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Chepelink

Shredder review

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The shredder mechanic/scrap is quite interesting in term of resource management. It allows the player to decide what resources they can get, making it quite a nice addition to the game. It also makes an alternative resource reward for exploration, a thing that I gladly welcome.  Well, at least in theory. The reality is that it is not quite right. There are some inherent problems with the mechanics.

Medium shredder: Kind of useless because it cannot shred much so there is nothing to say about it. It is better to spend a bit more research points and aluminium to get the Large one from the get go.

Large shredder:

  • Energy consumption: Extremely bad, particularly if placed on a rover to shred while exploring. The idea of getting the scrap to shred while exploring is very nice, but the problem is that it slows way too much the exploring part. Even if you just explore to get scrap it is quite slow, not only because of the shred speed, but also because the energy consumption is too high to bother to move while shredding. 
  • Shredding speedSlow. The shredding speed is a bit slow. This is also a problem when trying to explore and shred what you find in your way. It seems that it is better to just ignore the debris while exploring.
  • Lack of buffer: Seriously? Only one object at a time? If the shredding speed is not bad enough, the fact that there is no buffer to add more debris to shred at the same time make it even worse. Or let say in another way, if you add a buffer the shredding speed would be of less concern and the exploration speed would increase making it viable (if the energy consumption is lessened a notch or two). 
  • Rover are not equipped with a dump box: As far as I can tell, it is not possible to easily move the small debris around, you know, like a truck with a dump box. The lack of options to move the debris makes the collection of debris almost non-existent unless you put the shredder on a rover (and the energy consumption...). 
  • The amount of scrap is good enough: Even-though I don't particularly enjoy the lack of buffer and the absurd energy consumption of the shredder, I feel like the amount of scrap that you can obtain is good enough. It is not too much that make gathering resources useless, but is not too few that make it worthless. I would say it is a bit on the low side if you take into consideration the previous points, but if those are fixed the amount would be good enough or even better (though that may need a bit of a nerf, small nerf).
  • Not all debris are shred-able: And I don't mean making those big crashed space stations. I mean things like broken platforms. I hope that this get into the next patch.

Scraps:

The scrap as a trading currency is great. For most part I feel that is balanced, except for the higher tier materials (lithium, titanium). I think that these are a bit too expensive. Reducing to a 1 per 3 scraps may do the trick. Also, with the high energy consumption of the large shredder, lithium is more valuable more than ever (particularly on the rover).

Closing arguments.

The shredder idea is a great one in terms of enriching the game-play. It allows for diverse strategies mostly tied to exploring the planet. But the lack of a buffer and the energy consumption of the large shredder, or the lack of a dump box for the rovers, make exploration to slow down too much. It seems faster and more entertaining to just quickly explore the debris and hope to find rare materials like lithium. Also, not all debris are capable of being shred to scrap. If this are fixed I feel that the shredder might get better. 

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11 hours ago, Chepelink said:

Closing arguments.

The shredder idea is a great one in terms of enriching the game-play. It allows for diverse strategies mostly tied to exploring the planet. 

But how? How does it enrich gameplay? I've got nearly 700 hours played. I've played with both shredders. It did not enrich my gameplay one bit. How did it enrich yours? 

What diverse strategies? I'm not understanding how either shredder is tied to diverse strategies. 

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3 hours ago, The Touch of Grey Gamer said:

But how? How does it enrich gameplay? I've got nearly 700 hours played. I've played with both shredders. It did not enrich my gameplay one bit. How did it enrich yours? 

The question for you is "What are you looking for when you play Astroneer"? Not all players are going to find an update interesting or enriching. I'll give you a quick example: I don't care about decorations nor making a beautiful base. Thus, for me, decorations are not with my definition of enrich game play, but other players do like those things and find them enriching.

For me, it enriches game play because it gave me another reason to be exited by things in the world. Because even debris is now a form of treasure. It does not matter if I go spelunking or go exploring the surface, I'll find valuable things. Before, when I went to try to find big debris to get a bit of lithium for my first batteries it was a complete gamble. Now, I can go outside and find myself being happy even if I don't get lithium. And it is way more fun than a can full of dirt and a sample to duplicate it...

3 hours ago, The Touch of Grey Gamer said:

What diverse strategies?

I guess with your 700 hours of play you have explored every single corner of the game... including the trade platform. And within the trade platform you should have found the flexibility to adapt to any situation you are facing. Not enough lithium? Trade. Going all spelunking without going to the surface? Trade. Never going spelunking? Trade. Lazy to go and get basic resources? Trade. Are you in a new planet that does not have a particular resource? Trade. How is not that diverse strategies? And the list can go on.

Fair enough, it is the trade platform that has the flexibility, not the Shredders per-se. What the Shredder (scraps) does is not different what money did to barter. It ease trade. Opening the world to different approaches. If you cannot see how is that a viable option that opens different strategies, well, I cannot help you with that.

