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How To Better Design Lunar Spillage Mechanics By Learning From Hound Waves


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Lunar Spillage is designed to be a late game challenge to the DST survival game. But it has a disruptive nature because they can spawn at any inconvenient location on the map, and persist for days.

There are other disruptive events in the game. When hound waves occur, you have to stop everything you do and deal with it right away. We even come up many strategies to specifically deal with them. Same with deerclops and beargers, and antlions global earthquake in both worlds.

Although those events are disruptive, they are fine for 2 reasons I think:

1. Time cost: It doesn't take too long to handle them. (can be handled in minutes, or can be pushed off and dealt with later)

2. Interaction: players can do something about them, or even come up with strategies to take advantage of them.

But...

Lunar spillage has neither of them. It persists for a season. And there is really nothing you can do to interact with it. All you can do is to patch the damage it does and expect even more damage from it while waiting for it to disappear.

 

Based on this logic, here is my attempt to improve the mechanics.

Spoiler

1. A way to patch the spillage and make it disappear

At its first stage when there is only 1-tile spillage, allow players to patch the small tear in the same way boat patches repair a leaking boat. The spillage can happen 1 day later at other random locations.

It does 2 things to the mechanics: the disruption of the event can be solved, and it doesn't take long.

The spillage should respawn somewhere else shortly after.

 

2. The design around the patch method is game design. I don't have the best idea, but I'll try:

Patch method design 1:

At stage 1, the grazers can be killed. After they are dead, the portal becomes vulnerable and starts to collapse. (Each dead grazer drop 1 pure brilliance).

Patch method design 2:

At stage 1, the portal can be patched using dark energy borrowed from Charlie. Add 5 nightmare fuels into the portal, and it will collapse. Upon the collapse, it will drop a pure brilliance (after consuming 5 nightmare fuels).

Patch method design 3:

At stage 1, it can be destroyed by any explosives (like dock tiles).

Patch method design 4:

At stage 1. the portal becomes attackable when players have 0 sanity (below insanity), similar to fuel weaver's shadow hands.

 

As far as I can understand, that's the right logic to approach the problem, that is, to make lunar spillage solvable at a reasonable time cost just like other disruptive events. But my attempt to solve the problem is mediocre, imo.

 

At stage 2 and beyond, the spillage should persist and cannot be destroyed.

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