Fire and Ice: The Case For Volcanic Eruptions in a Future DLC

frostpunk 4 - Fire and Ice: The Case For Volcanic Eruptions in a Future DLC

As we've seen the Frostpunk team has exceptional imagination when designing their scenarios and a knack for twisting the knife of human suffering to pressure players into making hard, emotional decisions. Their future plans for the franchise are not yet known, but it is my opinion that content centred around nearby volcanic eruptions and their effects on the City could be very compelling. Arctic volcanoes are present throughout the globe but not well known because they tend to strike isolated areas where few humans are affected by them. In the event of a frost apocalypse, they would be completely unaffected (and could even be the cause of it) and they'd have similar disregard for a small human city of survivors trying to weather the worst of storms and shortages being thrown at them. Interestingly a large number of these volcanoes can be found on an island unexpectedly close to Britain – Iceland.

In 1979 there was an eruption from the volcano Eldfell on an island off the southern coast of Iceland. It was right next to the town and threatened to destroy the harbour so a massive pumping operation was set up to slow down and divert the flow of lava. A similar scenario based around a volcano next to a Frostpunk city would make for interesting content, adding another layer of misery on top of the usual temperature swings and shortages. Some more detailed game mechanics ideas:

1) A Geothermal Research Tree could be added into the Heating section to reflect access to energy beneath the earth. The map has a few Geysers positioned around it like Iron and Coal Deposits, where you can build Geothermal Stations – each one you build adds +1 Heat to all active Heat Zones.

2) Add a Seismometer Bar underneath the Weather Forecast, which displays oncoming Volcanic Hazards in a timeline with coloured icons based on expected intensity (yellow for mild, orange for severe, red for catastrophic). Whenever one occurs it is announced with a unique sounding siren and a warning from the overseer.


3) The Generator and all Steam Hubs can be upgraded with Water Hoses, which can be used to extinguish fires and slow down/halt advancing lava flows within their covered heat zones. Activating these Hoses reduces Heat in all Zones by -1 per active node (meaning having them running everywhere all the time has deep negative consequences for your city). Hoses can be fully staffed or pull volunteers from active workplaces to their detriment.

4) The option to Evacuate homes and most structures is now available. Once this option is picked, evacuees will take up residence in empty houses, Care Houses or become homeless. Why you might want to do this is highlighted below.

Volcanic Hazards:

1) Creeping, Advancing and Rampaging Lava Flows – coming in from a few set locations on the edge of the city, these carpets of molten rock can quickly damage/destroy any structures and injure/gravely injure/kill anyone in their path. Stop them by using Water Hoses and later Lava Walls.

2) Irritating, Noxious and Poisonous Gas Clouds – belched forth from the volcano, they cover a small/moderate/large area within the city and people living and working within quickly become ill. Better insulated homes are more resistant to this, but Evacuate could become necessary as the gases become more thicker.

3) Flying Debris, Bombs, and Blocks – spat out of the volcano, they land in your city like rain and cause sudden injury/grave injury/death in a small area. Ignites buildings on fire. Ignited buildings must be put out by Water Hoses otherwise they become damaged, destroyed, or ruined. Better insulted buildings can be burning for longer before severe damage results.

Other temporary events could introduce resource drain rates on Coal, Wood, Steel and Food to make the scenario more challenging and necessitating constant growth to ensure survival. The ending of said scenario could be based around a cruel marriage of the Great Frost and the impending doom of a Pyroclastic Cloud to challenge players to the fullest.

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