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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. 

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Oh dear, Astroneers flying along ziplines in every direction! :)

Concerning the grappling hook, I agree that its range should not be too long, I see it as much more of a small help in exploring without leaving terrain difficulties meaningless.

However, there is one change that I think is vital to the concept of the grappling hook, and that is making it a suit augment instead of a terrain tool augment.
I think this is necessary to allow the usage of the terrain tool while grappled, as you don't want to constantly detach and switch augments while digging a hole, or when you want to build a platform to land on.
Designing it as a suit augment/ module would also instantly provide another opportunity: Installing two of the grappling hook modules would enable shooting a second one while still grappled on the first, enabling grappling along ceilings. What do you think?

For more extensive, permanent means of transportation I can wholeheartedly recommend your idea about the cable anchors as well as something I found deep in these forums at some point, maye you haven't seen it yet!
IMG_1280.JPG.8211e827aea3337dae419e6c4f851c09.jpg.509b8154dd530a3a14607c96dc1ba6dc.jpg.d3cdcfa9e6aca5480188a75160ce5bd9.jpg
.. I still want to know who had the idea for this... 

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13 hours ago, UtopicVision said:

Oh dear, Astroneers flying along ziplines in every direction! :)

Concerning the grappling hook, I agree that its range should not be too long, I see it as much more of a small help in exploring without leaving terrain difficulties meaningless.

However, there is one change that I think is vital to the concept of the grappling hook, and that is making it a suit augment instead of a terrain tool augment.
I think this is necessary to allow the usage of the terrain tool while grappled, as you don't want to constantly detach and switch augments while digging a hole, or when you want to build a platform to land on.
Designing it as a suit augment/ module would also instantly provide another opportunity: Installing two of the grappling hook modules would enable shooting a second one while still grappled on the first, enabling grappling along ceilings. What do you think?

For more extensive, permanent means of transportation I can wholeheartedly recommend your idea about the cable anchors as well as something I found deep in these forums at some point, maye you haven't seen it yet!
IMG_1280.JPG.8211e827aea3337dae419e6c4f851c09.jpg.509b8154dd530a3a14607c96dc1ba6dc.jpg.d3cdcfa9e6aca5480188a75160ce5bd9.jpg
.. I still want to know who had the idea for this... 

Hey! I know exactly who made that picture. That's an idea from H@n. It's like a mining elevator. Not too sure what it has to do with zip line augments though...

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The only problem with making it a suit augment is that currently there is no keybind for a suit mod activation.  All suit mods (at least the ones I've researched) are passive, with no activation required.  But I like the idea of dangling from a rope and harvesting in a vertical column cave/hole.

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17 hours ago, Zammis said:

The only problem with making it a suit augment is that currently there is no keybind for a suit mod activation.  All suit mods (at least the ones I've researched) are passive, with no activation required.  But I like the idea of dangling from a rope and harvesting in a vertical column cave/hole.

Exactly, that is what I thought too.

But consider this, now that we have augments, the Terrain tool's flattening function may as well become an augment, which means that at least one key bind could be replaced by another function. (not sure how it works on a controller).
By the way, turning the flattening function into an augment would enable "adding until flat" as well as "removing until flat", effectively enabling far more precise sculpturing. Perfect angles, everywhere....

Also, in the case of the grappling hook, it could simply be programmed that if you do not currently use the terrain tool, pressing Ctrl (or Alt) will display a crosshair and enables you to shoot the grappling hook.
Actually, why not program Ctrl (or Alt) to always cycle through functions/modes for whatever tool you are currently using? (just an idea, haven't really thought this through)
In case of the terrain tool, it would switch between removing and adding terrain. In case of the backpack, it would switch between the installed mods and a passive mode (white circle on the ground). Other mods could be a scanner, or a navigation aid... think of the possibilites! :D

On 9.8.2017 at 3:59 PM, TayTayBerryman said:

Hey! I know exactly who made that picture. That's an idea from H@n. It's like a mining elevator. Not too sure what it has to do with zip line augments though...

I thought it could be possible to combine the idea of H@n's mining elevator with GizmoGomez' idea of cable anchors.

The idea is to add platforms (in principle like H@n's picture, just without the large cage part), that can connect ziplines to other such platforms in line of sight, within a certain range.
Then, players could use these ziplines to travel from base to base, from the surface down into the caves and so on.
You could also use these ziplines to send resources from one place to the other.

Also, these long, high ziplines would create a very distinct visual impression, which I think would fit the game really well.
What do you think? :D

Edited by UtopicVision

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As far as the flatten function being an augment goes, I'm actually pretty against that, though it is an interesting idea. The tool as it exists, with the three main functions, seems to be well rounded as it is. Plus, requiring the player to switch between add-until-level and subtract-until-level would be a huge hassle. I often add material and subtract it at the same time with the level function, and having to swap buttons halfway though would kinda suck imo. 

