Ideas for improving the dive suits

gamer1000kgamer1000k Members Join Date: 2017-04-29 Member: 230121Posts: 313 Advanced user
edited May 2017 in Ideas and Suggestions
I've always thought that it was pretty ridiculous that at any time, regardless of depth or temperature, the player can jump out of their sub/exosuit with just a diving mask and a wetsuit. The ALZ is actually extremely forgiving compared to what would be expected in a mostly sealed cavern with open lava pits. Water at 1500m boils at 300 degrees C, so that would be the lower limit of the temperature in the cavern. Even at the claimed 70 C, this would still quickly result in burns to any exposed skin, not to mention the pressure would crush internal organs. Despite all this, the player only takes relatively minimal damage while outside of a base/vehicle in this extreme environment.

The PDA has a handwavy data entry about the suit being built to withstand even the most extreme environments, but that protection would only apply if the suit was actually fully sealed. In the case of extreme pressure, the suit would need to be hardened on the outside instead of being flexible to prevent the occupant from being crushed. The basic suit should also be fully sealed, as per the PDA it is primarily intended to be a survival flight suit. A big risk in space is depressurization, and any suit designed to cope with that would need to be fully sealed.

What I would like to see is a tiered dive suit system. Each tier would have progressively higher depth and damage resistance at the cost of mobility.

I can see four tiers that follow the depth limits of the subs:
1. Basic survival suit. Maximum mobility, depth limited to 200m.
2. Pressurized dive suit. Slightly reduced mobility, depth limited to 500m.
3. Light hardsuit. Reduced mobility, depth limited to 900m.
4. Reinforced hardsuit. Significantly reduced mobility, depth limited to 1500m.

Going beyond the depth limit of a suit inflicts damage to the player at a rate proportional to how much the depth limit has been exceeded by. This would allow the player temporarily exceed the depth limit without dying instantly, or even necessarily taking significant damage. However, jumping out of an exosuit/cyclops in the ILZ with just the basic survival suit on should result in instant death.

As an endgame item, maybe we could have an Alien Survival suit that is unlocked in a deep precursor cache or base. This could be a suit of their magic ultra-strong material that supports diving to 1700m but has the mobility of the basic dive suit. It could also be effectively powered armor and give bonus sprinting and jumping on land as a side bonus.

A separate upgrade slot (or two) could hold different upgrades that provide the functionality of the different suits we have now (radiation shielding, extra armor, wastewater recycling) and maybe some new functionality like temperature resistance or stealth/camo. For the flipper slot, maybe we could also get something like weighted boots that lets the player walk on the seafloor without an exosuit (might be useful for exploring certain caves/wrecks).

The rebreather could also be reworked into a suit module that functions in the same way as a power efficiency module but with oxygen usage.

I would also like to see a flashlight built into the suit. I hate it when games make you choose between carrying a flashlight or using a gun/tool, especially with how dark many of the wrecks are inside. This could be a weaker flashlight than the standalone one (like what the lasercutter has) to make room for both.

At this point in game development I don't see the dive suit mechanics changing much, but at least maybe we'll be able to do a mod someday to implement something like this.
Sir_AflackZeddIsDead

Comments

  • jamintheinfinite_1jamintheinfinite_1 JupiterMembers Join Date: 2016-12-03 Member: 224524Posts: 1,062 Advanced user
    Answer: video game logic
    You probably also know me as Terranhawk, aka, the guy who has a Starcraft name but has never touched or seen a Starcraft game in his life/
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  • BossblasterBossblaster NoneMembers Join Date: 2017-02-17 Member: 228004Posts: 56 Advanced user
    Answer: video game logic

    Too much video game logic
    The mezmur is beautiful, sadly, it want to bite you until your dead... then it will keep biting you.
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  • scifiwriterguyscifiwriterguy Sector ZZ-9-Plural Z-αMembers Join Date: 2017-02-14 Member: 227901Posts: 858 Advanced user
    edited May 2017
    I can understand why there's a call for this, but it really isn't needed, even from a realism perspective. Testing by COMEX has shown that humans can function without an ADS (Atmospheric Diving Suit - a hardshell, as you put it) down to at least 750m. That was a test, but we've done open-water live-dives at 534m with no ill effects. While the tests didn't simulate deeper pressures, but based on the results of the 750m test, it's reasonable to expect even better performance. Humans don't need structural protection from pressure until you get to truly ungodly levels, but we do need to switch off gas mixtures the deeper we go because gases under pressure start behaving differently - oxygen becomes highly corrosive, nitrogen becomes a narcotic, and so on. By using hydrox - a hydrogen-oxygen mix - divers were able to work at real and simulated depths down to 701m.

