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Surviving Mars patched, now contains fewer idiots

There are too many idiots on Mars but that’s about to change. Colony-building sim Surviving Mars, which pleased our Alec well enough when it launched last month, has received its first major patch. The update notes are a treat – not quite Crusader Kings, The Sims or Dwarf Fortress quality, but there’s some solid stuff in there.

“Colonists will no longer try to walk kilometers on foot to resettle resulting in them dying from lack of oxygen”. Like the headline says: fewer idiots.

There are lots of quality of life changes, including an increased zoom out distance, mass drone reassignment and optimisations for aspects of the simulation. All bundled together, they should make for a tidier game, with fewer clicks needed to get things done. The idiot quota isn’t just in the tweaks to colonist behaviour, it’s a specific change: “Lowered the chance for idiot flaw to appear in the colony and applicant pool”.

Smashing.

You can read the full changelist over at the Paradox forums and the major changes are right here:

Science Institute renamed to Hawking Institute in tribute to Stephen Hawking

Added Birth Control Policy in domes. You can now set births to allowed or forbidden (Ctrl + LMB sets birth control policy in all domes)

Increased max zoom out distance

Optimized the way colonists pick workplaces. Colonists should now pick the best workplace for their specialization correctly and much faster

Added “Reassign All” button to drones which reassigns all drones from this commander or orphaned drones in the area

Colonists will no longer try to walk kilometers on foot to resettle resulting in them dying from lack of oxygen

Rover Command AI tech now removes the batteries of all rovers

Added a keybinding (default: i) that hides/shows resource & anomaly icons on the map

Rovers are more likely to effectively use tunnels

Rovers pathfinding improved

Added free camera option in Photo Mode

I haven’t played the game since release day because I’ve been busy with far more important things than Mars-moulding. All of these sound like very good things though – never underestimate the value of pathfinding and UI changes in this kind of game – and I look forward to being able to forbid births when I finally find some time to play.

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Adam Smith

former Deputy Editor

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