Less of a theoretical question of “How long will humanity last before extinction”, that topic has been said and done enough times.
This is more of the question: “How long can the player last before the environment becomes completely uninhabitable”. With animals mutating to no longer be edible. Fungal and Triffids spreading a more hostile terrain. The blob super-sizing everything into nightmarish death machines. An many other doomsday impending tropes.
So, with enough preparation, could “we” as the player be self-sustaining enough to go on forever. From the current version of this game to future updates?
An just to re-quote; Not a philosophical question on humanities survival in real-life and all that jazz. Just player longevity and gameplay mechanics.
As far as I understand, the current game implementation doesn’t have any impossible and inevitable end. While “real” animals may be replaced in the wild, with ever decreasing ratios of live animals, I’m not aware of any mechanism that converts farm animals you keep yourself nor NPCs to convert into zombies while still alive.
I don’t think there’s any terrain conversion implemented either, and while the fungus and triffids expand, they currently do so only when in the reality bubble.
I would expect future versions to continue to make things more miserable as time goes by, though, and, assuming the game continues to be developed long enough, there will probably be an implementation of environmental degradation that will eventually make life impossible unless you somehow have means to counteract it locally.
Well, there are multiple answers to that question…
Let’s start with the question: How do you define “go on forever”? What are the factors you go for?
Because currently, you could gather seeds, clean out a small field of any zombies, and then live forever just on your farm products and water from a funnel (or other water source).
You might get some vitamins deficit, but since they don’t do anything yet (as far as I know), this will not impact your survival much.
Unless you enable Zombie hordes, they will never get to you as they’re frozen in place when far enough away from your field(s), so you’ll not even need walls.
Clothing doesn’t deteriorate, as long as you have a warm enough space and clothing to survive the winter, you’ll be fine.
The fungal menace can be fought back with the new mechanics, if I understand it correctly, although it requires “maintenance”, and, as noted, it won’t reach islands without new mechanics.
I would expect there will eventually be various additional kinds of gradual degradation, but I don’t think it would be a good idea for them to be mandatory.
Acid rain is one thing that has existed in the past, I think, and it could presumably be brought back. Another type of degradation would be gradual infestation of “corrupt” flora in biomes to take them over, followed by them being converted into alien biomes and then later on further into desolate biomes where nothing lives.
Another possibility would be more intelligent “undead” that could organize attacks on living humans (and their bases, including moving ones).
The fun part is: You don’t need to be on an island. You could even do this right next to a city. Just don’t move the reality bubble to close to it and you’ll be fine.
You could also build walls strong enough to withstand hulks and others, if you want to go for a more “realistic” approach (or make it unrealistic again by using the Zombie proof Christmas trees as a wall, if that’s still a thing).
Well, wandering hordes could go for a swim/dive and therefore reach the island. And I remember a discussion that Zombies might could/should stack (like in the movie “World War Z”), so they could scale walls (but at least currently not bash through the floor/roof).
But to answer the question directly: No. I don’t think it’s necessary to add in a way to stop players from isolate themself and survive indefinitely. If a player really wants to go for that approach, let them… It might get boring really fast, but… well, I think no one should be forced to their “luck” of excitement.
True, but I don’t think that makes staying/surviving in one place really a challenge in any way…
Answer now: There is currently nothing that will make it impossible for even a unmutated player to simply survive forever. Even if you simply stay in one place and just grind your levels too max and keep farming there is nothing that prevents you from just staying in that place forever. Even if you sometimes would have to go out too gather the few materials you need for fertilizer or something else. The equipment you can craft and high skills are enough for even a standaart human to survive just fine out in the world as long as you don´t get greedy and pick your fights.
Answer later: The devs are currently developing ways for the world to change. Not just in nature reclaiming and degrading what is left of civilazation making looting harder and structures more damaged. But also more mutant critters and probably the spread of mycus, triffed and other changes to the world.
Lore wise yes it would be possible for a small community to survive indefinitely until something big came along and squashed them. Subsistence is quite achievable, more tricky is resilience in the face of disasters, which is something we don’t model at all, but disasters plus creeping decay is something that the lore says would be happening continuously.
To break that down in a little more detail, the most pressing need is food, the survivors are going to get a significant boost out the gate due to scavenging, but that’s going to fall off over time due to increasing risk of going out and scavenging food, exhaustion of nearby food sources, and decay or other mechanisms that destroy food. That leaves hunting, husbandry, and farming.
Hunting has some issues as one, you’re heading out, possibly alone or in small groups, which with giant mutant moose wandering around is a bit riskier than modern hunting. Also over time the wild animal populations will be displaced by mutant and undead creatures.
Husbandry has the usual problem of the animals you’re trying to raise being delicious to everyone and requiring a lot of land.
Farming is one of your best bets, but is labor intensive and subject to poor weather patterns, which is a thing that is certainly going to come up.
I do wonder wheter all normal animals will go extinct. Or will certain normal animals that are adopteble enough and abundant enough be able to adopt to the cataclysm and survive. Things such as hogs, rats and rabbit given high reproductive rate and a ability to survive off of almost anything might be some of the best contenders to survive. Farm animals might also survive either in human hands or able to adopt to the winderness given how huge thier numbers are pre-cataclysm.
Edit: Cats, small dogs and many other small animals might survive in towns and cities. This is becease zombies keep any large predator and mutants away while ignoring them. Meaning that the undead still protect some of thier former pets.
for some reason I read that as giant mutant goose. The true enemy of all survivors.
poor weather patterns
Ooooh, which ones? Is this more global warming (if it exists in the world of the Cataclysm) or portal storm related? I mainly wonder if we get a chaotic pattern of droughts and heavy rainfalls, or harsher winters and scorching summers.
wild animal populations will be displaced by mutant and undead creatures.
I feel like humans might just mutate, too. There is no way we are the only species with all survivors mostly untouched by everything.
First disaster after the cataclysm: gaigantic hordes of undead cattle numbering in the thousands that roam the wasteland within the first month. Driven not by any master but simply by the remnent of thier herd instinct.
One should genuinely think of the possibility of workers on said farms or places choosing to free such animals knowing the apocalypse has happened. Humans are indeed pretty compassionate at times and the effort to let them out is pretty minimal.
Though of course, the horrors of one of those things being closed, locked up and a player stumbling into the hel of a whole farm of zombie cattle should be considered~