"Food For Thought" - Ecosystem Concerns

VexareVexare Austin,TXMembers Join Date: 2016-01-05 Member: 210942Posts: 86 Advanced user
There is a rather interesting debate going on in the Steam Community Forum that has brought up multiple arguments and points regarding the current state of the game in regards to fish respawns. I would entreat the Developers to read the well thought out responses there - even those arguing both sides of it. It's one of the more intelligent posts, not typical Steam ranting:

http://steamcommunity.com/app/264710/discussions/0/458604254464506499/

As I have done some investigation and learned via Dev feedback in that post, fish do NOT respawn in the current game. I'm sure this has been debated here as well though I did a search and found only old posts from months ago so I wasn't sure if it was still a problem for players who have like me, put more than 25+ hours into one save-game and built a base of operations only to find the entire biome devoid of fish of any kind by the time they were finished.

I learned too late about the no fish respawning being intentional. Now my biome is barren and this makes me sad. :(

Here is another post over on reddit, written quite eloquently (in-character) from someone with three times as much save-game work as myself on the issue:

https://www.reddit.com/r/subnautica/comments/3zgp9g/after_100_hours_on_subnautica_my_reflections_on/

Please read these responses and give some more thought to the problem of no fish respawns.

Reasons listed (various players) why this has become a problem for Subnautica Adventurers:
  1. Exploration - The reason given for no re-spawn by Developers does not make sense to most avid players/enthusiasts as the game is in itself an exploration game and draws in that sort of gamer. Gamers who enjoy random choice adventure, sandbox freedom and open world exploration. We explore for the experience - not out of necessity to survive or for progression. You cannot expect exploration to happen via punishing the player by removing their food source. Positive reinforcement is how beautiful the game looks enticing players to venture further out into the depths and the next point: progression.
  2. Progression - This mechanic is also already in place and 'forces' players to explore even outside their comfort zone (safe shallows) if they wish to build things. There is no reason to just stay put on your lifepod or in a base in the shallows because the point of the game is again, Exploration. But in-case someone only wants to build a base, or build a Cyclops, then they still must venture out into other biomes to find the required resources and blueprints to do so. Restricting fish supply in the biome with no respawn does nothing to encourage adventure. Progression itself encourages progression.
  3. Story/Plot/RPG - The barest story is starting to develop and this is a wonderful thing. We learn early on that radiation leaking from the burning core of the Aurora is causing massive contamination in the area and eventually you will want to seek a way to contain/stop that. This encourages exploration - again - not because we're forced to do so... you could very well likely just ignore the story, build a radiation suit and go on your way. But the story is a means to exploration and adventure. Killing off all the fish in the shallows could be a potential addition to that story. The clock is ticking. The longer you wait to find a way to repair the Aurora, the more flora and fauna begin to die off in the area, leaving your food supply lowered and the landscape barren. GREAT story-driven motivation. Will that be the case going forward? The response from Developer seemed to state it's only to force players to go out and explore other areas. Perhaps this a miscommunication then? It's not just to turn off respawn but rather, to encourage players to find a way to stop the radiation and therefore stop the fish from dying? If so, I urge the developers to communicate this to new players immediately as part of the opening sequence after the Aurora explodes and a few days have passed where it's noticed by the computer that flora/fauna populations are not healthy/respawning.
  4. Ecosystem Survival - Lastly, and perhaps most importantly... a sort of imbalanced ecosystem seems to be at play here. Observed by myself, building a base on a cliff-side overhanging the Kelp Forests at the border of Safe Shallows reef system. Firstly, I depleted some of the fish population by eating them. Stalkers were eating fish in the Kelp Forest. They slowly began chasing fish into the shallows on the other side of my base and then they too vanished. Did they simply wander off, despawn or were eaten by something else? The only remaining fish in the narrow kelp forest area directly below my base are the Bleeders. They DO attack Stalkers. Have they become the top predator in the food-chain of that biome? Sadly, it has ruined the lively ecosystem of that small area of border biomes. As a newbie player I had no idea my capturing fish for food was depleting the total numbers. Had I known that I would have only fished for food in other biomes so as to leave my 'home base' area populated for the immersion/enjoyment from my beautiful observation sphere suspended out over the gorgeous kelp forest that is now barren. Please, if you've read this far - consider the implications of a real-life sort of ecosystem system when you have no means for fish to recover their populations. Peepers, Hoverfish, etc should be hatching fry in the sheltered safety of the coral reef in the shallows. It might take some time for them to grow to edible size, but it should be happening and it's not.

I have explored about half the map's biomes, build a Cyclops, a Seamoth, glider, two different habitats and found the Floater Island. I've been to the Aurora, I've done what I can to help in a RP sense in the game. I do understand it's still Early Access. I do also understand there are fish breeding methods coming that are in the experimental branch. I do not feel that would be enough without some sort of natural re-spawn as well (even at a slow rate) because not every player is going to be willing to become an undersea animal husbandry specialist. I personally look forward to the underwater farming and fisheries but can see how that won't appeal to everyone. Please consider the re-spawn issue.

In summary, I would like to thank the amazing developers, artists, internal testers and everyone involved in making this amazing game. It has blown me away with the atmosphere, immersion and enjoyment. I am a scuba diver in real life and a sea-life advocate, hence my gentle pressure on the ecosystem theme here. ;) While yes, this is an alien planet for our poor stranded survivor and not the same as planet earth's oceans (thank goodness because the things down in those deeps are terrifying!) - it's still an ocean with a fragile balance of life and death playing out every day. Our adventure should play some part in that balance and our actions should matter. The current mechanic of no fish respawns creates such an imbalance that I feel saddened by the barren lifelessness around my beautiful habitat and that cannot possibly be the aim of the creators who have obviously poured so much love into this game. <3

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Comments

  • MerandixMerandix NetherlandsMembers Join Date: 2016-01-05 Member: 210951Posts: 40 Fully active user
    I fully agree, in fact, respawning seems to be in limited effect now in experimental; as I'm finally able to repopulate an area by setting fish free from breeding tanks. I now have a habitat that is surrounded by teeming life, as it should be.

