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Redesigning batteries, recharging

Discussion in 'Suggestions and Feedback' started by Grit Breather, Jan 18, 2016.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. Grit Breather Junior Engineer

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    874
    Indeed. That was part of why I suggested this.

    I'll start with your last statement about not getting the Power Cell components back when grinding a battery. The only reason this was introduced was because Keen had to balance batteries somehow after realising they need an initial charge after construction. That balance issue is still a requirement because people need to be able to use batteries without an initial charging framework. It's how you start off in survival and it's how you start new ships almost every time. This is especially true on planets.

    As for this suggestion being too complicated, I wholly disagree. It is no more complicated than the way you'd use a battery in, well, anything. Your phone has a removable battery (I'm sorry iSheep), your car has one, your laptop has one. Removable batteries are a lot more intuitive than what we have now because people are used to treating batteries that way.

    As for intuitive with relation to game mechanics, removable batteries are completely in-line with how reactors work, how oxygen works, and how hydrogen works. For oxygen and hydrogen this is true for both ships and suits.
    My suggestion actually brings batteries more in-line with current game mechanics and makes them more intuitive to new and existing players.

    This suggestion also solves some of the problems we have with batteries today such as needing to start with an initial charge and not receiving all components back when grinding. It gives us greater flexibility when using batteries while retaining balance.

    I hope so. It's really hard to tell with suggestions. :(
     
  2. Harrekin Master Engineer

    Messages:
    3,077
    I'd rather grind down the battery, get back depleted cells and then rebuild the battery with normal battery cells.

    Depleted cells are recycled in the assembler/refinery and yield a small amount of their original material cost.

    This is similar in effect to your idea, but makes replacing cells less of a trivial "conveyored"/easy swap thing because you are more repairing a battery than swapping phone batteries.
     
  3. Grit Breather Junior Engineer

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    874
    And how would you get cells charged? If anything, this idea seems unintuitive to me. You don't assemble charged components, you make them depleted and then charge them.

    Would you also rather disassemble empty oxygen bottles and then build new full ones? What would you do with partially full ones?
     
  4. Harrekin Master Engineer

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    3,077
    They're not the same thing whatsoever.

    You do however prime cells in a battery before use and then don't reuse the cells when they're depleted.
     
  5. Grit Breather Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    874
    I'm not a chemical or battery expert so I had to look up priming.
    Doesn't look like it has much to do with what you previously stated. It is more about having multiple charge cycles until the battery is at peak performance. I don't think SE needs that sort of mechanic as it would indeed be overcomplicated.
     
  6. Harrekin Master Engineer

    Messages:
    3,077
    No it involves the initial reaction between the chemicals inside.

    Also battery cells become bad after use, hence why your phone battery's maximum capacity declines over time.

    So why not recycle the old cell and just make a new one then?

    Why just copy/paste the gas mechanic into batteries?
     
  7. Grit Breather Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    874
    I think we can both agree that both priming and performance decline are way too complicated as game mechanics. People would most definitely not want to have to use them.

    As for "copy/pasting", I don't believe I am.
    Yes, a lot of the elements I suggested are shared with gasses but only because they also make sense here. We do have a vested interested in having this behave in a similar way because that allows us to both share code (devs) and have a more uniform experience (players).

    In addition, your solutions have so far not solved anything that the original suggestion aimed to solve. In your way batteries are still clunky and there would be no simple way of jump-starting a powerless ship.
     
  8. Harrekin Master Engineer

    Messages:
    3,077
    Grind the battery, get depleted cells, weld back up with power cells...

    Pretty simple.
     
  9. Grit Breather Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    874
    And you call that intuitive? It's a clunky solution to a clunky system.

    Maintenance tasks shouldn't have engineering solutions. They should have simpler non-construction solutions.
     
  10. Harrekin Master Engineer

    Messages:
    3,077
    So instead you'd rather everything runs on AA's you can carry around in your pocket?
     
  11. Grit Breather Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    874
    AA's aren't exactly my intention. It's more large car batteries for ship casings and power bank sized ones for suit recharging.

