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Survival "Overhaul" disappointment

Discussion in 'General' started by lfcifer, Feb 20, 2019.

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This last post in this thread was made more than 31 days old.
  1. lfcifer Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    13
    Survival "Overhaul" disappointment

    I want to start off by saying I have been incredibly excited for a Survival overhaul since I first started playing the game. I've been playing Space Enginners for years in creative mode, and getting more survival mechanics has always been the highest thing on my wishlist. Virtually everything I've built has been for practice, or use in, Survival. For "some day". I honestly can't remember the last time I posted here. But the development of the Survival "Overhaul" has convinced me to provide my feedback. Please don't interpret this as one big complaint, but an expression of desire for more. I can't put my finger what exactly would make it better, but I can define what feels lacking.

    I've played Survival mode over the years, but it just always felt lacking. Once you have air and power, which in my opinion are very easy to get, the Survival aspect is over. There wasn't even really a degree of difficulty to it, I either always had way more than I needed, or none at all. It's a goal that's very easy to accomplish, and once you do you've completely conquered the survival aspect of the game. The gameplay that's left is the exact same as Creative, except now I require resources to build.

    I know that's massively oversimplifying, there's a lot of resources to mine, components to build, and stages of building, but this is not the "Survival" genre, this a... builder, a sandbox, or a crafting game.. I'm not debating semantics or vernacular, I don't want them to change the mode to be named "Builder Mode", I want them to make the Survival mode they are choosing to showcase in an update to include actual survival mechanics. At the very least, make the Survival "Overhaul" more about actual survival instead of an unlocking progression system just for new players. I played the playtest with the new survival kit and progression of block unlocks, I thought this was a good start to a Survival "overhaul". But as time went on I realized this includes the entirety of the update.

    But the only thing this "overhaul" changed for mid to end game survival, is temperature. I also hope keen will admit this is a very light survival mechanic. Number one it only requires power to recharge your suit when in extreme temps, and air (pressurized room) to get away from them. Power and air is the basic 101 of Space Engineers, they are not a challenge to get. The progression system I think will work wonders in teaching new people how to play the game. Slowing down the amount of blocks given to them so they can better learn their function as they unlock them. But if you've already been using every block for years and know how to use it at max efficiency, this system is just an expanded tutorial. This becomes just a "Temperature Update".

    I know Space Engineers is already an amazing game, with tons of interlocking mechanics that have been a pain to keep from going clang. I also accept there is only so much they can do in a single update. But calling this a Survival "Overhaul", feels like a ploy and a cop out. Like they are trying to attract or please the Survival crowd, while barely giving them any content. It's incredibly disappointing. It feels like a giant "Welp, this should be enough, lets move on", and I fear we lost our chance at getting real survival mechanics.

    Am I the only one who feels this way?
     
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  2. vadersson Trainee Engineer

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    78
    Hi there,
    I too wish that there could have been more in the end, but at the same time, like you it is hard to put your finger on what exactly is needed. I will say that from what I have seen this update is more than just a temperature update. They have rebalanced a lot of component requirements, power requirements, and other details that will change how the game played in the past. That said, is that enough for an "Overhaul"? Probably not, but it certainly is in the right direction.

    We will have to see what other surprises come from Keen in the release. It may have more than they have shown so far. But in many ways the game is what you make of it and how you define survival.

    Thanks,
    Duncan
     
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  3. doncdxx Apprentice Engineer

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    413
    I understand fully. It's hard to really put your finger on what else survival needs. There's been suggestions like radiation and food, but that accounts to just more bars to keep track of, which is questionable whether it would actually add more challenge or just be another thing that is stable all too quickly.

    At this point, I think survival is probably as good as is it's going to get, and what the game really needs is more aspects of gameplay beyond survival. NPC's, a procedural mission system, rare materials/blocks, or something else that adds gameplay after that sense of stability is attained, that's what I think the game needs now. I also think the game needs a structured PvP system apart from survival, but that's another issue.

    If the game will get any of that in the future is uncertain and there's no real consensus from the players on what the game needs next to feel more fleshed out. There is a widely held desire from the players for more stuff, but what? If the community could rally behind a couple of well defined aspects instead of just the vague notion of "more", the devs would likely listen. Perhaps the devs do have more in mind as they're not calling SE finished so much as "a stable foundation".

    I remain optimistic.
     
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  4. mojomann71 Senior Engineer

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    1,807
    Marek himself has stated that SE was to be a builder sandbox that included physics. It is what his goal was, it is what he sold it as originally. He never promised a survival aspect or a game. That is something the community has begged for and he complied and slowly added these things and expand upon them. In the last stream announcing leaving early access he plans on building up on it more, so have hope that it will have what you want in it. :)
     
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  5. odizzido Junior Engineer

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    672
    To me the problem is the game has no challenge. Nothing to threaten your life, nothing to worry about, and nothing to prepare for. The engineering challenges are fun, but they're a solved problem for me now.