    The weird thing is though, the same fish that are so eager to mate in my breeding tanks ('water park'); refuse to mate in their native habitat. Also, predators seem too commonplace, and also do not have any regard for their own hunger. They just eat when they can. How did these ecosystems survive without us?

    Put all this together, and the fish even die out in a game where I do not require food. This is annoying. It does not encourage exploration at all, as you say. In fact, it is discouraging me from playing the game. I had to switch to experimental to keep myself entertained (and I can tell you, new farming mechanics, that's a bullseye).

    Below is my understanding of the game, as it plays right now in experimental:
    While I understand the survival aspect of this game, I'd prefer the survival to be dodging apex predators, above habitats rapidly dying even without my help. My own sense of this game makes me feel that research will be a far larger part of this game, with the new scanning mechanic coming up.
    This guy has crashed, but he has super advanced technology to help him survive; so after an initial brief struggle to survive, our ecologically minded protagonist will set off to research the biosphere of this strange watery planet to battle boredom and going crazy. Interwoven with all this is the driving background story Unknown Worlds is creating. But the setup seems very ecologically minded to me, so becoming self-sufficient would be a major goal for a scientist stranded in a fragile ecosystem that just got a hammering from a crashed, radiation leaking ship.

    Long story short, I fully agree with you. Though I suspect the devs will arrive at this conclusion as well. I already repopulate areas from breeding tanks. It is pointless to maintain this 'exploration drive'.
    VexareChaumurkyZergonuzDefectiveDelfin
  • Monk429Monk429 Members Join Date: 2015-12-30 Member: 210626Posts: 7 Fully active user
    edited January 2016
    New to the game and have put in some marathon runs in and have built just about everything there is to build.

    Also, new to the forums...hello :D

    Anyway, this is something I noticed right away as I started my first game. You can feel the shallows dying from moment one as it gets more and more sparse.
    In my second run, I thought I'd kill off the problem. I got good at killing Stalkers (just treat them like a bull fight and slash them as they go by), killed a metric ton of them and this seemed to help a little. However, I then ran into a stalker tooth shortage. Also, there were still stalkers I'd missed and they eventually, along with my own appetite, cleared out the shallows.

    Now, my thoughts on this is pretty in line with what others are saying. Finding food is not what encourages exploration. When I'm looking for food, I don't even pay attention to the surroundings. I just go as fast as I can in the Seamoth until I see something to eat, snatch it and return to base.

    In my opinion, two things should be true. One, the food needs of one human should not appreciably affect an ecosystem at scale. Second, there should be a feedback loop within the ecosystem. Meaning, if small fish populations start to dwindle, it should cause populations of predators to decline as they starve. The reprieve in the number of hunters should lead to a bounce back of smaller fish followed by a gradual bounce back of predators...rins and repeat.

    Further, farming, from the players perspective of a scientist should be mostly focused on creating and promoting new species. If I design what I think should be a successful small fish (in terms of population growth and survivability) I should be able to release a few of those specimens and see them either flourish or fail over time. Would love to have the surprise of one of my little super fish becoming dominant in multiple biomes.
    VexareElicioDefectiveDelfin
  • lxhlxh AustriaMembers Join Date: 2015-03-13 Member: 202074Posts: 252 Fully active user
    edited January 2016
    Vexare wrote: »
    Our adventure should play some part in that balance and our actions should matter.
    Now you're talking. That's exactly the point. Someone once wrote:
    There should be better gameplay with animals I agree, whether helping them, protecting them, or fighting them (which I'm against)
    Yea, sounds funny at first ... it's a contradiction. You wanna help them? They didn't ever need you. You want to protect them? From what, from space invaders? Don't forget the role you are playing here. YOU are the intruder, causing the imbalance! You really want to help them? Check out how! Or take the causalistic answer: Leave the planet as soon as possible!
    We shouldn't believe everything we think!
  • VexareVexare Austin,TXMembers Join Date: 2016-01-05 Member: 210942Posts: 86 Advanced user
    lxh wrote: »
    ... You wanna help them? They didn't ever need you. You want to protect them? From what, from space invaders? Don't forget the role you are playing here. YOU are the intruder, causing the imbalance! You really want to help them? Check out how! Or take the causalistic answer: Leave the planet as soon as possible!

    That bit about leaving them alone and not needing our help - isn't that the whole point?

    If we screwed up the ecosystem somehow because of crashing the equivalent of a nuclear bomb into the sea, and then find a way to halt that damage from further devastation ... shouldn't the remaining population of fishes and plants start to make a comeback? Shouldn't that be part of the 'story' driven motivation and progression? I feel like it should. I loved hearing the computer voice tell me how long it would take to start clearing the area of radiation. It's a great start to a great story.

