The dark days ahead

What prompted this what this discussion and lore writhers answer to the question:Is the human race able to survive Cataclysm?

I feel that one of the things that makes cataclysm dark days ahead unique and what was a big draw for me as a new player was the fact that the apocalypse presented in the game was unique in that it didn’t seem to fall into the two big cliché’s that other apocalypses do. Because they are either not really a threat (see your classic zombie or walking dead scenario, shit like that would never make civilization fall) and only because the average person in such a world must have been either completely inept and any government and institutions are always laughably incompetent for the apocalypse to succeed. Or they follow the 40k format of grimdark that there is no hope for humanity everything is bleak, all your hardship and tribulations and how much you struggle are all meaningless because everything Is doomed in the end.

I like cataclysm because it avoids the first kind of cliché by making the monsters of the cataclysm something truly horrifying and dangerous that would induce existential dread in the people that have to face. And by giving a good explanation why although the government response wasn’t incompetent and was based on plausible motives/sound reasoning but still made everything worse because they didn’t know what they were dealing with the entire time (excellent Lovecraftian theme).

It avoids the second cliché by making the people in cataclysm like real people with the same competence, options, adaptability and tools that they would have in reality and not the soon to be zombie screaming retard that didn’t have the basic instincts to at least try and avoid the zombies. But also by making the monsters that stayed after the cataclysm grounded to our reality and laws of physics (for the most part) and thereby making them killable and beatable (albeit at great difficulty sometimes) if you use the greatest assed that humans have individually, namely tools/technology and intelligence (our social structure is arguably just as important as these two but that is still not properly In the game right now to reflect this).

From what I read form the design document is that you want to avoid the first kind of underwhelming apocalypse that would make the game to easy/unrealistic as the PC can just do whatever they want with very little to stop them and would make many of the games features redundant as the player has no real necessity to use them at all. But I also think that the grimdark direction that you are taking the lore right now does not fit with it either since two of the games you name to emulate in the document are the fallout series and x-com are not just good games because of their gameplay mechanics but also because of their lore surrounding specifically how humanity has reacted to and is adapting/trying to deal with the apocalypse or impending apocalypse (alien invasion). It is also from this lore that many of the gameplay mechanics come from.

I think that cataclysm dda is no different in that regard. A lore that says that earth is a dying world with a collapsing post-cataclysm society that does not have the chance to grow and adapt much (do to unwinnable odds and unbeatable monsters) offers far less (long-term) opportunities for strategy, character development and late-game faction related gameplay than a humanity that is ignored for the most part by the blob, triffids and mycus. Who recognize each other as the biggest competitors around and because some of them have encountered each other before and think humans are just part of the local fauna. Allowing humanity to survive, adopt and reorganize in any way possible. Only for the big 3 (mycus might be exception) to realize that humans are actually way more dangerous than they were let to believe right after coming to this world. At which point they start treating humans as a serious treat and sending some proper horrors to deal with the player/humans.

I think the title sums it up best: Cataclysm Dark Days Ahead. A cataclysm happened and there will be DARK days ahead but there will be days ahead: a future.


I disagree, the endgame where humanity is wiped out is so far in the future that it’s completely outside the scope of the game proper, so it can’t limit gameplay unless the alternative is something silly like an organization created by the player overwhelming a global scale invasion force in less than a single generation.
The development of cataclysm is to a great degree an exercise in rejecting nonsensical fictional tropes such as Ragtag Group Triumphs Against All Odds or Overwhelmingly Powerful Force is Laid Low by Their Secret Weakness. Ragtag groups don’t overcome, they get their teeth kicked in. Overwhelmingly powerful forces don’t have secret weaknesses, someone would have used it against them already.


treu, ragtag groups get there teeth kicked in. However the fact that humanity would stay in ragtaggroups in the long-run (as is largely the case in fallout and the walking dead) is a fictional trope in and of itself. One which does not make sense since people automaticly getter in large groups as social animals and especially becease larger more organized groups give the bigger survival adventages in an of itself and this basic adventage is multiplied by a lot if you throw advanced technology into the mix. people should be forming larger and more organized groups within the fist decade not stay scaterred into a thousand different bands having no affiliation with one another and not forming somekind of larger functioning society. as for this not limiting gameplay yes i think that it does since it would limit you to what factions you could be putting into the game as it implies that the current factions are the largest and most organized humanity is gonna get since everything is going downhill from here, ones you wipe out hells raiders there are no more large organized raider gangs to speak of only presedualy generated bandits with a single base instead of large raider gangs/warlords moving into the region to exploit the powervacuum, no rumors of what your faction is up to or what horrors they encountered while exploring other regions of north america that are not ment for the normal people to hear. no cobbeling togheter/taking over a factory and industialized farm by you and your followers only to buy raw materials from scavengers and supplying halve of all the munitions used on this side of new england. Thereby becoming a target for any warlord/faction looking to take over a piece of new england since you would be a significant local powerbroker. no pissing of one the big three hard enough that they send a horde with proper horrors(i.e. special powerfull monsters that they wouldn’t otherwise waste on normal humans but send after eachother) your way since humans elswhere have also been becoming a problem and they are starting to see us as a problem/threat and are treating us accordingly.

