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Threat levels

Introduction

Threat levels are part of the Onslaught module, where monsters swarm towards outposts and attack them, needing people to fight in the jungles to beat them back. The higher the threat level, the more monsters there are.

Once an outpost has enough monsters not being killed - ie, the threat level is high enough - the outpost's walls will start to decrease. At high threat levels, some outpost facilities (shops, bank, council offices, restaurant etc) may close. If the walls reach 0 and there are still monsters attacking, there will be a BREACH! The monsters will invade the outpost and attack anyone present (low-level rookies can opt out of being attacked, but once you've got a DK, you're fair game).

To prevent Breaches, fight in the jungles. If you cannot fight, build up the walls. If you can get your attack very high, try fighting Titans - if they reach their target outpost, they will instantly smash its walls to 0. Depending on the threat level, this can cause a Breach.

The maths of Onslaught

Each outpost needs fighters. Each outpost has its own threat level. The Onslaught module works with:

  • The number of players online in the whole game (the same for each outpost, depends on players)
  • The number of jungle fights done per unit time (different for each outpost, depends on players)
  • A random factor, the "spawn rate", which is different for each outpost each game day.

How to know what's happening

The Council Offices now has an information screen which shows the status of each outpost. If the office is open, you can look up all the threat levels and wall strengths.

These are the threat levels as reported:

  1. Peaceful Days
  2. Quiet Times
  3. Minor Activity
  4. Guarded Atmosphere
  5. Increased Activity
  6. Assistance Required
  7. Critical Situation
  8. Interesting Times
  9. BREACH! (Not directly reported - indicated by a status of "Interesting Times" and a wall of 0)

The effects of Onslaught

A quick summary:

Threat levels 1,2,3: safe
Threat levels 4,5,6: all right
Threat level 7: inconvenient (restaurants, council offices close)
Threat level 8: a pain (bank closes too)
Threat level 9: nothing works (Breach! monsters invade outpost)

See also end section.

Outpost Flavour Texts

If the council offices is shut, you can work out the numerical threat level from the outpost's flavour text.

Ace High

Level 1 (Peaceful Days)

You glance upwards, towards the Outpost walls and the curious folks patrolling them. Both genders dress in spectacular suits of a Victorian cut, and most wear top hats. They stride casually back and forth along the walls, some with canes, some without. One catches your eye and nods a greeting, all smiles - clearly there is no threat to AceHigh right now.

Level 2 (Quiet Times)

You take a look overhead, towards the Jokers patrolling the Outpost walls. They saunter casually back and forth, pausing occasionally to flip a coin or idly roll a die as you might crack your knuckles or scratch your nose. One Joker squints off into the middle distance, at something that other Jokers haven't noticed yet - and you're not sure whether she's going to tell or not. Either way, for the time being, AceHigh is still safe.

Level 3 (Minor Activity)

The Jokers atop the Outpost walls are all staring off in one direction. They remain silent, and nearly all of them are smiling. What this means for the people inside the Outpost could be either good or bad, but at least for now the threat - if the Jokers even acknowledge the approaching monsters as a threat, and not a delightful present - is a long way off.

Level 4 (Guarded Atmosphere)

The Jokers atop the Outpost walls seem excited - some of them have drawn revolvers, and are checking their chambers. Others toy excitedly with coins or dice. Below, some people are nervously glancing at the Outpost walls and wondering whether it's time to start reinforcing them a little bit. It couldn't hurt, right?

Level 5 (Increased Activity)

Shots have recently been fired from the Outpost walls, and the people of AceHigh go about their business with something of a carnival atmosphere. The few Jokers with revolvers are intently scanning the horizon, waiting for something to come within range of their oddly glowing bullets - the others play with their cards, or dice, or coins, and wait patiently and smiling for the gunners to be overwhelmed.

The non-Joker life forms within the Outpost are a sight more worried than their Joker neighbours, and have taken to reinforcing the Outpost walls. Occasionally a Joker will mutter "spoilsport" in their general direction.

Level 6 (Assistance Required)

Atop the Outpost walls, the Jokers who chose revolvers as their weapons of choice are laughing and cheering as they fire double-handed into the approaching horde of monsters. Their projectiles leave behind bright green lines which fall slowly to the ground like cobwebs before fading. Such small bullets do ludicrously disproportionate amounts of damage to their targets; limbs splinter, torsos fly apart, heads disintegrate. The reports don't sound like gunfire - more like the clap of hands. The sounds of the projectiles hitting their targets is somewhat more squelchy and bursty. Perhaps the sound of a hundred people applauding while holding gobbets of raw liver. The Jokers who favoured short-range missiles are standing attentively behind the gunners, waiting for their chance to shine. The civilians inside the Outpost don't seem to be having nearly as much fun as the Jokers patrolling the walls - they run back and forth between the timber stores and the Outpost walls, knowing that the increased rate of fire means serious trouble. AceHigh, it seems, is in for something interesting.

