Fabrication Overhaul

Geocorp Jumper

Well-Known Member
May 24, 2016
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I asked in an open thread if I should post this idea. Response was low, but positive, so I am here posting my ideas for a fabrication overhaul. If implemented, even in part, the ideas I suggest could make fabrication a much more enticing, enjoyable, and profitable activity for players.

First, some new rules:
Certain blocks are significantly smaller than the resource chunks used to fabricate them, so one recipe’s worth of resources should produce multiples of these blocks.

Along with the repeat option, fabricators should have the option to enter a desired number of iterations of a recipe. A text box entry would allow players to enter their desired amount. Alternatively, checkbox multiples would also work (x2, x4 for wheels, x5 and x10 would be satisfactory options).

If a component factory or fabricator has accepted resources for a recipe, but fabrication is interrupted (either by canceling the recipe in the UI or detaching/de-anchoring the fabricator), the block should drop the resources. One way to accomplish this is by turning the input space on the blocks into a silo that stores the recipe’s required resources. Once all required resources are on the silo, the fabricator takes in the resources and completes fabrication.

GeoCorp should substitute its combat side missions with resource-related missions. Missions should include "Harvest X-many of this resource," "Refine X-many resource chunks," "Sell X-many basic/advanced/complex/exotic components," and more. GeoCorp missions, of all the corps' missions, should encourage the player to engage in harvesting and fabrication.

Other corporations should occasionally have side missions in which they request specific resources related to their character. For example, Hawkeye might ask you to sell them Z4 Explosives or Blast Caps.

When a block is destroyed, there should be a low chance that it drops at least one of the resources used to fabricate it. Raw resource chunks have the highest probability of dropping, and tier 4 components have the lowest probability of dropping, with refined resources and other components having a probability in between. Whatever the probability of these individual drops, there should be no more than a net 5% chance that anything drops. Blocks that are produced in multiples with a single recipe, however, will not drop any resources.

All Venture manufacturing blocks, with the exception of the autominer (assuming it will get one), should be mobile, or should have mobile variants.

If we want to have an autominer for every corporation, there won't be quite enough room for variety. For this reason, I suggest that resource veins have multiple levels. Deeper levels have more resources than previous levels. Autominers of certain corporations will be able to dig deeper than others, though this may often come at the expense of speed. Mining will always start at the lowest (shallowest) level, so no shortcuts. A Venture Autominer, then, could mine resources exceptionally fast, but digs up a miniscule amount of resource chunks. The GeoCorp Autominer would be able to dig the deepest. Mining levels can be numbered 1, 2, 3,..., 7, 8 (for each corporation) and the number of resources in that single level can be equal to some constant times the level. So if a vein were to hold 360 resources in all, this could be arranged as 10*level resource chunks in a given level.

New Data Tag: Connected
A manufacturing block counts as connected if and only if resource chunks can move from the block in question (namely its output) to its destination block (its input). For example, a silo that feeds directly to a fabricator’s input is connected to the fabricator. Connection is not symmetric; if a silo connects to a component factory’s output, but not to its input, the factory is connected to the silo, but the silo is not connected to the factory. Connection is transitive; if a silo is connected to a conveyor, and that conveyor is connected to a fabricator, then the silo is connected to the fabricator. Connection can be reflexive; if a component factory’s output connects to its input (i.e. by a conveyor loop) then the factory is connected to itself. Also, inputs are never considered connected to other inputs, and outputs are never considered connected to outputs.
 
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Geocorp Jumper

Well-Known Member
May 24, 2016
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Here's where the "Connected" status comes into play:

If a recipe requires a component of any tier, the fabricator should first “check” if any connected silo has said component. If a silo does have that component, the fabricator calls for it. If not, the fabricator calls the appropriate connected component factory to make the component, prioritizing the lowest tier components first. If a connected component factory has a higher tier dongle attached than the needed component, then the fabricator will attempt to call another connected factory, if there are any present. This can be accomplished by having the component factory "pass along" the called item to the next connected component factory.

If a component factory is asked to fabricate a component of tier 2 or higher, it first checks the silos for the component(s) needed to make the higher tier component. If the component(s) are found, the factory calls them and fabricates the high-tier component. If not, the factory calls the nearest connected component factory to fabricate the needed component(s), prioritizing the lowest tier component first. If the first component factory is attached to a conveyor loop, it considers itself as the farthest connected factory, and can call itself if it has the appropriate dongle attached.