    The preparation, worry, and life threatening can be solved with scenarios. I think this is the easiest thing to add in so my guess is this is what SE will end up being, which is fine.

    The engineering challenges are a double edged sword because as soon as you make that too hard there are a lot of people who will complain. Just look at the stone "grind" they added at the start. Many people complain about having to haul stone for ages when all you need to do is grind down your ship, add a drill, and drill straight down. I never picked up a single rock, so if anything the game is less grindy for me now.

    I could list off engineering challenges that I think would help, but I don't think it's a good use of my time. I just hope there will be a few interesting, and challenging, scenarios at the end.
     
  6. Malware Master Engineer

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    9,631
    No, you're not the only one by a long shot. I just gave up hoping for a big expansion a long time ago.
     
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  7. Silvrav Trainee Engineer

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    88
    Agree, more native NPC's are needed.

    At the moment though I ran 5 NPC mods and its never a dull moment in SE, as I have 5 NPC's in close proximity at all times with another 10 in the 5-10km range. Never knowing if they going to turn towards me. Currently its all based on antenna detection so my hope it would be improved to work on a chance system and detection of the player
     
  8. SirConnery Apprentice Engineer

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    219
    At opening poster, you can make NPC's quite threatening by using a lot of enemy NPC mods. But that's about it for survival elements.
     
  9. Stardriver907 Master Engineer

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    3,133
    Precisely. The only problem here is the use of the word "survival" to describe the mode you are playing in. It didn't help that the update was called the "survival" update.
    SE is a game where you build stuff and then play with it. At no time was there ever going to be a "reason to play" from Keen. All that is on the player, which is how a sandbox works.

    When Update 1.188 dropped Marek stated definitively that SE was and is a sandbox game, and that caused a lot of people to leave. Keen has experienced this before. Miner Wars interest dropped after people found out it was not going to be an MMO. SE is a bit more sophisticated in that even though it is not a survival game, it could be, and Keen has provided players with the tools to make it one. Therefore I would agree that it's a pretty lame "survival" update. It appears to be, however, a pretty good "gameplay" update ;)
     
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  10. Calaban Junior Engineer

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    917
    Survival in a sandbox game amounts to doing something that at gut level seems unpalatable: Make things harder on ourselves by choice.

    A good example is Weather settings. Play Armaggeddon weather for a bit and see if fuel and air are all you need to worry about to survive. But, as I stated- it leaves a sour taste in our mouths doing this, doesnt it?

    Thats the problem with the reward centers of our brains. There is never such a thing as "constantly happy" or even "constantly content"- we just aren't wired that way. Over time, things just become "typical" and rather quickly "ho hum".. then eventually "what was the point, anyway?". On literally everything in our extant world.

    Thus, the only way to shake things up and keep things fresh and new and interesting, is to do just that- shake things up. Get out of our comfort zone (it was the 'ho hum' one, remember?), and commit to that.

    By way of example, I was suffering the "survival is too easy" problem a while ago. Starting a new world meant very soon I would have all I would ever need or want, and would lose interest. Even raiding stations, Argentavii, and Eradicator drones made me literally yawn. I needed a Challenge. Realizing what I described above about our personal Wet-ware wiring I knew, to feel the "fun" again, I had to get a little extreme. maybe very extreme, maybe even "but why would I do this to myself?" kind of extreme.

    No. Helmet. It was a mod that simply kept my helmet visor open. All the time. So I figured, Ill do a crashed red ship survival. In space. With No Helmet. ooh! I was feeling the excitement and fun already!

    what sort of endless wall of story exposition, and screenshot heavy mayhem could ever result from this sort of self torture?
    https://forum.keenswh.com/threads/a-hardcore-survival-story-world-load-challenges.7400865/

    And yeah- that "gimme some fun!" and "dangit! I want a game challenge!" itch got scratched. The part at the beginning when I just raided and outpost, but then sat in my pressurized cockpit wondering just how I would get in and actually loot the thing made the old, ho hum raiding outpost amazingly interesting and new, And I got to do some actual Space. Engineering. at that point. :)

    So, I guess in the end, my advice to the ho-hums is a bit masochistic in a way, but hey! I cannot help the way our brains are wired... yet.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2019
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  11. Morloc Apprentice Engineer

    Messages:
    262
    So, this was the Survival Update?...I'd sort of presumed it was just some prep for the actual update.

    Allow me to express my disappointment. I guess I was really hoping fauna would be fixed. With the need to stave off irritating, dangerous life forms in certain places, there was a need for weapons...something working against my survival.

