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New obstruction is too extreme


Hachiro
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I started reviewing my ships last night to see which ones needed work. It was pretty much all of them. None of these ships are using the stacking glitch. I was very careful not to buy ships that used this exploit because I didn't want to be in a position where my ships were broken when NQ was able to address the issue. Regardless here I am with a bunch of ships that will have elements not in compliance. Many of them will be difficult or impossible to fix because the designer was placing the elements as tightly together as the build system allowed.

 

I won't rehash the arguments that are already posted by others in this thread. I think they have done a good job describing the problem and the frustration many of us feel at having this rug yanked out from under us. NQ please take a look at this before you roll it into production. By giving us this warning ahead of the Panacea release you are trying to be proactive and give us time to prepare for it. That's good. Please take it to the next step and look at our feedback and make adjustments to fix this problem before releasing Panacea and then having to scramble after the fact to fix it. 

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1 hour ago, blazemonger said:

 Careful now, you are giving away information you may not want to :D

 

Lol. 

 


One of the main problems I'm getting is that elements randomly show 90% plus obstruction and fail to work at all - usually rear facing engines. When I go into build mode, they glow bright red at first and then over the course of about 10 to 30 seconds dim and go out and the propellor icon disappears from the netlist,

If I then pilot my ship, everything works fine.  But the next time I log into the game and try to fly my ship without entering build mode, the same elements are temporarily broken again.
 

I have two ships with this behaviour.

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5 hours ago, Koriandah said:

As a ship builder, I don't mind. As long as I can't accidentally stack elements again, its a good update. 

That is.. bullshit. It took me less then 5 minutes yesterday to cause a stack warning, using completely legal and normal building techniques. And as a builder it should take you about the same time to check just how bad the current hitbox and intersection check system actually is.

 

It is literally NQ's job to try and make a robust game that players can enjoy with as little frustration as possible. And forcing players to learn lots of unwritten rules just to play the game is not sustainable in any shape or form.

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22 hours ago, Walter said:

So it is not the big deal and I think as a player base we should just fix our constructs for benefit of the game.

It's a huge deal. Yeah it's fine for the average player with a few ships. They might be able to move a few elements around and fix the overlaps if it's a loosely built ship. But what about ship builders? I've sold about 700 ships. All of them were built tight like a tiger, but LEGIT. Now I have to go around and redeploy hundreds of ships for buyers so that they can use the ship they bought? Not cool. Literally 75%+ of the ships in the game will be non-functional if this system goes through as-is.

 

7 hours ago, Koriandah said:

What would you rather they do? Allow stacking for all ships build before yesterday? Case-by-case basis? Allow a 'little' stacking? How much is "a little"?

The glowing element wireframe needs to be a grace area. Only clear overlaps of the actual visual model should trigger it. In short, the detection zone needs to be a little inside the visual model, so that a tiny corner of a wing poking an engine doesn't make both of them not work. This will make the current problem go away, but also ruin all the blatantly stacked ships out there, with 8 engines in the same spot.

 

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8 hours ago, Koriandah said:

It was a big and NQ fixed it. The fact that some ships have the red of them is a side-effect of that fix. What would you rather they do? Allow stacking for all ships build before yesterday? Case-by-case basis? Allow a 'little' stacking? How much is "a little"?

How much intersection should be allowed is exactly whatever we are able to do in build mode without using exploits. My guess is that the limit should be something like 5% or so.

 

And having a slight intersection caused by bad hitbox detection is not stacking, not even close. Stacking is using two players in combination to exploit a now fixed bug that would let you place multiple elements at the same position with 100% overlap. So NQ did not even have to implement the current live check in the clients. All they had to do was to run a one time check on the servers and disable any construct with confirmed stacking exploits.

 

Which makes the current detection solution just another example of NQ throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Which sadly is becoming a thing..

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Honestly do not understand why this matters when it will not be the last time. Do not get me wrong I have more work to fix factories than I care to disclose due to this and there is no stacking advantages you're getting on static construct outside additional lag.  