That being said, I think you're on the right train of thought. Augments are the way to go. Just not for that haha 

 

I was thinking these cables wouldn't really be used for overland traveling, actually. My thought was that we have vehicles for transporting goods and astroneers across distances already, and so the cables should be used for something that doesn't exist yet. The astroneer would move up/down the cable at a controlled, measured speed, no matter what the angle the cable made, so the astroneer could fine-tune his/her position on it. Can't exactly stop on a dime while riding a zip line so you can collect materials, ya know? 

 

Here's another idea though: with the permanent cables, the astroneer can TAB onto the cable and winch him/herself along the cable, but we also add a gondola of sorts that can move up and down the cable as well? Like a cable car, only it's a flat thing suspended by cables like the pictures show for the elevator. Could require a seat to operate it, and have several slots for items, etc on it. 

Edit: could even have the cargo cable car ride atop the cables or something to avoid hitting things. 

Edited by GizmoGomez

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1 hour ago, GizmoGomez said:

As far as the flatten function being an augment goes, I'm actually pretty against that, though it is an interesting idea. The tool as it exists, with the three main functions, seems to be well rounded as it is. Plus, requiring the player to switch between add-until-level and subtract-until-level would be a huge hassle. I often add material and subtract it at the same time with the level function, and having to swap buttons halfway though would kinda suck imo. 

Yes, sure, I understand what you mean. You always have to weigh all the consequences of any change against each other.

That being said, making flattening an augment does, as you said, make it somewhat more of a hassle.
My reasoning behind the change was that, as base building will be detached from the surface in the future, making a surface flat will be far less important for many people (I guess).
As a result I imagined flattening as more of a customisation option for some people, which would work well in the form of an augment. Also, I guess, these people who want things to be really flat and orderly, are more concerned about how "perfect" they can design these things, than they are about having to switch modes a few times during the process.
The key point is that with this change, no functionality is lost, you can still do everything that was possible before. It may just take a little longer.

But, it does indeed add new possibilities, as A) a key can be assigned to a new function and B) more design options will be possible, as the flattening tool currently flattens the surface, but also always adds a half-sphere- like body under the surface.
This makes designing edges,  "slices", or cubes etc. very difficult, especially when they are smaller than a certain size.
Also, the inhibitor mod and its combinations with other modules especially do not really work differently in all three modes, and reducing the amount of functions to two would simplify the process. Other augments that will be added in the future might also not work with all three modes.

On the other hand, I think the flattening option may soon be pretty insignificant, I don't really care if they change it into an augment, maybe we should spend our time discussing other things! :D

Other things like the cables! (This is the important part of the post)

1 hour ago, GizmoGomez said:

Here's another idea though: with the permanent cables, the astroneer can TAB onto the cable and winch him/herself along the cable, but we also add a gondola of sorts that can move up and down the cable as well? Like a cable car, only it's a flat thing suspended by cables like the pictures show for the elevator. Could require a seat to operate it, and have several slots for items, etc on it. 

That is exactly what I meant when I mentioned sending resources along these cables.

I thought of this: You choose to go on a mining trip, and pick some cave, mountain, etc. for it.
What you then do is build one of these cable anchors in your base, and another one in some central spot in the mining area, and instead of constantly driving back to your base, you just simply walk to the anchor, call the gondola, and send all the resources back to your base. Then you walk a few steps and proceed with mining.
Sounds more interesting than the current system in my mind. :D
It would also instantly resolve the limited-backpack-space-issue in a realistic, intuitive way. (And that, dear Ladies and Gentlemen, is why these conversations are worth gold, I just realised this, thanks to your ideas!)
About the gondola, why not simply make it a platform with two simple 2-slot modules? Want to ride it with your friend? Put two seats on it. Use it as a resource transport? Put two storages on it. Resources would then, when they reach their destination, transfer to nearby free slots/ storages.
Any ideas about this? :D

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34 minutes ago, UtopicVision said:

About the gondola, why not simply make it a platform with two simple 2-slot modules? Want to ride it with your friend? Put two seats on it. Use it as a resource transport? Put two storages on it. Resources would then, when they reach their destination, transfer to nearby free slots/ storages.
Any ideas about this? :D

I like that idea; could have a small gondola be a single 2-slot, medium gondola be two 2-slots, and a large gondola be four 2-slots. This way it mimics the rover sizes. 

Speaking of small and rovers, I really want to see a self-balancing motor bike with a single 2-slot that's fast and fun and efficient for single rider travel. Since the open 1-seat has a roll cage by default, the back of the bike should come up to meet it, making it look almost like a light cycle from TRON.

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1 hour ago, GizmoGomez said:

I like that idea; could have a small gondola be a single 2-slot, medium gondola be two 2-slots, and a large gondola be four 2-slots. This way it mimics the rover sizes. 

Speaking of small and rovers, I really want to see a self-balancing motor bike with a single 2-slot that's fast and fun and efficient for single rider travel. Since the open 1-seat has a roll cage by default, the back of the bike should come up to meet it, making it look almost like a light cycle from TRON.

Modularity will change everything :D
No more rovers! You may even be able to build your own TRON light cycle after the update, haha...

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