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 Getting past Onslaught to the Scrapyard
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Count Sessine
 Tuesday, March 13 2012 @ 11:57 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Full+Metal+Lion

Hmm... speaking of this "using the outpost" thing, why do things stop working when the outpost is almost breached? And by "almost breached" I mean "has a large amount of monsters outside". To get people to fight more monsters? By making sure they can't bank their money?

That's a good question. I think the theory is, it's supposed to provide an incentive to players to reduce the monster count, so that they can get at the essential services. It does work that way... sometimes. (See my grumbling just up-thread? Well, that did motivate me to fight in IC this afternoon until I could get at the PSK. But the same thing did not work on me yesterday, and is not guaranteed to work tomorrow.)

Seems to me the Bank does stay open to a higher threat level than it used to, though. I think it's now the last thing to close.


 
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Full Metal Lion
 Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 02:05 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Count+Sessine

Quote by: Full+Metal+Lion

Hmm... speaking of this "using the outpost" thing, why do things stop working when the outpost is almost breached? And by "almost breached" I mean "has a large amount of monsters outside". To get people to fight more monsters? By making sure they can't bank their money?

That's a good question. I think the theory is, it's supposed to provide an incentive to players to reduce the monster count, so that they can get at the essential services. It does work that way... sometimes. (See my grumbling just up-thread? Well, that did motivate me to fight in IC this afternoon until I could get at the PSK. But the same thing did not work on me yesterday, and is not guaranteed to work tomorrow.)

Seems to me the Bank does stay open to a higher threat level than it used to, though. I think it's now the last thing to close.



Hmm... any incentive to lower the monster levels through fighting would have to make it harder to fight monsters when they reach higher levels. Interesting. Unless, of course, the incentive didn't affect gameplay...
No, I'm not suggesting Story be shut down when monsters are around. Well, I guess I am, technically, but I don't believe it.

But we need this incentive so that people reduce monster count, which we need them to do so the Outpost won't be breached... but they're in the Outpost, and presumably think breaches are a bad thing, so wouldn't they already do that? Or leave, either way? Unless they were just checking out some shiny new features...

There aren't that many features to check out, right?

Hmm... time to go actually play the game and see what happens. Bye!


 
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Trowa
 Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 03:19 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Full+Metal+Lion

...


The Increased Requisition and Double Requisition payouts based on outpost alert level were created rather recently to be an incentive for battling monsters. I think what Sessine and others are trying to say is, incentives just become band-aid fixes to a larger problem.


Something something unintelligible gibberish something.
 
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Full Metal Lion
 Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 04:42 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Full+Metal+Lion

...


The Increased Requisition and Double Requisition payouts based on outpost alert level were created rather recently to be an incentive for battling monsters. I think what Sessine and others are trying to say is, incentives just become band-aid fixes to a larger problem.



Oh right! I forgot about the Increased Requisition! Possibly because I generally lose it. Perhaps I need to lower my DK rank...

I eagerly await the time when all these brains smashing together creates the perfect soup of compromise and/or solutions.


 
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fledermaus
 Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 01:51 PM UTC  
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The increased req is supposed to encourage you to pile in... of course once
the bank is closed, this will discourage anyone of low DKs because they won't
survive long enough to bank it.

Even for high-DK players, the closed bank is annoying, because you can't
access your cash reserve and must forego stonehenge/the stream/the trail
in case you get boated.

It's definitely a big improvement that the bank stays open for longer
now.


 
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Alice Carroll
 Wednesday, March 14 2012 @ 04:10 PM UTC  
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So I've been playing the game for a couple months now, and lurking in these forums for most of that time. Seeing this thread, I finally got around to registering an account to weigh in.

I should say in advance that I recognize that other people enjoy Onslaughts, and I'm speaking from solely my own views, rather than a position of "I think it would be best for the Island if:".

I hate Onslaughts, and wish they would go away. While some of the things proposed in this thread would make me hate them less, nothing would make me actually like them. The fundamental issue is that Onslaughts are balanced around the total number of players, which is a number so large that my contributions are barely a drop in the bucket. I have no real influence over Onslaughts, because there are thousands, if not tens of thousands of monsters out there, and I can only kill a few dozen. As a result the entire Onslaught system becomes a mechanic where the game sometimes decides "Because other people haven't been killing enough monsters, you can't bank, or use this outpost today". And that's obviously no fun.

No matter how Onslaughts are tweaked, they would still be a system where factors outside my control determine whether or not I get to go to Cyber City today. I'm fine with the basic idea of a resource that's only sometimes available, but not when that resource includes things like banks and dojos, and especially not when it's only the dojos of certain races.

