Please consider to some balancing: Mining & Crane

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I have played Astroneer quite a bit for now and while it is great fun to play i noticed that there are several factors that make long term playing feel rather grindy and repetative. I could go the easy way and say it's just the lack of content to spend that much time on the game but i realized that there is actually enough stuff in the game already but it simply is balaced badly - as a consequence a lot of items become obsolete.


The crane: a great feature but ultimately makes no sense to ever build. it gives no advantage to drilling speed of hard rocks over the terrain tool - since it now has drill mods and can use a boost mod on top of that. it also has less range and is immobile while the player can change position easily with the terrain tool. given all the mods that the terrain tool can use and therefore how overpowered it has become difficult to bring the crane back to the game. i wished the devs would make a hard-mode where it's significantly nerfed just so a buffed crane (increased range, allow to use mods) would be the ultimate late game terraforming tool. however the crate would need one important new feature: it should additionally work like a vehicle cockpit so one can drill and drive at the same time. Another cool potential feature could be to give the crane a new attachment to use it as a manlift!

when Astroneer was released i was really happy when i realized they introduced different terrain resistances/hardness. but in reality i could research the drill mods relatively quickly and then this new mechanic became completely irrelevant - especially because by the time i had to dig through hard rocks i already was equipped for it. i have to admit for a non-creative playthrough i really dislike the drill mods for the terrain tool and i do not see much ways to fix it. Well, perhaps the least they could do is to massively increase their research costs, especially for the higher tiers. maybe even make the research entirely hidden at the start of the game and make it only researchable trough finding it in a EXO research aids in the right biomes. perhaps another fix could to add a drawback by making it to require some fuel to drill through hard rocks - considering its not even really drilling but remotely sucking up the terrain (i.e. one could argue it needs to be soften up the rocks with something first).

and there is also dynamite. it exists but has no reason to - from a gameplay perspective. for one, it cannot be used for mining (it just destroys resources) - and even if it didn't it would be again far inferior to the terrain tool. that's a pity because it would be fun if the game made it such that this would be the preferred way to mine some resources to add more variety to resource acquisition. Then however it would need to be made easier available as the resources required (sulfur) to craft explosives are too difficult to really bother.

Edited by Killtech

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We need a claw tool to pick up objects you cant normally pick up like large wrecks and that can place items in empty slots in your vehicle like placing research items in storage silos !

Driving while digging makes a lot of sense, we also need to be able to use the drill to add terrain and flatten the road like the ctrl and alt functions of the terrain tool so that we can remove bumps and build bridges without leaving the vehicle.

And maybe a T1 slot either on the drill or on the crane where we can add a worklight or possibly augments to help with the mining process could be cool. 

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hmm, indeed i imagine the crate + winch combo could be implemented to work pretty well together in towing these large wrecks. but it would have to come with some additional new gameplay though - a good reason to go through the trouble of dragging them around. sure, the very large shredder comes into mind which currently isn't able handle such stuff. but i feel there should be more in it then merely more scrap... like maybe some random drops could be generated during the breaking up of large wrecks e.g. rarer resource, packaged items or maybe variants of already existing items (but a little better in one regard then the regular craftable version)?

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