 

We have been here so many times I lost count.

 

The game changes and our ship designs are no longer viable, and everything needs to be re-worked. I cannot tell you how many PvP ships I have built to have them no longer even be useable. hundreds of hours lost and hundreds more to lose with this unless you want to not build. Never was anything done outside the rules.  I just deal with it and hope they get to a point where this is no longer a common occurrence. 

We already know of a number of events like this that maybe coming and the PvP focused folks want another adjustment to add more to this list.  

  • Brake adjustment
  • Power "Hopefully"
  • Ship speed adjustments based on core size
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7 minutes ago, Endstar said:

We have been here so many times I lost count.

You might be able to deal with this and move on, but many players will instead literally move on to another game because of issues like this.

So it makes sense that NQ at least should make an effort to minimize this from happening, and this latest example is anything but that.

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8 hours ago, Koriandah said:

Yes it may be their fault but at the same time, what is your alternative solution to the problem?

The problem was people exploiting an oversight in the build mode allowing you to place several of the same elements in the exact same place, and all of them would function at full capacity. You could stack 10 L containers in the space needed for 1 and it would work fine. THAT was the issue, and it was fixed.

Now NQ is overshooting massively by basically killing any and all overlap or glitch, often due to badly designed hitboxes or minor graphical glitches. That is not a problem, it allows, in some cases, for more compact building which only benefits the aesthetic and has no functional impact on the design. There is no need _at all_  for that to be addressed as the exploit has been fixed and ALL NQ needs to do is prevent operation of several elements of the same type which are in the same (or close to the same) space, 

The latter would take a bit more work and more cleaver detection and reporting maybe, but what we have now is literally a carpet bombing of an otherwise innocent occurrence to kill an isolated situation where it is not (so innocent).

In their commitment to renewed and improved communication, it will be interesting to see how NQ will act on the feedback from this.. So far it has been pretty much silent as mostly has been their MO in these matters. Obviously, no full solutions or clarification can be provided so quickly, that would be unrealistic to expect. But at least acknowledgement and an outline of what to expect going forward would be well applicable here by tomorrow IMO.

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This is an inevitable result of running an alpha game as a public release. On one hand, you have existing players to support. On the other, the game is still being prototyped (for some reason), so systems are very chaotic. 

 

At this point, a lot of players have left, overall -- so a change that breaks legacy designs is maybe not a big concern for them. 

 

This isn't an urgent exploit to fix IMO, even for the worst offenders. Most people don't even engage in combat, and afaik there's not a massive demand among those that do to fix this. Even with a fix, this won't make PvP more appealing or even more fair -- it could wait until there's a more precise solution that doesn't affect so many legacy designs. 

 

Despite an effort to communicate more, I kind of doubt NQ will see it like this. They'll likely see it as an easy decision: support a relatively few legacy players or build for the future. 

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Do you remember that time where you moved an element but couldn't but it back in the exact same place. Not even with the undo action? That seems to be all gone now. It was a big frustration of mine. I couldn't touch anything on my ship for the fear of not being able to put it back together again. Now I can see exactly where the problem areas are and fix my ship with a little effort. Is it the best solution? maybe not. But it's definitely a needed solution. We have to bite the bullet from time to time to help NQ make this game better.

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10 minutes ago, Serula said:

Do you remember that time where you moved an element but couldn't but it back in the exact same place. Not even with the undo action? That seems to be all gone now. It was a big frustration of mine. I couldn't touch anything on my ship for the fear of not being able to put it back together again. Now I can see exactly where the problem areas are and fix my ship with a little effort. Is it the best solution? maybe not. But it's definitely a needed solution. We have to bite the bullet from time to time to help NQ make this game better.


speaking of frustration….


… so you carefully manouvre a part into position -fighting the keys contolling X Y and Z changing half way through the process- until the outline finally turns blue and you click the LMB only for it to THEN say it’s touching something. 
And does it then allow you to make another small adjustment to position?

