CptSpaceToaster

Please consider speedruns when removing bugs and exploits

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But first, come context:
1. I'm a software developer, and totally understand that bugs and exploits are problematic, and often need to be fixed.
2. I'm the current world record holder for the Solo Any% category coming in at 3hr 08m and one half of the duo holding Coop Any% at 2hr 14m

With the latest patch, the devs unintentionally stomped over the Coop Any% route. What looked like a sub 2 hour run optimally will now likely bloat to 2hr 30m or so.  While a number of changes were made, the largest was the removal of Magic School Bus. Magic School Bus was such a time save as it allowed player 2 to clip to the core without having to mine, while also saving a significant portion of time when landing on a new planet, as player 2 would use the increased horizontal movement speed to reach the gateway at breakneck speeds, drop off a platform, and go pick up player one. I can't complain a whole lot, as the glitch is rather game breaking, however I'm not certain the devs currently consider the current speedrun techniques when targeting certain bug fixes.

Removing bugs and exploits such as Magic School Bus, or Fast Mining potentially leave more room in the designed Astroneer experience for all players to set an accomplishable goal, and for players to be rewarded for their effort with new research/technology/game features. But that comes at the cost of the few speedrunners you have abandoning the game for something more stable/worth practicing.

Presumably, Magic School Bus was removed to one: stop the game from being broken and two: leave in room for an item or game feature to allow for similar "free flying movement" such as a jetpack.

1. Jetpacks seem like a wonderful addition for the experience of someone playing more casually.
2. Assuming Jetpacks are moderately "expensive", they probably have no place in a 2 hour co-op any% speedrun (or 3 hour solo any%), as the resources required to craft them would take longer to route in, than the time that gets saved using them. And removing Magic School Bus to favor of jetpacks simply just forces the speedrunner(s) to either be slower, or reroute completely.

This also ignores that the second player was also carrying an extra platform. while riding in the rocket. (I think that was removed, but we haven't checked honestly)

The devs seem to be trading a more polished and designed experience for the relaxed/casual player for the exposure from the few of us who enjoy speedrunning it. If the policy is always "see bug/fix bug" without that tradeoff being calculated, I'm less excited to continue trying to route speedruns for this game, which in turn, lowers some minimal amount of exposure. I understand I don't speak with much clout here, but it seems like something that wouldn't be too difficult to take into consideration to make sure the devs don't outright kill speedrunning because they don't realize what we're relying on.

In the case of Magic School Bus, I understand... that was fairly game breaking, and probably better for the game as a whole to have removed instead of being left in. But my concern is how that calculation will continue to play out in the future. I.E. Fast Mining, future restrictions on hard planets, etc. My suggestion would be to allow for some open discussion, or perhaps leave certain bugs and exploits that aren't harming players, knowing that removing them might hurt the potential exposure and speedrunning community for this game. Alternatively, perhaps the devs could expose previous versions of the game in the steam launcher that allow runners to select the version that contains the exploits suitable for running the game.

I'll try to remember to check back here for replies. Otherwise, I'm always available on discord:
CptSpaceToaster#9082
Astroneer Speedrunning: https://discord.gg/sAymR96

TL;DR: Bug fixes are awesome. Bugfixes that fix things that were not harming the planned design of the game come with the risk of discouraging speedrunners from running your game.

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