Even putting aside the issue of being unable to contribute to Onslaughts, they ask us to do something we don't necessarily want to do before we'll be allowed to get back to using the outpost, and I think that's dumb.


 
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Twosocks Monkey
 Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 11:30 AM UTC  
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One thing that I have noticed very few people have mentioned in this thread is the actual 'point' of onslaughts in terms of RP not just game mechanics.

As a die hard canon and flavour text addict, the RP is unquestionable. It's great to read the increasing threat level outpost descriptions, it's another reminder that OMG we're in a WAR on improbability and hey those hovering leeches aren't just cute they might suck all your blood out.

It's great to see that sometimes you stroll into an outpost and are forced to fight. This all makes sense from the canon viewpoint of the game.

I like to see things canon reinforced.

AND I personally hate dealing with breached towns and the lack of say, the PSK.

BUT...I would be very sad it if all just went away for game mechanics reasons, and we lost all the meaty, juicy delicious RP aspects of it.

That is all.

-moo


moooooooooo Visit and help me finish the monster list: goo.gl/rpBGe (Ya'll mostly know me as CLOG, fyi)
 
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Harris
 Thursday, March 15 2012 @ 05:55 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Twosocks+Monkey

One thing that I have noticed very few people have mentioned in this thread is the actual 'point' of onslaughts in terms of RP not just game mechanics.

As a die hard canon and flavour text addict, the RP is unquestionable. It's great to read the increasing threat level outpost descriptions, it's another reminder that OMG we're in a WAR on improbability and hey those hovering leeches aren't just cute they might suck all your blood out.

It's great to see that sometimes you stroll into an outpost and are forced to fight. This all makes sense from the canon viewpoint of the game.

I like to see things canon reinforced.

AND I personally hate dealing with breached towns and the lack of say, the PSK.

BUT...I would be very sad it if all just went away for game mechanics reasons, and we lost all the meaty, juicy delicious RP aspects of it.

That is all.

-moo



This, this, a thousand times this!

Also, don't drop Onslaught. It's not only an excellent expression of the other half of the game, as Rose so aptly put it (the two halves being war and silliness), it is a challenging GAMEPLAY mechanic that is also not anything you have to spend much time on to get what you want (see Omega's strategy earlier in this thread). I love the roleplay in this game, but I rather like having Onslaught because it makes for a nice as well as easy to get to "opt-in" bit of gameplay that is challenging in the later game (later DKs) but not overly so. Titan fighting is a chore to me, because all you get is numbers. Dropping an onslaught gets you and outpost, and makes your fellow players happy(not to mention gets you fat experience point totals, and requisition) ? YES, PLEASE!

If it we change it at all, please only make it so that people can't avoid it simply by going to the popular outposts. Something simple, though. Don't want to hurt folk for going where they wish. Say, ALL banks close, because there are outposts that have fallen (They're obviously networked anyway, or how could we deposit or withdraw from the same money total in any of them?).

Although my strongest vote (again, IF change is deemed necessary) goes to doing something like that, and giving AceHigh a pub (or adding something to it, if that is unwanted/untenable).

As for CC 404, the features and writing in there make it a cool outpost as it is, with LOTS of generously built sleeping spots that will let you regain lost traveling stamina too. People just need to go there more, and try.



Hmmmmm. It occurs to me- maybe our biggest problem with people not wanting to go past their favorite outposts isn't the outposts themselves (though AH is looking pretty spare compared to...EVERYONE, feature/interactivity-wise), but incentive to travel? AH and New Pitts could stand to be built up a bit more to balance out with the other outposts, I go so far as to say CC 404 is as near to perfect as a post will get, buuuuuuut... what are people also always saying?
"I don't want to go there." The way the Onslaught module works is based on how many monsters are killed in an outpost, and how often, no? Well, if a large number of people simply do not want to play in the outposts in question, and instead, only go in, make their transaction, get their buff ,whatever- what about making travel more interesting and rewarding?

Maybe Onslaught is the complaint for some people that it is because we've been looking at Onslaught is the problem to be solved, and not "Why aren't people traveling more?"


"Ain't nothin' left to do but smile, smile, smile." -The Grateful Dead
 
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Full Metal Lion
 Friday, March 16 2012 @ 06:00 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Harris


"I don't want to go there." The way the Onslaught module works is based on how many monsters are killed in an outpost, and how often, no? Well, if a large number of people simply do not want to play in the outposts in question, and instead, only go in, make their transaction, get their buff ,whatever- what about making travel more interesting and rewarding?



Allow me to relate to you the parable of the toothbrush and the Tetris.

