I’ve seen a lot of posts and threads currently which have talked about extending the game and adding better progression. This is split into two parts; the time it takes the player to get from start to one-shot supercrafter, and the time it takes for all the world changes/events to play out.
Obviously there are great plans for this, we’ve had talk of leading NPC factions, changing the world and all sorts, but I’m talking about smaller changes we can make now to spread the game out and make it feel more like an epic journey rather than a quick bit of survival before it becomes an top down RL shooter.
(The main one)-Picking a point where the player can’t get hugely better from - a soft cap at a certain level (on all stats/attributes/damage/defense) would mean that we could work balance around that. We’d be able to create monsters that were ALWAYS challenging and not have to worry about the player getting to a point where they’re never worried about anything. This is a soft cap, so you can keep improving, but the improvements drop off so don’t get to the point where you’re invincible for a long time.
-The skill cap has helped this a lot. You can’t insta-grind up to the high crafting levels, and you need to actively search for better stuff to improve.
-I’m always for encouraging more exploration - getting rid of some of the alternatives in recipes and making the higher-end recipies require harder to find parts. This might require new buildings (or old building to be re-purposed) as ‘mid-level’ loot places. This could be things like recipes requiring high quality electronics which can only be found in power stations, which are covered in zombies and sludge monster type things.
-The word needs to deteriorate - Things breaking down over time due to rust, decay and general monster shenanigans would help create a sense you were coming closer and closer to destruction. This may be difficult with some things, but things like replacing a lot of the canned/tinned food with fresh food (everyone in the future is more organic - as we’re already seeing happen) would help, as would making the rivers poisonous after a while and doing a destruction sweep over tiles after a certain amount of time (which can be done I believe).
These are just my ideas, slightly unformed. I just feel that with a bit of JSON editing and some light coding we could move a little bit further towards an epic adventure. Whatddya thing?