Now, if you've read my review you'd found that right now it is not efficient to do it, it is slow and consume too much energy and it does not have a buffer nor rovers with dump boxes to gather recycle materials. Right now is tedious to put it on a rover and go spelunking all the way down to the core gathering scraps mainly because it consume too much energy and, inside caves, there are not a lot of energy. That limits the approaches that can be done with it. But it can be solved by reducing the energy consumption and/or improving the energy management and gathering in caves (and even on the over-world).

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Posted (edited)

I agree that it "enriches" gameplay.  But personally, not alot.  I've also played for a long time though, since release.  So my opinion on what a brand new player would find enjoyable is moot.

All I can say is that it is a damn sight less than expected for a 9.0 patch.  The ability to turn random items into a quarter of a nugget of titanium.. utterly pointless.

I can get alot more mining it & in less time,  but it's at least something I can do if I wanted to.  It might have been more useful if you could front mount it on a large rover and drive it into the big wrecks & turn them into resources, even random ones.. this would have been better, than going the massive timesink route.  As it is, just isn't worth my time or effort using it.

Edited by Martin

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3 hours ago, Martin said:

All I can say is that it is a damn sight less than expected for a 9.0 patch.

Well, I don't know about that. I mean in the sense that we might have gotten more than just that, just nothing tangible. Furthermore, people have been asking for a way to recycle their unused stuff, and this is one way of doing it. Maybe is not what everybody wanted for a recycling machine, but it is something.

3 hours ago, Martin said:

I can get alot more mining it & in less time

Well, the idea is not to be a substitute of mining. It would be the same like saying "I can get a lot more from mining than from exploring crashed space debris". It is suppose to be an extra for exploration. A way to get materials after sightseeing the world. An alternative form of playing.

3 hours ago, Martin said:

As it is, just isn't worth my time or effort using it.

I kind of agree with this. It has potential but it is not at the point in which you want to use it.

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I used the medium shredder once to see what all the excitement was about. It probably will be relevant in future updates, but for right now: Meh. I think "enriches gameplay" is too strong a phrase to currently describe shredders, IMO. They're just OK at best. If you feel elated by collecting debris or just standing next to a shredder while it's doing its thing, then yes, you can say it enriches your gameplay. But right now, without further context to collecting scrap, it's nothing that a couple of trips to collect soil for my mineral extractor wouldn't accomplish in less than half the time.

I don't see scrap being only a tradeable resource. My guess is that in future updates we will need scrap to build bigger structures, like that landing pad...

Edited by vvhorus

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9 hours ago, vvhorus said:

I don't see scrap being only a tradeable resource. My guess is that in future updates we will need scrap to build bigger structures, like that landing pad...

So, are you saying I should start stockpiling scrap?

Probably no as I will have to start over anyway.

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13 hours ago, juz4kix said:

So, are you saying I should start stockpiling scrap?

Probably no as I will have to start over anyway.

Unfortunately, a new update will break old saves, so stockpiling scrap now would be pointless...

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Dunno, I start new games now and don't need to travel the half as far in early game to collect enough stuff to have way more metal than I'll ever need.

Shredders are useful for that. 🤔

And trade platforms are a lot cheaper to research now, so there's not much reason not to just trade scrap for whatever else I need.

 

End game and post game, a shredder is mostly just a complementary 'that other not-metal-ore smelter' device for maximum collection per space explored. It uses as much power as a smelter but for slightly less time, which also makes it marginally less electrically expensive to run for the amount of material it produces, making it incredibly ideal on a medium rover chain.

 

As a side note, it asks for 3A of power, and a rover can only provide 1A, so you'll need to have a least three generators, or three small batteries, or one medium battery, or six small wind or six small solar or...

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My review of the Shredder.

Loud. Kinda slow. Makes useful items out of random junk, but could have been more complex.

I think the Shredder should have its volume reduced and the grind time reduced as well.

There needs to be some way to transport Junk to the Shredder, rather than hauling the Shredder to the Junk. Offworld Garbageman 2 is the *other* game I play to pass the time. :P

I'd like it if Scrap could be Smelted into other resources, rather than just Traded away. Junk is made from the same stuff you're building with, right? Why can't we melt it down and get some percentage of resources, like a 2:1 ratio for a random processed metal like aluminum or copper? You could even get complex about it and make it so certain kinds of Junk produce certain types of Scrap that can be Smelted for certain resources at a certain ratio. Grind up a bunch of broken Tethers? Get compound. That kind of thing.

The various junk you can find needs to ALL be able to be Shredded. Those platforms you can find and move around need to either be able to be broken down and tossed in, or tossed in as is. Perhaps another machine could be added that breaks very large Junk down to Shreddable parts? Some sort of laser cutter machine, perhaps.

Overall it's an interesting addition and fairly fun to use. I made a shaped ground 'building' I called the Trunk Bunker, where I keep all my junk, and made a friend I play with laugh for a bit, so that was fun.

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