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Topics - Thundercraft

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16
Remember months earlier when the Steam Workshop was finally fixed, after the search function and certain downloads had stopped working? Remember how the Workshop database of ISOs was reset, erasing the old stuff? This means that content in the Workshop today has only been accumulating in the last several months, right, because stuff had to be re-uploaded?

Well, take a look at the "Guns" super-category. It consists of 25 freaking pages, and most of them are unique! Unlike the way it was before, hardly any of them are duplicates. It's a nightmare to search through to find a certain type of gun, especially if we've already downloaded half of them or are picky about attack value.

Similarly, take a look at the "Swords" super-category. It consists of 18 freaking pages and, again, most of them are unique! I could maybe count on one hand the duplicates. Again, it's a nightmare to search through.

My point? Those categories are way too crowded. At the least, why can't you split up the Sword category into Swords, Great Swords, and Daggers? You already have a separate category for Axes...

More significantly, why haven't you split the Guns category by gun grip?

  • Pistol
  • Handgun
  • Rifle
  • Assault Rifle
  • Sniper Rifle
  • Shotgun
  • Laser Pistol
  • Laser Gun
  • Laser Rifle
  • HC Laser Rifle

17
Planet Explorers Suggestions / On the newer voices & voice acting
« on: September 02, 2017, 04:56:44 PM »
I do appreciate that the (main) characters in Story Mode have voices. It certainly adds depth. I can also appreciate that the devs are concerned about the quality or at least the accuracy of the spoken lines vs. the text and situation, as evidenced by the fact that some of the voice files have been changed.

That said, I was disappointed to hear how several voice actors (for the English version) must have either been redone by different people, or they had to re-record their lines and somehow ended up sounding very different.

In and of itself, sounding different is not necessarily a bad thing. But... The original voices were very easy to understand and had both a lot of character and a lot of emotion. Some of the replaced voices, however, really lack in character and emotion and are harder to hear.

Of particular note, the new voices for Dayita Saxena, Adesa Mostafa and Lao Lei are, to put it kindly, lackluster. And, while passable, the re-recorded lines for Chen Zhen just aren't as good.

Edit 1:
Oh my gosh! :( I just redid the part where we first meet Tarik Bakir in the woods with two random NPCs where they get attacked by an alien. (Except... now it's three aliens instead of one?) Tarik's voice... You must have had him re-record or something. I liked it much better the way it was before.

But that's not the bad part. What completely ruined this scene for me is how, originally, Tarik very loudly exclaims something in response to the alien and shouts, "We're out of here!" But, now, he says absolutely nothing! He is perfectly silent, not giving any warning to his fellows or the rest of us that we should flee instead of fight. IMO, this ruins the plot here, considering how he clearly feels guilty about leaving his companions to die.

Was this intentional? I ask because I think this could be a bug.

EDIT 2:
Okay, I was a bit mistaken. Tarik does eventually say the "We're out of here" line. However, now, he only says this after he has not only started running away, but after he's almost halfway across the valley to where he stops running. This makes no sense. He should shout that immediately. How else is everyone supposed to know to start running after him?

Also, I do not like his new voice. It sounds sort of like a Chicago-flat American standard like one might hear on the nightly news. Now that I think about it: Previously, several characters had distinctive accents, whereas now they all seem to just sound... American... Not that there's anything wrong with that. But, having them all sound the same just seems to lack... character. (As much as I really don't want to say it: I prefer to hear more diversity in voice. It just makes more sense that this Earth-Mars colonization mission would have people from different cultures and with regional and/or national accents. Even a large-ish nation like the United States has several different, distinctive accents. Many nations do, to say nothing of people who speak English as a second language.)

Actually, what bothers me more is how Tarik's new voice seems to be mostly lacking in emotion. You can't even say that he shouted "We're out of here", because he didn't. He did not sound the least bit scared or excited when it said that.

18
Planet Explorers Suggestions / Better Hitbox for .ISO Objects! PLEASE!
« on: September 02, 2017, 12:13:36 PM »
Please, I beg you: Adjust the hitboxes of object ISOs to be more form-fitting!

Whenever I create and build a ramp ISO, I find that the hitbox ends up being a very clunky staircase pattern above the surface. This prevents characters or vehicles from using the ramp as a ramp. Trying to walk or drive over it results in the character or vehicle hitting what seems to be an invisible wall.

Jumping on top of the ramp, one ends up floating in space, which is very immersion breaking, to say the least!




And, while I have not tested it recently, the last time I tried to use the Hinge part to create a hinged platform that could be swung to one side, the Hinge would not work as obviously intended. (I.E., it was very buggy.)

