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Trylobot

Recall Rocket

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Getting lost: it happens to everyone, and it's a pretty normal part of playing Astroneer. However, because of the way structures work currently, there is no recourse for the lost beyond further wandering. However, given the theme of the game, it seems likely that Astronauts would be furnished with emergency gear; for instance, if they lose line-of-sight to the home base in a sandstorm, or venture too far underground and get turned around.

That is why I propose: Recall Rocket.

It is a device one can build out in the untamed lands far from any support structures, using only ones resourcefulness and the materials available on site, and would allow intrepid Astronauts to return safely home in an emergency scenario.

  • Launchpad — cost: 1 resin; deploy on ground after sythesizing in suit
  • Recall Rocket — cost: 4 compound; build directly from launchpad (can only be built once; launchpad is destroyed after launch)
  • Launch Function — cost: 1 hydrazine; in order to launch, the rocket must be fueled, and then the function becomes available

If constructed with a clear view of the sky, the recall rocket can launch the user into orbit around the current planet only (no option for trans-orbital trajectories), and then land at any destination normally selectable on that planet; at this stage the pilot should be able to see any planetary beacon systems, allowing them to return home with little fuss. The rocket is expended in the process, and the launch pad is not re-usable.

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13 hours ago, Devious_Oatmeal said:

This would eliminate the whole idea of getting lost though.

Not if you had to research it first.

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If you fail to plan properly and get lost, then you will die on these hostile and forbidding worlds. That just seems like an integral part of the game to me.  

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13 hours ago, Trylobot said:

Not if you had to research it first.

It would still eliminate the idea of getting lost. This idea is a kind of 'Dues Ex Machina' towards the idea of getting lost. It's never good to counter something that is planned, in a game. Assuming that getting lost is something they want players to become.

And there are always exceptions, but with simple planning, this isn't something that a whole mechanic or machine should be added for.

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13 hours ago, WhosTog said:

If you fail to plan properly and get lost, then you will die on these hostile and forbidding worlds. That just seems like an integral part of the game to me.  

Astroneers are a 25th century intergalactic civilization. We came to Terran with the specific aim of exploring. You mean to tell me we didn't bring even the most basic navigation or survey equipment?

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1 hour ago, catsoup said:

Astroneers are a 25th century intergalactic civilization. We came to Terran with the specific aim of exploring. You mean to tell me we didn't bring even the most basic navigation or survey equipment?

A rocket that takes you to your base isn't a basic navigational or survey tool.

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8 hours ago, catsoup said:

Astroneers are a 25th century intergalactic civilization. We came to Terran with the specific aim of exploring. You mean to tell me we didn't bring even the most basic navigation or survey equipment?

No, because you were broke and saw this as your big opportunity to get rich. You signed up for a mission with this dubious company that gave you a suit, a backpack and a toothbrush before launching your ass onto this hostile planet. Oh and by the way, you owe them 50% of whatever profit you make. 

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5 minutes ago, WhosTog said:

No, because you were broke and saw this as your big opportunity to get rich. You signed up for a mission with this dubious company that gave you a suit, a backpack and a toothbrush before launching your ass onto this hostile planet. Oh and by the way, you owe them 50% of whatever profit you make. 

This sounds like the start of Pikmin...

 

On a serious note, I... like the idea, but I do think it's a bit game-breaking. I would be more okay with having a one-use device that amplifies all beacons, showing you every beacon on the planet, regardless of how far away it is. At the very least, that can orient you in the right direction. Show for like 5 or 10 seconds, use your compass to figure out which way you should go, and then head off. Doesn't immediately take you home, just helps you find your way again. In truth, anyone heading out on such an expedition would at least have some concept of coordinates of where their base is, and can use those coordinates to know if they need to go north, south, east, or west to get home.

Or, make the recall rocket have a homing device in it. You launch it into orbit (which it has a strong enough beacon for you to see from the ground), then it automatically homes in on your closest habitat before crashing, granting you one use. You are then free to follow it in that direction or even all the way home if you can keep up, but if it happens to move too far away, then you lose its beacon and end up lost again. Either way, nothing to instantly take you home, but something to at least point you home that you can use combined with your compass to know where you are.

 

I'd say using the compass in general should be your main go-to, but after traveling a good distance away, even something as simple as heading directly east could have thrown you off so much that you can't just go back by heading directly west. There are distractions, and the ground isn't perfectly suitable for driving in a straight line. You almost certainly will end up lost from time to time, but usually can manage to pay attention to your surroundings to at least have a sense of where you've been. If you're just desperately lost, I feel either of these would be a decent option to get you home in a way that doesn't break the spirit of the game.

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3 hours ago, WhosTog said:

No, because you were broke and saw this as your big opportunity to get rich. You signed up for a mission with this dubious company that gave you a suit, a backpack and a toothbrush before launching your ass onto this hostile planet. Oh and by the way, you owe them 50% of whatever profit you make. 

Wait... we get toothbrushes?!? Too bad we need to research dental floss...

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