Once upon a time there was a company who made toothbrushes. In fact, they made all the toothbrushes in the world, because this world had poor anti-monopoly laws, or something. This toothbrush company was making an okay amount of money, but they had a problem. So, one day, the CEO called all the important people into his office for a meeting.

"We have a problem," he said. "According to the latest polls, only 65% of the population brushes their teeth!"

A murmur passed through the assorted important people. Only 65%? That's only slightly over half!

The CEO spoke again. "Now, I want the people to start brushing their teeth, so we can sell them more toothbrushes. Can anyone think of a way? Anyone?"

After a brief pause and another murmur, the young VP of Research and Development stepped forward. "Well, with recent advances in technology, we could fit small computers into toothbrushes for a very low cost. I think we should put Tetris on these computers."

"Excellent idea!" cried the CEO. "And whenever you go to brush your teeth, you'll first have to clear twenty lines! That's sure to get the youth excited, for everyone knows Tetris is really fun!"

Everyone agreed, for Tetris is really fun. The plan was put into action.

Six months later, a nervous intern stepped into the CEO's office. "Um, sir?" the intern asked. The CEO looked up from a house of cards he was build, and asked what the matter was.

The intern shuffled his papers. "Well, sir, it's about the Tetris project," he said.

"Oh?" said the CEO.

"Yes. Um, more people have been buying the toothbrushes to play Tetris--" the intern was cut off by the CEO, who smiled broadly, and said "Excellent!"

"Um," the intern continued, "the problem is that less people are brushing there teeth, now, so we come out poorly in the long-run."

"What?" the CEO was astounded. "Why?"

"Well, sir," the intern replied, "it seems they though it was too much bother."

Then they were both killed by The End of the Parable which lunges at you with a moral of sorts!


In case you were wondering, the moral is that you must be careful that "making something more interesting", to get more people to use it, won't compromise the functionality of that something. So, yeah, just don't do that and you'll be fine.


 
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Buddleia
 Saturday, March 17 2012 @ 01:26 AM UTC  
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I have a sudden urge to play Tetris now...

Quote by: Twosocks Monkey
As a die hard canon and flavour text addict, the RP is unquestionable. It's great to read the increasing threat level outpost descriptions, it's another reminder that OMG we're in a WAR on improbability and hey those hovering leeches aren't just cute they might suck all your blood out.
Quote by: Harris
Also, don't drop Onslaught. It's not only an excellent expression of the other half of the game, as Rose so aptly put it (the two halves being war and silliness), it is a challenging GAMEPLAY mechanic that is also not anything you have to spend much time on to get what you want (see Omega's strategy earlier in this thread). I love the roleplay in this game, but I rather like having Onslaught because it makes for a nice as well as easy to get to "opt-in" bit of gameplay that is challenging in the later game (later DKs) but not overly so.

I agree that Onslaught is really cool in terms of flavour text and storyline and setting a scene for roleplay. Unless you're blatantly ignoring all the canon flavour text (in which case, why are you even playing this game), we are in a war here: we've been conscripted to fight for our lives (as well as for the entertainment and profit of others). It shouldn't all be sitting around having tea-parties, games, snuggling, dating, and purring. There should be some panic and fighting and defending and wall-repairing and monster-hunting. I love it that Onslaught exists.

But ...

It's never felt like an "opt-in" thing for me. You can't roleplay at all in a breached town. You can't really roleplay in a nearly-breached town, either: you can do the odd line of "mycharacter is fighting" or "mycharacter takes a break from fighting", but either way you might be snatched off to the Failboat or the town might breach and then your scene goes poof until you can fix it. This is a pain. It's not fun to play when you're constantly fretting about whether/when the town or your character will vanish. It's not fun to play when your choice of interactions is limited to "write about the Onslaught" or "hope that the monsters don't affect the city, pretend that it's not about to breach and write a more normal scene, and hope that all the other people playing notice what you're doing and play along with your scene-setting". (Or "spend several hours trying to lower the alert level so that then you might be able to write a non-breachy scene".) When only two of the eight towns are not regularly breached or at least under such high attack that the shops are closing, Onslaught gets to be far more of a pain than it is fun to read or roleplay about.

Of course, you can play on the map. Or in a Place. Or in the Common Grounds, or a pub, or similar. But there, unless you've brought some friends with you, you're most likely to end up just calling into the void, writing a solo scene. (Of course, those can be fun too! Great fun, very full of story and character development and silliness. But only if you're in the mood for it.) You hardly ever see people writing on the map or in a Place; when you do, they usually seem involved in a private scene that wouldn't welcome random others to join in. Writing in a populated Outpost, you likely will have plenty of other people to interact with, their lines to respond to and build on. People can come and go and you can do the same. Writing in an empty outpost, while it's still often soloing for a while, you are far more likely to get people to join in and play with you. Writing in an empty outpost that is about to breach ... well, that eventually gets pretty damn boring, for me.