Level 7 (Critical Situation)

Hand-launched projectiles are being thrown over the side of AceHigh's defensive walls. Cards fly in complex patterns, drawing on warm bodies fine red lines that split and widen when the muscles beneath them are foolish enough to move. Coins from dead currencies flip upwards and then fall, slamming massive chasms into the ground or erupting huge, sharp stalagmites - heads or tails. Dice of many sides roll across invisible tables towards their unlucky targets - the mutations they cause are immediate and catastrophic. The Jokers are having a great time.

The same cannot be said for the non-Joker inhabitants of AceHigh, though - nearly all of them are busy hammering new wood to the Outpost walls in a last-minute attempt to reinforce them. You see several local business owners helping out - their shops or offices have temporarily closed. AceHigh is preparing for the worst.

Level 8 (Interesting Times)

The Jokers guarding the Outpost walls from above are laughing, despite - or perhaps because of - the frequent crunch as a monster reaches the Outpost walls and embeds its claws. Most businesses inside the Outpost have closed up shop, and the remaining citizens are beginning to wonder whether it's worth trying to reinforce the walls. Outside, the most bizarre sounds can be heard as the Jokers' unlikely weapons impact against their targets - but not enough. The walls are coming down. AceHigh stands on a coin flip between redemption and destruction.

Cyber City 404

Level 1 (Peaceful Days)

Cyber City 404 is quiet, its Robot inhabitants going about their daily business with their usual inhuman efficiency. The alert level lamps on the Outpost gates are all blue - there is, for the moment, no threat of invasion.

Level 2 (Quiet Times)

You glance upwards, to check on the lightning turrets that surround the Outpost. The occasional whine of a servo can be heard as a turret idly tracks something far off. The alert level lamps on the Outpost gates are all blue - one will occasionally shift to green for a moment as a turret rotates, then back to blue again. Cyber City 404 is still well-guarded, and its inhabitants are as calm as only Robots know how to be.

Level 3 (Minor Activity)

The turrets atop the Outpost walls are twitching back and forth, focussing on something out of their firing range. The alert level lamps on the Outpost gates flicker between blue and green, and the Outpost's inhabitants glance over towards them occasionally to check on them. Cyber City 404 is safe, for the moment - but some clearly feel that the turrets will have to start firing again soon.

Level 4 (Guarded Atmosphere)

The alert level lamps on the Outpost walls are a solid green. Diesel generators have started up, their pounding compressions drowning out the sound of the turrets' servo motors as they spin back and forth, tracking creatures just out of their range - if they were sentient, they would undoubtedly be feeling a bit frustrated by now. As for the sentient creatures within the Outposts - well, they're going about their daily business as per usual, calm and calculating, but one or two of them can be seen carrying extra lengths of timber back and forth between the stockpiles and the Outpost walls. It seems that the City of Machines is preparing for an altercation.

Level 5 (Increased Activity)

You glance at the alert level lamps on the Outpost gates. As you watch, one of them flickers from green to orange, and your shadow is briefly visible against the wall - a split-second later, an almighty CRACK tears through your eardrums. You swivel in the direction of the sound, as do several other citizens; one of the lightning turrets has just fired, and steam rises from its conductor as it fades from a dull red back to silver.

As a mild scent of ozone fills the air, and the ringing in your ears dies down, a handful of Robots turn from their paths and approach the timber stockpiles, ready to start reinforcing the walls.

Level 6 (Assistance Required)

The alert level lamps on the Outpost gates are flickering between orange and green now, as the creatures outside the Outpost get within firing range. The turrets are firing once every few seconds, and the scent of ozone hangs heavy in the air. Robots hurry back and forth between the timber stockpiles and the outpost walls, and a few can be seen refuelling the diesel generators that power the turrets. Conversation is subdued under the turrets' thunder, and the atmosphere is charged in more ways that one. Cyber City 404 is, it would seem, in for something big.

Level 7 (Critical Situation)

The alert level lamps on the Outpost gates are flickering between orange and red - that means that the lightning turrets can't keep up, and have started to overheat. It's no surprise to anyone, as they've been firing constantly for the past few minutes. Conversation is next to impossible over the racket. The residual static from the lightning turrets is making hair stand on end, and ozone hangs heavy in the air. Your shadow dances against every Outpost wall, and little purple spots dance in front of your eyes. Robots are now running back and forth between the Outpost walls and the timber stockpiles, reinforcing them as best they can.

eBoy's is doing a roaring trade in first aid kits and grenades, and Sheila is staying open for just as long as she can, serving Customers Who Aren't Looters At All, No Sir, with one hand on her favourite shotgun. As for the other merchants, well...

The Council Offices, and Mike's Chop Shop are closed until further notice, and nobody can blame them.

