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Map Balance


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The new maps looked like a fantastic idea, but I feel like it breaks the game instead of adding alternative challenges.

 

The cold map looks like it get's most biomes, but all the biomes is devoid of critters and plants (By design or because of the cold killing everything?), so I can't use most recipes as they requires something that doesn't exist in this world. Going 5000 cycles just waiting for a lucky printing pod result to get the missing stuff, doesn't really seem like much fun.

 

Took 50 cycles before the start area got too cold to grow mealwood, but then I use the "star blossom" around the Printing Pod and they can go to lower temperatures and at cycle 50 I have full power production running anyway, so I can just use heaters to fight the cold, but it's really boring only needing to design for two food items as I can't make anything else, due to the plants not existing on the map. I admit it's a waste of time, but I like making all the food types, because it means I have the challenge of designing the farms. Isn't that what the game is about making all the designs to get the items?

 

I don't really feel like the cold is a challenge at all, the place was easy to setup and now the dupes can run the place without any input from me.

 

The old starting area has to much water, but then we get the forest biome start and EVERYTHING requires tons of water and it has none... Wut?? So instead of expanding the base you have to slow crawl, while just using 3 dupes to slowly dig out of the forest, (Can't make Oxygen and until you get water not much food, so the "simple" solution is to limit how much you need, by not adding dupes.) so we get slow progress. The new items isn't an alternative start mechanics for variation, it's simply slowing things down and make it take more cycles, before you again do the same thing as always.

 

So my options is playing the old Terra map and not get access to using all the new stuff as Terra doesn't have Forest and stuff or pick the forest start and painfully slowly expand because the new items and the forest doesn't give an alternative start, so you have to dig out of the forest biome to get the stuff to expand, the "harder" maps just means that you don't get access to a ton of stuff, but since we don't actually need 90% of the stuff to make a successful colony, that just means you loss out of most of the alternative ways to have fun.

 

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39 minutes ago, Miravlix said:

The cold map looks like it get's most biomes, but all the biomes is devoid of critters and plants (By design or because of the cold killing everything?), so I can't use most recipes as they requires something that doesn't exist in this world. Going 5000 cycles just waiting for a lucky printing pod result to get the missing stuff, doesn't really seem like much fun.

I don't feel like any of the difficulty was really thought out much in regards to material availability.  If it was, they have the difficulties listed way out of order in my option (and many others based on the thread discussing the topic).  On the surface, the new worlds looked like a huge amount of additional content, but now after playing with everything it leaves me feeling that so much is still missing.

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TBH, i love the new cold asteroid or Rime as its called.

 

It breaks the usual routine you had before either wall your base off with insulated tiles as soon as possible or start making cooling loops day one. It adds another layer of difficultly by forcing you to explore early and fast. While most plant- and wildlife is dead or in a seed form, you need to go and preserve them as soon as possible. 

 

One of the first things that i surprisingly had difficulty with is food. I went my usual route of getting farm tiles and picked a spot to get a small mealworm farm up and running. Everything was built and prepared and when planting started i was like... Feck... ITS TOO COLD!! (Engage panic mode since nutriment bars were running low and no real way to heat a space). So i rushed space heaters, and had someone on the hamster wheel around the clock to keep space heater pumping as much heat as possible. Insulated tiles kept the farm nice and toasty and i felt a sigh of relief when first mealwood plants started spouting. 

 

I was so stuck in the original routine of building the same things. Farms, living, oxygen, morale rooms, cooling etc. that when the cold issue hit me i was like... I have to change my whole view of the game. I just hit cycle 300 two days ago and its been one of the best and most fun runs i have had ever. I have had to rethink so many of my systems and builds that i do not think i wanna go back to the "original" experience. 

 

Also... My dupes have been living on mealwood for 300 cycles now... One cold hell i have built them... Layed the groundwork for a pepper farm two days ago and yesterday when i wanted to start heating it, the pipe system broke. Seems it got fixed few hours ago, so i cannot wait to get off work to build my imaginery colony in the spacerock again.

 

TL:DR Change is good!

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Agree with others here that Rime is just too damn easy. I am a noob and have less than 75 hours in the game and have started only 2 bases. My first base was on a normal map and I spent about 100+ cycles only on learning and revising my heat management. I am still spending the most time on managing heat from my factories, geysers, power etc. My second game was Rime and it was a cakewalk. I just built a coal genny on each floor and a couple of heaters and didn't have any issues wahtsoever. And you never have to worry about heat! It is like the easiest starting map by FAR. In fact, Rime is actually boring because without heat managment, you lose ~50% of the gameplay and dont really get anything in return. 

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12 hours ago, Miravlix said:

The old starting area has to much water, but then we get the forest biome start and EVERYTHING requires tons of water and it has none... Wut

Forrest start could do with a bit more water to align with the easy rating klei has given it, but as you get pips and acorns early on its not too hard to get a lot of wild trees up and rush ethanol as a water source. Also Forrest has a lower water requirement as you can go large on mealwood very early due to all the dirt, and you normally have easy access to rust or slime biomes for o2 production, so you only really need water for research.

