Live by the Suit, Die by the Suit: a simple damage mechanism for Astroneer

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so i was discussing the gas/acid in another forum, and before i knew it i was formulating a possible simple damage system for Astroneer. here's how it might look:

in Astroneer, the suit and it's environment is everything. it's what keeps your guy alive. so any damage system that might be workable should resolve not around damage to your guy, but to his suit.

initially, your guy (or Gal, let's not be Astrogenderist about this) would have a suit with three basic environment components: the helmet, the suit itself, and the oxygen tank. each of these items could be fatally damaged through physical impact or through exposure to dangerous materials.

so, let's say there are two kinds of damage, small and big. lets call these 1 and 2 damage. each time your guy gets hit, it's on one of these three major locations, and for 1 or 2 damage.

each part of the suit can take 2 little hits, or 1 big hit, before it is totally destroyed. if any of these suit parts is destroyed, you have a dead astroneer.

if, however, any of these suit parts takes a small hit, it is not destroyed yet, just damaged. helmet, suit and tank each would have a little blinking light on it to show that it was damaged.

damage to any part of the suit will compromise the environment. the main result of this is to increase the use of oxygen through 'leakage'. fine if you stay close to a tether, not great if you stray.

(alternatively, only hits to the oxygen tank increase oxygen consumption. hits to the suit may reduce movement speed, and hits to the helmet might temporarily knock out servo systems, making it impossible to deploy tethers or the deform tool.)

obviously any more hits on a damaged location will upgrade the damage to 'big' and kill the Astroneer. 1+1=2.

minor damage will need to be repaired. i recommend the replacement of 'air filters' with 'suit patches'. they are made from titanium, and can repair the damage done to these other systems. one titanium makes 3 patches. suit patches, once researched, can be made in the backpack, or a larger variant can be made in the base printer. this takes 2 titanium and gives 8 patches.

having patches in your pack means they will automatically deploy when your suit takes a small hit, with a minimum 1 second delay. any big hits will not trigger the patches, but will of course destroy the suit part and kill the Astroneer.

dependent on devs designing of the timings for damage from things such as the green gas puffer things, this might mean that having patches in your backpack would give you more response time for dealing with them, effectively providing some protection. if you are stupid enough to walk right up to them, of course, you will still get enough concentrated gas to be a big hit. that will kill you.

on the radiation planet, any astroneer out in the sun will be perpetually bombarded with heavy radiation and will take small hits on his suit at regular intervals. the radiation being even, it will alternate through all the locations on the suit before it starts doubling the hits and fatally compromising the suit.

oxygen tanks will now add damage locations to the suit. each tank can take a big hit before being destroyed, however because they are 'live' with the suit's support system such a hit will kill the Astroneer. but of course, more hit locations means more resistance, of a sort, to small damage.

ADDITIONAL RULE: other items within the backpack that have been crafted by the Astroneer are potential hit locations. they only have a damage resist of 1, therefore any small hit will destroy them, but this will not compromise the integrity of the suit and kill the Astroneer (unless it's an oxygen tank, they stay as before). items such as wind vanes, solar panels, lights, small power units, batteries, ranisters, mods etc can be destroyed and will need to be replaced. adding them to the pack effectively increases the number of hit locations you have for damage, so form a kind of armour, because they are 'non-essential' components, they can take a hit of 2 or more, be destroyed, and not compromise the integrity of the suit. resources such as minerals and organics are not hit locations. the backpack itself, the research catalogue, or the deform tool cannot be affected by damage, although items in the sockets of the tool may. suit patches cannot repair these items, as they are not part of the suit support system.

ADDITIONAL ADDITIONAL RULE: dynamite! dynamite is a 1 point small damage location that, if hit, will explode and kill your Astroneer. if you carry a lot of dynamite (and run into a storm) the chances of this happening are very high. can anyone say suicide bomber?

carrying patches around to help you survive now becomes pretty useful. given the relative scarcity of titanium i think that the balance is good, as having infinite suit patches can only be a problem.

this mechanism also means that you will have to replace stuff on your suit as it gets damaged. that seems fair.

so, what do you think? comments, suggestions? please feel free to totally trash my idea if you see a massive flaw i missed.

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so just reading this back to myself i already see one potential problem here. if you're on Irradiated and you have dynamite in your pack, it's gonna blow up once the hard stuff gets to it! youre basically a ticking time bomb out theer in the sun.

firstly, you have to get the frequency of radiation hits right. i would say about 2 or 3 every day cycle. that means a healthy Astroneer could take a whole day of working in the sun without dying, but he would need to fix his suit before he did another day. of course if you carry a couple of oxygen tanks that is going to extend that, and suit patches can maintain you suit for as long as they last. but any hit to dynamite could be pretty fatal.

i might suggest a fix to this could be to put dynamite at the end of any LUT for hits from radiation. this means every thing else on your suit gets a cycle of small hits before it does.


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and remember, exposure to the sun can be prevented by working at night, or underground, or standing in a shadow. i would expect an accumulative counter for the radiation would lead up to each small hit, but that this could 'cool off' if the Astroneer gets into shelter (including his capsule). by hopping in and out of the shade you might be able to work all day without getting a single damage hit.

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I like the idea, but it sounds a bit unforgiving to me.

All it needs is for the amount of damage that an item can take is upped to 2, whilst the suit's hits are upped to 3 or 4.

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