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Mid/late game depression

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So, with over 500 hours, I seem to keep running into the same play-cycle every time I play this game. I play for 1-200 cycles, building a basic sustainable base. Then, as I try to push into plastics, steel and whatever you're supposed to do at that point in the game, my progress slows down to a crawl, and my questionable designs, that needs constant redesigns, often take many, many cycles to get build. I tend to lose focus, and I'm not really sure what I'm supossed to be doing at this point in the game. After spending 50-100 cycles getting almost nowhere, I restart the game with a new colony. However, the early game is getting extremely boring to get through, and I abandon the game hoping a new patch will fix this problem. But it never does. I really wish I could get into the complex late game stuff - but I keep getting lost and drowning on the way there.


I would really wish there was some guidance at this point. A series of goals or quests. A campaign. A need that forces me to change tactics. Just something - other than my duplicants frantically moving some stuff around the base while everything is self-sustaining and I can't even build a ladder, without having to wait for 50 cycles.

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Often you run itno a wall at some point where you got sustain but the base reaches dangerous complication levels where dupes use 100% of their time managing it while pipes and wires reach critical mass where you can`t imptove the system without rebuilidng the wohle thing. I often feel the same. Like the base is so badly designed i don`t feel like fixing it. So i start over.

What helps me is some sort of basic plan. Like "this time i`m going to do my powerline this way", or "now barracks will be all in one place instead of doing them wherever i got room". I just mix my playstyle a bit.

One of my last attempts i just decided i`m not taming any critters at all. I got a good seed for that with 2 nat gas geysers close to the base and decided to go for a fully mechanical base just moving the critters to designated rooms where they could live their lives. The result was having idle dupes all the time even when bristle farms were manual delivery. Apparently ranching was taking way too much time for me before.

Another time i decided i`m not going to produce much power before i need it for space. I was running on 2 coal gens up to cycle 300 and stuff was working (yes a few ice biomes were melted for cooling but it worked).

My advice would be: Take a piece of paper and draw a plan how you would want your base to look like. Then load the game and try to achieve that. The challenges it gives it`s what the game is about. Plan rooms in a way that auto sweepers can eventually handle the tasks. Then try to get th more complicated stuff done like a rocket or a solar panel array. Dupes sitll take too long to do stuff? Try getting a transport tube system. Try giving them different paths. Or just disable some tasks from the priorities and see what happens. You get stuck again try a different layout. I tried  quite a few and all i can say is that if you don`t start with a plan you will get stuck eventully.

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Oh, I've always played that way - drawing a basic design before starting the game. However, I can't seem to come to the point where I can actually build my designs, because the game progress slows to a halt and I get bored.

This was simply meant as feedback for the developers - the game seems to die for me just before plastics and this time it happened again.

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There are certain things that can take all the dupe time in the mid game. Ranching can be one of those. Another might be sweeping. There is so much rock around when you build your base and mine out nearby stuff it can take 100+ cycles to clean it all up. I usually use storage set to sweep only so dupes don`t run around sweeping it for no reason.

Building stuff outside the base and the oxygen zone takes time when you don`t have atmo suits. I tend to put terrariums near construction sites to avoid them running back for breath. Constructing ladders will take a lot of time if you don`t change the material from sandstone as they will run all the way to base for it. If you make it from igneous they will find it much closer.

Fire poles help a lot. Tiles have a runspeed bonus so building floors everywhere is not a bad idea.

Setting higher priorities for construction and delivery helps as well. Especially for the dupes specialised in that. Best to have a specialised miner with high priority in construction as well. More than one architect and 4-5 couriers to manage everything.

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Yeah, I feel like the game is centered around different phases, and progression is all about moving from one to another.  These aren't necessarily linear, as some of them you're doing for almost the entire game.  The problem is, you don't necessarily know what these are, as the game itself only gives you one objective: to survive.

In my games I usually give myself objectives like this:

  • Early game
    • Become as self-sustaining as possible.  This means food, water, oxygen, power, etc.
    • Get research up and going.
    • Start working on various skills.
    • Explore!
  • Mid game
    • Automate as much as possible.  Free up dupes to do tasks only dupes can do.
    • Get morale up (mostly by improving food), and progress further down the skill tree.
    • Move further down the research tree, prepare for space travel.
    • Improve power generation to be more sustainable.
    • Manage heat as best as one can.
    • Make petroleum by dumping oil onto lava.
  • Late game
    • Space program.  Farm space for materials, research, whatever!
    • Design crazy contraptions.  Store power in incredibly dense ways.  Build a CPU from automation, perhaps?
    • Clean up earlier mess of petroleum/lava.
    • Breed space animals?
    • Make plastics, then accidentally melt them.
    • Take care of the ocean of water that's forming.  Preferably before it all turns to steam.

The thing to remember is, nothing is set in stone.  I usually make up what I want to do as I go along.  Yes, if you haven't played the game a lot, you will screw up initially, but that's all part of the learning process.  Just play as long as you can until things get really bad and you'd rather restart than go on for another doomed cycle.  After about 4 or 5 tries, you should be able to get to 1000+ cycle games.  Personally, I find late game way more fun than early game, except for the performance issues (i.e. frame rate, not anything with the in-game systems) that come with it.

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