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Add Late Game Problems To Reduce The Grindy Feel

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I wrote these in response to two posts, one saying how the late game feels kinda grindy and another about how diseases have no point, so I'm going to put it here as well in case others feel the same.  It's long though so you've been warned.




Granted I've never really made it to late game cause I restart when a new patch is dropped, but I've never found the need to go to space. 

I played with gassy moos once before but didn't like that they didn't reproduce and didn't want to have to send rockets back and forth to get something to repopulate a ranch that wasn't gaining me anything.  Yeah, I can convert chlorine into nat gas, except I have so much power now that I don't see a need to do that.


Not saying ONI needs a late game goal, but I just don't see any purpose for space besides collecting the free refined metal and regolith from the asteroids.  Isoresin and florene is nice and all, but why?  So I can create a sour gas boiler to make more power that I have no use for.  Or so I can make LOX and LH to go to another planet that will gain me more of a resource I already have.  Or so I can find more blenders to add to my already high decor.

Now, maybe I'm missing something.  I know they added the temporal tear so that's something for me to aim for now but it's not that enticing for me.  I'll probably attempt to reach it in my current playthrough, but unless it's really interesting, I don't know if I'll attempt it again simply because the rockets don't really get me anything.

The food system is the same for me.  Now the best food is the frost burger, which means I only need a sleet wheat farm, a lettuce farm, and a vole ranch and I can give my dupes the best food.  No need to grow any other plants unless I want to.  So while the spicy tofu, mushroom wraps, sushi, surf n turf, and stuffed berries are nice, there's no benefit to have them.  Not saying I want to make things more complicated, but it just feels off.  I currently have my dupes eating raw meal lice while I set up my sleet wheat farm and squeaky puff ranch on cycle 400 some.  Yeah, it's a grisly meal but it doesn't hurt anything because I can balance it with decor.

I realize we are at launch soon but I feel like that would be something to balance.  Maybe after 200 cycles of eating the same thing, the dupe requires a different food type or they become stressed and that stress builds each day they are fed the same thing so 1 cycle only adds 1% stress but 100 cycles would add 100% stress.  The time frame prevents new players from being punished while setting up a base but gives a challenge for later bases.  That or maybe give dupes a favorite type of food.  So while Frost Burgers is the best (+6 Morale) in general since it requires 3 ingredients, maybe Bubbles really loves Spicy Tofu and that gives her +6 as well.  Or maybe it gives her +7 while giving Stinky Stuffed Berries gives him +7.  That way having multiple high tier foods benefits your dupes more since they can grab their favorite instead of just being fed the same standard meal every day.  That gives a later game challenge while rewarding the player for meeting it.


That's mostly my problem with late game though is that there are no more problems to solve.  Oxygen has long since been solved, heat is tamed, power is plentiful, food is simple, diseases basically non-existent, and stress is avoidable.  There's nothing left to threaten the colony.  Food and diseases are my biggest complaints as far as how easy they are to basically ignore.  I don't think I've ever built a med bay before.  Never used the coffee machine, arcade, or jukebot. My standard downtime room consists of 8 marble sculptures, a water cooler, and a painting. 

Even the fact that they can have 2 downtime slots for the entire game seems off.  I know that there are certain days that I definitely require more downtime than others, so maybe do something like the higher tier job they have, the more downtime or the more perks they need.  Like if they run around all day or work in a hot environment they really want a shower.  Or if they are in a cold environment a lot or work on research they want coffee.  If the ice machine was balanced a bit we could even do iced coffee maybe to appeal to favorites again or, as I've seen suggested, have carbonated beverages as well so that maybe our dupes require a drink with their meal after X number of cycles alive for more late game issues.  Bean milk, mushroom tea, berry juice, soda along with coffee and water.

Again, these things aren't needed, but it would give late game players a thing to do while waiting for rockets and such.  It would add some problems to address without murdering the new people.  None of these are earth shatteringly difficult for the player once lettuce and beans get a rebalance.  Right now the bleach stone is a PITA but doable.  It is rather tedious since we have no way to manufacture it without ranching.


