Outposts For Year Two

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Furie, Sep 1, 2014.

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  1. Furie

    Furie Here To Help

    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).

    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.

    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?
    Tanguy, xGbHx, GEO THUNDER and 13 others like this.
  2. Add1cted

    Add1cted Got Your Back

    I really like the idea of making outposts a little more than theyare now.

    Definitely agree with them being 'manned', perhaps you always start with a basic outpost and you can upgrade them if you want them to be more specialized or if you have the available man power.

    Potential for besieged missions is a good idea especially if manned. Also like the concept of being able to build an extra facility on certain 'upgraded' outposts.
    DJB204, Akinaba and Cejao like this.
  3. Furie

    Furie Here To Help

    I love the idea of upgrading from a basic outpost into either a working or sniping one to unlock those special abilities. With regular outposts it might increase the safe area and the area of effect when laying traps.

    The one thing that feels either missing or glossed over in SoD is fixing things up. You clean up a room and set it up when you take over a home site, and you upgrade your facilities but that's pretty much it. I like the idea of slowly building up outposts so that they're more a part of the community, and upgrading them makes perfect sense in there.
    DJB204 and Cejao like this.
  4. MrMonst3r

    MrMonst3r Famous

    Great ideas! :) I'd love to see stuff like this implemented in the game.
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  5. [E] Chief

    [E] Chief Got Your Back

    great ideas, these would be pretty awesome
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  6. Tsewe

    Tsewe Here To Help

    Very good points, I was actually thinking about how they could improve the whole Outpost system. Imo it also definitely needs to be worked on.

    While I strongly agree with most of your suggestions and would be thrilled to see them implemented, I think the most important ones for me would be:

    1. Manned Outposts
    2. Different Outposts types, with different manned requirements.
    3. The need to defend them, as in sieged outposts.
    4. Upgrades and unlockable abilities

    So thank you for going deeper into the matter!
    saisrinivas, DJB204 and Cejao like this.
  7. Furie

    Furie Here To Help

    I've always been one who believes that depth and simplicity are not mutually exclusive. All you have to do (he says, as someone who doesn't have to design and code this stuff) is make sure that the systems are simple enough for any player to use, but have enough options and variations that there's no win button.

    At the moment the optimal way to use outposts is to clear a safe area around your base, with one saved to set up as a temporary drop off point when you're out and about in an unlooted area. It's just the way that makes sense for a lot of people. With different outpost types available depending upon the building converted, that immediately changes. Not only that, but it changes how you plan your base too.

    The majority of these ideas are built upon the simulation taking control to make things a little more realistic, or the. UI having both a couple more build options available in the outposts level and a couple of extra abilities that are area related in the radio menu. That sort of simplicity should allow for pretty much any player to benefit from these sorts of changes.
    DJB204 likes this.
  8. Akinaba

    Akinaba Got Your Back

    Just will say that I fully support the idea of manned outposts. Almost all other ideas are also really really nice. Will only point that manned outposts were discussed at least once in a SoD forum and we will hope that developers will think about it once again.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
    DJB204 and Tsewe like this.
  9. Awesome ideas! How about adding a machine gun nest or something like it also?
    DJB204 likes this.
  10. Doomen Gloom

    Doomen Gloom Famous

    Manned outposts sounds like real cool idea, defending them may be a problem.
    Bob Crees and DJB204 like this.
  11. DJB204

    DJB204 Famous

    I think it would be awesome to rob an outpost belonging to another group, or vice versa. (Having one of our outposts robbed)

    Having a group monitor an outpost would be crucial. An outpost left unsupervised could be robbed of all its resources. Also, I think taking A supervised outpost by force with 4 players in co-op would be bad *ss. Allies and enemies will be made.

    The relationship between the player and other enclaves will fluctuate between hostile and friendly base on our actions. We can create a hostile relationship be robbing them, or create a friendly relationship by doing trades or assisting them when they are under attach. (Assuming there is interactions between the other AI controlled enclaves).

    This would really bring the world to life. Accept the zeds of coarse, they dead!!!
    Bob Crees likes this.
  12. Furie

    Furie Here To Help

    Remind me not to go co-op with you... :p

    There was an article I shared here recently that did hint at being able to attack enclaves. It didn't outright say it, but the implication was definitely there.
    DJB204 and Bob Crees like this.
  13. This thread was started 3 years and 3 months ago.

    I don’t have a gaming PC. I might have an Xbox 360 around here somewhere. If I knew that SoD2 had been developed with these sorts of ideas in mind, and some other of Furie’s ideas, I’d go out and get an Xbox One X right now, even though there’s not even a release date yet.

    Besides the ever present graphical updates, I’ve come to expect that a game sequel will go the “more accessible” route, adding a few things for the fans but mainly focusing on the next 10-20 million customers. It’s a jaded viewpoint, I know.

    Of course, it’s much easier for Furie to come up with and write down ideas like these than it is for UL to implement them. However, I really hope that “gameplay depth” has been more of UL’s development focus than “accessibility” has been.

    Gameplay ideas like this add to the Decisions, Circumstances, and Outcomes aspects of SoD1 that were limited but truly enjoyable.
    Bob Crees, Furie and Doomen Gloom like this.
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