Space Engineers - "Open" Changes Everything

My love for Space Engineers is well known, but I eventually hit the "What's the point of it all?" wall in my Solo game. The worlds are beautiful, but empty. NPCs are literally empty ships on autopilot just going through waypoints, and the various assets are also empty and cookie-cutter. NMS or EGS this is not. But I really love building and mining mechanics, the realistic(ish) physics, the graphic fidelity, and the endless possibilities for creation and automation. Thankfully this is where "Open" mode comes in (AKA - public multiplayer servers).

I had tried multiplayer before the latest update, but I found the constant pauses and lag to be too much. The recent update fixed this, so a few days ago I set out on my first true multiplayer play-through, and like the title says, this really does change everything! I'm playing on one of Keen's official public servers, so there's always someone logged in, but there is a max* of 16 players at one time, so it's rare I get bad lag. Here are the ways "Open" mode makes Space Engineers a better game:
  • Places to go, people to see! As someone who likes to explore, this radically changes the game for me because now I have a world full of player-created assets to search for, visit, and explore. Oh, and loot! Shhh, don't tell anyone. I've yet to leave the world I started on, but just on this one planet there is so much to see and experience! And of course, I myself am adding to this world with my own creations. When I'm flying around in my little scout plane, players working on their bases can see me fly over, and vice-versa. The "system" chat is also full of people talking about their creations and experiences, and it's a real fun place to connect with folk.

  • People to avoid. Unlike Solo, I need to be careful, because not everyone is friendly. And unlike Elite Dangerous, there is no rebuy if my plane gets shot down or my base is bombed. Talk about iron man mode! This makes me use various stealth techniques, whether it's how I paint my vehicles, or how I'm building an underground base to avoid detection, or my approach when scouting out potentially hostile bases. It really adds a sense of suspense when playing, and I love it.

  • People to trade with. In Solo, there's really not much need to trade (empty stations have trading posts), because I can mine and process and build everything I could ever need. But on the multiplayer servers, our PCU is limited, meaning that I can only build so much as a single player. For example, I built a huge refinery to process some silver I found, but as I thought about it, I realized this is a waste of my PCU and base space. I have more iron than I know what to do with, and players are always begging for more iron, so I can easily trade my iron for a little bit of silver or gold when I need it. These limitations force me to barter and negotiate and to build very efficient designs (no more 3 mile long conveyors to the lake), and I like that.

  • The server never sleeps. A single player game pauses whenever you close SE, but in multiplayer, the server keeps running whether I am logged in or not. Why is this a big deal? Because the world is always "alive" in real time, and I the player basically hibernate in my cryo pod when I log off. This means I can come back to a different world, and it also means I can load up my refinery with tons of ore, log of, then log back in later and that ore will be all processed. All my machines keep working regardless whether I'm playing or not, and that is just amazing!

  • True Factions. Factions in multiplayer are true factions of player teams, and you can form alliances, declare war, and do other things that gives SE a much bigger "long-term" gameplay potential. Right now I'm playing the lone wolf, because I want to build my own little base and simple ship, but I plan to do business with some friendly factions, and eventually I may ally with a veteran faction for some interesting PvP battles and "power play" strategy.
There's more, I'm sure, and I'll keep updating this thread as I peel back the layers of the onion, but suffice it to say that my days playing in Solo are over, with the exception of my creative prototyping sessions where I test my ideas.


* Even though there is a max of 16 players at one time, I don't believe there is a max of players in total, meaning this solar system can be filled with assets from countless numbers of players!
 
Sounds good, might try it myself. Although I can play S/Engineers for hours in solo (economy mode), but a change is as good as a rest, they say.
What server is it ?
 
My love for Space Engineers is well known, but I eventually hit the "What's the point of it all?" wall in my Solo game. The worlds are beautiful, but empty. NPCs are literally empty ships on autopilot just going through waypoints, and the various assets are also empty and cookie-cutter. NMS or EGS this is not. But I really love building and mining mechanics, the realistic(ish) physics, the graphic fidelity, and the endless possibilities for creation and automation. Thankfully this is where "Open" mode comes in (AKA - public multiplayer servers).

I had tried multiplayer before the latest update, but I found the constant pauses and lag to be too much. The recent update fixed this, so a few days ago I set out on my first true multiplayer play-through, and like the title says, this really does change everything! I'm playing on one of Keen's official public servers, so there's always someone logged in, but there is a max* of 16 players at one time, so it's rare I get bad lag. Here are the ways "Open" mode makes Space Engineers a better game:
  • Places to go, people to see! As someone who likes to explore, this radically changes the game for me because now I have a world full of player-created assets to search for, visit, and explore. Oh, and loot! Shhh, don't tell anyone. I've yet to leave the world I started on, but just on this one planet there is so much to see and experience! And of course, I myself am adding to this world with my own creations. When I'm flying around in my little scout plane, players working on their bases can see me fly over, and vice-versa. The "system" chat is also full of people talking about their creations and experiences, and it's a real fun place to connect with folk.

