This is not 100% my own idea, this topic was loosely mentioned from time to time, but usually not too deep
When youre done with just surviving, you have deathmobile, maybe stationary base with farm too,
you have most bionics and mutations you want, and most of the best gear that exists, whats more to do?
You can try to seek challenges.
Kill walker, tankbot and shoggoth. Complete strange temple. Defeat amigara.
Find necropolis, central lab or that robo-military base and complete them.
It might not even be challengig when you have all skills at 11, even more if you use some ballance-breaking things like stats through skills or you instal every bionic and powercell without limitations.
And what devs could do to this problem? Add bigger military base? Bigger hulks with even more armor? Larger hordes?
You have soo many options that at some point only thing that can kill you are your own mistakes.
You can snipe things with .50cal or rocket launchers. You can snapshot things close quarters with powerfull RMpistol and HVP ammo.
You can stunlock enemies in melee. You can make remote explosives, or even remotely controlled deathmobile to run over everything, and enemies wont even consider it enemy. You can wear power armor.
So how to make anything challenging at this point? Some stupid, randomly generated dungeon in other dimension wont change much, right?
But what if…
Portals lead to other-dimension “dungeons”, but theese portals dont allow you to take ANYTHING with you.
Yes, thats your techmutant demigod naked, with only his\hers skills, mutations, bionics and knowledge how to craft.
Aganist random, deadly, nasty threats. And here nothing really needs to be balanced, since its optional location. Extreme temperatures (maybe not right at the beginning of dungeon), powerfull enemies that put shoggots to shame, infinitely spawning enemies from almost indestructible stone nests, deadly gasses, many elemental anomalies, etc.
Points that need to be ensured to make everything a working game mechanic, and not some fools fantasies:
Portals dont allow you to take anything with you into them (to ensure challenge), but you can take anything out from them. For start trophies could be just artifacts, untill somebody comes up with better idea for dungeon-reward.
You can leave dungeon anytime you want (by entering corresponding portal), unless you wander too deep and get trapped or lost. Because they would be random, very deadly, and you cant allways prepare due to lack of gear and vehicle, it could be unfair death if you enter super hot hell-like enviroment, you dont have right mutations or CBMs, and youre sentenced to death. But we might consider portals closing after few comebacks.
Or just one try, so you cant farm basic resources from here.
There should be some good ammount of possible nutrition and water, but not in easy form. Some dungeons might require even few weeks to beat.
But most food here should be either poisonous, alien, or possible to craft and process only with very high survival and cooking skills. Some monsters might be eadible too.
Oh, and some light source for crafting. Be it natural fires, lava pools, glowing plants or monsters, or just standard “sun”/star above head.
But in that scenario, there can be no roof, so there needs to be something preventing players from climbing walls of dungeon so you cant skip most rooms and get trivial way to finale.
Materials. Big ammounts of raw ingridients.
Tons of iron ore or scrap. Rocks, clay, coal, salt, sand, glass shards, alien wood, copper, lead, you name it.
Your creativity should be only thing stopping you. And ammount of recipes from books you managed to memorise in homeworld. We could go crazy here, and make some plants that give leather, plastic, rags and ropes, theese might be rare.
But some essential things are not survivor-craftable. So another source of loot would be:
- some random zombies, or long-dead survivors that ventured into the portal. Probably only found in first room of “dungeon”.
- some random anomalies that caught small portion of homeworld, be it a small chunk of random building, or vehicle.
- siencists inter-dimensional capsules. Thats right theese fools played with fire just before cataclysm hit, and sent theese medium-small car sized capsules into other dimensions. But there was not a way out at that moment, and they are all dead now. Capsule would be just an enginless and wheelless vehicle, and electronic loot pinata. Lots of ram, solder, small storage batteries, a car alternator or two, cicruit boards, amplifier circuits etc.
And it might come with very small chemistry lab, with some non craftable ingredients.
Dead scientist and soldiers of course can sometimes carry usefull tool or weapon, but given ammout of ammo probably wont last long.
- Dungeon structure. It should consist of 5-15 rooms, each not smaller than a house, and probably not bigger than a hospital. Outer walls should be made of indestructible material, but some walls inside could be mineable (sometimes mining could even be required to progress further).
Difficulty of rooms should increase. First room could have like 2 migos. Room 8 could have shoggoth. Room 15 could contain a beast thats dragonlike.
Not every portal needs to lead to closed dungeon, infinite lava ocean instead of walls will work too.
Each room needs to have some challenge that needs to be solved to progress further.
Monster, acid puddle, fire, baricade that needs to be mined or climbed, extreme temperature, some alien disease, etc.
As you venture deeper into dungeon, you can find more and better artifacts. Probably only “wild” type, rock-like, and you can imidietly take them as reward to homeworld or use them to help you in exploration.
- some bionics and mutations might be op here. Integrated toolset would be even more absurdly powerfull. Teleportation and cloaking bionics too.
- do we allow to take some basic things with internal storage CBM?
- making everything relatively balanced and fair yet random and challenging.
- ensuring there wont be too many unsolvable/unbeatable dungeons due to RNG or lack of some important resource
- technical and code limitations
- you end up fighting eldritch horrors from shade using wooden gratbow and spear
- you made stone forge, some charcoal, all tools needed to forge, now you create some plate armor and Estoc. Now you can finally melee that shoggoth using krav-Maga you learned in homeworld. Deus Vult.
- you found EMP projector in extreamly bad shape. You produce all the required tools to finally make firearm repair kit. Then you build foot crank, UPS, UPS mod and UPS recharge station, all from scrap. You use car alternator from scientific capsule. You repair your gun and have some power for a few shots. Maybe you can now defeat that Beagle Tank that somehow ended up here.
- you arrived at Mycus infested world. Few minutes later you watch with smile on face as everything burns.
- you found some still allive NPC in statis chamber in capsule. Or maybe still fighting,
living and hunting supersoldier who was trapped without a way to the portal (remember that he had all his cutting edge equipement, Reivtech capsules were able to bring some equipement INTO the portals).