If a component factory calls itself in the aforementioned manner, or is called a second time, it creates an internal queue for its called components. The factory priority is mentioned below. Thus a single component factory, with all dongles attached, is sufficient for fabricating any block.

Any connected block that receives multiple calls will satisfy the calls in a certain order: The highest tier recipe calling first, and the lowest tier resource called first. The order goes as follows:
The recipe making the call:
  1. Block
  2. T-4 component
  3. T-3 component
  4. T-2 component
  5. T-1 component
  6. Refined chunk
The resource called:
  1. Raw resource chunk
  2. Refined chunk
  3. T-1 component
  4. T-2 component
  5. T-3 component
  6. T-4 component

A fabricator or component factory may issue calls for all of their resources to the necessary connected blocks, but it will always start by calling the lowest tier resources first.

To reduce the burden of checking for present resources, active fabricators and component factories will check only after any of the following events:
  • Exactly one conveyor tick has passed since a connected receiver picked up a resource chunk or component.
  • A resource chunk or component is manually loaded into a connected silo or conveyor.
  • A connected refinery outputs a refined resource chunk or a connected component factory outputs a component.
Fabricators and component factories also make an initial, individual check when they queue a recipe.

Refineries will not accept nor refine any resource chunks except in the following situations:
  • A fabricator or component factory calls the refinery for a refined resource.
  • The refinery’s output is connected to a delivery cannon.
  • A raw resource chunk is manually loaded into the refinery’s input.
  • A receiver is directly connected to the refinery, with no alternative route to a silo.

New Alternator Functions:
If at least one of an alternator conveyor’s branches is occupied by a queued fabricator or component factory, the alternator will send called resources and components to the appropriate fabricator or factory’s branch, prioritizing its leftmost branch first. The alternator sends resources not called on a fabricator’s or factory’s queue down an unoccupied branch(es).

While an alternator conveyor holds a resource chunk or component, it will switch branches every conveyor tick, regardless of whether it successfully passed along the resource. This way, filters can be attached to an alternator to create a sorting machine. Called resources override this function, and will not pass until they can successfully pass to their needed branch.
 
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Geocorp Jumper

Well-Known Member
May 24, 2016
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425
New blocks:
Block Seller
- a corp-respective block specialized for selling fully fabricated blocks. Input is identical to a scrapper’s input. Feeds directly into its own built-in delivery cannon.
GeoCorp Scaffold Conveyor - a unique conveyor shaped like a box wire frame. Blocks move within the frame, allowing for very versatile 3-dimensional motion. A variation of the conveyor exists for attachment to manufacturing blocks. Connected conveyors flash blue in the direction of motion.
Hawkeye Armored Conveyor - a conveyor made to be tougher than other conveyors. Otherwise, it's not that special.
Better Future Light Bridge Conveyor - this conveyor variant is a 1*1*5 conveyor block, with a conveyor node at each end, which are connected by a light bridge. Resource chunks that are on one node can travel directly to the other node, effectively cutting down on the number of conveyor ticks you need to get from point A to point B.
Reticule Research Resource Warp Node - a conveyor variant that teleports resources to a linked node. Hold right click on your source node and drag to your destination node to link the two together. Can work on separate techs, within a limited range.
Raw Resource Crate - like resource blocks, these can store resources in a block for easier transport. However, this crate stores raw resources. Because raw resources cannot be compressed (as they wouldn’t be raw anymore) the Raw Resource Crate holds significantly fewer chunks of each resource than its refined counterpart.
Component Crate - same idea as raw resource crate, but for components. Also holds fewer units than resource blocks, for the same reason.

*Note: both the raw resource crate and the component crate have been mentioned in other threads. The component crate is not originally my idea, but I thought it would be good to list here as part of the overhaul.*

This is probably the biggest thing I have ever suggested in a single thread. This should, however, make harvesting and fabrication much more enjoyable and enticing to our players. Time to break away from the same old hunter-scavenger mentality and really, truly become Prospectors. Thanks for reading all of this; I hope to see at least some of it come to fruition.