Post Cataclysm Ecosystem Collapse And Rebalance


#21

Yes, let us set aside our differences and focus on the real threat Crud brother. I gift you these laser rifles to solidify this peace treaty.


well It’s easier to find the creatures that survive basically anything already and assume they will continue to survive in some capacity, even if they mutate heavily in the process. So:
Housecats, Rats, mice, cockroaches, cyotees and feral dogs maybe.

These animals all strike me as animals with good senses that allow them to avoid higher predators, and catch lower prey.

I suspect that top of the food-chain predators will have a harder time surviving without mutations as new apex predators form other dimensions stake their territory.


#22

If many animals simply grew in a way similar to Ant-Man, then science dictates that they would very much go extinct, due to them floating high into the atmosphere and either die of oxygen deprivation or the lack of food.
The ecosystem would REALLY be messed up then, I bet. Or maybe not, I dunno.


#23

No, they’d likely follow the Square/Cube law, which is more terrifying because that means that they’d need to have tissues with an extreme amount of strength, assuming the growth is even.


#24

What I want to know is how the giant insects and arachnids can even BREATHE because of the square-cube law. Normal insects cannot get very large at present due to limitations on the surface area of their types of respiratory systems. 65 million years ago they could get enormous because the oxygen concentration in the atmosphere was higher, but not anymore. A bee the size of a dog would asphyxiate because it wouldn’t be able to absorb oxygen fast enough to sustain it.


#25

It’s plenty possible that they have not simply grown bigger. To survive that, their respiratory systems presumably changed. That’s my best guess. That may be similar to other bodily functions so that they don’t become lethal problems.


#26

I think I remember something being in the lore about oxygen levels having risen in all this mess, allowing for the large insects.

Extra oxygen from the portals or something?

Maybe the insects just got blob upgrades that gave them relevant DNA from vertebrates so they could mutate fully functioning respiratory and circulatory systems/ some weird mutant combo of respiratory and … er osmosis systems, such that it vastly increases the effective surface area?.. Or both oxygen levels and better systems courtesy of the blob.


#27

Just a quick response without reading the thread : You re right the cataclysm would colapse the ecosystem and everything that relies on food to survive should die.
We could balance by adding more mutated herbivore but unless we make them imune to fungaloid everything would end up fungaloid in the long run.
It might need to add something that feed on the fungal infection.


#28

blob vs triffid war extends even to basic subconsience actions? Like blob making animals more resistant to triffid/ more able to fight/ more likely to fight or avoid triffid altogether?


#29

Ants clearing out everything in reach is a good callout.
Herbivores… giant mutant caterpillars munching their way through forests?
Giant herbivorous insects feuding with triffid groves?
Regular sized bunnies swarming the triffids?


#30

Sorry if this was already mentioned, but it would be cool if animals who are normally herbivores actually began evolving combat-based features so that they could raid triffid groves for food, be it the fruit or triffids themselves.

It would be even cooler if some herbivores became outright predatory, stalking sentient plants, though I think that’s unlikely since triffids stay together in one place, making the act of hunting trivial.


#31

Theory is great, but if push come to shove and it gets implemented it would only amount to extra entities with flavor text, modified behavior and maybe some extra attacks and modified stats.

Don’t get me wrong, this is also a major step forward, but for me (a game mechanic complexity maniac) what really stands in the way of fully utilizing this idea is the lack of proper anatomy system like the one in DF.
Having to aim for abdomen because an animal mutated to have thick carapace covering most of its skin? Parasitic cancer-like growth taking over circulatory system if its host heart gets shot? Tough luck.

That said I realize it is borderline impossible to simulate all this goodness on the scale the game takes place without slowing it to play-by-email turn-based grand strategy pace.

EDIT: Rimworld-like anatomy system would be more than enough, but I doubt even it would be able stand a chance, performance-wise, against a frag grenade in midst of 100 zombies or other creatures.


#32

Right, I mean, I’m not expecting Cataclysm to be a hyper-realistic ecosystem, balanced perfectly.

I just feel that the game currently lacks interesting creatures. The notion of mutated herbivores and plantlife intrigues me greatly. Even if they have the same stats as a deer, for instance, but they have different flavor text and tiles, that still adds to the world of the game. We’ve had similar discussions about variety in the past, and my opinion has always been ‘More is almost always better’.

Even if it devolves into just ‘more things to chop up into meat’, it’s still an improvement, in my eyes. What’s more is that adding new creatures is very straightforward and done through json, so all it takes is one of you nerds putting in the time. :stuck_out_tongue:


#33

Hordes of herbicidal rabbits that have adapted to use pack behavior, ruthlessly defoliating triffid groves, farms, etc.


#34

Ok Bunny swarms ‘with HUUUGE buck teeth like this!!’ is officialy manditory I think.


#35

I don’t think that Earth’s ecosystem can possibly survive the blob, triffids, mycus and other stuff that appeared everywhere at the same time. All of those elements are too aggressive and too resilient for the nature to compete. Very soon every animal will end up being a zombie or something else similarly unnatural. Plants possibly will last longer but most of them will extinct too. Mutated animals will delay the extinction but not for long since zombies are much more dangerous and do not need to eat or sleep with their numbers growing with every dead creature.


#36

Add Mutated aphids the size of basketballs. They would have an armor piercing proboscis, adapted to penetrate the bark of trees and feed on the sap. Passive unless angered, and can be domesticated to allow players to harvest honeydew (a number of ant species actually do this), which can be processed into sugar or other useful products.

@kevin.granade @Trigon Make the Giant Ants have evolved immunity to the Fungus, and utilize it in a form of simple agriculture, much like IRL leafcutter ants. Except in this case, its not mutualism; the fungus DOES NOT want to be eaten, and isn’t being given a choice in the matter. Giant Ants feeding on the fungus would also help check its growth, which would outright destroy the ecosystem if left uncontrolled. Ant agriculture might also preven the ants from outright stripping the entire environment of biomatter, since they would be growing a lot of their own food. Though they might supplement their diet with zombies or wildlife given the opportunity.

Also, regarding having more plant life, this thread I started a while back. The thread kind of shriveled up and died pretty quickly, but it had some good stuff I think. Mutated/Invasive Alien Flora?


#37

I think I remember seeing that thread a while back. Evidently, I never commented on it, but I think it’s a good idea. That thread seems like it could easily be shoved into this one.


#38

Actually thinking about it it would make more sense for the ants to get infected. Same as when we chow down on Marloss berries. The ants spread the fungus while simultaneously spawning berry bushes out of their faces. That’s… kinda like mutualism. Parasitic mutualism? I dunno. It’s something alright.


#39

No, then you wouldn’t actually be constraining the fungal spread. If the ants are safely consuming the fungus, the imbalances caused by the presence of the giant ants and the all consuming fungus somewhat cancel each other out. We need a reason the fungus doesn’t cover the earth in months, because at its present growth rate, it absolutely could. Having the mycus turn giant ants into Corticeps zombies would just make the fungus WORSE than it already is. We also need a reason the ants aren’t completely consuming all biomass in an enormous area. This accomplishes both.

Also, having something that in-game helps keep the stuff from going everywhere would be nice. Having Giant Ants or other creatures opportunistically grazing (safely) on fungal tiles they come across would be a nice way of doing that.


#40

If that kind of thing were added, it might make sense to have it so giant ant colonies only spawn in (relative) close proximity to fungal towers.
It would be a useless addition if the ants could end up super far away most of the time.