Under review
Mr. Fusion 1 month ago in Gameplay • updated by azhockeynut 6 days ago 4

The current navigation and scanning functionality offers little incentive to discover, activate and maintain WayStats; you need to activate only one and you get the whole navigation package in one go. While the addition of weather monitoring at some later time will make the advanced part (fuse slots and fuses) of it more important, the base function could also benefit from a more gradual bonus approach and some added/extended functionality:

  • No active WayStat: no navigation related functionality at all (no compass, no coordinates, visited locations not marked on map, photos taken not tagged with coordinates, no position tracking on the map, "No nav" text instead of compass), 300 m scan range.
  • 1 WayStat: compass display, Habs and WayStats can be waypoints, 400 m scan range.
  • 2 WayStats: coordinates display, visited "white" locations marked on map, white and photo locations can be waypoints, 550 m scan range.
  • 3 WayStats: position tracking on map, custom location can be placed freely and set as waypoint, 750 m scan range.
  • 4 or more WayStats: distance to "pings" shown in scan mode even for unvisited locations, 1000 m scan range, (visited "blue" locations marked on map?), (scan "pings" immediately marked on map with generic icon without having to actually go there first?).

Additionally, each active WayStat could slightly (maybe by 50 meters, up to 500-600 meters max?) increase the detection range for "blue" locations.

Under review

My only concern with implementing something like what you've described is that it wouldn't be very transparent to the player. There is still an incentive to activate more than one currently. If you travel too far away from the active waystat then your navigation features are disabled.

I am considering adding another benefit of activating multiple waystats however. Some players are having difficulty locating hab Beta and Gamma. Perhaps I could show general vicinity of these habs once you've activated a set number of waystats?

I agree with everything in Mr Fusion's "no waystat" bullet.  Since activating a waystat is part of the tutorial, it's not too hard to notice the benefits.  Put a waystat super close to the the landing pod and make it the first tutorial objective, sorted!

I was surprised my compass worked without a single waystat.  I honestly don't know anything about electronic compass technology on Mars but I'd expected comms with waystats or satellites to be a requirement.

I've wandered out of range of the waystats and had to activate more to enable nav in a new region.  That part is pretty intuitive.  It's also slightly alarming to lose your electronic pathfinding tools, and exciting to head for that waystat you spotted off in the distance with no electronic aids.  :D

For locating an undiscovered hab, I'd like activating waystats in the same part of the map to improve your chances of finding the hab.  More increases your detection range.

A quick google search shows Mars has barely any magnetic field, so a conventional compass would most likely not work. I can however easily imagine a simple setup of 3 or 4 low-power receiver antennae listening to a beacon signal from a waystat (you'd really not want the EVA suit to actively transmit unless absolutely necessary in order to conserve battery power). They could estimate the direction of a waystat based on the phase differences between their received signals. HOWEVER to get any sort of global direction (NESW), you'd need at least two waystats, which if combined with their directions would also give you your position. There'd be always certain errors involved though, so more waystats would be able to more accurately determine your position (from 3 onwards you could use trilateration).

For realism I'd say that you'd need 2 or 3 waystats for both the compass and coordinates to show up. One waystat only should give you the red marker to the waystat itself, but not much more (the first hab is always within range of the first waystat so it'd at least get you home). Same if you'd go outside the range for one or more of the waystats. For 2 waystats you could have an error in your position for example, maybe generate a random number each time you open the datapad and add that to the position or something. From 3 waystats onwards there should realistically not be any additional functionality anymore, except for any error that'd disappear with more waystats.

To offer more incentive to discover waystats, I'd say you could heavily decrease the waystat range (if you get to requiring three waystats in range for determining your position, you could choose the range such that each location falls into exactly three waystat areas - perhaps with a few "dark" zones inbetween the waystats).

Interesting ideas I agree make more incentive to explore for them 

Until I read u could equip a panel I never went far, now I got all over