Feedback Required EXP 1.8 - New Game Start: NINGUES (Snow Starter Moon)

Discussion in 'Experimental Features Discussion' started by Hummel-o-War, May 17, 2022.

  1. Hummel-o-War

    Hummel-o-War Administrator
    Staff Member Community Manager

    • Developer
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    Messages:
    7,874
    Likes Received:
    12,007
    First: Please read the introduction of the new game start here: https://empyriononline.com/threads/...kua-temperate-starter-moon.99831/#post-451541

    Second, the game start on THIS starter moon is NOT final. It is a work-in-progress, with things like POI, creatures, and resources still to be discussed and finalized.

    And that's where your feedback comes in!

    While we're working on refinements, we'd love to hear YOUR feedback on the CURRENT state of this starter moon AND your suggestions for improving it.

    Perhaps it is already working for you? If so or if not, let us know! :)

    preview.png
     
    #1
    boolybooly, Pach and Germanicus like this.
  2. boolybooly

    boolybooly Commander

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2015
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    93
    OK trying Ningues having tried the ice moon in the previous released version.

    First thing is its a nasty place to start, I am playing on hard food settings and dont have time to mess with Robinson etc. I think its likely that players trying this start will mostly be veterans. Which is why I dont want to be offered a video on how to use the emergency tool after I have dimissed the Robinson protocol by clicking "I am a veteran." etc

    What happens is the game does offer you advice on how to use the emergency tool after you said you were a veteran, which is obstructive and does not feel slick.

    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2810083027

    It then gives you a "helpful" pop up when you open your inventory desperately looking for equipment. Ditto map.

    https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2810083057

    If you say you are veteran then all the info panels should be switched off right there. Its a really tense part of the game and they just get in the way and ruin the flow of gameplay if you know the game already.

    Last but not least if you start on hard equipment with hard settings for temperature and radiation, the game kills the avatar in about one minute flat because there is no thermal stabiliser device included in the spilled equipment to pick up from the floor, which in the previous version there was and which is absolutely essential to survive in this environment.

    Because of the landing injury and the fact that cold inexplicably causes "BLOOD LOSS" which does not make any sense at all, the avatar dies in a few seconds and continues to do so after respawn because there is NO carbon substrate to be found on the entire planet, which I checked in godmode for two different seeds, both of which created a version of Ningues without any carbon, which is unlikely to be coincidence and means the seed template for Ningues is broken. This means there is no way to start the production chain let alone survive.

    There need to be carbon boulders within line of sight of the crash zone if this start is to be viable AND there needs to be a heater in the hard start equipment in Ningues, because the avatar will die in the time it takes to unlock and make a heater.

    In addition to ZERO carbon there is also very little copper. Plenty of iron and silicon, copper spawned as rarely as gold in the previous version and gold was nowhere to be seen either.

    Getting carbon as salvage from a POI is not practical because the cold kills the avatar in a couple of minutes after respawn at full health and most of the time the avatar has no stamina.

    Also not being able to steer the pod is unhelpful with this start as the altitude makes a big difference to ambient temperature, it would be much better if it could be steered towards a lowland landing site because in both spawns it plunked the avatar down in the mountains. So taking that ability to steer away is a step backwards in this context.
     
    #2
    Last edited: May 19, 2022
    Germanicus likes this.
  3. Pach

    Pach Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2017
    Messages:
    935
    Likes Received:
    1,096
    I do believe I saw in the notes somewhere, that a known issue is that if you decline the RP, you still get the popups, which is intentional for testing/debugging of the tutorial itself..?
     
    #3
    boolybooly and Germanicus like this.
  4. Hummel-o-War

    Hummel-o-War Administrator
    Staff Member Community Manager

    • Developer
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2015
    Messages:
    7,874
    Likes Received:
    12,007
    The popups when declining RP will be silenced in EXP2. For phase 1 they very neccessary as they provided a good amount of feedback on their content ;) Sry for bothering you with that - but you are of course right on that.

    On the Ningues start > this will also be reworked for EXP2 and iterated based on feedback until the public release. So I hope you will give it a few more tries with the next iterations so I can add in your feedback to the setup. :)
     
    #4
    Pach, Germanicus and boolybooly like this.
  5. boolybooly

    boolybooly Commander

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2015
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    93
    OK, understood np, I read the warnings and appreciate you want to get noob assistance right and you should as it is absolutely frustrating to try a game and have no clue what is going on.

    Also glad to know you want to get "vet" status and the Ningues start right too.