    Sorry, no half-full glass for me; thank you. Sandbox, yes...got it. It's also EA...got it. No promises were ever ever made about anything ever. Got it. Invent my own scenarios, conditions, goals....just like Lego. Got it.

    Essentially the epitaph will read: "SE... was a high-tech Etch-A-Sketch, but also far more buggy".


    -Morloc
     
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  12. Stardriver907 Master Engineer

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    3,133
    Challenges contrived by software generally lose their appeal quickly. Many found space pirates and cyberhounds to be formidible when introduced. Now they are just a nuisance. That's because they're predictable. Once we figure out what makes them tick, they are no longer a threat.

    This is why I believe the future is multiplayer. Humans are much more unpredictable. There's only so much you can do to prepare yourself for what someone else might do. To me, interaction with real people never gets old as long as everyone strives to be one step ahead of everyone else. Getting that same level of unpredictability from NPCs would be difficult.
     
  13. Thrak Junior Engineer

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    536
    I think future updates past this one will improve the survival experience, building upon this, as it were. Marek is talking "more blocks" again... something Keen said it would not do to any great extent with the updates in early and mid 2018.
     
  14. Calaban Junior Engineer

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    917
    In multiplayer servers with raiding outposts and stations, I go out of my way to hijack them, modify them (place interior turrets in alternate places, for example) and give them back to the Pirates...

    .. then read about how this servers admin is awesome :)
     
  15. mojomann71 Senior Engineer

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    1,807
    @Thrak Marek is talking about more blocks again, because that is what the majority wants.
    If you listen to him carefully he thinks the amount of blocks we have now is too much. I can't do an exact quote of him but he basically said there is currently 200 blocks, which is too much. Or something to that effect. :)
     
  16. Malware Master Engineer

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    9,631
    And he is oh, so wrong...
     
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  17. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

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    4,828

    At a minimum, bare minimum, we need more armor block shapes. armor blocks typically are the core of the frames designed. But we're missing blocks that would allow for interior angles... slopes greater than 2:1 (we need 3:1 and 4:1 as well). Being able to visually refine designs would go a long way in the game... ESPECIALLY FOR MARKETING A GOLD RELEASE. More refined shapes would also encourage new and updated builds with more "new" content in the workshop. Again, better for marketing and game promotion.
     
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  18. mojomann71 Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,807
    @Malware and @Ronin1973 not saying I agreed with Marek, just pointed out even though he thinks we have too many blocks he is still going to allow more to be added. :) Because that is what people want, he is at least willing to budge. :)
     
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  19. Stardriver907 Master Engineer

    Messages:
    3,133
    Too many blocks? I don't know how anyone could come to that conclusion, especially Marek. There appears to be room in the menu for way more than 200 blocks.

    I have subscribed to just about every armor block variant mod out there and it doesn't really add up to a whole lot. There are some gaps still, and describing what they should look like would be difficult, but sooner or later someone with some modding skill will attempt to build something and end up with a hole that no block can fill and we will get a new block. When it comes to squarish blocks, we're almost there.

    Of course, all those modded blocks are not actually armor blocks. They don't deform. It would be great if Keen made all the variants.

    I think Marek meant that there are SO MANY blocks already that it's hard to keep track of them. Trying to find one particular block that will fit precisely in a weird hole I just made can be a whole game mission in itself.

    That's just armor blocks. I have like fifteen ion engines alone to choose from. Three types of landing gear. Eight cockpits. Twelve consoles. Four kinds of catwalks.

    Then there's combination blocks.

    And production blocks.


    I'm pretty sure Marek meant that finding the block you need amongst all the blocks available even now is a cumbersome task.
     
  20. mojomann71 Senior Engineer

    Messages:
    1,807
    @Stardriver907 again I can't quote him as I am at work and can't watch the video again, but unless I misunderstood him he said he wished there were fewer blocks. Maybe he meant when he first started SE he only wanted a few blocks. But he did mention as you said it being a pain to scroll through them all. :)
    I am all for more blocks. Just pointed out Marek's comment.
     
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  21. Calaban Junior Engineer

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    917
    Well one good thing about leaving early access is at least the reasonably better odds that mod makers will not have to redo everything after the next bug update.

    In Theory, such a release state stable foundation will remain unchanged mostly from this point out, meaning mod configurations will not have to struggle to remain current anymore either- only addons now to this build will be content related.

    .. in Game Theory.
     
  22. Ronin1973 Master Engineer

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    4,828
    Well, a block isn't just a block. If the block does something that requires additional CPU usage for checking its performance... well then adding more of those types would be a greater issue. But we're talking alternative armor blocks. They have the same functionality as any other armor block. I believe they use the same textures. Getting people interested in the game will require visual appeal. The more appealing the ships... the more likely new players will be interested. Keen can't sell the game with user created mod-packs since they aren't officially supported.
     
