Feedback Required Alpha 9 EXPERIMENTAL - Logistics, Virtual Toolbar, Modular Containers

Discussion in 'Experimental Features Discussion' started by Hummel-o-War, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. Hummel-o-War

    Hummel-o-War Administrator
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    PREAMBLE

    First things first: this is not yet the FULL implementation of Volume, Weight and Logistics. Although we already added and updated weight and volume numbers for most of the items and blocks (except handheld and ammo, food and other small items) and a new Logistics GUI and gameplay, VOLUME as a limiting factor is still DEACTIVATED for several reasons.

    For the one part this relates to required, new GUI features that are not yet fully implemented, and for the other part this is a very profound change in the overall game system. Said that, please expect a few more rough edges than usual and also expect that the full implementation will take one or two major version updates, given how widespread the touchpoints with the rest of the gameare.

    On the pro side, this will give you time to adopt to the new way to handle things and allow us to collect more "live feedback" for improvements.

    ---
    NOTE: VolumeWeight is now default-on and available/activated in "_TestScenario" and "_TestBaseAttack"
    ---
    For those that WANT to test volume limits in other scenarios (given there are a few obstacles that cannot be solved with the current GUI, like placing a 2500l Large Constructor from the Portable Constructor)
    1. Go to ...\Empyrion - Galactic Survival\Content\Scenarios\Default Random
    2. open the gameoptions.yaml
    3. Set EnableVolumeWeight: False to True
    4. start a new default survival game

    Note: to use Volume/Weight in other scenarios, you need to go to the scenarios folder and change the gameoptions.yaml there as well!
    ---


    WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW for Alpha 9

    There are four terms that you should know about
    1. Logistics Menu (button: F4)
    2. Virtual Toolbar (button: T)
    3. Wireless Control Block (short handle "WiFi")
    4. Modular Containers

    The change you might need get accustomed to is, instead of carrying around any block or item in your backpack or placing it from there, you will want to and can rely on the new LOGISTIC feature, which not only allows you to circumvent volume and weight limitations, but also allows to use this for remote actions via Wifi and the Virtual Toolbar.

    See explanations below!
     
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    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
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  2. Hummel-o-War

    Hummel-o-War Administrator
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    1. LOGISTICS - GUI

    Logistic as a whole, not only means how items and blocks can be moved WITHOUT having to move them "through" your inventory, but also how inventories of constuction devices will work from now on.

    As soon as you are in reach of a Wifi or standing on your base or vessel*, you can access the new logistic menu with F4 - or by facing a container and clicking F

    This is how the GUI looks like

    20181203213313_1.jpg

    On BOTH SIDES you can select
    - a structure (even the same structure)
    - a container (cannot be the same if structure is the same)

    On the RIGHT side you can also select Fuel Tanks and O2 Tanks from an additional dropdown in order to fill them (fill-source needs to be selected to the LEFT side!)

    You can freely move around items from one side to the other (if you activated the limitation: given there is enough volume) by drag and drop, SHIFT-Click or with the buttons in the middle.

    Example: You can fill a tank of a vessel you are connected with (select vessel and tank on the RIGHT side) while standing on the base or in Wifi Range of another vessel, and moving fuel cells from any container (select source structure and container on the LEFT)

    If you want to lift and place blocks or devices that are too heavy for your player or have a volume that exceeds your inventory, you can use the CONNECT button in the middle. This will "connect" you to the base and allow you to use the Virtual Toolbar (see explanation further down below)

    Note: You cannot access a container someone else has currently open.

    *Same rules apply as for the Control Panel access: if you can use the P-button to access the Control Panel you can use F4 for the Logistic menu
     
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    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
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  3. Hummel-o-War

    Hummel-o-War Administrator
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    2. VIRTUAL TOOLBAR

    20181203213700_1.jpg

    As indicated, the integration of weight and volume limits will change how you handle blocks and items - especially the big ones: Large Constructor has 2500 L volume and your Inventory has 500 L storage capacity.

    2a. How to overcome that in order to be able to build?

    Change:
    - As soon as you are in physical touch with a structure (or in range of a WiFi), hit F4 and use the CONNECT button in the Logistic menu.
    - Now, you get a new toolbar, the VIRTUAL TOOLBAR, which is pulled to the foreground automatically. (Switch between manual und virtual toolbar with T)
    - Drag and drop large blocks to this virtual toolbar.