Level 8 (Interesting Times)

The alert level lamps on the Outpost walls are glowing a steady red, with one alarming exception - one lamp isn't lit at all. You look up around the turrets, hoping that it's just a dead bulb - but no such luck. The turret on the far side of the Outpost is on fire, its conductor melted or vapourized away to nothing. Strobe flashes of lightning pierce through the thick black smoke that issues from the turrets that are still running - four flashes every second. You can hear the warm bodies exploding into steam and vapour outside, but you can hear even more of them hammering on the Outpost walls, even over the ear-splitting rapid-fire thunder of the remaining turrets. Most businesses have closed, their owners standing outside the doors and sharpening their already razor-sharp claws.

The turrets aim downwards for a second, clearing a path for one lone Robot to arrive - she limps in on one glass leg, the other one utterly shattered. She's covered in blood; not her own, of course, because she doesn't have any to bleed. Her claws are shiny enough to have been sharpened that morning, but they are notched, bloody, and dull - she clearly came out the winner, but the cost is dear. One side of her face is a nightmare of crooked glass shards - the other is missing entirely, her wires and fibreoptics trailing loose from her neck. Her chest and back are a spiderweb of little white cracks, and her brass ribcage is visibly dented and blackened with soot. She takes three more steps and then falls, her red camera eyes dimming to less than a candle's worth. She will need assistance from her Robot fellows to reshape her ribcage and resolder her wiring; she will need days or even weeks in strong sunlight for her bizarre glasslike skin to heal its cracks. First, she must survive the next ten minutes, and with the walls splintering as long black claws peek in, that seems more like a hope than a plan.

Cyber City 404 prepares for war.

Improbable Central

Level 1 (Peaceful Days)

You glance upwards, towards the Outpost walls. People of every race are patrolling - KittyMorphs with bows, Mutants with sniper rifles, Robots with lightning guns, Humans with assault rifles, Squats with grenades and half-bricks, Zombies with occasional cries of "BRAAAAINS." Even the occasional Joker can be seen, carrying a deck of cards, or a die, or a coin, or a glowing, pulsating revolver.

None of them look at all concerned. One KittyMorph laughs and flirts with a grinning Joker while a scowling Squat watches, disgusted - by the mixed race, or the unmixed gender, or both, you're not sure. For now at least, it's business as unusual in Improbable Central.

Level 2 (Quiet Times)

You take a look towards the top of the Outpost walls, upon which the highly Improbable guard can be seen idly patrolling and scanning the horizon for approaching monsters. One tall Robot is peering off into the distance at something that only her high-resolution camera eyes can detect - something that, for now, is no threat to anyone.

Level 3 (Minor Activity)

You sneak a quick glance up towards the Outpost walls, and the guards patrolling them. A handful are gathered at one corner of the Outpost, looking through binoculars at something in the distance. Some of them look a little troubled - others are still laughing and joking. Improbable Central remains well-guarded.

Level 4 (Guarded Atmosphere)

The guards are muttering to one another, and casting the occasional glance towards something that doesn't seem all that far-off anymore. As they watch, a familiar voice issues from a nearby loudspeaker.

"Your attention please. This is The Watcher. My monster alert metric for Improbable Central has passed fifty. I needn't remind you that one hundred means almost-certain breach, so those of you not busy patrolling the Outpost walls might wish to head out into the nearby Jungles and thin the herds out a little. That is all."

A few civilians give each other worried glances.

Level 5 (Increased Activity)

Shots have recently been fired from the Outpost walls. The guards have taken up their stations - KittyMorphs flex their bows, Robots prime their lightning guns, Jokers roll their dice. An anticipatory air has settled over the Outpost walls, and on the inside, civilians are casting worried glances over the timber stockpiles. Perhaps it's time to start shoring up those defences, reinforcing the walls.

A familiar voice issues from a nearby loudspeaker.

"Your attention please. This is The Watcher. My monster alert metric for Improbable Central has passed sixty. A metric of more than one hundred will easily overwhelm the guards, so the best thing you can do right now is to head out into the Jungle and thin the herds out a bit. Thank you for your attention."

Level 6 (Assistance Required)

The Outpost is somewhat louder than usual - the sounds of rifle shots, lightning cracks, Squat profanity and the occasional explosion can be heard from above and outside. It seems that the horde of slavering monsters approaching the Outpost walls are keeping the guards rather busy.

Meanwhile, inside the Outpost, civilians have taken up hammer and nails and are busy reinforcing the walls with new timber. As you watch them hammer, a blinding flash of stark green light stabs between the stakes - it's gone in an instant, and in the next heartbeat, you feel the shockwave slam through your chest.

Pieces of monster fly into the air and fall into the Outpost, trailing smoke as they tumble, glowing a faint green. "Nice one, Elias!" says a voice from overhead, and you see a Joker take a bow, before reaching into a large sack and pulling out another innocent-looking seashell.

Level 7 (Critical Situation)

The guards atop the Outpost walls are increasing their activity somewhat - and the noise is increasing too. The thunderclaps of lightning from Robots, the cracks of rifle shots from Mutants, the whip of bowstrings from KittyMorphs, and the colourful insults of Squat drown out much of the conversation below. Not that there's much conversation going on - right now, folks are more concerned with hurriedly hammering new wood to the Outpost walls in a last-minute attempt to reinforce them before the guards are overwhelmed and the monsters start tearing at the defences. In fact, some businesses have already ceased trading, and hastily-written signs in the windows declare that they're closed until things have calmed down a bit.

