Initial water in Hab Alpha is lost

Mr. Fusion 2 years ago updated by Tyler Owen (Lead Developer) 2 years ago 4

Hab Alpha appears to start with some amount of water (unless all tanks are broken), which creates various inconsistencies / incorrect behaviour:

  • Hab Alpha is, and has been, unheated for a while so water should be frozen, and frozen water should not be reported on the status screen, nor be available in storage, however, in this case it is.
  • It is possible to enter the hab and get all this initial water from storage even though it should be frozen and inaccessible until the hab is heated up.
  • When the reoxygenator or water reclaimer is powered up while the hab is still unheated, this initial water will disappear in a few seconds both from the status screen and from the actual storage.
  • Once the hab is heated to nominal temp, this water does not return, even though the water loss should be only temporary (as I understand): habitat cools below zero -> water frozen and becomes inaccessible, habitat heated to above zero -> water melts and becomes accessible again. This basically means that all games effectively start with zero water reserve since the initial water the hab is created with will be lost due to this.

Come to think about it, this issue likely affects all habs; the water they are initialized with will be lost due to the above, and they will effectively start from 0 once repaired and put online. It also explains why I've been noticing a severe water shortage (or rather, a lack of reserves, production being just slightly more than usage) in the last few versions, ever since the frozen water thing was introduced, compared to how it was before.


I had been trying to think of a solution for this for a while now, but I think I've got an implementation that makes sense. There is now an item called Frozen Water that cannot be withdrawn from your habitat. Those are added as the water freezes, one for each Water that is subtracted. This is also fixed so that it happens even when the exterior modules are turned off (as it should have originally) so you should find Frozen Water in all the starting habitats. Then, if the heat inside the hab rises back above freezing it will unfreeze the frozen water at the same rate as production, which means you will have 2 waters added when normally you would have only had 1, until all the frozen water is thawed and then production resumes back to the normal rate. How does that sound?

Should be ok at a quick glance. So all habs should now start with frozen water so that there is no "conversion loss" as observed, and then when it gets heated it turns into liquid water.

This would also solve an inconsistency I meant to mention at some point: resource caches can contain water bottles, except they should be frozen solid by now as having been out there since who knows when. Now that there is a frozen water item, I think the possible water in the caches should be frozen water instead of liquid (drinkable) water, except you should be able to take those items out of anything that is not the hab storage, and be able to put them into hab storage so that they eventually melt and get added to the batch of liquid water.

On one hand this would mean you won't find "ready to drink" water supply while exploring so you can't count on that, but on the other hand it would solve the inconsistency.

I was thinking about that too, and I know this isn't necessarily realistic, but from the players perspective I don't think it ever makes sense to be able to carry frozen water. They can already carry water from the hab without it freezing, which I think is necessary from a gameplay perspective, and so if they were to pick up frozen water they would expect it to defrost in their inventory. And at that point it seems kind of silly to have to include that as a mechanic that needs explanation rather than just have the water start out as defrosted. Maybe it's laziness on my part not wanting to implement it, but I don't think your version of depositing the frozen water to melt it in storage is very intuitive either.