We have all seen the posts , "Wouldn't it be great if there was an Endless Mode!".
Yep, except seasoned players will have everything maxed out in the tech tree before day 25 (If not faster if various exploits are used) making the game just about how much coal you can stack in a big heap and just continue forever. The current game and tech tree needs a rework before a "fun" Endless mode can be added and not just "Add more things to build!".
So here is my proposal….
is the kind of map that I feel would work. The basic premise is, that your generator is located in a small ravine overlooking a glacier. It's large, but makes the player have to choose wisely on their expansion plans or they end up stretching themselves too thin or fail to utilise a resource effectively. The Glacier is important as to maintain a sense of exploration, every 10-15 days after the initial 15 day's set up period, a "Frost Fall" Occurs. Basically like the freezing storm that arrives at the end of a "A New Home" but less fierce ( at least for the first 2 or so cycles , then "Super Fall's happen but I'll get into these later ), this closes off the Glacier for 2-4 days making the player A) live off their stockpiles B) Kills off any straggling Scouts or Outpost Retrieval Teams you had in play and C) REFRESHES the map outside the Colony, when the storm breaks and you can explore again, generating 6-12 random locations 2-3 of which will be allow outposts to be set up on.
In my head the lore would be the storm obscures the Glacier as the intense cold further away "drags" resources down the mountain pass the colony overlooks. The Outpost connectors require coal to heat and run as the drop elevators down onto the ice shelf below.
Now at the moment some things need to be tweaked and added to the tech tree to help things along. A sixth and seventh layer in the research pool would add the following options to colony expansion.
Sixth Layer Prototyping Labs. ( Materials cost 250 Wood, 150 Steel and 2 Steam cores )
Expanded Homes, a home that has the same "footprint" as a regular House, but adds an extra floor to the building increasing housing size by 5. "Wow This new house reminds me of London before the Fall!"
Artificial Composting, a bonus for Advanced Hothouses allowing them to use a small amount of wood and food rations to boost production for a short period, requires a 24 hour prep period to give 48 hours worth of 50% extra food output, before sitting on a 72 hr cooldown. "Captain! The gardeners have come up with a cracking idea to use up all the waste wood and dinner scraps".
School, a large building the same size as the church, but holds 150 children, requires 10 wood (for paper) 25 food rations (for the teachers and kids) and the normal heater requirements per day. The main feature of this building is to turn kids into workers! Every 20-40 days a very small ( like 2-5 ) "class" will graduate and become new workers, In my head basically it's the oldest children 14/15 Year olds coming of age. A small trickle or new workers but a fair one I think. "Well Jenkin's you have learnt your maths and english, it's time for you to work!".
And of course the usual Upgrades and efficiency updates for other established buildings.
Seventh Layer Advanced Logic Engines. (Materials cost 400 wood, 400 steel and 3 steam cores)
Disaster Resistant Homes, expands on the expanded home allowing the family's inside to "Prepare For The Worst", each expanded home with be able to store 20 food rations, 20 Wood and 20 Coal each. If the temp drops down to "Freezing" the house activates it's supplies and for the next 24 hours will gain an additional Heat level. If more than 50% of the colony is "Prepped" a moderate morale buff is applied. "The Captain made sure everyone has supplies for the coming Frost Fall! God Praise that man!".
Micromatons, an upgrade option that allows a stripped down Automaton to be inserted directly into a building PERMANENTLY increasing its output by 15%, this would obviously be a great end game upgrade and a player who hunted for every core they could get their hands on would be able to use this with great effect. "We had to the take the front of the foundry off to get the blighter in. but we managed it all right!".
Heated Road's, allows paved and heated roads to be built to and from places. While they don't actually give out any usable heat to building an citizens, due to the fact they are clear of ice and nice and level to walk on, citizens travelling on heated sections move 30% faster reducing downtime between start/end of shifts ( increasing production and amounts of time in the Pub etc ). "Well look at this place now! If I didn't know better i'd say we was back in sunny old 1882!"
Distribution Centre, Sick of having 6 million depot's taking up half the map at endgame? Yep so am I, now with the DC building unlocked, a large 6×8 block building you can store any TWO resources for a value of 3500 unit's each! Requires 5 workers and 10 wood per day to run (wood for paper for the "book keeping") and usual heat requirements. "Quick to it lad's! The Captains put another order in for 500 billet's of steel at the factory again!"
And more passive upgrades for various things you get the idea. It's about adding sensible long term goals that fit society, the lore AND gameplay.
More things need to be added to the current game, mainly to add more difficulty, variety , story and just a bit of fun. Some of these in an Endless mode need to come from the city, the society and from the Glacier outside…
Roving Packs Of Bandits!
While the city is too well defended on the ravine and manned to make an direct assault possible the scouts and output crews on the Glacier shelf are very exposed, get them home now! One or two squads of bandits spawn, do you risk grabbing another shipment of ore? or risk their lives by not returning them home? You will only be given and approximate bandit location…maybe an upgrade or two could reduce this risk at the cost of carry capacity?
The observer's on the Beacon have spotted the mother of all storms, this superstorm will last 2-3 days longer and be 10-30'c colder than the normal cycle's, pushing even well prepared colony's to the very limit! In order to survive sacrifices might need to be made for the good of the many…. Due to the limited Generator Max range compared to the size of the whole map, workers and people living outside of it might not make it. This would be useful to build suspense and force a population cull.
A plague has broken out ( you were putting wood in the soup again weren't you! ), workplace output reduced about 30% across the whole colony while it runs its course…maybe cranking up the heat and offering double rations will make people heal faster….
"CAPTAIN! An Engineer was doing maintenance on the Generators Overdrive controls and it's now stuck on full open! She's gone into OVERBURN! what do we do!"
Oh dear, maybe you shouldn't have gave everyone moonshine :P, In this event the Generator has gone into "OVERBURN" cranking it into max, this fills the overdrive gauge up to 85% instantly but doesn't rise any further ( the engineers on site have turned anything that consumes power on to lessen the load ), but EVERY heater and Steam Hub is now on, in addition 25% Extra coal on top of the normal overdrive mode is now being used! Do you throw 1000 coal into the intakes and "choke the flames out" or get about 12 Engineer's to use 150 steel ( and maybe a couple of cores ) to rebuild the Overdrive control system over the next 12 hr's and shut it off that way?
These are the type of events that add longevity to a Endless Mode, as even a well established Colony sitting on stacks of Coal or with a large workforce can be hit with thing such as this making the "right" choice important.
BOOK OF LAWS
We currently have Faith and Order, but what about other's? For example one idea I'd like seen explored is Pharmacopia.
In this path the Captain decides better living through Chemistry is the right idea….the consequences making the citizens more…and less than human…
Food Supplements, produced in the Advanced Hothouse, these allow workers to work extended shifts with 50% less discontent.
Antibiotic Regime, You can now build a Chemistry Laboratory, allowing increased healing speeds in the medical centre's and reduces a citizens likelihood of getting ill in a chilly/cold building, raises discontent slightly as the simple mine workers etc don't trust "These newfangled fancy pills and powders I'm forced to eat each mealtime!"
You get the idea, a little bit of medicine and "recreational" chemicals are fine when things are going swell….but if things are looking dire maybe a little mood suppressant in those who are discontent food won't hurt right? Or what about an obedient workforce who follow your every whim without question just for another hit of CoalDust out of the lab?
Whelp that's just my thoughts on what's needed, if an Endless mode is going to be "Fun"!
Edited for the grammar's and speelin's
© Post "A Balanced Proposal For “Endless Mode”" for game Frostpunk.
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