Why you don't use the nuclear reactor

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  • BigGrayGolemBigGrayGolem Lima Peru Join Date: 2018-04-24 Member: 240304Members Posts: 31 Advanced user

    Higuide wrote: »
    its just easier to daisy chain transmitters while using a cluster of thermals. nuclear just too much maintence to dedicate entire trips for uranite and lead. problem is that it lasts so short of a time. should at least have a buff that it lasts longer than other sources

    It is a bit wacky that nuke doesn't last very long; it should be the most powerful energy source in the game.
  • Crewman87Crewman87 Join Date: 2016-12-14 Member: 224967Members Posts: 256 Advanced user
    edited May 2018
    the reactor rods don't last enough
    Honestly, I only use it if I have excess materials for the rods. Otherwise I don't even bother. Thermal energy and a few Bioreactors are plenty enough and much easier to maintain. I would use the Nuclear power if it would last for a long time.
    subsig.jpg
  • Goldengoose7Goldengoose7 California USA Join Date: 2018-04-26 Member: 240346Members Posts: 43 Advanced user
    Skope wrote: »
    B-B-But...

    I do use the Nuclear Reactor...

    Same here. I am still on the original rods too.

  • WaterBatmanWaterBatman UK Join Date: 2019-01-11 Member: 248543Members Posts: 35 Advanced user
    It takes too much maintenance to keep it running
    For me its a tossup between:

    - It takes too much maintenance to keep it running
    - Rods dont last long enough

    On a few occasions now I have spent through all 4 rods. I seem to have absolutely no issue gobbling up power. I just wish the reactor rods lasted longer so I get more out of my 3 uraninite!

    I also have used them in some distant bases and they die out when Im not there to put in more crystals, so that's a pain, and why I would say they take too much maintenance.

    The bioreactor and alien containment combo (if there is no thermal) is a great option (albeit you need to use the fish distribution mod to make it automatic). Talking about mods, I also use the reactor rod refill mod that only requires 3 uraninite to fill it up again, no glass etc. The mods really do make this game so much better.
  • CochonouCochonou France Join Date: 2019-01-19 Member: 249024Members Posts: 71 Advanced user
    I have used it on a secondary base in the lost river with two rods, I only had to change one of them.
    It seems to be a fine energy source for me.
  • gamer1000kgamer1000k Join Date: 2017-04-29 Member: 230121Members Posts: 313 Advanced user
    edited February 21
    the reactor rods don't last enough
    Since this thread has recently been resurrected, I'll put my thoughts in.

    IMHO, the whole power system in Subnautica is an inconsistent mess. Sadly, since the game is now "done", there likely won't be any improvements, so I'm keeping an eye on mods that will hopefully rebalance the game.

    The incredibly weak nuclear reactors are just one part of the whole issue. Fundamentally, the value of 1 energy unit varies wildly and inconsistently between all parts of the game. In the PDA, an ion cube is described as containing 5 kilotons worth of energy. An ion battery which is crafted with the cube holds 500 units of energy, so a regular battery with 100 units of energy supposedly holds the equivalent energy to a kiloton of TNT (which is completely absurd in its own right). So by this measurement a single unit of energy is equivalent to 10 tons of TNT, which makes absolutely zero sense compared to all the other energy generation in the game (including the nuclear reactor).

    If you apply this value to the various powered items in the game, it's pretty obvious to me that the devs slapped arbitrary nice-looking values on everything with zero regard to whether it actually made sense or not. With the value above, the flashlight is using 10 tons of TNT every few seconds to light up the area in front of you, and sonar pings are more powerful than navy anti-submarine depth charges and should be able to kill reapers with ease.

    Also, the water filtration machine uses FAR, FAR too much energy, but at the same time oxygen production is free as long as the base is powered despite the reaction being the reverse of burning rocket fuel (splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen is EXTREMELY energy intensive). This is completely backwards and shatters a lot of the immersion in the game.

