A Q&A Thread for Players

#1
Hello! I'm TheRexYo, a new member of this form (though I've been pretty active lately). I'd like to ask a few questions of the dev's regarding what content is most likely to be implemented soon. I know that fire ants are next, so I'd like to ask a few questions regarding them too. However, most are about what comes after / before that. Finally, I might have a few suggestions for how things could be implemented, which will be listed after their respective questions. As for formatting, Main Questions are bolded, suggestions italicized, and follow-up questions left in default format).

  1. (Yes, I've already asked this. I'm just asking again for further clarification.) Are Trap-Jaw ants going to see Formicarium use? If not a definitive yes, how likely do you think it would be?
    1. Suggestion: To simplify things (and allow for more ant species to exist than would be displayable in the nursery tile tab), there should be a limit to how many ants species are displayed for construction at once. Players should be able assign/swap different species to/from the construction hotkeys using the "Ant Browser", a scrolling list which would theoretically allow for as many ant species to be playable as you (the developers) wish.
  2. Will AI colonies be released this year? If you're not sure, can you tell us about when you think they might be ready?
  3. Will Fire-Ants deal venom damage? This one's not as important. Just wanted to know, since most ants don't actually deal venom damage, making the "Weakening" upgrade for F. rufa irrelevant. It would be nice to have some other venomous ants to make this upgrade more viable without spamming upgraded Wood Ants.
  4. Are any other improvements coming to Freeplay? Not now, obviously, because there was just a reworking of it, but in the future.
  5. What's your favorite ant species, currently? This one's just for fun. I know you guys are people, so you obviously have opinions. I'd like to know what strategy fascinates you guys the most.

Also, fellow players, I encourage you to ask more questions in the comments! Perhaps we can make this into a Q&A thread.
 

MikeSlugDisco

Community Manager
Staff member
Community Manager
#2
I'm afraid we're going to have to answer the majority of these questions in a very political matter: meaning for the most part "we don't know", which means we don't want to exclude the possibility (because we'll be quoted on it later), and also often because that's the literal truth. Let's see how we do.

1) We don't know, but probably not, choose a random number between 30 and 70, then do something entirely unrelated with it
2) We don't know
3) We don't know, because that is so far in the relative future
4) Freeplay will be improved and added to for a long time. Nice question.
5) Me, personally, the black ants, Formica fusca. Probably because they're the protagonists of my favourite level, Subjugation.
 
#3
1) We don't know, but probably not, choose a random number between 30 and 70, then do something entirely unrelated with it
Alright, then. That's fine, because we don't expect you to put too much work into minor things like that. Of course, maybe I didn't make it clear, but I'm just hoping for a way to side-purchase Trap-Jaws (perhaps they'd unlock when you get to the third tier), not give them an entirely new Formicarium tier complete with missions and everything. It would be sad to only see them useable in Aggrandise. If mod support was a thing, I would dive straight into adding them to the Formicarium myself, lol.

5) Me, personally, the black ants, Formica fusca. Probably because they're the protagonists of my favourite level, Subjugation.
Also, Black Ants are pretty cool. Only sad thing is that there's little reason to play as them in Freeplay because Gene Thiefs have all they've got and more, thanks to upgrades. Maybe non-ereptor colonies should have a higher population to give them an edge? Or is there some hidden benefit to playing Black Ants that I'm not seeing?
 
#4
Maybe non-ereptor colonies should have a higher population to give them an edge? Or is there some hidden benefit to playing Black Ants that I'm not seeing?
We made a thread about that, we thought the non ereptor colonies could have access to both versions of the ants like mortars + rapid fire or taunt + stun. another thing we thought could be possible was to give them a bonus in food income or cheaper tiles, but increasing their population limit would be good too
 

Buffalo981

Queen
Extremely Helpful Person
#5
We made a thread about that, we thought the non ereptor colonies could have access to both versions of the ants like mortars + rapid fire or taunt + stun. another thing we thought could be possible was to give them a bonus in food income or cheaper tiles, but increasing their population limit would be good too
Aren't ereptors supposed to be more powerful than the other real life species (they're not supposed to be equally good)? I think that the real life species are pretty balanced when compared to each other though. For a colony vs colony skirmish mode released in the future, it's probably best for the player to chose his enemies (so he can play as black ants vs gene thief for a challenge if he wants), but if multiplayer is released, it would probably be best gene thief vs gene thief, and a separate mode for non gene thief vs non gene thief, right?
 
#6
Aren't ereptors supposed to be more powerful than the other real life species (they're not supposed to be equally good)? I think that the real life species are pretty balanced when compared to each other though. For a colony vs colony skirmish mode released in the future, it's probably best for the player to chose his enemies (so he can play as black ants vs gene thief for a challenge if he wants), but if multiplayer is released, it would probably be best gene thief vs gene thief, and a separate mode for non gene thief vs non gene thief, right?
well yes but gene thief can't harvest leaves and if new systems of food harvesting comes up having a ereptor centred game would limit the gameplay possibilities, then different real life species are anything but balanced, if they survive it is only because they're far away from other species, if you put a bullet ant colony and a pharaoh ant colony together, the bullet ants won't even have a chance to escape they'll just get eaten alive.
 
