Things just got a whole lot harder for plants. I spent all of Sunday afternoon getting a fire mechanic into the game. Today I left a world running on my home PC while I was at work and I think I’m happy with the balance.
You’ll notice two new additions to the main menu, a start fire button and a ‘Probability of fire’. The button does exactly what you think, it will start a fire on a plant near where you place the spawn symbol on the map. Use that at your own risk!
The fire probability is an extension of the climate model. Every so often there is a test. A random number is generated and if it’s less than the fire probability a set of coordinates is picked at random and if there is a plant there it is set on fire.
This is going to have a big impact on plants which stay densely populated. In my test version of the game I’ve noticed some small islands of plants appearing, rather than the massive solid masses which seem to populate the leader boards at the moment.
As a quick aside you’ll probably notice the fire probability can stay at 1.0 for long periods of time. This is by design, since there is a second probability of a fire being successful which is determined by your plant density.
Keep the feedback and suggestions coming, don’t forget to use the forum and comments on these blog posts.