Nope. It cancels the entire placement and you’re back at the beginning again. 

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6 hours ago, Serula said:

 We have to bite the bullet from time to time to help NQ make this game better.

 

Maybe so and I get your reasoning here. The problem for me is more that this is presented as a solution to a problem which is does not actually "solve", That problem was corrected a while ago and this seems to be an extention of that and tries to prevent existing constructs with the relevant exploit to no longer function.

The symptoms you describe may be "resolved" by this change but the change does not actually correct the root cause for the issue, it just "masks" it by preventing the symptom from occurring. And that in itself is very much a standard practice with NQ which is building up a massive level of technical debt that will come and bite them sometiome in the future I am certain.

 

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8 hours ago, blazemonger said:

And that in itself is very much a standard practice with NQ which is building up a massive level of technical debt that will come and bite them sometiome in the future I am certain.

 

 

I'd say we're in that future -- I mean we're talking about a game that's spent like 8 years in alpha and is still re-working mining and territory ownership. A game that still seems years away from being feature-complete.  

 

The last 7-8 years of technical debt is likely a daily struggle for the devs, most of whom haven't worked at the company for even half that time. Old code plus new devs is a recipe for glacial progress, especially when the old code isn't that clean and you're working off an unusual engine like Unigen...

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What makes this so frustrating is that I actually don't understand what NQ is trying to achieve with this patch. Like, at all.

 

There isn't any exploit problems with normal building causing slight element intersections, and the 100% stacking bug has already been patched. And the obvious solution to remedy the fallout from the previous exploit, is a one time event where they scan the servers to find and disable all constructs that contains actual 100% stacking exploits.

 

So what exactly are they trying to achieve with this?

 

And if for some reason NQ does not want any element intersection no matter how small. Would it then not be prudent to fix the build system that is causing these intersections, before they go all ham and starts disabling constructs left and right? You can't give someone a speeding ticket first, and then lower the speed limit afterwards. And having something like this appear on the live servers at all, is a symptomatic problem that highlights a big part of why this game is struggling.

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On 1/13/2022 at 11:22 AM, blundertwink said:

Even with a fix, this won't make PvP more appealing or even more fair -- it could wait until there's a more precise solution that doesn't affect so many legacy designs.

 

NQ really needs to wait and do a collective update for ships vs this incremental change I've seen patch after patch. It's been disruptive to players at worse, and a pain in the butt to ship creators at best- and in the end hasn't really balanced the game much at all.... It's frustrating. 

For example, stacked elements doesn't mean I can more easily move weight around.... if anything it just reduces your cross section- which for PVP is a legit issue, that has largely not been an issue since NQ made a policy against it. Apart from that, this new change doesn't keep people from burying weapons into voxels, nor people "float stacking" engines in-front/behind each-other to reduce a ships cross section... in this sense obstruction is not aggressive enough.

Least NQ is trying... quick, someone get me my hopium inhaler.

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9 hours ago, CptLoRes said:

What makes this so frustrating is that I actually don't understand what NQ is trying to achieve with this patch. Like, at all.

 

I expect they have no way to tell if elements are actually stacked or just slightly glitching. So they just "kill it all"..
As has been mentioned before.. typical case of throwing out he baby with the bathwater..

 

It would have been great to see some sort of response from NQ this week but I guess the words in the announcmment from Monday are just that after all. It's very difficult to do better at something you really do not understand all that well to begin with (or you do and you really never had the intent to follow through).

 

  

10 hours ago, blundertwink said:

The last 7-8 years of technical debt is likely a daily struggle for the devs, most of whom haven't worked at the company for even half that time. Old code plus new devs is a recipe for glacial progress, especially when the old code isn't that clean and you're working off an unusual engine like Unigen...

You're not wrong, especially when a good portion of the team that started this left well before pre alpha actualy got underway and most of them actually left to go work for the same company at or shortly after Kickstarter ended.

