Developers please the drill

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Evolvei, Jul 30, 2020.

  1. Evolvei

    Evolvei Commander

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    Already used my 3 wanted

    One of the first things I was very impressed with when I started playing Empyrion was the paint and texture tools.

    I am asking you to improve the fill and flatten to be as impressive as the paint/texture/symbol tool.

    Add ground textures so builders that like to have a good landscape can do more and impress new and existing players with this too.
     
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  2. Ambaire

    Ambaire Captain

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    No Man's Sky has a fantastic terrain tool. The fill mode has a whole bunch of different rock textures, and the flatten mode can level a few hundred square meters in less than a minute. In addition, the dig mode has 3 sizes (small, person-sized, huge).
     
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  3. dichebach

    dichebach Captain

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    Perhaps I'm just being nostalgic . . . but my recollection is that the fill and flatten features functioned more effectively in past builds. The behavior of the drill (and related to that, how blocks can and cannot overlap terrain) have been tweaked quite a bit over the years. There was a point where one could literally build RIGHT UNDER a hostile base, and overlap one's own blocks directly into theirs. It allowed for some fairly gamey POI takeover tactics, and thankfully they have fixed it. However, as a consequence of this or other changes, there are a couple of states now which are less than fully satisfying:

    1. the detection for things like "solid ground under block" vs. "not solid enough" (resulting in a darker green block) vs. "obstructed by terrain/ cannot place block here" has become far more finicky. It seems the range of variation that comprises "just right," i.e., solid-ground under block, has been made more narrow where as both of the other states have been expanded. This makes tweaking the landscape to build for optimum structural integrity more tedious than it was in the past.

    2. The fill/flatten/drill rock and "fine drill" are all "badly tuned." Drill is "too much." Fine drill is "not enough," and moreover, remains somewhat unpredictable (one can point at a hump or projection blasting it with "fine drill" for 25 seconds seeing no response then BOOM, terrain deforms dramatically undoing the desired shape for which the user was striving. Flatten is same as fine drill: not enough and unpredictable. Fill functions reasonably well, but without constant short bursts and lots of moving to fire from different angles it will tend to leave gaps further back.

    One last thing:

    3. The lack of a "sloping" setting for the fill / flatten functionality on the drill is a real limitation.

    ADDIT and another thing that occurs to me which is related . . .

    Presumably, these developers are aware of how it is possible to . . . "circumvent" the structural integrity "rules" by building a "roof" that is partially embedded in terrain? This must be obvious to everyone, but what might NOT be obvious is: this is useful for building very tall structures, no simply ones at ground level or below.

    Build your floor on the ground.

    Build your walls, however high you want. Now use the "fill" tool to build at least a layer of "fill" that matches the plane of the roof. This is somewhat tedious but not terrible. Often, if you want a perfectly light green roof (in SI view mode) you will have to remove some blocks, fill them in a bit more underneath and then replace them, but one could effectively build a structure of enormous proportions with perfect structural integrity. Once all the walls roof and floors are built, drill out the rock fill. The game still retains a "network" of rock fill INSIDE the blocks so it still counts them as being "supported" by terrain.

    I've always assumed the developers were aware of this and it was intended, otherwise, it wouldn't be possible to build enormous buildings without lots of pillars . . .

    So with all that said, how about an additional function setting on the drill
    Plane Fill: functions like this
    1. Use flatten to define a plane.
    2. Set drill to "Plane Fill:" now the drill will only fill along that plane at either preset "depth" (3/4 of a large block would probably be good) or, if the devs wanted to go crazy two or three alternate depth settings: 1/2 block, 3/4 block, 1.5 block . . .
     
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    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
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  4. GoldDragon

    GoldDragon Captain

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    hmmm.... flatten not working? How so? Last night, I got about a 20-25 meter circle rather flat using it. in about 10 mionutes.
     
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  5. dichebach

    dichebach Captain

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    In my experience: it is slow and unpredictable. I suspect this is particularly compounded by having multiple entities adjacent to the flattening area. I often use it to try to flatten the "patio" of my base where I mount my economy bio-fuel processing plant (between 2 and 8 portable constructors), and these are generally immediately adjacent to (perhaps even on four sides) blocks that are part of the base and embedded into the ground surface.

    If you have never used the tool in those kinds of context, that might explain why it seems to function well?

    In this sort of context, the response of the terrain to be blasted with the flattening ray is often highly delayed, and unpredictable. My understanding from the past was that the app was supposed to look at the level (Z coordinate or whatever) at which the player avatar was located while they used the flattening tool and assign that as the level to create the flattened surface plane. In the past, I had found that the tool would accomplish this very quickly: Just stand still on a portion of the ground that was at the level you wanted your flat surface to exist, point and shoot: bam, reasonably large area flattened almost instantaneously. Strafe back and forth with the tool slowly: bing bang boom, MORE surface flattened very quickly (seconds). That was how I remember the tool working in distant past versions.

    Now--at least in the circumstance with complex setting I described above (I have not used it in open ground)--point and shoot and nothing happens for 5 to 30 seconds, then a portion of the terrain off to the side will actually flatten out , even though the small hump you are pointing at remains there . . . continue shooting the small hump, more seconds pass, eventually another peripheral area relative to the point at which you are shooting might flatten out, then suddenly in the area of the small hump, it turns into a small pyramidal depression!
     
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  6. SylenThunder

    SylenThunder Captain

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    Yes. the way the tool is now sucks balls. The way it used to be it worked pretty well. Making it work the way the tool in NMS works would be nice, but a bit more than Eleon is probably capable of doing. I would be happy if it just worked the way it used to.
     
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  7. xerxes86

    xerxes86 Commander

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    Yep, that's how I remember it also. It's crap now, it will leave spikes of terrain, or dips, it will not "level" it.
     
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  8. johnietoth1967

    johnietoth1967 Commander

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    I would even be happy if the level function (when aimed at a spot) would level everything in a say, 5 meter radius circle of that aimed location. Almost like how the paint tool on med range works while painting
     
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  9. byo13

    byo13 Captain

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    Could you please show us how? I had to relocate my base because I totally destroyed the ground.
    And every time I tried fixing it by filling/removing I made it all the worse.
    My old terrain looks like a nuclear test camp.
     
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  10. xerxes86

    xerxes86 Commander

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    Pretty much sums it up.
     
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  11. IndigoWyrd

    IndigoWyrd Rear Admiral

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    Flatten and Fill have been absolutely terrible for as long as I can remember. I've wasted countless hours trying to shore up a little bit of terrain, having "flatten" carve out canyons, despite standing very exactly centered on a patch of ground that this thing is supposed to flatten to, and even more hours filling and re-drilling away triangular peaks that pop up higher than the hole I was trying to fill.

    I get it - voxel-based terrain is a bit of a pain, and "undoing" deformations is a bit of a trick. NMS had to go though several versions before they really nailed their terrain tools, and built-in terrain painting is a huge plus. I'd welcome terrain painting here. We can do it from the console, so adapting that to a tool shouldn't be impossible.

    I mean, I like gravel as much as anyone, but I also like options.
     
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  12. Phantom 3

    Phantom 3 Lieutenant

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