    But in general, yeah. Most things in life run on batteries that are not welded right into the device. For most things in life you are completely free to remove the battery and replace it with a new one. (Again, sorry iSheep people. You probably don't know what I'm talking about)

    The number of times in life where I had to grind down my laptop just to remove the battery were... Well... Very small.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2016
  12. Scya Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    266
    Big and heavy charging AA batteries.
    This makes more sense to me than grind down the battery and reassemble the power cells (which is still better than what we have now).
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. Krougal Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,012
    So here's some details about why I'm not crazy about this idea. (all in response to OT as well as general discussion through the thread by various people)

    If we make large bulky power-cells for suit recharging, then you need to lug them around with you, who wants to be bothered with that?
    So you can carry 1 tool, 1 O2 bottle, 1 H2 bottle and 1 battery?
    If the battery isn't large and bulky then what's the point? Might as well just up the suit power cap and be done with it.
    With the simple electrical mechanics in the game, there is no reason you should ever be far from a seat and out of power.
    O2/H2 require dedicated infrastructure. The bottles allow ships without gen and/or tank to be viable so they are needed. A personal battery is not.

    As for the ship, the car battery is a good example, against you though. We don't go swapping out car batteries until they go bad.
    Electronics? Give me a break, electronics are consumables these days. For the most part the device has outlived it's usefulness by the time the battery dies.
    Anyway enough realism (not even going to get into the magical SE reactor discussion).

    The jump-starting issue, yes, I make sure there is always 1 reactor externally accessible so you can "put gas in the tank". Otherwise grind and replace yes. Getting scrap when a new battery comes 30% charged is more than fair. People are crying over some Ni and Si FFS!

    I don't want to be arsed with carrying batteries around or putting them in and taking them out of chargers or even what size they are ala "Industrialcraft"

    My only gripe is the battery should be a lower priority producer than the reactor. Period. Nothing else really needs to even change. Battery is great for producing "on demand" for surge. I'd rather draw from reactors for routine power and let them keep the battery topped up for when I really need it, than what we have now which is the battery gets used, and then charges off the reactors if they are present anyway. Defeats the purpose. Other than that, I have been finding ships powered solely by battery completely viable. Besides not rectifying that issue, your solution would just add more micro-management headache.
     
  14. VanGoghComplex Apprentice Engineer

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    246
    I like the idea, through and through.

    Having a "battery box" block that contains cells which can be swapped is great on its own.

    The option to carry extra batteries to charge your suit would be cool too. Just like the gas bottles, it would be optional. Don't need the extra runtime? Don't carry batteries. Don't need the extra breathing/flying time? Don't carry extra bottles. Just because it becomes an option doesn't mean you automatically are required to do it.
     
  15. Harrekin Master Engineer

    Messages:
    3,077
    Why would an Engineer carry extra batteries when they could just increase the overall suit energy (presumably with the aforementioned batteries) in the first place?
     
  16. VanGoghComplex Apprentice Engineer

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    246
    Why can our engineers carry gas bottles when they could just increase the overall gas capacity of their suit in the first place?

    Why are there gas cans? Why aren't all automobiles just made with 90-gallon tanks?

    Why does my remote control need two AAs? Why wasn't it designed with a 9v lantern battery?

    Why do I have a spare tire in my trunk? Why doesn't my car just have 5 wheels to begin with?

    The idea is that you don't need the extra battery (or the extra weight and size it occupies in your suit) all the time, but you have the option to bring one with you if you plan to be far away from a recharging station for extended periods.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. sioxernic Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    2,535
    Yeah. I do like the very basics of the idea of "battery casing" and "battery packs" the only problem was when you edited your post to start including tiers.
    I feel that a lot of people don't realize the consequences of tiering. Getting resources in SE is not really an issue at all and it doesn't take long to get the resources you need and and as soon as you have gathered them there is quite literally no reason to build anything but the best tier. Do you ever build a tier 2 if you have the option to build a tier 4 welder?
    Second thing I disagree with is connector ports. If you did that then people would only build as many batteries as their output requires and basically store surplus power as battery packs that automatically gets cycled in and out. If you then say: "Well it wont do that automatically" then I could easily do that with a sorter and a basic script. At that point batteries kind of lose their niche and point and basically just becomes a chargeable reactor instead.

    Also I don't think the suit should be able to be charged from portable batteries at all although this point is not the reason I am disagreeing though since I kind of wouldn't care either way in terms of that.

    Initially I did support your suggestion but I do believe it has become to convoluted and added to many features to it which would remove its current purpose as a block.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. discodancepant Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    72
    I like this idea overall with a caveat.

    There are multiple types of batteries in real life for multiple purposes. Let's take example a car battery; it gets recharged by the alternator constantly and is only used when starting your car (unless you forgot to turn your lights off). It's much the same with aircraft batteries. These types of batteries should not be allowed to have a level lower than 80%. If they are allowed below that point, they become virtually useless. They *can* be brought back, but it's costly and time consuming.