    Realism aside, from a gameplay standpoint (the focus of this thread) the various power sources aren't really balanced against each other at all. Thermal is just OP as long as you're near a vent (infinite power with no maintenance), and nuclear just doesn't last long enough for its cost. I think the intent of nuclear was to provide the ability to build a large, deep base anywhere and still be able to easily power it, but most of the good base locations also have thermal vents nearby, and for the few that don't bioreactors are much more cost effective and don't require constantly hunting for a specialized nonrenewable fuel resource since the reactors don't last long to begin with.

    If I was going to rebalance the energy system, I would make the big power draw be oxygen production and base/vehicle construction, followed by hydroponics and water purification. Bases near the surface could use the pipes to bring down oxygen for effectively free like it is now. Each base module (except foundations) would require a bit of energy to maintain, so larger bases would require more baseline power generation. I would also add some additional high-power endgame base modules (base shields for example, maybe even the ability to use a shield to create a large air bubble and drive water out of a given area so you can walk around on the seafloor like dry land). I would also make vehicle fabrication use much more energy (seamoth and prawn would be crafted at moonpools and use lots of energy), Cyclops would be constructed at an external large shipyard module (which could also dock the Cyclops to a base). Base construction energy costs would also be increased (fabricator would be used to create base prefab components which use a lot of energy, which would then be placed by the habitat builder).

    Solar is fine as a starter energy source, and feels alright for now once the value of 1 energy unit is redefined to something more logical. Bioreactors feel pretty good as well. Thermal would be nerfed to have about the same output as a bioreactor, and if possible limit 1 thermal plant per vent (i.e. they snap to the vent) so they can't be spammed. Nuclear would be greatly buffed so a single reactor can easily power a large base for a long time (at least a couple in-game months). The fabrication cost could be greatly increased as well, especially for the rods (IRL, only a small percentage of uranium is of the correct type for reactors and needs to be expensively refined), maybe with a specialized refinery module (which could also potentially craft refined biofuel for the bioreactor with higher energy density).

    I would also separate energy storage from energy generation and add new base components for energy storage, and small temporary bases could be run from power cells. Each base module (room, corridor, etc) would have a bit of oxygen storage, and dedicated oxygen storage modules could also be built.

    Oxygen generation would require a special module that uses a massive amount of power to provide a suitable load for nuclear plants. Vehicles would likewise have limited oxygen supplies, although the Cyclops could be upgraded with an oxygen generation module (and a nuclear power plant).

    Additionally, I would replace indoor grow beds with an aquarium/alien containment-style hydroponics unit that requires a decent amount of energy to run, similar to the alien containment. Decorative plant pots would still be available, but the food plants couldn't be planted in them.

    Anyways, just a few random thoughts if I ever get around to attempting to mod Subnautica.
    JimboJamboDarkStar88
  • JimboJamboJimboJambo Join Date: 2018-01-25 Member: 235708Members Posts: 22 Advanced user
    gamer1000k wrote: »
    (...)

    Oxygen generation would require a special module that uses a massive amount of power to provide a suitable load for nuclear plants. Vehicles would likewise have limited oxygen supplies, although the Cyclops could be upgraded with an oxygen generation module (and a nuclear power plant).

    (...)
    I agree with this entire post save for this part. Oxygen is probably the most important component of an underwater base next to having a floor and solid walls, and I'm actually glad the devs prioritized convenience over realism in this case. Every base is going to need oxygen, so why make the player jump through another hoop every single time? And unlike power, which bases also need, there is never a need for more oxygen than what's required to keep you alive, so there will never be a reason to build more one module.

    One way I could see a system like this working is if there was a greater demand for oxygen at lower depths, not only due to the increased consumption thanks to pressure but also because of the lower concentration of dissolved O2 in deep water (assuming we're filtering it from the water rather than generating it from H2O). However, keeping up with that demand seems more like it would be brain-dead busywork rather than an interesting challenge. Base below 100m? Build two O2 generators. Under 200m? Build three. Realistic? Probably. Fun? Maybe not.

