Fixing the game's replayability.

Sapioit

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Nov 1, 2019
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I'll keep it short. These are my ideas to vastly improve the game's replayability, and reduce unnecessary frustrations.

1. Corps unlocking should be tied to reaching the previously-unlocked corps' grade 1 (from the default grade 0 upon unlocking). This way, you won't deal with grade 1 Venture only after reaching grade 3 GSO, and won't deal with Better Future only after reaching grade 5 with GSO. Reticule Research should be the exception from this rule, requiring grade 3 GSO (so we can get dynamos and the like, but have the other RR quests unlocked by grade 5 GSO.

2. Fabricators should check upon loading at maximum-render-distance whether or not they have all the components needed to manufacture something, to fix the problem if getting stuck.

3. Change the rotation keys. Have one key be for checking every possible placement position of a face, first checking every position facing one orientation, then going to the next orientation and so on. The other key should change the face with which the block you're trying to place will be connected to the blocks you're trying to place. If the block won't fit in a certain position, it can be either skipped or show as unplaceable, possibly have a setting for that.

4. Components factories should have a queing option, so we can use a single components factory to create a block without looping. It would still only output one component, but it will queue and craft all the components needed for those components as well. It doesn't have to be shown to the player outside of a new tab of the menu.

5. Add a new functional block which lets us see how many raw resources a block needs (or add that information in a tooltip while hovering over an item in the fabricator), and to show us how many of each resource we have (or add that to the fabricator, in a new tab).

6. Use the weekly/monthly build challenges to completely rebuild the vehicles the enemies can spawn in, or at least let the users have those blueprint files in a folder, so they can modify (add, remove, replace) them as they needed, or so people can mod new vehicles to replace the old ones.

7. Change the respawn menu to have 5 pre-built vehicles to choose from, aside from the last vehicle used. GSO, GeoCorp, Venture, Hawkeye, Better Future. Not having Reticule Research, Space Junkers, Legion, and Aesthetics would be a good idea, because those are meant to be a different kind of corps. Those should also be chosen using only grade 1 or up to grade 2 blocks, and fit in a certain price range. A a geo-corp drill with a 2x2 for picking up resources, a small airplane with 2 smallest propellers and needing the weakest booster to take off and increase in speed and elevation (as opposed to slowly descending and/or slowing down), a tiny cannon with 2 front wheels and the tail dragging behind, and a small hovercraft, those would be good options without being overpowered. GSO could also get an upgrade, using less blocks in general, and getting some ground clearance.

8. Unlock trailer wheels and GeoCorp pipes before access to the inventory, so we can drag along the things we pick up in a trailer, instead of slapping them onto our tech, increasing it's size unnecessarily.

9. Increase the distance from the ground at which we can anchor without a Sky Anchor, or at least let it ignore the wheels and hovers while checking if it's at the right height.

10. MagLock trailer hitches (Magnetic Locking). Able to detach when in build mode and attach to the closest maglock hitch within it's range, to prevent phase-through. Different corps could have different ranges and strengths. For example, Venture could have high strength low distance, GSO low strength low distance, GeoCorp low strength high distance, Hawkeye and Better Future high strength high distance, and RR could have multiple variants.

11. Next Crash system. You need to max all the corps, and have a quests spawn, then use in your tech the blocks you spawn with if you start a game with the newly-working skip-the-intro option, then reach a height of something like 5000 blocks. which triggers a new world where you crash land with the tutorial skipped, and lose your inventory and corporations, but the enemies spawn faster. And you can use the Next Crash as many times as you want, each new time making enemies spawn faster than the last time.
 
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Sapioit

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I actually built a few examples of possible respawn vehicles. Note that I made them very unique to encourage creativity. Each of the vehicles has it's own quirks, and limited usage. I also used DLC themes, to show people the benefits of using them.