  • People to avoid. Unlike Solo, I need to be careful, because not everyone is friendly. And unlike Elite Dangerous, there is no rebuy if my plane gets shot down or my base is bombed. Talk about iron man mode! This makes me use various stealth techniques, whether it's how I paint my vehicles, or how I'm building an underground base to avoid detection, or my approach when scouting out potentially hostile bases. It really adds a sense of suspense when playing, and I love it.

  • People to trade with. In Solo, there's really not much need to trade (empty stations have trading posts), because I can mine and process and build everything I could ever need. But on the multiplayer servers, our PCU is limited, meaning that I can only build so much as a single player. For example, I built a huge refinery to process some silver I found, but as I thought about it, I realized this is a waste of my PCU and base space. I have more iron than I know what to do with, and players are always begging for more iron, so I can easily trade my iron for a little bit of silver or gold when I need it. These limitations force me to barter and negotiate and to build very efficient designs (no more 3 mile long conveyors to the lake), and I like that.

  • The server never sleeps. A single player game pauses whenever you close SE, but in multiplayer, the server keeps running whether I am logged in or not. Why is this a big deal? Because the world is always "alive" in real time, and I the player basically hibernate in my cryo pod when I log off. This means I can come back to a different world, and it also means I can load up my refinery with tons of ore, log of, then log back in later and that ore will be all processed. All my machines keep working regardless whether I'm playing or not, and that is just amazing!

  • True Factions. Factions in multiplayer are true factions of player teams, and you can form alliances, declare war, and do other things that gives SE a much bigger "long-term" gameplay potential. Right now I'm playing the lone wolf, because I want to build my own little base and simple ship, but I plan to do business with some friendly factions, and eventually I may ally with a veteran faction for some interesting PvP battles and "power play" strategy.
There's more, I'm sure, and I'll keep updating this thread as I peel back the layers of the onion, but suffice it to say that my days playing in Solo are over, with the exception of my creative prototyping sessions where I test my ideas.


* Even though there is a max of 16 players at one time, I don't believe there is a max of players in total, meaning this solar system can be filled with assets from countless numbers of players!


Sounds almost a bit too much for a 16 player limitation. How does it all work if, say, next time you log in, all 16 places are occupied? How does it keep consistency for you if you can't play whenever you want? And is there some sort of new player protection, or is it like in ED were you can start in Solo mode and later switch to "Open" (in which case I wouldn't call it true ironman)?
 
Sounds good, might try it myself. Although I can play S/Engineers for hours in solo (economy mode), but a change is as good as a rest, they say.
What server is it ?
It's one of Keen's official servers - Keen CA (not sure what CA stands for - Canada perhaps?)

I think Keen has multiple servers. I just picked the first one that popped into my list with a good player count, but now I'm committed as I've put a lot of work into this base!
 
Is it still steam only?
This seems to suggest it:

Which is a big No Go to me. I recently stopped buying from Steam and wiped all Steam games and the client from my SSD.
 
Sounds almost a bit too much for a 16 player limitation. How does it all work if, say, next time you log in, all 16 places are occupied? How does it keep consistency for you if you can't play whenever you want? And is there some sort of new player protection, or is it like in ED were you can start in Solo mode and later switch to "Open" (in which case I wouldn't call it true ironman)?
If the slots are full, then you have to wait for someone to leave. However, there are tons of different servers, some with more slots, so it's not like you're competing with the entire player base to access this one server. I've only had to "sit in the dugout" just once, and that's a great time to go to my creative mode to experiment.

As for new player protection, there isn't any, so but getting "ganked" is pretty hard because space is so big. Of course players can easily switch between different servers, single player survival, and creative mode, but each save is its own reality. I can't build a ship in Solo and just import it into multiplayer, but I CAN make a blueprint from it, which makes building it in multiplayer way easier IMO.

ps - on average there are between 8 and 14 players logged in during the time of day I'm on.
 
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Is it still steam only?
This seems to suggest it:

Which is a big No Go to me. I recently stopped buying from Steam and wiped all Steam games and the client from my SSD.
Why?
 
Well if I wasn't in the mood to play Space Engineers before today, the latest episode of The Mandalorian would have definitely put me in this mood! No spoilers, but let's just say I had multiple flashbacks to moments in SE while watching today's show.
 