Overhead, the plink of a coin flip is momentarily audible, far louder than it should be. Silence follows - you look up and see the muzzles flashing, but no sound is heard. A Joker catches the coin, smiles, and tosses it over the side. There's a soft whump, followed by a strange popping noise as air rushes into a space that has just created itself.

"Holy shit, did you see that?!" cries a Human atop the walls. There's a strange moment where the guards simply stare at the place the coin must have landed - and from the silence outside, you reason the monsters must be doing the same. Then the spell is broken, and the walls rattle where the monsters embed their claws and begin tearing the place down.

A familiar voice issues from a nearby loudspeaker, sounding rather frustrated.

"This is The Watcher. My monster alert metric for Improbable Central has passed ninety. This means that..." The voice hesitates for a moment, sighs. "Oh, you know what it means. Look, you lot, do not make me come down there. I mean it. That is all."

Improbable Central is about to find out what it's made of.

Level 8 (Interesting Times)

You can't help but glance up at the guards patrolling the Outpost walls - the noise is deafening, although where a few minutes ago it was mostly rifle shots and lightning claps, it's now the crash and splinter of the Outpost walls themselves. Monsters are tearing down the walls, and the Outpost guards are overwhelmed. If the monsters are not subdued, they will keep on battering the walls - and if the walls are breached, they'll come pouring in and overrun the Outpost.

Looking around, you see a lot of terrified faces. Some people are hammering new wood to the walls, and some are readying weapons. All of them are scared - they know that if the walls are breached, it's honestly pretty likely that everyone will die. Most businesses are closed - Sheila's Shack and eBoy's Trading Station are naturally staying open until the monsters flood the Outpost because hell, what else are they to do?

As people panic and scream in the streets below, a familiar voice issues from a nearby loudspeaker.

"Bloody hell, you lot...Do I have to do everything myself? Right, I'm on my way."

Improbable Central prepares for death or glory.

Kittania

Level 1 (Peaceful Days)

Kittania is quiet, as per usual. The archers patrolling the walls are mostly standing around chatting. Birds can be heard singing happily. For the moment, Kittania is safe.

Level 2 (Quiet Times)

You glance upwards, to check on the archers. They are idly moseying along the perimeter, their bows still slung across their shoulders. As you watch, one of them tests the point of an arrow with her finger. Kittania remains well-guarded.

Level 3 (Minor Activity)

The archers patrolling the Outpost walls seem more alert than usual - one of them is pointing somewhere off in the distance, his friends following the line of his finger. They are frowning - something that KittyMorphs seldom do.

Level 4 (Guarded Atmosphere)

An arrow runner is jogging along the Outpost walls, handing bundles of extra ammunition to the archers who have now taken up their stations and stand with fingers gently teasing their strings. Their eyes are wide, their expressions fixed. Their tails twitch. It seems that Kittania is preparing for something interesting.

Level 5 (Increased Activity)

The occasional arrow flies from the Outpost walls with a sound like tearing silk. The archers adopt the wide-eyed, tail-twitching attack stances of their feline genetic cousins. Below them, on the Outpost grounds proper, the people of Kittania unhurriedly hammer lengths of timber to the Outpost walls. Every now and then a claw, slyly extended without the knowledge of its owner, will become hooked or tangled in a piece of clothing or a length of wood - much to its bearer's embarrassment.

Level 6 (Assistance Required)

Fur stands on end when its owner feels threatened, so the people of Kittania look a little bigger than usual. They have good reason; arrows are flying from the Outpost walls, and backup archers are climbing the ladders to help. The dying screams and gurgles of their targets are louder now - the horde is getting close. Conversation is stilted, claws are peeking out and smiles show more teeth than they should. Kittania is, it would seem, under threat.

Level 7 (Critical Situation)

Arrows are flying from the Outpost walls like hail, stabbing into monsters that are now far too close for comfort. Inside the Outpost, citizens run back and forth between the walls and the lumber piles, wondering why the hell they didn't reinforce the walls yesterday, or the week before, or the month before that.

eBoy's is doing a roaring trade in first aid kits and grenades, and Sheila is staying open for just as long as she can, serving Customers Who Aren't Looters At All, No Sir, with one hand on her favourite shotgun. As for the other merchants, well...

You look over to the Cool Springs Cafe - it's locked up tight. Pity. The underground cafe would have made an excellent place to hide until this all blows over.

Level 8 (Interesting Times)

The rate of arrows flying from the Outpost walls has slowed somewhat, but for all the wrong reasons - the archers reach behind their backs to grab arrows that aren't there. Below, veteran combat KittyMorphs solemnly assume stances in front of the Outpost gates, their bodies as fixed as stone save for their tails, which twitch and dance with each resounding crash from the now-splintered walls. Behind them, ordinary citizens hang around nervously, holding weapons both manufactured and improvised. Some are holding hands, some are kissing - some are going further, knowing that they might not get another chance. Some have cheek fur darkened with tears.