    >> This will "virtually" add the block or device to the toolbar and let you use it from there like you would from your manual toolbar, except volume and weight limits do not play a role there

    Handling notes
    - The items and blocks you put in the virtual toolbar will actually be removed from the connected container
    - When you close the Logistic Menu, another player can connect to the SAME structure/container combination and also drag blocks to his virtual toolbar.
    - While still only ONE player can actually open the container (have its GUI open) at any time, several players can always use these connections for cooperative build that way, as long as everyone has the Logistic Menu closed after having connected!
    - When you get out of range (walk away from the base), the virtual toolbar will get suspended and the items stored there, will "flow back" to the source container. You need to get back in range, manually reconnect to the container again and move the items to your toolbar once again (This setup is NOT stored and reconnected automatically!)
    - A WiFi block will extend the range you stay connected up to 100m.

    Technical note:
    The VIRTUAL TOOLBAR is not a workaround to circumvent volume and weight limits. It is PRIMARILY a toolbar to allow building without having run back and forth between containers due to the volume limits or be able to build at all and will stay in the future iterations, as most of the midgame blocks and devices are too heavy or volumious for you to carry around in your backpack!
     
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    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
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  4. Hummel-o-War

    Hummel-o-War Administrator
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    2b. WIFI - Remote mining, deconstructing, looting, transferring

    upload_2018-12-3_21-41-0.png


    The Logistic Menu and the Virtual Toolbar do not only allow to lift heavy or voluminous devices, but, in concjunction with WiFi, also allow for cooperative actions "in the field".

    How To:
    - Add a WIRELESS CONTROL block to the structure or vessel you want to be connected with while performing any action.
    - As long as you are connected, anything you pick up, mine or loot will go to the virtual toolbar / the connected container!
    - The same workflow can be used for transfering and unloading blocks that you cannot carry in your inventory between any vessel or base in reach! Just open F4 and use the dropdowns!

    Handling Notes:
    - The WIRELESS CONTROL block will EXTEND the range of the Logistic menu up to 100m.
    - Check the lower left icon row: when the WIFI symbol lights up, you are in range of a structure with a WiFi device
    - You can add more than ONE WiFi device per structure, but this will not increase the range.
    - A number next to the WiFi symbol indicates that there might be more than one structures available
    - You can only connect to ONE structure/container combo at the same time!
    - You do NOT have to have any weapon or drill or tool in the VIRTUAL TOOLBAR to move items over the WiFi connection. You simply need to be CONNECTED to a receiver structure!
    - When you get out of range, you need to get back, open F4 and reconnect manually (there is no automated reconnect at the moment)
    - The Portable Constructor has NO Wifi at the moment, so if you decide to test volume limits enabled, you currently will not be able to place a large constructor for your base (and other blocks/devices)

    Known issue:
    - When mining cooperatively it can happen in rare cases that, although you are connected via Wifi, items might drop to the ground. This can happen as the storage-method cannot move items in a container in the EXACT same second for several players. If the container is blocked in that very second, a picked up item might get dropped in front of you.
     
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  5. Hummel-o-War

    Hummel-o-War Administrator
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    3. New Constructors INPUT OUTPUT

    With the new way on how logistics will be handled, the availability of internal inventories of the construction machines has changed. When you set up one of these devices and open its GUI you will notice that the devices do not have an internal inventory anymore. Instead you can assign ANY container (except fuel tanks and o2 tanks) to the INPUT and OUTPUT fields.

    20181203214241_1.jpg

    3a: ASSIGN CONTAINER for INPUT/OUTPUT
    This affects: Large Constructor, Advanced Constructor, Furnace, Deconstructor, Food Processor

    Changes: You can use different containers for both - or the same.
    How to use: Click the dropdown and select a container.

    3b. Fill INPUT and empty OUTPUT
    Changes: you cannot directly grab produced items from the OUTPUT anymore and you cannot simply drop items into the INPUT. This now works with the new LOGISTIC Menu

    How to use:
    -Access the Logistic Menu by clicking on the little wheeled icon next to the assigned container.
    - The logistic view will open with the assigned container on the left. Drag and drop items from any source on the right to he input or move stuff from the output (if that container i selected).

    Note:
    - Filling the Container of a constructor does not require doing this from inside the constructor GUI. You can use the Logistic Menu, find the container you used for Input and/or Output and add or remove items and blocks at any time. You can even for example "mine" into this container while the constructor works on the ingots.
    - As long as you (or someone else) accesses an assigned container or adds something in the same second (e.g mining in ores), the construction process will be halted and resumed.
     