    But aside from the story - for practical game mechanics, it does not make sense to state the reason for no fish respawns is to force the player into ever wider food hunting patterns. That's counter intuitive to what makes Subnautica so charming in the first place. To me, crafting progression and my natural love of exploration are the two biggest factors to forcing me into more dangerous areas ... not because I've sucked the last biome dry like some sort of parasite and now have to go find more fish to eat. :(
  • lxhlxh AustriaMembers Join Date: 2015-03-13 Member: 202074Posts: 252 Fully active user
    It might be very interesting to find out how to integrate into this ecosystem correctly. Therefore it was necessary to force the players attention first: There's something wrong! Maybe it is part of the story? Acquiring knowledge and smoothing out all bad side effects of your presence? Who knows ... would make sense if I'd like to colonize.
    We shouldn't believe everything we think!
    Vexare
  • VexareVexare Austin,TXMembers Join Date: 2016-01-05 Member: 210942Posts: 86 Advanced user
    Bugzapper wrote: »
    The argument that this mechanism promotes a wider radius of exploration is fairly weak. I can't imagine any player having built a base with all the trimmings and gadgets simply planting their butt for the duration of the game, doing nothing and munching on an endless supply of cured Peepers kindly bestowed by a convenient game mechanism. Exploration will happen anyway.

    That is the simple bottom line. Well said.

    Players are not going to stay in one place for the duration of their gaming experience. Why would anyone do that? If this is the only reason for not wanting respawning fish populations then I agree it is a very weak reason.

    Secondly, as you just stated, if a player is building a base or multiple vehicles with all the upgrades, they are going to already be doing a ton of exploration... as much as possible in the current limits of the game and what is completed. You'll want to go deeper ... so you will research and seek out the blueprints to make that possible for your submersible... you will end up searching high and low for that and the resources to build it ... that is progression and that is game-driven exploration.

    It's not about depleting fish supplies for a story-driven reason. Sadly, it seems the reason given for no fish respawn is punishment for doing what they encourage... building a base and living in a biome. I really don't understand that method. Encouragement not discouragement is a far better method for gaming progression.

    The last I'll say about this to the developers: Please re-train your predators, they are depleting the biomes of fish faster than I can. This happens in creative mode when not a single fish is eaten by the player character. Your ecosystem AI is failing.


    ArthurDentDefectiveDelfin
  • Ltdan83Ltdan83 MichiganMembers Join Date: 2016-01-05 Member: 210956Posts: 4
    I definitely have to agree with OP and everyone else on this. Fish need to respawn and breed but also I think there needs to be a slider or something to adjust how much of your time you want to devote to eating and drinking. I was at my temporary base in the safe shallows and I had just filled up on water and food to 100%. I went from there to the wreckage site to check things out. I spent maybe 5-10 minutes total including travel time and I was at 10% hydration and something like 20% food. Is it any wonder that we are depopulating entire ecosystems if we have to eat and drink so often. I want to have to eat and drink but not every 10 minutes or die.
    VexareArthurDentDefectiveDelfin
  • 04Leonhardt04Leonhardt I came here to laugh at youMembers Join Date: 2015-08-01 Member: 206618Posts: 1,213 Advanced user
    Merandix wrote: »
    Observed by myself, building a base on a cliff-side overhanging the Kelp Forests at the border of Safe Shallows reef system. Firstly, I depleted some of the fish population by eating them. Stalkers were eating fish in the Kelp Forest. They slowly began chasing fish into the shallows on the other side of my base and then they too vanished. Did they simply wander off, despawn or were eaten by something else? The only remaining fish in the narrow kelp forest area directly below my base are the Bleeders. They DO attack Stalkers. Have they become the top predator in the food-chain of that biome? Sadly, it has ruined the lively ecosystem of that small area of border biomes.

    Critters tend to avoid seabases and don't spawn around them.

  • terraformer004terraformer004 north america, central standard timeMembers Join Date: 2016-01-03 Member: 210832Posts: 49 Fully active user
    edited January 2016
    after reading what all of y'all have said, I think that fish should respawn. What if they only respawned in the "healthier" areas of the ocean, though? Within a certain radius of the crash, fish should begin dying off permanently until you fix the radiation. This raidius will increase visibly as you neglect the radiation. The A.I. will even tell you that this is happening. As the fish dye off, the reaper leviathans are forced to move closer to you to get food, so you'f better fix the radiation to keep the leviathans in their biome "cage."

    (maybe this comment fits better in the suggestions/ideas section, but...)

    either way, I noticed the no-respawn pretty quickly with the airsacks, and I thought it was a bug.
    TenebrousNovaVexareArthurDent
  • lxhlxh AustriaMembers Join Date: 2015-03-13 Member: 202074Posts: 252 Fully active user
    edited January 2016
    Well, everyone 's talking about 'exploration'. But what is it? What does it really mean? I've got the impression these guys mean sightseeing different biomes and watching colorful fish. This isn't any exploration at all if you ask me, this meets the expectations of a holiday trip! Yeah, let's take some nice pictures then ...

    I think the 'real' exploration starts by searching out all kinds of causal chains. Let me speculate just one possible chain for a moment: Picking up more than half of the acid mushrooms from an area causes certain foodfish to disappear ... causes other creatures like predators and other higher established lifeforms to disappear.

    However, it seems to be a very delicate ecosystem, and my observation gets me to the point: Disappearing fauna is pure purpose! So .. if my suspicion doesn't fool me, it was the first really intelligence demanding element of this game so far. My highest esteem to the Devs!
    Post edited by lxh on
    We shouldn't believe everything we think!
    Vexare
  • VexareVexare Austin,TXMembers Join Date: 2016-01-05 Member: 210942Posts: 86 Advanced user
    Update on what I've been doing since I posted my Ecosystem essay:

    I've taken it upon myself to be a coral reef custodian and I'm breeding fish like mad in the experimental version - they're all working so far. I'm doing a re-population project in the shallows to see if I can actually bring back large numbers of fish - but the Stalkers have moved in from the kelp forests and are non-stop feeding on whatever I release. I think this needs fixed - they don't seem to have an "I'm full now" meter!