Maiko stands at the head of the line, her knives freshly sharpened, her feet planted firmly, a tiny smile dancing around the corners of her mouth. She catches your eye and gives you a sly wink, as the monsters outside continue tearing down the walls.

New Home

Level 1 (Peaceful Days)

NewHome seems quiet at the moment - by which you mean there are no monsters actively banging on the gates. The people manning the turret-mounted machine guns are chatting jovially with each other and sharing cigarettes. For now at least, NewHome is safe.

Level 2 (Quiet Times)

You glance upwards, towards the Monster Defence Turrets. Their custodians are idly scanning the horizon. From time to time, a gunner will nudge his or her fellow guard and point somewhere off in the middle distance. NewHome remains well-guarded.

Level 3 (Minor Activity)

The brave men and women atop the Monster Defence Turrets seem more alert than usual - they attentively focus on the surrounding Jungle, keeping watch over their territory. Every now and then one of the massive chainguns will swivel suddenly and take aim, only for trigger fingers to become relaxed as a slavering beast is confirmed as nothing more than a shadow or a rustle in the breeze.

Level 4 (Guarded Atmosphere)

Shots have recently been fired from the Monster Defence Turrets, and the smell of gunpowder hangs in the air. The atmosphere is tense, guarded - the people of NewHome glance nervously at their Outpost's buttresses, wondering if people would think them paranoid if they just, y'know, shored them up a little bit. A few new planks here and there. Nothing to worry about. Nothing at all.

Level 5 (Increased Activity)

Bursts of machine gun fire can occasionally be heard from the Monster Defence Turrets. Their custodians laugh and cheer as monsters fall - most of their days are slow, tedious, made up of perpetual smoking and the occasional unfortunately misdetected rabbit, and it's nice to get some action once in a while. The people of NewHome go about their daily business, but their smiles seem strained, as if pasted on. Some of them are casually inspecting the Outpost walls, taking measurements and carrying hammers.

Level 6 (Assistance Required)

Things up in the Monster Defence Turrets are getting a little tense. The joyful laughter from the gunners first slowed then stopped as their unexpected fun gave way to unexpected challenge. The atmosphere is charged - shops are still open, but you have to knock to be let in. Hands are gently gripping weapons. Talk is subdued. Cold sweat is trickling down spines. A few citizens are making themselves busy hammering new planks to the Outpost walls to reinforce them. NewHome is, it would seem, under threat.

Level 7 (Critical Situation)

The guns in the Monster Defence Turrets haven't stopped firing for the past few minutes. Conversation is subdued under frequent bursts of fire. The gunners swear and call down for more ammunition, their hands sweaty, their faces red. Outside the Outpost, bullets thump into earth and flesh, churning the grass into brown and red ruin. Inside, citizens run back and forth between the Outpost walls, the turrets, the ammunition stores and the lumber piles, wondering why the hell they didn't reinforce the walls yesterday, or the week before, or the month before that.

eBoy's is doing a roaring trade in first aid kits and grenades, and Sheila is staying open for just as long as she can, serving Customers Who Aren't Looters At All, No Sir, with one hand on her favourite shotgun. As for the other merchants, well...

The Museum is closed and locked up tight, as is the Hunter's Lodge, the Council Offices, Corporal Punishment's Basic Training, the Strategy Hut, Mike's Chop Shop... even greasy old Joe is standing outside his diner, sharpening a large meat cleaver. NewHome is preparing for the worst.

Level 8 (Interesting Times)

All conversation in the Outpost square has ceased. Screaming and cursing can be heard from overhead, the custodians of the Monster Defence Turrets throwing out all the lead they can. The angle of their fire has lowered over the past few minutes, and now powerful shoulders crunch at the Outpost's frail wooden walls, serrated claws splintering the defences. The gunners' hands are numb, their ears ringing, their throats on fire, their barrels glowing red.

All you can smell is the gunner's smoke. All you can hear is their fire. You see people screaming, but you don't hear them. You see the gunners frantically gesturing for more ammunition, but there isn't enough to go around. Doors have gone missing from shops and turned up nailed to the Outpost walls. Still some stragglers stumble into the Outpost from the melee outside, covered in blood and panting, showering all the thanks in the world on the gunners, their preferred deity, or both.

Mister Stern sits on the steps of his museum polishing his glasses, a shiny little six-shot revolver lying on the steps beside him. He puts his glasses back on and picks the gun up, looking it over as though he's not sure what to do with it. Corporal Punishment sits beside Mister Stern, one arm around the thin man, the other resting on his own pistol. Over at Sheila's, Mike is hovering indecisively around the door with a single red rose in one hand and a machete in the other.

Heads turn as a single mighty BANG pushes the Northernmost Outpost walls inwards, splintering the buttresses. A long, black claw is quickly hacked off by a nearby citizen, and lies twitching on the ground.

NewHome prepares for death or glory.

