Under review

Degradation of Installed Equipment

Altimos 2 years ago updated 2 years ago 7

Would be nice to see degradation of installed equipment not degrade so fast...

I don't know what you have planned for future updates, but I spent some time repairing all of my equipment to 99% with all slots filled (e.g. 5 fuses, 5 wires, etc.), and then left to stay at Habitat Beta for 3 days getting that place up and running, only to come back to my original location and find that most of my equipment degraded into the 50's.

If more habitats become available and I'm bouncing around, it becomes a real pain to have to spend an entire day repairing equipment, especially if they degrade at the rate that they are. I'm guessing that stronger items take longer time to degrade (e.g. double insulating wire, metal tube, etc.), but it takes a considerable amount of time to even craft these items. Bringing me to my next point... on SOL 20, I still cannot find the second engineering tool TT^TT

Under review

Equipment degradation is something I'm constantly looking at for feedback, but one thing you might want to keep in mind is that equipment only degrades if the module is turned on. If you shut down the unnecessary modules you can preserve your components longer.

I'm also looking at ways to smooth out the RNG of item drops. One potential solution would be to set a max number of days it takes to find certain items required for crafting. If you reach the max days and still haven't found something then I could spawn it in the next cache you open.

Okay, maybe this kind of feedback can help with getting degradation of slots squared away.


This is sandbox, but I'm sure in actual gameplay, you'll be asking the player to choose their difficultly of play... this is assumed from that nature, and you can curtail it to calling it easy/normal/hard or something like phrases (e.g. easy = "Exploring the Red Planet", normal = "Surviving the Red Planet", hard = "Enduring the Red Planet") or something to that effect. Either way you do it, that will be the base for degradation.


Easy = Degrades at 0.5 an hour (1% per 2 hours game time)

Normal = Degrades at 1 an hour (1% per hour game time)

Hard = Degrades at 1.5 an hour (1% per 30 minutes of game time)


Easy mode can be where there is less or no chance for sandstorms and a more favorable salvage drop chance (food, air, materials) during exploring. Normal mode is the likelihood of sandstorms and your average salvage drop chance. Hard would be increased chances of sandstorms and a less than average chance of favorable salvage drops during exploring.


Are you basing the durability of a component from a scale of 0-99 (giving it the 100%)?


Because I notice that when you repair a component, it is only to 99%. Maybe set it up so it has two levels, the durability state, and the ruin state of zero.


Where 1-100 is the durability number and 0 is the state of ruin


Component slots would be as followed.

Blank (Empty slots) degrade 25% slower than standby slots (rounded up)

White (Standby Slots) degrade 25% slower than powered slots (rounded up)

Green (Powered Slots) degrade at the rate set by the difficulty mode


During a sandstorm, degradation rate should increase by 25% altogether during that storm. So, it would be as if any empty slots would degrade at the rate of a standby slot, standby slots would degrade at the rate of any powered slots, and powered slots would degrade 25% faster than its normal state.


No need to change repair times, I think 30 minutes to repair from a ruined state is spot on.


Ultimately, if each SOL is 24 hours long, the rate of degrade would be as followed


Easy Mode

It would take 2 hours for a powered slot to degrade by 1%, 4 hours for a standby slot to degrade by 1%, and 8 hours for an empty slot to degrade by 1%. I would lose 12% a day off my slots and in 4 days will be in the low 50% or high 40%, depending on when I check those slots on that 4th day. I would need to do any kind of repairs within 8 days or the powered component and slot would be ruined.


Normal Mode

It would take 1 hour for a powered slot to degrade by 1%, 2 hours for a standby slot to degrade by 1%, and 4 hours for an empty slot to degrade by 1%. I would lose 24% a day off my slots and in 2 days will be in the low 50% or high 40%, depending on when I check those slots on that 2nd day. I would need to do any kind of repairs within 4 days or the powered component and slot would be ruined.


Hard Mode

It would take 30 minutes for a powered slot to degrade by 1%, 1 hours for a standby slot to degrade by 1%, and 2 hours for an empty slot to degrade by 1%. I would lose 48% a day and stab myself with my soldering iron the next day… seriously, that isn’t hard mode… that’s seeking death mode, because you’re also contending with sandstorms which would increase the rate of degradation.

Well, as you can see... it can get rather crazy, I can see why you're looking for feedback on this. But I think we're on the right path to determine, through difficulty level, a rate of degradation of slots.


Ideally, finding a happy medium would be great. I’d say that if I’m easy mode, a rate of having to perform routine maintenance on my slots once a week with a minimal chance of slots getting ruined, is just fine. Same with normal mode, once a week with a moderate chance of slots getting ruined, seems ideal. Hard mode, with frequent sandstorms, you’re probably looking at every 3 to 4 days needing to perform routine maintenance or face the high chance of component and slot ruin state.


When I mean chance of ruined state, obviously if you’re in easy mode and repairing every 5 days, you’ll never get into a ruined state. But, if your waiting till the last minute on the 7th day or so… you pretty much flirting with the equipment gods…

Obviously, if you wait too long and a slot goes ruin, your standby would kick in. However, it is now degrading as a powered slot, but at it's current degraded state, not back at 100%. So, you probably only have 2 or 3 days at the most to repair that equipment before it is no longer providing your HAB any benefit...


Hopefully, this gives a little more perspective to lead you to a more desirable plan for degradation.

I get that... but you might want to take into consideration that keeping habitats running will allow air and power to build up so it will be easier to fill charged packs or air tanks without sacrificing your main habitat.

I still think a slower degradation would be better, especially since the degrade rate is longer with solar panels then it is for components inside the equipment. Solar panels are out in the elements, like sand storms and such, while the components are inside the equipment and somewhat safe.

