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Scout Rovers are still bad


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Rockets and even rovers have gotten changes since I've last posted about this, but essentially, I don't think Scout Rovers are worth it even now. The question is "What does a Scout Rover help me with?" and the answer is...virtually nothing. Scout Rovers are obviously meant for doing some initial preparation tasks on new asteroids, especially hostile ones, before dupes arrive. The problem here is that those hostile asteroids or even the less hostile ones often have a crust the rover can't dig above where you'd want a base, and the rover can barely build anything (notably, it can't build a rocket landing pad, so you always need dupes to build that).

Here is an illustration of the problem, with the closest asteroid to the starting one in the newer cluster type. There is not any way for the rover to get to the temperate sandstone biome! So...the literal only purpose it can serve is to create the stairway it already has...what a waste of a rocket launch.

ONI_RoverCantGoAnywhere.thumb.png.75dcc6bc9599713d8c140998315bfdcd.png

Please make them more useful. Even if they don't get a way to recharge ever, at least make them actually able to set up a base that dupes can start to live in with barely more work, or build a landing pad... Even just having the first digging skill would be barely sufficient in giving them a role in colonization.

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8 minutes ago, Nebbie said:

There is not any way for the rover to get to the temperate sandstone biome! So...the literal only purpose it can serve is to create the stairway it already has...what a waste of a rocket launch.

Unless I am mistaken, this is an igneous rock passage that your rover can use:

Spoiler

43873cbfedb5900f67f8409bb9d7aff9.thumb.jpg.52a6781129e2413d2bbff67137ddcb8e.jpg

I don't know if rovers can dig plants up, but you can probably make a ladder right above the mealwood and dig the coal tile below the mealwood to remove it. Then you can access the sandstone biome! You'll only lose a bit of CO2 if you don't seal the rover in. Hope that helps, at least, until they change rovers if they ever do XD Perhaps this can save your launch!

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I think the same as Nebbie.

 

In it's current state, the rover is quite useless.
Send some payloads for the first essential building, and then send a dupe that can build the payload opener and make a secured room and other buildings is just the best way to start colonisation of a new asteroïd.

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I use the rovers to open the payloads and deliver the metal to the landing pad. On the regular clusters the rovers could get to the habitable zone but without being able to build an airlock they had to wall themselves in. Still they could build some basic stuctures like toilets and beds, storing useful stuff in one place was also useful.

Looks like with new asteroid types the rovers need some improvements.

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13 hours ago, NeoDeusMachina said:

Unless I am mistaken, this is an igneous rock passage that your rover can use:

  Hide contents

43873cbfedb5900f67f8409bb9d7aff9.thumb.jpg.52a6781129e2413d2bbff67137ddcb8e.jpg

I don't know if rovers can dig plants up, but you can probably make a ladder right above the mealwood and dig the coal tile below the mealwood to remove it. Then you can access the sandstone biome! You'll only lose a bit of CO2 if you don't seal the rover in. Hope that helps, at least, until they change rovers if they ever do XD Perhaps this can save your launch!

What I was really expecting was a way to create a liquid lock. Taking that path means either losing the existing atmosphere (bad for dupes) or sealing the rover in (no access to the surface for some digging tasks I might want to do).
However...it seems the rover cannot uproot either of the plants below from ladders above (it can't seem to do the task), and since they block building, it is thus not possible for the rover to enter through this path! There is an alternate, but unfortunately it means messing with chlorine:

ONI_RoverAlternateRoute.thumb.png.bdf0fbc67a02b3860a623d7861b39200.png

It's not a huge deal, I have everything ready to send dupes anyways, it's just that the rover still just seems next to useless, because about a 6th of its power is going to be used just getting in and sealing itself, in a way that's going to contaminate the gases, only to build basic tiles and ladders and such.

Also as a real fun sidenote, the dupe I had deliver the rover nearly suffocated (10 seconds away) on his way back, because the solo spacefarer doesn't carry much air.

5 hours ago, Sasza22 said:

I use the rovers to open the payloads and deliver the metal to the landing pad. On the regular clusters the rovers could get to the habitable zone but without being able to build an airlock they had to wall themselves in. Still they could build some basic stuctures like toilets and beds, storing useful stuff in one place was also useful.

Looks like with new asteroid types the rovers need some improvements.

They've needed improvements to begin with, I think. Their niche is just so overrun by just sending dupes to begin with. The new asteroid types just make it a little worse because all of them are based on a ring of level 1 digging materials to "seal in" the starting biome, because selecting start is really just about which asteroid it puts you on.
This is what it was ultimately able to accomplish:ONI_RoverTestAccomplished.thumb.png.4b0fc57e2b006d27c2b85276eb5be48a.png

2 dupes could've had this done in a third the time (3 cycles instead of 9+) and barely taken up any of the resources around doing so.

