Thoughts on fungus


#1

I imagine I’m far from the only person with fungus turned off because it’s just too much of a damned pain in the ass to keep the weeds under control constantly.

I’ve been thinking about why. I love the fungus as an enemy type. It’s just that they replicate so rapidly, and a single fungaloid can spread so much so quickly, that it’s essentially impossible to keep them controlled reasonably. They always come back. To add insult to injury, or maybe injury to insult, they also completely destroy the game world wherever they exist, and maybe worst of all, kill framerate - a sad meta effect that just takes the fun out.

I’ve seen a lot of suggestions for complex ways to reprogram the fungal horde to keep the numbers up while reducing the spread, but looking over the JSON files I wonder if this might be a simpler solution available with about half an hour of json writing:

  • Change fungal spores to spawn multiple enemy types, not just fungaloids
  • Make a new fungal subtype, a fungaloid that doesn’t create spores. Add this to possible spawns from spores, more common than fungaloids. More aggressive than fungaloids although still peaceful until pestered. Make these much more common to spread from spores, with fungaloids something like 1/5 of the spawns.
  • Increase spore production rates from fungal towers and other central spawns (queens, etc) so that they still crank out fungaloids in the local area. Consider making spores from fungal towers themselves a separate spore type that produces fungaloids more

This would make the central structure more important to the spread. Fungaloids would still spread out and grow the mycus, but much of the geometric growth would be slowed. Destroying the spore tower would become a much more important mission to stopping the fungal spread, because fungaloids would spew from it much faster than they would from fungal sources in the wild. Spore towers themselves would become more threatening, putting out spores and fungaloids even faster.

What do folks think of this?


#2

I’ve got mine under control, but I started early and practice extremely draconian quarantine procedures. I burned down every fungal anything I could find first chance I got, and if it was in a forest, the entire forest burned with it just to be sure.

This was however, an enormous pain in the ass to accomplish. A reduced spore spawn rate would be nice. The damned things pop up too damn fast. Your changes would work nicely as well.


#3

The only reason I don’t want to drop spore spawn rates is that they are important for so much else of what gives the mycus its flavour. If spores spawn just as quickly, we’ll still get spreading fungal floors and spore infections and whatnot… but by reducing the rate of spores spawning fungaloids, we can reduce the spore -> fungaloid -> spore++++++ problem.


#4

If there were a creature adapted to feed on the fungus tiles/spores it might help curb some of the geometric growth too.

There is this as well:


#5

I like it, some other options:

  1. Attack spores that don’t germinate on the ground at all, but still carry infection chance.
  2. Split fungaloids into stationary “fruiting bodies” that spread spores and mobile attackers that do not (or do so rarely or only on death).
  3. (advanced), replace a lot of the spore-based spawning with the reproduction or vermin systems so that they can happen at a lower rate, but still spread and reach large numbers.
    3a. (v. advanced) adjust reproduction or vermin system to converge on a given population density instead of growing forever.

#6

So…Orks?

Maybe have the corpses produce spores until they are burned.


#7

I think I’ll steal a few of those ideas, Kevin, for this general sketch up:

  • Three spore types, ‘tower’, ‘field’, and ‘attack’ (better names pending). Tower spores produce fungaloids much more often. Field spores have a lower chance to produce creatures, but can still infect and spread mycus. Attack spores are only for infecting, with maybe a very rare chance of spawning creatures.
  • split fungaloids up into slow moving “fruiting bodies” which produce mostly field spores, and good old fungaloids that produce mostly attack spores.

The vermin thing might be beyond me but I’ll look. Having fruiting bodies only spawn from sufficient fields of mycus might work nicely…


#8

I definitely like the idea of a change up. Especially with immobile or semi-mobile fruiting bodies. I definitely think there should still be that moment of dread when you see a fungaloid waltzing by that makes you consider crafting a flamethrower.


#9

IIRC central fungal structures (tower, blossoms etc) have a QUEEN flag, so maybe fungaloids stop reproducing and slowly die off when the one is destroyed?


#10

I’d actually planned to make a mod for mycus similar to what is mentioned above with the reproduction shifted to stationary creatures and using evolution to shift between several variants. I’ll see if I can find enough motivation to actually make it and see what people think.


#11

Having the death of the tower kill off the surrounding fungi would be more than I can do. I am close to working out how to make the spores roughly like I’ve described above.


#12

I am under the impression – perhaps mistaken, since I haven’t dug through the code – that killing the tower causes the spawn pool for the fungaloids to decline. Like it won’t remove enemies that are already on the map, but the available numbers to place on the map shrink over time.
The first thing I do when I spot a fungaloid is figure out where the tower is, make a beeline there, and kill it, then leave the area for a few days at least.


#13

I think that might be how the Triffids work. I don’t remember hearing about the fungus working that way.


#14

Well I know it doesn’t stop instantiated fungaloids from spawning new F’s until the cows come home if they’re hanging around inside the reality bubble, but it subjectively seems to me like it reduces the number I’ll run into when I drive through the area later on.


#15

Hmm. Never actually let them live long enough to notice if it does. When I see a fungal anything, I immediately break out the fusion rifle and begin an aggressive search & destroy/sterilization campaign until I can’t find any more, and all fungal tiles have been burned or are on fire. The last time I procrastinated I regretted it later; it took like 3-4 irl hours to get rid of the infestation that resulted.


#16

Do fungaloids join hordes (if enabled)? Or are they only active when within the reality bubble either way? And if they do join hordes, can they spread while in those hordes?


#17

No, they don’t join hordes, they usually spawn near fungal environment.


#18

Good to know - so if I turn on hordes but keep the fungal areas outside of my reality bubble, I won’t wind up with fungus consuming the world. :smile: Thanks!


#19

Fungaloid sub types -
Sleepy Spores (Spores that when inhaled make you go to sleep.)
Life Drain (The Fungaloid holds on to you and sucks your life force.)

I bet these guys would make good Fungaloid creatures.


#20

Sleep spores is a neat idea!

I’m under the impression that a direct attack isn’t the mycus way. But knocking you out so that you can get properly infected by regular spores and thereby Join the Mycus, that seems like their style entirely.

Particularly if the spores come with a euphoria effect before you pass out. Basically like getting a hit of propofol.