Space Engineers - "Open" Changes Everything


Mental note to self - don't do ANYTHING in Space Engineers when my internet is suffering jitter. SE has pretty rubbish network code TBH. I had set aside the H2 tank I wanted to save and was cutting away pieces around it when I got a lag spike (my end). Next thing I know, poof - my H2 tank full of precious H2 is gone! My grinder was nowhere near that tank, nor did I grind anywhere near long enough to destroy the tank, but that lag spike must have confused the server, so there goes all my precious H2...

Oh well, I can siphon some off from my other ship when it comes time to fuel the new one. Still, it's a real pain. This game is very unforgiving of packet lag spikes, which unfortunately hit me pretty hard at night during "prime time".
Ouch! It's one thing to lose a tank full of H2 to your own foolishness. It's another entirely to lose it to internet shenanigans. :(
Indeed! It's also a pain to lose fun gameplay, because I was looking forward to the cleverness of separating and saving that tank to refuel my new ship. Oh well.

Here are some shots of my decommissioning, which is turning into a multi-day process thanks to my rubbish Internet. You'll notice how I separate a section of the ship and then attach to it with my tug so I can bring it to the station grinder. Unfortunately I bit off more than I can chew, and it was very difficult to maneuver that large section with that small ship. (For a sense of scale, I'm actually inside that small little ship, but I had to use 3rd person camera to see what I was doing because the salvage was blocking my view!)





In unrelated news, I'm NOT A FAN of these new forum changes! It now takes me twice as many clicks to insert pictures into a post. Another bad example of form over function 🤦
Speaking of foolishness...

I actually got to log in a little earlier than expected. Inventory is done for the year, so they quit the overtime at work cold turkey. I was just about to launch into space, when an idea occurred to me. My current cargo didn't come anywhere close to my rocket's max lift capacity, and much more importantly in my mind, I had no cryo-pod waiting for me in orbit. Granted, that was the original plan, but still...

So I added a cryo-pod to the top of the rocket, completely ignoring the fact that due to briefly unlocking the connectors by accident previously, that the mighty ship wasn't pointing perfectly straight up.

I didn't. The cryo-chamber clipped the wind turbine on the way up.

The wind turbine survived...

The cryo-chamber didn't... and it took the oxygen tank with it, cutting my rocket in two. While I was wondering what the heck happened, the front half of the ship landed back on the launch platform. It survived mostly intact, allowing me to recover the metal I stored in it. The back half was nowhere to be seen. Needless to say, I reacted to this setback in a calm and collected manner:


I moved to construct a second rocket, and discovered, much to my delight, that the back half of the rocket had in fact mostly survived, including the precious hydrogen tank. It had just rolled under my base. Amusingly, I was able to roll the tank out from under my base. After removing the thrusters and adding some trusses to lock on to, I managed to get it in the general vicinity of an empty connector.

I had just finished connecting the tank to the base connector when RL decided I was having too much fun. I set it up to drain the tank, and logged out. It was later than I would've preferred when I got a chance to log back in, but I decided to YOLO it. Come hell or high water, I'd at least get to the point where I could safely log off for the night! Who needs a full nights’ sleep? (I do. ;) )

I triple checked everything, crossed my fingers, held my breath, and hit the "launch" button. Much to my relief, everything went smoothly.

Having learned from my mistake, I set my “orbital insertion point” about 3km above where gravity drops to zero. Much to my relief, I found Starbird waiting for me, it’s solar panels pointed towards the sun. I was a bit worried about having it despawn...

I quickly docked the two vessels, and transferred a bit of H2 to Starbird. After making sure Starbird’s engines were off, I set off to my proverbial Cornucopia asteroid cluster.

Once I finally got on site, I carefully aligned the block that would be attached to my chosen asteroid with the sun’s movement, and started assembling my future shipyard. Thanks to the small tubes I’d brought, I got the Starbird docked and drawing/providing power.

Once the basic constructor was built, I used it to add a second docking port for my supply rocket.

I also used it to build a cryopod. It’s a pity I had rushed ahead on this step.

Finally, before logging out for the night, I attached my solar panels (including those from the Starbird) to a rotor. The sun came up just in time to align them properly.

