AstroBubba

Mineral Extractor far too OP?

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Posted this on the Reddit sub too...

 

New player here, and after monkeying around with the Mineral Extractor, it seems to be far too OP. It makes the need to explore and search for rare (or even common) materials moot.  In the Minecraft paradigm, it would be like finding one diamond, and then magically make more with dirt!

The search & discover process is one of the core (and rewarding) parts of the gameplay, and if you remove that, there's precious little left, other than repetitive base-building. 

There are already Reddit posts about how, with the right material choices, you can fly off to another planet and have a comprehensive base up & running in 20 minutes!  Sure, if the game was a "base-building race" that would be great, but I really don't think that's the devs. intent here!

 

Yes, you can currently ignore the Mineral Extractor and pretend it doesn't exist, but it does potentially serve a purpose, it just needs to be balanced to make it a last-ditch option for creating new rare materials.

Maybe something like it only lasts a few uses when making rare materials, or it's a massive power hog, or maybe you need to use progressively more valuable materials to create more rare ones (as long as it does not get into an endless rinse & repeat cycle of standing in front of the Extractor to make one Lithium)

 

Dunno, all I know is that it's pretty game-breaking at the moment...

Edited by AstroBubba
Clarifications

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There is already a thread on the subject in the "Suggestion and Idea" section. Probably the best place to continue the conversation.

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On 1/10/2018 at 9:49 AM, AstroBubba said:

Posted this on the Reddit sub too...

 

New player here, and after monkeying around with the Mineral Extractor, it seems to be far too OP. It makes the need to explore and search for rare (or even common) materials moot.  In the Minecraft paradigm, it would be like finding one diamond, and then magically make more with dirt!

The search & discover process is one of the core (and rewarding) parts of the gameplay, and if you remove that, there's precious little left, other than repetitive base-building. 

There are already Reddit posts about how, with the right material choices, you can fly off to another planet and have a comprehensive base up & running in 20 minutes!  Sure, if the game was a "base-building race" that would be great, but I really don't think that's the devs. intent here!

 

Yes, you can currently ignore the Mineral Extractor and pretend it doesn't exist, but it does potentially serve a purpose, it just needs to be balanced to make it a last-ditch option for creating new rare materials.

Maybe something like it only lasts a few uses when making rare materials, or it's a massive power hog, or maybe you need to use progressively more valuable materials to create more rare ones (as long as it does not get into an endless rinse & repeat cycle of standing in front of the Extractor to make one Lithium)

 

Dunno, all I know is that it's pretty game-breaking at the moment...

What do you mean when you use the term “OP”

Edited by rileya_c

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You know a spoon could be considered overpowered.. so use your fingers.  If you are finding the game too easy using the mineral extractor.. then don't build it.  omg.. problem solved.

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On 1/13/2018 at 5:42 AM, Martin said:

You know a spoon could be considered overpowered.. so use your fingers.  If you are finding the game too easy using the mineral extractor.. then don't build it.  omg.. problem solved.

Thank you for clarifying what “OP” means as in overpowered 

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You know all it takes to make a Diamond is Carbon Heat and Pressure..... and the man made ones are far higher quality than nature.....

If you want to balance the game to be harder... just dig a hole and for every canister of dirt you put in the extractor just dump one two or three in the hole and cover it with dirt. BOOM! Fixed

The only thing preventing a player from exploring is his play style, nothing else.  We impose all kinds of rules in our game play to create fresh and new play and find that very entertaining... as of today I have 1500 hours in the game and we constantly figuring new ways to make it fun..... I don't even mind throwing away saves as the game advances from patch to patch.

I really think you just need to create some limits on your play style and have fun.   In one patch I left terrain as early as possible with only enough materials as my back pack held and built a huge base on Exotic with only materials I could get from research found in trees.... That was an awesome play threw and will never be forgotten.... truly a masochistic event.   Another brutal game was to only use materials obtained from Resin and Compound trades using the Trade Platform or found in Space Wrecks.... that was Brutal... and a Blast.

Don't sell your creativity short in Game Play.

