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Hardspace: Shipbreaker


Nick R
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Yeah, earlier I got nearly propelled into outer space by a bottle or something I'd reeled in. I also had a reactor mishap this afternoon, it was placed between the outer and inner layer of the hull and I thought there would be enough room to pull it through the gap between the two into space. There wasn't and it jammed in the gap when I detached it. I frantically pulled out the cutting laser trying to cut off the outer hull to make space but didn't have time and had to retreat just in time to a safe distance before it blew up. Thankfully it only wrecked part of the ship, the inner hull must have shielded a lot of the blast. It's a pain in the arse picking up the leftover bits though! That's my first rank 5 ruined, I've been managing to hit 5 for each other ship even with a fuel explosion in one of the early ones.

 

I'm onto hazard 5 now and just in the process of taking apart one of the cylinder cargo ships with the big ring surrounding it and the pod holders - thankfully its not carrying anything on the pods. Very satisfying to take it apart bit by bit and then use tethers to haul massive parts of the ship into the correct bays. I like how as long as you are getting good ranks you keep getting access to more wrinkles and upgrades each ship otherwise it would become a bit repetative. The decompression stuff and using panels to affect the ship are really nice extra layers to make you plan out your deconstruction instead of just going straight for the cut points. Cut the power connections and suddenly maybe you can't eject the thruster or cycle an airlock. Good stuff!

 

I do like the extra story/worldbuilding elements but I agree they are really annoying when it forces you to sit in the habitat to listen to a long radio message. Just do it all out in the field so you can work and get the story alongside, unless its something really critical. 

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I like the story bits. Completely unnecessary but quite welcome as it helps give a sense of progressing something rather than just grinding your way through billions of dollars of debt.

 

Just unlocked coolant hazards and rank 2 reactors. I expect I'm going to die again quite soon.

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I was struggling with the first pressurised ship. Managed to electrocute myself so restarted and all the doors were open already depressurised. 
 

Presumably to do it properly you have to find an ‘in’ and solve it that way ? 

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I'm not really sure about how to use tethers yet. I assumed it's for getting a bunch of smaller items together before shunting them into their destination, but seems like they'd be better used on larger objects? Do you tether them to the edges of the furnace/processor?

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Just now, Kayin Amoh said:

I'm not really sure about how to use tethers yet. I assumed it's for getting a bunch of smaller items together before shunting them into their destination, but seems like they'd be better used on larger objects? Do you tether them to the edges of the furnace/processor?

 

Use them on massive panels to move them to the furnace, barge or processor. Also later on some panels are so fucking huge you have to use the big static spikey constructs around the yard to move them. That's when they really come in.

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This is really fun! The shift is so short though, I can barely get through €1.5m, and then they charge me €500k every day for room and board. :lol:
 

The inversion of the standard game high score, where an evil company has put you into debt slavery, and you’re not playing to get big numbers but, in a sense, trying to get to 0 works as an amusing commentary on both capitalism and games. I’m finding the satire to be not at all too on the nose or try hard, possibly because the other characters are grounding the whole thing. 
 

I’m now up to hazard level 2, and the game has just introduced electricity. The way layers of complexity are added in over the course of several shifts slowly has been really useful for getting to grips with the various bits and pieces, one of the better tutorials for sure. Love how the game doesn’t explain at all how to deal with those hazards, and kinda wants you to die trying. 

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6 hours ago, Popo said:

This is really fun! The shift is so short though, I can barely get through €1.5m, and then they charge me €500k every day for room and board. :lol:

 

I turned off the shift timer at the very beginning.

 

Maybe that was wrong because whilst I enjoyed my first session it felt like a real endless grind. I can see it being good podcast material.

 

But I'm not sure how the timer could help.

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It makes it less tedious. Doing it in 15 minute chunks means you have to work a bit smarter to make sure you meet the minimum quota of $500k a day. In theory at least. Ultimately you're so in debt it doesn't really matter how much more you accrue, each ship ultimately gives you a Fuckload of cash eventually. I like the shifts because my attention span is shockingly short.

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Yep, it forces you to work smart and fast, encouraging you to take risks in ever-more-dangerous ships in order to ensure each shift earns you enough to counteract your daily fees. I like it, but I also appreciate that the devs included an option to turn it off for players who might struggle with the pressure.

 

I'm on the "really enjoy the storytelling" side of things as well — the only bit I find a bit clunky is the time where the game forces you to sit and listen to a one-sided call (I really think they should have those play out mid-shift, as with the rest of the voiced bits), but the actual narrative, the general presentation of the company and the workers, and the satire inherent in the game's approach to unlocks and scoring, all press the right buttons for me. I'm really glad that the Xbox Gamepass release has presented the game to a wider audience.

 

(I also love that this is from the same developers as Homeworld: Deserts of Kharak, and the upcoming Homeworld 3. Now that's some range in sci-fi gameplay!)

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I'm up to level 2 reactors now and honestly the grind of taking apart ships is getting a bit much, that's partly because the past 3 ships haven't offered much new. However what I do like is that as the ships get larger and you have access to more upgrades, there's real scope to be more efficient and think big. Instead of gleefully zapping every cut point I now look at the larger structures and try to figure out ways to get them out in as big chunks as possible. Its really satsifying to use tethers to pull a massive hull section away from the inner rooms like a nested doll, or to remove a floor in a cockpit to make it really easy to fling all those electronics right into the barge. The only problem with thinking big is that if you mess up, you have entire sections of a ship in awkward positions or floating inexorably towards the wrong processor. But when you pull it off its a great feeling. 

 

But screw those ships with the lattice midsection. They love to put fuel tanks with concertina designs in the centre of the lattice and they are a complete nightmare to get out! 