    Furthermore, I don't disagree that oxygen production should draw power in principle, but why bother keeping track of that when every base that uses power is also going to need oxygen? Again, oxygen demands will never be higher or lower than what is already produced, so we can just assume that the minimum output of every power module is enough to do the job, and the power we actually consume is whatever is left over.
    gamer1000k
  • gamer1000kgamer1000k Join Date: 2017-04-29 Member: 230121Members Posts: 313 Advanced user
    edited February 22
    the reactor rods don't last enough
    JimboJambo wrote: »
    gamer1000k wrote: »
    (...)

    Oxygen generation would require a special module that uses a massive amount of power to provide a suitable load for nuclear plants. Vehicles would likewise have limited oxygen supplies, although the Cyclops could be upgraded with an oxygen generation module (and a nuclear power plant).

    (...)
    I agree with this entire post save for this part. Oxygen is probably the most important component of an underwater base next to having a floor and solid walls, and I'm actually glad the devs prioritized convenience over realism in this case. Every base is going to need oxygen, so why make the player jump through another hoop every single time? And unlike power, which bases also need, there is never a need for more oxygen than what's required to keep you alive, so there will never be a reason to build more one module.

    One way I could see a system like this working is if there was a greater demand for oxygen at lower depths, not only due to the increased consumption thanks to pressure but also because of the lower concentration of dissolved O2 in deep water (assuming we're filtering it from the water rather than generating it from H2O). However, keeping up with that demand seems more like it would be brain-dead busywork rather than an interesting challenge. Base below 100m? Build two O2 generators. Under 200m? Build three. Realistic? Probably. Fun? Maybe not.

    Furthermore, I don't disagree that oxygen production should draw power in principle, but why bother keeping track of that when every base that uses power is also going to need oxygen? Again, oxygen demands will never be higher or lower than what is already produced, so we can just assume that the minimum output of every power module is enough to do the job, and the power we actually consume is whatever is left over.

    Fair enough, and that does make sense from a gameplay standpoint without breaking realism too much to have oxygen production included with base module energy usage. I like the idea of energy usage increasing with depth, beyond increased oxygen generation needs that also could make sense with some sort of energy shield reinforcement to withstand the increased pressure. This could be applied to vehicles as well, where they have a standby power usage relative to the depth. Would probably need to buff the power cells though (which given the pitiful runtime of the vehicles is something they probably need anyways).

    On top of all that, it would probably be a lot easier to mod into the game as well without needing to keep track of separate O2 pools for each base and vehicle.

    Another random thought on energy is to change up the battery recipes. I've always been annoyed at the current battery recipe since copper is such a necessary early game resource (plus copper and acid do not a battery make), but lead acid batteries are incredibly common IRL, and lead is an early-game resource looking for more use cases. Maybe have a crude battery recipe available at the start with a fairly low capacity, with the batteries as they are now being craftable once lithium is discovered (with an appropriate recipe modification). Tools should also not come with batteries in them, and the escape pod should have a battery charger built-in.

    Also would want to adjust the day/night/survival needs speed so days and nights are much longer (and add the ability to sleep in the escape pod plus craft a small cot that fits in a corridor so players can quickly pass the night if desired).

    Might have to take a look at the modding interface sooner rather than later...
    darrin
  • darrindarrin Frankfurt; Germany Join Date: 2019-02-15 Member: 250965Members Posts: 41 Advanced user
    It makes sense to increase the power consumption of a base, not just due to air recycling but also due to proper air ventilation. This means, it should go up the larger your base becomse and can also go up with depth.

    Personally, I didn't use nuclear reactors mainly due to the humming sound and the fact that they didn't felt 'SciFi' enough. If there would have been a reactor similar to the one of the escape rocket, I might have built it.

