Hydrocarbon crafting tree - rebalancing mid- and late-game crafting with !!science!!

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Posted (edited)

Hey folks,

This is my first post and my first time suggesting an idea on this forum! Happy to be here, and I'd love to hear you folks' feedback on what I have to say.

To get to the point: I've been thinking for a long time about a hydrocarbon-based crafting system that I've felt has been sorely needed. My proposal is intuitive, uses existing features currently implemented in the game, and the little it changes would be relatively easy to implement.

Hydrocarbons would exist either in the depths of planets in oil-saturated rock, or on the surface of some planets as tar sands. Calidor, for example, could hold tar pits dense in hydrocarbons, whereas Glacio would have them in patches deep underground.

They would also be craftable in the Chemistry Lab at the cost of a canister of Hydrogen and a block of Carbon, though the slow speed of generating artificial Hydrocarbons would make harvesting from deposits a more expedient process. Having them be craftable would also make them more accessible in the early game.

These Hydrocarbons could then be "cracked" in the Chemistry Lab with some other element as a catalyst to produce Plastic, Rubber, and other oil-based products, like fuels and lubricants. Hydrocarbons and their products could also be used to create artificial Methane, potentially fuel Tier 3 generators, and act as a late-game, high-efficiency rocket propellant.

I believe that the addition of Hydrocarbons in the manner I've suggested would increase impetus on exploration, as well as add new and realistic reasons to establish permanent footholds on other planets. I don't really know how to finish this, and it's 3 in the morning, so I hope you enjoyed reading.

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