    Now let's look at deep-cycle batteries:
    These are designed to be put on a load over time. You see them used in home solar arrays and in power backups for houses. Industrial deep-cycle batteries are used the same way but can be brought down to a much lower level without "killing" the battery.

    How this applies to space engineers:
    Non deep cycle batteries take less materials, but have a much shorter life span. They are usually lighter as well. If a person were to keep a battery on them to power their suit this would be the prime choice. They take little energy to charge in comparison.

    Industrial deep cycle batteries are the only type that really makes sense to use in an array that gets charged up and is used over time. They are very heavy, take a long time to charge, and a large amount of power to fully charge.

    Instead of tiers it would make more sense to just have these two different types of battery. One for carrying around with you if needed and the other to keep your base running (if solar is your thing).

    I really like the idea though.


    Edit:
    I have experience with overhauling aircraft main batteries as well as other types.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  19. Grit Breather Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    874
    This sounds cool but it might be stretching the limits of what most people consider fun. As SE is a game, I think it would be wise to stay away from life expectancy and overly limiting usage parameters. I'm not opposed to looser usage parameters but things like "if the battery goes below 80% it becomes useless for eternity" don't make for a good game design.

    My OP has different battery types as an option. I do think this will add depth to the game as long as it's not overly exhausting to maintain.

    You don't say... ;)
     
  20. discodancepant Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    72
    On that we agree. Some people (not to name names) prefer simplicity, which is fine. I was just saying that we could have two types of batteries, the lighter ones would require less material, but have less total power output. They could start with a full charge after being built, but be unable to be recharged. The heavier ones would have greater power output, take many more components, and not come (fully) charged.

    It's mixed fantasy/realism. :)
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  21. DivineWrath Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    531
    I'm on the side of simplicity. Only add new features or complexity if it makes my life easier or would be a cool feature ("cool feature" because your definition of "fun" might be different than mine). When I first joined, I found this game to be like minecraft in space. You could mine ore and turn it into blocks to build ships and stations with. Building ships was simple, as you didn't need much. You had to have systems to power the ship, systems to make it move, and systems to control it. You could do that with 1 reactor, 6 thrusters (1 for each of the 6 directions), 1 gyro, and 1 cockpit. Other systems like conveyor networks or remote control were optional, but it could make your life easier. A conveyor network for instance, removes the need for me to move everything by hand as I could move very large quantities of stuff through the conveyor network instead, and some blocks can even pull things through the conveyor network without needing me to take any action. I could bring a mining ship with a full cargo hold home, dock it with a connector, have its cargo hold emptied by a sorter block, and have the refineries pull ore in and start working. If that sounds simple, then good. I want my batteries be that kinda of simple too.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  22. sioxernic Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    2,535
    I do still like the idea of the batteries being able to be changed and moved by hand though since it allows you to make ships that are battery powered but do not have to use very large connectors on them (batteries can already be considered quite block->power inefficient) with the downside of having to do it by hand. That is honestly a fine trade off to me. As long as it wont start including conveyors, personal battery packs and a plethora of other smaller features like battery component tiers. The feature of adding battery packs to batteries would also open up modding opportunities for people that Uranium and Depleted Uranium as well for their reactors.
     
  23. discodancepant Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    72
    This is space engineers ... Not space legos. It's not Minecraft in space either. It's space engineers. It takes a lot of thinking and designing to get into, and operate in, space.

    Power grids are overly simple already; you don't need cables, transformers, conduits, relays.

    Conveyer systems are overly easy.

    Thrusters don't even matter where you put them on the ship, it doesn't take the vector of thrust into account, simple direction.

    This game is so incredibly easy in so many ways and yet you want it to be easier?!? Seriously??
     
    • Disagree Disagree x 2
  24. Krougal Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,012
    Yeah, and then it continues to go down hill as people who know a little about batteries suggest more types of batteries.
    Because yes! Let's make this Batterysimulator 2070! Lets add conduits & wiring to the game as well while we're at it. How about 2 and 3 phase power.
    Why don't we add in all the complex steam plumbing that goes with a fission reactor? "Recommended system specs: Should have masters degree or higher in multiple engineering disciplines"
    What would it add to gameplay? I think we can do the handwave thing and assume in 2070 all batteries used in space are of the deep-cycle kind and get on with life.