  • AliradicaliAliradicali Join Date: 2019-02-12 Member: 250862Members Posts: 5 Fully active user
    edited February 23
    I don't use the nuclear reactor for two reasons:
    1) it tends to be redundant by the time you get it; Bioreactor + solar panels is fine for most bases and in the caves there's thermal.
    2)It's noisy as hell. If you spend a lot of time dicking around your main base the hum of the reactor gets incredibly grating.

    I don't mind the resource cost of the reactor or the rods, if anything I'd say the bioreactor is a bit too convenient.

    Edit: I also wouldn't mind seeing reactor rods replace ion power cells as components in the neptune rocket considering Alterra should have no knowledge of the latter when they send over the blueprints. I also wouldn't mind seeing them used to fuel the Cyclops, perhaps with a nuclear reactor module. I feel that presently there's barely any reason to even pick up Uraninite.
  • MudsapMudsap Join Date: 2019-02-25 Member: 251329Members Posts: 1 Freshly registered user
    It takes too much maintenance to keep it running
    [email protected]

    Oki this topik is not fresh but i have think about it now for a long time. I don't think the prob is the energy itself. It's more where do i build my or a base, and how to get it powered.

    And for me there was no reason to build a base in any place where the nuclear reactor could be useful, or better said more useful then solar , bio and thermal. Any base up land or near sky gets solar, for more energy a bioreactor. The base down in the dark get thermal and bioreactor.
    Specially the bioreactor is a "must have" because we need food and water where ever we build a base, so we build sources for that anyway. Both are "bio" so it can be used for power too. It was never a question for me how much energy a source could give, just what is useful at the place i build the base.

    There was only one place i liked to have it, that was inside the cyclops. We remember when that was possible ? Building a nuclear reactor inside the cyclops was for me the one and only place i really used it. And it was real useful there and would be still as long as we don't get the ion power-cell in game. Or could still even then, because we got a repair option for exosuit and seamoth and they both can be reloaded there too. Both needs energy a cyclops does not have in beginning. And the power-cell's of the cyclops need reload to often to make it a good option as a mobile base. In fact i use it as big storage vehicle when i am up to build a new base. I managed to get 1170 itemslots into it and there is still plenty of room.

    That's all about it, just not useful anywhere i want a base. And jep, if it would give much more power as any other option ( maybe as ion - nucelear - reactor ;) it would be more of use. For me it is just a item that still is in game but never needed, like the lithium - ion - powercell.


    cya Mudsap


    btw: i help building the german wikia and we still get often asked when the next bug - fix for Subnautica PC will be there, and jep ya know there are still some crazy bugs (someone getting covered in floater :dizzy: and can't get rid of 'em ). I know ya busy at Below Zero and jep i can't wait to get my hands on that game when it's done.
  • GlassDeviantGlassDeviant Terra Join Date: 2017-02-27 Member: 228342Members Posts: 210 Advanced user
    Because thermal = no fuel. If you can't find a source of thermal power close enough to only need a couple power transmitters, there's probably a better spot to place your base.
  • CochonouCochonou France Join Date: 2019-01-19 Member: 249024Members Posts: 71 Advanced user
    I am still surprised that so many people find that the fuel rods are spent quickly. Leaving aside realism issues, with a generation rate of 250 power units per minute and a capacity of 20000 power unit per rod, there's more of 5 hours of energy when you fill up a nuclear reactor. For sure, this is not as good as the unlimited power of solar or thermal, but this is still much more convenient than a bioreactor. Uraninite is not hard to find.
    Over9000BPM
  • Over9000BPMOver9000BPM Join Date: 2019-01-06 Member: 248189Members Posts: 19 Advanced user
    I used a nuclear reactor as backup power generation/storage for nighttime alongside solar panels in my last play through, I never had to replace a rod once. I don’t understand the hate for them.
  • DrownedOutDrownedOut Habitat Join Date: 2016-05-26 Member: 217559Members Posts: 1,091 Advanced user
    edited March 10
    Reactor rods are too expensive to make
    JimboJambo wrote: »
    And unlike power, which bases also need, there is never a need for more oxygen than what's required to keep you alive, so there will never be a reason to build more one module.