All that remains is to build my main assembler, and a basic refinery, and connect it all together with conveyors. Then I can start construction of my new Prospector design. I still need to find platinum, ice, and uranium.
Now that you are space faring @Darkfyre99 I will need to come visit in my new starship. Construction is about 50% complete. Then comes fueling, loading supplies, charging batteries, all that jazz. Then I'll come by and give you a tour!


ps - remind me to set my new medbay to me-only spawn so you don't accidentally show up on my ship 10000 LY from home.
ps - remind me to set my new medbay to me-only spawn so you don't accidentally show up on my ship 10000 LY from home.
Speaking of which, I'll need to make sure my newer survival kits are also set to me only spawn. The one in space will be easy enough to do. The one at my refueling station will have to wait for the next time I make a supply run.
It takes me as long to configure a ship as it does to build it, LOL. But soon, very soon, I will be ready to take HMS Valkyrie MK 2 on her maiden voyage!
In the past my engineering space has been more utilitarian, more "grimy and worn", but I decided with this ship to make it clean and futuristic, kinda like the Enterprise, as best as one can in SE. I'm still tweaking the colors and lighting, but this is very close to what I want:


ps - I spared no expense (PCU), as you can see.
Yesterday, I punched out from work on time for a change, getting home with enough time to spare that I couldn't resist making sure everything was still functioning. I meant to just drop in and drop out. Then inspiration struck, so I ended up flitting between my desktop and my kitchen as I prepared supper. ;)

The first thing I did was use up most of my remaining iron on my Shipyard's assembler, as well as a basic refinery. I also connected everything properly with conveyors. Needing more iron, I set about making a mining vehicle. I just didn't start from scratch. :D

The nice thing about my bug-headed utility vehicle design is that its modular. The “head” contains the important stuff, leaving the “thorax” for things mission critical equipment. Starbird, even though I didn't use that same core design, turned out to be the same way. It's probably a subconscious thing on my part. :) It was fairly trivial to remove the "life support" module, and replace it with two cargo pods. Normally, I'd attach a drill on the nose, but there's a thruster there I didn't want to move, so it got two instead. Finally, I painted it "construction vehicle yellow," with neon highlights, just because. ;)

When next I logged in, all that remained was to weld everything. I also ordered the parts I’d need to expand power production, as well as add a (minor) source of O2. Inspiration struck once again, so I added a camera to the entire array. All I have to do is center the sun in the camera, and it’s perfectly aligned. A rotation rate of 0.0083 isn’t perfectly in sync, but it’s close enough that only minor adjustments need to be made from time to time. This’ll make things a lot easier.

The entire array required more silicon than I brought with me, though. Fortunately, there was a silicon deposit I’d originally missed nearby. I gathered a whole load’s worth, about 40 tons of ore, so I have silicon for days now. At least I will once the refinery is finished processing it. :rolleyes:

After making a second iron run, I turned to making a proper landing platform. I want to add a gravity generator (set to 0.1g) eventually, so having a “floor” is a must. I’d like to eventually make a properly pressurized small vehicle bay, but that’s in the far future. I also remembered my power woes planetside, so I made sure to quadruple my battery storage capacity.

Next up on my agenda is making my Prospector. Correction... next up is making a small ship “dry dock” which I can use to make my Prospector. Might as well take advantage of everything I’ve learned to date to make life easier for me. ;) After that, I want to create some living quarters. Finally, assuming I find platinum of course, it’ll be time to create a jump capable ship!
What's this I see through my canopy?

UPDATE - a couple more views:

That last image is from my cryopod, where I need to go now. I hope nobody finds me this close to the planet! Weapons are armed just in case.
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I'm just posting this because the last time I tried to watch this thread, it seemed to not have worked and I ended up having to read through a massive backlog. It says currently that I'm watching the thread but I'm paranoid and I know for a fact that posting causes you to get notified of further thread replies so I'm doing that.

Also, this thread did inspire me to get Space Engineers. Haven't played too much of it but it IS fun.
Also, this thread did inspire me to get Space Engineers. Haven't played too much of it but it IS fun.

And addictive. Let's not forget addictive.
Addictive indeed! I go through periods of designer's block, and then I get an idea - that eureka light bulb, that I have to run with. The latest iteration of my Valkyrie starship is the latest "obsession", and I spent a silly amount of hours this weekend perfecting the interior design. I'm very, very pleased how it turned out, and now I'm looking forward to actually flying it, exploring with it, engaging enemies with it, etc.

