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Dear Keen: Please Fix Welders :3

Discussion in 'General' started by Dwarf-Lord Pangolin, Feb 14, 2017.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Dwarf-Lord Pangolin Senior Engineer

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    2,597
    We still haven't had a genuine explanation for why the welding radius was decreased. The explanations given were that new players were killing themselves on active welders, and that the range on the welders was long enough that it was felt to be an exploit.

    These explanations are inadequate for two reasons:

    1. New players are going to kill themselves in Space Engineers regardless of how welders are configured. In its own way the game is easily as brutal as ARK or any other survival game; not only will wolves, spiders, and pirate drones hunt you down, but the environment is inherently dangerous unless you're on a planet with a breathable atmosphere. Even if you're not in a ship, players can kill themselves in a huge number of ways. They can not realize how fast they're going and bump into an asteroid, they can turn on too many gravity generators and die, they can open an airlock without dropping their visor, they can run out of oxygen, they can run out of energy, they can crush themselves under a vehicle that they're building, they can fall off a cliff -- etc, etc. I have killed myself in all of these ways, and many more besides. If Keen is trying to make the game such that it is safe for new players, they needed to make that decision years ago. Space Engineers is not a safe game. Besides, any player who complains after running close to a giant welder that is glowing red and spitting out sparks is going to be unsatisfied regardless of what you do. If player safety is truly the concern, then reduce the damage area of welders without changing their welding area.
    2. The claim that the change prevents exploits fails to recognize the entire purpose of adding welders, which was to make the game better -- specifically, to reduce the tedium of building things. Even making a ship as efficient and compact as possible requires a truly mind-numbing amount of welding, and players were calling out for some means of speeding up the construction of grids from Day 1 (I've been here almost since Day 1, so believe me, I know what I'm talking about). Reducing the radius of welders greatly slows down the speed at which creations can be welded, defeating much of their function in the game. Even worse, it makes it much harder to weld the internal portions of ships, or external armor sections where blocks need to overlap to hold the ship together. The reason why welders had that radius was not to allow exploits, but a recognition of the fact that it is incredibly difficult to design ships that allow access to every single block. None of this is an "exploit;" these are all quality of life features, designed to make the game the kind of thing someone would actually want to play. If the speed at which you can construct a ship at X1 speeds is so slow that nobody wants to use it, you need to increase the default welding speed. If Keen is concerned about the range of welders being exploited by allowing players to fend off damage from outside sources, they need to 1. give us better weapon blocks, or 2. recognize that the best way to defeat self-repairing ships is with Player-Made Weapons.
    This change is particularly frustrating for us older players because we've already been through all of this. Years ago, back before large grid welders and grinders were added, the majority of players wanted Keen to add some way of speeding up building. We tossed around a lot of ideas, including something very much like rexxar's automated shipyard mod, but in the end, Keen settled on larger, grid-based versions of welders and grinders.

    He shouldn't have felt stupid; the game was still in early days, and players were still providing a lot of feedback on what kinds of features they'd like. Keen had no idea what players would build, and it turned out the ships that people want to build in a game like this are large enough that welding every block by hand drives you bananas.

    But we're not in early days anymore. We know precisely what the player base wants, and all of a sudden it gets changed. It almost looks as if a new group of testers with no previous experience with the game were brought in, and are recommending changes that run counter to what players have already indicated they want. I hope that's not the case, because if it is, it defeats the entire point of running the game in Early Access for the last three years, which was to build up a store of knowledge regarding what players feel does and does not work.

    You will notice that at no point in this have I mentioned Player-Made Weapons, or PMWs (and I'm sorry, but those are here to stay; they were inevitable the moment Keen decided to have physics-based damage to grids). There are reasons for this. First, the problems with welders are universal. Anything that applies to PMWs applies to everything else; they are, after all, just grids being welded like any other. Second, I've made PMWs work with far less than what we now, even with the welder nerf; they will still work.