    Just thought I would start that process off with feedback on Ningues start since I played it before and know how tricky it is, also noone seemed to be testing it and I thought, why wait to next beta cycle to identify low hanging showstopper fruits like no carbon spawn and problem on hard settings creating certain death scenario, just thought I would get it out of the way this cycle so you can be a step ahead!

    Will be glad to come back next iteration and try again.

    On that score on hard temperature/radiation settings I would suggest finding carbon is not going to be enough to survive on Ningues because of the several minutes it takes to unlock the heater and make it in the suit.

    Maybe you do want a start where you have to be lucky to survive as that creates a challenge, even so I think the balance has to be finely judged and I am not sure it is right now.

    I would suggest looking at bud coffee effect for one as I dont think it is as effective as it should be nor lasts long enough when on hard temperature/radiation settings, as the player has no time to do anything but micro looking for buds and make coffee with them and currently that is a doomed struggle even in the day time in the lowlands as the avatar gets colder and colder and dies. In the real world a hot nourishing drink gives at least half an hour of heat, especially if you are in a space suit!

    If you dont have a heater at the start I think that is the only way to get through the first five mins without dying and respawning several times by abusing the tent to make buds respawn. Currently though in the couple of minutes it takes to find buds the avatar died twice already. Question is do you want it to be just survivable or do you want it so the avatar has to die a few times whatever you do. Personally I think just about survivable is the right experience.
     
    #5
    Last edited: May 20, 2022
    Pach and Germanicus like this.
  6. boolybooly

    boolybooly Commander

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2015
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    93
    I tested Ningues some more on normal settings and found it barely survivable if you can find a location with buds and food and use the tent a lot. Would suggest the start location needs buds even more than carbon on Ningues.

    IMHO the normal experience is just a little harder than I would regard as fun for hard settings (certainly compared to the blissful peace of the Akua start and hard is currently untenable on Ningues IMHO) but that is currently without carbon on the planet so no portable heater/cooler and no constructor so no base, which means this is a balance issue for the first 5-10 minutes of play of a Ningues start, once carbon has been added. I am just play testing the balance of that start.

    The question is what is worth doing to fix ice moon start balance and make it viable even at hard settings?

    IMHO the warming of bud coffee needs to be a degree more and it needs to have a secondary sustained effect for about a minute a bit like food saturation in minecraft, when temperature loss is reduced e.g. temporary 10°C boost to cold tolerance on a timer (in lore perhaps due to the vasodilating/metabolic boosting/antifreeze pharmacology of the buds, maybe increases food use to create body heat, in line with the laws of thermodynamics). That would give you time to get a few things done and alleviate the grindy micro to the point where it feels like you are responding to the environment using game elements but not being pressed into tedious restrictive repetition.

    I would comment with as much sensitivity as I can muster, that the bud flower model, beautiful though it is like a giant sedentary butterfly, is not in keeping with the Ningues environment as it has a more temperate/tropical look. This suggests Ningues really deserves a different model for bud resource and needs a second kind of bud plant for ice world playfields.

    I would also like to suggest improving the yield of bud coffee, probably by requiring one bud for one coffee, as this would increase the ease of procuring bud coffee just a little where you need it most and also making even a low frequency of available bud plants viable for the ice moon start.

    2c - hope it helps :)
     
    #6
    Last edited: May 21, 2022
    Hummel-o-War likes this.
  7. Pach

    Pach Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2017
    Messages:
    935
    Likes Received:
    1,096
    Could use the item menu to spawn yourself a portable heater/cooler to test with that as well, and/or change your config to give you one, to see what the difference is in playing...?
     
    #7
  8. thatpixguy

    thatpixguy Ensign

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2021
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    22
    EDIT: This is on default settings, by the way. I'm boring like that.

    Hi, I tried this planet for Experimental 1.8 part II. I wasn't aware of this thread though, so I didn't take screenshots.

    Also unaware of this thread, I decided to skip the Robinson Protocol initially. I actually found this thread after dying twice and then Googling "empyrion ningues carbon" ;)

    So, third time in, I'd gleaned from this thread that it was "all about the buds"... and the heater. I also decided to turn on the RP in case it said anything useful about getting carbon. Nope, it just assumes it will be plentiful. In fact, in the six steps of "getting started", it mentions using the Portable Constructor to make a weapon in step 3 before mentioning mining carbon in step 4. This just emphasises how you normally don't even have to think about getting carbon, you just stumble across it. When severely lacking in carbon, this little oversight is a slap in the face. "Check your carbon-privilege, Robinson!" ;) This comes up again later.

