Quality of Life Improvements

Matt

PAYLOAD STUDIOS
Jul 23, 2018
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Hey Prospectors,

We want to take a look at some Quality of Life improvements we can make to TerraTech.

For those who don't know what quality of life improvements are, they're general changes, adjustments, or additions we can make to the overall game to help improve things like functionality, accessibility, ease of use, etc.

An example of a Quality of Life improvement, and one of the most requested, has been New Biomes. Others include adding a Free Cam mode, more functionality to the Build Beam, map waypoints, to list a few.

So we want to hear your most pressing Quality of Life improvements that you'd like to see in TerraTech. Use this thread to post them. We'll then go through them all and see what we'll be able to do.

Thanks!
 

Aardvark123

Well-Known Member
Feb 23, 2018
366
1,232
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Scotland
aardvark1998.deviantart.com
One thing that would really help builders is a better way to rotate large blocks when building. If you're placing, say, a Bertha cannon on a big flat surface, you currently have to press G five hundred times until it settles where you want it. I have a feeling a lot of us would like a more precise, controllable way of placing blocks.

This could be done by assigning some keys to different actions for a block; rotating it, nudging it along, making it snap to some sort of default orientation and so on. I have a feeling keys are in short supply on the console versions, though, so how about a radial menu where you can choose how to manipulate the block?
 

BlueSquare

Custom titles are cool!
Sep 27, 2020
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Somewhere in the R&D labs
discord.com
Loading anchored techs even when very far away so that the fabricators don't "hang" as stated in that thread by ZeroGravitas
Maybe make the LME ever so slightly stronger and silent
Fix scrapping blocks at a Trading Station in co-op to give you (value of block)/3, compared to (value of block)/9
More/harder enemies for late game people
Fix the collisions on the floor of the Energy Inversion Bowl so that blocks don't go through it and become unable to be sucked in by an SCU
Add a mode to "snap" to degrees of rotation on rotating anchors/anchored AIs (e.g stop on 45 degrees, stop on 90 degrees, etc etc)
Maybe some random boxes lying around the map that give the player some blocks and/or BB
Lights that cover a circle around them like torches in other games
Melee weapons (drills, jackhammers, TB thresher, saws, etc) being activated on impact of scenery while in the build beam
Options to limit how much stuff can be used in a multiplayer lobby to prevent "cab-bombs", essentially a world capacity limit but set by the host
(by the way, these are suggestions and not requests)
Edit: A weapon that is embedded in a slope, for broadside guns. Please.
 
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Vertu

Well-Known Member
Jun 10, 2020
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--More interactive rotation system, the bias system is handy but a lot of the more complex and new blocks don't have a working biased rotation system so you have to spend 15 seconds rotating it out of 100 orientations to get the rotation you are looking for. A good way to do this (besides just copying Aardvark) is to create a 3 axis interaction, players enable the axis when holding a block to place and can then move the camera after "attaching" to an axis to have it rotate so your camera basically becomes a constant for it to rotate and you can quickly snap to another axis with a certain button and input so you won't need complex button mapping to be Console and Switch friendly.

The idea being that when you begin to rotate a block, you are putting all focus into how its rotating, once you finish rotating it will STAY in that orientation until the player alters it again or changes blocks.


--AI improvements. Specifically ally AI and I DO KNOW the hell this dev team went through when trying to develop competent AI, (RIP Harvester AI mode we will see you some time in the future) but its still quite top of my list.

--Diverse difficulty, I even made a guide of "TerraTechs development" for players that want to know the general situation of TT and I include a lot of diverse difficulty additions and functionality in that guide, Campaign Difficulty section it is. I can yoink a link in here to the guide if you wish Matt so you can see the great wall of text for yourself.

You know what I will yoink the link here anyways to the guide, just be ready for a wall of text whoever goes to see the campaign difficulty category. Enjoy.

