Marck

Solar System Challenge

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I made up a set of rules that you might want to use in order to challenge yourself in Astroneer. They were designed with the current limitations and bugs of the game in mind.

The challenge is to visit all six celestial bodies (for simplicity, I will call them just planets) in the game in any order while restricting yourself to the following rules:

  • Base building
    • You cannot build a Trading Platform or a Fuel Condenser.
    • Each platform you build, regardless of it having a module or not (i.e. built with 2 or 1 Resin, respectively) counts as a base point.
  • Space travel
    • You can only use a Shuttle but not a Spaceship.
    • In order to go to a new planet, you must build and use a new Shuttle.
    • Any existing Shuttle can be used to go back to an already visited planet, but you get a penalty point for each planet that you go back on your travel route. (Going forward on your already explored route has no penalty.) Example: You already visited Terran, Barren, Arid, in that order; going back from Arid to Barren or from Barren to Terran costs 1 penalty point each, going from Arid to Terran costs 2 penalty points.
    • Any existing Shuttle can be used to go to another landing site on the same planet without any penalty.
  • Exploration
    • At any given time, in the whole solar system, there can be maximally only two chains of tether lines: one linked to a base, and one linked to a land vehicle (Rover or Truck, Shuttles count as bases).
    • Chains of tether lines have no limit on length but can only have one end, i.e. they are not allowed to branch.
  • Goal
    • The goal is to get a research container from the last planet with the final (sixth) shuttle back to the start of the journey, the Terran planet. This last step does not count as backtracking and has no penalty, even if you use one or more other planets as an intermediate stop on your way home.
    • Try to complete the challenge with as few base points and penalty points as possible.

This challenge is designed to make you explore the whole solar system while being sparse with game resources, especially base size and tether networks. (However, I get the impression that handling of terrain deformation data becomes the most demanding factor the longer you play, but that can't be helped because it is essential for exploration and mining resources.) It might also be a good idea to restrict oneself to no more than 2 land vehicles per planet, or to count each such vehicle as a base point. The tether rules force you to remove existing tether lines before exploring other directions. It still allows using them for illumination and orientation in caves and exploration via vehicles. It is not as harsh a restriction as using no tethers at all, which I have seen some players trying. The challenge should have replay value, because experienced explorers can experiment with different orders for visiting the planets to find an optimal route. I would expect that it is possible to complete the challenge with zero penalty points, that is without going back to get missing resources.

For multiplayer, the rules need some adjustments. Only a Spaceship can transport more than one person plus payload. Either allow multiple trips back and forth with no penalty to transport only people (that is without additional payload) or restrict the allowed payload of a Spaceship to that of a single-player Shuttle. Also, an additional chain of tethers could be allowed for each additional player.

I haven't tried this myself yet. With my low end hardware my survival focus is currently on preventing my Astroneer and equipment from vanishing into the terrain. ;) I was inspired to think of such a challenge by YouTuber ApoNono who asked for one. Here it is. :)

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Marck,

Thanks for the mention in your original post :)

This is great and was just the sort of feedback I was hoping to get. 

I am going to start recording this journey after work tonight.

Thought on Base Points: What are your thoughts on creating a pool of points available to build base platforms?  (1 resin or 2 resin) costs 1 base point.  This would add another layer of challenge by players being limited in the overall count of base structures they can have.  

I will map out my plan today and will get things rolling on the Marck's Solar Expedition tonight. 

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10 minutes ago, ApoNono said:

Marck's Solar Expedition tonight. 

Marck's Solar System Challenge*

 

Fixed :)

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3 minutes ago, ApoNono said:

What are your thoughts on creating a pool of points available to build base platforms?  (1 resin or 2 resin) costs 1 base point.  This would add another layer of challenge by players being limited in the overall count of base structures they can have.

Without having any experience with actually doing this challenge, I have no idea on what amount of base points would be sufficient. Maybe do not put such a possibly severe additional restriction on you. You might find yourself quickly at a point where you can't advance anymore. My suggestion is to just take account of the base points used, for the sake of making you consider whether you really need that platform that you are about to build. I'd say the restrictions are already severe enough. ;)

Looking forward to watching you attempting this challenge.

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I wish I could visit all 6 planets, but the FPS comes to a crawl when hopping between planets.

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9 minutes ago, ent|ty said:

I wish I could visit all 6 planets, but the FPS comes to a crawl when hopping between planets.

Sorry to hear that. Have you tried to limit the amount you build on terran before attempting a trip to any of the other planets?

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I always thought it would be fun to try collecting every artifact without ever building a research station. This would be similar to yours since you'd never get a chance to research the condenser, trade platform, and spaceship. The truck would also be unobtainable.

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7 minutes ago, ApoNono said:

Sorry to hear that. Have you tried to limit the amount you build on terran before attempting a trip to any of the other planets?

Yes, on some playthroughs I've tried to see how fast I leave the planet. Though I haven't confirmed and recorded it as such yet, I suspect it is a memory leak issue, as the RAM usage of Astroneer seems to skyrocket an hour or so after play, but more so triggered by repeated rocket trips, even if it's just between the moon and Terran.

I'm hoping that Astroneer will include an entire solar system, including asteroid belt as part of the 1.0 release, so this goal will already be organic.

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Well, if it is really a memory leak, then there is an easy work-around for it: Just play in shorter sessions. Save, quit and reload the game after half an hour or when you see the memory consumption gets excessive.

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8 hours ago, Marck said:

Well, if it is really a memory leak, then there is an easy work-around for it: Just play in shorter sessions. Save, quit and reload the game after half an hour or when you see the memory consumption gets excessive.

Is the FPS issue related to how many tethers we placed?