Despite my rambliness, I feel like late game just becomes a waiting simulator.  I rarely have problems to deal with anyone more and the goal of visiting other asteroids doesn't appeal to me, so I more look to optomize things since there are no more problems.  Adding some more dupe requirements as they age or requires based on the job they do.  Changing diseases would do a lot but I don't know how drastic they want to make it.  Implementing a flu or common cold would be interesting if it just happened on a random basis.  Or perhaps being in an atmosuit increases the likelihood to encourage people not to trap dupes in suits constantly.  It wouldn't have to be insanely deadly but perhaps it spreads fast so it encourages medbays to keep those dupes quarantined.  If there were a dumbwaiter system or vending machine system where dupes could input what they wanted and have it delivered to the medbay (similar to converyors but requires an automation wire to receive input at the receiving end) instead of having a random refridgerator in there would be amazing but I don't expect to get that.  Perhaps adding that system converts the medbay to a hospital (I think it's called a hospital now) which allows for a bigger area dedicated to sick dupes so that sickness could be an actual problem again. 

I feel like the lack of late game issues is the reason it feels grindy.  You just wait for things to finish, unlike early game where you are putting down new buildings quite often.




In my opinion, there should be an easier way to edit the game settings.  Currently, most people load up a game and click new game, click survival, click an asteroid, and click go.  I feel like if there was a better way to introduce players to the game without throwing them into "No Sweat" it would help because very few people want to play a new game on easy.

In my opinion, ONI has a drastic different penalty from Don't Starve.  Don't Starve doesn't hold your hand at all.  You get flung into a new game and die and die and die until you figure out what you need to do to not die, then you die to something new.  The only real ways people die in ONI is starving or suffocating/entombing.  I honestly can't think of any other ways to die in this game and I know I've lost plenty of dupes over my years of playing.  Maybe being incapacitated and left to suffocate, but that sorta falls under suffocation rather than injury or something else.  I get that we don't want to punish new players too harshly since they have a ton to learn anyway, but the same applies to Don't Starve and yet I don't see any hand holding in that game.


Personally I liked the older punishment for diseases but the newer way to get them.  Making sure no one leaves because they are under 20% immunity doesn't really make sense in my eyes because we can't really scan for that in real life.  Yeah, we know the elderly and infants are more prone to diseases, but you can look at a normal person and say, "yep, you're at 87% immunity right now".  I get game mechanics but still.  If there was a way to use a duplicant checkpoint to scan a dupe to determine their immunity and prevent passage that way, sure, that would be fine.  But the old number up in the corner felt kinda odd.

Slimelung killing makes sense to me because it kinda sound like it should.  If you picture a lung with slime in it, that's not a pleasant picture.  It's like a form of pneumonia, so the fact that it just slows them down for 4 cycles if not treated doesn't really fit the theme or the name.  Now it just makes them lose air faster and makes them cough.  I want to say they also get like a -3 to stats but I don't remember off hand.  Even when it killed before I never made a medbay, I just put down a few triage cots and that took care of my slimelung infected dupes.  Put my researcher on high priority doctoring and it was good.  So it's not like we are asking new people to grow balm lillies and ranch squeaky pufts to make a cure or they die, they just have to have someone make sure they are fine daily so I'm not sure why the penalty of death was removed.

Food poisoning used to make dupes vomit, slow down, and lose calories when they vomit which fit in my mind.  Now they just use the bathroom more, take longer to use it, and have reduced stamina.  So, even if your dupes have it, they aren't going to randomly make a mess anywhere so it won't hinder your game unless you don't have enough toilets, which would already happen if you didn't have enough toilets anyway.  Personally, merge both in my opinion.  Perhaps reduce the amount of vomiting to only X seconds after they eat, or maybe introduce a new medicine at the apothecary that is just soup broth that prevents vomiting.  It could be like coal and some water or meal lice and some water.  That way if you put your dupes in a medbay they don't vomit but if you let them run around and eat the normal food they will.

Zombie spores is one I've actually never encountered because I think I've only dug up one sporechid in all my playthroughs.  I have a living sporechid in my current playthrough but that's the only one I've ever seen actually producing spores.  It's supposed to be something like -10 to all stats for 18 cycles, which seems pretty good to me but since I've never had it I can't say for certain.  I still like the idea of my dupes being possessed or perhaps corpses coming to life, but I doubt that was the intention.  I can't say much on this but I feel like being slow is fine with the chance to be possessed for X number of seconds.  During possession, maybe the infected dupe attempts to plant sporechids kinda like a pip would.  I would love to see the infected dupe try to attack nearby dupes or critters and the only way to subdue them is to beat them down then bring them to a medbay where they are strapped down to a Triage Cot or trapped in a Disease Chamber machine (the medicine tube thing, whatever it's called).  I think the chamber thing makes the most sense since I honestly have never built it otherwise.  Maybe a zombified dupe can only infect others if they are incapacitated which is when it bites them, thus fleeing dupes/critters would have to be attacked multiple times to become infected.  

