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Crowd-sourcing the difficulty levels of each asteroid type


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1 hour ago, Nebbie said:

Considering release is in 3 days, I suspect that any planned fixes to these design issues have been postponed while they work on bugfixes and such (this is what's called a "code freeze", and is important to prevent a cascade of issues pushing back a release date).

Unless they are insane, they will be doing this. How long it takes and whether we get tuning for the base-game besides bug fixes, we will see. It is a pretty bad idea to change fundamental things after a release. 

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12 hours ago, Nebbie said:

Considering release is in 3 days, I suspect that any planned fixes to these design issues have been postponed while they work on bugfixes and such (this is what's called a "code freeze", and is important to prevent a cascade of issues pushing back a release date).

While I appreciate your input, I feel you may have missed the point I was trying to make with my post.  I understand what a "code freeze" is, and I do not expect anything major to change before the release in a couple days. 

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Just took the time to update the sheets to reflect the new difficulty order and correct some information that was either incomplete or incorrect.  Main change for the difficulty estimations is that missing the swamp came down in difficulty now that small amounts of gold rains from the sky.  This thread is largely unimportant at this point, but people are still regularly in the sheets and doc, so I thought it would be worth making sure they're up to date for the current launch version.

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Things that I want to add from my side:
First of all, I have grown in love with forest biome (more specifically with pips), so I would say that maps with sandstone start are actually harder than forest start, because they are missing pips. Forest also seem to have way more food in hexalent fruits than sandstone has muckroot, so I have no idea what you guys are saying about lack of food on forest. In fact, I would describe forest as the start where getting food is easier, but getting oxygen is harder. Ton of algae on sandstone start makes setting up oxygen much easier from the perspective of a newer player, on the flip side, sandstone start does not have any oxyferns which help to get rid from some of early CO2. And it also has absolutely broken aluminium.

Also, I feel like you are underestimating volcanea and badlands.

Volcanea adds ton of extra challenges in mid game, also, it is nothing special in early game. Pretty much all volcanea seed do not give access to oil biome, lack of oil biome makes it harder to make steel(lack of easy lime from fossils). You are also limited on how much petroleum you get for the late game... Practically, you have no oil, so you might even have to plan towards getting slicksters from care packages and lauching slickster powered rockets. Also, your expansion can be quite heavily limited by the likely magma at places and volcanoes. So many times I had to dig into biome full of gas phosphorus/liquid phosphorus. Though, you could get lucky with a seed, I believe that more often than not, you will get a volca that has those challenges.

About badlands. You are not accounting for how little of plant seeds you actually have. I have tried starting ravenous hunger badlands and let me tell you, it made me work on growing nosh sprouts as early game food. While you do not have arbor trees... It also has very little algae, making it the worst among all the sandstone starts. You pretty much have to make oxygen from rust instead of any other resource... Another extra little challenge is that you have very little starting building space, granite spawns very close to your printing pod, so having early diggers is a must.

Though, I was generally disappointed with badlands, it could easily become my favorite asteroid if it had more geysers, but it has less geysers than normal. It generally misses several resources... Which is just sad... As someone who thinks that playing skyblock is the best way to play minecraft while trying to build your base from cobblestone generator... I had really high hopes when I saw plain sheets of granite... But it is just sad... It could be much more fun if you were really low on water, but there was a lot of buried water geysers... It could be fun if you had no access to some resources, but there was a creative way of making them... But it ended up being boring. I should probably send my thoughts on badlands as a feedback to devs.

On the other hand, I feel like everyone is overestimating the difficulty of oassisse. You have a ton of area that is really easy to dig through, because sand is easy to dig through, you can generally find the resources that you need by digging either left or right. Every single colony on oassisse that I had grew faster than on other asteroids. And I am saying that my colonies on oassisse grow faster than on terra, both in size and number of dupes. I am not saying that oassisse is easier than terra, but after you learn how to handle it, you start to realize how abundant it is in opportunities. It is harder to learn than terra though.

Also, I am not sure why you are rating the lack of ice biome as some major difficulty increase... I believe that when ever ice biome is present or lacking is 95% irrelevant.
On the other hand, lack of gold is a pretty major setback. Not enough attention was given to how it forces you to go straight to steel while trying to build some very basics things which cant be built with 75C temp limit, but can be easily built with 125C limit.
Rust biome feels like it has to be used on the asteroids that it is actually present, but its lack matter very little on asteroids that it is not present.

I have not played on rime or aridio yet. So, they are missing in my personal rating from easiest to hardest.

1. Oceania.
2. Verdante.
3. Terra.
4. Volcanea.
5. Oassisse.
6. Arboria.
7. Badlands.

I had a bit of hard time deciding when ever I consider oceania or verdante harder. I had to settle for oceania being the easiest, because the amount of water in it just lets you mess around without worrying about anything... Even though, I want to make an argument about how annoying it is to expand while digging through water and how it lacks things, I cant. When you have that much water, everything you try will just work out.

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1 hour ago, DarkMoge said:

...

Sandstone starts have similar amounts of food as forests.  The reason it's hard to tell is because most of the muckroot is buried.  The only exception is the Badlands since the start is spread out more (though it makes up for it somewhat with extra sandstone biome space).  You simply get it much more gradually and have to go a little more out of your way to find it all.  During which time your dupes are actively eating the muckroot.  Ultimately the reason the sandstone start is easier is because you have a greater variety of resources and plants, hatches give more meat when killed, there's far more water, and wood burners are utter trash at the moment.

