Maelstrom config. What works?

The version currently on testlive has “Spawn Elder Siege Things” and “Maelstrom building damage enabled” off by default in the Maelstrom settings. I’m interested in what people have done with these and the other settings while playtesting.

Firstly, what do you get if you leave these two settings off and just have “Elder Things Enabled”?
You get the passive demon spawns inside the Maelstrom and you get extra ones triggered as you move around in the Maelstrom.
This lets you find mostly small Elder Things with occasional medium sized ones. The small ones let you harvest Lesser ???s from them and the medium sized ones will give you Unstable ???s. The mediums have a chance of dropping “Schematic Fragments” that you can combine 5 of to get a random IoS feat scroll.

I find this level of settings pretty mundane and of minimal interest. Between you, your thrall and your horse there’s just not enough demons to make the Maelstrom really scary. There’s no reason to push hard into the Maelstrom as the worst you’ll ever find are medium sized demons (looks like they’ve removed the static spawns of Larger Elder Things). At this point in the game I’m wearing epic armor and I’m looking for a more challenging experience with rewards that go with it.

So what happens if I switch on “Spawn Elder Siege Things”?
So the first thing to know is those Siege Things no longer do siege damage which is probably a good thing as in earlier versions they one shot every building component they went near which didn’t lead to interactive gameplay. Now they just beat up your buildings and the only real question to ask is “do they threaten buildings enough to make for interesting gameplay?”.
I’m going to suggest that the default settings do not threaten a T1 structure sufficiently ie: they need to do more damage to make T1 structure non viable in the Maelstrom but you want to make using T3 components worth while. Maybe quadruple their damage against buildings (there is a config setting for that) and things will start to get interesting. I need to do more testing on this.

Based on default settings (“Minimum build size to be sieged” == 41 and “Elder Thing siege building size multiplier” == 1.0), if you build a base of up to about 200 components you’ll attract small Elder Things. If you build above 200 components you’ll attract medium Elder Things and if you build a structure of 385+ components you’ll get Larger Elder Things and this is where it gets interesting.
Larger Elder Things have a chance to drop Greater ??? and Shining ???s. This will greatly improve your ability to generate Surges. They also have a chance of dropping Schematic Fragments which you can combine for IoS Schematics and a chance of dropping scrolls from the Exiled Lands. There are also a selection of demon organs that might drop that you can use. My favourite is the “Molten Heart” that you can use to power your furnace :slight_smile:

For me this is where the Maelstrom gets interesting. You need a sufficiently large base to attract the Larger Elder Things and you need enough tough thralls to defend it (I suggest 6-8 decent thralls in epic armor). You need to be thinking about repairing the base that you’re using to attract them - a little more threat on this would be good hence the suggestion to increase their damage. You need to be mindful that your base will get attacked even when you’re not online so you need to log in most days to repair it.

OK, so lets check “Maelstrom building damage enabled”.
The defaults for this automatically destroy any building component they hit and it targets buildings of size greater than 0 so that means it targets everything. Doesn’t matter if its T1/2/3 it does 1,000,000 damage to it and that will instantly destroy whatever it touches. It doesn’t lead to gameplay you can really interact with in its current form so I started thinking what settings would I use to make it a useful mechanic? You can reduce the damage it causes but to me it seems like a setting that establishes hard boundaries. What if I wanted to limit the max size of bases in the Maelstrom area? I can set “Minimum building pieces for maelstrom damage” so…

My current plan for testing:

Maelstrom building damage is enabled and I’m using it has a hard upper limit to building size in the Maelstrom. I’m trying 380 for “Minimum building pieces for Maelstrom damage” as this will damage buildings that are meant to farm Larger Greater Things but not punish those going after smaller demons. I’m using “Maelstrom building damage multiplier” of 0.01 as this will do 10,000 damage to building components and one shot T1 stuff but T2/3 will last much longer.
Elder Siege Things damage multiplier is set to 4.0 as this makes the Largers a threat to everything and even if you’re hunting mediums they will still erode your T1 builds over several Maelstroms.
Elder Things Enabled is on and I’m trying to find a sweet spot where the number of demons in the Maelstrom feels threatening as at the moment I can just ride/run straight through the lot and it really doesn’t matter.

Some suggestions to the dev team:
Before the Maelstrom deals damage to a placeable (bench/bed/whatever) it should check if that item has shelter. If so, deal no damage or a percentage of damage reduced by the shelter level.
Apply Maelstrom damage to a buildings upper/outer components first rather than just completely randomly. It would be represent the storm wearing down the outside of a structure over time and only hitting the inner floorspace once the roof was compromised.
Vary the probability of spawning a Larger Elder Thing by building size. At the moment you will always get a Larger if your building is over 381 blocks in size and that gets boring. Have Largers spawn occasionally when you’re near 380 but still have mediums sometimes even when you base is bigger than 380.
Oh, and this is still a bug: Placeable Take Maelstrom Damage Even When Below The Minimum Count For That Damage Type

Keen to hear other peoples thoughts on their Maelstrom experience!

“Live, love, burn with life, and figure out whats going on with Siptah”
-said Conan sometime, probably…

I think your larger point is important. In the current testlive build the storm has gone from a phenomenon that dominated most of the map to just about nothing. The storm should be of some consequence.
Some suggestions:

  • Stacking random debuffs (cripple/sunder/bleed) on anyone caught outside of shelter.
  • Quickly max out corruption outside of shelter.
  • Randomly apply frostbite or heatstroke if your armor is inadequate.
  • Brew potions from parts collected from storm spawns and/or ???. That protect you from storm.

Add a grace period to storm damage by tying the decay timer with the damage the storm does to structures. That is to say the storm wouldn’t damage builds you visit for 3 days then starts applying damage. Effectively shortening the decay timer from 1 week to 3 days for building in the storm.

Change the Wild surge mechanic that was removed from dropping humans to dropping storm spawns and large Elder Things.

These are all great ideas! Yes, the Maelstrom needs to be something scary but give players ways to interact/mitigate those effects and it’ll be a rewarding experience.

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