The roleplay issue aside, I still think that constant breaches are bad from a gameplay point of view too. If you want to go and get Scrapyard items, you need to have a day/play a race/play a rank where you have decent travel and fighting abilities. Again, they are not really an opt-in part, but a problem to be worked around or given up on. If you do an Omega (this is a verb now!) and go up the mountain, run into and away in the breach until you can build the wall for a few clicks and then sneak in to the Factory/Scrapyard/Rally (which I had no idea that you could do, and I haven't seen anyone else saying that they do it), you might well have used a lot of stamina by the time you get in, giving you poor value for your cigs. And then when you get out, with red stamina and one hitpoint, you're back in the middle of a breach. What fun! How delightful! Hello Failboat, how charming to see you again!


Quote by: Harris
It occurs to me- maybe our biggest problem with people not wanting to go past their favorite outposts isn't the outposts themselves (though AH is looking pretty spare compared to...EVERYONE, feature/interactivity-wise), but incentive to travel?
....
what are people also always saying? "I don't want to go there."

That is an interesting point. It's not just that people don't want to stay there, they don't want to go there at all. Now, I don't often go to or play in the far-off outposts because they are breached, not because I do not want to travel there. (So much roleplay as well as game-functions that I'm missing out on!) But perhaps there is a significant population of people who think differently. In Newhome, every so often you'll see people in Banter saying "let's go and help NP/AH/CC", and then the new people who just started playing that week say "where is that? Oh, it's too far! I can't afford a teleporter". My feeling on that is that while it's really nice of them to want to help, if you don't even know where a city is, you probably aren't going to get that much of going to a breached city: either you are so low-level that you won't be attacked, and you'll find a dead-quiet city with nothing and nobody in it, or, you will find a breach and die within a few minutes, and probably decide "bugger this for a game of soldiers". (And, in fact, neither will even help unbreach the city all that much.) I would be surprised if travel, in and of itself, was a significant barrier to players who can actually stand up to a breach.


Quote by: Full Metal Lion
Oh right! I forgot about the Increased Requisition! Possibly because I generally lose it. Perhaps I need to lower my DK rank...

If the Bank is closed, you can still buy things at eBoy's to "store" your money. It's not as good as the bank - you'll probably lose some in transactions - but it's a lot better than losing it all when you get Boated. IIRC, One-Shot Teleporters and Monster Repellent Sprays have the best req-to-weight ratio for "storing" your req without taking up too much weight in your inventory; you can also buy and drink Energy Drinks which have the second-best fullness-to-stamina ratios of in-game food.


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For some reason, I can't quote because it says I'm not logged in despite obviously being logged in. Go figure?

My quoting boxes have vanished too. But I just type in the formatting codes because I am that pedantic.


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Ada
 Sunday, March 18 2012 @ 04:32 PM UTC  
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Hey Budd,
I actually just watched two people rping in the breached Cyb last night, by using the "Omega method" of reinforcing the walls in between lines. Yes, they were rping Onslaught, and not picking daisies or something, but I found it interesting to watch and even more interesting to read your comment here this morning. Definitely, it was empty. But even before Onslaught Cyb was the empty place - I remember going up there to rp because there were fewer people. It was nice to see them there, anyway.
Anyway.
I went there for the breach (easy exp), but then I remembered this thread and thought I'd try to get into the Scrapyard. And: it was a lot easier than I had expected. It is probably not nearly so easy as a low-level ungeared character, or a newer player, but armed with a plasma gun and at level 11/13 getting in and out was no problem. It took a lot less stamina than I had expected too - you actually don't need to reinforce the walls all that high. You may want to try it, and you may be just as surprised as I was at how easy it is!
That said, the bank and council offices are still out of commission, so it's not to say that there are no problems with Onslaught, just that "getting past Onslaught to the scrapyard" is not nearly as hard as I thought it would be - for me, anyway. Maybe you (or other people) find it a lot harder than I do. Which brings me to my point:
Logging is boring.
Cutting stone is boring.
Fighting in breaches is fun.
Fighting in breaches to recover scrap is fun.
Not everyone agrees with me on the above four points.
Sooooooooo... anyone want to dump some logs and stone at Ada's cottage (two south of AH, pm me if you do this) in exchange for scrap? Big Grin


 
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fledermaus
 Monday, March 19 2012 @ 01:51 PM UTC  
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Tried reinforcing several times. All it seems to do is waste stamina and dump me into another fight. And I have maxed out reinforcement.

