Hab Module power systems - Larger Battery

Ryan Gill 3 years ago updated by azhockeynut 3 years ago 8

Hi, another possibly useful suggestion...

The Hab Modules have an abstract reserve power sub-system but game play related power sources (PV arrays and the as yet unseen RTGs). What about the addition of battery strings and tasks related to fixing/upgrading/scavenging materials for the battery system that the reserve power is actually based around? 

I would think they'd either manifest as modules connected to the Power originating system, OR as modules connected to the Hab module or within the confines of it's external structure but not in the pressure vessel itself (minimizes fire hazards!).  


Yep, I'm planning the ability to expand or repair the reserve battery supply much in the same way that you can expand and repair your oxygen and water reserves by using tanks. Also, RTGs are currently present in the game but they are relatively rare spawns. They are buried far from the main habs and marked by radiation flags. Placing them in the RTG slots will power that entire module day and night with no need for solar panels, however, in a future update this will be balanced with the possible failure of the RTG units which would cause radiation exposure.

Is there any reasonable way to place things like an RTG behind a terrain feature to avoid having Rad issues if the RTG's shielding get's a bit damaged? 

While I understand that some form of tradeoff would be required for gameplay purposes in case of the RTGs, but given what they are and how they work, they are practically incapable of causing radiation exposure even if physically damaged to the point where the heating pellets themselves are exposed. (Barring nonsensical things like carrying the exposed heating pellets in your pocket, and even then, since they are designed to emit very little to none beta, gamma and neutron radiation, the alpha radiation has the least penetration energy easily stopped by "regular" materials, even simply by the human skin.)

Another thing is that RTGs have rather low power output, typically a few hundred watts at most, so a single unit alone would be incapable of powering a complex and large electromechanical system like any of the hab modules by itself (especially the heater, which would have to require power supply on the order of several kilowatts to be able to heat something as big as the habitat). The most they could do is supplement an insufficient amount of solar panels during the day, and slow the deplettion of the reserve batteries during the night.

This is just one of those instances where reality doesn't mesh well with game design. I'm well aware of the limitations you mentioned, but having the player micro-manage components to that level of accuracy isn't typically a fun experience. Having a non-solar based power source was an interesting design option that provides the player with a wider range of choice, and finding an RTG feels like more of a reward when it has a high power output. Then, balancing that with the potential for radiation exposure creates another risk-reward aspect. The entire game is really an exercise in exaggerating the general risk-reward encounters that an astronaut would experience. An astronaut has relatively low risk if they follow every rule and regulation properly, which would be a boring experience for a player. And real astronauts have a relatively low tangible reward for their work as well, besides just the satisfaction of getting to experience zero-g and performing research. Translating all that into compelling player decisions is the difficult part of making a game out of space exploration.

My two cents.

I really think the habs are overpowered. If I put two large solar panels in the Electrical Station and none on the other stations I can run all of then 24/7.

In terms of survival game, I think it is too easy to stay alive, there is no management at all. I would really like to manager the stations according the available power in the day, turning them on or off when, for example, I need oxygen and already have water, or turn off heater when I need water and oxygen. Later in game, when we find more materials and tools, we can build more solar panels and only then we became self sufficient in power generation.

This is absolutely my vision for base management as well. The issue you noted about being able to run all modules on the reserve power generated just from the Electrical module is actually a miscalculation on my part. I'm working on a fix now that basically makes the reserve battery charge slower for every module that has <100% local power and the reserve will slowly drain even during the day if all three other modules are lacking solar panels. So you will no longer be able to run the entire base with just two large solar panels. This has needed to be balanced by having the Reoxygenator and Water Reclaimer run at 10% production speed during the night so that running the modules at night does not completely deplete the reserve battery while you sleep (as long as it is charged up well before night). As mentioned earlier in this thread, I also intend to add expandable battery slots eventually so that you could build up a longer lasting reserve battery.

I also feel that electrical power generation is a bit over-abundant with the current production capability of the various panels. I may have been just extremely lucky, but in my first playthrough all 3 habs had more than enough panels installed right when I found them, plus I found a lot more panels (2 large, 5 or 6 meds and 3 or 4 portables) so I had plenty of spares too. Maybe a slight adjustment/reduction would be in order, something like this:

Large Panel - 40% system power (currently 50%)

Medium Panel - 25% system power (currently 30%)

Portable Panel - 15% system power (currently 20%)

Or maybe medium and portable could go to as low as 20% and 10% respectively so that they can complement each other better with no 5% overheads that would just get lost anyway. And yes, I realize that this way you couldn't run a system on portables alone, but to be honest, I don't think you should be able to. Those are rather small ones, I don't see a way for even 5 of them combined to power systems that supply an entire habitat.

The smaller panels and portable ones would be ok for the outpost or emergency shelters I would hope.