What can we expect when hit by a Cold Wave?
While we don’t want to completely ‘spoil the surprise’ by talking in-depth about all of the disasters that could decimate your beautiful colony, you may safely assume that the environment on Mars is a harsh mistress. Sure, them rocks and that red sand may be looking pretty peaceful, beautiful even. But don’t be fooled. All of a sudden your Sensor Towers may be reporting an incoming Cold Wave that freezes everything in its path, turning the Red Planet white from extreme frost.
And what then?
Water storages will freeze, power consumption will skyrocket, and before you know it, your logistics will break down one building after the other. Worst of all – if a building stops working during a Cold Wave it will freeze solid, meaning that it can be repaired only when heated or after the cold wave is over. No water? Say goodbye to your crops. No power? Watch your Colonists freeze while your entire resource network shuts down, preventing the production of fuel, the extraction of metal and living on Mars altogether. Let it go far enough, and your Oxygen-producing Moxies might shut down. No water, no air and no power. You’re finished. Or well, your Colonists are at least.
The point is – a Disaster may be the catalyst that triggers a chain of events that end with critical failures jeopardizing your entire colony. And we don’t want that, do we?
So how do I protect myself?
I wanted to begin this paragraph with the words ‘fear not’. However, that would be lying to you. You should be very afraid and prepare accordingly.
Regarding the Cold Wave, your issues will probably centre around two connected things: power shortage due to your generators not keeping up with the increased demand, and draining of batteries if not enough energy is stored. Running out of power is of course potentially deadly.
You can counter this by placing Subsurface Heaters close to your most important buildings and the hungriest clusters of power consumers. That will heat up the area around the machine, letting your primary power supply continue working at normal capacity. Be wary though – the Subsurface Heater needs a lot of water to function, and as we know, water is not a resource readily available on Mars. There is one other hitch in this plan – the Subsurface Heater has to be researched first and is not readily available at the start of the game, so you will have to survive at least the first few Cold Waves without it.
Without the handy heater option or extreme overproduction of power, prioritizing critical buildings is your best course of action. Be ready to shut down facilities that are non-vital to conserve for example power or water. Just beware – as mentioned before, any building that stops working for a while during a Cold Wave will freeze, thus becoming unavailable until the end of the disaster. Choose wisely depending on what you have stored and be careful to keep your most critical resources flowing.
You see where this is going. In order to be Surviving Mars, you’ll need to have contingency plans in place, build a sturdy infrastructure and be clever about your resources. And above all – always anticipate the worst.
Would you like to know more?
The next Dev Diary will again be written by Boian Spasov himself. It will hit pretty soon so keep an eye out. You could also sign-up at survivingmars.com if you haven’t already. If you do that you’ll receive exclusive news updates and of course a number of other goodies in-game. Be sure to check it out!
All the best,
Stirling (Sebastian Forsström – Product Marketing Manager for Surviving Mars, or as Candyalien said, last stream…the guy who is in charge of the money!)