 

I agree rime is easier than klei rates it but this is probably as much to do with how trivial hypothermia is as a disease. On my last rime all my dupes had hypothermia for most of the first 100 cycles and it didn't matter at all.

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Difficulty has always become more about slowing game progression.  With stress, immunity  and food settings, they were not harder but rather slowed the early game.  The issues listed by OP on maps is really the same thing and I think inherent to the game.  The main mechanic is around resources to keep dups alive, namely o2, food, power, etc.  The solution to any difficulty setting is to have fewer dups, and this means slower base development, but often no difference in difficulty per se.

So variety in game becomes important and hopefully they get the maps and balance right that becomes something that means you play differently depending on the situation.  not harder  but still might work for those of us on 2000+ hours of play.

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I'm getting mixed messages from the OP.  The maps are there to provide alternative challenges, but only so long as they don't force you to use any alternatives?  What would that look like, then?

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I am still fairly new at the game, only a couple hundred hours in.  but since i went to the Launch testing branch I keep running out of Algae, and therefore Oxygen, long before I get deep enough into research for an alternative source.  is this normal?

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59 minutes ago, tk423 said:

I am still fairly new at the game, only a couple hundred hours in.  but since i went to the Launch testing branch I keep running out of Algae, and therefore Oxygen, long before I get deep enough into research for an alternative source.  is this normal?

Algae Diffusers/Rust Deoxidzers are somewhat inefficient. When you are running low (or if you start off with only care packages), switch to an algae terrarium, which will convert your water to polluted water, which off gasses to 100% polluted oxygen, which converts to oxygen and clay by using deodorizers. Your water should last you until you can get yourself set up with a water geyser or vent of some kind to sustain yourself.

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3 hours ago, nakomaru said:

Algae Diffusers/Rust Deoxidzers are somewhat inefficient. When you are running low (or if you start off with only care packages), switch to an algae terrarium, which will convert your water to polluted water, which off gasses to 100% polluted oxygen, which converts to oxygen and clay by using deodorizers. Your water should last you until you can get yourself set up with a water geyser or vent of some kind to sustain yourself.

as i mentioned (this is on the arbor asteroid btw) that there is no sand or algae anywhere in the starting biome, and not only do you have to FIND some outside it, but with little chance of reaching it without hard digging.  you can load the same seed in a default map, and everything is fine.

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6 minutes ago, tk423 said:

as i mentioned (this is on the arbor asteroid btw) that there is no sand or algae anywhere in the starting biome, and not only do you have to FIND some outside it, but with little chance of reaching it without hard digging.  you can load the same seed in a default map, and everything is fine.

Arboria is a much harder map than it's rated, entirely because O2 is scarce in the beginning.  You should have enough oxyferns to supply your starting dupes (plant them, they're more productive), but you'll need to get either more algae, water, or rust/salt before you print a lot of new friends.

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4 hours ago, tk423 said:

as i mentioned (this is on the arbor asteroid btw) that there is no sand or algae anywhere in the starting biome

I don't see that mentioned. It seemed that your said there was a small amount. Even 500kg from the pod will give you a huge amount of polluted water. You might also find polluted water. The increased difficulty is intentional and it says so when you start.

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2 hours ago, tk423 said:

as i mentioned (this is on the arbor asteroid btw) that there is no sand or algae anywhere in the starting biome, and not only do you have to FIND some outside it, but with little chance of reaching it without hard digging.  you can load the same seed in a default map, and everything is fine.

Note that you don't have a shortage of sand.  You can use the rock granulator to turn any kind of rock into sand.  How much water you have is very random on the forest start.  I've seen maps with 2 tons and ones with 20 tons.  The fairly consistent thing is that they'll only have one pool of water.

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7 hours ago, tk423 said:

I am still fairly new at the game, only a couple hundred hours in.  but since i went to the Launch testing branch I keep running out of Algae, and therefore Oxygen, long before I get deep enough into research for an alternative source.  is this normal?

Not really. But what you do has changed: Cooling a cold steam vent has gotten a lot harder, as you cannot simply do it with some WWs anymore. And using hot water for oxygen is also not that easy anymore. Personally, I now usually use "wild" filtered pwater at around 30C for self-cooling electrolyzers for post-algae mid-game oxygen. On most maps there is plenty for a few 100 cycles. Also nicely ties in with a toilet-loop:

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It is just the water feeding the electrolyzer in a radiant pipe loop. Gives you O2/H2 about 5-10C hotter than the feeding water. Note that this is very low-tech and some people will take exception with that ;)

 Also works with saltwater if you get it to the right temperature and, of course, with clean water. For clean water, you can put up a large tank (say, 100-300 tiles) and melt enough Ice Temp-Shift plates in or mix water from different sources to get the target temperature and then forget about it for a few 100 cycles. I have not tried WW cooled electrolyzers since the cooling nerf. Pre-nerf, you could just place 4 or so next to the electrolyzer for cooling and then feed it with hot water.

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