Maaaatie

Improved Research Procedures

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Guys, it is apparent that you are still struggling with getting the balance right for the Research procedures.  To my mind, something like the researching procedures has to be challenging.  In the early stages, the research process was far to easy, posing very little challenge to establish a base and find all of the items necessary.

Then you introduced the Research Curve, which made finding research items more difficult to the point where it was pure grinding.  This caused players to quickly let you know that this was not a good idea and you subsequently changed the research process back to a point where it is almost as simple as it was in the first place and is again not challenging. 

The key is to understand the difference between something that is challenging and something that is just difficult.  To be challenging, the process need to be not difficult alone, but needs to also be interesting with some form of logic to the process that can eventually be identified and applied.

As the system currently stands there is no reward for effort ie A player can climb to the top of a mounting or go down to the depths of a cave to gather research pods that will give them Compound.  But they can pluck a research pod off a tree next to their base that will provide the Blueprint for a Spaceship.  It makes very little sense.

I would recommend that the Research returns be based upon the degree of difficulty required to gather the Research Pods, as follows:

 

Level 1 Research – Pods that contain items essential to survival.  These Pods should be relatively easy to access.  Out to a distance that is slightly further than the distance that one batch of Tethers will reach and down to Level 1 in the cave system.

 

Level 2 Research – Pods that contain items that will enhance the performance of the base and the player’s ability to gather resources.  There distance from the base should be greater and down to Level 2 in the cave system.

 

Level 3 Research – Pods that contain the items necessary to leave the planet.  These Pods should be the hardest to access and contain items essential to leave the planet.

 

This process would create a degree of difficulty, help to maintain interest and install a degree of logic to the process.  It will also give the players a feeling of control within the game, as they will be the controllers of the amount of research necessary.  For example, if a player has no immediate desire to leave the planet because they wish to do some serious Terra Forming, they need search no further than Level 2.

Further more, with the introduction of the Research Curve, the Printer and the Vehicle Bay were not initially available, which caused some angst amongst the playing community (myself included).  The problem was not that they weren’t initially available, but that it was so difficult to find the Research Pods to get them (no logical pattern).  I would suggest that that is fine as long as the necessary Research Pods are relatively close to the Base.

To this end, I would suggest that to start a game an Astroneer should only have the Blueprint for the Research Platform and his Backpack should contain 1 x Small Solar Panel and 1 x Tether Batch, but no Blueprint to build more (a player will quickly learn to use Tethers to search in one direction before gathering them all back up to search in a different direction).  Each level of research should provide a logical progression of capabilities as recommended below:

 

Level 1 Research should contain the Blueprints for the Printer and the Smelter; the Small Solar Panels, Tethers, Small Battery, Filters and Small Generator, as well as some random minerals,

 

Level 2 Research should contain the Blueprints for the Vehicle Bay and land vehicles plus vehicle attachments; the Large Wind Turbine, Large Battery and Large Solar Panel; plus all of the remaining Backpack items, as well as some random minerals.

 

NB  I also think that the Space Shuttle should be here too but only if it is limited in its capabilities.  It should be a Base Planet Explorer only – not capable of inter-planetary travel.

 

Level 3 Research should contain the Blueprints for the Spacecraft, the Fuel Condenser and the Trade Platform.

 

Sorry if this was long winded but I hope that it helps.

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First:  You keep referring to levels in the caves.  There are no levels.  They are randomly generated at various depths.  How do you propose to designate underground levels?

Second:  Your description on where the research pods should be located are all on Terra.  Besides easier access to materials, what will be the motivation to leave the planet?

Third:  Also referring to research pod location, by the sounds of the radius you propose, people will not even need to explore 1/10th of Terra to find everything  Heck, not even 1/20th.

Fourth:  Many players do not like the initial landing area when starting a game so immediately find a shuttle or spaceship blueprint to relocate to another "bubble".  Your suggestion would completely remove that option as the research pods would need to be pre-spawned in order to follow your suggestion.

I'm not trying to shoot down your idea, it just isn't logical from my view.

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2 hours ago, Kantanshi said:

First:  You keep referring to levels in the caves.  There are no levels.  They are randomly generated at various depths.  How do you propose to designate underground levels?

