Marck

Unify canisters and oxygen tanks

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Basic idea
Canisters come in two variations, light and strong, which both can hold soil, hydrazine, or oxygen, but have different capacities, and different research and crafting costs.

Description
This suggestion is based on the observation that canisters and oxygen tanks both are containers that can be refilled and depleted. While canisters already have multiple applications (soil and hydrazine), oxygen tanks have only one.

I suggest the use of canisters for all 3 use cases but with two kinds of canisters that can be used interchangeably:

  • a light canister which works like the current canister but which can also hold a smaller amount of oxygen than the current oxygen tank
  • a strong (or heavy) canister which works like the current oxygen tank but which can also hold a larger amount of soil or hydrazine than the current canister.

By default, the light canister behaves like the current canister, and the strong canister behaves like the current oxygen tank. You can switch between the two modes of operation (holding soil/hydrazine vs. oxygen) with the "use" verb, but only when the canister is empty. I imagine that it could be difficult to get rid of a canister's content in order to switch its mode of operation, especially with oxygen. Therefore, it might be useful to use the "examine" verb for emptying a canister by discarding its current content.

I believe that the described change could improve the versatility of canisters. You would be able to decide whether you use your canisters for storage or as an aid for exploration.

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I like the idea, but not sold on it because of immersion: "I'd like my air clean of smelly and dusty earth and purple, probably toxic, hydrazine's residual gas, thanks".

Do I like the idea of having multiple canisters of different sizes? Yes, please. I love progression based games. First, your small, resin based ,canister for your everyday needs, later a bit larger (albeit still small mechanically speaking) canister made of a strong alloy for more capacity.

Do I think it should hold oxygen? No, not at all. Maybe having a second tier of both sides would be great. 

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1 hour ago, Chepelink said:

Do I think it should hold oxygen? No, not at all.

Would you care to explain your reason why?

1 hour ago, Chepelink said:

I like the idea, but not sold on it because of immersion: "I'd like my air clean of smelly and dusty earth and purple, probably toxic, hydrazine's residual gas, thanks". 

Okay. So... maybe... instead of labeling the "examine" verb with just "empty", I suggest to label it with "empty, clean, detoxify, and sterilize". Would this change make the suggestion more acceptable for you?

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2 hours ago, Marck said:

Would you care to explain your reason why?

Okay. So... maybe... instead of labeling the "examine" verb with just "empty", I suggest to label it with "empty, clean, detoxify, and sterilize". Would this change make the suggestion more acceptable for you?

Technically speaking I don't mind because it is a game. And I've fought Dragons and Aliens in games, so talking about realism is a bit of a stretch. But if I were to make a "realistic" game, I would be careful with details like reusing possibly toxic containers or that held toxic materials as an oxygen tank. That last part I was saying as "immersion". And I feel that astroneer goes for a bit of realism. Just a bit.

In the end, different people immerse in the world differently. For example, you don't seem to mind the idea of a canister used as a fuel double as an oxygen tank. That wouldn't break your immersion in the game. On the other hand, I feel the immersion is a bit broken when you have unlimited oxygen from your rovers. I'd like to have a bit more realism as, let's say, as long as there is energy in the rover you can have oxygen (to fuel the oxygen cleaner machine). But, at the same time, I wonder why, if the rovers have unlimited oxygen, I cannot create an oxygen machine and bring it with me to attach tethers on it. <- That breaks a bit the immersion for me, logic inconsistencies. Nonetheless, I understand why they goes for this approach. I'm happy with it and I'm enjoining the game.

But, I like the game as it is and I'm more than happy to make a compromise so I can enjoy the game. Thus, if the developers decide to go with your idea, fine by me. 

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I actually don't like the idea of putting oxygen in canisters. Canisters/oxygen tanks are fine as is. I like the current differentiation. They already have separate crafting costs, so why bother merging them? Don't fix it if it isn't broken...

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Just saying i think it would be okay for the canister to function with O2 because the atmosphere is probably not as dense as ours and would suck all the chemicals out but i would prefer a difference between canisters and O2 tanks for atheistic purposes

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7 hours ago, vvhorus said:

They already have separate crafting costs, so why bother merging them? Don't fix it if it isn't broken...

The main advantage would be an improved versatility. You could use a canister either for mining, fueling your shuttles, or to extend your exploration radius without using tethers. Instead of two separate tools we could have just one multi-tool for several applications.

This could be especially useful when going to a new planet: take some spare hydrazine with you to fuel your shuttle for a return trip, then use the canisters as oxygen tanks for your first explorations near the landing site, and finally have them store soil when mining the deposits that you have found. You'd be able to do all this with the same set of canisters, saving valuable storage space and materials for crafting.

Finding a canister on a dead Astroneer would be much more rewarding.