Though, don't get me wrong... I for one knows about sand getting into places it shouldn't be, and I'm not saying that inside equipment is safe. But I think that is should degrade over a longer time than solar panels would.

RNG is certainly a pain. RNG in some of my RPG Maker games is always difficult to handle. But I do find if you add more variables in the mix of the RNG, like you were saying, what SOL you're on gives positive results when calculating RNG, and possibly already having one engineering tool or the such. This way, it won't be just a straight d100 (example) parentage roll.

Also, it was actually SOL 12, not 20... my bad. But I did make sure that I marked down the day I finally got my excavation shovel, and that was on SOL 28.

I'm guessing there are only 3 habitats? I've found all the waypoints and habitats, I found the shovel pop tent on the kid corner of the map where I started from (e.g. I started upper left at Habitat Alpha and the pop tent was bottom right). So it was certainly a trip XD

I have never, literally never, ever, in my 130+ hours of play time lost a single hab system component due to degradation, and I wasn't even repairing everything to 100% all the time, just a few repairs per sol on the lowest condition slots per system before heading out to a 2-3 sols long exploration trip. Degradation rate is fine, too low, even. At its current rate its nowhere near enough to cause any need for crafting replacements, ever.

50% over 3 sols is nothing. You are not supposed to be able to explore the whole map in one go without even so much as just thinking about having to maintain the habitat at some point, and with the current degradation rate and the recent in game time / real time ratio change, you can cover a huge area even just in one sol, let alone 3. I'm inclined to say I could explore at least third of the map in 3 sols with a bit of preparation (unless a dust / radiaton storm comes up) on foot, and the remaining two thirds in another 3 once I found the PRT, whereas it used to take 15-20 sols at least with the old balance.

Easy there big time, your getting a little too excited.

My playthrough seems to be a little different then yours. Because it's not consistent with what you're saying. You cannot repair to 100%, at least for me, it only goes up to 99%... you cannot, at least for me, repair a 50% degraded component up to 80%... it's always 99%. If I go 5 SOL without repairing anything in a HAB, I'm either in the single digit % or the part is broken (mainly 3 fuses in all equipment, 3 wires in electric supplier, and at least one carbon filter / heater coil).

Yes, I posted before I got the PRT. Having the PRT does make it easier to circumnavigate the surrounding area, making it easier to get from one HAB to another. I have done this, but after repairing one HAB and moving and repairing another HAB, that is a single day gone. Time management is a big factor here (and I know of ONE person who stated they wanted more daytime versus real time ratio). There is also the factor of being engrossed in dealing with stuff (e.g. focusing on gathering food, fixing waypoints, putzing around just because (like mining with a pickaxe when it's available). And since this is beta, I'm guessing there will be more implementations of things for your character to do besides searching for supplies in order to survive. Maybe doing mining and researching, maybe discovering there was a past civilization on Mars... who knows. Either way, you can lose track of time.

Being around electronics in a harsh environment and sandstorms, I can guarantee you that components last longer than 5 to 6 days. Yes, I had to replace components after installing a new one a week later, but I've also had components last several months before needing replacement... especially with a quick PM with minimal invasive effort.

Congratulations on achieving 130+ hours... you are a true gamer among regular gamers XD

But I digress... each player is different, and you are not the baseline. If anything, maybe a difficulty level should be put into place, just like wanting no, little, or a lot of sandstorms (which sandstorms should increase degradation of components).

Anyways... thanks for reading and commenting, although, to me, a little too petulant.

Not having to maintain anything for up to a week would effectively remove the whole equipment maintenance gameplay element from what little challenges still remain in the game, the same way as having changed the vitals balance from the previous faster rate (death in 3 sols after having had the vitals at very low levels for most of the duration) to the current extremely slow one (death in maybe 10-12 sols), which is so slow you can all but ignore it and just eat/drink once in a while when it occurs to you that you didn't for days.

There's a point where trying to achieve "realism" would impact gameplay very negatively, and where gameplay needs to come first so that it still remains a game where you have to face at least some challenges and manage limited resources, including your in game time, which needs to be split between various tasks that are in odds with each other.

Spending an hour or two per sol with maintenance, and having to return to an online hab every 2-3 sols to prevent losing components really isn't that much of a hassle. Actually, as far as "realism" go, it represents the mundane maintenance routine which is a huge part of the daily activities of the ISS crew.

I can see where your coming from... however, like I told Tyler, an offline HAB wouldn't produce any electricity or oxygen. It would be good to have one act as your air tank, battery pack charger, and PRT power supplier and the other two as your back and fourth... which two online and one offline could still supply all your needs... But, the game isn't finished yet and there is still more stuff to implement... I'm just thinking proactively through player preferences.

It could be negatively on a group of individuals, but this game is for all sorts of individuals. So, I suggest giving the player the decision to how degradation plays in the same capacity as when asked if you want none/little/or a lot of sandstorms. The difficulty is what determines the degree of when you have to perform maintenance before you have a failure.

Ideally, if I do wait 2 to 3 SOL's to repair, it could effectively take me half a day to do my PM on all 4 pieces of equipment (6-9 minutes per component). And since it takes me time to craft, explore, mine, or whatever else Tyler and his team want to implement will take up even more time during the day.

I suggest letting the player decide, some just want to enjoy the game without it being tedious while others will want that continuous challenge of harsh survival.

It did take me till SOL 16 to find that PRT. A second playthrough would be different, probably even find the PRT on SOL 3 or 4... But that's moot, since it's not about the mechanics, but the the preferences of the player.