Allergies are whatever.  Very rarely do I get a dupe that has them so can't really comment on their effect.  It makes them stressed and sneezy, which works.  Don't know what I would to do change them since it seems fine.

Don't know if these really count, but we also have hypothermia, heat stroke, and sun burn that are diseases even if they don't really have microbes.

Hypothermia and Heat Stroke I feel could use something.  I like that heat strokes damages your health and lowers your stats, and that they retain the lower stats until that health is healed up, but that's about the only thing it does.  Hypothermia I think lowers stats and makes them sneezy?  I don't remember honestly since it rarely happens.  Not sure how to change them but the fact that if you type hypothermia into Google and it says, "is an insidious, frequently fatal medical condition" makes the fact my dupes just kinda slow down feel bleh.  In real life it's accidental and preventable so adding death if not treated to the game seems fair since it's one of those things that rarely happens.  Again, we could reuse the soup from above to help cure it.  Or maybe the Pharma chamber tube thing could warm up these dupes.  

Sun burn should also get something.  I honestly don't remember if it even affects stats or anything at this point.  I think it's just a sorta dizzy animation but that's about it.  Correctly me if I'm wrong though cause I honestly don't remember this one.  Would love if it slowed a dupe down since I know if I have a nasty sunburn I definitely start doing things much slower.  Maybe add a nosh bean paste or lettuce wrap to medicine to speed up how quickly they recover.  Lettuce forces them to be confined the a pharma chamber tube thing or triage cot while the nosh bean paste can be applied at a doctor station and the dupe will be able to work afterwards.  I think nosh beans are harder to produce IIRC so hopefully that balances it out.


Overall I wish diseases were more of a threat to put this game more inline with other Klei games.  Unlike Don't Starve, losing a dupe doesn't force you to start a new base, so I don't know why death isn't used as a punishment more.  Yeah, when I started playing I restarted whenever a duped died, but I'm just crazy like that.  I doubt everyone else is.



The main takeaways I had were things to add to make late game more of a challenge.  This is for stuff after like 500 cycles of play though so not something new people will be punished by.

  • Make dupes require multiple food after X cycles alive.  If they eat the same food for Y cycles in a row, they start to become stressed.  Will automatically try to eat different food each day is available.
  • Higher tier jobs require certain machines: Showers for sweaty jobs, Coffee cold jobs, etc.
  • Give dupes a favorite food that gives them same or more morale as a Frost Burger.  Means having multiple farms could produce happier dupes.
    • "Frost Burgers is the best (+6 Morale) in general since it requires 3 ingredients, maybe Bubbles really loves Spicy Tofu and that gives her +6 as well.  Or maybe it gives her +7 while giving Stinky Stuffed Berries gives him +7."
  • Make dupes require a drink with their meal.  If they have a favorite drink as well, bonus morale for providing it.
    • "Bean milk, mushroom tea, berry juice, soda along with coffee and water."
    • Also think Moo milk would be funny as well.


Make diseases a threat again so your base isn't just fine despite everyone being sick.

  • Food poisoning should cause vomit and diarrhea so it can spread.  Dupes seek out outhouse/lavatory before vomiting on the floor.
  • Slimelung kills but takes more cycles to do so.  Can spread so need to quarantine.
  • Zombie spores actually possess your dupes and cause them to attack each other.  Zombie dupe has to be subdued and put into a Disease Clinic (tube chamber under medicine) to get better.  Zombie dupes will infect other dupes once the health dupe is incapacitated.  Zombie dupes die after X cycles untreated.
  • Add a fungal disease for living in a suit constantly so we have to leave our suits now and again or risk getting a disease anyway
  • Have a Medbay as a small room and a Hospital as a large room similar to a Latrine vs a Washroom.
  • New recipe soup which hasten recovery from food poisoning/slimelung/fungal disease.  Costs water and coal or water and meal lice.  Simple, easy to make early game recipe to counter act the disease change . Perhaps upgrade to lily tea later for better effects.
  • Sunburn affects dupe speed drastically or cause hospitalization if upgraded to Sun Poisoning
    • "Maybe add a nosh bean paste or lettuce wrap to medicine to speed up how quickly they recover.  Lettuce forces them to be confined the a pharma chamber tube thing or triage cot while the nosh bean paste can be applied at a doctor station and the dupe will be able to work afterwards."