#7
Aren't ereptors supposed to be more powerful than the other real life species (they're not supposed to be equally good)? I think that the real life species are pretty balanced when compared to each other though. For a colony vs colony skirmish mode released in the future, it's probably best for the player to chose his enemies (so he can play as black ants vs gene thief for a challenge if he wants), but if multiplayer is released, it would probably be best gene thief vs gene thief, and a separate mode for non gene thief vs non gene thief, right?
A more reliable, though not necessarily better, solution would be to buff the non-ereptor colonies' population cap. This would be more realistic too, because the other ants have a more rigid colony structure that has evolved over millions of years, whilst the gene-thief social structure must be loose in order for it to accommodate many newly-arriving species. The ereptor's greatest strength is also, therefore, its biggest weakness.

Another idea would be to remove non-ereptor colonies from the gene-thief roster during Freeplay, whilst allowing the latter to obtain "genes" from other species in-game by stealing their larvae and feeding them to their Queen. After at least 5-10 larva are stolen, a new species is unlocked. This would be a difficult task for mundane ereptor workers, but if they can manage it, they will gain a huge advantage over their foes later on. Of course, colony upgrades and stat-improvements would still be available, as soon as their respective species are obtained, though there should probably be a setting to disable them if the player desires.

EDIT: Now that I think about it, the second idea sounds really cool. I ought to remember that one.
EDIT 2: Also, when I say "Reliable", I mean that it would be easier to implement into the game.
 
#8
if you put a bullet ant colony and a pharaoh ant colony together, the bullet ants won't even have a chance to escape they'll just get eaten alive.
Eh, I wouldn't be so sure. Let's have a look, shall we?

In the left corner, we have...
Pharaoh Ants

  • Strengths:
    • Tolerance. This is not a joke, actually. Pharaoh ants are tolerant of other Pharaoh ants, so they won't compete as much for resources or kill each-other off. In fact, you can stick a few of em' in another one's nest, and they'll get along just fine.
    • Low Worker-to-Queen Ratio. These ants have an especially high number of queens per colony, which lends itself well to their rapid "budding" strategy.
    • Food Storage Ants. Pharaoh ants have a back-up plan in case of a famine in the form of a special caste of workers. "If a large amount of larvae results in a surplus of secretions, pharaoh ants will store the excess in the gasters of a unique caste, the replete workers. Members of this group have enormous gasters and can regurgitate their stored food when needed. In this way, the colony has a cushion against food shortages."
  • Weaknesses:
    • Not many to see here, at least when it comes to counter-strategies for ants.
  • Overview:
    • Pharaoh ants need colony size to win, because its their greatest strength - they don't attack each other and have the ability to take over massive tracts of land by producing new colonies via budding. Therefore, they would lose to Bullet-Ants early-on, but if they can get a foothold, they would be able to propagate and rapidly displace their rivals.
... And their opponents, in the right corner, are the...
Bullet Ants
  • Strengths:
    • Venomous Sting. These ants have a massively potent sting, with enough venom to leave a human reeling in pain for up to 24 hours. In fact, their sting is rated as the most painful out of all insects on the planet. Given that a human is much larger than an ant, it can be assumed that a single bite would be enough to kill an ordinary Pharaoh ant. So... yeah.
    • Couldn't find anything else, but if I missed something, please tell me!
  • Weaknesses:
    • No direct weaknesses to speak of.
  • Overview:
    • Extremely deadly offensive force in the form of a lethally venomous bite, but vulnerable to more numerous threats.

Conclusion: A one-on-one between a Bullet Ant and a Pharaoh Ant would almost certainly end with the latter dead within seconds, but the Bullet Ants are still likely to lose once the Pharaoh Ants gather enough forces to outpower them (which won't take long considering how many Queens a single colony of them can have).
 
#9
Conclusion: A one-on-one between a Bullet Ant and a Pharaoh Ant would almost certainly end with the latter dead within seconds, but the Bullet Ants are still likely to lose once the Pharaoh Ants gather enough forces to outpower them (which won't take long considering how many Queens a single colony of them can have).
if you have ever watched monster bugs wars(yeah I've some incredibely credible sources) you know that numbers always win
 
#13
You're not wrong about the whole numbers thing, though. Pharaoh Ants would win simply because they can have multiple allied colonies without fighting amongst each-other.
Bullet ants are large and the colonies are not as large as a result. Whereas pharaoh ants are small, but numerous. In the case of a fight between new colonies, the bullet ants would most likely not do nest invasions, as they will be meeted by a numerical superiority. Despite being bigger and having a deadly stinger, the pharoah ants would simply spread the eagle the bullet ants and rip them limb from limb. In turn, the pharoah ants might actually do a nest invasion because they are with more. If they are losing, they will give off the pheromone signal that the area is unsafe, which causes all pharoah ants to leave the area and signals newly arriving ants that they shouldn't go there. As far as I know, Pharaoh ants are the only documented ant species to have this 'danger pheromone'.
 
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