Actual Planet Variety™

Discussion in 'Planets and Environments' started by Quillon, Nov 18, 2017.

  1. Quillon

    Quillon Subatomic Cosmonaut

    I love Starbound. I love building, decorating, fighting the bosses, fishing, and a whole lot of other things. Exploring is not one of those things. I swear, the Starbound universe is made up of the same 18 planets copy-pasted throughout the galaxy. If you've seen one Arctic planet, you've seen em all.

    It doesn't have to be like this. Here are some ideas to make each planet feel more unique.

    More Unique Monsters:
    Here's a question. Why is it that every lush planet has the same gleams, poptops, and nutmidges? I think this problem can at least be minimized by adding more monsters. For example, if the lush biome had 12 different native monsters, divided into four sets of three, then lush planets will be worth revisiting, if only for mob-collecting. One planet could have the classic 3, another could have 3 brand new monsters. I'm no coder, but I'm sure making monsters can't be too taxing especially not compared to what you guys have worked on in the past. But there's another addition too monsters that I believe would help.

    Variations in Unique mobs:
    Why does each pop top, each bobot, each *whatever* have to look the same? What if there was a pool of assets and variations to mix things up a bit? For example, that poptop may be big, red, and stripey, while this one is small, blue, and has an antenna!

    Tree Variation:

    I know I keep using lush planets as an example, but they suffer greatly from a lot of these problems. Every lush planet has pine trees. This is a problem. Why can't some lush planets have birch trees, and oak trees, or maple trees? How about palm trees? or why do all frozen planets have the same orb-Trees? what about some dead pines, or square orb trees? And mutated planets. Why does every mutated planet have the same trees? If kind of detracts from the wacky and whimsical tones that mutated planets are supposed to set. Of course, this should go in tandem with....

    Procedural Backgrounds:

    Do you ever notice how the terrain and flora of mutated planets never matches the backgrounds? What gives? This same problem happens to forest planets, jungle planets, and, to an extent, snow planets.
    The backgrounds should be programmed to have the same Trees/cacti/weird sentient rocks as found on the actual planet. In addition, there should be more than one base background design per planet. Desert planets understand this, which is why they are my favorite. These backgrounds make up 80% of what you see when you're on a planet. Shouldn't they be memorable?

    Wacky colors:

    Yes, I've noticed that forest planets *sometimes* have different tree colors than other forest planets, but really, it just isn't enough. Each planet should have a dominant vegetation color, selected at random, and held by each tree, shrub, and glass blade on that planet. And these colors could be purple, red, black, even polka-dot if you want! And then there's sky color! Let's see some green skies, some blue skies, some white skies even!

    Fishing on non-oceanic planets:

    this is a small one, but if I see a lake on a planet, shouldn't I be able to catch fish there? Two, three types of fish per biome is all it needs.

    Less destroyed worlds:

    Why does every toxic and scorched planet have decaying cities in their backgrounds? Do you mean to tell me that there were once a quadrillion different civilizations that were subsequently destroyed? Why aren't there any surviving ones? A destroyed biome like this should be a rarity. Non-destroyed scorched planets could still be populated by dead trees (or dead cacti), maybe some weird rock formations, or perhaps they are teeming with strangely heat-resistant flora and fauna. Toxic worlds could be characterized by, well, mutated, green versions of other notable biomes, like deserts or savanna. That isn't to say you can't have destroyed ruin-Esque planets, they should just be less common, and maybe not restricted to those two biomes. I would LOVE to see some decaying overgrown skyscrapers around a lush planet.

    Improved Descriptions:

    This is kind of a three-part idea.
    -more descriptions for each biome, I'd say 8-10
    -Interchangable words or phrases to make each one slightly different.
    -Get rid of the highlighted keywords. They spoil the whole planet, and also make it feel just like one of millions.

