|Experimental Test 002|
|Release Date||August 11, 2017|
|Official Notes||Official Patch Notes|
|Previous Patch||Experimental Test 001|
As the title indicates, terrain is now considered a resource! That means a few significant changes to the core gameplay loop.
Adding or flattening terrain requires terrain “ammo” in containers.
This will likely be a significant change for some people. You can no longer add terrain indefinitely, even when tethered to your base. Instead, you'll need a ready supply of collected sediment in order to add terrain to the environment. However, while flatten also requires a sediment supply during this test, we'll be updating it soon to both fill and deplete canisters depending on whether it is removing or adding terrain.
Deforming terrain no longer uses power
We've removed the power draw from deforming terrain. This means that while adding or flattening terrain now requires a Sediment supply, removing terrain is completely unrestricted, even if you are disconnected from your tether line. You'll no longer find yourself staring at your backpack's battery meter, waiting for it to slowly charge in order to continue deforming.
This change allows for you to think more strategically about your backpack power usage. In exchange for removing the terrain tool's power draw, we're adding more uses for power in the form of items and abilities that you'll use intermittently. We've started by having Augments draw power, but we'll be introducing lots more uses going forward. And we've also removed the backpack's "trickle" charge, so you'll have to pay more attention to your power supply when it's in use.
Terrain and Hydrazine are now stored in reusable Canisters
Every Astro will start with one reusable canister. Additional canisters can be printed from your backpack at the cost of 1 Resin. While deforming, terrain removed from the environment will fill up canisters attached to the backpack or terrain tool. If all canisters are full (or no canisters are attached), collected terrain is burned off and permanently destroyed.
New Items & Modules
Can hold either Sediment (terrain) or Hydrazine (with other resources to come later). Printable from backpack for 1 Resin. Not to be confused with the oxygen canister, which still costs one titanium.
The previous behavior of harvesting canisters full of Hydrazine directly from "fuel" crystals was not intended to be a long term solution. Mining these crystals in the wild will now provide Ammonium, an entirely new resource. Ammonium can be refined into Hydrazine at the new Refinery module. Left unrefined, Ammonium is stable and will not detonate when caught in an explosion.
Sediment Processor Module
This new module allows you to filter out the trace resource deposits contained within collected sediment. The amount of resources produced depends on the rarity of the selected resource. For the purposes of this test, you'll be able to filter out Compound, Resin, Organic, Malachite, and Laterite.
To use the Sediment Processor Module, gather Sediment (Terrain) with your Terrain Tool into any available canister (empty, or partially filled with Sediment) attached to your Terrain Tool or Backpack. Then, transfer the collected Sediment by attaching canisters to the slot at the top of the Module's tank. Note that you can attach partially filled canisters, so long as they contain Sediment.
Once the Module's tank is completely filled, attach the desired resource to be filtered to the slot on the bottom-left. (If the resource can be filtered, an indicator hologram will appear on the Output slot on the bottom-right).
Hydrazine Refinery Module
The Refinery Module is the only way to convert Ammonium into refined Hydrazine. You can also still produce Hydrazine using the Fuel Condenser (but with a few changes which are covered below).
To use it, gather Ammonium from purple crystals found in the wild. Then, place Ammonium on an open Input slot on the bottom of the Module, along with an empty canister on a slot along the top. You can refine up to four nuggets of Ammonium at a time (provided you have a canister for each). Press the button, and the refinery will convert Ammonium into refined Hydrazine.
We've made some adjustments to the Fuel Condenser to make compatible with the introduction of resuable canisters, and to better balance it alongside the new Refinery. The Condeser still produces Hydrazine from power alone, but you'll now need to provide a Canister for it be stored in. Additionally, filling an empty canister now requires multiple full charges.
To minimize tedium, we're adding a 'Set It and Forget It" mode. Once the activation button is pressed, the Condenser will automatically re-activate each time its battery is charged until the attached canister has completely filled.
Aside from being a balance update, we're also using this change to potentially pave the way for automation systems going forward.