    But they won't work as well.

    We have been asking Keen for basic, essential parts for years. Marek Rosa described this game as "Lego Technic in Space" once, and we are still lacking core blocks for that to be true. We do not have hinges, despite there being a mod for them, and we do not have rails. We do, however, have rotors, which make you want to rip your own head off and go bowling with it (however, they are still more stable now than I thought they would ever be, for which I am immensely thankful). We have been asking for them for over three years, and Keen's decision to move the game to Beta without even hinting at their plans regarding these fundamental blocks is ... baffling?

    I can assure you that players would not be nearly so upset about the effect that the welder nerf has had on PMWs if we had those basic physics blocks; with rails or hinges, I could make even the shorter-ranged welders work better than what we had before. But we don't have them; so we cannot build weapons with pre-built internal magazines because of the lack of stable physics blocks to allow safe loading, and we cannot weld ammunition on-site anywhere near as well as before.

    In conclusion, the nerf to welders:
    1. Does not notably decrease the likelihood of new players killing themselves
    2. Does not provide a satisfying counter to potential "exploits"
    3. Does defeat much of the purpose of such a block's presence within the game
    4. Does decrease the Quality of Life of the game by increasing the level of tedium and grinding -- both figurative and literal.
    (NB: Please note that the bold words are for emphasis and to highlight key words; they are not for shouting. That was Alpha Leonidas, this is Beta Leonidas. :D)
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
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  2. Zinlu Trainee Engineer

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    10
    Hear, hear!

    Thank you Pangolin for such a well-written point of view! Much better (and less foaming at the mouth) than I could've done.
     
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  3. teaseal Trainee Engineer

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    4
    I signed up on the forums just to sign this. The change has broken too many great designs in this game.

    P.S. Please fix small grid merge blocks while you're at it. This is seriously killing my player made weapon dreams.
     
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  4. Conradian Moderator

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    2,596
    I'll be honest with you, I understand why they changed it.

    Because it was broken.

    Something had happened to the welding sphere's point of origin I believe, that had brought it back to the centre of the welder block rather than in front of it. This meant that if you stood on the welder itself whilst it was on (I'm talking on the block with the cargo ports) you'd get hurt and die.

    I demonstrated this to Xocliw on stream and soon after it was adjusted. Don't think there's a correlation but there might be.

    The thing is, that behaviour doesn't make sense and needed changing. You shouldn't die if you stand behind the welder. However it's not great where it is now. What we really need is the welder effect to be a zone projected in front of the welder such that its dimensions touch the tip of the welding torches.

    Honestly I'd prefer a cone for the zone, but sphere is easier.
     
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  5. Dwarf-Lord Pangolin Senior Engineer

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    2,597
    I'd heard of this bug, and I'm not trying to argue that welders didn't need fixing. I'd even heard they occasionally repair themselves.

    However, as you said, they're not perfect now; damage aside, they can't weld enough to be sufficiently useful. A cone would be ideal, provided it welded enough.
     
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  6. TangentialThreat Trainee Engineer

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    5
    Basically building is mechanically hard and that's bad in a block game.

    This does not seem very complicated to me.

    If this were about welder damage they'd have removed that completely (what is its purpose?) or given it a warning visual effector made the damage radius different from the weld radius. It's not even an effective way to stop printers (which would be the opposite of smart because that's a creative way to circumvent the astounding hardness) because you can still do it but with even more lag.

    This idea must be from the same person who thought up exploding wolves, or the 3D modeler who did the cockpits.
     
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  7. Sinbad Senior Engineer

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    2,788
    As an aside, why not a bounding box (thinking grav-gen ranges and sensor fields) for the welder aoe? Thats got to be easier to process than a radius (in my experience, computers hate circles and spheres). It would make it easier to plan constructions as well. Even better if the aoe could be displayed.
    If I'm mistaken about box vs spheres please say so, but I would be interested in the reason. Always looking for programming shortcuts...
     