For example, the GSO vehicle is much smaller and much better at offroad (having wheels in the middle). Geocorp is focused mainly on mining and resource harvesting. Venture is a flyer difficult to control while on land. Hawkeye moves slower and on skids, but has a lot more weapons. Better Future semi-hovers using a gyroscope, and steers with an adjustment thruster (though I guess I could have used an all-axis gyroscope instead, and added a weapon).

I do think it would be interesting if the enemies also had random themes for their blocks (either a random theme per faction, or a random theme per block), to tease at the DLC content, and tigive the players who do not have DLCs some reskinned things, to show them how cool they look, and so they can use the skins if they don't send the blocks to the inventory, don't try to load a creation with a DLC theme without having that theme, and if they don't reskin the blocks.

RespawnGSO.pngRespawnGEO.pngRespawnVEN.pngRespawnHKE.pngRespawnBFT.png
To see the bigger images, click the button below, and then the button for each corporation:
RespawnGSO.png
RespawnGEO.png
RespawnVEN.png
RespawnHKE.png
RespawnBFT.png
 
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Sapioit

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The same techs, but with the default corps' skins:

RespawnGSOdefault.pngRespawnGEOdefault.pngRespawnVENdefault.pngRespawnHKEdefault.pngRespawnBFTdefault.png

To see the bigger images, click the button below, and then the button for each corporation:
RespawnGSOdefault.png
RespawnGEOdefault.png
RespawnVENdefault.png
RespawnHKEdefault.png
RespawnBFTdefault.png
 

Sapioit

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Oh, and please give the users some trailer wheels and GSO pipes before access to the inventory, so we can drag along the things we pick up, instead of slapping them onto our tech, increasing it's size unnecessarily.

And maybe also increase the distance from which we can anchor, or at least let it ignore the wheels and hovers while checking if it's at the right height.
 
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Sapioit

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MagLock trailer hitches (Magnetic Locking) should be introduced. As long as they are able to detach when in build mode and attach to the closest maglock hitch within it's range, it will be welcomed. Different corps could have different ranges and strengths. For example, Venture could have high strength low distance, GSO low strength low distance, GeoCorp low strength high distance, Hawkeye and Better Future high strength high distance, and RR could have multiple variants.
 

HeX

TerraTech Modder Manager
Jul 4, 2018
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MagLock trailer hitches (Magnetic Locking) should be introduced. As long as they are able to detach when in build mode and attach to the closest maglock hitch within it's range, it will be welcomed. Different corps could have different ranges and strengths. For example, Venture could have high strength low distance, GSO low strength low distance, GeoCorp low strength high distance, Hawkeye and Better Future high strength high distance, and RR could have multiple variants.
That's actually been made by modders already. Although it functions, unity doesn't necessarily like it and the physics like to kill itself.
 
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Sapioit

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That's actually been made by modders already. Although it functions, unity doesn't necessarily like it and the physics like to kill itself.
Well, we already have block magnets, so we only need something similar, but with something whch magnetically locks to a block to a few blocks away from the base. For example, it could be like the magnet block in terms of attracting items to the inside of the block, but like solar panels in terms of being long and wide and not having collisions. At most, the trailer hitches could have the same magnetic functionality. Also, that magnetic functionality should only work with a small list of blocks, namely only trailer hitches, or should only work with other techs, so we can use a magnet to attract a tech but not need another magnet to lock that other tech in place.

Another option would be for the existing trailer hitches to be slightly changed, to have an "open" state and a "closed" state (at least for some of the parts, like the hooks), allowing us to effectively lock a trailer in place. It would likely need it's own controller, like we recently got with the magnet block, just for the movable block, but it would work. The movable block could range from a flap which has an ON and an OFF positions, to a telescopic part, to something which acts like a connector between two techs while still being flexible.

Let me go into more details about the flexible connector: It could be similar to the wheels in terms of acting like a buffer, but having hooks instead of wheels, or having the hooks be wheels which are permanently locked or don't have any drag/movement interaction. Those things would act like suspensions, which would allow techs to have landing gears which don't take damage while landing hard (or needing a harder landing to take damage), to making trains and trailer chains much easier, to even making it possible to have the players design a shaky bridge for user-made content. It might also make it possible to lower the damage taken by drills, by cushioning the impact.
 