I forgot about this last quality of life improvement.
--Alter atmospheric behavior,
currently when you build a hover or some flyer, the main reason you can never go faster than 200"mph" is because the more mass the tech has, the lower its top speed, but that (in my possibly wrong eyes) is head scratching. You are flying so the only thing that will make you slow when having sufficient lift and or thrust would be drag and air resistance, not mass... I am sick of creating MASSIVE engine configurations for my warships only to have a top speed of 50"mph" because of this rule. Thrust increases the amount of force you go through the air, increasing drag and air resistance but these increases only really matter when surpassing 100"mph" but currently if you don't change the size of the tech and its thrust output but only change the mass, it looses like 20-100"mph" (exponentially lost at higher speeds), how???

Mass does not equal speed limit, it is like saying the more massive a space craft is, the less maximum speed-- (not even 20% light speed, loosing maximum % of light speed when going above 95% the speed of light however is another story) --it is capable even though there are NO forces slowing it down! Example of a situation: "Oh I added 10,000kg, I can only go 1% the speed of light now for maximum velocity."
I even created a light weight and semi-aerodynamic tech (cylinder shaped for the most part with rounded ends) and I can only have it go 100"mph" and need to add 5 Atlas rotors to gain 10"mph".
 
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sharmoni

Well-Known Member
Oct 23, 2019
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Block manipulation is RSI inducing.

If I move a block into position I expect it to hold still and not continually change orientation based on whatever connection point is nearest my cursor. Make a visual indicator that the block can't connect in that position rather than trying to find a connection for me.

New blocks from menu should default to same position relative to cab direction on first selection, then once I've rotated the block every new block should match my current rotation until I change blocks. Picking up a block from the ground should also match my last orientation for that block.

Rotating blocks is too random. I expect the same control over rotation that I would have if I held the block in my hand. I want buttons for XYZ axis rotation, rather than rapidly mashing a single rotation button and waiting for the position I want to appear.

Don't make blocks transparent when first selected from menu—it's too hard to tell the orientation or how it will look in place. Related: apply skins in menu so I know in advance what color the block will be. Maybe even have a skin pop-up menu for each block (the amount of time I spend re-skinning blocks is non-trivial).

Please fix whatever bug is causing skin settings to continually revert to default when loading saves or techs.

I would love to have a shortcut button for loading techs like the shortcut button for tech management (dash/tilde key).

Fix the horrible game lag that occurs every minute in Campaign (I asume it's autosaving, since I don't see it as much in R&D Lab). It's excessive on my Mac (admittedly I have a couple hundred auto-miners currently placed, but it is still noticeable on my PS4 which has a very low block limit and only one tech in the world). The lag is severe enough (especially since it always occurs at the beginning of a battle) it has caused me to basically stop playing Campaign except for testing my techs in "real-world" conditions.

"Confine cursor to screen" doesn't work on my Mac, so I'm always losing camera control because my cursor drifts off screen.

Update console versions sooner to be on par with current blocks available. Make at least CrossCorp skins available so my techs look as beautiful on all platforms. Take advantage of massive hardware improvements of PS5 and new Xbox to raise block limits so I can actually have auto-miners, crafting bases, etc., as well as improve graphic resolution, details, and—most importantly–draw distance (I pretty much stopped flying because the poor LOD broke immersion for me).

Add free-camera mode for stills (and maybe video) in gameplay, and also for snapshot saves. Make a lighting control for snapshots so I no longer have to sit idle waiting until the sun is in position. I usually save techs in Campaign mode to upload to Steam Workshop so their skins will load correctly (unnecessary if the skin bug is fixed, but I would still prefer those setting because I like to show a tech in game context when I've designed it for Campaign functionality).

Fix bug that doesn't apply edited Steam Workshop tech name to saved tech, but just to Workshop post title.

There is also a bug where techs altered in build mode in one area of R&D Lab will lose their name after teleporting back to start.

Ok, that's all I can think of at the moment. Please keep up the good work and make TerraTech the best it can be!
 

Wassaup

Well-Known Member
Apr 28, 2019
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Here we go:

Controls:
- Make the keys separately assignable, instead of the pairs we have now.
- Make the gamepad customizable on PC. Preferably in-game and not in the launcher.