    The new planter beds (for kelp mostly) are really cool and the 'water park' (large circular indoor tanks) fish hatcheries are awesome.

    I also notice far more 'ambient' schools of fish in experimental. Is this new too?

    All in all, I think a slow natural respawn of fish would still be a better solution, but at least now things don't look quite so barren and sadly buckets in the shallows near my base.

    PLEASE do some marine biology observational studies on the Stalkers ... they are depleting the fish populations far faster than the player character and they definitely move around a lot so they are able to clear out wide areas of fish. They do not ever seem to stop feeding. I can release fish from my hatcheries and they will actually come in and feed on them almost right away. While having my own pet Stalkers coming to feed on demand was kind of cool for the first hour, now it's just annoying. Re-population isn't going to be viable anywhere remotely close to the kelp forests and shallows biome borders.
    TenebrousNovaArtylicArthurDentDefectiveDelfin
  • lxhlxh AustriaMembers Join Date: 2015-03-13 Member: 202074Posts: 252 Fully active user
    edited January 2016
    I do agree, Vexare. There should be a 'natural' balancing mechanism working fine under certain conditions. Depending on given or changeable fauna, flora, temperature, depth and terrain relations, the challenge, or better the issue, was to figure out the right balance of each biome.

    That brings me back to my speculation ... purely hypothetical of course: If some fish need certain amounts of acid mushrooms to stay and to breed, but this special flora doesn't 'respawn', it might just take the occasional presence of predators (namely their excrements) to grow. Figuring out such comprehensible interrelations would cause this game to become real 'deep'.

    Anyway, respawning 'magically' was neither intelligent nor the right message.

    Edit: Vexare, on your special issue, did you ever contemplate that you're causing one more imbalance by feeding predators? How about 'taking out' the one or another?
    Post edited by lxh on
    We shouldn't believe everything we think!
  • ArtylicArtylic Members Join Date: 2016-01-07 Member: 211050Posts: 19 Fully active user
    (I admit i did not read the whole thing. I just wish to put my two cents out there real quick.) I read how the fish don't respawn and I agree that this should be looked into. Also I'm wondering if there is any plans of making the plant life regrow (Kelp, Coral, Mushrooms, Koosh, etc). I was also thinking it would be great to be able to make your own "hatchery" of sorts from gathered fish. Just a though. Don't mind me if I repeated something someone else already said :)
    Vexare
  • ArtylicArtylic Members Join Date: 2016-01-07 Member: 211050Posts: 19 Fully active user
    I love this post btw. I hope the Devs really take this to heart
    Vexare
  • lxhlxh AustriaMembers Join Date: 2015-03-13 Member: 202074Posts: 252 Fully active user
    Artylic wrote: »
    I love this post btw. I hope the Devs really take this to heart

    Yep, to me it's the most interesting discussion about Subnautica so far. And I'd like to encourage you to read the 'whole thing'.
    We shouldn't believe everything we think!
    Vexare
  • PeterManizePeterManize PandoliteMembers Join Date: 2015-12-28 Member: 210458Posts: 22 Fully active user
    edited January 2016
    I posted a suggestion LFBE - Lifeform Breed expanded if you want you can check it out and leave a feedback about my suggestion.
    - I don't defend a "Farm Mechanic" in my post i actually defend a respawn cycle ingame that is basically having the species to breed on their own and only allow the player to exploit the natural occurrence, by releasing wildlife in the environment, making the player more conscious about "overfishing".

    But we share the same opinion. Wildlife respawn should be implemented in the game, and not the way the Devs made it in the [December 2015 update] and previous ones.
    - Like you explained really well. Basically every biome has an X number of "alien fishes" after that there is nothing more and you are forced to move on. Then there are the safe shallows and kelp forest problem (in my opinion this is a huge flaw in game). Stalkers will kill every single species that live in the kelp forest and in the safe shallows!

    How do i know this? pay a close attention to the peepers population when you just spawned. Wait a day or even hours ingame, and you will witness that the stalkers literally chase them across the safeshallows and even to other biomes just to kill them, and in no time there will be no peepers anymore.

    After that the stalkers will hunt the boomerangs or the hoverfish and the airsacks start to disappear (i never hunt them i actually make water from bleach is so much better).

    Exploring and moving away to survive are 2 different things Devs! we can't explore and at the same time moving away to survive, since first you will spend more time in surviving than exploring no fun, just a painfull experience that you need to that before exploring and the major reason is that after all the biomes are wipped out clean. there will be nothing left for the player to do. and much of us want to actually be active build our own base yes but at the same time exploring the amazing biomes that the game has.

    If the devs are going to implement even more biomes, they seriously need to either change the food values, add "alien fishes" respawns or adding a new mechanic so that the game can live to its expectations!

    - This game has a possibility of being a big game, i believe it and you should consider that.
    Vexare
  • lxhlxh AustriaMembers Join Date: 2015-03-13 Member: 202074Posts: 252 Fully active user
    edited January 2016
    making the player more conscious about "overfishing".

    Stumbling into this alien world, causing a big bang and finally taking blindly what it needs (and more) to survive is definitely a heavy intervention, disruptive factor and causes unpredictable chain reactions in a fragile ecosystem. I've got the suspicion there might be some more difficile correlations than 'just' the result of overfishing. Who knows, maybe the Gasopods need a certain amount of quartz in their surroundings e.g.? However, I think figuring out how and reversing all the shit you've done seems to become the quintessence of the game. It is obvious .. who wants to colonize a dead planet?
    Post edited by lxh on
    We shouldn't believe everything we think!
    VexareDC_DarklingPeterManize
  • VexareVexare Austin,TXMembers Join Date: 2016-01-05 Member: 210942Posts: 86 Advanced user
    Monk429 wrote: »
    New to the game and have put in some marathon runs in and have built just about everything there is to build.

