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Game difficulty: Geysers


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For a long time, Spaced Out style Terra had only two cool steam geysers and volcanoes as the only geysers on starting planetoid. However, in current test branch, Terra is now generated with standard package that includes cold water and brine geysers. One hand, it was a demanded change. On the other hand, having a more complicated and heat-intensive water sources was an interesting challenge. And ability to take that challenge would be gone in a few days.

Since starting planetoid geysers are fixed and their distribution is one of the balance variable, I would like to suggest adding a new difficulty option for that variable, at least for Spaced Out style clusters. Such option may come in one of two forms: simple checkbox option and full difficulty scale.

Checkbox option

A checkbox option "Hot Geyser Start" that would replace set of cool water geysers and cluster-specific gas geysers with 2 Cool Steam Vents if enabled.
Basically, an option to use old geyser worldgen rules for starting planetoid. This is a simple option to implement (since both variations are currently used), but it introduces only 2 difficulty options.

Full difficulty scale

More complex option that introduces 5 different options, just like other difficulty scales. Each one affects geyser generation on starting planetoid.

In terms of that scale, I'd place current Terra geyser list on "Hard" setting, and current Forest/Swamp list on "Easy". I believe that "Normal" geyser list should have a mix of one steam geyser and one more accessible water geyser. 

This is a more complex suggestion, since it requires 3 more geyser lists to balance and test out. However, it gives players a wider range of options to balance difficulty settings.

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Why are you so eager to make Terra, the starting planetoid specifically more difficult? It is the first option new players are presented with and therefore should be the easiest, teaching players the basics without expecting too much. You know what would be perfect to have cool steam vents as your main source of water? Oasis type planetoid, which is the hardest one to start in the base game due to near scalding surrounding temperatures. We will have more planetoid starts to work with later, and this later one is definitely something to add those cool steam vents to. It makes sense to get progressively harder in the game the further you go in planetoid starts not have difficulty be distributed here and there and all over the place.

I don't like being forced to take the sort of cool steam vent option when I should expect much less difficulty, but if I choose to play on top difficulty, I am perfectly fine trying to tame these cool steam vents for my water source. It is finnicky but I have done it before, even cooling down the water to temperate temperatures. But only as part of harder difficulty starts which I choose to take myself. Geysers define a planetoid in the long run, if cold temperatures are the problem, I expect to deal with that also in the long run, and same for heat, which is what geyser temperatures and their output much allude to. I think their current geyser approach is pretty good as is.

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37 minutes ago, ZombieDupe said:

Why are you so eager to make Terra, the starting planetoid specifically more difficult?

Why do you think I do want Terra to be more difficult? Nothing in my post states that it should remain as it is. I just suggest to leave an option to revert to current geyser list. I don't think that Terra should be, in particular, harder that any other starting cluster. I think that there should be an option to make things harder in general.

42 minutes ago, ZombieDupe said:

I don't like being forced to take the sort of cool steam vent option when I should expect much less difficulty, but if I choose to play on top difficulty, I am perfectly fine trying to tame these cool steam vents for my water source. It is finnicky but I have done it before, even cooling down the water to temperate temperatures. But only as part of harder difficulty starts which I choose to take myself.

Basically this is what the suggested option is for. If you want to have an additional difficulty, you use the difficulty setting. I think that it's more flexible and easier to implement than to introduce a new cluster type. 

44 minutes ago, ZombieDupe said:

Geysers define a planetoid in the long run

While that's true, that also means that with release of the current testing branch all starting planetoids would be the same from that perspective. If they would become the same thing, why difficulty option that defines that thing is bad?

I think that new cluster types should have emphasis on having different starting conditions and key resource distribution among first 3 planetoids, mostly defining early-mid game, and be less focused on defining the long run. Because in the long run you should be able to get almost any resource from remote planetoids or space POIs, compensating constraints of geysers on starting planetoid. 

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4 minutes ago, Meltdown said:

Basically this is what the suggested option is for. If you want to have an additional difficulty, you use the difficulty setting. I think that it's more flexible and easier to implement than to introduce a new cluster type. 

A make-your-own planetoid sort of setting availability? Now there's an idea.

4 minutes ago, Meltdown said:

I think that new cluster types should have emphasis on having different starting conditions and key resource distribution among first 3 planetoids, mostly defining early-mid game, and be less focused on defining the long run. Because in the long run you should be able to get almost any resource from remote planetoids or space POIs, compensating constraints of geysers on starting planetoid. 

May be from customisation, but I personally like the idea of a challenge persisting throughout for a given planetoid. Late game gets samey very quickly if the same geysers are accessible from the starting planetoid. Personally really like the idea of different easy geysers for easier difficulties so you have to adapt in different ways, like a cool ethanol geyser that could be found in rust biome, which isn't directly convertible to water and must be burnt in a petrol generator beforehand or used for nosh beans to produce food or a liquid chlorine geyser on moonlet biome making you rethink chlorine use and extraction.

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I think it's better to leave little difficulty checkboxes at the door and consider which asteroid you start on to be the difficulty source. The guaranteed CSV on Terra/Forest/Swamp starts should be moved to the oily asteroid (so that the oily asteroid can be sustainable on water, but in a challenging way). It should only be part of the starting asteroid for more challenging starts.

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On 6/19/2021 at 1:09 PM, Meltdown said:

For a long time, Spaced Out style Terra had only two cool steam geysers and volcanoes as the only geysers on starting planetoid. However, in current test branch, Terra is now generated with standard package that includes cold water and brine geysers. One hand, it was a demanded change. On the other hand, having a more complicated and heat-intensive water sources was an interesting challenge. And ability to take that challenge would be gone in a few days.

I think part of the issue was that there wasn't a frozen biome at all on terra, therefore players didn't have access to the earlier tools before the aquatuner to sink heat into. There weren't any wheezeworts or a anti-entropy thermo nulifier like we had in vanilla and I think that was the main mistake. Yes they were on the teleporter world but I think that made less sense then having it on the first world. I would prefer more tools to combat heat rather then slush geysers which should be treated more as an opposite challenge to heat. Slush geysers should be on planetoids (or world settings) where dealing with cold is the main challenge. If they are on a normal mixed temp planetoid they just become the default solution to any source of heat. Though I also think steam vents of any kind should be in more hot focused biomes or worlds, since the jungle and marsh aren't that hot on their own. I prefer swapping them out with a polluted water geyser in the marsh and hot water geyser in the jungle. 

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