    Not quite true, although I doubt most people use pipes. But if you do (which I do for aesthetics + feeling like I have a territory rather than a hidey-hole), it would be fair to put in a separate oxygen generator for every, like, four pipes?


    For me, the nuclear reactor has lows of the other energy sources, one heavy low of its own, its perks are unnecessary, and it's overall just not a fun thing to build and manage. Like, I actually try to get everything built in a game session and experiment with my play style, but the nuclear reactor is one of those few items that rub me the wrong way.[1]
    1. The generators are easy; you build them and that's it. But that also takes the fun out of managing your base. The bioreactor requires refueling, but it takes so many different things that you basically need to put effort into not having something lying around that you can make it work with. It's a nice way to still get use out of food that's gone bad. The nuclear reactor, however, needs work (or at least alertness) and denies flexibility/creativity.
    2. I put my vote on "Reactor rods are too expensive to make" because, as others have pointed out, the nuclear reactor is the one energy source that has finite supply. This is the major no to me, regardless of how long a rod lasts. Glass in particular is a killer. Quartz is in short supply as it is if you're a bit of a builder and halving the cost in base recipes did little to nothing to amend that, imo. I'm not spending a single shard on a consumable as long as resources don't eventually respawn.[2]
    3. Arguments on how long it lasts or how quickly it gets the energy out for use mean little to me, because the others don't exactly leave you wanting for better. There's not all that much that requires large amounts of instant energy. It also doesn't help that you can't directly set the energy source priorities of a base.
    4. Lastly, there's the matter that radiation itself is an orphaned bit of gameplay that lacks "closure" and therefore isn't something I want to have much to do with. Like, a naturally radioactive biome that gives a chance to grab a lot of uranite at once at a higher risk as an alternative to taking a while to collect the stuff safely would A.) give a continued radiation gameplay thereby providing "closure", and B.) provide flexibility in gathering for where it can't in fueling the nuclear reactor.

    Respawnable resources + the ability to set energy source priorities are a must for me to consider the nuclear reactor viable. A radioactive biome would make it fun. And then there's several other things like being able to hook up the energy networks of unconnected base parts,[3] more need for energy,[4] and "nerfing" the bioreactor, that'd help to positively recontextualize the nuclear reactor.