I think perhaps the reason you don't think missing ice biomes reduces the difficulty is because you don't really use them?  They are very useful in the mid-game for giving easy cooling options, stupid amounts of free high morale food, and huge amounts of water.  While in the end game they are virtually endless heat sinks and give tungsten for high temperature wiring and insulation (if you care about that).  They're one of the few times you don't need steel for aquatunners (or potentially not bother with an aquaturner at all), since you can forgo the steam boiler component and just slowly melt the place.

If you value access to materials, then yes the ice biome doesn't give much more than ice, wolframite, and sleet wheat.  Though there is an absolutely massive amount of ice and sleet wheat in those biomes.

The Badlands bad terrain isn't all that bad.  It's actually pretty similar to the Volcanea lava channels, except that you can eventually get a dupe skill that lets you break through them and there's no temperature issue.  Many of the regular biomes are still connected to another another, so you shouldn't have to go through the obsidian barriers until the late game when you're trying to go to the surface or the oil biome.  By that time, you should have level 3 diggers no problem.  They might even have had enough time to get exosuit training.

I recently did do a high food consumption run on The Badlands, but I didn't have any problems with seeds.  I kept having to add more and more mealwood to my farm, but I never was forced to get mushbars or farm Nosh Sprouts.  Once I broke into an ice biome I was able to tear out most of the mealwood thanks to the huge amounts of wild pepper bread I started getting and finally having enough blossom seeds to feed my dupes with that instead.  The only map I've ever been forced to make mush bars on was Aridio, and that's only because you can't farm mealwood immediately.  Getting your hands on dusk caps or waterweeds can be iffy.

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6 hours ago, DarkMaster13 said:

I think perhaps the reason you don't think missing ice biomes reduces the difficulty is because you don't really use them?  They are very useful in the mid-game for giving easy cooling options, stupid amounts of free high morale food, and huge amounts of water.  While in the end game they are virtually endless heat sinks

The way I see is a source of water that needs some processing before being usable. I feel just as happy when I dig into swamp biome for all the polluted water in it or tide pool for salt water. I do not find the low temp of it all that useful, because... the right way to say is probably that pH2O and salt water from other biomes are not hot enough to be inferior.
Well, I do not grow sleet wheat or bristle blossom, because they are water based food and I feel like oxygen production is the better use of water. And well, you can cool down the oxygen to livable temperatures with both 40C water and -5C water. Your base becoming 40C is just not hot enough to be a problem. When build temporary cooling by placing aqua tuner inside water, you can make it function just as well, you have larger leaway before you need to micromanage water replacement, but it functions just as well. 

I mean, it is useful heat sink, but not useful enough for me to feel that my game became much easier. Considering that you pretty much rate having ice biome as making the game 33% easier.
 

6 hours ago, DarkMaster13 said:

Sandstone starts have similar amounts of food as forests.  The reason it's hard to tell is because most of the muckroot is buried.  The only exception is the Badlands since the start is spread out more (though it makes up for it somewhat with extra sandstone biome space).  You simply get it much more gradually and have to go a little more out of your way to find it all.  During which time your dupes are actively eating the muckroot.  Ultimately the reason the sandstone start is easier is because you have a greater variety of resources and plants, hatches give more meat when killed, there's far more water, and wood burners are utter trash at the moment.

I know, but still, forest biome has overall more hexalent fruit, I would say that sandstone has like 50000 kcal in it and forest has 100000 kcal. Also, since the hexalent fruits are mostly visible, it helps you to focus on your building projects, rather than digging out the entire sandstone biome.
Every time I start on sandstone biome, I feel like I have less food. I feel like there are way more mealwood seeds on forest biome too and it has abundance of dirt, making meal lice an easy solution for quite a while. On the other hand, meal lice, becomes not viable on sandstone, because it has much less dirt and no pips to make dirt. It kind of forces you to use bristle blossom for food which I am not happy using, because I feel that bristle blossom are inferior as food... Unless I am drowning in water... But I have not noticed any significant water start between sandstone and forest start.

6 hours ago, DarkMaster13 said:

I recently did do a high food consumption run on The Badlands, but I didn't have any problems with seeds.

I did a few random map generations on badlands prior to making the post to confirm that I did not just get a bad map seed. All those random map seeds had a distinct features of small starting area, you can see granite on both right and left of your base the moment you load in... And barely any plant seeds. And you just get at most 30 blocks of algae.

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It really does sound like this is mainly down to a difference in playstyle.  I usually do grow bristle blossoms, so cool water supplies are much more important.  It also helps avoid dirt crunch and gives floral scents for reducing stress.  Having no option to grow them on forest is therefore a downside, especially considering they're the only crop that can be used at all stages of the game with several options for cooking it and no alternative option on that start.  The lack of dirt on Sandstone usually isn't a problem for mealwood, since I'm always off of it for food by the time my dirt would run out.  The lack is only annoying for when trying to grow high tier foods or want to ranch glossy dreckos.  I am not farming the sleet wheat, mind you.  Just collecting all of the wild grains, which there is a stupidly large amount of in ice biomes.  Wild nosh sprouts aren't as good, since they tend to wilt to temperature and require an additional cooking step to get to high quality.  Sleet wheat also has the option of berry sludge if you are growing bristle blossoms, which is fair quality food that will not spoil and does not require a cook.

Each wild plant is worth 100 kcal per cycle, meaning 10 will feed a dupe on normal food settings, 20 on high food requirements.  A large ice biome will typically have around 50 of them.  That fully feeds 2.5-5 dupes at +16 morale if you have peppernuts and natural gas, or +4 morale if you don't and spend a little more labor on cooking.  Basically, once you reach a large-ish ice biome you can rely on it for a significant chunk of your food at no cost in resources, just some dupe travel time collecting it.

On the flip side, I don't make use of pips for wild planting, so I tend to value that less and can't really judge how useful it is.

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