    Also, new to the forums...hello :D

    Anyway, this is something I noticed right away as I started my first game. You can feel the shallows dying from moment one as it gets more and more sparse.
    In my second run, I thought I'd kill off the problem. I got good at killing Stalkers (just treat them like a bull fight and slash them as they go by), killed a metric ton of them and this seemed to help a little. However, I then ran into a stalker tooth shortage. Also, there were still stalkers I'd missed and they eventually, along with my own appetite, cleared out the shallows.

    Now, my thoughts on this is pretty in line with what others are saying. Finding food is not what encourages exploration. When I'm looking for food, I don't even pay attention to the surroundings. I just go as fast as I can in the Seamoth until I see something to eat, snatch it and return to base.

    In my opinion, two things should be true. One, the food needs of one human should not appreciably affect an ecosystem at scale. Second, there should be a feedback loop within the ecosystem. Meaning, if small fish populations start to dwindle, it should cause populations of predators to decline as they starve. The reprieve in the number of hunters should lead to a bounce back of smaller fish followed by a gradual bounce back of predators...rins and repeat.

    Further, farming, from the players perspective of a scientist should be mostly focused on creating and promoting new species. If I design what I think should be a successful small fish (in terms of population growth and survivability) I should be able to release a few of those specimens and see them either flourish or fail over time. Would love to have the surprise of one of my little super fish becoming dominant in multiple biomes.

    Excellent post - I'm new too - welcome aboard!

    The predators are indeed currently a serious ecosystem problem at least in those areas that border biomes. I've also noticed sand sharks coming up from the grassy plains now as well. I thought they only stayed in the sandy bottoms down there but I have actually observed them swimming near the surface to chase fish so they too are even coming into the shallows at times. It's mainly the stalkers that are a serious threat to my game since I have built my home base on a cliff overlooking the kelp forests. Catch-and-release program does not work for me because the Stalkers see this as their own personal buffet. It's not repopulating fish successfully at all.
    Artylic wrote: »
    (I admit i did not read the whole thing. I just wish to put my two cents out there real quick.) I read how the fish don't respawn and I agree that this should be looked into. Also I'm wondering if there is any plans of making the plant life regrow (Kelp, Coral, Mushrooms, Koosh, etc). I was also thinking it would be great to be able to make your own "hatchery" of sorts from gathered fish. Just a though. Don't mind me if I repeated something someone else already said :)

    I don't know about the coral and koosh (does not currently seem to be a method to re-grow) but the acid mushrooms and kelp will be able to grow in the farming boxes and planters they are introducing in the next release. Since I'm playing experimental now, I am testing them out and they work pretty well though I'm not exactly sure how the acid mushrooms are supposed to pollinate and spread ... they don't seem to do anything in the planter box. The kelp does really well and you can re-plant just kelp pieces or the seed pods and re-grow either one for infinite supply on both. The fish hatcheries (waterpark build item) have a limit to how many fish they can hold but can be expanded in size (columns upward) I believe. I'm playing in survival mode so it's a little slower going for me on those.
    I posted a suggestion LFBE - Lifeform Breed expanded if you want you can check it out and leave a feedback about my suggestion.
    - I don't defend a "Farm Mechanic" in my post i actually defend a respawn cycle ingame that is basically having the species to breed on their own and only allow the player to exploit the natural occurrence, by releasing wildlife in the environment, making the player more conscious about "overfishing".

    But we share the same opinion. Wildlife respawn should be implemented in the game, and not the way the Devs made it in the [December 2015 update] and previous ones.
    - Like you explained really well. Basically every biome has an X number of "alien fishes" after that there is nothing more and you are forced to move on. Then there are the safe shallows and kelp forest problem (in my opinion this is a huge flaw in game). Stalkers will kill every single species that live in the kelp forest and in the safe shallows!

    How do i know this? pay a close attention to the peepers population when you just spawned. Wait a day or even hours ingame, and you will witness that the stalkers literally chase them across the safeshallows and even to other biomes just to kill them, and in no time there will be no peepers anymore.

    After that the stalkers will hunt the boomerangs or the hoverfish and the airsacks start to disappear (i never hunt them i actually make water from bleach is so much better).

    Exploring and moving away to survive are 2 different things Devs! we can't explore and at the same time moving away to survive, since first you will spend more time in surviving than exploring no fun, just a painfull experience that you need to that before exploring and the major reason is that after all the biomes are wipped out clean. there will be nothing left for the player to do. and much of us want to actually be active build our own base yes but at the same time exploring the amazing biomes that the game has.

    If the devs are going to implement even more biomes, they seriously need to either change the food values, add "alien fishes" respawns or adding a new mechanic so that the game can live to its expectations!

    - This game has a possibility of being a big game, i believe it and you should consider that.

    Thank you for the feedback! I will check out your suggestion post.

    You are observing the same thing I am about the Stalkers chasing fish far into the shallows - especially the faster moving Peepers. They seem to go after those first. Do they perhaps have AI that programs them to go after fish that have the highest nutritional value the same as we do? I have had stalkers bee-line straight for me as I am releasing Peepers from my fish hatcheries to gobble them up. So far I cannot keep Peepers repopulated at all. :( I am having a bit more success with Airsacks and Hoverfish. I've ignored the Boomerangs but will test them soon. I'm assuming if I release Reginalds they will just go back to the depths they are native to but I have not tested that yet. I have large populations of Hoopfish near my base (they actually clip into the base in experimental) and the Stalkers seem to ignore them. So I don't know if there's actually any sort of ecosystem mechanic at play or it's just coincidental.
    lxh wrote: »
    making the player more conscious about "overfishing".