New Pittsburgh

Level 1 (Peaceful Days)

You glance upwards, towards the guards patrolling the walls. They are unarmed, as is the Zombie tradition, and they honestly don't seem at all worried. They shuffle around aimlessly as is their fashion, with nothing more than the occasional cry of "BRAAAAINS." For now at least, things are peaceful in New Pittsburgh.

Level 2 (Quiet Times)

You glance upwards towards the guards patrolling the Outpost walls. They shuffle back and forth aimlessly, with the occasional cry of "BRAAAAINS." But look - one of them is staring off into the distance. Could there be something interesting out there? "BRAAAAAINS?" Maybe? Perhaps?

The Zombie shrugs dejectedly. It was just a rabbit. "BRAAAAAINS," he moans, disappointed.

Level 3 (Minor Activity)

You glance up towards the guards patrolling the Outpost walls. One of them is pointing off somewhere in the middle distance. "BRAAAAINS!" he calls to his friends.

"BRAAAINS?" they respond.

"BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAINS!" he replies.

The rallying call is quickly taken up. Soon more Zombies are staring off into the distance, pointing, salivating onto their clothing. "BRAAAAAAAAINS!"

Looks like the monster activity around New Pittsburgh is increasing somewhat.

Level 4 (Guarded Atmosphere)

"BRAAAAINS!"

The Zombies of New Pittsburgh are shuffling up the staircases that line the Outpost's defensive walls. The call has been taken up, and answered. The scent of approaching hordes of fresh monsters has sent the Zombies into... not a frenzy, not exactly, but certainly an anticipatory mood. They are lining the walls, watching the horizon, sniffing the air and salivating.

Meanwhile, the members of other races inside the Outpost glance at each other nervously. Zombies never panic when the subject of Outpost defence comes up, but they have been known to get so caught up in the brain-eating that they allow monsters to simply run past them and tear at the Outpost walls. A few forward-thinking members of the public are casting evaluatory eyes over the Outpost walls, checking the lumber piles. We shall see if their concerns are well-founded.

Level 5 (Increased Activity)

The staircases that lead up to the Outpost walls are full of Zombies, who by now are craning their necks to get a better look at the approaching monsters. They're getting close, now. You can smell them - and so can the Zombies, whose frequent cries of "BRAAAAAINS!" are growing louder, more emphatic. Soon they will decide they've had enough of watching - soon they will decide that the creatures are close enough to make it worth the effort of lurching out there to devour them. But not yet. For now, the Zombies are content to watch, and drool, and twitch, and roll their eyes around in their sockets.

Unless something is done, the Zombies of New Pittsburgh will eat well today - and the other races, the ones left inside the Outpost... well, they're on their own.

Level 6 (Assistance Required)

Zombies are shuffling down the staircases that line the Outpost walls. A few minutes ago, they were ascending to watch the approaching horde - now they descend, and make their inexorable way towards the Outpost gates. Humans, KittyMorphs, Jokers and Mutants watch them descend, and grimace. They know that it's time to reinforce the Outpost walls, and they set about the task with resigned determination, if such an emotion can be said to exist.

The Zombies are preparing to leave New Pittsburgh and devour as many of the approaching monsters as they can. Things are going to get interesting.

Level 7 (Critical Situation)

The hordes of monsters outside the Outpost gates has grown ever larger, and the cries of "BRAAAAINS!" that echoed through the Outpost not half an hour ago have died down. In their place, a new murmuring has arisen.

"OM. NOM. NOM. NOM. OM. NOM. NOM. NOM." The Zombies' battle cry. Or their call to dinner.

Their arms slowly raise into the traditional lunging position as the Zombies begin to file slowly out of the Outpost.

The non-Zombie population of the Outpost, along with one or two Zombies with somewhat more modern views of warfare, are busying themselves buying up weapons and armour at Sheila's Shack, which remains open by necessity, and grenades and medkits at eBoy's, who remains open out of opportunity. A lot of other businesses have closed. One or two civilians try to persuade the Zombies to stay inside the Outpost, to fight alongside them. They might as well try to bargain with a glacier.

Things are about to get interesting in New Pittsburgh.

Level 8 (Interesting Times)

Most of the Zombies have left New Pittsburgh. They are busy feasting on the creatures that now surround the Outpost. Outside you can hear the crack of skulls and the slurping of delicious brains - but for every head split open, for every chunk of grey matter that splats upon the ground, one more Zombie is distracted for a few more minutes by his meal - and several more nightmares run past him, to claw at the Outpost gates. And claw they do.

The reinforcements, hastily improvised by the non-Zombie civilians now left alone inside the Outpost, are looking shaky. The hammering and ripping and chopping sounds are coming thick and fast. Most businesses have closed, their owners either devouring still-warm brains outside or cowering underneath the counters with a shotgun in their hands.

If something isn't done, if reinforcements are not called in, if the monsters are left unchallenged, if the walls breach - then New Pittsburgh will be overrun in a heartbeat.

Flee, fight, fortify, or fall. Your move.