    From an earlier playthrough, I knew that the POI that IDA tells you about is a bit much to take on in a depleted state (trying to be coy here for spoilery reasons) but I did have a look at the damaged hoverbike. I thought this would be full of carbon composite blocks, but there was only one, and it dropped nothing. Do they normally drop substrate? I don't know because ~300 hours in this game and I've never needed to look for carbon before. Eventually, after I'd salvaged almost every other block, I spotted the core which dropped a few juicy nuggets of carbon (maybe 3?). I quickly crafted the heater and got my first taste of sustainable warmth.

    Knowing not to head any further into this POI, I turned toward a less threatening-feeling question-mark on my scanner. Thankfully the marker turned out to be a non-deadly Destroyed Shelter. It had some deco elements with glorious carbon. Shortly I got the "you can now craft the portable constructor" popup. Hurrah, "I'm saved!" I thought. But nope, it turns out it says this as soon as you have _collected_ 5 units of substrate, even if you had hastily used one of those units on frivolous luxuries like body heat. Exactly 5 units of carbon between the hoverbike and this POI... almost as if it was planned? *shakes fist at sky*

    I couldn't see any other POI's except for "you know what". I'd died there on previous run-throughs, but with no other options, I headed towards it.

    On the way, I severely overstocked on buds, so that heat was not going to be a problem going forward. Protein for bandages and food was a little tighter however.

    I managed to whittle my way through the POI NPC's and find the warmth of its enclosed structure. Plenty of loot, all completely useless without one more unit of carbon.

    Given my surplus of coffee, I even decided to try salvaging the placed heater to see if it gave up its precious carbon... No dice. Oops.

    Considering my options, I tried scanning again and found a new POI that had been out of range earlier. A Crashed Satellite. I salvaged the first terminal I saw, and as soon as my portable constructor was built, I held it aloft, screaming defiantly at the harsh Empyrion gods ;)
     
    #8
    Last edited: May 26, 2022
    Pach and boolybooly like this.
  9. thatpixguy

    thatpixguy Ensign

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2021
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    22
    As I continue to play in this save, it is a little incongruous that I am forever freezing my butt off, yet somehow my food spoils even faster than normal? On that note, is it a known bug/exploit that food left in the output slot of the survival constructor doesn't perish? It's very handy on this planet, except every now and then when I accidentally shift-LMB instead of shift-RMB and free my ridiculous cache of energy bars from their temporal anomaly into pedestrian 4-dimensional spacetime where they are free to spoil before I get even half way through them.

    While I'm asking questions that I should probably just Google, on the whole carbon thing, is there an explanation as to why you can't just turn plant fibres into carbon in the survival constructor? Although it would ruin the challenge of this planet, it would make my science brain happy.
     
    #9
    Pach and BushiNeko like this.
  10. BushiNeko

    BushiNeko Lieutenant

    Joined:
    May 20, 2022
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    28
    I will butt in with some old ( tho' only recently active in the experimental side ) reply for you.

    For the experimental, no. Asking is good all over. :) Older testors and long players and dev's all contribute and share and serve up opinions. Often changing things based on reporting or questions. So question here = good.
    Unless it's total wtf? :p ;) Just kidding of course.

    The survival constructor is intended to not be a wonderous resource machine. Your basically looking at an IKEA thing strapped to your back to churn out immediate needs. Which yes, it is silly how much it can do for what it is. But gameplay required some ability of it.
    Without making it really to easy. If our survival could turn things to resources so easily, why would we ' rush ' to get the ability to make any decent constructors ;)

    I never... lol.. in all my years noticed that the food doesn't perish in the crafting output.. LOL.

    Probably because I am usually in need of it for the NOW.

    I have not even tried the frozen waste start yet.. I am up in the desert for now.
     
    #10
    thatpixguy likes this.
  11. thatpixguy

    thatpixguy Ensign

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2021
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    22
    Hmm, are quest items for missions you haven't heard about supposed to appear like this? I was just mining some cobalt when I got a barrage of trumpet fanfare announcing QuestItemBrewingLichen. I'm not even sure which mission it is for. I haven't spoken with any NPCs in this playthrough.

    20220525224046_1.jpg

    Are image attachments supposed to work? I get a permissions error when I click that link. Anyhow, here it is on imgur: https://imgur.com/a/aOf9E2c
     
    #11
    Last edited: May 25, 2022
  12. BushiNeko

    BushiNeko Lieutenant

    Joined:
    May 20, 2022
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    28
    The quest system is still a little wonky with the setup for testing.
    Some items have appeared for me to. For example, I apparently finished the PEST CONTROL for Talon, while I was still on Akua and had no missions running at all from them :D

    Another thread the devs were asking for specific info on ' build a base ' portion.