  23. doncdxx Apprentice Engineer

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    413
    That's the part I'm most excited about. I have about 2 dozen mods I only have to update one last time.
     
  24. Helaton Apprentice Engineer

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    208
    I always felt the issue with Survival (especially single player) was how sterile it was as far as hazards go. Once you have enough resources, the gameplay is sterile. you are your own worst enemy, which can be sad. Also asteroids tend to have such massive quantities of materials, that once you find 3-4 asteroids of resources, you're all set.

    This is what always made multiplayer more interesting than single player. Multiplayer is unscripted, different players with different goals all together whether you liked it or not. Single Player or Multiplayer Co-op doesn't really have that. At a certain point, what you need is a 'storyteller' like what is done in Rimworld (excellent single player 'survival' sandbox) to cause random events to happen that tend to make life interesting or in the worst case, downright horrid.

    This style of survival will see things being less grand and singular (having only one super massive ship probably is a liability.) Instead, having redundant systems, small ships with essential parts (not just everything crammed into one) will give more flexibility. Now if people want a more sterile survival, they should probably be able to turn it off, the same as turn off/down meteors.
     
  25. Calaban Junior Engineer

    Messages:
    917
    The update coming in thursday will change a lot. For instance: no longer will every single asteroid have a core of solid iron. nope! It will only be patches, and some asteroids are pure rock only. But the side benefit is, now rock is good for getting trace amounts of iron, nickel, and silicon, in a little kit that can be carried by a small grid ship- a mini rock refinery/assembler/medbay/spawnpoint (the survival kit) which is great for repairing (most of) the ship out in the field if need be. Sure the kit only refines stone, and only builds a handful of basic components (no tubes, for instance), but with a couple of hand deliveries of stone, it can make you a large grid basic assembler, and basic refinery. Also- stone yields materials to make both batteries and solar panels... so anywhere you go that has stone, and as long as you have the survival kit and a little starting power available, you can build and repair abroad.

    That, plus the encounters and drone ai updates seen in the beta tests, means that this update has much more content that "keep the meatbag breathing" survival stuff- it also includes survival problems to overcome.. aka content. I can only hope that the Keen multiplayer servers will include Drones and Encounters in their servers.. otherwise a large majority of the new content will be left out.
     
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  26. Mollymawk Trainee Engineer

    Messages:
    99
    I feel sorry for all those kids getting lego and meccano at christmas.. OK, you can build stuff, but honestly what is the point even opening the box?

    but seriously

    Its not really "survival mode", once you have access to ice and a little power, that's it, job done, you're surviving.

    it should be called "Logistics Mode", "How do i turn the ore i those hills over there into a 1km long space capable battle ship? "

    "How do i get off this planet and and to that one over there"

    "How do i capture that NPC ship without those turrets ripping me to bits"

    "How can i make this robot walk"

    "how can I automate mining and refining and assembling"
     
  27. Malware Master Engineer

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    9,631
    It was the community which insisted on "survival mode". It was originally going to be called "Manual Mode" or something like that.
     
  28. JD.Horx Senior Engineer

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    1,032
    Once I played the Survival Mode of Factorio, I knew what SE is missing. A real progression of technology, a fair but present enemy that grows bigger as you do and kind of an End Game.
    Additional content like living real factions that give out contracts for money or ressources, abandoned and maintained stations, NPCs and the like, similar to Elite Dangerous, Star Citizen, etc. would also be great, but maybe not feasible in SE. Or maybe not feasible for KeenSWH, idk.
     
  29. mojomann71 Senior Engineer

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    1,807
    Too much focus on blowing stuff up. Lol. I am not against violence in games, just do we really need it in every game?

    Why do we assume all other beings we come across are going to be hostile towards us? :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
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  30. Calaban Junior Engineer

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    917
    Oh, I can answer on the default hostility culture in multiplayer.

    See, in single player mode, long before multiplayer was anywhere near playable, we had those cargo ship NPC's and derelict encounters. In that single player environment, whenever the player came across any grid at all.. the given was that it was up for the taking. We are corrupted into internalizing that we are there only important being in that clang universe.

    Then we moved to multiplayer, and every time we see any sort of grid base or ship... We just instinctively feel entitled to taking it, or blowing it up because we happen to be bored. It's habit.

    5 years, 4 of which left in single player salvage/pirates raider mode. Has ruined us. It takes an actual act of will to stop and think for a second "wait that's not content, that is some other actual human being players' stuff"

    But, since we're ruined in our in game socialization, and wish to continue looking at ourselves in the mirror.. we avoid thinking like that... while we pick at our troll teef.

    That's for the (I would hope) majority of us who do not seek out to do such harm intentionally... Those who do it willingly are just beneath consideration.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2019
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