Pleasantville

Level 1 (Peaceful Days)

Pleasantville appears its usual self. Its population carries on about the usual business of not looking each other in the eye. Glancing up at the guards patrolling the walls, you can see that they're calmly and vigilantly keeping a watch over the surrounding area, their rifles still slung over their humped and twisted backs. Life in Pleasantville goes on without threat.

Level 2 (Quiet Times)

You glance upwards, towards the guards patrolling the Outpost walls. One of them is cleaning his rifle by slowly running one furry, foot-long finger back and forth inside the dismantled barrel. You stop to watch - it's oddly hypnotic for some reason that you can't quite put your finger on. As you watch him cleaning his rifle, you notice his expression - staring off into the middle distance at something outside of the outpost. He looks a little worried - but then, Mutants usually do, don't they?

Level 3 (Minor Activity)

You glance up at the wall patrol. One Mutant with eyes the size of dinner plates is staring off into the distance, seemingly fixated on something moving somewhere far off. One other Mutant is watching - but to her plentiful but regular-sized eyes, the danger is so far off that it seems barely worth commenting on.

Level 4 (Guarded Atmosphere)

Shots have recently been fired from the Outpost walls, and the guards are looking a little nervous. There's no real cause for alarm - the shots were fired at targets far off - but any time an Outpost has to use its defences, people tend to get a tad antsy regardless. Inside the Outpost, a few Mutants are paying a little more attention to the walls - perhaps they could use some reinforcements.

Level 5 (Increased Activity)

Shots have recently been fired from the Outpost walls, and the guards are looking a little nervous. There's no real cause for alarm - the shots were fired at targets far off - but any time an Outpost has to use its defences, people tend to get a tad antsy regardless. Inside the Outpost, a few Mutants are paying a little more attention to the walls - perhaps they could use some reinforcements.

Level 6 (Assistance Required)

The guards manning the Outpost walls are firing regularly now, and the sharp tang of gunpowder hangs in the air. One Mutant is running back and forth between the ladders and the ammunition stockpiles; four of his arms are loaded down with ammunition, leaving two arms free for flailing.

Cuthbert strides confidently along the Outpost walls, lending moral support and Ronsen-Kiai instructions to the gunners. Their shouted insults punctuate their gunfire.

"Wankers!" BANG "Mewling halfwits!" BANG "Lick my slimy undercarriage, you droning imbecilic son of a two-balled bitch!" BANG BANG BANG

Meanwhile, the folks inside the Outposts are hurriedly hammering new wood to the walls in a last-minute attempt to reinforce them. Pleasantville is, it would seem, in for something interesting.

Level 7 (Critical Situation)

The guards atop the Outpost walls are furiously firing at the monsters just outside the outpost gates. Their fire is deafening, their insults filthy and coarse. Ammunition runners are wearing out the soles of their shoes, and civilians are frantically hammering new wood to the Outpost walls. Every few seconds you can hear a bang or a scrape as a monster hits the outer walls before being gunned down. If someone doesn't do something soon, Pleasantville will be in serious trouble - as it is, the Council Offices, bank, Comms Tent and Mike's Chop Shop have all closed up in preparation for the worst.

Level 8 (Interesting Times)

The rate of fire from the guards atop the Outpost walls has slowed, but not in a good way - they are running out of ammunition, and strangled cries can now be heard overhead as monsters begin to scale the walls. Several Mutant guards have abandoned their now-empty rifles and switched to their combat knives. Blood trickles down the inside of the Outpost walls, and is quickly covered by hastily reinforced sections thanks to dutiful civilians.

Most shops are closed, given the situation. Cuthbert has abandoned his post atop the walls, and has taken up position just inside the Outpost, facing the gates. One large permanent marker is gripped tightly in each hand; improvised yawara for the guy who's always been so adamant about the relative efficacy of pen versus sword. He sees you watching and gives you a nod as another Mutant runs past him, flailing his many, many arms and screaming something about certain death.

In all fairness, he's probably got a point.

Squat Hole

Level 1 (Peaceful Days)

Squat Hole appears to be its usual foetid self. The violence is centered inside the Outpost rather than outside, and the guards patrolling the walls are busy perfecting their skiving skills. The pile of empty cider cans beneath their posts is growing at the rate of several cans per minute - for the moment at least, Squat Hole is secure under their slightly blurry eyes.

Level 2 (Quiet Times)

You glance up at the wall patrol. One squat is pointing off into the distance, another one trying to focus on what he's indicating. With a snort of derisive laughter, the watching squat clouts the pointing squat around the head. "Thassa fookin' rabbit yer plonker!"

For the moment, unless some strange trick of perspective has made the rabbit much smaller than it actually is, Squat Hole is still well-guarded.

Level 3 (Minor Activity)

The patrol squats, knowing that someone might be watching, are strolling reluctantly back and forth along the walls, smoking hand-rolled cigarettes and spitting over the sides. Their banter seems a little more lively - perhaps it's because they sighted, somewhere in the distance, something that would be fun to fight.