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On 11/14/2021 at 10:37 AM, Nebbie said:

The question is "What does a Scout Rover help me with?" and the answer is...virtually nothing. Scout Rovers are obviously meant for doing some initial preparation tasks on new asteroids, especially hostile ones, before dupes arrive.

They are useful for 'oceanic' asteroid (a lot of building required with little 'land' to mine) and for frozen/tundra, plus some other cases. But otherwise I agree, there was very little a rover could do on a bunch of other asteroids.

And when you can send a 10-cycle long rover expedition to a moo-planetoid, it's a lot simpler to make it a 20-cycle trip from the start to land dupes than to deploy rover, than bother about second expedition.

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13 hours ago, Nebbie said:

This is what it was ultimately able to accomplish:

To be honest with you, I am impressed with everything that this single rover accomplished. I'm not being sarcastic, all this digging may have taken less time if it had been done by dupes, but it was done at 0 risk. You did not need to worry about unbreathable gas, you did not need to worry about setting up oxygen production, power production (even if only wheels - it takes time to run on wheels!), food, sleeping, setting up masks or atmosuits, digging for algea, etc. That is the advantage rovers have over duplicants. Of course they do not replace duplicants, but what they do is completely risk free. I am not counting the incident your pilot had on their way back - this could have been easily avoided.

All your dupes need to do when they get there is to deconstruct a tile and build a door then they can start working on the life support infrastructure without having to dig tiles to make space for all of it. As a bonus, you have revealed some of the map, maybe know where some resources are, some geysers, etc., so you can better plan where you will build everything.

I think the rover served its purpose.

I know they cannot dig up hard tiles and it has been bothering some players - perhaps a compromise would be to give them the ability to dig through some harder tiles at the cost of some extra energy? The harder the tile, the more energy needed? Their batteries would deplete faster, but at least they could make it past some natural "barriers". I don't know how this should be balanced, if it should be only tier 1 tiles or also harder tiles, but it could be a place to start to improve rovers.

I still think they should not be able to build any complex buildings, pipes, ducts, cables, etc. The day rovers are capable of fully preparing an asteroid for dupes is the day colonization challenge disappears and becomes trivial.

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It is a tricky one. Make them more powerful and you take away the challenge of colonising asteroids. I think at the minute their value scales with how experienced you are with Spaced Out. The more knowledge you learn about how each asteroid is typically made up the less need for Rovers. 

I'm on my third try of Spaced Out and think they are invaluable for zero risk exploration of al these strange mix of biomes. I'm sure in later games I won't need to rely on them so much. It is ok to have things in the game that are only useful as training wheels for newbies and are less useful for everyone else.

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6 hours ago, NeoDeusMachina said:

I know they cannot dig up hard tiles and it has been bothering some players - perhaps a compromise would be to give them the ability to dig through some harder tiles at the cost of some extra energy? The harder the tile, the more energy needed? Their batteries would deplete faster, but at least they could make it past some natural "barriers". I don't know how this should be balanced, if it should be only tier 1 tiles or also harder tiles, but it could be a place to start to improve rovers.

Digging through harder tiles already takes longer, this already means more energy.

Then the compromise would be just to grant tier 1 digging skill to the Rover, right?

 

 

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46 minutes ago, tscharf said:

Digging through harder tiles already takes longer, this already means more energy.

Then the compromise would be just to grant tier 1 digging skill to the Rover, right?

 

 

I was thinking of a penalty more severe than just the few extra seconds it takes to dig a tile for the rovers. They have 10 cycles worth of battery iirc and I don't think they should be as efficient as a skilled duplicant. In 10 cycles, they can dig a lot of hard tiles if that's all they're doing 100% of the 10 cycles cause they don't sleep. I was thinking that it should be something you actually consider when you dig and wouldn't just be a no brainer "let's clear that 30x64 space". Maybe they should dig slower than duplicants? Maybe not, I mean, I'm not in charge of balance, I just think there needs to be a cost when using rovers to compensate for the upkeep-free, no-risk-to-your-dupes tasks they are going to accomplish during those 10 cycles. But you are right - there would already be a small energy cost because digging harder tiles takes slightly longer. I just don't think it is enough - anyone is very welcome to disagree! :wilson_flower: 

1 hour ago, Dzerards said:

It is a tricky one. Make them more powerful and you take away the challenge of colonising asteroids. I think at the minute their value scales with how experienced you are with Spaced Out. The more knowledge you learn about how each asteroid is typically made up the less need for Rovers. 