  8. Arcturus Senior Engineer

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    1,649
    In this thread I linked to some bug reports related to that issue, and @tankmayvin mentioned how those bugs were fixed months ago:
    http://forums.keenswh.com/threads/welders-the-bigger-picture.7392677/page-2#post-1287039503
    (though KSH is known to have bugs become un-fixed when a branch that was started pre-fix is merged later)

    EDIT:

    Looking in the source code (took less than 15 minutes!), seems like there is a model bone or something named "detector_shiptool" that should go at the tip. So if someone was updating the 3D model and placed it in the wrong spot (need to check/verify), this could be the problem.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
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  9. piratep2r Trainee Engineer

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    40
    strong agree; building with ships has gotten a lot slower and more frusterating. Given that servers already tend to limit the number of welders, this makes a bad situation worse.

    As op says, "Does decrease the Quality of Life of the game by increasing the level of tedium and grinding -- both figurative and literal"

    Hope this is a bug, and hope it gets fixed soon.
     
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  10. Roxette Senior Engineer

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    1,546
    Exactly. This was one of several f-ups that broke things when they changed to the new models, effectively breaking the functionality of parts that had worked in the game up to that time.
     
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  11. Spets Master Engineer

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    3,214
    I'm still getting killed by welders, grinders and even thruster damage and high speed flying metal plates.... NERF IT ALL KEEN!
     
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  12. Renegrade Trainee Engineer

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    40
    I also STRONGLY agree with the Dwarf-Lord's well written post. I'd also like to note on the Player Made Weapons topic that the video(s) in the background of Space Engineer's main menu are mostly of ships crashing into other ships.....it's like they're asking for it.

    One thing I'd like to point out about the kill zone of the welder is that it seems to start rather sharply and has no pushback effect on players. If it started more gradually (a broad area of light damage, with damage getting higher the closer one gets), and had a repulsive effect, it would also kill fewer newbies. The game as a whole tends to suffer a lot from instant death, even when you disregard buggy things like tripping on a tiny rock at 0.3m/s for ten thousand health damage..

    I've actually been killed by welders MORE since the nerf than before. The smaller radius promotes overconfidence, and also usually results in me ending up closer to the welder in the end.

    I typically build small ships by installing a single welder into my conveyor system, and using another small ship with a landing gear to drag the new small ship back and forth across it, hopping out occasionally to add more blocks if it's not from a projector. These changes mean that I'm often closer to the welder, and often rotating around to get top blocks fixed, so when I pop out, I end up immediately in the kill zone.
     
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  13. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

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    4,964

    Keen's motivation to fix the problem is understandable. But the current solution isn't the right one. It's a mistake. Perhaps it was the most expedient, but was a little hasty.

    The decrease in range makes for a bad experience in using the welders in the game. Maneuvering a ship that close to another grid to get a weld makes the welder impractical. Having to grind off multiple blocks to fix the one that's damaged? What's the point? When building from a projection, you need some range as you don't have direct control of which blocks get welded; and now you have to be so close, you're forever chasing the block you're wishing to target.

    The original devs set the range at its previous point for a reason. Being able to stand on the back of welder while it's live or being anywhere near it isn't going to bring down the core of the game experience; nerfed welders will.

    But look. I understand the desire to solve a specific problem. Keen just picked the wrong solution.

    Revert the welders back. Open the bug back up. Come up with a different solution to fix the problem. I'm sure you guys are capable of it.
     
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  14. punkatron Trainee Engineer

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    43
    Agreed op, the better solution to keen's apparent issue with welders is simply to restore the original area of effect when welding blocks, but reduce damage to the player when coming into contact with welders.
     
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  15. Mattk50 Trainee Engineer

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    69
    yeah this broke a number of my designs, breaks the functionality of large welders completely due to the gaps and serves no valid balancing purpose.

