Progression System Mk.II
So whilst I'm happy to see the introduction of a progression system within Space Engineers, I'm somewhat unsatisfied with how simple it, building a block to unlock new blocks just seems so basic, easy and frankly dull. Something I think could potentially make the progression system and possibly other aspects of the survival game experience, so this point will go slightly off track. Introducing a mainframe block to the game which can be fitted to stations and large ship grids, these mainframes would allow you to access a research tree. In this tree we should be able to progress down using various resources to perform research on these new blocks and their higher tier counterparts. Performing research should probably take some time to complete and maybe for the higher tier/end game research, you are required to construct multiple mainframes (These should work on a master/slave system like assemblers) which would of of course require more power to maintain but increasing the research speed. If the mainframes are destroyed, research should be reset to beginning however if you're able to find any damaged remnants of the mainframes you could get a percentage of the research progress of some blocks back, making the processing of recollecting the research not so harsh but fair. Finally on terms of progression for the mainframe, it would be particularly awesome if players and enemy players can transfer/steal research.
The research styled progression system I suggested above wouldn't be the only function of the mainframe block. Another idea I think could make things especially interesting and helpful is if within stations and large ship mainframes, we could also store blueprints (Especially one that aren't made public on the workshop), we should still be able to use blueprints we make and get off the workshop in projections but should remove the ability to take blueprints (Excluding Admin) of anything you want in survival mode. For instance your enemy shouldn't be able to steal a design of yours because they ran up to it and hit crtl+b, instead I propose they have to infiltrate or attack the station/L Ship and take the blueprints they're after. This could also be implemented into random NPC encounters, finding a random blueprint of a awesome ship, rover, mechs etc in a hostile abandoned moon outpost.
To step side away from the progression side a moment, I need to speak about the hacking process in Space Engineers, grinding down blocks to claim ownership really could do with being replaced. To me it doesn't really serve as a satisfying hacking process, it was okay as a placeholder but now I think we need a hacking tool, something that doesn't destroy a block but simply transfers ownership. Even if it was just the astronaut does interacting being the control panel on the block and on the one on his wrist, maybe attaching a cable whilst the hack progress is filled to requirement. Stepping back to progression, you use the hacking system as a way for people to access enemy mainframes and take selected research and blueprints, their objective shouldn't be to blow the mainframe up or disassemble it, if they decide to those that's on them.
So what is the point of the Mainframe block?
- Mainframe performs/stores research of blocks
- Mainframes work on master/slave system
- Master Mainframe destruction results in lost of tech tree
- Mainframes drops fragments of research progress upon destruction
- Research Fragments can be input into new mainframe for head start in research
- Mainframe can store blueprints which can be shared depending on mainframe share setting
- Hacking an enemy Mainframe gives access to locked research and blueprints