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  6. Hummel-o-War

    Hummel-o-War Administrator
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    4. MODULAR CONTAINERS

    To solve the ever-increasing demand of volume (when volume is activated as a limit), we added the new MODULAR CONTAINERS for all structures (BA, CV, SV and HV) for the initial A9 release (possibly also helpful for reworking your blueprints!)

    20181203013547_1.jpg

    Each Container consist of a
    - Container Control Unit (CC, max one per container)
    - Cargo Expansion Unit (CE)

    Howto:
    Place the CC and add CEs or place CEs and add a CC - this works either way round.

    You can of course assign the modular containers to any Constructors as well. The mechanic is the same as for standalone containers (you need to assign the CC, as the CE will not be visible in any GUI)

    Handling notes:
    - You cannot add 2 CCs to the same modular container
    - Destroying or removing the CC will eject all the items
    - Destroying or removing an individual CE will eject all the items of the affected CE
    - If you want to place 2 modular containers side by side you need to leave a gap of 1 block between both (eg. you cannot have 2 Modular containers "touch" each other)
    - The CEs have a range of available building shapes. Highlight the CE in your toolbar and hit RMB to open the shape menu
     
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  7. Hummel-o-War

    Hummel-o-War Administrator
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    -tba-
     
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  8. Hummel-o-War

    Hummel-o-War Administrator
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    -tba-
     
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  9. Trig

    Trig Captain

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    Very cool changes

    After experimenting with modular containers a bit the first major thing that jumped out at me is how the Harvest Box kind of makes them obsolete since it stores far more Volume in the same amount of space.
    Modular container: 125L volume each block (regardless of shape, and the controller also adds 125L volume)
    Harvest box: 8,000L Volume for a 2x1x1 space, or 4,000 per blockspace.
    Ammo Box(SV/HV): 1,000L for 1x1x1 space

    So you would need 64 blocks worth of Modular containers to hold the same Volume as a Harvest box, and as far as I can tell the Harvest box functions with the logistics system the same as the modular containers in that it can hold anything.

    Although, if the harvest boxes were brought inline with the modular containers storage volume (125L / blockspace) very compact miners would become obsolete, or only be able to mine a VERY limited time before unloading (13 crushed stone per block space of storage). A single Crushed stone is 9L volume for example, while Ores are about 18L each (some more and some less).

    I guess the easiest fix would be to limit harvest boxes to raw ores and crushed stone only, and not be allowed to serve as a constructor output.
     
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  10. D00mnoodle

    D00mnoodle Lieutenant

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    Or buff the modular cargo blocks. 125/block seems VERY little.
     
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  11. Nikola

    Nikola Ensign

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    I'm liking this approach to bypass the player's inventory limitation, but I have a question about the O2/Fuel containers. Are you happy the way they work now, do you (Devs) intend to use a secondary/alternative inventory system for these specific purposes? If yes, I believe the system could be expanded.

    I'm thinking primarily of creating a new "dedicated cargo" block group, a new block that would consist of the current O2/Fuel tanks, and add to this inventory system Water and Crushed Stone/Ore. The reasoning behind this is that raw materials is something that we all gather in large quantities and have store these same large quantities in cargo blocks. So in order to reduce the inventory grid clutter (with tons of 999 stacks of ore for example), and to provide an alternative, more efficient raw material storage, these new additions could be made.

    So for example, a "general use" cargo block would be used for short term and/or low quantity raw material, while the "dedicated cargo" one would be used for long term and/or mass storage. Of course, the main characteristics of these dedicated blocks would be that they can store a huge amount of raw materials when compared to the general cargo blocks, while occupying less physical space. The drawback, of course, is that they would accept only specific types of items.

    Regarding the rocks/ore cargo block, you would need add a trader-like UI list, in order to deal with the crushed stone and different types of ore. That way, you could easily deposit/withdraw the desired amount and types of rocks/ore.

    What do you guys think?
     
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  12. Zuleica

    Zuleica Rear Admiral

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    Problem with the food processor and the new linked storage.

    Products of the food processor often require both perishable and non-perishable mats. It doesn't make sense to put non-perishable mats in a fridge and have that be the source and you can't store perishable mats in a container for that to be the source.

    Since food processors can make both perishable and non perishable products the output is a problem; do perishable products go into a container and spoil or do non-perishable products go into a fridge and waste refrigerated space?

    Potential solution for the food processor: Provide two inputs and two outputs. One for perishable mats and products and one for non-perishable mats and products.

    As it stands right now I'm not sure how it could be used in a reasonable fashion.
     