    And don't forget, freedivers hit 500m without trouble, too. From a diving perspective, that's a completely different story but the pressure is easily survivable. You're not going to squish. :)

    The problems of deep diving are twofold: gas mix and decompression. Compressing a human isn't really a problem. Decompressing, though, is a serious headache - and a lethal one if not done correctly. Decompress too fast and dissolved blood gas bubbles out of solution - and one thing your circulatory system doesn't like is bubbles.

    More on this, if you're interested:
    The result is DCS - decompression sickness, popularly known as "the bends." Apart from being incredibly painful, it can be lethal and - contrary to popular belief - doesn't always strike immediately. Only about 40% of cases present symptoms in the first hour, 60% within the first three. Some cases remain asymptomatic for up to 48 hours, but that's a rarity.

    Even correct decompression still gives you a form of DCS. It's called dysbaric osteonecrosis or DON. Basically, correct decompression still results in very, very small bubbles in the bloodstream. They're too tiny to be a fatal risk, but they can jam up capillaries. Divers who go through many compress-decompress cycles in a year end up causing damage with these capillary blocking bubbles, the most noticeable effect being bone death. It's common enough to be considered an occupational hazard of diving to varying degrees. DON affects about 50% of commercial divers in Japan, while in the US and UK the rate is about 15-17%. Diving fishermen in Hawaii have the highest rate of around 65%.

    The other problem is gas mix. You can't breathe normal air at depth; if you don't kill yourself outright from any of a number of complications, you're going to really stretch your decompression requirements. Consequently, trimix, heliox, and hydrox are used starting at various depths to keep the decompression risks lower. You really only want to breathe straight air down to about 40m. Beyond that, you should be on trimix, is oxygen/helium/nitrogen in a 21/35/44 blend, and that'll do you down to about 300m or so. Hydrox (hydrogen/oxygen) starts around there and can take you down to any survivable depth.

    Once you get down to about 800m, though, you're right; you'd need an ADS - the PRAWN would do nicely - but you couldn't get out of it. The sudden pressure change would be at least incapacitating.

    You're right that realism is kind of taking a backseat here. From a gameplay perspective, I can see why they did things they way they did; for the sake of approachability and a manageable learning curve, they simplified things. And for a wide audience, the current model is probably the best balance. But if you were to implement different gas mixture bottles with a mod, gating damage at various depths for using the wrong gas like you suggested, I think the diving community would give you a pretty enthusiastic round of applause for the realistic gesture. :)
    Post edited by scifiwriterguy on
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  • gamer1000kgamer1000k Members Join Date: 2017-04-29 Member: 230121Posts: 313 Advanced user
    @scifiwriterguy I was referencing the wikipedia page on deep diving while I was thinking about this, I didn't realize that the Comex Hydra dives didn't use a hardsuit.

    That makes more sense, although for the lava caves the temperature issue still stands. Maybe we could get a thermal suit for this environment? The player already takes heat damage and this could mitigate that damage.
    scifiwriterguy0x6A7232
  • scifiwriterguyscifiwriterguy Sector ZZ-9-Plural Z-αMembers Join Date: 2017-02-14 Member: 227901Posts: 858 Advanced user
    gamer1000k wrote: »
    @scifiwriterguy I was referencing the wikipedia page on deep diving while I was thinking about this, I didn't realize that the Comex Hydra dives didn't use a hardsuit.

    That makes more sense, although for the lava caves the temperature issue still stands. Maybe we could get a thermal suit for this environment? The player already takes heat damage and this could mitigate that damage.

    Sounds like a great idea. :) The coding is also in place already; the radiation damage/mitigation that the rad suit uses. It'd probably be an easy flip to duplicate the code and change the damage type to heat.

