual numbers so I'm just going to make some up for convenience.

Say, at the time they removed the trading, there were 5,000 people who bought the game.  Let's say 50% of those people used hydrazine trading. These 2,500 players that just traded hydrazine have a tendency of just making bases, not exploring, never going anywhere besides Terra.  They can get everything they need, there's no point in exploring off planet.  They are happy with the game as it is and just wait for more buildable things to be added.  Half of the people are not giving feedback about all the features of the game.  Now, the 2,500 people that play as intended.  Let's say 1/4 of these people end up not liking the game and quit.  Down to 1875 people. Ok, now over a period of time, 35% of the people get frustrated with bugs or lack of features and quit.  Now we're down to 1,218.  Typically, the majority of people do not post their input.  Either they are too lazy to look up how or they just don't feel like being bothered to do it or maybe they just think their voice doesn't matter.  They just play the game and wait for fixes and additions.  Another 75% of their possible input about the game gone.  Down to 304 people giving them input on features and bugs.

Now think about the new people coming into the game.  If the hydrazine trading was kept in the game, these numbers would continue to hold true.  The actual people reporting on all aspects of the game would continue to stay very low.  However, since hydrazine trading is no longer in the game, there will be a steady increase of the amount of people reporting because they never knew about or experienced the trading so they play as the game was intended to be played (as many of us believe).  This is just a good business decision.  Now if they were to tell all the players that they did it because of a possible income increase, many people would get pissed and stop playing completely.  They would post about it and deter others from buying the game and harm their reputation.  SES may enjoy programming and making things other people want to play, but let us not kid ourselves, they are trying to make money.  I don't hold that against them.  People just need to consider these things, take a step back and take a deep breath...  Then just move on and go with the flow.  Changes are going to happen.  Some people will like certain changes, others will hate them.  But the point is to adapt and accept the change.  If it gets to the point that the changes ruin the game for a person?  Stop playing and find the next new game.  Such is the world of Alpha and Beta release games.

 

2 hours ago, travin said:

At the very beginning of the pre-alpha, I'd stranded myself on a planet with zero surface resources, brought none with me and only had a ship, a pack of tethers and a single small solar panel in a bad position that received light less than a third of the planet's entire orbit. Needless to say it consumed many hours of digging and exploring to come up with the resources to finally build a fuel condenser and get off that hellhole of a planet. And it was likely the best time I ever had in this game.

This exactly.  I found myself in the same situation before.  I learned my lesson and now I make sure to have a spaceship loaded with everything I need to build a starter base when I go off planet.

2 hours ago, travin said:

So at this stage of the game's development it has a purpose. Perhaps there's a scientific explanation why we can create hydrazine from thin air, but given that it's inconsistent with expected science and the other game mechanics I predict it's just an enabling mechanic the devs gave to us until their priorities allow them to really nail down a reasonable value and method of producing this resource.

Here's my thoughts on the subject.  I think the idea behind it is you encounter a new planet and for whatever reason, the elements that lead to the creation of hydrazine just never coalesced on it.  However, through the condenser, you are able to extract the trace elements needed to create hydrazine.  It is not, in fact, making hydrazine out of electricity or thin air, but using that electricity to gather the elements necessary and combining them to form the hydrazine molecules.  Personally, I think it should not be an activated machine.  I think that once you build it, it should constantly have a slow power draw that very slowly creates the hydrazine over time.  It would slowly fill the storage with hydrazine units over time and stop completely if the storage is full.  Kind of like how you apply electricity to different metal plates to split water into pure oxygen and hydrogen but in this case, condensing them.

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38 minutes ago, Kantanshi said:

...through the condenser, you are able to extract the trace elements needed to create hydrazine.  It is not, in fact, making hydrazine out of electricity or thin air, but using that electricity to gather the elements necessary and combining them to form the hydrazine molecules.

For the record, unless the module is actually drilling into the ground it's pulling them out of thin air. In any case, the environment would then dictate how easily one could produce it.  Availability could be dictated both on planetary scale and specific to a location.

Edited by travin

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On 5/21/2017 at 11:10 AM, Marck said:

The two of us already discussed this in this very thread. I already gave you reasons why your claim of impact on people "playing how the game is intended" because it allegedly deviates the development's focus is unrealistic and thus to be doubted.

Except that they did remove the trading and have said it "May not make it back in the way you are used to" so since we are both drawing our own conclusions on what a third part is doing and why, all claims have equal value.  Perhaps separating yourself from your personal wish list and looking the the development as a whole would assuage some of your doubt.

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9 hours ago, MMZ>Torak said:

Except that they did remove the trading and have said it "May not make it back in the way you are used to" so since we are both drawing our own conclusions on what a third part is doing and why, all claims have equal value.  Perhaps separating yourself from your personal wish list and looking the the development as a whole would assuage some of your doubt.

Thanks for referencing that posting from Adam, I had not seen it yet.

Just to make it clear, I do favor the exploration aspect of Astroneer. But I also like to have options for different play styles in Astroneer. Hydrazine trading was one such option. And I think that removing it is the opposite of improving Astroneer, even for its development as a whole, as I tried to explain before.