Second:  Your description on where the research pods should be located are all on Terra.  Besides easier access to materials, what will be the motivation to leave the planet?

Third:  Also referring to research pod location, by the sounds of the radius you propose, people will not even need to explore 1/10th of Terra to find everything  Heck, not even 1/20th.

Fourth:  Many players do not like the initial landing area when starting a game so immediately find a shuttle or spaceship blueprint to relocate to another "bubble".  Your suggestion would completely remove that option as the research pods would need to be pre-spawned in order to follow your suggestion.

I'm not trying to shoot down your idea, it just isn't logical from my view.

My reference to Levels in the caves was the common term used by many players when referring to the depth of each tier in the cave system., just like the levels in a high rise building.  Although randomly generated there are always three levels/tiers/depths or any other way you choose to name them.  The bottom level also includes those dead end pits that normally have some form of treasure at their terminus.

I agree with your comment in reference to all of the research being on Terran, as it already is.  There is currently no requirement to leave the planet and that is a whole new topic that also needs to be addressed.  I am taking this one step at a time.  

As to the comments about how much of the planet is required to be searched to find the required pods, that is a wild conclusion you jumped to as I put no such parameters on it.  The only radius I spoke of was the first Level containing only the tools and equipment for survival.  I put no such limit on the other two levels.  That last pod to enable planet departure could easily be at the north pole either in a mountain range or deep within the cave system.

Either way, your comments are appreciated and I look forward to reading your recommendation for improving the research procedures.

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3 hours ago, Kantanshi said:

Many players do not like the initial landing area when starting a game so immediately find a shuttle or spaceship blueprint to relocate to another "bubble".  Your suggestion would completely remove that option as the research pods would need to be pre-spawned in order to follow your suggestion.

This is an odd comment as, even under the current game mechanics, you can't just  "immediately find a shuttle or spaceship blueprint".  However, you can easily walk to a new bubble location (they just don't show up as bubbles) or you can drive to one and take a new Habitat  with you (once you have found the required items)  if that is your desire.  Secondly,  you may have noticed that my recommendation is that the Shuttle be available as a Level 2 research item and to be restricted to planetary orbit only.  This would completely fulfill your desire and assist with searching for the Level 3 research pods .

I would suggest that if you hate your landing site so much, that you might just bail out and re-start a new game - as people do.

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28 minutes ago, Maaaatie said:

My reference to Levels in the caves was the common term used by many players when referring to the depth of each tier in the cave system., just like the levels in a high rise building.  Although randomly generated there are always three levels/tiers/depths or any other way you choose to name them.  The bottom level also includes those dead end pits that normally have some form of treasure at their terminus.

I've encountered these dead ends at various depths while exploring the caves, several times near the "top" of the cave system.  Because of my experience I could not label these occurrences as the bottom of the caves.  I've not understood the reference of levels in the caves no matter who says it.

 

30 minutes ago, Maaaatie said:

I agree with your comment in reference to all of the research being on Terran, as it already is.  There is currently no requirement to leave the planet and that is a whole new topic that also needs to be addressed.  I am taking this one step at a time.  

There have been quite a few discussions about this topic.  Many have made suggestions that some of the research technologies should be removed from Terra and be exclusive to other planets.  Since we have heard nothing from the devs on this matter, or at least I have not,  there's no way of knowing what is planned.  We can only surmise that such a thing will eventually happen as the current belief of some players is that all are available on Terra right now so they are easier to get to and test.  Once the research system is ironed out then other modifications will happen.

 

35 minutes ago, Maaaatie said:

As to the comments about how much of the planet is required to be searched to find the required pods, that is a wild conclusion you jumped to as I put no such parameters on it.  The only radius I spoke of was the first Level containing only the tools and equipment for survival.  I put no such limit on the other two levels.  That last pod to enable planet departure could easily be at the north pole either in a mountain range or deep within the cave system.

 Actually, you did mention a vague distance on the 2nd:

7 hours ago, Maaaatie said:

Level 2 Research – Pods that contain items that will enhance the performance of the base and the player’s ability to gather resources.  There distance from the base should be greater and down to Level 2 in the cave system.