Despite sparing no expense (PCU), I still have 5000 PCU left over, so my next big project will be building a more "comfortable" space station. Thankfully most of that will be simple 1 PCU blocks with some cosmetics (though doors do eat PCU pretty quickly), and I hope to keep about 1000 PCU free for experimentation - torpedoes, bombs, beacons, drones, etc. Worst case scenario, I can decommission HMS Pearl to free up more PCU. Heck, I could just remove all my point defense turrets from that ship and probably get back a couple thousand PCU! I do need to have a dedicated mining ship on hand - uranium doesn't grow on trees ;)

I'd put guns/rocket launchers around that space platform.
This is from the experience of having a pirate ship spawn about 1.5 KM away and shoot everything to smithereens. Not what you need while building a large ship. Fortunately it was SP so there were backups.

I'd put guns/rocket launchers around that space platform.
This is from the experience of having a pirate ship spawn about 1.5 KM away and shoot everything to smithereens. Not what you need while building a large ship. Fortunately it was SP so there were backups.
There’s no NPCs on this server, which can be a blessing and a curse. The good news is that there’s no NPCs to worry about. The bad news is that for those who have an itch for the pew-pew, the only outlet is other players.

I’ll add defenses... eventually. Realistically, my best defense is obscurity. If a hostile player finds my station, it’s toast either way. Right now, I’d rather focus on other things. 🤷‍♀️
Is there any sort of method to finding ores that isn't just driving a rover with an ore detector around until you find some? I'm lacking cobalt which I need for metal grids which has severely hamstrung my efforts to expand. Currently, I'm doing a survival world that has just myself and a few friends so that we can get experience in how everything works(One friend bought the game about an hour after I did and the other had it but hadn't done much beyond mess about in creative). Without the grids, I'm capped to the basic assembler and refinery but I can't find any cobalt in my area. I have, however, found a lot of gold and silver as well as a fair few silicon and ice deposits. I'm also based in a valley which might not be the best location but I can easily get ice by hiking up the side of a mountain. Not that I really need the oxygen since we're on Earth. Annoyingly, both of my friends have found cobalt. One of them is about 40 km away from me and the other is 120 km away. I'm seriously considering asking the closer of the two to ship cobalt to me once he gets a ship that can reach my location. Currently he has a ship which he uses for mining but he says it overbalances easily when full. The two of us are also considering an eventual move to a point roughly half way between our two locations which has a lake that we could mine for ice.

Since the thrusters that I can theoretically build all require metal grids or components I assume I need the more advanced assembler to make, I'm restricted to wheeled vehicles. My first rover was a big thing with six wheels and a drill that I mostly just drove around and let it pick up stone from the surface it was driving over. I ground down most of that rover in a bid to make it less resource intensive. Unfortunately, this process made it a bit top heavy and I managed to flip the rover when I was trying to find ore(see above) while driving at a recklessly high speed. The resulting flip severely damaged one of the two solar panels I'd mounted on the rover so I ground them down and set about excavating a large hole, hoping that the rover would fall into it and end up at an angle where I could tip it back over onto the wheels. I managed to get it perfectly vertical so I carved out a gentle slope out of the hole, stripped as much extraneous material off the rover as I could carry and hotfooted it back to base to build a smaller rover with a big pole sticking out of it so I could push the big rover over. In doing so, I realised that the big rover hadn't been fitted with a beacon and I had to go and find it again. Fortunately, I was able to extricate it from the hole.

Lesson seemingly learned, I messed about with the wheel settings and capped the speed at a low level to try and reduce flipping. I also mounted the new solar panels in a frame of light armour blocks to protect them in case the rover DID flip. The rover worked well enough for a while and I discovered a few ore deposits that I couldn't actually refine and was able to gather a hell of a lot of stone to turn into usable material. As a result, I was able to expand my base a little to include a flat platform on which to park the rover and I built a conveyor system to connect the rover and my basic refinery once the connectors I had installed were lined up. Unfortunately, the second flip happened. The good news was that the frame around the solar panels seemed to have worked as they were undamaged. With my experience from the last time, I quickly had the rover vertical and the hole dug to allow it to drive out again. I went to fetch the emergency rover, reassembled the pushing arm and drove it over to the site.