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8 hours ago, MilkyWay said:

Is the FPS issue related to how many tethers we placed?

Not any more, at least for those running the latest patch that was released on the 29th.

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21 hours ago, Marck said:

I made up a set of rules that you might want to use in order to challenge yourself in Astroneer. They were designed with the current limitations and bugs of the game in mind.

The challenge is to visit all six celestial bodies (for simplicity, I will call them just planets) in the game in any order while restricting yourself to the following rules:

  • Base building
    • You cannot build a Trading Platform or a Fuel Condenser.
    • Each platform you build, regardless of it having a module or not (i.e. built with 2 or 1 Resin, respectively) counts as a base point.
  • Space travel
    • You can only use a Shuttle but not a Spaceship.
    • In order to go to a new planet, you must build and use a new Shuttle.
    • Any existing Shuttle can be used to go back to an already visited planet, but you get a penalty point for each planet that you go back on your travel route. (Going forward on your already explored route has no penalty.) Example: You already visited Terran, Barren, Arid, in that order; going back from Arid to Barren or from Barren to Terran costs 1 penalty point each, going from Arid to Terran costs 2 penalty points.
    • Any existing Shuttle can be used to go to another landing site on the same planet without any penalty.
  • Exploration
    • At any given time, in the whole solar system, there can be maximally only two chains of tether lines: one linked to a base, and one linked to a land vehicle (Rover or Truck, Shuttles count as bases).
    • Chains of tether lines have no limit on length but can only have one end, i.e. they are not allowed to branch.
  • Goal
    • The goal is to get a research container from the last planet with the final (sixth) shuttle back to the start of the journey, the Terran planet. This last step does not count as backtracking and has no penalty, even if you use one or more other planets as an intermediate stop on your way home.
    • Try to complete the challenge with as few base points and penalty points as possible.

This challenge is designed to make you explore the whole solar system while being sparse with game resources, especially base size and tether networks. (However, I get the impression that handling of terrain deformation data becomes the most demanding factor the longer you play, but that can't be helped because it is essential for exploration and mining resources.) It might also be a good idea to restrict oneself to no more than 2 land vehicles per planet, or to count each such vehicle as a base point. The tether rules force you to remove existing tether lines before exploring other directions. It still allows using them for illumination and orientation in caves and exploration via vehicles. It is not as harsh a restriction as using no tethers at all, which I have seen some players trying. The challenge should have replay value, because experienced explorers can experiment with different orders for visiting the planets to find an optimal route. I would expect that it is possible to complete the challenge with zero penalty points, that is without going back to get missing resources.

For multiplayer, the rules need some adjustments. Only a Spaceship can transport more than one person plus payload. Either allow multiple trips back and forth with no penalty to transport only people (that is without additional payload) or restrict the allowed payload of a Spaceship to that of a single-player Shuttle. Also, an additional chain of tethers could be allowed for each additional player.

I haven't tried this myself yet. With my low end hardware my survival focus is currently on preventing my Astroneer and equipment from vanishing into the terrain. ;) I was inspired to think of such a challenge by YouTuber ApoNono who asked for one. Here it is. :)

Without Dying.

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31 minutes ago, Martin said:

Without Dying.

Arid will be the tough one to not die on with the spikes balls of death flying around.

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19 hours ago, Marck said:

Well, if it is really a memory leak, then there is an easy work-around for it: Just play in shorter sessions. Save, quit and reload the game after half an hour or when you see the memory consumption gets excessive.

I'll work on capturing what happens next game session. I'll run timelapse capture of memory usage and do extreme things in game like multiple planet travels and loads and tethers and see what happens. Work arounds are fine, but trying to reproduce the problem is better so that it can be fixed.

Saving the game and exiting was already tried, this doesn't change a thing, as it seems to be connected to amount of playtime, and whether or not one is traveling between multiple planets, at which time it starts to fall apart quickly. You'd think if the game was hitting 3.2GB and climbing that it would go back down to a lower level with a new planet that has nothing on it yet, I'm only musing at this point if the last planet is even being 'ignored' at that point and all its tethers, loose uncollected resources, plant carcasses, etc are still being loaded into memory.

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1 hour ago, ApoNono said:

Arid will be the tough one to not die on with the spikes balls of death flying around.

Need 2 of them to hit you, not that big a deal, boxes kill you outright.

Only died once in last 15 hours of gameplay myself, not paying attention a blew myself up hehe.

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Memorable quote from that episode:

Quote

They're ******* me off. But I like 'em.

Caves on Barren: Some true PvE. :D


Current status of the challenge after that episode: Established a new base on the moon (Barren), 7 base points, 0 penalty points.

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32 minutes ago, Marck said:

Current status of the challenge after that episode: Established a new base on the moon (Barren), 7 base points, 0 penalty points.

Sadly I built poorly on Terran so I get to carry that extra base point with me throughout the rest of the challenge :(

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ApoNono's attempt on the challenge has already lead to some amazing adventures. Currently he's deep down into a cave on Arid, with just a rover, a generator, some organics as fuel, without tethers because he's got no compound left, looking for much needed resources, while not knowing if he ever will find the way back to his base.

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30 minutes ago, Marck said:

ApoNono's attempt on the challenge has already lead to some amazing adventures. Currently he's deep down into a cave on Arid, with just a rover, a generator, some organics as fuel, without tethers because he's got no compound left, looking for much needed resources, while not knowing if he ever will find the way back to his base.

Man, you make me want to watch the episodes! This challenge has really created a scenario that is a blast to play in this game.  Your comments on the video has opened my eyes to rethink how / why I use somethings.

I need to be more MacGyver and less Apo :)

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