I'm on my third try of Spaced Out and think they are invaluable for zero risk exploration of al these strange mix of biomes. I'm sure in later games I won't need to rely on them so much. It is ok to have things in the game that are only useful as training wheels for newbies and are less useful for everyone else.

I can relate to that - I think you made a good point that rovers relevance scales with how experienced you are with this aspect of the game. It is, in a way, a crutch that allows you some initial exploration on a planetoid, some precious knowledge on how landing on a new planetoid works, what your dupes may be facing when they land, what you need to bring, and so on.

Setting up a space farer module for long term colonization able to support multiple duplicants and knowing exactly what you need to bring is not straightforward in the beginning. The more you do it, the easier it gets, like most things in ONI. At some point, rovers are pretty useless because if you know how to colonize with duplicants, you can skip rover completely. Unless you watch tons of tutorials, you will most likely not know how to do that the first time.

I see them a bit like some of the early game food (mush bars, lice loaf). How many people made mush bars and mush fry when they started playing and it sorta worked, it fed duplicants while learning other aspects of the game. Later on, with experience, I would be surprised to see anyone make those unless they are in serious trouble (which they probably won't be if they are very experienced).

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8 hours ago, tscharf said:

Digging through harder tiles already takes longer, this already means more energy.

Then the compromise would be just to grant tier 1 digging skill to the Rover, right?

I'd add to this the ability to build Rocket Platforms, so that we don't need to have dupes rushing to build one for the colony ship to land. Also, extra digging skills could be unlocked by research, possibly even requiring extra materials on the rover; all rovers being the same is kind of boring.

7 hours ago, NeoDeusMachina said:

I was thinking of a penalty more severe than just the few extra seconds it takes to dig a tile for the rovers. They have 10 cycles worth of battery iirc and I don't think they should be as efficient as a skilled duplicant. In 10 cycles, they can dig a lot of hard tiles if that's all they're doing 100% of the 10 cycles cause they don't sleep. I was thinking that it should be something you actually consider when you dig and wouldn't just be a no brainer "let's clear that 30x64 space". Maybe they should dig slower than duplicants? Maybe not, I mean, I'm not in charge of balance, I just think there needs to be a cost when using rovers to compensate for the upkeep-free, no-risk-to-your-dupes tasks they are going to accomplish during those 10 cycles. But you are right - there would already be a small energy cost because digging harder tiles takes slightly longer. I just don't think it is enough - anyone is very welcome to disagree! :wilson_flower: 

I can relate to that - I think you made a good point that rovers relevance scales with how experienced you are with this aspect of the game. It is, in a way, a crutch that allows you some initial exploration on a planetoid, some precious knowledge on how landing on a new planetoid works, what your dupes may be facing when they land, what you need to bring, and so on.

Setting up a space farer module for long term colonization able to support multiple duplicants and knowing exactly what you need to bring is not straightforward in the beginning. The more you do it, the easier it gets, like most things in ONI. At some point, rovers are pretty useless because if you know how to colonize with duplicants, you can skip rover completely. Unless you watch tons of tutorials, you will most likely not know how to do that the first time.

I see them a bit like some of the early game food (mush bars, lice loaf). How many people made mush bars and mush fry when they started playing and it sorta worked, it fed duplicants while learning other aspects of the game. Later on, with experience, I would be surprised to see anyone make those unless they are in serious trouble (which they probably won't be if they are very experienced).

I don't think rovers digging Granite is going to be super powerful, especially since it would be dug pretty slowly. There's still things like Abyssalite and Obsidian that a rover wouldn't be able to deal with, and you'd still want dupes to come down for getting the base sorted.
As for them becoming useless with player knowledge, yes some other things in the game do this too, many of them are "noob traps" in that the reason not to use them is because they hurt you colony, and they really should be changed to be actually useful. Lice Loaf in particular is a special kind of evil because it turns water into calories, meaning that you can end up with a colony full of food poisoning, while its direct alternative, Pickled Meal, kills germs on itself as an extra unnecessary safety net.

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I kinda wish rovers were expanded upon more. Like having a special station where you could change their parts to more powerful but requiring more advanced materials and reducing the battery lifetime per each improvement installed. For example you could improve it`s mining skill by swapping to a diamond drill (if you got diamond) or add a steel building tool to unlock more structures it can build. Maybe even swap the battery for a nuclear one which would cause it to emit radiation but would allow it to work longer.

Anyway i think they need some ui imporvements like a priority setting and door permission setting (could be for all robots not a specific one). Currently they only obey only global settings.

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23 hours ago, Sasza22 said:

I kinda wish rovers were expanded upon more.

