Automation Drone Speculation

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Automation Drone Speculation

Postby JCUnown » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:11 pm

Not sure how much interest this has gotten, but I'm curious, so...

Monomi Park, on their roadmap, wrote:Drones
Adorable drones will be added to Slime Science, allowing you to selectively automate parts of the ranching experience! Manual ranching will still be required, but drones will reduce your workload and leave you with more time to explore!

This is an update coming along in v1.2.0, supposedly the next major update to the game. It's coming alongside Nimble Valley and Quicksilver Slimes and other stuff which has probably gotten a lot more attention, but I still can't help but wonder (the roadmap's a bit vague), what exactly does this piece entail? I absolutely welcome the idea of extra automation, to allow for more time to explore without having to, say, babysit a corral of Dervish Slimes that insist on escaping over and over again, or keep a bunch of Hunter largos fed so that they don't kill me, but I'm unclear on what kind of "automation" is going to be added.

As it is, the game offers a fair amount of automation, i.e. in the form of plort collectors and autofeeders, but I suppose there's some more automation that could be added... I have no idea what Monomi Park has in mind, but I below I'm putting a list of my speculations, what I think could be possibilities. I'll keep adding to this list as I think of stuff, and I'll also add any good ideas you mention in the replies.

  • Auto-selling plorts.
    While I imagine this would be... interesting, since it would be kind of an issue if some of your plorts are auto-sold when you were planning on saving them, i.e. if you wanted to use them for Slime Science or wait for better market prices, this could still be a huge time-saver. Maybe some kind of limit could exist, such as having a drone sell some but not all?
  • Capturing escaped slimes.
    If this wasn't made clear enough by the escaping Dervish Slimes which I mentioned, this is something that would be really useful for me. If a drone could patrol the Ranch while you're out, finding loose slimes and putting them back in corrals with the same slime type (which would of course make sure no largos are put with other largo types, god forbid), it'd be invaluable to making sure your farm doesn't, I don't know, become completely overrun with Tarr?
  • Picking up loose items.
    "Items" would probably more specifically refer to plorts, and this would probably be useful for keeping free-range slimes, since there is no current "collector" for any plorts outside a corral. Additionally, this could simply be useful for picking up stray plorts flung onto the ground (Boom and Dervish Slimes are particularly prone to this) to make sure no other slimes can get them and end up as unintended largos/Tarr.
  • Fighting Tarr.
    Not really sure if this is necessary to include, since hydro cannons already do exist, but I suppose it wouldn't hurt to have a drone which could quash Tarr outbreaks in case they occur on the Ranch.
  • Coop maintenance.
    I haven't found keeping chickens to be particularly lucrative (they don't produce as fast as vegetables), but some kind of coop-aid could assist with this. First and foremost would probably be removing any slimes that break into a coop, by way of simply shooting them back out, but some other features, such as maintaining a low number of hens (via removing/storing extra hens) so that chickens are continually produced or removing elder chickens, would be welcomed.
  • Refilling autofeeders.
    Pretty self-explanatory. A drone could refill autofeeders by harvesting crops or taking chickens from coops, making sure that slimes are fed and food isn't allowed to rot.
  • Puddle/Fire Slime care.
    Granted, this probably wouldn't be a job for a drone, but I personally think some level of automation for keeping Fire and Puddle Slimes would be nice. At the very least a plort collector for ponds (including the built-in one at the docks, if possible) and ash troughs would be appreciated, but I also would think that a specialized Fire Slime "autofeeder" would be neat, perhaps an ash machine of some kind that would burn food it is given and only refill the trough when there is space for more ash, keeping Fire Slimes fed.

I certainly wouldn't expect all of this to end up in the next update, but a few of these ideas in particular would make pretty good candidates for automation drones, at least I think. We'll see what Monomi Park decides on though, and I'm sure we won't be let down.

Again, feel free to reply with any thoughts/other ideas you have. I'll just be sitting here anxiously awaiting v1.2.0.
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Re: Automation Drone Speculation

Postby Purplecharmanderz » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:56 pm

Few things there I doubt we will get as the goal isn’t to make the player have to do nothing but just lessen the amount of things the player has to do.
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Re: Automation Drone Speculation

Postby TheGreciansHousehold » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:35 am

I'm hoping that the drones will be programmable, since that would be really cool and would finally satisfy my eternal hunger for subtle programming as a game mechanic.

Anyways, I think you've hit the nail pretty hard on the head with this. I imagine they'll mostly be used to gather crops, feed slimes and move toys, but not plorts.
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Re: Automation Drone Speculation

Postby GravityCat » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:07 am

The thing that I'm concerned about however is the fact that a Ranch expansion, such as The Grotto, unloads when you're not in it. So any behaviours that need catching up happen as soon as you're nearby. Autofeeders don't have a cap on how much food they shoot at once, so any that have been unloaded will shoot food depending on how long it's been since the last visit, which causes the problem of them continuously shooting food to slimes that have long-since been satiated.

I'm worried that drones will unload when away from the Ranch, so would just do nothing until you got back.

So with this, I wonder how they're going to work.
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Re: Automation Drone Speculation

Postby TheLevens » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:51 am

I could see a robot gathering your food plots and depositing them somewhere.

Also like the idea of programming them to collect plorts for you and sells them for you. Always hated sucking up those corals with 100 each and overflowing.
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