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How would you fix the Stranded Rocket problem?


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Every now and then, I'll miscalculate fuel and a rocket will end up stranded in space ... As of right now, we can't really do anything about that, and that rocket stays in space forever. I was thinking about what if we could blow up the rocket to get it off the map, but maybe that would be too heavy on heat deletion, and maybe too macabre in terms of the dupes that you could kill ..? How would you go about getting rid of stranded rockets?

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14 minutes ago, Oxygenbreather said:

Or make the rocket fool proof. You can only plot a course that lands on any planet again.. and while you may change it midflight you can always change it only to land on a planet again.

That way stranded rockets are impossible.

That way landing to a planet is impossible :P 

You need to reach orbit and land a rover or trailblazer (or just drop some resources) , build a rocket platform and then it is possible to land a rocket

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1 hour ago, Oxygenbreather said:

It would be nice to be able rendezvous in space floating rockets, so you can exchange ressources (Fuel/Oxidizer and Duplicants).

 

9 hours ago, yoakenashi said:

Grappling hook module. Add to second rocket to tow first one back to orbit.

i like these ones a lot !

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7 hours ago, sakura_sk said:

That way landing to a planet is impossible :P 

You need to reach orbit and land a rover or trailblazer (or just drop some resources) , build a rocket platform and then it is possible to land a rocket

Nah, let me rephrase it, the rocket should only accept destinations in deep space, where the remaining fuel has still +any+ planet in reach.

Yes, you can still "strand" in orbit of a far away planet if you flew further than half way and have no trailblazer. But you can simply rescue that rocket, by getting another rocket with one (or two) trailblazers there, build the platform and land the first one.. And if rockets are still maneuvarble even when all the dupes are dead, there is never a rocket that couldn't be eventually landed anywhere if you wanted to.

PS: And of course the control unit not being destructable during flight.

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43 minutes ago, Oxygenbreather said:

Nah, let me rephrase it, the rocket should only accept destinations in deep space, where the remaining fuel has still +any+ planet in reach.

Yes, you can still "strand" in orbit of a far away planet if you flew further than half way and have no trailblazer. But you can simply rescue that rocket, by getting another rocket with one (or two) trailblazers there, build the platform and land the first one.. And if rockets are still maneuvarble even when all the dupes are dead, there is never a rocket that couldn't be eventually landed anywhere if you wanted to.

PS: And of course the control unit not being destructable during flight.

Currently we have the freedom to strand rockets and to fly as far es we can in to one direction, to deeply explore the map as example. Do we want to have some auto-safety/limit that we can only fly a certain distance ( there and back with automatic flight distance range limited ) or do we perhaps want to tow our stranded rockets away and be allowed to blow them up via auto destruct, being free to fly the max distance in to one single direction ( and then perhaps strand the rocket, not making it back )?

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1 hour ago, babba said:

Do we want to have some auto-safety/limit that we can only fly a certain distance ( there and back with automatic flight distance range limited )

Highlighting! Green shows out and back fuel range. Yellow shows one way distances. Red is unreachable.

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2 hours ago, babba said:

( there and back with automatic flight distance range limited ) or do we perhaps want to tow our stranded rockets away and be allowed to blow them up via auto destruct, being free to fly the max distance in to one single direction ( and then perhaps strand the rocket, not making it back )?

If you go beyond half the reach there is no towing as the rescue rocket will always have the same limitations.. (except maybe it is one-upped on a better engine). This will lead to situations were still always one rocket is stranded...

Fine for blowing it up also or simply the game taking the rocket out of existence for being lost for good...

The possibility to allow destinations only where any one (known) planet is just one option. In my idea, most of ONI design changes over the years were to make it simpler and be more accessible, that's why I think that would fit in. I know goes against the forum group thinking who are just way more experts than the joe/jane average player.  (I just remember the pressure tricks using door hallways needed to get steam engines running (and get rid of heat), they changed it to simply output liquid without pressure difference requirements. Or how we needed to make wheeze worth hydrogen coolers. Or when germs were a serious threat. Or you needed to create a refinement stations manually using magma/vulcano... etc.)

