Satisfactory – first thoughts

This week I decided to take a break from Valheim – my current number one game to play and fired up a server on my Ubuntu box for Satisfactory using CubeCoders AMP.

Both games are published by Coffee Stain. They seem to have all the great Early Access games at the moment 🙂

I loaded up Satisfactory on my desktop and connected to my server. The game said “You need to make a Hub!”. Well, I don’t know what a Hub is, nor how to make one, nor what I need in order to build one! Hmm. I ran around for a bit and got killed a few times and marveled at the amazing quality of the graphics and the bizarre flora and fauna.

Anyway, I logged out as I had no idea what to do. I then thought maybe I should watch a YouTube video for newbies and maybe you need that to know what to do (I didn’t even know what keys to press for something to happen, bar the usual WASD).

I watched the video and the guy played a single player game. There was an introduction “Welcome to Ficsit” and some animations to show what you do at the start of the game. Then, he was loaded into a capsule and dropped onto a planet. It all looked very cool! He stepped out of his capsule and was greeted by ADA – an AI who takes you through a tutorial. Well, that’s what I was hoping to get on my game but it never happened. I figured maybe I need to log into a Single Player game instead and maybe I would get the tutorial, too.

I started a single player game and lo and behold it had the intro animations and tutorials. So that’s good to know. I learned my way around the first goals and built up my Hub a few levels and added on power and powerlines as well as a Smeltry and Engineer’s Workshop. This was more like it!

That was a couple of days ago. Tonight I logged onto the server since I knew mostly what I had to do. I didn’t have anything much in my inventory but discovered if I press ‘Q’ I can build a Hub and pressing ‘V’ works for the scanner. Also good to know.

I played for a couple of hours and probably died about 10 – 12 times. The monsters living on the planet are plenty and you cannot outrun them in your beginner’s gear. You can hope to jump higher up a hill and if you’re lucky it may give up, but then it may path its way around to you and kill you again.

You start off being able to take 3 hits from them, but since you cannot outrun them you die quickly and often. I even fell off the edge of the world into a void (hello, Minecraft?) and probably lost my gear. Although it still shows on the game compass as if I have a crate with my stuff in it somewhere(?) in the void perhaps? I could not find it when I went back, partly due to the monsters camping my deathpoint — which also happens a lot. You can hope to sprint to your crate, hit GET ALL and sprint away to safety before something hits you, but good luck with that!

I managed to make a few mining robots and dropped them on Iron deposits, but as they are guarded by said monsters I die when I do. If I’m really lucky I can sprint to the robots, hit GET ALL and run back to my Hub and jump into it before the monster gets to me. More often than not I just die.

I don’t have a Xeno Zapper yet – a primitive weapon to attack the monsters with – due to not being able to get close enough to a copper vein to drop my robots. Those robots are currently in crates scattered over the land. Probably a dozen or so robots in a smaller number of crates.

I tried moving far away from the Hub to find a Copper or Iron deposit to mine. I found you can eat some berries and nuts to get your Health up to a decent level which gives you a few more hits before you die. I also picked up some Power Slugs (whatever they may be) and saw some weird birds waddling on the ground.

At one stage I was running away from a monster and jumped near a cliff edge and ended up in a tree. The monster tried charging at me and charged right off the cliff. He fell quite far, but they don’t take fall damage like I do, so he just walked it off. Great, I thought, I can just jump out of this tree and do more searching around.

Only I couldn’t.

You see, there’s apparently a known bug that if you jump near a tree you will get stuck in it permanently. There used to be an /unstuck command you could use but that’s been disabled in the current game versions. The only thing you can do is hit ESCAPE and press RESPAWN. This kills you and drops your crate of gear there. Now you have to do a corpse-run to find your stuff again. I never did.

I was running along trying to dodge the charging and fire-shooting monsters and got hit by one, so I jumped up on a rock. Just then, the monster charged and hit me and I went flying into the air… only I never came down again. I was left looking at a light-blue screen with my aiming cursor in the centre. I could not move forwards/backwards or turn to the side. In fact I could not do anything at all!

So, finally having had enough I Quit to desktop. Yes, it’s sort of a rage-quit, but what are you supposed to do when the game glitches you like that? It’s incredibly frustrating and I just don’t have the motivation to keep going.

I might go back to my single player game where things were a lot easier and I was actually getting somewhere. This is a shame because I like playing these games on my server with my friend Will. However, if you can’t play then you can’t play. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

“But, Jason!” you say. “This game is early access and has a long way to go!”. I get that — I do. However until it’s decently playable I’m just going to die a lot and mostly due to things out of my control. Maybe single player has an easy mode by default and the server version has a harder version. I don’t know. I may find out one day if/when I return, but for now I’m not keen. Which is a shame because I really enjoyed the single player mode.

For reference, here’s what it looks like sometimes when I get hit by the fire-breathing monster:

Maybe it blasts me under the world? In any case, it wasn’t anything I did but I haven’t lost all my health. I’m just stuck!

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