I've recently been playing State of Decay through again and I had a few ideas about outposts that I'd like to share. These include new abilities for outposts and new types of outpost that depend on the building type, which should in turn give you new ways to think about where you're setting up outposts. I'm hoping some of these ideas will make it into the whatever the Year Two versions of the franchise will be. Staffing Outposts The first idea I want to put forward is that of outposts being manned. Most outposts will require at least a single person to look after them, with some of the more advanced outposts requiring two or more people to look after them. People assigned to an outpost will make their way there and they will set up the outpost when they arrive (replacing the sixty second magically set up supply caches). At midday every day the new shift will make their way from home to the outpost, and when they arrive the old shift will head home. At any time that outpost staff are on the move they may run into trouble in much the same way as any runner. Should a player decide to swap with someone on the outpost staff then the person they were playing as will be swapped in as the new staff member. Supply Caches These are much like the current outposts in that they contain access to the supplies, but these ones aren't able to set traps or have any special abilities. These will still require a runner to set them up (and to dismantle), but they won't be staffed. Once per week a runner will go from the main base on a tour of the supply caches, supposedly replenishing them and bringing back what was left there (this will actually happen as soon as the player uses them). Should other survivors scavenge a house with a supply cache then they will raid some of the supplies the player has stocked unless he arrives and helps them out (packing up the supply cache as he does so). Havens These are safe areas set up for trading missions. The player has to clear a safe area and then make the call, getting it manned by two armed people to keep it safe. Havens act like current outposts and can have traps set in them, but any special abilities of the buildings can't be used. Having a Haven unlocks the ability to trade with other enclaves on your own terms, with a small trading menu allowing you to barter and set up the trade you want to make. That will then appear as a mission on your map. Until you have a Haven set up, trading opportunities only take place when other communities contact you, and they are the ones who decide what to trade. Sniper Outposts These can only be set up in buildings with a second storey. The doors and windows will be blocked off at the bottom floor and a ladder will allow access to the top floor. From here the sniper will be on overwatch and the map circle will be a different colour with a cross hair design. Characters with higher shooting skills will be selected to staff these outposts. Where a trap outpost sets traps for hordes, the sniper is on the lookout for special zombies, clearing them out with a high powered rifle that can take out everything except armoured zombies. This should keep the danger from special zombies from rising as fast, as well as keeping the area clear of them. They can also be called upon as an outpost ability for ten rounds of sniper help just like the ability the Wilkersons or Lifeline outposts give. Characters with higher shooting skills will be selected to staff these outposts. Working Outposts Some of the buildings in the world will have special facilities set up, such as hospitals having areas set up for surgery or medical laboratories, garages being set up as workshops, or gun shops having ammo making facilities. Taking these places as outposts requires an extra person (one to run traps, the other to run the special facility) but adds the use of these specialised built-in facilities without having to build them in the home base. Some houses will have similar facilities, most likely workshops for people to work on their cars. Taking one of these places as an outpost and parking a car in its garage bay/designated parking spot (every building of this sort will have at least one) will allow cars to be fixed up. Characters with skills to suit these facilities will be chosen to man these outposts. These places may also be set up as Sniping outposts if they have a second storey, or they can set traps as normal. When about to set up an outpost the player will be told what facilities are available there (mentioned in the dialogue with home) and asked if they want to continue. Other Home Sites Sites designated as homes can also be taken as outposts, but they are very costly as the material needed to fix the place up as well as the manpower needed to take over the home will be deducted from the total available at home. While these sites will provide all the bonuses of another home site out there (such as the extra building space and built in facilities), there is a higher risk to taking over a home site as an outpost. People moving between the two (either to use facilities they can't access at their home site or simply on a rota shift to staff the place) are at risk as much as anyone in the field. Also, should a home site fall to a siege then a lot more would be lost than at a regular outpost. Finally, there is the chance that unhappy people wouldn't just leave but would take the home site outpost as their own, creating a new enclave there and removing a lot of people from the community. Roving Outpost Out there in the world will be an RV that can be repaired much like in Breakdown. Should a player expend the materials and find the specialist items to fix it up, it will sit at home in a parking spot. From there it can be deployed as a roving outpost for a fuel cost. This will take one character out on a mission where they drive the RV around the map, parking in different places for a game hour and defending the RV before driving to the next spot. Once it has made a complete circuit of the different areas it can park on the map, it will return home and park again. A player finding the roving outpost while it's out and about can use it to access supplies and also a place to drop off rucksacks (which will be added to the home stash when the RV returns home). Scavenging Ability Every outpost that is manned can send its staff out scavenging once per shift. This is a decision to be made from the numbered outpost section, with each one sent individually. One staff member will be sent out to scavenge supplies and may get themselves into any trouble that a runner can. They will stay within the radius of their outpost and will pull in a random small amount of each supply when they go out. Depending on the person who goes, any special abilities an outpost has (sniping, replenishing traps, workshops, etc) will be turned off for the amount of time they're out in the field. When shifts change and a scavenging ability has been used, the outgoing shift will return home wearing a rucksack containing the things they gathered. Spotter Ability This is only available from an outpost that has been set up with a lookout point in its radius of effect. Activating this ability makes them go up and have a look around, marking specials and hordes on the map and any unseen places of interest. In the current game this wouldn't be as useful as I imagine it. However, I'm imagining this working in tandem with a random encounter system. In this system new groups of survivors would move through all the time and some of them wouldn't make it. New searchable RVs and caravans of cars that can have their trunks searched would be added to the map every now and then, and the spotter ability would add these to the map to be scavenged. Clearing Ability Basically the opposite of the Joyride event, this would see a character go out and start moving drivable cars into the parking spots and bays in the radius of their outpost. This should clear roads a bit more and make driving easier. Clearing will also slowly break down the burned out cars that can't be driven, turning them into materials. Once a burned out car has been completely broken down into materials it will be removed from the game. As with the spotter ability above, random events may add these burned out vehicles into the game again. Sieges Outposts in this new design can run into the same trouble that enclaves can, and the noise made in them can sometimes result in them coming under siege (perhaps decided when a horde is ready to infest a place designated as an outpost). The player will have to help the outpost during the siege or they might lose not only the facility, but the people manning it too (although the simulation may see them escaping from an overrun outpost). These ideas should make outposts a bit more interesting to play with in my opinion. Rather than being limited by the number of outposts a home can handle, the outposts become extensions of the home and are limited by the number of people you have working together. They should feel more like essential survival options rather than quick things to set up when you need to get rid of a few items. I think the new abilities and the way they tie into the location of the outpost should make players think a little more about where they set up outposts, rather than simply having them set up to create a single larger safe area. This should also give a lot more opportunities for missions to naturally come about in the simulation. So, anyone got any other ideas to add to this?