(it sounds like more work, but apparently you don't seem to bother ).
Well I am a crazy, crazy fool, but it wouldn't be all bad, starting spawns would be a lot simpler with realism (and I'd hope for some suggestions here on top of these) there'd be:
Crash sites - Wrecked ships which are looted - As described above, they'll probably carry the important tech - Fuel Cells, light diode, particle accelerators, anti-gravity devices, energy couplings.... Along with more standard stuff, scavenging wrecks would probably be the primary means of high tech acquisition.
Dead marine - Dead individual marine corpse - bullets, a lighter, maybe a broken gun part, a battery, a ration, scrap metal....
Litter - Detritus, whether in a codified campsite or just scattered abandoned - some kindling, a ration, dead battery, ice pack, live battery, Empty Cannister, the fabric strip from an expended ice/thermal pack, a mislaid lighter, a few spare bullets, dead battery, scrap metal, maybe a medikit. The better stuff would only occur in abandoned campsites, whilst the empties would be the most likely "trash" you encounter.
Destroyed vehicles/machines - computer units, scrap metal, spare ether cans, energy tech....
Automated research stations - Scrap metal, computer units, energy couplings, solar panels, terminals....
"Tribal" sites - Simple weapons and items, maybe some processed foodstuffs.
Active marine camp/Supply cache/Robot mining site - Only really present in marine/machine areas, these contain larger quantities of valuable supplies, but would spawn with their own guards.
This is takes all the various seeds down to seven random drops (admittedly followed in a few of those cases by another random drop, and then random loot table), which subdivides my job from one unmanageably large creature into an unmanageably large number of smaller ones - which is actually a little better.
There'll be a c.95% chance for a "natural" drop (which will then be divided into seasonal > locational > terrain, which is also how item seeds will be made to work regardless, by just dropping one of these natural drop seeds). These chances will also have conditionals, deserts and marine regions will have a higher chance for technical sites than non-marine areas, but would be more likely to strip down any wrecked space vessels and wipe out any natives.
Interiors - These places would have scattered drops, lootable machinery and the like, and would probably have automated defences or resident pests to clear out. These interiors wouldn't necessarily be super-large (some will be single rooms). Though maps would always contain the location in the same spot, the actual contents and location of the map itself would change game by game, coloured by interior theme.
Of course all this goes out the window when you're good enough to take out marines and machines with nothing but a knife.
Further balance tweaking may be in allowing the android to use batteries without a coupling.
Wait a moment, do you mean only PC's ship scattered it all? As far as I understood there were many crashed ships; they were dragged by VC to some "spaceship trash" area and VC workers have been just lazy enough to leave the smaller litter be where it fell.
Whilst that's not a bad explanation, in the journal entries for each item, the captain makes a big deal of the frequency of certain tech drops - as they come from aboard his own starship - I believe explicitly fuel cells and ether. Additionally, at least in Default, things were very specific in where they dropped - force field generators and light diodes in the desert, lighters, glass tubes and goggles in the mining fields, particle accelerators in the.... ship graveyard? It's not inconceivable the way you explain it, but it's still a little weird, and there's all those ruined Wazzal ships laying around (unless my Alzheimer's is kicking in and those only show up in the graveyard, I think I've seen 'em elsewhere).
Either way, is this a yea or a nay? I'm aware I can do whatever (thought-rays from the government notwithstanding), but would this improve or worsen the game experience?
Also, it's not very understandable how, for example, some good spaceship captain would know all this survival stuff to make his living (unlike knowing some middle-high-techy stuff to fight and protect himself).
Not a bad point, I was viewing the captain as a veritable genius on several levels - I view him as the Default default (hm.) point of view when it comes to pick-up text, so I made him capable of thinking up unique applications of materials - nothing particularly advanced about making some thick-shelled alien into armour, if you think of it; nothing particularly advanced about making a simple backpack either - again, if you think of it.
This said, the vast majority of ingenuity-based things the captain thinks of are technological (I concede the compound bow, I may move that to another character) - Goggles, Flashlights, Power Armour, high efficiency energy systems, he's well-rounded in that respect as both technologically gifted and a good lateral thinker.
If you're referring to non-ingenuity general tech, then note the parallel - when you first start the game, he doesn't know all this survival stuff - he's experimenting with possibilities he finds laying around in the forest, just like you are.
If you think about it, it's actually harder for him to do the simple things than it is the big complicated things - he needs tools to do a lot of things, so he has to make a simple knife. Using the knife he can make some tools. He uses the tools to make some string, and a piece of wood, and then combines them to make a bow, and then uses his tools on some kindling to make some arrows, then use his bow (not included in gameplay experience: Captain swearing and rubbing his arm after sapping the string into it *again*). A lot of the technical applications aren't advanced antiquated techniques, they're the fairly common sense "hey, a blanket would keep me warmer than standing in this puddle!" type.
To make a working pistol, he grabs his modular tech Pistol Chassis, snaps in a particle accelerator with some power, and he's good to shoot some aliens. Hypersonic raygun? You don't even need the chassis.
Even if he wants to make a working railgun, he'll have to snap on a rail. Tech is so simple in the FM universe anyone can combine it, with or without thumbs.
... Scavenger Versus Battledroid impossibility.
Because the scavenger almost literally cannot defeat a battledroid (I should know, I've spent hundreds of hours playing the sucker), and impossibility isn't a particularly rewarding gameplay experience compared to challenge and success. If something is *impossible* for one particular race, then I'm doing something wrong, good game design includes a fulfilling experience. It might require lateral thinking, excessive tactics, and hit and run combat over the course of a week, but every enemy must be either undefeatable for a good gameplay reason, or undefeatable by everyone.
The Var' Equinallin's name may have to be extended by some seven letters and two digits...
Thanks a lot! I tried to match it to the 3D intro pic as closely as possible.
Minor updates: Some slight weapon rebalancing and categorising. Warp Drills are definitely the best all-round weapon (and have fiendish point blank damage, though they self-handicap slightly by warping and displacing their targets at longer ranges), but they haven't the best range (probably the Plasma blaster or one of the rifles, give those twin suns a running start and watch 'em fly), best damage (flamer), or best with high stats (Plasma Rifle), best knockback (sonic weapons or the extinguisher).
My wife complains I have too many weapons in this thing.
Balance tweak - Using a mag-rail will return scrap metals to your inventory - this scrap includes the now defunct mag-rail. Using the mag-rail on depowered batteries will also revert them into scrap metals.
As support for realism seems quite widespread, I guess I'll start working on that after version 0.3 and it's funky graveyard of doom are completed. I really need to make a map of Notrium for my own use just so I can pin down where things will be situated with all areas in place.