New gameplay stories would become possible because you have more options for dealing with emergency situations: Imagine that you're out in the field to mine resources and accidentally lose your supply of oxygen, for example because your rover is blown away by a storm, your Astroneer or rover dropped down a canyon, or you're out of power without an immediate way to replenish it etc. Using your soil canisters as oxygen tanks might give you the extra chance that you need to survive the situation in addition to crafting filters or oxygen tanks (which require power in your backpack and the right material), gathering oxygen resources, and finding your way back to safety.

6 hours ago, Rebelord said:

[...] but i would prefer a difference between canisters and O2 tanks for atheistic purposes

Of course, it should be possible to recognize a canister's current mode of operation just by looking at it. Therefore, a visual differentiation is still needed.

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15 hours ago, Marck said:

The main advantage would be an improved versatility. You could use a canister either for mining, fueling your shuttles, or to extend your exploration radius without using tethers. Instead of two separate tools we could have just one multi-tool for several applications.

This could be especially useful when going to a new planet: take some spare hydrazine with you to fuel your shuttle for a return trip, then use the canisters as oxygen tanks for your first explorations near the landing site, and finally have them store soil when mining the deposits that you have found. You'd be able to do all this with the same set of canisters, saving valuable storage space and materials for crafting.

Finding a canister on a dead Astroneer would be much more rewarding.

New gameplay stories would become possible because you have more options for dealing with emergency situations: Imagine that you're out in the field to mine resources and accidentally lose your supply of oxygen, for example because your rover is blown away by a storm, your Astroneer or rover dropped down a canyon, or you're out of power without an immediate way to replenish it etc. Using your soil canisters as oxygen tanks might give you the extra chance that you need to survive the situation in addition to crafting filters or oxygen tanks (which require power in your backpack and the right material), gathering oxygen resources, and finding your way back to safety.

So basically, a simple all-inclusive canister that could be used for oxygen storage would cost 1 compound (or any common material) instead of 1 titanium? I think the rare material cost for an oxygen tank was put in place so we don't start building 10 oxygen tanks right out of the gate. Same with batteries. We would mine a crap load of common resources and build a gazillion small batteries.

I think the current system was designed for a reason. It's elegant in its simplicity. You want oxygen: you craft an oxygen tank; you want to gather soil: you build a canister; you want mobile power: you build a battery. Your idea, albeit good, would just complicate gameplay. In a critical situation, you press the wrong button or click somewhere you shouldn't and there goes your oxygen reserve or your soil. Plus, we don't know how much extra coding this idea would take to implement.

Canisters are pretty versatile as they are. If this gets implemented, well, I'll just have to get used to it, but let's not overcomplicate things...

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On 5/24/2018 at 3:56 PM, Marck said:

The main advantage would be an improved versatility. You could use a canister either for mining, fueling your shuttles, or to extend your exploration radius without using tethers. Instead of two separate tools we could have just one multi-tool for several applications

One question. How the game would identify the correct working method when it is on the astroneer? For example, what if you find an empty canister. You put it and, because you are near a tether, it start to fill with oxygen. But what if you wanted to gather dirt? 

The reason why it is also separated is because it is simple to tell the game: "this is an oxygen tank, so, when it is on the astroneer first empty the tank and later the main source. Also, when connected by tether fill with oxygen in reverse order". 

But with your idea, how are they going to tell the way you want it to behave the moment you pick it up? Of course, there are ways, but nothing as simple as what we have, even game wise. 

You can always switch operations like how you change the color in a beacon. And you can have a verb, as you call it, to clean it. Or you can have a especial module that you can print and add to the astroneer to distinguish the operation mode (like a base that when a canister is attached to it, it means that it is going to work as dirt gatherer) 

But no matter how you see it, it is never going to be as simple as it is now; attach and forget. 

 

Edited by Chepelink

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That's true, the extended flexibility comes with a more complicated use of canisters. Although you could simply use the light canister like the current canister and the strong canister like the current oxygen tank, completely ignoring the additional functionality.

This suggestion just applies an existing user interface mechanism to another item, in order to improve its versatility. The same mechanism is already being used to improve the versatility of the work light and the small generator, for example, which can be switched on and off with the "use" verb. This is also more complicated to use than simply switching it on and off depending on whether these items are attached to a socket or not, or by attaching an organic resource, as it used to be before. But in return, you get more flexibility in using these items.

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Yes, it is more complicated. I think may be even needlessly more complicated. I give you that a more flexible canister is a cool idea and I'd love to see it well implemented. But, it is complicated. What makes it particular complicated is that the oxygen tank would start to fill intermediately. So, there are some consideration to have. For example, does it need to clean before changing operation or changing operation would clean the canister? In the first case it would cause a lot of problems when near oxygen and in oxygen mode; you would need to clear the area to change modes. On the second case, the most intuitive if you ask me, you may empty by accident if you are not careful. I mean, Astroneer does not have a particularly good targeting system in place at the moment. There has been times when I wanted to open the menu from a printer but I instead miss target (and open) the research screen. Is not that frequent but happens.

I think that there should be a test for this to see if it is really useful or it is a nice gimmick but would be better to have them separated. 