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earth is supposed to turn into a battlefield between the big three. since humanity in the official lore is scattered but not broken or destroyed it would be far more interesting to have the ramnants of humanity reasemble itself into things that are at times just as horrible if not more so than the big 3 and start becoming a problem for them with humans (edit:sometimes) screwing up whatever plans they had to fight eachother and them reacting accordingly as a result. humans wouldn’t be anything special just anotherone of the factions fighting over earth.

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Have fun with it, but what you are describing is so far divorced from dda that it doesn’t bear adressing.

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not even the player pissing of one of the big three enough locally that it strats sending massive hordes and special mosters their factions way to deal with them?

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I like the fact we can all argue about this for days to weeks and keep going back and forth on wether humanity is screwed or not. The uncertainty itself says there a chance but one were humanity will never win or ever regain its former glory, but there is a chance it will live.

We’ll live or possibly continue on as something else.
The future is ever uncertain.

Hmmmmm, which makes me wonder if there would ever be other threats from the endless possible dimensions these eldrich nightmares came from. An in itself a threat greater than all of these factions combined. Not meant as a suggestion, sorry; just reminiscing on lore.


I think that while it doesn’t seem to fit very well as far as theme goes, having hordes of enemies besieging your faction camps after you gather enough people and clear out a few local threats (triffid groves, cities, etc) would be a pretty good gameplay mechanic that would fit decently with the lore. The only thing is that it would require faction camps to have better barricade options, such as faction quests to build outer walls and such.

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The Vietnam War is a example of this being wrong.

The Vietnam War is an example of a guerrilla force propped up by massive infusions of external resources fighting an ultimately successful delaying action against a larger but less invested force.


Also, that was humans v. humans. The reason that the Vietnamese won was because they had backing from an external source and also because they were using intelligent strategies. Sorry, but you can’t make an intelligent strategy that will hold up against something that is millions, if not billions of times smarter than what a person or group of people could ever be. It could straight up calculate literally anything that you could throw at it away. What I’m saying is that humans could never “win”, just enter into a stalemate/tenuous, ignorance fueled peace long enough to try and rebuild enough to escape… somehow (maybe through portals?)? Or more likely just eek out an existence.

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Humans could potentially survive, but never win.

Unless they’re willing to go the extra mile and become something other than human. Further experimention with mutations and cybernetics possibly. But that just be another way to go extinct under different terms.

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when reading the timeline, there was mention of a alien craft piloted by a human theorised to be from an alternative reality, that entered this earth. Leading to much of technological development, plus portals.

Is this Canon and could this potentialy lead to other realities in which humans could fair better?

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It is canon that, more or less, the “multiverse” in this game is infinite, and that there are places in the multiverse where human life is still around (see the Churl profession). However, you’re forgetting what caused the main body of the end: The Blob. The Blob lives inside of all mammals and only activates once it has a great enough foothold, or once its host is dead, turning them into a zombie. While this has the minor effect of meaning that everyone is infected, it has the far more major effect of meaning that nobody could escape to another dimension without The Blob following them through and consuming that one as well. The best any survivors could hope for would be a nearly empty, but fertile plain that stretches onto the horizon, but finding such a perfect world in a multiverse of infinite worlds would be nigh impossible.
Also the portal technology isn’t there yet, and good luck doing science in the wasteland. Or without causing another apocalypse right in your face when it backfires.

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Lore states that the ‘Blob’ matter is only an extension of the hivemind and I’m not sure if it itself is intelligent. If portals take an uncomfortable effort to keep open, maybe the Blob has decided to let things play out on Earth, declaring victory on a macro level and disregarding the remaining humans. What’s to say a (severely diminished ) human society couldn’t come up with some drug or already existing medicine that could suppress the Blob in living mammals? With good corpse-pulping discipline of any dead, and enough time to clear out zombies from an era, there could be small civilisations re-established.

The Blob engaged a minimal amount of effort to open the portal storm. It could engage another minimal amount of effort to open another portal storm if it thought the remaining humans were in any way a threat to its interests.

There aren’t enough human scientists to do significant research immediately after the Cataclysm, much less a year or two in, which is the minimum amount of time it would take to safely suppress the blob molecules in mammals.

Because of multiple factors such as mutagen and zombie evolution, it’s likely that the Blob can also edit DNA on a body wide scale. It’s not too much of a stretch to say that it would make minor edits that would allow the human body to produce Blob cells even after it is totally removed, similar to HIV. So you would need to be chugging the “cure” or would need to find some way to revert your DNA back. Good luck with that one.

Ah yes, but you forgot about the Mi-Go’s! You see, their free accomodation of humans and attempts to communicate have obviously been falsely seen as hostile. They really just want to be humanities pals against the blob

and i mean mi go are other small faction like human so best option for humantiy get hand as much tech as posible and leave earth space might be safer place

i personally think it is highly likely that the blob infection in mamals keeps itself down intentionally and doesn’t mutate anything to avoid detection by the immunesysteem. this is the only logical explentation to why it didn’t just outright kill every single animal it could on planet earth, which it certainly could effetlessly do, and than revive them instead of bothering with the whole portal storm and mutant zombie thing that took it actual affort to pull of and still takes a miniscul part of it’s processing power to come up with new designs. this would also explain why mutagen doesn’t mutate you repetlly in one go but you need many dosis to turn into something treuly inhuman since this is blob programmed to actively mutate you so the immunesysteem would recognize it and destroy it.