It was then that disaster struck. As I mentioned previously, I had stripped as much weight off the rover in the previous crash in order to make it easier to push as well as to build the second rover I needed to rescue the first. At the time, I'd sunk most of my resources into building a rover to increase my resource gathering and the investment hadn't paid off by the time of the first flip. At the time, I had scrounged the layer of light armour I had built as the roof of the rover's battery compartment and it transpired that I never actually put it back. Additionally, I had managed to sink the rover into the ground at JUST the right height for everything to go horridly wrong. With no idea of the upcoming tragedy, I dutifully drove the small rover forwards to bring the pushing arm into contact with the large rover.

The next thing I knew, there was some sort of explosion and, when I looked, there was a hell of a lot of debris, damage and some missing parts. It turned out that I'd pushed the long shaft of light armour blocks straight into the battery compartment, setting off an explosion that took out the batteries, the door I'd built to access the batteries if I ever needed to, the solar panels, a chunk of the frame around the solar panels, both of the large cargo containers I'd mounted on the rover, and the connector. At the same time, I'd also managed to trap the smaller rover in the hole with the larger rover pinning it in place. With no power in the large rover and no prospect of getting the smaller one out without making things worse for the big one, I ended up grinding both of them down for parts and taking the bits back to base. Now, and possibly in a manner guaranteed to bring chaos further down the line, I'm planning to build the biggest, widest, most bottom-heavy rover I can make. I've gotten as far as about half the wheel base. I kinda got discouraged because of the setback and the lack of cobalt.

Of course, this isn't the worst thing that happened. Towards the start, I didn't bother transferring the survival kit out of the little pod I started off in. After all, it had been functioning perfectly fine up until that point and I told myself I'd install another one on my base when I got the resources. Queue the survival kit somehow shutting down and going offline without my knowledge and a death due to reasons I can't remember. Next thing I know, I'm 40 km away at my friend's base. I raised the idea of somehow running all the way back to my base but my other friend argued against it, reasoning I'd run out of power way before reaching my own base. At this time, he'd already died with his survival kit failing as well and he'd ended up at the same base earlier, before he'd left our faction, respawned himself in a pod and wound up 120 km away before rejoining the faction. Without much prospect of getting my stuff back, I went to help my friend with trying to excavate his rover from the hole he'd trapped it in before helping to grind it down once it became too trapped to escape. While putting the salvaged material into his cargo container, I noticed my friend had some energy restoration consumable things. His explanation was that he'd gotten them from some of the pods that frequently spawned and which offered a chance to get some cosmetic items. After asking if I could take them, I dumped everything except the basic tools, swiped my friend's entire stock of energy things, topped up my energy at his survival kit and nicked his rifle and half his ammunition for good measure. He didn't have any ice or a hydrogen/oxygen generator but I had a full hydrogen tank from respawning. Somewhat prepared for the journey, I set out to get home.

The first bit of the journey home wasn't too hard. The entire region we seemed to be in was quite mountainous but my friend had lucked out and landed in an area of gently rolling hills. It wasn't until I was about ten kilometres into my run that I started hitting really steep hills. Even then, it was fairly easy to run over them and the few detours I had to take weren't too far off a straight run back to my base. I even had a few pods drop relatively close to my path but unfortunately there weren't any more of the power consumables. I ended up finding the lake that I mentioned earlier and set myself a GPS marker so I could find it again. Then my suit's power started running out and I discovered that the consumables only replenished so much of my energy. The power had been holding out well and I wonder if that was because I hadn't used any tools between my friend's base and my location. As I got closer to my base, the altitude kept getting higher and I found myself having to use the drill to cut a path in some places. To save time, since the mountains stretched to either side as far as the eye could see, I was going straight up the side of what was basically a cliff. Eventually, I hit the top and found snow. I was ten, maybe fifteen kilometres from home so I stopped to drill myself as much ice as I could carry out of the ground before continuing onwards. Cue my horror when I discovered that, due to the altitude, my oxygen levels were dropping. Having shaved off about a quarter of my health already from mishaps while descending, I was reluctant to simply return down the side of the cliff and, anyway, I was running out of the power consumables. With oxygen getting in the red but with the terrain becoming more gentle, I used some of my precious hydrogen fuel to increase my speed. Finally, I found myself looking down into a familiar valley and the beacon, which was still mounted on the pod and hadn't gone offline when the survival kit had, was only a few kilometres away. I quickly descended to the valley floor and soon was on the homeward run. With power slowly trickling down, I took the grinder to the survival kit and, way later than I should have done, installed it on the grid of my base. Turns out I didn't need the rifle.