If, for some reason (such as performance issues), it is not practical to make object hitboxes smooth enough for a ramp, then maybe you could implement ramp or drawbridge objects in the replicator system?

The primary reason why I quit playing PE last year was frustration. Specifically, frustration at (a) how so few new features had been implemented recently and (b) how I found it impossible to build my base the way I wanted to - with some sort of ramp or hinged platform to function as a simple drawbridge.

19
I noticed the following on the side bar on the Planet Explorers Blog:
Quote
Which award do you have in mind for #PlanetExplorers?

This is an interesting question as I've been pondering this, myself.

For those who don't know what we're talking about, the Steam Awards is a new awards thing on Steam. It is described in detail here.

The competition should be intense, considering how many games there are on Steam. And considering how many games have a bigger player base than PE, I was thinking that perhaps PE would have a better chance if we (as a community) could agree on a unique (*name pending Selection Committee Decision) Award category.

I'm rather stumped on what would be a good award category to just make up for PE, though.

20
Earlier this year I wrote up detailed tips and instructions on how to use Build Mode in reply to someone's frustration in using the new Build Mode system (and pining for the simplicity of the old system). I figured that, instead of having my detailed tutorial get buried in a forgotten thread, I might as well repost this as a tutorial where it'd be easier to find:



The devs have made changes to Build Mode. The biggest difference is how we can now build with both blocks (like before) and voxels.

The process of placing blocks isn't too different from the way it was before. I'd really need a diagram to explain properly, but here goes: When looking at the interface, starting from the left:

First Row: [Current Material], [Current Block Shape], [+ = Point (single block)], [□ = Cube (extrude multiple blocks)], [/ = Bevel (extrude a ramp)], [◙ = Select (select for deletion, etc.)], [{floppy disk} = Save ISO], [{trash can} = Delete (selected blocks)], [Menu (Lots of options, divided into "Voxel", "Block", and "ISO" tabs)]

Second Row: This is a customizable shortcut bar and it works very similar to the shortcut bar for weapons and equipment, but only for materials and voxel shapes. Notice the number "1" on the far right edge, with tiny arrows pointing up and down? This indicates that page 1 of shortcuts is shown and we can use the arrows to scroll to pages 2 and 3. To customize it, you must open the [Menu], find what you want to shortcut, and then drag it into a panel in the Second Row. There are default shortcuts on page 1, but these can be changed.

Keep in mind:

  • The hotkeys listed on the left are handy. But remember that the Delete function was changed in a0.95 and they forgot to update the hotkey list! Instead of {Tab}, you use {Left Alt} for Delete. (That said, I tend to use the keyboard {Delete} key, instead.)
  • One way to tell whether you're in Block mode or Voxel mode is looking at the [Current Block Shape] (2'nd panel from the left). If it shows a geometric shape in plain grey, you're painting with blocks. But if it shows a material or pattern, then you're painting with voxels.
  • You should be able to tell which panel is highlighted. For instance, switching from [Point] to [Cube] will shade the [Cube] panel a light blue and put a fuzzy sphere in the center of it, showing it is highlighted.
  • By default, when you start using Build Mode it will be in Block mode, meaning it will paint with blocks. You can tell because blocks are much smaller than Voxels (about 1/4 the size).
  • To paint with Voxels, instead of Blocks, click on [Menu], make sure the "Voxel" tab is selected, then select a material. However, the interface seems a little buggy or something. It's just odd. Sometimes you may need to switch between [Point] and [Cube] or select Block mode again to get Voxel to work.
  • To paint with Blocks, you can use the default shortcuts in Second Row, or open the [Menu]. In [Menu], select the "Block" tab and you can select both material and shape. (That's where you'll find the huge selection of shapes.)
  • [□ = Cube] is used by click-holding and dragging the cursor. After you click-drag and release the mouse button to indicate the length and width, it will not yet fill the area. Instead, it waits for you to indicate the height of the cube. So you move the cursor up or down. Finally, you left click and it fills in the cube.
  • [/ = Bevel] I've hardly used this, but it looks like it could be very handy for creating a simple ramp. You use it just like the [Cube], but it makes a ramp instead. If you want a ramp with a very slight incline, fill in a wide area that is only a couple blocks high. And to make a steep incline, fill in a narrow area that is very tall.
  • [◙ = Select] This is used to select a group of blocks to either (a) delete or (b) save into an ISO. (Actually, buildings are saved as ".biso", which are in a folder separate from the ".vciso" for vehicles and other objects.) However, there is a trick to using Select. Selecting a layer of blocks just 1 high is simply a click and drag. But to save a building or something with more than one layer, you have to increase depth to get the whole thing. To do that, you must use the {Up} and/or {Down} keys on the keyboard while you click and hold the rectangular area you want to save. Another words: Click, drag, and hold for length and width, then {Up} and/or {Down} for depth. (Note: Select works with Blocks, not Voxels.)
  • [Save ISO] After you have your blocks selected (above), click this to save. A window pops up with a view of what the thumbnail will look like and a place for a filename. To get a good thumbnail view, you can hold the {Right Mouse} button down and rotate. You can also use the mouse {Scroll Wheel} to zoom in and out. (Note: Save works with Blocks, not Voxels.)
  • [Delete] This does not instantly delete your blocks. It whittles away at them (like a pickaxe), until it finally gets deleted. So, I very often use the {Delete} keyboard key, instead, as that works instantly. (Note: Delete works with Blocks, not Voxels. If you want to delete Voxels, then you must whip out your pickaxe.)
  • [Menu] -> {ISO Tab} This is how you can import an ISO, either something you saved or a .biso that you downloaded from the internet. You will see a list, showing the thumbnail view and filename. Select one and then press the [Export] button.
    Note 1: On my PC, the location for .biso's is: "C:\Users\Username\Documents\PlanetExplorers\BuildingIso"
    Note 2: I just found out that it is impossible to Export an ISO underground - that is, in a cavern or otherwise below the surface. I reported it on the Bug Tracker.
    Note 3: If you want to download some fancy buildings, try the Buildings category on Planet-Explorers-Isos.com. I suppose Nexusmods.com or the Steam Workshop may have a few, too.