GUI:
- Make the backgrounds of the UI elements more transparent (I'm probably the last person, who still cares at this point).
- Make the campaign pop-ups dismissible again. Waiting for them to disappear is tedious.
- Make campaign pop-ups non-existent, when choosing to skip the tutorial.
A quantity thing for buying blocks so you don't get carpal tunnel syndrome trying to buy bloccs
- I would like to extend this suggestion to the fabricators as well.

Game world:
- Make rubber jelly a more common drop from trees. Alternatively, make certain trees (the shroom tress and salami trees) richer in rubber.
- Make the ice-biome richer in resources, especially celestite, as it is far harder to navigate.
- Let there be a chance to find minable veins in the pillar biome.
- Let us build on the new landmarks (like Crown-top fort)

Keep on keepin' on!
 

burger1113

Well-Known Member
Jan 3, 2015
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Hotkeys improved
Hotkeys for tech manager, skin tab, etc.
Control scheme that lets us choose any button for each elements in the control scheme, instead of pressing a button and the game deciding the opposite direction within very limited keys.

Friendly AI active regardless of player distance
At least on campaign, friendly AIs should have their own "player area" where the time doesn't stop and AIs around them are still active. I'm aware that we cannot have a persistent world like we used to have before consoles came into play, but at least a few of our own techs or at least turrets should be active when we stray off a little.

AI pathing
Let the AI try to avoid trees and rocks using hitboxes if they don't possess melee weapons. Let them use boosters when they are travelling more or less straight; they currently don't use fuel-consuming types at all.
When they try to turn and face an enemy but fail to do so, (causing the "death circle" we saw on the naval challenge time and time again) they should come to a halt and turn in place or turn while backing up.
The world mob AIs should move around more. Not trying to be mean at all, but they are the most primitive AIs gaming has ever seen.

Adaptive response
AIs should ram enemies if they have melee weapons. They should run off into the sunset if they lose all weapons. If the opponent clearly has a way bigger mass, they should circle it and avoid frontal impact.

Weapons lead fire
Please let weapons adjust their aim according to the direction of the enemy's movement. I suppose over-compensating could be an issue, but a little would make a world of difference. Currently, there is just about no point using projectile weapons when a quick tech is involved since not only a slow tech would not be able to get the weapons turned to hit the fast techs, but the agile techs would also never hit the target since they would be moving and turning too fast, making the aim go off. This is another cause of the "death circle" mentioned above, of course.
 
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joseph racer

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2019
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1. Full controller support (pc) - I a, probably the only person who cares, but I like controller.

2. A map - clicking the radar should pull up a map that shows all you have explored so far.

3. Ai - allow enemies to move freely and our own ai be less dumb

4. Random structures - Random structures that spawn around the world that are not related to missions.

5. Flying ai - I rember this being shown off over a year ago and would love to see it in the game.
 

Darkstar076

Needz Moar Dakka!
Jan 21, 2016
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My 2 Cents:
Block manipulation:- As mentioned above, manipulating a block through all the attachment points is frustrating. My only suggestion is that you have the ability to assign additional keys so you can cycle through the attachment points on that face. (But I am sure there are better ideas)

NewGame+: - Plenty of suggestions have been made already on what they would like to see on a "Generate New World Option"

Moar Missions:- I must admit, I have been enjoying the set missions. I am sure there is a thread around here with suggestions on more mission types.

Improved AI:- Any improvements would be great. Not getting stuck on obstacles would be one.

Thank you for continually improving the game :)
 

Vertu

Well-Known Member
Jun 10, 2020
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3. Ai - allow enemies to move freely and our own ai be less dumb
For your sanities sake I will inform you that there is a mod on TerraTech Mod Manager called "increased range" which prevents AI techs from unloading when something like 500m away, this has absolutely NO performance impact on the game from what I could tell so I honestly have no idea why the dev team has this unload function for enemy techs when far away from the player. This mod proves there is no issue with having them always loaded, even when looking away and an entire km away before they fully de-spawn due to render distance.
 

Skihiley

Having an emotional breakdown
May 8, 2020
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I may have a couple...