    Attachments are not showing for members.. Which only started this weekend. I am not sure if it was devs set it to them seeing only.. or an error.
     
    #12
    thatpixguy likes this.
  13. Kundara

    Kundara Ensign

    Joined:
    May 25, 2022
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    13
    Hey there.

    Just been playing the Ningues start and have spent a couple of hours testing different game settings as well as the game start itself. My testing was done today under version 1.8 EXP II.

    For the record, I did not play with access to God mode, others have already done so. I wanted to find out what the playthough would be like, if it was even viable, using only that which you would have as you start a normal playthrough.

    Also, for the record, the Snow planets are my favourite and I regularly do starts or playthroughs on Snow worlds, so I've had a fair amount of experience with the Snow biomes and have a decent idea of what to expect. Also, I know some of the issues I'll mention have been highlighted as being incomplete or out of balance already - I am simply providing feedback on my experience.

    Planet Seed - 482224

    1st Test Game Settings : ( Settings relevant to test )
    • Start Equipment - Medium
    • Keep on Death - Toolbar Only
    • Player Progression - Fast
    • Amount of Ore per Deposit - Rich
    • Number of Deposits - Plenty
    • Check Mass / Volume - Off

    Issues others have mentioned that I also experienced :
    1. ZERO Carbon - I found no nodes or underground veins
    2. Almost non-existent carbon yield from salvage, usually getting nothing from items that require at least some carbon to craft by the player, but only 1 or 2 on those rare occasions I found some
    3. Food items go off way too fast for a place that your literally freezing to death inside a few minutes because of sub-zero temperatures.
    4. Not enough plant protein for making food - eggs and mushrooms are more available but they simply don't account for the difference in not having a decent supply of energy bars and starvation is still the end result

    Issues I haven't seen mentioned by others :
    1. ZERO Cobalt - Despite the start settings menu claiming it's on planet, I found no ore nodes or underground veins. It's possible I was just unlucky, or just hadn't explored enough, but I covered 20-25 % of the planet without a HV/SV or motorbike, which took 5 deaths from exposure to do without encountering any Cobalt
    2. Plants too inconsistent - having so many buds for coffee was good, it kept me alive that bit longer between deaths so I could explore further, but ultimately each time I died it was not from the cold directly but from starvation. Less bud plants and more protein plants (in some areas I found ZERO protein plants, while buds were everywhere) would bring more balance.
    3. Not enough Animals - I finally found 2 Arachnids in the Mineral Synth Lab which, given having to chug coffee mid fight to not die or get stunned by cold and I could only use my survival tool in defence mode, yielded not enough meat (1 meat each) for the amount of effort and resources expended. Given that I had no constructor to cook the meat, this was yet more resources that spoiled in my inventory, and was essentially a waste of the resources used to kill the Arachnids. Also of note, I found the Synth Lab after my 2nd death from starvation!
    4. No storyline NPCs - I don't know if that's supposed to be the case right now or not, Akua has NPCs although I've yet to make my way through them - I only mention it just incase it is a bug and the Snow moon is supposed to have them and they didn't spawn.

    Game Settings Issues :
    1. Ore Deposits - Harvested with Survival Tool (No Drills available at time as no NPC vendor or Constructor to build one)

      Whilst I had no issues with finding the ore nodes that were available (except Carbon & Cobalt) with the Plenty setting turned on, the actual yield from each node was less than expected. This is perhaps due to less reliance on nodes in the main game as I start my construction/trade cycle early with the Talon Settlement, the numbers still don't make much sense. Either way, I am left feeling that, as a general impression, the current main game gives better yield on both Normal and Rich settings than found on this test.

      On Rich setting, I always got 2 or 3 ore from each node. When I dialed it down to Normal, I got 1, 2 or 3 ore per node. Perhaps not having the Carbon to actually build a constructor impacted my feeling like the Rich setting wasn't worth the extra it claimed to be giving me, or just my not having a chance to get less, but I also think the numbers feel wrong as well.

      A Rich node should have the chance to give more ore than a Normal, period. Whilst it should have the chance to give the same amount of ore as a Normal node would, it should also have the chance of giving MORE ore than a Normal node would, or else what is the point in it claiming to be richer in potential resources. Given that both Normal and Rich nodes can give 2 or 3 ore, they both have the same upper level of potential resources. If it wasn't for the fact that you have the chance to, and regularly do get, only 1 ore from the node, there would be no point in changing this setting at all.

      As I had 'Deposits - Plenty' turned on, I always had enough nodes to mine not too far away. Generally speaking, however, even that would not have been enough to really get going in the start area had I not found 3 Ice Golems with the convoy, who nicely left me their collections of shiny rocks, and having explored enough to find 3 of the Alien Cargo Pods in the Mineral Synth Lab.