This implies that the distance should be greater but with a limit.  Honestly, I'm not trying to be rude in my replies but I can understand if my bluntness comes across that way at times.  I'm not a wordy person.  However, here are my thoughts on a possible solution.  This has been influenced by others that I have had discussions with and some posts I read without replying to them.  Only have the shuttle researchable on Terra.  Make the shuttle short range travel only.  Max distance of travelling to the moon (Barren).  Then have the spaceship available on the moon to continue to further planets.  This would heavily encourage people to explore more than just Terra.

 

34 minutes ago, Maaaatie said:

This is an odd comment as, even under the current game mechanics, you can't just  "immediately find a shuttle or spaceship blueprint".

I recorded a new game from the start.  In just under 13 minutes I found the spaceship research.  I can do this consistently.  I think that, in this game, 13 minutes qualifies as immediately.  I can accomplish this much quicker than driving to a location further away considering I like polar locations for the different day/night cycle.

 

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38 minutes ago, Kantanshi said:

This implies that the distance should be greater but with a limit.  

 

I recorded a new game from the start.  In just under 13 minutes I found the spaceship research.  I can do this consistently.  

1.     So, in your opinion "greater but with limit" is the equivalent of 1/20th of the planet or even less?  That is your assertion, not mine.

 

2.     Given that an entire base can be set up in about 30 minutes from scratch, I would suggest that 13 minutes is far from immediate.

 

PS  I like the idea of the research for the Spaceship being on Barren with the Shuttle being limited to that moon, which is within the orbit of Terran and therefor fits my recommendation of the Shuttles limitations.  I would also like to see other things limited to access on certain other planets, because, other than the pure experience of doing it, there is no requirement to go to another planet.  Indeed, from experience, setting up bases on other planets currently makes the game very laggy.  But as you indicated, these are early days and we can only wait for the developers to produce intensives to travel to other planets.  The old 'rinse and repeat' thing wears thin very quickly.

In the meantime the whole research curve needs to be addressed as the first attempt was a bit of a flop.  Hats off for trying devs and for the quick fix.

Edited by Maaaatie

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1 hour ago, Maaaatie said:

1.     So, in your opinion "greater but with limit" is the equivalent of 1/20th of the planet or even less?  That is your assertion, not mine.

The point I was trying to make is that the way you stated it was very vague.  It could mean 5, 10 or 20 packs of tethers in distance.  So yes, the term "greater" leaves a lot to interpretation.  It all depends on what someone reading your post thinks of when they see "greater" which can be a vast difference versus what you actually meant.  That's like reading a recipe and it calls for a "spoonful" of an ingredient.  To some that means a teaspoon, to others a tablespoon with the latter being 3x the volume of the former.

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1 hour ago, Kantanshi said:

The point I was trying to make is that the way you stated it was very vague.  It could mean 5, 10 or 20 packs of tethers in distance.  So yes, the term "greater" leaves a lot to interpretation.  It all depends on what someone reading your post thinks of when they see "greater" which can be a vast difference versus what you actually meant.  That's like reading a recipe and it calls for a "spoonful" of an ingredient.  To some that means a teaspoon, to others a tablespoon with the latter being 3x the volume of the former.

I didn't actually mean anything other than greater.  As you rightly pointed out it could be any distance, heck it could even be a quarter way around the planet.  But it was you that proclaimed "people will not even need to explore 1/10th of Terra to find everything  Heck, not even 1/20th." - not I.   It was left open intentionally because if the suggestion was adopted it would be up to the developers to determine what distance would best suit the game, not me.  And no doubt, even then it probably would require several tweaks to get it right.

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Hence why that sentence was started with "by the sounds of the radius you propose".  In other words, your statement was vague and clarification would be welcome.  Instead you seemed to become defensive.  Can we chalk this all up to poor word choices by both parties?

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5 hours ago, Kantanshi said:

Hence why that sentence was started with "by the sounds of the radius you propose".  In other words, your statement was vague and clarification would be welcome.  Instead you seemed to become defensive.  Can we chalk this all up to poor word choices by both parties?

Hence my clarification.

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