    Also, if PMWs need a nerf the way to do that is to 1. reduce collision damage (SE needs this anyways, too many ships explode upon light bumps with eachother and terrain) and 2. reduce warhead damage 3. reduce shrapnel/dropped item damage. It's not complicated.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2017
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  16. Forcedminer Senior Engineer

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    2,227
    landing gears rotors and pistons can also kill players.
    gonna nerf those? ;3

    hold up gravity is the great killer....can gravity even be nerfed?....now speed....hmmmm
     
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  17. Dwarf-Lord Pangolin Senior Engineer

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    2,597
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  18. tankmayvin Senior Engineer

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    2,864
    Let me be very clear here.

    The issue with getting killed by a welder at a ridiculous distance from the tip, or behind the welder block is, provably not related to this current welder range nerf. If it is related then it is because someone seriously fucked up following through with what needed fixing and what was fixed.

    As this, and his linked post show: There were a series of bug posts reporting that the lethal radius of the welder was dramatically larger than the welding radius and it could kill you at absurd distances. I made one of those linked posted so I know of what I speak as it were.

    The lethal radius was absurd. It would kill you well behind the welder block, nevermind the tips. It was so huge you could never even go near the console on the welders. It was also much much much bigger than the building radius of the welder.

    When the lethal radius is correctly set to the effective welding radius that has been used for most of the years I have played this game, there is no lethality issue. You can access the consoles and all of the functionality of the welder block safely.

    Indeed this bug was corrected and the lethal and building radiuses were brought back to what we had come to expect after years of play. This was a legit complaint. And it was fixed and everyone was happy.

    Then, months later both radii get completely nerfed all to hell. The two issues can thus not be related and I must say that @Conradian's post is misleading since it implies that the current fix has anything to do with the crazy killing bug as reported. It clearly does not.
     
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  19. Dwarf-Lord Pangolin Senior Engineer

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    2,597
    I suspect that there may have been some miscommunication at Keen regarding this, then.
     
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  20. Conradian Moderator

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    It's highly likely a new change is inbound with regards to this issue.

    I recommend a bit of patience, trust me they are aware it isn't working optimally right now.
     
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  21. Dwarf-Lord Pangolin Senior Engineer

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    2,597
    You, sir, are awesome. Thank you for letting us know.
     
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  22. FlakMagnet Senior Engineer

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    1,551
    Irrespective of breaking designs etc.... as these thigns are to be expected in a game that is basically unfinished..... I prefer to look at WHY they have done this.

    Players were killing themselves on their own welders.

    OK...I used to do this when I was careless too. U sed to do this when I used a toggle on/off to activate a group of welders on a welding ship and basically forgot to turn them off before exiting the cockpit. Then if I stepped too close or flew too close, I would die. That's bnasically MY OWN FAULT FOR BEING STUPID. I learnt not to do that, and stopped getting fried on my own welders. As an other issue, I can weld ( for real ) and I know how HOT and generally unsafe the business end of a welder is, and you have to respect that and keep your fleshy bits covered up and out of the way. I was taught this.....and have burnt myself a couple of times trhrough carelessness...but you soon learn. Being careless hurts. You learn not to be careless and you treat the tool with respect. That's what players in the game need to do.

    Exploits....

    What? I am sorry...but anyone going to the effort of building welders into a ship design to repair battle damage on the fly, who has copnveyored them up, linked them to stocks of parts, and configured the armour so it all works deserves credit....not being stopped. They have ENGINEERED a solution to the problem of battle damage, and probably spent a lot of time designing the systems. Deliberately nerfing that because some players can't/won't invest the time is like stopping players rocket-jumping in Team Fortress because some players can't manage it. It's somethjing that seperates the experienced player from the beginner....and should be seen by said beginners as something they should try and master.....not something that is 'cheating'.

    Lastly....WHO demanded this?