21
I just want to point out that the issues I had with Multiplayer before, still persist. Namely:

1) I am unable to access or even see all the menu options in the Multiplayer Server List screen when my screen resolution is set to 1280 x 960 (the highest resolution that my monitor supports). It cuts off the menu options on the far right and tries to wrap them around, making them unreadable and unselectable. And, yes, I still have to CTRL+ALT+DEL and use Task Manager to kill PE because I there is no way for me to exit out of the Server List screen without an Exit button!

* Screen Resolution: I've already started a thread about dropped support for the lowest (1024p) screen resolution. Though, I was further surprised to learn that even 1280p is not nearly enough to access menu options on the Multiplayer server screen. (I doubt even 1366p would be enough, which I'm sure would upset many laptop owners...)
...Apparently, even a screen resolution of 1280 x 960 (or any width of 1280) is still much too small to display all the menu and interface options for the Multiplayer server screen! :o So it cuts off some important stuff. And I could find neither an "Exit" button, nor a "Back" or even a "Menu" or "[X]". Pressing [ESC] did not do anything, either. (Pressing [ESC] usually gives us a menu of options, such as the option to go back to the main game menu.)

In the end, I have to [CTRL]+[ALT]+[DEL] and manually terminate the Planet Explorers process through the Windows Task Manager, then I must re-launch PE to get to the Creation System... :(

2) As has been reported by others, numerous times, the Search function for the in-game Steam Workshop is completely broken. Searching for anything will give a page of search results with each one in a perpetual state of "Loading..", preventing the player from being able to use it.

If I had to guess what causes this, I suspect it's because many of the ISOs in the Workshop are for a much older version of PE and, thus, they are not compatible with the current version. The game probably keeps repeatedly trying to extrapolate stuff like the Final Attack and Durability and such for outdated ISOs, which it is unable to do.

If that is the problem, all you would have to do to fix the Search function is either (i) filter out all outdated ISOs from the search results or, preferably, (ii) add some error-handling routines to skip/ignore parts of the ISOs that would otherwise cause the Search function to hang.

Anyway, I'm reposting these issues here because (a) this is the Multiplayer section, (b) these bugs sound rather serious to me and (c) I would hope that these two get resolved before you push the 1.0 beta official release...

22
I just tried to Export a .BSIO (in Build Mode) to build a building. Sadly, it doesn't work for me now.  :( I click on the [Export] button after selecting a .BISO, but that does nothing. ??? And, yes, I made sure that I had enough resources to build it.

There is no ghostly outline of a building, either. At my cursor, all I see is the typical block voxel outline. I tried other .BSIO's aside from what I want to build, but it doesn't seem to matter. I tried changing the type of voxel selected, but I still can't Export. I tried reloading from a save, still nothing. And I tried restarted PE, but it still won't work. :(

I was preparing to build my colony, too, and looking forward to it. But it seems like I will have to put this off until you guys fix .BISO Export. (I don't want to build everything from scratch.)

This is very strange, especially since I could export this very same .BISO building in a0.941, without a problem.

23
Planet Explorers General Discussion / Some a0.95 Feedback[marked]
« on: April 24, 2016, 11:58:59 AM »
 * Herbal Juice Does Not Stack? Herbal Juice and Herbal Drink made from different recipes/scripts will not stack with each other? Why? Why clutter up our inventory with such things? All the Herbal Juices and Herbal Drinks function identically, regardless of how they were made. So they should stack.

