The reception to Farthest Frontier so far has been fantastic and we’re glad to see so many of you enjoying the game, providing feedback and reporting issues. The game will become the best version of itself thanks in part to your support and contributions. It’s the very reason we wanted to do early access again for our second title; the community is showing us that it was the right decision.
We’ve been busily reviewing your feedback, getting bug reports to TOP MEN, and we’re now ready to talk about some of the changes and improvements you can look forward to in the near future, and throughout early access. You can expect this to be the first of many updates we post during early access to keep you in the loop of how things are going and where we are headed.
This is in no way a comprehensive list of what will happen in early access, but we’d like to address some of your top concerns.
So let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
Performance and Optimization
Quarries, Deep Mines and Forestry
Production and Storage Management
Barns and Cows
First up, we’ve nearly wrapped up work on v0.7.5, which is packed with balance changes, bug fixes, and even some new features. You can look forward to this update in the coming days!
We’re sure the question about performance is on top of many lists. Optimization is an ongoing effort that will progress through all of early access. The plan is to introduce improvements as they’re ready, so you can expect to see better performance as we release updates. We’ll be sure to call it out whenever we expect to see major gains.
Some of the current performance issues that you’ve reported and are on our radar:
- Hitching when opening UI windows
- Hitching when the desirability overlay is displayed
- Hitching when buildings are finished
- Hitching when cows are fenced in
- Performance degradation at high population
- Excessively long loading times
- Memory use accumulates when rerolling/restarting maps frequently
One issue we have already resolved that should get much better in the upcoming v0.7.5 update is a memory leak that occurs when reloading repeatedly. This was a nasty one that could quickly eat up your ram, slow down load times and potentially cause the game not to load at all.
We will continue to monitor for issues with loading and work on fixes to get you all in the game and playing.
We have a number of things lined up for the Trading Post.
First up, the current notification for a trader arriving is very minimal (just an icon over the building). We prioritized improving this. In v0.7.5, you can look forward to notifications and a sound that let you know a trader has arrived, and which trader it is.
A circular icon will appear in the top left of the screen whenever a trader is in town and ready to trade. This should make it much more obvious whenever traders are available.
In addition, the trade union has paid its dues to the fire brigade. Fires that erupt at the Trading Post will now get properly put out in v0.7.5.
We are working on addressing issues with traders not arriving, traders leaving immediately, and upgrading the Trading Post. We hope to have fixes out to you ASAP in a future update.
Another thing we absolutely want to add during early access is the option to request a resource from the next trader, for a premium price. This way you can always get a critical item for your town without having to wait for the right trader to arrive. This is coming in a future update.
We hear your feedback about the game being challenging to get into. Some of this is by design, but challenge does not automatically mean frustration. We are working on adding many more tutorials in future updates to help ease you into Farthest Frontier’s many mechanics.
We also understand that many of you wish to have a more relaxed way to play Farthest Frontier that isn’t as pressed for resources.
We’ve created a new map type: Idyllic Valley. This map is teeming with resources of every variety. If you’ve been looking for a place to settle in the frontier where everything is provided for (well except Heavy Tools, those do not grow on bushes), this should be your go to selection. This is now the default map type when you select New Settlement.
In addition, we’ve updated the map descriptions and added difficulty indicators to make it more clear what kind of a challenge you’re setting yourself up for.
In a future update, we plan to incorporate difficulty scaling for Food Spoilage and Crop Diseases, so those playing on Pioneer will have an easier time maintaining their food stores.
We’ve heard your feedback regarding the sustainability of towns in the endgame, so we are taking some measures for v0.7.5. For starters, we are significantly increasing the resources within mineral deposits.
Trees will regrow faster and produce more wood. This should make Work Camps with 2 workers able to chop trees without any additional micromanagement for a long time, if not indefinitely. Full Work Camps focused on trees will still likely make quick work of a forest, but the assumption there is that you need lots of wood and fast.
For those hungry for stone, we are adding the mother of all rocks to the game. Behold! The megarock! This behemoth should sate hungry cities for generations. It is however just a (massive) stepping stone to a long-term solution…
We have also addressed an issue where some resources, such as herbs and willow, were generating outside of the pathable area. No more confusion about what resources are accessible to your villagers.