The lake I found. Here I'm holding the redundant rifle.

My base, thrown together without much planning at all.

The rover, now ground down for parts:

The conveyor system I built and which is currently useless until I get the new rover up and running. In a bit of uncharacteristic foresight, I've included junctions to ease the expansion of the system.
Had another unfortunately short session last night. I was tempted to sacrifice some nappy time, but the next thing I want to accomplish, after the tour of @Old Duck's new ship, is to fetch more hydrogen from the surface, and that requires not only a long trip up and down the planet's gravity well (I estimate it'll take about 25 minutes round trip), but I want to flesh out my launch site once I get down there. So nappy time won.


First thing I did was use some of the refined silicon taking up my storage to add two more oxygen farms to my station's life support array. Then I added on-site storage for oxygen and hydrogen. Then I drained what remained in my two ships into those tanks. I was just starting to lay out the station's habitat module, when I reminded myself I had a ship I wanted to build. I wanted to do a proper survey of this asteroid cluster, to see what other resources I might've missed, and that required implementing my idea for the Prospector.

Thankfully, by this time, producing a "3D printer" had become old hat. All the improvements I've made over the last two (?) months from my first iteration came naturally, much to my relief. It was ready to go in no time.

I ordered the parts I needed for the Prospector, ordered up spare parts of the common components, just in case, and set my printer into motion.

Eventually, the printing process was finished. I find it amusing that I can estimate how long it took (ten minutes) based on the life support array's movement. It sure felt longer, since I was monitoring the process, looking for potential pitfalls.

All that remains now is finishing construction of the Prospector. As you can tell, the ship has a 3x3 small grid hinge part attached to it. This is because I recently realized that while we can use hinges and advanced rotors to add small parts to large grids... the reverse is also true!

Which means...

I so wanted to finish assembly last night, but once I do that, I’ll also want to take it out for a maiden flight. To do this, I want a full tank of H2. I only have 77% of a full tank at the moment, with none available for other ships. Which means a trip to the surface, and all the stuff I need to do down there. It’ll have to wait... for now.

Last thing I did before logging out was check the alignment of my life support array. As I’d suspected, it was already lagging behind a bit, so I recentered it, and was greeted with a rather spectacular sight.

@Old Duck, I tried subscribing to the realistic skybox mod, and needless to say, it didn’t work. I’m sure there’s a trick I’m missing for getting it to work on the server. Any advice would help. Thanks in advance.
I really, REALLY like your large to small grid 3D printing system! It looks like it can print AND fuel from the same system. This time I'm going to borrow from you!

I tested something similar in my creative build of my starship for printing things like bombs and beacons, but your system for printing (and fueling) entire ships is a whole new level of brilliant.

Thankfully, by this time, producing a "3D printer" had become old hat. All the improvements I've made over the last two (?) months from my first iteration came naturally, much to my relief. It was ready to go in no time.
@Old Duck, I tried subscribing to the realistic skybox mod, and needless to say, it didn’t work. I’m sure there’s a trick I’m missing for getting it to work on the server. Any advice would help. Thanks in advance.
Because the way mods work, you can't mod the game separate from the server through traditional means. Thankfully SE is very open, allowing us to change things for ourselves regardless of what server we use. I'll PM you a link to the specific file you need along with instructions where to put it. In the meantime, here are a couple of pictures of your base with dark skies:

Is there any sort of method to finding ores that isn't just driving a rover with an ore detector around until you find some?
First, thanks for your epic tale of trying to survive! We’ve all been there... and still visit occasionally. ;)

To start with some general advice. Ore deposits “discolor” the terrain around them, appearing as grey blotches in the terrain. Their visibility can range from “very” (on Earth in the grasslands) to “not at all” “moon” and asteroids. They’re frequently not homogeneous: a single deposit can consist of as much as five (IIRC) different sub-deposits, though 2-3 seems most common. If you’ve found a deposit, it pays to map it out, using the method of your choice.

Naturally, this discoloration is easier to view with altitude.

I’m out of time ATM, but I’ll write two strategies to find ore quickly when I’m on lunch: The “fast” way and the “fun” way. YMMV on the latter, though. ;)
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