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After over 40hrs of playing, I never knew the Mineral Extractor could produce things other than compounds until visiting these forums! It asked for a compound sample so I put one in and never thought about trying to replace it with something else, lol. I was just fine with it producing only compounds and having the Trading Post for getting rare things when I needed. But that's just me *shrug*

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On 13/01/2018 at 6:34 PM, rileya_c said:

Thank you for clarifying what “OP” means as in overpowered 

Usually if someone refers to the OP they're referring to the "Original Post" if they refer to a thing being too "OP" then they're referring to a thing being too overpowered.  So really it depends on what the reference is to, not clarification of what OP means.

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I will respectfully disagree with thread starter. Several stations have been deemed OP in this game. First it was the hydrazine catalyzer, then the trade station and now the mineral extractor. If something is overpowered it implies that it overpowered in relation to something else. And I must ask in relation to what? Is it OP according to your play style? To my knowledge this game has not any set goals or progression system. In the early days some set up hydrazine farms with a lot more than twenty catalyzers. Some even try to dig away Barren before they even had a mineral extractor to handle the dirt. Was this a wrong playstyle? Just asking…

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I think it's fine as it is but should come later in the game.  Basically it should cost more bytes, 500 is way too cheap. 

Early in the game you should be out exploring and celebrating when you find a large resin deposit.  Later in the game when you've gone to another planet, extracting resin from dirt should be the preferred option, you're now past being a resin miner.

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12 hours ago, KungFuStu72 said:

I think it's fine as it is but should come later in the game.  Basically it should cost more bytes, 500 is way too cheap. 

Early in the game you should be out exploring and celebrating when you find a large resin deposit.  Later in the game when you've gone to another planet, extracting resin from dirt should be the preferred option, you're now past being a resin miner.

Maybe we could only build the extractor (and perhaps the trade platform) on planets other than Terran. Or some of the elements needed to build the extractor are only available on other planets. Or we need astronium to power the extractor. Or something along similar lines, with the net result that we have to get off planet before we can build a Star Trek food/resource replicator.

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13 hours ago, Eoghan said:

Maybe we could only build the extractor (and perhaps the trade platform) on planets other than Terran. Or some of the elements needed to build the extractor are only available on other planets. Or we need astronium to power the extractor. Or something along similar lines, with the net result that we have to get off planet before we can build a Star Trek food/resource replicator.

Yes, that's a very good idea... Astronium or Hematite as requirements would be very good since if you can get to a planet that has Astronium, you've probably gotten close to the "plateau" in the game in any case.

That said, it still removes some of the exploration/resource management that comes with the different planets.  Players will quickly realize that Resin can be hard to come by one some planets, and you have that "Oh crap, I need to go back "home" and get some..." (and the requisite fuel costs, etc), rather than just make/trade it out of thin air!

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On 1/18/2018 at 8:10 AM, KungFuStu72 said:

I think it's fine as it is but should come later in the game.  Basically it should cost more bytes, 500 is way too cheap. 

Early in the game you should be out exploring and celebrating when you find a large resin deposit.  Later in the game when you've gone to another planet, extracting resin from dirt should be the preferred option, you're now past being a resin miner.

Why should I do what you say? Why should I celebrate like you say? Why am I only extracting from another planet? Another one who likes to tell others how to play the game. 

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On 1/18/2018 at 8:28 PM, Eoghan said:

Maybe we could only build the extractor (and perhaps the trade platform) on planets other than Terran. .

What is stopping you from doing that anyway? Why do you need the laws of ERA to intercede? Why can't anyone just play with any type of rules, limits, restrictions etc. or none at all! 

I'm in the middle of a game now where I made my own rule that I could not leave the planet until I unlocked each and every item! I just accomplished it with just 26 bytes remaining! I've played a game where I just wanted to collect those black and white balls. I've played a game where I limited myself to using no more than 100 tethers.

Why gamers love rules is beyond me. System ERA is removing rules on how to play and you are advocating for more rules? I want less rules not more. I want to play open and free, the way I want to play not the way others think I should play.  

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5 minutes ago, The Touch of Grey Gamer said:

What is stopping you from doing that anyway? Why do you need the laws of ERA to intercede? Why can't anyone just play with any type of rules, limits, restrictions etc. or none at all! 

I'm in the middle of a game now where I made my own rule that I could not leave the planet until I unlocked each and every item! I just accomplished it with just 26 bytes remaining! I've played a game where I just wanted to collect those black and white balls. I've played a game where I limited myself to using no more than 100 tethers.