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19 minutes ago, Alan Stock said:

remove a floor in a cockpit to make it really easy to fling all those electronics right into the barg


I like the way you think, cutter. Might have to borrow that one!

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Oh god. The fuel tank in the lattice work…Just finished one and it’s far too tense.

 

I’m at cutter level 15 now and hazard 7. One thing I’m hoping we’ll see next is ship AI modules. There’s been a few data logs and text hinting at having to destroy them and that they can sabotage the ship.

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Finished this yesterday. Started again immediately because I enjoyed the gameplay so much, but actually sucked at several bits and wanted to do better. Still hate the way the story is delivered and some characters, but it's testament to the rest of the stuff that I'm going back for more.

 

One thing that I think is poor design is that the useful components you collect later on appear early in the game, but not collectible. It's teaching you that you can't collect them, so you'll probably miss them for a while when that mechanic is switched on. I hate stuff like this and it would be easy to fix (just let the player sell them before they know they need them, for example). A minor gripe though.

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1 hour ago, BubbleFish said:

Got my first level 8 Orca. It’s huge! Could easily fit a level 1 ship in its hanger.

 

Love this game!


There’s something deeply satisfying about exploring and understanding how the ships are structured and bolted together (or perhaps how they’re unbolted apart), and part of that is derived from admiring their form and size. 

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I had a lucky escape just now, sort of. I just upgraded my grapple so it's quite strong and used it to pull out a level 1 reactor from far away. In my haste I pulled way too long and it shot like a missile into me, smashing my body and faceplate into mush. In a red haze of venting oxygen fumes, blaring alarms and smashed glass, with my hands outstretched in pain, I wildly tried to locate the ticking time bomb before it went off. By some miracle I managed to find it careening through space, grapple it and fire it into the barge just before I died from the multiple things afflicting me. Definitely deserve a special medal for that shit!

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Question about pressurisation. 
 

The training ship starts off with a gentle explanation of how to safely depressurise using the onboard systems; then it says it’s not always possible to do this, and explosive depressurisation might be needed… but not how to do that safely. 
 

Having depressurised the cabin I can see that all the surrounding compartments are still pressurised - including the one with the reactor! I already caused an explosive depressurisation with that compartment, and it didn’t end well for me. The walls of the compartments are lined with fabric and, having learned the hard way, these are highly flammable.
 

I’m not quite sure how to depressurise these compartments without angering the reactor and causing a meltdown. The cutting points are all within the sealed compartments, and I don’t have access to them to try and cut them away from the cabin from a safe distance. Do I need to puncture the compartments to allow the air to escape?

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OK, I actually did it - I’ll put it in spoiler tags because it fun to figure these things out. 
 

Spoiler

I disconnected the cockpit from the cabin, which caused explosive depressurisation safely, and depressurised all the surrounding compartments.

 

I could see the reactor at this point, so I grabbed it and tried to pull it out but it got stuck! In my panic I tried to cut through the compartment wall, but, suffice to say, this only made things worse. 
 

Oh well, back to work!

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Just disassembled my first big nacelle! That feels sooo satisfying to get right. I love the things that have a particular way of dealing with them, which are governed by the natural laws the game simulates. Get it right and it all shuts down and is ready for salvage - get it wrong and it all blows up. :)

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My success has been short lived, as the sides of the nacelles have ended up straddling the processor and furnace entrances, apparently locked in place by the gravity pull of both, and no amount of tethers seem able to get them unstuck. :wacko:

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1 hour ago, Popo said:

I got them unstuck! Tethers are your friends. 

 

I've had exactly that problem with the big nacelles getting them stuck. Now instead of going at crazy angles to the processor, I tether to one of the spiky constructs so they're more central and from there tether to the processor.

 

Onto my first Gecko. Its a big boy, I spent nearly a whole shift just exploring its innards and figuring out where to start.

 

I've not had any depressurisation accidents, usually I like to deal with them by:

Spoiler

Slicing through one half of an airlock door, which pops that side of the door off but usually depressurises safely. The other method I like is to take off the thruster caps on normal thrusters, as the decompression pushes out the thruster and clears the whole ship if you've opened all the doors.

 

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9 hours ago, Popo said:

Question about pressurisation. 
 

The training ship starts off with a gentle explanation of how to safely depressurise using the onboard systems; then it says it’s not always possible to do this, and explosive depressurisation might be needed… but not how to do that safely. 
 

Having depressurised the cabin I can see that all the surrounding compartments are still pressurised - including the one with the reactor! I already caused an explosive depressurisation with that compartment, and it didn’t end well for me. The walls of the compartments are lined with fabric and, having learned the hard way, these are highly flammable.
 

I’m not quite sure how to depressurise these compartments without angering the reactor and causing a meltdown. The cutting points are all within the sealed compartments, and I don’t have access to them to try and cut them away from the cabin from a safe distance. Do I need to puncture the compartments to allow the air to escape?

This is one of the things I sucked at.

 

I believe the idea is that you should enter a pressurised section, close the airlock behind you, then open all the doors in the pressurised bit so you have one space that is pressurised. Then you find an Atmospheric Regulator and use it to depressurise that entire space. Then you open the airlock. It might be that you need to rip the Regulator off the wall after using it to stop it re-pressurising automatically.

 

It's something along these lines, but I almost always managed to get the bugger to explode. Thiis is one of the things I want to get right on my replay...

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Yes, that’s essentially how to do it “properly” Work your way until you get to a single entry, pressurised room, seal the door and use the Atmospheric Regulator to remove pressure, then open the air lock and work your way backwards.

 

Easy once you get the knack. Only trouble is when you find a ship with rogue AI that likes to turn things on and off…

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