While I'm at it: I seem to recall that Bandages and other medical items made from different ingredients also do not stack. Our inventory gets cluttered enough as it is, without multiple types of the same item.

 * Why are turrets destroyable now? Back when I played a0.87 and earlier, I don't ever recall seeing a turret get destroyed. And I frequently used them for boss battles, such as against robots, with their laser beams and missile strikes. But those merely destroyed the blocks underneath the turrets, which made them stop working. That was sensible as it prevented turrets from being too powerful.

Now? I never find enemies destroying the blocks under a turret. Instead, there is about a 50/50 chance that they will destroy the turret outright! :o This doesn't even leave behind any parts or resources to help build a new one.  :( And there's no hitpoint indicator or bar to show how much damage a turret can take before destruction. We can't repair them, either, as it seems there's just a random chance that something critical gets hit and they... disappear. >:( That's frustrating, considering how darned expensive turrets are!

 * The "Vitamins Optimal1" buff is extremely short-lived! It runs out in about 3 seconds or so. That's much too short to take advantage of, even if we were to eat Nuts right before a boss battle.

 * Underwater is way too blurry! With visibility crippled, it's hard to make out anything, either fish or topography. In earlier versions, we could enjoy the scenery underwater. That's no longer the case.

It's so blurry that I find it very difficult to either see where I'm going or watch out for those giant fish for Agnes' "Monster in the Lake" series of quests. (I constantly get lost in the underground lake.) If it were up to me, I would do away with blurriness altogether. There's no point to it. It's not realistic, either: If one is swimming in clean, clear water, one can see for quite a ways. The way underwater was in earlier versions was much preferable.

 * Scuba Mask light is too dim... As I recall, the Scuba Mask light was always a bit dimmer than the Headlamp. When combined with how murky and blurry underwater is now, the light on the Scuba Mask makes virtually no difference in visibility.

Perhaps one or both of these changes for a0.95 are part of the problem?
Quote
  • Tweaked headlight effect
  • Tweaked headlight location
Or would that not affect the Scuba Mask?

I did notice that the light from the Scuba Mask comes out in a very narrow cone, such that it illuminates very little when looking at a surface only a couple meters away.

 * Where are the "grubs"? For the "Into the Nest" part of "The Monster in the Lake" series of quests for Agnes, after we find the underwater lake, Agnes spots some "grubs" down there. (She later describes them as a larval troglobite.)

In a0.87 and earlier, I distinctly remember seeing what looked like a grub or trilobite on the wall, right next to Agnes. I only recall seeing one, while Agnes claims there are many. But, at least it was there.

When I did it in a0.95, though, I could not see any grubs. This, despite how long I looked and how I redid the mission twice. That said, I may have missed it due to how blurry the water is and how the Scuba Mask light is so dim...

 * Dayu are too hard to hit! It's very hard to hit them with a melee weapon, which is now the only type of weapon that works underwater. I swing and swing my sword, but I miss at least 90% of the time.

I strongly believe that the hit box is way too small on the Dayu. Because it's so small, one has to maneuver their PC so close that it practically has to be on top of the Dayu's head.

And because the Dayu move around, instead of standing still, this means spending most of combat swimming after the Dayu as it zigs and zags. Meanwhile, even with the Scuba Mask, our air supply begins to run out...

 * Followers don't know how to attack underwater? To make Dayu combat even worse, it seems that our followers are unable to attack underwater. (And, yes, I did remember to equip them with swords. I knew they wouldn't be able to use guns underwater if the PC can't.)

 * Lasers should work underwater: We need a weapon to use underwater, besides melee. Granted, I think it is nice to give players another incentive to use melee instead of ranged. And I understand why weapons like the bow and ballistic guns won't work. However, there is no logical reason why a laser weapon would not work underwater. You could nerf the damage and/or range of lasers underwater, but they should definitely work. References:

 * Bacteria Infections occur way too frequently. It happens so often that I must keep a stack of Disinfection Spray on me at all times. And if I run out before I can buy or craft more, I'll just have to live with it. But it is dangerous because it eats up like 25% of our max health.

 * Boss monsters can respawn on top of us if we load a save inside a respawn zone. Granted, it is a good thing that they respawn after a load, because that seems like the only way a boss can respawn now. However, I wish the game would not respawn a boss if the player loads a save inside their respawn zone. When resetting boss spawns due to loading a save, I think they should only respawn if we enter their respawn zone from outside it.