Geocorp Jumper

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May 24, 2016
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1. Corps unlocking should be tied to reaching the previously-unlocked corps' grade 1 (from the default grade 0 upon unlocking). This way, you won't deal with grade 1 Venture only after reaching grade 3 GSO, and won't deal with Better Future only after reaching grade 5 with GSO. Reticule Research should be the exception from this rule, requiring grade 3 GSO (so we can get dynamos and the like, but have the other RR quests unlocked by grade 5 GSO.
This could work. The real issue I see with the current system, though, is that by the time you do the corps unlock mission for HE, you’re pretty well off, so the grade 1 Hawkeye enemies in the mission are way too easy. The other unlock missions don’t feature combat, so a simple way we could fix it is to prevent players from using (not just buying) blocks above their current license grade. Then we change the enemies in the HE unlock mission to be more on par with the player’s current progress.

Alternatively, we could embrace a more open-world concept and have all corps as unlock-able right from the start of the game (not sure how best to go about that with the current trading station mission UI).

Another good idea came to mind. We make xp universal, so that it’s a single level-up system. At each level-up, the player chooses either to upgrade one of their already-unlocked licenses, or to unlock a new corps license.
 
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Bazzietuk

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Sep 7, 2019
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Mentioned this on another post a while back, the campaign game needs a way to complete it. The simplest way is to build a vehicle capable of escaping the planet (loaded with resources and cash) and ending up crash landing on another planet with a different type of landscape picked at random with harder enemies and tighter time limits on missions. Could also build it so the first planet you can only escape with GSO components, next planet choose a different corps parts and so on and after you hit the 5th or six planet you can mix parts to escape. The final planet would be say planet 10 where you actually get to your home planet with any cash left. This will give a purpose to the campaign as currently when you've got all your licenses and maxed out your licenses there's nothing to do. The game is just an endless session and gets quite boring.
 
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Geocorp Jumper

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Mentioned this on another post a while back, the campaign game needs a way to complete it. The simplest way is to build a vehicle capable of escaping the planet (loaded with resources and cash) and ending up crash landing on another planet with a different type of landscape picked at random with harder enemies and tighter time limits on missions. Could also build it so the first planet you can only escape with GSO components, next planet choose a different corps parts and so on and after you hit the 5th or six planet you can mix parts to escape. The final planet would be say planet 10 where you actually get to your home planet with any cash left. This will give a purpose to the campaign as currently when you've got all your licenses and maxed out your licenses there's nothing to do. The game is just an endless session and gets quite boring.
Sounds a tad similar to Subnautica’s plot (but extended).

The current plot, though it is not explicitly lined out when you start the campaign, is you came to the planet to build a business harvesting resources and selling them off-world. only two corps characterize this plot in their missions: GSO (via Crafty Mike) and GeoCorp. The other corps more or less distract from that original plot. Also, once you reach the millions in bb you really see no reason to keep harvesting and selling. When you find your coffers are low, you set up a scrapper and a delivery cannon and you’re back in business.

There could be a nice plot in the shadow that causes you to crash in the beginning. Maybe mid-late game, one of the NPCs informs you that the mysterious shadow that caused you to crash had been targeting newcomers, and you are the only one who survived an encounter. Legion could be the perfect candidate for an end-game Corp, where the mysterious shadow works for a secret organization that you must defeat. This, of course, would be something to consider much, much later.
 
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Bazzietuk

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Anything that helps keep interest in the game would be a bonus, for now there's just not much to do besides opening up the licenses and doing the missions (which some of those are so frustrating to do that it's not worth attempting them). Once you've maxed out the licenses the game is essentially over. Like you said once you've got masses of BB that's it really. The crafting system is practically pointless once you get the shops from each faction and can purchase everything. Setting up mass miners to auto cannon the resources away after refining them to keep the BB coming to allow more purchases to build ever bigger pointless vehicles. I mean why craft an item when you can buy it so cheap anyway without the hassle and the crafting system needing massive micro management to make one part. The devs have said it'd take a complete rewrite to fix it so why not just remove it completely.
 
