Gravel - Essentially Useless

Harbinger Ace shared this feedback 3 years ago
Submitted

As we all know, gravel's only main purpose is creating Reactor Components. Once we have enough reactors to power everything on our ships and stations, gravel essentially becomes a useless resource.


I have three ideas for how gravel could be a bit more useful; one simple, one moderate, and one a bit more elaborate.


Simple: Make Steel Plates require a small amount of gravel.
My logic behind this one is simple; in reality, steel is an alloy of iron, carbon, and other elements. As SE has a simplified material system, we can assume carbon and the other elements would come from the gravel.

This does bring about one downside; as the ice moon Europa does not possess large quantities of stone, constructing bases on Europa would become much more difficult, or would require beginning in space or another world.

If it's decided that Steel Plates shouldn't use gravel, then perhaps other metal resources could, such as Interior Plates, Large Steel Tubes, and/or Metal Grids.


Moderate: Use gravel to create paint, and add a paint tool.
It's not hard to guess that I pulled this idea straight from the Paint Gun mod. A vanilla paint tool does not have to be as complicated as the mod, though. While not the most realistic idea, using a paint tool which consumes a paint resource (akin to a gun consuming ammunition) would give survival an extra optional step. This would, of course, be accompanied by removing the normal paint system in survival, while keeping it in creative. It could also force all blocks built in survival to be the standard grey, even from projectors, though this is not mandatory.

For an elaboration on the color system, the normal color selection screen could be kept, in which using the paint gun on a block would apply the currently-selected color. Changing colors with the bracket keys, such as when placing blocks, could perhaps be kept, as well.


Elaborate: Add concrete blocks and tools for creating them.
If there are any more plans to add new features for SE, here's one; allow Assemblers (or a dedicated block) to turn gravel into a concrete-ish resource, which we can then use to create concrete blocks. These blocks could share models with the armor blocks and gain all their variants, but would not possess edges, nor deformation. For realism, they could also not be airtight.

Since concrete and like materials aren't typically welded, building the blocks could require specialized tools for placement and removal. For simplicity, perhaps the drill could be used to remove concrete, though I'm not certain if the game code would allow this.

In the event players wish to use concrete as an alternative ship armor; make concrete blocks roughly 75% the strength of Heavy Armor, but 500% the mass. This should make concrete useful only in surface bases.

If reinforced concrete is to be used, then perhaps a welder would be required to build the framework, then a concrete tool to fill the concrete. As with destroying concrete with a drill, though, I'm unsure if the game code would allow this. (Alternatively, placing down a concrete block could require one steel plate, in which a dedicated tool would be required to add the concrete.)

I'm aware that the Gravel Paths thread exists, but the user who submitted that idea didn't offer any additional details.

Comments (9)

photo
1

Either remove or alter.

As I understand it, there is no pure metal in the bowels of the earth.

Slag occurs during smelting

Stones are made so that they can shoot!

photo
2

Well, sadly they already shot down concrete, because... complexity, or some such nonsense.

Using it for paint isn't a bad idea, but it is nice being able to paint freely... of course it wouldn't take long to stockpile enough stone to paint everything, everywhere, for all time.

Modern steel is mainly comprised of iron, and chromium, and actually most high-end steel requires a very controlled carbon content ( 0.08% by weight or less even "carbon steel" contains s relatively low percent by weight).

They really need to find another use for it, or to cut it out entirely as it's really just dead weight at the moment... I have a similar post, as do many others regarding the uselessness (and proposed usefulness) of gravel/stone... just doesn't seem to be any feedback on this subject whatsoever.

photo
4

Paint + Concrete tools available on the workshop should be added to vanilla. They are really great.

photo
5

voxel hands in survival. Being able to place gravel voxels would be pretty cool.

photo
1

yes!

photo
photo
2

From a game design standpoint, I guess it's hard to turn gravel into something interesting. For one, stone is everywhere, so it really can't be a good resource, otherwise it'd be overpowered. If you tried "watering it down" by requiring a lot of stone, you are only adding a tedious extra step to playing the game, which probably wouldn't end up being fun.

It might be interesting to instead make gravel an obstacle that you have to engineer around. Most of us already try to avoid mining extra stone anyway due to wasted time and cargo space, but maybe disposal could be another issue to engineer around. I think gravel usually has to get carted off in real mining operations (no idea, to be honest), and it has to get dumped somewhere. In this state of the game, you can just dump a massive, cumulative stone rock on the ground and expect it to disappear in time, but if stone were to re-materialize into voxels if you dropped it, you might have a reason to make gravel out of your stone waste.

The logical use for gravel could be something that gravel is used for in real life, like gravel road laying. I'd love to see voxel vehicles (not voxel hands) like a road roller to make specialized ground vehicles more useful on planets or moons by leveling terrain. I think it would also look cool from a terraforming aspect, since you could make convincing roads between bases, and even clean up some pot holes or meteor craters.

photo
2

Lots of gravel ? Concrete ...


Declined.

photo
photo
1

Why do you want everything to have actual use? You do realize, that the waste is almost always more than the product IRL? I'm just saying, that having something as "waste" is a good thing. You have to calculate in how you are going to get rid of it. I'm only asking for a visually and not mechanically pleasing solution to get rid of it. For example a dumbster block. I would literally spend 1k Steel Plates and other materials just for a 3x3x2 visual container for gravel and stone.

photo
1

I agree with you that gravel doesn't have to be useful in the game, and I think it can at least be useful as a game mechanic. I mentioned in an earlier comment how stone and gravel could become new engineering obstacles by requiring waste management methods for stone disposal.

Unfortunately it seems like any reasonable implementation of waste management as a game mechanic could require an overhaul of the game, since all items and ores can be picked up by hand and dumped manually. I doubt KeenSWH would reprogram stone into its own thing.

photo
photo
3

I would like to see an incinerator type block that would require unholy amounts of energy to run and destroy gravel. Additionally (but unlikely to happen) I would like to see a small rework to the ores in that the veins should be less clearly defined. Instead of having pure iron voxels I would like to see iron "infused" stone voxels so that gravel would always be a byproduct of ore extraction. Those veins would be way bigger to compensate. That way the player would be incentivised to build (somewhat automated) mining ouposts instead if jumping from vein to vein.

photo
1

Why using lots of energy when you can just dump it with sorter s& ejectors and it will despawn on its own ...

photo
2

Role-playing. Also my server doesn't despawn anything, I disabled the limits and trash-removal, because I don't want to have my ships at the mercy of some wonky system. I could visit my very first mining site that I went to 1 Month ago and still pick up stone pellets.

photo
1

While cement would be a nice addition to the game, it is too large a task to take on this early in game programing. Just think of it as in real life, mining refuse, slag, dump, waste, byproduct etc. Like in mining now. It does bring up the thought, dump it into space will it be like plastic in the ocean, smog, co2, space junk, etc. What kind of problems will that create with space flight. space pollution? on, and on. So, you keep it simple stupid (KISS method) other wise the game development gets bogged down, and the game foundation fails. BLA BLA BLA

photo
photo
2

Gravel could be droped onthe floor to repare unwanted drilled holes. Or to just colour the ground for roads.

photo
1

It works really well for my Gravel ejection system. Funny thing is, with all the caustic mine tailings in the world, much of it in gravel form, There doesn't seem to be much of a push to turn it into concrete. It's a real world problem.


About the only use I could see having for it would be as a leveling and grading medium for roadbeds and backfill of holes but that is not going to happen so... Plus, using it may affect the mating habitat of the Sabroids and we cannot have that!