    More Biomes: pretty simple, but the best way to keep explorers on their toes is to just have MORE. Mini-Biomes, Planet Types, underground biomes, I'd recommend doubling the number of each. These biomes can be ideas that seem obvious, or they can be wacky, stupid, and/or hilarious. Don't forget to throw in a few super-rare ones for seasoned explorers

    Thank you for your consideration. In a later post, I may be discussing ways to improve NPC villages.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
  2. Xylia

    Xylia Tiy's Beard

    We once had entirely randomly generated enemies, and every planet would have 3-6 species of randomly-generated enemies.

    Now you almost never see RNG enemies at all. Also used to be that enemies had varied attacks, now everything wants to hump you with contact damage.

    Still to this day can't figure out why they felt that the same dozen or so species should exist on every single planet in the game, but that change really drug the variety of the game down a huge notch. That's why mods like Frackin'Universe are so popular, it does quite well to add the variety back, though I think the vanilla spawns should be reduced a bit because you still see way too many gleaps, or worse, bulbops.
  3. Quillon

    Quillon Subatomic Cosmonaut

    More Ideas:

    Varied difficulty across biomes:
    I want to find an inconceivable lush planet where the gleaps breathe fire and shoot lasers out of their eyes. Or a low-tier volcanic world with cute little lava lamp creatures.

    back in the good old days, Starbound had wacky and wild weather, like crystal rain. Please bring it back, and with a vengeance. I want random weather on biomes. Forests with asteroids! Deserts with Bouncy slime rain! A planet where it rains gold, and another where it rains glass!!
  4. Quillon

    Quillon Subatomic Cosmonaut

    Honestly, if the unique monsters had interesting and UNIQUE attacks, I'd appreciate them a little more.
  5. Xylia

    Xylia Tiy's Beard

    Other than the bulbops and the stupid big plants that come with them, I don't mind the unique monsters we got, even if they don't really have varied attacks.

    What I have against them is that they are on every. freaking. planet. ever.

    I'd rather they be more sparsely placed amongst more RNG monsters.
  6. Quillon

    Quillon Subatomic Cosmonaut

    I prefer the approach of making the unique monsters a little more RNG. How about giant purple gleaps with three eyes? or, hey, this gleap does a fire-attack and has two heads!
  7. Xylia

    Xylia Tiy's Beard

    That could work too. We just need more variety. Kinda tired of gleaps and bulbops being on 90% of all the planets in the galaxy except for elemental ones. Then you just swap out gleaps and bulbops for the red foxes or worse, those stupid ice clouds that spit at you, and for some reason, droids don't like anything but extreme cold environments.
    DraikNova likes this.
  8. Quillon

    Quillon Subatomic Cosmonaut

    Come to think of it, why don't smaller planets have lower gravity?
  9. Xylia

    Xylia Tiy's Beard

    They used to, but CF decided to go with the conformity route, and make all gravity the same on all planets, AND they reduced the variety of planet sizes.

    I for the life of me cannot figure out why.

    That, and fun fact, they "broke" a lot of mini-dungeons on planets because they increased the baseline gravity which decreased your character's jump height, and a lot of the older microdungeons and such can no longer be traversed without placing blocks to help you reach platforms you were once able to jump up to. A good example are those towers on Lush Planets. You were once able to jump up to the platforms, but now you can't. Or the towers that have the basements with the wooden chairs in them.. before, you could stand still, jump straight up and get on the platform that way. Now, you have to make a running jump and you can barely reach it and that's only if you jump juuuust right.

    Unless, of course, you're like me and you always play as a Felin or Avali modded by Frackin'Races lol. I can't stand the "new" (since 1.0) vanilla jump height. It feels like you're doing tiny little hops and you gotta build so many freaking platforms just to get anywhere.
  10. Quillon

    Quillon Subatomic Cosmonaut

    Well that's stupid. Why would Chucklefish remove that?
  11. Xylia

    Xylia Tiy's Beard

    *shrug* Many players wonder that very thing. I don't think it's ever been explained either, but yet several mods (including Frackin' Universe) have brought some of these features back.
  12. Quillon

    Quillon Subatomic Cosmonaut

    I wplus like Frackin a lot more if

    a. It were split up into pieces so you get the parts you want (I just want the planets)
    and b. They got rid of the highlighted keywords.

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