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YaYYeeT

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<redacted>
Sounds a tad similar to Subnautica’s plot (but extended).

The current plot, though it is not explicitly lined out when you start the campaign, is you came to the planet to build a business harvesting resources and selling them off-world. only two corps characterize this plot in their missions: GSO (via Crafty Mike) and GeoCorp. The other corps more or less distract from that original plot. Also, once you reach the millions in bb you really see no reason to keep harvesting and selling. When you find your coffers are low, you set up a scrapper and a delivery cannon and you’re back in business.

There could be a nice plot in the shadow that causes you to crash in the beginning. Maybe mid-late game, one of the NPCs informs you that the mysterious shadow that caused you to crash had been targeting newcomers, and you are the only one who survived an encounter. Legion could be the perfect candidate for an end-game Corp, where the mysterious shadow works for a secret organization that you must defeat. This, of course, would be something to consider much, much later.
I believe that the shadow thing at the start is actually the crash-landed plane in the Bird of prey mission.
 
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Sapioit

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I believe that the shadow thing at the start is actually the crash-landed plane in the Bird of prey mission.
That makes sense. I mean, you're the only 2 techs which crash-land, every other techs land normally.

I mean why craft an item when you can buy it so cheap anyway without the hassle and the crafting system needing massive micro management to make one part. The devs have said it'd take a complete rewrite to fix it so why not just remove it completely.
Because there's an entire category of players which focus mainly on crafting. And I do think the crafting should be remade so it works in coop, too, to allow the game to become viral. And maybe also make it so players who get to the border of the 1000-blocks loading distance from the host, players become sub-hosts. so people can be on different parts of the map at the same time, which is not possible in the current coop mode.

Mentioned this on another post a while back, the campaign game needs a way to complete it. The simplest way is to build a vehicle capable of escaping the planet (loaded with resources and cash) and ending up crash landing on another planet with a different type of landscape picked at random with harder enemies and tighter time limits on missions. Could also build it so the first planet you can only escape with GSO components, next planet choose a different corps parts and so on and after you hit the 5th or six planet you can mix parts to escape. The final planet would be say planet 10 where you actually get to your home planet with any cash left. This will give a purpose to the campaign as currently when you've got all your licenses and maxed out your licenses there's nothing to do. The game is just an endless session and gets quite boring.
I agree. Even if you have all the same quests on all planets, and every time start with nothing unlocked yet again, in yet another crash landing, but only need to do the tutorial the first time. The spaceship could need to have all the blocks you spawn with if you check the newly-working skip-the-intro option, and you could need to use only one faction's items aside from those ones. Even GeoCorp has thrusters which can be used to escape gravity. At most, on all the other plants, we would be able to spawn with one vehicle which we need to connect to the rocket with one explosive bolt, though that would require more coding. But simply crashing with the same items and having more difficult enemies spawning, or enemies spawning faster (at a higher frequency) would make it more difficult. I mean, you might not have harder enemies, just more of them spawning around you. I think that by the time of the 6th new crash, you might have too many enemies around to play the game without literally running away most of the time. And maybe you need to reach a certain height with the tech having said blocks, for the event to happen, and the event to happen as a quest for which you need to max all the corps to spawn.

TL;DR: Next Crash system. You need to max all the corps, and have a quests spawn, then use in your tech the blocks you spawn with if you start a game with the newly-working skip-the-intro option, then reach a height of something like 5000 blocks. which triggers a new world where you crash land with the tutorial skipped, and lose your inventory and corporations, but the enemies spawn faster. And you can use the Next Crash as many times as you want, each new time making enemies spawn faster than the last time.
 
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