 * Stone should be the common type of rock, instead of Marble. Mining always returns many times more Marble than Stone or Limestone. While I do like to build with Marble - for nearly everything - it is worth 3 meat per unit, which is 50% more than Limestone (2 meat) and three times the value of Stone (1 meat).

Currently, my PC in Story Mode has roughly 8000 Marble, 4000 Stone, and less than 1000 Limestone. This is after I have sold several thousands of units of Marble. I must have mined at least 14000 Marble, in total. And I haven't sold or done much with Stone or Limestone. Realistically, Marble should be much less common than Stone or Limestone.

Why do you think marble is so expensive IRL? It's always been a high-end luxury product. It's so rare and expensive that, these days, bathroom sinks and kitchen counters are often made with synthetic or "cultured" marble.

If you made Stone as common as Marble is now, made Limestone as common as Stone is now, and made Marble as exceedingly rare as Limestone is now - that would be much more realistic. And it would take the wind out of complaints about the "meat exploit" where we sell all our Marble to NPCs to turn a profit.

Stone is only worth 1 per unit, like wood. So it's a poor way to make money. Currently, Limestone is so rare that few people sell it. And if Marble was that rare, instead, many players would hang onto it for their own use, rather than sell it.

24
Planet Explorers ISOs / Sickle Light Heli SLH-4[marked]
« on: April 18, 2016, 09:58:08 PM »
I have a modified version of the "Sickle L-Assault Chopper" (author unknown), which I'd like to share. I updated it to be balanced for a0.941. (Will test in a0.95 very soon.)



This version is mostly wood to make it very light. It weighs a mere 9.21 T, even with 5 weapons, 4 Side Seats, 6 fuel cells, and a top speed of 144 kph.

Question: Should I leave it with 6 Fuel Cell Type 03? Or should I add a couple more to bring it to the maximum of 8 fuel cells? The current fuel capacity of 372,000 should last a while. I guess players could just use the editor to add a couple more, if that's what they want...

25
Planet Explorers ISOs / Sickle L-Assault Chopper[marked]
« on: April 18, 2016, 08:39:26 PM »
Would anyone reading this happen to recognize the "Sickle L-Assault Chopper" or the very similar looking "Sickle MK II"? If so, could you tell me who the author is?



I downloaded this ISO some time ago. (About two years ago, perhaps?) And I created an updated, modified version. Unfortunately, the author did not specify his/her name in the description. And I suspect it predates the "Author" field.

I've looked on planet-explorers-isos.com, but I can't find it. I could not find anything called "Sickle" on nexusmods.com, either. So, I must conclude that I got it from the now defunct isoplanetexplorer.com.

I did glance at the PE Steam Workshop. But, as you know, Search is broken. And really I don't feel like browsing through all 451 pages of aircraft! (Geez! I really wish they'd split that category into subgroups - at least something separate for helicopters. Even better, if they split each subgroup into weight or size categories.)

26
Planet Explorers General Discussion / Vehicle Creation Issues[marked]
« on: April 16, 2016, 07:55:24 AM »
Recently, I started mentioning a few issues I found with vehicles in the My Feedback on a0.941 thread. (I mentioned some issues I had with Airship Thrusters and, also, how vehicles are much slower now.)

I've also seen the Vehicle Design Theory thread and there were several good points raised there about changes made in the new version. In particular, I read how many ground vehicles have difficulty going up an incline now. Also, it was pointed out how there seems to be an even a lower altitude ceiling for aircraft now. (And it was unbearably low before.) And how turning aircraft is much more annoying, due to the way they now "drift" and how there isn't enough "damping" for rotation.

While I don't remember where, I recall reading a mention of how "bouncy" ground vehicles are now. Unlike before, they seem to have springs in the wheels and will often jump around and even flip over when you hit a bump. (It's almost like they have very little weight, now. Which is funny, because vehicles are grossly over-weighted. ;D)

Beyond those, I wanted to mention issues with the Creation System itself that annoyed me and which I have not seen posted elsewhere:

 * Why lock the Scale function so all axes must be scaled together? Of particular note, I wanted to scale just one axis of the Missile Launcher part... but it would not let me. Though, there are several other parts which only allow us to scale two or all three axes simultaneously. That is, a part might only allow us to scale the X and Y axis by the same factor - or, with some parts, the X, Y, and Z must be identical.

 * We can no longer ROTATE the Missile Launcher part? As of a0.941, there is no Rotate field! They must always be placed vertically, period... Wow! I found this hugely surprising, esp. since we used to be able to rotate the Missile Launcher to a horizontal orientation. There are many ISOs on planet-explorers-isos.com with horizontal or even diagonal Missile Launchers. As an example, here is one that I created.