~M a y b e better controller support
~Maybe smth like Minecraft npc villages, with other "prospectors" you can do sidequests for, and then earn their protection/support
~Idk if this counts, but maybe more mountainy mountain; idk about any of you but when I think of mountains, I think of large sheets and cliffs of grey rock, not tall red hills
~W a t e r
~Randomly generated base spots, like maybe you could find a runway like in bomber command, or ruins like in the AA turret mission
~Better weapon tracking, like leading shots; ik that there is a mod for that, but it would be cool to see in in vanilla
 

burger1113

Well-Known Member
Jan 3, 2015
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this has absolutely NO performance impact on the game from what I could tell.
My lord... For real? I mean, maybe you got a bonkers rig of a pc, but the only reason for the range limit could be the consoles not being able to run it the way it was before, and the devs deciding not to go the extra step in creating a separate branch that is optimized for each platforms. The same downgrade is seen with hotkeys, as we are limited to only the number of keys gamepads can offer, as far as I know...
Another reason could be that the game was way worse optimized before, and the fps drops were too much, causing them to take any compromises they could. I mean, it still gets preeeeeetty bad when techs get kinda big. Well, I guess both reasons could be in play.
 

joseph racer

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2019
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Here are some more that I forgot about

1. Base raids - when having 5 or more anchored techs that cost at least 50,000 BB could have a chance to trigger raids, enemies will start spawning, will come in multiple waves, and you will receive large amounts of money and blocks once you have won.

2. difficulty sliders - easy normal hard (normal = default)

3. Hardcore mode - once you die you die even if you have cabs in your inventory or if you have other techs on the world
 

Vertu

Well-Known Member
Jun 10, 2020
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My lord... For real? I mean, maybe you got a bonkers rig of a pc, but the only reason for the range limit could be the consoles not being able to run it the way it was before, and the devs deciding not to go the extra step in creating a separate branch that is optimized for each platforms. The same downgrade is seen with hotkeys, as we are limited to only the number of keys gamepads can offer, as far as I know...
Another reason could be that the game was way worse optimized before, and the fps drops were too much, causing them to take any compromises they could. I mean, it still gets preeeeeetty bad when techs get kinda big. Well, I guess both reasons could be in play.
Long long ago this was a thing, techs wouldn't unload and in fact, was the major way you would encounter techs due to there being no missions, enemies would wonder into you when they spawn like over 500m away, going in circles or biased trails to randomly encounter you and begin a fight with other techs and or you. Perhaps it was added due to Console's rendering capabilities but on PC I swear, it has NO PERFORMANCE IMPACT. Also this was from the era of massive enemy techs with massive weapon emplacements, these where war techs that needed the GC big boy wheels and used easily 8 of them and the game ran quite fine with having them loaded at all times.
 
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WhitePaw2002

Aceba1
Jan 7, 2016
1,042
2,453
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North-east America
github.com
  • Hide UI
    • Hide player tech
    • Free-Cam
  • Non-mission base encounters
  • Atmospheric Weather
    • Foggy days
    • Rainy days
    • Thunderstorm nights
  • Plant life
    • Limit on damage sustained by tree impact (if to be killed)
    • Shrubbery
    • Grass patches
    • Popping mushrooms
  • Exceeding Atmospheric Height
    • hinders air-based locomotion efficiency,
    • lowers air drag,
    • reveals starry sky
    • music shift
  • Tech Building
    • Reinvent building system
    • Abandon cell grid structure
    • Embrace tech-paging
    • Mirror block
    • Rotate techs according to primary cab, no more associated bugs
  • Dirt paths
  • Voxel terrain
    • Terrain control, more capable geometry
  • Water
  • More campaign paths
    • Various ways to proceed with campaign, alternate milestone gates
    • Basically, no NPC interaction thanks
  • Couch Multiplayer
  • Dev logs
    • Insight to whereabouts and objectives, even if incomplete
    • Please
  • Rice bowl block
  • Actual grass
  • Water
    • Water
  • Less tech-drag in general
    • Would require tweaking most locomotive utilities
  • Hotkeys for things like buildbeam
  • Official FPV blocks
    • Yes I am still waiting to accomplish that one scene from the 1.0 trailer, officially
  • I already said atmospheric environments, right?
  • Water
 

Saelem Black

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Aug 25, 2018
578
2,285
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A few specific things from me (sorry if someone beat me to it)

My most important in bold.