    I don't recall seeing much forum clamour, or much activity on the various streams asking for this....so who did? There does seem to be a very small minority of people with a direct hotline to Keens ears to get problems that affect them sorted....
    Or was this a purely internal decision to do this and not player/community driven? If so....mistake. Opinions could have been sought.

    But whatever.... I always found the range of ship mounted welders to be quite short and needed precision flying to avoid damage to the welded objects. Now I basically have to park the welder on the target.
     
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  23. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

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    4,964

    Building self-repairing armor has its trade-offs. The first is that you're going to spend more in mass creating a system of welders, the piping to fit it and the additional armor blocks to extend the hull of the ship to fit your welders under. Then comes the materials to repair your armor. The mass of a block is based on its components. So if you have enough materials to repair each of your blocks 100%, then you could have built another layer of blocks from the get-go.

    Self-healing blocks are counter-balanced by using the same welder radius to make PMWs. In order for the self-healing to work, the sub-system under the armor has to survive the initial attack. If you blow a hole through the armor and the repair system, then it's useless.

    Also, to put a fine point on it. Armor can only protect what's inside of it. Thrusters, turrets, etc. are generally exposed. Sure you can bury a thruster inside of a ship, but then you need the space to avoid thruster damage... meaning a larger armor footprint to cover those thrusters.

    My point is that the game does a good job of balancing itself by having some natural draw-backs to this strategy and those like it. You can ENGINEER a defense and someone will ENGINEER an offense to overcome it and visa versa. That's what ENGINEERING is about. You solve a problem and some other mind creates another problem for you to engineer the shit out of.

    Just agreeing with you, actually. Humans will always figure out how to "game" the system. The first time someone ever picked up a rock and used it as a tool/weapon, we were gaming the system. Sandbox games are all about gaming the system. You use the tools at hand to develop better tools and then use those tools to develop the next set of tools.
     
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  24. Devon_v Senior Engineer

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    1,602
    Actually I like to use wielders as auto repair systems for things like the thrusters. Screw the armor, its job is to break, I'm trying to protect the important bits. :)
     
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  25. Forcedminer Senior Engineer

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    2,227
    same..although i prefer using it to maintain gattling guns.

    I'd have 2 of them next to her other then a wielder just below them.
    only real way to break them is hitting them with a rocket enough to instantly destroy them or outdamage their repair

    [suddenly realizes this weilder nerf most likely ruined that.]
     
  26. Mattk50 Trainee Engineer

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    has there been any official word on this yet? i need to know whether i need to remake all of my designs that include welders.
     
  27. Taemien Apprentice Engineer

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    468
    Yes:

    https://forum.keenswh.com/threads/update-01-174-dev-mirrored-wheels.7392765/

    So it might be fixed within the next 24hrs.
     
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  28. Muttly (Muttly's Pirates) Trainee Engineer

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    56
    was that the offical reason keen gave, because "they kill players". I assumed it was because welding projections at the moment is causing big sim speed drops, so reducing the area of effect on welders is to help counteract that by making the blocks weld at differnt rates too spread the load on server over time. FYI the changes have helped that fairly significantly which is good. Also if your welding up ya ships with a ship welder your doing it wrong, use the welder to dump the mats required into block and use tiere 3 hand welder to finnish. Trust me its much quicker!
     
  29. Forcedminer Senior Engineer

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    2,227

    I thought it was better because it has an AOE allowing you to weild an area faster than manually doing it one by one.
    add more weilders cover a larger area and get large scale or even small scale construction done much much faster... :/

    like try weild a light armor ship with 50 steel plates and NOT punch your monitor in because the crosshairs are still off.
     
  30. russo_bolado Junior Engineer

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    613
    Matter of taste. Personally, I prefer to use a Small Ship with 2 Welders attached - pair it with a efficient automated sorting script like TIM to manage components' production quotas and your building process will be much smoother. It will also be safer, because you'll spend the ship's power to weld, not your suit's.
     
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