Why gamers love rules is beyond me. System ERA is removing rules on how to play and you are advocating for more rules? I want less rules not more. I want to play open and free, the way I want to play not the way others think I should play.  

Please do not take this as personal attack but I'll grab a giant bucket of hydrazine trading-flavoured popcorn should SES ever decide to nerf the mineral extractor. ;)

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(This posting is a reply to both this and the similar other thread also started by AstroBubba.)

There are already creative(ish) and survival(ish) modes in the game. But you do not choose between one mode or the other in a menu before you start the actual game. Instead, you have the mode selection baked into the gameplay: You are able to decide whether you actually build a mineral extractor module, a fuel condenser module or neither of them. That way you adjust the game to your preferred play style.

This is a solution that fits very well into the diegetic interface design which Astroneer strives for: Within the game itself, embedded into the gameplay, players can customize their game experience to their liking. It is even possible to do adjustments during an on-going game, within the game, without a need to open a menu and break immersion: build and use a module that you previously avoided, or destroy all modules of a type you do not want to utilize any longer.

Basically, the availablity of modules like the mineral extractor and the trade platform is not any more "game-breaking" than having a play mode selection option in one of the game's menus.

Astroneer curently supports different play styles. It does not force a player into one particular style of playing, and neither should you. Supporting even more styles of play is good, restricting gameplay is not.

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On 1/20/2018 at 5:00 AM, Marck said:

Astroneer curently supports different play styles. It does not force a player into one particular style of playing, and neither should you. Supporting even more styles of play is good, restricting gameplay is not.

The assumption you are making is that a player intuitively recognizes those "choices" before it has diluted the gameplay too far.  In my experience that is a bad assumption, and will most likely lead to overall dissatisfaction with the game since they player does "everything" in the game in one place and essentially misses the core point of the game, which is to explore.

If presented with options that allow instant gratification and/or save time/effort, people will knowingly do things that are "bad" for them, even if they will probably regret it later.  That is unfortunately human nature. 

It's up to the devs. to understand this and make a game that makes it clear there are choices (paths) to take in the overall experience, and more importantly, do they have a vision of the overall experience they hope bring to the table.  My gut tells me the game is all about exploration, wonder and discovery, and the base-building is a tool to enable that, and are not the endgame in itself.

Edited by AstroBubba
sp.

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On 1/19/2018 at 9:28 PM, The Touch of Grey Gamer said:

Why gamers love rules is beyond me. System ERA is removing rules on how to play and you are advocating for more rules? I want less rules not more. I want to play open and free, the way I want to play not the way others think I should play.  

Your comments reflect a tiny minority of the potential audience that wants a completely free-ranging experience with no "direction" or "goals" to be (or very loosely) defined. 

Realistically though, the game clearly starts out with a tech-tree progression metaphor, and makes it clear that you need to explore and gather to progress, and you simply can't get anywhere in the game until you reach a modest level of research and gathering completed.  Given that, it's obviously not "open world" since the game is putting arbitrary barriers to your progression and requires you do undertake certain actions to complete them.  That is where the inherent conflict lies in the game since it sets-up as a exploration/gathering/progression exercise, and then enables that to come to a sudden halt with tools that "short-cut" that very process.  This is exactly why Minecraft makes it clear that you have two distinct "modes" to play; the Survival mode is very well-balanced, and does have both a progression tree and underlying narrative goal (although quite well "hidden"), the Creative mode is just that; a sandbox to do what you like, without limitation.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with a sandbox-mode, but it should not be part of a half-baked hybrid that changes the complexion of the game once you reach a certain level.  Astroneer has huge potential, but the devs. need to back away from diluting the "survival" side of the equation in an effort to accommodate the "open-world" side.  Both can exist, but not at the expense of eachother.

I suspect that the devs. are enamored with reaching into certain concepts (like "Trading") without fully understanding the "why" of certain decisions, and how they make sense in the broader gameplay paradigm.  Resource trading is a core feature of lots of RTS-like games since it supports the overarching narrative of building large armies to crush you opponents, but it simply doesn't work in the Astroneer context since there will never be the need to build substantially more than the fully-unlocked tech-tree allows (would you need ten separate rovers on any given planet?).  All trading enables is short-cutting exploration/gathering time, but that is basically the core concept of the game!