    2. Starter Items & Survival Bars - Easy, Medium, Hard

      The starter items and stat values are underwhelming and are not enough, as things stand, to allow for a viable start with the other issues taken into consideration.

      Easy - Starting HP 400, Starting Food 400
      Light Armour, Survival Tool, Survival Tent, Scanner, Light, bkiPDA, 3 Energy Bars, 3 Bandages

      Medium - Starting HP 250, Starting Food 250
      Light Armour, Survival Tool, Survival Tent, Scanner, Light, bkiPDA, 2 Energy Bars, 2 Bandages

      Easy - Starting HP 150, Starting Food 150
      Light Armour, Survival Tool, Survival Tent, Scanner, Light, bkiPDA, 1 Energy Bars, 1 Bandages

      Having less food and less bandages is a real kick in the sore spot when you start with even less Health and Food values than the previous difficulty setting. You have less resources but need them quicker yet exist on the same world with insufficient resources to keep you alive for day or two, depending on how lucky you get with protein plant spawns.

      In the current game, starting with at least a basic constructor and a heater still does not make for too easy of a start, as you need to know what your about and get moving to reach some kind of settlement, if your doing storyline, then the Talon settlement, where you can find food & resources. If you have starter Health packs & Meds you can sell them to the Talon for credits to buy food or ore.

      Also, if you're well prepared enough for emergencies that you have a Survival Tool, Survival Tent, Torch (not needed due to Light Armour lights), Light Armor and a Scanner, as well as a couple of energy bars and bandages, all ready to go in your escape pod, then it makes little sense that you haven't had the foresight to pack a portable constructor and a heating lamp into your survival pod as well. The UCH clearly do not lack in resources.
    Comments & Overall Conclusions

    As it stands, I don't believe the Snow planet is a viable start, even for playing around without the storyline, in its current form - this is no surprise as you've said yourselves that it's not ready and needs rebalancing.

    However, it may be viable with the simple inclusion of the NPCs for factions & trading without further tinkering.

    Yes, the lack of carbon & cobalt is a problem and yes, the lack of protein plants or animals for meat is also a problem, but it is a simple one to overcome by simply having the player be close enough to pick up signs of settlements with traders that can buy the raw resources available in the world from the player, allowing them to buy what they need to start the production cycle and get food and medications.

    Being able to buy some iron, copper and silicon ore so that the player can make something simple, like the Ore Scanner, so that they can sell it to the local vendor for the credits they need for other things.

    Having something similar to the Talon farms from Akua, where the player can freely harvest for themselves resources that can later be crafted into food or medicines would also offset the harshness of the initial start, allowing the player that much more time to find a way to survive on their own.

    With NPC traders & other faction vendors available again, it would then be up to the player to use what little initial survival supplies they have, or can find, as wisely as possible until they find their way, sooner than later preferably, to the comfort of an NPC, their trade and, possibly, a warm fire to sit beside.

    Giving the player a Portable Constructor, for all difficulty levels, would make the Snow planet instantly viable, even without any Carbon or Cobalt node or veins, as the player could just fall back on the standard (new recipe) for carbon substrate being 2 crushed stone.

    The choice would be which solution is easier to account for, as either way it makes little to no difference to the player and, despite how it may appear, makes little difference, save a couple of minutes of mining, to the flow of the game :
    1. Give the player a Portable Constructor : they don't have to harvest carbon, meaning you don't need to have carbon on planet - afterall, not every playfield has not have every resource anyway, can get crafting straight away and can make (or buy from vendors) the carbon substrate as they need it. Saves a few minutes of not needing to mine carbon specifically but otherwise will not change the flow of the game as crafting early is the name of the game.

    2. Fix the Carbon spawn so that the player can mine the carbon needed to make the portable constructor. This means the player needs to hit at least level 2 to unlock the blueprint, which would have happened fairly quickly anyway given the need to harvest carbon rocks and other ores & plants anyway. Again, the time spent mining specifically carbon may be slightly annoying when your trying not to freeze your valuables, but otherwise not an overall problem as this is what the game is about.

    Either way, the slight differences in the flow of the early game are small and you can expect the average player to reach similar levels of progression with only a slightly different experiences over the first 10 minutes of the game regardless of which option you would choose to fix this issue.

    Lastly, it really would make sense to have some kind of modifier to the spoil timer of perishables when the player is exposed to extreme cold or even extreme heat for other playfields or situations. Perhaps when ever the player receives the 'too warm' buff for being too close to a furnace for too long, or the 'too cold' for being out in the snow for too long, once the set point has been reached, spoiling either slows down, for too cold or speeds up, for too hot. This would further increase the value of buying/making more costly items such as canned meat or ration packs.