    Stumbling into this alien world, causing a big bang and finally taking blindly what it needs (and more) to survive is definitely a heavy intervention, disruptive factor and causes unpredictable chain reactions in a fragile ecosystem. I've got the suspicion there might be some more difficile correlations than 'just' the result of overfishing. Who knows, maybe the Gasopods need a certain amount of quartz in their surroundings e.g.? However, I think figuring out how and reversing all the shit you've done seems to become the quintessence of the game. It is obvious .. who wants to colonize a dead planet?

    Well put and more great "food for thought" on this concerning issue!

    IS there a delicate balance at play (or will be in future game) that we need to be aware of as part of our long-term goals?

    The Aurora was sent to colonize - so it's primary mandate should have been balancing terraforming with ecosystem preservation! Humans cannot colonize a planet they are destroying ... we are not so doomed to repeat our mistakes are we?

    A tragic catastrophe happened. That's the premise to which we begin our journey. I love it. I am a huge marine ecology advocate (as if anyone couldn't tell from the long essays!) ... and I sincerely hope this is the backbone of the story - restoring balance to the world you are now the sole resident of, finding out why this happened in the first place, and possibly being rescued if that's even going to be an end goal. Personally my dream story would involve fixing the problems with the Aurora ... sinking it as a permanent underwater living reef, and building a sustainable colony with other people ... continuing on with the original mission of terraforming (islands?) but doing so responsibly and with care to the surrounding ecosystem. I'm sure even that ugly old "butt-chin" Reaper fits somewhere into that food chain ... but NOT with me as his/her direct link for food! ;)

    Thank you all who have contributed to this long discussion. I too hope the Developers enjoy our ecology debates and take some of our concerns to heart. <3

    Regards,

    The Rookie Marine Biologist,

    - Vex
  • RainstormRainstorm Montreal (Quebec)Members Join Date: 2015-12-15 Member: 210003Posts: 1,050 Advanced user
    edited January 2016
    i think we've discussed in great length the areas of the safe shallows and kelp forest, but also other biomes are affected specially the region surrounding the aurora. In my opinion the intense radiation around the aurora is far more damaging than the impact the player has of feeding himself to survive.

    I believe that the area around the aurora should start to drastically see fish population decrease after the first day (when you go into radiation territories you die in like one minute, the fauna shouldnt go about freely without dying). Also, the longer the player takes to visit the aurora and repair the damage the effects of radiation should increase over time as well as the range of the irradiated area surrounding the ship. Now, the reaper leviathan is a huge lifeform that could (to some extent or even completely) be resistant to radiation maybe.

    Unless the devs clearly states that the lifeforms of this planet are impervious to radiation, i do believe that radiation should have a huge impact on the fauna of the planet, way more than the simple player's impact anyway. Also i do agree that the stalkers feed way too much since the fish population doesnt regenerate over time, that needs to be fixed as well

    Vexare
  • VexareVexare Austin,TXMembers Join Date: 2016-01-05 Member: 210942Posts: 86 Advanced user
    Rainstorm wrote: »
    i think we've discussed in great length the areas of the safe shallows and kelp forest, but also other biomes are affected specially the region surrounding the aurora. In my opinion the intense radiation around the aurora is far more damaging than the impact the player has of feeding himself to survive.

    I believe that the area around the aurora should start to drastically see fish population decrease after the first day (when you go into radiation territories you die in like one minute, the fauna shouldnt go about freely without dying). Also, the longer the player takes to visit the aurora and repair the damage the effects of radiation should increase over time as well as the range of the irradiated area surrounding the ship. Now, the reaper leviathan is a huge lifeform that could (to some extent or even completely) be resistant to radiation maybe.

    Unless the devs clearly states that the lifeforms of this planet are impervious to radiation, i do believe that radiation should have a huge impact on the fauna of the planet, way more than the simple player's impact anyway. Also i do agree that the stalkers feed way too much since the fish population doesnt regenerate over time, that needs to be fixed as well

    I completely agree about the radiation issue!

    In fact, my first playthrough, before I read comments on Steam Community forums from a Developer stating the no fish respawn is intentional and to encourage players to explore more, I thought that must be the reason the fish were disappearing rapidly.

    I still hope they intend to change that to a more proactive type of system where yes, you can deplete fish populations, or, if you choose to ignore the radiation issues suffer the consequences of a barren reef in the shallows - BUT you can repair and heal that over time not just by fixing the radiation leaks but also by re-introducing fish populations back into the reef system. Currently in experimental it's possible to catch/breed/release fish but I am not seeing a significant impact on the reef system yet. I need further testing on it. Since I play in survival mode for the most realistic play experience, it takes time!

    If I repair the radiation problem, and I don't over fish food supplies in the reefs, I should like to see the flora and fauna respond and repopulate themselves over time ... slowly. I don't think that's the current game mechanic but I will continue to gently suggest that be the long-term goal for the player. I know they have a great story being developed and have said so here - not wanting to spoil it. I have every confidence they will handle this issue well within that context!
    Elicio
  • lxhlxh AustriaMembers Join Date: 2015-03-13 Member: 202074Posts: 252 Fully active user
    Ah, the Stalkers, the Stalkers. Whats the problem? It's strange and maybe only the big exception, but in my game they've all(!) disappeared in a distant surrounding of my main base, and I didn't kill them. Even the Gasopods disappeared completely. I cannot find one single exemplar. Hmmm, slowly I come to the conclusion, remembering my father's words decades ago: Greed is an ugly something.
    We shouldn't believe everything we think!
  • VexareVexare Austin,TXMembers Join Date: 2016-01-05 Member: 210942Posts: 86 Advanced user
    lxh wrote: »
    Ah, the Stalkers, the Stalkers. Whats the problem? It's strange and maybe only the big exception, but in my game they've all(!) disappeared in a distant surrounding of my main base, and I didn't kill them. Even the Gasopods disappeared completely. I cannot find one single exemplar. Hmmm, slowly I come to the conclusion, remembering my father's words decades ago: Greed is an ugly something.