Actually, while I'm at it, there are several other parts which we can't rotate. Why? What's the harm in allowing players to rotate all parts, even if it might seem silly? If it were up to me, I'd allow players to rotate almost all parts, even making silly things ǝpısdn uʍop.

Why not, as long as they have fun? More freedom to rotate means more creativity in designs and more diversity.

 * The size (scale) of Fuel Cells makes them lighter/heavier, but this has no impact on fuel capacity? Talk about a major loophole! :-\ You know that players will exploit this as soon as they learn about it, making all their vehicles lighter by shrinking fuel cells until they are tiny. And, generally, lighter vehicles use less fuel or otherwise perform better.

 * Shrinking the Y axis of VTOL Fans will reduce weight, but this will not impact performance? For many aircraft, the weight savings is not insignificant. At the default scale of 1.0 on all 3 axes, each VTOL Fan adds 0.26 T or over 1/4 of a ton. With Y scaled to 0.5, that is reduced to 0.13 T, each. Since most aircraft require at least 4 fans, that can add up, especially with designs that use 8 or more.

Further, some designs have VTOL Fans scaled above 1.0. At a scale of 2.0 on X, Y, and Z, each VTOL Fan adds 2.13 tons. But keeping the X and Z scaled to 2.0 and reducing the Y to 0.5 will reduce this weight to 0.53 T - a weight reduction of 75%.

In real life, the pitch of a fan's rotors and the depth of a ducted fan will have a big impact on CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute), or the volume of air that it pushes. "Thicker" fans can push more air because deeper blades are able to scoop more per revolution.

For instance, standard case fans for PC computers are 25mm thick. However, these days, case fans can be found in other thicknesses. And for a given case opening size, the thickness has a big impact on how much airflow it will have. For 120mm (12cm x 12cm) fans with the same RPM, a model of 38mm thickness will blow more air than one of 25mm thickness. Likewise, that 25mm thick model will blow more air than a model just 12mm thick.

 * VTOL Fans can not be scaled more than x 2.0? I was disappointed as I thought it would look very cool to have an aircraft lifted by just two huge ducted fans.

On the other hand... just scaling VTOL Fans to a factor of 2.0 on all 3 axes increases the weight by a whopping 819% (from 0.26 T to 2.13 T)!

I haven't been able to test how much thrust a VTOL Fan (or helicopter blades) increases or decreases with scale as the game does not give an indication of thrust and there's no easy way to perform such tests. However, unless scaling VTOL Fans to 2.0 on all axes also increases the thrust by 819%, I'd say that scaling VTOL Fans up is definitely not worth it.

Though, now that I think about it, I need to try replacing the handful of standard-sized VTOL Fans on my aircraft with about a dozen really tiny ones, just to see if I can save even more weight.

In summary: There is definitely a need to re-balance the scaling of parts like fans and thrusters in relation to weight and thrust/lift.

While I'm at it: There are also other parts that can only be scaled up or down to a certain degree. Again... why? What's the point of such limitations, esp. if scaling a part does not impact the vehicle's performance at all? More freedom to scale means more creativity in designs and more diversity. If it were up to me, I think about the only parts that I would prevent scaling are ones that are fitted to characters, such as all types of cockpits, controls, and Side Seats.

 * Scaling weapons up or down has no impact on attack/damage? Does it change anything...? That is, other than the weight? Again, what is the point of massively increasing or decreasing weight with scale when it seems to have no impact on performance? All this does is strongly encourage players to shrink such parts to tiny size so as to make their vehicles lighter. If nothing else, shrinking weapons just gives them more room and weight allowance to pile on even more weapons.

I think a freak'n big cannon, turret, machine gun, missile silo, or torpedo tube should do noticeably more damage than standard issue. Likewise, making them tiny should penalize the attack damage. At least, it should if you insist on increasing or decreasing the weight.

27
Planet Explorers General Discussion / Boats are pathetic now?[marked]
« on: April 08, 2016, 02:08:44 AM »
I recently got to the point in Story Mode where Nan gives you the scripts to make a boat. And, also recently, I learned that the new version now allows us to use Fuel Cell Type 01 for boats. (Previously, this was impossible.)

So, I tried out the Streamline Rx Basic, but with the 5 Fuel Cells Type 03 replaced with 8 Fuel Cells Type 01 (reducing fuel from 310000 to 224000).

The first thing I noticed was that turning via the two rudders is now painfully slow. It's so slow and turns in such a wide arc that I couldn't even get turned around in the wide river without going forward and reversing a couple times. (Reminded me of trying to parallel park...)

The second thing I noticed was that the max boat speed is also painfully slow. :( With 3 Boat Propellers, max speed topped out at barely 44 Kph. That's noticeably slower than my light starter buggy with Engine Type 01 (which is also much slower than in previous versions).