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3 hours ago, Oxygenbreather said:

Nah, let me rephrase it, the rocket should only accept destinations in deep space, where the remaining fuel has still +any+ planet in reach

A problem, currently, is that you can reach the planet but you get stranded if you choose orbit first. For example, if you go 2 tiles away using a CO2 engine with full 4 tile reach, you can come back if you choose to land. If you choose to orbit you get stranded and cannot land anymore.

In any case, towing and rocket meet up sound good :D

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19 minutes ago, sakura_sk said:

A problem, currently, is that you can reach the planet but you get stranded if you choose orbit first. For example, if you go 2 tiles away using a CO2 engine with full 4 tile reach, you can come back if you choose to land. If you choose to orbit you get stranded and cannot land anymore.

Yes this confused me quite a bit in the game that landing counts as free move (time and fuel wise) compared to orbit and land.

(Albeit on a planet with atmosphere it's technically true, since changing the flight path from straight to enter an orbit takes fuel, while aiming at the atmosphere and aerobrake is free if done rightly. To be super technical you can also use aerobrake to help entering an orbit but you need fuel to accelerate again after the first air plunge to change the ellipsis into one that doesn't go through atmosphere anymore if you don't want to land.)

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23 hours ago, Oxygenbreather said:

It would be nice to be able rendezvous in space floating rockets, so you can exchange ressources (Fuel/Oxidizer and Duplicants).

Another benefit of this that it could allow us to use stationary rockets as space stations, depending on the exact mechanics.

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8 hours ago, zach123b said:

i say we should get a lifeboat/escape ship sort of thing shot at a planet like the railgun but with all the dupes in it.  but in the process, the rocket explodes and is destroyed

I like the life boat / escape pod idea :p

Could require a little building inside the rocket...and has a nice big red button for activation.

image.thumb.png.678f7f68785d2e61ee77cea841ad8d58.png Escape pod crashed down on to asteroid Dakalaka - Discovered by some dupes

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16 hours ago, babba said:

Could require a little building inside the rocket...and has a nice big red button for activation.

Or we could use the rocket steering wheel for that. Imagine a dupe ejecting in that thing and then crashing on a nearby asteroid.

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Add a new "docking module" as one of the options on rocket build, that specifically allows exactly the following:

  • If 2 rockets are in the same space hex and at least one has a rescue module, you can walk out of the door of one rocket and you appear in the other rocket. Uses exactly the same mechanics that allows you to cross from a landed rocket to the asteroid overworld, except you cross from an un-landed rocket to this one specific other un-landed rocket. Obviously, this allows you to rescue stranded dupes and/or materiel; or at least fetch their corpse to give it a proper burial.
  • While these 2 rockets are docked you also have the "cannibalise rocket" option as a button in the space overlay, which allows the "docking module" rocket to destroy the other rocket. Provided there are no dupes in the other one. And you could also set some threshold for the amount of stuff that's in the other one before you can destroy it, if you are really really concerned about exploiters dumping 20,000 tonnes of hot igneous rock in a rocket and then clicking "cannibalise".
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On 5/1/2021 at 1:27 PM, zach123b said:

i say we should get a lifeboat/escape ship sort of thing shot at a planet like the railgun but with all the dupes in it.  but in the process, the rocket explodes and is destroyed

That's what I had in mind.  The entrance is on the left side of the module, so directly opposite could be a small life support pod that could be used to abandon ship.  It could hurtle towards the nearest asteroid and trigger a self-destruct sequence in the rocket (to clear it off the star map).  Give it a single, full oxygen mask to give the stranded dupe a fighting chance at surviving long enough to be rescued.

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On 5/3/2021 at 5:06 PM, Oxygenbreather said:

All this docking and towing etc. solutions don't solve the problem of a rocket that flew beyond max half way trip .. the rescue rocket will just have the same problem...

Well, no.
Because the second time you'll know to add on an extra fuel stage, won't you?

Alternatively, my "cannibalise rocket" idea above could destroy the first rocket and award the second rocket some fuel supplies, explained as "taking the last few liters that were stuck in the pipes of the original rocket".

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