Crazy ideas generated while writing this post.

  • More uses for lettuce and lower cost for domestic growth. 
    • Maki rolls - lettuce, liceloaf/cooked lice (changed from pickled lice), and Pacu fillet/cooked fish.  Doesn't fit gas range design.
    • Spicy Tofu Wrap - lettuce, spicy tofu.  Spicy tofu made in gas range makes this unlikely.  Would probably require a change in recipe. 
      • Spicy sauce made in the grill from peppernuts. 
        • Spicy Tofu renamed Pincha Crusted Tofu: Pincha Peppernuts and Tofu. 
        • Spicy Tofu new recipe: Tofu and Spicy Sauce.
      • Could add Tangy Barbecue: Barbecue and Spicy Sauce.
      • Could add Spicy Pacu: Cooked fish and Spicy Sauce
      • Could add Sauteed Mushrooms: Fried Mushrooms and Spicy Sauce.
        • Mushroom Wrap removed.
        • New Recipe, Stuffed Mushrooms: Fried Mushrooms, Pincha Peppernuts
    • Spring Salad - lettuce, bristle berries, toasted pincha peppernuts.  Doesn't fit the gas range design. 
      • Toasted peppernuts made In Gas Range maybe with Salt.
      • With toasted peppernuts, could add Trail Mix as a recipe: toasted peppernuts, berries, sleet wheet grain.
    • More Burger Varieties
      • Fish Burger - Cooked fish, lettuce, Frost bun.
      • Mushroom Burger - Fried mushroom, lettuce, Frost bun
      • Tofu Burger - Cooked Tofu, lettuce, Frost Bun
        • Cooked Tofu from electric Grill or just regular tofu since tofu is made in the microbe musher already.
    • New machine: Prep Station - creates higher tier food.  Requires Tier 3 Cooking Skill.
      • Since tomatoes are technically berries, could add bristles as well to make Deluxe Burgers at this machine. 
      • Makes a Lettuce wrap - lettuce and bristles (maybe Spicy Sauce too).
      • Wraps added for each variety - Meat, Fish, Mushroom, Tofu
        • Mushroom Wrap now uses Lettuce wrap and Fried Mushrooms.
        • Also Tangy Barbecue Wrap, Spicy Pacu Wrap, Sauteed Mushroom Wrap, and Spicy Tofu Wrap.
      • Burgers are made here and removed from Gas Range.  Deluxe Burgers use Lettuce wrap instead of lettuce for more morale.
        • If Muckroot was growable, it could act like onions/carrots and further increase the morale lettuce wrap recipes give.  Getting a little crazy now.
      • Prep station makes Spring Salad, Spicy Tofu Wrap, and Maki Rolls  Lettuce upgraded to lettuce wraps.in previous suggested recipes.


  • Other Recipes Ideas
    • Chips or Tortillas - Sleet wheat grain and water.
    • Chips and salsa - Corn Chips, Bristle Berries
    • Chips and Hummus - Corn Chips, Nosh Beans.
    • Cooked Beans - Nosh beans.
    • Cooked Lice - Meal lice.
      • Perhaps a different name but acts like Rice in other dishes.
    • Beans and Lice - Cooked Beans and Cooked Lice
    • Bean Burrito - Tortilla, Spicy Sauce, Beans and Lice.
    • Fajitas - Tortilla, Spicy Sauce, Barbecue
      • Fish, Mushroom, and Tofu options too.


  • Other rooms/concepts
    • Movie room/TV where dupes watch shows.  Requires automated lights and comfy chairs: plastic and reed fiber.  Similar to jukebot in that multiple dupes use it at once.
      • Popcorn machine.  Uses sleet wheat grain and butter.  Butter made from Moo milk or Bean milk.
      • Trail Mix also available for consumption.
    • Kitchen room - decreases food costs, cooks faster.


These are just some suggestions.  Not saying all are amazing but adding some would add more challenge to late game without making the space part harder specifically.

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