    Too cold, your food lasts longer - Too hot, and it spoils quicker. This is already a mechanic within the game, it's what the fridges do for keeping your food preserved for longer, so would only need an expansion of and updating to the code to account for a wider set of variables, but would make an interesting and more realistic addition to the general experience of the game.

    The temperature inside the Armour can't be considered, save for perhaps a small modifier in the spoiler calculation, simply because, when inside the armour, the player can still overheat and can still get frozen to death, so anything in your pockets, inside the armor or not, is still susceptible to whatever the environment the player is subjected to as exampled by the many cold related deaths around the player base.

    I don't play as often as I once did simply because, although I enjoy the game and what it offers, it has become somewhat stale playing the same story over again. This may not be a larger issue for some games, but I find, as enjoyable as the game itself is, the concept and the mechanics, I find the actual storyline to be not engaging enough for multiple playthroughs as frequently as I might like.

    Overall, I like the changes to the game, with the initial storyline in particular. Even if the story ends the same, which may be nice, as I've only ever done up to Chapter 9 before getting disinterested in it, the changes to the early storyline will make the initial experience a new one. Hopefully this will give the, for me, much needed change of experience so that I can finally finish the storyline.

    I still have to finish my start on Akua, since it does seem the more developed and I'm really looking forward to seeing what you've done with it, but I wanted to get some early impressions of the Snow planet. I want to be able to see the changes for what they are and as they are introduced so that I can compare it to what I've seen before.

    Whilst I'm looking forward to the final release of this branch, it's mostly so I can start again on a Snow planet as that is, without doubt, my favourite place to start.

    Thanks for the work so far and good luck in building the rest of the reworked game, hopefully you've found my comments interesting or even useful.​
     
    #13
    Last edited: May 25, 2022
  14. boolybooly

    boolybooly Commander

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2015
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    93
    Ningues has definitely become more playable in 1.8 II , at least in seed 212130 which drops the pod in a useful starter area in the lowlands and has nice low gravity of 0.51.

    Finding carbon has become an interesting (and achievable) salvage challenge on medium settings and this makes me feel that a no carbon start is a fun idea as a tricky start.

    That works OK on medium but not hard settings (= high impact thermal, fast food and oxygen + slow production) which are giving me RSI and I am not exaggerating as you have to collect so many buds to stay alive, hundreds and hundreds compared to a few tens of food. Which is why I feel the effect of the bud coffee is still too puny and not long lasting enough on hard settings. I feel bud requirement should be balanced about the same as food.

    e.g. *SPOILERS* I went up to the highlands to inspect the green tower with 24 coffee which took a long time to gather due to the rate it must be consumed while gathering. There I fought a golem by the convoy POI and had to come back down to the lowlands because the rate of cooling for the avatar was so high I was about to run out of coffee after killing one golem. In contrast 24 food bars would still last about an hour on fast food.

    e.g. It is not possible to gather more coffee than you use on hard without exhausting the now generous start area and surrounding lowlands of harvestable buds, so you have to use the tent to regenerate supplies and keep going and going and going to get enough to tackle one golem.

    e.g. one cold snap -40°C saw supplies of coffee dwindle from 40 to 20 despite the fact that I was gathering buds the whole time non stop and used the tent but the cold snap would not go away when sleeping which I have seen before and it looks like the weather timer ignores the tent which I feel is not fair. Costs a coffee just to look in the inventory, costs a coffee to eat a snack bar. No time to do anything but gather buds and drink coffee. Where does he put it all!

    Balance is off at hard settings. IMHO
     
    #14
    Last edited: May 25, 2022
    thatpixguy and BushiNeko like this.
  15. thatpixguy

    thatpixguy Ensign

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2021
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    22
    One limitation highlighted by this scenario is the inability to pilot the drone from a cockpit (or even an open-air seat). Here is my minimalist solution for climate-controlled drone mining :D

    https://imgur.com/1rjnxr8

    20220526155958_1.jpg
     
    #15
  16. thatpixguy

    thatpixguy Ensign

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2021
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    22
    After building an SV and scanning my seed I found several deposits of both. In fact, in one location, which scanned as a Carbon deposit, both were present:

    https://imgur.com/B3uIcr6

    20220526172901_1.jpg
     
    #16
  17. Kundara

    Kundara Ensign

    Joined:
    May 25, 2022
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    13
    Indeed, however on the seed I started with, my inability to even build a SV due to the lack of carbon to build a constructor in the first place, meant that I could not explore beyond a point.

