Peacekeeper

Research in 0.3.102 "Fundamentally Broken"

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Hello.  I have over 170 hours of playing Astroneer.

I've even made some videos, and do enjoy the game.

One thing I like about this game is how intuitive everything seems.

Recently though, things in the game have become less fun, and I believe it has to do with Research.

This game is not complete, which means that you don't have to pretend that it is, and try to make it more difficult to accomplish things in order to pad gameplay.

It seems that they've intentionally made Research less intuitive such that it breaks the playability of the game.

It's now impossible to bank on Research for anything.  To illustrate my point, I'll tell you about my recent savefile experience.

I've been playing for a few days, and I can't get off Terra.  I have multiple bases around the globe, and I've scoured above and below ground for researchable items and they're not fun to find anymore.

I dig under crystal rocks to find some, I pluck them out of trees, I've gone caving to pick up all I can find.  I've gotten all that's reasonable to find in a first base, and this would be when I say "Screw it, I know there's way more on Luna or Exotic" and just up and leave to another planet.

Here's where research is broken:

It's randomly determined to not give me any type of Shuttle.

I can't leave Terra when it makes gameplay sense to leave Terra.

This is the #1 reason I can't say to people who haven't played Astroneer, "Hey, come play this game with me" and lead them through this game to show them why I like it.  Research is effectively a hard stop for consistent enjoyable gaming.  I can't promise my friend we'll do all the cool things I'd like to show them in a reasonable time frame.

You just have to keep finding researchable items and hoping you'll get a technology that allows you to have more fun.  

There's no feedback:
No "You have X items left to research"
No "You now have a 1 in 100 chance to find the next Tech"

Nothing except you now get a lot more random items from what used to get you something to have fun with.

Interestingly enough, the research method you had when I started playing was MORE INTUITIVE than what you have now.
You'd keep researching until you go to research and you got NOTHING: Getting Nothing meant you had researched EVERYTHING.  That was fine. 

As it sits now, if I didn't already know from previous gameplay sessions that there was more stuff to research, I would stop wasting my time.  The last 3 trains of research (Train being Truck with trailer and a total of 8 or 9 research items) have yielded no new research items.  That's broken.  If this was my first time, I'd say "I guess this is it" and stop researching and never get off the first planet!  You've even made research items much more rare, so they're harder to find, drawing out the process more.

Your game is otherwise SO AWESOME.  Since it's just in pre-release and in development, please make research more consistent and not a chore.  I encourage you to brainstorm an intuitive research system if not just return to giving things out until you quickly get everything.

This game is NOT ABOUT RESEARCH.  Don't make it a limiting factor in your game.  It breaks it.  We all know you will put in many, many more things to research, but that doesn't mean that you need to add artificial pacing to your research now to make it feel like there's some type of late-game content.  There is no staging in a game where what you research is inherently random.

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OP is absolutely correct. However, I believe that the devs are working hard on research 2.0, so they know about this issue.

I have abandoned numerous games where I just couldn't find a shuttle research pod. I mean after over a hundred pods on the research station.

It's just frustrating to be tied to an unforgiving RNG for research. Also, the game really needs more incentive, and various select goals.

In any event, I guess I've gotten my $20.00 out of this game already, but it has such fabulous potential. I keep my hopes going...

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Here's a hack I do.  I gather up the biggest pile of research I can stand to gather and put it all beside the research station.  Save game.  Start opening research pods.  Were they all junk?  If so, I quit to desktop without saving and go back in.  All my pods are waiting to be researched again and I get different stuff every time.  I find it far easier than actually going out and getting new pods again, especially when I am looking for 1 thing.  Like the large rover I'm getting frustrated with now.

While I am sure the dev team knows about these issues and will address them, I will say it has forced me at times to play the game in a completely different manner than I would have had I gotten the "right" research.  That has been interesting and maddening at the same time!  Dim tethers are FAR worse to me.  That's enough to make me set the game aside and do something else until it's addressed.  I still have to hand it to them, they have created an amazing game with unlimited potential and I can't wait to see what it turns into over time.

 

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Research in 201 is bizarre. I know the theory is that once you research an object, that's it for new discoveries. You just get raw materials after that. Same goes when you research all the objects in an object class. But... I have found that re-researching stuff you already worked on yields new discoveries.

How does that work? I can't tell you. Example: I was collecting green fuzzy balls from under fungi to get some raw materials. I had already learned "small wind turbine" or something from it. Anyway, on another planet I collected the same objects. Got some stuff (hydrazine, aluminum, resin, etc.), then it gave research: "small battery". So, apparently the same old object on a new planet can give research.

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Theory, base on blog post and experience

Think of each category having a wheel of chance ("Wheel of Fortune", but smaller) Each unknown gets one a spin on it's associated wheel. (According to the blog it may be spinning a small one to see which of a different wheel to spin, but the effect is largely the same) The first time you land on a slot on the wheel, it's a new discovery, but then that slot is replaced with a related resource. Since everything in a category is spinning the same wheel, the first of an unknown model can be a resource, or the same model can hit discoveries several times.

Not claiming it's a good system, but maybe that will help make it a bit more tolerable until it's redone.

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If you are looking for Either Shuttle or the Fuel Condenser or Trade Platform you have to open the Fuzzy Spiky Balls that are Red or Green.... very often found under Exploding Plants and underground commonly .......