    EDIT:
    [1] The others are the air bladder and the beacon. The air bladder because it's another case of orphaned gameplay what with it being the only non-edible that ended up needing a fish, the beacon because I can't hook it up. It's why I prefer to use camera drones to mark my bases. Those I can hook up.
    [2] For that matter, even non-consumable recipes that use quartz and others that need ingredients that are in high demand compared to their availability, are things I build with a budget in mind. Especially if the ingredients are a big part of a biome's aestethics. So, like, really stoked about BZ going to have a roof window, but... well, that.
    [3] I suppose this could be a major help to people avoiding the nuclear reactor for its noise? Just have a separate MPR with the reactor and hook its energy up to the main base.
    [4] Phasegates, energy gates, and a means to auto-charge the Cyclops could be high guzzlers, but I'd also just want more for my base to do in general. An auto-repair unit for vehicles in the moonpool, auto-repair for camera drones, a healing vat for the player, temperature control, an extinguisher refiller, a recycler, maybe a type of generator that produces canned oxygen as a consumable alternative to bringing along more tanks, fountains, I don't know - a buildable toy track for miniature versions of the vehicles? Small benefits and fun stuff.
    Post edited by DrownedOut on
    darrin
  • Tazman65Tazman65 Join Date: 2019-03-10 Member: 251638Members Posts: 2 Fully active user
    Not sure where guys are getting info, but I am seeing lots of personal opinion that us far incorrect. One poster here thinks plants use oxygen in an indoor garden. They do not, furthermore they also do not give any oxygen which they should. So attaching some kind of penalty to the growth of the garden in the case he was stating that a bio reactor makes nuclear unusable since the cost was so low for a bioreactor. I disagree making the cost more for melons since they give little more than food, they also are not the best for a bioreactor. None of the plants really give any more advantage power wise, they do give food and water wise. Next the nuclear reactor is unusable to me at this time due to its hard to sustain element for the rods. Otherwise the nuclear reactor is the best bang for the money. If I can ever find a good supply of resource for the nuclear reactor I would for sure use one. Problem is with any power source other than thermal, solar or bio, always will be the supply of resources. The fact the devs think that resources should not respawn is nuts. Resources in a real ocean respawn all the time. Fish make fish, tides bring in fresh sand, rock and other resources all the time, tides bring up things from thermal vents as well, tides bring things up from depths as well. The ocean currants change the ocean topography, so even a map is hard to maintain, and the facts are even for a game not to replenish the resources is crazy. If we could find lets say even a few nuclear resources part of the time at 100 meters and more frequent at 500 meters and deeper, and very frequent at depths past 500 meters on a constant basis, would make a nuclear reactor very enticing. The devs need to read the posts and act on them. The devs need to get some real world experience before they make games. In the case of subnautica they have many things wrong from diving to resources, even for a game. Rebreathers should grant hours of dive time, real world, in a game world 30 min would not be unreasonable, and surely 5-10 min an issue at all. According to the devs all a rebreather does is make diving at depths not an issue, something a rebreather does not do at all real world, or even in many other games. I only mention this point to bring the other issues more to light. In the case of the nuclear reactor and the fact that resources do not respawn, making the nuclear reactor not a choice at all, should bring the devs to see that once we power the reactor it should stay powered for many game months if not years, since running into enough resource to replenish rods is highly unlikely and eventually will come to an end making the reactor completely and totally useless and the cost of making it and maintaining it completely ridiculous. I am all for the reactor, but changes need to be made in rod longevity, and reactor use. A reactor should be allowed to be installed in the cyclops. Why? I am pretty sure we have all heard of those USO’s, or unidentified submerged objects called United States of America’s nuclear submarines, well being a retired former submariner, I can personally vouch they do exist and under penalty of death I am here to expose to the devs, they can allow a nuclear reactor to be used on the cyclops without fear of the USA coming after them for exposing a military secret. Not only do nuclear reactors offer years of real world power, they produce oxygen as a bi-product, free of charge. I understand they are making the game challenging and I appreciate that, but making the resources not respawn is all the challenge needed. Even as it stands the way nuclear reactors are now in the game, they are more than a challenge for most. Getting the resource to make a few rods is a challenge and the facts are the resources will end and fast. Please consider this devs and try and make the game fair, it is my favourite game. I do feel it rather unfair the way resources and fish are handled, as well as the diving.
    Altazi
  • AltaziAltazi Join Date: 2019-01-16 Member: 248807Members Posts: 35 Advanced user
    With two huge moon orbiting 4546B, you would think we would have tidal power generators available. They would run all day and night , forever (barring mechanical breakdown), and require no fuel whatsoever.
  • DarkStar88DarkStar88 Omaha, NE Join Date: 2018-05-03 Member: 240491Members Posts: 46 Advanced user
    edited March 16
    the reactor rods don't last enough
    Altazi
    Altazi wrote: »
    With two huge moon orbiting 4546B, you would think we would have tidal power generators available. They would run all day and night , forever (barring mechanical breakdown), and require no fuel whatsoever.

    That's a brilliant idea, actually, I'm ashamed I didn't think of that.

    gamer1000k stole everything I was going to say and then some regarding power generation/usage. Air production being 100% free with absolutely no dedicated machinery is a big fat "wait...what?!" moment in gameplay. When you can build a "donut", a hatch, a single solar panel and have free air forever at any depth with enough power relays...something is just a bit wrong there.

    For me the rods don't last anywhere near long enough to be worth the bother. I also have RP issues with bringing radioactive materials into my base. For the power they provide I'd just as soon have a bioreactor and a tankful of whatever fish happened to be nearby.
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