    I could have explored more than I did, with many more corpses littering the planet, and I may have found carbon in doing so but doing so would have broken the point of the test, which was to see if you could find what you needed to survive within a reasonable distance of your starting area.

    As things stand, some seeds may be more viable than others.

    I started on another seed this afternoon and, based on what you said, when I found a Cobalt underground vein, I went straight for it hoping to find some carbon also, but it seems you have some considerable luck on your side.
     
    #17
    Last edited: May 26, 2022
  18. Kundara

    Kundara Ensign

    Joined:
    May 25, 2022
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    13
    Hey again folks.

    I've done some more testing on Ningues, using a different seed from the first test, and here are my comments & observations.

    Despite that, on this seed, I was able to salvage enough carbon to build a constructor, which would allow me to enter the next phase of the game, I shall not be doing so on this test seed as it would be disingenuous to do so.

    The number of deaths required to reach this point, whilst not as many as last time, is too many. The position on the planet of the base I ended up finding is not practicable, in the south wastelands far from any woodlands for fuel, plants for protein or even coffee buds.

    Continuing in this location would be an exercise in futility which would result, out of necessity, yet more pointless starvation deaths before any kind of progress could be made. Whilst there may be value in this at some point, for now, the point of my testing is assessing the viability of starting a new game on this playfield.

    I was, on this test, lucky enough to find and access the Font of Knowledge, opening up the potential to access resources from other playfields via the Obelisk. This would not be an early game strategy, at least not on this seed, as the distance between the Font and the Obelisk was too far to cover without multiple deaths, if you are relying on this access to achieve initial survivability.

    My next test, on a different seed from this and the previous one, shall be more extensive and will require as many deaths as needed to access the next phase of the game, build a base if possible and get ready for space.

    Planet Seed, 959595
    Test Branch : v1.8 EXP II
    Test Date : 26/05/22 (today)

    2nd Test Game Settings : ( Settings relevant to test )
    • Start Equipment - Medium
    • Keep on Death - Toolbar Only
    • Player Progression - Fast
    • Amount of Ore per Deposit - Rich
    • Number of Deposits - Plenty
    • Check Mass / Volume - Off
    Initial Survival

    Observed Issues
    1. Still problems with carbon - have yet to find a single carbon rock or underground vein
    2. Food spoilage is way too high, frequent and will kill you
    3. Survival Tents will kill you
    4. Salvage not returning enough carbon to make it a viable source of carbon as it stands
    5. Luck
    6. Additional Ores
    1. Carbon

    Yet another seed where I have yet to find any carbon ore anywhere. As I explore the rest of the planet I may find some but this does not offset the fact that I have found zero carbon anywhere on the 50% of the planet I have explored so far.

    2. Food spoilage

    With a limited supply of food, which seems to be dependent on player luck in first getting a decent seed then finding the plants on it, the speed at which it spoils is a significant problem for survival. By the time I had finally found somewhere that may support short term survival I was completely out of food, it having spoiled overnight as I slept.

    3. Survival Tents

    You can choose how you die - from the cold or from starvation. If you are unlucky enough that you have to use the survival tent to sleep through a cold night, eat all your energy bars and food before you sleep. By the time you wake up whatever perishable food you had has now spoiled. Unless your lucky enough to be in an area where you can gather more, your essentially now in dire straights and death is likely unless your luck changes.

    4. Salvage is Rare

    I was finally able to salvage enough carbon substrate to make a portable constructor, however this is not a good point. I got 2 carbon substrate from a damaged hoverbike and 4 from the beds in the Havoc Rescue Module I found in the south wastelands. Either on its own would not have been enough to craft the constructor and both together was not practicable. I had to endure 3 separate deaths to make it from where I found the damaged hoverbike to the where I found the Havoc Rescue Module, with no other salvage sources inbetween that resulted in the needed materials.

    5. Luck

    I was lucky that I went the direction that resulted in finding the damaged hoverbike, and lucky also that I was able to find the Havoc Rescue Module to get the last of the carbon substrate I needed to make a constructor. However, I was unlucky in that, by the time I had found the shelter, and because I had had no choice but to use the survival tent to sleep through the cold night prior to reaching the shelter, that I now have no food on which to survive and the Havoc Rescue Module is in the frozen wastelands on the planet and I have no viable sources of protein for making food anywhere nearby the location of the only viable base I have found on the planet thus far.

    Just for added measure, I'm probably going to die once more before I can explore the planet simply because I have no food, it spoiled, and I can't go outside and look for more until the deadly hailstorm passes. This has not been my day.

