Fireforge

Power nuggets: gone but not forgotten

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I'm seeing a lot of comments in the Crafting Update feedback about how people are really feeling the loss of the power nuggets. I had some thoughts on that and figured I'd write it down.

Okay so power nuggets are gone, and the small generator + organic resource should now be the premier resource for early-game, easy-to-find power generation.

This seems fine on paper. As long as you have a small generator, an organic resource should just be a power nugget by another name, right? So why does everyone really feel like they miss power nuggets? If people really are missing them, that doesn't mean they should come back. Maybe the small generator + organic solution just needs some improvement to really replace it.

For me, I think the issue lies the in the mechanics. Small generators have to be turned on and off manually. Also, if the generator continues to run but nothing needs the power, it just wastes the resources. Those two facts mean you need to keep turning it on and off to be efficient. The constant on/off of the generator is a really tedious task to impose on the player. Power nuggets, in contrast, were really convenient! Power only got drained when something needed it, an efficiency that made them last longer. Also it all worked automatically! Put it in your backpack or rover, and you've got power, nothing else to it. [1]

So the question then becomes: how do you make small generator + organic feel as convenient as the power nuggets?

Why not make the small generator (and medium, for that matter) only consume their resource when something needs the power? This is something I've wondered since I first played the game. I hate feeling like I'm wasting resources I've worked hard to collect. And it's not an engaging activity, just annoying.

I haven't encountered a single situation where I appreciate the manual on/off of the generators. But if anyone can provide a reason why generators shouldn't only consume power when something actually draws on it, I'd be happy to hear it.

 

[1] As an aside, power nuggets were also convenient because they didn't require any crafting to use. But Astroneer is a crafting game, right!? Mechanics that don't engage with crafting aren't mechanics you want IMO.

Edited by Fireforge

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Because some people like the easily accessed power without the need of a generator.  Just plug n play batteries.

Some people like it easy, some like it hard.. some just play whatever the devs decide.  Others cheat and use mods.  Still others hack the game files.. because sometimes easymode is even too hard.

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It was a hold-over mechanic from early development when power resources were slim. However, an arbitrary resource named Power (along with Oxygen) make no sense given the direction the game is taking. They needed to be removed becasue it was jarring to the game's internal logic. 

However, the practical application is quite a loss in regards to the power density the nuggets provided. I wish we could construct Graphene, or Aerogel Supercapacitors in their stead.

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Something I'm missing is that you didn't mention power cells, the fact that they work exactly the same way that power nuggets worked, or how satisfied you are with their use. I can pop one on my rover and get kind of a lot of juice out of a single power cell - at least as much as an organic in a small generator. What's missing?

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10 minutes ago, Bihlbo said:

Something I'm missing is that you didn't mention power cells, the fact that they work exactly the same way that power nuggets worked, or how satisfied you are with their use. I can pop one on my rover and get kind of a lot of juice out of a single power cell - at least as much as an organic in a small generator. What's missing?

Power cells disintegrating is somewhat of an oddity... likely due to them being modeled after the power nuggets. However, unlike the meme magic nuggets, that supplied free power, players use power building power cells from collected resources. Free access to power supplies are gated (with the exception of the starting Habitat's thermoelectric generator) by the investment of power - spend money to make money, and spend power to get power.

Players have to make wind/solar generators, using power in the process, to generate additional amounts. Power nuggets blatantly flew in the face of this concept. Digging around in the dirt suddenly crapped out high powered energy, and given the direction of development, it broke the game's sense of progression.

Edited by Wedge

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Yeah, I don't disagree with that. I just thought maybe there's something I don't know about power cells that left them omitted from the initial post. I would have thought that, "But just use power cells," would be an adequate answer to "how people are really feeling the loss of the power nuggets."

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8 minutes ago, Bihlbo said:

Yeah, I don't disagree with that. I just thought maybe there's something I don't know about power cells that left them omitted from the initial post. I would have thought that, "But just use power cells," would be an adequate answer to "how people are really feeling the loss of the power nuggets."

As I outlined, besides Power Cells found among wreckage sites, players have to expend additional effort to make the cells. But in all honesty, they're meant as emergency power boosts, with batteries as mainstays in power storage and short-term output increases. Nuggets were less emergency power, and more plain override the system.

Edited by Wedge
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Just now, Bihlbo said:

It seems like you have a lot of good points for an argument no one else is having.

No, that wasn't intended as an argument. It's reasoning as to why just use power cells wasn't mentioned.

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I like the idea of having generators only activate when something needs power. I agree that on/off is tedious and not adding anything useful right now.

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9 hours ago, Bihlbo said:

Yeah, I don't disagree with that. I just thought maybe there's something I don't know about power cells that left them omitted from the initial post. I would have thought that, "But just use power cells," would be an adequate answer to "how people are really feeling the loss of the power nuggets."

Thanks for bringing up that power cells do kind of serve that purpose! I have in fact used power cells to extend the range of my rovers.

I didn't talk about them initially because I was sticking to talking about power generation mechanics right at the beginning of the game, comparing power nuggets with organic resources.

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15 hours ago, Bihlbo said:

Something I'm missing is that you didn't mention power cells, the fact that they work exactly the same way that power nuggets worked, or how satisfied you are with their use. I can pop one on my rover and get kind of a lot of juice out of a single power cell - at least as much as an organic in a small generator. What's missing?

That's an interesting point, you see all these posts from people who say they have like 2 big batteries, maybe 1-2 solars and 1-2 wind gens on their vehicles.

But all you really need is a small gen and just a couple of stacks of organic. Works as well for the medium or large truck.  Although not so much for running the large shredder which eats a chunk of power.

The main problem I have with using more than 2 trucks as well, is the lack of power in the train.  Even slight inclines can just stop the train from even moving.

Edited by Martin

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