All-in-all, "Rules" exist to enforce a structure and create an experience that carries a narrative and overarching goal, even if specific goals (do you want large shuttles, or are small ones OK for your uses?) are up to the player to further define as they play.

 

Edited by AstroBubba
sp.

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1 hour ago, AstroBubba said:

Your comments reflect a tiny minority of the potential audience that wants a completely free-ranging experience with no "direction" or "goals" to be (or very loosely) defined. 

 

 

You don't know that at all. It is just an assumption that you are portraying as fact. If it is a fact, show me the numbers.

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On 23/01/2018 at 5:31 PM, The Touch of Grey Gamer said:

You don't know that at all. It is just an assumption that you are portraying as fact. If it is a fact, show me the numbers.

I also think this.

 

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On 1/23/2018 at 3:42 PM, AstroBubba said:

The assumption you are making is that a player intuitively recognizes those "choices" before it has diluted the gameplay too far.  In my experience that is a bad assumption, and will most likely lead to overall dissatisfaction with the game since they player does "everything" in the game in one place and essentially misses the core point of the game, which is to explore.

The assumption that I make is that Astroneer is not a game that you play only once, but multiple times. Your very first game introduces you to its mechanics, then you are able to choose your way of playing the game in subsequent sessions. That is not an unusual outset for a game, especially for non-linear ones.

On 1/23/2018 at 3:42 PM, AstroBubba said:

If presented with options that allow instant gratification and/or save time/effort, people will knowingly do things that are "bad" for them, even if they will probably regret it later.  That is unfortunately human nature. 

It's up to the devs. to understand this and make a game that makes it clear there are choices (paths) to take in the overall experience, and more importantly, do they have a vision of the overall experience they hope bring to the table.  My gut tells me the game is all about exploration, wonder and discovery, and the base-building is a tool to enable that, and are not the endgame in itself.

This, your reply to The Touch of Grey Gamer in this thread, and many of your other postings on this forum seem to indicate that you would prefer Astroneer to be a linear game with a clearly layed out path from its beginning to some "end game". Basically, you lament that Astroneer in its current state starts out in a linear fashion and later opens up into being a more or less open sandbox. Your idea of improving Astroneer appears to be keeping the linear part and narrowing down the subsequent open part by "balancing" and "focusing" the gameplay. In contrast, my idea of improving Astroneer is to keep the open parts, even adding to them, and trying to open up the currently linear parts by offering more options right from the start.

You seem to be concerned that players (not yourself, of course) are unable to escape the instinct to take the "easy route" by "abusing" the tools given to them by the game. Therefore, it should be the responsibilty of the developer to save those players from themselves by enforcing rules in the game, so that it is played "the way it is meant to be." I do not want to be "saved". I am glad that the game gives me options for how I want to play the game. I say, let the players themselves be creative with the game, e.g. by following self-imposed rules and trying to reach their own goals.

And it is totally possible to play a survival game in a sandbox game while all possible tools are still available. It is just a matter of restricting yourself to your own set of rules; a set of rules that the developers might never have thought of but makes the game incredibly fun for you. And I fail to see the basic difference between a decision to use only a limited set of game assets and a decision to change a switch from "creative mode" to "survival mode".

Please, do not call for restricting the game, but rather call for opening it up even more. Have faith in the ability of humans to self-control, and to overcome instant gratification instincts; let them be self-determined; that is, after all, what is called "civilization". :)

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Again to much opinion shoved at players as facts and typically by people who hardly play the game.... Astroneer is its own game.... I hate it when people compare it to Minecraft and any other number of games.  I also Hate it when people act like they know how to play the game by wanting everybody else to play their way.  If you have a problem with a specific technology in the game.... act like an adult and put limits on yourself.    I play with a number of other players like Onelastmidnight's YouTube Channel, who impose all kinds of rules for that particular event...... and we have a Blast.   Remove options and you limit who I/we play.

I don't understand the mindset of people thinking everything in a game has to be balanced to some ridiculous level, then want systems removed because it does not correspond to their VIEW of things.  I have over 1500 hours in this game and see that as a tribute to System Era stumbling on something really great.

 

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