    6. Additional Ore
    On a previous seed I started this morning, one which I did not continue testing on as I had to go afk and died whilst doing so, thus ruining the test, I found a Neodymium ore rock, which was not expected although it was certainly welcome.

    On the current seed I have also found Magnesium, again not expected but very welcome.

    I don't know if this is supposed to be the case or not, so I'm noting it here just incase it is actually a bug concerning ore spawn that needs to be needs to be handled

    Conclusion

    Things have gone a little better on this test seed, sure, this is no way means that the seed is viable. I've had to accept as a matter of course that death is the only way to explore this planet on this seed up to now.

    There may indeed be an element of luck based on what is spawned based on the seed values but that should not be the sole determining factor in whether a playthrough is possible on any given seed,

    As it relates to survivability, I stand by what I have posted previously as my experience on this seed has not shown any reason to modify my assessment of the current game state.

    Whilst I could have stuck with the first test seed longer until I had salvaged enough carbon substrate to make a constructor I felt it was unreasonable to do so. I had already died a number of times due to starvation and would have had to do so an unknown number of times more before I found the salvage needed to begin the construction process. To do so would have violated the whole point of the test, which was to find out how survivable the game is for the average player when they start on the path towards doing the storyline.

    Whilst the game is supposed to be tough and survival is not supposed to be easy, it is supposed to be possible. A player may die for many reasons, even if they do everything right it should still be possible that they may die. The problem is that, as demonstrated by the seeds I have tested thus far, unless the player is very lucky, the only thing the player can't do is survive.

    I hadn't expected to have the issues with the survival tent I had and upon further reflection I realise that my use of the tent was also why I had such a high spoilage rate during my first test as well, it was simply not something I had considered at the time.

    The players survival bars do not degrade according to the amount of time spent in the tent. You could not stand around for 4-8 hours ingame in real time and only lose a fraction of your food bars, for example, they way you can when 'sleeping' for 4-8 hours in the tent. Despite this, the 4-8 hours you spend sleeping is almost always more than enough time, at least by the ingame clock, to spoil every perishable item you have in your inventory.

    This is not something I have ever really considered in depth, as in my SP or MP games I am usually buying ration packs fairly early on and have little need to care about my spoil timers. However, in this scenario, without ration packs or similarly robust items, it has been demonstrated just how delicate the balance is and disproportionate the impact can be of accelerating time (for any reason) by 'sleeping'.

    On that issue, and this is from my experience of playing Snow planets in the main game, the food spoilage issue appears to be greater than it is because of the lack of a vendor selling canned meat or ration packs, etc. The lack of food sources, such as plants or animals, on the Snow playfield is not a big problem as it always seemed the intent that your supplies were only supposed to last just long enough for you to make it to the Talon and their traders. From that point on you can choose how you survive, either through gathering sparse resources or via trading for your food.

    Recommendations

    As with my previous feedback, I am certain that, in general, the current state of Ningues is not viable as a starting location without the storyline and faction NPC's there to fill in the resources gap.

    In addition to my suggestions regarding access to portable constructors or increasing the carbon ore spawn, another solution may be to increase the number or random low level wrecks with salvageable items that are likely to drop carbon substrate.

    For all the issues that appear to be potentially game breaking at the moment, I still think that, by and large, most of these issues can be handled when the NPC's for the starter quests and factions are introduced to the playfield, without too much tinkering elsewhere.

    Another thing which may help bring some balance, thus allowing for more options regarding exploration and survivability, would be to have basic parts and fuel in a box within POI's that have damaged hoverbikes or small vessels, as the UCH Wreck in the main game storyline has on the starter playfield, so that players can actually use those vehicles for their intended purpose.

    That said, should the issues with access to carbon/portable constructors be resolved, then the player can just make the parts to repair and fuel said vehicles on their own.

    Enjoy the day and I'll see you all in the next post.
     
    #18
    Hummel-o-War and Pach like this.
  19. thatpixguy

    thatpixguy Ensign

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2021
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    22
    Definitely, I'm pretty sure it was an anomaly. Even the fact I was able to make a craft and scan the planet is the result of considerable survivor bias as it was perhaps my 6th restart when I got to that point.

    Did you know that the seldom used pause/break key will actually pause the game in singleplayer mode? Unlike the ESC-key menu which does not. It's particularly useful in these high-stakes survival environments.
     
    #19
    Kundara and Pach like this.
  20. Kundara

    Kundara Ensign

    Joined:
    May 25, 2022
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    13
    Was not aware of that and much appreciated for the very useful info, will certainly save some grief in the future.
     
    #20
    BushiNeko likes this.

Share This Page