It's true, we are all doing guesswork about the reason behind the decision to remove that feature. To me, this decision just does not make much sense, because the circumstances make it appear inconsistent, as I tried to explain before. Therefore, I posted a direct question to SES in the hope that an answer might shed some light on what is actually going on:

 

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1 hour ago, Marck said:

To me, this decision just does not make much sense, because the circumstances make it appear inconsistent, as I tried to explain before.

So my latest post made no sense to you?

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9 hours ago, Kantanshi said:

So my latest post made no sense to you?

As far as I understand you, you are saying that new players who would enjoy hydrazine trading but don't know that it once was available would play the game "as it was intended to be played". But players who don't like the "intended gameplay" will try the game, see that they do not enjoy it, and will head elsewhere. Those players are lost for the development of Astroneer. They might have stayed when they had found an option for alternative gameplay which they do enjoy, for example hydrazine trading.

Your scenario is basically using the same assumptions as the idea that you can force existing players to do the "intended gameplay" by taking away the option that made them enjoy the game in the first place. It simply does not work. All you do with that is scaring away the players who do not enjoy the "intended gameplay".

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@Marck

Seriously?  You went right after a negative aspect that I didn't even intend to be in my post...  I'm beginning to think you are either a troll or just a person that thrives on confrontation (yes, there's a difference).

No.  The point was that they need more testers who report on all aspects of the game.  The new players coming into the game wouldn't be sedentary players just sitting around trading hydrazine.  That the new players wouldn't know what they were "missing" and sit around whining and being butt hurt all day about something that was removed from the game.  They would actually be playing the game and reporting on more problems and making more suggestions.

Honestly?  I'm done arguing with you.  You have your point of view where you want the lazy play method that makes it so you don't actually have to play the game, while others actually want to experience the whole game.  Nothing is going to change your point of view.  No amount of reasoning or logic.  Having a discussion with you is pointless.

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@Kantanshi

Actually, I was trying to point out that an element which you consider to be a disadvantage for the future development of the game can actually be seen as an advantage in that very area you describe. Maybe I should use a positive wording to bring the point across:

A part of the player base might not play Astroneer "the way it was intended to be played", but they are nevertheless playing Astroneer. Because there is an option that makes them enjoy the game. These players might not use every aspect of the game, but they are using at least some aspects of the game. And when they find it worthy to play the game, chances are that they will also report on their experiences and on bugs they encounter in the parts of the game that they do use. Without that option, they might not be there and not contribute to the development at all. So an option for alternate gameplay besides "the intended gameplay" could actually help to grow the number of players/customers and therefore actually might be a business advantage.

And to be clear about this: Personally, I prefer to explore instead of trading hydrazine. I simply like to have options for different play styles in a game like Astroneer. And I fail to see anything negative about having the option of hydrazine trading in the game. Once again: Why do you care if someone is being "lazy" when playing? (Seriously? Somebody is playing a game for himself/herself? And is being lazy about it? How dare this person? O.o) Why does anybody care at all about how somebody else plays the game? There is absolutely no harm caused by this option, not to any player, not to the game or its development, not to any business. Nobody and nothing is "abused" or "exploited".

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24 minutes ago, Marck said:

Why do you care if someone is being "lazy" when playing? (Seriously? Somebody is playing a game for himself/herself? And is being lazy about it? How dare this person? O.o) Why does anybody care at all about how somebody else plays the game? There is absolutely no harm caused by this option, not to any player, not to the game or its development, not to any business. Nobody and nothing is "abused" or "exploited".

You've hit on some very important points I believe get lost in  this kind of discussion and I agree with the direction of providing more gameplay options than restricting them.

Without observing the distinctions between solo and competitive play, there's naturally going to be some ideological head-butting as folks approach the discussion from different positions without fully considering the other or being entirely aware of it. Whenever a binary argument comes up we should know by now it's going down a path that isn't to help the development.

Just like the binary arguments about a food mechanic, there's nearly unlimited possibilities the direction of implementation so as soon as someone says "it cant be done" that's a barrier to constructive discussion--time to redirect.

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54 minutes ago, travin said:

You've hit on some very important points

The problem is that the same points keep getting hit.  When the other side that opposes me just keeps using that same exact talking points, what is the point of me trying to explain something in a different way?  To come up with an alternate viewpoint?  They always retort with the same responses no matter what I say.  "It isn't hurting anyone", "What do you care" etc and so on.  I honestly don't give a flying f....  *I* am trying to see it through the eyes of SES.  To try to figure out their reasoning.  To understand what they are trying to accomplish.  Not just winge about a feature that was removed from an Alpha development game.

The horse is dead.  People need to stop whipping it.  It's on the verge of being a puddle.

 

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@Kantanshi

If you can't see that I actually take your arguments and explanations seriously and then reply to them in turn with honest (counter) arguments, then I agree with you that we are done with discussing this topic. There is no point in continuing in that case. I am not trolling you, I just do not find your arguments convincing. Maybe there is a good reason for the removal, I just can't see any such good reason in the speculations mentioned in this thread so far. That's another main reason why I am very interested in getting to know the actual reasoning of SES for removing that feature, instead of discussing speculations about it.