The third thing I noticed was that fuel usage is frighteningly fast! Even with 8 Fuel Cells Type 01, The little jaunt from the Martian Camp, around the peninsula to the south to reach Camp Adesa required 10.2 % of my fuel. At that rate, I would only be able to use my new boat for roughly 8 to 12 short trips. After that, I would either (a) need to build a colony to recharge it or (b) build a new boat.

Considering all the parts and resources it took to build, I would argue that building a boat isn't even worth it right now. If it wasn't for how the physics for ground vehicles is so messed up now (bouncing around like there are springs in the tires, yet slow to climb a hill as if it had no power), I'd rather drive a buggy. That, or walk.

In previous versions, I believe fuel usage for boats was more conservative than it was for aircraft. Which makes sense, because keeping a VTOL or helicopter airborne should take more energy. But if mere boats guzzle energy like there's no tomorrow, I'm afraid to see how fast aircraft use energy now! :o

Anyway, as a workaround, I tried to design my way around the slow speed, poor turn radius, and rapid energy use. So, I redesigned the Streamline again (Streamline Rx ST-1), this time with 6 Boat Propellers (instead of 3) and 16 Fuel Cells Type 01 (instead of eight). I would have made it 20 fuel cells, but the max now is 16. (Granted, that's up from the old limit of 8 fuel cells. But considering how rapid energy is used now, the difference is actually worse.)

Retrying the little trip from the Martian Camp to Camp Adesa, this was the energy used:



With 16 Type 01 Fuel Cells, it was still about 7.5%! Granted I increased the propellers from 3 to 6, so it should use more fuel. However, this increase in propellers barely changed the max speed. It now barely reaches 50 Kph. (That's just 6 more Kph for doubling the number of propellers. :( )

Just for kicks, I tried cutting the propellers down to just 1. That resulted in a laughable 16.2 Kph.  :-\ Literally, I think my character can walk faster than that.

In previous versions, boats could be quite fast. As I mentioned in the Fun with small boats thread:
...I don't think the jet exhaust (currently) works on boats. Wheeled vehicles, yes. But not boats. :(
That said, I've had luck with adding extra propellers to increase speed. I think the limit is 16 propellers. And while top speed depends on the hull shape, 16 should get you well over 120 kph (maybe over 130). Though, I've gotten over 100 with about 10 or 12. (Word of caution: In my experience, speeds over 100 can make it difficult to navigate rivers. It feels like a hot rod or race car.)

Granted, in previous versions, boat speed was a bit too high. With enough propellers, when you went in reverse at max speed, you'd plow underwater so fast that the impact with the bottom could damage your boat - even destroy it. But, Pathea went overboard in crippling the speed.

28
Planet Explorers General Discussion / Screenshots are borked?[marked]
« on: April 05, 2016, 08:46:37 PM »
I'm not sure if this qualifies as a bug or not. But I have experienced two issues with screenshots in the new version:

1) When I updated Planet Explorers to the new version, all my old screenshots got erased somehow. :(

2) When I tried to find where PE keeps screenshots now, I searched in the 'Planet Explorers' folder inside where Steam itself is installed. This is what I found:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Planet Explorers\PE_Client_Data\ScreenCapture


Looking at these "screenshots", I became alarmed. First, none of these are usable. Everything looks haunted, both by being transparent (alpha transparency at roughly 50%) and by having most of the foreground, including characters, overexposed to white. An example:



Further, I was alarmed by how huge these files are. These are 32-bit .PNG images, with alpha transparency (which is not needed), and each is over 1 MB. With merely 20 images, this takes up over 23 MB. I can only imagine the wasted space after hundreds of screenshots are taken, esp. if the player doesn't even know where these files exist.

Anyway, after playing around with the Steam interface a while, I remembered how I used to access screenshots. Apparently, PE takes two sets of images for each screenshot! One set are the useless .PNGs that I found, as mentioned above. The other are these reasonably-sized .JPGs stored in a separate Steam folder:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\userdata\123456789\123\remote\123456\screenshots

To my relief, I found all these look like I expect and are usable. (Though, I'm still missing those screenshots from before I updated.)

Anyway, I would recommend that PE screenshots be kept to single images (instead of duplicates), that the be reasonably-sized .JPGs, and that they be kept in an easily-accessible location.

For many of the Steam games that I'm familiar with, screenshots are stored in a sub-directory of the Windows "Pictures" folder. (Sometimes, itself, a sub-directory of My Documents.) That makes them extremely easy to find.

29
I started making this list a while ago, but I never got around to sharing it. Now I'm playing PE again. And I noticed that some of the quest rewards and available scripts have changed since I last played.