    The electrical system in this game is very simplified and unrealistic because it needs to be. You can't do anything without electrical power.
     
  25. Shabazza Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    687
    I know why they needed a balancing element here. But I already stated my opinion on why the current way is unfair and how it could be done better in the respective thread. (don't have it at hand now).
    Here the short version:
    The current way with magic pre-charge is just silly. But it would still be viable for me, if the penalty would be a fair one.
    But you have to invest much more energy to rebuild those "destroyed" power cells from scratch than the pre-charge is actually worth. You need to find and mine iron, nickel, cobalt and silicone, refine it and assemble it. So I call it "unfair".

    And still it's not how I want to use batteries. I like a solid block that can be charged and discharged and if I want I can make a removable module out of it with merge blocks or connectors.
    I just like the current style more than what your suggested. ;)
    Your suggestion will basicly make batteries something that can be recharged by using conveyors, which feels totally odd for me. Or do you refill your AA accumulators with fresh acid?
    No. You hook them up to a charger.
    I guess I don't see a problem where you and maybe other players see one.

    And for the point with survival: I'd rather liked to see a way to connect the suit to a ship via some energy port to kickstart it or to have a movable power-pack item to do this.
    Just like you would do it with a car.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
  26. discodancepant Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    72
    I never suggested a battery simulator mini game ... Sounds great! :) (is the sarcasm tangible?)

    You can make any argument using an extreme that I clearly didn't agree with. Clearly you don't understand my point of easily portable batteries (that your suit already has in it for you to be able to move) verse deep cycle.

    If modders want to add 50 different batteries to the game, it's their choice. Rather than a tiered system I suggested two battery types ... Hardly enough for your battery simulator.

    I didn't suggest three phase power, although it makes sense that a reactor ouputting the massive amounts of power that even a small ship small nuclear reactor puts out would need to use three phases to carry the load safely.

    As far as the necessity of simple power ... I'm sorry, you are mistaken, it is not at all necessary for them to make it simple due to the number of devices that need power. It's the ignorance of the users who want power but don't want to learn how power works. You don't need a degree to know how transformers work. Again, you take everything you say to the extreme to prove your point, but you're wrong, you have proven nothing except your own lazy attitude towards this game.

    Like I said before it seems you want some form of lego game rather than space engineers.

    Do notice though that I have not suggested the game add complex power ... I already know they won't simply because of people like you. They already give you so much, but it's not enough is it?
     
  27. Krougal Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,012
    It isn't always about complexity.
    Taking a piss is pretty simple (well...maybe not so much in space...), but modeling it wouldn't add anything to gameplay (at least for the majority of players).
    Adding realism just for realism sake doesn't add to gameplay.
    Adding complexity just for complexity sake doesn't add to gameplay.
    That was the point of my extreme argument.

    As I said earlier O2 and H2 bottles serve an important function. A personal suit battery doesn't.

    As mods, sure knock yourself out. Add 100 types of battery cells of all shapes and sizes. Go crazy.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  28. Krougal Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,012
    So the personal suit recharger batter in particular.
    What are you genius's doing that you are so far away from a recharge point that it could possibly be of any use?
    Not mining, grinding or welding - because those things require inventory space.
    So how are you going to work and carry a spare battery? WTF are you doing to drain your suit power if you aren't doing those 3 things?
    If the battery is so small and light that it isn't impactful, then like I said, up the base suit capacity and call it a day.
    You are looking to add extra stuff to carry around and be arsed with that doesn't serve any particular purpose.
     
  29. Harrekin Master Engineer

    Messages:
    3,077
    Gimme "jump cables" based on ME ropes with no physics and the batteries as we have them are perfect.
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  30. DivineWrath Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    531
    With that reasoning, what reason do you need oxygen or hydrogen bottles? If you ask me, you might need extended life support if you don't have a ship, or if your ship has crashed. Really, any time you need those things is when you are having a bad day or you don't have anything better to use. What about welders or grinders for that matter? You should be using a ship if you have the option to do so. Look, just because you don't need them for 90% of the game doesn't mean it isn't handy for the first 5 to 10 %.

    Just to name an example, I don't know about you, but I have played lone survivor maps where literally the best thing that I could be doing is flying around in a space suit looking for different kinds of ore. Just having your helmet on drains energy as does using your lights. Not using your hand tools does not drop your energy use to 0. Being held hostage to a recharge point, I have wasted much time flying back home looking to recharge. Mind you, once I have a ship that no longer matters, but until then I can't be away from home too long.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
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