Quarries, Deep Mines and Forestry
For endgame resource generation, we would like to add several new types of buildings: Quarries and Deep Mines. These new endgame structures will serve the purpose of generating an endless supply of resources for your town so that you can work on perfecting your creations for as long as you see fit.
For wood availability, we noticed some of you have resorted to using décor trees to sustain your towns. While this is a fine workaround, it’s not exactly an enjoyable one. We are discussing solutions for sustainable forests. Ultimately, we want there to be a way to maintain forests on the map without requiring so much player micromanagement. Stay tuned for a future update!
A popular request is churches. You may have already read some of our thoughts (and prayers) on this one, but ultimately the initial implementation of spiritual buildings has come down to development time. If we do spiritual buildings, we think they should come with some sort of mechanic, and not just be a barebones entertainment or desirability option.
There is also a question of what form these buildings should take. For some, the answer is obviously a church. Maybe some sort of quaint, wooden church as seen in most of the small New England towns. But wait, is the game set in the Colonial period, should it be a big medieval cathedral instead? What about a Norse temple? Maybe it’s not set in a real time period at all?
Where the game is set is something we’ve largely left for the player to decide. Players should have the freedom, while crafting their own charming town out of the wilderness and watching their people get mauled by bears, to imagine the details of the setting as they see fit.
So when it comes to religion, we’re not sure that a church is necessarily the obvious answer. It could be interesting and allow for more creative player agency, to explore a system where you get to choose deities who could confer different favors upon your town. Or who knows, maybe when the friendly traveling merchant, Scorv Egdenor the Butcher was in town, he’s secretly whispered to those willing to listen about the glorious return of RAVAGER!
Whatever we do for this category of buildings though, we’ll want to make sure it’s another fun and engaging mechanic that adds a meaningful layer to the gameplay, rather than rushing something in just to say we have it in the game.
There are currently some limitations for resource management that we’d like to address in future updates:
There is no method to transfer resources between storage.
This is an issue we are working on. The worst example of this issue is how the Trading Post appears to gobble up your resource transfers, when in fact it is keeping all your items in a secret limbo storage. Your items are still there, but they don’t show up in any town storage building. That is something addressing this problem will also resolve.
There is no way to set quotas.
We would like there to be a way to set a storage to always keep at least X of a resource. That way you can have a main drop-off storage say for logs, but another one further away will always try to keep at least 100 logs in stock for nearby production buildings.
There is no way to set production limits
This one is a must so you have better control of how buildings are outputting materials for your town. Mainly, there needs to be a way to set a way to halt production if your town has at least X of the product, and a way to halt production if your town has less than X of a material. These controls should offer much more powerful options for managing your town’s resources.
Finally, we are planning on adding a way to check/uncheck entire categories of resources in your storage buildings. Just a small quality of life change, but a valuable one nonetheless.
Mistakes were made and you buried grandma right outside the compost yard (or maybe this was your evil plan all along?!). You feel guilt swelling up inside you and you want to relocate that graveyard.
We hear you on this one.
Some method of moving the graveyards would be nice. We’d like to come up with some kind of cost to doing so however as that should be a choice not made lightly. Perhaps a gold fee may suffice to pay off the local necromancers not to raid their supply.
Expect more on this in the future.
There are a number of issues with Barns and Cows that we are working through. Slaughtering cows stops working, milk production stops working, cows stop generating new cows, upgrading to a tier 2 barn or relocating/rebuilding your barn can cause cows to vanish into the void.
We’ve addressed a number of these issues already for v0.7.5 and whatever we do not get to will be promptly addressed for a future update.
Making a beautiful town is one of the highlights of town builders. We’re working on giving you MOAR options so you can have even more variety in your builds.
Here’s an early (work in progress!) look at the new decorations already in development:
You guys have been making some awesome towns already, so we’d like to draw your attention to some of our favorite images around the internet:
Keep them coming and perhaps we can make a habit of sharing your best with the rest of the community!