Level 4 (Guarded Atmosphere)

"Gerra bloody move on!"

You look up towards the source of the sound. It's not often you hear a squat's voice coming from above, so you know before you look that it'll be one of the wall patrol guards. "Up there, yer fookin' muppet!"

"Wha' tha fook yer on abaaht, yer dick'ead?"

"Jus' bleein' look, will yer?"

The two squats stand in silence for a moment, staring at something outside of the Outpost.

"Fookin' miles away yet," says the second squat, sitting down for another smoke.

Level 5 (Increased Activity)

You can hear a rumbling from outside - as though from a thousand pairs of feet, or tentacles, or claws. As the rumbling grows louder, one squat swears, annoyed at having his smoke break interrupted. While slowly getting to his feet he snorts, spits, coughs, farts and belches in sequence, then reaches behind himself to scratch at his arse. Now standing, he stubs out the butt of his previous cigarette before pulling one from behind his ear. The thundering stampede of the horde outside grows louder as he searches his pockets for a lighter, pulling out spoons, odd change, cigarette ash, half-eaten pizza slices and hairballs. He finds his lighter and puts it towards its intended purpose, before sauntering over to one of the huge cart-mounted catapults lining the edges of the Outpost. Taking his cigarette from his mouth for a moment to roll out one more almighty rippling belch, he kicks the tyre closest to him. He frowns and wrinkles his nose before shrugging and sitting down beside the catapult to finish his cigarette. Outside, the horde of monsters stampedes ever closer.

Apparently Squat Hole is preparing for a bust-up, albeit in the most half-arsed way imaginable.

Level 6 (Assistance Required)

You look up towards the wall patrol guards, such as they are. Amazingly, they're all standing! The guards line the Outpost walls with half-bricks in their hands, tossing them violently towards the approaching horde. Cries of "Gerrahdovvit yer basta'ds!" and "Tha' all yer got, yer fookin' pansies?" and "Fer fook's sake, innit beer o' clock yet?" echo throughout the Outpost. The squat tending to the emergency catapults has taken notice, and is endeavouring to finish his cigarette as quickly as possible.

Sensing misadventure, a few squats are heading over to the timber stores to help shore up the Outpost's defensive walls - but cider doesn't make things easier, and by the time they reach the timber, they've forgotten why they went, and concluded that they must have been on the nick. Thus the timber supply slowly and quietly diminishes, none of it heading towards the Outpost walls. Squat Hole may be in trouble.

Level 7 (Critical Situation)

Most of the shops are closed, their owners very much aware of the threat of looters. Up on the walls, a hundred squeaky voices yell jeers and insults at the oncoming horde. The half-bricks are sailing through the air at a rate of knots. With a reluctant sigh, the catapult attendant squat stubs out his cigarette and begins winding back the first emergency catapult. A mob of disgruntled squats forms around him, drawn by the spectacle of the catapult attendant actually standing up. "Right, who's first?" mumbles the attendant squat around a new cigarette. A huge, intimidating four-foot brawler of a squat steps forward, and clambers into the cup.

"Is it arrigh' if I take me knife, like?" he asks quietly, brandishing the weapon in question.

The mob bursts into peals of laughter. "You fookin' sissy," says the attendant, shaking his head and grinning. He yanks on the release lever, and the squat sails over the Outpost walls. Outside you hear the screams and hurried footsteps of terrified monsters from the rough area in which he must have landed.

Squat Hole is in enough trouble that the squats are actually doing something about it. That means a lot of trouble.

Level 8 (Interesting Times)

Squat Hole prepares for an invasion in the only way it knows how - by heaving half-bricks at it. The improvised missles fly from the Outpost walls, followed by barrages of angry squats launched by the emergency catapults. Outside the Outpost where they land, monsters scatter, terrified.

Inside the Outpost, the traffic at the timber stores has reached a fever pitch. Knowing that the walls are in dire need of reinforcement, more than a hundred squats have turned up carrying hammers and nails and received their free timber. As a consequence, more than a hundred new, smaller timber stores have popped into existence, with timber available for low, low prices.

As you watch, one squat engages in a heated battle - a slavering beast has ripped a plank clean off the wall from the outside, and the squat is hanging on for dear life, shaking the plank to try to get the monster to let go. Eventually she succeeds, and runs off grinning with the plank back to her own little timber store while monsters pour in through the hole. A few spectating squats suddenly have an epiphany, and start tearing planks from the walls for their own stores.

Squat Hole is quite frankly fucked.

See also

This thread on the Enquirer discusses the impact of Onslaught on gameplay as of March 2012.

This document is an attempt to track Island-wide threat levels, identifying patterns and helping people to know where help is needed. It also identifies precisely what closes when for each outpost.

The OST group of volunteers are attempting to keep all the outposts safe, by doing jungle fights, Titan-killing and wall-building where most required, and providing encouragement and assistance to others!

 
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threat_levels.txt · Last modified: 2016/07/09 15:02 by Full Metal Lion