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Oxygen Masks & Shipping Incentives & Opportinity Cost


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All feedback is from playing beta branch (and test beta branch) in survival mode starts with no added tweaks (or mods now) which change difficulty/options, both Terra and Swamp

Spoiler

((Background, so you can judge the direction the feedback comes from, to decide how/if to weigh it. I played this game heavily in beta and mostly dropped it at release. I have a personal tech background and think it is neat! But I'm one of those that never made a rocket in it ... never had a sandbox goal make me want to do it. By the time they opened up in the base game I felt the game was bogging down for me a bit - literally and in terms of goals))

Right now, on the first asteroid I bog down in two ways. Both have opportunity cost. I have three thoughts on this.

First, Oxygen masks and Surface Opportunity Cost, and short trips

The number of things that are needed to plumb to the surface (or other interesting biome joins). Power, gas lines (maybe multiple), liquid lines (maybe multiple) and shipping rails. With the new oxygen mask it would be nice if they could just be made and charged at the base, and then shipped to the point of use. Instead of multiple recharging docks just have a container with full ones, and spent ones. This means you do not need to plumb O2 to every point of use. You could however plumb O2 and put the mask recharge station at the exit *if you want*. But this gives a player a choice of plumbing O2 or using shipping. The number of things needed to the rocket really up the opportunity cost associated with using it.

The exit control point should keep a counter of masks ready to use, and a counter of spent masks.The issue is short trips of course. What would be nice rather than a single dock like with a suit, is if the exit point has an O2 pool. So every charged mask delivers say 200 units. And masks could pull from the pool of what is left to determine charges left at exit point. So if five masks had been delivered (1000) but 460 units had been used, there would be two spent masks, two fully charged masks and one partially charged one available. The partially charged one should be usable, for a single mask and very short trip scenario. The spent ones could be dupe walked or shipped back to the recharge station. This "ship to dock" also may be applicable to atmo suits, the suit itself - leaving charging stations there.

Second: Surface and inter-asteroid shipping points other plumbing needs

We have ribbon wire for automation, we have big power lines for wire. We don't have "high-capacity/ribbon" pipes or ducts. A nice addition would be "large capacity" piping/ducts like ribbon automation. 4x capacity but one tile. Input port and output pull that selects sub-pipe/duct doodads available for use at ends that have each port controllable by automation. Can use for high volume or for consolidating multiple element pipe/duct runs.

Third: Inter-asteroid and surface opportunity cost vs tools; and shipping now too late

This is in addition to more tools being useful. You now have many places you need dupes to path to: Surface for rocket, biome joins for needs from various biomes, and three more points. The teleporter just needs access but it may be far, and the shipping input and output. All of these places need infrastructure plumbed to them. Only the teleporter has modest needs. So now I need to not just build but path to more points that before on a smaller map. I'm not sure the net pathing curb is much at all at the stage where you set it all up. I am feeling the bog past cycle 200 now.

Summary

I think multiple things need to be looked at for dupe pathing and opportunity cost of dupe labor: Location of the inter-asteroid shipping. Location and size of the teleporter. Better tools to make use of them. I think getting access to base shipping early would be nice. Perhaps have a low end of the parts that use refined metal? Or consolidate it. So I have a couple of proposals:

 - make shipping earlier with easier ingredients for starter parts (refined metal)

- give us better tools with better through put for the increased access points

- using the inter-asteroid shipping is gated after research, so make those buildable at a certain research point in shipping/research *

- allow more items to be shipped usefully (like O2 masks) to use shipping to allow centralization of some functions (like O2 mask recharge)

- allow more bundled infrastructure, maybe have high capacity pipe/duct also contain a heavy wire input/output doodad or shipping lines have a plain wire input output doodad, so if you run a shipping line, you also "ran" power and and use a doodad to access it

Right now the fun is that these toys are new. But it is tedious building infrastructure to three and a half new points in addition to the prior biome exploitation infrastructure and the pathing cost on my PC - while still very playable - is showing this past cycle 200.

* this solves both location issues and the fact they take up now more valuable resource tiles on their spawn. It also solves whether you want glass available in them (can move glass to the teleporter - which can be smaller or have all the freebie items).

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