atermonera wrote: ↑
Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:26 am
It's turning out to be really difficult reinforcing the notion that "the wilderness is remote" with the desire for "explorers [to], please come back to the station to rp with other people"
Yes, that is probably summing up the issue best. Without a pilot or S&R, a timely extraction from the Wilderness is basically impossible...
ZekeSulastin wrote: ↑
Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:09 am
I think that shuttles and pilots need to be actually interesting are to be more than "time sink" and "reduce time sink" respectively; thankfully, Neerti is actually working on that long term if I remember Discord posts properly.
Well, since Pilots should, longterm, fill an position comparable to Telescience in the way awaymissons act, longterm, lets instead examine the problem closer.
There are three, non-pilot, groups that have to rely on the shuttle, since Xenobio moved stationside (for simelar reasons the bar got dismantled, I am sure). This is Miners, Explorers and Medical for the first two groups. Everyone else can probably comfrotably take their time, since they have no pressing dutys down there.
- From the groups, Miners
are the least issue, since their job is isolationist Timesink personified, for when you want to play the minecraft-Playlist in the background and then listen to factorio waiting for a quater hour while materials refine, the shuttle is your least problem.
, on the other hand, have the least insentive on using the shuttle. Outside of a bar filled with friendly faces, there is nothing on station where they can turn in their finds for better rewards, or anything of a compensation at all. As result, I feel like explorers tend to overextend their wildness-visits since the hassle for going back does not weight up the reward for doing so.
has the same problems as on station, reaching who needs help in time, extravagant-ed. Since they only need the shuttle when S&R is missing, be it because there never was one or because they literally did go missing, it is less a shuttle-problem in its own, but more a problem with the reach of medical in such cases, or explorers thinking of themself as more robust then they are while knowing that nobody on ground can come help them. Given, crossing the mines and extracting out of the wilderness is rarely attempted for obvious reasons (That is not the danger you have contractly agreed on to risk.) And extractions from mines happen frequently with little issue, even if it is usually dead-extractions, where the explorers dragged themself away just to die of toxins or bleeding.
will allways have materials on hand compleatly useless to them, but also knows that cargo can buy nice things when selling your metric ton of phoron and R&D has always nice toys. And while the mech from robotic is near useless for actual work, it is a mech
, you want it anyways!
Miners know they are the first stop in a productionchain, and they act accordingly. They sometimes complain about the shuttle, but they have no sense of urgency with their materials and litte problem with waiting a few minutes. Afterall, once up and materials are delivered, Robotics and R&D take their time, and you can hit the bar, waiting o´for the next step before turning back to Sif and digging deeper.
, when using the shuttles, already expect a dead explorer or is keeping talking with them. They actually do not want to be on Sif, but circumstances forced their hand, and now they sit in Hanger Two, waiting for the shuttle arriving any minute now.
They have a clear intend on why they wait and every reason to be upset about it, afterall, there are lives on the line.
But that they have to wait for the shuttle is not the problem, but a symptom of an other problem, the lack of S&R or an Pilot, in this case. Both jobs would fullfill the job of aiding a quick rescue of the Explorer, the S&R by cutting out a flight down from medical out of the picture and a pilot by reducing the time medical would need, offering additional manpower in the progress and keeping the actual medicals to keep doing their work while ensuring nobody to be left back.
And the one that has the most problems with the shuttle, the Explorers
. If you read the things before, I am trying to show a pattern that I belive is the root of the issue. Explorers only got one reason to move up to station during a normal shift: RP.
There is no real reward to get from moving up to the station for them. Everything they could ever want is in the wilderness, being bigger guns and better armor, the only things that actually help their job.
They also are not part of any chain, like any other department. Miners are obvious, and medical is a responceunit to help when other departments have issues resulting in harm. The civil-roles play each other and Securitys duty to the station is well understood, Engineering is the first step to a functioning station, cargo is one of the most usefull parts to any other department and Research is a resourcesink, as well as a supplypoint for other departments like medical, civil, security... the list where their parts and gips are helpfull is endless.
But to drive the point home, the issue I think we are not seeing, but feeling symtoms of is that the Explorers got no strong-IC reason to make the trek home, RP being mainly an OOC reason the player longs for and no issue to the lone explorer-character.
So my belive is that the explorers should get more reward from returning to the cross. Let R&D make them nice tools via breaking down explorer-junk they would not have access to if they get no specifical explorer-junk, like personal energy shields, gloves that reduce balistic-knockback, boots that stop spiders from pushing you over. Things you can not find in the wilderness, unlike guns, but require things from the wilderness to be made!
You could also give them a wider arrange of things to order from cargo, and make explorer-junk usefull to cargo
. Maybe let them find less guns, but more crates of materials, rare items for Science and Medical or a fridge full of Godka to send up to the bar
And lastly, since the other symtom that is feelable from the shuttles is a lack of S&R, I suggest, on a note unrelated to all of the aboth, to give S&R Phasepistols. Less usefull then Phasecarabines or anything the explorers find, but reasonable enoth for them to have the bit of security they need outside. Might as well make that position more appealing. And while Pilots are not expected to go out by regulations, handing them a flarepistol (as in, a proper one and not a .45 with special ammo) would be reasonable, but more on that in another issue.
Yes, the shuttles are not perfect, but the problems you experience are, to my understanding, inflated by the deeper problem of Explorers and S&R, and would otherwise be a minor nuisance. Any bigger issues with the shuttle is the autopilots being to good for pilots having a point! What I mean, making the Autopilots faster would only make the regular Pilots less useful then they already are, turning them into glorified greysuits until the Shuttle-Update arrives.
- Explorers got no IC or Mechanical reason to return to station.
- Medical hates shuttles because there is no S&R to do that job.
- S&R is unappealing, give them a sidearm so they can be more reasonable expected to join and help the explorers.
- Better automated Shuttles would make pilots compleatly pointless, wait for changes to the system as part of the Shuttle-Update, still in planing.
- Mining is fine and does not really care, anyways.
Suggested Quickfix awaiting balancing:
- Add more resource-crates and Destructive Analiser Junk to the stuff spawning for explorers. Make them think: If I go back now, I could have [an Advanced Energygun/a better Suit/X].
- Give S&R Phasepistols, because they have to go our rescue explorers, not the station-medical
- Wait for feedback. (I expect more Explorers turning back after a good haul to do station things and more S&R to join taking pressure from medical)