    I do not think it's the exception regarding their vanishing. In my non-experimental build playthrough, they vanished from the kelp forest quite early on. I did find them further out in another part of the biome but not the crevice closest to my base. Someone said larger creatures avoid your base and maybe even de-spawn but I'm not sure if this is legit mechanics and no confirmation from Devs on that.

    In my Experimental Branch playthrough, I purposely built in a different part of the same biome bordering the same kelp forest but this time closer to the lava vent area and directly under a group of Gasopods. Sure enough, the Gasopods have now vanished without my interference with them directly so I suspect building a base may have some effect on their pathing or something.

    Still, that should have no bearing on the Stalkers. I wasn't IN their biome technically and other than an observation sphere, nothing extended to portions where they swim regularly.

    The Stalkers are still there, they have chased fish to other parts of the biome because they have depleted that area. That's my final assessment on it. THEY are causing the mechanic breakdown the Developers are forcing... deplete resources, move to another area. I don't think they got the memo on conserving fish populations as I am trying in vain to do.

    Elicio
  • ElicioElicio MexicoMembers Join Date: 2016-01-07 Member: 211054Posts: 6 Fully active user
    edited January 2016
    Hello everyone! New to the forums too! :)
    I holehartedly agree with this, and would like to add my point of view too.
    I immediately noticed the no respawn on creatures too, it quickly becomes evident and the biomes take a very sad and dismal look.
    Here is my two cents as a gamer and as a scientist ( I have a mayor in Oceanography, specialized in fisheries and acuaculture):

    1) As a gamer: having no respawn whatsover to force exploration does not make much sense really, gamers like to explore and discover beautiful landscapes. If their own exploration ends up decimating the biomes, its actually counter productive; it gives the player a feeling, as explained before, of being a destructive parasite that in the long run will end up decimating the whole planet, regardless of his efforts, unless he dedicates a very significant time to breeding fish (more on that later).

    2) As a scientist-gamer: Sure, you can not have the respawn rate as in RL, but having a respawn rate adecuate to the game's time would not only avoid the decimation of ecosystems, but would allow players to explore and balance their predations on the different ecosystems and according to the different species re-spawn rates. Sure, if a player overhunts the creatures, the ecosystems would die off. Lets say, for example, that there would need to be at least 2 of certain species in the local biome for x species to respawn. In this way, if he balances his predations he could have a base anywhere on any biome and, through thought out predation, keep it healthy and thriving. Right now there is no option for that, no matter how much he tries to spread his predations, in the end all landscapes around his base or bases will end up barren and dead, since there is only so far the player can go before he needs to eat whatever he caught in the first place.

    3) As a scientist: Even without an external active and strong predator (the player), the ecosystems end up becoming dead as it is, just from the natural game predators. This makes no sense ecologicaly and makes an overall poor playing experience from the ecological balance point. Example: Lets say that the world could continue to run without the player. It would still end up barren. Even if the Aurora had never crashed. Even if the player had not been the lone surviver :D

    Lets say that, like Vexare (and myself), keeping the biomes healthy and looking lush and beautiful is a priority. We could dedicate our game time to breeding as many species as possible to repopulate decimated biomes. But forcing this as the only course of action if one cares to have still-beautifull biomes around whatever area the base is in is a huge constraint form the gaming point of view, specially if the no-respawn is to force exploration, since players that care about the health of the ecosystems would spend most of their time trying to repopulate the biomes through their own efforts instead of exploring, and those who not would end up having a still dead biome around wherever they go!

    In resume. I love this game...utterly, and I check daily to see if a new creature, biome or feature has been added. But without creature respawns the surrounding biomes quickly becomes a dead lonely place filled with some hungry predators (that will end up dead too due to fights with them). The only way to keep the beautiful world beautiful is by not being there....which does not makes much sense as a player.
    I really hope the dev team takes this into consideration and I am glad this was brought to the forums in such a clear and well argumented way. Thats why I joined the forums! After finding this post!

    Be well everyone, and again, thanks to the dev team for one of the most beautiful games I have seen in years.


    Post edited by Elicio on
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  • lxhlxh AustriaMembers Join Date: 2015-03-13 Member: 202074Posts: 252 Fully active user
    edited January 2016
    I see all your arguments and they seem to be valid at first. But we have no idea how it was before our appearance. We just don't know enough. Case Peepers: What do they eat, what kind of symbiosis and which role are they playing within, what conditions do they really need to breed? All unanswered questions. All we see is their role in the food chain and if I get you right you mean: Let's drop out some homegrown peepers and the world is rescued. And btw please fix the damn Stalkers, they act wrong. Hmmm, I am not that sure about it ... I'd be disappointed if it was that easy.
    What if it was a microorganismic problem? Yeah, not to proof atm and maybe part of the story. Well, for my part it makes no sense to ask for a specific solution when the true scale of its problem isn't totally clear.
    Post edited by lxh on
    We shouldn't believe everything we think!
  • HumpfyGabHumpfyGab GermanyMembers Join Date: 2016-01-02 Member: 210798Posts: 10 Fully active user
    I am sure that all the enviormental mechanics are to implemented yet.