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  13. Hummel-o-War

    Hummel-o-War Administrator
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    ...or have a food processor for each branch.

    Although this will not change the issue with having to place non-perishables into a fridge, but this was the case already in A8 (as the FP would cool the ingredients)

    I doubt we can add more than one input ( Maybe in the future with Automatization this can be improved further )
     
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  14. Myrmidon

    Myrmidon Captain

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    CC & CE hitpoints = 100
    Steel block S hitpoints =50

    Is this by design on purpose or accidental feature? Also no ability to use custom textures on CEs yet or is it a bug?

    Max volume capacity should be shown by selecting the CC on control panel, so the player can have a quick indication about which CC has the bigger and which has the lower. Also due to shapes and positioning with regular blocks some might be bigger than the eye can tell some not, i.e. those placed on walls etc. The wall might be hollow and accommodate CEs but the player can not see it.

    Cargo boxes reference in Control Panel should be updated according to CC and their capacity or the total vessel capacity.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
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  15. geostar1024

    geostar1024 Rear Admiral

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    Honestly, harvest boxes probably should be removed. There's never been a good reason to have a separate container for mining, and now there's even less of a reason. As for small miners having reduced capacity, well, yeah, that's kind of the point. If you want to do large-scale mining, either you accept multiple trips back to your base to drop things off or you bring a miner with more cargo space.

    It's also worth noting that the current volume values are way to high for most items, and inconsistencies in setting good volume values is one reason that volume restrictions are not active by default.

    125L is exactly the internal volume of a small block (0.5m on a side). So, it's just right.
     
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  16. Zuleica

    Zuleica Rear Admiral

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    The problem is that small CVs, for example, would need a bank of FPs. Fridges don't have the same storage space as the old FP did so ingredients would have to be duplicated and stored across fridges and containers. Either that or every time you wanted to make something you'd have to go find ingredients across multiple fridges and containers then drop them into a dedicated fridge for the FP, run one or two recipes then swap things around again. This is less convenient than the old FP.
     
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  17. Damion Rayne

    Damion Rayne Lieutenant

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    Okay, so, I don't normally give my input in these threads as most of the time I feel it's going to be flat out ignored anyway, but here goes...

    1. The whole logistics, wifi, et all system feels...a little confusing and off putting at first glance. I really didn't quite understand it when I first opened it up. However, the big question is if Automation is planned so that this logistics system makes even more gameplay sense in the future? Also, I should add, that this system is going to cause new people to bounce right off the game.

    2. I really do love the idea of adding weight and volume to things, I just have to wonder if it will affect the flight and handling dynamics of vehicles in the game? If I adf a 1000L of stuff in to an SV cargo container, with this turned on, will that actually be counted in the SV's stats and there for affect power and fuel use, handling, etc? I really feel it should. It poses new design challenges.

    3. The modular container system completely out-modes and obsoletes having different types of containers for different focuses. If I can build a modular cargo system in any of my bases and vehicles, than weapons should pull ammo from where ever I put it. Ore should just go in to the containers. There's really no reason to have an ammo box, and harvest box anymore.
     
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  18. paxxo1985

    paxxo1985 Lieutenant

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    FIRST:Honestly this was totally unnecessary.

    SECOND:The BASIC stuff need to be basic. How you suppose that a newbie learn to put input cargobox, output cargobox constructor. They will not produce a single block and make a steam refund.
    Now to produce something seems like setting up a circuit for sensor. Make it optional, like an advanced menu. NOT LIKE NOW.

    What we want: Give us a better netcode, new blocks, new weapons, new shields. Is this what people want not weight, constructor pro mode etc.
     
    #18
  19. D00mnoodle

    D00mnoodle Lieutenant

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    Actually alot of people wanted logistics. It adds more depth to the game, which it could allways use. The factions also give some more late game purpose and interesting discision making.

    So this update improves some of the areas that needed improving, however many more are still in need of improvement. Ofcourse eleon is a small team so this will take some time.

    I think they are heading the right way (as long as they don't limit the building features too much, like having to connect everything with actual pipes/conveyers, like in space engineers), honestly i can't wait to see what the future holds.
     
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  20. Germanicus

    Germanicus Rear Admiral

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    Just started a Survival Game, made a Shotgun and... some Ammo! The Shotgun weighs 2kg while a Stack of ammo... description says 1 kg..
    NewGame_01_2018-12-05_21-10-28.png

    THIRTY KILOGRAMS! REALLY???
    NewGame_01_2018-12-05_21-10-36.png
     
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