|The Excavation Update|
|Release Date||October 12, 2017|
|Official Notes||Official Patch Notes|
|Previous Patch||Patch 201|
|Next Patch||Patch 219|
The Pre-Alpha "Excavation" Update includes new modules & items to craft, an entirely new core gameplay loop, and quality of life updates. It also includes some crucial fixes for vehicles and tweaks to research RNG ahead of Research 2.0 changes. We would like to sincerely thank Early Access players for their feedback in the Experimental 002 test, as that information helped us make changes that eventually made it into this update.
Added the new "Reusable Canister" item
The Reusable Canister is an important part of the Excavation Update. You can now print these canisters from your backpack for one Resin. In 215, they serve as the primary way to store collected soil and refined hydrazine from the new Hydrazine Catalyzer. In the future, we would like these canisters to hold all of the liquid resources Astroneers might encounter or create.
Mineral Extractor Module now available to build
The Mineral Extractor is a completely new module used to extract resources from all of the terrain beneath your Astroneer's feet. It works by taking sediment gathered into Reusable Canisters and filtering it, resulting in the resource of your choice. To create resources, simply gather sediment into reusable canisters using your Terrain Tool. Then feed that gathered soil into the module's reservoir, and place a sample in the center of the centrifuge. Upon activation, the Extractor will fill its canisters with soil, and extract out the requested resource. Mineral extraction has entirely new ratios for output, and now includes additional resources not found in our experimental test. The output values and list of resources available will most likely change in the future.
Hydrazine Catalyzer Module now available to build
The Space Pizza Oven Hydrazine Catalyzer is now available. The conversion of Hydrazine from a crystalline deposit to fully refined resource in a container was never the intended final experience for gathering fuel. Now, when you would like to fuel a shuttle or thruster, use your terrain tool to gather ammonium crystals, and then catalyze them in this new module. Resuable Canisters are also required to store this newly created Hydrazine fuel. In the future, we hope to possibly use the catalyzer for the conversion of other minerals.
New Boost Mod Augment is now available.
The boost mod is a new tool used to gather sediment and/or deform terrain quickly. Printable from your backpack, this augment allows for rapid deforming, at the cost of drawing power from your backpack battery.
Fuel Condenser changes
The fuel condenser now requires multiple charges to create a full canister of refined Hydrazine, and also reusable canisters to put that Hydrazine in. The good news is, this is now our first automated module in the game. Attach medium storage units to this and all of the new modules, and watch them pick and place items when necessary.
New Power Dynamic has now been implemented
There have been significant changes to the backpack power system to better suit our intended progression path. Changes listed below:
- Deforming, flattening, or removing terrain no longer uses backpack battery power. Deform forever!
- The backpack no longer "trickle charges". That means if you run out of power, you are out until you can generate or find more. Be careful!
- Printing from the backpack printer now draws power
- Augments also now draw power when activated on your terrain tool.
There is also a big change when it comes to portable power generation! The solar panel and small generator have swapped places. Now, the most accessible power in the early game is the non renewable organic based small generator. Printable for one compound, these generators run on foliage gathered from the world. (If you never noticed, grass and bushes with bright colors yield organic.) Although this might seem like a cumbersome change, the small generator allows you to create power both above and below ground at any time. Rather than wait at your base till the sun comes up, you can head underground knowing you will almost always be able to find organic. Removing the trickle charge, and making the small generator more prominent decreases the amount of time you are just waiting around for power to come back, and lets you make deliberate choices about what you want to do.
After playing for a bit and unlocking the smelter, you can then make the necessary copper to unlock the power of the sun. We feel like solar energy in the early game made progression too easy, and didn't present any interesting choices related to power. Most people made small solar panels for their base and themselves within five minutes of every new game and never really had to think about power generation ever again.
Deforming with the drill head fills connected canisters
The drill has long been a great looking piece of machinery, with very little practical use. Now, whenever a drill is used on a vehicle, any connected reusable containers on any slot of the vehicle will fill with the deformed terrain.
Other Excavation Update Changes
- Adding terrain now requires stored terrain from reusable containers
- Added a new Soil Hose to the Deform Tool to show Soil usage between the Deform Tool and Canisters in the Backpack.
- Added Soil gauge to the Terrain Brush
- Updated Deform Tool to have a burn off valve to indicate lost terrain when Canisters are full
- Revised Soil usage to have a 1:1 relationship with changes made to terrain. ‘Flatten’ mode now collects or consumes Soil contextually.
- Opening Backpack while the Deform Tool is equipped will now pop out the Deform Tool automatically. Likewise, closing the Backpack with the Deform Tool popped out will automatically equip it.
- Pressing the Deform Tool ‘equip’ button/key while the Backpack is open will toggle popping out the Deform Tool instead of closing the backpack and equipping it.
- Indicator slots can now pull resources from Deform Tool in addition to the the Backpack.
- Deform Tool slots are now available when quick-storing items to the Backpack.
- When dying, any items attached to the Deform Tool or Backpack’s Auxiliary Slots are dropped with the Backpack itself instead respawning with the Player.
- When respawning, the Astroneer will now descend from the Space Station in their Habitat.
- Added new tutorial sequence to introduce Soil collection and changes to power usage. (Note that new saves will have to complete this tutorial before all starting recipes are made available)
- All Augment recipes now (temporarily) unlocked until the new Research System is released. Have fun!
- Research has received a tuning pass to make it a bit less punishing, in anticipation of Research 2.0 changes.
- Medium Solar is now unlocked for every new save
Mixed, Mastered, & Implemented new music assets
Our composer Rutger has submitted some new music for Astroneer. You should be hearing this new music in-game intermittently.
- The Thruster now plays sounds when it activates and deactivates
- Fixed an issue where audio occasionally did not play when removing terrain
- Fixed an issue where Beacon icons would become inaccurate while viewing from orbit
- Partially fixed an issue where dead Astroneer backpacks would use world lighting, making it difficult to see what it is on them in low light situations. Future updates will have a more complete fix.
- Beacon collision model has been changed so it is no longer spherical. No more escaping Beacons!
- Driving past conduits on Rovers no longer pops attached objects off the front and back connectors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111!1
- Fixed an issue where Rovers would fly into space when loading a save from a rover seat
- Fixed several issues with Rovers displaying inconsistent physics
- Fixed an issue with Rovers not having the power to perform basic intended functionality
- Sandstorm Attenuation should now be working properly
- Fixed an issue where Rovers would load in incorrect positions when quitting to Main Menu then reloading the Saved Game.