Anyway, I've been trying to update my notes as I play. So far, I've finished most of Ataro's missions and I'm just about to head out West with Rol.

Note: This is not a complete list of scripts and how to obtain them. I am only listing quest rewards. If you want a complete list, read the OP in the "[Guide] Which NPC sells which items and scripts" thread. (Though, that list is a bit outdated.)

GERDY
  • Wood Shovel Script - Receive from Main Quest Line
  • Wood Pickaxe Script - Find in chest next to start location
  • Wood Axe Script - Find in chest next to start location
  • Herbal Juice Script - Find in chest next to start location (Quest objective)
  • Wood Sword Script - Receive from Main Quest Line
  • Wood Shield Script - Receive from Main Quest Line
  • Water Pitcher - Receive from Main Quest Line
       {Note: You do not get the Water Pitcher Script. If you want that, you must buy it.}
  • Animal Fat Script - Receive from Sub Quest Line
  • Torch Script - Receive from Sub Quest Line
  • Camp Fire Script - Receive from Sub Quest Line
  • Smoked Sausage Script - Receive from Sub Quest Line
  • Flour Script - Receive from Sub Quest Line
  • Ration Sticks - Receive from Sub Quest Line (After Camp Defense)
  • Ration Sticks Script - Receive from Sub Quest Line (After Camp Defense)

ALLEN CARTER
  • 3 x Portable Medpack - Receive from Main Quest Line
  • Stone Sword Script - Receive from Main Quest Line (After finding both Chen Zhen & Sly's backpack)
  • Stone Shield Script - Receive from Main Quest Line (After finding both Chen Zhen & Sly's backpack)
  • Simple Plastic Script - Receive from Sub Quest Line
       {Note: Script is not needed as the quest auto-teaches it to you.}
  • Revival Shot Script - Receive from Sub Quest Line
       {Note: Script is not needed as the quest auto-teaches it to you.}
  • Portable Medpack Script - Receive from Sub Quest Line
       {No need to revisit Dr. Carter: It magically appears in inventory after dying and testing a Revive Shot.}

CHEN ZHEN
  • Bullets Script - Receive from Main Quest Line
  • Hand gun type 01 Script - Receive from Main Quest Line
  • Gunpowder Script - Receive from Main Quest Line
  • Chipset (500 MHz) Script - Receive from Main Quest Line
  • Charcoal Script - Receive from Main Quest Line
  • Copper Wire Script - Receive from Main Quest Line
  • 5 x Grenade - Receive from Main Quest Line (After accepting "Danger in the Sky")
  • Grenade Script - Receive from Main Quest Line (After accepting "Danger in the Sky")
  • Iron sword Script - Receive from Sub Quest Line
  • Iron shield Script - Receive from Sub Quest Line
  • Monster Beacon 01 Script - Receive from Sub Quest Line
  • 100 x Bullets - Receive from Sub Quest Line
       (Just ask, "Any more tips on how to survive in this environment?" after 'Camp Defense')
       {Note: In his spoken dialog, Chen says he's giving you the script for Artillery Cannon. But he only gives you 100 bullets.}

30
WARNING: SPOILER ALERT!
WARNING: SPOILER ALERT!



After finishing the "Go to the forest" mission by finding Tarik in the woods, you also briefly meet his two companion NPCs. After an encounter, Tarik has you run away, leaving those two to their fate...

Question: Do those two NPCs have random names? Or are they named?

I ask because I made headstones for them... In my game, the guy is named Tracy Julian and the gal is named Amanda Baggoley.



Despite how paranoid and unfriendly they acted, I always felt bad for them. And I always wanted to go back later to bury them and such, like we later must do for Ataro's mission.

Recently, I did just that. I did a random NPC quest where the guy wanted to "go on an adventure." He marked a location on my map that just happens to be immediately south of where we meet Tarik. It's so close that you can see the location in the distance.

I was surprised when I found that the double-axe-wielding Pujan from earlier still patrols the area, as if to challenge any who would dare to return. Fortunately, he's not invulnerable, like he was before. Unfortunately, he will respawn after killing. (Every time you reload from a save, he's back.)

But, instead of a small box of personal effects like is left from Ataro's "Bury the dead", these two leave permanent, invisible ragdoll bodies. The only part about them that's visible (aside from their names) are their swords and shields.

I dug a grave for each. But, since they're still ragdolls, if you're not careful how you dig, the body may roll down the hill. Also, one can't just place voxels of dirt or stone on top of them, the same way that we can't place dirt or stone on or near a follower or other NPC. So, I had to dig the holes kind of deep.

Anyway, since the player is given their names, unlike the two unknowns in "Bury the dead", I thought it'd be possible to mark their graves properly.

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