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On 5/24/2018 at 6:28 AM, vvhorus said:

I actually don't like the idea of putting oxygen in canisters. Canisters/oxygen tanks are fine as is. I like the current differentiation. They already have separate crafting costs, so why bother merging them? Don't fix it if it isn't broken...

I agree with this for the most part. Canisters, I believe the devs have said, are intended for versatility, while tanks are oxygen-only. I think a medium canister could be a good idea though, to deposit dirt/hydrazine into for carrying. It would take up a 2-slot, and hold 8 small canisters, same as a medium storage filled with small canisters, but it'd be more cost-effective, and you could possibly pump it in with the terrain tool, like how interacting with the old power and oxygen nodes (that they took out from the game) worked, so it'd function more efficiently.

Edited by Pailzor
Fixed typo

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If i would have been able to do it myself, i would add some simple module (defined as equal to the tier of the canister itself) that cab clean the canister, and or kill you if you breath uncleaned oxygen or just not allow to use it for anything else instead until filtered.

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This is not really a good idea. O2 tanks should be separated from other materials. 1 resen is way too cheap to extend off teather time while titanium is too expensive for soil.

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I love the idea of adding more.... :) yea..

I am not on board with the mixing of oxygen I would breathe in the same canister I use to hold foreign soils with unknown contamination...

Lets do add more, but not dirty the O2

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On 5/25/2018 at 2:41 PM, vvhorus said:

So basically, a simple all-inclusive canister that could be used for oxygen storage would cost 1 compound (or any common material) instead of 1 titanium? I think the rare material cost for an oxygen tank was put in place so we don't start building 10 oxygen tanks right out of the gate.

 

20 hours ago, juz4kix said:

1 resen is way too cheap to extend off teather time while titanium is too expensive for soil.

The idea is that a light canister holds less oxygen than an oxygen tank (or a strong canister). This can be balanced.

And why do you think that going untethered with a limited amount of oxygen should be more "expensive" than maintaining a connection to an unlimited supply of oxygen?

 

17 hours ago, bigessess said:

I am not on board with the mixing of oxygen I would breathe in the same canister I use to hold foreign soils with unknown contamination...

I see. Are you also afraid of hydrazine fuel getting contaminated by soil, as this could potentially lead to a catastrophic failure of your shuttle's engine?


By the way, such contamination could be made a gameplay feature: A canister's content will be contaminated after changing the canister's mode of operation until you also treat that canister with a cleaning device. Contamination will reduce the effectiveness of a canister's content, i.e. you'd need more canisters of contaminated content to achieve the same result as with canisters of pure content. In other words, canisters of contaminated content will deplete faster than those with pure content. (Using contaminated oxygen might even cause small amounts of damage to your Astroneer.) Contamination should be easily recognizable, for example by having a different color shade than pure content.

On 6/9/2018 at 9:03 PM, yoavmal said:

If i would have been able to do it myself, i would add some simple module (defined as equal to the tier of the canister itself) that cab clean the canister, and or kill you if you breath uncleaned oxygen or just not allow to use it for anything else instead until filtered.

The cleaning device could be a dedicated platform module or an item/augment which could be used in the backpack. Personally, I'd prefer the backpack use because it adds even more options to the gameplay scenario that I described earlier in this thread.

This idea can be pushed even further by turning "contamination" into an advantage: Some kinds of content may increase their effectiveness by "enriching" them. For example, when supplying the Fuel Condenser or the Hydrazine Catalyser with oxygen-filled canisters instead of empty ones, then they could be filled with enriched hydrazine, which would last longer (i.e. depletes more slowly). Or, when providing the Mineral Extractor with canisters containing "contaminated"/"enriched" soil, then the extractor's soil container could fill up faster (because the oxygen or hydrazine in the soil supports the separation and extraction of the minerals, resulting in a more effective process).

And if "enriched" hydrazine gets some glitter effect and a faint glow, then it could also act as a moody light source. Lighting this with dynamite will make bigger holes, too...?

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11 hours ago, Marck said:

 

I see. Are you also afraid of hydrazine fuel getting contaminated by soil, as this could potentially lead to a catastrophic failure of your shuttle's engine?


By the way, such contamination could be made a gameplay feature: 

Yes.

If any changes are made, I hope it leads to such a feature (or other feature)

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On 6/11/2018 at 1:14 PM, Marck said:

I see. Are you also afraid of hydrazine fuel getting contaminated by soil, as this could potentially lead to a catastrophic failure of your shuttle's engine?

Yes, I was thinking this while reading: there is already "versatility" between soil and fuel, why not add oxygen to the choices?

I agree that the current canister would hold less than the current oxygen tank, based upon pressure considerations,  but would the fuel not be under pressure, as well?

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I think I would rather see the game add a larger variety to the already limited number of in game items, certainly not go the other way around and generalize some of the few we have into fewer

Split the cans up, individualize the research for each one, and stop leaving soil in my fuel cans

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