    Yeah, the COMEX guys are...well, they'd probably prefer "daring," but personally I'd go with "insane." ;)
    The poor mesmer. Beautiful fish. Too bad it's named after a jerk.
  • 0x6A72320x6A7232 USMembers Join Date: 2016-10-06 Member: 222906Posts: 5,270 Advanced user
    gamer1000k wrote: »
    @scifiwriterguy I was referencing the wikipedia page on deep diving while I was thinking about this, I didn't realize that the Comex Hydra dives didn't use a hardsuit.

    That makes more sense, although for the lava caves the temperature issue still stands. Maybe we could get a thermal suit for this environment? The player already takes heat damage and this could mitigate that damage.

    Sounds like a great idea. :) The coding is also in place already; the radiation damage/mitigation that the rad suit uses. It'd probably be an easy flip to duplicate the code and change the damage type to heat.

    Yeah, the COMEX guys are...well, they'd probably prefer "daring," but personally I'd go with "insane." ;)

    @nesrak1 Mod idea, if you're interested ▲ (Thermal resistant suit based on rad suit)
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  • nesrak1nesrak1 PlacesMembers Join Date: 2016-12-04 Member: 224536Posts: 299 Advanced user
    edited May 2017
    nesrak1 wrote: »
    @scifiwriterguy So you want to a mod that has a habitat builder as an arm?
    Only problem is right now that TechTypes now make some weird error and I haven't had the time to figure out the problem so anything that's what you would think as in minecraft as an "entity" or an "item" (not the world like terrain or the aurora) will not be able to be added atm until I fix it.
    edit 5 million: that includes arms, although like I said, that doesn't mean it's not possible, just that it will take me a little longer.
  • nesrak1nesrak1 PlacesMembers Join Date: 2016-12-04 Member: 224536Posts: 299 Advanced user
    edited May 2017
    @0x6A7232 @scifiwriterguy Never mind about the error. Items work again :​D
    I guess when my cat jumped on my keyboard, she pressed some keys while I had the string "TechType" selected and it became "TechTypethyfeawaqdwcDWAW" or something like that
  • scifiwriterguyscifiwriterguy Sector ZZ-9-Plural Z-αMembers Join Date: 2017-02-14 Member: 227901Posts: 858 Advanced user
    edited May 2017
    nesrak1 wrote: »
    @0x6A7232 @scifiwriterguy Never mind about the error. Items work again :​D
    I guess when my cat jumped on my keyboard, she pressed some keys while I had the string "TechType" selected and it became "TechTypethyfeawaqdwcDWAW" or something like that

    I can understand it. Subnautica is a water game, cats hate water...it fits. :)

    @gamer1000k, looks like Nesrak is making that thermal suit idea a reality!
    Post edited by scifiwriterguy on
    The poor mesmer. Beautiful fish. Too bad it's named after a jerk.
  • nesrak1nesrak1 PlacesMembers Join Date: 2016-12-04 Member: 224536Posts: 299 Advanced user
    edited May 2017
    nesrak1 wrote: »
    @0x6A7232 @scifiwriterguy Never mind about the error. Items work again :​D
    I guess when my cat jumped on my keyboard, she pressed some keys while I had the string "TechType" selected and it became "TechTypethyfeawaqdwcDWAW" or something like that

    I can understand it. Subnautica is a water game, cats hate water...it fits. :)
    Cat just puked coughed up hairball. Definitely hates water hair?.
    @gamer1000k, looks like Nesrak is making that thermal suit idea a reality!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcSA6bwLENk

    gamer1000k
  • gamer1000kgamer1000k Members Join Date: 2017-04-29 Member: 230121Posts: 313 Advanced user
    @nesrak1 Nice work, I didn't expect to see someone whip up a mod for this idea so quickly.

    Will this be available to download at some point?

    Also, is there a Subnautica/Unity modding tutorial you would recommend that I could take a look at?
  • nesrak1nesrak1 PlacesMembers Join Date: 2016-12-04 Member: 224536Posts: 299 Advanced user
    @gamer1000k
    Download, yes. I will put it on github along with the pixel art if the bugs can be fixed.
    Modding tutorial, no. But I can teach you later if you want.
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