Recently there has been a lot of focus on improving the crafting system, there's also been many requests by players for an improvement in harvesting AI which is planned to be looked into by the devs. The overall goal here is to be able to create a system where resources are automatically collected for the player by AI techs and deposited into silos for storage such that crafting can be done on demand, or even set to automatically churn out parts by itself if a fabricator is set to auto. So for what I'm about to say let's assume two things are true: 1. The crafting system is made to be easy and efficient enough that it can be a competitive alternative to simply selling blocks/resources to buy parts with BB 2. Harvesting AI works well enough that you can reliably leave your techs to collect and store resources Even if these two are in place there's a part of the system that has been little (if at all) discussed by either the players or the devs that has been bothering me for a while that is vitally important to making the whole thing work: TRANSPORT Specifically, the issue of automated lines of supply for resources. What I mean by this: Spoiler: This part is fairly long but important For example, I want to setup a system to produce GSO 3-Pound Cannons which requires Titania Ingots which are refined from Titanite Ore, and Carbius Bricks which are refined from Carbite Ore. For this example I am going to assume there isn't a location where both resources are found in close proximity to each other, frankly for a more complex recipe you would have to be ridiculously lucky to find everything you need in one spot. So I find two sites, one rich in Titanite which I will call site A, the other in Carbite which will be called site B, I setup AI harvesting operations at both and soon have a nice stockpile of each respective resource at A and B, now I just need to get them both together to craft some cannons. Do you see the problem? What I could do is setup a Fabricator at A, then drive all the way over to B, load up my tech with as much Carbite as possible, then drive all the way back to A and dump my resources into the fabrication system to begin crafting cannons. Alternatively I could build a central fabrication center site I will call C between A and B, however this still requires me to drive to both resources sites to manually pick up loads of resources to bring back to C to craft cannons. This might seem interesting at first but if every time I wanted to craft a batch of cannons* I had to make the same trip between A, B, and C it would quickly turn tedious and repetitive. This example here only involves two or three sites for resources and/or fabrication, in reality I would need many more resource harvesting sites to cover crafting requirements, sites D, E, F, G, H, I, etc. Instead of exploring the world or finding new enemies to fight the game would devolve into a trucking simulator where I would spend a majority of my time just hauling resources from one site to another to do any sort of crafting, driving the same paths through the same scenery over and over again. For the goal of creating an efficient and mostly automated system for block crafting it would be a huge oversight to leave the one of the most time consuming and monotonous elements to be done by the player. I could have massive stockpiles of every resource but I'm not going to be doing much crafting unless I can bring them together; transport logistics, rather then harvesting or crafting, will likely be the biggest bottleneck for a production system and been able to overcome it will be the real determiner if crafting will have any true value or not as players will likely ditch crafting as whole and just use BB if they feel like its wasting their time to have to drive in between harvesting sites just to pick up the resources to do crafting even on a small scale (actually this reason is likely why most players already don't use crafting regularly as it is to much of a hassle too collect resources rather then just buying parts with BB). *On a side note another topic for discussion in the future would be how the scope of the game will need to change to justify for what seems to be the devs goal to create a mass production system for blocks when there isn't really a need for such large quantities of blocks at the moment. It's one thing to build a fabrication system in R&D where resources are conveniently grouped together or (for the devs) can be spawned at the push of a button, it's another when they are spread out over a vast area with potentially long distances between each other. The means by which supply lines for transport are established needs to be addressed. While the devs have focused and talked about crafting and harvesting, I have seen little done or discussed about the step in between that connects the two by bringing resources together. The ability to create and automate a supply line system to transport resources is equally as vital as the automating of resource harvesting and crafting for what I think is the overall vision of what this game wants to be. Something where I can build numerous individual harvesting sites and setup a system where resources are automatically transported between each site or to a centralized fabrication center for part production where my main task once it is established is to protect and maintain it and choose what parts get made instead of having to micromanage everything. Suggestions: I have thought up some very broad concepts to tackle this issue, all of these would likely require a lot of work and potential game overhaul but to me this is an issue that really needs to be addressed: 1. Universal shared storage (I like this one the least) Spoiler: a.k.a. how to make nearly everything the devs have worked on up till now a waste of time and effort Resources are dumped into a 'Resource SCU' (RSCU) like block and put into a shared storage that resources can be withdrawn from by any other RSCU when needed, a very common standard approached used by a lot of RTS games like for example StarCraft, where workers dump gas and crystals into a collection center where they are deposited into an abstract universal storage of sorts. While this is the easiest solution it wipes out almost every element of the existing fabrication system by massively simplifying everything removing the need for silos, complex conveyor systems, or techs capable of carrying large resource loads. 