Edited by Marck

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On 5/23/2017 at 0:31 PM, Marck said:

But players who don't like the "intended gameplay" will try the game, see that they do not enjoy it, and will head elsewhere.

@Kantanshi

See Above.

I gave up when he cited this.  I see no reason why the game should be designed for people that don't like the intended game play.  It's much like trying to adapt the rules of Baseball for  people that don't like baseball, so they like baseball.  It makes no sense most especially at this stage of the game development.  Broadening the appeal of the game is one thing.  Designing the game to please people that aren't drawn to the intended game play is an open ended fool's errand.

 

"I'd be interested in Astroneer more if there were Dwarves, Elves and Dragons.  Please add now so that I will play!"  O.o

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26 minutes ago, MMZ>Torak said:

I see no reason why the game should be designed for people that don't like the intended game play.

In what way is the design changed for people that don't like the intended game play when hydrazine trading is available? With that feature available, the design is unchanged, the intended game play is still there. The only difference is that there is an option less in the game now. Nobody is asking for changing the gameplay or for adding something new to it. The point is to leave in an already existing option for an additional way of playing the game. Please give a convincing reason why this is bad, in what way this has a negative impact on the intended game play whose signifying feature seems to be to not include hydrazine trading. That intended game play does not include hydrazine trading when you ignore it. Why can't everybody (including the developers) just ignore that feature, why must it be removed? It is optional after all. This leads directly back to the question that is asked in the topic of this thread.

Variety is good. Options are good. We already had variety and it has been removed. I want to understand why, because it seems so unreasonable to me.

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Just in case anybody is still interested:

Jim Sterling says it better than I ever could when he talks about Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's Smart Steering in his Jimquisition Show installment "Mario, Take The Wheel" (starting at 3:30). Please watch at least until 11:45 to get the full point.

(If you are watching the whole video and are wondering: No, I do not mean that "Thank God for me!" line.)

Thank you.

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@MMZ>Torak

I agree, it's one of the reasons why I've decided to just stop.  Although I have to say one last thing to someone.

5 hours ago, Marck said:

Jim Sterling says it better than I ever could when he talks about Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's Smart Steering in his Jimquisition Show installment "Mario, Take The Wheel" (starting at 3:30). Please watch at least until 11:45 to get the full point.

Not valid in this discussion.  The guy in the video is talking about established, fully formed games produced by huge companies.  They have tons of programmers working on each of their projects so they can afford the time to waste on changes that do nothing for the game in general.  SES is a small company working on, basically, a concept of a game.  They don't have the personnel or the time to waste on debugging and fleshing out an easy mode, when the game isn't even fully formed yet.  I think I know your response already.  "But they already had hydrazine trading in the game, they don't have to figure it out."

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  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a fully fleshed out, fully released game. The feature set is complete, and all of the design decisions have been made.
  • Last I checked, Astroneer is still in early development, and design decisions are still being made. Features are not set in stone, and should not be treated as final. I don't really give a lot of weight to "removal of features" in an unreleased game.
  • I personally don't mind features for players that don't have the same time or abilities as other players. That's fine with me.
  • But - I don't think the design of Hydrazine and the fuel condenser is complete at the moment. It's still a work in progress.
  • I also don't think the idea of an infinitely tradeable resource was intended. The finite resources on the worlds were intended to be finite, especially in the early game.
  • The original purpose of the Hydrazine (as a way to get fuel in a pinch) is fulfilled without the ability to trade it. So this is not interfering with any sort of intended mechanic.
  • There may be other features in the future that may fulfill the ability to gain resources without bound. I think SE wants to take an intentional approach so they can control how such a feature works, rather than relying on trading.
  • Not a big fan of Jim Sterling's "go for shock value and swear up a storm" approach. Had to remove the video from my history to not get him showing in my recommendations . . .
12 hours ago, Marck said:

Why can't everybody (including the developers) just ignore that feature, why must it be removed?

It made the game play out in an unintentional way that is outside of how the game is intended to be balanced, and may be difficult to balance with future planned features. It may also have a replacement in a future feature.

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1 hour ago, CobraA1 said:

It made the game play out in an unintentional way that is outside of how the game is intended to be balanced, and may be difficult to balance with future planned features. It may also have a replacement in a future feature.

If a feature existed or had been introduced that is suffering from a balancing issue caused by hydrazine trading (a trading economy, for example), then the issue should be removed, of course. Also, it would be obvious why a feature is changed or removed, when another known feature is negatively affected by the feature in question. But we have nothing to that extent right now, and the patch that removed the feature did not introduce anything in that area. So why spend precious development resources on a feature that does not have any impact on any of the existing features or the features that are subject to the remainder of the same patch? It just appears to be inconsistent and counter-productive.

Maybe this is really all about improving the communication between SES and us players. If they had explained that they are planning to introduce a feature that is negatively impacted by hydrazine trading, then there would have been no speculation in the first place. But even then they could have left the existing feature in until they actually introduce that new feature.

Sorry for polluting your video history. I hope that you nevertheless differentiate between the content of a message and the form of its delivery. :)

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