Isnt this OpenOnly space engineers just an excuse to blow up defenceless haulers who dont want to be your content. I call foulplay. It is a slippery slope, an Invasion of the Kickstarter Snatchers who are determined to turn wverything peaceful and basking, into a PvPeen griefing gankfest.
NO! All Modes Are Equal, so it is said, so shall be done, forever & ever, Braben.
i forgot to accuse you of being a sealclubbing sociopath in RL, but im sure you remember the rest by rote so pls just fill in any gaps, cheers o8
 
I've become something of a Jawa in Space Engineers. I've found what appear to be abandoned bases, neither of which were very complex (they felt like they were built by players still learning the game). One is a gold mine, literally, while the other has a large refinery, something I don't currently have in my own base. So I mined some gold for myself from the one base, and then I brought it to the base with the large refinery, hacked that refinery, and processed the ore into gold bars. I left a little bit of gold behind as "payment" for the base owner's services ;)

I'm also putting NPC trading to good use, having made a good trade of steel plates for uranium, something I can't mine on the planet I'm on. Unfortunately the trade volume is relatively low. I need to research how trading works on a multiplayer game, both with NPCs and other players. If I could set up my own trading outpost, that would be epic.
 
<<< Settles down with a bag of popcorn. 🍿

I haven’t had very good multi-player experiences in this kind of game, but I haven’t had very bad ones either. Mostly, I’ve found that my comfort zone for PvE isn’t a good match for most players, while my comfort zone for PvP isn’t a good match for most servers. Nether the less, I do enjoy a good tale.
 
Here are a few pictures of my underground base. It's humble on purpose - just the right size for a lone player getting started. Thankfully my escape pod landed in an ore-rich region, so most things I need are immediately accessible directly under my base (notice my collector setup) or via tunnel.

Right now I'm focusing on exploring this planet I'm on, which will likely take weeks if not months. During that time I will probably make a very simple small-grid rocket to go up into space and see what's in orbit over the planet, perhaps putting my own spy satellite above my base to keep an eye on things. Eventually, some day in the far future, I'll build a proper large-grid explorer / hauler and venture into the stars. This game will keep me busy for a long time to come!
 

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I haven’t had very good multi-player experiences in this kind of game, but I haven’t had very bad ones either.
I accidentally griefed a fellow player... I found the rover in the picture below parked in the desert, and having visited it for a number of days now, there has been no sign of activity. So I decided to "borrow" it. That's not such a bad thing, since a rover this size could be found by the owner if he went looking, and then he could reclaim it as his own. Here's the problem - there's a bug in SE where wheeled vehicles sometimes fall through the ground. It seems pretty rare, and from what I can tell it's geography related. In this particular case, it was the local lake that triggered me falling through the ice and through the planet in this giant rover I "borrowed". Like ED, falling through the ground is a weird "inside a hollow balloon" experience. I knew as soon as it happened that I had lost this poor soul's rover (as it happened to me once before in my own little truck). I thought at the very least I could jump in my plane and maybe fly up to the surface, but as soon as I tried, I materialized inside the earth to a massive explosion, losing both the rover and my plane... I had to respawn because I was so far down. No insurance, no rebuy (but thankfully I have a blueprint of my plane).

I left the owner of the rover and staging area a message at his respawn, just in case he's still playing. If he comes back and is distraught at the loss of his rover, I'll teach him how to use a projector and help him weld together a new rover. 🤷
 

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I've made it to space! I built the most humble of rockets to see what can be done, and it worked surprisingly well for how simple it is. More importantly, I made it back in one piece ;)

My next plan is to design a better rocket and a large underground silo to store it away from prying eyes. I'll prototype this silo above ground in creative mode, and then I'll use a projector to place a holographic representation of the silo in the ground, which will give me the perfect guide to drill the cavern it'll fit in.
 

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I dont really see the point of building hours and get it wrecked in seconds by a jocular passer-by. When we talk about defined scenarios with pre-defined assets that's a different story.⁹
 
I dont really see the point of building hours and get it wrecked in seconds by a jocular passer-by. When we talk about defined scenarios with pre-defined assets that's a different story.⁹
Personally, that kind of thing happening was so rare IME that it isn't worth worrying about.

What put me off multi-player with this kind of game was that I would find a location that I felt was nice and deserted, yet picturesque. It would be a location that I would think would be far enough from others that I could develop to my heart's content. Inevitably, I would log in one day, and find my nice location stripped bare, built over, and/or utterly ruined as a scenic location. Nothing I'd built would be touched, but the reason why I'd chosen to establish a base there in the first place was now null and void.

As I said during the Fleet Carrier fiasco... PvPers may have a reputation for unintentional griefing, but nothing beats a builder when it comes to GIFT-like behavior.
 
Personally, that kind of thing happening was so rare IME that it isn't worth worrying about.

What put me off multi-player with this kind of game was that I would find a location that I felt was nice and deserted, yet picturesque. It would be a location that I would think would be far enough from others that I could develop to my heart's content. Inevitably, I would log in one day, and find my nice location stripped bare, built over, and/or utterly ruined as a scenic location. Nothing I'd built would be touched, but the reason why I'd chosen to establish a base there in the first place was now null and void.

As I said during the Fleet Carrier fiasco... PvPers may have a reputation for unintentional griefing, but nothing beats a builder when it comes to GIFT-like behavior.
Ah, yes. Let me guess - it was deserted, too. I know what you mean.
 
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