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11 hours ago, BlindingBright said:

NQ really needs to wait and do a collective update for ships vs this incremental change I've seen patch after patch. It's been disruptive to players at worse, and a pain in the butt to ship creators at best- and in the end hasn't really balanced the game much at all.... It's frustrating.

But that requires a master plan and a final goal for the game. Something I strongly suspect NQ does not have at all. So what we have instead is NQ putting out fires and trying stuff to see what sticks. Which when combined with bad communication makes it disastrous.

 

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8 hours ago, blazemonger said:

I expect they have no way to tell if elements are actually stacked or just slightly glitching. So they just "kill it all"..
As has been mentioned before.. typical case of throwing out he baby with the bathwater..

Doing such a check would be ridiculously simple, since it does not require exact intersection calculations.

All you need is the center coordinates and a rough radius (for size approximation) for each element, and then you do a quick check to see if any of the element center coordinates are to close to each other.

 

 

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4 hours ago, CptLoRes said:

Doing such a check would be ridiculously simple, since it does not require exact intersection calculations.

All you need is the center coordinates and a rough radius (for size approximation) for each element, and then you do a quick check to see if any of the element center coordinates are to close to each other.

 

 

That is how I thought they were going to implement it, which arguably would have been the easier way to do it.... they went with mesh/collision detection, so even meshes that are "touching" are now "stacked" because a sliver of them is interacting with another mesh- and I don't think they can easily tell by "how much" the overlap is currently... 

NQ pushing it out and not explaining it well via a blog-post paired with unintended behavior is the larger issue, if they had communicated their intentions with the tool more and been open with the development of it (Like, IDK, a developer round-table/podcast, doesn't have to be video!) least we as players would know their intentions a bit. 

the way it was rolled out caused panic among ship builders, and their customers. along with frustration by people that build their own ships for fun now being told their ship is broken when they never exploited the ability to stack elements. For a game largely about being able to build and fly spaceships... this could have been handled better.

It's sad, the amount of drama caused by NQ fixing this issue is arguably worse than the problem the issue caused to begin with.

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22 minutes ago, BlindingBright said:

It's sad, the amount of drama caused by NQ fixing this issue is arguably worse than the problem the issue caused to begin with.

And they don't even managed to solve the problem completely. I still get collision warnings after valid placements of elements. Is that going to be fixed in future patches or are we supposed to place elements by trial and error with two contradictory collision checks? Nobody knows.

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Before anything gets implemented in the next big patch I'd say at leeast NQ will need to ensure all elements, when placed blue, do not cause any of these warnings as plenty of elements do. And when you check there is no contact between the elements, yet they collide according to the build helper.

 

The mesh and/or hitbox for many element is really off. But I fully expect NQ will just push this through and play dumb regarding this in the hopes that everyone just quietly goees away and fixes what is not broken on their constructs. ANd if post update they can't get away from it we will just get another "we heard you and will do better, we promise" post as they conclude their communication cycle on the patch and start working towards the next.. As has been the case pretty much every single patch so far.

 

But then, NQ might break that cycle and actually address and then fix this as well as the Asteroids debacle this weekend.. Yes.. addressing it and fixing it are two separate processes.. something NQ seems to not be aware of.

 

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Yeah, I tinkered with my ships just to get an idea of what's going on because this entire topic makes no sense to me. I've been mounting brakes on top of one another since I started playing this game about a month or so after the Beta was launched. There's a hologram saying yeah you can put something there so I don't know what the hell is going on the item turns green confirming it can put there and they blaming players for this? I'm still trying to determine the victim in this tragedy of element stacking. Furthermore let's say I have 4 medium atmosphere brakes stacked & I want to fix this you can put one unit of honeycomb block between each brake and it's now legit but what does that really fix or how does that make the game world better place? I don't understand the gain in this. Adjustors aren't allowed to be side by side but one space between them is ok? Seems like they are always focused on the wrong things to me. The ore supply & demand seems orders of magnitude more urgent than this element stacking nonsense. I remain baffled by all of this. 

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