Those are the only places I have found them in countless games......

I have 1200 hours of gameplay in Astroneer  and the Advice is FREE.

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Oh, I totally get it and agree.
I have a base on every planet. I got a large shuttle the very first research I did. Score! But, after now having settled every single planet, explored the snot out of every planet, researched so many items, I've lost count - I still have no truck. I have no crane. (a tip for those without a crane to dig titanium/lithium rocks, btw: Use an inhibitor mod. You can get pretty much 90% of it) There's a few other things I don't have yet, but those two stand out by miles. I actually JUST got a drill bit. But the amount of research I had to go through, just to get that, is insane and I really don't have the patience to farm for a million more hours of research for a truck, so I'm pretty much done until it updates a bit (and my little rover stops floating off in to la-la land and/or bucking upside down while driving).
Love the game, but lordy, it needs to move forward - seems like it's been moving backwards lately.

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I have to agree 100% on "broken"  The level of releases has dropped so far over the past months to a dismal amount.  The changes are more and more disagreeing with the player base at general.  And, the amount of play is far less than it was originally, rather than growing like a healthy game should be.

I still stand by my original complain of lack of user customization for the game.  If this is a "sandbox" game, the player MUST be able to choose their own play style.  Instead the devs demand the player play by THEIR rules and nobody else.  That is death for a modern sand box game.  DEATH.

That and the true innovation in the game has appeared to have died.  Was it the addition of more developers?  Or that the original developers quit working on the project, or worse, ran out of ideas?

Something is not good here.  I do hope it changes, soon.  But while I'm still optimistic (yeah, not apparent by my post, but I do try) I'm not sure that they can pull out of this slump.  At least until they do.  Hopefully soon.

P.S. I play a lot of "new" saves in this game.  Originally, this game had magic.  Now, it's far more challenging to the point of frustration.  There has to be a fine point, or, better, CUSTOMIZATION BY THE PLAYER!

*tap* *tap* "hello?!?"  "is this mic on?"

Edited by Nargg

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On 4.10.2017 at 4:01 AM, Nargg said:

That and the true innovation in the game has appeared to have died.  Was it the addition of more developers?  Or that the original developers quit working on the project, or worse, ran out of ideas?

Something is not good here.  I do hope it changes, soon.  But while I'm still optimistic (yeah, not apparent by my post, but I do try) I'm not sure that they can pull out of this slump.  At least until they do.  Hopefully soon.

 

 

This is a big worry. Some of the changes since December/January are questionable and didn't really improve the game. For example the research system or vehicle physics. We have also got some graphics downgrades (render distance). For me the big worry is that the new content they are working on doesn't improve the game either or just doesn't work. And also there is not even a rough timeline for the content updates they are working on, looks like the next patch will be another lacklustre bugfix release. The game was very promising when it came out but with the lack of updates it is my biggest gaming disappointing this year. The game really isn't moving forward.

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I have not played since March? I had such HIGH hopes for this game however I'm thinking it may be over? I've played 150 hours and paid only $20 so it was not really a waste of money I don't think. It was fun while it lasted! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And now a new one: Research is repeating itself. I got all happy because I finally got a research that didn't give me supplies. Woot! Exciting! Maybe a shuttle or truck or large storage or something useful instead of discovering every gun mod known to man within the first 60 seconds of the game!!!
No. We've discovered something I ALREADY KNOW. /facepalm.
You've got to be kidding me. Not only does it now take 50 years (aka: more than 200 discoveries at times to get something useful), now it's giving me something I already know. Because hey, enclosed 1-person seating is just THAT useful. 
*grumble*

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This has probably been mentioned before my mentioning of it and yet I will suggest it anyway.  I agree the research RNG is annoying.  I find myself constantly hoping for the medium solar panel or wind vane rather than making a lot of small ones and yet I am still without.  What if research rather than being RNG went through a Tech Tree of sorts.  Each research piece earns a point and certain unlockables cost more points than others.

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On 10/9/2017 at 11:19 PM, cobiej72 said:

This has probably been mentioned before my mentioning of it and yet I will suggest it anyway.  I agree the research RNG is annoying.  I find myself constantly hoping for the medium solar panel or wind vane rather than making a lot of small ones and yet I am still without.  What if research rather than being RNG went through a Tech Tree of sorts.  Each research piece earns a point and certain unlockables cost more points than others.

A tech tree?! Something where you can set goals for yourself and be rewarded by seeing your progress towards attaining them with each play session?

No no no, that's just old hat. What we need is random gambling mechanics because that's what game designers seem to think passes for fun these days. How else will they fit loot boxes in there to allow you to pay for the convenience of filling in the gaps in your research that are completely stymieing your fun?

Uhhh, sorry about that I think I may have been watching a few too many Jim Sterling videos recently.

Haven't played for months now and only periodically check on the forums. Sad to see no progress on this as I used to enjoy the game a lot, but as others have said I can't complain about not having had my money's worth.

RNG is not in itself a bad thing. Grind is not in itself a bad thing.

Combining them in a way where RNG can and regularly does negate all of your grinding (in Astroneer's case the grind is running around and collecting dozens and dozens of pods, a process that becomes exponentially more time consuming requiring you to travel further to find them) is about the worst way possible of implementing them.

 

 

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