Another option: rovers get 'upgrage slot' based on the material, normal rover will have no changes, steel one will have 1 slot so you can increase carry or battery capacity, mining or building level, or speed. Thermium one will have 2 slots. Upgrades need to be selected in rover module's UI.

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1 hour ago, meekay said:

Looks like the next update is going to provide some relief. They still won't be able to drill through granite but sounds like they can build more stuff.

 

Unfortunately "more stuff" doesn't include the rocket platform. Paradoxically, they've kept rovers unreliable for space colonization, but now rovers are great for early base construction.

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Just now, Nebbie said:

Unfortunately "more stuff" doesn't include the rocket platform. Paradoxically, they've kept rovers unreliable for space colonization, but now rovers are great for early base construction.

Do you know exactly what counts as tier 2 buildings? Is it anything that can be researched from basic and advanced research?

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Just now, NeoDeusMachina said:

Do you know exactly what counts as tier 2 buildings? Is it anything that can be researched from basic and advanced research?

It is the first two vertical columns in the research window. Farm tiles, but not fridges, for instance.

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17 minutes ago, Nebbie said:

It is the first two vertical columns in the research window. Farm tiles, but not fridges, for instance.

Thanks - It's worst than I thought :wilson_worried: it basically includes everything a duplicant needs to survive: farms and basic cooking stations, electricity production and storage, oxygen production, plumbing/ventilation, even oxygen masks and crafting station..

Oh well, I hope it'll help some players with the colonization challenge - I will certainly not use them any more than I used to.

Edit: Even if they can't dig through harder materials (yet..!), I still think they are good right now as a support for dupes even on planetoids where there is a harder crust to go through. For example, you can land a digger and also a rover to help setting up life support faster. It's like an extra pair of hands that doesn't need to be fed, doesn't breathe, and doesn't need downtime or sleep.

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1 hour ago, Nebbie said:

Unfortunately "more stuff" doesn't include the rocket platform. Paradoxically, they've kept rovers unreliable for space colonization, but now rovers are great for early base construction.

If rovers could build rocket platforms it would make colonization trivial. Right now it seems there's an intention for two stages of colonization: a first stage where you have to drop resources using the orbital cargo module and dupes have a one-way trip using the trailblazer, and a second stage where you have a platform and can land and relaunch as you wish. If rovers could build rocket platforms it would completely remove the first stage from gameplay.

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1 hour ago, Yobbo said:

If rovers could build rocket platforms it would make colonization trivial. Right now it seems there's an intention for two stages of colonization: a first stage where you have to drop resources using the orbital cargo module and dupes have a one-way trip using the trailblazer, and a second stage where you have a platform and can land and relaunch as you wish. If rovers could build rocket platforms it would completely remove the first stage from gameplay.

But you can just build a platform with the dupe dropped from the trailblazer... It takes just a bit of oxygen for them to last the build. You can't really relaunch all the time if you don't have access to sugar, which is quite possible in the new clusters, note.

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2 hours ago, Nebbie said:

It is the first two vertical columns in the research window. Farm tiles, but not fridges, for instance.

Wait, couldn`t they do that already? I`m pretty sure that was their previous limit. If so then nothing changed. Airlocks are in the 3rd and 4th column iirc.

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56 minutes ago, Nebbie said:

But you can just build a platform with the dupe dropped from the trailblazer... It takes just a bit of oxygen for them to last the build. You can't really relaunch all the time if you don't have access to sugar, which is quite possible in the new clusters, note.

Yeah, i'm not saying it's well fleshed out or balanced... just that it appears to be intentional that there is a stage where dupes can colonize but rockets can't land. Otherwise what would be the point of orbital cargo modules and one-way trailblazer modules?

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1 hour ago, Sasza22 said:

Wait, couldn`t they do that already? I`m pretty sure that was their previous limit. If so then nothing changed. Airlocks are in the 3rd and 4th column iirc.

Previously, rovers could only build what didn't take any research, like tiles, pneumatic doors, and ladders. No farm tiles, mess tables, wires, etc..

1 hour ago, Yobbo said:

Yeah, i'm not saying it's well fleshed out or balanced... just that it appears to be intentional that there is a stage where dupes can colonize but rockets can't land. Otherwise what would be the point of orbital cargo modules and one-way trailblazer modules?

Orbital cargo is still useful for avoiding the fuel cost of relaunching, and would be to drop sufficient resources to build the rocket platform. Trailblazers would be an option to skip rovers, as having a rover stage does make things a bit more complicated.

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16 hours ago, Nebbie said:

Previously, rovers could only build what didn't take any research, like tiles, pneumatic doors, and ladders. No farm tiles, mess tables, wires, etc..

I was sure they could build some basics like pumps and pipes i guess i need to check again.

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