I've played a lot of endless mode since it came out. And honestly, even now with settlements, it feels.. Empty.
My main criticisms and issues are:
– Storms happen like clockwork in the late game. They come after the same time period, temperature drops to -100, then again to -120. A fully upgraded generator on overdrive will ensure no houses are freezing
– Settlements feel pointless. Lets be honest, the only reason they're usful in OTE is because you're unable to produce food and wood by yourself. In endless, you don't need them, at all. And the inability to construct safe routes means you can't get sustained resources without micromanagement.
– No real challenge in the late game. The main struggle in Endless is reaching the point of total self-sufficiency, once you reach that stage, usually around day 40-70 for the average player, the only reason to stick around longer is for the 100 day achievements.
– Perhaps make the storms more variable. This could be as simple as having some storms happen sooner, or later than the 5 day norm during the end-game. While not a new challenge, it would make some of the calm periods better for scouting exploration than others.
– With settlements, adding the ability to construct safe routes would make improving them feel more worthwhile. If that ends up being too overpowered, then have the routes be damaged, or destroyed after two or three storms. Potentially the same with certain settlement improvements.
Settlements themselves also feel far too static, they don't react to the players actions at all. More specifically, they have not a care in the world for the laws you sign. Given that you can meddle in the afairs of other settlements, I find it odd that the city of convicts and fugitives don't bat an eyelid at you instituting your own prisons. Give them some dynamics.
– Challenge is a difficult one. Perhaps the addition of Endless specific events during the late game, like a plague as hinted in OTE. This would stress your medical areas and potentially force a player to temporarily replace buildings with more medical facilities, and provide a one-time research option in the form of a vaccine/treatment.
Other possibilities include having rare, monster storms like in A New Home during the late-game, that at their peak, reach -150C or colder. If temperatures were to dip below -150, the perhaps the addition of an active ability on the generator itself would be useful, expending a few steam cores in exchange for some extrea heat power ontop of over-drive. It'd give some use to the cores that end up piling up at the end-game, rather than just more automoton fodder.
These are just some thoughts. Any other ideas people have?
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