2. Fixed transport infrastructure Spoiler: Creating physical tracks/paths for resource transport The game Factorio has a lot in common with TerraTech in that they both treat resources as something tangible that needs to be physically brought to production centers. In Factorio belt lines could be considered the equivalent to TT's conveyor system for moving and sorting resources locally, Factorio however also has railways and logistic robots for transport over long distances, I'm going to be focusing on the idea of railways or something similar as a possibility for TT. "Technically" it is possible to create a supply line system in TT using only conveyor parts to transport your resources from one location to another, however the length of the conveyor line would likely be ridiculously long which would end up been treated as a massive tech with repairs been an absolute nightmare if a single section gets taken out and the whole thing collapses. TT could borrow Factorio's system by been able to establish a network of neutral/passive railways (or even find existing ones built by competitiors) between resource and production sites with specialized train techs that can be automated to collect a certain amount of resources at certain stops, and unload a certain amount of resources at another stop. To effectively construct a system an overhead view of the layout of the land would be a requirement for planning and placing tracks. Making a railway system in Factorio is already a complicated system, TT would have the added difficulty of having to implement it in a 3D environment with potentially more complications such as attacks and possible destruction of tracks or trains. 3. Establishing supply convoys (I like this the most, but it also sounds the most complicated) Spoiler: Roving convoys for recreating Mad Max chase scenes I particularly like this system as it plays the most into TT's existing structure and strengths,. To transport resources players would establish tech convoys that travel over a set path between sites where they either pick up or unload resources. The system would work something like this: 1. The player would establish a path, likely a complete loop, for a convoy to follow. This could be done through placing way points or by driving the actual path yourself and recording your techs movements 2. With the path set the player could then assign actions to points along the path, such as "stop here until X amount of resources have been collected" that you could place next to a harvesting site where a tech will pick up resources that harvesting techs have collected, then you could have a second point such as "stop here until no resources are held" which could be placed next a receiver that leads to a fabrication system where the tech will unload resources before repeating the loop 3. The player would then assign techs to the loop, you could designate a certain tech as a "Leader" whose job is follow the path and perform the actions that it encounters, other techs you could designate as "Followers" whose job it is to simply stay close and keep up with the Leader to act like guards (with a preset path it would be easier to establish things like defensive formations or columns then it would be for when the AI is actively following you).** If it is possible it would be really neat if you could assign multiple "Leaders" following the same or different set of actions on the same loop each with their own assigned "Followers" moving with them, this way you could have multiple convoys traveling around the loop simultaneously. You might even have combat groups who just continuously circle the loop to keep it clear of threats acting like a patrol. While I imagine this system been on the ground, it could potentially at some point be used for air techs as well to create flying fleets to move resources. In an ideal system you would have convoys collecting resources from multiple harvesting sites and dumping them into a centralized storage site where you can use the readily available resources to do crafting efficiently in a single spot without having to drive everywhere yourself. I don't know how plausible this is for the development team, but of all the ideas I could think of this one is the most in line with TT's mechanics. The Gauntlet race courses can recreate ghost profiles that follow a previously run path if that's any sign of plausibility for this. **If such a system could be established it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to imagine it been used for more advance battle tactics and behavior at some point for both players and AI 4. Local delivery cannons Spoiler: Play a game of global hopscotch with your mineral chunks Instead of blasting resources into space for BB, have a type of cannon that launches resources within the world to designated locations, perhaps have 'landing pad' blocks (or for a more comical effect, giant nets) where resources would land and be picked up by a nearby conveyor system. Local delivery cannons could potentially have a limited range they could fire, meaning to send resources over a long distance one might need a chain of bases with delivery cannons to get resources to their final destination. If such a system were to exist in tandem with suggestions 2 or 3 it would need to be balanced with drawbacks such as been relatively slow, or having a certain percentage of resources lost in transition due to missed shots.