Small scale:
  • Center of mass indicator when in build beam
    • further advanced functions like center of lift and center of thrust would be great for airships, too
  • Fuel and energy readouts by percent (instead of the highly-inaccurate pips)
  • More details when selecting a snapshot - beyond blocks and total price, I'd also like to see total energy capacity, total fuel capacity, shield drain/second, fuel drain/second, and perhaps an approximation of lethality (could be done with a very simple system based on total cost of just weapon blocks).
  • Ballast blocks really need to be in vanilla. The modded ones are perfect, but this is so critical for airship and hovercraft building. I know you guys have a resistance to putting blocks with custom menus, but please reconsider. I can't stress how good these would be for so many purposes. Gyros do not serve the same purpose.
  • "Lock Placement" in the tech radial menu - meaning no blocks can be placed on it/removed from it with the cursor and no APs are generated (causing lag) when holding a block. This would save so much pain for anything with a scrapper or fabricator, and for any of a dozen other situations where, "no, in fact I didn't want to remove that chassis block from under my tech, I wanted to pick up the ZK-47 on the ground."

Medium Scale:
  • Optimized power block systems - my understanding of the code is that power blocks are exceedingly burdensome on processor at present. Doing total subtraction/addition, totaling, and division-per-battery every single physics frame. Math could be simplified *a lot* for performance improvements.
  • Biome size sliders when making a new campaign.
  • Enemy frequency sliders when making new campaigns
  • Making enemies not despawn so easily with distance. (Maybe larger distance plus timer)
  • The dominance of explosive damage really needs to be addressed. In my opinion it's a really big issue with TT's endgame right now.
  • Block crafting queues - I want to craft 27 of this block, 3 of that block, and 7 of the other block - from the same fabricator, in order, without having to micromanage it constantly.
Large Scale:
  • Map verticality - late game in terratech is characterized by flying things. You go to creative co-op servers and you'll almost always find people in planes or airships. In single-player you can almost entirely abandon the ground in late game. This is my favorite aspect, but the sky of TT is like the inside of a big, white ping-pong ball. I would love a new biome up at 1000 feet, or mountains with substantial height. Something to explore or discover up there.
  • Fleshed-out endgame - this one is really open ended, but the gameplay of TT is solid and rewarding as long as you're building new things to survive better. This plateaus very sharply once you get GSO 4, basically. I'd like to see the other corps given levels 4 and 5, and blocks redistributed to those levels. Perhaps more far-sighted, give all corps 10 levels and redistribute all blocks somewhere within those levels. This would lengthen and linearize the game and provide a more rewarding end-game.
  • Please please please do not neglect the crafting system. Overhaul, polish, debug, whatever, but it's been in a state of "barely functioning" for a long time. It is such an important part of the game.
 
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General Douglas

Aerial Admiral
Feb 4, 2019
182
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America
I firmly believe that the Devs should never have gotten rid of the enemy tech switching shortcut (T+LMB). That tech manager is extremely slow when you have more than 10 techs in a given world, and is so slow when compared to the old system. What I don't understand is why we can't have both, as then we would have the benefits of the tech manager coupled with the speed of the shortcut. I know for a fact I wouldn't be the only one appreciating a QoL change like this.
 

zugbug33

Ruler of the soon to come robot insect invasion
Apr 13, 2020
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a mound of dirt somewhere
Alright so this isn’t exactly a game breaking idea and not sure if it would actually be worth the trouble.
- Orientation Option
I think it might be a neat addition to add the ability or option to manually select your tech’s orientation. This would allow for more dynamic builds and make it much easier to use Cabs without having to place them in a certain order and have to stick with the orientation you start with. The orientation shouldn’t be anything crazy, just the normal axis’s that would normally be available.
This just seemed like a neat little building QOL addition.