I don't think it works when the monster level is too high, which
it almost always is.

To all the people saying "It's fine, just dive into the breach
and reinforce" - it doesn't work that way for everyone, especially
for newbies. And if the only thing they encounter up here is
horrible multi-boating breaches, after they've spent all their
stamina getting here in the first place, why would they ever return?

Anyway, this isn't all going to be whining, I've had another idea:
(I know, two in one year, mark the calendars!)

How about a Dune-esque "Thumper" device, which when activated in
the jungle, dumps you into your own mini-breach situation by
attracting a small horde of monsters. You drop the thumper, and
10-100 monsters (or whatever numbers work) charge you, no hunting
required. The jungles stay cleared by those characters hard enough
to take the monsters on. Those characters get their breach-
accelerated advancement, people who want the city get access,
maybe even with a bank and council office. Everyone wins.


 
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Count Sessine
 Monday, March 19 2012 @ 03:05 PM UTC  
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I have started sampling data to find out exactly how the factors of spawn rate and the number of players online interact over time to affect breaches and bank/council office closings. There is likely a weekly pattern, though it'll take me a couple of weeks of data collection to demonstrate this.


 
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fledermaus
 Monday, March 19 2012 @ 04:52 PM UTC  
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There's random per-gameday per-city element to it.
So you'll probably have to sample for quite a while
to iron that one out.


 
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Count Sessine
 Monday, March 19 2012 @ 05:56 PM UTC  
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Yes... I'm not trying to deduce the algorithm. I'm hoping to model the results to see how much lag there is. (That doesn't follow from the code alone, it also depends on player behaviour.) I don't have enough data yet to draw conclusions about that.

But it's already clear that too many outposts are half shut down for far too much of the time.


 
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LydiaDefountain
 Sunday, March 25 2012 @ 11:51 PM UTC  
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As I work on trying to get Ace unbreached somewhat I had a idea on how to make breaches more fun.. breach only improbable events? Shady salesman type healer offering healing as a improbable event at increased price, and others shady people who might swarm strife torn areas in hopes of profit with things that may or may not help or may even hinder people working on freeing the breach... maybe with breach particular outcomes?

like say a jokerish person who either helps with something that takes a chunk of monsters out, or draws more to the flailing oupost?

I dunno, I'd find that fun and it would draw more people to a breach likely.. maybe? perhaps?


 
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Full Metal Lion
 Monday, March 26 2012 @ 03:04 AM UTC  
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BreachFighting is an expensive sport. That's what I learned, in my most recent adventure. You fight a lot, you lose health and gain XP, but don't get any Req, which you purchase healing with (Unless you're a robot or chem pack user.) So I lost about 4,000 Req total, which I carted to the breach from a nearby Pleasantville. I gained lotsa XP, but I began to think it would be cool to have the breach heal you in some way. Give out ice tokens, redeemable at the hospital tent, or which function as coolant for robots? Do robots work like that? Anyhow, yeah, healing would be nice.


 
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fledermaus
 Tuesday, March 27 2012 @ 11:05 PM UTC  
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Cooling off is cheap for robots... but an emergency coolant pack you could use in combat would be awesome.

As far as healing goes... we only really pay stamina, and
it's quite afforable as long as we keep our HP low.

I did suggest a kind of expensive eboys-temporary-trading post & similar for sheila at breaches - perhaps you could take the opportunity to Loot the Outpost during a breach to scavenge stuff you could sell to eboy too.


 
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Ilovemath224
 Wednesday, March 28 2012 @ 11:44 AM UTC  
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Hey guys, as far as Onslaught goes, there have been at least two new updates:

Update 1: The council offices tell you how much HP the walls of each outpost have.
Update 2: There is apparently the ability to send an urgent distress call from an outpost. Don't know how it works, but it exists. Clarification on this more recent feature would be nice.

Thought I'd contribute this so that everybody's on the same page.


 
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Count Sessine
 Wednesday, March 28 2012 @ 02:16 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Ilovemath224

Hey guys, as far as Onslaught goes, there have been at least two new updates:

Update 1: The council offices tell you how much HP the walls of each outpost have.
Update 2: There is apparently the ability to send an urgent distress call from an outpost. Don't know how it works, but it exists. Clarification on this more recent feature would be nice.

Thought I'd contribute this so that everybody's on the same page.

I think the distress call is automatic. The NPCs send it. Also:

Update 3: You get to see how many other player characters are in the outpost with you. This is always going to be interesting to know, especially when your goal is whittling down an outpost's threat level.


 
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