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While the new modularity of Rockets and how they are built is awesome... the need to heavily micromanage their interior, and the way that's abusable, looks to be problematic.  You've probably already seen some of the crazy builds people have come up with for their interiors.  I'd also like to point out something about the Spacefarer module:

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Holds up to ten Duplicant travellers.

Right now, realistically packing ten Duplicants in that space for any significant duration doesn't exactly seem feasible; the speed penalties are significant enough that rocket-internal lavatory systems become necessary, which eats a lot of the space. 

There's also the fact that rocket interiors can be heavily abused to transport very high amounts of mass... without even affecting the rocket's burden.

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I think a better design would be to provide associated modules that could fulfill the roles needed to sustain Duplicants.  While this would be much easier with the ability to manage multiple sub-storages within a single constructed building - something else I'd strongly request - I realize that would be a dramatic change to the existing game system and will avoid that within this thread.

Proposed Principle #1:  pre-designed Rocket interiors

The best thing about the current Rocket design is that we can actually view our Dupes in-transit.  They no longer disappear "into the void" for the duration of the trip, and I really appreciate that.  Great job on that point.

However... I don't think we should need to micromanage the interiors of the rockets.  That'll become much harder to abuse if there are pre-formatted internal layouts, possibly with other unique buildings, within each passenger module.

Proposed Principle #2:  distributed life support

In ONI's current state, it's very tricky to manage mixed storages to reach specific amounts of two or more items at specific masses within a single storage (like the Storage Bin or the Orbital Cargo Module).  Because of this, there should be a separate rocket module for each important type of life-support element.  (Unless, of course, things are reworked to allow... say... up to 3 different 'sub-storages' within one module, each with separate filters and limits.)

Ideas:

  • "Pass-through modules" - these modules imply that a Dupe may "pass through" the module to a module on the other side safely.
    • Mass-storage modules, like Cargo Bays, Rover Modules, etc are not "pass through".
  • Solo Spacefarer Nosecone, Spacefarer Module
    • Construction:  requires Water
    • Provides +2 Morale (Lavatory)
    • Stores Filtration Medium (implying an internal water-filtration loop)
      • Burns this resource at a rate matching the per-cycle average of needed Carbon Skimmer + Water Sieve use per duplicant.
      • Rate is specifically adjusted per duplicant.  (Or not; use of a larger passenger module may require higher resource rates.)
    • As these are (currently) early-game modules, the excess Water is destroyed.  Later-game modules may output Water for use in other, connected modules.  (Possibly also P Dirt; auto-dumped except in late game.)
    • In the early / early-mid game, Dupes don't actually need to eat in-transit; trips are short enough to simply eat upon arriving at the destination.
    • A super-early-game variant may take Dirt instead and give +1 (Outhouse / Latrine).
      • Polluted Dirt would be auto-dumped.  (Not optimal... but early-game things can be less optimal, as they aren't intended for long-term use.)
  • Small Oxidizer Tank
    • Any excess oxidizer may be converted into Oxygen for use by Dupes.
    • The rocket will reserve any oxidizer needed to burn fuel for that purpose, indicating the amount available for Oxygen use on the rocket overview as the number of Dupe-cycles available.  ("enough for one standard dupe for a duration of ____ cycles.")
  • New: Refrigeration Module
    • A cheap refrigerator module.  Might be worth considering multiple sizes with varying Burden levels.
    • Multiples are permitted.
    • Must be connected via "pass-through modules" to a passenger / control module
    • May be unloaded at destination with "Empty Storage" command, doubling as a "food cargo bay".
  • New:  Leisure Module
    • Even with the current internal-map design, it's pretty difficult to provide morale to Dupes on long trips.  This would provide a flat Morale bonus to passengers (and possibly small stress reduction?).  1 per rocket.
      • Super-skilled Dupes will still need consistent access to high-quality food, but that may be a bit much to ask of early-to-midgame Dupes.
      • Also implies additional Rocket burden, so there's still penalty for using this module.
    • Must be connected via "pass-through modules" to a passenger/control module.
  • Would also need some sort of critter / egg storage module.

Proposed Principle #3:  adaptive Burden

The old, base-game rocket system adjusted rocket range based on the total mass contained by the rocket.  That system was fine and should probably even be preserved, so long as the range mechanic can be made somewhat intuitive / clear.

How to make the effects of an adjustable Burden clear:

  • Module Burden:  empty / full  (shown when building the module)
    • "empty" comes from the module's base mass
    • As the module's storage mass increases, the burden then linearly increases up to "full".
  • Rocket status:  contains a "Burden" subsection
    • Shows target Burden (based on storage settings) and "full" Burden if all modules are maxed.

Since rocket interiors would no longer provide internal storage buildings (see principle #1), this would be quite possible to calculate and display to users.

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Separately, I'd also propose a mid-game Voyager Module.

  • Equipping this module allows a new rocket command: "Explore"
    • When the destination is reached, "Explore" will spend internal resources, fuel, and 'range' to explore the nearest possible starmap tiles within the "fog of war".
    • Uncovering a tile (by traveling there) takes twice the amount of time, but not range.
    • A maximum exploration range must be set; enough 'range' must remain after the command to allow returning to a viable rocket platform.

Naturally, deeper exploration missions would become progressively more costly, as a rocket must first reach the exploration point before range can be spent to actually explore.

Possible later addition:  AI controller

  • Equipping this module allows the rocket to fly without a Duplicant.
  • Very useful for throwaway deep-space survey missions; the "enough range to return" limitation for the "voyager" module would be removed when no Dupes are aboard.
  • Also useful if only transporting cargo, not duplicants.
  • Would come, at a minimum, after the Computers tech (late in the Automation tech tree)

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Another related thought:  clarifying the relationship between modules, burden, and ability to launch a rocket.

Each Asteroid, on its overview, indicates a Gravity parameter.

  • Engine Power / Gravity = maximum Burden a launchable rocket may have.
    • Launch limits thus become bound by Burden, rather than raw module count.
  • The starting asteroid is larger, thus should probably have a higher "Gravity" than asteroids #2 and #3.
    • Of course, feel free to tinker with this!
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I agree with you. I did not like the new rocket update. I do not like to micromanage a small crew especially when it will be many rockets and many asteroids to run through. The current pilot module design is bad. Your idea of pre-fabrication is good. It should be new research and new items/buildings you can add to the module and you cannot use any existing buildings (storage, etc.). It will be good just to simply add life support module or equip that module with space only bio toilet, oxygen regenerator, etc. You do realize that pilots do not need normal beds in no gravity space? They also cannot use normal toilets, etc. It will be a lot of exploits (already with storage inside the living quarters). Also the space is so limited and one will come up with a good design and everyone will simply copy it and will be the only usable design for all. 

I do not understand what to manage inside the rocket? Dups do not construct anything there while flying, they generate electricity (though it is again weird as they can use solar panels), eat and produce byproducts. Nothing to watch for in my view. I tried onboard telescope and it did not work for me. 

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