    At the moment the biomes look to me like raw drafts of what's to come.
    To me all the biomes lack the things that make them alive.

    Over some ingame weeks I get the impression that all the biomes get more end more lifeless. That doesn`t seem to be the dynamic one would eypect from a balanced ecosystem.

    On the other hand the Aurora is much to small to kill off all lifestock in the imidiate area, istn`t it?
    In this case the player would be dying too.
    So, is the planet a dying planet?

    I don`t think so. I think the developers just didn`t work on it by now. It was not nessecary.
    We mustn't forget we are still in early developement. Literally nothing needs to stay this way.

    In the current experimental version the developers introduce the reseach mechanic.
    I guess this will be the beginning of enviormental systems like regrowth and procreation in bioms (and possibly other things).

    We just don`t know, what the developers have planed storywise.


    But the ideas in this threat are somewhat relevant to the overall gameplay and atmospere and so I'm sure the developers will take this in consieration soon.
    In fact there are many threats that reflect this one in terms of concerns about the ecosystems in SubNautiica and that can`t escape the developers' notice.

    So are the ecosystems of the planet dying off?
    There is an easy answer to that: No. There aren`t any yet.
    But I am sure they will come.

    (Exelent dicussion by the way.)
  • lxhlxh AustriaMembers Join Date: 2015-03-13 Member: 202074Posts: 252 Fully active user
    edited January 2016
    HumpfyGab wrote: »
    the Aurora is much to small to kill off all lifestock in the imidiate area, istn`t it?

    Hehehe, that's a good one. I may point at the little stone ... causing an avalanche, the little virus causing a pandemic disease, the little spark causing the conflagration, the little ... ah, I guess you've got me. In this context the Aurora and even the player himself is greatly 'big' enough to tip over the whole fragile system.

    What stays is the question: Do the players really like to play that role? Although it was the very first interesting and challenging turning point of this game, it seems most players want to live their game lives in a beautiful, forgiving and magically stable paradise. Hm, that was boring, pity and no message at all. Go on, start the true exploration, check out the probs and do all you can to deserve your paradise!
    We shouldn't believe everything we think!
  • ElicioElicio MexicoMembers Join Date: 2016-01-07 Member: 211054Posts: 6 Fully active user
    edited January 2016
    lxh wrote: »
    HumpfyGab wrote: »
    the Aurora is much to small to kill off all lifestock in the imidiate area, istn`t it?


    What stays is the question: Do the players really like to play that role? Although it was the very first interesting and challenging turning point of this game, it seems most players want to live their game lives in a beautiful, forgiving and magically stable paradise. Hm, that was boring, pity and no message at all. Go on, start the true exploration, check out the probs and do all you can to deserve your paradise!

    I am sorry lxh. But I think that saying that what has been pointed out as a "magical, stable, forgiving" paradise is not very objective. I can tell you, with true scientific knowledge for what I am saying, that unless it is an ecosystem or ecosystems already dying, with limited biodivesity and already precariously on the edge of ecological collapse, a single superpredator would not decimate an entire biome, and even less probable would be that predators that are natural to the system would cause that, since ecosystems have natural resilance mechanisms that regulate precisely that kind of unbalance, to a certain degree, before total collapse. What has been suggested is by no means "magicaly forgiving", its just ecologically stable and logical. Even from the storyline point (which, true enough, we know little about right now), one would ask...would a massive colonization endevour (as clearly shown by the Aurora and the type of tech used) would be aimed at a dying planet, so incredibly damaged that a single human could overpredate different ecosystems for miles around, specially since the planet has native superpredators that outsize by hundreds the size (and therefore food requierments) of a single human ?

    Even in Real Life incredibly delicate marine biomes of this planet, Earth, that are really on the verge of ecological collapse, for example, Real Life Coral Reefs, much is needed to tip the balance towards total decimation and extintion. Like its really happening. And even so its taking decades. And even so still things can be done to advert that. So...no, I am sorry, what has been suggested by no means tips the balance towards magically forgiving and stable. Just ecologycally consistent and, as true ecosystems are, resilent to change to a certain degree.

    I do agree much more though with the idea that this is still an early access proyect and much may change yet, as suggested by HumpfyGab. Those are some very good points and much of what we see is likely to be very different before the end. But, the point of the forums and posts is precisely that, for players to offer suggestions and their viewpoints not only on what makes logical sense, but what makes the game more enjoyable. Since this is indeed a game, and games are to be enjoyed, even if challenging.

    Maybe, since its already in place, there could be a setting for "Dying Planet" for people who like such a challenge and enjoy playing the scourge, and re-spawning be implemented for people who would like the experience of a more ecologically resilent enviroment.
    Post edited by Elicio on
    TenebrousNovaVexareHumpfyGabDefectiveDelfin
  • lxhlxh AustriaMembers Join Date: 2015-03-13 Member: 202074Posts: 252 Fully active user
    edited January 2016
    Thanks a lot for this scientific point of view, Elicio. I must admit, I have no Major in Alien Worlds Ecology and no idea how these worlds would react to totally foreign bacteria, viruses, nuclear disasters and alien intruders, causing much more and faster environmental changes than any other natural occurrence before. I agree, I have no idea. But don't tell me you have.

    Reading between your lines raises my notion that you'd simply like to play a 'laid back game' just to forget all the issues of your daily work. I can understand that. Who wants to be faced with exactly the same issues by a game in his spare time ...

    How about a 'Vanilla Setting' for people who don't like to search for solutions?
    We shouldn't believe everything we think!
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